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PUNCH,

OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

VOL. 100.



June 20, 1891.




ON THE RIVER.

[Illustration]

A light canoe, a box of cigarettes,
Sunshine and shade;
A conscience free from love or money debts
To man or maid;

A book of verses, tender, quaint, or gay,
DOBSON or LANG;
Trim yew-girt gardens, echoing the day
When HERRICK sang;

A Thames-side Inn, a salad, and some fruit,
Beaune or Hochheimer; -
Are simple joys, but admirably suit
An idle rhymer.

* * * * *

A 'BUS 'OSS'S MEMS.

(_KEPT DURING A RECENT SOCIAL CRISIS._)

_Saturday, June 6_, 11 P.M. - Home after our last turn. Fancy from
several drinks had on the way, and the pace we had to put into that
last mile and a half, that something's up. Turned into stall nice and
comfortable, as usual.

_Sunday_. - Something is up with a vengeance. Hoorooh! We're on strike.
I don't know the rights of it, nor don't care, as long as I have my
bit of straw to roll in, and a good feed twice a day. I wonder, by
the way, if the fellow who looks after my oats is "off." Past feeding
time. Feel uneasy about it. Hang it all, I would rather work for _my_
living, than be tied up here doing nothing without a feed! Ha! here he
is, thank goodness, at last. However, better late than never. Capital
fun this strike.

_Monday_. - Am sent out in a loyal omnibus. Hooted at and frightened
with brickbats. Felt half inclined to shy. Halloa! what's this? Hit on
the ribs with a paving-stone. Come, I won't stand this. Kick and back
the 'bus on to the pavement. All the windows smashed by Company's men.
Passengers get out. Somebody cuts the traces, and I allow myself to be
led back to the stables. Don't care about this sort of fun. However,
feed all right.

_Tuesday_. - Hear that the men want thirteen and sixpence a day and
a seven hours' turn. Directors offer five and sixpence, and make the
minimum seventeen hours. Go it, my hearties! Fight away! Who cares?
You must feed _me_, that's quite certain. Still I don't care about
being cooped up here all day. Nasty feeling of puffiness about the
knees. Hang the strike!

_Wednesday_. - Puffiness worse. Vet. looks in and says I want exercise.
Take a bolus and am walked for half an hour or so up and down some
back-streets. Bless them! - that ain't no good.

_Thursday_. - Puffiness worse, of course. Bother it all, being shut up
here! What wouldn't I give just for a sight of dear old Piccadilly!
The fact is, if they don't soon let me have my run from King's Cross
to Putney, I shall "bust up" - and that's a fact. I feel it.

_Friday_. - Ah, they may well come to terms! Another day of this, and I
believe I should have been off the hooks "for ever and for aye." It's
all very well for Capital and Labour to get at loggerheads, but, as
DUCROW said, they must cut all their disputes short if they wish to
save anything of their business, and look sharp, and "come to the
'osses."

_Saturday, 13th_. - Strike over! We shall have to be in harness again
on Monday, and not a day too soon, in the interests of the men, the
Directors, the Public; and, last, but by no means least, specially
that of "the 'osses."

* * * * *

IN MEMORIAM.

"OLD TO-MORROW."

THE RIGHT HON. SIR JOHN ALEXANDER MACDONALD, LATE PREMIER OF CANADA.

Punch sympathises with Canadian sorrow
For him known lovingly as "OLD TOMORROW."
Hail to "the Chieftain!" He lies mute to-day,
But Fame still speaks for him, and shall for aye.
"To-morrow - and to-morrow!" SHAKSPEARE sighs.
So runs the round of time! Man lives and dies.
But death comes not with mere surcease of breath
To such as him. "The road to dusty death"
Not "all his yesterdays." have lighted. Nay!
Canada's "OLD TO-MORROW" lives to-day
In unforgetting hearts, and nothing fears
The long to-morrow of the coming years.

* * * * *

LEAVES FROM A CANDIDATE'S DIARY.

_Billsbury, Wednesday, May 28th_. - Great doings here to-day. For
weeks past all the Conservative Ladies of Billsbury have been hard at
work, knitting, sewing, painting, embroidering, patching, quilting,
crocheting, and Heaven knows what besides, for the Bazaar in aid of
the Conservative Young Men's Club and Coffee-Room Sustentation Fund.
You couldn't call at any house in Billsbury without being nearly
smothered in heaps of fancy-work of every kind. When I was at the
PENFOLDS' on Monday afternoon, the drawing-room was simply littered
with bonnets and hats, none of them much larger than a crown piece,
which Miss PENFOLD had been constructing. She tried several of them
on, in order to get my opinion as to their merits. She looked very
pretty in one of them, a cunning arrangement of forget-me-nots and
tiny scraps of pink ribbon. Mother promised some time ago to open the
Bazaar, though she assured me she had never done such a thing before,
and added that I must be sure to see that the doors moved easily, as
new doors were so apt to stick, and she didn't know what she should
do if she had to struggle over the opening. I comforted her by telling
her she would only have to say a few brief words on a platform,
declaring the Bazaar open. For the last week I have had a letter from
her by absolutely every post, sending draft speeches for my approval.
After much consideration I selected one of these, which I returned to
her. I heard from home that she was very busily occupied for some time
in learning it by heart. When cook came for orders in the morning, she
was forced to listen while Mother said over the speech to her. Cook
was good enough to express a high opinion of its beauties.

Yesterday evening Mother arrived, with the usual enormous amount of
luggage, including the inevitable _Carlo_. After dinner I heard her
repeat the speech, which went off very well. This is it: - "Ladies
and Gentlemen, I am so pleased to be here to-day, and to have the
opportunity of helping the dear Conservative cause in Billsbury. I am
sure you are all so anxious to buy as many of these lovely things as
you can, and I therefore lose no time in declaring the Bazaar open."
Simple, but efficient.

The opening to-day was fixed for 2:30, the Bazaar being held in the
large room of the Assembly Rooms, which had been arranged to represent
an Old English Tillage. At one o'clock Colonel and Mrs. CHORKLE,
Alderman and Mrs. TOLLAND, and one or two others, lunched with us, and
afterwards we all drove off together in a procession of carriages. I
insisted on _Carlo_ being left behind, locked up in Mother's bed-room,
with a dish of bones to comfort him, and an old dress of Mother's to
lie on. That old dress has been devoted to _Carlo_ for the last two
years, and no amount of persuasion will induce _Carlo_ to take another
instead. We tried him with a much better one a short time ago, but
he was furious, tore it to ribbons and refused his food until his old
disreputable dress had been restored to him.

The Bazaar proceedings began with a short prayer delivered by the
Bishop of BRITISH GUIANA, an old Billsbury Grammar-School boy, who
was appointed to the bishopric a month ago. Everybody is making a
tremendous fuss about him here of course. As soon as the prayer was
over, Colonel CHORKLE rose and made what he would call one of his
"'appiest hefforts." The influence of lovely woman, Conservative
principles, devotion to the Throne, the interests of the Conservative
Young Men's Sustentation Fund, all mixed up together like a hasty
pudding. Then came the moment for Mother. First, however, WILLIAMINA
HENRIETTA SMITH CHORKLE had to be removed outside for causing a
disturbance. Her father's speech so deeply affected this intelligent
infant, who had come under the protection of her nurse, that she burst
out into a loud yell and refused to be comforted. The Colonel's face
was a study - a mixture of drum-head Courts-martial and Gatling guns.
Mother got through with her little speech all right. As a matter
of fact she read it straight off a sheet of paper, having finally
decided that her memory was too treacherous. We both set to work and
bought an incredible amount of things. After half an hour I found
myself in possession of six bonnets made by Miss PENFOLD, three
knitted waistcoats, four hand-painted screens, two tea-tables also
hand-painted, a lady's work-basket, three fancy shawls, a set of glass
studs and a double perambulator, which I won in a raffle. Mother got
three dog-collars, a set of shaving materials (won in a raffle),
two writing cases, five fans, two pictures by a local artist, four
paper-knives, two carved cigar-boxes, a set of tea things, and five
worked table-covers.

When we got back, we found that _Carlo_ had nearly gnawed his way
through the bed-room door, and was growling horribly at the boots and
the chambermaid through the keyhole. Charming dog!

* * * * *

SIMIAN TALK.

Professor GARNERS, in the _New Review_
Tells us that "Apes can talk." _That's_ nothing new;
Reading much "Simian" literary rot,
One only wishes that our "Apes" could _not_!

* * * * *

THE NEW TALE OF A TUB; OR, THE NOT-AT-HOME SECRETARY AND THE
LAUNDRESSES.

[Illustration: "CAN'T SEE YOU NOW, I'M WASHING - MYSELF."

"The Women are crying out for the protection of the Factory Acts,
which has hitherto been denied them, and which the Home Secretary
declines to pledge the Government to support." - _Daily Telegraph,
Friday, June 12th._]

_London Laundry-woman, to her Tub-mate, loquitur_: -

They tell us the Tub is humanity's friend, and that Cleanliness is of
closest kin
To all things good. By the newest gospel 'tis held that Dirt is the
friend of Sin.
Well, I'm not so sure that the world's far wrong in that Worship of
Washing that's all the rage;
But we, its priestesses, sure might claim a cleanly life and a decent
wage!

Listen, BET, from your comfortless seat on the turned-up pail, - if
you've got the time;
Isn't it queer that Society's cleansers must pass their lives amidst
muck and grime?
Spotless flannels no doubt are nice - and snowy linen is "swell" and sweet,
But steaming reek is around our heads, and trickling foulness about our
feet.

If the dainty ladies whose linen we lave, we laundress drudges, could
look in _here_,
Wouldn't their feet shrink back with sickness, and wouldn't their faces
go pale with fear?
White, well-ironed, all sheen and sweetness, that linen looks when it
leaves our hands;
But they little think of the sodden squalor that marks the den where
the laundress stands.

Scrub, scrub, scrub, at the reeking tub, for eighteen hours at a
stretch, perchance,
Till our bowed backs ache, and our knuckles smart, and the lights through
the steam like spectres dance;
Ankle-deep in the watery sludge, where the tile is loose or the drainage
blocked!
Oh, I haven't a doubt that the dainty dames - if they only knew! - would be
sorely shocked.

Typhoid! Terribly menacing word, the whisper of which would destroy our
trade;
But dirt, and damp, and defective drainage will raise that ghost on a
world afraid;
And at thirty years our strength is sapped by insidious siege of the
stifling fume,
Or what if we linger a little longer? Scant rays of comfort such life
illume.

Grievances, BET? Well, I make no doubt that the world of idlers is
sorely sick
Of the moans and groans of the likes of us. When the whip, the needle,
the spade, the pick,
Are all on strike for a higher wage, 'tis a worry, of course, to the
well-to-do,
And a sleek Home-Sec, must "decline to pledge" support official to me
and you.

Of course, of course! Who are we, my dear, to bother the big-wigs and
stir their bile?
Why, it's all along of our "discontent," and the Agitator's insidious
guile.
But Labour, BET, is agog just now to revise the old one-sided pacts,
And even a Laundress may have an eye to the benefit of the Factory Acts.

Those bad, bad 'Busmen, BET my girl, claim shorter hours, and a longer
pay;
Just think of such for the Slaves of the Tub! Why should we women not
have our say
In the Park o' Sunday, like DAN the Docker, or TOM the Tailor, or WILL
the "Whip"?
The Tub and the Ironing-board appear to have got a chance - which they
mustn't let slip:

An Object Lesson in Laundress Labour, may move the callous and shame
the quiz.
We dream of "Washing as well it might be"; we'll show them "Washing as
now it is."
_We_ know it, BET, in the sodden wet and the choking fume; with the
aching back,
The long, long hours, and the typhoid taint, the inverted pail and the
hurried snack.

There may - who knows? - be hope for us yet, for you and me, BET! Just
think o' that!
Oh, I know it is hard to believe it, my girl. The Sweater's strong, and
appeal falls flat
On official ears; and fine-lady fears, and household hurry against us go;
But "evil is wrought by want of thought." says some poet, I think; - so
we'll let them _know_!

Ah! snowy sheets and sweet lavender scent of the dear old days in my
village home!
The breadths of linen a-bleach on the grass! How little I thought that
to this I'd come
Grand ladies of old to their laundry looked, and the tubs were white,
and the presses fair;
Now we cleansers clean in the midst of dirt, in a dank, dark den, with
a noisome air.

Sometimes I dream till the clouds of steam take the shadowy form of a
spectral thing,
A tyrant terror that threatens our lives, whilst we rub and scrub, whilst
we rinse and wring.
Well, cheer up, BET, girl, stiffen your lip, and straighten your back.
You have finished your grub,
So to work once more; if our champions score, we _may_ find a new end to
this Tale of a Tub!

* * * * *

[Illustration: A CURE FOR INFLUENZA.

_Major O'Gourmand_. "SURE, ME DOCTHOR SAID A GLASS OR TWO OF DRY
CHAMPAGNE'LL DO ME GOOD! BEGORRAH, THE BOTTLE'S DRY ENOUGH BY THIS TIME!"]

* * * * *

STRIKING INTELLIGENCE. - A PAGE FROM A LONDONER'S DIARY.

_Sunday_. - Can scarcely believe the news! What, no omnibuses! A
strike! What _shall_ we do? Fortunately always go to church on foot,
so no loss in that. Then subsequent parade in the Park - don't require
an omnibus for that, either. At the end of the day, can say that, take
one thing with another, state of affairs more comfortable than might
have been anticipated.

_Monday_. - Dreaded continuance of strike, but found, practically,
little inconvenience. Had to walk to the office, and enjoyed the
promenade immensely. Had no idea that a stroll along the Embankment
was so delightful. After all, one can exist without omnibuses - at
least, for a time.

_Tuesday_. - Find that people who were at their wits' end at the mere
suggestion of a strike, are becoming reconciled to the situation.
Streets certainly pleasanter without the omnibuses. Great, lumbering
conveyances, filling up the road, and stopping the traffic! London
looks twice as well without them! Tradesmen, too, say that the shops
are just as well attended now as when the two great Companies were in
full swing.

_Wednesday_. - Can't see what the omnibus people (both sides - Directors
and _employés_) are quarrelling about. No matter of mine, and the
Public are only too glad for a chance of a good walk. Fifty per cent.
better since I have been obliged to give up the morning 'bus. Asked
to-day to contribute something in support of the strikers. Certainly
not, the longer the strike lasts the worse for the Public.

_Thursday_. - Really the present state of affairs is delightful. I
have to thank the deadlock for teaching me to patronise the river
steamboats. Pleasant journey from Vauxhall to the Temple for a penny!
No idea that the Thames was so pretty at Westminster. View of the
Houses of Parliament and the Embankment capital.

_Friday_. - Strike continues. Well I do not complain. Hired a hansom
and find that considering the cab takes you up to door, it is really
cheaper in the long run. If you use an omnibus, you get jolted, and
run a chance of smashing your hat. If it rains you get splashed and
having to finish your journey on foot, you might just as well have
walked the whole way.

_Saturday_. - Strike arranged to cease on Monday! This is too much!
Just as we were getting comfortable, all the disgusting lumbering old
omnibuses are to come back again! It ought not to be allowed. Asked
to-day to contribute something in support of the strikers. Certainly,
the longer the strike lasts the better for the Public.

* * * * *

[Illustration: WHO'D HAVE THOUGHT IT?!!

_First Slender Invalid_. "I SAY, OLD MAN, WHAT A BEASTLY THING THIS
INFLUENZA IS, EH? I'M JUST GETTING OVER IT."

_His Wasting Friend_. "AH! YOU'RE RIGHT, MY BOY! I'VE HAD IT TOO, AND
THE WORST OF IT IS, IT _PULLS A FELLOW DOWN_ SO FEARFULLY!!"]

* * * * *

EXPLANATIONS À LA MODE.

(_A PROPHETIC FORECAST, BY A PROFESSIONAL PESSIMIST._)

1891. The Leader of the House explains, in answer to a question, that
no understanding exists between England and any Foreign country. No
treaty is in contemplation, and never has been suggested on either
side.

1892. The Government repeats that England is absolutely free from any
international engagements. It must not be thought for a moment that a
single battalion will be moved, or a solitary vessel dispatched abroad
with warlike intentions.

1893. The Representative of the Cabinet once more denies the
suggestion that, under any consideration whatever, will England
bind herself to accept European responsibility. This has been said
constantly for the last three years, and the Representative of
the Cabinet is not only surprised but pained at these frequent and
embarrassing interrogations.

1894. Once more, and for the last time, the PREMIER insists that
whatever may happen abroad, England will be free from interference.
It has been the policy of this great country for the last four years
to steer clear of all embarrassing international complications. The
other Great Powers are perfectly aware that, under no circumstances
whatever, will our Army and Fleet be employed in taking part in
the quarrels of our neighbours. The entire Cabinet are grieved at
questions so frequently put to them - questions that are not only
disquieting abroad, but a slur upon the intentions of men whose sole
duty is the safety and peace of the British Empire.

1895. General European War - England in the midst of it!

* * * * *

VOCES POPULI.

BEFORE THE MECHANICAL MODELS.

A SKETCH AT THE ROYAL NAVAL EXHIBITION.

SCENE - _The Grounds. A string of Sightseers discovered passing
slowly in front of a row of glazed cases containing small
mechanical figures, which are set in motion in the usual
manner._

BEFORE A SCENE REPRESENTING A DYING CHILD.

_A Gallant Swain_. That's the kid in bed, yer see. Like to see it die,
POLLY, eh? A penny does it.

_Polly_ (_with a giggle_). Well, if it ain't _too_ 'arrowing. (_The
penny is dropped in, and the mechanical mother is instantly agitated
by the deepest maternal anxiety._) That's the mother kneeling by the
bed, I suppose - she do pray natural. There's the child waking up - see,
it's moving its 'ed. (_The little doll raises itself in bed, and then
falls back lifeless._) Ah, it's gone - look at the poor mother 'idin'
her face.

_The G.S._ Well, it's all over. Come along and see something more
cheerful.

_Polly_. Wait a bit - it isn't 'alf over yet. There's a angel got to
come and carry her away fust - there, the door's opening, that'll be
the angel come for it, I expect. (_Disappointed._) No, it's only
the doctor. (_A jerky and obviously incompetent little medical
practitioner puts his head in at the door, and on being motioned back
by the bereaved mother, retires with more delicacy than might have
been expected._) Well, he might ha' seen for himself if the child
_was_ dead! (_The back of the bed disappears, disclosing a well-known
picture of an angel flying upwards with a child._) I did think they'd
have a real angel, and not only a picture of one, and anyone can see
it's a different child - there's the child in bed just the same. I call
that a take-in!

_The G.S._ I dunno what more you expect for a penny.

_A Person on the Outskirts_ (_eagerly to Friend_). What happened? What
is it? I couldn't make it out over all the people's shoulders.

_His Friend_. Dying child - not half bad either. You go and put in a
penny, and you'll see it well enough.

_The P. on the O._ (_indignantly_). What, put in a penny for such
rubbish? Not me!

[_He hangs about till someone else provides the necessary
coin._

_A Softhearted Female_. No, I couldn't stand there and look on. I
never _can_ bear them pathetic subjects. I felt just the same
with that picture of the Sick Child at the Academy, you know.
(_Meditatively._) And you don't have to put a penny in for _that_,
either.

BEFORE ANOTHER BEDROOM SCENE REPRESENTING "THE DRUNKARD'S DELIRIUM."

_First Woman_. That's 'im in bed, with the bottle in his 'and. He
likes to take his liquor comfortable, _he_ do.

_Second Woman_. He's very neat and tidy, considering ain't he? I
wonder what his delirium is like. 'Ere, ROSY, come and put your penny
in as the gentleman give yer. (_ROSY, aged six, sacrifices her penny,
under protest._) Now, you look - you can't think what pretty things
you'll see.

[_The little wooden drunkard sits up, applies the bottle to
his mouth, and sinks back contentedly; a demon, painted a
pleasing blue, rises slowly by his bed-side: the drunkard
takes a languid interest in him; the demon sinks._

_A Gentleman with a bloated complexion_ (_critically_). 'Ooever
did that - well, I dessay he's a very clever man,
but - (_compassionately_) - he don't know much about 'orrors, _he_
don't!

_A Facetious Friend. You_ could ha' told him a thing or two, eh, JIM?

_The Bloated Gentleman_ (_contemptuously_). Well, if I never 'ad them
wuss than _that_!

[_A small skeleton, in a shroud, looks in at the door._

_The F.F._ 'Ullo, 'ere's the King o' Terrors for yer! (_ROSY shows
signs of uneasiness; a blue demon comes out of a cupboard._) 'Ere's
another of 'em - quite a little party he's 'aving!

_A Gentleman, in a white tie_ (_as the machinery stops_). Well, a
thing like this does more real good than many a temperance tract.

_The Bloated G._ Yer right there, Guv'nor - it's bin a lesson to _me_,
I know that. 'Ere, will you come and 'ave a whiskey-sour along of me
and my friend 'ere'?

BEFORE A MODEL REPRESENTING AN EXECUTION.

_A Daughter_. But _why_ won't you 'put a penny into this one, Father?

_The Father_ (_firmly_). Because I don't approve of Capital
Punishment, my dear.

_A Cultivated Person_. An execution - "put a penny in; bell
tolls - gates open - scaffold shown with gallows. Executioner pulls
bolt - black flag" - dear, dear - most degrading, shocking taste! (_To
his Friend._) Oh, of course, I'll wait, if you want to see it - not got
a penny? Let me see - yes, _I_ can lend you one. (_He does; the penny
is put in - nothing happens._) Out of order, I suppose - scandalous! and
nobody to speak to about it - _most_ discreditable! Stop - what's
this? (_A sort of woolly beat is audible inside the prison; the C.P.
beams._) That's the bell tolling - it's all right, it's working! [_It
works._

_Another Spectator_. Very well done, that was - but they 'urried it
over a little too quick. I scarcely saw the man 'ung at all!

_His Companion_. Put in another penny, and p'raps you'll see him cut
down, old chap.

BEFORE THE FAIRY FORTUNE-TELLER'S GROTTO.

_Susan Jane_ (_to her Soldier_.) Oh, ain't that pretty? I should like
to know what _my_ fortune is. [_She feels in her pocket._

_The Soldier_ (_who disapproves of useless expenditure_). Ain't you
put in enough bloomin' pennies?

_Susan Jane_. This is the last. (_Reads Directions_.) Oh, you've got
to set the finger on the dial to the question you want answered, and
then put your penny in. What shall I ask her?

_Soldier_. Anyone would think you meant to go by the answer, to hear


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Online LibraryVariousPunch, or the London Charivari, Volume 100, June 20, 1891 → online text (page 1 of 3)