Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 100, June 6, 1891 online

. (page 1 of 3)
Online LibraryVariousPunch, or the London Charivari, Volume 100, June 6, 1891 → online text (page 1 of 3)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Produced by Malcolm Farmer, William Flis, and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team.



VOL. 100.

June 6, 1891.



SCENE - _A Village School-room. A Juvenile Treat is in
progress, and a Magic Lantern, hired for the occasion, "with
set of slides complete - to last one hour" is about to be


_The Vicar's Daughter_ (_suddenly recognising the New Curate, who is
blinking unsuspectingly in the lantern rays_). Oh, Mr. TOOTLER, you've
just come in time to help us! The man with the lantern says he only
manages the slides, and can't do the talking part. And I've asked
lots of people, and no one will volunteer. _Would_ you mind just
explaining the pictures to the children? It's only a little Nursery
tale - _Valentine and Orson_ - I chose that, because it's less
hackneyed, and has such an excellent _moral_, you know. I'm sure
you'll do it so _beautifully_!

_Mr. Tootler_ (_a shy man_). I - I'd do it with pleasure, I'm
sure - only I really don't know anything about _Valentine and Orson_!

_The V's D._ Oh, what _does_ that matter? I can tell you the outline
in two minutes. (_She tells him._) But it's got to last an hour, so
you must spin it out as much as ever you can.

[Illustration: The Young Heckler.]

_Mr. Tootler_ (_to himself_). Ought I to neglect such a golden
opportunity of winning these young hearts? No. (_Aloud._) I
will - er - do my best, and perhaps I had better begin at once, as
they seem to be getting - er - rather unruly at the further end of the
room. (_He clears his throat._) Children, you must be very quiet and
attentive, and then we shall be able, as we purpose this evening, to
show you some scenes illustrative of the - er - beautiful old story
of _Valentine and Orson_, which I doubt not is familiar to you all.
(_Rustic applause, conveyed by stamping and shrill cheers, after
which a picture is thrown on the screen representing a Village
Festival._) Here, children, we have a view of - er - (_with sudden
inspiration_) - Valentine's Native Village. It is - er - his birthday,
and Valentine, being a young man who is universally beloved on account
of his amiability and good conduct - (_To the Vicar's D._ "Is that
correct?" _The V.'s D._ "Quite, _quite_ correct!") - good conduct,
the villagers are celebrating the - er - auspicious event by general
rejoicings. How true it is that if we are only _good_, we may, young
as we are, count upon gaining the affection and esteem of all around
us! (_A Youthful Rustic, with a tendency to heckle._ "Ef 'ee plaze,
Zur, which on 'em be Valentoine?") Valentine, we may be very sure,
would not be absent on such an occasion, although, owing to the
crowd, we cannot distinguish him. But, wherever he is, however he
may be occupied, he little thinks that, before long, he will have
to encounter the terrible Orson, the Wild Man of the Woods! Ah,
dear children, we all have our Wild Man of the Woods to fight. With
_some_ of us it is - (_He improves the occasion._) Our next picture
represents - (_To Assistant._) Sure this comes next? Oh, they're all
numbered, are they? Very well - represents a forest - er - the home of
Orson. If we were permitted to peep behind one of those trunks, we
should doubtless see Orson himself, crouching in readiness to spring
upon the unsuspecting Valentine. So, often when we - &c., &c. The next
scene we shall show you represents the - er - burning of Valentine's
ship. Valentine has gone on a voyage, with the object of - er - finding
Orson. If the boat in the picture was only larger, we could no doubt
identify Valentine, sitting there undismayed, calmly confident that,
notwithstanding this - er - unfortunate interruption, he will be guided,
sooner or later, to his - er - goal. Yes, dear children, if we only have
patience, if we only have faith, &c., &c. Here we see - (_an enormous
Bison is suddenly depicted on the screen_) eh? oh, yes - here we have a
specimen of - er - Orson's _pursuits_. He chases the bison. Some of you
may not know what a bison is. It is a kind of hairy cow, and - (_He
describes the habits of these creatures as fully as he is able._ _The
Youthful Rustic_. "Theer baint nawone a-erntin' of 'un, Zur.") What?
Oh, but there _is_. Orson is pursuing him, only - er - the bison, being
a very fleet animal, has outrun his pursuer for the moment. Sometimes
we flatter ourselves that we have outrun _our_ pursuer - but,
depend upon it, &c., &c. But now let us see what Valentine is
about - (_Discovering, not without surprise, that the next picture is
a Scene in the Arctic Regions._) Well, you see, he has succeeded in
reaching the coast, and here he is - in a sledge drawn by a reindeer,
with nothing to guide him but the Aurora Borealis, hastening towards
the spot where he has been told he will find Orson. He doesn't
despair, doesn't lose heart - he is sure that, if he only keeps on, if
he - er - only continues, only perseveres - (_Aside._ What drivel I _am_
talking! _To Assistant_. I say, are there many _more_ of this sort?
because we don't seem to be getting on!) - Well, now we come to - (_a
Moonlight Scene, with a Cottage in Winter, appears_) - to the - ah - home
of Valentine's _mother_. You will observe a light in the casement. By
that light the good old woman is sitting, longing and praying for the
return of her gallant boy. Ah, dear children, what a thing a good old
mother is! (_To the Vicar's Daughter_. "I really can _not_ keep on
like this much longer. I'm positively certain these slides are out of
order!") _The V.'s D._ "Oh no; I'm sure it's _all_ right. Do _please_
go on. They're _so_ interested!" _The Young Heckler_. "'Ow bout
Valentoine, Zur? - wheer be 'ee?" Ah, where is Valentine, indeed? (_To
Ass._) Next slide - quick! (_Recognises with dismay a View of the Grand
Canal._) No - but, I say - _really_ I _can't_ - Here we have Valentine at
Venice. He has reached that beautiful city, - well called the Queen of
the Adriatic, - at last! He contemplates it from his gondola, and yet
he has no heart just now to take in all the beauty of the scene. He
feels that he is still no nearer to finding Orson than before. (_The
Young Heckler_. "Naw moor be we, Zur. We ain't zeed _nayther_ on 'em
zo fur!" _Tumult, and a general demand for the instant production of
Orson or Valentine._) Now, children, children! this is very irregular.
You must allow me to tell this story my own way. You will see them
both in good time, if you only keep still! (_To Ass._) I can't stand
this any more. Valentine and Orson must be underneath the rest. Find
them, and shove them in quick. Never mind the numbering! (_The screen
remains blank while the Assistant fumbles._) Well, have you _got_

_The Assistant_. No, Sir; I'm rather afraid they ain't _here_. Fact
is, they've sent me out with the wrong set o' slides. This ain't
_Valentine and Orson - it's a miscellaneous lot, Sir!_

[_Collapse of Curate as Scene closes in._

* * * * *



I bust suppose the Doctor dose,
(I do not bead a pud!)
What ails be; but that aidlbelt _grows!_
This Subber brigs _do_ sud.
Subtibes the east wids blow like bad,
Subtibes code showers pour,
But daily cubs that doctor's lad, -
"The Bixture as Before!"

The Idfluedza I have got,
Or I ibadgid so;
Subtibes I'b cold, subtibes I'b hot,
I cough, I sdeeze, I blow,
But GLADSTUD's better, SBITH is well,
_I_ do _dot_ bend. O lor! -
There's that codfonded kitchid bell;
"The Bixture as Before!"

I've had at least a budth of it,
Sidtz I was first struck dowd,
Yet here id slippered feet I sit!
By daily half-a-crowd -
For bedsud taxes by poor purse.
It is ad awfud bore.
This bedsud bakid be feel worse -
"The Bixture as Before!"

I'b odly a poor City clerk.
Quidide is bodstrous dear;
By doctor treats it as a lark,
Ad tries by bide to cheer.
But if by situashud goes,
I'b ruid - ad two score!
What cad avail the Doctor's dose -
"The Bixture as Before"?

It bay be Bicrobes, as they say,
This Idfluedza pest;
What batters? I bust cough - ad _pay_!
The Doctor orders "Rest"!
Bicrobes be blowed, ad Rest go hag!
I'll stad this thig do bore!
BARY! was that the door-bell rag?
- "The Bixture as Before"!

* * * * *


"It is stated that the Pungwé route to Mashonaland has been
again closed by the Portuguese Authorities." - _Reuter, May

[Illustration: _Cecil Rhodes_, "YOU CLEAR OUT! SHE'S MY 'MASH!'"]

Now then, young Obstructive, still playing the sentry,
Where nobody wants you to watch or mount guard?
Are _you_ to rule everyone's exit and entry?
Clear out, my young friend, or with you 'twill go hard.
Yon Portuguese _Tappertit_, turn it up, _do_!
D'ye think I'll be stopped by a monkey like you?

_My_ Mash, that young woman! Will you bar our meeting?
We're sweethearts. Will you interfere with our tryst?
You pert whippersnapper, my sable-skinned sweeting
My masculine wooing's too wise to resist.
Shall RHODES be cut out by a small Portuguese,
With a gun and a swagger? Pooh! Fiddle-de-dee!

We've put up too long with your pranks, my fine fellow,
Because of your size, upon which you presume.
Oh, it's no use to twirl your moustache and look yellow!
Mean having that gal, howsoever you fume.
You'd better behave yourself, boy, or no doubt
Before very long we shall clean you right out.

Look at home, keep your own ways a little bit clearer,
And don't go a-blocking up other folks' roads.
Eh? _You_ warn me off her? _I_ mustn't come nearer?
Ha, ha! My good-nature your impudence goads.
Clear out, whilst you're safe, you young shrimp! Don't be rash!
For I shan't let _you_ come between me and my Mash!

* * * * *

[Illustration: THE VICTORY ROAD-CAR.


* * * * *


that one of "the inferior clergy," represented by a Clarke in orders,
is pitted against an "Abbott," as recently happened in the discussion
about Mr. CALDERON's picture of "_St. Elizabeth's Heroic Act of
Renunciation_." In this instance the Clarke got the better of the
Abbott, and the others, including Professor HUXLEY, who is always
ready to rush in and invite somebody to tread on the tail of his coat,
were nowhere. The _Times_ issues its _fiat_, concluding the arguments
on both sides - "The _Times_ has spoken, _causa finita est_" - and the
picture will remain one of the chief attractions in the Royal Academy
Exhibition until such time as it ascends to the undisturbed Oilysium
of The Happily Immortals. In the meantime, being on the line, Mr.
CALDERON will be perfectly satisfied if his picture be generally
recognised as "_St. Elisabeth of Well-Hung-ary_."

* * * * *



Take a handful of jokelets and beat them up small,
In sophistical fudge, with no logic at all;
Then pepper the mixture with snigger and jeer;
Add insolent "sauce," and a _soupçon_ of sneer;
Shred stale sentiment fine, just as much as you want,
And thicken with cynical clap-trap and cant,
_Plus_ oil - of that species which "smells of the lamp" -
Then lighten with squibs, which, of course, should be damp;
Serve up, with the air of a true _Cordon Bleu_,
And you'll find a few geese to taste _it_ and praise _you_!

* * * * *


THEN. SCENE - _Dining-Room in MRS. GRUNDY's House. The
Misses GRUNDY and their Mother discovered at Luncheon._

_Eldest Miss G._ Oh, Mamma, do take us to see _Formosa_ at Drury Lane!

_Mrs. Grundy_. My dear! Why, it's absolutely shocking! All the papers
are ringing with the impropriety! Couldn't _possibly_ go!

_Second Miss G._ But, Mamma dear, the Boat-Race Scene is _so_
excellent. We might sit at the back of the box, and put our fingers in
our ears when you signalled to us.

_Mrs. Grundy_. Well, as you say, the Boat-Race Scene is excellent, and
as for impropriety, we must ignore it.

[_Exeunt to get places for Drury Lane._

NOW. _Scene as before, Time and situation as before, Company
as before_.

_Eldest Miss G._ Oh, Mother darling, do take us to see _Formosa_ at
Drury Lane!

_Mrs. Grundy_. Certainly. I hear the Boat-Race Scene beats the record.

_Second Miss G._ It is simply magnificent, and the dialogue is so
interesting. Twenty years ago they said it was improper! As IBSEN
would observe, "Only fancy that!"

_Mrs. Grundy_. Did they? Well, as you say, the Boat-Race Scene is
excellent; and as for the impropriety, - in these days of _Ghosts,
Pillars of Society_, and _Dancing Girls_, we haven't time to notice

[_Exeunt to get places for Drury Lane._

* * * * *


_Billsbury, Thursday, May 22_. - Came down here yesterday, to stay
for a fortnight on end. Four meetings have been arranged in different
wards, and a good deal of time is to be devoted to canvassing.
Pleasant prospect! Begin to think that, on the whole, it was easier
work to wear an occasional wig in the Law Courts, or to sit in
Chambers, planning imaginary Law-books.

On Tuesday I lunched with the BELLAMYS, to say good-bye. Mrs. BELLAMY
made herself very agreeable. Somebody, so she said, had told her
that my chances at Billsbury were excellent, and she declared she had
always admired young men who devoted themselves with a single-hearted
purpose to the service of their country. So different from the crowd
"Of shallow-pates, who scorn laborious days. And shun the rugged paths
that lead to praise." This is a familiar quotation from the works of
"your grandfather, the poet." Mrs. BELLAMY quotes him on all possible
occasions. A long time ago she gave me a beautifully bound copy of his
book, "_Per Ardua_, by HENRY GATTLETON, M.A." I've got a notion she
has a whole room-full of the unsold copies, somewhere at the top of
the house.

After luncheon had a long talk with MARY, who really looked prettier
than I've ever seen her. She said, "Now that you have got into what
Mamma calls 'the vortex of politics,' I suppose you'll despise all
our simple little amusements, and begin to forget everybody except
the Billsbury voters." I asked her how she could say such a thing,
told her I never could forget the happy hours I'd spent with her at
Exhibitions and dances, and so forth, and assured her I loathed the
Billsbury voters (which, by the way, I really think I do). I was
just beginning to screw myself up to the pitch of asking her _the_
question, in fact, I had taken her hand, and was actually stuttering
out something which made her look down at her feet (she's got the
smallest and prettiest foot I ever saw), when the footman opened the
door and announced POMFRET. Of course POMFRET must have seen something
was up. He's a beast, but not a fool. But he chattered away volubly,
just as if he were the most delightful and welcome person in the
world. I got so angry after ten minutes of it, and my toes and fingers
began to have such an almost irresistible longing to be at him, that
I thought it best to go. But MARY gave me a look as I went away which
simply went right through me, the kindest and most beautiful look any
two eyes ever gave to an unhappy man. I shut my eyes constantly and
bring the whole scene back, and in imagination I throw POMFRET out of
the window, and carry MARY in triumph to the nearest church, while her
mother quotes the late Mr. GATTLETON's poetry over us in blessing. And
then I open them again and find myself in this hole.

Dinner with the CHORKLES on Saturday.

_May 23_. - Started canvassing yesterday and continued to-day under the
charge of Mr. DIKES, one of the Town Councillors. "Old DICKY DIKES,"
the people here always call him. He's supposed to be one of the most
knowing cards in the whole county. A man of about sixty-four, with
light brown hair, rather curly, a wig, say his detractors, but I can't
make my mind up about it yet, as I haven't been able to study him
closely with his hat off. His head is large, face a cross between J.L.
TOOLE's and DIZZY's without the goatee. Always wears a frock-coat of
best broadcloth, and an immense top-hat. Has one curiously protruding
tooth which fascinates me, and makes my attention wander when he's
telling me his anecdotes. I keep wondering how it ever got into that
strange position - a sort of dental rocking-stone, weird, solitary,
inexplicable. Everybody knows him, as he represents the St. Mark's
Ward (which we are canvassing) in the Council. The flourish with which
he always introduces me is wonderful. I might be an Emperor honouring
the place with a visit. But the people take it all as a matter of
course, and seem pleased to see us. They don't care twopence about
real political questions in the back-streets. They mostly say, "My
father was a Blue and his father afore 'im, and I've bin a Blue all my
life, and I ain't a goin' to change my colour now. You're all right,
Sir; you've no call to bother about me. I wish you success." They
don't mind being asked any amount of questions as to where they lived
before, how long they've been in their present houses, and so on. It's
all a kind of entertainment to them. Here and there, of course, you
come on a keen politician, who really understands. I hear CHORKLE's
dinner to-morrow is to be a grand affair.

* * * * *



(_Attire and Side on Girl_.)]

* * * * *



Need I say that I felt greatly gratified at finding myself attached
to the Victorian Volunteers. I had been present with them in spirit
at the banquets which had greeted their arrival to the Mother Country,
and now I was to have the advantage of actually appearing bodily in
their campaign at Islington. I knew the battle-field well. In years
gone by I had seen many a Balaclava _mêlée_, many a slicing of the
lemon, many a securing of the tent-peg. Nay, further, I had assisted
many a time at "the combined display," when, before a huge audience, a
presentment of war was produced, as unlike the real thing as anything
well could be. But, to return to the Victorians. As they appeared
in their neat uniforms, which included slouch hats, the hearts of a
noble people (represented by occupants of places from ten shillings
downwards) went out to them, and they were greeted with a mighty
shout. The English race recognised the service that was being done.
The Mother thanked her Child. Over the stormy sea had come the
soldiers of the Southern Cross to tell any Britons still remaining in
played-out Europe how war should be waged; how battles should be won.

The numbers of our gallant little body were small; still, we had
enough. Before our appearance "the country" had been arranged. In
the distance, near the southern entrance, were bushes; then, a little
nearer home, a second row; then, nearer still, a canvas erection
representing a fallen tree; then more bushes; and last, the door from
which we had emerged to receive the plaudits of the populace. First,
two of our number (after some slight hesitation) galloped (taking,
without much difficulty, the hedges on their way) towards the south.
They fired. In the meanwhile the rest of our body had dismounted, and
had buckled the forelegs of each horse so that it might not unduly
wander. This clever idea was nearly crowned with success. Then tents
were got out - without any hurry. They were pitched in a leisurely
fashion. Then the fire was lighted, also without flurry. The two
scouts now cantered back knocking over a bush on their way. Shots were
heard in the distance, and our camp was leisurely, very leisurely,
broken up. The tents were, with some difficulty, placed on the backs
of the horses, and most of our troopers mounted without serious
difficulty. One certainly was thrown, and another had to hold firmly
to his horse. Then we advanced. We again dismounted. One of our body,
after some negotiation, collected the reins of our horses. We fired,
and again leisurely mounted. Then our troopers hurried off.

And when the magnificent display was over, I could not help thinking
how good it was of these gallant Colonists to come so far that we
might learn so much. True, we had seen something a little like the
mounted infantry evolutions in the displays of our own light Hussars.
Again, soldiers have been known before this to pitch and strike
a tent. Still, it was deeply gratifying to find history repeating
itself, inasmuch, as in the Victorian evolutions there was no
difficulty in conjuring up the picture with the popular title, "The
Grandson teaching the Grandmother - how to suck eggs!"

* * * * *



The Government makes no sign or move, though people who think are
clamouring and asking "How long shall such things be?"

* * * * *


They were only a few poor Polish Jews, there might have been a hundred
of them all told, beaten, scourged, driven by a brutal and merciless
Government to "move on," somewhere - anywhere, - it cared not, so long
as they had no abiding home, no hope of peace, of comfort, or of even
the common necessaries of existence, and stricken with despair and
overcome with terror, they meet with their good angel.

* * * * *

The Middleman, the blessed agent, to them, of all good, tells them
of the bright free land, where a golden harvest of profit is waiting
them, if they will only realise their "all" and hand it over to him.
With a shout of joy, in grateful pæans they sing the praises of their
preserver, - and realising all their worldly wealth and making it over
to him, they arrive, greedy, hunger-smitten and expectant, one damp
May morning in Whitechapel.

* * * * *

They find a native population, struggling in terrible earnest with
want, and taking, through the Sweater who commands the situation,
starvation prices for the making of a coat, for the which, by working
nineteen hours in the day, and reducing life to the slavery of a
living death, they manage to earn two shillings and ninepence!

* * * * *

The happy and eager Polish Jews step in, and see their chance.
Eldorado lies before them. They are asked if they will make the coat
for two shillings and sevenpence. The poor starving foreigners eagerly
clutch at any chance. Who can blame _them_? No one. It is a struggle
for life. Fair but false promises have brought them to these shores,
to swell the sum of misery, already, Heaven knows, high enough!
But still they come, keeping up a steady flow of suffering, and the
Government makes no sign or move, though people who think are loudly
clamouring, and asking, "How long shall such things be?"

* * * * *



SCENE - _A Hall devoted to MR. EDISON's latest inventions. A
Lecturer acting as Showman to a crowd of possible Customers._

_Lecturer_. And now, Ladies and Gentlemen, I must ask you quickly to
make a selection. We have here wires from all parts of the world - make
your selection. Those who wish to see the kinetograph at work will
please go within. Operas with scenery always on hand. Here we have
only telephones.

_Mild Young Lady_. Oh, if you please, a friend of mine was married
three weeks ago, and she and her husband are staying at the Grand
Hotel, Paris. Might I hear what they are saying. Here's their name.

_Lect._ (_taking card_). Nothing easier. (_Speaking through
telephone._) Put us on to Grand Hotel, Paris, Room 1564. (_To
Customer_.) A shilling please, Madam. Thank you, and here you are.

_Mild Y.L._ (_taking receivers_). Oh, thank you. (_She places them to
her ears and then drops them hurriedly._) Oh dear me! She has kept him
waiting, and he is using _such_ bad language! You ought to have told

1 3

Online LibraryVariousPunch, or the London Charivari, Volume 100, June 6, 1891 → online text (page 1 of 3)