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PUNCH,

OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

VOL. 100.



March 14, 1891.




SPECIMENS FROM MR. PUNCH'S SCAMP-ALBUM.

NO. III. - THE BIOGRAPHER.

We will ask you, reader, this week, to compel your fancy to take a
further flight, and kindly imagine yourself a worthy merchant, who
has exchanged the turmoil of City-life for the elegant leisure of a
suburban villa - let us say at Norwood. You are in your dining-room,
examining the sky, and thinking that, if the weather holds up, you
will take your big dog out presently for a run before lunch, when you
are told that a gentleman is in the study who wishes to see you "on
particular business." The very word excites you, not unpleasantly,
nor do you care whether it is Churchwarden's business, or the District
Board, or the County Council - it is enough that your experience and
practical knowledge of affairs are in request - and, better still,
it will give you something to do. So, after a delay due to your own
importance, you march into your study, and find a brisk stranger, with
red whiskers and a flexible mouth, absorbed in documents which he has
brought with him in a black bag.

[Illustration: "Your Visitor has his Note-book out."]

"I _have_ the pleasure of addressing Mr. MARK LANE, I think?" he says.
"Just so. Well, Mr. MARK LANE, I consider myself extremely fortunate
in finding you at home, I assure you, and a very charming place
you have here - abundant evidence of a refined and cultivated mind,
excellent selection of our best-known writers, everything, if I may
say so, elegant in the extreme - as was to be expected! Even from the
cursory glimpse I have had, I can see that your interior would lend
itself admirably to picturesque description - which brings me to the
object of my visit. I have called upon you, Mr. LANE, in the hope of
eliciting your sympathy and patronage for a work I am now compiling - a
work which will, I am confident, commend itself to a gentleman of your
wide culture and interest in literary matters." (_Here you will look
as judicial as you can, and harden your heart in advance against a
new Encyclopædia, or an illustrated edition of_ SHAKSPEARE's _works_.)
"The work I allude to, Mr. LANE, is entitled, _Notable Nonentities
of Norwood and its Neighbourhood." (Here you will nod gravely,
rather taken by the title._) "It will be published very shortly, by
subscription, Mr. LANE, in two handsome quarto volumes, got up in
the most sumptuous style. It is a work which has been long wanted,
and which, I venture to predict, will be very widely read. It is my
ambition to make it a complete biographical compendium of every living
celebrity of note residing at Norwood at the present date. It will
be embellished with copious illustrations, printed by an entirely
new process upon India and Japanese paper; everything - type, ink,
paper, binding, will be of the best procurable; the publishers being
determined to spare no expense in making it a book of reference
superior to anything of the kind previously attempted!" (_As he pauses
fur breath, you will take occasion to observe, that no doubt such a
work, as he contemplates, will be an excellent thing - but that, for
your own part, you can dispense with any information respecting the
Notabilities of Norwood, and, in short, that if he will excuse you_ - )

"Pardon me, Mr. LANE," he interrupts, "you mistake my object. I should
not dream of expecting you to _subscribe_ to such a work. But, in
my capacity of compiler, I naturally desire to leave nothing undone
that care and research can effect to render the work complete - and
it would be incomplete indeed, were it to include no reference to
so distinguished a resident as yourself!" ("_Oh, pooh - nonsense!"
You will say at this - but you will sit down again_) "Norwood is a
singularly favoured locality. Sir; its charms have induced many of our
foremost men to select it for their _rus in urbe_. Why, in this very
road - May I ask, by the way, if you are acquainted with Alderman
MINCING? Alderman MINCING has been good enough to furnish me with many
interesting details of his personal career, a photo-gravured portrait
of him will be included, with views of the interior and exterior of
'The Drudgeries,' and a bit from the back-garden." (_You do know_
MINCING - _and you cannot help inwardly wondering at the absurd
vanity of the man_ - _a mere nobody, away from the City!_) "Between
ourselves," says your interviewer, candidly, having possibly observed
your expression, "I am by no means sure that I shall feel warranted
in allotting Alderman MINCING as much space as I fear he will consider
himself entitled to. Alderman MINCING, though a highly respectable
man, does _not_ appeal to the popular imagination as others I could
mention do - he is just a _little_ commonplace!" ("_Shrewd follow,
this!" you think to yourself - "Got_ MINCING's _measure!_") "But I
should feel it an honour, indeed, if such a man as yourself, now,
would give me all the personal information you think proper to make
public, while, as a specimen of what Norwood can do in luxurious and
artistic domestic fittings, this house, Sir, would be invaluable! I
do trust that you will see your way to - " (_At first, you suggest that
you must talk it over with your Wife - but you presently see that if_
MINCING _and men of that calibre are to be in this, you cannot, for
your own sake, hold aloof, and so your Visitor soon has his note-book
out._) "Any remarkable traits recorded of you as an infant, Mr. LANE?
A strong aversion to porridge, and an antipathy to black-beetles - both
of which you still retain? Thank you, _very_ much. And you were
educated? At Dulborough Grammar School? Just _so_! Never took to
Latin, or learned Greek? Commercial aptitudes declaring themselves
thus early - curious, _indeed_! Entered your father's office as
clerk? Became a partner? Married your present lady - when? In 1860?
Exactly! - and have offspring? Your subsequent life comparatively
uneventful? That will do admirably - infinitely obliged to you, I am
sure. It would be useless to ask you if you would care to have a copy
of the work, when issued, forwarded to you - we can do it for you at
the very nominal sum of two guineas, if paid in advance - a gratifying
possession for your children after you have gone, Mr. LANE! I _may_
put you down? Thank you. For _two_ copies?" (_On second thoughts,
you do order two copies; you can send one out to your married
Sister in Australia_ - _it will amuse her._) "One, two, three, four
guineas - _quite_ correct, Mr. LANE, and you shall have an early
opportunity of revising a proof, and we will send down a competent
artist, in a day or two, to take the photographs. Quite an agreeable
change in the weather, is it not? _Good_ day!"

[Illustration: "You may have to wait."]

He is gone, leaving you to wait for the proof, and the photographer,
and the appearance of that great work. _Notable Nonentities of
Norwood_, - and it is not at all unlikely that you may have to wait
a considerable time.

* * * * *

IAGO ON THE GREAT SERMON QUESTION.

Good name in Mayor or Parson, dear my public,
Is the immediate jewel of their souls.
Who steals my _sermon_, steals trash; 'tis something, nothing;
'Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been mouthed by dozens;
But he who "splits" on me as plagiarist,
Robs me of that which is no good to him,
And leaves me poor - in credit.

* * * * *

"WHEREVER WE WANDER," &c. - A new book of advice for intending
Travellers has recently been published, entitled, "_Where to Stay_."
It is both ornamental and useful; but so much depends on ways and
means, that, after careful consideration, _Mr. Punch_, when asked
"_Where to Stay_," considers the safest answer will always be, "_At
home_."

* * * * *

[Illustration: "CHUCKED!"

["The Bookmakers are in consternation, the Chamber having
yesterday (Feb. 28), by 330 Votes to 144, rejected a Bill
legalising the _pari mutuel_, and the Government having
pledged itself to enforce the law against gambling." - _Times
Paris Correspondent_.]

_The Bookie_. "ALL RIGHT, MOSSOO, I'M OFF TO ENGLAND! THERE'S NO PLACE
LIKE 'OME!"]

(_EXTRACT OF LETTER FROM_ DICKY DIDDLUM, _BOOKMAKER, PARIS, TO_
BOUNDING BOB, _DITTO, NEWMARKET._)

"... Our game here appears to be as decidedly _hup_ as the top of the
Awful Tower! Regular mugs, these Mossoos, after all. Thought we _had_
taught 'em a bit about _Ler Sport_ by this time: but, bless yer, BOB,
once a Pollyvoo, always a Pollyvoo! No Frenchy really hunderstands a
'Oss, or knows 'ow to make a Book!

"Abolish Betting!!! Wot next, I wonder? Wot with County Councils,
dunderheaded Deppyties, and Swells who do the Detective bizness in
their own droring-rooms, pooty soon there won't be a safe look in for
a party as wants to do a nice little flutter - unless, of course, he's
a Stock-Exchange spekkylator, or a hinvester in South American Mines.
_Then_ he can plunge, and hedge, and jockey the jugginses as much as
he's a mind to. Wonder how that bloomin' French _Bourse_ 'ud get along
without a bit o' the pitch-and-toss barney, as every man as _is_ a man
finds the werry salt of life. Yah! This here Moral game is a gettin'
played down too darned low for anythink. And wot's it mean, arter all?
Why, 'No Naughtiness, except for the Nobs!' That's about the exact
size of it, and it's blazing beastly, BOB!

"Only one of the dashed Deppyties talked a mossel o' sense, fur as _I_
see. A certain MOSSOO DER KERJEGU, a Republican, too, bless his boko!
said as 'races were essential to 'orsebreeding, and that without
betting there would be no races.' O.K. you are, MOSSOO DER K.!
And then they up and chuck hus Bookies! No bookies, no betting; no
betting, no races; no racing, no 'osses; no 'osses, no nothink! That's
how it runs, BOB, or I'm a sossidge!

"But this here bloomin' Republick is too rediklus for anythink. Look
at the kiddish kick-up along o' the visit of the Hempress! Why, if
_we_ 'ad that duffer, DEROULÈDE, on Newmarket 'Eath, we should just
duck him in a 'orsepond, like a copped Welsher. Here they washup him,
or else knuckle under to him, like a skeery Coster's missus when
her old man's on the mawl, and feels round arter her ribs with his
bloomin' high-lows. _That's_ yer high-polite French Artists and brave
booky-banishin' Dippyties! Yah!

"'Owsomever, I suppose, BOB, I must clear out of this. MOSSOO
CONSTANS, he said, 'if the Bill were carried there would be an end to
bookmakers.' And it _was_ carried, by 340 mugs against 144 right 'uns.
And arter all me and my sort has done for Parry! It's mean, that's
wot it is, BOB. P'raps they'll chuck British _jockeys_ next! Much good
their _Grong Pree_, ancetrer, will be _then_, my boy. _Our_ 'osses,
_our_ jockeys, _and_ our bookies has bin the making of French
Sport, - and werrv nice little pickings there's bin out of it take it
all round. Wot'll _Ler Hig Life_, and Hart, and Leagues o' Patriots,
and miles o' bullyvards, and COOK's Tourists and Awful Towers do
for Parry without _hus_, I wonder? We shall _see_! Ah, Madame _lar
Republick_, maybe you'll be sorry, you and your bullyin' jondarms,
for chucking o' me afore you're through. As MAT MOPUS put it: -

It was all werry well to dissemble yer love,
But wy did yer kick me down-stairs?

Chucked it is, though, and I shall probably see yer next week, BOB.
Thanks be, the Flat Season's at 'and! Arter all, there's no place
like 'ome! No! -

'Mid _Boises_ and Bullyvards tho' we may roam,
Be it hever so foggy, there's no place _like_ 'ome;
A smile from the Swells seems to 'allow sport there,
Wich, look where you will, isn't met with elsewhere.
'Ome, 'ome, Sweet, sweet 'ome,
Be it hever so fog-bound, there's no place like 'ome!

A hexile from Parry, I'm off o'er the main;
Ah! give me my native Newmarkit again;
The mugs, smiling sweetly, wot come at my bawl,
Give me these, and the "pieces," far dearer than all.
'Ome, 'ome,
Sweet, sweet 'ome,
With RAIKES[1], LOWTHER, CHAPLIN, there's no place like 'ome.

"Mean to sing _that_ at our next 'Smoker,' BOB. But till then,
Ta - ta!!"

[Footnote 1: Which gentleman declined to find out for Mr. SAMUEL
SMITH, "what proportion betting messages bear to the other telegrams
transmitted by the Post-office Department."]

* * * * *

DESDEMONA TO THE AUTHOR OF "DORIAN GRAY."

(_A PROPOS OF HIS PARAGRAPHIC PREFACE._)

"These are old fond paradoxes, to make boys crow i' the Club corner.
What miserable praise hast thou for him that's foul and foolish?"

* * * * *

SOMETHING IN A NAME. - A recent theatrical announcement informed us
that a new comedy would be produced from the pen of a Mr. HENRY DAM.
If successful, imagine the audience calling for the Author by name. If
a triumph, the new dramatist will be known as "The big, big D."

* * * * *

BY A TIRED AND CYNICAL CRITIC OF CURRENT FICTION.

A "School for Novelists," they say, has risen.
A School? What's really wanted is a Prison.
Life-long confinement far from pen and ink
_Might_ cure the crowd of fictionists, I _think_.
Or, if by Lessons you'd arrest the blight,
Go teach the Novelist how _not_ to write!

* * * * *

ATHLETICS. - It is said that the County Council are resolved to forbid
the popular feats of raising heavy weights, upon the ground that it
may lead to shoplifting.

* * * * *

WORKING AND PLAYING BEES. - _Lady B-ountiful_ first, at the Garrick,
and _Lady B-arter_ at the Princess's.

* * * * *

[Illustration: OLD FRIENDS.

_Big Ben_. "OH, FLATTERY'S THE BANE OF FRIENDSHIP! JUST LOOK AT YOU
AND ME, OLD MAN! WHY, I'VE _ALWAYS_ TOLD YOU THE TRUTH ABOUT YOURSELF,
HOWEVER DISAGREEABLE! IT'S A WAY I HAVE. AND YET WE'VE BEEN FAST
FRIENDS FOR FORTY YEARS, AND I LIKE YOU BETTER THAN ANY FRIEND I
POSSESS! INDEED, YOU'RE ABOUT THE ONLY FRIEND I'VE GOT LEFT!"

_Little Dick_ (_dreamily_). "AH, BUT YOU MUST REMEMBER THAT I'VE
_NEVER TOLD YOU THE TRUTH BACK AGAIN!_"]

* * * * *

THE FIRST ACT - AND THE LAST.

(_A DEPARTMENTAL TRAGI-COMEDY, IN ACTIVE REHEARSAL._)

ACT I. - _The Scene represents the Interior of a Military Instruction
Room. Black Boards, on which are displayed advanced Problems and
Calculations in the Higher Mathematics, and various Scientific Charts
cover the Walls. Models of mechanical contrivances and machinery
used in the construction of complicated Small Arms approved by the
Authorities, are scattered about in every direction._ TOMMY ATKINS
_is discovered, giving his best attention to the conclusion of a very
lengthy but rather abstruse explanatory Lecture._

_Military Instructor_ (_who has been for an hour and a half explaining
the intricate mechanism of the new Magazine Rifle, finally approaching
the end of his subject_). Well, as I have fully explained before, but
may state once more, so as to firmly impress it on your memory, you
will bear in mind that the cylindrical portion will be shortened
in front, the end of the rib being provided with tooth underneath,
and stud on top, both studs on rib to have undercut grooves, a
small keeper-screw, and bolt-head for cover, being added, while
the cocking-stud is enlarged. Then do not forget that jammed cases
or bullets are removed by two ramrods, screwed together by the
locking-bolt being omitted. I needn't again go over the twenty-four
different screws, but, in ease of accident, it will be well to retain
their various outside thread diameters in your memory, specially not
forgetting that those of the Butt Trap Spring, the Dial Sight Pivot,
and the Striker Keeper Screw, stand respectively at .1696, .1656, and
.116 of an inch. Of course you will remember the seven pins, and that,
if anything should go wrong with the Bolt Head Cover Pin, as you will
practically have to take the whole rifle to pieces, you should be
thoroughly familiar with the 197 different component items, which,
properly adjusted one with the other, make up the whole weapon. I
think I need not refer again to the "sighting," seeing that the Lewes
system is abolished, and that the weapon is now sighted up to 3,500
yards, "dead on," no matter what the wind may be. With this remark,
I have much pleasure in placing the rifle in your hands (_gives him
one_), at the same time advising you, if called upon to use it in the
heat of action, to be prepared with the knowledge I have endeavoured
to impart to you to-day, and, above all things, to keep your head
cool. I don't think I have anything more to add, ATKINS. I have made
myself pretty clear?

_Tommy Atkins_ (_with a grin_). 'Ees, Sir!

_Military Instructor_. And there is nothing more you wish to ask me?

_Tommy Atkins_ (_still grinning_). Noa, Sir!

_Military Instructor_. Ah! well then, good morning. I trust you will
find it, what they assure me it is, - a most serviceable weapon.

_Tommy Atkins_ (_saluting_). 'Ees, Sir!

[_Exit, still grinning as Act-Drop descends._

ACT II. - _The Scene represents a Field of Battle (after the fight)
in the immediate neighbourhood of London._ TOMMY ATKINS _and the_
Military Instructor _discovered lying badly wounded amidst a heap of
the slain. A European War having broken out suddenly, from which the
Country could not escape, and the Fleet at the last moment, finding
that it had only half its proper supply of guns, and that the very few
of these which did not burst at the first shot had ammunition provided
for them that was two sizes too large, the Country is invaded, while a
Committee of Experts is still trying to settle on a suitable cartridge
for the new Magazine Rifle. The result is, that after a couple of
pitched battles, though in an outburst of popular fury_, Mr. STANHOPE
_is lynched by the Mob to a lamp-post in Parliament Street, London
capitulates, and the French Commander-in-Chief, breakfasts, waited on
by the_ LORD MAYOR, _in the Bank of England._

_Military Instructor_ (_sitting up and rubbing his eyes_). Dear me!
we seem to have been beaten. That Rifle was no good, after all.
(_Recognising him._) Halloa, ATKINS!

_Tommy Atkins_ (_with a grin_). 'Ees, Sir!

_Military Instructor_. You remember all I told you?

_Tommy Atkins_ (_still grinning_). 'Ees, Sir!

_Military Instructor_. I'm afraid that wasn't such a serviceable
weapon, after all!

_Tommy Atkins_ (_still grinning_). Noa, Sir!

_Military Instructor_. Dear me! Well, we had better get out of this!
By Jove! it looks like the last Act!

[_Mutually assist each other to rise and quit the
Battle-field, the_ Military Instructor _threatening to write
to the "Times," and_ TOMMY ATKINS _still grinning as Curtain
falls._

* * * * *

[Illustration: _Sylvanus_. "FOXES ARE SCARCE IN MY COUNTRY; BUT WE
MANAGE IT WITH A DRAG NOW AND THEN!"

_Urbanus_. "OH - ER - YES. BUT HOW DO YOU GET IT OVER THE FENCES?"]

* * * * *

UNDER A CIVIL COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF.

["What possible chance would Col. X., Member for - - , feel
that he had of fair play if he walked into the Opposition side
in a Division?" - _Evening Paper_.]

SCENE - _A Battle-field. Colonel X. discovered apparently dying
in the hour of victory._

_Faithful Aide-de-Camp_. The enemy run, Sir! We have beaten them off
on every side!

_Colonel_ (_faintly_). That is well! (_with a sigh_) and yet my heart
is heavy within me! Believe me, SMITH, I cannot die easily.

_F.A.-de-C._ And yet the vacancy thus created would be found a
stimulus to promotion! Have you thought of that, Sir?

_Col. X._ I have not forgotten it, SMITH, and as a politician the idea
is comforting. Ah, SMITH, would that I had always done my duty in
the House of Commons! But no, with a view to obtaining this command,
I voted against my convictions! I supported the Government in their
proposal to tax perambulators! It was cruel, unmanly so to do, but I
was weak and foolish! And now I cannot die easily! Would that I could
live to repair the past.

_Opposition Whip_ (_suddenly springing up from behind a limber à la_
HAWKSHAW _the Detective_). It is _not_ too late! Return with me to
Westminster forthwith. The Third Reading is down for to-night! With
a special train we shall be in time! You can yet record your vote!

_Col. X._ (_suddenly reviving_). Say you so? Then I _will_ recover! I
_will_ do my duty!

[_Exit, to vote against his Party, and to be put permanently
on the shelf, from a military point of view!_

* * * * *

OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.

SIR EDWIN ARNOLD's paper on Japan, in _Scribner_, for March, is
interesting and also amusing. The Japanese seemed to be a charming
people; and the Japanese women delightful as wives; but then they can
be divorced for being talkative.

_A propos_ of Japan, to judge from one of our LIKA JOKO's capital
illustrations of Hospital Nursing in _The English Illustrated
Magazine_, the Matron's room must be "an illigant place, intoirely";
while as for amusement, if the picture of a nurse giving a patient a
cup of ink by mistake for liquorice-water isn't a real good practical
side-splitter, the Baron would like to be informed what is? Then we
come upon a delightful little picture of "_The Pet of the Hospital_";
and so she ought to be, for a prettier pet than this nursing Sister
it would be difficult to find. What becomes of her? Does she marry a
"Sawbones," or run off with a patient? Anyhow, she must be a "great
attraction," and if anything were to happen to the Baron, and he
couldn't be removed to his own palatial residence, he would say, "Put
me in a cab, drive me to the Furniss Hospital, and let me be in Pretty
Pet's Ward."

The Baron has just been dipping into Mr. JUSTIN HUNTLY McCARTHY's
"Pages on Plays" in _The Gentleman's Magazine_. JUSTIN HUNTLY
expresses his opinion that "_The Dancing Girl_ will almost certainly
be the play of the season; it will probably be the principal play of
the year." "Almost certainly" and "probably" save the situation. The
Baron backs _The Idler_ against _The Dancing Girl_ for a run. In the
same Magazine Mr. ALBERT FLEMING has condensed into a short story,
called _Sally_, material that would have served some authors for a
three-volume novel.

It is a pleasure for the Baron to be in perfect accord on any one
point with the Author of _Essays in Little_, and in proportion to
the number of the points so is the Baron's pleasure intensified. Most
intending readers of these Essays, on taking up the book, would be
less curious to ascertain what ANDREW LANG has to say about HOMER
and the study of Greek, about THÉODORE BE BANVILLE, THOMAS HAYNES
BAYLEY, the Sagas, and even about KINGSLEY, than to read his opinions
on DICKENS and THACKERAY, placing DICKENS first as being the more
popular. The Baron recommends his friends, then, to read these Essays
of ANDREW's, beginning with THACKERAY, then DICKENS; do not, on any
account, omit the delightfully written and truly appreciative article
on CHARLES LEVER; after which, go as you please, but finish with "_the
last fashionable novel_," wherein our M.A., in his Merriest-Andrewest
mood, treats us to an excellent parody.

The Baron has appointed an extra Reader, and this Extra-Ordinary
Reader to the Baron has just entered upon the discharge of his duties
by reading _Monte Carlo, and How to Do It_, by W.F. GOLDBERG, and
G. CHAPLIN PIESSE (J.W. ARROWSMITH). He reports in the following
terms to his loved Chief: - This book achieves the task of combining
extraordinary vulgarity with the flattest and most insipid
dulness - not a common dulness, but a dulness redolent of low slang
and dirty tap-rooms. The authors seem to plume themselves on their
marvellous success in reaching Monte Carlo, which, with their usual
sprightly facetiousness, they call "Charley's Mount." They are good
enough to tell such of the travelling public as may want to get there,
that the train leaving Victoria at 8.40 A.M. reaches Dover at 10.35.
Stupendous! These two greenhorns took their snack on board the steamer
(Ugh!), instead of waiting until they reached Calais, where there
is the best restaurant on any known line. Instead of going by the
_Ceinture_, they drove across Paris. The greenhorns arrive at Monte


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Online LibraryVariousPunch, or the London Charivari, Volume 100, March 14, 1891 → online text (page 1 of 3)