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PUNCH,

OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

VOL. 101.



October 24, 1891.




LAISSEZ FAIRE.

(_INSCRIPTION FOR A FREE PUBLIC LIBRARY._)

[Illustration]

Here is an Institution doomed to scare
The furious devotees of _Laissez Faire_.
What mental shock, indeed, could prove immenser
To Mumbo Jumbo - or to HERBERT SPENCER?
Free Books? Reading provided from the Rates?
Oh, that means Freedom's ruin, and the State's!
Self-help's all right, - e'en if you rob a brother -
But human creatures must _not_ help each other!
The "Self-made Man," whom SAMUEL SMILES so praises,
Who on his fellows' necks his footing raises,
The systematic "Sweater," who sucks wealth
From toiling crowds by cunning and by stealth, -
_He_ is all right, _he_ has no maudlin twist,
_He_ does not shock the Individualist!
But rate yourselves to give the poor free reading?
The Pelican to warm her nestlings bleeding,
Was no such monument of feeble folly.
_Let folks alone_, and all will then be jolly.
Let the poor perish, let the ignorant sink,
The tempted tumble, and the drunkard drink!
Let - no, _don't_ let the low-born robber rob,
Because, - well, that would rather spoil the job.
If footpad-freedom brooked no interference,
Of Capital there might be a great clearance;
But, Wealth well-guarded, let all else alone.
'Tis thus our race hath to true manhood grown:
To make the general good the common care,
Breaks through the sacred law of _Laissez Faire_!

* * * * *

A REMONSTRANCE.

_TO LUKE'S LITTLE SUMMER._

[Illustration]

Ah, Summer! now thy wayward race is run,
With soft, appeasing smiles thou com'st, like one
Who keeps a pageant waiting all the day,
Till half the guests and all the joy is gone,
And hearts are heavy that awoke so gay.

What though the faithful trees, still gladly green,
Show fretted depths of blue their boughs between,
Though placid sunlight sleeps upon the lawn,
It only tells us of what might have been
Of fickle favours wantonly withdrawn.

Blown with rude winds, and beaten down with rain,
How can the roses dare to trust again
The tricksy mistress whom they once adored?
Even the glad heaven, chilled with stormy stain,
Grudges its skylark pilgrims of its hoard.

Poor is the vintage that the wild bee quiffs,
When the tall simple lilies - the giraffes
That browse on loftier air than other flowers -
When all the blooms, wherewith late Summer laughs,
Like chidden children droop among the bowers.

Oft like a moorhen scuttling to the reeds,
The cricket-ball sped o'er the plashy meads,
And rainbow-blended blazers shrank and ran
When showers, in mockery of his moist needs,
Half-drown'd the water-loving river man.

What woman's rights have crazed thee?
Would'st thou be
A Winter Amazon, more fierce than he?
Can Summer birds thy shrew-heroics sing?
Wilt tend no more the daisies on the lea,
Nor wake thy cowslips up on May morning?

What, shall we brew us possets by the fire
And let the wild rose shiver on the brier.
The cowslip tremble in the meadows chill,
While thy unlovely battle-call wails higher
And dusty squadrons charge adown the hill?

It is too late; thou art no love of mine;
I answer not this sigh, this kiss divine;
The sunlight penitently streaming down
Shines through the paling leaf like thinnest wine
Quaff'd in the clear air of a mountain town.

Farewell! For old love's sake I kiss thy hands;
Go on thy way; away to other lands
That love thee less, and need thee less than we;
Pour out thy passion on some desert sands,
Forget thy lover of the Northern Sea.

Away with fond pretence; let winter come
With snow that strikes the heaviest footfall dumb.
We know the worst, and face his rage with glee;
And, though the world without be ne'er so glum,
Sit by the hearth, and dream and talk - of thee.

Yes, come again with earliest April; stay,
Thyself once more, through the fair time when day
Clasps hand with day, through the brief hush of night -
A twilight bower of roses, where in play
Dance little maidens through from light to light.

* * * * *

BIRDS OF A FEATHER.

[Lord HAWKE's team of Cricketers were beaten at Manheim by
the Philadelphians by eight wickets whereat the _Philadelphia
Ledger_ cockadoodles considerably. The Britishers, however,
won the return match somewhat easily.]

The Yankee Eagle well might squeal and squawk
At having licked the British bird (Lord) HAWKE.
But when that HAWKE his brood had "pulled together,"
That Eagle found it yet might "moult a feather."
Go it, ye friendly-fighting fowls! But know
'Tis only "Roosters" who o'er conquest _crow_!

* * * * *

HOME SWEET HOME!

(_BY ONE WHO BELIEVES THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE IT._)

[Illustration]

Sweet to return (for home the Briton hankers,
After an exile of two months or so,
Swiss or Italian). Sweet - to find your Banker's
Balance getting low.

Sweet to return from Como or Sorrento.
Meshed in their shimmering net of drowsy sheen,
Into a climate that you know not when to
Really call serene.

Sweet to return from hostelries whose waiters
Rush to fulfil your slightest word or whim,
Back to a cook who passionately caters
Not for you, but _him_.

Sweet to return from _Table-d'Hôtes_ disgusting
(Oh, how you grumbled at the _Sauce Romaine_!)
Fresh to the filmy succulence incrusting
Solid joints again.

Sweet to return from Innkeepers demurely
Pricing your candle at a franc unshamed,
Back to a land where perquisites are surely
Never, never claimed.

Sweet to return from bargaining, disputing,
_Pourboires_ and _Trinkgelds_ grudgingly bestowed -
Unto the simple charioteers of Tooting,
Or the Cromwell Road.

Sweet to return from "all those dreadful tourists,"
Such mixed society as chance allots,
E'en to the social splendour of the purists
Of those sparkling spots.

Sweet to return to bills and fogs and duty!
(Some of the latter at our Custom House)
Sweet, after smaller game, to hail the beauty
Of the British mouse!

Sweet too the sight of cockchafer; and sweet'll
Welcome the pilgrim, doomed too long to roam,
England's tried sentinel, the black, black beetle
With his "Home, sweet Home!"

* * * * *

[Illustration: LONDON'S DILEMMA; OR, "FAIR ROSAMOND" UP TO DATE.

(_Lately-discovered Fragments of a valuable and interesting "Variant"
of the old Ballad Story._)]

* * * * *

When as VICTORIA rulde this land,
The firste of that greate name,
Faire Loundonne, of the cockneyes lovde,
Attaynd to power and fame.

Most peerlesse was her splendoure founde,
Her favour, and her face;
Yet was there one thing marred her weale,
And wroughte her dire disgrace.

Her dower was all that showered golde,
Like Danaë's, could her lende,
Yet dwelt she in the ogreish holde
Of fell and fearsome fiende.

Yea Loundonne Towne, faire Loundonne Towne,
Her name was calléd so,
To whom the Witch Monopolie
Was known a deadlye foe.

* * * * *

Now when ye Countie Councile woke,
And FARRER rose to fame,
With envious heart Monopolie
To Loundonne straightway came.

"Cast off from thee those schemes," said she,
"That greate and costlye bee,
And drinke thou up this deadlye cup,
Which I have brought to thee!"

"Take pitty on my awkward plight!"
Faire Loundonne she dyd crye,
"And lett me not with poison stronge
Enforcéd be to dye!"

Then out and laught that wicked Witch:
"If that you will not drinke,
This dagger choose! Though you be riche,
You'll shrinke from _that_, I thinke."

The dagger was a magic blayde,
With figures graven o'er,
Which, as you gazed thereon, did seeme
To growe to more and more.

"Nay," quothe faire Loundonne, "'tis but choyce
'Twixt dyvill and deepe sea!
I praye thee take thyself awaye,
And leave the jobbe to me!"

But nothynge could this grasping Witch
Therewith appeaséd be.
The cup of deadlye poison stronge,
As she knelt on her knee,

She gave this comely dame to drinke,
Who tooke it in her hande,
Then from her bended knees arose,
And on her feet did stande.

And casting Council-wards her eyes,
She did for rescue call,
When - [_Fragmentes further may be founde,_
_At presente thys is alle!_

_If close researche, as welle we hope,_
_Perchaunce complete ye texte,_
_This ballade, as scribes saye, shall be_
_"Continued in our next!"_]

* * * * *

ADVERTISEMENT EXTRAORDINARY.

[Illustration]

Wanted, a few good extra Judges, who will be prepared to do all the
work at present delayed or neglected by the existing members of the
Bench. They will be expected to dispense with all vacations except a
week at Christmas, five days at Easter, and a fortnight from the first
to the fifteenth of October. They will devote their entire time to the
service of the State, both day and night. Their day will be devoted to
business in the High Court of Justice in the Strand, and when required
they will go Circuit (by special express) sitting at the various
assizes from 9 P.M. until 3 A.M., returning to London by trains timed
to reach the Metropolis sufficiently early to allow of the usual
morning sitting. They will be further required to consider their
leisure (if any) entirely at the disposal of those members of the
Bar and Solicitors who require it. If they do this punctually and
diligently, without knocking up, they will be permitted to draw
salaries computed at the rate of about one-third of the emoluments
received by a third-rate Queen's Counsel; and if they grow lazy, or
are incapacitated by illness, they will be rewarded by a number of
personal attacks in the London newspapers. Applications to be sent
to the Lord Chancellor (endorsed "Extra Judges to suppress outside
clamour") as early as possible. Every candidate for an appointment
will be expected to be as strong as a horse, and as insensible to
feeling as the back of a rhinoceros.

* * * * *

Big Drinkers, Moderate Drinkers, and Little Drinkers - this is the
Tipple Alliance!

* * * * *

[Illustration: "WHEN A MAN DOES NOT LOOK HIS BEST." - NO. 3.

WHEN HIS DENTIST _WILL_ SUSPEND OPERATIONS TO TELL HIM FUNNY STORIES.]

* * * * *

GILBERT À BECKETT.

BORN, APRIL 7, 1837. DIED, OCT. 15, 1891.

"Wearing the white flower of a blameless life."

TENNYSON.

GILBERT the Good! Title, though high, well earned
By him through whose rare nature brightly burned
The fire of purity,
Undimmed, unflickering, like some altar flame
Sky-pointing ever. Friend, what thought of blame
Hath coldest heart for thee?

A knightly-priest or priestly-knight wert thou,
Man of the radiant eye and reverent brow;
Chivalry closely knit
With fervent faith in thee indeed were blent;
Thought upon high ideals still intent,
And a most lambent wit.

Serene, though with a power of scathing scorn
For all things mean or base. Sorrow long borne,
Though bowing, soured not thee.
Bereaved, health-broken, still that patient smile
Wreathed the pale lips which never greed or guile
Shaped to hypocrisy.

A saintly-hearted wit, a satirist pure,
Mover of mirth spontaneous as sure,
And innocent as mad;
Incongruous freak and frolic phantasy
Were thy familiar spirits, quickening glee
And wakening laughter glad.

Dainty as _Ariel_, yet as _Puck_ profuse
Of the "preposterous," was that wit, whose use
Was ever held "within
The limits of becoming mirth." His whim
Never shy delicacy's glance could dim,
Or move the cynic grin.

But that fate's hampering hand lay on him long
He might have won in drama and in song
A more enduring name.
But he is gone, the gentle, loyal, just,
Whence all these things fall earthward with the dust
Of fleeting earthly fame.

Gone from our hoard, gone from the home he loved!
With what compassion are his comrades moved
For those who sit alone
With memories of him! Gracious memories all!
A thought to lighten, like that flower, his pall,
And hush love's troubled moan.

Farewell, fine spirit! To be owned thy friend
Was something to illume the unwelcome end
Of comradeship below.
A loving memory long our board will grace,
In fancy, with that sweet ascetic face.
That brow's benignant glow.

* * * * *

RHYME AT RHYL.

(_BY A LISTENING LAYMAN._)

If Cleric Congresses could only care
A little less for the mere Church and Steeple,
Parochial pomp and power in lion's share,
And have one aim - to purify the People,
They need not shrink from Disestablishment,
Or any other secular enormity;
Unselfish love of Man destroys Dissent,
True Charity provokes no Nonconformity.

* * * * *

THE TRAVELLING COMPANIONS.

NO. XI.

SCENE - _A Balcony outside the Musik-Saal of the Insel Hotel,
Constance. Miss PRENDERGAST is seated; CULCHARD is leaning
against the railing close by. It is about nine; the moon has
risen, big and yellow, behind the mountains at the further
end of the lake; small black boats are shooting in and out of
her track upon the water; the beat of the steamers' paddles
is heard as they come into harbour. CULCHARD has just
proposed._

_Miss Prendergast_ (_after a silence_). I have always felt very
strongly with RUSKIN, that no girl should have the cruelty to refuse a
proposal -

_Culchard_ (_with alacrity_). RUSKIN is always so right.
And - er - where there is such complete sympathy in tastes and ideas, as
I venture to think exists in our own case, the cruelty would -

[Illustration: "It does seem rather rough on fellows, don't you
know."]

_Miss P._ Pray allow me to finish! "Refuse a proposal _at once_" is
RUSKIN's expression. He also says (if my memory does not betray me),
that "no lover should have the insolence to think of being accepted at
once." You will find the passage somewhere in "_Fors_."

_Culch._ (_whose jaw has visibly fallen_). I cannot say I recall it
at this moment. Does he hold that a lover should expect to be accepted
by - er - instalments, because, if so -

_Miss P._ I think I can quote his exact words. "If she simply doesn't
like him, she may send him away for seven years - "

_Culch._ (_stiffly_). No doubt that course is open to her. But why
seven, and where is he expected to go?

_Miss P._ (_continuing calmly_). "He vowing to live on cresses and
wear sackcloth meanwhile, or the like penance."

_Culch._ I feel bound to state at once that, in my own case, my
position at Somerset House would render anything of that sort utterly
impracticable.

_Miss P._ Wait, please, - you are so impetuous. "If she likes him a
little," - (_CULCHARD's brow relaxes_) - "or thinks she might come to
like him in time, she may let him stay near her," - (_CULCHARD makes
a movement of relief and gratitude_) - "putting him always on sharp
trial, and requiring, figuratively, as many lion-skins or giants'
heads as she thinks herself worth."

_Culch._ (_grimly_). "Figuratively" is a distinct concession on
RUSKIN's part. Still, I should be glad to know -

_Miss P._ If you will have a little more patience, I will make myself
clear. I have always determined that when the - ah - occasion presented
itself, I would deal with it on Ruskinian principles. I propose in
your case - presuming of course that you are willing to be under vow
for me - to adopt a middle course.

_Culch._ You are extremely good. And what precise form of - er - penance
did you think of?

_Miss P._ The trial I impose is, that you leave Constance
to-morrow - with Mr. PODBURY.

_Culch._ (_firmly_). If you expect me to travel for seven years with
him, permit me to mention that I simply cannot do it. My leave expires
in three weeks.

_Miss P._ I mentioned no term, I believe. Long before three weeks
are over we shall meet again, and I shall be able to see how you
have borne the test. I wish you to correct, if possible, a certain
intolerance in your attitude towards Mr. PODBURY. Do you accept this
probation, or not?

_Culch._ I - ah - suppose I have no choice. But you really must allow me
to say that it is _not_ precisely the reception I anticipated. Still,
in your service, I am willing to endure even PODBURY - for a strictly
limited period; that I _do_ stipulate for.

_Miss P._ That, as I have already said, is quite understood. Now go
and arrange with Mr. PODBURY.

_Culch._ (_to himself, as he retires_). It is _most_ unsatisfactory;
but at least PODBURY is disposed of!

_The same Scene, a quarter of an hour later. PODBURY and
Miss PRENDERGAST._

_Podbury_ (_with a very long face_). No, I _say_, though! RUSKIN
doesn't say all that?

_Miss P._ I am not in the habit of misquoting. If you wish to verify
the quotation, however, I daresay I could find you the reference in
_Fors Clavigera_.

_Podb._ (_ruefully_). Thanks - I won't trouble you. Only it does seem
rather rough on fellows, don't you know. If everyone went on his
plan - well, there wouldn't be many marriages! Still, I never thought
you'd say "Yes" right off. It's like my cheek, I know, to ask you at
all; you're so awfully clever and that. And if there's a chance for
me, I'm game for anything in the way of a trial. Don't make it stiffer
than you can help, that's all!

_Miss P._ All I ask of you is to leave me for a short time, and go and
travel with Mr. CULCHARD again.

_Podb._ Oh, I say, Miss PRENDERGAST, you know. Make it something else.
_Do!_

_Miss P._ That is the task I require, and I can accept no other. It is
nothing, after all, but what you came out here to do.

_Podb._ I didn't know him _then_, you see. And what made me agree
to come away with him at all is beyond me. It was all HUGHIE
ROSE's doing - he said we should get on together like blazes. So we
have - _very_ like blazes!

_Miss P._ Never mind that. Are you willing to accept the trial or not?

_Podb._ If you only knew what he's like when he's nasty, you'd let
me off - you would, really. But there, to please you, I'll do it. I'll
stand him as long as ever I can - 'pon my honour I will. Only you'll
make it up to me afterwards, won't you now?

_Miss P._ I will make no promises - a true knight should expect no
reward for his service, Mr. PODBURY.

_Podb._ (_blankly_). Shouldn't he? I'm a little new to the business,
you see, and it _does_ strike me - but never mind. When am I to trot
him off?

_Miss P._ As soon as you can induce him to go - to-morrow, if possible.

_Podb._ I don't believe he'll _go_, you know, for one thing!

_Miss P._ (_demurely_). I think you will find him open to persuasion.
But go and try, Mr. PODBURY.

_Podb._ (_to himself, as he withdraws_). Well, I've let myself in for
a nice thing! Rummest way of treating a proposal _I_ ever heard of.
I should just like to tell that fellow RUSKIN what I think of his
precious ideas. But there's _one_ thing, though - she can't care about
CULCHARD, or she wouldn't want him carted off like this.... Hooray, I
never thought of that before! Why, there he is, dodging about to find
out how _I've_ got on. I'll tackle him straight off.

[_CULCHARD and PODBURY meet at the head of the staircase,
and speak at the same moment._

_Culch._ Er - PODBURY it has }
occurred to me that we might - }
} leave this place to-morrow!
_Podb._ I say, CULCHARD, we }
really ought to - }

_Podb._ Hullo! we're both of one mind for once, eh? (_To himself_.)
Poor old beggar! Got the sack! That explains a lot. Well, I won't tell
him anything about this business just now.

_Culch._ So it appears. (_To himself_.) (Had his _quietus_, evidently.
Ah, well, I won't exult over him.

[_They go off together to consult a time-table._

_Miss. P._ (_on the balcony, musing_). Poor fellows! I couldn't very
well say anything more definite at present. By the time I see them
again, I may understand my own heart better. Really, it is rather an
exciting sensation, having two suitors under vow and doing penance at
the same time - and all for my sake! I hope, though, they won't mention
it to one another - or to BOB. BOB does not understand these things,
and he might - But, after all, there are only _two_ of them. And
RUSKIN distinctly says that every girl who is worth _anything_ ought
always to have half-a-dozen or so. Two is really _quite_ moderate.

* * * * *

A TOO-ENGAGING MAIDEN'S REPLY.

(_BY MR. PUNCH'S KIND PERMISSION._)

[Illustration]

Yes, I read your effusion that lately got printed,
And at first never guessed there was anything meant.
But when someone suggested that something was hinted,
On your verses some time I reluctantly spent.
They are fair - and perhaps _you_ consider them clever,
You're a poet, no doubt, of a _minor_ degree,
But I never was startled so strangely - no, never!
As to learn that the lady you mentioned was me!

In the coolest of ways you sum up my attractions,
Pray allow me to turn my attention to _you_.
You are good, I believe, at the vulgarest fractions,
You have cheek and assurance sufficient for two.
You are what people reckon "a nice sort of fellow,"
Your sense of importance very strongly you feel.
You are bilious, you've got a complexion of yellow,
You are plainer than I am - which says a good deal.

"Am I free altogether from blame in the matter?" -
And as to my frowning, I don't know the way -
Do you really imagine that insolent chatter
Can affect me, or that _I_ care for what people say?
With fervent adorers around by the dozen,
For whom but my word is the law of their life.
Do you think I'd occasion to pitch on a cousin,
And announce that _you_ wanted myself as your wife?

Do not think I am angry, I am good at forgiving,
Have my constant refusals then made you so sour?
Even poets in _Punch_ have to write for their living,
And must wear their poor lives out at so much the hour.
I am weary and tired of being proposed to,
And at times I'm afraid it will injure my brain,
But my heart for the future yourself, mind, is closed to,
So don't, I implore, come proposing again.

* * * * *

A REAL BURNING QUESTION. - What should be done with the mischievous and
malicious noodles who communicate false alarms (to the number of 518
in one year) to the London Fire Brigade, by means of the fire-alarm
posts fixed for public convenience and protection in the public
thoroughfares? The almost appropriate Stake is out of date, but _Mr.
Punch_ opines that the Pillory would be none too bad for them.

* * * * *

THE BULL, THE BEAR, AND THE OXUS. - Russia, it is asserted, "intends to
annex the whole of the elevated plateaus known as the Pamirs, and all
parts of Afghanistan north of a straight line drawn from Lake Victoria
to the junction of the Kotcha River with the Oxus." JOHN BULL might
say, "I should like to Kotcha at it!"

* * * * *

SOME LONDON "FIENDS."

(_HOW TO EXORCISE, AFTER READING CORRESPONDENCE ON THE SUBJECT IN
SEVERAL "DAILIES."_)

_THE "WALKING-STICK AND UMBRELLA FIEND."_

[Illustration]

Provide yourself with a steel-plated umbrella (carriage size), with
a "non-conducting" handle. When open in a shower, where people are
hurrying, let the framework bristle with sharp penknife points. Held
firmly in front of you, you will find everyone get out of your way.
In entering a crowded omnibus or railway carriage, by touching a knob,
let the heat generated by the electric current instantly cause the
whole to become "red-hot." Dexterously moved about in front of you,
you will find this a most thoroughly protecting weapon, clearing
instantly a large space on each side of you, and even sometimes


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Online LibraryVariousPunch, or the London Charivari, Volume 101, October 24, 1891 → online text (page 1 of 3)