Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 102, April 23, 1892 online

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VOL. 102

April 23, 1892



Oh, to be in London now that April's there,
And whoever walks in London sees, some morning, in the Square,
That the upper thousands have come to Town,
To the plane-trees droll in their new bark gown,
While the sparrows chirp, and the cats miaow
In London - now!
And after April, when May follows
And the black-coats come and go like swallows!
Mark, where yon fairy blossom in the Row
Leans to the rails, and canters on in clover,
Blushing and drooping, with her head bent low!
That's the wise child: she makes him ask twice over,
Lest he should think she views with too much rapture
Her first fine wealthy capture!
But, - though her path looks smooth, and though, alack,
All will he gay, till Time has painted black
The _Marigold_, her Mother's chosen flower, -
Far brighter is my _Heartsease_, Love's own dower.

* * * * *

A WANT. - "There is only one thing," a visitor writes to us, "that I
missed at Venice, S.W. I've never been to the real place, which is
the Bride, or Pride, of the Sea, I forget which, but, as I was saying,
there's only one thing I miss, and that is the heather. Who has not
heard of 'the moor of Venice'? And I daresay good shooting there too,
with black game and such like. I only saw pigeons flying, who some
one informed me are the pigeons of SAM MARK. Next time I go, I shall
inquire at the Restaurant for fresh Pigeon Pie. However, if Mr.
KIRALFY will take a hint, he will, in August provide a moor. It will
add to the gaiety of the show. 'The moor the merrier,' eh?"

* * * * *


MRS. GRUNDY, good woman, scarce knew what to think
About the relation 'twixt Drama and Drink.
Well, give Hall - and Theatre - good wholesome diet,
And all who attend will be sober and quiet!

* * * * *

for short - wrote to the _Times_ complaining that the result of
the splendid weather for the first ten days of the month was the
reproduction of "summer effluvium rank and offensive" in Piccadilly.
Poor Piccadilly! Oh, its "offence is rank," and Miss DORA might add,
quoting to her father from another scene in _Hamlet_, "And smells so.
Pa'!" West-Enders, in a dry summer, must he prepared to have "a high
old time of it."

* * * * *



_Domestic_ (_lately received into the Plymouth Brotherhood_). "OH NO,

* * * * *



I'm the maker of a Soap, which I confidently hope
In the advertising tournament will win,
And remain the fit survival, having vanquished every rival
Which is very detrimental to the skin.

I will now proceed to show, what the public ought to know,
Unless they would be blindly taken in.
How in every soap but mine certain qualities combine
To make it detrimental to the skin.

But surely at this date it is needless I should state
That the cheaper soaps are barely worth a pin,
For they all contain a mixture, either free or as a fixture,
Which is very detrimental to the skin.

And every cake you buy is so charged with alkali,
To soda more than soap it is akin;
It is really dear at last, for it wastes away so fast.
And is very detrimental to the skin.

The public I must warn of the colours that adorn
The soaps ambitious foreigners bring in;
They are often very pretty, but to use them is a pity,
For they're very detrimental to the skin.

There are soaps which you can see through. I ask, What can it be
Is it resin, or some other form of sin?
There are soaps which smell too strong, and of course that must be
And extremely detrimental to the skin.

And too much fat's injurious, and so are soaps sulphureous,
Though they say they keep the hair from growing thin;
They may keep a person's hair on, like the precious oil of AARON,
And yet be detrimental to his skin.

In short, the only soap which is fit for Prince or Pope
(I have sent some to the KAISER at Berlin)
Is the article I sell you. Don't believe the firms who tell you
It is very detrimental to the skin.

* * * * *

A LIQUOR QUESTION. - Why does a toper - especially when "before the
beak" - always say that he was "in drink," when he evidently means that
the drink was in him? The only soaker on record who could rightly be
said to be "in drink" was,

"Maudlin _Clarence_ in his Malmsey butt."

He was "in liquor" with a vengeance. But less lucky wine-bibbers need
not be illogical as well as inebriate.

* * * * *

MR. GOSCHEN'S BUDGET. - "From a fiscal point of view, the Tobacco
receipts are extremely good." So unlike JOKIM. Of course, as he never
loses a chance of a _jeu de mot_, what he must have said was, that
"the Tobacco 'returns' are extremely good." "A birthday Budget, - many
happy 'returns,'" he observed jocosely to PRINCE ARTHUR, "quite japing
times!" And off he went for his holiday; and, weather permitting,
as he reclines in his funny among the weeds, he will gently murmur,
"_Dulce est desipere in smoko_."

* * * * *



[" - The curious tendency towards imitation which is observed
whenever some specially sensational crime is brought into the
light of publicity." - _Morning Post_.']

NARCISSUS? _He_, that foul ill-favoured brute,
A fevered age's most repulsive fruit,
The murderous coxcomb, the assassin sleek?
Stranger comparison could fancy seek?

Truly 'tis not the self-admiring boy
Nymph Echo longed so vainly to enjoy;
Yet the old classic fable hath a phase
Which seems to fit the opprobrium of our days.
Criminal-worship seems our latest cult,
And this strange figure is its last result.
Self-conscious, self-admiring, Crime parades
Its loathly features, not in slumdom's shades,
Or in Alsatian sanctuaries vile.
No; peacock-posing and complacent smile
Pervade the common air, and take the town.
The glory of a scandalous renown
Lures the vain villain more than wrath or gain,
And cancels all the shame that should restrain:
Makes murder half-heroic in his sight,
And gilds the gallows with factitious light.

And whose the fault? Sensation it is thine!
The garrulous paragraph, the graphic line,
Poster and portrait, telegram and tale,
Make shopboy eager and domestics pale.
Over the morbid details workmen pore,
Toil's favourite pabulum and chosen lore,
Penny-a-liners pile the horrors up,
On which the cockney _gobe-mouche_ loves to sup,
And paragraph and picture feed the clown
With the foul garbage that has gorged the town.
"Vice is a monster of such hideous mien
As to be hated needs but to be seen."
So sang the waspish satirist long ago.
Now Vice is sketched and Crime is made a show.
A hundred eager scribes are at their heel
To tell the public how they look and feel,
How eat and drink, how sleep and smoke and play.
Murder's itinerary for a day,
Set forth in graphic phrase by skilful pens,
With pictures of its face, its favourite dens,
Its knife or bludgeon, pistol, paramour,
Will swell the swift editions hour by hour,
More than high news of war or of debate,
The death of heroes or the throes of state.
From club-room to street-corner runs the cry
After the newest fact, or latest lie:
The hurrying throng unfolded broad-sheets grasp,
And read with goggled eyes and lips a-gasp,
Blood! Blood! More Blood! It makes hot lips go pale,
But gives the sweetest zest to the unholy tale.

What wonder if the Horror, homaged thus
By frenzied eagerness and foolish fuss,
Swells to a hideous self-importance, struts
In conscious dignity, and gladly gluts
With vanity's fantastic tricks the herd
Whose pulses first by murderous crime it stirred.
Narcissus-like, the slayer bends to trace
Within Sensation's flowing stream its face,
And, self-enamoured, smiles a loathsome smile
Of fatuous conceit and gloating guile;
Laughs at the shadow of the lifted knife,
And thinks of all things save its victim's life.
The "Noisy Nymph," the Echo of our times,
The gossip, with an eager ear for crimes,
Lurks, half-admiring, all-recording there,
Watching Narcissus with persistent stare,
And ready note-book. Nothing but a Voice?
No, but its babblings travel, and rejoice
A myriad prurient ears with noisome news,
Fit only for the shambles and the stews.
These hear, admire, and sometimes imitate! -

Narcissus is a danger to the State,
And Echo hardly less. Vain-glorious crime;
That pestilent portent of a morbid time,
Would flourish less could sense or law avail
To strangle coarse Sensation's clamorous tale,
Silence the "Noisy Nymph," for half crime's ill
Would end were babbling Echo's voice but still.

* * * * *

[Illustration: "THE MISSING CIPHER."



* * * * *


* * * * *

FETTERED. - In reply to the Unemployed Deputation which found
employment in paying a visit to the L.C.C. at Spring Gardens, Messrs.
BURNS and BEN TILLETT (Alderman) intimated that as Mr. POWER, the
U.D.'s spokesman, was not a member of the L.C.C., that body was
Power-less to assist them in their trouble. A nasty time of it had
the Labour Candidates on this occasion. Nothing like putting men of
Radical revolutionary tendencies into responsible positions.

* * * * *

A SHADY VALET. - One DONALD CROSS was a Valet in the service of an
absent master, whose best clothes and jewellery DONALD wore, while
he kept his flat well aired by giving little supper-parties to young
ladies who took him at his own valuation, - for a very superior swell.
Alas! he was but a _valet de sham_! "Cross purposes," but Magistrate
"disposes"; and the once happy Valet is in the shade for the next six

* * * * *



_Before Supper the proceedings are rather decorous than
lively; the dancers in fancy dress forming a very decided
minority, and appearing uncomfortably conscious of their
costume. A Masker got up as a highly realistic Hatstand,
hobbles painfully towards a friend who is disguised as a
huge Cannon._

_The Hatstand_ (_huskily, through a fox's mask in the centre of his
case, to the Cannon_). Just a trifle slow up to the present, eh?

_The Cannon_ (_shifting the carriage and wheels to a less
uncomfortable position._) Yes, it don't seem to me as lively as
usual - _drags_, don't you know.

_The Hatstand_ (_heroically_). Well, we must wake 'em up, that's
all - put a little _go_ into the thing!

[_They endeavour to promote gaiety by crawling through the
crowd, which regards them with compassionate wonder._

_A Black Domino_ (_to a Clown, who is tapping the barometer on the
Hatstand's back_). Here, mind how you damage the furniture, SAMMY, it
may be here on the hire system.

[_The Hatstand executes a cumbrous caper by way of repartee,
and stumbles on._

_A Folly_ (_to a highly respectable Bedouin in a burnous and gold
spectacles_). Well, all I can say is, you don't seem to me to behave
much _like_ an Arab!

_The Bedouin_ (_uneasily, as he waltzes with conscientious
regularity_). Don't I? How _ought_ I to behave then?

_The Folly_. _I_ should have thought you'd jump about and howl, the
way Bedouins _do_ howl. _You_ know!

_The Bed._ (_dubiously_). Um - well, you see, my dear, I - I don't feel
_up_ to that sort of thing - _before_ supper.

_The Folly_ (_losing all respect for him_). No - nor yet after it. I
expect you've told some old four-wheel caravan to come and fetch
you home early, and you'll turn into your little tent at the usual
time - that's the sort of wild Bedouin _you_ are! Don't let me keep
you. [_She leaves him._

_The Bed._ (_alone_). If she only knew the absolute _horror_ I have of
making myself conspicuous, she wouldn't expect it!

_Mephistopheles_ (_to a Picador_). This was the only thing I could get
to go in. How do you think it suits me?

_The Picador_ (_with candour_). Well, I must say, old fellow, you _do_
look a beast!

[_Mephisto appears wounded._

_A Masker_ (_with his face painted brown, and in a costume of coloured
paper decorated with small boxes and packets, to a Blue Domino_). You
see what _I_ am, don't you? The Parcels Post! Had a _lot_ of trouble
thinking it out. Look at my face, for instance, I made _that_ up, with
string - marks and all, to look like a brown-paper parcel.

_The Blue Domino_. Pity you haven't got something _inside_ it, isn't

_The Parcels Post_ (_feebly_). Don't you be too sharp. And it really
is a first-rate idea. All these parcels now - I suppose there must be
fifty of 'em at least -

_The Blue Domino_. Are there? Well, I wish you'd go and get sorted
somewhere else. I haven't time for it myself.

_Sardonic Spectator_ (_pityingly - to a Masker in a violent
perspiration, who represents Sindbad carrying the Old Man of the
Sea_). 'Ow you _are_ worrying yourself to be sure!

_A Polite Stranger_ (_accosting an Individual who is personifying the
London County Council by the aid of a hat surmounted by a sky-sign,
a cork bridge and a tin tramcar, a toy Clown and a butterfly on his
chest, a portrait of Mlle. Zoeo on his back, a miniature fireman under
an extinguisher, and a model crane, which he winds up and down with
evident enjoyment_). Excuse me, Sir, but would you mind showing us
round you - or is there a catalogue to your little collection?

[_The L.C.C. maintains a dignified silence._

_Pierrot_ (_critically to Cleopatra_). Very nice indeed, my dear
girl, - except that they ought to have given you a serpent to carry,
you know'

_Cleopatra_. Oh, they _did_ - only I left it in the Cloak-room.

_A Man with a False Nose_ (_to a Friend who is wearing his natural
organ_). Why, I thought you said _you_ were coming in a nose?

_His Friend_. So I did (_he produces an enormous nose and cheeks from
his tail-pocket_). But it's no mortal use; the minute I put it on
I'm recognised (_plaintively_). And I gave one-and-ninepence for the
beastly thing, too!

_Young Man of the Period_ (_meeting a female acquaintance attired
in ferns, rock-work, and coloured shells, illuminated by portable
electric light_). Hul-lo! You _are_ a swell! And what are _you_
supposed to be?

_The Lady in Rock-work_. Can't you see? I'm a Fairy Grotto. Good idea,
isn't it?

_He_. Rippin'! But what the mischief have you got on your shoulder?

_She_. Oh, that's an aquarium - real goldfish. See!

[_Exhibiting them with pride._

_He_. Ain't you lettin' 'em sit up rather late? They _will_ be chippy
to-morrow - off colour, don't you know.

_She_. Will they? What ought I to do for them, then?

_He_. Do? Oh, just put a brandy-and-soda in their tank.

_Later; Supper is going on in the Boxes and Supper-room, and
the festivity has been further increased by the arrival of a
party of Low Comedians and Music-Hall Stars. The Lancers have
been danced with more abandonment, and several entirely new
and original figures._

_The Chevalier Bayard_ (_at the Refreshment Bar - to a Watteau
Shepherdess_). I say, you come along and dance with me, will you? - and
look here, if you dance well, I'll give you a drink when it's over. If
you don t dance to please me, you'll get nothing. See?

_The Watteau Shepherdess_ (_with delicate disdain_). 'Ere, you go
along, you silly ass!

[_Hits him with her crook._

_A Gentleman who has obviously supped_ (_catching hold of a passing
Acquaintance, whose hand he wrings affectionately_). Dear ole HUGHIE!
don't go away just yet. Shtop an' talk with me. Got lotsh er things
say to you, dear ole boy - mosh 'portant things! Shure you, you're the
on'y man in the wide world I ever kicked a care - cared a kick about.
Don't _you_ leave me, HUGHIE!

[Illustration: "Exit unsteadily towards Bar."]

_Hughie_ (_who is looking for his partner_). Not now, old man - can't
stop. See you later!

[_He makes his escape._

_The Affect. G._ (_confidentially - to a Policeman_). Thash a very
dear ole pal o' mine, plishman, a _very_ dear ole pal. Worsht of him
ish - shimply imposhble get a lit' rational conversation with him. No
_sheriousness_ in his character!

[_Exit unsteadily towards Bar, in blissful unconsciousness
that somebody has attached a large false nose and spectacles
to the buttons of his coat-tails._

_A Troubadour_ (_jealously - to an Arleguina_). No - but look here, you
might just as well say right put which costume you like best - mine
or - (_indicating a Cavalier on her other side_) - his.

_Arleguina_ (_cautiously - not desiring to offend either_). Well, I'd
rather be _him_ - not as a _man_, I wouldn't - but, as _myself_, I'd
like to be _this_ one.

[_Both appear equally satisfied and soothed by this
diplomatic, but slightly mystic response._

_A Vivandière_ (_to a Martyr, who is shuffling along inside a
property-trunk, covered with twigs, and supposed to represent a
Bird in the Hand_). Well, that's _one_ way of coming _out_ to enjoy
yourself, I suppose!

_A Middle-aged Man_ (_wandering behind the Orchestra_). It's
beastly dull, that's what it is - none of the give-and-take
humour and practical fun you get in Paris or Vienna!... That's a
nice, simple-looking little thing in the seat over there. (_The
simple-looking little thing peeps at him, with one eye over her fan,
in arch invitation._) Gad, I'll go up and talk to her - it will be
something to _do_, at any rate - she looks as if she wouldn't mind.
(_He goes up._) Think I know your face - haven't we met before?

_The Simple Little Thing_ (_after an elaborate wink aside at a_
Fireman). Shouldn't wonder. Don't you run away yet. Sit down and
talk to me - do now. No, not _that_ side - try the arm-chair, it's more

_The M.M._ (_throwing himself gracefully into a well-padded chintz
chair_). Well, really - (_The chair suddenly digs him in the ribs with
one of its elbows_). Eh, look here now - 'pon my - (_He attempts to
rise, and finds himself tightly pinioned by the arms of the chair._)
There's some confounded fool _inside_ this chair!

_The Simple Little Thing_ (_tickling him under the chin with her
fan_). Shouldn't call yourself names! I'm going - don't get up on
_my_ account. [_She goes off, laughing; a crowd collects and heartily
enjoys his situation._

_The M.M._ (_later - very red after his release_). If I could have
found a policeman, I'd have given that chair in custody! It's
scandalous to call _that_ coming in Fancy Dress! [_Exit indignantly._

* * * * *



SCENE - _A Street. Enter BROWN and JONES. They meet, and
regard one another for a moment, fixedly. Then they salute one
another respectfully._

_Brown._ I have been looking for you everywhere.

_Jones._ Then I am delighted to have met you.

_Brown._ I have said of you that you are a trickster, a scoundrel, a
fool, and an idiot!

_Jones._ Yes - and I have regretted the saying, because it shows to me
that you have misunderstood the great literary movement of the present
day, in its vast and varied effort.

_Brown._ Of that I know nothing, for I confess I have never read your

_Jones_ (_reproachfully_). Yes - and yet you accuse me of being a
trickster, a scoundrel, and a fool, without knowing my works?

_Brown._ It was my duty. But still I had no wish to be guilty of an

_Jones._ An outrage - how an outrage?

_Brown._ Had I known you had been present to hear me I would not have
caused you the pain of listening to me.

_Jones_ (_with admiration_). But it was the act of a brave man! Did
it not occur to you that had I been within reach of you that you too
would have suffered pain?

_Brown._ It did not, I was unconscious of your presence. I would
have preferred to have spoken behind your back. It is brutal to speak
before any face. It might lead to an unpleasantness.

_Jones._ No, it is your duty to do what you think is right. It is also
my duty to do what I think is right. We are now face to face. Have you
anything further to say to me?

_Brown_ (_hurriedly_). You have immense gifts - gifts which are those
of genius.

_Jones._ I thought you would understand me better when we met. My dear
friend, I am delighted at this reconciliation. Give me your hand.

_Brown_ (_clasping palms_). With all the pleasure in the world. But
still I owe you reparation. How can I -

_Jones_ (_interrupting_). Not another word, my dear friend. That is a
matter we can leave in the hands of our Solicitors.

[_Scene closes in upon the suggestion._

* * * * *

[Illustration: A SOLILOQUY.


* * * * *


[Illustration: "Oliver asking for More."]

It is curious to find a coincidence in style and in idea between an
earnest, witty and pious English author of the Sixteenth Century,
and an American author of our own day. Yet so it is, and here is the
parallel to be found between the quaint American tales about the old
negro, _Uncle Remus_, by JOEL CHANDLER HARRIS, in this year of Grace,
1892, and the fables writ by Sir THOMAS MORE in 1520, or thereabouts,
which he represents as if told him by an old wife and nurse, one
Mother MAUD. Here are "The Wolf," - "Brer Wolf" - and the simple-minded
Jackass, both are going to confession to Father Fox - "Brer Fox." Æsop
is, of course, the common origin of all such tales. The extracts which
I have come across, are to be found in a small book compiled by the
Rev. THOMAS BRIDGETT, entitled, _The Wit and Wisdom of Sir Thomas
More_. The Baron wishes that with it had been issued a glossary of old
English words and expressions, as, to an ordinary modern reader, much
of Sir THOMAS MORE's writing is well-nigh unintelligible; nay, in some
instances, the Baron can only approximately arrive at the meaning,
as though it were a writ in a foreign language with which his
acquaintance was of no great profundity. Certes, the learned and
reverend compiler hath a keen relish for this quaintness, but not so
will fifteen out of his twenty readers, who, pardie! shall regret the
absence of a key without which some of the treasure must, to them at
least, remain inaccessible. With this reservation, but with no sort
of equivocation, doth the Baron heartily recommend The Reverend
BRIDGETT's compilation of Sir THOMAS MORE's "English as she is
writ" in the Sixteenth Century, to all lovers of good books in this
"so-called (O, immortal phrase!) Nineteenth Century." The Rev. THOMAS
hath well and ably done his work, and therefore doth the Baron advise
his readers to go to their booksellers, and, being there, to imitate
the example of DICKENS's oft-quoted _Oliver_, and "ask for MORE."

Quoth the Baron, "Much liketh me the Macmillanite series of _English
Men of Action_, and in a very special manner do I laud the latest
that, to my knowledge, hath appeared 'yclept _Montrose_, by Master
MOWBRAY MORRIS - a good many 'M's' in these names - who hath executed
his _Montrose_ with as loving a heart and as tender a touch as ever

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Online LibraryVariousPunch, or the London Charivari, Volume 102, April 23, 1892 → online text (page 1 of 3)