Various.

Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 102, February 20, 1892 online

. (page 1 of 3)
Online LibraryVariousPunch, or the London Charivari, Volume 102, February 20, 1892 → online text (page 1 of 3)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


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





PUNCH,

OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

VOL. 102.



February 20, 1892.




JIM'S JOTTINGS.

NO. II. - RATS'-RENTS, THE RENTERS AND THE RENTED.

[In which GINGER JIMMY gives his views of Lazarus, Dives,
Dirt, Mother Church, Slum-Freeholders and "Freedom of
Contract."]

"The Golgotha of Slumland!" That's a phrase as I am told
Is made use of by a party, - wich that party must be bold, -
In the name of Mister LAZARUS, a good Saint Pancrage gent,
Wot has writ a book on Slumland, and its Landlords, and its Rent.[1]

He's a Member of the "Westry 'Ealth Committee," so it seems,
And the story wot he tells will sound, _to some_, like 'orrid
dreams.
But, lor bless yer! _we_ knows better, and if sech 'cute coves as
'im
Want to ferret hout the _facks_, they might apply to GINGER JIM.

There's the mischief in these matters; them as knows won't always
tell.
Wy, if you want to spot a "screw," or track up a bad smell,
You've got to be a foxer, for whilst slums makes topping rent,
There will always be lots 'anging round to _put yer off the scent_!

I can tell yer arf the right 'uns even ain't quite in the know,
And there's lots o' little fakes to make 'em boggle, or go slow.
Werry plorserble their statements, and they puts 'em nice and plain,
And a crockidile _can_ drop 'em when 'e once turns on the main.

All the tenants' faults; they likes it, dirt, and scrowging, and
damp walls!
They _git used to_ 'orrid odours! O the Landlord's tear-drop falls.
Werry often, when collecting of his rents, to see the 'oles
Where the parties as must pay 'em up _prefers_ to stick, pore souls!

No compulsion, not a mossel! Ah, my noble lords and gents
Who are up in arms for Libbaty - that is, of paying rents -
You've rum notions of Compulsion. NOCKY SPRIGGINS sez, sez 'e,
While you've got a chice of starving, or the workus, ain't ye
_free_!

Free? O vus, we're free all round like; there ain't ne'er a
bloomin' slave,
White or black, but wot is free enough - to pop into 'is grave;
Though if they ketch yer trying even _that_ game, and yer _fail_,
Yer next skool for teaching freedom ain't the workus, but the jail!

'Andcuffs ain't the sole "Compulsion," nor yet laws ain't, nor yet
whips;
There is sech things as 'unger, and yer starving kids' white lips,
And bizness ties, a hempty purse, bad 'ealth, and ne'er a crust;
Swells may swear these ain't Compulsion, but _we_ know as they
means _must_.

Ah! wot precious rum things _words_ is, 'ow they seems to fog the
wise!
If they'd only come and look at _things_, that is with their hown
heyes,
And not filantropic barnacles _or_ goldian giglamps - lor!
Wot a lob of grabs and gushers might shut up their blessed jor!

The nobs who're down on workmen, 'cos on "knobsticks" _they_ will
frown,
Has a 'arty love for Libbaty - when keepin' wages down.
Contrack's a sacred 'oly thing, freedom carnt 'ave _that_ broke,
But Free Contrack wot's _forced_ on yer - wy, o'course, that sounds
a joke.

If they knowed us and our sort, gents, they would know Free
Contrack's fudge,
When one side ain't got a copper, 'as been six weeks on the trudge,
Or 'as built his little bizness up in one pertikler spot,
And if the rent's raised on 'im must turn hout, and starve or rot!

Coarse words, my lords and ladies! Well, yer may as well be dumb,
As talk pooty on the questions wot concerns hus in the Slum.
There ain't nothink pooty in 'em, and I cannot 'elp but think
Some of our friends 'as spiled our case by piling on the pink.

Foxes 'ave 'oles, the Book sez; well, no doubt they feels content,
For they finds, or makes, their 'ouses, and don't 'ave to pay no
rent;
But _our_ 'oles - well, someone builds 'em for us, such, in course
is kind,
But it ain't a bad investment, as them Landlords seems to find.

The Marquiges and Mother Church pick lots of little plums,
And the wust on 'em don't seem to be their proputty in slums.
Oh, I'd like to take a Bishop on the trot around our court,
And then arsk 'ow the Church spends the coin collected from our
sort.

Wot's the use of pictering 'errors? Let 'im put 'is 'oly nose
To the pain of close hinspection; lot his venerable toes
Pick a pathway through our gutter, let his gaiters climb our stairs;
And when 'e kneels that evening, I should like to 'ear 'is prayers!

I'm afraid that in Rats' Rents he mightn't find a place to kneel
Without soiling of his small clothes. Yus, to live in dirt, I feel
Is a 'orrid degradation; but one thing I'd like to know,
Is it wus than living _on_ it? Let 'im answer; it's his go.

"All a blowing" ain't much paternised, not down our Court, it ain't.
Wich we aren't as sweet as iersons, not yet as fresh as paint!
For yer don't get spicy breezes in a den all dirt and dusk,
From a 'apenny bunch o' wallflower, or a penny plarnt o' musk.

Wot do _you_ think? Bless yer 'earts, gents, I wos down some
months ago
With a bout o' the rheumatics, and 'ad got so precious low
I wos sent by some good ladies, wot acrost me chanced to come -
Bless their kindness! - to a 'evvin called a Convalescent 'Ome.

Phew! Wen I come back to Rats' Rents, 'ow I sickened of its smells,
Arter all them trees and 'ayfields, and them laylocks and
blue-bells,
And sometimes I think - pertikler when I'm nabbed by them old pains -
Wot a proper world it might be if it weren't for dirt and drains.

Who's to blame for Dirt? Yer washups, praps it ain't for me to say,
But - I don't think there'd be much of it if 'twasn't made to _pay_!
_Who_ does it pay? The Renters or the Rented? I've no doubt
When you spot _who_ cops the Slum-swag - wy, yer won't be so fur out!

[Footnote 1: _Landlordism_, by HENRY LAZARUS.]

* * * * *

WRIGHT AND WRONG.

"We are getting on by leaps and bounds," remarked Mr. WILDEY WEIGHT,
during a recent case. Whereat there was "laughter." But Mr. HORACE
BROWNE, for Plaintiff, "objected to remarks of this kind." Then Mr.
Justice COLLINS begged Mr. W. WRIGHT "not to make such picturesque
interjections." Later on, Mr. HORACE BROWNE said to a Witness (whose
name, "BURBAGE," ought to have elicited from Judge or Counsel some
apposite Shakspearian allusion - but it didn't), "Then you had him on
toast." This also was received with "laughter." But Mr. WILDEY WRIGHT
did not object to this. No! he let it pass without interruption,
implying by his eloquent silence that such a remark was neither a
"picturesque interjection," nor sufficiently humorous for him to take
objection to it. The other day, in a County Court, a Barrister refused
to go on with a case until the Judge had done smiling! But - "This is
another story."

* * * * *

GOOD GRACE-IOUS!

Two out of three, my GRACE! That sounds a drubber.
No chance for England now to "win the rubber."
We deemed you romping in, that second Cable;
But your team didn't. Fact is, 'twasn't ABEL
(Though ABEL in himself was quite a team).
Well, well, your SHEFFIELD blades met quite the cream
Of Cornstalk Cricketers. Cheer up, cut in!
And when March comes, make that Third Match a Win!
We're sure that while you hold the Captain's place,
Your men will win or lose with a good GRACE!

* * * * *

SUGGESTED TITLE FOR AN ACCOUNT OF A GORGEOUS BALLET OF UGLY
GIRLS. - The Story of the Glittering Plain.

* * * * *

[Illustration: "STRAY SHEEP."

(_As illustrated by Mr. Chamberlain in his Speech in the House on
Thursday, February 11._)

"THOSE SHEEP WHO NEVER HEARD THEIR SHEPHERD'S VOICE;
WHO DID NOT KNOW, YET WOULD NOT LEARN THEIR WAY;
WHO STRAYED THEMSELVES, YET GRIEVED THAT I SHOULD STRAY."]

* * * * *

[Illustration: PERFECTLY PLAIN.

_Young Wife._ "OH, I'M SO HAPPY! HOW IS IT YOU'VE NEVER MARRIED, MISS
PRYMME?"

_Miss Prymme._ "MY DEAR, I NEVER HAVE ACCEPTED - AND NEVER WOULD
ACCEPT - ANY OFFER OF MARRIAGE!"

[_And then her Questioner began softly playing the old Air, "Nobody
axed you."_]]

* * * * *

THE TWO SHEPHERDS.

[Mr. JOHN MORLEY was, on Feb. 6, at Newcastle-on-Tyne,
initiated a Hon. Member of the Loyal Order of Ancient
Shepherds, and afterwards, in a speech in the People's
Palace, sharply criticised Mr. CHAMBERLAIN's plan for Old
Age Pensions, expressing his preference for "more modest
operations" in the direction of relaxing and enlarging the
provisions of the Poor Law.]

_To the Tune of Burns's "The Twa Herds."_

O, all ye poor and aged flocks,
Dealt with in fashion orthodox
By Bumble bodies hard as rocks,
And stern as tykes;
And treated like mere waifs and crooks,
Or herded Smikes!

Two brother Shepherds, as men thought,
Have somehow fallen out and fought,
Though each your welfare swore he sought;
Flock-herding elves,
What can this bickering have brought
Between themselves?

O, earnest JOHN and jocund JOE,
How could two Shepherds shindy so.
Old Light and New Light, _con._ and _pro_?
Now dash my buttons!
A squabbling pastor is a foe
To all poor muttons.

O Sirs, whoe'er would have expected
That crook and pipe you'd have neglected,
By foolish love of fight infected
Concerning food?
As though the sheep would have rejected
Aught that is good!

What herd like JOSEPH could prevail?
His voice was heard o'er hill and dale;
He knew each sheep from head to tail
In vale or height,
And told whether 'twas sick or hale
At the first sight.

But JOE had a new-fangled plan
For feeding ancient sheep. The man
Posed as a true Arcadian,
With a great gift
For zeal humanitarian,
Combined with thrift.

But JOHN replied, "Pooh-pooh! Your scheme
Is but an optimistic dream,
Whose 'shadowy incentives' seem
The merest spooks.
Better the ancient plans, I deem,
Food, folds, and crooks.

"You do not grapple with the case
Of poorest sheep, a numerous race.
As to the black ones, with what face
Claim care for such?
'Tis hungry old sheep of good race
_My_ feelings touch.

"Your scheme will cost no end - and fail.
No sheep who ever twitched a tail
So foolish is - I would not rail! -
As _such_ a 'herd.'
I'd 'modest operations' hail,
But yours? - absurd!

"Better reform, relax, extend
The old provisions. I commend
Plenty of food, and care no end,
For all poor sheep;
But flocks would not _get_ poor, my friend,
_Had they good keep!_"

Fancy how JOE would cock a nose
At "Cockney JOHN," as certain foes
Called JOSEPH's rival. Words like those
Part Shepherd swains.
Sad when crook-wielders meet as foes
On pastoral plains!

Such two! O, do I live to see
Such famous pastors disagree,
Calling each other - woe is me! -
Bad names by turns?
Shall we not say in diction free
With BOBBIE BURNS?

"O! a' ye flocks, owre a' the hills
By mosses, meadows, moors and fells.
Come join your counsels and your skills
To cowe the lairds.
And get the brutes the power themsels
_To choose their herds!_"

* * * * *

"AND A GOOD JUDGE, TOO!"

There is a good Justice named GRANTHAM,
Who tells lawyers truths that should haunt 'em.
There are seeds of reform
In his speech, wise as warm,
And long may he flourish - to plant 'em!

* * * * *

STRANGE BUT TRUE. - When does a Husband find his Wife out? When he
finds her at home and she doesn't expect him.

* * * * *

THE TRAVELLING COMPANIONS.

NO. XXVI.

SCENE - _On the Lagoons. CULCHARD and PODBURY's gondola is
nearing Venice. The apricot-tinted diaper on the fa├žade of
the Ducal Palace is already distinguishable, and behind its
battlements the pearl-grey summits of the domes of St. Mark's
shimmer in the warm air. CULCHARD and PODBURY have hardly
exchanged a sentence as yet. The former has just left off
lugubriously whistling as much as he can remember of "Che
faro," the latter is still humming "The Dead March in Saul,"
although in a livelier manner than at first._

_Culch._ Well, my dear PODBURY, our - er - expedition has turned out
rather disastrously!

_Podb._ (_suspending the Dead March, chokily_). Not much mistake about
_that_ - but there, it's no good talking about it. Jolly that brown and
yellow sail looks on the fruit-barge there. See?

[Illustration: "Reads with a gradually lengthening countenance."]

_Culch._ (_sardonically_). Isn't it a little late in the day to be
cultivating an eye for colour? I was about to say that those two
girls have treated us infamously. I say deliberately, my dear PODBURY,
_infamously_!

_Podb._ Now drop it, CULCHARD, do you hear? I won't hear a word
against either of them. It serves us jolly well right for not knowing
our own minds better - though I no more dreamed that old BOB would - Oh,
hang it, I can't talk about it yet!

_Culch._ That's childishness, my dear fellow; you _ought_ to talk
about it - it will do you good. And really, I'm not at all sure, after
all, that we have not both of us had a fortunate escape. One is very
apt to - er - overrate the fascinations of persons one meets abroad.
Now, neither of those two was _quite_ -

_Podb._ (_desperately_). Take care! I swear I'll pitch you out of this
gondola, unless you stop that jabber!

_Culch._ (_with wounded dignity_). I am willing to make great
allowances for your state of mind, PODBURY, but such an expression
as - as _jabber_, applied to my - er - well-meant attempts
at consolation, and just as I was about to propose an
arrangement - really, it's _too_ much! The moment we reach the hotel,
I will relieve you from any further infliction from (_bitterly_) what
you are pleased to call my "jabber!"

_Podb._ (_sulkily_). Very well - 'm sure _I_ don't care! (_To
himself._) Even old CULCHARD won't have anything to do with me now! I
must have _somebody_ to talk to - or I shall go off my head! (_Aloud_).
I say, old _chap_! (_No answer_.) Look here - it's bad enough as it is
without _our_ having a row! Never mind anything I said.

_Culch._ I _do_ mind - I _must_. I am not accustomed to hear myself
called a - a _jabberer_!

_Podb._ I _didn't_ call you a jabberer - I only said you _talked_
jabber. I - I hardly know what I _do_ say, when I'm like this. And I'm
deuced sorry I spoke - there!

_Culch._ (_relaxing_). Well, do you withdraw jabber?

_Podb._ Certainly, old chap. I _like_ you to talk, only not - not
against Her, you know! What were you going to propose?

_Culch._ Well, my idea was this. My leave is practically unlimited - at
least, without vanity, I think I may say that my Chief sufficiently
appreciates my services not to make a fuss about a few extra days. So
I thought I'd just run down to Florence and Naples, and perhaps catch
a P. & O. at Brindisi. I suppose _you're_ not tied to time in any way?

_Podb._ (_dolefully_). Free as a bird! If the Governor had wanted me
back in the City, he'd have let me know it. Well?

_Culch._ Well, if you like to come with me, I - I shall be very pleased
to have your company.

_Podb._ (_considering_). I don't care if I do - it may cheer me up a
bit. Florence, eh? - and Naples? I shouldn't mind a look at Florence.
Or Rome. How about Rome, now?

_Culch._ (_to himself_). Was I wise to expose myself to this sort of
thing _again_? I'm almost sorry I - (_Aloud._) My dear fellow, if
we are to travel together in any sort of comfort, you must leave all
details to _me_. And there's one thing I _do_ insist on. In future we
must keep to our original resolution - not to be drawn into any chance
acquaintanceship. I don't want to reproach you, but if, when we were
first at Brussels, you had not allowed yourself to get so intimate
with the TROTTERS, all this would never -

_Podb._ (_exasperated_). There you go again! I can't stand being jawed
at, CULCHARD, and I won't!

_Culch._ I am no more conscious of "jawing" than "jabbering," and if
_that_ is how I am to be spoken to - !

_Podb._ I know. Look here, it's no use. You must go to Florence by
yourself. I simply don't feel up to it, and that's the truth. I shall
just potter about here, till - till _they_ go.

_Culch._ As you choose. I gave you the opportunity - out of kindness.
If you prefer to make yourself ridiculous by hanging about here, it's
no concern of mine. I daresay I shall enjoy Florence at least as well
by myself.

[_He sulks until they arrive at the Hotel Dandolo, where they
are received on the steps by the Porter._

_Porter_. Goot afternoon, Schendlemen. You have a bleasant dimes at
Torcello, yes? Ach! you haf gif your gondoliers vifdeen franc? Zey
schvindle you, oal ze gondoliers alvays schvindles eferypody, yes!
Zere is som ledders for you. I vetch zem. [_He bustles away._

_Mr. Bellerby_ (_suddenly emerging from a recess in the entrance, as
he recognises CULCHARD_). Why bless me, there's a face I know! Met
at Lugano, didn't we? To be sure - very pleasant chat we had too! So
you're at Venice, eh? I know every stone of it by heart, as I needn't
say. The first time I was ever at Venice -

_Culch._ (_taking a bulky envelope from the Porter_). Just so - how are
you? Er - will you excuse me?

[_He opens the envelope and finds a blue official-looking
enclosure, which he reads with a gradually lengthening
countenance._

_Mr. B._ (_as CULCHARD thrusts the letter angrily into his pocket_).
You're new to Venice, I think? Well, just let me give you a word of
advice. Now you _are_ here - you make them give you some tunny. Insist
on it, Sir. Why, when I was here first -

_Culch._ (_impatiently_). I know. I mean, you told me that before. And
I _have_ tasted tunny.

_Mr. B._ Ha! well, what did you think of it? _Delicious_, eh?

_Culch._ (_forgetting all his manners_). Beastly, Sir, _beastly!
[Leaves the scandalised Mr. B. abruptly, and rushes off to get a
telegram form at the bureau._

_Mr. Crawley Strutt_ (_pouncing on PODBURY in the hall, as he
finishes the perusal of his letter_). Excuse me - but surely I have
the honour of addressing Lord GEORGE GUMBLETON? You may perhaps just
recollect, my Lord - ?

_Podb._ (_blankly_). Think you've made a mistake, really.

_Mr. C.S._ Is it possible! I have come across so many people while
I've been away that - but surely we have met _somewhere_? Why, of
course, Sir JOHN JUBBER! you must pardon me, SIR JOHN -

_Podb._ (_recognizing him_). My name's PODBURY - plain PODBURY, but
you're quite right. You _have_ met me - and you've met my bootmaker
too. "Lord UPPERSOLE," eh? That's where the mistake came in!

_Mr. C.S._ (_with hauteur_). I think not, Sir; I have no recollection
of the circumstance. I see now your face is quite unfamiliar to me.

[_He moves away; PODBURY gets a telegram form and sits down
at a table in the hall opposite CULCHARD._

_Culch._ (_reading over his telegram_). "Yours just received. Am
returning immediately."

_Podb._ (_do., do._). "Letter to hand. No end sorry. Start at once."
(_Seeing CULCHARD._) Wiring to Florence for room, eh?

_Culch._ Er - no. The fact is, I've just heard from my Chief - a - a
most intemperate communication, insisting on my instant return to my
duties! I shall have to humour him, I suppose, and leave at once.

_Podb._ So shall I. No end of a shirty letter from the Governor. Wants
to know how much longer I expect him to be tied to the office. Old
humbug, when he only turns up twice a week for a couple of hours!

_The Porter_. Peg your bardons, Schendlemen, but if you haf qvide done
vid ze schtamps on your ledders, I gollect bostage schtamps, yes.

_Culch._ (_irritably flinging him the envelope_). Oh, confound it all.
take them. _I_ don't want them! (_He looks at his letter once more._)
I say, PODBURY, it - it's worse than I thought. This thing's a week
old! Must have been lying in my rooms all this time - or else in that
infernal Italian post!

_Podb._ Whew, old chap! I say, I wouldn't be _you_ for something!
Won't you catch it when you _do_ turn up? But look here - as things
are, we may as well travel _home_ together, eh?

_Culch._ (_with a flicker of resentment_). In spite of my tendency to
"jaw" and "jabber"?

_Podb._ Oh, never mind all that now. We're companions in misfortune,
you know, and we'd better stick together, and keep each other's
spirits up. After all, you're in a much worse hat than _I_ am!

_Culch._ If _that's_ the way you propose to keep my spirits up! - But
let us keep together, by all means, if you wish it, and just go and
find out when the next train starts, will you? (_To himself, as
PODBURY departs._) I must put up with him a little longer, I suppose.
Ah me! _How_ differently I should be feeling now, if HYPATIA had only
been true to herself. But that's all over, and I daresay it's better
so ... I daresay!

[_He strolls into the hotel-garden, and begins to read his
Chief's missive once more, in the hope of deciphering some
faint encouragement between the lines._

FINIS.

* * * * *

A TENNYSONIAN FRAGMENT.

[Illustration]

So in the village inn the Poet dwelt.
His honey-dew was gone; only the pouch,
His cousin's work, her empty labour, left.
But still he sniffed it, still a fragrance clung
And lingered all about the broidered flowers.
Then came his landlord, saying in broad Scotch,
"Smoke plug, mon," whom he looked at doubtfully.
Then came the grocer, saying, "Hae some twist
At tippence," whom he answered with a qualm.
But when they left him to himself again,
Twist, like a fiend's breath from a distant room
Diffusing through the passage, crept; the smell
Deepening had power upon him, and he mixt
His fancies with the billow-lifted bay
Of Biscay, and the rollings of a ship.

And on that night he made a little song,
And called his song "_The Song of Twist and Plug_,"
And sang it: scarcely could he make or sing.

"Rank is black plug, though smoked in wind and rain;
And rank is twist, which gives no end of pain;
I know not which is ranker, no, not I.

"Plug, art thou rank? Then milder twist must be;
Plug, thou art milder; rank is twist to me.
O Twist, if plug be milder, let me buy.

"Rank twist, that seems to make me fade away,
Rank plug, that navvies smoke in loveless clay,
I know not which is ranker, no, not I.

"I fain would purchase flake, if that could be;
I needs must purchase plug, ah woe is me!
Plug and a cutty, a cutty, let me buy."

* * * * *

COMPLICATED CASE. - The other day, an Italian Organ-grinder was
arrested for having shot one GIUSEPPE PIA. "He admitted the charge"
(we quote the _Globe_), "but said the gun went off accidentally."
When a Gentleman "admits the charge" (though indeed it was the other
one who did _that_), how the gun went off seems to be a matter of
secondary importance.

* * * * *

THE NAME AND THE THING. - A vote of thanks to Sir CHARLES RUSSELL,
after his address to the Liberal and Radical Association, was earned
by a Wapping Majority.

* * * * *

A LATTERDAY VALENTINE.

(LEAP YEAR: NEW STYLE.)

(_FROM MISS ANASTASIA JAY, NEW YORK, TO THOMAS, EARL OF DUNBROWNE,
LONDON._)

[Illustration]

Valentines plebeian
Cannot fix an Earl -
I'm as you may see, an
Ardent Yankee girl.
Nothing "soft" you'll find here,
No old-fashioned lay;
Say then, you'll be mine, dear,
In the modern way.

_You_ (we haven't met as
Yet I must record)
Figure in _Debrett_ as
Out-and-out a Lord:
Ancestors, a thousand,
Dignities, a score -
Hear my bashful vows, and
Think this matter o'er.

I don't in for Pa go;
Pa despised New York;
Porpa in Chicago
Cultivated pork:
Ma was born a Gerald;
Birth was Morma's pride -


1 3

Online LibraryVariousPunch, or the London Charivari, Volume 102, February 20, 1892 → online text (page 1 of 3)