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VOL. 102

MAY 21, 1892



"She-Pantaloons? seedy? Now, do we _look_ like it?"

The speaker was a tall, robust maiden with fair hair; on her knee was
an edition (without notes) of the _Anabasis of Xenophon_, and by her
side was _Liddell and Scott's Lexicon_, in which she had just been
21 tracking an exceptionally difficult - but, let me hasten to add, a
perfectly regular - Greek verb to its lair. There were a considerable
number of roseate specimens of English womanhood in the library of
Girnham College, where, with some natural diffidence, I had ventured
to put the rather delicate question to which I received the above

For I had been much troubled in my soul about Sir JAMES CRICHTON
BROWNE's recent deliverances with regard to the injurious physical
effect of the Higher Education upon women, and, as a devoted - if
hitherto unappreciated - admirer of the Fair Sex, I felt I had a
theoretical interest in the question, and was bound to verify Dr.
BROWNE's views. The most obvious way of satisfying my anxiety was to
go to Girnham myself and ask the lady students what _they_ thought
about it, and so I did.

[Illustration: "I received the football in the pit of my stomach."]

"I quite agree," I said, mildly, as I unwound my comforter, "that your
course of studies seems to suit you remarkably well. Quite a bevy of
female admirable CRICHT - !"

The effect was immediate; an unmistakable rush of lexicons - or were
they Todhunters? - hurtled around my devoted head from the fair hands
of disturbed and ruffled girlhood.

"Pray don't mention that person again!" said my fair-haired
interlocutor, and I thought I wouldn't.

"Well, but," I began, with heroic daring, as I laid aside my
respirator, "as to weak _chests_ now?"

I was interrupted by a paroxysm of coughing, which I tried to explain,
as my young friends thumped my back with unnecessary zeal, was, owing
to my having imprudently ventured out without my chest-protector. As
soon as I was able, I feebly hazarded the suggestion that, for growing
girls, the habit of stooping over their books seemed calculated to
induce weakness in the lungs - but their roars of merriment at the idea
instantly convinced me that any uneasiness on this score was entirely

"You certainly all look remarkably well," I observed, genially,
"particularly sunburnt and brow - "

Here there was a roar of quite another kind. I endeavoured to protest,
as I got behind an arm-chair and dodged a Differential Calculus and a
large glass inkstand, that I hadn't meant to allude to the obnoxious
Physician at all, but had merely intended to convey my hearty admir -

"I know what you're going to say!" interrupted the fair-haired girl,
vivaciously. "And you had better not."

As she spoke, she raised me from my seat by the coat-collar with no
apparent effort, and deposited me on the top of a tall bookcase, from
which I found myself compelled to prosecute my inquiries.

"Nature has been very bountiful to you - very much so, I am sure," I
murmured, blinking amiably down upon them through the spectacles
I wear to correct a slight tendency to strabismus. "Still, don't
you - er - find that your eyes - "

I got no further; I thought some of them would have died!

"How about the effect of learning on your _looks_, now?" I next
inquired. "Is it true that classical and mathematical pursuits are apt
to exercise a disfiguring effect? Not that, with such blooming faces
as I see around me - er - if you will allow me to say so - "

But they wouldn't; on the contrary, I was given to understand,
somewhat plainly, that compliments were perhaps ill-advised in that

"Are you - hem - fond of athletics?" was the question I put next from my
lofty perch. "Do you go in for _games_ at all, now?"

"Of course we do!" said the fair-haired girl, affording a practical
demonstration of the fact by taking me down and proceeding with her
lively companions to engage in the old classical game of _pila_ or
[Greek: sphairistikae], the recreation in which Ulysses long ago found
Nausicaa engaged with her maidens. On this occasion, however, _I_
represented the _pila_, or ball, and although, in justice to their
accuracy of eye and hand, I am bound to admit that I was seldom
allowed to touch the ground as I sped swiftly from one to the other,
still I felt considerable relief when, on my urgent protestations that
I was fully convinced of their proficiency in this amusement, they
were prevailed upon to bring this pastime to a close.

"We are breaking the rule of silence in this room," said the
fair-haired one. "And you _do_ ask such a lot of questions! But, as
you seem curious about our athletic pursuits, come and I will try to
show you."

I crawled after my guide without a word, inwardly reflecting that
I was sorry I had spoken, and heartily cursing (though without
pronouncing it aloud) the very name of that eminent Physician, Dr.
CRICHTON BROWNE. She took me first of all to a field where a bevy of
maidens were engaged in a game of hockey.

"We are keen on hockey," said my guide, and, as she spoke, a girl,
flushed and radiant, caught me across the most sensitive part of
the shin with a hockey-stick. No need to ask _her_ if she felt well.
I limped away, and, in another part of the field, saw a comely and
robust maiden practising drop-kicks, utterly regardless of the fact
that I was looking on. I received the football in the pit of my
stomach, and the name of CRICHTON BROWNE died on my lips.

My guide smiled as she saw that I had taken in the scene that was
being enacted under my very nose.

"Do you play cricket?" she asked, with something like pity in her
eyes. I did _not_ - but I was by this time in such condign fear of this
young Amazon that I was really afraid to admit my total ignorance of
the sport. She made me wicket-keep for her, _without_ pads, for an
entire hour, at the end of which I readily assented to an invitation
for further exploration.

We went through endless passages to an endless gymnasium, and every
now and then I came across an Indian club or a dumb-bell, wielded by
energetic female athletes. I should have liked to ask them whether
they felt well, but I realised - only just in time - that the question
would have been an impertinence.

"Are you getting satisfied?" said my unwearied guide, with another of
her smiles, "or, do you still think we are a puny misshapen race?"

"Quite satisfied!" I replied, faintly, as I endeavoured to unclose a
rapidly discolouring eye, "in fact, I begin to discredit that alarmist
cry - "

Before I could complete the sentence, I found myself executing an
involuntary parabola over some adjacent parallel bars. My young
friend's brows had contracted into a frown, although she waited
politely for me to pick myself up.

"I thought we agreed not to mention that name!" she said, coldly.

I felt that any attempt to explain my innocence would be received
with quiet scorn. "I - I should like to ask you just one thing
more," I said, desperately, as I lay on my back, "I am really
entirely converted - quite ashamed. I do hope you won't think
me - er - inquisitive - but I have been so often told - it has been so
constantly asserted - " I found myself bungling horribly in my desire
not to offend.

"Pray go on," she said, "we try to be simple and sincere, and we are
always ready to satisfy an intelligent inquirer."

"Well," I said, desperately, "people _do_ say that you all
wear - er - blue stockings. But I am sure," I added quickly, "that it is
not true" ...

It was too late. When the friend who had smuggled me into the building
came to my rescue, he asked me, rather noisily, "if I was feeling
well?" I replied that I was not, and that I did not think I ever
should again. And I never have.

* * * * *


[A West-end hosier advertises suits of Pyjamas in his window
as "the latest styles in slumber-wear."]

All hail, O hosier; deem me not absurd
That I should thank thee for so apt a word.
'Tis thus that Modesty our language trims:
Where men say "legs" she softly whispers "limbs."
And, while they fume and rage in angry pother,
Stills the big D - - and substitutes a "bother."
Speaks not of "trousers" - that were sin and shame;
"Continuations" is the gentler name.
Turns "shirts" to "shifts," and, blushing like the rose,
Converts the lowly stocking into "hose."
Thus thou, my hosier, profferest me a pair
Of these, the latest style of slumber-wear.

* * * * *

[Illustration: "AWEARY! AWEARY!"

_Miss Certainage_ (_who has been studying Schopenhauer, and has come
to the conclusion that there is nothing but sorrow in life, sadly_).


* * * * *


(_SEE "TIMES," MAY 11._)


Oh where, oh where is my little wee fund?
Oh where, oh where can it be?
With the pence cut short and the pounds cut long;
Oh where, oh where can it be?
I've travelled about with my little wee fund -
It used to pay for me;
But now it's gone I'm lorn and lone;
Oh where, oh where can it be?

I want to stump through Switzerland;
On the 24th proximo.
To Germany, Sweden, Norway, and
To Denmark I want to go;
I've held out my hat to every flat,
And begged over land and sea,
Humanity dunned, but I have no fund -
Oh where, oh where can it be?

If ever you see a stray bawbee
Whenever, wherever you roam,
Oh, tell him the woe that troubles me so,
And say that it keeps me at home.
I may mention that what you do, like a shot
Must be done to be useful to me;
At once send a cheque to save us from wreck,
Or the Army will go to the D!

* * * * *




14, 1892.

From Forty-Two to Ninety-Two!
A full half-century of story!
And now, our Century's end in view.
May's back once more in vernal glory,
And with it brings your Jubilee,
(_Punch_ came to his one year before you!)
"Many Returns," Ma'am, may you see,
And honoured be the hour that bore you!

Good faith! it scarcely seems so long
To us old boys, who can remember
The tale, the picture, and the song
We pored o'er by the wintry ember;
And how our young and eager eyes
Were kept from childhood's easy slumbers
By the awakening ecstasies
Of cheery coloured Christmas Numbers.

We loved great GILBERT, Glorious JOHN! -
Sir JOHN to-day, good knight, fine painter!
Our eyes dwelt lingeringly upon
His work, by which all else showed fainter.
His dashing pencil "go" could give
To simplest scene; a wondrous gift 'tis!
How his bold line could make things live
In those far Forties and old Fifties!

And humorous "PHIZ" and spectral READ,
Made us alternate smile and shiver.
Ah! ghosts, Ma'am, then were ghosts indeed,
Born of the brain and not the liver.
You shared our LEMON and our LEECH;
Our BROOKS for you ran bright and sunny.
May you live long, to limn and teach.
Be graphic, genial, sage, and funny!

We like you well, we owe you much,
True record, blent with critic strictures,
And culture of the artist touch
Through half a century of pictures.
We wish you many gay returns
Of this May day! You're brighter, plumper
Than then; and _Punch_, who envy spurns,
Drinks your Good Health, Ma'am, in a bumper!

* * * * *

"ORME! SWEET ORME!" - _Orme_ is still off solid food, and is kept
alive entirely by Porter. It is the opinion of the best informed
that "Porter with a head on" will pull him through. Smoking is not
permitted in the stable, but there is evidence of there being several
"strong backers" about.

* * * * *


* * * * *


Mr. John Hare, Lessee of the Garrick Theatre, in his evidence before
the Theatres and Music Halls Committee, described himself, according
to the _Times_ Report, as having "been for about thirty years an
actor, and for fifteen years a manager." This gives him forty-five
years of professional life, and saying, for example, that he commenced
his career as an actor at twenty, then his own computation brings him
up to sixty-five If this be so, then Mr. JOHN HARE, with his elastic
step, his twinkling eye, his clear enunciation, and his energetic
style, is the youngest sexagenarian to be met with on or off the
stage; and it is probable that when he reaches the Gladstonian age
he will be more sprightly than even the Grand One himself.

In answer to a question put by Viscount EBRINGTON, Mr. EDWARD TERRY
gave it as his opinion that "if officers" - he was speaking of the army
not the police - "were prouder of their uniforms, and did not take
the earliest opportunity of divesting themselves of them, the uniform
would be more respected." He ought to have put it, "would be uniformly
more respected." But how about the man inside the uniform? But why
should a soldier wear his uniform when off duty any more than a
policeman when off duty, or any more than a barrister should wear his
wig, bands, and gown, when not practising in the Courts? There is one
person who should always wear a distinctive uniform, and that is a
Clergyman, who is never off duty. Perhaps this is already provided for
by the Act of Uniformity.

Mr. JOHN HOLLINGSHEAD, after expressing his opinion that Mr. IRVING
had been "seeing visions," - which of course is quite an Irvingite
characteristic, - proposed to put everything right everywhere, and be
the Universal Legislator and Official Representative of Everybody.
Salary not so much an object as a comfortable home, a recognised
official position, and "No Fees." (The Commission still sitting
may perhaps dissolve itself, and appoint the last witness as Sole
Theatrical and Music Hall Commissioner, with no power to add to his

* * * * *



_House of Commons, Monday, May 9_. - House dealt with just now after
manner of Horticultural Exhibition at Earl's Court. Laid out as three
acres, through which JESSE COLLINGS might be expected to lead the cow.
But, as SQUIRE OF MALWOOD (a great authority on stock matters) says,
the esteemed quadruped is dead, abandoned by its protector at time of
disruption of Liberal Party. Exists now only in the form of carcass,
to be found rather in butchers' shops than on quiet pastures. Pity,
this. Difficult to imagine any better arrangement for what theatrical
people call "properties" than the cow - probably with a blue ribbon
round its neck - led through three acres of green meadow by JESSE
COLLINGS, in clean smock-frock, with a crook in his hand.

[Illustration: The Doctor-Baronet.]

Dr. CLARK says they don't drive cattle with crooks. But that's a
detail. CLARK sure to contradict in any case.

Things very quiet to-night; quite pastoral. Only one outburst; that
arose when FOSTER accused CHAMBERLAIN of saying the thing that is not.
CHAMBERLAIN hotly rose, and appealed to Chairman to say whether the
Doctor-Baronet was in order. COURTNEY said, since he was asked, he
must say he thought not. So FOSTER changed the prescription. CHAPLIN
much gratified at this speedy close of rupture that threatened
progress with Bill. Presided over discussion with urbanity that was

"Reminds me," said WILFRID LAWSON, looking across at Right Hon.
Gentleman seated on Treasury Bench, with deeply-bayed shirt-front,
and head closely bent over copy of Bill, "of a motherly hen gathering
its brood under its wings, and trying to make things comfortable all
round. Sometimes, when one of the brood grows a trifle importunate,
the motherly expression on the expansive face sharpens, and the
chicken is pecked at. But, on the whole, little to disturb the
serenity of the coop."

Never before thought of CHAPLIN as an old hen. But, really, with the
place permeated with agricultural and farm-yard associations, LAWSON's
idea not so far out of it as it might appear to the domestic circle at
Blankney Hall.

At half-past eleven those Scotchmen came up again. Upset the henroost,
devoured what was left of the cow, dug up the verdurous three acres,
and till two o'clock in the morning harried the Commissioners under
the Scotch University Act. _Business done_. - In Committee on the Small
Holdings Bill.

[Illustration: "Order! Order!"]

_Tuesday_. - Don't know what we shall do when WIGGIN leaves us, as
he threatens to do after Dissolution. Not much here just now, but
sometimes his face seen in House or Lobbies, piercing surrounding
gloom like what SWIFT MACNEILL distantly alludes to as "the orb of
day." Only WIGGIN could have thought of the little _divertissement_
that for a few moments raised depressed spirits of House this
afternoon. Resumed at morning Sitting (so called because it
takes place in the afternoon) discussion of Small Holdings Bill.
SEALE-HAYNE, - whose reputation as a humorist still lingers a tradition
in the playing fields at Eton, but whose subsequent political
career has subdued his vivacity, - moved Amendment. Something about
compensation for cow-sheds. COBB airily addressed the Committee; and
CHAPLIN whispered a few confidential remarks across Table.

Curious how this "eminent authority," as the MARKISS calls quite
another personage, has lost his voice since Bill got into Committee.
Seems so awestruck by enormity of his responsibility, not inclined to
raise his voice above whisper. Effort to catch purport of his remarks
completed depression under which Committee sinking. Went out to vote
as if they were conducting CHAPLIN to a too early funeral. Then it was
that an idea dawned on the mind of the wanton WIGGIN.

"_I_'ll show 'em sport, TOBY, dear boy," he said to me in passing.
"_I_'ll give their spirits a leg up!"

Forgotten about this in passing through Division Lobby; coming back
startled by angry roar. COURTNEY on his feet solemnly shouting "Order,
Order!" like minute-gun at sea. Nothing came of this; excitement
increased; COURTNEY crying "Order, Order!" in sterner voice. Looked
about for explanation, and lo! there was the waggish WIGGIN with his
hat cocked well on one side of his head, waddling down the floor of
the House past the Chair. You may do almost anything in the House of
Commons but walk about with your hat on, and here was WIGGIN, not only
doing it, but persisting in the offence, smiling back innocently on
the increasing circle of Members roaring at him, and COURTNEY, with
increasing stridency, shouting "Order!" behind his back. Having got
nearly to the Bar, the wily WIGGIN, affecting to wonder what all
the row was about, turned round and found himself pierced through
and through with the flaming eye of outraged Chairman. Pretty to
see how, all of a sudden, it seemed to flash upon him that _he_ was
the culprit, and that it was his hat at which Members, like so many
WILLIAM TELLS, were persistently tiring. The sunset face flushed
deeper still; with quick movement the wayward WIGGIN removed his
offending hat, and, bowing apologetically to the Chair, went forth
with quickened pace.

[Illustration: "No Forwooder!"]

Excellently done; took in the whole House, including Chairman. But
WIGGIN's benevolent intention secured, and, if only temporarily,
spirits of House jubilantly rose. _Business done_. - In Committee on
Small Holdings.

_Wednesday_. - Municipal Corporations Act, 1882 (Amendment) Bill first
Order of Day. Doesn't seem to promise anything exciting; Debate,
however, not gone far before discovery made that it hides a deep
design. Wouldn't think, looking at FORWOOD as he sits at remote end of
Treasury Bench, that he had anything to do with Hecuba, or Hecuba with
him. Only suspicious thing about him is, his extreme desire to keep
out of sight. When SPEAKER took Chair he was standing at Bar surveying
House, and wondering when it would be made. As soon as MATTINSON rose
to move Second Heading of Bill, FORWOOD. so to speak, went backward,
and planted himself well in shadow of SPEAKER's Chair.

Turns out in course of interesting Debate that, though the speech
on moving Second Reading is the voice of MATTINSON, the Bill is the
Bill of FORWOOD, whose interest in the political affairs of Liverpool
is said to be extensive and peculiar. NEVILLE puts it in another
way. "Whenever," he said, "any political manipulation is afoot in
Liverpool, be sure the Secretary to the Admiralty will not be far

[Illustration: "This Way to London!"]

At first, FORWOOD affected indifference to proceedings. "His Bill!
s'elp him, never seen it before. 'L'pool.' What's that?" But as Debate
went forward, and gentlemen opposite insisted on dragging him in, he
finally yielded, and taking off coat, "went for" other side. Rev. SAM
SMITH interposed with charming story about a gentleman whom Liverpool
Tories had appointed Chairman of Watch Committee, "he being solicitor
to the two largest publicans in Liverpool." That didn't at first sight
seem much to point, supposing even the united cubit measurement of
the worthy tradesmen exceeded twelve feet. But Reverend SAM went on
to explain what he meant was that, "between them, they owned about
120 public-houses." Curious movement in Strangers' Gallery as of
involuntary smacking of many lips, FORWOOD said this (which he
daintily alluded to as "an allegation") had been denied. SAM, couching
the retort in clerical language, said in effect, "You're another!"
whereupon Ministerialists roared, "Oh! oh!" and FORWOOD, now
thoroughly roused, proceeded to show that SAMUEL and his Liberal
allies were the real Gerrymanders, and that he, FORWOOD, was the
spotless advocate of the true interests of the Working-Man.

House began to look askance on S.S. Never suspected him of being a
man of that kind. Glad when painful discussion came to end. Bill
read Second Time; but jubilation of promoters suddenly chilled by
TIM HEALY, of whom no one was thinking at the moment, stepping in
and adroitly putting spoke in wheel of Bill, by moving to refer it
to Select Committee; which, being translated, means it will get no
Forwooder this Session.

_Business done._ - TIM HEALY puts FORWOOD's clock back.

_Friday._ - EDWARD WATKIN home from honeymooning trip. Pleased to find
his Bill giving the Manchester, Sheffield, and Lincolnshire Railway
direct access to London passed all its stages in the Commons.

"It's a new way to London, good TOBY," he said, when I congratulated
him on the double event. "Some gentlemen who faint in St. John's Wood
objected on what I believe are called ├Žsthetical grounds. But there
are several big towns between here and Sheffield wanted the short cut,
and I determined they should have it. Things looked bad last Session,
and perhaps some fellows would have given up. I have a little way of
never giving up, and it's astonishing how far it'll carry you. We're
not through the Lords yet, - though, as you say, we are through their
cricket-ground. But you'll see, before twelve months are over, I'll
bring a train straight from Sheffield into our own station in London,
and if you only live a little longer, you shall come with me on the
first trip from Charing Cross to Paris under the Channel Tunnel.
Everything, TOBY, _cher ami_, comes to the man who won't wait."

_Business done._ - Small Holdings Bill practically through Committee.

* * * * *



_April_ 2, 1894. - The County Council at yesterday's meeting discussed
the proposed new Tramway from Westminster Bridge to the Round Pond,

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Online LibraryVariousPunch, or the London Charivari, Volume 102, May 21, 1892 → online text (page 1 of 3)