Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 99, July 12, 1890 online

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VOL. 99

JULY 12, 1890




_An Unreasonable Old Lady_ (_arriving breathless, with her grandson
and niece_). This'll be the place the balloon goes up from, I wouldn't
miss it for anything! Put the child up on that bench, MARIA; we'll
stand about here till it begins.

_Maria_. But _I_ don't see no balloon nor nothing.

[Which, as the foliage blocks out all but the immediate
foreground, is scarcely surprising.

_The U.O.L._ No more don't I - but it stands to reason there wouldn't
be so many looking on if there wasn't _something_ to see. We're well
enough where we are, and _I_'m not going further to fare worse to
please nobody; so you may do as you _like_ about it.


[MARIA promptly avails herself of this permission.

_The U.O.L._ (_a little later_). Well, it's time they did _something_,
I'm sure. Why the people seem all moving off! and where's that girl
MARIA got to? Ah, here you are! So you found you were no better
off? - _Next_ time, p'raps, you'll believe what I tell you. Not that
there's any War Balloon as _I_ can see!

_Maria_. Oh, there was a capital view from where _I_ was - out in the
open there.

_The U.O.L._ Why couldn't you say so before? Out in the open! Let's go
there then - it's all the same to _me_!

_Maria_ (_with an undutiful giggle_). It's all the same now - wherever
you go, 'cause the balloon's gone up.

_The U.O.L._ Gone up! What are you telling me, MARIA?

_Maria_. I see it go - it shot up ever so fast and quite steady, and
the people in the car all waved their 'ats to us. I could see a arm a
waving almost till it got out of sight.

_The U.O.L._ And me and this innercent waiting here on the seat like
lambs, and never dreaming what was goin' on! Oh, MARIA, however you'll
reconcile it to your conscience, _I_ don't know!

_Maria_. Why, whatever are you pitching into _me_ for!

_The U.O.L._ It's not that it's any partickler pleasure to _me_,
seeing a balloon, though we _did_ get our tea done early to be in time
for it - it's the sly deceitfulness of your _conduck_, MARIA, which is
all the satisfaction I get for coming out with you, - it's the feeling
that - well, there, I won't _talk_ about it!

[In pursuance of which virtuous resolve, she talks about nothing
else for the remainder of the day, until the unfortunate MARIA
wishes fervently that balloons had never been invented.


An admiring group has collected before an enormous pin-cushion in
the form of a fat star, and about the size of a Church-hassock.

_First Soldier_ (_to his Companion_). Lot o' work in _that_, yer know!

_Second Soldier_. Yes. (_Thoughtfully_.) Not but what - (_becoming
critical_) - if I'd been doin' it _myself_, I should ha' chose pins
with smaller 'eds on 'em.

_First S._ (_regarding this as presumptuous_). You may depend on
it the man who made _that_ 'ad his reasons for choosing the pins he
did - but there's no pleasing some parties!

_Second S._ (_apologetically_). Well, I ain't denying the _Art_ in it,
am I?

_First Woman_. I _do_ call that 'andsome, SARAH. See, there's a star,
and two 'arps, and a crownd, and I don't know what all - and all done
in pins and beads! "Made by Bandsman BROWN," too!

[Reading placard.

_Second W._ Soldiers is that clever with their 'ands. Four pounds
seems a deal to ask for it, though.

_First W._ But look at the weeks it must ha' took him to do!
(_Reading._) "Containing between ten and eleven thousand pins and
beads, and a hundred and ninety-eight pieces of coloured cloth!" Why,
the pins alone must ha' cost a deal of money.

_Second W._ Yes, it 'ud be a pity for it to go to somebody as 'ud want
to take 'em out.

_First W._ It ought to be bought up by Gover'ment, that it
ought - they're well able to afford it.

A select party of Philistines, comprising a young Man, apparently
in the Army, and his Mother and Sister, are examining Mr.
GILBERT'S Jubilee Trophy in a spirit of puzzled antipathy.

_The Mother_. Dear me, and _that_'s the Jubilee centrepiece, is it?
What a heavy-looking thing. I wonder what _that_ cost?

_Her Son_ (_gloomily_). Cost? Why, about two days' pay for every man
in the Service!

_His Mother_. Well, I call it a shame for the Army to be fleeced for
_that_ thing. Are those creatures intended for mermaids, with their
tails curled round that glass ball, I wonder? [She sniffs.

_Her Daughter_. I expect it will be crystal, Mother.

_Her Mother_. Very likely, my dear, but - glass or crystal - _I_ see no
sense in it!

_Daughter_. Oh, it's absurd, of course - still, this figure isn't badly
done, is it supposed to represent St. GEORGE carrying the Dragon?
Because they've made the Dragon no bigger than a salmon!

_Mother_. Ah, well, I hope HER MAJESTY will be better pleased with it
than I am, that's all.

[After which they fall into ecstasies over an industrial
exhibit, consisting of a drain-pipe, cunningly encrusted with
fragments of regimental mess-china set in gilded cement.

Before a large mechanical clock, representing a fortress, which
is striking. Trumpets sound, detachments of wooden soldiers march
in and out of gateways, and parade the battlements, clicking, for
a considerable time.

_A Spectator_ (_with a keen sense of the fitness of things_).
What - all that for on'y 'alf-past five!


_Spectators_ (_passing in front of groups of models arranged in
realistic surroundings_). All the faces screwed up to suffering, you
see!... What a nice patient expression that officer on the stretcher
has! Yes, they've given _him_ a wax head - some of them are only
_papier mâché_.... Pity they couldn't get nearer their right size
in 'elmets, though, ain't it?... There's _one_ chap's given up the
ghost!... I know that stuffed elephant - he comes from the Indian
Jungle at the Colinderies!... I _do_ think it's a pity they couldn't
get something more _like_ a mule than this wooden thing! Why, it's
quite _flat_, and it's ears are only leather, nailed on!... You can't
tell, my dear; it may be a peculiar breed out there - cross between a
towel-horse and a donkey-engine, don't you know!


At the back, amidst tropical scenery, an endless procession of
remarkably undeceptive rabbits of painted tin are running rapidly
up and down an inclined plane. Birds jerk painfully through the air
above, and tin rats, boars, tigers, lions, and ducks, all of the
same size, glide swiftly along grooves in the middle distance. In
front, Commissionnaires are busy loading rifles for keen sportsmen,
who keep up a lively but somewhat ineffective fusillade.

_'Arriet_ (_to_ 'ARRY). They 'ave got it up beautiful, I must say. Do
you _get_ anything for 'itting them?

_'Arry_. On'y the honour.

_A Father_ (_to intelligent Small Boy, in rear of Nervous Sportsman_).
No, I ain't seen him 'it anything _yet_, my son; but you _watch_.
That's a rabbit he's aiming at now.... Ah, _missed_ him!

_Small Boy_. 'Ow d'yer _know_ what the gentleman's a-aiming at, eh,

_Father_. 'Ow? Why, you notice which way he points his gun.

[The N.S. fires again - without results.

_Small Boy_. I sor that time, Father. He was a-aiming at one o' them
ducks, an' he missed a rabbit! [The N.S. gives it up in disgust.

_Enter a small party of 'Arries in high spirits._

_First 'Arry_. 'Ullo! _I_'m on to this. 'Ere, Guv'nor, 'and us a gun.
_I_'ll show yer 'ow to shoot!

[He takes up his position, in happy unconsciousness that playful
companions have decorated his coat-collar behind with a long piece
of white paper.

_Second 'Arry._ Go in, JIM! You got yer markin'-paper ready, anyhow.

[Delighted guffaws from the other 'Arries, in which JIM joins

_Third 'Arry_. I'll lay you can't knock a rabbit down!

_Jim_. I'll lay I can!

[Fires. The procession of rabbits goes on undisturbed.

_Second 'Arry_ (_jocosely_). Never mind. You _peppered_ 'im. I sor
the feathers floy!

_Third 'Arry._ You'd ha' copped 'im if yer'd bin a bit quicker.

_Jim_ (_annoyed_). They keep on movin' so, they don't give a bloke
no chornce!

_Second 'Arry._ 'Ave a go at that old owl.

[Alluding to a tin representation of that fowl which remains
stationary among the painted rushes.

_Third 'Arry._ No - see if you can't git that stuffed bear. He's on'y
a yard or two away!

_An Impatient 'Arry_ (_at doorway_). 'Ere, come _on_! Ain't you shot
enough? Shake a leg, can't yer, JIM?

_Second 'Arry._ He's got to kill one o' them rabbits fust. Or pot a
tin lion, JIM? _You_ ain't afraid!

_Jim_. No; I'm goin' to git that owl. He's _quiet_ any way.

[Fires. The owl falls prostrate.

_Second 'Arry_. Got 'im! Owl's _orf_! JIM, old man, you must stand
drinks round after this!

[Exeunt 'Arries, to celebrate their victory in a befitting
fashion, as Scene closes in.

* * * * *




Some talk of WAGNER chorus, of war's wild rataplan,
Or of the well thumped tom-tom of happy Hindustan;
But sweetest of all shindy to which man's ear may list,
Is the tow-row, tow-row, tow-row of the loud Salvationist!

The swart-skinned Nubian's reed-pipe hath an ear-piercing note,
And you may hear mad music from 'ARRY in a boat;
But safest of all sounds to give the tympanum a twist,
Is the tow-row, tow-row, tow-row of the loud Salvationist!

Who prates of calm Nirvana, of quietism's joys?
What are they to "Row's" Gospel, the Paradise of Noise?
Quakerian calm is obsolete, but oh! who can resist
The tow-row, tow-row, tow-row of the loud Salvationist?

They muster in their thousands on market-place, or green,
With blatant brazen brayings, and thump of tambourine.
Are you at prayer, asleep or sick? What odds? You're forced to list
To the tow-row, tow-row, tow-row of the loud Salvationist!

They throng with thunderous tramplings the city thoroughfare,
In rural nooks their shoutings are on the summer air;
Though sea-side peace be pleasant, its spell may not resist
The tow-row, tow-row, tow-row of the loud Salvationist!

O Holy Noise! O latest and greatest of man's gods!
With common-sense at issue, with comfort at fierce odds;
Divine, of course, you _must_ be, - thrice lucky to enlist
The tow-row, tow-row, tow-row of the loud Salvationist!

The Corybantic clangor was cheerful, in its way,
But Hallelujah Lasses the cymbals can outbray.
O raucous throat, O leathern lung, O big belabouring fist!
O tow-row, tow-row, tow-row of the loud Salvationist!

* * * * *



* * * * *

"A Nuisance! Nay, my children!" ('Tis Grandam Justice speaks.)
"Town butterflies may think so, and so may country 'beaks,'
The Oracle in Ermine declares you shan't resist
The tow-row, tow-row, tow-row of the loud Salvationist!

"Traffic may he obstructed, and tympanums be rent,
The noise may torture sufferers with sickness well-nigh spent;
But these be merely trifles. Your anguish may assist
The tow-row, tow-row, tow-row of the loud Salvationist!

"Our self-appointed saviours must work their noble will.
These shouters have small faith in the voice that's small and still
Blown brass and beaten parchment take heaven by storm. Then list
To the tow-row, tow-row, tow-row of the loud Salvationist!

"The priests of Baal were noisy, but not so loud as BOOTH.
Charivari and clamour are vehicles of Truth.
At least that seems the notion on which these seers insist,
With the tow-row, tow-row, tow-row of the loud Salvationist!

"Without such little worries the world could not get on!
That sweet thought tempts Dame Justice the bonnet brown to don,
And smite the clanging sheepskin, and aid with voice and fist
The tow-row, tow-row, tow-row of the loud Salvationist!

"That sick child in her chamber may press an aching head,
The mother, bowed and broken, bend deafened o'er her bed.
Regrettable, but needful, since freedom must exist
For the tow-row, tow-row, tow-row of the loud Salvationist!"

So Justice, in zeal's bonnet, so Jurymen in haste!
What _are_ the claims of comfort, health, common-sense or taste,
Compared with those of brainless Noise, our new evangelist,
And the tow-row, tow-row, tow-row of the loud Salvationist!

* * * * *

DE LA PAST DE MLLE. SAINTE-NITOUCHE. - A demure Spinster says she is
quite against the Early Closing Movement, and hopes the shops will
keep open as late as possible. "'Early closing' means," she explains,
"'early shopping,' and I should blush to commence my rounds before the
windows are properly 'dressed.'"

* * * * *


The Season has now only some three weeks to run. Already careful
dowagers are having themselves packed in chintz or old newspapers, and
fathers of feminine families are beginning to emerge from the lurking
places in which they had sought refuge with their cheque-books. The
number of detrimentals has been calculated to amount to three times
the number of first editions of the _Star_ newspaper, plus a mean
fraction of a child's Banbury cake, multiplied by the nod of a Duchess
to a leader of Society in Peckham Rye.

* * * * *

From the Canton of Koblinsky a report reaches us that the Deputy Grand
Master of the Koblinsky Einspänner has met with a somewhat alarming
accident. As he was going his rounds last week, accompanied by his
faithful Pudelhund, he observed a _mark_ lying on the pavement. On
stooping to pick it up, he was unfortunately mistaken for a Bath bun
by his canine companion, and before help could be secured he had been
partly devoured. However, all that was left of him has been packed in
ice, and forwarded, with the compliments of the Municipality, to the

* * * * *

The Great-Western Railway Company intend, it is said, to make
unparalleled efforts to secure the comfort of those who may visit
Henley Regatta during the present week. All the ordinary trains
have been taken off, and special trains, timed to take at least
half-an-hour longer, have been substituted for them. As a special
concession, holders of first-class return tickets will be allowed
to travel part of the distance by omnibus. At Twyford Junction the
amusing game of follow-my-leader will be played by four locomotives
and a guard's van. The winning locomotive will then steam on to
Henley, and upon its return passengers will proceed as usual.

* * * * *

Yesterday being the opening day of the Regatta, was observed as a
holiday by the natives of Henley. The ancient ceremonial of "Prices
up and money down," was, as usual, observed with proper solemnity
by all the burgesses of the little Oxfordshire town. There was some
boat-racing during the day; but it is beginning to be felt that a
stop should be put to this barbarous survival of the dark ages.

* * * * *




In order to become a successful Journalist of a certain sort, it is
only necessary that a man should in early life provide himself with
a front as brazen as the trumpet which he blows to announce to the
world his merits and his triumphs. It is, of course, essential that
he should rid himself of any trace of sensitiveness that may remain to
him after a youth about which the only thing certain is its complete
obscurity, in order that no hint may be sufficiently broad to fit
in with the tolerant breadth of his impudence, and no affront
sufficiently pointed to pierce the skin with which Nature and his
own industry have furnished him. Literary culture must be eschewed,
for with literary culture come taste and discrimination - qualities
which might fatally obstruct the path of this journalistic aspirant.
For it must be assumed that in some of its later developments
journalism has entirely cast off the reticence and the modesty which
successive generations of censors have constantly held to have been
characteristic of an age that is past. Indeed, while it is established
that in 1850 the critics of the day fixed their thoughts with pleasure
on the early years of the century, though they found nothing but abuse
for the journalism of their own time, it is curious to note that many
of those who hurl the shafts of ridicule and contempt at the present
period have only words of praise for 1850. Without, however, going so
far as these stern descendants of CATO, it may be affirmed that the
porpoise-hided Jack of all Journalisms, as we know him, never had
a greater power, nor exercised it over a larger scope with smaller
scruple than to-day.

It has been already said that the youth of the Jack of all Journalisms
is lost in obscurity. It is obvious that he cannot have acquired his
readiness of pen without much practice, but where the practice was
obtained is a puzzle to which each of his enemies has a different key.
Some say of him that he spent a year or two at a University, where
he was noted for the unfailing regularity with which he sought the
society of the wealthy, imbibed strong drinks, and omitted to pay
his debts. It is also alleged that he started a colourable University
imitation of the journal which happened at that particular time to be
the most highly coloured in London, and that, after struggling through
two numbers of convulsive scurrility, the infant effort withered under
the frown of the Authorities, who at the same time sent its founder
down. Others, however, declare him to have been the offspring of a
decayed purveyor of spurious racing intelligence, who naturally sent
his son to shift for himself after he had lost his last shirt in
betting against one of his own prophecies. Others again aver, and
probably with equal accuracy, that he was at no time other than
what he is when the world first becomes aware of his existence - the
blatant, cringing, insolent, able and disreputable wielder of a pen
which draws much of its sting and its profit from the vanities and
fears of his fellow-creatures. Be that as it may, he somehow becomes
a power. He attaches himself to many journals, the editors of which he
first pesters, afterwards serves, and always despises. He may perhaps
have dabbled in music, and caused a penniless friend who is musical to
write for small pay songs which he honours by attaching his own name
to them as their composer. Woe betide the unhappy aspirant to the
honours of public singing who ignores the demand of this quasi-musical
Turpin that she should sing his songs. For, having become in the
meantime a musical critic, he will devote all his talents to the
congenial task of abusing her voice in his organ - which is naturally
the more powerful instrument of the two. Should she, however, submit
to his extortionate requests, he will deem himself entitled to
embitter the rest of her existence with his patronising commendation.

However, before reaching this pitch, he will have made his mark as an
interviewer and a picturesque social reporter. In the former capacity
he will have hunted momentary celebrities into the sanctity of their
rooms, whence, after exchanging two words with them, he will have
emerged with two columns of conversation. In the latter capacity, he
will create for himself and the readers of his paper a social circle,
the members of which, bear the same relation to Society proper as a
lurcher does to a pure-bred greyhound. For there are many so-called
social sets which are select merely because few desire to enter and
many to leave them, and to these the Jack of all Journalisms is often
a prophet and a leader pointing the way to the promised land. Thus
we learn, with surprise, at first, and afterwards with the yawn that
comes of the constant repetition of an ascertained fact, that the
receptions of Lady TIFFIN are a model of all that is elegant and
_recherché_, whilst the dresses and jewels of Mrs. JIFFS are always
a subject of enthusiastic admiration to those amongst whom she moves;
and it is only in moments of peculiar moroseness that we remember that
neither of these two ladies is qualified by position or refinement for
anything more than a passing smile. Yet to many, the mere fact that
they are mentioned in paragraphs, is proof positive of their descent
from the VERE DE VERES.

Moreover, the Jack of Journalisms will, at one time or another, have
risen from the position of one who chronicles second-rate shows in
remote corners of his paper, to be the recognised dramatic critic of
a powerful organ. He thus acquires an extraordinary influence which
he consolidates amongst outsiders by occasional lapses into a fury
of critical honesty and abuse. It may be said of him, indeed, that,
"Hell hath no fury like a critic scorned," for if he should, on any
occasion, have taken umbrage at the treatment accorded to him by an
actor or a manager, he will never allow the offence to fade, so long
as he can fashion insinuations, misconstrue motives, or manufacture
failure with his pen.


In appearance the Jack of all Journalisms is not altogether pleasing.
His early struggles against irresponsive editors have left their
mark upon him, for having been compelled to seek consolation for
disappointment by indulging in strong drinks, he never completely
loses the habit which tells, of course, both upon his dress and
temper. Though success, by bringing the pleasures of the table within
his reach, has increased the rotundity of his figure, it has never
been able to make his collars snowy or his conversation refined. He is
often found upon the Committees of new Clubs which start with a blare
of journalistic trumpets upon a chequered existence, only to perish
in contempt a few years afterwards. But while they last he attends
them in the hope of picking up a friend who may be valuable, or some
gossip which he may turn to account. As a rule, he affects the society
of those who are intellectually dull in order that he may pass with
them for a man of immense culture and unfathomable sagacity. Over
the third long drink provided for him by an admiring associate of
this sort, he will grow eloquent, and his conversation will sparkle
with reminiscences of leading articles he may once have written, and
anticipations of others that he proposes to write. Those who hear him
on such occasions will opine that he is a man of genius, who is only
prevented by the carelessness of a Gallio from becoming a statesman of
the first rank.

A little later he will rise still higher, and will become the almost
recognised medium through which really fashionable intelligence
is converted into common knowledge. In this position he will allow
nothing to escape him, and if one of the highest persons in the land
should invite six friends to dinner, their names will on the following
morning be known to the Jack of all Journalisms. It is unnecessary to
say that in the course of this career he acquires, not only notoriety,
but enemies, who watch eagerly for the false step that shall bring
him to the ground. In spite of his craft, he is inevitably driven
from boldness into rashness, and after waging a fruitless war against
rascals more accomplished than himself, he, with a courage that
scarcely atones for his imprudence, enters the witness-box, and,
a flood of light having been thrown upon his past career, he finds
himself for two nights blazoned in enormous letters on the posters

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Online LibraryVariousPunch, or the London Charivari, Volume 99, July 12, 1890 → online text (page 1 of 3)