Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 99, November 1, 1890 online

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VOL. 99.

November 1, 1890.




Those who live much in the society of the very middle-aged, hear from
them loud and frequent complaints of the decay of courtesy and the
general deterioration, both of manners and of habits, observable in
the young men of the day. With many portentous shakings of the head,
these grizzling censors inform those who care to listen to their
wailings, that in the time of their own youth it was understood to
be the duty of young men to be modest, considerate, generous in their
treatment of one another, and chivalrous in their behaviour to women.
And every one of them will probably suggest to his hearers that he was
intimately acquainted with at least one young man who fulfilled that
duty with a completeness and a perfection never since attained. Now,
however, they will declare, the case is different. Young men have
become selfish and arrogant. Their respect for age has vanished,
their behaviour to ladies is familiar and flippant, their style of
conversation is slangy and disreputable, they are wanting in all
proper reverence, they are pampered, luxurious, affected, foolish, and
disingenuous; unworthy, in short, to be mentioned in the same breath
with those who have preceded them, and have left to their degenerate
successors a brilliant but unavailing example of youthful conduct.
These diatribes may or may not be founded to some extent in truth.
At the best, however, their truth is only a half-truth. So long as
the world endures, it is probable that young men will have a large
allowance of follies, of affectations, of extravagances, and the young
men of to-day are certainly not without them. But, in the main, though
the task of comparison is difficult, they do not appear to be at all
inferior in manliness, in modesty of bearing, and in reverence to the
generations that have gone before. Here and there in London the antics
of some youth plunged into a torrent of folly before he had had time
even to think of being wise, excite the comments of the world. But
London is not the school to which one would look for youth at its
best. To find that in any considerable quantity one must travel either
to Cambridge or to Oxford, and inspect the average undergraduates, who
form the vast majority at both these Universities.

Now the Average Undergraduate, as he exists, and has for ages existed,
is not, perhaps, a very wise young man. Nor does he possess those
brilliant qualities which bring the Precocious Undergraduate to
premature ruin. He has his follies, but they are not very foolish; he
has his affectations, but they are innocent; he has his extravagances,
but they pass away, and leave him not very much the worse for the
experience. On the whole, however, he is a fine specimen of the young
Englishman - brave, manly, loyal, and upright. He is the salt of his
University, and an honour to the country that produces him.

The Average Undergraduate will have been an average schoolboy, not
afflicted with too great a love of classics or mathematics, and
gifted, unfortunately, with a fine contempt for modern languages. But
he will have taken an honourable part in all school-games, and will
have acquired through them not only vigorous health and strength,
but that tolerant and generous spirit of forbearance without which no
manly game can be carried on. These qualities he will carry with him
to the University which his father chooses for him, and to which he
himself looks forward rather as a home of liberty slightly tempered by
Proctors, than as a temple of learning, moderated by examiners.

During the October term which makes him a freshman, the Average
Undergraduate devotes a considerable time to mastering the etiquette
of his University and College. He learns that it is not customary to
shake hands with his friends more than twice in each term, once at
the beginning, and again at the end of the term. If he is a Cambridge
man, he will cut the tassel of his academical cap short; at Oxford
he will leave it long; but at both he will discover that sugar-tongs
are never used, and that the race of Dons exists merely to plague him
and his fellows with lectures, to which he pays small attention, with
enforced chapels, which he sometimes dares to cut, and, with general
disciplinary regulations, to which he considers it advisable to
submit, though he is never inclined to admit their necessity. He
becomes a member of his college boat-club, and learns that one of
the objects of a regular attendance at College Chapel is, to enable
the freshman to practise keeping his back straight. Similarly, Latin
Dictionaries and Greek Lexicons are, necessarily, bulky, since,
otherwise, they would be useless as seats on which the budding oarsman
may improve the length of his swing in the privacy of his own rooms.
These rooms are all furnished on the same pattern. A table, a pedestal
desk for writing, half-a-dozen ordinary chairs, a basket arm-chair,
perhaps a sofa, some photographs of school-groups, family photographs
in frames, a cup or two, won at the school athletic sports, a football
cap, and a few prints of popular pictures, complete the furniture and
decorations of the average College rooms. Of course there are, even
amongst undergraduates, wealthy æsthetes, who furnish their rooms
extravagantly - but the Average Undergraduate is not one of them.

On the fifth of November the freshman sallies forth only to find,
with a sense of bitter disappointment, that the rows between Town and
Gown are things of the past. He will have discovered ere this that
undergraduate etiquette has ordained that while he wears a cap and
gown he must forswear gloves, and leave his umbrella at home, even
though the rain should pour down in torrents. All these ordinances he
observes strictly, though he can neither be "hauled" nor "gated" for
setting them at defiance. Towards the end of his first term he begins
to realise more accurately the joys and privileges of University life,
he has formed his set, and more or less found his level, he has become
a connoisseur of cheap wine, he has with pain and labour learned to
smoke, he has certainly exceeded his allowance, and he returns to his
home with the firm conviction that he knows a great deal of life. He
will terrify his mother with tales of proctorial misadventures, and
will excite the suspicions of his father by the new brilliance of his
attire. Indeed it is a curious fact that whatever the special pursuit
of the Average Undergraduate may be, and whatever may be the calling
and profession of his father, the two are generally engaged in a
financial war. This always ends in the triumph of the older man, who
never scruples to use the power which the possession of the purse
gives him in order to discomfit his son. From a University point of
view, the average father has as little variety as the average son.

It must be noted that away from the University or his family circle,
and in the society of ladies, the Average Undergraduate is shy.
The wit that flashed so brilliantly in the College Debating Club
is extinguished, the stream of humour that flowed amidst shouts
of laughter in the Essay Society is frozen at its source, the
conversation that delighted the frequenters of his rooms is turned
into an irresponsive mumble. But as soon as he returns to the academic
groves, and knows that petticoats are absent, and that his own
beloved "blazer" is on his back, Richard is himself again. He has his
undergraduate heroes whom he worships blindly, hoping himself to be
some day a hero and worthy of worship. Moreover, there are in every
College traditions which cause the undergraduate who is a member of it
to believe that the men of that particular society are finer fellows
than the men of any other. These traditions the Average Undergraduate
holds as though they were articles of his religion.

The Average Undergraduate generally takes a respectable position
as a College oarsman or cricketer, though he may fail to attain to
the University Eight or to the Eleven. He passes his examinations
with effort, but still he passes them. He recks not of Honours. The
"poll" or the pass contents him. Sometimes he makes too much noise,
occasionally he dines too well. In London, too, his conduct during
vacations is perhaps a little exuberant, and he is often inclined to
treat the promenades at the Leicester Square Variety Palaces as though
he had purchased them. But, on the whole, he does but little harm
to himself and others. He is truthful and ingenuous, and although he
knows himself to be a man, he never tries to be a very old or a very
wicked one. In a word, he is wholesome. In the end he takes his degree
creditably enough. His years at the University have been years of pure
delight to him, and he will always look back to them as the happiest
of his life. He has not become very learned, but he will always be a
useful member of the community, and whether as barrister, clergyman,
country gentleman, or business man, he will show an example of manly
uprightness which his countrymen could ill afford to lose.

* * * * *

FINIS. - The last nights on earth at the Haymarket are announced of
_A Village Priest_. May he rest in piece. The play that immediately
follows is, _Called Back_; naturally enough a revival, as the title
implies. But one thing is absolutely certain, and that is, that
_A Village Priest_ will never be _Called Back_. Perhaps _L'Abbé
Constantin_ may now have a chance. Eminently good, but not absolutely
saintly. Is there any chance of the _Abbé_ being "translated?"

* * * * *

[Illustration: THE SMELLS.



Look on London with its Smells -
Sickening Smells!
What long nasal misery their nastiness foretells!
How they trickle, trickle, trickle,
On the air by day and night!
While our thoraxes they tickle.
Like the fumes from brass in pickle,
Or from naphtha all alight;
Making stench, stench, stench,
In a worse than witch-broth drench,
Of the muck-malodoration that so nauseously wells
From the Smells, Smells, Smells, Smells,
Smells, Smells, Smells -
From the fuming and the spuming of the Smells.


Sniff the fetid sewer Smells -
Loathsome Smells!
What a lot of typhoid their intensity foretells!
Through the pleasant air of night,
How they spread, a noxious blight!
Full of bad bacterian motes,
Quickening soon.
What a lethal vapour floats
To the foul Smell-fiend who glistens as he gloats
On the boon.
Oh, from subterranean cells
What a gush of sewer-gas voluminously wells!
How it swells!
How it dwells
In our houses! How it tells
Of the folly that impels
To the breeding and the speeding
Of the Smells, Smells, Smells,
Of the Smells, Smells, Smells, Smells,
Smells, Smells, Smells -
To the festering and the pestering of the Smells!


See the Spectre of the Smells -
London Smells!
What a world of retrospect his tyranny compels!
In the silence of the night
How we muse on the old plight
Of Kensington, - a Dismal Swamp, and lone!
Still the old Swamp-Demon floats
O'er the City, as our throats
Have long known.
And the people - ah, the people -
Though as high as a church steeple
They have gone
For fresh air, that Demon's tolling
In a muffled monotone
Their doom, and rolling, rolling
O'er the City overgrown.
He is neither man nor woman,
He is neither brute nor human,
He's a Ghoul;
Spectre King of Smells, he tolls,
And he rolls, rolls, rolls.
With his cohort of Bad Smells!
And his cruel bosom swells
With the triumph of the Smells.
Whose long tale the scribbler tells
To the _Times, Times, Times_,
Telling of "local" crimes
In the gendering of the Smells,
Of the Smells:
To the _Times, Times, Times_,
Telling of Railway crimes,
In the fostering of Smells, -
Of the Smells, Smells, Smells,
Brick-field Smells, bone-boiling Smells,
Whilst the Demon of old times
With us dwells, dwells, dwells.
The old Swamp Fiend of moist climes!
See him rolling with his Smells -
Awful Smells. Smells. Smells -
See him prowling with his Smells,
Horrid Smells, Smells, Smells -
London Smells, Smells, Smells, Smells,
Smells, Smells, Smells, -
_Will_ the County Council free us from these Smells?

* * * * *


* * * * *

[Illustration: "ENFANT TERRIBLE."




* * * * *


The following paragraph appears in the columns of the _Scottish
Leader_: -

"Those who were out of doors in Edinburgh at three o'clock
on Saturday morning were startled by the appearance of a
brilliant meteorite in the northern hemisphere. Its advent
was announced by a flash of light which illuminated the whole
city. A long fiery streak marked its course, and remained
visible for more than a minute. At first this streak was
perfectly straight, but, after it had begun to fade, it broke
into a zig-zag."

The phenomenon so graphically described, though remarkable, is not,
we believe, in the circumstances, entirely novel. Perhaps it is
noteworthy as coming a little early in the year. We understand that
on New Year's Day, "those who are out of doors in Edinburgh at three
o'clock in the morning," are not unfrequently startled in somewhat
similar manner.

* * * * *

THE TOOTHERIES. - "TOOTH's Gallery" always strikes as a somewhat
misleading appellation. It always appears to have more to do with
palates than pictures, and to be more concerned with gums than gold
frames. No doubt the head of the firm of Messrs. ARTHUR TOOTH AND SONS
is a wise TOOTH, so let him christen his gallery the "Arthurnæum." He
is a TOOTH that you can_not_ stop, he is always coming out, and this
autumn he comes out stronger than ever with a most interesting and
varied collection. Excellent examples you may find of J.B. BURGESS,
LEADER, C. CALTHROP, MARCUS STONE, and other notables.

* * * * *



Golf! Golf! Golf!
By the side of the sounding sea;
And I would that my ears had never
Heard aught of the "links" and the "tee."

Oh, well for the man of my heart,
That he bets on the "holes" and the play
Oh, well for the "caddie" that carries
The "clubs," and earns his pay.

He puts his red coat on,
And he roams on the sandy hill;
But oh for the touch of that golfer's hand,
That the "niblick" wields with a will.

Golf! Golf! Golf!
Where the "bunkers" vex by the sea;
But the days of Tennis and Croquet
Will never come back to me!

* * * * *

OYSTERITIES AT COLCHESTER. - Last Wednesday the Annual Oyster Feast
was held at Colchester. Toasts in plenty: music of course. But why
was there absent from the harmonious list so appropriate a glee as Sir
Henry Bishop's: -

"Uprouse ye then,
My merry merry men,
It is our opening day!"

Why wasn't Deputy-Sheriff BEARD asked? Is he already shelved?

* * * * *


["A firm in Sydney have completed arrangements whereby frozen
sheep or lambs can be delivered at any address in the United

Mary had a little lamb,
Which she desired to send
Across the mighty ocean as
A present to a friend.

That friend was partial to lamb chops,
Likewise to devilled kidney;
So friendly MARY promptly went
Unto "a firm in Sydney."

That firm replied, "the lamb we'll send
By parcel to your cousin;
That is, if you do not object
To have your darling frozen."

Then Mary wept. She said, "My lamb
Has wool as white as snow;
But packed in ice? It don't sound nice,
No, Sydney Merchant, No!

"Refrigerate my darling! Oh!
It makes my bosom bleed.
Still, go it must. I think you said,
'Delivery guaranteed!'"

So Mary's lamb the ocean crossed
By "Frozen Parcel Post;"
And Mary's Cousin said its chops
Were most delicious - _most_!


Science, though it pays "cent. per cent.,"
Is destitute of pity;
And makes hash of the sentiment
Dear to the Nursery ditty.

* * * * *


I was a takin of my favrit walk, larst Friday was a week, from Charing
Cross round to my own privet residence in Queen street, when a yung
lad tapped me on the sholder and said to me, "Please, Sir, are you the
sillybrated Mr. ROBERT, the Citty Waiter?" In course I replied, "Yes,
most suttenly;" when he said, "Then this yere letter's for you, and
I wants a emediat arnser." Concealing my wisibel estonishment, I took
him hup Healy Place, where the werry famous Lawyer lives, as can git
you out of any amownt of trubbel, and then opened the letter, and read
the following most estonishing words, wiz.: - "Mr. ROBERT, - can you
come _immediately_ to the - - Club, as you alone can decide a very
heavy wager that is now pending between two Noble Lords who are here
awaiting your arrival. You will be well paid for your trouble. The
Bearer will show you the way. - J.N." I coud learn nothink from my
jewwenile guide, so I told him to lead the way, and off we started,
and soon arived at the Club.

I need ardly say that, being all quite fust-rate swells, they receaved
me in the most kindest manner, and ewen smiled upon me most freely,
which in course I felt as a great complement.

One on 'em then adrest me sumwot as follers, "I'm sure, Mr. ROBERT,
we are all werry much obliged to you for coming so reddily at my
request." At which they all cried, "Here! here!" "You of coarse
understand what we wish you to do." To which I at once replide, "Quite
so, my noble swells." At which they all larfed quite lowd, tho' I'm
sure I don't kno why. He then said that it was thort better not to
menshun the names of any of the Gents present, and he then presented
me with a little packet, which he requested I woud not open till I got
home, and then proseeded to xplain the Wager, somthink like this. Two
of the noble Lords present, it apeared, had disagreed upon a certain
matter, and, wanting a Humpire of caracter and xperience to decide
between them, had both agreed to a surgestion that had bin made, that
of all the many men in London none coudn't be considered more fitter
for the post than Mr. ROBERT, the sillybrated Citty Waiter!

I rayther thinks as I blusht wisibly, and I knos as I bust out into
a perfuse prusperashun, but I didn't say a word, but pulled myself
together as I can ginerally do when I feels as it's necessary to
manetane my good charackter. He then said, "The question for you to
deside is this: At a great and most himportant Dinner that is about
to be held soon, at which most of the werry grandest swells left in
Lundon will be present, we intends to hinterduce 'The Loving Cup;'
not," he added, smiling, "so much to estonish the natives, as to
stagger the strangers. The question, therefore, that you, as the
leading Citty Waiter of the day, have to settle, is, How many of the
Gests stand up while one on 'em drinks?" Delighted to find how heasy
was my tarsk, I ansers, without a moment's hezzitation, "Three!" One
on 'em turned garstly pale, and shouted out, "What for?" To which I
replied, "One to take off and hold up the cover, the second to bow,
and drink out of the Cup, and the third to protect the Drinker while
he drinks, lest any ennemy should stab him in the back."

The garstly pale Gent wanted to arsk more questions, but the rest
shouted, "Horder! Horder!" and the fust Gent coming up to me again,
thanked me for what he called my kindness in cumming, so I made 'em my
very best bow, which I copied from a certain Poplar Prince, and took
my departure.

Being, I hopes, a man of strict werassity, I never wunce took ewen
so much as a peep at the little packet as the Gent gave me, but I
couldn't help feeling ewery now and then to see if it was quite safe,
which of course it was, and ewen when I reached my umbel abode, I
still restrained my natral curiossity, and sat down, and told my
wundrus tail to the wife of my buzzom, and then placed the little
packet in her estonished ands, which she hopened with a slite flutter,
and then perdoosed from it _Five Golden Souverings!_ If any other
noble swells wants another Humpire on the same libberal terms, let 'em
send to ROBERT.

* * * * *


[It is stated that Madame PATTI presented Mr. GLADSTONE with a box of
voice lozenges.]

PATTI, take, PATTI, take, Grand Old Man!
Give him voice lozenges soon as you can.
Pack them, address them, as neat as can be,
And courteously hand them to W.G.!

Mellifluous Nightingale, melody's source
Our Golden (mouthed) Eagle hath grown a bit hoarse;
But though Aquila's husky with age and long fights,
His sweet Philomela will set him to-rights.

A cough-drop, a lozenge, a jube-jube, from _you_,
His larynx will strengthen and lubricate too.
His old "_Camp Town Races_" he'll pipe again yet;
Nay - who knows? - with you may arrange a duet!

The eagle is scarcely a song-bird, but still,
He may have a good ear for the nightingale's trill!
Fair Philomel comes to old Aquila's aid!!!
Faith! the picture is pretty, so here 'tis portrayed?

* * * * *

[Illustration: CLEOPATRA IN PARIS. The true History. Queen Cleopatra
dying from the effects of several Bites of Asp-aragus. Or is it truer
that Queen Cleopatra died from eating too much of something "_En
Aspic_"? Ask Sardou, Sara, & Co.]

* * * * *

AT THE ALHAMBRA. - _Claude Duval_, a new monologue, music by EDWARD
SOLOMON. Mr. FRANK CELLI has to "stand and deliver" the lines of
Messrs. BOWYER and MORTON. As the description "monologue" is not
suggestive of music, why didn't the authors invent a special name for
the entertainment, and call it the "Solomonologue"? Most expressive.

* * * * *


_The Dead Man's Gift_, by HERBERT COMPTON; the title of which might
lead one to imagine something very weird and uncanny. Nothing of the
sort. Mr. COMPTON doesn't wish to "make your flesh creep" like the Fat
Boy in _Pickwick_. It is only the story of a tea-planter's romance,
though the finding of the gift is most exciting. Interesting and well

_The Cabinet Portrait Gallery_, published by CASSELL & Co., with
portraits of most of our Celebrities, by Messrs. DOWNEY, is excellent.

[Illustration: "Blackie and Son."]

Christmas Books now make their appearance, and the first and principal
offenders in disturbing the Calendar are Messrs. BLACKIE & SON.
"Among the names," says the Baron's juvenile assistant Co. Junior,
"we recognise one of our boys' most favourite authors, G.A. HENTY, who
this year gives them another exciting historical tale, _By England's
Aid_, which deals with the closing events of the War of Independence
in Holland. Also _Maori and Settler_, a story of the New Zealand
War, when young England was quite a settler for the Maori. Both
recommended. _Hal Hungerford_, by J.R. HUTCHINSON, is a good book for
boys, and _A Rash Promise, or, Meg's Secret_ by CECILIA SELBY LOWNDES,
is an equally good one for girls, and finally _The Girls' Own Paper
Annual_, and _The Boys' Own Paper Annual_, are two very handsome
capitally illustrated gift-books." Now the Baron's cheerful assistants
have done their work, he himself, has something to say.

"No, my dear and venerable Mr. T. SIDNEY COOPER, R.A.," says the
Baron to that eminent octogenarian Academician, whose "reminiscences"

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