Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 99, September 20, 1890 online

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VOL. 99.

September 20, 1890.




I had been told that Ostend was an excellent place. "Quite a Town of
Palaces!" was the enthusiastic description that had reached me. So I
determined to leave "Delicious Dover" (as the holiday Leader-writer
in the daily papers would call it), and take boat for the Belgian
coast. The sea was as calm as a lake, and the sun lazily touched up
the noses of those who slumbered on the beach. There is an excellent
service of steamers between England and Belgium. This service has
but one drawback - a slight one: the vessels have a way with them
of perpetrating practical jokes. Only a week or so ago one lively
mail-carrier started prematurely, smashing a gangway, and dropping a
portmanteau quietly into the ocean. On my return from foreign shores,
I passed the same cheerful ship lying in mid-channel as helpless as an
infant. However, the accident (something, I fancy, had gone wrong with
the engines) appeared to be treated as more amusing than important.
Still, perhaps, it would be better were the name of this luckless boat
changed to _Le Farceur_; then travellers would know what to expect.
But I must confess that my experiences were perfectly pleasant. The
steamer in which I journeyed crossed the Channel in the advertised
time, and if I wished to be hypercritical, I would merely hint that
the official tariff of the refreshments sold on board is tantalising.
When I wanted cutlets, I was told they were "off," and when I asked
for "cold rosbif," that was "off" too. The _garçon_ (who looked more
like a midshipman than a cabin-boy) took ten minutes to discover this
fact. And as I had to rely upon him for information, I had to wait
even longer before the desired (or rather undesired) intelligence was
conveyed to me. I pride myself upon caring nothing about food, but
this failure to obtain my heart's (or thereabouts') yearning caused me
sore annoyance.

Well, I reached Ostend. The town of palaces contained a Kursaal and a
Casino. There were also a number of large hotels of the King's Road,
Brighton, _plus_ Northumberland Avenue type. Further, there were
several _maisons meublées_ let out in flats, and (to judge from the
prices demanded and obtained for them) _to_ flats. The _suite_ of
apartments on the ground floor consisted of a small bed-room, a tiny
drawing-room, and a balcony. The balcony was used, as a _salle à
manger_ in fine weather, and a place for the utterance of strong
expressions (so I was informed) when the rain interfered with _al
fresco_ comfort. There was a steam tramway, and some bathing-machines
of the springless throw-you-down-when-you-least-expect-it sort. The
streets, omitting the walk in front of the sea, were narrow, and the
shops about as interesting as those at the poorer end of the Tottenham
Court Road. But these were merely details, the pride of Ostend being
the Kursaal, which reminded me of an engine-house near a London
terminus. I purchased a ticket for the Kursaal and the Casino. There
was to be a concert at the first and a ball at the last. I soon had
enough of the concert, and started for the ball.

It was then that I found a regulation in force that made my cheeks
tingle with indignation as an Englishman. Although the tickets
costing three francs a piece, were said to secure admittance to the
Kursaal and the Casino, I noticed that children - good and amiable
children - were not allowed to enter the latter place. I could
understand the feelings of a gentleman who attempted to obtain access
for his eldest lad - a gallant boy of some fourteen summers, and a
baker's dozen of winters. My heart went out to that British Father
as he disputed with the Commissaires at the doorway, and called the
attention of the Representative of "the Control" to the fact that
his _billet_ was misleading. "You are an Englishman," said the
Representative of the Control, "and the English observe the law."
"Yes," returned the angry Father; "but in England the Law would
support one in obtaining that for which one had paid. My son has
paid for admission to the Kursaal and the Casino! He is refused
admittance to the Casino, therefore this ticket of his spreads false
intelligence! It is a liar! It is a miserable! It should be called the
traitor ticket!" But all was useless. The gallant lad had to remain
with the umbrellas! I could not help sympathising with that father.
I could not refrain from agreeing with him, that where such a thing
was possible, something must be entirely wrong. I could not deny that
under the circumstances Ostend was a sham, a delusion, and a snare!
When he observed that Ostend was grotesquely expensive, I admitted
that he was right. When he said that it was not a patch upon Boulogne
or Dieppe, I again acquiesced. When he asserted that every English
tourist would be wise to avoid the place, I acknowledged that there
was the genuine ring of truth in his declaration. When he appealed to
me, as a dispassionate observer, to say whether I did not consider the
conduct of the authorities arbitrary, unjust, and absurd, I was forced
to admit that I _did_ consider that conduct absolutely indefensible.
Lastly, when he announced that he intended never to say another word
in praise of Ostend, I confessed that I had come in my own mind to the
same determination.

P.S. - I may add that I was accompanied by my son, who was also refused
admittance. But this is a matter of purely personal interest, and has
nothing whatever to do with it.

* * * * *


[Illustration: Medal found in the Neighbourhood of Drury Lane.]

_A Million of Money_, "a new military, sporting, and spectacular
Drama," is a marvel of stage management. No better things than the
_tableaux_ of the Derby Day, the grounds of the Welcome Club, and the
departure of the Guards from Wellington Barracks for foreign parts
have been seen for many a long year. In such a piece the dialogue is
a matter of secondary consideration, and even the story is of no great
importance. That the plot should remind one of Drury Lane successes
in the past is not surprising, considering that one of the authors
(who modestly places his name second on the programme, when everyone
feels that it should come first) has been invariably associated with
those triumphs of scenic art. AUGUSTUS DRURIOLANUS has beaten his
own record, and the _Million of Money_ so lavishly displayed behind
the scenes, is likely to be rivaled by the takings in front of the
Curtain - or to be more exact, at the Box-office. The Authors, in more
senses than one, have carried money into the house. But they have done
more - they have inculcated a healthy moral. While Mr. HENRY ARTHUR
JONES is teaching audiences a lessen in _Judah_, that would have
received the enthusiastic approval of the philanthropic Earl of
SHAFTESBURY, after whom Shaftesbury Theatre is, no doubt, called, the
great HARRIS and the lesser PETTIT are showing us in the character of
the _Rev. Gabriel Maythorne_, a Parson that would as certainly have
secured the like hearty good-will at the same shadowy hands. The Rev.
Gentleman is a clergyman that extorts the admiration of everyone
whose good opinion is worth securing. He apparently is a "coach,"
and (seemingly) allows his pupils so much latitude that one of them,
_Harry Dunstable_ (Mr. WARNER), is able to run up to town with his
(the Reverend's) daughter secretly, marry her, and stay in London for
an indefinite period. And he (the Parson) has no absurd prejudices - no
narrow-mindedness. He goes to the Derby, where he appears to be
extremely popular at luncheon-time amongst the fair ladies who
patronise the tops of the drags, and later on becomes quite at home
at an illuminated _fête_ at the Exhibition, amidst the moonlight, and
a thousand additional lamps. It is felt that the Derby is run with
this good man's blessing; and everyone is glad, for, without it, in
spite of the horses, jockeys, carriages, acrobats, gipsies, niggers,
grooms, stable-helps, and pleasure-seekers, the _tableau_ would be
æsthetically incomplete. And the daughter of the Reverend is quite as
interesting as her large-hearted sire. She, too, has no prejudices (as
instance, the little matrimonial trip to London); and when she has to
part with her husband, on his departure (presumably _en route_ to the
Bermudas), she requires the vigorous assistance' of a large detachment
of Her Majesty's Guards to support her in her bereavement. Of the
actors, Mr. CHARLES GLENNEY, as a broken-down gentleman, is certainly
the hero of the three hours and a half. In Act III., on the night
of the first performance, he brought down the house, and received
two calls before the footlights after the Curtain had descended.
He has many worthy colleagues, for instance, Mr. HARRY NICHOLLS,
that could be desired in their respective lines. But, well cast as
it undoubtedly is, the play has vitality within it that does not
depend for existence upon the efforts of the company. It is good all
round - scenery, dresses, properties, and effects - and will keep its
place at Drury Lane until dislodged by the Pantomime at Christmas.

* * * * *

CHANGE OF NAME À LA SUISSE. - Tessin and its quarrelsome inhabitants
to be known in future as a Can't-get-on instead of a Canton.

* * * * *


[Illustration: Swedish Politeness.]

STOCKHOLM approached by lovely river (that is, we approached Stockholm
by lovely river), with banks and hills covered with pine and birch
trees, and studded with villas, where the Stockholm people live away
from the town. "Studded" is a good word, but phrase sounds too much
like "studied with SASS," as so many of our best artists did. Lovely
for boating. Why don't the Swedes row? _They don't._ Lots of islands,
and everybody as jolly as sand-boys, especially on Sanday. By the way,
what's a "sand-boy"? Why _toujours_ jolly?

Stockholm a stunning place, all built round a huge palace, copy of
the Pitti Palace in Florence. Lifts to take the people up-hill, and a
circular tramway all round the town for one penny. Lots of soldiers in
uniforms like Prussians or Russians, whichever you like. Such swagger
policemen, all tall and handsome, with beautiful helmets and lovely
coats. What would an English cook say to them?

Cathedral with tombs of GUSTAVUS VASA, GUSTAVUS ADOLPHUS, and
BERNADOTTE. What was BERNADOTTE doing here? Didn't like to ask. Piled
up with kettledrums and flags taken from the Russians. I noticed in
Russia their churches were equally piled up with drums and flags taken
from the Swedes. Exchange is no robbery.

[Illustration: Snack Sideboard. "Lax and Snax."]

Lunch. First view of the Swedish snacks before lunch and dinner. A
side-table with caviare Lax, cut reindeer tongue, sausages, brown
bread, prawns, kippered herrings, radishes, sardines, crawfish,
cheeses. Should spell it "Lax and Snax." Three silver tubs of
spirit - Pommerans, Renadt, and Kummin - tried 'em all. All good. "We
had a good time - Kummin." The Kummin was goin', - rather. Ceiling of
_restaurant_ all mirrors - self keeping an eye on self.

National Museum. Splendid collection. Stone, bronze, and iron periods.
Poor pictures. No end of palaces to see, till one is sick of 'em.

[Illustration: Fête in Honour of the Poet Bellman.]

Swedes have a poet, BELLMAN, evidently who wrote Bacchanalian songs.
They have a national holiday on July the 26th, and go to _Fête_ in
a Wood, where bronze head of BELLMAN is, cover it with garlands and
roses, and sing and have a good time before it, just like an old Greek
offering to Bacchus. I saw it. And in the evening a _fête_ where
they carry a child got up as Bacchus, and seated on a barrel with a
wine-cup. A regular jolly drinking procession. They have a wonderful
open air _restaurant_ called The Hasselbacken, where you dine in
delightful little green arbours, and lots of Swedish girls about.
Capital dinners, A 1 wine, and first-rate music with full band. No
charge to go in; you pay before leaving, though. Very good waiting.

[Illustration: Dinner in the Arbour.]

The Swedes are very polite, and take their hats off on the slightest
provocation, and keep them off a long time, specially whilst talking
to a lady. When talking to _two_ ladies, of course they keep 'em off
double the time.

Altogether a delightful place. But they all say you should come in the
_winter_. Wish I could. FLOTSAM, Y.A.

P.S. - The Swedish girls are as a rule very handsome. Tall, with long
legs. Men good-looking also.

I can't very well do myself; I can "do myself" remarkably well, but I
mean I cannot sketch myself in a cut; but _Mr. Punch_, in cuts I have
done, is far more expressive than I can make anyone else.

* * * * *

THE COMPLIMENTS OF THE SEASON (_with Mr. Punch's kind regards_). - The
most Popular of Colonial Strikers - Our illustrious guests, the
Australian Cricketers.

* * * * *


WANTED, by a well-travelled lady, of æsthetic and refined tastes, a
comfortable and congenial home with a Duchess. The Advertiser, who is
a person of much intelligence, and a most agreeable gossip, regards
her pleasant companionship as an equivalent for the social advantages
(including carriage-drives, and an introduction to the very best
society), for which she is prepared to offer the very handsome
remuneration of ten shillings a week.

* * * * *

HORSE WANTED. - Must have been placed in a recent Derby, and show a
good racing record. Thoroughly sound in wind and limb, expected to
be equal to carrying 13 stone in the Park, or to doing any work from
a four-in-hand down to single harness in a hearse. On the advertiser
being furnished with a suitable beast, he will be prepared to put
down a five-pound note for him, payable by ten-shilling monthly

* * * * *

HOME REQUIRED FOR AN INDIAN CHIEF. - The Advertiser, who has recently
received a consignment of Savages from Patagonia, and has had to
entertain their Monarch in his residence at Bayswater, as he is
about to pay a four weeks' visit to the Continent, is anxious in
the meantime to find a suitable home for him in some quiet suburban
family, who would not object to some fresh and lively experience
introduced into the routine of their domestic circle, in consideration
for a small payment to defray the slight extra cost involved in his
support. He will give little trouble, an empty attic furnished with a
hearth-rug supplying him with all the accommodation he will require,
while his food has hitherto consisted of tripe, shovelled to him on a
pitchfork, and stout mixed with inferior rum, of which he gets through
about a horse-pailful a day. His chief recreation being a "Demon's
War Dance," in which he will, if one be handy, hack a clothes-horse to
pieces with his "baloo," or two-edged chopper-axe, he might be found
an agreeable inmate by an aged and invalid couple, who would relish a
little unusual after-dinner excitement, as a means of passing away a
quiet evening or two. Applicants anxious to secure the Chief should
write at once. Three-and-sixpence a-week will be paid for his keep,
which, supplying the place of the rum in his drink (which has been
tried with effect) with methylated spirit mixed with treacle, affords
an ample margin for a handsome profit on the undertaking.

* * * * *

[Illustration: MUCH MORE SUITABLE.


* * * * *



["Even a colour-sense is more important in the development
of the individual than a sense of right and wrong." - OSCAR

If you're anxious to develop to a true hedonic "swell," hop on a
pinnacle apart,
Like a monkey on a stick, and your phrases quaintly pick, and then
prattle about Art.
Take some laboured paradoxes, and, like Samson's flaming foxes, let
them loose amidst the corn
(Or the honest commonplaces) of the Philistines whose graces you
regard with lofty scorn.
And every one will say,
As you squirm your wormy way,
"If this young man expresses himself in terms that stagger _me_,
What a very singularly smart young man this smart young man must be!"

You may be a flabby fellow, and lymphatically yellow, that will
matter not a mite.
If you take yourself in hand, in a way you'll understand, to become
a Son of Light.
On your crassness superimposing the peculiar art of glosing in sleek
phrases about Sin.
If you aim to be a Shocker, carnal theories to cocker is _the_ best way
to begin.
And every one will say,
As you worm your wicked way,
"If that's allowable for _him_ which were criminal in _me_,
What a very emancipated kind of youth this kind of youth must be."

Human virtues you'll abhor all, and be down upon the Moral in
uncompromising style.
Your critical analysis will reduce to prompt paralysis every _motor_
that's not vile.
You will show there's naught save virtue that can seriously hurt you,
or your liberty enmesh;
And you'll find excitement, plenty, in Art's _dolce far niente_, with a
flavour of the flesh.
And every one will say,
As you lounge your upward way,
"If he's content with a do-nothing life, which would certainly not
suit _me_.
What a most particularly subtle young man this subtle young man must be!"

Then having swamped morality in "intensified personality" (which,
of course, must mean your own),
And the "rational" abolished and "sincerity" demolished, you will
find that you have _grown_
With a "colour-sense" fresh handselled (whilst the moral ditto's
cancelled) you'll develop into - well,
What Philistia's fools malicious might esteem a _vaurien_ vicious
(_alias_ "hedonic swell").
And every one will say,
As you writhe your sinuous way.
"If the highest result of the true 'Development' is decomposition,
why see
What a very perfectly developed young man this developed young man
must be."

With your perky paradoxes, and your talk of "crinkled ox-eyes," and
of books in "Nile-green skin."
That show forth unholy histories, and display the "deeper mysteries"
of strange and subtle Sin.
You can squirm, and glose, and hiss on, and awake that _nouveau_
_frisson_ which is Art's best gift to life.
And "develop" - like some cancer (in the Art-sphere) whose best answer
is the silent surgeon's knife!
And every _man_ will say,
As you wriggle on your way,
"If 'emotion for the sake of emotion _is_ the aim of Art,' dear me!
What a morbidly muckily emotional young man the 'developed' young
man must be!"

* * * * *


[An American Correspondent of _The Galignani Messenger_ is
very severe on the manners of his fair countrywomen.]


She "guesses" and she "calculates," she wears all sorts o' collars,
Her yellow hair is not without suspicion of a dye;
Her "Pappa" is a dull old man who turned pork into dollars.
But everyone admits that she's indubitably spry.

She did Rome in a swift two days, gave half the time to Venice,
But vows that she saw everything, although in awful haste;
She's fond of dancing, but she seems to fight shy of lawn-tennis,
Because it might endanger the proportions of her waist.

Her manner might be well defined as elegantly skittish;
She loves a Lord as only a Republican can do;
And quite the best of titles she's persuaded are the British,
And well she knows the Peerage, for she reads it through and through.

She's bediamonded superbly, and shines like a constellation,
You scarce can see her fingers for the multitude of rings;
She's just a shade too conscious, so it seems, of admiration,
With irritating tendencies to wriggle when she sings.

She owns she is "Amur'can," and her accent is alarming;
Her birthplace has an awful name you pray you may forget;
Yet, after all, we own "_La Belle Américaine_" is charming,
So let us hope she'll win at last her long-sought coronet.

* * * * *



In my last I announced that I was busily giving my mind to the
launching of a new "Combination Pool" over the satisfactory results
of which to all concerned in it, under certain contingencies, I had no
shadow of a doubt. This I have since managed to float on the market,
and, though I worked it on a principle of my own, which, for want of
a better description, I have styled amalgamated "Profit and Loss,"
I regret to have to inform those clients who have entrusted me with
their cheques in the hopes of getting, _as I really fully believed
they would_, 700 per cent. for their money in three days, that I
have had to close the speculation rather suddenly, and I fear, as the
following illustrative figures will show in a fashion that not only
deprives me of the pleasure of enclosing them a cheque for Profits,
but obliges me to announce to them that their cover has disappeared.
The Stocks with which I operated were "Drachenfonteim Catapults,"
"Catawanga Thirty-fives," and "Blinker's Submarine Explosives." The
ILLUSTRATION, I hoped, _would have stood as follows_: -

£100 invested in Drachenfonteim Catatpults,
showing profit of 1 per cent....£100

£100 invested in Catawanga Thirty-fives,
showing profit of 2½ per cent....£250

£300 invested in Blinker's Submarine Explosives,
showing profit of 3 per cent....£900

Gross Profits....£1250

Unfortunately, however, the real figures came out rather differently,
for they stood, I regret to say, as under: -

£100 invested in Drachenfonteim Catapults,
at a loss of 5 per cent....£500

£100 invested in Catawanga Thirty-fives,
at a loss of 7 per cent....£700

£300 invested in Blinker's Submarine Explosives,
at a loss of 4 per cent....£1200

Total loss....£2400

This, I need scarcely say, has at present not only eaten up every
halfpenny of cover, but a great deal besides; and I am not sure that I
shall not have to come down on my clients to make good the balance. I
cannot account for the result, except from the fact that a new clerk
read out the wrong tape; and when I telephoned to my West-End Private
Inquiry Agent about these very three Stocks, he appears not to have
heard me distinctly, and thought I was asking him about Goschens, the
old Three-per-Cents., and Bank Stock, about which, of course, he could
only report favourably. It is an awkward mistake, but, as I point out
to all my clients, one must not regard the Dealer as infallible. These
things will occur. However, I am going to be more careful in future;
and I may as well announce now, that on Monday next I am about to open
a new Syndicate Combination Pool, with a Stock about which I have made
the most thorough and exhaustive inquiries, with the result that I
am convinced an enormous fortune will be at the command of anyone who
will entrust me with a sufficiently large cheque in the shape of cover
to enable me to realise it.

For obvious reasons I keep the name of this Stock at present a dead
secret. Suffice it to say, that the operation in question is connected
with an old South-American Gold Mine, about to be reworked under the
auspices of a new company who have bought it for a mere song. When I
tell my clients that I have got all my information from the Chairman,
_who took down under his greatcoat a carpet-bag full of crushed quartz
carefully mixed with five ounces of gold nuggets_, and emptied this
out at the bottom of a disused shaft, and then got a Yankee engineer
to report the discovery of ore in "lumps as big as your fist," and
state this in the new prospectus, they will at once see what a solid
foundation I have for this new venture, which must inevitably fly

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Online LibraryVariousPunch, or the London Charivari, Volume 99, September 20, 1890 → online text (page 1 of 3)