Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 100, May 9, 1891 online

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May 9, 1891.


"Shiver my timbers!" said the Scribe.

"Haul down my yard-arm with a marling-spike!" cried the Artist.

And with these strictly nautical expressions, two of _Mr. Punch's_
Own entered the Royal Naval Exhibition, which now occupies the larger
portion of the grounds of the Military Hospital, Chelsea. That so
popular a show should be allowed to occupy so large a site speaks
wonders for the amiability of the British Public. When the Sodgeries
appeared last year, it was, so to speak, with fear and trembling that
"the powers that were" appropriated a little of the ground usually
over-run by the Nobility and Gentry of the Pimlico Road and its
vicinity; or, rather, by their haughty offspring. This year the tough
old sea-dogs of the Admiralty have had no hesitation in taking
what they required, apparently without causing comment, much less
objection. And the result? In lieu of the dusty arena of 1890,
scarcely large enough for a ladies' cricket-match, there appears in
1891 an enclosure containing lakes and lighthouses, panoramas, and
full-size models of men-of-war! And the Public take their exclusion
philosophically, either paying their shillings at the door, or
attempting to get a view of the hoofs of the nautical horses through
the gaps in the surrounding hoardings.

The Scribe and the Artist, having been ordered by He Who Must Be
Obeyed in the world generally, and at 85, Fleet Street, in particular,
to make a sort of preliminary cruise through the wonders of the
(Admiralty) Deep, hastened from the inviting grounds into the main
building, with its pictures, its plans, and last, but (it is only
just to say) least, its pickles. The first object that attracted their
favourable attention was a trophy of arms, representing the fashions
of the past and the present. On one side were shrapnel and magazine
rifles, on the other flint-locks and the ordnance of an age long gone
by. Next they passed through the Arctic section, wherein they found
dummies drawing a sledge through the canvas snow of a corded-off North
Pole. Then they entered the Picture Galleries called after NELSON and
BENBOW, wherein magnificent paintings by POWELL, full of smoke and
action, served as an appropriate background to the collection of
plate, lent by that gallant sailor-warrior and industrious collector
of well-considered trifles, H.R.H. the Duke of EDINBURGH. They glanced
at the relics of Trafalgar, and then hurried away to the HOWE Gallery,
which, containing as it did specimens of the implements used in
the game of golf, might have as appropriately been christened the
WHEREFORE. Next they skirted a corridor full of plans, and here they
discovered that the Committee of the Exhibition must be wags, every
Jack Tar of them! This corridor was close to the Dining-rooms, and the
Committee (ha! ha! ha!) had called it (he! he! he!) after COOK! (Ho!
ho! ho!) Oh, the wit of it! How the Members of the Executive must have
nudged one another in the ribs as the quaint idea dawned upon them!
And how they must have laughed, too, on the Opening Day, when the
Guard of Honour, presenting arms, and the "Greenwich Boys" singing
"_Ye Mariners of England_," were drenched in the rain! And what a
capital notion it was on that occasion to put "the Representatives of
the Fourth Estate" (no doubt called by _them_, with many a sly twinkle
of the eye, "the Press Gang") into a pen that soon, thanks to a series
of water-spouts, assumed the appearance of a tank!

After leaving the Galleries, the Scribe and the Artist looked up at
the model of Eddystone Lighthouse, and entered a shed declared to be
an "Arctic Scene." Here they were reminded by the introduced ship
of those happy days of their boyhood spent in the toy-shops of the
Lowther Arcade. Next they visited the Panorama of Trafalgar, and
revelled in the carnage of a sea-fight that only required Margate in
the distance to be entirely convincing. They glanced at the arena, and
gazed with awe at the lake which is to be devoted to the manoeuvring
of miniature ironclads. It will be interesting to note whether these
mimic combats will hold their own in the coming season against the
introduction of capsized clowns, drenched old women, and comic police.
Keeping the best for the last, the Scribe and the Artist now entered
the model of the _Victory_ - a really admirable exhibition. There they
saw before them the old battle-ship with its full equipment, as it
was in the days of NELSON - when that deathless hero expected every
Englishman (not excluding even those passing the Custom House - as
the Committee would say) "to _do_ his duty." To make the illusion
complete, the great sea-captain was observed dying in the cook-pit in
the agonies of wax. And to think that this work was executed by a firm
of house-decorators! Why, who would not, after this, have his back
drawing-room converted into the quarter-deck of the _Shannon_, and his
spare bed-room into a tiny reproduction of the Battle of Copenhagen!

[Illustration: Mr. Punch's Representatives, after partaking of
Chelsea Hospitality (_a purely fancy sketch_).]

The Scribe and the Artist, on their visit, were invited by all sorts
and conditions of men to partake of champagne. The moment it was
discovered that they were "connected with the Press," the offerers
of hospitality were absolutely overwhelming. But, obeying the best
traditions of their order, they sternly, but courteously, refused all
refreshment. It is fortunate they pursued this course, for had they
received the entirely disinterested kindness of their would-be hosts,
their recollections of the marvels of the Royal Naval Exhibition would
no doubt have been of the haziest character imaginable. As it was,
they were able to take their departure through the main entrance
with some show of dignity, and not in a less imposing manner (as the
Committee - _Cook's_ Gallery near the Dining-rooms - ho! ho! ho! ha! ha!
ha! - would probably and amusingly suggest), by Tite Street.

* * * * *


Mr. PUNCH would be failing in his duty to Art and the British
Public if he did not place on imperishable record his notes of the
exceptionally brilliant Royal Academy Banquet of last Saturday. H.R.H.
the Prince of WALES made one of his best and briefest speeches, in
which he feelingly alluded to the late Sir EDGAR BOËHM, R.A. Never
was the President, Sir FREDERICK, more eloquent, or his themes more
varied; for this occasion is noteworthy as being the first time in the
history of this great annual representative gathering that the toast
of Music and the Drama has been duly honoured. Sir ARTHUR SULLIVAN
responded for the first, and HENRY IRVING for the second. Both made
excellent speeches. Sir ARTHUR'S solo was most effective; his notes
were in his head; he gave us several variations on the original
theme, and cleverly played upon one word in saying that music had been
"instrumental" on various historical occasions. HENRY IRVING followed
suit; he spoke of Mrs. SIDDONS, Sir JOSHUA REYNOLDS, and of a
professional gentleman, one ROSCIUS, mentioned, we believe, by
_Hamlet_ as having been, some considerable time ago, "a man of parts,"
that is an Actor, in Rome. It was a great success. Sir FREDERICK then
proposed the LORD MAYOR, which may be briefly expressed as "a toast
with a Savory to follow." For "The Visitors," Lord Justice BOWEN,
catching sight of the President's classical picture (No. 232), made a
happy hit about the delights of a honeymoon in the Infernal Regions,
ending in the return of Proserpine to her mother Ceres by order of the
Court above. Finally, the President, in summing up the losses to Art
during the past year, paid a graceful tribute to the memory of CHARLES
KEENE, who, but a short while ago, was our fellow-worker on the staff
of _Mr. Punch_ With a hopeful allusion to the Storage of Artistic
Force in the near future, the President concluded: but this Banquet of
1891 will long live in the recollection of all whose privilege it was
to be present on so memorable an occasion.

* * * * *


I SAY! YSAYE! _Why say?_ Why _not_ say that YSAYE is a grand Yolinist,
since he is this; and, as 'ARRY would observe, "No error!" and whoever
says the contrary, is not speaking the absolute truth, but "_Ysaye
Worsay_." The Yolinist had the advantage of the co-operation of a fine
Orchestra, under the Magic Wand of Conductor COWEN.

On the 27th, Heard young JEAN GERARDY, Little boy, but player hardy,
Not the slightest Lardy-Dardy, Not yet out of care of "Guardy," Heard
him _Lundi_, not on _Mardi_. But, whene'er he plays, your Bardy,
Always spry, and never tardy, Will again hear JEAN GERARDY.

* * * * *


* * * * *


* * * * *



(_A Song of the Season, a very long way after Herrick_.)

"London town is another affair
Since HERRICK wrote his perfect rhymes."


True, sadly true, shaper of rattling rhymes,
London hath changed with process of the times.
Aurora now may "throw her faire
Fresh-quilted colours through the aire,"
But our conditions atmospheric
Are not as in the days of HERRICK.
Nathless the Muse to-day may see
Flora at urban revelry.
See how the goddess trippeth from the West,
Fragrant, though something fashionably drest;
The Season waketh at her tread,
Art lifteth a long-drooping head;
Music doth make a merry din.
'Tis profanation, keeping in,
Whenas a hundred Shows upon this day
Spring, lightly as the lark to fetch in May.

Rise, Nymph, put on fresh finery, and be seen,
To come forth like the Spring-time, fresh and green!
And gay as Flora. Art is there,
With flowing hyacinthine hair.
Fear not, the throng will strew
Largess abundant upon _you_,
When Burlington's great Opening Day is kept.
Gone is thy Grosvenor rival, not unwept;
But a New Nymph, with footing light,
Trips it beside thee, nor hath night
Shadowed sweet "Aquarelle" whose skill,
As of a Water-Nymph, is still
Well to the fore. Pipe up! playing means paying,
When Fashion's Urban Flora goes a-Maying.

Come, my CORINNA, come; and, coming, mark
How each street turns a grove, each square a park,
Made green and trimmed with trees: see how
The pinky hawthorn decks the bough!
Each Bond Street porch, or door, ere this
Of Art a Tabernacle is;
Nor Art alone. With May is interwove
Seaweed, which Neptune's favourites love.
SWINBURNE should sing in stanzas fleet,
How NELSON may, at Chelsea, meet
ARMSTRONG! Sound conch-shell! Let's obey
Thy Proclamation made for May.
Wild marine whiffs from the salt sea are straying,
And the brine greets us as we go a-Maying.

There's not a London-Teuton but this day
Hath a new welcome for the English May.
Germania from her distant home
In Flora's train this year doth come.
She hath despatched her country's cream
Of things, to make the Cockney dream.
Neptune and she have wooed and plighted troth,
And her we give May-welcome, nothing loth,
As many a welcome we have given
To France, Spain, Italy! War hath riven
Many true hearts, but we're content
Of Peace to make experiment.
Blow Teuton horn - (not like "_Hernani's_" braying!) -
It makes new music as we go a-Maying!

Come, let us go, while May is in its prime,
And make the best of the brief Season's time.
HERRICK'S CORINNA might not see
An Urban May Queen such as we
Behold disport in our rare sun.
Rouse, Nymph! The Season is begun!
We'll trust no blizzard, and no boreal rain
May mar "Our Opening Day." Sound flutes again!
Pipe, Sir FREDERICK! Ah, well played!
Tootle thy new strains, fair Maid.
Blow, oh Briny One, with might!
Teuton BRUNEHILD, glad our sight!
Fashion's Floralia, Nymph, invite our straying;
Come, my CORINNA, come; let's go a-Maying!

* * * * *




* * * * *


(_Namely of Parliament, as seen through Harry Furniss's fancy._)

AIR - "_The Wooing o't._"

LIKA JOKO makes us laugh,
Ha! ha! the humour o't!
With caricature and caustic chaff;
He! he! the humour o't!
Parliament strikes some as slow,
LIKA JOKO deems not so;
Visit _his_ St. Stephen's Show!
Humph! humph! the humour o't!

GLADSTONE stern and GLADSTONE staid,
Ha! ha! the humour o't!
GLADSTONE in war-paint arrayed,
He! he! the humour o't!
GLADSTONE with colossal chin,
Giant collars plunged within,
Humph! humph! the humour o't!

SMITH with bland perennial smile,
Ha! ha! the humour o't!
BALFOUR, pet of the Green Isle,
He! he! the humour o't!
HARCOURT, big as Babel's tower,
GOSCHEN, with myopic glower,
JOSEPH of the orchid-flower.
Humph! humph! the humour o't!

How they muster, how they "tell,"
Ha! ha! the humour o't!
Woes of the Division Bell,
He! he! the humour o't!
_All_ - from Prayers to "Who goes Home?"
O'er St. Stephens you may roam;
LIKA JOKO bids you. Come!
Humph! humph! the humour o't!

LIKA JOKO is a wag,
Ha! ha! the humour o't!
All the tricks are in his bag,
He! he! the humour o't!
He can mimic, he can mime,
Draw, and act, and - what is prime -
_Keep you laughing all the time._
Humph! humph! the humour o't!

* * * * *

Why doesn't some Musical Photographic Artist of Scotch Nationality
compose a March for his fellow Professors and Practisers, and call it
"_The March of the Camera Men_"? Sure to be popular.

* * * * *

AN UN-"COMMON" GOOD HORSE. - The Winner of this Year's Two Thousand.

* * * * *


(_Condensed and Revised Version by Mr. P.'s Own Harmless Ibsenite._)



SCENE. - _The same Room, but - it being evening - darker than ever - The
crape curtains are drawn. A Servant, with black ribbons in her cap,
and red eyes, comes in and lights the gas quietly and carefully.
Chords are heard on the piano in the back Drawing-room. Presently_
HEDDA _comes in and looks out into the darkness. A short pause. Enter_

_George_. I am _so_ uneasy about poor LÖVBORG. Fancy! he is not at
home. Mrs. ELVSTED told me he had been here early this morning, so I
suppose you gave him back his manuscript, eh?

_Hedda_ (_cold and immovable, supported by arm-chair_). No, I put it
on the fire instead.

_George_. On the fire! LÖVBORG'S wonderful new book that he read to
me at BRACK'S party, when we had that wild revelry last night! Fancy
_that!_ But, I say, HEDDA - isn't that _rather_ - eh? _Too_ bad, you
know - really. A great work like that. How on earth did you come to
think of it?

_Hedda_ (_suppressing an almost imperceptible smile_). Well, dear
GEORGE, you gave me a tolerably strong hint.

_George_. Me? Well, to be sure - that _is_ a joke! Why, I only said
that I envied him for writing such a book, and it would put me
entirely in the shade if it came out, and if anything was to happen to
it, I should never forgive myself, as poor LÖVBORG couldn't write it
all over again, and so we must take the greatest care of it! And then
I left it on a chair and went away - that was all! And you went and
burnt the book all up! Bless me, who _would_ have expected it?

_Hedda_. Nobody, you dear simple old soul! But I did it for your
sake - it was _love_, GEORGE!

_George_ (_in an outburst between doubt and joy_). HEDDA, you don't
mean that! Your love takes such queer forms sometimes, Yes, but
yes - (_laughing in excess of joy_), why, you _must_ be fond of me!
Just think of that now! Well, you _are_ fun, HEDDA! Look here, I must
just run and tell the housemaid that - she will enjoy the joke so, eh?

_Hedda_ (_coldly, in self-command_). It is surely not necessary, even
for a clever Norwegian man of letters in a realistic social drama, to
make quite such a fool of himself as all that?

_George_. No, that's true too. Perhaps we'd better keep it
quiet - though I _must_ tell Aunt JULIE - it will make her so happy to
hear that you burnt a manuscript on my account! And, besides, I should
like to ask her whether that's a usual thing with young wives. (_Looks
uneasy and pensive again._) But poor old EJLERT'S manuscript! Oh Lor,
you know! Well, well! [Mrs. ELVSTED _comes in_.

_Mrs. E._ Oh, please, I'm so uneasy about dear Mr. LÖVBORG. Something
has happened to him, I'm sure!

_Judge Brack_ (_comes in from the hall, with a new hat in his hand_).
You have guessed it, first time. Something _has!_

_Mrs. E._ Oh, dear, good gracious! What is it? Something distressing,
I'm certain of it! [_d._

_Brack_ (_pleasantly_). That depends on how one takes it. He has shot
himself, and is in a hospital now, that's all!

_George_ (_sympathetically_). That's sad, eh? poor old LÖVBORG! Well,
I _am_ cut up to hear that. Fancy, though, eh?

_Hedda_. Was it through the temple, or through the breast? The breast?
Well, one can do it beautifully through the breast, too. Do you know,
as an advanced woman, I like an act of that sort - it's so positive, to
have the courage to settle the account with himself - it's beautiful,

_Mrs. E._ Oh, HEDDA, what an odd way to look at it! But never mind
poor dear Mr. LÖVBORG now. What _we've_ got to do is to see if we
can't put his wonderful manuscript, that he said he had torn to
pieces, together again. (_Takes a bundle of small pages out of the
pocket of her mantle._) There are the loose scraps he dictated it to
me from. I hid them on the chance of some such emergency. And if
dear Mr. TESMAN and I were to put our heads together, I _do_ think
something might come of it.

_George_. Fancy! I will dedicate my life - or all I can spare of it - to
the task. I seem to feel I owe him some slight amends, perhaps. No use
crying over spilt milk, eh, Mrs. ELVSTED? We'll sit down - just you and
I - in the back drawing-room, and see if you can't inspire me as you
did him, eh?

_Mrs. E._ Oh, goodness, yes! I should like it - if it only might be

[GEORGE _and_ Mrs. E. _go into the back Drawing-room and
become absorbed in eager conversation_; HEDDA _sits in a chair in the
front room, and a little later_ BRACK _crosses over to her._

_Hedda_ (_in a low tone_). Oh, Judge, _what_ a relief to know that
everything - including LÖVBORG'S pistol - went off so well! In the
breast! Isn't there a veil of unintentional beauty in that? Such an
act of voluntary courage, too!

_Brack_ (_smiles_). Hm! - perhaps, dear Mrs. HEDDA -

_Hedda_ (_enthusiastically_). But _wasn't_ it sweet of him! To have
the courage to live his own life after his own fashion - to break away
from the banquet of life - _so_ early and _so_ drunk! A beautiful act
like that _does_ appeal to a superior woman's imagination!

_Brack_. Sorry to shatter your poetical illusions, little Mrs. HEDDA,
but, as a matter of fact, our lamented friend met his end under other
circumstances. The shot did _not_ strike him in the _breast_ - but -

_Hedda_ (_excitedly_). General GABLER'S pistols! I might have known
it! Did they _ever_ shoot straight? Where _was_ he hit, then?

_Brack_ (_in a discreet undertone_). A little lower down!

_Hedda_. Oh, _how_ disgusting! - how vulgar! - how ridiculous! - like
everything else about me!

_Brack_. Yes, we're realistic types of human nature, and all that - but
a trifle squalid, perhaps. And why did you give LÖVBORG your pistol,
when it was certain to be traced by the police? For a charming
cold-blooded woman with a clear head and no scruples, wasn't it just a
leetle foolish?

_Hedda_. Perhaps; but I wanted him to do it beautifully, and he
didn't! Oh, I've just admitted that I _did_ give him the pistol - how
annoyingly unwise of me! Now I'm in _your_ power, I suppose?

_Brack_. Precisely - for some reason it's not easy to understand.
But it's inevitable, and you know how you dread anything approaching
scandal. All your past proceedings show that. (_To_ GEORGE _and_ Mrs.
E., _who come in together from the back-room._) Well, how are you
getting on with the reconstruction of poor LÖVBORG'S great work, eh?

[Illustration: "What! the accounts of all those everlasting
bores settled?"]

_George_. Capitally; we've made out the first two parts already. And
really, HEDDA, I do believe Mrs. ELVSTED _is_ inspiring me; I begin to
feel it coming on. Fancy that!

_Mrs. E._ Yes, goodness! HEDDA, _won't_ it be lovely if I can. I mean
to try _so_ hard!

_Hedda_. Do, you dear little silly rabbit; and while you are trying I
will go into the back drawing-room and lie down.

[_She goes into the back-room and draws the curtains. Short pause.
Suddenly she is heard playing_ "The Bogie Man" _within on the piano._

_George_. But, dearest HEDDA, don't play "_The Bogie Man_" this
evening. As one of my aunts is dead, and poor old LÖVBORG has shot
himself, it seems just a little pointed, eh?

_Hedda_ (_puts her head out between the curtains_). All right! I'll be
quiet after this. I'm going to practise with the late General GABLER'S

[_Closes the curtains again_; GEORGE _gets behind the stove_, Judge
BRACK _under the table, and_ Mrs. ELVSTED _under the sofa. A shot is
heard within._

_George_ (_behind the stove_). Eh, look here, I tell you what - she's
hit _me!_ Think of that!

[_His legs are visibly agitated for a short
time. Another shot is heard._

_Mrs. E._ (_under the sofa_). Oh, please, not me! Oh, goodness, now
I can't inspire anybody any more. Oh!

[_Her feet, which can be seen
under the valance, quiver a little, and then are suddenly still._

_Brack_ (_vivaciously, from under the table_). I say, Mrs. HEDDA,
I'm coming in every evening - we will have great fun here togeth -
(_Another shot is heard._) Bless me! to bring down the poor old
cock-of-the-walk - it's unsportsmanlike! - it's - .

[_The table-cloth is violently agitated for a minute, and presently
the curtains open, and_ HEDDA _appears._

_Hedda_ (_clearly and firmly_). I've been trying in there to shoot
myself beautifully - but with General GABLER'S pistol - (_She lifts the
tablecloth, then looks behind the stove and under the sofa._) What!
the accounts of all those everlasting bores settled? Then my suicide
becomes unnecessary. Yes, I feel the courage of life once more!

[_She goes into the back-room and plays_ "The Funeral March of a
Marionette" _as the Curtain falls._

THE END (_with the usual apologies_).

* * * * *


[Illustration: "J'y suis."
Pro Arris et focus.]

_Monday. - Le Prophête_. - Notable performance. Profit to those who
were there; loss to those who weren't. The two Poles, NED and JOHN DE
RESZKÉ, excellent as the Tipster, or Prophet, and the Chief Anabaptist
Swindler. Madame RICHARD - "_O Richard, Oma Reine!_" repeated her grand
impersonation of _Fides_, but being a trifle "out of it" as to tune
occasionally, I cannot be _Fidei Defensor_, and swear she was quite
correct, so can only report that RICHARD was a bit "dicky"; otherwise,
sings like a Dicky-Bird. Cathedral Scene magnificent. Rites are wrong,
probably; but these are trifles, except to strict ritualists. Skating
Scene not up to date; it was a novelty once upon a time, but rinks
have done for it. There was an unrehearsed effect in the Prison Scene,
when the walls collapsed - the imprisoned Madame RICHARD escaped, and
the Curtain descended. Nobody hurt. The walls, which had fallen,
like those of Jericho, to the sound of the trumpet, were put away
carefully, for alteration and repairs. The prisoner, issuing from
her narrow fire-escape, was recaptured, and the Opera ended with the

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Online LibraryVariousPunch, or the London Charivari, Volume 100, May 9, 1891 → online text (page 1 of 3)