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PUNCH,

OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

VOL. 102.



January 2, 1892.




[Illustration]

* * * * *

[Illustration: The Duke of Devonshire.]

BORN, APRIL 27TH, 1808. DIED, DECEMBER 21ST, 1891.

Learned, large-hearted, liberal Lord of Land,
As clear of head as generous of hand,
He lived his honourable length of days,
A "Duke" whom doughtiest Democrat might praise.
"Leader" in truth, though not with gifts of tongue,
Full many a "Friend of Man" the muse has sung
Unworthier than patrician CAVENDISH.
Seeing him pass who may forbear the wish,
Would more were like him! - Then the proud command,
"_Noblesse oblige_" e'en Mobs might understand!

* * * * *

AFTER DINNER - AT THE CLOSE OF THE YEAR.

SCENE - _A Private Room in a well-known Dining Hotel. Eminent
Politicians discussing "shop" over their walnuts before
dispersing for the Christmas holidays._

_First Eminent Politician_. I say that recent speech of yours at
Skegness was a little strong. Preferring the Navy to the Army!
Although the Army is of course the "Best possible Army," and all that!
Eh? I say it was a little too thick!

_Second Em. Pol._ (_quickly_). Not a bit of it! You don't know how
well we are getting on at Pall Mall. I give you my word everything's
first-rate. Department working splendidly. You can't say that at
Whitehall and Somerset House?

_First Em. Pol._ (_warmly_). Not say it! We do! Everything's most
satisfactory. Discipline splendid. Never had such a fine Fleet. And
the fireworks we had at the Royal Naval Exhibition all through the
Summer! Well you ought to have seen them!

[Illustration]

_Second Em. Pol._ (_carelessly_). Yes, I daresay. But what have
fireworks got to do with the Navy?

_First Em. Pol._ Why they increased our recruiting awfully. Fellows
went to the Royal Naval Exhibition and saw all sorts of good
things, automatic weighing machine, a fishing-smack, and Nelson
wax-works - and - and that kind of thing you know, and joined the Navy!
Precious good thing for the Service, I can tell you.

_Second Em. Pol._ Well, to go back to an old story - you can't defend
the bullying on board _The Britannia_.

_First Em. Pol._ Oh, that's all bosh. Those newspaper fellows got
hold of it for the Silly Season and ran it to death, but it's the best
possible place in the world. No end of good training for a fellow to
command other fellows.

_Second Em. Pol._ Well, they were down upon you pretty smartly.

_First Em. Pol._ (_airily_). May be. But it's because they didn't know
what they were writing about. How can a fellow become a good naval
officer unless he has been robbed of his pocket-money, and taught how
to lie for his seniors. Thing's too ridiculous! Hallo, JIMMY, they
tell me things are in a dreadful mess at St. Martin's-le-Grand!

_Third Em. Pol._ (_promptly_). Then they tell you wrong. Never saw
anything like it - most perfect organisation in the world! Absolutely
marvellous, Sir - absolutely marvellous! And the clerks so civil and
obliging. Everybody pleased with them.

_Second Em. Pol._ Come, that won't do. Your statement is as hard to
digest as too-previous turkey and premature plum-pudding. The papers
are full of complaints all through the Autumn, and have only stopped
recently to make room for those descriptive and special law reports.
You will have them again, now Term is over.

_Third Em. Pol._ Who cares for the papers? I tell you we are
absolutely inundated with letters of thanks from Dukes and Duchesses
upwards. No; if you had said that the Colonies were in a mess, why
then -

_Fourth Em. Pol._ (_angrily_). What _are_ you talking about? Why, we
are absolutely romping in! Never knew the Colonies so prosperous as
they are now! And we have had to put on half-a-dozen extra clerks to
open and answer the letters of congratulation we receive hour by hour
from every part of the Empire. Why, everything's splendid - absolutely
splendid!

_Second Em. Pol._ Well, matters have decidedly mended since
transportation was prohibited. But to return to our muttons. Waterloo
was won -

_Fourth Em. Pol._ (_interrupting_). Yes, I know, by the Militia and
the dregs of the population! By the way, though, the gaols have had
better company than now.

_Fifth Em. Pol._ Hold hard! Don't you abuse my Prisons. As a matter of
fact, the present convicts are the finest, cleverest, most trustworthy
fellows that ever existed. It is quite an honour to get into a prison
nowadays. (_With a sudden burst of anger_.) And if any of you doubt
my word, hang me, I will have satisfaction! (_Looking round for
opponents_.) Come now, who will tread on the tail of my coat!

_Chief and Most Eminent Politician_. Gentlemen! Gentlemen! Come
it's getting late, and if we are to see the dress-rehearsal of the
Pantomime, we must be off at once!

[_The Party breaks up to meet later on in the neighbourhood of
Drury Lane._

* * * * *

FROM OUR SPORTING CITY MAN. - "_Pounded before the Start_." - Mr.
GOSCHEN's One-pound Note scheme.

* * * * *

[Illustration: THE CHIMES.]

(FRAGMENTS OF A DICKENSIAN DREAM UP TO DATE.)

* * * * *

It was some time before the great-little old fellow could compose
himself to mend the fire, and draw his chair to the warm hearth. But,
when he had done so, and had trimmed his lamp, he took his "Extra
Special" from his pocket, and began to read - carelessly at first,
and skimming up and down the columns, but with an earnest and sad
attention very soon.

For this same dreadful paper re-directed _Punch's_ thoughts into the
channel they had taken all that day; thoughts of the sufferings of the
poor, the follies of the rich, the sins of the wicked, the miseries of
the outcast. Seasonable thoughts, if not exactly festive. For all is
not festive, even at the Festive Season.

Scandals in high life, starvation in low life; foul floods of
nastiness in Law Courts; muddy tricklings of misery in lawless alleys;
crimes so terrible and revolting; pains so pitiless and cureless;
follies so selfish and wanton, that he let the journal drop, and fell
back in his chair, appalled.

"Unnatural and cruel, _Toby_!" he cried. "Unnatural and cruel! None
but people who were born bad at heart - born bad - who had no business
on the earth, could do such deeds. We're Bad!"

The Chimes took up the words so suddenly - burst out so loud, clear,
and sonorous - that the Bells seemed to strike him in his chair.

And what was it that they said?

"_Punch_ and _Toby! Toby_ and _Punch_! Waiting for you, _Toby_ and
_Punch_! Come and see us! Come and see us! Come and see us! Drag them
to us! Haunt and hunt them! Haunt and hunt them. Break their slumbers!
Break their slumbers! _Punch, Toby; Toby, Punch; Toby, Punch; Punch,
Toby_!!" Then fiercely back to their impetuous strain again, and
ringing in the very bricks and plaster on the Sanctum's walls!

_Toby_ barked! _Punch_ listened! Fancy, fancy! No, no! Nothing of the
kind. Again, again, and yet a dozen times again. "Haunt and hunt them!
Haunt and hunt them!"

"If the tower is really open," said _Punch_, "what's to hinder us,
_Toby_, from going up to the steeple, and seeing for ourselves?"
"Nothing," yapped _Toby_, or sounds to that effect.

* * * * *

[Illustration: 'ARRY OUT 'UNTIN'.

_'Arry_ (_who goes to the Meet in a frost_). "'AVE THE 'OUNDS COME,
MY LADS?"

_Little Girl_ (_respectfully_). "IF YOU PLEASE, SIR, _OUR_ 'OUNDS DON'T
'UNT IN 'ARD WEATHER!"]

* * * * *

Up, up, up! and round and round; and up, up, up! higher, higher,
higher up!

There was the belfry where the ringers came. _Punch_ caught hold of
one of the frayed ropes which hung down through the apertures in the
oaken roof. But he started; other hands seemed on it; he shrank from
the thought of waking the deep Bell. The Bells themselves were higher.
Higher, _Punch_ and _Toby_, in their fascination, or working out the
spell upon them, groped their way; until, ascending through the floor,
and pausing, with his head raised just above its beams _Punch_ came
among the Bells. It was barely possible to make out their great shapes
in the gloom; but there they were. Shadowy, and dark, and dumb.

He listened, and then raised a wild "Halloa!" "Halloa!" was mournfully
protracted by the echoes. Giddy, confused, and out of breath, _Punch_
looked about him vacantly, and sank down in a swoon.

* * * * *

He saw the tower, whither his charmed footsteps had brought him,
swarming with dwarf phantoms, sprites, elfin creatures of the Bells.
He saw them leaping, flying, dropping, pouring from the Bells without
a pause. He saw them, round him on the ground; above him in the air;
clambering from him by the ropes below; looking down upon him from the
massive iron-girdered beams; peeping in upon him through the chinks
and loopholes in the walls; spreading away and away from him in
enlarging circles. He saw them of all aspects and all shapes. He saw
them ugly, handsome, crippled, exquisitely formed. He saw them young,
he saw them old; he saw them kind, he saw them cruel; he saw them
merry, he saw them grim; he saw them dance, he heard them sing; he saw
them tear their hair, he heard them howl. He saw the air thick with
them.

_Wh-o-o-o-sh!_ With what a wild whirr of startled wings the owls and
bats scurried away, dim spectral hiding things that love the darkness
and the silence of night, and shrink from light and cheerful sounds!
"Well rid of _you_!" murmured _Punch_, as _Toby_ barked at the flying
phantoms.

But among the other swarming sprites, and circling elfs, and frolic
phantoms of the Bells, _Punch_ beheld brighter things. That pleasant
pair, hand in hand, princely-looking both, and loving withal, bring a
music as of marriage-bells "all in the wild March morning." And those
other goodly and gracious presences, hint they not of Health and
Home Happiness, and Benignant Art, and Humanity-serving Science, of
Electric Sympathy, and Ready Rescue, of Mammon-thwarting Reform, and
Misery-staying Benevolence; of all the spiritual charities and fairy
graces that can bless and brighten country and hearth, Sire and
citizen, master and servant, employer and employed, struggling man,
suffering woman and helpless child? _Punch_ read in their whirling
forms and expressive faces the signs and promise of all the best and
brightest influences of the time, happy and opportune attendants upon
the auspicious hour of this the opening day of the New Year!

* * * * *

_Bim, Bom, Boom!!! Clang, Cling, Clang_!!! What are those hands
tugging at the ropes, swinging the Bells big and little, evoking the
stormy clashes and soothing cadences of the Chimes?

Surely those of the youthful New Year himself! An echo from the
long-silent lips of the great Christmas-glorifier and lover of poor
humanity seemed to ring in _Punch's_ ears: -

"Who hears in us, the Chimes, one note bespeaking disregard, or stern
regard, of any hope, or joy or pain, or sorrow, of the many-sorrowed
throng; who hears us make response to any creed that gauges human
passions and affections, as it gauges the amount of miserable food on
which humanity may pine and wither, does us wrong!"

"Right you are!" cried _Punch_, cordially, _Toby_ yapping assent.

He might have said more, but the Bells, the dear familiar Bells,
his own dear constant, steady friends, the Chimes, began to ring the
joy-peals for a New Year so lustily, so merrily, so happily, so gaily,
that he (like poor old _Trotty Veck_) leapt to his feet, and broke the
spell that bound him.

* * * * *

"Yes, that is still the true Spirit of the Chimes," mused _Mr. Punch_,
as he took pen in hand to open up his new Volume. "And that's the
spirit I hope to keep up right through the twelve months of just-born
Eighteen Hundred and Ninety-two, which I trust may be - with my willing
assistance,

A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OF YOU!!!"

* * * * *

OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.

One of the Baron's Critical Faculty sends him his opinion of our Mr.
DU MAURIER's latest novel, which is also his first. And here let it be
published _urbi et orbi_ that there is no truth whatever in a report
which appeared in an evening paper to the effect that Mr. DU MAURIER,
however retiring he may be, was about to retire or had retired
from _Mr. Punch's_ Staff. The _St. James's Gazette_ has already
"authoritatively" denied the assertion; and this denial the Baron
for _Mr. Punch_, decisively confirms. Now, to the notice of the book
above-mentioned. Here it is: -

[Illustration]

"There has been a certain deliberateness in Mr. DU MAURIER's incursion
into literature that speaks eloquently for his modesty. He is, to our
certain knowledge, at least 40 years old, and _Peter Ibbetson_, which
Messrs. OSGOOD & CO. present in two daintily dressed volumes, is
his first essay in romantic writing. Reading the book, it is hard to
conceive this to be the fact. The work is entirely free from those
traces of amateurishness, almost inseparable from a first effort. The
literary style is considerably above the average modern novelist; the
plot is marked by audacious invention, worked out with great skill;
the hero is a madman, not in itself an attractive arrangement, but
there is such admirable method in his madness, such fine poetic
feeling in the conception of character, and the ghosts who flit
through the pages of the story are so exceedingly human, that one
feels quite at home with _Peter_, and is really sorry when, all too
soon, his madness passes away, and he awakes to a new life, to find
himself an old man. Apart from its strong dramatic interest, _Peter
Ibbetson_ has rare value, from the pictures of Old Paris in the last
days of LOUIS-PHILIPPE, which crowd in charming succession through the
first volume. Mr. GEORGE DU MAURIER, the well-known artist in black
and white, has generously assisted Mr. GEORGE DU MAURIER, the rising
novelist, by profusely illustrating the work. 'Tis a pretty rivalry;
hard to say which has the better of it. Wherein a discerning Public,
long familiar with DU MAURIER's sketches, will recognise a note of
highest praise for the new departure."

The Baron recommends Mrs. OLIPHANT's _The Railway Man and his
Children_, which is a good story, with just such a dash of the
improbable - but there, who can bring improbability as a charge against
the plot constructed by any novelist after this great Jewel Case so
recently tried? Mrs. OLIPHANT's types are well drawn; but the story is
drawn out by just one volume too much. "For a one-volume novel commend
me," quoth the Baron, "to Miss RHODA-BROUGHTON-CUM-ELIZABETH-BISLAND's
_A Widower Indeed_. But ... wait till after the festivities are over
to read it, as the tale is sad." _En attendant_, A Happy New Year to
everyone, says

THE BENIGN BARON DE BOOK-WORMS.

* * * * *

SIMPLE STORIES.

"BE ALWAYS KIND TO ANIMALS WHEREVER YOU MAY BE!"

FRANK AND THE FOX.

FRANK was a very studious and clever little boy.

[Illustration]

He took the keenest delight in music, and when he had mastered his
lessons, he was very fond of playing on the concertina, and singing to
his own accompaniment. He could already play "_The Bells go a-ringing
for Sarah_!" with considerable finish and expression, and since
his Uncle DODDLEWIG had presented him with half-a-crown for his
performance, he had given the air with variations, and the song with
every description of embellishment, all over the paternal mansion, and
in most corners of the ancestral estate.

To tell the truth, his family were getting somewhat tired of his
continued asseverations concerning the tintinabulatory tribute
everlastingly rendered to the excellent young woman. And had he not
been so markedly encouraged by rich old Uncle DODDLEWIG, there is
every reason to suppose that FRANK and his concertina would have been
speedily suppressed.

FRANK heard his Papa lamenting that foxes were so very scarce, that
recently they had had no sport whatever. "There must be plenty of
foxes in the country," said the Squire, "but they won't show."

Now FRANK had been reading about Orpheus, and how he charmed all the
wild beasts with his melody. It was true the boy had not a lyre, but
he had no doubt that his concertina would do as well, and he was quite
certain he had seen a fox while taking his rambles in Tippity Thicket,

One day when he had a holiday, and his Papa had gone a hunting with
his friends, he strolled off with his concertina to endeavour to
lure a fox out into the open. He approached the hole where he had
previously seen the fox, and sat down, and began to play vigorously
on his concertina, and to sing at the top of his voice, "The Bells
go a-ringing for _Say_-rah! _Say_-rah! _Say_-rah!" Presently he saw a
huge Fox poke his nose out of the hole. He was delighted! He sang and
played with renewed energy, and began to walk away, still singing and
playing.

The Fox followed, snarling, and snapping, and appearing very angry.
The more he played, the more the Fox snarled and snapped. At last the
animal became furious, all the hair on its back stood on end, and it
began to make short runs with its mouth open at the young musician.

It sprang upon him! He was terrified! He dropped his song and his
concertina at the same moment, and scrambled up the nearest tree.

The Fox's fury then knew no bounds; he trampled on the concertina, he
bit it, he tore open the bellows, and having reduced it to a shapeless
mass, bore it away to his hole.

When the coast was quite clear, FRANK descended, and slunk home.

The next morning one of the keepers found a dead fox. It had
apparently died of suffocation, as sixteen ivory concertina-stops were
found in its throat.

FRANK now has entirely ceased to believe in Ancient Mythology, and
has been even heard to hint that he considers Dr. LEMPRIÈRE a bit of
a humbug.

* * * * *

"LOST TO SIGHT, TO MEMORY DEAR." - An animal very difficult to secure
again when once off ... and that is ... "a pony," when you've lost it
on Newmarket Heath.

* * * * *

LETTERS TO ABSTRACTIONS.

NO. IX. - TO CROOKEDNESS.

I dispense with all formal opening, and I begin at once. I want to
tell you a story. Don't ask me why; for, even if I answered the truth,
the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, you would hardly believe
me. Let me merely say that I want to tell you a story, and tell it
without much further preface.

[Illustration]

Two days ago I chanced, for no special reason, to open the drawers
of an old writing-table, which for years past had stood, unused, in
a corner of an upper room. In one I found a rusty screw, in another
a couple of dusty envelopes, in a third a piece of sealing-wax,
half-a-dozen nibs, and a broken pencil. The fourth, and last drawer,
was very stiff. For a long time it defied my efforts, and it was only
by a great exertion of strength that I was at last able to wrench it
open. To my surprise I saw two packets of letters, tied together with
faded ribbon. I took them up, and then remembered, with a start, what
they were. They were all in their envelopes, and all were addressed,
in the same hand-writing, to Sir CHARLES CALLENDER, Bart., Curzon
Street, Mayfair. They were his wife's letters, and, after the
death of Sir CHARLES, whose sole executor I was, they came into my
possession, - Sir CHARLES, for some inscrutable reason, never having
destroyed them, although, after his wife's death, the reading of
them cannot have given him much pleasure. No doubt I ought to have
destroyed them. I had never read them; but there, in that forgotten
drawer, they had lain, the silent dust accumulating upon them as the
years rolled on. They reminded me of the story I am about to relate - a
story of which, I think, no one except myself has guessed the truth,
and which, in most of its details, I only knew from a paper, carefully
closed, heavily sealed, and addressed to me, which I found amongst my
friend's documents. It was in his hand-writing throughout, but I shall
tell it in my own words, and in my own way.

Nobody who was about in London Society some thirty years ago, could
fail to know or know about the beautiful Lady CALLENDER. She was of a
good county family. She was clever and accomplished. She had married
a man rich, generous, amiable, and cultivated, who adored her.
Unfortunately they had no children, but, in every other respect, Lady
CALLENDER seemed to be very justly an object of envy and admiration
to most of the men and women of her circle. Personally I had no great
liking for her. I don't take any credit for that - far from it. The
reason may have been that her Ladyship (although I was one of her
husband's best friends, had been his school chum, and had "kept"
with him in the same set of rooms at Cambridge, where his triumphs,
physical and intellectual, are still remembered) never much cared for
me. She could dissemble her real feelings better than any woman I
ever knew, she always greeted me with a smile, she even made a parade
of taking my advice on little family difficulties, but there was an
indefinable something in her manner which convinced me that beneath
all her smiles she bore me no good-will. The fact is that, without any
design on my part, I had detected her in one or two bits of trickery,
and, in what I suppose I must call her heart of hearts, she never
forgave me. The truth is, though her guileless husband only knew it
too late, she was perhaps the trickiest and the most heartless woman
in England. If there were two roads to the attainment of any object,
the one straight, broad, smooth and short, the other round-about,
obscure, narrow and encompassed with pitfalls and beset by
difficulties, she would deliberately choose the latter for no other
reason that I could ever see except that by treading it she might be
able to deceive her friends as to her true direction. She carried
to a fine art the small intrigues, the petty jealousies, the mean
manoeuvres in the science of outwitting; the shifts, the stratagems,
the evasions by which power in Society is often supposed to be
confirmed, reputations are frequently ruined, and lives are almost
invariably made wretched. But Sir CHARLES knew none of these
things. He was apparently only too proud to be dragged at his wife's
chariot-wheels in her triumphant progress. For the strange part of
the business is that there was absolutely no need for any of her
deeply-laid schemes. Success, popularity and esteem would have come
to her readily without them. She was, as I said, beautiful. Innocence
seemed to be throned on her fresh and glowing face. Her smile
fascinated, her voice was a poem, and she was musical in the best
sense of the word at a time when good music, although it might lack
popular support, could always command a small band of enthusiastic
votaries in London.

There was at this time living in London an Italian artist, man
of letters and musical _virtuoso_, who was the spoiled darling of
Society. All the women raved about him, the men liked him, for he had
fought bravely on the field of battle, was a sportsman and had about
him that frank and abundant _gaieté de coeur_, which powerfully
attracts the less exuberant Englishman. For his part CASANUOVA (that
was his name) bore all his successes with good-nature and without
swagger. Of course there were whispers about him. Where so many women
worshipped, it was certain that two or three would lose their heads.
Amongst this limited number was little Mrs. MILLETT, one of Lady
CALLENDER's most intimate friends. She made no secret of her _grande
passion_. She poured her tale into the ears of Lady CALLENDER, and
asked for sympathy and help. Lady CALLENDER promised both, and at the
self-same moment, made up her mind that she would withdraw from Mrs.
MILLETT such affection as CASANUOVA had honoured her with, and bring
him, not because she cared for him, but merely for the sport of the
thing, to her own feet. She succeeded admirably. Under the pretence
of bringing CASANUOVA and Mrs. MILLETT together (such things, you
know, have been done in good Society) she invited him constantly to
her house; she gave musical parties in his honour, she used all her


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Online LibraryVariousPunch, Or The London Charivari, Volume 102, Jan. 2, 1892 → online text (page 1 of 3)