Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 105, October 14th 1893 online

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PUNCH, VOL. 105, OCTOBER 14TH 1893 ***

Produced by Punch, or the London Charivari, Malcolm Farmer,
Ernest Schaal, and the Online Distributed Proofreading
Team at

[Illustration: DIVERSE AIMS.

(_Early Morning_.)



* * * * *


_A Trip round "the Island," and back to P'm'th_.

_Happy Thought (on board crowded steamboat)_. - "Obstinacy is the best
policy." The obstinate man won't move, and won't speak, except in
monosyllables; he won't budge one inch for anybody; he puts everybody in
a worse temper than everybody was before, and, in the end, he wins. To
the credit of the obstinate man be it said that "he knows how to keep
his place," and does keep it too.

A kind of second-rate sporting bookmaker, with sandy whiskers and dirty
hands, who has secured a corner seat near me, smokes like a chimney, and
the chimney, his pipe, ought to have been swept and cleaned out long
ago. Also he seems quite unable to take five whiffs without prolific
expectoration. From experience I believe he will be visited by the
steward, and told not to smoke. I am awaiting this with malicious
anticipation of pleasure. I am disappointed. A junior steward, of whom I
make the inquiry in heating of the objectionable fumigator, replies that
"Smoking _is_ allowed here, but not abaft." Thanks, very much. The
sandy-whiskered man won't go "abaft," wherever that is. Perhaps he will
presently. After a time, when it becomes a bit rougher, he disappears.
No doubt he has gone "abaft." Let him stay there.

"_The Needles_." - Why needles? There's no more point in the name than
there is to the rocks.

Opposite Freshwater it very naturally commences to be a bit freshish;
some people in the forepart are getting very wet; there is a stampede;
it is still fresher and rougher; but I have every confidence in the
Captain, who, as I observe, is negligently standing on the bridge,
deliberately cracking specimens of that great delicacy the early
filbert, or it may be the still earlier walnut.

_Happy Thought_. - There can be no danger when the Captain is engaged in
cracking nuts as if they were so many jokes.

Splashing and ducking have commenced freely. The waves do the splashing,
and the people on board do the ducking.

There are those who look ill and keep well; and others who look well at
first, but who turn all sorts of colours within a quarter of an hour,
struggle gallantly, and succumb; children lively, but gradually
collapsing, lying about doubled up helplessly; comfortable, comely
matrons who came on board neat and tidy, now horridly uncomfortable, and
quite reckless of appearance. Here, too, is the uncertain sailor, who
considers it safer to remain seated, and who, at the end of the voyage,
is surprised to find himself in perfect health.

_Sighting Ventnor_. - The man "who knows everything" informs us that this
is Bonchurch, which information a man with a book has of course felt
himself bound to correct. The latter tells us that it is a place called
Undercliff (which nobody for one moment believes), and both informants
are put right by a mariner with a map, who points out all the places
correctly, and confides to us in a husky voice that "that ere place
among the trees is Ventnor."

More shower-bathing; the fore-part of the vessel quite cleared by the
attacking waves.

However, "it soon dries off," says a jolly middle-aged gentleman in a
summer suit, drenched from tip of collar to toe of boot.

Being well out at sea (how many are never "_well_ out at sea"!), we
catch sight of Bonchurch and the landslip. Of course we gay nautical
dogs pity the poor lubbers ashore who "live at home at ease," and who
are probably suffering from intense - - (Here my remarks, made to a
jovial companion on a camp-stool, are interrupted by a blob in the eye
from a wave. On recovery I forget what I was going to say, but fancy
"the missing word" is "heat.")

Passing Sandown. Of course the well-informed person says, "This is where
the races are," and equally of course he is immediately contradicted by
a reduced chorus of bystanders, who pity his deplorable ignorance. Total
discomfiture of well-informed person. He disappears. "Gone below," like
a Demon in a pantomime at the appearance of the Good Fairy.

Nice place Sandown apparently, where, it being 1.30, the happy
Wight-islanders are probably sitting down in comfort to a nice hot
lunch, while we, the jovial mariners - well, no matter. I shall wait till
I can lunch ashore.

Our arrangements are to land at Southsea, where (so we were given to
understand) we ought to be at 2 P.M. But already it is 2 P.M., and I
dive into my provision-pocket for a broken biscuit. ... An interior
voice whispers that the broken biscuit was a mistake. I tremble. False
alarm. Southsea!! Saved!! But we are forty minutes late, and our time
for refreshment is considerably curtailed.

We crowd off through a sort of black-hole passage. Debarking and
re-embarking might be very easily managed on a much more comfortable
plan. We pay one penny for the pier-toll, and we make for the hotel at
the entrance to the pier. Any port in a storm. Cold luncheon is ready
for those who can take it, that is, one in six.

_Back again_. - Past Cowes and Ryde. Weather lovely; sea calm.

There are some persons of whom I would make short work were I a Captain
on board, with power to order into irons anyone whose presence was
objectionable. And these persons are, Firstly, stout greasy women, with
damp, dirty little children. Secondly, fat old men and women (more or
less dirty) eating green, juicy pears with pocket knives. Thirdly,
smokers of strong pipes. Fourthly, smokers of cigars. Fifthly
(imprisonment with torture), for smokers of bad cigars. Sixthly, people
who will persist in attempting to walk about and who, in order to
preserve their perpendicular, are perpetually making grabs at everything
and everybody. Seventhly, aimless wanderers, who seem unable to remain
in one place for five minutes at a time.

5.45. Old England once more. We land on P'm'th Pier.

* * * * *

"'LUX' AGAINST HIM." - At the Church Congress last week the gentleman
known as "Father IGNATIUS," who evidently considers an Ecclesiastical
Congress at Birmingham a mere "Brummagam affair," became uncommonly
excited. It cannot be said that his violence took the form of demanding
the blood of any antagonist, as he distinctly objected to the presence
of _Gore_. But Mr. GORE, author of _Lux Mundi_, won the toss, stood his
ground, and spoke; his speech being very favourably received. "Yet," as
the President remarked (probably to himself, as it was not reported),
"we must draw the line somewhere, and it is only a pity the LYNE has
been 'drawn' here." Subsequently the LYNE shook hands with the police,
peace was restored, and the LYNE lay down with the lamb. "See how these
Christians love one another!"

* * *

Why is an utterly selfish man always a most presentable person in the
very best society? - _Ans_. Because never for one minute does he forget

* * * * *


_War!_ Is it still to be war, wild war in the heart of the land?
Are we children of England, busied in tearing our mother's breast?
And is there no ruling counsel, and is there no warning hand
To bring this folly to reason, and still this fury to rest?
_War!_ And the boons of Nature are wasted in stubborn strife,
And women, children, non-combatants, suffer and starve and stand by;
And idle hands are lifted in vain for the means of life;
And _why_?

Ye will not list to each other, then listen to me and to _these_,
Whose mute appeal I must voice, and whose pitiful cause I must
You of the hardened hearts playing autocrat much at your ease,
And you of the hardened hands who the _end_ of the way little heed;
Listen and look and consider! The blows that you blindly strike
Like shafts that are shot at a venture, fall not alone upon foes.
The arrow shot o'er the house[1] may a brother hurt, belike -
Who knows?

[1] _Hamlet_, Act V., Sc. 2.

Who _cares_? Not you, it would seem. For you stand with stubborn
And backs in hatred averted, and ears to all counsels closed;
While ten thousand innocent lives of _your_ quarrel are bearing the
And a myriad hands hang idle because _you_ are fiercely opposed.
Look at them! Gathered hungry about an empty grate.
Whilst the coal they crave lies idle within the unpeopled mine,
And Wealth and Work, at odds, when invited to arbitrate -

Capital sets its face, and cocks a contemptuous nose,
And Labour, lounging sullenly, snaps its jaws like a spring;
And the land must stand at gaze whilst they fight it out as foes!
How long must we wait the issue, how long must we "keep the ring"?
Are there no rights save yours, no claims save your warring wills?
Sense has a word to say, Justice a thing to do.
Are we to wait and wait while the land with suffering thrills,
For _you_?

Sympathy? Ay, good friends! But sympathy's not like wrath,
One-eyed, one-sided, partial. Sympathy's due to all
Who fall, fate-tripped and bruised, in your quarrel's Juggernaut path.
We think of the wives and children - Charity heeds their call;
Does she not proffer her dole "without prejudice"? - Yes, but they
Are not sole sufferers now from the Coal War's venomous strife.
Thousands of unknown hearts are pleading for Peace to-day -
And _Life_!

Strong men "out of work," weak women as "out of heart,"
Factory gates unopened, and Workhouse gates fast shut.
Traffic hampered, arrested, piled trains unable to start.
Famine in homes and hearths, trade dead-lock and market-glut!
The coal lies there in the mine, untouched of hammer and pick,
While yon pale widow-woman must haggle in vain for enough
To charge her tiny grate! Faith! the heart that turns not sick
Is tough!

Tough, my lords of Capital! Hard as the coal-seam black
Your Cyclops-drudges dig at - when you will allow them to dig.
Say, on your conscience now, _is_ your purse so slender and slack
That you _cannot_ bend a little to those who have made you big?
The wealth the sunlight stored men hew for you in the dark,
From the black and poisonous caverns which once were forests free,
'Tis yours - till certain questions are asked and answered! Hark
To me!

Men will not _always_ stand, while Monopoly wages war,
Mute, unquestioning, suffering. Greed, and starvation wage,
The crowd of want-urged captives shackled to Mammon's car,
Show not the welcomest things to this curious, questioning age.
To-day the appeal's to Pity. To-morrow - well, never mind! -
Look on the sorrowful picture that _Punch_ commends to your view!
Man many a time has found there is wisdom in being kind.
Will _you_?

And you poor thralls of the pit, remember that you and yours
Are not sole sufferers now from this fratricidal strife.
Yes, a starving garrison - _fights_; sharp ills demand sharp cures;
But when in your stubborn wrath you swear it is "war to the knife,"
Remember that knife's at the throat of others than those who'd gain
By a victory for you in this fiercest of labour fights.
And these, too, who _must_ lose, yet have - shall they not maintain? -
_Their_ rights!

* * * * *

[Illustration: "AND _SHE_ OUGHT TO KNOW!"


* * * * *


(_A Song of the Modern Masher_.)

Oh! other centuries have had their blades, their bucks, their dandies,
Who had redeeming qualities, but what no man can stand is
The up-to-date variety, that miserable nonny,
The self-conceited jackanapes who calls himself a "Johnny."
He hasn't got the brawn or brains to go in for excesses,
His faults are feeble - like himself, - he dawdles, dines, and dresses,
His words, his hair, his silly speech to sheer negation clippin',
And when he wants to praise a thing, his only word is "Rippin'."


Oh! he's rippin', rippin'! A tailor's block set skippin',
He's all bad debts and cigarettes and bets and kümmel-nippin',
His head's without a grain of sense, his hand he's got no grip in,
He drags his walk and tags his talk with "Rippin', rippin',

His faultless dress is the result of unremitting study,
He's quite the perfect "Johnny," never messed and never muddy,
His coat is always baggy and his hat is always shiny,
His boots are always varnished to their pointed toes so tiny.
His shirts, his ties, his walking-sticks are marvels to remember,
And with the seasons change from January to December.
He always wears a "buttonhole," and in a huge carnation
Of hideous hue 'twixt green and blue finds special delectation.

He has a language of his own which he elects to talk in;
He cuts his final g's and speaks of shootin', huntin', walkin';
With slipshod phrase and hybrid slang his speeches fairly bristle,
And vulgarisms "smart" he loves as donkeys love a thistle.
He'll lay "a hun_derd_ poun_d_," or say "he ain't," quite
He systematically spurns the use of the subjunctive.
He knows "how the best people talk," and quite ignores the clamour
Of any "dash'd low nonsense," such as euphony and grammar.

He's great upon the music-halls, can tell you what befalls there;
He drops in at the Gaiety, and ornaments the stalls there;
He knows each vapid joke by heart, and wishes that he knew more;
They quite conform in quality to _his_ idea of humour.
He skims the sportin' papers, and devours the shillin' thriller;
He counts the bard of comic songs a cut above a SCHILLER -
In fact, they scoff at poets in his very wide-awake sphere,
And in his secret soul he has a fine contempt for SHAKSPEARE.

He dawdles dully through his day in quite the latest fashion -
A round of folly minus wit, and vice without its passion.
At five he walks "the Burlington," in which esteemed Arcade he
Meets various of his chosen chums - the silly and the shady;
Then to the Berkeley or Savoy at eight o'clock or later,
Much over-dressed, to over-dine, and over-tip the waiter.
The theatre next, and last his club (the which he takes delight in),
To prove his pluck by "lookin' on at other Johnnies fightin'."

His conversation's all made up of stable and of scandal,
And tales of "chaps he knows" - whose names have mostly got a "handle."
He "don't go in" for ladies much, their style of charm is _not_ his,
Which follows on the model of the "Lotties" and the "Totties."
He doesn't sing, he doesn't dance, he has no recreation
That doesn't sap his scanty brains or sear his reputation,
In short, - for him, his antics and his never-ceasin' "rippin',"
There's just one cure would answer, and that's whippin', whippin',

Oh! Whippin', whippin', I'd like to set him skippin',
To end his bets and cigarettes and stop his kümmel-nippin',
With cure in kind his flabby mind to put a little grip in,
To brisk his walk and sense his talk with whippin', whippin',

* * * * *


(_A Story in Scenes_.)

SCENE VIII. - _A prettily-furnished Drawing-room at the_
MERRIDEWS' _House in Hans Place_. TIME - _About 5.30 on Saturday
afternoon_. Mrs. MERRIDEW _has a small tea-table in front of
her_. ALTHEA _is sitting on a couch close by_. _Both ladies are
wearing their hats, having just returned from a drive_. Mrs.
MERRIDEW _is young and attractive, and her frock is in the
latest fashion_; ALTHEA _is more simply dressed, though her hair
and toilette have evidently been supervised by an experienced

_Mrs. Merridew_. I don't think I've ever known the Park so full before
Easter as it was to-day. Try one of those hot cakes, THEA, or a jam
sandwich - we don't dine till late, you know. It's been so nice having
you, I do wish you hadn't to go on Monday - _must_ you?

_Althea_. I'm afraid I must, CISSIE; it has been the most delightful
week; only - Clapham will seem dreadfully flat after all this. _She

_Mrs. M_. Notwithstanding the excitement of Mr. CURPHEW'S conversation?


_Mrs. M_. Now don't pretend ignorance, dear. You have quoted Mr. CURPHEW
and his opinions often enough to show that you see and think a good deal
of him. And, really, if you colour like that at the mere mention - -

_Alth_. Am I colouring? That last cup was so strong. And I don't see Mr.
CURPHEW at all often. He is more Mamma's friend than mine - she has a
very high opinion of him.

_Mrs. M_. I daresay he deserves it. He's a fearfully learned and
superior person, isn't he?

_Alth_. I - I don't know. He writes for the paper.

_Mrs. M_. That's vague, dear. What sort of paper? Political, Scientific,
Sporting, Society - or what?

_Alth_. I never asked; but I should think - well, he's rather _serious_,
you know, CISSIE.

_Mrs. M_. Then it's a comic paper, my dear, depend upon it!

_Alth_. Oh, CISSIE, I'm _sure_ it isn't. And he's very hardworking. He's
not like most men of his age, he doesn't care in the least for

_Mrs. M_. He must be a very lively person. But tell me - you used to tell
me everything, THEA - does this immaculate paragon show any signs of - - ?

_Alth_. (_in a low voice_). I'm not sure - - Perhaps - but I may be

_Mrs. M_. And if - don't think me horribly impertinent - but if you're
_not_ mistaken, have you made up your mind what answer to give him?

_Alth_. (_imploringly_). Don't tease me, CISSIE. I thought once - but now
I really don't know. I wish he wasn't so strict and severe. I wish he
understood that one can't always be solemn - that one must have a little
enjoyment in one's life, when one is young!

_Mrs. M_. And yet I seem to remember a girl who had serious searchings
of heart, not so very long ago, as to whether it wasn't sinful to go and
see SHAKSPEARE at the Lyceum!

_Alth_. I know; it was silly of me - but I didn't know what a theatre was
like. I'd never been to see a play - not even at the Crystal Palace. But
now I've been, I'd like to go to one every week; they're lovely, and I
don't believe anything that makes you cry and laugh like that _can_ be

_Mrs. M_. Ah, you were no more meant to be a little Puritan than I was
myself, dear. Heavens! When I think what an abominable prig I must have
been at Miss PRUINS'.

_Alth_. You weren't in the least a prig, CISSIE. But you _were_
different. You used to say you intended to devote yourself entirely to

_Mrs. M_. Yes; but I didn't realise then what a lot there were of them.
And when I met FRANK I thought it would be less ambitious to begin with
_him_. Now I find there's humanity enough in FRANK to occupy the
devotion of a lifetime. But are you sure, THEA, that this journalist
admirer of yours is quite the man to - - He sounds dull, dear; admirable
and all that - but, oh, so deadly dull!

[Illustration: "Yes; but I didn't realise then what a lot there were of

_Alth_. If he was brilliant and fond of excitement _we_ shouldn't have
known him; for we're deadly dull ourselves, CISSIE. I never knew _how_
dull till - till I came to stay with you!

_Mrs. M_. You're not dull, you're a darling; and if you think I'm going
to let you throw yourself away on some humdrum plodder who will expect
you to find your sole amusement in hearing him prose, you're mistaken;
because I shan't. THEA, whatever you do, don't be talked into marrying a
Dryasdust; you'll only be miserable if you do!

_Alth_. But Mr. CURPHEW isn't as bad as that, CISSIE. And - and he hasn't
asked me yet, and when he finds out how frivolous I've become, very
likely he never will; so we needn't talk about it any more, need we?

_Mrs. M_. Now I feel snubbed; but I don't care, it's all for your good,
my dear, and I've said all I wanted to, so we'll change the subject for
something more amusing. (Colonel MERRIDEW _comes in_.) Well, FRANK, have
you actually condescended to come in for some tea? (_To_ ALTHEA.)
Generally he says tea is all very well for women; and then goes off to
his club and has at least two cups, and I daresay muffins.

_Col. M_. Why not say ham-sandwiches at once, CECILIA, my dear? pity to
curb your imagination! (_Sitting down_.) If that tea's drinkable, I
don't know that I won't have a cup; though it's not what I came for. I
wanted to know if you'd settled to do anything this evening, because, if
not, I've got a suggestion - struck me in the Row just after you'd
passed, and I thought I'd come back and see how _you_ felt about it.
(_He takes his tea_.) For me? - thanks.

_Mrs. M_. We feel curious about it at present. FRANK.

_Col. M_. Well, I thought that, as this is Miss TOOVEY'S last evening
with us, it was a pity to waste it at home. Why shouldn't we have a
little dinner at the Savoy, eh? - about eight - and drop in somewhere
afterwards, if we feel inclined?

_Mrs. M_. Do you know that's quite a delightful idea of yours, FRANK.
That is, unless THEA has had enough of gaiety, and would rather we had a
quiet evening. Would you, dear? _To_ ALTHEA.

_Alth_. (_eagerly_). Oh, no, indeed, CISSIE, I'm not a bit tired!

_Mrs. M_. You're quite sure? But where could we go on afterwards, FRANK;
shouldn't we be too late for any theatre?

_Col. M_. I rather thought we might look in at the Eldorado; you said
you were very keen to hear WALTER WILDFIRE. (_He perceives that his wife
is telegraphing displeasure_.) Eh? why, you _did_ want me to take you.

_Alth_. (_to herself_). WALTER WILDFIRE? why, it was WALTER WILDFIRE
that CHARLES advised Mr. CURPHEW to go and hear. Mr. CURPHEW said it was
the very last thing he was likely to do. But he's so prejudiced!

_Mrs. M_. (_trying to make her husband understand_). Some time - but I
think, not to-night, FRANK.

_Col. M_. If it's not to-night you mayn't get another chance; they say
he's going to give up singing very soon.

_Mrs. M_. Oh, I hope not! I remember now hearing he was going to retire,
because his throat was weak, or else he was going into Parliament, or a
Retreat, or something or other. But I'm sure, FRANK, ALTHEA wouldn't
quite like to - -

_Col. M_. Then of course there's no more to be said. I only thought she
might be amused, you know.

_Alth_. But indeed I should, Colonel MERRIDEW, please let us go!

_Mrs. M_. But, THEA, dear, are you sure you quite understand what the
Eldorado _is_? - it's a music-hall. Of course it's all right, and
everyone goes nowadays; but, still, I shouldn't like to take you if
there was any chance that your mother might disapprove. You might never
be allowed to come to us again.

_Alth_. (_to herself_). They're both dying to go, I can see; it's too
hateful to feel oneself such a kill-joy! And even Mr. CURPHEW admitted
that a music-hall was no worse than a Penny Reading. (_Aloud_.) I don't
think Mamma would disapprove, CISSIE; not more than she would of my
going to theatres, and I've been to _them_, you know!

_Col. M_. We'd have a box, of course, and only just get there in time to
hear WILDFIRE; we could go away directly afterwards, 'pon my word,
CECILIA, I don't see any objection, if Miss TOOVEY would like to go.
Never heard a word against WILDFIRE'S singing, and as for the rest,
well, you admitted last time there was no real harm in the thing!

_Alth_. Do say yes, CISSIE. I do want to hear this WALTER WILDFIRE so!

_Mrs. M_. I'm not at all sure that I ought to say anything of the sort,

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Online LibraryVariousPunch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 105, October 14th 1893 → online text (page 1 of 3)