Copyright
Various.

Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 107, October 20, 1894 online

. (page 3 of 3)
Online LibraryVariousPunch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 107, October 20, 1894 → online text (page 3 of 3)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


ANNUS_" - representing the "_amnis ævi_" - and while Upper Thames Street
is, _pace_ the ever Green Alderman, in a state of stagnation as far as
"improvements" are concerned.

* * * * *

A DROUTH-AND-MOUTH-DISEASE. - A curious disease, originating, it is said,
in the East, has lately baffled medical men. It is called "beriberi."
Introduce another "e" into the first and third syllable, and the name
might serve for that thirsty kind of feverish state with which no
Anti-closing-of-the-public-at-any-time-Society is able to cope.

* * * * *

"PREMATUER?" - Per the _Leadenhall Press_, Mr. TUER is bringing out a
real old Horn-book, that is, a _facsimile_ of the ancient Horn-book. For
years have we longed to see the genuine article. It will be in
Hornamental cover, of course. "_Succès au livre de la corne!_"

* * * * *

"THE AUTOCRAT."

OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES.

BORN 1809. DIED OCTOBER 7, 1894.

"The Last Leaf!" Can it be true,
We have turned it, and on _you_
Friend of all?
That the years at last have power?
That life's foliage and its flower
Fade and fall?

Was there one who ever took
From its shelf, by chance, a book
Penned by you,
But was fast your friend, for life,
With _one_ refuge from its strife
Safe and true?

Even gentle ELIA'S self
Might be proud to share that shelf,
Leaf to leaf,
With a soul of kindred sort,
Who could bind strong sense and sport
In one sheaf.

From that Boston breakfast table
Wit and wisdom, fun and fable,
Radiated
Through all English-speaking places.
When were Science and the Graces
So well mated?

Of sweet singers the most sane,
Of keen wits the most humane,
Wide yet clear,
Like the blue, above us bent;
Giving sense and sentiment
Each its sphere;

With a manly breadth of soul,
And a fancy quaint and droll;
Ripe and mellow:
With a virile power of "hit,"
Finished scholar, poet, wit,
_And_ good fellow!

Sturdy patriot, and yet;
True world's citizen! Regret
Dims our eyes
As we turn each well-thumbed leaf;
Yet a glory 'midst our grief
Will arise.

Years your spirit could not tame,
And they will not dim your fame;
England joys
In your songs all strength and ease,
And the "dreams" you "wrote to please
Grey-haired boys."

And of such were you not one?
Age chilled not your fire or fun.
Heart alive
Makes a boy of a grey bard,
Though his years be - "by the card" -
Eighty-five!

* * * * *

VENETIAN FLOWER SELLERS

Young, dark-eyed beauties, graceful, gay,
So I expected you to be,
Adorning in a charming way
This silent City of the Sea.
But you are very far from that;
You're forty - sometimes more - and fat.

Oh, girls of Venice! WOODS, R.A.,
Has frequently depicted you,
Idealising, I should say -
A thing that painters often do;
Still, though your charms have left me cold,
At least you are not fat and old!

Why should you, flower-sellers, then,
Be so advanced in age and size?
You cannot charm the foreign men,
Who gaze at you in blank surprise.
You hover round me - like a gnat,
Each of you, but old and fat.

Extremely troublesome you are,
No gnats were ever half so bad,
You dart upon me from afar,
And do your best to drive me mad.
Oh bother you, so overbold,
Preposterously fat and old!

You buttonhole me as I drink
My _caffe nero_ on the square,
Stick flowers in my coat, and think
I can't refuse them. I don't care.
I'd buy them, just to have a chat,
If you were not so old and fat.

Oh go away! I hate the sight
Of flowers since that afternoon
When first we met. I think of flight,
Or drowning in the still lagoon.
I am, unlike your flowers, sold,
You are so very fat and old.

* * * * *

SUGGESTED MOTTO FOR THE AËRATED BREAD
COMPANY.

.... "His sleep
Was aëry light, from pure digestion bred."
_Paradise Lost, B. V., line 4._

* * * * *

FIRST IMPRESSIONS.

There is no doubt that one's first impressions are always the brightest
and the best; therefore I resolve to record the first impressions of a
first visit to the Italian lakes.

_British Bellagio._ - "Hôtel Victoria, Prince de Galles et des Iles
Britanniques," or some such name, is usually, as _Baedeker_ says,
"frequented by the English." They are here certainly, and one hears
one's native language everywhere. There are the honeymoon couples,
silent and reserved, who glare fiercely at anyone who might be supposed
to imagine for a moment that they are newly married; there are people
who converse in low monotonous voices about the weather, which changes
every hour; there is an old lady, who gives one startling information,
telling one, for instance, that PAUL VERONESE was born at Verona; and
there are two or three British menservants, gazing with superb disdain
at the poor foreigners. The hotel is very quiet. The evening of a
week-day is like Sunday evening, and Sunday evening is - - !!! If only
the weather were not also English, or even worse. On the last day of
September the only warm place is by the fire in the _fumoir_. So let us
hurry off from this wintry climate to somewhere, to anywhere. By the
first boat we go.

[Illustration]

Still English everywhere. At Bellagio a great crowd, and heaps of
luggage. At Cadenabbia a greater crowd, and more heaps of luggage. Here
they come, struggling along the gangway in the wind. There is a
sad-faced Englishman, his hands full of packages, his pockets stuffed
with others, carrying under his arm a little old picture wrapped loosely
in pink tissue paper, which the wind blows here and there. He is a
forgetful man, for he wanders to and fro collecting his possessions.
With him is another forgetful Englishman in very shabby clothes, who
also carries packages in paper, and who drags after him an immensely fat
bull-dog at the end of a cord five yards long, which winds round posts
and human legs and other obstacles. At last they are all on board - the
forgetful Englishmen have darted back for the last time to fetch in an
ice-axe and an old umbrella - and on we go over the grey water, past the
grey hills, under the grey sky, towards Como. At Cernobbio the shabby
Englishman lands, dragging his bull-dog at the end of the cord, and
carrying in his arms two rolls of rugs, a bag, and other trifles. His
sad-faced companion, still holding his tiny Old Master in the
ever-diminishing pink paper, wanders in and out seeking forgotten
treasures, an ice-axe, a bag, another paper parcel. Finally all are
landed; the gangway is withdrawn, the steamer begins to move. Suddenly
there is a shout. The shabby Englishman has forgotten something. The
sympathetic passengers look round. There is a solitary umbrella on a
seat. No doubt that is his. A friendly stranger cries, "Is this yours?"
and tosses it to him on the quay. Then there is another shout. "_Ach
Himmel_, dat is mine!" The frantic German waves his arms, the umbrella
is tossed back, he catches it and is happy. But meanwhile another
English man, the most egregious ass that ever lived, has discovered yet
another solitary umbrella, which he casts wildly into space. For one
moment the captain, the passengers, the people on the quay, gaze
breathless as it whirls through the air. It falls just short of the
landing-stage, and sinks into the grey waters of that chilly lake, never
more to be recovered, in any sense of the word. In those immeasurable
depths its neat silk covering will decay, its slender frame will fall to
pieces. It has gone for ever. Beneath this grey Italian sky some Italian
gamp must keep off these Italian showers. Then the captain, the
passengers, and the people smile and laugh. I, who write this, am the
only one on whose face there is not a grin, for that umbrella was mine.

A FIRST IMPRESSIONIST.

* * * * *

TO A PRETTY UNKNOWN.

(_By a Constant Admirer._)

[Illustration]

Your pretty face I saw two years ago,
You looked divine - if I'm not wrong, in lace.
I noticed you, and thus I got to know
Your pretty face.

To-day I travelled to a distant place.
We stopped at Bath. I read my _Punch_, when lo!
You came into my carriage and Your Grace
Rode with me for a dozen miles or so.
Tell me, should we in this Fate's finger trace?
I care not since you had the heart to show
Your pretty face.

* * * * *

TEDDIE THE TILER.

[Illustration]

'Tis November makes the (Lord) Mayor to go. As the ninth approaches, the
year's tenant of the Mansion House packs up and says farewell to all his
greatness. On the principle that attributes happiness to a country that
has no annals, the outgoing LORD MAYOR is to be congratulated on his
year of office. It is probable that out of aldermanic circles not one
man of a hundred in the street could straight off say what is his
Lordship's name. _Mr. Punch_, who knows most things, only ventures to
believe that the good alderman is known in the family circle as Sir
EDWARD TYLER. And a very good name, too. In the occult ceremonies
pertaining to freemasonry it is understood there is an official known as
the Tiler, whose duty is to guard the door, strictly excluding all but
those whose right of entrance is peremptory. Our Sir EDWARD has indeed
been the Tiler of the traditionally hospitable Mansion House.

* * * * *

BROKEN CHINA.

[Illustration]

It is curious to observe the attitude of Western Powers towards the
life-and-death struggle going on in the far East. We of course regret
the loss of life, but are mainly interested in observing the effect in
actual work of ships and guns identical with our own. It is a sort of
gigantic test got up for our benefit at somebody else's expense. That an
ancient empire seems tottering to a fall moves no emotion. "Yes," said
the Member for SARK, to whom these recondite remarks were addressed;
"POPE wasn't far out of it when he very nearly said 'Europe is mistress
of herself though China fall.'"

* * * * *

"MOVING ABOUT IN WORLDS NOT REALISED."

(_By a prejudiced but puzzled Victim of Teacaddies
and Ginger-jars._)

I _suppose_ there's a war in the East,
(I am deluged with pictures about it,)
But I can't _realise_ it - no, not in the least,
And, in spite of the papers, I doubt it.
A Chinaman seems such a nebulous chap,
And I can't fancy shedding the gore of a Jap.

Those parchmenty fellows have fleets?
Big Iron-clads, each worth a million?
I cannot conceive it, my reason it beats.
The lord of the pencil vermilion
Fits in with a teacaddy, _not_ a torpedo.
Just picture a Ram in that queer bay of Yedo!

It seems the right place for a junk,
(With a fine flight of storks in the offing),
But think of a battle-ship there being sunk
By a Krupp! 'Tis suggestive of scoffing.
I try to believe, but 'tis merely bravado.
It all seems as funny as GILBERT'S _Mikado_.

And then those preposterous names,
Like a lot of cracked bells all a-tinkling!
I try to imagine their militant games,
But at present I can't get an inkling
Of what it _can_ mean when a fellow named HONG
And one TING (Lord High Admiral!) go it ding-dong!

A NELSON whose _nomen_ is WHANG
To me, I admit's, inconceivable.
And war between WO-HUNG and CHING-A-RING CHANG,
Sounds funny, but quite unbelievable.
And can you conceive Maxim bullets a-sing
Round a saffron-hued hero called PONG, or PING-WING?

A ship called _Kow-Shing_, I am sure,
Can be only a warship _pour rire_.
And Count YAMAGATA - he _must_ be a cure!
No, no, friends, I very much fear
That in spite of the pictures, and portraits, and maps,
I _can't_ make live heroes of Johnnies and Japs!




Transcriber's note:

Small capitals were replaced with ALL CAPITALS.

Throughout the document, the oe ligature was replaced with "oe".

Throughout the dialogues, there were words used to mimic accents of
the speakers. Those words were retained as-is.

The illustrations have been moved so that they do not break up
paragraphs and so that they are next to the text they illustrate.

Errors in punctuation and inconsistent hyphenation were not corrected
unless otherwise noted.

On page 181, a period was added after "thou dost bless".

On page 182, "he meet" was replaced with "he meets".

On page 185, a period was added after "At Homes".



***


1 3

Online LibraryVariousPunch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 107, October 20, 1894 → online text (page 3 of 3)