Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 108, February 23, 1895 online

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


Volume 108, February 23rd, 1895.

_edited by Sir Francis Burnand_


_Question._ Is it easy to become a dramatist?

_Answer._ As easy as anything else.

_Q._ What are the requisites?

_A._ A West-end theatre, a first-rate troupe of artists, a trained
audience, and a personality.

_Q._ What do you mean by a trained audience?

_A._ An assembly accustomed to accept everything as wit, and to laugh
at anything.

_Q._ Would such a gathering consider it amusing for someone to say
"Flirting with one's husband is quite indelicate: it is like washing
one's clean linen in public"?

_A._ Certainly; and would find much to admire in a dialogue given over
for something like ten minutes to an exhaustive consideration of

_Q._ And what do you mean by a personality?

_A._ More or less - an _insouciant_ manner, and a rather startling

_Q._ Does the personality require a speech or a cigarette?

_A._ Neither now, as both have ceased to be the fashion.

_Q._ Given the requisites you have specified for creating a dramatist,
what is the product?

_A._ A trivial comedy for serious people.

_Q._ Why give a play such a title?

_A._ Why not?

_Q._ Can a comedy occupying two or three hours in representation be
entirely trivial?

_A._ Not to the members of the audience.

_Q._ And are they serious people?

_A._ That depends upon the condition of their brains and their
capacity of enjoyment.

_Q._ Does the trivial comedy require a plot?

_A._ Nothing to speak of.

_Q._ Or characterisation?

_A._ No, for the same kind of dialogue will do for all the
company - for London ladies, country girls, justices of the peace,
doctors of divinity, maid-servants, and confidential butlers.

_Q._ What sort of dialogue?

_A._ Inverted proverbs and renovated paradoxes.

_Q._ Is this kind of dialogue entirely new?

_A._ Not entirely, as something rather like it has been heard at the
Savoy for the last ten or twenty years.

_Q._ But is it good enough for a British Public?

_A._ Quite good enough. They will laugh when a London lady expresses
surprise at finding flowers growing in the country, and roar when they
hear the retort, that plants are as common in the provinces as people
in town.

_Q._ But surely this vein of sarcasm, satire, or whatever it is, will
some day be worked out. What can the dramatist then do?

_A._ Act upon precedent, and try something else.

* * * * *

[Illustration: A PURIST IN ENGLISH.



* * * * *


(_See the Daily Papers of Last Week._)


Early on Tuesday a severe The Chinese Fleet gave a good
engagement took place between account of the Japanese
the Japanese Fleet and the Squadron on Tuesday. The
Chinese Flotilla, in which slaughter of the Japs was
the Chinese ironclads enormous, amounting to at
_Wi Ho Wi_, _Bang Tel Bang_, least 40,000 sailors and
and _Bosh Lu Rot_ were sunk. 50,000 marines. There was no
The loss on the Japanese loss on the Chinese side.
side was a cabin-boy wounded. Owing to a mistake the
The Chinese prisoners _Wi Ho Wi_ lost a rope, the
amounted to 180,000 men. _Bang Tel Bang_ had her
figure-head slightly damaged,
and the _Bosh Lu Rot_
re-entered port just to have
her deck repainted. The
Japanese lost several
ironclads and all their

On Wednesday morning the On Wednesday an attack of
Japanese landed and took all 70,000 Japanese troops was
the forts, and garrisoned repulsed with great slaughter
the city, which is now by the Chinese, and the
completely in the hands of invaders are now in active
the troops of the Taicoon. retreat. The Chinese have not
pursued them, from motives of
an entirely philanthropic

On Thursday the Japanese An artillery duel took place
commenced a general on Thursday between the
bombardment of the Chinese troops and the
island, and blew up all the Japanese, in which the latter
forts and sixty-seven powder lost all their war materiel
magazines. The Chinese loss and seventy-nine general
is estimated at 36,000 men. officers. The casualty on the
The Japanese escaped Chinese side was one
unscathed. drummer-boy slightly
wounded - sprain of the left
little toe.

On Friday the Japanese made For a few minutes the Japanese
their grand attack and took secured a footing on the island,
the island by assault, and but were soon induced to
destroyed all the enemy's retreat. Many of the Chinese
fleet, with the exception ironclads have seen much
of a gun-boat. service, but are still able to
dispose of the enemy.

The Chinese Fleet on Saturday The Chinese Admiral during
was entirely at the mercy of Saturday has wired to his
the Japanese, and the Admiral Government - "The Japanese,
is soliciting for terms. A after one slight reverse,
flag of truce is floating having lost all heart, are
from the remaining Chinese now suing for peace. We shall
ironclad. be careful to guard the best
interests of the empire."

On Sunday the Japanese The Chinese Admiral (under
consented to permit the Sunday's date) has wired to
Chinese Admiral and sailors Pekin - "Have come to
to unconditionally arrangement with Japanese
surrender, and have authorities. Shall not return
arranged to protect them to Pekin. Good-bye. Those
from the fury of the who have no other engagements
Chinese Government. are going home to tea."

* * * * *


(_By a Mathematical Bard._)

Ah, spooks of EUCLID, NEWTON, weep for me,
For I'm a miserably blighted biped!
And here's the cause - I wrote an ode, you see,
Alluding to a parallel_e_piped.

I'd spelt my polysyllable all right,
The blessed word I hoped would make me famous;
The vulgar error I'd avoided quite,
And thought no one _could_ call me "ignoramus."

It safely passed in proof through each "revise";
But didn't I _rave_, when I my book inspected,
And found it by some printer over-wise
To "parallel_o_piped" miscorrected!

* * * * *

all Lavender."

* * * * *

[Illustration: THE UNEMPLOYED.


* * * * *


_Tommy_ (_after contemplating the Horses in front of him_). "I SHALL

* * * * *


_Plumber Joe loquitur_: -

Oh, bust it! Or, rayther, bust _them!_ I've my eye on the pipes o' this
As might give me the chanst as _I_ wants, but, by gob, it's a regular
Nary bust in 'em yet, as I sees! I ain't none o' yer ornary hands,
There isn't a task in my trade but wot smart Plumber JOE understands,
And at making a jint I'm daisy. Our trade is a topper, it is,
But one arf of the pottrers called plumbers ain't nothink like up to
their biz -
Mere poor paltryfoggers, most on 'em, as boggle, and bungle, and botch.
'Tain't _bizness_ the beggars are arter, but more speshul Irish - or
A copper-bit jint is their utmost, but wot they like most is a splodge
Of canvas and white-lead or putty; _their_ work is all fakement and
As won't last a fortnit, not watertight. As to a blow-jint, well did,
They jest couldn't take it on nohow - no, not if you tipped 'em a quid.
But I'm a certif'cated plumber, a master of shave-hook and solder,
Of turn-pin, and mallet, and fire-devil. Plumber who's smarter and bolder
With blow-pipe, and lamp-black, and size, you won't find London through
if yer try;
And at "wiping a jint" - ah! - a pickter - there's none as can wipe JOEY'S
Then at sanitry work! Bless yer buttons, yer dashed County Council ain't
in it;
And as to that there WALLACE BRUCE, wy, I'll jist wipe him up in a minit,
Though he _has_ a good fighting name on 'im. Calls me a quack, too, does
And 'ints I dunno my own trade! Wait a bit, and I'll give _him_ a pill.
Insanitry aireys, indeed! As a judge of a rookery or slum
There ain't ne'er a Cockney C. C. as can sideup with JOEY the Brum;
Wot _'e_ doesn't know 'aint _wuth_ knowing. I'll set 'em all right,
though, - in time.
When England's _all_ Brummagemised, and I'm boss of it, _won't_ it be
Meanwhile, I'm a bit out-of-work. Unemployed, so to speak, like a lot,
Although I ain't no "Unskilled Labourer." HARDIE talks thunderin' rot,
But I thought 'e might make me a hopening. Somehow the fakement was lost.
And yet I _should_ be flush o' work, for we've had a unusual frost,
As this House, like the rest, must have felt. Wy, I thought they'd ha'
bust long ago,
Them Guverment pipes, and be blowed to 'em. 'Ere in the sludge and the
I've bin waiting a tidy long spell, till my toes 'ave like icicles grown.
I've bin journeyman quite long enough, and I want to set up "on my own."
Pal ARTHUR is all very well, but at bossing a bit of a slob.
And when these big pipes do a bust, well - I see a rare charnce of a job!

* * * * *

FIN DE SIÈCLE. - "New men, new manners." "New women - no manners."

* * * * *


[According to the _Daily Telegraph_, the Saffron Hill
street-musicians are complaining that their barrel-organs are

_Macaroni Carlo sings_: -

_Ah, che la morte ognora_ -
_Basta!_ no more can I play!
_So ai nostri monti ancora
Ritorneremo_ to-day!

_Ebbene, il mio padrone_ -
I bid 'im an' Londra good-bye!
'E may grind out 'imself 'is _canzone_
For never again will I try!

_E troppo!_ my barrel - 'e's frosty,
An' round I can not make 'im turn!
The music of VERDI and TOSTI
No longer a _soldo_ can earn!

"_My Honey!_" won't thaw, and there's "_Daisy_"
An _icicle_ frozen right through!
So _addì, Inghilterra, paese_
Where artists have no more to do!

* * * * *

RETURN TO THE CLASSICS. - There is a talk of reviving Olympian Games.
Athens or Paris to begin. The competitors to be cosmopolitan. England
will send her prize boxer or wrestler, and if crowned victor, let him,
after the manner of the ancient Greeks, be free of taxes and rates for
the remainder of his life. How the competition will grow. The Smiths,
the Browns, all the patres familias will be urged by the matres to go
forth and take part in the contest.

* * * * *


SCENE - _Mona House, the Town Mansion of the_ Marquis of MANX,
_which has been lent for a Sale of Work in aid of the "Fund for
Superannuated Skirt-dancers," under the patronage of Royalty and
other distinguished personages_.


_Mrs. Wylie Dedhead_ (_attempting to insinuate herself between the
barriers_). Excuse me; I only want to pop in for a moment, just to see
if a lady friend of mine is in there, that's _all!_

_The Lady Money-taker_ (_blandly_). If you will let me know your
friend's name - - ?

_Mrs. W. D._ (_splendide mendax_). She's assisting the dear Duchess.
_Now_, perhaps, you will allow me to pass!

_The L. M._ Afraid I can't, really. But if you mean Lady HONOR
HYNDLEGGES - _she_ is the only lady at the Duchess's stall - I could
send _in_ for her. Or of course, if you like to pay half-a-crown - -

_Mrs. W. D._ (_hastily_). Thank you, I - I won't disturb her ladyship.
I had no _idea_ there was any charge for admission,
and - (_bristling_) - allow me to say I consider such regulations _most_

_The L. M._ (_sweetly, with a half glance at the bowl of coins on the
table_). Quite _too_ ridiculous, ain't they? _Good_ afternoon!

_Mrs. W. D._ (_audibly, as she flounces out_). If they suppose _I_'m
going to pay half-a-crown for the privilege of being _fleeced_ - - !

_Footman_ (_on steps, sotto voce, to confrère_). "Fleeced"! that's a
good 'un, eh? _She_ ain't brought much wool in with _her!_

_His Confrère._ On'y what's stuffed inside of her ear.

[_They resume their former impassive dignity._

IN THE VENETIAN GALLERY - _where the Bazaar is being held_.

_A Loyal Old Lady_ (_at the top of her voice - to Stall-keeper_). Which
of 'em's the Princess, my dear, eh? It's her I paid _my_ money to see.

_The Stall-keeper_ (_in a dismayed whisper_). Ssh! Not _quite_ so
loud! There - just opposite - petunia bow in her bonnet - selling

_The L. O. L._ (_planting herself on a chair_). So _that's_ her! Well,
she _is_ dressed plain - for a Royalty - but looks _pleasant_ enough. I
wouldn't mind taking one o' them kittings off her Royal 'Ighness
myself, if they was going at all reasonable. But there, I expect, the
cats _'ere_ is meat for my masters, so to speak; and you see, my dear,
'aving the promise of a tortoise-shell tom from the lady as keeps the
Dairy next door, whenever - -

[_She finds, with surprise, that her confidences are not encouraged._

_Miss St. Leger de Mayne_ (_persuasively, to_ Mrs. NIBBLER). Do let me
show you some of this exquisite work, all embroidered entirely by
hand, you see!

_Mrs. Nibbler_ (_edging away_). Lovely - _quite_ lovely; but I
think - a - I'll just take a look round before I - -

_Miss de M._ If there is any _particular_ thing you were looking for,
perhaps _I_ could - -

_Mrs. N._ (_becoming confidential_). Well, I _did_ think if I could
come across a nice _sideboard-cloth_ - -

[Illustration: "You have lofty ambitions and the artistic temperament."]

_Miss de M._ (_to herself_). What on earth's a sideboard-cloth?
(_Aloud._) Why, I've the very _thing!_ See - all worked in Russian

_Mrs. N._ (_dubiously_). I thought they were always quite plain. And
what's that queer sort of flap-thing for?

_Miss de M._ Oh, _that?_ That's - a - to cover up the spoons, and forks,
and things; quite the latest fashion, _now_, you know.

_Mrs. N._ (_with self-assertion_). I _have_ noticed it at several
dinner-parties I've been to in society lately, certainly. Still, I'm
not sure that - -

_Miss de M._ I always have them on my _own_ sideboard now - my husband
won't _hear_ of any others.... Then, I _may_ put this one in paper for
you? fifteen-and-sixpence - thanks _so_ much! (_To her colleague, as_
Mrs. N. _departs_.) CONNIE, I've got rid of that awful nightgown case
at _last!_

_Mrs. Maycup._ A - you _don't_ happen to have a small bag to hold a
powder-puff, and so on, you know?

_Miss de M._ I _had_ some very pretty ones; but I'm afraid they're
all - oh, no, there's just _one_ left - crimson velvet and real
_passementerie_. (_She produces a bag._) Too trotty for words, isn't

_Mrs. Maycup_ (_tacitly admitting its trottiness_). But then - that
sort of purse-shape - - Could I get a small pair of folding
curling-irons into it, should you think, at a pinch?

_Miss de M._ You could get _anything_ into it - at a pinch. I've one
myself which will hold - well, I can't tell you what it _won't_ hold!
Half-a-guinea - so _many_ thanks! (_To herself, as_ Mrs. MAYCUP
_carries off her bag_.) What _would_ the Vicar's wife say if she knew
I'd sold her church collection bag for _that!_ But it's all in a good
cause! (_An_ Elderly Lady _comes up_.) May I show you some of
these - - ?

_The Elderly Lady._ Well, I was wondering if you had such a thing as a
good warm pair of sleeping socks: because, these bitter nights, I do
find I suffer so from cold in my feet.

_Miss de M._ (_with effusion_). Ah, then I can _feel_ for you - so do
_I!_ At least, I _used_ to before I tried - (_To herself._) Where _is_
that pair of thick woollen driving-gloves? Ah, _I_ know.
(_Aloud._) - these. I've found them _such_ a comfort!

_The E. L._ (_suspiciously_). They have rather a queer - - And then
they're divided at the ends, too.

_Miss de M._ Oh, haven't you seen _those_ before? Doctors consider
them so much healthier, don't you know.

_The E. L._ I daresay they are, my dear. But aren't the - (_with
delicate embarrassment_) - the separated parts rather long?

_Miss de M._ Do you _think_ so? They allow so much more freedom, you
see; and then, of course they'll shrink.

_The E. L._ That's true, my dear. Well, I'll take a pair, as you
recommend them so strongly.

_Miss de M._ I'm quite _sure_ you'll never regret it! (_To herself, as
the_ E. L. _retires, charmed_.) I'd give _anything_ to see the poor
old thing trying to put them on!

_Miss Mimosa Tendrill_ (_to herself_). I do so _hate_ hawking this
horrid old thing about! (_Forlornly, to_ Mrs. ALLBUTT-INNETT.) I - I
beg your pardon; but _will_ you give me ten and sixpence for this
lovely work-basket?

_Mrs. Allbutt-Innett._ My good girl, let me tell you I've been
pestered to buy that identical basket at every bazaar I've set foot in
for the last twelvemonth, and how you can have the face to ask ten and
six for it - you must think I've more money than wit!

_Miss Tendr._ (_abashed_). Well - _eighteenpence_ then? (_To herself,
as_ Mrs. A.-I. _closes promptly_.) There, I've sold _something_,

_The Hon. Diana D'Autenbas_ (_to herself_). It's rather fun selling at
a Bazaar; one can let oneself _go_ so much more! (_To the first man
she meets._) I'm sure you'll buy one of my buttonholes - now _won't_
you? If I fasten it in for you myself?

_Mr. Cadney Rowser._ A button'ole, eh? Think I'm not classy enough as
I am?

_Miss D'Aut._ I don't think _anyone_ could accuse you of not being
"_classy_"; still, a flower would just give the finishing-touch.

_Mr. C. R._ (_modestly_). Rats! - if you'll pass the freedom. But
you've such a way with you that - there - 'ow much?

_Miss D'Aut._ Only five shillings. Nothing - to _you!_

_Mr. C. R._ Five bob? You're a artful girl, _you_ are! "_Fang de
Seakale_," and no error! But I'm _on_ it; it's worth the money to 'ave
a flower fastened in by such fair 'ands. I won't 'owl - not even if you
_do_ run a pin into me.... What? You ain't done a'ready! No _'urry_,
yer know.... 'Ere, won't you come along to the refreshment-stall, and
'ave a little something at my expense. Do!

_Miss D'Aut._ I think you must imagine you are talking to a barmaid!

_Mr. C. R._ (_with gallantry_). I on'y wish barmaids was 'alf as
pleasant and sociable as _you_, Miss. But they're a precious stuck-up
lot, _I_ can assure you!

_Miss D'Aut._ (_to herself, as she escapes_). I suppose one ought to
put up with this sort of thing - for a charity!

_Mrs. Babbicombe_ (_at the Toy Stall, to the Belle of the Bazaar, aged
three-and-a-half_). You _perfect_ duck! You're simply too _sweet!_ I
_must_ find you something. (_She tempers generosity with discretion by
presenting her with a small pair of knitted doll's socks._) There,

_The Belle's Mother._ What do you say to the kind lady now, MARJORY?

_Marjory_ (_a practical young person, to the donor_). Now div me a
dolly to put ve socks on.

[Mrs. B. _finds herself obliged to repair this omission_.

_A Young Lady Raffler_ (_to a_ Young Man). Do take a ticket for this
charmin' _sachet_. Only half-a-crown!

_The Young Man._ Delighted! If you'll put in for this _splendid_ cigar
cabinet. Two shillin's!

[_The_ Young Lady _realises that she has encountered an Augur,
and passes on_.

_Miss de M._ (_to_ Mr. ISTHMIAN GATWICK). Can't I tempt you with this
tea-cosy? It's so absurdly cheap!

_Mr. Isthmian Gatwick_ (_with dignity_). A-thanks; I think not. Never
_take_ tea, don't you know.

_Miss de M._ (_with her characteristic adaptability_). Really? No more
do _I_. But you could use it as a _smoking-cap_, you know. I
always - -

[_Recollects herself, and breaks off in confusion._

_Miss Ophelia Palmer_ (_in the "Wizard's Care" - to_ Mr. CADNEY
ROWSER). Yes, your hand indicates an intensely refined and spiritual
nature; you are perhaps a _little_ too indifferent to your personal
comfort where that of others is concerned; sensitive - too much so for
your own happiness, perhaps - you feel things keenly when you _do_ feel
them. You have lofty ambitions and the artistic temperament - seven and
sixpence, please.

_Mr. C. R._ (_impressed_). Well, Miss, if you can read all that for
seven and six on the palm of my 'and, I wonder what you _wouldn't_ see
for 'alf a quid on the sole o' my boot!

[Miss P.'s _belief in Chiromancy sustains a severe shock_.

_Bobbie Patterson_ (_outside tent, as Showman_). This way to the
Marvellous Jumping Bean from Mexico! Threepence!

_Voice from Tent._ BOBBIE! Stop! The Bean's _lost!_ Lady HONOR'S
horrid Thought-reading Poodle has just stepped in and swallowed it.

_Bobbie._ Ladies and Gentlemen, owing to sudden domestic calamity, the
Bean has been unavoidably compelled to retire, and will be unable to
appear till further notice.

_Miss Smylie_ (_to_ Mr. OTIS BARLEYWATER, _who - in his own set - is
considered "almost equal to_ CORNEY GRAIN"). I thought you were giving
your entertainment in the library? Why _aren't_ you?

_Mr. Otis Barleywater_ (_in a tone of injury_). Why? Because I can't
give my imitations of ARTHUR ROBERTS and YVETTE GUILBERT with anything
_like_ the requisite "go," unless I get a better audience than three
programme-sellers, all under ten, and the cloak-room maid - _that's_

_Mrs. Allbutt-Innett_ (_as she leaves, fur the benefit of
bystanders_). I must say, the house is _most_ disappointing - not at
_all_ what I should expect a _Marquis_ to live in. Why, my _own_
reception-rooms are very nearly as large, and decorated in a much more
modern style!

_Bobbie Patterson_ (_to a_ "Doosid Good-natured Fellow, _who doesn't
care what he does," and whom he has just discovered inside a case got
up to represent an automatic sweetmeat machine_). Why, my dear old
_chap!_ No idea it was _you_ inside that thing! Enjoying yourself in
there, eh?

_The Doosid Good-natured Fellow_ (_fluffily, from the interior_).
Enjoying myself! With the beastly pennies droppin' down into my boots,
and the kids howlin' because all the confounded chocolates have worked
up between my shoulder-blades, and I can't shake 'em out of the slit
in my arm? I'd like to see _you_ tryin' it!

_The L. O. L._ (_to a stranger, who is approaching the_ Princess's
_stall_). 'Ere, Mister, where are your manners? 'Ats off in the
presence o' Royalty!

[_She pokes him in the back with her umbrella: the stranger turns,
smiles slightly, and passes on._

_A Well-informed Bystander._ You are evidently unaware, Madam, that
the gentleman you have just addressed is His Serene Highness the
Prince of POTSDAM!

_The L. O. L._ (_aghast_). Her _'usban'!_ And me a jobbin' of 'im with
my umberella! 'Ere, let me get out! [_She staggers out, in dead terror

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Online LibraryVariousPunch, or the London Charivari, Volume 108, February 23, 1895 → online text (page 1 of 3)