Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 108, February 9, 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 9th, 1895.

_edited by Sir Francis Burnand_


(_Who had made "Copy" of Me._)

The bright September when we met
My prospects were _not_ over healthy,
Though you were, I do _not_ forget,
Extremely wealthy.

I know not why it chanced to be,
But this I recollect most clearly -
It never once occurred to me
To love you dearly.

'Twas not your fault, so do not vex
Yourself, for I admired your beauty,
Since admiration of your sex
Is Man's Whole Duty.

And thus it came to be our lot
To part without a sign or token;
I went upon my way, but not
The least heart-broken.

My "fatal pride" does not object
At your fair hands to be made verse on;
But p'raps next time you will select -
Some other person!

* * * * *

UNANSWERABLE. - The Archbishop of CANTERBURY, speaking at Folkestone
last week, said that "The Disestablishment Bill does not need any
answering: it answers itself." An' it please your Grace, if it does
"answer," and answers its purpose, what more can be required of this
Bill or any other?

* * * * *

THE NEW WEATHER PROVERB. - It never rains - but it snows!

* * * * *

[Illustration: BRAVE GIRL!

_Millicent_ (_from the country_). "_NOW_, MABEL! LET'S MAKE A DASH!!"]

* * * * *


FREEZING THE VERTEBRÆ. - I am in the last stage of bronchitis,
complicated with pneumonia, influenza, and asthma, and a friend has
advised me to try the new French cure of applying ice to the spine.
Will some obliging physician tell me whether he considers such a
course safe? None but a recognised specialist need trouble to reply;
and if he does so, I shall have the satisfaction of feeling that I
have saved his fee, as well as my own life. My boy advises me to go
skating, and "I shall be sure then to have my back applied to the
ice," which he says is the same thing as applying ice to my back. But
is it? A nephew who is staying in the house also kindly offers to "shy
hard snow-balls at my spine," if that would help me in any way. It is
a pity that the newspaper (from which I derived this medical hint) was
not clear as to details; for instance, when I _have_ applied the ice,
what is to prevent its melting and trickling all over me? - NON-PAYING

* * * * *

Meteorological Moralising.

'Tis an ill-wind which blows nobody good,
And one man's meat another's poison is.
What is disaster to one man or mood,
Is to another mood or man "good biz."
What to your dramatist means love's labour's lost,
Your would-be skater craves - "a perfect frost!"

* * * * *


By the publication of _The Play Actress_ (S. R. CROCKETT) Mr. FISHER
UNWIN fully maintains the success attained by his Autonym Library. My
Baronite is least attracted by the scenes which possibly pleased the
author most - those in which he describes life in the purlieus of
London theatres. Mr. CROCKETT is much more at home in Galloway, and
with the people who sparsely populate it. The opening chapter,
describing Sabbath day in the Kirk of the Hill is in his best style,
as are others describing the Great Preacher's tender caring for his
little grand-daughter. _The Play Actress_ is just the sort of thing to
buy at a bookstall on starting for a journey. It will be felt to be a
matter of regret if the journey isn't quite long enough to finish it
at a sitting.

In _The Worst Woman in London_ ("and other stories," a subtitle
craftily suppressed on the outside of the book by F. C. PHILIPS) the
author gives us a number of capital detached stories of a most
irritating abruptness. Almost every one of these stories is a novel
thrown away; that is, every story is in itself the germ of what might
have been a good novel. They are little more than "jottings for
plottings." Yet, to be read with a pipe or small cigar, they just
suffice to wile away time and obviate conversation. They are dedicated
to Mr. WALTER HERRIES POLLOCK, who has on more than one occasion shown
himself an adept at real good short stories - not merely as plots, but
genuinely complete in themselves and full of humour - and from whom the
Baron expects something more in the same line, or, rather, on the same


* * * * *


SCENE - _A Crowded Thoroughfare._ _Enter_ STREPHON _and_ PHYLLIS
_on bicycles, at the rate of fifteen miles an hour_.


We care not, PHYLLIS, my own, to-day,
For walking in Kensington Park,
To flirt in the old conventional way,
And saunter home in the dark.
Nay, pleasanter far it is to "scorch" -
To hear your silvery bell,
While the answering squeak of my horn may speak
For the fact that I love you well!


Oh, isn't it sweet to clear the street,
While elderly persons frown!
"Now, stoopid, look out!" we pleasantly shout,
And bang goes a gentleman down!


STREPHON, I love you, I confess,
For who could fail to admire
The humorous way you spoil a dress
And ruin a girl's attire?
To see you silently creep along,
And then with a burst of speed
Spread liberal dirt on the feminine skirt
Is a sight for the gods, indeed!


Oh, isn't it glee to do it, and see
The lady-pedestrian flinch,
With jubilant rush to scatter the slush
And miss her foot by an inch!


I frightened those horses, I'm much afraid, -
The excellent coachman's riled!


And I've demolished a nursery-maid,
And certainly hurt a child!


I made that stately dowager jump,
She leapt to one side, and puffed!


That leisurely cur, I'm inclined to infer,
To-morrow will go to be stuffed!


So side by side we merrily ride,
And scatter the murmuring throng,
Who think the police should compel us to cease,
And mournfully ask, "How long?"

* * * * *

JUST A LITTLE TOO MUCH. - When a parliamentary candidate or popular
Member is received with a torchlight procession, it is almost
unnecessary for his constituents to present him, on a dark night, with
"an illuminated address."

* * * * *


_Bruxelles, le 31. Janvier._

MONSIEUR, - I write to you, _M. Punch_, these some words, which I essay
to write in english. I come of to receive - how say you _la
nouvelle?_ - the new of the amnesty in France. The government which
banished the descendant of the great NAPOLÉON has recalled some
exileds. But he has not recalled me, _ce gouvernement infâme!_ He has
left to languish the heir of the crown imperial in this droll of
little town. _Nom d'une pipe, quelle ville! Rien qu'un Palais de
Justice et quelques rues désertes!_ But I go to write in english. I
rest here, at five hours of Paris, alldays ready, alldays vigilant.
_Mais que c'est triste!_ _Tiens_, it is not perhaps so sad as
that - how write you the name? - that Stove, in your _département_ of
the Bukkinhammshir. At least one speak french in this country. It is
not the french of Paris, or the french of Touraine, but all of same it
values better than english - a language so difficult. Thus I rest here,
I walk myself to horse in their Wood of Cambre, I visit of time in
time the Palace of Justice and Ste. Gudule, _et voilà c'est fini!_
Then I recommence and I see, _encore une fois_, the _Bois_, the
_Palais_, and the _Cathédrale_. I go not to Waterloo, for people say
my Great Ancestor there was conquered by your Duc of WELINTONG. One
has wrong, the historians have wrong, _mais enfin, que faire?_ I may
not to write the history of new. _A l'avenir nous verrons. En
attendant j'attends._ And I stand, like my Great Ancestor, the arms
folded, and frown towards the frontier of the France, _la patrie
ingrate_. It is a fine attitude, and I study it all the days.

_Agréez, &c._ N.

_Stowe, the 31. January._

Sir, - I tell you my thoughts as calmly as possibly, but my heart
burns! Heaven, what injustice! To France - ah, I say not her name
without emotion! - to France I offered my sword, my service, my life!
She refused them! Ingrateful country! Me who - but I go to be calm!
When CASIMIR-PÉRIER resigns I voyage without to lose an instant to
Dover, I wait, I receive each instant some despatch, I regard the
coast of France and weep, I am photographed! Me, the descendant of St.
LOUIS, I am photographed! But in vain! I desire even to die for
France, but I may not! By blue, what ingratitude! And now she
proclaims the amnesty and I am forgotten! Me, the descendant of St.
LOUIS! Me who desire the struggle, the efforts of a life of soldier,
of a life of king, me I rest here in simple renter of province! Me who
wish to die for France, I am obliged to live in England! To live, just
heaven! And in England, which I despise, though she shelters me!
Perhaps she is not worse than Belgium, Buckingham or Bruxelles! It is
equal to me! Nor the one nor the other is France! Again I weep! Ah, if
I could shed tears of blood! I can not! Heaven, that I should not have
even that consolation there! And ROCHEFORT returns! He may die for his
country, for France! Once more I weep bitterly! But me I may not! I
conclude, and my last word shall be a word of order! It shall be,
though she spurns me, though she mock herself of me, "Live France!"
Again I weep! Receive, &c. P.

* * * * *



_Hotel-Keeper_ (_reassuringly_). "ACH, YES, SIR! ZE TEEFOOSE (TYPHUS)

* * * * *


["Let all know that, in devoting all my strength to the welfare of
the people, I intend to protect the principle of autocracy as
firmly and unswervingly as did my late and never-to-be-forgotten
_The Czar to the assembled Deputies and Delegates in the
Winter Palace._]

[Illustration: "VOICI LE SABRE DE MON PÈRE!"

"I intend to protect the principle of autocracy as firmly and
unswervingly as did my late and never-to-be-forgotten father."
- _Czar's Speech, Jan. 29._]

"_It was my father's custom, and so it shall be mine!_" -
One seems to hear those simple words 'midst all the show and shine
Of the great, gay, white-pillared hall. The gold and silver chains
Of deputies and delegates from distant steppes and plains
Gleam in the winter daylight. The tall white-tunic'd Guards
Stand with drawn swords, Autocracy's serene and stalwart wards.
All in the Winter Palace; from regions vast and far
They come of many a race and creed to welcome their young Czar.
The nobles and the Zemstros, too, are represented here.
With tribes of the wild Caucasus, the hosts who love - and fear -
The monarch of one hundred and twenty million souls.
And through thine Hall, St. Nicholas, in full firm accents rolls
The Voice of armed Autocracy, unbending and unchanged.
Unfaltering the youthful eye that boldly roved and ranged
Over that motley muster. He lifts his sire's great sword,
This youthful heir to power supreme, by freemen much abhorred,
But dear to bowing myriads of Slavdom's loyal hosts;
And with that calm cold dignity which despotism boasts
Establishes the Ego of Autocracy once more.
_Voici le sabre de mon sire!_ What ALEXANDER bore
Shall NICHOLAS not wear and wield? The appanage of our line!
"_It was my father's custom, and so it shall be mine!_"
Old rustic song, your refrain long shall echo round our world,
Until all burdens from the back of toiling men are hurled.
Far, far off day! Now proud and gay Autocracy's strong thralls
Muster to-day in fine array in those white-pillared halls.
To be - not snubbed, say _reassured_, that Autocrats, still strong,
Still give small heed to serfs who plead, to freedom's siren song,
Or to "absurd illusions," which, slipped from mouth to mouth,
Must still be silenced in the North, if heeded in the South.
Those Zemstros voices must be hushed. Autocracy's sole hand
Must wield the sabre of his sire, and sway a silent land;
The Bear from the new Bearward gentler treatment well may hope,
But hardly loosening of the chain or slackening of the rope.
The patient Northern Bruin stands and rubs a dubious ear.
Amnesty means not Liberty. Autocracy is clear
In "firmly and unswervingly," with strength that doth not tire,
Holding the mastery of its race, the Sabre of its Sire!

* * * * *

"MR. PEPYS'S PARISH CHURCH." - The Rev. ALFRED POVAH'S interesting work
gives us the origin of the "Navy pew" in St. Olave's. In such a church
how appropriate was the old "three-decker," as this structure, which
contained clerk below, parson in the middle, and preacher in the
topmost compartment, used to be termed.

* * * * *

A JUST CORRECTION. - In _Macmillan's_ for this month there is an
interesting article entitled "_In the Wake of Captain Cook_." An Irish
member of the club threw the number down, exclaiming, "The man who
wrote that can't write English! 'Tis not '_in_ the wake' at all. Sure
it ought to be '_at_ the wake.'"

* * * * *

LEGAL CLOCKWORK. - Towards the end of last week, the key of the
difficulty having been found, the Justice-VAUGHAN-WILLIAMS'-winding-up
business was wound up, and J. V. W., being wound up, was set going
again. There is, however, still some difficulty, and a little oil on
the troubled works will be necessary. _Mem. to the Lord
Chancellor._ - "Please not to touch the figures."

* * * * *

_Q._ What is the best sort of cigar to smoke in a Hansom?

_A._ A Cab-ana.

* * * * *



[Illustration: "Yes, Alfred, Retribution!"]

_A little narrow glen, with a slope in the background, belonging
to_ ALFRED. _Under the dripping trees a table and chairs, all made
of thin birchstaves. Everything is sodden with wet, and
mist-wreaths are driving about._ ALFRED FRÜYSECK, _dressed in a
black mackintosh, sits dejectedly on a chair. Presently_ MOPSA
BROVIK _comes down the slope cautiously behind, and touches his
shoulder_; ALFRED _jumps_.

_Mopsa._ You shouldn't really sit about on damp seats in such
miserable weather, ALFRED. I have been hunting for you everywhere.

[_Closing her umbrella with quiet significance._

_Alfred_ (_to himself_). Run to earth! Oh, Lor'! (_Aloud._) If you
would only be kind enough to search for MOPSËMAN instead! I _cannot_
unravel the mystery of his disappearance. There he was, just entering
upon conscious intelligence - full of the infinite possibilities of
performing poodlehood. I had charged myself with his education. After
having been an usher at so many boarding-schools, I felt peculiarly
fitted for such a task. And then a shady scoundrel has only to come
his way with rats in a bag - - !

_Mopsa._ But we don't in the least know how it really all came about.

_Alfred._ That infernal VARMINT-BL[=O]K is at the bottom of it, you may
depend upon that! Though what motive in the world - - (_Quivering._)
It's not as if MOPSËMAN would ever have faced a rat. He used to bolt
at the mere sight of a blackbeetle even. The whole thing is so utterly
meaningless, MOPSA. And yet, I suppose the order of the universe
requires it.

_Mopsa._ Have you indulged in these abstruse philosophical
speculations with SPRETA?

_Alfred_ (_shakes his head hopelessly_). She is so utterly incapable
of - - (MOPSA _nods_.) I prefer discussing them with _you_. There is
something unnatural in imparting confidences to a mere wife. What on
earth have you got there?

_Mopsa_ (_takes a little housewife out of her pocket_). SPRETA said
you had lost the button off the back of your collar. I thought I would
sew it on for you. _May_ I? (_With quiet warmth._) I'll _try_ not to
run the needle into you.

_Alfred_ (_absently_). Do; it may distract my thoughts a little. Where
_is_ SPRETA, by the way?

_Mopsa._ Only taking a little walk with BLOCHDRÄHN. (_Sewing._)
Perhaps it is _hardly_ the weather for a stroll; but then he was
always so perfectly devoted to - h'm - to Little MOPSËMAN, you know.

_Alfred_ (_surprised_). But SPRETA wasn't. She never liked him - not
even as a puppy. And now tell me - don't you think you could take a
fancy to BLOCHDRÄHN - h'm?

_Mopsa._ Oh, no! Please! (_Covers her face with her hands._) You
mustn't really ask me why. (_Looks at him through her fingers._)
Because I _know_ I should tell you; you have such an irresistible
influence over me. Oh dear! oh dear! what _will_ you think of me?
(_Moves close up to him._) There's a button off your _shirt-front_

_Alfred_ (_plaintively_). Am I to have _that_ one sewn on too?

_Mopsa._ Yes, it's the right thing to do. Though how SPRETA can _let_
you go about like this, I _can't_ think!

_Alfred_ (_with a half smile_). When I have _you_ to look after me.
This is quite like the dear old days!

_Mopsa._ Yes. (_Sewing._) I remember I mended all your things, like a
sister. Even then you never had _quite_ all your buttons, _had_ you,

_Alfred_ (_patting her hand_). Not even then. And do you remember how
you used to follow me about, just like a little dog? And I used to
call you "Little MOPSËMAN," because your name was MOPSA; and if I had
_had_ a dog, I should have called _him_ Little MOPSËMAN. And then how
you used to sit up and hold a biscuit on your nose, my dear faithful

_Mopsa._ I wonder how you can be so childish! (_Smiling
involuntarily._) It _was_ a rich beautiful time; but it was all over
when you married. I hope you have never mentioned all that nonsense to

_Alfred._ I _may_ have. One _does_ tell one's wife some
things - unintentionally. (_Clutching his forehead._) But oh, how _can_
I sit here and forget Little MOPSËMAN so completely? Have I _no_

_Mopsa._ If you have lost it, I think I know where it is. And you must
surely give your grief a rest occasionally, too.

_Alfred._ I mustn't. I won't. I _will_ think of him.... By the way,
are we to have dried fish for dinner _again?_... Oh, _there_ I go once
more - in the very middle of my agony - just when I want to be torturing
myself unspeakably with this gnawing crushing regret! What a
wonderfully realistic touch it is, though, eh? So dramatic! But after
all, I have _you_, MOPSA. I'm so glad of that!

_Mopsa_ (_looking earnestly at him_). Surely you mean dear SPRETA - not
_me_, ALFRED?

_Alfred._ What relation is a wife to her husband? None whatever. Now
you, MOPSA, _you_ are very nearly a second cousin once removed, not
quite - because our family is a thing so entirely apart. We have always
had vowels (the very _best_ vowels) for our initials, and the same
coloured spectacles, and poor relations we invariably cut, and great
thick works we never get really on with. You take after your mother,

_Mopsa._ And my Aunt - she that was a Miss REBECCA WEST. I feel so
irresistibly drawn to disturb other people's domestic harmony. But you
must really forget me, and try to care for poor SPRETA a little.

_Alfred_ (_vehemently_). It's no use. I _can't_. You've entranced me
so thoroughly. (_Helplessly._) I _knew_ you would! Do let me remain
here with you!

[_Seizes her hand._

_Mopsa_ (_looks warmly at him_). Of course, if you really mean _that_,
I cannot pretend that such comradeship is - - Hush! let go my
hand - there's somebody coming!

[SPRETA _and_ BLOCHDRÄHN _enter in waterproofs, sharing the same

_Alfred_ (_annoyed_). Why do you come bothering here? Surely you must
see that such an interruption is _most_ ill-timed.

_Spreta_ (_with a cutting laugh_). We did gather _that_, ALFRED. I
came to see what you were about.

_Alfred._ MOPSA was simply sympathising with me over Little MOPSËMAN'S
disappearance - that was all.

_Spreta._ Sympathising and philandering, ALFRED, are synonymous terms
in the Norwegian Drama. And I may be allowed to observe that _other_
people can philander if they're driven to it.

[_Glances at_ BLOCHDRÄHN.

_Mopsa_ (_taking her umbrella quickly, to_ BLOCHDRÄHN). We seem to be
somewhat _de trop_ here. Suppose we withdraw?

[_They do._

_Spreta._ Doesn't it strike you, ALFRED, that all this morbid harping
on that missing mongrel may be just a little monotonous - for a popular
audience, I mean?

_Alfred_ (_gloomily_). They'll have to sit through another Act and a
half of it - that's all. I shall harp if I choose. I _like_ harping.
And you always detested MOPSËMAN. You said he ate too much, and had
evil eyes.

_Spreta._ So he _did_ - so he _had_! And _you_ never really and truly
loved him either, or you would never have made such a fool of the dog
as you did!

_Alfred._ I had renounced my wonderful thick book. I needed
_something_ to fill up my life!

_Spreta._ You might have chosen something better than a miserable
little poodle with no hair on his tail!

_Alfred_ (_turns pale_). It is you - _you_, who were the guilty one in
that. (_Harshly and coldly._) It was _your_ hand that spilt the hot
water over him as he lay comfortably on the hearthrug. It _was!_ And
you _know_ it!

_Spreta_ (_terrified, yet defiant_). Better own at once that you came
behind me and jogged my arm!

_Alfred_ (_in suppressed desperation_). Yes, that is true. You looked
so entrancingly beautiful as you were putting the kettle on for tea,
that I was irresistibly impelled to kiss you!

_Spreta_ (_exasperated_). ALFRED! This is intolerable of you. _Do_ I
deserve to be reproached for looking entrancingly beautiful?

_Alfred_ (_with sarcasm_). Not in the least - _now_. You are subject to
the Law of Change. But what does all that matter? We have _both_
sinned, if you like. While we had him, we both shrank in secret from
him - we could not bear to see the tail he dragged about after him!

_Spreta_ (_whispers_). You were so perpetually putting paraffin upon

_Alfred_ (_calmer_). Yes, _that_. I tried to perfect its
possibilities. But it was no use - I could never, never make it good
again. And after that I dressed him up in military uniform, and then
he had to remain too much indoors, so, of course, he followed the
VARMINT-BL[=O]K, and then the street curs chevied him over the pier. And
after I had trained him so thoroughly to shoulder a musket, he was so
totally unable to swim. Oh, it all works out into quite a logical
Retribution. And I must go away into the solitudes and writhe with
remorse - by myself.

_Spreta_ (_bitingly_). Unless, of course, you can induce MOPSA to - - I
think you mentioned once that she used to follow you about like a
little dog?

_Alfred_ (_in a hollow voice_). I did. I remember now. That time when
the tea-kettle - - Retribution!

[_He staggers into the thinnest birchstave chair, which collapses
under him._

_Spreta_ (_menacingly standing over him_). Yes, ALFRED, Retribution!

[MOPSA _and_ BLOCHDRÄHN _return_.

_Mopsa_ (_pleasantly_). Well, my dear SPRETA, have you and dear ALFRED
talked things thoroughly out?

_Spreta._ Oh, yes; quite thoroughly enough, I really will _not_ be
left alone with ALFRED any more; he is _too_ depressing!

_Alfred_ (_on the ground_). One cannot be expected to rollick when one
is being gnawed with remorse! But perhaps BLOCHDRÄHN _would_ be a more
cheerful companion for you; go on with him, while MOPSA helps me up
again. We'll follow you - presently.

[SPRETA _and_ BLOCHDRÄHN _go off together;_ MOPSA _tenderly
assists_ ALFRED _to rise_.

_Mopsa._ Oh, dear me! it does seem _such_ a pity! But SPRETA always
_was_ peculiar. It must be so trying for _you_, dear!

_Alfred._ So much so that I can't stand her any longer. I _must_ get
away, anywhere - quite alone. MOPSA, will you come _too?_

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