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Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 102, April 23, 1892 online

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did use old IZAAK towards the gentle that he, and the simple fish, did
love so well. Did not the very hangman burst into tears as he thrust
the unfortunate nobleman off the step? and did not a universal sob
of pity break from the vast crowd assembled to see the last of the
noble cavalier, victim to an unfortunate tradition of loyalty? What
wonder then if we sympathise with this luckless hero of romance?
The weak-knee'd villain of this historical drama was '_Charles_ (his
friend),' in which character, be it allowed, this sad dog of a Merry
Monarch not infrequently appeared. Thank you much, Mr. MOWBRAY
MONTROSE MORRIS," quoth

THE BENEFICENT BARON DE BOOK-WORMS.

* * * * *

[Illustration: SYMPATHY.

_Mamma_ (_to Cook_) - "AND MRS. STUBBS, THE CREAM WITH THE APPLE-TART
YESTERDAY OUGHT TO HAVE BEEN WHIPPED."

_Ethel_ (_who has a grateful remembrance of the dish in question_).
"OH, MUMMY DEAR! 'OUGHT TO HAVE BEEN WHIPPED!' I THOUGHT IT WAS
PARTICULARLY GOOD!"]

* * * * *

APRIL SHOWERS;

OR, A SPOILED EASTER HOLIDAY.

(_A VACATION CANTATA._)

_Master George (stretching forth his fingers to feel if the shower is
abating) sings_: - Rain! Rain!
Go away!
Come again
Another day!

_Master Arthur_ (_gloomily_). Pooh! Rain won't go away, not in these
times,
By being sung at to old nursery rhymes:
Especially in such a voice as yours!

_Master George._ Needn't be nasty, ARTHUR!

_Master Robert._ How it pours!
Thought we were going to have a real jolly day,
And now it's set in wet, to spoil our holiday.

_Master George._ Always the way at Easter. Shall we trudge it?

_Master Arthur._ Not yet. What have you got, GEORGE, in your Budget?

_Master George._ Not very much, I fear!

_Master Arthur._ Ah, that's vexatious!
It might have cheered us up a bit.

_Master George_ (_indignantly_). Good gracious!
You're always down on me, with no good reasons.
You know _I_'m not the ruler of the Seasons.
Now if I'd been in _your_ place - but no matter!

_Master Robert._ By Jingo, how the raindrops rush and clatter!
Ah, Primrose-gathering is not half so jolly
As once it used to be.

_Master Arthur._ Ah! my dear SOLLY,
The springs are now so awfully wet and cold,
The "cry" don't seem so fetching as of old.

[_Pipes up._

_Recitative_. "_Who will buy my pretty, pretty Pri-im-ro-o-ses!_
_All fresh gathered from the va-a-a-ll-ey?_"

_Master George._ The wet and cold have got into your throat,
A quaver and a crack on every note!

_Master Robert._ Don't aggravate each other, boys; 'tis wrong,
But while it rains _I_'ll tootle out a song: -
(_Sings._) The days we went a-Primrosing!

AIR - "_The days we went a-Gipsying!_"

The days are gone, the happy days
When _we_ were in our Spring;
When all the Primrose loved to praise,
And join its gathering.
Oh! we could sing like anything,
We felt the conqueror's glow,
In the days when we went Primrosing,
A long time ago.

_Chorus._ - In the days, &c.

Then April's flowery return
Was "Peace-with-Honour's" goal.
And the bright brimstone-bunch would burn
In every button-hole.
Our Dames were gaily on the wing,
With blossoms in full blow,
In the days when we went Primrosing,
A long time ago.

_Chorus._ - In the days, &c.

But now Progressive storms prevail
Election blizzards chill;
The Primroses seem sparse and pale
In valley and on hill.
Yon cloud looks black as raven's wing!
Things did not menace so.
In the days when we went Primrosing
A long time ago!

_Chorus._ - In the days, &c.

_Both._ Oh, brayvo, BOBBY!

_Master Robert._ Thanks. Yet my song's burden
Is dismal as the croakings of _Dame Durden_.
Our holiday is spoilt by driving showers.
I fear we shall have no great show of flowers;
But - anyhow my boys we're under cover;
And let us hope that storm-cloud will pass over
Without first giving us a dreadful drenching,
And all our April-hopes entirely quenching.

_All_ (_singing together_).
Rain! Rain!
Go away!
Come again
Another day!

[_Left crouching and singing._

* * * * *

FROM THE THEATRES, &C. COMMISSION. - "I am afraid," said Mr. P.S.
RUTLAND, speaking of the Music Halls, and in answer to a question
of Mr. BOLTON's, "we cannot do a wreck. (_Laughter._)" Mr. WOODALL:
"Without being wrecked in the attempt. (_Renewed laughter._)" Oh,
witty WOODALL! Why, encouraged by this applause, he may yet be led on
to make a pun on his own name, and say, "_Would all_ were like him!"
or some such merry jest. The proceedings in this Committee were
becoming a trifle dull, but it is to be hoped that they may yet hear
something still more sparkling from the wise and witty WOODALL.

* * * * *

[Illustration: APRIL SHOWERS; OR, A SPOILT EASTER HOLIDAY.

TRIO. "RAIN! RAIN! GO AWAY! COME AGAIN ANOTHER DAY!"]

* * * * *

TO MY COOK.

[Illustration]

Oh, hard of favour, fat of form,
How fairer art thou than thy looks,
Whose heart with kitchen fires is warm,
Thou plainest of the plainer Cooks!

Low down upon thy forehead grows
Thick hair of no conducive dye;
Short and aspiring is thy nose,
Watched ever by a furtive eye.

In shy defiance rarely seen
Where kitchen stairways darkly tend,
A foe to judge thee by thy mien,
Proclaimed in every act a friend!

I know thee little; not thy views
On public or on private life,
Whether a single lot thou'dst choose,
Or fain would'st be a Guardsman's wife;

For who can rightly read the change
When, still'd the work-day traffic's din,
In best apparel, rich and strange,
Thou passest weekly to thy kin!

A silken gown, that bravely stands
Environing thy form, or no;
Stout gloves upon thy straining hands,
For brooch, the breastplate cameo.

Shod with the well-heeled boots, whose knell
Afar along the pavement sounds,
Blent with the tinkling muffin-bell,
Or milkman, shrilling on his rounds.

_Nil tangis quod non ornas._ Nay,
'Tis not alone the parsley sprig,
The paper frill, the fennel spray,
The Yule-tide's pertly-berried twig;

But common objects by thy art
Some proper beauty seem to own;
Thy chop is as a chop apart,
Fraught with a grace before unknown;

The very egg thou poachest seems
Some work of deft _orfévrerie_, -
A yolk of gold that chastely gleams
Through a thin shrine of ivory.

From thee no pale and wilted ghost,
Or branded by the blackening bar,
But crisp and cheery comes the toast,
And brown as ripening hazels are.

Thy butter has not lost the voice
Of English meads, where cowslips grow,
And oh, the bacon of thy choice -
Rose-jacinth labyrinthed in snow!

And mutton, colder than the kiss
Of formal love, where loathing lurks
Its deadlier chill doth wholly miss,
Fired with the spirit of thy works.

To true occasion thou art true,
As upon great occasions great;
Doing whatever Cook may do
When PHYLLIS, neat, alone will wait,

As when the neighbouring villas send
Their modish guests to statelier fare,
And PHYLLIS, neat, is helped to tend
By that staid man the Greengrocer.

Though thou art more than plain in look,
Thou wieldest charms that never tire -
O Cook - we will not call thee Cook,
Thou Priestess of the Genial Fire.

* * * * *

LAYING A GHOST!

PROSPECTIVE ARRANGEMENTS. - Owing to the continued success of
_Hamlet_, it has been decided (by arrangement with the Author)
to postpone, &c. - _Extract from Advertisement in Daily Paper._

SCENE - _Sanctum of Popular Actor-Manager of Theatre Royal
Haymarket, Popular Actor-Manager dozing over a submitted
Play. He closes his eyes and slumbers. When to him enter
Master WILLIAM SHAKSPEARE._

_Master W.S._ (_shouting_). What ho, Sir Player! Wake up, Sir, wake
up!

_P.A.-M._ (_rousing himself_). Delighted to see you, Mr. SHAKSPEARE. I
hope you have been in front and seen us?

_Master W.S._ Yes, I just had a glance. Find you have put in some new
business. When will all you fellows leave me alone?

_P.A.-M._ (_earnestly_). I hope, Sir, that in the cause of Art you do
not object, that -

_Master W.S._ (_interrupting_). Oh, no! It makes little difference to
me what you do. _My_ author's fees ceased years ago! But look here,
What do you mean by this? (_Produces Press-cutting of advertisement
and reads_) - "Theatre Royal, Haymarket, Prospective Arrangements.
Owing to the continued success of _Hamlet_, it has been decided (by
arrangement with the Author) to postpone" another play. Now, Master
TREE, or as I may call ye, "Master up a Tree," what have you to say
to that? You see your advertisement has caught my eye. I am here to
answer it!

_P.A.-M._ Most wonderful! I do not know how or wherefore my pen
slipped, but slip it did, indeed. However, I apologise. Is that
enough?

_Master W.S._ More than enough!

_Enter the Ghost of HAMLET's Father suddenly._

_Ghost_ (_with a glance at W.S._). Ah, the Governor here already!
Still, I may have my chance as well as he! I gave the plot of
_Hamlet_! Why shouldn't I have another shot? (_To P.A.-M._) -
But that I am forbid
To tell the secrets of my prison-house,
I could a tale unfold, whose lightest word
Would harrow up thy soul.

_P.A.-M._ (_eagerly_). The very thing for a melodrama. Delighted to
make your acquaintance - hem - in the Spirit!

_Master W.S._ Nay, good Master Player, this is scarcely business! If
anything in _that_ line is to be done, I should do it. (_To Ghost of
HAMLET's Father_). Begone, Sirrah!

_Ghost._ Nay, this is professional jealousy! (_To P.A.-M._). I find
thee apt -

[_A book falls, and Master WM. SHAKSPEARE and Ghost of
HAMLET's Father vanish together._

_P.A.-M._ (_opening his eyes_). Was I dreaming? (_With a recollection
of "The Red Lamp"_) I wonder! [_Left wondering._

* * * * *

TAKING A SIGHT AT RINGANDKNOCK.

(_BY RUDDIER STRIPLING._)

After the roughness of the Atlantic, in which to my taste there is far
too much water moving about, I stepped on to America with considerable
relief. I was quite satisfied, after that excellent dinner, the first
I had enjoyed since Liverpool slid away eastward, to walk aimlessly
through the streets till I fell into the arms of a broad-shouldered,
pug-nosed, Irish New York policeman. I remember no more till New York
passed away on a sunny afternoon, and then I fell asleep again and
slept till the brakeman, conductor, Pullman-car conductor, negro
porter and newsboy somehow managed to pull me out into the midnight
temperature of 80 below freezing. It was just like having one's head
put under the pump, but it did not quite revive me, for I mistook
my host in his sleigh for a walrus, and tried to harpoon him with my
umbrella. After matters had been explained, we went off, at least I
did, and never woke up till I fell out into a snow-drift, just as we
turned a corner at our journey's end.

[Illustration: "Ta-ra-ra-Boom!"]

In the morning, I had some idea that the sky was a great sapphire, and
that I was inside it, and that the fields were some sort of velvet
or wool-work, going round and round with the sun rioting over them,
whatever that may mean, till my head ached. I can't quite understand
all this now, but it seemed a very picturesque, impressionist
description when I wrote it. Then I went for a walk down Main Street.
I think it is about 400 miles long, for I got nowhere near the end,
but this was perhaps owing to my uncertainty as to which side was
the pleasanter to walk on. At last I gave it up, and sat down on the
side-walk. Now, the wisdom of Vermont, not being at all times equal
to grasping all the problems of everybody else's life with delicacy,
sometimes makes pathetic mistakes, and it did so in my ease. I
explained to the policeman that I had been sitting up half the night
on a wild horse in New Zealand, and had only just come over for the
day, but it was all in vain.

The cell at Vermont was horribly uncomfortable. I dreamt that I was
trying to boil snow in a thimble, to make maple syrup, and to swim on
my head in deep water, with a life-belt tied to my ankles. There was
another man there, and in the early morning he told me about Mastodons
and Plesiosauri in a wood near the town, and how he caught them by the
tails and photographed them; and also that Ringandknock, a mountain
near, was mentioned by EMERSON in a verse, which I remembered,
because he made "co-eval" rhyme with "extended." Only a truly great
Philosopher could have done that.

It was all new and delightful; and it must have been true, because my
informant was a quiet, slow-spoken man of the West, who refrained from
laughing at me. I have met very few people who could do that. Next day
all the idleness and trifling were at an end, and my friends conveyed
me back to New York.

* * * * *

EPITAPH ON A DYER.

This Dyer with a dire liver tried
To earn a living dyeing, and he died.

* * * * *

THE CONFESSIONS OF A DUFFER.

NO. VIII. - THE DUFFER AS A HOST.

Of course I don't try to give dinners at home. The difficulties and
anxieties are too enormous. First there is inviting the people. I like
to have none but very clever men and very pretty women, but nobody's
acquaintance is limited to those rare beings, and, if I did invite
them, they would all have previous engagements: I do not blame them.
But suppose that two or three of the wits and beauties accept, that
is worse than ever, because the rest are a Q.C. (who talks about
his cases) and his wife, who talks about her children. An old
school-fellow, who has no conversation that does not begin, "I say, do
you remember old JACK WILLIAMS." This does not entertain the beauty,
who sits next him.

A Dowager Duchess, she knows none of the other people and wonders
audibly (to me) who they are. A clever young man, whose language is
the language of the future, and whose humour is of a date to which I
humbly hope my own days may not be prolonged. A Psychical Researcher,
with a note-book; he gets at the Duchess at once, and cross-examines
her about a visionary Piper who plays audible pibrochs through Castle
Blawearie, her ancestral home. Does she think the pibroch could be
taken down in a phonograph. Could the Piper be snapped in a kodak?
The Duchess does not know what a phonograph is; never heard of a
kodak. She does not like the note-book any more than _Mr. Pickwick's_
cabman liked it. She is afraid of getting into print. Then there is
the Warden of St. Jude's, a great scholar; he pricks up his ears,
not the keenest, at the word kodak, and begins to talk about a
newly-discovered _Codex_ of PODONIAN the Elder. Nobody knows what
a _Codex_ is. There is a School-board Lady, but, alas, she is next
the Warden of St. Jude's, not next the enthusiastic Clergyman, who
proses about a Club for Milliners. There is GRIGSBY, who develops an
undesirable interest in the Milliners' Club. Have they a Strangers'
Room? Do they give suppers? Are they Friendly Girls? Everyone thinks
GRIGSBY flippant and coarse; I wish I had not asked him to come. There
is a Positivist, who sneers at the Clergyman; there are a Squire and
his wife from Rutlandshire: she is next the Radical Candidate for the
Isle of Dogs. They do not seem to get on well together. GRIGSBY and
the humorist of the future are chaffing each other across the table:
nobody understands them; I don't know whether they are quarrelling
or not. Miss JONES, the authoress of _Melancholy Moods_ (in a
Greek dress, with a _pince-nez_: a woman should not combine these
attributes) is next the Squire: he has never heard of any of her
friends the Minor Poets: she takes no interest in Hay, nor in Tithes.
I see the Guardsman and the Beauty looking at each other across the
flowers and things: the language of their eyes is not difficult, nor
pleasant, to read. Why is the champagne so hot, and why are the ices
so salt and hard? I know something is the matter with the claret:
something is always the matter with the claret. It has been iced, and
the champagne has been standing for days in an equable temperature of
65°.

[Illustration: "It is midnight; I am tired to death. Yes, Bielby
_will_ have something to drink, and another cigar - a very large one."]

When they want to go away, it is a wet night, and those who have come
in cabs cannot get cabs to go back in. The Duchess's coachman lost his
way, coming here, she was half-an-hour late: she is anxious about his
finding his way home. GRIGSBY has got at the Psychical-Researcher, and
I hear him telling stories, as personal experiences, which I know are
not true. Psychical-Researchers have no sense of humour. "S.P.R.,"
why not "S.P.Q.R.?" I hear GRIGSBY asking, and suggesting "Society for
Propagating Rubbish." It is very rude of him, and not at all funny.

However, they do go away at last, that advantage a dinner at home
has over a dinner at the Club, there they often seem as if they would
never go away at all.

On the other hand, the wine is all right at the Club, I believe, for
I know nothing about wine myself. Some men talk of nothing else, and
seem to know the vintages without looking at the names on the bottles.

The worst of giving a dinner at the Club is, that I never know how
many men I have asked, nor even who they are. It is enough if I
remember the date. It might be a good thing to write these matters
down in a Diary, or on a big sheet of paper, pinned up in one's room.
I know I have written to ask some Americans whom I have not seen:
they brought letters of introduction. I forget their names - there is a
Professor who has written a novel, there is a General, I think, and a
Mad Doctor.

My best plan will be to stand about in the drawing-room, and try to
select them as they come in. Here is WILKINSON, who was at St. Jude's
with me: I shake hands with him warmly. He looks blank. It is not
WILKINSON, after all; it is a stranger, he is dining with somebody
else. Some other men have come in while I am apologising. One of them
comes up and says, "Mr. McDUFFER!" He must be an American. Which? He
tells me: he is the Mad Doctor. He introduces his countrymen; they
all say "Mr. McDUFFER!" How am I to remember which is the General and
which is the Professor? Other people drop in. Here is CRIMPTON. He
is a Reviewer. Clever fellow, CRIMPTON. Here is old BEILBY - he is hot
from the University Match. He begins to tell me all about it. JONES
was awfully well set, but that muff SMITH ran him out. BEILBY does
not believe it _was_ out. Odd the spite umpires always have at our
side. Feel that I must tear myself from BEILBY, the only man whose
conversation really interests me. Here is an English writer on
military subjects. I introduce him to the American General. Find he
is the Professor, after all. We get down-stairs somehow. BEILBY is
opposite me. CRIMPTON is next the Professor. The Military Writer is
next the General. Things do not appear to go very smoothly. It seems
that the Military one has said something about General BEAUREGARD
which he should not have said. The General is getting red. I hate it,
when men begin to talk about the American War. Any other war they
are welcome to: the Danish War, the war of 1866, the war of 1870, the
glorious affair of Majuba. But Americans are touchy about their war,
not easy to please them whatever you say. Much best to say nothing.
CRIMPTON is laughing at American novels. He does not know that the
Professor is an American novelist. What am I to do? I try to kick him
under the table. I kick the Mad Doctor, and apologise. Was feeling
about for a footstool. BEILBY is trying to talk about Base Ball to
the General, who is still red. Nothing is more disagreeable than these
international discussions at dinner.

Now, a clever host would know how to get out of this; he would start
some other subject. I can think of no other subject. Happy thought:
gradually glide into American cookery, clams, canvas-backed ducks,
what is that dish with a queer name - Jumbo? I don't feel as if it
were Jumbo. Squambo? Terapin soup? It sounds rather like the Hebrew
for a talisman, or an angel of some sort. However, they are talking
about cookery now, and wines. Is there not an American wine called
Catawampus? The Mad Doctor has his eye on me; he seems interested.
I thought I heard him murmur Aspasia, or Aphasia, or something
like that. It is not Catawampus - it is Catawba. I feel that I
_patauge_ - flounder, I mean. I am getting quite nervous; feel like a
man in a powder-magazine, with lighted cigarettes everywhere. If one
can withdraw them to the smoking-room, they will settle down somehow.
They do. The Military Critic gets into a corner with BEILBY. The
Americans and I consort together. Most agreeable fellows; have been
everywhere, and seen everything. CRIMPTON, luckily, is reading one of
his own reviews in the evening paper. I glance at it; it is a review
of the Professor's novel. Not a kind review - rather insulting than
otherwise. He hates BEILBY, and he does not know the Military Critic.
If he joins us, there will be more international discussion. I get
them on to the balcony, and pretend to go to ring the bell for coffee.
I whisper to CRIMPTON. He is quite taken aback. "Awfully sorry; never
dreamed the Professor was not English." He wants to tell the Professor
that, thinks he will be pleased. He apologises to me; it is dreadfully
disagreeable to be apologised to by a guest. "All my fault," I say;
and, really, so it is. CRIMPTON remembers an evening engagement, and
goes off _à l'Anglaise_.

[Illustration: A PENNY FOR THE MEMBER'S THOUGHTS.]

The Americans go off; say they have enjoyed themselves. I feel
inclined to apologise for CRIMPTON. On second thoughts, I don't. They
do not look like men who write about their adventures in their native
newspapers. Ladies do that. A weight is off my mind. The Military
Writer goes home. He asks, "Who was that old man who fancied himself
so about SHERMAN's March?" "That was General HOME, who held a command
under SHERMAN." The Military Writer whistles; wishes I had told him
that before dinner. I wish I had, but I got so flurried and confused.
It is midnight; I am tired to death. Yes, BEILBY _will_ have something
to drink, and another cigar - a very large one. He begins to talk about
the University Match, about all University Matches, about old scores,
and old catches, from MITCHELL's year to the present day.

It is three o'clock before I get home; the Americans _may_ have
enjoyed themselves, I have not. I dream about the Mad Doctor; perhaps
he will put me into his next book on _Incipient Insanity_. Serve me
right.

* * * * *

THE YOUNG GIRL'S COMPANION.

(_BY MRS. PAYLEY._)

I. - THE YOUNG GIRL'S DIARY.

My very dear young girls, those Arts and accomplishments which form
part of the average education will be taught you by your Governess,
and in some cases, if your parents think it judicious, by a male
Professor. I do not propose in these papers to deal with such
subjects. But there are certain points in the life of the young girl,
about which the handbooks have but little to say, which your teachers
do not include in their course of tuition. Some of these points are
particularly intimate and sentimental. It is here that I would wish
to act as your adviser, and, if I may, as your confidential friend.
I shall always be glad, while these papers are being published,
to receive and answer any letters from young girls on questions of
sentiment and propriety. If we had no sentiment, life would not stand
thinking about; if we had no propriety, life would not stand talking
about. Of the two, propriety is, perhaps, for the woman the more
important, but I shall be glad to answer questions on both. And now
let me say a few words on the subject of the Young Girl's Diary.

[Illustration: (Young girl.)]

You must most certainly keep a Diary.

When I was a young girl of twenty-eight - it is not so very long ago - I


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Online LibraryVariousPunch, or the London Charivari, Volume 102, April 23, 1892 → online text (page 2 of 3)