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PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI

VOL. 99

JULY 19, 1890







OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.

[Illustration: PARALLEL.

Joe, the Fat Boy in Pickwick, startles the Old Lady; Oscar, the Fad
Boy in Lippincott's, startles Mrs. Grundy.

_Oscar, the Fad Boy_. "I want to make your flesh creep!"]

The Baron has read OSCAR WILDE'S Wildest and Oscarest work, called
_Dorian Gray_, a weird sensational romance, complete in one number of
_Lippincott's Magazine_. The Baron, recommends anybody who revels in
_diablerie_, to begin it about half-past ten, and to finish it at one
sitting up; but those who do not so revel he advises either not to
read it at all, or to choose the daytime, and take it in homoeopathic
doses. The portrait represents the soul of the beautiful Ganymede-like
_Dorian Gray_, whose youth and beauty last to the end, while his soul,
like JOHN BROWN'S, "goes marching on" into the Wilderness of Sin. It
becomes at last a devilled soul. And then _Dorian_ sticks a knife into
it, as any ordinary mortal might do, and a fork also, and next morning

"Lifeless but 'hideous' he lay,"

while the portrait has recovered the perfect beauty which it possessed
when it first left the artist's easel. If OSCAR intended an allegory,
the finish is dreadfully wrong. Does he mean that, by sacrificing
his earthly life, _Dorian Gray_ atones for his infernal sins, and so
purifies his soul by suicide? "Heavens! I am no preacher," says the
Baron, "and perhaps OSCAR didn't mean anything at all, except to give
us a sensation, to show how like BULWER LYTTON'S old-world style he
could make his descriptions and his dialogue, and what an easy thing
it is to frighten the respectable _Mrs. Grundy_ with a Bogie." The
style is decidedly Lyttonerary. His aphorisms are Wilde, yet forced.
Mr. OSCAR WILDE says of his story, "it is poisonous if you like, but
you cannot deny that it is also perfect, and perfection is what we
artists aim at." Perhaps; but "we artists" do not always hit what
we aim at, and, despite his confident claim to unerring artistic
marksmanship, one must hazard the opinion, that in this case Mr. WILDE
has "shot wide." There is indeed more of "poison" than of "perfection"
in _Dorian Gray_. The central idea is an excellent, if not exactly
novel, one; and a finer art, say that of NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE, would
have made a striking and satisfying story of it. _Dorian Gray_ is
striking enough, in a sense, but it is not "satisfying" artistically,
any more than it is so ethically. Mr. WILDE has preferred the sensuous
and hyperdecorative manner of "Mademoiselle DE MAUPIN," and without
GAUTIER'S power, has spoilt a promising conception by clumsy unideal
treatment. His "decoration" (upon which he plumes himself) is indeed
"laid on with a trowel." The luxuriously elaborate details of his
"artistic hedonism" are too suggestive of South Kensington Museum
and æsthetic Encyclopædias. A truer art would have avoided both the
glittering conceits, which bedeck the body of the story, and the
unsavoury suggestiveness which lurks in its spirit. Poisonous! Yes.
But the loathly "leperous distilment" taints and spoils, without
in any way subserving "perfection," artistic or otherwise. If _Mrs.
Grundy_ doesn't read it, the younger _Grundies_ do; that is, the
_Grundies_ who belong to Clubs, and who care to shine in certain
sets wherein this story will be much discussed. "I have read it, and,
except for the ingenious idea, I wish to forget it," says the Baron.

* * * * *

The Baron has seen the new, lively, and eccentric newspaper, entitled
_The Whirlwind_. It has reached the third number. "I am informed,"
says the Baron, "that, on payment of five guineas down, I can become
a life-subscriber to the _Whirlwind_. But what does life-subscriber
mean? Do I subscribe for the term of my life, or for the term of the
_Whirlwind's_ life? Suppose the _Whirlwind_ has to be wound up, or
whirl-winded up, and suppose I am still going on, can I intervene to
stop the proceedings, and insist on my contract to be supplied with
a _Whirlwind_ per week for the remainder of my natural or unnatural
life being carried out? If the contract is for our lives, then, as
a life-subscriber, I should insist on the _Whirlwind_ remaining
co-existent with me, so that, up to my latest breath, I might have a
_Whirlwind_. But if the life-subscription of five guineas is only for
the term of the _Whirlwind's_ life, then, I fancy the proprietors,
editor, and staff, that the Hon. STUART ERSKINE and Mr. HERBERT
VIVIAN, who are, I believe, the Proprietors, Editor, and Staff of the
_Whirlwind_, will have by far the better of the bargain. I resist the
temptation, and keep my five pounds five shillings in my pocket, and
am

"Yours truly, THE BARON DE BOOK-WORMS."

* * * * *

OUR NEW ADVERTISEMENT COLUMN.

[All applications in answer to be addressed to the office
of this journal, accompanied by handsome P.O.O, and lots of
shilling stamps, which will in every case be retained, without
acknowledgment, as a guarantee of good faith.]

URGENT CASE. - WANTED, by a little Boy, aged 10, of thoroughly
disagreeable temper, selfish, greedy, ill-mannered, and thoroughly
spoilt at home, a good sound Whipping, weekly, if possible. Great care
will be necessary on the part of applicant in fulfilling requirements,
parents of youth in question, being firmly convinced that he is a
noble little fellow, with a fine manly spirit, just what his dear
Papa was at his age (as is very probably the case) and only requiring
peculiarly gentle and considerate treatment. - Apply (in first
instance, by letter) to Godfather, care of _Mr. Punch_.

* * * * *

TO PARENTS AND GUARDIANS, - affectionate but practical-minded, and
anxious to find economical homes (somewhere else) for young gentlemen
who cannot get on without expensive assistance at starting in Mother
country, owing to excessive competition in laborious and over-crowded
professions. A firm of enterprising Agents offer bracing and
profitable occupation (coupled with the use _gratis_, of two broken
spades, an old manure-cart, and an axe without a handle) in a
peculiarly romantic and unhealthy district in the backwoods of
West-Torrida. Photograph, if desired, of Agent's residence (distant
several hundred miles away.) Excellent opening for young men fresh
from first-class public school or college-life: who should, of course,
be prepared to "rough it" a little before making competence or
large fortune, by delightful pursuit of agriculture. No restrictive
civilisation. No drains. Excellent supply of water and heavy floods as
a rule, during three months of year, bringing on Spring crops without
expense of irrigation. Very low death-rate, most of population
having recently cleared out. Small village and (horse)-doctor within
twenty-five miles' ride. Wild and beautiful country. Every incentive
to work. Rare poisonous reptiles, and tarantula spiders, most
interesting to young observant naturalist. Capital prospect - great
saving offered to careful parents anxious to set up brougham, or
increase private expenses. Five boys (reduction on taking a quantity)
disposed of for about £250 and outfit, with probably, no further
trouble. - Address, Messrs. SHARKEY AND CRIMPIN, Colonial and
Emigration Agents. &c.

* * * * *

CONCERTS! CONCERTS! - Amateur Comic Vocalist and impromptu "Vamper"
(gentleman born) of several years' experience in best London Society,
is anxious to meet with bold and speculative Manager who will offer
him a first engagement. Can sing - omitting a few high notes - various
popular melodies, comprising, "_Aunt Sarah's Back-hair," "The Twopenny
Toff of 'Ighgate 'Ill_," and "_Tommy Robinson's Last Cigar_," and also
play piano if required, with one finger, but prefers to be accompanied
by indefatigable friend, who plays entirely by ear, and if allowed to
smoke freely, can "pick up" any tune in a quarter of an hour. Seldom
breaks down or forgets words, except before large or unsympathetic
audience. Fetching comic "biz," and superlative Music-hall "chic."
Would have no objection to black face and appear at evening parties,
or in fashionable streets, with banjo (if provided with small police
escort.) Testimonials from several highly respectable relatives, now
in asylum, or under treatment at seaside. - Address, with terms, the
Hon. ALGERNON BRASSLEIGH CHEEKINGTON (or at Chimpanzee Chambers in
Piccadilly, W.)

* * * * *

SUGGESTION FOR REFORM IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS' SYSTEM. - "_Absence_" should
be called immediately after dinner, and then each boy, instead
of saying, "Here, Sir!" could reply, classically and correctly,
"_Adsum!_" Yours truly, AN OVER-ETON BOY.

* * * * *

[Illustration: LAT. 60° 8' N. LONG. 4° 30' E.

_Mr. Punch en route for the Midnight Sun. First glimpse of Norway._]

* * * * *

"THE CUP THAT CHE-(HIC)-ERS!"

The Total Abstainer staggered to his feet. The room seemed to be
waltzing round him, and his legs acted independently of each other.
One of those legs tried to walk to the right, whilst the other moved
to the left! He looked in the mirror and saw a double reflection!
He had two noses, a couple of mouths, four eyes, and countless
whiskers. This made him merry, and he laughed in very glee. But
only for a while! Soon he became utterly depressed. Then his head
ached - horribly! He tried to sleep - he could not! "Never too late - to
MENDAL!" he gasped out, uttering in his extreme agitation the name of
a Physician of Berlin who had made inebriety a special study.

Then his muscles became weak and trembling, his aversion to labour
increased, and he had scarcely the energy or power to observe that
his complexion (in patches) was ruddier than the cherry.

"Alas!" he sighed, and he succumbed permanently to persistent
dyspepsia!

And what was the cause of this unfortunate, this terrible condition?
Sad to say, the question was easily answered. The Total Abstainer had
taken a drop too much - of Coffee!

* * * * *

CATCHING;

OR, HOW FAR WILL IT GO?

(BEING A FORECAST OF THE SPREAD OF THE STRIKE FEVER, FROM A NEXT
WEEK'S DIARY.)

_Wednesday_. - All the Police, having now been replaced by Amateur
Special Constables, who are as yet unfamiliar with their duties, the
position of the Metropolitan Magistrates becomes impossible, and
they resign in a body at five minutes' notice, causing the greatest
consternation in signalling their resignation by sending every case
on the charge-sheet that morning for trial to a superior Court.

_Thursday_. - The Judges, overwhelmed by the prospect of an unusual and
quite impossible amount of extra work, demand the increase of their
salaries to £10,000 per annum. On this being categorically refused
by the Treasury, they then and there, on their respective Benches,
severally tear off their wigs and robes, and quit their Courts "for
good," with threatening gestures.

_Friday_. - The LORD CHANCELLOR, on being informed of the conduct of
the Judges, rips open the Woolsack, scattering its contents over the
floor of the House of Lords, and, denouncing the Government, throws up
his post on the spot. The legal business of the country, coming thus
to a deadlock, is involved in further chaos by a sudden strike of
all the Members of both the Senior and Junior Bars, which is further
complicated by another of every Solicitor in the three kingdoms.

_Saturday_. - Gatling guns being posted in the Entrance Hall, and Bow
Street having been cleared by a preliminary discharge of artillery,
the programme of the Royal Italian Opera for the evening is carried
out, as advertised, at Covent Garden. Ladies wearing their diamonds,
are conveyed to the theatre in Police Vans, surrounded by detachments
of the Household Cavalry, and gentlemen's evening dress is
supplemented by a six-chambered revolver, an iron-cased umbrella, a
head protector, and a double-edged cut-and-thrusting broad-sword.

_Sunday_. - The Church having caught the prevailing fever, the entire
body of the Clergy, headed by the Bishops, come out on strike, with
the result that no morning, afternoon, or evening services are held
anywhere. The Medical Profession takes up the idea, and, discovering
a grievance, the Royal College of Surgeons issues a manifesto. All the
hospitals turn out their patients, and medical men universally drop
all their cases. An M.D. who is known, upon urgent pressure, to have
made an official visit, is chased up and down Harley Street by a mob
of his infuriated brother practitioners, and is finally nearly lynched
on a lamp-post in Cavendish Square. The day closes in with a serious
riot in Hyde Park, caused by the meeting of the conflicting elements
of Society, who have all marched there with their bands and banners to
air their respective grievances.

_Monday_. - The London County Council, School Board, Common Council,
Court of Aldermen, and the Royal Academicians after discovering,
respectively, some trifling sources of dissatisfaction, wreck their
several establishments, and finally march along the Thames Embankment
towards Westminster, singing, alternately, the "_Marseillaise_" and
"_Ask a Pleece-man._"

_Tuesday_. - The House of Commons, after tossing the SPEAKER in his own
gown, declare the Constitution extinct, and, abolishing the House of
Lords and giving all the Foreign Ambassadors twelve hours notice to
quit the country, announce their own dissolution, and immediately
commence their Autumn Holiday.

_Wednesday_. - Railway Directors, Sweeps, Chairmen of Public Companies,
Coal-Heavers, Provincial Mayors, Dentists, Travelling Circus
Proprietors, Fish Contractors, Beadles, Cabinet Ministers, Street
Scavengers, Dog Fanciers, Archbishops, Gas Fitters, Hereditary
Legislators, Prize Fighters, Poor-Law Guardians, Lion Tamers,
Green-Grocers, and many other discontented members of the community,
having all joined in a universal strike, society, becomes totally
disorganised, and the entire country quietly but, effectually
collapses, and disappears from the European system.

* * * * *

SHAKSPEARE ONCE AGAIN, ADAPTED TO THE SITUATION.

(SEE _TITUS ANDRONICUS_, ACT II., SC. 1.)

_AARON (THE AGITATOR) LOQUITUR_. -

For shame, be friends, and join for that you jar:
'Tis Union and Strikes, my lads, must do
That you affect; and so must you resolve
That what you cannot severally achieve,
United you may manage as you will.
A speedier course than lingering languishment
Must we pursue, and I have found the path.
My lads, a biggish business is in hand;
Together let brave British Bobbies troop:
The City streets are numerous and wealthy,
And many unfrequented nooks there be,
Fitted by kind for violence and theft;
But take you thence, and many a watchful ruffian
Will soon strike home, by force and not by words:
This way, or not at all, stand you in hope.
Come, come, our comrades, with more sluggish wit,
To vigilance and duty consecrate,
Will we acquaint with all that we intend,
And we will so commit them to our cause
That they cannot stand off or "square" themselves;
But to your wishes' height you'll all advance.
The City's courts have houses of ill-fame,
Town's palaces are full of wanton wealth,
The slums are ruthless, ravenous ripe for crime.
_Then speak, and strike, brave boys, and take your turn_!

* * * * *

[Illustration: INFELICITOUS QUOTATIONS.

_Fair Authoress_. "SO SORRY TO BE SO LATE. I'M AFRAID I'M _LAST_!"

_Genial Host_. "'_LAST_ - BUT NOT _LEAST_!'"]

* * * * *

SONG SENTIMENTIANA.

(_A DELIGHTFUL "ALL-THE-YEAR-SOUND" RESORT FOR THE FASHIONABLE
COMPOSER._)

EXAMPLE V. - OF THE TRANSFORMATIVE POWERS OF LOVE, UNDER CONDITION OF
PROXIMITY.

When thou art near, the hemisphere
Commissioned to surround me,
(As well as you,) is subject to
Some changes that astound me.
Where'er I look I seem mistook;
All objects - what, I care not -
At once arrange to make a change
To something that they were not!
When thou art near, love,
Strange things occur -
Thickness is clear, love,
Clearness a blur.
Penguins are weasels,
Cheap things are dear,
"Jumps" are but measles
When thou art near!

When thou art close, the doctor's dose
Is quite a decent tonic.
Thy presence, too, makes all things new,
And five-act plays laconic.
And, with thee by, the earth's the sky,
And _your_ "day out" is _my_ day,
While tailors' bills are daffodils,
And Saturday is Friday!
When thou art here, love,
Just where you are,
Far things are near, love,
Near things are far.
Beef-tea is wine, love,
Champagne is beer,
Wet days are fine, love,
When thou art near.

Without you stand quite close at hand,
A broker _is_ a broker;
But stick by me, and then he'll be
A very pleasant joker!
Without thee by, a lie's a lie -
The truth is nought but truthful.
But by me stay, and night is day -
And even _you_ are youthful
When thou art near, love, -
Not, love, unless, -
Thick soup is clear, love,
Football is chess.
IRVINGS are TOOLES, love,
Tadpoles are deer,
Wise men are fools, love,
When thou art near!

* * * * *

When KENNEDY fell out of his boat at Henley, his antagonist, PSOTTA,
magnanimously waited for him to get in again. He must be a good Psotta
chap.

* * * * *

LOST OPPORTUNITIES. - Last Tuesday week the members of the Incorporated
Cain-and-Abel-Authors' Society lost a great treat when Mr. GEORGE
AUGUSTUS lost a indignantly refused to take his seat "below the salt,"
and walked out without making the speech with which his name was
associated on the toast-list. But, on the other hand, what a big
chance Orator GEORGE AUGUSTUS lost of coming out strong in opposition,
and astonishing the Pen-and-Inkorporated ones with a few stirring
remarks, in his most genial vein, on the brotherhood of Authors,
and their appreciation of distinguished services in the field
of Literature. It was an opportunity, too, for suggesting
"Re-distribution of Seats."

* * * * *

TO MRS. H.M. STANLEY.

The merry bells do naught but ring,
The streets are gay with flag and pennant,
The birds more sweetly seem to sing -
A Heart to Let has found a TENNANT!
No more will HENRY MORTON roam,
Nor from your charms away for long go,
But, honeymooning here at home,
Forget he ever saw the Congo!

To Oxford 'twas your husband went -
The stately home of Don and Proctor -
Where, 'mid the deafening cheers that rent
The air, he straight became a Doctor.
As one whose valour none can shake,
We've sung him in a thousand ditties,
And freedoms too we've made him take
Of goodness knows how many cities!

Yet while to honour and to praise
With one another we've been vying,
Has he not told us for the days
Of rest to come he ne'er ceased sighing?
And when, with pomp of high degree,
Your marriage vows and troth you plighted,
Why, everyone was glad to see
Art and Adventure thus united!

"To those about to Marry. - Don't!"
So _Mr. Punch_ did once advise us.
Spread the advice? I'm sure you won't.
A course which hardly need surprise us.
O lovely wife of one we think
Above all others brave and manly,
We clink our glasses as we drink
Long life and health to Mrs. STANLEY!

* * * * *

THE ANGLO-GERMAN CONCERTINA.

"I confess I was not at all prepared for the feelings that
some South Africans appear to entertain with respect to our
conduct in the recent negotiations" - _Lord Salisbury to
the Deputation of African Merchants respecting the proposed
Anglo-German Agreement._

[Illustration: _Imperial Instrumentalist_ (_loquitur_). "WHAT, NOT
LIKE THE TONE OF IT? WELL, YOU _DO_ SURPRISE ME!!!"]

I fancied that this Instrument
Would make a great sensation
And that its music would content
The critics and the nation,
I know it is what vulgar folks
Christen the "Constant-screamer;"
I thought _you_'d scorn such feeble jokes;
It seems I was a dreamer.
You writhe your lips, you close your ears!
Dear me! Such conduct tries me.
You do not like it, it appears
Well, well, - you _do_ surprise me!

'Tis not, I know, the Jingo drum,
Nor the "Imperial" trumpet.
(The country to their call won't come,
However much you stump it.)
They're out of fashion; 'tis not now
As in the days of "BEAKEY."
People dislike the Drum's tow-row.
And call the Trumpet squeaky.
So I the Concertina try,
As valued friends advise me.
What's that you say? It's all my eye?
Well, well, - you _do_ surprise me!

I fancied you would like it much,
You and the other fellows.
Admire the tone, remark my touch!
And what capacious bellows!
'Tis not as loud as a trombone,
But harmony's not rumpus;
The chords are charming, and you'll own
It has a pretty compass.
I swing like this, I sway like that!
Fate a fine theme supplies me!
The "treatment" you think feeble, flat?
Well, well - you _do_ surprise me!

The "European Concert"? Grand!
(You recollect that term, man!)
_This_ is a Concertina, and
It's make is Anglo-German,
You can't _expect_ the thing to be
English alone, completely;
But really, as 'tis played by me.
Does it not sound most sweetly?
Humph! DONALD CURRIE cocks his nose,
BECKETT disdainfully eyes me,
My Concertina you would - _close!_
Well, well - you _do_ surprise me!

* * * * *

WEEK BY WEEK.

Scarcely a day passes without bringing us nearer to the end of the
year. That is a melancholy reflection, but we are not sure that it
exhausts all the possibilities of misery latent in the flight of
time. It has been noticed, for instance, that the Duke of X - - , whose
sporting proclivities are notorious, never fails to celebrate his
birthday with a repast at an inferior _restaurant_, and, as His Grace
is powerful, his friends suffer in silence and bewail his increasing
ducal age.

* * * * *

Henley Regatta came off as arranged. This is a peculiarity which is
very striking in connection with this Royal fixture. We are informed
that several certainties were upset, but by whom and why has not
been stated. Candidly speaking, such a brutal method as "upsetting"
consorts ill with the softer manners of our time. On the Thames, too,
it must be extraordinarily disagreeable.

* * * * *

Mrs. WEEDLE, the Hon. Mrs. THREADBARE, and Lady FAWN, have joined
the lately established Bureau for the Dissemination of Fashionable
Friendships. The Personal Advertising Department is now open, and is
daily filled with a distinguished crowd of applicants. Arrangements
are in process of completion for supplying the deserving rich with
cambric handkerchiefs, and imitation diamonds, at nominal prices.

* * * * *

A well-known Actor has lately been deprived of his customary allowance
of fat. His loss of weight (in avoirdupois) has been computed at
five-sixteenths of the integral cubit of a patent accumulator's
vertical boiling power, divided by the fractional resistance of a
plate-glass window to a two-horse-power catapult.

* * * * *

The weather has been variable, with cryptoconchoidal deflections of a
solid reverberating isobar previously tested in a solution of zinc and
soda-water. This indicates cold weather in December next.

* * * * *

Consols 1/50094th better. Wheat in demand. Jute firm. Bank rate too


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Online LibraryVariousPunch, or the London Charivari, Volume 99, July 19, 1890 → online text (page 1 of 3)