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VOL. 100.

June 13, 1891.



SCENE - _The Auditorium of a Music Hall, the patrons of which
are respectable, but in no sense "smart." The occupants of the
higher-priced seats appear to have dropped in less for the purpose
of enjoying the entertainment than of discussing their private
affairs - though this does not prevent them from applauding everything
with generous impartiality._

_The Chairman_. Ladies and Gentlemen, the Celebrated
Character-Duettists and Variety Artistes, the Sisters SILVERTWANG,
will appear next!

[_They do; They have just sung a duet in praise of
Nature with an interspersed step-dance. "Oh, I love to 'ear the echo
on the Moun-ting!_" (_Tiddity-iddity-iddity-iddity-um!_) "_And to
listen to the tinkle of the Foun-ting!_" (_Tiddity, &c._)

_A White-capped Attendant_ (_taking advantage of a pause,
plaintively_). Sengwidges, too-pence!

_Voluble Lady in the Shilling Stalls_ (_telling her Male Companion an
interminable story with an evasive point_). No, but you 'ear what
I'm going to _tell_ you, because I'm coming to it presently. I can't
remember his name at this moment - something like BUDKIN, but it wasn't
that, somewhere near Bond Street, he is, or a street off there; a
Scotchman, but _that_ doesn't matter! (_Here she breaks off to hum
the Chorus of "Good Ole Mother-in-Law!" which is being sung on the
stage._) Well, let me see - what was I telling you? Wait a minute,
excuse _me_, oh, yes, - _well_, there was this picture, - mind you, it's
a lovely _painting_, but the frame simply nothing, not that I go by
frames, myself, o' course not, but I fetched it down to show him - oh,
I know what you'll say, but he must know _something_ about such
things; he knew my uncle, and I can tell you what he _is_ - he's a
florist, and married nineteen years, and his wife's forty - years
older than me, but I've scarcely spoke to _her_, and no children, so
I fetched it to show him, and as soon as he set eyes on it,
he says - (_Female "Character-Comic" on Stage, lugubriously_.
"Ritolderiddle, ol de _ray_, ritolderiddle, olde-_ri-ido_!") I can't
tell you _how_ old it is, but 'undreds of years, and Chinese, I
shouldn't wonder, but we can't trace its 'istry - that's what _he_
said, and if _he_ don't know, _nobody_ does, for it stands to reason
he must be a judge, though nothing to me, - when I say nothing, I mean
all I know of him is that he used to be - (_Tenor Vocalist on Stage_.
"My Sweetheart when a Bo-oy!") I always like that song, don't you?
Well, and this is what I was _wanting_ to tell you, _she_ got to know
what I'd done - how is more'n _I_ can tell you, but she did, and she
come straight in to where I was, and I see in a minute she'd been
drinking, for drink she does, from morning to night, but I don't mind
_that_, and her bonnet all on the back of her head, and her voice that
'usky, she - (_Tenor_. "She sang a Song of Home Sweet Home - a song that
reached my heart!") And I couldn't be expected to put up with _that_,
you know, but I haven't 'alf told you yet - _well_, &c., &c.


_First Professional Lady, "resting" to Second Ditto_ (_as_ Miss
FLORRIE FOLJAMBE _appears on Stage_). New dresses, to-night.

_Second Ditto_. Yes. (_Inspects_ Miss F.'s _costume_.) Something wrong
with that boy's dress in front, though, cut too low. Is that
silver bullion it's trimmed with? That silver stuff they put on my
pantomime-dress has turned quite yellow!

_First Ditto_. It will sometimes. Did you know any of the critics when
you were down at Slagtown for the Panto?

_Second Ditto_. I knew the _Grimeshire Mercury_, and he said most
awfully rude things about me in his paper. I was rather rude to him
at rehearsal, but we made it up afterwards. You know LILY'S married,

_First Ditto_. What - LILY? You don't mean it!

_Second Ditto_. Oh, yes, she _is_, though. She went out to Buenos
Ayres, and the other day she was taken in to dinner by the Bishop of
the Friendly Isands.

_First Ditto_. A Bishop? _Fancy!_ That _is_ getting on, isn't it?

_Miss Foljambe_ (_on Stage, acknowledging an encore_). Ladies and
Gentlemen, I am very much obliged for your kind reception this
evening, but having been lately laid up with a bad cold, and almost
entirely lost my vice, and being still a little 'orse, I feel
compelled to ask your kind acceptance of a few 'ornpipe steps, after
which I 'ope to remain, Ladies and Gentlemen, always your obedient
'umble servant to command - FLORRIE FOLIJAMBE!

[_Tumultuous applause and hornpipe._

_Chairman_. Professor BOODLER, the renowned Imitator of Birds, will
appear next!

_The Professor_ (_on Stage_). Ladies and Gentlemen, I shall commence
by an attempt to give you an imitation of that popular and favourite
songster, the Thrush - better known to some of you, I daresay, as
the Throstle, or Mavis! (_He gives the Thrush - which somehow doesn't
"go._") I shall next endeavour to represent that celebrated and
tuneful singing-bird - the Sky-lark. (_He does it, but the Lark
doesn't quite come off._) I shall next try to give you those two sweet
singers, the Male and Female Canary - the gentleman in the stalls with
the yellow 'air will represent the female bird on this occasion, he
must not be offended, for it is a 'igh compliment I am paying him,
a harmless professional joke. (_The Canaries obtain but tepid
acknowledgments._) I shall now conclude my illustrations of bird-life
with my celebrated imitation of a waiter drawing the cork from a
bottle of gingerbeer, and drinking it afterwards.

[_Does so; rouses the audience to frantic enthusiasm, and retires
after triple re-call._


_The Voluble Lady in the Shilling Stalls_ (_during the performance
of a Thrilling Melodramatic Sketch_). I've nothing to say against her
'usban', a quiet, respectable man, and always treated _me_ as a lady,
with grey whiskers - but that's neither here nor there - and I speak of
parties as I find them - _well. That_ was a Thursday. On the _Saturday_
there came a knock at my door, and I answered it, and there was she,
saying, as cool as you please - (_Heroine on Stage_. "Ah, no, no - you
would not ruin me? You will not tell my husband?") So I told her. "I'm
very sorry," I says, "but I can't lend that frying-pan to nobody." So
I got up. Two hours _after_, as I was going down-stairs, she come out
of her room, and says, - "'Allo, ROSE, 'ow _are_ yer?" as if nothing
had 'appened. "Oh, jolly," I says, or somethink o' that sort - _I_
wasn't going to take no notice of _her_ - and she says, "Going
out?" like that. I says. "Oh, yes; nothing to stay in for," I says,
careless-like; so Mrs. PIPER, _she_ never said nothing, and _I_ didn't
say nothing; and so it went on till Monday - _well_! Her 'usban' met me
in the passage; and he said to me - good-tempered and civil enough, I
_must_ say - he said - (_Villain on Stage_. "Curse you! I've had enough
of this fooling! Give me money, or I'll twist your neck, and fling
you into yonder mill-dam, to drown!") So o' course I'd no objection
to that; and all she wanted, in the way of eatables and drink, she
_'ad_ - no, let me finish _my_ story first. Well, just fancy _'er_
now! She asked me to step in; and she says, "Ow are you?" and was
very nice, and I never said a word - not wishing to bring up the past,
and - I didn't tell you _this_ - they'd a kind of old easy chair in the
room - and the only remark _I_ made, not meaning anythink, was - (_Hero
on Stage_. "You infernal, black-hearted scoundrel! this is _your_
work, is it?") Well, I couldn't ha' put it more pleasant than that,
_could_ I? and old Mr. FITKIN, as was settin' on it, he says to me, he
says - (_Hero_. "Courage, my darling! You shall not perish if my strong
arms can save you. Heaven help me to rescue the woman I love better
than my life!") but he's 'alf silly, so I took no partickler notice of
_'im_, when, what did that woman do, after stoopin' to me, as she
'as, times without number - but - Oh, is the play over? Well, as I was
saying - oh, _I'm_ ready to go if you are, and I can tell you the rest
walking home.

[_Exit, having thoroughly enjoyed her evening._

* * * * *


Dear ROSE, in your way, you're as brimful of Art
As a picture by REYNOLDS, a statue by GIBSON;
And we'll never cut _you_, though we don't like your part,
Pretty ROSE, in _A Doll's House_, as written by IBSEN,
Yet we crowd on your track, as the hounds on the quarry's,
And, though carping at _Nora_, delight in our NORREYS.

* * * * *



* * * * *

[Illustration: A DAY IN THE LAW COURTS.

(_A page from the Posthumous Diary of the late Mr. Pepys._)]


Up betimes and to the Court at the New Palace of Justice hard by the
Strand, and near the sign of the Griffin which has taken the place of
Temple Bar, upon which did stand long ago the heads of traitors. There
did I see a crowd high and low trying to get in. But the custodians
and the police mighty haughty, but withal courteous, and no one to
be admitted without a ticket signed by the Lord Chief Justice. And
I thought it was a good job my wife was not with me. She had a great
longing to see a sensation action (as the journals have it), and she
being of a fiery disposition and not complacent when refused, might
have made an uproar, which would have vexed me to the heart. But in
truth I found no trouble. It did seem to me that they did not see me
as I entered in. And plenty of room and no crowding, at which I was
greatly contented, as I love not crushing. Pretty to see the crowd of
fine folks! And there were those who had opera-glasses. And when the
Bench was occupied by the Lord Chief Justice - a stately gentleman - and
the other persons of quality, how they did gaze! And the dresses of
the ladies very fine, and did make the place - which was splendid,
and they tell me the largest in the building - like a piece at the
play-house! And the Counsel, how they did talk! Mighty droll to
hear them contradict! One would have it that Black was White; which
convinced me I had fallen into error, until another had it that he who
had spoken was wrong, and White was Black! Good lack! who shall decide
when Counsel differ? and I was mightily content that I was not on the
jury, although one of these good people did have the honour of
asking a question of His Royal Highness. And it was answered most
courteously, at which I was greatly pleased and contented. Then did I
hear the witnesses. In a mighty dread that I might be called myself!
For that which did seem plain enough when he who was in the box was
asked by his Counsel, did appear all wrong when another questioned
him. And the Jury, looking wise, and making notes. And it is droll to
see how civil everyone is to the Jury, who, methinks, are no cleverer
than any of us? The Lord Chief Justice himself smiling upon them,
and mighty courteous! And met my friend, A. Briefless, Junior, who it
seems, is always in the Courts, and yet doeth no business. And he did
say that it was the strongest Bar in England. And he did tell me how
Sir Charles was eloquent, and Sir Edward was clever at fence, and how
young Master Gill was most promising. And I noticed how one fair Lady,
who was seated on the Bench, did seem to arrange everything. And many
beauties there, who I did gaze upon with satisfaction. To see them in
such gay attire was a pretty sight, and did put my heart in a flutter.
And I was pleased when the Court adjourned for luncheon; and it did
divert me much to see what appetites they all had! Some had brought
sandwiches, and, how they did eat them! But the Lord Chief Justice
soon back again, and more witnesses examined until four of the clock,
when the day was over. So home, and described to my wife what I had
seen, except the damsels.

* * * * *


_Billsbury, Sunday, May 25_. - CHORKLE'S dinner came off last night.
The dinner-hour was seven o'clock. CHORKLE'S house is in The Grove, a
sort of avenue of detached houses shaded by trees. The Colonel himself
was magnificent. He wore a most elaborately-frilled shirt-front,
with three massive jewelled studs. His waistcoat was beautifully
embroidered in black with a kind of vine-leaf pattern, the buttons
being of silver, with the regimental badge embossed upon them. His
handkerchief was a gorgeous one of blue silk. He wore it in his
waistcoat, carefully arranged, so as to show all round above the
opening. It looked something like the ribbon of some Order at a
distance. Mrs. CHORKLE is rather a pleasant woman, with a manner which
suggests that she is much trampled on by her domineering husband. How
on earth she ever induced herself to marry him I can't make out. The
chief guests were Sir CHARLES and Lady PENFOLD. Sir CHARLES'S father
was a large Billsbury contractor, who made no end of money, and
represented Billsbury in the House a good many years ago. He was
eventually made a Baronet for his services to the Party. The present
Sir CHARLES doesn't take much interest in politics, occupying himself
chiefly in hunting, &c., but they are people of great consideration in
Billsbury; in fact Lady PENFOLD is the leader of Society in Billsbury,
and not to know them is to argue yourself unknown. Sir CHARLES himself
is an Oxford man, and we had a good deal of talk about the old place.

"Yes," he said, "I was at the House more than thirty years ago, and
to tell you the truth, it's the only House (with a capital H), that I
ever wanted te be in."

The fact of the matter, so JERRAM told me, was that Sir CHARLES did
once want to stand for Parliament, but somehow or other the scheme
fell through, and since then he's always spoken rather bitterly of the
House of Commons. Their daughter, whom I took in to dinner, is a very
pretty girl of nineteen, with plenty to say for herself. She told
me they were going to be in London for about three weeks in June and
July, so I hope to see something of them. Besides the PENFOLDS there
were Mr. and Mrs. TOLLAND; Mrs. TOLLAND in a green silk dress with
more gold chains wound about various parts of her person than I ever
saw on any other woman. Two officers of CHORKLE'S Volunteers were
there with their wives, Major WORBOYS, an enormous, red-whiskered man
who doesn't think much, privately, of CHORKLE'S ability as a soldier,
and Captain YATMAN, a dapper little fellow, whose weakness it is to
pretend to know all about smart Society in London.

Altogether there were twenty guests. Precisely at seven o'clock a
bugle sounded on the landing outside the drawing-room to announce
dinner. Everything in the CHORKLE family is done by bugle-calls.
They have _reveillé_ at 7 A.M., the sergeants' call for the servants'
dinner, and lights out at eleven o'clock every night. As soon as the
call was finished, CHORKLE went up to Lady PENFOLD. "Shall we march,
Lady PENFOLD?" he said. "Sir CHARLES will bring up the rear with Mrs.
C." And thus we went down-stairs.

The dinner was a most tremendous and wonderful entertainment, and must
have lasted two hours, at the very least. There were two soups, three
fishes, dozens of _entrées_, three or four joints - the mere memory of
it is indigestive. The talk was almost entirely about local matters,
the chief subject of discussion being the Mastership of the Foxhounds.
The present Master is not going to keep them on, as he is a very old
man, and everybody seems to want Sir CHARLES to take them, but he
hangs back. Difficulties about the subscription, I fancy.

In the middle of dinner there was a fiendish row outside. I saw poor
Mrs. CHORKLE turn pale, while the Colonel got purple with fury, and
upset his champagne as he turned to say something to the butler.
Discovered afterwards that the disturbance was caused by two of the
young CHORKLES, who had got out of their bedrooms, and were lying in
ambush for the dishes. HOBBES LEVIATHAN CHORKLE had carried off a dish
of sweetbreads, for which STRAFFORD THOROUGH CHORKLE had expressed a
liking. The result was, that HOBBES LEVIATHAN got his head punched by
STRAFFORD THOROUGH, who then rubbed his face with sweetbread.

After dinner there was music, but not a whiff of tobacco.

Mother comes to open the Bazaar on Wednesday.

* * * * *


* * * * *


_June 6th_. - Rather gratifying to find that my service to the
Church - I don't mean Church Services - have at length been recognised.
Just received intimation of my appointment to Bishopric of
Richborough. How wild it _will_ make my dear old friend, Canon
STARBOTTLE, to be sure! Well - I must accept it as a _call_, I suppose!

_July_. - Had no idea being made a Bishop was such an expensive
business. No end of officials connected with Cathedral, all of whom
demand their fee. After spending at least £500 in this way, found
there was an additional fee of a hundred guineas for "induction into
the temporalities." As there are _no_ temporalities nowadays, this
is simply extortion. Remarked so to the Dean, who replied (nastily, I
think), "Oh, it's for the interest of the Church not to have _paupers_
for Prelates." I retorted at once, rather ably, that "I could not
conceive a better plan for bringing Prelates to pauperism than
the exaction of extortionate fees at Installation." Dean replied,
sneeringly, "Oh, if you don't value the honour, I suppose there's
still time for you to resign." Resign, yes; but should I get back my
five or six hundred pounds?

_Next year_. - Strange, how I seem to be singled out for preferment.
Am to be "translated," it seems, to diocese of Minchester. Can't very
well refuse, but really am only just getting over drain on my purse
last year owing to my accepting Bishopric _here_. And on inquiry,
find that fees at Minchester much heavier than anywhere else! Is this
really a call? Certainly a call on my pocket. And my family cost such
a tremendous lot. And then I've had to do up the Palace, left by my
predecessor in a perfectly _shocking_ state of disrepair!

_Later_. - My worst apprehensions were realised! Fee for Consecration
_huge_! Fee for Installation, _monstrous_! Fee for Investiture,
a perfect _swindle_! Isn't there a song beginning "Promotion is
vexation, Translation is as had?" Translation is _worse_! Shall
really have to consider whether there would be anything unepiscopal in
negotiating a little loan, or effecting a mortgage on the Palace.

_Year Later_. - Have been offered vacant Archbishopric! No, thanks!
Late Archbishop almost swamped by the fees, and _he_ was a rich man.
I am a poor man - thanks to recent preferments - and can't afford it. An
Archbishop in the Bankruptcy Court would _not_ look well. "His
Grace attributed his position to expenses connected with the various
Installation ceremonies, and offered a composition of one-and-sixpence
in the pound, which was unanimously declined by the creditors." When
_will_ they do away with gate-money in the Church?

* * * * *

Some _savants_ were the other day puzzling their heads to find a
convenient and familiar word for the illumination produced by the
electric spark. Surely it is _Edisunlight_.

* * * * *


"Well," quoth the Baron DE BOOK-WORMS, as he sat down to dinner on a
Friday, a week ago, "I must say I have never, never been better in my
life! Why, dear me, it is quite a year since I was ill!"

"_Beroofen_!" exclaimed an Italian Countess of dazzling beauty, at
the same time rapping the table with one of the bejewelled forks which
form part of the Baron's second-best dinner-service.

"Why '_Beroofen_'?" asked the Baron.

"It is a spell against the consequences of boasting," the lady
explained. "My mother was a bit of a magician."

"And you, my dear Countess, are bewitching. Your health!" And,
pledging her, the Baron drank off a bumper of Pommery '80 _très sec_,
and laughed joyously at the notion of his rapping the table - all
"table-rapping" being a past superstition, or supperstition when
not at dinner, - and murmuring, "_Beroofen_!" And so he didn't do
it. "_Beroofen_" never passed his lips: the champagne did; but not

* * * * *


"Ugh I - I feel so shivery-and-livery. Ugh! - so chilly. Here! Send for
Dr. ROBSON ROOSTEM PASHA!" cried the Baron, clapping his hands, and a
thousand ebon slaves bounded off to execute his commands. Had they not
done so, they themselves might have suffered the fate intended for the
commands, and have themselves been rapidly executed.

* * * * *

"You've got 'em," quoth Dr. ROBSON ROOSTEM PASHA.

"Not 'again'!" cried the Baron, surprised, never having had 'em

"No: the _phenomena_," said the Eminent Medico.

"Have I?" murmured the Baron, and sank down into his uneasy chair.
It was an awful thing to have the Phenomena. It might have been the
measles in Greek. Anything but that! Anything but _that_! But Dr.
ROOSTEM explained that "_phenomena_" is not Greek for measles, though
perhaps Phenomenon might be Greek for "one measle;" but this would be
singular, very singular.

"I must tap you," continued the friend-in-need. "No - no - don't be
alarmed. When I say 'tap,' I mean _sound_ you."

Then he began the woodpecking business. In the character of Dr.
Woodpecker he tapped at the hollow oak chest, sounded the Baron's
heart of oak, pronounced him true to the core, whacked him, smacked
him, insisted upon his calling out "Ninety-nine," in various tones,
so that it sounded like a duet to the old words, without much of the
tune -

"I'm ninety-nine,
I'm ninety-nine!"

the remainder of which the Baron had never heard, even in his earliest

So it was a quarter of an hour of inspiration, musical and poetic,
and, at its expiration, Dr. MARK TAPLEY, as the Baron declared he must
henceforth be called, announced that there was nothing for it but to
make the Baron a close prisoner in his own castle, where he would have
to live up to the mark, as if he were to be shown, a few months hence,
at a prize cattle-show, among other Barons of Beef.

"Champagne Charley is your name, so is Turtle soup, so is succulent
food, and plenty of it. Generally provision the fortress, and
withstand the assaults of the enemy. If a bacillus creeps in through a
loophole, knock him on the head with the best champagne at hand, and,
if you're not worse in a day or two, you'll be better in a week! _Au
revoir!_" _Exit_ Dr. MARK TAPLEY.

* * * * *

And so the Baron remained within, and sent for his books, and above
all _One of Our Conquerors_, by "The GEO. M.," who is the CARLYLE
of Novelists. The first volume was missing. In a few days it had
returned. The first chapters, however, seemed still wandering. But
the Baron was better, and could follow them slowly, though not without
effort, wondering whither he was being led. When he arrives at Chapter
VII., unless the novelist ceases to meander, the Baron will exclaim
with _Hamlet_, "Speak! I'll go no further!" Yet, 'tis marvellous
clever and entertaining withal.

* * * * *

Perhaps there will be a vacation after this attack of Miss Influenza
on the unfortunate Baron. Alas! for the present, it is _La Donna
Influenza_ who is "_One of Our Conquerors_!"

* * * * *

This morning, after a fortnight of it, the Baron was about to announce
that he was better, but at the outset he paused, corrected himself,
and, tapping the breakfast-table with his fork, he exclaimed,

_Moral._ - Be quite sure you're out of the wood, though maybe you were
never in it, and _even then_ don't congratulate yourself. "Mumm"'s the
word (so's "Pommery" also by the way, not forgetting "Greno," all such
being excellent Fizzic for the Epidemic), as to your state of health,
and don't forget the charm - "_Beroofen_!"

* * * * *




Damp days,
Chill nights;
Morning haze,
Evening blights;

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Online LibraryVariousPunch, or the London Charivari, Volume 100, June 13, 1891 → online text (page 1 of 3)