Punch, Or The London Charivari, Volume 102, Jan. 2, 1892 online

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from contiguity and enter in single file. As they had up to that
moment been engaged in earnest conversation, this little incident
caused a sensation among the crowd looking on. The new Chief Secretary
was easily recognised as he descended from his hansom with a sprig
of shamrock in his coat and another of shillelagh in his right hand.
Whilst waiting for change out of eighteenpence he softly whistled
"_God Save Ireland_." Mr. RITCHIE did not appear, pleading influenza.
Our reporter informs us that there is more behind, and that before
the Session is far advanced a change may be looked for at the Local
Government Board.

* * * * *


SCENE - _The Interior of Court during a sensational trial.
Bench, Bar, and Jury in a state of wild excitement as to what
will happen next._

_Judge_ (_mysteriously handing note to Bar engaged in the case_). I
have received this letter, which is deeply interesting. It will form
appropriately what I may call our Third Volume. I hand it to Counsel,
but they must keep it entirely to themselves.

_First Leader_ (_after perusal of document_). Did you ever?

_Second Leader_ (_ditto_). No I never!

_Judge_ (_greatly gratified_). I thought I would surprise you! Yes,
it came this afternoon, and I found it too startling to keep all to
myself, so I have revealed the secret, on the condition you tell no
one else.

_First Lead._ You may rely on the discretion of my learned friend, my

_Second Lead._ My Lord, on the discretion of my learned friend you may

_Judge_. Thank you (_dipping his pen in the ink_), and now we will go
on with the case.

[_A Witness is called - he hides his face under a cloak._

_First Leader_ (_in examination-in-chief_). I think you wish to
preserve your incognito?

_Wit._ (_in sepulchral tones_). I do. But if his Lordship desires it,
I will write my name on a piece of paper and pass it up.

_Judge_. Well, certainly, I think I ought to know everything, and -
(_Receives piece of paper disclosing the information, and starts back
in his chair astonished_). Dear me! Good gracious! Dear me!

_First Lead._ I think I should mention that I have not the
faintest idea who this witness is, and only call him, acting under
instructions. (_To Witness._) Do you know anything about the matter in

_Witness_ (_with a sepulchral laugh_). Ha! ha! ha! Nothing. Your
question is indeed a good joke. Nothing, I repeat, absolutely nothing!

_First Lead._ (_annoyed_). Then you can sit down.

_Second Lead._ (_sharply_). Pardon me - not quite so fast! You say you
know nothing about the matter in dispute, and yet you come here!

_Witness_ (_in a deeper voice than ever_). Exactly.

_Second Lead._ But why, my dear Sir - Why? What is the point of it? Who
may you be?

_Witness_. It is not _may_ be - but who I am!

_Second Lead._ Well, tell us who you are. (_Persuasively._) Come, who
are you?

_Witness_ (_throwing off his disguise_). Who am I? Why, HAWKSHAW the

_Counsel Generally_ (_to Judge_). Then, my Lord, under the altered
circumstances of the case, we can appear no longer before you. (_With
deep and touching emotion._) We retire from the case!

_Judge_ (_not very appropriately_). Then if _Box and Cox_ are
satisfied, all I can say is that I am. I may add that I consider that
the case has been conducted nobly, and that I knew how it would end
from the very first. I am thoroughly satisfied.

_Jury_. And so are we, my Lord - never so interested in our lives!

_Newspaper Editor_ (_departing_). Ah, if we only had a trial like
this every day, we should require but one line on the Contents Bill!

* * * * *


* * * * *

NOTICE - Rejected Communications or Contributions, whether MS., Printed
Matter, Drawings, or Pictures of any description, will in no case
be returned, not even when accompanied by a Stamped and Addressed
Envelope, Cover, or Wrapper. To this rule there will be no exception.

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Online LibraryVariousPunch, Or The London Charivari, Volume 102, Jan. 2, 1892 → online text (page 3 of 3)