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AWFUL EFFECT OF AN OVERDOSE OF PANTOMIME.
TO THB EDITOR OF "TVH."
Sir,—In a weak moment I promised to "do" the theatres this Christmas for a friend, who (also in a weak moment) had heen indnced to " do" a bill for another friend, who (in another weak moment)
concluded to retire from the public gaze, leaving his friend to stay,
I'm afraid I'm getting just the least bit confused. You will excuse it when you know all. I am not fond of the holiday drama. I hate the holiday drama. I hate the holidays. I am a cynic. I have no digestion worth mentioning, and I have seen all the Christmas pieces. Mv friend had to write about them, and as the distant and secluded viftago of Pugwash (where I may hint he is—not to put too fine a point upon it—hiding) is scarcely a favourable spot for the critical observation of the London pantomimes, I was lot in for them. In the cause of friendship a man may do many things, but there are bounds, and Damon should (I was nearly writing Demon, but I've seen, oh, so manythiswoek),DAMON,Isay,Bhouldnot tempt Pythiasioo far. I noed not suggest to your radiant intellect that I refer to myself as Pythias. I have been, sir, during the past horriblo week in the society of those who would not havo permitted tho common ntimo of PiTniAS to pass without attempting a vile joke upon it. I see it, sir, Pythias— Pithy-ass. Ugh! I have, indeed, led a life. To somo minds everything presents itself in a ludicrous light. Oh, if I were only a regular critic instead of a mere Christmas substitute.
■Well, sir, I bore up through Tuesday (I had previously boon dosed with a premature pantomime pill on Saturday, for, would you believe it, some of these monstrous managers take a fiendish delight in hurrying out their stuff actually before Boxing-dav), I rallied slightly on the Wednesday, trembled through Thursday, drivelled through Friday, became, I believe, for the time imbecile on Saturday morning, and, after witnessing portions of two pantomimes in the evening relapsed into a temporary stato of idiocy, relieved by occasional flashes of fnriousness, yelling (so my landlady says) ditties in doggrel and stamping (so I am informed by the parties on the ground floor) in a dreaafufly frantic manner, occasionally bringing down one boot with a ,bang that shook the chimney ornaments to their very centre.
This continued somo time. Eventually I became calmer. The necessity of informing my friend (whom I now hate, so I hopo theso, lines will meet his eye, as this fist will, certainly, tho first time I see him) prosented itself to me. I had promised to write an account of each piece, which he was to "touch up" in the approved style down at Pugwash. The task I found impossible, the letters floated together, and, combining, formed a horrible kaleidoscopical kind of round of mock brawn, which, expanding, turned into a sort of otherealized lobster salad, but kept changing, changing, spreading out, and altering every second, now looking like a giant's causeway of Brobdingnagian baby's corals, now all gossamer and moonlight, now a Bhop window of valentines, and now—but at all events I couldn't fulfil my promise—no one could have dono such a thing. I will never believe one man can write them all. What I did write was suggested by some invisiblo spirit—perhaps the party whom the lossee of an East-end theatre announced as " hovering over" that favoured abode of pantomime At all events I found it on my table in tho morning. J found myself in bed—booted. No, sir, I had taken no stimulants. It was 6imply a rush of burlesque to the brain, for you could scarcely credit that even pantomimes are now written in regular rhymo, the metro correct, and the parodies close, and, I will admit, not altogether without a certain small ability. But this is what I found written on the paper. I have not sent it to Pugwash, and hopo he—who was my friend, but never more—is discharged in consequence.
Cave of Despair in the Enchanted Brails of Cerulean Tints. Imps, fairies, bakers, nurserymaids, stage carpenters, leaders of the orchestra, dramatic critics, princes in pink tights, apples, oranges, and ginger beer discovered as the curtain rises to "Early in the Morning, we TootUtum tay, in the unison passage from the last grand opera of the Mabel JPaltz, or you should Taddle your oxen Canoe."
Pop goes tho weazel;
Dance.— Change of scene to the Island of Kamschatka, the Day of Naples, [warranted Sound) at the back, Apennines on the left, Unappy-nines on the right, Cattle show in the foreground.
loud calls for the painter. Enter Mr. E. T. Smith, who bows. Pause.
Enter Orpheus I'h Leicester-square.
Aladdin.—Think you an insult such as that I'll suffer?
Orpheus.— "Buffer in your teeth!"
Orpheus.— Each molar!
Aladdin.—You shocking bear!
Orpheus (getting a pole from somewhere).—A bear! beware a pole-ax \
Loud calls for the property-master. Enter Mr. E. T. Smith, who bom.
Orpheus.—Come, "scratch a pole!"
Aladdin.— What ho! Prometheus!
Aladdin.—Protect your king !v
Orpheus.— No, don't you interfero!
Prometheus.—Pooh! Don't you hint o' fear.
Kino PirriN enters.
Kino P.—How do?
Enter the Brothers Jonesini, who go through what is most appropriately
Enter Henry Dunbar.
I was tho guilty one. What do I say?
Break off your sports. 'Tis time you now should seek
Little Don Giovanni rises up trap. Little D. G.—Where's my Bo peep, whore can the darling be? Loud calls for the Costumier. Enter Mr. E. T. Smith, who bows.
Little D. 6.—Then let us hopo our errors of to-night
Master Op R.—And so at once appear as merry Sprite.
Scene changes to the Cryptogamic home of the Christmas fairies on the banks of the Styx, close to the City of Famagosta in Leicester-square.
Pantomime rally, and well-timed introduction of a celebrated wooden-legged dancer, which is always a cheerful addition. Loud calls for the maker of the wooden leg. Enter Mr. E. T. Smith, who bows. Comic (!) business commences, and >
This, sir, is what I found on my table, and it perfectly embodies my feelings.
Two To Boxes.
Messrs. Shortmans, the eminent publishers, are preparing some small volumes for reading on tho Metropolitan Bailway. They will consist of terse poems, concise essays, short tales, and very small jokes, adapted to tho brief journeys between the stations, which vary from two minutes to four minutes.—(See Bradshaw.)
The following specimens of the work have been kindly communicated by the publishers:—
The Duty of Man. An Essay. By a Woman.
Tlie Duly of Woman. An Essay. By a Man.
"LOCAL EXAMINATION" PAPERS*
History And Biography.
Duke Of Wellington.—This eminent commander was present at the battle of Waterloo, when he made that happy rejoinder to the Emperor Op The Frexgh. The latter, observing the approach of a body of Highlanders, exclaimed to his Guards, "On, lads, and bonnet 'em I" His Grace, hearing this taunting order, instantly shouted to his Guards, "Up, Guards, and hat 'em!" Another anecdote
(But we have given enough of this paper to show that the young candidate well deserved the certificate of merit which he received, engrossed on vellum.]
Oliver Goldsmith.—An amiable character. Going to the fair on one occasion, accompanied by his brothers, Moses and Aaron, he drank so much Madeira that he foolishly sold to Dr. Johnson (a celebrated punster and pickpocket) the copyright of a new serial then commencing in tho Halfpenny Miscellany.
Julius Cssar.—He was a Roman, he was. Going one day for a quiet stroll, and meditating upon his celebrated "Lifo of Louis Napoleon," he accidentally met a saddler. "Hallo!" he exclaimed, "here's a tanner!" offering that coin. The man, mistaking his remark, and pocketing the money (but not the affront), replied, with a deadly meaning, " Beware of the hides in March!!!" Jewlius took no notice, but ho had ought to have took a little, for he was murdered by that very saddler in March! whilo stepping over a heap of hides!! that he had been inspecting!!!
P. S.—I forgot to put in the beautiful words as he said when they was assassassinating of him. They was, " It's TOO brutal!" Which it certainly were.
Henry VIII.—This distinguished filanthrofist (bother that word) was aciduous in his attentions to the fairer sex. After the death of Anne Op Cloves, a person of considerable attractions, he married
Catharine Arrogant. No cards. Owing to the fact that he destroyed a vast number of sacred buildings, he is considered a great reformer.
A FIELD FOR AMUSEMENT.
We hear that a new "country gentleman's paper" is about to be started, and are glad to hear it. Wo trust its sporting news will be, written by gentlemen who can write English and common sense. The reporter of the Field who described the Donnington Steeplechase a little while since, appears to have mistaken that respectable paper for an organ of the P.R., to judge from the flashy nonsense he indulges in. We quote one passage to show his good taste:
is a matter of trifling interest: taking the maild with a • nor'-wester* and
"The journey to train from King's-cross, we were on our journey, fortified
the * Christmas Number of 1- un;' we looked at the pictures, and then studied them sideways and upside down, and came to the conclusion that—well, we cannot always laugh—and "rushing" into sleep with the " twelfth finger of the left hand" vividly impressed upon our olfactory organ, we arrived at Derby at the time when, according
to Shakespeare,1 churchyards yawn and graves, &c*"
We cannot always laugh, but wo can cry, and feel inclined to do so when wo read such rubbish as the following, offered to country gentlemen of education by this "sportive reporter."
"The spectators literally * basked in the sun,1 throwing off over-coverings, mittens, neck-rugs, and every other conservative of heat, with mutual wonderment at the warmth of the weather and the splendid 1 going' of the course. The company was numerous and excessively select—the word is used without its reference to snobbery. The marquis's own party in the 1 green' Btand was most brilliant, and the marchioness, peerless amongst them, watched every event with earnest scrutiny and seemed to impart zest to all around her; clad in the warm, impressive plunw/e of seabirds, she looked like a jewel in its casket of down. Other beauties were there, and according to a provincial contemporary, 'lent a charm to the otherwise wild scenery, by the well-apportioned colours of their dress' (!)"
What, may we ask, is meant by the "warm impressive plumage of seabirds?" Does the writer know, or was he modestly concealing tho identity of the goose behind these borrowed feathers?
UBS. BROWN MAKES HERSELF AGREEABLE.
It was the laBt night of the year a twelvemonth ago as we spent with tie Rightonb, and I Bays to myself tho moment I got in tho nouse as thero was a somethin' come over me, for who should I seb a-settin' agin the winder hut that fellow Sadlino, as I did not expect for to meet, through a-thinkin' as they wasn't on terms, though, perhaps, it's as well to make things up at Christmas time when every one did ought to he jolly.
But he's a douhle-dyed, black-hearted fellow, as I've know'd from a youth, when he was called serious and used to expound, as made me *iok; a chit of a boy a-talkin' to you about where you was goin' to, and all that, as I've cut short scores of times, and pretty sharp too.
As soon as I sec him in Mrs. Righton's parlor, I know'd as things wouldn't work square through Sadlino havin' married Mrs. Riohton s niece, a poor, pale-faced thing, as spoke very like a mouse in a cheese, as tho savin' is, and got six, though not a thrivin' lot, as is never free from colds, a bad sign in my opinion through a-showin' weakness, and I've know'd myself to turn to water in the head.
I never heard that poor Mrs. Sadlino complain, though I've often gone to set with her when up-stairs, as had her hands full with threo on them almost in arms at once, ana that fellow a mean beast, as locked up the tea and sugar, so always took a bit in my pocket, as cannot drink cat-lap, as the sayin' is.
"We got through tea at Mrs. Righton's pretty well through me atalkin' friendly between Mrs. Righton and Mrs. Sadlino. Brown he didn't come in till about seven, and Righton, as is a commercial traveller, wasn't expected home till supper, as would be half-past nino.
It nearly mado me sick for to hear that Sadling a-talkm' to his eldest boy, as is his father all over, as it is one person's work for to look to that poor child's cold, and didn't ought to have been out at all, and his father a-makin' of him repeat serious rhymes.
So I says, "Rubbish," quite loud. Ho ups and says to mo, "I'd thank you, Mrs. Brown, not to contaminate my child."
I says, "I'm not a-goin' to, Mr. Sadlino, through not bein' of his father," as shut him up pretty quick. I says, "Prayers and hymns is very proper in their places; but," I says, "not for to be made a show on," as makes Mrs. Righton say, "Hear, hear." The colour as that Sadlino turned was the kite's foot for yallerness.
So Mrs. Righton she says, givin' of me a wink, "Mrs. Brown, mum, would you like a hand of cards t" I says, " I'm agreeablo to anythin', as I considers 'all fours' a noble game."
Says Sadlino, " If there's cards I loaves the 'ouse, as does my family." "Oh, indeed!" says I; "then no cards for me, as should be sorry to part families; not as wo was goin' to play for money, Mr. Sadling, as I knows you object to." Well he might, for he was found out cheatin' at" my bird sings" in his first wife's time, a-drinkin' tea with my own aunt. He kep' a-growin' more livid like every moment did that Sadling, till Brown como in, and they got a-talkin' about them niggers over there, as I know'd would end bad.
So I says, "Bother the blacks! let 'em alone," just for to stop it.
"We was only seven without tho children, as tho two young Sadlinos was sent home and the rest went to bed afore nine.
I did think as that evenin' would never come to a end, but when Righton come in about ten it seemed more cheerful, and then we had supper, as was good cut and como again stylo, a lovely bit of roast beef with plum puddin', and everytbin' else homely but good, as was Righton's dinner.
That chap Sadlino ho would say grace when tho meat was uncovered, as put Mrs. Righton out, for he kep' on a-talkin' at me through it, a-mentionin' flesh-pots quite pointed. I didn't take no notice, of course, and we got on with suppor very comfortable, and poor Mrs. Sadlino seemed to enjoy tho bit as she did take, as likewise after a glass of hot, as I mixed for her myself pretty stiff when he wasn't a-lookin', through knowin' as she required it. We really was a-gettin' somethin' like cheerful when Sadling begins a-sayin' we was pcrishin' clay. So I says, "Don't you bother about clay now except it is to moisten your own." He says, "mrs. Brown, you're a lump of profaneness." Well, I didn't mind the profanoness, but to be called a lump is more than I could stand. So I says, "Ter'aps I may he, through not a-carin' to be a cantin' 'umbug, and wouldn't stoop for to take advantage of my chapel for to take in a poor old woman, and then to neglect her shameful on her dyin' bed."
Well, the words wasn't out of my mouth afore I see Brown give me a look as showed I'd been and put my foot in it, and so I had, for Mrs. Sadling turns round and says, "Aro you a-darin' for to illudo to my 'usband?" "Well," I says, through feelin' a little warm, "truth is truth, and I was." So he groans out, "Let her alone, Anna Maria, whatever you do. She's a burnin' brand. Go and look to your babe," and she leaves the room.
I says, "A burnin' brand, indeed! Who aro you a-talkin' to?" for I know'd as it was a cut at my spcrrits and water as he was a-givin' on the sly. I says, "Didn't you marry that old Mrs. Towsell, as was
seventy and you only four-and-twenty, and didn't you encourage her in rum and water till she fell for'ards on the bars with a doublebordered nightcap, and carried the marks to her grave through the black a-burnin' in, and could he traced all down her face. No, I will not hold my tongue, Brown ; I'll tell him what he's a-darin' for to call me a brand indeed." Well, Mrs. Righton sho can't a-bear Sadling, and kep' a-urgin' me on.
So I says, "You're a man, you are, as makes that poor thing your wife all of a tremble, as well sho may be, for I've seen the bruises on her myself." So Brown he gets up and says, "Now I tell you what it is, Martha, if you don't hold your tongue I'll put you out of tho room myself." "No," I says, "Brown, that you never will, for," I says, " I'vo got legs as can carry me, and I'll go myself." Up jumps Mns. Righton and give Brown a proper settin' down, for she says, "Mr. Brown, please for to remember as this is my room." So Brown he was down in a moment, through bein' quito the gentleman, and says, "I asks pardon."
Righton he's a jolly fellow, and says, "Oh! bother rows, let's all be friends, and I'll make a bowl of punch," and so ho did, and never did I taste better, and then he sung a song as made mo nearly die of laughture, and begun for to think as we was gain" to be happy after all. Whether it was tho punch or the song, as was about " Coalblack Rose," I don't know, but somethin' or another brougEt up them beastly blacks agin.
SADLDfo wasn't spoke to, and why need ho come a-shoving of hisnose into other parties' conversations, as come through me a> sayin' as rum was made out of pino-appleo, and Righton a-replyin' as it growed in Jamaica, where they've been a pepperin' thorn niggers. "Serve 'cm right," says I, "the black butchers," throwed off my guard, as the sayin' is. "Sufferin' righteous," says Sadlino, "as tho carnal mind persecutes." I bust out a-laughin' and was pretty nigh choked through the punch going tho wrong way, and Sadling says it was a judgment on me. I couldn't Btand that from him, so I says, "Don't you bo too handy with your judgments, young man, as may come home to you afore you dies." Brown, he says, " Martha, stash it." I says, " Never."
Mrs. Righton, she says, "Let her speak, and if that thing's a man let him answer," for she wanted to have it out with him, through his wife bein' kop' up stairs along with tho infant as was a-cryin'. Sadlino says, "I pities you."
I says, " Well you may, in havin' such a fellow as you in the family," for my tongue was set free, as the children was gone, and his wife not there. "Now," I says, "Samuel Sadling, let me tell you that if ever yon lifts your hand agin that poor wife of yours as you knows you aid inthat situation not six weeks back, that day as I come in sudden, I'll turn you inside out. You know as I could do it and I will." I says, " You black-hearted, tallow-faced sneak. Now," I says, "I como out to make myself agreeable, and I means to do it; but," I says, "you take warning." I really was a bilin' ovor to see how he treated that poor woman. Bless you, he dropped into his boots, as the sayin' is. I says, " Don't speak not another word—I don't want to part man and wife, but I'll stand up for her."
I knowed I got the fellow on the hip, as was afraid of Righton through his being trustee to Mrs. Sadlino's bit of money, as her husband has tried to get hold on over and over again, and would havo dono it but for me a-givin' Mrs. Righton the office, 'cos you see that Sadlino's first wife wero the widder of a uncle of mino through marriage with his first wifo. So Sadlino he looks round and says as he didn't know why I attackted him. I says, "Shall I tell you:'" Well that settled him, so ho says, "I forgive you; let us shake hands."
I says, "Never will I bo double-faced. I'm not a-goin' to shako hands with you till I sees how you behaves, and we'll talk more about that next Christmas, as is a time for family meetings as general produces good feelin's." Just then Mrs. Sadling she come in a-sayin' as she was anxious about the baby, and would like for to go home. If you'd seen that Sadlino how ready he was, though in general being that contradictory. Off they went, and I says, "Good-night" to him, though I didn't givo him my hand, but only remarks, "Remember what I've said as I'll certainly stick to."
When they was gone Brown give mo a bit of a talking to, as he says he didn't want no words when wo got home. So I says, "I 'umbly asks pardon, Mrs. Righton, if I've been and said anything as would causo unpleasantness as is not my 'abits." She says, " Mrs. Brown, I'd give the world if I could tacklo anybody like as you do, for I never see such a woman for putting anyone down."
I says, "Them as deserves it I'll always give it to for if thero is anything as I hates in this world its 'umbug; but," I says, "it's a-striking twelve, and here's a happy Now Year to us all, and my only hope is as we shall act as well by the year as it will by us, for ail years is much the same, and a great deal depends upon how you takes things in this life, and may the present moment bo the wust of our lives," as makes Righton say, "Brayvo," and Mrs. Righton she give me a kiss, and we had a kiss all round; and Brown, he says, "martha, you're a old" but I wouldn't let him say no moro, and home we goes.