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By Brobxbt Rownino.
While now and then one (you 'twas rude'll Allow) said each sage was a noodle!
Meanwhile, no less, morning and night From all parts of the earth, left and right,
From north, and from south, east, and west For advice—gratis—all the world prest.
Said the sages, ""We're too much admired!
And then to extremes rushing hotly,
In that disguise guided the throng,
And found to their wonderment great
By lashing for errors they make
And this, don't you see, is the way
Mon have long ceased the sagos to pester
Well—Sidentem quid dicere verum
So, there, now my story is done—
And the moral! Why, that you soe's Fun.
HERE once was a time, long ago, When the sages were rulers, you know;
Whenmenfrom all parts of the globe
Would seok them, their wisdom to probe,
And ask their opinion (no counsel's
Liko that which your lawyer in town sells,
But sapient and noblo advice
That now you can get at no price).
But tho sages got terribly pestered,
For thoso they advised for the best, erred
In doing their heat, then in rages Laid all of the blame on the sages;
IN THE MATTER OF THE GLOWWORM.
So it appears from the recent verdict in Emery e. Jewitt that a dramatic critic—who states that "So and so's part was efficiently spoken by the prompter," whereas, in point of fact, the actor was not so prompted, but according to the testimony of tho author of the piece,
Mr. Palobavb Simpson, originated his own dialogue when he forgot the author's words—is guilty of a libel. The damages to be received by Mr. Emery are assessed at only five guineas, so that that gentleman will be the loser, and not the gainer by his action, while the fact that the dramatic critic of the Glowworm had tb» unparalleled audacity to say what he thought about a dramatic performance will probably bring that journal's criticism into favour with those playgoers who are not influenced by the petty considerations of advertisements and press admissions.
The contemptible character of most of the press criticisms on dramatic performances is almost proverbial, and when we take into consideration the external influences which are brought to bear upon a dramatic critic as he sits down to writo his article, it is difficult to see how his criticism can be otherwise than contemptible. In the first place he must take care not to offend the management, or his press admission will be stopped, and the theatre's advertisement be withdrawn from his paper. In the second place, he is probably on intimate terms with all the leading actors, who are a tetchy race of men, taking unqualified praise as their due, and regarding as a personal insult the slightest reflection on their performance. So the dramatic critic must take care to say nothing that can offend these his chums, for to offend an actor at all on a professional point is to offend him mortally. In the third place as all the principal dramatic critics are dramatic authors also, they are on friendly terms with all the other dramatic authors, and thoy are naturally unwilling to write one word which may tend to disturb a friendship which has, perhaps, been the growth of years. And now, to all these powerful influences is added the fact that if a dramatic critic dares to write what he thinks, in slightly hyporbolical terms, he is subject to a verdict of " guilty of libel,'' and its consequences. Fortunately the damages in Mr. Emery's caso are so insignificant, and the untaxed coBts of his action probably so great, that he will hesitate before he again attempts to bring so paltry an action against a newspaper—but insignificant as they are, it is difficult to see what special injury they represent. Will any manager hesitate to offer Mr. Embry an engagement because the Glowworm considered that on one occasion he was imperfect in his part f Will Mr. Emery, on his retirement from the profession—many years hence, we hope— find himsolf one penny tho poorer for the Glowworm's artiolc, save and except only in the expense to which he has put himself in bringing his action? And will he be very much surprised should dramatic critics henceforth abstain altogether from making any mention of an actor so irritable?
"WHAT AILS MY LOVE?"
Answered By Herself.
Ox verdant hank my Mary sat,
'Mid buttercup and daisy— And I reclined, without my hat,
And felt enthralled, but lazy.
Bright foliage waved our heads above,
The streamlet, like our "course of love,"
Simple, yet o'en sublime our fare,
Cape sherry, too, my love had there
Deoply we quaffed our fill of joy;
Deeply our wine, in glasses;
When timo so blithely passes?
Stern Fate! as thus in calmest bliss
My love and I sat eating, She paused:—what sudden blight was this?
My heart 'gan wildly beating.
Breathless I ask, "Why, why that tear—
That classic brow, so white and clear,
"That voice so silvery, soft, and low,
Now tremulous and broken: Say, whence this dread o'erwhclming woe,
Too fearful to be spoken?
"Oh, tell me—tell me quick—the cause!"
Not long sweet Mary hid it: With deep-drawn sigh she said, " Oh, laws!
It was the mustard did it."
Mb. Nicholas presents his very friendly and quito cordial compliments to tho Editor of Fun, whose missivo (if an exceedingly uncalled for andperemptorial and individuous note, not even sealed with wax, but in a mere gummed envelope like the lowest of the low) did not reach him at those temporal premises in Bermondsey which shielded for a time your Prophet's hoary head against the pelting of pitiless impecuniosity, not to speak of many who would have gladly locked me up.
Tho best thanks of Mr. Nicholas are due to that very worthy person Mbb. Cripps, who forwarded the note to the house where the Prophet now resides, the honoured guest of a rolation who has took him up.
Mr. Nicholas has known the lap of prosperity and he has, if he may be allowed tho expression, often curled himself up like a dog on the doorstep of adversity. But he is now basking in the mild halo of the middle classes—a halo that only blooms once in a hundred years sixty of which he can vouch for as being within his period.
The epithets " Como, old man, put your best foot foremost, we want your Derby selection, and the printers are waiting for your history of Knurr and Spell," may not havo been intended as contumelious nor designed to bring a tear; but it was in very different terms, sir, that you were once wont to address him; and he will gladly suppose you wrote such after dinner, the caliphgravy being of a shambling sort, and youth will be served. The Prophet is far too mature a sportive cove to grudge any one his fling, but it will not mitigate your dying hour to remember that you heaped the more casual and promiscuous ashes on a timeworn heart bowed down.
Thanks to my relative and his commercial antecedents, the Prophet now wants for nothing, but will gladly continue his flirtation with the Mewses in the columns of your New Serious, and hopes henceforward to be able to devote more leisure to tho purely literary portion of his task, having endeavoured to form a good English style by devoting of his days and nights to the study of tho Daily Press.
THE SPORTIVE KALENDEE FOR 1866.
It will be within the recollection of our readers that considerable sensation was recently created not a hundred miles from tho neighbourhood of the city of London by a heavy fall of snow. Owing (it is supposed) to the unwarrantable remissness of the parochial authorities, than whom I am sure no one more disgracefully imbecile though a little bumptious, the devouring element was allowed to accumulate in the public thoroughfares regardless of expense, and bringing out into bright relief the steeples of the various churches in the vicinity, and there is every reason to believe that the consequences might havo been serious had not the remonstrances put forward in the columns of the public press led to an immediate thaw. Tho posts and wires of the telegraphic companies were laid prostrato with the earth, and the classical Londoners who exclaimed " Vires acguirit eundo" were for once mistaken. Even when diligent relays of labourers had restored the posts to their accustomed animation, it was often found that the electric spark had fled.
Our readers will bo glad to know that the electric spark has since returned, at twenty words a shilling. In spite of the most persevering enquiries on the part of the authorities at Scotland Yard, the origin of the—well, of the fall of snow, if you like—is still shielded in obscurities. But the police are said to be on the track of the offender.
This brings us to our subject.
January—so called from "jane," a domestic, and "airey" her Paphian bower—is adapted rather for the youthful sportsman, always a good deal after the manner of a fool, and committing excesses which have afterwards to be atoned for by stethoscopes and post-mortems,— than for a mature cove, who, if in affluence, will very properly stop at home with a glass of something warm and tho columns of the Daily Press, Britain's Palladium.
Coursing.—There can be no objection to coursing, if you are really fond of it, but he tried it himself for the first time soon after Christmas, and not knowing much about dogs, which always look at tho Prophet as though they had known him at a different epoch of his career, and his sight not what it was, and a cold day, felt glad enough to get homo to a glass of something warm and the columns of the Daily Press, our island's pride.
Skating.—Nothing can be more seasonable, and he was once as fond of it as angling, but at a certain period you would much rather be safe at home with the columns of the Daily Press, that fourth estate, and glass of something warm.
Swimming.—I have wrote this down because desired by my relative who once won a silver cup. But you don't find your Prophet trying to do so. Nicholas is notashamed to show his honest old body at the Lambeth Baths when such are devoted to legitimate purposes, but you
don't find him going there along of Me. G. M. Murphy to say that if Mr. Paul Boole, of Jamaica, ruined white ladies it don't much matter, and if your Prophet met Mr. Chamebovzow he would punch his unpronounceable old head. There ! Nicholas.
A BILLIARD LESSON.
'twas pleasant on the winter nights
Her golden head bent low;
Of such a gentle foe.
And though she said it was a sin
To bear such pretty blame;
A very losing game.
There's kudos in the rattling strokes
From chaffing fellow-men;
You've other feelings then.
No "hazard," that my cunning cue,
Or lucky " fluke" might get,
With such a flirting pot.
And though I lost such heaps of gloves
Such losing bets are blest.
The chances of a " rest."
The " cannon" on the table green,
Who'll tie me to it wifo;
And " pocket" me for life!
E. S., Wellingborough.—Your lines—or rather your crinolines, since you " come with a hoop "—are not in our line. You say " if we 1 think enclosed worthy you are willing to dispose of it"—so we thus dispose of it at once.
L. W. E., Glasgow, sends a song which, he says, "has had a merely local publication, which will in no way interfere with its insertion in Fun. Won't it? well, we are glad to hear it.
Leopold K.—Wo should be happy to insert the few words if we could find the point—at which to begin.
A. B. B., Penge.—Your sepia sketch is too profound a brown study for us.
Bigduh Funnidos.—Your letter is so very funny we really can't see it.
W. C., Waterford.—We are very charitable, but we cannot admit a drawing on the ground of its poverty.
D. K.—The jokes are a little old oven for a sonnet—in fact, a little1 too D. K'd.
J. W. sends "a lover's riddle," and wants to know " weather it is approved or not." The weather is uncertain just now.
C. E. H., Leeds, sends something which he says is not his "maiden attempt." Well, if he made an attempt at verse before it could not have been muck worse than this.
A. W., Temple.—Too long-winded, even for " an ascent of Holborn Hill."
F. M., Burgess Hill., sends an original riddle about a clock and credit, "because it goes on tick." He's quite right. It is an original riddle, for it was originally made in the year one.
"Our Humble Servant."—We saw the fun in that joke when first we heard it.
J. E., Liverpool, wishes us to give in our " answers" our opinion of a sketch ho encloses. We can't, for we have no opinion of it.
A. W., Putney.—Your "Wooden bridges" are more arch than humourous. They wooden do for us.
Sib,—When we left your office the other day with your blessing and a cheque all round, I little knew what trials awaited the two artists attached to the commission. The literary gentleman (the only one who know French), has disappeared somehow between London and Paris, and I and Mr. Shedds are in the last-named city without either an interpreter or a knowledge of the language. But for Shedds's powers of pantomime what we should do it is impossible to say. I look on with wonder and admiration when he orders breakfast. He strikes an attitude, draws his right hand caressingly down his face, slaps it on his breast, folds the loft over it, and wags from side to side. On the stage this means devoted love. Here it causes the production of coffee and toast. Any unusual extras have to be asked for artistically—for instance, if you want butter, you have to draw an Irishman, and then they bring a pat. To obtain milk, Shedds did a wash of sky-blue, whereupon the waiter said "lay," and we thought he was going for eggs, but he brought the right thing, though Shedds sayB he thinks " lay is pigeon's milk, used on account of the cattle plague.
As Shedds and I are tho only people he and I can talk with, we don't hear much news. But we have seen a good deal of Paris by adopting the simple oxpedient of learning the name of our hotel, going out and losing ourselves, and coming back in cabs. The city, Shedds says, reflects great credit on Messrs. William Beverley and S. May—and what more can you desire? Wo are not far from the river, where I thought there were baths, but on trying to explain to the waiter by shamming to swim, I found that was a swindle, for he said "low," meaning, I suppose, the tide was too low for bathing, and brought me up a large jug of water—as if one could swim in that.
I send you a sketch of the Louvre. You will observe the high UtUlers by means of which Shedds and I got there. I don't mean that we climbed in by the ladders—but Shedds, when wo wanted to go there, called in the waiter, climbed up my back and standing on my shoulders began to pretend to paint. At first the garsong didn't
understand, but when Shedds addod the word "Loover," he directed us. Tho pictures are very beautiful, but owing to our ignorance_of the language, we can't always make them out.
We can't think what can have become of the literary gentleman. Shbdds thinks ho has run away with a French countess, or has been taken up as a conspirator. We should feel obliged if you would make it convenient to send out by an early post another member of your staff who is an accomplished linguist; or in case of your not having the article in stock, will you bo good enough to forward a French and English, and English and French Dictionary. Shedds also suggests that a box of models of various common objects, articles of food and the like, would be useful. He remembers something like it in Gulliver's Travels, and thinks it might work well. Ho believes they are procurable at the South Kensington Museum; or, perhaps, it's the Agricultural Hall, for it is so long since he was in England he forgets which, but it's some place of amusement.
[We have received from our literary commissioner, who says he forwards it through a friend, a long general description of Paris, together with a brilliant account of the way in which he and the art commissioners have enjoyed themselves in the gay capital. Imagination is a charming trait in an author; but we should, in this instance, prefer a matter of fact report written on the spot to a fictional trip composed in a coffee-house in Chancery-lane.]
'Gone from the Helm," on Toned Paper, price Twopence.
Works, St. Andrew's TTtll, Doctors' Commons, and Published [for the Proprietors) bv 1 it 80, Fleet-street, E.C.—January 20, 1866. * '7
A HINT TO HOUSEKEEPERS.
Mary Harm:—"ah, Missus Mat Turn Off The Gas At The Mxtbr,
AND LOCK VI' THB CANDLES, BUT ONE NEED NEVEK WANT loll A LIOHT IF ONE HAS A POLICEMAN FOR A FLAME."
By A Casual.]
Fortune! we've no business dono
I should like a country house—
I should like to be a swell—
Come, I'll drop my tone yet more—
Lodgings on a second floor.
Chops or steaks my modest cheer,
Sometimes grog, and always beer.
Decent credit at a tailor's,
Freedom from all fear of jailors.
Still you're stern! Oh, come there are things—
But, no odds! a thousand farthings!
I should like some bread and meat—
FROM OUR STALL.
It is with much fear and trembling, and with an awful feeling of the possible consequences to ourselves that we take up our pen to criticise the performances at Drury-lane, the Adelphi, and Strand Theatres during the past week, for on the first night of the new piece produced at one of those establishments one of the actors was not quite perfect in bis part. We dare not trust ourselves to speak more particularly of this individual shortcoming. The actor in question (not for worlds would we breathe his name) forgot his words, looked at the prompter, received no help, stammered, glared at the critics in the Malls, (who trembled violently), concentrating into that one glare the whole laws of libel as interpreted by Mr. Baron Bramwell and a very common jury, demands for public apologies, Courts of Exchequer, declarations with unlimited counts, expensive counsel, cross-examinations, and perhaps a criminal trial and penal servitude for life. Our timidity is enhanced by an opportunity we enjoyed on the occasion of the Glowworm trial of hearing how common jurymen who have retired to a private room to "consider" their verdict, come to a rational conclusion on the point set before them. We were standing at the door of the jury room; the jurymen within were all talking at once, but one voice pre-eminent above the others exclaimed, "I'll give Mr. Emery a hundred pounds!" Another replied, "And I won't give him a penny!" The first voice rejoined, "Sir, you are a donkey!" The second retorted, "Sir, you're another!" A third voice interposed with a suggestion to " Take a priest" (query Precedent)! but despite the fact that the suggestion to "take a priest" was repeated over and over again, no one seemed inclined to take bim, and he fell to the ground. But the curious part of the affair is, that within three minutes of the time when the discussion was at its highest, the whole jury came into court with an unanimous verdict for the plaintiff, with five guineas damages!
The farce Lending a Hand produced at the Strand Theatre last week is from the pen of Mb. Gilbebt A Beckett, the eldest son of the late
Mr. Gilbert Abbott A Beckett, and is, wo understand, his first theatrical production. Its object is to show the awful consequences of interested benevolence as wreaked by Mb. Bblford on Mr. H. J. Turner. Mr. Turner, prompted by an anxiety to distinguish himself in the eyes of Miss Maria Simpson, saves Mr. Belford, a wouldbe suicide, from drowning, and Mr. Belford consequently claims Mr. Turner as an uncle, makes love to Miss Simpson before Mb. Turner's eyes, contrives to get £500 from him, and eventually causes him to attempt suicide in his turn. The farce is cleverly written, the dialogue is considerably above the average of that which we are accustomed to find in a modern lever it ridcau, and it is capitally played by the Messrs. Turner and Belford, and Misses Simpson and Hughes. The burlesque, Nellie'e Trifle, has been withdrawn from the bills, as the Strand audience would insist on regarding it as a serious melodrama, or to put it more correctly, perhaps they would insist on not regarding it at all.
Pipkin'» Rustic Retreat is nonsense. But nonsense as it is, it affords Mr. Toole an opportunity of playing tho part of a terrified cockney, and when wo have said that we have said enough to show that the piece is worth seeing. Really managers should pay a little mors attention to farce literature. The Pall Mall Gaxtte has, of late, been very hard indeed on the capital libretti of the Drury-lane and Covent Garden pantomimes. If it would devote a page or two now and then to the preposterous nonsense that is to be found in the pieeee de circonatance and other farces played at the Adelphi and elsewhere, and if our journals generally in chronicling the success of a piece of the kind, were to state how much of that success is due to the literature of the piece, and how much to the acting of the low comedian, they would be doing a real service to dramatic literature and to the public at large.
We have only space to mention that a new entertainer, Mr. Fleming Norton, gave his " Mrs. Perkins's Pic-Nic" at the Hanover-square Rooms, the other day, in aid of the funds of the Orthopcedic Hospital. Mb. Norton was warmly applauded, his impersonation of a lady being specially approved.
By The Saunterer In Society.
fast approaching the opening of Parliament. The rival chieftains are marshalling their troops and trying their now armour. Wu have had a peep of tho Budgot. The wine duty is to be reduced to a uniform "bob a bottle." This seems to mean that we have a large surplus again. Thoro appears to bo still some * settled in tho and the disaffection Layard is a healthy sign.
The " Casual Contributor" of tho Pall Molt continues to bo the sensation of the hour. There have Bbeen plenty of rumours about him. I all along Bet him down as the author of The Little Ragamuffin, which to my mind is infinitely better than the Pall Matt articles, and in much bettor taste. I must toll a very funny story apropos of tho business. A friend of mine speaking to a lady—and such a charming one!— said, when asked what was the news, "Oh, one of tho contributors to the Pall Halt has spent a night in the casual ward at Lambeth Workhouse?" "Has ho, indeed?" said the lady, commisoratingly, "Do they pay them so badly aa that?"
Miss Emma Hardinoe, a lady who will bo remembered by old Adelphi visitors, has returned to England, with a defective Yankee twang, and "orates." It is not woman's work at all. When dear Mrs. Stirling: speaks at the Dramatic dinner it is quite another affair; sho talks of a subject she knows, and the sentiments como from her heart and brain. But a woman spouting political bunkum is not in her element, and I imagine Miss E. Iiardi.vgb will find the stump won't draw. She will, I daresay, develop into a spiritualist medium, ii fa Davenports, who have been once more completely shown up in Ireland. A light was suddenly struck by a sceptic, and tho two men supposed to bo bound were discovered running about with the guitars, and throwing coats about.
The other day a lad of soventcen was charged with stealing a boy's cap. The constable who took him in charge said he was a bad character, and that ho found tho following penny publications upon him:
"1 Darc-DcTil r>Ick, the Boy King of the Smugglers,''The Shadowless Rider; or. The League of the Cross of Blood,' ■
verted clown," who lately appeared in character at a meeting somewhere at the West End?
Gustave Done is to illustrate the Idylls of the King, with drawings of the some size aa the Quixote and Dante. This is a task so peculiarly in his peculiar vein that I think it certain to bo a very great am aw. Tho volume will, of couise, bo turned out by Messrs. Moxo.n And Co. gorgeously, as befits the artist tho poet, and tho firm.
I Have often hoard it stated that if you advertise for one thing you are likely to get something quite different. It is in this spirit I probunie that the following has been inserted in a Glasgow paper:
"Lodgtre Cob be got by advcitiising in the Daily Hail for sixpence." Unless one were the lineal descendant of the gentleman who shot at a pigeon and killed a crow, one would hardly expect that to advertise for a sixpence would bringone a lodger. What do they charge for advertisement* in the Mail! Even at a penny an insertion one would at the end of the week be reduced to something like tho position of ihnTtu»1««m»» spent bis last shilling to buy a purse to put it in.
When I yiolded n victim, enraptured,
?emed weak and unreal
Cannot Lord Campbell's Act be brought to bear against these vile publications, which aro doing so much to diminish tho benefits of a cheap press? Their demoralizing influence is clearly Bhown in this case, the thief steals a cap, not becauso he cannot really afford to buy one; but because he wishes to economize and save his halfpence for these elevating serials. The author of tho original Jark Sheppard and Dick Turpin must feel a horror when he sees to what extent tho style he founded has spread.
Tub Pall Mall has lately been discussing the pantomimes, and its critic (evidently again not the regular nobleman, but some " casual ") has fallen into the error of weighing the openings at Covent-garden ind Drury-lane as if they wore burlesques. This is a pardonable ignorance however comparod with his carping at the vorsificittion, which is much above the ordinary. Now if tho Pall Mall critic wants really to see how had versification can be, and in a burlesque, I'll lend lim ray copy of Romeo and Juliet, as performed at tho Strand, I be, aomo years ago. After reading that he will learn to deal more
I won. We were married. Love kicks against any delay. It was said that we ought to have tarried, By grumblers—'tis always their way!— So I blessed the glad end of my wooing; What would life be, as soon I should prove, '_ I hilling and cooing
i with my sweet turtle dove?
'Tis distance, wo're told by the poet,
That loveliness lends to tho view; Not only with landscape, but so it
I found Wbb with other things too. My thoughts grew unduly orratio—
Self-questionings often would move, Had I bliss only, pure and ecstatic, .
In life with my sweet turtle dove?
I saw that strango signs of decision
Could flash from her soft ajniro gaze; Nay, anger, contempt, and derision—
Ah, where were the eyes of old days?
Against it I earnestly strove.
Was sho moroly a sweet turtle dove?
Tho lips, that once seemed so delightful,
Could as well give a snap as a kiss,
And bo far from conducive to bliss.
'Twos a strangely demonstrative love—
And not to u sweet turtle dove?
.AL7»\a fanoied Spuroeon had the monopoly of "the conventicle omieal, bat it appears he has rivals. I have had forwarded to mo the irogramme of a series of discourses to be delivered in the neighbour
,°1 u3Wiell"r0adv' and 1 stood aSha8t to learn thftt on" sermon ras, J.he bed too short, and tho covering too narrow." What do
who call a comio journal a
_ O A . I
A PRETTY DtfST!'
There is a law to prevent the publication of improper publications of ono description. There should be some statute to regulate the law of advertisements in all cases. Not long since we saw "a diploma and a case of surgical instruments" for sale. Now wo moot with the following:—
rpO Sell, Two Dusting Machines for C .louring Tea, very cheap j One Hundred-«- weight COFFF.F.-ROASTIN<; CYLiSDKR mid SHAFT; One Portable IROtf COPPER. To he Men at the premises of , Toa Ooiourar and Improver, .
This means, in so many words, that Mr. is prepared to assist
dishonest grocers to sell an inferior article at a higher price by making it still worse. For, whereas it was onlyrubhish before the "improve"rubbish plus a number of deleU'rious
think ot ment, it is, after being dusted, i io "con- | and unwholesome compounds.