Page images


Last Wednesday deserves to be marked with chalk of the whitest in the theatrical calendar. At no house in London could the critical laygoer have discovered the le»st ground for blame. No manager ullied the gentlemen in the stalls. No actor was imperfect in his part, so that even the Glowworm paled its intellectual fires, and admitted the impossibility of sharpening its arrows on Emery. There was not the slightest vulgarity apparent on that glorious evening in the dialogue of Bellingham and Best, not the slightest inefficiency in the stage management at the Adelphi. Neither Charles nor Joseph Surface made his appearance in an ebon moustache and lily-white wig. Not an actress winked at the side boxes, not a side box reciprocated. In fact, the impartial critic of stage plays and stage players who enriches the world through these pages, can point with unalloyed BHtisfnction to the brilliant evening of last Wednesday—Ash Wednesday, by the way—as a period of absolute perfection in dramatic matters.

On Thursday night, however, our hope of a theatrical millennium was dispelled by the production of a very conventional and unexciting farce at the Haymarket. The notion is of the stalest, and tho dialogue of the least brilliant. Miss Aha Cavendish, late of tho Royalty Theatre, made her first appearance at this house in tho character of the heroine, and was cordially rcoeived. The lady's acting would be much better if her self-possession were a little leasj A certain soupcon of nervousness would have made her nearly perfect. Us. Compton was funny in a very un-funny character.

That lively play, The Stronger, by the late unlamented Kbtzehue, hns been attracting moderate audiences to Drury-lane for some nights past .


This is, perhaps, the coolest instanco of advertising impudence we have ever come across:

rpAKEV hy MISTAKE on 12th Feb., from one of the carriages of the S.E. Railway, anUMBKKLLA. The owner can have th<-same by d' scribbia; it and paying for this advertisement. Apply at 54, Queen Annc-strect, Cavendish-square.

A person takes an umbrella "by mistake" from a railway carriage, and will not give it up unless the owner pays five shillings for it. Moreover the advertiser says nothing about the umbrella that most people leave behind them when they take another "by mistake," so it is reasonable to suppose that he entered the earriago without one, and came away with one. Is the advertiser aware that ho is open to a charge of wrongful possession if he refuses to give up the umbrella for nothing?


Travellers by the Underground Railway must have noticed with awe the promptness with which the company post up, in the most conspicuous part of their stations, the names of those who have been unhappy enough to offend against their bye-laws, with the full particulars of the crime in each case, and its appalling punishment. There is a terrible significance in these terso records. Weak, underground humanity, which has escaped this awful penalty, reads and trembles, and thanks its stars that Fate, overruling its proclivities, never permitted it to jump out of a train in motion, or assault the company's servants, or forget to take its ticket. Fancy being placarded-up in thatway! Imagine the consternation, not unmixed with morbid curiosity, with which his friends would regard the man who had passed through the phase of being "a caution'" But the company are certainly at fault in one point. The " cautions" are, if anything, too dry and matter-of-fact. They do not seem to possess that thrilling interest that crime—which has been shown to bo capable of immenso sensational development—ought to possess. Few people read them; and those who do read, do so, we fear, not in the pure spirit of intellectual enthusiasm we should expect, but rather because they have to wait for a train, and have exhausted all the "flamers," and are tired of watohing the flirtations of the young ladies behind the refreshment counters. We have a suggestion to offer. It is evident these notices will do little good unless they are more generally read. Why not introduce the sensational element into them? Does not the million delight in versification P See what the mighty Moses has achieved with verse. Let the Metropolitan Riilway Company boldly follow his example, and KEEP A POET. Give him to understand that his principal duties will be "pointing morals," and "adorning tales." Let them loso no time, but advertise at once: "Salary, £100 a-year, and the poet's beer. N.B.—No one of the name of Tbppek need apply."

We can imagine the difficulty of preserving order among the dense crowds that would constantly surround the subjoined specimens:—

Case 1.

Conviction of John Stuiibs, Foet,for defacing the interior of one of the
Metropolitan Railway Company's Carriagu.

Bleak was the night: low fall'n the glass;
Tho poet took the train—third-class

(King's-cross to Notting-hill)—
He did not daro to walk so far
On such an eve, for dire catarrh

Had made him rather ill.
He sighed, as on tho hard, cold seat
He cast his weary form: his feet

Uncomfortably damp—•
Roman his nose: his eye deep blue:
Complexion rather bad, 'lis true
('Twas thought that cast that pallid hue,

And not our new gas lamp).
What noble thoughts pervade his breast,
And leave him not a moment's rest!

See, see—ho writes them all!
Ah, no! Tho words seem all the same—
'Tis but one dear, repeated name

He scratches on the wall :—
"Eliza Jane "—with deep-drawn sigh—
Nor heeds ho how the moments fly,

But scrawls " Eliza Jane."
The train is stopping—neck and heels
Sadden himself pulled out he feels,

With breathless sense of pain.
Next day, before the awful faoe
Of Muggins, AMerman, his case

Was brought-on^ number one.
His worship said, and justly, too,
"'Tis right such vagabonds as you

Should pay for what they've done;
These trioks won't suit a public line,
I'll, therefore, give tho utmost fine,

Five pounds, or forty days!
A name so vulgar, too! Scarce meet
To shout along the public street."

(His worship 6corns to praise.)
"What's in a name P" tho bard cried out;
His worship felt 'twas right to scout

Such interruption rude;
And sentenced him, in sternest sort,
For such supremo contempt of Court,

To penal servitude!
• • • • •

At treadmill, now, the poet grinds,
His hair is cut, his health he finds

Improving, past a question;
But one small drawback still he feels,
Working directly after meals

Tends to give indigestion!

It might be advisable to have a caution of this kind posted up occasionally for the benefit of snappish and intellectual minds:—

Case 2.

Conviction of Joseph Payne, Trize-fighter, for alighting from the Metropolitan Railway Company's carriage while in motion.

Enormous Joe Payne;

Leaping out of a train
In motion, at Paddington station,

Was taken at onco

Before Magistrate Dunce,
Who fined him, with this observation:—

"Had you slipp'd 'noath the wheel,

When you turned on your heel, • Seeking after 'saltatory' glory,

In a railway embrace

You'd soon find it a case
Of ' nec[k)sine magna dolort.'"

With this last we leave our suggestion in the hands of the Metropolitan Railway Company. A nod is as good as a wink to a cortain noble quadruped whoso visual organs are defective.


Tub Emperor Of The Frex Ch has requested Mr. Frail, of Shrewsbury, to bocome manager of the Versailles race-course. This is a high compliment, for though the fair aro sometimes frail, the Frail are not always fair.

[ocr errors]


(lines Written On Receiving The Prospectus Op A New Company.)

"There are reports afloat of the formation of a joint-stock company to supply meat at prices much below those of the butcher."—Daily Vaptr.

This prospectus, lo!

Settles all the rumours,
Telling of a Co.:

Called "The Meat-Consumers."

Butchers scarce will know

How to hide ill-humours,
Hearing of a Co.

Called " The Meat-Consumers."

They may swell, but no

One will heed their tumours,
Trusting to the Co.

Called "The Meat-Consumers."

Down the price must go,

Spite of blue-clad fumers,
Now that we've a Co.

Called *' The Meat-Consumers."

Of the bills we owe,

Butchers, soon the doomcrs
Will become the Co.

Called " The Meat-Consumers."


The Captain of the Bulldog is too wide awake to accept the sword of honour, to present him with which a subscription has been started. He very rightly says that to take it under the circumstances would be against the rules of the service. But this only proves the more that he's an honourable blade. The Admiralty, which with its usual wisdom deprived him of the command of a ship that no longer existed, should in recognition of this submission give him a new command, and so make up to him for the loss. Meanwhile, subscribers need not mourn—the sword Captain Wake wears will always be a sword of honour!


Picked up Near Whitehall.

Those who steamships build of Reed,

And quite sea-worthy think 'em,
Should hardly be surprised, indeed,

To find that Coles would sink 'em.

Extraordinary Mildness of the Season.

Mr. and Mrs. Henpekt have been observed at the theatre together, and it is reported that Mrs. H. called her husband "dear," and only contradicted him once.

Mr. Hektor, during the last week, has only sworn at the clubwaiter three times.

Mr. Skinflint was noticed taking his wife out for a walk, and we have it on undoubted authority that he of his own accord bought her a new bonnet.

We hear that Mr. Foley's statue of Lord Herbert is to be erected before the War Office. Surely Foley should supply the Horse Guards.


It is very odd that Mr. Bright should select the occasion of the opening of Parliament to talk about its clothes.





To my dyin' day I never shall forget what my feolina was when I got that lawyers letter, a-sayin' as 1 was to be persecuted for a label.

I says, " It can't be, never" though me and Mrs. Elxins made it out so to read; but when Brown come in he says, "You're only subpened for a witness."

Whatever he meant I can't say, though it were a action agin Mrs. Portlock for dcfamement agin Mrs. Hardrup's character, as is a party as I never would have let-to myself, but Mb. Portlogk did, through her a-comin' up sudden with him in a cab, as I see was a seafm in' man through a seal-skin cap and a short pipe out of the cab window. For it so 'appened I was a-puttin' up a clean blind to the parlor-winder just as they come up, and so couldn't help a-seein' of them, not as I said nothin' then, but had my opinions.

I'm sure the bother as that trial were was enough for to wear any one down to the grave. How them judges can have the patience for to set and listen to all the rubbish as is talked afore 'em puzzles me.

But what 1 could not stand, if I was a judge, would be a lot of them common jurymen a-'avin' the impudence for to fly slap in my face and findin' not guilty when I said as it were contrariwise. A parcel of fellows as to look at you'd say didn't know great A from a chest of drawers, as the savin' is. There they was a-settin', a-pretending to look that wise, as I could hardly keep from laugbin'.

Old Boddy, the broker, as called his-self foreman, and Lucas, as is in the grocery-line, a reg lar old fool, as daren't say a word at home without his wife's leave, as no doubt she'd told him how he was to wote afore ever he come out, as she does every Easter Tuesday aelectin' of the parish officers. I should like to see him a-darin' to go agin her.

I don't believe as them men know'd what was bein' said, and as to their bein' put over the judge, it's enough to make a cat laugh.

I was kep' a-waitin' about them courts three days afore our trial come on till I got that used to it that I do think as I could try anything myself.

The day as our trial were on I mevor see anythin' like the wet, and that court a-smellin' of damp umbrellas as was sickenin'. How them poor dear judges can bear theirselves with their hot headdresses and fur I can't think.

I was of a pretty twitter I can tell you when I got in the box for to swear, but through a-knowin' manners made my obedienco to the judge, as didn't seem to see me, as I've heard say is their ways, through bein' supposed to be blind in their judgments, as is, of course, right; and I think as that judge as I were before must have»been deaf too, though, pr'aps it was only his wig over his ears as made him so, like my own Aunt Pembly, as was run over by a light wan through wearin' of a beaver bonnet tied tight down over hor ears, as made hor a perfect post for hearin', and as to its bein' a light wan it was heavy enosgh to break both her arms as the wheels went over, and if that judge don't mind he'll be run over as sure as over he walks out in that wig, as I'd a good mind for to tell him.

Well, one of them lawyers he got up with his wig and a slobberin' bib under his chin, as must be useless, for he's done dribblin' by this time, and hasn't got no white fur for to save like that judge, as bein' well on in life may slobber, for once a man twice a child, as the sayin' is. So that lawyer he looks at me very hard, and asks me if I know'd the nature of a oath?

"Well," I says, "that depends; for I've heerd some oaths as sounds downright sinful," I says, "and I've know'd a party as would say one and not mean it, like a party as I once know'd, as were a minister, and yet said ' damn it' in haste through a-burnin' hisself with the handle of the kettle in givin' water to the lady as was makin' tea at a serious party, and wouldn't have him though he went down on his bended knees for pardon, through her havin' thirty thousand pounds, as was forty herself if a hour, and as plain a woman as you'd see in a day's walk." So I says, "I don't hold with swearin', as is a seafarin' habit, and pr'aps they can't make theirselves heard in them ragin' winds without it; but," I says, "swear in cold blood's disgraceful."

"Now," says the lawyer, " will you swear P" I says, "Never!"

He says, " Be quiet." I says, " With pleasure."

"Now," he says, "on your oath did Mrs. Portlock ever tell you that Mrs. Hardrup was no better than she ought to be?" "Them never was her words," I says; "and if they had been I should have said"

"Never mind what you would have said." "But I do mind," says I; "for I'm one of them as keeps my 'ands from pickin' and stealin', and my tongue"

"Oh, that'll do," says he. "Yes," I says, " I knows it will; but," I says, "it's a pity as more don't keep to it."

So the judge he said somethin'. It's my opinion he'd be 'avin' of a nap for he seemed fractious in his ways, as I've know'd infants on wakin'.

The lawyer was quite put out with his words, for he turns on me quite savage and says, "Now no more nonsense, if you please, Mrs.' Brown, answer my questionsP" I says, "By all means; but,'' I says, "you'll excuse me, but I'm not the party as talks nonsense."

So he says, " You were drinkin' tea with Mrs. Portlock on Wednesday evenin', November the 7th, were you not?" I says, "Never!"

He says, "What day was it P" "Can't say." He says, "Can't you? well, then, I'll help your memory. Da-yon remember meetin' Mrs. Walry and Mrs. Shaw at tea in November last at Mrs. Portlock's?" "Yes, I do," says I, "but not on a Wednesday."

"Well," he says, "no matter." ■ I says, "Pr'aps not to you, bnt it do to me, for it's Brown's club night, and if ho was to read in the papers as I was out of a Wednesday it might cause words."

So the lawyer he says, "What was the subject of your conversation?" I says, " Let me see, as far as I can remember me and Mrs. Shaw was a-talkin' about her married daughter as was delicate. So

I says if she was a daughter of mine"

"We don't want to hear about such things," says he. "I thought not," I says, " though it seemed as you did by askin', though I was surprised I must say."

"Did you ever hear Mrs. Portlock say anythin' about Mrs. Harbruf?" "Yes, I did."

"What did she say?" "Why she said that Mrs. Hardrup was very poor, and she did believe as she often would not have broke her fast if it hadn't been as she took hor up a bit of somethin' with a cup of tea."

"What did she say about her character?" "Why she said as she'd took her in without one, it was too late to ask about it."

"Why did she take her in without a character P" "Why because in her circumstances she must have gone to the workus, and the man as was with her begged so hard."

"Who was the man?" says ho. "That's best known to Mrs. Hardrup; but through me not a-knowin' cannot say."

Then the judge he bust out agin, and the lawyors looked puzzled. Another one gets up and Bays to me, "You never heard Mrs. PortLock say a word agin Mrs. Hardrup P" I says, "Never, for there wasn't no occasion."

"Why not?" says the first lawyer, jumpin' up. "Because," I says, "them as cared to know could soon nave found out, and them as didn't care wouldn't ask."

"You may stand down," says ho. "That's a mercy," says I, "for I'm stifled, and if I was you I'd keep a peppermint drop in my mouth constant, as is a good thing agin tho foul air in this place, as is like a wild-beast show for closeness."

So I was 'anded out, and as I came out I heard some one remark as I must be a born fool. "Pr'aps lam," I says; "but if I've any of your impudence I'll just step back and tell the judge." And it was all their spite agin me, for I don't think them lawyers got much out of me, and Mrs. Portlock got the day, as was all them wagaboncs' spite, through, poor soul, they're runnin' in her debt, and not a-wantin' to pay, and took a houso within three doors, aud shot tho moon. So poor Mrs. Portlock was done after all, and for my part ii I was labelled ever so I'd never go to law.


Prat think not, Amy, I disdain
The peerless beauty of your face;

1 sometimes live the past again,
And treasuro still your last embrace.

The flame which warmed my youthful heart
Has died and left me in tho dark;

For Cupid plays a sorry part,
His arrows rarely hit their mark.

I see your ever-restless eyes,

And I can guess what you would say;
I hear the short, expressive sighs,

You waste upon me every day.

When you reflect what might havo been,

And all alone you sadly sob,
Please don't forgot, at seventeen,

You threw me over for a Bnob!


(from Our Own Burke.)

We understand that Norfolk Howard, Esq., is about to be raised to the peerage, with the title of Lord Wexlobk.

« PreviousContinue »