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A FULL STOP.
BETWEEN THE HOSTS. LIKE him of old, when the plague's arrows sped,
And life sank' blighted by that scathing rain, We stand between the living and the dead,
Lifting our hands and prayers to Heaven in vain. While those that faint upbraid us from dim eyes,
And those that fight arraign us as they fall, And French and German curses 'gainst us rise,
And, hating none, we rest unloved of all. Till in a bitter stress of doubt we wait,
And hardly dare or know to shape our prayer, Beyond the aching wish to see abate
This woe and waste that darken all the air, And make the winter fog seem like a pall
Laid on the death-struck earth, and hiding heaven From the fierce eyes of those that fight and fall,
And theirs, to whom the wearier lot is given,
And listen to the guns, far off or near;
And sweep off growth and storage of their year,
Fields bared of kindly grass and feeding grain; To see their furrows filled from wounds that bleed,
And mark on wall and hearth-stone death's dull stain. Shall we dare counsel baffled, bleeding France,
As she creates defiance from despair,“Throw up the lost game; bow to conquest's chance,
And tame thyself the vanquished's lot to bear”? When 'tis this stubbornness, that, in her place,
Our prayer and joy 'twere in ourselves to find : When what we love best in her worn, wan, face,
Is the bent brow that speaks the unyielding mind.
Or shall we dare advise the German foe,
As with firm step, clear purpose, iron will, He moves on to his goal through waste and woe
"For all thy sons' blood thou hast had to spill, For all thy treasure thou hast had to spend,
Thy breaking up of homes, and wrench of hearts, With less than retribution waive thine end,
For love of thy foe's charms and witching arts”? We own the provocation, foully given,
That knit a nation's hearts in bonds of steel; But think a shattered throne, great armies driven
In rout, or held beneath the conqueror's hee), Set-off sufficient for that traitor-stroke
Imperial ruin 'gainst Imperial raid Yet pity for this people how invoke,
That brooks no pity and implores no aid ?) We love French wit, love France's courteous cheer,
And skill in arts that make life fair and bright, As we respect the German soul sincere,
Thoroughness, learning, patience, faith in right; Nor scorn we France's false and fickle brood,
Hating all truth that frets its self-conceit, More than we loathe the German's stolid mood,'
That travels to its ends with iron feet. And so we stand with a divided soul,
Our sympathies for both at war within, Now eager for the strong, to reach his goal,
More often wishing that the weak could win. Only one feeling will not leave our minds,
Hate of this hate, and anguish of this woe; And still war's scythe-set car rolls on and grinds
Guilty and guiltless, blent in overthrow. And first we interpose a useless hand,
And then we lift an unavailing voice,
While still Death holds his way with sword and brand,
The Curtain rising discovers Comic Bigamist at breakfast. His name is
Cristal. I was once hung for being a bigamist, but was restored by
COMMODORE BREITMANN, who is my benefactor.
Enter COMMODORE BREITMANN, author of the Breitmann Ballads.
Commodore. I will fight 'anybody who says anything against
MADAME D’ARTIGUES. She is my niece.
Madame Jezebel (meeting him). Thank you.
Commodore (starts). Hallo! You are not my niece, and I've fought As it has been, let wrath say what it will.
six duels on your account already. GEORGE D'ARTIGUES is married. So with love's unthanked labour let us pray,t
Madame Jezebel (starts). Ah!
Cristal (recognising. JEZEBEL, starts). Ah! my wife! [Erit. * The Norge “Choosers of the slain."
GEORGE at home as an amiable Bigamist.
George starts and exit. Commodore starts and remains.
SELLE (never better than in this), and Miss LYDIA FOOTE,
Enter Madame D'Artigues (Number One).
Madame D'Artigues (seeing Number Two). Ah! (Starts.)
Madame D'Artigues (Number Tro). Ah! (Starts.)
[Very awkward this for poor GEORGE.
Enter CRISTAL. Madame Number One starts.
Cristal (to Madame Jezebel). But you were married to me. But you
were married before. Ergo you oughn't to have married me, amiable and impulsive Ergo you're a trigamist ; I'm not really a bigamist;
and George isn't Bigamist) MR. NEVILLE.
a bit of a bigamist. The police will remove you, and there being Cristal (a comic Bigamist, nothing more to say, we will have the Curtain down at once on this MR. HOLSTON.
capitally contrived situation which the audience will applaud. Madame D'Artigues (a
End of Play. wicked Trigamist).
Attentive Person (to Friend). But I don't quite understandACT I.
His Friend (much pleased with the piece.). No more do I. Bravo!
A CLAP OF STAGE THUNDER.
WORTHY MR. PUNCH,
Gentleman in Stalls (who Cynics say that there are no dramatic critics now-a-days, for has come in late - to his Friend). What for?
what is now called criticism is nothing but false praise. Puffery reigns His Friend (who was in at the beginning). I don't know.
supreme, they think, in this department of the Press, and public writers
[They attend to the piece. are so swayed by private motives towards laudation that anything like George (welcoming the Tragic Nautical Doctor). Åh, my old friend ! censure never comes from their paid pens. Well, this may be true in Let me introduce you to my wife.
general, but there are certainly exceptions, as witness these remarks [Nautical Doctor starts, and drops wine-glass. MADAME JEZEBEL in a recent bit of criticism in the Daily News :starts. GEORGE starts.
“He had no story to tell which was worth telling he had not even George (beginning to be a trifle suspicious). Hallo! (Dissembles.) the faintest idea of how to handle a plot. nor is the delineation of characNow we'll go out.
[Exit with Nautical Doctor. ter exactly his forte : : , his dialogue is weak and diffuse . : . his scenes, as
a rule, lead to nothing, while his acts invariably terminate with an antiEnter sharp.little Soubrette, with Letter.
climax." Madame Jezebel (reading letter, starts). Your husband has quarrelled
A pleasant breakfast must the author have had after his first with Monsieur Somebody.
night, if he found upon his table many notices of his new drama such Attentive Man (in Stalls). Who's he? His Friend. Don't know. (Refers to bill.) He's not down.
as this! But, supposing there be fair grounds to justify such censure, Madame (to herself).
I cry "Bravo!” to the writer who has the pluck to pen it. I consider They will fight! (Starts.). GEORGE is a first- that in pointing out the weak points of a play, a critic merely does rate swordsman.
what he is privileged and paid to do. As a writer for the public, it is Enter GEORGE, he starts and scowls at her. She starts and dissembles. his business and his duty to tell the public truly his opinion of a piece.
N.B. Great deal of starting and dissembling in this piece. When a play should be condemned, it is his province to speak plainly, George. I'm going to fight MONSIEUR THINGUMMY,
and so prevent his readers from wasting time and money on a Madame (starting). Ah! (dissembling) Dear me !
worthless work. The public have a right to look for censure in the (Aside). I'll poison him. [Pours poison into GEORGE's glass. newspapers when censure is deserved : and, failing this, the critics may GEORGE sees her and starts.]
be viewed as merely hireling manufacturers of puffs. Too many write George (violently). I see 'a yer do it.
with rosewater where they rather should use vinegar; and if severity Madame (starting). Ah!
in criticism is ever to become still rarer than it is, we may live to see George. MONSIEUR THINGUMMY (can't catch the name) was your the public tendering their thanks for it in some such form as this: Lover, I have killed him.
"Mr. Punch begs to express the gratitude of the public for the [Starts. She starts. Attitudes, Enter Nautical Doctor. He sensible severity wherewith the Press has criticised the stupid play starts.
produced on Monday evening last. The critics have so seldom the Nautical Doctor. I will suggest another start. Let your wife think courage to condemn, that a special word of thanks is in this instance you're poisoned, and we'll start off together.
their due: and, speaking in the name of British playgoers in general, [They start of together, leaving "MADAME JEZEBEL to start by the way in which a clumsy, dull, and ineffective play has "most de
Mr. Punch would fain express their gratefullest acknowledgment of herself. Enter Soubrette,
servedly been doomed." Soubrette (starts). Ah!
Leaving you on due occasion to carry out the hint, I remain,
Yours most admiringly,
Tartarus Place, Tuesday.
TURN YOU STAND BACK, OR—(thinking deeply)—YOU SHALL HAVE SUCH A WASH!!”
they propose to marry a girl without any but naturally personal proPOOR LOOK-OUT FOR PUDDING.
perty; oftentimes the cheapest as well as the most generous marriage.
There was something also in what was said by another of the An alarming decree the Tours Government utter,
speakers :British Lion at food-time 'twill cause thee to roar; They forbid exportation of salt, eggs, and butter
“MR. HOSKYNS . . . contended that the married women of England had We're beginning to find that the War is a bore.
hitherto been very unfairly treated with regard to property. He, MR.
HOSKYNs, contended that husbands should treat their wives as equal human England's housekeepers cry, with anxiety brooding
beings. He did not consider that they had been so treated hitherto." On provision for Christmas at hand and in view,
Very true, BOSKYNS, in a measure. On the whole, perhaps, women “Badly off we shall be for mince-pie and plum-pudding, have not been
treated like equal human beings. However, they are For without eggs and butter, O what can we do ?” always helped first at dinner, and men usually stop at a door, and let
their female companions enter first. And this is right. Persons of Well, there's one consolation for Paterfamilias
the ruder sex, meaning to be rude, often make a remark which is truer And Mater, which ought to make fond parents smile; than they imagine, for them at least. “Woman,” they say, "is the Christmas fare, if less rich, will make children less bilious, inferior animal." "Yes,” may be the reply, " but she is the superior Give their elders, too, less indigestion and bile.
human being." Let every husband, therefore, duly resign to his wife the liver-wing of a fowl, unless she prefers the gizzard, and let him at
least give her the refusal of the pheasant's leg. WOMEN'S NATURAL RIGHTS.
Incomplete Charade. The question of Married Women's Property has not yet reached a settlement. On the evening of Monday week a meeting of the Victoria
GORTSCHAKOFF! What imports Discossion Society was held in the Cavendish Rooms to discuss it.
This Statesman's nomination ? Opinions were expressed by ladies and gentlemen in a succession of
With “my two last” it sorts speeches which led to no conclusion; but ŞIR ERSKINE PERRY, who
To shake off obligation. occupied the Chair, made a significant remark:“The Chairman observed that the subject about to be discussed was one of
Educational Colours. great importance to every household. It affected both heads of families and their children, and affected them in the most serious and important manner."
THE Post, in a leader on the subject of education, has the following No doubt. The subject of Married Women's Property is one about educated in the new national schools :
remark relative to "street Arabs" and "gutter-children" who will be which a husband and wife may differ, so as to quarrel and rave. Thus it may affect the heads of families very seriously. And, as affections
“But the colourless religion which will be part of their mental pabulum of the head are often hereditary, it may indirectly affect their children will be better than their present no-religion." likewise. These considerations must make prudent men think, not Ought not religion, pure and simple, to be colourless ? Light is of twice only, but three or four times, or more, before they marry, unless no colour until it is decomposed.