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stern regard, of any hope, or joy or pain, or sorrow, of the manysorrowed throng; who hears us make response to any creed that
SIMPLE STORIES. gauges human passions 'and affections, as it gauges the amount of
“Be always kind to animals wherever you may be!” miserable food on which humanity may pine and wither, does us wrong!”
. FRANK AND THE FOX, “Right you are!” cried Punch, cordially, Toby yapping assent. FRANK was a very studious and clever little boy.
He might have said more, but the Bells, the dear familiar Bells, He took the keenest delight in music, and when he had mastered his own dear constant, steady friends, the Chimes, began to ring the his lessons, he was very fond of playing on the concertina, and joy-peals for a New Year so lustily, so merrily, so happily, so gaily, singing to his own accompaniment. He could already play “The that he (like poor old Trotty Veck) leapt to his feet, and broke the Bells go a-ringing for Sarah!” with considerable finish and expresspell that bound him.
sion, and since his Uncle DODDLEWIG had presented him with
half-a-crown for his per“Yes, that is still the true Spirit of the Chimes," mused
formance, he had given the Mr. Punch, as he took pen in hand to open up his new Volume.
air with variations, and “And that's the spirit I hope to keep up right through the twelve
the song with every demonths of just-born Eighteen Hundred and Ninety-two, which I
scription of embellishment, trust may be—with my willing assistance,
all over the paternal manA HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OF YOU!!!"
sion, and in most corners of the ancestral estate.
To tell the truth, his
family were getting someOUR BOOKING-OFFICE.
what tired of his continued
asseverations concerning One of the Baron's Critical Faculty sends him his opinion of our
the tintinabulatory tribute Mr. Du MAURIER's latest novel, which is also his first. And here
everlastingly rendered to let it be published urbi et orbi that there is no truth whatever in a
the excellentyoung woman. report which appeared in an evening paper to the effect that Mr. Du
And had he not been so MAURIER, however retiring he may be, was about to retire or had
markedly encouraged by retired from Mr. Punch's Staff. The St. James's Gazette has already
rich old Uncle DODDLE“ authoritatively” denied the assertion; and this denial the Baron
WIG, there is every reason for Mr. Punch, decisively confirms. Now, to the notice of the book
to suppose that FRANK and above-mentioned. Here it is :
his concertina would have “There has been a certain deliberateness in Mr. Du MAURIER'S
been speedily supincursion into literature that speaks eloquently for his modesty. He
pressed. is, to our certain know
FRANK heard ledge, at least 40 years
his Papa lamentold, and Peter Ibbetson,
ing that foxes were which Messrs. Osgood &
so very scarce, Co. present in two daintily
that recently they dressed volumes, is his
had had no sport first essay in romantic
whatever. "There writing. Reading the
must be plenty of book, it is hard to conceive
foxes in the this to be the fact. The
country,” said the work is entirely free from
Squire, but they those traces of amateurish
won't show." ness, almost inseparable
Now FRANK had from a first effort. The
been reading literary style is consider
about Orpheus, ably above the average and how he charmed all the wild beasts with his melody. It was modern novelist; the plot true the boy had not a lyre, but he had no doubt that his concertina is marked by audacious would do as well, and he was quite certain he had seen a fox while invention, worked out with taking his rambles in Tippity Thicket. great skill; the hero is a One day when he had a holiday, and his Papa had gone a hunting madman, not in itself an with his friends, he strolled off with his concertina to endeavour to attractive arrangement, lure a fox out into the open. He approached the hole where he had but there is such admi- previously seen the fox, and sat down, and began to play vigorously rable method in his mad- on his concertina, and to sing at the top of his voice, "The Bells go ness, such fine poetica-ringing for Say-rah! Say-rah! Say-rah!” Presently he feeling in the conception saw a huge Fox poke his nose out of the hole. He was delighted! of character, and the He sang and played with renewed energy, and began to walk away,
ghosts who fit through still singing and playing. the pages of the story are so exweudingly human, that one feels The Fox followed, snarling, and snapping, and appearing, very quite at home with Peter, and is really sorry when, all too soon, angry. The more he played, the more the Fox snarled and his madness passes away, and he awakes to a new life, to find snapped. At last the animal became furious, all the hair on its himself an old man. Apart from its strong dramatic interest, Peter back stood on end, and it began to make short runs with its mouth Ibbetson has rare value, from the pictures of Old Paris in the last open at the young musician. days of LOUIS-PHILIPPE, which crowd in charming succession through It sprang upon him! He was terrified! He dropped his song the first volume. Mr. GEORGE DU MAURIER, the well-known and his concertina at the same moment, and scrambled up the artist in black and white, has generously assisted Mr. GEORGE DU nearest tree. MAURIER, the rising novelist, by profusely illustrating the work. 'Tis The Fox's fury then knew no bounds; he trampled on the cona pretty rivalry; hard to say which has the better of it. Wherein a certina, he bit it, he tore open the bellows, and having reduced it discerning Publie, long familiar with DU MAURIER's sketches, will to a shapeless mass, bore it away to his hole. recognise a note of highest praise for the new departure.”
When the coast was quite clear, FRANK descended, and slunk The Baron recommends Mrs. OLIPHANT'S The Railway Man and h
home. his Children, which is a good story, with just such a dash of the
The next morning one of the keepers found a dead fox. It had improbable—but there, who can bring improbability as a charge
ne apparently died of suffocation, as sixteen ivory concertina-stops against the plot constructed by any novelist after this great Jewel
were found in its throat. Case so recently tried ? Mrs. OLIPHANT's types are well drawn; l.
1 FRANK now has entirely ceased to believe in Ancient Mythology,
m; and has been even heard to hint that he considers Dr. LEMPRIÈRE a but the story is drawn out by just one volume too much. “For a onevolume novel commend me," quoth the Baron, “to Miss RHODABROUGHTON-CUM-ELIZABETH-BISLAND'S A Widower Indeed. But ... wait till after the festivities are over to read it, as the tale is "Lost To SIGHT. TO MEMORY DEAR."-An animal very difficult to sad. En attendant, A Happy New Year to everyone, says
secure again when once off ... and that is ..."a pony," when THE BENIGN BARON DE BOOK-WORMS, you've lost it on Newmarket Heath.
said, beautiful. Innocence seemed to be throned on her fresh and LETTERS TO ABSTRACTIONS.
glowing face. Her smile fascinated, her voice was a poem, and she No. IX.—TO CROOKEDNESS.
was musical in the best sense of the word at a time when good music,
although it might lack popular support, could always command a I DISPENSE with all formal opening, and I begin at once. I want small band of enthusiastic votaries in London. to tell you a story. Don't ask me why; for, even if I answered the There was at this time living in London an Italian artist, man of truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, you would hardly letters and musical virtuoso, who was the spoiled darling of Society: believe me. Let me merely say that I want to tell you a story, and All the women raved about him, the men liked him, for he had tell it without much further preface.
fought bravely on the field of battle, was a sportsman and had about Two days ago I chanced, for no special reason, to open the drawers him that frank and abundant gaieté de cour, which powerfully of an old writing-table, which for years past had stood, unused, in attracts the less exuberant Englishman. For his part CASANUOVA a corner of an upper room. In one I found a rusty screw, in another (that was his name) bore all his successes with good-nature and a couple of dusty envelopes, in a third a piece of sealing-wax, half- without swagger. Of course there were whispers about him. Where a-dozen nibs, and a broken pencil. The fourth, and last drawer, so many women worshipped, it was certain that two or three would was very stiff. For a long time it defied my efforts, and it was only lose their heads. Amongst this limited number was little Mrs. MILLETT, by a great exertion of strength that I was at last able to wrench it one of Lady CALLENDER's most intimate friends. She made nó open. To'my surprise I saw two packets of letters, tied together secret of her grande passion. She poured her tale into the ears of with faded ribbon. I took them up, and then remembered, with a Lady CALLENDER, and asked for sympathy and help. Lady start, what they were. They were all in their envelopes, and all CALLENDER promised both, and at the self-same moment, made up were addressed, in the same hand-writing, to Sir CHARLES CALLEN- her mind that she would withdraw from Mrs. MILLETT such affection DER, Bart., Curzon Street, Mayfair. They were his wife's letters, as CASANUOVA had honoured her with, and bring him, not because she and, after the death of Sir CHARLES, whose
cared for him, but merely for the sport of the sole executor I was, they came into my pos
thing, to her own feet. She succeeded adsession,- Sir CHARLES, for some inscrutable
mirably. Under the pretence of bringing reason, never having destroyed them, although,
CASANUOVA and Mrs. MILLETT together (such after his wife's death, the reading of them
things, you know, have been done in good Socannot have given him much pleasure. No
ciety) she invited him constantly to her house; doubt I ought to have destroyed them. I had
she gave musical parties in his honour, she never read them; but there, in that forgotten
used all her fascinations, and finally, having drawer, they had lain, the silent dust; ac
fooled Ariadne to the top of her bent, she cumulating upon them as the years rolled
captured Theseus, and bore him off. on. They reminded me of the story I am
Mrs. MILLETT was a foolish and frivolous about to relate-a story of which, I think,
little woman. Rage and despair made her a no one except myself has guessed the truth,
demon. She resolved on revenge, and proand which, in most of its details, I only knew
ceeded to it with a cool and astonishing perfrom a paper, carefully closed, heavily sealed,
sistency. Now I do not myself believe that and addressed to me, which I found amongst
Lady CALLENDER cared two straws about my friend's documents. It was in his hand
CASANUOVA. What she aimed at and enjoyed writing throughout, but I shall tell it in my
was the discomfiture of a friend. In order own words, and in my own way.
to obtain it, however, she committed a fatal Nobody who was about in London Society
imprudence. She wrote some letters which some thirty years ago, could fail to know or
would have convinced even a French jury of know about the beautiful Lady CALLENDER.
her guilt. By a master - stroke of cunning She was of a good county family. She was
wickedness, Mrs. MILLETT gained possession clever and accomplished. She had married
of them, and sent them to Sir CHARLES. It a man rich, generous, amiable, and culti
happened that about this time Sir CHARLES vated, who adored her. Unfortunately they
was in a very low state of health, and his had no children, but, in every other respect,
friends were anxious about him. One afterLady CALLENDER seemed to be very jūstly
noon, when Sir CHARLES was confined to his an object of envy and admiration to most of
bed, Lady CALLENDER was playing the piano the men and women of her circle. Personally
to her Italian slave. A message was brought I had no great liking for her. I don't take
to her that her husband desired to see her any credit for that-far from it. The reason
for a few minutes, and she tripped gaily may have been that her Ladyship (although
away, saying to CASANUOVA, “Wait here; I I was one of her husband's best friends, had
shall return directly.” In a quarter of an been his school chum, and had “kept" with
hour, however, her maid came to tell him him in the same set of rooms at Cambridge,
that her Ladyship was suffering, and begged where his triumphs, physical and intellectual,
him to excuse her, and he departed. When are still remembered) never much cared for
the maid returned to Lady CALLENDER, she me. She could dissemble her real feelings
found her lying dead on the floor of her room, better than any woman I ever knew, she
with a small phial, which had contained always greeted me with a smile, she even
prussic acid, clasped tightly in her hand. made a parade of taking my advice on little
This is what had happened : Sir CHARLES family difficulties, but there was an indefinable something in her had received the letters; they left no doubt in his mind that the wife manner which convinced me that beneath all her smiles she he adored was betraying him, and he, too, resolved on revenge. He bore me no good-will. The fact is that, without any design sent for his wife. When she came in, he at once confronted her with on my part, I had detected her in one or two bits of trickery, her letters, and taxed her with her guilt. A terrible scene of tears, and, in what I suppose I must call her heart of hearts, she never entreaties, and bitter reproaches ensued, but Sir CHARLES was as adaforgave me. The truth is, though her guileless husband only knew mant, and his wife retired to her bedroom in a state of nervous prosit too late, she was perhaps the trickiest and the most heartless tration, which immediately brought on a toothache. At this point woman in England. If there were two roads to the attainment of she sent for her maid, and gave her the message to CASANUOVA. any object, the one straight, broad, smooth and short, the other The Coroner was sympathetic, and did what he could, but the round-about, obscure, narrow and encompassed with pitfalls and evidence in favour of the suicide theory seemed overwhelming, and beset by difficulties, she would deliberately choose the latter for no the jury returned a verdict to this effect, with a rider strongly comother reason that I could ever see except that by treading it she menting on the danger of selling such deadly poisons. But it was might be able to deceive her friends as to her true direction. She never explained how Lady CALLENDER obtained the prussic acid, nor carried to a fine art the small intrigues, the petty jealousies, the why she had selected that particular moment for its use. I ought mean manæuvres in the science of outwitting; the shifts, the to add, that CASANUOVA left England before the inquest, and has stratagems, the evasions by which power in Society is often never returned. On the mystery of the final catastrophe the manusupposed to be confirmed, reputations are frequently ruined, script throws no light. It ends abruptly. But the whole tone of it and lives are almost invariably made wretched. But Sir CHARLES leads me to believe, that in some unexplained manner Sir CHARLES knew none of these things. He was apparently only too proud to be himself had been instrumental in causing his wife's death. But dragged at his wife's chariot-wheels in her triumphant progress. you, no doubt, know, and could tell us if you wished. For the strange part of the business is that there was absolutely no So there, my friend, you have the story. Sorry I couldn't make need for any of her deeply-laid schemes. Success, popularity and it more cheerful. Do you remember the part you played in it ? esteem would have come to her readily without them. She was, as I !
“Peace and good-will! Croak
ing is all my eye! A young man will be wiser
by-and-by, An old man's wit should ripen
ere he die. “Patience and pluck! Fret
ting is fiddle-de-dee, And youth has yet to learn to
act and see, And youth is well-advised
that trusts to Me! “Hope and good cheer! This
youngster's fate who knows? Sun, rain, and frost will greet
him ere life's close ; From the great dark to the
great dark he goes." So MERLIN, riddling, answered
them; but thou, Fear not to face thy fate, O
sea-born Child ! Young Ninety-Two! Great
Bards of thee may sing Hereafter; and great sayings
from of old Ranging and ringing thro' the
minds of men, Of Progress, and Improvement,
and of Peace, Of nobler Work, and a more
ample Wage, Of wider culture, and of
worthier joys, Larger attainments, and less
coarse desires, And gentler tastes; these shall
be heard of youth, And echo'd by old folk beside
their fires, For comfort after their wage
work is doneNo workhouse fires, but cosy
fires of Home !-
MERLIN, in thy time,
jest, and swear,
that she will not die, EXTRACT FROM THE CATALOGUE OF A RECENT SALE.
But pass, again to come; and,
then or now, . “A PAIR OF OLD-FASHIONED SNUFFERS. VERY RARE.”
Utterly smité foul Falsehood
Till, with Punch, all men hail THE COMING OF NINETY-TWO. Here is an heir for Ninety-One!” The fringe
her for their Queen! Of that great breaker, sweeping up the strand (With humble apologies, and hearty New-Year greetings,
Lashed at the wizard as he spake the word, to the illustrious Author of “ The Coming of Arthur.") And all at once all round him rose in light,
Climatic Nomenclature AND PUNCHIUS ever served the good Old Year So that the Child and he were clothed in light,
for the New Year. Before his death-hour struck; and on the night And presently thereafter followed calm, When he, on twelve's last stroke must pass away, Loud bells, and song!
(Suggested by recent Developments Room making for his heir, great PUNCHIUS-MERLIN
“And this same Child,” Ponch said,
of the British Seasons.) Left the Old King, and passing forth to breathe, "Twelve moons shall reign, nor will I part with Then from the mystic gateway by the chasm
Summer - The Dog Days. Descending through the wintry night-a night Till these be told." 'And saying this the Sage, Autumn = The Bog Days. In which the bounds of year and year were blent The Modern MERLIN of the motley coat,
Winter = The Fog Days. Beheld, so high upon the wave-tost deep
Wizard of Wit and Seer of Sunny Mirth,
ATRABILIOUS LIVERPOOL, Bright with a shining radiance golden-rayed, And bare him shoreward out of wind and wet, The City Council of Liverpool And gone as soon as seen; and PUNCHIUS knew Into his sanctum, where choice fare was spread, -notwithstanding the geneThe oft-glimpsed face of Hope, the blue-eyed guest, And cosy comfort ready to receive
rous urgings of its more imporAvant-courier of Peace and of Good Will,
Young Ninety-Two, and give him a “send-off” tant members — refuses to And herald of Good Tidings. Then the Sage
Such as should strengthen and encourage him bestow the “honour of” the Dropt to the cave, and watched the great sea fall To make fair start, and face those many moons freedom“ of that City" upon Wave after wave, each mightier than the last. Of multiform vicissitude with pluck,
its illustrious if—from their Till last, a great one, gathering half the deep Good hope and patient pertinacity.
| point of view-errant son, And full of voices, slowly rose and plunged,
And when men sought the Modern MERLIN'ear Mr. GLADSTONE. As Madame Roaring, and all the wave was in a flame.
And asked him what these matters might portend, ROLAND ought to have said : And down the wave and in the flame, was borne The shining angel, and the naked Child
-O “Freedom,” what liberA naked Babe, and rode to Puncu's feet, Descending in the glory of the seas,
ties are taken (with common Who stoopt, and caught the Babe, and cried “The He laughed, as is his wont, and answered them sense and good feeling) in thy Year! | In riddling triplets of old time, and said :
TO THE MODERN MERLIN, MR. PUNCA.
A NAKED BABE, AND RODE TO PUNCH'S FEET,
HERE IS AN HEIR FOR NINETY-ONE!'"-Adapted from Tennyson's “ Coming of Arthur."