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Title: Sage Stuffing for Green Goslings

Date of first publication: 1872

Author: Hon. Hugh Rowley (1833-1908)


Date first posted: May 6, 2022

Date last updated: May 6, 2022

Faded Page eBook #20220515

This eBook was produced by: Marcia Brooks, Pat McCoy & the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at https://www.pgdpcanada.net

This file was produced from images generously made available by Internet Archive/American Libraries.










tempus few get




George Routledge and Sons,







T O M Y  M O T H E R.





Say, O green gusling goslings, do you feel disposed to come and be crammed with our sage stuffing? Say, O improper ganders, will you have our propaganda? Say, O ducks, delicious little ducks, can you duckline our seasoning? Say, O ye pretty small-footed donkeys, won’t you digest our pointed thistles? Let us, O blockheads, cut you to the quick (if you’ve got one) with the double-toothed saws of knowingness: O green blades, permit us to mot you. Say, O bores, shall our pearls be cast before you to no purpose? Say, O swaggering stoopid big babes and cigar-sucklings, shall our bells jingle their Proverbial Foolosophy for you in vain? No, we rather imagine not. We know that the words of wisdom nowadays are generally looked upon as a nuisance, a feahful bawah! Plato’s sayings you call platotudes; Scissaro makes you want . . “to cut it;” Pausanias can’t make any ass pause! Bruyère puts you into a mental brouillard, and you think he isn’t half as much the cheese as gruyère; you like Lamb in any other form but Charles; you leave your Locke unopened; you don’t care to save your Bacon; Tupper isn’t tuppermost in your thoughts; unint-Horace-ting to you is Horace, unless at Asscott or Donkeystir; you can’t bear moral songs, much less Suffer-gless—poor old Sophocles, and, agilis viridisque, senectus, Paddy Green! If any one recommend you to Goethe entire animal with the most Schillerbrated Germans, or Shakespeare, you only answer, “Mon cher, Shakespeare déjà d’ennui;” you like meandering more than Menandering; you probably know Laura, but your ignorance of Petrarch is depLaurable; you think more of your whiskers than your wits—more of inScipioent moustachios than Scipio; more of your boots than your brains—you won’t have a Bunyan if you can help it; though Young, your “Night Thoughts” are really . . . . well . . . . not worth much: you affect venal Jews more than Juvenal; quite Bulwerser Lord Lytton by skipping every word but the story in his books; pass Vi(r)gils and fasts . . . . over; sacrifice Xenophon to a scene of fun; and consume the midnight oil on the sole condition that it be intimately blended with vinegar, mustard, lobsters, &c., &c., &c., et cetera.

Why is this, O gobe-mouches? Why, O why is it thus? Is it because everything the axiomatic swells, ancient and modern, say is too heavily put; because all their proverbs are solemn ’uns; because they don’t amuse you; because they are too dry for your palate; because they’re a pack of old duffers, eh? Of course! Therefore we are going to sage-stuff you more lightly, more crummyly, more “Burlo-dramaticcally,” and more easily for you to take in; but, as we know we too might lead you to the undiluted water and not make you drink, we are going to try the effect of putting a little spirit in this same water, a little spice in it, a knob or two of sugar, a slice of lemon or so, and something else besides, of an everfizzing character, to make it sparkle, and tempt you to imbibe it, O Gander, with gooseto. Besides laying our own eggsperience before you, we shall also omeletauxfinesherbesify the eggsperience of others, and when our sage-stuffing “rebukes” you, we hope its effect will be to make some of you pull up the green blinds of unwisdom which so many of you will keep carefully drawn down, as if . . . common sense lay dead within you!

We shall watch to see if you improve: we know you, O Goslings, as we meet you every day in the Row, at the club, at the play; we sit next you on the same coaches, dine at the same houses, drink sherry with you at Poole’s, stop at the same places, sail in the same yots, stalk the same dears, hunt the same game, flirt with the same women; for the spirit of Fun is—everywhere,

“A chiel’s amang ye takin’ notes,

  An’ faith he’ll prent it;”

but don’t, please do not be angry; for remember—it’s only written in


human heads on bird bodies

Reader, dear Reader, we are about to commence pessimisticising and sage-stuffing you; we are about to give you a sharp sauce, which is equally sauce for the goose and sauce for the gander—of our own manufacture; you may perhaps—it is not impossible—now and then find us using the ingredients of others as our own; but remember, if you should, that we only so use them as our hone to sharpen our dull edge or blunt point upon them, not that we should have the very faintest scruple in using anybody else’s jokes, ideas, etc., if cribbing and plagiarism were in our line, inasmuch as no end of people use ours; but as it isn’t, we don’t, except, as we say, as a hone. If you are already sage (you may be, que scais-je?) you can, and most probably will, quote our sagejestsions to your less wise friends and acquaintance. . . . as your own; but if you are not, as we are about with our Proverbial Foolosophy to out-Tupper Tupper, it will be your own fault if you find us like the unhappy man whose writings, alas! were said to be eternal, as . . . he wrote to no end! Having thus told you what we are going to do, we are now going to do it: permit us to offer you our

Spoonful I.

Burns says:

“O wad some power the giftie gie us

 To see oursels as ithers see us!”

He makes a mistake, for you ought, dear boy, to be exceedingly thankful, for the sake of your own peace of mind, that it is impossible; and impossible it is, as . . you’d have to get behind your own back to do it!

Know thyself, says the sage. Quite so. Ha! ha! by all means know thyself, but—tell it not in Bath, publish it not in the streets of Brighton—don’t, pray don’t, let anybody else know—what you know.

The difference between “a good man” and “a good feller” is simply enormous. The difference between “a good woman” and a good-looking one, is even more stupendous.

“The D—v—l,” they say, “is not so black as he is painted.” Dear reader, you may feel quite certain that he is exactly the colour—you like best!

You like young ladies: of course you do! we should utterly despise you if you did not, for what can be more entrancing? nevertheless, you take our advice, and, if you would get on—don’t neglect the more olderly ones.

A beautiful woman with no feeling, no soul, is like—a silk stocking with no—no—no—ankle in it.

Definition of a woman who paints: ahem!— —The Lady of the Lake!

When lovely woman stoops to folly,

She does it cos she thinks it’s jolly.

Oh stoopid stoopid stooping stoopid females!!

Gentle Reader, pardon our exceedingly mild sarcasm, but we have ventured to draw you a black-Amour here, going the way most “amours” do go: Gentle Reader, he is going to— —“break down”!

playing a banjo

Spoonful II.

Just, only just frozen, yet on you go— —skating! Just, only just introduced, yet on you go— —flirting! In the first case, before you know where you are, you are . . . . “let in:” in the second case, before you know where you are . . . . you—can’t get out of it! In the first case the water is cold; but in the second, hang it, it’s—“hot water” you get into! Why not wait, dear boy, till your affections—like the more solid bank, on which it would be so much wiser to remain—are . . . . ripa!

Reader, there has been more “coming-down heavily”—both on the ice and in the world—in connection with “the figure” called “Cupid’s bow” than perhaps with any other!

Remember this, in skating and in worldly matters, the great thing is—having a good balance, and being able to keep it—on the ice, and . . . . the Bank! Cutting threes, double threes, eights, noughts, and so on, on the one, isn’t half such good fun as drawing them on the other.

Just act in the world as you would on rotten ice— —avoid that which is dangerous! Don’t say it’s difficult to discover its rottenness, its . . . . superficiality. Bah! you know all about it as well as any one; it don’t hide itself under a bushel, or even a bush: the real secret is, you don’t want to see it, because . . . . it’s nice!

Apropos of skating, &c., remember this: Pleasure is selfish: that which is joy to you means cold, hunger, firelessness, starvation, death even to others: if you like skating whilst others are frozen; if you like swimming whilst hundreds of shipwrecked wretches may possibly be battling with death in the same sea, don’t—as the wit says—subscribe to Exeter Hall Missionaries, for not half the people go to the d—l that ought to, nor let your charity begin at home and stop there, but—much more to the purpose—be charitable at X-mas time, and send a fiver now and then to the Life Boat Institution.

The King of Prussia has been called the “Will of Providence”! To get rid of him the French have now to pay . . . . the Bill of im-providence!

The last thing the King of Prussia said at Versailles was certainly the best thing he said whilst he was there; he said, in his own German vay—Je m’en vais!

France, poor France, for you has commenced . . . . the Rain of Tears!!!

French cooking is wholesome enough, but an entrée à la Prusse will always make the Gaul to rise.

A contented mind is a continual feast: yes, perhaps; but, there are men—gastrophilistic parties, whose god is their tum-tum, whose Paradise is Eden an’ drinkin’—who read it, that a continual feast is the best way of getting a contented mind.

The cook who curries your lobsters, chickens, &c., &c., &c., to perfection, can hardly fail also to curry . . . . your favour.

Paunch à la Remain: A man who sticks to the table! A man who has a paunchant for eating!

P.S.—Don’t call a man who “sticks to the table” gluttonous,—glutinous is the word!

Whine from the wood: A creaking door!

An un-flattering Port-trait: A red nose!

A Mayor’s nest: Guildhall!

Yes, there is no doubt about it; a short cut to the heart, is frequently through the stomach!

Reader, Beloved Reader, we hear people spoken of as “sponges,” “awful sponges,” “tremendous sponges”! Ha! ha! it isn’t water they absorb though: anything but it!

sponge head

Spoonful III.

Ingenuous youth! have you a young lady “in your eye”? if so . . . mind it!

Do as you would be done by! This is entirely Smithkinson’s creed, for—(his married life is not happy)—he protests he shall only be too delighted to run away with Mrs. Somebody, provided he can only guarantee Mr. Somebody’s running away with Mrs. Smithkinson! . . . . Ruffian.

An intellegshowall (if not an intellectual) treat;— —The Ballet!

Mrs. Eyebury Barnes has, we are informed, “taken up her cross”;— —Nonsense! we don’t believe it, unless . . . . it is a good big diamond one.

Mrs. Skippingtone Smyijthe-Smyijthe (widow) has, we are told, “put off the old man”!— —yes; quite so; but simply because all the young ones had first put her off.

How many a time has love dimmed the eye of Beauty, and—and—ah—sad retribution—how many a time has the mouth of Beauty . . . . dim’d Love.

“Nemo mortalium omnibus horis sapit;” no one can tell who he sits next to in an omnibus; clever poet!

The most dangerous, tho’ most entrancing form of Rouge et Noir;— —Ladies’ lips and boots!

We hear of people who have pet dogs “that do everything but speak;” by the living jingo, it’s lucky for them, for both of them, dogs and owners, they don’t do that.

When about to make a phool of yourself, ask yourself this question—“Is she worth going to the—the—Bad for?” We should like to have an even hundred on our ability to guess your answer, eh?

Caning a boy for whistling on the Sabbath is perhaps the best, yes, perhaps the very best way to make him cordially detest that weekly event for ever afterwards: it is quite as sure a way as taking him three times to church every Sunday of his holidays.

How many a “swellish party” we see in the Row and St. James’s Street! “A stranger, unacknowledg’d, unapprov’d,” is like the wind of Heaven; he comes you know not whence, and he goes you know not whither!

Money in this world can do nearly everything for you; it can make your home a mundane £-s-ium, &c., &c., &c., but it can not . . . . make you a gentleman.

There’s many a cloven hoof wears patent leather.

We are very much afraid, could Mephistopheles only walk about London, a.d. 1871, offering a good many of us elderly parties the same bargain he offered Dr. Faustus, that there would incontinently be a very sensible in-crease in the number of youthful Burlington Arcadians, and a corresponding de-crease in the number of padded, bewigged old-gentlemanly bores, one is now accustomed to see about town!

two boars

Spoonful IV.

Yes, yes, of course, you, O Cornet and Sub-lieutenant Lord Doffleswell, may get up your rocking animal’s “spirit” with your “spurto genteel” if you think it looks well, and if you are weak enough to imagine people don’t know how it’s done, but the less-accustomed-to horses reader and rider who would become the centaur of admiring observation, had better most carefully remember (unless he wish to be sent . . . aw . . . flying) that he must first be able gracefully—and by Bellerophon securely—to show—on, before he risks . . . . showing off!

When the poet said,

“The proper study of mankind is man,”

he was in error; that is the study of womankind: the proper study of mankind is—ladies!

The female heart is like iron, softest when warmest; we should then attack it whilst it’s . . . . maleable!

“When other hearts and other lips their tales of love shall,” etc., etc., etc., if you are a lady go and tell your husband immediately! if you are a gentleman, do not tell your wife.

Handsome is as handsome does; if you are a gentleman—be gentle! nothing is more admired by other men and—N.B., and—by women, than—gentlemanliness!

Let the only thing low about you be . . . your voice!

Only do half as well as—you would be done by, and what an agreeable fellow you will be.

We hear people spoken of as being “no better than they ought to be”! This is very sad, considering the height of the 1871 standard of goodness!

Habit and custom become, like use, a sort of second nature; the habit or custom of not using pockethandkerchiefs sufficiently often to very young children is most highly to be reprehended; as is also the habit or custom older children have, of chewing and sucking toothpicks,—noisily chewing and sucking them—to show, we can only presume, they have had some dinner! Ah, goslings, your hundred stoopid little tricks! do stop ’em before they become a habit; don’t chew toothpicks, and, oh, please do not rattle a lot of loose sovereigns, etc., in your trowsers pockets; you’ve no idea how you bore people, whose teeth are not defective, but whose supply of sovereigns, perhaps . . . . is!

Do you know what the “Cinque Cento” is? Do you? Not you: well, we’ll tell you; it is the love of Mammon, simply the unutterably snobbish worship of money; let us call it . . . . £ s. d.-eism: if that’s not the Chink we’re chained to, every man Jack of us, and woman too, we can’t very well say what else is!

Of two evils choose the lesser; of two fools . . . . the richer.

Many a man who passes through life simply as “an agreeable diner-out” might have done wonders if he had only been poorer! Competence and toomanyironsinthefireishness squash talent. How hod it is, yet many a fellow who is contented to be considered only “a brick,” at the bottom of the ladder, might, we trow well, with his cements talents, have im-mortar-lized himself if he had been unable to— —“come down with the dust;” if he had only been “hard up.”

The difference between being a Rochefoucauld and— —a riche fou call’d is—immense: rich fools would do well to try and lessen it; however, of two evils choose the lesser. Better be a rich fool than a poor one, any day.

O reader, youthful, roving, racing, riding, hippomaniacal reader, O remember this.

The medi-evil bold baronial swell’s “Fastness” . . . . preserved him: the 1871 swell’s fastness does pre-cisely . . . . the other thing!

The medievil bold baronial swell’s fastness enabled him to rob and plunder with impunity; the 1871 swell’s fastness simply enables people to rob and plunder . . . . him!

The medievil b. b. swell’s fastness was fortified; the 1871 swell’s fastness is . . . . forty-per-cent-ified!

The medievil bold baronial swell in his fastness used to keep captives waiting for ransom; the 1871 swell in his fastness thinks far more of keeping himself captive-ating and handsome!

The medievil bold baronial swell in his fastness used “the bill” and drew the bow; but the 1871 swell in his fastness uses up the beau by . . . . drawing the bill!

And, the medievil bold baronial swell had in his fastness . . . . dunjons; but the 1871 swell has in his fastness only . . . . duns, without any jons, no chonce whatever . . . . of paying them!!

Oh! be advised, ye swells, in your 1871 Fastness! denarcotize yourselves from the mental De-Quinceyfications of its vapid but intoxicating pleasures ere it become—for you—a ruin and tumble about your ears; let not its ivy, its parasites, cling to you, and thrive on your decay!

Oh, be warned in time, ye 1871 swells in your modern Castle of Indolence! take its moat . . . . out of your eye! beware of its awful cells! pay less attention to the fit of its drawbridges! think of the expense of its keep! and—raze it, don’t race it . . . . to the ground!

military men

Spoonful V.

Here you are; pictorial advice to meddling people who always like to try and find out a woman’s H, how old she is . . . . Letter H alone! Here you are; the much wanted letter H for the Greek alphabet—for which, by-the-bye, the “curry-comb-o-ontes akaioi” ought to thank us—a lovely Grecian bent one! Here you are; the letter H Lord Byron, or whoever wrote the celebrated conundrum, meant, when he said (it’s too long to quote the whole of it)

Without it the ensign and middy should roam,

But law-suits for him who expels it from home!

It presides o’er man’s happiness, honour, and health,

Is the prop of his house, and . . . . the end of his wealth.

You tell us it’s not an H-ural position; but, que foolez vous, is that our fault? No, it’s yours, dear Sir and Madam: you insist upon admiring it, and nothing evidently will make you— —drop it!

“The Golden Age;” A.D. 1871! . . . . N.B.—Hair-dye!

Whenever by any chance we go through the Burlington Arcade, which is seldom, as our bootmaker lives in it (we don’t care to be Buhl-ied, tho’ we Bernau malice), whenever we do go through it, we are sure, quite certain to meet that p’tit crevé Toddlekins (Toddlekins’ house by-the-bye where Mrs. Toddlekins lives is a trifle beyond Windsor), and at last we rather twit him with his Arcadian rambling, say “sly dog,” and the usual amount of feeble, feeble twaddle one always employs when wishing to flatter a man by making him think himself a gay Lothario, an 1871 Zampa; but Toddlekins is equal to the occasion: he spurns, he scorns the implied accusations of Dongiovarneyism, and assures us, quite seriously (Ha! ha!), quite seriously, that his doctor (it’s too ridiculous) that his medical adviser, his physician, has ordered—N.B., please observe—“ordered”—his Burlington Arcade promenade, that being such a nice . . . . DRY place.

The other day Smyijthe, when he started his new mail phaeton, completely overran the constable!! We are happy to say the constable was not at all injured.

P.S.—Smyijthe was.

Somebody once asked “what is a guinea?” Do you know the real value of a pound? If not, just try and earn a few; you’ll soon find out!

We all know the upshot—or down-shot rather—of sitting between two stools; but how about sitting between two fools? isn’t the im-idiot neighbourhood of an ass as bad? Eh? Rather.

Familiarity, dearest Mrs. Jarmingal, breeds . . . . all sorts of things, but among the most to be dreaded of her children are satiety, indifference, and contempt! We are perfectly aware that some people consider it “the thing” to crimp the hair, to put it in curl-papers, and otherwise prepare for making themselves look beautiful on the morrow; but, belle dame—we put it you as mildly as possible—what, now what does your sposo think of it? how does he like the private over-night arrangements—your night cap-pillar-y preparations—which you make for the sake of obtaining “Society’s” valuable (?) admiration next day? does he consider the game worth the pair of candles you invariably use over it? Remember, dear Mrs. Jarmingal, he fell in love with you . . . . when you were “got up” (number one in the programme), and he may—it is not impossible—fall out again if you are never more so—for him! Is it fair—to say nothing of untidy slippers, curl-papers, curling-tongs, sticky glycerine paste, &c., &c., &c., et cetera, is it fair to run the chance of putting his eye out with hair-pins (a misfortune which frequently hairpins to husbands of crimpy-haired ladies) and to otherwise—besides this state of frightful porcupineism—(number two) render un-captivating all the beauty he married to be his, and his only, for ever? Is it fair? No, certainly not. Familiarity, sweetest lady, breeds indifference, indifference breeds don’t-care-ishness, don’t-care-ishness slights, slights annoyance, annoyance anger, anger quarrels, quarrels rows, and Rows, many Rows, infallibly breeds wretchedness, most utter wretchedness and . . . . Penzance! Be good enough, dear Mrs. Jarmingal, to Beware! Mrs. J., you will oblige us, you will oblige us very much indeed, by . . . . Bewaring!

two hairstyles

Spoonful VI.

Willingly we subscribe to the theory that if there were no bores in the world pleasure would lose half its enjoyableness. A wet day, for instance, is a bore we abhor; but, without rain, we know we should have no hunting, no peas, no cover for our birds, no soft water for our tub: Duns are a bore, but if we were not dunned by tradesmen, where would be the gratification of being able to pay our bills? The bore may have his mission, may even be of use, if you like, in Society, but the fact of knowing this don’t make us love bores any the more, and, confound ’em! what a lot one meets every day!

We are hardly ass-enough to try and be a second Hercules, and attempt to strangle the Hydra of Boredom; he’s too like the other party, who every time he touched his mother earth was more alive and kicking than ever; he’s not to be strangled, but we may—we presume—talk about him, and mention a few of his weaknesses, in order that you may rechognize your own pigculiarities and act accordingly.

Let us—more in sorrow than in anger—begin with the “sound advice”-giving bore: look at the four Reverend Spanish Ecclesiastics delineated above; three of the holy men, you will perhaps be kind enough to observe, are utterly unsettled in their minds, upset, quite miserable, and perspiring from every pore, because, simply because, the fourth holy man has thought it his duty to give them his “candid opinion, and a bit of his mind.”

We all know that sort of bore.

Then there’s the JOB-ly comforting bore: let us imagine small-pox, or cholera, or elephantiasis, or lumbago (small-pox he prefers) to be very prevalent, then he’s in his element. He finds out that you have either not, or that you just have, been vaccinated; in the first case he informs you that 1897 people expired only yesterday, and advises your immediate vaccination; in the second case he tells you that vaccination is often attended with far more serious consequences than anything else in the world, that it renders you always more liable to softening of the brain, and hardening of the vesicles of the cutaneous malacopterygious and sub-interior tissues of the mucous membrane, and so on, on, on. Then there’s the practical joking, or “bear-fighting” bore, who is sure to tell you when he meets you in the park that it was your house, or at any rate the one next door to it, which, he heard, was in flames when he passed the end of your street just now. Then there’s the engaged-couple bore you meet—and have to stay with—in a country house; aren’t they a bore? aren’t they even an ubiquitous bore? If you go into the billiard-room to knock the balls about, there they are with the present state of their game . . . two love or . . . . love six! if you go into the library for a book, there they are again; if you go to cut a rose for your coat at dinner, there they are in the gardens: there they are, in the drawing-rooms, morning-rooms, dining-room, breakfast-room, green-houses, hothouses, everywhere; and always there just when you want to be there, too and you daren’t interrupt ’em, or everybody would yell at you.

They are a great bore.

Then there’s the malàpropos bore, who when he meets you walking with your olderly, and, alas, unfortunately very jealous wife, pokes you in the ribs, calls you “sly dog,” and says, “I’ll tell your wife, you ruffian you.” “This IS my wife,” you indignantly answer (you introduce ’em—Mrs. Portarlington Smith, Mr. Potius Aper). “Oh, I really beg your pardon,” he apologizes, “but I certainly thought that very lovely fair-haired girl I saw you alone in a private box with at the theatre,” &c., &c., &c.

man and wife meet a bore

Pleasant, isn’t it?

Then there’s the bore who is just thinking of bringing out a “little volume of poems,” and would, oh, so like your opinion of a few stanzas or so. O that my friend would only be good enough . . . . NOT to write a book, Job might also have said. Then there’s the bore who is perpetually bragging of his shooting, knowing perfectly well that he never shot anything in his life but a £30 dog or—a—a—beater.

You’ve the bore too who mixes your ’20 port with water, and who chews for ten minutes, preparatory to chucking ’em away, your best 1/6 cigars; you’ve the pedantic bore, who objects to any other sort of antic; you’ve the absent bore, who is certainly always in the wrong—for not being—absent; you’ve the bore who has always (according to his own account) a Duchess—or at any rate a Countess—dying for him; you’ve the chemically conjuring bore, who nearly blows the house up, and does £19 of damage before you can say Fred Robinson! then there’s the old china and marqueterie cabinet bargaining bore, who will insist on taking you into filthy slummy purlieus to look at sham mediæval rubbish, and who tells you the price of everything he possesses, even to his socks and pocket-handkerchiefs; also the incorrectly musical humming bore; the old Joe Miller-tary story-telling bore; the bore who don’t “mince matters” with anybody, and the bore who does—with everybody; the betting bore with his horse voice and ossy-fied heart; the sponge bore, who, by-the-bye, is invariably—dry, who never has any small change to pay his share of a cab or what not, and who has invariably just emptied his cigar-case; the argumentative interrupting and contradictory bore; the bore who insists upon your dining with him, and who then gives you foul food, not half as good as you would have got at home; the spirit medium believer bore (this species, as the spirits he delights in are not real, we call the myth-elated bore); the spiteful, black-tongued, tale-bearing bore; the near-sighted bore who cuts you dead; the deaf bore, who unfortunately won’t cut you at all; the melancholy bore, the frisky bore, the borrowing bore, the pugnacious bore, the sleepy bore, the next-door neigh-bore, the important bore, and the invalid bore.

The invalid bore is a bore!

The bilious man with an indifferent liver is seldom amusing at the best of times, for when he’s a weak jecur, he’s generally a weak joker: as with bad coffee the horrid chicory’s sure to predominate, so with the bilious man his horrid jecur is sure to be his first thought; but when he makes you his confidant about his pains, pills, pangs, poultices and plaisters, Bohoo! isn’t he a bore? Does he expect to please you by an account of all his sufferings? does he expect to gratify you? or is it upon the dog-in-the-manger principle, as he’s no appetite himself he wishes to take away yours? The invalid bore should go to bed, and stop there . . . . at any rate till he gets better.

Then there’s the bore who always jejunely asks for “a little sherry,” or “some bread if you please,” or what not—and lets you see his mind is intent on getting it, and it only—just while you are telling him your best and least known story. Is he a bore? Rather!

Upon our word, amico, we are almost inclined to think that the wild bore of the woods is better fun than the mild bore of the cities: one you can hunt, t’other hunts you; one you can pot, t’others spot you; one’s head is valuable with a lemon in his mouth, t’other’s is not at all valuable, with or without a lemon in his mouth; out of one you may get ham, t’other gets ham, and—confound him—eggs too, out of you; one chews roots, t’other chews his che-roots, that is, chooses your cheroots; one eats trees, acorns, &c., t’other prefers to gnaw away at your mahogany; one whets his tusks upon anything suitable—for instance, green oaks—t’other only wets his tusks with your best Pomerey and Greeno!!

Reader, we are told that by “feeding our enemy we heap coals of fire upon his head;” it may be so, but we regret very much, very much indeed, that we must say we have never yet come across any one member of the genus bore who made the very faintest pretence of acting as if he considered it was so, or who, in the very least degree, objected to such a . . . . coald coallation!

a lot of boars

Spoonful VII.

The very highest stations in this life are attended with a certain amount of danger and anxiety to those who fill them: the troubles of “the great” are known only to the great, and . . . and . . . . attendant soot-alights.

True greatness does not consist in being a big man; this is a mistake most big men appear to labour under. Beauty of proportion does not consist in being very small; this is a mistake most small men appear to labour under.

In Vino Veritas! Bah! not in vino-s it. In vino impertinent, imbesilly stupidity more likely.

We hear people perpetually saying, “Ah poor so and so, he died like an angel.” What’s the use of “dying like an angel” after living as long as possible like a beast.

A needless remark “give the d—l his Jew,”

He takes him, dear boy, and his Christian too!

The amount of “cheek” some people have, will indubitably prevent their ever being put—“out of countenance.”

Modesty can be carried too far. The lady who wore spectacles to hide her n—k—d eyes was a silly creechar. Plain; bet you a fiver she was plain; dayvlish plain!

Every dog has his or her day.

There is no doubt about it, the most beautiful, the most charming Alice in the wide world—when her figure is sufficiently ample—is. . . . . “Alice D”; sweet, sweet “£ s. d.”!

A fool and his money, and his cigars, and his breakfasts, and his “private affairs,” and his conversation, and his toute la boutique are soon parted, if N very B, if he is a good-natured fool; the bad-natured fool simply parts with that which he knows no one will take . . . . . . . his advice.

What a much happier gosling you would be, and oh how much happier your friends will be, if you would only keep your bills down half as carefully as you do your . . . . wristbands!

Be strong athletic stoopids if you like, certainly, by all means; but, please do be natural; don’t try and look so strong: please look comfortable. We don’t allude to real rowing men, &c., but to their imit-eightoars!

Reader, gentle reader, have you ever yet come across the man or the woman, who (according to their own account) has not once been — — most Pash-onately adored?

old woman

We constantly hear, associated and toasted, “The three W’s,” “Wine, Weeds, and Women!” it is a very common toast; yet dear Peruser how exceedingly different are these three, if you will only think it out: The two former . . . improve by age: the—ah—the latter . . . . don’t!

Yes, clever boy, you are quite right; the Old Masters are preferable to the Old Missuses.

We should almost be inclined to imagine that some of the very charming young married women who so often act as chaperones, were more in want of guardians for themselves than the spinsters of a certain, a very certain age, they frequently act for: however, if these pets of ball room, &c., Cerberuses don’t mind it, and “Society” says, “it’s all right,” what is it to us; only we should say that a pooty chaperoner was fatal to the chaperoned, for she is far less dangerous to throw sops to than the poor souls she guards.

With the Cerberus of fable, they chucked him—a cake: with our Cerberus you’d like to—to—chuck her . . . . under the chin!

three-headed dog

Spoonful VIII.

Reader, there is nothing like accustoming your children early to the influence of great, very great, men! Miss Nomer, the nursemaiden here, when she puts on her smart perkvisits, and then the Park visits, evidently thinks so, at any rate. How sold the household troops would be if it were not so!

“Without the smile from partial beauty won,

Oh! what were man? A world without a sun!”

. . . . and heir!

“On the 28th instant, the wife of the Rev. Septimius Godolphin Jones, M.A., of a son, stillborn.” P.S.—N.B.—The Rev. Mrs. Septimius Godolphin Jones, (M.A.-ma) has, however, several other small sons who do their very best to make up for this mishap, by living—as noisily as possible!

In France, ce n’est que le (snake colour, indeed) ce n’est que le premier pas qui coûte, in our pays, in England, il n’y a que poor Pa pays.

Did any one ever hear a very short man acknowledge he would like to be as tall as a household troop, six feet three or so? Did any one ever live in a very seedy lodging, the landlady of which had not once . . . kep’ ’er carridge? Unfortunately lady! (land-lady). P.S.—But — — we do hope she will be so very kind as to wash her hands before making our pastry, as this “nature-printed” impression was in replica on everything she touched this morning:


To think that Poverty, hated Poverty, keeps us under such a dooced dirty thumb as this; it’s too disagreeable!

“A penny saved is a penny gained”! Upon this principle the way to win at pool and whist is (N.B.—This, dear boy, is a certainty) . . . Don’t play; but if you must play, do it for shillings: take away the £, and then perhaps you may find play—pay.

Familiarity—with your servant especially—breeds contempt, and yet, if you never speak nicely to him, it breeds discouragement and discontent; have, therefore, O captain, a juste milieu between the Scylla of treating him as an equal and the Charybdis of treating him like a dog, and then perhaps he will not go to Creeemorne in your best great coat; and then perhaps he will not—to pay you out—put boiling water some morning in your—douche take him—shower-bath in place of cold!

man in a shower

Spoonful IX.

Sunday outers! Sunday trippers! Petit monde endimanché! Sunday three-and-six-penny—Brighton-and-backers: Sunday excursionists! Sunday sandwiches! there is one most excellent maxim which—as the junketting season is now coming on—you will do well to study in both its meanings; it is, “Always keep your right foot forward”! The sage, when he said this, meant, “persevere,” “do your best,” “lose no time,” and such-like flatitudes; when we repeat his words we use them altogether in another sense! Oh! Mr. Tompkings, Messrs. Chepe and Gnarsties’, the “eminent” haberdashers, trusted and elegant assistant, O Mr. Tompkings, when, sir, you so gracefully escort two (invariably two) of the young ladies from the Millinery Department, who are kind enough to keep company with you on your Sunday trips, would you, oh, would you keyindly, MOST curly-hatted one, would you confer the favour on us of keeping your right foot forward, only provided the before-alluded-to two young damsels from the M department keep their right foot forward too—at the same time as yours: in plain language, why the dooce don’t you keep step? And you too, O more distant tho’ not less elegantly oiled and curled and overpoweringly scented Italian warehouseman (grocer), cavaleary servanty to Susan and Matilda Martha, why the Mephistopheles do you not never keep step neither?

O dashing haberdasher, O light-hearted linendraper, O tasty Tompkings, and O gracefully greasy grocer, please, please keep step: to say nothing of the look of the thing (N.B., you’ll never be taken for “officers” if you don’t keep it) we feel convinced it would be so much more comfortable to do so: just try it and see!

Brown—a rather un-tubbed man, in an office somewhere, you know, clerk—says he is perpetually being “hauled over the coals” by his chief (he looks as if he were), but that he intends to “wash his hands” of the whole concern (good thing anything makes him wash ’em at all), as he is “clean knocked over” by it! (knocked over, Brown, possibly, but not clean, certainly not clean!)

Where scent is in abundance found,

All’s not sweet and all’s not sound!

Wonderful compass Smith’s voice has: on Sundays on the boat, he begins A flat, and goes right up to Kew! Marvellous, isn’t it? but what’s more extraordinary still, he keeps it up all the way there! Possibly you could do it; if it’s not ex-sostenuto much, try.

“Vernal showers?” says ’Arry, who has come out in his Sunday ’at; “vernal showers be blowed! in-vernal showers I calls ’em!”

P.S.—’Arry deserves to cadjer bad cold.

We beg pardon for asking it, but is it necessary for counter-jumpers to use counter-feet? We are thus inquisitive, because they so often do.

Appropriate flower for some men’s coats: not a daffadowndilly, but a duffer down (Picca)-dilly!

Cleanliness may be godliness, yet how many men are there not, who think a great deal more of having a-blue-tie on than . . . . of . . . . ablution!!

They say a man’s style of dress gives a clue to his character. What precious bad characters some of you fellers are then to be sure. Augustus, any one can recognize you in your lion’s skin, and your Asstrachan skin, and your seal skin; it don’t require one to be very in-telligent to tell a gent in-stanter, for that which you look upon as “nobby,” other people only look upon as—snobby: don’t be a phool, and pretend to be what you are not, for . . . . you do it so badly!! Miss Mary hanne ’igs of ’igate dear, borrerd plooms is hojus! Look at these ostriches without their lost riches, their feathers; well, they don’t look half as bad without them as you do . . . . with ’em!

woman chased by birds

Spoonful X.

Peep-Bo! Certainly; by all means, peep-bo! in early youth, or with early youth, is quite charming! great fun, immense excitement; but don’t have to play peep-bo later on with the parties who—send out those beastly dun-coloured documents; with the people who use those disgusting dark blue “wove” envelopes and letter-paper; don’t have to play it with duns, creditors, harpies, who’ll be—each one—only too harpy to be, however well you may talk, creditor jump down your throat if you attempt to put ’em off. They’ll say “Bo” to you, O goose, in a jiffey, if you give them but half a chance: not peep-bo, but—limbo! Do not do it.

We are told “to take care of the pennies, and that the pounds will then take care of themselves;” we don’t believe a word of it; you take care of the sovereigns—and fivers, dear boy—and hang the coppers.

Buying “jewellery” and . . . paying for it, are two utterly different matters.

The burnt child may dread the fire, but it don’t prevent his keeping on burning his fingers.

We are constantly hearing the remark that “So and So has . . . . got it in him!” Do for goodness’ sake, So and So, if you have “got it in you,” do, do let’s have it out!

We call the Spaniard—indolent! he calls an Englishman—Ing-lazy; the difference between the two is sometimes this: with the indolent Spaniard, ask him to do anything, no matter what, everything is . . . . “Manana,” to-morrow! With the indolent Inglazy spendthrift everything is . . . . buy an’ buy!! With the Spaniard how sad this is, perhaps said by an ecclesiastic . . . when he ought to pray; with the spendthrift how sad this is, perhaps said when—for—a necklace he has tick . . . and he ought to pay!

Walk in the path of Virtue! N.B.—Provided . . . . it’s your own.

The housemaid who—ah—rises in the social sphere—from the use of a broom in Belgraveyah, to the use of a brougham in Brompton—simply drops one more H: she has dropt many in her time, but this last one puts a straw-coloured chignon on the camel’s back: hitherto cleaning out hearths has daily been her first occupation; now her entire daily ditto is doing ditto to . . . . hearts!

The wicked man who is rich is not by any manner of means a wicked man; Oh dear, no, he’s . . . “a naughty man!”

Here’s something for little Smirk, M.P., to dodge up to bring into his next speech; it may pass for original, for his own—among strangers.

Mr. Mayor and gentlemen, “the Wooden Walls of Old England” are quite put in the shade just now by the . . . . . ah . . . . . Ram-parts of our Iron-clads (laughter and brayvo); may they, however (Hear, hear, and cheers), may they prove hardships to our foes! (Brayvo, hooray) may they (Hear, hear, ’ear, ’ear) may they (’ooray for Smirk, angcore) may they (’ear, ’ear) in their sea-ram-ic quality (immense cheering—from two men, who alone see the joke) which we Englishmen have spent a—a—Minton (same two men cheer again), never prove brittle (No, no, and great applause from all parts of the house)—no, never prove brittle, but—ah—but—Breaking!!!!

Smirk, M.P., think of this.

We hear people spoken of as “not having a second idea.” Pshaw! that’s nothing; we know a lot of people who haven’t even a first one.

The part of the Park men like to bask in—alone: The Lady’s smile.

Dining with “the Blues,” and having the blues at dinner, is not in the least the same thing.

The difference between having a swell face and a swell’d face is very unpleasant, is very distressing, is most disagreeable.

You may learn something from the very greatest fool . . . . what NOT to do!

Many a man who is put up for “a club” gets it:

club image

Ahem! three black balls! and rely upon it that—to make it quite perfect—some mauvaise langue, some kind friend, will most certainly be found only too ready, and willing, to supply the little black tail afterwards.

Reader, gentle reader, never act against a conviction, never: if you feel that you are about to commit a sottise—in plain language, about to make a thundering ass of yourself—refrain! and let no amount of bamboozlement make you leave off refraining. Look at Bridges Loader, below: he acted—against a conviction; observe the result. Disagreeable, eh? Very much so, indeed, and this is how it happened.

You know the way amateur theatrical dresses, sent down to country houses, invariably arrive incomplete: Charles II. gets no wig, and—unless some lady will take compassion on him, and kindly lend him one of her evening headdresses, a curled one—has to appear cropped like a convict or a cornet; or Claude gets no white tights, and has to adore his Pauline in his own black velvet knickerbockers; well, it was something like this happened to Bridges Loader with his dress as “The Assassin of Henry of Navarre:” and — — he will navarre forget it. He got no sword; but, as he had to run a sword slap through poor Henery, a sword was indispensable: he got, as you can perceive, his legs all right, ones warranted not to come down or turn round—unlike poor Robinson’s when he did Henry VIII., whose calf, which was not kept up tight by the “Honi soit que mal y pense” business, came down with a run before he had been two minutes before his audience—but good stiff ones, awkward to sit down or even bend the knee in, but good serviceable stalwart limbs; he got these all right, and his big copper chain with the emeralds and rubies, &c., worth £2,000,000 a-piece in it, and his &c., but no weapons; nevertheless it was a beastly shame of Clinker, man in the Tenth, persuading him against his conviction into wearing, not only his—Clinker’s—reg’mental sword, but, hang it all, his sabretasche as well, which, don’t you know, even when you are used to it, and wear it the proper side, is the most swinging, banging, twisting, boring thing out; however, here you see Bridges Loader, Esq., at the moment of his taking the oath to assassinate the Huguenot monarch!

You will, no doubt, agree with us in considering that—all through Clinker’s fault—the imposing effect of the foul assassin’s adjuration was much, very much, impaired!

Bridges Loader thought it was, at any rate!

No: let nothing ever tempt you to act against a conviction.

actor with a sword

Spoonful XI.

Youth! charming, real blush-rose-bloom tinted youth, season of being believed and of believing, season of being beloved and of beloving, season of being blushed at, which is delicious; season of being blushed — — for, which is less agreeable; youth, jejuney mooney and spooney, it would perhaps be as well for you to bear in mind that Woman’s Love—Love N.B., not gammon, Love, “that faith whose martyrs are the broken heart”—is — — — perishable goods; sweet, whilst sweet, ah! what can be more sweet, for can anything be more ecstatic, more deliriously delicious, than looking, deeply deeply looking, into the eyes of her you love, than inhaling the soft breath of her who loves you, in fact, can language say how sweet Love is? but, like that flower in your coat, let it only once begin to fade, let it only once begin to droop, do what you will, you’ll never bring it back to its pristine freshness, no power can ever again make it what it was. We are so apt not to realize it when we are well off, the just washed dog rolls in the mud to dry himself, the just got-up, oiled, curled, and figged out child mouchers himself on his cambric frock, the happy youth just come into £10,000 a year takes to racing, the lucky stock-jobber or city swell isn’t content to try and rough it on “a undred thousand pound,” but speculates, and the man with a doting wife doesn’t one bit appreciate the glorious prize he has won but—seeks for more! Alas, we never know when we ought to be content, but look to this, if anybody loves you, REALLY loves you—and there is no mistaking the real thing, if you are so blessed as to possess it, for the counterfeit—prize that love, oh prize it, see that it is not your fault if it fade, see that it is through no idiocy of yours if it cool, see that you have not your stupid self to thank if it dwindle and disappear, for when “your voice has lost its power,” when “your smile has lost its charm,” you’ll never regret it but once, but that once, O dear boy, will be—for ever!

Love is like sunshine: as the latter softens your bear’s-grease, yet hardens the varnish on your boots, so does Love affect different natures, so does love make that which was crusty, crummy, and that which was soft, adamant.

Love is like moonshine, absurdly like moonshine, as it whitens and brightens, and otherwise heightens and lightens the object it strikes on only, leaving everyone else the shadier by comparison.

Love is like champagne: intoxicatingly charming whilst the fiz and sparkle last, but given to get flat after a time; not only that, but like champagne when over-iced, it loses its flavour from coldness.

Love is a magnifying glass, which does not give enchantment, only lenz it, to those in it.

No one, no, no one is ever deaf to the voice of Love: we have all of us an ear in our heart that catches its faintest whisper.

What, oh what, are widows but—wheed-ling creatures!

Wonderful it is, isn’t it, how different, how extraordinarily different, different things look in different lights: for instance, all the doctors are unanimous in saying that they think Mrs. Attekynnes-Attekynnes wants “keeping up;” Attekynnes-Attekynnes, on the contrary, says he knows she wants keeping down!

Then again, look at the Burlesques as seen from your point of view and from your wife’s, and yet, you know, she likes putting on her tightest and newest and pootiest boots on the windyest days, and then you can’t for the life of you get to see ’em in the same light others do; but pshaw! we might if we had space, or time to think it out (will some day) give you a thousand examples, but let one more suffice; our sketch at the end of this chapter, look at it; do, there’s a good feller; well, you no doubt suppose it’s meant to represent one of those humbugging little legless tumblers, which you see seedy Italian parties selling in the street, you think it’s simply an Ottoman with a feather in his cap, and a very badly drawn one too, now don’t you? but just oblige us by turning him upside down will you, and then look at it  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * eh? How about it now? ah, things are deceptive, arn’t they? You see now that it is not an ottoman, but a lovely woman sitting on one; the pride of the Sir Walter Raleigh oh! (pshaw!—Sirraleigho, we mean) the joy, the light of the Harem! the Peri of Pera! a gal at a Galatta window,

Shown sitting by the Bosphorus,

With eyes as bright as phosphorus,

anything, in fact, but a legless tumbler!

Dear boy, in this mundane sphere it is very frequently dangerous, and nearly always disappointing to — — judge solely by appearances, for seeing is not always believing: we have let you down very easily; you thought you had only a legless tumbler, and you find you have—a lovely lady, but be careful, O be careful, or you may some day reverse, horribly reverse the order of things, and, thinking you have got the lovely lady, find alas you have only got— — —the legless stumbler!!

legless tumbler

Spoonful XII.

Everybody, from the “monstrum eruditionis” to the merest abecedarian, knows that the deaf adder won’t listen to the voice of the charmer, however indeafaddergabble the charmer may be in trying to make himself charming; or at any rate, heard; therefore, O deaf adders, we give you a picture full of double meanings instead of boring ourself, and you too, with writing many words; but though our croquis à double entente is meant to represent a rustic E, we do hope it may not prove a rusty key to you, but altro, that it may open the door of a cell in your brain big enough to take in our meaning.

We are asked this question: If riches be a possession to be desired in this life, what is richer than wisdom? Don’t try and give an anser goose; don’t say “pork chops” or “stewed eels,” or guess like that; it isn’t a riddle, it’s a maxim: we are asked, we say, what is richer than wisdom? but, as the rich heathens and shethens, the deaf adders of Society, don’t agree, or try to appear to look as if they wished to act as if they didn’t agree to this, and certainly go on as if they didn’t want their children to agree to it, hinc illæ—silly, because useless—lackrhymæ, lack-rhyme-æ, which however don’t lack reason.

Paternal, maternal, elder sorornal, and big-brotherly Reader, every sort of branch is most easily bent and trained—N.B.—Especially the “Olive branch”—when young! An old dog learns no new tricks—unless he’s “a sad dog:” you want to teach him anything you must take him in statu puppy-lari, whilst he’s a puppy: so ’tis with your olive branches: then is the time to see that erotics and erratics sap not away the rising sap of sapience in the olive branch’s brain; then is the time to see that the olive b.’s mind is not undermin’d with — — trash; then is the time to see that the olive b.’s “food for thought” is not only toothsome, but digestible and—nourishing! You don’t give babies in arms beefsteak pudding with horse-radish sauce and stewed mushrooms “removed” by Norfolk dumplings, with Clos Vougeot or gin-sling, in place of “Liebfraumilch,” to wash ’em all down, not you; why, then, let young girls—who don’t see the precipice you allow them to hang over—have, even before they are “out,” all the spiciest, most decousue literature, that is to be got for money as their mental papulum?

exiting the library

Ah! if we were not such a lazy d—l (beg pardon, we mean such a Lazydæmon), if we were not such a Lacedæmon in being so sparing of our words, what a lot we could say on this most pregnant theme!

O goosey pater! O mater ditto! when you read the writings of Genius (if you ever do?), when you see the paintings of Genius (more probable, as it’s fash’nable to go to the place where they can at any rate be looked at), when you hear the music of ditto (also probable, thanks to the Monday Pops, &c., being in vogue), and stumble unwittingly over all the innumerable glorious works of innumerable glorious dittos, doesn’t it make you who have never done anything in your lives but read novels with preposterous heroes and harrowin’ heroines, and . . . . your best to look pretty, doesn’t it make you—feel rather small, rather bored, just perhaps a trifle sorry you have wasted your opportunities so much? Doesn’t it at any rate determine you to try and train up your olive branches in such a manner that they may turn out a little, just a little, more useful than yourselves, your purely ornamental selves?

O patres familiasses! O wives of same! spare not your rods, and spoil not your olive b.’s! ne putes Papa te tunc amare filium tuum, quando ei non das some birches; for remember this, the great thing is—to be a good Toby tickler, and not to be tobytickler about how often you do it! O by all means, if you insist upon it, be most pharmacopious with the stimulating pil: hydrarg: and with the fullest bodied blackest doses! O spare not the oily oil of castor, “drawn,” if it so please you, in the “coldest” possible manner, but, don’t, oh do not, neglect in your medically affectionate anxiety for a healthy corpus, the absolute necessity of the epicene olive b.s’ mind being made healthy also. O permit not the olive b.’s to waste quite all their time in flying, flitting and flirting, butterfly—flutterby—like, from leaf to leaf . . . . of a novel, from flower to flower . . . . of honied monied love talk! O grudge not the pecuniary outlay which a strong-lunged, strong-armed, strong-minded AB—BA, Able Bodied Birchelor of Arts, for your male olive b.’s will entail; and if you would duenna good with your female o. b.’s, have so undeniably ugly a governess, of such very mature years, that no one can by any earthly possibility flirt with her, who will therefore perhaps kindly spend her time in seeking to make her charges admirable, not . . . . herself admired.

Lastly, and above all, O ye sweet-scented and still blooming May-trees, O ye fruitful but dilettanti Patres of youth, remember, O please Papa and Mama dear remember this, that as years glide on you will get the very reverse of thanks from the olive b.’s for your neglect of their mental manurage, as ’tis only when your o. b.’s have grown into trees that they learn to appreciate, from seeing it in others, the value of that which they have failed—from your faults alone—to acquire during juvenility; for, believe us, they soon are made to find out that the sharpest and most useful edge in this world is . . . . Knowledge. They soon are made to find out that of all the rotten branches, in all creation, the rottenest, the very rottenest is . . . . an ignoramus!

butterflies and flowers

Spoonful XIII.

two women meet two men

Are you a fluffy gander? Have you beards, and moustarchios and wishkers, and so on? Or, are you a plucked, smoothfaced, young, cavalry-looking gosling? Well, in either case, what is your opinion of the other case? Look at these two boobies in arms, with no more sense than two babies in arms, Colonel Stables here condescendingly walking with one of his cornets, well, they respectively say to themselves, “What do women care for smoothfaced boys?” and, “Bet you a fivar, gals don’t care for old duffers like the colonel.” Ha! ha! gooses, you ’re both wrong; why? because there is no such deceiver as —— conceit: though, what you say to yourselves, only makes us surer than ever, that one of the greatest, the very greatest, and most comfortable blessings Providence can possibly bestow is . . . giving you a thoroughly good opinion of yourself!

“The thief sees in every bush an officer”! Miss Araminta Fitzlowgown says, “She only wishes she could!”

P.S.—N. very B.—Are you “a military man”? if so, this is the sort of woman for you to marry, for her motto is—an officer’s good as a feast!

There is now, we much fear, an end of the Napoleonic dynasty; we regret it sincerely, for Napoleon III. was not only an emperor, but—a gentleman, and England’s friend; we should, O so vastly, have preferred to have seen the end of another dy-nasty instead! need we say we allude to Auricomania; to the Auricommon, golden-haired dye nasty, dye very nasty?

Lots of French maids about England now: bonnes with no bonnets; you know. We should never be surprised to hear them sing to our lovely Peleecemen “Robert (i.e., Bobby) toi que j’aime!” Dare say they do; never mind; let ’em.

You complain, O virtuous goose, of the shocking wickedness of Paris, eh? But why is she so wicked, our fair Lutetia; why? Because—simply because—the world and his wife, you and we and everybody, go there.

Poor France! Poor Frenchmen! Your Marseillaise has turned out but a sorry goose-step, a oie march in the wrong direction after all! To think that the Parisians should have had to eat . . . . donkey; to think that they should not only have sung “aux armes, citoyens,” but have had to sing “aux ânes, citoyens,” as well; to think that their “jour de l’an” should have been a “jour de l’âne,” and, at six francs a pound! Poor baudets, poor bodies, we pity you both, the eaten, and the eaters.

The eye of the master fattens the horse: perhaps—hippo-phagistically—with a view to eating him, eh? “curried” perhaps.

P.S.—N.B.—This is where eating donkey has the pull over eating horse . . . . you can’t have a nightmare.

Ah! curry may be warming, but there’s a much nicer form of curry than that, which is more warming still: Terpsi-curry: for you may talk of

Getting hot as chutney

Rowing down at Putney,

but, give us dancing, with a nice girl who’s a well set-up figure, straight as a Terpshickory wand, and a good performer, for warming one thoroughly; all over.

Quotation to make on seeing wild fowl at dinner: “T’is now the widgeon hour of night.”

P.S.—N.B.—If it’s not a widgeon, but a chicken or a turkey, and you still make this quotation, you must make believe you thought it was a widgeon; you understand.

He who touches pitch (and toss, for sovereigns, on wet afternoons, at the club, &c.,) will not be defiled, but cleaned . . . . out!

“Raising the neighbourhood,” odd to say, is easier, far easier than—raising the wind!

Having “a bit of a breeze” with your wife, is not calculated to cool either of you!

We hear a great deal about the “the sac-rament of marriage; “Pshaw! it isn’t the sack-raiment of marriage people go in for; it’s the silk raiment, the purple and fine cambric and double-milled—extra—superfine—Saxony—lined—through-out-with-silk-and-velvet-collar-and-cuffs-raiment they want! Hy-men (and women) don’t care a snuff of his torch for a plain gold hoop, unless it has a good big diamond one to be its keeper.

playing with a hoop

Spoonful XIV.

1-derful, quite wonderful it is how peculiarly appropriate the present manner of abbreviating the word “number” is! People write number one thus, “No I,” and by Jingo they are quite right; for they begin—very early in life—to think of number one, and soon get to think of—No I else!

We hear a great deal about “The seat of War”! Ha, ha, you needn’t go far to look for “the seat of oie” for—it’s your arm-chair!

“The Fool’s Pairodice:” two sixes! (6¼ at the very out-side.)

Rottenborough—the very stoopidest of men—informs us “he is going to Brighten:” we are really delighted to hear it, and how glad his wife will be!

Many people go to four and five balls every night of the season: a party of the name of Legion, however, says the interest is much more certain to be kept up if you only go to — — three.

When borrowing money of a friend or acquaintance, borrow the exact sum you value his friendship at, for, as the fact of doing it at all will finish the business, you may just as well go in for as much as you can get before . . you cut him.

The man who comes into a fortune will soon let you know what he has always wanted to be, — — a brick or a brute. If he has ever been hard up himself—as he can appreciate impecuniosity—it would do him no harm to think of those still in his . . . . seedy-vant condition!

Running after happiness is exactly like chevying your blown-off hat: just when you think you have caught it . . . . whiz! . . . . away it goes again, and when you do get it, you find it . . . earthy . . . muddy.

Life is just like a game of pool—we’re all against each other, all try to get safe, all look for the pocket, all think of number one, and so long as we’re not sold ourselves we don’t mind who is. In pool we are rather glad to put a man in; in life we don’t much care if we put him out. In pool we do our best to cut a man in tho’ it kill him; in life we do our very best to — — cut him out tho’ it break his heart!

It’s a good thing, it’s a capital thing, being “on your own hook,” always provided, dear boy, that your hook is not “straightened” by “circumstances!”

If you are a rake,—save your hay!

Let other people make a fool of you if they can, and you like it, but don’t, don’t, — — save them the trouble; don’t make a fool of yourself! and for this very ample reason, if for no other, that you only so very much delight your ill wishers if you—do! for pray remember this whilst “going the pace,” O anserine assinine speciman, that ’tis of the wild oats which you sow, other people—make “a harvest”!

running bird

Spoonful XV.

Undoubtedly Miss Blooming May makes a very tremenjuous mistake when she permits herself to be talked into connubializing old Sir Frozedup December. Miss May’s dismays when she discovers all his decemberling and shams will be too painful. Even “Bonnie Dundee” in his bonnet de nuit didn’t, we dare swear, look half so nice as in his killing kilt, therefore only imagine Sir Frozedup en deshabille! No, no; let him take old Miss Tabitha Ann Gorer, and leave Miss May to his juniors, for though “eighteen-seventy-one A.D.” is very agreeable, 18 and 71 a-gree in no other manner!

Here’s a new name for “lovers’ quarrels:” Chérie and bitters!

Marriage: Miss-ing your freedom!

“Believe me, if all those endearing young charms,

 Which he gazed on so fondly to-day,

Were to change by to-morrow, and” &c., &c., &c.

. . . . he’d marry somebody else, he would, indeed, and nobody would be even civil to you!

Remember this: it takes two people to quarrel, and that bad-tempered people punish no one so much as themselves, for—N.B., N. very B, in fact N as B as you possibly can N,—“kicking up a shindy” generally but injures the kicker’s own shins.

Literal translation of “Divorce a mensâ et thoro:” Relief from being immensely and thoro’ly board!

The great thing in married life, if you want to be happy, is to believe, steadily believe, yourself to be all a woman can by any possibility desire, and not to allow yourself under any circumstances whatever to be talked out of going on believing it.

De la Thompson-Thompson and his wife, the Lady Louisa de la Thompson-Thompson, act in private theatricals: De la T.-T. gets the part of a fast swell, his wife that of a pert chambermaid: in his rôle of “roaring blade” he has more than once, in fact, very often, to kiss the pert chambermaid: this comes natural enough to De la T.-T. — — if it wasn’t his wife.

Lady Louisa de la Thompson-Thompson’s lady’s maid is an impudent hussey, and very much in her way; Lady Louisa’s going to send her about her business: quite right: especially as she was not only in her way, but — — in her husband’s.

A boned lark is a good thing for breakfast, isn’t it? Yes, of course, but perhaps the nicest form of boned lark is—a stolen kiss.

We are told that the daughters of the Midianites, etc., many hundred years ago, were not quite all that could have been desired! well, some of our Midnight, etc., daughters didn’t daughter be allowed to go on as they do. But, there can be no doubt about it, so long as Society only taps a man on the arm with its fan, and calls him “Naughty creechar,” whilst it kicks a woman as hard as possible, and dances on her when down, for the very same fault, that fault will be.

When a man is weak, and a woman is weak, the two weeks together must be on’fortni’t, though she gets the worst of it, as we cannot imagine a weak woman possibly getting a greater punishment than coming to see (as she inevitably will) her inamorato wish she had not been weak.

Reader, Respectable Reader, we deplore it quite as much as you do, but — — how many church-going apparently pious people are there not, who entirely disapprove of doing in public—under the mistletoe, let us term it—that which they do not disapprove of doing — — under the rose!

a couple under the eye

Spoonful XVI.

angel over a sleeping man

It don’t do to “look back” at anything extra nice, nor at anything extra nasty: one is nearly as sad as the other—dreaming of HER, as she was when she first offered you an undivided heart, some forty years ago, perhaps in the reign of Gorgeous the Fourth, don’t pay: the waking, to find her, like yourself, obese, is so beastly.

In youth our joy has bounds; in age our joy knows no bounds: in youth our joy knows no bounds; in age it knows lots of bounds;— —it’s very much bounded indeed.

In infancy we cut our teeth; in age, alack! alack!— —our teeth cut us!

It is bad going to law, worse still having law come to you: life is too short for botheration, envy, hatred, malice, esclandre, Divorce Courts, etc., etc.: whilst we are wildly making the journey to—Penzance, we are getting old, and when we have got that—no more larx.

“Let us live to-day, for to-morrow we dye”—(our whiskers, moustaches, eyebrows, &c., and living isn’t half such fun as it was!)

When a man falls into the severe and yellow leaf, when he gets into the fifties or so, he pats himself on the back, congratulates and flatters himself—because he begins to think more of himsylph than of sylph-like forms—that he is leaving off his peccadillos! Alas, insensate one! his love of flânering flaunting flirting and other Piccadillyuliarities are leaving him off.

If you are young, remember, you are getting old; if you are old, never forget you too were once . . . . young!

Age, alas! does damage!

Much ado about nothing: A man with hardly hair enough left to make a finger-ring, certainly not a watch-chain, going about the country with his travelling-bag full of big ivory hair-brushes! Dear bald one, “out of nothing, nothing comes;” why waste a lot of money on Bear’s grease and only make your bare poll look unbearably slippery and greasy, when by simply following the lots of examples we daily meet you might save your money, yourself disappointment, and get far more thought of: why not, as they do, . . . . give yourself ’airs?

A hint to old parties who try to dress themselves to look as if they were their own grandchild: No matter what you wear, you’re not it now!

’Tis not until all his “teeth” are gone, that “the rake” acknowledges his “progress” is of no avail.

How is it all the “night” cases get taken before Mr. “Nox”? and all the assault cases too; poor Mr. Knocks.

Nemo repente fuit turpissimus” does not mean, though it would be very true, that no one was ever very wicked without having to repent it some day; no, it means that our vices are like our grey hairs: at first they come one at a time, but, after a little, by twos, threes, seventies, twenty-nine trillions and so on, until, unless you shave your head or blow it off—getting rid of ’em is impossible.

Many a man has died of— — —a stupid doctor.

Old Puffer Blowhard has married again. “She’s a little duck, Sir,” he says, “quite young, Sir, quite young!” He deplored his dear departed first most truly (for twenty years before she went) and—rewived: well, tho’ the experiment is dangerous, he ought to be happy; his wife is young, pretty, graceful, and evidently fits her position as number 2 very well indeed!


Spoonful XVII.

The Latin for tree is—“arbor”: wonder what the Latin for family tree is? a bore perhaps, for that certainly is the plain English of it, when people expect you to sit under the chilling shade of theirs—or rather put you up it—whilst they narrate its rummyfications! We agree with the wag who said, “That the man who has nothing to boast of but his swell ancestors is like the potato plant, as the only good belonging to him is underground;” and we, moreover, remark that we never yet came across the man whose Williamtheconquerfication was much good to him, or who could write himself a cheque on his pedigree, though we do think that ought not to prevent his managing to keep a small one—on his tongue when branching off to this most U-passé theme.

Mr. Darwin, in his new book on the origin of man, says, “We are descended from some animal, probably arboreal in its habits:” quite right, Sir Darwin, and what is more, we stick to our original arboreal habits nowadays, and continue to get “up a tree” as often as possible!

Remember this, O dear dawdling dilettante dandy duffer, that, in going over a crossing, it is better to run over yourself than to be run over be an omnibus, possibly full of vulgar hot and heavy people!

Brown says, it isn’t the ladies that run any danger walking home alone, — — it’s the gentlemen!

As you never know whom your “after-dinner” stories may offend,—if you must tell them—let their only relation to the chimney be — — that they are told sootto vochy.

It is very, very sad, but, the chief consideration of many people whilst listening to the sermon is simply . . . . “Wonder if he’s nearly done?”

A book is the sort of friend to have; it has not only occasionally dogs’ ears, but has always a dog’s fidelity to its owner, for, as some one has said, you can take him up or put him down, or shut him up, or even cut him, just as you think fit, without his feeling it. What a pity it is women don’t care for books, that is, books that teach ’em anything, for alas! as a rule they think far more of HIS story than of history, far more of ribbon than Gibbon, far more of a bookay than of a book ably written, more of what they can get for . . . . une livre sterling than of what they can get from . . . . un stirling livre, and far, far, far more of a page in . . . . buttons than in . . . . struction!

Ah, what a pity it is, but how frequently are not young ladies’ heads only like a filbert shell — — either full of “the delightful colonel,” or — — empty!

Some beauty—we take the liberty of observing—is a great deal more than — — skin deep!

Who says high heels are immoral? Ignoramass: ladies wear such high heels with precisely the same object that they go to church (in new bonnets); they wish to—to save their soles!

Where “people expect to go to” when defunct, appears to be quite a secondary consideration; The difficulty is “where to go to” before that unhappy event.

There is nothing in this world more certain than disappointment: expect a sell and you probably won’t be sold . . . . in getting it; so, though your great great grandmother is always saying “she will leave you well off,” though saying this is her wont, don’t think too much of her . . . . WILL, for believe us, O extravagant gosling, it is SO much wiser, better, and safer, to—Leave Yourself Something than to be making toujours too sure of being left something—by somebody else!!

O rapid Goose, forget not the fable of the race between the combatose tortoise and the fast hare; think of the peignes the hair has felt ever since, pains which that which is tortus alone can give, pains which the “broken” heir alone can fully realize! and O learn from this sad fabulous narrative how sure slow respectability is “to comb it over you” in the long run, how certain it is . . . . . that Virchew will be trihumfunt in the hend!

turtle and a hare

Spoonful XVIII.

inside outside

It’s all very well talking about “the pale of Society,” and so on, but pretty much the same little game, Beggar my Neighbour, goes on both sides of it. The ci-devant agricultural labourer, Private Spade, fait son cœur to Miss Heart, the prosperous milk-person, simply with an eye to her pocket, precisely as old Arlington Boodles goes in for the “Widow’s Lozenge,” when it’s a diamond one.

It’s all very well saying “call a spade a spade and have done with it,” but that won’t do in Society; Booh! not at all; why, hang it, if we were not all, all, ALL the most utter hypocrites, the world would be simply unbearable. Fancy if one did live in a “Palace of Truth” the atrocities one would be constantly hearing; the wind would then soon become very ill tempered to the shorn lamb, and no mistake. Imagine telling people your real opinion of them, and, St. Jingo! only imagine getting their real opinion of you; what a lot of knocking down we should all have to go in for; what a lot of black eyes and sanguineous noses there’d be in Society’s drawing-rooms; and the eye-painters (we don’t mean bella-donnafying ladies, but men whose business it is to paint out a black eye) what a trade they would drive! Fancy saying to some Hyde Park Gardens Crœsus: “Well you utter cad, you don’t look half washed, you’re the utterest idiot I ever met, and you haven’t one single spark of good breeding or agreeableness about you, but—you’ve got a jolly lot of money, and with it have bought Society’s only-to-be-bought smile, therefore I smile too, and you’ve got a dooced good tap of claret, or something curious in sherry, and smoke first-rate baccies, and have also bought a most charming girl for a wife, and your house is in other ways well furnished, so I’m going to be civil to you, and mean to make use of you, and get all I can out of you!”

Fancy this, or telling women about their pinchings-in, and paddings-out, and of their (most patent to the nearest-sighted men) blacks and whites and reds on their faces!

Only imagine it!

But yet, don’t you know, it’s what would be said, and uncommonly often too, if Truth only did come out of her well, and the fine old crusted Conventionalisms of Society went into it in her place!

No, no, don’t, on any account, let us call a spade a spade, let’s all call him a club, a gentleman, and try and make him suppose we think him one: much more comfortable for us, and very much more comfortable for the creature from whom we want to get un-œuf, the fowl—not to say fool, or goose even—“stuck up” atop of his golden eggs.

bird with man head sittng on eggs

Spoonful XIX.

Honesty is the best policy after all, and Miss Fatemma Trayloorde—who’d be priceless in Constantinople tho’ she isn’t of much account in England—don’t mind frankly acknowledging that her version of “Love me, love my dog,” simply means “if you will only be good enough to love me, hang the quadroopid, you may do what you like with him.”

Reader, this is an opportunity which may not occur again. We invite you to lose no time in seizing it: make her yours for ever, and, rely upon it, you will never regret it; never mind her having the Grecian bend . . . . turned the wrong way, that don’t interfere with her heart’s being in the right place, as she, to quote what some wag has said, is in a far happier frame of mind than Diogenes, simply being “on the look out for a man,” a husband, and not intending—provided he have a nice moustache—to be too particular in her inquiries as to his antecedents, to see if he be an honest one or not.

A great many people we meet are much favoured; exceedingly favoured; really very much favoured indeed—ahem!—ill-favoured!

Blindness would not be such an infliction to some women, as to others, who—make greater use of their eyes!

The height of im-probability: a man cook asking a policeman to supper!!!

The proverb says, “Providence sends us boiled pheasant with celery sauce,” or côtelettes d’agneau aux concombres or points d’asperge, or suet pudding, or potatoes à la nature (or any other favourite dish), and that Mephisto sends cooks to spoil ’em! quite so; cooks are stewpid, and do occasionally make unseasonable hashes of things, and their minds are always going to pot, and their want of “savoir faire” is immense; but that’s not what we were going to say: we simply want to give you a new reading of the old proverb, if you will kindly for potatoes read policeman: thus . . Providence sends us Policemen, and the D . . . . Evil One sends cooks to spoil ’em!

If too many cooks do spoil the broth, only imagine the clearness of Brigham Young’s clear soup! the mind refuses to grapple with any such fearful vision; it puts one in a perspiration thinking of it.

Apropos of perspirations, Jones of Ark is the very hottest man you ever met in your life: bet you anything you like he is; why, he sometimes absolutely—SMOKES!!! Oh yes, it’s true; we have ourself seen him positively smoking, although, Nota Bene, although . . . . sitting up—to his chin ’n’ water!!

We always used to be quite happy with a glass of dry Curaçoa or a thimble-full of Maraschino after our ice pudding, but fashions alter, and people have taken to giving one “Chartreuse” and its twin beastiality “Trappestine,” so—as we dare say you like to be in the fashion—we may as well give you a receipt for making these invigorating preparations: save you ten bob a bottle at the least. Beat up the yolks of forty-eight eggs until they . . . . pshaw! that’s another prescription; this is it: Take one pint of the commonest whisky you can purchase, half a three-and-six-penny bottle—you know, the little straw ones—of Eau de Cologne (needn’t be genuine), a teaspoonful of ess bouquet, and—after putting in the above ingredients—fill up an imperial quart bottle with methylated spirits of wine; shake up well, and add sugar to suit the palate, and then take half a tumbler-full of it after a roll-up jam pudding made with treacle, and see what visions of bliss you will get that night when you have “sought your pillow”! talk about hatchis; Pshaw! hatchis can’t hold a candle to it.

Try it and see: its delishus!

sleeping man

Spoonful XX.

Reader, we have already told you that we consider it lucky, peculiarly lucky, for their own sakes, and their owners’, that pet dogs have no comprehensible voce di petto, can not talk, and that they can not make a lapsus linguæ in any other than their present method: we repeat it; we are glad that it is so; that your “Old Dog Tray” is a dumb waiter, and not a tale-bearer in two senses, or goodness only knows in what colours poor Tray might not poor-Tray you to your wife when you got home; or goodness only knows what fearful suspicions he might not indogtraynate into her gentle bosom if he were not tongue-tied! We rejoice that your pointers can not point you, that your hounds can not, indiscreetly, give tongue, that your toy terriers can not turn out terrier-bull toys, and that you may pooh pooh poodles et setter-ra in security, without having either to get them stolen on purpose, or to carry a whacking warning whip to make them cave canem, beware of the cane, instead of yourself. BUT, Beloved Reader, but only imagine if there were not only “Sermons in Stones,” but mouchard-ness in lath and plaster, only imagine if Walls had tongues as well as the ears they are said to possess, only imagine it for one instant, what, what, WHAT a lot of business would have to be conducted in the open country!!!

You have, most probably, already heard the two first of the four following lines, though, possibly, not the two last ones, but, as we think it perhaps as well that you should, we here transcribe them for you:

“ ’E vot prigs vot isn’t ’isn’n,

 Ven he’s cotched ’ll go to pris’n,

 If not cotched he thinks all’s well,

 ’E quite forgets he goes to . . . to . . .”

the next paragraph, if you will be so very good.

Honi soit qui mal y pense!!” We quote this bon motto as many soi-disant good people tell us they object in toto to seeing the ordinary title of “the Evil One” in print! We can only say, O may their lives ever be such that they may never see him in any worse form!

He who listens through the wall

Of himself hears precious small;

or, in plain English, listeners never hear any good of themselves. Quite so; and they don’t often hear much good of anybody else either, unless—N.B., unless—“anybody else” happens to be present.

We may as well here observe that if your “Little pitchers” have “great ears!” it would perhaps be as well for you to break ’em at once — — — — — — — — — of the habit of using them.

teapot walking

Spoonful XXI.

We don’t one bit believe in the ancient fable of Perseus and Andromeda, not one bit, that is, not in the Andromeda part of it, but in every form of Purse-use we put our faith most greedily and thoroughly, for—àpropos of sea-monsters, &c.—we unhesitatingly affirm that life is like a lobster, naturally dark and black, and only couleur de rosy-red when one is rich enough to — — put the pot on!

And yet, O treasured Reader, the man who thinks of nothing but money, and loves Plutus plutôt than he fears Pluto, whose idea of anything dear is applied only to the money market, whose way of spelling cher—if he ever heard that foreign word—is s. h. a. r. e., who is ascetic in every passion but the passion for assets, who don’t think anything you possess equals that which is “mine,” who cares for no races but—The Ledger and The Guineas, and infinitely prefers good “paper” to Good-wood, whose favourite scents are per cents. and £:ess:bouquet, whose favourite dish is—somebody else’s tête de veau if à la financière, whose favourite play is “Money,” who can swallow the heaviest dot without having any indigestion, who thinks more of property than propriety, more of manors than manners, more of a merely mercantile good buy than the friendliest how d’ye do, more of Roths-child than his own perhaps, may possibly “enjoy” every luxury the world can give, but we doubt particularly, most particularly, if he ever thoroughly enjoys—the greatest blessing man can enjoy . . . himself!

In speculating, a great many men go in so utterly, so recklessly, so overheadandearsedly, for the “£” that the necessity of taking care of the “s.” gets quite forgotten, and that is probably why, so very frequently, speculating becomes simply — — — peculating.

We are informed that Miss de Testable, a lady remarkable not so much for her embonpoint as her en bone point, “gives herself great airs and graces.” Ah! when we were presented to her the other evening we saw the airs—and between ourselves, the traces — — of the hare’s foot—but we utterly failed in perceiving a single one of the graces; nevertheless the worship of Mammon (and she came into a jolly lot of it the other day when old De Testable died) makes young Kensyngtone Gardenne of the Fusileers throw himself rapturously into that now almost obsolete position before her, its priestess (which we regret to say no other worship has made him take since the days he used to try and shirk chapel at Eton), and then . . . gammon her; for, like “experienced Nestor in persuasion skilled,” who, you may possibly remember, “words sweet as honey from his lips distilled,” he is good at talking, and what is more, she believes him!! poooar stoopid weak old woman, she believes him! She believes he adores her, and not . . . her money.

Well, well, after all there is some consolation in being a pauper; then, at any rate, when one is loved, one gets loved for one’s self, and not for one’s pelf; then one gets adored for one’s propria persona, and not because, simply because, one is . . . a purse-owner.

Bah! Reader, we must be permitted to observe enthusiastically—Bah! We talk about steam power, and wind power, and water power, and fire power, the power of Love, and a power of other things, but, of all, ALL the motive powers, what power is there which would have got Kensyngtone Gardenne on to his knee before this hideous deaf old idiot except . . . the power of MONEY?

O dear us! Auri sacra whatsitsname, quid non mortalia pectora drive to.

man speaking into a tube

Spoonful XXII.

Innocent youth, we do not wish to terrify you, but when, hazardously, you are about “to shake your elbow,” remember Mephisto, the original Diceheaver, is at it to help it shake! Beware! let nothing in-Deuce you to meddle with this box, or the oldest “Nick” may turn up some to your preju-dice! Never forget “The Deuce” is really inside it, only waiting die-abolically for you to rattle him up, to spring out upon you and do for you.

Ah! dear boy, if every dice-box but bore on its rim the motto “Honi soit qui mal y pense”—not to be pronounced nor understood as having anything whatever to do with French, but as a simple line of English—it would, as regards the enemy of mankind, be but too true, for indeed and in-deed—“On his walk he may leap hence”!

Mind your P’s and Q’s, says the sage, and we heartily echo the sage’s saw, but of the two we recommend you to mind the q’s, they may bring a man to grief: true we should have no Pyramids nor Pool without p’s, but it’s handling the q is the dangerous part of them! as . . . . P’s shell out; Q’s make you do it!!

There is no position in which a man’s wife can place herself so utterly unflattering to her, as in that of a-q-sir! as then she’s a tail-bearer.

We beg most respectfully to suggest that if you have just got fitted with a new set of—of—of masticators, you could not employ a more àpropos interjection than — — by Chew-better and Chew-now! It sounds much more fauci-ble than by Jawge! or even than—by gum! P.S.—Don’t chew forget this.

If the dentist, by-the-bye, in his advice gratis should ever say to you “Hold your jaw!” reply to him immediately—“You hold jaws!”

When going up in a balloon, as you never know where you may have to get out again, . . . . . put on a parachute-ing boots.

Pensée fugitive at the Zoo on being assured of the wonderful muscular power of some of the ferocious specimens:—If the wild animals only are half as strong as they . . as the . . . . as their . . . . natural bouquet, HOW strong they must be!

Apropos of seeing the beasts fed, here’s a receipt for making a good devil. “Bonis nocet, quisquis pepercerit malis!” Bonis means bones, and pepercerit is a misprint for—pepper it sir. Of course.

Good thing a devilled bone, eh? well, the bone of contention has generally a pretty good lot of pickings on it, and it makes a capital devil: people couldn’t make much more row over it when they’re picking it, if it was—a trom-bone.

We constantly hear fellows say, “That’s hard lines,” or “This is hard lines,” or “t’other’s hard lines,” but if you want to know what IS hard lines . . . . be ruled over!

Never despair, Gosling, never at random say nil desperandum: if you should lose all your money, you may be quite certain that an immense number of dear friends, if they don’t leave you a legacy at their deaths, will at any rate leave you a loan whilst they live!

Many a man is lucky enough to find “castles in the air,” Chateaux en Espagne, act as his Spanishea for all the ills of life; to find Hope with her anchor buoy him up and anchorage him in all his undertakings; but tho’ we grant you she is charming in poetry, music, and painting, tho’ we admit her to be solid in statuary, what, oh, what a humbugging ignis fatuus is Hope in reality!

Ah, youth, may you who pass so many of your hours in Hope’s fairy palaces dreaming, may you never have to realize WHY “castles in the air” areChateaux en Espagne,” for ’tis because . . . . they’re An-delusion!


Spoonful XXIII.

group of women

“When charming youth its perfect blooms maintains,

   Thoughtless of age, and ignorant of pains,”

how exceedingly nice, how very peculiarly nice, it looks, especially when . . . . female!

All young things are nice: chickens, rabbits, lambs, leverets, pigs, peas, potatoes; but sweet, youthful young ladies—ah! Reader, sweet youthful young ladies, are they not nicest of all?

Don’t, please do not do the Job-ly comforter, and remind us that Beauty is only skin deep; it may be so, it may be only skin deep, but that is deep enough for it to be most delicious, is it not? therefore, bel homme, what a nuisance it is to think that all that which is now so fresh, so frank, and so fifteenish, or so sunny, so smiling, and so sixteenly, may one day become so fat and fierce and fifty-fiveish, or so skinny snarling sixty-sixish; it’s too, too sad!

To think that those girlish eyes now shining in their skyey blueness, with innocence and milk of human kindness overflowing them, may one day overflow with . . ah . . rheum . . . . for improvement! To think that those now brightly glancing hazel eyes may some day not glance brightly, but only—hazel-eye, very hazily indeed. To think that those soul enthralling orbs, black as midnight Erebusian, which now flash Cleopatra’s like (we sincerely trust no one will be so brutal as to tell us Cleopatra had blue eyes) and make of every man an Antony, a fool, a slave, a cypher, may one day become so changed that, to speak metaphorically, they will only flash — — in their pans, harmlessly, unincandescently, over any amount of powder (violet not violent powder), causing no danger to the bystanders, no effect, no report—save one perhaps from the tongue of scandal: it’s too detestable, too diabolical to think of!

“O mirth and innocence! O milk and water!

 Ye happy mixtures of more happy days,”

How soon do you not begin . . . . to turn sour? Before you have time to value your youth, your invaluable short, short, golden, halcyon, day—hour! minute!!—of youth, it . . . . it . . . . is GONE!!!

girl with marionette

Pause, adolescent Reader, you who already, so to speak, feel the profoundest disgust for the innocencies of youth, and long to fight in the battle of life, to be in its smoke, its flashy puffs, its sham reality and real shams, its noise, turmoil, and insincerity, oh! pause. And you, youthful Readeress, you who are about to rule and direct the destiny of real mankind, and twist it round your fingers as easily and entirely as but a year or so ago you did the movements of your toy man—oh, pause too, and look at this:


Think it out! do you realize what it means? it means — — it’s Irrevocable! it means, that before you know where you are, your youth is—a thing, a vision, a remembrance only of the PAST! an atom sunk to the bottom of the unfathomable sea of eternity; sunk, perhaps without leaving behind it one bubble, one solitary bright-hued memory, to help you to look upon your loss with less regret!

O—(put, if you please, printer, one of your largest O’s)—O Primavera, Spring-time, Hobbledehoyhood, Hoidenism, Tomboydom of Life, how little, how particularly little are you appreciated! O “tender bloom of heart” how, how, HOW soon are you not . . . . smudged off!

We talk about Wasting Money; there are twenty thousand maxims against wasting money! Money! Bah, what’s wasting money to wasting youth? What’s Jewvenality to Juvenility? What’s the power of enjoying wealths to the power of enjoying healths? can Ops coming to us ever make up for our hops leaving us? ask yourself, can he?

We grant you that money is agreeable, very agreeable: that it is grand, glorious, superb; we even grant you that it is indispensable; we all feel that every day, every hour of the day, and every minute of the hour; but can it buy the blooming cheek, the joyous laugh, the timid blush, the sincere hand-pressure; the elastic and not-to-be-crushed heart, the goupthreestairsatatimeedness of youth? No: can it purchase, however much of it you may have, the blessings which Lovely Youth gives us for — — nothing, and which blessings—Yahoos that we are—because they cost us nothing—we value not, nor care one bit to—save!

O! (may we trouble you once more, Mister Printer, if you will be so good, for another melancholy-sized O) O what a world this would be, what a nice, agreeable little planet, if we could only all stop young, fresh, sincere, trusting, tender; why can’t we? what a bore it is! yet we never think thus until—like the Old Parr-ty with the pills—we are getting into the serious and very yellow leaf! we only pick up wrinkles with wrinkles! we never believe—no, nothing can make us believe it—that we are fools until—we are old enough to take one retrospective glance at our past, which one glance, however, suffices, amply suffices, to prove the dismal, the lugubrious fact.

If we were to tell you, O Reader, that you most probably have hitherto entirely wasted, are entirely wasting, and mean to go on entirely wasting—your life, and that therefore, though you consider yourself A 1, you prove yourself A double S, you would certainly pitch this book into the fire, and very likely write and pitch into its author; quite so; but, question your own past life about your wisdom or goosedom, about your sageness or assininity, about opportunities you have thrown away, chances you have lost, sottises you have committed, D-T-isms you have but narrowly escaped, and any amount of et ceteras, and you will find that mutato nomine, dear boy, D.T.—very probably—fabula narratur!

“Ah world unknown! how charming is thy view,

 Thy pleasures many, and each pleasure new!

 Ah world experienced! what of thee is told?

 How few thy pleasures, and those few . . . how old!”

Of course, we don’t expect you to believe in that Crabbe’s clause; but wait a few years, O Champagney Charles, and see if too much “Roederer” and “Ruinart” don’t lead perhaps along the . . . . Road to Ruination! wait and see if too much re-creation does not lead to . . . . . wreck-creation! wait and acknowledge, O jeune ass doré, that ’tis in going “the pace” you are most likely to make—an irretrievable faux pas!

Boys in their boisterous buoyancy only want to reach the age of . . . . ah . . . . of in-discretion, to be men, and all the young ladies at the Misses Whooknose’s establishment but wanting time to pass “more swiftly than the swallows wing,” think of nothing but leaving school and—alas, not of the three R’s, Reading, Riting, and Rithmertick—but of the three M’s . . . . Millinery, Marriage, and Maternity. There they are: turn back a page or two and look at them; have we made them lovely? are they darlings? well, yes, perhaps they have a trifle of—of—of—purchased “ornamental hair” in one or two instances among “the more advanced pupils,” and yet each Miss pines for one tress more . . . . the tress which will turn her from a miss into a mistress! She pines to be miss-taken, and she very likely — — — will be!

O “pliant wax” of youth, permit not such imbeseal impressions to be made on you! O inane, thoughtless, pretty but vapid Juvenility, O Loonatic Loveliness, well indeed may it be said “all flesh is grass,” for are you not verdant! O silly stoopid delishus but noodle-ey youngness, what a vast facility and talent you show for following in the footsteps of . . . . Jenny-ass, in preference to following the footsteps of . . . . Genius!

O Reader, Reader, how like, alas! is the folly age of youth to the foli-age of spring, for — — are they not both . . . . . . . . GREEN!!

woman sitting on a bird

Spoonful XXIV.

two women in a carriage

Life is a journey towards Death,” says some very cheery old sage! Aha! do it pooty fast and comfortably though, some of us human racers along life’s Via, life’s flower-strewn V.R. eh? do the V.R. in a Victoria! Ah Victoria Victoria, victoria victoribus, but for the victis—fe-ar, and V-R-ful Væ!

[P.S.—The reader will kindly notice that each of our four horses has been carefully made an historical—Italian operatic—character; each one of them is . . . Anna Bolena! in fact, there could not be four annabols more lena!]

Agreeable form—in a Victoria for instance—of “in medio tutissimus ibis:” Sitting bodkin!

We would remind everybody, but especially those who agree with the Frenchman in considering that a horse is an animal that “bites you with one of his ends, kicks you with the other, and pitches you off with his middle,” that — — Harnesty is the best policy!

You know what “Captain” de Courcy Norfolk Howard de Tabley Smith calls himself, don’t you? he calls himself a “betting man:” we call him a — — well cher ami, we won’t be severe as he’s a friend of yours.

A man may be a tremendous swell at Boolong, and not of much account in London! from which indisputable fact we come to the touching conclusion, that it is much better to stop at Boolong with your appreciative boolongings, than to Boulogne-ly and neglected by yourself in London!

Thinking you speak French, and doing it, are two most utterly different things: look here, for instance, at what happened to Mrs. Ampstead Clapham in Paris. “Pardon, Madame, mais on n’entre pas ici avec un chien,” says Law at the door of the Louvre. “Ser nay par ooon sheang Moosoo sayt ooon pity pooopy,” says Mrs. Ampstead Clapham. “Non, Madame, ce n’est pas une poupée du tout, c’est parfaitement un chien,” says Law. “Pardong, Merseer, Pooopy, not a cheang,” says Mrs. A. C. “Chien, Madame, pas poupée,” says Law! And yet you know Mrs. Ampstead Clapham thought herself a very “elegant” French scholar indeed!

However, it don’t do to talk French or German or Italian, or play the piano, &c., “like a bird,” flu-ently, too well, or some kind soul is sure to give out that you were—educated for a courier or a governess!

They tell us it’s a short sea passage from B’lown to Folkestone: “deux heures” they say: ah; it was four when Smith came over: deux heures on board, and douceur to the steward, that made it four; besides it was exceedingly rough, there were mountains labouring, not for mice, but for another pur-pose, and he was oh! so very, very unwell! Oh yes, it certainly was—quatre heures for Smith!

[P.S.—Poor Smith—he said it seemed like six!]

Life is like a sail on the ocean; we mostly start in pleasant weather, whilst the fancies of youth, like Sunshine, make every worthless drop of spray look like a diamond, but we’re nevertheless pretty generally sick at heart and thoroughly damped before we’ve done with it; our life-long game of pitch and toss, and “the world” feels our individual griefs no more than does the sea the sorrow it causes when engulphing a freight of hearts, hopes, happiness, and humanity! et sic of everybody; as in our sail we are sold, so are we in life; there we are, up one minute down the next; some of us get a fine time of it, others most certainly don’t, but instead, get a turmoil on the waters, and have friends trying to throw what they term oil on the waters, which invariably makes matters 827 times worse than they were before. Some of us get “faventes auræ,” no “breezes,” but agreeable ones, others get blown up by the wind which is ill, as it blows no one any good . . . . the equi-nuptial gales! Some of us are occasionally favoured both by Posidon and Possessions, but Neptune, like Fortune, is capricious and amer, and, alas alas, as by getting too much of the one we are driven on the breakers, so by getting too little of the other are we not . . . . broke? You may possibly, in your voyage through Life, manage to steer clear of Charybdis, and not get absolutely wrecked on that other Scylla-brated mantrap, but how few of us are there who have not to go through some “straits” at one time or another, which end by stranding us, if not at Messina, at any rate — — — in a mess!

Goslings, it is Sad but is So.

It is not only in France the tongue is called langue; not at all; plenty of people have very langue, exceedingly lorng tongues in London: but this is a theme we will not lingua over.

Permit us to tell you what is your duty to your neighbour, as we feel perfectly convinced, from your manner of going on, that you don’t know it. It is— —to—to—mind your own business.

You complain of the English way of spelling words ending in “ough” do you? And you also object to tongues not being spelt as pronounced, tungs: Ha! ha! quite so; but don’t you know why tongues are spelt more like tongs than tungs, eh? Why . . . it’s to give you a hint to hold yours.

man with a tuning fork

Spoonful XXV.

items flying around a man

Oh dear, no, you are quite mistaken, you are completely in error, this is not meant for Smith learning to do the trapeze; certainly it is not: neither is it a picture of a shell bursting in the late Paris business “from a drawing by our special artist taken on the spot;” shell bursting indeed! not a bit of it: no, it is simply a family group showing how Tompkingson has just advertised his better half, his wife, that he purposes going down to Greenwich to-morrow with “a few friends.” It would appear, judging from the missileaneous assortment of missiles thrown at and after him, that his said better half, his dulce lenimen, objects to his so doing.

From the above most interesting domestic incident we may draw this beautiful moral, that it is always better and kinder, if possible, to spare our wives a pang, and that therefore, in order to do so, when we do go where we please, we certainly shouldn’t talk about it—at any rate not until after we’ve been!

Rochefoucauld says, “If you get in a passion and over-blackguard your servant for not painting your boots properly, he doesn’t so much mind it when you accuse him of theft, smoking your biggest cigars, &c., &c., &c.” This is a maxim married ladies would do well to take to heart: if they “make it too warm” for their husbands for thinking of going anywhere, what have they left to do and say — — after he’s been and gone and done it?

A man can be too “large hearted”: oh dear, yes: when he finds room in it, not only for his wife, but for somebody else!

Morn at eve: Cree-morne!

You are mistaken; it is not only at Baden, etc., you see Rouge an’ noir; you can see it in London, Rouge an’ oies; Paint, and the little geese who use it!

Yes, indeed; Alas! Alas! Alas! no one knows how we regret it, but it is So! we have no longer any doubt about it; — — — a Miss IS as good as émail!!!

Whenever a “party,” whom you know to be—a nobody, swaggers and brags too much of his this, his that, and his t’other, and then offers to put you up to a good thing or two in the way of investing your money — — avoid him! for remember this, that nobody in this world ever does anything for nothing, and that a man may live a flash villa-in and be one himself, or may live in a square, yet not act on it, or in a mansion yet do many un-mansionable things, or in a Row and get you into one, or in a terrace and soon give you a good cause to quote “jam satis terrace” with a vengeance; for, you may rely upon it, many “a party” who is dressed by Poole would be none the worse for another sort of—dressing by—a horse-pond!

We have positively known men who “hadn’t a leg left to stand upon” walk beyoutifully at Boulogne-sur-Mer. Odd, eh? However, the Boulogne-sur-Mer air we have always heard was very invigorating to the legs: it must be.

Sweet youth, if you are a scamp and begin to think you are not a scamp, it is a very bad sign. There is nothing much more stupid than thinking yourself good enough and to spare: believe us, the first step towards improvement is—acknowledging there is room for it.

The portrait below is taken from nature. The voracious animal it represents, which will eat anything, from diamond rings to marble-topped washhandstands, is in the possession of the author. It is a very fine specimen. Its plumage is a mixture of white, dirty slate-colour, and dun. It is a great nuisance. It is not at all a rara avis. The Zoological and Charitable Societies of London refuse to purchase it. Its owner is heartily tired of it.

He calls it “an unfavourable anser, or the real tailor bird,” which you know is a sort of a goose who don’t—feather his nest, but—but—sews it up!


Spoonful XXVI.

Pretty Miss Dolly Varden is so nice, really so like a Watteau, that we hardly know watteau say to express our admiration for her: her eyes shine like the shimmer of sunbeams on a summer sea, her lips make one think that should she ever eat cherries ’twould be cannibalistic: Innocence and charming girlhood, so to speak, envelope her; but, silly little woman, she has allowed herself to be persuaded into following the present idioticly outrageous fashion, and has boxed up her feet in tight—oh, so very tight—high-heeled shoes. Ah, goodness! on a hot summer’s day, those unyielding shoes, oh, what delight! Why do it, O jolie Dolly V.? Why squeeze up your charming tooties, why ruin them, encourage bunions and suffer through high heels perhaps one of the direst agonies known to more-tall? Why do it? Oh, why, why do it, until you have, alas! to exclaim in the very identical words of Hamlet . . . .

“O my poor feet ache so’ll my ankle!!!!”

Even as they prefer worrying their old aunty’s footman to troubling their old Dante’s page; even as they prefer sitting at Gwendoline’s or Gertrude’s feet to Gamaliel’s; even as they think more of whip-thongs than diphthongs; even as they think more of a red homard, than of Homer read, so do goslings think more of ankles than uncles!

Boobies! do they not prove themselves “têtes de veau,” bul-lock-heads, thus to re-veal their de-veau-tion to — — Neat feet.

Procrastination is the thief of time! it is: the only sort of delay which is at all good for anything is a roun-delay! P.S.—We never hear this word roundelay without thinking of a garter: don’t you see? a roundelay and—around, a leg! Honi soit que female y pense! don’t be in such a precious hurry to find fault; we mean Henry the Eighth’s.

In crossing a muddy road on a dark night try and do it opposite a lamp, that its light may enable you to avoid puddles, &c., &c., &c.; so in Life’s road, if you would make it a Via happier, let good nature be your lamp; for there is nothing, positively nothing, which acts so perfectly as ægis against all the bores of life as good humour; humour say what you like, but there isn’t.

Joneson swims quite wonderfully, and floats like a cork: he accounts for it by saying he has such a very large and such a very light heart: well, he may be right, but we should have attributed it, not so much to the vastness and lightness of his heart, as to the complete emptiness of . . . . his head.

Flowers of Speech: “Sesquipe-dahlia verba!”

Do you know what the effect of dining with a screw is? Why . . . . getting bored!

People are constantly saying “we can’t do two things at once:” wish they couldn’t, then they wouldn’t talk with their mouths full.

Man’s last meal: Biting the dust!

All the world may be a stage, but there is one act in all our lives no one can re-hearse . . . our leaving it.

You may chaff the poor scribbler about his dining at a pothouse, but do not the swellest authors equally get their dinner — — from the public!

The attributes of the “Jack” are—biting and snappishness: as you go through the world you will find it is not unusual for mankind to assume the Jack’s fishy attributes . . . . when in office.

To every one in the world, except perhaps cardinals, to every other living soul we emphatically say — — avoid hat-red! for . . . . it is a loa-thing.

And yet, O Reader, how many a friendship gets snipped almost in the bud through worldly considerations, and how often do those who to the end of Life’s journey might have venerated and respected each other, get—through some trifling adverse circumstance—to feel such a friendsy of hate, such a mutual detestation, that they absolutely, yes, absolutely, come to dread being ever again . . . thrown together.

two men thrown together

Spoonful XXVII.

We never pass a butcher’s shop, nor hear a bullock’s voice, without thinking of amateur vocalists. The bullock’s voice may be contralto—that is low—and the other’s soprano perhaps, or anything else, but that makes no earthly difference, as they both so invariably—after once being herd—end in . . . . being cut up!

Many a woman gets loved for her voice, for her ability to follow the charming example of Titiens, Patti and Caux, for her “tonic sol fa” accomplishments: that is the reason, we must presume, why girls sing so much more than they play: they don’t want a—play-tonic sol-fa, but a sort of a burning sol-fa to make each of them a la si a-do-rée!

When a young lady proposes music, answer, “S’il vous play.”

If two young ladies sing, say, after it’s over, that you feel like a flower refreshed with the dew-wet!

P.S.—Never talk about getting up a treeo, or people won’t be able to think quatuor driving at.

If you want anybody to admire your daughter’s singing, or your wife’s piano-teasing, or your son’s wit, don’t boast too much about it all beforehand; for it’s easier, very much easier, to disappoint people than to please them.

Never treat your olive branches as you would your geranium cuttings; never . . . . “strike them in heat!”

Love is blind, there’s no doubt about it, for what hideosity finds mates! yes, he must be very blind, and that is why couples, we presume, like to make—spectacles of themselves for his sake.

It is unnecessary to tell us Justice is blind, she just is, or she would see how juiced few of us get any of her company. However, don’t think we mean to say Fie at Justice, not at all, we only say Fiat Justitia!

The healthiest form of “B. and S.”: Brighton and South Coast!

A bôna fide spirit trap: Gin!

A beery month: Fe-brewery!

A tipsy man is like a smoking lamp: he should be—turned out.

Doctors, “The Faculty,” may tell you, by-the-bye, that all those heavy “nails,” brandies and sodas, and sherries and bitters, and gins and seltzers, and curaçoas and lemonades(!), &c., &c., &c., which you insist upon imbibing at all hours of the day, are killing you by inches! Don’t you believe the Faculty: they are not killing you by inches: no, certainly not; not at all; they’re not killing you by inches, but by yards, poles, furlongs, miles—fast as possible! O dear Gosling, let the worm eat us when Charon takes us and, Mors the pity, Sticks to us; but before that unhappy event, beware, O beware of the other worm, which gnaws our vitals while yet we live . . . . the fatal “p’tit ver!

boat Charon

“As you make your bed so you must lie upon it!” Nonsense! get up like a man, and put the feather-bed atop of the mattress.

P.S.—Wish they’d feather the birds properly they make the feather beds of; believe they sometimes put in the bird, claws, beak, an’ all, and not the feathers: dooced uncomfortable, ain’t they? All lumps and prickles: can’t make up our mind which is the worst, the lumps or the prickles, or the prickles or the lumps; sometimes think the lumps are, until we get on the prickles, then we think the prickles are, until we again get on the lumps, and so on . . . on . . . . on . . . . on through the nightlightless and dreary hours of darkness, until, worn out in mind and body, slumber sinks our weary senses in semi-forgetfulness, alas! but to make us dream magnifiedly of more and bigger and sharper lumps and prickles than ever: both brutal.

Apropos of making beds, &c., we are reminded to suggest that if chambermaidens in hotels would only take a little of our common sense they should be heartily welcome; but, hang ’em, it’s our Ess Bouquet and Jockey Club they prefer, and they won’t leave our Ealing-Ealing in its proper station, and they also won’t leave our eau de Cologne alone, but insist upon separating the “odour” from the “Cologne” by cribbing half of it, and then adding eau de London to fill up the bottle. Too bad.

Meet a tipsy friend, and ask him to name an animal draughtsman on wood whom he thinks wonderfully clever, and we bet you—if he knows the make of any other sort of beast besides himself, if he knows anything of drawing not as applied to corks—that his answer will name the artist, and be your opinion of his drunken self . . . il s’est grisé!

A composer: Arditi!

A dis-composer: Ah! . . . “D.T.!”

“There’s many a slip ’twixt the cup and the lip,” as the old gentleman with chronic “D.T.” found to his cost!—he spoiled three waistcoats a day for seventeen years, until he hit upon the plan of putting his table napkin or pocket-handkerchief over the back of his neck, and through its help hauling up his right hand—the one with the glass in it—with his other one! It’s old, the story; but if you’ve got the jumps, it may be useful to you to know it.

If it were not for the fear of—of—being caught doing naughties, what a Pandemonium this civilised Christian world would be. O! if what is now “Naughty but Nice” were only . . . . . Religion, what a religious really joyous lot all you fellers would become, and Jingo! the new churches that would have to be built!!! and wouldn’t the subscriptions just flow, gush, rush in!!!! eh? rather. And yet after all, don’t you know, people do pray; pray a great deal; an immense deal; are tojours prêts to pray, but . . . . it’s on one another!

If men would never drink except when thirsty, screwyness and limpness, tightness and much consequent looseness would be next to unknown; and not only that, but they would avoid making most confounded fools of themselves into the bargain; for we feel no hesitation in saying that nothing D.T.riorates a man in every way like drink, and that the man who is tipsy is not ipse!

Vanity is a sort of drunkenness, for the looking-glass intoxicates some people quite as disagreeably as the wine-glass does others.

Yes, Respectable Reader, you are perfectly right, there is one more disgusting thing in the world than a tipsy man: yes, one, but only one . . . . it is . . . . a tipsy woman.

womann drinking from a bottle

Spoonful XXVIII.

Little can they who start on “parties of pleasure” calculate how said “parties of pleasure” may terminate, and of all “parties of pleasure” this remark applies to matrimony more, perhaps, than to any other. Union, you fondly imagine, is strength! it isn’t; if you haven’t got—we are speaking hymeneally—if you haven’t got a precious lot of precious money! on the contrary, it’s anything but strength, it’s simply the greatest weakness you can indulge in. We know very well that “Ubi mel ibi apes”! which, being translated properly, bel homme, means — — Ubi where—mel there is a sweet creechar—ibi there—apes monkeys are sure to be after her! We grant you this is but natural, we acknowledge it is only human nature to think “union is strength.” But, O dear boy, whilst advising you very strongly, unless you are dooced badly off, not to unionize for money, we advise you more strongly, O we advise you much more strongly, unless you are dooced WELL off, not to unionize for — — HONEY!

Jeunesse which is not dorée, don’t — — marry for love. Jeunesse which is not d, do not do it! Jeunesse which is not dorée, sans £, you are better off sans elle! Female ditto, sans louis d’or, you are better off sans lui you ad-ore! J which is not d, without a tocher don’t touch ’er! F ditto, without a dot, don’t! For remember this, O single sparks—and sparkesses—who are inclined to puff yourselves into a state of ardour, that poor, impecunious, out-at-elbows Love is precisely like a house on fire—it ought to be put out, extinguished, have cold water thrown on it, see what wet—very wet—blankets can do for it, end in smoke before its flames, after having gained too great an ascendancy to be put out, go out, die out, smoulder out, of themselves, leaving nothing that’s tender, only that which is tinder behind them.

You may possibly, O spooney Solomon, argue, as a great, many spooney Solomons do argue, that “riches don’t make happiness:” ah; possibly not; we don’t know: we never tried ’em; but, notwithstanding your assertion, we nevertheless cordially recommend you (remember we are speaking from a connubialistic point of view) to patiently wait for the Gilded Purgatory, the ’eldorado, you abuse, in preference to rushing after a cheap wedding and life in a 30s. a week lodging, that poor man’s oasis, where your sherry wine immediately becomes made-dearer, half of it being invariably “partaken of” by your landlady; where they will blacken your varnished boots; when your friends won’t visit you; where “the cat,” from what you are given to understand, has a weakness for silk socks and cambric pocket handkerchiefs, and where coals—bad ones—are nine guineas a ton, that is, 6d. a scuttle—a small one—and kitchen fire—where your plain (uncommonly) dinners are invariably spoiled—is extra!

Riches, as you say, may not bring happiness, but the gilded ones, my friend, get all the honey, you get all the work and the whacks; the gilded ones get all the honey, you get only the stings of the bees, — — and the cells; the pecunious ones get all the honey, you get only the—jars! they get all the roses, you only get the thorn in your side, not a Thorne of the Vau-deville sort, but a deville of a thorn without any (tête de) Veau, to which we are all so de-veau-ted. Riches may not make happiness, but we ask you now, do Poverties make it? Your present position may not be all you could desire, but might it not easily be worse?

in the frying pan

To “wear a golden sorrow” may not be quite all you could wish, but is wearing a pewter one any better?

The tup’ny-ha’pe’ny 200-a-year style of hymeneal altar is pitched into, and ever has been pitched into enough, goodness knows! and yet the poor male marryer, before he nuptializes an equally poor female marryer, insists upon steadily overlooking all everybody has ever said upon the subject; insists upon NOT remembering the one most important fact in the whole history of this sublunary spear, viz., that though he may look upon his inamorata as an angel, and call her one, she most indubitably will require feeding, and that therefore beef and beer, and when very Amphitryonically disposed, puddings—Yorkshire and otherwise—to say nothing of soles à la Normande, or au gratin, Cliquot, curlpaper cutlets, &c., &c., &c., are absolutely in-dis-pen-sa-ble to prevent his turtle doveing becoming a mere mock-turtle-ery in no time.

It’s no use your arguing that you don’t want cucumbers all the year round with your fish, strawberries at half a crown a piece, grapes at two guineas a pound, and salmon and lamb at five bob an ounce; it’s no good your persuading yourself you can contentedly “do it cheap;” you can’t; all that is cheap is beastly; besides, if you can, your wife probably won’t; though you may be contented to stand vile lodging-house cooking and impertinent sauce . . . . . à la landlady, the woman you marry will most certainly prefer French cooking and sauce . . . à la maître d’hôtel!

But that’s not it; it’s the fact of the whole business being simply detestable; it’s the fact of your being pooh-pooh’d by a lot of monied vulgarians—“carriage people”!!!—and sat upon and snubbed by everybody; it’s the fact that we are all envious; it’s the fact that we all detest being only tantalized with the sight of others’ comforts; and it’s the confounded fact that the demon impecuniosity—in about eight cases out of every ten—brings untidiness in a wife, and then, by St. Jingo, you get the curlpapers without the cutlets, and in place of anguilles à la Toulouse, &c., ankles à la too loose, and slippery down-at-eel boots in no time!

Reader, in place of a famous sole with sauce tartare, you’ll possibly catch one, not a famous sole, a Tartar, who’ll want to be a femme sole, and then it’s tar tar to all sorts of jolliness!

O dear impecunious but hymeneally-inclined Gosling, don’t believe all their goody goody twaddle about “Love in a cottage;” don’t believe that money doesn’t bring happiness; don’t believe that gold is dross; don’t believe that £. s. d.-ism is wicked; don’t believe this, that, and t’other, but—us, when we assure you, confidently assure you, that, if you, a possibly corpulent Cupid, would—en homme solide—fan up—and keep up—the flame on the altar of Love, there is nothing on earth so useful, so extraordinarily useful, for doing it with as . . . . a good full purse.

man with bellows

Spoonful XXIX.

couple at a fence

Hymen’s link, when supported on bankers’ books and bullion bags, cheques and consols, riches, roses, and so on; when there are no duns, no bothers, no anxieties no complications, no unbuoyed sunken businesses, rocks, torpedoes, quicksandifications, maelstroms, shoals, &c., is all plain sailing enough: the charm of returning home to the loving arms of Beauty when the loving arms of Beauty have nice bracelets on ’em; when the fingers of Beauty which twine your hair round ’em (if you’ve got any, and like having it twined round fingers—we don’t) glitter with gem-cracks; when Beauty is nicely got up, in pooty shoes, pooty peignoires, flowers and freshness, &c., &c., &c.; when Beauty in fact has lots of money and nothing to do, the charm of all this must be immense, no charm we imagine can well be much immenser: Beauty will then, if inclined, have time to be amused at your amusements; never make a “piece of work” unless it be to knit you unwearably gorgeous Berlin wool machines in impracticable colours; make you braces for which you’ll give embraces back; and when you’ve been out shooting probably be pleased and proud—as we have delineated her above—to . . . . count your game!

Ah! all this, though perhaps not very intellectual or useful, must be very delishus at any rate; but look at the other side of the hymeneal medal; if your Hymenish link is not supported as above, if instead of having the fingers of Beauty in rings twining your ringlets, the fingers of Beauty have to be always darning the children’s clothes; if the loving arms of Beauty, instead of being used as bracelet expositors, have to become acquainted with the wash-tub; if Beauty, instead of having nothing to do, has to do an immense deal; if there are duns, bothers, complications, etc., etc., etc., cum multis aliis quæ nunc—as the Latin grammar says—perscribere would be a bore; if in fact you’ve no money, look at it then; when the honeymoon’s monthly new-broomy roses have fallen, and their greenness has gone, and you find your link simply supported on thorny stalks, where are you then? O where are you?

Idiots congratulate themselves—whether they can afford marriage or not—on being accepted by their poundless shillingless and penniless loves, and exclaim, “Oh Rapchar; I may kneel hymeneally!” Boobies! they forget that that which is enough—very likely barely enough—for one is of no earthly use for TWO! They forget that that which is of no earthly use for two may possibly—and very probably will—have to be enough for 4, 6, 10, 15, or even 20! They forget that they can not count their olive branches before they are at-hatched to the parient stem, and that olive branches on a small income are incomebranches of the worst sort, as they can not be lopped off! They forget that the ringing of one finger may lead to the—wringing of four hands! They forget that in Poverty the hymeneal haltar ties them hands and feet, and what they will have to sacrifice on this same altar to keep it going even moderately straight, and to . . . . “yet brokenly live on!” They forget that by getting spliced, and so made fast, they may be utterly un-done! They forget that it invariably turns out for the female marryer—this poor hymenial business—all of the “menial” with nothing of the “hy” about it whatever, unless she consider it, as we feel confident she eventually will, all her hy! They forget that if, even when people are well off,

“Life’s enchanted cup but sparkles near the brim,”

Love’s enchanted couple find it just the sim!


They forget if the wife should perversely dislike becoming a sort of servant-of-all-work, that their chance of a domestic donna and bliss, is not half as great as their chance of domestic donner and blitzen! They forget their Missis may become their Ne-missis! They forget that marriage, not only in one case, as the Greek has it, but in all cases, is a gammon which, un-like bacon, whether it can be cured or not, must be endured! They forget that though courtship makes all things couleur de rose, matrimony frequently makes the very same things couleur de rows! They forget that no man can tell whether he really does love a woman until he’s been married to her for at least two years. They forget that an ar-dent, AR-dent, wish for the Sacrament of Marriage not in-frequently turns to a still more ARDENT wish to give each other the sack with-out the raiment! They forget that the very worst cases that ever appeared before Sir Dresswell Dress-swell or Lord Penzance had—we must presume—HAD—to begin with—a honey moon! And, worst of all, the Boobies, the honeyluna-tics, they forget that Marriage is such a tremendous goer, a Derby winner, a “Gamos” with such staying power, that being once started, nothing can by any possibility stop him but — — death, or the long dirty and expensive journey to . . . . . the Wilds of Penzance!

Ah, dear boy, how fashions alter! Society doesn’t put peas in its shoes now-a-days, it puts ’em in its mouth; scallop-shells are kept for oysters, not for pilgrimising in; hair shirts are obsolete, and have all been made into chignons and patent friction businesses for opening the pores of the skin comfortably; people don’t fast, only go so; don’t wear chains unless, at the least, 18 caraters; and, though they do flageolet their neighbours, certainly don’t flagellate themselves nor let anybody else do it if they are aware of it, no thankee; and as for sackcloth and ashes, where do you ever see them except over a coalheaver’s head on a wet day? No, no; the Penance we do now is spelt with a z after the Pen, as . . . we marry . . . on nothing a year!

Ah, Reader, had many an improvident—hymeneally-minded Gosling but less hope to begin with, he’d not be hope-less — — to end with. And if, Reader, instead of going to the altar of Hymen, a lot of people would only have strength of mind enough to go to — — to — — Majorca, it would save Majorcawardness to all parties afterwards.

couple pulling away

Spoonful XXX.

Latest Sporting Intelligence.

A telegram from our Special Commissioner informs us that all the probable starters for “the great race” are on the spot; and that the field will be an unusually big one. Midnight betting still points to Count Toutlemonde’s French-bred mare “Bottines” as first favourite; she is said to have something wrong with her heels, but her backers seem pretty confident. The Earl of Thompson’s “Butler” is spoken of as being a regular screw, and as having certainly something queer with one of his hocks, nevertheless, any money you put on him is taken freely. Mr. Rutter Ridjit’s “Burlesque” is said to look too cart-horsey and leggy, and anything but very fit; a “walk over” is what would suit her; as it is, she’ll probably—break down. “Small Waist” is well spoken off; her staying power is hinted at as being immense. Mr. F. O. Clerk’s “The Toady” may be safely backed to get a place. Lord de Jones’s “The Outlaw” has been made the subject of keen inquiry, as some of the knowing ones pretend to think that if he gets a good start he’ll never be caught. Mr. Day’s colt “Décolletée” has put her shoulder out. “Miss Lightsome” has been scratched for all her engagements. “Lazarus” has been tremendously kicked by his stable companion “Dives,” and is quite horse de combat. “The Vixen” cast a plate on arriving at her quarters; there was not much damage done; she’s sure to come to the scratch. Mr. Senex’s “Dowager” is out of the betting. Viscount Smith’s “Crinoline” looks in a miserable condition, fearfully tucked up, ribs coming through her skin, over-trained. Prince Piccadeeli will be represented by “Grecian Bend:” she is rather too hollow-backed and over-knee’d an animal to suit us, but is freely supported at a good figure.

As regards the match between Mr. Foralltime’s “Shakespeare” (aged), and Mr. British Youth’s “The Ballet,” Shakespeare was nowhere, the mare, although looking as stale as possible, won in the very commonest o’ canters. We, however, believe the whole thing was a put up affair, as “Shakespeare” was too heavily weighted, whilst “The Ballet” carried next to nothing; we feel confident that if the old hoss had been properly handled and asked the question at the right moment, it would have been quite as hollow a thing the other way.

A pot o’ money changed hands over this event. The legs got it.

burro with fairies

Spoonful XXXI.

basket of bottles

We beg leave to defy you, however thoroughly conversant with the French language you may be, to find a more perfect Parisian idiom for—real pleasure than . . . cham-pagne!

Oh, yes, quite so: we know as well as you do that the French for rapture is not champagne, but Verve, but then, don’t you know Veuve is the very best form of champagne? and so we still defy you!

Oui Moosoo is bad French: “Ay Mousseux” is very good!

One of the most agreeable cliques in all Society is—Cliquot!

We don’t so much mind his “silence” and his want of sparkle when our friend is — — “Mumm!”

Love is like “Sillery:” with HER, all fiz and sparkle; without ’er . . . . Silly!

Whenever you dine at Greenwich or Richmond, etc., and at the next table the lady and gentleman mix their liquors freely, and drink champagne cup, moselle cup, sherry wine, claret, port, curoçoa, brandy, coffee, etc., etc., et cetera, and talk and laugh away like anything, do not make their acquaintance; but if they have the coffee-room dinner, a pint of sherry, and no conversation, you may take them to your boosom in confidence—if you want to, and they permit it: they are highly respectable.

Never tell a Government clerk he has . . . . nothing to do; or you wound him thereby in a Whitehall part!

P.S.—Good name for a Home Office or Treasury feller: “Whitehall Spark.”

It is not so bad being only a little “loose,” it’s the being frequently “tight” that is so objectionable.

If you make a very favourable impression on your first visit anywhere . . . . don’t call again.

If you ever should have the misfortune to “let the cat out of the bag,” never, NEVER try and stuff her back again; it’s such a mistake, you only make, inevitably make, matters forty times worse.

You are kind enough to say that you consider Saws Ubject, Esq., a fool for doing this that or t’other: you are wrong, entirely wrong: if Saws Ubject likes it, he would be a fool not to do it. Just mind your own business, for of all the nasty fruits which grow on the Tree of Evil, perhaps one of the nastiest is the meddler! But if people will only sensibly follow our advice, he can be easily squashed: our advice is . . . . whenever you see people about “to have a finger in your pie” — — make it hot for ’em!

fingers in a pie

Spoonful XXXII.

Lady-birds, sea-girls, and so on, are tremendously in their element at the sea-side:

Women go there to get married, if single;

Women, when married, go there to get—shingle!

They are very pretty. They look very nice: their dresses all cut each other out; they are exceedingly brilliant; they are most harlequinesque; But . . . they are dear creatures, for—oh! that “relish of realities,” that “passion for external show,” for—

Oh! the vast expanse of heaving waters!

Oh! the vast expense of having daughters

— — and wives—who insist upon going there—how many a husband has laid a burd-en on himself to enable his lady-bird to do it, until he has wished—not himself—but them—father!

Impressions de voyage:” Footprints in the sands!

To readers of Bradshaw: Keep your tempus!

P.S.—Don’t say this joke is contimetable; it is not at all contemptable, not in the least.

The most disgraceful fool in Europe: The Paris foule!

Freedom, we believe, did Kosciusko the honour to shriek when Kosciusko fell! quite so; and she did pre-cisely the same thing, only she did it perhaps a trifle louder, when Smith fell . . . . . . . . . in love with old Mrs. Grumbleby Creeses money, and—married it.

“Laus Deo Semper!” yes, indeed; but we notice that most people not only write it, this noble phrase, but prefer also to worship it . . . . abbreviated: exceedingly abbreviated and transposed; with them it is not Laus Deo Semper, nor L. D. S., but . . . £ s. d.!!

By the time you see this, in all probability the Tichborne case will be over, settled, a thing of the past, nevertheless the Solicitor-General will be still as hard at work as ever, as he has unceasingly been from the days of . . . Adam. Need we say we allude to THE Solicitor-General — — — Love!

Should you be surprised to learn that the voluptuous animal below is a new found land dog? Should you be surprised to learn that he is a Wagger Wagger dog? And should you be surprised to learn that, upon the well-known principle of the retina of the eye retaining a bit of burnt stick in it for more than eversolong, the Wagger Wagger’s tail is true to nature?


You would? Ah, we thought you would; nevertheless out of all your friends (and if you have any money you have friends) not one of them is as sincere, as uninterestedly sincere, as your Wagga Wagga, for he wouldn’t wag his tail at you unless he loved you.

It would of course be simply imbesilly to expect your relations to wag their tails at you, and overlook, and assist to hide, any fault you may possibly commit; but remember this: the friends who do wag their tails at you, and who secretly—would have helped to conceal the knife with which you had just committed an undiscovered murder, or who would have applauded, as a very clever performance, your running away with your best friend’s wife, and have rather congratulated you as a gay Lothario for doing it, will also unhesitatingly be among the first to cut you dead, if—you are found out not paying your bootmaker or your laundress!

No, no, dear boy; if you insist upon doing things you oughtn’t to do, which by-the-bye, though it’s not the very slightest use, we recommend you not to do; if you insist upon doing things “under the rose,” choose a cabbage rose, a large one, for the rose in use at the present era is not one quarter big enough, which is a mistake: for you may safely rely upon it that of all the sins which Society commits, against “the laws” of Society, the most unpardonable, the most utterly and hopelessly unpardonable, is — — being found out!

O Pious Peruser, is not this true? but though we may abuse our friends, how, how, HOW few of us are there, if we were to . . . . . “make a clean breast of it,” but would be found . . . . all dickey!!

collar and cuffs

Spoonful XXXIII.

The knee plush ultra of folly is—a lady marrying her footman. Folly rather more plus ultra than that is—a gentleman marrying his cook, because she’s a pretty good cook, and folly rather morer pluser ultraer even than the last is—his marrying her if she’s a plain cook! This is all we say on this theme: we refrain from telling the man who enjoys conjugating “Amo amas amavey, O such a pretty slavey, a-Mary, to love” and so on what our candid opinion of him is; we have, in fact, too much Pollytesse to say what is custo-Mary on this appalling subject; we will simply observe and show in our initial how astonishingly charming a nice young lady looks when putting her shoulder to the wheel . . . . and ham tart: Bless her! may she be the girl of all periods!—get your wife, or your sister, who, let us hope, can dress a cutlet as well as herself—to do it, and judge for yourself if anything can look more deallegtable than that “dresser;” and then go and call on some feller who has married his cook, and see how very nasty she looks when making not a pie, but . . . . a lady! Not only that, but we feel convinced that if there is one man in the whole world who would not—N.B., not—get his wife to make him a pudding, grill him a bone, or cook anything for him but his goose perhaps, that man is he who . . . . has married his cook!

Advice to pretty young ladies about their spoons: There is safety in numbers. Many admirers and you rule the lot; one, and he—rules you.

However, young ladies who have many beaux to their string—that is, strings to their bow—should make “a knot” in one of them, or the whole lot may——slip through their fingers.

Let nothing tempt you to marry, knowingly, a jealous woman; let neither boots, beauty, money, shoulders, nor connections, tempt you to do it; but if, having un-knowingly married her, you begin to see her jealousy for you dying out . . . . it is a bad sign.

“Melting moments?” says old Crusty, “melting moments?—Bah! melting into tears!” “Orange blossoms? Nonsense! Cupid clothes all his female victims the same: he gives them worry antique.”

Milk-sops out of the whey. Ladies don’t like spooneys and boobies: the female duck—unfortunately for herself—prefers a sad drake.

I. O. Hughes’s wife says that quite the worst of all I. O. Hughes’s “short comings” are . . . . his long goings!

Let the Germans say “du” to their loves, but don’t you “du” it with yours, unless there’s a lot of “thou”s surely forthcoming.

People tell us to “feather our nest!” How can we feather our nest, if we’re not worth a penna?

The safest branch to feather your nest on is one which grows out of a good strong bank. Try the London Joint Stock: it is ever blooming.

The happy mean: Old gent who did not have the plate held out to him in church last Sunday.

Infancy and old age are the same to a T: one waddles, t’other . . . . t-waddles!

Reader, we are told that “Love is blind;” we agree with this: he is blind—very blind; especially when——it is his interest to be so; for it is very sad, but if an old boy can only come down heavily on a bank, the Cupidinous woman don’t one bit mind his inability to run lightly on a lawn—as what does she care for his age, his dot-age, provided the dot be all right—provided he will kindly for her . . . do dot and go one! If he’s a peer, what does she care for his appearance! However, we think, as a rule, she marries her man too young; for if we were a woman—ecstatic thought!—and a filthy lucre’d husband-hunter, or wanted some lord or baronet simply for his name, we wouldn’t look at a man under eighty or ninety—hundred-and-twenty if possible, older the better . . . . don’t you see? . . . less long to wait!

cupid with a tray

Spoonful XXXIV.

Of course, dear boy, you’ve heard the saying, that “a fool at forty is a fool indeed;” you know this; and probably will agree with us in thinking that, if he ever should reach any old age at all, it will most certainly be—a green one; eh? Well, look at old De Jones for instance: that’s his case, his very sad and stchewpid case.

Sir Walter Scott says

“Some feelings are to mortals given,

 With less of earth in them than heaven.”

It may possibly be so, but not with old De Jones; not with De Jones, Esq.; we rather fear he’s more of earth, etc., in his ridiculous old composition than most doters!

Of course it’s exceedingly wrong, our showing him to you in the sanctity of his chamber; but there he is nevertheless, and dreaming, dreaming of his adoration — — The Ballet!

Mind you, he’s not “a patron of the Drarmer;” oh, dear no; as for going to see anything really fine, Shakespeare, or anything in that way, pshaw! he’d as soon think of going out for a morning walk in his evening trousers! As for Music, he ignores her unless as assister to her Terpsicory-pheeing sisters! as for Handel, Pooh! he prefers sandals; as for Mendelssohn, Mozart, etc., Bah! does he want to sup full of horrortorios? not he! He’s a balletolater, simply a balletolater! He’d have every dance, as performed by the young persons who dress en coryfee, encore if he—could! he applauds—till he splits his gloves, and his neighbours’ ears; what does he care? he would do anything to coryphée-vour with the coryphées!

Each of the young women—many of them weighing, we should say, certainly thirteen or fourteen stones—becomes, in his idea, light as gossummer air: each fat female might in his hallucinationated thought have been born on Quinquagossamer Sunday: he ignores the celebrated theory of the three graces, the graceful, the ungraceful, and the disgraceful, and believes only in the graceful, and each lady, when she puts on her muslins, leaves her individuality, and steps forth before his ravished eyes la fine fleur de la haute cocoa-tree: Polly and Sookey—wives possibly of the stage carpenters or scene-shifters, and mothers perhaps of a good, big, dirty (or possibly otherwise) family—remain behind with their ordinary apparel in the dressing-room—where, by-the-bye, they occasionally slap each other—and it might be the Lady Mary and the Lady Susan for all De Jones thinks to the contrary, who come to prance and plunge about before him.

Alas! alas! alas! (we can’t put too many alasses, highhose, etc., for De J). Alas! poooar old Idiot! poor old Driveller! Had the late lamented Mrs. De Jones (whose portrait—only kit-cat, as our space is limited—we promise to give you next spoonful) had she been still spared to us, had she not been cut off, how different all this would have been.

Reader, Mrs. de Jones would have taught him not to make—an old newdle of himself. She would have taught him—mirabilissime dictu—to go through the world—without feet. She would have taught him that what we pity in youth, we despise when a man gets old enough to know better, that grey hairs merit respect only when they are respectable, but that nothing can be more dis-respectable than the wighead senile sinner; and that there is certainly no man in the world so thoroughly deserving of chaff, as he who is . . . bad-in-age.

And, Reader, she would most certainly—and with justice—have served him, her grey man, as the early Italians served their grey-men, their miserable down-trodden gramen, she would — — have pulled him up in his Greeness!

chicken berating a man

Spoonful XXXV.

Promises, we know very well, are usually like pie-crust, only “made to be broken”—but we keep ours. We promised you, a page or two back, the kit-cat portrait of poor Mrs. De Jones, who, you may remember we told you, had been—cut off. Well, here she is: look at her! She must have been a very fine woman. Our pictorial initial perhaps is not quite in the pet-of-the-ballet style of the last spoonful; but we consider that, taken as a whole—as a representation of what the French call tooty la bootick—it makes a very beautiful drawing nevertheless.

Mrs. Sophonisba de Robings was—at 19—only nineteen inches round the waist, but very silly; Miss Gwendoline de Robings is 19, and only nineteen inches round the waist, and very silly; Mrs. Sophonisba de Robings is now nineteen inches, at the very least, round the—ah—top of her Balmorals, and just a trifle cleverer. Well, well, who knows? perhaps one of these days Miss Gwendoline de Robings may lose her silliness, and have as fine an understanding as her mother. If you, who are about to espouse her, wish it, so do we—ardently.

Joneskins and Atkings are two jealous men. Joneskins is married; Atkings isn’t. The difference between the two is this: Atkings sings his wine songs, love songs, and other chansongs in peace to his friends; whilst Joneskins is obliged to keep his ridiculous soup-songs to himself!

From this most highly interesting narrative we may draw the conclusion that some men are born bachelors, and have no business to marry and go in for the sweets of Hymen; for as honey to the man with defective teeth produces toothache, so does marriage to the man who isn’t fitted for it produce heartburn.

Mule extraordinary! Now on private view!! Admission on presentation of address card. Smithkinson, after one of the most extraordinary musical performances on record—harping on one young lady for three weeks—has now done another. He spent two hours under Miss Blanke Dash’s window the other wet night, playing his concertina; accordionly, he thereby proved himself a great ass, and now he’s a little hoarse! Poor fellow! hitherto he had confined himself to sowing only wild oats, but he has positively finished now.—He has sewn himself . . . . up!

Here’s a new name for crinoline: The dress circle!

Here’s a new name for the Ballet: The undress circle!!

Here’s a new name for the stalls: The eye-land of ankle-see!!!

Not quite all the world’s a stage, though all the men and women may be players. Had Shakespeare lived now-a-days, he would, we feel sure, have agreed with us in pronouncing Society only — — only — — Private Theatricals!

Avoid weeping and gnashing of teeth at all times, but more especially if you paint, and your teeth are—are—very perfect (and expensive)!

P.S.—Why don’t people who wear false teeth, have them sometimes made a little less regular—upon the principle of the sensible grey wigs we often see and admire?

A word to the liar’s friend: Don’t believe him, but leave him be!

Owe a man a grudge if you choose: owe it as long as you please, but; . . . . grudge paying it.

A truckling cad, who uses so much courtesy that it enables you the cur to see, is simply like the lamp over a billiard-table; he is used to be over pool-light.

The hypocrite’s mind is for all the world just like behind the scenes at the play: it looks so nice and fresh and pretty and simple and smooth to the spectators; whilst behind, it is — — only preparations for acting.

P.S.—When will talking and shouting at the opera and theatre be put a stop to? Why are people allowed to go there only to see the music and hear—each other?

Wait a minute: here’s a P.P.S. We remark that “operatic fathers” are invariably bass voiced—deeply, profoundly base. How is this? as whilst lovers—that is, before marriage—they are equally invariably tenors! We can understand disappointed suitors being baritones—that’s natural enough; but not why the O.F. should become base. Can any one explain it? Does marriage spoil their notes and take away their tenners, that they become thus gruff?—does an occasional real-set-to so scare them, that they lose their false-set-to, or what is it? We can’t make it out: it’s very odd indeed.

man with a sword

Spoonful XXXVI.

crowd around a crown

There’s a good deal of cackling going on amongst a certain class of goose about “Doing away with the House of Lords!” Bah! Radicalous nonsense! Who’s to do it? May all who try — — Peerage in the attempt! for — — “Finis coronat opus” is not . . . . a coronet the finest work of man!

How many of us would rather get a barren poohpoohy lardydardy nod from a lord, than the heartfelt laud of a real well-wisher?

The flattering sickeningophantic enemies of a rich man who snubs a real, though perhaps plain-spoken friend, must feel like the mice when they see so many kittens drowned — — dooced glad of it.

Are you a real live lord, or only one of nature’s noblemen? If the former—if you are really a peer—don’t go to Brighton, because there ladies are always looking forward with the greatest pleasure to . . . . a band on the pier, and you don’t want to be abandoned—at least, we trust you don’t.

His Serene Highness the Grand Duke of Brighton Old Stein, or any other heavy swell, is not only a magnate—he is a magnet as well . . . . he attracts the observation of the vulgar.

If “looking down” on people prevented our looking people up, how many an agreeable house would be closed against us!

People give you the cold shoulder because we can only presume they want to—pick a bone with you!

There is hardly ever such a thing in the world as a real accident! An accident is generally only another name for carelessness. We don’t recommend the stoopid Paygunism of giving 100 guineas for a breechloader, any more than we recommend the vile Vandalism of shooting as many tame pheasants as you can in one day with it; but it isn’t an accident if you give £5 for a Brussels gun, and it bursts in your hand. Again, you knew there was a stair-rod loose, yet down you come two steps at a time, and get a cropper. Do you call that an accident? No, serves you right. Never mind: Howlaway’s ointment: two table spoonfuls in a wine-glass of water at bed-time; and, if you wake in the night, repeat the dose!

If you would do a thing well . . . . do what you like.

“The commonest of canters:” Al fresco clericals!

You may buy a horse for a big figure which isn’t worth a poney! Don’t.

The smell of a stable is not very agreeable, and yet a sniff of the “white horses” is very healthy. Have some: take a few.

P.S.—N. tremendously B. It is a mistake to call the waves “white horses.” They’re all mers!

The pressure of the wind on the 33rd ult. was 29 lb. 18 oz. to the square inch (see morning papers), but poor fat old Smith alone knows what its pressure was on him! P.S.—He’s been suffering agony, lumbago-ny, ever since; but then, don’t you know, he’s no very great shakes at the best of times—or rather he is.

The cordiality (!) with which some flabby-handed people grasp your hand is also . . . . no very great shakes.

Apropos of shaking hands, fancy what’s-his-name, Briareus, and the other hundred-handed feller shaking hands: what fun they must have been!

Tact is a modern Gyges also with a hundred hands, two of the most serviceable of which you will invariably find to be—humility and deference.

P.S.—Our servant, we feel convinced, reads our Lemprière, because this morning, when we told him to look sharp about something, we heard him mutteringly mumbling to himself, “ ’E hexpex heverybody to be a Hargus with a ’undred ’ands to do heverything in a jiffey!”

P.P.S.—Hate people who mutteringly mumble to themselves. If they’ve got anything to say which they want you to hear, let ’em say it out; if not, hold their tungs.

P.P.P.S.—They won’t.

Theatrical Burlesque Managerial motto: “Libertas in legibus.”

P.S.—It wouldn’t be bad dog Latin for a big opera hat—would it?—libertas in le gibus.

We hear people complain of German bands, brass bands, boy bands, etc.; but of all bands, what band can be so thoroughly discordant a band, or so perfectly harmonious a band, as a — — husband!

When making two great ewes of our eyes—far too great use of them—and trying too much to do our best to look killing with the gl’amour of love, we are sometimes only too apt to look — — sheepish!

And yet, O Readah,—you yourself must have experienced it—how often—oh, how often—do not the eyes save the tongue the trouble of speaking!

woman with a fan

Spoonful XXXVII.

When girl cuts girl, then comes the tug of war!

But we should like to know this: how is it that Miss Lightly Vittefille can, with impunity, can—and still know Duchesses—do fifty things in the flirting flouncing, flaunting, philandering way, any one of which, if done by Miss Proper Person, would bring upon her devoted chignon the shrieks, shrugs, winks, whispers, obloquy, back-bitings, slanders, upturned noses, yells and execrations of all Society!

Virtue is very often but another name for necessity. You, for instance, who pass nearly all your time in writing, drawing, painting, pianoing, etc., and get such kudos for doing it, you like larx as well as anybody, eh? if you only had time; but you must be virtuous or—you go without your dinner.

Some one—French feller—says, “Nobody ever believes Virtue to be Virtue unless she appears as a bore.” “Ennuy-cuse,” Sir Frenchman, is your word, but we’re not on wi’ you, sir, because—fortunately—it isn’t true: ’twould indeed be hard lines if there were nothing for us between the demi and the dummy—monde.

To the pure all things are pure. Well, we don’t know; it depends a good deal on the sort of puer! but there is one thing we are quite sure of, which is . . . . that to the im-pure nothing is ever impure enough.

Yes, bread is the staff of life, but how different are the sorts of bread we have to put up with. Some of us get but broken crusts, whilst others have . . . . rent rolls.

A toast: May we never have to drink our own healths . . . . in physic!

Another toast: May the lover who’s a spoon never find he’s not got sugar enough, may the grouts never come to the surface, and may he never find . . . . a stranger in his cup.

Love is to man what the sun is to the sun-dial; he is simply nothing without it.

“They manage these things much better in France!” We talk of “Love,” simply love; they say £’amour; there you rarely find £’amour without his needful £, the article he revels in.

Here’s a new name for ladies’ cigarettes: Duck-weeds.

It is very sad, but how many a little duck is — — a great goose.

If you ad-mire and follow an ignis fatuus over marshy places and get “let in,” morass you!

No man is so likely to be done as he who, considering himself “all there,” is but only “half sharp.” The razor which won’t shave us may be sharper than one’s pocket-knife, yet it’s no use at all. However, any one who is done twice with the same trick deserves his fate.

People should be careful how they pay compliments. Atkins, for instance, says, “Tomkins has more in his head than meets the eye!” Tomkins was awfully savage, and denied it.

“Soaring above our nature does no good; we must return to our own . . . . flesh and blood!” Quite so, or it’s the two-stool business to a certainty: the—ah—the—ahem—the what-you-may-call-it—the parasite, who leaves the unwashed mendicant in the hopes of pasturing on the clean man, simply gets caught and — — annihilated for his pains.

Talking of parasites naturally brings us to the needle of the compass, for it is true to the pole; so, as he deserves encouragement, any sort of truth now-a-days being quite a treat, here’s a lot of polls for him to be true to, and have his choice of:—harem scarum idea, isn’t it? Poor old needle, S.E.W.N. up whichever way he turns, he’ll have a young lady ready to meet him, and join him in the matrimonial N.E.W.S.

compass face

Spoonful XXXVIII.

man writing with a quill

Conscience,” we are told, “makes cowards of us all.” No doubt, but every one who has little or much Shakesperience, must agree with us when we state it as our belief that there’s many a man a cur who never had a conscience. Look at the anonymous letter-writer for instance: what do you think of him? Do you think he ever had a conscience, and isn’t he a cur? We ask you now, isn’t he?

“Showing the white feather” is detestable enough at all times, but the miserables who dip it in their ink, and use it as we describe—and they are equally Gillotty when using a steel pen—to stab others behind their backs, are they not the veriest dastards modern civilization can boast of?

The thief who prigs your watch, or your cigar-case, or your handkerchief (it’s the watch they handkerchiefly after), though a blackguard, takes his chance like a man of being caught, and either well thrashed or hauled up for it; but the snake in the grass, the pitiful sneaking hound who steals your friend’s love, your wife’s comfort, your employer’s confidence, and who only dares do it because he . . . . . runs no danger—what is he? The cur only ventures to try to perhaps ruin you with a stroke of his white feather, because he can do it with impunity, without even the slightest risk of discovery!—because he is safe.

Really, Printer, what is the use of your having notes of admiration and all sorts of other printing gimcrackeries, and yet having nothing, positively nothing, to express disgust? It’s ridiculous; make something; make it big, and put it in here; make something that there can be no mistake about—something that will signify detestation, loathing, and contempt, and while you are about it, put in two of them. Stop a minute, Printer; we’ve caught sight of our own face in a mirror, thinking of this anonymous pen-viper, and an exact delineation of its expression saves you the trouble of making what we asked, and finishes this spoonful without our having to insult any other member of the community by even speaking of him on the same page as—the anonymous letter-writer.

man with arms out

Spoonful XXXIX.

women in water

Did you ever read or hear the story of how a party of the name of Actæon caught the dipping dripping Diana in her al fresco bath, of the terrific fate which befell him in consequence of his peeping-Tomness, of how fearfully he must have regretted going to see wimmin swimmin’, and have hated every damp place even ever afterwards? Did you ever hear this fable?—because we see a good deal of feminine al fresco tubbing and Actæonising going on every morning at the sea-side, and you ought to remember the first instance on record of a man’s . . . . going to the dogs through doing it—except, by-the-bye, we had almost forgotten it—there is a difference: then it took a goddess to change what’s-his-name into a stag, for catching her in some stagnant or running water; but, now-a-days, there is not the very slightest occasion for her or any other supernatural female swell to arrive ex machinâ to turn a man, who systematically makes it his morning’s pastime to obsurf her bathing in the billows, into a beast, for . . . he so indubitably is perfectly capable—as he proves—of making one of himself.

Reader—it is very odd, but some men’s entire time appears to be passed betwixt—“Delicacies” and indelicacies!

Apropos of Actæon and stags, let us beg you to kindly remember that your servi are simply servants, and can only go a quarter of an hour’s walk in fifteen minutes; they are not cervi—though we grant you they are dear—to do the distance in five.

When we are at the sea-side, or on board somebody’s ship, we are constantly hearing sailors talk of “a nice dancing breeze.” At Ryde or Brighton, we presume this is the breeze that makes the sea to be—a pier-a-wetting.

P.S.—Odd, ain’t it? but at this season of the year at Brighton, Ramsgate and Margate, &c., the wind is pretty generally Jew-ess’t!

Distance lends enchantment to the view!—lends, you will observe, the enchantment which proximity takes away again, for as the pearl grey blue of the distant hills is gone when we get there, so, but too frequently, vanishes the snow-whiteness of that cotton stocking we admired so much . . . . from the other side of Regent Street.

We know a lady with golden hair—so, perhaps, do you. We know a lady—bless her!—with silver hair; and so, perhaps (if you are lucky), do you; but yesterday, mirabile dictu, we had the pleasure of being introduced to a lady with real Platina hair!!—most wonderful thing you ever saw in your life: real, you know, not bought—growing, positively growing. It must be very rare.

Idleness was the mother of Boredom: the active-minded man is like a bright fresh clear running stream, not necessarily a “babbling” one; the idle, mildewy-brained party, au contraire, is like a stagnant old pond, of no use, no earthly use but for feeding ducks . . . . (at Greenwich or Richmond), and the ducks are quite right to try and . . . . . clean him out.

Remember this—the most accidental introduction may rule the destiny of a life, and that it isn’t what melodramatists call “villains of the deepest dye” you need mind so much—every gosling can see through them: it’s villainesses of the lightest dye who do the mischief!

No, we never liked crinoline: nevertheless, we do think it might—on occasions—be an improvement. At any rate, it would render the female form a trifle less like a statue wet than it invariably is now on leaving the ocean, and we feel convinced would be most comfortable for natatory purposes, to say nothing of to a certainty doing away with Actæonising.

women in bathing costume

Spoonful XL.

Our drawing represents what zoologists would call “a group of bears at play;” they gambol in and out of the mouth of the cave, their home, happy as the day is long, with no thought for the morrow, no prescience that they will one day be put in pots with their portraits on the top, preparatory to their being eventually rubbed on and into the heads of bald humanity. Yes, it is very unfortunate, most unfortunate, but now, at this particular moment, they are gambolling inside the mouth of the cave, and therefore perhaps, as the cave is rather dark, you cannot distinctly see them; but we assure you they are there nevertheless. You don’t believe it; you think it’s all fudge; all gammon and spinach? Ah, dear gosling, that’s just your error: you will judge by appearances, and insist upon thinking because you don’t see a thing that there’s nothing to see; you imagine because you don’t understand it, it’s not worth understanding; you suppose because all a man knows is not swaggered out, he knows nothing; because everything people have is not on the surface, that there is nothing to put there; because a fifty-gun frigate on the horizon looks only a white speck, you ignore the millions of ropes, sails, men, guns, flags, bilge-water, marlingspikes, lee scuppers, and goodness only knows what, all which are there if you could see them. Oh, you booby! Oh, the mistake you make: and even more so if you think because all appears in the whitened sepulcher line, fair outwardly, that it must be so in reality! When you bit that apricot yesterday, did you bargain for the wopsy inside? And that new-laid-looking egg at breakfast this morning, eh? what a lot of chickenerie may be covered by a white and smooth exterior! So ’tis with us all: we won’t believe in the quiet unassuming man, but insist upon making a confidant of the assuming one; we pooh pooh the sheep, and make a friend of the wolf in the sheep’s get-up; ignore that which is, and rush headlong to grief through believing in that which is not. Sweet youth, remember this, “The knave” is never so dangerous as . . . . when he’s “a trump!”

The Sharper’s Paradise: A well-furnished “flat!”

Who’s Griffiths? We hope you know, because we don’t; haven’t the most remote idea; but people tell us he’s a “safe man:” however, whether he is or is not, here is one:


Let us call him — — — the guardian of our goods; we mean it for a policeman on the key vive, but you may call it a padlock if you prefer it, it won’t alter his name, it won’t prevent his being still useful to your safety[** .]

P.S.—His portrait, especially his legs, was two keysily, was took very easelly, very easily indeed, notwithstanding his feet were going for wards all the time we were doing them.

P.P.S.—A French friend who sees this Peeler, says that his legs at any rate, whatever his body may be, are mortal clay.

P.P.P.S.—By-the-bye, he spells clay clefs; but never mind.

Apropos of taking portraits, &c., if any one of your sketching artist friends should kindly offer to “knock you off something in a minute,” see that it is neither a ladder nor a horse.

The male heart has been likened to a bad luck . . . . pshaw, padlock, which opens only with a particular word: we are told to find that word and enter at our pleasure; quite so: we’ve found it: the word is—dinner. No? you mean to say it isn’t? Well, then, it’s money! Bet you it’s money: get some one to leave you a couple of hundred thou., and see whose heart will remain closed to you: not many; certainly not ours.

Fashionable brown has become for women’s gowns, especially the tint we call in a cow “dun:” funny we should have mentioned a cow in alluding to — — Buff à la mode.

New name for a lady’s bathing-costume: A sea-weed! Why not? It’s a sea-gar-meant!

Rufflestone, who hates “the water,” went out in a boat yesterday, to “oblige a lady!” On returning, he was much praised for his sea-row-ic conduct!

All’s fair in love and war! P.S.—That is, if you are much bigger and stronger than the other feller.

Sad reflection on passing a young ladies’ school: As in joiner’s work a board becomes a door, so in life does a boarder become ador’d, and so again sometimes, alas, when she ceases to be ador’d does she once again become bored.

Proper-minded mammas, who bring up their daughters in the way they should go, and steadily keep before them the idea of the value of an “establishment” and a dolce far niente life, will, we feel quite convinced, thank us sincerely for the valuable hint given below; and toy-shop keepers, we are rather inclined to imagine, will also find it very remunerative indeed!

Here’s a hint for the “establishment” and the Dollce(;) funny ain’t he?

two girls

Spoonful XLI.

Rome!—grand old Rome! the Eternal City—and Greece, glorious Greece—the birthplace of Phidias and Practiseitalittleless, or Praxiteles, or whatever his name was, have from time immemorial been the cradles, the schools of all that is superb in art, of all that is graceful in form. Is it not so? and who dares say they are not so still? for, lookee here—“the Roman fall;” “Romanus some!” The Roman foll-y! and the Greekly bent one—are they bewchus? They are indeed.

Miss Thomson likes dark moustaches, and yet Miss Thomson don’t quite detest fair ones; and for that reason she is glad she didn’t live in “Old Rome,” because then—upon the principle that “all flesh is grass”—all gentlemen must have been “grey-men!”

A false quantity is a thing very much to be avoided! We are not speaking chignonsensically: we don’t mean it for a plat-étude about hair; but seriously, we mean that the man who says “Boerdishyer,” or Omphāle, or theaytur, or Mansŏlus, or Cree-morne, or Pegāsus, or florēat Etŏna, and so on, is simply very wrong, and annoys our ear, but of all false quantities a false quantity of—of—onions is the very worst, as it not only annoys our ears, but our noses as well—one dare not, on nose pas, as the French put it, say how much. It is a very painful thing talking to anybody—or sitting even within three stalls of him or her at the play—who has been drinking bad sherry, or who—who—keeps up his spirits; but if possible the false quantity of onions is worse, as it—it—gives rise to great on-ī-ons, very great annoyance indeed, to non-lovers of that ought-to-be-forbidden f-root.

You pronounce the word “Gaelic,” “gay-lick,” eh? Well, you are wrong: you ought to pronounce it “garlic,” for are not the Scotch themselves—Call-ed-o-nions!

Why do people who are not Scotch, who have never been in Scotland, who have no Scotch connections, and in fact nothing whatever to do with Scotland, why do they insist upon perpetually “being so kind” as to “favour us” with songs all about “ganging awar Jammy,” and others of the same sort? We don’t know any greater bore out than that confounded “Jammy”—Jammy forsooth! Jammy’s a beast!

Pound-foolish-penny-wisdom: Giving six or seven, or even fifteen or £20 for a gorgeous letter-weighing machine for your writing-table, to save you an occasional penny.

After-thought, and no fore-thought,

Many a man to grief has brought:

Yes, and if some women—and men—only knew how utterly hideous they look when in a good passion, they would certainly think twice, and count twenty, like Tatty-coram, before—indulging themselves.

Ladies, wear French boots if you like; certingly, by all means, if you prefer it, let your boots be cuire, but don’t—please don’t—let your tempers be—queer too!

Do you know what you should be chary of letting your wife have too much of over you? eh?—you don’t? Well, then, ass send an’ see!

Of course we are open to correction, but we think we have sometimes found that a moral man is not necessarily a pious man, and that a pious man is not, invariably, a moral man.

There ought to be as much rejoicing over one real penny-tent, as there is ever is under a £50 marquee; but — — there isn’t. Now-a-days we rejoice and kill the fatted calf to feed the ninety and nine sinners: the Prodigal Son must look out for himself. P.S.—Alas poor P. S.!

Indecision is the bane of many characters, and we never see it more painfully exhibited than when a man can’t make up his mind which side of the pavement to pass you upon. If ever two men (it’s not so disagreeable when a pretty girl does it), if ever two men look like two fools, it is at this most inauspicious moment. Your only chance is to walk straight at him.

Capital place for seeing yourselves—plate glass windows—eh, Narcissuses? You look so contentedly at ’em: don’t mind acknowledging it; bless you! it does not follow that though you freely confess your faults, you should quit them—oh, dear no, not a bit: don’t be frightened.

Unpleasant . . . . . . .Rather a baw.
More unpleasant. . .Doocid awkward.
Most unpleasant. . .Dayvlish disagreahble.

P.S.—Though gentlemen talk like this, it don’t follow that doing it makes a gentleman. At any rate, don’t you do it, as they’re usually but empty-headed noodles who do.

Big baccies you goslings have taken to regale yerselves with lately. Let’s see—are they £20 a hundred, or only 15? Why not have ’em bigger and stronger and dearer still, eh? Would if we were you—why not?—of course! Make your retainers useful. Have not only cab boys but cabana boys, two pueri to every puro. They won’t object, not a bit—at least, as we never yet came across a feller’s fellow who wasn’t delighted to help his master smoke his biggest cigars, dare say you’ll find it the same: hope so, at any rate, for your sake.

men with a cigar

Spoonful XLII.

Supposing you take it into your head to valse four times running with that charming girl Miss de Twister Twister—who, by-the-bye, is good at valsing—and people begin to look ahemified at you, and to ask you, “I say, when’s it coming off?” or to say, “ ’gratcharlay char, ole f’lar, when’s the happy day to be?” and so on, you know what to answer, don’t you? You mean to tell us you don’t? Why, simply reply . . . . one good turn deserves another!

Church bells: Parson’s daughters if pretty.

P.S.—But remember this, if you marry a positive belle: she’ll either make you comparative or superlative to a certainty; we mean your belle will either make you . . . . beller or bellest—beller with woe, or blest with joy.

P.P.S.—However, we ought to remember that belles are only meant for ringing, and ought not, therefore, to be disappointed if they turn out a trifle—hollow!

The depth of a man’s hatband, and of the black edge round his note-paper, is not a criterion of the depth of his grief.

Pensée fugitive: How lucky “the mark of the beast” is not — — visible!

New and respectable name for Burlington Arcadians: B.A.’s!

People are always saying, “Look sharp!” They’re idiots. Don’t look sharp: be sharp without looking it.

A green youth, whose only ability, perhaps, is incapability, who is very “well-to-do,” is alas, but too often considered by his friends only—good to be done. However, it is cruel to be kind to him—much kinder to be cruel if it makes him smart.

The military and the marine lobster should both be—bowled; for in either case he is most esteemed and admired when he’s-a-lad—bonâ fide, or only in a shell jacket!

When you go out and are not “made at home,” make yourself at home; — — go home.

How very sad it is, but instead of getting es-steam, we frequently only get into . . . . the hot water!

A roaring trade: The costermonger’s.

The bore’s art of punctuation is invariably learnt in other people’s houses: he won’t learn to stop . . . . at home.

The original bore: The serpent, the snake in the grass, the anguis in herbâ who first brought Eve anguish, in her-bâ-bies!

If you are about to be kicked out of any place, leave the room before they begin! This sounds as if we were chaffing you—doesn’t it? but we are not—not at all; we are quite as serious as we usually are. We mean this: supposing either your inamorata, or your friend, or your tailor is getting sick of you—get sick of them first; and then, don’t you see, you are not humiliated, but . . . . they are! This is Christian, we think, quite en regle, eh?

Self-denial is said to be a virtue. We deny it—we deny it emphatically: for instance, saying “not at home,” when you’re at lunch, is a crammer!

Jones hates Robinson, and always takes every opportunity of running him down, but the other day, at Christie’s sale of the Duke of Ditchwater’s gimcracks, &c., we suppose he must have relented, as he took every opportunity of . . . . ah . . . . running him up!

The early bird (? swallow) picks up the worm; it’s the late bird who gets picked up himself.

Are you a racing man? Well, then, if you would avoid becoming quite horse de combat—if you would not leave yourself only a miserable life-long nightmare—and if you would not take all the gelding off your gingerbread,—don’t, when you have found a mare’s nest, don’t . . . . lay ponies on it!!!

Motto for the tops of the bears-grease pots: Bear and for bare!

We have a sort of a vague impression of having been told, or of having read or dreamt, that some adventurous M.P.—little Smirk perhaps—was going to bring in a bill to make it fellowny for any widow to get married in any town or village, the population of which was under 500,000, until all the presentable girls over twenty-five were provided for therein! We don’t believe that bill will ever become law; for of all females, the Fast Young Widow is perhaps the indiwidowal men admire with most awidowty; therefore we take this opportunity of observing that for their sakes as well as hers, we are glad Didoism, Sutteeism, &c., are not de rigeur in England: we are glad the F. Y. W. has not to immolate herself on any funeral pyres, to turn herself into an Indian, that is, a fire-indian, (you Hindostan what we mean), and thereby—put herself out. But whilst thus assuring her of our gladness that such a burning shame is not our law, we do nevertheless rather wish she wouldn’t look quite so ready to light a Hymen’s torcher for somebody else!

Does the cap by any chance fit you, ma’am, very becomingly? Well, then, you have our free permission to . . . . wear it.

woman and for sale sign

Spoonful XLIII.

Faithful to her charge is pretty Miss Amy Cherry’s chaperoneous maiden aunt—that is, as faithful as she is permitted to be, two being company, three none—and rather than that her sweet niece should be debarred her innocent amusements, she braves the elements; for you will observe that she is walking in the wind—a high one. Heroic lady! her chignon, fortunately securely fastened on by strong elastic ligaments, is blown as far from her head as the stretching powers of the said ligaments permit; and yet she minds it not: when the wind lulls, as it will almost immediately, let us sincerely hope her brains may not be dashed out by the sudden return of her ornamental head-dress to its proper position. Well, she walks here, and has to brave this discomfort, this, we may say, dangerous discomfort, simply because Miss A. C. likes flirting with young Fitzcoupons; and, what is more, she may go on walking there in the wind: what do they care? She be blown! who thinks of the sacrifices, bunions, boredoms, damp feet, late hours, &c., &c., &c., of the chaperone, the poor, unamused, uncared-for, and yet indispensable chaperone? And so ’tis with all the little lads and lasses of tender rage: boys of eighteen or so think only of themselves, and are never so happy as when flirting with the little lasses, and what fine specimens of little asses they thereby make of themselves, eh? Ah! spare the rod and spoil the child is a whacks him . . . . pshaw! maxim . . . . a most anterosting maxim, one should very especially and sternly apply to the youthful devotees of that idiot Cupid, for they want it. They want it very much. Usher-by Booby, on the tree—(a good big birch)—top, might be quoted and acted on with advantage long after they leave the nursery; but if you find that sort of a rod is only as good as a wink to your blind — — puppy, we should, for a change, give him a good punch on the head, for there is no earthly doubt, as our cookeress would put it, but that many a fine bird has been spoiled — — simply for the want of a basting.

De Vaudeville Tompkins is precisely the sort of person usually described by novelists as “a man of imposing presence!” Ha, ha! you have only got to talk to him for about five minutes to quite easily understand why . . . he is an impostor.

A dear friend: A sponge!

P.S.—You mustn’t throw him up; it’s actionable: but you may throw him over. Do.

P.P.S.—Pity bores are so slow; wish they’d more “go.”

The cabman’s and umbrella-maker’s motto: Make hay whilst the sun don’t shine! but the undertaker is better off than either of them, and makes his hay by the hundred acres whether it shines or not.

Never bet for gold: never do it for anything but shillings, introduce the “s” system, and then a bet is best; but keep on with the £ and you soon won’t have a shilling to accom-penny you.

What good-looking girls there are in some of the hair-dressers’ shops! P.S.—We merely mention this fact because it so fully accounts for the masculine jeunesse doré of the present era going about with its hair cut like a convict’s — — — — you see, they go very often to the hair-cutters’.

Cogitating thus how frequently youthful folly requires “putting in the corner” leads us on to making one observation on the science of minding your q’s, whatever you do with your p’s, leads us in fact to — — Billiards.

Yes, there can be no doubt about it, Billiards is a noble game! and the amount of attention some men pay to it highly, most highly, praiseworthy, as irrespective of its merits as an intellectual employment for our youth in the very nicest sort of society, and its gentle exercise in very pure air, rendering anti-billiards pills, &c., quite unnecessary, and restcueing us from all chance of taking gold, does it not give such excellent and natural opportunities for showing off? We do not allude to the showing off of your billiard skill, no, not even if you are a second Bowles, and play with that professor’s consummate ease and elegance, no, but . . . . if you have satin backs to your waistcoats, and your coats lined with silk, none of your beggarly alpaca businesses with only silk sleeve-linings, but the whole thing, how can you so unaffectedly display them as at billiards? The man with the diamond ring too, what a paradise must be billiards to him! What a bore the non-billiards player must find it always having to scratch his nose with his diamond ring finger to show its water (the ring’s, not his nose’s) to people; whereas at billiards nobody can, of course, for one moment imagine it unnatural for him to poser on his cue with the diamond shining well to the fore, the satin waistcoat-back resplendent in the rear, and the silk-lined garment negligently chucked on to a sofa with the silk outwards—N.B., with the silk outwards! Silk socks trouble some men a great deal to show them sufficiently, and seal-skin waistcoats, too, admit of much admiration, and form a superb background for the bringing well out of the festoonment of gold chains with many lockets; but the sport of billiards is the thing, and the man with the diamond ring on his left-hand little finger, and a satin back to his waistcoat, and his coat lined slap through with silk, he’s the man for billiards. Oh! how we admire the man with all these expensive luxuries, who has the good sense and courage to let you plainly see he means to show ’em, and . . . . who does it.

Look at Pilkington Brouwne: well, he’s going to have a game now. Oh! don’t you wish you were going too?

man with a cane

Spoonful XLIV.

man helping woman with shoes

Look around you, and tell us if we have any chance of getting rid of it: look around you and see if we complain without cause: look around you, O Burlington Arcadians; “circumspice,” O oiled and curled modern Assyrians; see for your scented selves, O deboshed-looking Pall Mall Pale Males, O Aldershooters, and then say if it is not with us—and apparently as a fixture—in its worst form, in its direst shape . . . “the foot and mouth disease” . . . . Pinched-up feet and painted lips!

Pad yourselves out and pinch yourselves in by all means if you like it, dear sirs; pinch yourselves in and pad yourselves out by all means if you think it improves you, dear madams; but don’t, oh, please, please do not . . . . puff yourselves up!

No, all is not gold that glitters: for instance, bracelets are occasionally brasslets!

Here’s a new name for the Auricommon dyed hair: The light fantastic tow!

A man of many checks but not one cross: Rothschild!!

Exchange is no robbery! isn’t it? ah! the felonious feller who said this never changed an English ten-pound note in Jerusalem, or he would purrobberbly have altered his opinion.

Mouths are uncommonly like teeth; most of them can be stopped . . . . with gold.

In this world “patronage” is everything: it is precisely to man what the sun is to the burning-glass; you’re no use without it.

What “coign of vantage” equals £1?

People may say “brevity is the soul of wit,” and it may be, but our creed is that beef-tea not brevity has something to do with it: what lamp, much less that of wisdom, will burn without oil, and what wit is not sharpened by a clear soup, a mite of fish, a cutlet and a bird? Booh! there’s no doubt about it, Beef-tea is the soul of wit.

P.S.—Beef-tea, etc.!

Don’t be too proud of your mental capacities—it’s not “nous” that is cared for now-a-days; it’s an ’ouse where you can give dinners; your “noos” may be superb, but if you’ve no ’osses you’re nobody.

Kickton Wipptton suffers a good deal at dinner sometimes from—his wine going down “the wrong way.” We can only imagine that a good many of his disagreeable and mean speeches wishing to come up that way disagree with the generous fluid gowing down. It’s no joke to him, however; wish it was—a choke. Pah! we hate him.

P.S.—Pah! is not an affectionate term; not at all: when we say Pah! to a man who is not our father, it’s rather a sign we wish he was!

P.S.—Much farther.

Yes, we have always been given to understand that the world is round, and we know that there are some people who firmly believe it to be flat; as for ourself, however, though our theory may be original, having travelled a great deal, we have come to the sad conclusion that it is . . . . sharp at both ends!

Did you ever go up the Nile? We did, and found out this fact when we got back again, that “the painted goose,” said to be peculiar to Egypt, Nubia, and thereabouts, is not peculiar to Egypt, Nubia, and thereabouts; oh, de-ar, no, you can see her feeding on the banks of the Thames at Greenwich, and Richmand, any day!

Apropos of Egypt, travelling, and these lovely worshipped birds, we may as well mention that a good rule to apply to your position in a railway train is . . . . in medio tutissimus—ibis!

Talking of ibises, reminds us of camels, and to assure you that though we cannot vouch for it as a fact that any one straw ever did break any camel’s back, that thirty-nine dozens and a half of “straws” (6¼, five buttons, you know, 7/9 a pair) very nearly broke a certain donkey’s bank; that we can vouch for; we know that to be a fact.

P.S.—By-the-bye; camels; did you ever get up to the top outside of one? Awful bad riding, ain’t they? most tremendous case of “Packs an’ bellow” their being loaded, isn’t it?

Our drawing below represents a gentleman—“living within his means!” but as his “means” means absolutely nothing, we have put him in an empty purse, in fact, gone “hammuck-er!” We should not have mentioned it at all, only there was an argument in one of the sporting papers some time ago as to whether the Jack Snipe does or does not sit on a rail, and we thought that our drawing of another sort of long-billed feller might serve to throw some light on the subject! What we mean is this, that though the Jack Snipe may not sit on a rail, the Jack-ass does get up a tree, and that—considering all things—we affirm to be infinitely more wonderful. What do you think?

man in a hammock

Spoonful XLV.

Readeress, sweet and charming Readeress, the subject we are about not to touch upon—the Fates forbid!—but to write about, is one which requires the greatest finesse and delicatesse in the handling but as you, belle dame, yourself will overdo it, our subject, in such a horred way, we trust we may be pardoned if, by any accident in following your example, we, in our way, should also lay it on too thick.

The—ah-article we approach thus timidly, with such awe and trembling, is — — is — — Paint! Rouge!! Bloom of Whatshername!!! (Pig-meant) Carmine! Enamel! “Bleu pour Veines,” and all the horrid collection of detestable and unwholesome compounds sold under fifty different names, for the purpose of making the female face — — RED! for the special purpose of proving . . . . a miss is not as good as — — émail!

When a woman who has once been beautiful, when she who might have sat as a model for a painter’s angels, when she who has been as nearly divine perhaps as earthly nature permits woman to be, sees herself, day by day, getting more and more and ever more passée, we can understand and pardon her weakness in trying to replace on their stems once again the fallen petals of her beauty, in trying to rebud the roses which the for-ever-past spring-times of youth and summers of full bloomyness have withered and decayed: when she finds her eyelashes beginning to fall out and her cheeks beginning to fall in, her teeth getting loose and her breath tight, her waist getting thick, her hair thin, her face fade, her figure fat, her eyes and ankles heavy, and the bloom which ought to be on her cheeks turning to blue M’m which ought not to be on her lips—then we can understand her going in for “one touch of un-nature,” for . . . . the hare’s foot versus the—crow’s, for a little of this, that, and t’other, to assist the wreck of her girlhood, the remnant of her beauty, to look as well as it can be made to, as much like what it was, as possible. Yes, as we put five coats of varnish on an old shoe to vainly try and hide its wrinkles, and as Dick Swiveller inked his old hat to hide Time’s white ravages, we can understand this; but we can not understand young girls—fresh fair dimpled blooming young girls—doing the same: we can not understand inking a new hat!

We know, alas! that the sort of uprightness so much in vogue just now—in this “year of grace,” comes from the dressmaker—that grace of figure is more important to a great many people’s swell-being than grace of heart, and that being dis-graceful is not much—if at all—worse in some opinions than being un-graceful. We know that if it were but “the fashion,” “the thing,” “chic,” and some heavy female swell—some “comme-il-faut” party—painted her face pea-green, sky-blue, lemon-yellow, or Chinese orange, that each Mary Ann or Susan, each Louisa and Theresa, each Charlotte we meet, would probably paint hers the same gashly hue, to be—comme il faut and — — comme elle fausse. But why? Cui bono?—what’s it all for? It must be to please themselves, for men are for once unanimous in sneering at, laughing at, chaffing at, in detesting, and in setting—no joke meant—their faces against it, and would tell you, O self-paintresses, if they were honest, and not intent on always humbugging you, that whenever they see very much got-up faces, lips, eyes, hair, etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., they are thereby warned as plainly as if “Mantraps” were illuminated in black letters on your foreheads, instead of ill-omen-ated in red on your lips and cheeks; and, if conceit were not, as well as Love, Fortune, and Justice, blind, you would see the proofs of what we say, and acknowledge that whereas femme sotte se cognoit à la cotte, it is the simple girl, though she may not look like mischief, who—as regards marriage—does the most.

woman and three men

Readeress, paint is like taking flattery, sal volatile, and other stimulants. You get accustomed to it, and think you can’t do without it. You put on a little to begin with, then a little more, then a little more, THEN a little moree sempre crescendo, as the music says—go on, on, on until you arrive at f.f.f. and your face looks like a Clown’s, or like the “lean and slippered paint alone,” without your having the least idea that it is distinguishable, that it is rather too loud. But, stop a minute, we beg pardon—perhaps we are wrong: we ought to ask — — is it meant to deceive? is it meant to take us in, or is it put on like the “1871 chignon,” without any wish whatever for concealment of its shamness? Do you, O lovely lady paintress—do you—can you, for one moment, in this case, believe that — — Use IS second Nature? Are you weak enough to think men don’t know you are painted? Do you put “kohl” in your eyes with any hopes of throwing dust in ours? Say, brilliant-eyed bella donna, is it all meant to look like nature?—because, if it is, it don’t: not a bit! it’s a failure—literally a miserable little bottle, that is—a fiasco! Bring a looking-glass out into the sun some day, and see the astounding enlightenment you will get on the subject of—Use being second Nature.

Again, DO you think it improves you? Do you? O don’t think it does: O don’t think it improves you—it doesn’t. Pray don’t make what the lower orders call “the bloomin’ error” of thinking Charmin’ is spelt—Carmin’, that enamelling is enamouring, and that putting on blanc de this, de that, and t’other which don’t naturally blanc to you, suits you? Why paint the lielie? Why try and do the butterfly more butterfly than Nature has already done? Why use “eyebrow pencils”—unindiarubberable, unendurable eyebrow pencils? Why do it all? Why, O female goose, think it necessary to sally forth in your oie paint? Is it because red is the complementary colour of green?—is there not enough natural fire in your eyes without your putting kohl in ’em?—is not the natural glow of warmth in your cheek preferable to any fire-lit — — — — powder? Do you do it because you dislike anything “slow,” and the hare foot is—fast? Surely, there must be a happy mean betwixt the demi and the dummy-monde—between putting kohl in your eyes and ashes on your head; between—pain and paint.

Oh, lave and leave it all off! Don’t be talked into buying it by those who find your paint and their pay in’t; burn it—make your rouge-pot, your pitiful pot aux folles, a pot au feu, for it won’t wash in any sense. Let us see Nature’s Tricolor in its sweet and kissable beauty: the red which can turn white, the white which can turn red; and let us not ask in vein for the blue, but do not let your Tricolor be a trickler which wipes off when you—you—dance, runs fast when it should stand firm, does its best to make the bright and blue ocean which floats you so nicely into a Red Sea, cracks when you smile, and when you weep makes you shed tears of—Red Paint!

Ah, dear Readeress, we are quite aware that by saying these few words, we prove ourself a nincompoop, a very noodle; as the man of the world, though he disdain to tell you a lie, knows it is much more dangerous as a rule to tell people the—Truth; but, having told it you, don’t treat that truth as you do your hair, don’t — — make light of it—don’t — — — keep it dark; for, believe us, that with men whose love is love, and worth having, there is no such anteros as paint; for, believe us, with men whose admiration is worth gaining—Beauty unadorned’s adored the most!

Readeress, there are people who consider that—“sham” is four-fifths on the road to . . . . shame!


Spoonful XLVI.

Talk about the danger of getting under the influence of the Upas tree: Pshaugh! what’s that to the danger of getting under the influence of the Cocoa tree, the witching female coquetterie!!

Love is said to be blind! He is; and the scales he has in his eyes are but too often . . . . banker’s balances.

You know what the male B an’ S is, of course; soda we: it’s eau de wie. But what’s the female T an’ S, eh? why, tea and scandal!

How many a lady takes upon herself the place of doctor: she gives us . . . . cast o’ ’er œil.

Reader, are you a drinksman and a smokist? Well, if so, remember this—and we are not singular in our opinion—that though we don’t mind your post-prandial pipes, we do thoroughly object to your boast brandyal braggings.

New name for a deadly poison: Sunkeneye’d of pot-house-ium!—Beg pardon, we mean cyanide of potassium: excuse our error; you see the train of thought which led to it.

“Absence makes the heart grow fonder”! how true this is! there are positively some people we quite like when they’re a long way off.

Poeta nascitur, non fit,”

 And so are . . . gentlemen and wit.

Odd, isn’t it?—how exceedingly like one parvenu is to another parvenu—how peculiarly the mushroom resembles the toadstool, eh? There’s mushroom for improvement in both these fun-guys. We are, however, funkgi they won’t believe us! Mushrooms, as some wag has put it, are like a man in a balloon—everybody they see they look down upon, and imagine he looks “uncommon small:” they forget how very small they look to everybody else! Icarus-like, they think to soar above every one, forgetting all about the unreality of their wings, and that they are—themselves and their wings too—but cham-pignons after all.

It is so; and we may add, that though the estimation we are held in by about seventeenth-eighteenths of “Society” consists not in the very least by what we are, but solely by what we have, if you, a poor gentleman, want to be thoroughly sneered at, thoroughly—not sham-pooh’d (Shoddy don’t do much in that line) but pooh-pooh’d, thoroughly sat upon and treated like dirt, simply because you are impecunious, you must have the operation performed by a parvenu, by some nouveau riche who’s invented a patent dust-bin and made a fortune! However, Providence is kind, most kind, and to make up for it, has given us this consolation: that we know Shoddy, Esq., would give about seventy per cent. of his dust-bin booty to be us, and that if he thinks us hardly worth speaking to, we don’t think he’s worth speaking to at all, and therefore when he meets us, if he will but be half as sparing of his words—especially the H’y ones—as he is of his sovereigns, we shall be—mutually, we have no doubt—gratified and contented.

Whatever vices you have, avoid envy and selfishness; for the first punishes you, and not in the very least . . . . the envied. And as for selfishness . . . . . . Bah! Pooh! the manger dog in the horse’s salle à mangy, who couldn’t eat his meat himself, but yet carefully prevented others from eating it, was not only a brute, but a stoopid quadroopid into the barking: but perhaps, if possible, a more disagreeable brute still than the selfish man is the sham generous man! “You like those cigars?” he says. “Ah! I’ll send you a box of ’em.” And so on. Does he? does he send you a box of ’em? Not a leaf. However, like the scandalmonger, he gets known and loved accordingly, for believe us, dear boy, egotism is — — all my I!

You are not perhaps aware that in small foreign hotels (and English ones, too, for all we know to the contrary), on steamers, etc., etc., etc., they have but one sort of Rhine wine, but every possible sort of label: for instance, we order Steinwein, you Johannisberg, somebody else Liebfraumilch, and so on; the waiter gives us all the same wine, having previously labelled them to suit our wishes. Now, is not this precisely what a toady does with his face? does not the beast weep with you and laugh with us at the very same thing? Is not that the one-wine-different-labels business, eh? Ah! hang it all! we can’t help it, but we never see a toady without wishing he was . . . . toe’d: we don’t use this word in its German sense, goodness forbid, we only mean we wish he was kicked. And yet what a lot of toadies we all are. You now, for instance—we dare you to deny it—if the writer of these humble papers were only a friend of the Prince of Wales, or some equally heavy Hyperion, of course it wouldn’t make any difference in your opinion of his powers? you wouldn’t immediately feel a sort of a kind of a craving to know him, now would you? you don’t think you would incontinently ask him to dinner, now do you? and then, of course quite casually, mention that that feller, “don’t you know, that friend of the Prince of Wales (or Wales is perhaps your way of putting it) who writes those etc., etc., etc.,’s going to dine with me to-morrar,” eh? You don’t think you would? you don’t think you would then find more in him than you thought for? No? you wouldn’t? You mean to say that you would not? Then bless you, O Reader, you at least are a man after our own heart! for you are NOT . . . . a Toady!

frog in a tophat

Spoonful XLVII.

castle in moonlight


The moon-rays thickly silver o’er

    The ruin old and grey,

Whilst lighter star-beams float upon

    The ripples in the bay:


The pebbly beach gives back again

    The kisses of the waves,

Which, curling, form a white moustache

    Around the mouth of caves!


They ripple on, they ripple on,

    On, on, for aye, for ever,

They cover cherished mem’ries o’er,

    And living loves they sever!


Each star perhaps shines o’er the spot

    Where monsters horrid keep,

With dead men’s skulls for drinking-cups,

    Their revels in the deep!


Ye ghouls! ye demons! give me drink

    From out those ghastly cups,

I’ve . . . . got a female dawg at home,

    I’ll chuck yer all her pups!

Quite so: no doubt you think this very fine, witty, touching, and so on; but should you not be able, O Mævius, to do anything better than this, don’t — — write any more poems; for remember the dictum of the sage, “that though every poet may be a fool, it is NOT every fool who is a poet!”

We have been told that there are certain embers which never die out till towards the end of a year, and that they are November and December; but there is yet another ember, which, alas, but too frequently does die out before the end of a year: it is . . . . rem-ember.

A man may Not marry his gran’mother!! Who, let us ask, in tones of undisguised indignation, WHO was the miserable sinner who wanted to do so? Who was he that gave occasion for this tremendous prayer-book law? Where is he? His gran’mother!! The ruffian!!!

Treasured Reader, we hear a great deal about “the height of fashion;” but what is the height of fashion, eh? Why . . . . heels!!

two pairs of feet

We knew a man once who got so bored that he bought a lot of those counterpanes, you know, common counterpanes, nasty heavy things with no warmth in them, that have little hard cotton pills sticking up all over them: well, this feller bought seven or eight of them and went to bed and stopped there until he had pulled all the little knobs off every single counterpane! Why? Because he said he had nothing else to do and this was a little change for him! “Nothing to do!!” Do you by any chance ever say you have “nothing to do”? How about your roving rambling revelling dashing driving drivelling snivelling grinding shrieking sneaking speaking crying talking walking swimming shooting sailing sleeping snoring basking meandering toadying playing dipping plunging grubbing reading writing drawing lawing moaning mourning moving mooning spooning jogging trotting betting raging worrying stewing flurrying slandering standing lying buttering flirting flaunting lounging longing loving envying dressing cutting snubbing shopping smoking eating praying, eh? Oh, de-ar fellow, il diavolo tempts everybody, but the lazy man tempts il diavolo. Why not avoid this lazy faire, this lazy aller style? “A dead and unpleasant fish can swim with the stream, but it takes a live one to swim against it,” and you never know when it may not be necessary for you to look alive at any rate. “No one e’er found a happy life by chance, or yawned it into being with a wish;” and it is our deliberate opinion that no man need ever suffer from ennui whose motto is . . . Ennui go!

“Nothing to do!” Bah! Time is like a wedding ring, or a fried whiting with his tail in his mouth—we can’t see the end of him, though we all have plenty of warnings to show us how he slips away. Don’t, O cæci, O dillydallytory duffers, despise these warnings because they are small. We are not all as lucky as Belshazzar, but our warnings ought to be none the less patent to us on that account. Look at the little busy bee below—how he improves each shining hour; whilst you stand idly by and simply — — do the “humming,” instead of remembering that Time is the party to make much of, for we shall never see him again as he was yesterday, and may not see him at all — — to-morrow; and every tomb-in-its in its tomb is two minits less time left us to make up our mind to do it.

O baby seconds! O little minutes! O bright hours of day! O grey horæ hours of night, how do we not waste you! O Time, how are you not — — murdered! but vengeance is thine own, and when the day comes for one of those little fleeting seconds to be worth an empire, shall we have it spared us? No, not one.

Ah, indeed and indeed, well may they say, “tempus fugit,” and indeed and indeed, well may we add . . . . few-get tempus!

man standing on watch

Spoonful XLVIII.

There are a number of things which always strike us when we dine out: for instance, we never sit next a sweet woman, whether her hair be like the raven’s or the canary’s wing, without thinking of that old old joke of “Sweets to the Sweet;” we never sit next a sour one without thinking of tarts to the tart; we never sit next a pretty, well-shaped, trembling one without thinking of — — blancmanges aux anges, and we are never helped on with our great coat by Jeames de la Pluche without mentally ejaculating . . . . Douceurs to the Dooce!

The Bill we all receive with pleasure: The Bill of Fare!

Very nice, isn’t it? walking home after dining out, on a bright starlit evening, for ’tis then, on a fine night, we can best realize the infinenight.

How easily man is upset by trifles! a new shoe for instance can make us anewshoeally wretched, or a fly in one’s eye is very mouche in the way.

Telling a “mauvaise langue” not to abuse his neighbour is waste of breath, but telling him he’s libel to be prosecuted if he does, may have more effect.

Reader, the scandalmonger is just like the ermine: he—has always a black tale ready for anybody!

There is nothing a doctor requires so much and yet so thoroughly and entirely could do without as . . . . the gratis patients!

A tour de Nail: Scratching.

Receipt for doing a heart: Stuff it!

P.S.—Is a very light heart ever—a hollow one? We are afraid so.

Dear boy, how many a man who before marriage was looked upon as an angelus, turns out afterwards not to be . . . . an’ jealous!!

A disappointed sutor: Ha, ha! an unpaid bootmaker.

—Dear goslings, it is quite as safe to play with the very edgeiest tools, the use of which you are completely unacquainted with, as to talk about things you don’t understand, you must certainly—come to grief; for as by means of the smallest keyhole we can see slap into the next room, so through one ignorant remark may you allow people to perceive your utter and complete ignorance.


People say that a very loquacious man is generally an ass; it may be so, but Corpo di Whatshisname! haven’t we just known reserved fools too, eh? rather: and of all fools what fool can equal the solemn fool, eh? No one.

Saying “Haw haw!” and so on, is what the Germans call—having ein nasal pronunciation: they don’t mean speaking through your nose, but . . . . like a donkey.

Wonder why Messrs. Peace and Loving advertise their decoctions as obtainable throughout “the Queendom”? ah! suppose it is that they being so accustomed to strong salts, wish also to show their knowledge of the Salic law!

No amount of familiarity seems to breed contempt between the bon vivant and his plat.

Nothing greases the wheels of time like . . . . sweet toil! Have some.

Dear boy, it is no joke—making jokes.

We constantly hear people say, “I’d give the world for this, that, or t’other!” Give the world for it! yes, we notice people are always most ready to give away—what don’t belong to them.

Gratitude is not only a chimera, but a chimera obscura!

The last canard: When a man says, “Mon cher, je suis mallard,” look out for quacks!

How many a widow, like a duellist, has . . . . killed her man!

Ladies, excess of trimming don’t make you trim.

P.S.—How is it, why is it, as a general rule, that girls with pimples on their shoulders wear their gowns lower than girls with dimples on their shoulders? We want to know.

Funny idea struck us the other night at the play: how lucky it is the musicians choose different instruments; suppose they’d all studied the drum, for instance, eh? or supposing they’d all been bassoons, or triangles, or even floots: be a bore, wouldn’t it?

Got bunions? mean to say you have? what big, bad ones? poor old chap! we’re awfully sorry: never mind: hide ’em: conceal ’em: . . . . rosettes on your boots!!! why not? eh? why shouldn’t you do it as much as your wife, eh? of course: look very well: try it: velvet: we think we’d have ’em velvet: looks so very rich: put ’em on next Sunday, and live to bless us for the suggestion!

feet in shoes

Spoonful XLIX.

How like is the farthing doll we shy four shillings’ worth of sticks at at the races—without knocking it down—to experience! We can, if we like, get it for next to nothing from others, yet we prefer to give our youth and money to get it for ourselves. Yes, and notwithstanding experience is the most costly article in the world, what, what an immense deal of it one has to purchase before having even a very little bit of it to show for your money!

When trying to listen to faint though lovely strains of distant music (most probably only thus lovely because thus distant), is there not sure to come rattling past a cab, or yelling past a costermonger, or something row-y, just at the very moment? They don’t mean it: they don’t do it to annoy you: they don’t know you—you “wish them farther.” So ’tis with taking offence in seriouser matters. The great thing is not to steal offence—that is, before you take it, make sure it is meant—to be given; for remember, there’s nothing ill-said till it’s ill-taken; but, if ever anybody should positively offend you—kick you, for instance—you may be sure it is meant, and being kicked, stern necessity obliges you to—hit him again! Then, for goodness sake! do nothing by halves: let him see you are no near-fight at near fighting, but hit him as hard as possible—as ’Arry says, “Let ’im ’ave it!” and we can confidently recommend a spot to aim at, which, on more than one occasion, we have found very superior to between the eyes or the bridge of the nose: it is—just under the chin. If you fetch your offender one there, he will not kick you again for at least a quarter of an hour—which will give you time to take a hansom, get to the club, wash your hands, cut into a rubber or take a ball at pool, and forget the whole beastly business.

Don’t forget this—but to impress upon your memory the highly important fact how necessary it is, O goslings, to avoid getting into a row, unless you are quite capable of getting out of it again, we have made you the following conundrum: try and remember it.

If you cannot my first, shun, as you would Myfistawfulis, my second, or you will probably be laid, where my whole dines . . . . in the road: . . . . SPAR-ROW!

A coup de vent, a good blow in front, is much more agreeable than a kick in the opposite direction.

A drawn battle: One feller’s “sketching it” from another.

The man who is “utterly without fear” runs an exceedingly good chance of some day getting his head broken.

There are two sorts of fighting: fighting, and fighting shy; but he who fights and runs away, isn’t half such a coward as he who doesn’t run away—simply because he declines fighting at all; and yet, we maintain it, after all is said and done, it must require a great deal of courage to be a thorough cur.

People talk about “shaking the dust from off their feet” when they leave the house of a man who has insulted them. Pshaw! what’s the use of shaking the dust off your feet! Do you think the insulter cares?—not a bit: not one atom! Much better go and call upon him and not—carefully not—shake the dust off, before you put your feet up on his velvet sofas. That would be much more to the purpose.

When hitting a man on the nose, see that you don’t — — cut your own knuckles.

Every man’s house is his castle. Pooh! fancy a castle at Putney! We don’t putney faith in this aphorism.

We frequently hear it said, “Booh! Tomkins can’t hold a candle to Smithkins.” You ask Tomkins whether he could or not, and see if he don’t look as if he’d like to burn his house down.

Thinking that a woman’s tongue is, like the bee, often laden with sweets, but that, beelike, it can sting, reminds us to ask you to sit in your garden any summer’s day, and observe that as fast as one bee leaves a flower another comes to it, and apparently finds every reason to be satisfied with his possession: so ’tis with men and women: ladies apparently possess—equally with flowers—the power of making honey—or, at any rate, what passes as honey—for any amount of bees. She whom Bee Tomkins has come to detest, to positively and absolutely fear ever even meeting, Bee Smith finds honey itself, until he in his turn gives place to Bee Brown, etc., and so on. It’s rum—very rum; but it’s true. Watch for yourself, and you must indeed be honey-dew-cated in the art of love if you don’t see the truth of our observation.

Remember this, ye amorous goslings: you may be twenty times married, but . . . . you can only have one mother.

The Persians—we think it was the Persians, it may have been the Medes, but we take the Persians for choice—were very particular, if we remember aright, in teaching their children how to ride, shoot with the bow, and — — speak the truth! Yes; and isn’t it extraordinary how we moderns follow in the Persian footsteps — — that is, as regards the riding; as for the other two precepts, the bow-shooting and truth-telling, we combine them, to a great extent, in one, for are we not always at our Talks-of-a-light Society, and in doing it do we not shoot with bows whose extreme length would have rather astonished Cambyses or any other stalwart Persian that ever breathed? We are. We do. And yet, don’t you know, the man who tells one such quite preposterous bungers must be either a fool himself or, worse, far worse . . . . take you for one—to think you will believe him, to think you are green enough to put any belief in his outanouters, which are quite as transparent in their falseness as the crackers of our friend Mr. Merriman, on the next page, when he says, “Me, Mr. Peleeceman? me take the fish, sir? me steal the sarsengers? me crib the guce, sir? I ain’t see’d ’ere a one on ’em, sir, since the day after to-morrer!”

However, we don’t want tomorrer-lies, to preach. It has always been so from the days of our common mother, belle Eve, and we don’t belle Eve it will ever alter.

What nonsense it is for the roundhand copy-books to tell us, “Never listen to the man who speaks an untruth.” What waste of ink! Why, if one did not, you might almost as well go to bed for life! However, there’s a maxim or two we should be flattered to impress on the chronic liar’s memory. They are very simple, and quite as useful as the one about the necessity of his having a good memory, if possible more so, and their moral is certainly better. They are:

Be most careful, when shooting with the long bow, that you don’t shoot . . . . over the mark: don’t judge the veracity of others by your own, and never give the lie: bear in mind the fact that the worst person in the world you can deceive is . . . . yourself: never draw your long bow when, by so doing, you can injure any other person: and, oh! if you would prosper, remember this—though, unfortunately, you may be unable to prevent yourself occasionally telling people a lie—that it is absolutely imperative on you, O dear liar, to sedulously avoid—always avoid—entirely avoid . . . . ever telling people The Truth!!!

clown with a fish

Spoonful L.

Dear boy, if you have right on your side . . . stick to it. What is it makes the boldly burglarious bad bandit of Bermondsey quail before the eye of A 1, a possibly skinny, weak, ill-conditioned and -shod policeman? what is it? Why, that A 1 has right on his side! Why, that A 1’s beat is equally the Beautiful Path of Virtue! We grant you that at this precise moment of time the boldly burglarious bad b of Bermondsey is not quailing; no, he is not: we grant you that the peeler held tightly, disagreeably tightly, by the garroted artery, is getting a precious deal the worst of it: we grant you that it does occasionally happen that it is so—that the eye of the law gets punched and variegated in its natural black or blueness, that the arm of the law gets twisted and even screwed, that the limbs of the law—the lower ones—have frequently beastly bad boots to keep them in limb-o; that the tumtum of the law has to ignaw the pangs of hunger, and that in fact the law’s whole body gets fatigued and tired, weary much so; but this does not do away with our maxim, this does not prove that though Virtue gets “sent to the wall” now and again, there should be no Virtue; for do you think that in the long run Virtue ever goes unrewarded?


It never does: lookee there,—what do you call this?

Would the boldly burglarious bad bandit of Bermondsey ever get that? Would the boldly b b b of B ever have such billin’ and cooin’, such bilin’ and coo-ookin’ as this? Pshaw! lar, maffische, pas de tout, niets, yock, nein, niente del tutto, not a bit of it!! for it is to Male Virtue Triumphant alone such joys are known! Look at him. Oblige us by looking at M. V. T. Regard, if you please, Male Virtue Triumphant. Is ’e ’appy? is ’e all there? is he off his beat beat-ified? is he in a lonely suburb or no thoroughfare now, or simply suburb himself, quite a-no-ther affair? does he look delighted, policed, overjoyed? does he find too many cooks spoil the broth he revels in? does he not know, well know, that ’tis the female cuckoo always turns the nests of other birds to her own private uses, and does he never find a female cook who does it for him?—to be sure! And would she step out of her—her—floury paths to dough it for the b b b b of B? would her heart beat behind her stiff corset and coarse a-pron for him? would she employ her witcherries, her black art, that is, her black currant art, for anything but manly vir-chew? We have already stated, emphatically stated, that she would not; that she would decline pudding even a finger out to anything which sugar faith in its purity—that, in fact, she would . . . . see him farther first. And it is, therefore, with this beautiful and interesting moral before us that we say:

Walk, dear boy, O walk ever, in the Paths of Virtue: though they be rough and lonely at times, they are more safe travelling than the slippery paths of (V)ice, and the reward for so doing will assuredly come, sooner or later, in some pleasant form or other, be it money, love, or cooking, or in the charming self-contentment such behaviour invariably brings; and believe us, O believe us, though your present lines be hard, they’ll quickly melt into those soft ones which invariably fall in pleasant places, if you will but only . . . . . take the first turning to the Right, and—keep straight on!

pot full of money

Spoonful the Last.

Reader, our pennon waves farewell to you; our pen an’ ink flags; like the humble but busy bee, we pull in our antennæ, because there antennæ occasion to keep them out: Goslings, our cackle-easy scribendi is over; our free and easy friand-ises are finished; we have reached the end of our journey and our paper; we are about to give you our last spoonful, and we are about to write it — — — on your tongue!

Peruser, we are told that speech was given us to conceal our thoughts (stuttering certainly was), but does it? or at any rate, does it conceal them agreeably? No; and ’tis because the concealing our thoughts agreeably is so very important an art, so necessary an accomplishment, that we venture before leaving you to give you one or two theoretic suggestions on the subject, and if you can only practise them you are infinitely cleverer than we are.

One of the great secrets of being considered an agreeable talksman consists not so much in being able to apparently agree with everybody, as in being a good conversational wheel greaser: you don’t, we really hope you don’t, imagine that nine people out of every ten want to hear you talk, do you? not a bit of it; they don’t; they want you to hear them; therefore, when you see your man beginning to run down, grease his wheels, wind him up, so to speak, with something sweet, and off he goes again 927 to the dozen, and thinks you a most charming person; for remember—and this rule applies to every mortal condition—only make a man contented with himself, and he’s sure to be contented with you! this in fact is the keystone of the whole business.

Listen attentively to a clever man (he may say something you can repeat as your own), but talk to the fool who can’t talk as if you thought him a very sharp feller who could talk if he liked, and so content him.

Don’t get into the trick of capping other men’s stories: some fellers would rather you bonneted them in the street than capped their tales.

old womann with children

Do please give your grandmother credit for being able to get what there is in an egg out of it as well as you can; but if you must teach her how to do it . . . . see that the eggs are fresh.

Never try to sustain or even listen to two conversations at once, it is conducive to lunacy: if you take old Lady Flabby down to dinner and Miss Firm sits on the other side of you, be contented to converse with Lady F., and don’t try and listen as you do it, to what Captain Bond Streeter is amusing Miss Firm with: it’s no good, we’ve tried it, you only get to feel imbecilly and — — — to look it.

Never laugh at your own jokes, but if you must laugh at them, pray wait till others set you the example.

If you can make a respectable mot don’t cast your pearl before swine—for the most perfect joke in the world falls flat on the unappreciative ear: — — — keep it for better men.

Never repeat a scandal which won’t bear re-repeating as coming from you as its author; never tell the man sitting next you that so an’ so is a fool for doing so an’ so; the man you say it to most likely does the same.

Never tell people your secrets: people who would keep them, don’t want to know them; it is only those who don’t keep them who are greedy for them.

Don’t, when you fail to see a point or a pun, sit sniggering feebly and slightly gasping to try and imitate laughing enjoyment; much better to boldly ask what it means, for no man in the world yet who did not see a joke ever could look in the very least as if he did.

Remember—that too much flattery tho’ well meant may be—for its recipient . . . . over—whelment!

Lavater your man before making him your confidant, if you would — — Lavaterwards!

If you think a youth will take your advice, be his Mentor; if he won’t, leave him alone; you only waste your own time, and you’re not mentor be his tor-mentor.

Adapt your talk to your audience and draw them out, for as there is gold in the earth, a pearl in the oyster, and music in a corny-à-piston, so is there, if you are skilful, fun to be got out of the greatest ass in London.

Never tell people “You don’t look very well to-day!” No one, no, no one, not even the hypocondriacest hypocondriac likes it: he enjoys telling you he is very ill, but don’t like you to tell him so.

Never volunteer your opinion on any subject whatever.


Don’t ride your hobby roughshod over people; don’t talk shop, soldiering, sailoring, shooting, balmorals, ballet, burlesques, &c., to people of opposite tastes: you may be intensely fond of horses and racing, for instance, but don’t forget there may possibly be one or even two people in the world who take less interest in the pedigree and past performances of every screw you insist upon talking about by the hour together than you do; and if they don’t let you see they are bored to death with your horse talk, they prove themselves far better bred than you are in boring them.

You should always stop talking when you’ve no more to say: we know it is exceedingly difficult, but you should; besides, you would become original, as nobody does it.

Pray don’t tell people long-winded, pointless stories whilst they are eating their dinner. If they are well-bred people, they listen to you, and naturally wish you at Jericho for interrupting them; if they are not, they don’t pay any attention to you—so what’s the good of doing it?

Never start a conversation about “Religion.” Faith is only represented with a cross owing to the intense crossness this subject has for hundreds of years provoked.

Dress and Babies are safe conversational topics with ladies.

Don’t make distitches with a blunt needle; we mean, don’t try either in manner or sense to be sharp too bluntly, for even though your needle may not have—much point, people don’t like being prodded with it.

Remember that “naïve” is sometimes spelt with a K, and that now and then naïveté is sharp, that knifeté may be cutting.

Never, never, never buttonhole a man, nor bonnet-string a lady. If you are wanted, you will be remained with; if not—though you may be able to out-Nestor Nestor in talking—you’ll be wished at the very juice: the buttonholed or bonnet-stringed one — — may be expecting to meet some one else.

Being too Satyrical is bad: being too Fauning is worse.

Never “take a man up sharp,” not even when by so doing you can “put him down thoroughly.”

Never forget that one of the most unpleasant chasms for your friends to have to plumb the depths of, is . . . . sarcasm!

Remember, soft words do butter parsnips, and avoid, as you would Mephisto, “Argument.” “The man convinced against his will is precisely and most entirely—in fact, rather more—of the same opinion still;” and not only that, but suppose you beat him in arguing, he detests it, and if he beats you, he thinks you an ass. What do you gain either way?

Bear in mind the fact that, as people prefer talking of themselves and their belongings to any other earthly thing, you must—if you can stand it (we can’t) and wish them to think you agreeable—encourage them to tell you all about their dogs, cats, cows, connections, horses, houses, aches, pains, children, chilblains, teeth, &c., &c., &c., but must never allude to yourself, as it’s egotistical—it’s piling up the egony: people don’t like it, and it’s considered very bad form indeed.

And lastly and above all, O sweet youth, let us implore you as a friend, if you would be happy and make others so, never, never, never, never, never, NEVER forget this—for ’tis the nutshell in which lies the whole secret of everything agreeable in our mutual intercourse in life—never forget that, in “Society,” the great thing, THE great thing, is not so much the saying what you ought to say, as . . . . the not saying what you ought not to say!

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[The end of Sage Stuffing for Green Goslings by Hon. Hugh Rowley]