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Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 104, February 11, 1893   By:

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PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI

VOL. 104

FEBRUARY 11, 1893

THE LAST WOMAN.

( A contemporary Pendant to "The Last Man." )

[It is stated that the dreaded Crinoline has actually made its appearance in one or two quarters.]

All modish shapes must melt in gloom, Great WORTH himself must die, Before the Sex again assume EVE'S sweet simplicity! I saw a vision in my sleep, Which made me bow my head and weep As one aghast, accurst! Was it a spook before me past? Of women I beheld the last, As ADAM saw the first.

Regent Street seemed "No Thoroughfare," Bond Street looked weird, inhuman; The spectres of past fashions were Around that lonely Woman. Some were the work of native hands, Some had arrived from foreign lands, Nondescript jumbles some! Pall Mall had now nor sound nor tread, Park Lane was silent as the dead, Belgravia was dumb.

Yet, lighthouse like, that lone one stood, Or whisked her skirts around, Like a wild wind that sweeps the wood, And strews with leaves the ground. Singing, "Our hour is come, O Sun Of Fashion! We'll have no more fun. Solitude is too slow! True thou hast worn ten thousand shapes (In spite of man's sour gibes and japes), But now the thing lacks go.

"What though the grumbler Man put forth His pompous power and skill! He could not make Woman and WORTH The vassals of his will; Fashion, I mourn thy parted sway, Thou dim discrownéd Queen! To play To empty box and stall; To dress when not another She Exists to quicken rivalry No, it won't pay at all!

"Go, let oblivion's curtain fall Upon the works of men! Nothing they did that's worth recall, With sword, or spade, or pen. Their bumptious bunglings bring not back! Man always was a noisy quack Who thought himself a god; But when he fancied he had scored Prodigiously, the Sex he bored Subdued him with a nod.

"Now I am weary. No one tries The fit of new attire! Doom, that the joys of Dress denies, Bids Woman's bliss expire. But shall La Mode know final death? Forbid it Woman's latest breath! Death who is male shan't boast The eclipse of Fashion. Such a pall Shall not like Darkness cover all Till I give up the ghost!

"What would most vex and worry him , Dull, modeless Man, whose spark Long (beside Woman's) burning dim, Has now gone down in dark? Ha! He'd kick up the greatest shine (If he could kick) at CRINOLINE. Were he recalled to breath, I'll have one last man mocking spree By donning hooped skirts . Victory! This takes all sting from Death!

"Go, Sun, while Fashion holds me up, Swollen skirt and skimpy waist Shall fill male sorrow's bitter cup, And mortify male taste! Go, tell the spheres that sweep through space, Thou saw'st the last of EVE'S fair race, In high ecstatic passion; The darkening universe defy, To quench her taste for Toggery, Or shake her faith in Fashion!"

[Illustration: "THE GOVERNESS WHO, MA' SAID, WOULDN'T DO."]

A PLAINT FROM PARNASSUS.

( By an "Unrecommended" Resident. )

[Mr. GLADSTONE (replying to Mr. JOHNSTON, of Ballykilbeg) announced that no recommendation had been submitted to Her MAJESTY upon the subject of the succession to the office of Poet Laureate, and that there was no immediate intention of submitting one.]

Glorious Apollo! This is wondrous hard! Fancy JOHN BULL without Official Bard! His plight is sad as that of the great men Who lived, unmarked by the Poetic Pen, Before great AGAMEMNON. Ah, my HORACE, Britons are a Boeotian, heavy, slow race! As for the "Statesman" who treats bards so shabbily, 'Twill serve him right if thine " illacrimabile " Applies to him. A Premier, but no Poet? England, you are dishonoured, and don't know it... Continue reading book >>


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