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Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 104, May 13, 1893   By:

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First Page:

PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI

VOLUME 104, MAY 13TH 1893

edited by Sir Francis Burnand

MIXED NOTIONS.

No. X. THE BEHRING SEA ARBITRATION.

( Scene and Persons as usual. The Conversation has already begun. )

First Well informed Man ( concluding a tirade ). so what I want to know is this: are we or are we not to submit to the Yankees? It's all very well talking about Chicago Exhibitions and all that, but if they're going to capture our ships and prevent us killing seals, why, the sooner we tell 'em to go to blue blazes the better. And as for its being a mare clausum

[Illustration]

Inquirer ( interrupting ). Who was she? What's she got to do with it?

First W. I. M. ( laughing vigorously ). Ha! ha! that's a good 'un.

Inquirer ( nettled ). Oh, laugh away, laugh away. That's you all over.

First W. I. M. My dear chap, I'm very sorry, but I really couldn't help it. There's no woman in the business at all. Mare clausum merely means the place where they catch the seals, you know; mare , Latin for sea.

Inquirer. Oh! I should have known that directly, if you'd only pronounced it properly. But what does clausum mean?

First W. I. M. Well, of course, that means well, a clause, don't you know. It's in the treaty.

Average Man ( looking up from his paper ). It used to be the Latin for "closed," but I suppose it's altered now.

First W. I. M. ( incredulously ). It can't mean that, anyhow. Who ever heard of a closed sea, I should like to know?

Second W. I. M. ( hazarding a suggestion ). It might mean a harbour, you know, or something of that sort.

Average Man. I daresay it might mean that, but it doesn't happen to be a harbour ( relapses into paper ).

Second W. I. M. Oh, well, I only made the suggestion.

[ A pause.

Inquirer. But what are they arbitrating about in Paris? It says ( reading from newspaper ) "When Mr. CARTER, the United States Counsel, had concluded his speech, he was complimented by the President, the Baron DE COURCEL, who told him he had spoken on behalf of humanity." I thought old CARNOT was President of the French Republic.

First W. I. M. So he is.

Inquirer . But this paper says Baron DE COURCEL is President.

Second W. I. M. Oh, I suppose that's one of CARNOT's titles, All these blessed foreigners are Barons, or something of that sort.

Inquirer. Ah, I suppose that must be it. But what have the French got to do with the Behring Sea? I thought it was all between us and the Yankees.

First W. I. M. So it is but the French are arbitrating. That's how they come into the business. I can't say, personally, I like these arbitrations. We're always arbitrating now, and giving everything away. If we think we're right, why can't we say so, and stick to it, and let the French, and the Yankees, and the Russians, and all the rest of 'em, take it from us, if they can?

Second W. I. M. Take what from us?

First W. I. M. Why, whatever it happens to be, the Behring Sea, or anything else. We're so deuced afraid of everybody now, we never show fight; it's perfectly sickening. But of course you can't expect anything else from old GLADSTONE.

Second W. I. M. That's right shove it all on to old GLADSTONE. But you're wrong this time. It was JO CHAMBERLAIN, one of your own blessed Unionists, that you're so proud of, who arranged this arbitration.

First W. I. M. I know that, my dear boy; but CHAMBERLAIN was a Radical then; so where are you now?

[ A pause.

Inquirer ( who has continued his reading, suddenly, with a puzzled air ). I say, you know, this is too much of a good thing, bringing the Russians into the business. It says ( reads ) "documents were submitted, on behalf of the United States, to prove that Russia had never abandoned her sovereign rights in the manner suggested by Great Britain." How, on earth, does Russia manage to crop up everywhere? And where is this confounded Behring Sea?

Second W. I. M. ( vaguely ). It's somewhere in America, or Newfoundland, or thereabouts... Continue reading book >>


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