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Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 93, October 29, 1887   By:

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VOL. 93.

October 29th, 1887.



Self, wife, and HERBERT started early to escape our kind hearted, clear headed admirers; so early, that I scarcely had time before leaving to write thirty post cards, seventy six pages of notes for my next magazine article, and to cut down half a dozen trees. Train announced to leave Chester at 10:30, but got off at the hour. This little joke (WATKIN'S notion) caused much amusement. Through opera glasses we could see bands of music, deputations, &c., constantly coming to the railway stations to meet our train after it had passed. Too bad! However, to prevent disappointment, and as CHAMBERLAIN has been imitating me and vulgarised my original idea, I knocked off some speeches, in pencil, and HERBERT threw them out of the window as fast as I could write them. So far as we could make out with a telescope, some of them reached their destination, and seemed to be well received.

[Illustration: Master Willie Gladstone "really enjoying, and in some measure appreciating and understanding," our Mr. Agnew's lectures on Art.

Vide Times Report, Oct. 18. ]

Awfully pleased to meet Mr. WILLIAM AGNEW at Manchester. Odd coincidence of Christian names. I shall speak of him and allude to him as "The Other WILLIAM." He promised to keep by me, and show me all the pictures worth seeing.

"T'Other WILLIAM," said I, "you are very good. As you know, I take a great and sincere interest in pictures and works of Art, although I know very little about them." T'Other WILLIAM protested. "No, T'Other WILLIAM, I am right. You have been the means of providing me with a commodity most difficult of all others to procure if you do not possess it yourself that is to say, you have provided me with brains." Further protests from T'Other One. "No, T'Other WILLIAM, hear me out; for you know in all cases where a judgment has had to be passed upon works of Art, I have been accustomed to refer a great deal to you, and lean upon you, because you have been constantly the means of enabling me really to see, and really to enjoy, and in some measure to appreciate and understand, all that you have shown to me."

I was so pleased with this little speech that I made HERBERT take it down as I repeated it to him privately when T'Other was looking in another direction. When I brought it out afterwards, at luncheon in the Palm house, it went wonderfully. So it should, because I felt every word of it. T'Other WILLIAM is one of the kindest and most courteous of my friends.

I was very pleased with the Exhibition, although perhaps (I am not certain of this) I might have seen it better had not about four thousand visitors followed our little party everywhere, cheering vociferously. I was consequently obliged to keep my attention most carefully fixed upon the exhibits, as when I caught any stranger's eye, the stranger immediately (but with an eagerness that did not exceed the limits of good behaviour) called upon me to make a speech then and there upon the subject of "Home Rule." I am sure I should on each and every occasion have only been too delighted, had not Sir ANDREW warned me not to indulge too much in that sort of thing. The crowd, however, had its decided advantage, inasmuch as we were carried off our feet everywhere. In this luxurious fashion we were wafted to Messrs. DOULTON'S Pottery Manufactory, to Mr. JESSE HAWORTH'S loan exhibition of Egyptian antiquities, the name "JESSE" recalled to me the poor misguided JOE'S "JESSE," the second fiddle, but toujours fidèle , and to a great many other shows of almost equal interest.

But of course the feature of the Exhibition was the collection of pictures. I was absolutely delighted. T'Other WILLIAM explained everything, and amongst other portraits showed me one of myself by MILLAIS. I imagine that everybody must have thought it very like, because when they observed me inspecting it, they cheered more vigorously than ever... Continue reading book >>

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