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Punch, Or The London Charivari, Volume 102, Jan. 2, 1892   By:

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VOL. 102.

January 2, 1892.


[Illustration: The Duke of Devonshire.]

BORN, APRIL 27TH, 1808. DIED, DECEMBER 21ST, 1891.

Learned, large hearted, liberal Lord of Land, As clear of head as generous of hand, He lived his honourable length of days, A "Duke" whom doughtiest Democrat might praise. "Leader" in truth, though not with gifts of tongue, Full many a "Friend of Man" the muse has sung Unworthier than patrician CAVENDISH. Seeing him pass who may forbear the wish, Would more were like him! Then the proud command, " Noblesse oblige " e'en Mobs might understand!


SCENE A Private Room in a well known Dining Hotel. Eminent Politicians discussing "shop" over their walnuts before dispersing for the Christmas holidays.

First Eminent Politician . I say that recent speech of yours at Skegness was a little strong. Preferring the Navy to the Army! Although the Army is of course the "Best possible Army," and all that! Eh? I say it was a little too thick!

Second Em. Pol. ( quickly ). Not a bit of it! You don't know how well we are getting on at Pall Mall. I give you my word everything's first rate. Department working splendidly. You can't say that at Whitehall and Somerset House?

First Em. Pol. ( warmly ). Not say it! We do! Everything's most satisfactory. Discipline splendid. Never had such a fine Fleet. And the fireworks we had at the Royal Naval Exhibition all through the Summer! Well you ought to have seen them!


Second Em. Pol. ( carelessly ). Yes, I daresay. But what have fireworks got to do with the Navy?

First Em. Pol. Why they increased our recruiting awfully. Fellows went to the Royal Naval Exhibition and saw all sorts of good things, automatic weighing machine, a fishing smack, and Nelson wax works and and that kind of thing you know, and joined the Navy! Precious good thing for the Service, I can tell you.

Second Em. Pol. Well, to go back to an old story you can't defend the bullying on board The Britannia .

First Em. Pol. Oh, that's all bosh. Those newspaper fellows got hold of it for the Silly Season and ran it to death, but it's the best possible place in the world. No end of good training for a fellow to command other fellows.

Second Em. Pol. Well, they were down upon you pretty smartly.

First Em. Pol. ( airily ). May be. But it's because they didn't know what they were writing about. How can a fellow become a good naval officer unless he has been robbed of his pocket money, and taught how to lie for his seniors. Thing's too ridiculous! Hallo, JIMMY, they tell me things are in a dreadful mess at St. Martin's le Grand!

Third Em. Pol. ( promptly ). Then they tell you wrong. Never saw anything like it most perfect organisation in the world! Absolutely marvellous, Sir absolutely marvellous! And the clerks so civil and obliging. Everybody pleased with them.

Second Em. Pol. Come, that won't do. Your statement is as hard to digest as too previous turkey and premature plum pudding. The papers are full of complaints all through the Autumn, and have only stopped recently to make room for those descriptive and special law reports. You will have them again, now Term is over.

Third Em. Pol. Who cares for the papers? I tell you we are absolutely inundated with letters of thanks from Dukes and Duchesses upwards. No; if you had said that the Colonies were in a mess, why then

Fourth Em. Pol. ( angrily ). What are you talking about? Why, we are absolutely romping in! Never knew the Colonies so prosperous as they are now! And we have had to put on half a dozen extra clerks to open and answer the letters of congratulation we receive hour by hour from every part of the Empire. Why, everything's splendid absolutely splendid!

Second Em. Pol. Well, matters have decidedly mended since transportation was prohibited... Continue reading book >>

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