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Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 99, December 20, 1890   By:

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VOL. 99.

December 20, 1890.



SCENE A Riding school, on a raw chilly afternoon. The gas is lighted, but does not lend much cheerfulness to the interior, which is bare and bleak, and pervaded by a bluish haze. Members of the Class discovered standing about on the tan, waiting for their horses to be brought in. At the further end is an alcove, with a small balcony, in which Mrs. BILBOW KAY, the Mother of one of the Equestrians, is seated with a young female Friend.

Mrs. Bilbow Kay. Oh, ROBERT used to ride very nicely indeed when he was a boy; but he has been out of practice lately, and so, as the Doctor ordered him horse exercise, I thought it would be wiser for him to take a few lessons. Such an excellent change for any one with sedentary pursuits!


The Friend. But isn't riding a sedentary pursuit, too?

Mrs. B. K. ROBERT says he doesn't find it so.

[ Enter the Riding Master.

Riding Master ( saluting with cane ). Evenin', Gentlemen your 'orses will be in directly; 'ope we shall see some ridin' this time. ( Clatter without; enter Stablemen with horses. ) Let me see Mr. BILBOW KAY, Sir, you'd better ride the Shar ; he ain't been out all day, so he'll want some 'andling. ( Mr. B. K., with a sickly smile, accepts a tall and lively horse. ) No, Mr. TONGS, that ain't your 'orse to day you've got beyond 'im , Sir. We'll put you up on Lady Loo ; she's a bit rough till you get on terms with her, but you'll be all right on her after a bit. Yes, Mr. JOGGLES, Sir, you take Kangaroo , please. Mr. BUMPAS, I've 'ad the Artful Dodger out for you; and mind he don't get rid of you so easy as he did Mr. GRIPPER last time. Got a nice 'orse for you , Mr. 'ARRY SNIGGERS, Sir Frar Diavolo . You mustn't take no notice of his bucking a bit at starting he'll soon leave it off.

Mr. Sniggers ( who conceals his qualms under a forced facetiousness ). Soon leave me off, you mean!

R.M. ( after distributing the remaining horses ). Now then bring your 'orses up into line, and stand by, ready to mount at the word of command, reins taken up in the left 'and with the second and little fingers, and a lock of the 'orse's mane twisted round the first. Mount! That 'orse ain't a bicycle , Mr. SNIGGERS. [ Mr. S. ( in an undertone. ) No worse luck!] Number off! Walk! I shall give the word to trot directly, so now's the time to improve your seats that back a bit straighter, Mr. 'OOPER. No. 4, just fall out, and we'll let them stirrup leathers down another 'ole or two for yer. ( No. 4, who has just been congratulating himself that his stirrups were conveniently high, has to see them let down to a distance where he can just touch them by stretching. ) Now you're all comfortable. ["Oh, are we?" from Mr. S. ] Trot! Mr. TONGS, Sir, 'old that 'orse in he's gettin' away with you already. Very bad, Mr. JOGGLES, Sir keep those 'eels down! Lost your stirrup, Mr. JELLY? Never mind that feel for it, Sir. I want you to be independent of the irons. I'm going to make you ride without 'em presently. ( Mr. JELLY shivers in his saddle. ) Captin' CROPPER, Sir; if that Volunteer ridgment as you're goin' to be the Major of sees you like you are now, on a field day they'll 'ave to fall out to larf , Sir! ( Mr. CROPPER devoutly wishes he had been less ingenuous as to his motive for practising his riding. ) Now, Mr. SNIGGERS, make that 'orse learn 'oo's the master! [Mr. S. "He knows , the brute!"]

Mrs. B. K. He's very rude to all the Class, except dear ROBERT but then ROBERT has such a nice easy seat.

The R.M. Mr. BILBOW KAY, Sir, try and set a bit closer. Why, you ain't no more 'old on that saddle than a stamp with the gum licked off! Can ter! You 're all right, Mr. JOGGLES it's on'y his play; set down on your saddle, Sir!... I didn't say on the ground!

Mrs. B. K. ( anxiously to her Son, as he passes ). BOB, are you quite sure you're safe? ( To Friend... Continue reading book >>

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