Vanity Fair (UK), June 30, 1904
[See attribution note on Vanity Fair menu page]
 

From My Tub.
 

ONE of the principals in a French duel has just wounded his opponent. It is not known why this was done.

•   •   •   •   •

There are some who cast aspersions on the Alake of Abeokuta, and say that in his own country the dusky monarch cuts, so to speak, very little ice. However that may be, nobody can say that he has not made his mark over here. He made it at Liverpool Town Hall, being unable to sign his name.

•   •   •   •   •

Dr. Dowie’s tastes seem to be becoming simple to the verge of inadequacy. On his penultimate exit from these shores he wore his apostolic robes. Last time he left, according to a daily paper, in a yachting cap. We do not object to an impostor being bare-faced, but it is imperative that a line be drawn somewhere.

•   •   •   •   •

Strawberries and Cream.


By patient scheme
At last I’ve reached you through the buzzing crowd;
For half-an-hour you’ve called me, clear and loud,
You rosy mountain in a clotted cloud
Of cream.

With beating heart
And powdered sugar from a silver bowl,
Serene and super-satisfied of soul,
I take you to the shade, where lovers stroll
Apart.

All afternoon,
With none to criticise or interfere,
We will renew our friendship of last year;
And we must have—the argument is clear—
A spoon.

With jam and puff
I cloyed my appetite while yet a lad.
Sweets satiate—and ices make me bad
But to this day of you I’ve never had
Enough.

•   •   •   •   •

Etiquette, says a weekly paper, has in a sense ceased to exist in London. Among the best people, however, a knife is still looked upon with a certain coldness as a medium for dealing with peas. And he who would achieve a genuine succès would do well to remove his hat on entering the drawing-room of any of the more fashionable houses.

•   •   •   •   •

While on the subject of etiquette, the thoughtful man finds it refreshing to notice the improvement that has taken place of late in the manners of the lower classes. Charged with starving a greyhound, a London chimney-sweep pleaded guilty. Yes, he said, he had starved it. He did not attempt to deny it. “But,” he added, proudly, “I was always civil to the dog.”

•   •   •   •   •

It is time that the public put its foot down in the matter of infant phenomenons. We welcomed Vecsey, in spite of the fact that that elderly violinist had passed his eleventh birthday. We are now asked to applaud Florizel von Reuter, an old dotard of twelve. It won’t do. This must not go on. Apart from all other considerations, this entering of performers with one foot in the grave in the infant class is not fair on the genuine three-year-olds.

•   •   •   •   •

It is pleasant to see that the House of Lords is as staid as ever. None of your hearing the chimes at midnight for them. No skylarking in the small hours. “The night is far spent,” said Lord Carrington recently, to the accompaniment of sleepy nods from the tired-out Members, who were guiltily conscious that they ought to have been snugly tucked up hours ago. It was then just twenty minutes past seven.

•   •   •   •   •

Inconstancy.


For “Fiscal Freedom” Flo will fight,
 And cavil at my least objection;
But when we ramble late at night
 I joy to find she loves protection.

•   •   •   •   •

Reporting the match between Surrey and Lancashire, an evening paper has a headline, “Lees too sharp for Sharp.” It’s a wonder to me, as Mr. Pett Ridge’s heroes are fond of saying, “how they work up these comic bits.”

•   •   •   •   •

Next to keeping clear of the police courts altogether, the best thing for a man to do is to cultivate the art of ingenious defence. A gentleman of Keighley, meeting a perfect stranger in the street, proceeded to kick her with considerable enthusiasm, and no slight knowledge of anatomy. Examined subsequently, he said he was sorry, but the fact was he thought she was his sister-in-law.

•   •   •   •   •

A Protest from Hoxton.

(Count Tolstoi says that he objects to Shakespeare’s plays, because the principal characters in them are aristocrats).

 

Oh, I ’ates these blokes like Shikespeare, wot despises common folk,
 When writing melodramas for the boards,
Wot never makes an ’ero of a coster wiv ’is moke,
 But must go dragging in them beastly lords.
Why, tike any of ’is speeches wot’s best known: you’ll find that each is
 Spouted out by some old party of degree;
Now, ’oo cares about the classes? It’s the pore but honest masses
 Wot appeals, yer know, to coves like you and me.

If ’Oratio dropped his aitches and looked out for jobs of work,
 If ’Amlet was conductor of a ’bus;
If Juliet was a barmaid, and her Romeo a clurk,
 As earned ’is daily bread the same as us;
If Mercutio, each time he spoke, said “Crikey,” “Strite,” or “Blimey”;
 If Cordelia took a relish wiv her tea;
If his dooks and kings and bishops worked at winkle-stalls and fish-shops,
 They’d appeal, yer know, to coves like you and me.

There’s a cove wot writes in Rooshian. ’E’s a count, but all the same,
 ’E’s got a feelin’ ’eart towards the pore;
An’ he says, the same as me, that Shikespeare didn’t play the game;
 Give ’im a ’earin’; let ’im ’ave the floor.
Let ’im make it his life’s mission to perduce a new edition,
 With the crowned ’eads expurgated, don’t yer see;
Then this Swan of Avon feller, wiv ’is ’Amlet and Otheller,
 Will appeal to coves like Tolstoi, you, and me.

•   •   •   •   •

Two men at Birmingham recently attacked a goalkeeper during a football match, while his colleagues and opponents were at the other end of the field, and robbed him of all his valuables. It is believed as a result of this that footballers will cease to carry their jewellery and bullion on to the ground with them.

Tuesday morning.              Rasper.


 

Printed unsigned in Vanity Fair; entered by Wodehouse as “In My Tub” for this date in Money Received for Literary Work. It is possible that not all individual items are by Wodehouse.