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Title: Mr. Punch Afloat: The Humours of Boating and Sailing

Editor: J. A. Hammerton

Illustrator: John Tenniel

Release date: July 24, 2012 [eBook #40320]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Neville Allen, Chris Curnow and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at (This
file was produced from images generously made available
by The Internet Archive)




[Pg 1]



Some pages of this work have been moved from the original sequence to enable the contents to continue without interruption. The page numbering remains unaltered.


Edited by J. A. HAMMERTON


Designed to provide in a series of
volumes, each complete in itself,
the cream of our national humour,
contributed by the masters of comic
draughtsmanship and the leading wits
of the age to "Punch," from its
beginning in 1841 to the present day.

[Pg 2]



[Pg 3]



Mr. Punch





[Pg 4]


Twenty-five volumes, crown 8vo. 192 pages
fully illustrated

























Mr Punch in a dinghy

[Pg 5]



(By way of Introduction)

River and sea, with their teeming summer life as we know them in Great Britain and around our coasts, have yielded a rich supply of subjects for the pens and pencils of Mr. Punch's merry men. In Stevenson's famous story of "The Merry Men," it is the cruel side of the sea that is symbolised under that ironic description; but there is no touch of gall, no sinister undertone, in the mirth of Mr. Punch's "merry men."

It may be protested that in the pages of this little book, where we have brought together for the first time all Mr. Punch's "happy thoughts" about boating and sailing, the miseries of travel by sea and the discomforts of holiday life on our inland waters are too much insisted upon. But it is as much the function of the humorist as it is the business of the[Pg 6] philosopher to hold the mirror up to nature, and we are persuaded that it is no distorted mirror in which Mr. Punch shows us to ourselves.

After all, although as a nation we are proud to believe that Britannia rules the waves, and to consider ourselves a sea-going people, for the most of us our recollections of Channel passages and trips around our coasts are inevitably associated with memories of mal-de-mer, and it says much for our national good humour that we can turn even our miseries into jest.

Afloat or ashore, Mr. Punch is never "at sea," and while his jokes have always their point, that point is never barbed, as these pages illustrative of the humours of boating and sailing—with Mr. Punch at the helm—may be left safely to bear witness.

Mr Punch rowing a boat

[Pg 7]



Mr  P. with anchor

Dear Charlie,

'Ot weather at last! Wot a bloomin' old slusher it's bin,

This season! But now it do look as though Summer was goin' to begin.

Up to now it's bin muck and no error, fit only for fishes and frogs,

And has not give a chap arf a chance like of sporting 'is 'oliday togs.

Sech a sweet thing in mustard and pink, quite reshershay I tell you, old man.

Two quid's pooty stiff, but a buster and blow the expense is my plan;

With a stror 'at and puggeree, Charlie, low shoes and new mulberry gloves.

If I didn't jest fetch our two gals, it's a pity;—and wasn't they loves?

We'd three chaps in the boat besides me,—jest a nice little party of six,

But they didn't get arf a look in 'long o' me; they'd no form, them two sticks.

If you'd seen me a settin' and steerin' with one o' the shes on each side,

You'd a thought me a Turk in check ditters, and looked on your 'Arry with pride.

[Pg 8]

Wy, we see a swell boat with three ladies, sech rippers, in crewel and buff,

(If I pulled arf a 'our in their style it 'ud be a bit more than enough)

Well, I tipped 'em a wink as we passed and sez, "Go it, my beauties, well done!"

And, oh lor! if you'd twigged 'em blush up you'd a seen 'ow they relished the fun.

I'm dead filberts, my boy, on the river, it ain't to be beat for a lark.

And the gals as goes boating, my pippin, is jest about "'Arry, his mark."

If you want a good stare, you can always run into 'em—accident quite!

And they carn't charge yer nothink for looking, nor put you in quod for the fright.[Pg 10]

'Ow we chivied the couples a-spoonin', and bunnicked old fishermen's swims,

And put in a Tommy Dodd Chorus to Methodys practisin' hymns!

Then we pic-nic'd at last on the lawn of a waterside willa. Oh, my!

When the swells see our bottles and bits, I've a notion some language'll fly.

It was on the Q. T., in a nook snugged away in a lot of old trees,

I sat on a bust of Apoller, with one of the gurls on my knees!

Cheek, eh? Well, the fam'ly was out, and the servants asleep, I suppose;

For they didn't 'ear even our roar, when I chipped orf the himage's nose.

We'd soon emptied our three-gallon bottle, and Tommy he pulled a bit wild,

And we blundered slap into a skiff, and wos jolly near drownding a child.

Of course we bunked off in the scurry, and showed 'em a clean pair o' legs,

Pullin' up at a waterside inn where we went in for fried 'am and eggs.

We kep that 'ere pub all-alive-oh, I tell yer, with song and with chorus,

To the orful disgust of some prigs as wos progging two tables afore us.

I do 'ate your hushabye sort-like, as puts on the fie-fie at noise.

'Ow on earth can yer spree without shindy? It's jest wot a feller enjoys.[Pg 12]

Quaker-meetings be jiggered, I say; if you're 'appy, my boy, give it tongue.

I tell yer we roused 'em a few, coming 'ome, with the comics we sung.

Hencoring a prime 'un, I somehow forgot to steer straight, and we fouled

The last 'eat of a race—such a lark! Oh, good lor', 'ow they chi-iked and 'owled!

There was honly one slight country-tong, Tommy Blogg, who's a bit of a hass,

Tried to splash a smart pair of swell "spoons" by some willers we 'appened to pass;

And the toff ketched the blade of Tom's scull, dragged 'im close, and jest landed 'im one!

Arter which Master Tom nussed his eye up, and seemed rayther out of the fun.

Sez the toff, "You're the pests of the river, you cads!" Well, I didn't reply,

'Cos yer see before gals, it ain't nice when a feller naps one in the eye;

But it's all bloomin' nonsense, my boy! If he'd only jest give me a look,

He'd a seen as my form was O.K., as I fancy ain't easy mistook.

Besides, I suppose as the river is free to all sorts, 'igh and low.

That I'm sweet on true swells you're aweer, but for stuck-ups I don't care a blow.

We'd a rare rorty time of it, Charlie, and as for that younger gurl, Carry,

I'll eat my old boots if she isn't dead-gone on

Yours bloomingly,




[Pg 9]



In punting, a good strong pole is to be recommended to the beginner.

[Pg 11]



Custom House Officer (to sufferer). "Now, sir, will you kindly pick out your luggage? It's got to be examined before you land."

[Pg 13]



Old "Salt" at the helm. "Rattlin' fine breeze, gen'lemen."

Chorus of Yachtsmen (faintly). "Y—yes—d'lightful!"

[Pg 14]


Mr. P. with female

O Pyrrha! say what youth in "blazer" drest,

Woos you on pleasant Thames these summer eves;

For whom do you put on that dainty vest,

That sky-blue ribbon and those gigot sleeves?

"Simplex munditiis," as Horace wrote,

And yet, poor lad, he'll find that he is rash;

To-morrow you'll adorn some other boat,

And smile as kindly on another "mash."

As for myself—I'm old, and look askance

At flannels and flirtation; not for me

Youth's idiotic rapture at a glance

From maiden eyes: although it comes from thee.

The Excursion Season.First Passenger (poetical). "Doesn't the sight o' the cerulean expanse of ocean, bearing on its bosom the white-winged fleets of commerce, fill yer with——"

Second Ditto. "Fi—— not a bit of it." (Steamer takes a slight lurch!) "Quite the contrary!"

[Makes off abruptly!

[Pg 15]



(Cheerful passage in the life of a Whitsuntide Holiday maker)

[Pg 16]


(A Trew Fact as appened at Great Marlow on Bank Olliday)
Crying female, male offering help.

I was setting one day in the shade,

In the butifull month of August,

When I saw a most butifull maid

A packing of eggs in sum sawdust.

The tears filled her butifull eyes,

And run down her butifull nose,

And I thort it was not werry wise

To let them thus spile her nice close.

So I said to her, lowly and gently,

"Shall I elp you, O fair lovely gal?"

And she ansered, "O dear Mr. Bentley,

If you thinks as you can, why you shall."

And her butifull eyes shone like dimans,

As britely each gleamed thro a tear,

And her smile it was jest like a dry man's

When he's quenching his thirst with sum beer.

Why she called me at wunce Mr. Bentley,

I sort quite in wain to dishcover;

Or weather 'twas dun accidently,

Or if she took me for some other.[Pg 17]

I then set to work most discreetly,

And packed all the eggs with great care;

And I did it so nicely and neatly,

That I saw that my skill made her stare.

So wen all my tarsk was quite ended,

She held out her two lilly hands,

And shook mine, and thank'd me, and wended

Her way from the river's brite sands.

And from that day to this tho I've stayed,

I've entirely failed to diskever

The name of that brite dairy-maid

As broke thirteen eggs by the river.


half a turn of the head


Sculler. "Just half a turn of the head, love, or we shall be among the rushes!"

[Pg 18]



Old Mr. Squeamish, who has been on deck for his wrapper, finds his comfortable place occupied by a hairy mossoo!


(A Sentimental Fragment from Henley)

And so they sat in the boat and looked into one another's eyes, and found much to read in them. They ignored the presence of the houseboats, and scarcely remembered that there were such things as launches propelled by steam or electricity. And they turned deaf ears to the niggers, and did not want their fortunes told by dirty females of a gipsy type.

[Pg 20]

"This is very pleasant," said Edwin.

"Isn't it?" replied Angelina; "and it's such a good place for seeing all the events."

"Admirable!" and they talked of other things; and the time sped on, and the dark shadows grew, and still they talked, and talked, and talked.

At length the lanterns on the river began to glow, and Henley put on its best appearance, and broke out violently into fireworks. It was then Mrs. Grundy spied them out. She had been on the look out for scandal all day long, but could find none. This seemed a pleasant and promising case.

"So you are here!" she exclaimed. "Why, we thought you must have gone long ago! And what do you say of the meeting?"

"A most perfect success," said he.

"And the company?"

"Could not be more charming," was her reply.

"And what did you think of the racing?" Then they looked at one another and smiled. They spoke together, and observed:—

"Oh, we did not think of the racing!"

And Mrs. Grundy was not altogether satisfied.

[Pg 19]



She (on her first trip to Europe). "I guess you like London?"

He. "Why, yes. I guess I know most people in London. I was over there last fall!"

[Pg 21]

The sad sea waves


"The sad sea waves"

[Pg 22]


Or, A Girl's best Friend is the River

  [This is to be a river season. Father Thames is an excellent matchmaker.—Lady's Pictorial.]

Oh, what is a maid to do

When never a swain will woo;

When Viennese dresses

And eddying tresses

And eyes of a heavenly blue,

Are treated with high disdain

By the cold and the careless swain,

When soft showered glances

At dinners and dances

Are sadly but truly vain?

Ah, then, must a maid despair?

Ah, no, but betimes repair

With her magical tresses

And summery dresses

To upper Thames reaches, where

She turns her wan cheek to the sun

(Of lesser swains she will none);

Her glorious flame,

Well skilled in the game,

Flings kisses that burn like fun[Pg 23]

And cheeks that had lost their charm

Grow rosy and soft and warm;

Eyes lately so dull

Of sun-light are full

As masculine hearts with alarm.

For jealousy by degrees

Steals over the swain who sees

The cheek he was slighting

Another delighting,

And so he is brought to his knees.



Extract from Miss X's letter to a friend in the country:—"Mr. Robin Blobbs offered to take us in his boat. Aunt accepted for Jenny, Fanny, Ethel, little Mary, and myself. Oh, such a time! Mr. Blobbs lost his head and his scull, and we were just rescued from upset by the police. 'Never again with you, Robin!'"

[Pg 24]


(A Nautical Song of the Period)

I'm bad when at sea, yet it's pleasant to me

To charter a yacht and go sailing,

But please understand I ne'er lose sight of land,

Though hardier sailors are railing.

If only the ship, that's the yacht, wouldn't dip,

And heel up and down and roll over,

And wobble about till I want to get out,

I'd think myself fairly in clover.

But, bless you! my craft, though the wind is abaft,

Will stagger when meeting the ripple,

Until a man feels both his head and his heels

Reversed as if full of his tipple.[Pg 26]

In vain my blue serge when from seas we emerge,

Though dressed as a nautical dandy;

I can't keep my legs, and I call out for "pegs"

Of rum, or of soda and brandy.

A yacht is a thing, they say, fit for a king,

And still it is not to my liking;

My short pedigree does not smack of the sea,—

I can't pose a bit like a viking.

It's all very well when there isn't a swell,

But when that comes on I must toddle

And go down below, for a bit of a blow

Upsets my un-nautical noddle.

Britannia may rule her own waves,—I'm a fool

To try the same game, but, believe me,

Though catching it hot, yet to give up my "Yot"

Would certainly terribly grieve me.

You see, it's the rage, like the Amateur Stage,

Or Coaching, Lawn-Tennis, or Hunting:

So, though I'm so queer, I go yachting each year,

And hoist on the Solent my bunting.

A Henley Toast.—"May rivals meet without any sculls being broken!"

Of Course!—The very place for a fowl—Henley!

The Journal which evidently keeps the Key of the River.—The Lock to Lock Times.

[Pg 25]



Cheery Official. "All first class 'ere, please?"

Degenerate Son of the Vikings (in a feeble voice). "First class? Now do I look it?"

[Pg 27]



Next to the charming society, the best of the delightful trips on our friend's yacht is, that you get such an admirable view of the coast scenery, and you acquire such an excellent appetite for lunch.

[Pg 28]



It was ony a week or so ago as I was engaged perfeshnally on board a steam Yot that had been hired for about as jolly a party as I ewer remembers to have had on board a ship, and the Forreners among 'em had ewidently been brort for to see what a reel lovely River the Tems is. I must say I was glad to get away from Town, as I 'ad 'ad a shock from seeing a something dreadful on an old showcard outside of the Upraw which they tells me is now given up to Promenades. So we started from Skindel's, at Madenhed Bridge, and took 'em right up to Gentlemanly Marlow, and on to old Meddenham, and then to Henley, and lots of other butiful places, and then back to Skindel's to dinner. And a jolly nice little dinner they guv us,[Pg 30] and sum werry good wine, as our most critical gests—and we had two Corporation gents among 'em—couldn't find not no fault with. But there's sum peeple as it ain't not of no use to try to sattisfy with butiful seenery—at least, not if they bees Amerrycains. They don't seem not to have the werry least hadmiration or respect for anythink as isn't werry big, and prefur size to buty any day of the week.

"Well, it's a nice-looking little stream enuff," says an Amerrycain, who was a board a grinnin; "but it's really quite a joke to call it a River. Why, in my country," says he, "if you asked me for to show you a River, I should take you to Mrs. Sippy's, and when we got about harf way across it, I guess you'd see a reel River then, for it's so wide that you carn't see the land on either side of it, so you sees nothink else but the River, and as that's what you wanted for to see, you carn't werry well grumble then." I shood, most suttenly, have liked for to have asked him, what sort of Locks they had in sitch a River as that, and whether Mrs. Sippy cort many wales when she went out for a day's fishing in that little River[Pg 32] of hers, but I knows my place, and never asks inconvenient questions.

However, he was a smart sort of feller, and had 'em I must say werry nicely indeed a few minutes arterwards. We was a passing a werry butiful bit of the river called a Back Water, and he says, says he, "As it's so preshus hot in the sun, why don't we run in there and enjoy the shade for a time, while we have our lunch?" "Oh," says one of the marsters of the feast, "we are not allowed to go there; that's privet, that is." "Why how can that be?" says he, "when you told me, just now, as you'd lately got a Hact of Parliament passed which said that wherever Tems Water flowed it was open to all the world, as of course it ort to be." "Ah," said the other, looking rayther foolish, "but this is one of the xceptions, for there's another claws in the hact as says that wherever any body has had a hobstruction in the River for 20 years it belongs to him for hever, but he musn't make another nowheres."

The Amerrycain grinned as before, and said, "Well, I allers said as you was about the rummiest lot of people on the face of the airth, and this is on'y another proof of it. You are so werry fond of everythink as is old, that if a man can show as he has had a cussed noosance for twenty years, he may keep it coz he's had it so long, while all sensible peeple must think, as that's one more reeson for sweeping the noosance clean away." And I must say, tho he was a Amerrycane, that I coodn't help thinking as he was right.

It's estonishing what a remarkabel fine happy-tight a run on the butiful Tems seems to give heverybody, and wot an adwantage we has in that partickler respect over the poor Amerycans who[Pg 34] gos for a trip on Mrs. Sippy's big River, with the wind a bloing like great guns, and the waves a dashing mountings hi. But on our butiful little steamer on our luvly little river, altho the gests had most suttenly all brekfasted afore they cum, why we hadn't started much about half-a-nour, afore three or fore on 'em came creeping down into the tite little cabin and asking for jest a cup of tea and a hegg or two, and a few shrimps; and, in less than a nour arterwards, harf a duzzen more on 'em had jest a glass or two of wine and a sandwich, and all a arsking that most important of all questions on bord a Tems Yot, "What time do we lunch?" And by 2 a clock sharp they was all seated at it, and pegging away at the Sammon and the pidgin pie, het settera, as if they was harf-starved, and ewen arter that, the butiful desert and the fine old Port Wine was left upon the table, and I can troothfully state that the cabin was never wunce quite empty till we was again doing full justice to Mr. Skindel's maynoo.


The Universal Motto at Henley.—Open houseboat.

[Pg 29]



Ancient Mariner (to credulous yachtsman). "A'miral Lord Nelson! Bless yer, I knowed him; served under him. Many's the time I've as'ed him for a bit o' 'bacco, as I might be a astin' o' you; and says he, 'Well, I ain't got no 'bacco,' jest as you might say to me; 'but here's a shillin' for yer,' says he"!!

[Pg 31]

Can I put you ashore


Gallant Member of the L.R.C. "Can I put you ashore, mum?"

[Pg 33]

Man in water with rescuer


Rescuer. "Hold on a bit! I may never get a chance like this again!"

[Pg 35]



[Pg 36]



Three bold sailormen all went a-sailin'

Out into the Northern Sea,

And they steered Nor'-West by three quarters West

Till they came to Norwegee.

They was three bold men as ever you'd see,

And these was their Christian names:

There was Long-legged Bill and Curly Dick,

And the third was Bo'sen James;—

And they went to catch the Great Sea-Sarpint,

Which they wished for to stop his games.


Long-legged Bill was in the main-top a-watchin'

For Sea-Sarpints, starn and grim,

When through the lee-scupper bold Curly Dick peeped,

And he says, says he, "That's him"![Pg 37]

Then quick down the rattlins the long-legged 'un slid—

Which pale as a shrimp was he—

While Dick he rolled forrard into the cuddy,

Where Bo'sen James happened to be,

For James he was what you'd call the ship's cook,

And he was a-makin' the tea.

Then says Curly Dick, says he, "Bless my peepers!"

(Which his words were not quite those)

"Here's the Great Sea-Sarpint a-comin' aboard,

With a wart upon his nose!

Which his head's as big as the jolly-boat,

And his mouth's as wide as the Thames,

And his mane's as long as the best bower cable,

And his eyes like blazin' flames—

And he's comin' aboard right through the lee-scupper!"

"Belay there!" says Bo'sen James.


Howsever, bold Bo'sen he went down to leeward,

While Curly Dick shook with funk;

And Long-legged Bill he hid in the caboose,

A-yellin' "We'll all be sunk!"

You might a'most heard a marlinspike drop

As Bo'sen James he looked out.

Then down through the scupper his head it went,

And there came a tremenjous shout,

"Sea-Sarpint be blowed, ye darned landlubbers!

Who's left this here mop hangin' out?"

A Word to the Y.'s at Henley.—Try again; you will be Yale-fellow, well met!

[Pg 38]


(At the Service of Visitors wishing to be comfortable)

Take care to be invited to the best situated houseboat.

If you can, get permission to ask a few friends to join your host's party at luncheon.

Be sure to secure the pleasantest seat, the most amusing neighbour, and all the periodicals.

If you are conversationally inclined, monopolise the talk, and if you are not, plead a headache for keeping every one silent.

Mind that "No. 1" is your particular numerical distinction, and that the happiness of the rest of the world is a negligible quantity.

If you are a man, keep smoking cigars and sipping refreshing beverages until it is time to eat and drink seriously; if you are of the other sex, flirt, chatter, or sleep, as the impulse moves you.

And when you are quite, quite sure that you have nothing better to do, give a glance to the racing!

[Pg 39]



Jones (who is not feeling very well). "How long did you say it would take us to get back?"

Boatman. "'Bout 'n 'our an' a 'arf agin this tide."

[Pg 40]


Get a houseboat and be sure that it is water-tight and free from rats and other unpleasant visitors.

Take care that your servants have no objection to roughing it, and can turn their hands to anything usually supplied in town by the stores.

Accustom yourself to food in tins and bottles, and learn to love insects with or without wings.

Acclimatise yourself to mists and fogs and rainy days, and grow accustomed to reading papers four days old and the advertisements of out-of-date railway guides.

Try to love the pleasures of a regatta. Do not quarrel with the riparian owners or the possessors of other houseboats. Enjoy the pleasantries of masked musicians, and take an intelligent interest in the racing. Illuminate freely, and do your best to avoid a fire or an explosion. And if you have fireworks, don't sort them out with the light of a[Pg 41] blazing squib or some illuminant of a similar character.

Be good, and mild and long-suffering. Rest satisfied with indifferently cooked food, damp sheets, and wearisome companions. And make the best of storms of rain and hurricanes of wind. In fact, bear everything, and grin when you can't laugh.

Another and a better way.—Put up at a comfortable riparian hotel, and when the weather is against you, run up to town and give a wide berth to the Thames and its miseries.



Freddy's first day at Henley

[Pg 42]


(Described by a Landlubber)

Sailing in the Wind's Eye.—In order to accomplish this difficult manœuvre, you must first of all discover where the wind's eye is, and then, if it be practicable, you may proceed to sail in it. It is presumed for this purpose that the wind's eye is a "liquid" one.

Hugging the Shore.—When you desire to hug the shore, you first of all must land on it. Then take some sand and shingle in your arms, and give it a good hug. In doing this, however, be careful no one sees you, or the result of the manœuvre may be a strait-waistcoat.

Wearing a Ship.—This it is by no means an easy thing to do, and it is difficult to suggest what will make it easier. Wearing a chignon is preposterous enough, but when a man is told that he must wear a ship, he would next expect to hear that he must eat the Monument.

Boxing the Compass.—Assume a fighting attitude,[Pg 44] and hit the compass a "smart stinger on the dial-plate," as the sporting papers call it. But before you do so, you had best take care to have your boxing-gloves on, or you may hurt your fingers.

Whistling for a Wind.—When you whistle for a wind, you should choose an air appropriate, such as "Blow, gentle gales," or "Winds, gently whisper."

Reefing the Lee-scuppers.—First get upon a reef, and then put your lee-scuppers on it. The manœuvre is so simple, that no more need be said of it.

Splicing the Main-brace.—When your main-brace comes in pieces, get a needle and thread and splice it. If it be your custom to wear a pair of braces, you first must ascertain which of them is your main one.

A Delicate Hint.

Brighton Boatman. "There's a wessel out there, sir, a labourin' a good deal, sir! Ah, sir, sailors works werry 'ard—precious 'ard lines it is for the poor fellers out there!—Precious hard it is for everybody just now. I know I should like the price of a pint o' beer and a bit o' bacca!"

[Pg 43]

luncheon-basket overboard

Scene—A quiet nook, five miles off anywhere. Jones has gone down to the punt to fetch up the luncheon-basket, and has dropped it overboard.

PUZZLE.—What to do—or say?—except——

[Pg 45]



(Sketched on an excursion steamer)

[Pg 46]


To place his rugs, carpet-bags, and umbrellas on the six best seats on the boat.

To worry the captain with remarks about the state of the weather and the performance of the steamer: to observe to the steward that there is a change in the weather, and that there were more passengers the last time he crossed.

To speak to the man at the wheel, and ask him whether there was much sea on last trip.

To change his last half-crown into French money, and squabble with the steward as to the rate of exchange.

To stare at his neighbours, read aloud their names on their luggage, and remark audibly that he'll lay anything the lady with the slight twang is an American.

To repeat the ancient joke on "Back her! stop her!"

If the passage is rough, to put his feet on his[Pg 48] neighbour's head, after appropriating all the cushions in the cabin.

To call for crockery in time. N.B.—Most important.

To groan furiously for an hour and a half, if a sufferer; or, if utterly callous to waves and their commotions, to eat beef and ham, and drink porter and brandy-and-water, during the entire voyage, with as much clattering of forks and noise of mastication as is compatible with enjoyment.

To kiss his hand, on entering the harbour, to the matelottes on the quays, or send his love in bad French to the Prefect of Police.

To struggle for a front place, in crowding off the steamer, as if the ship was on fire. And finally—

To answer every one who addresses him in good English in the worst possible French.

"What with the horse-boats," said Mrs. Ramsbotham, "the steam-lunches, the condolers, the out-ragers, the Canadian caboose, and the banyans, we had the greatest difficulty, at Henley, in getting from one side of the river to the other."

[Pg 47]



[Pg 49]



A new flexible, patent-jointed, vertebral outrigger. (Seen—and drawn—by our artist (the festive one), after an unusually scrumptious lunch on board a houseboat at Henley).

[Pg 50]



Egeria. "Surely, Mr. Swinson, it must have been here, and on such a day as this, that you wrote those lines that end—

"'Give me the white-maned steeds to ride,
The Arabs of the main'——wasn't it?"

Mr. Swinson (faintly). "N-no. Reading party—half-way up Matterhorn!"


The butiful River's a-running to Town,

It never runs up, but allers runs down,

Weather it rains, or weather it snos;

And where it all cums from, noboddy nose.

The young swell Boatmen drest in white,

To their Mothers' arts must be a delite;

At roein or skullin the gals is sutch dabs,

For they makes no Fowls and they ketches no Crabs.[Pg 51]

The payshent hangler sets in a punt,

Willee ketch kold? I hopes as he wunt.

I wotches him long, witch I states is fax,

He dont ketch nothin but Ticklebacks.

The prudent Ferryman sets under cover,

Waiting to take me from one shore to t'other;

I calls out "Hover!" and hover he roes,

If he aint sober then hover we goes.

When it's poring with rane and a tempest a-blowin,

A penny don't seem mutch for this here rowin;

And wen the River's as ruff as the Sea,

I thinks of the two I'd sooner be me.

For when I'm at work at Ampton or Lea,

Waitin at dinner, or waitin at tea,

I gits as much from a yewthful Pair

As he gits in a day for all that there.

Then let me bless my lucky Star

That made me a Waiter and not a Tar;

And the werry nex time I've a glass of old Sherry,

I'll drink to the pore chap as roes that 'ere Ferry.


Very Low Form on the part of Father Thames.

Boy (standing in mid-stream at Kew, to boating party). "'Ere ye are! Tow ye up to Richmond Lock! All by water, sir!"

[Pg 52]


dancing sailor

It is a well-known fact that the songs of Dibdin had a wonderful effect on the courage of the Navy, and there is no doubt that the Ben Blocks, Ben Backstays, Tom Tackles, and Tom Bowlings, were, poetically speaking, the fathers of our Nelsons, our Howes, our St. Vincents, and our Codringtons. It will be the effort of Punch's Naval Songster to do for the Thames what Dibdin did for the Sea, and to inspire with courage those honest-hearted fellows who man the steamers on the river. If we can infuse a little spirit into them—which, by the bye, they greatly want—our aim will be fully answered.


It blew great guns when Sammy Snooks

Mounted the rolling paddles;

He met the mate with fearful looks—

They shook each other's daddles.

The word was given to let go,

The funnel gave a screamer,

The stoker whistled from below,

And off she goes, blow high, blow low,

The Atalanta steamer.[Pg 54]

His native Hungerford he leaves,

His Poll of Pedlar's Acre,

Who now ashore in silence grieves

Because he did not take her.

There's a collision fore and aft;

Against the pier they squeeze her.

"Up boys, and save the precious craft,

We from the station shall be chaff'd—

Ho—back her—stop her—ease her."

Aha! the gallant vessel rights,

She goes just where they want her;

She nears at last the Lambeth lights,

The trim-built Atalantar.

Sam Snooks his messmates calls around;

He speaks of Poll and beauty:

When suddenly a grating sound

Tells them the vessel's run aground

While they forgot their duty.


My name's Ben Bounce, d'ye see,

A tar from top to toe, sirs.

I'm merry, blithe and free,

A marling-spike I know, sirs.

In friendship or in love,

I climb the top-sail's pinnacle,

But in a storm I always prove

My heart's abaft the binnacle.

I fear no foreign foe,

But cruise about the river;

As up and down I go

My timbers never shiver.[Pg 55]

When off life's end I get,

I'll make no useless rumpus;

But off my steam I'll let,

And box my mortal compass.


Away, away, we gaily glide

Far from the wooden pier;

And down into the gushing tide

We drop the sailor's tear.

On—with the strong and hissing steam,

And seize the pliant wheel;

Of days gone by I fondly dream,

For oh! the tar must feel![Pg 56]

Quick, let the sturdy painter go,

And put the helm a-port;

Lay, lay the lofty funnel low,

And keep the rigging taut.

'Tis true, my tongue decision shows,

I act the captain's part;

But oh! there's none on board that knows

The captain's aching heart.

Upon the paddle-box all day

I've stood, and brav'd the gale,

While the light vessel made her way

Without a bit of sail.

And as upon its onward flight

The steamer cut the wave,

My crew I've order'd left and right,

My stout—my few—my brave!


Afloat, ashore, ahead, astern,

With winds propitious or contrary.

(I do not spin an idle yarn.)

No—no, belay! I love thee, Mary.

Amidships—on the Bentinck shrouds,

Athwart the hawse, astride the mizen,

Watching at night the fleecy clouds,

Your Harry wishes you were his'n.

Then let us heave the nuptial lead,

In Hymen's port our anchors weighing;

Thy face shall be the figure-head

Our ship shall always be displaying.

But when old age shall bid us luff,

Our honest tack will never vary,

But I'll continue Harry Bluff,

And thou my little light-built Mary.

[Pg 53]

Tourist on Scotch steamer


Tourist (on Scotch steamer). "I say, steward, how do you expect anybody to dry their hands on this towel? It's as wet as if it had been dipped in the sea!"

Steward. "Aweel—depped or no depped, there's a hundred fouk hae used the toowl, and ye're the furrst that's grummelt!"

Margate excursion boat

The Margate excursion boat arrives at 2.30 p.m., after a rather boisterous passage.

Ticket Collector (without any feeling). "Ticket, sir! Thankye, sir! Boat returns at 3!"

[Pg 57]

Mothers Pet

Mothers Pet.

"Oh, there's ma on the beach, looking at us, Alfred; let's make the boat lean over tremendously on one side!"

[Pg 58]


(By Mr. Punch's Vagrant)

Take four pretty girls

And four tidy young men;

Add papa and mamma,

And your number is ten.

Having ten in your party

You'll mostly be eight,

For you'll find you can count

Upon two to be late.

In the packing of hampers

'Tis voted a fault

To be rashly forgetful

Of corkscrew and salt.

Take a mayonnaised lobster,

A tasty terrine,

A salmon, some lamb

And a gay galantine.

Take fizz for the lads,

Claret-cup for the popsies,

And some tartlets with jam

So attractive to woppses.

Let the men do the rowing,

And all acquire blisters;

While the boats go zigzag,

Being steered by their sisters.

Then eat and pack up

And return as you came.

Though your comfort was nil,

You had fun all the same.

[Pg 59]



[Pg 60]


Just starting down Southampton Water in jolly old Bigheart's yacht, The Collarbone—or Columbine? I wonder which it is? Dear old Bigheart, the best fellow in the world, and enthusiastic about yachting. So am I (theoretically, and whilst in smooth water). Try to act as nautically as possible, and ask skipper at frequent intervals "How does she bear?" Don't know what it means; but, after all, what does that matter? Skipper stares at me rather helplessly, and mutters something about "Nothe-nor-east-by-sou-sou-west." Feel that, with this lucid explanation, I ought to be satisfied, so turn away, assume cheery aspect and with a rolling gait seize the topsail-main-gaff-mizen sheet and pull it lustily, with a "Yo, heave ho!"

The pull, unfortunately, releases heavy block, which, falling on Bigheart's head, seems to quite annoy him for the minute. We plunge into Solent, and then bear away for West Channel. Skipper[Pg 62] remarks that we shall make a long "retch" of it (absit omen). He then adds that we could "bring up"—why these unpleasantly suggestive nautical expressions?—off Yarmouth. Not wishing to appear ignorant, I ask Bigheart, "Why not make a course S.S. by E.?" He replies, "Because it would take us ashore into the R. V. Yacht Club garden," and I retire somewhat abashed.

Out in West Channel we get into what skipper calls "a bit of a bobble." Don't think I care quite so much for yachting in "bobbles." Bigheart shows me all the varied beauties of the coast, but now they fail to interest me. He says, "I say, we'll keep sailing until quite late this evening, eh? That'll be jolly!" Reply, "Yes, that'll be jolly," but somehow my voice lacks heartiness.

An hour later I was lying down—I felt tired—when Bigheart came up, and with a ring of joy in his manly tones exclaimed, "I tell you what, old man; we'll carry right on, now, through the night. We're not in a hurry, so we'll get as much sailing as we can." ... Then, with my last ounce of failing strength, I sat up and denounced him as an assassin.

[Pg 63]

After passing a night indescribable, lying on the shelf—I mean berth—I was put ashore at Portland next morning. Should like to have procured dear old Bigheart a government appointment there for seven years, as a due reward for what he had been making me suffer.

Suitable Song for Boating Men.—The last rows of summer.

Man throwing lifebelt


Owner. "I'll 'eave it to you, partner!"

[Pg 61]

Mr. Dibbles (at Balham). "Ah, the old Channel
Tunnel scheme knocked on the head at last!
Good job too! Mad-headed project—beastly unpatriotic too!"

Mr. Dibbles (en route for Paris. Sea choppy.)
"Channel Tunnel not a bad idea. Entire journey
to Paris by train. Grand scheme! English people
backward in these kind of things. Steward!"

    [Goes below.

[Pg 64]


(A Confidential Carol, by a Cockney Owner, who inwardly feels that he is not exactly "in it," after all)

What makes me deem I'm of Viking blood

(Though a wee bit queer when the pace grows hot),

A briny slip of the British brood?

My Yot!

What makes me rig me in curious guise?

Like a kind of a sort of—I don't know what,

And talk sea-slang, to the world's surprise?

My Yot!

What makes me settle my innermost soul

On winning a purposeless silver pot,

And walk with a (very much) nautical roll?

My Yot!

What makes me learned in cutters and yawls,

And time-allowance—which others must tot—,

And awfully nervous in sudden squalls?

My Yot!

What makes me sprawl on the deck all day,

And at night play "Nap" till I lose a lot,

And grub in a catch-who-can sort of a way?

My Yot!

What makes me qualmish, timorous, pale,

(Though rather than own it I'd just be shot)

When the Fay in the wave-crests dips her sail?

My Yot![Pg 66]

What makes me "patter" to skipper and crew

In a kibosh style that a child might spot,

And tug hard ropes till my knuckles go blue?

My Yot!

What makes me snooze in a narrow, close bunk,

Till the cramp my limbs doth twist and knot,

And brave discomfort, and face blue-funk?

My Yot!

What makes me gammon my chummiest friends

To "try the fun"—which I know's all rot—

And earn the dead-cut in which all this ends?

My Yot!

What makes me, in short, an egregious ass,

A bore, a butt, who, not caring a jot

For the sea, as a sea-king am seeking to pass?

My Yot!

At Whitby.Visitor (to Ancient Mariner, who has been relating his experiences to crowd of admirers). "Then do you mean to tell us that you actually reached the North Pole?"

Ancient Mariner. "No, sir; that would be a perwersion of the truth. But I seed it a-stickin' up among the ice just as plain as you can this spar, which I plants in the sand. It makes me thirsty to think of that marvellous sight, we being as it were parched wi' cold."

[A. M.'s distress promptly relieved by audience.

[Pg 65]



Voice from the bridge above. "Oh, lor, Sarah, I've bin and dropped the strawberries and cream!"

[Pg 67]

man paddling canoe

His Fair Companion (drowsily). "I think a Canadian is the best river craft, after all, as it's less like work than the others!"


(As Deduced from a late Collision) The rule of the river's a mystery quite, Other craft when you're steering among, If you starboard your helm, you ain't sure you are right, If you port, you may prove to be wrong.

[Pg 68]


To what snug refuge do I fly

When glass is low, and billows high,

And goodness knows what fate is nigh?—

My Cabin!

Who soothes me when in sickness' grip,

Brings a consolatory "nip,"

And earns my blessing, and his tip?—

The Steward!

When persons blessed with fancy rich

Declare "she" does not roll, or pitch.

What say—"The case is hardly sich"?—

My Senses!

What makes me long for real Free Trade,

When no Douaniers could invade.

Nor keys, when wanted, be mislaid?—

My Luggage!

What force myself, perhaps another,

To think (such thoughts we try to smother)

"The donkey-engine is our brother"?—

Our Feelings!

And what, besides a wobbling funnel,

Screw-throb, oil-smell, unstable gunwale,

Converts me to a Channel Tunnel?—

My Crossing!

[Pg 69]



[Pg 70]


Where is the sweetest river reach,

With nooks well worth exploring,

Wild woods of bramble, thorn and beech

Their fragrant breath outpouring?

Where does our dear secluded stream

Most gaily gleam?

At Goring.

Where sings the thrush amid the fern?

Where trills the lark upsoaring?

Where build the timid coot and hern,

The foot of man ignoring?

Where sits secure the water vole

Beside her hole?

At Goring.

Where do the stars dramatic shine

'Mid satellites adoring?

And where does fashion lunch and dine

Al fresco, bored and boring?

Where do we meet confections sweet

And toilets neat?

At Goring.

Where are regattas? Where are trains

Their noisy crowds outpouring?

And bands discoursing hackneyed strains,

And rockets skyward soaring?

Where is this urbs in rure?—where

This Cockney Fair?

At Goring.

[Pg 71]



"Call this pleasure? Well, all I say is, give me Staines and a fishing-punt!"

[Pg 72]

Mr. P at the helm.


(Extracts from the Travel Diary of Toby, M.P.)

Gulf of Lyons, Friday.—The casual traveller on Continental railways, especially in France, is familiar with the official attitude towards the hapless wayfarer. The leading idea is to make the journey as difficult and as uncomfortable as possible. The plan is based on treatment of parcels or baggage. The passenger is bundled about, shunted, locked up in waiting-rooms, and finally delivered in a limp state at whatever hour and whatsoever place may suit the convenience of the railway people. Discover the same spirit dominant in management and arrangements of the sea service. Steamer from Marseilles to Tunis advertised to sail to-day at noon. On taking tickets, ordered to be on board at ten o'clock.

[Pg 74]

Why two hours before starting? Gentleman behind counter shrugs his shoulders, hugs his ribs with his elbows, holds out his hands with deprecatory gesture and repeats, "À dix heures, Monsieur."

Gestures even more eloquent than speech. Plainly mean that unless we are alongside punctually at ten o'clock our blood, or rather our passage, will be on our own heads. Spoils a morning; might have gone about town till eleven o'clock; breakfasted at leisure; sauntered on board a few minutes before noon. However, when in Marseilles chant the "Marseillaise."

Down punctually at ten; found boat in course of loading; decks full of dirt and noise, the shouting of men, the creaking of the winch, the rattling of the chains. Best thing to do is to find our cabin, stow away our baggage, and walk on the quay, always keeping our eye on the boat lest she should suddenly slip her moorings and get off to sea without us. Look out for steward. Like the Spanish fleet, steward is not yet in sight. Roaming about below, come upon an elderly lady, with a lame leg, an alarming squint, and a waist[Pg 76] like a ship's. (Never saw a ship's waist, but fancy no mortal man could get his arm round it.) The elderly lady, who displayed signs of asthma, tells me she is the stewardess. Ask her where is our cabin. "Voilà," she says. Following the direction of her glance, I make for a berth close by. Discover I had not made allowance for the squint; she is really looking in another direction. Carefully taking my bearings by this new light, I make for another passage; find it blocked up; stewardess explains that they are loading the ship—apparently through the floor of our cabin. "Tout à l'heure," she says, with comprehensive wave of the hand.

Nothing to be done but leave our baggage lying about, go on deck, and watch the loading. Better not leave the ship. If the laborious Frenchmen in blouses and perspiration see our trunks, they will certainly pop them into the hold, where all kinds of miscellaneous parcels, cases and bales are being chucked without the slightest attempt at fitting in.

A quarter to twelve; only fifteen minutes now; getting hungry; had coffee and bread and butter early so as not to miss the boat. Watch a man below in the hold trying to fit in a bicycle with a[Pg 78] four-hundredweight bale, a quarter-ton case, and a barrel of cement. Evidently piqued at resistance offered by the apparently frail, defenceless contrivance. Tries to bend the fore wheel so as to accommodate the cask; that failing, endeavours to wind the hind wheel round the case; failing in both efforts, he just lays the bicycle loose on the top of the miscellaneous baggage and the hatch is battened down. In the dead unhappy night that followed, when the sea was on the deck, I often thought of the bicycle cavorting to and fro over the serrated ridge of the cargo.

Ten minutes to twelve; a savoury smell from the cook's galley. Suppose déjeuner will be served as soon as we leave the dock. Heard a good deal of superiority of French cooking aboard ship as compared with British. Some compensation after all for getting up early, swallowing cup of coffee and bread and butter, and rushing off to catch at ten o'clock a ship that sails at noon. Perhaps the cloth is laid now; better go and secure places. Find saloon. Captain and officers at breakfast, their faces illumined with the ecstasy born to a Frenchman when he finds an escargot on his plate.

[Pg 80]

Evidently they are breakfasting in good time so as to take charge of the ship whilst nous autres succeed to the pleasures of the table. What's our hour, I wonder? Find some one who looks like a steward; ask him; says, "Cinq heures et demie." A little late that for breakfast, I diffidently suggest. Explains not breakfast but dinner; first meal at 5.30 p.m. Can't we have déjeuner if I pay for it? I ask, ostentatiously shaking handful of coppers in trousers-pocket. No, he says, severely; that's against the règlement.

Steamer starts in seven minutes; noticed at dock-gates women with baskets of dubious food; dash off to buy some; clutch at a plate of sandwiches, alleged to be compacted of jambon de York. Get back just as gangway is drawn up. Sit on deck and munch our sandwiches. "I know that Ham," said Sark, moodily. "It came out of the Ark."

Recommitted it to the waves, giving it the bearings for Ararat. Ate the bread and wished half-past five or Blucher would come.

A lovely day in Marseilles; not a breath of wind stirred the blue water that laved the white[Pg 82] cliffs on which Château d'If stands. Shall have a lovely passage. Make ourselves comfortable on deck with cushions and books. Scarcely outside the harbour when a wind sprang up from S.E. dead ahead of us. The sea rose with amazing rapidity; banks of leaden-hued clouds obscured the sun-light; then the rain swished down; saloon deck cleared; passengers congregated under shelter in the saloon; as the cranky little steamer rolled and pitched, the place emptied. When at 5.30 the dinner-bell rang, only six took their places, and all declined soup. With the darkness the storm rose. If the ship could have made up its mind either to roll or to pitch, it could have been endured. It had an agonising habit of leaping up with apparent intent to pitch, and, changing its mind, rolling over, groaning in every plank. Every third minute the nose of the ship being under water, and the stern clear out, the screw leaped full half-length in the air, sending forth blood-curdling sounds. Midway came a fearsome crash of crockery, the sound reverberating above the roar of the wind, and the thud of the water falling by tons on the deck, making the ship quiver like a spurred horse.

[Pg 84]

"I begin to understand now," said Sark, "how the walls of Jericho fell."

Much trouble with the Generalissimo. When he came aboard at Marseilles he suffused the ship with pleasing sense of the military supremacy of Great Britain. Has seen more than seventy summers, but still walks with sprightly step and head erect. The long droop of his carefully-curled iron-grey moustache is of itself sufficient to excite terror in the bosom of the foe. The Generalissimo has not the word retreat in his vocabulary. He was one of the six who to-night sat at the dinner-table and deftly caught scraps of meat and vegetable as the plates flew past. But after dinner he collapsed. Thought he had retired to his berth; towards nine o'clock a faint voice from the far end of the cabin led to discovery of him prone on the floor, where he had been flung from one of the benches. We got him up, replaced him tenderly on the bench, making a sort of barricade on the offside with bolsters. A quarter of an hour later the ship gave a terrible lurch to leeward; the screw hoarsely shrieked; another batch of crockery crashed down; above the[Pg 86] uproar, a faint voice was heard moaning, "Oh, dear! Oh, dear!"

We looked at the bench where we had laid the Generalissimo, his martial cloak around him. Lo! he was not.

Guided by former experience, we found him under the table. Evidently no use propping him up. So with the cushions we made a bed on the floor, and the old warrior securely slept, soothed by the swish of the water that crossed and recrossed the cabin floor as the ship rolled to leeward or to starboard.

When the Generalissimo came aboard at Marseilles, surveying the fortifications of the harbour as if he intended storming them, his accent suggested that if not of foreign birth, he had lived long in continental courts and camps. Odd to note how, as his physical depression grew, an Irish accent softened his speech, till at length he murmured of misery in the mellifluous brogue of County Cork.

Pretty to see the steward when the flood in the saloon got half a foot deep ladle it out with a dustpan.

Tunis, Monday, 1 a.m.—Just limped in here[Pg 88] with deck cargo washed overboard, bulwarks stove in, engine broken down, an awesome list to port, galley so clean swept the cook doesn't know it, the cabins flooded, and scarce a whole bit of crockery in the pantry. Twenty-one hours late; not bad on a thirty-six-hours' voyage.

Captain comforts us with assurance that having crossed the Mediterranean man and boy for forty years, he never went through such a storm. Have been at sea a bit myself; only once, coasting in a small steamer off Japan, have I seen—or, since it was in the main pitch dark, felt—anything like it. Generalissimo turned up at dinner last night, his moustache a little draggled, but his port once more martial. His chief lament is, that going down to his berth yesterday morning, having spent Friday night in the security of the saloon floor, he found his boots full of water. This brings out chorus of heartrending experience. Every cabin flooded; boxes and portmanteaus floating about. Sark and I spent a more or less cosy night in the saloon. To us entered occasionally one of the crew ostentatiously girt with a life-belt. Few incidents so soothing on such a night. Fortunately, we did not[Pg 90] hear till entering port how in the terror of the night two conscripts, bound for Bizerta, jumped overboard and were seen no more.

"If this is the way they usually get to Tunis," says Sark, "I hope the French will keep it all to themselves. In this particular case, there is more in the Markiss's 'graceful concession' than meets the eye."

River Gambling.

"Punting," says the Daily News, "has become a very fashionable form of amusement on the Upper Thames." So it is at Monte Carlo. Punting is given up by all who find themselves in hopelessly low water.

Live While You May.

Timid Passenger (as the gale freshened). "Is there any danger?"

Tar (ominously). "Well, them as likes a good dinner had better hev it to-day!"


We are glad to be able to report that the gentleman who one day last week, while walking on the bank of the Thames near Henley, fell in with a friend, is doing well. His companion is also progressing favourably.

[Pg 73]



Skipper. "Did ye got the proveesions Angus?"

Angus. "Ay, ay! A half loaf, an' fouer bottles o' whiskey."

Skipper. "An' what in the woarld will ye be doin' wi' aal that bread?"

[Pg 75]



Sympathetic Old Gentleman. "I'm sorry to see your husband suffer so, ma'am. He seems very——"

Lady Passenger (faintly). "Oh dear! He isn't my husband. 'Sure I don't know who the ge'tleman is!"

[Pg 77]



Visitor. "Good morning: tide's very high this morning, eh?"

Ancient Mariner. "Ar, if the sea was all beer, there wouldn' be no bloomin' 'igh tides!"

[Pg 79]



"Unbidden guests are often welcomest when they are gone."—Shakespeare.

[Pg 81]



Old Lady. "Goodness gracious, Mr. Boatman! What's that?"

Stolid Boatman. "That, mum! Nuthun, mum. Only the Artillery a prac-ti-sin', and that's one o' the cannon balls what's just struck the water!!"

[Pg 83]



Bride. "I think—George, dear—I should—be better—if we walked about——"

Husband (one wouldn't have believed it of him). "You can do as you like, love. I'm very well (!) as I am!!"

[Pg 85]

Two men talking

Intelligent Foreigner. "I am afraid zey are not much use, zeze grand works of yours at Dovaire. Vot can zey do against our submarines?—our leetle Gustave Zêde? Ah, ze submarine e' is mos terrible, an' ze crews also—ze matelots—zey are 'eroes! Vy, every time zey go on board of him zey say goodbye to zer vives an' families!"

[Pg 87]



Doris. "Oh, Jack, here come those Sellerby girls! Do show them how beautifully you can punt."

[Pg 89]



Miss Grundison, Junior. "There goes Lucy Holroyd, all alone in a boat with young Snipson, as usual! So imprudent of them!"

Her Elder Sister. "Yes; how shocking if they were upset and drowned—without a chaperon, you know!"

[Pg 91]



Captain of Clyde steamer (to stoker, as they sighted their port). "Slack awee, Donal', slack awee"—(he was interested in the liquors sold)—"they're drencken haurd yenoo!!"

[Pg 92]


Illustrated letter D

Dear Charlie,—It's 'ot, and no error! Summer on us, at last, with a bust;

Ninety odd in the shade as I write, I've a 'ed, and a thunderin' thust.

Can't go on the trot at this tempryture, though I'm on 'oliday still;

So I'll pull out my eskrytor, Charlie, and give you a touch of my quill.

If you find as my fist runs to size, set it down to that quill, dear old pal;

Correspondents is on to me lately, complains as I write like a gal.

Sixteen words to the page, and slopscrawly, all dashes and blobs. Well, it's true;

But a quill and big sprawl is the fashion, so wot is a feller to do?

Didn't spot you at 'Enley, old oyster—I did 'ope you'd shove in your oar.

We 'ad a rare barney, I tell you, although a bit spiled by the pour.[Pg 93]

'Ad a invite to 'Opkins's 'ouse-boat, prime pitch, and swell party, yer know,

Pooty girls, first-class lotion, and music. I tell yer we did let things go.

Who sez 'Enley ain't up to old form, that Society gives it the slip?

Wish you could 'ave seen us—and heard us—old boy, when aboard of our ship.

Peonies and poppies ain't in it for colour with our little lot,

And with larfter and banjos permiskus we managed to mix it up 'ot.

Man in blazer

My blazer was claret and mustard, my "stror" was a rainbow gone wrong!

I ain't one who's ashamed of his colours, but likes 'em mixed midd-lingish strong.

'Emmy 'Opkins, the fluffy-'aired daughter, a dab at a punt or canoe,

Said I looked like a garden of dahlias, and showed up her neat navy blue.

[Pg 94]

Fair mashed on yours truly, Miss Emmy; but that's only jest by the way,

'Arry ain't one to brag of bong jour tunes; but wot I wos wanting to say

Is about this here "spiling the River" which snarlers set down to our sort.

Bosh! Charlie, extreme Tommy rot! It's these sniffers as want to spile sport.

Want things all to theirselves, these old jossers, and all on the strictest Q. T.

Their idea of the Thames being "spiled" by the smallest suggestion of spree,

Wy, it's right down rediklus, old pal, gives a feller the dithreums it do.

I mean going for them a rare bat, and I'm game to wire in till all's blue.

Who are they, these stuckuppy snipsters, as jaw about quiet and peace,

Who would silence the gay "constant-screamer" and line the Thames banks with perlice;

Who sneer about "'Arry at 'Enley," and sniff about "cads on the course,"

As though it meant "Satan in Eden"? I'll 'owl at sich oafs till I'm 'oarse!

Scrap o' sandwich-greased paper 'll shock 'em, a ginger-beer bottle or "Bass,"

Wot 'appens to drop 'mong the lilies, or gets chucked aside on the grass,

Makes 'em gasp like a frog in a frying-pan. Br-r-r-r! Wot old mivvies they are!

Got nerves like a cobweb, I reckon, a smart banjo-twang makes 'em jar.[Pg 96]

I'm toffy, you know, and no flies, Charlie; swim with the swells, and all that,

But I'm blowed if this bunkum don't make me inclined to turn Radical rat.

"Riparian rights," too! Oh scissors! They'd block the backwaters and broads,

Because me and my pals likes a lark! Serve 'em right if old Burns busts their 'oards!

Rum blokes, these here Sosherlist spouters! There's Dannel the Dosser, old chap,

As you've 'eard me elude to afore. Fair stone-broker, not wuth 'arf a rap—

Knows it's all Cooper's ducks with him, Charlie; won't run to a pint o' four 'arf,

And yet he will slate me like sugar, and give me cold beans with his charf.

Sez Dannel—and dash his darned cheek, Charlie!—"Monkeys like you"—meaning Me!—

"Give the latter-day Mammon his chance. Your idea of a lark or a spree

Is all Noise, Noodle-Nonsense, and Nastiness! Dives, who wants an excuse

For exclusiveness, finds it in you, you contemptible coarse-cackling goose!

"Riparian rights? That's the patter of Ahab to Naboth, of course;

But 'tis pickles like you make it plausible, louts such as you give it force.

You make sweet Thames reaches Gehennas, the fair Norfolk Broads you befoul;

You—you, who'd make Beulah a hell with your blatant Bank Holiday howl!

"Decent property-owners abhor you; you spread your coarse feasts on their lawns,

And 'Arry's a hog when he feeds, and an ugly Yahoo when he yawns;

You litter, and ravage, and cock-sky; you romp like a satyr obscene,

And the noise of you rises to heaven till earth might blush red through her green.

"You are moneyed, sometimes, and well-tailored; but come you from Oxford or Bow,

You're a flaring offence when you lounge, and a blundering pest when you row;[Pg 98]

Your 'monkeyings' mar every pageant, your shindyings spoil every sport,

And there isn't an Eden on earth but's destroyed when it's 'Arry's resort.

"Then monopolist Mammon may chuckle, Riparian Ahabs rejoice;

There's excuse in your Caliban aspect, your hoarse and ear-torturing voice,

You pitiful Cockney-born Cloten, you slum-bred Silenus, 'tis you

Spoil the silver-streamed Thames for Pan-lovers, and all the nymph-worshipping crew!"

I've "reported" as near as no matter! I don't hunderstand more than arf

Of his patter; he's preciously given to potry and classical charf.

But the cheek on it, Charlie! A Stone-broke! I should like to give him wot for,

Only Dannel the Dosser's a dab orf of whom 'tain't so easy to score.

But it's time that this bunkum was bunnicked, bin fur too much on it of late—

Us on 'Opkins's 'ouse-boat, I tell yer, cared nix for the ink-spiller's "slate."

I mean doin' them Broads later on, for free fishing and shooting, that's flat.

If I don't give them dash'd Norfolk Dumplings a doing, I'll eat my old 'at.

Rooral quiet, and rest, and refinement? Oh, let 'em go home and eat coke.

These fussy old footlers whose 'air stands on hend at a row-de-dow joke,

The song of the skylark sounds pooty, but "skylarking" song's better fun,

And you carn't do the rooral to-rights on a tract and a tuppenny bun.

As to colour, and kick-up, and sing-song, our party was fair to the front;

But we wosn't alone; lots of toppers, in 'ouse-boat, or four-oar, or punt,[Pg 100]

Wos a doin' the rorty and rosy as lively as 'Opkins's lot,

Ah! the swells sling it out pooty thick; they ain't stashed by no ink-spiller's rot.

Bright blazers, and twingle-twang banjoes, and bottles of Bass, my dear boy,

Lots of dashing, and splashing, and "mashing" are things every man must enjoy,

And the petticoats ain't fur behind 'em, you bet. While top-ropes I can carry,

It ain't soap-board slop about "Quiet" will put the clear kibosh on 'Arry.


(A Lay of Medmenham, by a Broken-hearted Boating Man landing from the Thames, who was informed that, by the rules of the Hotel, visitors were not allowed jam with their tea if served in the garden.)

There's a river hotel that is known very well,

From the turmoil of London withdrawn,

Between Henley and Staines, where this strange rule obtains—

That you must not have jam on the lawn.

In the coffee-room still you may eat what you will,

Such as chicken, beef, mutton, or brawn,

Jam and marmalade too, but, whatever you do,

Don't attempt to eat jam on the lawn.

Young Jones and his bride sought the cool river side,

And she said, as she skipped like a fawn,

"As it is, it is nice, but 'twould be paradise,

Could we only have jam on the lawn!"

[Pg 95]



(Development of the houseboat system)

[Pg 97]

Fun at Henley Regatta


Fun at Henley Regatta. Bertie attempts to extricate his punt from the crowd.

[Pg 99]

Two females in a punt

"I say, you girls, we shall be over in a second, and if you can't swim better than you punt, I'm afraid I shan't be able to save both of you!"

[Pg 101]

Seasick lady

A PLEDGED M.P. (1869).

M.P.'s Bride. "Oh! William, dear—if you are—a Liberal—do bring in a Bill—next Session—for that underground tunnel!!"

[Pg 102]


(Examination for a Master's Certificate)

1. Can you dance a hornpipe? If so, which? (Vivâ voce.) If dancing unaccompanied by fiddle, whistle the first eight bars of College Hornpipe. Also, dance the three first figures of the hornpipe, announcing the distinctive name of each beforehand.

2. Explain the terms "Ahoy!" "Avast!" "Belay!" Whence derived? Also of "Splice my main-brace." Is "main-brace" a part of rigging, or of sailor's costume? Which? If neither, what? Is "Lubber" a term of opprobrium or of endearment? State varieties of "Lubber." Give derivations of the terms "Bum-boat woman," "Marlin' spike," "Son of a sea-cook," "Dash my lee-scuppers!" "Pipe your eye," "Tip us your grapplin' iron."

3. How many mates may a sea captain legally possess at any one time?

4. Is "sextant" the feminine of "sexton"?

[Pg 104]

5. How often do "the red magnetic pole" and "the blue pole" require repainting? At whose expense is the operation performed?

6. Are only Royal Academicians eligible as "painters" on board?

7. Is it the duty of the surgeon on board ship to attend the "heeling"?

8. In case the needles of the compass get out of order, will pins do as well?

9. At what time in the day, whether previous or subsequent to dinner, is it necessary to "allow for deviations"?

10. Draw a picture of "Three Belles." Give classic illustration from the story of Paris.

11. What rule is there as to showing lights on nearing Liverpool?

12. When in doubt, would you consult "the visible horizon," "the sensible horizon," or "the rational horizon"? Give reason for your selection.

13. Can sailors ever trust "the artificial horizon"? If so, under what circumstances?

14. Is "Azimuth" an idol, or something to eat?

15. Would "mean time" always refer to lowering wages or diminishing rations?

16. Presuming you know all about the "complement of an arc," explain that of Noah's.

17. Who was "Parallax"? Give a brief sketch of his career.

18. Give example of "meridian altitude of a celestial object," by drawing a picture of the Chinese giant who was over here some time ago.

[Pg 106]

19. Give history of "the Poles." Who was Kosciusko? Is this spelling of his name correct?

20. "Civil time." Illustrate this term from English history.

21. Can a "first mate's ordinary certificate" be granted by Doctors' Commons or the Archbishop of Canterbury?

(On these questions being satisfactorily answered, the next Examination Paper will be issued.)

safe way of changing places


Jones says there is only one really safe way of changing places in a skiff!

[Pg 103]



Philosophical Sea-faring Party (who manages our friend's yacht). "Well, ladies and genelmen, I s'pose this is what you calls pleasure, and comes all the way from London for?"

  [Brown, the funny man, with the eye-glass, thinks it an Idyachtic kind of pleasure, but is actually too far gone to say so.

[Pg 105]

Nice piece o' biled mutton, sir?

"Nice piece o' biled mutton, sir?"

[Pg 107]



(Mr. Punch in the Ocean on the broad of his back, singeth)

I'm afloat, I'm afloat, what matters it where?

So the devils don't know my address, I don't care.

Of London I'm sick, I've come down to the sea,

And let who will make up next week's number for me!

At my lodgings, I know, I'm done frightfully brown,

And e'en lobsters and shrimps cost me more than in town;

I've B. flats in my bed, and my landlady stern,

Says from London I've brought 'em to give her a turn.

Yet I'm happier far in my dear seaside home,

Than the Queen on Dee side, or Art-traveller in Rome;

A Cab-horse at grass would be nothing to me,[Pg 108]

On the broad of my back floating free, floating free!

On the broad of my back floating free, floating free!

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! ha!

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! ha!

With the lodging-house-keepers all day on the bite,

And the insects I spoke of as hungry at night,

With the organs "Dog-traying" and "Bobbing Around,"

And extra-size Crinolines sweeping the ground,

You may think Mr. Punch might be apt to complain

That the seaside's but Regent Street over again:

But from devils and copy and proof-sheets set free,

I've a week to do nothing but bathe in the sea.

In steamers and yachts I've been rocked on its breast,

And didn't much like it, it must be confessed;

But a cosy machine and shoal water give me,

And there let me float—let me float and be free!

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! ha!

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! ha!



Come, George, give your clubs and your Haskells a rest, man:

You can't spend the whole of your lifetime in golf;

If it pleases your pride I'll admit you're the best man

That ever wore scarlet or teed a ball off;

I'll allow they can't match you in swinging or driving,

That your shots are as long as they always are true,

And I'll grant that what others effect after striving

For years on the green comes by nature to you.

[Pg 110]
Mr. P. relaxing.

But the sun's in the sky, and the leaves are a-shiver

With a soft bit of breeze that is cool to the brow;

And I seem to remember a jolly old river

Which is smiling all over—I think you know how.

There are whispers of welcome from rushes and sedge there,

There's a blaze of laburnum and lilac and may;

There are lawns of close grass sloping down to the edge there;

You can lie there and lounge there and dream there to-day.

There are great spreading chestnuts all ranged in their arches

With their pinnacled blossoms so pink and so white;

There are rugged old oaks, there are tender young larches,

There are willows, cool willows, to chequer the light.

Each tree seems to ask you to come and be shaded—

It's a way they all have, these adorable trees—

And the leaves all invite you to float down unaided

In your broad-bottomed punt and to rest at your ease.

And then, when we're tired of the dolce far niente,

We'll remember our skill in the grandest of sports,

Imagine we're back at the great age of twenty,

And change our long clothes for a zephyr and shorts.

And so, with a zest that no time can diminish,

We will sit in our boat and get forward and dare,

As we grip the beginning and hold out the finish,

To smite the Thames furrows afloat in a pair.

[Pg 109]



[Pg 111]



It is quite a mistake to suppose that Henley Regatta was not anticipated in earliest times.

[Pg 112]


   I sat in a punt at Twickenham,

   I've sat at Hampton Wick in 'em.

   I hate sea boats, I'm sick in 'em—

   The man, I, Tom, and Dick in 'em.

   Oh, gentles! I've been pickin 'em.

   For bait, the man's been stickin 'em

(Cruel!) on hooks with kick in 'em

The small fish have been lickin 'em.

And when the hook was quick in 'em,

I with my rod was nickin 'em,

Up in the air was flickin 'em.

My feet so cold, kept kickin 'em.

We'd hampers, with aspic in 'em,

Sandwiches made of chicken, 'em

We ate, we'd stone jars thick, in 'em

Good liquor; we pic-nic-ing 'em

Sat: till our necks a rick in 'em

We turned again t'wards Twickenham.

And paid our punts, for tickin 'em

They don't quite see at Twickenham.

[Pg 113]



British Tourist (to fellow-passenger, in mid-Channel). "Going across, I suppose?"

Fellow-Passenger. "Yaas. Are you?"

[Pg 114]


Very fair.—Really delightful. Nothing could be pleasanter. Sunshine. Ozone. Does everyone a world of good. Would not miss such a passage for worlds.

Fair.—Yes; it is decidedly an improvement upon a railway carriage. Room to move about. I don't in the least mind the eighty odd minutes. If cold, you can put on a wrap, and there you are.

Change.—Always thought there was something to be said in favour of the Channel Tunnel. Of course, one likes to be patriotic, but the movement in a choppy sea is the reverse of invigorating.

Wind.—There should be a notice when a bad passage is expected. It's all very well to describe this as "moderate," but that doesn't prevent the beastly waves from running mountains high.

Stormy.—It is simply disgraceful. Would not have come if I had known. Too depressed to say anything. Where is the steward?


[Pg 115]



Man in Boat. "Come along, old chap, and let's pull up to Marlow."

Man on Shore. "I think I'll get you to excuse me, old man. I don't like sculling—it—er—hurts the back of my head so!"

[Pg 116]



His Better and Stouter Half. "Oh, Charley, if we're upset, you mean to say you expect me to get into this?"

  [Horror-stricken husband has no answer ready.


They met, 'twas in a storm,

On the deck of a steamer;

She spoke in language warm,

Like a sentimental dreamer.

He spoke—at least he tried;

His position he altered;

Then turn'd his face aside,

And his deep-ton'd voice falter'd.

She gazed upon the wave,

Sublime she declared it;

But no reply he gave—

He could not have dared it.

[Pg 117]

A breeze came from the south,

Across the billows sweeping;

His heart was in his mouth,

And out he thought 'twas leaping.

"O, then, Steward," he cried,

With the deepest emotion;

Then tottered to the side,

And leant o'er the ocean.

The world may think him cold,

But they'll pardon him with quickness,

When the fact they shall be told,

That he suffer'd from sea-sickness.



"Richmond is on the seas."

Richard III., Act iv., Scene 4.

[Pg 118]


By Professor Aquarius Brick

We were present when the accomplished Professor Brick recently delivered a series of lectures on yachting, which were very well attended. By his kind permission, we have preserved bits of the discourses here and there. We extract, à discrétion:—

"I come now," went on the Professor, "to your most important yachters—your genuine swells. Their cutters are in every harbour; you trace their wake by empty champagne bottles on every sea. To such dandy sea-kings I would now say one word.

"About your choice of cruising ground you cannot have much difficulty. The Mediterranean is your proper spot. It is true that we will not tolerate its being made a French lake—its proper vocation is that of English pond!

"I would advise you all to be very particular in not letting your 'skipper' have too much authority.[Pg 119] Remember always, that you are the owner—high-spirited gentlemen do. Surely a man may sail his own yacht, if anybody may! It is as much his property as his horse is. To be sure, when the weather is very bad, I would let the fellow take charge then. There is a very odd difference between the Bay of Biscay and the water inside the Isle of Wight, when it blows. And a skipper too much snubbed gets rusty at awkward times.

[Pg 120]

"Your conduct in harbour will be regulated by circumstances—which means, dinners. Generally speaking, the fact of having a yacht will carry you everywhere. As every aëronaut is 'intrepid' by courtesy, so every yachtsman is a 'fashionable arrival.' This great truth is scarcely enough appreciated in England. I have known very worthy men spend in trying to get into great society in London, sums which, judiciously invested in a yacht, would have taken them to dozens of great people's houses abroad. You will get asked to dinner; you will be feasted well, generally. Anything in the way of excitement—particularly good, rich, hospitable excitement—is heartily welcome in our colonial settlements and stations.

"But I am not now speaking only to those who yacht, because to have a yacht is a fine thing. I recognise also an imperial class of yachtsmen—the swans of the flock of geese. I have seen a coronet on a binnacle, before now. I have seen a large stately schooner sail into a Mediterranean port—as into a drawing-room—splendid and serene. The harbour-master's boat is on the alert these mornings. The men-of-war send their boats to tow; the dandiest lieutenant goes in the barge; the senior captain offers his services. When such a yacht as that goes into the Golden Horn, the Sultan is shown to these yachters—like any curiosity in his capital—like any odd thing in his town! They are presented to him, as it is called, that he may be looked at.

"To this magnificent class I have not much to say. They don't snub their skipper—they are far too fine to do that. They are scarcely distinctive as travellers, for they are the same abroad as at home. In them, England is represented. England floats in a lump through the sea, like Delos used to do. As they say and do just the same as they have always said and done at home—see and mix with the same kind of people—I often wonder what they learn by it. When they go to visit[Pg 124] Thermopylæ or Marathon, it is with a lot of tents, donkeys, camp-stools, travelling-cases, guides, and servants—such as Xerxes might have had. They encumber the ruins of temples with the multitude of their baggage. The position seems so unnatural, that I can't fancy their getting any moral or intellectual profit from it. They are too well off for that—like a fellow who cannot see for fat. Depend on it, you cannot see much through a painted window, however fine it is."

Professor Brick concluded his first sketch amidst much applause.



Old Lady. "Are you not afraid of getting drown'd when you have the boat so full?"

Boatman. "Oh, dear, no, mum. I always wears a life-belt, so I'm safe enough."

[Pg 121]


Two men in boat.

Complaisant Uncle (who has remembered his nephew in his will, and is up to his ankles in water). "I say, John, do you know your boat leaks?"

Nephew (high and dry on the thwarts). "Like old boots!"

Uncle. "But I—— What's to be done?"

Nephew. "Wait till she fills, and then put on a spurt for the shore!!"

[Pg 122]

Mr Punch  talking to boy


Mr. Punch. "Why, Johnny, what's the matter?"

Johnny. "If you please, sir, there's a nasty ugly American been beating me."

[Pg 123]



Mrs. T. (to T.) "Feel a little more comfortable, dear? Can I get anything else for you? Would you like your cigar case now? (Aside.) I'll teach him to go out to Greenwich and Richmond without me, and sit up half the night at his club!"


Row, ladies, row! It will do you good:

Pleasant the stream under Cliefden Wood:

When our skiff with the river drops down again,

Glad you will be of some iced champagne.

O, a boat on the river is doubly dear

When you've nothing to do but adore and steer.

Row, darlings, row! Whether stroke or bow

Is sweeter to look at, better to row,

Is a question that plagues not me, as I laze,

And on their graceful movement gaze.

'Tis the happiest hour of the sultry year:

The swift oars twinkle; I smoke and steer.[Pg 125]

Row, beauties, row! 'Tis uncommon hot:

I can row stroke, but I'd rather not.

As we meet the sunset's afterglow,

Two absolute angels seem to row;

Wingless they are, so of flight no fear—

Home to dinner I mean to steer.

Father Thames

Father Thames (to Henley Naiads). "Don't be alarmed, my dears. If he comes within our reach, I'll soon settle his business!"

["The G. W. R. Company must have known that their contemplated line from Marlow to Henley would raise a storm of opposition against any interference with the Thames at spots so sacred to all oarsmen."—Vide "A Correspondent" in "Times."

[Pg 126]


(Page from the Diary of a Sweet Girl Clubbist)

Monday.—Very pleased I have been chosen for the boat. So glad to have been taken before Amy and Blanche. I am sure I shall look better than either of them. They needn't have been so disagreeable about it. Amy asking for her racquet back, and Blanche refusing to lend me her cloak with the feather trimmings. Fanny should make a first-rate stroke, and Kate a model coach.

Tuesday.—We were to have practice to-day, but postponed it to decide on our colours. Blouses are to be left optional, but we are all to wear the same caps. We had a terrible fight over it. Fanny, Rose and I are blonde, so naturally we want light blue. Henrietta is a brunette, and (selfish thing!) stood out for yellow! However, we settled it amicably at last by choosing—as a compromise—pink. Then I made a capital suggestion, which pleased everybody immensely. Instead of caps we are to wear picture-hats.

Wednesday.—Went out in our boat for the first time. Such a fight for places! I managed to secure bow, which is a long way the best seat, as you lead the procession. Everybody sees you first, and it is most important that the crew should create a good impression. Henrietta wanted the position, and said that her brother had told her that the lightest girl should always be bow. I[Pg 130] replied "quite right, and as I had lighter hair than hers, and my eyes were blue and hers brown, of course it should be me." Fanny and Rose agreed with me, and Kate (who was annoyed at not being consulted enough) placed her five. Henrietta was in such a rage!

Thursday.—We are in training! Think it rather nonsense. Why should we give up meringues and sponge-cakes? And as to cigarettes, that isn't really a privation, as none of us really like them. A mile's run isn't bad, but it wears out one's shoes terribly. Kate wanted us all to drink stout, but we refused. We have compromised it by taking fleur d'orange mixed with soda-water instead. The Turkish bath is rather long, but you can read a novel after the douche. Take it altogether, perhaps training is rather fun. Still, I think it, as I have already said, nonsense, especially in regard to sponge-cakes and meringues.

Friday.—Spent the whole of the morning in practising starts. Everybody disagreeable—Kate absolutely rude. Fancy wanting me to put down my parasol! And then Henrietta (spiteful creature!) declaring that I didn't keep my eye[Pg 132] on the steering (we have lost our coxswain—had to pay a visit to some people in the country) because I would look at the people on the banks! And Kate backing her up! I was very angry indeed. So I didn't come to practice in the afternoon, saying I had a bad headache, and went instead to Flora's five o'clock tea.

Saturday.—The day of the race! Everybody in great spirits, and looking their best. Even Henrietta was nice. Our picture-hats were perfectly beautiful. Fanny came out with additional feathers, which wasn't quite fair. But she said, as she was "stroke" she ought to be different from the rest. And as it was too late to have the hat altered we submitted. We started, and got on beautifully. I saw lots of people I knew on the towing-path, and waved to them. And just because I dropped hold of my oar as we got within ten yards of the winning-post they all said it was my fault we lost! Who ever heard the like? The crew are a spiteful set of ugly frumps, and on my solemn word I won't row any more. Yes, it's no use asking me, as I say I won't, and I will stick to it. There!

[Pg 127]



(Specially engaged for the Cross-Channel Service)

  ["Dr. Paul Farez asserts that he has found in hypnotism an absolutely infallible remedy for sea-sickness and similar discomforts."—Daily Paper.]

[Pg 128]



Squeamish accepts Stunsel's invitation for a month's cruise in his 10-ton yawl. He suffers much.

Stunsel. "Come, come, Squeamish, old fellow, cheer up! You'll be all right in a week or so!!"

[Pg 129]



She (reading a scientific work). "Isn't it wonderful, Charley dear, that the sun is supposed to be millions of miles away!"

Charley Dear (suffering from the heat). "Millions of miles, darling? Good thing for all of us that it isn't any nearer."

[Pg 131]

seasicknes victim


[Pg 133]



"Poor soul, 'e do look lonely all by 'isself! Ain't you glad you've got us with you, 'Enry?"

[Pg 134]


If you were only here, George,

I think—in fact, I know,

We'd get a girl to steer, George,

And take a boat and row;

And, striking mighty bubbles

From each propulsive blade,

Forget that life had troubles

At ninety in the shade.

We'd swing along together,

And cheerily defy

This toasting, roasting weather,

This sunshine of July.

Our feather might be dirty,

Our style might not be great;

But style for men of thirty

(And more) is out of date.

You'd note with high elation—

I think I see you now—

The beaded perspiration

That gathered on your brow.

Oh, by that brow impearled, George,

And by that zephyr wet,

I vow in all the world, George,

There's nothing like a "sweat".[Pg 136]

To row as if it mattered,

Just think of what it means:

All cares and worries shattered

To silly smithereens.

To row on such a day, George,

And feel the sluggish brain,

Its cobwebs brushed away, George,

Clear for its work again!

But you at Henley linger,

While I am at Bourne-End.

You will not stir a finger

To come and join your friend.

This much at least is clear, George:

We cannot row a pair

So long as I am here, George,

And you remain up there.

"Perils of the Deep."

Unprotected Female (awaking old Gent, who is not very well). "Oh, mister, would you find the captain? I'm sure we're in danger! I've been watching the man at the wheel; he keeps turning it round first one way and then the other, and evidently doesn't know his own mind!!"

[Pg 135]



Ernest (faintly). "Vera, darling, I do believe I'm the worst sailor on earth!"

Vera (ditto). "I wouldn't mind that so much, if I wasn't so bad on the water!"

[Pg 137]



Steward. "Will either of you, gentlemen, dine on board? There's a capital hot dinner at three o'clock."

[Pg 138]


(Dedicated to the Thames Conservancy)

9 a.m.—Got out my boat, and made immediately for the centre of the stream.

10 a.m.—Spent some three-quarters of an hour in attempting to avoid the swell of the City steamboats. Within an ace of being swamped by one of them.

11 a.m.—Run into by a sailing-barge. Only saved by holding on to a rope, and pushing my boat aground.

12 noon.—Aground.

1 p.m.—After getting into deep water again, was immediately run into by a coal-barge. Exchange of compliments with the crew thereof.

2 p.m.—Pursued by swans and other savage birds. Pelted with stones thrown from the shore by ragged urchins out of reach of my vengeance.

3 p.m.—Amongst the fishing-punts. Lively communication of opinions by the angry fishermen. Attempted piracy.

4 p.m.—Busily engaged in extricating my boat from the weeds.

5 p.m.—Disaster caused by a rope coming from the towing-path.

6 p.m.—Lock-keeper not to be found. Daring and partially successful attempt to shoot the rapids.

7 p.m.—Run down by a steam-launch travelling at express-rate speed.

8 p.m.—Just recovering from the effects of drowning.

9 p.m.—Going home to bed!

[Pg 139]

Nothing like taking exercise


Energetic Male (reclining). "Now then, girls, work away! Nothing like taking real exercise!"

[Pg 140]





(By Isaac Walton Minimus)

There used to be buttercups once on these meads,

There used to be reeds by the bank,

But now these same meadows have not even weeds,

And the water's decidedly rank.

The pastures are crowded with mannerless shows,

And the river with refuse is blocked;

There isn't a corner for quiet repose,

While the nose is most constantly shocked![Pg 141]

The houseboats and tents may with rich colour glow,

And the course be more bright than before,

But there isn't the thought for the men who will row,

As there was in the brave days of yore!

How Willan and Warre and stout "Johnny" Moss

Must recurrence of past time re-wish,

And the sight be to them and to rowing a loss,

But I only can think of the fish

Who are poisoned by garbage and bloated with food,

And oppressed with the bottles o'erthrown!

My sentiments, though by the many pooh-poohed,

By the few will be met with a moan!

Man in water

The Man in the Boat. "I'm sorry, sir, but it was your own fault. Why didn't you get out into mid-stream?"

The Victim. "Why, that's just what I've done!"

[Pg 142]


(Read on the Channel)

Splendid Weather.

I never mind the sea myself. The rougher for me the better. Have a cigar?

Very Fine.

One certainly does feel that only Englishmen can be sailors. Somehow or other they take naturally to the sea—now, don't they?


Yes. I always come by Folkestone. I never could see the use of the Castalia. We are not foreigners, you know. Most of us have our sea-legs. Eh?


Yes. Perhaps a little brandy-and-water would be a good thing.

Sea slight.

very roughest passage I remember. But I am an excellent sailor. Still, would you mind putting out that cigar?

Rather Rough.

It's simply disgraceful. The Castalia ought to be established by Act of Parliament. Shall write to the Times. I shall go down below—to think about it!


Oh! Here, somebody! Will it be more—than five minutes? Oh! oh! oh!

Very Rough.

(Far too dreadful for description.)

[Pg 143]



Enthusiastic Skipper (to friend). "Ah, my boy! this is what you wanted. In a short time you'll feel yourself a different man!"

[Pg 144]


Unnumbered are the trees that fling

O'er Pangbourne Reach their shade,

Unnumbered there the birds that sing

Melodious serenade;

But as the leaves upon the boughs

Or feathers on the birds,

So are the trippers who carouse

Along the banks in herds.

Punt, centre-board, launch, skiff, canoe,

Lunch-laden hither hie,

Each bearing her expectant crew

To veal and chicken-pie;

And from the woods around Hart's Lock

Reports ring loud and clear,

As trippers draw the festive hock

Or democratic beer.

From one to three, below, above,

Is heard the crisp, clear crunch

Of salad, as gay Damons love

To linger over lunch.

From three to six a kettle sings

'Neath every sheltering tree

As afternoon to Phyllis brings

The magic hour of tea.

Well may the Cockney fly the Strand

For this remoter nest,

Where buses cease from rumbling and

The motors are at rest.

But would you shun your fellows—if

To quiet you incline—

Oh, rather scull your shilling skiff

Upon the Serpentine.

[Pg 145]

I think you've made a mistake


Brown (passenger by the Glasgow steamer, 8.30 a.m.). "I beg pardon, sir, but I think you've made a mistake. That is my tooth-brush!"

McGrubbie (ditto). "Ah beag years, mun, ah'm sure. Ah thoght 't belanged to the sheip!!"

[Pg 146]


(To be in force on or after the next Ultimo instant)

The Darkest Night.—Any man not knowing when the darkest night is will be discharged.

Inquiries can be made any day at the Admiralty from 10 till 4, excepting from 1 till 2, when all hands are piped to luncheon.

The Rule of the Rowed at sea is similar to the rule of the sailed.

No ship must come into collision with another.

If two steamers are on the starboard tack, they must return to the harbour and begin again.

Any steamship likely to meet another steamship must reverse and go somewhere else.

Any admiral out after 12 o'clock will be locked up wherever he is.

Nobody, however high in command, can be permitted to sit on a buoy out at sea for the purpose of frightening vessels.

All complaints to be made to the Admiralty, or to one of the mounted sentries at the Horse Guards.

[Pg 148]

Cartoon frog

An admiral is on duty all night to receive complaints.

Every mounted marine on joining must bring his own fork, spoon and towel horse.

If two vessels are meeting end on, take one end off. The other loses and forfeits sixpence.

Any infringement or infraction of the above rules and regulations will be reported by the head winds to the deputy toastmaster for the current year at Colwell-Hatchney.

N.B.—On hand a second-hand pair of gloves for boxing the compass. Remember the 26th of December is near, when they may be wanted. The equivalent of a chaplain-general to the forces has been appointed. He is to be called chaplain-admiral to the fleet. The cockpits are being turned into pulpits. If not ready by next Sunday he will deliver his first sermon from the main-top gallant jibboom mizen. The Colney-Hatches will be crowded.

[Pg 147]



The eldest Miss Blossom thinks that the part of double gooseberry is rather monotonous.

[Pg 149]

you haven't taken anything


Madge. "My dear George, there you've been sitting with your camera since breakfast, and you haven't taken anything."

George (intent on his own feelings). "Don't ask me to, darling, I couldn't touch it!"

[Pg 150]


On Board the "Athena," Henley-on-Thames

I like, it is true, in a basswood canoe

To lounge, with a weed incandescent:

To paddle about, there is not a doubt,

I find it uncommonly pleasant!

I love the fresh air, the lunch here and there,

To see pretty toilettes and faces;

But one thing I hate—allow me to state—

The fuss they make over the Races!

I don't care a rap for the Races!

Mid all the Regatta embraces

I'm that sort of chap, I don't care a rap,

A rap or a snap for the Races!

I don't care, you know, a bit how they row,

Nor mind about smartness of feather;

If steering is bad, I'm not at all sad,

Nor care if they all swing together!

Oh why do they shout and make such a rout,

When one boat another one chases?

'Tis really too hot to bawl, is it not?

Or bore oneself over the Races!

I don't care a rap for the Races, &c., &c.

Then the Umpire's boat a nuisance we vote,

It interrupts calm contemplation;

Its discordant tone, and horrid steam moan,

Is death to serene meditation![Pg 151]

The roar of the crowd should not be allowed;

The gun with its fierce fulmination,

Abolish it, pray—'tis fatal, they say,

To pleasant and quiet flirtation!

I don't care a rap for the Races, &c., &c.

If athletes must pant—I don't say they shan't—

But give them some decent employment;

And let it be clear, they don't interfere

With other folks' quiet enjoyment!

When luncheon you're o'er, tis really a bore—

And I think it a very hard case is—

To have to look up, from páté or cup,

And gaze on those tiresome Races!

I don't care a rap for the Races, &c., &c.

The Races, to me, seem to strike a wrong key,

Mid dreamy delightful diversion;

There isn't much fun seeing men in the sun,

Who suffer from over-exertion!

In sweet idle days, when all love to laze,

Such violent work a disgrace is!

Let's hope we shall see, with me they'll agree,

And next year abolish the Races!

I don't care a rap for the Races, &c., &c.

[Pg 152]

Miss Featherweight in boat


Miss Featherweight. "I tell you what, Alfred, if you took me for a row in a thing like that I'd scream all the time. Why, he isn't more than half out of the water!"


By Jingle Junior on the Jaunt

All right — here we are — quite the waterman — jolly — young — white flannels — straw hat — canvas shoes — umbrella — mackintosh — provide against a rainy day! Finest reach for rowing in England — best regatta in the Eastern Hemisphere — finest pic-nic in the world! Gorgeous barges — palatial houseboats — superb steam-launches — skiffs — randans — punts — wherries — sailing-boats — dinghies — canoes! Red Lion crammed from cellar to garret — not a bed to be had in the town — comfortable trees all booked a fortnight in advance — well-aired meadows at a premium! Lion Gardens crammed with gay toilettes — Grand Stand like a flower-show[Pg 154] — band inspiriting — church-bells distracting — sober grey old bridge crammed with carriages — towing-path blocked up with spectators — meadows alive with pic-nic parties! Flags flying everywhere — music — singers — niggers — conjurers — fortune-tellers! Brilliant liveries of rowing clubs — red — blue — yellow — green — purple — black — white — all jumbled up together — rainbow gone mad — kaleidoscope with delirium tremens. Henley hospitality proverbial — invitation to sixteen luncheons — accept 'em all — go to none! Find myself at luncheon where I've not been asked — good plan — others in reserve! Wet or fine — rain or shine — must be at Henley! If fine, row about all day — pretty girls — bright dresses — gay sunshades. If wet, drop in at hospitable houseboat just for a call — delightful damsels — mackintoshes — umbrellas! Houseboat like Ark — all in couples — Joan of Ark in corner with Darby — Who is she? — Don't No-ah — pun effect of cup. Luncheons going on all day — cups various continually circulating — fine view — lots of fun — delightful, very! People roaring — rowists howling along bank — lot of young men with red oars in boat over-exerting themselves — lot[Pg 156] more in boat with blue oars, also over-exerting themselves — bravo! — pick her up! — let her have it! — well pulled — everybody gone raving mad! Bang! young men leave off over-exerting themselves — somebody says somebody has won something. Seems to have been a race about something — why can't they row quietly? Pass the claret-cup, please — Why do they want to interrupt our luncheon? — Eh?

[Pg 153]



(A sketch at a regatta. A warning to "the cloth" when up the river)

[Pg 155]



Angelina (to Edwin, whose only chance is perfect tranquillity). "Edwin, dear! If you love me, go down into the cabin, and fetch me my scent bottle and another shawl to put over my feet!"

  [Edwin's sensations are more easily imagined than described.


And have you not read of eight jolly young watermaids,

Lately at Cookham accustomed to ply

And feather their oars with a deal of dexterity,

Pleasing the critical masculine eye?

They swing so truly and pull so steadily,

Multitudes flock to the river-side readily;—

It's not the eighth wonder that all the world's there,

But this watermaid eight, ne'er in want of a stare.

What sights of white costumes! What ties and what hatbands,

"Leander cerise!" We don't wish to offend,

But are these first thoughts with the dashing young women

Who don't dash too much in a spurt off Bourne End?

Mere nonsense, of course! There's no "giggling and leering"—

Complete ruination to rowing and steering;—

"All eyes in the boat" is their coach's first care,

And "a spin of twelve miles" is as naught to the fair.

[Pg 157]



Blenkinsop (on a friend's Yacht) soliloquises. "I know one thing, if ever I'm rich enough to keep a yacht, I shall spend the money in horses."

[Pg 158]


SceneHouseboat in a good position. TimeEvening during "the Regatta week." Present (on deck in cozy chairs)—He and She.

She. Very pretty, the lights, are they not?

He. Perfectly charming. So nice after the heat.

She. Yes, and really, everything has been delightful.

He. Couldn't possibly be better. Wonderful how well it can be done.

She. Yes. But, of course, it wants management. You know a lot comes down from town.

He. Will the stores send so far?

She. Yes, and if they won't others will. And then the local tradespeople are very obliging.

He. But don't the servants rather kick at it?

She. No, because they are comfortable enough. Put them up in the neighbourhood.

He. Ah, to be sure. And your brother looks after the cellar so well.

She. Yes, he is quite a genius in that line.

[Pg 160]

He. And it's awfully nice chatting all day.

She. Yes, when one doesn't go to sleep.

He. And, of course, we can fall back upon the circulating libraries and the newspapers.

She. And so much better than town. It must be absolutely ghastly in Piccadilly.

He. Yes, so I hear. And then there's the racing!

She. Ah, to be sure. To tell the truth, I didn't notice that very much. Was there any winning?

He. Oh, yes, a lot. But I really quite forget what——

She. Oh, never mind. We can read all about it in to-morrow's papers, and that will be better than bothering about it now.

[Scene closes in to soft music on the banjo.

[Pg 159]

river was covered with elegant craft


["For a mile and a half the river was covered with elegant craft, in which youth was always at the prow and pleasure always at the helm."—Daily Paper.]


(To a Shipowner. By a Shell-back)

It's mighty fine, yer talkin', but you never done no trips

In the bloomin' leaky foc'sle of yer leaky, rotten ships;

And though you gulls the public with a sham Menoo for us,

It isn't printed lies as makes provisions worth a cuss;

And even silly emigrants will tell you straight and true

That the test of grub is grubbin', not the advertised Menoo.

I'm talkin' now, not beggin' for a chance to starve and work

In an undermanned old tanker with a skipper like a Turk;

With a cook as larnt 'is cookin' when 'e 'ad to cook or beg,

Or go into an 'orspital to nurse a cranky leg;

And what I says I means it, and my words is plain and true,

Which is more than any sailorman will say for yer Menoo.[Pg 162]

I'll allow that in the look of it, the print of it I mean,

That all you say is sarved to us; but is it good or clean?

And wot's wet 'ash, or porridge, or any other stuff,

When at the very best of it there's 'ardly 'arf enough?

Not even with the cockroaches that's given with the stew,

Though I notice they nor maggots wasn't down in yer Menoo.

There's the tea and corfee talked of, but folks ashore ain't told

That the swine as bought it for you winked 'is eye at them as sold.

For sailormen's best Mocha was never further East

Than a bloomin' Essex bean-field; and the tea ain't tea—at least

It's on'y "finest sweepin's" from the docks, and wot a brew

It makes when sarved in buckets to drink to yer Menoo!

The pork and beef on paper, or a tin dish, makes a show,

But you'd want yer front teeth sharpened if you tackled it, my bo'!

For the beef is still the ancient 'orse wot worked on Portland Pier,

And the pork is rotten reasty, that was inwoiced twice too dear

If they charged you 'arf a thick 'un for the whack you gives the crew,

With the pickles and the butter set out fine in yer Menoo.

I'd like to take you jossers, as thinks as sailormen

Is a grumblin' lot of skulkers, just one trip and 'ome agen;

For when yer 'ands was achin' with sea cuts to the bone,

And the Baltic talked north-easters, you'd be alterin' of yer tone,

And might'nt think wot's wrote in print is necessary true,

And perhaps when you was safe agen you'd alter our Menoo.



Bertie (at intervals). "I used to—— What the—— do a lot of—— Conf—— rowing, one time!"

[Pg 161]

Boatman (spelling)


Boatman (spelling). "P-s-y-c-h-e. Well, that's the rummest way I ever see o' spellin' fish!"

[Pg 163]


(By Mr. Punch's Own Oarsman)

Sir,—This letter is private and is not intended for publication. I particularly beg that you will note this, as on a former occasion some remarks of mine, which were intended only for your private eye, were printed. I of course accepted your assurance that no offence was meant, and that the[Pg 164] oversight was due to a person whose services had since the occurrence been dispensed with; but I look to you to take care that it shall not happen again. Otherwise the mutual confidence that should always exist between an editor and his staff cannot possibly be maintained, and I shall have to transfer my invaluable services to some other paper. The notes and prognostications which I have laboriously compiled with regard to the final results of the regatta will arrive by the next post, and will, I flatter myself, be found to be extraordinarily accurate, besides being written in that vivid and picturesque style which has made my contributions famous throughout the civilised world.

There are one or two little matters about which I honestly desire to have your opinion. You know perfectly well that I was by no means anxious for the position of aquatic reporter. In vain I pointed out to you that my experience of the river was entirely limited to an occasional trip by steamboat from Charing Cross to Gravesend. You said that was an amply sufficient qualification, and that no aquatic reporter who respected himself and his[Pg 166] readers, had ever so far degraded himself as to row in a boat and to place his body in any of the absurd positions which modern oarsmanship demands. Finding you were inexorable, and knowing your ridiculously hasty temper, I consented finally to undertake the arduous duties. These circumstances, however, make it essential that you should give me advice when I require it. For obvious reasons I don't much like to ask any of the rowing men here any questions. They are mostly in what they call hard training, which means, I fancy, a condition of high irritability. Their strokes may be long, but their tempers are, I regret to say, painfully short. Besides, to be candid, I don't wish to show the least trace of ignorance. My position demands that I should be omniscient, and omniscient, to all outward appearance, I shall remain.

In the first place, what is a "lightship"? As I travelled down to Henley I read in one of the newspapers that "practice for the Royal Regatta was now in full swing, and that the river was dotted with lightships of every description." I remember some years ago passing a very pleasant[Pg 168] half hour on board of a lightship moored in the neighbourhood of Broadstairs. The rum was excellent. I looked forward with a lively pleasure to repeating the experience at Henley. As soon as I arrived, therefore, I put on my yachting cap (white, with a gold anchor embroidered in front), hired a boat and a small boy, and directed him to row me immediately to one of the lightships. I spent at least two hours on the river in company with that boy—a very impudent little fellow,—but owing no doubt to his stupidity, I failed to find a single vessel which could be fairly described as a lightship. Finally the boy said they had all been sunk in yesterday's great storm, and with that inadequate explanation I was forced to content myself. But there is a mystery about this. Please explain it.

Secondly, I see placards and advertisements all over the place announcing that "the Stewards Stand." Now this fairly beats me. Why should the stewards stand? They are presumably men of a certain age, some of them must be of a certain corpulence, and it seems to me a refinement of cruelty that these faithful officials, of whom, I[Pg 170] believe, the respected Mayor of Henley is one, should be compelled to refrain from seats during the whole of the Regatta. It may be necessary for them to set an example of true British endurance to the crowds who attend the Regatta, but in that case surely they ought to be paid for the performance of their duties.

Thirdly, I have heard a good deal of talk about the Visitors' Cup. Being anxious to test its merits, I went to one of the principal hotels here, and ordered the waiter to bring me a quart of Visitors' Cup, and to be careful to ice it well. He seemed puzzled, but went away to execute my orders. After an absence of ten minutes he returned, and informed me, with the manager's compliments, that they could not provide me with what I wanted, but that their champagne-cup was excellent. I gave the fellow a look, and departed. Perhaps this is only another example of the asinine and anserous dunderheadedness of these crass provincials. Kindly reply, by wire, about all the three points I have mentioned.

I have been here for a week, but have, as yet, not been fortunate enough to see any crews.[Pg 172] Indeed, I doubt if there are any here. A good many maniacs disport themselves every day in rickety things which look something like gigantic needles, and other people have been riding along the bank, and, very naturally, abusing them loudly for their foolhardy recklessness. But no amount of abuse causes them to desist. I have puzzled my brains to know what it all means, but I confess I can't make it out. I fancy I know a boat when I see one, and of course these ridiculous affairs can't be boats.

Be good enough to send me, by return, at least £100. It's a very difficult and expensive thing to support the dignity of your paper in this town. Whiskey is very dear, and a great deal goes a very short way.

Yours sincerely,

The Man at the Oar.

Henley-on-Thames, July 4.

[Pg 165]

a nest of swans


Jolly Young Waterman. "Holloa! Hi! Police! Back water, Jack! We've got into a nest of swans, and they're a pitchin' into me!"

[Pg 167]



(Gent thinks he is rowing to the admiration of everybody)

Small Boy. "'Old 'ard, guv'n'r! And take me and my traps acrosst—will yer?"

[Pg 169]

Try a cigar

Fiend in human shape. "Don't feel well! Try a cigar!"

[Pg 171]

both sculls have gone

Binks, who is the kindest creature possible, has undertaken to fasten up the boat and bring along the siphons. Unfortunately both sculls have gone, and his friends are out of hearing.

[Pg 173]

Why didn't we go by rail


"Why didn't we go by rail?"

[Pg 174]


(By Our Own Æsthetic Bard)

The lilies are languid, the aspens quiver,

The Sun-God shooteth his shafts of light,

The ripples are wroth with the restless river;

And O for the wash of the weir at night!

The soul of the poet within him blenches

At thought of plunge in the water bright,

To witness the loves of the tender tenches:

And O for the wash of the weir at night!

The throstle is wooing within the thicket,

The fair frog fainteth in love's affright;

The maiden is waiting to ope the wicket;

And O for the wash of the weir at night!

The bargeman he knoweth where Marlow Bridge is.

To pies of puppy he doth invite;

The cow chews the cud on the pasture ridges;

And O for the wash of the weir at night!

So far from the roar of the seething city,

The poet reposes much too quite,

He trills to the Thames in a dainty ditty;

And O for the wash of the weir at night!

[Pg 175]

Isn't it time to turn back

Malicious Swell in the stern sheets (to little party on the weather quarter). "Splendid breeze, isn't it, Gus?"

Gus (who, you see, has let his cigar go out). "Ye-es; but I say, what's o'clock? Isn't it time to turn back?—What d'ye think?"

[Pg 176]


(Per Ocean Bottle-post)

In the South Atlantic,
Three miles off Land (perpendicularly).
Six Bells, Feb. 27, 1898.

Dear Mr. Punch,—Yeo-ho and ahoy! If this ever reaches you, it is to tell you that the very good ship Triton (this is within a cable's length of her name) has been at sea for just a fortnight, bound for the Cape on her second trip. She bears on board about a thousand souls all told, five horses, a couple of cows, two or three parrots, of third-class behaviour, and a few canaries, which have not as yet taken berths inside the ship's cat.

We left Southampton on an even keel, but there were plenty of French rolls for breakfast next morning in the Bay of Biscay, so we were ægrotat (sic) for the rest of the day in such seclusion as our cabin granted. The next event of importance was Madeira. Here we had about four hours in which to watch the natives (one of them a one-armed boy) diving for our spare coppers, to breakfast on shore, to do the sights of Funchal, to buy deck-chairs, if not whole drawing-room suites, of wickerwork, to visit Santa Clara and the other suburban resorts, and, most necessary of all, to ascend by the new mountain railway to the church of Nossa Senhora de Monte, and then to descend two thousand feet by carro, or toboggan over the cobble-stone[Pg 178] pathway. It was a lot to do, but we did it on our heads—especially the last-named athletic performance. Our steersman, Manuel, certainly deserved his pint of Madeira at the "Half-way House" for his agility and dexterity in taking us down a decline of one in two, past corkscrew corners, and hordes of beggars.

English money seems to be quite the medium of currency at Funchal, and English is spoken by the enterprising islanders while you wait (or until your last shilling is spent). Even a tea-garden sort of place is dignified by the name of "Earl's Court," to attract and solace the homesick Londoner. Meanwhile, it was market-day on board the ship, and great was the company of merchants with all kinds of wares. These are bundled off neck and crop by 11 a.m., and we settled down to the serious business of the voyage—the election of a Sports and Entertainment Committee, the consumption of six meals a day, the daily sweepstakes and auction on the run, the dissection of everybody's character, and the other inevitable humours and incidents of an ocean trip.

We fetched a compass, or whatever the nautical phrase is, round the Canaries in a sea-fog, for fear of running up against Teneriffe, and since then we haven't sighted land, nor seen a ship, or even a whale or waterspout, nothing more exciting than a few coveys of flying-fish, and, I think, half-a-dozen porpoises. At the moment of writing, however, I see a solitary albatross, and lose no time in informing your readers of the fact. We crossed the line without feeling the slightest bump. We have passed through the tropics with only one hot[Pg 180] night, and our feet, like our thoughts, are now turning towards Fleet Street and home, as we near the Antipodes.

We have had the usual fancy-dress ball with some decidedly impromptu costumes. One of a large theatrical company was quite unrecognisable as Sheffield's Ape, taking the first prize, and has since been busy restoring himself to human form. The captain's clerk appeared in a series of quick-turn changes, such as a comic sailor or a deplorable old lady; while the ship's doctor contributed an awe-inspiring impersonation of Old Moore or somebody in the wizard profession.

The sports and other entertainments have passed off without bloodshed. Our captain, a breezy, jovial Irishman, received the ladies with open arms at the finish of their fifty yards race, and the comedians who performed in "Are you there?" and the other humorous items fully rose, or tumbled, to the occasion, as the case might be. Take it all round, we have had a particularly good time of it. Pleasant company and pleasant weather. Out of reach of letters and telegrams, and face to face with the ocean.

[Pg 182]

We are now in the teeth of a strong south-easter, and the writing-room is beginning to dance, I therefore hasten to catch the post.

Yours, very much at sea,

X. Y. Z.

[Pg 177]



Passenger (faintly). "C'lect fares—'fore we get across! I thought we——"

Mate. "'Beg y'r pardon, sir, but our orders is, in bad weather, to be partic'lar careful to collect fares; 'cause in a gale like this 'ere, there's no knowing how soon we may all go to the bottom!"

[Pg 179]



(One so seldom finds an artist who realises the poetic conception)

"We have fed our sea for a thousand years."—Kipling.

[Pg 181]



Somehow or other, in those days, a breeze was more often forthcoming when it was wanted, and the race did "occasionally" end in favour of the challenger.


The most characteristic work of that important official, the clerk of the weather.

The young lady who has never been before, and wants to know the names of the eights who compete for the Diamond Sculls.

The enthusiastic boating man, who, however, prefers luncheon when the hour arrives, to watching the most exciting race imaginable.

The itinerant vendors of "coolers" and other delightful comestibles.

The troupes of niggers selected and not quite select.

The houseboat with decorations in odious taste, and company to match.

The "perfect gentleman's rider" (from Paris) who remembers boating at Asnières thirty years[Pg 183] ago, when Jules wore when rowing lavender kid-gloves and high top-boots.

The calm mathematician (from Berlin), who would prefer to see the races represented by an equation.

The cute Yankee (from New York), who is quite sure that some of the losing crews have been "got at" while training.

The guaranteed enclosure, with band, lunch and company of the same quality.

[Pg 184]

The "very best view of the river" from a dozen points of the compass.

Neglected maidens, bored matrons, and odd men out.

Quite the prettiest toilettes in the world.

The Thames Conservancy in many branches.

Launches: steam, electric, accommodating and the reverse.

Men in flannels who don't boat, and men in tweeds who do.

A vast multitude residential, and a vaster come per rail from town.

Three glorious days of excellent racing, at once national and unique.

An aquatic festival, a pattern to the world.

And before all and above all, a contest free from all chicanery, and the very embodiment of fairplay.

The new lock at Teddington must be a patent one, as there is no quay.

we have the whole day before us


Wife. "Isn't it jolly to think we have the whole day before us? The boatman says we couldn't go home, even if we wanted to, till the tide turns, and that's not for hours and hours yet. I've got all sorts of lovely things for lunch too!"

[Pg 185]

Threepence, please


Lock-keeper (handing ticket). "Threepence, please."

Little Jenkins. "Not me: I've just paid that fellow back there."

Lock-keeper (drily). "'Im! Oh, that's the chap who collects for the Band!"

[Pg 186]


Flannels in moderation are pardonable, but they are slightly out of place if you can't row and it rains.

The cuisine of a houseboat is not always limitless, so "chance" visitors are sometimes more numerous than welcome.

The humours of burnt-cork minstrelsy must be tolerated during an aquatic carnival, but it is as well to give street singers as wide a berth as possible.

In the selection of guests for, say, The Pearl of the North Pole, or The Hushaby Baby, it is as well to learn that none of them are cuts with the others, and all are prepared to accept "roughing it" as the order of the day.

Lanterns, music, and fireworks are extremely pretty things, but night air on the river is sometimes an introduction to sciatica, rheumatism, and chills.

In the selection of a costume, a lady should remember that it is good to be "smart," but better still to be well.

Finally, it is desirable to bear in mind that, pleasant as riparian life may be, Henley is, after all, a regatta, and that consequently some sort of attention should be paid to the racing.

[Pg 187]

Ladies talking in a boat


Mrs. Fleshpottle. "Well, I must say, Mrs. Gumblewag, I like something substantial for my dinner. Nothing, I think, can be better than some pea-soup to begin with; then a biled leg of mutton with plenty of fat, with turnips and caper sauce; then some tripe and onions, and one or two nice suet dumplings as a finish!"

Mrs. Gumblewag. "For my part, mum, I prefer something more tasty and flavoursome-like. Now, a well-cooked bullock's heart, to be followed by some liver and bacon, and a dish of greens. Afterwards a jam bolster, and a black pudding, and some toasted cheese to top up with, is what I call a dinner fit for a——"

[Mr. Doddlewig does not wait to hear any more!

[Pg 188]


(For the use of Visitors, Male and Female)

Take an umbrella to keep off the rain—unopened.

Beware of encouraging burnt-cork minstrels, or incurring their resentment.

Remember, it is not every houseboat that is sufficiently hospitable to afford lunch.

After all, a travel down from town in the train is better than the discomforts of dawn on the river in a houseboat.

Six hours of enforced company is a strong order for the best of friends, sometimes leading to incipient enmity.

A canoe for two is a pleasant distraction if the man is equal to keeping from an upset in the water.

Flirting is a not unpleasant accompaniment to an alfresco lunch with well-iced liquids.

If you really wish to make a favourable impression upon everyone, be cheery, contented, good-natured, and, above all, slightly interested in the racing.

[Pg 189]

Enthusiastic Skipper

Enthusiastic Skipper. "Aha! my boy! You can't do this sort of thing on shore!"

[Pg 190]




(Under the Consideration of the Thames Conservancy)

No piano playing shall be permitted on houseboats during the racing, so that the attention of coxswains shall not be thereby distracted.

To avoid a crowd collecting on the course, no craft shall be permitted to leave the shores between the hours of 6 a.m. and 9 p.m.

To preserve decorum, only lemonade and ginger-beer shall be drunk during the illuminations, and fireworks shall henceforth be restricted to one[Pg 191] squib and a couple of crackers to each houseboat.

Finally, recreation of every kind shall be discontinued, so that in future the unpopularity of the County Council on land shall find its reflection in the universal detestation in which the Thames Conservancy shall be held by those living on the river.



Extract from Diary.—"Wednesday. Went for a spin or trip, or whatever it's called, on Bowlines' new racing yacht. Felt very nervous when we turned the corners; nearly fell overboard while I was trying to balance the thing; thought we should have been drowned. B. said it was a wonder we weren't—thanks to me! Had a few words with B. Mem.—Never again!"

[N.B.—B. says the same.

[Pg 192]