Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 98, February 1, 1890

#Periodicals #Games/Humor
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Excerpt UNTILED; OR, THE MODERN ASMODEUS. "Très volontiers," repartit le démon. "Vous aimez les tableaux changeans: je veux vous contenter."Le Diable Boiteux.   XVIII. "'Mrs. Mæcenas!' So some would-be witDubbed the fair dame. The title may not fitWith accurate completeness;It soars some shades too high, this modish mot,As 'Mrs. Lyon-Hunter' sinks too low;Both nick-names fail in neatness. "The 'acu tetigisti,' tribute rare,Not oft is earned, in Fleet Street or Mayfair,In these hot days of hurry.Salons, Symposia, both have met their doom,And wit, in the Victorian drawing-room,Finds a fell foe in flurry." So spake the Shadow, with the covert sneerThat struck so coldly on the listening ear.Soft was his speech, as muffledBy some chill atmosphere surcharged with snow,In unemphatic accents, level, low,Unhasting and unruffled. "Mrs. Mæcenas, then, no Horace findsIn all her muster of superior minds,Her host of instant heroes?That's hard!" I said. "She does not greatly care,"My guide rejoined. "Behold her seated there!Her court's as full as Nero's. "Seneca stands beside her. He's a prim,Sententious sage. If she is bored by him,The lady doth not show it.But there's a furtive glancing of her eyeToward the entry. There comes Marx M'Kay,The Socialistic Poet. "His lyric theories mean utter smashTo all his hostess cares for. Crude and rash,But musically 'precious.'His passionate philippics against WealthMammon's own daughters read, 'tis said, by stealth,And vote them 'quite delicious!' "All that makes life worth living to the throngOf worshippers who mob this Son of Song,Money, Monopoly, Merriment,He bans and blazes at in 'Diræ' dread;But then they know his Muse is merely RedIn metrical experiment. "Well-dressed and well-to-do, the flaming BardFinds life in theory only harsh and hard.His chevelure looks shaggy,But his black broad-cloth's glossy and well-brushed,And he'd feel wretched if his tie were crushed,His trousers slightly baggy. "Karl Marx in metre or Lassalle in verse,The vampire-horde of Capital he'll curse,And praise the Proletariat;But having thus delivered his bard-soul,He finds it, practically, nice to lollWith Dives in his chariot. "Lyrical Communism will not frightThose 'Molochs of the Mart' this Son of LightKeeps his poetic eye on.'Who takes a Singer au grand sérieux?'Mrs. Mæcenas asks. So he's on view,Her Season's latest lion. "But not alone," I said. "If all this hostAre right authentic Leos, she must boastAs potent charm as Circe's.What is her wand? Is't wit, or wealth, or both?""Listen! That's Mumps the mimic, nothing loth,Rolling out Vamper's verses! "Vamper looks on and smiles with veiled delight.Boredom's best friends are fellows who recite.None like, not many listen,But all must make believe to stand aboutAnd watch a man gesticulate and shout,With eyes that glare and glisten. "'Tis hard indeed to hold in high esteemThe man who mouths out Eugene Aram's DreamIn guttural tones and raucous.All these have heard a hundred times beforeYoung Vox, the vain and ventriloquial boreThey'd fain despatch to Orcus....
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