Mr. Punch's Book of Sports
PUNCH LIBRARY OF HUMOUR
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
MR. PUNCH'S BOOK OF SPORTS
MR. PUNCH'S BOOK OF SPORTS
THE HUMOURS OF CRICKET, FOOTBALL, TENNIS, POLO, CROQUET, HOCKEY, RACING, &c.
AS PICTURED BY
LINLEY SAMBOURNE, PHIL MAY, L. RAVEN-HILL, F. H. TOWNSEND, E. T. REED, GEORGE DU MAURIER, CHARLES KEENE, FRANK REYNOLDS, LEWIS BAUMER, GUNNING KING, G. D. ARMOUR, ARTHUR HOPKINS, EVERARD HOPKINS, J. A. SHEPHERD, AND OTHERS.
|The Punch Library of Humour|
|Twenty-five volumes, crown 8vo, 192 pages|
|LIFE IN LONDON
AT THE SEASIDE
|WITH THE CHILDREN|
Mr. Punch is nothing if not typical of his fellow countrymen in his interest in sport. If there be any truth in the assertion that Englishmen are neglecting the more serious affairs of life in their devotion to all forms of athletic sports, Mr. Punch would seem to be determined that there shall be no lack of humour in the process; for an immense proportion of his merry pages have been occupied with the humour of sport.
Indeed, there is no kind of open-air pastime which has escaped the kindly attention of our national humorist, and the fact that he never tires of poking good-natured fun at these hobbies of his countrymen, making merry over their misadventures, indicates in some degree that, whatever our social critics may think of the national taste for outdoor games, these must have a humanising influence and make for manliness, when their devotees can thus with good grace look upon themselves in Mr. Punch's mirror, and join in the laughter at their own expense.
But it must not be assumed that Mr. Punch's attitude is one of satirical criticism; on the contrary, his sympathies are with every form of sportsmanship, and it is chiefly because his jovial knights of the pencil delight to illustrate the mishaps incidental to all games that we are entitled to look upon him as a great patron of our sports. And is not he always ready to pillory the cad and the incompetent as further proof of the soundness of his heart?
Certain volumes of this library are devoted entirely to one or other of our popular pastimes, determined mainly on their varying richness in humour, but in this "Book of Sports" we have brought together a carefully chosen selection of Mr. Punch's wittiest sayings on a variety of games and pastimes. Cricket might of itself have furnished forth a volume, Football, and Racing also; but we have sought after variety rather than repletion, and to this end even the passing craze for Ping-pong has not been ignored, as it is not the least of the merits of the Punch Library of Humour that within these volumes is enshrined a comic chronicle of the passing time.
MR. PUNCH'S BOOK
The British "Sphere of Influence."—The cricket ball.
Cricketers who ought to be Good Hands at Playing a Tie.—"The Eleven of Notts."
Nomenclature.—The professional cricketer who makes a "duck's egg" ought surely to be dubbed a "quack."
A Model Cricket Match.—One that begins with a "draw," but does not end with one.
Epitaph on a Cricketer.—"Over!"
A Cricketing Paradox.—Any eleven can make a score.
There's a glorious sanctum of cricket,
Away in the Wood of St. John;
No spot in creation can lick it
For the game at which Grace is the "don."
Though Melbourne may claim a "Medina,"
The "Mecca" of cricket must be
In the beautiful classic arena,
The home of the "old" M. C. C.
Home, sweet home of the M. C. C.,
Ever my fancy is turning to thee!
Up with King Willow and down with the dumps
Hark to the rattle of leather and stumps.
Oh, what a rapturous thrill it affords!
Give yourself up to the magic of "Lord's."
Scoring for Dr. Grace.―"A running commentary."
All Work and no Play.―The umpire's part.
The Irrepressible Joker Again (on bail.)―Q. Where ought ducks' eggs to be most readily found? A. At the Oval.[Bail estreated.
Hairdresser (about to part customer's hair). "Centre, sir?"
Flannelled fool (rather an absent-minded beggar). "Oh—er—middle an' 'eg!"
ALL THE YEAR ROUND;
Or, Keeping Up the Ball.
When September soaks the fields,
And the leaves begin to fall,
Cricket unto football yields,—
That is all!
Yes—in hot or humid weather,
At all seasons of the year,
Life is little without leather
In a sphere.
In the scrimmage, at the stumps,
'Neath the goal, behind the sticks,
Life's a ball, which Summer thumps,
Our "terrestrial ball" is round,
(Is it an idea chimerical?)
Man, by hidden instincts bound,
Loves the spherical.
In rotund, elastic bounders,
Plainly the great joy of men is,
Witness cricket, billiards, rounders,
Classic Title for Dr. Grace.—"The Centurion."
He. "You're fond of cricket, then?"
She. "Oh, I'm passionately devoted to it!"
He. "What part of a match do you enjoy the most?"
She. "Oh, this part—the promenade!"
| MR. PUNCH KEEPS HIS EYE ON CRICKET|
Then (1841) and Now (1891).
Toast for Tavern Landlords.—The Cricketer, who always runs up a score by his innings.
Appropriate Cricket Ground.—Battersy-Park.
Things to which Cricketing Members of the Anti-Gambling League are Addicted.—"Pitch" and "Toss."
Dr. W. G. Grace's Favourite Dish.—"Batter pudding."
At the Eton and Harrow Match.—Simperton. What, you in light blue, Miss Gloriosa! I thought you were Harrovian to the core!
Miss Gloriosa. So I am, but I'm also Cambridge, and as I can't possibly afford two new dresses in one week, I decided to choose the most becoming colour!
[And Simperton of the dark blue was quite satisfied with the explanation.
(A Cricketer's "Catch" Air— "Come Follow!")
First Voice. Come follow, follow, follow, follow, follow, follow on!
Second Voice. Why then should I follow, follow, follow, why then must I follow, follow on?
Third Voice. When you're eighty runs or more behind our score you follow on!
"Train up your Parents the Way they Should Go."—"You know papa has been asked to play in the 'Fathers against the Boys' match?" "Yes, mother. But I hope the boys will win this year. If the fathers win again they'll be so beastly cocky!"
"'Collapse of Essex.' Dear, dear! I wonder if my property at Ilford is safe?"[Buys paper to see.
Cricketer's Favourite Fish.―Slips.
The Coup de Grace.―Leg hit for six.
Riddle made "On the Ground."―Why are cricket matches like the backs of cheap chairs? Because they're "fixed to come off."
Seasonable Field Sport.―Leather-hunting.
A Song of a Sloppy Season.
(By a Washed-out Willow-Wielder.)
In the dull, damp pavilion a popular “Bat”
Sang “Willow, wet-willow, wet-willow!”
And I said “Oh! great slogger, pray what are you at,
Singing ‘Willow, wet-willow, wet-willow’?
Is it lowness of average, batsman,” I cried;
“Or a bad ‘brace of ducks’ that has lowered your pride?
With a low-muttered swear-word or two he replied,
“Oh willow, wet-willow, wet-willow!”
He said “In the mud one can't score, anyhow,
Singing willow, wet-willow, wet-willow!
The people are raising a deuce of a row,
Oh willow, wet-willow, wet-willow!
I've been waiting all day in these flannels―they're damp!―
The spectators impatiently shout, shriek, and stamp,
But a batsman, you see, cannot play with a Gamp,
Oh willow, wet-willow, wet-willow!
“Now I feel just as sure as I am that my name
Isn't willow, wet-willow, wet-willow,
The people will swear that I don't play the game,
Oh willow, wet-willow, wet-willow!
My spirits are low and my scores are not high,
But day after day, we've soaked turf and grey sky,
And I sha'n't have a chance till the wickets get dry,
Oh willow, wet-willow, wet-willow!!!”
(From Dumb-Crambo Junior's point of view.)
A DOMESTIC FIXTURE
A RISING PLAYER
A PROMISING YOUNG BOWLER
BATTER AND BAWL
THE LADIES AT LORD'S
Old Style—Early Sixties.
Scene—The Ground and its Accessories.
Superior Creature. Really very pleasant.
Weaker Sex. Oh! charming. So delightful having luncheon al fresco. The lobster salad was capital.
S. C. Very good. And the champagne really drinkable.
W. S. And our chat has been so interesting, Captain Smorltork.
S. C. So pleased. And now, what do you think of the cricket?
W. S. Oh! I haven't time to think of the cricket.
New Style—Late Nineties.
Mere Man. Really rather nice.
Stronger Sex. Quite nice. Capital game, too. Up to county form. That last over was perfect bowling.
M. M. Yes; and the batting was well above the average.
S. S. Tol-lish. And really, when I come to think of it, Mr. Smorltork-Gossip, you have been also entertaining.
M. M. Proud and honoured! And now, what do you think about the luncheon?
S. S. Oh! I haven't time to think about the luncheon.
A Match Miscalled.—Considering the style and number of the turn-outs on the ground, and the amount of champagne-cups consumed at Lord's during the Great Public School Cricket Encounter, suppose it were re-christened the Drag and Drinking, instead of the Harrow and Eton, Match?
At the Village Cricket Match.—Umpire (carried away by enthusiasm on seeing the young Squire send a ball hard to leg). Well hit, Master Arthur, well hit! (Remembering himself.) But don't make no short runs!
Fair Batter (ætat. 18). "Now, just look here, Algy Jones—none of your patronage! You dare to bowl to me with your left hand again, and I'll box your ears!"
CRICKET AT LORD'S
(Hits by Dumb-Crambo, Jun.)
A PATIENT INNINGS
A CUT IN FRONT OF POINT
LAST MAN. HIS USUAL FORM
Bait appreciated by both Cricketers and Fishermen.—Lobs.
A Tie. ("Ladies v. Gentlemen.") The Ladies came out as they had gone in, all "Ducks."
And what did the Gentlemen make?—Love.
THE LADY CRICKETER
(Directions for attaining Perfection.)
Get up a match by saying to some local subaltern that it would be such fun to have a game, and you know a girl who could give points to Grace.
Agree with the youthful warrior that the fun would be increased by allowing the men to play with broom-sticks, and left-handed, and the girls, of course, with bats, and unrestricted.
Arrange your eleven in such a fashion that you come out as captain in the most picturesque costume.
Be careful to "kill" your colleagues' appearance by an artful combination of discordant hues.
Carry out the above scheme with the assistance of a joint committee consisting of two, yourself and the local subaltern.
Arrange, at the last moment, that the men shall only send out six of their team to field. Manage to put yourself in first, and play with confidence the initial ball.
Amidst the applause of the six fielders you will be clean bowled.
Retire gracefully, and devote the rest of the afternoon to tea and mild flirtation with the five men who have been weeded out.
CURIOUS CRICKET ANOMALY.
When a batsman has piled up a hundred, or more,
Though five twenties he's hit, he has made but "a score."
(By D. Crambo, Junior.)
A FORWARD STYLE
OUT WITH A BEAUTIFUL BAILER
COLLARING THE BOWLING
A PROMINENT PLAYER
SENT BACK WITH A SHOOTER
A DIFFICULT WICKET
["The growing favour with which athletic exercises are being regarded by those who are still 'the gentler sex,' is evidenced by the rapid adoption of cricket into the roll of those games which may be practised by ladies without the sober world being shocked. In the course of the past Summer there have been several matches."—Standard.]
You may play the game of Cricket, like the men well known to fame,
And be good "all round," like some folks at that fascinating game;
You may bowl like Mr. Spofforth at the Demon's deadly pace,
You may lead a team like Harris, and may bat like Doctor Grace;
But in vain your skill and prowess—can you dare to win the day,
Although hope may spring eternal, when the Ladies come to play?
They have conquered us at Croquet, though philosophers might scoff,
And the masculine intelligence was beaten by "two off."
As a vehicle for flirting we acknowledged all its charms,
THE LAST BALL OF THE SEASON
And gay soldiers fell before it, although used to war's alarms;
But they held methinks their cricket-bats as doughty as their swords,
And they never dreamt of Ladies at the oval or at Lord's.
Then we turned to Roller-skating, how the God of Love must wink
As he ponders o'er the havoc wrought on many a pleasant rink;
There the Ladies, as their wont is, held indubitable sway,
As they circled like the seagull in as fair and facile way;
And we yielded, though at Prince's woman held all hearts in thrall,
For we thought of our one Empire, that of Cricket—bat and ball.
Comes the era of Lawn Tennis, when the balls spin o'er the net,
What avail the "Renshaw smashes" when the Ladies win the "sett,"
And the boldest of all volleys will be found of little use
When the women gain "advantage," their opponents at the "deuce."
So we leave the lawn to Ladies, it were graceful there to yield;
But we thought that still at Cricket we were masters of the field.
Vain the hope, for lo! the Ladies give poor Men no hour of peace.
Can we dare to "pop the question" when they front the "popping-crease"?
Though with "leg before the wicket" your short innings may be o'er,
Will the umpire be as truthful when it's "petticoat before"?
So lay down "the willow," batsmen, and, oh, bowler, leave the wicket,
At the 'Varsity Cricket Match. Newcomer (to Gent in front). If you would kindly move your head an eighth of an inch, I think that by standing on tip-toe I might be able, between the box-seat and body of that carriage, to ascertain the colour of long leg's cap.
Pudding it Plainly. Why is a promising cricketer like flour and eggs?
Because he's calculated to make a good batter.
The most remarkable instance of a hybrid animal is the cricket-bat.
The Real "Triple Alliance." A three-figure innings at cricket.
Uninvited.—We had bowled out their best men, and should have won the match, but somebody came on the ground with a confounded hyæna-coloured bull-terrier, who ran after the ball, and wouldn't give it up.
"Boots and Chambermaid."—Robin (the morning after the cricket supper). "What does this 'B' and 'C' mean, Dick?" Richard (with a headache). "O, brandy an' soda, of course. Ring 'em both, there's a good fellow!"
Our Village Cricket Club.—We had thirty seconds left before the time for drawing stumps. Our two last men were in, and we wanted one run to tie and two to win. It was the most exciting finish on record.
THE USEFUL CRICKETER
(A Candid Veteran's Confession.)
I am rather a "pootlesome" bat—
I seldom, indeed, make a run;
But I'm rather the gainer by that,
For it's bad to work hard in the sun.
As a "field" I am not worth a jot,
And no one expects me to be;
My run is an adipose trot,
My "chances" I never can see.
I am never invited to bowl,
And though, p'r'aps, this seems like a slight,
In the depths of my innermost soul
I've a notion the Captain is right.
In short, I may freely admit
I am not what you'd call a great catch
But yet my initials are writ
In the book against every match!
For although—ay, and there is the rub—
I am forty and running to fat,
I have made it all right with the Club,
By presenting an Average Bat!
Another Title!! Supplemental Gazette of Birthday Honours.——Dr. W. G. Grace to be Cricket-Field-Marshal.
Muscular High Church Curate. "Wonderful things 'Grace' does!"
Low Church Vicar (surprised at the serious observation from his volatile friend). "Ah, my dear sir, true——"
High Church Curate. "Yes. Only fancy, y'know!—ninety-two, and not out!!"
THE "LEVIATHAN BAT."
Or Many-Centuried Marvel of the Modern (Cricket) World, in his high-soaring, top-scoring, Summer-day
flight. (Dr. William Gilbert Grace.)
As champion him the whole world hails
Lords! How he smites and thumps!
It takes a week to reach the bails
When he's before the stumps.
"Chevy Chase" (revised).
Caught at Lord's.—Cambridge Swell. "Aw, Public Schools' match! Aw, nevar was at one before! Not so bad!"
Stumpy Oxonian. "Ours is in miniatu-are! Ours is in miniatu-are!!"
How he will be played—shortly.
Offices of the Athletic Congress, Paris.
I am overwhelmed with my gratitude to you and to the generous dignitaries the Chancellors of your Universities, the Heads of your great Public Seminaries, and the Principal of your renowned Mary-le-bone College Club for the information they have given me concerning "Le Criquette," your unique National game, and I thank you in the name of my Committee for your present of implements—les wickettes, le boule de canon, les gros bois (the batsman's weapons), le cuirasse pour les jambes de Longstoppe, and other necessaries for the dangers of the contest that you have so kindly forwarded for our inspection. But most of all are we indebted to you for sending over a 'ome team of your brave professionals to play the match against our Parisian "onze," for you rightly conjectured that by our experience of the formidable game in action, we should be able to judge of its risks and dangers, and after mature investigation be able, so to revise and ameliorate the manner of its playing as to bring it into harmony with the taste and feeling of the athletic ambition of the rising generation of our young France.
A Match has taken place, as you will see by "Le Score" subjoined, which I enclose for your inspection. It was not without its fruits. It disclosed to us, as you will remark by referring to "Le Score," very practically the dangerous, and I must add, the murderous capabilities that "Le Cricquette" manifestly possesses. Our Revising Committee has already the matter in hand, and when their report is fully drawn up, I shall have much satisfaction in forwarding it to you. Meantime, I must say that the substitution of a light large ball of silk, or some other soft material for the deadly "boule de canon" as used by your countrymen, has been decided upon as absolutely necessary to deprive the game of barbarism, and harmonise it with the instincts which Modern and
EATIN' v. HARROW
ALL FRANCE v. AN ENGLISH 'OME TEAM.
|M. de Boissy (struck with murderous force on the front of his forehead by the boule de canon, and obliged to retire), b. Jones-Johnson||0 |
|M. Naudin (hit on his fingers, which are pinched blue with the boule de canon, and incapacitated), b. Jones-Johnson||0|
|Le Marquis de Carousel (receives a blow from the boule de canon on the front bone of his leg, and is compelled to relinquish the contest), b. Jones-Johnson||0|
DELIGHTFUL OUT-DOOR EXERCISE IN WARM WEATHER
Running after "another four!" at cricket, amidst derisive shouts of "Now then, butter-fingers!"—"Oh! Oh"—"Throw it in! Look sharp!"—"Quick! In with it!" &c. &c.
|M. Busson (receives a severe contusion of the cheek-bone from the boule de canon, which is delivered with murderous intent by a swift "round-and bowlsman"), b. Jones-Johnson||0|
|Le Général Grex (hits his three wickettes into the air, in a daring attempt to stop the boule de canon with his batsman's club), b. Jones-Johnson||0|
|Le Duc de Septfaces (has his pince-nez shattered to atoms by the boule de canon, and, being unable to see, withdraws from the "innings"), b. Jones-Johnson||0|
|M. Carillon, M. le docteur Giroflé, le Professeur d' Equitation (all the three being given, in turn, "out, legs in front of the wickette," leave the ground to arrange a duel with the Umpire), b. Jones-Johnson||0|
|M. de Montmorency (on reaching the wickette and seeing the terrible approach of the boule de canon, has a shivering fit which obliges him to sit down), b. Jones-Johnson||0 |
|M. Jolibois, coming in last, triumphantly avoids the "overre," and is, in consequence, not out||0|
The English 'Ome Team.
|Jones-Johnson, not out||3276|
|Brown-Smith, not out||3055|
SUGGESTION FOR THE CRICKET SEASON
The new pneumatic leg guard.
(Mr. Punch's patent.)
So the game stood at the end of the fifth day, when, spite all the efforts of "All France," even the putting on of three "Bowlsmen" at once, it was found impossible to take even one of the "'Ome-team" wickettes. Yet the contest was maintained by the "Outside" with a wonderful heroism and élan, for though by degrees, in nobly attempting to stop the flight of the boule de canon as it sped on its murderous course, driven by the furious and savage blows of the batsmen in all directions over the field, the fieldsmen, one by one, struck in the arms, legs, head and back, began to grow feeble under their unceasing blows and contusions, still one and all from the "Long-leg-off" to the indomitable "Longstoppe," faced the dangers of their situation with a proud smile, indicative of the noble calm of an admirable spirit. So, Monsieur, the game, which was not finished, and which, in consequence, the Umpire, with a chivalrous generosity, announced as "drawn,' came to its conclusion. You will understand, from the perusal of the above, the direction in which my Committee will be likely to modify the rules of the game, and simplify the apparatus for playing it, so as to give your "Cricquette" a chance of finding itself permanently acclimatised in this country.
Accept, Monsieur, the assurance of my most distinguished consideration,
THE SECRETARY OF THE PARIS
Public School Boy (to General Sir George, G.C.B., G.S.I., V.C., &c., &c., &c.). I say, Grandpapa,—a—would you mind just putting on your hat a little straighter? Here comes Codgers—he's awfully particular—and he's the captain of our eleven, you know!"
Laura (who wishes to master the mysteries of Cricket). "But then, Emily, what happens it the bowler gets out before the batter?"
[Emily gives it up !
Small Boy Cricket.—Father. Well, and how did you get on? Small Boy. Oh, I kept wicket and caught one out. It came off his foot. Father. But that wouldn't be out. Small Boy. Oh, yes, it was. The umpire gave it out. You see, it hit him "below the elbow."
To Cricketers.—What would you give a thirsty batsman? Why, a full pitcher.
Cricketing and Fashionable Intelligence.—We hear that a distinguished member of the Cricketing Eleven of All England is going to be married. It is said that the object of his affections is a Beautiful Catch.
(By Dumb-Crambo Junior.)
WINNING THE TOSS
FOLLOWING ON, AND OPENING
BOWLING HIS OFF STUMP
CAUGHT AT THE WICKET
PRECEDENCE AT BATTERSEA
"Garn! The treasurer goes in before the bloomin' seckertary!"
THE CRY OF THE CRICKETER
(In a Pluvial Autumn.)
Rain, rain, go away,
Come again before next May!
The driving shower and chilling raw gust
Are most inopportune in August.
Rain has a chance to reign, remember,
Till early summer from September.
Why come and spoil cricket's last pages,
Our wickets—and our averages?
LORD'S IN DANGER. THE M. C. C. GO OUT TO MEET THE ENEMY
["Sir Edward Watkin proposes to construct a railway passing through Lord's Cricket Ground."]
Our Opening Match.—"I say, Bill, you've got that pad on the wrong leg." "Yus, I know. I thought as I were goin' in t' other end!"
"Cricketing Intelligence."—Sporting Old Parson (to professional player). "Why is a ball like that called a 'yorker,' sir?"Professional player. "A 'yorker,' sir? Oh, when the ball's pitched right up to the block——"Sporting Parson. "Yes, yes—I didn't ask you what a 'yorker' was"—(with dignity)—"I know that as well as you do. But why is it called a 'yorker'?"Professional Player. "Well, I can't say, sir. I don't know what else you could call it!
The canny Scot may talk a lot
Of golf and its attraction,
And "putt" and "tee" for him may be
A source of satisfaction;
While maidens meek with rapture speak
Of croquet's fascination,
Tho' I suspect 'twere more correct
To call their game "flirtation."
But cricket's the thing for Summer and Spring!
Three cheers for cricket, of all games the king!
The man who boats his time devotes
To rowing or to sailing,
In shine or rain he has to train,
With energy unfailing.
A tennis set finds favour yet
With merry men and matrons.
In lazy souls the game of bowls
Is not without its patrons.
A day fine I do opine
Is much to be desired;
An "even pitch" I ask for, which
Is certainly required;
Then add to that a "steady bat,"
A bowler "on the wicket,"
A "field" that's "smart," then we can start
The noble game of cricket.
(Drawn with a stump by Dumb-Crambo Junior.)
BOWLING STARTED WITH A
A CUT FOR THREE
A DRIVE TO THE OFF FOR A
CAUGHT AT SLIP
TAKEN AT POINT
WIDE BAWL AND BUY
THE LADY CRICKETER'S GUIDE
1. Should you desire to bowl leg-breaks, close the right eye.
2. Off-breaks are obtained by closing the left eye.
3. To bowl straight, close both.
1. Don't be afraid to leave the "popping" crease—there is another at the other end.
2. County cricketers use the curved side of the bat for driving.
3. A "leg glance" is not football.
4. When "over" is called, don't cross the wicket.
1. Stop the ball with your feet. If you are unable to find it, step on one side.
2. To catch a ball, sit down gracefully and wait.
3. When throwing in from the country, aim half-way up the pitch; you may then hit one of the wickets—which one I don't know.
The spirit in which the game should be played is best shown by the following extract from the Leicester Daily Mercury:—
Barrow Ladies v. Thrussington Ladies.
"Barrow went in first, but were dismissed for sixteen. Only three Thrussington ladies batted, owing to the Barrow team refusing to field, because the umpire gave Miss Reid in for an appeal for run out."
What is the companion game to Parlour Croquet? Cricket on the Hearth.
Epitaph on an Old Cricketer's Tombstone.—"Out at 70."
Operatic Song for a Cricketer.—"Batti, Batti!"
Sentiment for a Cricket Club Dinner.—May the British Umpire rule the wide world over.
Two Sides to a Question.—Major Podmore. "Congratulate you, dear boy!"Disappointed Cricketer. "What do you mean? Bowled first ball—never got a run!"Major Podmore. "Quite so, dear boy. But in this hot weather—80° in the shade—so much better, if you can, to take things coolly!"
By Dumb-Crambo, off his own bat.
LONG LEG AND SHORT LEG
SHORT MID OFF
CUTTING FOR FOUR
A CLEAN BOWL
The Battle of the Sexes.—Middlesex v. Sussex.
Cricket Match to Come Off.—The Tee-totallers' Eleven v. The Licensed Victuallers'.
Stump Orations.—Speeches at cricket-club dinners.
OUR VILLAGE ELEVEN
The mason blocks with careful eye;
We dub him "Old Stonewall."
The blacksmith hammers hard and high,
And the spreading chestnuts fall.
Sheer terror strikes our enemies
When comes the postman's knock,
Whereas his slow deliveries
Would suit the veriest crock.
The butcher prides himself on chops;
His leg-cuts are a joke;
But when he lambs the slow long-hops
There's beef behind his stroke.
The grocer seldom cracks his egg:
He cannot catch; he butters.
The gardener mows each ball to leg,
And trundles daisy-cutters.
Our tailor's cut is world-renowned;
The coachman's drives are rare;
He'll either cart you from the ground
Or go home with a pair.
The village constable is stout,
Yet tries short runs to win:
They say he's run more people out
Than ever he ran in.
The curate (captain) every match
Bowls piffle doomed to slaughter,
But still is thought a splendid catch—
By the vicar's elderly daughter.
The watchmaker winds up the side,
But fails to time his pulls;
By now he must be well supplied
With pairs of spectacles.
Our umpire's fair; he says "Not Out,"
Or "Out," just as he thinks;
And gives the benefit of the doubt
To all who stand him drinks.
No beatings (beatings are the rule)
Can make our pride diminish;
Last week we downed the Blind Boys' School
After a glorious finish!
Cockney Motto for a Feeble Cricketer.—"Take 'Art of Grace!"
Good News after the Last Cricket Match.—Rest for the wicket.
By Dumb-Crambo, off his own bat.
DRAWING THE STUMPS
At the Gentlemen v. Players Return Match.—New Yorker. Say, can I get a square meal here?
Waiter (with dignity). This, sir, is the Oval 2s. 6d. Luncheon.
Sharp Person (asks, singing). In what hand should a cricketer write?
Dull Person (answers, also singing). I don't quite understand.
Sharp Person (annoyed). Shall I repeat—
Sharper Person (briskly sings). Oh no! I see't, He'll write in a bowl'd round hand.
- [Exit Sharp Person l.h. Sharper Person dances off r.h. Dull Person is left thinking.
A Hundred Up
Tommy (reading daily paper). What's a centenarian, Bill?
Bill (promptly). A cricketer, of course, who makes a hundred runs.
Tommy. You don't say so. I thought he was called a centurion.
A well-known cricketer was expecting an interesting family event. Suddenly the nurse rushed into his smoking-room. "Well, nurse?" he said, "what is it?" "Two fine byes," announced the nurse.
By Dumb-Crambo, off his own bat.
PITCHING THE WICKET
A MAIDEN OVER——?
A DRIVE TO THE PAVILION
HOLDING A CATCH
To be seen for Nothing.—The play of the features.
Motto for British Cricketers.—Strike only at the ball!
A FEW QUESTIONS ON CRICKET
Q. What is "fielding"?
A. The author of Tom Jones.
Q. How do you stop a ball?
A. By putting out the lights.
Q. When does a party change sides?
A. When he's in bed, and got the fidgets.
Q. What do you call "a long slip"?
A. A hundred songs for a halfpenny.
Q. How much is game?
A. It depends whether it's in season.
Fancy our dear old lady's horror when she heard that last week, at Lord's, a cricketer had bowled a maiden over. "Poor thing!" exclaimed Mrs. R., "I hope she was picked up again quickly, and wasn't much hurt."
PHILOSOPHY AT THE POPPING CREASE
"The glorious uncertainty?" why, to be sure,
That it must be the slowest should see at a glance,
For cricket, as long as the sport shall endure,
Must be in its nature a mere game of chance,
" 'Tis all pitch and toss"; one can show it is so;—
'T isn't science or strength rules its losses or winnings.
Half depends on the "pitch"—of the wickets, you know,
The rest on the "toss"—for first innings.
Bowler (his sixth appeal for an obvious leg-before). " 'Ow's that?"
Umpire (drawing out watch). "Well he's been in ten minutes now—Hout!"
Our Village Cricket Club.—Tom Huggins, of the local fire brigade, umpires for the visiting team in an emergency. Laden, as is usual, with their wealth, watches, etc., he hears the fire-bell, and obeys duty's call without loss of time!
The Limitations of Fame.—"And what are you?" "Oh, I'm the wicket-keeper." "Then why aren't you busy taking the gate-money?"
CON. FOR A CRICKETER
Miss Nelly sits cool in the cricketer's booth
And watches the game, about which, in good sooth,
Her curious interest ne'er ceases.
She now wants to know of the flannel-clad youth,
However the wickets can well be kept smooth,
When she hears they are always in creases!
Miltonic Meditation (by a looker-on at lawn-tennis).—"They also serve who only stand and wait."
Appropriate to the Season.—Q. What is double as good a game as Fives? A. (evident) Tennis.
Going to the Deuce.—Getting thirty to forty at lawn-tennis.
Suggestion to Provincial Lawn-Tennis Club.—Why not give lawn-tennis balls in costume during the winter?
Most Appropriate Attire.— A "grass-lawn" tennis costume.
The Game for Rackety Bishops.— Lawn-tennis.
Miss Delamode (of Belgravia). "Well, dear, I must be off. Don't you love Lord's?"
Miss Dowdesley (of Far-West Kensingtonia). "I'm sure I should, only——" (immersed in her own dreams}—"We don't know any!"
OUR VILLAGE CRICKET CLUB
At our opening match, Spinner, the demon left-hander, was again in great form. His masterly skill in placing the field, and his sound knowledge of the game, really won the match for us.
"About three feet nine to the right, please, Colonel—that is to say, your right. That's it. Back a little, just where the buff Orpington's feeding. Thanks."
OUR VILLAGE CRICKET CLUB
"You, Mr. Stewart, by this thistle. Just to save the one, you know."
OUR VILLAGE CRICKET CLUB
His ruses were magnificent. When the Squire came in, Spinner (who had previously held a private consultation with the other bowler) shouted, "You won't want a fine leg for this man. Put him deep and square. And then——
OUR VILLAGE CRICKET CLUB
The Squire was neatly taken first ball off a glance at fine leg by Spinner himself, who had crossed over (exactly as arranged) from his place at slip.
A TRILL FOR TENNIS
O'er the net and on the greensward with a very careful aim;
You must work, as I'm a sinner, if you wish to prove a winner,
For we're getting scientific at this fascinating game.
You must know when it is folly to attempt a clever "volley,"
Or to give the ball when "serving" it an aggravating twist;
Though a neatly-made backhander may arouse a rival's dander,
You'll remember when you try it that it's very often missed.
Though your play thrown in the shade is by the prowess of the ladies,
You must take your beating kindly with a smile upon your face;
And 'twill often be the duty of some tennis-playing beauty
To console you by remarking that defeat is not disgrace.
For you doubtless find flirtation at this pleasant occupation
Is as easy as at croquet; when you're "serving" by her side,
You can hint your tender feeling, all your state of mind revealing,
And, when winning "sets" together, you may find you've won a bride.
So we'll don the flannel jacket, and take out the trusty racket,
And though other folks slay pigeons, we'll forswear that cruel sport,
And through summer seek a haven on the sward so smoothly shaven,
With the whitened lines en règle for a neat lawn-tennis court.
The Place for Lawn-Tennis. "Way down in Tennessee."
"Nemo me on pony lacessit."
Mad bards, I hear, have gaily trolled
The boundless joys of cricket;
Have praised the bowler and the bowled
And keeper of the wicket.
I cannot join their merry song—
Non valeo sed volo—
But really I can come out strong,
Whene'er I sing of Polo!
Let golfophiles delight to air
Their putter-niblick learning;
And, scarlet-coated, swipe and swear
When summer sun is burning!
Let artful cards sit up and pass
Their nights in playing bolo;
But let me gambol—o'er the grass—
And make my game at Polo!
On chequered chess-boards students gaze
O'er futile moves oft grieving;
With knights content to pass their days,
And constant checks receiving.
'Mid kings and queens I have no place,
I'd rather o'er the greensward race,
And find no check in Polo!
Then let me have my supple steed—
So sure of foot, so rare in speed,
In perfect polo training.
And let me toast in rare old port,
In Heidsieck or Barolo,
In shady-gaff or something short—
The keen delights of Polo!
Motto for Croquet.—"She Stoops to Conquer."
In-Door Amusement for Old People.—The game of croakey.
How to Learn to Love Your Enemies.—Play at croquet.
For the Drawing-Room (When there's a dead silence.)—My first is a bird; my second's a letter of the alphabet: my whole is some game.
Explanation. Crow. K. (Croquet.)
A SKETCH AT LORD'S
Eva (for the benefit of Maud, who is not so well-informed).—and those upright sticks you see are the wickets. Harrow's in at one end, and Eton's in at the other, you know!"
Lucy Mildmay (who is fond of technical terms). "By the way—a—are they playing ' Rugby ' or ' Association ' ?"
"OUT! FIRST BALL! A CATCH!!"
A PLAYER who sprained his wrist at lawn-tennis explained that "he had been trying a regular wrenchaw, and did it effectually."
An Old Croquet-Player Ruminates
I like to see a game revive
Like flower refreshed by rain,
And so I say, "May croquet thrive,
And may it live again!"
It brings back thoughts of long ago,
And memories most sweet,
When Amy loved her feet to show
In shoes too small, but neat.
I think I can see Amy now,
Her vengeful arm upraised
To croquet me to where a cow
Unheeding chewed and grazed.
And Amy's prowess with the ball
Reminds me that her style
Was not so taking after all
As Fanny's skill plus smile.
Yes! Fanny had a winsome laugh,
That round her mouth would wreath,
And make me wonder if her chaff
Was shaped to show her teeth.
They were so pretty, just like pearls
Set fast in carmine case;
Still in the match between the girls
Selina won the race.
Selina had such lustrous eyes
Of real sapphire blue,
They seemed one's soul to mesmerise,
And looked one through and through.
Yet Agnes I cannot forget,
She brought me joy with pain.
I would that we had never met—
"Your stroke!" That voice! My Jane!
O feeblest game, how strange if you should rise
To favour, vice tennis superseded!
And yet beneath such glowing summer skies
When wildest energy is invalided,
Mere hitting balls through little hoops
Seems work enough. One merely stoops,
And lounges round; no other toil is needed.
Upon a breezy lawn beneath the shade
Of rustling trees that hide the sky so sunny,
I'll play, no steady game as would be played
By solemn, earnest folks as though for money—
For love is better. Simply stoop,
And hit the ball. It's through the hoop!
My partner smiles; she seems to think it funny.
My pretty partner, whose bright, laughing eyes
Gaze at me while I aim another blow; lo,
I've missed because I looked at her! With sighs
I murmur an apologetic solo.
The proudest athlete here might stoop,
To hit a ball just through a hoop,
And say the game—with her—beats golf and polo.
CRICKET—THE PRIDE OF THE VILLAGE
"Good match, old fellow?"
"Oh, yes; awfully jolly!"
"What did you do?"
"I 'ad a hover of Jackson; the first ball 'it me on the 'and, the second 'ad me on the knee; the third was in my eye; and the fourth bowled me out!" [Jolly game.
ADVICE TO YOUNG CROQUET-PLAYERS
1. Always take your own mallet to a garden party. This will impress everyone with the idea that you are a fine player. Or an alternative plan is to play with one provided by your host, and then throughout the game to attribute every bad stroke to the fact that you have not your own implement with you.
2. Use as many technical terms as you can, eking them out with a few borrowed from golf. Thus it will always impress your partner if you say that you are "stimied," especially as she won't know what it means. But a carefully-nurtured reputation may be destroyed at once if you confuse "roquet" with "croquet," so be very careful that you get these words right.
3. Aim for at least three minutes before striking the ball, and appear overcome with amazement when you miss. If you have done so many times in succession, it may be well to remark on the unevenness of the ground. If you hit a ball by mistake always pretend that you aimed at it.
4. It is a great point to give your partner advice in a loud and authoritative tone—it doesn't matter in the least whether it is feasible or not. Something like the following, said very quickly, always sounds well:—"Hit one red, take two off him and make your hoop; send two red towards me and get into position." In a game of croquet there is always one on each side who gives advice, and one who receives (and disregards) it. All the lookers-on naturally regard the former as the finer player, therefore begin giving advice on your partner's first stroke. If she happens to be a good player this may annoy her, but that is no consequence.5. Remember that "a mallet's length from the
6. Much may be done by giving your ball a
boundary" varies considerably. If you play next, it means three yards, if your opponent does so, it means three inches. So, too, with the other "rules," which no one really knows. When in an awkward position, the best course is to invent a new rule on the spur of the moment, and to allege (which will be perfectly true) that "it has just been introduced."
gentle kick when the backs of the other players happen to be turned. Many an apparently hopeless game has been saved by this method. Leave your conscience behind when you come to a croquet-party.
Sweet Name for Young Ladies playing Croquet.—Hammerdryads.
The Poet of Croquet.—Mallet.
"NOUVELLES COUCHES SOCIALES!"
"I say, uncle, that was young Baldock that went by,—Wilmington Baldock, you know———!"
"Who the dickens is he?"
"What! haven't you heard of him? Hang it! he's making himself a very first-rate position in the lawn-tennis world, I can tell you!"
"Sporting."—Cabby (on the rank at the top of our square.) "Beg your pardon, miss!—takin' the liberty—but—'ow does the game stand now, miss? 'Cause me and this 'ere 'ansom's gota dollar on it!"
HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE
Auntie. "Archie, run up to the house, and fetch my racket. There's a dear!"
Archie (preparing to depart). "All right. But I say, auntie, don't let anybody take my seat, will you?"
Barbarous Technicalities of Lawn-Tennis.—Woolwich Cadet (suddenly, to his poor grandmother, who has had army on the brain ever since he passed his exam). "The service is awfully severe, by Jove! Look at Colonel Pendragon—he invariably shoots or hangs!"His Poor Grandmother "Good Heavens, Algy! I hope you won't be in his regiment!"
Proud Mother. "Did you ever see anybody so light and slender as dear Algernon, Jack?"
Uncle Jack (at thirty-five). "Oh, you mustn't trouble about that, Maria. I was exactly his build at eighteen!"
"Donkeys have Ears."—Emily (playing at lawn-tennis with the new curate). "What's the game, now, Mr. Miniver?"Curate. "Forty—Love."Irreverent Gardener (overhearing). "Did y'ever hear such imperence! 'Love,' indeed! And him not been in the parish above a week! Just like them parsons!"
LAWN-TENNIS UNDER DIFFICULTIES.—"PLAY!"
If space is limited, there is no reason why one shouldn't play with one's next-door neighbours, over the garden wall. One needn't visit them, you know!
Stout Gentleman (whose play has been conspicuously bad). "I'm such a wretched feeder, you see, Mrs. Klipper—a wretched feeder! Always was!"
Mrs. Klipper (who doesn't understand lawn-tennis). "Indeed! Well, I should never have thought it!"
She. "What a fine-looking man Mr. O'Brien is!"
He. "H'm—hah—rather rough-hewn, I think. Can't say I admire that loud-laughing, strong-voiced, robust kind of man. Now that's a fine-looking woman he's talking to!"
She. "Well—er—somewhat effeminate, you know. Confess I don't admire effeminate women!"
(Served by Dumb-Crambo Junior.)
A SPLENDID RALLY
SMOTHERING THE BAWL
TWO SETS TO ONE
PLAYING UP TO THE NET
THE SPORT OF THE FUTURE
[The lawns that were erstwhile cumbered with tennis nets now bristle with croquet hoops, and the sedate mallet has driven out the frisky racquet."—The World.]
Welcome, Reason, on the scene,
Milder influences reviving!
Far too long have pastimes been
Senseless, useless, arduous striving,
Brutalising men of strength,
Dangerous to those who lack it:
Lo! it speaks their doom at length—
The decadence of the racket.
Purged from customs fierce and rude
Soon shall sports become more gentle,
(As the grosser kinds of food
Yield the palm to bean and lentil),
Roller skates long since are "off,"
Tennis is no longer O.K.,
Rivals threaten even golf
As the fashion sets for croquet.
Hence, then, cricket, young and vain,
Football, fraught with brutal bustle.
You at Reason's light shall wane—
Modern upstart cult of muscle;
So may purer tastes begin
All our fiercer games refining,
Till, when spelicans come in,
I may get a chance of shining.
OUT OF COURT
MORE LAWN-TENNIS LOBS
(Served by Dumb-Crambo Junior.)
SCREW AND TWISTER
THE "WRENCHER (RENSHAW)
Golden Memories.—"I wonder why Mr. Poppstein serves with three balls?""Old associations, I suppose."
Smith. "Let me put your name down for this tournament?"
Jones (who thinks himself another Renshaw, and doesn't care to play with a scratch lot). "A—thanks—no! I'd rather not!"
Smith. "Oh, they're frightful duffers, all of them! You'll stand a very fair chance! Do!"
Professional Jealousy.—Miss Matilda (referring to her new lawn tennis shoes, black, with india-rubber soles). "The worst of it is they draw the feet so!"Our artist (an ingenious and captivating youth). "Ah, they may draw the feet; but they'll never do justice to yours, Miss Matilda!" [Sighs deeply.
TRIALS OF THE UMPIRE AT A LADIES' DOUBLE
Lilian and Claribel. "It was out, wasn't it, Captain Standish?"
Adeline and Eleanore. "Oh, it wasn't out, Captain Standish, was it?"
THINGS ONE WOULD RATHER HAVE LEFT UNSAID
She. "Would you mind putting my lawn tennis shoes in your pockets, Mr. Green?"
He. "I'm afraid my pockets are hardly big enough, Miss Gladys; but I shall be delighted to carry them for you!"
Excited Young Lady. "Father directly this set is over get introduced to the little man by the fireplace, and make him come to our party on Tuesday.Her Father. "Certainly, my dear, if you wish it. But—er—he's rather a scrubby little person, isn't he?"Excited Young Lady. "Father, do you know who he is? They tell me is the amateur champion of Peckham! I don't suppose he'll play; but if you can get him just to look in, that will be something!"
A Nice Quiet Game for the Home.—This is only a little game of "Ping-pong" in progress, and some of the balls are missing!
The first time Captain F. tried to play that pony he picked up so cheaply, he found it true to the description given of it by the late owner, who guaranteed it not in the least afraid of the stick.
A Long Shot. (Before the commencement of the polo match.)—Young Lady (making her first acquaintance with the game). "Oh, I wish you would begin. I'm so anxious to see the sweet ponie kick the ball about!"
[Her only excuse is that she hails from a great football county.
OUR LOCAL POLO MATCH
Excited Drummer. "Vat! He iss your only ball? Ach, donner und blitzen! he haf proke insides my only drum! You pay ze drum, you haf ze ball!"
"If you have any raw ponies, always play them in big matches; it gets them accustomed to the crowd, and the band, and things."
At Hurlingham.—Captain Smith (who is showing his cousins polo for the first time). "Well, what do you think of it?" Millicent. "Oh, we think it is a ripping game. It must be such awfully good practice for croquet!"
THE POSSIBILITIES OF CROQUET
The above represents the game of "All against All," as played by Brown, Miss Jones, and the Major.
On being asked to play Croquet, A.D. 1894.
["It is impossible to visit any part of the country without realising the fact that the long-discredited game of Croquet is fast coming into vogue again. . . . This is partly owing to the abolition of 'tight croqueting.' "—Pall Mall Gazette.]
Eh? What? Why? How?
Are we back in the Sixties again?
I am rubbing my eyes—is it then, or now?
I'm a Rip Van Winkle, it's plain!
Hoop, Ball, Stick, Cage?
Eh, fetch them all out once more?
Why, look, they're begrimed and cracked with age,
And their playing days are o'er!
For a primitive chaste delight!
Let us soberly, solemnly beat our foes,
For Croquet's no longer "tight"!
An Objectionable Old Man.—Young Ladies. "Goin to make a flower-bed here, Smithers? Why it'll quite spoil our croquet ground!" Gardener. "Well, that's yer Pa's orders, Miss! He'll hev' it laid out for 'orticultur, not for 'usbandry
Sweet Delusion.—Chorus of Young Ladies (speaking technically). "No spooning, Mr. Lovel! No spooning allowed here!"Miss Tabitha (with the long curls). "Those naughty, n-n-naughty girls! I suppose they allude to you and me, Mr. Lovel. But, lor' I never mind them!—I don't"
So Ready!—Snooks (coming out conversationally). "I think that every woman who is not out-and-out plain consders herself a beauty."Miss Rinkle. "Does that include me?"Snooks. "Oh, of course not!"
THE MOMENTOUS QUESTION
Eligible Bachelor. "Shall I follow you up, Annie; or leave myself for Lizzie?"
[According to Country Life, Croquet, which was revived last summer, is likely to increase in popularity this year. A splendid opportunity to revive the pastime and the costumes of the early sixties at the same time.]
[The sporting instinct is now so keen among girls that a man who gallantly moderates his hitting in mixed hockey is merely regarded as an incapable slacker by his fair opponents.]
When first I played hockey with Kitty,
I was right off my usual game,
For she looked so bewitchingly pretty
When straight for the circle she came;
As a rule I'm not backward, or chary,
Of hitting and harassing too,
But who can be rough with a fairy—
Not I—so I let her go through.
She scored, and we couldn't get equal;
The others all thought me a fool,
And Kitty herself, in the sequel,
Grew most unexpectedly cool.
They gave us a licking, as stated,
I was sick at the sight of the ball,
She thought me a lot over-rated,
And wondered they played me at all.
But she frankly approved Percy Waters,
Who uses his stick like a flail,
And always impartially slaughters
Both sexes, the strong and the frail;
A mutual friendliness followed,
I watched its career with dismay—
Next match-day my feelings I swallowed.
And hit in my orthodox way.
An Alarming Threat.—Miss Dora (debating her stroke). "I have a great mind to knock you into the bushes Mr. Pipps!"
[Mr. Pipps (who is a complete novice at the game) contemplates instant flight. He was just on the point of proposing, too.
"Our great hockey match was in full swing, when a horrid cow, from the adjoining meadow, strolled on the ground. Play was by general consent postponed."
LADIES AT HOCKEY
(From an old Print.)
I caught her a crunch on the knuckle,
A clip on the knee and the cheek,
She said, with a rapturous chuckle,
"I see—you weren't trying last week."
Such conduct its cruelty loses
When it brings consolation to both,
For after she'd counted her bruises
That evening we plighted our troth.
THE PURSUIT OF BEAUTY
I saw an aged, aged man
One morning near the Row,
Who sat, dejected and forlorn,
Till it was time to go.
It made me quite depressed and bad
To see a man so wholly sad—
I went and told him so.
Di got me to play hockey. Never again! I asked him why he sat and stared
At all the passers-by,
And why on ladies young and fair
He turned his watery eye.
He looked at me without a word,
And then—it really was absurd—
The man began to cry.
But when his rugged sobs were stayed—
It made my heart rejoice—
He said that of the young and fair
He sought to make a choice.
He was an artist, it appeared—
I might have guessed it by his beard,
Or by his gurgling voice.
His aim in life was to procure
A model fit to paint
As "Beauty on a Pedestal,"
Or "Figure of a Saint."
But every woman seemed to be
As crooked as a willow tree
His metaphors were quaint.
"And have you not observed," he asked,
"That all the girls you meet
Have either 'Hockey elbows' or
Ungainly 'Cycling feet'?
Their backs are bent, their faces red,
From 'Cricket stoop,' or 'Football head.'"
He spoke to me with heat.
"But have you never found," I said,
"Some girl without a fault?
Are all the women in the world
Misshapen, lame or halt?"
He gazed at me with eyes aglow,
And, though the tears had ceased to flow.
His beard was fringed with salt.
"There was a day, I mind it well,
A lady passed me by
In whose physique my searching glance
No blemish could descry.
I followed her at headlong pace,
But when I saw her, face to face,
She had the 'Billiard eye'!"
You came down the field like a shaft from a bow
The vision remains with me yet.
I hastened to check you: the sequel you know:
Alas! we unluckily met.
You rushed at the ball, whirled your stick like a flail,
And you hit with the vigour of two:
A knight in his armour had surely turned pale,
If he had played hockey with you.
They gathered me up, and they took me to bed:
They called for a doctor and lint:
With ice in a bag they enveloped my head;
My arm they enclosed in a splint.
My ankles are swelled to a terrible size;
My shins are a wonderful blue;
I have lain here a cripple, unable to rise,
Since the day I played hockey with you.
Yet still, in the cloud hanging o'er me so black,
A silvery lining I spy:
A man who's unhappily laid on his back
Can yet have a solace. May I?
An angel is woman in moments of pain,
Sang Scott: clever poet, he knew:
It may, I perceive, be distinctly a gain
To have fallen at hockey with you.
For if you'll but nurse me (Come quickly, come now),
If you'll but administer balm,
And press at my bidding my feverish brow
With a cool but affectionate palm;
If you'll sit by my side, it is possible, quite,
That I may be induced to review
With a feeling more nearly akin to delight
That day I played hockey with you
Major Bunker (who has been persuaded to join in a game of hockey for the first time, absent-mindedly preparing to drive). "Fore."
OUR LADIES' HOCKEY CLUB
Miss Hopper cannot understand how it is she is always put "in goal." But really the explanation is so simple. There's no room for a ball to get past her.
Extract from Mabel's Correspondence.—"We had a scratch game with the 'Black and Blue' club yesterday, but had an awful job to get any men. Enid's brother and a friend of his turned up at the last moment; but they didn't do much except call 'offside' or 'foul' every other minute, and they were both as nervous as cats!"
OUR LADIES' HOCKEY CLUB
One of the inferior sex who volunteered to umpire soon discovered his office was no sinecure.
Hare and Hounds—and may their Shadows never grow less.—Mrs. Miniver. "How exhausted they look, poor fellows! Fancy doing that sort of thing for mere pleasure!" Little Timpkins (his bosom swelling with national pride). "Ah, but it's all through that sort of thing for mere pleasure, mind you, that we English are—what we are!" [Bully for little Timpkins!
HARE AND HOUNDS—AND DONKEY
"Seen two men with bags of paper pass this way?"—"No!""Did they tell you to say no?"—"Yes."
Happy Thought.—The good old game of "Hare and Hounds," or "Paper-Chase," is still played in the northern suburbs of London during the winter. Why should not young ladies be the hares?
AN IDYL ON THE ICE
Fur-apparelled for the skating,
Comes the pond's acknowledged Belle
I am duly there in waiting,
For I'll lose no time in stating
That I love the lady well.
Then to don her skates, and surely
Mine the task to fit them tight,
Strap and fasten them securely,
While she offers me, demurely,
First the left foot then the right.
Off she circles, swiftly flying
To the pond's extremest verge;
Then returning, and replying
With disdain to all my sighing,
And the love I dare not urge.
Vainly do I follow after,
She's surrounded in a trice,
Other men have come and chaffed her,
And the echo of her laughter
Comes across the ringing ice.
Still I've hope, a hope that never
In my patient heart is dead;
Though fate for a time might sever,
Though she skated on for ever,
I would follow where she fled.
Farewell to thee, Cricket,
Thy last match is o'er;
Thy bat, ball, and wicket
Are needed no more.
To thy sister we turn,
For her coming we pray:
Her worshippers burn
For the heat of the fray.
Hail! Goddess of battle,
Yet hated of Ma(r)s,
How ceaseless their tattle
Of tumbles and scars!
Such warnings are vain,
For thy rites we prepare,
Youth is yearning again
In thy perils to share.
Broken limbs and black eyes
May, perchance, be our lot;
But grant goals and ties
And we care not a jot.
Too sacred to name
With thy posts, ball, and field,
There is no winter game
To which thou canst yield.
Motto for an Impecunious Football Club.—"More kicks than halfpence."
During a considerable portion of the year the skating was excellent, and was much enjoyed by all classes.
Little Jones (to lady who has just collided with him). "I-I-I-I beg your pardon! I-I-I hope I haven't hurt you!"
(A Thaw Picture.)
What matter an inch or two of surface-water, if the ice be still sound underneath!
"Oh, I say, they're gone for a rope or something. Awfully sorry, you know, I can't come any nearer, but I'll stay here and talk to you."
Offices of the Athletic Convention, Paris.
Monsieur,— Having already expressed my views as to the capabilities possessed by "Le Cricquette" for becoming a national game worthy the attention of the young sporting gentlemen of our modern France, I now turn me to the consideration of your "Foote-Balle."
I have examined the apparatus for the play you have so kindly sent over, —the great leathern bag of wind which is kicked, "les Goalpoles," and the regulations for the playing of the game, and have seen your fifteen professional County "kicksmen" engage, —I shudder as I recall the terrible sight, —in a contest, horrible, murderous, and demoniacal, with an equal number of my unhappy compatriots, alas! in their enthusiasm and élan, ignorant of the deadly struggle that awaited them in the game in which they were about innocently to join. To witness the savage rush of your professional kicksmen was terrifying, and when, in displaying "le scrimmage, they scattered, with the kicks of their legs, my fainting compatriots, who fell lamed and wounded in all directions, I said to myself, this "Foote-Balle" is not a pastime, it is an encounter of wild beasts, "un vrai carnage" fit to be played, not by civilised sporting gentlemen, but by cannibals.But let me explain that it is not the kick to which I object, for is not le coup de pied the national defence of France? Indeed, in your own fist contest in "Le Boxe-Match," is not to deliver a kick in the jaw of your antagonist considered a meritorious coup, showing great skill in the boxeman? And do not our own garçons de college kick a confrère when he is "down," and point to the circumstance with a legitimate pride and satisfaction? No, it is not le coup de pied which makes horrible "Le Foote-Balle," but the conspiracy organised of the kicksmen —Les Demidos (the 'alfbacks), Les En Avants (the Forwards), and the "Goal-keepers" —all to kick the leathern bag of wind at once, and so produce a murderous mêlée in which arms, legs, ribs, thighs, necks, and spines are all broken together, and may be heard
(Reported by Dumb-Crambo Junior.)
OBTAINING A ROUGE
ENDS WERE CHANGED
THE "LAST" BULLY
EXHIBITING A FINE
FAILED TO LODGE, ALTHOUGH
WALKED WITH A BULLY UP
THE GAME RESULTED IN
simultaneously cracking by any of the terror-struck but helpless spectators who are watching the ghastly contest.
Viewing the game under this aspect, you will not be surprised to hear that my Committee have, as they did in dealing with "Le Cricquette," revised the rules and regulations for the playing of your "Foote-Balle," so as to suit it to the tastes and requirements of the rising generation of our Modern France. I cannot at present furnish you with full details of the suggested modifications, but I may inform you that it has been unanimously decided that the "Balle," which is to be of "some light, airy, floating material, and three times its present size," is not to all, but struck lightly by the palm of the hand, and thus wafted harmlessly, with a smart smack, over the heads of the combatants.touched by the foot at
As to costume, the game is to be played in white satin bed-room slippers, with (as a protection in the event, spite every possible precaution, of "le scrimmage" arising) feather pillows strapped over the knees and chest. It is calculated by our Committee that the savage proclivities of the game, as fostered by the terrible rules of your murderous "Rugby Association," will be thus, in some measure, counteracted.
Hoping soon to hear from you on the subject of your Courses d'Eau, as I shall doubtless have some suggestions to make in reference to the conduct of your aquatic contests, receive, Monsieur, the assurance of my most distinguished consideration,
The Secretary to the Congress.
PROFESSIONALS OF THE FLOOR AND FIELD.
Exactly the same, though not so in name,
Are dancing and football "pros."
For both money make and salaries take
For supporting the ball with their toes.
Nemesis.—Inquisitive Old Gentleman. "Who's won?"First Football Player. "We've lost!"Inquisitive Old Gentleman. "What have you got in that bag?"Second Football Player. "The umpire!"
How the goal-keeper appears to the opposing forward, who is about to shoot.
And how the goal-keeper feels when the opposing forward is about to shoot.
(Special Report by Dumb-Crambo Junior.)
POST AND BACK UP
LONG BEHIND AND SHORT
THE USUAL BULLY
AFTER THE KICK-OFF JAMES
WHICH HE FINISHED UP BY
CHANGE WAS ANNOUNCED
TIME WAS THEN CALLED
THEY MADE ONE ROUGE
Uncle Dick. "Ah yes, cricket is a fine game, no doubt a very fine
game. But football now! That's the game to make your hair curl!"
Miss Dulcie (meditatively). "Do you play football much, uncle?"
An Athletic Father's Lament.
What was it made me cricket snub,
And force my seven sons to sub-
sidize a local "Rugby" Club?
Yet, what first drew from me a sigh,
When Tom, my eldest, missed a "try,"
But got instead a broken thigh?
What in my second, stalwart Jack,
Caused some inside machine to crack,
And kept him ten months on his back—?
What brought my third, unhappy Ted,
To fade and sink, and keep his bed,
And finally go off his head?—
My fourth and fifth, poor John and Jim,
What made the sight of one so dim?
What made the other lack a limb?
Then Frank, my sixth, who cannot touch
The ground unaided by a crutch,
Alas! of what had he too much?
(By Dumb-Crambo Junior.)
MIXED WALL "GAME"
FOUR SHIES TO LOVE
THE "DEMONS" TOOK PART
FURKING OUT THE BAWL
The seventh ends the mournful line,
Poor Stephen with his fractured spine,
A debt owe these good sons of mine,
And as we pass the street-boys cry,
"Look at them cripples!" I but sigh,
"You're right, my friends. But would you fly
A lot like ours; oh, do not try
FOOT-BALL A LA MODE
[Hardly a week passes without our hearing of one or more dangerous accidents at football.]
A manly game it is, I think,
Although in private be it spoken,
While at a scrimmage I don't shrink,
That bones may be too often broken.
I snapped my clavicle last week,
Just like the rib of an umbrella;
And sprained my ankle, not to speak
Of something wrong with my patella.
Last season, too, my leg I broke,
And lay at home an idle dreamer,
It's not considered quite a joke
To contemplate a broken femur.
And when, despite the doctor's hints,
Again at foot-ball I had tussles,
I found myself once more in splints,
With damaged gastronomic muscles.
Some three times every week my head,
Is cut, contused, or sorely shaken;
My friends expect me brought home dead,
But up to now I've saved my bacon.
But what are broken bones, my boys,
Compared with noble recreation?
The scrimmages and all the joys
Of Rugby or Association!
ASSOCIATION V. RUGBY
She (plaintively—to famous Rugby half-back). "Would it get you very much out of pactice if we were to dance 'socker' a little."
Prehistoric Peeps.—The annual football match between the Old Red Sandstone Rovers and the Pilocene Wanderers was immensely and deservedly popular!!
TO A PAIR OF FOOTBALL BOOTS
(With acknowledgments to Mr. C. B. Fry in the "Daily Express ")
Dear old pals, I want to speak to you seriously and as man to man, because you're not mere dead hide, are you? No, no, you are intelligent, sentient soles, and to be treated as such by every player.
Ah! booties, booties, you little beauties, what a lot you mean to us, don't you? and how hardly we use you.
I've known men to take you off after a game, hurl you—as Jove hurled his thunderbolts—into a corner of the pav. and there leave you till you are next required.
Ah! old men, that's not right, is it? How would we great machines of bone, muscle, and nerve-centre (ah! those nerve-centres, what tricky things they are!), how would we be for the next match if we were treated like that? Pretty stiff and stale, eh, old booties?
Now, look here, when we come in after a hard, slogging game, our bodies and the grey matter in our brains thoroughly exhausted, immediately we've had our bath, our rub-down, and our cup of steaming hot Hercubos (I find Hercubos the finest thing to keep fit on during a hard season) we must turn our attention to you, booties.
First, out from our little bag must come our piece of clean, sweet selvyt. With it all that nasty black slime that gets into your pores and makes you crack must be wiped off. Now, before a good blazing fire of coal—not coke, mind, the fumes of a coke fire pale and de-oxygenate the red corpuscles of our blood, you know—we must carefully warm you till you are ripe to receive a real good dousing of our Porpo (I find Porpo the finest thing for keeping boots soft and pliable).
Finally, with a white silk handkerchief we must give you a soft polishing, and there you are, sweet and trim against our next match. Every morning you may be sure we will, like Boreas, drive away the clouds of dust that collect on you.
And then there are the laces to attend to. Oh, yes, your laces are like our nerve-fibres, the little threads that keep the whole big body taut and sound. They, too, must have a good rubbing of Porpo and a rest if they need it.
Ah! and won't you repay our trouble, booties, when next we slip you on? How tightly you will clasp us just above the tubercles of our tibiæ, how firmly you will grip our pliant toes, how you will help us to send the ball swishing low and swift—into the well-tarred net!
THE "Ball of the Season."—Foot-ball.
Appropriate Football Fixture for the Fifth of November.—A match against Guy's. '
"The Shinner Quartette;" or, Musical Football.
Sunday Football.—"Just look at what your boys have done to my hat, Mrs Jones!" "Oh, the dears! Oh, I am so sorry! Now, Tom and Harry, say how sorry you are, and Mr. Lambourne won't mind!"
"Socker" on the Brain.—Harry. "Smart sort that on the right—forward." Tom (a devoted "footer"). "Right forward? Oh! no good forward; but looks like making a fair 'half-back'!"
Togswill (in the washing room at the office, proceeding to dress for the De Browncy's dinner-party). "Hullo! What the dooce"—(pulling out, in dismay, from black bag, a pair of blue flannel tights, a pink striped jersey, and a spiked canvas shoe).—"Confound it! Yes!—I must have taken that fellow's bag who said he was going to the athletic sports this afternoon, and he's got mine with my dress clothes!!"
A DERBY DIALOGUE
Scene—In Town. Jones meets Brown.
Jones. Going to Epsom?
Brown. No, I think not. Fact is, the place gets duller year by year. The train has knocked the fun out of the road.
Jones. Such a waste of time. Why go in a crowd to see some horses race, when you can read all about it in the evening papers?
Brown. Just so. No fun. No excitement. And the Downs are wretched if it rains or snows.
Jones. Certainly. The luncheon, too, is all very well; but, after all, it spoils one's dinner.
Brown. Distinctly. And champagne at two o'clock is premature.
Brown. Yes,—in spite of the luncheon.
(Two hours pass. Scene changes to Epsom.)
Jones. Hullo! You here?
Brown. Hullo! And if it comes to that, you here, too?
Jones. Well, I really found so little doing in town that I thought I might be here as well as anywhere else.
Brown. Just my case. Not that there's much to see or do. Silly as usual.
Jones. Quite. Always said the Derby was a fraud. But I am afraid, my dear fellow, I must hurry away, as I have got to get back to my party for luncheon.
Brown. So have I.[Exeunt severally.
MAXIM FOR THE DERBY DAY
There's many a slip
'Twixt the race and the tip.
"LAST, BUT NOT LEAST"
"Why do you call him a good jockey! He never rides a winner." "That just proves it. He can finish last on the best horse in the race!"
In Search of a "Certainty."—Cautions Gambler. "Four to one be blowed! I want a chaunce of gettin' a bit for my money." Bookmaker. "Tell you what you want. You ought to join a burial society. Sure to get somethin' out o' that!"
An Echo from Epsom.—"Wot's the matter, Chawley?" "Matter! See that hinnercent babby there? 'E's got 'is pockets full o' tin tacks!"
WHAT SHALL WE DO WITH OUR GIRLS?
(Why not give them a few lessons in the science of book-making?)
Mr. Professor. "And now, ladies, having closed our book on the favourite, and the betting being seven to three bar one, I will show you how to work out the odds against the double event."
Cold Comfort.—Scene—Badly beaten horse walking in with crowd. First Sporting Gent. (to second ditto, who has plunged disastrously on his advice). "Told yer he was a foregorne conclusion for this race, did I? Well, and what more d'yer want? Ain't he jolly well the conclusion of it?"
HOW TO WIN THE DERBY
(By one who has all but done it.)
Take great care in purchasing a really good colt. Don't let expense stand in your way, but be sure you get for money money's worth.
Obtain the most experienced trainer in the market, and confide your colt to his care. But, at the same time, let him have the advantage of your personal encouragement and the opinion of those of your sporting friends upon whose judgment you can place reliance.
When the day of the great race draws near, secure the most reliable jockey and every other advantage that you can obtain for your valuable animal.
Then, having taken every precaution to win the Derby, why—win it!
At the Post.—First Gentleman Rider. "Who is the swell on the lame horse?"Second Gentleman Rider. "Oh—forget his name—he's the son of the great furniture man, don'tcherknow."First Gentleman Rider. "Goes as if he had a caster off, eh?"
ASCOT WEEK RACING NOTE
Going in for a sweep.
On the Course.—Angelina. What do they mean, dear, by the Outside Ring?
Edwin. Oh! that's the place where we always back outsiders. A splendid institution! [So it was, till Edwin fell among gentlemen from Wales.
At the Close of the Racing Season.—Owner (to friend, pointing to disappointing colt). There he is, as well bred as any horse in the world, but can't win a race. Now what's to be done with him?
Friend (suddenly inspired). Harness the beast in front of a motor-car. He'll have to travel, then.
Real Autumn Handy-Cap.—A deerstalker.
Uncle. "Ah, Milly, I'm afraid you've lost your money over that one. He's gone the wrong way!"
Milly (at her first race-meeting). "Oh, no, uncle, I'm all right. George told me to back it 'both ways.' "
THE JOYS OF A GENTLEMAN RIDER
Trainer (to G. R., who has taken a chance mount). "So glad you turned up. This horse is such a rocky jumper you know, I can't get a professional to ride him."
Very Racy.—Q. When a parent gives his son the "straight tip" about a race, what vegetable does he recall to one's mind?
A. Pa ('s)-snip, of course.
EASY PROBLEM PICTURE. "NAME THE WINNER!"
Judging from their countenances, which of these two, who have just returned from a race meeting, has "made a bit"?
Scene—A little race meeting, under local rules and management.
Starter. " 'Ere's a pretty mess! Two runners—the favourite won't start—and if I let the other win, the crowd'll just about murder me!"
His First Book. (At a Provincial Race Meeting).—Novice. "Look here, I've taken ten to one against Blueglass, and I've given twelve to one against him! What do I stand to win?"
THE HUNT STEEPLE-CHASE SEASON
The Joys of a Gentleman Rider.
Voice from the Crowd. "Now, then, guv'nor, take care you don't get sunburnt!"
(By D. Crambo, Junior)
SETTLING AT THE CLUBS
AN OBJECTION ON THE
WINNING BY A CLEVER
Owner. "Why didn't you ride as I told you ? Didn't I tell you to force the pace early and come away at the corner?"
Jockey. "Yes, m'Lord, but I couldn't very well leave the horse behind."
At Newmarket.—Lady Plongère (to Sir Charles Hamidoot). Oh! Sir Charles, please put me a tenner each way on the favourite.
Sir Charles. But will you repay me the money laid out?
Lady P. (sweetly). Of course I will, if I win.[Sir C. forgets to execute the commission.
HEARD AT NEWMARKET
Jockey (whose horse has broken down). "Thought you said it was as good as a walk over?"
Trainer. "Well, ain't you walkin' over?"
Brown. "Confound it! Done again! I lose on every race. (To barber.) Here's your shilling."
Barber. "Couldn't think of taking it, sir. Just won £500 on the Hascot Cup!"
AMUSEMENTS FOR ASCOT
(Provided for the better sex)
After taking infinite trouble to secure a dream of a dress, to wait expectantly to see whether it will rain or keep up.
After arriving on the course to find one's only duchess monopolised by the Buckingham-Browns, to dismay of all semi-outsiders.
Between the races to notice one's hated rivals in the sacred enclosure, to which one has no admittance.
And—perhaps safest of all—to leave the doubts and fears, the heart-burnings and disappointment of the meeting to others, and to learn all about Ascot by reading the papers.
"NON EST INVENTUS"
(A Derby Problem.)
Ostler (on the Downs, after the races). "Don't you even remember 'is colour, guv'nor?"
The Prevailing Passion.—Father (reading newspaper). I see another Rugby man has been appointed Archbishop of Canterbury. That's the third Rugby man in succession.
Son (a football enthusiast). Well, I think it is time one of the Association had a turn.
BRADBURY, AGNEW, & CO. LD., PRINTERS, LONDON AND TONBRIDGE.