OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI
by Sir Francis Burnand
PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.
December 31, 1892.
THE COMPLIMENTS OF THE SEASON.
(_A Characteristic Welcome to the Coming Year._)
It was on the 31st of December that they met. It had been arranged that
at the final hour of the last day of the expiring year they should
compare notes, and not one of them had failed to keep the appointment.
It would be scarcely right to say they were cheerful, but merriment was
not included in the programme.
[Illustration: The Military Man.]
"There is not the slightest chance of my bettering myself," said the
Military Man. "Now that the Regiment has come from India, I can't afford
to live at home, and I can't exchange because of my liver. Promotion was
never slower than in 'Ours,' and my look-out is about the most ghastly
there ever yet was seen."
[Illustration: The Briefless Barrister.]
"You are wrong there," observed the Briefless Barrister of mature years.
"I think mine is a shade worse. I give you my word that during the last
twelve months I have not earned enough fees to pay the rent of my
Chambers and the salary of my Clerk. And things are getting worse and
worse. One of the Solicitors who used to give me an occasional turn has
been struck off the Rolls, and the other, has transferred his business
to Australia. I feel inclined to follow, but I can't raise the
passage-money. What luck, now, could be worse than mine?"
"Why mine," answered the Author. "An entirely new set of men have come
to the front since I was popular, and my works are a drug in the market.
I haven't been able to get rid of more than a dozen pages during the
twelve months, and they appeared in a Magazine that stopped before the
appearance of the next number! The future never looked blacker and more
hopeless. I believe I am the most unfortunate man on earth."
[Illustration: The Doctor.]
"I fancy you are wrong," put in the Doctor. "I think my look-out worse
than yours. Sold my practice seven years ago to flutter on the Stock
Exchange. Lost my money in seven minutes, and have never had a patient
since. I went to West Slocum (my old home) the other day, and found the
place occupied by three Doctors, and the local Undertaker told me there
was not room enough for one! Talk about luck, I am the unluckiest dog in
[Illustration: The Actor who has his Head turned with Applause.]
"I am not so sure of that," said the Actor, "here have I been 'resting'
for the last twelve months, and it seems just as likely as not that I
shall continue the operation until '94. I have tried everything in Town
and the Provinces, and there isn't an opening anywhere. My fate is about
the worst of the lot."
[Illustration: The Artist.]
"Not so bad as mine," grumbled the Artist. "Haven't sold a single
picture since the Jubilee year, and can't afford to pay the frame-maker.
My studio is full of paintings, and the dealers say that there isn't a
single canvas amongst the lot but what would be refused admission to an
Exhibition of Sign-boards! Don't know how I should have kept body and
soul together if it hadn't been for an opportune loan from one who in
happier times was, in my employment as a model. Talk about prospects!
Look at mine!"
[Illustration: Bulls and Bears. City Men.]
"Well, come, you are better off than I am," said the City Man. "If I
hadn't now and again to appear before the Registrar in the Bankruptcy
Court, I don't know what I should do with my time! I am stone broke.
That's about it--stone broke! Knocked out of the 'House,' and without a
scrap of credit: I am done for!"
And it was agreed that none of them had any prospects. Then they
separated, or rather, were on the eve of separating.
"By the way--fancy forgetting to do it!" said one of them.
And then they rectified the omission, and wished one another, "A Happy
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