Hypocritical Cant, Politics, Satire, Social Justice

Suspension Of The Malefactor’s Bloody Register

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Right Honourable Thomas Bass has descended from his carriage accompanied by Lord Molesworth to view with his own eyes the spectacle that has descended upon the Newgate Prison.With a chill in the air and it being near morn one would think that the demonstraters, worn out from the march, would fade like the morning mist back to cold homes and even colder breakfasts. But none have moved, not one has shown the slightest inclination to depart from the wrought-iron gates of Newgate Prison. Standing shoulder to shoulder they circle the very walls; man to child to woman to man, row upon row of haggard faces ferociously set and all of them armed to the teeth. No sun rises glimmering on the horizon to gild their pinched faces, instead it hides its light behind the thunderous looking clouds.

The Right Honourable Hardy Ethelbert-Smythe has stopped his carriage just on the corner of Newgate and as he looks about him a sight greets his eyes which leaves him aghast. For there stand Millicent Flanders and right alongside her Ronald Walters and Arnie Tobin, newly fed and released from the workhouse here they loiter, savagely intent upon biting the very hand that has fed them! On any other occasion he would step from his carriage and berate the ingrates, but he has affairs to attend to at Bethlehem Asylum and so he signals to his driver to continue on. What a congregation to behold on a Sunday morn such as this! For these are the stony gazes of such as have forsaken the dream of boundless peace in the great heavenly yonder, and who are now ferociously determined to have bread and better working conditions in the here and now.

“Have the troops been called out?” murmurs Thomas Bass for he has only lately been informed of this walk out by Her Majesty’s Railway servants (he has funded several of them). “I know not” replies Lord Molesworth,”Though I suppose they will be, this cannot possibly end well, the government cannot be seen to be of weak resolve on this”. But the right honourable Thomas Bass shakes his head, “Nay lad,have you not heard? He who was the most opposed to leniency in this matter lies ailing upon his sick bed!” Lord Molesworth raises an eyebrow,”ill? With what? When I saw him last he looked as right as rain!”. Mr Bass blushes,”T’is said he has the Jezebel’s Lurgy,desperation led him to take comfort in the midst of the bosom of iniquity and this illness is the result. The scandal should break this very morning” now Lord Molesworth is dismayed,”Really? In which paper?” and now the Right Honourable Thomas Bass looks appropriately vague,”The Northern Star one should imagine…”.

Royal Dockers, Her Majesty’s Railway Servants, chimney sweeps, cottonmill workers, porters, street walkers and musical artistes. All who were present at the beginning and all who have had a hand in the struggle are now present. Silence pervades the ranks of the great unwashed and save the sharp, cold breeze touching upon their ragged garments nought may be heard. Gradually police pass casually through the ranks of the protestors clustering themselves on the opposite sides of the Newgate Road and not looking too worried about it, for they have it on good opinion that they won’t be kept idling there for long. Polishing their whistles on the sleeves of their smart uniforms they glance across the street at the demonstrators with a knowing glance,”What a sight!What a handsomely attired set they is!” one of them remarks,” Keep comin back don’t they? Ain’t they tired of hangings yet?” remarks another and there is raucous laughter. Lord Molesworth and those besides him (for several more Lords and politicians have descended from their carriages), are horrified, for they were given a tour of the aftermath of the Grid-Iron Riot. Why are these officers of the law so at ease with these eager depredators? And why are there so few of them?

His question is soon answered for there is the sound of a dozen hearty whistles warning of the impending arrival of a fire engine. And not too long after a bright red fire wagon presents itself attended by the chief fire engineer himself and two officers. “Make way! Make way!There’s a fire over at Spitalsfield! Make way!”. Like the parting of the Red Sea the crowd gives way, it scatters, and a great roaring cheer sends the fire chief and his valiant men on their way. Thomas Bass notes that the marchers seem more relaxed now, in fact they seem almost cheery as they resume their positions outside the walls of Newgate. Now several of the officers unbutton their dark blue jackets and pull out pewter canteens which they pass around, “Ere Mr Bass fancy a tipple of gin?” shaking his head The Right Honourable Thomas Bass glances once more at the cheerful, relaxed disposition of the police officers on duty; is there something they know that he doesn’t?

There is definitely something a-foot for he notes that several officers are now examining their pocket watches,”Another two minutes” mutters one “Ey up! Ere comes another!” replies the Bow Street officer beside him. And indeed another fire engine and another and another materialises. Each screeching to a dead halt before the striking workers and each greeted by a raucous cheer as they depart. Lord Molesworth counts several, one after the other and all seemingly headed in different locations. Lime House, St Martins-in-The-Fields, the Commercial Road, Liverpool Docks,”What the deuce?!” declares Lord Ruckle-Smoot,”What’s going on?!”

“Not what! Who!” replies one of the officers,”Ah well lads! Time we was packing up! They’ll be no rioting to put down today! March out!” buttoning up their jackets and adjusting their helmets and capes the officers depart the scene of the Newgate Prison Siege, much to the dismay of Lord Ruckle-Smoot. “What the devil’s going on?” Lord Molesworth thinks he knows and glancing up at the lone figure of the Union Rep standing a-top the wall of Newgate Prison, he can’t help but admire the man and indeed the movement’s cunning.” “Observe who is missing from the marchers,chimney sweeps and match factory girls!” replies a red faced departing officer,”This is not a riot, it never was; there’s been fires set in silk mill premises all over London”.

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements
Standard
ACCESSIBILITY, Hypocritical Cant, Politics, Satire, Social Justice, Transported

Of Incontestable Arguments

dyaJul13_g-e-r-worker

A global political, and commercial enterprise has been brought to a dead halt, by the disappearance of Her Majesty’s Railway Servants, and the Royal Dock Workers of London. Where ever can they be? Not idling at home surely! Why such hard grained men as these  work even on a Sunday! Passengers sit fretting on trains which can’t run themselves and all timetabled services have been suspended indefinitely. Cargo bound for the Indies lies heaped upon the dock; and in such a manner as to obstruct the best efforts of the most energetic clerk to negotiate his way past. What is to be done? The cargo cannot unload itself, any more than the trains can navigate their way from Paddington train station to Neyland.

But take a brisk stroll from the direction of the Liverpool Street Terminus, hop aboard a Hackney Cab bound for the Old Bailey and there you will have the solution to this puzzle. For you will get no further than Ludgate Hill, crammed as the thoroughway is with sluggish Omnibuses transporting reporters for the various London broadsheets, teeming as it is with stolid railway men and Royal Dockers, a prodigious profusion of them, stern and unsmiling and unyielding as the very metal the trains are made of! 

“Pray tell where are you bound?”

“To Newgate!” one man tersely replies and another and another, the march is slow, ponderous and heavy. The sound of their plodding feet? T’is as the rumble of underground thunder, t’is as the hammerings of the Greek God Vulcan upon the raw elements of the earth. To Newgate! The dwelling place of murderers, swindlers and those silk mill workers who dared to protest and riot against their meagre pay and working conditions. To Newgate! That point from whence hundreds of silk mill workers have been ferried to New South Wales, a place which even the denizens of hell have forsaken!

“Ours are the skills on which Her Majesty’s empire is built ! Our labours the fuel on which this empire is founded! And shall we forsake our brothers as they lie in chains for that very cause which is our own? Never! Why even now the orphans of our fallen comrades suffer for the sake of poor pay and worse conditions! Nay, their sufferings are our own! If we fail our comrades we fail ourselves! Let us march to Newgate!” And so they march dear reader, past St Martins of Ludgate, past the Old Bailey until, at length, they stand in front of the impenetrable walls of Newgate Prison.

Pitch darkness lit up by dozens and then hundreds of torches held aloft by men and children who have marched dozens of miles and would march thrice more to achieve their end, justice! Dear readers, justice of the purest and most beneficient kind for the much oppressed silk mill workers! “Can you see him da? Can you see him?” asks a weary, dust begrimed road sweeper arching his neck back in the hopes of viewing that near-legend whose stolid intransigence and fiery disposition has fueled many a protest and caused those who stand beside him to hope against reason. “Aye son, there he stands betwixt the prison walls! T’is The Union Rep!”

Well might you remark how, on such a night as this, it might be possible to espy a man perched on a prison wall and know who t’is. But the streets that surround Newgate Prison are lit up so fiercely that had the sun plummeted from its place in the heavens the streets could not shine more radiantly than they now do.”No chair behind the battlements for him!” declares a railway man his face lit up with fervour,”Nor sitting at rest with his missus whilst his workers suffer and fight for him! He is a man of true principle and truer purpose and I would travel to hell and back for the likes of him as stands up and fights for us! Hurrah for the Union Rep!” and that cry is echoed up and down the streets that encompass Newgate Prison, “Hurrah for the Union Rep!” the walls of Newgate Prison reverberate with the cry whilst the Old Bailey itself seems to shudder,”Hurrah for the Union Rep!”.

“When the union’s inspiration through the workers’ blood shall run
There can be no power greater anywhere beneath the sun;
Yest what force on earth is weaker than the feeble strength of one,
But the union makes us strong.

Solidarity forever,

Solidarity forever,

Solidarity forever,

For the Union makes us strong.

Is there aught we hold in common with the greedy parasite,
Who would lash us into serfdom and would crush us with his might?
Is there anything left to us but to organise and fight?
For the union makes us strong.

Solidarity forever,

Solidarity forever,

Solidarity forever,

For the Union makes us strong.

All the world that’s owned by idle drones (ants!) is ours and ours alone.
We have laid the wide foundations; built it skyward stone by stone.
It is ours, not to slave in, but to master and to own.
While the union makes us strong.

Solidarity forever,

Solidarity forever,

Solidarity forever,

For the Union makes us strong.

They have taken untold millions that they never toiled to earn,
But without our brain and muscle not a single wheel can turn,
We can break their haughty power, gain our freedom when we learn
That the union makes us strong!”

Dear reader t’is a song of righteous fervour sung with such thrilling passion, such fervid ardour that it must chill the blood of every industrialist who hears it! Sung to the tune of ‘John Brown’s Body Lies A-mouldering In His Grave’ t’is not possible to tell who brought forth the song first, but t’is possible to see those who move gently amongst us sustaining it! See there the scarlet tri-cornered hat! And those jet black tresses that gleam so lustrously in the torch light. T’is none other than Madame Guacamoley and with her Madame Le Breton (knitting in hand) and behind her a ragged and uncouth looking selection of women armed with cudgels and bludgers. Dawn is but a few hours away and as we cluster beneath the oppressive walls of Her Majesty’s ‘Bastille’ one cannot help but wonder how things will end…

english-school-the-rioting-in-the-west-end-of-london-illustration-from-the-graphic-february-13th-1886_i-G-53-5389-D7LJG00Z

Standard
Academies, Academy status, ACCESSIBILITY, Hypocritical Cant, Politics, Satire

Equal Protection Under The Law (Roughly)

barrymoreibbetson1

Robert Farthengrodden considered himself to be the pampered minion of misfortune; he was restrained in youth choosing not to frequent the various dens of ill-repute that his contemporaries did. Fastidiously avoiding the highways and by-ways of sin, adhering abstemiously to the tenets of Gove and entering full service therein with his Aunt, Lady Farthingrodden’s blessing. He might have continued thus, an ordained reverend,adjuring his flock to cling religiously  to the well-lit paths of sweet Gove and smiting the unrighteous into line with his shepherd’s crook, were it not for the angelic appearance of sweet Mary Parnham. Miss Parnham, second child of the infamous Master Parnham lately of Raven’s Industrial Academy, drew the eye of the ill-fated Farthengrodden and kept it.  A’swoon with licentious craving, the Reverend Farthengrodden threw off the shackles of conubial bliss escaping with that misguided maid to Spitalfields, a pretty distance from the resplendent and noble country estate he had previously called home.

Embracing wholeheartedly a depredatory existence, he took up residence with sweet Mary in a string of disreputable boarding houses (for even these dens of iniquity have their standards), eventually winding up disinherited by his grieving Aunt, and wholly dependent upon what he termed an inadequate allowance, bequeathed to him by his impoverished (though genteel) mater.

Lucinda Bedelia-Farthengrodden sought audience with her husband (which was granted) and throwing herself at his feet, beseeched him to repent and return unto the bosom of his suffering family. “She is and always had been a model of feminine probity, my sainted companion before the throne of Gove and mother of my children, what was I to do?” Indeed, what was he to do with sweet Mary clinging to him so desperately, “like a barnacle to the hull of a wayward ship” as one of the detective police put it. “The dear partner of his sorrows, was dear no more once he realised he’d have to enjoy ‘er without his inheritance!” said that same officer of the law chuckling.

All may weigh the soundness or unsoundness of his conclusions, for on the 10th of January, on a cold, crisp Monday morn, Mary was found strangled. And upon the alerting of the detective police t’was discovered that whoever had ‘done’ away with sweet Mary had also attempted to hide the evidence of his misdeed by setting fire, unsuccessfully, to the bed. ” There was no doubt he’d done it! T’was an open and shut case I would have thought” murmured that same detective of the police. And so thought His Worship Judge Peepey, that is, until his clerk bethought him to pay close scrutiny, to which barrister would be mounting the reverend’s defence in this particular open and closed case of murder, “T’is ‘im agin your worship” he muttered, misery sat squarely upon his face. His Worship groaned, he clutched his stomach, “What?! Tobias Kinsella QC? Again?” Judge Peepey remembered well his last ferocious skirmish with Kinsella which had seen justice most indubitably done, but had forced him to take to his bed for a week. “And what of the counsel for the prosecution?” here the judge’s clerk rolled his eyes,”Jeremy Fitzgibbon funded in all good consciense by the state”

“Fitzgibbons? Dear God!”

His Honour considering whether it might not be best to hand the case on to some other more learned friend, and learned from his grim faced clerk that there were none more learned, or more stolid in their suffering than himself; he must attend to the case.

On the day the trial opened the public gallery was so crammed with onlookers that it was impossible not to concede that this was (almost) the most infamous trial of the year,if not the century. The charge? That the Reverend Fathengrodden had done away with Mary Parnham in order that he might return to the family seat (and his wealth) unencumbered by her. “In short that he ‘ad murdered the misguided wench so as he could ave his cake and eat it!” the detective police chuckles quietly to himself as if for all the world he were discussing some light hearted topic or other. Leaning in closer to his confidant he murmured the following,

“You may ask what the defence is? Sonambulism!Sonambulism! That’s sleepwalking to you and I! An as far down the road of depredatory existence as he has travelled I doubt not there’ll be a whole string of ruffians ready to testify as to his sonambulisitic cavortings! He’ll get off! T’is beyond reckoning! For who you may ask prosecutes him? Fitzgibbons the drunk! And who defends him? Queens Counsel Kinsella! Ha!”

Ha! Indeed, for Kinsella is well known at the Bailey for causing many an ailing case to spring suddenly to life, filling the public galleries to bursting with his eloquent oratory, and causing all who enlist his help to escape the noose of justice. A feared ‘physician of the Old Bailey’ he is the scourge of most sober prosecutory types. Take the case (or cases if you wish) of the infamous Moll Wetland, acquitted several times of offences the detective police were adamant she had committed, “She and er gang have scandalized Spitalfields for years’an that’s sayin something! Does she go down for running sneak thieves and buttock twanging? Does she ever! Acquitted time after time by Kinsella!” our detective police pauses for a nip of sherry and continues,” ‘ouse robberies,pick-pocketing, sneak thievery,gonophing, you name it she ‘ad a hand in it! We gets hold of ‘er and she’s bound for the Bailey, Kinsella gets hold of her and she’s acquitted and up to her old tricks again!”.

I am told that eventually the problem of Moll Wetland was satisfactorily resolved in Ireland, where upon having been taken and convicted of sneak-thieving, she was transported from thence to New South Wales. “Ireland! I ask yer! On one offence they did for ‘er in a way we couldn’t! Kinsella will get Farthengrodden orf I tell yer! You see if he don’t!” the detective police is indignant, his calm has all but departed from him and as he lights a cigar he sighs heartily. For indeed who would not? T’is a parlous state of affairs indeed, when, for want of a little money and a worthy and skilled barrister, justice is not seen to be done.

_63829168_maryevans-10000877-549

Standard
Academy status, ACCESSIBILITY, Politics, Satire

Scandalum Magnatum

Augustus_Clifford_Vanity_Fair_11_October_1873“Tally ho! Tally ho! To hounds! To hounds!” the roar of the huntsman’s bugle echoes off the ancient walls of Westminster Hall, whilst the hunters careen, wheel, and gallop after the fox who having leapt down the stairs ahead of them is now bounding frantically towards the Member’s Lobby. “To hounds!” Lords Ruckle-Smoot, Clare and Elderberry rear resplendent in the saddle folllowed closely by the Reverend Unctuous of St Paul’s and his esteemed pater, Sir William Unctuous of Bacchanalia . Their highly polished boots reflect the terrified faces of anxious civil servants and outraged porters, “What does they thinks they is doing?” complains one, “What they always does” murmurs another pausing to dive behind the statue of Lord Gordon of Umbongo Bongo, “Flaunting the rules and trampling on us wot wants merely to be of service! Well this time I ain’t avin it, fetch the gentleman Black Rod!”

The cobble stones tremble beneath the spark and clatter of iron hooves and the Hunt Master’s eyes gleam psychotically as he scents the earthy smell of terrified fox close by. “Is he near Master Brandt?”  hisses Lord Unctuous, Master Brandt raises himself up in the saddle and sniffs the air, his muscular thighs tightly gripping the taut flanks of his hysterical stallion, “Ja, e’ is near, veree near! The bugger is be ‘aynd them curtains!” the roaring gallop slows to a sneaky canter through the member’s lobby as the feral peers sniff out their prey. Little do they know it but they have been out foxed for their terrified victim has bounded into the arms of a little house maid, a country girl widely renowned for her fierce defense of woodland creatures and she in turn has indignantly approached Black Rod (fox in arms). The venerable Black Rod, (Usher-in-Chief, Personal Attendant of the Sovereign and Representative of the Administration and Works committee), lends a sympathetic ear and then, with mace in hand, gleefully strides forth to encounter the galloping lords as they canter through the sacred realm of the Members’ Lobby.

“A good day to you gentlemen! Pray tell, what misguided practice is this? What dearth of industriousness prompted you to desport yourselves here? My Lords have you forgotten where it is you ride? T’is mean’t to be the very seat of democracy, t’is the place from which her majesty extends her scepter toward the entire empire! T’is a disgrace! Nay an outrage to see you attired thus! T’is a scandal gentlemen!” Monsieur Black Rod is exultant for as the overseer of all security pertaining to the Palace of the Westminster, he knows that this breach of ettiquette is a grievous one. Long has he dreamt of the departure of Lord Elderberry, but he will settle for a suspension next term of the entire hunt (Chief Whip permitting). “What does e say?” asks Brandt the Hunt-Master casting a crazed look upon the gentleman Rod,

“We can’t hunt here is what I think he’s saying” replies Lord Elderberry. His bottom lip is trembling and his face has taken on a petulant look, such as was apt to give his Mama disabling migraines many a time and led to her confinement within St Bacchanalia’s asylum (eventually).”I’ll do whatever I ruddy likes Black Rod! Tally Ho!” but Black Rod is not to be nay sayed,”Westminster Porters to me!” as if from nowhere a legion of servants of the palace step forward, taking up position with the various implements of service used by them to maintain the house. A more muscular, purposeful, eagle eyed set of men have yet to be found in any other place in the realm, it is an impressive display and to anyone with half a whit’s worth of sense it would signal an end to the festivities.

But, a’las, his Lordships labour in their delusions of profligate entitlement, and incensed by this plebeian interference in their fun, they attempt to ride down the opposition laying about them with unfurled bull whips as they do so. Black Rod smiles grimly, for the stories of Lord Elderberry’s fondness for the whip have reached him and with mace aloft in one hand he strides forward, a porter who last worked as an Ostler by his side,”You shall not pass!” he shrieks black breeched legs akimbo. Distracted, indignant, outraged, Lord Elderberry raises his whip once more for he is determined to flay the hide of the Brigand Rod, but his act is pre-empted by his swift unseating. One by one the porters stride forward and one by one they unseat the profligate peers, determined as they are to exercise their right to keep the sacred corridors of Westminster pure from debauched entitlement.

“To your feet gentlemen! Porters escort them to the doors!” His glittering eyes seem  closely to resemble those of a rattlesnake as his gaze moves swiftly from one reddened face to another,”The Chief Whip shall here of this! Yes! Indeed he shall! And he will not be pleased!Five peers and six commoners treating the most esteemed, the most revered seat of the realm as if it were a bawd’s establishment! What the emminent politician will have to say I can only conjecture” Black Rod smiles thinly, for it has now become common knowledge that said gentleman is desperately ill and is to be replaced by the more severe Lord Smarsby, a porter coughs politely,

“Begging your pardon sir, which set of doors should we escort them out of?” a sweet smile graces the thin, severe lips of Black Rod and striding to and fro with one thin finger pressed upon them he ponders and makes his decision. “The rear ones! As well away from the front of house as possible, I will not have them defame this house with their profligate dress! Fox hunting in the palace! Whsst!” Striding off briskly a spring in his step and without so much as a backward glance, the gentleman Black Rod is gone. For there are other more pressing affairs to attend, to such as the need to notify her majesty of the debauchery of five of her lords.

7922052_f260

Standard
ACCESSIBILITY, Hypocritical Cant, Politics, Satire, Social Justice

A Tale of Two Cities

dinner-party-henry-coleBaroness Heskett-Elderberry is at table and the most esteemed of her acquaintances, indeed of her society, with her. The dining table is festooned with glistening silver and glimmering crystal, with bowls of fragrant rose petals and Ivy intertwined with fresh picked Lilies and festooned with bunches of grapes. It is a gathering many a gossip-monger and scandal-sheet-writer would wish to attend, for the Baroness does not sit alone. Close by her bare, wrinkled shoulder, sits the Baronness’s most intimate confidant, Auley McFadden the Head Ostler. They say she means to marry him? But who can tell? That a servant, a Scottish Ostler, should be seated high up table, comfortably ensconsed amongst the aristocracy of this sceptred isle is scandal enough. But Auley McFadden is not phased, he has sat at table amongst the great and the good of the land many a time. He did not blanche with fear the first time his lady insisted upon his presence, and he does not do so now, the Baroness amuses him and for the sake of her company he will gladly endure a legion of fools.

“She means to marry the blaggart!” mutters Lord Elderberry, he has passed on several delicately fragranced platefuls of of rabbit, duck and boiled ham (the Baronesse’s favourite dish) and now plunging his knife into the porcelain dish before him,he aggressively slices and dices his steamed turbot into tiny inedible pieces. His furrowed brow is darkened by a steadily building cloud of thunderous rage, such as to make the ragged children at his elbow tremble and shake and edge subtly away from him. Benjamin Disraeli, seated directly opposite him at table, raises one carefully delineated eyebrow, but Elderberry does not see him, intent as he is upon her ladyship’s prodigious fortune falling into the hands of one of the great unwashed again.

“Does she mean to marry the man?” enquires Doctor Livingstone who is somewhat bemused to find himself seated alongside a sooty faced child happily tucking into Salmon poached in a Gooseberry sauce. “M’Lady is patron of London’s ragged schools and the Temperance Society, I think not” opines M’Lord Palmerston,”Pass the Raspberry Fool!” Towards the top of the dining table M’Lady smiles and nods, her sharp. shrewd, eyes fastened all the while on the ragged school children positioned most conventionally toward the lower end of the dining room table. Near burned to death in the Tooley Street fire they were discretely deposited on her doorstep at the tradesmen’s entrance in the dead of night; because,quite simply, she is their patron and in her eyes the next best thing to a mother they have. Her behaviour is most scandalous in a society as hierachical in it’s moral character as hers is. Nonetheless here the children sit enjoying her ladyship’s largesse and here they are tolerated, for her ladyship is worth two million pounds at least, and she may do as she pleases.

“Is not this truly touching?” Lord Stanley smiles gently at the child who has impulsively seated himself upon his knee taking up his dessert spoon and plunging it into the plum pudding a servant has only just placed before his lordship. Indeed there are several children perched on various aristocratic laps and munching everything from roasted apples to slivers of pheasant. “Their school has been burnt down and since they must eat and sleep somewhere her ladyship has determined it should be here” whispers the Butler as he quietly uncorks a bottle of champagne, “Here? At Osbourne House?” placing the champagne at table alongside his Lordship the Butler discretely nods. Glancing up table Lord Stanley meets the needle sharp gaze of his favourite aunt and chuckles as she salutes her most favourite nephew with a glass of gooseberry juice.

“Is that not Lord Stanley?” asks the Marchioness of Frangebere gazing closely at the handsome young man four guests up, “It is” replies her husband frowning at his wife’s prodigious bosom (she has taken up her pince-nez and is peering through it intensely). “What’s he doing here? I see the musical presence is attendant also”  the Earl of Frangebere pauses mid-bite, turning to coldly examine the haughty profile of his wife,”The musical presence as you call it,formerly Miss Woodbine, is now Lady Stanley”

“I hear that alliance cost him a packet! Ten thousand pounds!” the Marquesse Frangere smiles sweetly across table toward Lord Stanley and just as sweetly inclines her head, the Earl of Frangere rolls his eyes, extraordinary! How on earth does she do it? “The Baroness has awarded him a considerable allowance…not that he needs it! Pass the Plum Pudding” the Marquesse flinches and thinks longingly of that most esteemed murderess (in her eyes) Mrs Manning.

“A toast! A toast!” exclaims the Scottish Ostler his brandy glass held aloft for the upteenth time, ” A toast to that generous purveyor of horse flesh! To the Baroness!”

“To the Baroness!” exclaims Doctor Livingstone, Mrs Livingstone, Benjamin Disraeli and fellow philanthropists, “To ‘er ladyship!” roar the servants and shriek the ragged children. Lord Stanley gets to his feet like everyone else but instead of raising his glass he sidles up the dining table toward the Ostler. For he senses from experience,that the toast is a mere precursor to some social embarassment and indeed he is not wrong for the drunken Ostler disappears speedily beneath the dining room table. The Head Footman is there first (along with the Butler) and as they swiftly ferry him from the celebrations Lord Stanley just as quickly takes his place. The Baroness appears not to note the disappearance of her old friend, everybody else pretends not to, after all she is worth two million pounds and she may do as she pleases.

Standard