Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 103, November 19, 1892 by Various


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Page 1

BULGER now found himself in the presence of Mr. MORRIS, whose
courtesy soon put him on a footing of friendliness and confidence.
He purchased, by his Mentor's advice, a driver, a cleek, a putter, a
brassey, an iron, a niblick, and a mashy. Armed with these implements,
which were "carried by an orphan boy," and, under the guidance of the
Head of the Faculty himself, BULGER set forth on his first round. His
first two strokes were dealt on the yielding air; his third carried
no inconsiderable parcel of real property to some distance; but his
fourth hit the ball, and drove it across the road. "As gude as a
better," quoth the orphan boy, and bade BULGER propel the tiny sphere
in the direction of a neighbouring rivulet. Into this affluent of the
main, BULGER finally hit the ball; but an adroit lad of nine stamped
it into the mud, while pretending to look for it, and BULGER had to
put down another. When he got within putting range, he hit his ball
careering back and forward over the hole, and, "Eh, man," quoth the
orphan boy, "if ye could only drive as you put!"

In some fifteen strokes he accomplished his task of holing out; and
now, weary and desponding (for he had fancied Golf to be an easy
game), he would have desisted for the day. But the Head of the Faculty
pressed on him the necessity of "The daily round, the common task."
So his ball was tee'd, and he lammed it into the Scholar's Bunker, at
a distance of nearly thirty yards. A niblick was now placed in his
grasp, and he was exhorted to "Take plenty sand." Presently a kind
of simoom was observed to rage in the Scholars' Bunker, out of which
emerged the head of the niblick, the ball, and, finally, BULGER
himself. His next hit, however, was a fine one, over the wall, where,
as the ball was lost, BULGER deposited a new one. This he, somehow,
drove within a few feet of the hole, when he at once conceived an
intense enthusiasm for the pastime. "It was a fine drive," said the
Head of the Faculty. "Mr. BLACKWELL never hit a finer." Thus inflamed
with ardour, BULGER persevered. He learned to waggle his club in a
knowing way. He listened intently when he was bidden to "keep his eye
on the ba'", and to be "slow up." True, he now missed the globe and
all that it inhabit, but soon he hit a prodigious swipe, well over
cover-point's head,--or rather, in the direction where cover-point
would have been. "Ye're awfu' bad in the whuns," said the orphan
boy; and, indeed, BULGER'S next strokes were played in distressing
circumstances. The spikes of the gorse ran into his person--he could
only see a small part of the ball, and, in a few minutes, he had made
a useful clearing of about a quarter of an acre.

It is unnecessary to follow his later achievements in detail. He
returned a worn and weary man, having accomplished the round in
about a hundred and eighty, but in possession of an appetite which
astonished him and those with whom he lunched. In the afternoon, the
luck of beginners attending him, he joined a foursome of Professors,
and triumphantly brought in his partner an easy victor. In a day or
two, he was drinking beer (which he would previously have rejected
as poison), was sleeping like a top, and was laying down the law
on stimy, and other "mysteries more than Eleusinian." True, after
the first three days, his play entirely deserted BULGER, and even
Professors gave him a wide berth in making up a match. But by steady
perseverance, reading Sir WALTER SIMPSON, taking out a professional,
and practising his iron in an adjacent field, BULGER soon developed
to such an extent that few third-rate players could give him a stroke
a hole. He had been in considerable danger of "a stroke" of quite a
different character before he left London, and the delights of the
Bar. But he returned to the Capital in rude health, and may now often
be seen and heard, topping into the Pond at Wimbledon, and talking in
a fine Fifeshire-accent. It must be acknowledged that his story about
his drive at the second hole, "equal to BLACKWELL, himself, TOM MORRIS
himself told me as much," has become rather a source of diversion to
his intimates; but we have all our failings, and BULGER never dreams,
when anyone says, "What is the record drive?" that he is being
drawn for the entertainment of the sceptical and unfeeling. BULGER
will never, indeed, be a player; but, if his handicap remains at
twenty-four, he may, some day, carry off the monthly medal. With this
great aim before him, and the consequent purchase of a red-coat and
gilt-buttons, BULGER has a new purpose in existence, "something to
live for, something to do." May this brief but accurate history convey
a moral to the Pessimist, and encourage those who take a more radiant
view of the possibilities of life!

* * * * *

A PLEBISCITE FOR PARNASSUS.

[The result of the _Pall Mall's_ competition for the
Laureateship has been to place Mr. ERIC MACKAY and Mr.
GILBART-SMITH first and second, and SWINBURNE and MORRIS
nowhere.]

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