'We learn from Simla that the members of the Financial
Committee have already assembled, and are pulling themselves
together for their struggle with the work which lies before them.
Statistics of a most intricate and searching nature have been demanded.
Of so elaborate a nature does the scrutiny promise to be, that a long
time must perforce elapse before the necessary tabular statements and
details can be prepared and placed in the hands of members; whilst the
sifting of so enormous a mass of information will necessitate
Herculean efforts on the part of the Committee'—Pioneer, April 20th.
Scene: The Simla Offices. F——E C——E discovered striking attitudes.
CHORUS OF MEMBERS rolling up shirt-sleeves:
We are going to retrench! Yes! we're going to retrench,
In a rigid, revolutionary style;
From the Judge upon his Bench, on his costly cushioned Bench,
To the Babu and the Commissariat Byle!
(pp) (Especially the Babu and the Byle)
(ff) Let the fat Departments blench,
We are yearning to retrench
In a clip–and–cut, and skin–removing style!
And when office doors are shut, we will get to business,
First we pull ourselves together and we smile.
Ah! Yah! (They smile)
We must pull overselves together and must smile.
Barcarole Extatique by PRESIDENT, to official step-dance:
And I shall evolve a Report,
Shall write you a splendid Report;
And 'neath my direction each para and section
Shall sparkle with jewels of thought!
Ye Gods! it must be a Report
To set all the others at naught:
An elephant-folio, phototype-oleo,
Recitative; HON'BLE W.W. to music expressive of caution:
The Hills are full of little birds.
What need of compromising words?
We all know what we think—
Wherefore, I beg to move that we,
In sign of unanimity,
Do wink a pregnant wink.
I second the motion with pleasure.
But I an amendment propose.
Let each man advance, in slow measure,
His thumb to the side of his nose.
Motion carried nem. con.C——E stand to order,
HON'BLE W.W. intones fortissimo through a paper trumpet:
Bring pens in sheaves and writing blocks in bales!
Pour out the ink–kegs into stable-pails!
Let blotting–pads in bushels strew the floor!
Produce your office–boxes by the score!
Pile on statistics till the tables creak,
(E——t and I can sift 'em in a week)
Each to his place! Draw out your cleanest pen,
Flourish it once, and—put it back again!
Drop down exhausted! Let the Public see
You're worth your salt! Now, taking time from me,
Wipe with one trembling hand a toil–worn brow
Then, all together, make an awful row!
Turn to the Plains! What ho there! Pipes and tabors!
Tell them about our Herculean labours.
FULL CHORUS OF C——E to accompaniment of clinking despatch–boxes:
We have fled the toils of tennis; we are saving you your pennies;
On the mountain where our den is, we are slaving all the day:
And we think it only fitting, you should know that we are sitting,
While a sinful world is flitting off to dinner, dance and play.
Laughing men and maids invite us where Mahasu woods delight us;
Notes for sylvan fêtes indite us, but we shun the gilded snare;
For we think upon our Duty, and are blind to Love and Beauty,
We despise the thought of chuti—scoff at exercise and air.
Adagio, con molt exp:
We're a wonderful Committee; we deserve your praise and pity,
Ke–ind Christian fellow–citizens we hope you'll take the hint.
We are dying of exertion, and the lack of all diversion;
And should value the insertion of these sentiments in print.
CHORUS FROM THE PLAINS OF THE STEAMING THOUSANDS
There is a way of putting things
Intrinsically great and grand,
That laughter and derision brings,
And wakes irreverence in the land.
The office Anglo- Indian
Is not a sentimental man.
He knows, forgive the fact, your pay,
Is some six times as much as his'n.
He works—at least eight hours a day,
Perspiring in a sultry prison.
Whereas, whate'er your labours be,
Your summer heat is seventy–three;
And he demands it as his due,
That you sit still and, if you can,
Produce, before the year is through,
A sober practicable plan.
How does our dear Sam Gerridge spout it?
'We works, but we don't 'owl about it.'