Skip to main content
Hide Articles List

19 articles on this Page

"

News
Cite
Share

"MOONERS IJ OF ALL NATIOITS! Everybody is aware upon the authority of Captain Flu. llen at Monmouth and Macedon are as like each other as two both physically and historically. The names, too, of •hose famous cities are linked together by very subtle mutual relations, and in each of them, as you perceive, there is an m and an n. Just so it is with" the English word "mooner" and the Spanish word manana, and the Parallel holds good in other respects. A "mooner" is an "lie, listless, friendlessly-inquisitive person of street-wan- aering' habits, and answers to the French badaud, gobe- toouche, koA flaneur combined. Manana means to-morrow out what has manana or to-morrowto do with mooning?" Everything. "Manana" is the chosen motto of the Spanish mooner. Manana is an institution. Manana is the chief most mysterious of the Cosas de Etpana. Manana is a language in itself. Quien dice Manana, dice todo. Mr. Sala, from whose letter in the Daily Telegraph on the "Condition ot Spain" we are quoting, then professes to describe the Spanish loafer or M ooner, but in reality he delineates the members of that paticular genus who are peculiar to England, America, France, Italy, &c., and furnishes much information that is useful and entertaining. Our space, however, com- pels us to confine our extracts to one portion only of this Kraphic letter, which is as follows :— In Italy Mooning is known as the dolce far niente; but when in this state the Italian generally falls in love, and, consequently, into mischief. The German only moons when he is a professor, and far gone in week anthropomorphism and beer. The French Mooner approaches slightly to the Madrid type but is a hundred times more bustling and vivacious his Pyrensean compeer. You know the Paris ttiooner the unobtrusive creature who is to be found Bitting outside the cafe as early as eleven in the morn- :l;.Dg whose favourite newspaper is the Petites Affichelt, 1Il which there is no news at all; who goes to the -course, not to speculate, but to warm his feet over the stove grates; who never plays at dominoes or piquet, but sits for hours dully gazing at those who do, just as ijalzac's Feragus watched the bowlers in the Champs ■klysees; and who day after day is to be met with Crawling round about a certain circuit; in fine weather on the Boulevards, when it rains in the passages in- specting, as though they were things of yesterday, the thousand-time-seen show case of the photographer at the street corner, or watching with seemingly unflag- Sing interest the process of mending the aspbalte Pavement. To see the boiling black compost ladled I Out of its cauldron, pressed down, patted smooth, and Powdered with gritty particles, is to the mooner as S^eat a pasttime as the making of dirt pies is to children. I knew one mooner who, at a certain hour every afternoon, was to be found in front of a certain 8hop in the Rue de l'Ecole de Medecine, a surgical Preparation shop, in whose window was a monstrous tapeworm in a bottle. They removed the bottle, and the mooner was seen no more. I daresay he took to ~?13 bed and died of a broken heart. A horse falling £ °wn in the street is a rich treat to the mooner; and j*e never fails to stop before the houses where people he dead, and spell out the cypher on the mort-cloth p the chapelle ardente. It -is stated indeed that a proportion of the audience round the graves at Montmartre and Pere la Chaise, where funeral orations delivered, are composed of mooners. Occasionally moons with malice prepense, taking account of distes and their bandboxes but he then loses his yaim to the title, and becomes un Monsieur qui suit femmes. Foreigners new to Paris, struck by the ^y^terious ways of the mooner, often mistake him for a niouchard, a spy of the police but he is in general Perfectly innocuous—a pacific petit rentier, who has jeft off selling stockiDgs and scented soap so soon as had acquired a modest competence, and has retired his rentes, to moon for the rest of his life. He is Perfectly happy, and the only peril which menaces is that of being run over. -fn America the Mooner is a loafer, who hangs about j~°tel bars or puts his feet up on the back of a chair, smokes and chews and spits and whittles, and loafs generally. But he has an active as well as a passive He jumps to his feet to liquor up, to go down j and make fifty thousand dollars off a corner Petroleum, to save the republic, to move a resolution, draw a revolver and fire free." The London ■"looner is to be found at the two opposite poles of r^ety. He is either the hulking, lowering savage jho leans with folded arms against a post in Seven *als on Sunday morning, waiting for the public-houses 0 ojpen; or the well-dressed old gentleman you may e inspecting with intense interest the ripping up of j?e roadway when there is something the matter with gas, or the sewers, or the water, or the telegraph or staring in at the jewellery and porcelain in Pawnbroker's shops. But I hardly know whether ne»e individuals are really Mooners—they have a de- r^te aii* and purpose. The late Mr. Brunei went v°°ni*g about back streets and "leaving shops" for years but see what a collection of cups and saucers left! The hulking savages of Seven Dials are only until their thirst can be assaufjed. Even the j-Jjentleman peeping into the .subways may be a rival st ^Sette or Hawkshaw, and meditating the con- ^•T^ction of super-ways. Thus, too, the shady folks 011 er UT1der the arcades of the Royal Exchange n °f 'Change hours, or on the back benches of the Q°Urt of Exchequer, or in the lobbies of the House of ODamons, may be in momentary expectation of their .j^P coming home, of their lawsuit being called on, of petition being ordered to lie on the table. They are not Mooners, but waiters upon Providence. „But the Mooners of Madrid are of another race. Ahey Moon with apparently no other earthly object because they like Mooning. Manana tbey will about doing some hing; to-day they Moon. And Jo-morrow in Spain never seems to arrive. It must in La temana de los tres Jueves, the week of three Thursdays. The Yankee loafer is obliged to put his het up, or at least to lean against a bar counter, ere ease. The English one is nothing jS^°nt an umbrella; but the steck-in-trade of the Mooner consists simply of a cloak and a far^0' or bttle book for making cigaritos. Prima i^every Spaniard out of doors looks like the First Vol -r' form, muffled up to the no-e in a ominous cloak, a slouched hat, and a pair of dark, feel r°US eye8< w'th bent brows, fixed on you. You Ilia ra^er frightened. You have heard of the ro- tnr/f363 caPa yespada. Here is the capa, the cloak, blad 1?e*°^rair)atically draped. Where can the Toledo &hd 6 be hidden ? When the cloak is without a cape, i of uniform black, and the eyes are overshadowed jjj^a Monstrous shovel hat, you are apt to feel even Pe nervous. You smell pitch. Your own cloak fern*8 -ou after the manner of a San Benito. You ^^ber with horror how many years Coporal Trim's 8ra *n dungeons of the Inquisition for no Ve:r offence than marrying a widow who sold Your mind is infinitely relieved when the 8 °f the mysterious cloak are disarranged, and the cinn Producing his librito, proceeds to twist a Jos This is, after all, only Don Fulone or Don ?» .a good-natured Mooner. He wraps himself ^jilln his toga and starts off, mooning in a sedate nJpandiose manner full of ineffable things. Jj. ?e cafes of Madrid are of enormous size, but it is thn Understand how their proprietors can ^ake Vr 111 Pay. They are full from morning to night of 0Iier8, but rake the tables with your eye, and not q 1 e in twenty glances can you discern a touch of jvj ?ur to denote that the customers are imbibing sti- g^ants. There is universal smoking, but the smokers 8 their tobacco bags and paper books with them. 6 cannot be any profit to tbe house. Very few Col.? 8eem to talce cotfee- Innumerable decanters of «. water, glasses, and a few little trays of sugar are t>a+ 011Jy table deckings. Save in the cafes specially ionised by foreigners there are no newspapers. eople gC tD the cafe not to read, but to moon. One perhaps, gives an order for some sugar. To presently enter nine other Mooners, whositdown, .loak enwrapped, over against him, and watch him his innocent beverage. Little boys wander in with l^tery tickets. The Mooners take them from the i £ y8> glance at the numbers, shrug their shoulders, T^?rmur Sabe Dios! Quien sabe and return them. as sometimes happen, but not of'en, a Mooner but a ^ecimo—the tenth part a ticket—not nine, ^ine and twenty Mocners gather round him the Waiters inspect the tickets, and give their opin- 4^1 88 to whether they consider the numbers favour- unfavourable. All this time the heavy velvet which shroud the portals are raised and thei> an<^ more mysterious men in cloaks make to t r bÎppearance, flit in a gbostly manner from table do »an<l Ait out again, consuming nothing. How cafes pay ? bei here are no female Mooners. Ladies of rank, not *ho ex^rarlJeros-, are rarely seen on foot, save at early going and returning from mass, or when they jt from their carriages for a short walk in the Very different this from Berlin, where only tjjj r^if?ht since I saw duchesses and princesses trot- thely up and down the Linden, a large-whiskered catnSl!llan Jeames only following them to see that they c]^6 to do harm. Even among the middle and lower you rarely see a female alone in Madrid. They a^lly run in couples and, so far from mooning, 5*°** alert and springy in their movements. You tta ■ r°be rustle; you see a mantilla the click of a blac liI Audible; a Parthian dart from a pair of big 9yes pierces through your waistcoat—sometimes Vig: transfixing the "chemise of flannel"—and the s^j011 i> gone. They are not handsome, the burgess eres. forking Madrilenos, but they have wonderful **ianH*0r male Mooners—the cloudy senores in litt] wbo stalk about every public place, saying to i,e and doing nothing the live-long day—1 am puzzled tain to what class of the population they really per- ig They don't belong to the workinsr classes—that «Her -nt' for the working men of Spain are a most Setic and laborious race. Are they hidalgos in ^Pa -e<^ circumstances ? Are they the incarnation of tbe long deferred ? Are they familiars of aJoj. a"olished Inquisition in the receipt of small pen- an(i. like most annuitants, living to an indefinite l^tp'j round them are busy crowds, attired in the and Parisian style, dandies and stockjobbers, tourists gje p°*nmercial travellers, all the noisy elements of a tjw- -?ty. But they kcpp, on their way unmoved, 4f„ -"tooners, ever faithful in their devotion to the Sha tree. In any case I am sure they are genuine knQ 'a.rds—Spaniards of the old old stock and I \n<i whom they inherited the habit of placid fh, philosophic Mooning. It was from the Moors. thbb" Were the first Mooners. The Manana tree is but the Arabs. In the bazaars of Algiers and ou m^v see to this day talebs renowned for great 1 &ctity -who si day wrapped to the eyes in their Rouses and dointr nothing. Peep into one of those w an<i delie-htftd litJ"'e Moorish coffee-houses, and tfe ^ho has just ordered a >'porthof coffee and 4rab Porter who is subrnitv s tjlere la Pn sbear—for in most of these cou_ e-houses tnere having—are each surrounded by P ^atoK- 83 tall and brown and lean as they, y ^be operations of coffee drinking and shavi g- are Moorish Mooners.

SEARCHING FOR GUY FAÙX,

EARL RUSSELL AND THE CATTLE…

THE RUSH TO THE BAR.

THE NEGRO IN JAMAICA.

A TRAGEDY ON THE HIGH SEAS.

THE A ST OF GORDON.

[No title]

[No title]

THE WOES OF HAIRDRESSING.

AN EXTRAORDINARY TRIAL.

Ithemarket S.

NOBLE GIFTS AND BENEFACTIONS.

THE LAW RELATING TO BIDDINGS…

A NOBLE STUD!

THE CASE OF CHARLOTTE WINSOR.

UNLUCKY WEDDING DAYS.

MELANCHOLY ACCIDENT AT A SHOOTING…

A REMARKABLE WILL CASE.