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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, August 28, 1841
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, August 28, 1841" ***

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VOL. 1.


       *       *       *       *       *




[Illustration: T]The following is extracted from the _Parliamentary
Guide_ for 18--:--"APPLEBITE, ISAAC (_Puddingbury_). Born March 25,
1780; descended from his grandfather, and has issue." And upon
reference to a monument in Puddingbury church, representing the first
Mrs. Applebite (who was a housemaid) industriously scrubbing a large
tea-urn, whilst another figure (supposed to be the second Mrs.
Applebite) is pointing reproachfully to a little fat cherub who is
blowing himself into a fit of apoplexy from some unassignable cause or
another--I say upon reference to this monument, upon which is blazoned
forth all the stock virtues of those who employ stonemasons, I find,
that in July, 18--, the said Isaac was gathered unto Abraham's bosom,
leaving behind him--a seat in the House of Commons--a relict--the issue
aforesaid, and £50,000 in the three per cents.

The widow Applebite had so arranged matters with her husband, that
two-thirds of the above sum were left wholly and solely to her, as some
sort of consolation under her bereavement of the "best of husbands and
the kindest of fathers." (_Vide_ monument.) Old Isaac must have been a
treasure, for his wife either missed him so much, or felt so desirous
to learn if there was another man in the world like him, that, as soon
as the monument was completed and placed in Puddingbury chancel, she
married a young officer in a dashing dragoon regiment, and started to
the Continent to spend the honeymoon, leaving her son--

AGAMEMNON COLLUMPSION APPLEBITE (the apoplectic "cherub" and the
"issue" alluded to in the _Parliamentary Guide_), to the care of

A.C.A. was the pattern of what a young man ought to be. He had 16,000
and odd pounds in the three per cents., hair that curled naturally,
stood five feet nine inches without his shoes, always gave a shilling
to a waiter, lived in a terrace, never stopped out all night (but
once), and paid regularly every Monday morning. Agamemnon Collumpsion
Applebite was a happy bachelor! The women were delighted to see him,
and the men to dine with him: to the one he gave _bouquets_; to the
other, cigars: in short, everybody considered A.C.A. as A1; and A.C.A.
considered that A1 was his proper mark.

It is somewhat singular, but no man knows when he _is_ really happy: he
may fancy that he wants for nothing, and may even persuade himself that
addition or subtraction would be certain to interfere with the
perfectitude of his enjoyment. He deceives himself. If he wishes to
assure himself of the exact state of his feelings, let him ask his
friends; they are disinterested parties, and will find out some
annoyance that has escaped his notice. It was thus with Agamemnon
Collumpsion Applebite. He had made up his mind that he wanted for
nothing, when it was suddenly found out by his friends that he was in a
state of felicitous destitution. It was discovered simultaneously, by
five mamas and eighteen daughters, that Agamemnon Collumpsion Applebite
_must_ want a wife; and that his sixteen thousand and odd pounds must
be a source of _undivided_ anxiety to him. Stimulated by the most
praiseworthy considerations, a solemn compact was entered into by the
aforesaid five mamas, on behalf of the aforesaid eighteen daughters, by
which they were pledged to use every means to convince Agamemnon
Collumpsion Applebite of his deplorable condition; but no unfair
advantage was to be taken to ensure a preference for any particular one
of the said eighteen daughters, but that the said Agamemnon Collumpsion
Applebite should be left free to exercise his own discretion, so far as
the said eighteen daughters were concerned, but should any other
daughter, of whatever mama soever, indicate a wish to become a
competitor, she was to be considered a common enemy, and scandalized

Agamemnon Collumpsion Applebite, about ten o'clock on the following
evening, was seated on a sofa, between Mrs. Greatgirdle and Mrs.
Waddledot (the two mamas deputed to open the campaign), each with a cup
of very prime Mocha coffee, and a massive fiddle-pattern tea-spoon. On
the opposite side of the room, in a corner, was a very large cage, in
the sole occupancy of a solitary Java sparrow.

"My poor bird looks very miserable," sighed Mrs. Greatgirdle, (the
hostess upon this occasion.)

"Very miserable!" echoed Mrs. Waddledot; and the truth of the remark
was apparent to every one.

The Java sparrow was moulting and suffering from a cutaneous disorder
at the same time; so what with the falling off, and scratching off of
his feathers, he looked in a most deplorable condition; which was
rendered more apparent by the magnitude of his cage. He seemed like the
_last_ debtor confined in the Queen's Bench.

"He has never been himself since the death of his mate." (Here the bird
scarified himself with great violence.) "He is so restless; and though
he eats very well, and hops about, he seems to have lost all care of
his person, as though he would put on mourning if he had it."

"Is there no possibility of dyeing his feathers?" remarked Agamemnon
Collumpsion, feeling the necessity of saying something.

"It is not the inky cloak, Mr. Applebite," replied Mrs. Greatgirdle,
"that truly indicates regret; but it's here," (laying her hand upon her
left side): "no--there, under his liver wing, that he feels it, poor
bird! It's a shocking thing to live alone."

"And especially in such a large cage," said Mrs. Waddledot. "_Your
house_ is rather large, Mr. Applebite?" inquired Mrs. Greatgirdle.

"Rather, ma'am," replied Collumpsion.

"Ain't you very lonely?" said Mrs. Waddledot and Mrs. Greatgirdle both
in a breath.

"Why, not--"

"Very lively, you were going to say," interrupted Mrs. G.

Now Mrs. G. was wrong in her conjecture of Collumpsion's reply. He was
about to say, "Why, not at all;" but she, of course, knew best what he
ought to have answered.

"I often feel for you, Mr. Applebite," remarked Mrs. Waddledot; "and
think how strange it is that you, who really are a nice young man--and
I don't say so to flatter you--that you should have been so
unsuccessful with the ladies."

Collumpsion's vanity was awfully mortified at this idea.

"It _is_ strange!" exclaimed Mrs. G "I wonder it don't make you
miserable. There is no home, I mean the '_Sweet, sweet_ home,' without
a wife. Try, try again, Mr. Applebite," (tapping his arm as she rose;)
"faint heart never won fair lady."

"I refused Mr. Waddledot three times, but I yielded at last; take
courage from that, and 24, Pleasant Terrace, may shortly become that
Elysium--a woman's home," whispered Mrs. W., as she rolled gracefully
to a card-table; and accidentally, _of course_, cut the ace of spades,
which she exhibited to Collumpsion with a very mysterious shake of the

Agamemnon returned to 24, Pleasant Terrace, a discontented man. He felt
that there was no one sitting up for him--nothing but a rush-light--the
dog might bark as he entered, but no voice was there to welcome him,
and with a heavy heart he ascended the two stone steps of his dwelling.

He took out his latch-key, and was about to unlock the door, when a
loud knocking was heard in the next street. Collumpsion paused, and
then gave utterance to his feelings. "That's music--positively music.
This is my house--there's my name on the brass-plate--that's my
knocker, as I can prove by the bill and receipt; and, yet, here I am
about to sneak in like a burglar. Old John sha'n't go to bed another
night; I'll not indulge the lazy scoundrel any longer, Yet the poor old
fellow nursed me when a child. I'll compromise the matter--I'll knock,
and let myself in." So saying, Collumpsion thumped away at the door,
looked around to see that he was unobserved, applied his latch-key, and
slipped into his house just as old John, in a state of great alarm and
undress, was descending the stairs with a candle and a boot-jack.

       *       *       *       *       *


We read in the _Glasgow Courier_ of an enormous salmon hooked at Govan,
which measured three feet, three inches in length. The _Morning Herald_
mentions several gudgeons of twice the size, caught, we understand, by
Alderman Humphery, and conveyed to Town per Blackwall Railway.

       *       *       *       *       *




_August 28, 1841._

We have received expresses from the Celestial Empire by our own private
electro-galvanic communication. As this rapid means of transmission
carries dispatches so fast that we generally get them even before they
are written, we are enabled to be considerably in advance of the common
daily journals; more especially as we have obtained news up to the end
of next week.

The most important paper which has come to hand is the _Macao Sunday
Times_. It appears that the fortifications for surrounding Pekin are
progressing rapidly, but that the government have determined upon
building the ramparts of japanned canvas and bamboo rods, instead of
pounded rice, which was thought almost too fragile to resist the
attacks of the English barbarians. Some handsome guns, of blue and
white porcelain, have been placed on the walls, with a proportionate
number of carved ivory balls, elaborately cut one inside the other.
These, it is presumed, will split upon firing, and produce incalculable
mischief and confusion. Within the gates a frightful magazine of gilt
crackers, and other fireworks, has been erected; which, in the event of
the savages penetrating the fortifications, will be exploded one after
another, to terrify them into fits, when they will be easily captured.
This precaution has been scarcely thought necessary by some of the
mandarins, as our great artist, Wang, has covered the external
joss-house with frantic figures that, must strike terror to every
barbarian. Gold paper has also been kept constantly burning, on altars
of holy clay, at every practicable point of the defences, which it is
hardly thought they will have the hardihood to approach, and the sacred
ducks of Fanqui have been turned loose in the river to retard the
progress of the infidel fleet.

During the storm of last week the portcullis, which hail been placed in
the northern gate, and was composed of solid rice paper, with
cross-bars of chop-sticks, was much damaged. It is now under repair,
and will be coated entirely with tea-chest lead, to render it perfectly
impregnable. The whole of the household troops and body-guard of the
emperor have also received new accoutrements of tin-foil and painted
isinglass. They have likewise been armed with varnished bladders,
containing peas and date stones, which produce a terrific sound upon
the least motion.

An Englishman has been gallantly captured this morning, in a small
boat, by one of our armed junks. He will eat his eyes in the
Palace-court this afternoon; and then, being enclosed in soft
porcelain, will be baked to form a statue for the new pagoda at
Bo-Lung, the first stone of which was laid by the late emperor, to
celebrate his victory over the rude northern islanders.


The last order of the government, prohibiting the exportation of tea
and rhubarb, has been issued by the advice of Lin, who translates the
English newspapers to the council. It is affirmed in these journals,
that millions of these desert tribes have no other beverage than tea
for their support. As their oath prohibits any other liquor, they will
be driven to water for subsistence, and, unable to correct its
unhealthy influence by doses of rhubarb, will die miserably. In
anticipation of this event, large catacombs are being erected near
their great city, on the authority of Slo-Lefe-Tee, who visited it last
year, and intends shortly to go there again. The rhubarb prohibition
will, it is said, have a great effect upon the English market for
plums, pickled salmon, and greengages; and the physicians, or disciples
of the great Hum, appear uncertain as to the course to be pursued.

The emperor has issued a chop to the Hong merchants, forbidding them to
assist or correspond with the invaders, under pain of having their
finger-nails drawn out and rings put in their noses. Howqua resists the
order, and it is the intention of Lin, should he remain obstinate, to
recommend his being pounded up with broken crockery and packed in
Chinese catty packages, to be forwarded, as an example, to the Mandarin
Pidding, of the wild island.

An English flag, stolen by a deserter from Chusan, will be formally
insulted to-morrow in the market-place, by the emperor and his court.
Dust will be thrown at it, accompanied by derisive grimaces, and it
will be subsequently hoisted, in scorn, to blow, at the mercy of the
winds, upon the summit of the palace, within sight of the barbarians.



_August 30._

The Sultan got very fuddled last night, with forbidden juice, in the
harem, and tumbled down the ivory steps leading from the apartment of
the favourite, by which accident he seriously cut his nose. Every guard
is to be bastinadoed in consequence, and the wine-merchant will be
privately sewn up in a canvas-bag and thrown into the Bosphorus this

A relation of Selim Pacha, despatched by the Sultan to collect taxes in
Beyrout, was despatched by the Syrians a few hours after his arrival.

The periodical conflagration of the houses, mosques, and synagogues, in
Smyrna, took place with great splendour on the 30th ult., and the next
will be arranged for the ensuing month, when everybody suspected of the
plague will receive orders from the government to remain in their
dwellings until they are entirely consumed. By this salutary
arrangement, it is expected that much improvement will take place in
the public health.

The inundation of the Nile has also been very favourable this year, The
water has risen higher than usual, and carried off several hundred poor
people. The Board of Guardians of the Alexandria Union are consequently
much rejoiced.

       *       *       *       *       *



"The air hath bubbles as the water hath."

  Huzza! huzza! there goes the balloon--
    'Tis up like a rocket, and off to the moon!
      Now fading from our view,
        Or dimly seen;
      Now lost in the deep _blue_
        Is Mr. _Green_!

  Pray have a care,
    In your path through the air,
      And mind well what you do;
        For if you chance to slip
      Out of your airy ship,
        Then _down_ you come, and all is _up_ with you.

       *       *       *       *       *


Two thousand and thirty-five remarkably fine calves, from their various
rural pasturages at Smithfield. Some of the _heads_ of the party have
since been seen in the very highest society.

       *       *       *       *       *


"What will you take?" said Peel to Russell, on adjourning from the
School of Design. "Anything you recommend." "Then let it be your
departure," was the significant rejoinder.

       *       *       *       *       *


"French agents are said to _be sowing discontent_ in Syria."--_Sunday

       *       *       *       *       *


Having advised you in our last paper of "Dress in general," we now
proceed to the important consideration of


a subject of such paramount interest and magnitude, that we feel an
Encyclopædia would be barely sufficient for its full developement; and
it is our honest conviction that, until professorships of this truly
noble art are instituted at the different universities, the same
barbarisms of style will be displayed even by those of gentle blood, as
now too frequently detract from the Augustan character of the age.

To take as comprehensive a view of this subject as our space will
admit, we have divided it into the quality, the cut, the ornaments, and
the pathology.


comprises _the texture, colour, and age of the materials_.

Of the texture there are only two kinds compatible with the reputation
of a gentleman--the very fine and the very coarse; or, to speak
figuratively--the Cachmere and the Witney blanket.

The latter is an emanation from the refinement of the nineteenth
century, for a prejudice in favour of "extra-superfine" formerly
existed, as the coarser textures, now prevalent, were confined
exclusively to common sailors, hackney-coachmen, and bum-bailiffs.
These frivolous distinctions are happily exploded, and the true
gentleman may now show in Saxony, or figure in Flushing--the one being
suggestive of his property, and the other indicative of his taste.
These remarks apply exclusively to woollens, whether for coats or

It is incumbent on every gentleman to have a perfect library of
waistcoats, the selection of which must be regulated by the cost of the
material, as it would be derogatory, in the highest degree, to a man
aspiring to the character of a _distingué_, to decorate his bosom with
a garment that would by any possibility come under the denomination of
"these choice patterns, only 7s. 6d." There are certain designs for
this important decorative adjunct, which entirely preclude them from
the wardrobes of the élite--the imaginative bouquets upon red-plush
grounds, patronised by the ingenious constructors of canals and
rail-roads--the broad and brilliant Spanish striped Valencias, which
distinguish the _savans_ or knowing ones of the stable--the cotton
(must we profane the word!) velvet impositions covered with botanical
diagrams done in distemper, and monopolized by lawyers' clerks and
small professionals--the _positive_ or genuine Genoa velvet, with
violent and showy embellishments of roses, dahlias, and peonies, which
find favour in the eyes of aldermen, attorneys, and the proprietors of
four-wheel chaises, are all to be avoided as the fifth daughter of a
clergyman's widow.

It is almost superfluous to add, that breeches can only be made of
white leather or white kerseymere, for any other colour or material
would awaken associations of the dancing-master, the waiter, the
butler, or the bumpkin, or, what is equally to be dreaded, "the highly
respectables" of the last century.

The dressing-gown is a portion of the costume which commands particular
attention; for though no man "can appear as a hero to his valet," he
must keep up the gentleman. This can only be done by the dressing-gown.
To gentlemen who occupy apartments, the _robe de chambre_, if properly
selected, is of infinite advantage; for an Indian shawl or rich
brocaded silk (of which this garment should only be constructed), will
be found to possess extraordinary pacific properties with the landlady,
when the irregularity of your remittances may have ruffled the
equanimity of her temper, whilst you are


whereas a gray Duffield, or a cotton chintz, would be certain to induce
deductions highly prejudicial to the respectability of your character,
or, what is of equal importance, to the duration of your credit.

The colour of your materials should be selected with due regard to the
species of garment and the tone of the complexion. If the face be of
that faint drab which your friends would designate _pallid_, and your
enemies sallow, a coat of pea-green or snuff-brown must be scrupulously
eschewed, whilst black or invisible green would, by contrast, make that
appear delicate and interesting, which, by the use of the former
colours, must necessarily seem bilious and brassy.

The rosy complexionist must as earnestly avoid all sombre tints, as the
inelegance of a healthful appearance should never be obtrusively
displayed by being placed in juxta-position with colours diametrically
opposite, though it is almost unnecessary to state that any one
ignorant enough to appear of an evening in a coat of any other colour
than blue or black (regimentals, of course, excepted), would certainly
be condemned to a quarantine in the servant's hall. There are colours
which, if worn for trousers by the first peer of the realm, would be as
condemnatory of his character as a gentleman, as levanting on the
settling-day for the Derby.

The dark drab, which harmonises with the mud--the peculiar
pepper-and-salt which is warranted not to grow gray with age--the
indescribable mixtures, which have evidently been compounded for the
sake of economy, must ever be exiled from the wardrobe and legs of a

The hunting-coat must be invariably of scarlet, due care being taken
before wearing to dip the tips of the tails in claret or port wine,
which, for new coats, or for those of gentlemen who do _not_ hunt, has
been found to give them an equally veteran appearance with the sweat of
the horse.

_Of the age_ it is only necessary to state, that a truly fashionable
suit should never appear under a week, or be worn longer than a month
from the time that it left the hands of its parent schneider.
Shooting-coats are exceptions to the latter part of this rule, as a
garment devoted to the field should always bear evidence of long
service, and a new jacket should be consigned to your valet, who, if he
understands his profession, will carefully rub the shoulders with a
hearth-stone and bole-ammonia, to convey the appearance of friction and
the deposite of the rust of the gun[1].

    [1] Gentlemen who are theoretical, rather than practical sportsmen,
        would find it beneficial to have a partridge carefully plucked,
        and the feathers sparingly deposited in the pockets of the
        shooting-jacket usually applied to the purposes of carrying
        game. Newgate Market possesses all the advantages of a
        preserved manor.

Of the cut, ornaments, and pathology of dress, we shall speak next
week, for these are equally essential to ensure


       *       *       *       *       *


We are informed by the _Times_ of Saturday, that at the late
Conservative enactment at D.L., not only his Royal Highness Prince
Albert, but the _infant_ Princess Royal, was "drunk, with the usual
honours."--[_Proh pudor!_--PUNCH.]

       *       *       *       *       *


Sibthorp, meeting Peel in the House of Commons, after congratulating
him on his present enviable position, finished the confab with the
following unrivalled conundrum:--"By the bye, which of your vegetables
does your Tamworth speech resemble!"--"Spinach," replied Peel, who, no
doubt, associated it with _gammon_.--"Pshaw," said the gallant Colonel,
"your rope inions (_your opinions_), to be sure!" Peel opened his
mouth, and never closed it till he took his seat at the table.

       *       *       *       *       *


Sir Francis Burdett, the superannuated Tory _tool_, proposed the
Conservative healths; and _Toole_ the second, as toast-master,
announced them to the assemblage.

       *       *       *       *       *



"Are the two ponies ready?"


"And the ass?"

"All right!"

"And you've, all five of you, got your fi'pennies for Tony Dolan, the
barber, at Kells?"

"Every one of us."

"Then be off; there's good boys! Ride and tie like Christians, and
don't be going double on the brute beasts; for a bit of a walk now and
then will just stretch your legs. Be back at five to dinner; and let us
see what bucks you'll look with your new-trimmed curls. Stay, there's
another fi'penny; spend that among you, and take care of yourselves, my
little jewels!"

Such were the parting queries and instructions of my kind old uncle to
five as roaring, mischievous urchins as ever stole whisky to soak the
shamrock on St. Patrick's day. The chief director, schemer, and
perpetrator of all our fun and devilry, was, strange to say, "my cousin
Bob:" the smallest, and, with one exception, the youngest of the party.
But Bob was his grandmother's "ashey pet"--his mother's "jewel"--his
father's "mannikin"--his nurse's "honey"--and the whole world's
"darlin' little devil of a rogue!" The expression of a face naturally
arch, beaming with good humour, and radiant with happy laughter, was
singularly heightened by a strange peculiarity of vision, which I am at
a loss to describe. It was, if the reader can idealise the thing, an
absolute "beauty," which, unfortunately, can only be written about by
the appliances of some term conveying the notion of a blemish. The
glances from his bright eyes seemed to steal out from under their long
fringe, the most reckless truants of exulting mirth. No matter what he
said, he looked a joke. Now for his orders:--

"Aisy with you, lads. Cousin Harry, take first ride on St. Patrick (the
name of the ass)--here's a leg up. The two Dicks can have Scrub and
Rasper. Jack and Billy, boys, catch a hold of the bridles, or devil a
ha'p'worth of ride and tie there'll be in at all, if them Dicks get the
start--Shanks' mare will take you to Kells. Don't be galloping off in
that manner, but shoot aisy! Remember, the ass has got to keep up with
you, and I've got to keep up with the ass. That's the thing--steady she
goes! It's an elegant day, and no hurry in life. Spider! come here,
boy--that's right. Down, sir! down, you devil, or wipe your paws. Bad
manners to you--look at them breeches! Never mind, there's a power of
rats at Tony Carroll's barn--it's mighty little out o' the way, and may
be we'll get a hunt. What say you?"

"A hunt, a hunt, by all manes! there's the fun of it! Come on,
lads--here's the place!--turn off, and go to work! Wait, wait! get a
stick a-piece, and break the necks of 'em! Hurrah!--in Spider!--find
'em boy! Good lad! Tare an ouns, you may well squeak! Good dog! good
dog! that's a grandfather!--we'll have more yet; the family always come
to the ould one's berrin'. I've seen 'em often, and mighty dacent they
behave. Damn Kells and the barber, up with the boords and go to
work!--this is something like sport! Houly Paul, there's one up my
breeches--here's the tail of him--he caught a hould of my
leather-garter. Come out of that, Spider! Spider, here he is--that's
it--give him another shake for his impudence--serve him out! Hurrah!"

"Fast and furious" grew our incessant urging on of the willing Spider,
for his continued efforts at extermination. At the end of two hours,
the metamorphosed barn was nearly stripped of its flooring--nine huge
rats lay dead, as trophies of our own achievements--the panting Spider,
"by turns caressing, and by turns caressed," licking alternately the
hands and faces of all, as we sat on the low ledge of the doorway,
wagging his close-cut stump of tail, as if he were resolved, by his
unceasing exertions, to get entirely rid of that excited dorsal

"This is the rael thing," said Bob.

"So it is," said Dick; "but"--

"But what?"

"Why, devil a ha'p'orth of Kells or hair-cutting there's in it."

"Not a taste," chimed in Jack.

"Nothing like it," echoed Will.

"What will we do?" said all at once. There was a short pause--after
which the matter was resumed by Dick, who was intended for a parson,
and therefore rather given to moralising.

"Life," quoth Dick--"life's uncertain."

"You may say that," rejoined Bob; "look at them rats."

"Tony Dowlan's a hard-drinking man, and his mother had fits."

"Of the same sort," said Bob.

"Well, then," continued Dick, "there's no knowing--he may be dead--if
so, how could he cut our hair?"

Here Dick, like Brutus, paused for a reply. Bob produced one.

"It's a good scheme, but it won't do; the likes of him never does
anything he's wanted to. He's the contrariest ould thief in Ireland! I
wish mama hadn't got a party; we'd do well enough but for that. Never
mind, boys, I've got it. There's Mikey Brian, he's the boy!

"What for?"

"To cut the hair of the whole of us."

"_He_ can't do it."

"Can't! wait, a-cushla, till I tell you, or, what's better, show you.
Come now, you devils. Look at the heels (Rasper's and Scrub's) of them
ponies! Did ever you see anything like them!--look at the cutting
there--Tony Dowlan never had the knack o' that tasty work in his dirty
finger and thumb--and who done that? Why Mikey Brian--didn't I see him
myself; and isn't he the boy that can 'bang Bannaker' at anything! Oh!
he'll cut us elegant!--he'll do the squad for a fi'penny--and then,
lads, there's them five others will be just one a-piece to buy gut and
flies! Come on, you Hessians!"

No sooner proposed than acceded to--off we set, for the eulogised
"Bannaker banging Mikey Brian."

A stout, handsome boy he was--rising four-and-twenty--a fighting,
kissing, rollicking, ball-playing, dancing vagabone, as you'd see in a
day's march--such a fellow as you only meet in Ireland--a bit of a
gardener, a bit of a groom, a bit of a futboy, and a bit of a

We reached the stables by the back way, and there, in his own peculiar
loft, was Mikey Brian, brushing a somewhat faded livery, in which to
wait upon the coming quality.

Bob stated the case, as far as the want of our locks' curtailment went,
but made no mention of the delay which occasioned our coming to Mikey;
on the contrary, he attributed the preference solely to our conviction
of his superior abilities, and the wish to give him a chance, as he
felt convinced, if he had fair play, he'd be engaged miles round,
instead of the hopping old shaver at Kells.

"I'm your man, Masther Robert."

"Who's first?"

"I am--there's the fi'penny--that's for the lot!"

"Good luck to you, sit down--will you have the Currah thoro'bred-cut?"

"That's the thing," said Bob.

"Then, young gentlement, as there ain't much room--and if you do be all
looking on, I'll be bothered--just come in one by one."

Out we went, and, in an inconceivably short space, Bob emerged.

Mikey advising: "Master Robert, dear, keep your hat on for the life of
you, for fear of cowld." A few minutes finished us all.

"This is elegant," said Bob. "Mikey, it will be the making of you; but
don't say a word till you hear how they'll praise you at dinner."

"Mum!" said Mikey, and off we rushed.

I felt rather astonished at the ease with which my hat sat; while those
of the rest appeared ready to fall over their noses. Being in a hurry,
this was passed over. The second dinner-bell rang--we bolted up for a
brief ablution--our hats were thrown into a corner, and, as if by one
consent, all eyes were fixed upon each other's heads!

Bob gave tongue: "The Devil's skewer to Mikey Brian! and bad luck to
the Currah thoro'bred cut! Not the eighth part of an inch of 'air there
is amongst the set of us. What will the master say? Never mind; we've
got the fi'pennies! Come to dinner!--by the Puck we are beauties!"

We reached the dining-room unperceived; but who can describe the agony
of my aunt Kate, when she clapped her eyes upon five such close-clipped
scarecrows. She vowed vengence of all sorts and descriptions against
the impudent, unnatural, shameful monster! Terms which Mikey Brian, in
the back-ground, appropriated to himself, and with the utmost
difficulty restrained his rising wrath from breaking out.

"What," continued aunt Kate, "what does he call this?"

"It's the thoro'bred Currah-cut, ma'am," said Bob, with one of his
peculiar glances at Mikey and the rest.

"And mighty cool wearing, I'll be bail," muttered Mikey.

"Does he call that hair-cutting?" screamed my aunt.

"That, and nothing but it," quietly retorted Bob, passing his hand over
his head; "you can't deny the cutting, ma'am."

"The young gentlemen look elegant," said Mikey.

"I'm told it's all the go, ma'am," said Bob.

"Wait!" said my aunt, with suppressed rage; "wait till I go to Kells."

This did not happen for six weeks; our aunt's anger was mollified as
our locks were once more human. Upon upbraiding "Tony Knowlan" the
murder came out. A hearty laugh ensured our pardon, and Mikey Brian's;
and the story of the "thoro'bred Currah-cut" was often told, as the
means by which "we all got a fi'penny bit a-piece."--FUSBOS.

       *       *       *       *       *

There is a portrait of a person so like him, that, the other day, a
friend who called took no notice whatever of the man, further than
saying he was a good likeness, but asked the portrait to dinner, and
only found out his mistake when he went up to shake hands with it at

       *       *       *       *       *

An American hearing that there was a fire in his neighbourhood, and
that it might possibly consume his house, took the precaution to _bolt_
his own door; that he might be, so far at least, beforehand with the
_devouring_ element.

       *       *       *       *       *


The peace, happiness, and prosperity of England, are threatened by
_Peel_; in Ireland, the picture is reversed: the safety of that country
is endangered by _Re-peal_. It would be hard to say which is worst.

       *       *       *       *       *


  Jane is a constant wench (so Sibthorp says);
  For in how _many_ shops you see _Jean stays_!

       *       *       *       *       *


The Count's fashioner sent in, the other day, his bill, which was a
pretty considerable time overdue, accompanied by the following polite

"Sir,--Your bill having been for a very long time standing, I beg that
it may be settled forthwith.


To which Snip received the following reply:--

"Sir,--I am very sorry that your bill should have been kept standing so
long. Pray request it to _sit_ down.


       *       *       *       *       *


It was in the year 1808, that myself and seven others resolved upon
taking chambers in Staples' Inn. Our avowed object was to study, but we
had in reality assembled together for the purposes of convivial
enjoyment, and what were then designated "sprees." Our stock consisted
of four hundred and twelve pounds, which we had drawn from our parents
and guardians under the various pretences of paying fees and procuring
books for the advancement of our knowledge in the sublime mysteries of
that black art called Law. In addition to our pecuniary resources, we
had also a fair assortment of wearing-apparel, and it was well for us
that parental anxiety had provided most of us with a change of garments
suitable to the various seasons. For a long time everything went on
riotously and prosperously. We visited the Theatres, the Coal-hole, the
Cider-cellars, and the Saloon, and became such ardent admirers of the
"Waterford system of passing a night and morning," that scarcely a day
came without a draft upon the treasury for that legal imposition upon
the liberty of the subject--the five-shilling fine; besides the
discharge of promissory notes as compensation for trifling damages done
to the heads and property of various individuals.

About a month after the formation of our association we were all
suffering severely from thirsty head-aches, produced, I am convinced,
by the rapid consumption of thirteen bowls of whiskey-punch on the
preceding night. The rain was falling in perpendicular torrents, and
the whole aspect of out-of-door nature was gloomy and sloppy, when we
were alarmed by the exclamation of Joseph Jones (a relation of the
Welsh Joneses), who officiated as our treasurer, and upon inquiring the
cause, were horror-stricken to find that we had arrived at our last
ten-pound note, and that the landlord had sent an imperative message,
requiring the immediate settlement of our back-rent. It is impossible
to paint the consternation depicted on every countenance, already
sufficiently disordered by previous suffering and biliary

I was the first to speak; for being the son of a shabby-genteel father,
I had witnessed in my infancy many of those schemes to raise the
needful, to which ambitious men with limited incomes are so frequently
driven. I therefore bid them be of good heart, for that any pawnbroker
in the neighbourhood would readily advance money upon the superfluous
wardrobe which we possessed. This remark was received with loud cheers,
which, I have no doubt, would have been much more vehement but from the
fatal effects of the whiskey-punch.

The landlord's claim was instantly discharged, and after several pots
of strong green tea, rendered innocuous by brandy, we sallied forth in
pursuit of what we then ignorantly conceived to be pleasure.

I will not pause to particularise the gradual diminution of our
property, but come at once to that period when, having consumed all our
superfluities, it become a serious subject of consideration, what
should next be sacrificed.

I will now proceed to make extracts from our general diary, merely
premising that our only attendant was an asthmatic individual named

_Dec. 2, 1808._--Peter reported stock--eight coats, eight waistcoats,
eight pairs of trousers, two ounces of coffee, half a quartern loaf,
and a ha'p'orth of milk. The eight waistcoats required for dinner.
Peter ordered to pop accordingly--proceeds 7s. 6d. Invested in a small
leg of mutton and half-and-half.

_Dec. 3._--Peter reported stock--coats _idem_, trousers _idem_--a
mutton bone--rent due--a coat and a pair of trousers ordered for
immediate necessities--lots drawn--Jones the victim. Moved the court to
grant him his trousers, as his coat was lined with silk, which would
furnish the trimmings--rejected. Peter popped the suit, and Jones went
to bed. All signed an undertaking to redeem Jones with the first
remittance from the country. Proceeds 40s. Paid rent, and dined on
à-la-mode beef and potatoes--beer limited to one quart. Peter hinted at
wages, and was remonstrated with on the folly and cruelty of his

_Dec. 4._--Peter reported stock--seven coats, seven pairs of trousers,
and a gentleman in bed. Washerwoman called--gave notice of detaining
linen unless settled with--two coats and one pair of trousers ordered
for consumption. Lots drawn--Smith the victim for coat and
trousers--Brown for the continuations only. Smith retired to bed--Brown
obtained permission to sit in a blanket. Proceeds of the above,
38s.--both pairs of trousers having been reseated. Jones very violent,
declaring it an imposition, and that every gentleman who had been
repaired, should enter himself so on the books. The linen redeemed,
leaving--nothing for dinner.

_Dec. 5._--Peter reported stock--four coats, and five pairs of
trousers. Account not agreeing, Peter was called in--found that
Williams had bolted--Jones offered to call him out, if we would dress
him for the day--Smith undertook to negotiate preliminaries on the same
conditions--Williams voted not worth powder and shot in the present
state of our finances. A coat and two pair of continuations ordered for
supplies--lots drawn--Black and Edwards the victims. Black retired to
bed, and Edwards to a blanket--proceeds, 20s. Jones, Smith, and Black,
petitioned for an increased supply of coals--agreed to. Dinner, a large
leg of mutton and baked potatoes. Peter lodged a detainer against the
change, as he wanted his hair cut and a box of vegetable pills--so he

_Dec. 6._--Peter reported stock--three coats, three pairs of trousers,
quarter of a pound of mutton, and one potato. Landlord sent a note
remonstrating against using the beds all day, and applying the blankets
to the purposes of dressing-gowns. Proposed, in consequence of this
impertinent communication, that the payment of the next week's rent be
disputed--carried _nem. con_. A coat and a pair of trousers ordered for
the day's necessities--Peter popped as usual--proceeds, 10s. 6d.--coals
bought--ditto a quire of paper, and the _et cets_. for home
correspondence. Blue devils very prevalent.

_Dec. 7._--Peter reported stock--two coats, two pairs of trousers, and
five gentlemen in bed. Smith hinted at the "beauties of _Burke_"--Peter
brought a note for Jones--everybody in ecstacy--Jones's jolly old uncle
from Glamorganshire had arrived in town. Huzza! safe for a 20l. Busker
(_that's myself_) volunteered his suit--Jones dressed and off in a
brace of shakes--caught Peter laughing--found it was a hoax of Jones's
to give us the slip--would have stripped Peter, only his clothes were
worth nothing--calculated the produce of the remaining suit at--

    Buttons   .  .  .  .  . a breakfast.
    Two sleeves  .  .  .  . one pint of porter.
    Body .  .  .  . .  .  . four plates of à-la-mode.
    Trousers (at per leg) . half a quartern loaf.

Caught an idea.--wrote an anonymous letter to the landlord, and told
him that an association had been formed to burke Colonel Sibthorp--his
lodgers the conspirators--that the scheme was called the "Lie-a-bed
plot"--poverty with his lodgers all fudge--men of immense wealth--get
rid of them for his own sake--old boy very nervous, having been in quod
for smuggling--gave us warning--couldn't go if we would. Landlord
redeemed our clothes. Ha! ha!--did him brown.

The above is a statement of what I suffered during my minority. I have
now the honour to be a magistrate and a member of Parliament.

       *       *       *       *       *



  Urge it no more! I must not wed
    One who is poor, so hold your prattle;
  My lips on love have ne'er been fed,
    With poverty I cannot battle.
  My choice is made--I know I'm right--
    Who wed for love starvation suffer;
  So I will study day and night
    To please and win a rich OLD BUFFER.

  Romance is very fine, I own;
    Reality is vastly better;
  I'm twenty--past--romance is flown--
    To Cupid I'm no longer debtor.
  Wealth, power, and rank--I ask no more--
    Let the world frown, with these I'll rough her--
  Give me an equipage and four,
    Blood bays, a page, and--rich OLD BUFFER.

  An opera-box shall be my court,
    Myself the sovereign of the women;
  There moustached loungers shall resort,
    Whilst Elssler o'er the stage is skimming.
  If any rival dare dispute
    The palm of _ton_, my set shall huff her;
  I'll reign supreme, make envy mute,
    When once I wed a rich OLD BUFFFER!

  "The heart"--"the feelings"--pshaw! for nought
    _They_ go, I grant, though quite enchanting
  In valentines by school-girls wrought:
    Nonsense! by me they are not wanting.
  A note! and, as I live, a ring!
    "Pity the sad suspense I suffer!"
  All's right. I knew to book I'd bring
    Old Brown. I've caught--
                            A RICH OLD BUFFER.

       *       *       *       *       *


A writer in a morning paper, eulogising the Licensed Victuallers' fête
at Vauxhall Gardens, on Tuesday evening, bursts into the following
magnificent flight:--"Wit has been profanely said, like the Pagan, to
deify the brute" (the writer will never increase the mythology); "but
here," (that is, in the royal property,) "while intellect and skill"
(together with Roman candles) "exhibit their various manifestations,
Charity" (arrack punch and blue fire) "throw their benign halo over the
festive scene" (in the circle and Widdicomb), "and not only sanctify
the enjoyment" (of ham and Green's ascent), "but improve" (the
appetite) "and elevate" (the victuallers) "the feelings" (and the
sky-rockets) "of all who participate in it" (and the sticks coming
down). "This is, truly an occasion when every licensed victualler
should be at his post" (with a stretcher in waiting).

       *       *       *       *       *


As the coming session of Parliament is likely to be a busy one--for
PUNCH--we have engaged some highly talented gentlemen expressly to
report the fun in the House. The public will therefore have the benefit
of all the senatorial brilliancy, combined with our own peculiar powers
of description. Sibthorp--(scintillations fly from our pen as we trace
the magic word)--shall, for one session at least, have justice done to
his Sheridanic mind. Muntz shall be cut with a friendly hand, and Peter
Borthwick feel that the days of his histrionic glories are returned,
when his name, and that of "Avon's swan," figured daily in the
"_Stokum-cum-Pogis Gazette_." Let any member prove himself worthy of
being associated with the brilliant names which ornament our pages, and
be certain we will insure his immortality. We will now proceed to our
report of


          This morn at crow-cock,
          Great Doctor Locock
  Decided that her Majesty had better
  Remain at home, for (as _I_ read the letter)
  He thought the opening speech
  Would be "more honoured in the breach
  Than the observance." So here I am,
  To read a royal speech without a flam.
  Her Majesty continues to receive
  From Foreign Powers good reasons to believe
  That, for the universe, they would not tease her,
  But do whate'er they could on earth to please her.
        A striking fact,
        That proves each act
  Of _us_, the Cabinet, has been judicious,
  Though of our conduct _some_ folks _are_ suspicious.
  Her Majesty has also satisfaction
  To state the July treaty did succeed
  (Aided, no doubt, by Napier's gallant action),
  And that in peace the Sultan smokes his weed.
  That France, because she was left out,
  Did for a little while--now bounce--now pout,
  Is in the best of humours, and will still
  Lend us her Jullien, monarch of quadrille!
  And as her Majesty's a peaceful woman,
  She hopes we shall get into rows with no man.
  Her Majesty is also glad to say,
  That as the Persian troops have march'd away,
  Her Minister has orders to resume
  His powers at Teheran, where he's ta'en a room.
  Her Majesty regrets that the Chinese
  Are running up the prices of our teas:
  But should the Emperor continue crusty,
  Elliot's to find out if his jacket's dusty.
  Her Majesty has also had the pleasure
  (By using a conciliatory measure)
  To settle Spain and Portugal's division
  About the Douro treaty's true provision.
  Her Majesty (she grieves to say) 's contrived to get,
  Like all her predecessors, into debt--
  In Upper Canada, which, we suppose,
  By this time is a fact the Council knows,
  And what they think, or say, or write about it,
  You'll he advised of, and the Queen don't doubt it,
  But you'll contrive to make the thing all square,
  So leaves the matter to your loyal care.
  Her Majesty, I'm proud to say, relies
  On you with confidence for the supplies;
  And, as there's much to pay, she begs to hint
  She hopes sincerely you'll not spare the Mint.
  The public till,
  I much regret to say, is looking ill;
  For Canada and China, and the Whigs--no, no--
  Some other prigs--have left the cash so-so:
  But as our soldiers and our tars, brave lads,
  Won't shell out shells till we shell out the brads,
  Her Majesty desires you'll be so kind
  As to devise some means to raise the wind,
  Either by taxing more or taxing less,
  Relieving or increasing our distress;
  Or by increasing twopennies to quarterns,
  Or keeping up the price which "Commons shortens;"
  By making weavers' wages high or low,
  Or other means, but what we do not know.
  But the one thing our royal mistress axes,
  Is, that you'll make the people pay their taxes.
  The last request, I fear, will cause surprise--
  Her Majesty requests _you to be wise_.
  If you comply at once, the world will own
  It is the greatest miracle e'er known.

       *       *       *       *       *


Man is the only animal that cooks his dinner before he eats it. All
other species of the same genus are content to take the provisions of
nature as they find them; but man's reason has designed pots and
roasting-jacks, stewpans and bakers' ovens; thus opening a wide field
for the exercise of that culinary ingenuity which has rendered the
names of Glasse and Kitchiner immortal. Of such importance is the
gastronomic art to the well-being of England, that we question much if
the "wooden walls," which have been the theme of many a song, afford
her the same protection as her dinners. The ancients sought, by the
distribution of crowns and flowers, to stimulate the enterprising and
reward the successful; but England, despising such empty honours and
distinctions, tempts the diffident with a haunch of venison, and
rewards the daring with real turtle.

If charity seeks the aid of the benevolent, she no longer trusts to the
magic of oratory to "melt the tender soul to pity," and untie the
purse-strings; but, grown wise by experience, she sends in her card in
the shape of "a guinea ticket, bottle of wine included;" and thus
appeals, if not to the heart, at least to its next-door neighbour--the

The hero is no longer conducted to the temple of Victory amid the
shouts of his grateful and admiring countrymen, but to the Freemason's,
the Crown and Anchor, or the Town Hall, there to have his plate heaped
with the choicest viands, his glass tilled from the best bins, and "his
health drank with three times three, and a little one in."

The bard has now to experience "the happiest moment of his life" amid
the jingling of glasses, the rattle of dessert plates, and the
stentorian vociferations of the toast-master to "charge your glasses,
gentlemen--Mr. Dionysius Dactyl, the ornament of the age, with nine
times nine," and to pour out the flood of his poetic gratitude, with
half a glass of port in one hand and a table-napkin in the other.

The Cicero who has persuaded an enlightened body of electors to receive
£10,000 decimated amongst them, and has in return the honour of
sleeping in "St. Stephen's," and smoking in "Bellamy's," or, to be less
figurative, who has been returned as their representative in
Parliament, receives the foretaste of his importance in a "public
dinner," which commemorates his election; or should he desire to
express "the deep sense of his gratitude," like Lord Mahon at Hertford,
he cannot better prove his sincerity than by the liberal distribution
of invitations for the unrestrained consumption of mutton, and the
unlimited imbibition of "foreign wines and spirituous liquors."

If a renegade, like Sir Francis Burdett, is desirous of making his
apostacy the theme of general remark--of surprising the world with an
exhibition of prostrated worth--let him not seek the market-cross to
publish his dishonour, whilst there remains the elevated chair at a
dinner-table. Let him prove himself entitled to be ranked as a man, by
the elaborate manner in which he seasons his soup or anatomises a
joint. Let him have the glass and the towel--the one to cool the
tongue, which must burn with the fulsome praises of those whom he has
hitherto decried, and the other as a ready appliance to conceal the
blush which must rush to the cheek from the consciousness of the
thousand recollections of former professions awakened in the minds of
every applauder of his apostacy. Let him have a Toole to give bold
utterance to the toasts which, in former years, would have called forth
his contumely and indignation, and which, even now, he dare only
whisper, lest the echo of his own voice should be changed into a curse.
Let him have wine, that his blood may riot through his veins and drive
memory onward. Let him have wine, that when the hollow cheers of his
new allies ring in his ears he may be incapable of understanding their
real meaning; or, when he rises to respond to the lip-service of his
fellow bacchanals, the fumes may supply the place of mercy, and save
him from the abjectness of self-degradation. Burdett! the 20th of
August will never be forgotten! You have earned an epitaph that will
scorch men's eyes--

  "To the last a renegade."[2]
    *      *      *      *

    [2] "Siege of Corinth."

Who that possesses the least reflection ever visited a police-office
without feeling how intimately it was connected with the cook-shop! The
victims to the intoxicating qualities of pickled salmon, oyster-sauce,
and lobster salad, are innumerable; for where one gentleman or lady
pleads guilty to too much wine, a thousand extenuate on the score of
indigestion. We are aware that the disorganisation of the digestive
powers is very prevalent--about one or two in the morning--and we have
no doubt the Conservative friends of Captain Rous, who patriotically
contributed five shillings each to the Queen, and one gentleman (a chum
of our own at Cheam, if we mistake not) a sovereign to the poor-box,
were all doubtlessly suffering from this cause, combined with their
enthusiasm for the gallant Rous, and--_proh pudor!_--Burdett.

How much, then, are we indebted to our cooks! those perspiring
professors of gastronomy and their valuable assistants--the industrious
scullery-maids. Let not the Melbourne opposition to this meritorious
class, be supported by the nation at large; for England would soon
cease to occupy her present proud pre-eminence, did her rulers, her
patriots, and her heroes, sit down to cold mutton, or the villanously
dressed "joints ready from 12 to 5." Justice is said to be the
foundation of all national prosperity--we contend that it is
repletion--that Mr. Toole, the toast-master, is the only embodiment of
fame, and that true glory consists of a gratuitous participation in
"Three courses and a dessert!"

       *       *       *       *       *


  Great Bulwer's works fell on Miss Basbleu's head.
  And, in a moment, lo! the maid was dead!
  A jury sat, and found the verdict plain--
  "She died of _milk_ and _water on the brain_."

       *       *       *       *       *


[Illustration: TRIMMING A W(H)IG.]

       *       *       *       *       *


    [The bronze statue of Napoleon which was last placed on the summit
    of the grand column at Boulogne with extraordinary ceremony, has
    been turned, by design or accident, with its back to England.]

  Upon its lofty column's stand,
    Napoleon takes his place;
  His back still turned upon that land
    That never saw his face.


The letters V.P.W. scratched by some person on the brow of the statue
of Napoleon while it lay on the ground beside the column, which were
supposed to stand for the insulting words _Vaincu par Wellington_, have
given great offence to the French. We have authority for contradicting
this unjust explanation. The letters are the work of an ambitious
Common Councilman of Portsoken Ward, who, wishing to associate himself
with the great Napoleon, scratched on the bronze the initials of his

       *       *       *       *       *

    [Transcriber's note: This was marked as "NO. 3", but it is the 5th
    one of the series.]


  "O fly with me, lady, my gallant _destrere_
    Is as true as the brand by my side;
  Through flood and o'er moorland his master he'll bear,
    With the maiden he seeks for a bride."
  This, this was the theme of the troubadour's lay,
    And thus did the lady reply:--
  "Sir knight, ere I trust thee, look hither and say,
    Do you see any green in my eye?"

  "O, doubt me not, lady, my lance shall maintain
    That thou'rt peerless in beauty and fame;
  And the bravest should eat of the dust of the plain,
    Who would quaff not a cup to thy name."
  "I doubt not thy prowess in list or in fray,
    For none dare thy courage belie;
  And I'll trust thee, though kindred and priest say me nay--
    When you see any green in my eye!"

       *       *       *       *       *



Mr. Solomons begs to announce to reporters of newspapers, that he has
constructed, at a very great expense, several sets of new glasses,
which will enable the wearer to see as small or as great a number of
auditors, at public conferences and political meetings, as may suit his
purpose. Mr. Solomons has also invented a new kind of ear-trumpet,
which will enable a reporter to hear only such portions of an harangue
as may be in accordance with his political bias; or should there be
nothing uttered by any speaker that may suit his purpose, these
ear-trumpets will change the sounds of words and the construction of
sentences in such a way as to be incontrovertible, although every
syllable should be diverted from its original meaning and intention.
They have also the power of larding a speech with "loud cheers," or
"strong disapprobation."

These valuable inventions have been in use for some years by Mr.
Solomons' respected friend, the editor of the _Times_; but no publicity
has been given to them, until Mr. S. had completely tested their
efficacy. He has now much pleasure in subjoining, for the information
of the public, the following letter, of the authenticity of which Mr.
S. presumes no one can entertain a doubt.


It is with much pleasure that I am enabled, my dear Solomons, to give
my humble testimony in favour of your new political glasses and
ear-trumpet. By their invaluable aid I have been enabled, for some
years, to see and hear just what suited my purpose. I have recommended
them to my _protégé_, Sir Robert Peel, who has already tried the
glasses, and, I am happy to state, does not see quite so many
objections to a fixed duty as he did before using these wonderful
illuminators. The gallant Sibthorp (at my recommendation) carried one
of your ear-trumpets to the House on Friday last, and states that he
heard his honoured leader declare, "that the Colonel was the only man
who ought to be Premier--after himself."

If these testimonies are of any value to you, publish them by all
means, and believe me.

Yours faithfully,
_Printing House Square._

Mr. S. begs to state, that though magnifying and diminishing glasses
are no novelty, yet his invention is the only one to suit the interest
of parties without principle.

       *       *       *       *       *


"What sentimental character does the re-elected Speaker remind you
of?"--Ans. by Croker: "P_(shaw!) Lefevre_, to be sure."

       *       *       *       *       *


We regret to state that the second ball at the Boulogne _fête_ was
simply remarkable from "its having gone off without any disturbance."
Where _were_ the national guards?

       *       *       *       *       *


A corresponedent of the _Times_ forwards the alarming intelligence that
at the Boulogne Races the _stakes_ never _fill_! Sibthorp, the gifted
Sib, ever happy at expedients, ingeniously recommends a _trial_ of the

       *       *       *       *       *



  "Ah! Julia, time all tilings destroys,
    The heart, the blood, the pen;
  But come, I'll re-enact young joy
    And be myself again.

  "Yet stay, sweet Julia, how is this
    Thine are not lips at all;
  Your face is _plastered_, and you kiss,
    Like Thisbe--_through a wall_."

       *       *       *       *       *


1. The capital of this Company is to consist of £0,000,001; one-half of
it to be vested in Aldgate Pump, and the other moiety in the Dogger

2. Shares, at £50 each, will be issued to any amount; and interest paid
thereon when convenient.

3. A board, consisting of twelve directors, will be formed; but, to
save trouble, the management of the Company's affairs will be placed in
the hands of the secretary.

4. The duties of trustees, auditor, and treasurer, will also be
discharged by the secretary.

5. Each shareholder will he presented with a gratuitous copy of the
Company's regulations, printed on fine foolscap.

6. Individuals purchasing annuities of this company, will be allowed a
large-rate of interest on paper for their money, calculated on an
entirely novel sliding-scale. Annuitants will be entitled to receive
their annuities whenever they can get them.

7. The Company's office will be open at all hours for the receipt of
money; but it is not yet determined at what time the paying branch of
the department will come into operation.

8. The secretary will be allowed the small salary of £10,000 a-year.

9. In order to simplify the accounts, there will be no books kept. By
this arrangement, a large saving will be effected in the article of
clerks, &c.

10. The annual profits of the company will be fixed at 20 per cent.,
but it is expected that there will be no inquiry made after dividends.

11. All monies received for and by the company, to be deposited in the
breeches-pocket of the secretary, and not to be withdrawn from thence
without his special sanction.

12. The establishment to consist of a secretary and porter.

13. The porter is empowered to act as secretary in the absence of that
officer; and the secretary is permitted to assist the porter in the
arduous duties of his situation.

*** Applications for shares or annuities to be made to the secretary of
the Provident Annuity Company, No. 1, Thieves Inn.

       *       *       *       *       *


Our reporter has just forwarded an authentic statement, in which he
vouches, with every appearance of truth, that "Lord Melbourne dined at
home on Wednesday last." The neighbourhood is in an agonising state of


(_Particularly exclusive_.)

Our readers will be horrified to learn the above is not the whole
extent of this alarming event. From a private source of the highest
possible credit, we are informed that his "Lordship also took tea."


Great Heavens! when will our painful duties end? We tremble as we
write,--may we be deceived!--but we are compelled to announce the
agonising fact--"he also supped!"


(_From our own reporter on the spot_!)

DEAR SIR,--"The dinner is fatally true! but, I am happy to state, there
are doubts about the tea, and you may almost wholly contradict the


"I have only time to say, things are not so bad! The tea is disproved,
and the supper was a gross exaggeration.

"N.B. My horse is dead!"


Hurrah! Glorious news! There is no truth in the above fearful rumour;
it is false from beginning to end, and, doubtless, had its vile origin
from some of the "adverse faction," as it is clearly of such a nature
as to convulse the country. To what meanness will not these Tories
stoop, for the furtherance of their barefaced schemes of oppression and
pillage! The facts they have so grossly distorted with their tortuous
ingenuity and demoniac intentions, are simply these:--A saveloy was
ordered by one of the upper servants (who is on board wages, and finds
his own kitchen fire), the boy entrusted with its delivery mistook the
footman for his lordship. This is very unlikely, as the man is willing
to make an affidavit he had "just cleaned himself," and therefore, it
is clear the boy must have been a paid emissary. But the public will be
delighted to learn, to prevent the possibility of future
mistakes--"John" has been denuded of his whiskers--the only features
which, on a careful examination, presented the slightest resemblance to
his noble master. In fact, otherwise the fellow is remarkably

       *       *       *       *       *



It being now an established axiom that every member goes into
Parliament for the sole purpose of advancing his own private interest,
and not, as has been ignorantly believed, for the benefit of his
country or the constituency he represents, it becomes a matter of vast
importance to those individuals who have not had the advantage of long
experience in the house, to be informed of the mode usually adopted by
honourable members in the discharge of their legislative duties. With
this view the writer, who has, for the last thirty years, done business
on both sides of the house, and always with the strictest regard to the
main chance, has collected a number of hints for the guidance of
juvenile members, of which the following are offered as a sample:--

HINT 1.--It is a vulgar error to imagine that a man, to be a member of
Parliament, requires either education, talents, or honesty: all that it
is necessary for him to possess is--impudence and humbug!

HINT 2.--When a candidate addresses a constituency, he should promise
everything. Some men will only pledge themselves to what their
conscience considers right. Fools of this sort can never hope to be


HINT 3.--Oratory is a showy, but by no means necessary, accomplishment
in the house. If a member knows when to say "Ay" or "No," it is quite
sufficient for all useful purposes.

HINT 4.--If, however, a young member should be seized with, the desire
of speaking in Parliament, he may do so without the slighest regard to
sense, as the reporters in the gallery are paid for the purpose of
making speeches for honourable members; and on the following morning he
may calculate on seeing, in the columns of the daily papers, a full
report of his splendid

[Illustration: MAIDEN SPEECH.]

HINT 5.--A knowledge of the exact time to cry "Hear, hear!" is
absolutely necessary. A severe cough, when a member of the opposite
side of the house is speaking, is greatly to be commended; cock-crowing
is also a desirable qualification for a young legislator, and, if
judiciously practised, cannot fail to bring the possessor into the
notice of his party.

HINT 6.--The back seats in the gallery are considered, by several
members, as the most comfortable for taking a nap on.

HINT 7.--If one honourable member wishes to tell another honourable
member that he is anything but a gentleman, he should be particular to
do so within the walls of the house--as, in that case, the Speaker will
put him under arrest, to prevent any unpleasant consequences arising
from his hasty expressions.

HINT 8.--If a member promise to give his vote to the minister, he must
in honour do so--unless he happen to fall asleep in the smoking-room,
and so gets shut out from the division of the house.

HINT 9.--No independent member need trouble himself to understand the
merits of any question before the house. He may, therefore, amuse
himself at Bellamy's until five minutes before the Speaker's bell rings
for a division.

       *       *       *       *       *


"The health of the Earl of Winchilsea and the Conservative members of
the House of Peers," was followed, amid intense cheering, with the glee

  "Swearing death to traitor slaves!"--_Times_.

       *       *       *       *       *


Several scientific engineers have formed themselves into a company, and
are about applying for an Act of Parliament to enable them to take a
lease of Joe Hume, for the purpose of opposing the Archimedean Screw.
Public feeling is already in favour of the "Humedean," and the "Joe"
shares are rising rapidly.

       *       *       *       *       *


One of the expedients adopted by the cheap-knowledge-mongers to convey
so-called "information" to the vulgar, has been, we flatter ourselves,
successfully imitated in our articles on the Stars and the Thermometer.
They are by writers engaged expressly for the respective subjects,
because they will work cheaply and know but little of what they are
writing about, and therefore make themselves the better understood by
the equally ignorant. We do hope that they have not proved themselves
behindhand in popular humbug and positive error, and that the blunders
in "the Thermometer"[3] are equally as amusing as those of the then
big-wig who wrote the treatise on "Animal Mechanics," published by our
rival Society for Diffusing Useful Knowledge.

[3] One of these blunders the author must not be commended for; it is
attributable to a facetious mistake of the printer. In giving the
etymology of the Thermometer, it should have been "measure of _heat_,"
and not "measure of _feet_." We scorn to deprive our devil of a joke so
worthy of him.

Another of their methods for obtaining cheap knowledge it is now our
intention to adopt. Having got the poorest and least learned authors we
could find (of course for cheapness) for our former pieces of
information, we have this time engaged a gentleman to mystify a few
common-place subjects, in the style of certain articles in the "Penny
Cyclopædia." As his erudition is too profound for ordinary
comprehensions--as he scorns gain--as the books he has hitherto
published (no, privated) have been printed at his own expense, for the
greater convenience of reading them himself, for nobody else does
so--as, in short, he is in reality a cheap-knowledge man, seeing that
he scorns pay, and we scorn to pay him--we have concluded an engagement
with him for fourteen years.

The subject on which we have directed him to employ his vast scientific
acquirements, is one which must come home to the firesides of the
married and the bosoms of the single, namely, the art of raising a
flame; in humble imitation of some of Young's Knights' Thoughts, which
are directed to the object of lightening the darkness of servants,
labourers, artisans, and chimney-sweeps, and in providing guides to the
trades or services of which they are already masters or mistresses. We
beg to present our readers with






Take a small cylindrical aggregation of parallelopedal sections of the
ligneous fibre (vulgarly denominated a bundle of fire-wood), and
arrange a fractional part of the integral quantity rectilineally along
the interior of the igneous receptacle known as a grate, so as to form
an acute angle (of, say 25°) with its base; and one (of, say 65°) with
the posterior plane that is perpendicular to it; taking care at the
same time to leave between each parallelopedal section an insterstice
isometrical with the smaller sides of any one of their six
quadrilateral superficies, so as to admit of the free circulation of
the atmospheric fluid. Superimposed upon this, arrange several
moderate-sized concretions of the hydro-carburetted substance (_vulgo_
coal), approximating in figure as nearly as possible to the rhombic
dodecahedron, so that the solid angles of each concretion may
constitute the different points of contact with those immediately
adjacent. Insert into the cavity formed by the imposition of the
ligneous fibre upon the inferior transverse ferruginous bar, a sheet of
laminated lignin, or paper, compressed by the action of the digits into
an irregular spheroid.

These preliminary operations having been skilfully performed, the
process of combustion may be commenced. For this purpose, a smaller
woody paralleloped--the extremities of which have been previously
dipped in sulphur in a state of liquefaction--must be ignited and
applied to the laminated lignin, or waste paper, and so elevate its
temperature to a degree required for its combustion, which will be
communicated to the ligneous superstructure; this again raises the
temperature of the hydro-carburet concretion, and liberates its
carburetted hydrogen in the form of gas; which gas, combining with the
oxygen of the atmosphere, enters into combustion, and a general
ignition ensues. This, in point of fact, constitutes what is popularly
termed--"lighting a fire."

       *       *       *       *       *


In an action lately tried at the Cork Assizes, a lady obtained _fifteen
hundred pounds damages_, for a breach of promise of marriage, against a
faithless lover. Lady Morgan sends us the following trifle on the

  What! _fifteen hundred!_--'tis a sum severe;
    The fine by far the injury o'erreaches.
  For _one_ poor _breach_ of promise 'tis too dear--
    'Twould be sufficient for a _pair of breaches_!

       *       *       *       *       *


Several designing individuals, whose talents for _drawing_ on paper are
much greater than those of Charles Kean for drawing upon the stage, met
together at Somerset House, on Monday last, to distribute prizes among
their scholars. Prince Albert presided, gave away the prizes with great
suavity, and made a speech which occupied exactly two seconds and

The first prize was awarded to Master Palmerston, for a successful
_design_ for completely frustrating certain commercial _views_ upon
China, and for his new invention of _auto-painting_. Prize: an order
upon Truefit for a new wig.

Master John Russell was next called up.--This talented young gentleman
had designed a gigantic "penny loaf;" which, although too immense for
practical use, yet, his efforts having been exclusively directed to
fanciful design, and not to practical possibility, was highly
applauded. Master Russell also evinced a highly precocious talent for
_drawing_--his salary. Prize: a splendidly-bound copy of the New
Marriage Act.

The fortunate candidate next upon the list, was Master Normanby. This
young gentleman brought forward a beautiful design for a new prison, so
contrived for criminals to be excluded from light and society, in any
degree proportionate with their crimes. This young gentleman was
brought up in Ireland, but there evinced considerable talent in
_drawing_ prisoners out of durance vile. He was much complimented on
the salutary effect upon his studies, which his pupilage at the school
of design had wrought. Prize: an order from Colburn for a new novel.

Master Melbourne, who was next called up, seemed a remarkably fine boy
of his age, though a little too old for his short jacket. He had
signalised himself by an exceedingly elaborate _design_ for the
Treasury benches. This elicited the utmost applause; for, by this plan,
the seats were so ingeniously contrived, that, once occupied, it would
be a matter of extreme difficulty for the sitter to be _absquatulated_,
even by main force. Prize: a free ticket to the licensed victuallers'

The Prince then withdrew, amidst the acclamations of the assembled

       *       *       *       *       *


There is always much difference of opinion existing as to the number of
theatres which ought to be licensed in the metropolis. Our friend Peter
Borthwick, whose mathematical acquirements are only equalled by his
"_heavy fathers_," has suggested the following formula whereby to
arrive at a just conclusion:--Take the number of theatres, multiply by
the public-houses, and divide by the dissenting chapels, and the
quotient will be the answer. This is what Peter calls

[Illustration: COMING TO A DIVISION.]

       *       *       *       *       *


LADY B---- (who, it is rumoured, has an eye to the bedchamber) was
interrogating Sir Robert Peel a little closer than the wily minister
_in futuro_ approved of. After several very evasive answers, which had
no effect on the lady's pertinacity, Sir Robert made her a graceful
bow, and retired, humming the favourite air of--


       *       *       *       *       *


It is asserted that a certain eminent medical man lately offered to a
publisher in Paternoster-row a "Treatise on the Hand," which the worthy
bibliopole declined with a shake of the head, saying, "My dear sir, we
have got too many _treatises on our hands_ already."

       *       *       *       *       *


The _Commerce_ states "the cost of the mansion now building for Mr.
Hope, in the Rue St. Dominique, including furniture and objects of art,
is estimated at six hundred thousand pounds!"--[If this is an attribute
of _Hope_, what is reality?--ED. PUNCH.]

       *       *       *       *       *


We perceive that the severity of the summer has prevented the entire
banishment of furs in the fashionable _quartiers_ of the metropolis. We
noticed three fur caps, on Sunday last, in Seven Dials. Beavers are,
however, superseded by gossamers; the crowns of which are, among the
élite of St. Giles's, jauntily opened to admit of ventilation, in
anticipation of the warm weather. Frieze coats are fast giving way to
pea-jackets; waistcoats, it is anticipated, will soon be discarded, and
brass buttons are completely out of vogue.

We have not noticed so many highlows as Bluchers upon the
understandings of the promenaders of Broad-street. Ancle-jacks are, we
perceive, universally adopted at the elegant _soirées dansantes_,
nightly held at the "Frog and Fiddle," in Pye-street, Westminster.

       *       *       *       *       *


We understand that Sir M.A. Shee is engaged in painting the portraits
of Sir Willoughhy Woolston Dixie and Mr. John Bell, the lately-elected
member for Thirsk, which are intended for the exhibition at the Royal
Academy. If Folliot Duff's account of their dastardly conduct in the
Waldegrave affair be correct, we cannot _imagine_ two gentlemen more
worthy the labours of the

[Illustration: HANGING COMMITTEE.]

       *       *       *       *       *


We have been informed, on authority upon which we have reason to place
much reliance, that several distinguished members of the upper and
lower houses of Parliament intend moving for the following important
returns early in the present session:--


Lord Palmerston will move for a return of all the _papillote_ papers
contained in the red box at the Foreign Office.

The Duke of Wellington will move for a return of the Tory taxes.

The Marquis of Downshire will move for a return of his political

Lord Melbourne will move for a return of place and power.

The Marquis of Westmeath will move for a return of the days when he was

The Marquis Wellesley will move for a return of the pap-spoons
manufactured in England for the last three years.


Sir Francis Burdett will move for a return of his popularity in

Lord John Russell will move that the return of the Tories to office is
extremely inconvenient.

Captain Rous will move for a return of the number of high-spirited
Tories who were conveyed on stretchers to the different station-houses,
on the night of the ever-to-be-remembered Drury-lane dinner.

Sir E.L. Bulwer will move for a return of all the half-penny ballads
published by Catnach and Co. during the last year.

Morgan O'Connell will move for a return of all the brogues worn by the
bare-footed peasantry of Ireland.

Colonel Sibthorp will move for a return of his wits.

Peter Borthwick will move for a return of all the kettles convicted of
singing on the Sabbath-day.

Sir Robert Peel will move for a return of all the ladies of the
palace--to the places from whence they came.

Ben D'Israeli will move for a return of all the hard words in Johnson's

       *       *       *       *       *


The _Sunday Times_ states, that "several of the _heads_ of the
Conservative party held a conference at _Whitehall_ Gardens!" _Heads_
and _conferences_ have been cut short enough at the same place ere now!

       *       *       *       *       *


  A joke Col. Sibthorp to the journal sent--
  Appropriate heading--"_Serious Accident_."

       *       *       *       *       *


The match at cricket, between the Chelsea and Greenwich Pensioners, was
decided in favour of the latter. Captain Rous says, no great wonder,
considering the winners bad the majority of _legs_ on their side. The
Hyllus affair has made him an authority.

       *       *       *       *       *





    N.B.--PUNCH is delighted to perceive, from the style of this
    critique, that, though anonymously sent, it is manifestly from the
    pen of the elegant critic of the _Morning Post_.

[Illustration: O]On a review of the events of the past season, the
_souvenirs_ it presents are not calculated to elevate the character of
the arts _di poeta_ and _di musica_, of which the Italian Opera is
composed. The only decided _nouveautés_ which made their appearance,
were "Fausta," and "Roberto Devereux," both of them _jejune_ as far as
regards their _libretto_ and the _composita musicale_. The latter
opera, however, serving as it did to introduce a pleasing
_rifacciamento_ of the lamented Malibran, in her talented sister
Pauline (Madame Viardot), may, on that account, be remembered as a
pleasing reminiscence of the past season.

The evening of Saturday, Aug. 21st, will long be remembered by the
_habitués_ of the Opera. From exclusive sources (which have been opened
to us at a very considerable expense) we are enabled to
communicate--_malheureusement_--that with the close of the _saison de_
1841, the _corps opératique_ loses one of its most brilliant ornaments.
That memorable epocha was chosen by Rubini for making a graceful
_congé_ to a fashionable audience, amidst an abundance of tears--shed
in the choicest Italian--and showers of _bouquets_. The subjects chosen
for representation were _apropos_ in the extreme; all being of a
_triste_ character, namely, the _atta terzo_ of "Marino Faliero," the
_finale_ of "Lucia di Lammermoor," and the last _parte_ of "La
Sonnambula:" these were the chosen vehicles for Rubini's _soirée

As this _tenor primissimo_ has, in a professional _regarde_,
disappeared from amongst us--as the last echoes of his _voix
magnifique_ have died away--as he has made a final exit from the public
_plafond_ to the _coulisses_ of private life--we deem it due to future
historians of the Italian Opera _de Londres_, to record our admiration,
our opinions, and our _regrets_ for this great _artiste_.

Signor Rubini is in stature what might be denominated _juste milieu_;
his _taille_ is graceful, his _figure_ pleasing, his eyes full of
expression, his hair bushy: his _comport_ upon the stage, when not
excited by passion, is full of _verve_ and _brusquerie_, but in
passages which the _Maestro_ has marked "_con passione_" nothing can
exceed the elegance of his attitudes, and the pleasing dignity of his
gestures. After, _par exemple_, the _recitativi_, what a pretty
_empressement_ he gave (alas! that we must now speak in the past
tense!) to the _tonic_ or _key-note_, by _locking_ his arms in each
other over his _poitrine_--by that after expansion of them--that clever
_alto_ movement of the toes--that apparent embracing of the _fumes des
lampes_--how touching! Then, while the _sinfonia_ of the _andante_ was
in progress, how gracefully he turned _son dos_ to the delighted
auditors, and made an interesting _promenade au fond_, always
contriving to get his finely-arched nose over the _lumières_ at the
precise point of time (we speak in a musical sense) where the word
"_voce_" is marked in the score. His pantomime to the _allegri_ was no
less captivating; but it was in the _stretta_ that his beauty of action
was most exquisitely apparent; there, worked up by an elaborate
_crescendo_ (the _motivo_ of which is always, in the Italian school, a
simple progression of the diatonic scale), the _furor_ with which this
_cantratice_ hurried his hands into the thick clumps of his picturesque
_perruque_, and seemed to tear its _cheveux_ out by the roots (without,
however, disturbing the celebrated side-parting a single hair)--the
vigour with which he beat his breast--his final expansion of arms,
elevation of toes, and the impressive _frappe_ of his right foot upon
the stage immediately before disappearing behind the _coulisses_--must
be fresh in the _souvenir_ of our _dilettanti_ readers.

But how shall we _parle_ concerning his _voix_? That exquisite organ,
whose _falsetto_ emulated the sweetness of flutes, and reached to A
flat _in altissimo_--the _voce media_ of which possessed an unequalled
_aplomb_, whose deep double G must still find a well-in-tune echo in
the _tympanum_ of every _amateur_ of taste. _That_, we must confess, as
critics and theoretical musicians, causes us considerable _embarras_
for words to describe. Who that heard it on Saturday last, has yet
recovered the ravishing sensation produced by the thrilling tremour
with which Rubini _gave_ the _Notte d'Orrore_, in Rossini's "Marino
Faliero?" Who can forget the _recitativo con andante et allegro_, in
the last scene of "La Sonnambula;" or the burst of anguish _con
expressivissimo_, when accused of treason, while personating his
favourite _rôle_ in "Lucia di Lammermoor?" Ah! those who suffered
themselves to be detained from the opera on Saturday last by mere
illness, or other light causes, will, to translate a forcible
expression in the "Inferno" of Dante, "go down with sorrow to the
grave." To them we say, Rubini _est parti_--gone!--he has sent forth
his last _ut_--concluded his last _re_--his ultimate note has
sounded--his last _billet de banque_ is pocketed--he has, to use an
emphatic and heart-stirring _mot_, "_coupé son bâton!_"

It is due to the _sentimens_ of the audience of Saturday, to notice the
evident regret with which they received Rubini's _adieux_; for, towards
the close of the evening, the secret became known. Animated
_conversazioni_ resounded from almost every box during many of his most
charming _piano_ passages (and never will his _sotto-voce_ be
equalled)--the _beaux esprits_ of the pit discussed his merits with
audible _goût_; while the gallery and upper stalls remained in mute
grief at the consciousness of that being the _dernière fois_ they would
ever be able to hear the sublime _voce-di-testa_ of Italy's prince of

Although this retirement will make the present _clôture_ of the opera
one of the most memorable _événemens_ in _les annales de l'opéra_, yet
some remarks are demanded of us upon the other _artistes_. In "Marino
Faliero," Lablache came the _Dodge_ with remarkable success. Madlle.
Loewe, far from deserving her _bas nom_, was the height of perfection,
and gave her celebrated _scena_ in the last-named opera _avec une force
superbe_. Persiani looked remarkably well, and wore a most becoming
_robe_ in the _rôle_ of Amina.

Of the _danseuses_ we have hardly space to speak. Cerito exhibited the
"poetry of motion" with her usual skill, particularly in a difficult
_pas_ with Albert. The ballet was "Le Diable Amoureux," and the stage
was watered between each act.

       *       *       *       *       *


It seems that the English Opera-house has been taken for _twelve
nights_, to give "_a free stage and fair play_" to "EVERY ENGLISH
LIVING DRAMATIST." Considering that the Council of the Dramatic
Authors' Theatre comprises at least half-a-dozen Shakspeares in their
own conceit, to say nothing of one or two _Rowes_ (soft ones of
course), a sprinkling of Otways, with here and there a Massinger, we
may calculate pretty correctly how far the stage they have taken
possession of is likely to be _free_, or the _play_ to be _fair_
towards _Every English living Dramatist_.

It appears that a small knot of very great geniuses have been, for some
time past, regularly sending certain bundles of paper, called Dramas,
round to the different metropolitan theatres, and as regularly
receiving them back again. Some of these geniuses, goaded to madness by
this unceremonious treatment, have been guilty of the insanity of
printing their plays; and, though the "Rejected Addresses" were a very
good squib, the rejected Dramas are much too ponderous a joke for the
public to take; so that, while in their manuscript form, they always
produced speedy _returns_ from the managers, they, in their printed
shape, caused no _returns_ to the publishers. It is true, that a
personal acquaintance of some of the authors with Nokes of the _North
Eastern Independent_, or some other equally-influential country print,
may have gained for them, now and then, an egregious puff, wherein the
writers are said to be equal to Goëthe, a cut above Sheridan Knowles,
and the only successors of Shakspeare; but we suspect that "the mantle
of the Elizabethan poets," which is said to have descended on one of
these gentry, would, if inspected, turn out to be something more like
Fitzball's Tagiioni or Dibdin Pitt's Macintosh.

No one can suspect PUNCH of any _prestige_ in favour of the
restrictions laid upon the drama--for our own free-and-easy habit of
erecting our theatre in the first convenient street we come to, and
going through our performance without caring a rush for the Lord
Chamberlain or the Middlesex magistrates, must convince all who know
us, that we are for a thoroughly free trade in theatricals; but,
nevertheless, we think the _Great Unactables_ talk egregious nonsense
when they prate about the possibility of their efforts working "a
beneficial alteration in a law which presses so fatally on dramatic
genius." We think their tom-foolery more likely to induce restrictions
that may prevent others from exposing their mental imbecility, than to
encourage the authorities to relax the laws that might hinder them from
doing so. The boasted compliance with legal requisites in the mode of
preparing "Martinuzzi" for the stage is not a new idea, and we only
hope it may be carried out one-half as well as in the instances of
"Romeo and Juliet as the Law directs," and "Othello according to Act of
Parliament." There is a vaster amount of humbug in the play-bill of
this new concern, than in all the open puffs that have been issued for
many years past from all the regular establishments. The tirade against
the _law_--the announcement of alterations in conformity with _the
law_--the hint that the musical introductions are such as "_the law_
may require"--mean nothing more than this--"if the piece is damned,
it's _the law_; if it succeeds, it's the _author's genius!_" Now, every
one who has written for the illegitimate stage, and therefore PUNCH in
particular, knows very well that the necessity for the introduction of
music into a piece played at one of the smaller theatres is only
nominal--that four pieces of verse are interspersed in the copy sent to
the licenser, but these are such matters of utter course, that their
invention or selection is generally left to the prompter's genius. The
piece is, unless essentially musical, licensed with the songs and acted
without--or, at least, there is no necessity whatever for retaining
them. Why, therefore, should Mr. Stephens drag "solos, duets, choruses,
and other musical arrangements," into his drama, unless it is that he
thinks they will give it a better chance of success? while, in the
event of failure, he reserves the right of turning round upon the _law_
and the _music_, which he will declare were the means of damning it.

A set of briefless barristers--all would-be Erskines, Thurlows, or
Eldons, at the least--might as well complain of the system that
excludes them from the Woolsack, and take a building to turn it into a
Court of Chancery on their own account, as that these luckless
scribblers, all fancying the Elizabethan mantle has fallen flop upon
their backs, should set themselves up for Shakspeares on their own
account, and seize on a metropolitan theatre as a temple for the
enshrinement of their genius.

If PUNCH has dealt hardly with these gentlemen, it is because he will
bear "no brother near the throne" of humbug and quackery. Like a
steward who tricks his master, but keeps the rest of the servants
honest, PUNCH will gammon the public to the utmost of his skill, but he
will take care that no one else shall exercise a trade of which he
claims by prescription the entire monopoly.

       *       *       *       *       *

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, August 28, 1841" ***

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