HotFreeBooks.com
Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 1, August 28, 1841
Author: Various
Home - Random Browse

PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

VOL. 1.



FOR THE WEEK ENDING AUGUST 28, 1841.

* * * * *

THE HEIR OF APPLEBITE.

CHAPTER I.

INTRODUCES THE READER TO THE APPLEBITE FAMILY AND TO AGAMEMNON COLLUMPSION APPLEBITE IN PARTICULAR.

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 L50,000 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 himself.

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 accordingly.

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 head.

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.

* * * * *

AN ACUTE ANGLE.

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.

* * * * *



IMPORTANT NEWS FROM CHINA.

ARRIVAL OF THE OVERLAND MAIL!

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.

Canton.

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.

LEVANT MAIL.

CONSTANTINOPLE, ALEXANDRIA, AND SMYRNA.

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 evening.

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.

* * * * *

TO MR GREEN, THE INSPECTOR OF HIGHWAYS.

ON HIS RECENT SKYLARK.

"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.

* * * * *

FASHIONABLE ARRIVALS.

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.

* * * * *

ADVICE GRATIS.

"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.

* * * * *

PLEASANT CROPS ABROAD.—A GOOD LOOK OUT FOR THE SYRIANS.

"French agents are said to be sowing discontent in Syria."—Sunday Times.

* * * * *

THE GENTLEMAN'S OWN BOOK.

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

DRESS IN PARTICULAR,

a subject of such paramount interest and magnitude, that we feel an Encyclopaedia 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.

THE QUALITY

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 trousers.

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 distingue, 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 elite—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 gentleman.

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



* * * * *

BEGINNING EARLY.

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'S VERY BEST.

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.

* * * * *

BEAUTIFUL COINCIDENCE!—A PAIR OF TOOLS.

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

* * * * *

THE CURRAH CUT;

OR, HOW WE ALL GOT A FI'PENNY BIT A-PIECE.

"Are the two ponies ready?"

"Yes!"

"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 ornament.

"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 horse-docthor.

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 parting.

* * * * *

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.

* * * * *

BAD EITHER WAY.

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.

* * * * *

A CONSTANT PAIR.

Jane is a constant wench (so Sibthorp says); For in how many shops you see Jean stays!

* * * * *

A COUNT AND HIS SCHNEIDER.

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

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

"Yours, "B——."

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.

"Yours, "**"

* * * * *

NARRATIVE OF AN AWFUL CASE OF EXTREME DISTRESS.

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 disarrangement.

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 Peter.

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 a-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 conduct.

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 said.

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 a-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.

* * * * *

THE RICH OLD BUFFER.

A MAIDEN LYRIC.

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.

* * * * *

PHILANTHROPY, FINE WRITING, AND FIREWORKS.

A writer in a morning paper, eulogising the Licensed Victuallers' fete 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).

* * * * *

IMPERIAL PARLIAMENT.

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

THE QUEEN'S SPEECH.

MY LORDS AND GENTLEMEN, 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. GENTLEMEN OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS, 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. MY LORDS AND GENTLEMEN, 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.

* * * * *

THE DINNEROLOGY OF ENGLAND.

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 stomach.

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 L10,000 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!"

* * * * *

INQUEST—NOT EXTRAORDINARY.

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."

* * * * *

PUNCH'S PENCILLINGS.—NO. VII.



* * * * *

NAPOLEON'S STATUE AT BOULOGNE.

[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 HIEROGLYPHIC DECIPHERED.

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 name—V.P.W.—VILLIAM PAUL WENABLES.

* * * * *

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

SONGS FOR THE SENTIMENTAL.—NO. 5.

"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!"

* * * * *

TO POLITICAL WRITERS,

AND TO THE EDITOR OF THE "TIMES" IN PARTICULAR.

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.

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR OF THE "TIMES."

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 protege, 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, JOHN WALTER. 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.

* * * * *

CON. BY THEODORE HOOK.

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

* * * * *

A CRUEL DISAPPOINTMENT.

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

* * * * *

UNSATISFACTORY CONDITION OF FOREIGN BEEF—(CAUTION TO GOURMANDS).

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 chops.

* * * * *

A TRIFLE FROM LITTLE TOMMY.

TO AN ELDERLY BEAUTY.

"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."

* * * * *

PROSPECTUS FOR A PROVIDENT ANNUITY COMPANY.

1. The capital of this Company is to consist of L0,000,001; one-half of it to be vested in Aldgate Pump, and the other moiety in the Dogger Bank.

2. Shares, at L50 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 L10,000 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.

* * * * *

AWFUL ACCIDENT.

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 excitement.

FURTHER PARTICULARS.

(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."

FURTHEST PARTICULARS.

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!"

BY EXPRESS.

(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 supper."

SECOND EXPRESS.

"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!"

THIRD EXPRESS.

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 good-looking.

* * * * *

HINTS TO NEW MEMBERS.

BY AN OLD TRIMMER.

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



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.

* * * * *

RATHER SUICIDAL.

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

"Swearing death to traitor slaves!"—Times.

* * * * *

NOVEL EXPERIMENT.—GREAT SCREW.

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.

* * * * *

PUNCH'S INFORMATION FOR THE PEOPLE.—NO. 3.

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 Cyclopaedia." 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

PUNCH'S GUIDE TO SERVICE;

OR,



CHAPTER 1.

ON THE PROCESS AND RATIONALE OF LIGHTING FIRES.

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 deg.) with its base; and one (of, say 65 deg.) 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."

* * * * *

AN IMMINENT BREACH.

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 subject:—

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!

* * * * *

SCHOOL OF DESIGN.

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 a-half.

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' dinner.

The Prince then withdrew, amidst the acclamations of the assembled multitude.

* * * * *

A HINT TO THE NEW LORD CHAMBERLAIN.

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



* * * * *

VOCAL EVASION.

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—



* * * * *

A PUN FROM THE ROW.

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."

* * * * *

PLEASURES OF HOPE (RATHER EXPENSIVE).

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.]

* * * * *

FASHIONS FOR THE MONTH.

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 elite 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 soirees dansantes, nightly held at the "Frog and Fiddle," in Pye-street, Westminster.

* * * * *

ARTISTIC EXECUTION.

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



* * * * *

NEW PARLIAMENTARY RETURNS.

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:—

IN THE LORDS.

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 honesty.

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 young.

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

IN THE COMMONS.

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

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 Dictionary.

* * * * *

RATHER OMINOUS!

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!

* * * * *

HEAVY LIGHTNESS.

A joke Col. Sibthorp to the journal sent— Appropriate heading—"Serious Accident."

* * * * *

A MATTER OF COURSE.

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.

* * * * *

THE DRAMA.

THE ITALIAN OPERA.

RETIREMENT OF RUBINI.

(Exclusive.)

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.

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 nouveautes 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 habitues 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 operatique loses one of its most brilliant ornaments. That memorable epocha was chosen by Rubini for making a graceful conge 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 soiree d'adieu.

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 lumieres 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 role 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, "coupe son baton!"

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 gout; while the gallery and upper stalls remained in mute grief at the consciousness of that being the derniere fois they would ever be able to hear the sublime voce-di-testa of Italy's prince of tenori.

Although this retirement will make the present cloture of the opera one of the most memorable evenemens in les annales de l'opera, 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 role 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.

* * * * *

THE GREAT UNACTABLES.

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 Goethe, 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.

* * * * *

THE END

Home - Random Browse