PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.
FOR THE WEEK ENDING DECEMBER 4, 1841.
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OFFICIAL REPORT OF THE FIRE AT THE TOWER.
The document with this title, that has got into the newspapers, has been dressed up for the public eye. We have obtained the original draft, and beg to administer it to our readers neat, in the precise language it was written in.
THE OFFICIAL REPORT.
MR. SNOOKS says, that it being his turn to be on watch on the night of Saturday, October 30th, he went to his duty as usual, and having turned into his box, slept until he was amazed by shouts and the rolling of wheels in all directions. The upper door of his box being open, he looked out of it, and his head struck violently against something hard, upon which he attempted to open the lower door of his box, when he found he could not. Thinking there was something wrong, he became very active in raising an alarm, but could obtain no attention; and he has since found that in the hurry of moving property from different parts of the building, his box had been closely barricaded; and he, consequently, was compelled to remain in it until the following morning. He says, however, that everything was quite safe in the middle of the day when he took his great-coat to his box, and trimmed his lantern ready for the evening.
MRS. SNOOKS, wife of the above witness, corroborates the account of her husband, so far as trimming the lanthern in the daytime is concerned, and also as to his being encased in his box until the morning. She had no anxiety about him, because she had been distinctly told that the fire did not break out until past ten, and her husband she knew was sure to be snug in his box by that time.
JOHN JONES, a publican, says, at about nine o'clock on Saturday, the 30th of October, he saw a light in the Tower, which flickered very much like a candle, as if somebody was continually blowing one out and blowing it in again. He observed this for about half an hour, when it began to look as if several gas-lights were in the room and some one was turning the gas on and off very rapidly. After this he went to bed, and was disturbed shortly before midnight by hearing that the Tower was in flames.
SERGEANT FIPS, of the Scotch Fusileer (Qy. Few sillier) Guards, was at a public-house on Tower-hill, when, happening to go to the door, he observed a large quantity of thick smoke issuing from one of the windows of the Tower. Knowing that Major Elrington, the deputy governor, was fond of a cigar, he thought nothing of the circumstance of the smoke, and was surprised in about half an hour to see flames issuing from the building.
GEORGE SNIVEL saw the fire bursting from the Tower on Saturday night, and being greatly frightened he ran home to his mother as soon as possible. His mother called him a fool, and said it was the gas-works.
THOMAS POPKINS rents a back attic at Rotherhithe; he had been peeling an onion on the 30th of October, and went to the window for the purpose of throwing out the external coat of the vegetable mentioned in the beginning of his testimony, when he saw a large fire burning somewhere, with some violence. Not thinking it could be the Tower, he went to bed after eating the onion—which has been already twice alluded to in the course of his evidence.
MR. SWIFT, of the Jewel-office, says, that he saw the Tower burning at the distance of about three acres from where the jewels are kept, when his first thought was to save the regalia. For this purpose he rushed to the scene of the conflagration and desired everybody who would obey him, to leave what they were about and follow him to that part of the Tower set apart for the jewels. Several firemen were induced to quit the pumps, and having prevailed on a large body of soldiers, he led them and a vast miscellaneous mob to the apartments where the crown, &c., were deposited. After a considerable quantity of squeezing, screaming, cursing, and swearing, it was discovered that the key was missing, when the jewel-room was carried by storm, and the jewels safely lodged in some other part of the building. When witness returned to the fire, it was quite out, and the armoury totally demolished.
The whole of the official report is in the same satisfactory strain, but we do not feel ourselves justified in printing any more of it.
* * * * *
A CON-CERTED CON.
"When is the helm of a ship like a certain English composer?"—said the double bass to the trombone in the orchestra of Covent Garden Theatre, while resting themselves the other evening between the acts of Norma.—The trombone wished he might be blowed if he could tell.—"When it is A-lee" quoth the bass—rosining his bow with extraordinary delight at his own conceit.
* * * * *
RECONCILING A DIFFERENCE.
Two literary partisans were lately contending with considerable warmth, for the superiority of Tait's or Blackwood's Magazine—till from words they fell to blows, and decided the dispute by the argumentum ad hominem.—Doctor Maginn, hearing of the circumstance, observed to a friend, that however the pugnacious gentleman's opinions might differ with respect to Tait and Blackwood, it was evident they were content to decide them by a Frazer (fray sir).
* * * * *
The state of the weather, at all times an object of intense interest and general conversation amongst Englishmen, has latterly engaged much of our attention; and the observations which we have made on the extraordinary changes which have taken place in the weathercock during the last week warrant us in saying "there must be something in the wind." It has been remarked that Mr. Macready's Hamlet and Mr. Dubourg's chimneys have not drawn well of late. A smart breeze sprung up between Mr. and Mrs. Smith, of Brixton, on last Monday afternoon, which increased during the night, and ended in a perfect storm. Sir Peter Laurie on the same evening retired to bed rather misty, and was exceedingly foggy all the following morning. At the Lord Mayor's dinner the glass was observed to rise and fall several times in a most remarkable manner, and at last settled at "heavy wet." A flock of gulls were seen hovering near Crockford's on Tuesday, and on that morning the milkman who goes the Russell-square walk was observed to blow the tips of his fingers at the areas of numerous houses. Applications for food were made by some starving paupers to the Relieving Officers of different workhouses, but the hearts of those worthy individuals were found to be completely frozen. Notwithstanding the severity of the weather, the nose of the beadle of St. Clement Danes has been seen for nearly the last fortnight in full blossom. A heavy fall of blankets took place on Wednesday, and the fleecy covering still lies on several beds in and near the metropolis. Expecting frost to set in, Sir Robert Peel has been busily employed on his sliding scale; in fact, affairs are becoming very slippery in the Cabinet, and Sir James Graham is already preparing to trim his sail to the next change of wind. Watercresses, we understand, are likely to be scarce; there is a brisk demand for "bosom friends" amongst unmarried ladies; and it is feared that the intense cold which prevails at nights will drive some unprovided young men into the union.
* * * * *
THE BANE AND ANTIDOTE.
We are requested to state that the insane person who lately attempted to obtain an entrance into Buckingham Palace was not the Finsbury renegade, Mr. Wakley. We are somewhat surprised that the rumour should have obtained circulation, as the unfortunate man is described as being of respectable appearance.
* * * * *
A POEM TO BE READ ON RAILROADS.
The sky was dark—the sea was rough; The Corsair's heart was brave and tough; The wind was high—the waves were steep; The moon was veil'd—the ocean deep; The foam against the vessel dash'd: The Corsair overboard was wash'd. A rope in vain was thrown to save— The brine is now the Corsair's grave!
As it is expected that the jogging and jerking, or the sudden passing through tunnels, may in some degree interfere with the perusal of this poem, we give it with the abbreviations, as it is likely to be read with the drawbacks alluded to.
Wherever there is a dash—it is supposed there will be a jolt of the vehicle.
—sky—dark—sea—rough; —Corsair—brave—tough; —wind—high—waves steep; —moon—veil'd—oce—deep; —foam—gainst—vess—dash'd; —Corsair—board—wash'd. —rope—vain—to save, —brine—Cors—grave.
* * * * *
"STUPID AS A 'POST.'"
The Morning Post has made another blunder. Lord Abinger, it seems, is too Conservative to resign. After all the editorial boasting about "exclusive information," "official intelligence," &c. it is very evident that the "Morning Twaddler" must not be looked upon as a direction post.
* * * * *
We learn that a drama of startling interest, founded upon a recent event of singular horror, is in active preparation at the Victoria Theatre. It is to be entitled "Cavanagh the Culprit; or, the Irish Saveloyard." The interest of the drama will be immensely strengthened by the introduction of the genuine knife with which the fatal ham was cut. Real saveloys will also be eaten by the Fasting Phenomenon before the audience.
* * * * *
"Never saw such stirring times," as the spoon said to the saucepan.
* * * * *
THE "PUFF PAPERS."
Having expressed the great gratification I should enjoy at being permitted to become a member of so agreeable a society, I was formally presented by the chairman with a capacious meerschaum, richly mounted in silver, and dark with honoured age, filled with choice tobacco, which he informed me was the initiatory pipe to be smoked by every neophyte on his admission amongst the "Puffs." I shall not attempt to describe with what profound respect I received that venerable tube into my hands—how gently I applied the blazing match to its fragrant contents—how affectionately I placed the amber mouth-piece between my lips, and propelled the thick wreaths of smoke in circling eddies to the ceiling:—to dilate upon all this might savour of an egotistical desire to exalt my own merits—a species of puffing I mortally abhor. Suffice it to say, that when I had smoked the pipe of peace, I was heartily congratulated by the chairman and the company generally upon the manner in which I had acquitted myself, and I was declared without a dissentient voice a duly-elected member of the "Puffs."
The business of the night, which my entrance had interrupted, was now resumed; and the chairman, whom I shall call Arden, striking his hammer upon a small mahogany box which was placed before him on the table, requested silence. Before I permit him to speak, I must give my readers a pen-and-ink sketch of his person. He was rather tall and erect in his person—his head was finely formed—and he had a quick grey eye, which would have given an unpleasant sharpness to his features, had it not been softened by the benevolent smile which played around his mouth. In his attire he was somewhat formal, and he affected an antiquated style in the fashion of his dress. When he spoke, his words fell with measured precision from his lips; but the mellow tone of his voice, and a certain courteous empressement in his manner, at once interested me in his favour; and I set him down in my mind as a gentleman of the old English school. How far I was right in my conjecture my readers will hereafter have an opportunity of determining.
"Our new member," said the chairman, turning towards me, "should now be informed that we have amongst us some individuals who possess a taste for literary pursuits."
"A very small taste," whispered a droll-looking 'Puff,' with a particularly florid nose, who was sitting on my right hand, and who appeared to be watching all the evening for opportunities of letting off his jokes, which were always applauded longest and loudest by himself. My comical neighbour's name, I afterwards learned, was Bayles; he was the licensed jester of the club; he had been a punster from his youth; and it was his chief boast that he had joked himself into the best society and out of the largest fortune of any individual in the three kingdoms.
This incorrigible wag having broken the thread of the chairman's speech, I shall only add the substance of it. It was, that the literary members of the "Puffs" had agreed to contribute from time to time articles in prose and verse; tales, legends, and sketches of life and manners—all which contributions were deposited in the mahogany box on the table; and from this literary fund a paper was extracted by the chairman on one of the nights of meeting in each week, and read by him aloud to the club.
These manuscripts, I need scarcely say, will form the series of THE PUFF PAPERS, which, for the special information of the thousands of the fair sex who will peruse them, are like the best black teas, strongly recommended for their fine curling leaf.
The first paper drawn by the chairman was an Irish Tale; which, after a humorous protest by Mr. Bayles against the introduction of foreign extremities, was ordered to be read.
The candles being snuffed, and the chairman's spectacles adjusted to the proper focus, he commenced as follows:—
THE GIANT'S STAIRS.
A LEGEND OF THE SOUTH OF IRELAND.
"Don't be for quitting us so airly, Felix, ma bouchal, it's a taring night without, and you're better sitting there opposite that fire than facing this unmarciful storm," said Tim Carthy, drawing his stool closer to the turf-piled hearth, and addressing himself to a young man who occupied a seat in the chimney nook, whose quick bright eye and somewhat humorous curl of the corner of the mouth indicated his character pretty accurately, and left no doubt that he was one of those who would laugh their laugh out, if the ould boy stood at the door. The reply to Tim's proposal was a jerk of Felix's great-coat on his left shoulder, and a sly glance at the earthen mug which he held, as he gradually bent it from its upright position, until it was evident that the process of absorption had been rapidly acting on its contents. Tim, who understood the freemasonry of the manoeuvre, removed all the latent scruples of Felix by adding—"There's more of that stuff—where you know; and by the crook of St. Patrick we'll have another drop of it to comfort us this blessed night. Whisht! do you hear how the wind comes sweeping over the hills? God help the poor souls at say!"
"Wissha amen!" replied Tim's wife, dropping her knitting, and devoutly making the sign of the cross upon her forehead.
A silence of a few moments ensued; during which, each person present offered up a secret prayer for the safety of those who might at that moment be exposed to the fury of the warring elements.
I should here inform my readers that the cottage of Tim Carthy was situated in the deep valley which runs inland from the strand at Monkstown, a pretty little bathing village, that forms an interesting object on the banks of the romantic Lee, near the "beautiful city" of Cork.
"I never heard such a jearful storm since the night Mahoon, the ould giant, who lives in the cave under the Giants Stairs, sunk the three West Ingee-men that lay at anchor near the rocks," observed Mrs. Carthy.
"It's Felix can tell us, if he plazes, a quare story about that same Mahoon," added Tim, addressing himself to the young man.
"You're right there, anyhow, Tim," replied Felix; "and as my pipe is just out, I'll give you the whole truth of the story as if I was after kissing the book upon it.
"You must know, then, it was one fine morning near Midsummer, about five years ago, that I got up very airly to go down to the beach and launch my boat, for I meant to try my luck at fishing for conger eels under the Giant's Stairs. I wasn't long pulling to the spot, and I soon had my lines baited and thrown out; but not so much as a bite did I get to keep up my spirits all that blessed morning, till I was fairly kilt with fatigue and disappointment. Well, I was thinking of returning home again, when all at once I felt something mortial heavy upon one of my lines. At first I thought it was a big conger, but then I knew that no fish would hang so dead upon my hand, so I hauled in with fear and thrembling, for I was afeard every minnit my line or my hook would break, and at last I got my prize to the top of the water, and then safe upon the gunnel of the boat;—and what do you think it was?"
"In troth, Felix, sorra one of us knows."
"Well, then, it was nothing else but a little dirty black oak box, hooped round with iron, and covered with say-weed and barnacles, as if it had lain a long time in the water. 'Oh, ho!' says myself, 'it's in rale good luck I am this beautiful morning. Phew! as sure as turf, 'tis full of goold, or silver, or dollars, the box is.' For, by dad, it was so heavy intirely I could scarcely move it, and it sunk my little boat a'most to the water's edge; so I pulled back for bare life to the shore, and ran the boat into a lonesome little creek in the rocks. There I managed somehow to heave out the little box upon dry land, and, finding a handy lump of a stone, I wasn't long smashing the iron fastenings, and lifting up the lid. I looked in, and saw a weeshy ould weasened fellow sitting in it, with his legs gothered up under him like a tailor. He was dressed in a green coat, all covered with goold lace, a red scarlet waistcoat down to his hips, and a little three-cornered cocked hat upon the top of his head, with a cock's feather sticking out of it as smart as you plase.
"'Good morrow to you, Felix Donovan,' says the small chap, taking off his hat to me, as polite as a dancing-masther.
"'Musha! then the tip top of the morning to you,' says I, 'it's ashamed of yourself you ought to be, for putting me to such a dale of throuble.'
"'Don't mention it, Felix,' says he, 'I'll be proud to do as much for you another time. But why don't you open the box, and let me out? 'tis many a long day I have been shut up here in this could dark place.' All the time I was only holding the lid partly open.
"'Thank you kindly, my tight fellow,' says myself, quite 'cute; 'maybe you think I don't know you, but plase God you'll not stir a peg out of where you are until you pay me for my throuble.'
"'Millia murdher!' says the little chap. 'What could a poor crather like me have in the world? Haven't I been shut up here without bite or sup?' and then he began howling and bating his head agin the side of the box, and making most pitiful moans. But I wasn't to be deceived by his thricks, so I put down the lid of the box and began to hammer away at it, when he roared out,—
"'Tare an' agers! Felix Donovan, sure you won't be so cruel as to shut me up again? Open the box, man, till I spake to you.'
"'Well, what do you want now'!' savs I, lifting up the lid the laste taste in life.
"'I'll tell you what, Felix, I'll give you twenty goolden guineas if you'll let me out.'
"'Soft was your horn, my little fellow; your offer don't shoot.'
"'I'll give you fifty.
"'T won't do. If you were to offer me all the money in the Cork bank I wouldn't take it.'
"'What the diaoul will you take then?' says the little ould chap, reddening like a turkey-cock in the gills with anger.
"'I'll tell you,' says I, making answer; 'I'll take the three best gifts that you can bestow.'"
(To be continued.)
* * * * *
Why is a butcher like a language master?—Because he is a retailer of tongues.
* * * * *
THE KNATCHBULL TESTIMONIAL.
A meeting, unequalled in numbers and respectability, was held during the past week at the sign of "The Conservative Cauliflower," Duck-lane, Westminster, for the purpose of presenting an address, and anything else, that the meeting might decide upon, to Sir Edward Knatchbull, for his patriotic opposition to 'pikes.
Mr. ADAM BELL, the well-known literary dustman, was unanimously called to the Chair. The learned gentleman immediately responded to the call, and having gracefully removed his fan tail with one hand and his pipe with the other, bowed to the assembled multitude, and deposited himself in the seat of honour. As there was no hammer in the room, the inventive genius of the learned chairman, suggested the substitution of his bell, and having agitated its clapper three times, and shouted "Orger" with stentorian emphasis, he proceeded to address the meeting:—
"Wedgetable wendors and purweyors of promiscus poulte-ry, it isn't often that a cheer is taken in this room for no other than harmonic meetings or club-nights, and it is, therefore, with oncommon pride that I feels myself in my present proud persition. (Werry good! and Hear, hear!) You are all pretty well aware of my familiar acquaintance with the nobs of this here great nation. (We is! and cheers.) For some years I've had the honour to collect for Mr. Dark, night and day, I may say; and in my mind the werry best standard of a real gentleman is his dust-hole. (Hear, hear! and He's vide avake!) You're hailed," continued the eloquent Adam, "you're hailed by a sarvant in a dimity jacket; you pulls up alongside of the curb; you collars your basket, and with your shovel in your mawley, makes a cast into the hairy; one glance at the dust conwinces you vether you're to have sixpence or a swig of lamen-table beer. (It does! and cheers.) A man as sifteses his dust is a disgrace to humanity! (Immense cheering, which was rendered more exhilarating by the introduction of Dirk's dangle-dangles, otherwise bells.) But you'll say, Vot is this here to do with Sir Eddard? I'll tell you. It has been my werry great happiness to clear out Sir Eddard, and werry well I was paid for doing it. The Tories knows what jobs is, and pays according-ly. (Here the Meeting gave the Conservative Costermonger fire.) The 'pinion I then formed of Sir Eddard has jist been werrified, for hasn't he comed forrard to oppose them rascally taxes on commercial industry and Fairlop-fair—on enterprising higgling and 'twelve in a tax-cart?' need I say I alludes to them blessed 'pikes? (Long and continued cheers.) Sir Eddard is fully aware that the 'pike-men didn't make the dirt that makes the road, and werry justly refuses to fork out tuppence-ha'penny! It's werry true Sir Eddard says that the t'other taxes must be paid, as what's to pay the ministers? But it's highly unreasonable that 'pike-men is to be put alongside of Prime Ministers, wedgetable wendors, and purveyors of promiscus polte-ry! Had that great man succeeded in bilking the toll, what a thing it would ha' been for us! Gatter is but 3d. a pot, and that's the price of a reasonable 'pike-ticket. That wenerable and wenerated liquor as bears the cognominum of 'Old Tom' is come-atable for the walley of them werry browns. But Sir Eddard has failed in his bould endeavour—the 'pikes has it! (Shame!) It's for us to reward him. I therefore proposes that a collection of turnpike tickets is made, and then elegantly mounted, framed and glaziered, and presented to the Right Honourable Barrownight." (Immense applause.)
Mr. ALEC BILL JONES, the celebrated early-tater and spring-ingen dealer, seconded the proposition, at the same time suggesting that "Old 'pike-tickets would do as well as new 'uns; and everybody know'd that second-hand tumpike-tickets warn't werry waluable, so the thing could be done handsome and reasonable."
A collection was immediately commenced in the room, and in a few minutes the subscription included the whole of the Metropolitan trusts, together with three Waterloo-bridge tickets, which the donor stated "could ony be 'ad for axing for."
A deputation was then formed for the purpose of presenting this unique testimonial when completed to Sir Edward Knatchbull.
It is rumoured that the lessees of the gates in the neighbourhood of the Metropolis are trying to get up a counter meeting. We have written to Mr. Levy on the subject.
* * * * *
MUSICAL NEWS (NOOSE).
We perceive from a foreign paper that a criminal who has been imprisoned for a considerable period at Presburg has acquired a complete mastery over the violin. It has been announced that he will shortly make an appearance in public. Doubtless, his performance will be a solo on one string.
* * * * *
THE PHYSIOLOGY OF THE LONDON MEDICAL STUDENT.
10.—THE TERMINATION OF THE HALL EXAMINATION.
The morning after the carousal reported in our last chapter, the parties thereat assisting are dispersed in various parts of London. Did a modern Asmodeus take a spectator to any elevated point from which he could overlook the Great Metropolis of Mr. Grant and England just at this period, when Aurora has not long called the sun, who rises as surlily as if he had got out of bed the wrong way, he would see Mr. Rapp ruminating upon things in general whilst seated on some cabbages in Covent Garden Market; Mr. Jones taking refreshment with a lamplighter and two cabmen at a promenade coffee-stand near Charing Cross, to whom he is giving a lecture upon the action of veratria in paralysis, jumbled somehow or other with frequent asseverations that he shall at all times be happy to see the aforesaid lamplighter and two cabmen at the hospital or his own lodgings; Mr. Manhug, with a pocket-handkerchief tied round his head, not clearly understanding what has become of his latch-key, but rather imagining that he threw it into a lamp instead of the short pipe which still remains in the pocket of his pea-jacket, and, moreover, finding himself close to London Bridge, is taking a gratuitous doze in the cabin of the Boulogne steam-boat, which he ascertains does not start until eight o'clock; whilst Mr. Simpson, the new man, with the usual destiny of such green productions—thirsty, nauseated, and "coming round"—is safely taken care of in one of the small private unfurnished apartments which are let by the night on exceedingly moderate terms (an introduction by a policeman of known respectability being all the reference that is required) in the immediate neighbourhood of the Bow-street Police-office. Where Mr. Muff is—it is impossible to form the least idea; he may probably speak for himself.
The reader will now please to shift the time and place to two o'clock P.M. in the dissecting-room, which is full of students, comprising three we have just spoken of, except Mr. Simpson. A message has been received that the anatomical teacher is unavoidably detained at an important case in private practice, and cannot meet his class to day. Hereupon there is much rejoicing amongst the pupils, who gather in a large semicircle round the fireplace, and devise various amusing methods of passing the time. Some are for subscribing to buy a set of four-corners, to be played in the museum when the teachers are not there, and kept out of sight in an old coffin when they are not wanted. Others vote for getting up sixpenny sweepstakes, and raffling for them with dice—the winner of each to stand a pot out of his gains, and add to the goodly array of empty pewters which already grace the mantelpiece in bright order, with the exception of two irregulars, one of which Mr. Rapp has squeezed flat to show the power of his hand; and in the bottom of the other Mr. Manhug has bored a foramen with a red-hot poker in a laudable attempt to warm the heavy that it contained. Two or three think they had better adjourn to the nearest slate table and play a grand pool; and some more vote for tapping the preparations in the museum, and making the porter of the dissecting-room intoxicated with the grog manufactured from the proof spirit. The various arguments are, however, cut short by the entrance of Mr. Muff, who rushes into the room, followed by Mr. Simpson, and throwing off his macintosh cape, pitches a large fluttering mass of feathers into the middle of the circle.
"Halloo, Muff! how are you, my bean—what's up?" is the general exclamation.
"Oh, here's a lark!" is all Mr. Muff's reply.
"Lark!" cries Mr. Rapp; "you're drunk, Muff—you don't mean to call that a lark!"
"It's a beautiful patriarchal old hen," returns Mr. Muff, "that I bottled as she was meandering down the mews; and now I vote we have her for lunch. Who's game to kill her?"
Various plans are immediately suggested, including cutting her head off, poisoning her with morphia, or shooting her with a little cannon Mr Rapp has got in his locker; but at last the majority decide upon hanging her. A gibbet is speedily prepared, simply consisting of a thigh-bone laid across two high stools; a piece of whip cord is then noosed round the victim's neck; and she is launched into eternity, as the newspapers say—Mr. Manhug attending to pull her legs.
"Depend upon it that's a humane death," remarks Mr. Jones. "I never tried to strangle a fowl but once, and then I twisted its neck bang off. I know a capital plan to finish cats though."
"Throw it off—put it up—let's have it," exclaim the circle.
"Well, then; you must get their necks in a slip knot and pull them up to a key-hole. They can't hurt you, you know, because you are the other side the door.
"Oh, capital—quite a wrinkle," observes Mr. Muff. "But how do you catch them first?"
"Put a hamper outside the leads with some valerian in it, and a bit of cord tied to the lid. If you keep watch, you may bag half-a-dozen in no time; and strange cats are fair game for everybody,—only some of them are rum 'uns to bite."
At this moment, a new Scotch pupil, who is lulling himself into the belief that he is studying anatomy from some sheep's eyes by himself in the Museum, enters the dissecting-room, and mildly asks the porter "what a heart is worth?"
"I don't know, sir," shouts Mr. Rapp; "it depends entirely upon what's trumps;" whereupon the new Scotch pupil retires to his study as if he was shot, followed by several pieces of cinders and tobacco-pipe,
During the preceding conversation, Mr. Muff cuts down the victim with a scalpel; and, finding that life has departed, commences to pluck it, and perform the usual post-mortem abdominal examinations attendant upon such occasions. Mr. Rapp undertakes to manufacture an extempore spit, from the rather dilapidated umbrella of the new Scotch pupil, which he has heedlessly left in the dissecting-room. This being completed, with the assistance of some wire from the ribs of an old skeleton that had hung in a corner of the room ever since it was built, the hen is put down to roast, presenting the most extraordinary specimen of trussing upon record. Mr. Jones undertakes to buy some butter at a shop behind the hospital; and Mr. Manhug, not being able to procure any flour, gets some starch from the cabinet of the lecturer on Materia Medica, and powders it in a mortar which he borrows from the laboratory.
"To revert to cats," observes Mr. Manhug, as he sets himself before the fire to superintend the cooking; "it strikes me we could contrive no end to fun if we each agreed to bring some here one day in carpet-bags. We could drive in plenty of dogs, and cocks, and hens, out of the back streets, and then let them all loose together in the dissecting-room."
"With a sprinkling of rats and ferrets," adds Mr. Rapp. "I know a man who can let us have as many as we want. The skrimmage would be immense, only I shouldn't much care to stay and see it."
"Oh that's nothing," replies Mr. Muff. "Of course, we must get on the roof and look at it through the skylights. You may depend upon it, it would be the finest card we ever played."
How gratifying to every philanthropist must be these proofs of the elasticity of mind peculiar to a Medical Student! Surrounded by scenes of the most impressive and deplorable nature—in constant association with death and contact with disease—his noble spirit, in the ardour of his search after professional information, still retains its buoyancy and freshness; and he wreaths with roses the hours which he passes in the dissecting-room, although the world in general looks upon it as a rather unlikely locality for those flowers to shed their perfume over!
"By the way, Muff, where did you get to last night after we all cut?" inquires Mr. Rapp.
"Why, that's what I am rather anxious to find out myself," replies Mr. Muff; "but I think I can collect tolerably good reminiscences of my travels."
"Tell us all about it then," cry three or four.
"With pleasure—only let's have in a little more beer; for the heat of the fire in cooking produces rather too rapid an evaporation of fluids from the surface of the body."
"Oh, blow your physiology!" says Rapp. "You mean to say you've got a hot copper—so have I. Send for the precious balm, and then fire away."
And accordingly, when the beer arrives, Mr. Muff proceeds with the recital of his wanderings.
* * * * *
LOVE AND HYMEN.
Cupid (that charming little garcon), When free, is am'rous, brisk, and gay; But when he's noos'd by Hymen's parson, Snores like Glenelg, or flies away.
* * * * *
OUR CITY ARTICLE.
An alarming forgery of Mendicity Society's tickets has been discovered in Red Lion Square, and has caused much conversation at the doors of most of the gin palaces. Our readers are probably aware what these tickets are, though, being a particular class of security, there is not a great deal publicly done in them. They are issued to certain subscribers, who pay a guinea per year towards housing a Secretary and some other officers in a moderate-sized house, in the kitchen of which certain soup is prepared, which is partaken of by a number of persons called the Board, who are said to taste it and see that it is good; and if there is any left, which may occasionally happen, the poor are allowed to finish it. This valuable privilege is secured by tickets; and these tickets are found to be forged to a very large amount—some say indeed to the amount of 14,000 basins. It is not usual to pay off these soup tickets, but a sort of interest can be had upon them by standing just over the railings of the house in Red Lion Square, when the Secretary's dinner is being cooked or served up, and a certain amount of savoury steam is then put into circulation. The house has been besieged all day with "innocent holders," who, on giving their tickets in, cannot get them back again. The genuine tickets are known by the stamp, which is a soup plate rampant, and a spoon argent,—the latter being the emblem of the subscribers.
A great deal is said of a new company, whose object is to take advantage of a well-known fact in chemistry. It is known that diamonds can be resolved into charcoal, as well as that charcoal can be ultimately reduced to air; and a company is to be founded with the view of simply reversing the process. Instead of getting air from diamonds, their object will be to get diamonds from air; and in fact the chief promoters of it have generally drawn from that source the greater part of their capital. The whole sum for shares need not be paid up at once; but the Directors will be satisfied in the first instance with 10 per cent. on the whole sum to be raised from the adventurers. It is intended to declare a dividend at the earliest possible period, which will be directly the first diamond has been made by the new process.
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CON. BY SIBTHORP AND STULTZ.
Why are batteries and soldiers like the hands and feet of tailors?—Because the former make breaches (breeches), and the latter pass through them.
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THE ROMANCE OF A TEACUP.
SIP THE THIRD. GOS-SIP.
That hour devoted to thy vesper "service"— Dulcet exhilaration! glorious tea!— I deem my happiest. Howsoe'er I swerve, as To mind or morals, elsewhere, over thee I am a perfect creature, quite impervious To care, or tribulation, or ennui— In fact, I do agnize to thee an utter Devotion even to the bread and butter.
The homely kettle hissing on the bar— (Urns I detest, irrelevant pomposities)— The world beyond the window-blinds, as far As I can thrust it—this defines what "cosset" is— What woe that rhyme such scene of bliss must mar! But rhyme, alas! is one of my atrocities; In common with those bards who have the scratch Of writing, and are all right with Catnach.
"How Nancy Sniggles was the village pride,— How Will, her sweetheart, went to be a sailor; How much at parting Nancy Sniggles cried,— And how she snubb'd her funny friend the tailor; How William boldly fought and bravely died; How Nancy Sniggles felt her senses fail her—" Then comes a sad denouement—now-a-days It is not virtue dominant that pays.
Such tales, in this, the post-octavo age, Our novelists incontinently tells us— Tales, wherein lovely heroines engage With highwaymen, good-looking rogues but callous, Who go on swimmingly till the last page, And then take poison to escape the gallows— Tales, whose original refinement teaches The pride of eloquence in—dying speeches!
What an apotheosis have we here! What equal laws th' awards of fame dispose! Capture a fort—assassinate a peer— Alike be chronicled in startling prose— Alike be dramatised—(how near Is clever crime to virtue!)—at Tussaud's Be grouped with all the criminals at large, From burglar Sheppard unto fiend Laffarge!
The women are best judges after all! And Sheridan was right, and Plagi-ary; To their decision all things mundane fall, From court to counting-house; from square to dairy; From caps to chemistry; from tract to shawl, And then these female verdicts never vary! In fact, on lap-dogs, lovers, buhl, and boddices, There are no critics like these mortal goddesses!
To please such readers, authors make it answer To trace a pedigree to the creation Of some old Saxon peer; a monstrous grandsire, Whose battles tell, in print, to admiration— But I, unfortunate, have never once a Mysterious hint of any great relation; I know whether Shem or Japhet—right sir— Was my progenitor—nor care a kreutzer.
For, though there's matter for regret in losing An opportune occasion to record The feats in gambling, duelling, seducing— Conventional acquirements of a lord— Still I have stories startling and amusing, Which I can tell and vouch, upon my word. To anybody who desires to hear 'em— But don't be nervous, pray,—you needn't fear 'em.
But what of my poor Hy-son all this while? She saved the gardener by a timely kiss. Few husbands are there proof against a smile, And Te-pott's rage endured no more than this. Ah, reader! gentle, moral, free from guile, Think you she did so very much amiss? She was not love-sick for the fellow quite— She merely thought of him—from morn till night!
A state of mind how much by parents dreaded! (By those outrageous parents, English mammas, Who scarcely own their daughters till they're wedded)— How postulant of patent Chubbs and Bramahs! And eyes—the safest locks when locks are needed!— And Abigails, and homilies, and grammars; And other antidotes for "detrimentals"— Id est, fine gentlemen unblest with rentals.
But this could not stop here; nor did it stop— For both were anxious for—an explanation. And in the harem's grating was a gap, Whence Hy-son peep'd in modest hesitation; While on his spade the gardener would prop Himself, and issue looks of adoration; Until it happen'd, like a lucky rhyme, Each for the other look'd at the same time.
Then fell the gardener upon his knees, And kiss'd his hand in manner most devout— So Hy-son couldn't find the heart to tease The poor dear man by being in a pout;— Besides, she might go walk among the trees, And not a word of scandal be made out. She thought a—very—little more upon it, Then smiled to Sou-chong,—and put on her bonnet.
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PUNCH AND THE SWISS GIANTESS!
BONBON versus PUNCH.
[This important cause came on for trial on Wednesday last. That it has not been reported in the morning papers is doubtless to be attributed to the most reckless bribery on the part of the plaintiff. He has, no doubt, sought to hush up his infamy; the defendant has no such contemptible cowardice. Hence a special reporter was engaged for PUNCH. The trial is given here, firstly, for the beautiful illustration it affords of the philosophy of the English law of crim. con.; and secondly on a principle—for PUNCH has principles—laid down by the defendant in his course of public life, to show himself to the world the man he really is. In pursuit of this moral and philosophical object, should the waywardness of his genius ever induce PUNCH to cut a throat, pick a pocket, or, as a Middlesex magistrate (for PUNCH has been upon the bench many a year), to offer for sale a tempting lot of liberty to any competent captive,—should PUNCH rob as a vulgar Old Bailey delinquent, or genteelly swindle as an Aldermanic share-holder,—in each and every of these cases there will, on discovery, be the fullest report of the same in PUNCH'S own paper, PUNCH being deeply impressed with the belief that an exhibition of the weaknesses of a great man is highly beneficial to public philosophy and public morals. PUNCH now retires in favour of his "own" reporter.]
As early as six o'clock in the morning, the neighbourhood of the court presented a most lively and bustling aspect. Carriages continued to arrive from the west-end; and we recognised scores of ladies whose names are familiar to the readers of the Court Journal and Morning Post. Several noblemen, amateurs of the subject, arrived on horseback. By eight o'clock the four sides of Red Lion-square were, if we may be allowed the metaphor, a mass of living heads. We owe a debt of gratitude to Mr. Davis, the respected and conscientious officer for the Sheriff of Middlesex; that gentleman, in the kindest spirit of hospitality, allowing us six inches of his door-step when the crowd was at its greatest pressure. Several inmates of Mr. Davis's delightful mansion had a charming view of the scene from the top windows, where we observed bars of the most picturesque and moyen age description. At ten minutes to nine, Mr. Charles Phillips, counsel for the plaintiff, arrived in Lamb's Conduit-passage, and was loudly cheered. On the appearance of Mr. Adolphus, counsel for the defendant, a few miscreants in human shape essayed groans and hisses; they were, however, speedily put down by the New Police.
We entered the court at nine o'clock. The galleries were crowded with rank, beauty, and fashion. Conflicting odours of lavender, musk, and Eau de Cologne emanated from ladies on the bench, most of whom were furnished with opera-glasses, sandwich-boxes, and species of flasks, vulgarly known as pocket-pistols. In all our experience we never recollect such a thrill as that shot through the court, when the crier of the same called out—
BONBON v. PUNCH!
Mr. SMITH (a young yet rising barrister with green spectacles) with delicate primness opened the case. A considerable pause, when—
Mr. CHARLES PHILLIPS, having successfully struggled with his feelings, rose to address the court for the plaintiff. The learned gentleman said it had been his hard condition as a barrister to see a great deal of human wickedness; but the case which, most reluctantly, he approached that day, made him utterly despair of the heart of man. He felt ashamed of his two legs, knowing that the defendant in this case was a biped. He had a horror of the mysterious iniquities of human nature—seeing that the defendant was a man, a housekeeper, and, what in this case trebled his infamy, a husband and a father. Gracious Heaven! when he reflected—but no; he would confine himself to a simple statement of facts. That simplicity would tell with a double-knock on the hearts of a susceptible jury. The afflicted, the agonised plaintiff was a public man. He was, until lately, the happy possessor of a spotless wife and an inimitable spring-van. It was was a union assented to by reason, smiled on by prudence. Mr. Bonbon was the envied owner of a perambulating exhibition: he counted among his riches a Spotted Boy, a New Zealand Cannibal, and a Madagascar Cow. The crowning rose was, however, to be gathered, and he plucked, and (as he fondly thought) made his own for ever, the Swiss Giantess! Mr. Bonbon had wealth in his van—the lady had wealth in herself; hence it was, in every respect, what the world would denominate an equal match.
The learned counsel said he would call witnesses to prove the blissful atmosphere in which the parties lived, until the defendant, like a domestic upas-tree, tainted and polluted it. That van was another Eden, until PUNCH, the serpent, entered. The lady was a native of Switzerland—yes, of Switzerland. Oh, that he (the learned gentleman) could follow her to her early home!—that he could paint her with the first blush and dawn of innocence, tinting her virgin cheek as the morning sun tinted the unsullied snows of her native Jungfrau!—that he could lead the gentlemen of the jury to that Swiss cottage where the gentle Felicite (such was the lady's name) lisped her early prayer—that he could show them the mountains that had echoed with her songs (since made so very popular by Madame Stockhausen)—that he could conjure up in that court the goats whose lacteal fluid was wont to yield to the pressure of her virgin fingers—the kids that gambolled and made holiday about her—the birds that whistled in her path—the streams that flowed at her feet—the avalanches, with their majestic thunder, that fell about her. Would he could subpoena such witnesses! then would the jury feel, what his poor words could never make them feel—the loss of his injured client. On one hand would be seen the simple Swiss maiden—a violet among the rocks—a mountain dove—an inland pearl—a rainbow of the glaciers—a creature pure as her snows, but not as cold; and on the other the fallen wife—a monument of shame! This was a commercial country; and the jury would learn with additional horror that it was in the sweet confidence of a commercial transaction that the defendant obtained access to his interesting victim. Yes, gentlemen, (said Mr. P.,) it was under the base, the heartless, the dastardly excuse of business, that the plaintiff poured his venom in the ear of a too confiding woman. He had violated the sacred bonds of human society—the noblest ties that hold the human heart—the sweetest tendrils that twine about human affections. This should be shown to the jury. Letters from the plaintiff would be read, in which his heart—or rather that ace of spades he carried in his breast and called his heart—would be laid bare in open court. But the gentlemen of the jury would teach a terrible lesson that day. They would show that the socialist should not guide his accursed bark into the tranquil seas of domestic comfort, and anchor it upon the very hearthstone of conjugal felicity. No—as the gentlemen of the jury were husbands and fathers, as they were fathers and not husbands, as they were neither one nor the other, but hoped to be both—they would that day hurl such a thunderbolt at the pocket of the defendant—they would so thrice-gild the incurable ulcers of the plaintiff, that all the household gods of the United Empire would hymn them to their mighty rest, and Hymen himself keep continual carnival at their amaranthine hearths. "Gentlemen of the jury (said the learned counsel in conclusion), I leave you with a broken heart in your hands! A broken heart, gentlemen! Creation's masterpiece, flawed cracked, SHIVERED TO BITS! See how the blood flows from it—mark where its strings are cut and cut—its delicate fibres violated—its primitive aroma evaporated to all the winds of heaven. Make that heart your own, gentlemen, and say at how many pounds you value the demoniac damage. And oh, may your verdict still entitle you to the blissful confidence of that divine, purpureal sex, the fairest floral specimens of which I see before me! May their unfolding fragrance make sweet your daily bread; and when you die, from the tears of conjugal love, may thyme and sweet marjoram spring and blossom above your graves!"
Here the emotion of the court was unparalleled in the memory of the oldest attorney. Showers of tears fell from the gallery, so that there was a sudden demand for umbrellas.
The learned counsel sat down, and, having wiped his eyes, ate a sandwich.
There were other letters, but we have selected the least glowing. Mr. Charles Phillips then called his witnesses.
Peter Snooks examined: Was employed by plaintiff; recollected defendant coming to the van to propose a speculation, in which Madame Bonbon was to play with him. Defendant came very often when plaintiff was out. Once caught Madame Bonbon on defendant's knee. Once heard Madame Bonbon say, "Bless your darling nose!" Was sure it was defendant's nose. Was shocked at her levity, but consented to go for gin—Madame found the money. Had a glass myself, and drank their healths. Plaintiff never beat his wife; he couldn't: they were of very uneven habits; she was seven feet four, plaintiff was four feet seven.
Cross-examined by Mr. Adolphus: Plaintiff was dreadfully afflicted at infidelity of his wife: had become quite desperate—never sober since; was never sober before. On first night of the news plaintiff was quite delirious; took six plates of alamode beef, and two pots of porter.
Sarah Pillowcase examined: Was chambermaid at the Tinder-box and Flint, New Cut; had known defendant since she was a child—also knew plaintiff's wife. They came together on the 1st of April, about twelve at night. Understood they had been in a private box at the Victoria with an order. They had twelve dozen of oysters for supper, and eight Welch-rabbits: the lady found the money. Thought, of course, they were married, or would rather have died than have served them. They made a hearty breakfast: the lady found the money.
Cross-examined by Mr. Adolphus: Would swear to the lady, as she had once paid a shilling to see her.
(Here it was intimated by the learned judge that ladies might leave the court if they chose; it was evident, however, that no lady heard such intimation, as no lady stirred.)
Cross-examination continued: Yes, would swear it. Knew the obligation of an oath, and would swear it.
This ended the case for the plaintiff.
Mr. ADOLPHUS addressed the court for the defendant. He had not the golden tongue—no, he was not blessed with the oratory of his learned friend. He would therefore confine himself to the common sense view of the question. He was not talking to Arcadian shepherds (he was very happy to see his own butcher in the jury-box), but to men of business. If there had been any arts practised, it was on the side of the plaintiff's wife. His client had visited the plaintiff out of pure compassion. The plaintiff's show was a failing concern; his client, with a benevolence which had marked his long career, wished to give him the benefit of his own attractions, joined to those of the woman. Well, the plaintiff knew the value of money, and therefore left his wife and the defendant to arrange the affair between them. "Gentlemen of the jury," continued the learned counsel, "it must appear to you, that on the part of the plaintiff this is not an affair of the heart, but a matter of the breeches' pocket. He leaves his wife—a fascinating, versatile creature—with my client, I confess it, an acknowledged man of gallantry. Well, the result is—what was to be expected. My learned friend has dwelt, with his accustomed eloquence, on his client's broken heart. I will not speak of his heart; but I must say that the man who, bereaved of the partner of his bosom, can still eat six plates of alamode beef, must have a most excellent stomach. Gentlemen, beware of giving heavy damages in this case, or otherwise you will unconsciously be the promoters of great immorality. This is no paradox, gentlemen; for I am credibly informed that if the man succeed in getting large damages, he will immediately take his wife home to his bosom and his van, and instead of exhibiting her, as he has hitherto done, for one penny, he will, on the strength of the notoriety of this trial, and as a man knowing the curiosity of society, immediately advance that penny to threepence. You will, therefore, consider your verdict, gentlemen, and give such moderate damages as will entirely mend the plaintiff's broken heart."
The jury, without retiring from the box, returned a verdict of "Damages One Farthing!"
* * * * *
We are credibly informed—though the evidence was not adduced in court—that Monsieur Bonbon first suspected his dishonour from his wife's hair papers. She had most negligently curled her tresses in the soft paper epistles of her innamorato.
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PUNCH'S PENCILLINGS.—No. XXI.
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THE FETES FOR THE POLISH—AND FATE OF THE BRITISH POOR.
"Charity begins at home," says, or rather said, an admirable old proverb; but alack! the adage, or the times, or both, are out of joint—the wholesome maxim has lost its force—and homes for Charity must now be far as the Poles asunder, ere the benign influence of the weeping goddess can fall upon its wretched supplicants.
In private life the neglect of a domestic hearth for the vainglorious squandering abroad of the means that could and ought to render that the chief seat of comfort and independence, calls down upon the thoughtless and heartless squanderer and abuser of his means the just indignation and merited contempt of every thinking and properly constituted mind. The "Charity" that does not begin at home is the worst species of unjustifiable prodigality, and the first step to the absolute ruin of the "nearest and dearest" for the sake of the profligate and abandoned. And no sophistry can justify the apparent liberality that deprives others of their just and urgent dues.
It may be and is most noble to feed the widow and to clothe the orphan; but where is the beneficence of the deed if the wife and children of the ostentatious donor—the victims of the performance of such acts—are left themselves to endure misery and privations, from which his inadequate means cannot exempt the stranger and the giver's own household!
The sparrow who unwittingly rears the cuckoo's spurious offspring, tending with care the ultimate destroyer of its own young, does so in perfect ignorance of the results about to follow the misplaced affection. The cravings of the interloper are satisfied to the detriment of its own offspring; and when the full-fledged recipient of its misplaced bounty no longer needs its aid, the thankless stranger wings its way on its far-off course, selfishly careless of the fostering bird that brought it into life; and this may be looked upon as one of the results generally attendant upon a blind forgetfulness of where our first endeavours for the amelioration of the wants of others should be made.
It has ever been the crying sin of the vastly sympathetic to weep for the miseries of the distant, and blink at the wretchedness their eyes—if not their hearts—must ache to see. Their charity must have its proper stage, their sentiments the proper objects,—and their imaginations the undisturbed right to revel in the supposititious grievances of the far-off wretched and oppressed. The poor black man! the tortured slave! the benighted infidel! the debased image of his maker! the sunken bondsman! These terms must be the "Open sesame" for the breasts from whence spring bibles, bribes, blankets, glass beads, pocket-combs, tracts, teachers, missions, and missionaries. Oppression is what they would put down; but then the oppression must be of "foreign manufacture." Your English, genuine home-made article, though as superior in strength and endurance as our own canvas is to the finest fold of gauze-like cambric, is in their opinion a thing not worth a thought. A half oppressed Caffre is an object of ten thousand times more sympathy than a wholly oppressed Englishman; a half-starved Pole the more fitting recipient of the same proportion of actual bounty to a wholly starving peasant of our own land of law and liberty.
Let one-tenth the disgusting details so nobly exposed in the Times newspaper, as to the frightful state of some of our legalised poor law inquisitions, appear as extracts from the columns of a foreign journal, stating such treatment to exist amongst a foreign population, and mark the result. Why, the town would teem with meetings and the papers with speeches. Royal, noble, and honourable chairmen and vice chairmen would launch out their just anathemas against the heartless despots whose realms were disgraced by such atrocities. Think, think of the aged poor torn from their kindred, caged in a prison, refused all aid within, debarred from every hope without,—think of the flesh, the very flesh, rotting by slow degrees, and then in putrid masses falling from their wretched bones: think, we say, on this—then give what name you can, save murder, to their quickly succeeding death.
Fancy children—children that should be in their prime—so caged and fed that the result is disease in its most loathsome form, and with all its most appalling consequences! No hope! no flight! The yet untainted, as it were, chained to the spot, with mute despair watching the slow infection, and with breaking hearts awaiting the hour—the moment—when it must reach to them!
We say, think of these things—not as if they were the doings in England, and therefore legalised matters of course—but think of them as the arts of some despot in a far-off colony, and oh, how all hearts would burn—all tongues curse and call for vengeance on the abetors of such atrocities!
The supporters of the rights of man would indeed pour forth their eloquent denunciations against the oppressors of the absent. The poetry of passion would be exhausted to depict the frightful state of the crimeless and venerable victim of tyranny, bowing his grey hairs with sorrow to the grave; while the wailing of the helpless innocents different indeed in colour, but in heart and spirit like ourselves, being sprung from the one great source, would echo throughout the land, and find responses in every bosom not lost to the kindly feelings of good-will towards its fellows! Had the would-be esteemed philanthropists but these "foreign cues for passion," they would indeed
"Drown the stage with tears, And cleave the general ear with horrid speech; Make mad the guilty, and appal the free; Confound the ignorant; and amaze, indeed, The very faculties of eyes and ears."
But, alas! there is no such motive; these most destitute of Destitution's children are simply fellow-countrymen and fellow-Christians. Sons of the same soil, and worshippers of the same God, they need no good works in the way of proselyzation to save them from eternal perdition; consequently they receive no help to keep them from temporal torture.
To convince themselves that these remarks are neither unwarrantably severe, nor in the slightest degree overcharged, let our readers not only refer to the revolting doings chronicled in the Times, but let them find the further illustration of this foreign penchant in the recent doings at the magnificently-attended ball given in behalf of the Polish Refugees, and consequently commanding the support of the humane, enlightened, and charitable English; and then let them cast their eyes over the cold shoulder turned towards a proposition for the same act of charity being consummated for the relief of the poverty-stricken and starving families of the destitute and deserving artisans now literally starving under their very eyes, located no farther off than in the wretched locality of Spitalfields! An opinion—and doubtless an honest one—is given by the Lord Mayor, that any attempt to relieve their wants, in the way found so efficacious for the Polish Refugees, would be madness, inasmuch as it would, as heretofore, prove an absolute failure. Reader, is there anything of the cuckoo and the sparrow in the above assertion? Is it not true? And if it is so, is it not a more than crying evil? Is it not a most vile blot upon our laws—a most beastly libel upon our creed and our country? Is no relief ever to be given to the immediate objects who should be the persons benefited by our bounty? Are those who, in the prosperity proceeding from their unceasing and ill-paid toil, added their quota to the succour of others, now that poverty has fallen on them, to be left the sport of fortune and the slaves of suffering? Do good, we say, in God's name, to all, if good can be done to all. But do not rob the lamb of its natural due—its mother's nourishment—to waste it on an alien. There is no spirit of illiberality in these remarks; they are put forward to advocate the rights of our own destitute countrymen—to claim for them a share of the lavish commiseration bestowed on others—to call attention to the desolation of their hearths—the wreck of their comforts—the awful condition of their starving and dependent families—and to give the really charitable an opportunity of reserving some of their kindnesses for home consumption. Let this be their just object, and not one among the relieved would withhold his mite from their suffering fellows in other climes. But in Heaven's name, let the adage root itself once more in every Englishman's "heart of hearts," and once more let "Charity begin at home!"
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THE FIRE AT THE ADELPHI THEATRE.
Yates was nearly treating the enlightened British public with an antidote to "the vast receptacle of 8,000 tons of water," by setting fire to the saloon chimney. Great as the consternation of the audience was in the front, it was far exceeded by the alarm of the actors behind the curtain, for they are so sensible of the manager's daring genius, that they concluded he had set fire to the house in order to convert "the space usually devoted to illusion into the area of reality." The great Mr. Freeborn actually rushed out of the theatre without his rouge. Little Paul drank off a glass of neat water. Mr. John Sanders was met at the end of Maiden Lane, with his legs thrust into the sleeves of his coat, and the rest of his body encased in the upper part of a property dragon; whilst little round Wilkinson was vainly endeavouring to squeeze himself into a wooden waterspout. Had he succeeded he might have applied for the reward offered by the Royal Society for a method of
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THE CRIMES OF EATING.
Sir Robert Peel and her Majesty's Ministers have, we learn, taken a hint in criminal jurisprudence from his Worship the Mayor of Reading, and are now preparing a bill for Parliament, which they trust will be the means of checking the alarming desire for food which has begun to spread amongst the poorer classes of society. The crime of eating has latterly been indulged in to such an immoderate extent by the operatives of Yorkshire and the other manufacturing districts, that we do not wonder at our sagacious Premier adopting strong measures to suppress the unnatural and increasing appetites of the people.
Taking up the sound judicial views of the great functionary above alluded to, who committed Bernard Cavanagh, the fasting man, to prison for smelling at a saveloy and a slice of ham, Sir Robert has laid down a graduated—we mean a sliding—scale of penalties for the crime of eating, proportioning, with the most delicate skill, the exact amount of the punishment to the enormity of the offence. By his profound wisdom he has discovered that the great increase of crime in these countries is entirely attributable to over-feeding the multitude. Like the worthy Mr. Bumble, in "Oliver Twist," he protests "it is meat and not madness" that ails the people. He can even trace the origin of every felony to the particular kind of food in which the felon has indulged. He detects incipient incendiarism in eggs and fried bacon—homicide in an Irish stew—robbery and house-breaking in a basin of mutton-broth—and an aggravated assault in a pork sausage. Upon this noble and statesmanlike theory Sir Robert has based a bill which, when it becomes the law of the land, will, we feel assured, tend effectually to keep the rebellious stomachs of the people in a state of wholesome depletion. And as we now punish those offenders who break the Queen's peace, we shall, in like manner, then inflict the law upon the hungry scoundrels who dare to break the Queen's Fast.
We have been enabled, through a private source, to obtain the following authentic copy of Sir Robert's scale of the offences under the intended Act, with the penalty attached to each, viz.:
For penny rolls or busters Imprisonment not exceeding a week.
For bread of any kind, with Imprisonment for a month. cheese or butter
For saveloys, German sausages, One month's imprisonment, with and Black puddings hard labour.
For a slice of ham, bacon, or Imprisonment for three months, meat of any kind and exercise on the treadmill.
For a hearty dinner on beef and Transportation for seven years. pudding
For do. with a pot of home-brewed Transportation for life. ale.
As these offences apply only to those who have no right to eat, the wealthy and respectable portion of society need be under no apprehension that they will be exposed to any inconvenience by the operation of the new law.
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NOBODY CARES AND*
WELLINGTON has justified his claim to the sobriquet of 'the iron Duke' by the manner in which he treated the deputation from Paisley. His Grace excused himself from listening to the tale of misery which several gentlemen had travelled 500 miles to narrate to him, on the plea that he was not a Minister of the Crown. Yet we have a right to presume that the Queen prorogued Parliament upon his Grace's recommendation, so if he be not one of Peel's Cabinet what is he? We suppose
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HINTS HOW TO ENJOY AN OMNIBUS.
1. On getting in, care neither for toes or knees of the passengers; but drive your way up to the top, steadying yourself by the shoulders, chests, or even faces of those seated.
2. Seat yourself with a jerk, pushing against one neighbour, and thrusting your elbow into the side of the other. You will thus get plenty of room.
3. If possible, enter with a stick or umbrella, pointed at full length; so that any sudden move of the "bus" may thrust it into some one's stomach. It will make you feared.
4. When seated, occupy, if possible, the room of two, and revenge the treatment you have received on entering, by throwing every opposition in the way of a new-comer, especially if it be a woman with a child in her arms. It is a good plan to rest firmly on your umbrella, with your arms at right angles.
5. Open or shut windows as it suits you; men with colds, or women with toothaches, have no business in omnibuses. If they don't like it, they can get out; no one forces them to ride.
6. Young bucks may stare any decent woman out of countenance, put their legs up along the seats, and if going out to dinner, wipe the mud off their boots on the seats. They are only plush.
7. If middle-aged gentlemen are musical or political, they can dislocate a tune in something between a bark and a grumble, or endeavour to provoke an argument by declaring very loudly that Lord R—— or the Duke "is a thorough scoundrel," according to their opinion of public affairs. If this don't take, they can keep up a perpetual squabble with the conductor, which will show they think themselves of some importance.
8. Ladies wishing to be agreeable can bring lap dogs, large paper parcels, and children, to whom an omnibus is a ship, though you wish you were out of their reach.
9. Conductors should particularly aim to take up laundresses returning with a large family washing, bakers and butchers in their working jackets, and, if a wet day, should be particular not to pull up to the pathway.
10. For want of space, the following brevities must suffice:—Never say where you wish to stop until after you have passed the place, and then pull them up with a sudden jerk. Keep your money in your waistcoat-pocket, and button your under and upper coat completely, and never attempt to get at it until the door is opened, and then let it be nothing under a five-shilling piece. Never ask any one to speak to the conductor for you, but hit or poke him with your umbrella or stick, or rap his hand as it rests on the door. He puts it there on purpose. Always stop the wrong omnibus, and ask if the Paddington goes to Walworth, and the Kennington to Whitechapel: you are not obliged to read all the rigmarole they paint on the outside. Finally, consider an omnibus as a carriage, a bed, a public-house, a place of amusement, or a boxing-ring, where you may ride, sleep, smoke, chaff, or quarrel, as it may suit you.
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PETER THE GREAT (FOOL?)
The following colloquy occurred between a candidate for suicidal fame and the City's Peter Laureate:—
"So, sir, you tried to hang yourself, did you?"
"In course I did, or I should not have put my head in the noose."
"You had no business to do so."
"I did it for my pleasure, not for business."
"I'll let you see, sir, you shan't do it either for fun or earnest."
"Are you a Tory, Sir Peter?"
"A Tory, sir! No, sir; I'm a magistrate."
"Ah, that's why you interfere; you must be a low Rad, or you wouldn't prevent a man from
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THE WISE MAN OF THE EAST.
SIR PETER LAURIE begs Punch to inform him, which of Arabia's Children is alluded to in Moore's beautiful ballad,
"Farewell to thee, Araby's daughter."
He presumes it is Miss Elizabeth, commonly called Bess-Arabia.
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SONGS OF THE SEEDY.—No. VII.
I love the night with its mantle dark, That hangs like a cloak on the face of the sky; Oh what to me is the song of the lark? Give me the owl; and I'll tell you why. It is that at night I can walk abroad, Which I may not do in the garish day, Without being met in the streets, and bored By some cursed dun, that I cannot pay. No! no! night let it ever be: The owl! the owl! the owl! is the bird for me!
Then tempt me not with thy soft guitar, And thy voice like the sound of a silver bell, To take a stroll, where the cold ones are Who in lanes, not of trees but of fetters, dwell. But wait until night upsets its ink On the earth, on the sea, and all over the sky, And then I'll go to the wide world's brink With the girl I love, without feeling shy. Oh, then, may it night for ever be! The owl! the owl! the owl! is the bird for me!
But you turn aside! Ah! did you know, What by searching the office you'd plainly see, That I'm hunted down, like a (Richard) Roe, You'd not thus avert your eyes from me. Oh never did giant look after Thumb (When the latter was keeping out of the way) With a more tremendous fee-fo-fum Than I'm pursued by a dread fi-fa. Too-whit! too-whit! is the owl's sad song! A writ! a writ! a writ! when mid the throng, Is ringing in my ears the whole day long. Ah me! night let it be: The owl! the stately owl! is the bird—yes, the bird for me!
 Fetter-lane is clearly alluded to by the poet. It is believed to be the bailiffs' quarter.
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The Examiner states that there is no such fabric as scarlet cloth made in Ireland. If this be true, the Lady of Babylon, who is said to reside in that country, and to be addicted to scarlet clothing, must be in a very destitute condition.
* * * * *
A SPOON CASE.
A well-dressed individual has lately been visiting the lodging-house keepers of the metropolis. He engages lodgings—but being, as he says, just arrived from a long journey, he begs to have dinner before he returns to the Coach-Office for his luggage. This request being usually complied with, the new lodger, while the table is being laid, watches his opportunity and bolts with the silver spoons. Sir Peter Laurie says, that since this practice of filching the spoons has commenced, he does not feel himself safe in his own house. He only hopes the thief may be brought before him, and he promises to give him his dessert, by committing him without
* * * * *
A DAB FOR LAURIE.
SIR PETER LAURIE, on a recent visit to Billingsgate for the purpose of making what he calls a pisciatery tour, was much astonished at the vigorous performance of various of the real "live fish," some of which, as he sagely remarked, appeared to be perfect "Dabs" at jumping, and no doubt legitimate descendants from some particularly
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If old Nick were to lose his tail, where should he go to supply the deficiency?—To a gin-palace, because there they re-tail bad spirits.
Mr. G., who has a very ugly wife, named Euphemia, was asked lately why his spouse was the image of himself—and, to his great annoyance, discovered that it was because she was his Effie-G.
 I could make better than the above myself. E.G.—In what way should Her Majesty stand upon a Bill in Parliament so as to quash it?—By putting her V-toe (veto) on it.—PRINTER'S DEVIL.
I floored Ben-beau D'Israeli the other day with the following:—"Ben," said I, "if I were going to buy a violin, what method should I take to get it cheap?" Benjie looked rather more foolish than usual, and gave it up. "Why, you ninny," I replied, "I should buy an ounce of castor-oil, and then I would get a phial in (violin)." I think I had him there.
Why is a female of the canine species suckling her whelps like a philosophic principle?—Because she is a dogma (dog-ma).
What part of a horse's foot is like an irate governor?—The pastern (pa-stern).
Why is the march of a funeral procession like a turnpike?—Because it is a toll-gait (toll-gate).
Who is the greatest literary star?—The poet-aster.
Why is an Israelite named William Solomons similar to a great public festival?—Because he is a Jubilee (Jew-Billy).
Why are polished manners like a pea-jacket?—Because they are address (a dress).
Why are swallows like a leap head-over-heels?—Because they are a summer set (a somerset).
* * * * *
CUTTING IT RATHER SHORT.
The unexpected adjournment of the Court of Queen's Bench, by Lord Denman, on last Thursday, has filled the bar with consternation.—"What is to become of our clients?" said Fitzroy Kelly.—"And of our fees?" added the Solicitor General.—"I feel deeply for my clients," sighed Serjeant Bompas.—"We all compassionate them, brother," observed Wilde.—In short, one and all declare it was a most arbitrary and unprecedented curtailment of their little term—and, to say the least of it,
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The Tee-totallers say that the majority of the people are victims to Bacchus. In the present hard times they are more likely to be victims to
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SONGS FOR THE SENTIMENTAL.—No. 12.
Away! away! ye hopes which stray Like jeering spectres from the tomb! Ye cannot light the coming night, And shall not mock its gathering gloom; Though dark the cloud shall form my shroud— Though danger league with racking doubt— Away! away! ye shall not stay When all my joys are "up the spout!"
I little knew when first ye threw Your bright'ning beams on coming hours, That time would see me turn from thee, And fly your sweet delusive powers. Now, nerved to woe, no more I'll know How hope deferr'd makes mortal sick; The gathering storm may whelm my form, But I will suffer "like a brick!"
* * * * *
When Sir Peter Laurie had taken his seat the other morning in that Temple of Momus, the Guildhall Justice Room, he was thus addressed by Payne, the clerk—"I see, Sir Peter, an advertisement in the Times, announcing the sale of shares in the railroad from Paris to ROUEN; would you advise me to invest a little loose cash in that speculation?" "Certainly not," replied the Knight, "nor in any other railway,—depend upon it, they all lead to the same terminus, RUIN." Payne, having exclaimed that this was the best thing he had ever heard, was presented by our own Alderman with a shilling, accompanied with a request that he would get his hair cropped to the magisterial standard.
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A MEETING OF OLD ACQUAINTANCES.
At the sale of the library of the late Theodore Hook, a curious copy of "The Complete Jester" was knocked down to "our own" Colonel. Delighted with his prize, he ran home, intending to lay in a fresh stock of bons mots; but what was his amazement on finding that all the jokes contained in the volume were those with which he has been in the habit of entertaining the public these last forty years! Sibby declares that the sight of so many old friends actually brought the tears into his eyes.
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As the hero of a romantic play is obliged to possess all the cardinal virtues and all the intellectual accomplishments, so the hero of a farce is bound to be a fool. One of the greatest, and at the same time one of the best fools it has been our pleasure to be introduced to for some time is Mr. Titus Livingstone, in the new farce of "Love Extempore."
Mr. Titus Livingstone possesses an excellent heart, a good fortune, and an uncommon stock of modesty. His intellects are, however, far from brilliant; indeed, but for one trait in his character he would pass for an idiot,—he has had the good sense never as yet to fall in love! In fact, the farce is founded upon that identical incident of his life which occasioned him to suppose that he had taken the tender passion extempore.
Some sort of villany seems absolutely necessary to every species of play. To continue the parallel we commenced with between tragedy and farce, we observe that in the former he is usually such a person as Spinola, in "Nina Sforza," whilst a farce-villain turns out to be in most instances an intriguing widow, a lawyer, or a mischievous young lady. The rogue in "Love Extempore" is Mrs. Courtnay, a widow, who, with the assistance of Sir Harry Nugent, contrives a plot by which the hitherto insensible Livingstone shall fall a victim to love and her friend Prudence Oldstock; with whose mother and sister the widow and her co-intriguant are staying on a visit.
The moment fatal to Livingstone's virgin heart and unrestrained liberty arrives. He calls to pay a morning visit, and instantly the deep design is put into execution. Sir Harry begins by a most extravagant puff preliminary of the talents, accomplishments, virtues, beauty, disposition, endowments, and graces belonging to the enchanting Prudence. He and the widow exhibit her drawings,—Livingstone is in raptures, or pretends to be (for he is not an ill-bred man). What a piercing expression flashes from those studies of eyes (in chalk)! what an artistical grouping of legs! what a Saracen's-head-upon-Snow-hill-like ferocity frowns from that Indian chief!
At this juncture the captivating artist is herself introduced. Mr. Livingstone's modesty strikes him into a heap of confusion. "He sighs and looks, and looks and sighs again,"—he does not know "what to say, or how to say it; so that the trembling bachelor may become a wise and good lover." He stutters and hems in the utmost distress; to increase which, all his tormentors turn up the stage, leaving him to entertain the lady alone. The sketches naturally suggest a topic, and, plunging in medias res at once, he vehemently praises her legs! The lady is astonished, and the mamma alarmed; but having explained that the allusion was to the drawings, he is afterwards punished for the blunder by being threatened with a song. Though at a loss to find out what he has done to deserve such an infliction, he submits; for he is very sleepy, and sinks into a chair in an attitude of supposed attention, but really in a posture best adapted for a nap. When the song is ended the applause of course comes in; this awakens Livingstone in a fright; he starts, and throws down a harp in his fall.
After this contretemps, the villany of the widow and her ally takes a different turn. In a love affair there are generally two parties; and Miss Prudence has got to be persuaded that she is in love. This it is not difficult to accomplish, she being no more overburdened with penetration than the gentleman they are so kind as to say she is in love with. So far all goes on well: for she is soon convinced that she is enamoured to the last extremity.
Livingstone having a sort of glimmering that the danger so long averted at length impends over him—that he is falling into the trap of love, with every chance of the fall continuing down to the bottomless pit of matrimony, determines to avert the catastrophe by flight. The pair of villains, however, set up a cry of "Stop thief," and he is brought back. Sir Harry appeals to his feelings. Good gracious! is he so base, so dishonourable, so heartless, to rob an innocent, unsuspecting, and accomplished girl of her heart, and then wickedly desert her! Oh, no! In short, having already persuaded the poor man that he is in love, Sir Harry convinces him that he would also be a deceiver; and Livingstone would have returned like a lamb to the slaughter but for a new incident.
He has an uncle who is engaged in a law-suit with some of Mrs. Courtnay's family. To bring this litigation to an amicable end it has been proposed that Livingstone should marry the widow's sister. Here is a discovery! So, the deep widow has been unwittingly plotting against her own sister! Things must be altered; and so they are, in no time, for she persuades the easy hero that Nugent is in love with Prudence himself; but, finding she adores her new lover, has magnanimously given up his claims in his favour. This has the desired effect, for Livingstone will have no such noble sacrifice made on his account. He seeks Sir Harry; who, discovering the double design of the profound widow, talks as immensely magnanimous as they do in classic dramas. In short, both play at Romans till the end of the piece; the hero and heroine being at last fully persuaded that they have each really fallen in "Love Extempore!"
This idea of persuading two persons into the bonds of love—of having all the courting done at second-hand, is admirably worked out. Livingstone is a well-drawn character; so well, so naturally painted, that he hardly deserves to be the hero of a farce. Although exceedingly soft, he is a well-bred fool—though somewhat fat (for the actor is Mr. David Rees); he is not altogether inelegant. The gentleman who does the theatrical metaphysics in the Morning Herald has described him as a capital specimen of "physical obesity and moral teunity,"—which we quote to save ourselves trouble, for the force of description can no further go. Prudence is also inimitable—a march-of-intellect young lady without brains, who knows the names of the five large rivers in America, and how many bones there are in the gills of a turbot. In Miss P. Horton's hands her mechanical acquirements were done ample justice to. The cold unmeaning love scene was rendered mainly by her acting