PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.
FOR THE WEEK ENDING NOVEMBER 6, 1841.
* * * * *
A DAY-DREAM AT MY UNCLE'S.
The result of a serious conversation between the authors of my being ended in the resolution that it was high time for me to begin the world, and do something for myself. The only difficult problem left for them to solve was, in what way I had better commence. One would have thought the world had nothing in its whole construction but futile beginnings and most unsatisfactory methods of doing for one's self. Scheme after scheme was discussed and discarded; new plans were hot-beds for new doubts; and impossibilities seemed to overwhelm every succeeding though successless suggestion. At the critical moment when it appeared perfectly clear to me either that I was fit for nothing or nothing was fit for me, the authoritative "rat-tat" of the general postman closed the argument, and for a brief space distracted the intense contemplations of my bewildered parents.
"Good gracious!" "Well, I never!" "Who'd ha' thought it?" and various other disjointed mutterings escaped my father, forming a sort of running commentary upon the document under his perusal. Having duly devoured the contents, he spread the sheet of paper carefully out, re-wiped his spectacles, and again commenced the former all-engrossing subject.
"Tom, my boy, you are all right, and this will do for you. Here's a letter from your uncle Ticket."
I nodded in silence.
"Yes, sir," continued my father, with increasing emphasis and peculiar dignity, "Ticket—the great Ticket—the greatest"—
"Pawnbroker in London," said I, finishing the sentence.
"Yes, sir, he is; and what of that?"
"Nothing further; I don't much like the trade, but"—
"But he's your uncle, sir. It's a glorious money-making business. He offers to take you as an apprentice. Nancy, my love, pack up this lad's things, and start him off by the mail to-morrow. Go to bed, Tom."
So the die was cast! The mail was punctual; and I was duly delivered to Ticket—the great Ticket—my maternal, and everybody else's undefinable, uncle. Duly equipped in glazed calico sleeves, and ditto apron, I took my place behind the counter. But as it was discovered that I had a peculiar penchant for giving ten shillings in exchange for gilt sixpences, and encouraging all sorts of smashing by receiving counterfeit crowns, half-crowns, and shillings, I received a box on the ear, and a positive command to confine myself to the up-stairs, or "top-of-the-spout department" for the future. Here my chief duties were to deposit such articles as progressed up that wooden shaft in their respective places, and by the same means transmit the "redeemed" to the shop below. This was but dull work, and in the long dreary evenings, when partial darkness (for I was allowed no candle) seemed to invite sleep, I frequently fell into a foggy sort of mystified somnolency—the partial prostration of my corporeal powers being amply compensated by the vague wanderings of indistinct imagination.
In these dozing moods some of the parcels round me would appear not only imbued with life, but, like the fabled animals of AEsop, blessed with the gift of tongues. Others, though speechless, would conjure up a vivid train of breathing tableaux, replete with their sad histories. That tiny relic, half the size of the small card it is pinned upon, swells like the imprisoned genie the fisherman released from years of bondage, and the shadowy vapour takes once more a form. From the small circle of that wedding ring, the tear-fraught widow and the pallid orphan, closely dogged by Famine and Disease, spring to my sight. That brilliant tiara opens the vista of the rich saloon, and shows the humbled pride of the titled hostess, lying excuses for her absent gems. The flash contents of that bright yellow handkerchief shade forth the felon's bar; the daring burglar eyeing with confidence the counsel learned in the law's defects, fee'd by its produce to defend its quondam owner. The effigies of Pride, Extravagance, honest Distress, and reckless Plunder, all by turns usurp the scene. In my last waking sleep, just as I had composed myself in delicious indolence, a parcel fell with more than ordinary force on one beneath. These were two of my talking friends. I stirred not, but sat silently to listen to their curious conversation, which I now proceed to give verbatim.
Parcel fallen upon.—"What the d—l are you?"
Parcel that fell.—"That's my business."
"Is it? I rather think its mine, though. Why don't you look where you're going?"
"How can I see through three brown papers and a rusty black silk handkerchief?"
"Ain't there a hole in any of 'em?"
"That's a pity; but when you've been here as long as I have, the moths will help you a bit."
"I hope not."
"Hope if you like; but you'll find I'm right."
"I trust I didn't hurt you much."
"Not very. Bless you, I'm pretty well used to ill-treatment now. You've only rubbed the pile of my collar the wrong way, just as that awkward black rascal would brush me."
"Bless me! I think I know your voice."
"Somehow, I think I know yours."
"You ain't Colonel Tomkins, are you?"
"Nor Count Castor?"
"Then I'm in error."
"No you're not. I was the Colonel once; then I became the Count by way of loan; and then I came here—as he said by mistake."
"Why, my dear fellow, I'm delighted to speak to you. How did you wear?"
"When I first saw you, I thought you the handsomest Petersham in town. Your velvet collar, cuffs, and side-pockets, were superb; and when you were the Colonel, upon my life you were the sweetest cut thing about the waist and tails I ever walked with."
"You flatter me."
"Upon my honour, no."
"Well, I can return the compliment; for a blue, with chased buttons and silk lining, you beat anything I ever had the honour of meeting. But I suppose, as you are here, you are not the Cornet now?"
"May I ask why?"
"Certainly. His scoundrel of a valet disgraced his master's cloth and me at the same time. The villain went to the Lowther Arcade—took me with him by force. Fancy my agony; literally accessory to handing ices to milliners' apprentices and staymakers; and when the wretch commenced quadrilling it, he dos-a-dos'd me up against a fat soap-boiler's wife, in filthy three-turned-and-dyed common satin."
"Rascal! But he was discovered—he reeled home drunk. I, that is, as it's known, we make the men. The Cornet saw him, and thrashed him soundly with a three-foot Crowther."
"That must have been delightful to your feelings."
"Why not? revenge is sweet."
"So it is; but as the Cornet forgot to order him to take me off, I got the worst of the drubbing. I was dreadfully cut about. Two buttons fearfully lacerated—nothing but the shanks left."
"How did it end?"
"The valet mentioned something about wages and assault warrants, so I was given to him to make the matter up. Between you and I, the Cornet was very hard up."
"Certain of it. You remember the French-grey trousers we used to walk out with—those he strapped so tight over the remarkably chatty and pleasant French-polished boots whose broken English we used to admire so much?"
"Of course I do; they were the most charming greys I ever met. They beat the plaids into fits; and the plaids were far from ungentlemanly, only they would always talk with a sham Scotch accent, and quote the 'Cotter's Saturday Night.'"
"Certainly that was a drawback. But to return to our friends, and the Cornet's friends, they must have been bad, for those very greys were seated."
"Fact, I assure you. My tails were pinned over the patch for three weeks."
"How did they bear it?"
"Shockingly. A general break up of the constitution—went all to pieces. First, decay appeared in the brace buttons; then the straps got out of order. They did say it was owing to the heels of the French-polished boots going down on one side, but the boots would never admit it."
"How did you get here?"
"I came from the Bench for eggs and bacon for the Cornet and his Valet's breakfast! What brought you?"
"The Count's landlady, for a week's rent."
"What did you fetch?"
"Bless me, you must have worn well."
"No; hold your tongue—I think I shall die with laughing,—ha! ha!—When they took me in, I returned the compliment. I've been—"
"Cuffed and collared!"
"Ha! ha! ha! ha!" shouted both coats; and "Ha! ha!" shouted I; "And I'll teach you to 'ha! ha!' and neglect your business" shouted the Governor; and the reality of a stunning box on the ear dispelled the illusion of my "Day-dream at my Uncle's."
* * * * *
"BLOW GENTLE BREEZE."
The Reverend Henry Snow, M.A., has been inducted by the Bishop of Gloucester, to the Vicarage of Sherborne cum Windrush.
From Glo'ster see, a windrush came, and lo! On Sherborne Vicarage it drifted Snow.
* * * * *
THE HEIR OF APPLEBITE.
SHOWS WHAT'S AFTER A PARTY, AND WHAT'S IN A NAME.
Undoubtedly on the following day 24 Pleasant-terrace was the most uncomfortable place in the universe. Some one has said that wherever Pleasure is, Pain is certain not to be far off; and the truth of the allegory is never better exemplified than on the day after "a most delightful party." We can only compare it to the morning succeeding a victory by which the conqueror has gained a great deal of glory at a very considerable expenditure of materiel. Let us accompany the mistress of the house as she proceeds from room to room, to ascertain the damage done by the enemy upon the furniture and decorations. A light damask curtain is found to have been saturated with port wine; a ditto chair-cushion has been doing duty as a dripping-pan to a cluster of wax-lights; a china shepherdess, having been brought into violent collision with the tail of a raging lion on the mantel-piece, has reduced the noble beast to the short-cut condition of a Scotch colley. A broken candle has perversely fallen the only way in which it could have done any damage, and has thrown the quicksilver on the back of a large looking-glass into an alarming state of eruption. The return of "cracked and broken" presents a fearful list of smashage and fracture: the best tea-set is rendered unfit for active service, being minus two saucers, a cup-handle, and a milk-jug; the green and gold dessert-plates have been frightfully reduced in numbers; two fiddle-handle spoons are completely hors de combat, having been placed under the legs of the supper-table to keep it steady; seven straw-stemmed wine-glasses awfully shattered during the "three-times-three" discharge in honour of the toast of the Heir of Applebites; four cut tumblers injured past recovery in a fit of "entusymusy" by four young gentlemen who were accidentally left by themselves in the supper-room; eighteen silver-plated dessert-knives reduced to the character of saws, by a similar number of "nice fellows" who were endeavouring to do the agreeable with the champagne, and consequently could distinguish no difference between wire and grape-stalks. The destruction in the kitchen had been equally great: the extra waiter had placed his heel on a ham-sandwich, and, consequently, sat down rather hurriedly on the floor with a large tray of sundries in his lap, the result of which was, according to the following
Two decanters starred; One salt-cellar smithereened; Four tumblers cracked uncommonly; An extra waiter many bruises, and fractured pantaloons.
The day after a party is certain to be a sloppy day; and as the street-door is constantly being opened and shut, a raw, rheumatical wind is ever in active operation. Both these miseries were consequent upon the Applebite festivities, and Agamemnon saw a series of catarrhs enter the house as the rout-stools made their exit. He was quite right; for the next fortnight neck-of-mutton broth was the standard bill of fare, only varied by tea, gruel, and toast-and-water.
There is no evil without its attendant good; and the temporary imprisonment of the Applebite family induced them to consider the propriety of naming the infant heir, for hitherto he had been called "the cherub," "the sweet one," "the mother's duck of the world," and "daddy's darling." Several names had been suggested by the several friends and relatives of the family, but nothing decisive had been agreed to.
Agamemnon wished his heir to be called Isaac, after his grandfather, the member for Puddingbury, "in the hope," as he expressed himself, "that he might in after years be stimulated to emulate the distinguished talents and virtues of his great ancestor." (Overruled by Mrs. Waddledot, Mrs. Applebite, and the rest of the ladies. Isaac declared vulgar, except in the case of the member for Puddingbury.)
Mrs. Waddledot was anxious that the boy should be christened Roger de Dickey, after her mother's great progenitor, who was said to have come over with William the Conqueror, but whether in the capacity of a lacquey or a lord-in-waiting was never, and perhaps never will be, determined. (Opposed by Agamemnon, on the ground that ill-natured people would be sure to dispense with the De, and his heir would be designated as Roger Dickey. In this opinion Mrs. Applebite concurred.)
The lady-mother was still more perplexing; she proposed that he should be called—
ALBERT (we give her own reasons)—because the Queen's husband was so named.
AGAMEMNON—because of the alliteration and his papa.
DAVIS—because an old maiden lady who was independent had said that she thought it a good name for a boy, as her own was Davis.
MONTAGUE—because it was a nice-sounding name, and the one she intended to address him by in general conversation.
COLLUMPSION—as her papa.
PHIPPS—because she had had a dream in which a number of bags or gold were marked P.H.I.P.P.S.; and
APPLEBITE—as a matter of course.
(Objected to by Mrs. Waddledot, for—nothing in particular, and by Agamemnon on the score of economy. The heir being certain to employ a lawyer, would be certain to pay an enormous interest in that way alone.)
Friends were consulted, but without any satisfactory result; and at length it was agreed that the names should be written upon strips of paper and drawn by the nominees. The necessary arrangements being completed, the three proceeded to the ballot.
Mrs. Waddledot drew Isaac. Agamemnon drew Roger de Dickey. Mrs. Applebite drew Phipps.
As a matter of course everybody was dissatisfied; but with a "stern virtue" everybody kept it to themselves, and the heir was accordingly christened Isaac Roger de Dickey Phipps Applebite.
Old John soon realised Agamemnon's fears of Mrs. Waddledot's selection, for, whether the patronym of the Norman invader was more in accordance with his own ideas of propriety, or was more readily suggestive to his mind of the infant heir, he was continually speaking of little master Dicky; and upon being remonstrated with upon the subject promised amendment for the future. All, however, was of no use, for John jumbled the Phipps, the Roger, the Dickey, and the De together, but always contriving most perversely to
* * * * *
A SCANDALOUS REPORT.
We are requested to contradict, by authority, the report that Colonel Sibthorp was the Guy Fawkes seen in Parliament-street. It is true that a deputation waited upon him to solicit him to take the chair on the 5th of November, but the gallant Colonel modestly declined, much to the disappointment of the young gentlemen who presented the requisition; so much so indeed, that, after exhausting their oratorical powers, they slightly hinted at having recourse to
* * * * *
"ROB ME THE EXCHEQUER, HAL."
No wonder Smith Exchequer Bills, Should have a taste for gorging, For since the work the pocket fills, What Smith's averse to forging?
* * * * *
THE FIRE AT THE TOWER.
This is a sad business, there is no doubt, and the excitement which prevailed may probably excuse the eccentricities that occurred, and to which we beg leave to call the public attention.
In the first place, by way of ensuring the safety of the property, precautions were taken to shut out every one from the building; and as military rule knows of no exception, the orders given were executed to the letter by preventing the ingress of the firemen with their engines until the general order of exclusion was followed by a countermand. This of course took time, leaving the fire to devour at its leisure the enormous meal that fate had prepared for it.
After the admission of the firemen there was the usual mishap of no water where it could be got at, but an abundant supply where there was no possibility of reaching it. The tanks which the hose could be got into were almost dry, while the Thames was in the most provoking way almost overflowing its banks in the very neighbourhood of the fire; and yet, if the pipes were laid on to the water, they were laid off too far from the building to have the least effect upon it.
The next eccentricity consisted in the sudden idea that suggested itself to somebody, that all energy should be devoted to saving the jewels, which were not in the smallest danger, and even if they had been, there was nobody knew how to get at them, the key being some miles off in the possession of the Lord Chamberlain. It might as well have been at the bottom of the Thames; and, of course, everybody began tugging at the iron bars, which were at length forced, and the jewels were, at a great cost of time and trouble, removed to a place of safety from a position of the most perfect security!! However, this showed activity if nothing else, and of course made the subject of paragraphs about "presence of mind," "indefatigable exertions," and "superhuman efforts" on the part of certain persons who, for the good they were doing, might just as well have been carrying the piece of artillery in St. James's Park into the enclosure opposite.
While the jewels were being hurried from one part of the Tower, where they were quite safe, to another where they were not more so, it never occurred to any one to rescue from danger the arms, which were being quietly consumed, while the crown and regalia were being jolted about with the most injurious activity.
The treatment of some of the reporters was another curious point of this melancholy business; and a gentleman from a weekly journal, on applying at head-quarters, found his own head suddenly quartered by a blow from a musket. This was rather unceremonious treatment on the part of the privates of the line to a person who is also
—the penny-a-line we mean; but with a true gusto for accidents, and a relish for calamities, which nothing could subdue, he still pressed forward, with blood streaming from his fractured skull, for additional particulars. The American reporter whose hand was blown off, and had the good fortune to be upon the spot, is not to be compared with the hero who had the exclusive advantage of being able to supply practical information of the ruffianly conduct pursued by the soldiery.
It is not stated whether the fire-escape was on the spot; but as no one lived in the building that was burnt, it is highly probable that every effort was made to save the lives of the inhabitants. There is no doubt that the ladder was strenuously directed towards the clock tower, with the view, probably, of saving the "jolly cock" who used to adorn the top of it.
The reporters mark as a miracle the extraordinary fact, that during the whole time of the fire, the weathercock continued to vary with the wind. The gentlemen of the press, probably, expected that the awful solemnity of the scene would have rendered any man, not entirely lost to every sense of feeling, completely motionless. The apathy of the weathercock that went on whirling about as if nothing had happened, is in the highest degree disgusting, and we can scarcely regret the fate of such an unfeeling animal.
* * * * *
PLEASE TO REMEMBER THE FIFTH OF NOVEMBER.
November, that month of fires, fogs, felo de ses, and Fawkes, has been ushered in with becoming ceremony at the Tower and at various other parts of the metropolis. In vain has an Act of Parliament been passed for the suppression of bonfires—November asserts her rights, and will have her modicum of "flare up" in spite of the law; but with the trickery of an Old Bailey barrister she has thrown the onus upon October. Nor is this all! Like a traitorous Eccalobeion she has already hatched several conspiracies, as though everybody now thought of getting rid of others or themselves.
The Right Hon. Spring-heel Rice Baron Jamescrow, commonly known as the Lord Monteagle, has, like his historical synonym, been favoured with a communication which being considerably beyond his own comprehension, he has in a laudable spirit submitted it to Punch—an evidence of wisdom which we really did not expect from our friend Baron Jamescrow.
We subjoin the introductory epistle—
DEAR PUNCH,—I hasten to forward you the awful letter enclosed—we are all abroad here concerning it—by the bye, how are you all at home—to say the least, it certainly does look very ugly. Mrs. P., I hope, has improved in appearance. Something terrible is evidently about to happen. I intend to pay you a visit shortly. I trust we may not have to encounter any more Guys—you may expect to see me on my Friday. I can only add my prayers for the nation's safety and my compliments to Mrs. Punch and the young P.s.
P.S. Let me have your advice and your last Number immediately I have made a few notes, and paid the postage.
The following is the letter referred to by the Baron Jamescrow:—
MY LORD,—Being known to some of your friends I would advise you, as you tender your peace and quiet, to devise some excuse to shift off your attendance at your house (clearly the House of Lords—Monteagle), for fire and brimstone have united to destroy the enemies of man (evidently gunpowder, lucifer-matches, and the Peers—Monteagle). Think not lightly of my advertisement (see Dispatch), but retire yourself in the country (I should think I would—Monteagle), where you may abide in safety; for though there be no appearance of any punae; (what the deuce does this mean? Puny's little—Monteagle), yet they will receive a terrible blow-up (By punae he means members of Parliament, and he is another Guy!—Monteagle); yet they shall not see who hurts them, though the place shall be purified and the enemy completely destroyed.
I am, your Lordship's servant,
and destroyer to her Majesty and the two Houses of Parliament.
We are surprised at our friend Monteagle troubling us with a matter evidently as plain as the nose on our own face. It requires neither a Solon nor a Punch to solve the enigma. It is merely a letter from Tiffin, the bug destroyer to her Majesty, and refers to his peculiar plan of persecuting the punae.
We have no doubt that Lords and Commons will be blown up on the re-assembling of Parliament; and as an assurance that we do not speak upon conjecture only, we beg to subjoin a portrait of the delinquent.
* * * * *
THE RIVAL CANDIDATES.
Be not afraid, gentle reader, that, from the title of our present article, we are about to prescribe for you any political draught. No! be assured that we know as little about politics as pyrotechny—that we are as blissfully ignorant of all that relates to the science of government as that of gastronomy—and have ever since our boyhood preferred the solid consistency of gingerbread to the crisp insipidity of parliament. The candidates of whom we write were no would-be senators—no sprouting Ciceros or embryo Demosthenes'—they were no aspirants for the grand honour of representing the honest and independent stocks and stones of some ancient rotten borough, or, what is about the same thing, the enlightened ten-pound voters of some modern reformed one—they were not ambitious of the proud privilege of appending for seven years two letters to their names, and of franking some half-dozen others per diem. No! the rivals who form the theme of our present paper were emulous of obtaining no place in Parliament, but, what is far more desirable, a place in the affections of a lovely maid. They sought not for the suffrages of the unwashed, but for the smiles of a fair one,—they neither desired to be returned as the representative of so many sordid voters for the term of seven years (a term of transportation common alike to M.P.s and pickpockets), but for the more permanent honour of being elected as the partner of a certain lady for life.
Georgiana Gray was the lovely object of the rivalry of the above candidates; and a damsel more eminently qualified to be the innocent cause of contention could not be found within the whole catalogue of those dear destructive little creatures who, from Eve downwards, have always possessed a peculiar patent for mischief-making. Georgiana was as handsome as she was rich. She was, in the superlative sense of the word, a beauty, and—what ought to be written in letters of gold—an heiress. She had the figure of a sylph, and the purse of a nabob. Her face was lovely and animated enough to enrapture a Raffaelle, and her fortune ample enough to captivate a Rothschild. She had a clear rent-roll of 20,000l. per annum,—and a pair of eyes that, independent of her other attractions, were sufficiently fascinating to seduce Diogenes himself into matrimony.
Philosophers generally affirm that the only substance capable of producing a magnetic effect is steel; but had they been witnesses of the great attraction that the fortune of our fair heroine had for its many eager pursuers, they would doubtless have agreed with us that the metal possessing the greatest possible power of magnetism is decidedly—gold. Innumerable were the butterflies that were drawn towards the lustre of the lovely Georgiana's money; and many a suitor, who set a high value upon his personal qualifications, might be found at her side endeavouring to persuade its pretty possessor of the eligible investment that might be made of the property in himself. Report, however, had invidiously declared that Georgiana looked with a cold and contemptuous eye upon the addresses of all save two.
Augustus Peacock and Julius Candy (this enviable duo) were two such young men as may be met with in herds any fine afternoon publishing their persons to the frequenters of Regent-street. They did credit to their tailors, who were liberal enough to give them credit in return. Their coats were guiltless of a wrinkle, their gloves immaculate in their chastity, and their boots resplendent in their brilliancy. Indeed they were human annuals—splendidly bound, handsomely embellished—but replete with nothing but fashionable frivolities. They never ventured out till such time as they imagined the streets were well-aired, and were never known to indulge in an Havannah till twelve o'clock P.M. They were scrupulous in their attentions to the Opera and the figurantes, and had no objection to wear the chains of matrimony provided the links were made of gold. In fine, they were of that common genus of gentlemen who lounge through life, and leave nothing behind them but a tombstone and a small six-shilling advertisement amongst the Deaths of some morning newspaper as a record of their having existed.
Such were the persons and the qualifications of the gentlemen to whom report had assigned the possession of the hand and fortune of the fair Georgiana Gray. But, happy as they respectively felt to be thus singled out for the proud distinction, still the knowledge of there being a rival in the field to dispute the glories of the conquest materially detracted from that feeling. They had each heard of the pretensions of the other; and while the peace of the one was repeatedly disturbed by the panegyrics of Mr. P., the harmony of the other met with an equal violation from the eulogies of Mr. C.; and although their respective vanities would not allow them to believe that the lady in question could be so deficient in taste as to prefer any other person to their precious selves, still it was but natural that they should neither look upon the other with any other feeling than that of disgust at the egregious impudence, and contempt for the superlative conceit, that could lead any other man to enter the lists as an opponent to themselves. Repeatedly had Mr. P. been heard to express his desire to lengthen the olfactory organ of Mr. C.; while the latter had frequently been known to declare that nothing would confer greater gratification upon him than to endorse with his cane the person of Mr. P. In fact, they hated each other with all possible cordiality. Fortunately, however, circumstances had never brought them into collision.
It was a lovely afternoon in May. All the world were returning to town. Georgiana Gray had just forsaken Harrowgate and its waters, to participate in the thickening gaieties of the metropolis. Augustus Peacock had abandoned the moors of Scotland for the beauties of Almack's; and Julius Candy had hastened from the banks of the Wye for the fascinations of Taglioni and the Opera.
The first object of Augustus on returning to town was to hasten and pay his devoirs to his intended. With this intent he proceeded to the mansion of Georgiana, and was ushered into the drawing-room, with the assurance that the lady would be with him immediately. The servant, however, had no sooner quitted the apartment than Mr. Candy, actuated by a similar motive, knocked at the door, and was speedily conducted into the presence of his rival.
The two gentlemen, being mutually ignorant of the person of the other, bowed with all the formality usual to a first introduction.
"Fine day, sir," said Augustus Peacock, after a short pause, little aware that he was holding communion with his rival.
"It is—very fine, sir," returned Julius Candy with a smile, which, had he been conscious of the person he was addressing, would instantly have been converted into a most contemptuous sneer.
"Have you had the pleasure of seeing Miss Gray, sir, since her return from Harrowgate?" inquired Augustus, with the soft civility of a man of fashion.
"No,—I have not yet had that honour, sir; no,"—replied Julius, with a slight inclination of his body.
"Charming girl, sir," remarked Mr. Peacock.
"Fascinating creature," responded Mr. Candy.
"Did you ever see such eyes, sir?" continued Mr. P.
"Never! 'pon my honour! never!"—exclaimed Julius, in a tone of moderate enthusiasm. "You may call them eyes, sir," and here he elevated his own.
"And what lips?"
"Ah, sir!" languishingly remarked Augustus, "he will be a happy may who gets possession of such a treasure!"
"He will, indeed, sir," returned his unknown rival, with an air of self-satisfaction, as if he believed that happiness was likely to be his own.
"You are aware, I suppose, sir," proceeded the communicative Mr. Peacock, "that there is a certain party whom Miss Gray looks upon with particular favour"—and the gentleman, to give peculiar emphasis to the remark, slightly elevated his cravat.
"I should think I ought to be"—pointedly returned Mr. C.—simpering somewhat diffidently at the idea that the observation was levelled at himself.
The two rivals looked at each other, tittered, and bowed.
"Ah! yes—I dare say—observed it, no doubt!" said Augustus, when his emotion had subsided.
"Why, yes—I should have been blind indeed could I have failed to remark it," responded Julius.
"Ah yes—you're right—yes—Miss Gray's attentions have been particularly marked, certainly—yes."
"They have been, sir, very, very marked—she's quite taken, poor thing, I believe!"
"Yes, poor creature!—sadly smitten indeed!—The lady has confessed as much to you perhaps, sir?"
Mr. Candy looked surprised at the remark of his companion, and replied "Why really, sir, that is a question which"—
"Ah, yes, I beg pardon, I was wrong—yes, I ought to have considered—but candidly, sir, what do you think of the match?"
"'Pon my honour, my dear sir," exclaimed Julius most feelingly, colouring slightly at the question, which he thought was rather home-thrust.
"Ah, yes, to be sure, it is rather a delicate question, considering, you know, that one is in the presence of the party himself, is it not?"
"Very, very delicate, I can assure you," said Julius, who, "laying the flattering unction to his soul" that he was the party alluded to, thought it rather an indelicate one.
Augustus observed the embarrassment of his companion, and could not refrain from laughter, and turning round to his companion, enquired significantly, "whether he did not think he was a happy man?"
Julius, who was in a measure similarly affected by the excitement of his unknown friend, observed, that the gentleman certainly did seem of a peculiarly gay disposition; and the two rivals, each delighted with the fancied approval of his suit by the other, indulged a mutual cachinnation.
"I suppose," after a slight pause remarked Augustus, with apparently perfect indifference, "you are aware that there was a rival in the field?"
"Oh! ah! did hear of a fellow," responded Julius, with equal insouciance, "but the idea of any other man carrying off the prize, perfectly ridiculous!"
"Oh! absolutely ludicrous, 'pon my soul! Ha! ha! ha!"
"It is astonishing the confounded vanity of some people!"
"And their preposterous obtuseness! why, a man with half an eye might see the folly of such presumption."
"To be sure, stupid dolt!"
"The fellow must be out of his senses!"
"Yes, a horsewhipping perhaps might bring him to!"
"Ay, or a good kicking might be salutary!"
The unanimity of the rival candidates produced, as might be supposed from their ignorance of the pretensions of each other, a feeling of mutual satisfaction and friendship, which, after a volley of anathemas had been fired by each gentleman against his rival, in absolute unconsciousness of his presence, ultimately displayed itself by each of them rising from his chair, and shaking the other most energetically by the hand.
"Really, my dear sir," exclaimed Augustus in an inordinate fit of enthusiasm, at the supposed sympathy of his companion, "I never met with a gentleman so peculiarly to my fancy as yourself."
"The feeling is perfectly reciprocal, believe me, my dear sir," returned Julius, equally delighted with the imagined friendship of Mr. P.
"I trust that our acquaintance will not end here."
"I shall be most proud to cultivate it, I can assure you."
"Will you allow me to present you with a card?"
"I shall be too happy to exchange it for one of my own!" and so saying, the parties searched for their cases—Mr. P., in the mean time, protesting his gratification "to meet with a gentleman whose opinions so thoroughly coincided with his own,"—and Mr. C. as emphatically declaring "that he should ever consider this the most fortunate occurrence of his life."
"Believe me, I shall be most happy to see you at any time," observed Mr. Augustus Peacock, smiling as he placed the small oblong of cardboard which bore his name and address in the hand of his companion.
"I shall feel too proud if you will honour me with a call at your earliest convenience," said Mr. Julius Candy bowing, while he presented to his fancied friend the little pasteboard parallelogram inscribed with his title and residence.
The eyes of the two gentlemen, however, were no sooner directed to the cards, which had been placed in their hands, than the smiles which had previously gladdened their countenances were instantaneously changed into expressions of the most indignant scorn and surprise.
"Peacock!" shouted Candy.
"Candy!" vociferated Peacock.
"Sir!" exclaimed the furious Mr. P., "had I known that Candy was the name of the man, sir, whom I was addressing, sir, my conduct you would have found, sir, of a very different character!"
"And had I been aware," retorted the exasperated Mr. C., "that Peacock was the title of the fellow" (and he laid a forty-horse power of emphasis upon the word) "with whom I have been conversing, my card would never have been delivered to him but with a different motive."
"Fellow, sir! I think you said—Fellow, sir!"
"I did, sir,—fellow was the word I used, and I repeat it—fellow—fellow!"
"You do, sir! and I throw back in your teeth, sir, with the addition of fool, sir!"
"Fool!—no, no—not quite a fool—only near one, sir!"
"You're a conceited puppy, sir!"
"And you are an impudent scoundrel, sir!"
This brought matters to a crisis. The parties embraced their canes with more than ordinary ardour, and, by their lowering looks, indicated a fervent desire to violate the peace of her blessed Majesty, when the fair cause of their contention suddenly entered the apartment.
It was no difficult matter, in the positions they occupied, for Georgiana to divine the reason of their animosity; which she effectually allayed by informing the angry disputants, "that either had no reason to look upon the other with any degree of jealousy, for she humbly begged to assure them that her affections were devoted to—neither."
This, of course, put a full stop to their chivalry: each party seized his hat, bowing distantly to the insensible Georgiana, and left the house, vowing certain destruction to the other; but, upon cool reflection, Messrs. C. and P. doubtless deemed it advisable not to endanger the small quantum of brains they individually possessed, by fighting for a lady who was so utterly blind to their manifold merits.
Thus ended the feud of THE RIVAL CANDIDATES.
* * * * *
SIR FRANCIS BURDETT'S VISIT TO THE TOWER.
On the news of the fire in the Tower of London being told to Sir Francis Burdett, he hurried to the scene of the conflagration, which must have suggested some unpleasing reminiscences of his lost popularity and faded glory. Some thirty years ago, those very walls received him like a second Hampden, the undaunted defender of his country's rights;—on last Monday he entered them a broken-down unhonoured parasite. Gazing on the black and smouldering ruins before him—he perhaps compared them to his own patriotism, for he was heard to matter audibly—
* * * * *
REFORM YOUR LAWYERS' BILLS.
It is a well-known and established fact, that nothing so far conduces to the domestic happiness of all circles as the golden system of living within one's income. Luxuries cease to be so if after-reflection produces vexatious results; comfort flies before an exorbitant and unprepared-for demand; and the debtor dunned by the merciless creditor sinks into something worse than a cipher, as nothingness is denied him, and the one standing before him but aggravates, and multiplies his painful annoyances. The great secret of satisfactory existence derives its origin from well-calculated and moderate expenditure. Ten thousand a year renders pines cheap at 1l. 11s. 6d. per pound; ten hundred is better exemplified by Ribston pippins!
So in all grades are there various matters of taste which become extravagance if rushed into by persons unbreeched for the occasion. Luckily for the present day, the tastes of the gourmand and epicure are merged in more manly sports; the great class of Corinthian aristocrats cull sweets from the blackened eyes of policemen—raptures from wrenched-off knockers—merriment in contusions—and frantic delight in fractured limbs! These innocent amusements have in their prosecution plunged many of their thoughtless and high-spirited devotees into pecuniary difficulties, simply from their ignorance of the costs attendant upon such exciting, fashionable, and therefore highly proper amusements.
Ever anxious to ameliorate the suffering and persecuted of ail classes, Messrs. Quibble and Quirk, attorneys-at-law, beg to offer their professional services at the following fixed and equitable rate,—they, Messrs. Q. and Q., pledging themselves that on no occasion shall the charge exceed the sum opposite the particular amusement in the following list.
N.B. Five per cent, per annum taken off for terms of imprisonment.
N.B. For prompt payment only.
Messrs. Q. and Q.'s card of charges for defending a Nobleman, Right Honble., Baronet, Knight, Esquire., Gentleman, Younger Son, Head Clerk, Junior do., Westminster Boy, Medical Student, Grecian at Christ's Church, Monitor, or any other miscellaneous individual aping or belonging to the aristocracy, from the following prosecutions:—
L s. To breaking a policeman's neck 50 0 To producing witnesses to swear policeman broke same himself 10 0 To choice of situation of house in street where done, from roof of which policeman fell; fee to landlord' for number and affidavit 10 10 ——- Total for neck, acquittal, witnesses, and perjury L70 10 ——- For do. leg, ribs, arms, head, nose, or other unimportant member 15 0 For receipt written by wife of handsome provision 1 0 For writing and indorsing same 5 5 Extras for alibis, if necessary; hire of clothes for witnesses to look decent, including loss by their absconding with the name 10 10 ——- Total L31 15 ——- For knockers by gross in populous neighbourhoods 20 0 For carpenter proving same never fitted their respective doors there engaged 3 3 All extras included 1 1 ——- Total L24 4
N.B.—Messrs. Q. and Q. beg to suggest, as the above charges are low, the old iron may as well be left at their offices.
For railings, per knob or dozen, assaults on police included, if not amounting to fracture 5 5 For suppressing police reports, or getting them put in in a sporting manner, the word gentleman substituted for prisoner, and "seat on the bench" for "place at the bar" 10 10 ——- Total L15 15
And all other legal articles in the above lines at equally low charges.
Noblemen and gentlemen contracting for seven years allowed a handsome discount. No connexion with any other house.
* * * * *
"WHEN VULCAN FORGED," &c.
"Bless my soul!" said Sir Peter Laurie, rushing into the Justice-room the morning the Exchequer Bill affair was discovered, and seizing Hobler by the button; "This is a dreadful business. Have you any idea, Hobler, who the delinquent is?" "Why really, Sir Peter, 'tis difficult to say; but from an inspection of the forged instruments I should say it was Smith's work." Sir Peter felt the importance of the suggestion, and rushed off to Sir Robert Peel to recommend the stoppage of all the forges in the kingdom.
* * * * *
"Every man is not only himself," says Sir THOMAS BROWNE; "there hath been many Diogenes, and as many Timons, though but few of that name. Men are lived over again. The world is now as it was in ages past: there was none then but there hath been some one since that parallels him, and, as it were, his revived self." We are devout believers in the creed.
HERR VON TEUFELSKOPF was a High German doctor, of the first class. He had taken his diploma of Beelzebub in the Black Forest, and was gifted with as fine a hand to force a card—with as glib a tongue to harangue a mob at wakes and fairs, as any professor since the birth of the fourth grace of life,—swindling. He would talk until his head smoked of his list of miraculous cures—of his balsams, his anodynes, his elixirs; in the benevolence of his soul he would, to accommodate the pockets of the poor, sell a pennyworth of the philosopher's stone; and, as a further illustration of his sympathy for suffering man or woman, give, even for a kreutzer, a mouthful of the Fountain of Youth. As a water-doctor, too, his Sagacity was inconceivable. A hundred years ago, he told to a fraction the amount of the national debt, from a single glance at the specimen sent him by JOHN BULL; and more, for five-and-twenty years predicted who would be the incoming Lord Mayor of London, from an inspection of a pint of water presented to him every season from Aldgate-pump. He could prophesy all the politics of the Court of Aldermen from a phial filled at Fleet-ditch; and could at any time—no trifling task—tell the amount of corruption in the House of Commons, by taking up a handful of water at Westminster-bridge. On his stolen visit to England—for the honour he has done our country has never been generally known—he calculated to a nicety how many puppies and kittens were annually drowned in the Thames, and how many suicides—particularising the sex and dress of each sufferer—were committed in the same period, from a bottlefull of Thames water brought to him wherewith to dilute his brandy at the Ship public house, Greenwich—a hostelry much frequented by Doctor TEUFELSKOPF. We have seen the calculation very beautifully illuminated on ass's skin, and at this moment deposited in the college of Heligoland. It is not generally known that the Doctor died in this country; lustily predicting, however, that after a nap of a score or so of years he would return to this life in an entirely new character. The Doctor has kept his word. HERR VON TEUFELSKOPF, as Sir THOMAS BROWNE says, is "lived over again" in Sir ROBERT PEEL!
It is impossible to reflect upon the enlarged humanity of Sir ROBERT—for though, indeed, he is no other than the old German quack revived, we will not refuse to him his new name—toward the sufferers of Paisley, without feeling that the fine spirit of finesse which made the reputation of the student of the Black Forest has in no way suffered from its long sleep; but, on the contrary, has risen very much refreshed for new practice. The Doctor never compassed so fine a sleight as Sir ROBERT when lately, playing the philanthropist, he struck his breeches' pocket with a spasm of benevolence, and pulled therefrom—fifty pounds! Only a few weeks before, Sir ROBERT had sworn by all his list of former cures, that he would clothe the naked and feed the hungry, if he were duly authorised and duly paid for such Christian-like solicitude. He is called in; he then prorogues Parliament to the tune of "Go to the devil and shake yourself," and sits down in the easy chair of salary, and tries to think! Disturbed in his contemplations by the groans and screams of the famishing, he addresses the starving multitude from the windows of Downing-street, telling them he can do nothing for them in a large way, but—the fee he has received to cure them can afford as much—graciously throwing them fifty pounds from his private compassion! As a statesman he is powerless; but he has no objection to subscribe to the Mendicity Society.
It is an old hacknied abuse of NERO, that when Rome was in flame he accompanied the crackling of doors and rafters with his very best fiddle. We grant this showed a want of fine sympathy on the part of NERO; there was, nevertheless, a boldness, an exhibition of nerve, in such instrumentation. Any way, it leaves us with a higher respect for NERO than if he had been found playing on the burning Pantheon with a penny squirt. His mockery of the Romans, bad as it was, was not the mockery of compassion.
"I will make bread cheap for you," says Sir ROBERT PEEL to the Paisley sufferers; "I will not enable you to buy the quartern loaf at a reduced rate by your own industry, but I will treat you to a penny roll, at its present size, from my own purse." Whereupon the Tories clap their hands and cry, "What magnanimity!"
What should we say if, on another Pie-lane conflagration of London, the Minister were to issue an order commanding all the fire-offices to make no attempt to extinguish the flames, and were then to exclaim to the sufferers, "My friends, I deeply sympathize with you; but the Phoenix shall not budge, the Hand-in-Hand mustn't move a finger, the Eagle must stay where it is; nevertheless, there is a little private fire-engine of my own at Tamworth; you are heartily welcome to the use of it, and pray heaven it may put this terrible fire out, and once more make you snug and comfortable."
Quackery is of more ancient birth than many very honest people suspect; nay, more than, were the register of its nativity laid before their eyes, they would be willing to admit. We have no space for its voluminous history; but it is our belief, since quackery first plied its profitable trade with human incredulity, it never perpetrated so successful a trick as that exhibited by Sir ROBERT PEEL in his motion of want of confidence. The first scene of the farce is only begun. We have seen how Sir ROBERT has snatched the cards out of the hands of the Whigs, and shall find how he will play the self-same trumps assorted by his opponents. A change is already coming over the Conservatives; they are meek and mild, and, with their pocket handkerchiefs at their eyes, lisp about the distresses of the people. "When the geese gaggle," says a rustic saw, "expect a change of weather." Lord LONDONDERRY has already begun to talk of an alteration of the Corn-laws.
"Who knows what a minister may be compelled to do?" says Lord LONDONDERRY. These are new words for the old harridan Toryism. She was wont, like Falstaff, to blow out her cheeks and defy compulsion. But the truth is, Toryism has a new host to contend with. Her old reign was supported by fictitious credit—by seeming prosperity—and, more than all, by the ignorance of the people. Well, the bills drawn by Toryism (at a long date we grant) have now to be paid—paper is to be turned into Bank gold. Arithmetic is a great teacher, and, with the taxman's ink horn at his button-hole, gives at every door lessons that sink into the heart of the scholar. Public opinion, which, in the good old days "when George the Third was king," was little more than an abstraction—a thing talked of, not acknowledged—is now a tangible presence. The said public opinion is now formed of hundreds of thousands whose existence, save in the books of the Exchequer, was scarcely admitted by any reigning minister. Sir ROBERT PEEL has now to give in his reckoning to the hard-heads of Manchester, of Birmingham, of Leeds—he must pass his books with them, and tens of thousands of their scholars scattered throughout the kingdom; or, three months after the next meeting of Parliament, he is nought.
At this moment, it is said, Sir ROBERT is studying what taxes he can best lay upon the people. We confess to the difficulty of the case. At this moment there is scarcely a feather so light, the addition of which will not crack the camel's back. No; Sir ROBERT will come to the Whig measures of relief, having so disguised them as, like Plagiary's metaphors, to make them pass for his own. The object of himself and party is, however, attained. He has juggled himself into place. With the genius of his former existence, as TEUFELSKOPF, the Premier has shuffled himself into Downing-street; and there he will leave nothing untried that he may remain. "If Cato gets drunk, then is drunkenness no shame"—"If Sir ROBERT PEEL alter the Corn-laws, then is it proper that the Corn-laws should be changed." This will be the cry of the Conservatives; and we shall see men, who before would have vowed themselves to slow starvation before they would admit an ear of wheat from Poland or Egypt, vote for a sliding-scale or no scale at all, as their places and the strength of their party may be best assured.
Doctor VON TEUFELSKOPF for years of his life was wont to eat fire and swallow a sword. We shall see how once more Sir ROBERT PEEL will eat his own principles—swallow his own words. When men call this apostacy, the Doctor will blandly smile, and denominate it a sacrifice to public opinion. We have no doubt that, as long as he can, the Premier will put off the remedy; he will try this and that; but at length public opinion will compel him to cast aside his own nostrums and use RUSSELL'S—bread pills!
* * * * *
EPIGRAMS ON A LOUD AND SILLY TALKER.
If it be true man's tongue is like a steed, Which bears his mind,—why then, none wonder need, That Timlin's tongue can run at such a rate, Because it only carries—feather weight.
* * * * *
When Timlin speaks, his voice so shrill and loud Fills with amazement all the list'ning crowd; But soon the wonder ceases, when 'tis found That empty vessels make the greatest sound.
* * * * *
PUNCH'S PENCILLINGS.—No. XVII.
* * * * *
THE PHYSIOLOGY OF THE LONDON MEDICAL STUDENT.
6.—OF THE GRINDER AND HIS CLASS.
One fine morning, in the October of the third winter session, the student is suddenly struck by the recollection that at the end of the course the time will arrive for him to be thinking about undergoing the ordeals of the Hall and College. Making up his mind, therefore, to begin studying in earnest, he becomes a pro tempore member of a temperance society, pledging himself to abstain from immoderate beer for six months: he also purchases a coffee-pot, a reading-candlestick, and Steggall's Manual; and then, contriving to accumulate five guineas to pay a "grinder," he routs out his old note-books from the bottom of his box, and commences to "read for the Hall."
Aspirants to honours in law, physic, or divinity, each know the value of private cramming—a process by which their brains are fattened, by abstinence from liquids and an increase of dry food (some of it very dry), like the livers of Strasbourg geese. There are grinders in each of these three professional classes; but the medical teacher is the man of the most varied and eccentric knowledge. Not only is he intimately acquainted with the different branches required to be studied, but he is also master of all their minutiae. In accordance with the taste of the examiners, he learns and imparts to his class at what degree of heat water boils in a balloon—how the article of commerce, Prussian blue, is more easily and correctly defined as the Ferrosesquicyanuret of the cyanide of potassium—why the nitrous oxyde, or laughing gas, induces people to make such asses of themselves; and, especially, all sorts of individual inquiries, which, if continued at the present rate, will range from "Who discovered the use of the spleen?" to "Who killed cock robin?" for aught we know. They ask questions at the Hall quite as vague as these.
It is twelve o'clock at noon. In a large room, ornamented by shelves of bottles and preparations, with varnished prints of medical plants and cases of articulated bones and ligaments, a number of young men are seated round a long table covered with baize, in the centre of whom an intellectual-looking man, whose well-developed forehead shows the amount of knowledge it can contain, is interrogating by turns each of the students, and endeavouring to impress the points in question on their memories by various diverting associations. Each of his pupils, as he passes his examination, furnishes him with a copy of the subjects touched upon; and by studying these minutely, the private teacher forms a pretty correct idea of the general run of the "Hall questions."
"Now, Mr. Muff," says the gentleman to one of his class, handing him a bottle of something which appears like specimens of a chestnut colt's coat after he had been clipped; "what's that, sir?"
"That's cow-itch, sir," replies Mr. Muff.
"Cow what? You must call it at the Hall by its botanical name—dolichos pruriens. What is it used for?"
"To strew in people's beds that you owe a grudge to," replies Muff; whereat all the class laugh, except the last comer, who takes it all for granted, and makes a note of the circumstance in his interleaved manual.
"That answer would floor you," continues the grinder. "The dolichos is used to destroy worms. How does it act, Mr. Jones?" going on to the next pupil—a man in a light cotton cravat and no shirt collar, who looks very like a butler out of place.
"It tickles them to death, sir," answers Mr. Jones.
"You would say it acts mechanically," observes the grinder. "The fine points stick into the worms and kill them. They say, 'Is this a dagger which I see before me?' and then die. Recollect the dagger, Mr. Jones, when you go up. Mr. Manhug, what do you consider the best sudorific, if you wanted to throw a person into a perspiration?"
Mr. Manhug, who is the wag of the class, finishes, in rather an abrupt manner, a song he was humming, sotto voce, having some allusion to a peer who was known as Thomas, Lord Noddy, having passed a night at a house of public entertainment in the Old Bailey previous to an execution. He then takes a pinch of snuff, winks at the other pupils as much as to say, "See me tackle him, now;" and replies, "The gallery door of Covent Garden on Boxing-night."
"Now, come, be serious for once, Mr. Manhug," continues the teacher; "what else is likely to answer the purpose?"
"I think a run up Holborn-hill, with two Ely-place knockers on your arm, and three policemen on your heels, might have a good effect," answers Mr. Manhug.
"Do you ever think you will pass the Hall, if you go on at this rate?" observes the teacher, in a tone of mild reproach.
"Not a doubt of it, sir," returns the imperturbable Manhug. "I've passed it twenty times within this last month, and did not find any very great difficulty about it; neither do I expect to, unless they block up Union-street and Water-lane."
The grinder gives Mr. Manhug up as a hopeless case, and goes on to the next. "Mr. Rapp, they will be very likely to ask you the composition of the compound gamboge pill: what is it made of?"
Mr. Rapp hasn't the least idea.
"Remember, then, it is composed of cambogia, aloes, ginger, and soap—C, A, G, S,—cags. Recollect Cags, Mr. Rapp. What would you do if you were sent for to a person poisoned by oxalic acid?"
"Give him some chalk," returns Mr. Rapp.
"But suppose you had not got any chalk, what would you substitute?"
"Oh, anything; pipeclay and soapsuds."
"Yes, that's all very right; but we will presume you could not get any pipeclay and soapsuds; in fact, that there was nothing in the house. What would you do then?"
Mr. Manhug cries out from the bottom of the table—"Let him die and be ——!"
"Now, Mr. Manhug, I really must entreat of you to be more steady," interrupts the professor. "You would scrape the ceiling with the fire-shovel, would you not? Plaster contains lime, and lime is an antidote. Recollect that, if you please. They like you to say you would scrape the ceiling, at the Hall: they think it shows a ready invention in emergency. Mr. Newcome, you have heard the last question and answer?"
"Yes sir," says the fresh arrival, as he finishes making a note of it.
"Well; you are sent for, to a man who has hung himself. What would be your first endeavour?"
"To scrape the ceiling with the fire-shovel," mildly observes Mr. Newcome; whereupon the class indulges in a hearty laugh, and Mr. Newcome blushes as deep as the red bull's-eye of a New-road doctor's lamp.
"What would you do, Mr. Manhug? perhaps you can inform Mr. Newcome."
"Cut him down, sir," answers the indomitable farceur.
"Well, well," continues the teacher; "but we will presume he has been cut down. What would you strive to do next?"
"Cut him up, sir, if the coroner would give an order for a post mortem examination."
"We have had no chemistry this morning," observes one of the pupils.
"Very well, Mr. Rogers; we will go on with it if you wish. How would you endeavour to detect the presence of gold in any body?"
"By begging the loan of a sovereign, sir," interrupts Mr. Manhug.
"If he knew you as well as I do, Manhug," observes Mr. Jones, "he'd be sure to lend it—oh, yes!—I should rayther think so, certainly," whereupon Mr. Jones compresses his nostril with the thumb of his right hand, and moves his fingers as if he was performing a concerto on an imaginary one handed flageolet.
"Mr. Rapp, what is the difference between an element and a compound body?"
Mr. Rapp is again obliged to confess his ignorance.
"A compound body is composed of two or more elements," says the grinder, "in various proportions. Give me an example, Mr. Jones."
"Half-and-half is a compound body, composed of the two elements, ale and porter, the proportion of the porter increasing in an inverse ratio to the respectability of the public-house you get it from," replies Mr. Jones.
The professor smiles, and taking up a Pharmacopoeia, says, "I see here directions for evaporating certain liquids 'in a water-bath.' Mr. Newcome, what is the most familiar instance of a water-bath you are acquainted with?"
"In High Holborn, sir; between Little Queen-street and Drury-lane," returns Mr. Newcome.
"A water-bath means a vessel placed in boiling-water. Mr. Newcome, to keep it at a certain temperature. If you are asked at the Hall for the most familiar instance, they like you to say a carpenter's glue-pot."
And in like manner the grinding-class proceeds.
* * * * *
THE LORD MAYORS AND THE QUEEN.
By the Correspondent of the Observer.
The interesting condition of Her Majesty is a source of the most agonising suspense to the Lord Mayors of London and Dublin, who, if a Prince of Wales is not born before their period of office expires, will lose the chance of being created baronets.
According to rumour, the baby—we beg pardon, the scion of the house of Brunswick—was to have been born—we must apologise again; we should say was to have been added to the illustrious stock of the reigning family of Great Britain—some day last month, and of course the present Lord Mayors had comfortably made up their minds that they should be entitled to the dignity it is customary to confer on such occasions as that which the nation now ardently anticipates. But here we are at the beginning of November, and no Prince of Wales. We have reason to know that the Lord Mayor of London has not slept a wink since Saturday, and his lady has not smiled, according to an authority on which we are accustomed to rely, since Thursday fortnight. Some say it is done on purpose, because the present official is a Tory; and others insinuate that the Prince of Wales is postponed in order that there may be an opportunity of making Daniel O'Connell a baronet. Others suggest that there will be twins presented to the nation! one on the night of the 8th of November, the other on the morning of the 9th, so as to conciliate both parties; but we are not disposed at present to pronounce a decided opinion on this part of the question. We know that politics have been carried most indelicately into the very heart of the Royal Household; but we hope, for the honour of all parties, that the confinement of the Queen is not to be made a matter of political arrangement. If it is, we can only say that it will be most indecent, we might almost venture to say unbecoming; but our dislike to the use of strong language is well known, or at least it ought to be.
If there are any other particulars, we shall give them in a second edition; that is to say, if we should have anything to add, and should think it worth while to publish another impression for the purpose of stating it.
* * * * *
SONGS FOR THE SENTIMENTAL.—No. 10.
You talk of love—I would believe Thy words were truth; Nor deem that thou wouldst e'er deceive My artless youth: But when we part, Within my heart A small voice whispers low— Beware! Beware! Fond girl, the snare! it's all no go!
You talk of love—yet would betray The heart you seek, And smile upon its slow decay, If 'twould not break. In vain you swear That I am fair, That heaven is on my lip! I know each vow Is worthless now;
* * * * *
THE TWO NEW EQUITY JUDGES.
"Between the two new Equity Courts, the suitors in Chancery will be much better off than formerly"—said Fitzroy Kelly, lately, to an intimate. "Undoubtedly," replied the friend, "they may now choose between the frying-pan and the fire."
* * * * *
ARTIST IN PHILOSOPHY AND FIREWORKS,
BEGS TO INFORM THE
HOBBEDEHOYITY AND INFANTRY OF THE METROPOLIS
AND THE WORLD IN GENERAL,
That, for the proper commemoration of the anniversary of the 5th of November, he had engaged the services of the following
EMINENT THAMESIAN INCENDIARIES.
SIR PETER LAURIE, to furnish materials for squibs.
MR. ROEBUCK, for flower-pots, containing the beautiful figure of a genealogical tree.
COLONEL SIBTHORP, for sky-rockets being constructed after his own plan; warranted to flare up at starting, and to come down—a stick.
DANIEL O'CONNELL, Esq., for the importation of Roman candles,
MR. WAKLEY, SIR JAMES GRAHAM, LORD STANLEY, and SIR FRANCIS BURDETT, for Catherine-wheels, which are guaranteed to turn round with great celerity, and to exhibit curious designs.
LORD MINTO, for Chinese fire, prepared from the recipes of his gallant relative, the Honourable Captain Elliot, which have been procured at an immense outlay.—(See next year's "Budget.")
The MARQUIS OF WATERFORD, the celebrated Purveyor to the Police Force in general, for the supply of crackers.
MR. CHARLES PEARSON, for port-fires.
SIR ROBERT PEEL, assisted by his CABINET, for a golden rain.
*** A large supply of these articles always on hand. Apply at Mr. P.'s Office every Saturday.
* * * * *
AN EXTRACT FROM THE SPECTATOR.
Carter, the lion-tamer, previous to his late exhibition, when the tiger broke loose, had given an order to an old acquaintance to come and witness his performance; by great good luck, he and the rest of the affrighted spectators effected their escape; but he was heard vehemently declaring he had been deceived in the most beastly manner, as he would not have come but that he supposed he was
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Off Battersea Mills, in the reeds, La Gitana (wherry Z.9), Execution Dock, with loss of sculls; deserted. On nearing her, discovered the Master with his wooden leg in the mud, to which he had made fast the head-line, with his left leg over his right shoulder, high and dry.
A boat, supposed to belong to the Union Aquatic Sons of Shop Walkers, was washed ashore on Hungerford Muds, with an old ribbon-box, apparently used for a sea-chest, containing wearing apparel, 1s. 8d. in fourpenny pieces, and sundry small pieces of paper, with "Dry," sign of the "Three Balls," printed thereon, and endorsed, "Shawl, 3s. 6d., 30 remnants of ribbon 7s. 6d., waistcoat satin, 1 yard 3s. 6d.," &c. &c. The crew supposed to have abandoned her off the "Swan," where they were seen in a state of beer.
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CAUSE AND EFFECT.
A great fall of chalk occurred at Mertsham on the Brighton Railway on last Thursday morning; a corresponding fall in milk took place in London on the following day.
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SHOULD THIS MEET THE EYE—
of Sir ROBERT PEEL, LORD STANLEY, or any of Her Majesty's Ministers, in want of an active cad, or light porter; the advertiser, a young man at present out of place, would be anxious to make himself generally useful, and is not particular in what capacity. Respectability not so great an object as a good salary. Application to be made to T. WAKLEY, at the Rad's Arms, Turn'em Green.
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HARD AND FAST.
That very slow coach, and would be "faster," the licensed to-carry-no-thing-inside "Bernard Cavannah," has been recently confined in a room, wherein he has lived upon the "cameleon's dish," eating the air—"jugged," we presume. Wakley declares he is an impostor; but as he has an interest in an inquest, and Bernard survives, this may be attributed to professional disappointment. Dr. Elliotson declares, from his own experience, any man can live upon nothing. The whole medical profession are getting to very high words; Anglice,—indulging in very low language. The fraternity of physicians, apothecaries, and surgeons, are growing so warm upon the living subject, that we may shortly expect to witness a beautiful tableau vivant of
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MISS ADELAIDE KEMBLE.
Let every amateur, professor, and enthusiastic raver concerning "native talent" go down on his knees, and, after the manner of the ancient heathen, return thanksgiving unto Apollo for having at last sent us a singer who knows her business! One who can sing as if she had a soul; who can act as if she were not acting, but existing amidst reality; who is, in short, a performer entirely new to the British stage; to whom we have not a parallel example to produce,—a heroine of the lyric drama.
Such, in the most exalted sense of the term, is Miss Adelaide Kemble. Unlike nearly every other English singer, she has not set up with the small stock-in-trade of a good voice, and learned singing on the stage; making the public pay for her tuition. On the contrary, nature has manifestly not been bountiful to her in this respect. Her voice—the mere organ—may have been in her earlier years exceeded in quality by many other vocalists. But what is it now? Perfect in intonation; its lower tones forcible; the middle voice firm and full; the upper interval sweet and rich beyond comparison.
But how comes this? How has this moderately-good organ been brought to such perfection? By a process not very prevalent amongst English singers—practice the most constant, study the most unwearied. Punch will bet a wager with any sporting dilettante that Miss Kemble has sung more while learning her art, than many old stagers while professing and practising it.
She seems, then,—as far as one may judge of that kind of perfection—a perfect mistress of her voice; she can do what she likes with it, she can sustain a note in any part of the soprano compass—swell, diminish, and keep it exactly to the same pitch for an incredible space of time. She can burst forth a torrent of sound expressive of our strongest passions, without losing an atom of tone, and she can diminish it to a whisper, in sotto voce, as distinct as it is thrilling and true intonation.
Having obtained this vocal mastery, she has unfettered energies to devote to her acting; which, in Norma, has all the elements of tragic dignity—all the tenderness of natural feeling. In one word, Miss Kemble is a mistress of every branch of her art; and we can now say, what we have so seldom had an opportunity to boast of, that our English stage possesses a singer who is also an actress and musician!
The opera is excellently put upon the stage. Miss Kemble, or somebody else, electrified the choruses; for, wonderful to relate, they condescended to act—to perform—to pretend to be what they are meant for! Never was so efficient, so well-disciplined, so unanimous a chorus heard or seen before on the English stage. The chorus-master deserves everybody's, and has our own, especial commendations.
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A new melo-drama in five acts, by a gentleman who rejoices in exactly the same number of titles—namely, "R. Zouch S. Troughton, Esquire"—made its appearance for Miss H. Fancit's benefit on Monday last, at the Haymarket.
The old-fashioned recipe for cooking up a melo-dramatic hero has been strictly followed in "Nina Sforza." Raphael Doria, the heir-apparent to the dukedom of Genoa, is a man about town in Venice—is accompanied, on most occasions, by a faithful friend and a false one—saves the heroine from drowning, and, of course, falls in love with her on the spot, or rather on the water. She, of course, returns the passion; but is, as usual, loved by the villain—a regular thorough-paced Mephistopheles of the Surrey or Sadler's Wells genus. These ingredients, having been carefully compounded in the first act, are—quite selon les regles—allowed to simmer till the end of the fourth, and to boil over in the fifth. Thus we have a tragedy after the manner of those lively productions that flourished in the time of Garrick; when Young, Murphy, and Francklin were Melpomene's head-cooks.
Modern innovation has, however, added a sprinkle of spice to the hashes of the above-named school. This is most commonly thrown in, by giving to the stock-villain a dash of humour or sarcasm, so as to bring out his savagery in bolder relief. He is also invested with an unaccountable influence over the hero, who can on no account be made to see his bare and open treachery till about the middle of the fifth act, when the dupe's eyes must be opened in time for the catastrophe.
These improvements have been carefully introduced into the present old new tragedy. Ugone Spinola is the presiding genius of Doria's woes: and dogs him about for the pleasure of making him miserable. He is a finished epicure in revenge; picking little tit-bits of it with the most savage gout all through; but particularly towards the end of the play. This taste was, it seems, first acquired in consequence of a feud that formerly existed between Doria's family and his own, in which his side came off so decidedly second-best, that he only remains of his race; all the rest having been murdered by Doria and his father's faction. From such deadly foes, it may be observed, that tragic heroes always select their most trusted friends.
Doria's father dies, and Nina's consents to his marriage; so that we see them, at the opening of the third act, the picture of connubial bliss, in a garden belonging to the Duke's palace at Genoa, exchanging sentiments which would be doubtless extremely tender if they were quite intelligible. A great deal is said about genius being like love; which gives rise to a simile touching a rose-bud in a poor poet's window, and other incoherencies quite natural for persons to utter who are supposed to be in love. This peaceful scene is interrupted by an alarm of war; and the Prince goes to fight the Florentines.
The battle takes place between the acts; and we next see the Genoese halting near their city after a victory. Doria, who in the first act has been represented to us as an exceedingly gay young fellow, is here described as indulging, in his tent, his old propensities; having brought away, with other trophies, a fair Florentine, who is diverting him with her guitar at that moment. This is excellent news for Spinola; the more so as we are soon made to understand that Nina, being impatient of her husband's return, has fled to his tent to meet him, and discovers the fair Florentine in the very act of guitar-playing, and her spouse in the midst of his raptures thereat.
A scene follows, in which Spinola, as a new edition of Iago, and Nina, in the form of a female Othello, get scope for a great variety of that kind of acting which performers call "effective." The wife—in this scene really well-drawn—will not believe Doria's falsehood, in spite of strong circumstantial evidence. Spinola offers to strengthen it; and the last scene of this act—the fourth—presents a highly melo-dramatic situation. It is a street scene; and Spinola has brought Nina to watch her husband into her rival's house. She sees him approach it—he wavers—she hopes he will pass the door. Alas, he does not, and actually goes in! Of course she swoons and falls. So does the act drop.
The entire business of the last act is to bring about the catastrophe; and, as not one step towards it has been previously taken, there is no time to lose. Spinola, therefore, is made not to mince the matter, but to come boldly on at once, with a bottle of poison! This he blandly insinuates to Nina might be used with great effect upon her husband, so as effectually to put a stop to future intrigues with any forthcoming fair Florentines. She, however, declines putting the poison to any such use; but, nevertheless, honours Spinola's draught, by accepting it. The villain expresses himself extremely grateful for her condescension, and exits, to make way for Doria.
Directly he appears, you at once perceive that he has done something exceedingly naughty, for his countenance is covered with remorse and a certain white powder which is the stage specific for pallor. The lady complains of being unwell, and her husband kindly advises her to go to bed. She replies, that she has a cordial within which will soon restore her, and entreats her beloved lord to administer the potion with his own dear hand; he consents—and they both retire, and the audience shudders, because they pretty well guess that she is going to toss off the dose, of which Spinola has been the dispensing chemist.
And here we may be forgiven for a short digression on the subject of the dramatic Materia Medica, and poison-ology. The sleeping draughts of the stage are, for example, generally speaking, uncommon specimens of chemical perfection. When taken—even if the patient be ever so well shaken—nothing on earth, or on the stage, can wake him after the cue for his going to sleep, and before the cue for his getting up, have been given; while it never allows him to dose an instant longer than the plot of the piece requires. Then as to poisons; there are some which kill the taker dead on the spot, like a fly in a bottle of prussic acid; others, which—swallowed with a sort of time-bargain—are warranted to do the business within a few seconds of so many hours hence; others again there are (particularly adapted for villains) that cause the most incessant torment, which nothing can relieve but death; a fourth compound (always administered to such characters as Nina Sforza) are peculiarly mild in their operation—no stomach-ache—no contortions—but still effectual.
The contents of the phial given to Nina by Spinola are compounded of the second and fourth of these formulae. The drink, though deadly, is guaranteed to be a mild, rather-pleasant-than-otherwise poison, warranted to operate at a given hour; one calculated to allow the heroine plenty of time to die, and to make her go off in great physical comfort.
Nina has taken the poison; but, having a peculiar desire to die at home, orders a "trusty page" to provide horses for herself and attendant secretly, at the northern gate, that she may return to her native Venice. With this determination we lose sight of her.
Doria is aroused by a hunting-party who have risen so early that they seem to have forgotten to take off their nightcaps, to which the Italian hood, as worn by the Haymarket hunters, bears an obstinate resemblance. The Prince discovers his wife has fled, and orders his chasseurs to divert their attention from the game they had purposed to ride to cover for, and to hunt up the missing Nina.
"In the deep recesses of a wood" Spinola and Doria meet, the latter having, by some instinct, found out his pseudo-friend's treachery; of course they fight: Doria falls; but Spinola is too great a glutton in revenge to kill him till he knows of his wife's death, so, after gloating over his prostrate enemy, and poking him about with his rapier for several minutes, all he does is to steal his sword; this being found upon him by some of the hunters, who meet him quite by accident, they suppose he has killed Doria, and so kill him. Thus, Spinola being disposed of, there are only two more that are left to die.
In her flight Nina has been taken unwell—with the poison—just in that part of the forest where her spouse is left, by his enemy, in a swoon. They meet, and she dies in his arms. Two being now defunct, only one remains; but there is some difficulty in getting rid of Doria, for he is (as is always the case when a stage felo-de-se impends) unprovided with a weapon. Going up to his trusty friend D'Estala, he engages him in talk, and, with the dexterity of a footpad, steals his dagger, and stabs himself. All the principal characters being now dead, the piece cannot go on, and the curtain drops.
A word or two on the merits of Nina Sforza. There are two classes of dramatists who are just now contending for fame—those who cannot get their plays acted because they are not dramatic, and those who can, because their pieces are merely dramatic. Mr.—we beg pardon, R. Zouch S. Troughton, Esquire,—belongs to the latter class. He is evidently well acquainted with the mechanics of the stage; he knows all about "situation"—that is, sacrificing nature to startling effect. His language is essentially dramatic, and only fails where it aims at being poetical. His characters, too, are not drawn from life, from nature, but are copied—and cleverly copied—from other characters that strut about in the "stock" tragedies of Rowe et hoc genus. The fable, or plot, is deficient, from the absence of one sustaining, pervading incident to excite, and keep up a progressive interest. With every new act a new circumstance arises, which, though it is in some instances (especially in the fourth act) conducted with great skill, yet the interest it produces is not sustained, being made to give place to the author's succeeding effort to get up a new "situation" by a new incident. Though the tragedy possesses little originality, it will, from its melo-dramatic and exciting character, be most likely a very successful one. Besides, it is very well acted, by Miss Faucit, Wallack, and Macready, as Spinola; which, being a most unnatural character, is well calculated for so conventional an actor as Macready.
The author will doubtless become a successful dramatist, because he has taken the trouble to learn what is proper for, and effective on, the stage. Having gained that acquirement, if he will now study nature, and put men and women upon the stage that act and speak like real mortals, we may safely predict an honourable dramatic career for Mr. ——; but our space is limited, and we can't afford enough of it to print his names a third time.
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THE QUADROON SLAVE.
A new discussion of the Slave question seems to have been much wanted on the stage. It is, alas, the black truth that "The Slave" par excellence, in spite of the brothers Sharpset and Bishop's music, ceases to interest. The woes of "Gambia" have been turned into ridicule by the capers of "Jim Crow," and the twin pleasantries of "Jim along Josey." Since the moral British public gave away twenty millions to emancipate the black population, and to raise the price of brown sugars, they are not nearly so sweet upon the niggers as formerly; for they discover that, now Caesar being "massa-pated, him no work—dam if he do!"
To meet this dramatic exigency, the "Quadroon Slave" has been produced. It may be classed as an argumentative drama; carried on with that stage logic which always makes the heroine get the best of it. The emancipation side of the question is supported by Julie, ably backed by Vincent St. George, but opposed by Alfred Pelham; and the lingual combatants rush in medias res at the very rising of the curtain—the "house," immediately taking sides, vehemently applauding the arguments of their respective favourites. Vincent St. George—ably entrusted to that interesting advocate Mr. J. Webster—opened the discussion by protesting against the flogging system, especially as applied to females. Alfred Pelham answered him; the reply being taken up by the heroine Julie in broken French, because she is personated by Madlle. Celeste. The state of parties as here developed turns out to be curious. The heroine, a quadroon, is on the point of matrimonial union with her antagonist, and openly resents the tender advances of her ally. "Call ye this backing of your friends?" Vincent St. George, disgusted at such gross tergiversation, flies entirely away from the point at issue, and applies those remarks to Julie which all disappointed lovers seem to be bound to utter in such cases. Indeed, on the re-appearance of his rival, he challenges him—unblushingly forsaking every branch of the main point, by engaging in a long and not very lively discourse on the subject of duelling; amidst, however, impatient cries of "question!" "question!" from the audience.
This brings Vincent back to the point, and with a vengeance! Like a great many other orators on the liberal side of the black question, he is a slave-owner himself, having—as his "attorney" Vipper is careful to tell us—no fewer than two hundred and eight of those animals. Now, before he took upon himself to become an emancipationist, he might—one cannot help thinking—have had the decency—like Saint Fowell Buxton—to sell his slaves to somebody else, and to come into court with clean hands. But so far from doing so, Vipper having discovered that Julie is a run-away slave from Vincent's estate, just as she is ending the first act by going to be married, the latter takes the whole of the second act to claim her!
Though the argufiers change sides on account of the change of affairs—Vincent insisting, as liberals so often do, upon his vested rights in Julie as opposed to Pelham's matrimonial ones—though the heroine renders her pathetics affecting by a prostration or two before the rivals—though she rushes upon a parapet to commit suicide—though she is saved, and at length succeeds by force of mere argument to get her new-found master to give her up to her husband; yet this second act was somewhat dull; insomuch that the audience did not seem to regret when the curtain dropped the subject, and announced their own emancipation from the theatre.
Besides the parts we have named, Webster the elder played a Telemachus Hearty, who, further than skipping about the stage, talking very fast, and making himself not altogether disagreeable, had no more to do with the piece than his namesake, or Fenelon Archbishop of Cambray himself.
This attempt to discuss moot points upon the stage—to turn as it were the theatre into a debating society—will certainly not succeed. Audiences—especially Haymarket ones—have a taste for being amused rather than reasoned with; besides, those on that side of the question which the author chooses shall be the weaker, do not like to see the stage-orators get the upper hand, without having a chance of answering them. Even dancing is preferred by them to didactics, though it be
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