PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.
FOR THE WEEK ENDING OCTOBER 30, 1841.
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THE GREAT CREATURE.
That "great creature," like some other "great creatures," happened, as almanacs say, "about this time" to be somewhat "out at elbows;"—not in the way of costume, for the very plenitude of his wardrobe was the cause which produced this effect, inasmuch as the word "received" in the veritable autograph of Messrs. Moleskin and Corderoy could nowhere be discovered annexed to the bills thereof: a slight upon their powers of penmanship which roused their individual, collective, and coparcenary ires to such a pitch, that they, Messrs. Moleskin and Corderoy, through the medium of their Attorneys-at-law, Messrs. Gallowsworthy and Pickles, of Furnival's Inn, forwarded a writ to the unfortunate Hannibal Fitzflummery Fitzflam,—the which writ in process of time, being the legal seed, became ripened into a very vigorous execution, and was consigned to the care of a gentleman holding a Civil employment with a Military title, viz. that of "Officer" to the Sheriff of Middlesex, with strict injunctions to the said—anything but Civil or Military—nondescript "officer," to secure and keep the person of Hannibal Fitzflummery Fitzflam till such time as the debt due to Messrs. Moleskin and Corderoy, and the legal charges of Messrs. Gallowsworthy and Pickles, should be discharged, defrayed, and liquidated.
Frequent were the meetings of Messrs. Gallowsworthy and Pickles and their man-trap, and as frequent their disappointments:—Fitzflam always gave them the double! Having procured leave of absence from the Town Managers, and finding the place rather too hot to hold him, he departed for the country, and, as fate would have it, arrived at the inn then occupied by Mr. Horatio Fitzharding Fitzfunk.
In this out-of-the-way place he fondly imagined he had never been heard of. Judge then of his surprise, after his dinner and pint of wine, at the following information.
"Who have you in the house?"
"Fust of company, sar;—alwaist, sar."
"Oh! of course;—any one in particular?"
"Yes, sar, very particular: one gentleman very particular, indeed. Has his bed warmed with brown sugar in the pan, and drinks asses' milk, sar, for breakfast!"
"Strange fellow! but I mean any one of name?"
"Yes, sar, a German, sar; with a name so long, sar, it take all the indoor servants and a stable-helper to call him up of a morning."
"You don't understand me. Have you any public people here?"
"Yes, sar—great man from town, sar—belongs to the Theatre—Mr. Fitzflam, sar—quite the gentleman, sar."
"Thank you for the compliment" (bowing low).
"No compliment at all, sar; would you like to see him, sar?—sell you a ticket, sar; or buy one of you, sar."
"House expected to be full, sar—sure to sell it again, sar."
"What the devil are you talking about?"
"The play, sar—Fitzflam, sar!—there's the bill, sar, and (bell rings) there's the bell, sar. Coming." (Exit Waiter.)
The first thing that suggested itself to the mind of Mr. Hannibal Fitzflummery Fitzflam was the absolute necessity of insisting upon that insane waiter's submitting to the total loss of his well-greased locks, and enveloping his outward man in an extra-strong strait-waistcoat; the next was to look at the bill, and there he saw—"horror of horrors!"—the name, "the bright ancestral name"—the name he bore, bursting forth in all the reckless impudence of the largest type and the reddest vermilion!
Anger, rage, and indignation, like so many candidates for the exalted mutton on a greased pole, rushed tumultuously over each other's heads, each anxious to gain the "ascendant" in the bosom of Mr. Hannibal Fitzflummery Fitzflam. To reduce a six-and-ninepenny gossamer to the fac-simile of a bereaved muffin in mourning by one vigorous blow wherewith he secured it on his head, grasp his ample cane and three half-sucked oranges (in case it should come to pelting), and rush to the theatre, was the work of just twelve minutes and a half. In another brief moment, payment having been tendered and accepted, Fitzflam was in the boxes, ready to expose the swindle and the swindler!
The first act was over, and the audience were discussing the merits of the supposed Roscius.
"He is a sweet young man," said a simpering damsel to a red-headed Lothario, with just brains enough to be jealous, and spirit enough to damn the player.
"I don't see it," responded he of the Rufusian locks.
"Such dear legs!"
"Dear legs—duck legs you mean, miss!"
"And such a voice!"
"Voice! I'll holler with him for all he's worth."
"Ha' done, do!"
"I shan't: Fitzflam's—an—umbug!"
"Sir!" exclaimed Hannibal Fitzflummery Fitz of "that ilk."
"And Sir to you!" retorted "the child of earth with the golden hair."
"I suppose I'm a right to speak my mind of that or any other chap I pays to laugh at!"
"It's a tragedy, James."
"All the funnier when sich as him comes to play in them."
"Hush! the curtain's up."—So it was; and "Bravo! bravo!" shouted the ladies, and "Hurrah!" shouted the gentlemen. Never had Mr. Hannibal Fitzflummery Fitzflam seen such wretched acting, or heard such enthusiastic applause. Round followed round, until, worked up to frenzy at the libel upon his name, and, as he thought, his art, he vociferously exclaimed, "Ladies and gentlemen, that man's a d—d impostor! ("Turn him out! throw him over! break his neck!" shouted the gods. "Shame shame!" called the boxes. "You're drunk," exclaimed the pit to a man.) I repeat that man is—("Take that!"—an apple in Fitzflam's eye.) I say he is another ("There it is!"—in his other eye) person altogether—a—("Boxkeeper!") Nothing of the sort; a—("Constable!") I'll take—("Take that fellow out!") Allow me to be—("Off! off!") I am—("'Out! out!") Let me request.—("Order! order!—hiss! hiss!—oh! oh!—ah! ah!—phit! phit!—Booh!—booh!—wooh!—oh!—ah!")"
Here Mr. Fitzfunk came forward, and commenced bowing like a mandarin, while the gentleman who had blacked Fitzflam's eye desisted from forcing him out of the box, to hear the "great creature" speak. Fitzfunk commenced, "Ahem—Ladies and gentlemen, surrounded as I am by all sorts of—(Bravos from all parts of the house.) Friends! Friends in the boxes!—("Bravo!" from boxes, with violent waving of handkerchiefs.) Friends in the pit!—("Hurrah!" and sundry excited hats performing extraordinary aerial gyrations.) And last, not least in my dear love, friends in the gallery!—(Raptures of applause; five minutes' whistling; three chandeliers and two heads broken; and the owners of seventeen corns stamped up to frenzy!) Need I fear the malice of an individual? ("Never! never!" from all parts of the house.) Could I deceive you, an enlightened public? ("No! no! impossible! all fudge!") Would I attempt such a thing? ("No! no! by no manner of means!") I am, ladies and gentlemen—("Fitzflam! Fitzflam!") I bow to your judgment. I have witnesses; shall I produce them?" "No," said two of his most enthusiastic supporters, scrambling out of the pit, and getting on the stage; "Don't trouble yourself; we know you; (Omnes. "Hurrah!" To Fitzflam in boxes—"Shame! shame!") we will swear to you; (Omnes, " Fitzflam for ever!") and—we don't care who knows it—(Omnes. "Noble fellows!") we arrest you at the suit of Messrs. Moleskin and Corderoy, Regent's-quadrant, tailors. Attorneys, Messrs. Gallowsworthy and Pickles, of Furnival's Inn. Plaintiff claims 54l. debt and 65l. costs; so come along, will you!"
It was an exceedingly fortunate thing for the representatives of the Sheriff of Middlesex that their exit was marked by more expedition than elegance; for as soon as their real purpose was known, Fitzflam (as the audience supposed Fitzfunk to be) would have been rescued vi et armis. As it was, they hurried him to a back room at the inn, and carefully double-locked the door. It was also rather singular that from the moment of the officer's appearance, the gentleman in the boxes whose doubts had caused the disturbance immediately owned himself in the wrong, apologised for his mistake, and withdrew. As the tragedy could not proceed without Fitzfunk, the manager proposed a hornpipe-in-fetters and general dance by the characters; instead of the last act which was accepted, and loudly applauded and encored by the audience.
Seated in his melancholy apartment, well guarded by the bailiff, certain of being discovered and perhaps punished as an impostor, or compelled to part with all his earnings to pay for coats and continuations he had never worn, the luckless Horatio Fitzharding Fitzfunk gave way to deep despondency, and various "ahs!" and "ohs!" A tap at the door was followed by the introduction of a three-cornered note addressed to himself. The following were its contents:—
"Sir,—It appears from this night's adventure my name has heretofore been useful to you, and on the present occasion your impersonation of it has been useful to me. We are thus far quits. I, as the 'real Simon Pure,' will tell you what to do. Protest you are not the man. Get witnesses to hear you say so; and when taken to London (as you will be) and the men are undeceived, threaten to bring an action against the Sheriff unless those harpies, Messrs. Gallowsworthy and Pickles, give you 20l. for yourself, and a receipt in full for the debt and costs. Keep my secret; I'll keep yours. Burn this.—H.F.F."
No sooner read than done; and all came to pass as the note predicted. Gallowsworthy and Pickles grumbled, but were compelled to pay. Fitzflam and Fitzfunk became inseparable. Fitzflam was even heard to say, he thought in time Fitzfunk would make a decent walking gentleman; and Fitzfunk was always impressed with an opinion that he was the man of talent, and that Fitzflam would never have been able to succeed in "starring it" where he had been "The Great Creature."
N.B.—The author of this paper has commenced adapting it for stage representation.
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THE DESIRE OF PLEASING.
"May I be married, ma?" said a lovely girl of fifteen to her mother the other morning. "Married!" exclaimed the astonished matron; "what put such an idea into your head?" "Little Emily, here, has never seen a wedding; and I'd like to amuse the child," replied the obliging sister, with fascinating naivete.
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THE HEIR OF APPLEBITE.
A serious accident to the double-bass was the extraordinary occurrence alluded to in our last chapter. It appeared that, contrary to the usual custom of the class of musicians that attend evening parties, the operator upon the double-bass had early in the evening shown slight symptoms of inebriety, which were alarmingly increased during supper-time by a liberal consumption of wine, ale, gin, and other compounds. The harp, flageolet, and first violin, had prudently abstained from drinking—at their own expense, and had reserved their thirstiness for the benefit of the bibicals of the "founder of the feast," and, consequently, had only attained that peculiar state of sapient freshness which invariably characterises quadrille bands after supper, and had, therefore, overlooked the rapid obfuscation of their more imprudent companion in their earnest consideration of themselves.
Bacchus has long been acknowledged to be the cicerone of Cupid; and accordingly the God of Wine introduced the God of Love into the bosom of the double-bass, who, with a commendable feeling of sociality, instantly invited the cook to join the party. Now Susan, though a staid woman, and weighing, moreover, sixteen stone, was fond of a "hinnocent bit of nonsense," kindly consented to take just a "sip of red port wine" with the performer upon catgut cables; and everything was progressing allegro, when Cupid wickedly stimulated the double-bass to chuck Susan's double chin, and then, with the frenzy of a Bacchanal, to attempt the impossibility of encircling the ample waist of his Dulcinea. This was carrying the joke a leetle too far, and Susan, equally alarmed for her reputation and her habit-shirt, struggled to free herself from the embrace of the votary of Apollo; but the fiddler was not to be so easily disposed of, and he clung to the object of his admiration with such pertinacity that Susan was compelled to redouble her exertions, which were ultimately successful in embedding the double-bass in the body of his instrument. The crash was frightful, and Susan, having vainly endeavoured to free herself from the incubus which had fastened upon her, proceeded to scream most lustily as an overture to a faint. These sounds reached the supper-room, and occasioned the diversion in John's favour; a simultaneous rush was instantly made to the quarter from whence they proceeded, as the whole range of accidents and offences flashed across the imaginations of the affrighted revellers.
Mrs. Waddledot decided that the china tea-service was no more. Mrs. Applebite felt certain that "the heir" had tumbled into the tea-urn, or had cut another tooth very suddenly. The gentlemen were assured that a foray had taken place upon the hats and cloaks below, and that cabs would be at a premium and colds at a discount. The ladies made various applications of the rest of the catalogue; whilst old John wound up the matter by the consolatory announcement that he "know'd the fire hadn't been put out by the ingines in the morning."
The general alarm was, however, converted into general laughter when the real state of affairs was ascertained; and Susan having been recovered by burning feathers under her nose, and pouring brandy down her throat, preparations were made for the disinterment of the double-bass. To all attempts to effect such a laudable purpose, the said double-bass offered the most violent opposition, declaring he should never be so happy again, and earnestly entreated Susan to share his heart and temporary residence.
Her refusal of both seemed to cause him momentary uneasiness, for hanging his head upon his breast he murmured out—
"Now she has left me her loss to deplore;"
and then burst into a loud huzza that rendered some suggestions about the police necessary, which Mr. Double-bass treated with a contempt truly royal. He then seemed to be impressed with an idea that he was the index to a "Little Warbler;" for at the request of no one he proceeded to announce the titles of all the popular songs from the time of Shield downwards. How long he would have continued this vocal category is uncertain; but as exertion seemed rather to increase than diminish his boisterous merriment, the suggestions respecting the police were ordered to be adopted, and accordingly two of the force were requested to remove him from the domicile where he was creating so much discord in lieu of harmony.
Double-bass still continued deaf to all entreaties for silence and progression, and when a stretcher was mentioned grew positively furious, and insisted that, as he had a conveyance of his own, he should be taken to whatever destination they chose to select for him on, or rather in, that vehicle. Accordingly a rattle was sprung, and duly answered by two or three more of those alphabetical gentlemen who emanate from Scotland-yard, by whose united efforts the refractory musician was carried out in triumph, firmly and safely seated in his own ponderous instrument, loudly insisting that he should be conveyed
The interruption occasioned by this interesting occurrence was productive of a general clearance of 24, Pleasant-place; and the apartments which were so lately filled with airy sylphs and trussed Adonises presented a strange jumble of rough coats, dingy silk cloaks, very passe bonnets, and numerous heads enveloped in faded white handkerchiefs. Everything began to look miserable; candles were seen in all directions flickering with their inevitable destiny; bouquets were thrown carelessly upon the ground; and the very faintest odour of a cigar found its way from the street-door into the drawing-room. Then came the hubbub of struggling jarvies; the hoarse, continued inquiries of those peculiar beings that emerge from some unknown quarter of the great metropolis, and "live and move and have their being" at the doorsteps of party-giving people. What tales could those benighted creatures tell of secret pressures of hands, whispered sentences of sweet words, which have led in after-days to many a blissful union! What sighs must have fallen upon their ears as they have rolled up the steps and slammed to the doors of the vehicle which bore away the idol of the evening! But they have no romance—no ambition but to call "My lord duke's coach."
Then came the desolate stillness of the "banquet-hall deserted;" the consciousness that the hour of grandeur had passed away. There was nothing to break the stillness but Mrs. Applebite counting up the spoons, and Mrs. Waddledot re-decanting the remainders.
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Our amiable friend and classical correspondent, Deaf Burke—"mind, yes"—has lately mounted a coat-of-arms, "Dexter and Sinister;" a Nose gules and Eye sable; three annulets of Ropes in chief, supported by two Prize-fighters proper. Motto,—
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For the formation of a Society for the relief of foreigners afflicted with a short pocket and a long beard.
Mr. Muntz to be immediately waited upon by a body of the unhappy sufferers, and requested to give his countenance and assistance to the establishment of an INSTITUTION FOR THE GRATUITOUS SHAVING OF DESTITUTE AND HIRSUTE FOREIGNERS.
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THE GOLD SNUFF-BOX.
My aunt, Mrs. Cheeseman, is the very reverse of her husband. He is a plain, honest creature, such as we read of in full-length descriptions by some folks, but equally comprehensive, though shortly done by others, under the simple name of John Bull—as ungarnished in his dress, as in his speech and action; whereas Mrs. Cheeseman, as I have just told you, is the counterpart of plainness; she has trinkets out of number, brooches, backed with every kind of hair, from "the flaxen-headed cow-boy" to the deep-toned "Jim Crow." Then her rings—they are the surprise of her staring acquaintances; she has them from the most delicate Oriental fabric to the massiveness of dog's collars.
Uncle Cheeseman says Mrs. C. thinks of nothing else; no sporting gentleman, handsomely furnished, in the golden days of pugilism, ever looked upon a ring with more delightful emotions. At going to bed, she bestows the same affectionate gaze upon them that mothers do upon their slumbering progeny; nor is that care and affection diminished in the morning: her very imagination is a ring, seeing that it has neither beginning nor end—her tender ideas are encircled by the four magical letters R—I—N—G. Even at church, we are told, she divides her time between sleeping and secret polishing. It has just occurred to me, that I might have saved you and myself much trouble had I at once told you that aunt Cheeseman is a regular Ring-worm.
But, to my uncle—the only finery sported by him (and I hardly think it deserving that word), besides a silver watch, sound and true as the owner, and the very prototype of his bulk and serenity, was a gold snuff-box, a large and handsome one, which he did not esteem for its intrinsic weight; he had a "lusty pride" in showing that it was a prize gained in some skilful agricultural contest. I am sorry at not recollecting what was engraven on it; but being a thorough Cockney, and knowing nothing more of the plough and harrow than that I have somewhere observed it as a tavern sign, must plead for my ignorance in out-o'-town matters.
You can remember, no doubt, the day the Queen went to dine with the City Nabobs at Guildhall. Cheeseman hurried impatiently to London for the sole purpose of seeing the sight, and upon finding my liking for the spectacle as powerful as his own, declared I was the only sensible child my mother ever had, and adding that as he was well able to push his way through a Lunnon crowd, if my father and mother were willing, under his protection I should see this grand affair. Not the slightest objection was put in opposition to my uncle's proposal, consequently the next day, November the 9th, 1837, uncle Cheeseman and I formed integral portions of the huge mass of spectators which reached from St. James's to the City.
After slipping off the pavement a score of times (and in some instances opportunely enough to be shoulder-grazed by a passing coach-wheel), stunning numberless persons by explosions of oaths for clumsy collisions and unintentional performances upon his tenderest corn, we reached the corner of St. Paul's churchyard.
Having secured by a two-shilling bargain about three feet of a form, which, I suppose, upon any other day than a general holiday like the present was the locus in quo for little dears whose young ideas were taught to shoot at threepence a week, uncle took breath, and a pinch of snuff together: he smiled as I observed, that he'd be sure to take a refresher when her Majesty passed; and though he shook his head and designated me a sly young rogue, I could clearly perceive that he was plotting to perform, as if by chance, what I had predicated as a certainty; and although nineteen persons out of twenty would have marked (in this instance) his puerility, I doubt not but that the same number are (at some periods of their existence) innocent victims to the like weakness, whether it be generated in a snuff-box or a royal diploma.
By-and-by, a murmur from the distance, which succeeded a restless motion among the crowd (like a leafy agitation of trees coming as a kind of courier en avant to announce the regular hurricane), broke gradually, and at last uproariously upon us; straining our necks and eyes in the attractive direction. Uncle grasped me by the arm, and though he spoke not a word, he fairly stared, "Here it comes." Now the thick tide of the moving portion of the spectators began to sweep past us, as they hedged in the soldiery and carriages; then came the shouting, accompanied by various kinds of squeezing, tearing, and stumbling; some screaming compliments to her Majesty, and in the same breath dispensing more violent compliments in an opposite direction, and of a decidedly different tendency. Shoes were trodden off, and bonnets crushed out of all fashion; coats were curtailed; samples of their quality were either seen dangling at the heels of the wearer, or were ignominiously trodden under foot; and many superfine Saxony trousers were double-milled without mercy.
Whilst we were pluming ourselves upon the snugness of our situations, and the attendant good fortune of being easy partners in the business of the day, and thus freed from the vexations and perplexities so largely distributed in our view, I was hindered from communicating my happiness upon these points, for at this moment down went my uncle Cheeseman, and as suddenly up flew his arms above his head, like Boatswain Smith at the height of exhortation on Tower Hill. I was surprised, and so appeared my unfortunate relation, who superadded an additional mixture of indignation as I caught a glimpse or two of his chameleon-like visage; for at the first sight I could have most honestly sworn it to have been white—at the second as crimson as the sudden consciousness of helpless injury could make it. Nevertheless, he sailed away from me in this extraordinary attitude for a short distance, when suddenly, as he lowered his arms, I observed sundry hands descend quickly, and, as I thought, kindly, lest he should lose his hat, upon the crown of it, until it encased more of his head than could be deemed either fashionable or comfortable. Presently, however, he was again seen viciously elbowing and writhing his way back to me, which after immense exertions he performed, in the full receipt of numerous anathemas and jocular insults. As he neared me, I inquired what he had been doing; why he had left me for such a short, difficult, and unprofitable journey—which queries, innocently playful as they were, appeared to produce a choking sensation, accompanied by a full-length stare at me; but his naturally kind heart was not kept long closed against me, and I gleaned the melancholy fact from his indignation, which was continually emitted in such short gusts as, "The villains"—"The scoundrels"—"And done so suddenly"—"The only thing I prized,"—"Well, this is a lesson for me." As we returned home, uncle displayed a wish to thrust himself everywhere into the densest mass; there was a morbid carelessness in his manner that he had hitherto never shown; he was evidently another man, a fallen creature; his pride, his existence, the very theme of all his joys, his gold snuff-box, had departed for ever, and his heart was in that box: what would Mrs. Cheeseman say? He had been cleaned out to the very letter—ay, that letter—it perhaps contained matters of moment.
I have since that affair upon several occasions heard the poor fellow declare that much as he was heart-broken at the loss of his box, his feelings were lacerated to a greater degree when, in a curtain lecture, my staid, correct, frosty-hearted, jewel-hugging aunt said, "Cheeseman, it was a judgment for such conduct to a wife. In that letter, which you treated with such contumely, I strictly cautioned you not to take that valuable box about with you, if your madness for sight-seeing should lead you into a mob. Let this be a warning to you; and be sure that though woman be the weaker vessel, she is oftentimes the deepest." We believe it.
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THE PENSIVE PEEL.
It is an unfounded calumny of the enemies of Sir Robert Peel to say that he has gone into the country to amuse himself—shooting, feasting, eating, and drinking—while the people are starving in the streets and highways. We know that the heart of the compassionate old rat bleeds for the distresses of the nation, and that he is at this moment living upon bread and water, and studying Lord John Russell's hints on the Corn-laws, in
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Said Stiggins to his wife one day, "We've nothing left to eat; If things go on in this queer way, We shan't make both ends meet."
The dame replied, in words discreet, "We're not so badly fed, If we can make but one end meat, And make the other bread."
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Perhaps no race of people on the face of the habitable globe are so strongly imbued with individual peculiarities as the free and slave negro population of the United States. Out-heroding Herod in their monstrous attempts of imitating and exceeding the fashions of the whites, the emulative "Darkies" may be seen on Sundays occupying the whole extent of the Broadway pavement, dressed in fashions carried to the very sublime of the ridiculous. Whatever is the order of the day, the highest ton among the whites is instantly adopted, with the most ludicrous exaggeration, by the blacks: if small brims be worn by the beaus of the former, they degenerate to nothing on the skulls of the latter; if width be the order of the day, the coloured gentlemen rush out in unmeasurable umbrellas of felt, straw, and gossamer. A long-tailed white is, in comparison, but a docked black. Should muslin trip from a carriage, tucked or flounced to the knee, the same material, sported by a sable belle, will take its next Sunday out fur-belowed from hip to heel. Parasols are parachutes; sandals, black bandages; large bonnets, straw sheds, and small ones, nonentities. So it is with colours: green becomes more green, blue more blue, orange more orange, and crimson more flaming, when sported by these ebon slaves of deep-rooted vanity.
The spirit of imitation manifests itself in all their actions: hence it is by no means an uncommon occurrence to see a tall, round-shouldered, woolly-headed, buck-shinned, and inky-complexioned "Free Nigger," sauntering out on Sunday, shading his huge weather-proof face from the rays of the encroaching sun under a carefully-carried silk umbrella! And again, as in many of the places of worship the whole congregation cannot be accommodated with seats, many of the members supply their own; so these sable gentry may be frequently seen progressing to church with a small stool under their arms: and in one instance, rather than be disappointed, or obliged to stand,—a solemn-looking specimen of the species actually provided himself with a strong brick-bat, and having carefully covered it with his many and bright-coloured bandana, preserved his gravity, and, still more strange, his balance, with an irresistible degree of mirth-creating composure.
Their laziness and unequivocal antipathy to work is as true as proverbial. We know an instance of it in which the master ordered his sable "help" to carry a small box from the steam pier to the Astor-House Hotel, where his newly-married wife, an English lady, was waiting for it; judge of her surprise to see the dark gentleman arrive followed by an Irish lad bearing the freight intended for himself.
"Dar," said the domineering conductor; "dar, dat will do; put da box down dar. Now, Missis, look here, jist give dat chap a shillin."
"A shilling! What for?"
"Cos he bring up dar plunder from de bay."
"Why didn't you bring it yourself?"
"Look here. Somehow I rader guess I should ha let dar box fall and smashiated de contents, so I jist give dat white trash de job jest to let de poor crittur arn a shillin."
Remonstrance was vain, so the money was paid; the lady declaring, for the future, should he think proper to employ a deputy, it must be at his own expense. The above term "white trash" is the one commonly employed to express their supreme contempt for the "low Irish wulgar set."
Their dissensions among themselves are irresistibly comic. Threatening each other in the most outrageous manner; pouring out invectives, anathemas, and denunciations of the most deadly nature; but nine times in ten letting the strife end without a blow; affording in their quarrels an apt illustration of
"A tale full of sound and fury, Told by an idiot, signifying nothing."
Suppose an affront, fancied or real, put by one on another, the common commencement of ireful expostulations generally runs as follows:—
"Look here! you d—m black nigger; what you do dat for, Sar?"
"Hoo you call black, Sar? D—m, as white as you, Sar; any day, Sar. You nigger, Sar!"
"Look here agin; don't you call me a nigger, Sar. Now, don't you do it."
"Neber mind; I've told you on it, so don't you go to do it no more, you mighty low black, cos if you do put my dander up, and make me wrasey, I rader guess I'll smash in your nigger's head, like a bust-up egg-shell. Ise a ring-tailed roarer, I tell you!"
"Reckon I'm a Pottomus. Don't you go to put my steam up; d—d if don't bust and scald you out. I'm nothing but a snorter—a pretty considerable tarnation long team, and a couple of horses to spare; so jest be quiet, I tell you, or I'll use you up uncommon sharp."
"You use me up! Yoo, yoo! D—m! You and your wife and some nigger children, all ob you, was sold for a hundred and fifty dollars less than this nigger."
"Look here, don't you say dat agin; don't you do it; I tell you, don't you do it, or I'll jist give you such an almighty everlasting shaking, dat you shall pray for a cold ague as a holiday. I'm worth considerable more dollars dan sich a low black man as you is worth cents. Why, didn't dey offer to give you away, only you such dam trash no one would take you, so at last you was knocked down to a blind man."
"What dat? Here! Stand clear dar behind, and get out ob de way in front, I'm jist going to take a run and butt dat nigger out of de State. Let me go, do you hear? Golly, if you hadn't held me he'd a been werry small pieces by dis time. D—m, I'll break him up."
"Yoo, yoo! Your low buck-shins neber carry your black head fast enough to catch dis elegant nigger. You jist run; you'll find I'm nothing but an alligator. You hab no more chance dan a black slug under de wheels of a plunder-train carriage. You is unnoticeable by dis gentleman."
"Dar dat good, gentleman! Golly, dat good! Look here, don't you neber speak to me no more."
"And look here, nigger, don't you neber speak to me."
"See you d—m fust, black man."
"See you scorched fust, nigger."
"Good day, trash."
"Good mornin, dirt!"
So generally ends the quarrel; but about half-an-hour afterwards the Trash and Dirt will generally be found lauding each other to the skies, and cementing a new six hours' friendship over some brandy punch or a mint julep.
* * * * *
SONGS OF THE SEEDY.—No. VI.
You bid me rove, Mary, In the shady grove, Mary, With you to the close of even; But I can't, my dear, For I must, I swear, Be off at a quarter to seven.
Nay, do not start, Mary; Nor let your heart, Mary, Be disturb'd in its innocent purity; I'm sure that you Wouldn't have me do My friend—my bail—my security!
That tearful eye, Mary, Seems to ask me why, Mary, I can wait till sunset on'y. Ah! turn not away; I am out for the day On a Fleet and fleeting pony.
Your wide open mouth, Mary, With its breath like the south, Mary, Seems to ask for an explanation. Well, though not of the schools, I live within rules, And am subject to observation.
But come to my arms, Mary; Let no dread alarms, Mary, In our present happiness warp us! I've not the least doubt Of soon getting out, By a writ of habeas corpus.
Away with despair, Mary; Let us cast in the air, Mary, His dark and gloomy fetters. Why should we be rack'd, When we think of the Act For relieving Insolvent Debtors.
* * * * *
A MAYOR'S NEST.
Our friend the Sir Peter Laureate wishes to know whether the work upon "Horal Surgery" is not a new-invented description of almanack, as it is announced as
 Qy. Year.—Printer's Devil.
* * * * *
THE PHYSIOLOGY OF THE LONDON MEDICAL STUDENT.
5.—OF HIS MATURITY, AND LATIN EXAMINATION.
The second season arrives, and our pupil becomes "a medical student" in the fullest sense of the word. He has an indistinct recollection that there are such things as wards in the hospital as well as in a key or the city, and a vague wandering, like the morning's impression of the dreams of the preceding night, that in the remote dark ages of his career he took some notes upon the various lectures, the which have long since been converted into pipe-lights or small darts, which, twisted up and propelled from between the forefingers of each hand, fly with unerring aim across the theatre at the lecturer's head, the slumbering student, or any other object worth aiming at—an amusing way of beguiling the hour's lecture, and only excelled by the sport produced, if he has the good luck to sit in a sunbeam, from making a tournament of "Jack-o'-lanthorns" on the ceiling. His locker in the lobby of the dissecting-room has long since been devoid of apron, sleeves, scalpels, or forceps; but still it is not empty. Its contents are composed of three bellpull-handles, a valuable series of shutter-fastenings, two or three broken pipes, a pewter "go" (which, if everybody had their own, would in all probability belong to Mr. Evans, of Covent Garden Piazza), some scraps of biscuit, and a round knocker, which forcibly recalls a pleasant evening he once spent, with the accompanying anecdotes of how he "bilked the pike" at Waterloo Bridge, and poor Jones got "jug'd" by mistake.
It must not, however, be supposed that the student now neglects visiting the dissecting-room. On the contrary, he is unremitting in his attendance, and sometimes the first there of a morning, more especially when he has, to use his own expression, been "going it rather fast than otherwise" the evening before, and comes to the school very early in the morning to have a good wash and refresh himself previously to snatching a little of the slumber he has forgotten to take during the night, which he enjoys very quietly in the injecting-room down stairs, amidst a heterogeneous assemblage of pipkins, subjects, deal coffins, sawdust, inflated stomachs, syringes, macerating tubs, and dried preparations. The dissecting-room is also his favourite resort for refreshment, and he broils sprats and red herrings on the fire-shovel with consummate skill, amusing himself during the process of his culinary arrangements by sawing the corners off the stone mantel-piece, throwing cinders at the new man, or seeing how long it takes to bore a hole through one of the stools with a red-hot poker. Indeed, these luckless pieces of furniture are always marked out by the student as the fittest objects on which to wreak his destructive propensities; and he generally discovers that the readiest way to do them up is to hop steeple-chases upon them from one end of the room to the other—a sporting amusement which shakes them to pieces, and irremediably dislocates all their articulations, sooner than anything else. Of course these pleasantries are only carried on in the absence of the demonstrator. Should he be present, the industry of the student is confined to poking the fire in the stove and then shutting the flue, or keeping down the ball of the cistern by some abdominal hooks, and then, before the invasion of smoke and water takes place, quietly joining a knot of new men who are strenuously endeavouring to dissect the brain and discover the hippocampus major, which they expect to find in the perfect similitude of a sea-horse, like the web-footed quadrupeds who paw the "reality" in the "area usually devoted to illusion," or tank, at the Adelphi Theatre.
If one of the professors of his medical school chances to be addicted to making anti-Martin experiments on animals, or the study of comparative anatomy, the pursuits offer an endless fund of amusement to the jocose student. He administers poison to the toxicological guinea-pigs; hunts the rabbit kept for galvanism about the school; lets loose in the theatre, by accident, the sparrows preserved to show the rapidly fatal action of choke-damp upon life; turns the bladders, which have been provided to tie over bottles, into footballs; and makes daily contributions to the plate of pebbles taken from the stomach of the ostrich, and preserved in the museum to show the mode in which these birds assist digestion, until he quadruples the quantity, and has the quiet satisfaction of seeing exhibited at lecture, as the identical objects, the heap of small stones which he has collected from time to time in the garden of the school, or from any excavation for pipes or paving which he may have passed in his route from his lodgings.
The second or middle course of the three winter sessions which the medical student is compelled to go through, is the one in which he most enjoys himself, and indulges in those little outbreaks of eccentric mirth which eminently qualify him for his future professional career. During the first course he studies from novelty—during the last from compulsion; but the middle one passes in unlimited sprees and perpetual half-and-half. The only grand project he now undertakes is "going up for his Latin," provided he had not courage to do so upon first coming to London. For some weeks before this period he is never seen without an interlined edition of Celsus and Gregory; not that he debars himself from joviality during the time of his preparation, but he judiciously combines study with amusement—never stirring without his translation in his pocket, and even, if he goes to the theatre, beguiling the time between the pieces by learning the literal order of a new paragraph. Every school possesses circulating copies of these works: they have been originally purchased in some wild moment of industrious extravagance by a new man; and when he passed, he sold them for five shillings to another, who, in turn, disposed of them to a third, until they had run nearly all through the school. The student grinds away at these until he knows them almost by heart, albeit his translation is not the most elegant. He reads—"Sanus homo, a sound man; qui, who; et, also; bene valet, well is in health; et, and; suae spontis, of his own choice; est, is," &c. This, however, is quite sufficient; and, accordingly, one afternoon, in a rash moment, he makes up his mind to "go up." Arrived at Apothecaries' Hall—a building which he regards with a feeling of awe far beyond the Bow-street Police Office—he takes his place amongst the anxious throng, and is at last called into a room, where two examiners politely request that he will favour them by sitting down at a table adorned with severe-looking inkstands, long pens, formal sheets of foolscap, and awfully-sized copies of the light entertaining works mentioned above. One of the aforesaid examiners then takes a pinch of snuff, coughs, blows his nose, points out a paragraph for the student to translate, and leaves him to do it. He has, with a prudent forethought, stuffed his cribs inside his double-breasted waistcoat, but, unfortunately, he finds he cannot use them; so when he sticks at a queer word he writes it on his blotting-paper and shoves it quietly on to the next man. If his neighbour is a brick, he returns an answer; but if he is not, our friend is compelled to take shots of the meaning and trust to chance—a good plan when you are not certain what to do, either at billiards or Apothecaries' Hall. Should he be fortunate enough to get through, his schedule is endorsed with some hieroglyphics explanatory of the auspicious event; and, in gratitude, he asks a few friends to his lodgings that night, who have legions of sausages for supper, and drink gin-and-water until three o'clock in the morning. It is not, however, absolutely necessary that a man should go up himself to pass his Latin. We knew a student once who, by a little judicious change of appearance—first letting his hair grow very long, and then cutting it quite short—at one time patronizing whiskers, and at another shaving himself perfectly clean—now wearing spectacles, and now speaking through his nose—being, withal, an excellent scholar, passed a Latin examination for half the men in the hospital he belonged to, receiving from them, when he had succeeded, the fee which, in most cases, they would have paid a private teacher for preparing them.
The medical student does not like dining alone; he is gregarious, and attaches himself to some dining-rooms in the vicinity of his school, where, in addition to the usual journals, they take in the Lancet and Medical Gazette for his express reading. He is here the customer most looked up to by the proprietor, and is also on excellent terms with "Harriet," who confidentially tells him that the boiled beef is just up; indeed, he has been seen now and then to put his arm round her waist and ask her when she meant to marry him, which question Harriet is not very well prepared to answer, as all the second season men have proposed to her successively, and each stands equally well in her estimation, which is kept up at the rate of a penny per diem. But Harriet is not the only waiting domestic with whom he is upon friendly terms. The Toms, Charleses, and Henrys of the supper-taverns enjoy equal familiarity; and when Nancy, at Knight's, brings him oysters for two and asks him for the money to get the stout, he throws down the shilling with an expression of endearment that plainly intimates he does not mean to take back the fourpence change out of the pot. Should he, however, in the course of his wanderings, go into a strange eating-house, where he is not known, and consequently is not paid becoming attention, his revenge is called into play, and he gratifies it by the simple act of pouring the vinegar into the pepper-castor, and emptying the contents of the salt-cellar into the water-bottle before he gets up to walk away.
* * * * *
EXPRESS FROM AMERICA.
We are authorised to state there is a man in New Orleans so exceedingly bright, that he uses the palm of his hand for a looking-glass.
* * * * *
POLITICS OF THE OUTWARD MAN!
Wisdom is to be purchased only of the tailor. Morality is synonymous with millinery; whilst Truth herself—pictured by the poetry of the olden day in angelic nakedness—must now be full-dressed, like a young lady at a royal drawing-room, to be considered presentable. You may believe that a man with a gash in his heart may still walk, talk, pay taxes, and perform all the other duties of a highly civilised citizen; but to believe that the same man with a hole in his coat can discourse like a reasoning animal, is to be profoundly ignorant of those sympathetic subtleties existing between a man's brain and a man's broad-cloth. Party politics have developed this profound truth—the divine reason of the immortal creature escapes through ragged raiment; a fractured skull is not so fatal to the powers of ratiocination as a rent in the nether garments. GOD'S image loses the divine lustre of its origin with its nap of super-Saxony. The sinful lapse of ADAM has thrown all his unfortunate children upon the mercies of the tailor; and that mortal shows least of the original stain who wraps about it the richest purple and the finest linen. Hence, if you would know the value of a man's heart, look at his waistcoat.
Philosophers and anatomists have quarrelled for centuries as to the residence of the soul. Some have vowed that it lived here—some there; some that, like a gentleman with several writs in pursuit of him, it continually changed its lodgings; whilst others have lustily sworn that the soul was a vagrant, with no claim to any place of settlement whatever. Nevertheless, a vulgar notion has obtained that the soul dwelt on a little knob of the brain; and that there, like a vainglorious bantam-cock on a dunghill, it now claps its wings and crows all sorts of triumph—and now, silent and scratching, it thinks of nought but wheat and barley. The first step to knowledge is to confess to a late ignorance. We avow, then, our late benighted condition. We were of the number of sciolists who lodged the soul in the head of man: we are now convinced that the true dwelling place of the soul is in the head's antipodes. Let SOLOMON himself return to the earth, and hold forth at a political meeting; SOLOMON himself would be hooted, laughed at, voted an ass, a nincompoop, if SOLOMON spoke from the platform with a hole in his breeches!
PLATO doubtless thought that he had imagined a magnificent theory, when he averred that every man had within him a spark of the divine flame. But, silly PLATO! he never considered how easily this spark might be blown out. At this moment, how many Englishmen are walking about the land utterly extinguished! Had men been made on the principle of the safety-lamp, they might have defied the foul breath of the world's opinion—but, alas! what a tender, thin-skinned, shivering thing is man! His covering—the livery of original sin, bought with the pilfered apples—is worn into a hole, and Opinion, that sour-breathed hag, claps her blue lips to the broken web, gives a puff, and—out goes man's immortal spark! From this moment the creature is but a carcase: he can eat and drink (when lucky enough to be able to try the experiment), talk, walk, and no more; yes, we forgot—he can work; he still keeps precedence of the ape in the scale of creation—for he can work for those who, thickly clothed, and buttoned to the throat, have no rent in their purple, no stitch dropped in their superfine, to expose their precious souls to an annihilating gust, and who therefore keep their immortal sparks like tapers in burglars' dark-lanthorns, whereby to rob and spoil with greater certainty!
Gentle reader, think you this a fantastic chapter on holes? If so, then of a surety you do not read those instructive annals of your country penned by many a TACITUS of the daily press—by many a profound historian who unites to the lighter graces of stenography the enduring loveliness of philosophy.
Some days since a meeting was held in the parish of Saint Pancras of the "Young Men's Anti-Monopoly Association." The place of gathering, says the reporter, was "a ruined penny theatre!" It is evident in the brain of the writer that the small price at which the theatre was ruined made its infamy: to be blighted for a penny was the shame. Drury Lane and Covent Garden have been ruined over and over again—but then their ruin, like PHRYNE'S, has ever been at a large price of admission; hence, like court harlots, their ruin has been dignified by high remuneration. What, however, could be expected from a theatre that, with inconceivable wickedness, suffered itself to be undone for a penny? Let the reporter answer:—
"—— FORSTER, Esq., advanced, and, assuming a teapot position on the stage, moved the first resolution, to the effect 'That the bread-tax was the cause of all distress, and that they should use their strenuous efforts to remove it.' 'Ladies (there was one old woman in a shocking bad black and white straw bonnet present) and gentlemen (said he), this is a public meeting to all intents and purposes.'"
For ourselves we care not for an orator's standing like a teapot, if what he pours out be something better than mere hot-water or dead small beer. If, however, we were to typify orators in delf, there are many Tory talkers whom we would associate with more ignominious shapes of crockery than that of a teapot—senators who are taken by the handle, and by their party used for the dirtiest offices.
We now come to the bad old woman whose excess of iniquity was blazoned in her "bad black and white straw bonnet." This woman might have been an ASPASIA, a DE STAEL, a Mrs. SOMERVILLE,—nay, the SYBILLA CUMEA herself. What of that? The "bad" bonnet must sink the large souled Grecian to a cinder-wench, make the Frenchwoman a trapes from the Palais Royal, our fair astronomer a gipsy of Greenwich Park, and the fate-foretelling sybil a crone crawled from the worst garret of Battle-bridge. The head is nothing; the bonnet's all. Think you that Mrs. Somerville could have studied herself into reputation, that the moon and stars would have condescended to smile upon her, if she had not attended their evening parties in a handsome turban, duly plumed and jewelled?
Come we now to the next recorded atrocity:—
"There jumped now upon the stage a red-haired, laughing-hyena faced, fustian-coated biped, exclaiming—'My name is Wall! I have a substantive amendment to move to the resolution now proposed—('Go off, off! ooh, ooh, ooh! turn him out, out, out!') We are met in a place where religion is taught (groans). Well, then, we are met where they "teach the young idea how to shoot"'—(laughter, groans, and 'Go on, Wall.') Turning to the young gents on the platform, 'You,' quoth Mr. Wall, 'have not read history: you clerks at 16s. a week, with your gold chains and pins.'"
Red hair was first made infamous by JUDAS ISCARIOT; hence the reporter not only shows the intensity of his Christianity, but his delicate knowledge of human character, by the fine contempt cast upon the felon locks of the speaker. Red hair is doubtless the brand of Providence; the mark set upon guilty man to give note and warning to his unsuspicious fellow-creatures. Like the scarlet light at the North Foreland, it speaks of shoals, and sands, and flats. The emperor Commodus, who had all his previous life rejoiced in flaxen locks, woke, the morning after his first contest in the arena, a red-haired man! But then, with a fine knowledge of the wholesome prejudices of the world, he turned the curse upon his head into a beauty; for he—powdered it with gold-dust. Could Mr. WALL, of the penny theatre, induce the Master of the Mint to play his coiffeur, how would the reporter fall on his knees and worship the divinity!
Mr. WALL, being of the opposite faction, in addition to the unpowdered ignominy of his hair, has also the face of a hyena! This fact opens a question too vast for our one solitary page. We lack at least the amplitude of a quarto to prove that all men are fashioned, even in the womb, with features that shall hereafter beautifully harmonise with the politics of the grown creature. Now WALL, being ordained a poor man and a Chartist, is endowed with a "laughing hyena" countenance. He even loses the vantage ground of our common humanity, and is sunk by his poverty and his politics to the condition of a beast, and of a most unamiable beast into the bargain. However, the vast enfolding iniquity is yet to be displayed and duly shuddered at; for WALL, the biped hyena, wears—a fustian coat!
As journalists, we trust we have our common share—which is no little—of human vanity. Nevertheless, with the highest private opinion of our own powers, we feel we can add nothing to the picture drawn by the reporter. The fustian coat, with a tongue in every button-hole, discourses on its own inwoven infamy.
We recognise with great pleasure a growing custom on the part of political reporters to merge the orators and listeners at public meetings in their several articles of dress. This practice has doubtless originated in a most philosophical consideration of the sympathies between the outer and the inner man, and has its source in the earliest records of human life. The patriarchs rent their garments in token of the misery that lacerated their souls: then rags and tatters were ennobled by sorrow—there was a deep sentiment in sackcloth and ashes. We have, however, improved upon the ignorance of primitive days; and though we still admit the covering of man to be typical of his condition of mind, we wisely keep our respect for super-Saxony, and expend contempt and ridicule on corduroy and fustian. We yet hope to see the day when certain political meetings will be briefly reported as follow:—
"Faded Blue Coat, with tarnished Brass Buttons, took the chair.
"Velveteen Jacket moved the first resolution, which was seconded by Check Shirt and Ankle-jacks.
"Brown Great Coat, with holes in elbows, moved the second resolution—seconded by Greasy Drab Breeches and Dirty Leather Gaiters.
"After thanks to Blue Coat had been moved by Brown Surtout and Crack under both Arms, the Fustian Jackets departed."
Would not this be quite sufficient? Knowing the philosophy of appearance in England, might we not by our imagination supply a truer speech to every orator than could be taken down by the most faithful reporter?
* * * * *
PUNCH'S PENCILLINGS.—No. XVI.
* * * * *
LIST OF THE PREMIUMS
AWARDED BY THE
HOOKHAM-CUM-SNIVEY LITERARY AND SCIENTIFIC SOCIETY,
FOR THE YEAR 1841.
MANAGEMENT OF LANDED PROPERTY.
To Count D'Orsay, for the most approved Essay on Cultivating a Flower Pot, and the Expediency of growing Mignionette in preference to Sweet Pea on the Window-sills—
The Pasteboard Medal of the Society.
METHOD OF GROWING PERMANENT WHISKERS.
To Colonel Sibthorp, for a Report of several successful Experiments in laying down his own Cheeks for a permanent growth of Whisker, with a description of the most approved Hair-fence worn on the Chin, and the exact colour adapted to all seasons—
The Pasteboard Medal and a Bottle of Balm of Columbia.
IMPROVING THE CONDITION OF THE POOR, BY INVENTING A VALUABLE SUBSTITUTE FOR MEAT, BREAD, VEGETABLES, AND OTHER MASTICATORY ALIMENT.
To the Poor-Law Commissioners, for their valuable Essay on Cheap Feeding, and an Account of several Experiments made in the Unions throughout the Kingdom; by which they have satisfactorily demonstrated that a man may exist on stewed chips and sawdust—also for their original receipt for making light, cheap workhouse soup, with a gallon of water and a gooseberry—
The Pasteboard Medal and a Mendicity Ticket.
QUANTITY OF BRAINS REQUIRED TO MAKE A MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT.
To Peter Borthwick, for his ingenious Treatise, proving logically that a Member requires no Brains, instancing his own case, where the deficiency was supplied by the length of his ears—
The Pewter Medal, and a Copy of Enfield's Speaker.
AMOUNT OF CASH REQUIRED BY A GENTLEMAN TO KEEP A WALKING-STICK, A PAIR OF MOUSTACHES, AND A CIGAR.
To the Society of Law Clerks, for the best Account of how Fifteen Shillings a week may be managed, to enable the Possessor to "draw it rather brisk" after office-hours in Regent-street, including board and lodging for his switch and spurs, and Warren's jet for his Wellingtons—
The Tin Medal and a Penny Cuba.
To Sir Peter Laurie, for a Bill of Fare of the various viands demolished at the Lord Mayors' Dinners for the last ten years—also, for an account of certain experiments made to ascertain the contents of the Board of Aldermen at City Feasts, by the application of a new regulating-belt, called the Gastronometer—
A German Silver Medal and a Gravy Spoon.
* * * * *
THE MEMOIRS OF MADAME LAFFARGE.
The title, I think, will strike. The fashion, you know, now, is to do away with old prejudices, and to rescue certain characters from the illiberal odium with which custom has marked them. Thus we have a generous Israelite, an amiable cynic, and so on. Now, Sir, I call my play—The Humane Footpad.—SYLVESTER DAGGERWOOD.
Some four or five seasons since, the eccentric Buckstone produced a three-act farce, which, by dint of its after title—The School for Sympathy—and of much highly comic woe, exhibited in the acting of Farren and Nisbett, was presented to uproariously-affected audiences during some score nights. The hinge of the mirth was made to turn upon the irresistible drollery of one man's running away with another man's wife, and the outrageous fun of the consequent suicide of the injured husband; the bons mots being most tragically humorous, and the aphorisms of the several characters facetiously concatenative of the nouns contained in the leading name of the piece—"Love and Murder."
Now this was a magnificent idea—one of those brilliant efforts which cannot but tend to lift the theatre in the estimation of every man of delicacy and education. A new source of attraction was at once discovered,—a vast fund of available fuel was suddenly found to recruit the cinerulent embers of the drama withal. It became evident that, after Joe Miller, the ordinary of Newgate was the funniest dog in the world. Manslaughter, arson, and the more practical jokes in the Calendar, were already familiar to the stage; it was a refinement of the Haymarket authors to introduce those livelier sallies of wit—crim. con. and felo-de-se. The "immense coalitions" of all manner of crimes and vices in the subsequent "highway school"—the gradual development of every unnatural tendency in the youthful Jack Sheppard (another immor-t-al work by the author of the afore-lauded comedy)—the celebration, by a classic chaunt, of his reaching the pinnacle of depravity; this was the ne plus ultra of dramatic invention. Robbers and murderers began to be treated, after the Catholic fashion, with extreme unction; audiences were intoxicated with the new drop; sympathy became epidemic; everybody was bewildered and improved; and nobody went and threw themselves off the Monument with a copy of the baleful drama in his pocket!
But the magnificence of the discovery was too large to be grasped by even the gluttonous eye of the managers, The Adelphi might overflow—the Surrey might quake with reiterated "pitsfull"—still there remained over and above the feast-crumbs sufficient for the battenings of other than theatrical appetites. Immediately the press-gang—we beg pardon, the press—arose, and with a mighty throe spawned many monsters. Great drama! Greater Press! GREATEST PUBLIC!
Now this was all excellent well as far as it went; but still there was something wanted of more reality than the improvisations of a romancist. Ainsworth might dip his pen in the grossest epithets; Boz might dabble in the mysterious dens of Hebrew iniquity; even Bulwer might hash up to us his recollections of St. Giles's dialogue; and yet it was evident that they were all the while only "shamming"—only cooking up some dainty dish according to a recipe, or, as it is still frequently pronounced, a receipt,—which last, with such writers, will ever be the guide-post of their track.
But something more was wanted; and here it is—here, in the Memoirs of Marie Cappelle.
This lady, perhaps the most remarkable woman of her age, has published a book—half farce, half novel—in which she treats by turns with the clap-trap agony of a Bulwer, the quaint sneer of a Dickens, and the effrontery of an Ainsworth, that serious charge which employed the careful investigation of the most experienced men in France for many weeks, and which excited a degree of interest in domestic England almost unexampled in the history of foreign trials. This work is published by a gentleman who calls himself "Publisher in ordinary to her Majesty," and may be procured at any book-seller's by all such as have a guinea and a day's leisure at the mercy of the literary charlatan who contrived it.
In the strictest confidence we would suggest, that if a treaty could be ratified with Madame Marie Cappelle Laffarge, we do not doubt that our nursery—yea, our laundry—maids would learn to spell the precious sentences, to their own great edification and that of the children placed under their charge.
* * * * *
OUR TRADE REPORT.
Coals are a shade blacker than they were last week, but not quite so heavy; and turnips are much lighter than they have been known for a very considerable period.
Great complaints are made of the ticketing system; and persons going to purchase shawls, as they supposed, at nine-pence three-farthings each, are disgusted at being referred to a very small one pound sixteen marked very lightly in pencil immediately before the 9-3/4d., which is very large and in very black ink. There were several transactions of this kind during the whole morning.
The depressed state of the Gossamer-market has long been a subject of conversation among the four-and-niners who frequent the cheap coffee-shops in the City; but no one knows the cause of what has taken place, nor can they exactly state what the occurrence is that they are so loudly complaining of.
Bones continue to fetch a penny for two pounds; but great murmurs are heard of the difficulty of making up a pound equal to the very liberal weights which the marine-store keepers use when making their purchases; they, however, make up for it by using much lighter weights when they sell, which is so far fair and satisfactory.
The arrivals in baked potatoes have been very numerous; fifty cans were entered outwards on Saturday.
* * * * *
Two ladies of St. Giles's disputing lately on the respectability of each other's family, concluded the debate in the following way:—"Mrs. Doyle, ma'am, I'd have you know that I've an uncle a bannister of the law." "Much about your bannister," retorted Mrs. Doyle; "haven't I a first cousin a corridor in the navy?"
* * * * *
KEEPING IT DARK.
Jim Bones, a free nigger of New York, has a child so exceedingly dark that he cannot be seen on the lightest day.
* * * * *
THE GENTLEMAN'S OWN BOOK.
REVENONS A NOS MOUTONS—i.e. (for the benefit of country members) to return to our mutton, or rather the "trimmings." The ornaments which notify the pecuniary superiority of the wearer include chains, rings, studs, canes, watches, and purses. Chains should be of gold, and cannot be too ostentatiously displayed; for a proper disposition of these "braveries" is sure to induce the utmost confidence in the highly useful occupants of Pigot's and Robson's Directory. We have seen some waistcoats so elaborately festooned, that we would stake our inkstand that the most unbelieving money-lender would have taken the personal security of the wearer without hesitation. The perfection to which mosaic-work has arrived may possibly hold out a strong temptation to the thoughtless to substitute the shadow for the reality. Do not deceive yourself; an experienced eye will instantly detect the imposition, though your ornaments may be
for, we will defy any true gentleman to preserve an equanimity of expression under the hint—either visual or verbal—that (to use the language of the poet) you are "a man of brass."
We have a faint recollection of a class of gentlemen who used to attach an heterogeneal collection of massive seals and keys to one end of a chain, and a small church-clock to the other. The chain then formed a pendulum in front of their small-clothes, and the dignified oscillation of the appendages was considered to distinguish the gentleman. They were also used as auxiliaries in argument; for whenever an hiatus occurred in the discussion, the speaker, by having resort to his watch-chain, could frequently confound his adversary by commencing a series of rapid gyrations. But the fashion has descended to merchants, lawyers, doctors, et sui generis, who never drive bargains, ruin debtors, kill patients, et cetera, without having recourse to this imposing decoration.
Rings are the next indicators of superfluous cash. As they are merely ornamental, they should resemble vipers, tapeworms, snakes, toads, monkey's, death's heads, and similar engaging and pleasing subjects. The more liberally the fingers are enriched, the greater the assurance that the hand is never employed in any useful labour, and is consequently only devoted to the minisitration of indulgences, and the exhibition of those elegant productions which distinguish the highly-civilised gentleman from the highly-tattooed savage.
Mourning-rings have an air of extreme respectability; for they are always suggestive of a legacy, and of the fact that you have been connected with somebody who was not buried at the expense of the parish.
Studs should be selected with the greatest possible care, and in our opinion the small gold ones can only be worn by a perfect gentleman; for whilst they perform their required office, they do not distract the attention from the quality and whiteness of your linen. Some that we have seen were evidently intended for cabinet pictures, rifle targets and breast-plates.
Pins.—These necessary adjuncts to the cravat of a gentleman have undergone a singular revolution during late years; but we confess we are admirers of the present fashion, for if it is desirable to indulge in an ornament, it is equally desirable that everybody should be gratified by the exhibition thereof. We presume that it is with this commendable feeling that pins'-heads (whose smallness in former days became a proverb) should now resemble the apex of a beadle's staff; and, as though to make "assurance doubly sure," a plurality is absolutely required for the decoration of a gentleman. In these times, when political partisanship is so exceedingly violent, why not make the pins indicative of the opinions of the wearer, as the waistcoat was in the days of Fox. We could suggest some very appropriate designs; for instance, the heads of Peel and Wakley, connected by a very slight link—Sibthorp and Peter Borthwick by a series of long-car rings—Muntz and D'Israeli cut out of very hard wood, and united by a hair-chain; and many others too numerous to mention.
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PARODIED BY A XX TEETOTALLER.
To drink, or not to drink? That is the question. Whether 'tis nobler inwardly to suffer The pangs and twitchings of uneasy stomach, Or to take brandy-toddy 'gainst the colic, And by imbibing end it? To drink,—to sleep,— To snore;—and, by a snooze, to say we end The head-ache, and the morning's parching thirst That drinking's heir to;—'tis a consummation Devoutly to be wish'd. To drink,—to pay,— To pay the waiter's bill?—Ay—there's the rub; For in that snipe-like bill, a stop may come, When we would shuffle off our mortal score, Must give us pause. There's the respect That makes sobriety of so long date; For who could bear to hear the glasses ring In concert clear—the chairman's ready toast— The pops of out-drawn corks—the "hip hurrah!" The eloquence of claret—and the songs, Which often through the noisy revel break, When a man—might his quietus make With a full bottle? Who would sober be, Or sip weak coffee through the live-long night; But that the dread of being laid upon That stretcher by policemen borne, on which The reveller reclines,—puzzles me much, And makes me rather tipple ginger beer, Than fly to brandy, or to— Thus poverty doth make us Temp'rance men.
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"TRY OUR BEST SYMPATHY."
It is a fact, when the deputation of the distressed manufacturers waited upon Sir Robert Peel to represent to him their destitute condition, that the Right Honourable Baronet declared he felt the deepest sympathy for them. This is all very fine—but we fear greatly, if Sir Robert should be inclined to make a commercial speculation of his sympathy, that he would go into the market with
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THE MAN OF HABIT.
I meet with men of this character very frequently, and though I believe that the stiff formality of the past age was more congenial than the present to the formation and growth of these peculiar beings, there are still a sufficient number of the species in existence for the philosophical cosmopolite to study and comment upon.
A true specimen of a man of habit should be an old bachelor,—for matrimony deranges the whole clock-work system upon which he piques himself. He could never endure to have his breakfast delayed for one second to indulge "his soul's far dearer part" with a prolonged morning dream; and he dislikes children, because the noisy urchins make a point of tormenting him wherever he goes. The Man of Habit has a certain hour for all the occupations of his life; he allows himself twenty minutes for shaving and dressing; fifteen for breakfasting, in which time he eats two slices of toast, drinks two cups of coffee, and swallows two eggs boiled for two and a half minutes by an infallible chronometer. After breakfast he reads the newspaper, but lays it down in the very heart and pith of a clever article on his own side of the question, the moment his time is up. He has even been known to leave the theatre at the very moment of the denouement of a deeply-interesting play rather than exceed his limited hour by five minutes. He will be out of temper all day, if he does not find his hat on its proper nail and his cane in its allotted corner. He chooses a particular walk, where he may take his prescribed number of turns without interruption, for he would prefer suffering a serious inconvenience rather than be obliged to quicken or slacken his pace to suit the speed of a friend who might join him. My uncle Simon was a character of this cast. I could take it on my conscience to assert that, every night for the forty years preceding his death, he had one foot in the bed on the first stroke of 11 o'clock, and just as the last chime had tolled, that he was enveloped in the blankets to his chin. I have known him discharge a servant because his slippers were placed by his bed-side for contrary feet; and I have won a wager by betting that he would turn the corner of a certain street at precisely three minutes before ten in the morning. My uncle used to frequent a club in the City, of which he had become the oracle. Precisely at eight o'clock he entered the room—took his seat in a leather-backed easy chair in a particular corner—read a certain favourite journal—drank two glasses of rum toddy—smoked four pipes—and was always in the act of putting his right arm into the sleeve of his great-coat, to return home, as the clock struck ten. The cause of my uncle's death was as singular as his life was whimsical. He went one night to the club, and was surprised to find his seat occupied by a tall dark-browed man, who smoked a meerschaum of prodigious size in solemn silence. Numerous hints were thrown out to the stranger that the seat had by prescriptive right and ancient custom become the property of my uncle; he either did not or would not understand them, and continued to keep his possession of the leather-backed chair with the most imperturbable sang-froid. My uncle in despair took another seat, and endeavoured to appear as if nothing had occurred to disturb him,—but he could not dissimulate. He was pierced to the heart,—and
My uncle left the club half-an-hour before his time; he returned home—went to bed without winding his watch—and the next morning he was found lifeless in his bed.
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PUNCH'S POLITICAL ECONOMY.
The subject of political economy is becoming so general a portion of education, that it will doubtless soon be introduced at the infant schools among the other eccentric evolutions or playful whirls of Mr. Wilder-spin. At it is the fashion to comprehend nothing, but to have a smattering of everything, we beg leave to smatter our readers with a very thin layer of political economy. In the first place, "political" means "political," and "economy" signifies "economy," at least when taken separately; but put them together, and they express all kinds of extravagance. Political economy contemplates the possibility of labouring without work, eating without food, and living without the means of subsistence. Social, or individual economy, teaches to live within our means; political economy calls upon us to live without them. In the debates, when more than usual time has been wasted in talking the most extravagant stuff, ten to one that there has been a good deal of political economy. If you bother a poor devil who is dying of want, and speak to him about consumption, it is probably "political economy" that you will have addressed to him. If you talk to a man sinking with hunger about floating capital, you will no doubt have given him the benefit of a few hints in "political economy:" while, if to a wretch in tattered rags you broach the theory of rent, he must be an ungrateful beast indeed if he does not appreciate the blessings of "political economy." That "labour is wealth" forms one of the most refreshing axioms of this delicious science; and if brought to the notice of a man breaking stones on the road, he would perhaps wonder where his wealth might be while thinking of his labour, but he could not question your proficiency in "political economy." In fact, it is the most political and most economical science in the world, if it can only be made to achieve its object, which is to persuade the hard-working classes that they are the richest people in the universe, for their labour gives value, and value gives wealth; but who gets the value and the wealth is a consideration that does not fall within the province of "political economy."
There is another branch of the subject at which we shall merely glance; but one hint will open up a wide field of observation to the student. The branch to which we allude is the tremendous extent to which political economy is carried by those who interfere so much in politics with so very little political knowledge, and who consequently display a most surprising share of "political economy,"
As a very little goes a great way, and particularly as the most diminutive portion of knowledge communicated by ourselves is, like the "one small pill constituting a dose," much more efficacious than the 40 Number Ones and 50 Number Twos of the mere quacks, we close for the present our observations on Political Economy.
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ON THE KEY-VIVE.
There can be no doubt as to the prima facie evidence of the hostile intentions of the destroyed American steamer, with respect to the disaffected on Navy Island, as, from the acknowledged inquisitiveness of the gentler sex, there can be no doubt that Caroline would have a natural predilection for
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LAST NEW SAYINGS.
Come, none of your raillery; as the stage-coach indignantly said to the steam-engine.
That "strain" again; as the Poor-law Commissioner generously said to the water-gruel sieve.
I paid very dear for my whistle; as the steam-engine emphatically said to the railroad.
Peel for ever! as the church bells joyously said to Conservative hearts.
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There is at present a man in New York whose temper is so exceedingly hot that he invariably reduces all his shirts to tinder.
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THE MAID OF HONOUR.
The Adelphi "Correspondent from Paris" has favoured that Theatre with an adaptation of Scribe's "Verre d'Eau," which he has called "The Maid of Honour."
Everybody must remember that, last year, the trifling affair of the British Government was settled by the far more momentous consideration of who should be Ladies of the Bed-chamber. The Parisians, seeing the dramatic capabilities of this incident, put it into a farce, resting the whole affair upon the shoulders of a former Queen whose Court was similarly circumstanced. This is the piece which Mr. Yates has had the daring to get done into English, and transplanted into Spain, and interspersed with embroidery, confectionary, and a Spanish sentence; the last judiciously entrusted to that accomplished linguist, Mr. John Saunders.
Soon after the rising of the curtain, we behold the figure of Mr. Yates displayed to great advantage in the dress usually assigned to Noodle and Doodle in the tragedy of "Tom Thumb." He represents the Count Ollivarez, and the head of a political party—the opposition. The Court faction having for its chief the Duchess of Albafurez, who being Mistress of the Queen's robes is of course her favourite; for the millinery department of the country which can boast of a Queen Regnant is of far higher importance than foreign or financial affairs, justice, police, or war—consequently, the chief of the wardrobe is far more exalted and better beloved than a mere Premier or Secretary of State. The Count is planning an intrigue, the agents of which are to be Henrico, a Court page, and Felicia, a court milliner. Not being able to make much of the page, he turns over a new leaf, and addresses himself to the dress-maker; so, after a few preliminary hems, he draws out the thread of his purpose to her, and cuts out an excellent pattern for her guidance, which if she implicitly follow will assuredly make her a Maid of Honour.
A comedy without mystery is Punch without a joke; Yates without a speech to the audience on a first night; or Bartley's pathos without a pocket-handkerchief. The Court page soon opens the book of imbroglio. He is made a Captain of the Queen's Guard by some unknown hand; he has always been protected by the same unseen benefactor, who, as if to guard him from every ill that flesh is heir to, showers on him his or her favours upon condition that he never marries! "Happy man," exclaims the Count. "Not at all," answers the other, "I am in love with Felicia!" Nobody is surprised at this, for it is a rule amongst dramatists never to forbid the banns until the banned, poor devil, is on the steps of the altar. Henrico, now a Captain, goes off to flesh his sword; meets with an insult, and by the greatest good luck kills his antagonist in the precincts of the palace; so that if he be not hanged for murder, his fortune is made. The victim is the Count's cousin, to whom he is next of kin. "Good Heavens!" ejaculates Ollivarez, "You have made yourself a criminal, and me—a Duke! Horrible!"
By the way, this same Henrico, as performed by that excellent swimmer (in the water-piece), Mr. Spencer Forde, forms a very entertaining character. His imperturbable calmness while uttering the heart-stirring words, assigned by the author to his own description of the late affair-of-honourable assassination, was highly edifying to the philosophic mind. The pleasing and amiable tones in which he stated how irretrievably he was ruined, the dulcet sweetness of the farewell to his heart's adored, the mathematical exactitude of his position while embracing her, the cool deliberation which marked his exit—offered a picture of calm stoicism just on the point of tumbling over the precipice of destruction not to be equalled—not, at least, since those halcyon dramatic days when Osbaldiston leased Covent Garden, and played Pierre.
Somehow or other—for one must not be too particular about the wherefores of stage political intrigues—Felicia is promoted from the office of making dresses for the Queen to that of putting them on. Behold her a maid of honour and of all-work; for the Queen takes her into her confidence, and in that case people at Court have an immense variety of duties to perform. The Duchess's place is fast becoming a sinecure, and she trembles for her influence—perhaps, in case of dismissal, for her next quarter's salary to boot—so she shakes in her shoes.
It is at this stage of the plot that we perceive why the part of Henrico was entrusted to the gentleman who plays it,—the mystery we have alluded to being by this arrangement very considerably increased; for we now learn that no fewer than three ladies in the piece are in love with him, namely, Felicia, the Queen, and the Duchess. Now the most penetrating auditor would never, until actually informed of the fact, for a moment suspect a Queen, or even a Duchess, of such bad taste; for, as far as our experience goes, we have generally found that women do not cast their affections to men who are sheepish, insensible, cold, ungainly, with small voices, and not more than five feet high. Surprise artfully excited and cleverly satisfied is the grand aim of the dramatist. How completely is it here fulfilled! for when we discover that the personator of Henrico is meant for an Adonis, we are astonished.
The truth is then, that the secret benefactor of this supposed-to-be irresistible youth has always been the Duchess Albafurez, who, learning from Ollivarez that her pet has new claims upon her heart for having killed her friend the Duke, determines to assist him to escape, which however is not at all necessary, for Ollivarez is entrusted with the warrant for apprehending the person or persons unknown who did the murder. But could he injure the man who has made him a Duke by a lucky coup-d'epee? No, no. Let him cross the frontier; and, when he is out of reach, what thundering denunciations will not the possessor of the dukedom fulminate against the killer of his cousin! It is shocking to perceive how intimately acquainted old Scribe must be with manners, customs, and feelings, as they exist at Court.
The necessary passports are placed before the Queen for her signature (perhaps her Spanish Majesty can't afford clerks); but when she perceives whom they threaten to banish from behind her chair, she declines honouring them with her autograph. The Duchess thus learns her secret. "She, too, love Henrico? Well I never!" About this time a tornado of jealousy may be expected; but court etiquette prevents it from bursting; and the Duchess reserves her revenge, the Queen sits down to her embroidery frame, and one is puzzled to know what is coming next.
This puzzle was not on Monday night long in being resolved. Ollivarez entered, and a child in the gallery commenced crying with that persevering quality of tone which threatens long endurance. Mr. Yates could not resist the temptation; and Ollivarez, the newly-created Duke of Medina, promised the baby a free admission for four, any other night, if it would only vacate the gallery just then. These terms having been assented to by a final screech, the infant left the gallery. After an instant's pause—during which the Manager tapped his forehead, as much as to say, "Where did I leave off?"—the piece went on.
We had no idea till last night how difficult it was for a Queen to indulge in a bit of flirtation! A most elaborate intrigue is, it seems, necessary to procure for her a tender interview with her innamorato. A plan was invented, whose intricacy would have bothered the inventor of spinning-jennies, whereby Henrico was to be closeted with her most Christian Majesty,—its grand accomplishment to take place when the Queen called for a glass of ice (the original Scribe wrote "water," but the Adelphi adapter thought ice would be more natural, for fear the piece should run till Christmas). The Duchess overhears the entire plot, but fails in frustrating it. Hence we find Henrico, Felicia, and the Queen together, going through a well-contrived and charmingly-conducted scene of equivoque—the Queen questioning Henrico touching the state of his heart, and he answering her in reference to Felicia, who is leaning over the embroidery frame behind the Queen, and out of her sight.
This felicitous situation is interrupted by the spiteful Duchess; the lover escapes behind the window curtains to avoid scandal—is discovered, and his sovereign's reputation is only saved by the declaration of Felicia, that the Captain is there on her account. Ollivarez asserts that they are married, to clench the fib—the Queen sees her folly—the Duchess is disgraced—all the characters stand in the well-defined semicircle which is the stage method of writing the word "finis"—Mrs. Yates speaks a very neat and pointed "tag"—and that's all.
For this two-act Comidetta, dear Yates, we pronounce absolution and remission of thy sins, so wickedly committed in the washy melo-drama, and cackling vaudeville, thou hast recently affronted common-sense withal! Thine own acting as the courtier was natural, except when thou didst interpolate the dialogue with the baby—a crying sin, believe us. Else, thy bows were graceful; and thy shoulder-shrugs—are they not chronicled in the mind's eye of thy most distant admirers? The little touches of humour that shone forth in the dialogue assigned to thee, were not exaggerated by the too-oft-indulged-in grimaces—in short, despite thy too monstrous chapeau-bras—which was big enough for a life-boat—thou lookedst like a Duke, a gentleman, and what in truth thou really art—an indefatigable intriguant. Thy favoured help-mate, too, gave a reality to the scene by her captivating union of queenly dignity and feminine tenderness. But most especially fortunate art thou in thy Felicia. Alas for our hunch and our hatchet nose! but O, alas! and alas! that we have a Judy! for never did we regret all three so deeply as while Miss Ellen Chaplin was on the stage. In our favourite scene with the Queen and her lover, how graceful and expressive were her dumb answers to what ought to have been Henrico's eloquent declarations, spoken through the Queen. We charge thee, dear friend, to "call" her on Monday morning at eleven, and to rehearse unto her what we are going to say. Tell her that as she is young, a bright career is before her if she will not fall into the sin of copying some other favourite actress—say, for instance, Mrs. Yates—instead of our arch-mistress, Nature; say, moreover, that at the same time, she must be unwearying in acquiring art; lastly, inform her, that Punch has his eye upon her, and will scold her if she become a backslider and an imitator of other people's faults.
As to poor Mr. Spencer Forde, he, too, is young; and you do wrong, O Yates! in giving him a part he will be unequal to till he grows big enough for a coat. A smaller part would, we doubt not, suit him excellently.
Lastly, give our best compliments to Mrs. Fosbroke, to the illustrious Mr. Freeborn, to Mr. John Saunders, and our especial commendations to thy scene-painter, thy upholsterer, and the gentleman lamp-lighter thou art so justly proud of; for each did his and her best to add a charm to "The Maid of Honour."
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