Our consideration must now be given to those essentials in the construction of a true gentleman—the cut, ornaments, and pathology of his dress.
is to the garment what the royal head and arms are to the coin—the insignia that give it currency. No matter what the material, gold or copper, Saxony or sackcloth, the die imparts a value to the one, and the shears to the other.
Ancient Greece still lives in its marble demi-gods; the vivifying chisel of Phidias was thought worthy to typify the sublimity of Jupiter; the master-hand of Canova wrought the Parian block into the semblance of the sea-born goddess, giving to insensate stone the warmth and etheriality of the Paphian paragon; and Stultz, with his grace-bestowing shears, has fashioned West of England broad-cloths, and fancy goods, into all the nobility and gentility of the “Blue Book,” the “Court Guide,” the “Army, Navy, and Law Lists, for 1841.”
Wondrous and kindred arts! The sculptor wrests the rugged block from the rocky ribs of his mother earth;—the tailor clips the implicated “long hogs”11. The first growth of wool. from the prolific backs of the living mutton;—the toothless saw, plied by an unweayring hand, prepares the stubborn mass for the chisel’s tracery;—the loom, animated by steam (that gigantic child of Wallsend and water), twists and twines the unctuous and pliant fleece into the silky Saxony.
The sculptor, seated in his studio, throws loose the reins of his imagination, and, conjuring up some perfect ideality, seeks to impress the beautiful illusion on the rude and undigested mass before him. The tailor spreads out, upon his ample board, the happy broadcloth; his eyes scan the “measured proportions of his client,” and, with mystic power, guides the obedient pipe-clay into the graceful diagram of a perfect gentleman. The sculptor, with all the patient perseverance of genius, conscious of the greatness of its object, chips, and chips, and chips, from day to day; and as the stone quickens at each touch, he glows with all the pride of the creative Prometheus, mingled with the gentler ecstacies of paternal love. The tailor, with fresh-ground shears, and perfect faith in the gentility and solvency of his “client,” snips, and snips, and snips, until the “superfine” grows, with each abscission, into the first style of elegance and fashion, and the excited schneider feels himself “every inch a king,” his shop a herald’s college, and every brown paper pattern garnishing its walls, an escutcheon of gentility.
But to dismount from our Pegasus, or, in other words, to cut the poetry, and come to the practice of our subject, it is necessary that a perfect gentleman should be cut up very high, or cut down very low—i.e., up to the marquis or down to the jarvey. Any intermediate style is perfectly inadmissible; for who above the grade of an attorney would wear a coat with pockets inserted in the tails, like salt-boxes; or any but an incipient Esculapius indulge in trousers that evinced a morbid ambition to become knee-breeches, and were only restrained in their aspirations by a pair of most strenuous straps. We will now proceed to details.
The dressing-gown should be cut only—for the arm holes; but be careful that the quantity of material be very ample—say four times as much as is positively necessary, for nothing is so characteristic of a perfect gentleman as his improvidence. This garment must be constructed without buttons or button-holes, and confined at the waist with cable-like bell-ropes and tassels. This elegant déshabille had its origin (like the Corinthian capital from the Acanthus) in accident. A set of massive window-curtains having been carelessly thrown over a lay figure, or tailor’s torso, in Nugee’s studio, in St. James’s-street, suggested to the luxuriant mind of the Adonisian D’Orsay, this beautiful combination of costume and upholstery. The eighteen-shilling chintz great-coats, so ostentatiously put forward by nefarious tradesmen as dressing-gowns, and which resemble pattern-cards of the vegetable kingdom, are unworthy the notice of all gentlemen—of course excepting those who are so by act of Parliament. Although it is generally imagined that the coat is the principal article of dress, we attach far greater importance to the trousers, the cut of which should, in the first place, be regulated by nature’s cut of the leg. A gentleman who labours under either a convex or a concave leg, cannot be too particular in the arrangement of the strap-draught. By this we mean that a concave leg must have the pull on the convex side, and vice versa, the garment being made full, the effects of bad nursing are, by these means, effectually “repealed.”22. Baylis. This will be better understood if the reader will describe a parallelogram, and draw therein the arc of a circle equal to that described by his leg, whether knock-kneed or bandy.
If the leg be perfectly straight, then the principal peculiarity of cut to be attended to, is the external assurance that the trousers cannot be removed from the body without the assistance of a valet.
The other considerations should be their applicability to the promenade or the equestriade. We are indebted to our friend Beau Reynolds for this original idea and it is upon the plan formerly adopted by him that we now proceed to advise as to the maintenance of the distinctions.
Let your schneider baste the trousers together, and when you have put them on, let them be braced to their natural tension; the schneider should then, with a small pair of scissors, cut out all the wrinkles which offend the eye. The garment, being removed from your person, is again taken to the tailor’s laboratory, and the embrasures carefully and artistically fine-drawn. The process for walking or riding trousers only varies in these particulars—for the one you should stand upright, for the other you should straddle the back of a chair. Trousers cut on these principles entail only two inconveniences, to which every one with the true feelings of a gentleman would willingly submit. You must never attempt to sit down in your walking trousers, or venture to assume an upright position in your equestrians, for compound fractures in the region of the os sacrum, or dislocations about the genu patellæ are certain to be the results of such rashness, and then
Thou hast humbled the proud,
For my spirit hath bow’d
More humbly to thee than it e’er bow’d before;
But thy pow’r is past,
Thou hast triumph’d thy last,
And the heart you enslaved beats in freedom once more!
I have treasured the flow’r
You wore but an hour,
And knelt by the mound where together we’ve sat;
But thy-folly and pride
I now only deride—
So, fair Isabel, take your change out of that!
That I loved, and how well,
It were madness to tell
To one who hath mock’d at my madd’ning despair.
Like the white wreath of snow
On the Alps’ rugged brow,
Isabel, I have proved thee as cold as thou’rt fair!
’Twas thy boast that I sued,
That you scorn’d as I woo’d—
Though thou of my hopes were the Mount Ararat;
But to-morrow I wed
So, fair Isabel, take your change out of that!
The ponds in St. James’s Park were on last Monday drawn with nets, and a large quantity of the fish preserved there carried away by direction of the Chief Commissioner of Woods and Forests. Our talented correspondent, Ben D’Israeli, sends us the following squib on the circumstance:—
“Oh! never more,” Duncannon cried,
“The spoils of place shall fill our dishes!
But though we’ve lost the loaves we’ll take
Our last sad haul amongst the fishes.”
Lord Coventry declared emphatically that the sons, the fathers, and the grandfathers were all satisfied with the present corn laws. Had his lordship thought of the Herald, he might have added, “and the grandmothers also.”
If the enthusiastic individual who distinguished himself on the O.P. side of third row in the pit of “the late Theatre Royal English Opera House,” but now the refuge for the self-baptised “Council of Dramatic Literature,” can be warranted sober, and guaranteed an umbrella, in the use of which he is decidedly unrivalled, he is requested to apply to the Committee of management, where he will hear of something to his “advantage.”
The blind and vulgar prejudice in favour of Shakspeare, Massinger, and the elder dramatic poets—the sickening adulation bestowed upon Sheridan Knowles and Talfourd, among the moderns—and the base, malignant, and selfish partiality of theatrical managers, who insist upon performing those plays only which are adapted to the stage—whose grovelling souls have no sympathy with genius—whose ideas are fixed upon gain, have hitherto smothered those blazing illuminati, George Stephens and his syn—Syncretcis; have hindered their literary effulgence from breaking through the mists hung before the eyes of the public, by a weak, infatuated adherence to paltry Nature, and a silly infatuation in favour of those who copy her.
At length, however, the public blushes (through its representative, the provincial press, and the above-named critical puffs,) with shame—the managers are fast going mad with bitter vexation, for having, to use the words of that elegant pleonasm, the introductory preface, “by a sort of ex officio hallucination,” rejected this and some twenty other exquisite, though unactable dramas! It is a fact, that since the opening of the English Opera House, Mr. Webster has been confined to his room; Macready has suspended every engagement for Drury-lane; and the managers of Covent Garden have gone the atrocious length of engaging sibilants and ammunition from the neighbouring market, to pelt the Syncretics off the stage! Them we leave to their dirty work and their repentance, while we proceed to our “delightful task.”
To prove that the “mantle of the Elizabethan poets seems to have fallen upon Mr. Stephens” (Opinions, p. 11), that the “Hungarian Daughter” is quite as good as Knowles’s best plays (Id. p. 4, in two places), that “it is equal to Goethe” (Id. p. 11), that “in after years the name of Mr. S. will be amongst those which have given light and glory to their country” (Id. p. 10); to prove, in short, the truth of a hundred other laudations collected and printed by this modest author, we shall quote a few passages from his play, and illustrate his genius by pointing out their beauties—an office much needed, particularly by certain dullards, the magazine of whose souls are not combustible enough to take fire at the electric sparks shot forth up out of the depths of George Stephens’s unfathomable genius!
The first gem that sparkles in the play, is where Isabella, the Queen Dowager of Hungary, with a degree of delicacy highly becoming a matron, makes desperate love to Castaldo, an Austrian ambassador. In the midst of her ravings she breaks off, to give such a description of a steeple-chase as Nimrod has never equalled.
ISABELLA (hotly). “Love rides upon a thought,
And stays not dully to inquire the way,
But right o’erleaps the fence unto the goal.”
To appreciate the splendour of this image, the reader must conceive Love booted and spurred, mounted upon a thought, saddled and bridled. He starts. Yo-hoiks! what a pace! He stops not to “inquire the way”—whether he is to take the first turning to the right, or the second to the left—but on, on he rushes, clears the fence cleverly, and wins by a dozen lengths!
What soul, what mastery, what poetical skill is here! We triumphantly put forth this passage as an instance of the sublime art of sinking in poetry not to be matched by Dibdin Pitt or Jacob Jones. Love is sublimed to a jockey, Thought promoted to a race-horse!—“Magnificent!”
But splendid as this is, Mr. Stephens can make the force of bathos go a little further. The passage continues (“a pause” intervening, to allow breathing ime, after the splitting pace with which Love has been riding upon Thought) thus:—
“Are your lips free? A smile will make no noise.
What ignorance! So! Well! I’ll to breakfast straight!”
ISABELLA. “Ha! ha! These forms are air—mere counterfeits
Of my imaginous heart, as are the whirling
Wainscot and trembling floor!”
The idea of transferring the seat of imagination from the head to the heart, and causing it to exhibit the wainscot in a pirouette, and the floor in an ague, is highly Shakesperesque, and, as the Courier is made to say at page 3 of the Opinions, “is worthy of the best days of that noble school of dramatic literature in which Mr. Stephens has so successfully studied.”
This well-deserved praise—the success with which the author has studied, in a school, the models of which were human feelings and nature,—we have yet to illustrate from other passages. Mr. Stephens evinces his full acquaintance with Nature by a familiarity with her convulsions: whirlwinds, thunder, lightning, earthquakes, and volcanoes—are this gentleman’s playthings. When, for instance, Rupert is going to be gallant to Queen Isabella, she exclaims:—
“Dire lightnings! Scoundrel! Help!”
Martinuzzi conveys a wish for his nobles to laugh—an order for a sort of court cachinnation—in these pretty terms:—
“Blow it about, ye opposite winds of heaven,
Till the loud chorus of derision shake
The world with laughter!”
When he feels uncomfortable at something he is told in the first act, the Cardinal complains thus:—
“Ha! earthquakes quiver in my flesh!”
which the Britannia is so good as to tell us is superior to Byron; while the Morning Herald kindly remarks, that “a more vigorous and expressive line was never penned. In five words it illustrates the fiercest passions of humanity by the direst convulsion of nature:” (Opinions, p. 7) a criticism which illustrates the fiercest throes of nonsense, by the direst convulsions of ignorance.
Castaldo, being anxious to murder the Cardinal with, we suppose, all “means and appliances to boot,” asks of heaven a trifling favour:—
“Heaven, that look’st on,
Rain thy broad deluge first! All-teeming earth
Disgorge thy poisons, till the attainted air
Offend the sense! Thou, miscreative hell,
Let loose calamity!”
But it is not only in the “sublime and beautiful that Mr. Stephens’s genius delights” (vide Opinions, p. 4); his play exhibits sentiments of high morality, quite worthy of the “Editor of the Church of England Quarterly Review,” the author of “Lay Sermons,” and other religious works. For example: the lady-killer, Castaldo, is “hotly” loved by the queen-mother, while he prefers the queen-daughter. The last and Castaldo are together. The dowager overhears their billing and cooing, and thus, with great moderation, sends her supposed daughter to ——. But the author shall speak for himself:—
“Ye viprous twain!
Swift whirlwinds snatch ye both to fire as endless
And infinite as hell! May it embrace ye!
And burn—burn limbs and sinews, souls, until
It wither ye both up—both—in its arms!”
Elegant denunciation!—“viprous,” “hell,” “sinews and souls.” Has Goethe ever written anything like this? Certainly not. Therefore the “Monthly” is right at p. 11 of the Opinions. Stephens must be equal, if not superior, to the author of “Faust.”
One more specimen of delicate sentiment from the lips of a virgin concerning the lips of her lover, will fully establish the Syncretic code of moral taste:—
CZERINA (faintly). “Do breathe heat into me:
Lay thy warm breath unto my bloodless lips:
I stagger; I—I must—”
CASTALDO. “In mercy, what?”
The lady ends, most maidenly, by fainting in her lover’s arms.
A higher flight is elsewhere taken. Isabella urges Castaldo to murder Martinuzzi, in a sentence that has a powerful effect upon the feelings, for it makes us shudder as we copy it—it will cause even our readers to tremble when they see it. The idea of using blasphemy as an instrument for shocking the minds of an audience, is as original as it is worthy of the sort of genius Mr. Stephens possesses. Alluding to a poniard, Isabella says:—
“Sheath it where God and nature prompt your hand!”
That is to say, in the breast of a cardinal!!
The vulgar, who set up the common-place standards of nature, probability, moral propriety, and respect for such sacred names as they are careful never to utter, except with reverence, will perhaps condemn Mr. Stephens (the aforesaid “Editor of the Church of England Quarterly Review,” and author of other religious works) with unmitigated severity. They must not be too hasty. Mr. Stephens is a genius, and cannot, therefore, be held accountable for the meaning [pg 87]of his ravings, be they even blasphemous; more than that he is a Syncretic genius, and his associates, by the designation they have chosen, by the terms of their agreement, are bound to cry each other up—to defend one another from the virulent attacks of common sense and plain reason. They are sworn to stick together, like the bundle of rods in Æsop’s fable.
Mr. Stephens, their chief, the god of their idolatry, is, consequently, more mad, or, according to their creed, a greater genius, than the rest; and evidently writes passages he would shudder to pen, if he knew the meaning of them. Upon paper, therefore, the Syncretics are not accountable beings; and when condemned to the severest penalties of critical law, must be reprieved on the plea of literary insanity.
It may be said that we have descended to mere detail to illustrate Mr. Stephens’ peculiar genius—that we ought to treat of the grand design, or plot of the Hungarian Daughter; but we must confess, with the deepest humility, that our abilities are unequal to the task. The fable soars far beyond the utmost flights of our poor conjectures, of our limited comprehension. We know that at the end there are—one case of poisoning, one ditto of stabbing with intent, &c., and one ditto of sudden death. Hence we conclude that the play is a tragedy; but one which “cannot be intended for an acting play” (preliminary preface, p.1,)—of course as a tragedy; yet so universal is the author’s genius, that an adaptation of the Hungarian Daughter, as a broad comedy, has been produced at the “Dramatic Authors’ Theatre,” having been received with roars of laughter!
The books before us have been expensively got up. In the Hungarian Daughter, “rivers of type flow through meadows of margin,” to the length of nearly three hundred pages. Mr. Stephens is truly a most spirited printer and publisher of his own works.
But the lavish outlay he must have incurred to obtain such a number of favourable notices—so many columns of superlative praise—shows him to be, in every sense—like the prince of puffers, George Robins—“utterly regardless of expense.” The works third and fourth upon our list, doubtless cost, for the copyright alone, in ready money, a fortune. It is astonishing what pecuniary sacrifices genius will make, when it purloins the trumpet of Fame to puff itself into temporary notoriety.
The Whigs, who long
Were bold and strong,
On Monday night went dead.
The jury found
This verdict sound—
“Destroy’d by low-priced bread.”
It is with the most rampant delight that we rush to announce, that a special warrant has been issued, appointing our friend and protégé, the gallant and jocular Sibthorp, to the important office of beadle and crier to the House of Commons—a situation which has been created from the difficulty which has hitherto been found in inducing strangers to withdraw during a division of the House. This responsible office could not have been conferred upon any one so capable of discharging its onerous duties as the Colonel. We will stake our hump, that half-a-dozen words of the gallant Demosthenes would, at any time have the effect of
The return match between the Reform and Carlton Clubs has been the theme of general conversation during the past week. Some splendid play was exhibited on the occasion, and, although the result has realised the anticipations of the best judges, it was not achieved without considerable exertion.
It will be remembered that, the last time these celebrated clubs met, the Carlton men succeeded in scoring one notch more than their rivals; who, however, immediately challenged them to a return match, and have been diligently practising for success since that time.
The players assembled in Lord’s Cricket Ground on Tuesday last, when the betting was decidedly in favour of the Cons, whose appearance and manner was more confident than usual; while, on the contrary, the Rads seemed desponding and shy. On tossing up, the Whigs succeeded in getting first innings, and the Tories dispersed themselves about the field in high glee, flattering themselves that they would not be out long.
Wellington, on producing the ball—a genuine Duke—excited general admiration by his position. Ripon officiated as bowler at the other wicket. Sibthorp acted as long-stop, and the rest found appropriate situations. Lefevre was chosen umpire by mutual consent.
Spencer and Clanricarde went in first. Spencer, incautiously trying to score too many notches for one of his hits, was stumped out by Ripon, and Melbourne succeeded him. Great expectations had been formed of this player by his own party, but he was utterly unable to withstand Wellington’s rapid bowling, which soon sent him to the right-about. Clanricarde was likewise run out without scoring a notch.
Lansdowne and Brougham were now partners at the wickets; but Lansdowne did not appear to like his mate, on whose play it is impossible to calculate. Coventry, the short slip, excited much merriment, by a futile attempt to catch this player out, which terminated in his finding himself horizontal and mortified. Wellington, having bowled out Lansdowne, resigned his ball to Peel, who took his place at the wicket with a smile of confidence, which frightened the bat out of the hands of Phillips, the next Rad.
Dundas and Labouchere were now the batmen. Labouchere is a very intemperate player. One of Sandon’s slow balls struck his thumb, and put him out of temper, whereupon he hit about at random, and knocked down his wicket. Wakley took his bat, but apparently not liking his position, he hit up and caught himself out.
O’Connell took his place with a lounging swagger, but his first ball was caught by the immortal Sibthorp, who uttered more puns on the occasion than the oldest man present recollected to have heard perpetrated in any given time. Russell—who, by the bye, excavated several quarts of ‘heavy’ during his innings—was the last man the Rads had to put in. He played with care, and appeared disposed to keep hold of the bat as long as possible. He was, however, quietly disposed of by one of Peel’s inexorable balls.
Thus far the game has proceeded. The Cons have yet to go in. The general opinion is, that they will not remain in so long as the Rads, but that they will score their notches much quicker. Indeed, it was commonly remarked, that no players had ever remained in so long, and had done so little good withal, as the Reformites.
Betting is at 100 to 5 in favour of the Carlton men, and anxiety is on tip-toe to know the result of the next innings.
The Tories are exulting in their recent victory over the poor Whigs, whom they affirm have been tried, and found wanting. A trial, indeed, where all the jurors were witnesses for the prosecution. One thing is certain, that the country, as usual, will have to pay the costs, for a Tory verdict will be certain to carry them. The Whigs should prepare a motion for a new trial, on the plea that the late decision was that of
“Kiss the broad moon.”—MARTINUZZI.
Go kiss the moon!—that’s more, sirs, than I can dare;
’Tis worse than madness—hasn’t she her man there?
The Morning Advertiser has a paragraph containing a report of an extraordinary indisposition under which a private of the Royal Guards is now suffering. It appears he lately received a violent kick from a horse, on the back of his head: since which time his hair has become so sensitive, that he cannot bear any one to approach him or touch it. On some portion being cut off by stratagem, he evinced the utmost disgust, accompanied with a volley of oaths. This may be wonderful in French hair, but it is nothing to the present sufferings of the Whigs in England.
Punch having been chosen by the unanimous voice of the public—the arbiter elegantiarum in all matters relating to science, literature, and the fine arts—and from his long professional experience, being the only person in England competent to regulate the public amusements of the people, the Lord Mayor of London has confided to him the delicate and important duty of deciding upon the claims of the several individuals applying for licenses to open show-booths during the approaching Bartholomew Fair. Punch, having called to his assistance Sir Peter Laurie and Peter Borthwick, proceeded, on last Saturday, to hold his inquisition in a highly-respectable court in the neighbourhood of West Smithfield.
The first application was made on behalf of Richardson’s Booth, by two individuals named Melbourne and Russell.
PUNCH.—On what grounds do you claim?
MEL.—On those of long occupancy and respectability, my lord.
RUSS.—We employs none but the werry best of actors, my lud—all “bould speakers,” as my late wenerated manager, Muster Richardson, used to call ‘em.
MEL.—We have the best scenery and decorations, the most popular performances—
RUSS.—Hem! (aside to MEL.)—Best say nothing about our performances, Mel.
PUNCH.—Pray what situations do you respectively hold in the booth?
MEL.—I am principal manager, and do the heavy tragedy business. My friend, here, is the stage-manager and low comedy buffer, who takes the kicks, and blows the trumpet of the establishment.
PUNCH.—What is the nature of the entertainments you have been in the habit of producing?
RUSS.—Oh! the real legitimate drammar—“A New Way to Pay Old Debts,” “Raising the Wind,” “A Gentleman in Difficulties,” “Where shall I dine?” and “Honest Thieves.” We mean to commence the present season with “All in the wrong,” and “His Last Legs.”
PUNCH.—Humph! I am sorry to say I have received several complaints of the manner in which you have conducted the business of your establishment for several years. It appears you put forth bills promising wonders, while your performances have been of the lowest possible description.
RUSS.—S’elp me, Bob! there ain’t a word of truth in it. If there’s anything we takes pride on, ’tis our gentility.
PUNCH.—You have degraded the drama by the introduction of card-shufflers and thimble-rig impostors.
RUSS.—We denies the thimble-rigging in totum, my lud; that was brought out at Stanley’s opposition booth.
PUNCH.—At least you were a promoter of state conjuring and legerdemain tricks on the stage.
RUSS.—Only a little hanky-panky, my lud. The people likes it; they loves to be cheated before their faces. One, two, three—presto—begone. I’ll show your ludship as pretty a trick of putting a piece of money in your eye and taking it out of your elbow, as you ever beheld. Has your ludship got such a thing as a good shilling about you? ’Pon my honour, I’ll return it.
PUNCH.—Be more respectful, sir, and reply to my questions. It appears further, that several respectable persons have lost their honesty in your booth.
RUSS.—Very little of that ’ere commodity is ever brought into it, my lud.
PUNCH.—And, in short, that you and your colleagues’ hands have been frequently found in the pockets of your audience.
RUSS.—Only in a professional way, my lud—strictly professional.
PUNCH.—But the most serious charge of all is that, on a recent occasion, when the audience hissed your performances, you put out the lights, let in the swell-mob, and raised a cry of “No Corn Laws.”
RUSS.—Why, my lud, on that p’int I admit there was a slight row.
PUNCH.—Enough, sir. The court considers you have grossly misconducted yourself, and refuses to grant you license to perform.
MEL.—But, my lord, I protest I did nothing.
PUNCH.—So everybody says, sir. You are therefore unfit to have the management of (next to my own) the greatest theatre in the world. You may retire.
MEL. (to RUSS.)—Oh! Johnny, this is your work—with your confounded hanky-panky.
RUSS.—No—’twas you that did it; we have been ruined by your laziness. What is to become of us now?
MEL.—Alas! where shall we dine?
The next individual who presented himself, to obtain a license for the Carlton Club Equestrian Troop, was a strange-loooking character, who gave his name as Sibthorp.
PUNCH.—What are you, sir?
SIB.—Clown to the ring, my lord, and principal performer on the Salt-box. I provide my own paint and pipe-clay, make my own jokes, and laugh at them too. I do the ground and lofty tumbling, and ride the wonderful donkey—all for the small sum of fifteen bob a-week.
PUNCH.—You have been represented as a very noisy and turbulent fellow.
SIB.—Meek as a lamb, my lord, except when I’m on the saw-dust; there I acknowledge, I do crow pretty loudly—but that’s in the way of business,—and your lordship knows that we public jokers must pitch it strong sometimes to make our audience laugh, and bring the browns into the treasury. After all, my lord, I am not the rogue many people take me for,—more the other way, I can assure you, and
“Though to my share some human errors fall,
Look in my face, and you’ll forget them all.”
PUNCH.—A strong appeal, I must confess. You shall have your license.
The successful claimant having made his best bow to Commissioner Punch, withdrew, whistling the national air of
A fellow named Peel, who has been for many years in the habit of exhibiting as a quack-doctor, next applied for liberty to vend his nostrums at the fair. On being questioned as to his qualifications, he shook his head gravely, and, without uttering a word, placed the following card in the hands of Punch.
Professor of Political Chemistry and Conservative Medicine to the
Inventor of the People’s Patent Sliding Stomach-pump;—of the Poor Man’s anti-Breakfast and Dinner Waist-belt;—and of the new Royal extract of Toryism, as prescribed for, and lately swallowed by,
Sir Rhubarb begs further to state, that he practises national tooth-drawing and bleeding to an unlimited extent; and undertakes to cure the consumption of bread without the use of
N.B.—No connexion with the corn doctor who recently vacated the concern now occupied by Sir R.P.
Hours of attendance, from ten till four each day, at his establishment, Downing-street.—A private entrance for M.P.’s round the corner.
Ben D’Israeli, the proprietor of the Learned Pig, applied for permission to exhibit his animal at the fair. A license was unhesitatingly granted by his lordship, who rightly considered that the exhibition of the extraordinary talents of the pig and its master, would do much to promote a taste for polite literature amongst the Smithneld “pennyboys.”
A poor old man, who called himself Sir Francis Burdett, applied for a license to exhibit his wonderful Dissolving Views. The most remarkable of which were—“The Hustings in Covent-garden—changing to Rous’s dinner in Drury-lane”—and “The Patriot in the Tower—changing to the Renegade in the Carlton.” It appeared that the applicant was, at one time, in a respectable business, and kept “The Old Glory,” a favourite public-house in Westminster, but, falling into bad company, he lost his custom and his character, and was reduced to his present miserable occupation. Punch, in pity for the wretched petitioner, and fully convinced that his childish tricks were perfectly harmless, granted him a license to exhibit.
Licenses were also granted to the following persons in the course of the day:—
Sir E.L. Bulwer, to exhibit his own portrait, in the character of Alcibiades, painted by himself.
Doctor Bowring, to exhibit six Tartarian chiefs, caught in the vicinity of the Seven Dials, with songs, translated from the original Irish Calmuc, by the Doctor.
Emerson Tennent, to exhibit his wonderful Cosmorama, or views of anywhere and everywhere; in which the striking features of Ireland, Greece, Belgium, and Whitechapel will be so happily confounded, that the spectator may imagine he beholds any or all of these places at a single glance.
Messrs. Stephens, Heraud, and Co., to exhibit, gratis, a Syncretic Tragedy, with fireworks and tumbling, according to law, between the acts; to be followed by a lecture on the Unactable Drama.
At the recent fracas in Pall Mall, between Captain Fitzroy and Mr. Shepherd, the latter, like his predecessor of old, the “Gentle Shepherd,” performed sundry vague evolutions with a silver-mounted cane, and requested Captain Fitzroy to consider himself horsewhipped. Not entertaining quite so high an opinion of his adversary’s imaginative powers, the Captain floored the said descendant of gentleness, thereby ably illustrating the precise difference of the “real and ideal.”
Poor old John’s alarm was succeeded by astonishment, for without speaking a word, Agamemnon bounced into his bed-chamber. He thought the room the most miserable-looking room he had ever entered, though the floor was covered with a thick Turkey carpet, a bright fire was blazing in the grate, and everything about seemed fashioned for comfort. He threw himself into an easy chair, and kicking off one of his pumps, crossed his legs, and rested his elbow on the table. He looked at his bed—it was a French one—a mountain of feathers, covered with a thick, white Marseilles quilt, and festooned over with a drapery of rich crimson damask.
“I’ll have a four-post to-morrow,” growled Collumpsion; “French beds are mean-looking things, after all. Stuffwell has the fellow-chair to this—one chair does look strange! I wonder it has never struck me before; but it is surprising—what—strange ide—as a man—has”—and Collumpsion fell asleep.
It was broad day when Collumpsion awoke; the fire had gone out, and his feet were as cold as ice. He (as he is married there’s no necessity for concealment)—he swore two or three naughty oaths, and taking off his clothes, hurried into bed in the hope of getting warm.
“How confoundedly cold I am—sitting in that chair all night, too—ridiculous. If I had had a—I mean, if I hadn’t been alone, that wouldn’t have happened; she would have waked me.” She—what the deuce made him use the feminine pronoun!
At two o’clock he rose and entered his breakfast-room. The table was laid as usual—one large cup and saucer, one plate, one egg-cup, one knife, and one fork! He did not know wherefore, but he felt to want the number increased. John brought up a slice of broiled salmon and one egg. Collumpsion got into a passion, and ordered a second edition. The morning was rainy, so Collumpsion remained at home, and employed himself by kicking about the ottoman, and mentally multiplying all the single articles in his establishment by two.
The dinner hour arrived, and there was the same singular provision for one. He rang the bell, and ordered John to furnish the table for another. John obeyed, though not without some strong misgiving of his master’s sanity, as the edibles consisted of a sole, a mutton chop, and a partridge. When John left the room at his master’s request, Collumpsion rose and locked the door. Having placed a chair opposite, he resumed his seat, and commenced a series of pantomimic gestures, which were strongly confirmatory of John’s suspicions. He seemed to be holding an inaudible conversation with some invisible being, placing the choicest portion of the sole in a plate, and seemingly desiring John to deliver it to the unknown. As John was not there, he placed it before himself, and commenced daintily and smilingly picking up very minute particles, as though he were too much delighted to eat. He then bowed and smiled, and extending his arm, appeared to fill the opposite glass, and having actually performed the same operation with his own, he bowed and smiled again, and sipped the brilliant Xeres. He then rang the bell violently, and unlocking the door, rushed rapidly back to his chair, as though he were fearful of committing a rudeness by leaving it. The table being replenished, and John again dismissed the room, the same pantomime commenced. The one mutton chop seemed at first to present an obstacle to the proper conduct of the scene; but gracefully uncovering the partridge, and as gracefully smiling towards the invisible, he appeared strongly to recommend the bird in preference to the beast. Dinner at length concluded, he rose, and apparently led his phantom guest from the table, and then returning to his arm-chair, threw himself into it, and, crossing his hands upon his breast, commenced a careful examination of the cinders and himself. His rumination ended in a doze, and his doze in a dream, in which he fancied himself a Brobdignag Java sparrow during the moulting season. His cage was surrounded by beautiful and blooming girls, who seemed to pity his condition, and vie with each other in proposing the means of rendering him more comfortable. Some spoke of elastic cotton shirts, linsey-wolsey jackets, and silk nightcaps; others of merino hose, silk feet and cotton tops, shirt-buttons and warming-pans; whilst Mrs. Greatgirdle and Mrs. Waddledot sang an echo duet of “What a pity the bird is alone.”
“A change came o’er the spirit of his dream.”
He thought that the moulting season was over, and that he was rejoicing in the fulness of a sleeky plumage, and by his side was a Java sparrowess, chirping and hopping about, rendering the cage as populous to him as though he were the tenant of a bird-fancier’s shop. Then—he awoke just as Old John was finishing a glass of Madeira, preparatory to arousing Collumpsion, for the purpose of delivering to him a scented note, which had just been left by the footman of Mrs. Waddledot.
It was lucky for John that A.C.A. had been blessed with pleasant dreams, or his attachment to Madeira might have occasioned his discharge from No. 24, Pleasant-terrace.
The note was an invitation to Mrs. Waddledot’s opera-box for that evening. The performance was to be Rossini’s “La Cenerentola,” and as Collumpsion recollected the subject of the opera, his heart fluttered in his bosom. A prince marrying a cinder-sifter for love! What must the happy state be—or rather what must it not be—to provoke such a condescension!
Collumpsion never appeared to such advantage as he did that evening; he was dressed to a miracle of perfection—his spirits were so elastic that they must have carried him out of the box into “Fop’s-alley,” had not Mrs. Waddledot cleverly surrounded him by the detachment from the corps of eighteen daughters, which had (on that night) been placed under her command.
Collumpsion’s state of mind did not escape the notice of the fair campaigners, and the most favourable deductions were drawn from it in relation to the charitable combination which they had formed for his ultimate good, and all seemed determined to afford him every encouragement in their power. Every witticism that he uttered elicited countless smiles—every criticism that he delivered was universally applauded—in short, Agamemnon Collumpsion Applebite was voted the most delightful beau in the universe, and Agamemnon Collumpsion Applebite gave himself a plumper to the same opinion.
On the 31st of the following month, a string of carriages surrounded St. George’s Church, Hanover-square, and precisely at a quarter to twelve, A.M., Agamemnon Collumpsion Applebite placed a plain gold ring on the finger of Miss Juliana Theresa Waddledot, being a necessary preliminary to the introduction of our hero, the “Heir of Applebite.”
“I wonder if Brougham thinks as much as he talks,”
Said a punster perusing a trial:
“I vow, since his lordship was made Baron Vaux,
He’s been Vaux et præterea nihil!”
Our great ancestor, Joe Miller, has recorded, in his “Booke of Jestes,” an epitaph written upon an amateur corn-cutter, named Roger Horton, who,
“Trying one day his corn to mow off,
The razor slipp’d, and cut his toe off.”
The painful similarity of his fate with that of another corn experimentalist, has given rise to the following:—
In Minto quies.
Beneath this stone lies Johnny Russell,
Who for his place had many a tussel.
Trying one day the corn to cut down,
The motion fail’d, and he was put down.
The benches which he nearly grew to,
The Opposition quickly flew to;
The fact it was so mortifying,
That little Johnny took to dying.
Some difficulty has arisen as to the production of Knowles’s new play at the Haymarket Theatre. Mr. Charles Kean and Miss Helen Faucit having objected to hear the play read, “because their respective parts had not been previously submitted to them.”—Sunday Times.—[We are of opinion that they were decidedly right. One might as well expect a child to spell without learning the alphabet, as either of the above persons to understand Knowles, unless enlightened by a long course of previous instruction.]
[From a MS. drama called the “COURT OF VICTORIA.”
Scene in Windsor Castle.
[Her Majesty discovered sitting thoughtfully at an escrutoire.—
Enter the LORD CHAMBERLAIN.]
LORD CHAMBERLAIN.—May it please your Majesty, a letter from the Duke of Wellington.
THE QUEEN (opens the letter.)—Oh! a person for the vacant place of Premier—show the bearer in, my lord. [Exit LORD CHAMBERLAIN.
THE QUEEN (muses).—Sir Robert Peel—I have heard that name before, as connected with my family. If I remember rightly, he held the situation of adviser to the crown in the reign of Uncle William, and was discharged for exacting a large discount on all the state receipts; yet Wellington is very much interested in his favour.
Enter the LORD CHAMBERLAIN, who ushers in SIR ROBERT, and then retires. As he is going—]
LORD CHAMBERLAIN (aside).—If you do get the berth, Sir Robert, I hope you’ll not give me warning.
SIR ROBERT (looking demurely).—Hem!
[The Queen regards him very attentively.]
THE QUEEN (aside).—I don’t much like the looks of the fellow—that affectation of simplicity is evidently intended to conceal the real cunning of his character. (Aloud). You are of course aware of the nature and the duties of the situation which you solicit?
SIR ROBERT.—Oh, yes, your Majesty; I have filled it before, and liked it very much.
THE QUEEN.—It’s a most responsible post, for upon your conduct much of the happiness of my other servants depends.
SIR ROBERT.—I am aware of that, your Majesty; but as no one can hope to please everybody, I will only answer that one half shall be perfectly satisfied.
THE QUEEN.—You have recently returned from Tamworth?
SIR ROBERT.—Yes, your Majesty.
THE QUEEN.—We will dispense with forms. At Tamworth, you have been practising as a quack doctor?
SIR ROBERT.—Yes, madam; I was brought up to doctoring, and am a professor of sleight-of-hand.
THE QUEEN.—What have you done in the latter art to entitle you to such a distinction?
SIR ROBERT.—I have performed some very wonderful changes. When I was out of place, I had opinions strongly opposed to Catholic emancipation; but when I got into service I changed them in the course of a few days.
THE QUEEN.—I have heard that you boast of possessing a nostrum for the restoration of the public good. What is it?
SIR ROBERT.—Am I to consider myself “as regularly called in?”
THE QUEEN.—That is a question I decline answering at present.
SIR ROBERT.—Then I regret that I must also remain silent.
THE QUEEN (aside).—The wily fox! (aloud)—Are you aware that great distress exists in the country?
SIR ROBERT.—Oh, yes! I have heard that there are several families who keep no man-servant, and that numerous clerks, weavers, and other artisans, occupy second-floors.
THE QUEEN.—I have heard that the people are wanting bread.
SIR ROBERT.—Ha, ha! that was from the late premier, I suppose. He merely forgot an adjective—it is cheap bread that the people are clamouring for.
THE QUEEN.—And why can they not have it?
SIR ROBERT.—I have consulted with the Duke of Richmond upon the subject, and he says it is impossible.
THE QUEEN.—But why?
SIR ROBERT.—Wheat must be lower before bread can be cheaper.
SIR ROBERT.—And rents must be less if that is the case, and—
SIR ROBERT.—And that the landowners won’t agree to.
SIR ROBERT.—And, then, I can’t keep my place a day.
THE QUEEN.—Then the majority of my subjects are to be rendered miserable for the advantage of the few?
SIR ROBERT.—That’s the principle of all good governments. Besides, cheap bread would be no benefit to the masses, for wages would be lower.
THE QUEEN.—Do you really believe such would be the case?
SIR ROBERT.—Am I regularly called in?
THE QUEEN.—You evade a direct answer, I see. Granting such to be your belief, your friends and landowners would suffer no injury, for their incomes would procure them as many luxuries.
SIR ROBERT.—Not if they were to live abroad, or patronise foreign manufactures: and should wages be higher, what would they say to me after all the money they have expended in bri—I mean at the Carlton Club, if I allow the value of their “dirty acres” to be reduced.
THE QUEEN.—Pray, what do you call such views?
THE QUEEN.—Charity would be a better term, as that is said to begin at home. How long were you in your last place?
SIR ROBERT.—Not half so long as I wished—for the sake of the country.
THE QUEEN.—Why did you leave?
SIR ROBERT.—Somebody said I was saucy—and somebody else said I was not honest—and somebody else said I had better go.
THE QUEEN.—Who was the latter somebody?
SIR ROBERT.—My master.
THE QUEEN.—Your exposure of my late premier’s faults, and your present application for his situation, result from disinterestedness, of course?
SIR ROBERT.—Of course, madam.
THE QUEEN.—Then salary is not so much an object as a comfortable situation.
SIR ROBERT.—I beg pardon; but I’ve been out of place ten years, and have a small family to support. Wages is, therefore, some sort of a consideration.
THE QUEEN.—I don’t quite like you.
SIR ROBERT (glancing knowingly at the Queen).—I don’t think there is any one that you can have better.
THE QUEEN.—I’m afraid not.
SIR ROBERT.—Then, am I regularly called in?
THE QUEEN.—Yes, you can take your boxes to Downing-street.
Mr. Muntz, we understand, intends calling the attention of Parliament, at the earliest possible period, to the state of the crops.
Lord Palmerston intends proposing, that a looking-glass for the use of members should be placed in the ante-room of the House, and that it shall be called the New Mirror of Parliament.
Mr. T. Duncombe intends moving that the plans of Sir Robert Peel be immediately submitted to the photographic process, in order that some light may be thrown upon them as soon as possible.
The Earl of Coventry intends suggesting, that every member of both Houses be immediately supplied with a copy of the work called “Ten Minutes’ Advice on Corns,” in order to prepare Parliament for a full description of the Corn Laws.
Colonel Sibthorp has expressed his intention of becoming the blue-faced monkey at the Zoological Gardens with his countenance, on next Wednesday.
Lord Melbourne has received visits of condolence on his retirement from office, from Aldgate pump—Canning’s statue in Palace-yard—the Three Kings of Brentford—and the Belle Sauvage, Ludgate-hill.
Her Royal Highness the Princess, her two nurses, and a pap-spoon, took an airing twice round the great hall of the palace, at one o’clock yesterday.
The Burlington Arcade will be thrown open to visitors to-morrow morning. Gentlemen intending to appear there, are requested to come with tooth-picks and full-dress walking-canes.
Sir Francis Burdett’s top-boots were seen, on last Saturday, walking into Sir Robert Peel’s house, accompanied by the legs of that venerable turner.
His Grace the Duke of Wellington inspected all the passengers in Pall Mall, from the steps of the United Service Club-house, and expressed himself highly pleased with the celerity of the ‘busses and cabs, and the effective state of the pedestrians generally.
His Royal Highness the Duke of Sussex has, in the most unequivocal manner, expressed his opinion on the state of the weather—which he pronounces to be hot! hot! all hot!
A good deal of merriment was caused in the House of Commons, by Mr. Bernal and Commodore Napier addressing the members as “gentlemen.” This may be excusable in young members, but the oldest parliamentary reporter has no recollection of the term being used by any one who had sat a session in the House. “Too much familiarity,” &c.
When the Whig Ministry had run,
Nor left behind a mother’s son,
The Tories, at their leader’s call,
Came thronging round him, one and all,
Exulting, braying, cringing, coaxing,
Expert at humbugging and hoaxing;
By turns they felt an honest zeal
For private good and public weal;
Till all at once they raised such yells,
As rung in Apsley House the bells:
And as they sought snug berths to get
In Bobby Peel’s new cabinet,
Each, for interest ruled the hour,
Would prove his taste for place and power.
First Follett’s hand, his skill to try,
Upon the seals bewilder’d laid;
But back recoil’d—he scarce knew why—
Of Lyndhurst’s angry scowl afraid.
Next Stanley rush’d with frenzied air;
His eager haste brook’d no delay:
He rudely seized the Foreign chair,
And bade poor Cupid trudge away.
With woeful visage Melbourne sate—
A pint of double X his grief beguiled;
And inly pondering o’er his fate,
He bade th’ attendant pot-boy “draw it mild.”
But thou, Sir Jamie Graham—prig;
What was thy delighted musing?
Now accepting, now refusing,
Till on the Admiralty pitch’d,
Still would that thought his speech prolong;
To gain the place for which he long had itch’d,
He call’d on Bobby still through all the song;
But ever as his sweetest theme he chose,
A sovereign’s golden chink was heard at every close,
And Pollock grimly smiled, and shook his powder’d wig.
And longer had he droned—but, with a frown
Brougham impatient rose;
He threw the bench of snoring bishops down,
And, with a withering look,
The Whig-denouncing trumpet took,
And made a speech so fierce and true,
Thrashing, with might and main, both friend and foe;
And ever and anon he beat,
With doubled fist his cushion’d seat;
And though sometimes, each breathless pause between,
Astonished Melbourne at his side,
His moderating voice applied,
Yet still he kept his stern, unalter’d mien,
While battering the Whigs and Tories black and blue.
Thy ravings, Goulburn, to no theme were fix’d.
Not ev’n thy virtue is without its spots;
With piety thy politics were mix’d,
And now they courted Peel, now call’d on Doctor Watts.
With drooping jaw, like one half-screw’d,
Lord Johnny sate in doleful mood,
And for his Secretarial seat,
Sent forth his howlings sad, but sweet
Lost Normanby pour’d forth his sad adieu;
While Palmerston, with graceful air,
Wildly toss’d his scented hair;
And pensive Morpeth join’d the sniv’lling crew.
Yet still they lingered round with fond delay,
Humming, hawing, stopping, musing,
Tory rascals all abusing,
Till forced to move away.
But, oh! how alter’d was the whining tone
When, loud-tongued Lyndhurst, that unblushing wight,
His gown across his shoulders flung,
His wig with virgin-powder white,
Made an ear-splitting speech that down to Windsor rung,
The Tories’ call, that Billy Holmes well knew,
The turn-coat Downshire and his Orange crew;
Wicklow and Howard both were seen
Brushing away the wee bit green;
Mad Londonderry laugh’d to hear,
And Inglis scream’d and shook his ass’s ear
Last Bobby Peel, with hypocritic air,
He with modest look came sneaking:
First to “the Home” his easy vows addrest,—
But soon he saw the Treasury’s red chair,
Whose soft inviting seat he loved the best.
They would have thought, who heard his words,
They saw in Britain’s cause a patriot stand,
The proud defender of his land,
To aw’d and list’ning senates speaking;—
But as his fingers touch’d the purse’s strings,
The chinking metal made a magic sound,
While hungry placemen gather’d fast around:
And he, as if by chance or play,
Or that he would their venal votes repay,
The golden treasures round upon them flings.
Upon the first interview of the Queen with Sir Robert Peel, her Majesty was determined to answer only in monosyllables to all he said; and, in fact, to make her replies an echo, and nothing more, to whatever he said to her. The following dialogue, which we have thrown into verse for the purpose of smoothing it—the tone of it, as spoken, having been on one side, at least, rather rough—ensued between the illustrious persons alluded to.
HE.—Before we into minor details go,
Do I possess your confidence or no?
HE.—You shall not vex me, though your treatment’s rough;
No, madam, I am made of sterner stuff.
HE.—Really, if thus your minister you flout,
A single syllable he can’t get out.
HE.—But try me, madam; time indeed will show
Unto what lengths to serve you I would go.
HE.—We both have power,—’tis doubtful which is greater;
These crooked words had better be made straighter.
HE.—Farewell! and never in this friendly strain
(My proffer’d aid foregone) I breathe again!
SHE.—Gone. I breathe again!
I cannot rove with thee, where zephyrs float—
Sweet sylvan scenes devoted to the loves!—
For, oh! I have not got one decent coat,
Nor can I sport a single pair of gloves.
Gladly I’d wander o’er the verdant lawn,
Where graze contentedly the fleecy flock;
But can I show myself in gills so torn,
Or brave the public gaze in such a stock?
I know thou’lt answer me that love is blind,
And faults in one it worships can’t perceive;
It must be sightless, truly, not to find
The hole that’s gaping in my threadbare sleeve.
Farewell, my love—for, oh! by heaven, we part,
And though it cost me all the pangs of hell.
The herd shall not on thee inflict a smart,
By calling after us—“There goes a swell!”
During the clear-out on Wednesday last in Downing-street, a small chest, strongly secured, was found among some models of balloting-boxes. It had evidently been forgotten for some years, and upon opening it, was found to contain the Whig promises of 1832. They were immediately conveyed to Lord Melbourne, who appeared much astonished at these resuscitation of the
“It is somewhat remarkable,” observe the journals of the past week, “that the medical division of this scientific meeting has not contributed one single paper this year in furtherance of its object, although the communications from that section have usually been of a highly important character.”
The journals may think it somewhat remarkable—we do not at all; for here, as in every other event of the day, a great deal depends upon being “behind the curtain;” and as the greater portion of our life is passed in that locality, we are always to be relied upon for authenticity in our statements. The plain truth is, that the papers were inadvertently lost, and rather than lead to some unpleasant disclosures, in which the eminent professor to whom they were entrusted would have been deeply implicated, it was thought best to say nothing about them. By chance they fell into the hands of the manager of one of our perambulating theatres, who was toiling his way from the west of England to Egham races, and having deposited them in his portable green-room, under the especial custody of the clown, the doctor, and the overbearing parochial authority, he duly remitted them to our office. We have been too happy in giving them a place in our columns, feeling an honest pride in thus taking the lead of the chief scientific publications of the day. It will be seen that they are drawn up as a report, all ready for publication, according to the usual custom of such proceedings, where every one knows beforehand what they are to dispute or agree with.
Dr. Splitnerve communicated a remarkable case of Animal Magnetism:—Eugene Doldrum, aged 21, a young man of bilious and interesting temperament, having been mesmerized, was rendered so keenly magnetic, as to give rise to a most remarkable train of phenomena. On being seated upon a music-stool, he immediately becomes an animated compass, and turns round to the north. Knives and forks at dinner invariably fly towards him, and he is not able to go through any of the squares, in consequence of being attracted firmly to the iron railings. As most of the experiments took place at the North London Hospital, Euston-square was his chief point of attraction, and when he was removed, it was always found necessary to break off the railings and take them away with him. This accounted for the decrepit condition of the fleur de lys that surround the inclosure, which was not, as generally supposed, the work of the university pupils residing in Gower-place. Perfect insensibility to pain supervened at the same time, and his friends took advantage of this circumstance to send him, by way of delicate compliment, to a lying-in lady, in the style of a pedestrian pin-cushion, his cheeks being stuck full of minikin pins, on the right side, forming the words “Health to the Babe,” and on the left, “Happiness to the Mother.”
Dr. Mortar read a talented paper on the cure of strabismus, or squinting, by dividing the muscles of the eye. The patient, a working man, squinted so terribly, that his eyes almost got into one another’s sockets; and at times he was only able to see by looking down the inside of his nose and out at the nostrils. The operation was performed six weeks ago, when, on cutting through the muscles, its effects were instantly visible: both the eyes immediately diverging to the extreme outer angles of their respective orbits.
Dr. Sharpeye inquired if the man did not find the present state of his vision still very perplexing.
Dr. Mortar replied, that so far from injuring his sight, it had proved highly beneficial, as the patient had procured a very excellent situation in the new police, and received a double salary, from the power he possessed of keeping an eye upon both sides of the road at the same time.
An elaborate and highly scientific treatise was then read by Dr. Sexton, upon a disease which had been very prevalent in town during the spring, and had been usually termed the influenza. He defined it as a disease of convenience, depending upon various exciting causes acting upon the mind. For instance:—
Mrs. A——, a lady residing in Belgrave-square, was on the eve of giving a large party, when, upon hearing that Mr. A—— had made an unlucky speculation in the funds, the whole family were seized with influenza so violently, that they were compelled to postpone the reunion, and live upon the provided supper for a fortnight afterwards.
Miss B—— was a singer at one of our large theatres, and had a part assigned to her in a new opera. Not liking it, she worried herself into an access of influenza, which unluckily seized her the first night the opera was to have been played.
But the most marked case was that of Mr. C——, a clerk in a city house of business, who was attacked and cured within three days. It appeared that he had been dining that afternoon with some friends, who were going to Greenwich fair the next day, and on arriving at home, was taken ill with influenza, so suddenly that he was obliged to despatch a note to that effect to his employer, stating also his fear that he should be unable to attend at his office on the morrow. Dr. Sexton said he was indebted for an account of the progress of his disease to a young medical gentleman, clinical clerk at a leading hospital, who lodged with the patient in Bartholomew-close. The report had been drawn up for the Lancet, but Dr. S. had procured it by great interest.
MAY 30, 1841, 11 P.M.—Present symptoms:—Complains of his employer, and the bore of being obliged to be at the office next morning. Has just eaten a piece of cold beef and pickles, with a pint of stout. Pulse about 75, and considerable defluxion from the nose, which he thinks produced by getting a piece of Cayenne pepper in his eye. Swallowed a crumb, which brought on a violent fit of coughing. Wishes to go to bed.
MAY 31, 9 A.M.—Has passed a tolerable night, but appears restless, and unable to settle to anything. Thinks he could eat some broiled ham if he had it; but not possessing any, has taken the following:
|Ft. mistura, poculum mane sumendum.|
A plaster ordered to be applied to the inside of the stomach, consisting of potted bloater spread upon bread and butter.
Eleven, A.M.—Appears rather hotter since breakfast. Change of air recommended, and Greenwich decided upon.
Half-past 11.—Complains of the draught and noise of the second-class railway carriages, but is otherwise not worse. Thinks he should like “a drain of half-and-half.” Has blown his nose once in the last quarter of an hour.
Two, P.M.—Since a light dinner of rump steaks and stout, a considerable change has taken place. He appears labouring under cerebral excitement and short pipes, and says he shall have a regular beanish day, and go it similar to bricks. Calls the waiter up to him in one of the booths, and has ordered “a glass of cocktail with the chill off and a cinder in it.”
Three, P.M.—Has sallied out into the fair, still much excited, calling every female he meets “Susan,” and pronouncing the s’s with a whistling accent. Expresses a desire to ride in the ships that go round and round.
Half-past 3.—The motion of the ships has tended considerably to relieve his stomach. Pulse slow and countenance pale, with a desire for a glass of ale. Has entered a peepshow, and is now arguing with the exhibitor upon the correctness of his view of the siege of “St. Jane Daker!” which he maintains was a sea-port, and not a field with a burning windmill, as represented in the view.
Eight, P.M.—After rambling vaguely about the fair all the afternoon, he has decided upon taking a hot-air bath in Algar’s Crown and Anchor booth. Evidently delirious. Has put on a false nose, and purchased a tear-coat rattle. Appears labouring under violent spasmodic action of the muscles of his legs, as he dances “Jim along Josey,” when he sets to his partner in a country dance of eighty couple.
Half-past 10, P.M.—Has just intimated that he does not see the use of going home, as you can always go there when you can go nowhere else. Is seated straddling across one of the tables, on which he is beating time to the band with a hooky stick. Will not allow the state of his pulse to be ascertained, but says we may feel his fist if we like.
Eleven.—Considerable difficulty experienced in getting the patient to the railroad, but we at last succeeded. After telling every one in the carriage “that he wasn’t afraid of any of them,” he fell into a deep stertorous sleep. On arriving at home, he got into bed with his boots on, and passed a restless night, turning out twice to drink water between one and four.
JUNE.—10, A.M.—Has just returned from his office, his employer thinking him very unfit for work, and desiring him to lay up for a day or two. Complains of being “jolly seedy,” and thinks he shall go to Greenwich again to get all right.
A thrilling paper upon the “Philosophy of death,” was then read by Professor Wynne Slow. After tracing the origin of that fatal attack, which it appears the earliest nations were subject to, the learned author showed profound research in bringing forward the various terms applied to the act of dying by popular authors. [pg 95]Amongst the principal, he enumerated “turning your toes up,” “kicking the bucket,” “putting up your spoon,” “slipping your wind,” “booking your place,” “breaking your bellows,” “shutting up your shop,” and other phrases full of expression.
The last moments of remarkable characters were especially dwelt upon, in connexion, more especially, with the drama, which gives us the best examples, from its holding a mirror up to nature. It appeared that at Astley’s late amphitheatre, the dying men generally shuffled about a great deal in the sawdust, fighting on their knees, and showing great determination to the last, until life gave way; that at the Adelphi the expiring character more frequently saw imaginary demons waiting for him, and fell down, uttering “Off, fiends! I come to join you in your world of flames!” and that clowns and pantaloons always gave up the ghost with heart-rending screams and contortions of visage, as their deaths were generally violent, from being sawn in half, having holes drilled in them with enormous gimlets, or being shot out of cannon; but that, at the same time, these deaths were not permanent.
Our foreign expresses have reached us via Billingsgate, and are full of interesting matter. Captain Fitz-Flammer is in prison at Boulogne, for some trifling misunderstanding with a native butcher, about the settlement of an account; but we trust no time will be lost by our government in demanding his release at the hands of the authorities. The attempt to make it a private question is absurd; and every Englishman’s blood will simmer, if it does not actually boil, at the intelligence. Fitz-Flammer was only engaged in doing that which many of our countrymen visit Boulogne expressly to do, and it is hard that he should have been intercepted in his retreat, after accomplishing his object. To live at the expense of a natural enemy is certainly a bold and patriotic act, which ought to excite sympathy at home, and protection abroad. The English packet, the City of Boulogne, has turned one of its imitation guns directly towards the town, which, we trust, will have the effect of bringing the French authorities to reason.
It is expected that the treaty will shortly be signed, by which Belgium cedes to France a milestone on the north frontier; while the latter country returns to the former the whole of the territory lying behind a pig-stye, taken possession of in the celebrated 6th vendemiaire, by the allied armies. This will put an end to the heart-burnings that have long existed on either side of the Rhine, and will serve to apply the sponge at once to a long score of national animosities.
Our letters from the East are far from encouraging. The Pasha has had a severe sore-throat, and the disaffected have taken advantage of the circumstance. Ibrahim had spent the two last nights in the mountains, and was unfurling his standard, when our express left, in the very bosom of the desert. Mehemet Ali was still obstinate, and had dismissed his visier for impertinence. The whole of Servia is in a state of revolt, and the authorities have planted troops along the entire line, the whole of whom have gone over to the enemy. It is said there must be further concessions, and a new constitution is being drawn up; but it is not expected that any one will abide by it. Mehemet attempted to throw himself upon the rock of Nungab, with a tremendous force, but those about him wisely prevented him from doing so.
We have received China (tea) papers to the 16th. There is nothing in them.
“The Duke of Wellington,” says a correspondent of the Times, “left his umbrella behind him at a fancy fair, held for charitable purposes, between Twickenham and Teddington. On discovering it, Lady P. immediately said, ‘Who will give twenty guineas for the Duke’s umbrella?’ A purchaser was soon found; and when the fact was communicated to his Grace, he good-naturedly remarked, ‘I’ll soon supply you with umbrellas, if you can sell them with so much advantage to the charity.’” We trust his Grace’s benevolent disposition will not induce him to carry this offer into execution. We should extremely regret to see the Hero of Waterloo in Leicester-square, of a rainy night, vending second-hand parapluies. The same charitable impulse will doubtlessly induce other fashionable hawkers at fancy fairs to pick his Grace’s pockets. We are somewhat curious to know what a Wellington bandana would realise, especially were it the produce of some pretty lady P.’s petty larceny. “Charity,” it is said, “covereth a multitude of sins.” What must it do with an umbrella? We fear that Lady P. will some day figure in the “fashionable departures.”
The production upon the stage of a tragedy “not intended for an acting play,” as a broad travestie, is a novel and dangerous experiment—one, however, which the combined genius of the Dramatic Authors’ Council has made, with the utmost success. The “Hungarian Daughter” was, under the title of “Martinuzzi,” received, on its first appearance, with bursts of applause and convulsions of laughter!
The plot of this piece our literary reviewer has expressed himself unable to unravel. We are in the same condition; all we can promise is some account of the scenes as they followed each other; of the characters, the sentiments, the poetry, and the rest of the fun.
The play opens with an elderly gentleman, in a spangled dressing-gown, who commences business by telling us the time of day, poetically clapping a wig upon the sun, by saying, he
“Shakes day about, like perfume from his hair,”
which statement bears out the after sentence, that “the wisdom he endures is terrible!” An Austrian gentleman—whose dress made us at first mistake him for Richard III. on his travels—arrives to inform the gentleman en déshabille—no other than Cardinal Martinuzzi himself—that he has come from King Ferdinand, to ask if he will be so good as to give up some regency; which the Cardinal, however, respectfully declines doing. A gentleman from Warsaw is next announced, and Castaldo retires, having incidentally declared a passion for the reigning queen of Hungary.
Mr. Selby, as Rupert from Warsaw, then appears, in a dress most correctly copied from the costume of the knave of clubs. Being a Pole, he stirs up the Cardinal vigorously enough to provoke some exceedingly intemperate language, chiefly by bringing to his memory a case of child-stealing, to which Martinuzzi was, before he had quite sown his wild oats, particeps criminis. This case having got into the papers (which Rupert had preserved), the Cardinal wants to obtain them, but offers a price not long enough for the Pole, who, declaring that Martinuzzi carries it “too high” to be trusted with them, vanishes. Mr. Morley afterwards comes forward to sing a song according to Act of Parliament, and the scene changes for Miss Collect to comply, a second time, with the 25th of George II.
In the following scene, the Queen Dowager of Hungary, Isabella, introduces herself to the audience, to inform them that the Austrian gentleman, Castaldo, is
Pity-fraught object of her fondness.”
He appears. She makes several inflammatory speeches, which he seems determined not to understand, for he is in love with the virgin queen; and maidens before dowagers is evidently his sensible motto.
The second act opens with the queen junior stating her assurance, that
if she lives much longer she will die, and that when she is quite dead,
she will hate Martinuzzi33.
“Czerina. When I am dead—which will be soon—I
If I much longer on my throne remain,
I shall abhor the name of Martinuzzi.”. As, however, she means to hate when she is deceased, she will make the most of her time while alive, by devoting herself to courtship and Castaldo: for a very tender love-scene ensues, at the end of which the lady elopes, to leave the lover a clear stage for some half-dozen minutes’ ecstatics, appropriately ended by his arrest, ordered by Martinuzzi. Why, it is not stated, the officer not even producing the copy of a writ.
In the next scene, Isabella is visited by Rupert, who disinterestedly presents the dowager with the papers for nothing, which he was before offered an odd castle and snug estate for, by Martinuzzi. This is accounted for on no other supposition, than the proverbial gallantry of gentlemen from Warsaw.
Martinuzzi, possessing a ward whom he is anxious should wed the queen, opens the third act by declaring he will “precipitate the match,” and so the author considerately sends Czerina to him, to talk the matter over. But the young lady gets into a passion, and the Cardinal declares he can make nothing of her, in the following passage:—
“Fool! I can make thee nothing but a laugh.”
A sentiment to which the audience gave a most vociferous echo. The damsel is angry that she may not have the man she has chosen, and threatens to faint, but defers that operation till her lover’s arms are near enough to receive her; which they happen to be just in time, for Martinuzzi retires and Castaldo comes on. Czerina, to be quite sure, exclaims, “Are these thy arms?” (sic) and finally faints in the lover’s embrace, so as to exhibit a picturesque cuddle.
Queen Isabella is discovered, in the second scene of this act, perusing the much vaunted “papers” with intense interest. Unluckily Castaldo chooses that moment to complain, that Martinuzzi will not let him marry her rival. The queen, being by no means a temperate person, and wondering at his impudence in telling her such a tale, raves thus:—
“My soul’s on fire I’m choked, and seem to perish;
But will suppress my scream”
Probably for fear of compromising Castaldo, who is alone with her; and she ends the act by requesting the Austrian to murder Martinuzzi; to which he is so obliging as to consent, the more so, as an order comes from the Secretary of State for foreign affairs, of his own government, to “cut off” (sic) the Regent.
The fourth act is enlivened by a masquerade and a murder. The gentleman from Warsaw having abused the hospitality of his host by getting drunk, is punished by one of Martinuzzi’s attendants with a mortal stab; and having, in the agonies of death, made a careful survey of all the sofas in the apartment, suits himself with the softest, and dies in great comfort.[pg 96]
After this, the masquerade proceeds with spirit. Isabella mixes in the festive scene, disguised in a domino, made of black sticking-plaster. Czerina overhears that she is a usurper and a changeling, and expresses her surprise in a line most unblushingly stolen from Fitz-Ball and the other poetico-melo-dramatists:—
“Merciful Heavens! do my ears deceive me?”
The festivities conclude with an altercation between Martinuzzi and Isabella, carried on with much vigour on both sides. The lady accuses the gentleman of inebriation, and he owns the soft impeachment, fully bearing it out by several incoherent speeches.
This was one of the most successful scenes in the comedy. The death of Rupert, Mr. Morley’s song about “The sea,” the quarrel (which was about the great pivot of the plot, “the papers,” inscribed, says Martinuzzi,
“With ink that’s brew’d in the infernal Styx,”)
were all received with uproarious bursts of laughter.
In the fifth act, we behold Martinuzzi and the usurping young Queen making matters up at a railway pace. She has it all her own way. If she choose, she may marry Castaldo, retire into private life, be a “farm-house thrall,” and keep a “dairy;” for which estate she has previously expressed a decided predilection44. Acting play, published in the theatre, p. 32..
But it is the next scene that the author seems to have reserved for putting forth his strongest powers of burlesque and broad humour. Isabella and Castaldo are together; the latter feels a little afraid to murder Martinuzzi, but is impelled to the deed by a thousand imaginary torches, which he fears will hurry his “moth-like soul” into their “blinding sun-beams,” till it (the soul) is scorched “into cinders.”
Castaldo appears, in truth, a very bad barber of murders; for, as he is rushing out to
“Strike the tyrant down—in crimson streams
Rend every nerve,”
Isabella has the shrewdness to discover that he is without a weapon. Important omission! The incipient assassin exclaims—
“Oh! that I had my sword!”
but at that moment (clever, dramatic contrivance!)
[Enter CZERINA, with a drawn sword.]
“CZERINA. There’s one! Thine own!”
Far from being grateful for this opportune supply of ways and means for murder. Castaldo calls the bilbo a “fated aspic,” upon the edge of which his “eye-balls crack to look,” and makes a raving exit from the stage, to a roaring laugh from the audience.
It is quite clear to Isabella, from his extreme carelessness about his tools, that Castaldo is not safely to be trusted with a job which requires so much tact and business-like exactitude as the capital offence. She therefore “shows a phial,” which she intends, “occasion suiting,” for “Martinuzzi’s bane;” thereby hinting that, if Castaldo fail with his steel medicine, she is ready with a surer potion.
The next scene, being the last, was ushered in with acclamations. The stage, as is always in that case made and provided, was full. There is a young gentleman on a throne, and Czerina beside it, having been somehow ungallantly deposed. Martinuzzi expresses a wish to drink somebody’s health, and this being the “fitting opportunity” mentioned by the author in the scene preceeding, Isabella empties the phial of her wrath into the beverage, and the Cardinal quenches his thirst with a most intemperate draught. It is now duly announced, that Castaldo is, “with naked sword, approaching.” That gentleman appears, and makes a speech long enough for any man who has had such plain warning of what is to happen—even a cardinal encumbered with a spangled dressing-gown—to get a mile out of his way. The speech quite ended, he goes to work, and with “this from King Ferdinand,” thrusts at Martinuzzi. Czerina, however, throws herself, with great skill, on the point of the sword, and dies. Another long harangue from Castaldo—which, as he is evidently broken-winded from exertion, is pronounced in tiny snatches—and he dies with a “ha!” for want—like many greater men—of breath.
Meanwhile, the poison makes Martinuzzi exceedingly uncomfortable in the stomachic regions. He is quite sure
“That hath been done to me which sends me star-ward!”
but in his progress thither he evidently loses his way; for he ends the play by inquiring—
“WHERE IS THE WORLD?”
The sublimity of which query is manifestly insisted on by the author, by his having it printed in capitals.
When the curtain fell, there arose an uproarious shout for the author; but instead of “the mantle of the Elizabethan poets,” which, it has been said, he commonly wears, the most attractive garment that met the view was an expansive white waistcoat. This latter exhibition concluded the entertainments, strictly so called; for though a farce followed, it turned out a terrible bore.
If the advance of musical science is to be effected by indecent tableaux vivans—by rattling peas against sieves, and putting out the lights (appropriately enough) when Beethoven is being murdered—by the most contemptible class of compositions that ever was put upon score-paper, and noised forth from an ill-disciplined band—if these be the means towards improving musical taste, Monsieur Jullien is undoubtedly the harmonic regenerator of this country. He is a great man—great in his own estimation—great to the ends of his moustachios and the tips of his gloves—a great composer, and a great charlatan—ex. gr.:—
The overture to the promenade concerts usually consists of a pantomime entirely new to an English audience. Monsieur Jullien having made his appearance in the orchestra, seats himself in a conspicuous situation, to indulge the ladies with the most favourable view of his elegant person, and the splendid gold-chainery which is spread all over his magnificent waistcoat. A servant in livery then appears, and presents him with a pair of white kid gloves. The illustrious conductor, having taken some time to thrust them upon a very large and red hand, leisurely takes up his baton, rises, grins upon the expectant musicians, lifts his arm, and—the first chord is struck!
Quadrilles are the staple of the evening—those composed by Monsieur Jullien always, of course, claiming precedence and preference. These are usually interspersed with solos on the flageolet, to contrast with obligati for the ophecleido; the drummers—side, long, and double—are seldom inactive; the trombones and trumpets have no sinecure, and there is always a great mortality amongst the fiddle-strings. Eight bars of impossible variation is sure to be succeeded by sixteen of the deafening fanfare of trumpets, combined with smashing cymbalism, and dreadful drumming.
The public have a taste for headaches, and Jullien has imported a capital recipe for creating them; they applaud—he bows; and musical taste goes—in compliment to the ex-waiter’s genuine profession of man-cook—to pot.
But the ci-devant cuisinier is not content with comparatively harmless, plain-sailing humbug; he must add some sauce piquante to his musical hashes. He cannot rest with merely stunning English ears, but must shock our morals, At the bals masqués, the French dancers, and the hardly mentionable cancan, were hooted back to their native stews under the Palais Royal; but he provides substitutes for them in the tableaux vivans now exhibiting. This, because a more insidious, is a safer introduction. The living figures are dressed to imitate plaster-of-Paris, and are so arranged as to form groups, called in the bills “classical;” but for which it would be difficult to find originals. In short, the whole thing is a feeler thrown out to see how far French impudence and French epicureanism in vice may carry themselves. It shall not be our fault if they do not experience an ignominious downfall, and beat a speedy retreat, to the tune of the “Rogue’s March,” arranged as a quadrille!
“Some men are born to greatness, some men achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.”—SHAKSPEARE.
Reader, should you doubt the above assertion, in the true showman phraseology, just “Walk up! walk up!” to Madame Tussaud’s, the real Temple of Fame, and let such doubts vanish for ever; convince yourselves that the mighty attribute not more survives from good than evil deeds, though, like poverty, it makes its votaries acquainted with the strangest of strange bedfellows! The regal ermine and the murderer’s fustian alike obtain their enviable niche.
The likeness of departed majesty, robed in the matchless splendour of a ruler’s state, redolent with all the mimic glories of a king’s insignia, the modelled puppet from the senseless clay, that wore in life the imperial purple, and moved a breathing thing, chief actor in its childish mummeries, may here be seen shining in tinselled pomp, in glittering contrast to the blood-stained shirt through which the dagger of Ravaillac reached the bosom of the murdered Henry.
The “Real Robes” of the dead George give value to his waxen image! The heart’s-blood of the slaughtered Henry immortalises the linen bearing its hideous stain. The daring leader of France’s countless hosts—the wholesale slaughterer of unnumbered thousands—ambition’s mightiest son—now ruling kingdoms and now ruled by one—once more than king—in death the captive of his hated foes—“the great Napoleon!” shares the small space with the enshrined Fieschi!
The glorious triumphs of the mighty Wellington are here no better passports than the foul murders of the atrocious Burke; the subtle Talleyrand, the deep deviser of political schemes, ruler of rulers, and master mover of the earth’s great puppets, is not one jot superior to the Italian mountebank, whose well-skilled hand drew tones from catgut rivalling even the ideal trumpet of great Fame herself!
By some strange anomaly, success and failure alike render the candidates admissible—no matter the littleness of the source from whence they sprung. Lord Melbourne’s “premiership” gave shape to the all but Promethean wax. The failure of John Frost, his humble follower, secured his right to Fame’s posthumous honours. All partiality is here forgotten. The titled premier, in the haunts of men, may boast his monarch’s palace as his home. The suffering felon, though iron binds his limbs, and eats into his heart—though slow approaching, but sure-coming death, makes the broad world for him a living grave, here he stands, as one among the great ones of the show! The amiability of Albert, that “excellent Prince,” and therefore “most excellent young man,” is ingeniously contrasted with the vices of a Greenacre, and the villany of a Hare. The stern endurance and unflinching perseverance of the zealous and single-hearted Calvin is deprived of its exclusiveness by the more exciting and equally famous Sir William Courtenay (alias Thom).
The thrilling recollection of the “poet peer,” and “peerless poet,” the highly-imaginative and unrivalled Byron, whose flood of song, poured out in one continuous stream of varied passion-breathing fancy, is calmed by gazing on “dull life’s antipodes,” the bandaged remnant of a dried-up mummy!
Poor Mary Stuart! the beautiful, the murdered Queen of Scots, is only parted from the “Maiden Queen,” who sealed her doom, by the interposition of the blood-stained ruthless wretch (England’s Eighth Harry), to whom “Bess” owed her birth!
Pitt, Fox, and Canning are matched with Courvoisier, Gould, and Collins.
Liston is vis à vis to Joe Hume, while Louis Philippe but shares attention with the rivalling models of the Bastille and Guillotine!
Verily, there is a moral in all this, “an we could but find it out.”