“In the king’s name,
Let fall your swords and daggers.”—CRITIC.
A melo-drama is a theatrical dose in two or three acts, according to the strength of the constitution of the audience. Its component parts are a villain, a lover, a heroine, a comic character, and an executioner. These having simmered and macerated through all manner of events, are strained off together into the last scene; and the effervescence which then ensues is called the dénouement, and the dénouement is the soul of the drama.
Dénouements are of three kinds:—The natural, the unnatural, and the supernatural.
The “natural” is achieved when no probabilities are violated;—that is, when the circumstances are such as really might occur—if we could only bring ourselves to think so—as, (ex. gr.)
When the villain, being especially desirous to preserve and secrete certain documents of vital importance to himself and to the piece, does, most unaccountably, mislay them in the most conspicuous part of the stage, and straightway they are found by the very last member of the dram. pers. in whose hands he would like to see them.
When the villain and his accomplice, congratulating each other on the successful issue of their crimes, and dividing the spoil thereof (which they are always careful to do in a loud voice, and in a room full of closets), are suddenly set upon and secured by the innocent yet suspected and condemned parties, who are at that moment passing on their way to execution.
When the guiltless prisoner at the bar, being asked for his defence, and having no witnesses to call, produces a checked handkerchief, and subpoenas his own conscience, which has such an effect on the villain, that he swoons, and sees demons in the jury-box, and tells them that “he is ready,” and that “he comes,” &c. &c.
When the deserter, being just about to be shot, is miraculously saved by his mistress, who cuts the matter very fine indeed, by rushing in between “present” and “fire;” and, having ejaculated “a reprieve!” with all her might, falls down, overcome by fatigue—poor dear! as well she may—having run twenty-three miles in the changing of a scene, and carried her baby on her arm all the blessed way, in order to hold him up in the tableau at the end.
N.B.—Whenever married people rescue one another as above, the “dénouement” belongs to the class “unnatural;” which is used when the author wishes to show the intensity of his invention—as, (ex. gr. again)
When an old man, having been wounded fatally by a young man, requests, as a boon, to be permitted to examine the young man’s neck, who, accordingly unloosing his cravat, displays a hieroglyphic neatly engraved thereon, which the old man interprets into his being a parricide, and then dies, leaving the young man in a state of histrionic stupor.
When a will is found embellished with a Daguerréotype of four fingers and a thumb, done in blood on the cover, and it turns out that the residuary legatee is no better than he should be—but, on the contrary, a murderer nicely ripe for killing.
The “supernatural” dénouement is the last resource of a bewildered dramatist, and introduces either an individual in green scales and wings to match, who gives the audience to understand that he is a fiend, and that he has private business to transact below with the villain; who, accordingly, withdraws in his company, with many throes and groans, down the trap.
Or a pale ghost in dingy lawn, apparently afflicted with a serious haemorrhage in the bosom, who appears to a great many people, running, in dreams; and at last joins the hands of the young couple, and puts in a little plea of her own for a private burial.
And there are many other variations of the three great classes of dénouements; such as the helter-skelter nine-times-round-the-stage-combat, and the grand mêlée in which everybody kills everybody else, and leaves the piece to be carried on by their executors; but we dare unveil the mystery no further.
“Well,” said Roebuck to O’Connell, “despite Peel’s double-face propensities, he is a great genius.” “A great Janus indeed,” answered the liberathor.
The political pugilistic scrimmage which recently took place in the House of Congress so completely coincides with the views and propensities of the “universal scrimmage” member for Bath, that he intends making a motion for the erection of a twenty-four-foot-ring on the floor of the House, for the benefit of opposition members. The Speaker, says Roebuck, will, in that case, be enabled to ascertain whether the “noes” or “ayes” have it, without tellers.
If you are either in a great hurry, or tired of life, book yourself by the Brighton railroad, and you are ensured one of two things—arrival in two hours, or destruction by that rapid process known in America as “immortal smash,” which brings you to the end of your journey before you get to the terminus. Should you fortunately meet with the former result, and finish your trip without ending your mortal career, you find the place beset with cads and omnibuses, which are very convenient; for if your hotel or boarding-house be at the extremity of the town, you would have to walk at least half a mile but for such vehicles, and they only charge sixpence, with the additional advantage of the great chance of your luggage being lost. If you be a married man, you will go to an hotel where you can get a bed for half-a-guinea a night, provided you do not want it warmed, and use your own soap; but it is five shillings extra if you do. Should you be a bachelor, or an old maid, you, of course, put up at a boarding-house, where you see a great deal of good society at two guineas a week; for every third man is a captain, and every fifth woman “my lady.” There, too, you observe a continual round of courtship going on; for it comes in with the coffee, and continues during every meal. “Marriages,” it is said, “are made in heaven”—good matches are always got up at meal-times in Brighton boarding-houses.
Brighton is decidedly a fishing-town, for besides the quantity of John Dorys caught there, it is a celebrated place for pursey half-pay officers to angle in for rich widows. The bait they generally use consists of dyed whiskers, and a distant relationship to some of the “gentles” or nobles of the land. The town itself is built upon the downs—a series of hills, which those in the habit of walking over them are apt to call “ups and downs.” It consists entirely of hotels, boarding-houses, and bathing-machines, with a pavilion and a chain-pier. The amusements are various, and of a highly intellectual character: the chief of them being a walk from the esplanade to the east cliff, and a promenade back again from the east cliff to the esplanade. Donkey-races are in full vogue, insomuch that the highways are thronged with interesting animals, decorated with serge-trappings and safety-saddles, and interspersed with goat-carts and hired flys. There is a library, where the visiters do everything but read; and a theatre, where—as Charles Kean is now playing there—they do anything but act. The ladies seem to take great delight in the sea-bath, and that they may enjoy the luxury in the most secluded privacy, the machines are placed as near to the pier as possible. This is always crowded with men, who, by the aid of opera glasses, find it a pleasing pastime to watch the movements of the delicate Naiads who crowd the waters.
Those to whom Brighton is recommended for change of air and of scene get sadly taken in, for here the air—like that of a barrel-organ—never changes, as the wind is always high. In sunshine, Brighton always looks hot; in moonshine, eternally dreary; the men are yawning all day long, and the women sitting smirking in bay-windows, or walking with puppy-dogs and parasols, which last they are continually opening and shutting. In short, when a man is sick of the world, or a maiden of forty-five has been so often crossed in love as to be obliged to leave off hoping against hope, Brighton is an excellent place to prepare him or her for a final retirement from life—whether that is contemplated in the Queen’s Bench, a convent, a residence among the Welsh mountains, or the monastery of La Trappe, a month’s probation in Brighton, at the height of the season, being well calculated to make any such change not only endurable, but agreeable.
For sale, Thorwaldsen’s Byron, rich in beauty,
Because his country owes, and will not pay, “duty.”
Entirely disgusted with his unsuccessful appeal to the enlightened British public assembled in the front of his residence, and which had produced effects so contrary to what he had conceived would be the result, Agamemnon called a committee of his household, to determine on the most advisable proceedings to be adopted for remedying the evils resulting from the unexpected pyrotechnic display of the morning. The carpet was spoiled—the house was impregnated with the sooty effluvia, and the company was expected to arrive at nine o’clock. What was to be done? Betty suggested the burning of brown paper and scrubbing the carpet; John, assafœtida and sawdust; Mrs. Waddledot, pastilles and chalking the floor. As the latter remedies seemed most compatible with the gentility of their expected visiters, immediate measures were taken for carrying them into effect. A dozen cheese-plates were disposed upon the stairs, each furnished with little pyramids of fragrance; old John, who was troubled with an asthma, was deputed to superintend them, and nearly coughed himself into a fit of apoplexy in the strenuous discharge of his duty.
Whilst these in-door remedial appliances were in progress, Agamemnon was hurrying about in a hack cab to discover a designer in chalk, and at length was fortunate enough to secure the “own artist” of the celebrated “Crown and Anchor.” Mr. Smear was a shrewd man, as well as an excellent artist; and when he perceived the very peculiar position of things, he forcibly enumerated all the difficulties which presented themselves, and which could only be surmounted by a large increase of remuneration.
“You see, sir,” said Mr. Smear, “that wherever that ere water has been it’s left a dampness ahind it; the moistur’ consekent upon such a dampness must be evaporated by ever-so-many applications of the warming-pan. The steam which a rises from this hoperation, combined with the extra hart required to hide them two black spots in the middle, will make the job come to one-pund-one, independently of the chalk.”
Agamemnon had nothing left but compliance with Mr. Smear’s demand; and one warming and three stew-pans, filled with live coals, were soon engaged in what Mr. Smear called the “ewaporating department.” As soon as the boards were sufficiently dry, Mr. Smear commenced operations. In each of the four corners of the room he described the diagram of a coral and bells, connecting them with each other by graceful festoons of blue-chalk ribbon tied in large true-lover’s knots in the centre. Having thus completed a frame, he proceeded, after sundry contortions of the facial muscles, to the execution of the great design. Having described an ellipse of red chalk, he tastefully inserted within it a perfect representation of the interior of an infant’s mouth in an early stage of dentition, whilst a graceful letter A seemed to keep the gums apart to allow of this artistical exhibition. Proudly did Mr. Smear cast his small grey eyes on Agamemnon, and challenge him, as it were, to a laudatory acknowledgment of his genius; but as his patron remained silent, Mr. Smear determined to speak out.
“Hart has done her best—language must do the rest. I am now only awaiting for the motter. What shall I say, sir?”
“‘Welcome’ is as good as anything, in my opinion,” replied Collumpsion.
“Welcome!” ejaculated Smear: “a servile himitation of a general ’lumination idea, sir. We must be original. Will you leave it to me?”
“Willingly,” said Agamemnon. And with many inward protestations against parties in general and his own in particular, he left Mr. Smear and his imagination together.
The great artist in chalk paced the room for some minutes, and then slapped his left thigh, in confirmation of the existence of some brilliant idea. The result was soon made apparent on the boards of the drawing-room, where the following inscription attested the immensity of Smear’s genius—
The guinea was instantly paid; but Collumpsion was for a length of time in a state of uncertainty as to whether Mr. Smear’s talents were ornamental or disfigurative. Nine o’clock arrived, and with it a rumble of vehicles, and an agitation of knocker, that were extremely exhilarating to the heretofore exhausted and distressed family at 24.
We shall not attempt to particularise the arrivals, as they were precisely the same set as our readers have invariably met at routs of the second class for these last five years. There was the young gentleman in an orange waistcoat, bilious complexion, and hair à la Petrarch, only gingered; and so also were the two Misses ——, in blue gauze, looped up with coral,—and that fair-haired girl who “detethted therry,” and those black eyes, whose lustrous beauty made such havoc among the untenanted hearts of the youthful beaux;—but, reader, you must know the set that must have visited the Applebites.
All went “merry as a marriage bell,” and we feel that we cannot do better than assist future commentators by giving a minute analysis of a word which so frequently occurs in the fashionable literature of the present day that doubtlessly in after time many anxious inquiries and curious conjectures would be occasioned, but for the service we are about to confer on posterity (for the pages of PUNCH are immortal) by a description of
which is a dance particularly fashionable in the nineteenth century. In order to render our details perspicuous and lucid, we will suppose—
The four gentlemen present themselves to the four ladies, and having smirked and “begged the honour,” the four pairs take their station in the room in the following order:
|The tip and the freckles.|
|The camelia japonica, and the marabouts.||The crimson waistcoat, and the slight cast.|
|The violent wristbands and the black satin.|
During eight bars of music, tip, crimson, camellia, and wristbands, bow to freckles, slight cast, marabouts, and black satin, who curtsey in return, and then commence
by performing an intersecting figure that brings all parties exactly where they were; which joyous circumstance is celebrated by bobbing for four bars opposite to each other, and then indulging in a universal twirl which apparently offends the ladies, who seize hold of each other’s hands only to leave go again, and be twirled round by the opposite gentleman, who, having secured his partner, promenades her half round to celebrate his victory, and then returns to his place with his partner, performing a similar in-and-out movement as that which commenced la Pantalon.
is a much more respectful operation. Referring to our previous arrangement, wristbands and freckles would advance and retire—then they would take two hops and a jump to the right, then two hops and a jump to the left—then cross over, and there hop and jump the same number of times and come back again, and having celebrated their return by bobbing for four bars, they twirl their partners again, and commence
The crimson waistcoat and marabouts would shake hands with their right, and then cross over, and having shaken hands again with the left, come back again. They then would invite the camellia and the slight cast to join them, and perform a kind of wild Indian dance “all of a row.” After which they all walk to the sides they have no business upon, and then crimson runs round marabout, and taking his partner’s hand, i.e., the slight cast, introduces her to camellia and marabout, as though they had never met before. This introduction is evidently disagreeable, for they instantly retire, and then rush past each other, as furiously as they can, to their respective places.
is evidently intended to “trot out” the dancers. Freckles and black satin shake hands as they did in la Pantalon, and then freckles trots tip out [pg 147]twice, and crosses over to the opposite side to have a good look at him; having satisfied her curiosity, she then, in company with black satin, crosses over to have a stare at the violent wristbands, in contrast with tip who wriggles over, and join him, and then, without saying a word to each other, bob, and are twirled as in l’Eté.
seems to be an inversion of la Trenise, except that in nineteen cases out of twenty, the waistcoat, tip, camellia and wristbands, seem to undergo intense mental torture; for if there be such a thing as “poetry of motion,” pastorale must be the “Inferno of Dancing.”
commences with a circular riot, which leads to l’Eté. The ladies then join hands, and endeavour to imitate the graceful evolutions of a windmill, occasionally grinding the corns of their partners, who frantically rush in with the quixotic intention of stopping them. A general shuffling about then takes place, which terminates in a bow, a bob, and “allow me to offer you some refreshment.”
Malheureux! we have devoted so much space to the quadrille, that we have left none for the supper, which being a cold one, will keep till next week.
We are ashamed to ask our readers to refer to our last article under the title of the “Gentleman’s Own Book,” for the length of time which has elapsed almost accuses us of disinclination for our task, or weariness in catering for the amusement of our subscribers. But September—September, with all its allurements of flood and field—its gathering of honest old friends—its tales of by-gone seasons, and its glorious promises of the present—must plead our apology for abandoning our pen and rushing back to old associations, which haunt us like
We know that we are forgiven, so shall proceed at once to the consideration of the ornaments and pathology of coats.
are those parts of the external decorations which are intended either to embellish the person or garment, or to notify the pecuniary superiority of the wearer. Amongst the former are to be included buttons, braids, and mustachios; amongst the latter, chains, rings, studs, canes, watches, and above all, those pocket talismans, purses. There are also riding-whips and spurs, which may be considered as implying the possession of quadrupedal property.
Of Buttons.—In these days of innovation—when Brummagem button-makers affect a taste and elaboration of design—a true gentleman should be most careful in the selection of this dulce et utile contrivance. Buttons which resemble gilt acidulated drops, or ratafia cakes, or those which are illustrative of the national emblems—the rose, shamrock, and thistle tied together like a bunch of faded watercresses, or those which are commemorative of coronations, royal marriages, births, and christenings, chartist liberations, the success of liberal measures, and such like occasions, or those which would serve for vignettes for the Sporting Magazine, or those which at a distance bear some resemblance to the royal arms, but which, upon closer inspection, prove to be bunches of endive, surmounted by a crown which the Herald’s College does not recognise, or those which have certain letters upon them, as the initials of clubs which are never heard of in St. James’s, as the U.S.C.—the Universal Shopmen’s Club; T.Y.C.—the Young Tailors’ Club; L.S.D.—the Linen Drapers’ Society—and the like. All these are to be fashionably eschewed. The regimental, the various hunts, the yacht clubs, and the basket pattern, are the only buttons of Birmingham birth which can be allowed to associate with the button-holes of a gentleman.
The restrictions on silk buttons are confined chiefly to magnitude. They must not be so large as an opera ticket, nor so small as a silver penny.
Of Braids.—This ornament, when worn in the street, is patronised exclusively by Polish refugees, theatrical Jews, opera-dancers, and boarding-house fortune-hunters.
Of Mustachios.—The mustachio depends for its effect entirely upon its adaptation to the expression of the features of the wearer. The small, or moustache à la chinoise, should only appear in conjunction with Tussaud, or waxwork complexions, and then only provided the teeth are excellent; for should the dental conformation be of the same tint, the mustachios would only provoke observation. The German, or full hearth-brush, should be associated with what Mr. Ducrow would designate a “cream,” and everybody else a drab countenance, and should never be resorted to, except in conformity with regimental requisitions, or for the capture of an Irish widow, as they are generally indigenous to Boulogne and the Bench, and are known amongst tailors and that class of clothier victims as “bad debts,” or “the insolvency regulation,” and operate with them as an insuperable bar to
The perfect, or heart-meshes, are those in which each particular hair has its particular place, and must be of a silky texture, and not of a bristly consistency, like a worn-out tooth-brush. Neither must they be of a bright red, bearing a striking resemblance to two young spring radishes.
The barbe au bonc, or Muntzian fringe, should only be worn when a gentleman is desirous of obtaining notoriety, and prefers trusting to his external embellishments in preference to his intellectual acquirements.
On Tips.—Tips are an abomination to which no gentleman can lend his countenance. They are a shabby and mangy compromise for mustachios, and are principally sported by the genus of clerks, who, having strong hirsute predilections, small salaries, and sober-minded masters, hang a tassel on the chin instead of a vallance on the upper lip.
Our space warns us to conclude, and, as a fortnight’s indolence is not the strongest stimulant to exertion, we willingly drop our pen, and taking the hint and a cigar, indulge in a voluminous cloud, and a lusty
FEARGUS O’CONNOR always attends public meetings, dressed in a complete suit of fustian. He could not select a better emblem of his writings in the Northern Star, than the material he has chosen for his habiliments.
We understand that Sir Robert Peel has sent for the fasting man, with the intention of seeing how far his system may be acted upon for the relief of the community.
“Jem! you rascal, get up! get up, and be hanged to you, sir; don’t you hear somebody hammering and pelting away at the street-door knocker, like the ghost of a dead postman with a tertian ague! Open it! see what’s the matter, will you?”
“Yes, sir!” responded the tame tiger of the excited and highly respectable Adolphus Casay, shiveringly emerging from beneath the bed-clothes he had diligently wrapped round his aching head, to deaden the incessant clamour of the iron which was entering into the soul of his sleep. A hastily-performed toilet, in which the more established method of encasing the lower man with the front of the garment to the front of the wearer, was curiously reversed, and the capture of the left slipper, which, as the weakest goes to the wall, the right foot had thrust itself into, was scarcely effected, ere another series of knocks at the door, and batch of invectives from Mr. Adolphus Casay, hurried the partial sacrificer to the Graces, at a Derby pace, over the cold stone staircase, to discover the cause of the confounded uproar. The door was opened—a confused jumble of unintelligible mutterings aggravated the eager ears of the shivering Adolphus. Losing all patience, he exclaimed, in a tone of thunder—
“What is it, you villain? Can’t you speak?”
“Yes, sir, in course I can.”
“Then why don’t you, you imp of mischief?”
“I’m a-going to.”
“Do it at once—let me know the worst. Is it fire, murder, or thieves?”
“Neither, sir; it’s A1, with a dark lantern.”
“What, in the name of persecution and the new police, does A1, with a dark lantern, want with me?”
“Please, sir, Mr. Brown Bunkem has give him half-a-crown.”
“Well, you little ruffian, what’s that to me?”
“Why, sir, he guv it him to come here, and ask you—”
Here policeman A1, with the dark lantern, took up the conversation.
“Jist to step down to the station-’us, and bail him therefrom—”
“Being werry drunk—uncommon overcome, surely—and oudacious obstropelous.” continued the alphabetically and numerically-distinguished conservator of the public peace.
“How did he get there?”
“On a werry heavily-laden stretcher.”
“The deuce take the mad fool,” muttered the disturbed housekeeper; then added, in a louder tone, “Ask the policeman in, and request him to take—”
“Anything you please, sir; it is rather a cold night, but as we’re all in a hurry, suppose it’s something short, sir.”
Now the original proposition, commencing with the word “take,” was meant by its propounder to achieve its climax in “a seat on one of the hall chairs;” but the liquid inferences of A1, with a dark lantern, had the desired effect, and induced a command from Mr. Adolphus Casay to the small essential essence of condensed valetanism in the person of Jim Pipkin, to produce the case-bottles for the discussion of the said A1, with the dark lantern, who gained considerably in the good opinion of Mr. James Pipkin, by requesting the favour of his company in the bibacious avocation he so much delighted in.
A1 having expressed a decided conviction that, anywhere but on the collar of his coat, or the date of monthly imprisonments, his distinguishing number was the most unpleasant and unsocial of the whole multiplication table, further proceeded to illustrate his remarks by proposing glasses two and three, to the great delight and inebriation of the small James Pipkin, who was suddenly aroused from a dreamy contemplation of two policemen, and increased service of case-bottles and liquor-glasses, by a sound box on the ear, and a stern command to retire to his own proper dormitory—the one coming from the hand, the other from the lips, of his annoyed master, who then and there departed, under the guidance of A1, with the dark lantern. After passing various lanes and weary ways, the station was reached, and there, in the full plenitude of glorious drunkenness, lay his friend, the identical Mr. Brown Bunkem, who, in the emphatic words of the inspector, was declared to be “just about as far gone as any gentleman’s son need wish to be.”
“What’s the charge?” commenced Mr. Adolphus Casay.
“Eleven shillings a bottle.—Take it out o’that, and d—n the expense,” interposed and hiccoughed the overtaken Brown Bunkem.
“Drunk, disorderly, and very abusive,” read the inspector.
“Go to blazes!” shouted Bunkem, and then commenced a very vague edition of “God save the Queen,” which, by some extraordinary “sliding scale,” finally developed the last verse of “Nix my Dolly,” which again, at the mention of the “stone jug,” flew off into a very apocryphal version of the “Bumper of Burgundy;” the lines “upstanding, uncovered,” appeared at once to superinduce the opinion that greater effect would be given to his performance by complying with both propositions. In attempting to assume the perpendicular, Mr. Brown Bunkem was signally frustrated, as the result was a more perfect development of his original horizontal recumbency, assumed at the conclusion of a very vigorous fall. To make up for this deficiency, the suggestion as to the singer appearing uncovered, was achieved with more force than propriety, by Mr. Brown Bunkem’s nearly displacing several of the inspector’s front teeth, by a blow from his violently-hurled hat at the head of that respectable functionary.
What would have followed, it is impossible to say; but at this moment Mr. Adolphus Casay’s bail was accepted, he being duly bound down, in the sum of twenty pounds, to produce Mr. Brown Bunkem at the magistrate’s office by eleven o’clock of the following forenoon. This being settled, in spite of a vigorous opposition, with the assistance of five half-crowns, four policemen, the driver of, and hackney-coach No. 3141, Mr. Brown Bunkem was conveyed to his own proper lodgings, and there left, with one boot and a splitting headache, to do duty for a counterpane, he vehemently opposing every attempt to make him a deposit between the sheets.—Seven o’clock on the following morning found Mr. Adolphus Casay at the bedside of the violently-snoring and stupidly obfuscated Brown Bunkem. In vain he pinched, shook, shouted, and swore; inarticulate grunts and apoplectic denunciations against the disturber of his rest were the only answers to his urgent appeals as to the necessity of Mr. Brown Bunkem’s getting ready to appear before the magistrate. Visions of contempt of court, forfeited bail, and consequent disbursements, flitted before the mind of the agitated Mr. Adolphus Casay. Ten o’clock came; Bunken seemed to snore the louder and sleep the sounder. What was to be done? why, nothing but to get up an impromptu influenza, and try his rhetoric on the presiding magistrates of the bench.
Influenced by this determination, Mr. Adolphus Casay started for that den of thieves and magistrates in the neighbourhood of Bow-street; but Mr. Adolphus Casay’s feelings were anything but enviable; though by no means a straitlaced man, he had an instinctive abhorrence of anything that appeared a blackguard transaction. Nothing but a kind wish to serve a friend would have induced him to appear within a mile of such a wretched place; but the thing was now unavoidable, so he put the best face he could on the matter, made his way to the clerk of the Court, and there, in a low whisper, began his explanation, that being “how Mr. Brown Bunkem”—at this moment the crier shouted—
“Bunkem! Where’s Bunkem?”
“I am here!” said Mr. Adolphus Casay; “here to”—
“Step inside, Bunkem,” shouted a sturdy auxiliary; and with considerable manual exertion and remarkable agility, he gave the unfortunate Adolphus a peculiar twist that at once deposited him behind the bar and before the bench.
“I beg to state,” commenced the agitated and innocent Adolphus.
“Silence, prisoner!” roared the crier.
“Will you allow me to say,”—again commenced Adolphus—
“Hold your tongue!” vociferated P74.
“I must and will be heard.”
“Young man,” said the magistrate, laying down the paper, “you are doing yourself no good; be quiet. Clerk, read the charge.”
After some piano mumbling, the words “drunk—abusive—disorderly—incapable—taking care of self—stretcher—station-house—bail,” were shouted out in the most fortissimo manner.
At the end of the reading, all eyes were directed to the well-dressed and gentlemanly-looking Adolphus. He appeared to excite universal sympathy.
“What have you to say, young man?”
“Why, your worship, the charge is true; but”—
“Oh! never mind your buts. Will you ever appear in the same situation again?”
“Upon my soul I won’t; but”—
“There, then, that will do; I like your sincerity, but don’t swear. Pay one shilling, and you are discharged.”
“Will your worship allow me”—
“I have no time, sir. Next case.”
“But I must explain.”
“Next case. Hold your jaw!—this way!”—and the same individual who had jerked Mr. Adolphus Casay into the dock, rejerked him into the middle of the court. The shilling was paid, and, amid the laughter of the idlers at his anti-teetotal habits, he made the best of his way from the scene of his humiliation. As he rushed round the corner of the street, a peal of laughter struck upon his ears, and there, in full feather, as sober as ever, stood Mr. Brown Bunkem, enjoying the joke beyond all measure. Indignation took possession of Mr. Adolphus Casay’s bosom; he demanded to know the cause of this strange conduct, stating that his character was for ever compromised.
“Not at all,” coolly rejoined the unmoved Bunkem; “we are all subject to accidents. You certainly were in a scrape, but I think none the worse of you; and, if it’s any satisfaction, you may say it was me.”
“Say it was you! Why it was.”
“Capital, upon my life! do you hear him, Smith, how well he takes a cue? but stick to it, old fellow, I don’t think you’ll be believed; but—say it was me.”
Mr. Brown Bunkem was perfectly right. Mr. Adolphus Casay was not believed; for some time he told the story as it really was, but to no purpose. The indefatigable Brown was always appealed to by mutual friends, his answer invariably was—
“Why, Casay’s a steady fellow, I am not; it might injure him. I defy report; therefore I gave him leave to—say it was me!”
And that was all the thanks Mr. Adolphus Casay ever got for bailing friend.
Late Professor of Toryism, but now Lecturer on Whiggery to the College of St. Stephen’s.
A point in politics is that which always has place (in view,) but no particular party.
A line in politics is interest without principle.
The extremities of a line are loaves and fishes.
A right line is that which lies evenly between the Ministerial and Opposition benches.
A superficies is that which professes to have principle, but has no consistency.
The extremities of a superficies are expediencies.
A plain superficies is that of which two opposite speeches being taken, the line between them evidently lies wholly in the direction of Downing-street.
A plain angle is the evident inclination, and consequent piscation, of a member for a certain place; or it is the meeting together of two members who are not in the same line of politics.
When a member sits on the cross benches, and shows no particular inclination to one side or the other, it is called a right angle.
An obtuse angle is that in which the inclination is evidently to the Treasury.
An acute angle is that in which the inclination is apparently to the Opposition benches.
A boundary is the extremity or whipper-in of any party.
A party is that which is kept together by one or more whippers-in.
A circular member is a rum figure, produced by turning round; and is such that all lines of politics centre in himself, and are the same to him.
The diameter of a circular member is a line drawn on the Treasury, and terminating in both pockets.
Trilateral members, or waverers, are those which have three sides.
Of three-sided members an equilateral or independent member is that to which all sides are the same.
An isosceles or vacillating member is that to which two sides only are the same.
A scalene or scaly member has no one side which is equal to his own interest.
Parallel lines of politics are such as are in the same direction—say Downing-street; but which, being produced ever so far—say to Windsor—do not meet.
A political problem is a Tory proposition, showing that the country is to be done.
A theorem is a Whig proposition—the benefit of which to any one but the Whigs always requires to be demonstrated.
A corollary is the consequent confusion brought about by adopting the preceding Whig proposition.
A deduction is that which is drawn from the revenue by adopting the preceding Whig proposition.
A gentleman who boasts one of those proper names in sky which are naturally enough transmitted “from pole to pole,” undertakes to teach the art of remembering upon entirely new principles. We know not what the merit of his invention may be, but we beg leave to ask the Major a few general questions, and we, therefore, respectfully inquire whether his system would be capable of effecting the following miracles:—
1st. Would it be possible to make Sir James Graham remember that he not long since declared his present colleagues to be men wholly unworthy of public confidence?
2dly. Would Major Beniowsky’s plan compel a man to remember his tailor’s bill; and, if so, would it go so far as to remind him to call for the purpose of paying it?
3dly. Would the new system of memory enable Mr. Wakley to refrain from forgetting himself?
4thly. Would the Phrenotypics, or brain-printing, as it is called, succeed in stereotyping a pledge in the recollection of a member of parliament?
5thly. Is it possible for the new art to cause Sir Robert Peel to remember from one week to the other his political promises?
We fear these questions must be answered in the negative; but we have a plan of our own for exercising the memory, which will beat that of Beniow, or any other sky, who ventures to propose one. Our proposition is, “Read PUNCH,” and we will be bound that no one will ever forget it who has once enjoyed the luxury.
I wander’d through our native fields,
And one was by my side who seem’d
Fraught with each beauty nature yields,
Whilst from her eye affection beam’d.
It was so like what fairy books,
In painting heaven, are wont to tell,
That fondly I believed those looks,
And found too late—’twas all a sell!
’Twas all a sell!
She vow’d I was her all—her life—
And proved, methought, her words by sighs;
She long’d to hear me call her “wife,”
And fed on hope which love supplies.
Ah! then I felt it had been sin
To doubt that she could e’er belie
Her vows!—I found ’twas only tin
She sought, and love was all my eye!
Was all my eye!
The Shamrock ran upon a timber-raft on Monday morning, and was off Deal in ten minutes afterwards.
The storm of Thursday did considerable damage to the shipping in the Thames. A coal was picked up off Vauxhall, which gave rise to a report that a barge had gone down in the offing. On making inquiries at Lloyd’s, we asked what were the advices, when we were advised to mind our own business, an answer we have too frequently received from the underlings of that establishment. The Bachelor has been telegraphed on its way up from Chelsea. It is expected to bring the latest news relative to the gas-lights on the Kensington-road, which, it is well known, are expected to enjoy a disgraceful sinecure during the winter.
Captain Snooks, of the Daffydowndilly, committed suicide by jumping down the chimney of the steamer under his command. The rash act occasioned a momentary flare up, but did not impede the action of the machinery.
A rudder has been seen floating off Southwark. It has a piece of rope attached to it. Lloyd’s people have not been down to look at it. This shameful neglect has occasioned much conversation in fresh-water circles, and shows an apathy which it is frightful to contemplate.
Doctors, they say, are heartless, cannot feel—
Have you no core, or are you naught but Peel?
The Marquis of Normandy, we perceive, has been making some inquiries relative to the “Drainage Bills,” and has been assured by Lord Ellenborough, that the subject should meet the attention of government during the recess. We place full reliance on his Lordship’s promise—the drainage of the country has been ever a paramount object with our Whig and Tory rulers.
The English poor have tender teachers. In the first place, the genius of Money, by a hundred direct and indirect lessons, preaches to them the infamy of destitution; thereby softening their hearts to a sweet humility with a strong sense of their wickedness. Then comes Law, with its whips and bonds, to chastise and tie up “the offending Adam”—that is, the Adam without a pocket,—and then the gentle violence of kindly Mother Church leads the poor man far from the fatal presence of his Gorgon wants, to consort him with meek-eyed Charity,—to give him glimpses of the Land of Promise,—to make him hear the rippling waters of Eternal Truth,—to feast his senses with the odours of Eternal sweets. Happy English poor! Ye are not scurfed with the vanities of the flesh! Under the affectionate discipline of the British Magi L.S.D.,—the “three kings” tasking human muscles, banqueting on human heartstrings,—ye are happily rescued from any visitation of those worldly comforts that hold the weakness of humanity to life! Hence, by the benevolence of those who have only solid acres, ye are permitted to have an unlimited portion of the sky; and banned by the mundane ones who have wine in their cellars, and venison in the larder from the gross diet of beer and beef—ye are permitted to take your bellyful of the savoury food cooked for the Hebrew patriarch. Once a week, at least, ye are invited to feast with Joseph in the house of Pharaoh, and yet, stiff-necked generation that ye are, ye stay from the banquet and then complain of hunger! “Shall there be no punishment for this obduracy?” asks kindly Mother Church, her eyes red with weeping for the hard-heartedness of her children. “Shall there be no remedy?” she sobs, wringing her hands. Whereupon, the spotless maiden Law—that Amazonian virgin, eldest child of violated Justice—answers, “Fifteen Shillings!”
We are indebted to Lord BROUGHAM for this new instance of the stubbornness of the poor—for this new revelation of the pious vengeance of offended law. A few nights since his lordship, in a motion touching prison discipline, stated that “a man had been confined for ten weeks, having been fined a shilling, and fourteen shillings costs, which he did not pay, because he was absent one Sunday from church!”
Who can doubt, that from the moment John Jones—(the reader may christen the offender as he pleases)—was discharged, he became a most pious, church-going Christian? He had been ten Sundays in prison, be it remembered; and had therefore heard at least ten sermons. He crossed the prison threshold a new-made man; and wending towards his happy home, had in his face—so lately smirched with shameless vice—such lustrous glory, that even his dearest creditors failed to recognise him!
Beautiful is the village church of Phariseefield! Beautiful is its antiquity—beautiful its porch, thronged with white-headed men and ruddy little ones! Beautiful the graves, sown with immortal seed, clustering round the building! Beautiful the vicar’s horses—the vicar himself preaches to-day,—and very beautiful indeed, the faces, ay, and the bonnets, too, of the vicar’s daughters! Beautiful the sound of the bell that summons the lowly Christian to cast aside the pomps and vanities of the world, and to stand for a time in utter nakedness of heart before his Maker,—and very beautiful the silk stockings of the Dowager Lady Canaan’s footman, who carrieth with Sabbath humility his Lady’s books to Church! Yet all this beauty is as deformity to the new-born loveliness of John Jones; who, on the furthermost seat—far from the vain convenience of pew and velvet hassock—sits, and inwardly blesses the one shilling and fourteen shillings costs, that with more than fifteen-horse power have drawn him from the iniquities of the Jerry-shop and hustle-farthing,—to feed upon the manna dropping from the lips of the Reverend Doctor FAT! There sits John Jones, late drunkard, poacher, reprobate; but now, fined into Christian goodness—made a very saint, according to Act of Parliament!
If Mother Church, with the rods of spikenard which the law hath benevolently placed in her hands, will but whip her truant children to their Sunday seats,—will only consent to draw them through the bars of a prison to their Sabbath sittings,—will teach them the real value of Christianity, it being according to her own estimate—with the expenses—exactly fifteen shillings,—sure we are, that Radicalism and Chartism, and all the many foul pustules that, in the conviction of Holy Church, are at this moment poisoning and enervating the social body, will disappear beneath the precious ointment always at her touch.
When we consider the many and impartial blessings scattered upon the poor of England—when in fact we consider the beautiful justice pervading our whole social intercourse—when we reflect upon the spirit of good-will and sincerity that operates on the hearts of the powerful few for the comfort and happiness of the helpless million,—we are almost aghast at the infidelity of poverty, forgetting in our momentary indignation, that poverty must necessarily combine within itself every species of infamy.
Poor men of England, consider not merely the fine and the expenses attendant upon absence from church, but reflect upon the want of that beautiful exercise of the spirit which, listening to precepts and parables in Holy Writ, delights to find for them practical illustrations in the political and social world about you. We know you would not think of going to church in masquerade—of reading certain lines and making certain responses as a bit of Sabbath ceremony, as necessary to a respectable appearance as a Sabbath shaving. No; you are far away from the elegances of hypocrisy, and do not time your religion from eleven till one, making devotion a matter of the church clock. By no means. You go to hear, it may be, the Bishop of EXETER; and as we have premised, what a beautiful exercise for the intellect to discover in the political doings of his Grace—in those acts which ultimately knock at your cupboard-doors—only a practical illustration of the divine precept of doing unto all men as ye would they should do unto you! Well, you pray for your daily bread; and with a profane thought of the price of the four pound loaf, your feelings are suddenly attuned to gratitude towards those who regulate the price of British corn. We might run through the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation, quoting a thousand benevolences illustrated by the rich and mighty of this land—illustrated politically, socially, and morally, in their conduct towards the poor and destitute of Britain; and yet the stiffnecked pauper will not dispose his Sabbath to self-enjoyment—will not go to church to be rejoiced! By such disobedience, one would almost think that the poor were wicked enough to consider the church discipline of the Sabbath as no more than a ceremonious mockery of their six days wants and wretchedness.
The magistrates—(would we knew their names, we would hang them up in the highways like the golden bracelets of yore)—who have made John Jones religious through his pocket, are men of comprehensive genius. There is no wickedness that they would not make profitable to the Church. Hence, it appears from Lord BROUGHAM’S speech that John Jones “was guilty of other excesses, and had been sent to prison for a violation of that dormant—he wished he could say of it obsolete—law!” There being “other excesses” for which, it appears, there is no statute remedy, the magistrates commit a piece of pious injustice, and lump sundry laical sins into the one crime against the Church. John Jones,—for who shall conceive the profanity of man?—may have called one of these magistrates “goose” or “jackass;” and the offence against the justice is a contempt of the parson. After this, can the race of John Joneses fail to venerate Christianity as recommended by the Bench?
We have a great admiration of English Law, yet in the present instance, we think she shares very unjustly with Mother Church. For instance, Church in its meekness, says to John Jones, “You come not to my house on Sunday: pay a shilling.” John Jones refuses. “What!” exclaims Law—“refuse the modest request of my pious sister? Refuse to give her a little shilling! Give me fourteen.” Hence, in this Christian country, law is of fourteen times the consequence of religion.
Applauding as we do the efforts of the magistrates quoted by Lord BROUGHAM in the cause of Christianity, we yet conscientiously think their system capable of improvement. When the Rustic Police shall be properly established, we think they should be empowered to seize upon all suspected non-church goers every Saturday night, keeping them in the station-houses until Sunday morning, and then marching them, securely handcuffed, up the middle aisle of the parish church. ’Twould be a touching sight for Mr. PLUMPTREE, and such hard-sweating devotees. For the benefit of old offenders, we would also counsel a little wholesome private whipping in the vestry.
MR. SANCHO BULL AND HIS STATE PHYSICIAN.
“Though surrounded with luxuries, the Doctor would not allow Sancho to partake of them, and dismissed each dish as it was brought in by the servants.”—Vide DON QUIXOTE.
Sweet Autumn days, sweet Autumn days,
When, harvest o’er, the reaper slumbers,
How gratefully I hymn your praise,
In modest but melodious numbers.
But if I’m ask’d why ’tis I make
Autumn the theme of inspiration,
I’ll tell the truth, and no mistake—
With Autumn comes the long vacation.
Of falsehoods I’ll not shield me with a tissue—
Autumn I love—because no writs then issue.
Others may hail the joys of Spring,
When birds and buds alike are growing;
Some the Summer days may sing,
When sowing, mowing, on are going.
Old Winter, with his hoary locks,
His frosty face and visage murky,
May suit some very jolly cocks,
Who like roast-beef, mince-pies, and turkey:
But give me Autumn—yes, I’m Autumn’s child—
For then—no declarations can be filed.
Tom Connor was a perfect specimen of the happy, careless, improvident class of Irishmen who think it “time enough to bid the devil good morrow when they meet him,” and whose chief delight seems to consist in getting into all manner of scrapes, for the mere purpose of displaying their ingenuity of getting out of them again. Tom, at the time I knew him, had passed the meridian of his life; “he had,” as he used to say himself, “given up battering,” and had luckily a small annuity fallen to him by the demise of a considerate old aunt who had kindly popped off in the nick of time. And on this independence Tom had retired to spend all that remained to him of a merry life at a pleasant little sea-port town in the West of Ireland, celebrated for its card-parties and its oyster-clubs. These latter social meetings were held by rotation at the houses of the members of the club, which was composed of the choicest spirits of the town. There Doctor McFadd, relaxing the dignity of professional reserve, condescended to play practical jokes on Corney Bryan, the bothered exciseman; and Skinner, the attorney, repeated all Lord Norbury’s best puns, and night after night told how, at some particular quarter sessions, he had himself said a better thing than ever Norbury uttered in his life. But the soul of the club was Tom Connor—who, by his inexhaustible fund of humorous anecdotes and droll stories, kept the table in a roar till a late hour in the night, or rather to an early hour in the morning. Tom’s stories usually related to adventures which had happened to himself in his early days; and as he had experienced innumerable vicissitudes of fortune, in every part of the world, and under various characters, his narratives, though not remarkable for their strict adherence to truth, were always distinguished by their novelty.
One evening the club had met as usual, and Tom had mixed his first tumbler of potheen punch, after “the feast of shells” was over, when somebody happened to mention the name of Edmund Kean, with the remark that he had once played in a barn in that very town.
“True enough,” said Tom. “I played in the same company with him.”
“You! you!” exclaimed several voices.
“Of course; but that was when I was a strolling actor in Clark’s corps. We used to go the western circuit, and by that means got the name of ‘the Connaught Rangers.’ There was a queer fellow in the company, called Ned Davis, an honest-hearted fellow he was, as ever walked in shoe leather. Ned and I were sworn brothers; we shared the same bed, which was often only a ‘shake-down’ in the corner of a stable, and the same dinner, which was at times nothing better than a crust of brown bread and a draught of Adam’s ale. I’ll trouble you for the bottle, doctor. Thank you; may I never take worse stuff from your hands. Talking of Ned Davis, I’ll tell you, if you have no objection of a strange adventure which befel us once.”
“Bravo! bravo! bravo!” was the unanimous cry from the members.
“Silence, gentlemen!” said the chairman imperatively; “silence for Mr. Connor’s story.”
“Hem! Well then, some time about the year—never mind the year—Ned and I were playing with the company at Loughrea; business grew bad, and the salaries diminished with the houses, until at last, one morning at a rehearsal, the manager informed us that, in consequence of the depressed state of the drama in Galway, the treasury would be closed until further notice, and that he had come to the resolution to depart on the following morning for Castlebar, whither he requested the company to follow him without delay. Fancy my consternation at this unexpected announcement! I mechanically thrust my hands into my pockets, but they were completely untenanted. I rushed home to our lodgings, where I had left Ned Davis; he, I knew, had received a guinea the day before, upon which I rested my hopes of deliverance. I found him fencing with his walking-stick with an imaginary antagonist, whom he had in his mind pinned against a closet-door. I related to him the sudden move the manager had made, and told him, in the most doleful voice conceivable, that I was not possessed of a single penny. As soon as I had finished, he dropped into a chair, and burst into a long-continued fit of laughter, and then looked in my face with the most provoking mock gravity, and asked—
“What’s to be done then? How are we to get out of this?”
“Why,” said I, “that guinea which you got yesterday!”
“Ho! ho! ho! ho!” he shouted. “The guinea is gone.”
“Gone!” I exclaimed; and I felt my knees began to shake under me. “Gone—where—how.”
“I gave it to the wife of that poor devil of a scene-shifter who broke his arm last week; he had four children, and they were starving. What could I do but give it to them? Had it been ten times as much they should have had it.”
I don’t know what reply I made, but it had the effect of producing another fit of uncontrollable laughter.
“Why do you laugh,” said I, rather angrily.
“Who the devil could help it;” he replied; “your woe-begone countenance would make a cat laugh.”
“Well,” said I, “we are in a pretty dilemma here. We owe our landlady fifteen shillings.”
“For which she will lay an embargo on our little effects—three black wigs and a low-comedy pair of breeches—this must be prevented.”
“But how?” I inquired.
“How? never mind; but order dinner directly.”
“Dinner!” said I; “don’t awaken painful recollections.”
“Go and do as I tell you,” he replied. “Order dinner—beef-steak and oyster-sauce.”
“Beef-steak! Are you mad”—but before I could finish the sentence, he had put on his hat and disappeared.
“Who knows?” thought I, after he was gone, “he’s a devilish clever fellow, something may turn up:” so I ordered the beef-steaks. In less than an hour, my friend returned with exultation in his looks.
“I have done it!” said he, slapping me on the back; “we shall have plenty of money to-morrow.”
I begged he would explain himself.
“Briefly then,” said he, “I have been to the billiard-room, and every other lounging-place about town, where I circulated, in the most mysterious manner, a report that a celebrated German doctor and philosopher, who had discovered the secret of resuscitating the dead, had arrived in Loughrea.”
“How ridiculous!” I said.
“Don’t be in a hurry. This philosopher,” he added, “is about to give positive proof that he can perform what he professes, and it is his intention to go into the churchyard to-night, and resuscitate a few of those who have not been buried more than a twelvemonth.”
“Well.” said I, “what does all this nonsense come to?”
“That you must play the philosopher in the churchyard.”
“Certainly, you’re the very figure for the part.”
After some persuasion, and some further development of his plan, I consented to wrap myself in an ample stage-cloak, and gliding into the churchyard, I waited in the porch according to the directions I had received from Ned, until near midnight, when I issued forth, and proceeded to examine the different tombs attentively. I was bending over one, which, by the inscription, I perceived had been erected by “an affectionate and disconsolate wife, to the memory of her beloved husband,” when I was startled at hearing a rustling noise, and, on looking round, to see a stout-looking woman standing beside me.
“Doctor,” said she, addressing me, “I know what you’re about here.”
I shook my head solemnly.
“This is my poor late husband’s tomb.”
“I know it,” I answered. “I mean to exercise my art upon him first. He shall be restored to your arms this very night.”
The widow gave a faint scream—“I’m sure, doctor,” said she, “I’m greatly obliged to you. Peter was the best of husbands—but he has now been dead six months—and—I am—married again.”
“Humph!” said I, “the meeting will be rather awkward, but you may induce your second husband to resign.”
“No, no, doctor; let the poor man rest quietly, and here is a trifle for your trouble.” So saying, she slipped a weighty purse into my hand.
“This alters the case,” said I, “materially—your late husband shall never be disturbed by me.”
The widow withdrew with a profusion of acknowledgments; and scarcely had she gone, when a young fellow, who I learned had lately come into possession of a handsome property by the death of an uncle, came to request me not to meddle with the deceased, who he assured me was a shocking old curmudgeon, who never spent his money like a gentleman. A douceur from the young chap secured the repose of his uncle.
My next visitor was a weazel-faced man, who had been plagued for twenty years by a shrew of a wife, who popped off one day from an overdose of whiskey. He came to beseech me not to bring back his plague to the world; and, pitying the poor man’s case, I gave him my promise readily, without accepting a fee.
By this time daylight had begun to appear, and creeping quietly out of the churchyard, I returned to my lodgings. Ned was waiting up for my return.
“What luck?” said he, as I entered the room.
I showed him the fees I had received during the night.
“I told you,” said he, “that we should have plenty of rhino to-day. Never despair, man, there are more ways out of the wood than one: and recollect, that ready wit is as good as ready money.”
Embryology precedes the treatise on the perfect animal; it is but right, therefore, that the new man should have our attention before the mature student.
No sooner do the geese become asphyxiated by torsion of their cervical vertebrae, in anticipation of Michaelmas-day; no sooner do the pheasants feel premonitory warnings, that some chemical combinations between charcoal, nitre, and sulphur, are about to take place, ending in a precipitation of lead; no sooner do the columns of the newspapers teem with advertisements of the ensuing courses at the various schools, each one cheaper, and offering more advantages than any of the others; the large hospitals vaunting their extended field of practice, and the small ones ensuring a more minute and careful investigation of disease, than the new man purchases a large trunk and a hat-box, buys a second-hand copy of Quain’s Anatomy, abjures the dispensing of his master’s surgery in the country, and placing himself in one of those rattling boxes denominated by courtesy second-class carriages, enters on the career of a hospital pupil in his first season.
The opening lecture introduces the new man to his companions, and he is easily distinguished at that annual gathering of pupils, practitioners, professors, and especially old hospital governors, who do a good deal in the gaiter-line, and applaud the lecturer with their umbrellas, as they sit in the front row. The new man is known by his clothes, which incline to the prevalent fashion of the rural districts he has quitted; and he evinces an affection for cloth-boots, or short Wellingtons with double soles, and toes shaped like a toad’s mouth, a propensity which sometimes continues throughout the career of his pupilage. He likewise takes off his hat when he enters the dissecting-room, and thinks that beautiful design is shown in the mechanism and structure of the human body—an idea which gets knocked out of him at the end of the season, when he looks upon the distribution of the nerves as “a blessed bore to get up, and no use to him after he has passed.” But at first he perpetually carries a
under his arm; and whether he is engaged upon a subject or no, delights to keep on his black apron, pockets, and sleeves (like a barber dipped in a blacking-bottle), the making of which his sisters have probably superintended in the country, and which he thinks endows him with an air of industry and importance.
The new man, at first, is not a great advocate for beer; but this dislike may possibly arise from his having been compelled to stand two pots upon the occasion of his first dissection. After a time, however, he gives way to the indulgence, having received the solemn assurances of his companions that it is absolutely necessary to preserve his health, and keep him from getting the collywobbles in his pandenoodles—a description of which obstinate disease he is told may be found in “Dr. Copland’s Medical Dictionary,” and “Gregory’s Practice of Physic,” but as to under what head the informant is uncertain.
The first purchase that a new man makes in London is a gigantic note-book, a dozen steel pens on a card, and a screw inkstand. Furnished with these valuable adjuncts to study, he puts down every thing he hears during the day, both in the theatre of the school and the wards of the hospital, besides many diverting diagrams and anecdotes which his fellow-students insert for him, until at night he has a confused dream that the air-pump in the laboratory is giving a party, at which various scalpels, bits of gums, wax models, tourniquets, and fœtal skulls, are assisting as guests—an eccentric and philosophical vision, worthy of the brain from which it emanates. But the new man is, from his very nature, a visionary. His breast swells with pride at the introductory lecture, when he hears the professor descant upon the noble science he and his companions have embarked upon; the rich reward of watching the gradual progress of a suffering fellow-creature to convalescence, and the insignificance of worldly gain compared with the pure treasures of pathological knowledge; whilst to the riper student all this resolves itself into the truth, that three draughts, or one mixture, are respectively worth four-and-sixpence or three shillings: that the patient should be encouraged to take them as long as possible, and that the thrilling delight of ushering another mortal into existence, after being up all night, is considerably increased by the receipt of the tin for superintending the performance; i.e. if you are lucky enough to get it.
It is not improbable that, after a short period, the new man will write a letter home. The substance of it will be as follows: and the reader is requested to preserve a copy, as it may, perhaps, be compared with another at a future period.
“MY DEAR PARENTS,—I am happy to inform you that my health is at present uninjured by the atmosphere of the hospital, and that I find I am making daily progress in my studies. I have taken a lodging in —— (Gower-place, University-street, Little Britain, or Lant-street, as the case may be,) for which I pay twelve shillings a week, including shoes. The mistress of the house is a pious old lady, and I am very comfortable, with the exception that two pupils live on the floor above me, who are continually giving harmonic parties to their friends, and I am sometimes compelled to request they will allow me to conclude transcribing my lecture notes in tranquillity—a request, I am sorry to say, not often complied with. The smoke from their pipes fills the whole house, and the other night they knocked me up two hours after I had retired to rest, for the loan of the jug of cold water from my washhand-stand, to make grog with, and a ‘Little Warbler,’ if I had one, with the words of ‘The Literary Dustman’ in it.
“Independently of these annoyances, I get on pretty well, and have already attracted the notice of my professors, who return my salutation very condescendingly, and tell me to look upon them rather as friends than teachers. The students here, generally speaking, are a dissipated and irreligious set of young men; and I can assure you I am often compelled to listen to language that quite makes my ears tingle. I have found a very decent washerwoman, who mends for me as well; but, unfortunately, she washes for the house, and the initials of one of the students above me are the same as mine, so that I find our things are gradually changing hands, in which I have the worst, because his shirts and socks are somewhat dilapidated, or, to speak professionally, their fibrous texture abounds in organic lesions; and the worst is, he never finds out the error until the end of the week, when he sends my things back, with his compliments, and thinks the washerwoman has made a mistake.
“I have not been to the theatres yet, nor do I feel the least wish to enter into any of the frivolities of the great metropolis. With kind regards to all at home, believe me,
A valuable porcelain vase, which stood in one of the state rooms of Windsor Castle, has been recently broken; it is suspected by design, as the situation in which it was placed almost precludes the idea that it could have happened by accident. A commission, called “The Flunky Inquisition,” has been appointed by Sir Robert Peel, with Sibthorp at its head, to inquire into the affair. The gallant Colonel declares that he has personally cross-examined all the housemaids, but that he has hitherto been unable to obtain a satisfactory solution of
SIR ROBERT PEEL’S workmen inside the House of Parliament have determined to follow the example of the masons outside the House, if Mr. Wakley is to be appointed their foreman.
Last night an inquest was held on the Consistency of Thomas Wakley, Esq., Member for Finsbury, and Coroner for Middlesex. The deceased had been some time ailing, but his demise was at length so sudden, that it was deemed necessary to public justice that an inquest should be taken of the unfortunate remains.
The inquest was held at the Vicar of Bray tap, Palace Yard; and the jury, considering the neighbourhood, was tolerably respectable. The remains of the deceased were in a dreadful state of decomposition; and although chloride of lime and other antiseptic fluids were plentifully scattered in the room, it was felt to be a service of danger to approach too closely to the defunct. Many members of Parliament were in attendance, and all of them, to a man, appeared very visibly shocked by the appearance of the body. Indeed they all of them seemed to gather a great moral lesson from the corpse. “We know not whose turn it may be next,” was printed in the largest physiognomical type in every member’s countenance.
Thomas Duncombe, Esq., Member for Finsbury, examined—Had known the deceased for some years. Had the highest notion of the robustness of his constitution. Would have taken any odds upon it. Deceased, however, within these last three or four weeks had flighty intervals. Talked very much about the fine phrenological development of Sir Robert Peel’s skull. Had suspicions of the deceased from that moment. Deceased had been carefully watched, but to no avail. Deceased inflicted a mortal wound upon himself on the first night of Sir Robert’s premiership; and though he continued to rally for many evenings, he sunk the night before last, after a dying speech of twenty minutes.
Colonel Sibthorp, Member for Lincoln, examined—Knew the deceased. Since the accession of Sir Robert Peel to power had had many conversations with the deceased upon the ministerial bench. Had offered snuff-box to the deceased. Deceased did not snuff. Deceased had said that he thought witness a man of high parliamentary genius, and that Sir Robert Peel ought to have made him (witness) either Lord Chamberlain or Chancellor of the Exchequer. In every other respect, deceased behaved himself quite rationally.
There were at least twenty other witnesses—Members of the House of Commons—in attendance to be examined; but the Coroner put it to the jury whether they had not heard enough?
The jury assented, and immediately returned a verdict—Felo de se.
N.B. A member for Finsbury wanted next dissolution.
A member of the American legislature, remarkable for his absence of mind, exhibited a singular instance of this mental infirmity very lately. Having to present a petition to the house, he presented himself instead, and did not discover his mistake until he was
When erst the Whigs were in, and I was out,
I knew exactly what to be about;
Then all I had to do, through thick and thin,
Was but to get them out, and Bobby in.
And now that I am in, and they are out,
The only thing that I can be about
Is to do nothing; but, through thick and thin,
Contrive to keep them out, and Bobby in.
Oh! think not all who call thee fair
Are in their honied words sincere;
And if they offer jewels rare,
Lend not too readily thine ear.
The humble ring I lately gave
May be despised by thee—well, let it;
But Mary, when I’m in my grave,
Think that I pawn’d my watch to get it.
Others may talk of feasts of love,
And banqueting upon thy charms;
But did not I devotion prove,
Last Sunday, at the Stanhope Arms?
My rival order’d tea for four,
The waiter at his bidding laid it;
He generously ran the score,
But, Mary, I did more,—I paid it.
I know he’s dashing, bold, and free,
A front of Jove, an eye of fire;
But should he say he loves like me,
I’d, like Apollo, strike the lyre.
He says, he at your feet will throw
His all; and, if his vows are steady,
He cannot equal me—for, oh!
I’ve given you all I had, already.
Mary, I had a second suit
Of clothes, of which the coat was braided;
Mary, they went to buy that flute
With which I thee have serenaded.
Mary, I had a beaver hat,
Than this I wear a great deal better;
Mary, I’ve parted too with that,
For pens, ink, paper—for this letter.
Dear PUNCH,—Will you inform me whether the review of the troops noticed in last Saturday’s Times, is to be found in the “Edinborough,” “Westminster,” or “Quarterly.”
Yours, in all mayoralties,
P.S.—What do they mean by
Sir Bobby Peel, who, before he got into harness, professed himself able to draw the Government truck “like bricks,” has changed his note since he has been put to the trial, and he is now bawling lustily—“Don’t hurry me, please—give me a little time.” Wakley, seeing the pitiable condition of the unfortunate animal, volunteered his services to push behind, and the Chartist and Tory may now be seen every night in St. Stephen’s, working cordially together, and exhibiting an illustration of the benefits of a
Why is a loud laugh in the House of Commons like Napoleon Buonaparte?—Because it’s an M.P. roar (an Emperor).
Why is a person getting rheumatic like one locking a cupboard-door?—Because he’s turning achy (a key).
Why is one-and-sixpence like an aversion to coppers?—Because it’s hating pence (eighteen-pence).
Mysterious are thy ways, O Yates! Thou art the only true melodramatist of the stage and off the stage! When a new demonology is compiled thou shalt have an honourable place in it. Thou shall be worshipped as the demon of novelty, even by the “gods” themselves. Thy deeds shall be recorded in history. It shall not be forgotten that thou wert the importer of Mademoiselle Djeck, the tame elephant; of Monsieur Bohain, the gigantic Irishman; and of Signor Hervi o’Nano, the Cockneyan-Italian dwarf. Never should we have seen the Bayaderes but for you; nor T.P. Cooke in “The Pilot,” nor the Bedouin Arabs, nor “The Wreck Ashore,” nor “bathing and sporting” nymphs, nor other dramatic delicacies. Truly, thou art the luckiest of managers; for all thy efforts succeed, whether they deserve it or not. Sometimes thou drawest up an army of scene-painters, mechanists, dancers, monsters, dwarfs, devils, fire-works, and water-spouts, in terrible array against common sense. Yet lo! thou dost conquer! Thy pieces never miss fire; they go on well with the public, and favourable are the press reports. Wert thou a Catholic thou wouldest be canonised; for evil spirits are thy passion; the Vatican itself cannot produce a more indefatigable “devils’ advocate!”
The repast now provided by Mr. Yates for those who are fond of “supping full of horrors” is a devilled drama, interspersed with hydraulics— consisting, in fact, of spirits and water, sweetened with songs and spiced with witches. It is, we are informed by the official announcements, “a romantic burletta of witchcraft, in two acts, and a prologue, with entirely new scenery, dresses, and peculiar appointments, imagined by, and introduced under the direction of, Mr. Yates.” Now, any person, entirely unprejudiced with a taste for devilry and free from hydrophobia, who sees this production, must have an unbounded opinion of the manager’s imagination,—what a head he must have for aquatic effects! In vain we look around for its parallel—nothing but the New River head suggests itself.
But our preface is detaining us from the “prologue;” the first words in which stamp the entire production with originality. Assassins, who let themselves out by the job, have long been pleasantly employed in melodramas, being mostly enacted by performers in the heavy line; but the author of “Die Hexen am Rhein” introduces a character hitherto unknown to the stage; namely, the comic cut-throat. Messieurs Gabor and Wolfstein, (played by Mr. Wright, and the immortal Geoffery Muffincap, Mr. Wilkinson), treat us with a dialogue concerning the blowing out of brains, and the incision of weasands, which is conceived and delivered with the broadest humour, enlivened by the choicest of jokes. They have, we learn, been lately commissioned by Ottocar to murder Rudolph, the exiled Duke of Hapsburgh, who is to pass that way; but he does not come, because his kind kinsman, Ottocar, must have time to consult the god-fathers and god-mothers of the piece, or “Witches of the Rhine;” which he does in the “storm-reft hut of Zabaren.” This Zabaren is a hospitable gentleman, who sings a good song, sees much company, and is played by that convivial genius Paul Bedford. Ottocar is introduced amongst other friends to a “speaking spirit,” who, being personated by Miss Terrey, utters a terrible prediction. We could not quite make out the purport of this augury; nor were we much grieved at the loss; feeling assured that the next two acts would be occupied in fulfilling it. The funny bravoes present themselves in the next scene, and exit to stab one of two brothers, who goes off evidently for that purpose, judiciously coming back to die in the arms of Count Rudolph, for whom he has been mistaken. Under such circumstances it is but fair that the prince should repay the obligation he owes his friend for being killed in his stead, by promising protection to the widow and child. The oath he takes would be doubly binding (for he promises to become a brother to the wife, and not content with thus making himself the child’s uncle, swears to be his father too), if the husband did not die before he has had time to utter his wife’s name. All these affairs having been settled, the prologue—which used to be called the first act—ends.
Fifteen years are supposed to elapse before the curtain is again rolled up; and that this allusion may be rendered the more perfect, the audience is kept waiting about three times fifteen minutes, to amuse one another during the entr’acte. We next learn that Rudolph is seated upon his ducal throne, fortunate in the possession of a paragon-wife, and a steward of the household not to be equalled—no other than Ottocar—that particular friend, who, in the prologue, tried to get a finis put to his mortal career. The jocose ruffians here enliven the scene—one by being cast into a dungeon for asking Ottocar (evidently the Colburn of his day), an exorbitant price for the copyright of a certain manuscript; the other, by calling the courtier a man of genius, and being taken into his service, as no doubt, “first robber.” To support this character, a change of apparel is necessary: and no wonder, for Wolfstein has on precisely the same clothes he wore fifteen years before.
His first job is to steal a casket; but is declined, probably, because Wolfstein, being a professor of the capital crime, considers mere larceny infra dig. A “second robber” must therefore be hired, and Ottocar has one already preserved in the castle dungeons, in the person of a dumb prisoner. Dummy comes on, and the auditors at once recognise the “brother” who was not murdered in the prologue. He steals the casket, and Ottocar steals off.
The duke and duchess next enter into a dialogue, the subject of which is one Wilhelm, a young standard-bearer, who appears; and having said a few words exits, that Ida, the duchess, might inform us, in a soliloquy, what we have already shrewdly suspected, namely—that the ensign is her son; another presentiment comes into one’s mind, which one don’t think it fair to the author and his story to entertain till the proper time. A sort of secret interview between the mother and son now takes place, which ends by the imprisonment of the latter; why is not explained at the moment; nor, indeed, till the next scene, when it is quite apparent; for if one sees an impregnable castle, rigidly guarded by supernumeraries, with an impassable river, bristling with chevaux-de-frise it is impossible to get over, and a moat that it would be death to cross, a prison-escape may be surely calculated upon. In the present instance, this formulary is not omitted, for Wilhelm jumps into the river from a bridge which he has contrived to reach. Though several shots are fired into the tank of water that represents the Rhine, there is no hissing; on the contrary, the second act ends amidst general applause; which indeed it deserves, for the scenery is magnificent.
“The Ancient Arch in the Black Forest,” is a sort of house of call for witches, and it being seen during their merry-making, or holiday, is rendered more picturesque by the Devil’s “Ha, ha!” The hospitable Zabaren entertains hundreds of witches, of all sorts and sizes, who dance all manner of country-dances, and sing a series of songs and choruses, in which the “Ha! ha!” is again conspicuously introduced. It seems that German witches not only ride upon brooms, but sweep with them; and a company of supernatural Jack Rags perform sundry gyrations peculiarly interesting to housemaids. After about an hour’s dancing, the witches being naturally “blown,” are just in cue for leaving off with an airy dance called the “witches’ whirlwind.”
This episode over, the plot goes on. Ottocar accuses Ida of infidelity with Wilhelm to the duke; she, in explanation, fulfils the presentiment we had some delicacy in hinting too soon—that she is the wife of the man who was killed in the prologue; Rudolph having married her in ignorance of that fact, and by a coincidence which, though intensely melo-dramatic, every body foresees who has ever been three times to the Adelphi theatre.
To describe the last scene would be the height of presumption in PUNCH. Nobody but “Satan” Montgomery, or the Adelphi play-bill, is equal to the task. We quote, as preferable, the latter authority:—“Grand inauguration of Wilhelm, the rightful heir. CORAL CAVES and CRYSTAL STREAMS: these are actually obtained by a HYDRO-SCENIC EFFECT! As the usual area devoted to illusion becomes a reality!”
Besides all this, which simply means “real water,” there is a Neptune in a car drawn by three sea or ichthyological horses, having fins and web feet. There is a devil that is seen through the whole piece, because he is supposed to be invisible (cleverly played by Mr. Wieland), and who having dived into the water, is fished out of it, and sent flying into the flies. This sending a devil upward, is a new way of
Being dripping wet, the demon in his ascent seriously incommodes Neptune; who, not being used to the water, looks about in great distress, evidently for an umbrella. After several glares of several coloured fires, the curtain falls.
Seriously, the scenic effects of this piece do great credit to Mr. Yates’s “imagination,” and to the handiwork of his “own peculiar artists.” It is very proper that they should be immortalised in the advertisements; by which the public are informed that the scenery is by Pitt, (where is Tomkins?) and others: the machinery by Mr. Hayley, and the lightning by the direction of Mr. Outhwaite! Bat will the public be satisfied with such scanty information? Who, they will ask the manager, rolls the thunder? who supplies the coloured fires? who flashes the lightning? who beats the gong? who grinds up the curtain? Let Mr. Yates be speedy in relieving the breathless curiosity of his patrons on these points, or look to his benches.