The market has been in a most extraordinary state all the morning. Our first advices informed us that feathers were getting very heavy, and that lead was a great deal brisker than usual. In the fish-market, flounders were not so flat as they had been, and, to the surprise of every one, were coming round rapidly.
The deliveries of tallow were very numerous, and gave a smoothness to the transactions of the day, which had a visible effect on business. Every species of fats were in high demand, but the glut of mutton gave a temporary check to the general facility of the ordinary operations.
The milk market is in an unsettled state, the late rains having caused an unusual abundance. A large order for skim, for the use of a parish union, gave liveliness to the latter portion of the day, which had been exceedingly gloomy during the whole morning.
We had a long conversation in the afternoon with a gentleman who is up to every move in the poultry-market, and his opinion is, that the flouring system must soon prove the destruction of fair and fowl commerce. We do not wish to be premature, but our informant is a person in whom we place the utmost reliance, and, indeed, there is every reason why we should depend upon so respectable an authority.
Cotton is in a dull state. We saw only one ball in the market, and even that was not in a dealer’s hands, but was being used by a basket-woman, who was darning a stocking. After this, who can be surprised at the stoppage of the factories?
Nothing was done in gloves, and what few sales were effected, seemed to be merely for the purpose of keeping the hand in, with a view to future dealings.
The study of Geology, in the narrow acceptation of the word, is confined to the investigation of the materials which compose this terrestrial globe;—in its more extended signification, it relates, also, to the examination of the different layers or strata of society, as they are to be met with in the world.
Society is divided into three great strata, called High Life—Middle Life—and Low Life. Each of these strata contains several classes, which have been ranged in the following order, descending from the highest to the lowest—that is, from the drawing-room of St. James’s to the cellar in St. Giles’s.
|High Life.||Superior Class.||ST. JAMES'S SERIES.|
|People wearing coronets.|
|People related to coronets.|
|People having no coronet, but who expect to get one.|
|People who talk of their grandfathers, and keep a carriage.|
|People who keep a carriage, but are silent respecting their grandfathers.|
|Middle Life.||People who give dinners to the superior series.|
|People who talk of the four per cents, and are suspected of being mixed up in a grocery concern in the City.|
|People who “confess the Cape,” and say, that though Pa amuses himself in the dry-salter line in Fenchurch-street, he needn’t do it if he didn’t like.|
|People who keep a shop “concern” and a one-horse shay, and go to Ramsgate for three weeks in the dog-days.|
|Metamorphic Class.||People who keep a “concern,” but no shay, do the genteel with the light porter in livery on solemn occasions.|
|People, known as “shabby-genteels,” who prefer walking to riding, and study Kidd’s “How to live on a hundred a-year.”|
|Low Life.||People who dine at one o’clock, and drink stout out of the pewter, at the White Conduit Gardens.|
|Primitive Formation.||People who think Bluchers fashionable, and ride in pleasure “wans” to Richmond on Sundays in summer.|
|(St. Giles’s group.)|
|Tag-rag and bob-tail in varieties.|
It will be seen, by a glance at the above table, that the three great divisions of society, namely, High Life, Low Life, and Middle Life, are subdivided, or more properly, sub-classed, into the Superior, Transition, and Metamorphic classes. Lower still than these in the social scale is the Primitive Formation—which may be described as the basis and support of all the other classes. The individuals comprising it may be distinguished by their ragged surface, and shocking bad hats; they effervesce strongly with gin or Irish whiskey. This class comprehends the St. Giles’s Group—(which is the lowest of all the others, and is found only in the great London basin)—and that portion of the Whitechapel group whose individuals wear Bluchers and ride in pleasure ‘wans’ to Richmond on Sundays. In man’s economy the St. Giles’s Group are exceedingly important, being usually employed in the erection of buildings, where their great durability and hod-bearing qualities are conspicuous. Next in order is the Metamorphic class—so called, because of the singular metamorphoses that once a week takes place amongst its individuals; their common every-day appearance, which approaches nearly to that of the St. Giles’s Group, being changed, on Sundays, to a variegated-coloured surface, with bright buttons and a shining “four-and-nine”—goss. This class includes the upper portion of the Whitechapel Group, and the two lower strata of the Clapham Group. The Whitechapel Group is the most elevated layer of the inferior series. The Shabby Genteel stratum occupies a wide extent on the Surrey side of the water—it is part of the Clapham Group, and is found in large quantities in the neighbourhood of Kennington, Vauxhall, and the Old Kent-road. A large vein of it is also to be met with at Mile-end and Chelsea. It is the lowest of the secondary formation. This stratum is characterised by its fossil remains—a great variety of miscellaneous articles—such as watches, rings, and silk waistcoats and snuff-boxes being found firmly imbedded in what are technically termed avuncular depositories. The deposition of these matters has been referred by the curious to various causes; the most general supposition being, a peremptory demand for rent, or the like, on some particular occasion, when they were carried either by the owner, his wife, or daughter, from their original to their present position, and left amongst an accumulation of “popped” articles from various districts. The chief evidence on this point is not derived from the fossils themselves, but from their duplicates, which afford the most satisfactory proof of the period at which they were deposited. Articles which appear originally to have belonged to the neighbourhood of Belgrave-square have been frequently found in the depositories of the district between Bethnal-green and Spitalfields. By what social deluge they could have been conveyed to such a distance, is a question that has long puzzled the ablest geologists. Immediately above the “shabby genteel” stratum are found the people who “keep a shop concern, but no shay;” it is the uppermost layer of the Metamorphic Class, and, in some instances, may be detected mingling with the supra-genteel Clapham Group. The “shop and no shay” stratum forms a considerable portion of the London basin. It is characterised by its coarseness of texture, and a conglomeration of the parts of speech. Its animal remains usually consist of retired licensed victuallers and obese tallow-chandlers, who are generally found in beds of soft formation, separated from superincumbent layers of Marseilles quilts, by interposing strata of thick double Witneys.
Having proceeded thus far upwards in the social formation, we shall pause until next week, when we shall commence with the lower portion of the TRANSITION CLASS—the “shop and shay people”—and, as we hope, convince our readers of the immense importance of our subject, and the great advantage of studying the strata of human life
Some person was relating to the Earl of Coventry the strange fact that the Earl of Devon’s harriers last week gave chase, in his demesne, to an unhappy donkey, whom they tore to pieces before they could be called off; upon which his lordship asked for a piece of chalk and a slate, and composed the following jeu d’esprit on the circumstance:—
I’m truly shocked that Devon’s hounds
The gentle ass has slain;
For me to shun his lordship’s grounds,
It seems a warning plain.
It is generally reported that the usual drill continuations of the British tars are about to be altered by those manning the fleet off China, who purpose adopting Nankin as soon as possible.
There is a Quaker in New Orleans so desperate upright in all his dealings, that he won’t sit down to eat his meals.
A sailor ashore, after a long cruise, is a natural curiosity. Twenty-four hours’ liberty has made him the happiest dog in existence; and the only drawback to his perfect felicity, is the difficulty of getting rid of his prize-money within the allotted time. It must, however, be confessed, that he displays a vast deal of ingenuity in devising novel modes of spending his rhino. Watches, trinkets, fiddlers, coaches, grog, and girls, are the long-established and legitimate modes of clearing out his lockers; but even these means are sometimes found inadequate to effect the desired object with sufficient rapidity. When there happens to be a number of brother-tars similarly employed, who have engaged all the coaches, fiddlers, and sweethearts in the town, it is then that Jack is put to his wits’-end; and it is only by buying cocked-hats and top-boots for the boat’s-crew, or some such absurdity, that he can get all his cash scattered before he is obliged to return on board. This is a picture of a sailor ashore, but a sailor aground is a different being altogether. An unlucky shot may deprive him of a leg or arm; he may be frost-nipped at the pole, or get a coup de soleil in the tropics, and then be turned upon the world to shape his course amongst its rocks and shallows, with the bitter blast of poverty in his teeth. But Jack is not to be beaten so easily; although run aground, he refuses to strike his flag, and, with a cheerful heart, goes forth into the highways and byeways to sing “the dangers of the sea,” and, to collect from the pitying passers-by, the coppers that drop, “like angel visits,” into his little oil-skin hat.
These nautical melodists, with voices as rough as their beards, are to be met with everywhere; but they abound chiefly in the neighbourhood of Deptford and Wapping, where they seem to be indigenous. The most remarkable specimen of the class may, however, frequently be seen about the streets of London, carrying at his back a good-sized box, inside which, and peeping through a sort of port-hole, a pretty little girl of some two years old exhibits her chubby face. Surmounting the box, a small model of a frigate, all a-tant and ship-shape, represents “Her Majesty’s (God bless her!) frigate Billy-ruffian, on board o’ which the exhibitor lost his blessed limb.”
Jack—we call him Jack, though we confess we are uncertain of his baptismal appellation—because Jack is a sort of generic name for his species—Jack prides himself on his little Poll and his little ship, which he boasts are the miniature counterparts of their lovely originals; and with these at his back, trudges merrily along, trusting that Providence will help him to “keep a southerly wind out of the bread-bag.” Jack’s songs, as we have remarked, all relate to the sea—he is a complete repository of Dibdin’s choice old ballads and fok’sl chaunts. “Tom Bowling,” “Lovely Nan,” “Poor Jack,” and “Lash’d to the helm,” with “Cease, rude Boreas,” and “Rule Britannia,” are amongst his favourite pieces, but the “Bay of Biscay” is his crack performance: with this he always commenced, when he wanted to enlist the sympathies of his auditors,—mingling with the song sundry interlocutory notes and comments.
Having chosen a quiet street, where the appearance of mothers with blessed babbies in the windows prognosticates a plentiful descent of coppers, Jack commences by pitching his voice uncommonly strong, and tossing Poll and the Billy-ruffian from side to side, to give an idea of the way Neptune sarves the navy,—strikes, as one may say, into deep water, by plunging into “The Bay of Biscay,” in the following manner;—
“Loud roar’d the dreadful thunder—
The rain a deluge pours—
Our sails were split asunder,
By lightning’s vivid pow’rs.
“Do, young gentleman!—toss a copper to poor little Poll. Ah! bless you, master!—may you never want a shot in your locker. Thank the gentleman, Polly—
“The night both drear and dark,
Our poor desarted bark,
There she lay—(lay quiet, Poll!)
“There she lay—Noble lady in the window, look with pity on poor Jack, and his little Polly—till next day,
In the Bay of Biscay O.”
“Pray, kind lady, help the poor shipwrecked sailor—cast away on his voyage to the West Ingees, in a dreadful storm. Sixteen hands on us took to the long-boat, my lady, and was thrown on a desart island, three thousand miles from any land; which island was unfortunately manned by Cannibals, who roast and eat every blessed one of us, except the cook’s black boy; and him they potted, my lady, and I’m bless’d but they’d have potted me, too, if I hadn’t sung out to them savages, in this ‘ere sort of way, my lady—
“Come all you jolly sailors bold,
Whose hearts are cast in honour’s mould,
While British valour I unfold—
Huzza! for the Arethusa!
She was a frigate stout and brave
As ever stemm’d the dashing wave—
“Lord love your honour, and throw the poor sailor who has fought and bled for his country, a trifle to keep him from foundering. Look, your honour, how I lost my precious limb in the sarvice. You see we was in the little Tollymakus frigate, cruising off the banks o’ Newf’land, when we fell in with a saucy Yankee, twice the size of our craft; but, bless your honour, that never makes no odds to British sailors, and so we sarved her out with hot dumpling till she got enough, and forced her to haul down her stripes to the flag of Old England. But somehow, your honour, I caught a chance ball that threw me on my beam-ends, and left me to sing—
“My name d’ye see’s Tom Tough,
And I’ve seen a little sarvice,
Where the mighty billows roll and loud tempests blow,
I’ve sail’d with noble Howe,
And I’ve fought with gallant Jarvis,
And in gallant Duncan’s fleet I’ve sung—yo-heave-oh!”
“A sixpence or a shilling rewards Jack’s loyalty and eloquence. A violent tossing of Polly and the ship testify his gratitude; and pocketing the coin he has collected, he puts about, and shapes his course for some other port, singing lustily as he goes—
“Rule Britannia! Britannia rules the waves!”
Farewell, POOR JACK!
Some of our contemporaries have been dreadfully scandalised at the indelicate scenes which take place on the sands at Ramsgate, where, it seems, a sort of joint-stock social bathing company has been formed by the duckers and divers of both sexes. Situations for obtaining favourable views are anxiously sought after by elderly gentlemen, by whom opera glasses and pocket telescopes are much patronised. Greatly as we admire the investigation of nature in her unadorned simplicity, Ramsgate would be the last place we should select, if we were
OF A NEW GRAND NATIONAL AND UNIVERSAL STEAM INSURANCE, RAILROAD ACCIDENT, AND PARTIAL MUTILATION PROVIDENT SOCIETY.
To be duly balloted for from amongst the Consulting Surgeons of the various Metropolitan hospitals.
The County Coroners.
By the constitution of this society, the whole of the profits will be divided among such of the assured as can come to claim them.
The public are particularly requested to bear in mind the double advantage (so great a desideratum to all railroad travellers) of being at one and the same time connected with a “Fire, Life, and Partial Mutilation Assurance Company.”
The following is offered as a brief synopsis of the general intention of the directors. Deep attention is requested to the various classes:—
Relating to Railroads newly opened, consequently rated trebly doubly hazardous. The rate of insurance will be as follows:—
|Engineer, first six months, total life||90|
|Legs, at per each||74|
|Arms, ditto ditto||60|
|Ribs, per pair, or dozen, as contracted for||55|
|Dislocations and contusions, per score||50|
N.B.—A reduction of seven-and-a-half per cent., made after the first six months.
First class passengers will be allowed ten per cent. for the stuffing of all carriages, except the one immediately next the engine, which will be charged as above.
Same as engineers, but a very liberal allowance made to such as the trains have passed over more than once, and a considerable reduction if scalds are not included.
Exceptions.—All who have five small children, and are only just appointed.
In consequence of these travellers being generally more thickly stowed together, the upper half of them have a chance of escape while crushing those underneath, so that a fair reduction, still leaving a living profit to the directors, may be made in their favour. Thus the terms proposed for effecting their policies will be ten-and-a-half per cent. under the first class.
To meet the views of all parties, insurances may be effected from station to station, or on particular limbs. The following are the rates, the insurers paying down the premium at starting:—
|First Class, leg||1||11||6|
|Second ditto ditto||1||7||9|
|First class, arm||1||0||0|
|Second ditto ditto||0||14||3|
|First Class, bridge of nose (very common with cuts from glass)||0||8||9|
|Second ditto ditto (common with contusions from wooden frames)||0||6||4|
|First Class, teeth each||0||0||9|
|Second Class, ditto||0||0||4¾|
|Necks, where the parties do not carry engraved cards with name and address, First Class||5||5||0|
In all cases where the above sums are received in advance, the Company pledge themselves to allow a handsome discount for cuts, scratches, contusions, &c., &c.
All sums insured for to be paid six months after the death or recovery of the individual.
A contract may be entered into for wooden legs, glass eyes, strapping, bandages, splints, and sticking-plaister.
Several enterprising young men as guards, stokers, engineers, experimental tripists, and surgeons, wanted for immediate consumption.
Apply for qualifications and appointments, to the Branch Office, at the New Highgate Cemetery.
The Tories are, truly, Conservative elves,
For every one knows they take care of themselves.
The public will be delighted to learn, there can be no doubt, as to the elegant acquirements of the various attachés of the new Tory premier. The peculiar avidity with which they one and all appear determined to secure the salaries for their various suppositionary services, must convince the most sceptical that they have carefully studied the art of drawing.
None but Ministers know what Ministers go through for the pure love of their country; no person who has not reposed in the luxuriously-cushioned chairs of the Treasury or Downing-street can conceive the amount of business Sir Robert and his colleagues have transacted during the three months they have been in office. The people, we know, have been crying for bread—the manufacturers are starving—but their rebellious appetites will be appeased—their refractory stomachs will feel comforted, when they are told all that their friends the Tories have been doing for them. How will they blush for their ingratitude when they find that the following great measures have been triumphantly carried through Parliament by Sir Robert’s exertions—The VENTILATING OF THE HOUSE BILL! Think of that, ye thin-gutted weavers of Manchester. Drop down on your marrow-bones, and bless the man who gives your representatives fresh air—though he denies you—a mouthful of coarse food. Then look at his next immense boon—The ROYAL KITCHEN-GARDEN BILL! What matters it that the gaunt fiend Famine sits at your board, when you can console yourselves with the reflection that cucumbers and asparagus will be abundant in the Royal Kitchen Garden! But Sir Robert does not stop here. What follows next?—The FOREIGN BISHOPS’ BILL! See how our spiritual wants are cared for by your tender-hearted Tories—they shudder at the thoughts of Englishmen being fed on foreign corn; but they give them instead, a full supply of Foreign Bishops. After that comes—The REPORT OF THE LUNATICS’ BILL. This important document has been founded on the proceedings in the Upper House, and is likely to be of vast service to the nation at large. Next follows the EXPIRING LAWS’ BILL! We imagine that a slight error has been made in the title of this bill, and that it should be read “Expiring Justice Bill!” As to expiring laws—‘tis all a fallacy. One of the glorious privileges of the English Constitution is, that the laws never expire—neither do the lawyers—they are everlasting. Justice may die in this happy land, but law—never!
Again, there is a little grant of some thousands for Prince Albert’s stables and dog-kennels! Very proper too; these animals must be lodged, ay, and fed; and the people—the creatures whom God made after his own image—the poor wretches who want nothing but a little bread, will lie down hungry and thankful, when they reflect that the royal dogs and horses are in the best possible condition. But we have not yet mentioned the great crowning work of Ministers—the Queen’s speech on the Prorogation of the Parliament last week. What an admirable illustration it was of that profound logical deduction—that, out of nothing comes nothing! Yet it was deduction—that, out of nothing comes nothing! Yet it was not altogether without design, and though some sneering critics have called the old song—the burthen of it was clearly—
MR. SILK BUCKINGHAM being unmercifully reproached by his unhappy publisher upon the dreadful weight of his recent work on America, fortunately espied the youngest son of the enraged and disappointed vendor of volumes actually flying a kite formed of a portion of the first volume. “Heavy,” retorted Silk, “nonsense, sir. Look there! so volatile and exciting is that masterly production, that it has even made that youthful scion of an obdurate line, spite my teetotal feelings,
Perhaps no one operation of frequent recurrence and absolute necessity involves so much mental pain and imaginative uneasiness as the reduction of thoughts to paper, for the furtherance of epistolatory correspondence. Some great key-stone to this abstruse science—some accurate data from which all sorts and conditions of people may at once receive instruction and assistance, has been long wanting.
Letter-writers, in general, may be divided into two great classes, viz.: those who write to ask favours, and those who write to refuse them. There is a vague notion extant, that in former days a third genus existed—though by no means proportionate to the other two—they were those who wrote “to grant favours;” these were also remarkable for enclosing remittances and paying the double postage—at least, so we are assured; of our knowledge, we can advance nothing concerning them and their (to us) supposititious existence, save our conviction that the race has been long extinct.
Those who write to ask, may be divided into—
Those who write to refuse, are
We are confident of ensuring the everlasting gratitude of the above parties by laying before them the proper formulæ for their respective purposes; and, therefore, as all the world is composed of two great classes, which, though they run into various ramifications, still retain their original distinguishing characteristics—namely, that of being either “debtors” or “creditors”—we will give the general information necessary for the construction of their future effusions.
From a wine-merchant, being a creditor, to a right honourable, being a debtor.
Verjuice-lane, City, January 17, 1841.
MY LORD,—I have done myself the honour of forwarding your lordship a splendid sample of exquisite Frontignac, trusting it will be approved of by your lordship. I remain, enclosing your lordship’s small account, the payment of which will be most acceptable to your lordship’s most
Obedient very humble servant,
The sample is tolerable—send in thirty dozen—add them to your account—and let my steward have them punctually on December 17, 1849.
P.S.—I expect you’ll allow discount.
From a creditor, being a “victim,” “schneider,” “sufferer,” or “tailor,” to one who sets off his wares by wearing the same, being consequently a debtor.
HONOURED SIR,—I can scarcely express my delight at your kind compliments as to the fit and patterns of the last seventy-three summer waistcoats; the rest of the order is in hand. I enclose a small account of 490l. odd, which will just meet a heavy demand. Will you, sir, forward the same by return of post, to your obliged and devoted
ADOLPHUS JULIO BACKSTITCH.
P. Pink, Esq., &c. &c.
You be d—d, Backstitch.
From a constituent in the country, being a creditor “upon promises,” to a returned member of Parliament in town.
Bumbleton Butts, April 1, 1841.
DEAR SIR,—The enthusiastic delight myself (an humble individual) and the immense body of your enraptured constituents felt upon reading your truly patriotic, statesman-like, learned, straightforward and consistent speech, may be conceived by a person of your immense parliamentary imagination, but cannot be expressed by my circumscribed vocabulary. In stating that my trifling exertions for the return of such a patriot are more than doubly recompensed by your noble conduct, may I be allowed to suggest the earnest wish of my eldest son to be in town, for the pleasure of being near such a representative, which alone induces him to accept the situation of landing-waiter you so kindly insisted upon his preparing for. You will, I am sure, be happy to learn, the last baby, as you desired is christened after:—“the country’s, the people’s, nay, the world’s member!”
Believe me, with united regards from Mrs. F. and Joseph, ever your staunch supporter and admirer,
To Gripe Gammon, Esq., M.P.
DEAR AND KIND CONSTITUENT,—I am more than happy. My return for your borough has satisfied you, my country, and myself! What can I say more? Pray give both my names to the dear innocent. Be careful in the spelling, two “M’s” in Gammon, one following the A, the other preceding the O, and immediately next to the final N. I think I have now answered every point of your really Junisean letter. Let me hear from you soon—you cannot TOO SOON—and believe me,
My dear Funk, yours ever,
Funk Flat, Esq., &c. &c.
Bumbleton Butts, April 4, 1841.
MY DEAR FRIEND AND PATRON,—All’s right, the two M’s are in their places, when will Joe be in his? I know your heart; pray excuse my earnestness, but oblige me with an early answer. Joe is dying to be near so kind, so dear, so sincere a friend.
More devotedly than ever yours,
G. Gammon, Esq., M.P., &c. &c.
How can I express my feelings? My name, mine engrafted on the innocent offspring of the thoroughbred Funks, evermore to be by them and their heirs handed down to posterity! How I rejoice at that circumstance, and the intelligence I have so happily received about the wretched situation you speak of. Fancy, Funk, fancy the man, your son, in a moment of rashness, I meant to succeed, died of a sore-throat! an infallible disorder attendant upon the duties of those d—d landing-waiterships. What an escape we have had! The place is given to my butler, so there’s no fear. Kiss the child, and believe me ever,
Your sincere and much relieved friend,
To Funk Flat, Esq., &c. &c.
From this time forward the correspondence, like “Irish reciprocity,” is “all on one side.” It generally consists of four-and-twenty letters from the constituent in the country to the returned member in town. As these are never opened, all that is required is a well-written direction, on a blank sheet of paper.
DEAR FATHER,—Studies continued—(blot)—profession—future hopes—application—increased expenses—irate landlady—small remittance—duty—love—say twenty-five pounds—best wishes—sister, mother, all at home.
Delighted—assiduity—future fortune—great profession!—Increase of family—no cash—best prayers, sister, mother.
N.B. By altering the relative positions and sexes, the above is good for all relations! If writing to nabob, more flattery in letter of asker. Strong dose of oaths in refuser’s answer.
MY DEAR TOM,—How are you, old fellow? Here I am, as happy as a prince; that is, I should be if you were with me. You know when we first met! what a time it was! do you remember? How the old times come back, and really almost the same circumstances! Pray do you recollect I wanted one hundred and fifty then? isn’t it droll I do now? Send me your check, or bring it yourself.
T. Tims, Esq.
OLD FELLOW,—Glad to hear you are so fresh! Give you joy—wish I was with you, but can’t come. Damn the last Derby—regularly stump’d—cleaned out—and done Brown!—not a feather to fly with! Need I say how sorry I am. Here’s your health in Burgundy. Must make a raise for my Opera-box and a new tilbury. Just lost my last fifty at French hazard.
Ever, your most devoted friend,
F. Smith, Esq.
At the little town of Stocksbawler, on the Lower Rhine, in the year of grace 1830, resided one Hans Scrapschins, an industrious and close-shaving barber. His industry met with due encouragement from the bearded portion of the community; and the softer sex, whose greatest fault is fickleness, generally selected Hans for the honour of new-fronting them, when they had grown tired of the ringlets nature had bestowed and which time had frosted.
Hans continued to shave and thrive, and all the careful old burghers foretold of his future well-doing; when he met with a misfortune, which promised for a time to shut up his shop and leave him a beggar. He fell in love.
Neighbours warned Hans of the consequences of his folly; but all remonstrance was vain. Customers became scarce, wearing out their patience and their wigs together; the shop became dirty, and winter saw the flies of summer scattered on his show-board.
Agnes Flirtitz was the prettiest girl in Stocksbawler. Her eyes were as blue as a summer’s sky, her cheeks as rosy as an autumn sunset, and her teeth as white as winter’s snow. Her hair was a beautiful flaxen—not a drab—but that peculiar sevenpenny-moist-sugar tint which the poets of old were wont to call golden. Her voice was melodious; her notes in alt were equal to Grisi’s: in short, she would have been a very desirable, loveable young lady, if she had not been a coquette.
Hans met her at a festival given in commemoration of the demise of the burgomaster’s second wife—I beg pardon, I mean in celebration of his union with his third bride. From that day Hans was a lost barber. Sleeping, waking, shaving, curling, weaving, or powdering, he thought of nothing but Agnes. His love-dreams placed him in all kinds of awkward predicaments. And Agnes—what thought she of the unhappy barber? Nothing, except that he was a presumptuous puppy, and wore very unfashionable garments. Hans received an intimation of this latter opinion; and, after sundry quailings and misgivings, he resolved to dispose of his remaining stock in trade, and, for once, dress like a gentleman. The measure had been taken by the tailor, the garments had been basted and tried on, and Hans was standing at his door in a state of feverish excitement, awaiting their arrival in a completed condition (as there was to be fête on the morrow, at which Agnes was to be present), when a stranger requested to be shaved. Hans wished him at the —— next barber’s; but there was something so unpleasantly positive in the visitor’s appearance, that he had not the power to object, so politely bowed him into the shop. The stranger removed his cap, and discovered two very ugly protuberances, one on each side of his head, and of most unphrenological appearance. Hans commenced operations—the lather dried as fast as he laid it on, and the razor emitted small sparks as it encountered the bristles on the stranger’s chin, Hans felt particularly uncomfortable, and not a word had hitherto passed on either side, when the stranger broke the ice by asking, rather abruptly, “Have you any schnapps in the house?” Hans jumped like a parched pea. Without waiting for a reply, the stranger rose and opened the cupboard. “I never take anything stronger than water,” said Hans, in reply, to the “pshaw!” which broke from the stranger’s lips as he smelt at the contents of a little brown pitcher. “More fool you,” replied his customer. “Here taste that—some of the richest grape-blood of Rheingau;” and he handed Hans a small flask, which the sober barber respectfully declined. “Ha! ha! and yet you hope to thrive with the women,” said the stranger. “No wonder that Agnes treats you as she does. But drink, man! drink!”
The stranger took a pipe, and coolly seated himself again in his chair, hung one leg over the back of another, and striking his finger briskly down his nose, elicited a flame that ignited his tobacco, and then he puffed, and puffed, till every moth in the shop coughed aloud. The uneasiness of Hans increased, and he looked towards the door with the most cowardly intention; and, lo! two laughing, dimpled faces, were peeping in at them. “Ha! how are you?” said the stranger; “come in! come in!” and to Hans’ horror, two very equivocal damsels entered the shop. Hans felt scandalised, and was about to make a most powerful remonstrance, when he encountered the eye of his impertinent customer; and, from its sinister expression, he thought it wise to be silent. One of the damsels seated herself upon the stranger’s knee, whilst the other looked most coaxingly to the barber; who, however, remained proof to all her winks and blinks, and “wreathed smiles.”
“’Sblitzen!” exclaimed the lady, “the man’s an icicle!”
“Hans, you’re a fool!” said the stranger; and his enamorata concurred in the opinion. The flask was again proffered—the eye-artillery again brought into action, but Hans remained constant to pump-water and Agnes Flirtitz.
The stranger rubbed the palm of his hand on one of his head ornaments, as though he were somewhat perplexed at the contumacious conduct of the barber; then rising, he gracefully led the ladies out. As he stood with one foot on the step of the door, he turned his head scornfully over his shoulder, and said, “Hans, you are nothing but—a barber; but before I eat, you shall repent of your present determination.”
“What security have I that you will keep your word?” replied Hans, who felt emboldened by the outside situation of his customer, and the shop poker, of which he had obtained possession.
“The best in the world,” said the stranger. “Here, take these!” and placing both rows of his teeth in the hands of the astonished Hans, he quietly walked up the street with the ladies.
The astonishment of Hans had somewhat subsided, when Stitz, the tailor, entered with the so-much and the so-long-expected garments. The stranger was forgotten; the door was bolted, the clothes tried on, and they fitted to a miracle. A small three-cornered piece of looking-glass was held in every direction by the delighted tailor, who declared this performance his chef-d’œuvre and Hans felt, for the first time in his life, that he looked like a gentleman. Without a moment’s hesitation, or the slightest hint at discount for ready money, he gave the tailor his last thaler, and his old suit of clothes, as per contract; shook Stitz’s hand at parting, till every bone of the tailor’s fingers ached for an hour afterwards, bolted the door, and went to bed the poorest, but happiest barber in Stocksbawler.
After a restless night, Hans rose the next morning with the oddest sensation in the world. He fancied that the bed was shorter, the chairs lower, and the room smaller, than on the preceding day; but attributing this feeling to the feverish sleep he had had, he proceeded to put on his pantaloons. With great care he thrust his left leg into its proper division, when, to his horror and amazement, he found that he had grown two feet at least during the night; and that the pantaloons which had fitted so admirably before, were now only knee-breeches. He rushed to the window with the intention of breaking his neck by a leap into the street, when his eye fell upon the strange customer of the preceding day, who was leaning against the gable-end of the house opposite, quietly smoking his meerschaum. Hans paused; then thought, and then concluded that having found an appetite, he had repented of his boast at parting, and had called for his teeth. Being a good-natured lad, Hans shuffled down stairs, and opening the door, called him to come over. The stranger obeyed the summons, but honourably refused to accept of his teeth, except on the conditions of the wager. To Hans’ great surprise he seemed perfectly acquainted with the phenomenon of the past night, and good-naturedly offered to go to Stitz, and inform him of the barber’s dilemma. The stranger departed, and in a few moments the tailor arrived, and having ascertained by his inch measure the truth of Hans’ conjectures, bade him be of good cheer, as he had a suit of clothes which would exactly fit him. They had been made for a travelling giant, who had either forgotten to call for them, or suspected that Stitz would require the gelt before he gave up the broadcloth.
The tailor was right—they did fit—and in an hour afterwards Hans was on his way to the fête. When he arrived there many of his old friends stood agape for a few moments: but as stranger things had occurred in Germany than a man growing two feet in one night, they soon ceased to notice the alteration in Hans’ appearance. Agnes was evidently struck with the improvement of the barber’s figure, and for two whole hours did he enjoy the extreme felicity of making half-a-dozen other young gentlemen miserable, by monopolising the arm and conversation of the beauty of Stocksbawler. But pleasure, like fine weather, lasts not for ever; and, as Hans and Agnes turned the corner of a path, his eye again encountered the stranger. Whether it was from fear or dislike he knew not, but his heart seemed to sink, and so did his body; for to his utter dismay, he found that he had shrunk to his original proportions, and that the garment of the giant hung about him in anything but graceful festoons. He felt that he was a human telescope, that some infernal power could elongate or shut up at pleasure.
The whole band of jealous rivals set up the “Laughing Chorus,” and Agnes, in the extremity of her disgust, turned up her nose till she nearly fractured its bridge, whilst Hans rushed from the scene of his disgrace, and never stopped running until he opened the door of his little shop, threw himself into a chair, and laid his head down upon an old “family Bible” which chanced to be upon the table. In this position he continued for some time, when, on raising his head, he found his tormentor and the two ladies, grouped like the Graces, in the centre of the apartment.
“Well, Scrapshins,” said the gentleman, “I have called for my teeth. You see I have kept my promise.” Hans sighed deeply, and the ladies giggled.
“Nay, man, never look so glum! Here, take the flask—forget Agnes, and console yourself with the love of”—
The conclusion of this harangue must for ever remain a mystery; for Hans, at this moment, took up the family volume which had served him for a pillow, and dashed it at the heads of the trio. A scream, so loud that it broke the tympanum of his left ear, seemed to issue from them simultaneously—a thick vapour filled the room, which gradually cleared off, and left no traces of Hans’ visitors but three small sticks of stone brimstone. The truth flashed upon the barber—his visitor was the far-famed Mephistopheles. Hans packed up his remaining wardrobe, razor, strop, soap-dish, scissors and combs, and turned his back upon Stocksbawler forever. Four years passed away, and Hans was again a thriving man, and Agnes Flirtitz the wife of the doctor of Stocksbawler. Another year passed on, and Hans was both a husband and a father; but the coquette who had nearly been his ruin had eloped with the chasseur of a travelling nobleman.
Sir P. Laurie has sent to say that he has looked into Dr. Farr’s “Medical Guide to Nice,” and is much disappointed. He hoped to have seen a print of the eternally-talked of “Nice Young Man,” in the costume of the country. He doubts, moreover, that the Doctor has ever been there, for his remarks show him not to have been “over Nice.”
Dr. Coombe, in his new work upon America, by some anatomical process, invariably connects large lungs with expansive intellect. Our and Finsbury’s friend, Tom Duncombe, declares, in his opinion, this must be the origin of the received expression for the mighty savans, viz., the “lights of literature.”
Was there ever anything so lucky that the strike of the masons should have happened at this identical juncture! Parliament is prorogued. Now, deducting Sir Robert Peel, physician, with his train of apothecaries and pestle-and-mortar apprentices, who, until February next, are to sit cross-legged and try to think, there are at least six hundred and thirty unemployed members of the House of Commons, turned upon the world with nothing, poor fellows! but grouse before them. Some, to be sure, may pick their teeth, in the Gardens of the Tuileries—some may even now venture to exercise their favourite elbow at Baden-Baden,—but with every possible and probable exception, there will yet be hundreds of unemployed law-makers, to whom time will be a heavy porter’s burden.
We have a plan which, for its originality, should draw down upon us the gratitude of the nation. It is no other than this: to make all Members of Parliament, for once in their lives at least, useful. The masons, hired to build the new temples of Parliament, have struck. The hard-handed ingrates,—let them go! We propose that, during the prorogation at least, Members of Parliament, should, like beavers, build their own Houses. In a word, every member elected to a seat in Parliament should be compelled, like Robinson Crusoe, to make his own furniture before he could sit down upon it.
Have we not a hundred examples of the peculiar fitness of the task, in the habits of what in our human arrogance we call the lower animals? There is many a respectable spider who would justly feel himself calumniated by any comparison between him and any one of twenty Parliamentary lawyers we could name; yet the spider spins its own web, and seeks its own nook of refuge from the Reform Broom of Molly the housemaid. And then, the tiny insect, the ant—that living, silent monitor to unregarding men—doth it not make its own galleries, build with toilsome art its own abiding place? Does not the mole scratch its own chamber—the carrion kite build its own nest! Shall cuckoos and Members of Parliament alone be lodged at others’ pains?
Consider the wasp, oh, STANLEY! mark its nest of paper.—(it is said, on wasp’s paper you are wont to write your thoughts on Ireland)—and resolutely seize a trowel!
Look to the bee, oh, COLONEL SIBTHORP! See how it elaborates its virgin wax, how it shapes its luscious cone—and though we would not trust you to place a brick upon a brick, nevertheless you may, under instruction, mix the mortar!
Ponder on the rat and its doings, most wise BURDETT—see how craftily it makes its hole—and though you are too age-stricken to carry a hod, you may at least do this much—sift the lime.
But wherefore thus particular—why should we dwell on individuals? Pole-cat, weasel, ferret, hedgehog, with all your vermin affinities, come forth, and staring reproachfully in the faces of all prorogued Members, bid them imitate your zeal and pains, and—the masons having struck—build their Houses for themselves.
(We make this proposal in no thoughtless—no bantering spirit. He can see very little into the most transparent mill-stone who believes that we pen these essays—essays that will endure and glisten as long, ay as long as the freshest mackerel—if he think that we sit down to this our weekly labour in a careless lackadaisical humour. By no means. Like Sir LYTTON BULWER, when he girds up his loins to write an apocryphal comedy, we approach our work with graceful solemnity. Like Sir LYTTON, too, we always dress for the particular work we have in hand. Sir LYTTON wrote “Richelieu” in a harlequin’s jacket (sticking pirate’s pistols in his belt, ere he valorously took whole scenes from a French melo-drama): we penned our last week’s essay in a suit of old canonicals, with a tie-wig askew upon our beating temples, and are at this moment cased in a court-suit of cut velvet, with our hair curled, our whiskers crisped, and a masonic apron decorating our middle man. Having subsided into our chair—it is in most respects like the porphyry piece of furniture of the Pope—and our housekeeper having played the Dead March in Saul on our chamber organ (BULWER wrote “The Sea Captain” to the preludizing of a Jew’s-harp), we enter on our this week’s labour. We state thus much, that our readers may know with what pains we prepare ourselves for them. Besides, when BULWER thinks it right that the world should know that the idea of “La Vailière” first hit him in the rotonde of a French diligence, modest as we are, can we suppose that the world will not be anxious to learn in what coloured coat we think, and whether, when we scratch our head to assist the thought that sticks by the way, we displace a velvet cap or a Truefitt’s scalp?)
Reader, the above parenthesis may be skipped or not. Read not a line of it—the omission will not maim our argument. So to proceed.
If we cast our eyes over the debates of the last six months, we shall find that hundreds of members of the House of Commons have exhibited the most extraordinary powers of ill-directed labour. And then their capacity of endurance! Arguments that would have knocked down any reasonable elephant have touched them no more than would summer gnats. Well, why not awake this sleeping strength? Why not divert a mischievous potency into beneficial action? Why should we confine a body of men to making laws, when so many of them might be more usefully employed in wheeling barrows? Now there is Mr. PLUMPTRE, who has done so much to make English Sundays respectable—would he not be working far more enduring utility with pickaxe or spade than by labouring at enactments to stop the flowing of the Thames on the Sabbath? Might not D’ISRAELI be turned into a very jaunty carpenter, and be set to the light interior work of both the Houses? His logic, it is confessed, will support nothing; but we think he would be a very smart hand at a hat-peg.
As for much of the joinery-work, could we have prettier mechanics than Sir James GRAHAM and Sir Edward KNATCHBULL? When we remember their opinions on the Corn Laws, and see that they are a part of the cabinet which has already shown symptoms of some approaching alteration of the Bread Tax—when we consider their enthusiastic bigotry for everything as it is, and Sir Robert PEEL’S small, adventurous liberality, his half-bashful homage to the spirit of the age—sure we are that both GRAHAM and KNATCHBULL, to remain component members of the Peel Cabinet, must be masters of the science of dove-tailing; and hence, the men of men for the joinery-work of the new Houses of Parliament.
Again how many members from their long experience in the small jobbery of committees—from their profitable knowledge of the mysteries of private bills and certain other unclean work which may, if he please, fall to the lot of the English senator—how many of these lights of the times might build small monuments of their genius in the drains, sewerage, and certain conveniences required by the deliberative wisdom of the nation? We have seen the plans of Mr. BARRY, and are bound to praise the evidence of his taste and genius; but we know that the structure, however fair and beautiful to the eye, must have its foul places; and for the dark, dirty, winding ways of Parliament—reader, take a list of her Majesty’s Commons, and running your finger down their names, pick us out three hundred able-bodied labourers—three hundred stalwart night workmen in darkness and corruption. We ask the country, need it care for the strike of Peto’s men (the said Peto, by the way, is in no manner descended from Falstaff’s retainer), when there is so much unemployed labour, hungering only for the country’s good?
We confess to a difficulty in finding among the members of the present Parliament a sufficient number of stone-squarers. When we know that there are so few among them who can look upon more than one side of a question, we own that the completion of the building may be considerably delayed by employing only members of Parliament as square workmen: the truth is, having never been accustomed to the operation, they will need considerable instruction in the art. Those, however, rendered incapable, by habit and nature, of the task, may cast rubbish and carry a hod.
We put it to the patriotism of members of Parliament, whether they ought not immediately to throw themselves into the arms of Peto and Grissell, with an enthusiastic demand for tools. If they be not wholly insensible of the wants of the nation and of their own dignity, Monday morning’s sun will shine upon every man of her Majesty’s majority, for once laudably employed in the nation’s good. How delightful then to saunter near the works—how charming then to listen to members of Parliament! What a picture of senatorial industry! For an Irish speech by STANLEY, have we not the more dulcet music of his stone-cutting saw? Instead of an oration from GOULBURN, have we not the shrill note of his ungreased parliamentary barrow? For the “hear, hear” of PLUMPTRE, the more accordant tapping of the hammer—for the “cheer” from INGLIS, the sweeter chink of the mason’s chisel?
And then the moral and physical good acquired by the workmen themselves! After six days’ toil, there is scarcely one of them who will not feel himself wonderfully enlightened on the wants and feelings of labouring man. They will learn sympathy in the most efficient manner—by the sweat of their brow. Pleasant, indeed, ‘twill be to see CASTLEREAGH lean on his axe, and beg, with Sly, for “a pot of the smallest ale.”
Having, we trust, remedied the evils of the mason’s strike—having shewn that the fitness of things calls upon the Commons, in the present dilemma, to build their own house—we should feel it unjust to the government not to acknowledge the good taste which, as we learn, has directed that an estimate be taken of the disposable space on the walls of the new buildings, to be devoted to the exalted work of the historical painter. Records of the greatness of England are to endure in undying hues on the walls of Parliament.
This is a praiseworthy object, but to render it important and instructive, the greatest judgment must be exercised in the selection of subjects; which, for ourselves, we would have to illustrate the wisdom and benevolence of Parliament. How beautifully would several of the Duke of WELLINGTON’S speeches paint! For instance, his portrait of a famishing Englishman, the drunkard and the idler, no other man (according to his grace) famishing in England! And then the Duke’s view of the shops of butchers, and poulterers, and bakers—all in the Dutch style—by which his grace has lately proved, that if there be distress, it can certainly not be for want of comestibles! But the theme is too suggestive to be carried out in a single paper.
We trust that portraits of members will be admitted. BURDETT and GRAHAM, half-whig, half-tory, in the style of Death and the Lady, will make pretty companion pictures.
To do full pictorial justice to the wisdom of the senate, Parliament will want a peculiar artist: that gifted man CAN be no other than the artist to PUNCH!
For the first two months of the first winter session the fingers of the new man are nothing but ink-stains and industry. He has duly chronicled every word that has fallen from the lips of every professor in his leviathan note book; and his desk teems with reports of all the hospital cases, from the burnt housemaid, all cotton-wool and white lead, who set herself on fire reading penny romances in bed, on one side of the hospital, to the tipsy glazier who bundled off his perch and spiked himself upon the area rails on the other. He becomes a walking chronicle of pathological statistics, and after he has passed six weeks in the wards, imagines himself an embryo Hunter.
To keep up his character, a new man ought perpetually to carry a stethoscope—a curious instrument, something like a sixpenny toy trumpet with its top knocked off, and used for the purpose of hearing what people are thinking about, or something of the kind. In the endeavour to acquire a perfect knowledge of its use he is indefatigable. There is scarcely a patient but he knows the exact state of their thoracic viscera, and he talks of enlarged semilunar valves, and thickened ventricles with an air of alarming confidence. And yet we rather doubt his skill upon this point; we never perceived anything more than a sound and a jog, something similar to what you hear in the cabin of a fourpenny steam-boat, and especially mistrusted the “metallic tinkling,” and the noise resembling a blacksmith’s bellows blowing into an empty quart-pot, which is called the bruit de soufflet. Take our word, when medicine arrives at such a pitch that the secrets of the human heart can be probed, it need not go any further, and will have the power of doing mischief enough.
The new man does not enter much into society. He sometimes asks a few other juniors to his lodgings, and provides tea and shrimps, with occasional cold saveloys for their refection, and it is possible he may add some home-made wine to the banquet. Their conversation is exceedingly professional; and should they get slightly jocose, they retail anatomical paradoxes, technical puns, and legendary “catch questions,” which from time immemorial have been the delight of all new men in general, and country ones in particular.
But diligent and industrious as the new man may be, he is mortal after all, and being mortal, is not proof against temptation—at least, after five or six weeks of his pupilage have passed. The good St. Anthony resisted all the endeavours of the Evil One to lure him from the proper path, until the gentleman of the discoloured cutis vera assumed the shape of a woman. The new man firmly withstands all inducements to irregularity until his first temptation appears in the form of the Cyder-cellars—the convivial Rubicon which it is absolutely necessary for him to pass before he can enrol himself as a member of the quiet, hard-working, modest fraternity of the Medical Student of our London Hospitals.
Facilis descensus Averni.—The steps that lead from Maiden-lane to the Cyder-cellars are easy of descent, although the return is sometimes attended with slight difficulty. Not that we wish to compare our favourite souterrain in question to the “Avernus” of the Latin poet; oh, no! If Æneas had met with roast potatoes and stout during his celebrated voyage across the Styx to the infernal regions, and listened to songs and glees in place of the multitude of condemned souls, “horrendum stridens,” we wager that he would have been in no very great hurry to return. But we have arrived at an important point in our physiology—the first launch of the new man into the ocean of his London life, and we pause upon its shore. He has but definite ideas of three public establishments at all intimately connected with his professional career—the Hall, the College, and the Cyder-cellars. There are but three individuals to whom he looks with feelings of deference—Mr. Sayer of Blackfriars, Mr. Belfour of Lincoln’s-inn-fields, and Mr. Rhodes of Maiden-lane. These are the impersonation of the Fates—the arbitrators of his destinies.
As it is customary that an attendance in the Theatre of Lectures should precede the student’s determination to “have a shy at the College,” or “go up to the Hall,” so is it usual for a visit to one of the theatres to be paid before going down to the Cyder-cellars. The new man has been beguiled into the excursion by the exciting narratives of his companions, and beginning to feel that he is behind the other “chaps” (a new man’s term) in knowledge of the world, he yields to the attraction held out; not because he at first thinks it will give him pleasure so to do, as because it will put him on a level with those who have been, on the same principle as our rambling compatriots go to Switzerland and the Rhine. His Mentor is ready in the shape of a third-season man, and under his protecting influence he sallies forth.
The theatres have concluded; every carriage, cab, and “coach ‘nhired” in their vicinity is in motion; venders of trotters and ham-sandwiches are in full cry; the bars of the proximate retail establishments are crowded with thirsty gods; ruddy chops and steaks are temptingly displayed in the windows of the supper-houses, and the turnips and carrots in the freshly-arrived market-carts appear astonished at the sudden confusion by which they are surrounded. Amidst this confusion the new man and his friends arrive beneath the beacon which illumines the entrance of the tavern. He descends the stairs in an agony of anticipation, and feverishly trips up the six or eight succeeding ones to arrive at the large room. A song has just concluded, and he enters triumphantly amidst the thunder of applause, the jingling of glasses, the imperious vociferations of fresh orders, and an atmosphere of smoke that pervades the whole apartment, like dense clouds of incense burning at the altar of the genius of conviviality.
The new man is at first so bewildered, that it would take but little extra excitement to render him perfectly unconscious as to the probability of his standing upon his occipito-frontalis or plantar fascia. But as he collects his ideas, he contrives to muster sufficient presence of mind to order a Welsh rabbit, and in the interim of its arrival earnestly contemplates the scene around him. There is the room which, in after life, so vividly recurs to him, with its bygone souvenirs of mirth, when he is sitting up all night at a bad case in the mud cottage of a pauper union. There are its blue walls, its wainscot and its pillars, its lamps and ground-glass shades, within which the gas jumps and flares so fitfully; its two looking-glasses, that reflect the room and its occupants from one to the other in an interminable vista. There also is Mr. Rhodes, bending courteously over the backs of the visiters’ chairs, and hoping everybody has got everything to their satisfaction, or bestowing an occasional subdued acknowledgment upon an habitué who chances to enter; and the professional gentlemen all laying their heads together at the top of the table to pitch the key of the next glee; and the waiters bustling up and down with all sorts of tempting comestibles; and the gentleman in the Chesterfield wrapper smoking a cigar at the side of the room, while he leans back and contemplates the ceiling, as if his whole soul was concentrated in its smoke-discoloured mouldings.
The new man is in ecstasies; he beholds the realization of the Arabian Nights, and when the harmony commences again, he is fairly entranced. At first, he is fearful of adding the efforts of his laryngeal “little muscles with the long names” to swell the chorus; but, after the second glass of stout and a “go of whiskey,” he becomes emboldened, and when the gentleman with the bass voice sings about the Monks of Old, what a jovial race they were, our friend trolls out how “they laughed, ha, ha!” so lustily, that he gets quite red in the face from obstructed jugulars, and applauds, when it has concluded, until everything upon the table performs a curious ballet-dance, which is only terminated by the descent of the cruets upon the floor.
The precise hour at which the new man arrives at home, after this eventful evening, has never been correctly ascertained; having a latch-key, he is the only person that could give any authentic information upon this point; but, unfortunately, he never knows himself. Some few things, however, are universally allowed, namely, that in extreme cases he is found asleep on the rug at the foot of the stairs next morning, with the rushlight that was left in the passage burnt quite away, and all the solder of the candlestick melted into little globules. More frequently he knocks up the people of the neighbouring house, under the impression that it is his own, but that a new keyhole has been fitted to the door in his absence; and, in the mildest forms of the disease, he drinks up all the water in his bed-room during the night, and has a propensity for retiring to rest in his pea-coat and Bluchers, from the obstinate tenacity of his buttons and straps. The first lecture the next morning fails to attract him; he eats no breakfast, and when he enters the dissecting-room about one o’clock, his fellow-students administer to him a pint of ale, warmed by the simple process of stirring it with a hot poker, with some Cayenne pepper thrown into it, which he is assured will set to rights the irritable mucous lining of his stomach. The effect of this remedy is, to send him into a sound sleep during the whole of the two o’clock anatomical lecture; and awakened at its close by the applause of the students, he thinks he is still at the Cyder-cellars, and cries out “Encore!”
Having been particularly struck by the infernal smashes that have recently taken place on several railroad lines, and having been ourselves forcibly impressed by a tender, which it must be allowed was rather hard (coming in collision with ourselves), we have thought over the subject, and have now the following suggestions to offer:—
Behind each engine let there be second and third class carriages, so that, in the event of a smash, second and third class lives only would be sacrificed.
Let there be a van full of stokers before the first class carriages; for, as the directors appear to be liberal of the stokers’ lives, it is presumed that every railway company has such a glut of them that they can be spared easily.
As some of the carriages are said to oscillate, from being too heavy at the top, let a few copies of “Martinuzzi” be placed as ballast at the bottom.
In order that the softest possible lining may be given to the carriages, let the interior be covered with copies of Sibthorp’s speeches as densely as possible.
We have not yet been able to find a remedy for the remarkable practice which prevails in some railways of sending a passenger, like a bank-note, cut in half, for better security.
To describe an Independent Member upon a given indefinite line of politics.
Let C R, or Conservative Reform, be the given indefinite line—it is required to describe on C R an independent member.
With the centre Reform, and at the distance of Conservatism, describe G B and M—or Graham, Brougham, and Melbourne—the extremes of the Whig Administration of 1834.
With the centre Conservatism, and at the distance of Reform, describe G B and P—or Graham, Buckingham, and Peel—the extremes of the Tory Administration of 1841.
From the point Graham, where the administrations cut one another, draw the lines Graham and Reform, and Graham and Conservatism.
Then Graham and Conservative Reform is an independent member.
For because Reform was the centre of the Whig Administration, Graham, Brougham, and Melbourne
Therefore Graham and Reform was the same as Reform with a shade Conservatism.
And because Conservatism is the centre of the Tory Administration, Graham, Buckingham, and Peel
Therefore Graham and Conservatism is the same as Conservatism with a shade Reform
Therefore Graham and Conservatism is the same as Graham and Reform
Therefore Graham is either a Conservative or a Reformer, as the case may require.
And therefore he is a Conservative Reformer—
Wherefore, having three sides, which are all the same to him—viz. Reform, Conservatism, and himself—he is an independent member, and has been described as a Conservative Reformer.
Quod erat double-face-iendum.
From a given point to draw out a Radical Member to a given length.
Let A or his ancestors be the given point, and an A s s the given length; it is required to draw out upon the point of his ancestors a Radical member equal to an A s s.
Connect the A s s with A, his ancestors.
On the A s s and A his ancestors, describe an independent member S R I, Sir Robert Inglis.
Then with S R I, Sir Robert Inglis, draw out the A s s to G L and S A, or great literary and scientific attainments.
And with S R I, Sir Robert Inglis, let R Roebuck, be got into a line upon A, his ancestors.
With the A s s in the middle, describe the circulation of T N, or “Times” newspaper.
And with SRI, Sir Robert Inglis, as the centre, describe the Circle of the H of C, or House of Commons.
Then R A, or Roebuck on his ancestors, equals an A s s.
For because the A s s was in the middle of T N, or “Times” newspaper.
Therefore the rhodomontade of G L and S A, or great literary and scientific attainments, was equal to the braying of an A s s.
And because S R I, or Sir Robert Inglis, was in the centre of H C, or House of Commons.
Therefore S R I on G L and S A, or Sir Robert Inglis on the great literary and scientific attainments, was only to be equalled by S R I and R, or Sir Robert Inglis and Roebuck.
But Sir R I is always equal to himself.
Therefore the remainder, A R, or Roebuck on his ancestors, is equal to the remaining G L and S A, or great literary and scientific attainments.
But G L and S A, or the great literary and scientific attainments, have been shown to be equal to those of an A s s.
And therefore R A, or Roebuck on his ancestors, is equal to an A s s.
Wherefore, from a given point, A, his ancestors, has been drawn out a Radical member, R, Roebuck, equal to an A s s.
Quod erat sheep-face-iendum.
From the greater opposition of two members to a given measure to cut, off a part, so as it may agree with the less.
Let P C and W R, or Peel the Conservative and Wakley the Radical, represent their different oppositions to the New Poor Law, to which that of W R, or Wakley the Radical, is greater than that of Peel the Conservative—it is required to cut off from W R, or Wakley the Radical’s opposition a part, so that it may agree with that of P C, or Peel the Conservative.
From W, or Wakley, draw W T, or Wakley the Trimmer, the same as P C, or Peel the Conservative.
With the centre W or Wakley, and to the extremity of T trimming, describe the magic circle P L A C E.
Cutting W R or Wakley the Radical in B P, his Breeches Pocket.
Then W B P or Wakley and his Breeches Pocket, agrees with Peel the Conservative.
For because the circle P L A C E is described about W or Wakley
Therefore W B P or Wakley and his Breeches Pocket, is of the same opinion as W T or Wakley the Trimmer.
But W T or Wakley the Trimmer, agrees with Peel the Conservative.
Therefore W B P or Wakley and his Breeches Pocket, agrees with P C or Peel the Conservative.
Wherefore, from the greater opposition of W R, Wakley the Radical, to the New Poor Law, is cut off, W B P, Wakley and his Breeches Pocket, which exactly coincides with the minor opposition of P C or Peel the Conservative.
Quod erat brazen-face-iendum.
During a rural ramble, the ex-premier was diverted from the mental Shakesperian sustenance derived from “chewing the cud of sweet and bitter fancy,” by an importunate appeal from a reckless disorderly, who was doing penance for his anti-teetotal propensities, by performing a two hours’ quarantine in the village stocks. So far from sympathising with the fast-bound sufferer, his lordship, in a tone of the deepest regret, deplored, that he had himself not been so tightly secured in his place, as, had that been the case, he would still have been provided with
Shop fronts are daily “higher” raised.
Our master’s “ire” as often;
Would they but raise our “hire” a bit,
’Twould much our mis’ries soften!
THE SHOPMEN—POOR DEVILS
“Pampeluna, Oct. 1.
“An event has just occurred which will doubtless change the dynasty of the Spanish succession before I have finished my letter. At eleven o’clock this morning, several officers were amusing themselves at picquet in a coffee-house. One having played the king, another cried out, ‘Ay, the king! Vivat! Down with the Queen! Don Carlos for ever!’ This caused a frightful sensation, and the National Guards are now on their way to blockade the house.
“One o’clock, P.M.—The National Guards have joined the Carlists, and the regulars are at this moment flying to arms.
“Two o’clock.—The royal troops are defeated, and Don Carlos is now being proclaimed King of Spain, &c.”
“Madrid, Oct. 2.
“The nominal reign of Don Carlos, commenced at Pampeluna, has been but of short duration. A diversion has taken place in favour of the husband of the Queen Regent—Munos, who, having been a private soldier, is thought by his rank and file camaradoes to have a prior claim to Don Carlos. They have revolted to a man, and the Carlists tremble in their boots.
“Six o’clock, A.M.—The young Queen has fled the capital—Munos is our new King, and his throne will no doubt be consolidated by a vigorous ministry.
“Seven o’clock, A.M.—News has just arrived from Pampeluna that the Carlists are so disgusted with the counter-revolution, that a counter-counter-revolution having taken place amongst the shopkeepers, in favour of the Queen Regent, the Carlists have joined it. After all, the Queen Mother will doubtless permanently occupy the throne—at least for a day or two.
“Eight o’clock.—News has just arrived from Biscay of a new revolt, extending through all the Basque provinces; and they are only waiting for some eligible pretender to come forward to give to this happy country another ruler. Advices from all parts are indeed crowded with reports of a rebellious spirit, so that a dozen revolutions a-week may be assuredly anticipated during the next twelvemonth.”
And must we part?—well, let it be;
’Tis better thus, oh, yes, believe me;
For though I still was true to thee,
Thou, faithless maiden, wouldst deceive me.
Take back this written pledge of love,
No more I’ll to my bosom fold it;
The ring you gave, your faith to prove,
I can’t return—because I’ve sold it!
I will not ask thee to restore
Each gage d’armour, or lover’s token,
Which I had given thee before
The links between us had been broken.
They were not much, but oh! that brooch,
If for my sake thou’st deign’d to save it,
For that, at least, I must encroach,—
It wasn’t mine, although I gave it.
The gem that in my breast I wore,
That once belonged unto your mother
Which, when you gave to me, I swore
For life I’d love you, and no other.
Can you forget that cheerful morn,
When in my breast thou first didst stick it?—
I can’t restore it—it’s in pawn;
But, base deceiver—that’s the ticket.
Oh, take back all, I cannot bear
These proofs of love—they seem to mock it;
There, false one, take your lock of hair—
Nay, do not ask me for the locket.
Insidious girl! that wily tear
Is useless now, that all is ended:
There is thy curl—nay, do not sneer,
The locket’s—somewhere—being mended.
The dressing-case you lately gave
Was fit, I know, for Bagdad’s caliph;
I used it only once to shave,
When it was taken by the bailiff.
Than thou didst give I bring back less;
But hear the truth, without more dodging—
The landlord’s been with a distress,
And positively cleared my lodging.
What English word expresses the Latin for cold?—“Jelly”-does (Gelidus).
Why is a blackleg called a sharper?—Because he’s less blunt than other men.
Why is a red-herring like a Mackintosh?—Because it keeps one dry all day.
Sir Philip Brilliant is a gentleman of exquisite breeding—a man of fashion, with a taste for finery, and somewhat of a fop. He reveals his pretty figure to us, arrayed in all the glories of white and pink satins, embellished with flaunting ribbons, and adorned with costly jewels. His servant is performing the part of mirror, by explaining the beauties of the dress, and trying to discover its faults: his researches for flaws are unavailing, till his master promises him a crown if he can find one—nine valets out of ten would make a misfit for half the money; and Robert instantly pays a tribute to the title of the play by discovering a wrinkle—equally an emblem of an “Old Maid” and an ill-fitting vest. This incident shows us that Sir Philip is an amateur in dress; but his predilection is further developed by his exit, which is made to scold his goldsmith for the careless setting of a lost diamond. The next scene takes us to the other side of Temple-bar; in fact, upon Ludgate-hill. We are inside the shop of the goldsmith, Master Blount, most likely the founder of the firm now conducted by Messrs. Rundell and Bridge. He has two sons, who, being brought up to the same trade, and always living together, are, of course, eternally quarrelling. Both have a violent desire to cut the shop; the younger for glory, ambition, and all that (after the fashion of all city juveniles, who hate hard work), the elder for ease and elegance. The papa and mamma have a slight altercation on the subject of their sons, which happily, (for family quarrels seldom amuse third parties) is put an end to by a second “shine,” brought about by the entrance of Sir Philip Brilliant, to make the threatened complaint about bad workmanship. The younger and fiery Thomas Blount resents some of Sir P.B.’s expressions to his father; this is followed by the usual badinage about swords and their use. We make up our minds that the next scene is to consist of a duel, and are not disappointed.
Sure enough a little rapier practice ends the act; the shopman is wounded, and his adversary takes the usual oath of being his sworn friend for ever.
The second act introduces a new class of incidents. A great revolution has taken place in the private concerns of the family Blount. Thomas, the younger, has become a colonel in the army; John, having got possession of the shop, has sold the stock-in-trade, fixtures, good-will, &c.; doubtless, to the late Mr. Rundell’s great-grandfather; and has set up for a private gentleman. For his introduction into genteel society he is indebted to Robert, whom he has mistaken for a Baronet, and who presents him to several of his fellow-knights of the shoulder-knot, all dubbed, for the occasion, lords and ladies, exactly as it happens in the farce of “High Life Below Stairs.”
But where are the “Old Maids” all this time? Where, indeed! Lady Blanche and Lady Anne are young and beautiful—exquisitely lovely; for they are played by Madame Vestris and Mrs. Nisbett. It is clear, then, that directly they appear, the spectator assures himself that they are not the “Old Maids.” To be sure they seem to have taken a sort of vow of celibacy; but their fascinating looks—their beauty—their enchanting manners, offer a challenge to the whole bachelor world, that would make the keeping of such a vow a crime next to sacrilege. One does not tremble long on that account. Lady Blanche, has, we are informed, taken to disguising herself; and some time since, while rambling about in the character of a yeoman’s daughter, she entered Blount’s shop, and fell in love with Thomas: at this exact part of the narrative Colonel Blount is announced, attended by his sworn friend, Sir Philip Brilliant. A sort of partial recognition takes place; which leaves the audience in a dreadful state of suspense till the commencement of another act.
Sir Philip, who has formerly loved Lady Blanche without success, now tries his fortune with Lady Anne; and at this point, dramatic invention ends; for, excepting the mock-marriage of John Blount with a lady’s-maid, the rest of the play is occupied by the vicissitudes the two pair of lovers go through—all of their own contrivance, on purpose to make themselves as wretched as possible—till the grand clearing up, which always takes place in every last scene, from the “Adelphi” of Terence (or Yates), down to the “Old Maids” of Mr. Sheridan Knowles.
Since playwrights have left off plotting and under-plotting on their own account, and depend almost entirely upon the “French,” managers have added a new member to their establishments, and, like the morning papers, employ a Paris correspondent, that French plays, as well as French eggs, may be brought over quite fresh; though from the slovenly manner in which they (the pieces, not the eggs) are too often prepared for the English market, they are seldom neat as imported.
The gentleman who “does” the Parisian correspondence for the Adelphi Theatre, has supplied it with a vaudeville bearing the above title; the fable, of which, like some of Æsop’s, principally concerns a hen, that, however, does not speak, and a smart cockscomb who does—an innocent little fair who has charge of the fowl—a sort of Justice Woodcock, and a bombardier who, because he is in the uniform of a drum or bugle-major, calls himself a serjeant. To these may be added, Mr. Yates in his own private character, and a few sibilants in the pit, who completed the poultry-nature of the piece by playing the part of geese.
The plot would have been without interest, but for the accidental introduction of the last two characters,—or the geese and the cock-of-the-walk.[pg 168] The pittites, affronted at the extreme puerility of some of the incidents, and the inanity of all the dialogue, hissed. This raffled the feathers of the cock-of-the-walk, who was already on, or rather at, the wing; and he flew upon the stage in a tantrum, to silence the geese. Mr. Yates spoke—we need not say how or what. Everybody knows how he of the Adelphi shrugs his shoulders, and squeezes his hat, and smiles, and frowns, and “appeals” and “declares upon his honour” while agitating the buttons on the left side of his coat, and “entreats” and “throws himself upon the candour of a British public,” and puts the stamp upon all he has said by an impressive thump of the foot, a final flourish of the arms, and a triumphal exit to poean-sounding “bravoes!” and to the utter confusion of all dis—or to be more correct, hiss—sentients.
In the end, however, the latter triumphed; and Cocorico deserved its fate in spite of the actors. Mrs. Grattan played the chief character with much tact and cleverness, singing the vaudevilles charmingly—a most difficult task, we should say, on account of the adapter, in putting English words to French music, having ignorantly mis-accentuated a large majority of them. Miss Terrey infused into a simple country girl a degree of character which shews that she has not yet fallen into the vampire-trap of too many young performers—stage conventionalism, and that she copies from Nature. It is unfortunate for both these clever actresses that they have been thrust into a piece, which not even their talents could save from partial ——, but it is a naughty word, and Mrs. Judy has grown very strict. The piece wants cur-tailment; which, if previously applied, will increase the interest, and make it, perhaps, an endurable dramatic
The conductor of these concerts has not a single requisite for his office—he is several degrees less personable than M. Jullien—he does not even wear moustaches! and to suppose that a man can beat time properly without them is ridiculous. He looks a great deal more like a modest, respectable grocer, than a man of genius; for he neither turns up his eyes nor his cuffs, and has the indecency to appear without white gloves! His manners, too, are an insult to the lovers of the thunder and lightning school of music; he neither conducts himself, nor his band, with the least grace or éclat. He does not spread out both arms like a goose that wants to fly, while hushing down a diminuendo; nor gesticulate like a madman during the fortes; in short, he only gives out the time in passages where the players threaten unsteadiness; and as that is very seldom, those amateurs who pay their money only for the pleasure of seeing the bâton flourished about, are defrauded of half their amusement. M. Musard takes them in—for it must be evident, even to them, that what we have said is true, and that he possesses scarcely a qualification for the office he holds—if we make one trifling exception (hardly worth mentioning)—for he is nothing more than, merely, a first-rate musician. With this single accomplishment, it is like his impudence to try and foist himself upon the Cockney dilettanti after M. Jullien, who possessed every other requisite for a conductor but a knowledge of the science; which is, after all, a paltry acquirement, and purely mechanical.
On the evening PUNCH was present, the usual dose of quadrilles and waltzes was administered, with an admixture from the dull scores of Beethoven. Disgusted as we were at the humbug of performing the works of this master without blue-fire, and an artificial storm in the flies, yet—may we confess it?—we were nearly as much charmed by the “Andante” from his Symphonia in A, as if the lights had been put out to give it effect. We blush for our taste, but thank our stars (Jullien included) that we have the courage to own the soft impeachment in the face of an enlightened Concert d’Eté patronising public. In sober truth, we were ravished! The pianos of this movement were so exquisitely kept, the ensemble of them was so complete, the wind instruments were blown so exactly in tune, so evenly in tone, that the whole passion of that touching andante seemed to be felt by the entire band, which went as one instrument. The subject—breaking in as it does, when least expected, and worked about through nearly every part of the score, so as to produce the most delicious effects—was played with equal delicacy and feeling by every performer who had to take it up; while the under-current of accompaniment was made to blend with it with a masterly command and unanimity of tone, that we cannot remember to have heard equalled.
Of course, this piece, though it enchanted the musical part of the audience, disgusted the promenaders, and was received but coldly. This, however, was made up for when the drumming, smashing, and brass-blurting of the overture to “Zampa” was noised forth: this was encored with ecstacies, and so were some of the quadrilles. Happy musical taste! Beethoven’s septour, arranged as a set of quadrilles, is a desecration unworthy of Musard. For this piece of bad taste he ought to be condemned to arrange the sailor’s hornpipe, as
The celebrated pranks of the “Bull in the China Shop” are likely to be repeated on a grand scale—the part of the Bull being undertaken, on this occasion, by the illustrious John who is at the head of the family.
The Emperor, when the last advices left, was discussing a chop, surrounded by all his ministers. The chop, which was dished up with a good deal of Chinese sauce, was ultimately forwarded to Elliot. The custom of sending chops to an enemy is founded on the idea, that the fact of there being a bone to pick cannot be conveyed with more delicacy than “by wrapping it up,” as it is commonly termed, as politely as possible.
Our readers will be surprised to hear that the Chinese have attacked our forces with junk, from which it has been supposed that our brave tars have been pitched into with large pieces of salt beef, while the English commanders have been pelted with chops; but this is an error. The thing called junk is not the article of that name used in the Royal Navy, but a gimcrack attempt at a vessel, built principally of that sort of material, something between wood and paper, of which we in this country manufacture hat-boxes.
The Emperor is such a devil of a fellow, that those about him are afraid to tell him the truth; and though his troops have been most unmercifully wallopped, he has been humbugged into the belief that they have achieved a victory. A poor devil named Ke-shin, who happened to suggest the necessity for a stronger force, was instantly split up by order of the Emperor, who can now and then do things by halves, though such is not his ordinary custom.
We have sent out a correspondent of our own to China, who will supply us with the earliest intelligence.
The sympathies of a charitable and witty public are earnestly solicited in behalf of
JOHN WILSON CROKER, Esq., late Secretary to the Admiralty, author of the “New Whig Guide,” &c., &c., who, from having been considered one of the first wits of his day, is now reduced to a state of unforeseen comic indigence. It is earnestly hoped that this appeal will not be made in vain, and that, by the liberal contributions of the facetious, he will be restored to his former affluence in jokes, and that by such means he may be able to continue his contributions to the “Quarterly Review,” which have been recently refused from their utter dulness.
Contributions will be thankfully received at the PUNCH office; by the Hon. and Rev. Baptist Noel; Rogers, Towgood, and Co.; at the House of Commons; and the Garrick’s Head.
Samuel Rogers, Esq.—Ten puns, and a copy of “Italy.”
Tom Cooke, Esq.—One joke (musical), consisting of “God save the Queen,” arranged for the penny trumpet.
T. Hood, Esq.—Twenty-three epigrams.
Hon. and Rev. Baptist Noel.—A laughable Corn-law pamphlet.
John Poole, Esq.—A new farce, with liberty to extract all the jokes from the same, amounting to two jeux d’esprit and a pun.
Proprietors of PUNCH.—The “copy” for No. 15 of the LONDON CHARIVARI, containing seventeen hundred sentences, and therefore as many jests.
Col. Sibthorp.—A conundrum.
Daniel O’Connell.—An Irish tail.
Messrs. Grissel and Peto.—A strike-ing masonic interlude, called “The Stone-masons at a Stand-still; or, the Rusty Trowel.”
Commissioner Lin.—A special edict.
Lord John Russell.—“A new Guide to Matrimony,” and a facetious essay, called “How to leave one’s Lodgings.”
Sir P. LAURIE begs to inquire of the medical student, whose physiology is recorded in PUNCH, in what part of the country Farmer Copœia resides, and whether he is for or against the Corn Laws?