I dined with my old friend and schoolfellow, Jack Withers, one day last September. On the previous morning, on my way to the India House, I had run up against a stout individual on Cornhill, and on looking in his face as I stopped for a moment to apologise, an abrupt “This is surely Jack Withers,” burst from my lips, followed by—“God bless me! Will Bayfield!” from his. After a hurried question or two, we shook hands warmly and parted, with the understanding that I was to cut my mutton with him next day.
Seventeen years had elapsed since Withers and I had seen or heard of each other. Having a good mercantile connexion, he had pitched upon commerce as his calling, and entered a counting-house in Idollane in the same year that I, a raw young surgeon, embarked for India to seek my fortune in the medical service of the East India Company.
Things had gone well with honest Jack; from a long, thin, weazel of a youngster, he had become a burly ruddy-faced gentleman, with an aldermanic rotundity of paunch, which gave the world assurance that his ordinary fare by no means consisted of deaf nuts; he had already, as he told me, accumulated a very pretty independence, which was yearly increasing, and was, moreover, a snug bachelor, with a well-arranged residence in Finsbury-square; in short, it was evident that Jack was “a fellow with two coats and everything handsome about him.”
As for me, I was a verification of the adage about the rolling stone; having gathered a very small quantity of “moss,” in the shape of worldly goods. I had spent sixteen years in marching and countermarching over the thirsty plains of the Carnatic, in medical charge of a native regiment—salivating Sepoys and blowing out with blue pills the officers—until the effects of a stiff jungle-fever, that nearly made me proprietor of a landed property measuring six feet by two, sent me back to England almost as poor as I had left it, and with an atrabilarious visage which took a two-months’ course of Cheltenham water to scour into anything like a decent colour.
Withers’ dinner was in the best taste: viands excellent—wine superb; never did I sip racier Madeira, and the Champagne trickled down one’s throat with the same facility that man is inclined to sin.
The cloth drawn, we fell to discoursing about old times, things, persons, and places. Jack then told me how from junior clerk he had risen to become second partner in the firm to which he belonged; and I, in my turn, enlightened his mind with respect to Asiatic Cholera, Runjeet Sing, Ghuzni, tiger-shooting, and Shah Soojah.
In this manner the evening slid pleasantly on. An array of six bottles, that before dinner had contained the juice of Oporto, stood empty on the sideboard. Jack wanted to draw another cork, which, however, I positively forbad, as I have through life made it a rule to avoid the slightest approach towards excess in tippling; so, after a modest brace of glasses of brandy-and-water, I shook hands with and left my friend about half-past nine, for I am an old-fashioned fellow, and love early hours, my usual time for turning in being ten.
When I got into the street an unaccustomed spirit of gaiety at once took possession of me; my general feelings of benevolence and goodwill towards all mankind appeared to have received a sudden and marvellous increase. I seemed to tread on eider-down, and, cigar in mouth, strolled along Fleet-street and the Strand, towards my domicile in Half-Moon street—“nescio quid meditans nugarum”—sometimes humming the fag end of an Irish melody; anon stopping to stare in a print-shop window; and then I would trudge on, chewing the cud of sweet and bitter fancy as I conned over the various ups and downs that had chequered my life since Jack Withers and I were thoughtless lads together “a long time ago.”
In this mood I found myself standing before the New Strand Theatre, my attention having been arrested by the word PUNCH blazoned in large letters on a play-bill.
“What can this mean?” quoth I to myself. “I know a publication called Punch very well, but I never heard of a performance so named. I’ll go in and see it. Who knows but it may be an avatar11. The Avatar we do not allow—the illustrious periodical we do.—ED. OF PUNCH. of the Editor of that illustrious periodical, who condescends to discard his dread incognito for the nonce, in order to exhibit himself, for one night only, to the eyes and understandings of admiring London.”
In another minute I was seated in the boxes, and found a crowded audience in full enjoyment of the quiet waggery of Keeley, who was fooling them to the top of their bent, accoutred from top to toe as Mynheer Punch the Great, while his clever little wife—who, by the way, possesses, I think, more of the “vis comica” than any actress of the day—caused sides to shake and eyes to water by her naïve and humorous delineation of Mrs. Snozzle.
The curtain had hardly fallen more than a couple of minutes, when a door behind me opened hastily, and a box-keeper thrusting in his head, called out—“Is there a medical man here?” “I am one,” said I, getting up; “anything the matter?” “Come with me then, sir, if you please,” said he; “a severe accident has just happened to Mrs. Keeley; a falling scene has struck her head, sir, and hurt her dreadfully.”
“Good heavens!” said I, much shocked; “I will come immediately.”
I followed the man to the stage door, and was ushered into a dressing-room with several people in it, where, extended on a sofa, lay the unfortunate lady, whom I had but a few minutes before seen full of life and spirits, delighting hundreds with her unrivalled humour and espièglerie,—there she lay, in the same fantastic dress she had worn on the stage, pale as death—a quantity of blood flowing from a fearful wound on her head, and uttering those low quick moans which are indicative of extreme suffering.
Poor little Keeley stood beside the couch, holding her hand; he was still in full fig as Polichinel; and the grotesqueness of his attire contrasted strangely with the anguish depicted on his countenance. As I came forward, he slowly made way for me—looked in my face imploringly, as if to gather from its expression some gleam of hope, and then stood aside, in an attitude of profound dejection.
Having felt the sufferer’s pulse, I was about to turn her head gently, in order to examine the nature of the wound, when a hustling noise behind me causing me to turn round, to my infinite dismay, I perceived Mr. Keeley, having pushed the bystanders on one side, in the act of performing a kind of Punchean dance upon the floor, accompanying himself with the vigorous chuckling and crowing peculiar to the hero whose habiliments he wore. I was horror-stricken—conceiving that grief had suddenly turned his brain.
All at once, he made a spring towards me, and, seizing my arm, thrust me into a corner of the room, where he held me fast, exclaiming—
“Wretch! villain! restore me my wife—that talented woman your infernal arts have destroyed! You did for her!”
“Mr. Keeley,” said I, struggling to release myself from his grasp—“my dear sir, pray compose yourself.”
“Unhappy traitor!” he shouted, giving me an unmerciful tweak by the nose; “Look at her silver skin laced with her golden blood!—see, see! Oh, see!”
This was rather too much, even from a man whose wits were astray. I began to lose patience, and was preparing to rid myself somewhat roughly of the madman’s grasp, when a new phenomenon occurred.
The patient on the sofa, whom I had judged well nigh moribund, and consequently incapable of any effort whatever, all at once sat up with a sudden jerk, and gave vent to a series of the most ear-piercing shrieks that ever assailed human tympanum.
“Oh! oh! Mon Dieu! je suis étouffée! levez-vous donc, monsieur—n’avez-vous pas honte!”
I started up—O misery!—I had fallen asleep, and my head, resting against a pillar, had slipped down, depositing itself upon the expansive bosom of a portly French dame in the next box, who seemed, by her vehement exclamations, to be quite shaken from the balance of her propriety by the unlooked-for burthen I had imposed upon her; whilst a petit monsieur poured forth a string of sacres and sapristies upon my devoted head with a volubility of utterance truly astonishing.
I gazed about me with troubled and lack-lustre eye. Every lorgnette in the boxes was levelled at my miserable countenance; a sea of upturned and derisive faces grinned at me from the pit, and the gods in Olympus thundered from on high—“Turn him out; he’s drunk!”
This was the unkindest cut of all—thus publicly to be accused of intoxication, a vice of all others I have ever detested and eschewed.
I cast one indignant glance around me, and left the theatre, lamenting the depravity of our nature, which is, alas! always ready to put the worst construction upon actions in themselves most innocent; for if I had gone to sleep in my own arm-chair, pray who would have accused me of inebriety?
How I got home I know not. As I hurried through the streets, a legion of voices, in every variety of intonation, yelled in my ears—“Turn him out—he’s drunk!” and when I woke in the middle of the night, tormented by a raging thirst (produced, I suppose, by the flurry of spirits I had undergone), I seemed to hear screams, groans, and hisses, above all which predominated loud and clear the malignant denunciation—“Turn him out—he’s drunk!”
Upon my subsequently mentioning the above adventure to Jack Withers, it will hardly be credited that this villain without shame at once roundly asserted that, when I left him on the afore-mentioned night, I was at least three sheets and three quarters in the wind; adding with praiseworthy candour, that he himself was so far gone as to be obliged, to the infinite scandal of his staid old housekeeper, to creep up stairs à quatre pieds, in order to gain his bedroom.
Now this latter may be true enough, for it is probable that friend Jack [pg 218]freshened his nip a trifle after my departure, seeing that he was always something of a drunken knave. As for his calumnious and scandalous declaration, that I was in the least degree tipsy, it is too ridiculous to be noticed. I scorn it with my heels—I was sober—sober, cool, and steady as the north star; and he that is inclined to question this solemn asseveration, let him send me his card; and if I don’t drill a hole in his doublet before he’s forty-eight hours older, then, as honest Slender has it, “I would I might never come in mine own great chamber again else.”
We learn from good authority that Lord TAMBOFF STANLEY, in answer to a deputation from Scotland, assured the gentlemen who waited upon him that “the subject of emigration was under the serious consideration of Her Majesty’s Ministers.” We hope that those respectable gentlemen may soon resolve upon their departure—we care not “what clime they wander to, so not again to this;” or, as Shakspeare says, let them “stand not upon the order of their going, but GO.” The country, we take it upon ourselves to say, will remember them when they are gone; they have left the nation too many weighty proofs of their regard to be forgotten in a hurry—Corruption, Starvation, and Taxation, and the National Debt by way of
Peter Borthwick, late of the Royal Surrey Nautical, having had the honour of “deep damnation” conferred upon his “taking off” the character of Prince Henry, upon that occasion, to appear in unison with the text of the Immortal Bard, “dressed” the part in a most elaborate “neck-or-nothing tile.” Upon being expostulated with by the manager, he triumphantly referred to the description of the chivalrous Prince in which the narrator particularly states—
“Good heavens, Sir Peter,” said Hobler, confidentially, to our dearly beloved Alderman, “How could you have passed such a ridiculous sentence upon Jones, as to direct his hair to be cut off?” “All right, my dear Hobby,” replied the sapient justice; “the fellow was found fighting in the streets, and I wanted to hinder him, at least for some time, from again
We have received the following choice bit of poetic pathology from our old friend and jolly dog Toby, who, it seems, has taken to medicine. The dog, however, always had a great propensity to bark, owing doubtlessly to the strong tincture of canine there was in his constitution:—
MY DEAR PUNCH,
Nothing convinces me more of my treacherous memory than my not recollecting you at the memorable “New-boot Supper;” for I certainly must have been as long in that society as yourself. Be that as it may, you have induced me to scrape together a few reminiscences in an imperfect way, leaving to you, from your better recollection, to correct and flavour the specimen to the palate of your readers, who have, most deservedly, every reliance upon your good taste and moral tendency. I have in vain tried to meet with the music of “the good old days of Adam and Eve,” consequently have lost the enjoyment of the chorus—“Sing hey, sing ho!” It would be too much to ask you to sing it, but perhaps you may too-te-too it in your next. May your good intentions to the would-be Æsculapius be attended with success.—I remain, dear Punch, your old friend,
Abdomen swell’d, which fluctuates when struck upon the side, sirs;
Face pale and puff’d, and worse than that, with thirst and cough beside, sirs;
Skin dry, and breathing difficult, and pains in epigastrium,
And watchfulness or partial sleep, with dreams would strike the bravest dumb.
To cure—restore the balance of exhalants and absorbents,
With squill, blue-pill, and other means to soothe the patient’s torments.
Sure this is not your climax, sir, to save from Davy’s locker!
Way, no,—I’d then with caution tap—when first I’d tied the knocker.
Sing hey! sing ho! if you cannot find a new plan,
In Puseyistic days like these, you’d better try a New-man.
The swelling here is different—sonorous, tense, elastic;
On it you might a tattoo beat, with fingers or with a stick.
There’s costiveness and atrophy, with features Hippocratic;
When these appear, there’s much to fear, all safety is erratic.
Although a cordial laxative, mix’d up with some carminative,
Might be prescribed, with morphia, or hops, to keep the man alive;
Take care his diet’s nutritive, avoiding food that’s flatulent,
And each week let him have a dose of Punch from Mr. Bryant sent.
Sing hey! sing ho! &c.
It appears that no less than one hundred and sixty-four Attorneys have given notice of their intention to practise in the Court of Queen’s Bench; and eleven of the fraternity have applied to be re-admitted Attorneys of the Court. We had no idea that such an alarming extension was about taking place in
A poor man went to hang himself,
But treasure chanced to find;
He pocketed the miser’s pelf
And left the rope behind.
His money gone, the miser hung
Himself in sheer despair:
Thus each the other’s wants supplied,
And that was surely fair.
We understand that Mr. Webster has solicited Sir Peter Laurie to make an early début at the Haymarket Theatre in the Heir (hair) at Law.
Madame Vestris has also endeavoured to prevail upon the civic mercy. Andrew to appear in the afterpiece of the Rape of the Lock.
Conducive as Uncle Peter’s suggestion might have been to the restoration of peace in the family of our hero, it was decided to be impracticable by several medical gentlemen, who were consulted upon the matter. After sundry scenes of maternal and grandmaternal distress, Agamemnon succeeded in obtaining the victory, and the heir was vaccinated accordingly with the most favourable result. The pustule rose, budded, blossomed, and disappeared, exactly as it ought to have done, and a few days saw the health of the infant Applebite insured in the office of Dr. Jenner.
Scarcely had the anxious parents been relieved by this auspicious termination, when that painful disorder which renders pork unwholesome and children fractious, made its appearance. Had we the plague-pen of the romancist of Rookwood, we would revel in the detail of this domesticated pestilence—we would picture the little sufferer in the hour of its agony—and be as minute as Mr. Hume in our calculations of its feverish pulsations; but our quill was moulted by the dove, not plucked from the wing of the carrion raven.
And now, gentle reader, we come to a point of this history which we are assured has been anxiously looked forward to by you—a point at which the reader, already breathless with expectation, has fondly anticipated being suffocated with excitement. We may, without vanity, lay claim to originality, for we have introduced a new hero into the world of fiction—a baby three months old—we have traced his happy parents from the ball-room to St. George’s church; from St. George’s church to the ball-room; thence to the doctor’s; and from thence to
Reproach us not, mamas?—Discard us not, ye blushing divinities who have, with your sex’s softness, dandled the heir of Applebite in your imaginations!—Wait!—Wait till we have explained! We have a motive; but as we are novices in this style of literature, we will avail ourselves, at our leave-taking, of the valedictory address of one who is more “up to the swindle.”
To the Readers of the Heir of Applebite.
DEAR FRIENDS,—Having finished the infanto-biography upon which we have been engaged, it is our design to cut off our heir, and bring our tale to a close. You may want to know why—or if you don’t, we will tell you.
We should not regard the anxiety, the close confinement, or the constant attention inseparable from a nursery, did we feel that the result was agreeable to you. But we have not done so. We have been strongly tempted to think, that after waiting from week to week, you have never arrived at anything interesting. We could not bear this jerking of our conscience, which was no sooner ended than begun again.
Most “passages in a tale of any length depend materially for the interest on the intimate relation they bear to what has gone before, or what is to follow.” We sometimes found it difficult to accomplish this.
Considerations of immediate profit ought, in such cases, to be of secondary importance; but, for the reasons we have just mentioned, we have (after some pains to resist the temptation) determined to abandon this scheme of publication.
Taking advantage of the respite which the close of this work will afford us, we have decided in January next to rent a second floor at Kentish Town.
The pleasure we anticipate from the realisation of a wish we have long entertained and long hoped to gratify, is subdued by the reflection that we shall find it somewhat difficult to emancipate our moveables from the thraldom of Mrs. Gibbons, our respected but over-particular landlady.
To console the numerous readers of PUNCH, we have it in command to announce, that on Saturday, Nov. 27th, the first chapter of a series under the title of the “Puff Papers,” appropriately illustrated, will be commenced, with a desire to supply the hiatus in periodical fiction, occasioned by the temporary seclusion of one of the most popular novelists of the day.
Dear friends, farewell! Should we again desire to resume the pen, we trust at your hands we shall not have to encounter a
We are happy to find that Dr. Tully Cicero Burke Sheridan Grattan Charles Phillips Hobler Bedford has not been deterred by the late unsatisfactory termination to the “public meeting” called by him to address the Queen, from prosecuting his patriotic views for his own personal advantage. Dr. &c. Bedford has kindly furnished us with the report of a meeting called by himself, which consisted of himself, for the purpose of considering the propriety of petitioning the Throne to appoint himself to be medical-adviser-in-general to her Majesty, and vaccinator-in-particular to his little Highness the Prince of Wales.
At 10 o’clock precisely Dr. &c. Bedford entered the little back parlour of his surgery, and advancing to the looking-glass over the mantel-piece, made a polite bow to the reflection of himself. After a few complimentary gestures had passed between them, Dr &c. Bedford hemmed twice, and in a very elegant speech proposed that “Doctor &c. Bedford shoold take the cheer.”
Dr. &c. Bedford rose to second the proposition. Dr. &c. Bedford said, “Dr. &c. Bedford is a gentleman what I have had the honour of knowing on for many long ears. His medikel requirement are sich as ris a Narvey and a Nunter to the summut of the temples of Fame. His political requisitions are summarily extinguished. It is, therefore, with no common pride that I second this abomination.”
Dr. &c. Bedford then bowed to his reflection in the glass, and proceeded to take his seat in his easy chair, thumping the table with one hand, and placing the other gracefully upon his breast, as though in token of gratitude for the honour conferred upon him.
Order being restored, Dr. &c. Bedford rose and said,—
“I never kotched myself in sich a sitchuation in my life—I mean not that I hasn’t taken a cheer afore, perhaps carried one—but it never has been my proud extinction to preside over such a meeting—so numerous in its numbers and suspectable in its appearance. My friend, Dr. &c. Bedford, (Hear, hear! from. Dr. &c. Bedford,) his the hornament of natur in this 19th cemetary. His prodigious outlays”—
Voice without.—“Here they are, only a penny!”
Dr. &c. Bedford.—“Order, order! His—his—you know what I mean that shoold distinguish the fisishun and the orator. I may say the Solus of orators,—renders him the most fittest and the most properest person to take care of the Royal health, and the Royal Infant Babby of these regions,” (Hear, hear! from Dr. &c. Bedford.)
The Doctor then proceeded to embody the foregoing observations into a resolution, which was proposed by Dr. &c. Bedford, and seconded by Dr. &c. Bedford, who having held up both his hands, declared it to be carried nem. con.
Dr. &c. Bedford then proposed a vote of thanks to Dr, &c. Bedford for his conduct in the chair. The meeting then dispersed, after Dr. &c. Bedford had returned thanks, and bowed to his own reflection in the looking-glass.
In the immediate vicinity of the pretty little town of Kells stands one of those peculiar high round towers, the origin of which has so long puzzled the brains of antiquaries. It is invariably pointed out to the curious, as a fit subject for their contemplation, and may, in fact, be looked upon as the great local lion of the place. It appears almost inaccessible. But there is a story extant, and told in very choice Irish, how two small dare-devil urchins did succeed in reaching its lofty summit; and this is the way the legend was done into English by one Barney Riley, the narrator, to whom I am indebted for its knowledge:—
“You see Masther Robert, sir,—though its murduring high, and almost entirely quite aqual in stapeness to the ould ancient Tower of Babel, yet, sir, there is them living now as have been at the top of that same; be the same token I knew both o’ the spalpeens myself. It’s grown up they are now; but whin they wint daws’-nesting to the top there, the little blackguards weren’t above knee-high, if so much.”
“But how did they arrive at the summit?”
“That’s the wonder of it! but sure nobody knows but themselves; but the scamps managed somehow or other to insart themselves in through one of them small loopholes—whin little Danny Carroll gave Tom Sheeney a leg up and a back, and Tom Sheeney hauled little Danny up after him by the scruff o’ the neck; and so they wint squeedging and scrummaging on till, by dad, they was up at the tip-top in something less than no time; and the trouble was all they had a chance o’ gettin for their pains; for, by the hokey, the daws’ nest they had been bruising their shins, breaking their necks, and tearing their frieze breeches to tatters to reach, was on the outside o’ the building, and about as hard to get at as truth, or marcy from a thafe of a tythe proctor.
“‘Hubbabboo,’ says little Danny; ‘we are on the wrong side now, as Pat Murphy’s carroty wig was whin it came through his hat; what will we do, at all, at all?’
“‘Divil a know I know. It would make a parson swear after takin’ tythe. Do you hear the vagabones? Oh, then musha, bad luck to your cawings; its impedence, and nothing but it, to be shouting out in defiance of us, you dirty bastes. Danny, lad, you’re but a little thrifle of a gossoon; couldn’t you squeedge yourself through one o’ them holes?’
“‘What will I stand—or, for the matter o’ that, as I’m by no manes particular,—sit upon, whin I git out—that is, if I can?’
“‘Look here, lad, hear a dacent word—it will be just the dandy thing for yes entirely; go to it with a will, and make yourself as small as a little cock elven, and thin we’ll have our revenge upon them aggravation thaves.’ How the puck he done it nobody knows; but by dad there was his little, ragged, red poll, followed by the whole of his small body, seen coming out o’ that trap-loop there, that doesn’t look much bigger than a button-hole—and thin sitting astride the ould bit of rotten timbers, and laffing like mad, was the tiny Masther Danny, robbing the nests, and shouting with joy as he pulled bird after bird from their nate little feather-beds. ‘This is elegant,’ says he; ‘here’s lashins of ’em.’
“‘How many have you,’ says Tom Sheeney.
“‘Seven big uns—full fledged, wid feathers as black as the priest’s breeches on a Good Friday’s fast.’
“‘Seven is it?’
“‘Well, then, hand them in.’
“‘By no manes.’
“‘Seein they’re as well wid me as you.
“‘Give me my half then—that’s your’—
“‘Aisy wid you; who’s had the trouble and the chance of breaking his good-looking neck but me, Mr. Tim Sheeney.’
“‘Devil a care I care; I’ll have four, or I’ll know why.’
“‘That you’ll soon do: I won’t give ’em you.’
“‘Aint I holding the wood?’
“‘By coorse you are; but aint I sitting outside upon it, and by the same token unseating my best breeches.’
“‘I bid you take care; give me four.’
“‘Ha, ha! what a buck your granny was, Mistet Tim Sheeney; it’s three you’ll have, or none.’
“‘Then by the puck I’ll let you go.’
“‘I defy you to do it, you murdering robber.’
“‘Do you! by dad; once more, give me four.’
“‘To blazes wid you; three or none.’
“‘Then there you go!’
“And, worse luck, sure enough he did, and that at the devil’s own pace.
“At this moment I turned my eyes in horror to the Tower, and the height was awful.”
“Poor child,—of course he was killed upon the spot?”
“There’s the wonder; not a ha’porth o’ harm did the vagabone take at all at all. He held on by the birds’ legs like a little nagur; he was but a shimpeen of a chap, and what with the flapping of their wings and the soft place he fell upon, barring a little thrifle of stunning, and it may be a small matter of fright, he was as comfortable as any one could expect under the circumstances; but it would have done your heart good to see the little gossoon jump up, shake his feathers, and shout out at the top of his small voice, ‘Tim Sheeney, you thief, you’d better have taken the three,—for d—n the daw do you get now!’” And so ends the Legend of the Round Tower.
(From our own Correspondent.)
We are at length enabled to inform the Public that we have, at a vast expense, completed our arrangements for the transmission of the earliest news from Ireland. We have just received the Over-bog Mail, which contains facts of a most interesting nature. We hasten to lay our sagacious correspondent’s remarks before our readers:—
Bally-ha-ghadera, Tuesday Night.
PUNCH will appreciate my unwillingness to furnish him with intelligence which might in any way disturb the commercial relations between this and the sister island, more particularly at the present crisis, when the interests of that prosperous class, the London Baked Potatoe vendors, are so intimately connected, with the preservation of good feeling among the Tipperary growers. However, my duty to PUNCH and the public compel me to speak.—I do feel that we are on the eve of a great popular commotion. Every day’s occurrences strengthen my conviction. Bally-ha-ghadera was this morning at sunrise disturbed by noises of the most appalling kind, forming a wild chorus, in which screams and bellowings seemed to vie for supremacy; indeed words cannot adequately describe this terrific disturbance. As I expected, the depraved Whig Journalist, with characteristic mental tortuosity, has asserted that the sounds proceeded from a rookery in the adjoining wood, aided by the braying of the turf-man’s donkey. But an enlightened public will see through this paltry subterfuge. Rooks and donkeys! Pooh! There cannot be a doubt but that the noises were the preparatory war-whoops of this ferocious and sanguinary people. We believe the Whig editor to be the only donkey in the case; that he may have been a ravin(g) at the time is also very probable.
No later than yesterday the Cloonakilty Express was stopped by a band of young men, who savagely ill-treated our courier, a youth of tender age, having attempted to stone him to death. Our courier is ready to swear that at the time of the attack the young men were busily engaged counting a vast store of ammunition, consisting of round white clay balls baked to the hardness of bullets, and evidently intended for shooting with.
I have to call particular attention to the fact that a countryman was this day observed to buy a threepenny loaf, and on leaving the baker’s to tear it asunder and distribute the fragments with three confederates!!! an act which I need not say was evidently symbolical of their desire to rend asunder the Corn Laws, and to divide the landed property amongst themselves. The action also appears analogous to the custom of breaking bread and swearing alliance on it, a practice still observed by the inhabitants of some remote regions of the Caucasus. I must again solemnly express my conviction that we are standing on a slumbering VOLCANO; the thoughtless and unobservant may suppose not; probably because in the present tee-total state of society they see nothing of the CRATER.
A man bearing the very inapplicable name of Virtue was brought up at Lambeth-street last week, on the charge of having stolen a telescope from the Ordnance-office in the Tower on the morning of the fire. The prisoner pleaded that, being short-sighted, he took the glass to have a sight of the fire. The magistrate, however, saw through this excuse very clearly; and as it was apparent that Virtue had taken a glass too much on the occasion, he was fully committed.
We have received the following note from an old and esteemed correspondent, who, we are rejoiced to find, has returned from a tour in Switzerland, where he has been engaged in a prodigious work connected with the statistics of that country.
Knowing the interest you take in anything relating to the advancement of science, I beg to apprise you that I am about publishing a statistical work, in which I have made it perfectly clear that an immense saving in the article of ice alone might be made in England by importing that which lies waste upon Mont Blanc. I have also calculated to a fraction the number of pints of milk produced in the canton of Berne, distinguishing the quantity used in the making of cheese from that which has been consumed in the manufacture of butter—and specifying in every instance whether the milk has been yielded by cows or goats. There will be also a valuable appendix to the work, containing a correct list of all the inns on the road between Frankfort and Geneva, with a copy of the bill of fare at each, and the prices charged; together with the colour of the postilion’s jacket, the age of the landlord and the weight of his wife, and the height in inches of the cook and chambermaid. To which will be added, “Ten Minutes’ Advice” upon making one shilling go as far as two. If you can give me a three-halfpenny puff in your admired publication, you will confer a favour on
Your sincere friend,
In England one man’s mated to one woman,
To spend their days in holy matrimony—
In fact, I have heard from one or two men,
That one wife in a house is one too many—
But, be this as it may, in China no man
Who can afford it shuts himself to any
Fix’d number, but is variously encumber’d
With better halves, from twenty to a hundred.
These to provide for in a pleasant way,
And, maybe, to avoid their chat and worry,
He shuts up in a harem night and day—
With them contriving all his cares to bury—
A point of policy which, I should say,
Sweetens the dose to men about to marry;
For, though a wife’s a charming thing enough,
Yet, like all other blessings, quantum suff.
So to my tale: Te-pott the Multifarious
Was, once upon a time, a mandarin—
In personal appearance but precarious,
Being incorrigibly bald and thin—
But then so rich, through jobs and pensions various,
Obtain’d by voting with the party “in,”
That he maintain’d, in grace and honour too,
Sixty-five years, and spouses fifty-two.
Fifty-two wives! and still he went about
Peering below the maiden ladies’ veils—
Indeed, it was said (but there hangs a doubt
Of scandal on such gossip-whisper’d tales),
He had a good one still to single out—
For all his wives had tongues, and some had nails—
And still he hoped, though fifty-twice deferr’d,
To find an angel in his fifty-third.
In China, mind, and such outlandish places,
A gentleman who wishes to be wed
Looks round about among the pretty faces,
Nor for a moment doubts they may be had
For asking; and if any of them “nay” says,
He has his remedy as soon as said—
For, when the bridegrooms disapprove what they do,
They teach them manners with the bastinado.
Near Te-pott’s palace lived an old Chinese—
About as poor a man as could be known
In lands where guardians leave them to their ease,
Nor pen the poor up in bastilles of stone:
He got a livelihood by picking teas;
And of possessions worldly had but one—
But one—the which, the reader must be told,
Was a fair daughter seventeen years old.
She was a lovely little girl, and one
To charm the wits of both the high and the low;
And Te-pott’s ancient heart was lost and won
In less time than ’twould take my pen to tell how:
So, as he was quite an experienced son-
In-law, and, too, a very wily fellow,
To make Hy-son his friend was no hard matter, I
Ween, with that specific for parents—flattery.
But, when they two had settled all between
Themselves, and Te-pott thought that he had caught her,
He found how premature his hopes had been
Without the approbation of the daughter—
Who talk’d with voice so loud and wit so keen,
That he thought all his Mrs. T’s had taught her;
And, finding he was in the way there rather,
He left her to be lectured by her father.
“Pray, what were women made for” (so she said,
Though Heaven forbid I join such tender saying),
“If they to be accounted are as dead,
And strangled if they ever are caught straying?
Tis well to give us diamonds for the head,
And silken gauds for festival arraying;
But where of dress or diamonds is the use
If we mayn’t go and show them? that’s the deuce!”
The father answer’d, much as fathers do
In cases of like nature here in Britain,
Where fathers seldom let fortunes slip through
Their fingers, when they think that they can get one;
He said a many things extremely true—
Proving that girls are fine things to be quit on,
And that, could she accommodate her views to it,
She would find marriage very nice when used to it.
Now, ’tis no task to talk a woman into
Love, or a dance, or into dressing fine—
No task, I’ve heard, to talk her into sin too;
But, somehow, reason don’t seem in her line.
And so Miss Hy-son, spite of kith and kin too,
Persisting such a husband to decline—
The eager mandarin issued a warrant,
And got her apprehended by her parent.
Thus the poor girl was caught, for there was no
Appeal against so wealthy lover’s fiat:
She must e’en be a wife of his, and so
She yielded him her hand demure and quiet;
For ladies seldom cry unless they know
There’s somebody convenient to cry at—
And; though it is consoling, on reflection
Such fierce emotions ruin the complexion.
Yesterday Paddy Green honoured that great artist William Hogarth Teniers Raphael Bunks, Esq., with a sitting for a likeness. The portrait, which will doubtless be an admirable one, is stated to be destined to adorn one of Mr. Catnach’s ballads, namely, “The Monks of Old!” which Mr. P. Green, in most obliging manner, has allowed to appear.
William Paul took a walk yesterday as far as Houndsditch, in company with Jeremiah Donovan. A pair of left-off unmentionables is confidently reported to be the cause of their visit in the “far East.”
The lady of Paddy Green, Esquire, on Wednesday last, with that kindness which has always distinguished her, caused to be distributed a platterful of trotter bones amongst the starving dogs of the neighbourhood.
From information exclusively our own, and for whose correctness we would stake our hump, we learn that James Burke, the honoured member of the P.R., was seen to walk home on the night of Tuesday last with three fresh herrings on a twig. After supper, he consoled himself with a pint of fourpenny ale.
Charles Mears yesterday took a ride in a Whitechapel omnibus. He alighted at Aldgate Pump, at which he took a draught of water from the ladle. He afterwards regaled on a couple of polonies and a penny loaf.
Jones, the journeyman tailor who was charged before Sir Peter Laurie with being drunk and disorderly in Fleet-street, escaped the penalty of his frolic by an extraordinary whim of justice. The young schneider, it appears, sported a luxuriant crop of hair, the fashion of which not pleasing the fancy of the city Rhadamanthus, he remitted the fine on condition that the delinquent should instantly cut off the offending hairs. A barber being sent for, the operation was instantly performed; and Sir Peter, with a spirit of generosity only to be equalled by his cutting humour, actually put his hand in his breeches-pocket and handed over to the official Figaro his fee of one shilling. The shorn tailor left the office protesting that Sir Peter had not treated him handsomely, as he had only consented to sacrifice his flowing locks, but that the Alderman had cabbaged his whiskers as well.
Why is wit like a Chinese lady’s foot?—Because brevity is the sole of it!
A private letter from Hanover states that, precisely at twelve minutes to eleven in the morning on the ninth of the present November, his Majesty King ERNEST was suddenly attacked by a violent fit of blue devils. All the court doctors were immediately summoned, and as immediately dismissed, by his Majesty, who sent for the Wizard of the North (recently appointed royal astrologer), to divine the mysterious cause of this so sudden melancholy. In a trice the mystery was solved—Queen Victoria “was happily delivered of a Prince!” His Majesty was immediately assisted to his chamber—put to bed—the curtains drawn—all the royal household ordered to wear list slippers—the one knocker to the palace was carefully tied up—and (on the departure of our courier) half a load of straw was already deposited beneath the window of the royal chamber. The sentinels on duty were prohibited from even sneezing, under pain of death, and all things in and about the palace, to use a bran new simile, were silent as the grave!
“Whilst there was only the Princess Royal there were many hopes. There was hope from severe teething—hope from measles—hope from hooping-cough—but with the addition of a Prince of Wales, the hopes of Hanover are below par.” But we pause. We will no further invade the sanctity of the sorrows of a king; merely observing, that what makes his Majesty very savage, makes hundreds of thousands of Englishmen mighty glad. There are now two cradles between the Crown of England and the White Horse of Hanover.
We have a Prince of Wales! Whilst, however, England is throwing up its million caps in rapture at the advent, let it not be forgotten to whom we owe the royal baby. In the clamourousness of our joy the fact would have escaped us, had we not received a letter from Colonel SIBTHORP, who assures us that we owe a Prince of Wales entirely to the present cabinet; had the Whigs remained in office, the infant would inevitably have been a girl.
For our own part—but we confess we are sometimes apt to look too soberly at things—we think her Majesty (may all good angels make her caudle!) is, inadvertently no doubt, treated in a questionable spirit of compliment by these uproarious rejoicings at the sex of the illustrious little boy, who has cast, if possible, a new dignity upon Lord Mayor’s day, and made the very giants of Guildhall shoot up an inch taller at the compliment he has paid them of visiting the world on the ninth of November. In our playful enthusiasm, we have—that is, the public We—declared we must have a Prince of Wales—we should be dreadfully in the dumps if the child were not a Prince—the Queen must have a Prince—a bouncing Prince—and nothing but a Prince. Now might not an ill-natured Philosopher (but all philosophers are ill-natured) interpret these yearnings for masculine royalty as something like pensive regrets that the throne should ever be filled by the feminine sex? For own part we are perfectly satisfied that the Queen (may she live to see the Prince of Wales wrinkled and white-headed!) is a Queen, and think VICTORIA THE FIRST sounds quite as musically—has in it as full a note of promise—as if the regal name had run—GEORGE THE FIFTH! We think there is a positive want of gallantry at this unequivocally shouted preference of a Prince of Wales. Nevertheless, we are happy to say, the pretty, good-tempered Princess Royal (she is not blind, as the Tories once averred; but then the Whigs were in) still laughs and chirrups as if nothing had happened. Nay, as a proof of the happy nature of the infant (we beg to say that the fact is copyright, as we purchased it of the reporter of The Observer), whilst, on the ninth instant, the chimes of St. Martin’s were sounding merrily for the birth of the Prince, the Princess magnanimously shook her coral-bells in welcome of her dispossessing brother!
Independently of the sensation made in the City by the new glory that has fallen upon the ninth of November (it is said that Sir PETER LAURIE has been so rapt by the auspicious coincidence, that he has done nothing since but talk and think of “the Prince of Wales”—that on Wednesday last he rebuked an infant beggar with, “I’ve nothing for you, Prince of Wales”)—independently of the lustre flung upon the new Lord Mayor and the Lord Mayor just out—who will, it is said, both be caudle-cup baronets, the occasion has given birth to much deep philosophy on the part of our contemporaries—so deep, that there is no getting to the end of it, and has also revived much black-letter learning connected with the birth of every Prince of Wales, from the first to the last—and, therefore, certainly not least—new-comer.
An hour or so after George the Fourth was born, we are told that the waggons containing the treasure of the Hermione, a Spanish galleon, captured off St. Vincent by three English frigates, entered St. James’s street, escorted by cavalry and infantry, with trumpets sounding, the enemy’s flags waving over the waggons, and the whole surrounded by an immense multitude of spectators. Now here, to the vulgar mind, was a happy augury of the future golden reign of the Royal baby. He comes upon the earth amid a shower of gold! The melodious chink of doubloons and pieces of eight echo his first infant wailings! What a theme for the gipsies of the press—the fortune-tellers of the time! At the present hour that baby sleeps the last sleep in St. George’s chapel; and we have his public and his social history before us. What does experience—the experience bought and paid for by hard, hard cash—now read in the “waggons of treasure,” groaning musically to the rocking-cradle of the callow infant? Simply, the babe of Queen Charlotte would be a very expensive babe indeed; and that the wealth of a Spanish galleon was all insufficient for the youngling’s future wants.
We have been favoured, among a series of pictures, with the following of George the Fourth, exhibited in his babyhood. We are told that “all persons of fashion were admitted to see the Prince, under the following restrictions, viz.—that in passing through the apartment they stepped with the greatest caution, and did not offer to touch his Royal Highness. For the greater security in this respect, a part of the apartment was latticed off in the Chinese manner, to prevent curious persons from approaching too nearly.”
That lattice “in the Chinese manner” was a small yet fatal fore-shadowing of the Chinese Pavilion at Brighton—of that temple, worthy of Pekin, wherein the Royal infant of threescore was wont to enshrine himself, not from the desecrating touch of the world, but even from the eyes of a curious people, who, having paid some millions toward manufacturing the most finished gentleman in Europe, had now and then a wish—an unregarded wish—to look at their expensive handiwork.
What different prognostics have we in the natal day of our present Prince of Wales! What rational hopes from many circumstances that beset him. The Royal infant, we are told, is suckled by a person “named Brough, formerly a housemaid at Esher.” From this very fact, will not the Royal child grow up with the consciousness that he owes his nourishment even to the very humblest of the people? Will he not suck in the humanising truth with his very milk?
And then for the Spanish treasure—“hard food for Midas”—that threw its jaundiced glory about the cradle of George the Fourth; what is that to the promise of plenty, augured by the natal day of our present Prince? Comes he not on the ninth of November? Is not his advent glorified by the aromatic clouds of the Lord Mayor’s kitchen?—Let every man, woman, and child possess themselves of a Times newspaper of the 10th ult.; for there, in genial companionship with the chronicle of the birth of the Prince, is the luscious history of the Lord Mayor’s dinner. We quit Buckingham Palace, our mind full of our dear little Queen, the Royal baby, Prince Albert—(who, as The Standard informs us subsequently, bows “bare-headed” to the populace,)—the Archbishop of Canterbury, Doctor Locock, the Duke of Wellington, and the monthly nurse, and immediately fall upon the civic “general bill of fare,”—the real turtle at the City board.
Oh, men of Paisley—good folks of Bolton—what promise for ye is here! Turkeys, capons, sirloins, asparagus, pheasants, pine-apples, Savoy cakes, Chantilly baskets, mince pies, preserved ginger, brandy cherries, a thousand luscious cakes that “the sense aches at!” What are all these gifts of plenty, but a glad promise that in the time of the “sweetest young Prince,” that on the birth-day of that Prince just vouchsafed to us, all England will be a large Lord Mayor’s table! Will it be possible for Englishmen to dissassociate in their minds the Prince of Wales and the Prince of good Fellows? And whereas the reigns of other potentates are signalised by bloodshed and war, the time of the Prince will be glorified by cooking and good cheer. His drum-sticks will be the drum-sticks of turkeys—his cannon, the popping of corks. In his day, even weavers shall know the taste of geese, and factory-children smack their lips at the gravy of the great sirloin. Join your glasses! brandish your carving-knives! cry welcome to the Prince of Wales! for he comes garnished with all the world’s good things. He shall live in the hearts, and (what is more) in the stomachs of his people!
Everybody is talking of the great impropriety that has been practised in keeping gunpowder within the Tower; and the papers are blowing up the authorities with astounding violence for their alleged laxity. “Gunpowder,” say the angry journalists, “ought only to be kept where there is no possibility of a spark getting to it.”—We suggest the bottom of the Thames, as the only place where, in future, this precious preparation can be securely deposited.
OLIVIA’S RETURN TO HER FRIENDS.
“I ENTREAT, WOMAN, THAT MY WORDS MAY BE NOW MARKED, ONCE FOR ALL; I HAVE HERE BROUGHT YOU BACK A POOR DELUDED WANDERER; HER RETURN TO DUTY DEMANDS THE REVIVAL OF OUR TENDERNESS. THE KINDNESS OF HEAVEN IS PROMISED TO THE PENITENT, AND LET OURS BE DIRECTED BY THE EXAMPLE.”
Vicar of Wakefield, Chap. XXII.
The last task that devolves upon our student before he goes up to the Hall is to hunt up his testimonials of attendance to lectures and good moral conduct in his apprenticeship, together with his parochial certificate of age and baptism. The first of these is the chief point to obtain; the two last he generally writes himself, in the style best consonant with his own feelings and the date of his indenture. His “morality ticket” is as follows:—
“I hereby certify, that during the period Mr. Joseph Muff served his time with me he especially recommended himself to my notice by his studious and attentive habits, highly moral and gentlemanly conduct, and excellent disposition. He always availed himself of every opportunity to improve his professional knowledge.”
According to the name on the indenture.
The certificate of attendance upon lectures is only obtained in its most approved state by much clever manoeuvring. It is important to bear in mind that a lecturer should never be asked whilst he is loitering about the school for his signature of the student’s diligence. He may then have time to recollect his ignorance of his pupil’s face at his discourses. He should always be caught flying—either immediately before or after his lecture—in order that the whole business may be too hurried to admit of investigation. In the space left for the degree of attention which the student has shown, it is better that he subscribes nothing at all than an indifferent report; because, in the former case, the student can fill it up to his own satisfaction. He usually prefers the phrase—“with unremitting diligence.”
And having arrived at this important section of our Physiology, it behoves us to publish, for the benefit of medical students in general, and those about to go up in particular, the following
Previously to going up, take some pills and get your hair cut. This not only clears your faculties, but improves your appearance. The Court of Examiners dislike long hair.
Do not drink too much stout before you go in, with the idea that it will give you pluck. It renders you very valiant for half an hour and then muddles your notions with indescribable confusion.
Having arrived at the Hall, put your rings and chains in your pocket, and, if practicable, publish a pair of spectacles. This will endow you with a grave look.
On taking your place at the table, if you wish to gain time, feign to be intensely frightened. One of the examiners will then rise to give you a tumbler of water, which you may, with good effect, rattle tremulously against your teeth when drinking. This may possibly lead them to excuse bad answers on the score of extreme nervous trepidation.
Should things appear to be going against you, get up a hectic cough, which is easily imitated, and look acutely miserable, which you will probably do without trying.
Endeavour to assume an off-hand manner of answering; and when you have stated any pathological fact—right or wrong—stick to it; if they want a case for example, invent one, “that happened when you were an apprentice in the country.” This assumed confidence will sometimes bother them. We knew a student who once swore at the Hall, that he gave opium in a case of concussion of the brain, and that the patient never required anything else. It was true—he never did.
Should you be fortunate enough to pass, go to your hospital next day and report your examination, describing it as the most extraordinary ordeal of deep-searching questions ever undergone. This will make the professors think well of you, and the new men deem yon little less than a mental Colossus. Say, also, “you were complimented by the Court.” This advice is, however, scarcely necessary, as we never know a student pass who was not thus honoured—according to his own account.
All things being arranged to his satisfaction, he deposits his papers under the care of Mr. Sayer, and passes the interval before the fatal day much in the same state of mind as a condemned criminal. At last Thursday arrives, and at a quarter to four, any person who takes the trouble to station himself at the corner of Union-street will see various groups of three and four young men wending their way towards the portals of Apothecaries’ Hall, consisting of students about to be examined, accompanied by friends who come down with them to keep up their spirits. They approach the door, and shake hands as they give and receive wishes of success. The wicket closes on the candidates, and their friends adjourn to the “Retail Establishment” opposite, to go the odd man and pledge their anxious companions in dissector’s diet-drink—vulgo, half-and-half.
Leaving them to their libations, we follow our old friend Mr. Joseph Muff. He crosses the paved court-yard with the air of a man who had lost half-a-crown and found a halfpenny; and through the windows sees the assistants dispensing plums, pepper, and prescriptions, with provoking indifference. Turning to the left, he ascends a solemn-looking staircase, adorned with severe black figures in niches, who support lamps. On the top of the staircase he enters a room, wherein the partners of his misery are collected. It is a long narrow apartment, commonly known as “the funking-room,” ornamented with a savage-looking fireplace at one end, and a huge surly chest at the other; with gloomy presses against the walls, containing dry mouldy books in harsh, repulsive bindings. The windows look into the court; and the glass is scored by diamond rings, and the shutters pencilled with names and sentences, which Mr. Muff regards with feelings similar to those he would experience in contemplating the inscriptions on the walls of a condemned cell. The very chairs in the room look overbearing and unpleasant; and the whole locality is invested with an overallishness of unanswerable questions and intricate botheration. Some of the students are marching up and down the room in feverish restlessness; others, arm in arm, are worrying each other to death with questions; and the rest are grinding away to the last minute at a manual, or trying to write minute atomic numbers on their thumb-nail.
The clock strikes five, and Mr. Sayer enters the room, exclaiming—“Mr. Manhug, Mr. Jones, Mr. Saxby, and Mr. Collins.” The four depart to the chamber of examination, where the medical inquisition awaits them, with every species of mental torture to screw their brains instead of their thumbs, and rack their intellects instead of their limbs,—the chair on which the unfortunate student is placed being far more uneasy than the tightest fitting “Scavenger’s daughter” in the Tower of London. After an anxious hour, Mr. Jones returns, with a light bounding step to a joyous extempore air of his own composing: he has passed. In another twenty minutes Mr. Saxby walks fiercely in, calls for his hat, condemns the examiners ad inferos, swears he shall cut the profession, and marches away. He has been plucked; and Mr. Muff, who stands sixth on the list, is called on to make his appearance before the awful tribunal.
Dr. Demosthenes &c. &c. &c. &c. Bedford, who has lately broken out in a new place, has been accused by the lieges of the Borough of having acted in a most unprofessional manner; in short, with having lost his patience. He, Dr. Demosthenes &c. begs to state, the only surgical operation he ever attempted was most successful, notwithstanding it was the difficult one of amputating his “mahogany;” and he further adds, the only case he ever had is still in his hand, it being a most obstinate
(By the Observer’s Own Correspondent.)
Knowing the anxiety that will be felt on this subject, though we doubt if the future King can be called a subject at all, we have collected the following exclusive particulars:—
His Royal Highness will for the present go by the title of “Poppet,” affectionately conferred upon him by Mrs. Lilly at the moment of his birth. Poppet is a title of very great antiquity, and has from time immemorial been used as a mark of endearment towards a newly-born child in all genteel families. Lovey-Dovey has been spoken of; but it is not likely that His Royal Highness will assume the style and dignity of Lovey-Dovey for a considerable period.
Considerable mistakes have been fallen into by some of our contemporaries on this important subject. What may be the present wishes of His Royal Highness it is impossible for any one to ascertain, for he is able to articulate nothing on this point with his little pipe; but the piper, we know, must be eventually paid. He becomes immediately entitled to all the loose halfpence in his mother’s reticule, and sixpence a-week will be at once payable out of his father’s estates at Saxe Gotha. The whole of the revenues attached to the Duchy of Cornwall are also his by the mere fact of his birth: but there is a difficulty as to his giving a receipt for the money, if it should be paid to him. It is believed, that on the meeting of Parliament a Bill will pass for granting peg-top money to His Royal Highness, and a lollipop allowance will be among the earliest estimates.
The Prince of Wales is by birth at the head of all the Infantry in the kingdom, and is Colonel in his own right of a regiment of tin soldiers.
The Prince falls at once into all the long frocks that are required, and has an estate tail in six dozen napkins.
This important matter will be confined at present to teaching His Royal Highness how to take his pap without spilling it. A professor from the pap-al states will, it is expected, be entrusted with this branch of the royal economy.
Our contemporaries are wrong in stating that the individual to whom the post of wet-nurse has been assigned is nothing but a housemaid. We have full authority to state that she is no maid at all, but a respectable married woman.
His Royal Highness has not yet been created a Knight of the Garter, though Sir James Clark insisted on his being admitted to the Bath, against which ceremony the infant Prince entered a vociferous protest.
The whole of the above particulars may be relied on as having been furnished from the very highest authority.
SIR WILLOUGHBY COTTON, during his visit to the Mansion-House Feast, in a moment of forgetfulness after the song of “Hurrah for the Road,” being asked to take wine with the new Lord Mayor, declined the honour in the genuine long-stage phraseology, declaring he had already whacked his fare, and was quite
An Irishman will swear anything.—Mr. Grove.
A man who wears long hair is capable of anything.—Sir Peter Laurie.
The documents lately shown at Buckingham Palace are spurious, and the real ones have been suppressed from party motives, which we shall not allude to. The following are genuine; they relate only to the Prince, the convalescence of Her Majesty being, we are glad to say, so rapid as to require no official notice.
The Prince has sneezed, and it is believed has smiled, though the nurses are unable to pronounce whether the expression of pleasure arose from satisfaction or cholic.
Quarter past One.
The Prince has passed a comfortable minute, and is much easier.
The Prince is fast asleep, and is more quiet.
The Prince has been shown to Sir Robert Peel, and was very fretful.
Sir Robert Peel has left the Palace, and the Prince is again perfectly composed.
Our own Sir Peter Laurie, upon witnessing the extraordinary performance of little Wieland in Die Hexen am Rhein, at the Adelphi Theatre, was so transported with his diabolic agility, that he determined upon endeavouring to arrive at the same perfection of pliability. As a guide for his undertaking, he instantly despatched old Hobler for a folio edition of
The Marquis of Waterford, upon his recent visit to Devonshire, was much struck with the peculiar notice upon the County Stretchers. Being overtaken by some of their extra-bottled apple-juice, he tested the truth of the statement, and found them literally “licensed to carry one in cyder” (one insider).
SIR WYNDHAM ANSTRUTHER, whose “Young Rapid” connexion with the Stage is pretty generally known, boasts that his stud was unrivalled for speed, as he managed with his four to “run through” his whole estates in six months, which he thinks a pretty decent proof that his might well be considered
COMMISSIONER HARVEY and his old crony, Joe Hume, were talking lately of the wonders which the latter had seen in his travels—“You have been on Mont Blanc,” said Whittle. “Certainly,” replied the other. “And what did you see there?” “Why really,” said Joe, “it is always so wrapped up in a double-milled fog, that there is nothing to be seen from it.” “Nothing!” echoed he of the Blues; “I never knew till now why it was called Mount Blank.” As this was the Commissioner’s first attempt at a witticism, we forgive him.
(FROM OUR OWN ONE.)
A marriage is on the tapis between Mr. John Smith, the distinguished toll-collector at the Marsh Gate, and Miss Julia Belinda Snooks, the lovely and accomplished daughter of the gallant out-pensioner of Greenwich Hospital. Should the wedding take place, the bridegroom will be given away by Mr. Levy, the great toll-contractor; while the blushing bride will be attended to the altar by her mother-in-law, the well-known laundress of Tash-street. The trousseau, consisting of a selection from a bankrupt’s stock of damaged de laines, has been purchased at Lambeth House; and a parasol carefully chosen from a lot of 500, all at one-and-ninepence, will be presented by the happy bridegroom on the morning of the marriage. A cabman has already been spoken to, and a shilling fare has been sketched out for the eventful morning, which is so arranged as to terminate at the toll-house, from which Mr. Smith can only be absent for about an hour, during which time the toll will be taken by an amateur of celebrity.
Among the fashionables at the Bower Saloon, we observed Messrs. Jones and Brown, Mr. J. Jones, Mr. H. Jones, Mr. M. Brown, Mr. K. Brown, and several other distinguished leaders of the ton in Stangate.
There is no truth in the report that Tom Timkins intends resigning his seat at the apple-stall in the New Cut; and the rumours of a successor are therefore premature and indelicate.
The vacant crossing opposite the Victoria has not been offered to Bill Swivel, nor is it intended that any one shall be appointed to the post in the Circus.
Why is the making a mem. of the number of a person’s residence like a general election?—Because it’s done to re-member the house.
Why is Count D’Orsay a capital piece of furniture for a kitchen?—Because he’s a good dresser.
Our contemporary, the Times, for the last few days has been very justly deprecating the existing morbid sympathy for criminals. The moment that a man sins against the conventionalities of society he ought certainly to be excluded from all claims upon the sympathy of his fellows. It is very true that even the felon has kindred, parents, wife, children—for whom, and in whom, God has implanted an instinctive love. It is true that the criminal may have been led by the example of aristocratic sinners to disregard the injunctions of revealed religion against the adulterer, the gamester, and the drunkard; and having imitated the “pleasant follies” of the great without possessing the requisite means for such enjoyments, the man of pleasure has degenerated into the man of crime. It is true that the poor and ignorant may have claims upon the wealth and the intelligence of the rich and learned; but are we to pause to inquire whether want may have driven the destitute to theft, or the absence of early instruction have left the physical desires of the offender’s nature superior to its moral restrictions.—Certainly not, whilst we have a gallows. There is, however, one difficulty which seems to interfere with a liberal exercise of the rope and the beam. Where are we to find executioners? for if “whoso sheddeth man’s blood” be amenable to man, surely Jack Ketch is not to be exempted.
The Times condemns the late Lord Chamberlain for allowing the representation of “Jack Sheppard” and “Madame Laffarge” at the Adelphi; so do we. The Times intimates, that “the newspapers teem with details about everything which such criminals ‘as Dick Turpin and Jack Sheppard’ say or do; that complete biographies of them are presented to the public; that report after report expatiates upon every refinement and peculiarity in their wickedness,” for “the good purpose” of warning the embryo highwayman. We are something more than duberous of this. We can see no difference between the exhibition of the stage and the gloating of the broadsheet; they are both “the agents by which the exploits of the gay highwayman are realised before his eyes, amid a brilliant and evidently sympathising” public. We deprecate both, as tending to excite the weak-minded to gratify “the ambition of this kind of notoriety;”—and yet we say, with the Times, there should be “no sympathy for criminals.”
Sir Peter Laurie’s aversion to long locks is accounted for by his change of political opinions, he having some time since cut the W(h)igs.
We are virtuously happy to announce that a meeting has been held at the Hum-mums Hotel, Colonel Sibthorp in the chair, for the purpose of presenting to PUNCH some testimonial of public esteem for his exertions in the detection and exposure of fraudulent wits and would-be distinguished characters.
COLONEL SIBTHORP thanked the meeting for the honour they had conferred upon him in electing him their chairman upon this occasion. None knew better than himself the service that PUNCH had rendered to the public. But for that fun fed individual his (Col. Sibthorp’s) own brilliant effusions would have been left to have smouldered in his brain, or have hung like cobwebs about the House of Commons. (Hear, hear!) But PUNCH had stepped in to the rescue; he had not only preserved some of the brilliant things that he (Col. Sibthorp) had said, but had also reported many of the extremely original witticisms that he had intended to have uttered. (Hear!) There were many honourable gentlemen—(he begged pardon—gentlemen, he meant, without the honourable; but he had been so long a member of parliament that he had acquired a habit of calling men and things out of their proper names). Apologising for so lengthy a parenthesis, he would say that there were many gentlemen who were equally indebted (hear! from Sir Peter Laurie, Peter Borthwick, and Pre-Adam Roebuck) to this jocular benefactor. “It was PUNCH,” said the gallant gentleman, with much feeling, “who first convinced me that the popular opinion of my asinine capabilities was erroneous. It was PUNCH who discovered that there was as much in my head as on it(loud cheers, produced doubtlessly by the aptness of the simile, the gallant Colonel being perfectly bald). I should, therefore, be the most ungrateful of Members for Lincoln, did I not entreat of this meeting to mark their high sense of Mr. PUNCH’S exertions by a liberal subscription” (cheers).
SIR PETER LAURIE acknowledged himself equally in debt with their gallant Chairman to the object of the present meeting. He (Sir Peter) had tried all schemes to obtain popularity—he had made speeches without number or meaning—he had done double duty at the Mansion-house, and had made Mr. Hobler laugh more heartily than any Lord Mayor or Alderman since the days of Whittington (during whose mayoralty the venerable Chief Clerk first took office)—he (Sir P. Laurie) had, after much difficulty and four years’ practice, received the Queen on horseback (much cheering); but (continued cheering)—but it was left for PUNCH to achieve his immortality (immense cheering—several squares of glass in the conservatory opposite broken by the explosion). He (Sir P. Laurie) had done all in his power to deserve the notice of that illustrious wooden individual. He had endeavoured to be much more ass—(loud cheers)—iduous than ever. PUNCH had rewarded him; and he therefore felt it his bounden duty to reward PUNCH. (Hear! hear!)
MR. ROEBUCK fully concurred in the preceding eulogies. What had not PUNCH done for him? Had not PUNCH extinguished the Times by the honest way in which he had advocated his (Roebuck’s) injured genealogy? Had PUNCH not proved that he (Mr. Roebuck) had a father, which the “mendacious journal” had asserted was impossible? Had not PUNCH traced the Roebuck family as far back as 1801?—that was something! But he (Mr. Roebuck) believed that he had been injured by an error of the press, and that PUNCH had written the numerals 1081. Be that as it might, he (Mr. Roebuck) was anxious to discharge the overwhelming debt of gratitude which he owed to MR. PUNCH, and intended to subscribe very largely (cheers).
MR. PETER BORTHWICK had been in former years a Shaksperian actor. He had for many seasons, at the “Royal Rugby Barn,” had the honour of bearing the principal banners in all the imposing processions, “got up at an immense expense” in that unique establishment. (Hear!) He was, therefore, better qualified than any gentleman present to form an opinion of the services which Punch had rendered to the British Drama (loud and continued cheers, during which Mr. Yates rushed on to the platform, and bowed several times to the assembled multitude). Therefore, as a devoted admirer of that art which he (Peter) trusted HE and Shakspere had adorned (cheers), he fondly hoped that the meeting would at once take tickets, when he announced that the performance was for the benefit of Mr. PUNCH.
LORD MORPETH next presented himself; but our reporter, having promised to take tea with his grandmother, left before the Noble Lord opened his mouth.
We hope next week to furnish the remainder of the speeches, and a very long list of subscriptions.
We believe no longing was ever more firmly planted in the human heart, than that of discovering some short cut to the high road of mental acquirement. The toilsome learner’s “Progress” through the barren outset of the alphabet; the slough of despond of seven syllables, endangered as they both are by the frequent appearance of the compulsive birch of the Mr. Worldly-wisemen who teach the young idea how to shoot, must ever be looked upon as a probation, the power of avoiding which is “a consummation devoutly to be wished.” Imbued with this feeling, the more speculative of past ages have frequently attempted to arrive, by external means, at the immediate possession of results otherwise requiring a long course of intense study and anxious inquiry. From these defunct illuminati originated the suppositionary virtues of the magically-endowed divining wand. The simple bending of a forked hazel twig, being the received sign of the deep-buried well, suited admirably with their notions of immediate information, and precluded the unpleasant and toilsome necessity for delving on speculation for the discovery of their desired object. But, alas, divining rods, like dogs, have had their day. The want of faith in the operators, or the growth of a new and obstinate assortment of hazel twigs, threw discredit on the mummery and the mummers. Still the passion existed; and in no case was it more observable than in that of the celebrated witch-finder. An actual presence at the demoniacal rites of the broom-riding sisterhood would have been attended with much danger and considerable difficulty; indeed, it has been asserted that the visitors, like those at Almack’s, were expected to be balloted for, ticketed, and dressed in a manner suiting the occasion. Any infringement of these rules must have been at the proper peril of the contumacious infringer; and as it is more than probable some of the brooms carried double, there was a very decent chance of the intruder’s discovering himself across one of the heavy-tailed and strong-backed breed, taking a trip to some distant bourne, from whence that compulsory aerial traveller would doubtless never have returned. Still witches were evils; and proof of evil is what the law seeks to enable evil’s suppression. Now and again one of these short-cut gentry, by some railroad system of mental calculation, discovered certain external marks or moles that at a glance betrayed “the secret, dark, and midnight hags;” and the witch-finding process was instantaneously established. The outward and visible sign of their misdeeds authorised the further proceeding necessary for the clear proof of their delinquencies: thus the pinchings, beatings, starvings, trials, hangings, and burnings were made the goal of the shortest of all imaginable short cuts; and old women who had established pin manufactories in the stomachs of thousands, instead of receiving patents for their inventions, divided the honour of illuminating the land with the blazing tar-barrels provided for their peculiar use and benefit. Whether it was that aerial gambols on unsaddled and rough-backed broomsticks grew tiresome, or the small profit attending the vocation became smaller, or that all the elderly ladies with moles, and without anything else, were burnt up, we can’t pretend to say; but certain it is, the art of witchcraft fell into disrepute. Corking, minikin, and all description of pins, were obliged to be made in the regular way; and cows even departed this world without the honour of the human immolations formerly considered the necessary sacrifice for the loss of their inestimable lives. Since the abovetimes Animal Magnetism and Mesmerism have followed in the wake of what has been; and now, just as despair, already poised upon its outstretched sable wings, was hovering for a brief moment previous to making its final swoop upon the External Doctrine, Peter—our Peter—Peter Laurie—the great, the glorious, the aldermanic Laurie—makes despair, like the Indian Juggler who swallowed himself, become the victim of its own insatiate maw.
Our quill trembles as we proceed; it is unequal to the task. Oh, that we could write with the whole goose upon the wondrous merits of the wondrous Peter!
We are better. That bumper has restored our nerve.
Reader, fancy the gifted Peter seated in the dull dignity of civic magistracy: the court is thronged—a young delinquent blinks like an owl in sunshine ’neath the mighty flashing of his bench-lit eye. His crime, ay, what’s his crime? it can’t be much—so pale, so thin, so woe-begone! look, too, so tremulous of knee, and redolent of hair! what has he done?
Here Roe interprets—“Please your worship, this young man, or tailor, has been assaulting several females with a blue bag and a pair of breeches.”
Sir Peter.—“I don’t wonder at it; that man would do anything, I see it in his face, or rather in the back of his head, that’s where the expression lies—look at his hair!”
The whole court becomes a Cyclops—it has but one eye, and that is fixed upon the tailor’s locks.
“I say,” resumes our Peter, “a man with that head of hair would do anything—pray, sir, do you wish to be taken for a German sausage, or a German student?—they’re all the same, sir—speak at once.”
The faltering fraction denies the student, and repudiates the sausage.
Sir Peter, still looking at the hair, from which external sign he evidently derived all his information—“You were drunk, sir.”
“I was,” faltered the Samsonian schneider.
“I know it, sir—you are fined five shillings, sir—but if you choose to submit to the deprivation of that iniquitous hair, which has brought you here, and which, I repeat, will make you do anything, I will remit the fine.”
A sigh, fine-drawn as the accidental rent in an unfinished skirt, escaped the hirsute stitcher: a melancholy reflection upon the infinite deal of nothing in his various pockets, and the slow revolving of the Brixton wheel in stern perspective, wrung from the quodded wretch a slow assent: Sir Peter sent a City officer with his warrant to secure the nearest barber: a few sharp clickings of the envious shears—and all was over! Crime fell from the shoulders of the quondam culprit, and the tonsorial innocent stood forth confessed!
Sir Peter was entranced. That was his doing! He gazed with pride upon the new absolved from sin. He asked, “Are you not more comfortable?”
All vice had gone, save one—the young man answered “Yes,” and lied.
“Then, sir, go home.”
“The barber,” muttered “soft Roe” in as soft a voice.
“What of him?”
“Wants a shillin’.”
“There it is,” exclaimed the Augustine Peter, “there, from my own pocket, paid with pleasure to preserve that youth from the evil influence of too much hair—I’ll pay for all the City if they like—and banished suicide, and I’ll pretty soon see if I can’t settle all the City crops. Prisoner, you are discharged.”
The young man lost his hair, the Queen five shillings, and Sir Peter one; but then he gained his end,—and docking must henceforth be looked upon as the treadmill’s antidote, and young man’s fines’ best friend. We therefore say, should the iniquity of your long locks, gentle reader, take you to the station (for, remember, Sir Peter says, Long hair will do anything), if you can’t find bail, secure a barber, and command your liberation. We have been speculating of these externally-illustrated grades of crime; we think the following nearly correct:—
The long and lank indicates larceny (petty and otherwise).
The bushy and bountiful—burglary.
The full and flowing—felony.
The magnificent and mysterious—murder.
And, for aught we know, pigtails—polygamy.
For the future, a thinking man’s motto will be, not to mind “his own eye,” but everybody else’s hair.
P.S. We have just received the following horrifying communication which establishes Sir Peter’s opinion, “that a man with such hair would do anything,” but unfortunately disproves the remedy, as those atrocities have been committed when he was without.
Indignant at the loss of his head’s glory, the evil-minded tailor, immediately upon leaving the court, sent for counsel’s opinion as to whether he couldn’t proceed against Sir Peter, under the act for “cutting and maiming, with intent to do him some grievous bodily harm.” This, it appears he cannot do, inasmuch as these very learned gentlemen at the bar have decided, “the head” from which the hair was cut, and which, if any, is consequently the injured part, is not included in the meaning of the word bodily, as &c. &c. Foiled in this attempt, the monster, for the brutal gratification of his burning revenge, hit upon a scheme the most diabolical that human hair could conceive. He actually applied to the Society for the Suppression of Cruelty to Animals; and they, upon inspecting a portion of the dissevered locks, immediately took up the case, and are about to indict Sir Peter, Roe, and the barber, under one of the clauses of that tremendous act. If they proceed for penalties in individual cases, they must be immense, as the killed and wounded are beyond calculation,—not to mention all that the process has left homeless, foodless, and destitute.
We beg to inform our readers that Mr. Tanner, of Temple-bar and Shire-lane, whose salon extends from the city of London to the liberties of Westminster, has this day been appointed Hair-cutter Extraordinary to Sir Peter Laurie.
KIRCHOFF, a Prussian chemist, is reported to have discovered a process by which milk may be preserved for an indefinite period. Fresh milk is evaporated by a very gentle heat till it is reduced to a dry powder, which is to be kept perfectly dry in a bottle. When required for use it need only be diluted with a sufficient quantity of water. Mr. James Jones, who keeps a red cow—over his door—claims the original idea of making milk from a white powder, which, he states, may be done without the tedious process of evaporation, by using an article entirely known to London milk-vendors—namely chalk.
At the close of the Civic Festival last week, Sir William Follett inquired of the Recorder if he had seen his Castor. “No,” replied Law (holding up the Attorney-General’s fifty-seven penn’orth), “but here is your brother Pollock’s” (Pollux.)
“Well,” said Sir Peter Hobler the other morning, “I should think you will be denied the entrée to the Palace after your decision of Saturday.” “Why so?” inquired the knight of leather. “For fear you should cut off the heir to the Throne!” screamed Hobler, and vanished.