Whilst Mr. Muff follows the beadle from the funking-room to the Council Chamber, he scarcely knows whether he is walking upon his head or his heels; if anything, he believes that he is adopting the former mode of locomotion; nor does he recover a sense of his true position until he finds himself seated at one end of a square table, the other three sides whereof are occupied by the same number of gentlemen of grave and austere bearing, with all the candles in the room apparently endeavouring to imitate that species of eccentric dance which he has only seen the gas-lamps attempt occasionally as he has returned home from his harmonic society. The table before him is invitingly spread with pharmacopoeias, books of prescriptions, trays of drugs, and half-dead plants; and upon these subjects, for an hour and a half, he is compelled to answer questions.
We will not follow his examination: nobody was ever able to see the least joke in it; and therefore it is unfitted for our columns. We can but state that after having been puzzled, bullied, “caught,” quibbled with, and abused, for the above space of time, his good genius prevails, and he is told he may retire. Oh! the pleasure with which he re-enters the funking-room—that nice, long, pleasant room, with its cheerful fireplace and good substantial book-cases, and valuable books, and excellent old-fashioned furniture; and the capital tea which the worshipful company allows him—never was meal so exquisitely relished. He has passed the Hall! won’t he have a flare-up to-night!—that’s all.
As soon as all the candidates have passed, their certificates are given them, upon payment of various sovereigns, and they are let out. The first great rush takes place to the “retail establishment” over the way, where all their friends are assembled—Messrs. Jones, Rapp, Manhug, &c. A pot of “Hospital Medoc” is consumed by each of the thirsty candidates, and off they go, jumping Jim Crow down Union-street, and swaggering along the pavement six abreast, as they sing several extempore variations of their own upon a glee which details divers peculiarities in the economy of certain small pigs, pleasantly enlivened by grunts and whistles, and the occasional asseveration of the singers that their paternal parent was a man of less than ordinary stature. This insensibly changes into “Willy brewed a Peck of Malt,” and finally settles down into “Nix my Dolly,” appropriately danced and chorussed, until a policeman, who has no music in his soul, stops their harmony, but threatens to take them into charge if they do not bring their promenade concert to a close.
Arrived at their lodgings, the party throw off all restraint. The table is soon covered with beer, spirits, screws, hot water, and pipes; and the company take off their coats, unbutton their stocks, and proceed to conviviality. Mr. Muff, who is in the chair, sings the first song, which informs his friends that the glasses sparkle on the board and the wine is ruby bright, in allusion to the pewter-pots and half-and half. Having finished, Mr. Muff calls upon Mr. Jones, who sings a ballad, not altogether perhaps of the same class you would hear at an evening party in Belgrave-square, but still of infinite humour, which is applauded upon the table to a degree that flirps all the beer out of the pots, with which Mr. Rapp draws portraits and humorous conceits upon the table with his finger. Mr. Manhug is then called upon, and sings
Oh; A was an Artery, fill’d with injection;
And B was a Brick, never caught at dissection.
C were some Chemicals—lithium and borax;
And D was a Diaphragm, flooring the thorax.
Chorus (taken in short-hand with minute accuracy).
Fol de rol lol,
Tol de rol lay,
Fol de rol, tol de rol, tol de rol, lay.
E was an Embryo in a glass case;
And F a Foramen, that pierced the skull’s base.
G was a Grinder, who sharpen’d the fools;
And H means the Half-and-half drunk at the schools.
Fol de rol lol, &c.
I was some Iodine, made of sea-weed;
J was a Jolly Cock, not used to read.
K was some Kreosote, much over-rated;
And L were the Lies which about it were stated.
Fol de rol lol, &c.
M was a muscle—cold, flabby, and red;
And N was a Nerve, like a bit of white thread.
O was some Opium, a fool chose to take;
And P were the Pins used to keep him awake.
Fol de rol lol, &c.
Q were the Quacks, who cure stammer and squint,
R was a Raw from a burn, wrapp’d in lint.
S was a Scalpel, to eat bread and cheese;
And T was a Tourniquet, vessels to squeeze.
Fol de rol lol, &c.
U was the Unciform bone of the wrist.
V was the Vein which a blunt lancet miss’d.
W was Wax, from a syringe that flow’d.
X, the Xaminers, who may be blow’d!
Fol de rol lol, &c.
Y stands for You all, with best wishes sincere;
And Z for the Zanies who never touch beer.
So we’ve got to the end, not forgetting a letter;
And those who don’t like it may grind up a better.
Fol de rol lol, &c.
This song is vociferously cheered, except by Mr. Rapp, who during its execution has been engaged in making an elaborate piece of basket-work out of wooden pipe-lights, which having arranged to his satisfaction, he sends scudding at the chairman’s head. The harmony proceeds, and with it the desire to assist in it, until they all sing different airs at once; and the lodger above, who has vainly endeavoured to get to sleep for the last three hours, gives up the attempt as hopeless, when he hears Mr. Manhug called upon for the sixth time to do the cat and dog, saw the bit of wood, imitate Macready, sing his own version of “Lur-li-e-ty,” and accompany it with his elbows on the table.
The first symptom of approaching cerebral excitement from the action of liquid stimulants is perceived in Mr. Muff himself, who tries to cut some cold meat with the snuffers. Mr. Simpson also, a new man, who is looking very pale, rather overcome with the effects of his elementary screw in a first essay to perpetrate a pipe, petitions for the window to be let down, that the smoke, which you might divide with a knife, may escape more readily. This proposition is unanimously negatived, until Mr. Jones, who is tilting his chair back, produces the desired effect by overbalancing himself in the middle of a comic medley, and causing a compound, comminuted, and irreducible fracture of three panes of glass by tumbling through them. Hereat, the harmony experiencing a temporary check, and all the half-and half having disappeared, Mr. Muff finds there is no great probability of getting any more, as the servant who attends upon the seven different lodgers has long since retired to rest in the turn-down bedstead of the back kitchen. An adjournment is therefore determined upon; and, collecting their hats and coats as they best may, the whole party tumble out into the streets at two o’clock in the morning.
“Whiz-z-z-z-z-t!” shouts Mr. Manhug, as they emerge into the cool air, in accents which only Wieland could excel; “there goes a cat!” Upon the information a volley of hats follow the scared animal, none of which go within ten yards of it, except Mr. Rapp’s, who, taking a bold aim, flings his own gossamer down the area, over the railings, as the cat jumps between them on to the water-butt, which is always her first leap in a hurried retreat. Whereupon Mr. Rapp goes and rings the house-bell, that the domestics may return his property; but not receiving an answer, and being assured of the absence of a policeman, he pulls the handle out as far as it will come, breaks it off, and puts it in his pocket. After this they run about the streets, indulging in the usual buoyant recreations that innocent and happy minds so situated delight to follow, and are eventually separated by their flight from the police, from the safe plan they have adopted of all running different ways when pursued, to bother the crushers. What this leads to we shall probably hear next week, when they are once more réunis in the dissecting-room to recount their adventures.
It is said that the Duke of Wellington declined the invitation to the Lord Mayor’s civic dinner in the following laconic speech:—“Pray remember the 9th November, 1830.”—“Ah!” said Sir Peter Laurie, on hearing the Duke’s reply, “I remember it. They said that the people intended on that day to set fire to Guildhall, and meant to roast the Mayor and Board of Aldermen.”—“On the old system, I suppose, of every man cooking his own goose,” observed Hobler drily.
I cannot recollect the precise day, but it was some time in the month of November 1839, that I took one of my usual rambles without design or destination. I detest a premeditated route—I always grow tired at the first mile; but with a free course, either in town or country, I can saunter about for hours, and feel no other fatigue but what a tumbler of toddy and a pipe can remove. It was this disposition that made me acquainted with the fraternity of the “Puffs.” I would premise, gentle reader, that as in my peregrinations I turn down any green lane or dark alley that may excite my admiration or my curiosity—hurry through glittering saloons or crowded streets—pause at the cottage door or shop window, as it best suits my humour, so, in my intercourse with you, I shall digress, speculate, compress, and dilate, as my fancy or my convenience wills it. This is a blunt acknowledgment of my intentions; but as travellers are never sociable till they have cast aside the formalities of compliment, I wished to start with you at the first stage as an old acquaintance. The course is not usual, and, therefore, I adopt it; and it was by thus stepping out of a common street into a common hostel that I became possessed of the matériel of those papers, which I trust will hereafter tend to cheat many into a momentary forgetfulness of some care. I have no other ambition; there are philosophers enough to mystify or enlighten the world without my “nose of Turk and Tartar’s lips” being thrust into the cauldron, whose
—“Charms of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth, boil and bubble.”
I had buttoned myself snugly in my Petersham (may the tailor who invented that garment “sleep well” whenever he “wears the churchyard livery, grass-green turned up with brown!”) The snow—the beautiful snow—fell pure and noiselessly on the dirty pavement. Ragged, blue-faced urchins were scrambling the pearly particles together, and, with all the joyous recklessness of healthier childhood, carrying on a war less fatal but more glorious than many that have made countless widows and orphans, and, perhaps, one hero. Little round doll-like things, in lace and ribbons, were thumping second-door windows with their tiny hands, and crowing with ecstasy at the sight of the flaky shower. “Baked-tater” cans and “roasted-apple” saucepan lids were sputtering and frizzing in impotent rage as they waged puny war with the congealed element. Hackney charioteers sat on their boxes warped and whitened; whilst those strange amalgams of past and never-to-come fashions—the clerks of London—hurried about with the horrid consciousness of exposing their costliest garments to the “pelting of the pitiless storm.” Evening stole on. A London twilight has nothing of the pale grey comfort that is diffused by that gradual change from day to night which I have experienced when seated by the hearth or the open window of a rural home. There it seems like the very happiness of nature—a pause between the burning passions of meridian day and the dark, sorrowing loneliness of night; but in London on it comes, or rather down it comes, like the mystic medium in a pantomime—it is a thing that you will not gaze on for long; and you rush instinctively from daylight to candle-light. I stopped in front of an old-fashioned public-house, and soon (being a connoisseur in these matters) satisfied myself that if comfort were the desideratum, “The heart that was humble might hope for it here.” I shook the snow from my “Petersham,” and seeing the word “parlour” painted in white letters on a black door, bent my steps towards it. I was on the point of opening the door, when a slim young man, with a remarkable small quantity of hair, stopped my onward coarse by gurgling rather than ejaculating—for the sentence seemed a continuous word—
“Why not?” said I.”
“Yes-Sir,—Tues’y night—Puffs-meets-on-Tues’y,” and then addressing a young girl in the bar, delivered an order for “One-rum-one-bran’y-one gin-no-whisky-all-’ot,” which I afterwards found to signify one glass of each of the liqueurs.
I was about to remonstrate against the exclusiveness of the “Puffs,” when recollecting the proverbial obduracy of waiters, I contented myself with buttoning my coat. My annoyance was not diminished by hearing the hearty burst of merriment called forth by some jocular member of this terra incognita, but rendered still more distressing by the appearance of the landlord, who emerged from the room, his eyes streaming with those tears that nature sheds over an expiring laugh.
“You have a merry party concealed there, Master Host,” said I.
“Ye-ye-s-Sir, very,” replied he, and tittered again, as though he were galvanizing his defunct merriment.
“Quite, Sir, un-unless you are introduced—Oh dear!” and having mixed a small tumbler of toddy, he disappeared into that inner region of smoke from which I was separated by the black door endorsed “Parlour.”
I had determined to seek elsewhere for a more social party, when the thumping of tables and gingle of glasses induced me to abide the issue. After a momentary pause, a firm and not unmusical voice was heard, pealing forth the words of a song which I had written when a boy, and had procured insertion for in a country newspaper. At the conclusion the thumping was repeated, and the waiter having given another of his stenographical orders, I could not resist desiring him to inform the vocal gentleman that I craved a few words with him.
“Yes-Sir—don’t-think-’ll come—’cos he-’s-in-a-corner.”
“Perhaps you will try the experiment,” said I.
“Certainly-Sir-two-gins-please-ma’am.” And having been supplied with the required beverage, he also made his exit in fumo.
In a few minutes a man of about fifty made his appearance; his face indicated the absence of vulgarity, though a few purply tints delicately hinted that he had assisted at many an orgie of the rosy offspring of Jupiter and Semele. His dark vestments and white cravat induced me to set him down as a “professional gentleman”—nor was I far wrong in my conjecture. As I shall have, I trust, frequent occasion to speak of him, I will for the sake of convenience, designate him Mr. Bonus.
I briefly stated my reason for disturbing him—that as he had honoured my muse by forming so intimate an acquaintance with her, I was anxious to trespass on his politeness to introduce me into that room which had now become a sort of “Blue-beard blue-chamber” to my thirsty curiosity. Having handed him my card, he readily complied, and in another minute I was an inhabitant of an elysium of sociality and tobacco-smoke.
“Faugh!” cries Aunt Charlotte Amelia, whilst pretty little Cousin Emmeline turns up her round hazel eyes and ejaculates, “Tobacco-smoke! horrid!”
Ladies! you treat with scorn that which God hath given as a blessing! It has never been your lot to thread the streets of mighty London, when the first springs of her untiring commerce are set in motion. Long, dear aunt, before thy venerable nose peeps from beneath the quilted coverlid [pg 231]to scent an atmosphere made odorous by cosmetics—long, dear Emmeline, ere those bright orbs that one day will fire the hearts of thousands are unclosed, the artizan has blessed his sleeping children, and closed the door upon his household gods. The murky fog, the drizzling shower, welcome him back to toil. Labour runs before him, and with ready hand unlocks the doors of dreary cellars or towering and chilly edifices; mind hath not yet promulgated or received the noble doctrine that toil is dignity; and you, yes, even you, dear, gentle hearts! would feel the artizan a slave, if some clever limner showed you the toiling wretch sooted or japanned. Would you then rob him of one means of happiness? No—not even of his pipe! Ladies, you tread on carpets or on marble floors—I will tell you where my foot has been. I have walked where the air was circumscribed—where man was manacled by space, for no other crimes but those of poverty and misfortune. I’ve seen the broken merchant seated round a hearth that had not one endearment—they looked about for faces that were wont to smile upon them, and they saw but mirrors of their own sad lineaments—some laughed in mockery of their sorrows, as though they thought that mirth would come for asking; others, grown brutal by being caged, made up in noise what they lacked in peace. How comfortless they seemed! The only solace that the eye could trace was the odious herb, tobacco!
I have climbed the dark and narrow stairway that led to a modern Helicon; there I have seen the gentle creature that loved nature for her beauty—beauty that was to him apparent, although he sat hemmed in by bare and tattered walls; yet there he had seen bright fountains sparkle and the earth robe herself with life, and where the cunning spider spread her filmy toils above his head, he has seen a world of light, a galaxy of wonders. The din of wheels and the harsh discordant cries of busy life have died within his ear, and the tiny voices of choral birds have hymned him into peace; or the lettered eloquence of dread sages has become sound again, and he has communed in the grove and temple, as they of older time did in the eternal cities, with those whose names are immortal—and there I have seen the humble pipe! the sole evidence of luxury or enjoyment; when his daily task was suspended, it can never end, for he must weave and weave the fibres of his brain into the clue that leads him to the means of sustaining life.
I have wandered through lanes and fields when the autumn was on and the world golden, and my journey has ended at a yeoman’s door. My welcome has been a hand-grasp, that needed bones and muscles to bear it unflinchingly—my fare the homeliest, but the sweetest; and when the meal was ended, how has the night wore on and then away over a cup of brown October—the last autumn’s legacy—and, forgive me, Emmeline, a pipe of tobacco! Glorious herb! that hath oft-times stayed the progress of sorrow and contagion; a king once consigned thee to the devil, but many a humble, honest heart hath hailed thee as a blessing from the Creator.
I was introduced by my new acquaintance without much ceremony, and was pleased to see that little was expected. “We meet here thrice a week,” said Bonus, “just to wile away an hour or two after the worry and fatigue of business. Most of us have been acquainted with each other since boyhood—and we have some curious characters amongst us; and should you wish to enrol your name, you have only to prove your qualification for this (holding up his pipe), and we shall be happy to recognise you as a ‘Puff.’”
SIR PETER LAURIE having observed a notice in one of the journals that the superior planets, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, are now to be seen every evening in the west, despatched a messenger to them with an invitation to the late Polish Ball, sagely remarking that “three such stars must prove an attraction.” Upon Sir Peter mentioning the circumstance to Hobler, the latter cunningly advised Alderman Figaro (in order to prevent accidents) to solicit them to come by water, and accordingly Sir Peter’s carriage was in waiting for the fiery stranger at the
The borough of Limerick at present enjoys the singular advantage of having two civic heads to the city. The new mare, Martin Honan, Esq., after being duly elected, civilly requested the old mare, C. S. Vereker, Esq., to turn out; to which he as civilly replied that he would see him blessed first, and as he was himself the only genuine and original donkey, he was resolved not to yield his place at the corporate manger to the new animal. Thus matters remain at present—the old Mare resolutely refusing to take his head out of the halter until he is compelled to do so.
By the Author of the “Great Metropolis.”
It is a remarkable fact that, in spite of the recent Act, there are no less than three hundred sweeps who still continue to cry “sweep,” in the very teeth of the legislative measure alluded to. I have been in the habit of meeting many of these sweeps at the house I use for my breakfast; and in the course of conversation with them, I have generally found that they know they are breaking the law in calling out “sweep,” but they do not raise the cry for the mere purpose of law-breaking. I am sure it would be found on inquiry that it is only with the view of getting business that they call out at all; and this shows the impolicy of making a law which is not enforced; for they all know that it is very seldom acted upon.
The same argument will apply to the punishment of death; and my friend Jack Ketch, whom I meet at the Frog and Frying-pan, tells me that he has hanged a great many who never expected it. If I were to be asked to make all the laws for this country, I certainly should manage things in a very different manner; and I am glad to say that I have legal authority on my side, for the lad who opens the door at Mr. Adolphus’s chambers—with whom I am on terms of the closest intimacy—thinks as I do upon every great question of legal and constitutional policy. But this is “neither here nor there,” as my publisher told me when I asked him for the profits of my last book, and I shall therefore drop the subject.
In speaking of eminent publishers, I must not forget to mention Mr. Catnach, to whom I owe a debt of gratitude for having been the first to introduce me to the literary career I have since so successfully followed. I believe I was the first who carried into effect Mr. Catnach’s admirable idea of having the last dying speeches all struck off on the night before an execution, so as to get them into the hands of the public as early as possible. It was, moreover, my own suggestion to stereotype one speech, to be used on all occasions; and I also must claim the merit of having recommended the fixing a man’s head at the top of the document as “a portrait of the murderer.” Catnach and I have always been on the best of terms, but he is naturally rather angry that I have not always published with him, which he thinks—and many others tell me the same thing—I always should have done. At all events, Catnach has not much right to complain, for he has on two occasions wholly repainted his shop-shutters from effusions of mine; and I know that he has greatly extended his toy and marble business through the profits of a poetical version of the fate of Fauntleroy, which was very popular in its day, and which I wrote for him.
I have never until lately had much to do with Pitts, of Seven Dials; but I have found him an intelligent tradesman, and a very spirited publisher. He undertook to get out in five days a new edition of the celebrated pennyworth of poetry, known some time back, and still occasionally met with, as the “Three Yards of Popular Songs,” which were all selected by me, and for which I chose every one of the vignettes that were prefixed to them. I have had extensive dealings both with Pitts and Catnach; and in comparing the two men, I should say one was the Napoleon of literature, the other the Mrs. Fry. Catnach is all for dying speeches and executions, while Pitts is peculiarly partial to poetry. Pitts, for instance, has printed thousands of “My Pretty Jane,” while Catnach had the execution of Frost all in type for many months before his trial. It is true that Frost never was hanged, but Blakesley was; and the public, to whom the document was issued when the latter event occurred, had nothing to do but to bear in mind the difference of the names, and the account would do as well for one as for the other. Catnach has been blamed for this; but it will not be expected that I shall censure any one for the grossest literary quackery.
The success of the Polish Ball has induced some humane individuals to propose that a similar festival should take place for the relief of the distressed Spitalfields weavers. We like the notion of a charitable quadrille—or a benevolent waltz; and it delights us to see a philanthropic design set on foot, through the medium of a gallopade. A dance which has for its object the putting of bread in the mouths of our fellow-creatures, may be truly called
Doctors Spurzheim and Gall have acquired immense renown for their ingenious and plausible system of phrenology. These eminent philosophers have by a novel and wonderful process divided that which is indivisible, and parcelled out the human mind into several small lots, which they call “organs,” numbering and labelling them like the drawers or bottles in a chemist’s shop; so that, should any individual acquainted with the science of phrenology chance to get into what is vulgarly termed “a row,” and being withal of a meek and lamb like disposition, which prompts him rather to trust to his heels than to his fists, he has only to excite his organ of combativeness by scratching vigorously behind his ear, and he will forthwith become bold as a lion, valiant as a game-cock—in short, a very lad of whacks, ready to fight the devil if he dared him. In like manner, a constant irritation of the organ of veneration on the top of his head will make him an accomplished courtier, and imbue him with a profound respect for stars and coronets. Now if it be possible—and that it is, no one will now attempt to deny—to divide the brain into distinct faculties, why may not the stomach, which, it has been admitted by the Lord Mayor and the Board of Aldermen, is a far nobler organ than the brain,—why may it not also possess several faculties? As we know that a particular part of the brain is appropriated for the faculty of time, another for that of wit, and so on, is it not reasonable to suppose that there is a certain portion of the stomach appropriated to the faculty of roast beef, another for that of devilled kidney and so forth?
It may be said that the stomach is a single organ, and therefore incapable of performing more than one function. As well might it be asserted that it was a steam-engine, with a single furnace consuming Whitehaven, Scotch, or Newcastle coals indiscriminately. The fact is, the stomach is not a single organ, but in reality a congeries of organs, each receiving its own proper kind of aliment, and developing itself by outward bumps and prominences, which indicate with amazing accuracy the existence of the particular faculty to which it has been assigned.
It is upon these facts that I have founded my system of Stomachology; and contemplating what has been done, what is doing, and what is likely to be done, in the analogous science of phrenology, I do not despair of seeing the human body mapped out, and marked all over with faculties, feelings, propensities, and powers, like a tattooed New Zealander. The study of anatomy will then be entirely superseded, and the scientific world would be guided, as the fashionable world is now, entirely by externals.
The circumstances which led me to the discovery of this important constitution of the stomach were partly accidental, and partly owing to my own intuitive sagacity. I had long observed that Judy, “my soul’s far dearer part,” entertained a decided partiality for a leg of pork and pease-pudding—to which I have a positive dislike. On extending my observations, I found that different individuals were characterised by different tastes in food, and that one man liked mint sauce with his roast lamb, while others detested it. I discovered also that in most persons there is a predominance of some particular organ over the surrounding ones, in which case a corresponding external protuberance may be looked for, which indicates the gastronomic character of the individual. This rule, however, is not absolute, as the prominence of one faculty may be modified by the influence of another; thus the faculty of ham may be modified by that of roast veal, or the desire to indulge in a sentiment for an omelette may be counteracted by a propensity for a fricandeau, or by the regulating power of a Strasbourg pie. The activity of the omelette emotion is here not abated; the result to which it would lead, is merely modified.
It would be tedious to detail the successive steps of my inquiries, until I had at last ascertained distinctly that the power of the eating faculties is, cæteris paribus, in proportion to the size of those compartments in the stomach by which they are manifested. I propose at a future time to explain my system more fully, and shall conclude my present lecture by giving a list of the organs into which I have classified the stomach, according to my most careful observations.
Of the last organ I have not been able to discover the function; it is probably miscellaneous, and disposes of all that is not included in the others.
(By the Reporter of the Court Journal.)
Yesterday Paddy Green, Esq. gave a grand déjeuner à la fourchette to a distinguished party of friends, at his house in Vere-street. Amongst the guests we noticed Charles Mears, J.M., Mister Jim Connell, Bill Paul, Deaf Burke, Esq., Jerry Donovan, M.P.R., Herr Von Joel, &c. &c. Mister Jim Connell and Jerry Donovan went the “odd man” who should stand glasses round. The favourite game of shove-halfpenny was kept up till a late hour, when the party broke up highly delighted.
A great party mustered on Friday last, in the New Cut, to hear Mr. Briggles chant a new song, written on the occasion of the birth of the young Prince. He was accompanied by his friend Mr. Handel Purcell Mozart Muggins on the drum and mouth-organ, who afterwards went round with his hat.
On Friday the lady of Paddy Green paid a morning call to Clare Market, at the celebrated tripe shop; she purchased two slices of canine comestibles which she carried home on a skewer.
Mrs. Paddy Green on Wednesday visited Mrs. Joel, to take tea. She indulged in two crumpets and a dash of rum in the congou. It is confidently reported that on Wednesday next Mrs. Joel will pay a visit to Mrs. G. at her residence in Vere-street, to supper; after which Mr. Paddy Green will leave for his seat in Maiden-lane.
Jeremiah Donovan, it is stated, is negotiating for the three-pair back room in Surrey, late the residence of Charles Mears, J.M.
“Pa,” said an interesting little Polyglot, down in the West, with his French Rudiments before him, “why should one egg be sufficient for a dozen men’s breakfasts?”—“Can’t say, child.”—“Because un œuf—is as good as a feast.”—“Stop that boy’s grub, mother, and save it at once; he’s too clever to live much longer.”
To the bashful, the hesitating, and the ignorant, the following hints may prove useful.
If you call on the “loved one,” and observe that she blushes when you approach, give her hand a gentle squeeze, and if she returns it, consider it “all right”—get the parents out of the room, sit down on the sofa beside the “must adorable of her sex”—talk of the joys of wedded life. If she appears pleased, rise, seem excited, and at once ask her to say the important, the life-or-death-deciding, the suicide-or-happiness-settling question. If she pulls out her cambric, be assured you are accepted. Call her “My darling Fanny!”—“My own dear creature!”—and a few such-like names, and this completes the scene. Ask her to name the day, and fancy yourself already in Heaven.
A good plan is to call on the “object of your affections” in the forenoon—propose a walk—mamma consents, in the hope you will declare your intentions. Wander through the green fields—talk of “love in a cottage,”—“requited attachment”—and “rural felicity.” If a child happens to pass, of course intimate your fondness for the dear little creatures—this will be a splendid hit. If the coast is clear, down you must fall on your knee, right or left (there is no rule as to this), and swear never to rise until she agrees to take you “for better and for worse.” If, however, the grass is wet, and you have white ducks on, or if your unmentionables are tightly made—of course you must pursue another plan—say, vow you will blow your brains out, or swallow arsenic, or drown yourself, if she won’t say “yes.”
If you are at a ball, and your charmer is there, captivating all around her, get her into a corner, and “pop the question.” Some delay until after supper, but “delays are dangerous”—Round-hand copy.
A young lady’s “tears,” when accepting you, mean “I am too happy to speak.” The dumb show of staring into each other’s faces, squeezing fingers, and sighing, originated, we have reason to believe, with the ancient Romans. It is much practised now-a-days—as saving breath, and being more lover-like than talking.
We could give many more valuable hints, but Punch has something better to do than to teach ninnies the art of amorifying.
Now harems being very lonely places,
Hemm’d in with bolts and bars on every side,
The fifty-two who shared Te-pott’s embraces
Were glad to see a stranger, though a bride—
And so received her with their gentlest graces,
And questions—though the questions are implied,
For ladies, from Great Britain to the Tropics,
Are very orthodox in their choice of topics.
They ask’d her, who was married? who was dead?
What were the newest things in silks and ivories?
And had Y—Y—, who had eloped with Z—,
Been yet forgiven? and had she seen his liveries?
And weren’t they something between grey and red?
And hadn’t Z’s papa refused to give her his?
So Hy-son told them everything she knew
And all was very well a day or two.
But, when the Multifarious forsook
Bo-hea, Pe-koe, and Wiry-leaf’d Gun-pow-der,
To revel in the lip and sunny look
Of the young stranger; spite of all they’d vow’d her,
The ladies each with jealous anger shook,
And rail’d against the simple maid aloud—Ah!
This woman’s pride is a fine thing to tell us of—
But a small matter serves her to be jealous of.
One said she was indecorously florid—
One thought “she only squinted, nothing more—”
A third, convulsively pronounced her “horrid “—
While Bo-hea, who was low (at four-and-four),
Glanced from her fingers up at Hy-son’s forehead,
Who, inkling such a tendency before,
Cared for no rival’s nails—but paid—I own,
Particular attention to her own.
Well, this was bad enough; but worse than this
Were the attentions of our ancient hero,
Whose frequent vow, and frequenter caress,
Unwelcome were for any one to hear, who
Had charms for better pleasure than a kiss
From feeble dotard ten degrees from zero.
So, as one does when circumstances harass one,
Hy-son began to draw up a comparison.
“Was ever maiden so abused as I am?
Teazed into such a marriage—then to be
Dosed with my husband twenty times per diem,
With repetetur haustus after tea!
And, if he should die, what can I get by him?
A jointure’s nothing among fifty-three!
I’m meek enough—but this I can not bear—
I wish: I wish:—I wish a girl might swear!”
In such a mood, she—(stop! I’ll mend my pen;
For now all our preliminaries are done,
And I am come unto the crisis, when
Her fate depends on a kind reader’s pardon)—
Wandering forth beyond the ladies’ ken,
She thought she spied a male face in the garden—
She hasten’d thither—she was not mistaken,
For sure enough, a man was there a-raking.
A man complete he was who own’d the visage,
A man of thirty-three, or may-be longer—
So young, she could not well distinguish his age—
So old, she knew he had one day been younger.
Now thirty-three, although a very nice age,
Is not so nice as twenty, twenty-one, or
So; but of lovers when a lady’s caught one,
She seldom stops to stipulate what sort o’ one.
Now, the first moment Hy-son saw the gardener—
A gardener, by his tools and dress she knew—
She felt her bosom round her heart in a—
A—just as if her heart was breaking through;
And so she blush’d, and hoped that he would pardon her
Intruding on his grounds—“so nice they grew!—
Such roses! what a pink!—and then that peony;
Might she die if she ever look’d to see any!”
The gardener offer’d her a budding rose:
She took it with a smile, and colour’d high;
While, as she gave its fragrance to her nose,
He took the opportunity to sigh.
And Hy-son’s cheek blush’d like the daylight’s close!
She glanced around to see that none were nigh,
Then sigh’d again and thought, “Although a peasant,
His manners are refined, and really pleasant.”
They stood each looking in the other’s eyes,
Till Hy-son dropp’d her gaze, and then—good lack
Love is a cunning chapman: smiles, and sighs.
And tears, the choicest treasures in his pack!
Still barters he such baubles for the prize,
Which all regret when lost, yet can’t get back—
The heart—a useful matter in a bosom—
Though some folks won’t believe it till they lose ’em.
Love can say much, yet not a word be spoken.
Straight, as a wasp careering staid to sip
The dewy rose she held, the gardener’s token,
He, seizing on her hand, with hasty grip,
The stem sway’d earthward with its blossom, broken.
The gardener raised her hand unto his lip,
And kiss’d it—when a rough voice, hoarse with halloas,
Cried, “Harkye’ fellow! I’ll permit no followers!”
The lists were made—the trumpet’s blast
Rang pealing through the air.
My ’squire made lace and rivet fast
And brought my tried destrerre.
I rode where sat fair Isidore
Inez Mathilde Borghese;
From spur to crest she scann’d me o’er,
Then said “He’s not the cheese!”
O, Mary mother! how burn’d my cheek!
I proudly rode away;
And vow’d “Woe’s his I who dares to break
A lance with me to-day!”
I won the prize! (Revenge is sweet,
I thought me of a ruse;)
I laid it at her rival’s feet,
And thus I cook’d her goose.
What difference is there between a farrier and Dr. Locock?—Because the one is a horse-shoer, and the other is a-cow-shoer. (accoucheur).
Why is the Prince of Wales Duke of Cornwall?—Because he is a minor.
“Bar that,” as the Sheriff’s Officer said to his first-floor window.
In a manuscript life of Jemmy Twitcher—the work will shortly appear under the philosophical auspices of SIR LYTTON BULWER—we find a curious circumstance, curiously paralleled by a recent political event. Jemmy had managed to pass himself off as a shrewd, cunning, but withal very honest sort of fellow; he was, nevertheless, in heart and soul, a housebreaker of the first order. One night, Jemmy quitted his respectable abode, and, furnished with dark lantern, pistol, crowbar, and crape, joined half-a-dozen neophyte burglars—his pupils and his victims. The hostelry chosen for attack was “The Spaniards.” The host and his servants were, however, on the alert; and, after a smart struggle in the passage, the housebreakers were worsted; two or three of them being killed, and the others—save and except the cautious Jemmy, who had only directed the movement from without—being fast in the clutches of the constables. Jemmy, flinging away his crape and his crowbar, ran home to his house—he was then living somewhere in Petty France—went to bed, and the next morning appeared as snug and as respectable as ever to his neighbours. Vehement was his disgust at the knaves killed and caught in the attack on “The Spaniards;” and though there were not wanting bold speakers, who averred that Twitcher was at the bottom of the burglary, nevertheless, his grave look, and the character he had contrived to piece together for honest dealing, secured him from conviction.
Jemmy Twitcher was what the world calls a warm fellow. He had gold in his chest, silver tankards on his board, pictures on his walls; and more, he had a fine family of promising Twitchers. One night, greatly to his horror at the iniquity of man, miscreants surrounded his dwelling and fired bullets at his children. The villains were apprehended; and the hair of Jemmy—who had evidently forgotten all about the affair at “The Spaniards”—stood on end, as the conspiracy of the villains was revealed, as it was shown how, in anticipation of a wicked success, they had shared among them, not only his gold and his tankards, but the money and plate of all his honest neighbours. Jemmy, still forgetful of “The Spaniards” cried aloud for justice and the gibbet!
Have we not here the late revolution in Spain—the QUENISSET conspiracy—and in the prime mover of the first, and the intended victim of the second rascality, KING LOUIS-PHILIPPE, the JEMMY TWITCHER OF THE FRENCH?
The commission recently appointed in France for the examination of the Communists and Equalised Operatives, taken in connexion with the recent bloodshed under French royal authority, is another of the ten thousand illustrations of the peculiar morality of crowned heads. Here is a sawyer, a cabinet-maker, a cobbler, and such sort, all food for the guillotine for attempting to do no more than has been most treacherously perpetrated by the present King of the French and the ex-Queen of Spain. How is it that LOUIS-PHILIPPE feels no touch of sympathy for that pusillanimous scoundrel—Just? He is naturally his veritable double; but then Just is only a carpenter, LOUIS-PHILIPPE is King of the French!
The reader has only to read Madrid for Paris—has only to consider the sawyer Quenisset (the poor tool, trapped by Just), the murdered Don Leon, or any other of the gallant foolish victims of the French monarchy in the late atrocity in Spain, to see the moral identity of the scoundrel carpenter and the rascal king. We quote from the report:—
Quénisset (alias DON LEON) examined.—“Just said to me, pointing to the body of officers, ‘You must fire into the midst of those;’ I then drew the pistol from under my shirt, and discharged it with my left hand in the direction I was desired.”
O’DONNELL, LEON, ORA, BORIA, FULGOSIO, drew their pistols at the order of LOUIS-PHILIPPE and CHRISTINA, and merely fired in the direction they were desired!
“Where was this society (the Ouvriers Egalitaires) held?”—“Generally at the house of Colombier, keeper of a wine-shop, Rue Traversière.”
“What formed the subject of discourse in these meetings, when you were there?”—“Different crimes. They talked of overthrowing the throne, assassinating the agents of the government—shedding blood, in fact!”
For the Rue Traversière we have only to read the Rue de Courcelles—for Colombier the wine seller, CHRISTINA ex-Queen of Spain. As for the subject of discourse at her Majesty’s hotel, events have bloodily proved that it was the overthrow of a throne—the murder of the constituted authorities of Spain—and, in the comprehensive meaning of Quénisset—“shedding blood, in fact!” At the wine-shop meetings the French conspirator tells us that there was “an old man, a locksmith,” who would read revolutionary themes, and “electrify the souls of the young men about him!” The locksmith of the Rue de Courcelles was the crafty, sanguinary policy of the monarch of the barricades. We now come to MADAME COLOMBIER, alias QUEEN CHRISTINA.—
“Do you know whether your comrades had many cartridges?”—“I do not know exactly what the quantity was, but I heard a man say, and, Madame Colombier also boasted to another woman, that they had worked very hard, and for some time past, at making cartridges.”
Madame COLOMBIER, however, must cede in energy and boldness to the reckless devilry of the Spanish ex-Queen; for the cartridges manufactured by the wine-seller’s wife were not to be discharged into the bed-room of her own infant daughters! They were certain not to shed the blood of her own children. Now the cartridges of the Rue de Courcelles were made for any service.
One more extract from the confessions of QUENISSET (alias DON LEON):—
“At the corner of the Rue Traversière I saw Just, Auguste, and several other young men, whom I had seen in the morning receiving cartridges. Upon my asking whether the attack was to be made, Just answered, Yes. He felt for his pistols; my comrade got his ready under his blouse. I seized mine under my shirt. Just called to me, ‘There, there, it is there you are to fire.’ I fired. I thought that all the others would do the same; but they made me swallow the hook, and then left me to my fate, the rascals!”
Poor DON LEON! So far the parallel is complete. The pistol was fired against Spanish liberty; and the royal Just, finding the object missed, sneaks off, and leaves his dupe for the executioner. There, however, the similitude fails. LOUIS-PHILIPPE sleeps in safety—if, indeed, the ghosts of his Spanish victims let him sleep at all; whilst for Just, the carpenter, he is marked for the guillotine. Could Justice have her own, we should see the King of the French at the bar of Spain; were the world guided by abstract right, one fate would fall to the carpenter and the King. History, however, will award his Majesty his just deserts. There is a Newgate Calendar for Kings as well as for meaner culprits.
There are, it is said, at the present moment in France fifty thousand communists; foolish, vicious men; many of them, doubtless, worthy of the galleys; and many, for whom the wholesome discipline of the mad-house would be at once the best remedy and punishment. Fifty thousand men organised in societies, the object of which is—what young France would denominate—philosophical plunder; a relief from the canker-eating chains of matrimony; a total destruction of all objects of art; and the common enjoyment of stolen goods. It is against this unholy confederacy that the moral force of LOUIS-PHILIPPE’S Government is opposed. It is to put down and destroy these bands of social brigands that the King of the French burns his midnight oil; and then, having extirpated the robber and the anarchist from France, his Majesty—for the advancement of political and social freedom—would kidnap the baby-Queen of Spain and her sister, to hold them as trump cards in the bloody game of revolution. That LOUIS-PHILIPPE, the Just of Spain, can consign his fellow-conspirator, the Just of Paris, to the scaffold, is a grave proof that there is no honour among a certain set of enterprising men, whom the crude phraseology of the world has denominated thieves.
It is to make the blood boil in our veins to read the account of the execution of such men as LEON, ORA, and BORIA, the foolish martyrs to a wicked cause. Never was a great social wrong dignified by higher courage. Our admiration of the boldness with which these men have faced their fate is mingled with the deepest regret that the prime conspirators are safe in Paris; that one sits in derision of justice on fellow criminals—on men whose crime may have some slight extenuation from ignorance, want, or fancied cause of revenge; that the other, with the surpassing meekness of Christianity, goes to mass in her carriage, distributes her alms to the poor, and, with her soul dyed with the blood of the young, the chivalrous, and the brave, makes mouths at Heaven in very mockery of prayer.
We once were sufficiently credulous to believe in the honesty of LOUIS-PHILIPPE; we sympathised with him as a bold, able, high-principled man fighting the fight of good government against a faction of smoke-headed fools and scoundrel desperadoes. He has out-lived our good opinion—the good opinion of the world. He is, after all, a lump of crowned vulgarity. Pity it is that men, the trusting and the brave, are made the puppets, the martyrs, of such regality!
As for Queen CHRISTINA, her path, if she have any touch of conscience, must be dogged by the spectres of her dupes. She is the Madame LAFFARGE of royalty; nay, worse—the incarnation of Mrs. BROWNRIGG. Indeed, what JOHNSON applied to another less criminal person may be justly dealt upon her:—“Sir, she is not a woman, she is a speaking cat!”
“They say the owl was a baker’s daughter.”
“Oh, how the wheel becomes it.”—SHAKSPEARE.
That immense cigar, our mild Cavannah, has at length met with his deserts, and left the sage savans of the fool’s hotbed, London, the undisturbed possession of the diligently-achieved fool’s-caps their extreme absurdity, egregious folly, and lout-like gullibility, have so splendidly qualified them to support.
This extraordinary and Heaven-gifted faster is at length laid by the heels. The full blown imposition has exploded—the wretched cheat is consigned to merited durance; while the trebly-gammoned and unexampled spoons who were his willing dupes are in full possession of the enviable notoriety necessarily attendant upon their extreme amount of unmitigated folly.
This egregious liar and finger-post for thrice inoculated fools set out upon a provincial “Starring and Starving Expedition,” issuing bills, announcing his wish to be open to public inspection, and delicately hinting the absolute necessity of shelling-out the browns, as though he, Bernard Cavanagh, did not eat, yet he had a brother “as did;” consequently, ways and means for the establishment and continuance of a small commissariat for the ungifted fraternal was delicately hinted at in the various documents containing the pressing invitations to “yokel population” to honour him with an inspection.
Numerous were the visitors and small the contributions attendant upon the circulation of these “documents in madness.” Many men are rather notorious in our great metropolis for “living upon nothing,” that is, existing without the aid of such hard food as starved the ass-eared Midas; out these gentlemen of invisible ways and means have a very decent notion of employing four out of the twenty four hours in supplying their internal economy with such creature comforts as, in days of yore, disinherited Esau, and procured a somewhat gastronomic celebrity for the far-famed Heliogabalus. But a gentleman who could treat his stomach like a postponed bill in the House of Commons—that is, adjourn it sine die, or take it into consideration “this day seven years”—was really a likely person to attract attention and excite curiosity: accordingly, Bernard Cavanagh was questioned closely by some of his visitors; but he, like the speculation, appeared to be “one not likely to answer.”
Apparent efforts at concealment invariably lead to doubt, and, doubt engendering curiosity, is very like to undergo, especially from one of the fair sex, a scrutiny of the most searching kind. Eve caused the fall of Adam—a daughter of Eve has discovered and crushed this heretofore hidden mystery. This peculiarly empty individual was discovered by the good lady—despite the disguise of a black patch upon his nose and an immeasurable outspread of Bandana superficially covering that (as he asserted) useless orifice, his mouth—sneaking into the far-off premises of a miscellaneous vendor of ready-dressed eatables; and there Bernard the faster—the anti-nourishment and terrestrial food-defying wonder—the certificated of Heaven knows how many deacons, parsons, physicians, and fools—demanded the very moderate allowance for his breakfast of a twopenny loaf, a sausage, and a quarter of a pound of ham cut fat: that’s the beauty of it—cut fat! The astonished witness of this singular purchase rushed at once to the hotel: Cavanagh might contain the edibles, she could not: the affair was blown; an investigation very properly adjudicated upon the case; and three months’ discipline at the tread-mill is now the reward of this arch-impostor’s merits. So far so good; but in the name of common sense let some experienced practitioner in the art of “cutting for the simples” be furnished with a correct list of the awful asses he has cozened at “hood-man blind;” and pray Heaven they may each and severally be operated on with all convenient speed!
During the vacation, the Judges’ bench in each of the Courts at Westminster Hall has been furnished with luxurious air-cushions, and heated with the warm-air apparatus. Baron Parke declares that the Bench is now really a snug berth,—and, during one of Sergeant Bompas’s long speeches, a most desirable place for taking
If I were a Parliament man,
I’d make a long speech, and I’d bring in a plan,
And prevail on the House to support a new clause
In the very first chapter of Criminal Laws!
But, to guard against getting too nervous or low
(For my speech you’re aware would be then a no-go),
I’d attack, ere I went, some two bottles of Sherry,
And chaunt all the way Row di-dow di-down-derry!11. The exact tune of this interesting song it has not been in our power to discover—it is, however, undoubtedly a truly national melody.
Then having arrived (just to drive down the phlegm),
I’d clear out my throat and pronounce a loud “Hem!”
(So th’ appearance of summer’s preceded by swallows,)
Make my bow to the House, and address it as follows:—
“Mr. Speaker! the state of the Criminal Laws”
(Thus, like Cicero, at once go right into the cause)
Is such as demands our most serious attention,
And strong reprobation, and quick intervention.”
(This rattling of words, which is quite in the fashion,
Shows the depth of my zeal, and the force of my passion.)
“Though the traitor’s obligingly eased of his head—
Though a Wilde22. After due inquiry we have satisfied ourselves that the individual here mentioned is not H.M.’s late Solicitor-General, but one Jonathan Wilde, touching whose history vide Jack Sheppard. to the dark-frowning gallows is led—
Tho’ the robber, when caught, is most kindly sent hence
Beyond the blue wave, at his country’s expense!—
Yet so bad, so disgracefully bad, seems to me
The state of the law in this ‘Land of the free’”—
(Speak these words in a manner most zealous and fervid)—
That there’s no law for those who most richly deserve it!
Yes, Sir, ’tis a fact not less true than astounding—
A fact—to the wise with instruction abounding,
That those who the face of the country destroy,
And hurl o’er the best scenes of Nature alloy—
Who Earth’s brightest portions cut through at a dash—
Who mix beauty and beastliness all in one hash”—
(I don’t dwell upon deaths, since a reason so brittle
Is but worthy of minds unpoetic and little)—
“Base scum of the Earth, and sweet Nature’s dissectors,
Meet with no just reward—these same Railway Directors!”
I’ve not mentioned the “Laughters,” the “Bravos,” the “Hears,”
“Agitations,” “Sensations,” and “Deafening Cheers,”
Which of course would attend a speech so patriotic,
So truly exciting, and anti-narcotic!
In this style I’d proceed, ’till I’d proved to the House
That these railways, in fact, were a national chouse,
And the best thing to do for poor Earth, to protect her,
Would be—to hang daily a Railway Director!
Of course the Hon. Members could ne’er have a thought
Of opposing a motion with kindness so fraught;
But would welcome with fervent and loud acclamation⎫
A project so teeming with consideration,⎬
As a model of justice, a boon to the nation!⎭
Such, Simon, if I were a Parliament man,
The basis would be, and the scope, of my plan!
But my rushlight is drooping—so trusting diurnally,
To hear your opinion—believe me eternally
(Whilst swearing affection, best swear in the lump)
“All the world’s a joke, and all the men and women merely jokers.”—Shakspeare. From the text of Joseph Miller.
Messrs. GAG and GAMMON beg most respectfully to call the strict attention of the reading public to the following brief prospectus of their forthcoming work “On Jokes for all subjects.” Messrs. GAG and GAMMON pledge themselves to produce an article at present unmatched for application and originality, upon such terms as must secure them the patronage and lasting gratitude of their many admirers. Messrs. GAG and GAMMON propose dividing their highly-seasoned and warranted-to-keep-in-any-climate universal facetiæ into the following various heads, departments, or classes:—
General jokes for all occasions; chiefly applicable to individuals’ names, expressive of peculiar colours.
A very superior article on Browns—if required, bringing in said Browns in Black and White.
Embarrassed do., very humorous, with Duns; and a choice selection of unique references to the copper coin of the realm. Worthy the attention of young beginners, and very safe for small country towns, with one wit possessed of a good horse-laugh for his own, or rather Messrs. G. and G.’s jokes.
Do. do. on Greens, very various: bring in Sap superbly, and Pea with peculiar power; with a short cut to Lettus (Lettuce), and Hanson’s Patent Safety,—a beautiful allusion to the “Cab-age.” May be tried when there is an attorney and young doctor, with a perfect certainty of success.
Do. do. do. On Wiggins; very pungent, suitable to the present political position; offering a beautiful contrast of Wig-ins and Wig-outs; capable of great ramifications, and may be done at least twice a-night in a half whisper in mixed society.
Also some “Delightful Dinner Diversions, or Joke Sauces for all Joints.”
Calves-head.—Brings in fellow-feeling; family likeness; cannibalism; “tête-à-tête”; while the brain sauce and tongue are never-failing.
Goose.—Same as above, with allusions to the “sage;” two or three that stick in the gizzard; and a beautiful work up with a “long liver.”
Ducks.—Very military: bring in drill; drumsticks; breastwork; and pair of ducks for light clothing and summer wear.
Snipes.—Good for lawyers; long bill. Gallantry; “Toast be dear Woman.” Mercantile; run on banks. And infants; living on suction.
Herring.—Capital for bride: her-ring; petticoats, flannel and otherwise, herring-boned. Fat people; bloaters; &c. &c. &c.
Venison.—Superior, for offering everybody some of your sauce. Sad subject, as it ought to be looked upon with a grave eye (gravy). Wish your friends might always give you such a cut. &c. &c. &c.
Port.—Like well-baked bread, best when crusty; flies out of glass because of the “bee’s wing.” Always happy to become a porter on such occasions; object to general breakages, but partial to the cracking of a bottle; comes from a good “cellar” and a good buyer, though no wish to be a good-bye-er to it. All the above with beautiful leading cues, and really with two or three rehearsals the very best things ever done.
Sherry.—“Do you sherry?” “Not just yet.” “Rather unlucky, white whining: like a bottle of port; but no objection to share he. Hope never to be out of the Pale of do.; if so, will submit to be done Brown.”
N.B.—After an election dinner, any of the above valued at a six weeks’ invitation from any voter under the influence of his third bottle; and absolute reversion of the chair, when original chairman disappears under table.
Champagne.—Real pleasure (quite new—never thought of before)—must be Wright’s; nothing left about it; intoxicating portion of a bird, getting drunk with pheasant’s eye. What gender’s wine? Why hen’s feminine. Safe three rounds; and some others not quite compact.
Hock.—Hic, hec, do.
Hugeous.—Glass by all means (very new); never could decline it, &c. &c. &c.
Dessert.—Wish every one had it; join hands with ladies’ fingers and bishops’ thumbs: Prince Albert and Queen very choice “Windsor pairs;” medlars; unpleasant neighbour: nuts; decidedly lunatic, sure to be cracked; disbanding Field Officers shelling out the kernels, &c. &c. &c.
The above are but a few samples from the very extensive joke manufactory of Messrs. Gammon and Gag, sole patentees of the powerful and prolific steam-joke double-action press. They are all warranted of the very best quality, and last date.
Old jokes taken in exchange—of course allowing a liberal per-centage.
Gentlemen’s own materials made up in the most superior style, and at the very shortest notice.
Election squibs going off—a decided sacrifice of splendid talent.
Ideas convertible in cons., puns, and epigrams, always on hand.
Laughs taught in six lessons.
A treatise on leading subjects for experienced jokers just completed.
A large volume of choice sells will be put up by Mr. George Robins on the 1st of April next, unless previously disposed of by private contract.
N.B.—Well worthy the attention of sporting and other punsters.
Also a choice cachinatory chronicle, entitled “How to Laugh, and what to Laugh at.”
For further particulars apply to Messrs. Gag and Gammon, new and second-hand depôt for gentlemen’s left-off facetiæ, Monmouth-street; and at their West-end establishment, opposite the Black Doll, and next door to Mr. Catnach, Seven-dials.
Let Bulwer and Stephens write epics like mad,
With lofty hexameters grapplin’,
My theme is as good, though my verse be as bad,
For ’tis all about Ellena Chaplin!
As lovely a nymph as the rhapsodist sees
To inspire his romantical nap. Lin
Ne’er saw such a charming celestial Chinese
“Maid of Honour” as Ellena Chaplin.
O Yates! let us give thee due credit for this:—
Thou hast an infallible trap lain—
For mouths cannot hiss, when they long for a kiss;
As thou provest—with Ellena Chaplin.
E’en the water wherein (in “Die Hexen am Rhein”)
She dives (in an elegant wrap-lin-
Sey-woolsey, I guess) seems bewitch’d into wine,
When duck’d in by Ellena Chaplin.
A fortunate blade will be he can persuade
This nymph to some church or some chap’l in,—
And change to a wife the most beautiful Maid
Of the theatre—Ellena Chaplin!
The active and speculative Alderman Humphrey, being always ready to turn a penny, has entered into a contract to supply a tribe of North American Indians with second-hand wearing apparel during the ensuing winter. In pursuance of this object he applied yesterday at the Court of Chancery to purchase the “530 suits, including 40 removed from the ‘Equity Exchequer,’ which occupy the cause list for the present term.” Upon the discovery of his mistake the Alderman wisely determined on
|FORGET-ME-NOT||Dedicated to the “Irish Pisantry.” By Mayor Dan O’Connell.|
|FRIENDSHIP’S OFFERING||Dedicated by Mr. Roebuck to the Times.|
|THE BOOK OF BEAUTY||Edited by Col. Sibthorp and Mr. Muntz.|
|THE JUVENILE ANNUAL||Edited by the Queen, and dedicated to Prince Albert|
|ON NOSOLOGY||By the Duke of Wellington and Lord Brougham.|
|A TREATISE ON ELOQUENCE||By W. Gibson Craig, M.P.|
|COOPER’S DEAR-SLAYER||By Lord Palmerston.|
Public curiosity has been a good deal excited lately by mysterious rumours concerning some valuable jewels, which, it was said, had been discovered at the Exchequer. The pill-box supposed to enclose these costly gems being solemnly opened, it was found to contain nothing but an antique pair of false promises, set in copper, once the property of Sir Francis Burdett; and a bloodstone amulet, ascertained to have belonged to the Duke of Wellington. The box was singularly enough tied with red official tape, and sealed with treasury wax, the motto on the seal being “Requiscat in Pace.”
We are enabled to assure our readers that his Royal Highness the Duke of Cornwall has appointed Lord Glengall pap-spoon in waiting to his Royal Highness.
The Lord Mayor, Lord Londonderry, Sir Peter Laurie, Sir John Key, Colonel Sibthorp, Mr. Goulburn, Peter Borthwick, Lord Ashburton, and Sir E.L. Bulwer, were admitted to an interview with his Royal Highness, who received them in “full cry,” and was graciously pleased to confer on our Sir Peter extraordinary proofs of his royal condescension. The distinguished party afterwards had the honour of partaking of caudle with the nursery-maids.
Sir John Scott Lillie has informed us confidentially, that he is not the individual of that name who has been appointed monthly nurse in the Palace. Sir John feels that his qualifications ought to have entitled him to a preference.
The captain of the Britannia states that he fell in with two large whales between Dover and Boulogne on last Monday. There is every reason to believe they were coming up the Thames to offer their congratulations to the future Prince of Whales.
We understand that Sir Peter Laurie has been presented with the Freedom of the Barber’s Company, enclosed in a pewter shaving-box of the value of fourpence-halfpenny. On the lid is a medallion of
A difficulty, it is thought, may arise in bestowing the customary honour upon the chief magistrate of the city, upon the birth of a male heir to the throne, in consequence of the Prince being born on the day on which the late Mayor went out and the present one came into office. Sir Peter Laurie suggests that a petition be presented to the Queen, praying that her Majesty may (in order to avoid a recurrence of such an awkward dilemma) be pleased in future to
The other evening, the public were put in possession, at Covent Garden Theatre, of a new branch of art in play concoction, which may be called “dramatic distillation.” By this process the essence of two or more old comedies is extracted; their characters and plots amalgamated; and the whole “rectified” by the careful expunction of equivocal passages. Finally, the drame is offered to the public in active potions; five of which are a dose.
The forgotten plays put into the still on this occasion were “The Discovery,” by Mrs. Frances Sheridan, and “The Tender Husband,” by Sir Richard Steele. From one, that portion which relates to the “City,” is taken; the “Court” end of the piece belonging to the other. In fact, even in their modern dress, they are two distinct dramas, only both are played at once—a wholesome economy being thus exercised over time, actors, scenery, and decorations: the only profusion required is in the article of patience, of which the audience must be very liberal.
The courtiers consist of Lord Dangerfield, who although, or—to speak in a sense more strictly domestic—because, he has got a wife of his own, falls in love with the young spouse of young Lord Whiffle; then there is Sir Paladin Scruple, who, having owned to eighteen separate tender declarations during fourteen years, dangles after Mrs. Charmington, an enchanting widow, and Louisa Dangerfield, an insipid spinster, the latter being in love with his son.
The citizens consist of the famille Bearbinder, parents and daughter, together with Sir Hector Rumbush and a clownish son, who the former insists shall marry the sentimental Barbara Bearbinder, but who, accordingly, does no such thing.
The dialogues of these two “sets” go on quite independent of each other, action there is none, nor plot, nor, indeed, any progression of incident whatever. Lord Dangerfield tells you, in the first scene, he is trying to seduce Lady Whiffle, and you know he won’t get her. Directly you hear that Sir Paladin Scruple has declared in favour of Miss Dangerfield, you are quite sure she will marry the son; in short, there is not the glimmer of an incident throughout either department of the play which you are not scrupulously prepared for—so that the least approach to expectation is nipped in the bud. The whole fable is carefully developed after all the characters have once made their introduction; hence, at least three of the acts consist entirely of events you have been told are going to happen, and of the fulfilment of intentions already expressed.
One character our enumeration has omitted—that of Mr. Winnington, who being a lawyer, stock and marriage broker, is the bosom friend and confident of every character in the piece, and, consequently, is the only person who has intercourse with the two sets of characters. This is a part patched up to be the sticking plaster which holds the two plots together—-the flux that joins the mettlesome Captain Dangerfield (son of the Lord) to the sentimental citoyenne Barbara Bearbinder. In fact, Winnington is the author’s go-between, by which he maketh the twain comedies one—the Temple Bar of the play—for he joineth the “Court” with the “City.”
So much for construction: now for detail. The legitimate object of comedy is the truthful delineation of manners. In life, manners are displayed by what people do, and by what they say. Comedy, therefore, ought to consist of action and dialogue. (“Thank you,” exclaims our reader, “for this wonderful discovery!”) Now we have seen that in “Court and City” there is little action: hence it may be supposed that the brilliancy of the dialogue it was that tempted the author to brush away the well-deserved dust under which the “Discovery” and the “Tender Husband” have been half-a-century imbedded. But this supposition would be entirely erroneous. The courtiers and citizens themselves were but dull company: it was chiefly the acting that kept the audience on the benches and out of their beds.
Without action or wit, what then renders the comedy endurable? It is this: all the parts are individualities—they speak, each and every of them, exactly such words, by which they give utterance to such thoughts, as are characteristic of him or herself, each after his kind. In this respect the “Court and City” presents as pure a delineation of manners as a play without incident can do—a truer one, perhaps, than if it were studded with brilliancies; for in private life neither the denizens of St. James’s, nor those of St. Botolph’s, were ever celebrated for the brilliancy of their wit. Nor are they at present; if we may judge from the fact of Colonel Sibthorp being the representative of the one class, and Sir Peter Laurie the oracle of the other.
This nice adaptation of the dialogue to the various characters, therefore, offers scope for good acting, and gets it. Mr. Farren, in Sir Paladin Scruple, affords what tradition and social history assure us is a perfect portraiture of an old gentleman of the last century;—more than that, of a singular, peculiar old gentleman. And yet this excellent artist, in portraying the peculiarities of the individual, still preserves the general features of the class. The part itself is the most difficult in nature to make tolerable on the stage, its leading characteristic being wordiness. Sir Paladin, a gentleman (in the ultra strict sense of that term) seventy years of age, is desirous of the character of un homme de bonnes fortunes. Cold, precise, and pedantic, he tells the objects—not of his flame—but of his declarations, that he is consumed with passion, dying of despair, devoured with love—talking at the same time in parenthetical apologies, nicely-balanced antitheses, and behaving himself with the most frigid formality. His bow (that old-fashioned and elaborate manual exercise called “making a leg”) is in itself an epitome of the manners and customs of the ancients.
Madame Vestris and Mr. C. Matthews played Lady and Lord Whiffle—two also exceedingly difficult characters, but by these performers most delicately handled. They are a very young, inexperienced (almost childish), and quarrelsome couple. Frivolity so extreme as they were required to represent demands the utmost nicety of colouring to rescue it from silliness and inanity. But the actors kept their portraits well up to a pleasing standard, and made them both quite spirituels (more French—that Morning Post will be the ruin of us), as well as in a high degree natural.
All the rest of the players, being always and altogether actors, within the most literal meaning of the word, were exactly the same in this comedy as they are in any other. Mr. Diddear had in Lord Dangerfield one of those [pg 240]parts which is generally confided to gentlemen who deliver the dialogue with one hand thrust into the bosom of the vest—the other remaining at liberty, with which to saw the air, or to shake hands with a friend. Mr. Harley played the part of Mr. Harley (called in the bills Humphrey Rumbush) precisely in the same style as Mr. Harley ever did and ever will, whatever dress he has worn or may wear. The rest of the people we will not mention, not being anxious for a repetition of the unpleasant fits of yawning which a too vivid recollection of their dulness might re-produce. The only merit of “Court and City” being in the dialogue—the only merit of that consisting of minute and subtle representations of character, and these folks being utterly innocent of the smallest perception of its meaning or intention—the draughts they drew upon the patience of the audience were enormous, and but grudgingly met. But for the acting of Farren and the managers, the whole thing would have been an unendurable infliction. As it was, it afforded a capital illustration of
The dramatic capabilities of “Ten Thousand a-Year,” as manifested in the vicissitudes that happen to the Yatton Borough (appropriately recorded by Mr. Warren in Blackwood’s Magazine), have been fairly put to the test by a popular and Peake-ante play-wright. What a subject! With ten thousand a-year a man may do anything. There is attraction in the very sound of the words. It is well worth the penny one gives for a bill to con over those rich, euphonious, delicious syllables—TEN THOUSAND A-YEAR! Why, the magic letters express the concentrated essence of human felicity—the summum bonum of mortal bliss!
Charles Aubrey, of Yatton, in the county of York, Esquire, possesses ten thousand a-year in landed property, a lovely sister in yellow satin, a wife who can sing, and two charming children, who dance the mazourka as well as they do it at Almack’s, or at Mr. Baron Nathan’s. As is generally the case with gentlemen of large fortunes, he is the repository of all the cardinal virtues, and of all the talents. Good husbands, good fathers, good brothers, and idolised landlords, are plenty enough; but a man who, like Aubrey, is all these put together, is indeed a scarce article; the more so, as he is also a profound scholar, and an honest statesman. In short, though pretty well versed in the paragons of virtue that belong to the drama, we find this Charles Aubrey to be the veriest angel that ever wore black trousers and pumps.
The most exalted virtue of the stage is, in the long run, seen in good circumstances, and vice versa; for, in this country, one of the chief elements of crime is poverty. Hence the picture is reversed; we behold a striking contrast—a scene antithetical. We are shown into a miserable garret, and introduced to a vulgar, illiterate, cockneyfied, dirty, dandified linendraper’s shopman, in the person of Tittlebat Titmouse. In the midst of his distresses his attention is directed to a “Next of Kin” advertisement. It relates to him and to the Yatton property; and if you be the least conversant with stage effect, you know what is coming: though the author thinks he is leaving you in a state of agonising suspense by closing the act.
The next scene is the robing-room of the York Court-house; and the curtains at the back are afterwards drawn aside to disclose a large cupboard, meant to represent an assize-court. On one shelf of it is seated a supposititious Judge, surrounded by some half-dozen pseudo female spectators; the bottom shelf being occupied by counsel, attorney, crier of the court, and plaintiff. The special jury are severally called in to occupy the right-hand shelf; and when the cupboard is quite full, all the forms of returning a verdict are gone through. This is for the plaintiff! Mr. Aubrey is ruined; and Mr. Titmouse jumps about, at the imminent risk of breaking the cupboard to pieces, having already knocked down a counsel or two, and rolled over his own attorney.
This idea of dramatising proceedings at nisi prius only shows the state of destitution into which the promoters of stage excitement have fallen. The Baileys, Old and New, have, from constant use, lost their charms; the police officers were completely worn out by Tom and Jerry, Oliver Twist, &c.; so that now, all the courts left to be “done” for the drama are the Exchequer and Ecclesiastical, Secondaries and Summonsing, Petty Sessions and Prerogative. But what is to happen when these are exhausted? The answer is obvious:—Mr. Yates will turn his attention to the Church! Depend upon it, we shall soon have the potent Paul Bedford, or the grave and reverend Mr. John Saunders, in solemn sables, converting the stage into a Baptist meeting, and repentant supernumeraries with the real water!
Hoping to be forgiven for this, perhaps misplaced, levity, we proceed to Act III., in which we find that, fortune having shuffled the cards, and the judge and jury cut them, Mr. Titmouse turns up possessor of Yatton and ten thousand a-year; while Aubrey, quite at the bottom of the pack, is in a state of destitution. To show the depth of distress into which he has fallen, a happy expedient is hit upon: he is described as turning his attention and attainments to literature; and that the unfathomable straits he is put to may be fully understood, he is made a reviewer! Thus the highest degree of sympathy is excited towards him; for everybody knows that no person would willingly resort to criticism (literary or dramatic) as a means of livelihood, if he could command a broom and a crossing to earn a penny by, or while there exists a Mendicity Society to get soup from.
We have yet to mention one character; and considering that he is the main-spring of the whole matter, we cannot put it off any longer. Mr. Gammon is a lawyer—that is quite enough; we need not say more. You all know that stage solicitors are more outrageous villains than even their originals. Mr. Gammon is, of course, a “fine speciment of the specious,” as Mr. Hood’s Mr. Higgings says. It is he who, finding out a flaw in Aubrey’s title, angled per advertisement for the heir, and caught a Tittlebat—Titmouse. It is he who has so disinterestedly made that gentleman’s fortune.—“Only just merely for the sake of the costs?” one naturally asks. Oh no; there is a stronger reason (with which, however, reason has nothing to do)—love! Mr. Gammon became desperately enamoured of Miss Aubrey; but she was silly enough to prefer the heir to a peerage, Mr. Delamere. Mr. Gammon never forgave her, and so ruins her brother.
Having brought the whole family to a state in which he supposes they will refuse nothing, Gammon visits Miss Aubrey, and, in the most handsome manner, offers her—notwithstanding the disparity in their circumstances—his hand, heart, and fortune. More than that, he promises to restore the estate of Yatton to its late possessor. To his astonishment the lady rejects him; and, he showing what the bills call the “cloven foot,” Miss Aubrey orders him to be shown out. Meantime, Mr. Tittlebat Titmouse, having been returned M.P. for Yatton, has made a great noise in house, not by his oratorical powers, but by his proficient imitations of cock-crowing and donkey-braying.
This being Act IV., it is quite clear that Gammon’s villany and Tittlebat’s prosperity cannot last much longer. Both are ended in an original manner. True to the principle with which the Adelphi commenced its season—that of putting stage villany into comedy—Mr. Gammon concludes the facetiæ with which his part abounds by a comic suicide! All the details of this revolting operation are gone through amidst the most ponderous levity; insomuch, that the audience had virtue enough to hiss most lustily33. While this page was passing through the press, we witnessed a representation of “Ten Thousand a-Year” a second time, and observed that the offensiveness of this scene was considerably abated. Mr. Lyon deserves a word of praise for his acting in that passage of the piece as it now stands. .
Thus the string of rascality by which the piece is held together being cut, it naturally finishes by the reinstatement of Aubrey—together with a view of Yatton in sunshine, a procession of charity children, mutual embraces by all the characters, and a song by Mrs. Grattan. What becomes of Titmouse is not known, and did not seem to be much cared about.
This piece is interesting, not because it is cleverly constructed (for it is not), nor because Mr. Titmouse dyes his hair green with a barber’s nostrum, nor on account of the cupboard court of Nisi Prius, nor of the charity children, nor because Mr. Wieland, instead of playing the devil himself, played Mr. Snap, one of his limbs—but because many of the scenes are well-drawn pictures of life. The children’s ball in the first “epoch,” for instance, was altogether excellently managed and true; and though many of the characters are overcharged, yet we have seen people like them in Chancery-lane, at Messrs. Swan and Edgar’s, in country houses, and elsewhere. The suicide incident is, however, a disgusting drawback.
The acting was also good, but too extravagantly so. Mr. Wright, as Titmouse, thought perhaps that a Cockney dandy could not be caricatured, and he consequently went desperate lengths, but threw in here and there a touch of nature. Mr. Lyon was as energetic as ever in Gammon; Mrs. Yates as lugubrious as is her wont in Miss Aubrey; Mrs. Grattan acted and looked as if she were quite deserving of a man with ten thousand a year. As to her singing, if her husband were in possession of twenty thousand per annum, (would to the gods he were!) it could not have been more charmingly tasteful. The pathetics of Wilkinson (as Quirk) in the suicide scene, and just before the event, deserve the attention and imitation of Macready. We hope the former comedian’s next character will be Ion, or, at least, Othello. He has now proved that smaller parts are beneath his purely histrionic talents.
Mr. Yates did not make a speech! This extraordinary omission set the house in a buzz of conjectural wonderment till “The Maid of Honour” put a stop to it.
NOTE.—A critique on this piece would have appeared last week, if it had pleased some of the people at the post-office (through which the MS. was sent to the Editors) not to steal it. Perhaps they took it for something valuable; and, perhaps, they were not mistaken. Thanks be to Mercury, we have plenty of wit to spare, and can afford some of it to be stolen now and then. Still we entreat Colonel Maberly (Editor of the “Post” in St. Martin’s-le-Grand) to supply his clerks with jokes enough to keep them alive, that they may not be driven to steal other people’s. The most effectual way to preserve them in a state of jocular honesty would be for him to present every person on the establishment with a copy of “Punch” from week to week.