Our hero once more undergoes the process of grinding before he presents himself in Lincoln’s-inn Fields for examination at the College of Surgeons. Almost the last affair which our hero troubles himself about is the Examination at the College of Surgeons; and as his anatomical knowledge requires a little polishing before he presents himself in Lincoln’s-inn Fields, he once more undergoes the process of grinding.
The grinder for the College conducts his tuition in the same style as the grinder for the Hall—often they are united in the same individual, who perpetually has a vacancy for a resident pupil, although his house is already quite full; somewhat resembling a carpet-bag, which was never yet known to be so crammed with articles, but you might put something in besides. The class is carried on similar to the one we have already quoted; but the knowledge required does not embrace the same multiformity of subjects; anatomy and surgery being the principal points.
Our old friends are assembled to prepare for their last examination, in a room fragrant with the amalgamated odours of stale tobacco-smoke, varnished bones, leaky preparations, and gin-and-water. Large anatomical prints depend from the walls, and a few vertebræ, a lower jaw, and a sphenoid bone, are scattered upon the table.
“To return to the eye, gentlemen,” says the grinder; “recollect the Petitian Canal surrounds the Cornea. Mr. Rapp, what am I talking about?”
Mr. Rapp, who is drawing a little man out of dots and lines upon the margin of his “Quain’s Anatomy,” starts up, and observes—“Something about the Paddington Canal running round a corner, sir.”
“Now, Mr. Rapp, you must pay me a little more attention,” expostulates the teacher. “What does the operation for cataract resemble in a familiar point of view?”
“Pushing a boat-hook through the wall of a house to pull back the drawing-room blinds,” answers Mr. Rapp.
“You are incorrigible,” says the teacher, smiling at the simile, which altogether is an apt one. “Did you ever see a case of bad cataract?”
“Yes, sir, ever-so-long ago—the Cataract of the Ganges at Astley’s. I went to the gallery, and had a mill with—”
“There, we don’t want particulars,” interrupts the grinder; “but I would recommend you to mind your eyes, especially if you get under Guthrie. Mr. Muff, how do you define an ulcer?”
“The establishment of a raw,” replies Mr. Muff.
“Tit! tit! tit!” continues the teacher, with an expression of pity. “Mr. Simpson, perhaps you can tell Mr. Muff what an ulcer is?”
“An abrasion of the cuticle produced by its own absorption,” answers Mr. Simpson, all in a breath.
“Well. I maintain it’s easier to say a raw than all that,” observes Mr. Muff.
“Pray, silence. Mr. Manhug, have you ever been sent for to a bad incised wound?”
“Yes, sir, when I was an apprentice: a man using a chopper cut off his hand.”
“And what did you do?”
“Cut off myself for the governor, like a two-year old.”
“But now you have no governor, what plan would you pursue in a similar case?”
“Send for the nearest doctor—call him in.”
“Yes, yes, but suppose he wouldn’t come?”
“Call him out, sir.”
“Pshaw! you are all quite children,” exclaims the teacher. “Mr. Simpson, of what is bone chemically composed?”
“Of earthy matter, or phosphate of lime, and animal matter, or gelatine.”
“Very good, Mr. Simpson. I suppose you don’t know a great deal a bout bones, Mr. Rapp?”
“Not much, sir. I haven’t been a great deal in that line. They give a penny for three pounds in Clare Market. That’s what I call popular osteology.”
“Gelatine enters largely into the animal fibres,” says the leader, gravely. “Parchment, or skin, contains an important quantity, and is used by cheap pastry-cooks to make jellies.”
“Well, I’ve heard of eating your words,” says Mr. Rapp, “but never your deeds.”
“Oh! oh! oh!” groan the pupils at this gross appropriation, and the class getting very unruly is broken up.
The examination at the College is altogether a more respectable ordeal than the jalap and rhubarb botheration at Apothecaries’ Hall, and par conséquence, Mr. Muff goes up one evening with little misgivings as to his success. After undergoing four different sets of examiners, he is told he may retire, and is conducted by Mr Belfour into “Paradise,” the room appropriated to the fortunate ones, which the curious stranger may see lighted up every Friday evening as he passes through Lincoln’s-inn Fields. The inquisitors are altogether a gentlemanly set of men, who are willing to help a student out of a scrape, rather than “catch question” him into one: nay, more than once the candidate has attributed his success to a whisper prompted by the kind heart of the venerable and highly-gifted individual—now, alas! no more—who until last year assisted at the examinations.
Of course, the same kind of scene takes place that was enacted after going up to the Hall, and with the same results, except the police-office, which they manage to avoid. The next day, as usual, they are again at the school, standing innumerable pots, telling incalculable lies, and singing uncounted choruses, until the Scotch pupil who is still grinding in the museum, is forced to give over study, after having been squirted at through the keyhole five distinct times, with a reversed stomach-pump full of beer, and finally unkennelled. The lecturer upon chemistry, who has a private pupil in his laboratory learning how to discover arsenic in poisoned people’s stomachs, where there is none, and make red, blue, and green fires, finds himself locked in, and is obliged to get out at the window; whilst the professor of medicine, who is holding forth, as usual, to a select very few, has his lecture upon intermittent fever so strangely interrupted by distant harmony and convivial hullaballoo, that he finishes abruptly in a pet, to the great joy of his class. But Mr. Muff and his friends care not. They have passed all their troubles—they are regular medical men, and for aught they care the whole establishment may blow up, tumble down, go to blazes, or anything else in a small way that may completely obliterate it. In another twelve hours they have departed to their homes, and are only spoken of in the reverence with which we regard the ruins of a by-gone edifice, as bricks who were.
Our task is finished. We have traced Mr. Muff from the new man through the almost entomological stages of his being to his perfect state; and we take our farewell of him as the “general practitioner.” In our Physiology we have endeavoured to show the medical student as he actually exists—his reckless gaiety, his wild frolics, his open disposition. That he is careless and dissipated we admit, but these attributes end with his pupilage; did they not do so spontaneously, the up-hill struggles and hardly-earned income of his laborious future career would, to use his own terms, “soon knock it all out of him;” although, in the after-waste of years, he looks back upon his student’s revelries with an occasional return of old feelings, not unmixed, however, with a passing reflection upon the lamentable inefficacy of the present course of medical education pursued at our schools and hospitals, to fit a man for future practice.
We have endeavoured in our sketches so to frame them, that the general reader might not be perplexed by technical or local allusions, whilst the students of London saw they were the work of one who had lived amongst them. And if in some places we have strayed from the strict boundaries of perfect refinement, yet we trust the delicacy of our most sensitive reader has received no wound. We have discarded our joke rather than lose our propriety; and we have been pleased at knowing that in more than one family circle our Physiology has, now and then, raised a smile on the lips of the fair girls, whose brothers were following the same path we have travelled over at the hospitals.
We hope with the new year to have once more the gratification of meeting our friends. Until then, with a hand offered in warm fellowship,—not only to those composing the class he once belonged to, but to all who have been pleased to bestow a few minutes weekly upon his chapters,—the Medical Student takes his leave.
When does a school-boy’s writing-book resemble the Hero of Waterloo?—When it’s a Well ink’d’un (Wellington).
On my next visit I found Mr. Bayles in full force, and loud in praise of some eleemosynary entertainment to which he had been invited. Having exhausted his subject and a tumbler of toddy at the same time, Mr. Arden “availed himself of the opportunity to call attention to the next tale,” which was found to be
I was subaltern of the cantonment main-guard at Bangalore one day in the month of June, 182-. Tattoo had just beaten; and I was sitting in the guard-room with my friend Frederick Gahagan, the senior Lieutenant in the regiment to which I belonged, and manager of the amateur theatre of the station.
Gahagan was a rattling, care-for-nothing Irishman, whose chief characteristic was a strong propensity for theatricals and practical jokes, but withal a generous, warm-hearted fellow, and as gallant a soldier as ever buckled sword-belt. In his capacity of manager, he was at present in a state of considerable perplexity, the occasion whereof was this.
There chanced then to be on a visit at Bangalore a particular ally of Fred’s, who was leading tragedian of the Chowringhee theatre in Calcutta; and it was in contemplation to get up Macbeth, in order that the aforesaid star might exhibit in his crack part as the hero of that great tragedy. Fred was to play Macduff; and the “blood-boltered Banquo” was consigned to my charge. The other parts were tolerably well cast, with the exception of that of Lady Macbeth, which indeed was not cast at all, seeing that no representative could be found for it. It must be stated that, as we had no actresses amongst us, all our female characters, as in the times of the primitive drama, were necessarily performed by gentlemen. Now in general it was not difficult to command a supply of smooth-faced young ensigns to personate the heroines, waiting-maids, and old women, of the comedies and farces to which our performances had been hitherto restricted. But Lady Macbeth was a very different sort of person to Caroline Dormer and Mrs. Hardcastle; and our ladies accordingly, one and all, struck work, refusing point blank to have anything to say to her.
The unfortunate manager, who had set his heart upon getting up the piece, was at his wits’ end, and had bent his footsteps towards the main guard, to advise with me as to what should be done in this untoward emergency. I endeavoured to console him as well as I could, and suggested, that if the worst came to the worst, the part might be read. But, lugubriously shaking his caput, Fred declared that would never do; so, after discussing half-a-dozen Trichinopoly cheroots, with a proportionate quantum of brandy pani, he departed for his quarters. “disgusted,” as he said, “with the ingratitude of mankind,” whilst I set forth to go my grand rounds.
Next morning, having been relieved from guard, I had returned home, and was taking my ease in my camp chair, luxuriously whiffing away at my after-breakfast cheroot, when who should step gingerly into the room but Manager Fred Gahagan. The clouds of the previous evening had entirely disappeared from his ingenuous countenance, which was puckered up in the most insinuating manner, with what I was wont to call his ‘borrowing smile;’ for Fred was oftentimes afflicted with impecuniosity—a complaint common enough amongst us subs;—and when the fit was on him, in the spirit of true friendship, he generally contrived to disburthen me of the few remaining rupees that constituted the balance of my last month’s pay.
Fred brought himself to an anchor upon a bullock trunk, and, after my boy had handed him a cheroot, and he had disgorged a few puffs of smoke, thus delivered himself—
“This is a capital weed, Wilmot. I don’t know how it is, but you always manage to have the best tobacco in the cantonment.”
“Hem,” said I, drily. “Glad you like it.”
“I say, Peter, my dear fellow,” quoth he, “Fitzgerald, Grimes, and I, have just been talking over what we were discussing last night, about Lady Macbeth you know.”
“Yes,” said I, somewhat relieved to find the conversation was not taking the turn I dreaded.
“Well, sir,” continued Fred, plunging at once “in medias res,”and speaking very fast, “and we have come to the conclusion that you are the only person to relieve us from all difficulty on the subject; Fitzgerald will take your part of Banquo; and you shall have Lady Macbeth, a character for which every one agrees you are admirably fitted.”
“I play Lady Macbeth!” cried I, “with my scrubbing-brush of a beard, and whiskers like a prickly-pear hedge; why, you mast be all mad to think of such a thing.”
“My dear friend,” remarked Gahagan mildly, “you know I have always said that you had the Kemble eye and nose, and I’m sure you won’t hesitate about cutting off your whiskers when so much depends upon it; they’ll soon grow again you know, Peter; as for your dark chin that don’t matter a rush, as Lady Macbeth is a dark woman.”
The reader will agree with me in thinking that friendship can sometimes be as blind as love, when I say with respect to my “Kemble eye and nose,” that the former has been from childhood affected with a decided tendency to strabismus, and the latter bears a considerably stronger resemblance to a pump-handle than it does to the classic profile of John Kemble or any of his family.
“Lieutenant Gahagan,” said I, solemnly, “do you remember how, some six years ago at Hydrabad, when yet beardless and whiskerless, the only hair upon my face being eyebrows and eyelashes, at your instigation and ‘suadente diabolo,’ I attempted to perform Lydia Languish in ‘The Rivals?’ and hast thou yet forgotten, O son of an unsainted father, how my grenadier stride, the fixed tea-pot position of my arms, to say nothing of the numerous other solecisms in the code of female manners which I perpetrated on that occasion, made me a laughing-stock and a by-word for many a long day afterwards! All this, I say, must be fresh in your recollection, and yet you have the audacity to ask me to expose myself again in a similar manner.”
“Pooh, pooh!” laughed Gahagan, “you were only a boy then, now you have more experience in these matters; besides, Lydia Languish was a part quite unworthy of your powers; Lady Macbeth is a horse of another colour.”
“Why, man, with what face could I aver that
‘I have given suck, and know
How tender ’tis to love the babe that milks me.’
That would certainly draw tears from the audience, but they would be tears of laughter, not sympathy, I warrant you. No, no, good master Fred, it won’t do, I tell you; and in the words of Lady Macbeth herself, I say—
‘What beast was’t, then,
That made you break this enterprise to me?’
And now oblige me by walking your body off, for I have got my yesterday’s guard report to fill up and send in, in default of which I shall be sure to catch an ‘official’ from the Brigade-Major.”
But Fred not only did not walk his body off, but harping on the same string, pertinaciously continued to ply me with alternate arguments and intreaties, until at last fairly wearied out, and more, I believe, with the hope of getting rid of the “importunate chink” of the fellow’s discourse, than anything else, in an evil moment I consented! hear it not, shade of Mrs. Siddons! to denude myself of the bushy honours of my cheeks, and tread the boards of the Bangalore stage as the wife of that atrocious usurper “King Cawdor Glamis!”
Fred marched himself away, elated at having carried his point; and I, after sundry dubious misgivings anent the rash promise I had made, ended by casting all compunctious visitings to the winds, and doughtily resolved, as I was in for the business, to “screw my courage to the sticking-place,’ and go through with it as boldly as I might.
By dint of continually studying my rôle, my dislike to it gradually diminished, nay, at length was converted into positive enthusiasm. I became convinced that I should make a decided hit, and cover my temples with unfading laurel. I rehearsed at all times, seasons, and places, until I was a perfect nuisance to everybody, and my acquaintance, I am sure, to a man, wished both me and her bloodthirsty ladyship, deeper than plummet ever sounded, at the bottom of the sea. Even the brute creation did not escape the annoyance. One morning my English pointer “Spot” ran yelping out of the room, panic-stricken by the vehement manner with which I exclaimed, “Out damned spot, out, I say!” and with the full conviction, which the animal probably entertained to the day of his death, that the said anathema had personal reference to himself.
The evening big with my fate at last arrived. The house was crammed, expectation on tiptoe, and the play commenced. The first four acts went off swimmingly, my performance especially was applauded to the echo, and there only wanted the celebrated sleeping scene, in which I flattered myself to be particularly strong, to complete my triumph. Triumph, did I say![pg 267]
I must here explain, for the benefit of those who have never rounded the Cape, that the extreme heat of an Indian climate is so favourable to the growth of hair as to put those wights who are afflicted with dark chevelures, which was my case, to the inconvenient necessity of chin-scraping twice on the game day, when they wish to appear particularly spruce of an evening. Now I intended to have shaved before the play began, but in the hurry of dressing had forgotten all about it; and upon inspecting my visage in a glass, after I had donned Lady Macbeth’s night-gear, the lower part of it appeared so swart in contrast with the white dress, that I found it would be absolutely necessary to pass a razor over it before going on with my part.
The night was excessively warm, even for India; and as the place allotted to us for dressing was very small and confined, the bright thought struck me that I should have more air and room on the stage, whither I accordingly directed my servant to follow me with the shaving apparatus.
I ensconced myself behind the drop-scene, which was down, and was in the act of commencing the tonsorial operation, when, horresco referens, the prompter’s bell rang sharply, whether by accident or design I was never able to ascertain, but have grievous suspicions that Fred Gahagan knew something about it—up flew the drop-scene like a shot, and discovered the following tableau vivant to the astounded audience:—
Myself Lady Macbeth, with legs nearly a yard asunder—face and throat outstretched, and covered with a plentiful white lather—right arm brandishing aloft one of Paget’s best razors, and left thumb and forefinger grasping my nose. In front of me stood my faithful Hindoo valet, Verasawmy by name, with a soap-box in one hand, while his other held up to his master’s gaze a small looking-glass, over the top of which his black face, surmounted by a red turban, was peering at me with grave and earnest attention.
A wondering pause of a few seconds prevailed, and then one loud, rending, and continuous peal of laughter and screams shook the universal house.
As if smitten with sudden catalepsy, I was without power to move a single muscle of my body, and for the space of two minutes remained in a stupor in the same attitude—immovable, rooted, frozen to the spot where I stood. At length recovering at once my senses and power of motion, I bounded like a maniac from the stage, pursued by the convulsive roars of the spectators, and upsetting in my retreat the unlucky Verasawmy, who rolled down to the footlights, doubled up, and in a paroxysm of terror and dismay.
Lieutenant Frederick Gahagan had good reason to bless his stars that in that moment of frenzy I did not encounter him, the detestable origin of the abomination that had just been heaped upon my head. I am no two-legged creature if I should not have sacrificed him on the spot with my razor, and so merited the gratitude of his regimental juniors by giving them a step.
I have never since, either in public or private life, appeared in petticoats again.
Oft have I fondly heard thee pour
Love’s incense in mine ear!
Oft bade thy lips repeat once more
The words I deemed sincere!
But—though the truth this heart may break—
I know thee false “and no mistake!”
My fancy pictured to my heart
Thy boasted passion, pure;
Dreamed thy affection, void of art,
For ever would endure.
Alas! in vain my woe I smother!
I find thee very much “more t’other!”
’Twas sweet to hear you sing of love,
But, when you talk of gold,
Your sordid, base design you prove,
And—for it must be told—
Since from my soul the truth you drag—
“You let the cat out of the bag!”
That the people of this country are grossly pampered there can be no doubt, for the following facts have been ascertained from which it will be seen that there have been instances of persons living on much coarser fare than the working classes in England.
In 1804, a shipwrecked mariner, who was thrown on to the celebrated mud-island of Coromandel, lived for three weeks upon his own wearing apparel. He first sucked all the goodness out of his jacket, and the following day dashed his buttons violently against the rock in order to soften them. He next cut pieces from his trousers, as tailors do when they want cabbage, and found them an excellent substitute for that salubrious vegetable. He was in the act of munching his boots for breakfast one morning, when he was fortunately picked up by his Majesty’s schooner Cutaway.
In the year ’95, the crew of the brig Terrible lost all their provisions, except a quantity of candles. After these were gone, they took a plank out of the side of the vessel and sliced it, which was their board for a whole fortnight.
After these startling and particularly well-authenticated facts, it would be absurd to deny that there is no reason for taking into consideration the comparatively trifling distress that is now prevalent.
“A person named Meara,” says the Galway Advertiser, “confined for debt some time since in our town jail, fasted sixteen days!”
Sibthorp says this is an excellent illustration of hard and fast, and entitles the gentleman to be placed at
Dear PUNCH,—Have you seen the con. I made the other day? I transcribe it for you:—
“Though Wealth’s neglect and Folly’s taunt
Conspire to distress the poor,
Pray can you tell me why sharp want
Can ne’er approach the pauper’s door”
D’Orsay has rhymed the following answer:—
“The merest child might wonder how
The pauper e’er sharp wants can know,
When, spite of cruel Fortune’s taunts,
Blunt is the sharpest of his wants.”
Yours sincerely and comically,
P.S.—Let BRYANT call for his Christmas-box.
At the public meeting at Hammersmith for the purpose of taking into consideration the propriety of lighting the roads, in the midst of a most animated discussion, Captain Atcherly proposed an adjournment of the said meeting; which proposition being strongly negatived by a small individual, Captain Atcherly quietly pointed to an open window, made a slight allusion to the hardness of the pavement, and finally achieved the exit of the dissentient by whistling
“Take care of him!” That sentence has been my ruin; from my cradle upwards it has dogged my steps and proved my bane! Fatal injunction! Little did my parents think of the miseries those four small monosyllables have entailed upon their hapless son!
My first assertion of infantine existence, that innocent and feeble wail that claimed the name of life, was met by the command, “Take care of him! take care of him!” said my mother to the doctor; “Take care of him!” said the doctor to the nurse; and “Take care of him!” added my delighted father to every individual of the rejoicing household.
The doctor’s care manifested itself in an over-dose of castor oil; the nurse, in the plenitude of her bounty, nearly parboiled me in an over-heated bath; my mother drugged me with a villanous decoction of soothing syrup, which brought on a slumber so sound that the first had very nearly proved my last; and the entire household dandled me with such uncommon vigour that I was literally tossed and “Catchee-catchee’d” into a fit of most violent convulsions. As I persisted in surviving, so did I become the heir to fresh torments from the ceaseless care of those by whom I was surrounded. My future symmetry was superinduced by bandaging my infant limbs until I looked like a miniature mummy. The summer’s sun was too hot and the winter’s blast too cold; wet was death, and dry weather was attended with easterly winds. I was “taken care of.” I never breathed the fresh air of Heaven, but lived in an artificial nursery atmosphere of sea-coal and logs.
Young limbs are soon broken, and young children will fall, if not taken care of; consequently upon any instinctive attempt at a pedestrian performance I was tied round the middle with a broad ribbon, my unhappy little feet see-sawing in the air, and barely brushing the ruffled surface of the Persian carpet, while I appeared like a tempting bait, with which my nurse, after the manner of an experienced angler, was bobbing for some of the strange monsters worked into the gorgeous pattern.
Crooked legs were “taken care of” by a brace of symmetrical iron shackles, and Brobdignag walnut-shells, decorated with flaming bows of crimson ribbon, were attached to each side of my small face, to prevent me from squinting. When old enough to mount a pony, I was “taken such care of,” by being secured to the saddle, that the restive little brute, feeling inclined for a tumble, deliberately rolled over me some half-dozen times before the astonished stable-boy could effect my deliverance! while the corks with which I was provided to learn to swim in some three feet square of water, slipped accidentally down to my toes, and left me submerged so long that the total consumption of all the salt, and wetting in boiling water of all the blankets, in the house was found absolutely necessary to effect my resuscitation.
At school I was once more to be “taken care of;” consequently I pined to death in a wretched single-bedded room, shuddering with inconceivable horror at the slightest sound, and conjuring up legions of imaginary sprites to haunt my couch during my waking hours of dread and misery. O how I envied the reckless laughter of the gleeful urchins whose unmindful parents left them to the happy utterance of their own and participation in their young companions’ thoughts!
As a parlour boarder, which I was of course, “to be taken care of,” I was not looked upon as one of the “fellows,” but merely as a little upstart—one who most likely was pumped by the master and mistress, and peached upon the healthy rebels of the little world.
Christmas brought me no joys. “Taking care of my health” prevented me from skating and snow-balling; while perspective surfeits deprived me of the enjoyments of the turkeys, beef, and glorious pudding.
At eighteen I entered as a gentleman commoner at —— College, Cambridge; and at nineteen a suit of solemn black, and the possession of five thousand a year, bespoke me heir to all my father left; and from that hour have I had cause to curse the title of this paper. Young and inexperienced, I entered wildly into all the follies wealth can purchase or fashion justify; but I was still to be the victim of the phrase. “We’ll take care of him,” said a knot of the most determined play-men upon town; and they did. Two years saw my five thousand per annum reduced to one, but left me with somewhat more knowledge of the world. Even that was turned against me; and prudent fathers shook their heads, and sagely cautioned their own young scapegraces “to take care of me.”
All was not yet complete. A walk down Bond Street was interrupted by a sudden cry, “That’s him—take care of him!” I turned by instinct, and was arrested at the suit of a scoundrel whose fortune I had made, and who in gratitude had thus pointed me out to the myrmidon of the Middlesex sheriff. I was located in a lock-up house, and thence conveyed to jail. In both instances the last words I heard in reference to myself were “Take care of him.” I sacrificed almost my all, and once more regained my liberty. Fate seemed to turn! A friend lent me fifty pounds. I pledged my honour for its repayment. He promised to use his interest for my future welfare. I kept my word gratefully; returned the money on the day appointed. I did so before one who knew me by report only, and looked upon me as a ruined, dissipated, worthless Extravagant. I returned to an adjoining room to wait my friend’s coming. While there, I could not avoid hearing the following colloquy—
“Good Heaven! has that fellow actually returned your fifty?”
“Yes. Didn’t you see him?”
“Of course I did; but I can scarcely believe my eyes. Oh! he’s a deep one.”
“He’s a most honourable young man.”
“How can you be so green? He has a motive in it.”
“I don’t know that. But, old fellow, listen to me. I’m a man of the world, and have seen something of life; and I’ll stake my honour and experience that that fellow means to do you; so be advised, and—‘Take care of him!’”
This was too much. I rushed out almost mad, and demanded an apology, or satisfaction—the latter alternative was chosen. Oh, how my blood boiled! I should either fall, or, at length, by thus chastising the impertinent, put an end to the many meaning and hateful words.
We met; the ground was measured. I thought for a moment of the sin of shedding human blood, and compressed my lips. A moment I wavered; but the voice of my opponent’s second whispering, “Take care of him,” once more nerved my heart and arm. My adversary’s bullet whistled past my ear: he fell—hit through the shoulder. He was carried to his carriage. I left the ground, glad that I had chastised him, but released to find the wound was not mortal. I felt as if in Heaven this act would free me from the worldly ban. A week after, I met one of my old friends; he introduced me by name to his father. The old gentleman started for a moment, then exclaimed—“You know my feeling, Sir—you are a duellist! Tom, ‘Take care of him!’”
SONG FOR PUNCH DRINKERS.
Bilden das Leben
Bauen die Welt.
Presst der Citrone
Herb ist des Lebens
Jetzt mit des Zuckers
Zæhmet die herbe
Gieszet des Wassers
Ruhig das All!
Tropfen des Geistes
Leben dem Leben
Gibt er allein.
Eh’ es verdueftet
Schoepfet es schnell!
Nur wann er gluehet
Labet der Quell.
Four be the elements,
Here we assemble ’em,
Each of man’s world
And existence an emblem.
Press from the lemon
The slow flowing juices.
Bitter is life
In its lessons and uses.
Bruise the fair sugar lumps,—
Her sweet and severe
To be everywhere blended.
Pour the still water—
Unwarning by sound,
Is hemming us round!
Mingle the spirit,
The life of the bowl;
Man is an earth-clod
Unwarmed by a soul!
Drink of the stream
Ere its potency goes!
No bath is refreshing
Except while it glows!
Wednesday last was the day fixed for the distribution of the prizes at this institution, and every arrangement had been made to receive the numerous visitors. The boards had undergone their annual scrubbing, and some beautiful devices in chalk added life to the floor, which was enriched with a scroll-work of whiting, while the arms of Hookham-cum-Snivery (a nose, rampant, with a hand, couchant, extending a thumb, gules, to the nostril, argent) formed an appropriate centre-piece.
Seven o’clock was fixed upon for the opening of the doors, at which hour the committee went in procession, headed by their chairman, to withdraw the bolts, that the public might be admitted, when a rush took place of the most frightful and disastrous character. A drove of bullocks that were being alternately enticed and marling-spiked into a butcher’s exactly opposite, took advantage of the courtesy of the committee, and poured in with great rapidity to the building, carrying everything—including the committee—most triumphantly before them. In spite of their unceremonious entry, some of the animals evinced a disposition to stand upon forms, by leaping on to the benches, while the committee, who had expected a deputation of savans from the Hampton-super-Horsepond Institution, for the enlightenment of ignorant octagenarians, and who being prepared to see a party of donkeys, were not inclined to take the bull by the horns, made a precipitate retreat into the anteroom.
Order having been at length restored, the intruders ejected, and their places supplied by a select circle of subscribers, the following prizes were distributed:—
To Horatio Smith Smith, the large copper medal, bearing on one side the portrait of George the Third, on the reverse a figure of Britannia, sitting on a beer barrel, and holding in her hand a toasting fork. This medal was given for the best drawing of the cork of a ginger-beer bottle.
To Ferdinand Fitz-Figgins, the smaller copper medal, with the head of William the Fourth, and a reverse similar to that of the superior prize. This was awarded for the best drawing of a decayed tooth after Teniers.
To Sigismond Septimus Snobb, the large willow pattern plate, for the best model of a national water-butt, to be erected in the Teetotalers’ Hall of Temperance in the Water-loo Road.
To Lucius Junius Brutus Brown, the Marsh-gate turnpike ticket for Christmas-day—of which an early copy has been most handsomely presented by the contractor. This useful and interesting document has been given for the best design—upon the river Thames, with the view to igniting it.
The proceedings having been terminated, so far as the distribution was concerned, the following speeches were delivered:—
The first orator was Mr. Julius Jones, who spoke nearly as follows:—
Mither Prethident and thubtheriberth of the Hookam-cum-Sthnivey Sthchool of Dethign, in rithing to addreth thuch an afthembly ath thith—
Here the confusion became so general that our reporter could catch nothing further, and as the partisans of Mr. Jones became very much excited, while the opposition was equally violent, our reporter fearing that, though he could not catch the speeches, he might possibly catch something else, effected his retreat as speedily as possible.
Why is a man with his eyes shut like an illiterate schoolmaster?—Because he keeps his pupils in darkness.
Why is the present Lord Chancellor wickeder than the last?—Because he’s got two more Vices.
Why are abbots the greatest dunces in the world?—Because they never get further than their Abbacy (A, B, C.)
Why is an auctioneer like a man with an ugly countenance?—Because he is always for-bidding.
Why is Mrs. Lilly showing the young Princes like an affected ladies’-maid?—Because she exhibits her mistress’s heirs (airs).
A dispatch, bearing a foreign post-mark, was handed very generally about in the city this morning, but its contents did not transpire. Considerable speculation is afloat on the subject, but we are unable to give any particulars.
Downing-street was in a state of great activity all yesterday, and people were passing to and fro repeatedly. This excitement is generally believed to be connected with nothing particular. We have our own impression on the subject, but as disclosures would be premature, we purposely forbear making any. We can only say, at present, that Sir Robert Peel continues to hold the office of Prime Minister.
AIR,—I’m the boy for bewitching them
Whisht, ye divils, now can’t you be aisy,
Like a cat whin she’s licking the crame.
And I’ll sing ye a song just to plase you,
About myself, Dermot Macshane.
You’ll own, whin I’ve tould ye my story.
And the janius adorning my race,
Although I’ve no brass in my pocket,
Mushagra! I’ve got lots in my face.
For in rainy or sunshiny weather,
I’m full of good whiskey and joy;
And take me in parts altogether,
By the pow’rs I’m a broth of a boy.
I was sint on the mighty world one day,
Like a squeaking pig out of a sack;
And, och, murder! although it was Sunday,
Without a clane shirt to my back.
But my mother died while I was sucking,
And larning for whiskey to squall,
Leaving me a dead cow, and a stocking
Brimful of—just nothing at all.
But in rainy, &c.
My ancistors, who were all famous
At Donnybrook, got a great name:
My aunt she sould famous good whiskey—
I’m famous for drinking that same.
And I’m famous, like Master Adonis,
With his head full of nothing but curls,
For breaking the heads of the boys, sirs,
And breaking the hearts of the girls.
For in rainy, &c.
Och! I trace my discint up to Adam,
Who was once parish priest in Kildare;
And uncle, I think, to King David,
That peopled the county of Clare.
Sure his heart was as light as a feather,
Till his wife threw small beer on his joy
By falling in love with a pippin,
Which intirely murder’d the boy.
For in rainy, &c.
A fine architict was my father,
As ever walk’d over the sea;
He built Teddy Murphy’s mud cabin—
And didn’t he likewise build me?
Sure, he built him an illigant pigstye,
That made all the Munster boys stare.
Besides a great many fine castles—
But, bad luck,—they were all in the air.
For in rainy, &c.
Though I’d scorn to be rude to a lady,
Miss Fortune and I can’t agree;
So I flew without wings from green Erin—
Is there anything green about me?
While blest with this stock of fine spirits,
At care, faith, my fingers I’ll snap;
I’m as rich as a Jew without money,
And free as a mouse in a trap.
For in rainy, &c.
The Prince of Wales it is allowed upon all hands is the finest baby ever sent into this naughty world since the firstborn of Eve. At a day old he would make three of any of the new-born babes that a month since blessed the Union bf Sevenoaks. There is, however, a remarkable providence in this. The Prince of Wales is born to the vastness of a palace; the little Princes of Pauperdom being doomed to lie at the rate of fifteen in “two beds tied together,” are happily formed of corresponding dimensions, manufactured of more “squeezeable materials.” There is, be sure of it, a providence watching over parish unions as well as palaces. How, for instance, would boards of guardians pack their new-born charges, if every babe of a union had the brawn and bone of a Prince of Wales?
However, we could wish that the little Prince was thrice his size—an aspiration in which our readers will heartily join, when they learn the goodly tidings we are about to tell them.
We believe it is not generally known that Sir PETER LAURIE is as profound an orientalist as perhaps any Rabbi dwelling in Whitechapel. Sir PETER, whilst recently searching the Mansion House library,—which has been greatly enriched by eastern manuscripts, the presents of the late Sir WILLIAM CURTIS, Sir CLAUDIUS HUNTER, and the venerable Turk who is Wont to sell rhubarb in Cheapside, and supplied dinner-pills to the Court of Aldermen,—Sir PETER, be it understood, lighted upon a rare work on the Mogul Country, in which it is stated that on every birth-day of the Great Mogul, his Magnificence is duly weighed in scales against so much gold and silver—his precise weight in the precious metals being expended on provisions for the poor.
Was there ever a happier device to make a nation interested in the greatness of their sovereign? The fatter the king, the fuller his people! With this custom naturalised among us, what a blessing would have been the corpulency of GEORGE THE FOURTH! How the royal haunches, the royal abdomen, would have had the loyal aspirations of the poor and hungry! The national anthem would have had an additional verse in thanksgiving for royal flesh; and in our orisons said in churches, we should not only have prayed for the increasing years of our “most religious King,” but for his increasing fat!
It is however useless to regret forgotten advantages; let us, on the contrary, with new alacrity, avail ourselves of a present good.
Our illumination on the christening of the Prince of Wales—we at once, and in the most liberal manner, give the child his title—has been generally scouted, save and except by a few public-spirited oil and tallow-merchants. It has been thought better to give away legs of mutton on the occasion, than to waste any of the sheep in candles. This proposition—it is known—has our heartiest concurrence. Here, however, comes in the wisdom of our dear Sir Peter. He, taking the hint from the Mogul Country, proposes that the Prince of Wales should be weighed in scales—weighed, naked as he was born, without the purple velvet and ermine robe in which his Highness is ordinarily shown in, not that Sir PETER would sink that “as offal”—against his royal weight in beef and pudding; the said beef and pudding to be distributed to every poor family (if the family count a certain number of mouths, his Royal Highness to be weighed twice or thrice, as it may be) to celebrate the day on which his Royal Highness shall enter the pale of the Christian Church.
We have all heard what a remarkably fine child his Royal Babyhood is; but would not this distribution of beef and pudding convince the country of the fact? How folks would rejoice at the chubbiness of the Prince, when they saw a evidence of his bare dimensions smoking on their table! How their hearts would leap up at his fat, when they beheld it typified upon their platters! How they would be gladdened by prize royalty, while their mouths watered at prize beef! And how, with all their admiration of the exceeding lustihood of the Prince of Wales,—how, from the very depths of their stomachs, would they wish His Royal Highness twice as big!
Is not this a way to disarm Chartism of its sword and pike, making even O’CONNOR, VINCENT, and PINKETHLIE, throw away their weapons for a knife and fork? Is not this the way to make the weight of royalty easy—oh, most easy!—to a burthened people? The beef-and-pudding representatives of His Royal Highness, preaching upon every poor man’s table, would carry the consolations of loyalty to every poor man’s stomach. When the children of the needy lisped “plum pudding,” would they not think of the Prince?
(Now, then, our readers know the obligation of the country to Sir PETER LAURIE—an obligation which we are happy to state will be duly acknowledged by the Common Council, that grateful body having already petitioned the Government for the waste leaden pipes preserved from the fire at the Tower, that a statue of Sir Peter may be cast from the metal, and placed in some convenient nook of the Mansion-House, where the Lord Mayor for the time being may, it is hoped, behold it at least once a-day.)
This happy suggestion of Sir PETER’S may, however, be followed up with the best national effect. Christmas is fast Approaching: let the fashion set by the Prince of Wales be followed by all public bodies—by all individuals “blessed with aught to give.” Let the physical weight of all corporations—all private benefactors of the poor, be distributed in eatables to the indigent and famishing. When the Alderman, with “three fingers on the ribs” gives his weight in geese or turkeys to the poor of his ward, he returns the most pertinent thanks-giving to providence, that has put money in his pocket and flesh upon his bones. The poor may have an unexpected cause to bless the venison and turtle that have fattened his bowels, seeing that they are made the depositories of their weight.
This standard of Christmas benefactions may admit of very curious illustration. For instance, we would not tie the noble and the aristocratic to any particular kind of viands, but would allow them to illustrate their self-value of the “porcelain of all human clay” by the richness and rarity of their subscriptions. Whilst a SIBTHORP, with a fine sense of humility, might be permitted to give his weight in calves’ or sheeps’ heads (be it understood we must have the whole weight of the Colonel, for if we were to sink his offal, what in the name of veal would remain?), a Duke of WELLINGTON should be allowed to weight against nothing less than the fattest venison and the finest turtle. As the Duke, too, is rather a light weight, we should be glad if he would condescend to take a Paisley weaver or two in the scale with him, to make his subscription of eatables the more worthy of acceptance. All the members of the present Cabinet would of course be weighed against loaves and fishes (on the present occasion we would accept nothing under the very finest wheaten bread and the very best of turbot), whilst a LAURIE, who has worked such a reform in cut-throats, should be weighed out to his ward in the most select stickings of beef.
All we propose to ourselves in these our weekly essays is, to give brief suggestions for the better government of the world, and for the bringing about the millennium, which—when we are given away gratis in the streets—may be considered to have arrived. Hence, we cannot follow put through all its natural ramifications the benevolent proposition here laid down. We trust, however, we have done enough. It is not necessary that we should particularise all public men, tying them to be weighed against specific viands: no, our readers will at once recognise the existence of the parties, and at once acknowledge their fittest offerings. It may happen that a peer might very properly be weighed against shin of beef, and a Christian bishop be popped in the scale against a sack of perriwinkles; it remains, however, with LONDONDERRY or EXETER to be weighed if they will against golden pheasants and birds of paradise.
We are perfectly aware that if many of the elect of the land were to weigh themselves against merely the things they are worth, that a great deal of the food subscribed would be unfit to be eaten even by the poor. We should have rats, dogs, snakes, bats, and all other unclean animals; but in levying the parties to weigh themselves at their own valuation, the poor may be certain to “sup in the Apollo.” On this principle we should have the weight of a LYNDHURST served to this neighbourhood in the tenderest house-lamb, and a STANLEY kicking the beam against so many “sucking doves.”
Coats are very much worn, particularly at the elbows, and are trimmed with a shining substance, which gives them a very glossy appearance. A rim of white runs down the seams, and the covering of the buttons is slightly opened, so as to show the wooden material under it.
Hats are now slightly indented at the top, and we have seen several in which part of the brim is sloped off without any particular regard to the quantity abstracted.
Walking-dresses are very much dotted just now with brown spots of a mud colour, thrown on quite irregularly, and the heels of the stockings may sometimes be seen trimmed with the same material. A sort of basket-work is now a great deal seen as a head-dress, and in these cases it is strewed over with little silver fish, something like common sprat, which gives it a light and graceful character.
An excellent thing it is, when you get it genuine—none of your coarse Whitechapel abominations, but a veritable satin-skinned, brown Indian beauty; smooth and firm to the touch, and full-flavoured to the taste; such a one as would be worth a Jewess’ eye, with a glass of tawny Port. But the gratification that we have been wont to derive from our real Manilla has been sadly disturbed of late by a circumstance which has caused a dreadful schism in the smoking world, and has agitated every divan in the metropolis to its very centre. The question is, “Whether should a cheroot be smoked by the great or the small end?” On this apparently trivial subject the great body of cheroot smokers have taken different sides, and divided themselves, as the Lilliputians did in the famous egg controversy, into the Big-endians and Little-endians. The dispute has been carried on with great vigour on both sides, and several ingenious volumes have been already written, proving satisfactorily the superiority of each system, without however convincing a single individual of the opposite party. The Tories, we have observed, have as usual seized on the big end of the argument, while the Whigs have grappled as resolutely by the little end, and are puffing away furiously in each other’s eyes. Heaven knows where the contest will end! For ourselves, we are content to watch the struggle from our quiet corner, convinced, whichever end gains the victory, that John Bull will be made to smoke for it; and when curious people ask us if we be big-endians or little-endians, we answer, that, to oblige all our friends, we smoke our Manillas at both ends.
Oh, tell me not of empires grand,
Of proud dominion wide and far,
Of those who sway the fertile land
Where melons three for twopence are.
To rule like this I ne’er aspire,
In fact my book it would not suit!
The only rule that I desire,
Is a rule nisi to compute.
Oh speak not of the calm delights,
That in the fields or lanes we win;
The field and lane that me invites
Is Chancery or Lincoln’s Inn.
Yes, there in some remote recess,
At eve, I practise on my flute,
Till some attorney comes to bless
With a rule nisi to compute.
Oh, how oft when alone at the close of the day
I’ve sat in that Court where the fig-tree don’t grow
And wonder’d how I, without money, should pay
The little account to my laundress below!
And when I have heard a quick step on the stair,
I’ve thought which of twenty rich duns it could be,
I have rush’d to the door in a fit of despair,
And—received ten and sixpence for signing a plea.
CHORUS.—Signing a plea, signing a plea!
Received ten and sixpence for signing a plea.
They may talk as they will of the pleasure that’s found.
When venting in verse our despondence and grief;
But the pen of the poet was ne’er, I’ll be bound,
Half so pleasantly used as in signing a brief.
In soft declarations, though rapture may lie,
If the maid to appear to your suit willing be,
But ah I could write till my inkstand was dry,
And die in the act—yes—of signing a plea.
CHORUS.—Signing a plea, signing a plea!
Die in the act—yes—of signing a plea.
Degousin ai gunaikes
Anakreon geron ei
Labon esoptron athrei
Komas men ouket ousas
Psilon de seu metopon.]
Λέγουσν αἱ γυναίκες
Άνακρέων γέρων εί
Λαβὼν ἔσοπτρον ἄθρει
Κόμας μὲν οὐκέτ᾿ οὔσας
Ψιλὸν δέ σευ μέτωπον.
Oft by the women I am told
“Tomkins, my boy, you’re growing o!d.
Look in the glass, and see how bare
Your poll appears reflected there.
No ringlets play around your brow;
’Tis all Sir Peter Laurie-ish11. This is a graceful as well as a literal rendering of the bard of Teos. The word Ψιλὸν signifying nudus, inanis, ‘envis, fatuus; Anglice,—Sir Peter Laurie-ish ED. OF “PUNCH.” now.”
Quod summum formæ decus est, cecidere capilli,
Vernantesque comas tristis abegit hyems
Nunc umbra nudata sua jam tempora mœrent,
Areaque attritis nidet adusta pilis.
O fallax natura Deum! quæ prima dedisti
Ætati nostræ gaudia, prima rapis.
Infelix modo crinibus nitebas,
Phœbo pulchrior, et sorore Phœbi:
At nunc lævior aëre, vel rotundo
Horti tubere, quod creavit unda,
Ridentes fugis et times puellas.
Ut mortem citius venire credas,
Scito jam capitis perisse partem.
Tomkins, you’re dish’d! thy light luxuriant hair,
Like “a distress,” hath left thy caput bare;
Thy temples mourn th’ umbrageous locks, and yield
A crop as stunted as a stubble field.
Rowland and Ross! your greasy gifts are vain,
You give the hair you’re sure to cut again.
Unhappy Tomkins! late thy ringlets rare,
E’en Wombwell’s self to rival might despair.
Now with thy smooth crown, nor the fledgling’s chops,
Nor East-born Mechi’s magic razor strops,
Can vie! And laughing maids you fly in dread,
Lest they should see the horrors of your head!
Laurie, like death, hath clouded o’er your morn.
Tomkins, you’re dish’d! Your Jeune France locks are shorn.
“Deliver me from the devil,” cried the Squire, “is it possible that a magistrate, or what d’ye call him, green as a fig, should appear no better than an ass in your worship’s eyes? By the Lord, I’ll give you leave to pluck off every hair of my beard if that be the case.”
“Then I tell thee,” said the master, “he is as certainly a he ass as I am Don Quixote and thou Sancho Panza, at least so he seems to me.”—Don Quixote.
Shall hair that on a crown has place
Become the subject of a case?
The fundamental law of nature
Be over-ruled by those made after?
’Tis we that can dispose alone
Whether your heirs (hairs) shall be your own.
Sir Peter Laurie passes so quickly from hyper-loyalty to downright treason, that he is an insolvable problem. As wigs were once worn out of compliment to a monarch, so when the Queen expects a little heir, Sir Peter causes a gentleman, over whom he has an accidental influence, to have a little hair too. But oh the hypocrite! the traitor! he at the same time gives a shilling to have the ha(e)ir cut off from the crown. It is quite time to look to the
PUNCH begs to state that, owing to the immense press of matter on hand, the following contributions only can expect insertion in the body of PUNCH during the whole of next week. Contributors are requested to send early—carriage paid.
N.B.—PUNCH does not pledge himself for the return of any article.
Turkeys—for which PUNCH undertakes to find cuts, and plates—unlimited.
Sausages, to match the above. Mem.—no undue preference, or Bill Monopoly. Epping and Norfolk equally welcome.
Mince Pies, per dozen—thirteen as twelve. No returns.
“Oh, the Roast Beef of Old England,” with additional verses, capable of various encores.
Puddings received from ten till four. PUNCH makes his own sauce; the chief ingredient is brandy, which he is open to receive per bottle or dozen.
Large Hampers containing small turkeys, &c., may be pleasantly filled with lemons, candied citron, and lump sugar.
(Private and confidential, quite unknown to Judy.)
BRYANT has had orders to suspend a superb Mistletoe bough in the publishing-office. PUNCH will be in attendance from daylight till dusk. To prevent confusion, the salutes will he distributed according to the order of arrival.
PUNCH begs to state he is open to receive tenders for letter-press matter, to be illustrated by the
N.B. They must be sent in sealed, and will be submitted to a select committee, consisting of Peter Laurie, and Borthwick, and Deaf Burke.
N.B. No Cutting-his-Stick need apply.
All lovers are absurd and ridiculous. The passion which spiritualises woman makes man a fool. Nothing can be more amusing than to observe a bashful lover in company where the object of his affections is present. He is the very picture of confusion and distress, looking like a man who has lost something, and knows not where to seek for it. His eyes wander from the carpet to the ceiling; at one moment he is engaged in counting the panes in the window, and the next in watching the discursive flights of a blue-bottle round the apartment. But while he appears anxiously seeking for some object on which to fix his attention, he carefully avoids looking towards his innamorata; and should their eyes meet by chance, his cheeks assume the tint of the beet-root or the turnip, and his manifest embarrassment betrays his secret to the most inexperienced persons. In order to recover his confidence, he shifts his seat, which seems suddenly to have shot forth as many pins as the back of a hedgehog; but in doing so he places the leg of his chair on the toe of a gouty, cross old uncle, or on the tail of a favourite lap-dog, and, besides creating an awful fracas, succeeds in making inveterate enemies of the two brutes for the remainder of their lives.
There are some lovers, who show their love by their affected indifference, and appear smitten by any woman except the one whom they are devoted to. This is an ingenious stratagem; but in general it is so badly managed, that it is more easily seen through than a cobweb. Lastly, there are a select few, who evince their tender regard by perpetual bickerings and quarrels. This method will frequently mislead inquisitive aunts and guardians; but it should only be attempted by a man who has full confidence in his own powers.
Lovers, as I have observed, are invariably objects of ridicule; timid, jealous, and nervous, a frown throws them into a state of agony it would be difficult to describe, and a smile bestowed upon a rival breaks their rest for a week. Only observe one of them engaged in a quiet, interesting tête-à-tête with the lady of his choice. He has exerted all his powers of fascination, and he fancies he is beginning to make a favourable impression on his companion, when—bang!—a tall, whiskered fellow, who, rumour has whispered, is the lady’s intended, drops in upon them like a bomb-shell! The detected lover sits confounded and abashed, wishing in the depths of his soul that he could transform himself into a gnat, and make his exit through the keyhole. Meantime the new-comer seats himself in solemn silence, and for five minutes the conversation is only kept up by monosyllables, in spite of the incredible efforts of all parties to appear unconcerned. The young man in his confusion plunges deeper into the mire;—he twists and writhes in secret agony—remarks on the sultriness of the weather, though the thermometer is below the freezing point; and commits a thousand gaucheries—too happy if he can escape from a situation than which nothing can possibly be conceived more painful.
It would not be easy to determine at what age love first manifests itself in the human heart; but if the reader have a good memory (I now speak to my own sex), he may remember when its tender light dawned upon his soul,—he may recall the moment when the harmonious voice of woman first tingled in his ears, and filled his bosom with unknown rapture,—he may recollect how he used to forsake trap-ball and peg-top to follow the idol he had created in her walks,—how he hoarded up the ripest oranges and gathered the choicest flowers to present to her, and felt more than recompensed by a word of thanks kindly spoken. Oh, youth—youth! pure and happy age, when a smile, a look, a touch of the hand, makes all sunshine and happiness in thy breast.
But the season of boyhood passes—the youth of sixteen becomes a young man of twenty, and smiles at the innocent emotions of his uneducated heart. He is no longer the mute adorer who worshipped in secrecy and in silence. Each season produces its own flowers. At [pg 275]twenty, the time for mute sympathy has passed away: it is one of the most eventful periods in the life of a lover; for should he then chance to meet a heart free to respond to his ardent passion, and that no cruel father, relentless guardian, or richer lover interposes to overthrow his hopes, he may with the aid of a licence, a parson, and a plain gold ring, be suddenly launched into the calm felicity of married life.
I know not what mysterious chain unites the heart of a young lover to that of the woman whom he loves. In the simplicity of their hearts they often imagine it is but friendship that draws them towards each other, until some unexpected circumstance removes the veil from their eyes, and they discover the dangerous precipice upon whose brink they have been walking. A journey, absence, or sickness, inevitably produce a discovery. If a temporary separation be about to occur, the unconscious lovers feel, they scarce know wherefore, a deep shade of sadness steal over them; their adieux are mingled with a thousand protestations of regret, which sink into the heart and bear a rich harvest by the time they meet again. Days and months glide by, and the pains of separation still endure; for they feel how necessary they have become to the happiness of each other, and how cold and joyless existence seems when far from those we love.
That which may be anticipated, at length comes to pass; the lover returns—he flies to his mistress—she receives him with blushing cheek and palpitating heart. I shall not attempt to describe the scene, but throughout the day and night that succeeds that interview the lover seems like one distracted. In the city, in the fields—alone, or in company—he hears nothing but the magic words, “I LOVE YOU!” ringing in his ears, and feels that ecstatic delight which it is permitted mortals to taste but once in their lives.
But what are the sensations which enter the heart of a young and innocent girl when she first confesses the passion that fills her heart? A tender sadness pervades her being—her soul, touched by the hand of Love, delivers itself to the influence of all the nobler emotions of her nature; and borne heavenward on the organ’s solemn peal, pours forth its rich treasures in silent and grateful adoration.
At thirty, a man takes a more decided—I wish I could add a more amiable—character than at twenty. At twenty he loves sincerely and devotedly; he respects the woman who has inspired him with the noblest sentiment of which his soul is capable. At thirty his heart, hardened by deceit and ill-requited affection, and pre-occupied by projects of worldly ambition, regards love only as an agreeable pastime, and woman’s heart as a toy, which he may fling aside the moment it ceases to amuse him. At twenty he is ready to abandon everything for her whom he idolises—rank, wealth, the future!—they weigh as nothing in the balance against the fancied strength and constancy of his passion. At thirty he coldly immolates the repose and happiness of the woman who loves him to the slightest necessity. I must admit, however—in justice to our sex—provided his love does not interfere with his interest, nor his freedom, nor his club, nor his dogs and horses, nor his petites liaisons des coulisses, nor his hour of dinner—the lover is always willing to make the greatest sacrifices for her whom he has honoured with his regards. The man of thirty is, moreover, a man of many loves; he carries on half-a-dozen affairs of the heart at the same time—he has his writing-desk filled with billets-doux, folded into a thousand fanciful shapes, and smelling villanously of violets, roses, bergamot, and other sentimental odours. He has a pocket-book full of little locks of hair, of all colours, from the light golden to the raven black. In short, the man of thirty is the most dangerous of lovers. Let my fair readers watch his approaches with distrust, and place at every avenue of their innocent hearts
In consequence of an advertisement in the Sporting Magazine for SEVERAL OLD BUCKS, some daring villains actually secured the following venerable gentlemen:—Sir Francis Burdett, Lord Palmerston, Sir Lumley Skeffington, Jack Reynolds, and Mr. Widdicombe. The venison dealer, however, declined to purchase such very old stock, and the aged captives upon being set at liberty heartily congratulated each other on their
An attenuated disciple of the ill-paid art which has been described as one embracing the “delightful task which teaches the young idea how to shoot,” in a fit of despair, being but little skilled in the above sporting accomplishment, endeavoured to cheat nature of its right of killing by trying the efficacy of a small hanging match, in which he suicidically “doubled” the character of criminal and Jack Ketch. Upon being asked by the redoubtable Civic Peter what he meant by such conduct, he attempted to urge the propriety of the proceeding according to the scholastic rules of the ancients. “It may,” replied Sir Peter, “be very well for those chaps to hang themselves, as they are out of my jurisdiction; but I’ll let you see you are wrong, as
We understand that the Author of “Jack Sheppard,” &c., is about to publish a new Romance, in three volumes, post octavo, to be called “James Greenacre; or, the Hero of Paddington.”
We are requested by Mr. Catnach, of Seven Dials, to state that he has a few remaining copies of “All round my Hat” on sale. Early application must be made, to prevent disappointment. Mr. C. has also to inform the public that an entirely new collection of the most popular songs is now in the press, and will shortly be published, price One Halfpenny.
Mr. Grant, the author of “Random Recollections,” is, it is said, engaged in writing a new work, entitled “Quacks as they are,” and containing copious extracts from all his former publications, with a portrait of himself.
“An Essay on False Wigs,” written by Lord John Russell, and dedicated to Mr. Wakley, M.P., may shortly be expected.
The man who wishes to study an epitome of human character—who wants to behold choice samples of “all sorts and conditions of men”—to read out of a small, a duodecimo edition of the great book of life—must take a season’s lodgings at a Cheltenham, a Harrowgate, or a Brighton boarding-house. There he will find representatives of all kinds of eccentricities,—members of every possible lodge of “odd fellows” that Folly has admitted of her crew—mixed up with everyday sort of people, sharpers, schemers, adventurers, fortune-hunters, male and female—widows, wags, and Irishmen. Hence, as the “proper study of mankind is man,” a boarding-house is the place to take lessons;—even on the score of economy, as it is possible to live decently at one of these refuges for the destitute for three guineas a-week, exclusive, however, of wine, servants, flirtation, and other extras.
A result of this branch of study, and an example of such a mode of studying it, is the farce with the above title, which has been brought out at Covent Garden. Mrs. Walker (Mrs. Orger) keeps a boarding-house, which also keeps her; for it is well frequented: so well that we find her making a choice of inmates by choosing to turn out Mr. Woodpecker (Mr. Walter Lacy)—a mere “sleeping-apartment” boarder—to make room for Mrs. Coo (Mrs. Glover), a widow, whose demands entitle her to the dignity of a “private sitting and bedroom” lodger. Mr. Woodpecker is very comfortable, and does not want to go; but the hostess is obstinate: he appeals to her feelings as an orphan, without home or domesticity; but the lady, having been in business for a dozen years, has lost all sympathy for orphans of six-and-twenty. In short, Mrs. Walker determines he shall walk, and so shall his luggage (a plethoric trunk and an obese carpet-bag are on the stage); for she has dreamt even that has legs—such dreams being, we suppose, very frequent to persons of her name.
You are not quite satisfied that the mere preference for a better inmate furnishes the only reasons why the lady wants Mr. Woodpecker’s room rather than his company. Perhaps he is in arrear; but no, he pays his bill: so it is not on that score that he is so ruthlessly sent away. You are, however, not kept long on the tiptoe of conjecture, but soon learn that Mrs. W. has a niece, and you already know that the banished is young, good-looking, and gay. Indeed, Mrs. Walker having perambulated, Miss Fanny Merrivale (Miss Lee) appears, and listens very composedly to the plan of an elopement from Woodpecker, but speedily makes her exit to avoid suspicion, and the enemy who has dislodged her lover; before whom the latter also retreats, together with his bag and baggage.
There are no classes so well represented at boarding-houses as those who sigh for fame, and those that are dying to be married. Accordingly, we find in Mrs. Walker’s establishment Captain Whistleborough (Mr. W. Farren), who is doing the extreme possible to get into Parliament, and Captain Pacific, R.N., (Mr. Bartley,) who is crowding all sail to the port of matrimony. Well knowing how boarding-houses teem with such persons, two men who come under the “scheming” category are also inmates. One of these, Mr. Enfield Bam (Mr. Harley), is a sort of parliamentary agent, who goes about to dig up aspirants that are buried in obscurity, and to introduce them to boroughs, by which means he makes a very good living. His present victim is, of course, Captain Whistleborough, upon whom he is not slow in commencing operations.
Captain Whistleborough has almost every requisite for an orator. He is an army officer; so his manners are good and his self-possession complete. His voice is commanding, for it has been long his duty to give the word of command. Above all, he has a mania to become a member. Yet, alas! one trifling deficiency ruins his prospects; he has an impediment in his speech, which debars him from the use of the W’s. Like the French alphabet, that letter is denied to him. When he comes to a syllable it begins, he is spell-bound; though he longs to go on, he pulls up quite short, and sticks fast. The first W he meets with in the flowery paths of rhetoric causes him to be as dumb as an oyster, or as O. Smith in “Frankenstein.” In vain does he try the Demosthenes’ plan by sucking pebbles on the Brighton shore and haranguing the waves, though he is unable to address them by name. All is useless, and he has resigned himself to despair and a Brighton boarding-house, when Mr. Enfield Bam gives him fresh hopes. He informs him that the proprietress of a pocket borough resides under the same roof, and that he will (for the usual consideration) get the Captain such an introduction to her as shall ensure him a seat in her good graces, and another in St. Stephen’s. Mr. Bam, therefore, goes off to negotiate with Miss Polecon (Mrs. Tayleure), and makes way for the intrigues of another sort of an agent, who lives in the house.
This is Rivet (Mr. C. Mathews), a gentleman who undertakes to procure for an employer anything upon earth he may want, at so much per cent. commission. There is nothing that this very general agent cannot get hold of, from a hack to a husband—from a boat to a baronetcy—from a tortoise-shell tom-cat to a rich wife. Matrimonial agency is, however, his passion, and he has plenty of indulgence for it in a Brighton boarding-house. Captain Pacific wants a wife, Mrs. Coo is a widow, and all widows want husbands. Thus Rivet makes sure of a swingeing commission from both parties; for, in imagination, and in his own memorandum-book, he has already married them.
Here are the ingredients of the farce; and in the course of it they are compounded in such wise as to make Woodpecker jealous, merely because he happens to find Fanny in the dark, and in Whistleborough’s arms; to cause the latter to negotiate with Mrs. Coo for a seat in Parliament, instead of a wedding-ring; and Pacific to talk of the probable prospects of the nuptial state to Miss Polecon, who is an inveterate spinster and a political economist, professing the Malthusian creed. Rivet finding Fanny and her friend are taking business out of his hands by planning an elopement en amateur, gets himself “regularly called in,” and manages to save Woodpecker all the trouble, by contriving that Whistleborough shall run away with the young lady by mistake, so that Woodpecker might marry her, and no mistake. Bam bams Whistleborough, who ends the piece by threatening his deceiver with an action for breach of promise of borough, all the other breaches having been duly made up; together with the match between Mrs. Coo and Pacific.
If our readers want to be told what we think of this farce, they will be disappointed; if they wish to know whether it is good or bad, witty or dull, lively or stupid—whether it ought to have been damned outright, or to supersede the Christmas pantomime—whether the actors played well or played the deuce—whether the scenery is splendid and the appointments appropriate or otherwise, they must judge for themselves by going to see it; because if we gave them our opinion they would not believe us, seeing that the author is one of our most esteemed (especially over a boiled chicken and sherry), most merry, most jolly, most clever colleagues; one, in fine, of PUNCH’S “United Service.”
“I have been running ever since I was born and am not tired now”—as the brook said to Captain Barclay.
“Hookey”—as the carp said, when he saw a worm at the end of a line.
“Nothing is certain”—as the fisherman said, when he always found it in his nets.
“Brief let it be”—as the barrister said in his conference with the attorney.
“He is the greatest liar on (H) earth”—as the cockney said of the lapdog he often saw lying before the fire.
When is a hen most likely to hatch? When she is in earnest (her nest).
Why are cowardly soldiers like butter? When exposed to a fire they run.
Do you sing?—says the teapot to the kettle—Yes, I can manage to get over a few bars.—Bah, exclaimed the teapot.