Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, August 14, 1841 eBook

Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, August 14, 1841

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[Illustration:  H]Haberdashers, continued my friend the boot, are wonderful people; they make the greatest show out of the smallest stock—­whether of brains or ribbons—­of any men in the world.  A stranger could not pass through the village of Ballybreesthawn without being attracted by a shop which occupied the corner of the Market-square and the main street, with a window looking both ways for custom.  In these windows were displayed sundry articles of use and ornament—­toys, stationery, perfumery, ribbons, laces, hardware, spectacles, and Dutch dolls.

In a glass-case on the counter were exhibited patent medicines, Birmingham jewellery, court-plaister, and side-combs.  Behind the counter might be seen Mr. Matthew Tibbins, quite a precedent for country shop-keepers, with uncommonly fair hair and slender fingers, a profusion of visible linen, and a most engaging lisp.  In addition to his personal attractions, Tibbins possessed a large stock of accomplishments, which, like his goods, “might safely challenge competition.”  He was an acknowledged wit, and retailed compliments and cotton balls to the young ladies who visited his emporium.  As a poet, too, his merits were universally known; for he had once contributed a poetic charade to the Ladies’ Almanack.  He, moreover, played delightfully on the Jews’-harp, knew several mysterious tricks in cards, and was an adept in the science of bread and butter-cutting, which made him a prodigious favourite with maiden aunts and side-table cousins.  This was the individual whom fate had ordained to cross and thwart Terence in his designs upon the heart of Miss Biddy O’Brannigan, and upon whom that young lady, in sport or caprice, bestowed a large dividend of those smiles which Terence imagined should be devoted solely to himself.

The man of small wares was, in truth, a dangerous rival, from his very insignificance.  Had he been a man of spirit or corporal consideration, Terence would have pistolled or thrashed him out of his audacious notions; but the creature was so smiling and submissive that he could not, for the life of him, dirty his fingers with such a contemptible wretch.  Thus Tibbins continued flattering and wriggling himself into Miss Biddy’s good graces, while Terence was fighting and kissing the way to her heart, till the poor girl was fairly bothered between them.

Miss Biddy O’Brannigan, I should have told you, sir, was an heiress, valued at one thousand pounds in hard cash, living with an old aunt at Rookawn Lodge, about six miles from Ballybreesthawn; and to this retreat of the loves and graces might the rival lovers be seen directing their course, after mass, every Sunday;—­the haberdasher in a green gig with red wheels, and your uncle mounted on a bit of blood, taking the coal off Tibbins’s pipe with the impudence of his air, and the elegant polish of your humble servants.

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Matters went on in this way for some time—­Miss O’Brannigan not having declared in favour of either of her suitors—­when one bitter cold evening, I remember it was in the middle of January, we were whipped off our peg in the hall, and in company with our fellow-labourers, the buckskin continuations, were carried up to your uncle, whom we found busily preparing for a ball, which was to be given that night by the heiress of Rookawn Lodge.  I confess that my brother and myself felt a strong presentiment that something unfortunate would occur, and our forebodings were shared by the buckskins, who, like ourselves, felt considerable reluctance to join in the expedition.  Remonstrance, however, would have been idle; we therefore submitted with the best grace we could, and in a few minutes were bestriding Terence’s favourite hunter, and crossing the country over ditch, dyke, and drain, as if we were tallying at the tail of a fox.  The night was dark, and a recent fall of rain had so swollen a mountain stream which lay in our road, that when we reached the ford, which was generally passable by foot passengers, Terence was obliged to swim his horse across, and to dismount on the opposite side, in order to assist the animal up a steep clayey bank which had been formed by the torrent undermining and cutting away the old banks.

Although we had received no material damage, you may suppose that our appearance was not much improved by the water and yellow clay into which we had been plunged; and had it been possible, we would have blushed with vexation, on finding ourselves introduced by Terence in a very unseemly state, amidst the titters of a number of young people, into the ball-room at Rookawn Lodge.  However, we became somewhat reassured, when we heard the droll manner in which he related his swim, with such ornamental flourishes and romantic embellishments as made him an object of general interest during the night.

Matthew Tibbins had already taken the field in a blue satin waistcoat and nankeen trousers.  At the instant we entered the dancing-room, he had commenced lisping to Miss Biddy, in a tender love-subdued tone, a couplet which he had committed to memory for the occasion, when a glance of terrible meaning from Terence’s eye met his—­the unfinished stanza died in his throat, and without waiting the nearer encounter of his dreaded rival, he retreated to a distant corner of the apartment, leaving to Terence the post of honour beside the heiress.

“Mr. Duffy,” said she, accompanying her words with the blandest smile you can conceive, as he approached, “what a wonderful escape you have had.  Dear me!  I declare you are dripping wet.  Will you not change your—­clothes?” and Miss Biddy glanced furtively at the buckskins, which, like ourselves, had got thoroughly soaked.  “Oh! by no means, my dear Miss Biddy,” replied Terence, gaily; “’tis only a thrifle of water—­that won’t hurt them”—­and then added, in a confidential tone, “don’t you know I’d go through fire as well as water for one kind look from those deludin’ eyes.”

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“Shame, Mr. Duffy! how can you!” responded Miss Biddy, putting her handkerchief to her face to make believe she blushed.

“Isn’t it the blessed truth—­and don’t you know it is, you darling?—­Oh!  Miss Biddy, I’m wasting away like a farthing candle in the dog-days—­I’m going down to my snug grave through your cruelty.  The daisies will be growing over me afore next Easther—­Ugh—­ugh—­ugh.  I’ve a murderin’ cough too, and nothing can give me ase but yourself, Miss Biddy,” cried Terence eagerly.

“Hush! they’ll hear you,” said the heiress.

“I don’t care who hears me,” replied Terence desperately; “I can’t stand dying by inches this way.  I’ll destroy myself.”

“Oh, Terence!” murmured Miss O’Brannigan.

“Yes,” he continued:  “I loaded my pistols this morning, and I told Barney M’Guire, the dog-feeder, to come over and shoot me the first thing he does in the morning.”

“Terence, dear, what do you want?  What am I to say?” inquired the trembling girl.

“Say,” cried Terence, who was resolved to clinch the business at a word; “say that you love me.”

The handkerchief was again applied to Miss O’Brannigan’s face, and a faint affirmative issued from the depths of the cambric.  Terence’s heart hopped like a racket-ball in his breast.

“Give me your hand upon it,” he whispered.

Miss Biddy placed the envied palm, not on his brows, but in his hand, and was led by him to the top of a set which was forming for a country dance, from whence they started off at the rate of one of our modern steam-engines, to the spirit-stirring tune of “Haste to the Wedding.”  There was none of the pirouetting, and chassez-ing, and balancez-ing, of your slip-shod quadrilles in vogue then—­it was all life and action:  swing corners in a hand gallop, turn your partner in a whirlwind, and down the middle like a flash of lightning.

Terence had never acquitted himself so well; he cut, capered, and set to his partner with unusual agility; we naturally participated in the admiration he excited, and in the fullness of our triumph, while brushing past the flimsy nankeens worn by Tibbins, I could not refrain from bestowing a smart kick upon his shins, that brought the tears to his eyes with pain and vexation.

After the dance had concluded, Terence led his glowing partner to a cool quiet corner, where leaving her, he flew to the side table, and in less time than he would take to bring down a snipe, he was again beside her with a large mugful of hot negus, into which he had put, by way of stiffener, a copious dash of mountain dew.

“How do you like it, my darling?” asked Terence, after Miss Biddy had read the maker’s name in the bottom of the mug.

“Too strong, I’m afraid,” replied the heiress.

“Strong!  Wake as tay, upon my honour!  Miss Biddy,” cried Mr. Duffy.

(The result of Terence Duffy’s courtship will be given in the next chapter).

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* * * * *


No.  IV.

  O Dinna paint her charms to me,
    I ken that she is fair;
  I ken her lips might tempt the bee—­
    Her een with stars compare,
  Such transient gifts I ne’er did prize,
    My heart they couldna win;
  I dinna scorn my Jeannie’s eyes—­
    But has she ony tin?

  The fairest cheek, alas! may fade
    Beneath the touch of years;
  The een where light and gladness play’d
    May soon graw dim wi’ tears. 
  I would love’s fires should, to the last,
    Still burn as they begin;
  And beauty’s reign too soon is past,
    So—­has she ony tin?

* * * * *


Her ladyship, at her last conversazione, propounded to Punch the following classical poser:—­“How would you translate the Latin words, puella, defectus, puteus, dies, into four English interjections?” Our wooden Roscius hammered his pate for full five minutes, and then exclaimed—­“A-lass! a-lack! a-well a-day!” Her ladyship protested that the answer would have done honour to the professor of languages at the London University.

* * * * *



A dialogue.

  “Ground arms!”—­Birdcage Walk.

LION.—­So! how do you feel now?

UNICORN.—­Considerably relieved.  Though you can’t imagine the stiffness of my neck and legs.  Let me see, how long is it since we relieved the griffins?

LION.—­An odd century or two, but never mind that.  For the first time, we have laid down our charge—­have got out of our state attitudes, and may sit over our pot and pipe at ease.

UNICORN.—­What a fate is ours!  Here have we, in our time, been compelled to give the patronage of our countenance to all sorts of rascality—­have been forced to support robbery, swindling, extortion—­but it won’t do to think of—­give me the pot.  Oh! dear, it had suited better with my conscience, had I been doomed to draw a sand-cart!

LION.—­Come, come, no unseemly affectation. You, at the best, are only a fiction—­a quadruped lie.

UNICORN.—­I know naturalists dispute my existence, but if, as you unkindly say, I am only a fiction, why should I have been selected as a supporter of the royal arms?

LION.—­Why, you fool, for that very reason.  Have you been where you are for so many years, and yet don’t know that often, in state matters, the greater the lie the greater the support?

UNICORN.—­Right.  When I reflect—­I have greater doubts of my truth, seeing where I am.

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LION.—­But here am I, in myself a positive majesty, degraded into a petty-larceny scoundrel; yes, all my inherent attributes compromised by my position.  Oh, Hercules! when I remember my native Africa—­when I reflect on the sweet intoxication of my former liberty—­the excitement of the chase—­the mad triumph of my spring, cracking the back of a bison with one fillip of my paw—­when I think of these things—­of my tawny wife with her smile sweetly ferocious, her breath balmy with new blood—­of my playful little ones, with eyes of topaz and claws of pearl—­when I think of all this, and feel that here I am, a damned rabbit-sucker—­

UNICORN.—­Don’t swear.

LION.—­Why not?  God knows, we’ve heard swearing enough of all sorts in our time.  It isn’t the fault of our position, if we’re not first-rate perjurers.

UNICORN.—­That’s true:  still, though we are compelled to witness all these things in the courts of law, let us be above the influence of bad example.

LION.—­Give me the pot.  Courts of law?  Oh, Lord! what places they put us into!  And there they expect me—­me, the king of the animal world, to stand quietly upon my two hind-legs, looking as mildly contemptible as an apoplectic dancing-master,—­whilst iniquities, and meannesses, and tyranny, and—­give me the pot.

UNICORN:—­Brother, you’re getting warm.  Really, you ought to have seen enough of state and justice to take everything coolly.  I certainly must confess that—­looking at much of the policy of the country, considering much of the legal wickedness of law-scourged England—­it does appear to me a studied insult to both of us to make us supporters of the national quarterings.  Surely, considering the things that have been done under our noses, animals more significant of the state and social policy might have been promoted to our places.  Instead of the majestic lion and the graceful unicorn, might they not have had the—­the—­

LION.—­The vulture and the magpie.

UNICORN.—­Excellent!  The vulture would have capitally typified many of the wars of the state, their sole purpose being so many carcases—­whilst, for the courts of law, the magpie would have been the very bird of legal justice and legal wisdom.

LION.—­Yes, but then the very rascality of their faces would at once have declared their purpose.  The vulture is a filthy, unclean wretch—­the bird of Mars—­preying upon the eyes, the hearts, the entrails of the victims of that scoundrel-mountebank, Glory; whilst the magpie is a petty-larceny vagabond, existing upon social theft.  To use a vulgar phrase—­and considering the magistrates we are compelled to keep company with, ’tis wonderful that we talk so purely as we do—­’twould have let the cat too much out of the bag to have put the birds where we stand.  Whereas, there is a fine hypocrisy about us.  Consider—­am not I the type of heroism, of magnanimity?  Well, compelling me, the heroic, the magnanimous, now to stand here

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upon my hind-legs, and now to crouch quietly down, like a pet kitten over-fed with new milk,—­any state roguery is passed off as the greatest piece of single-minded honesty upon the mere strength of my character—­if I may so say it, upon my legendary reputation.  Now, as for you, though you are a lie, you are nevertheless not a bad-looking lie.  You have a nice head, clean legs, and—­though I think it a little impertinent that you should wear that tuft at the end of your tail—­are altogether a very decent mixture of the quadrupeds.  Besides, lie or not, you have helped to support the national arms so long, that depend upon it there are tens of thousands who believe you to be a true thing.

UNICORN.—­I have often flattered myself with that consolation.

LION.—­A poor comfort:  for if you are a true beast, and really have the attributes you are painted with, the greater the insult that you should be placed here.  If, on the contrary, you are a lie, still greater the insult to leonine majesty, in forcing me for so many, many years to keep such bad company.

UNICORN.—­But I have a great belief in my reality:  besides, if the head, body, legs, tail, I bear, never really met in one animal, they all exist in several:  hence, if I am not true altogether, I am true in parts; and what would you have of a thick-and-thin supporter of the crown?

LION.—­Blush, brother, blush; such sophistry is only worthy of the Common Pleas, where I know you picked it up.  To be sure, if both of us were the most abandoned of beasts, we surely should have some excuse for our wickedness in the profligate company we are obliged to keep.

UNICORN.—­Well, well, don’t weep. Take the pot.

LION.—­Have we not been, ay, for hundreds of years, in both Houses of

UNICORN.—­It can’t be denied.

LION—­And there, what have we not seen—­what have we not heard!  What brazen, unblushing faces!  What cringing, and bowing, and fawning!  What scoundrel smiles, what ruffian frowns! what polished lying!  What hypocrisy of patriotism!  What philippics, levelled in the very name of liberty, against her sacred self!  What orations on the benefit of starvation—­on the comeliness of rags!  Have we not heard selfishness speaking with a syren voice?  Have we not seen the haggard face of state-craft rouged up into a look of pleasantness and innocence?  Have we not, night after night, seen the national Jonathan Wilds meet to plan a robbery, and—­the purse taken—­have they not rolled in their carriages home, with their fingers smelling of the people’s pockets?

UNICORN.—­It’s true—­true as an Act of Parliament.

LION.—­Then are we not obliged to be in the Courts of Law?  In Chancery—­to see the golden wheat of the honest man locked in the granaries of equity—­granaries where deepest rats do most abound—­whilst the slow fire of famine shall eat the vitals of the despoiled; and it may be the man of rightful thousands shall be carried to churchyard clay in parish deals?  Then in the Bench, in the Pleas—­there we are too.  And there, see we not justice weighing cobwebs against truth, making too often truth herself kick the beam?

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UNICORN.—­It has made me mad to see it.

LION.—­Turn we to the Police-offices—­there we are again.  And there—­good God!—­to see the arrogance of ignorance!  To listen to the vapid joke of his worship on the crime of beggary!  To see the punishment of the poor—­to mark the sweet impunity of the rich!  And then are we not in the Old Bailey—­in all the criminal courts!  Have we not seen trials after dinner—­have we not heard sentences in which the bottle spoke more than the judge?

UNICORN.—­Come, come, no libel on the ermine.

LION.—­The ermine!  In such cases, the fox—­the pole-cat.  Have we not seen how the state makes felons, and then punishes them for evil-doing?

UNICORN.—­We certainly have seen a good deal that way.

LION.—­And then the motto we are obliged to look grave over!

UNICORN.—­What Dieu et mon droit! Yes, that does sometimes come awkwardly in—­“God and my right!” Seeing what is sometimes done under our noses, now and then, I can hardly hold my countenance.

LION.—­“God and my right!” What atrocity has that legend sanctified! and yet with demure faces they try men for blasphemy.  Give me the pot.

UNICORN.—­Come, be cool—­be philosophic.  I tell you we shall have as much need as ever of our stoicism?

LION.—­What’s the matter now?

UNICORN.—­The matter!  Why, the Tories are to be in, and Peel’s to be minister.

LION.—­Then he may send for Mr. Cross for the oran-outan to take my place, for never again do I support him.  Peel minister, and Goulburn, I suppose—­

UNICORN.—­Goulburn!  Goulburn in the cabinet!  If it be so, I shall certainly vacate my place in favour of a jackass.

* * * * *



The first examination for the degree of bachelor of medicine has taken place at the London University, and has raised itself to the level of Oxford and Cambridge.

Without doubt, it will soon acquire all the other attributes of the colleges.  Town and gown rows will cause perpetual confusion to the steady-going inhabitants of Euston-square:  steeple-chases will be run, for the express delight of the members, on the waste grounds in the vicinity of the tall chimneys on the Birmingham railroad; and in all probability, the whole of Gower-street, from Bedford-square to the New-road, will, at a period not far distant, be turfed and formed into a T.Y.C.; the property securing its title-deeds under the arms of the university for the benefit of its legs—­the bar opposite the hospital presenting a fine leap to finish the contest over, with the uncommon advantage of immediate medical assistance at hand.

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The public press of the last week has duly blazoned forth the names of the successful candidates, and great must have been the rejoicings of their friends in the country at the event.  But we have to quarrel with these journals for not more explicitly defining the questions proposed for the examinations—­the answers to which were to be considered the tests of proficiency.  By means of the ubiquity which Punch is allowed to possess, we were stationed in the examination room, at the same time that our double was delighting a crowded and highly respectable audience upon Tower-hill; and we have the unbounded gratification of offering an exact copy of the questions to our readers, that they may see with delight how high a position medical knowledge has attained in our country:—­



1.  State the principal variations found in the kidneys procured at Evans’s and the Coal Hole; and likewise name the proportion of animal fibre in the rump-steaks of the above resorts.  Mention, likewise, the change produced in the albumen, or white of an egg, by poaching it upon toast.

2.  Describe the comparative circulation of blood in the body, and of the Lancet, Medical Gazette, and Bell’s Life in London, in the hospitals; and mention if Sir Charles Bell, the author of the “Bridgewater Treatise on the Hand,” is the editor of the last-named paper.


1.  You are called to a fellow-student taken suddenly ill.  You find him lying on his back in the fender; his eyes open, his pulse full, and his breathing stertorous.  His mind appears hysterically wandering, prompting various windmill-like motions of his arms, and an accompanying lyrical intimation that he, and certain imaginary friends, have no intention of going home until the appearance of day-break.  State the probable disease; and also what pathological change would be likely to be effected by putting his head under the cock of the cistern.

2.  Was the Mount Hecla at the Surrey Zoological Gardens classed by Bateman in his work upon skin diseases—­if so, what kind of eruption did it come under?  Where was the greatest irritation produced—­in the scaffold-work of the erection, or the bosom of the gentleman who lived next to the gardens, and had a private exhibition of rockets every night, as they fell through his skylight, and burst upon the stairs?

3.  Which is the most powerful narcotic—­opium, henbane, or a lecture upon practice of physic; and will a moderate dose of antimonial wine sweat a man as much as an examination at Apothecaries’ Hall?


1.  Does any chemical combination take place between the porter and ale in a pot of half-and-half upon mixture?  Is there a galvanic current set up between the pewter and the beer capable of destroying the equilibrium of living bodies.

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2.  Explain the philosophical meaning of the sentence—­“He cut away from the crushers as quick as a flash of lightning through a gooseberry-bush.”

3.  There are two kinds of electricity, positive and negative; and these have a pugnacious tendency. A, a student, goes up to the College positive he shall pass; B, an examiner, thinks his abilities negative, and flummuxes him accordingly. A afterwards meets B alone, in a retired spot, where there is no policeman, and, to use his own expression, “takes out the change” upon B.  In this case, which receives the greatest shock—­A’s “grinder,” at hearing his pupil was plucked, or B for doing it?

4.  The more crowded an assembly is, the greater quantity of carbonic acid is evolved by its component members.  State, upon actual experience, the per centage of this gas in the atmosphere of the following places:—­The Concerts d’Ete, the Swan in Hungerford Market, the pit of the Adelphi, Hunt’s Billiard Rooms, and the Colosseum during the period of its balls.



1.  Mention the most liberal pawnbrokers in the neighbourhood of Guy’s and Bartholomew’s; and state under what head of diseases you class the spring outbreak of dissecting cases and tooth-drawing instruments in their windows.

2.  Mention the cheapest tailors in the metropolis, and especially name those who charge you three pounds for dress coats ("best Saxony, any other colour than blue or black"), and write down five in the bills to send to your governor.  Describe the anatomical difference between a peacoat, a spencer, and a Taglioni, and also state who gave the best “prish” for old ones.

* * * * *


Public attention being at this particular season anxiously directed to the prospects of the approaching harvest, we are enabled to lay before our readers some authentic information on the subject.  Notwithstanding the fears which the late unfavourable weather induced, we have ascertained that reaping is proceeding vigorously at all the barbers’ establishments in the kingdom.  Several extensive chins were cut on Saturday last, and the returns proved most abundant.

Sugar-barley is a comparative failure; but that description of oats, called wild oats, promises well in the neighbourhood of Oxford. Turn-ups have had a favourable season at the ecarte tables of several dowagers in the West-end district.  Beans are looking poorly—­particularly the have-beens—­whom we meet with seedy frocks and napless hats, gliding about late in the evenings.  Clover, we are informed by some luxurious old codgers, who are living in the midst of it, was never in better condition.  The best description of hops, it is thought, will fetch high prices in the Haymarket.  The vegetation of wheat has been considerably retarded by the cold weather.  Sportsmen, however, began to shoot vigorously on the 12th of this month.

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All things considered, though we cannot anticipate a rich harvest, we think that the speculators have exaggerated the


* * * * *




Before entering on this series of papers, I have only one request to make of the reader, which is this:  that, however absurd or incredible my statements may appear, he will take them all for Grant-ed.

It will hardly be necessary to apologise for making the hero of Waterloo the subject of this article; for, having had always free access to the parlour of the Duke of Wellington, I flatter myself that I am peculiarly fitted for the task I have undertaken.

My acquaintance with the duke commenced in a very singular manner.  During the discussions on the Reform Bill, his grace was often the object of popular pelting; and I was, on one occasion, among a crowd of free-born Englishmen who, disliking his political opinions, were exercising the constitutional privilege of hooting him.  Fired by the true spirit of British patriotism, and roused to a pitch of enthusiasm by observing that the crowd were all of one opinion, decidedly against the duke, worked up, too, with momentary boldness by perceiving that there was not a policeman in sight, I seized a cabbage-leaf, with which I caught his nose, when, turning round suddenly to look whence the blow proceeded, I caught his eye.  It was a single glance; but there was something in it which said more than, perhaps, if I had attempted to lead him into conversation, he would at that moment have been inclined to say to me.  The recognition was brief, lasting scarcely an instant; for a policeman coming round the corner, the great constitutional party with whom I had been acting retired in haste, rather than bring on a collision with a force which was at that time particularly obnoxious to all the true friends of excessive liberty.

It will, perhaps, surprise my readers, when I inform them that this is the only personal interview I ever enjoyed with the illustrious duke; but accustomed as I am to take in character at a glance, and to form my conclusions at a wink, I gained, perhaps, as much, or more, information with regard to the illustrious hero, as I have been enabled to do with regard to many of those members of the House of Lords whom, in the course of my “Random Recollections,” it is my intention to treat of.

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I never, positively, dined with the Duke of Wellington; but on one occasion I was very near doing so.  Whether the duke himself is aware of the circumstances that prevented our meeting at the same table I never knew, and have no wish to inquire; but when his grace peruses these pages, he will perceive that our political views are not so opposite as the dastardly enemies of both would have made the world suppose them to have been.  The story of the dinner is simply this:—­there was to be a meeting for the purpose of some charity at the Freemasons’-hall, and the Duke of Wellington was to take the chair.  I was offered a ticket by a friend connected with the press.  My friend broke his word.  I did not attend the dinner.  But those virulent liars much malign me who say I stopped away because the duke was in the chair; and much more do they libel me who would hint that my absence was caused by a difference with the duke on the subject of politics.  Whether Wellington observed that I did not attend I never knew, nor shall I stop to inquire; but when I say that his grace spoke several times, and never once mentioned my name, it will be seen that whatever may have been his thoughts on the occasion, he had the delicacy and good taste to make no allusion whatever to the subject, which, but for its intrinsic importance, I should not so long have dwelt upon,

Looking over some papers the other day in my drawer, with the intention of selecting any correspondence that might have passed between myself and the duke, I found that his grace had never written to me more than once; but the single communication I had received from him was so truly characteristic of the man, that I cannot refrain from giving the whole of it.  Having heard it reported that the duke answered with his own hand every letter that he received, I, who generally prefer judging in all things for myself, determined to put his grace’s epistolary punctuality to the test of experience.  With this view I took up my pen, and dashed off a few lines, in which I made no allusion, either to my first interview, or the affair of the dinner; but simply putting forward a few general observations on the state of the country, signed with my own name, and dated from Whetstone-park, which was, at that time, my residence.  The following was the reply I received from the duke, which I print verbatim, as an index—­short, but comprehensive, as an index ought to be—­to the noble duke’s character.


“The Duke of Wellington begs to return the enclosed letter, as he
neither knows the person who wrote it, nor the reason of sending

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This, as I said before, is perhaps one of the most graphic traits on record of the peculiar disposition of the hero of Waterloo.  It bespeaks at once the soldier and the politician.  He answers the letter with military precision, but with political astuteness—­he pretends to be ignorant of the object I had in sending it.  His ready reply was the first impulse of the man; his crafty and guarded mode of expression was the cautious act of the minister.  Had I been disposed to have written a second time to my illustrious correspondent, I now had a fine opportunity of doing so; but I preferred letting the matter drop, and from that day to this, all communication between myself and the duke has ceased. I shall not be the first to take any step for the purpose of resuming it.  The duke must, by this time, know me too well to suppose that I have any desire to keep up a correspondence which could lead to no practical result, and might only tear open afresh wounds that the healing hand of time has long ago restored to their former salubrity.

It may be expected I should say a few words of the duke’s person.  He generally wears a frock coat, and rides frequently on horseback.  His nose is slightly curved; but there is nothing peculiar in his hat or boots, the latter of which are, of course, Wellington’s.  His habits are still those of a soldier, for he gets up and goes to bed again much as he was accustomed to do in the days of the Peninsula.  His speeches in Parliament I have never heard; but I have read some of them in the newspapers.  He is now getting old; but I cannot tell his exact age:  and he has a son who, if he should survive his father, will undoubtedly attain to the title of Duke of Wellington.

* * * * *


Royal Dispensary for Diseases of the Ear.

Our esteemed friend and staunch supporter Colonel Sibthorp has lately, in the most heroic manner, submitted to an unprecedented and wonderfully successful operation.  Our gallant friend was suffering from a severe elongation of the auricular organs; amputation was proposed, and submitted to with most heroic patience.  We are happy to state the only inconvenience resulting from the operation is the establishment of a new hat block, and a slight difficulty of recognition on the part of some of his oldest friends.

* * * * *


One of the morning papers gave its readers last week a piece of extraordinary assize intelligence, headed—­“Cutting a wife’s throat—­before Mr. Serjeant Taddy” We advise the learned Serjeant to look to this:  ’tis a too serious joke to be set down as an accessary to the cutting of a wife’s throat.

* * * * *


Page 13

  “For Ireland’s weal!” hear turncoat S—­y rave,
  Who’d trust the wheel that own’d so sad a knave?

* * * * *


In the parish of Llanelly, Breconshire, the males exceed the females by more than one thousand.  At Worcester, says the Examiner, the same majority is in favour of the ladies.  We should propose a conference and a general swap of the sexes next market-day, as we understand there is not a window in Worcester without a notice of “Lodgings to let for single men,” whilst at Llanelly the gentlemen declare sweethearts can’t be had for “love nor money.”

* * * * *


  “There’ll soon be rare work (cry the journals in fear),
    When Peel is call’d in in his regular way;”
  True—­for when we’ve to pay all the Tories, ’tis clear,
    It is much the same thing as the devil to pay.

* * * * *


“Walk up, walk up, ladies and gentlemen, feeding is going to commence Wellington and Peel are now giving their opening dinners to their friends and admirers.  All who want places must come early.  Walk up! walk up!—­This is the real constitutional tavern.  Here we are! gratis feeding for the greedy!  Make way there for those hungry-looking gentlemen—­walk up, sir—­leave your vote at the bar, and take a ticket for your hat.”

* * * * *


  The Tories vow the Whigs are black as night,
  And boast that they are only blessed with light. 
  Peel’s politics to both sides so incline,
  His may be called the equinoctial line.

* * * * *


Baron Campbell, who has sat altogether about 20 hours in the Irish Court of Chancery, will receive 4,000l. a-year, on the death of either Lord Manners or Lord Plunkett, (both octogenarians;) which, says the Dublin Monitor, “taking the average of human life, he will enjoy thirty years;” and adds, “20 hours contain 1,200 minutes; and 4,000l. a-year for thirty years gives 120,000l.  So that he will receive for the term of his natural life just one hundred pounds for every minute that he sat as Lord Chancellor.”  Pleasant incubation this!  Sitting 20 hours, and hatching a fortune.  If there be any truth in metempsychosis, Jocky Campbell must be the goose that laid golden eggs.

* * * * *


  SHEIL’S oratory’s like bottled Dublin stout;
  For, draw the cork, and only froth comes out.

* * * * *

Page 14


We can state on the most positive authority that the recent fire at the Army and Navy Club did not originate from a spark of Colonel Sibthorp’s wit falling amongst some loose jokes which Captain Marryatt had been scribbling on the backs of some unedited purser’s bills.

* * * * *


  The Whigs resemble nails—­How so, my master? 
  Because, like nails, when beat they hold the faster.

* * * * *


“Do you admire Campbell’s ’Pleasures of Hope’?” said Croker to Hook.  “Which do you mean, the Scotch poet’s or the Irish Chancellor’s? the real or the ideal—­Tommy’s four thousand lines or Jocky’s four thousand pounds a-year?” inquired Theodore.  Croker has been in a brown study ever since.

* * * * *


MR. PUNCH,—­Myself and a few other old Etonians have read with inexpressible scorn, disgust, and indignation, the heartless and malignant attempts, in your scoundrel journal, to blast the full-blown fame of that most transcendant actor, and most unexceptionable son, Mr. Charles Kean.  Now, PUNCH, fair play is beyond any of the crown jewels.  I will advance only one proof, amongst a thousand others that cart-horses sha’n’t draw from me, to show that Charles Kean makes more—­mind, I say, makes more—­of Shakspere, than every other actor living or dead.  Last night I went to the Haymarket—­Lady Georgiana L——­ and other fine girls were of the party.  The play was “Romeo and Juliet,” and there are in that tragedy two slap-up lines; they are, to the best of my recollection, as follow:—­

  “Oh! that I were a glove upon that hand,
  That I might touch that cheek.”

Now, ninety-nine actors out of a hundred make nothing of this—­not so Charles Kean.  Here’s my proof.  Feeling devilish hungry, I thought I’d step out for a snack, and left the box, just as Charles Kean, my old schoolfellow, was beginning—­


Well, I crossed the way, stepped into Dubourg’s, swallowed two dozen oysters, took a bottom of brandy, and booked a small bet with Jack Spavin for the St. Leger, returned to the theatre, and was comfortably seated in my box, as Charles Kean, my old school-fellow, had arrived at


Now, PUNCH, if this isn’t making much of Shakspere, what is?

Yours (you scoundrel), ETONIAN.

* * * * *


The following ode is somewhat freely translated from the original of a
Chinese emigrant named CA-TA-NA-CH, or the “illustrious minstrel.”

We have given a short specimen of the original, merely substituting the
Roman for the Chinese characters.

Page 15


As-ye-Te-i-anp-o-et-sli-re Y-oun-g-li-ae-us-di-din-spi-re Wen-ye-ba-r-da-wo-Ke-i-sla-is Lo-ve-et-wi-nea-li-ket-op-ra-is So-i-lus-tri-ou-spi-din-th-o-u In-s-pi-re-thi-Te-ur-nv-ot-a-rin-ow &c. &c.


  As the Teian poet’s lyre
  Young Lyaeus did inspire;
  When the bard awoke his lays,
  Love and wine alike to praise. 
  So, illustrious Pidding, thou
  Inspire thy tea-urn votary now,
  Whilst the tea-pot circles round—­
  Whilst the toast is being brown’d—­
  Let me, ere I quaff my tea,
  Sing a paean unto thee,
  IO PIDDING! who foretold,
  Chinamen would keep their gold;
  Who foresaw our ships would be
  Homeward bound, yet wanting tea;
  Who, to cheer the mourning land,
  Said, “I’ve Howqua still on hand!”
  Who, my Pidding, who but thee? 
  Io Pidding!  Evoe!

* * * * *



Dramatis Personae.

  RHUBARB PILL (a travelling doctor), by SIR ROBERT PEEL. 

SCENE. Tamworth.

The Doctor and his Man are discovered in a large waggon, surrounded by a crowd of people.

RHUBARB PILL.—­Balaam, blow the trumpet.

BALAAM (blows).—­Too-too-tooit!  Silence for the doctor!

RHUBARB PILL.—­Now, friends and neighbours, now’s your time for getting rid of all your complaints, whether of the pocket or the person, for I, Rhubarb Pill, professor of sophistry and doctorer of laws, have now come amongst you with my old and infallible remedies and restoratives, which, although they have not already worked wonders, I promise shall do so, and render the constitution sound and vigorous, however it may have been injured by poor-law-bill-ious pills, cheap bread, and black sugar, prescribed by wooden-headed quacks. (Aside.) Balaam, blow the trumpet.

BALAAM (blows).—­Too-too-tooit!  Hurrah for the doctor!

RHUBARB PILL.—­These infallible remedies have been in my possession since the years 1835 and 1837, but owing to the opposition of the Cabinet of Physicians, I have not been able to use them for the benefit of the public—­and myself. (Bows.) These invaluable remedies—­

COUNTRYMAN.—­What be they?

RHUBARB PILL.—­That’s not a fair question—­wait till I’m regularly called in[1].  It’s not that I care about the fee—­mine is a liberal profession, and though I have a large family, and as many relations as most people, I really think I should refuse a guinea if it was offered to me.

    [1] Sir Robert Peel at Tamworth.

COUNTRYMAN.—­Then why doant’ee tell us?

RHUBARB PILL.—­It’s not professional.  Besides, it’s quite requisite that I should “feel the patient’s pulse,” or I might make the dose too powerful, and so—­

Page 16

COUNTRYMAN.—­Get the sack, Mr. Doctor.

RHUBARB PILL (aside).—­Blow the trumpet, Balaam.


RHUBARB PILL.—­And so do more harm than good.  Besides, I should require to have the “necessary consultations” over the dinner-table.  Diet does a great deal—­not that I care about the “loaves and fishes”—­but patients are always more tractable after a good dinner.  Now there’s an old lady in these parts—­

COUNTRYMAN.—­What, my old missus?

RHUBARB PILL.—­The same.  She’s in a desperate way.

COUNTRYMAN.—­Ees.  Dr. Russell says it’s all owing to your nasty nosdrums.

RHUBARB PILL.—­Doctor Russell’s a—­never mind.  I say she is very bad, and
I AM the only man that can cure her.

COUNTRYMAN—­Then out wi’it, doctor—­what will?

RHUBARB PILL.—­Wait till I’m regularly called in.

COUNTRYMAN.—­But suppose she dies in the meantime?

RHUBARB PILL.—­That’s her fault.  I won’t do anything by proxy.  I must direct my own administration, appoint my own nurses for the bed-chamber, have my own herbalists and assistants, and see Doctor Russell’s “purge” thrown out of the window.  In short, I must be regularly called in.  Balaam, blow the trumpet.

[Balaam blows the trumpet, the crowd shout, and the Doctor bows gracefully, with one hand on his heart and the other in his breeches pocket.  At the end of the applause he commences singing].

  I am called Doctor Pill, the political quack,
    And a quack of considerable standing and note;
  I’ve clapp’d many a blister on many a back,
    And cramm’d many a bolus down many a throat,
  I have always stuck close, like the rest of my tribe,
    And physick’d my patient as long as he’d pay;
  And I say, when I’m ask’d to advise or prescribe,
    “You must wait till I’m call’d in a regular way.”

  Old England has grown rather sickly of late,
    For Russell’s reduced her almost to a shade;
  And I’ve honestly told him, for nights in debate,
    He’s a quack that should never have follow’d the trade. 
  And, Lord! how he fumes, and exultingly cries,
    “Were you in my place, Pill, pray what would you say?”
  But I only reply, “If I am to advise,
    I shall wait till I’m call’d in a regular way.”

  It’s rather “too bad,” if an ignorant elf,
    Who has caught a rich patient ’twere madness to kill,
  Should have all the credit, and pocket the pelf,
    Whilst you are requested to furnish the skill. 
  No! no! amor patriae’s a phrase I admire,
    But I own to an amor that stands in its way;
  And if England should e’er my assistance require,
    She must—­


* * * * *

Page 17


Peter Borthwich has expressed his determination—­not to accept of the speakership of the House of Commons.

C.M.  Westmacott has announced his intention of not joining the new administration; in consequence of which serious defection, he asserts that Sir Robert Peel will be unable to form a cabinet.

“You have heard,” said his Grace of Buckingham, to Lord Abinger, a few evenings ago, “how scandalously Peel and his crew have treated me—­they have actually thrown me overboard.  A man of my weight, too!” “That was the very objection, my Lord,” replied the rubicund functionary.  “Their rotten craft could not carry a statesman of your ponderous abilities.  Your dead weight would have brought them to the bottom in five minutes.”

* * * * *


Alas! that poor old Whiggery should have been so silly as to go a-wooing.  Infirm and tottering as he is, it was the height of insanity.  Down he dropped on his bended knees before the object of his love; out he poured his touching addresses, lisped in the blandest, most persuasive tones; and what was his answer?  Scoffs, laughs, kicks, rejection!  Even Johnny Russell’s muse availed not, though it deserved a better fate.  It gained him a wife, but could not win the electors.  Our readers will discover the genius of the witty author of “Don Carlos” in the address, which, though rejected, we in pity immortalise in PUNCH.

  Loved friends—­kind electors, once more we are here
    To beg your sweet voices—­to tell you our deeds. 
  Though our Budget is empty, we’ve got—­never fear—­
    A long full privy purse, to stand bribing and feeds. 
  For, oh! we are out-and-out Whigs—­thorough Whigs! 
    Then, shout till your throttles, good people, ye crack;
  Hurrah! for the troop of sublime “Thimble-rigs!”
    Hurrah! for the jolly old Downing-street pack.

What we’ve done, and will do for you, haply you’ll ask: 
All, all, gentle folks, you shall presently see. 
Off your sugar we’ll take just one penny a cask!
Only adding a shilling a pound on your tea. 
That’s the style for your Whigs—­your reforming old Whigs! 
Then, shout, &c.

Off your broad—­think of this!—­we will take—­(if we can)—­
A whole farthing a loaf; then, when wages decline,
By one-half—­as they must—­and you’re starving, each man
In our New Poor Law Bastiles may go lodge, and go dine. 
That’s the plan of your Whigs—­your kind-hearted, true Whigs! 
Then, shout, &c.

Off the fine Memel timber, we’d take—­if we could—­
All tax, ’cause ’tis used in the palace and hall;
On the cottager’s, tradesman’s coarse Canada wood,
We will clap such a tax as shall pay us for all. 
That’s the “dodge” for your Whigs—­your poor-loving, true Whigs! 
Then, shout, &c.

Page 18

To free our dear brothers, the niggers, you know
Twenty millions and more we have fix’d on your backs. 
’Twas gammon—­’twas humbug—­’twas swindle! for, lo! 
We undo all we’ve done—­we go trade in the blacks. 
Your humanity Whigs!—­anti-slavery Whigs! 
Then, shout, &c.

When to Office we came, full two millions in store
We found safe and snug.  Now, that surplus instead,
Besides having spent it, and six millions more,
Lo! we’re short, on the year, only two millions dead
That’s the “go” for your Whigs—­your retrenching old Whigs
Then, shout, &c.

In a word, round the throne we’ve stuck sisters and wives,
Our brothers and cousins fill bench, church, and steeple;
Assist us to stick in, at least for our lives,
And nicely “we’ll sarve out” Queen, Lords, ay, and People. 
That’s the fun for your Whigs—­your bed-chamber old Whigs! 
Shout, shout, &c.

What was the reply to this pathetic, this generous appeal?  Name it not at Woburn-abbey—­whisper it not at Panshanger—­breathe it not in the epicurean retreat of Brocket-hall!  Tears, big tears, roll down our sympathetic checks as we write it.  It was simply—­“Cock-a-doodle-do!”

* * * * *


Lord John Russell, on his arrival with his bride at Selkirk the other day, was invested with the burghship of that ancient town.  In this ceremony, “licking the birse,” that is, dipping a bunch of shoemaker’s bristles in a glass of wine and drawing them across the mouth, was performed with all due solemnity by his lordship.  The circumstance has given rise to the following jeu d’esprit, which the author, Young Ben D’Israeli, has kindly dropped into PUNCH’S mouth:—­

  Lord Johnny, that comical dog,
    At trifles in politics whistles;
  In London he went the whole hog,
    At Selkirk he’s going the bristles.

* * * * *

“Why are Sir Robert Peel and Sir James Graham like two persons with only one intellect?”—­“Because there is an understanding between them.”

“Why is Sir Robert Peel like a confounded and detected malefactor?”—­“Because he has nothing at all to say for himself.”

* * * * *


The Salisbury Herald says, that Sir John Pollen stated, in reference to his defeat at the Andover election, “that from the bribery and corruption resorted to for that purpose, they (the electors) would have returned a jackass to parliament.”  Indeed!  How is it that he tried and failed?

* * * * *

LORD HOWICK, it is said, has gone abroad for the benefit of his health; he feels that he has not been properly treated at home.

Page 19

* * * * *


As much anxiety necessarily exists for the future well-being of our beloved infant Princess, we have determined to take upon ourselves the onerous duties of her education.  In accordance with the taste of her Royal mother for that soft language which

  “—­sounds as if it should be writ on satin,”

we have commenced by translating the old nursery song of “Ride a cock-horse” into most choice Italian, and have had it set to music by Rossini; who, we are happy to state, has performed his task entirely to the satisfaction of Mrs. Ratsey, the nurse of her Royal Highness; a lady equally anxious with ourselves to instil into the infant mind an utter contempt for everything English, except those effigies of her illustrious mother which emanate from the Mint.  The original of this exquisite and simple ballad is too well known to need a transcript; the Italian version, we doubt not, will become equally popular with aristocratic mamas and fashionable nurses.


Andantino con gran espress.
[Music:  Key of G, 3/4 time.]
Su gal — lo ca — val — — — lo A

[Music:  key of G.]
Ban — bu — ri cro — ce, An — dia — mo a

[Music:  key of G.]
mi-rar La — — vec chia — a trot — tar.

Moderato e molto staccato.
[Music:  key of D, 6/8 time.]
Ai dita ha gli anelli Ai pie i campanelli, E musica avra Do-

D.  C.
[Music:  key of D.]
vunque sen va — — — — — — — —

* * * * *


We have seen, with deep regret, a paragraph going the round of the papers headed, “THE LADY THIEF AT LINCOLN,” as if a lady could commit larceny!  “Her disorder,” says the newspapers, “is ascribed to a morbid or irrrepressible propensity, or monomania;” in proof of which we beg to subjoin the following prescriptions of her family physician, which have been politely forwarded to us.


R.—­Spoons—­silv. vi
Rings—­pearls ii
Ditto—­diamond j
Brooches—­emer. et turq. ii
Combs—­tortois. et dia. ii
Fiat sumendum bis hodie cum magno reticulo aut muffo,

R.—­Balls—­worsted xxiv
Veils { Chantilly } j
{ Mec. et Bruss. }
Hose—­Chi. rib. et cot. tops cum toe vj prs. 
Ribbons—­sat. gau. et sarse. (pieces) iv
Fiat sumendum cum cloko capace pocteque maneque. 

Page 20

* * * * *


[Illustration:  THE LAST PINCH.]

* * * * *


Mr. Combe, the great phrenologist, or, as some call him, Mr. Comb—­perhaps on account of his being so busy about the head—­has given it as his opinion, that in less than a hundred years public affairs will be (in America at least) carried on by the rules of phrenology.  By postponing the proof of his assertion for a century, he seems determined that no one shall ever give him the lie while living, and when dead it will, of course, be of no consequence.  We are inclined to think there may be some truth in the anticipation, and we therefore throw out a few hints as to how the science ought to be applied, if posterity should ever agree on making practical use of it.  Ministers of state must undoubtedly be chosen according to their bumps, and of course, therefore, no chancellor or any other legal functionary will be selected who has the smallest symptom of the bump of benevolence.  The judges must possess causality in a very high degree; and time, which gives rise to the perception of duration (which they could apply to Chancery suits), would be a great qualification for a Master of the Rolls or a Vice-chancellor.  The framers of royal speeches should be picked out from the number of those who have the largest bumps of secretiveness; and those possessing inhabitiveness, producing the desire of permanence in place, should be shunned as much as possible.  No bishop should be appointed whose bump of veneration would not require him to wear a hat constructed like that of PUNCH, to allow his organ full play; and the development of number, if large, might ensure a Chancellor of the Exchequer whose calculations could at least be relied upon.

Our great objection to the plan is this—­that it might be abused by parties bumping their own heads, and raising tumours for the sake of obtaining credit for different qualities.  Thus a terrific crack at the back of the ear might produce so great an elevation of the organ of combativeness as might obtain for the greatest coward a reputation for the greatest courage; and a thundering rap on the centre of the head might raise on the skull of the veriest brute a bump of, and name for, benevolence.

* * * * *



  Well, come my dear, I will confess—­
    (Though really you too hard are)
  So dry these tears and smooth each tress—­
    Let Betty search the larder;
  Then o’er a chop and genial glass,
    Though I so late have tarried,
  I will recount what came to pass
    I’ the days before I married.

Page 21

  Then, every place where fashion hies,
    Wealth, health, and youth to squander,
  I sought—­shot folly as it flies,
    ’Till I could shoot no longer. 
  Still at the opera, playhouse, clubs,
    ’Till midnight’s hour I tarried;
  Mixed in each scene that fashion dubs
    “The Cheese”—­before I married.

  Soon grown familiar with the town,
    Through Pleasure’s haze I hurried;
  (Don’t feel alarmed—­suppress that frown—­
    Another glass—­you’re flurried)
  Subscribed to Crockford’s, betted high—­
    Such specs too oft miscarried;
  My purse was full (nay, check that sigh)—­
    It was before I married.

  At Ascot I was quite the thing,
    Where all admired my tandem;
  I sparkled in the stand and ring,
    Talked, betted (though at random);
  At Epsom, and at Goodwood too,
    I flying colours carried. 
  Flatterers and followers not a few
    Were mine—­before I married.

  My cash I lent to every one,
    And gay crowds thronged around me;
  My credit, when my cash was gone,
    ’Till bills and bailiffs bound me. 
  With honeyed promises so sweet,
    Each friend his object carried,
  Till I was marshalled to the Fleet;
    But—­’twas before I married.

  Then sober thoughts of wedlock came,
    Suggested by the papers;
  The Sunday Times soon raised a flame,
    The Post cured all my vapours;
  And spite of what Romance may say
    ’Gainst courtship so on carried,
  Thanks to the fates and fair “Z.A.” 
    I now am blest and—­married.

* * * * *


Jockey Campbell, who has secured 4,000l. a-year by crossing the water and occupying for 20 hours the Irish Woolsack, strongly reminds us of Jason’s Argonautic expedition, after the golden fleece.

* * * * *


The immense importance of the signals now used in the royal navy, by facilitating the communication between ships at sea; has suggested to an ingenious member of the Scientific Association, the introduction of a telegraphic code of signals to be employed in society generally, where the viva voce mode of communication might be either inconvenient or embarrassing.  The inventor has specially devoted his attention to the topics peculiarly interesting to both sexes, and proposes by his system to remove all those impediments to a free and unreserved interchange of sentiment between a lady and gentleman, which feminine timidity on the one side—­natural gaucherie on the other—­dread of committing one’s self, or fear of transgressing the rules of good breeding, now throw in the way of many well-disposed young persons.  He explains his system, by supposing that an unmarried lady and gentleman meet for the first time at a public ball:  he is enchanted with the sylph-like grace of the lady in a waltz—­she, fascinated with the superb black moustaches of the gentleman.  Mutual interest is created in their bosoms, and the gentleman signalizes:—­

Page 22

“Do you perceive how much I am struck by your beauty?”—­by twisting the tip of his right moustache with the finger and thumb of the corresponding hand.  If the gentleman be unprovided with these foreign appendages, the right ear must be substituted.

The lady replies by an affirmative signal, or the contrary:—­e.g. “Yes,” the lady arranges her bouquet with the left hand.  “No,” a similar operation with the right hand.  Assuming the answer to have been favourable, the gentleman, by slowly throwing back his head, and gently drawing up his stock with the left hand, signals—­

“How do you like this style of person?”

The lady must instantly lower her eyelids, and appear to count the sticks of her fan, which will express—­“Immensely.”

The gentleman then thrusts the thumb of his left-hand into the arm-hole of his waistcoat, taps three times carelessly with his fingers upon his chest.  By this signal he means to say—­

“How is your little heart?”

The lady plucks a leaf out of her bouquet, and flings it playfully over her left shoulder, meaning thereby to intimate that her vital organ is “as free as that.”

The gentleman, encouraged by the last signal, clasps his hands, and by placing both his thumbs together, protests that “Heaven has formed them for each other.”

Whereupon the lady must, unhesitatingly, touch the fourth finger of her left hand with the index finger of the right; by which emphatic signal she means to say—­“No nonsense, though?”

The gentleman instantly repels the idea, by expanding the palms of both hands, and elevating his eyebrows.  This is the point at which he should make the most important signal in the code.  It is done by inserting the finger and thumb of the right hand into the waistcoat pocket, and expresses, “What metal do you carry?” or, more popularly, “What is the amount of your banker’s account?”

The lady replies by tapping her fan on the back of her left hand; one distinct tap for every thousand pounds she possesses.  If the number of taps be satisfactory to the gentleman, he must, by a deep inspiration, inflate his lungs so as to cause a visible heaving of his chest, and then, fixing his eyes upon the chandelier, slap his forehead with an expression of suicidal determination.  This is a very difficult signal, which will require some practice to execute properly.  It means—­

“Pity my sad state!  If you refuse to love me, I’ll blow my miserable brains out.”  The lady may, by shaking her head incredulously, express a reasonable doubt that the gentleman possesses any brains.

After a few more preliminary signals, the lover comes to the point by dropping his gloves on the floor, thereby beseeching the lady to allow him to offer her his hand and fortune.

To which she, by letting fall her handkerchief, replies—­

“Ask papa and mamma.”

Page 23

This is only an imperfect outline of the code which the inventor asserts may be introduced with wonderful advantage in the streets, the theatres, at churches, and dissenting chapels; and, in short, everywhere that the language of the lips cannot be used.

* * * * *


  A day on the water, by way of excursion,
  A night at the play-house, by way of diversion,
  A morning assemblage of elegant ladies,
  A chemical lecture on lemon and kalis,
  A magnificent dinner—­the venison so tender—­
  Lots of wine, broken glasses—­that’s all I remember.


Plymouth, August 5.

* * * * *


We have much pleasure in announcing to the liverymen and our fellow-citizens, the important fact, that for the future, the lord mayor’s day will be the fifth instead of the ninth of November.  The reason for this change is extremely obvious, as that is the principal day of the “Guy season.”

* * * * *

The members of the Carlton Club have been taking lessons in bell-ringing.  They can already perform some pleasing changes.  Colonel Sibthorpe is quite au fait at a Bob major, and Horace Twiss hopes, by ringing a Peal, to be appointed collector of tolls—­at Waterloo Bridge.

* * * * *

We recommend Lord Cardigan to follow the example of the officers of Ghent, who have introduced umbrellas into the army, even on parade.  Some men should gladly avail themselves of any opportunity of hiding their heads.

* * * * *




General Description.—­The thermometer is an instrument for showing the temperature; for by it we can either see how fast a man’s blood boils when he is in a passion, or, according as the seasons have occurred this year, how cold it is in summer, and how hot in winter.  It is mostly cased in tin, all the brass being used up by certain lecturers, who are faced with the latter metal.  It has also a glass tube, with a bulb at the end, exactly like a tobacco-pipe, with the bowl closed up; except that, instead of tobacco, they put mercury into it.  As the heat increases, the mercury expands, precisely as the smoke would in a pipe, if it were confined to the tube.  A register is placed behind the tube, crossed by a series of horizontal lines, the whole resembling a wooden milk-score when the customer is several weeks in arrear.

Derivation of Name.—­The thermometer derives its name from two Greek words, signifying “measure of heat;” a designation which has caused much warm discussion, for the instrument is also employed to tell when it freezes, by those persons who are too scientific to find out by the tips of their fingers and the blueness of their noses.

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History and Literature of the Thermometer.—­The origin of the instrument is involved in a depth of obscurity considerably below zero; Pliny mentions its use by a celebrated brewer of Boeotia; we have succeeded, after several years’ painful research, in tracing the invention of the instrument to Mercury, who, being the god of thieves, very likely stole it from somebody else.  Of ancient writers, there are few except Hannibal (who used it on crossing the Alps) and Julius Caesar, that notice it.  Bacon treats of the instrument in his “Novum Organum;” from which Newton cabbaged his ideas in his “Principia,” in the most unprincipled manner.  The thermometer remained stationary till the time of Robinson Crusoe, who clearly suggested, if he did not invent the register, now universally adopted, which so nearly resembles his mode of measuring time by means of notched sticks.  Fahrenheit next took it in hand, and because his calculations were founded on a mistake, his scale is always adopted in England.  Raumur altered the system, and instead of giving the thermometer mercury, administered to it ‘cold without,’ or spirits of wine diluted with water.  Celsius followed, and advised a medium fluid, so that his thermometer is known as the centigrade.  De Lisle made such important improvements, that they have never been attended to; and Mr. Sex’s differential thermometer has given rise to considerably more than a half-dozen different opinions.  All these persons have written learnedly on the subject, blowing respectively hot or cold, as their tastes vary.  The most recent work is that by Professor Thompson—­a splendid octavo, hot-pressed, and just warm from the printer’s.  Though this writer disagrees with Raumur’s temperance principles, and uses the strongest spirit he can get, instead of mercury, we are assured that he is no relation whatever to Messrs. Thompson and Fearon of Holborn-hill.

Concluding Remarks and Description of Punch’s Thermometer.—­It must be candidly acknowledged by every unprejudiced mind, that the thermometer question has been most shamefully handled by the scientific world.  It is made an exclusive matter; they keep it all to themselves; they talk about Fahren_heit_ with the utmost coolness; of Raumur in un-understandable jargon, and fire whole volleys of words concerning the centigrade scale, till one’s head spins round with their inexplicable dissertations.  What is the use of these interminable technicalities to the world at large?  Do they enlighten the rheumatic as to how many coats they may put on, for the Midsummer days of this variable climate?  Do their barometers tell us when to take an umbrella, or when to leave it at home?  No.  Who, we further ask, knows how hot it is when the mercury stands at 120 deg., or how cold it is when opposite 32 deg. of Fahrenheit?  Only the initiated, a class of persons that can generally stand fire like salamanders, or make themselves comfortable in an ice-house.

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Deeply impressed with the importance of the subject, PUNCH has invented a new thermometer, which may be understood by the “people” whom he addresses—­the unlearned in caloric—­the ignorant of the principles of expansion and dilatation.  Everybody can tell, without a thermometer, if it be a coat colder or a cotton waistcoat warmer than usual when he is out.  But at home!  Ah, there’s the rub!  There it has been impossible to ascertain how to face the storm, or to turn one’s back upon the sunshine, till to-day.  PUNCH’S thermometer decides the question, and here we give a diagram of it.  Owing a stern and solemn duty to the public, PUNCH has indignantly spurned the offers of the British Association to join in their mummeries at Plymouth—­to appear at their dinners for the debasement of science.  No; here in his own pages, and in them only, doth he propound his invention.  But he is not exclusive; having published his wonderful invention, he invites the makers to copy his plan.  Mr. Murphy is already busily arranging his Almanac for 1842, by means of a PUNCH thermometer, made by Carey and Co.



Iced bath                                            110
Cold bath                                             98    Blood heat. 
COAT OFF                                              90
Stock loosened                                        88
Cuffs turned up                                       85
One waistcoat                                         80
Morning coat all day                                  75
ONE COAT                                              65    Summer heat. 
Spencer                                               55    Temperate. 
Ditto, and “Comfortable”                              52
GREAT COAT                                            50
Ditto, and Macintosh                                  45
Ditto, ditto, and worsted stockings                   43
Ditto, ditto, ditto, and double boxcoat and Guernseys 35
Ditto, ditto, ditto, ditto, ditto, and bear-skin coat 32    Freezing. 
Ditto, ditto, ditto, ditto, ditto, ditto and between }
two feather beds all day                        } 0    Zero.

* * * * *


The Parliamentary lucus a non lucendo—­the Speaker who never speaks—­the gentleman who always holds his own tongue, except when he wants others to hold theirs—­the man who fills the chair, which is about three times too big for him—­is not, after all, to be changed.  But the incoming tenants of office have resolved to take him as a fixture, though not at a fair valuation; for they do nothing but find fault all the time they are agreeing to let him remain on the premises.  For our own part, we see no objection to the arrangement; for Mr. Lefevre, we believe, shakes his head as slowly and majestically as his predecessors, and rattles his

Page 26

teeth over the r in oR-der, with as much dignity as Sutton, who was the very perfection of Manners, was accustomed to throw into it.  The fatigues of the office are enough to kill a horse, but asses are not easily exterminated.  It is thought that Lefevre has not been sufficiently worked, and before giving him a pension, “the receiver must,” as the chemist say, “be quite exhausted.”  Tiring him out will not be enough; but he must be tired again, to entitled him to a re-tiring allowance.

* * * * *


DEER SIR,—­As I taks in your PUNCH (bein’ in the line meself, mind yes), will you tell me wot is the meeinigs of beein’ “konvelessent.”  A chap kalled me that name the other days, and I sined him as I does this.

Yours truly,

[Illustration:  HIS MARK.]

* * * * *


There is something very amusing in witnessing the manner in which the little Jacks in office imitate the great ones.  Sir Peter Laurie has been doing the ludicrous by imitating his political idol, Sir Robert.  “I shan’t prescribe till I am state-doctor,” says the baronet.  “I shan’t decide; wait for the Lord Mayor,” echoes the knight.

* * * * *


Lord John Russell begs respectfully to inform the connubially-disposed portion of the community, that being about to retire from the establishment in Downing-street, of which he has so long been a member, he has resolved (at the suggestion of several single ladies about thirty, and of numerous juvenile gentlemen who have just attained their majority a second time) to open a


where (from his long and successful experience) he trusts to be honoured by the confidence of the single, and the generous acknowledgments of the married.

Lord J.R. intends to transact business upon the most liberal scale, and instead of charging a per centage on the amount of property concerned in each union, he will take every lady and gentleman’s valuation of themselves, and consider one thousandth part thereof as an adequate compensation for his services.

Ladies who have lost the registries of their birth can be supplied with new ones, for any year they please, and the greatest care will be taken to make them accord with the early recollections of the lady’s schoolfellows and cousins of the same age.

Gentlemen who wear wigs, false calves, or artificial teeth, or use hair-dye, &c., will be required to state the same, as no deception can be countenanced by Lord J.R.

Ladies are only required to certify as to the originality of their teeth; and as Lady Russell will attend exclusively to this department, no disclosure will take place until all other preliminaries are satisfactorily arranged.

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Young gentlemen with large mustachios and small incomes will find the MATRIMONIAL AGENCY OFFICE well worthy their attention; and young ladies who play the piano, speak French, and measure only eighteen inches round the waist, cannot better consult their own interests than by making an early application.

N.B.  None with red hair need apply, unless with a mother’s certificate that it was always considered to be auburn.

Wanted several buxom widows for the commencement.  If in weeds, will be preferred.

* * * * *


“Law is the perfection of reason!” said, some sixty years ago, an old powder-wigged priest of Themis, in his “enthusymusy” for the venerable lady; and what one of her learned adorers, from handsome Jock Campbell down to plain Counsellor Dunn, would dare question the maxim?  A generous soul, who, like the fabled lady of the Arabian tale, drops gold at every word she utters, varying in value from one guinea to five thousand, according to the quality of the hand that is stretched forth to receive it, cannot possibly be other than reason herself.  But to appreciate this dear creature justly, it is absolutely necessary to be in her service.  No ordinary lay person can judge her according to her deserts.  You must be initiated into her mysteries before you can detect her beauties; but once admitted to her august presence—­once enrolled as her sworn slave—­your eyes become opened and clear, and you see her as she is, the marvel of the world.  Yet, though so difficult of comprehension, no man, nor woman, nor child, must plead ignorance of her excellencies.  To be ignorant of any one of them is an impossibility as palpable as that “the Queen can do no wrong,” or any other admirable fiction which the genius of our ancestors has bequeathed us.  We all must know the law, or be continually whipped!  A hard rule, though an inflexible one.  But the schoolmaster is abroad—­PUNCH, that teaches all, must teach the law; and, as a preliminary indispensable, he now proceeds to give a few definitions of the principal matters contained in that science, which bear a different meaning from what they would in ordinary language.  The admiring neophyte will perceive with delight the vast superiority apparent in all cases of “matters of law,” or “matters of fact.”

To illustrate:—­When a lovely girl, all warmth and confidence, steals on tiptoe from her lonely chamber, and, lighted by the moon, when “pa’s” asleep, drops from the balcony into the arms of some soft youth, as warm as she, who has been waiting to whisk her off to Hymen’s altar—­that is generally understood as

[Illustration:  AN ATTACHMENT IN FACT.]

When an ugly “bum,” well up to trap, creeps like a rascal from the sheriff’s-office, and with his capias armed, ere you are half-dressed, gives you the chase, and, as you “leg” away for the bare life, his knuckles dig into the seat of your unmentionables, gripping you like a tiger—­that indeed is une autre chose, that is

Page 28

[Illustration:  AN ATTACHMENT IN LAW.]

When you remark a round, rosy, jolly fellow, shining from top to toe, “philandering” down Regent-street, with a self-satisfied grin, that seems to say, “Match me that, demme!” and casting looks of pity—­mellowed through his eye-glass—­on all passers, you may fairly conclude that that happy dog has just slipped into

[Illustration:  A BOND-STREET SUIT.]

But when you perceive a gaunt, yellow spectre of a man, reduced to his last chemise, and that a sad spectacle of ancient purity, starting from Lincoln’s-Inn, and making all haste for Waterloo-bridge, the inference is rather natural, that he is blessed with

[Illustration:  A SUIT IN CHANCERY.]

It being dangerous to take too great a meal at a time, and PUNCH knowing well the difficulty of digesting properly over-large quantities of mental food, he concludes his first lecture on L—­A—­W.  Whether he will continue here his definitions of legal terms, or not, time and his humour shall determine.

* * * * *


Lord Melbourne, imitating the example of the ancient philosophers, is employing the last days of his political existence in composing a learned discourse “On the Shortness of Ministerial Life.”  To try the effect of it, his lordship gives a full dress dinner-party, immediately after the meeting of Parliament, to several of his friends.  On the removal of the cloth, he will read the essay, and then the Queen’s intended speech, in which she civilly gives his lordship leave to provide himself with another place.  Where, in the whole range of history, could we meet with a similar instance of magnanimity?  Where, with such a noble picture—­of a great soul rising superior to adversity?  Seneca in the bath, uttering moral apophthegms with his dying breath—­Socrates jesting over his bowl of hemlock juice—­were great creatures—­immense minds; but Lord Melbourne reading his own dismissal to his friends—­after dinner, too!—­over his first glass of wine—­leaves them at an immeasurable distance.  Oh! that we had the power of poor Wilkie! what a picture we could make of such a subject.

* * * * *



Some of the melancholy duties of this life afford a more subdued, and, therefore, a more satisfactory pleasure than scores with which duty has nothing to do, or those of mere enjoyment.  If, for instance, the friend, whose feeds we have helped to eat, whose cellars we have done our part to empty for the last quarter of a century, should happen to fall ill; if the doctors shake their heads, and warn us to make haste to his bedside, there is always a large proportion of honey to be extracted, in obeying the summons, out of the sting of parting, recounting old reminiscences, and gossipping about old times, never, alas! to return.  But should we neglect the summons, where would the stings of conscience end?

Page 29

Impelled by such a sense of duty, we wended our way to the “royal property,” to take a last look at the long-expiring gardens.  It was a wet night—­the lamps burnt dimly—­the military band played in the minor key—­the waiters stalked about with so silent, melancholy a tread, that we took their towels for pocket-handkerchiefs; the concert in the open rain went off tamely—­dirge-like, in spite of the “Siege of Acre,” which was described in a set of quadrilles, embellished with blue fire and maroons, and adorned with a dozen double drums, thumped at intervals, like death notes, in various parts of the doomed gardens.  The divertissement was anything but diverting, when we reflect upon the impending fate of the “Rotunda,” in which it was performed.

No such damp was, however, thrown over the evolutions of “Ducrow’s beautiful horses and equestrian artistes,” including “the new grand entree, and cavalcade of Amazons.”  They had no sympathy with the decline and fall of the Simpsonian empire.  They were strangers, interlopers, called in like mutes and feathers, to grace the “funeral show,” to give a more graceful flourish to the final exit.  The horses pawed the sawdust, evidently unconscious that the earth it covered would soon “be let on lease for building ground;” the riders seemed in the hey-day of their equestrian triumph.  Let them, however, derive from the fate of Vauxhall, a deep, a fearful lesson!—­though we shudder as we write, it shall not be said that destruction came upon them unawares—­that no warning voice had been raised—­that even the squeak of PUNCH was silent!  Let them not sneer, and call us superstitious—­we do not give credence to supernatural agency as a fixed and general principle; but we did believe in Simpson, and stake our professional reputation upon Widdicomb.

That Vauxhall gardens were under the especial protection of, that they drew the very breath of their attractiveness from, the ceremonial Simpson, who can deny?  When he flitted from walk to walk, from box to box, and welcomed everybody to the “royal property,” right royally did things go on!  Who would then have dreamt that the illustrious George—­he of the Piazza—­would ever be “honoured with instructions to sell;” that his eulogistic pen would be employed in giving the puff superlative to the Elysian haunts of quondam fashion—­in other words, in painting the lily, gilding refined gold?  But, alas!  Simpson, the tutelar deity, has departed ("died,” some say, but we don’t believe it), and at the moment he made his last bow, Vauxhall ought to have closed; it was madness—­the madness which will call us, peradventure, superstitious—­which kept the gates open when Simpson’s career closed—­it was an anomaly, for like Love and Heaven, Simpson was Vauxhall, and Vauxhall was Simpson!

Let Ducrow reflect upon these things—­we dare not speak out—­but a tutelar being watches over, and giveth vitality to his arena—­his ring is, he may rely upon it, a fairy one—­while that mysterious being dances and prances in it, all will go well; his horses will not stumble, never will his clowns forget a syllable of their antiquated jokes.  O! let him then, while seriously reflecting upon Simpson and the fate of Vauxhall, give good heed unto the Methuselah, who hath already passed his second centenary in the circle!

Page 30

These were our awful reflections while viewing the scenes in the circle, very properly constructed in the Rotunda.  They overpowered us—­we dared not stay to see the fireworks, “in the midst of which Signora Rossini was to make her terrific ascent and descent on a rope three hundred feet high.”  She might have been the sprite of Madame Saqui; in fact, the “Vauxhall Papers” published in the gardens, put forth a legend, which favours such a dreadful supposition!  We refer our readers to them—­they are only sixpence a-piece.

Of course the gardens were full in spite of the weather; for what must be the callousness of that man who could let the gardens pass under the hammer of George Robins, without bidding them an affecting farewell?  Good gracious!  We can hardly believe such insensibility does exist.  Hasten then, dear readers, as you would fly to catch the expiring sigh of a fine old boon companion—­hasten to take your parting slice of ham, your last bowl of arrack, even now while the great auctioneer says “Going.”

For your sake, and yours only, Alfred Bunn (whose disinterestedness has passed into a theatrical proverb), arrests the arm of his friend of the Auction Mart in its descent.  Attend to his bidding.  Do not—­oh! do not wait till the vulcan of the Bartholomew-lane smithy lets fall his hammer upon the anvil of pleasure, to announce that the Royal Property is—­“Gone!”


* * * * *



Mrs. Waylett and Mr. Keeley were the lady and gentleman who were placed in the peculiarly perplexing predicament of making a second-hand French interlude supportable to an English Opera audience.  In this they more than succeeded—­for they caused it to be amusing; they made the most of what they had to do, which was not much, and of what they had to say, which was a great deal too much; for the piece would be far more tolerable if considerably shorn of its unfair proportions.  The translator seems to have followed the verbose text of his original with minute fidelity, except where the idioms bothered him; and although the bills declare it is adapted by Mr. Charles Selby to the English stage, the thing is as essentially French as it is when performed at the Palais Royal, except where the French language is introduced, when, in every instance, the labours of correct transcription were evidently above the powers of the translator.  The best part of the adaptation is the exact fitness of the performers to their parts; we mean as far as concerns their personnel.

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Of course, all the readers of PUNCH know Mr. Keeley.  Let them, then, conceive him an uncle at five-and-thirty, but docking himself of six years’ age when asked impertinent questions.  He has a head of fine auburn hair, and dresses in a style that a badaud would call “quiet;” that is to say, he wears brass buttons to his coat, which is green, and adorned with a velvet collar.  In short, it is not nearly so fine as Lord Palmerston’s, for it has no velvet at the cuffs; and is not embroidered.  Add white unhintables, and you have an imaginative portrait of the hero.  But the heroine!  Ah! she, dear reader, if you have a taste for full-blown beauty and widows, she will coax the coin out of your pockets, and yourselves into the English Opera House, when we have told you what she acts, and how she acts.  Imagine her, the syren, with the quiet, confiding smile, the tender melting voice, the pleasing highly-bred manner; just picture her in the character of a Parisian widow—­the free, unshackled, fascinating Parisian widow—­the child of liberty—­the mother of—­no, not a mother; for the instant a husband dies, the orphans are transferred to convent schools to become nephews and nieces.  Well, we say for the third time, conceive Mrs. Waylett, dressed with modest elegance, a single rose in her hair—­sympathise with her as she rushes upon the stage (which is “set” for the chambre meublee of a country inn), escaping from the persecutions of a persevering traveller who will follow her charms, her modest elegance, her single rose, wherever they make their appearance.  She locks the door, and orders supper, declaring she will leave the house immediately after it is eaten and paid for.  Alas! the danger increases, and with it her fears; she will pay without eating; and as the diligence is going off, she will resume her journey, but—­a new misfortune—­there is no place in it!  She will, then, hire a postchaise; and the landlady goes to strike the bargain, having been duly paid for a bed which has not been lain in, and a supper that has not been eaten.  As the lady hastens away, with every prospect of not returning, the piece would inevitably end here, if a gentleman did not arrive by the very diligence which has just driven off full, and taken the same chamber the lady has just vacated; but more particularly if the only chaise in the place had not been hired by the lady’s wicked persecutor on purpose to detain her.  She, of course, returns to the twice-let chamber, and finds it occupied by a sentimental traveller.

Here we have the “peculiarly perplexing predicament”—­a lady and gentleman, and only one chamber between them!  This is the plot; all that happens afterwards is merely supplementary.  To avoid the continued persecutions of the unseen Adolphe, the lady agrees, after some becoming hesitation, to pass to the hostess as the wife of the sentimental traveller.  The landlady is satisfied, for what so natural as that they should have but one bed-room between them? so she carefully locks them in, and the audience have the pleasure of seeing them pass the night together—­how we will not say—­let our readers go and see.  Yet we must in justice add that the “lady and gentleman” make at the end of the piece the amende good morals demand—­they get married.

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To the performers, and to them alone, are we indebted for any of the amusement this trifle affords.  Mr. Keeley and Mrs. Waylett were, so far as acting goes, perfection; for never were parts better fitted to them.  There are only three characters in the piece; the third, the hostess of the "Cochon bleu," is very well done by Mrs. Selby.  The persecuting Adolphe (who turns out to be the gentleman’s nephew) never appears upon the stage, for all his rude efforts to get into the lady’s chamber are fruitless.

Such is the prying disposition of the British public, that the house was crammed to the ceiling to see a lady and a gentleman placed in a peculiarly perplexing predicament.

* * * * *

  As Romeo, Kean, with awkward grace,
    On velvet rests, ’tis said: 
  Ah! did he seek a softer place,
    He’d rest upon his head.

* * * * *


Several Dutch males arrived from Rotterdam during the last week.  They are all totally devoid of intelligence or interest.

* * * * *


  “Crack’d China mended!”—­Zounds, man! off this minute—­
  There’s work for you, or else the deuce is in it!

* * * * *

“Draw it mild!” as the boy with the decayed tooth said to the dentist.

Webster’s Manganese Ink is so intensely black, that it is used as a marking-fluid for coal-sacks.

There is a man up country so fat, they grease the cart-wheels with his shadow.