Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, Complete eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,359 pages of information about Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, Complete.
compliment the nerve of a statesman who pens a political manifesto with the torch of Hymen in his eyes, and the whole house odorous of wedding-cake.  In the like manner have we known the last signature of an unfortunate gentleman, about to undergo a great public and private change, eulogized for the firmness and clearness of its letters, with the perfect mastery of the supplementary flourish.  However, what is written is written; whether penned to the rustling of bridesmaids’ satins, or the surplice of the consolatory ordinary—­whether to the anticipated music of a marriage peal, or to the more solemn accompaniment of the bell of St. Sepulchre’s.

Ha!  Lord John, had you only spoken out a little year ago—­had you only told her Majesty’s Commons what you told the Livery of London—­then, at this moment, you had been no moribund minister—­then had Sir Robert Peel been as far from St. James’s as he has ever been from Chatham.  But so it is:  the Whig Ministry, like martyr Trappists, have died rather than open their mouths.  They would not hear the counsel of their friends, and they refused to speak out to their enemies.  They retire from office with, at least, this distinction—­they are henceforth honorary members of the Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb!

Again, the Whigs are victims to their inherent sense of politeness—­to their instinctive observance of courtesy towards the Tories.  There has been no bold defiance—­no challenge to mortal combat for the cause of public good; but when Whig has called out Tory, it has been in picked and holiday phrase—­

  “As if a brother should a brother dare,
  To gentle exercise and proof of arms.”

For a long time the people have expected to see “cracked crowns and bloody noses,” and at length, with true John Bull disgust, turned from the ring, convinced that the Whigs, whatever play they might make, would never go in and fight.

But have the Tories been correspondingly courteous?  By no means; the generosity of politeness has been wholly with the Whigs.  They, like frolicsome youths at a carnival, have pelted their antagonists with nothing harder than sugar-plums—­with egg-shells filled with rose-water; while the Tories have acknowledged such holiday missiles with showers of brickbats, and eggs not filled with aromatic dew.  What was the result?  The Tories increased in confidence and strength with every new assault; whilst the battered Whigs, from their sheer pusillanimity, became noisome in the nostrils of the country.

At length, the loaves and fishes being about to be carried off, the Whigs speak out:  like sulky Master Johnny, who, pouting all dinner-time, with his finger in his mouth, suddenly finds his tongue when the apple-dumplings are to be taken from the table.  Then does he advance his plate, seize his ivory knife and fork, put on a look of determined animation, and cry aloud for plenty of paste, plenty of fruit, and plenty of sugar!  And then Mrs. Tory (it

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Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, Complete from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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