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.
with pain—­he implores him to provide a substitute for Negus.  Every actor knows the difference between portraying imbecility and being silly himself—­between puerility, as characteristic of a part in posse, and as being a trait of the performer in esse.  To this rule Mr. Selby, in this part, is a melancholy exception; for he seems utterly ignorant of such a distinction, broad as it is—­he is silly himself, instead of causing silliness in Spooney.  This is the more to be regretted, as whoever witnessed, with us, the first piece, saw in Mr. Selby a respectable representative of an old dandy in “Barnaby Rudge.”  Moreover, the same gentleman is, we understand, the adapter of the drama from Boz’s tale.  That too proves him to be a clever contriver of situations, and an ingenious adept with the pen and scissors.

* * * * *


VOL. 1.


* * * * *



In Four Chapters.


[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.

Project Gutenberg
Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, Complete from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook