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.

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[Illustration:  THE LAST PINCH.]

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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.

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  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.

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