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.

[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.

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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.

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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?

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