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.


X is for the TREBLE X—­Lilly drank three times a day;


And Y Z’s for the WISE HEADS, who admire all I say.

* * * * *




A popular encyclopaedia of the requisites for gentility—­a companion to the toilet, the salons, the Queen’s Bench, the streets, and the police-stations, has long been felt to be a desideratum by every one aspiring to good-breeding.  The few works which treat on the subject have all become as obselete as “hot cockles” and “crambo.”  “The geste of King Horne,” the “[Greek:  BASILIKON]” of King Jamie, “Peacham’s Complete Gentleman,” “The Poesye of princelye Practice,” “Dame Juliana Berners’ Book of St. Alban’s,” and “The Jewel for Gentrie,” are now confined to bibliopoles and bookstalls.  Even more modern productions have shared the same fate.  “The Whole Duty of Man” has long been consigned to the trunk-maker, “Chesterfield’s Letters” are now dead letters, and the “Young Man” lights his cigar with his “Best Companion.”  It is true, that in lieu of these, several works have emanated from the press, adapted to the change of manners, and consequently admirably calculated to supply their places.  We need only instance “The Flash Dictionary,” “The Book of Etiquette,” “A Guide to the Kens and Cribs of London,” “The whole Art of Tying the Cravat,” and “The Hand-book of Boxing;” but it remains for us to remove the disadvantages which attend the acquirement of each of these noble arts and sciences in a detached form.

The possessor of an inquiring and genteel mind has now to wander for his politeness to Paternoster-row[2]; to Pierce Egan, for his knowledge of men and manners; and to Owen Swift, for his knightly accomplishments, and exercises of chivalry.

    [2] “Book of Etiquette.”  Longman and Co.

We undertake to collect and condense these scattered radii into one brilliant focus, so that a gentleman, by reading his “own book,” may be made acquainted with the best means of ornamenting his own, or disfiguring a policeman’s, person—­how to conduct himself at the dinner-table, or at the bar of Bow-street—­how to turn a compliment to a lady, or carry on a chaff with a cabman.

These are high and noble objects!  A wider field for social elevation cannot well be imagined.  Our plan embraces the enlightenment and refinement of every scion of a noble house, and all the junior clerks in the government offices—­from the happy recipient of an allowance of 50L per month from “the Governor,” to the dashing acceptor of a salary of thirty shillings a week from a highly-respectable house in the City—­from the gentleman who occupies a suite of apartments in the Clarendon, to the lodger in the three-pair back, in an excessively back street at Somers Town.

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