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.

PUNCH.—­No, but they’ll give them cheap drink.  They’ll throw open the Thames for the use of the temperance societies.

MANAGER.—­But if we don’t have cheap corn, our trade must be destroyed, our factories will be closed, and our mills left idle.

PUNCH.—­There you’re wrong.  Our tread-mills will be in constant work; and, though our factories should be empty, our prisons will be quite full.

MANAGER.—­That’s all very well, Mr. Punch; but the people will grumble a leetle if you starve them.

PUNCH.—­Ay, hang them, so they will; the populace have no idea of being grateful for benefits.  Talk of starvation!  Pooh!—­I’ve studied political economy in a workhouse, and I know what it means.  They’ve got a fine plan in those workhouses for feeding the poor devils.  They do it on the homoeopathic system, by administering to them oatmeal porridge in infinitessimal doses; but some of the paupers have such proud stomachs that they object to the diet, and actually die through spite and villany.  Oh! ’tis a dreadful world for ingratitude!  But never mind—­Send round the hat.

MANAGER.—­What is the meaning of the sliding scale, Mr. Punch?

PUNCH.—­It means—­when a man has got nothing for breakfast, he may slide his breakfast into his lunch; then, if he has got nothing for lunch, he may slide that into his dinner; and if he labours under the same difficulties with respect to the dinner, he may slide all three meals into his supper.

MANAGER.—­But if the man has got no supper?

PUNCH.—­Then let him wish he may get it.

MANAGER.—­Oh! that’s your sliding scale?

PUNCH.—­Yes; and a very ingenious invention it is for the suppression of victuals.  R-r-r-roo-to-tooit-tooit!  Send round the hat.

MANAGER.—­At this rate, Mr. Punch, I suppose you would not be favourable to free trade?

PUNCH.—­Certainly not, sir.  Free trade is one of your new-fangled notions that mean nothing but free plunder.  I’ll illustrate my position.  I’m a boy in a school, with a bag of apples, which, being the only apples on my form, I naturally sell at a penny a-piece, and so look forward to pulling in a considerable quantity of browns, when a boy from another form, with a bigger bag of apples, comes and sells his at three for a penny, which, of course, knocks up my trade.

MANAGER.—­But it benefits the community, Mr. Punch.

PUNCH.—­D—­n the community!  I know of no community but PUNCH and Co.  I’m for centralization—­and individualization—­every man for himself, and PUNCH for us all!  Only let me catch any rascal bringing his apples to my form, and see how I’ll cobb him.  So now—­send round the hat—­and three cheers for


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