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.

How transitory is earthly happiness!  How certain its uncertainty!  A little week had passed, and the “Heir of Applebite” gave notice of his intention to come into his property during an early minority, for his once happy progenitor began to entertain serious intentions of employing a coroner’s jury to sit upon himself, owing to the incessant and “ear-piercing pipe” of his little cherub.  Vainly did he bury his head beneath the pillow, until he was suffused with perspiration—­the cry reached him there and then.  Cold air was pumped into the bed by Mrs. Applebite, as she rocked to and fro, in the hope of quieting the “son of the sleepless.”  Collumpsion was in constant communication with the dressing-table—­now for moist-sugar to stay the hiccough—­then for dill-water to allay the stomach-ache.  To save his little cherub from convulsions, twice was he converted into a night-patrole, with the thermometer below zero—­a bad fire, with a large slate in it, and an empty coal-scuttle.

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“Variety,” say our school copy-books, “is charming;” hence this must be the most charming place of amusement in London.  The annexed list of entertainments was produced on Tuesday last, when were added to the usual passe-temps, a flower and fruit show.  Wild beasts in cages; flowers of all colours and sizes in pots; enormous cabbages; Brobdignag apples; immense sticks of rhubarb; a view of Rome; a brass band; a grand Roman cavalcade passing over the bridge of St. Angelo; a deafening park of artillery, and an enchanting series of pyrotechnic wonders, such as catherine-wheels, flower-pots, and rockets; an illumination of St. Peter’s; blazes of blue-fire, showers of steel-filings, and a grand blow up of the castle of St. Angelo.

Such are the entertainments provided by the proprietor.  The company—­which numbered at least from five to six thousand—­gave them even greater variety.  Numerous pic-nic parties were seated about on the grass; sandwiches, bottled stout, and (with reverence be it spoken) more potent liquors seemed to be highly relished, especially by the ladies.  Ices were sold at a pastry-cook’s stall, where a continued feu-de-joie of ginger-pop was kept up during the whole afternoon and evening.  In short, the scene was one of complete al fresco enjoyment; how could it be otherwise?  The flowers delighted the eye; Mr. Godfrey’s well-trained band (to wit, Beethoven’s symphony in C minor, with all the fiddle passages beautifully executed upon clarionets!) charmed the ear; and the edibles and drinkables aforesaid the palate.  Under such a press of agreeables, the Surrey Zoological Gardens well deserve the name of an Englishman’s paradise.

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