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.

3. Food.—­Upon this subject the most minute researches of the most prying naturalists have not been able to procure a crumb of information.  That the barber does eat can only be inferred; it cannot be proved, for no person was ever known to catch him in the act; if he does masticate, he munches in silence and in secret[1].

    [1] Not so of drinking.  Only last week we saw, with our own eyes, a
        pot of ale in a barber’s shop; and very good ale it was, too,
        for we tasted it.

Geographical distribution of barbers.—­Although the majority of barbers live near the pole, they are pretty diffusely disseminated over the entire face of the globe.  The advance of civilization has, however, much lessened their numbers; for we find, wherever valets are kept, barbers are not; and as the magnet turns towards the north, they are attracted to the east.  In St. James’s, the shaver’s “occupation’s gone;” but throughout the whole of Wapping, the distance is very short

[Illustration:  “FROM POLE TO POLE.”]

* * * * *

A LECTURE ON MORALITY.—­BY PUNCH.

Moral philosophers are the greatest fools in the world.  I am a moral philosopher; I am no fool though.  Who contradicts me?  If any, speak, and come within reach of my cudgel.  I am a moral philosopher of a new school.  The schoolmaster is abroad, and I am the schoolmaster; but if anybody says that I am abroad, I will knock him down.  I am at home.  And now, good people, attend to me, and you will hear something worth learning.

The reason why I call all moral philosophers fools is, because they have not gone properly to work.  Each has given his own peculiar notions, merely, to the world.  Now, different people have different opinions:  some like apples, and others prefer another sort of fruit, with which, no doubt, many of you are familiar.  “Who shall decide when doctors disagree?”

My system of morality is the result of induction.  I am very fond of Bacon—­I mean, the Bacon recommended to you by the “Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge”—­Lord Bacon.  I therefore study the actions of mankind, and draw my inferences accordingly.  The people whose conduct I attend to are those who get on best in the world; for the object of all morality is to make ourselves happy, and as long as we are so, what, my good friends, does it signify?

The first thing that you must do in the study of morals is, to get rid of all prejudices.  Bacon and I quite agree upon this point.  By prejudices I mean your previous notions concerning right and wrong.

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