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.
generation;”—­he bowed to others—­galvanism could not have procured the tithe of a salaam for me.  His till was afflicted with a sort of sinking-fundishness.  I was the contractor of “the small bill,” whose exact amount would enable him to meet a “heavy payment;” my very garments were “tabooed” from all earth’s decencies; splashes seemed to have taken a lease of the bottoms of my trousers.  My boots, once objects of the tenderest care of their unworthy namesake, seemed conscious of the change, and drooped in untreed wretchedness, desponding at the wretched wrinkles now ruffling the once smooth calf!  My coat no more appeared to catch the dust; as if under the influence of some invisible charm, its white-washed elbows never struck upon the sight of the else all-seeing boots; spider never rushed from his cell with the post-haste speed with which he issued from his dark recess, to pick the slightest cobweb that ever harnessed Queen Mab’s team, from other coats; a gnat, a wandering hair left its location, swept by the angry brush from the broad-cloth of those who paid their bills—­as far as I was concerned—­all were inoculated with this strange blindness.  It was an overwhelming ophthalmia!  The chambermaid, through its fatality, never discovered that my jugs were empty, my bottle clothed with slimy green, my soap-dish left untenanted.  A day before this time had been sufficient service for my hand-towel; now a week seemed to render it less fit to taste the rubs of hands and soap.  Dust lost its vice, and lay unheeded in the crammed corner of my luckless room.

READER.—­I feel for you.

Silence! the worst is yet to come.  At dinner all things changed—­soup, before too hot to drink, came to my lips cool as if the north wind had caressed it; number was at an end; I ranked no longer like a human being; I was a huge ought—­a walking cypher—­a vile round O. I had neither beginning nor end.  Go where I would—­top, bottom, sides, ’twas all the same.  Bouilli avoided me—­vegetables declined growing under my eyes—­fowls fled from me.  I might as well have longed for ice-cream in Iceland—­dessert in a desert.  I had no turn—­I was the last man.  Nevertheless, dinner was a necessary evil.

READER.—­And tea?

Was excluded from the calendar.  Night came, but no rest—­all things had forgotten their office.  The sheets huddled in undisturbed selfishness, like knotted cables, in one corner of the bed; the blankets, doubtless disgusted at their conduct, sought refuge at the foot; and the flock, like most other flocks, without a directing hand, was scattered in disjointed heaps.

READER.—­Did not you complain?

I did—­imprimis—­to boots—­boots scratched his head; ditto waiter—­waiter shook his; the chambermaid, strange to say, was suddenly deaf.

READER.—­And the landlord?

Did nothing all day; but when I spoke, was in a hurry, “going to his ledger,” Had I had as many months as hydra, that would have stopped them all.

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