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.

One word more.  Like St. Dunstan’s feet, which possessed the sacred virtue of self-multiplication, and of which there existed three at one time, it appears to be a prerogative of epithets of the superlative degree to attach themselves to any number of substantives.  Thus the most popular comedian of the day is five different men—­the most beautiful drama ever produced is two farces—­an opera and a tragedy—­and the most decided hit in the memory of man is the “Grecian Statues”—­“The Wizard of the Moon”—­“The Devil’s Daughter”—­“Martinuzzi”—­and “The Refuge for the Destitute.”

* * * * *

THE “WELL-DRESSED” AND THE “WELL-TO-DO.”

“There has for the last few days been a smile on the face of every well-dressed gentleman, and of every well-to-do artisan, who wend their way along the streets of this vast metropolis.  It is caused by the opposition exhibition of Friday night in the House of Commons.”

Such is the comfortable announcement of a Tory morning paper,—­the very incarnation of spiteful imbecility.  Such is the self-complacency of the old Tory hag, that in her wildest moments would bite excessively,—­if she only had teeth.  She has, however, in the very simplicity of her smirking, let out the whole secret—­has, in the sweet serenity of her satisfaction, revealed the selfishness, the wickedness of her creed. Toryism believes only in the well-dressed and the well-to-do.  Purple and fine linen are the instrumental parts of her religion.  She subscribes, in fact, to forty-three points; four meals a day being added to her Christian Thirty-nine Articles.  Her faith is in glossy raiment and a full belly.  She has such a reverence for the loaves and fishes, that in the fulness of her devotion, she would eat them—­as the author of the Almanach des Gourmands advises the epicure to eat a certain exquisite dainty—­“on her knees.”  She would die a martyr at the fire;—­but then it must be lighted in the kitchen.

The parliamentary exhibition which, according to the Sycorax of Toryism—­a Sycorax with double malice, but no potency—­has set all the well-dressed and well-to-do part of “this vast metropolis” off in one simultaneous simper, took place on the following motion made by Mr. FIELDEN:—­

“Resolved,—­That the distress of the working people at the present time is so great through the country, but particularly in the manufacturing districts, that it is the duty of this House to make instant inquiry into the cause and extent of such distress, and devise means to remedy it; and, at all events, to vote no supply of money until such inquiry be made.”—­(Hear, hear.)

This motion was negatived by 149 to 41; and it is to this negative that, according to the avowal of our veracious contemporary, we owe the radiant looks that have lighted up the streets of London for the past few days.  In the same sense of the writer, but in the better words of the chorus of Tom Thumb—­

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