(To be continued.)
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SIR R. PEEL has been recently so successful in fishing for adherents, that, since bobbing so cleverly for Wakley, he has baited his hook afresh, and intends to start for Minto House forthwith; having his eye upon a certain small fish that is ever seen Russelling among the sedges in troubled waters. We trust Sir Bob will succeed this time in
[Illustration: FISHING FOR JACK.]
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PUNCH’S COMMISSION TO INQUIRE INTO THE GENERAL DISTRESS.
I.—Copy of a Letter from the Under Secretary of State to Punch.
Sir,—Knowing that you are everywhere, the Secretary of State has desired me to request you will inquire into the alleged distress, and particularly into the fact of people who it is alleged are so unreasonable in their expectations of food, as to die because they cannot get any.
I have the honour to be, &c.
II.—Copy of Punch’s Letter to the Under Secretary of State.
Sir,—I have received your note. I am everywhere; but as everything is gay when I make my appearance, I have not seen much of the distress you speak of. I shall, however, make it my business to look the subject up, and will convey my report to the Government.
I think it no honour to be yours, &c.; but
I have the very great honour to be myself without any &c.
In compliance with the above correspondence, Punch proceeded to make the necessary inquiries, and very soon was enabled to forward the following
REPORT ON THE PUBLIC DISTRESS.
To Her Majesty’s Secretary of State for the Home Department.
Sir,—In compliance with my undertaking to inquire into the public distress, I went into the manufacturing districts, where I had heard that several families were living in one room with nothing to eat, and no bed to lie upon. Now, though it is true that there are in some places as many as thirty people in one apartment, I do not think their case very distressing, because, at all events, they have the advantage of society, which could not be the case if they were residing in separate apartments. It is clear that their living together must be a matter of choice, because I found in the same town several extensive mansions inhabited by one or two people and a few servants; and there are also some hundreds of houses wholly untenanted. Now, if we multiply the houses by the rooms in them, and then divide by the number of the population, we should find that there will be an average of three attics and two-sitting-rooms for each family of five persons, or an attic and a half with one parlour for every two and a half individuals; and though one person and a half would find it inconvenient to occupy a sleeping room and three-quarters, I think my calculation will show you that the accounts of the insufficiency of lodging are gross and wicked exaggerations, only spread by designing persons to embarrass the Government.