What a beautiful arabesque border might be conceived from a perusal of the late Lord Castlereagh’s speeches! We should here have Parliamentary eloquence under a most fantastic yet captivating phase. Who, for instance, but the artist to PUNCH could paint CASTLEREAGH’S figure of a smug, contented, selfish traitor, the “crocodile with his hand in his breeches’ pocket?” Again, does not the reader recollect that extraordinary person who, according to the North Cray Demosthenes, “turned his back upon himself?” There would be a portrait!—one, too, presenting food for the most “sweet and bitter melancholy” to the GRAHAMS and the STANLEYS. There is also that immortal Parliamentary metaphor, emanating from the same mysterious source,—“The feature upon which the question hinges!” The only man who could have properly painted this was the enthusiastic BLAKE, who so successfully limned the ghost of a flea! These matters, however, are to be considered as merely supplementary ornaments to great themes. The grand subjects are to be sought for in Hansard’s Reports, in petitions against returns of members, in the evidence that comes out in the committee-rooms, in the abstract principles of right and wrong, that make members honest patriots, or that make them give the harlot “ay” and “no,” as dictated by the foul spirit gibbering in their breeches’ pockets.
That we may have painted all these things, Mr. BARRY offers up one thousand feet. Oh! Mr. B. can’t you make it ten!
* * * * *
PUNCH’s PENCILLINGS.—No. XV.
“FAREWELL, A LONG FAREWELL, TO ALL MY GREATNESS.”—King Henry VIII.]
* * * * *
THE PHYSIOLOGY OF THE LONDON MEDICAL STUDENT.
4.—OF THE MANNER IN WHICH THE FIRST SEASON PASSES.
From the period of our last Chapter our friend commences to adopt the attributes of the mature student. His notes are taken as before at each lecture he attends, but the lectures are fewer, and the notes are never fairly transcribed; at the same time they are interspersed with a larger proportion of portraits of the lecturer, and other humorous conceits. He proposes at lunch-time every day that he and his companions should “go the odd man for a pot;” and the determination he had formed at his entry to the school, of working the last session for all the prizes, and going up to the Hall on the Thursday and the College on the Friday without grinding, appears somewhat difficult of being carried into execution.
It is at this point of his studies that the student commences a steady course of imaginary dissection: that is to say, he keeps a chimerical account of extremities whose minute structure he has deeply investigated (in his head), and received in return various sums of money from home for the avowed purpose of paying for them. If he really has put his name down for any heads and necks or pelvic viscera at the commencement of the season, when he had imbibed and cherished some lunatic idea “that dissection was the sheet-anchor of safety at the College,” he becomes a trafficker in human flesh, and disposes of them as quickly as he can to any hard-working man who has his examination in perspective.