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.

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It is an unfounded calumny of the enemies of Sir Robert Peel to say that he has gone into the country to amuse himself—­shooting, feasting, eating, and drinking—­while the people are starving in the streets and highways. We know that the heart of the compassionate old rat bleeds for the distresses of the nation, and that he is at this moment living upon bread and water, and studying Lord John Russell’s hints on the Corn-laws, in


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  Said Stiggins to his wife one day,
    “We’ve nothing left to eat;
  If things go on in this queer way,
    We shan’t make both ends meet.

  The dame replied, in words discreet,
    “We’re not so badly fed,
  If we can make but one end meat,
    And make the other bread.”

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Perhaps no race of people on the face of the habitable globe are so strongly imbued with individual peculiarities as the free and slave negro population of the United States.  Out-heroding Herod in their monstrous attempts of imitating and exceeding the fashions of the whites, the emulative “Darkies” may be seen on Sundays occupying the whole extent of the Broadway pavement, dressed in fashions carried to the very sublime of the ridiculous.  Whatever is the order of the day, the highest ton among the whites is instantly adopted, with the most ludicrous exaggeration, by the blacks:  if small brims be worn by the beaus of the former, they degenerate to nothing on the skulls of the latter; if width be the order of the day, the coloured gentlemen rush out in unmeasurable umbrellas of felt, straw, and gossamer.  A long-tailed white is, in comparison, but a docked black.  Should muslin trip from a carriage, tucked or flounced to the knee, the same material, sported by a sable belle, will take its next Sunday out fur-belowed from hip to heel.  Parasols are parachutes; sandals, black bandages; large bonnets, straw sheds, and small ones, nonentities.  So it is with colours:  green becomes more green, blue more blue, orange more orange, and crimson more flaming, when sported by these ebon slaves of deep-rooted vanity.

The spirit of imitation manifests itself in all their actions:  hence it is by no means an uncommon occurrence to see a tall, round-shouldered, woolly-headed, buck-shinned, and inky-complexioned “Free Nigger,” sauntering out on Sunday, shading his huge weather-proof face from the rays of the encroaching sun under a carefully-carried silk umbrella!  And again, as in many of the places of worship the whole congregation cannot be accommodated with seats, many of the members

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