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.

At a period when every Englishman, from the Minister to the Quack Doctor (and extremes very often meet), is laying down his pseudo-political principles, PUNCH desires to expound his practical and scientific plan for increasing prosperity and preserving peace.  Yes, at a moment like this, when the party difference “’twixt Tweedledum and Tweedledee” has produced a total stand-still; when Whigs cannot move, and when Tories will not,—­PUNCH steps forward to prescribe (without a fee) for the sinking Constitution.

PUNCH loquitur.—­A very great genius—­one almost equal to myself—­has declared that of the great mass of mankind, ninety-nine out of every hundred are lost in error.  Every day proves the fact.—­From the Peer, who mistakes exclusiveness for dignity, and a power to injure for a right to oppress, to the Peasant, who confounds aggression and insolence with justice and independence, it is all error! error!! error!!!

Upon this fact rests the basis of my wonderful improvements.  If the majority be wrong, the inference is obvious—­the minority must be right.  Then, in future, let everything be conducted by the minority—­the sensible few.  Behold the consequences!

In those days we shall have Mr. Samuel Carter Hall, who polled three days and got—­one vote, declared County Member elect.  Sibthorp shall be a man of weight and influence, “giving to (h)airy nothing a local habitation and a name.”  Roebuck shall be believed to have had ancestors; and shall wring the nose of some small boy attached to The Times newspaper; and the Whigs—­yes, the Whigs—­shall be declared both wise and honest:  though Parliament has pronounced them fools, and the country has believed them to be knaves.

Pupil of Punch, respondet.—­That would be a change, Punch!  Rather.  Cast your eye around and see the workings of this grand principle; the labours of the many compassed by the few—­steam and slavery.

Punch.—­Very true!  Let me now draw your attention to the real difference between the English and some foreign governments:—­

The Turkish minister generally loses his power and his head at the same time; the English minister carries on his business without a head at all.  For the performance of his duty the former is decapitated—­the latter is incapacitated.
The Japanese legislator when disgraced invariably rips up his bowels; the English legislator is invariably in disgrace, but has no bowels to rip up.  With some other nations the unsuccessful leader gets bow-stringed and comfortably sown up in a sack; our great man is satisfied with getting the sack, having previously bagged as much as lay in his power.

(Next week I may probably continue the lecture and the parallels.)

* * * * *


At Gray’s Inn the loyalty of that society was manifested in a very gratifying manner:  the treasurer and benchers having ordered extra wine to be served to the barristers and students, the health of her Majesty and the infant Prince was drunk with enthusiastic rapture.

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