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A young artist in Picayune takes such perfect likenesses, that a lady married the portrait of her lover instead of the original.
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PUNCH AND PEEL.
READER.—God bless us, Mr. PUNCH! who is that tall, fair-haired, somewhat parrot-faced gentleman, smiling like a schoolboy over a mess of treacle, and now kissing the tips of his five fingers as gingerly as if he were doomed to kiss a nettle?
PUNCH.—That, Mr. Reader, is the great cotton-plant, Sir Robert Peel; and at this moment he has, in his own conceit, seized upon “the white wonder” of Victoria’s hand, and is kissing it with Saint James’s devotion.
READER.—What for, Mr. PUNCH?
PUNCH.—What for! At court, Mr. Reader, you always kiss when you obtain an honour. ’Tis a very old fashion, sir—old as the court of King David. Well do I recollect what a smack Uriah gave to his majesty when he was appointed to the post which made Bathsheba a widow. Poor Uriah! as we say of the stag, that was when his horns were in the velvet.
READER.—You recollect it, Mr. PUNCH!—you at the court of King David!
PUNCH.—I, Mr. Reader, I!—and at every court, from the court of Cain in Mesopotamia to the court of Victoria in this present, flinty-hearted London; only the truth is, as I have travelled I have changed my name. Bless you, half the Proverbs given to Solomon are mine. What I have lost by keeping company with kings, not even Joseph Hume can calculate.
READER.—And are you really in court confidence at this moment?
PUNCH.—Am I? What! Hav’n’t you heard of the elections? Have you not heard the shouts Io Punch? Doesn’t my nose glow like coral—ar’n’t my chops radiant as a rainbow—hath not my hunch gone up at least two inches—am I not, from crown to toe-nails, brightened, sublimated? Like Alexander—he was a particular friend of mine, that same Alexander, and therefore stole many of my best sayings—I only know that I am mortal by two sensations—a yearning for loaves and fishes, and a love for Judy.
READER.—And you really take office under Peel?
PUNCH.—Ha! ha! ha! A good joke! Peel takes office under me. Ha! ha! I’m only thinking what sport I shall have with the bedchamber women. But out they must go. The constitution gives a minister the selection of his own petticoats; and therefore there sha’n’t be a yard of Welsh flannel about her Majesty that isn’t of my choice.
READER.—Do you really think that the royal bedchamber is in fact a third house of Parliament—that the affairs of the state are always to be put in the feminine gender?