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.

Why is the making a mem. of the number of a person’s residence like a general election?—­Because it’s done to re-member the house.

Why is Count D’Orsay a capital piece of furniture for a kitchen?—­Because he’s a good dresser.

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Our contemporary, the Times, for the last few days has been very justly deprecating the existing morbid sympathy for criminals.  The moment that a man sins against the conventionalities of society he ought certainly to be excluded from all claims upon the sympathy of his fellows.  It is very true that even the felon has kindred, parents, wife, children—­for whom, and in whom, God has implanted an instinctive love.  It is true that the criminal may have been led by the example of aristocratic sinners to disregard the injunctions of revealed religion against the adulterer, the gamester, and the drunkard; and having imitated the “pleasant follies” of the great without possessing the requisite means for such enjoyments, the man of pleasure has degenerated into the man of crime.  It is true that the poor and ignorant may have claims upon the wealth and the intelligence of the rich and learned; but are we to pause to inquire whether want may have driven the destitute to theft, or the absence of early instruction have left the physical desires of the offender’s nature superior to its moral restrictions.—­Certainly not, whilst we have a gallows.  There is, however, one difficulty which seems to interfere with a liberal exercise of the rope and the beam.  Where are we to find executioners? for if “whoso sheddeth man’s blood” be amenable to man, surely Jack Ketch is not to be exempted.

The Times condemns the late Lord Chamberlain for allowing the representation of “Jack Sheppard” and “Madame Laffarge” at the Adelphi; so do we.  The Times intimates, that “the newspapers teem with details about everything which such criminals ‘as Dick Turpin and Jack Sheppard’ say or do; that complete biographies of them are presented to the public; that report after report expatiates upon every refinement and peculiarity in their wickedness,” for “the good purpose” of warning the embryo highwayman.  We are something more than duberous of this.  We can see no difference between the exhibition of the stage and the gloating of the broadsheet; they are both “the agents by which the exploits of the gay highwayman are realised before his eyes, amid a brilliant and evidently sympathising” public.  We deprecate both, as tending to excite the weak-minded to gratify “the ambition of this kind of notoriety;”—­and yet we say, with the Times, there should be “no sympathy for criminals.”

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Sir Peter Laurie’s aversion to long locks is accounted for by his change of political opinions, he having some time since cut the W(h)igs.

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