[Illustration: P]PATRONS OF “PUNCH,”—LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,—
We has dropped the curtain and rowled up the baize on the first half-annivel performance of “PUNCH.” The pleasing task now dewolves upon me, on behoof of the Lessee and the whole strength off the Puppets, to come forrard and acknowledge the liberal showers of applause and ’apence what a generous and enlightened British public has powered upon the performances and pitched into our goss. Steamilated by this St. Swiffin’s of success, the Lessee fearlessly launches his bark upon the high road of public favor, and enters his Theaytre for the grand steeple-chase of general approbation.
Ourn hasn’t been a bed of roses. We’ve had our rivals and our troubles. We came out as a great hint, and everybody took us.
First and foremost, the great Juggeler in Printing-house Square, walks in like the Sheriff and takes our comic effects.
Then the Black Doctor, as blowed the bellows to the late ministerial organ, starts a fantoccini and collars our dialect.
Then, the unhappy wight what acts as dry-nuss to his Grandmother, finding his writing on the pavement with red and white chalk and sentiment, won’t friz,—gives over appealing to the sympathies, kidnaps our comic offspring, and (as our brother dramatist Muster Sheridan says) disfigures ’em to make ’em look like his own.
Then, the whole biling of our other hoppositioners who puts their shoulders together, to “hoist up a donkey,” tries to ornament their werry wulgar exhibitions with our vitticisms.
Now this was cruel, deceitful condick on the part of the juggeler,—a side wind blow from the organ,—didn’t show much of the milk of human kindness with the chalk; and as for the ass,—but no,—brotherly love is our weakness, and we throws a veil over the donkey.
During the recess the exterior of the Theaytre will be re-decorated by Muster Phiz; and the first artists in pen, ink, black-lead, and box-wood, has been secured to see if any improvements can be made in the interior.
I have the honor to inform you that we shall commence our next campaign on January 1, 1842, with renewed henergy, all the old-established wooden heads, and several new hands.
And now, Ladies and Gentlemen, on behalf of “PUNCH,” the Puppets, the Properrieters, and the Orchestra (which is myself), I most respectfully touches my hat, and wishes you all a merry Christmas and a happy New Year. Au rewoir.
* * * * *
A Barrister’s Card, 33
A Bitter Draught—Jonathanisms, 47
A Bower of Bliss in Stangate, 120
A Barrowknight, 226
A Card, 106
A Chapter on Politics, 216
A Classical Inscription for a Cigar-case, 29
A Chapter on Boots, 16