The Project Gutenberg eBook of Punch, or The London Charivari, Vol. 62, January 20, 1872

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Title: Punch, or The London Charivari, Vol. 62, January 20, 1872

Author: Various

Release date: October 5, 2011 [eBook #37639]
Most recently updated: January 8, 2021

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Malcolm Farmer, Ernest Schaal, and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at



Vol. 62.

January 20, 1872.

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Fond Parent. "I hope you will be very Careful, Mr. Stimpson. I have always been accustomed to Cut their Hair myself."

Mr. Stimpson. "So I should have Thought, Madam!"


We do not covet the post of Prime Minister, nor yet that of Lord Chancellor, especially if, when Parliament re-assembles, a recent judicial appointment should be sharply discussed. We can think of the choice of a new Speaker without discontent with our own lowly lot, and at the present time envy of the Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas is not the predominant feeling in our breasts. But of all places, posts, offices, appointments, and dignities within the reach of an Englishman, the one which excites in us the least desire is that of "Examiner of Plays."

Who, with a heart, can resist feelings of the deepest commiseration, the most profound pity for the sufferings of another, when he hears that in twelve short years it has been the unhappy lot of the present Examiner to read one thousand eight hundred dramatic pieces—one thousand eight hundred tragedies, comedies, melodramas, farces, pantomimes, burlesques, and extravaganzas? There are labours which no salary can remunerate, services which no fees can requite.


"In consideration of a costly present which Mr. Joseph Pease, of South-end, Darlington, has made to the Spanish nation, the young King of that country has conferred upon him the Grand Cross of a Spanish order, and Mr. Pease, who is a Quaker, has agreed to accept the distinction."—Echo.

A Quaker a Grand Cross! We should as soon have expected to be introduced to a Quaker Field Marshal. Henceforth the sensation of surprise must be numbered amongst the lost feelings. Nothing now can move us more. Not the sun rising in the west, not the spectacle of an Irish Roman Catholic Bishop teaching in a Protestant Sunday school, not a Teetotal Lord Mayor, not the appointment of Mr. Tomline as Master of the Mint, or Sir Charles Dilke as Lord-Lieutenant of Middlesex, not the total abolition of the Income Tax, not the conversion of Mr. Whalley and Mr. Newdegate to Popery, not the purification of the streets,—no, not even the bestowal of the Grand Cross of our own Order of the Bath on some Englishman eminent in Art, Literature, or Science!


Has Repeal, that in 'Forty was folly,

Grown sense in Eighteen-seventy-two?

Will the walls that defied Big Dan's volley,

Be by Butt's brass two-pounder split through?

Has Paddy, that still has craved ruling

And rulers, in wrong as in right,

Of a sudden out-grown schools and schooling,

And shot to Self-Government's height?

And was it but bottomless boasting,

With a point from Hibernian wit,—

That there ne'er yet was Irishman roasting,

But an Irishman's hand turned the spit?

Is it John that across the Atlantic

Stamps Pat Order's foe ever known;

And declares him a nuisance gigantic,

Till Yankee Home-Rule ousts his own?

Must hist'ry, as writ all untruly,

Like Hebrew, be read in reverse,

That, since Strong-Bow, shows Ireland unruly,

With lawlessness cursed as chief curse?

When the best of the race for home-ruling

Are those that Home-Rule most distrust;

As convinced that to trust Irish "tooling,"

Will bring Erin's car in the dust.

Home-Rule! 'Tis a compound sonorous,

Fine phrase on a green flag to fly;

But take stock of the stuff that's before us—

And who shall the Home-Rule supply?

Is't your own Irish Lords, Irish Commons,

Who adorned College Green long ago?

But to London would rather hear summons,

Than in Dublin be tied by the toe:

For the Greenest of all, the best brother

Of Pat in John Bull can discern;

And to cool English air from the smother

Of your factions, is thankful to turn.

Is't the Lawyers, who look for preferment,

Praise, pence, and distinction, o'er sea;

And when they have ris'n by your ferment,

Will be glad your close corking to see?

Is't your National Papers—press-razors,

Produced not to shave, but to sell—

Whose scribes might seem genuine blazers,

Did not conjurors spit fire as well?

Is't your Priests, with the gag and the blinders,

Which Church would fain use to tame Law:

Their pincers, for law-reason's grinders,

Their scissors, for lay-reason's claw?

Is't your Peasants, in feuds and in factions

Stark mad, for a nothing or name:

In their lodges, at murder's black pactions,

Or from a dyke-back taking aim?

In short, gauging all ranks and classes—

Those who are, or will be, by the ears—

The units, as well as the masses,

Lawyers, traders, priests, press, peasants, peers—

All ages, from seventy to twenty,

All shades, from deep knave to born fool—

I find means of "Home Mis-rule" in plenty,

But where are the means of "Home Rule"?

A Coming Retirement.

The Speaker's Commentary is already favourably known. We anticipate a very favourable commentary on the Speaker, when Parliament re-assembles.

"Donne's Satires."—Pantomimes without political jokes.

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eally, greatness has its multifold inconvenience. Falstaff wished that his name were not so terrible to the enemy, as he should then be less urgently called upon to go and fight. Mr. Punch wishes that his works were not so universally attractive, as he should not then have to answer so many questions about them. He has actually had to receive a Deputation upon the subject of his splendid and unparalleled Pocket-Book for 1872. It appears that certain improvements which he introduced into the volume have given the most enormous and outrageous satisfaction to the majority of mankind, and that the demand for the book has been excessive—almost inconvenient. But a minority of excellent persons, who hate all kinds of changes, have complained that by taking out certain blank pages, he has prevented the complainants from embalming their own observations by the side of his preternatural wit and humour. As aforesaid, a Deputation on the subject approached the presence last Saturday. Mr. Punch, of course, listened with his usual affability. The strong points of the applicants were, that they had been accustomed for years to write their own biographies and engagements in the sacred volume, and that the record of their lives thus became nearly imperishable, as no one in his right senses would ever destroy a Punch's Pocket-Book. They therefore humbly begged him to restore the old form.

Mr. Punch smiled, and gently said that of course he must be the best judge of what his friend the Universe required at his hands, and this proposition was conceded with respectful acclamation. He might just suggest that his Pocket-Book, although a precious jewel, was not a thing to be locked up in a cabinet, but one to be the light and joy of a household for a year, but it might not be so evident that personal entries, as "Charles very cross"—"Sweet letter from Arabella," "Bless Smithson's mistletoe!" "I hate Aunt Popkins," "Said I had not dined at Greenwich:" "Ridiculous sermon by new curate," and the like, were equally adapted for the perusal of the said household. Such things might be confided to a humbler receptacle. But the pleas being renewed, without reference to the answer (we need hardly remark that most of his visitors were of the sex "that can't argue, and pokes fires from the top," as good Archbishop Whatley said) Mr. Punch blandly promised that the views of the deputation should receive the utmost consideration at his hands. And when he had thus spoken he dismissed the assembly—or rather conducted it to a sumptuous, yet delicate lunch.

Duties and Imposts.

Important Notice to Travellers.—Any person arriving from the Continent is permitted to clear his throat at the Custom House free of all duty.


The next evening Tommy was dressed in an unusual style of elegance: every article of his attire was of the most exquisite cut; every species of ornament that fashion permitted to decorate his person was his; not a stud was omitted, nor was one drop, less than necessary, of india-rubber-boot-polish forgotten that could tend to render his toilet perfect. And, indeed, neither Mr. Barlow nor Harry were far behind him in appearance on this memorable occasion, which was nothing less than that of their first visit to the Royal Grecian Theatre, in the City Road.

Here, from their stalls (which were remarkably inexpensive, being, indeed, only one shilling and sixpence each) they surveyed the wonderful sight which presented itself to them, of a house densely packed from the floor to the ceiling.

The Pantomime was the only piece played, and was entitled Zig-Zag, the Crooked. When Mr. George Conquest, who represented Zig-Zag himself, first appeared, as if hewn out of the rock, inanimate as the Sphinx, a thrill of astonishment ran through the audience, which gradually showed itself in vehement applause when Zig-Zag's fearful eyes began to move, as at the command of the Young Prince, the monster became endued with life and descended from the rock.

Tommy. I declare this is the most extraordinary thing I ever saw.

Harry. Indeed, you are right, and I could not have conceived anyone being at once so hideous and so diverting.

Presently there was a brilliant scene, in which there were some admirable selections from the works of various composers, principally French, executed in a manner so creditable to the performers, as to call forth from Mr. Barlow the remark that he had heard nothing better of its kind in any Theatre this year. When Mr. Conquest and his Son leaped several times from the stage to the top scenes ("which" Mr. Barlow informed his pupils "are termed flies"), and tumbled through trap-doors, coming up again so quickly, and in so great a variety of places all over the "boards," that the audience was in a state of constant excitement as to what next might be going to happen; and when finally Zig-Zag took such a header, as Harry had seen the big boys at school do, when they were going to dive for chalk eggs, from the flies right through the stage, and was lost to all eyes, then the enthusiastic admiration of Mr. Barlow and his young friends knew no bounds, and they evinced their pleasure, as did the rest of the company, in such rounds of applause as brought on Mr. Conquest and his Son, without their wigs and false noses, to bow their acknowledgments.

The following night they went to the Gaiety to witness the performance of Mr. Toole in Dearer than Life, which Mr. Barlow had seen before, and in Thespis, the Christmas novelty at this theatre.

Tommy. If you please, Sir, what sort of piece is this?

Mr. Barlow. Indeed, my dear Tommy, I cannot exactly tell. And it is nearly impossible for an ordinarily well-instructed person to comprehend the precise meaning of any one subject on which those who should know best are apparently disagreed, and who, in consequence, signally fail in rendering their own meaning intelligible in the public.

Harry. That is true, Sir, and I perceive that you have noticed how, at various times, this same piece has been announced as a "Musical Extravaganza," an "Operatic Burlesque," a "Grotesque Drama, illustrated with music by Mr. Sullivan," a "Comic Opera," and lately an English Opera Bouffe. As perhaps next week it may be styled a Tragicomicopera, or some other title, I would like, Sir, to join Tommy in his question as to what you suppose this piece really to be?

Mr. Barlow. Why, then, for my part, I suppose it is intended for a specimen of English Opéra bouffe.

Harry. And what, Sir, is Opéra bouffe?

Mr. Barlow. It is a French burlesque—a vehicle for extravagances in costume, in acting, and in singing. It is in one, two, three, or even five Acts, and differs from the English burlesque in that it is written in prose, and depends mainly for its success upon the original music written for it by some composer, instead of on selections from various popular sources. In this piece, for example, the dialogue is prosy—I mean in prose—and the music has been written to suit it. I think we may, therefore, suppose this piece to be an English Opéra bouffe.

Tommy (during the First Act). I do not understand what characters these worthy people represent who are trying their best to divert us.

Mr. Barlow, who had been giving the play his closest attention, seemed to be unable to enlighten his pupil, and requested him to listen to what was going on, and occasionally refer to the programme, by which means he would probably arrive at some definite conclusion.

Harry. Truly, Sir, this piece reminds me of what you told me [pg 025] about Newton's Laws of Motion, and I look forward to being very happy and lively to-morrow morning.

Mr. Barlow. I am glad to hear it, Harry. But how do you connect such a result with the Laws of Motion?

Harry. Because, Sir, you told me that "Forces acting and reacting are always equal and contrary to each other." So, Sir, after this night is over, we may fairly expect a most exhilarating reaction.

Tommy was so much struck by this fresh instance of Harry's capacity for adapting his learning to whatever circumstances might present themselves, that he determined to learn the science of mechanics on the very first opportunity.

The audience continued to listen to the piece with a serenity which nothing could disturb, except the occasional appearance of Mr. Toole, who gave utterance to such quaint drolleries, of his own introduction, as sent the people into short spasms of laughter, in which Master Tommy most heartily joined, while Mr. Barlow applauded as loudly as the rest of the company. But Harry, whose temper was not quite so pliable, could not conceal the weariness that was gradually creeping over him. He gaped, he yawned, he stretched, he even pinched himself in order to keep his attention alive, but all in vain. He managed to rouse himself twice; once when Mr. Toole was singing an additional verse to his song (where, indeed, the accompaniment, consisting-of railway noises, would not let him sleep), and once when Mademoiselle Clary was exercising her skill in a rather pretty melody. But at length the narcotic influence of the dialogue, conspiring with the opiate charms of the music, he could resist no longer, but insensibly fell back upon his stall, fast asleep. This was soon remarked by his neighbours, who straightway conceived an unfavourable opinion of Harry's breeding, while he, in the meantime, enjoyed the most placid repose, undisturbed by either the envious remarks of some among the audience, or by the nudgings administered to his elbow by his friend Tommy; and, indeed, his slumber was not entirely dissipated until the performance was finished.

Harry (on their return to their Lodgings). Your remarks, Tommy, to-night remind me of the story of Polemo and the Continuous Highlander.

Mr. Barlow here made some excuse for retiring to his room; and as Harry was on the point of commencing the story, Tommy asked him to await his return, as he was only going to fetch his slippers, in order to sit and listen more comfortably to his friend's narrative.

Harry consented to wait for him, but, at the end of two hours, as Tommy did not return, he retired to his own room, and soon fell asleep.


In an article which appeared the other day our orthodox contemporary, the Western Mail, criticised certain late proceedings of the Merthyr School Board relative to the Fourth R difficulty in Education. Those proceedings, says that respectable journal, "were saved from being utterly ludicrous only by the gravity of the subjects which were under discussion." But for that consideration, the Western Mail is of opinion that it would have been good fun "to watch the efforts that were being made to realise that most delusive of all theoretical ideas—unsectarian as opposed to secular education." Perhaps most persons will think that those efforts were, as far as they went, not altogether unsuccessful, seeing that, after some discussion bearing on theology, the Board concluded, on the motion of one of its principal Members—a lady interested in the welfare of her species, Mrs. Crawshay of Cyfartha—that the sole form of devotion, public or private, dictated by the Founder of Christianity, "should be the sole form of public devotion employed in the schools." The Rev. John Griffiths, the Rector, "intimated that he would be quite contented with the proposed limitation of the form of prayer, provided that a doxology were added, recognising" a doctrine which Unitarians do not recognise. The suggestion certainly was creditable to a clergyman of the Church of England who keeps a conscience. It was professional; but the doxology is one of those special matters in the Fourth R on which professors, and doctors too, differ. The orthodoxology of one denomination is the heterodoxology of another.

There are forms of public devotion in common use as the prologue to public dinners. They are invocations in which all present can join, whatever their belief may be as to the Fourth R—if they have any belief at all—and if they have none, what then? It would be conscientious of a Church of England Clergyman to propose the superaddition of a Doxology to a Grace; but would it be wise? Would it not probably set a company of mixed denominations quarrelling over their soup?

In relation to food for the mind, Mrs. Crawshay proposed to deal with the Fourth R in a way analogous to that which experience has proved the most convenient method of adjoining it to food for the body. Herein she has acted on principles which many persons, besides a writer in the Western Mail, may call "illogical and unsafe," but no thinking man, or woman either, would call those persons philosophers. If every School Board were to legislate as to the Fourth R simply on the principle of teaching just so much of it as children can be expected to understand, would not their practical arrangement be of necessity about the same as that recommended by Mrs. Crawshay?



ig books are big evils, says some old Greek, not of the vigorous type here depicted. Mr. Punch seldom agrees with anybody, and he distinctly disagrees with the Ancient in question. One big book, for instance, which is no evil, but a good, is Kelly's Post-Office Directory, with which he has been favoured, and which he has been perusing with avidity ever since it arrived. It was remarked to a clownish servant, who was eating away at a vast Cheshire cheese, that he was a long time at supper, and his triumphant answer was that a cheese of that size was not got through in a hurry. The remark, but not the clownishness, is adopted by Mr. Punch in regard to the Kelly Book. He has, as yet, read only the first thousand pages or so, but he intends to complete his labour. The volume contains the name and address of everybody, in London or the suburbs, whose name and address anybody can possibly want. Mr. Punch's own grand and brilliant idea is, to do with Kelly something like what Bayle did for Moreri. He meditates issuing a Kelly with vast notes of his own, in which he proposes to give a biography and anecdotes of everybody mentioned in the original book. As there will be several thousand volumes, the work must be published by subscriptions, which perhaps Mr. Kelly will be good enough to canvass and collect for Mr. Punch. The Kelly-Punch Biography will be a production worthy the gigantic genius of the age, and Mr. Punch admits that his collaborateur has admirably done his part of the work.


By attempting to enforce the Infallibility Dogma on those inconsistent people, who, calling themselves Old Catholics, have seceded from Popery in exercising their private judgment, and refusing, though ordered by an Œcumenical Council, to eat dirt, the Archbishops of the Roman Obedience appear to be waking snakes. The Pall Mall Gazette a few days since, said:—

"It was announced in our latest edition yesterday, that the Archbishop of Munich has excommunicated Professor Froschhammer. To-day a German correspondent informs us that the Professor has published an essay, in which he proves that the Catholic Clergy are all excommunicated for adopting the Copernican system and taking interest on money."

Professors Froschhammer and Döllinger, however, are snakes in a more serious sense than the ordinary cobras, rattle-snakes, copperheads, and vipers in general which the Fathers of the Lateran Council would mean by snakes, as a name for heretics. Hitherto heretics have been regarded by the Roman Catholic hierarchy as vipers which, in impugning Authority, bite a file. The above-named Professors appeal to History against the Pope. Dr. Manning may declare this appeal to be treason. He might add that it is undeniable treason. The reproach of treason lies in failure.

"But when it prospers none dare call it treason."

Such snakes as Professor Döllinger and Professor Froschhammer bite things more vulnerable than files. They bite legs and feet, through scarlet stockings, and white satin cross-embroidered slippers.

A Creed Miscalled.

The researches of Mr. Ffoulkes and other learned investigators appear to have proved that the creed of St. Athanasius, so-called, was not composed until ages after the decease of that personage. If so, it was unduly entitled with his name. Considering the purport of certain generally unpopular clauses in Athanasius his Creed, one conceives that it might, perhaps, be more appropriately styled the Creed of Anathema-maran-athanasius.

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Commercial Gent (to Swell who was smoking a fragrant Havannah). "Would you Oblige me, Sir, by Changing into another Carriage, or putting your Cigar out pro tem.?"

Swell (nonchalantly). "O, certainly." (Throws his Cigar out of the Window.)

Commercial Gent (complacently producing and filling his Meerschaum). "Sorry to Trouble you, but I never can Enjoy my Pipe when there's a Bad Weed a goin'!!"


Mr. W. H. Gregory, the accomplished Member for Galway, goes to Ceylon as Governor. We firmly believe that the Ædile rejoiceth at this, as Mr. Gregory knows a deal about Art, and the Ædile loveth not such men. Mr. Punch regrets to lose a bright speaker from the House, but is glad of his promotion. It will be no more,

Gregory, remember thy swashing blow."

The Honourable Member's "blow" will be had where—

"The spicy breezes

Blow soft o'er Ceylon's isle.

And no one ever sneezes,

Or feels a touch of bile."

Such will be the Gregorian Chant for some time to come. A pleasant exile, and a safe return, are Mr. Punch's sweet wishes to him who departeth for Candy.


Among the news of the other day appeared the following:—

"Two Frenchmen, one of whom, however, gives the name of Smith, are in custody, charged with the commission of several burglaries in the suburbs of the Metropolis."

You would have liked to hear one of the Frenchmen give the name of Smith. His tongue, surely, betrayed him. M. Vaurien, or whatever his real name was, of course, in attempting to give the name of Smith, gave that of Smeet or Smis. Give the name of Smith, indeed! A Frenchman might as well try to give the password of Shibboleth.


At the National Congress of Trades Societies at Nottingham, last week, a Mr. Graham said:—

"In his opinion it was one of the rights of a free man to cease work when he wished, either for reasonable or even unreasonable causes."

This is so exactly Mr. Punch's belief that, wishing at this identical moment to cease work, for the reasonable or unreasonable cause that he feels more inclined to smoke, he knocks off, without appending any proper and moral observations to Mr. Graham's dictum. Whether Mr. Graham keeps any sort of servant, and if so, whether Mr. Graham recognises the right in question when he wants his beer fetched, or his boots cleaned, is the only query that Mr. Punch chooses to exert himself to put. But he must add that the world would go on delightfully if this rule were always acted upon; and he is glad that the Trade Societies are enlightened enough to do their best to bring on a Millennium.

Suggestion to Mr. Lowe.

Lay a heavy tax on all persons telling old jokes, making old puns. Let the tax be doubled in the case of any person attempting to pass off such old joke or pun as "a good thing he's just heard," or as "a funny thing that happened to his cousin the other day." Mr. Lowe will find public-spirited men ready to hand in nearly all clubs who will voluntarily give their services, and for a moderate percentage will act as Collectors of this particular form of taxation at every dinner-party (where the name and address of the offender will be taken down), and in Society's drawing-rooms. This and a tax on photographs will bring in a handsome additional revenue for Eighteen-Seventy-Two.

[pg 027]


[pg 029]



e somehow turn the dinner conversation upon some peculiar way of cultivating mangel. Pendell looks at Old Ruddock, and, alluding to the last speaker's remark, whatever it was, says, "Aha! that isn't the way we grow mangel in the South, is it, Mr. Ruddock?" and therewith gives Old Ruddock such a humorous look, as if they had, between them, several good jokes about mangel, which, when told by Old Ruddock, would set the table in a roar.

I turn towards him with a propitiatory smile, as much as to say, "You see I'm ready for any of your funny stories." Old Ruddock glances up at me from his plate (he hasn't looked up much since the beginning of dinner), and replies, gravely and simply, "No." Whereat Pendell almost roars with laughter, and nods at me knowingly, as if asking if Ruddock isn't a character. He may be. Perhaps it requires the wine to draw him out, but he hasn't, as yet, said anything funny or witty; in fact, he hasn't said anything at all. The conversation, otherwise, is general and well distributed. Topics principally local.

As far as I am concerned, it is not unlike being suddenly given a bass part in a quintette, where the other four know their music off by heart. I speak from experience, remembering how, in the instance alluded to, I came in wherever I could, with very remarkable effect, and generally at least an octave too low, leaving off with the feeling that if we had been encored (of which there wasn't, under the circumstances, the slightest possible chance), I should have come out very strong, and quite in tune. As it was, I had first to find my voice, which seemed to have gone down like the mercury in a barometer on a cold day, and having succeeded in producing it, I had then to issue it in notes.

During dinner I am frequently brought into the conversation, apologetically, and appealed to out of politeness, as "probably not taking much interest in these matters."

The matters in question are usually something vexatious with regard to paupers, a political question deeply mixed up with the existence of the Yeomanry, the state of the roads in the next district, the queer temper of a neighbouring clergyman, the difficulty of dealing with Old Somebody at a vestry meeting, the right of some parish authorities to bury somebody who oughtn't, or ought, to have been buried without somebody else's consent; the best mode of making a preserve, a difference of opinion as to varieties of cider, the probabilities of a marriage between Tre-someone of Tre-somewhere with Pol-somebody of Pol-something else, and so forth. On consideration, I am interested. For, to a reflective mind, is not all this the interior mechanism of the Great British Constitution? Of course.

The only thing that Old Ruddock says the whole time, is that he wouldn't keep Cochin China fowls even if they were given him.

"Wouldn't you?" exclaims Pendell, looking slily at me and beginning to laugh, evidently in anticipation of some capital story, or a witticism from Ruddock. No, not another word. He is, it strikes me, reserving himself. I turn to my partner, and try to interest her in Ramsgate, Torquay, the Turkish bath, London and Paris news. She doesn't like Torquay, has never been to Ramsgate, and from what she has heard of it thinks it must be vulgar (to which I return, "O, dear no," but haven't got any proof that it isn't. I find out that she goes every season to London, and knows more about operas than I do, and finally was brought up in Paris, and generally stops there for a month yearly with her Aunt, so that I am unable to give her any information on my special subjects, and as she clearly wants to listen to some story which Tregony of Tregivel, on the other side of her, is telling, I feel that I'd better continue my dinner silently, or draw Ruddock out. I try it, but Ruddock won't come out.

Dessert.Tregony of Tregivel does come out genially, without the process of drawing. He has some capital Cornish stories, with an inimitable imitation of Cornish dialect.

Flash.—While he is telling a rather long anecdote to think of something good and new to cap it. Why not something with (also) an imitation of dialect, or brogue. I've got a very good thing about a Scotchman, but can't remember it in time.

Odd how stories slip away from you just at the moment you especially want to remember them. During a pause in the conversation I remember my story, and secure attention for it by suddenly asking Pendell (which startles him) if "he's ever heard," &c., and of course he, politely, hasn't. Odd. Somehow, this evening I can't recall the Scotch accent. I try a long speech (not usually belonging to the story) in Scotch, so as to work myself up to it, but, somehow or other, it will run into Irish. My story, therefore, takes somewhat this form. I say, "Then the Scotchman called out, 'Och, bedad'—I mean, 'Ye dinna ken'"—and so forth. Result, failure. But might tell it later, when I'm really in the humour, which I evidently am not now, and yet I thought I was.

Old Ruddock begins to come out, not as a raconteur, but as an interrupter, which is a new phase of character.

For example, Tregony commences one of his best Cornish stories, to which we are all listening attentively, something about an uncle and a nephew, and a cart.

"They went," says Tregony, "to buy a cart"——

"A what?" says Ruddock, really giving his whole mind to it.

"A cart," answers Tregony.

"O," returns Ruddock, "I beg pardon. Yes, well"—

"Well," resumes Tregony, "they wanted something cheap, as they had no use for it except to get home,——"

"Get what?" asks Ruddock.

"Home," replies Tregony, evidently a bit nettled.

"Oh, ah! yes," returns Ruddock. "Home—well?"

"Well," Tregony continues, looking towards his opposite neighbour, so as to avoid Old Ruddock if possible, "the landlord of the Inn says to them, 'I'll lend you and Nevvy Bill a cart——'"

Ruddock's in again with "A what?"

I can't help turning upon him, and saying, rather angrily, "A cart!" I feel inclined to add, "You old idiot." Then I say to Tregony, encouragingly, "Yes."

"'Only' (continues Tregony), says the Landlord, joking them, 'mind yew du bring the wheels back safe and sound.' So they promised, and then they went about the town till it was rather late and getting dark——"

"Getting what?" asks Old Ruddock. Everybody annoyed, and two persons besides myself repeat the word "dark" to him.

With these interruptions, and the consequent necessity of making it all quite clear, specially when it comes to Tregony imitating the conversation between Uncle and Nephew, in two voices, when Old Ruddock perpetually wants to know "Who said that," and so puzzles Tregony that sometimes he makes the Uncle take the Nephew's voice, and vice versâ, and the story is getting into difficulties, when the servant enters with a message to our Host from Mrs. Pendell, which brings us to our feet, and into the drawing-room, Tregony promising me the story quietly in a corner.

The other ladies have come. We all try to enter the drawing-room carelessly, as if the ladies weren't there, or as if we'd been engaged in some fearful conspiracy in the next room, and were hiding our consciousness of guilt under a mask of frivolity. Miss Bodd, of Popthlanack, is alone at a table, turning over the pages of a photographic album. I join her.

Careful Flash.—Take care never to offer an opinion on photographic or any other sort of portraits, unless you're quite sure of your ground.

I remark generally that I don't care about photographic portraits. Before Miss Bodd can answer, I hear a rustle behind me, and a voice asks simply, "Why?"

Good gracious! It isMiss Straithmere! She is staying with the Clethers ["Mr. Clether is here," Pendell tells me. "He's written a work on the Moon. Quite a character——"], and as the Rev. Mr. Clether is the Rector of Penwiffle, she is not a mile from the house, and will be here every day.

Singing and playing. Miss Straithmere asks me, "Why I'm so serious? Will I tell her? Do. Why?"

I expect Ruddock to sing. He doesn't. Mr. Clether is talking [pg 030] to him. I join them. I am anxious to hear what Mr. Clether's view of the Moon is. He replies, "O, nothing particular."

"But," I urge, Ruddock listening, "You have made a study of astronomy, and in these days"—I slip at this moment, because I don't know exactly what I was going to say; but I rather fancy it was that "In these days the moon isn't what it was."

Mr. Clether modestly repudiates knowing more about the moon than other people, and says that Pendell is right about his having written a book, but he has never published it.

"Why?" asks Miss Straithmere, joining us.

Carriages. Thank goodness!

I accompany Ruddock to the door. He has a gig, and a lantern, like a Guy Fawkes out for an airing.

I am still expecting a witticism, or rather a feu de joie of humour and fun, like the last grand bouquet of fireworks that terminates the show at the Crystal Palace.

Pendell (who I believe is still drawing him out) says to him, "You'll have a fine night for your drive," then looks at me and laughs, as much as to say, "Now you'll hear him, now it's coming. He's shy before a party, but now——"

Ruddock replies, from above, in his gig, "Yes, so it seems. Good-bye."

And away goes the vehicle, turns the corner, and disappears from view in the avenue.

Pendell chuckles to himself. "Quite a character," I hear him murmuring. Then, after a short laugh, he exclaims almost fondly, "Old Ruddock! ha! ha! Rum old fellow."

And so we go in. And this has been the long-expected "Nicht wi' Ruddock." He hasn't said twenty words. Certainly not one worth hearing. Yet Pendell seems perfectly satisfied with him, and years hence, I dare say, this occasion will be recounted as a night when Old Ruddock was at his best. After this, how about Sheridan?

Next morning.—My friend, Miss Straithmere, is coming at two o'clock. I find that I can leave, viâ Launceston, at eleven. I am not well. I can't help it. I begin to consider, is it my nature to be ill? No, I must go up to town, and consult my Doctor.

Adieu, Penwiffle. If I stopped, I feel that in the wilds of Cornwall, out at Tintagel or at Land's End, or in a slate quarry, or down a mine, I should.... Well, I don't know but I should have to answer the question, "Why?"

My present idea is to live in London, about two miles from the British Museum. Then I can walk there every morning, and work in the library at my Analytical History of Motion.

If the Doctor agrees with me, and if this plan agrees with me, I shall continue it; if not, I must take to boxing, gymnastics, or other violent exercise.

The Doctor does agree with me. He advises me to try my own prescription. In a week's time to call on him again, and go on calling on him regularly every Monday.

I have taken lodgings three doors from my Doctor's house. I shall make no further notes, unless, at some future time, I commence a history of a British Constitution (my own). And so, for the present, I conclude, with a quotation from Shakspeare, who was, among other things, evidently a valetudinarian, and finish these papers by saying,

"The tenor of them doth but signify"

"My Health."

Two Gent. of Verona. Act iii. sc. 1.


"My Tiresome Hat! So kind of you, Mr. Muggles! You don't mind Waiting for me, do you?"

[Don't he, though! He minds very much. Feels very foolish, and dreads being chaffed—particularly by some of those fellows below!]


Lord Derby has made a political speech of a very sensible character—"that goes without to say" in his case. He tells the Conservatives that they are to be neither apathetic nor precipitate, that they are to play a waiting game—the World to him who can Wait—and, meantime, they are to support Mr. Gladstone against the extreme men on his own side. And, said the Earl, "political life is not to be looked at as if it were a soaped pole, with £5,000 a year, and lots of patronage at the top." The sentiment is lofty and honourable. "But," said to Mr. Punch a rising lawyer, who intends to rise a good deal higher, "the deuce of it is that Lord Derby talks from the top of a golden Pyramid about soaped poles. Hang it! I'm like Becky Sharp—I should find it precious easy to be patriotic with fifty thousand a year. If I didn't feel I could manage the nation for the best (though of course I could), confound it! I'd myself engage the best Premier that money could secure, and serve the country that way. But blow it, as it is, and Henrietta's governor refusing to hear of me until I'm in Parliament, you see, old cuss——" "Virtue alone is happiness below," replied Mr. Punch severely, as he went away to get some oysters at Prosser's.

Note by a Foreigner.—On England's possessions the sun never sets. True; and on one of them, London, the sun never rises.

[pg 031]


Hospitable Host. "Does any Gentleman say Pudden?"

Precise Guest. "No, Sir. No Gentleman says Pudden."


(A Channel Sketch.)

'Tother day I steamed from Dover

To Boulogne-sur-Mer:

We'd bad weather crossing over:

Very sick we were.

Busy, Steward's-Mate and Steward—

"Basins!" was the cry:

Ocean heaved, because it blew hard;

Heaved, and so did I.

In the intervals of basin

Blessed dreams were mine:

Fowler was from Ocean 'rasin'

Every ill-ruled line.

Over Neptune's worst commotion

Holding despot's state,

He not only ruled the Ocean,

But he ruled it straight!

Steady, sea ne'er so ugly,

Did his craft behave;

Passengers, carriaged snugly,

Sweeping o'er the wave!

Not a soul from out his cushions

Moved, the passage through;

Padded soft against concussions,

And spring-seated, too!

O, it was a blessèd vision!

Blessèd all the more

For that awful exhibition

Betwixt shore and shore.

But when terra-firma reason

On that dream I fixed,

At a less afflicted season,

Doubt with hope was mixed.

For, I thought—Can Fowler answer

That his boats won't roll—

Grant, that, swift as a merganser,

O'er the sea they bowl?

If they roll—and who can promise

That they never will?—

Little joy to John Bull from his

Power of sitting still.

Think of an afflicted train-full

Cabined, cribbed, confined—

Rolling with the rollings painful

Of that pen inclined!

Face to face, and knee to knee, sick,

Retch and heave and strain,

Think of a whole hundred sea-sick

All along the train!

Sea-sickness in open ocean

May be bad to bear,

But, boxed up in a train in motion,

Worse, far worse, it were!

So if Fowler cannot promise

Pitch-and-toss shall be

Game of chance, far-banished from his

Skimmers of the sea,

Better 'gainst our woes we gird us—

Cold, and stench, and spray—

Than in railway train you herd us,

Nausea's helpless prey!

If the traveller from Dover

Reached the other shore,

Worser woes, than crossing over,

Were for him in store.

Awfuller than the up-turn he

Suffers from the tide,—

Think upon that six hours' journey

On the other side!

Present woe 'gainst worse mismarriage—

Put it to the vote—

And I'll bet 'tis contrà carriage,

And for open boat!


The Leeds Mercury is such an excellent paper, that Punch takes from it anything as unhesitatingly as (to use Lord Lytton's illustration) one takes change from an honest tradesman, without looking at or counting the coins. That journal said, the other day—

"There was a demonstration at Lausanne yesterday, in memory of the soldiers belonging to General Bourbaki's army who died in Switzerland, after being interred there last year."

We cannot see why there should have been a demonstration; at least, if it was a demonstration of wonder, the wonder would have been if the soldiers had survived their interment. It was Antæus, if we recollect aright, whose strength was renewed when he came in contact with the Earth, but he never went under it, at least not until Alcides had done with and for him. But is France aware that this is the way in which one of her armies was got rid of? Is this the boasted hospitality of Switzerland?

The Rainbow may be accurately described as the real Noah's Arc.

[pg 032]


Passenger. "And whose House is that on the Top of the Hill there?"

Driver of the "Red Lion" 'Bus. "O, that's Mr. Umberbrown's, Sir. He's what they call a R. A."

Passenger (Amateur Artist). "O, indeed! Ah! a magnificent Painter! You must be rather Proud of such a Great Man living amongst you Down here!"

Driver. "Great Man, Sir? Lor' bless yer, Sir, not a Bit of it! Why, they only Keeps one Man-Servant, and he don't Sleep in the 'Ouse!!!"

(Husband and Father sings.)

An Income-tax increased to pay,

And that assessed at higher rate!

Well, we must bear it as we may,

By means of thrift, my weeping Mate.

We'll pinch, in clothing and in cup;

Thou shalt accustomed dress resign;

I'll give my Gladstone claret up,

To meet my Lowe's augmented fine.

What though that heavy forfeit make

A small, uncertain income less?

What if away the coin it take,

Which I should hoard against distress?

What though my earnings needs must cease

As soon as I shall be no more,

And may not last till my decease,

But fail us both, my Wife, before?

Still, whilst we wince beneath the Screw,

Put on with added stress this year,

We'll think how much, because we Few

Are taxed, the Many spend in Beer.

Our impost we'll with joy endure,

Because it seems the only plan

From fiscal burdens to secure

Exemption for the Working-Man.

The Working-Man who works with tools,

Such tools as hammers, saws, and planes,

By hand; whose numerous suffrage rules

The smaller class who work by brains.

Rejoice we that what we must spare,

The Working-Man has got to spend.

We're privileged to pay his share,

Till our ability shall end.

At least when next another year,

Another Budget's weight shall bring

To bear on us, if we are here

Still, as plucked nightingales, to sing,

We've cause, another little call,

At any rate, of hope to see,

For payment of the needful all

To set the Breakfast-Table free.


In a speech delivered at New York on "Forefathers' Day," the Rev. Henry Beecher, discoursing of the "Pilgrim Fathers," said:—

"That they had their faults we all know. They brought with them some of the prejudices of Europe, and had not freed themselves from notions of persecution. They believed, above all things, in the existence and power of the evil one. The devil was everywhere in their thoughts. In our modern times we have gone free from that superstition. We of New York know there is no such being."

In the early days of New England anyone who owned to being an Adiabolist would have been deemed an Atheist. But then there was no Tammany or Erie Ring. Plunder and fraud, picking and stealing, are courses from which some natures can only be restrained by the piety which firmly believes in the personality, cornute and caudal, of Milton's hero. "We of New York know there is no such being." Do we? We think we do, but may have flattered ourselves.

Printed by Joseph Smith of No. 24, Holford Square, in the Parish of St. James, Clerkenwell, in the County of Middlesex, at the Printing Offices of Messrs. Bradbury, Evans, & Co., Lombard Street, in the Precinct of Whitefriars, in the City of London, and Published by him at No. 85, Fleet Street, in the Parish of St. Bride, City of London.—Saturday, January 20, 1872.

Transcriber's Notes:

In the article "My Health," there is a mismatched round bracket, that starts with "(to which I return," but it is unclear where the closing bracket should go.