Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, December 11, 1841 by Various

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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 1, December 11, 1841

Author: Various

Release Date: February 7, 2005 [EBook #14940]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


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VOL. 1.

DECEMBER 11, 1841.

[pg 253]



A fellow forms a letter E with a bag and a string.

Essential as sulphuric acid is to the ignition of the platinum in an hydropneumatic lamp; so is half-and-half to the proper illumination of a Medical Student’s faculties. The Royal College of Surgeons may thunder and the lecturers may threaten, but all to no effect; for, like the slippers in the Eastern story, however often the pots may be ordered away from the dissecting-room, somehow or other they always find their way back again with unflinching pertinacity. All the world inclined towards beer knows that the current price of a pot of half-and-half is fivepence, and by this standard the Medical Student fixes his expenses. He says he has given three pots for a pair of Berlin gloves, and speaks of a half-crown as a six-pot piece.

Mr. Muff takes the goodly measure in his hand, and decapitating its “spuma” with his pipe, from which he flings it into Mr. Simpson’s face, indulges in a prolonged drain, and commences his narrative—most probably in the following manner:—

“You know we should all have got on very well if Rapp hadn’t been such a fool as to pull away the lanthorns from the place where they are putting down the wood pavement in the Strand, and swear he was a watchman. I thought the crusher saw us, and so I got ready for a bolt, when Manhug said the blocks had no right to obstruct the footpath; and, shoving down a whole wall of them into the street, voted for stopping to play at duck with them. Whilst he was trying how many he could pitch across the Strand against the shutters opposite, down came the pewlice and off we cut.”

“I had a tight squeak for it,” interrupts Mr. Rapp; “but I beat them at last, in the dark of the Durham-street arch. That’s a dodge worth being up to when you get into a row near the Adelphi. Fire away, Muff—where did you go?”

“Right up a court to Maiden-lane, in the hope of bolting into the Cider-cellars. But they were all shut up, and the fire out in the kitchen, so I ran on through a lot of alleys and back-slums, until I got somewhere in St. Giles’s, and here I took a cab.”

“Why, you hadn’t got an atom of tin when you left us,” says Mr. Manhug.

“Devil a bit did that signify. You know I only took the cab—I’d nothing at all to do with the driver; he was all right in the gin-shop near the stand, I suppose. I got on the box, and drove about for my own diversion—I don’t exactly know where; but I couldn’t leave the cab, as there was always a crusher in the way when I stopped. At last I found myself at the large gate of New Square, Lincoln’s Inn, so I knocked until the porter opened it, and drove in as straight as I could. When I got to the corner of the square, by No. 7, I pulled up, and, tumbling off my perch, walked quietly along to the Portugal-street wicket. Here the other porter let me out, and I found myself in Lincoln’s Inn Fields.”

“And what became of the cab?” asks Mr. Jones.

“How should I know!—it was no affair of mine. I dare say the horse made it right; it didn’t matter to him whether he was standing in St. Giles’s or Lincoln’s Inn, only the last was the most respectable.”

“I don’t see that,” says Mr. Manhug, refilling his pipe.

“Why, all the thieves in London live in St. Giles’s.”

“Well, and who live in Lincoln’s Inn?”

“Pshaw! that’s all worn out,” continues Manhug. “I got to the College of Surgeons, and had a good mind to scud some oyster shells through the windows, only there were several people about—fellows coming home to chambers, and the like; so I pattered on until I found myself in Drury-lane, close to a coffee-shop that was open. There I saw such a jolly row!”

Mr. Muff utters this last sentence in the same ecstatic accents of admiration with which we speak of a lovely woman or a magnificent view.

“What was it about?” eagerly demand the rest of the circle.

“Why, just as I got in, a gentleman of a vivacious turn of mind, who was taking an early breakfast, had shied a soft-boiled egg at the gas-light, which didn’t hit it, of course, but flew across the tops of the boxes, and broke upon a lady’s head.”

“What a mess it must have made?” interposes Mr. Manhug. “Coffee-shop eggs are always so very albuminous.”

“Once I found some feathers in one, and a fœtal chick,” observes Mr. Rapp.

“Knock that down for a good one!” says Mr. Jones, taking the poker and striking three distinct blows on the mantel-piece, the last of which breaks off the corner. “Well, what did the lady do?”

“Commenced kicking up an extensive shindy, something between crying, coughing, and abusing, until somebody in a fustian coat, addressing the assailant, said, ‘he was no gentleman, whoever he was, to throw eggs at a woman; and that if he’d come out he’d pretty soon butter his crumpets on both sides for him, and give him pepper for nothing.’ The master of the coffee shop now came forward and said, ‘he wasn’t a going to have no uproar in his house, which was very respectable, and always used by the first of company, and if they wanted to quarrel, they might fight it out in the streets.’ Whereupon they all began to barge the master at once,—one saying ‘his coffee was all snuff and duckweed,’ or something of the kind; whilst the other told him ‘he looked as measly as a mouldy muffin;’ and then all of a sudden a lot of half-pint cups and pewter spoons flew up in the air, and the three men began an indiscriminate battle all to themselves, in one of the boxes, ‘fighting quite permiscus,’ as the lady properly observed. I think the landlord was worst off though; he got a very queer wipe across the face from the handle of his own toasting-fork.”

“And what did you do, Muff?” asks Mr. Manhug.

“Ah, that was the finishing card of all. I put the gas out, and was walking off as quietly as could be, when some policemen who heard the row outside met me at the door, and wouldn’t let me pass. I said I would, and they said I should not, until we came to scuffling, and then one of them calling to some more, told them to take me to Bow-street, which they did; but I made them carry me though. When I got into the office they had not any especial charge to make against me, and the old bird behind the partition said I might go about my business; but, as ill luck would have it, another of the unboiled ones recognised me as one of the party who had upset the wooden blocks—he knew me again by my d—d Taglioni.”

“And what did they do to you?”

“Marched me across the yard and locked me up; when to my great consolation in my affliction, I found Simpson, crying and twisting up his pocket-handkerchief, as if he was wringing it; and hoping his friends would not hear of his disgrace through the Times.”

“What a love you are, Simpson!” observes Mr. Jones patronisingly. “Why, how the deuce could they, if you gave a proper name? I hope you called yourself James Edwards.”

Mr. Simpson blushes, blows his nose, mutters something about his card-case and telling an untruth, which excites much merriment; and Mr. Muff proceeds:—

“The beak wasn’t such a bad fellow after all, when we went up in the morning. I said I was ashamed to confess we were both disgracefully intoxicated, and that I would take great care nothing of the same humiliating nature should occur again; whereupon we were fined twelve pots each, and I tossed sudden death with Simpson which should pay both. He lost and paid down the dibs. We came away, and here we are.”

The mirth proceeds, and, ere long, gives place to harmony; and when the cookery is finished, the bird is speedily converted into an anatomical preparation,—albeit her interarticular cartilages are somewhat tough, and her lateral ligaments apparently composed of a substance between leather and caoutchouc. As afternoon advances, the porter of the dissecting-room finds them performing an incantation dance round Mr. Muff, who, seated on a stool placed upon two of the tressels, is rattling some halfpence in a skull, accompanied by Mr. Rapp, who is performing a difficult concerto on an extempore instrument of his own invention, composed of the Scotchman’s hat, who is still grinding in the Museum, and the identical thigh-bone that assisted to hang Mr. Muff’s patriarchal old hen!


“The times are hard,” say the knowing ones. “Hard” indeed they must be when we find a DOCTOR advertising for a situation as WET-NURSE. The following appeared in the Times of Wednesday last, under the head of “Want Places.” “As wet-nurse, a respectable person. Direct to DOCTOR P——, C—— Common, Surrey.” What next?

[pg 254]



The Giant’s Stairs.


“‘Well,’ says he, ‘you’re a match for me any day; and sooner than be shut up again in this dismal ould box, I’ll give you what you ask for my liberty. And the three best gifts I possess are, this brown cap, which while you wear it will render you invisible to the fairies, while they are all visible to you; this box of salve, by rubbing some of which to your lips, you will have the power of commanding every fairy and spirit in the world to obey your will; and, lastly, this little kippeen11. A little stick., which at your word may be transformed into any mode of conveyance you wish. Besides all this, you shall come with me to my palace, where all the treasures of the earth shall be at your disposal. But mind, I give you this caution, that if you ever permit the brown cap or the kippeen to be out of your possession for an instant, you’ll lose them for ever; and if you suffer any person to touch your lips while you remain in the underground kingdom, you will instantly become visible, and your power over the fairies will be at an end.’

“‘Well,’ thinks I, ‘there’s nothing so very difficult in that.’ So having got the cap, the kippeen, and the box of salve, into my possession, I opened the box, and out jumped the little fellow.

“‘Now, Felix,’ says he, ‘touch your lips with the salve, for we are just at the entrance of my dominions.’

“I did as he desired me, and, Dharra Dhie! if the little chap wasn’t changed into a big black-looking giant, sitting afore my eyes on a great rock.

“‘Lord save us!’ says I to myself, ‘it’s a marcy and a wondher how he ever squeezed himself into that weeshy box.’ ‘Why thin, Sir,’ says I to him, ‘maybe your honour would have the civilitude to tell me your name.’

“‘With the greatest of pleasure, Felix,’ says he smiling; ‘I’m called Mahoon, the Giant.’

“‘Tare an’ agers! are you though? Well, if I thought’—but he gave me no time to think; for calling on me to follow him, he began climbing up the Giant’s Stairs as asy as I’d walk up a ladder to the hay-loft. Well, he was at the top afore you could cry ‘trapstick,’ and it wasn’t long till I was at the top too, and there we found a gate opening into the hill, and a power of lords and ladies waiting to resave Mahoon, who I larned was their king, and who had been away from his kingdom for twenty years, by rason of his being shut up in the box by some great fairy-man.

“Well, when we got inside the gates, I found myself in a most beautiful city, where nobody seemed to mind anything but diversion. The music was the most illigant thing you ever hard in your born days, and there wasn’t one less than forty Munster pipers playing before King Mahoon and his friends, as they marched along through great broad streets,—a thousand times finer than Great George’s-street, in Cork; for, my dears, there was nothing to be seen but goold, and jewels, and guineas, lying like sand under our feet. As I had the little brown cap upon my head, I knew that none of the fairy people could see me, so I walked up cheek by jowl with King Mahoon himself, who winked at me to keep my toe in my brogue, which you may be sure I did, and so we kept on until we came to the king’s palace. If other places were grand, this was ten times grander, for the very sight was fairly taken out of my eyes with the dazzling light that shone round about it. In we went into the palace, through two rows of most engaging and beautiful young ladies; and then King Mahoon took his sate upon his throne, and put upon his head a crown of goold, stuck all over with di’monds, every one of them bigger than a sheep’s heart. Of coorse there was a dale of compliments past amongst the lords and ladies till they got tired of them; and then they sat down to dinner, and, nabocklish! wasn’t there rale givings-out there, with cead mille phailtagh22. A hundred thousand welcomes.. The whiskey was sarved out in tubs and buckets, for they’d scorn to drink ale or porter; and as for the ating, there was laygions of fat bacon and cabbage for the sarvants, and a throop of legs of mutton for the king and his coort. Well, after we had all ate till we could hould no more, the king called out to clear the flure for a dance. No sooner had he said the word, than the tables were all whipped away,—the pipers began to tune their chaunters. The king’s son opened the ball with a mighty beautiful young crather; but the mirinit I laid my eyes upon her I knew her at once for a neighbour’s daughter, one Anty Dooley, who had died a few months before, and who, when she was alive, could beat the whole county round at any sort of reel, jig, or hornpipe. The music struck up ‘Tatter Jack Walsh,’ and maybe it’s she that didn’t set, and turn, and thrush the boords, until the young prince hadn’t as much breath left in his body as would blow out a rushlight, and he was forced to sit down puffing and panting, and laving his partner standing in the middle of the room. I couldn’t stand that by no means; so jumping upon the flure with a shilloo, I flung my cap into the air:—the music stopped of a sudden, and I then recollected that, by throwing off the cap, I had become visible, and had lost one of Mahoon’s three gifts.

“Divil may care! as Punch said when he missed mass; I’ll have my dance out at any rate, so rouse up ‘The Rakes of Mallow,’ my beauties. So to it we set; and when the cailleen was getting tired well becomes myself, but I threw my arm around her slindher waist and took such a smack of her sweet lips, that the hall resounded with the report.

“‘Fetch me a glass of the best,’ says I to a little fellow who was hopping about with a tray full of all sorts of dhrink.

“‘Fetch it yourself, Felix Donovan. Who’s your sarvant now?’ says the chap, docking up his chin as impident as a tinker’s dog. I felt my fingers itching to give the fellow a polthogue33. A thump. in the ear; but I thought I might as well keep myself paceable in a strange place—so I only gave him a contemptible look, and turned my back upon him.

“‘Felix jewel!’ whispered Anty in my ear. ‘You’ve lost your power over the fairies by that misfortunate kiss—’

”’Diaoul!—there’s two of Mahoon’s gifts gone already,’ thinks I,

“‘If you’ll take my advice,’ says Anty, ‘you’ll be off out of this as fast as you can.”

“‘The sorra foot I’ll stir out of this,’ says I ‘unless you come along with me ma callieen dhas44. My pretty girl.—’

“I wish you could have seen the deluding look she gave me as leaning her head upon my shoulder she whispered to me in a voice sweeter than music of a dream,

“‘Felix dear! I’ll go with you all the world over, and the sooner we take to the road the better. Steal you out of the door, and I’ll follow you in a few minutes.’

“Accordingly I sneaked away as quietly as I could; they were all too busy with their divarsions to mind me—and at the door I met Anty with her apron full of goold and diamonds.

“‘Now,’ said she, ‘where’s the kippeen Mahoon gave you?’

“‘Here it is safe enough,’ I answered, pulling it out of my breeches pocket.

“‘Well, now tell it to become a coach-and-four.’

“I did as she desired me—and in a moment there was a grand coach and four prancing horses before us. You may be sure we did not stand admiring very long, but both stepped in, and away we drove like the wind,—until we came to a high wall; so high that it tired me to look to the top of it.

“‘Step out, now,’ says she, ‘but mind not to let go your held of the coach, and tell it to change itself into a ladder.’

“I had my lesson now; the coach became a ladder, reaching to the top of the wall; so up we mounted, and descended on the other side by the same means. There was then before us a terrible dark gulf over which hung such a thick fog that a priest couldn’t see to bless himself in it.

“‘Call for a winged horse,’ whispered Anty.

“I did so, and up came a fine black horse, with a pair of great wings growing out of his back, and ready bridled and saddled to our hand. I jumped upon his back, and took Anty up before me; when, spreading out his wings, he flew—flew, without ever stopping until he landed us safe on the opposite shore. We were now on the banks of a broad river.

“‘This,’ said Anty, ‘is our last difficulty.’

“The horse was changed into a boat, and away we sailed with a fair breeze for the opposite shore, which, as we approached, appeared more beautiful than any country I had ever seen. The shore was crowded with young people dancing, singing, and beckoning us to approach. The boat touched the land; I thought all my troubles were past, and in the joy of my heart I leaped ashore, leaving Anty in the boat; but no sooner had my foot parted from the gunwale than the boat shot like an arrow from the bank, and drifted down the current. I saw my young bride wringing her fair hands, weeping at if her heart would break, and crying—

[pg 255]

“‘Why did you quit the boat so soon, Felix? Alas, alas! we shall never meet again!’ and then with a wild and melancholy scream she vanished from my sight. A dizziness came over my senses, I fell upon the ground in a dead faint, and when I came to myself—I found myself all alone in my boat, with three tundhering big conger-eels fast upon my lines. And now, neighbours, you have all my story about the Giant’s Stairs.”


Joseph Hume’s attention having been drawn to the great insecurity of letter envelopes, as they are now constructed, has submitted to the Post-master-General a specimen of a new safety envelope. He states that the invention is entirely his own, and that he has applied the principle with extraordinary success in the case of his own breeches-pocket, from which he defies the most “artful dodger” in the world to extract anything. We can add our testimony to the un-for-giving property of Joe’s monetary receptacle, and we trust that his excellent plan may be instantly adopted. At present there is immense risk in sending inclosures through the Post-office; for all the letter-carriers are aware that there is nothing easier than

Someone reaches through a window to take a sleeper's bedclothes.



Yesterday Paddy Green, Esquire, called at “The Great Mogul,” where he played two games at bagatelle, and went “Yorkshire” for a pot of dog’s nose. He smoked a short pipe home.

On Tuesday Charles Mears, I.M., accompanied by Jeremiah Donovan, called at the residence of Paddy Green, Esquire, in Vere-street, to inquire after the health of Master P. Green.

Master James Marc Anthony George Finch has succeeded Bill Jenkins as errand-boy at the butter-shop in Great Wild-street. This change had long been expected in the neighbourhood.

On Friday Paddy Green, Esquire, did not rise till the evening. A slight disposition to the prevailing epidemic, influenza, is stated to be the cause. He drank copiously of rum-and-water with a piece of butter in it.

On Thursday last the lady of Paddy Green, personally attended to the laundry; a fortnight’s wash took place, when Mrs. Briggs, the charwoman, was in waiting. Mrs. P. Green, with her accustomed liberality, sent out for a quartern of gin and a quarter of an ounce of brown rappee.

Charles Mears, I.M., and Jeremiah Donovan yesterday took a short walk and a short pipe together.

It is confidently reported that at the close of the present Covent-Garden season that Mr. Ossian Sniggers will retire from the stage, of which he has been so long a distinguished ornament. We have it from the best authority that he purposes going into the retail coal and tater line.


By Sir Lumley Skeffington, Bart.

Supercelestial is the art she practises,

Transcending far all other living actresses;

Her father’s talent—mother’s grace—compose

This Stephen’s figure, with John’s Roman nose.



By the bye, was Publius Ovidius Nuso an ancestor of yours? Talking of ancestors, why do the Ayrshire folks speak of theirs as four bears (forbears), it sounds very ursine. But to our muttons, as my old French master used to call it. Do you do anything in the classico-historical line, for the Charivaresque enlightenment of the British public; if so, here is a specimen of a work in that style, “done out of the original:”—



When he beheld the hand of him he had so loved raised against him, Cæsar’s heart was filled with anguish, and uttering the deep reproach—“And thou, too, Brutus!” he shrouded his face in his mantle, and fell at the foot of Pompey’s statue, covered with wounds. Thus, in the zenith of his glory, perished Caius Julius Cæsar, the conqueror of the world, and the eloquent historian of his own exploits; spiflicatus est (says my original), he was done for: he got his gruel, and inserted his pewter in the stucco, B.C. 44.

Perhaps you may not receive the above; but “sticking his spoon in the wall” reminds me of a hint I have to offer you. Did you ever see any Apostle spoons—old things with saints carved on their handles, which used to be presented, at christenings, &c. Now I think you might make your fortune with His Royal Highness of Cornwall, on the occasion of his christening, by getting together a set of spoons to present to him; and I would suggest your selection of the most notorious spoons, such as the delectable Saddler Knight, Peter Borthwick, Calculating Joey, the Colonel, Ben D’Israeli, &c. You might even class them, putting Sir Andrew Agnew in as a grave(y) spoon; a teetotal chief as a tea spoon; Wakley, being a deserter, as a dessert spoon; D’Israeli, being so amazingly soft, as a pap spoon, &c. &c. Send them with Punch’s dutiful congratulations, and you will infallibly get knighted; but don’t take a baronetcy, my respectable friend, for I hear that, like my friend Sir Moses, you are inclined to Judyism (Judaism)55. Have I “seen that line before?”. May the shadow of your nose never be less; and Heaven send that you may take this up after dinner! Farewell!


*∗* Polichiniculus is a lucky fellow! We opened his letter after the pleasant discussion of a boiled chicken.—Ed. of “Punch.”


SIR JAMES GRAHAM was conversing the other day with D’Israeli on what he designated “the crooked policy of Lord Palmerston.”

“What could you expect but a warped understanding,” replied the Hebrew Adonis, “from such

A man tips his hat.



SIR FIGARO LAURIE was condoling with Hobler on the loss of the baronetcy by the late Lord Mayor.

Hobler replied that the loss of the title was not by the late Lord Mayor but by the late Prince of Wales. But, as he sagely added,

An artist sits at a fire while a cat runs away with a fish.


Sir Peter has placed Hobler on Truefitt’s free list.

[pg 256]





The sleeping-beds which are occupied by the prince’s beagles and her Majesty’s dogs are IN FIVE COMPARTMENTS AT THE EXTREMITY OF THE HOVELS—THE LATTER BEING WELL SUPPLIED WITH WATER AND PAVED WITH ASPHALTE, THE BOTTOMS HAVING GOOD PALLS, TO ENSURE THEIR DRYNESS AND CLEANLINESS. The hovels enter into three green yards, roomy and healthy. In the one at the near end a rustic ornamental seat has been erected, from which her Majesty and the prince are accustomed to inspect their favourites.

The boiling and distemper houses are now in course of erection, BUT DETACHED FROM THE OTHER PORTION OP THE BUILDING!—From the Sporting Magazine, extracted in the Times of Dec. 3, 1841.

“I KNOW the lying-in ward; there is but ONE, which is small: another room is used when required. There are two beds in the first. The walls, I should say, were clean; but at that time they could not he cleansed, as it was full of women. The room was very smoky and uncomfortable; the walls were as clean as they could be under the circumstances. I have always felt dissatisfied with the ward, and many times said it was the most uncomfortable place in the house; it always looked dirty….

“There have been six women there at one time: two were confined in one bed….

“It was impossible entirely to shut out the infection. I have known FIFTEEN CHILDREN SLEEP in two beds!”—From the sworn evidence of Mrs. Elizabeth Gain, late matron, and Mr. Adams, late medical attendant, at the Sevenoaks Union—extracted from the Times of Dec. 2, 1841.


Snuff is a sort of freemasonry amongst those who partake of it.

Those who do not partake of it cannot possibly understand those who do. It is just the same as music to the deaf—dancing to the lame—or painting to the blind.

Snuff-takers will assure you that there are as many different types of snuff-takers as there are different types of women in a church or in a theatre, or different species of roses in the flower-bed of an horticulturist.

But the section of snuff-takers has, in common with all social categories, its apostates, its false brethren.

For as sure as you carry about with you a snuff-box, of copper, of tortoise-shell, or of horn (the material matters absolutely nothing), you cannot fail to have met upon your path the man who carries no snuff-box, and yet is continually taking snuff.

The man who carries no snuff-box is an intimate nuisance—a hand-in-hand annoyance—a sort of authorised Jeremy Diddler to all snuff-takers.

He meets you everywhere. The first question he puts is not how “you do?” he assails you instantly with “Have you such a thing as a pinch of snuff about you?”

It is absolutely as if he said, “I have no snuff myself, but I know you have—and you cannot refuse me levying a small contribution upon it.”

If it were only one pinch; but it is two—it is four—it is eight; it is all the week—all the month—it is all year round. The man who carries no snuff box is a regular Captain Macheath—a licensed Paul Clifford—to everyone that does. He meets you on the highway, and summonses you to stop by demanding “Your snuff-box or your life?”

A man can easily refuse to his most intimate friend his purse, or his razor, or his wife, or his horse; but with what decency can he refuse him—or to his coolest acquaintance even—a pinch of snuff? It is in this that the evil pinches.

The snuff-taker who carries no snuff-box is aware of this—and woe to the box into which his fingers gain admission to levy the pinch his nose distrains upon.

There is no man who has the trick so aptly at his fingers’ ends of absorbing so much in one given pinch, as the man who carries no snuff box. The quantity he takes proves he is not given to samples.

Properly speaking he is the landlord of all the boxes in the kingdom. Those who carry snuff-boxes are only his tenants; and hold them merely by virtue of a rack-rent, under him.

He is a perpetual plunderer—a petty purloiner—a pinching petitioner in forma pauperis—a contraband dealer in snuff. However, he is in general noted for his social qualities. He is affable, mild, harmless, insinuating, yielding, and submissive. He never fails to compliment you upon your good looks, and wonders in deep interest where you buy such excellent snuff. He agrees with you that Sir Peter Laurie is the first statesman of the day, and flies into the highest ecstacies when he learns that it is some of George the Fourth’s sold-off stock. He even acknowledges that Universal Suffrage is the only thing that can save the nation, and affects to be quite astonished that he has left his box behind him. He will beg to be remembered to your wife, and leaves you after begging for “the favour of another pinch.” Where is the man whose nature would not be susceptible of a pinch when invoked in the name of his wife?

Goldsmith recommends a pair of boots, a silver pencil, or a horse of small value, as an infallible specific for getting rid of a troublesome guest. He always had the satisfaction to find he never came back to return them.

But with the man who carries no snuff-box this specific would lose its infallibility. It would be folly to lend him your snuff-box, for at this price snuff would lose all its flavour, all its perfume for him. The best box to give him would be perhaps a box on the ear.

If he were obliged to buy his own snuff, it would give him no sensation. The strongest would not make him sneeze, or wring from the sensibility of his eyes the smallest tribute to its pungency. He would turn up his nose at it, or, at the best, use it as sand-dust to receipt his washerwoman’s bills with.

These feelings aside, the man who carries no snuff-box is a good member of society; that is to say, quite as good a one as the man who does carry a snuff-box. He is in general a good friend (as long as he has the entrée of your box), a good parent, a good tenant, a good customer, a good voter, a good eater, a good talker, and especially a good judge of snuff. He knows by one touch, by one sniff, by one coup d’œil, the good from the bad, the old from the new, the fragrant from the filthy, the colour which is natural from the colour which is coloured. If any one should want to lay in a stock of snuff, let him take the man who carries no snuff with him: his ipse dixit may be relied upon with every certainty. He will choose it as if he were buying it for himself, and in return will never forget to look upon it as a property he is entitled to fully as much as you who have paid for it; for, in fact, would you be in possession of the snuff if he had not chosen it for you?

As for his complaint, it is like hydrophilia; no remedy has as yet been invented for it; and we can with comfortable consciences predict that, as long as snuff is taken, and men continue to carry it about with them in snuff-boxes, they are sure to be subject to the importunities of the man who carries no snuff box.


SIR EDWARD LYTTON BULWER, who, like Byron, (in this one instance only) “wanted a hero,” had the good fortune to lay his hands upon the history of the celebrated George Barrington of picking-pocket notoriety. That worthy, describing the progress he made for the good of his country, related some strange particulars of a foreign bird, called the Secretary, or Snake-eater, which Sir Edward, from his knowledge of the natural history of his friend John Wilson Croker, declares to be the immediate connecting link between the English Admiralty Secretary, or “Toad-eater.”


“Have you been much at sea?”

“Why no, not exactly; but my brother married an admiral’s daughter!”

“Were you ever abroad?”

“No, not exactly; but my mother’s maiden name was ‘French.’”

[pg 257]


[A letter has found its way into our box, which was evidently intended for the Parisian Courrier des Dames; but as the month is so far advanced, we are fearful that the communication will be too late for the purposes of that fashionable journal. We have therefore with unparalleled liberality inserted it in PUNCH, and thus conferred an immortality on an ephemera! It is worthy of remark that the writer adopts the style of our foreign fashionable correspondents, who invariably introduce as much English as French into their communications.]

Rue de Dyotte,
Derrière les Slommes à Saint Gilles.


Les swelles de Londres have now determined upon the winter fashions, subject only to such modifications as their wardrobes render imperative, et y vont comme des Briques. Butchers’ trays continue to be worn on the shoulders; and sprats may be found very generally upon the heads of the poissonnières-faggeuses de la Porte de Billing. Short pipes are much patronised by architects’ assistants, and are worn either in the hatband or the side of the mouth, et point d’erreur. A few black eyes have been seen dans la Rookerie; but these facial ornaments will not be general until after boxing-day, quand ils le deviendront bien forts. Highlows and anklejacks66. For an elaborate description of these elegances, vide PUNCH.
7. The Fancy, we presume.—Printer's Devil.
are still patronised by les imaginaires7 of both sexes, the only alteration in the fashion being that the highlow is cut a little more on the instep, and the anklejack has retrograded a trifle towards the heel, with those qui veulent le couper gras. A great many muslin caps are seen, frequently with a hole in the crown, through which the hair protrudes, and gives a très épiceux et soufflet-haut appearance. They are called les Capoles des Sept-Dialles.

Others have no opening at the top, but two streamers of the same material as the cap are allowed to play over the shoulders of les immenses Cartes. The original colour of these capotes is white; but they are only worn by les grandes Cigarres when the white has been very much rubbed off.

Furs are much worn, both by the male and female magnifiques poussières. The latter usually carry them suspended from their apron-strings, and appear to give the preference to hare and rabbit mantelets, though sometimes domestic felines are denuded for the same purpose, que puisse m’aider, pomme-de-terre. The gentlemen, on the other hand, carry their furs at the end of a long pole, and towards Saturday-night a great number de petits pots88. Query mugs—Anglicè faces?—Printer’s Devil. may be seen enveloped in this costly matériel. The fantails of the chapeaux d’Adelphi are spread rather broader over the shoulders, and are sometimes elevated behind, quand ils veulent le faire très soufflément. Pewter brooches are still in great request, as are also pewter-pots, which are used in the tap-rooms of some des cribbes particulièrement flamboyants-haut.

But I must fermer ma trappe de pomme-de-terre, et promener mes crayons; ainsi, adieu, mon joli tromp.

Votre chummi dévoué,
Jusques tout est bleu,


A juvenile party, among whom we noticed the two Biggses, attended in Piccadilly to inspect the sewer now being made. One of the workmen employed threw up a quantity of the soil, intending no doubt to give an opportunity to the party of inspecting its properties; but as it hit some of them in the eye, they retreated rapidly.

The venerable square-keeper in Golden-square took his usual airing round the railings yesterday, and afterwards partook of the pleasures of the chase, by pursuing a boy into John-street. He was attended by his usual suite of children, who cheered him in his progress, following him as he ran on, and turning back so as to precede him, when he abandoned the hunt and resumed his promenade, which he did almost immediately.

Bill Bumpus walked for several hours in the suburbs yesterday. In order to have the advantage of exercise, he carried a basket on his head, and was understood to intimate in a loud tone that it contained sprats, which he distributed to the humbler classes at a penny a plateful.




Now, Charlotte, dear, attend to me,

You know you’re coming out,

And in the best society

Will shine, beyond a doubt.

Things were not always so with us,—

But let oblivion’s seal

For ever shut out former days—

They were so ungenteel.

And as for country neighbours, child,

You must forget them all;

And never visit any place

That is not Park or Hall.

But if you know a titled name,

That knowledge ne’er conceal;

And mention nothing in the world,

Except it be genteel.

But think no more of Henry, child;

His love is pure, I know;

He writes delightful verses too;

But cannot be your beau.

He never as at Almack’s, sure,—

From that there’s no appeal;

For neither gifts nor graces now

Can make a man genteel.

You know Lord Worthless,—Charlotte, would

Not that be quite a match,

If not so very often in

The keeping of the watch?

He paid some damages last year,

Though slippery as an eel;

But then such vices in a peer

Are perfectly genteel.

And you must cut the Worthies—they’re

No company for you;

Though all of them are lovely girls,

And very clever too.

’Tis true, we found them kind, when all

The world were cold as steel;

’Tis true, they were your early friends;

But, then, they’re not genteel.

There’s Lady Waxwork, who, when dressed,

Has nothing she can say;

Miss Triffle of her lap-dog’s tail

Will chatter half the day.

The Honourable Mr. Trick

At cards can cheat or steal:—

These are the friends that suit us now,

For oh! they’re so genteel!

But, Charlotte, dear, avoid the Blues,

No matter when, or how;

For literature is quite beneath

The higher classes now.

Though Raphael paint, or Homer sing,

Oh! never seem to feel;

Young ladies should not have a soul,—

It’s really ungenteel.


SIR PETER LAURIE sent an order to a wine-merchant at the West End on Tuesday last for “six dozen of the best Ottoman Porte.”

[pg 258]


“Half the day at least“—says the editor of the Athenæum—“we are in fancy at the Palace, taking our turn of loyal watch by the cradle of the heir-apparent; the rest at our own firesides, in that mood of cheerful thankfulness which makes fun and frolic welcome!” Half the day, at least!

A stroke of fancy—especially to a heavy man—is sometimes as discomposing as a stroke of paralysis. Our friend of the Athenæum is not to be carried away by fancy, cost free: his imaginative watch at the Palace—for who can doubt that for six hours per diem he is in Buckingham nursery?—has led him into the perpetration of various eccentricities which, when we reflect upon the fortune he must have hoarded, and the innate selfishness of our common nature, may possibly end in a commission of lunacy. As juries are now-a-days brought together (especially as Chartists abound), excessive loyalty may be returned—confirmed insanity. It is, however, our duty as good citizens and fellow-journalists to protest, in advance, against any such verdict; declaring that whatever may be adduced by the unreflecting persons in daily intercourse with the editor—that grave and learned scribe is in the enjoyment—of all the sense originally vouchsafed to him. We know the stories that are in the most unfeeling manner told to the disadvantage of the learned and inoffensive gentleman; we know them, and shall not shrink from meeting them.

It is said that for one hour a day “at least” since the birth of the Prince the unfortunate gentleman has been invariably occupied folding and refolding a copy of the Athenæum—now airing it and smoothing it down—now unfolding and now folding it up again. Well, What of this? The truth is, our poor friend has only been “taking his turn,” arranging “in fancy” the diaper of the royal nursery. That he should have selected a copy of the Athenæum as a type of the swaddling cloth bespeaks in our mind the presence of great judgment. It is madness with very considerable method.

A printer’s devil—sent either for copy or a proof—deposes that our friend seized him, and laying him in his lap, insisted upon feeding him with his goose-quill, at the same time dipping that noisome instrument in his ink-bottle. The said devil declares that with all his experience of the various qualities of various inks used by gentlemen upon town, he never met with ink at once so muddy and so sour as the ink of the Athenæum. We do not deny the statement of the devil as to what he calls the assault committed upon him; but the fact is, the editor was not in his own study, but was “taking his turn” at the pap-spoon of the Duke of CORNWALL!

Betty, the editor’s housemaid, has given warning, declaring that she cannot live with any gentleman who insists upon taking her in his arms, and tossing her up and down as if she was no more than a baby; at the same time making a chirruping noise with his mouth, and calling her “poppet” and “chickabiddy.” Well, we allow all this, and boldly ask, What of it? We grant the “poppet;” we concede the “chickabiddy;” and then sternly inquire if an excess of loyalty is to impugn the reason of the most ratiocinative editor? Does not the thing speak for itself? If BETTY were not a fool, she would know that her master—good, regular man!—meant nothing more than, under the auspices of Mrs. LILLY, to dandle the Duke of CORNWALL.

A taxgatherer, calling upon the editor for the Queen’s taxes, could get nothing out of our respected friend, but “Ride a cock-horse to Bamberry Cross!” If taxgatherers were not at once the most vindictive and the most stupid of men (it is said Sir ROBERT has ordered them to be very carnivorous this Christmas), the fellow would never have called in a broker to alarm our excellent coadjutor, but would at once have seen that the genius of the Athenæum was taking his turn in Buckingham Palace, singing a nursery canzonetta to the Duke of CORNWALL!

And is it for these, to us beautiful evidences of an absorbing loyalty—of a feeling that is true as truth, for if it was a mere conventional flame we should take no note of it—that the editor of the Athenæum, a most grave, considerate gentleman, should be cited to Gray’s-inn Coffee-house, and by an ignorant and unimaginative mob of jurymen voted incapable of writing reviews upon his own books, or the books of other people?

The question that we would here open is one of great and social political importance. There is an end of personal liberty if the enthusiasm of loyalty is to be visited as madness. For our part, we have the fullest belief in the avowal of the poor man of the Athenæum, that for half a day he is—in fancy—watching the little Prince in Buckingham nursery; and yet we see that men are deprived of enormous fortunes (we tremble for the copyright of the Athenæum) for indulging in stories, with equal probability on the face of them. For instance, a few days since WEEKS, a Greenwich pensioner, (being suddenly rich, the reporters call him Mister WEEKS,) was fobbed out of 120,000l. for having boasted (among other things) that he had had children by Queen ELIZABETH (by the way, the virginity of Royal BETSY has before been questioned)—that he intended to marry Queen VICTORIA, and that, in fact, not GEORGE THE THIRD but WEEKS THE FIRST was the father of Queen CHARLOTTE’S offspring. Now, what is all this, but loyalty in excess? Is it not precisely the same feeling that takes the editor of the Athenæum half of every day from his family, spellbinding him at the cradle of the Duke of CORNWALL? Cannot our readers just as easily believe the pensioner as the editor? We can.

“He told me he was going to marry the Queen” (thus speaks Sir R. DOBSON, chief medical officer of Greenwich Hospital, of poor WEEKS), “and I had him cupped and treated as an insane patient!” Can the editor hope to escape blood-letting and a shaven head? “He told me he was going to dine to-day at Buckingham Palace.” Thus spoke WEEKS. “Half the day at least we are in fancy at the Palace;” thus boasteth the Athenæum. The pensioner is found “incapable of managing himself or his affairs:” the editor continues to review books and write articles! “He (WEEKS) also said he had once horse-whipped a lion until it became afraid of him!” Where is CARTER—where VAN AMBURGH, if not in Bedlam? Lucky, indeed, is it for the editor of the Athenæum that his weekly miscellany (wherein he thinks he sometimes horse-whips lions) is not quite worth 120,000l. Otherwise, certain would be his summons to Gray’s-inn.

We have rejoiced, as beseemed us, at the birth of the little Prince; it now becomes our grave moral duty to read a lesson of forbearance to those enthusiastic people who—especially if they have money—may by an excess of the principle of loyalty put in peril their personal freedom. Let them not take confidence from the safety enjoyed by the Athenæum editor—the poverty of the press may protect him. If, however, he and other influential wizards of the broad sheet, succeed in making loyalty not a rational principle, but a mania—if, day by day, and week by week, they insist upon deifying poor infirm humanity, exalting themselves in their own conceit, in their very self-abasement—they may escape an individual accusation in the general folly. When we are all mad alike—when we all, with the editor of the Athenæum, take our half-day’s watch at the little Prince’s cradle—when every man and woman throughout the empire believe themselves making royal pap and airing royal baby-linen—then, whatever fortune we may have we may be safe from the fate of poor WEEKS, the Greenwich pensioner, who, we repeat, is most unjustly confined for his notions of royalty, seeing that many of our contemporaries are still left at liberty to write and publish. Poor dear little PRINCE! if fed and nourished from your cradle upwards upon such stuff as that pressed upon you since your birth, what deep, what powerful sympathies will be yours with the natures of your fellow-men—what lofty notions of kingly usefulness, and kingly duty!

It may be that certain writers think they best oppose the advancing spirit of the time—questioning as it does the “divinity” that hedges the throne—by adopting the worse than foolish adulation of a by-gone age. In a silly flippant book just published—a thing called Cecil—the author speaks of the first appearance of VICTORIA in the House of Lords. He says—

“An unaccountable feeling of trust rose in my bosom. I speak it not profanely—[when a writer says this, be sure of it that, as in the present case, he goes deep as he can in profanation]—when I say that the idea of the yet unknown Saviour, a child among the Doctors of the Temple, occurred spontaneously to my mind!”

Now this book has been daubed with honey; the writer has been promised “an European reputation” (Madame LAFFARGE has a reputation equally extensive), and he is at this moment to be found upon drawing-tables, whose owners would scream—or affect to scream—as at an adder, at SHELLEY. Nay, Shelley’s publisher is found guilty of blasphemy in the Court of Queen’s Bench; and that within these few months. We should like to know Lord Denman’s opinions of Mr. BOONE. What would he say of Queen Victoria being compared to the Redeemer—of Lord LONDONDERRY, et hoc genus omne, being “Doctors of the Temple?”

A writer in the Almanach des Gourmands says, in praise of a certain viand, “this is a dish to be eaten on your knees.” There are writers who, with, goose-quill in hand, never approach royalty, but they—write upon their knees!


[pg 259]


A man carves 'Jack Russell' on a beam. Another beam is marked 'Timber Duties.'


[pg 261]



The Fleet is a very peculiar isolated kingdom, bounded on the north by the wall to the north or north wall; on the south, by the wall to the south or south wall; on the east, by the wall to the east or east wall; and on the west, by the wall to the west or west wall. The manners and habits of the natives are marked with many extraordinary peculiarities; and some of the local customs are of an exceedingly interesting character.

The derivation of the word “Fleet” has caused many controversies, and we believe is even now involved in much mystery, and subject to much dispute.

Some commentators have endeavoured to establish an analogy between the words “fleet” and “fast,” with the view of showing that these being nearly synonymous terms, “the fleet is a corruption from the fast, or keep fast.” Others again contend the origin to be purely nautical, inasmuch as this country, like the ships in war time, is mostly peopled with pressed men. While a third class argue that the name was originally one of warning, traditionally handed down from father to son by the inhabitants of the surrounding countries (with whom this land has never been in high favour), and that the addition of the letter T renders the phrase perfect, leaving the caution thus, Flee-it—now contracted and perverted into the commonly used term of Fleet.

As we are only the showmen about to exhibit “the lions and the dogs,” we merely put forward these deductions, and tell our readers they are welcome to choose “whichhever they please, hour little dears!” while we will at once proceed to describe the manners and habits of the natives.

One great peculiarity in connexion with this strange people is, that the inhabitants are, from the first moment of their appearance, invariably adults; and we can positively assert the almost incredible fact, that no bonâ fide occupant of these realms was ever seen in any part of their domain in the hands of a nurse, enveloped in the long clothes worn by many of the infants of the surrounding nations. Like the Spartan youths, all these people undergo a long course of training, and exceed the age of one-and-twenty before they are deemed worthy of admission into the ranks of these singular hordes. They have no actual sovereign, but merely two traditionary beings, to whom they bow with most abject servility. These imaginary potentates are always alluded to under the fearful names of “John Doe and Richard Roe;” though they are never seen, still their edicts are all-powerful, their commands extending to the most distant regions, and carrying captivity and caption-fees wherever they go. These firmans are entrusted to the charge of a peculiar race of beings, commonly called officers to the sheriff. There is something exceedingly interesting in the ceremonious attendant upon the execution of one of these potent fiats: the manner is as follows. Having received the orders of “John Doe and Richard Roe,” they proceed to the residence of their intended captive, and with consummate skill, like the Eastern tellers of tales, commence their business by the repetition of some ingenious story (called in the language of the captured, lie), wherein the Bumme Bayllyffe (such is their title) artfully represents himself “as a cousin from the country,” an “uncle from town,” or some near and dear long expected and anxiously-looked-for returned-from-abroad friend. Should their endeavours fail in procuring the desired interview, they frequently have resort to the following practice. With the right-hand finger and thumb they open a small aperture in the side of a species of garment, generally manufactured from drab broadcloth, in which they encase their lower extremities, and having thrust their hand to the very bottom of the said opening, they produce a peculiarly musical sound by jingling various round pieces of white money, which so entrances the feelings of the domestic with whom they are discoursing, that his eyes become fixed upon the hand of the operater the moment the sound ceases and it is withdrawn. The Bumme Bayllyffe then winketh his right eye, and with great rapidity depositeth a curious-looking coin, of the value of five shillings, in the hand of the domestic, who thereupon pointeth with his dexter thumb over his left shoulder to a small china closet, in which the enemy of John Doe and Richard Roe is found, his Wellington boots sticking out of the hamper, under the straw in which the rest of his person is deposited.

The Bumme Bayllyffe having called him loudly by his name, showeth his writ, steppeth up, and tappeth him once gently upon the shoulder, whereupon the ceremony is completed, and the future inmate of the Fleet departeth with the Bumme Bayllyffe.

The first thing that attracts the attention of the captured of John Doe and Richard Roe is the great care with which the entrance to his new country is guarded. Four officials of the warden or minister of the said John and Richard alternately remain in actual possession of that interesting pass, to each of whom the new-comer submits his face and figure for actual and earnest inspection, for the reason that should the said new arrival by any means pass their boundary, they themselves would suffer much disgrace and obliquy; having undergone this inspection, he then proceeds to the interior of these strange domains.

Walls! walls!! walls!!! meet him on every side; and by some strange manner of judging the new-comer is immediately known as such.

The costume of the natives differs widely from the usually sported habiliments of more extended nations; caps worn by small boys in other climes here decorated the heads of the most venerable elders, and peculiarly-cut dressing-gowns do duty for the discarded broadcloth of a Stultz, a Nugee, or a Willis.

The new man’s conformity with the various customs of the inmates is one of the most curious facts on record. We have been favoured with the following table or scale by which time regulates the gradual advancement to perfection of a genuine “Fleety”:—

First Week.—Ring; union-pin; watch; straps; clean boots; ditto shirt; shave; and light waistcoat.

Second Week.—Slippers in passage; no straps to boots; rub on toe; dirty hall; fresh dickey; black vest; two days’ beard.—[Exit ring.]

Third Week.—Full-bosomed stock; one bracer; indication of white chalk on seat of duck trousers; blue striped shirt; no vest; shooting jacket; small imperial.—[Exeunt union-pin and watch.]

Fourth Week.—White collar; blue shirt; slippers various; boots a little over at heel; incipient moustache; silk pocket-handkerchief round neck; and a fortnight’s splashes on trousers.

Fifth Week.—Red ochre outline of increased whiskers, flourishing imperial, and chevaux-de-frise moustache; dirty shirt; French cap; Jersey over-all; one slipper and a boot; meerschaum; dressing-gown; and principal seat at the free and easy.

Sixth.—Everything in the “worser line;” called by christian name by their bed-maker; hold their tongues, in consideration of three weeks’ arrears, at four shillings a week; and then all’s done, and the inhabitant is complete.


There are people now-a-days who peruse with pleasure the works of Homer, Juvenal, and other poets and satirists of the old school; and it is not unlikely that centuries hence persons will be found turning back to the pages of the writers of the present day (especially PUNCH), and we rather just imagine they will be not a little puzzled and flabbergasted to discover the meaning, or wit, of some of those elegant phrases and figures of speech so generally used by this enlightened and reformed age! The following brief elucidation of a few of these may serve for present ignoramuses, and also for future inquirers.

That’s the Ticket for Soup.—Is one of the commonest, and originated several years ago, we have discovered, after much study and research, when a portion of the inhabitants of this wicked lower globe were suffering under a malady, called by learned and scientific men “poverty,” and were supplied by the rich and benevolent with a mixture of hot water, turnips, and a spice of beef, under the name of soup. There are two kinds of tickets for soups in existence in London at present—

  1. The Ticket for Turtle Soup, or a ticket to a Lord Mayor’s Feast. It is only necessary to add, these are in much request.

  2. The Ticket for Mendicity Society Soup. Beggars and such-like members of society monopolize these tickets; and it has lately been discovered by a celebrated philanthropist that no respectable person was ever known to make use of one of them. This is a remarkable fact, and worthy the attention of the anti-monopolists. These tickets are bought and sold like merchandise, and their average value in the market is about one halfpenny.

How’s your Mother.—This affectionate inquiry is generally coupled with

Has she Sold her Mangle.—“Mangling done here” is an announcement which meets the eye in several quarters of this metropolis; and when the last census was taken by the author of the “Lights and Shadows of London Life,” the important discovery was made that this branch of business is commonly carried on by old ladies. The importance (especially to the landlord) of the answer to this query is at once perceivable.

We scarcely expect a monument to be raised to PUNCH for these discoveries; though if we had our deserts—but verbum sap.

[pg 262]


Yes! we have said the word adieu!

A blight has fallen on my soul!

And bliss, that angels never knew,

Is torn from me, by fate’s control!

And yet the tear I shed at parting,

Was “all my eye and Betty Martin!”

And thou hast sworn that never more

Thy heart shall bow to passion’s spell;

But ever sadly ponder o’er

The anguish of our last farewell!

Yet, as you still are in your teens—

I say, “tell that to the Marines!”

And still perchance thy faithful heart

May pine, and break, when I am gone!

While bitter tears, unbidden, start,

As oft thou musest—sad and lone!

I’ve read such things in many a tale—

But yet it’s “very like a whale!”




Paris, Passage de l’Opéra, Escalier B. au 3ème.


I salute you with reverence—I embrace you with affection—I thank you with devout gratitude, for the many delightful moments I have enjoyed in your society. I regularly read your “London Charivari:” it is magnificent—superb! What wit—what agacerie—what exquisite badinage is contained in every line of it! You are the veritable monarch of English humour. Hail, then, great fun-ambule, PUNCH THE FIRST! Long may you live, to flourish your invincible baton, and to increase the number of your laughing subjects. Your “Physiology of the Medical Student” has been translated, and the avidity with which it is read here has suggested to me the idea that sketches of French character might be equally popular amongst English readers. With this hope I send yon the commencement of a Physiological and Pictorial Portrait of “THE LOVER.” I have chosen him for my leading character, because his madness will be understood by the whole world. Love, mon cher ami, is not a local passion, it grows everywhere like—but I am anticipating my subject, which I now commit to your hands.

With sentiments of the profoundest respect and esteem,

A despondent man sits on the ground.




A Renaissance man stands next to a letter G.

Gentle woman!—Beautiful enigma!—whose magnetic glances and countless charms subdue man’s sterner nature—to you I dedicate the following pages. The subject on which I am about to treat is the gravest, the lightest, the most decided, the most undefined, the most earthly, the most spiritual, the saddest, and the gayest, the most individual, and at the same time the most universal you can imagine. To you, ladies, I address myself. You who form the keys on which the eternal and infinite gamut of love has been run from creation’s first hour till the present moment—tell me how I may best touch the chords of your hearts? Come around me, ye earthly divinities of every age, rank, and imaginable variety! Buds of blushing sixteen, full-blown roses of thirty, haughty court dames, and smiling city beauties, come like delicious phantoms, and fill my mind with images graceful as your own forms, and melting as your own hearts! Thanks, gentle spirits! ye have heard my call, and now, inspired by you, I seize my pen, and give to my paper the thoughts which crowd upon my mind.


It is easier to answer this question by a thousand instances, than by one definition, which can comprehend them all. What is Love? It is anything you please. It is a prism, through which the eye beholds the same object in various colours; it is a heaven of bliss, or a hell of torture; a thirst of the heart—an appetite which we spiritualize; a pure expansion of the soul, but which sooner or later becomes metamorphosed into an animal passion—a diamond statue with feet of clay. It is a dream—a delirium, a desire for danger, and a hope of conquest; it is that which everyone abjures, and everyone covets; it is the end, the great end, and the only end of life. Love, in short, is a tyrannical influence which none can escape; and however metaphysicians may define the passion, it appears to me that it is wholly dependent on the mysterious

A pair of lovers cuddle in front of a tree.



A young lady, I mean one who has but recently thrown aside her dolls, is a bashful blushing little puppet, who only acts, speaks, and moves as mama directs. She is a statue of flesh and blood, not yet animated by the Promethean fire—a chrysalis, which may one day become a beautiful butterfly, fluttering on silken wing amidst a crowd of adorers; but she is yet only a chrysalis, pale and cold, and wrapped up in a thousand conventional restrictions, like a mummy in its swathes.

The very young lady is usually prodigiously careful of her little self: she regards men as her natural enemies. Poor innocent!—This absurdity is the fault of her education. They have made her believe that love is the most abominable, execrable, infernal thing in existence. They have taught her to lie and to dissimulate her most innocent emotions. But the time is not far distant when the natural impulses of her heart will break down the barriers that hypocrisy has placed around her. Woman was formed to love: she must obey the imperious law of her being, and will love the moment her inspirations for the belle passion become stronger than her reason. I may add, also, that when a young lady discovers a tendency this way, it may be safely conjectured the object on which she will bestow her favour is not very distant.


It has been a long-established axiom that there is but one great principle [pg 263] of love; but then it assumes various phases, according to the thousands of circumstances under which it is exhibited, and which, to speak in the language of philosophy, it would be impossible to synthetise. Time, place, age, the very season of the year, the ruling passion, peace or war, education, the instincts of the heart, the health of the body and the mind (if it be possible for the latter to be in a sane state when we fall in love), the buoyancy of youth or the decrepitude of old age,—these, and numerous other causes which I cannot at present enumerate, serve to modify to infinity the form and character of the sentiment. Thus we do not love at eighteen as we do at forty, nor in the city as we do in the country, nor in spring as we do in autumn, nor in the camp as we do in the court; nor does the ignorant man love like a learned one; the merchant does not love like the lawyer; nor does the latter love like the doctor. It is upon these different phases in the character of love that I have founded my system. Next week I shall endeavour to describe some of the traits which distinguish “The Lover.” Till then, fair readers,—I remain your devoted slave.


A man kisses a woman's hand


A signature of Alph. Lecourt.


We had long considered ourselves the funniest dogs in Christendee; and, in the plenitude of our vanity, imagined that we monopolised the attention and admiration of the present and the future. We expected to be deified, and thus become the founders of a new mythology. PUNCH must be immortal! But how shorn of his pristine splendour—how denuded of his fancied glories! for the John Bull has discovered—


Wretched as we must be at this reflection, we generously resort to—our scissors, and publish our own discomfiture.

In alluding to the author’s description of the London dining-room, the John Bull remarks:—

It will bring comfort to the savage bosoms of the late Ministry, for whose especial information we must make a few more extracts, concerning coffee-houses, or shops, as they are mostly termed.


The second class of coffee-houses, and those I have particularly in my eye, are altogether different from those I have just mentioned. The prices are remarkably moderate in most of these places; the charge is no more than three-halfpence for half a pint of coffee, or threepence for a whole pint. The price of half a pint of tea is twopence, of a whole pint fourpence. If you simply ask bread to your tea or coffee, two large slices, well buttered, are brought you, for which you are charged twopence. Or should you prefer having a penny roll, or any other sort of bread, you can have it at the same price as at the baker’s.

In most coffee-houses, you may also have chops or steaks for dinner. If the party be a rigid economist(!) he may, as regards some of these establishments, purchase his steak or chop himself, and it will be prepared gratuitously for him; but if that be too much trouble for him to take, and he prefers ordering it at once, he will get, in many houses, his chop with bread and potatoes with it for sixpence, and his steak for ninepence or tenpence.

These coffee-houses have many advantages over hotels, besides the great difference in the prices charged. In the first place, there is not so much formality or affected dignity about them, and they are far better provided with means of rational amusement; and the promptitude with which a customer is served is really surprising.

Are not these passages declarations of the individual? Winding himself up with twopenny-worth of cheese! Pleading for the additional penny for the waitress, whose personal charms and obliging disposition must be considered to extort the amount! And above all, unable to conceive any motive, except aversion to trouble, for disliking to carry “his chop” upon a skewer through the streets of London. How every line revels in the recollection of having dined, and speaks how seldom! while the well-buttered bread infers the usual fare. Still it is not meanly written. There are a glorying and exultation in every word that redeem it, and show the author is more to be envied than compassionated; though a little further on we perceive the shifts to which his homeless state has reduced him.


You can order, if you please, a cup of coffee without anything to it; and, for so doing, you may sit if you wish for five or six hours in succession.

I have said that coffee-houses are excellent places for reading; I might have added, for meditation also. For unlike public-houses, there are no noisy discussions and disputes in them. All is calm, tranquil, and comfortable. The beverage, too, which is drank as a beverage, as I before remarked in a previous chapter, cheers, but not inebriates.

The remarks are generally equally original, and the facts, no doubt in some degree truths, are all alike humorous; the more so when the aspect of the book and the names of the respectable publishers suggest the higher class of readers to whom it is addressed. Little anecdotes are interspersed, concerning Harriet, of Coventry-street, who didn’t mind her stops; and James, behind the Mansion-house, who knew everybody’s appetite, that enliven the descriptive portions of the work, which is in its very inappropriateness the more amusing, and cannot be read without reaping both information and instruction on topics which no other author would have had the temerity to discuss.

But these are only words. Let PUNCH, the rival of this Caledonian Asmodeus, do justice to the man whose “character is stamped on every page (of his own), who yet is above pity; poor, yet full of enjoyment; humble, yet glorious; ignorant, yet confident.”

A man stands among coffee pots and cups that have faces.



Tin is 14 per cwt. in London, and this, allowing a fraction for wear and tear, gives an exchange of 94 36-27ths in favour of Hamburgh.

The money market is much easier this week, and bills (play-bills) were to be had in large quantities. A large capitalist who holds turnpike tickets to a large amount, caused much confusion by letting some pass from his hands, when they flew about with alarming rapidity. Several persons seemed desirous of taking them up, but a rush of bulls (from Smithfield) rendered this quite impossible.

Whitechapel scrip was done at 000 premium; but in the course of the day 00000 discount was freely offered.

This was settling day, when many parties paid the scores they had been running at the cook-shop opposite. There was only one defaulter, and as it was not anticipated he would come up to the mark; for he had been chalking up rather largely of late: nothing was said about it.

[pg 264]



Solicitous to maintain and enhance that reputation for gallantry towards his fair readers which it has ever been his pride to have merited, has much pleasure, not unmixed with self-congratulation, in thus announcing to the loveliest portion of the creation the immediate appearance of


in which the signification of every word will he given in a strictly feminine sense, and the orthography, as a point of which ladies like to be properly independent, will be studiously suppressed. The whole to be compiled and edited by


To which will be appended a little Manual addressed confidentially by PUNCH himself to the Ladies, and entitled


or “what to ask, and how to insist upon it, so that the obstreperous bridegroom may become a meek and humble husband.”


Husband.—A person who writes cheques, and dresses as his wife directs.

Duck, in ornithology.—A trussed bridegroom, with his giblets under his arm.

Brute.—A domestic endearment for a husband.

Marriage.—The only habit to which women are constant.

Lover.—Any young man but a brother-in-law.

Clergyman.—One alternative of a lover.

Brother.—The other alternative.

Honeymoon.—A wife’s opportunity.

Horrid; Hideous.—Terms of admiration elicited by the sight of a lovely face anywhere but in the looking-glass.

Nice; Dear.—Expressions of delight at anything, from a baby to a barrel-organ.

Appetite.—A monstrous abortion, which is stifled in the kitchen, that it may not exist during dinner.

Wrinkle.—The first thing one lady sees in another’s face.

Time.—What any lady remarks in a watch, but what none detect in the gross.


A correspondent of the Sunday Times proposes to raise ten thousand for the benefit of the labouring classes, in the following manner:—

“Upon a prima facie view, my suggestion may appear impracticable, but I am sure the above amount could be raised for the benefit of the labouring classes by one effort of royalty—an effort that would make our valued Queen invaluable, and, at the same time, afford the Ministry an opportunity of making themselves popular in the cause of their country’s good. Westminster Hall is acknowledged to be the largest room in the empire, and, with very little expense, might be fitted up with a temporary throne, &c., for promenade concerts, for one, two, or three, days. All the vocal and instrumental talent of the day would be obtained gratis, and Her Most Gracious Majesty’s presence, for only two hours on each day, with the admission tickets at one guinea, would produce more money than I have mentioned.” Would the above amiable philanthropist favour us with his likeness? We imagine it would be a splendid

A silhouette of a man with a top hat.



SIR ROBERT PEEL was observed to put a penny into the hands of the man at the crossing in Downing-street. It is anticipated, from this trifling circumstance, that sweeping measures will be introduced on the assembling of Parliament.

A deputation from the marrow-bones and cleavers waited on Lord Stanley at the Treasury. His lordship listened attentively for some minutes, and then abruptly left the apartment in which he had been sitting.

We understand that Colonel Sibthorp intends proposing an economical plan of church extension, that is to cost nothing to the public; for it suggests that churches should be built of Indian rubber, by which their extension would become a matter of the greatest facility.

It is rumoured that the deficiency in the revenue is to be made up by a tax on the incomes of literary men; and a per-centage on the profits of Martinuzzi will first be levied by way of experiment. Should it succeed, a duty will be laid on the produce of The Cloak and the Bonnet.


The whole of the police force take one step forward, on account of the late very liberal brevet.

Sergeant Snooks, of the Royal Heavy Highlows, to be raised to the Light Wellingtons.

Policemen K 482,611, to be restored to the staff by having his staff restored to him, which had been taken from him for misconduct.

Corporal Smuggins, 16th Foot, to be Sergeant by purchase, vice Buggins, arrested for debt.

All the post captains, who were formerly Twopennies, will take the rank of Generals.

In the Thames Navy, 2d mate Simpkins, of the Bachelor, to be 1st mate, vice Phunker, fallen overboard and resigned.

All the men who are above the age of 100, and are in the actual discharge of duty as policemen, are to be immediately superannuated on half-pay—a liberal arrangement, prompted, it is believed, by the birth of the Prince of Wales.



A vestal virgin with a husband and two children, a Roman Lothario, with an Irish friend, a Druidical temple, a gong, and an auto-da-fé, mix up charmingly with Bellini’s quadrille-like music to form a pathetic opera; and sympathetic dilettanti weep over the woes of “Norma,” because they are so exquisitely portrayed by Miss Kemble, in spite of the subject and the music. Such, indeed, is the power of this lady’s genius—which is shed like a halo over the whole opera—that nobody laughs at the broad Irish in which Flavius delivers himself and his recitative; few are risibly affected by the apathetic, and often out-of-tune, roarings of Pollio:—than which stronger testimony could not be cited of the triumph of Miss Kemble; for solely by her influence do those who go to Covent-Garden to grin, return delighted.

But Apollo himself could not charm away the rich fun that pervades the English adaptation; nor the modest humour of its preface. It has been, hitherto, one characteristic of the lyric drama to consist of verse; rhyme has been thought not wholly dispensable. Those, however, who are “familiar with the writings of Ossian,” (and the works of the Covent-Garden adapter), will, according to the preface, at once see the fallacy of this. Rhyme is mere “jingle,”—rhythm, rhodomontade,—metre, monstrous,—versification, villanous,—in short, Ossian did not write poetry, neither does this learned prefacier—so it’s all nonsense!

To burlesque such a work as “Norma,” then, is to paint the lily, to gild refined gold, to caricature Lord Morpeth, or to attempt to improve PUNCH. Yet the opportunity was too tempting to be wholly overlooked, and a hint having been dropped in one of our “Pencillings,” an Adelphi scribe has acted upon it. An enlarged edition of the work may, therefore, now be had at half-price. A heroine of six foot two or three in her sandals, with a bass voice, covers the stage with tremendous strides, and warbles out “her wood-notes” (being a Druidess she worships the oak) “wild,” with a volume of voice which silences the trombone, and makes the ophecleide sound asthmatic. In short, the great feature is Mr. Paul Bedford. The children he brings forward are worthy of their parentage. Pollio is made a most killing Roman roué by Mrs. Grattan; but Norma’s attendant does not speak Irish half so richly as the Covent-Garden Flavius.

But, above all, commend we Mr. Wright’s Adelgeisa. It is a masterpiece; all the airs and graces of the prima donna he imitates with a true spirit of burlesque. As to his singing, it astonished everybody, and so did the introduction of “All round my Hat,”—a most unnecessary interpolation, for the original music is quite as droll.

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol.
1, December 11, 1841, by Various


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