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Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 98, March 29, 1890   By:

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PUNCH,

OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

VOLUME 98.

MARCH 29, 1890.

MR. PUNCH'S MORAL MUSIC HALL DRAMAS.

No. IX. UNDER THE HARROW.

A Conventional Comedy Melodrama, in two Acts.

CHARACTERS.

SIR POSHBURY PUDDOCK ( a haughty and high minded Baronet ).

VERBENA PUDDOCK ( his Daughter ).

LORD BLESHUGH ( her Lover ).

SPIKER ( a needy and unscrupulous Adventurer ).

BLETHERS ( an ancient and attached Domestic ).

ACT I. SCENE The Morning Room, at Natterjack Hall, Toadley le Hole; large window open at back, with heavy practicable sash.

[Illustration]

Enter BLETHERS.

Blethers. Sir POSHBURY'S birthday to day his birthday! and the gentry giving of him presents. Oh, Lor! if they only knew what I could tell 'em!... Ah, and must tell, too, before long but not yet not yet! [ Exit.

Enter Lord BLESHUGH and VERBENA.

Verb. Yes, Papa is forty to day; ( innocently ) fancy living to that age! The tenants have presented him with a handsome jar of mixed pickles, with an appropriate inscription. Papa is loved and respected by every one. And I well, I have made him a little housewife, containing needles and thread.... See! [ Shows it.

Lord Blesh. (tenderly). I say, I I wish you would make me a little housewife!

[ Comedy love dialogue omitted owing to want of space.

Verb. Oh, do look! there's Papa crossing the lawn with, oh, such a horrid man following him!

Lord B. Regular bounder. Shocking bad hat!

Verb. Not so bad as his boots, and they are not so bad as his face! Why doesn't Papa order him to go away? Oh, he is actually inviting him in!

Enter Sir POSHBURY, gloomy and constrained, with SPIKER, who is jaunty, and somewhat over familiar .

Spiker (sitting on the piano, and dusting his boots with a handkerchief). Cosy little shanty you've got here, PUDDOCK very tasty!

Sir P. (with a gulp). I am ha delighted that you approve of it! Ah, VERBENA! [ Kisses her on forehead.

Spiker. Your daughter, eh? Pooty gal. Introduce me.

[ Sir POSH. introduces him with an effort .

Verbena. (coldly). How do you do? Papa, did you know that the sashline of this window was broken? If it is not mended, it will fall on somebody's head, and perhaps kill him!

Sir. P. (absently). Yes yes, it shall be attended to; but leave us, my child, go. BLESHUGH, this er gentleman and I have business of importance to discuss.

Spiker. Don't let us drive you away, Miss; your Pa and me are only talking over old times, that's all eh, POSH?

Sir P. (in a tortured aside). Have a care, Sir, don't drive me too far! ( To VERB.) Leave us, I say. (Lord B. and VERB. go out, raising their eyebrows .) Now, Sir, what is this secret you profess to have discovered?

Spiker. Oh, a mere nothing. ( Takes out a cigar. ) Got a light about you? Thanks. Perhaps you don't recollect twenty seven years ago this very day, travelling from Edgware Road to Baker Street, by the Underground Railway?

Sir P. Perfectly; it was my thirteenth birthday, and I celebrated the event by a visit to Madame TUSSAUD'S.

Spiker. Exactly; it was your thirteenth birthday, and you travelled second class with a half ticket ( meaningly ) on your thirteenth birthday.

Sir P. (terribly agitated). Fiend that you are, how came you to learn this?

Spiker. Very simple. I was at that time in the temporary position of ticket collector at Baker Street. In the exuberance of boyhood, you cheeked me. I swore to be even with you some day.

Sir P. Even if if your accusation were well founded, how are you going to prove it?

Sp. Oh, that's easy! I preserved the half ticket, on the chance that I should require it as evidence hereafter.

Sir P. (aside). And so the one error of an otherwise blameless boyhood has found me out at last. ( To SPIKER.) I fear you not; my crime if crime indeed it was is surely condoned by twenty seven long years of unimpeachable integrity!

Sp. Bye laws are bye laws, old buck! there's no time limit in criminal offences that ever I heard of! Nothing can alter the fact that you, being turned thirteen, obtained a half ticket by a false representation that you were under age... Continue reading book >>


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