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Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, August 28, 1841   By:

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PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

VOL. 1.

FOR THE WEEK ENDING AUGUST 28, 1841.

THE HEIR OF APPLEBITE.

CHAPTER I.

INTRODUCES THE READER TO THE APPLEBITE FAMILY AND TO AGAMEMNON COLLUMPSION APPLEBITE IN PARTICULAR.

[Illustration: T]The following is extracted from the Parliamentary Guide for 18 : "APPLEBITE, ISAAC ( Puddingbury ). Born March 25, 1780; descended from his grandfather, and has issue." And upon reference to a monument in Puddingbury church, representing the first Mrs. Applebite (who was a housemaid) industriously scrubbing a large tea urn, whilst another figure (supposed to be the second Mrs. Applebite) is pointing reproachfully to a little fat cherub who is blowing himself into a fit of apoplexy from some unassignable cause or another I say upon reference to this monument, upon which is blazoned forth all the stock virtues of those who employ stonemasons, I find, that in July, 18 , the said Isaac was gathered unto Abraham's bosom, leaving behind him a seat in the House of Commons a relict the issue aforesaid, and £50,000 in the three per cents.

The widow Applebite had so arranged matters with her husband, that two thirds of the above sum were left wholly and solely to her, as some sort of consolation under her bereavement of the "best of husbands and the kindest of fathers." ( Vide monument.) Old Isaac must have been a treasure, for his wife either missed him so much, or felt so desirous to learn if there was another man in the world like him, that, as soon as the monument was completed and placed in Puddingbury chancel, she married a young officer in a dashing dragoon regiment, and started to the Continent to spend the honeymoon, leaving her son

AGAMEMNON COLLUMPSION APPLEBITE (the apoplectic "cherub" and the "issue" alluded to in the Parliamentary Guide ), to the care of himself.

A.C.A. was the pattern of what a young man ought to be. He had 16,000 and odd pounds in the three per cents., hair that curled naturally, stood five feet nine inches without his shoes, always gave a shilling to a waiter, lived in a terrace, never stopped out all night (but once), and paid regularly every Monday morning. Agamemnon Collumpsion Applebite was a happy bachelor! The women were delighted to see him, and the men to dine with him: to the one he gave bouquets ; to the other, cigars: in short, everybody considered A.C.A. as A1; and A.C.A. considered that A1 was his proper mark.

It is somewhat singular, but no man knows when he is really happy: he may fancy that he wants for nothing, and may even persuade himself that addition or subtraction would be certain to interfere with the perfectitude of his enjoyment. He deceives himself. If he wishes to assure himself of the exact state of his feelings, let him ask his friends; they are disinterested parties, and will find out some annoyance that has escaped his notice. It was thus with Agamemnon Collumpsion Applebite. He had made up his mind that he wanted for nothing, when it was suddenly found out by his friends that he was in a state of felicitous destitution. It was discovered simultaneously, by five mamas and eighteen daughters, that Agamemnon Collumpsion Applebite must want a wife; and that his sixteen thousand and odd pounds must be a source of undivided anxiety to him. Stimulated by the most praiseworthy considerations, a solemn compact was entered into by the aforesaid five mamas, on behalf of the aforesaid eighteen daughters, by which they were pledged to use every means to convince Agamemnon Collumpsion Applebite of his deplorable condition; but no unfair advantage was to be taken to ensure a preference for any particular one of the said eighteen daughters, but that the said Agamemnon Collumpsion Applebite should be left free to exercise his own discretion, so far as the said eighteen daughters were concerned, but should any other daughter, of whatever mama soever, indicate a wish to become a competitor, she was to be considered a common enemy, and scandalized accordingly... Continue reading book >>


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