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Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 101, Jubilee Issue, July 18, 1891   By:

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PUNCH,

OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

VOL. 101.

July 18, 1891.

MR. PUNCH'S JUBILEE NUMBER.

[Illustration]

"My Reminiscences!" said Mr. Punch , replying to a question put by his Interviewer, ANNO DOMINI EIGHTEEN NINETY ONE; "They are already before the World, in exactly One Hundred Volumes! My first 'Number' bore date 'for the week ending July 17th, 1841. My memory is indeed stored with recollections, pleasant, picturesque, pathetic, of the teeming past, memories of my joyous 'Table,' of my well beloved 'Young Men,' of Great Names, of Genial Comrades, of Bright Wits, of Warm Hearts, of Famous Artists, of Clever Writers, who in the words of the greatest of them all

'Perched round the stem Of the jolly old tree.'

"How well the words of the wise wit written in 1847 express our thoughts to day, Mr. ANNO DOMINI:

'Here let us sport Boys, as we sit, Laughter and wit Flashing so free. Life is but short When we are gone, Let them sing on Round the old tree.

Evenings we knew Happy as this; Faces we miss Pleasant to see. Kind hearts and true, Gentle and just, Peace to their dust! We sing round the tree.'

It is one of my proudest memories to recollect that THACKERAY's 'Mahogany Tree,' was my Table."

"To have been Amphitryon to such guests must have been the most pleasant privilege of hospitality," said ANNO DOMINI.

"Very true," responded Mr. Punch , "And of all my Deputy Amphitryons if I may use the term who more fully, fitly, justly, and genially filled the post than the earliest of them all, the kindly and judicious MARK LEMON? Had not he and clever HENRY MAYHEW, and Mr. Printer LAST, and EBENEZER LANDELLS, my earliest engraver, foregathered first with me in furtherance of the 'new work of wit and whim,' embellished with cuts and caricatures, to be called:

PUNCH; OR, THE LONDON CHARIVARI ?

"LEMON, and LAST, and MAYHEW, were they here to day, would probably agree to divide between them the early honours, as they shared the early responsibility. But doubtless MARK LEMON was the literary shaper of the 'Guffawgraph,' as he jocularly called it in his 'Prospectus,' and, from the first, its guiding spirit. Happily so, for his was a spirit fitted to rule, both by power, and tact, and taste. With 'Uncle MARK' in the chair, I knew there would be neither austere autocracy, nor fainéant laxity, neither weakness of stroke nor foulness of blow, neither Rosa Matilda ish, mawkishness, nor Rabelaisian coarseness.

"How well I remember my first group of 'Young Men,'" pursued Mr. Punch , musingly. "There was swift and scathing DOUGLAS JERROLD, with his tossed and tangled mane of grey hair. GILBERT ABBOTT À BECKETT, too, the whimsically witty, the drolly satirical, the comically caustic. HENRY MAYHEW, of course, and, a little later, his brother HORACE, the simple, lovable 'PONNY.' HENNING, NEWMAN and BRINE, were my earliest Artists. HENNING drew the first Cartoon, whilst NEWMAN and BRINE, and, later, HINE, between them, were responsible for most of the smaller cuts, head and tail pieces, pictorial puns, and sketchy silhouettes, wherewith Punch's early pages abounded.

"In the fourth Number of Punch , published on August 7th, 1841, first appeared the soon to be famous signature of 'JOHN LEECH.'"

"Ah! JOHN LEECH," cried the attentive ANNO DOMINI. "A name to conjure with! How did that 'Star swim into your ken'?"

"There was a certain clever, scholarly, and genial gentleman," responded Mr. Punch , "who had lately published, under the pseudonym of 'PAUL PRENDERGAST,' an extremely funny Comic Latin Grammar . 'PAUL PRENDERGAST' was, in reality, Mr. PERCIVAL LEIGH, originally a medical gentleman, the well beloved 'Professor' of later Punch days. The Comic Latin Grammar had been admirably illustrated by a personal friend, and fellow student, of LEIGH's named LEECH. The services of both of the contributors to the Comic Latin Grammar were soon enlisted in my interests.

"Another of LEECH's medical student friends was ALBERT SMITH, and he before long was penning his 'Physiology of London Evening Parties' (illustrated by PHIZ HALBOT KNIGHT BROWNE NEWMAN, and others) for my pages... Continue reading book >>


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