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Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 104, March 18, 1893   By:

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VOL 104.

March 18, 1893.

[Illustration: "WELL MATCHED."

Medico ( pathetically, with a view to touching the Dealer's heart ). "NOW, MR. BOBBS, WHAT DO YOU THINK I COULD GET A THOROUGHLY GOOD USEFUL PAIR OF HORSES FOR, EH? PRICE NOT STIFF."




( Scene and Persons as usual. )

Inquirer ( to First Well Informed Man ). I say, have you ever been in the House of Commons?

First W. I. M. ( shortly ). No, you know I haven't.

Inquirer. Oh, I don't mean as a Member. Of course I know you wouldn't stand the rot of all these Constituents, or whatever they call themselves. But have you ever been there as a visitor while a debate's going on?

First W. I. M. Yes, once some years ago. But why do you ask?

Inquirer ( producing an order of admission ). Well, you see, I got old JENKINS to give me a ticket for to night, and I'm hanged if I know how I'm to get there, or when I'm to go, or anything about it. I thought you might be able to tell me how it's done.

First W. I. M. Let's have a look at your ticket.

[ Both the Well Informed Men inspect it with an air of critical sagacity.

First W. I. M. ( after a prolonged pause ). I don't see where your difficulty is. You just present this! at the door.

Inquirer. Ah, I daresay! but what door? That's what I want to know. The place looks as if it had about fifty thousand doors, you know. And then I believe, if you make any mistakes, they march you off, in two twos, as a dynamiter, or a Socialist, or an agitator, or something. You know old BONKER. Well, he went there once with a black bag, in which he'd got some sandwiches and cake, and, just because he wouldn't open it, they made no end of a row, and shoved him in the Clock tower, or something, until he apologised. I don't want any of those games, you know.

Average Man. Don't take a black bag then. They won't want to search your pockets.

Inquirer ( relieved ). Won't they? That's one comfort, at any rate. Do you think I ought to go in at the big entrance?

First W. I. M. Of course you ought. The others are only for Members.

Inquirer. Ah! And I suppose I ought to get there pretty early now that they've changed their hours. ( With determination. ) I'll go about half past eleven.

[ A pause. They read papers.

Inquirer ( suddenly, with intense alarm ). Oh, I say, look here, you chaps. Here's old GLADSTONE gone and suspended the Twelve o'Clock Rule. What does that mean?

Second W. I. M. It means that they start everything at twelve o'clock in the day.

First W. I. M. No, it doesn't. It means that they don't start anything till twelve o'clock at night.

Second W. I. M. ( pityingly ). My dear fellow, where have you been all these years? They always go home on the stroke of midnight now.

First W. I. M. That's just where you're wrong. Midnight to two in the morning is just jolly well their best time now.

Second W. I. M. I'll bet you half a thick 'un you're wrong!

First W. I. M. And I'll bet you half a thick 'un I'm right!

[ The argument continues for some minutes in this strain.

Inquirer. I wonder if they'll have any obstruction. I should like to see some of that. I believe it's no end amusing.

Second W. I. M. Oh, you may trust this Opposition for that. Their only notion for employing time is to obstruct everything and everybody.

First W. I. M. ( with a deadly calmness ). Ah! you call it obstruction, of course, because you want to rush your iniquitous Bills through the House. But you don't think we're going to stand that, do you? because we're not, and the Country's with us. Just look at Grimsby.

Second W. I. M. All right! Suppose you look at Cirencester... Continue reading book >>

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