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Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 93. September 17, 1887   By:

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SEPTEMBER 17, 1887.


( Lament by a Reader of "Letters to the Papers." )


OH! bless us and save us! Like men to behave us We Britons once held it our glory; Now Party bids fair to befool and enslave us. We're lost between Liberal and Tory! Some quidnunc inditeth a letter to GLADSTONE, The style of it, "Stand and deliver!" Its speech may be rude, and its tone quite a cad's tone, Its logic may make a man shiver. Au contraire it may be most lucid and modest, In taste and in pertinence equal (Though such a conjunction would be of the oddest), But what, anyhow, is the sequel? Rad papers all cry, "We've once more before us An instance of folly inrushing." Whilst all the Conservative Journals in chorus Declare "it is perfectly crushing!" "Little Pedlington's" snubbed by the Liberal Press, And urged such fool tricks to abandon. Cry Tories, "I guess the Old Man's in a mess, He hasn't a leg left to stand on!" Oh! save us and bless us! The shirt of old Nessus, Was not such a snare to the hero, As poisonous faction. Crass fools we confess us, With sense and with spirit at zero. If thus we comport us like blind sprawling kittens, Or pitiful partisan poodles, 'Twill prove Party makes e'en of freeminded Britons, A race of incontinent noodles!


LONDONERS who like but are weary of the attractions of Eastend on Mud, and want a change, can scarcely do better than spend twenty four hours in that rising watering place Teapot Bay. I say advisedly "rising," because the operation has been going on for more than forty years. In these very pages a description of the "juvenile town," appeared nearly half a century ago. Then it was said that the place was "so infantine that many of the houses were not out of their scaffold poles, whilst others had not yet cut their windows," and the place has been growing ever since but very gradually. The "ground plan of the High Street" of those days would still be useful as a guide, although it is only fair to say that several of the fields then occupied by cabbages are now to some extent covered with empty villas labelled "To Let." In the past the High Street was intersected by roads described as "a street, half houses, half potatoes," "a street apparently doing a good stroke of business," "a street, but no houses," "a street indigent, but houseless," "a street which appears to have been nipped in the kitchens," "a street thickly populated with three inhabitants," and last but not least, "a street in such a flourishing condition that it has started a boarding house and seminary." The present condition of Teapot Bay is much the same the roads running between two lines of cellars (contributions to houses that have yet to be built) are numerous and testify to good intentions never fulfilled. There is the same meaningless tower with a small illuminated clock at the top of it, and if the pier is not quite so long as it was thirty or forty years ago, it still seems to be occupying the same site.

[Illustration: Cheap and Picturesque Roots for Tourists.]

The means of getting to Teapot Bay is by railway. Although no doubt numbered amongst the cheap and picturesque routes for tourists, the place is apparently considered by the authorities as more or less of a joke. Margate, Ramsgate, Westgate and Broadstairs, are taken au sérieux , and have trains which keep their time; but Teapot Bay, seemingly, is looked upon as a legitimate excuse for laughter. If two trains are fixed to start at 12, and 12.30, the twelve o'clock train will leave at 12.30, and the 12.30 at 1. The authorities endeavour to have a train in hand at the end of the day, and I fancy are generally successful in carrying out their intentions. But between London and Teapot Bay there are many slippery carriages, which stop at various Junctions, and refuse to go any further in the required direction... Continue reading book >>

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