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Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, December 11, 1841   By:

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VOL. 1.




[Illustration: E]Essential as sulphuric acid is to the ignition of the platinum in an hydropneumatic lamp; so is half and half to the proper illumination of a Medical Student's faculties. The Royal College of Surgeons may thunder and the lecturers may threaten, but all to no effect; for, like the slippers in the Eastern story, however often the pots may be ordered away from the dissecting room, somehow or other they always find their way back again with unflinching pertinacity. All the world inclined towards beer knows that the current price of a pot of half and half is fivepence, and by this standard the Medical Student fixes his expenses. He says he has given three pots for a pair of Berlin gloves, and speaks of a half crown as a six pot piece.

Mr. Muff takes the goodly measure in his hand, and decapitating its "spuma" with his pipe, from which he flings it into Mr. Simpson's face, indulges in a prolonged drain, and commences his narrative most probably in the following manner:

"You know we should all have got on very well if Rapp hadn't been such a fool as to pull away the lanthorns from the place where they are putting down the wood pavement in the Strand, and swear he was a watchman. I thought the crusher saw us, and so I got ready for a bolt, when Manhug said the blocks had no right to obstruct the footpath; and, shoving down a whole wall of them into the street, voted for stopping to play at duck with them. Whilst he was trying how many he could pitch across the Strand against the shutters opposite, down came the pewlice and off we cut."

"I had a tight squeak for it," interrupts Mr. Rapp; "but I beat them at last, in the dark of the Durham street arch. That's a dodge worth being up to when you get into a row near the Adelphi. Fire away, Muff where did you go?"

"Right up a court to Maiden lane, in the hope of bolting into the Cider cellars. But they were all shut up, and the fire out in the kitchen, so I ran on through a lot of alleys and back slums, until I got somewhere in St. Giles's, and here I took a cab."

"Why, you hadn't got an atom of tin when you left us," says Mr. Manhug.

"Devil a bit did that signify. You know I only took the cab I'd nothing at all to do with the driver; he was all right in the gin shop near the stand, I suppose. I got on the box, and drove about for my own diversion I don't exactly know where; but I couldn't leave the cab, as there was always a crusher in the way when I stopped. At last I found myself at the large gate of New Square, Lincoln's Inn, so I knocked until the porter opened it, and drove in as straight as I could. When I got to the corner of the square, by No. 7, I pulled up, and, tumbling off my perch, walked quietly along to the Portugal street wicket. Here the other porter let me out, and I found myself in Lincoln's Inn Fields."

"And what became of the cab?" asks Mr. Jones.

"How should I know! it was no affair of mine. I dare say the horse made it right; it didn't matter to him whether he was standing in St. Giles's or Lincoln's Inn, only the last was the most respectable."

"I don't see that," says Mr. Manhug, refilling his pipe.

"Why, all the thieves in London live in St. Giles's."

"Well, and who live in Lincoln's Inn?"

"Pshaw! that's all worn out," continues Manhug. "I got to the College of Surgeons, and had a good mind to scud some oyster shells through the windows, only there were several people about fellows coming home to chambers, and the like; so I pattered on until I found myself in Drury lane, close to a coffee shop that was open. There I saw such a jolly row!"

Mr. Muff utters this last sentence in the same ecstatic accents of admiration with which we speak of a lovely woman or a magnificent view.

"What was it about?" eagerly demand the rest of the circle... Continue reading book >>

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