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Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, November 27, 1841   By:

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VOL. 1.




[Illustration: W]Whilst Mr. Muff follows the beadle from the funking room to the Council Chamber, he scarcely knows whether he is walking upon his head or his heels; if anything, he believes that he is adopting the former mode of locomotion; nor does he recover a sense of his true position until he finds himself seated at one end of a square table, the other three sides whereof are occupied by the same number of gentlemen of grave and austere bearing, with all the candles in the room apparently endeavouring to imitate that species of eccentric dance which he has only seen the gas lamps attempt occasionally as he has returned home from his harmonic society. The table before him is invitingly spread with pharmacopoeias, books of prescriptions, trays of drugs, and half dead plants; and upon these subjects, for an hour and a half, he is compelled to answer questions.

We will not follow his examination: nobody was ever able to see the least joke in it; and therefore it is unfitted for our columns. We can but state that after having been puzzled, bullied, "caught," quibbled with, and abused, for the above space of time, his good genius prevails, and he is told he may retire. Oh! the pleasure with which he re enters the funking room that nice, long, pleasant room, with its cheerful fireplace and good substantial book cases, and valuable books, and excellent old fashioned furniture; and the capital tea which the worshipful company allows him never was meal so exquisitely relished. He has passed the Hall! won't he have a flare up to night! that's all.

As soon as all the candidates have passed, their certificates are given them, upon payment of various sovereigns, and they are let out. The first great rush takes place to the "retail establishment" over the way, where all their friends are assembled Messrs. Jones, Rapp, Manhug, &c. A pot of "Hospital Medoc" is consumed by each of the thirsty candidates, and off they go, jumping Jim Crow down Union street, and swaggering along the pavement six abreast, as they sing several extempore variations of their own upon a glee which details divers peculiarities in the economy of certain small pigs, pleasantly enlivened by grunts and whistles, and the occasional asseveration of the singers that their paternal parent was a man of less than ordinary stature. This insensibly changes into "Willy brewed a Peck of Malt," and finally settles down into "Nix my Dolly," appropriately danced and chorussed, until a policeman, who has no music in his soul, stops their harmony, but threatens to take them into charge if they do not bring their promenade concert to a close.

Arrived at their lodgings, the party throw off all restraint. The table is soon covered with beer, spirits, screws, hot water, and pipes; and the company take off their coats, unbutton their stocks, and proceed to conviviality. Mr. Muff, who is in the chair, sings the first song, which informs his friends that the glasses sparkle on the board and the wine is ruby bright, in allusion to the pewter pots and half and half. Having finished, Mr. Muff calls upon Mr. Jones, who sings a ballad, not altogether perhaps of the same class you would hear at an evening party in Belgrave square, but still of infinite humour, which is applauded upon the table to a degree that flirps all the beer out of the pots, with which Mr. Rapp draws portraits and humorous conceits upon the table with his finger. Mr. Manhug is then called upon, and sings


Oh; A was an Artery, fill'd with injection; And B was a Brick, never caught at dissection. C were some Chemicals lithium and borax; And D was a Diaphragm, flooring the thorax.

Chorus (taken in short hand with minute accuracy). Fol de rol lol, Tol de rol lay, Fol de rol, tol de rol, tol de rol, lay... Continue reading book >>

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