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Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, October 30, 1841   By:

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VOL. 1.



That "great creature," like some other "great creatures," happened, as almanacs say, "about this time" to be somewhat "out at elbows;" not in the way of costume, for the very plenitude of his wardrobe was the cause which produced this effect, inasmuch as the word "received" in the veritable autograph of Messrs. Moleskin and Corderoy could nowhere be discovered annexed to the bills thereof: a slight upon their powers of penmanship which roused their individual, collective, and coparcenary ires to such a pitch, that they, Messrs. Moleskin and Corderoy, through the medium of their Attorneys at law, Messrs. Gallowsworthy and Pickles, of Furnival's Inn, forwarded a writ to the unfortunate Hannibal Fitzflummery Fitzflam, the which writ in process of time, being the legal seed, became ripened into a very vigorous execution, and was consigned to the care of a gentleman holding a Civil employment with a Military title, viz. that of " Officer " to the Sheriff of Middlesex, with strict injunctions to the said anything but Civil or Military nondescript "officer," to secure and keep the person of Hannibal Fitzflummery Fitzflam till such time as the debt due to Messrs. Moleskin and Corderoy, and the legal charges of Messrs. Gallowsworthy and Pickles, should be discharged, defrayed, and liquidated.

Frequent were the meetings of Messrs. Gallowsworthy and Pickles and their man trap, and as frequent their disappointments: Fitzflam always gave them the double! Having procured leave of absence from the Town Managers, and finding the place rather too hot to hold him, he departed for the country, and, as fate would have it, arrived at the inn then occupied by Mr. Horatio Fitzharding Fitzfunk.

In this out of the way place he fondly imagined he had never been heard of. Judge then of his surprise, after his dinner and pint of wine, at the following information.

Fitz. "Waiter."

"Yes, sar."

"Who have you in the house?"

"Fust of company, sar; alwaist, sar."

"Oh! of course; any one in particular?"

"Yes, sar, very particular: one gentleman very particular, indeed. Has his bed warmed with brown sugar in the pan, and drinks asses' milk, sar, for breakfast!"

"Strange fellow! but I mean any one of name?"

"Yes, sar, a German, sar; with a name so long, sar, it take all the indoor servants and a stable helper to call him up of a morning."

"You don't understand me. Have you any public people here?"

"Yes, sar great man from town, sar belongs to the Theatre Mr. Fitzflam, sar quite the gentleman, sar."

"Thank you for the compliment" ( bowing low ).

"No compliment at all, sar; would you like to see him, sar? sell you a ticket, sar; or buy one of you, sar."


"House expected to be full, sar sure to sell it again, sar."

"What the devil are you talking about?"

"The play, sar Fitzflam, sar! there's the bill, sar, and ( bell rings ) there's the bell, sar. Coming." ( Exit Waiter .)

The first thing that suggested itself to the mind of Mr. Hannibal Fitzflummery Fitzflam was the absolute necessity of insisting upon that insane waiter's submitting to the total loss of his well greased locks, and enveloping his outward man in an extra strong strait waistcoat; the next was to look at the bill, and there he saw "horror of horrors!" the name, "the bright ancestral name" the name he bore, bursting forth in all the reckless impudence of the largest type and the reddest vermilion!

Anger, rage, and indignation, like so many candidates for the exalted mutton on a greased pole, rushed tumultuously over each other's heads, each anxious to gain the "ascendant" in the bosom of Mr. Hannibal Fitzflummery Fitzflam. To reduce a six and ninepenny gossamer to the fac simile of a bereaved muffin in mourning by one vigorous blow wherewith he secured it on his head, grasp his ample cane and three half sucked oranges (in case it should come to pelting), and rush to the theatre, was the work of just twelve minutes and a half... Continue reading book >>

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