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Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, September 18, 1841   By:

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VOL. 1.





[Illustration: K]Kindness was a characteristic of Agamemnon's disposition, and it is not therefore a matter of surprise that "the month" the month, par excellence , of "all the months i'the kalendar" produced a succession of those annoyances which, in the best regulated families, are certain to be partially experienced by the masculine progenitor. O, bachelors! be warned in time; let not love link you to his flowery traces and draw you into the temple of Hymen! Be not deluded by the glowing fallacies of Anacreon and Boccaccio, but remember that they were bachelors. There is nothing exhilarating in caudle, nor enchanting in Kensington gardens, when you are converted into a light porter of children. We have been married, and are now seventy one, and wear a "brown George;" consequently, we have experience and cool blood in our veins two excellent auxiliaries in the formation of a correct judgment in all matters connected with the heart.

Our pen must have been the pinion of a wild goose, or why these continued digressions?

Agamemnon's troubles commenced with the first cough of Mrs. Pilcher on the door mat. Mrs. P. was the monthly nurse, and monthly nurses always have a short cough. Whether this phenomenon arises from the obesity consequent upon arm chairs and good living, or from an habitual intimation that they are present, and have not received half a crown, or a systematic declaration that the throat is dry, and would not object to a gargle of gin, and perhaps a little water, or but there is no use hunting conjecture, when you are all but certain of not catching it.

Mrs. Pilcher was "the moral of a nurse;" she was about forty eight and had, according to her own account, "been the mother of eighteen lovely babes, born in wedlock," though her most intimate friends had never been introduced to more than one young gentleman, with a nose like a wart, and hair like a scrubbing brush. When he made his debut , he was attired in a suit of blue drugget, with the pewter order of the parish of St. Clement on his bosom; and rumour declared that he owed his origin to half a crown a week, paid every Saturday. Mrs. Pilcher weighed about thirteen stone, including her bundle, and a pint medicine bottle, which latter article she invariably carried in her dexter pocket, filled with a strong tincture of juniper berries, and extract of cloves. This mixture had been prescribed to her for what she called a "sinkingness," which afflicted her about 10 A.M., 11 A.M. (dinner), 2 P.M., 3 P.M. 4 P.M. 5 P.M. (tea), 7 P.M., 8 P.M. (supper), 10 P.M., and at uncertain intervals during the night.

Mrs. Pilcher was a martyr to a delicate appetite, for she could never "make nothing of a breakfast if she warn't coaxed with a Yarmouth bloater, a rasher of ham, or a little bit of steak done with the gravy in."

Her luncheon was obliged to be a mutton chop, or a grilled bone, and a pint of porter, bread and cheese having the effect of rendering her "as cross as two sticks, and as sour as werjuice." Her dinner, and its satellites, tea and supper, were all required to be hot, strong, and comfortable. A peculiar hallucination under which she laboured is worthy of remark. When eating, it was always her declared conviction that she never drank anything , and when detected coquetting with a pint pot or a tumbler, she was equally assured that she never did eat anything after her breakfast .

Mrs. Pilcher's duties never permitted her to take anything resembling continuous rest; she had therefore another prescription for an hour's doze after dinner. Mrs. Pilcher was also troubled with a stiffness of the knee joints, which never allowed her to wait upon herself.

When this amiable creature had deposited herself in Collumpsion's old easy chair, and, with her bundle on her knees, gasped out her first inquiry

"I hopes all's as well as can be expected?"

The heart of Pater Collumpsion trembled in his bosom, for he felt that to this incongruous mass was to be confided the first blossom of his wedded love; and that for one month the dynasty of 24, Pleasant terrace was transferred from his hands to that of Mrs... Continue reading book >>

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