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Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 100, January 31, 1891   By:

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VOL. 100.

January 31, 1891.



SCENE The Pit during Pantomime Time.

The Overture is beginning.


An Over heated Matron ( to her Husband ). Well, they don't give you much room in 'ere, I must say. Still, we done better than I expected, after all that crushing. I thought my ribs was gone once but it was on'y the umbrella's. You pretty comfortable where you are, eh. Father?

Father . Oh, I'm right enough, I am.

Jimmy ( their Son; a small boy, with a piping voice ). If Father is, it's more nor what I am. I can't see, Mother, I can't!

His Mother . Lor' bless the boy! there ain't nothen to see yet; you'll see well enough when the Curting goes up. ( Curtain rises on opening scene ). Look, JIMMY, ain't that nice, now? All them himps dancin' round, and real fire comin' out of the pot which I 'ope it's quite safe and there's a beautiful fairy just come on, dressed so grand, too!

Jimmy . I can't see no fairy nor yet no himps no nothen! [ He whimpers .

His Mother ( annoyed ). Was there ever such a aggravating boy to take anywheres! Set quiet, do, and don't fidget, and look at the hactin'!

Jimmy . I tell yer I can't see no hactin', Mother. It ain't my fault it's this lady in front o' me, with the 'at.

Mother ( perceiving the justice of his complaints ). Father, the pore boy says he can't see where he is, 'cause of a lady's hat in front.

Father. Well, I can't 'elp the 'at, can I? He must put up with it, that's all!

Mother. No but I thought, if you wouldn't mind changing places with him you're taller than him, and it wouldn't be in your way 'arf so much.

Father. It's always the way with you never satisfied, you ain't! Well, pass the boy across I'm for a quiet life, I am. ( Changing seats. ) Will this do for you?

[ He settles down immediately behind a very large, and furry, and feathery hat, which he dodges for some time, with the result of obtaining an occasional glimpse of a pair of legs on the stage.

Father ( suddenly ). D the 'at!

Mother. You can't wonder at the boy not seeing! P'raps the lady wouldn't might taking it off, if you asked her?

Father. Ah! ( He touches The Owner of the Hat on the shoulder. ) Excuse me, Mum, but might I take the liberty of asking you to kindly remove your 'at? [The Owner of the Hat deigns no reply.

Father ( more insistently ). Would you 'ave any objection to oblige me by taking off your 'at, Mum? ( Same result. ) I don't know if you 'eard me, Mum, but I've asked you twice, civil enough, to take that 'at of yours off. I'm a playin' 'Ide and Seek be'ind it 'ere!

[ No answer.

The Mother. People didn't ought to be allowed in the Pit with sech 'ats! Callin' 'erself a lady and settin' there in a great 'at and feathers like a 'Ighlander's, and never answering no more nor a stuffed himage!

Father ( to the Husband of The Owner of the Hat ). Will you tell your good lady to take her 'at off, Sir, please?

The Owner of the Hat ( to her Husband ). Don't you do nothing of the sort, SAM, or you'll 'ear of it!

The Mother. Some people are perlite, I must say. Parties might beyave as ladies when they come in the Pit! It's a pity her 'usband can't teach her better manners!

The Father. 'Im teach her! 'E knows better. 'E's got a Tartar there, 'e 'as!

The Owner of the Hat. SAM, are you going to set by and hear me insulted like this?

Her Husband ( turning round tremulously ). I I'll trouble you to drop making these personal allusions to my wife's 'at, Sir. It's puffickly impossible to listen to what's going on on the stage, with all these remarks be'ind!

The Father. Not more nor it is to see what's going on on the stage with that 'at in front! I paid 'arf a crown to see the Pantermime, I did; not to 'ave a view of your wife's 'at!... 'Ere, MARIA, blowed if I can stand this 'ere game any longer... Continue reading book >>

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