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Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 101, August 8, 1891   By:

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VOL. 101.

August 8, 1891.


Sir, Certainly throw open all our Town Halls for gratuitous concerts and dances! But that's not half enough. Some of us don't care for dancing, and abhor music. What I propose is that Free Billiard tables should be established in each parish. Billiards is much better exercise than sitting still on a chair listening to singing. Then there ought to be places where one could get municipal tobacco without paying for it. Tobacco is just as much a necessary of life as education more so, in fact, in my opinion. On winter evenings it would also be nice to be able to step over to one's Town Hall and have a glass or two of free ale, or "wine from the wood" also from the rates. I don't pay rates myself, as I happen to live in a flat, but I am sure the ratepayers will immediately recognise the justice of my demands.


Sir, By all means let us try to give more pleasure to the people. The pleasure, however, should be of a distinctly elevating kind. I would advocate throwing open the South Kensington Natural History Museum in the evening. This would be most useful, especially to people living at the East End, and the amusement thus afforded, though perhaps not rollicking, would at all events be solid. To keep out undesirable characters, it would be as well to admit nobody who could not produce his baptismal certificate, and a recommendation from the clergyman of his parish, countersigned by a resident J.P. I am sure that people would jump at a chance of an evening among the Coleoptera .


Sir, I cannot understand why people should ask for more amusement than they get at present. Have not they the Parks to walk about in? In wet weather they can take shelter under trees. In winter they ought to stay at home in the evenings, and enjoy reading aloud to their families. I would even go so far as to allow an occasional game at draughts. Chess is too exciting, and of course backgammon is out of the question, because of the deadly dice box. For the frivolously inclined, "Puss in the Corner" is a harmless indoor game. I throw out these observations for what they may be worth, and trusting that they will not be regarded as dangerously subversive of morality, I remain,

Yours grimly, HOME, SWEET HOME!

Sir, The movement for turning our Town Halls into places of amusement is an excellent one. What I would like to suggest is, that the Vestrymen should themselves take part in the entertainments. Why not have weekly theatrical performances, with parts found for all local Authorities? I feel convinced that Hamlet , played by our Vestry, would be worth going miles to see. The Dust Contractor could play the Ghost , while minor characters could be sustained by the Medical Officer of Health, the Chaplain of the Workhouse, and others; the Chairman, of course, would figure in the title rôle . A topical comic song, by the Board of Guardians, with breakdown, might serve as a pleasing interlude; breakdowns in local matters are, I believe, not unknown already. The idea is worth considering. I think the Vestrymen owe something to the ratepayers in return for the votes we give them.


BRUISERS AND BOLUSES. A "Champion" pugilist is even more presumptuous than a popular Pill. He claims to be "Worth a Thousand Guineas a 'Box.'"




Farewell! since the Season is over, Ah me, but its moments were sweet! You are oft', viâ Folkestone or Dover, To some Continental retreat. On Frenchman and German you'll lavish The smiles that can madden me still; While I, with the gillie McTavish, Am breasting the heather clad hill.

Oh, do you remember the dances, The dearest were those we sat out, How I frowned when detecting your glances On others, which caused you to pout? You are changeful and coy and capricious, A weathercock easily blown; But when shall I hear the delicious One word that proclaims you my own?

They say that an eloquent passion Has long become quite out of date, That true love is never the fashion, And marriage a wearisome state... Continue reading book >>

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