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Punch, Or The London Charivari, Volume 101, July 11, 1891   By:

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VOL. 101.

July 11, 1891.



SCENE The Park, near Cumberland Gate, on almost any fine afternoon. Behind the rails separating the turf from the paths, Orators, Preachers, and Reciters are holding forth, for the delectation of small groups, who are mostly engaged in discussing some totally different subject. A set debate, with a time limit, and a purely ornamental Chairman, is in progress between a Parnellite and an Anti Parnellite. The reader will kindly imagine himself to be passing slowly along the line.

A Youthful Socialist ( haranguing the usual crowd of well to do loungers, and working himself up to the requisite white heat of factitious fury ). And what are these Capitalists? I'll tell yer. Jest a lot o' greedy gobblers and profit mongering sharks, as eat up the smaller fry. And what are you ? Why, you're the small fish as eat mud and let yourselves be gobbled! ( The crowd accept this definition of themselves with perfect gaiety and good humour. ) Some will tell yer that these lazy, idle loafers, work as hard as what we do ourselves. ( Derisive laughter at this ridiculous idea. ) Mind yer, I'm not saying they don't. Honly , the 'arder they work, the worse it is for us; because the more they work the more they rob ! That's what they send their sons to Oxford and to Cambridge as was built and endowed for the benefit of us, the labourin' classes for. They send 'em there to learn 'ow to rob !

[ Here a discussion breaks out between a Sceptic and a Spiritualist, who, with half a dozen interested auditors, have been putting their heads together in a corner.

The Sceptic . No, but keep to the point, you're shufflin' the question. I want to argue this out on logical grounds. I know as well as you do that, if only I 'ave 'armony and a round table in my family, I can make that table dance the poker but what I'm puttin' to you is ( triumphantly ), 'ow does that prove to me as I'm in communication with the Bogie Man? That's what you've got to answer.

[Illustration: "Yer may sometimes hentertain a angel unawares!"]

The Y.S. . We Soshalists 'ate the Tories as we 'ate sin. Why, young polertician as I ham, &c., &c.

The Spiritualist ( an elderly and earnest person ). All I can reply to you is, we Spiritualists do not think we know that these phenomena appear yes, as surely as I know I am 'olding this stick in my 'and.

The Sceptic ( pityingly ). There you go again, yer see that stick ain't the point. I can see the stick. A stick ain't a phenomena you're confusin' two different things. Now I'm goin' to offer you a fair challenge. You perdooce me a Spirit not in a back room, with the lights out, but 'ere , in broad daylight, in this Park you get that Spirit to naturalise itself, or whatever you call it, and I'll believe in 'im. Come, now!

A Bystander . Ah, that's the way to corner 'is sort. 'E knows 'e carn't do it!

The Spiritualist ( with a smile of sad superiority ). Ridicule ain't argyment. [ The discussion continues.

The Young Socialist . Don't tork to me of Patriotism! What have the likes of you and me got to be patriotic about? I'm a Universalist, I am, and so long as a man rallies round our glorious Red Flag ( here he waves a dingy scarlet rag on a stick ), it's all one to me whether his own colour is black, yeller, green, brown, or white!

[ Applause.

Reciter Number One ( in the midst of a thrilling prose narrative about a certain "'ARRY," who has apparently got into legal difficulties for having thrown a cocoa nut stick at a retired Colonel ). Well, I went into the Court 'ouse, and there, sure enough, was my pore mate 'ARRY in the dock, and there was hold Ginger whiskers ( laughter ) a setting on the bench along with the hother beaks, lookin' biliouser, and pepperier, and more happerplecticker nor ever! "Prison ar," he sez, addressin' 'ARRY ( imitation of the voice and manner of a retired Colonel ), "Prison ar, 'ave you har hanythink to say in your beyarf har?" And then, hall of a sudden, I sor a flash come into my dear 'ole comride 'ARRY's heyes, as he strightened 'imself in the dock, and gave the milingtery sloot, and then, in a voice as sounded as true and sweet and clear as a bell, he sez

A Dingy and Unprepossessing Preacher ( unctuously )... Continue reading book >>

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