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Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 102, February 20, 1892   By:

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VOL. 102.

February 20, 1892.



[In which GINGER JIMMY gives his views of Lazarus, Dives, Dirt, Mother Church, Slum Freeholders and "Freedom of Contract."]

"The Golgotha of Slumland!" That's a phrase as I am told Is made use of by a party, wich that party must be bold, In the name of Mister LAZARUS, a good Saint Pancrage gent, Wot has writ a book on Slumland, and its Landlords, and its Rent.[1]

He's a Member of the "Westry 'Ealth Committee," so it seems, And the story wot he tells will sound, to some , like 'orrid dreams. But, lor bless yer! we knows better, and if sech 'cute coves as 'im Want to ferret hout the facks , they might apply to GINGER JIM.

There's the mischief in these matters; them as knows won't always tell. Wy, if you want to spot a "screw," or track up a bad smell, You've got to be a foxer, for whilst slums makes topping rent, There will always be lots 'anging round to put yer off the scent !

I can tell yer arf the right 'uns even ain't quite in the know, And there's lots o' little fakes to make 'em boggle, or go slow. Werry plorserble their statements, and they puts 'em nice and plain, And a crockidile can drop 'em when 'e once turns on the main.

All the tenants' faults; they likes it, dirt, and scrowging, and damp walls! They git used to 'orrid odours! O the Landlord's tear drop falls. Werry often, when collecting of his rents, to see the 'oles Where the parties as must pay 'em up prefers to stick, pore souls!

No compulsion, not a mossel! Ah, my noble lords and gents Who are up in arms for Libbaty that is, of paying rents You've rum notions of Compulsion. NOCKY SPRIGGINS sez, sez 'e, While you've got a chice of starving, or the workus, ain't ye free !

Free? O vus, we're free all round like; there ain't ne'er a bloomin' slave, White or black, but wot is free enough to pop into 'is grave; Though if they ketch yer trying even that game, and yer fail , Yer next skool for teaching freedom ain't the workus, but the jail!

'Andcuffs ain't the sole "Compulsion," nor yet laws ain't, nor yet whips; There is sech things as 'unger, and yer starving kids' white lips, And bizness ties, a hempty purse, bad 'ealth, and ne'er a crust; Swells may swear these ain't Compulsion, but we know as they means must .

Ah! wot precious rum things words is, 'ow they seems to fog the wise! If they'd only come and look at things , that is with their hown heyes, And not filantropic barnacles or goldian giglamps lor! Wot a lob of grabs and gushers might shut up their blessed jor!

The nobs who're down on workmen, 'cos on "knobsticks" they will frown, Has a 'arty love for Libbaty when keepin' wages down. Contrack's a sacred 'oly thing, freedom carnt 'ave that broke, But Free Contrack wot's forced on yer wy, o'course, that sounds a joke.

If they knowed us and our sort, gents, they would know Free Contrack's fudge, When one side ain't got a copper, 'as been six weeks on the trudge, Or 'as built his little bizness up in one pertikler spot, And if the rent's raised on 'im must turn hout, and starve or rot!

Coarse words, my lords and ladies! Well, yer may as well be dumb, As talk pooty on the questions wot concerns hus in the Slum. There ain't nothink pooty in 'em, and I cannot 'elp but think Some of our friends 'as spiled our case by piling on the pink.

Foxes 'ave 'oles, the Book sez; well, no doubt they feels content, For they finds, or makes, their 'ouses, and don't 'ave to pay no rent; But our 'oles well, someone builds 'em for us, such, in course is kind, But it ain't a bad investment, as them Landlords seems to find.

The Marquiges and Mother Church pick lots of little plums, And the wust on 'em don't seem to be their proputty in slums... Continue reading book >>

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