Books Should Be Free
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 103, August 27, 1892   By:

Book cover

First Page:



VOL. 103.

August 27, 1892.



SCENE The Agricultural Hall. A large Steam Circus is revolving with its organ in full blast; near it is a "Razzle Dazzle" Machine, provided with a powerful mechanical piano. To the combined strains of these instruments, the merrier hearts of Islington are performing a desultory dance, which seems to consist chiefly in the various couples charging each other with desperate gallantry. At the further end of the Hall is a Stage, on which a Variety Performance is in progress, and along the side of the gallery a Switchback, the rolling thunder of which, accompanied by masculine whoops and feminine squeaks, is distinctly audible. Near the entrance is a painted house front with two doors, which are being pitilessly battered with wooden balls; from time to time a well directed missile touches a spring, one of the doors opens, and an idiotic effigy comes blandly goggling and sliding down an inclined plane, to be saluted with yells of laughter, and ignominiously pushed back into domestic privacy. Amidst surroundings thus happily suggesting the idyllic and pastoral associations of Arcady, is an unpretending booth, the placards on which announce it to be the temporary resting place of the "Far famed Adepts of Thibet," who are there for a much needed change, after a "3500 years' residence in the Desert of Gobi." There is also a solemn warning that "it is impossible to spoof a Mahatma." In front of this booth, a fair headed, round faced, and Spectacled Gentleman, in evening clothes, and a particularly crumpled shirt front who presents a sort of compromise between the Scientific Savant and the German Waiter has just locked up his Assistant in a wooden pillory, for no obvious reason except to attract a crowd. The crowd collects accordingly, and includes a Comic Coachman, who, with his Friend a tall and speechless nonentity has evidently come out to enjoy himself .

[Illustration: "I have here two ordinary clean clay pipes."]

The Spectacled Gentleman ( letting the Assistant out of the pillory, with the air of a man who does not often unbend to these frivolities ). Now, Gentlemen, I am sure all those whom I see around me have heard of those marvellous beings the Mahatmas and how they can travel through space in astral bodies, and produce matter out of nothing at all. ( Here the group endeavour to look as if these facts were familiar to them from infancy, while the Comic Coachman assumes the intelligent interest of a Pantomime Clown in the price of a property fish .) Very well; but perhaps some of you may not be aware that at this very moment the air all around you is full of ghosts.

The Comic Coachman ( affecting extreme terror ). 'Ere, let me get out o' this! Where's my friend?

The Sp. G. I am only telling you the simple truth. There is, floating above the head of each one of you, the ghostly counterpart of himself; and the ghost of anybody who is smoking will be smoking also the ghost of a cigar or a pipe.

The C.C. ( to his attendant Phantom ). 'Ere, 'and me down one o' your smokes to try, will yer?

The Sp. G. You laugh but I am no believer in making statements without proof to support them, and I shall now proceed to offer you convincing evidence that what I say is true. ( Movement of startled incredulity in group. ) I have here two ordinary clean clay pipes. ( Producing them .) Now, Sir, ( to the C.C.) will you oblige me by putting your finger in the bowls to test whether there is any tobacco there or not?

The C.C. Not me . None o' those games for me! Where's my friend? it's more in 'is line!

[ The Friend, however, remains modestly in the background, and, after a little hesitation, a more courageous spirit tests the bowls, and pronounces them empty... Continue reading book >>

Book sections

eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book

Popular Genres
More Genres
Paid Books