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Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 99, July 5, 1890   By:

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VOL. 99

JULY 5, 1890

[Illustration: VOL. 99]


We understand that careful observers have noted a considerable amount of disturbance in the House of Commons during the past three weeks. Various reasons have, as usual, been advanced to account for this phenomenon, one eminent politician having gone so far as to hint darkly at the existence of Cave men (or Troglodytes), who dwell in barrows.

The weather has been subject to strange variations. The mean temperature of the isothermal lines, when reduced to fractions of an infinitesimal value, has been found to correspond exactly to the elevation of the nap on the hat of a certain sporting Earl. Dividing that by the number of buttons on a costermonger's waistcoat, and adding to the quotient the number of aspirates picked up in the Old Kent Road on a Saturday afternoon, the result has been computed as equal to the total amount of minutes occupied by a vendor of saveloys in advertising his wares in the Pall Mall Clubs.

Candour is at times inconvenient. A prominent member of a Metropolitan Vestry was informed two days ago by one of the permanent scavengers of the district, that he "wasn't worth the price of a second hand boot lace." On inquiring the meaning of this curious phrase, he was told that "his blooming head would be knocked off for two pence." We understand that the Vestryman's vote on a question of salary is responsible for the indignation of the scavenger, a member of a class usually noted for their somewhat ceremonious courtesy.

Those who propose to travel this year will doubtless be glad to learn that the Hessian fly has been observed in unusual abundance in Westphalia. This succulent morceau is now eaten fried, with a sauce of devilled lentils and oil.

It appears, after all, that there is no very definite foundation for the report that Sir EDWARD WATKIN is said to be disappointed in the competitive designs sent in for his Tower, because none of them provide sleeping accommodation for 2000 people on the top storey. Of course something must have given rise to the rumour, but it is not easy to say exactly what. One competitor has already, however, it appears, intimated his readiness to make the required addition, by hanging his beds over the side of the Tower on "extended poles." The question is, "Would Sir WATKIN be able to induce his patrons 'to turn in' under such conditions?" There's the rub.


STANLEY'S Darkest Africa (SAMPSON LOW) swamps all other books just now, except, of course, the Other STANLEY book, called A Light on the Keep it Quite the Darkest Africa (TRISCHLER & Co.) which follows closely at its heels. The real STANLEY narrative is most interesting and exciting; it is a book that will make everyone "sit up" at night to read it. The centre of attraction is in the answer to the question, "How did I find EMIN?" Which is, "Quite well, thank you."

My faithful "Co." reports that he has been doing his duty nobly as a novel reader. He has already devoured Vol. III. of the Man with a Secret . He would attack Vols. I. and II. if he had not had (so he says) quite enough of the Man and his Secret. Innocent Victims is written in the temperance interest. "Co." has every sympathy with the cause of undiluted water, but fears that this "story of London Life and Labour" may end in drink. He found it himself a little dry, and was not cheered by the name of the author, HUGH DOWNE, which seemed to suggest he could not get up again. He is eagerly waiting for more fiction, as " Expiation " by OCTAVE THANET has scarcely satisfied his craving for the weird and the horrible. In the meanwhile, he has found a cheerful interlude in Sanity and Insanity , a text book (written in a popular yet scientific strain) of the maladies of the mind... Continue reading book >>

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