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Punch,or The London Charivari, Volume 105, July 22nd, 1893   By:

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VOLUME 105, JULY 22nd 1893

edited by Sir Francis Burnand


To an impartial observer the public, philanthropic, and municipal attempts to honour the memory of the great and good, if sometimes mistaken, Earl of SHAFTESBURY, appear to have been singularly unfortunate. The West End Avenue that bears his name is more full of music halls, theatres, pot houses, and curious property, than any street of equal length and breadth in the whole Metropolis. Lord SHAFTESBURY may not have been a Puritan, but he was essentially a serious man, and his sympathies were more with Exeter Hall than with the Argyle Rooms; and yet, in the street which is honoured by his name, it has been found impossible to remove the old title of this historic place from the stone facade of the Trocadero.

The fountain at Piccadilly Circus, which has been unveiled as the second of the SHAFTESBURY memorials, is surmounted by what? Some writers have called it a girl, some have called it a boy; many of the public, no doubt, regard it as a mythological bird, and it certainly looks like the Bolognese Mercury flying away with the wings of St. Michael. We are told, on authority, that it represents Eros, the Greek god of love, and his shaft is directed to a part of London that, more than any other part, at night, requires the bull's eye and the besom of authority. The "Top of the Gaymarket" is in just as bad a condition as it was when Punch directed attention to it more than ten years ago, and the virus since then has extended as far eastward as St. Martin's Lane. Moll Flanders' Parade now begins at St. James's Church and ends with Cranbourne Street. It is unfortunate, to say the least of it, that Eros has been selected to point at this London Pestiduct, and the sooner it is thoroughly cleansed and the neighbourhood made worthy of the Shaftesbury Fountain, the better.

[Illustration: AWFUL MOMENT!


DELENDA EST DRUBILANA! The Drury Lane Committee, headed by the dauntless JAMES O'DOWD, have decided upon approaching the Duke of BEDFORD with a protest against his Grace's present expressed intention of pulling down the Old Theatre within the next two years. Probably the result of this, the latest incident in the interesting annals of Old Drury, will simply be to make another addition to the well known collection of "Rejected Addresses."


To hear sweet strains by GLÜCK or GOUNOD, MASCAGNI, WAGNER, one must, you know, Pass slums; at dark it Is nice in Endell Street and Bow Street; Still better in that fragrant nose treat "Mudsalad Market."

Inside, say, Orpheus sings in Hades To gallant men and noble ladies Rank, wealth, and beauty; Outside, Elysium is forgotten. To clear away these slums, half rotten, Is no one's duty.

Inside, MASCAGNI'S Intermezzo , Though heard in many places, yet so Delightful ever; Outside, cab touts and paper sellers, And other people's pert Sam Weller's , Delightful never!

Inside, some day, the newest, Falstaff , Will occupy a far from small staff Of band and chorus; Outside, as now, old slums ill smelling, And costermongers, shouting, yelling, Will be before us.

Once someone started building greatly, Walls rose, arranged to form quite stately House, foyers , lobbies. They stopped, extremely gaunt and lonely, And, now the site is used, it's only A haunt of bobbies.

So still Euterpe's home is hidden In ill paved slums, through which we've ridden With jolts that jerk us. How unlike Paris! Did we follow Her taste, we should enshrine Apollo At Regent Circus.

JUST CAUSE... Continue reading book >>

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