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It appears we have a new charter to fight for, and a new “mountain nymph” to woo; we may free ourselves from magistrates and priests, we may shake off the yoke of corn lords or cotton lords, but slaves we shall be still, if we do not likewise emancipate ourselves from the doctors. One advantage in this last struggle is that physical force will be unobjectionable, as it is always fair to combat an enemy with his own weapons. We shall disarm the surgeons and slay them with their own lancets, and the best way to dispose of the druggists will be to drug them. “The medical liberty of the subject” will be a toast henceforward at public dinners; and a new toast was clearly wanting, for the public is heartily tired of "the people," "the wooden walls of England,” and so forth.
The advertisements of the tailors and the upholstery warehouses during the past years have been more remarkable for their substantial philanthropy than the mere ornaments of style. The very spirit of Howard breathes in the announcement of the house that offers to transport “ furniture and bedding, carriage-free, regardless of distance, to any part of the country.” You may quarter yourself in the remotest fishing village in the Orkneys; it is all the same to this enterprising establishment, whose benevolence annihilates space, and would shake you down a feather-bed on the summit of Snowdon, before the ink was dry on your order. Probably in the word country they include the entire British empire, in which case their feeling and their furniture would cheerfully accompany you to the very island of Hong Kong, should you wish to visit that new settlement, and leave your card for Commissioner Lin.
The upholders, however, are not entirely forgetful of the graces of composition. We observe that the climax is a figure which they use with the best effect. Mark, how the epithets rise one above the other, in the following scale of prices. “ Persons about to marry" are informed that
A 4 roomed house is furnished completely for 25l.
The tailors also know how to combine classical taste with Christian charity. - The Pancho Overcoat” is recommended as "the most classic
garment introduced since the Augustan era."
The modesty of the “since" will be observed. The “ Pancho Overcoat” does not pretend to be more classic than the Roman toga.
Another tailoring proclamation manifests no desire but to save the public the income-tax. We suspect the government of having some hand in the advertisements of this class. What right has any man to grumble at paying the tax-gatherer, when he can compensate himself in five minutes, by purchasing a Chesterfield at a certain house in Lombard-street ?
But commend us to the Dublin knights of the thimble for an attractive manifesto. A house of the immortal name of Guinness dazzles us with the offer of " a superfine coat made to order for ll. 10s. 6d.!" This promises to efface the glory of the XX.
The same Irish journal contains the following capital double entendre, for which we give the ingenious writer a great deal of credit :
Jan.- VOL. LXVII. XO. CCLXV.
“ As Housekeeper, or would act as Cook and Housekeeper, a steady active Woman of the Established Church, who perfectly understands her business in both capacities ; she is a good practical cook; understands soups, made dishes, confectionary in all its branches, breakfast-bread, marketing, and keeping accounts; also the fashionable mode of sending up dinner; has long and satisfactory discharges; can be highly recommended by the lady she has just.left, in consequence of a change in the establishment, with whom she has lived nearly three years.".
It has long been known that all good cooks in Ireland are of the Established Church, but the art here consists in making it doubtful whether the advertiser is more renowned for her soups than her sanctity. She “perfectly understands her business in both capacities,” one capacity being culinary and the other religious. When we come to “a good practical cook," it occurred to us that it was possibly a mistake for“ a good practical Christian." Her understanding of “accounts" obviously includes the long account to be settled with Heaven's chancery; and the change in the establishment" alluded to, may be the influx of Puseyite doctrines, which, having some leaning to popery, no stanch Irish protestant cook could tolerate for a moment.
Amongst the beauties of pious advertisements we must also notice the two following, which, however, are not Irish:
“Gospel Stories for Children. An attempt to render the chief events of the life of our Saviour intelligent and profitable to young persons.”
The charm of this is merely in the grammar. The next is to be admired for the profusion with which pious images are heaped together to fascinate good people, who may happen to be in want of a gover
“A Lady of the Church of England, moving in the best religious society, in a quiet cathedral town, is desirous of superintending the education of two little girls under twelve years of
age. “ Moving in the best religious society” is a phrase, we suspect, borrowed from society of another character; it marvellously resembles “ moving in the fashionable world;" and probably the two societies are agreeably blended in the " quiet little cathedral town," which is exquisitely touching. What orthodox mother of two little girls under twelve would not exult in the prospect of having them educated in a " quiet cathedral town?" that is to say, a town blessed with a dean and chapter, and rejoicing in a troop of canons. All cathedral towns, however, are not particularly quiet. We may conclude that our governess does not reside at Canterbury, for example.
The “ governess” advertisements continue as rich in beauties as ever. The following is exquisite :
“A Clergyman's Wife, who has two little girls of her own, and three pupils, wishes to receive from one to three more, who will share her maternal care and be treated as parlour-boarders.'
“Maternal care," and “parlour-boarders !”— the association of these two ideas is so indissolubly established in the public mind, ever since Mr. and Mrs. Squeers were introduced to our acquaintance ! Suppose a mother were reported to treat her little daughters “as par
lour-boarders," should we not strongly suspect her of being somewhat of a Brownrigg?
The determined effort that more than one “ party" is now making in England to put down silver, has not been sufficiently attended to. We clearly do not live in a silver age, or, if we do, it is in a German silver age. The advertiser of German silver and Albata plate assure us that there is nothing so unsilvery as silver. “Silver superseded" ineets our eye in capital letters wherever we turn. Real silver is denounced as spurious, and the counterfeit proclaimed to be the only genuine article. Thus write the panegyrists of the “ Albata Plate :"
“SILVER SUPERSEDED, and those corrosive and injurious metals called nickel and German silver, supplanted by the introduction of a new and perfectly matchless ALBATA PLATE, possessing all the richness of silver in appearance-with all its durability and hardness —with its perfect sweetness in use—undergoing as it does a chemical process, by which all that is nauseous in mixed metals is entirely extracted, resisting all acids, may be cleaned as silver, and is manufactured into every article for the table and sideboard.”
But a writer in an adverse interest, goes further still :
“THE PERFECT SUBSTITUTE FOR SILVER.-The celebrity of the rich and silvery appearance and extreme durability of the material made exclusively by ourselves, has induced many attempts to foist upon the public the notoriously deleterious German silver, under the guises of "Albata Plate,” “Berlin Silver," &c. &c., against which we especially warn them. Aided by an eminent chemist, we have succeeded in purifying our material so that acids do not affect it; it is now 80 well known and appreciated that it is universally superseding silver in all its uses. The genuine metal, which is more durable than silver, can only be had at our warehouses.”
Silver is exploded by common consent. The only question for the public is, whether the Albata plate, or the “perfect substitute,” is the true thing. Our own opinion is, that people must be hard to please, if they are not satisfied with a “perfect substitute,” particularly when they are informed on the authority of an eminent chemist” that it is “the genuine metal,” and more durable than silver” itself. The government will, of course, insist upon being paid by the Chinese in German silver; we trust we are not about to be deluged with such a humbug as the real silver, which is good for nothing but the base uses to which Sir Thomas More tells us it is applied by the Utopians. The tradesman must have a great deal of brass who persists in recommending silver for forks and spoons, now that it is “universally" admitted that the old-fashioned precious metal is but a sorry imitation of the genuine German or Albata.
This reaction against silver will, no doubt, influence our forms of expression in many respects. Thus supposing an address to the Thames to be called for, we should commence thus :
Hail, German-silver Thames !
More bright than an Albata spoon,
or haply thus :
As through the vale I roamed with my amata,
The moon shone forth one blaze of pure Albata. We are glad to get rid of the jingling phrase of "silver salver," but we must guard against the admission of one quite as bad—“ sterlin' Berlin."
Orators must no longer be complimented on their silver accents. We shall talk in future of a German silver voice, meaning not a guttural articulation, but the most mellifluous of sounds.
“What a charming writer Mr. C is ! Periods of German silver !" “How harmoniously Mr. D-declaims! His tones are perfectly Albata !"
We have many speakers and writers who deserve such compliments in the utmost strictness. Indeed, silver promises to be soon as completely "superseded" in our poetry and prose as in our plate. We are beginning to adopt the perfect substitute" for the sounds of Milton and of Barrow; and there is particularly a rage for the German article.
Gold has not yet been attacked; but who can tell what may happen in the wondrous days we live in? Let Mammon look to himself'; the silver column of his empire is shaken, and the next blow may the pillar of gold. There may soon be nothing golden left us butmediocrity! We have been startled by the following announcement:
“CHEMIA ANTIQUA. - The philosophical experimentalist or other Pupil, paying an entrance fee of Two Hundred Guineas, may be inducted, by a Professor of long experience and research, in both the Ancient and Modern Chemical School, to the verification and profitable application of the Hermetic Science, successfully pursued by the adepto-chemical philosophers of the middle ages as a source of progressive enrichment to the fortunate operator in this mystical branch of Metallurgic Chemistry.”
By this it appears that alchemy is still at work, and how do we know but that something as much superior to gold as the Albata plate is to silver, may come out of the crucible? To “gild refined gold” may become a common practice, instead of being the poetical type of idle superfluity. We may live to see gold treated as the “yellow dirt” that the divines (who, nevertheless, like to dabble in it) tell us that it is. There will be a new meaning for the phrase " beaten gold,” when it is beaten out of the field altogether. Possibly we may live to see the streets paved with it, and the wooden octagons forgotten like the works of M‘Adam. As “medical liberty” will be about the same time universally established, we shall not require even so much gold as would gild a pill. Yet at this we cannot help repining, the gilding of the pill is a process so necessary in this life of troubles, and the occasions requiring that judicious operation in moral pharmacy are of such daily recurrence. We shall carefully hoard up a little gold for this most important use; and indeed our alchemist seems desirous to do something of the same kind, for we observe that he proposes to accept a fee of two hundred guineas with each pupil who desires to recommence the opus magnum under his learned auspices. This fee does not appear at ali exorbitant for an introduction to “ a source of progressive enrichment to the fortunate operator;” but we would suggest a payment of the sum in German or Albata silver.
“An OWRE TRUE TALE."
BY THE EDITOR.
Give him heedful note;
“ What is the matter with Mr. Pryme ?" The speaker was a tall, dark man, with grizzled hair, black eyes, a long nose, a wide mouth, and the commercial feature of a pen behind his right ear. He had several times asked himself the same question, but without any satisfactory solution, and now addressed it to a little, sandy-haired man, who was standing with his back to the office fire. Both were clerks in a government office, as well as the party whose health or deportment was involved in the inquiry.
“ What is the matter with Mr. Pryme ?"
“ Heaven knows,” said the sandy Mr. Phipps, at the same time lifting up his eyebrows towards the organs of wonder, and shrugging his shoulders.
“ You have observed how nervous and fidgety he is ?"
“ To be sure. Look at the fireplace; he has done nothing all the morning but put on coals and rake them out again."
“Yes, I have been watching him and kept count," interposed Mr. Trent, a junior official ; " he has poked the fire nineteen times, besides looking five times out of the window, and twice taking down his hat and hanging it up again.”
“I got him to change me a sovereign," said the dark Mr. Grimble, “and he first gave me nineteen, and then twenty-one shillings for it. But look bere at his entries,' and he pointed to an open ledger on the desk," he has dipped promiscuously into the black ink and the red !”
The three clerks took a look a-piece at the book, and then a still longer look at each other. None of them spoke: but each made a face, one pursing up his lips as if' to blow an imaginary flagelet, another frowning, as with a distracting headach, and the third drawing down the corners of his mouth, as if he had just taken, or was about to take, physic.
« What can it be?" said Mr. Phipps.
“ Better not,” said Grimble, "you know how hot and touchy he is. I once ventured to cut a joke on him, and he has never thoroughly forgiven it to this day."
“What was it about ?" inquired the junior.
“ Why he has been married above a dozen years without having any children, and it was the usual thing with us, when he came of a