Punch — 82.1882

Page: 60
DOI issue: DOI Page: Citation link: 
License: Free access  - all rights reserved Use / Order
1 cm



Citizen. “ ’Did a good Sthroke o’ Bithneth tethterday, Mo’ ! Tho I treated the
Mithith to the Moothic-Hall latht Night—-’sthood her a Bottle o’ Thoedone, and
she thought it was Thampagne !—’Took it down beautiful ! ”


[A letter was read the other day from the Con-
tractor of Coffins to the Horsham Guardiaus, stat-
ing that owing to the tremendous size of one of the
paupers who died last week, he had had to cut up
ahout double tb.e quantity of stuff usually re-
quired to make a coffin, andasking that the Board
would recompense him. — Simmins's Weekly
Advertiser, Jan. 21.]

Died tlie pauper, as all die,

Prince and poor man, peer and pea-

Some one wiped a tearful eye,

Though. perchance no friends were pre-

Then the coifin-maker made
Grave complaint about his figure ;

Quoth he, “I should more be paid
When I make a coffin bigger.”

Ah! the irony of fate,

Here a man dies unregarded,

Left it seems disconsolate,

By his early friends discarded.

He who lived for ceaseless toil,

When he came to shuffie offi, in

Penury, his mortal coil,

Needed a too costly coffin!

“ What I like at a theatre,” says Mrs.
Ramsbotham, “is to see what the French
call a little lever du rideau—a ‘ something
to raise a laugh,’ you know.” Evidently
Mrs. R. must he on the School-Board

Local Taxation.—A Poll-tax



Scene —Tlie Courtfor Criminal Cases at an Assize Toivn. Prisoner
in dock, Judge, Sheriff, Chaplain, Barristers, Witnesses, fyc., fc.,
and Audience.

Judge (severely, to the Counsel for the defence). Is it worth your
while, Mr. Blank, to address the Jury ? What defence can yoxi
possibly make to the charge ?

Counsel for the Prisoner. My Lord, the defence is that the Prisoner
was at least ten miles away from the scene of the crime at the time
it was committed. Therefore——

Judge [interrupting). Stop stop ! This is most improper ! What
right have you to state such a thing as that, without evidence ?

Counsel. My Lord, I submit that I am here as the Prisoner’s

Judge (angrily). And as such you’d better hold your tongue !
Don’t you know, Sir, that the Judges have decided that Counsel
engaged for Prisoners may not state anything on behalf of their
clients unless amply supported by evidence ?

Counsel (astonished). But—my Lord—what I have said comes
from the Prisoner himself.

Judge. I don’t care who it comes from.

Counsel. If the Prisoner were undefended, my Lord, he could
.state fhe fact himself.

Judge (testily). But, heing defended, he can’t state it through you,
that ’s all.

Prisoner. My Lord, I am quite innocent. I was-

Judge. Hold your tongue! Don’t you understand that you have
the advantage of being represented by Counsel ?

Counsel for tlie Prisoner (perseveringly). MyLord, as thePrisoner
is unable to speak, I feelit my duty to speak for him, and to say-

Judge. This is shockingly irregular. (Shouting.) Have you

evidence ?

Counsel. No.

Judge. Then hold your tongue, or I shalleommit youfor contempt.

Counsel. It so happens, my Lord, that the only witness I can
possibly call to_ the whereabouts of the Prisoner at the time of the
crime is the Prisoner himself.

Judge. And of course he can’t give evidence.

Counsel. Of course not. And what I would ask is, whether there
is absolutely no way of placing the Prisoner’s version of the story
before the Jury ?

Judge {smiling). None whatever, till after the verdict is pro-
nounced. (Suddenly remembering himself.) You can, Mr. Blank,
invent as many Hypothetical Defences, true or not, as you like, but
mind and be very careful not to hint that any one of them is the
Prisoner’s own story. His mouth is shut, and we ’ve just shut yours
—that’s our new rule. So now (turning to Jury), Grentlemen, you
can consider your Verdict !


Scene—A Convict Prison. Enter Warder and Convicts_, the latter
cliained together, and dragging small cart-loads of bricks behind

TVarder (to a particularly sickly-looking Convict). Now then,
463 A! Look sharp! If you don’t want the cells and bread and
gruel again for a week, just use your muscles, will you ?

Convict (bursting into tears). I am innocent! I have told you so
often, and I say it again.

Warder (collaring him). Oh, that ’s your little game, is it ? Come
along to the Governor!

[ Is dragging him off, when—Enter Messenger from the Home
Department, who whispers Warder aside.

Warder. You don’t say so !

Messenger. I do, indeed. He must be liberated at once. The

Warder {ruminating). Now, how strange ! He said he was inno-
cent. Perhaps we have been too hard on him. But— (recovering
himself)—it would never do to confess ourselves in the wrong.

Messenger. Oh, never ! Our Department never does that. You
can, however, communicate to him the intelligence that he is now free.

Warder. Here, Number 463 A! I have to tell you that—well—
we have discoveredthat you—ahem !—in factthat you are—mnocent!

Convict (clasping his hands). I know it.

Warder. Yes, but then, you see, you ’ve only been in here five
years, and your father and mother have only died from broken
hearts ; so that—well—if we let you go home now, eh ?—1 suppose
you won’t complain ?

Convict. I have no home left to go to. Shall I have no compen-
sation ?

Messenger. Ah well, in consideration of your long period of incar-
ceration f'or a crime which you never committed, the Home Secre-
tar,y has authorised me to award you-

Convict. Yes—what ?

Messenger. A new suit of clothes, a good breakfast, and a couple
of guineas to take you home again! [ Curtain.
loading ...