Punch — 82.1882

Page: 158
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[April 8, 1882,


Dr. Dumbledore (who thought he heard a “ False Quantity ”). “ Scan it, Sir ! ”

Scholar. “Tityre tu PATULiE recubans sub tecmtnf, ”—(brea,7cs down) — “Jumbo!

[At this slip of the tongue the Class bursts into tears, followed by the ivhole School, and the Doctor, uncontrollably affected liimself, gives ’em a
Half Holiday on the spot, and puts an end to a Scene as painful as it iuas unexpected !


(By a Rarahler.)


There was no matter of question but that h.e was a Grenius. His
name was Rasselas Richelieh de Roncesyalles, and he wore his
head shaved with a pig-tail after the Celestial or Chinese fashion.

Moreover, he affected green boots with
yellow tips, smoked Manilla cigars be-
tween his soup and fish at dinner, and so
distorted the Oueen’s English, that the
Treasury consulted the Law Officers of
the Crown as to whether he should not
be subjected to a Public Prosecution.
But the chiefest of all his many virtues,
was the reverence with which he had
inspired his disciples for that vegetable
of culinary importance which is called
Onion. In this highly-scented bulb, as
exemplified by its long-lasting fragrance,
he had detected a symbol of Everlasting
Endurance, and it was in the character
of its Bard or Seer that he beeame famous
as the Founder of the Onionic Cult. His
appearance, indeed, was held to be typical
of his Faith. His shorn head, with its
dependent pigtail, was known mystically
to represent the legume of his choice, while the colour of his boots in
no less occult fashion, typified the savoury horticultural product’s
combined hues, which range from the rich ochre of the Spanish, to
the delieate green of the Spring.

The Social progress, or rather ascension, of De Roncesvalles
was indeed one of which any follower of the Muses might well be
proud. Any father would have been proud of such an offspring,

any cousin fifteen times removed would have claimed him as a
blood relation. Duchesses sighed for his sonnets (which came not),
Marchionesses scented their handkerchiefs with no other perfume
than Triple Extrait de V Oignon, and the fruiterers of Covent Gfarden
daily reviled his name as they surveyed the piles of pine-apples and
peaches which remained unsold by reason of his infiuence ; though
their maledictions were more than counterbalanced by the humble
benediction of the green-grocering hucksterer, and the hearty bless-
ing of the “ string’’-selling costermonger. Wben questioned as to
the secret of his success, De Roncesvalles would invariably reply to
the Peer as to the Interviewer of the Press, ‘ ‘ I am the Living Lesson
of the Infallibility of the Five Mystic Letters.” He would say no
more and no less. It was in vain for the Gfood and Great to ask his
meaning, the confidential agents of Prince Bismarck, though
specially despatched to this country, returned to Berlin, sadder, but
not wiser men; and Mr. G(eorge Lewis and the Public Prosecutor
were reported to have shed tears over their inability to discover the
slightest clue to the import of the Bard’s speech. Certain there
were, of course, who derided him, the Philistines, the Gfoths, the
Iconoclasts, the Huns, and other Outer Barbarians. But at these
the Seer and his disciples smole.

It was about the time that men seriously debated whether a statue
of the Bard should not be plaeed upon one of the vacant pedestals in
Trafalgar Square, when the price of Collodion rose seventy-five per
cent., owing to the demand for his photographs, and when it was
rumoured that the Commander-in-Chief and the First Lord of the
Admiralty had decided upon the imperative necessity for re-intro-
ducing ]iigtails in the Army and Navy, that the Poet was delivered
of his first work, after Messrs Christie and Manson had knocked
down the right of publication at a fabulous figure to a speciallv
organised Limited Liability Company. The book was splendidly got
up. It was bound in white velvet and vellum, it was lettered in
platinum and gold, and it wasprinted from silver-faced type ; while
the rough edges of its leaves were taken as an antithesis to the polish
of the Author’s mind. It contained only a dedication and a poem,
but it ran through one hundred and fifty-six editions in four days.
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