Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 98, March 29, 1890

#Periodicals #Games/Humor
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Excerpt Characters. Sir Poshbury Puddock (a haughty and high-minded Baronet). Verbena Puddock (his Daughter). Lord Bleshugh (her Lover). Spiker (a needy and unscrupulous Adventurer). Blethers (an ancient and attached Domestic). ACT I.—Scene—The Morning Room, at Natterjack Hall, Toadley-le-Hole; large window open at back, with heavy practicable sash. Enter Blethers. Blethers. Sir Poshbury's birthday to-day—his birthday!—and the gentry giving of him presents. Oh, Lor! if they only knew what I could tell 'em!... Ah, and must tell, too, before long—but not yet—not yet! [Exit. Enter Lord Bleshugh and Verbena. Verb. Yes, Papa is forty to-day; (innocently) fancy living to that age! The tenants have presented him with a handsome jar of mixed pickles, with an appropriate inscription. Papa is loved and respected by every one. And I—well, I have made him a little housewife, containing needles and thread.... See! [Shows it. Lord Blesh. (tenderly). I say, I—I wish you would make me a little housewife! [Comedy love-dialogue omitted owing to want of space.   Verb. Oh, do look!—there's Papa crossing the lawn with, oh, such a horrid man following him! Lord B. Regular bounder. Shocking bad hat! Verb. Not so bad as his boots, and they are not so bad as his face! Why doesn't Papa order him to go away? Oh, he is actually inviting him in! Enter Sir Poshbury, gloomy and constrained, with Spiker, who is jaunty, and somewhat over-familiar. Spiker (sitting on the piano, and dusting his boots with a handkerchief). Cosy little shanty you've got here, Puddock—very tasty! Sir P. (with a gulp). I am—ha—delighted that you approve of it! Ah, Verbena! [Kisses her on forehead. Spiker. Your daughter, eh? Pooty gal. Introduce me. [Sir Posh. introduces him—with an effort. Verbena. (coldly). How do you do? Papa, did you know that the sashline of this window was broken? If it is not mended, it will fall on somebody's head, and perhaps kill him! Sir. P. (absently). Yes—yes, it shall be attended to; but leave us, my child, go. Bleshugh, this—er—gentleman and I have business of importance to discuss. Spiker. Don't let us drive you away, Miss; your Pa and me are only talking over old times, that's all—eh, Posh? Sir P. (in a tortured aside). Have a care, Sir, don't drive me too far! (To Verb.) Leave us, I say. (Lord B. and Verb. go out, raising their eyebrows.) Now, Sir, what is this secret you profess to have discovered? Spiker. Oh, a mere nothing. (Takes out a cigar.) Got a light about you? Thanks. Perhaps you don't recollect twenty-seven years ago this very day, travelling from Edgware Road to Baker Street, by the Underground Railway? Sir P. Perfectly; it was my thirteenth birthday, and I celebrated the event by a visit to Madame Tussaud's. Spiker. Exactly; it was your thirteenth birthday, and you travelled second-class with a half-ticket—(meaningly)—on your thirteenth birthday. Sir P. (terribly agitated). Fiend that you are, how came you to learn this? Spiker. Very simple....
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