Punch, or The London Charivari

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Punch, Or The London
Charivari, Vol. 103, August 27,

The Project Gutenberg EBook of Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol.
August 27, 1892, by Various This eBook is for the use of anyone
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Title: Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 103, August 27, 1892
Author: Various
Release Date: February 22, 2005 [EBook #15144]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1

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VOL. 103.

August 27, 1892.

SCENE--_The Agricultural Hall. A large Steam-Circus is revolving
with its organ in full blast; near it is a "Razzle-Dazzle" Machine,
provided with a powerful mechanical piano. To the combined strains of
these instruments, the merrier hearts of Islington are performing a
desultory dance, which seems to consist chiefly in the various couples
charging each other with desperate gallantry. At the further end of the
Hall is a Stage, on which a Variety Performance is in progress, and
along the side of the gallery a Switchback, the rolling thunder of which,
accompanied by masculine whoops and feminine squeaks, is distinctly
audible. Near the entrance is a painted house-front with two doors,
which are being pitilessly battered with wooden balls; from time to
time a well-directed missile touches a spring, one of the doors opens,
and an idiotic effigy comes blandly goggling and sliding down an
inclined plane, to be saluted with yells of laughter, and ignominiously
pushed back into domestic privacy. Amidst surroundings thus happily
suggesting the idyllic and pastoral associations of Arcady, is an
unpretending booth, the placards on which announce it to be the
temporary resting-place of the "Far-famed Adepts of Thibet," who are
there for a much-needed change, after a "3500 years' residence in the
Desert of Gobi." There is also a solemn warning that "it is impossible
to spoof a Mahatma." In front of this booth, a fair-headed, round-faced,
and Spectacled Gentleman, in evening clothes, and a particularly
crumpled shirt-front--who presents a sort of compromise between the
Scientific Savant and the German Waiter has just locked up his
Assistant in a wooden pillory, for no obvious reason except to attract a
crowd. The crowd collects accordingly, and includes a Comic
Coachman, who, with his Friend--a tall and speechless nonentity--has
evidently come out to enjoy himself_.
[Illustration: "I have here two ordinary clean clay pipes."]
The Spectacled Gentleman (_letting the Assistant out of the pillory,
with the air of a man who does not often unbend to these frivolities_).
Now, Gentlemen, I am sure all those whom I see around me have heard
of those marvellous beings--the Mahatmas--and how they can travel

through space in astral bodies, and produce matter out of nothing at all.
(_Here the group endeavour to look as if these facts were familiar to
them from infancy, while the_ Comic Coachman assumes the
intelligent interest of a Pantomime Clown in the price of a property
fish.) Very well; but perhaps some of you may not be aware that at this
very moment the air all around you is full of ghosts.
The Comic Coachman (_affecting extreme terror_). 'Ere, let me get out
o' this! Where's my friend?
_The Sp. G._ I am only telling you the simple truth. There is, floating
above the head of each one of you, the ghostly counterpart of himself;
and the ghost of anybody who is smoking will be smoking also the
ghost of a cigar or a pipe.
_The C.C._ (_to his attendant Phantom_). 'Ere, 'and me down one o'
your smokes to try, will yer?
_The Sp. G._ You laugh--but I am no believer in making statements
without proof to support them, and I shall now proceed to offer you
convincing evidence that what I say is true. (_Movement of startled
incredulity in group._) I have here two ordinary clean clay pipes.
(Producing them.) Now, Sir, (to the C.C.) will you oblige me by
putting your finger in the bowls to test whether there is any tobacco
there or not?
_The C.C._ Not me. None o' those games for me! Where's my
friend?--it's more in _'is_ line!
[_The Friend, however, remains modestly in the background, and, after
a little hesitation, a more courageous spirit tests the bowls, and
pronounces them empty._
_The Sp. G._ Very well, I will now smoke the spirit-tobacco in these
empty pipes. (_He puts them both in his mouth, and emits a quantity of
unmistakable smoke_.) Now, in case you should imagine this
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