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forget the long hours of weary bad weather. I can't
fancy I have been ill at all, but for those melancholy
observations scrawled feebly down in pencil in my
journal yesterday. I am in clean shining white ducks,
my blue shirt-collars falling elegantly over a yellow
bandanna. My mustachios have come on wonderfully ;
they are a little red or so. But the Spanish, they say,
like fair faces. I would do anything for Dolores but
smoke with her ; that I confess I dare not attempt.

It appears it was the BAY OF BISCAY that made me so
ill. We were in Vigo yesterday (a plague take it ! I
have missed what is said to be one of the most beautiful
bays in the world) ; but I was ill, and getting a little
sleep ; and when it is known as a fact that a Nelson
was always ill on first going to sea, need a Fat Con-
tributor be ashamed of a manly and natural weakness ?



WANDERINGS



285



Saturday. Description of Oporto.

We were off the bar at an exceedingly early hour so
early, that although a gun fired and waked me out of a
sound sleep, I did not rise to examine the town.

It is three miles inland, and therefore cannot be seen.
It is famous for the generous wine which bears the
name of port, and is drunk by some after dinner j by
other, and I think wiser, persons, simply after cheese.

As about ten times as much of this liquor is drunk in
England as is made in Portugal, it is needless to institute
any statistical inquiries into the growth and consumption
of the wine.

Oporto was besieged by Don Miguel, the rightful
king, who, although he had Marshal Bourmont and
justice on his side, was defeated by Don Pedro and
British Valour. Thus may our arms ever triumph !
These are the only facts I was enabled to gather regard-
ing Oporto.

New Passengers. On coming on deck, I was made
aware that we had touched land by the presence on the




boat of at least a hundred passengers, who had not
before appeared among us. They had come from Vigo,
and it appears were no more disposed to rouse at the

T



286 PAPERS BY THE FAT CONTRIBUTOR



morning gun than I was ; for they lay asleep on the

fore-deck for the most part, in various attitudes.

They were Gallegos going to Lisbon for service in

their scarfs and their tufted hats, with their brown faces

shining as they lay under the sun.

Nor were these the
only new passengers ;
with them came on
board a half-dozen
of Hungarian cloth-
sellers, of one of
whom here is the
accurate portrait as
he lay upon two
barrels, and slept the
sleep of innocence
sub "Jove.

But see the same
individual ah, how
changed ! He is

suffering from the pangs of sea-sickness, and I have

no doubt yearning for fatherland, or land of some sort.

But I am interrupted. Hark ! 'tis the bell for lunch !

[Though our fat friend's log has been in the present
instance a little tedious, the observant reader may neverthe-
less draw from it a complete and agreeable notion of the
rise, progress, and conclusion of the malady of sea-sickness.
He is exhausted ; he is melancholy ; he is desperate ; he
rejects his victuals ; he grows hungry, but dares not eat ;
he mends ; his spirits rise ; all his faculties are restored to
him ; and he eats with redoubled vigour. This fine diagnosis
of the maritime complaint, we pronounce from experience
may be perfectly relied upon. EDITOR.]




PUNCH IN THE EAST
FROM OUR FAT CONTRIBUTOR

ON BOARD THE P. & O. COMPANY'S SHIP

' BURRUMPOOTER,' OFF ALEXANDRIA.

FAT CONTRIBUTOR, indeed ! I lay down my pen, and
smile in bitter scorn as I write the sarcastic title I
remember it was that which I assumed when my
peregrinations began it is now an absurd misnomer.

I forget whence I wrote to you last. We were but
three weeks from England, I think off Cadiz, or
Malta, perhaps I was full of my recollections of
Dolores full in other ways, too. I have travelled in
the East since then. I have seen the gardens of
Bujukdere and the kiosks of the Seraglio : I have seen
the sun sinking behind Morea's hills, and rising over
the red waves of the Nile. I have travelled like
Benjamin Disraeli, Ulysses, Monckton Milnes, and the
eminent sages of all times. I am not the fat being I
was (and proudly styled myself) when I left my dear,
dear Pall Mall. You recollect my Nugee dress-coat,
with the brass buttons and canary silk lining, that the
author of the ' Spirit of the Age ' used to envy ? I
never confessed it but I was in agonies when I wore
that coat. I was girthed in (inwardly) so tight, that I
thought every day after the third entr&e apoplexy would
ensue and had my name and address written most
legibly in the breast-flap, so that I might be carried
home in case I was found speechless in the street on

287



288 PAPERS BY THE FAT CONTRIBUTOR

ray return from dinner. A smiling face often hides an
aching heart ; I promise you mine did in that coat, and
not my heart only, but other regions. There is a
skeleton in every house and mine no I wasn't
exactly a skeleton in that garment, but suffered secret
torments in it, to which, as I take it, those of the
Inquisition were trifles.

I put it on t'other day to dine with Bucksheesh
Pasha at Grand Cairo I could have buttoned the breast
over to the two buttons behind. My dear Sir I looked
like a perfect guy. I am wasted away a fading flower
I don't weigh above sixteen and a half now. Eastern
travel has done it and all my fat friends may read this
and consider it. It is something at least to know.
Byron (one of us) took vinegar and starved himself to

get down the disagreeable
plenitude. Vinegar? non-
sense try Eastern travel.
I am bound to say, however,

MA ^JIlLi, that it don't answer in all

cases. Waddilove, for in-
stance, with whom I have
been making the journey,
has bulged out in the sun
like a pumpkin, and at dinner
you see his coat and waistcoat
buttons spirt violently off his
garments no longer able to
r. c. GOING TO BED AT GIBRALTAR, bear the confinement there.
One of them hit Colonel Sourcillon plump on the nose,

on which the Frenchman But to return to my own

case. A man always speaks most naturally and truly of
that which occurs to himself.

I attribute the diminution in my size not to my want
of appetite, which has been uniformly good. Pale ale
is to be found universally throughout Turkey, Syria,
Greece, and Egypt, and after a couple of foaming




PUNCH IN THE EAST



289



bottles of Bass, a man could eat a crocodile (we had
some at Bucksheesh Pasha's, fattened in the tanks of
his country villa of El Muddee, on the Nile, but tough
very fishy and tough) the appetite, I say, I have
found to be generally good in these regions and
attribute the corporeal diminution solely TO WANT OF
SLEEP.

I give you my word of honour as a gentleman, that
for seven weeks I have never slept a single wink. It is my
belief that nobody does in the East. You get to do
without it perfectly. It may be said of these countries,
they are so hospitable, you are never alone. You have
always friends to come and pass the night with you, and
keep you alive with their cheerful innocent gambols.
At Constantinople, at Athens, Malta, Cairo, Gibraltar,
it is all the same. Your watchful friends persist in
paying you attention. The frisky and agile flea the
slow but steady-purposed
bug the fairy mosquito
with his mellow-sounding
horn rush to welcome
the stranger to their shores
and never leave him
during his stay. At first,
and before you are used
to the manners of the
country, the attention is
rather annoying. Here,
for instance, is my minia-
ture. You will see that
one of my eyes was shut
up temporarily, and I drew
the picture by the sole
light of the other.

Man is a creature of habit. I did not at first like
giving up my sleep. I had been used to it in England.
I occasionally repined as my friends persisted in calling




F. C. ON GETTING UP THE NEXT MORNING.



290 PAPERS BY THE FAT CONTRIBUTOR

my attention to them, grew sulky and peevish, wished
myself in bed in London nay, in the worst bed in the
most frequented, old, mouldy, musty, wooden-galleried
coach inn in Aldgate or Holborn. I recollect a night
at the * Bull,' in poor dear old Mrs. Nelson's time
well, well, it is nothing to the East. What a country
would this be for Tiffin, and what a noble field for his
labours !

Though I am used to it now, I can't say but it is
probable that when I get back to England I shall return
to my old habits. Here, on board the Peninsular and
Oriental Company's magnificent steam-ship ' Burrum-
pooter,' I thought of trying whether I could sleep any
more. I had got the sweetest little cabin in the world ;
the berths rather small and tight for a man of still
considerable proportions but everything as neat, sweet,
fresh, and elegant as the most fastidious amateur of the
nightcap might desire. I hugged the idea of having the
little palace all to myself. I placed a neat white night-
gown and my favourite pink silk cap on the top berth
ready. The sea was as clear as glass the breeze came
cool and refreshing through the port-hole the towers
of Alexandria faded away as our ship sailed westward.
My Egyptian friends were left behind. It would soon
be sunset. I longed for that calm hour, and meanwhile
went to enjoy myself at dinner with a hundred and forty
passengers from Suez, who laughed and joked, drank
champagne and the exhilarating Hodgson, and brought
the latest news from Dumdum or Futtyghur.

I happened to sit next at table to the French gentle-
man before mentioned, Colonel Sourcillon, in the service
of the Rajah of Lahore, returning to Europe on leave of
absence. The Colonel is six feet high with a grim
and yellow physiognomy, with a red ribbon at his
button-hole of course, and large black mustachios
curling up to his eyes to one eye that is the other
was put out in mortal combat, which has likewise left a



PUNCH IN THE EAST 291

furious purple gash down one cheek, a respectable but
terrible sight.

4 Vous regardez ma cicatrice,' said the Colonel,
perceiving that I eyed him with interest. * Je 1'ai recue
en Espagne, Monsieur, a la bataille de Vittoria, que
nous avons gagnee sur vous. J'ai tue de ma main le
grrredin Feldmarechal Anglais qui ma donne cette
noble blessure. Elle n'est pas la seule, Monsieur. Je
possede encore soixante-quatorze cicatrices sur le corps.
Mais j'ai fait sonner partout le grrrand nom de Frrance.
Vous etes militaire, Monsieur? Non? Passez-moi le
poivre rouge, s'il vous plait.'

The Colonel emptied the cayenne-pepper cruet over
his fish, and directed his conversation entirely to me.
He told me that ours was a perfidious nation, that he
esteemed some individuals, but detested the country,
which he hoped to see ecrrrase un jour. He said I spoke
French with remarkable purity ; that on board all our
steamers there was an infamous conspiracy to insult
every person bearing the name of Frenchman ; that he
would call out the Captain directly they came ashore ;
that he could not even get a cabin had I one ? On
my affirmative reply, he said I was a person of such
amiable manners, and so unlike my countrymen, that he
would share my cabin with me and instantly shouted
to the steward to put his trunks into number 202.

What could I do ? When I went on deck to smoke a
cigar, the Colonel retired, pretending a petite santt,
suffering a horrible mal de mer y and dreadful shooting
pains in thirty-seven of his wounds. What, I say, could
I do ? I had not the cabin to myself. He had a right
to sleep there at any rate, I had the best berth, and if
he did not snore, my rest would not be disturbed.

But ah ! my dear friends when I thought I would
go down and sleep the first sleep after seven weeks
fancy what I saw he was asleep in my berth.

His sword, gun, and pistol -cases blocked up the



292 PAPERS BY THE FAT CONTRIBUTOR

other sleeping-place ; his bags, trunks, pipes, cloaks,
and portmanteaus, every corner of the little room.

'Qui VA LA?' roared the monster, with a terrific
oath, as I entered the cabin. 'Ah! c'est vous,
Monsieur : pourquoi diable faites-vous tant de bruit ?
J'ai une petite sante ; laissez-moi dormir en paix.'

I went upon deck. I shan't sleep till I get back to
England again. I paid my passage all the way home ;
but I stopped, and am in quarantine at Malta. I
couldn't make the voyage with that Frenchman. I
have no money ; send me some, and relieve the miseries
of him who was once

THE FAT CONTRIBUTOR.

CHAPTER II

ON THE PROSPECTS OF PUNCH IN THE EAST

To the Editor of Punch (confidential}.

MY DEAR SIR, In my last letter (which was in-
tended for the public eye), I was too much affected by
the recollection of what I may be permitted to call the




ARABIAN NIGHTS ENTERTAINMENTS,



to allow me for the moment to commit to paper that
useful information, in the imparting of which your



PUNCH IN THE EAST 293

Journal our Journal the world's Journal yields to
none, and which the British public will naturally expect
from all who contribute to your columns. I address
myself therefore privately to you, so that you may deal
with the facts I may communicate as you shall think
best for the general welfare.

What I wish to point out especially to your notice
is, the astonishing progress of Punch in the East.
Moving according to your orders in strict incognito, it
has been a source of wonder and delight to me to hear
how often the name of the noble Miscellany was in
the mouths of British men. At Gibraltar its jokes
passed among the midshipmen, merchants, Jews, &c.,
assembled at the hotel table (and quite unconscious how
sweetly their words sounded on the ear of a silent guest
at the board) as current, ay, much more current, than
the coin of the realm. At Malta, the first greeting
between Captain Tagus and some other Captain in
anchor-buttons, who came to hail him when we entered
harbour, related to Punch. 'What's the news?' ex-
claimed the other Captain. 'Here's PunchJ was the
immediate reply of Tagus, handing it out and
the other Captain's face was suffused with instant
smiles as his enraptured eye glanced over some of
the beauteous designs of Leech. At Athens, Mr.
Smith, second-cousin of the respected vice-consul,
who came to our inn, said to me mysteriously, 'I'm
told we've got PUNCH on board.' I took him aside,
and pointed him out (in confidence) Mr. Waddilove,
the stupidest man of all our party, as the author in
question.

Somewhat to my annoyance (for I was compelled to
maintain my privacy), Mr. W. was asked to a splendid
dinner in consequence a dinner which ought by rights
to have fallen to my share. It was a consolation to me,
however, to think, as I ate my solitary repast at one of
the dearest and worst inns I ever entered, that though /



294 PAPERS BY THE FAT CONTRIBUTOR

might be overlooked, Punch was respected in the land of
Socrates and Pericles.

At the Piraeus we took on board four young gentle-
men from Oxford, who had been visiting the scenes
consecrated to them by the delightful associations of the
Little Go ; and as they paced the deck and looked at the
lambent stars that twinkled on the bay once thronged
with the galleys of Themistocles what, Sir, do you
think was the song they chanted in chorus ? Was it a
lay of burning Sappho ? Was it a thrilling ode of
Alcarus ? No ; it was

'Had I an ass averse to speed,
Deem ye I'd strike him ? no, indeed,' &c.

which you had immortalised, I recollect, in your sixth
volume. (Donkeys, it must be premised, are most
numerous and flourishing in Attica, commonly be-
stridden by the modern Greeks, and no doubt extensively
popular among the ancients unless human nature has
very much changed since their time.) Thus we find
that Punch is respected at Oxford as well as in Athens,
and I trust at Cambridge likewise.

As we sailed through the blue Bosphorus at midnight,
the Health of Punch was enthusiastically drunk in the
delicious beverage which shares his respectable name ;
and the ghosts of Hero and Leander must have been
startled at hearing songs appropriate to the toast, and
very different from those with which I have no doubt
they amused each other in times so afFectingly described
in Lempriere's delightful Dictionary. I did not see the
Golden Horn at Constantinople, nor hear it blown,
probably on account of the fog ; but this I can declare,
that Punch was on the table at Misseri's Hotel, Pera,
the spirited proprietor of which little knew that one of
its humblest contributors ate his pilaff Pilaff, by the
way, is very good ; kabobs are also excellent ; my friend



PUNCH IN THE EAST 295

Mehemet Effendi, who keeps the kabob shop, close by
the Rope-bazaar in Constantinople, sells as good as any
in town. At the Armenian shops, too, you get a sort
of raisin wine at two piastres a bottle, over which a man
can spend an agreeable half-hour. I did not hear what
the Sultan Abdul Medjid thinks of Punch , but of wine he
is said to be uncommonly fond.

At Alexandria there lay the picture of the dear and
venerable old face, on the table of the British hotel ; and
the 140 passengers from Burrumtollah, Chowringhee,
&c. (now on their way to England per * Burrumpooter ')
rushed upon it it was the July number, with my paper
which you may remember made such a sensation even
more eagerly than on pale ale. I made cautious inquiries
amongst them (never breaking the incognito) regarding
the influence of Punch in our vast Indian territories.
They say that from Cape Comorin to the Sutlej, and
from the Sutlej to the borders of Thibet, nothing is
talked of but Punch. Dost Mahommed never misses a
single number ; and the Tharawaddie knows the figure
of Lord Brougham and his Scotch trousers as well as
that of his favourite vizier. Punch, my informant states,
has rendered his lordship so popular throughout our
Eastern possessions, that were he to be sent out to India
as Governor, the whole army and people would shout
with joyful recognition. I throw out this for the con-
sideration of Government at home.

I asked Bucksheesh Pasha (with whom I had the
honour of dining at Cairo) what his august Master
thought of Punch. And AT THE PYRAMIDS but of
these in another letter. You have here enough to show
you how kingly the diadem, boundless the sway, of Punch
is in the East. By it we are enabled to counterbalance
the influence of the French in Egypt ; by it we are
enabled to spread civilisation over the vast Indian
Continent, to soothe the irritated feelings of the Sikhs,
and keep the Burmese in good-humour. By means of



296 PAPERS BY THE FAT CONTRIBUTOR

Punch, it has been our privilege to expose the designs of
Russia more effectually than Urquhart ever did, and to
this Sir Stratford Canning can testify. A proud and
noble post is that which you, Sir, hold over the Intellect
of the World ; a tremendous power you exercise ! May
you ever wield it wisely and gently as now ! ' Subjectis
parcere, superbos debellare,' be your motto ! I forget
whether I mentioned in my last that I was without funds
in quarantine at Fort Manuel, Malta, and shall
anxiously expect the favour of a communication from
you paste rtstante at that town. With assurances of
the highest consideration, believe me to be, sir, your most
faithful Servant and Correspondent,

THE F CONTRIBUTOR.

P.S. We touched at Smyrna, where I purchased a
real Smyrna sponge^ which trifle I hope your lady will
accept for her toilette ; some real Turkey rhubarb for
your dear children ; and a friend going to Syria has
promised to procure for me some real Jerusalem artichokes,
which I hope to see flourishing in your garden at .

[This letter was addressed 'strictly private and confidential '
to us ; but at a moment when all men's minds are turned
towards the East, and every information regarding ' the
cradle of civilisation ' is anxiously looked for, we have
deemed it our duty to submit our Correspondent's letter to
the public. The news which it contains is so important and
startling our Correspondent's views of Eastern affairs so
novel and remarkable that they must make an impression in
Europe. We beg the Observer, the Times, &c., to have the
goodness to acknowledge their authority, if they avail them-
selves of our facts. And for us. ; t rannot but be a matter of
pride and gratification to think rn the testimony of a
Correspondent who has never deceived us yet that our
efforts for the good of mankind are appreciated by such vast
and various portions of the human race, and that our sphere
of usefulness is so prodigiously on the increase. Were it not



PUNCH IN THE EAST 297

that dinner has been announced (and consequently is getting
cold), we would add more. For the present, let us content
ourselves by stating that the intelligence conveyed to us is
most welcome as it is most surprising, the occasion of heart-
felt joy, and we hope of deep future meditation. EDITOR.]



CHAPTER III

ATHENS

THERE are some beautiful windmills near Athens, not, I
believe, depicted by any artist, and which I dare say
some people will admire because they are Athenian wind-
mills. The world is made so.

I was not a brilliant boy at school the only prize I
ever remember to have got was in a kind of lottery in
which I was obliged to subscribe with seventeen other
competitors and of which the prize was a flogging.
That I won. But I don't think I carried off any
other. Possibly from laziness, or if you please from
incapacity, but I certainly was rather inclined to be of
the side of the dunces Sir Walter Scott, it will be re-
collected, was of the same species. Many young plants
sprouted up round about both of us, I dare say, with
astonishing rapidity but they have gone to seed ere
this, or were never worth the cultivation. Great genius
is of slower growth.

I always had my doubts about the classics. When I
saw a brute of a schoolmaster, whose mind was as cross-
grained as any ploughboy's in Christendom ; whose
manners were those of the most insufferable of Heaven's
creatures, the English snob trying to turn gentleman ;
whose lips, when they were not mouthing Greek or
grammar, were yelling out the most brutal abuse of
poor little cowering gentlemen standing before him :
when I saw this kind of man (and the instructors of our



298 PAPERS BY THE FAT CONTRIBUTOR

youth arc selected very frequently indeed out of this
favoured class) and heard him roar out praises of, and pump
himself up into enthusiasm for, certain Greek poetry,
I say I had my doubts about the genuineness of the
article. A man may well thump you or call you names
because you won't learn but I never could take to the
proffered delicacy ; the fingers that offered it were so
dirty. Fancy the brutality of a man who began a
Greek grammar with * ruTr, I thrash ! ' We were all
made to begin it in that way.

When, then, I came to Athens, and saw that it was a
humbug, I hailed the fact with a sort of gloomy joy. I
stood in the Royal Square and cursed the country which
has made thousands of little boys miserable. They have
blue stripes on the new Greek flag ; I thought bitterly
of my own. I wished that my schoolmaster had been in
the place, that we might have fought there for the
right ; and that I might have immolated him as a
sacrifice to the manes of little boys flogged into pre-
mature Hades, or pining away and sickening under the
destiny of that infernal Greek grammar. I have often
thought that those little cherubs who are carved on
tombstones and are represented as possessing a head and
wings only, are designed to console little children usher
and beadle belaboured and say 'there is no flogging
where we are.' From their conformation, it is impos-
sible. Woe to the man who has harshly treated one of
them !

Of the ancient buildings in this beggarly town it is
not my business to speak. Between ourselves it must be
acknowledged that there was some merit in the Heathens
who constructed them. But of the Temple of Jupiter,
of which some columns still remain, I declare with
confidence that not one of them is taller than our own
glorious Monument on Fish-Street Hill, which I heartily
wish to see again, whereas upon the columns of Jupiter
I never more desire to set eyes. On the Acropolis and



PUNCH IN THE EAST 299

its temples and towers I shall also touch briefly. The
frieze of the Parthenon is well known in England, the
famous chevaux de frieze being carried off by Lord Elgin,
and now in the British Museum, Great Russell Street,
Bloomsbury. The Erechtheum is another building,
which I suppose has taken its name from the genteel
club in London at a corner of Saint James's Square. It
is likewise called the Temple of Minerva Polias a



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