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* * * * *

Punch, or the London Charivari

Volume 105, September 23rd 1893

_edited by Sir Francis Burnand_

* * * * *




"PAINLESS DENTISTRY."

(_A Story for the Long Vacation._)

[Illustration]

Although professional engagements (not wholly unconnected with
the holding of high judicial office in the Tropics) have recently
prevented me from contributing to the paper which specially represents
Bench and Bar, I have never lost sight of the fact that when I have
a duty to perform, the pages of _Punch_ are open to me. Under these
circumstances I find myself once again writing to the familiar
address, and signing myself, as of yore, with the old name, and
the ancient head-quarters. I must confess that although I date this
communication from Pump-Handle Court, I am, as a matter of fact,
staying at Callerherring, a health resort greatly patronised by all
patients of that eminent doctor Sir PETER TWITWILLOW.

It is unnecessary to describe a place so well known to all lovers of
the picturesque. I may hint that the far-famed view of twelve Scotch,
Irish, and Welsh counties, and the Channel and the Atlantic Ocean,
can still be enjoyed by those who ascend Mount MacHaggis, and that the
_table-d'hôte_ at the Royal Hibernian Hotel yet costs, with its seven
courses, five-and-sixpence. And now to perform my duty.

My son, GEORGE LEWIS BOLTON ROLLIT (he is christened after some
professional friends of mine, in the hope that at some distant date he
may be assisted by them in the characters of good fairy godfathers in
the profession to which it is hoped he may ornamentally belong), is
extremely partial to sweetstuff. He is a habitual glutton of a sticky
comestible known, I believe, in the confectionery trade as "Chicago
Honey Shells." This toothsome (I have his word for the appropriateness
of the epithet) edible he devours in large quantities, spending at
times as much as five shillings to secure an ample store of an article
of commerce generally bought in quantities estimated at the usually
convenient rate of "two ounces for three halfpence."

It was after a long gastronomic debauch connected with Chicago Honey
Shells that I noticed that GEORGE LEWIS BOLTON ROLLIT was suffering
from a swollen face. My son, although evidently in great pain,
declared that there was nothing the matter with him. However, as for
three successive days he took only two helpings of meat and refused
his pudding, I, in consultation with his mother, came to the
conclusion that it was necessary to seek the advice of a local medical
man. GEORGE LEWIS BOLTON ROLLIT raised objections to this course, but
they were overruled.

"No, Sir, the doctor is not in. He's out for the day."

Such was the answer to my question put twice at the doors of two
medical-looking houses with brass plates to match. On the second
occasion I expressed so much annoyance that the servant quite
sympathised with me.

"Perhaps Master SAMMY might do, Sir?" suggested the kind-hearted
janitor.

On finding that "Master SAMMY" was a nephew of the owner of the house
and a qualified medical man, I consented, and "Master SAMMY" was sent
for. There was some little delay in his appearance, as, although the
morning was fairly well advanced, he was not up. However, after making
a possibly hasty toilette, he soon appeared. No doubt he was much
older, but he looked about eighteen. He was very pleasant, and
listened to my history of the case. He seemed, so it appeared to me,
to recognise the Chicago Honey Shells as old acquaintances. It may
have been my fancy, but I think he smacked his lips when I suggested
that GEORGE LEWIS BOLTON ROLLIT had probably eaten five shillings'
worth at a sitting.

"You see," I said, "he has had a bad face ever since; and as our
dentist in town told us about a fortnight ago that sooner or later
he must have a tooth out, I think this must be the one to which he
referred. Won't you see?"

When, after some persuasion, GEORGE LEWIS BOLTON ROLLIT had been
induced to open his mouth, "Master SAMMY" did see.

"Yes," observed the budding doctor, after he had looked into my
lad's mouth as if it were a sort of curiosity from India that he was
regarding for the first time, "yes, I think it ought to come out."

And armed with this opinion I asked my medical friend if he knew any
one in Callerherring capable of performing the operation.

"Well, yes," he replied, after some consideration; "there's a nice
little dentist round the corner. He's called Mr. LEO ARMSTRONG."

Then "Master SAMMY" smiled, and I felt sure that he and "the nice
little dentist" must have quite recently been playing marbles
together. Next came the question of the fee. "Master SAMMY" was
disinclined to accept anything, evidently taking a low estimate of
the value of his professional services. However, he ultimately said
"Three-and-sixpence," and got the money. I would willingly have
increased it to a crown had I not feared that the moment my back was
turned "Master SAMMY" would have followed the example of GEORGE
LEWIS BOLTON ROLLIT, and himself indulged in five shillings' worth of
Chicago Honey Shells.

Mr. LEO ARMSTRONG lived in a rather fine-looking house, ornamented
with an aged brass plate, suggesting that he had been established for
very many years. A buttons opened the door, and, on my inquiring as to
whether Mr. LEO ARMSTRONG was at home, promptly answered "Yes."

From the venerable appearance of the brass plate I had expected to
see a rather elderly dentist, with possibly white hair and certainly
spectacles; so I was rather taken aback when a dapper young fellow,
who seemed about the age of "Master SAMMY," entered the waiting-room.
The juvenile new-comer made himself master of the situation. He
seized upon the jaw of poor trembling GEORGE LEWIS BOLTON ROLLIT, and
declared that "it must come out."

"He'd better have gas," he observed. "But as I am full of engagements
this morning, you really must let me fix a time."

Then he took out a pocket-book which I could not help noticing
contained such items as "Soda-water - 3_s._," "Washing - 5_s._," and
"Church collection - 6_d._," and placed our name and time amidst the
other entries.

We kept our appointment. The buttons was in a state of excitement. Mr.
LEO ARMSTRONG received us, and pointed to the gas apparatus with
an air of triumph, as if he had had some difficulty in getting it
entrusted to him in consequence of his youth. Then "Master SAMMY" made
his appearance. He was going to administer the gas. It was a pleasant
family party, and I felt quite parental. Had it not been for poor
GEORGE LEWIS BOLTON ROLLIT'S swollen face, I should have said to Mr.
LEO ARMSTRONG, "Master SAMMY," my boy, and the buttons, "Here, lads,
let us make a day of it. I will take you all to Madame TUSSAUD'S and
the Zoological Gardens."

"You have had the gas, haven't you?" said "Master SAMMY," who had been
fumbling with the apparatus. "How do you put it on?"

Poor GEORGE LEWIS BOLTON ROLLIT, under protest, described the _modus
operandi_. Then the mouth was opened, and "Master SAMMY" applied the
gas. I am sorry to say he performed the operation rather clumsily, and
my poor lad never "went off." GEORGE LEWIS BOLTON ROLLIT subsequently
described every detail of the performance, and said that he had
suffered excruciating pain. Then Mr. LEO ARMSTRONG went to work, and,
after several struggles, got out a bit of tooth, and then another.
Then GEORGE LEWIS BOLTON ROLLIT came to himself, and the usual
comforts were supplied to him.

"I think there's a bit of the tooth still in the gum," said Mr.
LEO ARMSTRONG; and then, after a pause, with the air of Jack Horner
pulling out a plum, he produced an immense pair of forceps from the
instrument drawer. "There." he added, triumphantly, as he exhibited
another piece of ivory, "I told you so!"

GEORGE LEWIS BOLTON ROLLIT had now sufficiently recovered to complain
bitterly of the pain he had suffered.

"Impossible," I observed; "remember this is _painless_ dentistry."

I had not intended the remark as a witticism, but rather as a solace
to the sufferer. Still, "Master SAMMY" and Mr. LEO ARMSTRONG accepted
it as first-class waggery, and indulged in roars of laughter. Then the
former took his departure. I found that I was indebted to the latter
to the extent of 15_s._ 6_d._ I don't know how my dentist had arrived
at the sum, but he said it with such determination that I could only
offer a sovereign and receive the change.

"I want my tooth," said GEORGE LEWIS BOLTON ROLLIT, who is of an
affectionate nature. "I want to give it to Mother."

Then Mr. LEO ARMSTRONG interposed. He desired to keep the tooth (in
several pieces) himself. I understood him to say that he regarded it
as a memorial of an initial victory - his first extraction.

"Dear me!" I exclaimed. "Why I thought you had been established at
least twenty years, Mr. LEO ARMSTRONG."

"Well, to tell the truth," was the reply, "I am not Mr. LEO ARMSTRONG.
He's away for the day, and I am taking his place!"

Then GEORGE LEWIS BOLTON ROLLIT and I bowed ourselves out. As I left
the premises I fancied I heard the click of marbles. No doubt "Master
SAMMY" and "Mr. LEO ARMSTRONG" had resumed the game our visit had
interrupted. I was relieved to find myself safe from a fall caused
perchance by one of their runaway hoops.

And now to perform my duty. I need scarcely say that it is to add my
recommendation to that of Sir PETER TWITWILLOW anent Callerherring.
You should not fail to visit the place, especially if you have a son
suffering from "a raging tooth," that "must come out."

(_Signed_)

A. BRIEFLESS, JUNIOR.

_Pump-Handle Court, Temple, September, 1893._

* * * * *

THE THREE JOVIAL HUNTSMEN.

(_Latest Parliamentary Version._)

[Illustration]

It's of three jovial huntsmen, an' a hunting they did go;
An' they hunted, an' they hollo'd, an' they blew their horns also.
Look ye there!
An' one said, "Mind yo'r 'ayes,' and keep yo'r 'noes' well down th' wind,
An' then, by scent or seet, we'll leet on summat to our mind."
Look ye there!

They hunted, an' they hollo'd, an' the first thing they did find
Was a tatter't boggart, in a field, an' that they left behind.
Look ye there!
One said it was a scarecrow, an' another he said "Nay;
It's just the British Farmer, an' he seems in a bad way."
Look ye there!

They hunted, an' they hollo'd, an' the next thing they did find
Was a gruntin', grindin' grindlestone, an' that they left behind.
Look ye there!
One said it was a grindlestone, another he said "Nay;
It's just th' owd Labour Question, which is always in the way."
Look ye there!

They hunted, an' they hollo'd, an' the next thing they did find
Was a bull-calf in a pinfold, an' that too they left behind.
Look ye there!
One said it was a bull-calf, an' another he said "Nay;
It is just a Rural Voter who has lately learned to bray."
Look ye there!

They hunted, an' they hollo'd, an' the next thing they did find
Was a two-three children leaving school, an' these they left behind.
Look ye there!
One said that they were children, but another he said "Nay;
They're Denominational-divvels, who want freedom _plus_ State-pay."
Look ye there!

They hunted, an' they hollo'd, and the next thing they did find
Was two street-spouters and a crowd, an' these they left behind.
Look ye there!
One said they were street-spouters, but another he said, "Nay;
They're just teetotal lunatics who on Veto want their say."
Look ye there!

They hunted an' they hollo'd, an' the next thing they did find
Was a dead sheep hanging by it's heels, an' that they left behind.
Look ye there!
One said it was Welsh Mutton, but another he said, "Nay;
It's the ghost of a Suspensory Bill; we'd better get away!"
Look ye there!

They hunted, an' they hollo'd, an' the next thing they did find
Was a fat pig boltin' thro' a hedge, an' _that_ they left behind.
Look ye there!
One said it was an Irish hog, but another he said "Nay;
It's our plump, pet Home-Rule porker, which the Lords have
driven away!"
Look ye there!

So they hunted, an' they hollo'd, till the setting of the sun;
An' they'd nought to bring away at last, when th' huntin'-day
was done.
Look ye there!
Then one unto the other said, "This huntin' doesn't pay;
But we've powler 't up an' down a bit, an' had a rattlin' day."
Look ye there!

* * * * *

[Illustration: BRILLIANT SUGGESTION.

(_Overheard at the Sea-side._)

_She._ "SO MUCH NICER NOW THAT ALL THE VISITORS HAVE GONE. DON'T YOU
THINK SO?"

_He._ "YES, BY JOVE! SO JOLLY NICE AND QUIET! OFTEN WONDER THAT
_EVERYBODY_ DOESN'T COME NOW, WHEN THERE'S NOBODY HERE, DON'T YOU
KNOW!"]

* * * * *

QUEER QUERIES.

PARSON AND PREMIER. - I see that a person who is called "the Episcopal
Vicar of Blairgowrie" said that he would decline to shake hands with
the PRIME MINISTER, in the utterly improbable event of the PRIME
MINISTER wishing to shake hands with _him_. May I inquire how there
can be a "Vicar of Blairgowrie" at all? Is not the Established Church
in Scotland the Presbyterian one? I know that they have "Lord Rectors"
up north, and so perhaps there are Rectors as well, but I never heard
of a Lord Vicar. "The Lord Vicar of Blairgowrie" would sound rather
well. But what would his Lord Bishop say? Can any genuine Scotchman
kindly assist me in unravelling this puzzle? - SOUTHRON BODY.

OUR AUXILIARIES. - When are we likely to have a Minister of War who
will do _real justice_ to Officers of the Volunteers? I may say that
I am thinking of becoming an Officer myself, and I fancy that the
following inducements would be likely to bring in a fresh supply of
these deserving men: - (1) Exemption from Taxes. (2) Ditto from Rates,
and Serving on Juries. (3) More gold braid everywhere. (4) A Volunteer
Captain to rank equal to a Lieutenant-General, and a Major of
Volunteers equal to the Commander-in-Chief. (5) Retiring pension, and
not less than six medals or decorations, after half a year's service.
Do you think that there would be much good in my writing to Mr.
CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN and suggesting this? - MODEST MERIT.

* * * * *

UNDER THE ROSE.

(_A Story in Scenes._)

SCENE IV. - _An Up-platform at Clapham Junction._ TIME - _Monday
afternoon._

_Curphew_ (_to himself, as he paces up and down with a pre-occupied
air_). I ought to have been up at the Hilarity rehearsing hours ago.
Considering all that depends on that play of mine - but there'll be
time enough to pull _Flattery_ together before Saturday. And this is
the only chance I have of seeing ALTHEA for days. Her mother hinted
last night that she was obliged to let her travel up to Waterloo
alone, and if I _did_ happen to be going up about this time - and
of course I _do_ happen to be. I _must_ tell ALTHEA; I can't go on
playing a part any longer. I felt such a humbug last night over that
confounded Eldorado business. But if I'd revealed myself then as
"Walter Wildfire, Comedian and Vocalist," those puritanical parents of
hers would probably have both had a fit on the floor, and have kicked
me out of the house as soon as they were sufficiently recovered!
That's the worst of becoming intimate with a serious Evangelical
family in the character of a hard-working journalist. I ought to have
undeceived them, I suppose, but it was such a blessing to sink the
shop - and besides, I'd seen ALTHEA. It would have been folly to speak
until - but she must know now, I'll have no more false pretences. After
all, there's no disgrace in being a music-hall singer. I've no reason
to be ashamed of the means by which I've got my reputation. Ah! but
she won't understand that - the name will be enough for her! And I
can't blame her if she fails to see the glory of bringing whisky
and water nightly to the eyes of an enraptured audience by singing
serio-comic sentiment under limelight through clouds of tobacco-smoke.
Heaven knows _I'm_ sick enough of it, and if _Flattery_ only makes
a hit, I'd cut the profession at once. If I could only hear her say
she - there she is - at last - and alone, thank goodness! I wish I didn't
feel so nervous - I'm not likely to get a better opportunity. (_Aloud,
as he meets_ ALTHEA.) Mrs. TOOVEY said I might - can I get your ticket,
or see after your luggage, or anything?

_Althea._ Oh, thank you, Mr. CURPHEW, but PH[OE]BE is doing all that.

_Curph._ (_to himself, his face falling_). That's the maid; then she's
_not_ alone! I must get this over now, or not at all. (_Aloud._) Miss
TOOVEY, I - I've something I particularly want to say to you; shall we
walk up to the other end of the platform?

_Alth._ (_to herself_). It looks more serious than ever! Is he
going to give me good advice? It's kind of him to care, but
still - - (_Aloud._) Oh, but we shan't have time. See, there's our
train coming up now. Couldn't you say it in the railway carriage?

[_The train runs in._

_Curph._ (_to himself_). For PH[OE]BE'S edification! No, I
don't quite - - (_Aloud, desperately._) It - it's something that
concerns - something I can't very well say before anyone else - there'll
be another train directly - would you mind waiting for it?

_Alth._ (_to herself_). It's very mysterious. I _should_ like to
know what it can be! (_Aloud._) I - I hardly know. I think we ought,
perhaps, to - but this doesn't look a very nice train, does it?

_Curph._ (_with conviction_). It's a _beastly_ train! One of the very
worst they run, and full of the most objectionable people. It - it's
quite noted for it.

_Alth._ (_to_ PH[OE]BE, _who hurries up with her hand-bag_). No, never
mind; I'm not going by this train, PH[OE]BE; we'll wait for a more
comfortable one.

_Ph[oe]be._ Very good, Miss. (_To herself, as she retires._) Well,
if that isn't downright barefaced - I don't know what it is! I hope
they'll find a train to suit 'em before long, and not stay here
picking and choosing all day, or I shan't get back in time to lay the
cloth for dinner. But it's the way with all these quiet ones!

_Alth._ Did you want to speak to me about last night, Mr. CURPHEW?
Has my cousin CHARLES been getting into any mischief? I only came in
afterwards; but you were looking so shocked about something. Was it
because he had been to a theatre, and do _you_ think that very wicked
of him?

_Curph._ (_to himself_). I ought to manage to lead up to it now.
(_Aloud._) It was not a theatre exactly - it was - well, it was a
music-hall.

_Alth._ Oh! but is there any difference?

_Curph._ Not much - between a music-hall and some theatres. At
theatres, you see, they perform a regular play, with a connected
plot - at least, some of the pieces have a connected plot. At a
music-hall the entertainment is - er - varied. Songs, conjuring-tricks,
ventriloquism, and - and that kind of thing.

_Alth._ Why, that's just like the Penny Readings at our Athenæum!

_Curph._ Well, I should hardly have - but I'm not in a position to say.
(_To himself._) I'm further off than ever!

_Alth._ It couldn't be _that_, then; for Papa has presided at Penny
Readings himself. But CHARLES must have told him _something_ that
upset him, for he came down to breakfast looking perfectly haggard
this morning. CHARLES had a long talk in the library with him last
night after you left, and then Papa went to bed.

_Curph._ (_to himself_). I felt sure that fellow spotted me. So he's
let the cat out to old TOOVEY! If I don't tell her now. (_Aloud._) Did
Mr. TOOVEY seem - er - annoyed?

_Alth._ He looked worried, and I believe he wanted to consult _you_.

_Curph._ (_to himself_). The deuce he did! (_Aloud._) He mentioned me?

_Alth._ He talked of going round to see you, but Mamma insisted on his
staying quietly indoors.

_Curph._ (_to himself_). Sensible woman, Mrs. TOOVEY! But I've no time
to lose. (_Aloud._) I think I can explain why he wished to see me. He
has discovered my - my secret.

_Alth._ Have you a secret, Mr. CURPHEW? (_To herself._) He can't mean
_that_, and yet - oh, what _am_ I to say to him?

_Curph._ I have. I always intended to tell him - but - but I wanted
you to know it first. And it was rather difficult to tell. I - I risk
losing everything by speaking.

[Illustration: "He _does_ mean that!"]

_Alth._ (_to herself_). He _does_ mean that! But I won't be proposed
to like this on a railway platform; I don't believe it's proper; and
I haven't even made up my mind! (_Aloud._) If it was difficult before,
it will be harder than ever now - just when another train is coming in,
Mr. CURPHEW.

_Curph._ (_angrily, as the train passes_). Another - already! The
way they crowd the traffic on this line is simply dis - - But it's an
express. It isn't going to stop, I assure you it isn't!

_Alth._ It _has_ stopped. And we had better get in.

_Ph[oe]be._ I don't know if you fancy the look of this train, Miss,
but there's an empty first-class in front.

_Curph._ This train stops everywhere. We shall get in just as soon by
the next - sooner in fact.

_Alth._ If you think so, Mr. CURPHEW, wait for it, but we really must
go. Come, PH[OE]BE.

_Ph[oe]be._ I only took a second for myself, Miss, not knowing you'd
require - -

_Curph._ (_to himself_). There's a chance still, if I can get a
carriage to ourselves. (_Aloud._) No, Miss TOOVEY, you must let me
come with you. Your mother put you under my care, you know. (_To_
PH[OE]BE.) Here, give me Miss TOOVEY'S bag. Now, Miss TOOVEY, this
way - we must look sharp. (_He opens the door of an empty compartment,
puts_ ALTHEA _in, hands her the bag, and is about to follow when he
is seized by the arm, and turns to find himself in the grasp of_ Mr.
TOOVEY.) How do you do, Mr. TOOVEY? We - we are just off, you see.

_Mr. Toovey_ (_breathlessly_). I - I consider I am very fortunate in
catching you, Mr. CURPHEW. I accidentally learnt from my wife that you
were going up about this time - so I hurried down, on the bare chance
of - -

_Curph._ (_impatiently_). Yes, yes, but I'm afraid I can't wait now,
Sir. I - Mrs. TOOVEY asked me to take care of your daughter - -

_Mr. Toov._ ALTHEA will be perfectly safe. And I must have a few words
with you at once on a matter which is pressing, Sir, very pressing
indeed. ALTHEA will excuse you.

_Alth._ (_from the window_). Of course. You mustn't think of coming,
Mr. CURPHEW. PH[OE]BE will look after me.

_Curph._ But - but I have an important engagement in Town myself!

_Alth._ (_unkindly_). You will get up quite as soon by the next train,
Mr. CURPHEW, or even sooner - you said so yourself, you know! (_In an
under-tone._) Stay. I'd _rather_ you did - you can tell me your - your
secret when I come back.

_The Guard._ Vauxhall and Waterloo only, this train. Stand back there,
please!

[_He slams the door; the train moves on, leaving_ CURPHEW _on the
platform with_ Mr. TOOVEY.

_Curph._ (_to himself, bitterly_). What luck I have! She's gone
now - and I haven't told her, after all. And I'm left behind, to have
it out with this old pump! (_Aloud._) Well, Sir, you've something to
say to me?

_Mr. Toov._ (_nervously_). I have - yes, certainly - only it - it's of
rather a private nature, and - and perhaps we should be freer from
interruption in the waiting-room here.

_Curph._ (_to himself_). I wish I'd thought of that myself - earlier.
Well, he doesn't seem very formidable; it strikes me I shan't find it
difficult to manage him. (_Aloud._) The waiting-room, by all means.

[_He follows_ Mr. TOOVEY _into the General Waiting-room, and awaits
developments_.

END OF SCENE IV.

* * * * *

"DUE SOUTH!"

[Illustration]

NOTE. - When I am travelling due South, as I am now, _per_ L. & S.
W. R., to join my party, all I require may be summed up in the
accompanying "_Mem._," which is to this effect: -

_Mem._ - Give me a Pullman car, my favourite beverage, a good cigar,


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Online LibraryVariousPunch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 105 September 23, 1893 → online text (page 1 of 3)