The Merry Adventure of Mr. Punch





Composed extempore twixt Nones & Vespers

& performed by

Messieur le Baron Jacques du Fete, Marquis of Puppetland

with the able assistance of one

Mister Punch, Esq., & Others


Now then, my young Masters & Mistresses! Gather you round here and fix your sparkling eyes upon this here old box! Yes, it IS a shocking bad box, as you Youngsters like to say. Ha! What! But what’s this here then? Eh? Why, bless my pocket-watch! — ain’t it Mister Punch! And, my Young Gentlemen & Fine Ladies in this here assemblage of worthies assembled here, do you suppose what he’s a right rum fellow? Ho! You’ve rumbled THAT trick soon enough by cracky! Oh, yes, you are so right to boo & hiss and make such sour faces, for he is an awful bad blighter, a rare game cock he is, and smells something terrible, too. Ha!

Now why might Mister Punch be going about so sprightly? Do you reckon what he’s taking himself out & about for a little promenade in the fine morning air? – to promote the flowing of the vital humours as what we know is right? For he is awful sallow & pasty, ain’t he. But see! Now he’s rummaging about his person, searching out himself for a tuppence, and perhaps a thruppenny bit even? Oh, very ferocious he is about it too, I SHOULD say! What might you suppose he’s going to buy with such a fine sum? Buckingham Palace? Big Ben? Ho! Mayhap a jewel from the brazen brow of an Hindoo idol, or a bushel-weight of rarest Mussul-man incense, stolen from the Grand Pasha of blackamoor Cairo and brought to our blessed verdant shores by the dwarfish Pirates of Cathay? Oh p’shaw, I should think not, my sillies. For bless my belly, thruppence is not so grand a treasure as all that, for all what it’s part of a guinea. No, my hardy jack-sauce, and you, my pixie princess. He seeks to procure for himself a thing far more wonderful than THAT!

There! See him go at it! For he has found what his purse be empty, and off he goes to find what he will do. Ho! – what is it lies at the bottom of THIS mystery? For bless my whiskers, Mister Punch has taken himself to an artful Scrivener, who has copied out in ever so curly an hand the fulsome couplets what Mister Punch has writ himself. And don’t you suppose it will show itself to be an epic indeed, master poetaster what he fancies himself? But what have we here, then? Why, he is striking the Scrivener upon his pointed nose! See? And again! That DOES seem unnecessary, don’t you think so too? I should SAY so. And now look! He is running away, and with a parchment snatched away from the inky fingers of the Scrivener! And looky there! Why, he’s got the Scrivener’s pocket-book as well! No, no, Mister Punch, we’ll have none of that now, shan’t we? That is SUCH a low thing, ain’t it. We must pay for what we take, mustn’t we, Boys & Girls. For there is a design in everything, and a Grand Designer too, and don’t you forget it. I shouldn’t wonder what such a black-hearted blackguard as Mister Punch should come to a very bad end indeed, and don’t you doubt it, neither!

But look now! See? Why, naughty, thieving Jack-daw Punch is about to recite his poem, what he had copied and then stole. Let us listen, do, and hear with our own ears what Mister Punch has to say for himself.


My name is Mister PUNCH,

For that’s the Man I am!

And ev’ry Noon for Lunch,

I eat my Rinds & Ham!

And well I love to munch,

On toasty roasted Lamb!

Now you can pat my Hunch,

You can, my pretty Ma’am!

But do beware my PUNCH,

For I shall FLIM & FLAM!



& whack! & waste! & walm!



& queer! & quake! & qualm!



& BASH! & BOMB! & BAM!



& scare! & scald! & scam!

& drum! & dim! & dam!

& squinch! quinch! Clunch!

& conch! & crab! & clam!

& drop! & drip! & dram!

& Hunt! & Harm! & haunch!

& pop! & paste! & palm!


& clinch! & clench! & craunch!

& JERK! & JAB! & JAM!

& bench! & wince! & TRENCH!

& drench! & blanch! & launch!

& LYNCH! & flinch! & stench!

& wrench! & wretch! & raunch!

& Sick! de Sade! Kabomb!

uncalm! embalm! pogrom!


And BL**DY H*LL!!! by D*MN!!!

Oh. Oh, my. My oh my. Bless my spectacles. How he does screech & shout. And on and on he did go, frothing & flailing & stomping & spitting so. His Mother never DID teach him fine manners, you may be sure. But have you never in all your innocent lives heard such a persistent bit of rhyming as all that? Enough to blow you down, ain’t it. You Boys & Girls have heard of Sir William Shakes-a-spear, have you not? He lived in Bible times, he did, with Hercules & King Arthur, an hundred years ago, and partook himself in the craft of the Theatre, much as you see before you at this very moment performed by Your Humble Servant & Company. Well, by Dickens, I should warrant what even ol’ Billy Shivers-Quivers himself never did peal out a row of rhymes like THAT, now did he! And now he’s taken his bows, and off he runs, to find what other mischief he can do.

But who’s THIS then, happening along? Why bless my buckles, ain’t it his sweet-heart, Miss Judy – and WHAT a frilly pink pinafore she is wearing. I’ll warrant some one spent a good few hours tatting THAT together, eh? Perhaps Mister Punch will have some kind word to say to her, wouldn’t you wager it’s so? Perhaps he will recite his poem, now he’s practiced it. Oh! OH! I MUST say. That’s a bit of a shocker, ain’t it? See what he’s doin’ there? Oh, right, Boys & Girls, he IS a bad old sod, he is. And see what he goes about now? OH! And he has taken the purse of Miss Judy! Oh, please, somebody call a Constable.

And looky there, now! ’Tis the Constable himself, summoned by the noise what Mister Punch did make in screaming out his poem. Why, I reckon the Bobby thought it was a fire-house claxton, by Jove. And right you are to moan so dearly, for bless my britches, sure it is the Constable knows of Mister Punch and his evil ways. And looky there, Children! See how Mister Punch starts, of a sudden? And how small & furtive he tries to make himself? But the Constable does see him now! And there they go at it! Crack, pow! But Mister Punch has found himself a great whacking stick, and is beating the Bobby about the head & neck! – like to bludgeon him to shivers, too! Oh, that IS a dark deed. And well might you shout a caution, but Mister Punch has no ears to hear it, does he Boys & Girls, for he is so busy doing – why, NO! Oh, it IS so! He is taking for himself the Constable’s purse as well, and leaving the Constable all in an heap! But now the Bobby is up again, and grabbing after old Punch. But there he goes, running away to save his life. Oh, Mister Punch, there is an Hang-man’s noose waiting to fit about YOUR neck, you may be sure.

But where is he speeding himself to, in such a fury? Why, ’tis to a Ferrier, there to reward himself & his day’s dark work. Here he is now, meeting the Ferrier, and my goodness, what brawny arms has this fine hardy, don’t you see. And see how meekly Mister Punch hands over all the lucre he has stolen To-day. Now, what can he be procuring for himself? Do you know? Why, see? SEE! Ho! Why, ’tis the very thing itself, I must say. And right you are to cheer so gaily, for who in all the land has ever seen so gaudy & banging a velocipede! No penny-farthing here, for what young Lady would want her Sweet-heart upon such an outlandish machine, I SHOULD wonder. And there he goes, spinning so merrily about. But OH! See how he has taken a fall! And such a sight he does make of himself, storming about like a Tumble-jack. For his pretty velocipede has fallen to pieces, and bad old Mister Punch is left, worse off than when he started.



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