Punch and Judy
described by Alfred T. Story in The Strand Magazine 1895
Who has not wasted a pleasant half-hour watching the antics of Punch, even when we ought to have been on more important business? I once remember seeing the late Prime Minister lingering on the edge of a crowd in Parliament Street while the immortal drama was being enacted under the pale glimpses of the moon. It was a night on which there was an important a debate, in which the Grand Old Man delivered a telling speech; and who knows but he made his points the better for the few
minutes he allowed his mind to be relaxed by watching the exploits of the grand old hero of the curbstone-play that has run a greater number of nights than even " Hamlet," or any of the other famous plays that continue to hold our stage?
We are never tired of it; no one is ever tired of it. We have all watched it as children, and when we grow old we like it as well as ever. But whereas it was in former days on the village green that we witnessed it, or in the convenient by-street, we may see it now in the dining-room, or, if it be summer-time, on the lawn. Formerly it was thought only fit for the " rude mechanicals " of the village street or the marketplace; it is now the fashion for society to indulge in it, and for Royalty even to look upon it with pleasure, so good is it for everyone to get a touch every now and again of rude, unsophisticated Nature. And Punch and Judy is rude, and for the most part very unsophisticated. We are, however, softening down even this specimen of " good old " aboriginal humour, and now it more frequently closes with a " nigger " song, or something of that nature, than, as formerly, with the death of the Father of Evil. It was my good fortune recently to come across the " Royal " Punch and Judy show - one beloved of the Royal children for two, if not three, generations - and to get photographs of some of the scenes of the immortal drama. These I propose to give, and to accompany them with some of the text of the original play, at the same time indicating where innovations have been introduced. As regards the origin and history of Punch and Judy, there is as much dispute amongst authorities as touching the birthplace of Homer. But on one point there appears to be little, if any, doubt; and that is, that the comedy came to us from Italy, where it was popular in the Middle Ages, as Punchinello, (contracted with us to simple Punch). The original characters were; Punch; his wife Judy; the Baby; Toby, the dog; Scaramouch, transmogrified later into the Clown; a Courtier; a Doctor; Constable; the Hangman, etc. In short, the four chief characters are always the same; the others change somewhat according to localities, national requirements, etc. Mr. Punch is well known nearly all over Europe, as well as wherever the English tongue is spoken. Toby always has the distinction of being performed by a living individual, if one may speak of a humble member of the canine family as an individual. It is popularly thought that a dog of breed only can be trained to take the part of Toby. This is a mistake, as I was informed by Mr. ]esson, whom we may designate the "Short" of the firm which " runs " the Royal Punch and Judy, his son taking the part of "Codlin," albeit nothing like the immortal "friend" in character. Indeed, it is not at all improbable that Mr. Jessons father was the original of Mr. Dickenss "Short," he having performed with the "dolls" for something like sixty years, while his son has been in the profession forty years. Grandpere Jesson, now, of course, defunct, chiefly frequented London and the home counties, although he made wide stretches now and again for varietys sake, and "to see a bit of life," as his son puts it. But to return to Toby. The part is always taken by a mongrel; nothing else in the canine line will stand the training. The Toby of the present Royal Punch and Judy is eleven years old, and he has taken the part since he was a few months old. His father was twenty-three years old when he was born, and he too had been in the profession - on the stage, so to speak, since he was a puppy. This does away with another popular tradition, namely, that the life of a Punch and Judy dog was six years, never more. But perhaps in the "good old times," when there was so much tramping and rough weather to be endured, and in addition, possibly, so much hard training, six years has been the span of life allotted to Toby. But things are changed now, and the life of the Punch and Judy man, and dog, has fallen in pleasant places compared with what was formerly the case. There has been a general elevation of the stage-thanks to Sir Henry Irving et autres; and Punch and Judy has gone up with the rest. It is now one of the professions to be looked up to, and there is some talk of training younger sons for it, instead of sending them into the Church and to cattle-ranching in the Far West. There is more money to be made in it than in stock-broking, the fine arts, journalism, or gold-mining, and when you are good, you play to Royalty, and put up the Royal Arms. Mr. Jesson "shook the dolls" before the Prince of Wales and his brothers and sisters when they were little children, and he remembers His Royal Highness laughing till the tears ran down his face when Punch rolled the baby about as though he were making a roly-poly pudding of it, in order, as he said, "to soothe it to sleep" The others were amused, but none laughed like the Prince of Wales says Mr. Jesson, with pride, "Ive played before the Prince's children, too, and they were just as pleased as their father used to be." He adds, "Ive played at Windsor, at Marlborough House, at Buckingham Palace, at Osborne, at Frogmore, and at Sandringham? "You do pretty well, then?" we naturally queried. "Oh, yes, I make enough at Christmas to keep me the year round, if I liked to be idle the rest of the year." It should, perhaps, be said here, lest too many of those in search of a profession should rush in, that to be a Punch and Judy show-man is not so easy as might at first sight appear. Apart from the fact that there is a good deal of dialogue to commit to memory, and that, in our days, novelties must be introduced from time to time, the one who aspires to perform with the dolls must be very ready-witted, quick to get up fresh "patter, good at repartee, and if not a Sims Reeves, at least distinctly "Sims-Reevesy" at a song. Then he must be something of a mechanical genius into the bargain. Listen to Mr. Jesson: "I make everything connected with the show myself I make the frame and the hangings, paint the scenery and the drop-scene in front, do the carving above the stage, carve the heads of the dolls, and cut out and sew their clothes. In fact, there is nothing about the show I dont make myself - and my son can do it all, too. That gives us plenty of work to do at home, when we are not otherwise engaged. The dolls you see, get so much knocking about that they only last about six months. In addition to all this hard work, there is another consideration which should be taken into account by those wishing to enter the profession. It is the danger attached to the calling. The performer with the dolls cannot do without the squeaker - and he may swallow it! And everyone who has committed such an error has died after it. However, if, after fairly considering the difficulties, the ambitious youth (or maiden, for, like medicine, the law, and other honourable callings, the profession is open to the fair sex) should decide to take up with the dolls, he will find the following text, with a due admixture of his own brains, all that is required in the way of dialogue:
(PUNCH enters: and after a few preliminary squeaks he bows three times to the spectators, once in the centre, and once at each side of the stage, and then speaks as follows):
Ladies and gentlemen, pray, how dye do?
If youre all happy, Im happy too.
Stop and hear my merry little play
If I make you laugh, I need not make you pay.
(After this PUNCH makes his bow and exit. He is then heard behind the scene singing, or rather squeaking, the song " Mr. Punch is a Jolly Good Fellow")
Formerly the tune used to be the popular one of "Malbrook" but nearly all performers nowadays have different tunes, generally picking up some of the popular airs of the day.
(After squeaking for a minute or so behind the scene the scene, PUNCH makes his appearance and dances upon the stage, while he sings):
Mr. Punch is a jolly good fellow,
His dress is all scarlet and yellow.
And if now and then he gets mellow,
Its only among his good friends.
(He continues to dance and to sing and calls):
Judy, my dear Judy! Judy!
(This constitutes the first scene of the play. The second scene opens with the entrance of Dog TOBY. PUNCH salutes him with):
Halloa, Toby! Who calld you? How do ye do, Mr. Toby? Hope you are very well, Mr. Toby?
(To which TOBY answers with a snarl or a bark): Bow-wow-wow!
PUNCH: Poor Toby (Putting his hand out cautiously and trying to coax the dog who snaps at it): Toby, you are a nasty, cross dog. Get away with you I (Strikes at him.)
TOBY: Bow-Wow-Wow! (Seizing PUNCH by the nose).
PUNCH: Oh, dear! Oh, dear! Oh, my nose! My poor nose! My beautiful nose! Get away! Getaway, you nasty dog. I'll tell your master. Oh, dear! dear! Judy! Judy! (PUNCH shakes his nose, but cannot shake off the dog who follows him as he retreats round the stage. He continues to call Judy! Judy my dear! until the dog quits his hold and exits)
PUNCH:(Solus, and rubbing his nose with both hands) Oh, my nose! My pretty little nose ! Judy! Judy! You nasty, nasty brute, I will tell your master of you. Mr. Scaramouch! (calls) My good friend, Mr. Scaramouch! Look what your nasty brute of a dog has done I (Enter SCARAMOUCH, the clown with a stick.)
SCARAMOUCH: Halloa, Mr. Punch! What have you been doing to my poor dog?
PUNCH (Retreating behind the scene on observing the stick, and peeping round the corner.)
Ha! my good friend, how doy do? Glad to see you look so well! (Aside) I wish you were further with your nasty great stick.
SCARAMOUCH : You have been beating and ill-using my poor dog, Mr. Punch.
PUNCH: He has been biting and ill-using my poor nose, Mr. Scaramouch. What have you got there, sir?
SCARAMOUCH : Where?
PUNCH : In your hand?
SCARAMOUCH: A fiddle.
PUNCH: A fiddle! What a pretty thing is a fiddle! Can you play upon that fiddle? SCARAMOUCH : Come here, and Ill try.
PUNCH: No, thank you. I can hear the music where I am very well!
SCARAMOUCH : Then you shall try yourself. Can you play?
PUNCH: (coming in): I do not know till I try. Let me see! (Takes the stick and moves slowly about, singing some popular tune. He hits SCARAMOUCH a slight blow on his cap, as if by accident) . ' SCARAMOUCH : You play very well, Mr. Punch. Now let me try. I will give you a. lesson how to play the fiddle. (Takes the stick and dances to the same tune, hitting PUNCH a hard blow on the back of the head) Theres sweet music for you!
PUNCH : I do not like your playing so well as my own. Let me play again. (Takes Takes the stick and dances as before. In the course of the dance he gets behind SCARAMOUCH and with a violent blow knocks his head clean off his shoulders.) How do y'like that tune, my good friend? Is that sweet music, or sour music, eh? He, he, he! (laughing and throwing away the stick). Youll never hear such another tune so long as you live, my boy. (Sings the tune of Malbrook or some other, and dances to it) Judy! Judy, my dear Judy, can't you answer, my dear?
JUDY (within) : Well! What do you want, Mr. Punch?
PUNCH: Come upstairs, I want you.
JUDY: Then want must be your master, I'm busy.
The answer is genteel and civil!
No wonder, you think, if we live ill
And I wish her sometimes much evil
Since that's all the answer I get.
Judy my dear! (calling) Judy my pet! Pretty Judy Come upstairs
JUDY: Well what do you want now I'm come?
PUNCH:(aside) What a pretty creature.
JUDY: What do you want, I say.
Punch: A kiss ! A pretty kiss ! (Kisses her, while she gives him a slap in the face.)
Judy: Take that, then! Now, how do you like my kisses ? Will you have another ?
Punch: No; one at a time - one at a time, my sweet, pretty wife. (Aside): She always is so playful. Wheres the child? Fetch me the child, Judy, my dear. (Exit Judy.)
PUNCH (solus) :
Theres a wife for you! What a precious, darling creature. She has gone to fetch the child.
(Re-enter JUDY with the child)
JUDY: Heres the child - Pretty dear! It knows its papa. Take the child.
PUNCH (holding out his hands) : Give it me, pretty little thing!
JUDY: How awkward you are !
PUNCH: Give it me. I know how to nurse it as well as you do. (She gives it to him.) Get away ! (Exit JUDY, PUNCH nursing child in his arms.) What a pretty baby it is! Was it sleepy then ? Hush-a-by- by ! (Sings to the tune of Rest thee, Babe.")
Oh, rest thee, my baby,
Thy daddy is here ;
Thy mammys a gaby,
And thats very clear.
Poor, dear little thing! It cannot get to sleep. By-by, by-by, hush-a-by. Well, then, it shant. (Dances the child, and then sets it on his lap, between his knees, and sings a nursery ditty.)
(After nursing it upon his lap, PUNCH sticks the child against the side of the stage, or the platform, and going himself to the opposite side, runs up to it, clapping his hands, and crying: Catchee, catchee, catchee ! He then takes it up again, and it begins to cry.) What is the matter with it ? Poor thing ! It has got the tummy-ache, I daresay. (Child cries.) Hush-a-by ! Hush-a-by ! (sitting down and rolling it on his knees!) Naughty child! Judy! (calls) the child has got the tummy- ache. (Child continues to cry.) Keep quiet, cant you ? (Hits it a box on the ear.) Hold your tongue ! (Strikes the child several times against the side of the stage.) There - there - there ! How do you like that ? I thought I should stop your squalling. Get along with you, you naughty, crying child. (Throws it over the front of the stage among the spectators.) He ! he ! He ! (Laughing and singing.)
JUDY: Wheres the child?
PUNCH : Gone - gone to sleep.
JUDY: What have you done with the child, I say ?
PUNCH: Gone to sleep, I say.
JUDY: What have you done with it?
PUNCH: What have I done with it ?
JUDY: Aye, done with it ? I heard it crying just now. Where is it ?
PUNCH: How should I know ?
JUDY: I heard you make the pretty darling cry.
PUNCH: I dropped it out of the window.
JUDY: Oh, you cruel, horrid wretch, to drop the pretty baby out of the window. Oh ! (cries, and wipes her eyes with the corner of her apron) you barbarous man. Oh ! Ill make you pay for this, depend on it. (Exit.)
PUNCH: There she goes. What a to-do about nothing !
(Dances about and sings, beating time with his head, as he turns round, on the front of the stage.)
(Re-enter JUDY with a stick; she comes in behind, and hits PUNCH a blow on the back of the head, before he is aware.)
JUDY: Ill teach you to drop my child out of the window.
PUNCH : So-o-oftly, Judy, so-o-oftly ! (Rubbing the back of his head with his hand.) Dont be a fool, now. What are you at ?
JUDY: What! Youll drop my poor baby out of the window again, will you ? (Hitting him continually on the head.)
PUNCH: No, I never will again. (She still hits him.) Softly, I say, softly. A jokes a joke.
JUDY: Oh, you nasty, cruel brute ! (Hitting him again.) Ill teach you !
PUNCH: But I do not like such teaching. What! You are in earnest, are you ?
JUDY : Yes (hit) I (hit) am (hit).
PUNCH: Im glad of it. I dont like such jokes. (She hits him again.) Leave off, I say. What ! you wont, wont you ?
JUDY : No, I wont (hits him).
PUNCH: Very well. Then now comes my turn to teach you. (He snatches at and struggles with her for the stick, which he wrenches from her, and strikes her with it on the head, while she runs about to different parts of the stage to get out of his way.) How do you like my teaching, Judy, my pretty dear ? (Hitting her.)
JUDY: Oh, pray, Mr. Punchno more !
PUNCH : Yes, one more little lesson (hits her again). There, there, there ! (She falls
down with her head over the platform of the stage, and as he continues to hit her, she puts up her hand to guard her head.) Any more ?
JUDY: No, no; no more (lifting up her head).
PUNCH (knocking down her head) : I thought I should soon make you quiet.
JUDY (again raising her head): No.
PUNCH:(again knocking it down, and following up his blows till she is lifeless) :
Now, if youre satisfied, I am. (Perceiving that she does not move.) There, get up, Judy, my dear. I wont hit you any more. None of your sham-Abram. This is only your fun. Have you got the headache? You are only asleep. Get up, I say! Well, then, get down. (Tosses the body down with the end of his stick.) He, he, he (laughing). To lose a wife is to get a fortune!
Thus ends the first act.
The second act used, in our boyhood days, to open with the entrance of a figure like a courtier, who sang a slow air and moved to it with great gravity. He would first take off his hat on one side and then on the other side of the stage. Then he would stop in the centre, the music would cease, and suddenly his neck would begin to elongate until it was longer than all the rest of his body. After remaining thus for some time the head would sink again; and as soon as it had descended to its natural place, the figure would exit.
After this bit of business Punch was wont to come on with his famous horse, Hector, and prance round the stage several times. There used to be a showman in the north named Bailey who made a great deal of this scene. Mr. Jesson remembered the man very well, and said that he was one of the best performers with the dolls to be found anywhere. He added that this artist died in London about seven years ago, and that there had been no one to touch him since. The finish of the scene was that Punch was thrown, and he, thinking he was killed, cried out for the doctor to come and bring him to life again. At present, when the gee-gee is left out, Punch is mauled by one of the other characters, and he shouts for the doctor Whereupon the doctor enters, and the following dialogue ensues :
DOCTOR: Who calls so loud ?
PUNCH : Oh, dear ! Oh, dear ! Murder ! Murder !
DOCTOR: What is the matter ? Bless me, who is this ? My good friend, Mr. Punch ? Have you had an accident, or are you taking a nap on the grass after dinner ?
PUNCH : Oh, Doctor ! Doctor : I have been thrownI have been killed.
DOCTOR: No, no, Mr. Punchnot so bad as that, sir. You are not killed.
PUNCH : Not killed, but speechless. Oh, Doctor ! Doctor !
DOCTOR: Where are you hurt ? Is it here ? (touching his head).
PUNCH: No, lower.
game are you up to now ? Have done.
DOCTOR: Here ? (touching his breast).
PUNCH: No, lower, lower.
DOCTOR: Here, then? (going downwards).
PUNCH: No, lower still.
DOCTOR : Then, is your handsome leg broken ?
PUNCH: No, higher.
(As the DOCTOR leans over Punchs legs to examine them, PUNCH kicks him in the eye.)
DOCTOR: Oh, my eye ! my eye ! (Exit.)
(It should be said that sometimes it is Punch who gets the kick in the eye.)
PUNCH (solus) : Aye, you are right enough. It is my eye and Betty Martin
(Jumping up, and dancing and singing.)
The Doctor is merely an ass, sirs,
* To think Im as brittle as glass, sirs ;
But I only fell down on the grass, sirs,
And my hurtit is all in my eye !
( While Punch is singing and dancing,, the Doctor enters behind with a stick, and hits Punch several times on the head.)
PUNCH: Halloa, halloa, Doctor! What have you got there?
DOCTOR: Physic Mr Punch (hitting him) Physic!
Punch : I do not like physic ; it gives me a headache.
Doctor : Thats because you do not take enough of it. (Hits him again.) The more you take, the more good it will do you.
PUNCH: So you doctors always say. Try how you like it yourself.
DOCTOR: We never take our own physic if we can help it. (Hits him.) A little more, Mr. Punch, and you will soon be well. (Hits him. During this part of the dialogue, the DOCTOR chases PUNCH to different parts of the stage, and at last gets him into a corner and belabours him until Punch seems almost stunned.)
PUNCH: Oh, Doctor ! Doctor ! No more, no more ! Enough physic for me. I am quite well now.
DOCTOR: Only another does. (Hitting him)
PUNCH: No more ! Turn and turn about is fair play, you know. (Punch makes a desperate effort, closes with the Doctor, and, after a struggle, succeeds in getting the stick from him.) Now, Doctor, it is your turn to be physicked (beating the DOCTOR).
DOCTOR: Halloa, Mr. Punch. I dont want any physic, my good sir.
PUNCH: Oh, yes, you do; you are very bad. You must take it. Im the doctor now. (Hits him.) How do you like physic? (Hits him.) It will do you good (hit). This will soon cure you (hit).
DOCTOR : Oh, pray, Mr. Punch, no more ! One pill of that physic is a dose.
PUNCH: Doctors always die when they take their own physic (hitting him). Another small dose and you will never want physic again. (Hitting him. Here the DOCTOR falls down dead, and PUNCH, as before, tosses away the body with the end of his staff.) He, he, he ! (laughing). Now, Doctor, you may cure yourself if you can. (Sings and dances, and then exit)
Punch now enters with a large sheep-bell, which he rings violently, while he dances about the stage. He then sings a song, beginning,
Mr. Punch is a very gay man.
In the midst of this there formerly entered a servant dressed in a foreign livery; but the servant is now generally done away with, and we have a policeman in his stead. The policeman begins by ordering him to go away, because a gentleman, or an old woman, who lives near by, wont have the noise.
PUNCH(with surprise and mocking him): The gentleman he says he dont like that noise ! What noise ?
POLICEMAN : That nasty noise.
PUNCH: Do you call music a noise?
POLICEMANn : The gentleman dont like music, Mr. Punch. So well have no more music near his house.
PUNCH : He dont, dont he ? Very well. (PUNCH runs about the stage, ringing the bell as loudly as he can.)
POLICEMAN: Get away, I say, with that nasty bell.
PUNCH : What bell?
POLICEMAN: That bell (striking it with his hand).
PUNCH : Thats a good one. Do you call this a bell ? Why, it is an organ !
POLICEMAN : I say its a bella nasty bell.
PUNCH: I say it is an organ (striking him with it). What do you say it is now?
POLICEMAN: An organ, Mr. Punch.
PUNCH: An organ ? It is a fiddle. Cant you see? (Offers to strike him again.)
POLICEMAN It is a fiddle.
PUNCH: I say it is a drum.
POLICEMAN: It is a drum, Mr. Punch.
PUNCH: I say it is a trumpet.
POLICEMAN Well, so it is a trumpet. But, bell, organ, fiddle, drum, or trumpet, the gentleman he says he does not like music.
PUNCH: Then bell, organ, fiddle, drum, or trumpet, Mr. Punch he says the gentlemans a fool.
POLICEMAN: And he says hell not have it near his house.
PUNCH: Hes a fool, I say, not to like my sweet music. Tell him so. Be off. (Hits him with the bell.) Get along. (Driving the POLICEMAN round the stage backwards, and striking him often with the bell) Be off, be off. (Knocking him off the stage. PUNCH continues to ring the bell as loudly as before, while he sings and dances.)
(Re-enter POLICEMAN, slily, with a stick.)
(PUNCH, perceiving him, retreats behind the side curtain, and remains upon the watch. The POLICEMAN does the same, but leaves the end of the stick visible. Punch again comes forward, puts down his bell very gently, and creeps across the stage, to ascertain whereabouts the enemy is. He then returns to his bell, takes it up, and going quietly over the stage, hits the Policeman a heavy blow through the curtain, and exit, leaving his bell on the opposite side.)
POLICEMAN: You nasty, noisy, impudent blackguard, Ill have you. (Hides again as before.)
(Enter PUNCH, and strikes him as before with the bell. The POLICEMAN pops out, and
aims a blow, but not quickly enough to hit PUNCH, who exit.)
POLICEMAN: You scoundrel, rascal, thief, vagabond, blackguard - you shall pay for this, depend on it.
(He stands back. Enter PUNCH with his bell, who, seeing the POLICEMAN with his stick, retreats instantly, and returns, also armed'with a .bludgeon, which he does not at first show. The POLICEMAN comes forward and strikes PUNCH on the head so hard a blow that it seems to confuse him.)
POLICEMAN: Ill teach you how to ring your nasty noisy bell near the gentlemens houses.
PUNCH: (Recovering): Two can play at that. (Hits the POLICEMAN with his stick. A conflict ensues, during which the combatants exchange staves and perform various manoeuvres. PUNCH knocks his antagonist down onto the platform by repeated blows on the head.)
POLICEMAN : Oh, dear ! Oh, my head !
PUNCH: Oh, your head, eh ? (Hitting him again.) How do you like that, and that, and that ? (Hitting him each time.) Do you like that music better than the other ? There! a whole concert for you.
POLICEMAN: No more ! Im dead.
PUNCH Quite dead ?
POLICEMAN : Yes, quite dead.
PUNCH: Then, theres the last for luck. (Hits him and kills him. He then takes hold of the body by its legs, and throws it away.)
At this point, the modern play usually goes off into all kinds of comic business in order to amuse the children without wounding their tender susceptibilities; but in the real, legitimate play, the hero, after a short scene in which he knocks a blind beggar about, is confronted with the constable, when the following dialogue takes place:-
CONSTABLE: Leave off your singing, Mr. Punch, for Im going to make you sing on the other side of your face.
PUNCH : Why, who are you ?
CONSTABLE: Dont you know me?
PUNCH: No, and dont want to know you.
CONSTABLE: Oh, but you must. I am the constable.
PUNCH: I dont want the constable. I can settle my business without the constable.
CONSTABLE : But the constable wants you.
PUNCH: Does he, indeed ? What for, pray ?
CONSTABLE: You killed Mr. Scaramouch. You knocked his head clean off his shoulders.
PUNCH: Whats that to you ? If you stay here much longer I shall serve you the same.
CONSTABLE: You have committed murder, and I have a warrant for you.
PUNCH: And I have a warrant for you. (PUNCH knocks him down and then dances and sings about the stage.)
(Enter an OFFICER, usually in a cocked hat, sometimes in the costume of a police-officer)
OFFICER : Stop your noise, my fine fellow !
OFFICER: Im an officer.
PUNCH : Did I say you were not ?
OFFICER: You must go with me. You killed your wife and child.
PUNCH: They were my own, I suppose ! Havent I a right to do what I like with my own?
OFFICER :We shall see about that ! Im come to take you up.
PUNCH : And Im come to take you down. (PUNCH knocks him down, and sings and dances as before.)
At this point there is usually some comic business, Scaramouch, or the clown, coming to life, and greatly surprising Punch by putting his head through the window, and when Punch strikes at him with his stick, dodging out and in, and back and forth, with much agility. Then follows some amusement from the Clown placing Punch's corpses upon the platform, and bothering Punch by counting one more than he does, the odd one being made by inserting himself amongst the dead bodies. In the good old original drama there is another and final scene in which Punch triumphs either over the hangman or over the arch-enemy of mankind himself; but it is probably never represented now, even Bailey - he who was the best man that ever performed the dolls, refraining from putting in this scene because it was apt to harrow the feelings of the little ones and give them bad dreams: which sentiment shows that there may be good and kindly feelings in the humble performer of the wayside and the village green. For Bailey was never anything more than that; his lot having been cast in Punchs pre-Royalty and fashionable society days. It is, however, customary with some handlers of the dolls to finish up with the introduction of the bogey man, who gives Punch a good frightening. Nothing delights the children so much as this.
The present palmy days for Punch, according to Mr. Jesson, date from about thirty years ago. People then began to write about the show, said he, and that led to its becoming more popular, and being taken up by the rich ; and, added he, its popularity grows year by year. These things astonished Mr. Bailey, who, though mellow with age, was still in the green, so to speak, of the countryside, and had not seen London Town for over thirty years. He was one who kept to the legitimate drama, not only in respect of the dramatis persona, dialogue, etc., but also as regards the general paraphernalia of the show. He would as soon have thought of washing his hands in brown October, as of performing to anything but the drum and pipes, or wearing anything but the good old white hat - such a stickler was he in these matters.(1)
Speaking of the music of the show, every lover of Punch and Judy must hold that the introduction of the dulcimer and other the like fantastical instruments, in place of the Pandean pipes and the drum, is of the nature of an impertinence, and ought not to be tolerated. But this, as well as other matters connected with Punch and Judy, will, I understand, be seen to shortly ; as, following in the wake of the Browning, the Goethe, the Ancient Monuments, and other similar societies, there is to be a Punch and Judy Society; or, at least, so it is whispered.
1)This worthys definition of a gentleman is characteristic. Well, you see, said he, a gemman is always pleased to see the children happy, and he never stands before a lady.