Punch and Judy.

Both on 'em died in the workhouse. All Punch showmen die there at last; they wouldn't be Punch showmen if they didn't.".

We got on to the next figure.
"This one is Judy. She's Punch's wife. She used to be jealous of Nancy, but we've done away with Nancy. Judy quarrels with Punch because he won't nurse the baby the right way, but throws it out of window. You will notice Judy's face is much like Punch's, and has the same sort of nose and chin, but their dispositions is other. Punch is part fool and part knave. When he has killed the baby he kills her. That's why they come to hang him in the end."

All this story was told with intense seriousness.
"This one is the beadle. He comes to take Punch up for murder. I don't think that's quite life, you know, but we've never had no policeman in the play. Perhaps it's old style, the same as when Porsini did it. Punch and the beadle has a fight, and Punch knocks him down, and he knocks Punch down and at last Punch conquers and sings a song."

After this, the small man explained how the Merry Clown makes his appearance, and Punch exhausts his ingenuity in endeavouring to hit him on the head, which he doess at last, and the clown goes down below.

Then comes Jim Crow. "We have the Perfect Cure instead sometimes, as it's more newer." Jim Crow sings a song, and Punch beats time on his head. Jim Crow does not like this, so Punch knocks him down. Then Jim Crow kicks Punch in the eye and vanishes.

Affter this, the ghost of Judy appears, and nearly frightens Punch into a fit. Punch is found fainting by the doctor, who says he will give him some physic. In return for this, Punch, as usual, knocks him down.

 

The doctor, however, returns, and administers a dose of what he calls "stick liquorich." Punch, getting away the stick, lavs it about the doctor, and says, when the latter cries for mercy, "Ah, the doctor don't like hisphysic." Upon this, the doctor closes with him and calls for help. Then enter the beadle and Jim Crow, and there is a general scrimmage, ending by Punch being dragged off to prison.

"I haven't a prison scene," the showman said. " I had one with bars and everything regular, but it's got broke up now. You see we mostly do only short pitches in the streets for want of patronage, so we do the first bit over and over again."

The " second bit," however, he assured me, was much the best, and gave me a long account of it, which I will run through as briefly as possible.

Punch discovered in jail with his head and arms lying out through the prison window. Enter Calcraft, otherwise Jack Ketch, otherwise Mr. Graball. Jack Ketch says -
"Come with me, you are to be hung till you're dead-dead-dead."
"What, three times over ? " says Punch.
"No, only once, says Jack Ketch; "but when you're as dead as that, you'll be defunct."
"Bless me," says Punch, " I should never have believed it if you'd told me so."

Jack Ketch then prepares the gallows, and tells Punch to put his bead into the noose. Punch can't do it. He can't see straight. He puts it over it and under it, and everywhere but where it ought to be.

"What a fool you are," says Jack Ketch.
" Please sir," says Punch, "' it's my ignorance. I ain't never been hung before. Will you show me how it's done."

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