Pick of Punch 9. This area of the blog offers a selection of entertaining quotes from Punch magazine. The following quote is from 24th Februay 1866.
We find this in the Salisbury Journal —
“Early on Monday morning a young man named Charles Dyer, who was lodging at the New Inn, Stapleford, was attacked by a rat, which caught him by the right nostril, and held him most tenaciously. It was not until the landlord had been called and entered the room with a light, that the animal could be driven away, and even then the sufferer had to drive it away himself. The landlord burst into such a fit of immoderate laughter as to be unable to render any assistance.”
The ability to be easily amused is a delightful one. We see it rather largely developed in the audiences who listen to certain performances, and to “comic” songs. But the landlord of the New Inn at Stapleford, must be the very jolliest fellow in the world. Perhaps he is Mark Tapley, removed from a certain well-beloved Dragon. Immoderate laughter because a rat has hold of one’s guest’s nose is a feat worthy of commemoration. Let us hope that so pleasing a talent may have scope for development, and that the next rat may lay hold of mine host’s own nose. If he laughs then, the respected landlord must certainly change his name to Democritus Bung.
Mark Tapley is a character from Martin Chuzzlewit, by Charles Dickens. He works at the Blue Dragon Inn, and is always cheerful. Democritus was a Greek philosopher, sometimes known as the “laughing philosopher”, for his mockery of human failings.