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Mrs. Caudle "wonders at his impudence," Initial letter "I" — initial-letter vignette for "The Eighteenth Lecture" in Mrs. Caudle's Curtain Lectures, first published in the Punch; or, The London Charivari number for​7 June 1845 instalment, "Caudle,​whilst walking with his wife, has been bowed to by a younger and even prettier woman than Mrs. Caudle," p. 68. Wood-engraving 6.3 x 5 cm, framed; thirty-second illustration in the third edition.​With his characteristic penchant for describing physical humour, Keene has Margaret Caudle deploy her umbrella so that her husband cannot see the pretty Miss Prettyman coming down the street, an amusing improvisation on the twenty-year old text, although one not entirely justified by Jerrold's bedtime setting of the monologue.

Scanned image and text by Philip V. Allingham. [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the person who scanned the image and (2) link your document to this URL.]

Passage Illustrated

" If I'm not to leave the house without being insulted, Mr. Caudle, I had better stay indoors all my life.

What! Don't tell me to let you have one night's rest! I wonder at your impudence! It's mighty fine, I never can go out with you and​—​goodness knows!​ —​it's seldom enough without having my feelings torn to pieces by people of all sorts. A set of bold minxes! What am I raving about? Oh, you know very well —​very well, indeed, Mr. Caudle. A pretty person she must be to nod to a man walking with his own wife! Don't tell me that it's Miss Prettyman​—​what's Miss Prettyman to me? Oh! You've met her once or twice at her brother's house? Yes, I dare say you have​— no doubt of it. I always thought there was something very tempting about that house —​and now I know it all. Now, it's no use, Mr. Caudle, your beginning to talk loud, and twist and toss your arms about as if you were as innocent as a born babe I'm not to be deceived by such tricks now. No; there was a time when I was a fool and believed anything; but —​thank my stars! —​I've got over that.

"A bold minx! You suppose I didn't see her laugh, too, when she nodded to you! Oh yes, I knew what she thought me — a poor miserable creature, of course. I could see that. No — don't say so, Caudle. I don't always see more than anybody else — but I can't and won't be blind, however agreeable it might be to you; I must have the use of my senses. I'm sure, if a woman wants attention and respect from a man, she'd better be anything than his wife. I've always thought so; and to-day's decided it.​["The​Eighteenth Lecture. — Caudle,​whilst walking with his wife, has been bowed to by a younger and even prettier woman than Mrs. Caudle," pp. 89-90]

Bibliography

Jerrold, Douglas. Mrs. Caudle's Curtain Lectures, as Suffered by the late Job Caudle.​Edited from the Original MSS. by Douglas Jerrold. With a frontispiece by Leech, and as motto on the title-page, "Then, Pistol, lay thy head in Fury's lap. — Shakespeare."​London: Punch​Office; Bradbury​ and Evans,​ 1846.

Jerrold, Douglas. Mrs. Caudle's Curtain Lectures . Illustrated by John Leach and Richard Doyle. London: Bradbury and Evans, 1856.

Jerrold, Douglas. Mrs. Caudle's Curtain Lectures. Illustrated by Charles Keene. London: Bradbury and Evans, 1866.


Last modified 29 November 2017