Victorian London - Transport - Railways, Underground - Building of


MR. PUNCH invited the Underground Railway people to come forth with a statement of their reasons for delaying the opening of their line. With the usual deference which all well-regulated associations show to any suggestion by Mr. Punch (it is in fact so suicidal in any person to neglect Mr. Punch's slightest hint that the not answering him and the appearing in the Gazette of Bankruptcy is one and the same thing, to quote Miss Muggs) the railway people immediately issued an apology in the Times. They state that the Fleet Ditch irruption delayed the completion of the Farringdon Street terminus, but that all is now ready, from the lunch that is to welcome Mr. Punch on the opening day (he trusts that this remark does not apply to the oysters, as he has a predilection for fresh ones) to the velveteen trousers of the porters. The directors hope to open on the 22nd. In his turn, Mr. Punch hopes that they will keep all their officials in a high state of temperance during the Christmas week and even if extreme speed has to be sacrificed while experience is being learned in the Sewer, the motto had better be "slow and sewer," rather than swift and smash. Being deeply interested in this great bore, he makes no excuse for the hint, indeed catch him making excuses for anything. The notification that the rail is to be open has produced a most extraordinary phenomenon in the New Road, and he has heard, but of course allows for exaggeration, that seven omnibus cads have spoken civilly to passengers during the past week and that one, to whom a threepenny piece was tendered by mistake for fourpence, requested the other penny without a single offensive expression. Competition is the true missionary of humanity.

Punch, December 20, 1862