Whilst searching through the British Newspapers online for any mention of my Nottingham ancestors, I came across this sorry tale. With a nod to ‘Movember’ I thought this would make a very topical Friday Funny on the last day of November.
A MODERN DON WHISKERANDO
A story is told of a valorous military man, very fierce in his protestations and very formidable in the matter of whiskers, who laid siege to the heart of a beautiful heiress. Casting himself one day at her feet, he asserted his readiness to prove the intensity of his passion by daring any desperate enterprise she chose to impose. He was willing to make a voyage to the coral caves of the Orient to procure her materials for a bracelet; he would, were she to say the word, obtain Cleopatra’s needle for her embroidery frame, or seize the Great Mogul upon his throne and bear away his diadem to deck the brows of his inamorata. The fair one seemed overcome at length by the fervour of her admirer. She declared that she was ready to bestow her hand provided he consented to one sacrifice – cut off his whiskers. The impetuosity of the hero was at once cooled. He rose to his feet, resumed his shako, and giving a tightening pull to his sword belt, took his leave for ever.
A somewhat similar incident has just enlivened the monotony of prison life at Southwell. Our readers will remember that a knight of the thimble, giving the name of Bunn Child, was brought before the magistrates at Southwell last week, on a charge of travelling in a first-class carriage and paying only third-class fare. He spouted Byron, Milton, and even Homer, and professed himself to be one of the most learned Thebans of the age – another Admiral Crichton, “blessed with the greatest versatility of talent of any man living.” The accomplished tailor was flush of cash, but he indignantly refused to pay the railway officials the proper fare, or to pay the fine of 10s., which the magistrates felt constrained to impose; and he was in default sentenced to be imprisoned for ten days. He went to prison with the airs of a martyr, consoling himself with the reflection that poets learn in suffering what they teach in song.
It so happened that this personage wore all the hair he could coax to grow upon his face. The crop was not an abundant one, but the wearer was very much attached to the hirsute appendages. Unfortunately for his resolve to brave the edicts of those “dressed in a little brief authority,” the rules of the prison, which no governor deviates so slightly from as Mr. Dewhurst, require all prisoners to wear their hair short and to shave the lip and chin. The prison barber was about to carry the rule into effect when the valorous tailor loudly protested. He appealed from officer to officer but in vain. He was told that he should conform to the regulations or pay the fine. Up to this moment he had acted scrupulously on the principle, “Base is the slave that pays;” but at the prospect of the loss of his beloved though scanty moustache and beard his resolution melted like wax before the fire; he paid the half sovereign, and was allowed to go at large, the precious beard being unmutilated by the prison shears.
From: Nottinghamshire Guardian (London, England), Friday, January 23, 1863; pg. 5; Issue 889