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Title: Mr. Punch's History of Modern England Vol. II (of IV),—1857-1874
Author: Graves, Charles L. (Charles Larcom), 1856-1944
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Mr. Punch's History of Modern England Vol. II (of IV),—1857-1874" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.


Transcriber's Note: Minor typographical errors have been corrected
without note. Irregularities and inconsistencies in the text have
been retained as printed. Words printed in italics are noted with
underscores: _italics_.

[Illustration: QUEEN HERMIONE

PAULINA (Britannia) unveils the statue: "'Tis time; descend; be stone no

_Winter's Tale, Act V., Scene 3._

_Reproduced from the Cartoon by John Tenniel._]





VOL. II.--1857-1874

  London, New York, Toronto and Melbourne

_Published by arrangement with the Proprietors of "Punch"_
























    "Whether splendidly isolated or dangerously isolated, I will not
    now debate; but for my part I think splendidly isolated, because
    this isolation of England comes from her superiority."

These words were used by Sir Wilfrid Laurier in 1896, but they were
prompted by a retrospect of the Victorian age, and may serve as a motto
for the policy which governed England in her relations with foreign
countries in the period surveyed in this volume.

There was serious friction with France in the early days of the Empire
owing to the distrust of the Emperor's warlike preparations and his
manipulation of the opportunities presented by his assistance of Italy
in 1859. In the war of North and South in America, England as a whole
"backed the wrong horse," and English diplomacy mishandled the
obligations of our neutrality. We were on the verge of war over the
_Trent_ case, and the slackness of the Government in failing to detain
the _Alabama_ burdened the country with a costly legacy of moral and
intellectual damage--to say nothing of pecuniary loss.

Popular sentiment was strongly anti-Prussian in the war on Denmark in
1864; misgivings of Prussian aggression were heightened by the crushing
defeat of Austria in 1866 and the French _débâcle_ in 1870. Yet the old
diplomacy, whatever its shortcomings, kept us out of European wars. The
Court as well as the Government strove hard for peace in 1859; the
Queen's influence was successfully exerted to prevent interference on
behalf of Denmark in 1864, which had been foreshadowed in a menacing
message to Austria from Lord Palmerston. After the defeat of the
Austrians at Sadowa in 1866, Disraeli justified abstention from
unnecessary interference in European politics, on the ground that
England had outgrown the European Continent, and was really more of an
Asiatic than a European power. With Gladstone the restraining motive was
economic rather than anti-imperialist, though his distrust of a
"spirited foreign policy" became more pronounced in later years. But
under Liberals and Conservatives alike, non-intervention in European
wars remained the unbroken rule, and the only serious military
operations undertaken between 1857 and 1874 were those involved in the
suppression of a great revolt within our own dominions. The Chinese
quarrel was the only cloud on the horizon in the beginning of 1857.
Parliament was dissolved as the result of the vote of censure passed in
the Commons, but Palmerston was returned with a strong majority, and the
pacificists under Cobden lost their seats, _Punch_ expressing the hope
that Cobden might be "master of himself though China fall."

The war with China was not a glorious page in our annals: it remained in
abeyance during the Mutiny and was not concluded till 1860. Indirectly
it was one of the means of saving India by the diversion of the troops
intended for the Far East, and already at Singapore, to the relief of
Bengal at the urgent summons of Lord Canning, the Governor-General of
India. The first mention of the outbreak in _Punch_ followed close on
the tragedy of Meerut early in May. In his "Essence of Parliament" we

    Lord Ellenborough delivered an alarmist speech about the mutinies
    in our Indian Army. Among other terrors, he was hideously afraid
    that Lord Canning, the Governor-General, had been taking some step
    which showed that he thought Christianity a true religion, but this
    damaging accusation was happily explained away. Lord Lansdowne was
    almost sure that Lord Canning could not so far have misconducted

The charge was capable of complete disproof, but unluckily, as with the
greasing of the cartridges, the Sepoys were unconvinced. A fortnight
later _Punch_ realized that the time for levity was passed:--

    An Indian debate followed, but it is no subject for light
    treatment, for while members were droning about cotton, and Mangles
    [the Chairman of the East India Company] was puffing the Company as
    having done miracles for India, news was hurrying over the sea that
    native regiments were in mutiny, had seized Delhi, and murdered all
    the Europeans there, without distinction of age or sex. It is a
    good time to be erecting a Shropshire memorial to Clive, if only to
    remind England that she once had a man who knew not only how to
    gain, but how to keep Oriental conquests.


[Sidenote: _Heroes of the Mutiny_]

The issue of July 25 is full of the bustle of preparation, the hurried
dispatch of Sir Colin Campbell to take command, and the embodying of the
militia. It should be noted that one of the very first of the Mutiny
cartoons revealed a disposition on the part of _Punch_ to recognize that
the mischief was deep-seated and had its origin largely in the arbitrary
methods of the East India Company. On August 15 there appeared the
picture of "The Execution of 'John Company,'" with _Punch_ blowing up
the offices in Leadenhall Street, and fragments labelled "avarice,"
"blundering," "nepotism," "supineness," "misgovernment," etc., flying
from the mouth of a gun. But there was no hesitation in _Punch's_
support of the most drastic measures for stamping out the mutiny. The
word of the moment was "Cry Havelock! and let slip the dogs of war." On
August 22 appeared the cartoon "The British Lion's Vengeance"--on the
Bengal Tiger seen crouching over the bodies of an English woman and
child. On September 12 Britannia is shown smiting down the mutineers; in
the same number, however, in the lines "A word to the Avenger,"
reprisals are deprecated: "Spare the Indian mother and her child." On
October 10, under the title "O God of Battles, steel my soldiers'
hearts," the Queen is shown kneeling with widows and orphans in mourning
garb, while a week later Sir Colin Campbell is drawn in fetters of red
tape--his greatest difficulty in India.

At home, while _Punch_ welcomed the recruiting from drapers' shops, and
the filling of their places by women, he noted the snobbery of certain
tradesmen who thought they would lose caste by enlisting. He also
recognized that the appeal for recruits was seriously prejudiced by the
callous treatment of ex-service men in the past.

Throughout the Mutiny _Punch_ was hostile to Canning, and his
"Clemency," representing him as unduly tender to the mutineers and
invariably interfering on their behalf. This criticism reaches its
height of injustice to the statesman who uttered and acted on the noble
maxim "I will not govern in anger," in the mock proclamation which
appears in the issue of October 24. There was probably better ground for
the imaginary conversation between the Duke of Cambridge, as
Commander-in-Chief, and Lords Lucan and Cardigan, in which the two
latter noblemen sneer at the services of Havelock. This disparagement,
be it noted, was not confined to the Crimean cavalry commanders; Mr.
Gladstone declined to vote for the grant of a pension, and was in
consequence associated by _Punch_ with the Manchester School, whose
pacificist organ, the _Star_, had been savagely burlesqued in the issue
of October 31. Meanwhile the tide had turned in the war by the capture
of Delhi and the first relief of Lucknow. The toll of heroic lives among
our leaders had been heavy--Henry Lawrence, Nicholson and Havelock at
the end of the year--but _Punch_ was true to his old democratic
instincts in recording the exploits of all ranks. He was eloquent in his
appeal for the assistance of Miss Salkeld, sister of Lieutenant Salkeld,
who lost his life in the blowing in of the Kashmir gate at Delhi. But he
does not forget Salkeld's humbler associates, who with him "rushed upon
death to make way for the bayonets of England when the great stronghold
of treason was stormed":--

    Let it not be forgotten, when Salkeld's noble deed is told, and
    thought is taken for those whom he loved, that other gallant men
    met death in the same proud exploit. Sergeant Burgess sprang
    forward, took the match from Salkeld when he was struck, and firing
    the train, fell mortally wounded. Sergeant Carmichael had already
    perished in an attempt to fire the fuse. Surely England has a
    heart warm enough, and a purse deep enough, to do all that money
    can do in memory of such men as those whose names are thus set
    before her.

In the first month of 1858 we read the fine tribute to Havelock:--

    He is gone. Heaven's will is best:
    Indian turf o'erlies his breast.
    Ghoul in black, nor fool in gold
    Laid him in yon hallowed mould.
    Guarded to a soldier's grave
    By the bravest of the brave.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Strew not on the hero's hearse
    Garlands of a herald's verse:
    Let us hear no words of Fame
    Sounding loud a deathless name:
    Tell us of no vauntful Glory
    Shouting forth her haughty story.
    All life long his homage rose
    To far other shrine than those.
    "_In Hoc Signo_," pale nor dim,
    Lit the battle-field for him,
    And the prize he sought and won,
    Was the Crown for Duty done.

Lucknow was recaptured in March, 1858, but the pacification of Oudh by
Sir Colin Campbell, now Lord Clyde, and the clearance of Central India
by Sir Hugh Rose, afterwards Lord Strathnairn, occupied the whole of the
remainder of the year: indeed, order was not completely restored till
the close of 1859, or more than a year after the rule of "John Company"
had been abolished and its executive powers transferred to the Crown.

[Sidenote: _John Bull's Foreign Policy_]

The process begun under Palmerston was completed by the Derby-Disraeli
administration after long and acrimonious debates and recriminations,
cabals and intrigues, in the course of which _Punch_ vehemently assailed
the East India Company, disgraced but impenitent, for its misdeeds,
Bright for his impracticable independence and pro-Indian sympathies;
Ellenborough and Canning; Palmerston and Disraeli. Palmerston in
particular had fallen from favour because of the Conspiracy Bill
introduced after the Orsini attempt to assassinate the French Emperor.
The plot had been hatched in London, but _Punch_ bitterly resented the
notion of making this a ground for depriving England of her position as
the "sanctuary of Europe," and held that Palmerston had brought defeat
on himself by knuckling down to Louis Napoleon. The fury of the
_Moniteur_ against England's alleged harbouring of criminals only
excited _Punch's_ derision. Relieved from the Indian tragedy, he was now
free to revert to his old inveterate distrust of Louis Napoleon, and to
preach for years to come the need of a strong navy. The lines on "John
Bull's Foreign Policy" in the autumn of 1858, addressed to the Peoples
of Europe, frankly admit that self-interest mingles with his love of

    To hold you down, your despots arm,
    And keep me always in alarm.
    Confound them!--they mean me no good;
    Abolish, well I know they would,
    My Constitution, if they could.

    I, too, must arm in self-defence;
    And armaments involve expense:
    Expense taxation means--my curse;
    Despotic power alone is worse:
    Your masters thus myself amerce.

    Oh, how I wish I could retrench!
    But I must keep pace with the French,
    And for the Russians stand prepared,
    The cost whereof I should be spared,
    To shake your yokes off if you dared.

    Rise, therefore, and your rights assert,
    Ye Peoples, trodden in the dirt.
    Strike for your freedom, nations brave,
    Whom monarchs absolute enslave:
    And so enable me to save.

So along with appeals to Lord Derby to make up his mind like a man to
Reform, we find repeated and even more urgent appeals to England to keep
up the Channel Fleet. The imposing display of force at Cherbourg by
Louis Napoleon in the autumn of 1858 only enhanced _Punch's_ misgivings
and prompted the suggestion of an alliance with the United States.
_Punch_ greeted Sir Francis Head's renewed scare-mongering about a
French invasion with ridicule, but he was more seriously impressed by
French pamphleteers and novelists who spoke of war with England as

The defeat of the Derby-Disraeli Government over their Reform Bill in
the spring of 1859 brought back Palmerston and Russell at a critical
time in the history of the struggle for Italian unity. Of that cause
both these statesmen were true friends, but the sympathy of England was
impaired by distrust of Louis Napoleon, and this nervousness and anxiety
as to his intentions is repeatedly illustrated in the pages of _Punch_.
Victor Emmanuel is shown as the Piedmontese farmer between the two
Eagles, Austria and France. Again the French Emperor's phrase "_L'Empire
c'est la paix_" is satirized in a cartoon showing him as a porcupine
bristling with bayonets. England's line should be one of extreme
watchfulness: "We'll keep our powder dry." On the eve of the outbreak of
the war between France and Austria _Punch_ gives his "Neutral Advice" in
the following lines:--

    Let France delight to go and fight
      If 'tis her folly to:
    Let Austria cry for "territory!"
      With that we've naught to do.

    Our shout must be "Neutrality!"
      To England peace is sweet;
    But, friends, that she may neutral be,


"L'empire c'est la paix"

He may be an inoffensive animal, but he don't look like it.]

[Sidenote: _Napoleon III and Cavour_]

After Magenta the share in the fighting between Italy and France is
symbolized in the fable of the Giant and the Dwarf: Victor Emmanuel was
to do all the fighting while France, forsooth, claimed half the honours
of war. No opportunity was lost of putting the worst construction on
Louis Napoleon's patronage of Savoy. His pacific statements are
constantly contrasted with his policy of aggrandisement. In the autumn
_Punch_ quoted the _New York Herald's_ tribute: "We are seriously of
opinion that if Louis Napoleon were not Emperor of the French, he would
have made a first-rate newspaper editor. His style is like that of the
American papers." The report that Cavour had retired in disgust inspired
a bitter attack on the two Emperors in July:--

    Count O'Cavourneen, the bubble is breaking,
      You've had the last scene, Solferino's red hill,
    The cannons no longer the echoes are waking,
      Count O'Cavourneen, what, Minister still?
    O hast thou forgot the diplomacy clever
      In which thou didst bear so distinguished a part,
    Thy vow to clear out all the Hapsbugs for ever?
      The vermin still linger, Cavour of my heart.

    Cavourneen, Cavourneen, the dead lie in numbers
      Beneath the torn turf where the living made fight;
    In the bed of My Uncle the Emperor slumbers,
      But Italy's Hapsbugs continue to bite.
    Well done, my Cavour, they have cut short the struggle
      They fired all the pulses of Italy's heart;
    And in turning thy back on the humbug and juggle,
      Cavour, thou hast played a proud gentleman's part.

[Illustration: MILITIA OFFICER: "Ah, this is Smithers! Why, you're
getting very fat, Smithers. Let's see--this is your fifth training,
isn't it?"

STOUT PRIVATE: "Yes, sir. After we was disembodied, sir, the Adj'tant he
took an' _reintestined_ me, sir!!!"

(_Note._--Militiamen, after serving four trainings, can be
"_Re-attested_" for another five years.)]

Italy and her friends were alike profoundly dissatisfied with the terms
of the Peace of Villafranca, by which Savoy and Nice were handed over to
the French Emperor, whose further "intentions" kept England in a simmer
of indignant anxiety for years to come. The scare of a French invasion
revived, the volunteer movement took on increased activity, and the
anxiety of financiers was revealed in the grotesque incident of the four
Liverpool brokers who wrote to Louis Napoleon asking him what his
"intentions" were. They were faithfully dealt with by _Punch_ in his
burlesque verses on "The Four Fishers"--who caught nothing, and in an
imaginary parallel letter to Queen Victoria.

[Sidenote: _The Invasion Scare_]

[Illustration: OUR RESERVES

CAPTAIN OF RURAL CORPS (calling over the Roll): "George Hodge!" (No
answer.) "George Hodge!--Where on earth's George Hodge?"

VOICE FROM THE RANKS: "Please, sir, he's turned Dissenter, and says
fighting's wicked."]

As for the invasion scare, _Punch_ treated it contemptuously in the
cartoons representing the French Emperor with a poodle at Calais facing
the British Lion at Dover, and the French Eagle drowning in mid-Channel.
These cartoons, by the way, and _Punch's_ support of the volunteer
movement in general, led the pacificist _Star_ to declare that "_Punch_
is a disgrace to the country in which it is tolerated." But _Punch_ was
not a panic-monger. While he vigorously upheld Lord Lyndhurst's plea for
a strong Navy, which John Bright vigorously opposed, he welcomed the
evidence of goodwill shown by a French publicist, M. Chevalier, who
vindicated England against the charge of Chauvinism, and maintained that
her attitude was merely defensive. As for the volunteers, _Punch_
commended their patriotism, resented the patronizing contempt of the
Regulars, and while ridiculing fancy costumes, was all in favour of a
rational uniform:--

    Some talk of Alexander,
      And some of Hercules,
    But John Bull's rising dander
      Needs no such aids as these.
    He shoulders his long Enfield,
      And at his drill appears,
    Till "ping-wing-wing," the bullets sing,
      Of the Rifle Volunteers.

    And when he is commanded
      To find himself in clothes,
    Like a trump unto his tailor
      For a uniform he goes.
    With his easy knickerbockers,
      And no stock his neck that queers,
    For a run, jump, stand, they're the boys to command,
      Are the Rifle Volunteers!

    Let the Horse Guards trust to pipe-clay,
      And General Routine,
    Till the Linesman's shakoed, belted,
      And pack'd to a machine;
    With winds and waists unfettered,
      And the use of eyes and ears,
    In wide-awake tile come the rank and file
      Of the Rifle Volunteers!


COLONEL PUNCH (Inspector of Volunteers): "Look here, George, I want
those brave fellows to learn their duty."

H.R.H. COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF: "Of course you do, old boy, and so do I; and
I'll see that they _do_ learn it, too!"]

[Sidenote: _Punch and the Volunteers_]


AIDE-DE-CAMP: "Good gracious, sir! Why don't you order your men to lie
down under this hill? Can't you see that Battery playing right on them?"

COLONEL OF VOLUNTEERS: "So I did, sir. But they won't lie down. They say
they want to see the Review!"]

In later years, when the menace of Napoleonic "intentions" ceased to
preoccupy the public, the attitude of _Punch_ towards the volunteers
became more critical and less sympathetic, but throughout 1860--allowing
for a little amiable chaff of the contrast between their physique and
their bellicose spirit--he lent the movement cordial support, applauding
the institution of cadet corps in schools, and the provision of
facilities to enable footmen and tradesmen to attend drills and be
instructed in rifle-shooting. The review in Hyde Park was duly
chronicled in a cartoon representing the Queen resting a rifle on
_Punch's_ head, and the poem in honour of the London Volunteers may be
set against the genial satire of Keene's zealous little captain leading
his men "through fire and water," or the references to the street boys'
catch-word "Who shot the dog?"

The year 1860 found England with the Chinese war still on hand; it was
not ended till the autumn, with the capture, destruction and looting of
the Chinese Emperor's Summer Palace at Peking as an act of vengeance for
the barbarous treatment of the British envoys. But India was completely
pacified, and Lord Clyde returned home to receive the laurel. The Prince
of Wales's visit to Canada was already decided on; Lord Lyndhurst was
still clamouring for a strong fleet; the Queen's speech promised the
introduction of another measure of Reform, nominally redeemed by Lord
John Russell's "nice little Bill" satirized by _Punch_ in March and
overwhelmed with ridicule on its withdrawal in June:--

    Amendments sore long time I bore;
      Parental love was vain;
    Till by degrees the House did please
      To put me out of pain.

Abroad the outlook was still concentrated on Italy and the progress of
her unification. In October, 1859, _Punch_ had hailed the coming of
freedom; but it was

                "no rosy dawn,
      No true Aurora; but a lamp
    Which in a moment may be gone,
      Extinguished by a tyrant's stamp."

He deplored the exigencies which confined England's aid to the mere
expression of goodwill to the brave men who were fighting for liberty.
But by the summer of 1860 events were moving apace. It was the time of
the famous Sicilian Expedition of Garibaldi, whom _Punch_ acclaimed as
the great champion of United Italy:--

    Honour to Garibaldi! Win or lose,
      A Hero to all time that Chief goes down,
    Whatever issue his emprise ensues,
      He, certain of unquenchable renown,
      Fights for a victor's or a martyr's crown.

[Sidenote: _Garibaldi and Lincoln_]

The flight of "Bombalino"--Francis IV, son of "Bomba," King of
Naples--is celebrated in a pæan on Garibaldi, the Irish Papal Volunteers
are ironically praised for their valour in "The Wake of the Irish
Brigade," and a cartoon "The Right Leg in the Boot at Last" shows
Garibaldi helping Victor Emmanuel to put his leg into the boot of Italy,
with the comment, "If it won't go on, Sire, try a little more powder."
_Punch_, we may add, condoled with Garibaldi on the report that Dumas
was to write his life, and recorded the description of him given by a
young English lady as "a dear old weather-beaten angel."

Savoy and Nice had been annexed to France, and Louis Napoleon's letter
to the Comte de Persigny, the French Ambassador in London, disclaiming
any aggressive intentions, revived _Punch's_ distrust. The cartoon of
August 11, 1860, represents the Emperor as a wolf in sheep's
clothing--with the heads of two little dead lambs, labelled Savoy and
Nice, peeping out--in the act of posting a letter to Mme. Britannia,
"care of M. le Comte de Persigny." But already the eyes of Europe were
beginning to be drawn across the Atlantic. The protest of South Carolina
is dealt with mainly in a light-hearted spirit, but with an ominous
anticipation of the sequel. The verses on "The Beginning of Slavery's
End" are wholly serious and entirely on the side of the North:--

    This is America's decision.
      Awakening, she begins to see
    How justly she incurs derision
      Of tyrants, while she shames us free;
    Republican, yet more slaves owning
    Than any under Empire groaning,
      Or ground beneath the Papacy.

Lincoln had been elected President, and apart from references to his
achievements as a rail-splitter, and the facetious suggestion that the
White House should be renamed "Lincoln's Inn," he is welcomed as an
honest man and with a respect which, all too soon, was replaced by the
spiteful calumny which did not cease until the tragedy of his untimely
end. The outbreak of civil war in the United States was immediately
followed by the proclamation of Britain's neutrality. _Punch's_
misinterpretation of the issues involved and his misreading of the
attitude of the cotton spinners of Lancashire is dealt with in another
section. The comments on Bull's Run and the burlesque correspondence
from Charleston are lamentably lacking in good feeling, and the report
that the Duc de Chartres and the Comte de Paris had joined the army of
the North only furnished _Punch_ with materials for disparaging the
French Princes and the cause they had espoused. The famous affair of the
_Trent_, involving the seizure of two Southern envoys on a British ship,
which brought England to the verge of war, is treated seriously, but
with a profound conviction of the justice of our claim. In the cartoon,
"Waiting for an Answer," Britannia is shown standing at the breech of a
great gun:--

    She waits in arms; and in her cause is safe
      Not fearing war, yet hoping peace the end,
    Nor heeding those her mood who'd check or chafe,
      The Right she seeks; the Right God will defend!

At home Reform had been indefinitely postponed; Lord John Russell had
gone to the Lords with an earldom, and _Punch_, lamenting the cooling of
his reforming zeal, recalls the analogies of Chatham, Pulteney, and
Holland, who, "to put on earl's ermine laid down their earlier fames."
Reorganization of the Navy and a large increase in the number of ships
were promised and taken in hand, and _Punch_ records his inspection of a
training ship at "Sherrysmouth" and the favourable impression created by
the discipline and spirit of all on board. Germany's desire for a fleet
is noted and treated with consistent ridicule. As an instance of her
activity "it is reported on the very best authority (not less than that
of Messrs. Searle, the great boat-builders of Lambeth) that a four-oared
cutter will be launched in a very few days." That was in September,
1861, and three weeks later _Punch_ appears in a cartoon as an old salt,
handing a toy yacht to a small but plethoric German with the remark:
"There's a ship for you, my little man; now cut away, and don't get in a
mess." This is followed up with a set of verses ending:--

    The moral, my dears, we all understand,
    All fat little Germans will stick upon land.

[Sidenote: _The Suez Canal_]

Nor was _Punch_ happier in his comments on the Suez Canal. In the
"Essence of Parliament" for May 6, 1861, he writes:--

    The Lords had a discussion about the Canal of the Future, that is
    to say, the impossible trench which M. Lesseps pretends to think he
    can cut through the Isthmus of Suez. The Government opinion upon
    the subject is, that if the Canal could be made, we ought not, for
    political reasons, to allow it, but that inasmuch as the Canal
    cannot be cut, the subject may, and the wise course is to let the
    speculators ruin themselves and diddle the Pacha. This seems
    straightforward and benevolent enough.

In Italy Victor Emmanuel had been declared King by the new Parliament,
but _Punch_ was not at all certain of the stability of his throne.
Cavour died on June 6, but the death of the greatest of Italian
statesmen is passed over with a brief though sympathetic reference. In
August we find _Punch_ uttering a serious warning to Victor Emmanuel, on
the ground that he had sold the cradle of his race, and expressing the
fear that Sardinia would be ceded to France as well as Savoy. This was
the year in which the crown of Greece was offered to Prince Alfred (the
late Duke of Edinburgh). _Punch_ declined it both for him and his next
brother, Prince Arthur (the Duke of Connaught). "Let the present King
(Otho) mind his own business better," _Punch_ advises. The Greek Crown,
it is derisively added, was not worth five bob. The offer, however, was
not definitely and officially refused until the following year.

The _Trent_ affair was settled, but throughout 1862 _Punch_ exchanged
his impartial unfriendliness to both antagonists for a distinct bias
against the North and Lincoln. For the moment his distrust of Louis
Napoleon was merged in disapproval of the Empress Eugénie for her
alleged interference in politics and support of the Papal pretensions.
The visit of the Japanese ambassadors in the summer inspired imaginary
dispatches, in which allusion is made to their interest in English
arsenals and factories. _Punch_, by this time, had at any rate learned
not to depict them as negroes, as he had done only a few years earlier.
The police-ridden condition of Poland excites his indignation; but he
is careful to disclaim sympathy with sentimental "National" movements,
maintaining much the same view as that expressed in his lines on "The
Nonsense of the Nationalities" three years before:--

    No more talk of national races,
      Panslavic, Hellenic, all stuff!
    Of rant, gestures wild, and grimaces
      On that point, we've had quite enough.
    John Bull you will vainly appeal to,
      That in his own person contains
    Both Saxon and Norman; a deal, too,
      Of Danish blood runs in his veins.

[Illustration: "UP A TREE"

(Colonel Bull and the Yankee 'Coon)

'COON: "Air you in arnest, Colonel?"


'COON: "Don't fire--I'll come down."]

The cultivation of the Welsh vernacular provoked _Punch's_ outspoken
hostility, as we notice elsewhere. And it is impossible to avoid the
conclusion that _Punch's_ strong sympathy with Poland in 1863 was in
part due to the fact that Russia, her oppressor, was the only
Continental nation friendly to the North in the American war. The
exploits of the _Alabama_ only tended to enhance English sympathy with
the South, and Mrs. Beecher Stowe's letter, in which she complained that
England was throwing her weight into the scale on the slave-owners'
side, was not favourably received; while _Punch_ considered it "bad
form" for Americans in London to celebrate Independence Day. It is
almost needless to say that Louis Napoleon's suggestion for a Congress
at Paris was treated with scant courtesy: any suggestion from that
quarter was sure to be regarded as suspect.

But the eyes of England and of Europe were diverted from the great
struggle in America, already at its height, by events nearer home. The
Fenian trouble had already begun in Ireland in 1863; the
Schleswig-Holstein controversy was working steadily up to the
arbitrament of war. It was of this "question" that Palmerston said that
only three men in Europe ever understood it, of whom one (the Prince
Consort) was dead; another (a Danish statesman) was mad, and the third
(he himself) had forgotten it. Palmerston was inclined to be
"interventionist," but was restrained by his colleagues and the
influence of the Queen. _Punch_ somewhat reluctantly acquiesced in the
view that non-intervention in foreign disputes was the best policy, but
his comments with pen and pencil reflect the extreme unpopularity of
Prussia. In May appeared the cartoon in which _Punch_ is shown
presenting Prussia with the Order of "St. Gibbet." In the same month he
bitterly protested against the bestowal of the Order of the Black Eagle
on Prince Alfred by the King of Prussia:--

    Black Eagle, murder's proper meed!
      Well doth its colour match the stain
    Of guilt, that dyes that coward's deed
      Who female slew and infant Dane,
    Black Eagles are for blackguards right,
      White feather who with black combine.
    No English Prince shall be a Knight
      Of such black Chivalry as thine.

The proclamation of General Falkenstein, commander-in-chief of the
Prussian troops in Jutland, regulating the scale of contributions to be
levied on Danish landlords, is quoted in the issue of June 4 as a
villainous edict, worthy of cut-throats and felons. Earlier in the year
_Punch_ had fallen heavily on Professor Max-Müller for his letter, "A
German Plea for Germans," in _The Times_. The Prussians and Austrians
were depicted, accurately enough in view of the sequel, as bandits
quarrelling over their spoil, and this free criticism was bitterly
resented throughout Germany. When Müller was tried and executed for the
murder of Mr. Briggs in the autumn of this year, the judge was accused
of anti-Prussian bias. Meanwhile _Punch_ found little worthy of comment
in the American war beyond the allegations of malingering among Federal
troops, and the report that Irishmen were induced to emigrate, with
promises of help, in order to furnish recruits for the Northern army.


The end of the American war came in 1865. Of its magnitude and of the
deeper issues involved; of the achievements of the heroes on either
side--Sherman and Grant and Farragut, Stonewall Jackson and Lee--_Punch_
showed himself strangely deficient in appreciation. The _amende_ to
Lincoln was handsome and complete, but it was not made until after the
assassination of the greatest of Americans:--

    Yes, he had lived to shame me from my sneer,
      To lame my pencil and confute my pen--
    To make me own this hind of princes peer,
      This rail-splitter a true-born King of men.

It is truly said that Lincoln lived through four long-suffering
years--years of ill-fate, ill-feeling, and ill-report--and lived to hear
"the hisses change to cheers, the taunts to tribute, the abuse to
praise," and took both with the same unwavering mood. Unhappily, as we
have seen, by the change in _Punch's_ view not being expressed until
Lincoln was dead, the tribute lost its grace.

The toll of great or eminent men taken by 1865 was heavy, and memorial
verses abound. Cobden, successively eulogized as a Free-Trader and
attacked and even execrated as a Pacificist, died in the spring, and
Lord Palmerston, the greatest of the Elder Statesmen, in the autumn. As
we have often had occasion to notice in this chronicle, _Punch_ had
alternated between admiration of Palmerston's nerve and dislike of his
Parliamentary opportunism. But no jarring note is struck in his eulogy;
there is nothing elegiac in the cheerful dactyls--after the model of Tom
Moore--in which he pays homage to Palmerston's wisdom, his courage, and
his humour, and skates over the thin ice of his masterly inactivity in
the cause of Reform:--

    We trusted his wisdom, but love drew us nearer
      Than homage we owed to his statesmanly art,
    For never was statesman to Englishmen dearer
      Than he who had faith in the great English heart.

    The frank merry laugh, and the honest eye filling
      With mirth, and the jests that so rapidly fell,
    Told out the State-secret that made us right willing
      To follow his leading--he loved us all well.

    Our brave English Chief!--lay him down for the sleeping
      That nought may disturb till the trumpet of doom:
    Honour claims the proud vigil--but Love will come weeping,
      And hang many garlands on PALMERSTON'S tomb!

[Sidenote: _General Eyre_]

Relations with France were improved in 1865, the year of the fiftieth
anniversary of peace with England, by the interchange of fraternal
visits between the Fleets, duly celebrated by _Punch_. The death of the
King of the Belgians, Leopold I, deprived Queen Victoria of one of her
greatest and most trusted friends. As for Germany, the acquisition of
Kiel laid the foundation of the naval policy formulated in the boast of
Wilhelm II: "Our future lies on the water."

At home the Fenian outbreak in Ireland was spreading, but _Punch_
refused to treat it as a serious menace, to judge from the burlesque
list of its supporters published in the autumn. Much more space is
devoted to the negro outbreak in Jamaica and the campaign against
General Eyre, which affords a curious parallel to the Amritsar riots and
the action of General Dyer. Eyre was much censured for his severity in
suppressing the rising; the agitation to bring him to trial was kept up
for three years by the Jamaica committee, of which J. S. Mill was a
prominent member; but _Punch_ defended Eyre throughout and heaped scorn
on the "fanatics" and "noisy quacks" who thought so much of the blacks
that they could not think of the whites. He admitted that the vengeance
had been terrible; that a great slaughter had been made; but held that
it had been justified by the needs of "a small white population, eight
times outnumbered by the negroes, and suddenly confronted by the foulest
horrors of savage warfare." The Grand Jury of Middlesex threw out the
Bill in 1867, confirming the view already expressed by the Shropshire
magistrates, but nevertheless Eyre was committed for trial a year later
under the Colonial Governors' Act. _Punch_ reprinted Eyre's speech in
Court, and never swerved from the firm conviction that he had saved
Jamaican society, white and black, by his promptness and resolution. He
compared his long martyrdom with that of Warren Hastings, and predicted
that Englishmen, who listen too much to noisy and gushing men, would in
time make amends. The result was inconclusive, for while Eyre's career
was ended by his recall, his legal expenses were paid by Government in
1872. He had undoubtedly saved the situation, but could not be acquitted
of excessive severity.

The second of the three wars which consummated the aggrandisement of
Prussia was brought to a speedy end in the summer of 1866 by the
"twelve days" campaign which culminated in the defeat of Austria at
Königgrätz (Sadowa). England, with Lord Russell as Premier, once more
stood aloof, but English hostility to Prussia, and, above all,
Bismarck--already recognized as the most formidable power in Continental
politics--made itself widely felt. _Punch_ expressed this general
resentment in his comments on the rumour that the Queen was to visit
Germany in the autumn. As a friend of Italy he could not disapprove of
the arrangement by which Venetia was annexed to her dominions; as the
unrelenting critic of Louis Napoleon he could not refrain from
disparaging his attitude of neutrality tempered by a hope of "picking up
the pieces." But England, though not embroiled in Continental disputes,
was not without her own troubles. The Russell Cabinet had fallen over
Reform, there had been riots in Hyde Park (of which we speak elsewhere),
and before the Derby-Disraeli administration came in, the Liberals had
been forced to suspend the Habeas Corpus Act in Ireland in order to deal
effectually with what Mr. Gladstone did not hesitate to describe as the
wicked conspiracy of Fenianism. _Punch's_ summary of the proceedings in
Parliament on Saturday, February 18, and the historic session on Sunday,
19, when the Suspension Bill became law, is not without interest. J. S.
Mill supported the Government; Bright's speech in the character of the
candid friend was described by Gladstone as "containing what was in part
untrue, in part open to question, and generally out of place," a strange
inversion of their _rôles_ in 1886. It is noteworthy that the demand for
land legislation and the disestablishment of the Irish Church was heard
in the debate, and that the trouble in Ireland was largely ascribed by
the Government to the presence of Irish-Americans, released by the
cessation of the American war, who had come to Ireland to promote
Fenianism and were "regularly paid by somebody." They were "wanted," but
to make a general capture of these miscreants it was necessary to
dispense with the law which forbade arrest without warrant and
imprisonment without appeal to the judges. There is a distressingly
familiar ring about these arguments, and the reference to the fact that
the Fenians had already begun to murder.

[Sidenote: _Nascent Imperialism_]

To turn from the centre to the circumference, one may note a pleasant
hint of nascent Imperialism in the little geography lesson, doubtless
well needed, which _Punch_ gives his readers on December 1, 1866:--

    _Mr. Punch_ is pleased to see that a decoration has been given by
    the Queen to the Finance Minister of Victoria. Victoria is one of
    the Australian colonies, it is at the southern extremity of the
    continent, Melbourne is the capital, and the inhabitants are far in
    advance of England in regard to civilization--for instance, they
    have compulsory education. The Hon. George Vernon came over on a
    mission to our Government. Victoria wants an armour-plated ship,
    for which she will partly pay, and a training ship, and Sir John
    Pakington has assented. The Minister, for his various services to
    the colony, has received the Bath Cross. Should it not have been
    the Victoria Cross? This little goak is the bit of sugar with which
    _Mr. Punch_ rewards his readers for learning more than most English
    people know about one of our noblest colonies. If his readers are
    good, they shall have another colonial lesson some day. For we have
    other colonies besides Victoria.

Another lesson in geography had been suggested earlier in the year by
the final success of the _Great Eastern_ in laying the cable, a success
due as much to the enterprise of Cyrus Field, the American capitalist,
as to the genius of Brunel.

In 1867 there was a further recrudescence of Fenianism, and the
"physical force" men extended their operations to England. For this was
the year of the sinister attempt to blow up Clerkenwell prison, and the
rescue of Fenians from the prison van in Manchester, in which a
police-sergeant was shot, with, as a consequence, the execution of the
"Manchester Martyrs," funeral processions and celebrations, the echoes
of which have reverberated down to these days.

The Reform League expressed sympathy with the Fenians, and an English
lady of rank associated herself with their cause; but _Punch_ regarded
such support with unqualified contempt and even abhorrence. Real
military operations on a modest scale were conducted by England in one
of her small wars--that against the recalcitrant King of Abyssinia--and
an autumn session was held to vote supplies. It was suggested that Sir
Robert Napier, who commanded the expedition, was not at first
adequately rewarded, but he was raised to the peerage in the following
year as Lord Napier of Magdala. There seems to have been less divergence
of opinion over the protest that the cost of the war was entirely borne
by income-tax payers. Disraeli having succeeded Lord Derby as Premier,
and Mr. Ward Hunt having gone to the Exchequer, _Punch_ contented
himself with observing, _à propos_ of the new Budget, that the money for
the deficit of upwards of a million and a half "is, of course, to be
taken from the Middle Class, which never defends itself," and returned
to the charge on May 9 in his lines on "The Great Untaxed in their

    Napier came, saw, and conquered; the battle was o'er;
    There's an end of the war and of King Theodore.
    The prestige is recovered that England had lost,
    And the popular voice cries "A fig for the cost!"

    Lo, the tyrant's abolished, the captives are free!
    And there isn't a fraction to pay on our tea,
    Or our sugar: how sweet so cheap glory to win!
    No additional tax on tobacco or gin!

    Let us drink, then, success to Disraeli and Hunt,
    Who exempted the many from finding the blunt;
    And laid all the expense of the War on the few--
    For the Income-Tax payer will pay all that's due.

    Ah, tremble, ye tyrants, whom England can crush,
    At a price which her millions won't care for one rush;
    In the scale as a feather the money will weigh,
    For a national war when a part has to pay.

[Sidenote: _French and German Ambitions_]

Meanwhile the upper classes had been spending their money freely at the
great French Exhibition of 1867, that crowning manifestation of the art
and opulence, the magnificence and cynicism of the Second Empire, with
Schneider as high priestess of the revels, and all the rank and fashion
of Europe paying homage at her shrine. _Punch_, however, took a friendly
personal interest in the exhibition, for Leech's drawings were exhibited
there. The Federation of Canada, an event of first-rank importance to
the British Empire, with a Constitution framed mainly on the lines of
Lord Durham's Report in 1840, was overshadowed by the more spectacular
and dramatic events of the year 1867. Disraeli succeeded Lord Derby on
his resignation in February, 1868, and _Punch_ handsomely acknowledged
"the genius and perseverance" which, after thirty years of strife, had
thus been rewarded; but the new Premier only held office till December,
when the Liberals were returned with a majority of 112. The peerage
which he declined for himself, but accepted for his wife, who was
created Viscountess Beaconsfield, inspired a graceful tribute from his
old critic _Punch_. Parliament, before the prorogation in July, had been
mainly occupied with the battle over Gladstone's Irish Church
resolutions, which brought about the Government's downfall. It is worthy
of note that in 1868 it was the Militarism of France, not of Germany,
that excited _Punch's_ misgivings and animosities, to the extent of his
describing the Emperor's proposed Army Loan of 440 million francs as a
measure to establish a reign of "terror and preponderance." A map, which
was said to have been published by order of the Emperor, illustrating
French ambitions, gravely exercised _Punch_ later in a year which
witnessed the Revolution in Spain and the flight of the notorious Queen
Isabella, events which awakened little sympathy or interest in England.
Yet the eviction of Isabella opened the door to the Hohenzollern
candidature for the throne of Spain, the proximate cause of the war of
1870. But the seeds of conflict lay deeper--in the relentless diplomacy
of Bismarck, bound sooner or later to manoeuvre Napoleon III into a
position from which he could not escape without resort to the
arbitrament of war. In 1869 the celebration of the centenary of Napoleon
I and the proposed inauguration of a Constitutional _régime_ furnished
_Punch_ with material for some plain-spoken advice to Napoleon's
successor and namesake. Distrust of Louis Napoleon still dominated
_Punch's_ outlook on foreign politics and clouded his vision. Strange to
say the growth of the Prussian fleet is not only praised, but


    John Bull used to laugh to scorn the idea of a Prussian Navy, and
    chuckled hugely when _Punch_ christened it for him "The Fleet of
    the Future." But lo, "the wheel of Time has brought about his
    revenges," and the Fleet of the Future is the Fleet of the Present!
    Prussia _has_ a fleet--and no chaff! A respectable force of steam
    ironclads, backed by a serviceable knot of unarmoured
    sailing-frigates and corvettes, with a first-class naval arsenal
    and dockyard, on the Jahde, is a very different thing from the
    solitary "gunboat on the Spree," which we used to poke our fun at
    twenty years ago.

    Britannia, through her _Punch_, rejoices to weave among her naval
    azures a new shade--Prussian blue; and will be glad, in all fair
    quarrels, to hail it alongside the true blue of the British

But the mood of welcome was tempered with misgiving, and the possibility
of an eventual naval war with Germany filled _Punch_ with gloomy
forebodings, which, in view of subsequent developments, approach to
something like prophetic strain:--


    We trust we shall ever preserve our friendship with the countrymen
    of Hans Breitmann. We allowed Denmark to be robbed of
    Schleswig-Holstein, and tolerated the total theft of Hanover; so
    that there seems to be no conceivable offence that can hook us into
    a war with Prussia and Germany. That view is a pleasant one to
    contemplate for thinking people, who, but for it, would be rendered
    very uneasy by the following statement in a _Times'_ leader on "The
    Cruise of the Lords of the Admiralty":--

    "It has been imagined that the introduction of steam-power would
    render naval tactics of extreme importance in any future
    engagements, but when on one occasion the ships were ordered to go
    into action, it was found that a few minutes sufficed to envelope
    the whole fleet in so dense a cloud of smoke that signals were no
    longer visible, and all that any vessel could do was to fire as
    rapidly as possible into the darkness around her."

    Now, those Deutschers are confoundedly clever fellows; particularly
    at chemistry. Gun-cotton, which was discovered by one of them, is a
    substance they are at work on perfecting. No doubt they will soon
    make it available, so as to supersede powder, for naval gunnery.
    Gun-cotton goes off without smoke. In the happily almost impossible
    event of a war with them, our ships, enveloped in smoke of our own
    clumsy making, would blaze away at theirs in the dark, at random,
    with useless guns of precision, whilst they would fire with
    unerring aim at the flashes of our guns, and the end of our first
    sea-fight with them would be, that the British would be sent to the
    bottom by the German Fleet.

[Sidenote: _Death of Lord Derby_]

The same month witnessed the passing away of Lord Derby, "the Rupert of
Debate," a statesman somewhat out of his element in a period of
non-intervention; a great country-gentleman, sportsman, and scholar.
_Punch_, whose memorial verses in these years did not err as a rule on
the side of brevity, compressed his tribute within the compass of a
sonnet, in which there is a happy reference to Lord Derby's love of
Homer and of children, for he was the patron of Edward Lear, the
laureate of the best, because the most unalloyed, nonsense:--


BORN, 1799. DIED, 1869.

    Withdrawing slow from those he loved so well,
    Autumn's pale morning saw him pass away:
    Leave them beside their sacred dead to pray,
    Unmarked of strangers. Calmer memories tell
    How nobly Stanley lived. No braver name
    Glows in the golden roll of all his sires,
    Or all their peers. His was the heart that fires
    The eloquent tongue, and his the eye whose aim
    Alone half quelled his foe. He struck for Power,
    (And power in England is a hero's prize)
    Yet he could throw it from him. Those whose eyes
    See not for tears, remember in this hour
    That he was oft from Homer's page beguiled
    To frame some "wonder for a happy child."

The resignation by Lord Malmesbury, formerly Foreign Secretary, of the
Conservative leadership of the House of Lords about the same time met
with no such consideration. Lord Malmesbury had never been a favourite
of _Punch_, who insinuated that the Tory leader had gone because he was
obliged to, and quoted Artemus Ward's saying: "He told me to get out of
the office--I pitied him and went."

The fateful year of 1870 opened with the attempt to establish a
"Liberal" Empire in France with Ollivier as Prime Minister, a concession
which _Punch_ hailed as a "Magna Charta for France"; almost
simultaneously Lord Clarendon, our Foreign Minister, with Gladstone's
cordial approval, launched his suggestion of a partial simultaneous
disarmament, a proposal rendered futile by the attitude of Bismarck.
Lord Clarendon died on June 27, and his successor, Lord Granville, was
informed by the Permanent Secretary at the Foreign Office that he "had
never during his long experience known so great a lull in foreign
affairs." Yet war had already been declared by France when _Punch_, on
July 23, issued his somewhat cynical manifesto of neutrality under the
heading: "Prussian Pot and French Kettle":--

    In this unhappy event of a war between France and Prussia, we shall
    of course do all we can to preserve the most perfect neutrality. We
    certainly feel it. Our sympathies with the one side and the other
    are, strong as they are, exactly equal.

    As regards the Prussians we take a warmly admiring interest in the
    course of aggrandisement which their King and his Bismarck have
    been pursuing of late years, but most chiefly do we applaud its
    first step--the attack on Denmark, and the forcible annexation
    therefrom of the two Duchies. The immense number of Danes slain by
    the Prussian needle-guns commands our approbation only less than
    our wonder; but what crowns the sentiments with which we regard the
    spoliation and destruction of the Danes is the piety wherewith the
    author of those achievements solemnly expressed his thankfulness
    for having been permitted to accomplish them. One brother once
    knelt with Mrs. Fry in Newgate. The other might have knelt with
    Mrs. Cole.

    On the other hand, with respect to France, we cannot but feel how
    much we owe to the French Imperial Government for the improvement
    which, by the menacing armaments it has kept up now for so many
    years, it has occasioned us to make in our national defences. But
    we have higher reasons for sympathy with France than considerations
    which are merely insular and selfish. The great principles of
    Liberty, Fraternity, and Equality have been professed by France
    more enthusiastically and more loudly than by any other European
    nation; and we behold their standing reduction to practice in the
    occupation of Rome, and the declaration that the chief of Italian
    cities shall never belong to Italy.

    The foregoing reasons should satisfy any Prussian and any Frenchman
    of the perfect impartiality with which Englishmen must contemplate
    hostilities between their respective nations.

[Illustration: A VISION ON THE WAY. "BEWARE!"]

As a matter of fact, public opinion in England at the outbreak of the
war was in the main inclined to favour Germany; the publication of the
Draft Secret Treaty submitted to Bismarck by Louis Napoleon in 1867,
providing in certain contingencies for the occupation of Belgium by
France, and now communicated by Bismarck to _The Times_ went a long way
to sterilize sympathy with France; and it was not until after Sedan that
compassion for France overwhelmed and obliterated the old distrust of
the Emperor's intriguing ambitions. When the cry, "nous sommes trahis"
was raised, _Punch_ blamed the French nation more than the Emperor, whom
he had portrayed in a famous cartoon with the ghost of Napoleon
appearing to him as he set out for the front. As the wheels of war drove
more heavily on French soil and Paris was threatened with famine, one
notices the growing desire that Germany should grant generous terms,
mingled with a sense of impotence. This mood is well shown in the
verses, "Between the Hosts," printed in the number of December 17:--

    Like him of old, when the plague's arrows sped,
      And life sank blighted by that scathing rain,
    We stand between the living and the dead,
      Lifting our hands and prayers to Heaven in vain.
    While those that faint upbraid us from dim eyes,
      And those that fight arraign us as they fall,
    And French and German curses 'gainst us rise,
      And, hating none, we rest unloved of all.

    And so we stand with a divided soul,
      Our sympathies for both at war within,
    Now eager for the strong, to reach his goal,
      More often wishing that the weak could win.
    Only one feeling will not leave our minds,
      Hate of this hate, and anguish of this woe;
    And still war's scythe-set car rolls on and grinds
      Guilty and guiltless, blent in overthrow.

    And first we interpose a useless hand,
      And then we lift an unavailing voice,
    While still Death holds his way with sword and brand,
      Still the Valkyrier make their fatal choice.
    Still stormed on by ill-will from either side,
      Be we content to do the best we can--
    Give all that wealth, peace, goodwill can provide,
      For war's poor victims who their helpers ban.

    We have no right to wait for men's good word,
      No right to pause before men's unearned hate:
    No right to turn the ear, when threats are heard
      Of what will, some day, be the neutral's fate.
    "Do right and fear not" must be England's stay,
      As it has been, let wrath say what it will.
    So with love's unthanked labour let us pray,
      And do our best to ease war's weight of ill!

[Illustration: "VAE VICTIS!"

Paris, March 1st, 1871.]

[Sidenote: _1871--and its Sequel_]

In the autumn the consideration shown by some German troops in Champagne
is welcomed; by the end of the year the reply of Göttingen University to
an appeal protesting against the threatened destruction of the
scientific and art treasures of Paris--a document breathing the familiar
spirit of unctuous rectitude--roused _Punch_ to indignant satire in "A
Deutscher Dove-Coo," the name of the principal signatory being Dove. So
a month later the pseudo-Walpolian letters issued as "Strawberry Leaves"
reflect the popular disgust with which German brutality was viewed, but
at the same time the popular dislike of England's participating in the
war. When the siege of Paris ended at the close of the month, _Punch_
congratulated Thiers on his statesmanship, but rebuked the Parisians for
their fickleness in heaping insult on their fallen Emperor. The Germans
entered Paris, but in the cartoon of March 11, and the accompanying
verses "Vae Victis" a warning was addressed to Germany which has turned
out to be a true prophecy. The triumph is admitted, but the sequel is
clearly foreshadowed:--

    Yet listen, conqueror, while the shade,
      That should sit near thee in thy car,
    Whispers how quickly laurels fade,
      How swiftly shift the sands of war;
    How, sixty-five years since, there came
      A mightier Emperor than thou,
    Upon Berlin to put the shame
      Which thy hand puts on Paris now.

    Even as thy heel is on their head,
      That on thy folks' head set their heel,
    So, ere threescore more years have sped,
      The woe thou work'st thy sons may feel.
    "Who smite with sword by sword shall fall,"
      Holds for kings as for subjects true;
    God's mills grind slow, but they grind small,
      And he that grinds gives all their due.

[Illustration: "AU REVOIR!"

GERMANY: "Farewell, Madame, and if----"

FRANCE: "Ha! We shall meet again!"]

The courtesy of Germany in coming to an amicable settlement over the
loss of some British colliers sunk in the Thames is acknowledged; but
anxiety as to her further aggressions was not allayed by her desire to
possess Heligoland, and was undoubtedly enhanced by the publication of
that brilliant realistic romance, _The Battle of Dorking_, while the
fratricidal tragedy of the Commune, and the ruthless measures of
suppression employed, augured ill for the recovery of France from the
abasement of defeat. These events and the lessons they conveyed to
England were not overlooked by _Punch_; they served to temper his
light-heartedness with moods of misgiving. Yet the wonderful
elasticity--due, as even official Republican historians admit, to the
industrial prosperity created under the Second Empire--which enabled
France to pay off what in those days seemed a crushing war indemnity
long before the time fixed, emboldened _Punch_ in the spring of 1873 to
indulge once more in a prophecy of the reversal of the verdict of 1870.
When the German occupation ended, France is shown undauntedly
confronting Germany with the words: "Ha! We shall meet again."

Germany was not the only foreign power that caused anxiety during the
Gladstone administration of 1868-1874. Russia availed herself of the
troubles of 1870 to revive the Near Eastern question by refusing to
recognize her treaty obligations in the Black Sea; but the friction thus
created was allayed by the compromise effected by the Black Sea
Conference. And Russia's expedition to, and occupation of, Khiva in 1873
gave rise to further uneasiness. But non-intervention remained the order
of the day throughout. The Ashanti expedition of 1873, whether in
respect of its aim or its scale could not be regarded as forming an
exception. But it furnished _Punch_ with occasion for much plain-spoken
criticism of War Office red tape and mismanagement. He saw in Sir Garnet
Wolseley "the right man in the wrong place":--

    In our deep penny wisdom, and horror of waste,
      We shipped off the General minus his men,
    So that if in a fix he should find himself placed,
      He might merely lose time writing home back again.

[Sidenote: _Gladstonian Legislation_]

Happily these misgivings were falsified in the sequel, and early in 1874
_Punch_ was able to record, amongst other evidences of the satisfactory
conclusion of the campaign, the arrival in England of King Coffee's
State umbrella. The Gladstone administration may not have been efficient
in the conduct of military operations, but in the sphere of Army Reform
it deserved well of the country for the abolition of purchase, in the
teeth of strong opposition from the Horse Guards' element, and the
reorganization of the service on lines which substantially endured for a
generation or more. For these improvements we have to thank a civilian,
Cardwell, whose name is indissolubly associated with the changes brought
about in 1870. The second instalment of Gladstone's scheme for the
pacification of Ireland--the Land Act of 1870--was supported by _Punch_,
but did not achieve its purpose, since it left the vexed question of
dual ownership unsettled; and it was another Irish measure--the
University Bill--that brought the Government down. The legislative
achievements of the Gladstone Administration had been immense and
salutary in many directions, but the universality of its activities
undoubtedly contributed to its growing unpopularity and lent force to
Disraeli's famous electioneering cry of "plundering and blundering."
_Punch_, who had in the main supported Gladstone, advised the Cabinet to
resign after their defeat, but the Prime Minister resumed office
temporarily and did not dissolve till January 1874.

[Illustration: THE HOLIDAY TASK

DR. PUNCH: "My dear young friends, you have done next to nothing this
half. Therefore, a little task during the vacation will be good for you.
You, Master Benjamin, must get up a 'definite policy.' You, Lowe, will
write a paper on the 'Application of the _Screw_.' Ayrton, you will have
to get by heart the whole 'Book of Etiquette.' Miall, you must attend
Church regularly. Whalley, you're going to America--stay there!
Plimsoll, you must learn to--ahem--moderate your _transports_. And as
for you, William Ewart, the _idler_ you are the better!"]

[Sidenote: _England 2,000 Years Hence_]

Much had been done in this, the central mid-Victorian age, to abate the
evils and abuses which kept the "Two Nations" apart in earlier days. Yet
at the opening of the new Disraelian _régime_, with its imperial
aspirations, it may not be amiss to reproduce the verses, somewhat in
the vein of Thackeray's musings on _Vanitas Vanitatum_, in which Punch
bade farewell to the Comet of 1858:--


    Dare a bold atom ask, with brain half dizzy,
      What you will see two thousand years to come,
    This planet still an ant's nest, black and busy,
      Or an extinct volcano, white and dumb?

    Will you behold, if keeping that appointment,
      (Made for you, Sir, by Airy and by Hind)
    Men still anointing Kings with holy ointment,
      And Priests still leading, as the blind the blind.

    Earth's choicest youth fierce rushing to the slaughter
      That two crowned Fools may wreak their idiot pet;
    Or wiser Christians' blood poured out like water,
      That Jews may gamble with a nation's debt.

    Will that day's Patriot be a mouthing truckler,
      Setting proud Freedom's hymn to Freedom's dirge;
    Will Law be still the rich man's shield and buckler,
      The good man's terror, and the poor man's scourge?

    Will you find Life a hot and blindfold scrimmage,
      Men straining, struggling, scrambling, for red gold;
    And Faith still worshipping the Golden Image
      Reared by King Beelzebub in days of old?

    Will all that world, with coronet and plaudit,
      Reward Success, while Merit's scorned and passed;
    Will man ignore that great and dreadful Audit,
      When Lies shall fail--the first time, and the last?

    Who knows? Off, glorious Star-horse, clothed with thunder--
      Thou hast no right to make a light strain sad;
    Yet he wrote well, who wrote in awe and wonder--
      "An undevout Astronomer is mad."


Turning from England's international outlook to home affairs, we are
confronted in the earlier stages of the period under review by the
powerful negative influence of Lord Palmerston. A great Foreign
Minister, a capable and humane administrator when he was at the Home
Office, he had little belief in legislative remedies, and his refusal to
grapple with Reform became progressively distasteful to his Liberal
supporters. The old party system had been confused and shattered by the
secession of the Peelites, as the result of the Repeal of the Corn Laws,
and Palmerston was maintained in power in fact, if not in name, by a
coalition. His death ended the _régime_ of masterly inactivity and
cleared the way for the reconstruction of parties and the prolonged duel
between the two great protagonists--Disraeli and Gladstone.

The Reform Bill of 1867, the chief constructive achievement of
Disraeli's first Premiership, was a great advance on that of 1832, but
the boon was robbed of much of its grace by the party strategy which was
summed up in Lord Derby's famous phrase about "dishing the Whigs."
Meanwhile Ireland had been forced into prominence by the outbreak of
Fenianism, the Liberals had been reunited under Gladstone by his Irish
Church policy and on his accession to power in 1868, we enter on the
golden age of Gladstonian finance, with a low income tax--it dropped to
3d. in the year 1873--high wages and industrial prosperity.

[Sidenote: _Labour and Intervention_]

It was also, as we have seen, the age of non-intervention in foreign
politics. Strange to say the strongest appeal to the Government to
interfere by force of arms in a foreign quarrel was made by a deputation
of working men, introduced by Professor Beesly, in May, 1863, with a
view to expounding to the Prime Minister the resolutions in favour of
Poland voted by a Trade Union Meeting in St. James's Hall:--

    One of the deputation, Mr. Cremer, a joiner, after Pam had given
    the deputation the requisite sympathetic and evasive answer,
    jovially observed, in plain English:--

    "We are men of action, my Lord, and have come to the conclusion
    that the only way to aid the Poles is to call on Russia to desist
    from her present conduct, and if she will not attend to that call,
    thrash her into compliance."

We append _Punch's_ comments because they are typical of his gradual
adoption of a more critical attitude towards the working man. It should
be remembered that there was no Labour Party in the House of Commons
until 1884. Before that time working men like Mr. Burt and Mr.
MacDonald, the two miners returned in 1874, were returned by an
arrangement with the Liberals and sat on the Liberal benches:--

    If the honest working men were so thoroughly well represented as to
    command a majority in the House of Commons, they would not, of
    course, want to thrash foreign powers into compliance with their
    demands, and tax others to pay the expense of their own war. Would
    they subject their wages, one and all, to Schedule D, then, in
    order to thrash Russia into liberating Poland? If so, they are fine
    fellows. If not, the parts performed by the handicraftsmen who
    joined in the deputation to Lord Palmerston are about on a par with
    those of Quince, the carpenter; Snug, the joiner; Bottom, the
    weaver; Flute, the bellows mender; Snout, the tinker; and
    Starveling, the tailor, in _A Midsummer Night's Dream_; our British
    carpenters, joiners, and other working men partake in a very
    delusive dream in the expectation that England is going to fight
    for the Poles. The income-tax makes cowards of us all, except the
    working men who do not pay it.

Many of the abuses and evils at which _Punch_ had tilted so vigorously
had been removed and remedied. The Corn Laws had been repealed; the
Factory Acts had improved the conditions of labour. Obsolete and
barbarous laws had been removed from the Statute Book. The Game Laws had
been modified, and the administration of justice was marked by a humaner
spirit. The principle that property had its duties as well as its rights
was being steadily enforced, and, at the close of the period under
review, class privilege was curtailed by the institution of open
competition in the Civil Service and the abolition of purchase in the

This brief and imperfect list may help to explain the conversion of
_Punch_, the strenuous and impassioned advocate of the masses during the
'forties and 'fifties into the champion of the middle classes, and the
very candid friend of the working man and Trade Unions as revealed in
the later 'sixties and early 'seventies.


The Public House]

[Sidenote: _The Gang System_]

Life on the land showed little signs of progress in the opening years of
this period as illustrated by _Punch's_ legal pillory. But the vagaries
of clerical and aristocratic magistrates, culled with chapter and verse
from provincial newspapers, which excited his wrath in 1858, almost
disappear in the 'sixties, no doubt in consequence of a more humane
interpretation of the Sunday Observance Act. In 1869, the debate on "The
Recreation of the People" at the Church Congress revealed a growth of
clerical tolerance and common sense which extorted the high approval of
_Punch_. Still, the "Sunday Question" was far from being solved when it
impelled the convivial _Punch_ to print in the same year the companion
cartoons contrasting his vision of what might be with the squalid
reality of what was.

The incubus of Sabbatarianism, so far as it affected farmers and
labourers, was at any rate much lightened in these years. But a far more
serious evil was the gang system, under which a gang, chiefly of
children, some as young as five, but mostly boys and girls under
fourteen, were hired by a gang-master, who made as much as he could by
taking them about the country and letting out their labour to farmers.
It was not until 1867 that the good Lord Shaftesbury carried the
Agricultural Gangs Act by the provisions of which no child under eight
might be employed in an agricultural gang, and girls were placed under
the protection of a licensed female gang-master. It was a modest
instalment of reform, long since extended by our Elementary Education
Acts; it is to the credit of _Punch_ that he hailed it as placing a
check on "a system so abominable that nothing but the intensest
hypocrisy can call this a Christian nation while it exists." Against
those who deliberately perpetuated ignorance by enslaving the young he
carried on a truceless war. He was slower to condemn the ignorance of
rural superstition when it could be paralleled by the credulity of the
educated, and his observations on the sentence passed on a Devonshire
shoemaker may be taken to heart fifty years later:--

    A paragraph in a contemporary, headed "Superstition in Devonshire,"
    contains the following defence, addressed by an old shoemaker named
    Burch to the Barnstaple magistrates, before whom he was charged
    with assaulting an old woman by scratching her on the
    arm:--"Gentlemen, I have suffered five years' affliction from her.
    I have been under her power, and more than a hundred people advised
    me to fetch blood of that woman to destroy the spell. I have lost
    fourteen canaries, and from forty to fifty goldfinches; as fast as
    I got them they died, and I have had five complaints brought upon
    me at once."

       *       *       *       *       *

On hearing this declaration:--

    "The Mayor said that it was most extraordinary that such ignorance
    and superstition should prevail in the present enlightened age."

    In the present enlightened age persons of position in society and
    of education believe that they shake hands with spirits at dark
    _séances_. His Worship the Mayor of Barnstaple cannot have known
    that, or he would not have called the belief in witchcraft
    ignorance and superstition. If spiritualism is true, sorcery is
    possible, and, as there is no legal remedy against it, old Burch
    may be considered to have been justified in taking the law into his
    own hands for self-protection. Accordingly, since he was fined 2s.
    6d. and costs, and, as he couldn't pay the money, sent to prison,
    perhaps a subscription to get him out of gaol, and make him amends
    for the trouble he has got into, will be raised among affluent and
    superior "spirit circles." For if one medium can float about a
    room, why may not another ride upon a broomstick?

[Illustration: "SMALL BY DEGREES"

SUFFOLK FARMER: "Two shill'ns a week more? Never! That'll never do! Out
of the question!"

SUFFOLK PLOUGHMAN: "You're right there, Mas'r Wuzzles, sart'n sure! It
'on't dew. Our Sal sahy there'll be eight shillin' and threepence for
bread, three and sixpence for rent and coal, and half-a-crown for club,
clothes, boots and shoes for the owd 'oman, five kids, and me. No, that
'on't dew--that, that 'on't, b'um by. But it'll be enow to begin with!"]

[Sidenote: _The Old Man and the New Rich_]

Though no friend of feudalism, it is curious to note that in the
vehement protest against enclosures, the closing of rights of way, etc.,
which he published in 1869, _Punch_ is careful to distinguish between
the old and the new rich. The closing of Nightingale Wood, between
Southampton and Romsey, which "from time immemorial had been open by
gracious permission to rural ramblers," was the occasion for an outburst
culminating in the statement that "the brutes now fast closing the
sylvan scenery of England to Englishmen, are, with the exception of an
ignoble duke or two, rich rogues of speculators and financiers, who have
ousted the old territorial aristocrats and squires, having bought fields
and forests with the reward of their rascality."

In the selfishness of the "profiteer," as we now call him, _Punch_ sees
a sure provocative of Communism. He would clearly have applauded the
distinguished but eccentric judge who in a later day erected on his
country estate boards with the notice "Trespassers will _not_ be

It remains to be added that the grievances of tenants and farm
labourers, though far less frequently mentioned than in earlier years,
did not altogether escape the vigilance of _Punch_. In 1861 he printed
an ironic petition from a tenant to his landlord asking to be as
comfortably housed as his horses. In 1868 he alludes to the scandalous
housing conditions on the estate of a noble landlord in Essex--an estate
which of recent years has been noted for its humane and liberal

[Sidenote: _Prison v. Workhouse_]

Far more space, however, is devoted to the administration of the Poor
Law, the economics and evils of Industrialism in the manufacturing
centres, and the efforts of practical philanthropy. Throughout the
'sixties and right on into the early 'seventies _Punch_ never wearies of
insisting on the folly of making life in prison more comfortable than
that in the workhouse. His campaign begins with an onslaught on the
guardians of the Durham Union, who appeared to think that there "ought
to be a correspondence between the spiritual nutriment of paupers and
their material diet":--

    Under this impression it evidently was that they advertised the
    other day for a chaplain, offering the salary of £20 a year. Their
    advertisement was answered by a tender from one John Smart, who
    turned out to have been a clergyman's footman, and conceived that
    he had learned to exercise the functions of a parson from his
    master. He had, he said, "had a good deal of private practice, but
    not public."

    It is painful to find a respectable man-servant reduced to apply
    for employment in the capacity of a Workhouse chaplain. Cannot an
    inferior class of clergyman be ordained on purpose to administer to
    paupers a coarser kind of spiritual food? Deep indeed must be the
    humiliation experienced by a footman in exchanging plush and gold
    lace for the canonicals of a chaplain whose salary is £20 a year.

It was the time of the garrotting scare. Hence the point of _Punch's_

    The frying pan as compared with the fire is much less comfortable
    than the Model Prison in proportion to the Union-Workhouse.

    The former of those two establishments relatively to the latter is
    considerably milder than Purgatory may be imagined to be, in
    contrast with the other place which the prisoners mentioned. Quod,
    in comparison with the Abode of Want, is quite a tolerable sort of
    Limbo. What is the moral of this arrangement, in the apprehension
    of the classes who have to live by their own exertions? Whatever
    you do, keep out of the Workhouse. Garrotte anybody rather than
    apply to the Union.

_Punch_ still disapproved of the gallows; the strongest argument in its
favour was the manifest truth that the cheapest thing you could do with
a worthless rascal was to hang him. But he saw a better way in rendering
penal servitude exemplary:--

    At any rate, for the prevention of garrotte robberies and all other
    crimes, one step might be taken somewhat analogous to the treatment
    proverbially recommended for that other complaint, the influenza,
    which is just now likewise so prevalent. "Stuff a cold," says the
    popular adage, "and starve a cough." At present the moral reverse
    of this rule is observed in penal economy. You stuff a convict and
    starve a pauper. Wouldn't it probably answer better to allow
    paupers sufficient food and put criminals on low diet? Thus you may
    be enabled to get on without the gallows.

It was stated, and accepted by _Punch_ in 1860, that since 1856 there
had been a decrease in crime of 25 per cent. owing to the establishment
of Reformatories. But the series of papers in the _Morning Post_ in 1863
on the Middlesex Industrial School at Feltham--where the boys were
subjected to a devotional drill, made to lift and lower their hands in
prayer and sing grace "to the sharp order of a master," and mercilessly
caned and birched by a tall, muscular drill master for acts of
insubordination--gave _Punch_ furiously to think:--

    The Middlesex Model School at Feltham is an institution for the
    reformation of young thieves, but its arrangements for developing
    the religious sentiment in the youthful mind appear to be such as
    may be conceived to have been devised for mutual edification by the
    inmates of an asylum for idiots.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Flogging is a fine thing; but how strange that its application is
    limited to boys and soldiers and sailors: to children of tender
    age and members of an honourable profession! Wouldn't it be at
    least as suitable to garrotters, and even to cruel swindlers, whose
    exemplary torture, in comparison with the misery caused by their
    crimes, would be the lesser evil of the two?

The painful disclosures resulting from inquiries into workhouse
conditions are repeatedly referred to and make strange reading in a
comic journal. At a meeting held in Willis's Rooms by the Earl of
Carnarvon and the Archbishop of York early in 1866, the brutalities to
which the sick poor were subject in the infirmaries of most of the
London workhouses were illustrated in such hideous detail, that _Punch_
declared "it would be cheaper to put paupers out of their misery than it
was to let them die in misery, and it would at least be just as moral."

The parsimony, the self-indulgence and the barbarous procrastination of
the guardians of St. Pancras are castigated a few months later, when a
motion to postpone the consideration of the appointment of an extra paid
nurse for three months was carried by six votes to five. There were
forty guardians; but most of them were absent at the quarterly dinner of
the Burial Board. _Punch_, therefore, had good excuse for saying that
"these nine-and-twenty parochial humbugs, instead of minding their
business, were engaged in stuffing their most ungodly digestive organs
with funeral baked meats."

[Sidenote: _Ignorant Guardians_]

The Derby-Disraeli administration had come into power in the previous
month. So when Mr. Gathorne Hardy had succeeded Mr. C. P. Villiers as
President of the Poor Law Board, the alteration in the methods of
procedure in regard to investigating workhouse abuses provoked a
well-timed and damaging attack on the attempt to whitewash Bumbledom. It
is a dreary subject, but the principles which ought to govern a
Departmental inquiry could not be better expressed. And _Punch_ was
happily able to fortify his humanitarian zeal with ridicule when, in
quoting from the description of the horrors of Walsall Workhouse given
by the _Lancet_, he gives two stories showing that workhouse
mismanagement in those days, at any rate, was largely the result of
crass ignorance:--

    It was suggested in one workhouse board-room that a bath ought
    unquestionably to be supplied, when a guardian got up and stated
    "he were agin it." He never had one in his house in his life, and
    he didn't see why a pauper should enjoy what he didn't want. On
    another occasion the absence of a proper light at the entrance door
    was dwelt upon, and a gas-lamp was proposed. This was seconded by
    another worthy, who, approving of the gas-lamp, said, "and I'd have
    it lighted with ile."

    Now the first of these gentlemen may be a regular saint. He never
    bathed, and he regarded his neighbour as himself. To be sure, if he
    was a saint he was also a pig; but swinishness has not seldom been
    combined with sanctity. The other guardian, who didn't know better
    than that a gas-lamp could be lighted with "ile," was himself so
    destitute of all enlightenment that he may be excused as a simply
    irresponsible clown.

The euphemisms of Poor Law inspectors, who used colourless words such as
"inadequate" and "insufficient" when "barbarous," "brutal" and
"horrible" would have been nearer the mark, had been exposed by the
_British Medical Journal_ in 1868. If destitution was not a crime, why,
asked _Punch_, was the pauper treated worse than the criminal? These
abuses, in the exposure of which he joined hands with serious medical
journals, explain and justify the intense and even passionate desire of
self-respecting poor people to avoid the Union.

Though no lover of Jews, _Punch_ in 1869 contrasts Jewish guardians
favourably with their so-called Christian brother officials. Dickens's
picture of old Betty in _Our Mutual Friend_ is hardly overdrawn, and a
year after Dickens's death _Punch_ was still contrasting the comforts of
prison life with the usual conditions of life amongst the submerged

The State had not yet awakened to a sense of its responsibilities to the
"legal poor." Much was being done by practical philanthropy, and it may
be fairly said that no appeal to _Punch_ for assistance or encouragement
was left unanswered. Wholehearted in his support of Ragged Schools, he
comes forward in 1858 to plead the cause of their logical
corollary--Ragged Playgrounds:--

    Deprive a boy of healthy, fair and open games, and you drive him to
    resort to unwholesome, foul and sneaking ones. Deny him any
    playground but a hole-and-corner court, and you'll find that he'll
    betake himself to hole-and-corner games in it. In default of
    wholesome cricket, he'll become a dab at chuck-farthing; and will
    get from pitch and toss to still worse kinds of time-slaughter.

            *       *       *       *       *

    If we mean then to teach the ragged young idea, we must give heed
    somewhat to the ragged body likewise. And the first thing to be
    done is to provide it with proper play space.

_Punch_, therefore, may be regarded as one of the pioneers of the
admirable "Play Centres" movement. In the same year we find him
applauding the conversion of an old thieves' public house in Westminster
into the headquarters of the Ragged Schools, and appealing for funds to
maintain it. Drinking fountains had been established in Manchester and
Liverpool, and Punch expresses a desire to see them introduced into
London. Here, at any rate, he was prepared to welcome the saying that
what Lancashire thinks to-day, England will think to-morrow.

In the domain of social reform _Punch's_ great bugbears were patronage,
condescension and misplaced missionary efforts. Towards Exeter Hall
philanthropy the old and rooted hostility remains throughout this
period, and in 1865 we find _Punch_ pleading vigorously for a greater
interest in social reform at home to supplement the fashionable
enthusiasm for foreign missions. For missionaries of the type of
Livingstone he had nothing but praise, but that "perfect Christian
gentleman," as Sir Bartle Frere described him, had severed his connexion
with the London Missionary Society in 1857, and thenceforth had been
subjected to "much hostile criticism from narrow-minded people."


LITTLE LONDON ARAB: "Please 'm, ain't we black enough to be cared for?"

(With _Mr. Punch's_ compliments to Lord Stanley.)]

The benefactions of George Peabody roused _Punch's_ interest from the
very first. In 1862 and 1863 his pages abound in questions as to what
was being done with the Peabody Fund. But in 1864 the first block of
"Peabody dwellings" was opened in Spitalfields, soon followed by others
in Chelsea, Bermondsey, Islington and Shadwell; and in 1866, on learning
that Mr. Peabody had increased his gift to the London poor from £150,000
to a quarter of a million, _Punch_ was ashamed at the lack of public
recognition of his generosity. The letter from a "London correspondent"
is more than an expression of gratitude--it is a valuable contribution
to the study of Victorian sociology.


    "I will confess to you that I indulged myself with the thought that
    it would be a graceful conclusion to the reference sure to be made
    to American affairs in the Queen's speech, if a few words of
    cordial recognition were devoted to the munificence of this great
    American citizen. Of course, I was immediately ashamed of myself
    for thinking such a thing possible; and I hope you will overlook
    the ignorance of etiquette, routine and precedent--the shadowy
    creatures that hold us back when we are yearning to obey some noble
    impulse--betrayed by such a disordered fancy. When I read the
    Speech, all feelings of disappointment about Mr. Peabody
    evaporated, for I found that from the beginning to the end of the
    Royal oration there was not a line to commemorate the name and the
    fame of the Great Minister [Lord Palmerston] lying so near in the
    sacred silence of the Abbey. The shadowy creatures were again
    appalled by my audacious expectation, and held out menacingly a
    noose of ruddy tape.

    "I then waited to see whether Mr. Childers, in proposing a public
    loan in aid of the erection of houses for the labouring poor, would
    introduce Mr. Peabody's name. He did, and handsomely; and I am not
    without hope that before the vessel of State gets into the chopping
    seas that lie in its track, the captain, or perhaps the first
    lieutenant, may say something on this American question which would
    give unqualified satisfaction on both sides of the Atlantic. You
    will not misunderstand me. You will not suppose that when I speak
    of thanking Mr. Peabody, I am thinking of gold boxes, or addresses
    beautifully engrossed on vellum and enclosed in polished caskets,
    or public banquets, or services of plate. His gift towers above all
    ordinary gifts, as St. Paul's rises over all meaner edifices; but
    it does seem to me that it should be acknowledged and gratefully
    recorded by the voice of the eloquent speaker and the pen of the
    eloquent writer, be it in Parliament or in the pulpit, from the
    public platform or in the columns of the omnipotent Press. To some
    extent this has been done, but not commensurate with the magnitude,
    the rarity, and the disinterestedness of the gift.

    "When I read the unprofitable proceedings of Convocation, the
    discussions about canons and catechisms, rubrics and conscience
    clauses, I think to myself that Mr. Peabody may be doing more for
    the souls of the poor, by providing for their bodies, than both
    Houses of Convocation will do, though they should sit to the end of
    the century, and enjoy a fresh gravamen at each sitting.

    "If I were the Bishop of London, out of the fund with which his
    name will be imperishably associated, in every district containing
    a Peabody block of buildings, or dwellings for the poor, such as
    Alderman Waterlow understands how to build, I would provide a
    working clergyman, sure that he would find eager listeners in men
    and women, translated from styes of filth and disease, and
    degradation, to homes abounding in cleanliness, and health, and
    comfort, through the direct bounty or beneficent example of the man
    who has arisen to the rescue and deliverance of the poor of
    London--George Peabody.

"Perhaps the best commemoration of their benefactor by the Peabody
settlements would be a day's holiday in the country every summer, on his
birthday, if it falls in one of the leafy months."

The neglect of which _Punch_ complains cannot be laid to the door of the
Queen. When Mr. Peabody was about to return to America in March, 1866,
she acknowledged his munificence in an autograph letter, saying how
gladly she would have conferred upon him either a baronetcy or the Grand
Cross of the Bath (both of which he declined), and asking his acceptance
of a miniature portrait of herself.

Peabody's gifts to London amounted in all to £500,000, and set an
example which native millionaires have done well to follow. But he was
an even more munificent benefactor to his own country, where he gave at
least a million to education. When he died in London in 1869 _Punch_, in
his memorial verses, contrasted the feelings aroused in the two nations
with those of the "mourners" of most rich men:--

    No common mourners here such office fill--
      A mother and a daughter, grand of frame,
    Albeit one in blood, oft twain in will,
      And jealous either of the other's fame.

    But by this bier they pause from jar and boast,
      Urged by no rivalry but that which strives
    Him that lies here to love and honour most,
      Ranking his life highest among the lives.

    Of men that in their tongue and blood claim part:
      And well may child and mother mourn for one
    Who loved mother and child with equal heart,
      Nor left, for either, Love's best works undone.

The beneficent use of great wealth on a great scale seldom evades
ultimate acknowledgment. _Punch_ said no more in his tribute to Peabody
than that great and humane American deserved. But minor endeavours were
not overlooked, even where they led to no immediate results. Such, for
example, was the proposal of F. D. Maurice and others to found a Working
Women's College in 1864. Classes for women had been held at the Working
Men's College from 1855 to 1860. The larger scheme was not realized, but
has been revived within the last year by the establishment of the
Working Women's College at Beckenham. Such again was the establishment
of the London Dressmaking Company in 1865, under the patronage of Lord
Shaftesbury and the Bishops of London and Oxford, to which _Punch_ gave
a vigorous puff-preliminary in his editorial columns.

In 1858 the fate of Emily Druce had shown that the plea of Hood's "Song
of the Shirt" was in danger of being forgotten. But sweated labour was
not confined to the cheap clothing trade. In 1863 West-End milliners
came under the microscope of Parliament and _Mr. Punch_:--

    Public indignation has been excited by the accounts of the death of
    Mary Anne Walkley, a girl employed by Madame Elise, of Regent
    Street, wife of one Isaacson, and a notorious dressmaker. "Long
    hours in an overcrowded room and sleeping in an ill-ventilated
    bedroom," said Sir George Grey, "caused the young girl's death."
    What is to be done? Lord Shaftesbury in the Lords, and Mr. Bagwell
    in the Commons, called attention to the system under which such
    girls are killed; and the man Isaacson, who seems to fill a similar
    office to that of Mr. Mantalini, and who writes English of which
    that gent would be proud, issued a letter full of impertinence and
    bad grammar, in defence of Mrs. Isaacson's place. Thereupon the
    parish requested other testimony, and Dr. Lankester examined the
    premises, and found the dormitories rather better and the workroom
    rather worse than had been expected.


MADAME LA MODISTE: "We would not have disappointed your Ladyship, at any
sacrifice, and the robe is finished _à merveille_."]

These tragedies and the efforts which they prompted serve as a
convenient transition to a more general survey of Labour problems,
Labour legislation, and Labour organization and representation as they
are revealed and discussed in the pages of _Punch_ from 1857 to 1874.
Under the recently established and rapidly extending joint reign of
steam and coal, it was only natural that rural life should recede into
the background. Railway construction had drawn off many labourers from
agriculture, and the influx of labour into the manufacturing districts
continued apace. In the prospectus of the Dressmaking Company given
above, the work-hours are given as ten. But in 1859 the movement among
working-men for a nine-hours' day had already been started. Strikes were
common, but _Punch_ discourages them on the ground that the men always
lost in the long run, and that the "agitators"--the name "Labour
Leaders" had not yet emerged--were the real criminals. The _Examiner_
took the same line in 1861 when it wrote "the submission of workmen to
the tyranny of their Unions is at once one of the most curious and
lamentable phenomena of our time." Yet the existence of genuine distress
is not denied, and in a little parable in verse entitled "Men and Bees,"
profit-sharing between masters and men is recommended as the true

On what was still, in spite of Factory Acts and other measures, the
greatest blot on our industrial system--the employment of child
labour--_Punch_ spoke with no uncertain voice. Early in 1860 he gives
Lord Brougham a good mark for taking up the question in the Lords:--

    Lord Brougham, always true to his humane instincts, brought before
    the Lords the case of the young children employed in Bleach Works.
    It is a cruel one. Infants of seven and eight years old are at work
    for eighteen hours, and are sometimes four nights without sleep.
    The brutalities by which the poor little children are kept
    sufficiently awake for the purposes of their task-masters are
    shocking. Years ago, when the cruelties of the climbing-boy trade
    were exposed in the Lords, a noble Lord told a good story, made
    their Lordships laugh, and by getting the Bill thrown over for a
    year, left a new batch of children to the mercies of the Sweep.
    There was nothing of this kind to-night, and Lord Granville
    promised information. He will be good enough to remember that Lord
    Brougham _has_ tendered information, which proves that our friend
    Mammon is, as usual, doing the work of Moloch.

[Sidenote: Climbing Boys and Girls]

Here, at any rate, there is no sympathy for the greedy capitalist, who
comes off as badly as the "agitator." The mention of the chimney-sweeps
is timely. In 1864 the employment of the climbing boys had been
prohibited by Act of Parliament for twenty years. Yet the Act had been
so systematically evaded that in that year more than 3,000 children were
still kept at labour in that filthy and unhealthy form of slavery. The
subject was brought up in the House of Commons in April by Mr. Digby
Seymour, and furnished _Punch_ with an excuse for assailing those
"sentimental and pious ladies" who "prefer subscribing to societies for
converting little Hottentots to using influence to suppress the
atrocities committed upon little white children at home." A month later
Lord Shaftesbury intervened in the Lords: the details which he brought
forward were too shocking for reproduction, but "fine ladies who mew
over the sorrows of the Circassians, and devout ladies who send
missionaries to the Chinese, had better know what is done in their own
houses, and within a few feet of their own beds, with the children of
white English folk."

The kidnapping of little boys had been revived, and at a meeting held in
York the following agreement was signed by the assembled sweeps:--

    "We, the undersigned Master Sweeps of the City of York, mutually
    agree, from and after this date, not to employ Climbing Boys and
    Girls in our business; that the Act of Parliament on their behalf
    made should be strictly complied with; and that we ought no longer
    to risk the heavy penalties it prescribes, both against
    householders and ourselves."

It thus appears that, in York at least, the employment of climbing girls
had become almost or quite as common as that of climbing boys.

Lord Shaftesbury's "Chimney Sweepers Regulation Act" (1864) provided
that a chimney sweeper convicted of causing or allowing any person under
the age of twenty-one to ascend or descend a chimney or enter a flue for
the purpose of sweeping it or extinguishing a fire might be sent to
prison for a term not exceeding six months with or without hard labour.
But master chimney sweeps still continued to "snap their sooty fingers
at the law." In the issue of March 2, 1867, _Punch_ reproduces the
following business "card":--

    "William Burges, Chimney Sweeper, No. 36 Bolton Street, Chorley,
    flatters himself with having boys of the best size for such
    branch of business suitable for a Tunnel or Chimney, and that it is
    now in his power to render his assistance in a more extensive
    manner than he usually has done. He also carries his boys from room
    to room occasionally, to prevent them staining or marking any room
    floor with their feet."

In short, there was good ground for the complaint that while a great
deal had been said about our working men, but little notice had been
taken of our working children. A discussion of the "half-time system" at
a working men's club in which another enlightened and benevolent peer,
Lord Lyttelton, took part, is accordingly welcomed as sensible and

    "By this system," said Lord Lyttelton, "which compelled every
    parent who chose to send his child to work also to send him or her
    half the day to school, a very useful compromise had been effected
    between the demands of labour and education.... This system, as
    carried out in the manufacturing towns of Lancashire and Yorkshire,
    had resulted in the increased education, and consequent improved
    life and conduct, of their inhabitants, as had been manifested
    during the late cotton famine, and in many other ways."

    Gentlemen of England who live at home at ease perhaps have little
    notion of how hard some children work, and how needful it appears
    to make some effort to relieve them. From a Blue-Book he produced
    at the meeting we have mentioned, Lord Lyttelton

    "Gave an instance of a little girl engaged in a brickyard near
    Birmingham from 6 A.M. to 8 P.M., only having fifteen minutes for
    breakfast, and thirty minutes for dinner, no time for tea, and
    during one day she would have to catch and throw to her neighbour
    fifteen tons of bricks."

    What a mercy it would be to such poor little working children if
    their fathers were compelled to send them every day to school!

[Sidenote: _White Slaves in the Black Country_]

Towards the end of the same year the Town Council of Sheffield met to
consider the report of the Children's Employment Commission relative to
the overworking of children in the trades of that town:--

    According to that Report, a boy, only nine years old, living at
    Wadsley, four or five miles from Sheffield, was obliged by his
    father to work as cellar-boy in one of the furnaces, on most days
    of the week from six in the morning to six or seven in the evening,
    and on Saturdays from three in the morning till three in the
    afternoon. This enforced labour at a high temperature would, if
    only occasional, appear to be equivalent to a somewhat long
    compulsory innings in the Turkish bath. Imposed nearly every day,
    it may be considered by some who do not consider too deeply, to
    constitute a combination of the Turkish bath with Turkish tyranny,
    and tyranny about as barbarous as ever was practised in Turkey.

[Illustration: A DISTINCTION

THE "GOOD PARSON" (to applicant for instruction in the Night School):
"Have you been confirmed, my boy?"

BOY (hesitating): "Please, sir--I--don't know."

PARSON: "You understand me; has the Bishop laid his hands on you?"

BOY: "Oh, no, sir, but his Keeper have, sir--very often, sir!"]

Naturally, such outspoken comments gave offence, and in 1866 and again
in 1868 _Punch_ was very much in the black books of the Black Country
for what he said on the state of morals, manners and education among the
workers of that region of coal and iron. The controversy began with some
lines, "The Queen in the Black Country," which were inspired by the
inauguration of Prince Albert's statue at Wolverhampton. These gave pain
to certain susceptible inhabitants of that town. _Punch's_ reply was to
quote from the report of the Children's Employment Commission of 1864 on
the trades in the Wolverhampton district, showing that all the large
employers lived far away from the workpeople they employed; that a few
ministers of religion were almost the only representatives of the upper
class resident in the "Black Country"; that large numbers of children,
youths, young persons and women worked the same long hours as the men,
from 6 or 7 A.M. to 9, 10 and 11 P.M.; that among them little girls were
often kept bellows-blowing fourteen hours a day.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Sidenote: _Laws to Protect Children_]

In January, 1868, _Punch_ was accused of being a Rip Van Winkle, who had
been asleep for half a century, because when Bishop Selwyn was
translated from New Zealand to Lichfield he had published some verses
ending up with the question, "What's the savage o'er sea to the savage
at home?" His answer was to say that he wished he _could_, like Rip Van
Winkle, fall asleep not over the Black Country only, but over every
manufacturing district of England, to wake in fifty years and find
education for ignorance, thrift and comfort for improvidence and
squalor, gentleness and refinement for coarseness and brutality among
men and women; health and happiness for sickliness and suffering,
premature decrepitude and deadening of mind among children. But the
facts were too strong for him:--

    We never said, or meant to say, that things were as bad in the
    Black Country now as they were fifty, forty, or twenty years ago.
    We are quite ready to believe, with a more courteous and kindly
    Black Country correspondent than Mr. Lawley, that much has been
    done, and that much is doing, for religion, education and
    civilization in that region as everywhere else.

       *       *       *       *       *

If _Mr. Punch_ has been unfair to the Black Country, he has, at least,
been sinning in good company. Hear what Mr. Justice Keating spoke from
the Bench, in a Black Country case, not three weeks ago:--

    "I cannot help noticing the most deplorable state of matters shown
    by the evidence of these girls. We call ourselves a Christian
    people and pride ourselves upon being a civilized nation. These two
    girls have said that they could neither read nor write; that they
    had never in their lives been at school, church or chapel; that
    they had never heard of the Bible; and, as the learned counsel had
    suggested, in all probability they had never heard of a Divine
    Being. We send out missionaries to the heathen, but what avails all
    this when we see such a state of things at home?"

The introduction of the Metalliferous Mines Bill in the Lords in July,
1872, prompted _Punch_ to express his ironic satisfaction:--

    Would you be surprised to hear that we already protect women and
    children to this extraordinary extent? No children under 15 are
    sent down into the mines, and women are not worked more than twelve
    hours, and--will you believe it?--not at all on Sundays.

In the same month the Lords read a second time the Bill for protecting
children against those who cruelly train them to become acrobats. There
is hardly a single mention throughout all these years of efforts to
secure humane treatment for working children in which the honoured name
of Lord Shaftesbury is not prominent, as it was in this debate. There
was, as _Punch_ says, no sentimentality about this interference, and we
ought not to leave children to be tortured for the delectation of the
lower class of folks, well-dressed or not, who are pleased by unnatural
acrobatic feats.

It gave _Punch_ no pleasure to write sermons on Blue Books, least of all
when the Blue Books only gave him the blues. He usually abstained from
the discussion of merely painful subjects. But just indignation often
forced him to make exceptions. Thirty years after the passage of the
first, and nine after the passage of the second Chimney Sweepers
Regulation Act, a very bad case of evasion occurred in the North of

    We take this paragraph from the _Pall Mall Gazette_:--

    "Chimney-sweeps, who continue, in defiance of the law, to employ
    'climbing boys' may take warning from a case which has been tried
    at Durham. A Gateshead chimney-sweeper was sentenced to six months'
    imprisonment for the manslaughter of an unhappy little lad who was
    suffocated in attempting to carry out his orders in clearing a

    Apart from the individual ruffianism in this case, _Mr. Punch_ asks
    whether the Act which was intended to deliver little children from
    the most hideous cruelties is becoming a dead letter in any part of
    the kingdom. Is there any other place than Gateshead where
    little lads are rammed into foul flues to be suffocated? The
    present generation may not remember the struggle that had to be
    fought out, over and over, before the children could be protected.
    It had to be waged against habit, prejudice, greed, ridicule; but
    the victory was won. James Montgomery,[1] the poet, with one
    ghastly but damaging volume, The _Chimney Sweep's Magazine and
    Climbing Boy's Album_, gave thousands a nightmare that lasted for
    years, but he carried the Act. There was a poem in the book, too,
    by Blake, the painter, that did yeoman's service. We got the Act,
    and believed that the system of atrocious cruelty was at an end.
    But the above paragraph wakes painful doubts.

    We should call the sentence on the fellow who killed the child
    ridiculously mild, could anything ridiculous connect itself with
    such a theme. We wish that this master chimney-sweeper of Gateshead
    could have been sentenced to two years' imprisonment, varied by
    twenty sound lashes with the cat every quarter day, except the last,
    when he should have had fifty, as a parting testimonial of the
    public sense of his character.

[Footnote 1: No mention is made in the otherwise full and sympathetic
notice of James Montgomery in the D.N.B. of this, not the least
honourable of the services of that Sheffield worthy. Though his verse,
especially in the epic vein, was unequal, the D.N.B., differing from
Lord Jeffrey who slated it in the _Edinburgh_, agrees with _Punch_ in
according James Montgomery the title of poet, reserving that of
"Poetaster" to Robert or "Satan" Montgomery, who also dealt in epics,
and was the victim of Macaulay's famous and ferocious castigation in the

[Sidenote: _A Child Heroine_]

This was written in the issue of March 15, 1873. Just a year later, at
the close of the Ashanti campaign, an appeal was made, and not in vain,
to _Punch_ to recognize the heroism of another working child:--



    "There will be a great deal of war-paint going round soon, in the
    shape of titles, honours, and decorations, official rewards for
    'killing, slaying and burning.' Will you give a decoration to the
    little motherless girl of ten, Louisa Row,[2] who 'undertook the
    cooking' for her father, 'a labourer,' and his family, and died in
    the execution of her duty?

    "She has not killed anyone, black or white, except herself; she has
    not burned anyone's huts, or anyone's villages--she has only burned
    herself. She will get no glory, unless you, with a stroke of your
    pen, will put one little star of honour upon her unknown grave.

    "THE AUTHOR OF _Olive Varcoe_."

[Footnote 2: "A painful death by burning has happened at Torquay. Louisa
Row, aged ten, lost her mother a few weeks ago, and undertook the
cooking for her father, a labourer, and the rest of the family. She had
well performed the duties devolving upon her since her mother's death,
until one day she went too near the grate, her frock was ignited, and
she was terribly burned. The poor child lived several days after the
accident. At the inquest a verdict of 'Accidental death' was

Will our correspondent accept this inscription for her poor little
martyr's tombstone?

    Duty's small Servant, without prize or praise,
      How soon on thy hard life hath death come down!
    Take this brief record of thy childish days--
      Gold, tried with fire, makes the best Martyr's Crown.

_Punch's_ record as the champion of the working children leaves little
room for criticism. And we have seen in several of the extracts given
above that his severest censures are directed against the employers of
labour, the greed of gain, the worship of Mammon. But if he cannot be
convicted of partiality to capital, he was not always fair to labour.
Even in his most democratic days he showed a distrust of "delegates."
The working man's grievances were admitted, but his salaried spokesmen,
when they were drawn from his own order, were condemned, with very few
exceptions, as untrustworthy mischief-makers. How acute this distrust
had now become may be gathered from the acrimonious article which
appears in 1861 under the heading "A Dig at the Delegates":--

    A Delegate is generally a lazy, idle lout, who likes to sit and
    talk much better than to work; and who, considering himself as
    being "gifted with the gab," tries to foster small dissensions and
    causes of dispute, that he may have the pleasure of hearing himself
    prate about them. In other words, he is a drone that goes buzzing
    about the beer-shops, and living upon the honey that the working
    bees have toiled for. His business is to set a man against his
    master, and to keep afloat the Unions that tend to nurture Strikes,
    by giving men a false idea of their own strength, and underrating
    the resources and resistance of employers. Having duped the
    shallow-pated to elect him as their mouthpiece and being paid by
    them to lead a lazy life in looking to what he is pleased to call
    their interests, the Delegate grows fat on their starvation and
    their Strikes, and what is death to them becomes to him the means
    of life. Fancied grievances and most unreasonable demands the
    Delegate endeavours to encourage and support, for squabbling brings
    him into notice and his tongue into full play, and raises his
    importance in the pothouse-haunting world. A claim for ten hours'
    pay for only nine hours' work is just the sort of trade demand that
    a Delegate delights in; for he knows that its injustice must
    prevent its being listened to, and he will have the chance of
    swigging nightly, gratis, pots of beer while denouncing the
    iniquity of rapacious masters, in all the frothy eloquence of a
    public-house harangue.

    As nobody but a fool would submit to have his earnings eaten into by
    a sloth, it is the business of the Delegate to clap a stop on
    cleverness, and keep the brains of working men down to the
    muddle-pated level of those who are his tools. He, of course, fears
    the quick sight of any workman of intelligence, lest it may see
    through his iniquitous designs. He, therefore, gets the best hands
    marked on the Black List, and does the utmost in his power to reduce
    the active, skilful and industrious working man to the standard of
    the stupid, slothful, sluggish sot.


MRS. NORTH: "You see, Mr. Lincoln, we have failed utterly in our course
of action; I want peace, and so, if you cannot effect an amicable
arrangement, I must put the case into other hands."]

There have always been people who trade on discontent, and would find
their occupation gone were it removed. But to represent such motives as
animating the majority of Trade Union delegates was a gross
exaggeration; and it was both unfair and unjust to draw so hard and fast
a distinction between the rank and file of the working classes and those
whom they chose to represent them. The weakness of _Punch's_ position
was severely tested during the war of North and South in America and the
Lancashire cotton famine, of which that war was the cause. Just as
_Punch_ failed to recognize the existence of idealism in the leaders of
the North, and consistently maligned and misrepresented Lincoln until
his death, so he failed to render justice to the idealism of the cotton
operatives, who espoused a cause which was not only unpopular and
unfashionable, but the promotion of which entailed the maintenance of
that blockade which caused widespread distress and misery in Lancashire.
_Punch's_ attitude towards America in the earlier stages of the conflict
showed a complete inability to comprehend the great issues involved, and
an impartial dislike of both sides tempered by a sentimental leaning
towards the South. It must be remembered that at this time the cause of
the South was favoured by nearly all classes, that it appealed to Mr.
Gladstone; that the Duke of Argyll and John Bright were almost the only
statesmen who backed the North; and that amongst London newspapers of
any weight the _Spectator_ stood almost alone on that side. _Punch's_
reading of the war at the close of 1861 is shown in the cartoon which
represents King Cotton as Prometheus, bound with the chains of Blockade,
and with the American Eagle preying on his vitals. The verses which
accompany the picture emphasize the suicidal folly of the eagle, but the
question of slavery or the Union is not even mentioned. A fortnight
later the point of the "other [Cotton] Kings" is explained by another
cartoon in which John Bull, addressing the combatants, says, "If you
like fighting better than business, I shall deal at the other shop."

Here the verses drive home the _argumentum ad pocketum_ in the crudest
way. Cousin Jonathan is told not to be an ass, or "bid Mrs. Britannia
stop ruling the wave":--

    We'll break your blockade, Cousin Jonathan, yet,
      Yes, darn our old stockings, C. J., but we will.
    And the cotton we'll have, and to work we will set
      Every Lancashire hand, every Manchester mill.

    We're recruiting to do it--we'll make no mistakes:
      There's a place they call India just over the way;
    There we're raising a force which, Jerusalem, snakes!
      Will clean catawampus your cruisers, C. J.

[Sidenote: "_Distressed Millionaires_"]

Events entirely failed to justify these truculent words. A year later
the cotton famine was at its height, and an appeal for funds is headed
"Welly Clamming," with the explanation, "Everywhere we hear this, the
Lancashire Doric for 'nearly starving.'" _Punch_ applauds the zeal of
the Quakers in relieving the distress caused by famine, fever and frost,
and simultaneously reproduces this extraordinary advertisement from the
_Manchester Guardian_:--

    _Travel_: A gentleman, whose son, aged 17, is thrown out of
    occupation by the Cotton Famine, would be glad to meet with one or
    two other young gentlemen to accompany his son on a Tour, for five
    or six months, in the Mediterranean or elsewhere.

    Address F. 127 at the Printers.

The advertiser, according to _Punch_, appears to be "one of those
distressed millionaires who, because their mills have ceased working,
declare themselves destitute mill-owners, and devolve on the squires and
farmers and the British public the duty of rescuing their unemployed
workpeople from starvation."


When a ship was sent to Liverpool bearing the contributions of the
United States to the relief of Lancashire in February, 1863, _Punch_
welcomed the gift without reserve, as linking the two worlds anew by the
chain of fraternal goodwill. But a very different spirit is shown in his
acid comments on the debate in the House of Commons initiated by W. E.
Forster, who attacked the Government for not interfering to prevent
ships of war being supplied by our builders to the Confederates, and
said that we incurred great danger of war. The facts and the sequel
fully justified Forster's protest, but _Punch_ was not content with
backing up Palmerston's defence of the Government, and treated with
contempt and ridicule Bright's insistence on the sympathy of the working
classes with the North:--

    Here it may be mentioned that Mr. Bright[3] alluded in his speech
    to a meeting held the day before at the St. James's Hall, where he
    had been in the chair, and a crowded assembly of workmen testified
    the utmost sympathy with the North. This meeting is grandiloquently
    described by the Yankee organ here, but shall describe itself for
    _Mr. Punch's_ readers. It was chiefly composed of Trade Union men,
    and when a person who had chosen to be free and act for himself
    ventured to speak, although on the same side as the other orators,
    these lovers of liberty interrupted him with cries of "He's not a
    Society man!" Mr. Bright made a fervid and eloquent speech in
    favour of the North, and a shoemaker came next, who abused _Mr.
    Punch_, said "that a monster in human shape had been guest of the
    Lord Mayor," and that "the Devil, in the shape of _The Times_
    newspaper, was carrying out an infernal purpose." A joiner then
    called Lord Palmerston a liar, and a Professor Beestley, or some
    such name, attacked the "wicked press," meaning the respectable
    journals. An address to Mr. Lincoln was agreed to, assailing the
    "infamous _Times_," the "arrogant aristocracy," the "diabolical"
    South, our "unscrupulous moneyocracy," and the "infamous
    rebellion," and terminating with some gushing bosh about the
    vivifying Sun of Liberty. This document is penned in _New York
    Herald_ style, and probably owes its origin to Yankee inspiration.
    To this kind of meeting, and this kind of language, Mr. Bright
    referred, complacently, in the House of Commons. The North must be
    in a bad way when such allies are coveted.

[Footnote 3: The variations of view in _Punch's_ estimate of John Bright
form an interesting study. In the main, while admiring his courage,
_Punch_ found him too fond of asserting an impracticable independence.
The masses distrusted him as a cottonocrat; the middle-classes as an
out-and-out democrat and therefore an advocate of mob-rule. Punch
himself had described _Bright_ as an inciter to class-hatred in 1860.]

[Sidenote: _Libelling Lincoln_]

The South was in a much worse way when a "respectable journal" was
reduced to explaining away the undoubted and disinterested support of
the North by Lancashire cotton spinners and other British working men as
Trade Union tyranny, to say nothing of that worst infirmity of political
controversy--the vulgar perversion of an opponent's name. _Punch_ was on
stronger ground in criticizing the spread-eagling of the northern Press,
as when the _New York Herald_ declared that:--

    They (the American people) know that when this rebellion began the
    aristocrats of England took advantage of the chance to destroy us,
    and joined heart and hand with the slaveholding rebels. They know
    that this rebellion was born in Exeter Hall, nurtured by the
    English aristocracy, armed from English arsenals, and supported by
    English sympathy and assistance.

_Punch_, though no lover of Exeter Hall, could not refrain from
ironically vindicating its innocence, and makes for the rest some good
debating points against the _Herald_. But there is little "neutrality"
in his statement that Southern loyalty was as staunch as that of the
North, "though not so truculent or atrocious"; and when he falls foul of
the Yankees--a word invariably used in a disparaging sense--for calling
the confederates "rebels," he did not know that the magnanimous Lincoln
would never allow them to be called by that name in his presence. He is
made to do so, however, in _Punch's_ parody of one of Lincoln's
speeches--a truly lamentable performance, in which the President claims
dictatorial powers, calls for whipcord to whip the rebels, abuses the
"rotten old world," talks with the utmost cynicism of the blacks, and in
general behaves like a vulgar buffoon. The true Lincoln is to be found
in the immortal Second Inaugural delivered on March 4, 1865.

As for the British working men, though _Punch_ had undoubtedly
endeavoured to discount the strength of the tide of feeling which
continued to run strongly against the slave power, in spite of the
terrible suffering brought about by the blockade, he quoted with
approval Lord Palmerston's formidable and damaging indictment of the
manufacturers in the House of Commons on July 30:--

    "We know," he said, "that in the county most fortunes have been
    made by the manufacturers. I do not agree with the Hon.
    Member for Stockport that it has all been invested in the mills. On
    the contrary they have accumulated much more than their mills could
    have cost. There are enormous capitalists in the county, some of
    whom, I am sorry to say, though they have starving populations at
    their gates, and anticipate worse distress as coming, have
    actually, for the sake of profit, sold and sent out of the country
    the cotton which they ought to have used for the employment of the
    people. I say, why are these people to be exempt, and not to be
    made to contribute to the distress which they see around them?"

This speech, _Punch_ observes, enraged Cobden, who was furious with
Palmerston for his unjust, reckless and incorrect charge; but his reply
was inconclusive, as he could only say that a large proportion of
Lancashire mill-owners had _not_ sold their stocks of unsold cotton to
foreigners for the sake of the high prices which the fibre commanded.
Cobden returned to the charge a couple of days later in a speech which
is a most extraordinary prospective plagiarism of the election address
of any anti-waste Independent Liberal candidate in the year 1921, as may
be judged from _Punch's_ summary:--

    The present is the most extravagant government that ever existed in
    peace time.

    This is all Lord Palmerston's fault.

    He is always interfering and getting up sensations.

    If the Liberals do not disentangle themselves from this system they
    will "rot out of existence."

    The Tories keep Lord Palmerston in Office and have more confidence
    in him than in their own chief.

    He is puffed by a clever and noisy _claque_.

    All the questions dear to Radicals and Dissenters have gone back
    under his leadership.

    This sort of thing must not go on next year.

[Sidenote: _Our Noble Selves_]

The honours of the debate, which did not enhance Cobden's reputation,
rested with Palmerston, but apart from his extreme frankness in dealing
with the Lancashire mill-owners, he owed his triumph to his unrivalled
Parliamentary opportunism. The Governments of neutral states cannot play
heroic _rôles_ in a great war. More scope is left to opposition leaders.
Lord Derby distinguished himself by his liberality and energy in
organizing relief measures, but the Lancashire working man was the most
heroic figure in English public life from 1861 to 1865, though _Punch_
had only a glimmering of the truth. The note of complacent satisfaction
over the tranquillity and prosperity of England as compared with the
disturbed state of Europe is frequently sounded, and the Exhibition of
1862 is taken as the occasion to blow the national trumpet in "Our Noble

    All the world we invite to behold a grand sight
      Of not only goods, chattels, and treasures,
    But of law that's obeyed because mended or made
      By men who bring forward good measures.
    Let them come then, and see what a people are we,
      Steady-going, not headlong and skittish.
    What a world this of ours would be, O foreign Powers,
      If all nations behaved like the British!

       *       *       *       *       *

    This is Liberty Hall; no restriction at all
      On the freedom of speaking and writing;
    The result is that, say any fool what he may,
      Foolish language occasions no fighting.
    'Tis the easiest job to disperse any mob,
      Without being so much as pumped on
    By a fire-engine hose, off the multitude goes,
      Mind, Order reigns bloodless at Brompton.

This mood is, however, tempered by moments of self-criticism. The social
millennium had not arrived when in 1862 a statue was erected in Bolton
to its benefactor Crompton, the inventor of the spinning-mule, while his
descendants were living in destitution:--

    The spinning mule made Bolton. Samuel Crompton made the spinning
    mule.... He died in 1827, at the age of 74, and now Bolton, whose
    master-manufacturers cheated him living, honours him dead with a
    statue.... But Samuel Crompton left more behind him than the great
    invention and the memory of his wrongs and struggles. He begat sons
    and daughters as well as invented mules. He died a pauper, and they
    have fared as the children of those who die paupers are apt to
    do.... One of his sons is living dependent on charity, as his
    father died. Somebody bought him a suit of clothes that he might
    make a decent appearance at the inauguration of his father's
    statue. Besides this son, there are living some half a dozen
    grandchildren, some dozen great-grandchildren, of the
    inventor--all, with one exception, in poverty of the meanest, most
    pinching kind. Not one of them, son, grandchildren, or
    great-grandchildren, was invited to the inauguration of Samuel
    Crompton's statue.

[Illustration: IN FORMA PAUPERIS

LONDON ARAB: "Please, sir, can't I have a shill'n's 'orth?]

A sum of £2,000 had been collected for the statue: a few weeks after its
inauguration Lord Palmerston sent £50 to the surviving son. Assuredly
there have been few more remarkable examples of asking for bread and
being given a stone. And mill-owners were not the only masters whose
methods exposed them to criticism. When in 1863 the engine-driver and
fireman of a luggage train were fined 15s. each at the Oxford City Court
for being found drunk and incapable on their engine, _Punch_ admits the
moderation of the punishment, but asks his readers to ponder the story
told by the delinquents, and put the saddle on the right horse:--

    They declared in the presence of the Company's Officers and without
    contradiction, that their day was fourteen hours, and that owing to
    extra pressure, they had only had seventeen hours sleep the whole
    of last week.... On whom should fall the blame and punishment? On
    the men, outworn, and driven to stimulants as a substitute for
    sleep or a support under exhaustion, or on the managers of the
    Company, who thus overwork, or, in other words, underpay their


OVERWORKED POINTSMAN (puzzled): "Let's see! There's the 'scursion' were
due at 4.45, and it ain't in; then, afore that were the 'mineral'--no!
that must ha' been the 'goods,' or the 'cattle.' No! that were
after--cattle's shunting now. Let's see. Fast train came through
at--con-found!--and here comes 'the express' afore its time, and blest
if I know which line she's on!]

The cartoon published nine years later, in 1872, showed that _Punch_ was
still dissatisfied with the conditions of railway servants. _A propos_
of the railways, it is worth recording that in 1860 there were cheap
excursions to Brighton and back for 3s. Also that in 1868 _Punch_
commits himself to the view that an increase in railway fares means less
revenue--an interesting parallel to the recent controversy.

In 1865 the cattle plague led to a sharp rise in the price of meat; but
the attempt to introduce and popularize cheap jerked (or charqued) beef
from South America--sold at threepence a pound--was not successful,
though _Punch_ appealed to the public to give it a fair chance in a set
of verses with the refrain:--

    Oh, the jerked beef of La Plata,
    A platter give me of jerked beef.

"Progress at high prices," in _Punch's_ opinion, was dearly bought. When
two demonstrations were held by working men at Worcester this summer to
protest against the high price of meat which was attributed to a
monopoly amongst the farmers and butchers, and a resolution was adopted
to abstain from the consumption of meat for a certain time, _Punch_ saw
in this move a tacit acknowledgment that the high price was owing to
demand, and cordially endorsed the comments of _The Times_:--

    There can be no doubt that the present high price of meat is mainly
    to be traced to the fact that the consumption on the part of the
    working classes has of late years enormously increased, owing to
    their prosperous condition, good wages, and cheap bread. A general
    resolution on their part to limit the consumption would soon bring
    down the price.

[Sidenote: _Honest Fault-finding_]

The strike against the butchers was one in which the working classes
might safely combine to turn out. "They will not injure themselves, nor
hurt their wives and families: on the contrary, all the while the strike
lasts they will be putting by money. The public will support instead of
discouraging them." But it is impossible to take the commendation
seriously in view of the last sentence; "whilst others, I trust, are
endeavouring, by total abstinence from butchers' meat, to reduce the
butchers to reason, I remain medicinally, of course, always 'A
Beefeater.'" Much more effective, because untainted by irony, are the
plain-spoken verses on the British workman as painted by his flatterers,
his detractors and his candid friends:--

    While Democrat orators praise him and puff him
      As the land's bone and sinew, and Nature's own nob:
    Aristocrat talkers calumniously cuff him,
      As shiftless, and soulless, sot, spendthrift, and snob.

    'Twixt the daub of his bully, the daub of his backer,
      The true British Workman's been able to stand,
    And at once to disclaim both the brighter and blacker,
      As alike wide of truth, from the right and left hand.

The success of "Tom Brown" (Tom Hughes), who was elected for Lambeth in
1865, encouraged the enthusiastic friends of the British workman in the
hope that he would now be painted without fear or favour, but Tom
Brown's honest unvarnished portraiture was more than his sitter could

    While a fact is a fact 'twill do no good to blink it,
      Put up with the shadows Tom Brown dares to show,
    Your face may be darker than you like to think it,
      If the shadows ain't fast, wash, and let's see them go.

    While your Union pickets still waylay and "ratten"
      The knob-sticks, who work on their own honest hook,
    While on your hard earnings strike-delegates batten,
      And machines and machine-work are in your black book;

    While men who earn more by the week than their curate
      Are content in one room of a hovel to pig;
    While shop-drinks and Saint Monday their old rate endure at,
      And the wife and the young 'uns come after the swig;

    While limb's rest and soul's light to your infants begrudging,
      You drive them to workshop, to mine, loom or wheel,
    To drag through long years of unnatural drudging
      As though minds could die out, and yet bodies not feel;

    While such are the shadows your features that darken,
      Needs must that the blacks in your picture appear;
    And they're no friends who bid you your own praises hearken,
      When an honest fault-finder is craving your ear!

Later on, however, Tom Brown was himself taken to task for flattering
the working man.

On the question of housing and sanitation _Punch_ refused to believe
that landlords were altogether to blame. Social reformers and
legislators found themselves up against stubborn facts, and none were
more stubborn than the Briton's prejudices in favour of vested rights
and a man's house being his own castle, wherein he is free to do what he
likes with his own:--

    These stubborn facts are, no doubt, at the bottom of much that is
    worthy of respect in John Bull's character. They have not a little
    to do with his Magna Charta and his Habeas Corpus. But they
    occasionally stop the way all the same; obstruct the efforts of the
    Local Board or Nuisance Removal Committee, crouch like lions in the
    path of the Officer of Health, trip up the heels of the Inspector
    of Nuisances, and crop out in back slums, by-lanes, and blind
    alleys for district visitors and zealous clergymen to break their
    shins over.

[Sidenote: _Village Sanitation in 1865_]

These remarks form the preface to a series of extracts from the verbatim
report of a Visiting Committee appointed in 1865 to inspect a little
seaside village. The name of the place is withheld, but _Punch_ pledges
his word for the absolute veracity of the reporter, adding that what the
Committee found in the way of stinks, putrid wells, foul accumulations,
and purblind or pig-headed people was to be found in nineteen out of
every twenty English villages, seaside or inland, rural or suburban. The
houses in a sample street were occupied by an old gardener, a small pork
butcher, three pilots, three sailors' wives, and two coast-guardsmen.
The description of the well in the pork butcher's house is enough, in
Dickens's phrase, to sicken a scavenger. But the complacent fatalism
which marked all these householders rises to a pitch of sublimity in the
immortal phrase of the first coast-guardsman:-

    "Had the cholera in '44: ain't afeared of it. _Considers as it's a
    natural went for the overplush of mankind._ When his time comes,
    knows as he 'as got to go. Considers as his time wasn't come in
    '44. Always keeps his house very clean: does all the scrubbing
    himself, and paints his bedsteads and chests of drawers with red
    lead and turps twice a year."

According to the local doctor, all the inhabitants of these houses were
drinking water strongly impregnated with lead, but "they appear to like
it so I can't help it, especially as the landlord refuses to alter the
pumps." The first pilot considered that he had a right to drink his own
sewage if he liked it. The second coast-guardsman "couldn't abear
chloride of lime," and, in general, disinfectants were dreaded more than
bad drains. An optimistic speaker on Social Science in October, 1859,
had declared that the advance of education was certainly very marked.
"Classes once illiterate now show a love of literature, the taste for
which has even reached our cabmen, who in demeanour and civility are not
the men they were." _Punch_ was sceptical about the cabman and printed
an ironical poem on his progress modelled on "She wore a wreath of
roses." The passages we have quoted show that six years later pork
butchers, pilots and coast-guardsmen left a good deal to be desired in
their knowledge of practical hygiene. But _Punch_ does not acquit the
landlords or Government officials, and, though no lover of despotism
abroad or at home, there were moments when he felt that a little more
"paternal government" would not be a bad thing. As he put it a little
later: "when _Mr. Punch_ is reminded of tanks, cisterns, bins and butts
for miles along a tainted shore being overlooked by a mythical Inspector
of Nuisances instead of being looked into, in his utter bewilderment he
is tempted to exclaim, Wanted a Bismarck."

       *       *       *       *       *

With the death of Palmerston the question of organic reform re-emerged,
but the Russell administration, hampered by the disaffected Adullamite
Liberals--brilliantly led by Lowe--and restrained by Whig caution,
handled their Bill in a half-hearted spirit which courted defeat.
Russell resigned at the end of June, 1866, and was succeeded by Lord
Derby with Disraeli again as Chancellor of the Exchequer. It is on
record that Gladstone, shortly after Palmerston's death, agreed with
Denison, the Speaker, that there was no strong feeling for reform in the
country. Yet within a few months the diagnosis was completely falsified.
Immediately after the fall of the Russell administration came the
historic Hyde Park riots and a vigorous agitation throughout the
country. "The artisans, who had seemed apathetic towards the franchise
when it was dangled before them, became angry when it was refused."
_Punch's_ account of the rioting and its sequel is liberal of censure,
but cannot be regarded as either impartial or judicial or as
appreciative of the significance of the episode:--

    _Monday, July 23._--It did not seem to suit the Fates that our
    friends the Conservatives should slide into the recess quite so
    quietly as had been anticipated. Sir George Grey, the late Home
    Secretary, had ordained that the proposed Reform Demonstration
    should not be allowed to take place in Hyde Park, but his Ministry
    went out in time to save him any further trouble in the matter. Mr.
    Walpole had to vindicate the law, and his gentle soul has been a
    good deal perturbed by events. One Beales insisted on holding the
    meeting, and Sir Richard Mayne locked the Park Gates. The result
    was inevitable. The artisan class attended in large numbers, and of
    course behaved perfectly well; but, equally of course, the
    processions were supplemented by a vast mass of Roughs, who behaved
    perfectly ill. _Mr. Punch_ is unable to compliment the Reform
    League, inasmuch as its acts tended to violate order, and its
    "experiment of right" could have been tried with a hundred men
    instead of with thousands. Nor can we compliment the authorities
    who endeavoured to defend an untenable post, inasmuch as law could
    have been asserted by the arrest of a few individuals. He does not
    make a great noise about the breaking down of some railings, and
    the destruction by some roughs of trees and shrubs, nor would he
    put London in a state of siege because a good many windows have
    been broken, but all this sort of thing is really the fault of one
    Beales, who knew that a mob would follow the working man. Rough and
    Bludgeon came largely into contact, to the discomfort of the
    former, and the Beaks looked to the rest, Mr. Knox having
    especially distinguished himself by firmness and moderation, coming
    down sternly on ruffians and being lenient to mere fools.

    But Mr. Walpole had to defend himself in the House, and also had to
    see a Reform deputation, before whom he wept, and some of whom
    managed to misunderstand him, or pretended to do so, whereby there
    was another meeting summoned, as if with Government sanction, but
    after explanations, in and out of the House, the idea was given up.
    So ended the campaign, and _Mr. Punch_ is almost ashamed of the
    fuss which has been made over an affair of broken heads, while two
    great nations are mourning over slaughtered myriads.

[Illustration: NO ROUGH-IANISM

WORKING MAN: "Look here, you vagabond! Right or wrong, we won't have
your help."]

[Sidenote: "_One Beales_"]

"One Beales," as _Punch_ contemptuously describes him, was a political
agitator, but of a very different type from the "delegate" as depicted
in a previous page. He was an Etonian, a scholar of his college at
Cambridge, a barrister of the Middle Temple, and a revising barrister
for Middlesex, who died in the odour of legal sanctity as a County Court
Judge. But as a member of the Emancipation Society in the Civil War, a
member of Mill's Jamaica Committee in connexion with the case of General
Eyre, and above all as President of the Reform League, and advocate of
Manhood Suffrage and the right of public meeting, he had incurred
_Punch's_ unremitting hostility. "Beales and his Bubbly-jocks" were
constantly held up to ridicule. But they were very far from being
ridiculous. The League served as a spear-head for the discontent aroused
by the failure of Russell's Reform Bill, which it had cordially
supported. The meeting in Trafalgar Square on July 2, 1866, had been
prohibited, but Sir Richard Mayne, the first Commissioner of Police,
withdrew the prohibition, and the meeting, attended by nearly 70,000
persons, passed off quietly. Beales is declared to have shown great
courage and coolness on July 23. The meeting assembled near the gates of
Hyde Park; the invasion of the Park and the pulling down of the railings
occurred as the crowd were returning to Trafalgar Square, but the
leaders were in no way responsible. The police were roughly handled and
had to be reinforced by the Guards before the crowd was driven out; but
an amicable arrangement was reached between Beales and Walpole next day
as to the discontinuance of any further meetings except by arrangement
with the government. The Reform League had done its work; its mission
was virtually ended when Disraeli's Reform Bill passed in 1867 and it
was formally dissolved in March, 1869, three days after Beales had
resigned the presidency. No amount of belittling of Beales can disguise
the fact that he and his League gave a great impetus to the Reform
movement--the Lord Mayor of London actually presided over one of its
meetings in the sacred precincts of the Guildhall--and forced on the
introduction of the Bill of 1867. During its progress through Parliament
another great meeting convened by the Reform League was held in Hyde
Park in May, 1867. The Home Secretary issued a notice warning all
persons against attending it, but was practically over-ruled by the
Prime Minister, who announced that nothing would be done to hinder it.
The meeting, attended by 200,000 people, passed off without any
disturbance or untoward incident, and Walpole soon afterwards retired.
As Walpole, in consequence of his Hyde Park associations, had become one
of _Punch's_ regular butts, it is only fair to his memory to say that
the story of his having broken down and wept before a deputation is
denied by the D.N.B. _Punch's_ review of the episode quoted above is
thoroughly typical of his temper in this period of transition; of his
independence, his readiness to acknowledge the moderation and sanity of
British working men, his anxiety to distinguish between them and the
hooligan fringe; and at the same time of his distrust of their leaders
and of any organization which in his view savoured of extremism. There
were "bubbly-jocks" in Beales's following, but he was no bubbly-jock, as
Wilkes was no Wilkesite, and in many ways though by different means was
working towards the same end as _Punch_ himself. Beales had no gifts as
a mob-orator. His real strength lay in his knowledge of the law; and it
was on the legal ground that he worsted Lord Derby and Walpole. There
are some who think that modern democracy was born on July 23, 1866. Be
that as it may, the Hyde Park riot was a great landmark in our political

[Sidenote: _The Future of Coal_]

It is pleasant to turn from _Punch's_ not very happy handling of the
Hyde Park incident to his wiser, if fanciful comment on the warnings of
the philosophical alarmists who predicted the speedy exhaustion of our
coal supplies, and asked What, then, would Posterity do for force and
for fuel? _Punch_ suggests another conceivable fear to balance that of
the coal pessimists. If our population continued to increase at the same
rate, not only would the bowels of the land be consumed, but its entire
face be covered up with towns and factories. For his part he feared
neither the one nor the other event:--

    If the coal ever runs out, something equivalent to it will
    doubtless turn up, or else turn down. Somebody will discover a
    cheap way to set the Thames on fire, or to draw below, and store,
    atmospheric electricity. By a system of vertical elevation instead
    of lateral extension, our architecture will be adapted to our area,
    and our cities, no longer expanding, will continue to ascend. The
    higher they rise the less will Posterity be troubled with any
    amount of smoke which it may be unable to consume. The future of
    England will then be as fresh as a daisy, still as familiar a
    flower as ever.

The growth of industrialism was not to be dreaded if it was humanely and
wisely controlled and directed. That is the moral which _Punch_ draws
from the opening of the new docks at Barrow-in-Furness in September,
1867. The occasion was indeed "worth a crowd and a crow":--

    A Barrow that has grown, one may say, from a barrow into a
    coach-and-four in ten years! A Barrow that has swelled almost
    within the memory of the youngest inhabitant from the quiet
    coast-nest of some five score fishermen into the busy, bustling,
    blazing, money-making, money-spending, roaring, tearing, swearing,
    steaming, sweltering seat of twenty thousand iron workers, and the
    crime and culture, the dirt and disease, the hard-working and
    hard-drinking, the death and life, the money and misery they bring
    along with them!! A Barrow out of which they are tipping 600,000
    tons of iron every year!!! A Barrow big enough to hold a
    Monster-Iron-Mining-and-Smelting Company, with two Dukes among its
    directors, to say nothing of Lord knows who, in the way of Lords,
    and Lord knows how many millionaires!!!!

The two Dukes--one of them, Devonshire, a Second Wrangler into the
bargain--were both present, and also the first of living orators, Mr.
Gladstone. But the person who interested _Mr. Punch_ most was the
master-spirit of the great iron company, "one Schneider," and he is not
slow to improve the occasion:--

    He has hitherto been known to fame among public men chiefly as an
    ex-M.P., turned out of his seat at Lancaster for gross and
    shameless bribery. He has seen so much done by energy and money
    that he probably thought the one as legitimate a lever into
    Parliament as the other. But he has been punished for his mistake.
    He has now an opportunity to repair it. His name is the same as
    that of the President of the French Legislative Assembly, the
    energetic, far-sighted M. Schneider, whom _Mr. Punch_ has already
    honoured as the head and heart of the admirably-conducted firm
    which has made the iron manufacturing district of Le Creusot, a
    model as yet to be imitated among the great English industries of
    the same kind....

    And now for _Mr. Punch's_ proposition. Suppose M. Schneider were to
    set himself in real earnest to wipe out the recollection of
    Lancaster by the redemption of Barrow? What if he were to prove
    himself the ditto of M. Schneider of Le Creusot, not in name only
    but in deed, and to make Barrow-in-Furness the Creusot of England,
    in morals, manners, civilization, education, domestic comfort and
    culture, as well as in industry, energy and money-making? Here is a
    work worthy of the noblest ambition, the most determined energy,
    the highest intelligence, and certain of the richest reward--a
    reward not to be gauged by dividends, it is true, but beyond the
    measure of millions. Let there be two Schneiders known in the world
    for their noble conception and perfect discharge of the duties of a
    great captain of industry, and let one of them be an Englishman.

[Sidenote: _Reform Bill of 1867_]

Henry William Schneider, who started the Barrow Steel Works and was for
many years one of the directors, died in 1887. His namesakes of Le
Creusot still continue their dynasty. Early in 1870, the year of the
Franco-Prussian war, _Punch_ again repeats his comparison of Le Creusot
with the greatest and best managed English iron-works to the advantage
of the former, on the basis of statistics which had not been
contradicted by M. Rochefort or any other of M. Schneider's bitterest

Divergent contemporary opinions on the Reform Bill of 1867 found vent in
a number of famous phrases. Disraeli, who had guided its passage through
the House, claimed to have "educated his Party"; while Lord Cranborne
(afterwards Lord Salisbury) described the measure as "a political
betrayal which has no parallel in our annals." Lord Derby's
contributions to political phrase-making were threefold. The Bill was a
"great experiment," a "leap in the dark" (commemorated in one of
_Punch's_ most-famous cartoons), and he had "dished the Whigs." Lowe's
advice that we must now set to work "to educate our future masters" was
the weightiest of all. In view of the compromises and manoeuvring by
which the passage of the Bill was secured, there is good warrant for the
verdict of later historians:--

    Even in English politics few great changes have come about with
    less evidence of principle or conviction on the part of those
    mainly concerned in it, with more appearance of mere opportunism
    and concession to the expediencies of the moment. It was difficult
    to be enthusiastic over a Reform Bill framed by a ministerial party
    which did not want reform, under pressure from an opposition which
    did not want the Bill.[4]

[Footnote 4: _The Political History of England_, Vol. xii., by Sidney
Low and Lloyd Sanders, p. 207.]

[Sidenote: _Working Men Candidates_]

_Punch_, whose attitude towards Disraeli on his return to power had
turned from satirical distrust to reluctant admiration of his commanding
ability, welcomed Reform, but his welcome was accompanied by grave
misgivings as to the growing strength of the Trade Union movement, and
throughout 1867 cartoons and comments in prose and verse abound in
condemnation of the intimidation practised at Sheffield by trade union
agents. The report of the Royal Commission appointed in January, 1867,
proved the existence of terrorism, but exculpated forty-eight out of the
sixty trade unions in Sheffield from complicity in outrage, and showed
that it had been denounced by the principal trade union leaders.
Picketing, even when "peaceful," had been pronounced illegal, and trade
unions had no protection against embezzlement by their own officials on
the ground that their rules were in restraint of trade. On the other
hand Lord Elcho's Master and Servant Act had placed the workman on a
level with his employer in regard to breaches of contract, and rendered
the remedy mutual. It cannot be said that the successes of the trade
unions in the legislative field were greeted with enthusiasm by _Punch_.
Nor did he show much sympathy with the efforts to secure direct
representation of Labour in Parliament. Mr. George Odger is
congratulated on retiring from the contest at Chelsea at the end of
1868, in compliance with the decision of the arbitrators to whom he and
his Committee referred the question whether it was better for the
Liberal cause in Chelsea that he or Sir H. Hoare should quit the field.
The arbitrators were Mr. James Stansfeld, Tom Hughes, and Mr. Peter
Taylor. But when the chairman of Mr. Odger's Committee declared that "it
was the old story over again, that working men acted with undue faith in
those they considered they might trust," _Punch_ felt called upon to
address "a serious word to working men." The arbitrators were all men of
the most advanced Liberal principles, the highest character, and the
strongest fellow feeling with working men. Their impartiality was above
suspicion. So _Punch_ proceeds in his most magisterial vein:--

    The fault of working men has been, not the putting "undue faith" in
    friends of this kind, but the not putting faith enough in them; and
    the tone in which the Chairman of Mr. Odger's Committee,
    and--_Punch_ is sorry to see--Mr. Odger himself, comment on the
    decision of Messrs. Stansfeld, Hughes and Taylor, confessing at the
    same time that they are not informed of the grounds of it, is a
    striking illustration of this fault. There is nothing so hard in
    the practical education of working men as the teaching them to
    prefer disagreeable truth to flattering falsehood, and not to turn
    from the friends who have the pluck to tell them such truth to the
    schemers who mislead them by such falsehood. It is this difficulty
    which has wrecked more working men's movements, co-operative,
    educational, self-helping, than any other--the difficulty of
    getting working men to know their true friends from their sham
    ones, and to trust the former, even when their vanity is fretted,
    or their wish or whim of the moment thwarted, for any reason,
    however weighty, or in any cause, however sacred.

If Mr. Odger, as _Punch_ averred, had marred the grace of his withdrawal
by the manner of it, so _Punch_ marred his candour by asperity. Tom
Hughes here decided against Mr. Odger. Little more than a year later he
supported Mr. Odger as the "working-man candidate" for Southwark, and
provoked a vehement protest from _Punch_ against the "mischievous
nonsense" he had talked at an election meeting. This open letter begins
with a handsome acknowledgment of the services of his old friend, the
author of "the truest and manliest book extant on English public-school
life"; and of his pluck and straightforwardness and recognition that
men, "whether gentle or simple, are, on the whole, made of the same
clay, pulled by the same strings, worthy of the same rights, and liable
to the same duties"; of "his courage in telling necessary if unpalatable
and unpopular truths." None the less "the working-man candidate" sticks
in _Punch's_ gizzard.

He had no objection to working men standing for Parliament, but "they
should be very careful in their choice of fighting-ground." At
Maidstone, in 1870, "they chose it as badly as possible":--

    It is true that Mr. Applegarth, the working man's candidate, retired
    before the final struggle, finding--according to his own
    statement--"that he was too late in the field to make headway
    against the popular feeling in Sir John Lubbock's favour!" He had
    better have said, "Finding that he had no business ever to have come
    forward." What right, _Punch_ asks him, had he, or any man who
    wishes to see the best wisdom of England in the House of Commons, in
    the field which Sir John Lubbock had occupied in advance of him? All
    working men who are worth their salt must admit that no claims that
    could be set up on behalf of their order could stand a moment's
    comparison with those of Sir John Lubbock on the support of the best
    and broadest Liberalism. Let them choose constituencies where they
    will have to fight pseudo-Liberalism and genuine Toryism, and
    welcome. But in the name of their cause and ours, don't let them put
    stumbling blocks in the Parliamentary path of such men as Sir John
    Lubbock, or they will only do what they have more than once done
    already--make way for the fox, while the lion and the bear are
    worrying each other.

The underlying assumption that "the best and broadest Liberalism"
sufficed for the needs of the working classes has long since gone by the
board. Here at any rate _Punch_ failed to foresee the inevitable march
in representation summed up in the three stages: Liberal, "Lib.-Lab.,"
Labour. There is, however, a considerable advance on the views expressed
in his letter to Tom Hughes in his welcome to Messrs. Burt and Macdonald
on their election in 1874:--

    Earliest among the early birds, _Punch_ was glad to hail his
    friends, Messrs. Burt and Macdonald, representatives of Underground
    Britain, Members for the Mine, sample black diamonds, "picked
    Wallsends." They have sought and found the fairest audience in the
    world. _Punch_ will take his Davy that any light theirs can throw
    on dark places will be gladly received; that all they have to say
    to the purpose will be attentively--nay, respectfully--listened to,
    and weighed as carefully as was ever corve at pit-bank. And really
    these pioneers of the pick--hewers, we presume, of a way for other
    Working-men Representatives, equally stout and worthy--are about
    the only novelty, as far as _Punch_ can presage, of the new
    Parliament, always except the Parliament itself, with its sudden
    swap of sides and strangely altered balances of Power.

[Sidenote: _Truckling to the Working Classes_]

This friendly greeting, anticipating without misgiving the extension of
Labour representation, must not blind us to the fact that throughout the
period under review _Punch_ was gradually becoming more and more
confirmed in his championship of the middle class as the backbone of the
country, the real power of the nation. The appeal in support of the
funds raised to support the children of Ernest Jones, the Chartist poet,
who died in 1868, is generously worded. But Chartism was long extinct,
and Jones, a man of good family, had quarrelled with most of the other
leaders on his release from gaol in 1850, and his former colleagues had
"freely denied both his disinterestedness and his sincerity." Landor had
pronounced his verses noble, and _Punch_ appealed to both Conservatives
and Liberals on the broad ground that a brave man had died poor.

The well-deserved rebuke administered to "van-demons," "persons whose
only notion of enjoyment consists in getting drunk, and then howling
songs and playing horns as they drive homeward from their
drinking-bout," can be paralleled from the protests repeatedly uttered
in 1920 against the char-à-banc nuisance with its attendant "bellowing
and braying." But a much more combative note is struck in the verses on
the tendency to kow-tow to the working man published in 1872, at a time
when the rise in prices, especially in that of coal, and the hardships
of the middle classes and the small income-tax payer coincided with
unusual prosperity among the working classes and particularly amongst
the miners:--


_Hamlet_, Act v., Sc. 1.

    "Why should the Poor be flattered?"
        Art foolish, Hamlet, trow?
    All else are torn and tattered,
        None else are flattered now.

    Your Clown, our race accusing,
        Declared our wits astray:
    We beat him at abusing
        Ourselves. Behold our way!

    Our Queen mis-spends her income,
        Her Court's all fashion's slaves,
    The Lords are feeble Ninkum-
        Poops, and the Commons, knaves.

    Our soldiers are no fighters,
        Our sailors cannot sail,
    Our bishops shame their mitres,
        Our merchants cheat and fail.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Our architects are Vandals,
        Unfit to rear a stone;
    Our music-writers Handels
        To no ears but their own.

    Only the so-called Worker,
        The Stalwart Son of Toil,
    Never from that a shirker,
        Never in brawl or broil.

    That sober, saving Being,
        The nation's "heart and core,"
    Him we are all agreeing
        To flatter--and much more.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Why should the poor be flattered?"
        You pause for a reply--
    But, if our brains are battered,
        Dear Hamlet, don't ask why.

When critics complained of the extravagance of the rich in their
entertainments and house-decoration and found in the newspaper accounts
of this luxury an explanation of industrial discontent and strikes for
higher wages, _Punch_ did not hesitate to fall back on the disputable
argument that the consumption of luxuries involved the profitable
employment of those who produce them:--

    Suppose, instead of flowers and dessert at £200, including peaches
    at a guinea a-piece; suppose, instead of a house decorated by Mr.
    Owen Jones, and a set of aluminium plate, millionaires were to
    spend their money in founding schools and scholarships, for
    instance, and in educating their poor relations' children, and
    sending them to the Universities; even suppose they expended it in
    almshouses, and Peabodying the destitute, the mechanical
    working-classes would have far less cause to be satisfied with them
    than they are now. It may be that there is a wiser and a better use
    for riches than lavish expenditure on the productions of
    market-gardening and decorative art; but the consumption, at any
    rate, benefits producers, and enables employers in those lines of
    business to pay the artisans and labourers the higher wages. So the
    working-classes, at least, need not grumble.

[Illustration: PROSPEROUS JOHN]

The complaints of the income-tax payer, when it stood at 3d. or 4d.,
leave us cold, and envy rather than compassion is excited by the bitter
cry of the consumer who had to pay 30s. or even 36s. a ton for coal or
1s. 3d. for meat. Otherwise there is an extraordinary similarity in the
comments and protests which fill the pages of _Punch_ in the years
1871-1873 to those which have been so painfully familiar since November,
1918. The prosperity and extravagance of the miners is constantly
referred to. They are accused of being overpaid and, in consequence, of
not working steadily. The "vicious circle" is neatly summarized in a
doggerel verse:--

    Strikes follow strikes; the reason why,
    High wages rendered prices high;
    Then Working-Men for wages higher
    Struck, and to still more pay aspire.
    Such aspiration what will crown?
    It is "Excelsior!" upside down.

When Lord Lyttelton, at a harvest festival at Hagley, compared the
conduct of the agricultural labourers with the extravagance of the
workmen in the Black Country, _Punch_, disavowing all criticism of the
Black Country as dangerous, made bold to ask how it was possible for a
Northern pitman to save his means:--

    He has only a house found him, rent-free, all the coals he
    requires, medical attendance and medicine when he or any member of
    his family is ill, and, at the lowest, seven shillings a day. For
    this miserable wage, and for these trumpery advantages, the artisan
    of the pit is expected to do, actually, six hours' work daily. How,
    thus crushed and starved, can he save anything? If a malignant
    aristocrat suggests that many an educated gentleman manages on far
    less, working, moreover, twice as hard, bringing up a family in the
    right way, and even paying for life assurance, _Mr. Punch_ scorns
    to argue with a bloated Dives, who would compare a white-handed
    swell with Nature's nobleman, the hardy son of toil, and the real
    strength and glory of the nation. Heave a coal at the head of the
    insolent cynic.

[Sidenote: _Victims of the Income Tax_]

In 1873 the wages in some collieries had gone up to 10s. or 15s. a

    To be content with from 10s. to 15s. a day is to be satisfied with,
    say, some £234 a year. If that is to be earned by mining here,
    there can be no inducement for any skilled miner to betake himself
    to gold or diamond diggings. He can live in clover, on enough to
    satisfy all his wants, by raising black diamonds at home. For a
    miner, an income of the above amount is a salary much more adequate
    than £5,000 for a Law Officer of the Crown. The miner has no
    appearances to keep up in a mine. He need not incur any expenses
    but those which are necessary for his personal wants and pleasures,
    including champagne and dog-fighting; which, the former luxury as
    well as the latter amusement, he can manage to afford well enough
    by a judicious economy above-ground, of lodgings, furniture, and

Coals went up to 50s. a ton in London this year and the cry of the
middle classes, of whom _Punch_ was now the great champion, was echoed
with great fervour in an article on a speech by Sir William, then Mr.
Vernon Harcourt:--

    Mr. Vernon Harcourt, in some of his late speeches, has placed
    himself in striking contrast with most of the other leading
    politicians, both Liberal and Conservative, by speaking the truth.
    For example, at the Druids' Dinner the other day, in discussing the
    impost by which the incomes of a part of the people are taxed to
    pay the expenses of the whole, instead of attempting to defend
    confiscation with sophistry, and to stifle complaint with sneers,
    he condemned the false and dishonest apology, alleged by financial
    swindlers' advocates on behalf of the Income-tax, that it weighs
    only on the rich who are well able to pay it, and he maintained
    that, on the contrary, it falls "with the greatest severity on the
    poorest of all the classes of the community--that which, upon
    limited means and small profits, has to keep up a state of
    respectability." The lie which Mr. Vernon Harcourt refuted is one
    of those lies which Statesmen are very apt to tell in talking to
    simpletons; lies coupled with truths, from which the generality of
    people at public meetings have not sense enough to disentangle
    them. It is quite true that the rich are well able to pay the
    Income-tax; but to say that the Income-tax weighs only on them is
    telling a falsehood which transcends common lying. The rich, as a
    rule, can afford to live up to their incomes, and it matters
    nothing to wealthy people whether their incomes are taxed, or
    duties are imposed upon the luxuries on which they expend them. The
    class rightly described by Mr. Harcourt as the poorest of the
    country consists of persons under the necessity of living as much
    within their incomes as possible. They need to make all the
    provision that ever they can against ruin constantly staring them
    in the face. The Income-tax, substituted for indirect taxation,
    wrings from them the savings they ought to put by, and, by way of
    compensation, offers them the advantage of buying cheapened
    superfluities, which, how cheap soever, are too dear for them at
    any price. Thus are their slender incomes in large measure
    confiscated by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and amends are made
    them with facilities to squander the rest.


MY LADY: "I'm afraid I must give up the pine-apple, Mr. Green! Eight
shillings is _really_ too much!"

SUCCESSFUL COLLIER: "Just put 'un up for _me_, then, Master. 'Ere's 'arf
a sovereign; and look 'ere--yer may keep the change if yer'll _only tell
us 'ow to cook 'un_!"]

[Sidenote: _Colliers and Cormorants_]

References to the champagne-habit among the miners abound throughout
this year. A picture shows a miner buying a pine-apple which a lady
could not afford. Their practice of travelling first-class is also
reprobated. But the bitterest explosion of _Punch's_ wrath against the
pampered aristocrats of industry was provoked by a speech in which John
Bright complacently dwelt on "the growth of material prosperity and
comfort in every class." To this _Punch_ vehemently demurred:--

    Clerks of all kinds, Civil servants, fund-holders and annuitants
    with fixed incomes, landowners, doctors, lawyers, and professional
    men in general, is that so? Do you find it so?

    When Mr. Bright said "every class," did he not mean to say, or, at
    least, should he not have said "certain classes"? It is quite true
    that the shoddy class, and the class of great speculators, have
    prospered exceedingly, to as great an increase of their material
    comfort as increasing wealth could procure them. A proportionate
    growth of material comfort and prosperity has obviously been
    experienced by the operatives and mechanics, otherwise called the
    Working Classes--although there are classes who may be said to do
    some little work, other than manual labour, to be sure. Do not
    coal-miners for a fair day's work obtain at least a full two days'
    wages; do they not drink champagne; and have not they and the rest
    of our flesh-and-blood amongst them, drunk us out of the Alabama
    difficulty? They have grown in content too--the Striking Classes.
    They and the other classes that grasp with one hand and squander
    with the other, and go on grasping and squandering, and thereby
    raising prices higher and higher every day, they, all of them,
    indeed are without doubt increasingly prosperous and comfortable,
    but they are not everybody. There are a very great many other
    people besides, who constitute everybody else, and these, so far
    from being more prosperous and comfortable than they once were, can
    now no longer afford the luxuries, or even the necessaries, they
    then could, but have to go without.

The ugly phrase about the Alabama claims was not _Punch's_ own coinage,
but he was not in a mood to mince his words where the miners were
concerned. The charges against overpaid workmen and profiteers have a
strangely familiar ring. And so has the reference, though not under the
now familiar name, to the practice of "Ca' Canny," which, however, had
been in occasional use for many years before _Punch_ suggested, in 1874,
that it might be met by reprisals:--


    The _Sheffield Daily Telegraph_ informs consumers, already
    subjected by producers to excessive extortion, that at

    "At a mass meeting of Scotch miners on Thursday, 3,000 colliers
    resolved to work only four days per week, and only eight hours per
    day, in order to reduce the output, and to keep up prices."

    But suppose the butchers and poulterers combined against them, as
    they combine against the public, what then? And could not
    the vintners agree to raise "these rapacious colliers' Champagne to
    some four or five pounds a bottle? Perhaps they will try.

Already Lord Shaftesbury had spoken plainly on the results of that
"enormous increase of wages which had lately taken place in nearly every
class of working men," even going to the length of endorsing the view
that high wages, when unaccompanied by self-control, were the curse of
the working classes:--

    Of course, where economy and prudence were practised the condition
    of the Working Man should be improved by higher wages; but there
    was recklessness and improvidence. The sudden increase of money had
    been productive of the greatest possible mischief, and so long as
    these habits continued he could not but think that an increase of
    wages was a positive infliction to the Working Man, his wife, and
    his children.

This bold statement prompted _Punch_ to reduce the argument to an
absurdity, or something near it, by suggesting that the true way of
planting the spirit of self-control in the minds of the people would be
simply to lower their wages to the requisite standard. Simultaneously he
vindicates the character of the working classes for thrift and sobriety
in the following ironical eulogium:--

    The Working Classes, it is surely not too much to say, spend every
    little increase of wages they obtain by their harmless strikes
    chiefly in the education of their children, and in the purchase of
    the appliances needful to make home happy. If they are at all
    extravagant is it not in books, and in the dress which some of them
    are a little too apt to lavish on their wives? For the vast
    improvement evident in their habits we have to thank not only the
    Licensing Act, but also the Trades' Unions Act; and moreover the
    Conservative Reform Bill, which has rendered them, as Mr. Lowe
    said, our masters--if not their own.


FIRST RUFFIAN: "Wot was I hup for, and wot 'ave I got? Well, I floor'd a
woman and took 'er watch, and I've got two years and a floggin'."

SECOND RUFFIAN: "Ha! _I_ flung a woman out o' the top floor winder; an'
I've on'y got three months!"

FIRST RUFFIAN: "Ah, but then _she was yer wife_!"]

[Sidenote: _Punch and Capital Punishment_]

The reference to working men's wives is especially ironical, for _Punch_
was at this time engaged in a vigorous campaign of protest against the
very lenient sentences passed on men for brutal assaults on their wives.
References to this subject abound in these years in prose and verse and
cartoons, culminating in the year 1874. He strongly supported resort to
flogging in such cases. We have already noticed the modification, indeed
the practical abandonment, of his old hostility to capital punishment.
The cause of this conversion is curious. It is hardly too much to say
that it was largely the result of a remarkable speech made by John
Stuart Mill--a true humanitarian if ever there was one--on the measure
introduced in April, 1868, to make executions private. _Punch_, though
he often differed from Mill, had the greatest respect for his fearless
independence and integrity, and was evidently profoundly impressed by
Mill's speech[5] in reply to Mr. Charles Gilpin (the Member for
Northampton), who had argued in favour of the abolition of capital
punishment, and we find the following admirable summary of it in his
"Essence of Parliament":--

    The speech of the night was that of Mr. Mill, who approved of many
    of the labours of the "philanthropists," but said that they ought
    to know when to stop. To deprive a criminal of the life of which he
    had proved himself unworthy--solemnly to blot him out from the
    fellowship of mankind, and from the catalogue of the living--was
    the most appropriate and the most impressive mode in which society
    could deal with so great a crime as murder. Imprisonment would be
    far more cruel, and less efficacious. None could say that this
    punishment had failed, for none could say who had been deterred,
    and how many would not have been murderers but for the awful idea
    of the gallows. Do not bring about an enervation, an effeminacy in
    the mind of the nation; for it is that to be more shocked by taking
    a man's life than by taking all that makes life valuable. Is death
    the greatest of all earthly ills? A manly education teaches us the
    contrary; if an evil at all, it is one not high in the list of
    evils. Respect the capacity of suffering, not of merely existing.
    It is not human life only, not human life as such, but human
    feelings, that should be held sacred. Moreover, taking life for
    murder no more implies want of respect for life than fining a
    criminal shows want of respect for property. In countries where
    execution is morbidly disliked there is no abhorrence of the
    assassin. Mr. Mill added that we had been in danger of reducing all
    our punishments to nothing; and, though that disposition had
    stopped, our penalties[6] for brutal crimes (for which he earnestly
    recommended the Scourge) were ridiculously light, and ought to be

[Footnote 5: It is strange that in the full account of Mill's
Parliamentary activities given by Sir Leslie Stephen in his article on
Mill in the D.N.B. no mention is made of this speech. Nor can I find any
reference to it in Bain's _Reminiscences_.]

[Footnote 6: Mill's actual words were "flogging--a most objectionable
punishment in ordinary cases, but a particularly appropriate one for
crimes of brutality, especially crimes against women." (Hansard, 3rd
series, Vol. cxci., p. 1,054.)]

[Sidenote: _The Organ Grinder Nuisance._]

It will be noted that Mill here met the argument which _Punch_ had
advanced in earlier years as to the relative severity of long
imprisonment and capital punishment, and answered it on the humanitarian
ground that the former was more cruel as well as less efficacious. Mill,
as we notice elsewhere, had more than anyone else shaken _Punch's_
hostility to woman suffrage, but the effect of his speech on capital
punishment was even greater. It must not be forgotten, however, that
Mill had been in the forefront of the movement for securing the
prosecution of General Eyre for his drastic suppression of the riots in
Jamaica. _Punch_ supported General Eyre throughout, and it may well have
been that on the question of capital punishment he was influenced by the
principle _fas est et ab hoste doceri_, even though the opponent was
undermining his own position. On more general grounds one can well
understand that _Punch_, as an independent observer and thinker, would
admire and be impressed by the candour and detachment from party ties
which marked Mill's political career.

The change in _Punch's_ views on the claims of Labour, especially
organized labour, has already been sufficiently illustrated. But it did
not prevent his espousing the cause of workers where the conditions were
bad, the hours long and the pay inadequate. _Punch's_ protracted
campaign against the organ grinders was no doubt to a considerable
extent due to Leech's sensitive nerves, and to sympathy with
brain-workers such as Babbage, the mathematician, who declared that "one
quarter of his entire working power had been destroyed by audible
nuisances," but his support of Mr. Bass's Bill in 1864 was largely based
on the fact that the business was conducted by undesirable aliens, and
that the Italian _padrone_ was an employer of sweated labour. In 1871
there is a cartoon satirizing the strong measures taken by the police
against a demonstration of child match-makers at a time when adult
agitators were allowed to preach Revolution and Communism in Hyde Park,
and in the same year and month, when a post-mistress was convicted of
theft and forgery, the evil is traced to the temptation to which
underpaid officials were subjected. _Punch_ had already predicted that
in any national emergency the patriotism of the mercantile marine could
be implicitly relied on, a prophecy splendidly realized in the Great
War, and in 1873 he lent a vigorous helping hand to Samuel Plimsoll in
his campaign against the "Coffin-Ships":--

    Let horrified shipowners never so oft
      His charges, indignant, fling back,
    I call him the cherub who sits up aloft
      To keep watch for the life of Poor Jack!

[Illustration: THE COFFIN-SHIPS

POLLY: "Oh, dear Jack! I can't help crying, but I'm so happy to think
you're not going in one of those _dreadful ships_!"

JACK: "What, Davy Jones's decoy ducks! No, no, lass--never more. Thanks
to our friend Master Plimsoll, God bless him!"]

Simultaneously _Punch_ printed a cartoon assuming that "Jack" would
never again be sent to sea in one of "Davy Jones's decoy ducks." This
was rather premature, as Plimsoll's campaign to secure the compulsory
load-line which began in 1870, and in which he showed more zeal than
discretion, did not lead to legislation until 1876. But with all his
faults Plimsoll earned his title of "The Sailor's Friend" and justified
_Punch's_ salutation.


The annals of Church and State history were rich in events of prime
importance during the years 1857-1874. When one reflects that this short
period witnessed the removal of Jewish disabilities, the publication of
_Essays and Reviews_, the much-canvassed appointments of Temple and
Stanley, the resounding controversies which arose over Colenso and
Jowett, the Mackonochie and Purchas trials, and the Disestablishment of
the Irish Church, it will be seen that _Punch_, in view of the keen
interest he had taken from the very first in the relations of Church and
State and Society, found an almost embarrassing wealth of material for
comment and criticism. On all these subjects he had a good deal to say,
and he said it with very much the same mixture of intolerance and common
sense, of rationalism and reverence which marked his utterances in
earlier years. He professed to represent the majority of English
Protestants: he was avowedly Erastian in his maintenance of the
supremacy of the Law Courts in all cases; he was the unrelenting enemy
of Extreme Ritual, the Confessional, and any attempts to revive
monasticism; and on occasion he was ready to bang the "No Popery" drum
as loudly as ever.

When Béranger died in 1857, his burial prompted a tribute in verse which
begins with the lines:--

    Ah Béranger, you brave old singer,
      Of all the things you hated worst,
    That felt your lash's lustiest stinger
      Tyrant and Jesuit were first.

In _Punch's_ view there was nothing to choose between the two. But his
hostility was not confined to one Order: it embraced Vaticanism in the
widest sense, and there were many moments when he anticipated, and acted
on, Gambetta's phrase, "Le cléricalisme, c'est l'ennemi." Thus, to take
one instance, the demonstration of Irish Roman Catholics at Blackheath
at the close of 1862 moved him to fury. It was the time of the French
occupation of Rome, and the spectacle of these "Irish Yahoos" hurrooing
for the Pope and groaning for Garibaldi was altogether too much for
_Punch_. He would have quenched their zeal for the "temporal absolutism"
of the Pope with water from a fire-engine, and he described the
demonstrators as "prepared to shed the last drop of their blood if the
perpetual enslavement of the Romans should require that precious
sacrifice." The French, by their intervention, were only "propping by
force the rule of superstition." This was just after Garibaldi had been
wounded at Aspromonte, and when the bullet was removed _Punch_ said that
this, at any rate, was a true relic. Rome--Papal Rome--was to him the
Scarlet Lady, a red rag to John Bull.

As a set-off to this special hostility to the Roman Communion, it is
only fair to admit that other Churches and Sectarianism generally came
in for a great deal of shrewd and, at times, bitter criticism. _Punch_
was by no means an orthodox Churchman. Kingsley and Maurice and Stanley
were his heroes. He stood for comprehension and toleration, and fair
play for the "Higher Criticism." He had far more sympathy with underpaid
curates than opulent bishops--indeed, he had little respect for the
episcopal bench, if we except Temple and Tait.

The Sabbatarianism of Evangelicals, Presbyterians, and Nonconformists
generally, continued to excite him to indignation or derision--as when
in 1858 Sunday walking was tabooed by some Scots fanatics, who also
sought to stop all Sunday sailings, or when early in 1861 a controversy
arose in Scotland as to whether the sale of milk was permissible on that

[Footnote 7: Within our own times the milking of cows on Sunday was
objected to by Scottish Sabbatarians.]

In 1868 the Lord's Day Observance Society addressed a memorial to the
Brighton Railway Company against Sunday trains, which ended as

    "Lastly, as recognizing the Christian principle of a particular
    Providence, we cannot conceal from ourselves the conviction of the
    signal instances of the Divine displeasure in two accidents on the
    Sabbath Day, one of which in the Clayton Tunnel ended in the
    hurrying of several lives in a moment of time into eternity and
    which, in a financial point of view, resulted in a loss to the
    proprietary of not less than £50,000."


_Punch_ acidly comments on the authors of this "pretty specimen of
snuffle," that they evidently know no more about the Grand Prix than
they do about the Tower of Siloam.

The notion that Sunday should be a day of gloom and that religion should
be divorced from cheerfulness found no support in _Punch_. A few years
later, that is in 1871, he records with amazement the utterance of a
Scottish minister who, at a children's _soirée_ held at Kincardine,
forbade them to applaud, and told them "there would be nothing of that
kind, and no laughter in Heaven." In the same year, under the heading of
"Sabbatarian Progress," we read:--

    The Sunday Closing Bill's referred
      To a select committee,
    We view concession to absurd
      Fanaticism with pity.

It was the same year that _Punch_ got into hot water over a picture of
Keene's. In it an old lady remarks to a guest: "They're all alike, my
dear. There's our Susan (it's true she's a Dissenter), but I've allowed
her to go to Chapel three times every Sunday since she has lived with
me, and I assure you she doesn't cook a bit better than she did the
first day!!" The Young Men's Christian Association at Dover, in
consequence of this flippancy, decided that they would not take in
_Punch_ as being a paper hostile to religion. _Punch_ displayed a ribald
impenitence, making great play with the speeches delivered by the Mayor,
Mr. Knocker, and a Mr. Mowll, and the hostile decree was rescinded
shortly afterwards.

[Sidenote: _Glaring Contrasts in the Church_]

When the scandal of the sale by public auction of pews in fashionable
churches came up in 1858 it was used as a stick with which to beat
Puseyism. But when the Bishop of Exeter, on April 23, made an eloquent
appeal in connexion with the want of church accommodation for the
people, denounced the pew system as illegal, and declared that to seat
only fifty-eight per cent. of the inhabitants of London 670,000 sittings
would be required, _Punch_, forgetting his ancient feud with "Henry of
Exeter," congratulated him on these gleams of real liberality. But what
chiefly concerned _Punch_ as a Church Reformer were the glaring
contrasts which existed in the "richest and poorest Church in the
world." He was disgusted at the "snobbery" of the archbishops in kindly
sanctioning a Registry for Curates, like a Registry for Servants:--

      ... It would appear from these figures [quoted from _The Times_],
    that Curates are expected to perform the cure of souls about as
    cheaply as the salters work the cure of herrings. Well, _Floreat
    Ecclesia_! and Heaven bless the Bishops! Of course, it's all just
    as it should be, or the Registry of Church Servants would never
    have been sanctioned. The Bishops have full knowledge of the
    present scale of wages at which Curates may be hired, and by
    sanctioning the registry they, of course, approve the scale. So,
    _Floreat Ecclesia_! and Heaven bless the Bishops! The Curates are
    the men-of-all-work in the Church, and receive as recompense a
    maid-of-all-work's wages. Proportionally, their pay is really not
    much more: for they have to live like gentlemen, which kitchen
    servants have not.

[Illustration: A HOME THRUST

"Ah, Bishop, what a heavenly sermon that was of yours last Sunday, about
worldliness and the vanities of the flesh!--it nearly made me cry! And I
say, Bishop, _how hard it hit you and me_!!!"]

When the question of revising and shortening Church Services was
discussed in the same year, _Punch_ suggested as an alternative the
discontinuance of all sermons except on special occasions. But the most
pointed of his criticisms throughout this period are directed against
Ritualism and in particular the use of the Confessional. High Anglican
Ritualism was to him the Chambermaid of the Vatican. As for the
Confessional, it was "a dangerous and disgusting practice."

[Sidenote: Father Ignatius]

In the autumn of 1858 _Punch_ printed a cartoon on "Soapy Sam's"
dangerous flirtation with the Scarlet Lady, accompanied by a letter
advocating more drastic treatment of those who practised the
Confessional, and later on in the year Tait, then Bishop of London, is
applauded for his intention to deal faithfully with Ritualists and
credited with saying: "You must not bring your toys to Church."
_Punch's_ attacks on the Ritualists exhibit a steady crescendo in
freedom and even brutality through the 'sixties, and, admitting the
sincerity of his dislike, little excuse can be found for the publication
of such tasteless pictures as that, for example, of the sentimental
young lady who observes to her sister, _à propos_ of a sandalled curate,
that "it is no use working slippers for him, and mother says he doesn't
wear braces." Throughout the years 1864 and 1865 the vagaries of
Brother, or Father Ignatius (the Rev. Joseph Leycester Lyne) are held up
to unqualified contempt. But this "Histrio Anglicanus," as _Punch_
called him, invited ridicule by his extravagances and those of his troop
of mimic monks. The point of _Punch's_ attack was that they were not
real members of a monastic order, but mountebanks who played at being
Romanists and occasionally imposed on Roman Catholics by their "profane
tomfoolery." Father Ignatius, moreover, was doubly obnoxious to _Punch_,
for he was not only a mock monk, but an extreme obscurantist who
fulminated against the Higher Criticism and all liberal theologians. No
quarter was therefore given to him in verse or prose. He is treated in
"Spoiling the Game" as a dangerous lunatic:--

    Brother Ignatius wears a monk's gown
      (A strait waistcoat were suitable wear),
    Brother Ignatius shaveth his crown--
      'Twould be well were his whole head shaved bare.

[Illustration: HEIGHT OF FASHION

ARDENT RITUALIST: "Oh, Athanasius, it's charmingly becoming!"]

At this time Father Ignatius was established in Norwich; it was in after
years that he moved to Llanthony Abbey in the Black Mountains, a most
appropriate choice of residence; and the campaign of contempt reached a
ribald climax in the issue of July 15, 1865, which contained "A Modern
Gregorian Tone: a Chaunt pointed according to the Use of Norwich." This
Chaunt, which was founded on an actual dissension amongst the
brotherhood, gives an extremely diverting account of the mutiny provoked
by the rigorous dietary imposed by the Superior--with dispensations in
his own favour. It is "funny without being vulgar." But the prose
article on the next page, "Ignatius and his Monkeys," deviates into
scurrility at the outset:--

    It is not true that Brother Ignatius and the monks, his associates,
    have removed from their monastery at Norwich to the Zoological
    Gardens, Regent's Park, and there taken up their abode in the
    Monkey House.

Where _Punch_ showed a want of justice as well as of perspective was in
treating all or nearly all Ritualists as if they were on the same level
with Father Ignatius. In 1869, when Mr. Mackonochie maintained the claim
of "Church Courts for Church Causes," _Punch_ was not content with
declaring that parsons were unfit to do legal justice; he challenged
them to declare whether they were prepared to emulate the example and
martyrdom of Becket; he bade them get their heads shaved or betake
themselves to Rome. The "Pastoral to Mr. Mackonochie and Co." shows a
slightly more conciliatory spirit, and admits that they were gentlemen
and scholars, and did a great deal of practical good and hard work among
the poor. None the less _Punch_ charges them with playing a game--"a
game dangerous to your own morality and that of your party-spirited
followers, who almost believe in your infallibility." Hence _Punch's_
final advice: "If you cannot become wholly Roman or wholly Greek, _set
up for yourselves_, but do not remain the ecclesiastical mermen you are
at present."

The Purchas case was treated lightly at first in the lines on "The Dean
and the Parson":--


    DEAN (Sings)--

        The Judges have spoken. Now don't be irascible:
        Off with your Tunicle, Stole, Alb and Chasuble.

    PARSON P. (Sings)--

        That's true, Mr. Dean, but they also declare
        That a cope in Cathedrals all clergy must wear
        On high days and Sundays--

    DEAN (Sings _fortissimo_)--

        What me wear a cope!
        On Sunday or Anyday
        Go to the ---- Pope. (Exeunt in opposite directions.)

[Sidenote: _A Ritualist A B C_]

But _Punch_ was seriously annoyed by the report of a meeting of
Ritualists at which it was unanimously resolved to disobey the judgment
of the Privy Council; and made no secret of his satisfaction when the
Archbishop of Canterbury "turned down" the protest of 5,000 Anglicans
headed by Pusey. A little earlier he had published an A B C for youthful
Anglicans, showing a considerable knowledge of, but absolutely no
respect for vestments. It may suffice to quote two entries:--

    T is the Thurible, whose very smell
    Incenses the people and makes them rebel.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Y is the Yeoman who now never enters
    His old Parish Church, and has joined the Dissenters.

These jocularities, though not delicate, may pass. The worst examples of
_Punch's_ controversial zeal were prompted by the Confessional; and the
worst of all is the set of verses headed, "A good sound Confession,"
describing how a priest was soundly horsewhipped and kicked downstairs
by an irate husband who returned home to find his wife on her knees
before her Confessor. The priest, be it added, unctuously professes to
have enjoyed his flagellation as an exquisite mortification.

It is pleasant to turn from these exhibitions of virulent if honest
antipathy to the treatment of those controversies in which freedom of
thought was involved. _Punch's_ earlier verses on _Essays and Reviews_,
published in 1861, are more distinguished for their wisdom than their
elegance of versification:--


    Denounce Essayists and Reviewers,
      Hang, quarter, gag them or shoot them--
    Excellent plans--provided that
      You first of all refute them.

    By all means let the Hangman burn
      Their awful book to ashes,
    But don't expect to settle thus
      Their heterodox hashes.

    Some heresies are so ingrained
      E'en burning won't remove them,
    A shorter and an easier way,
      You'll find it--to disprove them.

    Be this, right reverends, your revenge,
      For souls the best of cures,
    Essay Essayists to upset
      And to review Reviewers.

The long and ignoble campaign, as a result of which Jowett was for ten
years deprived of the emoluments of his office as Regius Professor of
Greek at Oxford, roused _Punch_ in 1863 to a satiric and imaginary
account of the proceedings in the "Small Debts and Heresies Court at

Jowett, it need hardly be explained, was doubly obnoxious to the
heresy-hunters. He had long been suspect for the liberality of his
religious opinions; he had also contributed to _Essays and Reviews_:--


    A little book[8] Professor Jowett made,
    And argued not as one of truth afraid;
    But Oxford Dons alike fear truth and Jowett,
    And their proceedings not a little show it.

_Punch_ goes on to give utterance to the wishes of the obscurantists:--

    Oh for a holocaust of heretics
    With Jowett in one common van to mix,
    For leave to burn, hang, quarter, disembowel,
    Maurice and Williams, Temple, Wilson, Powell!

    To teach admiring minds those Acts who follow
    That Oxford toleration's wide of swallow,
    As wide as from Geneva to Maynooth,
    But one thing it won't tolerate--the truth!

[Footnote 8: This probably refers to his work on the Epistles of St.
Paul (1855).]

[Sidenote: _Jowett and Colenso_]

_Punch_ returned to the charge just a year later, at the time of the
vote in Convocation on the question of Jowett's salary:--


    Heresy's seed is rank! Shall Jowett sow it?
    Tell me not, sciolists, Greek's not theology:
    As if there's not a heterodox philology
    That can be wrapped up cunningly in articles,
    Impregnate accents, propositions, particles,
    Poisoning texts as strychnine poisons wheat.
    The silly crows, no doubt, scoff at alarming;
    "What's toxicology to do with farming?"
    And peck, and peck and drop dead as they eat.
    E'en so Greek roots poisoned may be by Jowett,
            And who's to know it.

When the proposed statute to give Jowett a decent remuneration for his
services was rejected, _Punch_ suggested that the Crown might make
suitable amends for their persecution of the Regius Professor by making
him a Bishop (March 26, 1864). The question of the salary was
satisfactorily settled in 1865. The suggestion of the Bishopric was well
meant rather than wise: a far more suitable sphere of activity and
influence awaited him as Master of Balliol (1879-1893).

The famous case of Bishop Colenso, which synchronized with the Oxford
heresy-hunt of Jowett and other contributors to _Essays and Reviews_, is
dealt with very much in the same spirit. By way of introducing the
subject to a generation who do not know Colenso as an arithmetician and
take for granted the method of applying scientific criticism to
scripture history, which he was the first English Bishop to adopt, it
may be as well to state that while Bishop of Natal he had incurred the
displeasure of his metropolitan, Dr. Gray, the Bishop of Cape Town, by
the publication of his critical studies of the Pentateuch. Dr. Gray
claimed the right to try and depose Colenso for heresy, and did so.
Colenso protested against Gray's jurisdiction and appealed to the Crown,
with the result that the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council
pronounced the whole of the proceedings null and void. The episode
created a stir by the side of which the Kikuyu controversy is reduced to
insignificance. Colenso's searching historical criticisms did not merely
alarm orthodox theologians; they estranged his friend, the broad-minded
F. D. Maurice. _Punch_ was with Colenso in his refusal to acquiesce in
Dr. Gray's claim to override the secular courts; he respected Colenso's
fearless courage and honesty; but for the rest he declined to enter into
the theological issues involved and hovered on the outskirts of the


    Truth is great; must prevail;
    Reason, Parsons, don't rail;
      You will hinder, not help, her defence so.
    But confute the man's sums;
    You may then snap your thumbs
      And make faces at Bishop Colenso.

Much neater and better, however, is the summary of the correspondence
between the Bishop and the Archbishop of Canterbury given three weeks



    My dear Colenso,
                                With regret,
    We hierarchs, in conclave met,
    Beg you, you most disturbing writer,
    To take off your colonial mitre.
    This course we press upon you strongly:
        Believe me,
            Yours most truly,


    My dear Archbishop,
                                To resign
    That Zulu diocese of mine,
    And own myself a heathen dark
    Because I've doubts of Noah's Ark,
    And feel it right to tell all men so,
    Is _not_ the course for


[Sidenote: _Dean Stanley and Père Hyacinthe_]

Stanley was appointed to the Deanery of Westminster in 1863, and the
lamentations of the _Record_, the organ of ultra-orthodox
Evangelicalism, gave _Punch_ his opportunity:--

     That the wisdom and justice of the appointment of Canon Stanley to
     the Deanery of Westminster might be clear to everybody, the
     _Record_ gives its certificate that such appointment is "a
     melancholy fact." Disapprobation by the _Record_ having been thus
     signified, of course every sensible person must now be convinced
     that the Dean is the right man in the right place.

Comments of this sort add to the liveliness of newspaper controversy,
but they do not conduce to the popularity of those who indulge in them.
But at any rate they are an improvement on _Punch's_ references to the
"viperine expectorations" of the editor of the _Tablet_ in earlier

The welcome extended to Père Hyacinthe in 1869 showed that _Punch_ was
not restricted in his sympathies to Protestant heretics only. But we
fear that his welcome was not entirely disinterested. In his verses on
"Hyacinthus Redivivus," _Punch_ attacks Pius IX for favouring Père
Hyacinthe as long as he was a winning card, and then rending him as a
heretic. The lines are friendly, but reading between them one can detect
a warning to M. Loyson to shun the dangers that beset the fashionable
preacher in New York, whither he was then bound. We cannot resist the
feeling that _Punch_ was more pleased by the Pope's embarrassment in
dealing with this modernist than anxious to see Romanism reformed from

In the high affairs of Church and State the year 1868 was a great
landmark. After a long debate Gladstone's Resolutions on Irish
Disestablishment were carried against the Government on April 5. The
discussions were followed closely in _Punch's_ "Essence of Parliament,"
and two interesting points are brought out. Disraeli maintained that the
House had no mandate, as we now say, to deal with the Irish Church. They
ought not to be asked at eight days' notice to repeal the Union. On the
other hand, Gladstone argued that it would be ultra-democratic, if not
anarchic, to say that Parliament could not act without appeal to the
constituencies. The Government were beaten by 328 votes to 272, but
remained in office till the autumn, when they appealed to the country.
By the return of a Liberal majority Gladstone was left free to introduce
the first instalment of his scheme for pacifying Ireland. This view is
clearly set forth in _Punch's_ doggerel stanzas headed, "Out and In":--

          Gone is Dizzy,
          From the busy
    Cares of State repose he can.
          In comes Gladdy
          Who of Paddy
    Means to make a loyal man.

_Punch_ acquiesced in the measure, but showed some anxiety lest it
should be interpreted as a concession to Fenian intimidation. His
cartoon, which bore the inscription "Justice to Ireland," shows the
figure of Justice blindfolded, with sword and scales, enthroned in the
background. In front and at her feet Gladstone, laying the Irish Church
on a flaming altar, says: "This is a sacrifice to Justice, not to
Papists or Assassins. And if they----" Turning their backs on him are a
sulky-looking priest and a Fenian desperado levelling a gun. The Bill
for Disestablishing and Disendowing the Irish Church was introduced by
Gladstone on March 1, 1869. A month later _Punch_ published another
cartoon entitled, "Disendowment and Disarmament." Here a Fenian says to
a priest: "Be jabers, your Riv'rence, it's spoilin' our thrade they are
entirely"; and his Riv'rence replies: "Thrue for you, me boy." During
the course of the debates the "Essence of Parliament" contains an entry
with an unpleasantly familiar ring:--

    _Thursday_ (_April 29_). Another and another Irish murder. The
    desire of Members to know that the Government is doing something
    cannot be blamed. The Irish Secretary stated that the Executive
    would proceed with the utmost vigour, but deprecated the entering
    into details. There is a Ruffian called the Mayor of Cork, who has
    presided at a dinner to two of the released Fenian convicts, and
    who eulogized O'Farrell, who wounded the Duke of Edinburgh. Mr.
    Gladstone said that the fellow's language could not be too severely


GHOST OF QUEEN ELIZABETH: "Agreed, have they? Ods boddikins! Gads my
life, and marry come up, sweetheart! In _my_ time I'd have knocked all
their addlepates together till they _had_ agreed!"]

John Bright, who had joined the administration as President of the Board
of Trade, donned a court uniform and (if _Punch_ is to be believed)
actually danced a quadrille at a Court Ball with the Princess of Wales
as partner, is applauded for his eloquence in the House and rebuked for
his unbridled vehemence outside it. Ministers mustn't bully, but think
of their colleagues. They must, in short, wear a muzzle, and if Bright
could not bear to wear one, he certainly had no right, _Punch_ argued,
to be where he was. The debates in the Commons were fiery and
protracted, and those who regarded the measure as one of confiscation
secured important concessions, but the battle was really joined in the
Upper House. Lord Derby maintained a _non possumus_ attitude, but the
eloquence of Magee (then Bishop of Peterborough) and the arguments of
Cairns did not avail to prevent thirty-six Conservative Peers from
voting with the Government. But, even so, the Lords' amendments
threatened a constitutional crisis, only averted by the compromise
arrived at by Granville and Cairns in July, 1869. The Bill became law
and was put into operation on January 1, 1871. That _Punch_ entertained
misgivings as to its effect in encouraging intimidation may be gathered
from his cartoon, "How not to do it," in which "Pat" threatens Britannia
with unspeakable things if she does not release those noble patriots,
the Fenian prisoners.

[Sidenote: "_Mr. Disraeli's Religion_"]

The prevalence of religious cant and snobbery and sensationalism is
frequently chastised in the 'sixties and 'seventies. In the spring of
1866 _Punch_ copies an advertisement in which a young man wished "to
find a home with a pious family, where his Christian example would be
considered sufficient remuneration for his board and lodging." And in
January, 1870, he pilloried an even more glaring example of complacent
and well-connected religiosity: "A Gentleman, born and bred, kinsman of
an Earl ... will preach Christ." The infection of the pulpit by
sensation is deplored in 1867 _à propos_ of an announcement in the
_Islington Gazette_:--

    "Caledonian Road Chapel.--Next Sunday Sermons will be preached,
    afternoon, by Mr. Geo. B. Clarke, a Black Brother, from Jamaica,
    Son-in-law of the late excellent Paul Bogle. Evening, by Mr. Henry
    Varley the Butcher, from Notting Hill, whose 'words sink, like
    flame-tipped darts, into the souls of his hearers.'"

It is easy to make too much of isolated instances of self-conscious and
self-advertising rectitude. There is far greater justification for the
animated protest which _Punch_ registered against the attempts made to
discredit Disraeli at the time of his first Premiership on the score of
his religion or irreligion. Disraeli had to some extent anticipated this
criticism when in his first speech as Premier, on March 5, 1868, he said
that he knew that in his position there were personal and peculiar
reasons which would aggravate the burden and augment the difficulties.
On this _Punch_ made the following comment:--

    People can interpret these words as they please. Those who give
    them a significance connected with birth, and who have intelligence
    enough to take a large view of pedigree, may note that they were
    uttered by a man descended from one of the Hebrew families expelled
    from Spain by the Inquisition, and who settled in Venice as

The campaign of curiosity met with no encouragement from _Punch_, who
returned to the subject a few weeks later under the heading, "The Modern

    Perhaps the Premier, who has now got to make a Bishop of Hereford,
    will write one more letter and satisfy the British Booby on the
    subject of "Mr. Disraeli's Religion," which appears to afflict
    divers. Scarcely a day passes but some new conjectural
    impertinence, or some particularly unnecessary information is
    tossed out. Mr. Disraeli knows that _Punch_ has not refrained from
    a great lot of good-natured allusions to the nationality of which
    the former is so justly proud; and it is possible that we may have
    many another cartoon of which he will be the smiling or scowling
    hero. But we protest--and we are as good a Protestant as Mr.
    Hardy--against sneaking into a gentleman's study, and taking notes
    as to whether Prayer Book, Missal, Watts's Hymns, Koran, or
    Shaster, be most thumbed, and publishing inferences. We do not see
    whose business it was to announce that Mr. Disraeli had no
    particular religion until he was five, and that he was then taken
    by Samuel Rogers to Hackney Church, especially as we believe the
    latter statement to be false, Mr. Rogers and his father having been
    regular attendants at the Unitarian Chapel at Hackney, of which the
    celebrated Dr. Price was, in older days, Minister. Nor do we see
    why the pastor of Hughenden should gratify vulgar curiosity by
    proclaiming that the Premier has been a regular Church-goer for
    seventeen years, and was a Communicant at Easter. Is this England
    or America? We do not habitually admire French legislation, but the
    late edict against ransacking Private Life is not without its
    merits. Somebody will be asking about our religion next, and will
    need all his own to bear the consequences.

In earlier years _Punch_, as we know, had overlooked Lord Shaftesbury's
great services as a practical philanthropist in view of his
Sabbatarianism. But he had learned to dissociate Lord Shaftesbury from
the "snuffling sect" of Puritan killjoys, and in 1868 indulges in a
eulogy of his Protestant zeal against Popery and Ritualism. The ballad
on the insurrection in Spain, in the early winter of that year, shows no
abatement of _Punch's_ distrust of Romanism. The end of the Temporal
Power in 1870 was welcomed as the logical, inevitable, and desirable
consummation of Italian unity: it made Italy, not the Vatican, mistress
of Rome, and it was in keeping with the consistent policy of the paper
that the Pope's pretensions as a peace-maker in 1871 should be roughly
disputed. England, it is claimed, was the true pacificator of Europe,
and Professor (afterwards Sir John) Seeley's observations in "How to
keep the Peace" suggest the possibility of a League of Nations.

The end of this period was marked by the passing of a great divine, a
famous bishop and the greatest of missionaries. In the memorial verses
printed on April 13, 1872, _Punch_ recognized the true saintliness, the
love of truth, the nobly righteous indignation of F. D. Maurice:--

    The life of love he lived, the truth he spoke,
      The seeds of good he sowed on earth remain.
    In many brave hearts, eased from Evil's yoke,
      The fruitful soul of Maurice lives again.

Incidentally it is noted that Maurice never received any preferment,
bishopric, canonry, or deanery.

[Sidenote: _Wilberforce and Livingstone_]

The lines given below on Wilberforce, who is coupled with Lord Westbury,
are largely inspired by the _de mortuis_ note. The writer begins by
recording the worst that had been said of both--the slyness of the
sleek priest, the sneers and scorn and mincing tones of the bitter
lawyer. But now we know better, and recognize that the dove was blended
with the serpent in both:--

    And so, Life's judgment set to right by Death's,
      Lay busy Bishop and keen Judge to rest;
    And, by their coffins, think with bated breaths,
      How good the worst of us, how bad the best.


CHORUS OF OLD WASHERWOMEN: "There! Take'em away--we can't be worrited
with them things."

"If the seventy-five members of the Pan-Anglican Synod have not a single
word to say upon any of the great questions, theoretical or practical,
which concern the very existence of the Church of England, their
impotent caution and misplaced decency will do more to endanger it than
any external attack with which it is at present threatened."--_Pall Mall

Writing of Livingstone, always one of his heroes, _Punch_ does not agree
with the view that his was a wasted life, or that a greater work of
reclamation was to be done at home, and applauds the unselfishness,
fearlessness, and vision of one who died in sight of evening rest and
honours fairly won:--

    By their own scale great souls gauge things and men;
      Their ways and weights are not our weights and ways;
    Only their vision goes beyond our ken,
      Reaching to larger lights--diviner days.

It was in this larger vision that _Punch_ found the Church of England
wanting, and when the first Pan-Anglican Synod met in 1867, he took as
the text of his cartoon the acid comment of the _Pall Mall Gazette_ just

The question of Public Worship Regulation was already in the air, though
it did not lead to legislation until the return of the Conservatives to
power. On July 12, 1873, _Punch_ published a cartoon _à propos_ of the
protest against Ritualism and the Confessional. Mr. Miall, M.P., a
leader of the Liberation Society, is shown with two archbishops
expressing his delight to find them so earnestly co-operating with him
for the destruction of the State Church. A fortnight later _Punch_
complained that Dr. Thomson (the Archbishop of York) had misread the
cartoon. What _Punch_ really meant was to suggest that by neglecting the
representations of real Churchmen, and by tolerating the antics of
Ritualism, the hierarchy were playing into the hands of the Church's
enemies. But he still hoped that the Archbishops would stiffen their
backs and carry out the spirit of Tait's threat against those who
brought their toys to church. So when Archdeacon Denison, who
supported the Confessional, denounced certain Bishops for their
ultra-Protestantism, _Punch_ suggested that Denison's friends should
present him with a triple cap (with bells).


The worst of education, as Peacock remarks, is that there is no
beginning and no end to it. But the subject is set about with other
pitfalls and difficulties. It is one of the most important things in
life; its annals have been adorned by great and even heroic names; yet
the calling has never been free from gibes at the dominie and the
gerund-grinder. And again, by the irony of fate it has been responsible
for an unconscionable amount of dull and pedantic and cranky literature.
There is no greater benefactor than a good schoolmaster; there is no
greater bore than the "Educationist." _Punch_, though a comic journal,
has not escaped the infection in dealing with the subject, but it is to
his credit that on the whole he has resisted the temptation to indulge
in untimely facetiousness, and has not been afraid to be serious when
the occasion demanded.

Contending zealots, assisted by Parliamentary apathy, had effectually
barred the progress of national education throughout the period treated
in the previous volume. But the awakening had begun in 1858, though more
than twenty years were to pass before Forster's Act was placed on the
Statute Book. The debate on the Paper Duty in June, 1858, showed, at any
rate, that all parties were at one in condemning this tax. Disraeli,
then Chancellor of the Exchequer, could not afford to remit it, but
_Punch_ read the signs of the times aright in his comment: "The House
voted £563,435 for Educational purposes in order to qualify the people
to read the books which the removal of the paper duty will place in
their hands." It was reserved for Mr. Gladstone to make good this
forecast. His famous series of Free Trade Budgets between 1859 and 1865
were quite as much the effect as the cause of national prosperity, but
in 1865 "no one ventured to doubt Gladstone's financial omniscience.
Everyone who paid less for his pound of tea or his newspaper could look
upon him as a personal benefactor."[9]

[Footnote 9: Oman's _England in the Nineteenth Century_, p. 155.]

The judicious use of opportunity rather than genius may have been the
secret of Gladstonian finance; but no such reserves are called for in
appraising the merits of the series of Acts dealing with national
education passed during his first Premiership. If one needs a practical
illustration of the immense advance made in education in ten years, one
need only compare the provisions of the Act of 1870 with the account of
what _Punch_ calls an "anti-educational demonstration" in the Commons in
July, 1860, when Palmerston was Prime Minister:--

    There was a Bill for making it compulsory on the employers of the
    labour of children under twelve years old, to have a certificate
    that the child was learning to read and write, and had twenty hours
    of teaching per month-nothing like an hour a day. But so monstrous
    an Innovation frightened the House. Mr. Henley was pious, and said
    that people were not to eat unless they worked, but were not
    commanded to read and write; Mr. Buxton was humane, and said there
    were thousands of children too idle, wicked or stupid to learn, and
    their vested rights were not to be interfered with; Mr. Hardy took
    the old Tory view, and said that the children of the poor were
    taught quite enough to enable them to do the duties they were
    intended for; and Mr. Baynes, as a Dissenter, declared the Bill to
    be needless, and that the work of education was going on admirably.
    Yielding to these irresistible arguments, the Bill was thrown out,
    a majority of 122 to 51 deciding that the children of the English
    poor want no assistance in the battle with the World, the Flesh and
    the First Whig.

It was this debate, by the way, that prompted _Punch_ to recall the
derivation of Parliament by a French etymologist from the two verbs
_parler_ and _mentir_.

[Sidenote: _Education Act of 1870_]

A good beginning had been made with the Act providing efficient
inspection of endowed and Grammar Schools in 1869, but the Elementary
Education Act of 1870 was a measure of first-rate importance, which has
affected our national life more vitally than any other passed in the
last fifty years, unless we except the People's Representation Act of
1918. From the moment of its introduction _Punch_ realized its
far-reaching influence. On March 26, 1870, he published the cartoon,
"The Three R's, or Better Late than Never." Here we see Forster
addressing a group of small school children, town and country types:
"Well, my little people, we have been gravely and earnestly considering
whether you may learn to read. I am happy to say that, subject to a
variety of restrictions, conscience clauses, and the consent of your
vestries--you may!" The conflict that led to the final compromise is
indicated by two groups in the background: one amicably gathered round
John Bull; the other including a bishop, a coronetted peer, a
sour-visaged minister of the Chadband type, and an austere female.

[Illustration: INCORRIGIBLE

CLERICAL EXAMINER: "What is your name?"

INCORRIGIBLE: "Biler, sir."

CLERICAL EXAMINER: "Who gave you that name?"

INCORRIGIBLE: "The _boys in our Court_, sir."]

The issues involved are set forth in a "long and grave letter" addressed
by _Punch_ to "Master Gutterblood" in town, and "Master Chawbacon" in
the country. Writing as their friend and well-wisher, sincerely anxious
to see them properly taught, he deplores the obstacles hitherto put in
their way by the "black-coats"--Parson, Priest and Nonconformist
Minister. He applauds Forster's plan, and specially condemns the action
of the secularizing party who would exclude all religion from schools,
since the bulk of English people were in favour of some simple religious

    Those who are _now_ barring your road to school are not the
    Churches, but those who insist that no Church at all shall have a
    hand in your teaching when you have got there. I have been
    accustomed to think that it was the Established Church's jealousy
    of the Dissenters that kept you ignorant, now it looks as if you
    were to be kept in the dark by the Dissenters' jealousy of the
    Established Church, working with those who distrust and dislike
    equally Church and Dissent, and all forms of religious Creed.

[Illustration: "OBSTRUCTIVES"

MR. PUNCH (to Bull A.1): "Yes, it's all very well to say 'Go to school!'
How are they to go to school with those people quarrelling in the
doorway? Why don't you make 'em 'move on'?"]

It was a fair summary of the opposing interests which clashed during the
progress of the Bill through the House. _Punch's_ impatience is shown in
the further cartoon "Obstructives." "Those people" are a group of
clerics of various Churches blocking the school doorway. A fortnight
later _Punch_ was able to announce in his "Essence of Parliament" that
the very qualified compulsion proposed by Parliament had been approved
by large majorities, and to publish his third cartoon on the solving of
the problem. Master Forster (with his slate) is saying to Britannia, the
Schoolmistress, "Please, M'm, I've done it, M'm." And when Britannia
asks, "And _how_ have you done it, William?" he replies, "Please, M'm,
I've reduced all the fractions to the lowest common denomination." To
this is added the stage direction "The good Boy enters the Cabinet." The
Bill passed through both Houses, and when Parliament rose on August 10
and the Queen's Speech made special reference thereto, _Punch_ comments,
"Excuse us, your Majesty, but permit us to say 'Hooray!' and to add a
cheer for Mr. Forster." He welcomed a measure which affirmed the
principle that the State was bound to provide gratuitous instruction for
all the children in the realm, but resented the educational luxuries
which leading "Educationalists" were anxious to introduce. So we find a
burlesque list of these fancy subjects, including hieroglyphics,
croquet, bézique, etiquette, given in the following year with the
remark: "There are people old-fashioned enough to think that it might be
as well to give our poor neglected children only plain joints at
first--the 3 R's--and let the _entrées_ stand over for the present." The
introduction of the "Fourth R"--Religion--prompted the "Educational
Epigram" a year later:--

    Milk is for babes, wrote one that knew.
    Sectarian Educators, you
      Who dogmas teach which Doctors question,
    Are you not giving babes strong meat,
    So much too tough for them to eat
      The upshot must be indigestion?


RECTOR'S WIFE: "And what's your father, my boy?"

BOY: "My father's a 'Hagitator,' an' he says he won't have me learnt no
catechism, 'r else you'll all of yer 'ear of it!"]

In the following summer we have a picture by Charles Keene of a beery
working man protesting against temperance propagandism at schools, and
resolving to withdraw his small son from the reach of these subversive
doctrines, while humorous capital is made out of the "Conscience Clause"
at the expense of the "agitator." The provision of gratuitous meals to
elementary school children was not yet even mooted, but _Punch_ strongly
supported the philanthropists who in 1867 gave weekly dinner parties in
Marylebone to seven or eight hundred children, following the example set
by Victor Hugo during his sojourn in Guernsey.

[Illustration: SCENE--TOY-SHOP. (Enter highly educated Youth of
Twelve).--"Oh, I want some toy, or conjuring trick, or something that
would do for an old gentleman of fifty or thereabouts; my grandfather,
in point of fact,--you know the kind of thing. I dessay."]

[Sidenote: _Children and their Tormentors_]

Turning to preparatory or boarding schools, we have to note that
academies of the type of "Dotheboys Hall" had not altogether
disappeared, to judge by the advertisement which _Punch_ pilloried under
the heading of "Children and their Tormentors":--

    "BOARDING SCHOOLS wanted, in London, for a boy, nine years, and two
    girls, six and seven years old, requiring firm discipline, having
    become wild and unruly, through neglect occasioned by family
    misfortunes. No holiday could be given, as holidays destroy any
    good effected at school. The father, quite a gentleman, can only
    pay 20 guineas each. This advertisement is only intended for
    schools of pre-eminent efficiency for such cases, and prosperous
    enough to be able and willing to accept such terms, and undertake
    the needed task of reformation for the sake of the schools' own
    additional credit of success. Particulars and references, by letter

    As for its conducing to the "credit" of a school to help unnatural
    fathers thus to get rid of their children, surely no one but a
    squeers could indulge in such a thought. If through neglect at
    home, a child becomes unruly and requires to be "reformed," it is
    right that at a proper age it should be sent to school, if proper
    means are wanting for teaching it at home. But a girl of six years
    old can scarcely be so "wild" as to require, for her taming, utter
    banishment from home: nor can she be much bettered by being badly
    fed for twenty pounds a year, and, worse still, taught to grow up
    without knowing what "home" means.

The name of "gentleman" had been strangely taken in vain a year earlier,
as we gather from an extract which sounds like an echo from _The
Fairchild Family_:--


    On Saturday last a man named Thomas Edwards was hanged for murder
    at Liverpool, when, according to a report of the execution which
    appeared in the _Daily Telegraph_:--

    "To the discredit of some person, a drag, containing gentlemen's
    children, was brought near the gallows."

    Fine fun for gentlemen's children during the Christmas holidays, to
    see a man hanged. Just the spectacle to amuse little boys--but
    perhaps there were some little girls too among these gentlemen's
    children. Well, in that case, the gentlemen have taken a good step
    towards getting their girls, as well as their boys, off their
    hands. Nothing is more likely than that the juvenile spectators of
    Thomas Edwards' death-struggles will get to play at hanging, and
    effectually hang one another.

In 1868 _Punch_ was exercised in mind by the pernicious influence on the
ingenuous youth of "penny dreadfuls," and the activities of educational
faddists. Precocious pedantry, as we show on the previous page, is
satirized in 1863. There is a curious foreshadowing of Madame
Montessori's hostility to fairy tales in Du Maurier's "Little Christmas
Dream." Du Maurier had a genius for the delineation of nightmares, and
in this picture he quite excelled himself. Earlier in the same year
_Punch_ made excellent capital, again with the aid of Du Maurier's
pencil, out of Lord Malmesbury's statement that it was useless to teach
modern languages at the public schools, "as parents can easily procure
such instruction for their children by hiring foreign nurses." The
artist depicts four disgusted Harrow boys, who have returned for the
holidays, taking an educational walk with their German and French
instructresses, while a young and untutored yokel looks on with grim


Mr. L. Figuier, in the Thesis which precedes his interesting work on the
World before the Flood, condemns the practice of awakening the youthful
mind to admiration by means of fables and fairy tales, and recommends,
in lieu thereof, the study of the Nature History of the World in which
we live. Fired by this advice, we have tried the experiment on our
eldest, an imaginative boy of six. We have cut off his "Cinderella" and
his "Puss in Boots," and introduced him to some of the more peaceful
Fauna of the pre-Adamite world, as they appear restored in Mr. Figuier's
book. The poor boy has not had a decent nights rest ever since!]


Lord Malmesbury considers that it is useless to teach modern languages
at the Public Schools, "as parents can easily procure such instruction
for their children by hiring foreign nurses." Observe the delight of
four young gentlemen who have returned from Harrow for the holidays, and
discover that their parents have procured French and German instruction
for them. Also observe the envy of the young and untutored clown.]

A notable landmark in the annals of preparatory and public school
education is reached in 1869, when _Punch_ quoted the following
epoch-marking advertisement:--

    "Grammar School, W---- R---- Wanted immediately, a Second Assistant
    Master, to teach thoroughly writing and arithmetic, also junior
    English subjects. Must be a good cricketer and round-arm bowler.
    Character to bear the strictest investigation. Salary £40,
    increasing to £60."

[Sidenote: _Punch on Co-Education_]

The resounding fame of W. G. Grace, who began his great career in
first-class cricket in 1863, at the age of 15, and had just reached his
majority, was doubtless responsible for this new educational departure.
The salary was certainly not exorbitant, but the advent of the
cricket-master moves no sympathy in _Punch_. He admits the force of the
proverb that "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy," but asks
"does not Jack at some schools play a little to excess?" and speculates
on the amazement which the schoolmaster abroad would feel in reading
this announcement. On the other hand, over-pressure and "cramming" were
equally distasteful to _Punch_, who was seriously perturbed by the
sensational accounts given in 1870 of the breakdown of Woolwich

[Illustration: REAL EDUCATION

MR. PUNCH is of opinion that a polite and easy bearing towards the
opposite sex (tempered, of course, with propriety and discretion) cannot
be inculcated at too early an age. He therefore recommends that whenever
an Institute for Young Ladies happens to meet an Academy for Young
Gentlemen, they should all be formally introduced to each other, and
allowed to take their walks abroad in company.]

Co-education had not yet emerged on the horizon of practical educational
politics, and the plea put forward in a picture by Du Maurier for a
mixed "crocodile" cannot be seriously entertained. The artist suggests
that whenever an Institute for Young Ladies happens to meet an Academy
for Young Gentlemen they should all be formally introduced to one
another and allowed to take their walks abroad in company. The question
of corporal punishment was raised by a lively correspondence in _The
Times_, towards the close of 1872, on the Winchester practice of
"tunding" with a ground-ash or cricket-stump. The action was general,
the father of the boy whose punishment by a prefect had started the
correspondence, the headmaster, Dr. Ridding, "in English less classical
than queer," and sundry old Wykehamists all joining in. _Punch_ was at
first scandalized by the brutality with which the prefects exercised
their disciplinary powers, but the spirit and good sense showed by the
victim caused him to modify his view:--

    His punishment, while he feels it unjust
      He takes without blather or ban:
    Yes, out of the lot who've kicked up a dust,
      The boy is the Man.

At the beginning of the same year the invasion of the public schools by
the new plutocracy, as described by a correspondent in the _Morning
Post_, who assumed the unfortunate pseudonym of "Pavidus," impelled
_Punch_ to some outspoken comment. "Pavidus" complained that the
standard in tips and pocket-money had been unduly raised by the young
cotton-lords--boys who came back with £5 as a minimum. _Punch_ finds the
root of the evil in the perversion of the public schools from their
original intention--to educate the sons of poor gentlemen--and suggests
that if the "nobs" don't like their sons associating with young
plutocrats, they should get up poor schools of their own and keep the
high-bred paupers select. A similar situation has arisen since the war,
but the difficulty has been solved without snobbery or squealing.
Parents who cannot afford to send their sons to schools with which their
families have been associated for generations, send them elsewhere, but
they do not "make a song about it."


ARTHUR (on pony): "Hollo! What have you got on your heads?"

JUVENILE SWELL: "Why, you see, every snob wears a cap or a wide-awake
now; so the men of our school have returned to the old Chimney Pot!"

(As paterfamilias we are sorry to say that we have observed this
monstrosity many times this Christmas.)]

[Sidenote: _University Reform_]

There remain the Universities, the apex of the educational pyramid. The
Universities Commission was not appointed till 1872. Its report on the
income and property of Oxford and Cambridge was not published till
October 1874, and the Universities' Act was not passed till 1877.
_Punch's_ contributions to the discussions which arose over University
Reform nearly always take the form of hostile criticism of the champions
of "no change," and he devotes by far the greater amount of space to the
castigation of Oxford conservatives and non-resident reactionaries. The
vote on the institution of the non-Collegiate or "unattached" system in
1868 furnished _Punch_ with the materials for a comprehensive indictment
of all his pet Oxford aversions. In the wail of the Mediævalists, headed
"An Oxford _Miserere_," _Punch_ ranges himself on the side of the
reformers; Sir John, afterwards Lord Coleridge, who had taken an active
part in the successful movement for the abolition of religious tests in
the Universities; Conington, the distinguished Latinist and editor of
Virgil; Raper, the well-known Fellow of Trinity College, who, under more
than one President, was the power behind the throne; and Jowett, who
with Stanley and Maurice, had always been supported by _Punch_ in his
espousal of "modernist" views.

When Mr. Meyrick, an Oxford Don, expressed his satisfaction that our
Educational System was not that of the Germans, _Punch_ was unable to
echo his complacency, and went so far as to wish that "our Dons and
Fellows were but as these Germans"; but it may be pleaded in extenuation
of his offence that the doctrine of "Kultur" was less vocal in the
'sixties, and that German professors and teachers were not then so
firmly harnessed to the car of "Machtpolitik." _Punch_ little thought
that some fifty years later Admiral Tirpitz would admit that the most
formidable opponent of Germany was the "polo-playing Englishman." The
notion that pastime was overdone finds vent in the "Chant for College

    How doth the busy Undergrad
      Improve each shining hour,
    Loving each new athletic "fad"
      To show his muscles' power!

       *       *       *       *       *

    In feats of strength and games of skill
      His time must all be passed,
    Heedless that, 'spite of cram, he will
      Be sorely plucked at last.

[Sidenote: _Affluent College Servants_]

Over-athleticism, however, was not the only ground of complaint against
education at the older Universities in the 'sixties. The high cost of
living for undergraduates, owing to the extortion of local tradesmen and
the perquisites of college servants, provoked a correspondence in _The
Times_ in the winter of 1865. _Punch_ ironically affected to defend the
retail "profiteers." His College butler in "The Undergraduates'
Rebellion" associates himself with the College Dean as the victim of a
mutiny of meanness, and the accompanying cartoon rubs in the point, a
stout butcher addressing an equally stout Don, engaged in cutting a
loaf, with the words, "Wery low them letters in the papers, Mr. Dean!
Wery 'ard on both of us, Sir--my beef and your bread-an'-butter!"
_Punch's_ satire was justified by the fortunes notoriously made at the
time and for many years afterwards by College cooks and butlers, whose
incomes sometimes exceeded those of the Heads of Houses. More than ten
years later a Christ Church "Scout" bitterly complained of the passing
of the good old times. As he put it, "Instead of taking food home out of
College, I has to bring it in."


Railways, their dangers and inconveniences, continue throughout this
period to furnish _Punch_ with a never-ending theme of criticism and
complaint; nor need we altogether wonder when it is remembered that it
was not until 1861 that communication between guard and engine driver
was established on the Eastern Counties Railway, and then at first only
on express and fast trains;[10] and again, that it was not until 1873
that sleeping carriages were first introduced. The murder of Mr. Briggs
by Müller on the North London line on July 9, 1864, created a scare
amongst nervous passengers, which even the introduction of the corridor
carriage has not altogether allayed. But, from the point of view of a
Londoner, the most notable feature in railway development was the
extension of intra-urban facilities which grew out of the Act of 1853,
though the construction of the Underground did not begin till the spring
of 1860, and it was not opened for traffic, in its original and limited
range, till January, 1863. The completion of the Inner and the addition
of the Outer Circle followed; the Swiss Cottage extension was not opened
till 1868; but Highgate and many other suburbs remained isolated until
the coming of the tubes.

The "Tuppenny Tube" was not opened till June, 1900, but nearly forty
years earlier we read in _Punch_ that "amongst the new railway projects,
it seems there is to be a tubular underground from Regent's Circus to
the Bank." The plea for cheap workmen's trains to the suburbs in the
spring of 1870 only surprises us now by its having waited so long to be

[Footnote 10: In January, 1868, reference is made to carriages with
circular holes between the compartments in order to facilitate

In the realm of imaginative forecast, one may note Du Maurier's
nightmare picture of aerial trains to Paris in 1870, and the burlesque
charter for an aerial railway company in 1872. But the project of a
Channel tunnel had long been seriously considered, though the
experimental borings were not made till 1876.[11] Ten years earlier
_Punch_ had indulged in some fantastic speculations on the result of the
preliminary trials conducted by French and English engineers, with Sir
John Hawkshaw at the head of the latter.

[Footnote 11: The scheme was originally proposed by a French engineer
named Mathieu in the very beginning of the century, and taken up in 1833
by Thomé de Gamond, who worked at it for more than twenty years until an
International Committee was formed. Operations were interrupted by the
Franco-Prussian War, but resumed in earnest in 1872. M. de Gamond died
in poverty in 1876.]


[Illustration: The Cover Side. 10.45 a.m. Spriggins comes up with the
Hunt on his favourite "Rantoone."]

[Illustration: 10.50. "For'ard Away!" Spriggins gets along famously.]

[Illustration: 10.55. "Tally-Ho!" Spriggins realizes the sensation of
being "run away with."]

[Illustration: 10.56. "Yoicks!" Spriggins learns what a "cropper"

[Illustration: 11.56. Five miles from everywhere.]

A patent for pneumatic tyres had been taken out in the 'forties;
bicycles and tricycles came in at the end of the 'sixties; but twenty
years were to elapse before the boneshaker and the "ordinary"--that
wonderful and perilous machine--gave place to the "safety." In 1868 and
1869 references abound to velocipedes--the word "bicycle" had not yet
established itself--and in the Almanack for 1869 there is a picture of a
strange mechanism called the "Rantoone," a tricycle with two large
wheels behind and a small guiding wheel in front. It is also mentioned
in Henry Kingsley's _Boy in Grey_, and Crawley's _Manly Games for Boys_.
But the bicycle, as we know it, the most momentous addition to the
resources of locomotion between the coming of the steam engine and the
advent of the petrol-driven motor, was only looming in the future; it
was little more than a plaything in the period under review.

Telegraph wires first began to spread their overhead network in London
in 1859; the District Telegraph Company was started in 1860. Ten years
later _Punch_ celebrates the reduction of the fee for a twenty-word
telegram to one shilling. Of the use of telegraphy in war he expressed
considerable scepticism, on the ground that it would lead to endless
contradictory rumours.

[Illustration: AWFUL SUMMUT

That Tummas met as he was a-comin' whoam--"Ta looked like a man a ridin'
'pon nawthin'!"]

[Sidenote: _The Atlantic Cable_]

The most notable advance in telegraphy, however, was that of the
long-distance cables. The year 1858 abounds in references to the second
and third attempts to span the Atlantic. Frequent failures delayed the
achievement of the enterprise for several years. In 1865 _Punch_
published a series of reports purporting to come from the _Great
Eastern_, then engaged in laying the cable, but it was not until the
summer of 1866 that he was able to record the completion of the task:--

    A Parliamentary week never ended with a more gratifying incident. A
    Minister, Mr. Hunt, stated that the Atlantic Telegraph had been
    laid to America, an ex-Minister, Mr. Childers, confirmed the fact,
    and an Honourable Member held in his hand a signal that had just
    arrived. _Mr. Punch_ instantly sent Mr. Johnson a peremptory signal
    to liquor severely.

Undoubtedly the record of the marvels of applied science kept by
_Punch_, and the forecasts of further extension in which he indulged,
come home to us more closely in connexion with inventions for use in
warfare. The unrealized projects of Captain Warner have been described
in the previous volume. A liquid-fire bomb or incendiary shell, and an
incendiary rifle-bullet attracted attention early in 1859. But the
lessons of the American War of 1861-1865 gave _Punch_ occasion to think
sometimes seriously, and even with flashes of remarkable insight, on
the possibilities of future warfare. His old distrust of armoured ships
as "ferreous freaks" was not entirely dispelled by the triumph of the
monitor; he gives us a picture of a new iron-clad mistaken for a Noah's
Ark, and speaks of the new types as flat-irons. He admits that the
action between the _Merrimac_ and the _Monitor_ conclusively proves that
one iron-clad ship is a match for several wooden ships carrying more and
heavier guns; but if there are to be no ships of war but iron ships, and
iron ships are mutually shot-proof, he is impelled to the further
conclusion that naval war in the future may end in an inconclusive

    Ships being rendered practically invulnerable, any two vessels of
    war belonging to hostile nations will, hereafter, meeting on the
    high seas, each find itself unable to injure the other and
    therefore be obliged to part in peace, the result of their
    collision having been as nearly as possible the opposite to that of
    the conflict between the Kilkenny Cats.

From such a prospect _Punch_ professes to derive hope; but there is more
sagacity in the "Farewell to the Fleet" which followed three weeks
later, a valediction which in its last stanza crudely anticipates the
pre-and post-war warnings of Admiral Sir Percy Scott:--

    Now farewell, my trim three-decker,
      Sails and spars and all farewell;
    Iron's proved of wood a wrecker,
      Where 'twill steer us who can tell?

    In glorious Nelson's days, d'ye mind them,
      Our tars were sailors every inch:
    Stout hearts, with pigtails stout behind them,
      And ne'er a man to skulk or flinch.

    But now--my dear eyes! British sailors
      Half soldiers and half stokers are;
    And if we manned the fleet with tailors,
      'Twould in a month be fit for war.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Bomb-proof, hull-sunk, iron-roofed, we steam on,
      Nor ball nor boarder fear we now;
    And when our foe we run abeam on,
      He sinks at once beneath our prow.

    Them Yankee swabs, from shot a-shrinking:
      Fight under water, so they tells;
    Dear eyes! our Navy soon, I'm thinking,
      Will be a fleet of diving bells.


[Sidenote: _The Navy of the Future_]

But by far the best illustration of the way in which the course of the
war caused _Mr. Punch_ to think furiously, fantastically, but by no
means foolishly, is to be found in the fantasy headed, "A Flying Island

    Will somebody please invent for us an Island of Laputa?

    It would save a mint of money in plated ships, and Armstrong guns,
    and Shoeburyness experiments. Although we are at peace, a most
    expensive war is raging between gunmakers and shipbuilders, and so
    far as one can learn, there seem but little hopes of stopping it.
    First the guns will gain the day, and then the ships will be built
    stronger until they are ball-proof, then bigger guns will come, and
    then still stronger ships; and so the battle will go on, and
    victories alternately be won by either side, and the Queen's powder
    be burnt at a most tremendous rate, so long as Mr. Bull agrees to
    stand the shot.

    If the Invention War goes on much longer than it has done, we quite
    expect to hear of the construction of a cannon that shall throw a
    ball as big as the Ball upon St. Paul's, and of a mortar that shall
    pitch a shell as large round as the dome. Indeed, we fancy that in
    course of time conical shot will equal the Big Pyramid of Egypt,
    and that guns will be invented of sufficient power to throw such
    shot across from Brighton to Boulogne.

    Now, if somebody would just invent a Flying Island, and present us
    with the patent, this costly fight between artillerists and
    shield-makers would probably soon cease. There would be no need
    then of our Army and our Navy, our big guns and our block ships,
    our field pieces and forts. Whenever any nation dared to pick a
    quarrel with us, all that we should have to do would be to let our
    Flying Island drop upon their heads, and squash their fleets and
    forces flat at one fell swoop.

The development of long-range artillery has fulfilled _Punch's_ fancy.
And we have become a flying island; but, unfortunately, the power of
swooping from the skies is shared by other countries. As for ascents
into the upper air, it was in the same year (1862) that the long
unbroken record in altitude was made by Coxwell and Glaisher in the
old-fashioned balloon. There is a reference to the Aeronautical
Exhibition held at the Crystal Palace in 1868; but the disaster which
befell the Belgian, de Groof, in July, 1874, while attempting to descend
from a balloon in a newly invented parachute, elicited a decidedly
obscurantist comment:--


     (Killed in attempting to Fly, July 9, 1874)

    He who provides for all beneath the sky,
    Made men to walk, as He made birds to fly;
    Then let man stick to earth, and have the sense
    Not to fly in the face of Providence!

[Sidenote: _The Coming of the Typewriter_]

Cigarettes had come in with the Crimean War. In 1858 _Punch_ suggested
an improved passport with a photograph. To the same year belong the
introduction of the word "dipsomaniac," spirit-drawing (a forerunner of
spirit-photographs), _Punch's_ first mention of Schweppe's soda water
and of synthetic substitutes for food, and his prediction of the
formation of a Camel Corps. Aerated bread, and the magnetic hair
brush--supposed to restore the pigment to grey hair by drawing out the
iron in the blood--were among the novelties of 1860; hair-brushing by
machinery was introduced in 1864, and the sewing machine makes its debut
in _Punch_ in 1866. An even more epoch-making invention, which ranks
among the most momentous products of the age in its far-reaching results
on commerce, journalism, literature and the whole social system, was the
type-writer, exhibited in London in 1867:--


    It is surprising what discoveries are made in the dead season. Here
    is one, for instance, the account of which has recently been
    snipped out by the scissors of many a sub-editor:--

    "Writing superseded. Mr. Pratt, of Alabama, is the inventor of a
    typewriting machine, lately exhibited to the London Society of
    Arts, which is said to print a man's thoughts twice as fast as he
    can write them with the present process. By a sort of piano
    arrangement the letters are brought in contact with carbonized
    paper, which is moved by the same manipulation."

    Every author his own printer! What a happy state of things! No more
    struggles to write legibly with nibless tavern-pens; no more labour
    in deciphering the hieroglyphs of hasty writers. Literary work will
    be in future merely play--on the piano. The future Locke may write
    his essays by a touch upon the keys.

    In this inventive age there really is no saying where discovery
    will stop. Now that authors are to put their thoughts in print with
    twice the pace that they can write them, perhaps ere long they will
    be able to put their works in type without so much as taking the
    trouble to compose them. A thought-hatching easy chair may very
    likely be invented, by the help of which an author may sit down at
    his ease before his thought-printing piano, and play away _ad
    libitum_ whatever may occur to him. Different cushions may be used
    for different kinds of composition, some stuffed with serious
    thoughts, fit for sermons or reviews, and others with light
    fancies, fit for works of fiction, poetry, or fun. By a judicious
    choice of cushions an author will be able to sit down to his piano,
    and play a novel in three volumes twice or thrice a week, besides
    knocking off a leader every morning for a newspaper, and issuing
    every fortnight a bulky epic poem, or a whole encyclopædia complete
    within a month.

On the whole, this is not a bad though fantastic summary of the
possibilities of a machine which, whatever its influence on the
manufacture of novels, the multiplication of unnecessary books, and the
art of letter-writing, has at least proved a wonderful time-saver and
revolutionized the prospects of the "superfluous woman." In spite of its
terrible ticking, it has proved a great lubricator of life; and, _à
propos_ of lubricants, we have to note the advent in the early
'seventies of synthetic butter, under its modern name:--

    There are probably very few members of that generally
    bread-and-butter-eating community, the British Public, who have not
    frequently partaken, without knowing it, of the article described
    in the following extract from a letter of the _Morning Post's_
    Correspondent at Paris:--

    "Butter, like all alimentary substances, has vastly increased in
    price. An enterprising merchant exhibits what he calls 'Produit
    nouveau, Margarine Mouriès, remplaçant le beurre pour la cuisine.
    Economie incontestable sur le beurre; il coûte moitié moins cher,
    et on en use moitié moins.' This butter is made from the fat of
    beef, and costs 10d. per pound."

    In merry England, however, this article does not merely replace
    Butter for the kitchen, but also for the breakfast-parlour, where
    it is eaten, not under the name of Margarine, in
    bread-and-margarine, but that of Butter, in bread-and-butter. It is
    bought for Butter, and it is sold for Butter; only the buyer
    believes it to be what it is sold for, whereas the seller well
    knows that it is a product of beef-suet; and he serves his customer
    with the latter commodity at the price of the former. The
    "enterprising merchant" of Paris, who sells Margarine as a
    substitute for Butter, and does not sell his customers by selling
    it as Butter, and at Butter's value, has very likely found honesty
    to be the best policy. That policy might, perhaps, be adopted with
    advantage by an enterprising British Cheesemonger.

Beef-fat is, we fear, a euphemism for the principal ingredient in the
synthesis of margarine as originally compounded, and it was a
consciousness of this fact that more than anything else prompted the
dishonesty of the British cheesemonger.

The list of useful novelties may be completed with postcards, which
date from the year 1870. _Punch_ recognized their drawbacks, and
recommended people who used them to write in cypher or in Greek
characters, which was less a counsel of perfection fifty years ago than
it would be to-day.

England's debt to America in the domain of invention was not confined to
mechanical labour-saving appliances. The inventiveness of the American
journalist repeatedly extorts the reluctant admiration of _Punch_ from
1857 onwards. In the summer of 1858 he culls a gorgeous example of the
high art of sensational reporting from a New York paper in which it was
stated that six people were butchered by a man who blew his brains out,
yet "at the latest date all the sufferers were in a fair way of
recovery." Yet in their own way the English penny-a-liners were capable
of fine work. In December of the same year _Punch_ quotes the following
from the account of an agricultural show in a daily paper:--

    "Yesterday the gold medal pen of pigs was denuded of one of its
    finest specimens, one of those most extraordinary animals having
    expired from its obesity during the previous night. There were
    other demises from apoplexy amongst the porcine confraternity
    during the show."

[Sidenote: _The Press Surpasses Itself_]

It was in the Victorian age, again--though unknown to _Punch_--that the
reporter of an Irish paper concluded his description of a burglary with
the words, "after a fruitless search, all the money was recovered except
one pair of boots." But the supremacy of the New World in this field was
conclusively established in the year 1869, the _annus mirabilis_ for
ever memorable by its association with the greatest of all American
advertisements. Fragments of this classic are familiar even to the
present generation, but we are, thanks to _Punch_, able to give the
original text in its entirety:--

    Among those of our institutions that are especially getting
    Americanized is a part of our Press, professing to afford us
    information which it calls "reliable" and also abounding in
    announcements on which we may rely if their phraseology strikes us
    as the language of truth and honesty. Some of these notifications
    are formed on models, whereof a contemporary quotes an example:--

    "A wonderful Medicine. The following advertisement is from a recent
    issue of a New York paper:--'If you want a really pure
    unsophisticated "family pill," buy Dr. R----'s liver-encouraging,
    kidney-persuading, silent perambulator--twenty-seven in a box. This
    pill is as mild as a pet-lamb, and as searching as a small
    tooth-comb. It don't go fooling about, but strictly attends to
    business, and is as certain as an alarm clock.'"

    Puffery, resembling, if not quite equalling, that above instanced,
    in wit and humour, is fast gaining ground among us. America has
    taught us how to advertise. Thank Barnum. We have been, and are
    continuing to be, Americanized. We are progressing.


Angelina Squills (the doctor's daughter) by a judicious use of her
father's stethoscope, is able to detect and enjoy the delicate tenor
voice of the interesting young curate who lodges next door.]

One is glad that _Punch_ recognized the "wit and humour" of this unique
document, though he says nothing of its magical choice of words. Dr.
R---- was Dr. Rumbold. But whether or no he composed the advertisement I
have not been able to discover--or, indeed, anything about him. Perhaps
it was his swan-song; like the Old Masters, who according to Artemus
Ward executed the execrable paintings exhibited at his lecture as their
crowning and final achievement: "they did them and then they died."

[Sidenote: _The Next Generation_]

Sufficient materials have already been accumulated to enable the reader
to form an estimate of _Punch's_ credentials as a prophet or
"intelligent anticipator." They would not, however, be complete without
the "Forecast of the Next Generation" which appeared in 1872, and which
is interesting not so much from its prophecies as from its comprehensive
catalogue of Victorian shortcomings, failings and abuses:--

    The next generation will possess an army properly clothed.

    The next generation will all be able to read and write.

    The next generation will wear light clothes in summer.

    The next generation will remove some of the public-statues and
    edifices which their predecessors have erected.

    The next generation will find life supportable without so many

    The next generation will not make calls.

    The next generation will ride to and fro in decent cabs.

    The next generation will have other sorts of fish in daily
    consumption besides red herrings.

    The next generation will speak French and German, and, possibly,
    know something of their own language and literature.

    The next generation will not wear high black hats in the month of

    The next generation will see the officers of the army walking about
    the streets in uniform.

    The next generation will have other public places of amusement open
    to them on Sundays, besides public-houses.

    The next generation will be better cooks.

    The next generation will have no theatres with fees.

    The next generation will leave the table with the ladies.

    The next generation will not avoid Hotels.

    The next generation will find they can get on pretty comfortably
    without the Lord Privy Seal, the Chancellor of the Duchy of
    Lancaster, the Judge Advocate General, etc.

    The next generation will not be ashamed of Leicester Square.

    The next generation will be able to cross the Channel with less
    bodily discomfort.

    The next generation will journey by railway more safely and more

    The next generation will still have the National Debt, duns,
    dentists, domestics, humbugs, quacks, impostors, absurd fashions,
    adulteration, swindlers, and the Income Tax.


[Sidenote: _Foul State of the Thames_]

Though nothing comparable to the Hausmannizing of Paris by systematized
and uniform reconstruction was accomplished in London in the
mid-Victorian period, great changes and improvements were introduced.
Bridges were built, the river was partially purified and the Thames
Embankment carried out. The state of the "ancient river, shining as he
goes, mail-clad in morning to the ancient sea" of Henley's phrase, was a
hideous scandal in the 'fifties. Father Thames may on occasion have
appealed to the eye, but he continually affronted the nose. In 1858 the
growth of London was estimated to reach 5,816,900 by 1901. Yes, says
_Punch_, but what if the Thames is not purified? In June of that year
the nuisance, aggravated by a dry summer, was painfully brought home to
legislators in session at Westminster. Constant protests were raised in
both Houses, and when Lord John Manners asserted that the Central Board
of Works stopped the way, _Punch_ would have liked to see Thwaites--the
chairman--and his "gabbling colleagues" committed to prison until they
had purged their contempt for our river.

A month later the drought and the bad drainage produced a regular panic,
and on July 15 Disraeli introduced a Bill authorizing the cleansing of
the Thames and giving the Board of Works power to raise a special rate
(which _Punch_ called the Stinking Fund) and a free hand in
construction. The stench of the river continued to inspire a succession
of poems, paragraphs and articles throughout the rest of the year,
including an address to the Thames (after Tennyson), and beginning,

    Bake, bake, bake,
      O Thames, on thy way to the sea!
    And I would that thy stink could poison
      A Bishop, Peer or M.P.

The subsequent discontinuance of these tirades is a tolerably safe
indication that the nuisance was being seriously grappled with. Eight
years later, in the autumn of 1866, Father Thames, though still a
disreputable figure, is allowed by _Punch_ to use the _tu quoque_
argument against a Parliamentary critic at a time when electoral
corruption was calling loudly for reform.


HON. MEMBER (on Terrace of Parliament Palace): "O, you horrid, dirty old

FATHER THAMES: "Don't _you_ talk, Mister Whatsyername! Which of us has
the cleaner hands, I wonder?"]

The new suspension bridge in St. James's Park is attacked in 1857 for
its ugliness. "We can't make a monument, and now it seems we can't make
a bridge." The new erection is described as a grotesque failure, but at
least the ornamental water had been purified. _Punch_ was more hopeful
of the new Blackfriars Bridge, built by Cubitt, when he attended the
ceremony of laying the foundation-stone in July, 1865, and when it was
opened in November, 1869--just a hundred years after the opening of
Mylne's bridge--he celebrated the event in an imaginary dialogue between
the Queen, Mr. Cubitt and Dr. Johnson. The introduction of Johnson was
thoroughly appropriate, for the doctor had attacked Mylne's bridge, or
the "Pitt Bridge," as it was originally called, as contravening sound
principles of engineering, and events proved that he was right. Over the
new Westminster Bridge, begun in May, 1854, and opened at 4 a.m. on the
morning of May 24, 1862--the day and hour on which Queen Victoria was
born--_Punch_ abandoned his pessimism, pronounced Page's design
beautiful, and scouted the suggestion of a fussy M.P. who wished to have
palisades erected to prevent would-be suicides from jumping over. It was
this bridge to which another M.P., Sir W. Fraser, was anxious that the
name Sebastopol should be attached.

[Sidenote: _London Statues_]

Statues are a subject of mixed comment, mostly unflattering. But a good
point was scored in 1858 at the expense of Tom Duncombe, the eccentric
Radical M.P. and man of fashion, who was incensed at the erection of a
statue to Jenner in Trafalgar Square, and sneered in the House at the
"Berkeley cow-pox-doctor":--

    _Mr. Punch_ cannot conceive what the veteran dandy Tom was thinking
    about. Could he be aware that the discovery of vaccination, which
    has saved myriads on myriads of lives, and which Parliament
    rewarded, in 1802 and 1807, with grants of £10,000 and £20,000, has
    the still higher merit of preserving a face from ravages very
    inimical to lady-killing?

The Guards' Memorial, unveiled in February, 1861, is only faintly

    It is no worse and perhaps it is a trifle better than the many
    statuesque caricatures that, in the name of Art, are supposed to
    adorn our much-abused London. The truth is, that the English
    sculptors have already displayed such a cruel affection for the
    Metropolis, that it has been quite a spoiled child with them.

When a fine memorial was made, we were not able to keep it; and _Punch_
greatly regrets in 1873 that Foley's statue of Outram, temporarily
erected in Waterloo Place before its removal to India, was not allowed
to remain there, as it was "the finest statue, the only fine statue ever
erected in London." _Punch_, however, had forgotten that ten years
earlier he had applied the epithet "fine" to Joseph Durham's statue of
the Prince Consort in the Royal Horticultural Society's garden.

But of all London statues the most unfortunate and the most
ignominiously treated was that of George I in Leicester Square. The
Square throughout the 'sixties was a standing eyesore; an unkempt
wilderness, where garbage of every kind was shot. The dilapidated
condition of the statue in 1865 harmonized with its dingy surroundings
and prompted a parody of Cowper:--

    I am Monarch of all I survey,
      My right leg is minus a foot,
    My left has been taken away,
      And another they haven't yet put.

In the "Lay of Leicester Square" _Punch_, after a survey of the great
days of Leicester House, where "Prince Fred 'gainst Bubb Dodington once
held the stakes," describes its lamentable condition at the moment he

    In dirt and neglect Soho's Slums I outvie
    Than my seediest foreigner seedier am I.

Things had come to such a pass that "well bred spectres" no longer could
haunt Leicester Square:--

    I, Leicester Square garden, so called from the days
      When my beds were made, shrubs pruned, and grass duly mown,
    In my dirt and disorder maintain the old ways--
      While my leg-less lead King, from his war-horse o'erthrown,
    Proclaims in his downfall that highest of laws,
      "Vested rights are still rights, whate'er nuisance they cause."

Later on in the year there is a cartoon aimed at Ayrton, the unpopular
Chief Commissioner of Works in which "Ayrton the (B)Ædile" is shown
pointing to the battered statue from which the figure of the rider had
been removed, and saying "Ha! Now that's a style of Art I flatter myself
I really do understand."

From this derelict condition Leicester Square was rescued by the
enterprise and munificence of Baron Albert Grant, whose chequered career
was largely redeemed by an act which gave us the Square as we know it.
Under the heading, "Grant in Aid and a Check that wants Crossing,"
_Punch_ gratefully records his intervention and the difficulties which
delayed the execution of the scheme.

The greatest of all the improvements that belong to this period was the
Thames Embankment, which had formed part of Wren's scheme for the
rebuilding of London after the Great Fire. Not until nearly two hundred
years had elapsed was Parliamentary sanction obtained for carrying out
the plan. It was vigorously opposed in the House of Lords by the Duke of
Buccleuch, and _Punch_, on July 5, 1862, published a cartoon with the
heading, "Sawney stops the way." John Bull, driving a bus labelled
"Embankment," is confronted by a fully armed and kilted Scottish
chieftain waving a banner inscribed, "Buccleuch and No Thoroughfare,"
while _Punch_ as conductor remarks, "Drive on, John; never mind the
Scotchman." John Bull drove on, and early in August, 1868, _Punch_
celebrated (though somewhat ironically) the completion of the footway
opening of the Embankment from Westminster to Essex Street. As Sir
Joseph Bazalgette, who was responsible for the plans and their
execution, was engineer to the Metropolitan Board of Works, _Punch_
could not resist the opportunity for ridiculing his old _bête noire_ Sir
John Thwaites, the chairman, and his colleagues, the _feu de joie_
loosed off by a sergeant and two bombardiers R.A., and the subsequent
junketings at Woolwich. The Victoria Embankment from Blackfriars to
Westminster was not opened to the public till 1870, the Albert
Embankment on the south side from Westminster Bridge to Vauxhall in the
same year; while the Chelsea Embankment from Battersea Bridge to
Chelsea Bridge was finished in 1874. Taken together they constitute the
greatest addition to the amenities of London made in our time, to say
nothing of the reclamation of swamp and slime from the river and their
conversion into what is perhaps the finest roadway in London.
Cleopatra's Needle was originally presented to England by Mehemet Ali in
1819. Engineering difficulties stood in the way of its removal from
Egypt for nearly sixty years. The question is discussed by _Punch_ in
1869, but it was not till 1877 that the munificence of Sir Erasmus
Wilson and the skill of John Dixon solved the problem of its
transportation to its present site.


OLD LADY: "Well, I'm sure no woman with the least sense of decency would
think of going down _that_ way to it."]

[Sidenote: _London Railways_]

_Punch_ had no regrets when the old Hungerford Market (built in 1680,
rebuilt in 1831), an unsuccessful rival to Covent Garden, was swept away
in 1862 to make room for the new Charing Cross Terminus. But he was at
best a lukewarm supporter of the extension of London railways,
underground and suburban. The progress of the excavations and the
"horrible mess" in the New Road, elicited a growl at the "Underground"
and the delays in the construction of the "Sewer Railway." It was
suggested that Dr. Cumming had found out that the opening of the line
would bring on the end of the world before the date he had fixed for
that catastrophe; that garrotters had found the excavations a convenient
hiding-place, and so forth. Blundering, jobbing, squabbling, and
litigation are also assigned as reasons for delay. In the following
year, 1863, protests against further extensions of the underground
trains reach a climax, and _Punch_ denounces the vandals who want to
ravage Sloane Square and Regent Street. In particular the viaduct
crossing Ludgate Hill roused his indignation, and the anti-utilitarian
point of view is maintained in the illustration of the "Highly
ornamental tank" with which the railway company proposed to block out
the view of St. Paul's, while the issue of Stanford's Railway Map of
London is made the occasion of a vehement tirade against the devastation
of London: "The railway man shall not be monarch of all he surveys."
_Punch_, we may add, admitted the decrease in railway accidents, but
attributed it to the pressure of public opinion and the penalties
exacted from companies for negligence in safeguarding passengers from
loss of life and limb.

[Sidenote: _Eheu Fugaces!_]

The pulling down of historic buildings or the removal of historic
landmarks invariably moved _Punch_ to regret or indignation. He
cordially approved, it is true, of the relief of the Park Lane block in
1864 by the cutting of Hamilton Place, and the removal of the narrowest
and most dangerous bottle-neck in the streets of London. And he
acquiesced in the removal of Charterhouse School to the country in the
interests of the boys, publishing, without fully endorsing, the
arguments of those who prophesied that in its new surroundings the
school would come to be known as Magna Charterhouse. But in general he
lamented the demolitions and destructions which accompanied the
triumphal march of commerce. Even the dismantling of the Colosseum in
Regent's Park in 1868 evoked a melodious lament:--

    I remember, I remember,
      When I was a little boy,
    How I came home in December
      My fond parents to annoy.
    But my pretty maiden Aunty
      Was kind and gave to me
    A sort of show galanty
      A funny thing to see.

    I remember, I was taken
      By my Aunt's peculiar cabby,
    For to hear the rafters shaken
      By the Choir in the Abbey.
    Nor the service, nor Te Deum
      Nor the sights of Christmas time,
    Could approach the Colosseum,
      Save, perhaps, the Pantomime.

    I remember, I remember,
      All those Ruins in the grounds,
    And the classic broken pillars
      (Sold for something like three pounds.)
    And the statues! One of Jason
      Was a noble work of art;
    They were knocked down to a mason,
      Who removed them in his cart.

A little less than a year later a similar note is sounded when an
announcement appeared advertising the sale of the "Supper Colonnade" at
Vauxhall "to be sold cheap, a remnant of the past which has witnessed
many a scene of merriment with lords and ladies of high degree." The
disposal of relics, even dignified relics, has often been a problem to
administrators. Parliament debated in 1860 what was to be done with the
Duke of Wellington's funeral car, and it was ultimately stowed away in
the crypt of St. Paul's. The old "Star and Garter" at Richmond was
burned down in January, 1870, and _Punch_ was moved to a poetic
valediction in the name of the old frequenters who associated it with
the days of their courtship. The doom of Temple Bar was pronounced in
the same year, but _Punch_ admits that those who lamented its doom were
in "a small and mouldy minority." But there are no reserves in the
protest uttered in 1871 against the pulling down of the City churches
registered under the heading of "The Pick-axe Age":--

    Go ahead, Gentlemen Governors. Pull down any secular building that
    seems to be in the way, and, as Sir Epicure Mammon says,

    "Now and then a Church."

    Temple Bar is doomed. Now Mr. Lowe wants to destroy the Church of
    St. Clement Danes, where Dr. Johnson used to worship. All right.
    St. Mary-le-Strand is an obstruction to vans and drays. Let us
    erase that. More room is wanted in Trafalgar Square, especially as
    Mr. Bruce hands it over to legislators of the rough kind; down with
    St. Martin. Then, though St. Margaret's has historical
    reminiscences, especially of Commonwealth days, and gives scale to
    the Abbey, there would be room for a large grass-plot for the
    people, with Ayrton-statues, were St. Margaret's invited to remove.
    The Abbey itself suggests an extinct superstition, and its
    architecture insults that of the Houses; do we want the Abbey?
    Then, what a splendid sweep for the carriages of the "self-made men
    of the City," civic knights, and the like, if St. Paul's Cathedral
    no longer blocked the road from Cheapside to Ludgate Hill! Go
    ahead, Gentlemen Governors. We can't do much in the way of building
    up fine things, but we are out-and-outers at knocking them down.

[Sidenote: _Historic Landmarks_]

And he returns to the charge a few months later in an ironical plea for
the destruction of Wren's churches--St. Mildred's, Poultry; St. Dionis,
Backchurch; St. James's, Aldgate; St. Martin's, Outwich, and St.
Antholin's, Sise Lane. "Sir Christopher's Cathedral, as it is also a
mausoleum, will probably be spared until some railway or tramway shall
want the site." When the destruction of Northumberland House was
projected in 1873 _Punch_, in a fit of feudal enthusiasm, deplored the
vandalism and commercialism of the Philistine Board of Works, and
pointed out that there was still time to save the time-honoured house of
the Percys. When the demolition was carried out in the following year,
and the lion was removed to Syon House, he was consoled by the
reflection that it would be at least out of the reach of ignoble and
mean-minded vandals. On the other hand, he had rejoiced greatly when in
1866, as the result of a deputation headed by Lord Stanhope and Dean
Stanley, Parliament voted a sum of £7,000 for the restoration of
Westminster Chapter House. In 1873 St. John's Gate, Clerkenwell, an inn
which had been a favourite resort of Johnson, Garrick and "Sylvanus
Urban," was taken over by the order of St. John of Jerusalem, and
_Punch_ compares the public spirit of these Templars favourably with the
zeal of the "good Templars" whom he regarded as fussy fanatics. There
was no controversial acrimony, however, in his plea for the preservation
of the Tabard Inn, Southwark, and the poem "For the Tabard" was written
by one who had not merely read but loved his Chaucer.

[Illustration: THE SMALL BORE MAN. WIMBLEDON, 1863

BOISTEROUS RELATIVE: "Hullo! Gus, my hearty, why I haven't seen you for
ages! How are you? Give us your hand, my----"

GUS (alarmed): "Hoy! Keep off! Keep back, stand o' one side! Don't come
near me----How d'e do. Glad 'see you, but keep off at present, will
you----I've just adjusted my sights!"]

The preservation of the amenities of London and the suburbs found a
strong champion in _Punch_. We note a change of temper in 1864 in his
comment on the rowdy behaviour of members of the "lower classes" who
frequented St. James's Park, and the suggestion that it should be
renamed "St. Giles's." In earlier days _Punch_ had warmly resented the
exclusion of working-men in fustian from this same park. But no class
prejudice impairs his satisfaction in November, 1864, when Wimbledon
Common was preserved for the nation and the "small bore man" by the good
offices of Lord Spencer:--


    There is for us, and shall be, one retreat,
      If but that only one, saved stucco-free,
    Wimbledon, evermore for pilgrims' feet
      Kept sacred, noble Spencer, thanks to thee!
      Thy generous charter gives us scope to flee
    Still thither from the hubbub and the heat.

In the following year he appeals to other Commons--Wandsworth, Barnes
and Streatham--to follow the lead of Wimbledon, and when in 1866
Victoria Park was threatened with the erection of the Imperial Gas
Company's works, _Punch_ wrote:--

    Let Companies shape their projects to scrape
      Up wealth, and dividends share,
    But dim their eyes if ever they tries
      To rob a poor man of fresh air.

[Sidenote: _Alexandra Palace Destroyed_]

When the Alexandra Palace on Muswell Hill was opened in the summer of
1873, its gardens, statues and catering were praised in a welcome to
"Alexandra" after the manner of the Laureate. Two days after this
welcome appeared, the new Palace was destroyed by fire, and on July 5,
1873, _Punch_ rather cruelly published a review of a poem composed on
the event by Joseph Gwyer, potato-salesman of Penge. A few of the
stanzas are worth rescuing from oblivion if only for their artless

    On Muswell Hill there lately stood,
    The Alexandra Palace great and good,
    Both to our own and foreign land,
    It claimed from each a prestige grand.

    With works of art it did abound,
    Which were wont the ignorant to astound,
    The sightly dome for miles was seen
    Surrounded by the pastures green.

    But on the 9th of June the palace caught on fire,
    Each moment seemed to send the flames much higher,
    Flinging around with consternation spell
    Such sad results as no mortal could foretell.

    The shouts of alarm at this dread afray
    Many were stricken and did prostrate lay,
    As if they'd been wounded by some deadly foe,
    So painful was the unexpected great blow.

    While some were witnessing this awful view,
    Others were anxious as to what they should do,
    Some it was seen appeared quite romantic,
    While the poor stall-girls seemed nearly frantic.

       *       *       *       *       *

    In two short hours it was a blaze
    Which took some years to build and raise
    Grand Alexandra's noble Dome,
    Alas! all vanished the Ninth of June.

The Pantheon, mentioned in the previous volume, though shorn of its
early glories, was still a feature of London in the 'sixties, and "Jack
Easel," in January, 1862, describes a visit to the Pantheon, "once
dedicated to the Tragic Muse, now a temple of all the gods," combining a
bazaar, an aviary and a picture gallery, chiefly frequented by
ladies--"Belindas in Balmorals." The pictures were a very mixed lot,
including King Alfred and the Cakes, Actæon, and the Dead Body of King
Harold. But the Pantheon in its last days was chiefly remarkable for an
assemblage of wondrous knick-knacks, cheap bijouterie, antique vases,
antimacassars, Buhl caskets, _bonbonnières_, china candlesticks,
cheese-cakes, daguerreotypes, decanters, Gothic go-carts, German glass,
rag dolls and ratafia.

[Sidenote: _Tattersall's_]

Of more robust interest is the elegy in April, 1865, on the "Transit of
Tattersall's," when the old mart for selling horses in Grosvenor Place
at the side of St. George's Hospital, founded by "Old Tatt," was pulled
down and a move made to Knightsbridge Green. "Old Tatt," originally
studgroom to the Duke of Kingston, leased the premises at Hyde Park
Corner from the Earl of Grosvenor in 1766, set up as a horse auctioneer,
and founded his fortunes by the purchase for £2,500 of the famous racer
Highflyer from Lord Bolingbroke:--

    Good bye, old Corner, where so long
      Turf swells have loved to band,
    Since first old Tatt his broad-brimmed hat
      Showed in the well-known stand.

    Where, ninety years of hopes and fears,
      And nine to back of that,
    The sporting swell with nags to sell
      Still found a Tit for Tatt.

       *       *       *       *       *

    If walls have ears, what startling tales,
      Those old rooms must have heard:
    What sermons they might preach, the stones
      That paved that old court-yard!

       *       *       *       *       *

    By those oak-pales the first Oaks' stakes
      Were put down long ago:
    Germ of that Epsom growth that now
      All ring-fence doth outgrow.

    There the first Derby favourite
      Was measured by the yard:
    And there a century's Sellengers[12]
      Fortunes have made or marred.

    Till the world grew so fond of "books,"
      So giv'n to make the same,
    That the old ground too small was found,
      For the Turf's "little game";

    As from _his_ Grosvenor Place old Tatt
      Started to win life's race,
    Young Tatt, on fortune bent, again
      Takes flight from Grosvenor Place.

    At Knightsbridge, lo, a fair glass roof
      Stands for the dark old sheds:
    We've tiles as shiny 'neath our feet,
      As those upon our heads:

    But still we love the haunts where first
      The Turf's keen breath we drew:
    And what recalls those ancient halls
      We best love in the new--

    The old brown fox, that from his box
      Still peers with artful face,
    A hint that to the sharp as well
      As swift, is given the race.

    We miss the verdant lawn, where paced
      Crowds of green men and still:
    The gravelled walk, which losers oft
      More gravelled, used to fill:

    And sadder loss than all--no more
      The old cow crops the lawn:
    Meek monitor of draughts to come
      From milch-cows yet undrawn!

    Good bye, old yard, and may the new
      As long its honours wear;
    And though they leave the Corner still,
      May Tatts be on the Square!

[Footnote 12: St. Legers.]

Even so small an event as the giving up in 1865 of his business by
Farrance, the confectioner's at Charing Cross, was not allowed to pass
without due homage:--

    Other Farrances may rise,
      Quite as bilious as before,
    But the old familiar pies
    (Veal and Ham) will glad our eyes
      Nevermore, O nevermore!

Towards new or projected buildings _Punch_ was seldom benevolent. When
it was announced that a new National Gallery was to be erected on the
site spoiled by the old, he was sceptical of the result, but he greeted
the tardy appearance of the lions in Trafalgar Square in 1867, and
welcomed the opening of the Albert Hall on March 28, 1871, as providing
a building unrivalled for space, sound and light--a eulogy hardly
fulfilled as far as acoustics are concerned. But it has a splendid echo,
it can hold 10,000 people, and as a scene for the activities of massed
brass bands there is nothing to touch it, in London at any rate. Over
the Holborn Restaurant, which in 1874 replaced an institution contrived
to pay a double debt to bathing and dancing, _Punch_ waxed positively
fulsome, but his praise was chiefly inspired by the _cuisine_; in those
days good restaurants for the middle classes were few and far between.

The buildings for the International Exhibition of 1862, planned by
Captain Francis Fowke, R.E., did not altogether commend themselves to
_Punch_, who was inclined to cavil at the bad arrangements, and to
compare the structure unfavourably with the Crystal Palace, but Fowke's
plans had been scamped owing to lack of funds, and he was not
responsible for the artistic shortcomings of the building. _Punch's_
comments are chiefly remarkable for his prophetic observations on our
choice of executive officials:--

    We are certainly a wonderful people, and work, as perhaps our
    foreign friends will think, in a paradoxical sort of way. It was a
    gardener who planned our Crystal Palace for '51, and eleven years
    later we are indebted for the design of another Exhibition to a
    soldier. A barrister superintends the casting of our great bells,
    and we have an architect who is an authority on fortification.
    Well, perhaps when our coasts are invaded a bishop may be a
    Secretary at War, and a physician presiding at the Admiralty.

[Illustration: THE LIONS AT LAST

"Thank you, Sir Edwin. England at last has 'done her duty.'"]

The somewhat chequered career of "Big Ben" is followed with sympathy and
interest throughout this period by _Punch_, who claimed to have given
him his name. Those who lived in London during the years when his voice
was hushed, and welcomed the breaking of his war silence on Armistice
Day, will read, not without emotion, the lines which appeared on
November 29, 1873:--


    "The great clock of the Houses of Parliament is stopped for a day
    or two, in order that the 'going train' may be cleaned by Messrs.
    Dent. During the present month its accumulated error has on no
    occasion exceeded a second."--_Pall Mall Gazette_.

    Big Ben, that beats from Barry's Tower
      The march of time and tide,
    To Britain's Commons, and the world
      Of London far and wide,
    Stops--and the town that marked the hush
      Of his deep voice with pain,
    Is glad to hear 'tis but a halt,
      To clean his "going train."

            *       *       *       *       *

    O, brave Big Ben, that keep'st true step
      Thus with the tide of time,
    Long may'st thou to the Commons set
      Example so sublime;
    That England, both of House below
      And Clock above, may say,
    'Tis no vain boast that to the world
      She shows the time of day!

    May headlong Wits, that on the seats
      Under the Clock may show,
    Learn by its even beat above
      To tune hot brains below.
    And never hold up hands unless
      The voice of truth to swell;
    Nor strike, except at the right hour,
      And then strike strokes that tell.

[Sidenote: _Cabs v. Omnibuses_]

Complaints against the public vehicles of London and their drivers
continue, but are hardly pitched in so strident a tone as in earlier
years. Still the brigandage of competitive 'buses is severely denounced
in 1858; the extent of the evil may be gauged from the drastic
regulations issued in the autumn of 1860, so drastic as to excite
compassion for the conductor who faithfully carried them out.

_Punch's_ hostility to the "growler" and its bibulous and rapacious
driver as the first of all London nuisances remained implacable. A
report was circulated at the close of 1869 that their final
disappearance was imminent; it was nearly fifty years too "previous,"
but the wish being father to the thought, _Punch_ indulged in a
premature farewell to this "unseemly vehicle". With the advent of "clean
cabs and civil drivers" he anticipated that no one would ever think of
entering an omnibus, little thinking that a time would come when, with
clean and swift 'buses, only the affluent would think of entering a

[Illustration: SWELL (to corpulent cabman): "Haw, here's sixpence--get

CABBY: "Thank you, sir, all the same; but I never take it. I'm a
follerin' Mr. Bantin's adwice for corpulence, sir. He says, I may take
two or three glasses o' good claret, or a glass or two of sherry wine,
or red port, or medeiry, any sort o' sperits--"

(_Swell, deeply touched, makes the sixpence half-a-crown._)]

The placidity which one associates with mid-Victorian life was rudely
disturbed in London by the garrotting scare in the 'sixties. Complaints
of the inefficiency of the police and attacks on the Commissioner are
frequent in those years. Yet street accidents were far fewer, and, on
the whole, it cannot be maintained that London has become safer to live
in. The mention of the police reminds one that the tall hat was
discarded in 1865 for the helmet, a sensible change which was at first
met with undeserved ridicule. The possibility of a strike of policemen
at the end of 1872 seemed to _Punch_ so incredible that he declined to
treat it seriously.


TOMKINS (loq.): "Let 'em try it on again, that's all."]




If the word "amazing" had not lost most of its significance through
overwork since August, 1914, we should be inclined to apply it to the
frankness with which Royalty and the Court were criticized and discussed
by the Press in the 'forties and 'fifties. _Punch_, as we have seen,
took a leading hand in the game, though he contrived to combine loyalty
to the person of the Queen with the most outspoken attacks on the
exercise of Court patronage and the extravagance of courtiers. But he
did not stop here. The Prince Consort was mercilessly ridiculed for his
Germanism, his notions of sport, his passion for tailoring, and, most
serious offence of all, his alleged intervention in high politics. After
ten years of anti-Albertianism, _Punch_ dropped, to a considerable
extent at any rate, the game of baiting the Prince, cordially admitted
his services in connexion with the Exhibition of 1851, and for the rest
of the period surveyed in our first volume granted him a comparative
immunity from hostile criticism.

The change, or conversion, was not due to expediency or to a change of
editorship or of the staff. It had already begun several years before
the death, in 1857, of _Punch's_ most democratic contributor, Douglas
Jerrold. It was typical of a change in the enlightened middle-class
opinion of which _Punch_ was the mirror. The Monarchy had gained in
popularity, and though there was no great revulsion of feeling about the
Prince until after his death, he had earned respect by his active
interest in education and philanthropy and the sagacity in counsel which
was most freely acknowledged by those who came in closest contact with
him. The charges of undue intervention and interference were effectually
dealt with by Ministers at the time, though _Punch_ failed to
acknowledge his vindication, and the _Life of Lord Beaconsfield_ shows
that a much stronger case can be made out against the Queen on this
count when she was no longer able to rely on the advice of the Prince.

The change in _Punch's_ conception of his _rôle_ as regards the Court
did not come in the twinkling of an eye. But from 1858 onwards he is
less of the licensed Court Jester, more of the unofficial Laureate. The
old _Punch_, who had his eye on Tsars and Kaisers (like the _Skibbereen
Eagle_) and autocrats is not dead yet. He has a tremendous fling in the
"Essence of Parliament" in July, 1858, _à propos_ of a contemplated
revision of the Prayer-book:--

    Lord Stanhope, a Peer exceedingly well entitled to be heard upon
    any such subject, then obtained an Address for cutting out of our
    Prayer Books the savage and abject forms of worship which our
    forefathers, at certain moments of excitement, thought it well to
    prescribe on certain anniversaries, as Guy Fawkes Day, the
    Martyrdom Day, and Oak Apple Day. When one reflects that the people
    who composed such things adulated the dirty old coward and fool,
    James the First; looked on while the body of the greatest of our
    English kings (except Alfred)--we mean, of course, King Oliver the
    First, and unfortunately the Only--was dragged from its grave to
    the gallows; and ecstatically murmured the _Nunc dimittis_ when the
    friend of Nelly Gwynn, by no means _his_ worst friend, returned to
    betray the public honour of England, and debauch that of her
    private life; one only wonders that such ecclesiastical profanities
    have been tolerated so long. The Archbishop of Canterbury and the
    Bishops of London, Oxford, and Cashel, expressed the sentiments
    that might be expected from enlightened gentlemen; but the
    offensive services found defenders in the poor old Bishop of
    Bangor, in the Bishop of St. Asaph, who has _Mr. Punch's_ royal
    licence henceforth to sign himself A Sap, and in a brace of foolish
    Peers, called Marlborough and Duncannon: opposition which was the
    only thing wanting to show that every man of decent intellect feels
    alike on the subject.

[Sidenote: _Marriage of the Princess Royal_]

The disparaging allusion earlier in the same year to Prince Albert's
Prize Pig and the attack on the bestowal of a K.C.B. on Colonel Charles
Beaumont Phipps, the Prince Consort's Treasurer and Equerry to the
Queen, are quite eclipsed by this explosion. But _Punch_ was always
ready to speak disrespectfully of a dictator. Constitutional monarchy he
could respect and even admire, as Herbert Spencer said of the moderate
proficiency of an amateur billiard-player. The new voice, the voice of
the unofficial Laureate, had already been heard in his "Epithalamium" on
the Princess Royal in 1858, over whose engagement, when it was first
announced, he had been far from enthusiastic:--

    Farewell, young Royal Lady,
    Ne'er may your life wax shady,
    Still may your path be shiny,
    All rosy--nothing spiny.

    _Macbeth_, when sitting stately,
    You were beholding lately,
    A point, which I may mention,
    Perhaps won your attention:

    The line of Kings, descending
    From _Banquo_, never ending;
    I hail you the Queen Mother,
    Young Bride, of such another.

    May the first line long sit in
    The royal seat of Britain,
    On Prussia's throne the second,
    From you to doomsday reckoned.

    United in alliance,
    May those two lines defiance
    Bid evermore to treason,
    By governing with reason.

The prophecy in the third and fourth stanzas gives one a shiver: but the
word doomsday may pass in the sense of the day of doom. Simultaneously
the critic appears in "A Few Queries touching a late wedding":--

    Can't our penny-a-liners be loyal,
      Without writing themselves down flunkeys?
    Can't our crowd gape at ciphers royal,
      Without such percentage of "drunkies"?

    When we want a wedding cantata
      For our Princess Royal's espousal,
    Why for Tennyson Catnach barter,
      An owl for a singing ouzel?

    When English Fiddlers find fingers,
      And an English composer chords,
    Can't we find six English singers,
      Who at least could pronounce the words?

       *       *       *       *       *

    Must we still in ruts of old stick,
      All alike, both high and humble,
    Our nobs the slaves of Goldstick,
      Our snobs the slaves of Bumble?

[Illustration: THE DRAWING ROOM

(A stoppage of a few minutes is supposed to take place.)

DREADFUL BOY (on lamp post): "Oh! My eye, Bill! 'Ere's a rose bud."]


In the same vein is the protest in the spring of the same year, against
the journalistic flunkeyism of the report of the opening concert in St.
James's Hall (described as "vast in dimensions, elegant in proportion
and splendid in decoration") which was "honoured by the presence of
H.R.H. the Prince Consort, a large number of our aristocracy, and a very
numerous company belonging for the most part to the better classes of
society"--an English revival of the term _optimates_ which _Punch_ very
properly disliked and deprecated.

The reorganization of the Government in India brought the Queen a new
title, and in his congratulations we see _Punch_ at his best:--

    To thee is given another land,
      Another title of renown,
    Another sceptre in thy hand,
      And on thy head another crown.
    To India now at last appears
      Hope that before she ne'er had seen.
    She smiles upon thee through her tears,
      And looks for aid to England's Queen.

    To thee, her last of Monarchs, first
      She looks for justice, and the reign
    Of mercy, nor will she have nursed
      A fond belief, and hoped in vain.
    No more a victim and a prey,
      She trusts, with reason why she should,
    Like all that live beneath thy sway,
      She will be governed for her good.

This unofficial competition with the Laureate, however, did not prevent
_Punch_ from applauding Tennyson's additional stanzas to the National
Anthem, which some critics had impugned for their metrical laxity. A
little later on, _à propos_ of the Queen's alleged refusal to wear a
crinoline in 1859, _Punch_ in a mood of mixed loyalty and levity
contributed a new version of his own:--

    Long live our gracious Queen,
    Who won't wear Crinoline,
        Long live the Queen!
    May her example spread,
    Broad skirts be narrowèd,
    Long trains be shortenèd,
        Long live the Queen!

    O storm of scorn arise,
    Scatter French fooleries,
        And make them pall.
    Confound those hoops and things,
    Frustrate those horrid springs,
    And indiarubber rings,
        Deuce take them all!

    May dresses flaunting wide,
    Fine figures cease to hide;
        Let feet be seen.
    Girls to good taste return,
    Paris flash modes unlearn,
    No more catch fire and burn,
        Thanks to the Queen!

The Empress Eugénie, it should be added by way of explanation, had
already fallen under the lash of _Punch's_ satire for supporting the
crinoline, and starting absurd fashions, amongst which he specially
notes the "occipital bonnet"--worn at the back of the head.

[Sidenote: _Punch and the Royal Princes_]

The Princess Royal was already off the Queen's and _Mr. Punch's_ hands.
The birth of her son in 1859--_grande et conspicuum nostro quoque
tempore monstrum_--is duly celebrated in some lines "On an auspicious
event" in which the Duchess of Kent is saluted as a great-grandmother.
But in 1859 and 1860 _Punch_, who liked to take himself very seriously
as an instructor of youth, is mainly concerned with the education of the
Royal Princes. Prince Alfred (the Duke of Edinburgh) was already a
middy, and his tour in Egypt and Palestine prompted severe comments on
the obsequiousness with which he was _fêted_ in the near East. As for
the Prince of Wales, the dangers of sycophancy were (according to
_Punch_) much less than those of over-pressure. In the cartoon entitled
"The Royal Road to Learning," the Prince in cap and gown is shown
surrounded by a group of stout, spectacled, bald and bottle-nosed
professors and dons bowing and scraping before the Royal youth. _Punch_
protests, too, in spirited doggerel against the process which threatened
to make the Prince Jack-of-all-trades and lord of none. It is at any
rate a consolation to think that the Prince of Wales evaded and survived
the alleged attempt to convert him into a walking encyclopædia. The
Prince's visit to Canada and the United States as "Baron Renfrew" in
1860 is followed with close interest and sympathy, and the frequent
references in text and illustrations suggest many curious parallels with
the experiences of his grandson in 1920. _Punch_ welcomed the Prince's
release from his arduous studies and was gratified with his reception;
he did not acquit the American Press of sycophancy, but was obviously
pleased when the _New York Herald_ said that his "genial and
unpretending" disposition had "gained him the affection of many true and
worthy hearts." Perhaps the greatest compliment was paid him by an
Irishman who accosted him in his railway car and said: "Come back four
years from now and we'll run you for President."


But to us the most interesting comment on the visit is _Punch's_
twice-repeated suggestion that the Prince might do a great deal worse
than bring back an American bride. He made it on the Prince's departure
in July in an Ode, with the apology, "If the Laureate won't do his work,
_Punch_ must," in which he says:

    Transcendent charms drive even monarchs frantic,
        A German Princess must he marry?
        And who can say he may not carry
    One of Columbia's fascinating daughters
        O'er the Atlantic?

And he returns more seriously to the charge three months later:--


    A Law which Nature contravenes,
      A rule of Rank and State,
    Forbids our Princes, Kings and Queens,
      With British spouse to mate.
    The safety of the Realm commands
      Them Protestants to wed;
    And therefore is their choice of hands
      Extremely limited.

    Their Cousins are our Royal race
      Confined, almost, to woo,
    Who, by the nature of the case
      Are German Cousins too.
    Now German Cousins far removed
      All very well may be,
    But Cousins German oft have proved
      Too near the parent tree.

    Near cousins o'er the German tide,
      What need remains to seek,
    Now steamers cross the Atlantic wide,
      Almost within a week?
    Of Yankee Land the Beauty pales
      All Continental Fair;
    Might not a bride be found for Wales,
      A distant Cousin, there?

[Sidenote: _Royal Speeches Criticized_]

From this onward for a great many years _Punch_ was not content with
supplementing the inactivities of the Laureate, but seldom allowed any
event in the Royal annals--births, deaths, engagements or weddings--to
pass unchronicled in serious rhyme. The art of eulogy is difficult, and
the most that can be said of these efforts is that they were generally
graceful and appropriate, and that their loyalty seldom degenerated into
fulsomeness. On the subject of royal speeches _Punch_ showed good sense
as well as great frankness, in connexion with the public utterances of
the Prince of Wales on the occasion of his visit to Ireland in 1861:--


    Royal personages, in answering loyal addresses, of course speak
    only that which is set down for them. If they made speeches of
    their own they would be continually committing themselves,
    unawares, to this statement and that, and unwittingly treading upon
    the corns of various people right and left. At least, to avoid
    making mistakes of this sort, they would have to take an amount of
    trouble in composing their replies so great that it would very much
    interfere with their ordinary business, and entirely spoil their
    pleasure. It is therefore necessary that Princes should be provided
    with attendants having the office to compose, and put into form,
    the platitudes in which they are called upon, from time to time, to
    acknowledge the compliments which are paid to them. But then the
    platitudes ought to be expressed in proper terms, such as it may
    become a Prince to utter; that is, in language which a decently
    educated person would naturally use. Now, is anybody who has been
    brought up in any school better than a Commercial Academy capable
    of delivering himself in such a style as that of the subjoined
    slip-slop which the Prince of Wales had to read in answer to an
    address presented to him by the Kingstown Commissioners?--

    "Gentlemen,--I most heartily thank you for the gratifying terms in
    which, on your own behalf and that of the inhabitants of Kingstown,
    you greet me on my arrival at your port, after a voyage performed
    with such ease and expedition in the admirable vessel considerately
    placed at my disposal by its enterprising proprietors."

    His Royal Highness is also actually made to say:--

    "During former visits to Ireland, and particularly in the course of
    a tour made some years ago through the country, I had considerable
    opportunities of witnessing the beauty of her scenery."

    Some clue to the authorship of the preceding instances of
    haberdashers' eloquence may perhaps be found in those
    characteristic forms of speech, "considerable" opportunities, and
    "witnessing" the beauty of her scenery. These are the notorious
    idioms of that sort of penny-a-lining which is the least worth a
    penny. The advisers of the Prince of Wales should cause their own
    private secretaries to write the speeches which they give the
    Prince to make, and not employ for that purpose the undermost
    reporter engaged on the _Court Circular_. At least let the Queen's
    son be allowed to speak his Mother's English.

    As there is a Poet Laureate, so likewise ought there to be a Royal
    Professor of Prose, whose office, however, shall not be merely
    honorary, but shall consist in plainly wording the simple ideas
    which Royalty is occasionally called upon to express. _Mr. Punch_
    could mention some young men who, at a sufficiently high wage,
    would accept the work.

Whether the hint was taken or not, the fact remains that for a good many
years Royal oratory has ceased to deserve such criticism. It may not be
Ciceronian; it does not inflame or transport the hearer, but at least it
is free from the cheap haberdashers' eloquence which aroused _Punch's_
wrath sixty years ago.

The visit of the Queen and Prince Consort to Ireland in August, 1861,
passed off without any untoward incident, but the comments in _Punch_
were mainly ironical, as in the cartoon, "Doth not a meeting like this
make amends," in which the Queen observes, "My dear Ireland, how much
better you look since my last visit. I am so glad." For the rest there
is much pungent criticism directed against the assiduity of the
newspaper correspondents in chronicling small beer. The demonstrations
were too carefully stage-managed in the operatic style: the odour of the
footlights invaded Killarney; and _Punch_ is quite furious with the
snobbery of the unfortunate special correspondent who declared that "the
Queen and Prince Albert repeatedly expressed their unqualified
admiration of the scenery. His Royal Highness said many portions were
sublime." It is by such practices, _Punch_ truly remarks, that "the
Press is lowered in repute and people think it is the work of a
vulgarian to write for it."

In the year 1861 the Queen lost both her mother and her husband. The
Prince Consort had outlived a great deal of his unpopularity--faithfully
reflected in the pages of _Punch_. Yet even so late as 1858 he met with
scant sympathy in the malicious imaginary conversation between the
Emperor of the French, the Queen and himself at Cherbourg. The Emperor
figures as the _miles gloriosus_, boastful of his strength; the Queen is
ironically polite: Prince Albert angular and tactless. The mere
suddenness and unexpectedness of his death brought a great reaction;
those who had depreciated and disparaged him when living were especially
vocal in their praises of the dead; but the full extent and significance
of his loss to the Queen was not understood till long afterwards. Those
terrible cartoons of Leech will keep coming before our eyes as we read
the bland elegiac stanzas in which _Punch_ made amends for ten years of
scarifying ridicule:--

    It was too soon to die.
      Yet, might we count his years by triumphs won,
      By wise, and bold, and Christian duties done,
    It were no brief eventless history.

    This was his princely thought:
      With all his varied wisdom to repay
      Our trust and love, which on that Bridal Day
    The Daughter of the Isles for dowry brought.

    For that he loved our Queen,
      And for her sake, the people of her love,
      Few and far distant names shall rank above
    His own, where England's cherished names are seen.

[Sidenote: _Punch and the Princess of Wales_]

The Queen never quite recovered from her bereavement. The next twenty
years of her life were spent more or less in retirement; and _Punch_, in
his pious and quite sincere request to be allowed to "share her grief,"
could not be expected to foresee that in less than two years the nation
would have grown restive at the Queen's continued seclusion and that he
himself would have become active in expressing its discontent. In 1862
the wedding of Princess Alice received the usual meed of ceremonial
verse, _Punch_ being happily spared a glimpse into the future in store
for her and her daughters; and the refusal of the Greek Crown by Prince
Alfred is recognized to be judicious. _Punch_ bore the Prince of Wales
no malice for not acting on his suggestion about an American bride; and
greeted Princess Alexandra of Denmark as enthusiastically if not as
poetically as the Laureate himself. When the wedding procession passed
down Fleet Street (the offices of the paper were then at No. 85), the
Princess was greeted with an effusion of loyal sentiment and champagne.
But in her beauty, grace, and popularity _Punch_ saw a means of rescuing
women of fashion from their expensive servility to French milliners, and
within a fortnight of his chronicling the marriage festivities he
appeals to her to set the fashions for British ladies, hitherto copied
from the French, and thus "turn the tide of absurdity in costume from
the abyss into which, before her seasonable arrival, it was tending to
plunge them." Long dresses, "sweeping and brushing the earth," heraldic
gold-dust, powder and hair dyes are especially singled out for

The birth of the Duke of Clarence is loyally chronicled in January,
1864, though in the following number _Punch_ could not resist the
temptation of printing some verses in parody of Tupper, then at the
zenith of his popularity. The birth of the present King in the summer of
the following year prompted some frank but friendly comments in
_Punch's_ "Essence of Parliament." Sir George Grey moved the address of
congratulation to the Queen. Then follows this characteristic passage:--

    Mr. Disraeli, who we are glad to perceive had so completely
    recovered from his gout as to be able to attend at the splendid
    marriage of Miss Evelina de Rothschild, and make the most tender
    and graceful of speeches in honour of the occasion, seconded the
    motion, which _Mr. Punch_, rousing himself for a moment into loyal
    enthusiasm, has the distinguished pleasure of thirding--and

The plain fact was that _Punch_ was growing increasingly dissatisfied
with the continued retirement of the "Royal Recluse." This
dissatisfaction began with a "Loyal Whisper" at the time of the Prince's

    "Nay, let my people see me." Kind
      Was She whom then our cheers were greeting:
    Now, would that Lady bear in mind
      That words like those will bear repeating.

But it soon swelled to more vocal dimensions. It was one thing to check
the extravagances of "indelicate and obtrusive loyalty"; it was another
to maintain an almost Oriental aloofness. The subject is returned to
again and again, in prose and verse, and in two cartoons by Tenniel:
notably that of "Queen Hermione" in 1865. But the candour of _Punch_
reaches its highest level in his comments on the announcement early in
1866 of the institution of a new decoration--the Albert Medal.

[Sidenote: _The "Effete Monarchy"_]

    _Mr. Punch's_ loyalty has been proved too often for question.
    Without the slightest apology, therefore, he proceeds to say what
    he would have preferred to leave unsaid, for it is not the part of
    a true friend to be silent when he should speak. _Mr. Punch_ has
    cordially approved every reasonable effort to preserve the memory
    of the good Prince whose loss we all deplore. Statues, in far
    greater number than ever was accorded to an English Worthy, have
    been reared in honour of the lamented Consort. Though it is now
    just sixty years since Nelson was laid in St. Paul's, our great
    sea-captain's monument is unfinished--we hear nothing at all of the
    national monument to our great land-captain, though it is more than
    thirteen years since Wellington was laid by the side of Nelson--but
    the most splendid and costly of memorials is rapidly rising, in the
    Park, in testimony of our veneration for Prince Albert. When this
    shall have been completed, will it not be almost time to leave that
    good man's fame to take care of itself? Society is at least half
    inclined to believe that enough has been done in this way, and it
    will not be well that society should begin to smile at persistent
    efforts to add tribute to tribute. There is really no fitness in
    giving the Prince's name to the medal that is to reward the noblest
    of sea-service.

    The Prince had no kind of connexion with or special regard for
    sea-achievements, though the irreverent may remark that his own
    courage was shown when he voyaged, inasmuch as he notoriously
    suffered on such occasions more than anyone else on board. Anything
    like ridicule should not be permitted to connect itself with an
    honoured memory.

The Albert Medal, as we know, was not restricted to those who exhibited
conspicuous gallantry in the rescue of life from shipwreck, and the
remarks we have quoted may very well have contributed to its being
awarded in recognition of heroic deeds on land as well. A fortnight
later a passage quoted from the _New York Herald_ impelled _Punch_ to
reaffirm his loyalty to the Monarchy:--

    England is completely prepared to become Republican, but the
    undoubted personal popularity of the Queen will probably sustain
    the effete monarchy until the time arrives for transmission of the
    Crown. But as for an Edward the Seventh, that is out of the

Whereon _Punch_ observes "are there twenty republicans in England,
deducting Bedlam?" On February 6 the Queen opened Parliament in

    The Queen has not performed this ceremony during the last five
    years, and the reason for the Sovereign's seclusion would render it
    unbecoming for _Mr. Punch_ to say any word upon the subject of Her
    reappearance, except that it greatly rejoiced the nation and

This emergence was welcome, but it was not followed up and did not
satisfy public opinion, as we gather from an appeal made in the
following year:--

    The _Pall Mall Gazette_, inviting Her Majesty to resume her
    personal sway over society, says:--

    "During the first twenty years of Queen Victoria's reign the salons
    of London did not reek with tobacco smoke, neither did the noble,
    the pure, and the young stagger under red wigs, glare with rouge
    and pearl-powder, or leer with painted eyes."

    No. Neither do the noble and the pure stagger, glare or leer now.
    But if the ignoble, the impure, and some of the young do these
    things, and can be deterred from them by royal displeasure,
    manifested in the dignified way in which the First Lady would mark
    it, we should rejoice to know that the Queen intended to come
    forward and do an unwelcome duty. No worthier homage can be offered
    to the dead than a painful sacrifice for the sake of the living.
    The Crown has direct power over the court-class, and as for the
    idiots who parody their patrons, the parody, as we firmly believe,
    would be pursued even if great folks took to virtue and going to
    church. Which considerations, with the deepest respect, _Mr. Punch_
    submits to the notice of his Royal Mistress.

Many of us thought that the lavish use of paint and dye by the young was
a portent of Georgian post-war days: it is something of a surprise,
possibly a relief, to find it was prevalent more than fifty years ago.

From this point onwards one may notice a disposition to acquiesce in the
self-imposed seclusion of the Queen, though any movement towards
breaking it down is at once recognized and welcomed--even such a small
thing as the publication of her _Journal of our Life in the Highlands_.
Thus we read that its issue "on the advice of Mr. Arthur Helps is
likely, if such a thing were possible, to endear her still more to the
loving hearts of her people," and in a set of verses on "The Queen's
Book" the Queen is applauded for her wise and womanly thought:--

    What Queen like this was ever known
      To take her people to her heart?
    When was Queen's household-life so shown
      With modest truth and artless art?

    The Royal Widow has done well
      Thus on her people's love to call,
    Her simple wifely tale to tell
      And trust her joys and griefs to all.

The writer was evidently well aware that cynics and literary critics
would make fun of the book, but the defence of sincerity comes with
added weight from one who was always on the look out for ineptitudes in
high places.

The announcement of the betrothal of the Princess Louise to the Marquis
of Lorne gave _Punch_ a fine opportunity in the autumn of 1870 of
vindicating his prescience, and simultaneously revealing Thackeray in
the light of a political prophet:--

[Illustration: A (REAL) GERMAN DEFEAT]

[Sidenote: _Thackeray among the Prophets_]


    _Mr. Punch_ begs leave to make a distinguished bow to his excellent
    (if Conservative) contemporary, the _Bath Chronicle_. That
    admirable journal, the studies of whose Conductor are so evidently
    in a right direction that the success of the paper is a matter of
    course, has turned back to a somewhat remote Number of _Punch_, and
    has been amply rewarded by lighting upon an article, which has been
    transferred to the columns of the _Bath Chronicle_, with
    appropriate remarks, a portion of which _Mr. Punch_ has the utmost
    pleasure in reproducing:--

    "Twenty-one years ago, in the Number of _Punch_ for February 3,
    1849, the late Mr. Thackeray drew an imaginary picture of 'England
    in 1869,' in supposed extracts from the newspapers of the period.
    One of these, under the heading of 'Marriages of the Royal Family,'
    is so applicable to the circumstances of 'England in 1870' that it
    is worth reproducing. The humourist would have been amused himself
    had he lived to see how nearly he hit the mark. The following is
    the paragraph we refer to:--

    "'Marriages of the Royal Family.--Why should our Princes and
    Princesses be compelled always to seek in Germany for matrimonial
    alliances? Are the youths and maidens of England less beautiful
    than those of Saxe and Prussia? Are the nobles of our own country,
    who have been free for hundreds of years, who have shown in every
    clime the genius, the honour, the splendour of Britain--are these,
    we ask, in any way inferior to a Prince (however venerable) of
    Sachs-Schlippenschloppen, or a Grand Duke of Pigwitz-Gruntenstein?
    We would breathe no syllable of disrespect against these
    potentates--we recognize in them as in ourselves the same Saxon
    blood--but why, we ask, shall not Anglo-Saxon Princes or Princesses
    wed with free Anglo-Saxon nobles, themselves the descendants, if
    not the inheritors of kings? We have heard in the very highest
    quarters rumours which under these impressions give us the very
    sincerest delight. We have heard it stated that the august mother
    and father of a numerous and illustrious race, whose increase is
    dear to the heart of every Briton, have determined no longer to
    seek for German alliances for their exalted children, but to look
    at home for establishments for those so dear to them. More would be
    at present premature. We are not at liberty to mention particulars,
    but it is whispered that Her Royal Highness The Princess Boadicea
    is about to confer her royal hand upon a young nobleman who is
    eldest son of a noble peer who is connected by marriage with our
    noble and venerable Premier, with the Foreign and Colonial
    Secretaries, and with H.G. the Archbishop of Canterbury. The same
    "little bird" also whispers that His Royal Highness, Prince
    Hengist, has cast an eye of princely approbation upon a lovely and
    accomplished young lady of the highest classes, whose distinguished
    parents are "frae the North," whose name is known and beloved
    throughout the wide dominions of Britain's sway--in India, at the
    Admiralty, at the Home and Colonial Offices and in both Houses of

    "The first part of the prediction is being accomplished with a
    literalness that should drive Zadkiel to despair. The Princess
    Louise, then a baby not quite a year old, is betrothed to the
    eldest son of a nobleman actually in office, who comes 'frae the
    North,' and whose name is certainly known in India, seeing that he
    is and has for some time been the Secretary of State for India.
    Moreover he is connected by marriage with the Foreign Secretary,
    Earl Granville, for he married a Gower, the Earl's first cousin,
    while as the head of the Campbells he may claim cousinship with the
    Earl's second wife, Miss Campbell, of Islay, as well as with the
    Archbishop of Canterbury, whose mother was a Campbell."

[Sidenote: _Opposition to Royal Grants_]

When the question of the Princess's dowry and annuity came up in the
House of Commons early in 1871, Parliamentary opposition to Royal grants
reared its head, and _Punch's_ summary of the debate is worth quoting:--

    Mr. Gladstone, in a long speech, proposed, and Mr. Disraeli, with a
    gesture, seconded the proposal for granting £30,000 as dowry to
    Princess Louise, and £6,000 as H.R.H.'s annuity. There was loud
    acclamation from all parts of the House, and when Mr. Peter Taylor
    rose, hat in hand, to oppose the grant, the resolution had been
    carried. Here it may be convenient to add that, at a later stage,
    Mr. Taylor, rising amid groans from all sides, opposed the grant,
    and Sir Robert Peel expressed regret that a Princess had, by the
    advice of Ministers, been allowed to contract herself to the son of
    a Minister. Mr. Disraeli, as might be expected, treated the matter
    in a much more graceful way, paid a pleasant compliment to the
    Marquis of Lorne, and was glad that a Princess had accepted a
    Member of the House of Commons. Mr. Gladstone corrected Sir Robert,
    saying that deviation from the established rule of Royal marriage
    had been advised upon about eighteen months ago, and long before
    the engagement to the Marquis. The division was the most amusing
    which _Mr. Punch_ has ever chronicled. There were, for the grant,
    350; against it, 1. This unit was Mr. Fawcett, but there were
    really Three against the grant, namely, himself and two Tellers,
    Sir Charles Dilke and Mr. Peter Taylor. The Commons roared lustily,
    and the nation echoed the roar.

With a backing which though minute in numbers was strong in intellect,
it was not to be expected that this opposition would disappear. It was
again manifested over the grant to Prince Arthur in the same year, when
_Punch_ advised Sir Charles Dilke to renounce his title if he persisted
in his opposition to royalties, and in 1872 Shirley Brooks gives a
lively account of the debate on the proposed inquiry into the Civil List
on the night of March 19, when Mr. Gladstone treated Sir Charles Dilke
as Ulysses did Thersites:--

    Having demolished his man, our Ulysses sat down amid astounding
    cheers from the Opposition as well as from his own party. Then
    another Aristocrat followed in the wake of the Baronet. The
    Honourable Auberon Herbert announced his preference for a Republic.
    The row then set in fiercely, and _Mr. Punch_ inclines to draw a
    veil over proceedings that did not greatly redound to the credit of
    the House of Commons. It is true that they were an index of public
    opinion in the matter, but Parliament is expected to be decorous,
    and not to allow cock-crowing as an argument. Even the Gallic Cock
    could not have behaved worse. The Speaker said that the scene gave
    him great pain. Counts were attempted, and then strangers and
    reporters were excluded for an hour, and then there was a division
    on an attempt at adjournment--negatived by 261 to 23. Mr. Fawcett
    opposed the motion in a spirited and sensible speech, and denounced
    the mixing up the question of Republicanism with "huckstering and
    haggling over the cost of the Queen's household." Finally, there
    was division on the motion itself, and the voters for it, including
    Tellers, were three Aristocrats, namely, Baronets Dilke and Lawson,
    and Mr. Herbert, son of an Earl, and they had one friend, Mr.
    Anderson, of Glasgow. Against these Four were, without Tellers, Two
    Hundred and Seventy-Six. The House roared with laughter, and soon
    went away. The Republican attack on the Queen was about as
    contemptible as that by the lad who presented the flintless and
    empty pistol the other day; but in the latter case as in the
    former, the affair was one for the police, and Constable Gladstone
    A1, was quite equal to the occasion.

In the same number appears the cartoon, "Another Empty Weapon," in which
"Little Charley Dilke," with a large horse-pistol labelled "Motion," is
seized by the scruff of the neck by Constable Gladstone A1 as a Royal
State coach is passing by.

[Illustration: A FRENCH LESSON

BRITANNIA: "Is _that_ the sort of thing you want, you little idiot?"]

Dilke returned to the charge again on the marriage of Prince Alfred (the
Duke of Edinburgh) in 1874. How strongly _Punch_ felt on this point may
be gathered from the statement in the _Life of Sir Charles Dilke_ that
Shirley Brooks refused to meet him on account of his Republican
speeches. The subject may be dismissed for the present with the
excellent, if apocryphal, anecdote in rhyme which appeared in _Punch_
under the heading, "A Problem Solved":--

    About the Queen the Bart. C. Dilke
    Vents talk as acid as sour milk.
    _Punch_ wants to know if this be true
    Which, told to him, he tells to you--
    How a great Lady deigned to wonder
    At Charley's anti-Windsor thunder
    "His father was so kind and mild--
    I knew this gentleman a child:
    I've stroked his hair. I sometimes say
    I must have stroked it the wrong way."

The Albert Hall was opened on March 28, 1871, and the occasion is seized
to administer a comprehensive rebuke to those who found it easy to laugh
at the Queen, the Prince Consort, King Cole (Sir Henry Cole) and the
Kensington "Boilers." That there were grounds for discontent, and that
it was unwise to overlook the existence of industrial unrest, militant
Radicalism and Republicanism _Punch_ freely admits in the vigorous
doggerel entitled, "Looking Facts in the Face," in which he plays the
part of candid friend to Queen, Lords and Commons alike. After examining
the just causes for discontent at home, the activities of Bradlaugh and
Odger, and the ominous warnings furnished by the Commune and the spread
of the new doctrines of Karl Marx and the Internationalists, _Punch_

    So we, who don't hold that the world
      To come right must be set topsy-turvy,
    Those now at the helm from it hurled,
      And their place taken _crassâ Minervâ_,

    Had better look squalls in the face,
      Make snug for a douche and a drenching,
    And--Queen, Lords, and Commons--embrace
      The supports that will stand the most wrenching.

    Were I Queen, I'd not so play my _rôle_,
      As if bent to prove those right who flout me,
    And show, while folks pay the Crown toll,
      How well things can go on without me.

    Were I Lord, Folly's gales I would thwart,
      Not by spreading my sails, but by furling 'em:
    Nor expose my prestige to be caught
      In the traps of the Gun Club and Hurlingham.

    Were I in the Commons, I'd strive
      More than one Bill a Session to carry;
    Nor abreast all my 'buses to drive,
      Till all in a block have to tarry.

    As Queen, Lords, or Commons, in fine,
      My course by the chart were I making,
    I should take just the opposite line
      To that Queen, Lords, and Commons are taking.

This was the first time that Karl Marx was mentioned in _Punch_. As for
Odger, who is alluded to in the same verses, it may be recalled that at
a meeting at Leicester held in this autumn he was credited with the
statement that "me and my colleagues have resolved that the Prince of
Wales shall never ascend the throne."

[Sidenote: _Anti-Monarchical Sentiment_]

There was undoubtedly a strong wave of anti-monarchical sentiment in
England in 1871. It was not confined to agitators or extremists, but
found utterance in organs which represented moderate opinion. Lord
Morley in his _Life of Gladstone_ quotes from the _Pall Mall Gazette_ of
September 29, 1871, to illustrate the depth and wide range of this
discontent. He might very well have quoted _Punch_ also as documentary
evidence. _The Political History of England_ sums up the grounds of this
resentment among friendly critics not unfairly: "Ten years' seclusion
from social activity and public duty seemed an excessive indulgence in
the luxury of sorrow." The sympathy stirred by the Queen's illness in
September, 1871, marked the beginning of a reaction; the acute anxiety
"aroused by the dangerous illness of the Prince of Wales in the
following December, and the subsequent rejoicings on his recovery, did
much to improve the relations between Crown and people"; and _Punch_
quotes the Queen's message of thanks to the nation as the most
"acceptable Christmas gift which could have been bestowed on a loyal and
affectionate people." In the verses on the Thanksgiving Service in St.
Paul's on February 27 he is at pains to meet the sneers of those who
only saw:--

    A Queen, and Prince and Princess, and their Court,
      And coaches passing to St. Paul's to prayer;
    To settle scores with Heaven in stately sort:--
      A Show for once! and _our_ shows are so rare.

But the defensive tone is soon dropped for one of congratulation:

    Happy the Queen that can, love-guarded, go
      Still, through a prayerful capital, to pray
    Happy among these million hearts to know
      Not one but beats in tune with hers to-day.

It was reserved, however, for later historians to detect in the renewed
political activity of the Queen evidence of her distrust in the foreign
policy of Gladstone. Among the signs of the times which mark the close
of this period and the great Conservative revival which followed, few
are more curious than the cartoon headed, "A Brummagem Lion," inspired
by the visit to Birmingham of the Prince and Princess of Wales and the
courtesy displayed by Mr. Joseph Chamberlain as mayor, in spite of his
Radical proclivities.

[Illustration: A BRUMMAGEM LION]

The references to foreign potentates and their relations with the
British Court show little abatement of _Punch's_ old distrust and
hostility. Of the French Emperor's flying visit to Osborne in 1857 we
read that it was "strictly private--none but policemen were admitted."
The most friendly allusion to the Empress Eugénie refers to her having
ridden in an ordinary hansom cab during a visit to England _incog._ in
1860. For the rest she is repeatedly attacked for her extravagance in
dress, for dabbling in spiritualism, and for her interference in
politics and support of the Papal pretensions. "Everyone has his
oracle," says _Punch_ late in 1862.... "Didn't Numa Pompilius have his
Egeria? Why, then, shouldn't Pius have his Eugenia?" In the same year
she is abused for attending a bull-fight, and satirized in a cartoon
representing the Emperor as Hercules and the Empress as Omphale. _Punch_
waxes indignant at the patronage extended by the Emperor to the variety
stage in 1866, and wonders whether the infection will reach our Court.
But his imagination entirely failed to forecast the bestowal of
decorations on the heroes of the music-hall. We have moved since then. A
famous story is told of Queen Victoria in her later years sending an
Equerry to inquire the name of a lively air which had been played by
her Court band. The Equerry returned to say that it was a popular song
of the day. The Queen was dissatisfied and instructed him to find out
and let her know the words. The Equerry went back, returned and
proceeded to recite the classic stanza:--

    Come where the booze is cheaper;
      Come where the pots hold more;
    Come where the boss is a bit of a Joss,
      Come to the pub. next door.

There the story unfortunately ends, without the Queen's comment. But in
the pages of _Punch_ we read how in 1869, when the Constitutional
_régime_ had just been inaugurated in France under Emile Ollivier, the
programme of one of the Queen's State concerts included "Heaven Preserve
the Emperor, with variations," which prompts _Punch_ to ask, "Would not
this do for the French National Anthem?" In 1865 _Punch_ devoted a
cartoon to commemorate the completion of fifty years of peace between
England and France, and in 1869 another on the centenary of the first
Napoleon. With the catastrophe of 1870, Sedan and its sequel of exile
and suffering, _Punch's_ hostility changed to compassion, and his _In
memoriam_ verses on the Emperor, though too laboured and too frequently
disfigured by inversions to attain to the dignity of poetry, form one of
the best of contemporary summaries and estimates of the career and
character of the dead ruler:--

    Already scores of ready penmen draft
      Of his life's course to power their bird's-eye view,
    Through poverty and perjury and craft,
      And redder stains that the blurred track imbrue.

    Let whoso will count of his faults the cost,
      And point a moral in his saddened end;
    This is the thought in England uppermost--
      He who has died among us, lived our friend.

    If sinners may by suffering, too, be shriven,
      What penance those lost years had to sustain!
    The sting of fall and failure deeper driven
      By the dull stroke of slow and sleepless pain.

       *       *       *       *       *

    The time to weigh him fairly is not now;
      Nor are the true weights any France can bring:
    That sprang to fix the crown upon his brow,
      And her own neck beneath his feet to fling.

    Heavily both have answered for their sin:
      Nor did the Emperor heavier fall undo,
    Than France, that backed him still while he could win,
      Nor turned against him till the luck turned too.[13]

    But now 'tis England, and not France that stands
      Silent beside an Exile's dying bed,
    Mindful of kindness received by his hands,
      Sorrowing with those that sorrow for their dead.

[Sidenote: _French Emperor and Prussian King_]

_Punch_, as was made clear in the previous volume, was no lover of
Prussian rule. On the eve of the war on Denmark he published a truly
ferocious attack on King Wilhelm:--


Air--"The Standard Bearer."

    I am a King; I reign by Right Divine,
      As did my sires some hundred years before me;
    Howe'er their crown was got, I came to mine,
      Obey me then, O people, and adore me.

    My seat I plant upon mine ancient Throne,
      And order back the waves of Revolution.
    My will the law, I sit supreme, alone,
      My footstool is the Prussian Constitution.

    Tsar Alexander's cause mine own I've made,
      Regardless of the blame of any journal.
    To crush the Poles I render him my aid;
      Help him enforce his discipline paternal.

    I lend a hand to catch the runaway,
      The fugitive hand over to the slaughter;
    And, on my mind, whatever you may say
      Makes no more mark than what blows leave in water.

    I'm called the Hangman's Cad, and I don't care
      For that dishonourable appellation.
    I carry Poland's garbage to the Bear,
      Serene amid the loudest execration.

    My mind is bent on arbitrary rule;
      In policy I copy my late Brother.
    If you presume to say he was a fool,
      You'll very likely dare call me another.

Hostility to Prussia did not abate in the succeeding years, and in 1866
indignation is expressed at a rumour that the Queen was about to visit
Germany. A general friendliness towards King Victor Emmanuel did not
prevent _Punch_ from insinuating that he had sold his birthright to the
French Emperor, and from expressing the fear that Sardinia as well as
Savoy would be ceded to France. The most that can be said of his
treatment of the Tsar Alexander II is that it was not quite so
vehemently hostile as that meted out to his father. As early as January,
1862, we read that "the Russian Empire, with its body of brass and its
feet of clay, will, if it does not take care, be requiring some support
some day, to keep it up, on account of the extreme 'weakness of its

The annals of Royalty, outside England, certainly afforded little scope
for admiration. But the year 1865 was enlivened by a humorous instance
of misplaced monarchical ambition. The King of Abyssinia, who had
detained certain British subjects as prisoners, "was said to have
favoured Queen Victoria with an offer of marriage, and to have
imprisoned her lieges in revenge for her non-appreciation of his dusky

[Footnote 13: _Punch_ notes that not a single shop was closed in Paris
on the day of the Emperor's funeral.]


From a variety of causes, most of which have been already discussed,
reformers, humanitarians and critics of the established order generally
display less resentment and acrimony throughout the mid-Victorian
period. We have already hinted that the mellowing of _Punch's_ temper
may have been due in part to the death of Douglas Jerrold. But the fact
remains that _Punch_ had already begun to find less incentive to and
less excuse for the _saeva indignatio_ which animated his earlier
tirades against the aristocracy, and the selfish detachment of the
titled classes. The spectacle of the Cream of Society disporting
themselves at Cremorne to the exclusion of the general public is
satirized in 1858, but the satire is tempered by the admission that this
aristocratic "jamboree" was organized for a charitable purpose and
brought in substantial proceeds. An analysis of the special butts of
_Punch's_ satire reveals the interesting fact that, while not enjoying a
complete immunity from criticism, the dukes are not only displaced from
their unenviable pre-eminence, they almost disappear as targets for
invective. We find attacks on the promotion of "well-connected
politicians" _à propos_ of Lord Clanricarde's appointment as Privy Seal
in 1858; and verses in the same year on the worship of the peerage, with
"John Bull loves a lord" as text, but the flunkeydom of the Press is
already a far less frequent theme of scarifying comment. _Punch's_
favourite occupation as the reviler of "Jenkins" was gone by the
'sixties, but snobbery in high places was not dead. Sir Benjamin Brodie,
Sergeant-Surgeon to William IV and Queen Victoria, had been made a
baronet in 1834; in 1858, when he was President of the Royal Society,
there was some talk of his being made a peer, and _Punch_ in December of
that year bitterly attacked the influences and prejudices which he
believed were effectual in preventing the bestowal of the honour.

[Illustration: EXCLUSIVENESS

HOST: "Nice party, ain't it, Major Le Spunger? 'Igh and low, rich and
poor--_most_ people are welcome to _this_ 'ouse! This is 'Liberty 'All,'
_this_ is! No false pride or 'umbug about _me_! I'm a self-made man, _I_

THE MAJOR: "Very nice party, indeed, Mr. Shoddy! How proud your father
and mother must feel! Are _they_ here?"

HOST: "Well, no! 'Ang it all, you know, one _must_ draw the line

[Sidenote: _Peers and Commerce_]

The reign of the old nobility, however, was not merely threatened by
outspoken criticism. The situation crystallized in the title of the
play, _New Men and Old Acres_, was already a real thing; prosperous
cotton-spinners were beginning to buy estates; by 1865 _Punch_ was
contrasting the new representatives of the landed interest with their
feudal predecessors--very much to the disadvantage of the former--and by
the 'seventies the contrast was a favourite theme of Du Maurier.
Simultaneously the converse tendency of the aristocracy to go into trade
is noted, but with little sympathy. Thus we find in 1863 the prospectus
of the Noble Hotel-keepers' Association (Limited) headed by a list of
parasitic peers, including the Duke of Dangleton, the Duke of Dawdleton,
the Duke of Diddleton, the Marquis of Hardupton, the Earl of Toadington,
Viscount Ortolan, the Lord Verisopht, Sir Lionel Rattlecash, Bart., and
so on; and a double-page cartoon shows the scene in the coffee-room of
one of the Hotels in which "gents" of different types are being waited
on by coronetted and bewhiskered peers. Greed rather than business
capacity is indicated as the characteristic of the new recruits of
commerce, and the annals of the last fifty years have furnished
disastrous and even tragic examples of the results of this titled
invasion of the City. Experience has shown that on the whole it is safer
to gain a peerage by success in commerce than to exploit a peerage as a
short cut to making money.

[Illustration: AN INVESTMENT

"Tell me, my dear, who's that little man they all seem so dotingly fond

"_That_, Uncle? Oh, that's Lord Alberic Lackland!"

"Well, he's not much to look at!"

"No, poor fellow! But he's awfully hard up, and Mamma always likes to
have a lord at her dances, so Papa gives him ten guineas to come--that
is, _lends_ it, you know--and a guinea extra for every time my brother
Bob calls him _Ricky_!"]

Commercialism in high places offended _Punch's_ notion of _noblesse
oblige_. Much the same sentiment inspired his vehement protest against
our selling the house in which Napoleon died at St. Helena for 180,000
francs: "We have an especial dislike to this traffic in a great man's
grave. It is turning the funeral urn into a money-box with a
vengeance--the vengeance of a miserly shopkeeper." On the other hand,
complaints of extravagance and waste, though not so strident as of late
years, are freely uttered in connexion with official dinners or loyal
demonstrations--for example, when the Prince and Princess of Wales
visited Chester in 1869, the Mayor's subscription alone amounted to

In the domain of Commerce and Economics no movement in the Victorian age
was more fruitful of results than that of co-operation. But a history of
the system which began with Owen, took concrete shape in the famous
venture of the Rochdale Pioneers in 1844--twenty-eight working men with
a capital of £38--and led to the multiplication of Workmen's
Co-operative Societies all over the country, is outside the limits of
this survey. The movement came from below; _Punch_ was mainly if not
entirely interested in its development as it affected the well-to-do
classes by the establishment of "the Stores," and their competition with
retail shops, and in the grievances of purchasers and their servants who
had to carry their parcels home--grievances which reach their climax in
the year 1868. In other words, he approaches the subject as an
irresponsible social satirist, not as a student of economics. His pages
only show the froth of the movement, not its deep underlying current.
So, too, with the cult of Social Science. The periodic Congresses
furnished him in the main with matter for chaff, though in 1858 he
appeals to the moral engineers of the Social Science Association to
devise some means of utilizing "social sewage"--swindlers, fraudulent
bankers and trustees. The shortcomings of British cookery always found
in _Punch_ a candid critic, but he had no sympathy for those journalists
who sought to remedy the deficiency by the publication of elaborate and
expensive daily _menus_. Such instruction was a mockery to the poor who
had not enough to eat, and did not know how to cook the little they had.

[Sidenote: _Banting and "Hydros"_]

An interesting treatise might be written on Victorian diseases and their
remedies. The worship of pastime, exercise and athletics was still in
its infancy; whatever its drawbacks, it has undoubtedly given a new
lease of life to the middle-aged. Obesity, due in great measure to
over-eating and lack of exercise, was the nightmare of the well-to-do,
and, if proof be required of the statement, one need only refer to the
success of the movement initiated by Banting. Inasmuch as he was a
fashionable undertaker--he was responsible for the construction of the
Duke of Wellington's funeral car--there was an element of
disinterestedness in his efforts to promote longevity. He was also a
living example of the virtue of his method, for he reduced himself many
stones in weight by the use of non-fat-producing foods. "He had a
whalebone frame made to fit his once large waistcoats and coats, and
wore the whole over his reduced size--removing this armour to produce a
full effect."[14] His famous letter to the Press "On Corpulence" rang
through the land: his name was a household word in the 'sixties, and he
enriched our vocabulary with a noun and verb which are enshrined in the
classic pages of the _New English Dictionary_, though they are
practically unknown to the Georgian generation. Hustle and exercise and
nerves have removed the evil against which he warred, and in an age in
which excessive bulk is a rarity, the name of Banting has passed into
semi-oblivion. But _Punch's Almanack_ for 1864 is full of it and him,
and for a good many years Banting was as familiar in the mouths of men
as Pussyfoot is to-day.

The campaign against over-indulgence was not confined to an attack on
starch, fat and sugar. In the 'fifties hydropathy had come to stay, and
in the 'sixties hydropathic establishments were to be found all over the
British islands and in America, though the abbreviation of "hydro" was
not introduced till later. Fortunes were made--and lost--in these
institutions, and they still exist, though some of the most sumptuous
"hydros" have undergone curious vicissitudes and conversions. One of the
best known of all was used as a girls' school during the War. But the
rigour of the water-cure treatment was only enforced in the early years
of the movement; proprietors gradually realized that it did not pay to
run their establishments as uncomfortable hospitals, and with a laxer
administration the whole system fell somewhat into discredit. The
convivial _Punch_ never smiled on it, as may be gathered from the
verses he printed in March, 1869, when hydropathy was still in its
prime, on "Sound Port and Principles." They must not, however, be taken
to represent _Punch's_ own views, for he was no lover of guzzling. The
poem is really a satire, but it is partly inspired by _Punch's_
inveterate dislike of the teetotal fanatics.

[Footnote 14: See "Bant" in _Passing English of the Victorian Era_, by
J. Redding Ware.]

Surgery was active, though the days of appendicitis and adenoids were
still a long way off. _Punch_, however, was more interested in mental
maladies and the pathology of the social system. The Victorian age had
no monopoly of superstition and credulity, but prophets and
spiritualists and diviners reaped a rich harvest in the 'fifties and
'sixties. The comet of 1857 caused a good deal of anxiety, so much so,
that in December of that year an insolvent butcher gave as a reason for
his failure "the loss he had sustained in June, when the comet was
expected, by a large quantity of meat being spoilt." Dr. Cumming was
assiduous in prophesying the end of the world, but unfortunately _Punch_
ascertained that the doctor had renewed the lease of his house for fifty
years, and the prophet's defence of his action did not mend matters:--

    _Mr. Punch_ finds in a Liverpool journal the following part of a
    lecture which Dr. Cumming has been delivering on Prophecy:--

    "He had been, he said, taunted in the columns of _Punch_ with
    having, notwithstanding his belief that the world was to come to an
    end in 1867, recently renewed the lease of his cottage for 50
    years. The accusation, he said, although not literally, was
    generally true, but his answer to it was, that a belief in prophecy
    should not override commonsense. The doctor was frequently
    applauded throughout his eloquent lecture."

    And by no person should he have been applauded more loudly than by
    _Mr. Punch_, if that gentleman had had the good fortune to be in
    the schoolroom at Claughton, where the lecture is reported to have
    been delivered. The last quoted sentence is so admirably frank that
    _Mr. Punch_ cannot withhold his tribute of veneration. In other
    words, although it is all very well, in the way of business, to
    work the old Hebrew scrolls, which boil down into capital stock for
    the rather thin yet spicy soup vended by our Doctor, he has no
    notion of eating his own cookery. We wish we were as certain of our
    friend's orthography as we are of his commonsense, and would give a
    trifle (say the next three hundred Tupperian sonnets) to know
    whether, in his private ledger, he does not spell Prophets as
    worldly people spell the opposite of Losses.


MR. FOXER (a medium): "Oh, dear! There's a spirit named Walker writing
on my arm!"]

[Sidenote: "_Diviners and Dupes_"]

The chief exploiters of credulity, however, were to be found in the
ranks of spiritualists, mediums, clairvoyantes and professional
somnambulists. Men of science still held aloof from this traffic with
the unseen, and its terminology was crude, but the methods and results
were strangely familiar. Spirit drawings, forerunners of spirit
photographs, are mentioned as early as 1857. Under the heading of
"Diviners and Dupes" _Punch_ deals harshly with the advertisements of
the clairvoyantes and diviners, and once more returns to his familiar
complaint against the harrying of humble fortune-tellers while
fashionable impostors escaped:--

    The gipsies are hardly dealt with in being convicted as rogues and
    vagabonds for telling fortunes by the cards or the palm of the
    hand, whilst practitioners in Clairvoyance get their hands crossed
    with silver, or with postage-stamps, with perfect impunity. There
    is clearly one law for the Romany, and another for Somnambulists.

David Dunglas Home, born near Edinburgh, of Scottish parents, and
descended on his mother's side from a family supposed to be gifted with
second sight, returned in 1856 from America where he had spent his youth
and early manhood, and in 1860, when he was at the zenith of his fame,
elicited a scoffing tribute from _Punch_ under the heading, "Home, Great
Home." The first stanza of this poem, which is accompanied by a picture
representing a spirit hand placing a wreath on the head of a lady with a
goose's head, refers to Home's famous feats of "levitation" or rising in
the air as if impelled by some unknown force. _Punch_ was stubbornly
sceptical of the whole business. But if any medium ever deserved the
title of "great" it was Home. Did he not inspire Browning to write his
famous "Sludge, the Medium"--though Mrs. Browning is said to have been a
believer? Anyhow, the list of his converts is too remarkable to justify
_Punch's_ contemptuous disparagement. It included Dr. Robert Chambers,
Dr. Lockhart Robertson, the editor of the _Journal of Mental Science_,
John Elliotson, a distinguished physiologist, S. C. Hall, the Earl of
Crawford and Balcarres, F.R.S., the Earl of Dunraven, and the late Sir
William Crookes, F.R.S. Home was received into the Church of Rome and
had an audience of the Pope in 1856, and eight years later was expelled
from Rome as a sorcerer--a tremendous testimony to his powers. He
married twice into the Russian _noblesse_, his first wife being a
god-daughter of the Tsar Nicholas, and he gave repeated _séances_ before
his son Alexander II. The infatuation of the Russian Court for
wonder-workers and miracle-mongers was hereditary, and of late years
became tragically notorious, but Home was received with equal favour by
the King of Prussia, the Emperor and Empress of the French, and the
Queen of Holland. The "Spiritual Athenæum" (no connexion, need one say,
with the august institution at the corner of Pall Mall) which he founded
in 1866 had but a short life, and the gift of £60,000, which he received
from a rich widow, was revoked as the result of a Chancery suit, the
lady alleging he had obtained it by spiritual influence. But we have it
on the authority of the D.N.B. that he "was not a professional medium,
and scrupulously abstained from taking money for his _séances_," which
answers _Punch's_ sneer at his lucrative traffic with spirits. The
writer of the notice concludes with the words, "his history presents a
curious and unsolved problem." Taken all round, he was by far the most
remarkable personality in spiritualistic circles in the nineteenth
century, and "imagination's widest stretch" fails to shadow forth the
influence he might have exerted had he flourished sixty years later. Let
us be thankful that he lived when he did, and freely own that, if an
impostor, he was an impostor of genius and emphatically not a Rasputin.

[Sidenote: _Mediums and Faith-healers_]

Alongside of Home's manifestations, the exploits of other Victorian
mediums dwindle into insignificance. But they furnished _Punch_ with
food for ridicule, as when the Nottingham spiritualists in 1863
suggested the writing of a new Bible from their direct revelations; or
when an American clairvoyante published, and distributed in Great
Britain, her claims to having made "the greatest discovery ever made,"
viz., "Mediation Writing, direct to and from the spirit world, in One
Minute, without any mechanism, except Pen, Ink and Paper." Her claim to
have communicated with Shakespeare gave _Punch_ a special opportunity,
for it was the year of the Tercentenary, and the Bard of Avon must have
had the whole history of the squabbles which beset that luckless
undertaking inflicted upon him by the American lady. More interesting to
us, however, is the reference to success achieved by legitimate
conjurers in imitating the manifestations of spiritualists. For in 1860
the late Mr. Maskelyne had already exposed the Davenport Brothers, and
greatly surpassed any feats they had accomplished in the way of
levitation and the materializing of spirit forms. But _populus vult
decipi: decipiatur_; and the game went on. Home was much in evidence in
1870 in the provinces and in Belgravian drawing-rooms, flying "by
miracle up to the ceiling, And carrying hot coals on pate or palm, no
inconvenience feeling." And in the same year there appeared Dr. Newton,
an American faith-healer, or "healing medium," as he was called,

      ... Out-Homing Home, and curing folks' diseases,
    Giving blind and dumb, and deaf and halt, eyes, ears, tongues, legs
      as he pleases;
    By laying his hands upon them, and bidding their ailments begone,
    And doing it all for love, and not money--the downy one!
    And for all our march of intellect, and our monarchy of mind,
    There's never a Reynard the Fox, but he draws his tail of fools
    And there's never a quack that quacks, but he finds green geese to
      echo his quacking,
    And never a swindler that lowers his trawl, and finds the flat fish

[Illustration: "THE OLD MAN OF THE SEA"

SINBAD (as representing the British Public): "I can't be expected to
attend to any of _you_, with this 'Interesting Topic' on my shoulders!"]

As Dr. Newton professed to cure diseases partly by mesmerism, partly by
the aid of "disembodied assistants," the spiritualist newspapers waxed
lyrical in his praise, while _Punch_ contented himself with pointing out
the entire absence of any expert verification of his alleged miracles.

If it almost amounted to a privilege to be imposed on by so splendid and
well-connected an impostor as Home, the famous Tichborne case exhibited
Victorian credulity in a less favourable light. Home's influence was
confined to the well-to-do, even well-educated dupes. Though he toured
the provinces, lectured and read poetry with considerable acceptance, he
was most in his element among the "classes" and in Belgravia. The
Claimant's appeal was far wider: he was the hero of the masses and of
all the great army of the half-baked. Yet the element of romance was not
wanting: there is always something "arresting," as the moderns say, in
the emergence of a missing heir; everything connected with the business
was on a huge scale--beginning with the physique of the Claimant
himself, who weighed twenty-four stone--and at its worst it was far
removed from the squalors of "Brides in Bath" and other modern trials.
The unshaken belief of the Dowager Lady Tichborne was a great asset; the
extraordinary astuteness of Orton in veiling his colossal ignorance and
turning the hints of his cross-examiners to good account extorted
reluctant admiration even from those most convinced of his guilt. There
never was a greater example of the saying that "one lie is the father of
many." The force of circumstances was too strong for him. It is
generally believed that he would have abandoned his claim long before
the first trial but for the pressure of his creditors. He was a
seven-years incubus on England, but throughout the whole affair he
showed a sort of perverted bulldog tenacity which accounted largely for
his popularity.

The notices in _Punch_ begin early in 1867 when, in an illustrated
chronicle of the previous month, one of the entries reads, "Sir Roger
Tichborne arrived from Australia, after many years absence, and was at
once recognized as 'the rightful heir.'" The crescendo of excitement and
interest went on for nearly four years before the case came into court.
The first action opened on May 11, 1871, and two months later _Punch_
bore witness to its devastating influence on social life:--


    _Vox Clamantis in Deserto:_
    "_Tichborne--Orton--quid refert, O!_"

    Who, this side the Channel Ditch born,
    Can escape the talk of Tichborne?
    What would I not give in payment,
    To hear no more of "the Claimant"!
    Sure as Death to poor or rich born,
    Comes the inevitable Tichborne,
    Till with cursing, like a raiment,
    One is fain to clothe "the Claimant."
    To what realm, by wind or witch borne,
    Can I flee from talk of Tichborne?
    Was life to July from May meant,
    To be given up to "the Claimant"?
    Patient I've seen ache and stitch borne,
    But what's that to talk of Tichborne?
    O, ye Doctors, make essayment
    Of some cure for chatt'ring Claimant,
    Worse to kill than grass called twitch born,
    The still springing talk of Tichborne.
    All ask what his little game meant:
    All are pro or con "the Claimant."

       *       *       *       *       *

    Unto boredom's highest niche borne,
    There enshrine the name of Tichborne;
    Crest: two tongues, approuvant, blamant--
    Motto: "Rogerne an Arthur Claimant?"

[Sidenote: "_Poor, Persecuted Sir Roger_"]

When, after 102 days' hearing, the jury declined to hear any further
evidence on March 5, 1872, _Punch_ joyfully recorded "the collapse of
an audacious attempt at robbery, supported by one of the most cruel and
dastardly slanders ever devised by rogues in council," and rejoiced in
the thought that the folks who lent money in aid of the scheme (by
investing in Tichborne bonds) had lost it all. The same number contains
a cartoon bearing the inscription, "The Monster Slain," showing _Punch_
saluting Sir John Coleridge, who is standing, armed with the Sword of
British Justice, on the prostrate form of the Claimant disguised as a
dragon. To the dragon _Punch_ gave the name of "The Waggawock"--a
"portmanteau-word" compounded of Wagga-Wagga (where the claimant had
lived in Australia) and Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwock," and proceeded to
dress that prophetic and mystical poem in plain English.


JEAMES: "I'm afraid, me Lady, I'll require to leave you."

LADY: "Why?"

JEAMES: "Well, me Lady, I can't agree with Master's suckasms against
that poor, persecuted Sir Roger."]

_Punch's_ "chortling" was a trifle premature: two years had yet to
elapse before England was finally rid of her "old man of the sea." In
April, 1872, we find a picture representing a flunkey giving notice to
his mistress, and when asked for his reason saying, "Well, me Lady, I
can't agree with Master's suckasms against that poor, persecuted Sir
Roger." The egregious Mr. Whalley, M.P. for Peterborough, at a meeting
of 3,000 supporters of the claimant held at Southampton in June, spoke
vehemently in his defence. There is a statue of Dr. Watts in Southampton
Park, and _Punch_ suggested that if these admirers decided to erect one
to "Sir Roger" by its side, they should sing, at its unveiling, one of
Watts' _Divine and Moral Songs_ which begins:--

    O 'tis a pleasant thing for youth
      To walk betimes in wisdom's way--
    To fear a lie, to speak the truth
      That we may trust to all they say.

The "Waggawock" was not really slain until February 28, 1874, when after
a second gigantic trial lasting 188 days, the claimant was found guilty
of perjury and sentenced to fourteen years' penal servitude. But his
backers, mortified by the loss of the money they had invested in him,
lent a ready ear to those, like Whalley, who ascribed the persecution to
a Jesuit conspiracy. The agitation did not subside until Dr. Kenealy,
who had led for the defence, who had been disbarred for breaches of
professional etiquette, and was returned to Parliament to advocate the
claimant's cause, was defeated by 433 votes to 1 on his motion to refer
the conduct of the trial and the guilt or innocence of the prisoner to a
Royal Commission. The Tichborne case remains for all time a rich
treasure-house of materials for psychologists interested in the _Esprit
de la Foule_; _Punch_ in his punning days would have spelt the last word
differently. It also furnishes a conspicuous and ignoble example of the
insular detachment which prevailed in a period of "splendid isolation"
and non-intervention. At the time when France, beaten to the dust, was
agonizing in the throes of the Commune, England was preoccupied and
obsessed by this gross and impudent pretender. He certainly made, and
unmade, reputations at the Bar and left behind one immortal translation
in the course of the cross-examination designed to test his knowledge
of the classics--"The Laws of God for Ever" for _Laus Deo Semper_--but
he was a national nuisance as well as a criminal, for he not only ruined
himself but discredited thousands of his countrymen whose credulity had
been reinforced by greed.

[Sidenote: _Sport and Pastime_]

The craze for sensational or dangerous exhibitions so frequently rebuked
by _Punch_ in connexion with the performances of Blondin and his
imitators cannot be regarded as a specially Victorian weakness. Over
pugilism and prize-fighting, as illustrated by the historic contest
between Heenan and Sayers in 1860, he could wax enthusiastic. Sayers, by
the way, was alleged to have earned £85,000 in one year, a sum which
compares not unfavourably with the gains of modern champions. It was an
age of non-intervention, but more robust in the expression of likes and
dislikes, passions and prejudices, and in some respects less humane or
refined in its pleasures. Sporting wagers which resulted in the riding
of horses to death were growing rarer but had not altogether died out.
The noble pastime of Alpine climbing was already established in 1858,
but the combined attractions of healing waters and gambling tables were
a more potent attraction to wearied legislators of the gilded breed. The
manners of the British traveller were not always above reproach, and
_Punch_ in his Almanack for that year, employs his ironical method to
explain our unpopularity:--


    Because they are always so careful to abstain from either word or
    action, which, in any way, might hurt the feelings of a foreigner.

    Because they never institute odious comparisons between things in
    general abroad and those they've left at home, unless indeed it is
    to the disparagement of the latter.

    Because they never brag about the "freedom of a British subject,"
    in countries which are under a despotic form of government.

    Because they speak so fluently in any continental language, and
    always are so affable when publicly accosted by a stranger, and so
    ready at all times to enter into conversation with those they may
    be travelling with.

    Because they don't bawl for beer at a first-class table d'hôte, nor
    make wry faces at the wine as though it disagreed with them.

    Because they never in the least let trifles put them out, and
    however much they are annoyed they do their utmost to conceal it,
    instead of (as has been maliciously asserted) seizing with delight
    on every opportunity to give their temper vent, and express
    themselves dissatisfied with everything that's done for them.

    Because whatever provocation they may think they have received,
    they are so careful not to let strong language pass their lips; and
    so far from making extracts from the Commination Service, are never
    heard to use an exclamation more forcible than "Dear me!" or "Now
    really, how provoking!"

A few years later _Punch_ took up the cudgels on the other side, but the
rebuke here administered was undoubtedly deserved. Foreign travel,
however, was restricted by the passport trouble in 1858, and _Punch_ saw
in the restriction a chance for the native hotel-keeper, if he would
only reduce his charges.

It was not exactly a temperate age. Heavy meals and copious potations
play an important part in Dickens's novels; and a great many men ate and
drank a great deal more than was good for them. Abernethy's method of
dealing with the voracious Alderman might still have been profitably
followed by Victorian practitioners. But we say "men" advisedly, for
there is no evidence that women gorged and guzzled, certainly none to
support the fantastic account of English dinner parties given by a
French writer and reproduced in 1861 by _Punch_ with characteristic

    "At a dinner party the ladies retire into another room, after
    having partaken very moderately of wine; and while the gentlemen
    empty bottles of Port, Madeira, Claret and Champagne, it is a
    constant habit among the ladies to empty bottles of brandy."

[Sidenote: _The National Type_]

The extract is taken from a book on _Les Anglais, Londres et
L'Angleterre_, with an introduction by no less eminent an authority than
M. Emile de Girardin, who vouched for its accuracy. According to the
writer the English cared for nothing but roast beef, porter, and
spirits. They were "averse to contemplation," had not the remotest
conception of grace or feeling, their "climate, coarse food, and black
drink being utterly opposed to any mental refinement. To possess taste
it is necessary to possess soul, and a large soul; and the English
possess nothing but appetite." It was a gross libel, but the
misconception was mutual, and _Punch_ had done a great deal to foster it
by his persistent representation of the "Mossoo" as a mere figure of
fun. And let it never be forgotten that the notion of the English as a
gross and crapulous race was in great measure due to our caricaturists,
Gillray and Rowlandson, and even Hogarth. We chose the beefy, burly,
sixteen-stone top-booted farmer as the national type, and we have
retained it long after "John Bull" ceased to be typical of the breed
physically. It became a caricature, but we have only ourselves to blame
if foreign artists caricatured our own caricature. The process of the
mutual discovery of France and England has moved far since the 'sixties,
and has reached its climax (on the French side) in _Les Silences du
Colonel Bramble_, by our good friend M. André Maurois--a work recently
described by Mr. H. A. L. Fisher as "the best psychological study of the
English character ever written by a foreigner."

[Illustration: Brougham Drives Up--Two Ladies in Toxophilite Costume on
the Box, One Driving--Pair of Top-booted Legs Sticking Out of Window.

DRIVING LADY (loq.): "Oh, Frank, dear, only fancy, George has got so
tipsy at the Archery Meeting, that we've been obliged to put him inside,
and drive home ourselves--and poor Clara has pinched her fingers
dreadfully putting on the drag, coming down Blunsden Hill!"]

The social history of any period may be studied in its lions, and, if
the truth be told, in 1861 Du Chaillu and the Gorilla loom larger than
Darwin in the pages of _Punch_, though the _Origin of Species_ is
described as "a book of much worth." _Punch_ was not much interested in
the theological controversy involved, though he naturally made play
later on with Disraeli's famous "Apes and Angels" speech at Oxford.
Disraeli was dubbed the new "Angelical Doctor," and in a famous cartoon
is exhibited as dressing for an Oxford _bal masqué_, with a contemptuous
set of verses on his bewildering versatility, his impartial hostility to
Tractarians and Broad Churchmen, winding up with the warning:--

    Yet scarce the best mimes can from Nature escape,
      And what's simious to saintly brooks change ill;
    Have a care lest thou then should be most of the ape,
      When most bent on enacting the Angel.

Another and earlier poem is mainly concerned with the lively disputes
that broke out between Huxley and Owen and between rival geologists. Du
Chaillu's claims were hotly contested; his book was treated by some
critics as a collection of traveller's tales, and his meridional
exuberance of manner and diction inspired scepticism among some cautious
scientists. But _Punch_ espoused his cause--attracted, no doubt, by his
championship of Livingstone--promoted the gorilla to the rank of the
"Lion of the Season" in May, 1861, and in due course of time Du
Chaillu's veracity was substantially confirmed by later explorers.


"The question is, Is man an ape or an angel? (_A laugh._) Now, I am on
the side of the angels." (_Cheers._)--

Mr. Disraeli's _Oxford Speech, Nov. 25, 1864_.]

There were lionesses as well as lions in the 'sixties, and the year 1864
was marked by a new and momentous apparition--that of the American woman
of fashion. Hitherto America had sent us only social and dress
reformers, but the arrival of the "elegant and fascinating American
young lady" was an event which did not escape the vigilance of _Punch_.
The War was still raging, and, as we know, he regarded the antagonists
with almost equal disfavour; but towards these fair New Yorkers he bore
no hostility, and no fewer than three pictures, all by Leech, do justice
to their charm while the legends emphasize the "pretty little
Americanisms" of their speech. It is a welcome change from the
consistent disparagement of their brothers and fathers from Lincoln
downwards. But the great lion of 1864 was Garibaldi, who was given the
freedom of the City of London and greeted everywhere with the enthusiasm
which he deserved. It was this visit that gave rise to one of
Palmerston's characteristic sayings. Someone suggested that they ought
to find Garibaldi an English wife, and someone else observed that he had
already got an Italian one, whereupon Pam cheerfully remarked, "O that
doesn't matter. We'll get Gladstone to explain her away."


ENGLISHMAN (to fair New Yorker): "May I have the pleasure of dancing
with you?"

DARLING: "I guess you may--for I calc'late that if I sit much longer
here, _I shall be taking root!_"]

[Sidenote: _Baker and Stanley_]

Sir Samuel Baker, who returned from his adventurous and fruitful
explorations in Central Africa in October, 1865, with his heroic wife
and companion of his travels, was the hero of that year, and the lion
of the winter of 1873, after his successful but arduous campaign against
the slave-traders of the Equatorial Nile basin. In 1866, after Baker was
knighted, _Punch_ printed a poem of congratulation to the heroic pair,
winding up with the lines:--

    Three cheers for the Knight and the Lady so brave,
      If Echo's asleep let us lustily wake her;
    For none are more worthy of shout and of stave,
      Than the Two who ennoble the old name of Baker.


Stanley, whose historic "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?" when he found the
great missionary-explorer at Ujiji, had been duly chronicled by _Punch_
in July, 1872, found himself famous on his arrival in London later in
the year. He was, however, a somewhat intractable lion, and the
criticisms of the geographical pundits caused him to roar in a rather
formidable fashion. Still he received many gratifying proofs of
recognition for his great services. He was entertained at Dunrobin
Castle by the Duke of Sutherland; his book and lectures brought him in a
handsome sum; and the Queen sent him a gold snuffbox set with

[Sidenote: _The Shah-in-Shah_]

The last of the lions of this period was the Shah. The lion-hunting of
Royalties was always offensive to _Punch_; it is frequently castigated
throughout this period, and here it reached a pitch which moved "the
Democritus of Fleet Street" to explosions of sardonic and mirthless
laughter. There is true satire in the bitter lines headed, "The Shah's
Impressions," in the issue of July 12, 1873:--

    Yes! Shah-in-Shah in truth I must be
    Or why this fuss of the Feringhee?[15]
    Why all these hosts my steps that crowd,
    With bows so low and cheers so loud?
    If the Inglees Queen, so great among princes
    All this respect for me evinces;
    If the Tsarevitch, when I appear
    Falls flat as the flattest of bitter beer;
    If all these Wuzeers[16] and Aghas, and Khans,
    For me spend their time and their tomauns[17];
    Their parks and their palaces lay at my feet,
    Muster for me their army and fleet
    And their miles upon miles of merchant ships;
    If without their ferashes[18] and their whips,
    Manchester gathers and Liverpool runs,
    With voices of men and thunder of guns,
    To the light of the face of the Shah-in-Shah,
    As unto the amber is drawn the straw;
    All this is proof in more than words,
    I am King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

    They told me in leaving Teheran,
    Danger of eating dirt I ran,--
    That out of the realms of the Shah-in-Shah
    I should find rulers called Light and Law.
    May the graves of their mothers be defiled
    That fain with such bosh had their Shah beguiled!
    For the more of these Feringhee Kaffirs[19] I've known,
    The whiter to me my face has grown.
    I've seen the land calls the Russki lord,
    And there the rulers are Stick and Sword;
    To the land of the Prusski when I came,
    The tongue was changed, but the rule the same:
    The stars on the coats may be sown more thick,
    But the Prusski's Shah-in-Shah is Stick!
    And here in the land of the Inglees
    They live and move but the Shah to please.
    If my diamonds are as the sun in the skies,
    What is the brightness of my eyes?
    As in this land there is no sun,
    They make a daylight instead of one.
    The Queen from her palace for me retires
    To Teheran binding it with wires.
    Here's Sutherland Beg[20] makes his palace mine,
    And all but bids skies for me to shine.
    At the Crystal Palace, Effendi Grove
    With the rain itself for my pleasure strove,
    And out of the water brought the fire
    To compass the Shah-in-Shah's desire.
    In a wonderful land of wax I've been,
    And _houris_ fairer than Heaven I've seen;
    To the Inglees Bank a visit I've paid
    Where Reuter's gold for me is laid;
    And all that have seen me, and all I have seen,
    As dust in the path of the Shah hath been,
    And instead of eating dirt, I see
    But Kaffirs eating dirt to me.

[Footnote 15: Frank, European.]

[Footnote 16: Viziers, Ministers.]

[Footnote 17: Cash.]

[Footnote 18: Menials employed to apply the bastinado.]

[Footnote 19: Infidels, unbelievers.]

[Footnote 20: Chief or Lord.]

We need not be surprised, after reading this scathing poem, to find
that, when the Shah left our shores, _Punch_ had no difficulty in
enduring his bereavement with fortitude. The net result, so far as the
million were concerned, was the addition of "Have you seen the Shah?" to
the catchwords of the hour.

In the eternal competition between London and the provinces,
centralization and local autonomy, it was hardly to be expected that
_Punch_, in his jealousy for London, should adopt a judicial or
impartial attitude. In earlier years he had protested vigorously against
Celtic egotism, when developed at the expense of English sobriety, and
the growth of the movement in favour of the vernacular in Wales and the
spread of Eisteddfods provoked him to contemptuous antagonism. In the
"Essence of Parliament" for May 5, 1862, this hostility is sufficiently

    In the course of the debate on Education, the Honourable Douglas
    Pennant, a Conservative, and member for Carnarvonshire, had the
    courage to say, that he believed the Welsh language to be the curse
    of Wales, being the great obstacle to improvement. Of course it is,
    but while a pack of sentimentalists keep up a twitter about it, and
    offer prizes for Welsh Odes and such-like Gorilla utterances, how
    is the fatal jargon to be exterminated? Here's a health to Edward
    the First, though we are sorry to say that historians now
    disbelieve that he did spiflicate highborn Hoel, soft Llewellyn,
    Modred, who made Plinlimmon shudder with his dissonant ballads, and
    the rest of the Welsh Bards--whose only merit was their having
    afforded T.G. [Thomas Gray] the subject for an ode that will
    outlast Snowdon.

The report of the Eisteddfod, held at Bala in the autumn, given in the
_Oswestry Observer_, serves as the occasion for a truly ferocious attack
on the disloyal "caterwauling" of the Chapel Bards. In particular
_Punch_ is exasperated by the fulminations of the Bard Castell, his
appeal to his countrymen to "conquer or die," and his final challenge to
the English tyrant:--

    We scorn your ways, we can despise your terrors,
    Then take your chains, pray keep them for your errors.

[Sidenote: _Punch's Pet Aversions_]

For a whole column _Punch_ pours the vials of his abuse on the "humbug"
and "bosh" of "Bardery." Some critics declare that _Punch_ killed the
crinoline, though he himself acknowledged his failure; he was certainly
powerless to check the spread of Eisteddfodau and Pan-Celtitis, and he
undoubtedly overshot the mark by the violence of his diatribes.

Pseudo-intellectualism and preciosity were a safer target, and towards
the end of this period aestheticism in its earlier stages comes in for a
certain amount of satirical notice.


FEMALE EXQUISITE: "Quite a nice ball at Mrs. Millefleurs', wasn't it?"

MALE DITTO: "_Very_ quite. Indeed, really _most_ quite!"]

_Punch's_ reference to abusive personalities in the Press were no doubt
justified, though (as we have seen in his comments on the Welsh Bards)
they laid him open to the retort, "physician, heal thyself"; but his
withers were unwrung when he assailed the _Saturday Review_ in 1858 for
its frigid pedantry; or protested against the maudlin, devotional tone
and mock impressiveness of fashionable clergymen; or the vulgar
curiosity of snobs at bathing places. The futilities of garrison town
life and the dangers which young ladies ran of being entrapped by seedy
captains are exposed in the same year, to which also belongs a properly
indignant remonstrance with the Lord Mayor of London for advising a
thief to enlist in the army, a thoroughly characteristic example of the
old middle-class prejudice against soldiers. The humours and trials of
studio life play an increasing part in the pictorial side of _Punch_;
they were derived largely, no doubt, from the experiences of his own
artists, but the multiplication of these references serves to show the
growing social importance of the artist; and the same remark, _mutatis
mutandis_, applies to amateur theatricals. The allusions to club life
are fewer than in earlier years, and are mainly concerned with the
Athenæum. It is amusing to find the ancient legend of the alleged
unsociability of the Athenæum referred to as far back as 1858. The
Almanack for that year contains the following: "Imaginary
Conversation--Anybody speaking to anybody at the Athenæum." As for
Victorian society generally, it would be hard to find a more instructive
sidelight on its usages than that furnished by _Punch's_ protest against
"the Morning Call Nuisance":--

    "Sir," said Dr. Johnson (or might have done so if he didn't), "the
    man who makes a morning call pays homage to a custom which the
    imbecile may bow to, but the sensible contemn." In the presence of
    his lady readers _Mr. Punch_ has not the courage to confess that he
    applauds the dictum of the doctor. If it were not for the practice
    of making morning calls, ladies often would be puzzled to know what
    on earth to do; and _Mr. Punch_ would not debar them from what is,
    after all, a harmless act of time-slaughter. But he protests with
    all his might against the notion which some ladies appear to
    entertain, that their husbands should attend them when they pay
    these morning visits. It is bad enough for husbands to be dragged
    to evening parties, but worse still is their suffering when they
    are cruelly compelled to make some morning call.

[Sidenote: "_What is always Going On_"]

Social abuses and grievances and disparities were not so flagrant as
they had been twenty years before; still _Punch_, though no iconoclast,
found plenty of scope for his reforming zeal. Cremation was not
pronounced a legal procedure until 1884, but Shirley Brooks was one of
the original members of the English Cremation Society formed in January,
1874, as a result of Sir Henry Thompson's advocacy of a method which had
been neglected in England since Sir Thomas Browne published his
_Hydriotaphia, or Urn Burial_ in 1658.

In the summer of 1872 _Punch_ printed a list headed, "What is always
going on." It is a reassuring proof of the stability of England that of
the twenty-six entries exactly half, quoted beneath, are as topical
to-day as they were fifty years ago:--

  The weather.
  The Publicans.
  An International Something or Other.
  A Big Subscription.
  An Inauguration.
  A Millenary, Centenary, Anniversary or Jubilee.
  A New Daily Paper.
  Another English Opera Company.
  The High Price of Provisions.
  The Albert Memorial.


In the report, printed in February, 1865, of an imaginary Meeting for
Promoting the Education of the Rich, addressed by various artisans,
tradesmen, an ex-footman, etc., we read that there was "a unanimous call
for a vote of compliment to _Mr. Punch_ for his indefatigable exertions
to bring all classes into harmony." Self-praise is a dangerous game, and
there were occasions, already noted, on which the verdict of posterity
will not confirm _Punch's_ complacency. Yet we have seen that along with
his increasingly critical attitude towards the working-man he seldom
failed to recognize the need of friendly personal relations between
employers and employed; he regretted the fact that in many industrial
areas the masters lived away from and out of touch with their men. But
the local conditions of the great industries render social cleavage
inevitable to a considerable extent; it is in the domain of unorganized
labour, and in particular that of domestic service, that class
distinctions lend themselves more freely to comment, criticism and
satire. Nowhere else are master or mistress and man or woman brought so
close together; the crowded life of fashionable society was once
described as "friction without intimacy," and the phrase might well be
applied to the relations between servants and their employers.

[Sidenote: _Mistresses and Servants_]

"Domestic Science" was still in its infancy--the name had not yet been
coined--but _Punch_ was deeply interested in the training of girls of
all classes in household duties. Throughout the mid-Victorian period he
is seldom so serious or sympathetic as when the improvement of cookery
is discussed.[21] In earlier years he had been eloquent on the subject
of the underpayment of certain classes of servants. These complaints
practically disappear from 1857 onwards, though he does not fail to
rebuke wealthy mistresses for the scandalously inadequate and insanitary
accommodation which was habitually provided for servants in the
lordliest mansions. Even the most pampered menials had to sleep in
cupboards in the basements or in the attics. But the new note of
independence in woman servants is often dwelt upon, and not always in a
sympathetic spirit, while in 1861 their extravagance, destructiveness
and distaste for needlework form the preface to a noteworthy
pronouncement on "Servant-galism _versus_ Schooling," which comes rather
as a revelation to those who regard the unpopularity of domestic service
as a modern development:--

    With an ear to these complaints, and an eye to the instruction of
    girls in humble life, not merely in the knowledge of how to read
    and write, but in the useful arts of sewing, cookery, and
    housekeeping, which are no more learnt by instinct than anatomy or
    algebra, geography or Greek, a lady four years since established a
    training school at Norwich, where the object was, she tells us:

    "To give the opportunity for gaining a good education, with the
    addition of plain sewing, mending and cutting out; and also (what
    every mother was to understand on putting her girl to school) such
    practical acquaintance with cookery and housework, under my
    excellent housekeeper, that every girl might know how a house
    should be kept, and should acquire habits which would hereafter
    make all the difference between a tidy and happy home or the

[Illustration: "LIKE HER IMPUDENCE!"

MISSIS AND THE YOUNG LADIES (together): "Goodness gracious, J'mima!
What have you---- _Where's_ your cr'n'lin?" (This word snappishly.)

JEMIMA: "Oh, 'm, please, 'm, which I understood as they was a goin'
out, 'm----"

(Receives warning on the spot.)]


CHARMING LADY (showing her house to benevolent old gentleman):
"That's where the housemaid sleeps."

BENEVOLENT OLD GENTLEMAN: "Dear me, you don't say so! Isn't it very
damp? I see the water glistening on the walls."

CHARMING LADY: "Oh, it's not too damp for a servant!"]

[Sidenote: _The Ignorant Rich_]

After a trial of four years, the lady is compelled to own her
scheme a failure, solely because she found the girls too proud to
do the housework, and the parents so absurd as to encourage their
refusal. In a letter to the _Norwich Mercury_, she says:

    "I was not prepared to find the class of parents I had to do with
    would apparently accept the education, but make every excuse to
    evade the industrial work, or keep their daughters away when it was
    to be done, and threaten to remove them if the household duties
    were required of them. In corroboration of this latter fact, I may
    observe that twenty-three girls have been taken away from the
    school expressly because they would not do the housework. Whether
    in the present day girls are allowed to determine for themselves
    what they shall or shall not do, or whether their parents are too
    proud to recognize such industrial work as a duty belonging to
    their children, it is not for me to decide. I can only act on the
    result, and close my school. I repeat, I should willingly have
    continued the plan, had I not met with discouragement and
    opposition from the parents."

[Footnote 21: The year 1859 is regarded by constitutional historians as
a turning-point in our Parliamentary history. _Punch_ mentions, amongst
other things, that it was the year in which "the fashion broke out of
abusing our wives for bad dinners."]

But if the normal relations between mistresses and servants were
becoming steadily worse, _Punch_ was far from acquitting employers. In
October, 1864, the North London Working Classes Industrial Exhibition
was opened--for the most part organized by working-men, though sundry
rich philanthropists, including Miss Burdett-Coutts, had a hand in it.
This prompted _Punch_ to describe an imaginary "Industrial Exhibition of
the Aristocracy," and to describe the fictitious meeting for the
Education of the Rich already referred to. His report is for the most
part burlesque, but _Punch_ puts into the mouths of the speakers a good
deal of shrewd satire at the expense of the folly and ignorance of rich
people. "They were very ignorant, but that was the fault of their
bringing up." The ex-footman, now a small-coal man, thought well of
them, but they had many faults:--

    They had no regard for truth, and would order a servant to deny
    that they were in the house when they did not wish to see a
    visitor. Their indolence was frightful; they would lie in bed until
    twelve in the day. (Sensation.) It was true, he assured the
    meeting; and a lady at one end of the room would ring a bell and
    bring a man up several flights of stairs to fetch her a book that
    lay on a table out of her reach. Still, they were very kind when
    they knew how to do any kindness, but so few of them took the
    trouble to know. As a practical man, he must say that he did not
    think that missionaries from their own class would be favourably
    received in the houses of the rich. He would mention another thing,
    showing the folly of the upper orders. On a freezing night, a
    delicate woman would change her warm dress for a very light one,
    put on shoes no thicker than ribbons instead of her comfortable
    boots, and with nothing on her head, shoulders or arms, would go
    out and sit in all the draughts of a playhouse, or stand on the
    landing of a staircase, with the wind constantly rushing up from
    the street door. What could one do with creatures so hopelessly
    plunged in folly? (Sensation.)

Other speakers dwell on the lamentable ignorance of plumbing, mechanics
and anatomy (from the point of view of the butcher). _Punch_ might have
quoted the authentic story of a very clever lady in this period who
imagined that a hydraulic ram was an animal.

Another ground for legitimate complaint on which _Punch_ frequently
insisted was the attempt to introduce dogma into the sphere of domestic
service, as, for example, when a "Christian gentleman" advertised for a
lady housekeeper of "decided piety" to keep his house, without any
salary, in return for a comfortable home. _Punch_ did not believe in
religiosity of this character any more than he could stand the snobbery
which relegated servants to the gallery or the inferior seats in church.
When a Bill was introduced in the summer of 1871 for abolishing the pew
system, he quoted the following speeches from the debate on the second

    Mr. Beresford Hope told this story:

    "He remembered having many years ago to seek a church where his
    household could worship. He went to the individual who let the pews
    in a chapel of ease near his residence, and he said he wished to
    take a pew. The man produced a plan, and he selected the one
    nearest the pulpit and the reading-desk. But, unluckily, he dropped
    the observation that the pew was for his servants, whereupon the
    man said, 'You don't mean that you are taking the pew for your
    livery servants.' On his saying, 'Yes, I am,' he received the
    reply, 'Then I cannot let it you, for if livery servants were to
    come to the pew, all the ladies and gentlemen in the neighbouring
    pews would cease to attend.'" (Hear, hear, and laughter.)

    Mr. Henley "did not believe that the humbler classes themselves
    desired to see the parish churches managed in such a way as to
    allow the costermonger a seat beside that of a duchess. It reminded
    him of the couplet which says that:

    'Something the Devil delights to see
    Is the pride that apes humility.'"

[Illustration: WHAT NEXT, INDEED!

GRATEFUL RECIPIENT: "Bless you, my lady! May we meet in Heaven!"

HAUGHTY DONOR: "Good gracious!! Drive on, Jarvis!!!"

(She had evidently read Dr. Johnson, who "didn't want to meet certain
people _anywhere_.")]

[Sidenote: _Religious Snobbery_]

What Punch thought of this fashionable Christianity may be learned from
his truly admirable comments on the protest of a lady's maid in a
provincial paper:--

    Here is a letter which might very well have passed muster in the
    (original) _Spectator_. It is, however, addressed to the Editor of
    the _Hampshire Independent_, in which journal it appeared the other
    day under the title, "Is the Church Free?" The Church therein
    particularly referred to is the old parish church of Millbrook,
    near Southampton:--

    "Sir,--I saw lately in your paper a very pleasing paragraph, asking
    for free and open sittings in Parish Churches. Now, as the Bishop
    is coming amongst us, will you kindly insert this letter, that he
    may know how proper it would be at Millbrook, where the rich
    people, who are objecting to a new church nearer to the poor, won't
    let a servant of any station sit in the body of the church, and we
    are sent upstairs, if the masters or mistresses are agreeable or

    We don't blame Mr. Blunt, and we hope the Bishop will ask him about
    it, and order free pews in the new church.--I am, Sir, etc.,

      "August 17, 1871.                                  A Lady's Maid."

Well said, Mary. Your rich people at Millbrook, some of them, apparently
need to be told that at Service in Church everyone is a Servant, and all
Servants are equal. Perhaps, however, those rich exclusives attend
Church for the same kind of reason as that which makes them go to County
Balls, if they can, or would make them if they could. If their
church-going is merely an airing of their respectability, it is needless
to remind them that a Church is a place where the Presence they are
supposed to enter is no respecter of persons. The Bishop of Winchester
will doubtless, if possible, not disappoint Mary's hope that he will
order free pews, or seats, to be provided in the new Church at
Millbrook. In old Millbrook Church, by Mary's account, existing
accommodation would be improved on principle by another arrangement. The
sittings could be divided into First, Second, and Third-Class Pews.

Class patronage was always obnoxious to _Punch_, but he was quite ready
to admit that the difficulty of getting good servants arose from the
impossibility, in most cases, of the lady of the house adapting herself
to the peculiar disposition of each one of her domestics. The
accompanying advertisement--a remarkably modern achievement for
1865--sounded the note of independence too boldly to suit so moderate a

    "Domestic Servant.--A Person about Twenty, with excellent
    character, wishes a Situation where not restricted in becoming
    dress nor services rendered unnecessarily menial. She would prefer
    a small Country Family Situation, away from the noise and hurry of
    Birmingham. Should her mistress prove quiet and amiable, a
    suitable, respectable, permanent servant would inevitably be
    secured. Lowest wages accepted, ten guineas."

    The Young Lady's grammar, in "wishing a situation," is somewhat
    arbitrary, but it is enough for her purpose that the reader should
    know what she means. The restriction in becoming dress probably
    alludes to the tyranny of a mistress who objected to her china
    ornaments being knocked down by Betty and housemaid's extensive
    crinoline. "Services rendered unnecessarily menial" conveys the
    idea of the wearer of a crinoline being obliged to clean the
    doorsteps, the attitude necessitated by the nature of this
    operation being one of supplication so humble, and prostration so
    abject, as would never be adopted by any wearer of the steel hoops
    who "could see herself as others see her." The Young Lady would
    perhaps like to take her quiet tea and beauty sleep in the
    drawing-room, about four o'clock of an afternoon, talk over family
    matters with her quiet and amiable mistress, or skim her a few
    pages of the _Court Circular_. We sincerely trust that the
    advertiser has obtained the situation she deserves.

[Illustration: "TRAIN UP A CHILD," &c.

"Mamma, don't you think Pug ought to be vaccinated?"

"What nonsense, dear! They only vaccinate human beings!"

"Why, Lady Fakeaway's had all her _servants_ vaccinated, Mamma!"]

[Sidenote: _Fashions in Christian Names_]

It was in the same spirit that a few years earlier a protest had been
raised against the fashion of decorative names amongst the poorer

    Our laundress's infants have no great charms,
    Yet they have a Eugénie in arms;
    While Victor Albert swings on a gate,
    And munches his bacon in village state.

    'Twould be hard to say there is any blame,
    There is no monopoly in a name;
    But it strikes one sometimes as rather absurd
    That contrast between the child and the word.

    And what will it be when years have flown
    And these finely-named damsels are women grown?
    When Evelyn Ada must polish the grates
    While Edith Amelia is washing the plates.

[Illustration: AN AUTHORITY

NURSE: "And to-day was little Cissy's birthday; and Sir John, he gave
her a coral necklace; and Milady, she gave her a boo'ful blue frock; and
as for Mr. James, he took more notice of her nor anybody did, and gave
her a sweet kiss! Heigho! Who wouldn't be little Cissy?"

N.B. Sir John is Cissy's godpapa, and Milady her godmamma, and as for
Mr. James, why----

This is Mr. James!]

It has been reserved for a later generation to witness the appropriation
of the homely names Joan, Betty, Susan, etc., by the social _élite_,
while Gladys, Doris, and so forth, have become common form amongst the
daughters of Labour.

[Sidenote: _The Victorian Governess_]

The month of April, 1872, was marked by two notable meetings of domestic
servants, one at Dundee and one at Leamington, at both of which the
forming of a trade union was unanimously decided on. At Dundee _dux
femina facti_; and Punch celebrated the event in a set of verses in
which the revolt of the "Leamington Flunkeys" is attributed to the
alluring example of the housemaids of "Bonny Dundee." The curious will
find in the _Annual Register_ for 1872 an account of the Dundee meeting.
It had a disastrous sequel in the breakdown of one of the maids who had
taken a prominent part in the agitation. _Punch_ comments unchivalrously
on the fuss which was made in the local Press over "the hysterics of an
ex-servant maid." Modern readers will marvel at the moderation of most
of the demands in regard to hours, privileges, etc., put forward at
Dundee; but the fact that butlers and footmen had followed suit
destroyed any sympathy that _Punch_ might have felt for the movement.
The flunkey, as depicted by Du Maurier, is more elegant and
refined-looking than the Jeames of Leech, but he continues to be treated
with the same implacable ridicule. "Servant-galism" is another matter,
and it stands more and more for a claim to consideration which _Punch_,
in his more serious moments, cannot wholly withstand. As against
pictures of the "what next, indeed!" type, in which excessive demands
are treated with a mild resentment, we have to set _Punch's_
championship of the right to be decently housed, and his reproof of an
advertiser who asked for a servant who could neither read nor write.

The gibbeting of employers who offered governesses starvation wages
continues, but the entries are far less numerous than in the 'fifties.
Still, the evil was not wholly removed. In 1867 _Punch_ expressed
surprise that among the many strikes lately witnessed there had not been
one of governesses. As a rule, he observes, they are extremely
overworked and underpaid, and have really far more cause for striking
than the tailors:--

    Still, there seems but little prospect of our seeing them on strike
    while we find them putting forward such advertisements as this:--

    "A Single Lady, aged 36, with a limited income, offers £20 per
    annum and two hours' daily instruction to one or two Children in
    English and the rudiments of music and French, in return for her

    We have often known a Governess content with a small salary, but it
    is a novelty to hear of one content with less than nothing, and
    even offering to pay a yearly premium for her place. An income
    which is limited may fail to satisfy the cravings of an appetite
    which is not; still, unless this single lady be uncommonly
    voracious, she need scarcely, one would fancy, offer £20 a year,
    and two hours' teaching daily merely for her board.

The treatment of governesses was one of the blots on the Victorian age.
They lived in what might be called No Woman's Land. Their status was
semi-menial; their salaries were often much lower than those of cooks;
they seldom emerged from the schoolroom; they had little encouragement
to be efficient; if they were young and pretty they were frowned upon as
potential adventuresses; if they were elderly and ill-favoured they were
negligible and neglected. The very term "governess" carried with it a
certain hint of social disparagement; and they were for the most part
the easy victims of snobbery. If proof be required one has only to turn
to the novels of the period, in which very few examples will be found of
governesses who succeeded in overleaping the barriers of caste and
entering the realms of romance. Charlotte Brontë, the pioneer of the
"emancipation novel," was perhaps the first to give the governess a
chance in fiction. In fact there was not much improvement in the
"governess-trade" on the condition described in Jane Austen's _Emma_
half a century earlier, when Jane Fairfax compared it to the
slave-trade, "widely different certainly as to the guilt of those who
carry it on; but as to the greater misery of the victims, I do not know
where the difference lies." But then we must remember that class
distinctions were then much more clearly drawn than they are to-day. It
was not until 1870 that the gold tuft on the cap worn by noblemen at
Oxford was discontinued. The dearth of army doctors, on which _Punch_
frequently comments in 1864, was due in his opinion to the snobbery of a
system which relegated the members of a noble profession to an inferior
social status. It was in the same year, to his lasting credit, that
_Punch_ espoused the cause of old ballet-girls, with a view to relieving
the necessities of worn-out columbines, fairies and sylphs. He was
doubtful of the result of his appeal simply because of the
self-protective prudery of polite society:--

    I know that most rich people have far too much morality to think of
    doing anything for such people as poor ballet-girls, who are
    supposed to be descended from some of the Lost Tribes. Of course
    Polite Society can never be expected to take anything like an
    interest in persons of this sort. Still, although Polite Society
    may not feel disposed to help to keep poor ballet-girls alive, I
    think Polite Society would not be altogether pleased were
    ballet-girls extinct.

[Sidenote: _Society and the Stage_]

The correspondence and controversy which grew out of _Punch's_
intervention is too long to be treated in detail. His statements were
canvassed, and the existence of theatrical funds adequate to meet the
needs of the situation was pointed out. But _Punch_ was not far out when
he declared that as ballet-girls grew old their salaries decreased; it
was only by hard work that they earned their living in the playhouse,
and they barely escaped dying in a workhouse. The episode is creditable
to the humanity of _Punch_. It is also interesting to the student of
manners from the light which it throws on the conventional attitude of
polite society towards the theatrical profession in mid-Victorian days.
It was a survival of the old view expressed by the Prussian sovereign in
an order referring to "singers, actors, and other rubbish." In their
proper place--on the stage--they were amusing people. Socially they were
outside the pale, living in a state of semi-outlawry, and to be given a
wide berth by all self-respecting citizens. _Punch_, from the intimate
connexion of so many of his staff with the drama--Douglas Jerrold, Tom
Taylor and Burnand cover nearly the whole period of our survey--never
subscribed to this view, though he deprecated mummer-worship as
fostering the vanity which was the besetting sin of the actor's calling.
He fully recognized the generosity and charity which successful players
showed to their less fortunate brothers and sisters. But in the days of
which we are now writing _Punch_ did not foresee the swing of the
pendulum which resulted in the invasion of the stage by amateurs and the
conversion of what had been a social stigma into a social asset.


"Feminism," in the modern sense, as was pointed out in the previous
volume, is in English, at any rate, a twentieth century word. Yet the
movement was there long before the name was coined or imported, and in
the period on which we now enter a notable change reveals itself in the
spirit of _Punch's_ dream of womanhood. The change is all the more
remarkable when we recall the fact that the paper was still written
exclusively by men and appealed mainly to male readers. The first woman
contributor with the pen--Miss Betham Edwards--did not appear until
1868. "_Mrs. Punch's_ Letters to her Daughter," however, cannot be said
to strike a new note, being for the most part a replica of _Punch's_ own
views, with a mild undercurrent of irony so carefully disguised as to be
almost invisible. _Mrs. Punch_ disavows all association with committees
or causes. She was "not even a novelist"--apparently a hit at Rhoda
Broughton, who had recently swum into the ken of the astonished Mrs.
Grundy, and whose works are obliquely disparaged under the transparent
_aliases_ of "Unwisely but not too well," and "Cometh up as a Nettle."
Mrs. Lynn Linton's tirades against the Girl of the Period had appeared
in the _Saturday Review_ earlier in the year, and _Mrs. Punch_ follows
mildly in the same path, rebuking the extravagances of fashion;
monstrous chignons, false and dyed hair, the use of Madame Rachel's
cosmetics, and a resort to audacious _décolletage_. In her advice on the
choice and management of husbands _Mrs. Punch_ is purely ironic. There
is no serious effort to dislodge men from their entrenched positions as
lords of creation. The furthest she goes is in a retort on the Young Man
of the Period, whom she boldly pronounces an ass, whether he is of the
tame cat order; or an "æsthetic" with a genius for disparaging
everybody, especially his elders; or a mere conceited ass; or a clerical
despot to whom woman is a ministering slave. Finally she deplores the
precocity of the Young Children of the Period. Indeed, there weren't any
young children at all, only richly-dressed supercilious little men and
women; worldly-wise little satirists and snobs.

[Illustration: TOO BAD

PROFESSOR PUMPER: "May I ask, Miss Blank, why you are making those
little pellets?"

MISS B.: "Well, I don't know. It is a habit I have. I always make bread
pills when I feel bored at dinner!"]

[Sidenote: _A Change of Type_]

But from 1860 onwards one notes an increasing readiness to take women
seriously. They are no longer merely regarded as "dear creatures,"
ornamental and domestic, as when the appearance of _The Angel in the
House_ inspired the comment that the title was one "which might be
bestowed on a meritorious cook." Blue stockings are still the subject of
much acidulated chaff, and "strong-minded" women are almost invariably
represented as flat-chested, ill-dressed slatterns. But within certain
limits women are allowed to cultivate intellect without loss of
angelical charm. The type of feminine good looks portrayed by Leech
remained unchanged to the end of his life. Yet in two directions we note
a change. His charming buxom girls show a tendency to revolt against the
tyranny of their pert schoolboy brothers;[22] they are beginning to
cultivate the faculty of retort even at the expense of learned
professors. And again, in the hunting-field, the superior boldness of
the hard-riding young lady is frequently glorified at the expense of the
more cautious male. In this context it is worthy of record that for many
years after Leech's death the bulk of the hunting pictures were
contributed by the first of _Punch's_ lady artists--Miss G. Bowers.

[Footnote 22: The "tyranny of the younger brother" who is continually
harassing his grown-up sisters was undoubtedly one of the results of the
customary large families of the period. In Leech's pictures, again, the
tender passion is nearly always illustrated by passages between


Miss Hypatia Jones, Spinster of Arts (on her way to refreshment),
informs Professor Parallax, F.R.S., that "young men do very well to look
at, or to dance with, or even to marry, and all that kind of thing!" but
that "as to enjoying any rational conversation with any man under fifty,
_that_ is _completely_ out of the question!"]

[Sidenote: _Du Maurier's Women_]

Fainting was still fashionable, but women were beginning to compete,
mildly but increasingly, in the domain of sport and pastime. Hunting had
long been their great stand-by; it afforded women the greatest
opportunities for the display of nerve, skill and endurance, and they
were as conspicuous by these qualities in the 'sixties as they are
to-day. But the Amazon is a class apart. Archery--by reason of its
opportunities for showing off a graceful figure as the arrow was "pulled
on the tense string"--was still in its golden prime, and croquet so
widely popular as to warrant the publication of a long poem in several
instalments. Yet the code of mid-Victorian croquet, to judge by
contemporary evidence, was not of a high standard. The ladies were
charged with habitual cheating. It was a standing dish at garden
parties, but, in a phrase of the time, seemed more closely connected
with 'usbandry than 'orticulture. Lawn tennis did not arrive till later,
and then only as a species of "pat-ball." But women were becoming more
active and athletic. We do not speak merely of the professional gymnasts
and performers on the tight-rope and the trapeze who emulated the feats
of Blondin and Léotard, occasionally with tragical results; but rather
of the change in physique and stature of English women. For one can
hardly believe that the Junonian types which Du Maurier was so fond of
drawing were purely imaginary, or that the gentle giantess, married to
the diminutive husband who figures in the domestic record of Mr. Tom
Tit, had no prototype in fact. Leech familiarized us with the Amazon of
the hunting-field, but Du Maurier introduced us to the statuesque
goddesses of the drawing-room, tall and divinely fair. But the debt of
English womankind to his pencil went much further than his consistent
homage to their beauty and gracious demeanour. He was more concerned to
illustrate the taste of their dress than the absurdities of fashion. And
above all he never failed to credit them with wit and subtlety in
conversation. In sheer buxom comeliness Leech's women were never
surpassed, but in elegance and distinction of feature and bearing the
types, or perhaps we should say the type, favoured by Du Maurier raised
the "social cuts" in _Punch_ to a higher level. It was part of the
general movement of the paper from its "Left Centre" position in the
direction of the Right, from its aggressive championship of democratic
principles towards a Liberalism tempered by an increasing disposition to
criticize the working classes. Yet if _Punch_ paid more attention to,
and showed more consideration for Mayfair than in his earlier years, the
follies and extravagance and arrogant exclusiveness of fashionable women
seldom failed to excite his wrath. As he had regarded the decline and
fall of Almack's as inevitable, he betrayed no enthusiasm over its
revival in 1858.[23] The old oligarchical rule had its merits, in so far
as it recognized that money alone was no passport to the revels of the
aristocracy. But towards the end of the old _régime_ the barriers had
been partially broken down, as one may gather from the verses in which
the re-opening of the Assembly Rooms was duly and unsympathetically

    Sing for joy, superior classes,
      But, of course, in tones subdued,
    Do not bellow like the masses,
      Bawl not as the multitude;
    But your joy should be outpoured,
    For behold Almack's restored!

    There shall Beauty, in exclusive
      Circles, waltz again with Wealth,
    Sharing exercise, conducive
      More to pleasure than to health,
    Whilst the sun ascends the skies,
    And the common people rise.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Oh! ye Flunkeys, holloa louder,
      Than the rest, for rampant mirth,
    In the pride of plush and powder,
      You'll attend on Rank and Birth.
    How transported you must wax,
    Thinking on revived Almack's!

[Footnote 23: Yet Sir Henry Holland, the distinguished physician, states
in his _Reminiscences_ (1872) that he knew of cases, which had defied
medicine, being cured by a ticket for Almack's.]

[Sidenote: _Belgravian Manners and Maxims_]

The jaded belles who appeared in Hyde Park after dancing till 4 a.m. at
Willis's rooms are treated with scant respect, and when Cremorne Gardens
were reserved for the Aristocratic Fête organized by Lord Ingestre, a
certain malicious satisfaction is expressed that the entertainment was
spoilt by the rain. _Punch_ admitted, in "The Cream at Cremorne," that
some hundreds of pounds had been raised for charity, but he disapproved
of the "exclusive" methods adopted.

The craze for toy-dogs was already rampant. _Punch_ was always a lover
of dogs and a good friend of animals, but he detested that form of
feminine sentimentality which exalted caninity at the expense of
humanity, and in 1858 turned one of Tennyson's lyrics to satiric use in
the "Ballad of Poppetina":--

    They came and told me where I lay,
    How that my pet had run away,
    With but a feather (as they say)
    You might have knocked me down that day,
    I almost fainted right away,

Amongst the "Belgravian maxims" published in the same year we note two
which have not yet entirely lost their force: "We make our money in
London, but we spend it in Paris. England gives us meat, and France
sends us cooks." Nowadays we still call them "_chefs_" no matter what
their nationality may be. As I write these lines the January sales are
in full swing, and the shops of London "ring to the roar of an angel
onset." It is interesting, by way of comparison, to give the results of
a day's shopping by a middle-class young lady as catalogued in the
winter of 1858:--


    Miss Lucy Smith went out shopping the other day, and brought home
    with her a most tremendous bag. It was so heavy that it was as much
    as the page could do to bring it into the parlour to be inspected
    by the ladies. Upon its contents being emptied on to the
    dining-room table, it was found to contain:--a bottle of
    Kiss-me-Quick, a pair of white satin shoes, a bulky packet of
    gloves (cleaned), a dozen rolls of cotton, a paper of pearl buttons
    (to mend Papa's shirts), a box of cough lozenges, a bundle of
    violet-powder, a kettle-holder, ten yards of blue ribbon, a pack of
    club cards, a pair of American overshoes, a pot of bear's grease, a
    pound of jujubes, a velvet necktie, three cambric
    pocket-handkerchiefs with "Lucy" embroidered in gay flowers in the
    corner, a pair of mittens, a small tin can supposed to contain
    acidulated drops, beads and long pins and gold daggers and
    imitation coins for the hair, fifteen yards of the best longcloth,
    a bundle of brushes and small jars of gum for potichomanie work,
    small curling-irons, several small pots containing perfumes and
    mysterious volatile essences for the toilette-table, numerous
    papers of different varieties of Berlin wool with coloured pattern
    of _Brigand_ for the same, two ounces of shot to sew round the
    bottom of one's dress, seven yards of edging for night-caps, a set
    of doll's tea things, two packages of bird-seed for the canary, a
    bath bun, one _Convent Call_ and _Two Fond Hearts_, with _Ten
    Thousand a Year_. Besides the above, there was concealed inside the
    longcloth a yellow book that looked suspiciously like a French
    novel; but as it was hastily snatched up by Miss Lucy, it is
    perfectly impossible to mention the name of it. Miss Smith was not
    a little pleased with the results of her day's sport, having
    brought down every one of the articles enumerated in the bag
    herself in the space of little more than four hours and a quarter.

Allowing for the exuberance of the satirist, one may still glean a good
deal of information from this portentous list as to the tastes of the
young person of the period. "Potichomanie" was the fashionable craze for
pseudo-oriental decoration by covering the insides of glass vessels with
designs on paper or sheet gelatine, so as to imitate Japanese porcelain.
_Ten Thousand a Year_ was Sam Warren's once popular novel, one of the
first chronicles of the rise of the "bounder"; _The Convent Call_ and
_Two Fond Hearts_ represent the appeal of propagandist Romanism and
roseate sentimentality. The name of the French novel is withheld; it
might perhaps have been one by Eugène Sue. Major Pendennis said that he
had not read any other novelist for thirty years besides Paul de Kock,
but we can hardly credit Miss Lucy Smith in 1858 with a choice which
would be common form for her grand-daughters. Along with frequent
references to the ignorance, and extravagance, the frivolity and
futility of girls of the upper classes and to the mercenary marriages
made in Society, we find an increasing readiness to recognize and
welcome the competition of women in the sphere of art. The first
Exhibition of Women Artists had been held in 1857; the name of Rosa
Bonheur was already so familiar in England that in the summer of 1858
_Punch_ expressed regret that there was "no picture in the Royal Academy
of Prince Albert's prize pig by Sir Edwin or Rosa." The Female School of
Art and Design at South Kensington is mentioned in 1860, and in 1861
_Punch_ makes a friendly comment on the announcement that a female
sculptor, Miss Susan Durant, had "received a commission to execute one
of the poetical marbles for the Mansion House, being, so far as one can
recollect, the first English lady who has ever obtained a compliment of
this particular kind."

[Sidenote: _Women Artists_]

In music, women, as singers, had long established their claim to the
allegiance of the opera-going world. Their recognition as
instrumentalists came later. _Punch_ had missed the first appearance of
Mlle. Neruda in 1849, but waxes enthusiastic in 1858 over the
performance of Mlle. Humler, a distinguished violinist, "a female
Paganini, who pleases as well as astonishes," and in the same year
extols native talent in the person of Arabella Goddard, the
distinguished pianist who rendered admirable service by introducing the
works of Beethoven to British amateurs:--



        My dear Miss Goddard;
        A creature foddered
    On Liszts and Thalbergs, extolled by Ella,
        Perceives creation
        Of new sensation
    When you strike ivory, Arabella.

        You've known, Miss Goddard,
        What 'tis to plod hard,
    The bee must toil ere he hives the _mella_.
        Now, music gushes,
        Or leaps, or rushes
    To your white fingers, Miss Arabella.

        The folks, Miss Goddard,
        Who yawn, or nod hard
    At tricksters, whack with the umbrella,
        When for grand Beethoven
        The way is cloven
    To English hearts, by my Arabella.

        My dear Miss Goddard,
        _Punch_ "plies the rod hard
    On brass Impostors" (see Swift to Stella),
        And for that reason,
        Hath praise, in season,
    For golden Artists, like Arabella.

[Sidenote: _The Female Blondin_]

Such tributes, however, involved no breach with tradition or abandonment
of prejudice. The position of women as public performers, whether on the
lyric or dramatic stage, or in the circus, was assured and acquiesced in
by the general public, always excepting what may be called the Exeter
Hall Group, which included real benefactors and philanthropists as well
as Chadbands and Jellybys. No objection, however, could be taken to
those who sought to restrain the enterprise of managers who engaged
women gymnasts to perform dangerous feats. The influence and
intervention of the Queen did a great deal in educating public opinion,
and the part played by _Punch_ may be gathered from his comments on the
tragedy which occurred at a fête of the Order of Foresters held at Aston
Park, Birmingham, in July, 1863, at a time when Blondin was drawing
large crowds to the Crystal Palace by his performances on the high

    The Foresters of Birmingham, copying the example of the Aristocrats
    of Sydenham, assembled in a great crowd, on the previous Monday, to
    see a woman, named Powell, perform some dangerous feats akin to
    those performed by a man named Blondin. The scene was Aston Park, a
    place inaugurated by the Queen and Prince Albert, and devoted (as
    was supposed in this case and in that of the Crystal Palace) to
    rational recreation. M. Blondin has not yet been killed, but Mrs.
    Powell's rope broke and she died. She would have been a mother in
    three months. How the Aristocrats would act under similar
    circumstances remains to be seen. The Foresters continued their
    revels, danced, and finished with fireworks. The subject was
    brought before Parliament by Lord Malmesbury and Mr. Doulton, and
    the answer of Government is, that no doubt such things are very
    deplorable, but as the public likes such exhibitions "it is
    difficult" to interfere, but the Press (to which it is sometimes
    very convenient for great folks to appeal, and which at other times
    it is equally convenient to repudiate) is requested to express
    itself strongly on the matter. We conceive that we do so by simply
    stating the facts, and adding that the plea of the Government is a
    most unworthy one. If the very highest idea of a Government is, as
    Sydney Smith says, a Stout Constable, even that officer should
    prevent demoralizing exhibitions. Sir George Grey himself could
    interfere when M. Blondin proposed to carry a child--not
    unborn--along the Sydenham rope. Parliament would give him a
    prohibition Bill in three days, if he is afraid to act without one.

As Queen Victoria has been a good deal under the microscope of late, the
letter which was written by her command to Mr. C. Sturge, the Mayor of
Birmingham, deserves to be quoted:--

    "SIR,--The Queen has commanded me to express to you the pain with
    which Her Majesty has read the account of a fatal accident which
    has occurred during a fête at Aston Park, Birmingham.

    "Her Majesty cannot refrain from making known through you her
    personal feelings of horror that one of her subjects--a
    female--should have been sacrificed to the gratification of the
    demoralizing taste, unfortunately prevalent, for exhibitions
    attended with the greatest danger to the performers.

    "Were any proof wanting that such exhibitions are demoralizing, I
    am commanded to remark that it would be at once found in the
    decision arrived at to continue the festivities, the hilarity, and
    the sports of the occasion after an event so melancholy.

    "The Queen trusts that you, in common with the rest of the
    townspeople of Birmingham, will use your influence to prevent in
    future the degradation to such exhibitions of the Park which was
    gladly opened by Her Majesty and the beloved Prince Consort, in the
    hope that it would be made serviceable for the healthy exercise and
    rational recreation of the people."

More valuable evidence, however, of the education of the large and
growing _clientèle_ represented by _Punch_ is to be found in the
recognition of woman's invasion of spheres of activity hitherto
restricted to men. In 1859 the telegraph offices are mentioned as
opening a new field of employment for women, and in 1860 the subject is
discussed, not very graciously, under the heading, "Work for Women":--

    What are we to do with our young women? is a question which is now
    beginning to be seriously asked by the benevolent and by
    Paterfamilias. Thanks to the prevalent taste for a profusion of
    finery, combined with a rising Income Tax,[24] girls are getting too
    dear, that is to say too expensive, creatures, to find husbands.
    Under these circumstances there has been formed a Society for the
    Employment of Women. It met, the other evening, at 19, Langham
    Place, the Earl of Shaftesbury in the Chair. Among various
    recommendations and suggestions for the accomplishment of its
    gallant and generous object, Mr. Cookson urged law-engrossing as a
    suitable occupation for women, described the office established by
    the Society, which is at present supported by several solicitors,
    and gave an interesting account of the work done there. Mr.
    Hastings also spoke of printing as peculiarly well adapted for
    women, and read a paper contributed by Miss Emily Faithfull on the
    introduction of women into the printing trades.

[Sidenote: _Punch and the "Strong-minded Woman"_]

Miss Faithfull set up her printing establishment for women in the same
year, and the excellence of the work of her "Victoria Press" secured her
appointment as printer and publisher in ordinary to the Queen. _Punch_
cordially supported the efforts of Miss Faithfull to extend the sphere
of labour, still rigorously limited, for working-women, but showed a
good deal of the old leaven of sex-prejudice in his comments on her plan
to assist the emigration of educated women:--

    For ourselves, we would sooner send away the uneducated women, and
    keep those who were educated in the country. We have not one too
    many. If, however, by the term "educated" is meant "Strong-minded,"
    we will give our most cordial assent and hearty co-operation to a
    scheme at once so useful and beneficent, and one that cannot fail
    to be for the benefit of all parties, as well as a great relief to
    England. We would advise the _Great Eastern_ being chartered
    immediately for this purpose, and we do not mind giving a large
    subscription in aid of it, providing the vessel sails at a very
    early period. However, we pity the poor colony that receives the
    intellectual cargo! The only chance of its escaping this
    blue-stocking visitation is, that the Strong-minded Women may
    quarrel amongst themselves on the voyage out, of which there is the
    most natural probability; so that when the heavily-freighted ship
    touches the shore, there may not be one of them alive, and nothing
    but their false back-hair, or magazine tales, left behind them. By
    all means let so interesting an experiment be carried out, and to
    the greatest possible number.

[Footnote 24: The income tax was then only 10d. in the pound over £150.]

[Illustration: LADY PHYSICIANS

Who is this interesting invalid? It is young Reginald de Braces, who has
succeeded in catching a bad cold, in order that he might send for that
rising practitioner, Dr. Arabella Bolus!]

Coming to the professions, we find a great advance on the somewhat
hesitating attitude adopted by _Punch_ in the 'fifties. In the early
'sixties he avowed himself as a convinced supporter of the admission of
women to medical degrees. By 1870 he went so far as to advocate "opening
the door of every secular profession to every woman qualified to enter
it." He trusted their good sense not to attempt the impossible: "only
fools rush in where angels fear to tread, and women, all but very rare
mad women, fear to tread the rough ways they are unfitted for." _Punch_,
along with Disraeli, ranges himself on the side of the angels. This
marks the high-water level of his recognition of women's professional
claims, but as early as 1862 he had registered his protest against the
decision of the Edinburgh College of Physicians, when they refused to
grant women the medical diploma, by a majority of 18 to 16 votes:--

    We are glad the minority was so large, for we think it was in the
    right. There is no reason why a lady learned in medicine should be
    refused a doctor's degree. Nobody would be obliged to employ a
    medical woman in preference to a medical man. It is very true that
    it is necessary that a practitioner of medicine should be endowed
    with reflective faculties; but perhaps reason is not quite
    exclusively the prerogative of man. One or two women could be named
    whose works exhibit undeniable evidences of some logical faculty
    and judgment of causation. A female Harvey or Sydenham, or Hunter,
    or Abernethy would possibly turn up if the portals of medicine were
    not shut in her face.

[Sidenote: _The Medical Profession_]

The rejection of Miss Elizabeth Garrett and other women candidates by
the Apothecaries and other medical corporations is unsparingly condemned
in the issue of February 22, 1868; but the history of the campaign is
written at length in the _Life of Sophia Jex-Blake_. It may suffice here
to add the most notable, and, allowing for a little pardonable optimism,
the sanest of _Punch's_ contributions to the controversy in the period
under review in this volume. It appeared in March, 1870, in the form of
a letter, but here, as elsewhere, the views are clearly editorial:--

    The necessity, Sir, of persevering study will, alone, we may be
    sure, suffice to keep all women out of the medical profession, but
    a very few. There is therefore no sort of occasion for the
    opposition to the movement on behalf of their eligibility to be
    members of that profession, offered, conceivably, by no men out of
    it but fools, and by none in it but trades unionists. Assuredly,
    _Mr. Punch_, rather should every encouragement be given to women
    desirous to enter the profession of medicine. Paterfamilias is a
    goose if he do not encourage any daughter of his, endowed with
    intellect, industry and resolution, who may evince a turn that
    way. No daughter can Paterfamilias get so thoroughly off his hands
    as a self-supporting one.

    The medical science, _Mr. Punch_, acquired by a lady doctor here
    and there might prove a leaven which would leaven the whole lump so
    to speak, with apology for calling the fair sex a lump. And the
    lump sadly wants leavening. When it had got properly leavened there
    would soon be an end to advertisements of "corsets," cosmetics and
    ways of being made beautiful for ever; also an end of low dresses
    in high life and high latitudes. The death rate from bronchitis and
    consumption would largely decrease.

    There would likewise be an end of Daffy and Dalby, and all manner
    of domestic quackery in those upper regions where future men and
    women make the noises which pious Æneas heard, the first thing, in
    the lower. Moreover, we should hear much less of those noises.

    And mark. Whilst the medical profession would be a resource for a
    clever girl, who, having to live somehow, would like to live
    single, or at any rate, having a soul of her own as well as a
    body, would hate to sell herself in the marriage-market, it would
    by no means debar such an one, matrimonially disposed, from
    matrimony. For what young medical man wanting a partner could do
    better than choose a medical lady duly qualified (in every respect)
    for partnership? And every non-medical man thinking to take a wife
    would find his account in taking a doctress who would know better
    than, by continually breaking the natural laws, to let herself in
    for everlasting headaches, faintings, hysterics, and other
    ailments, rendering herself a perpetual plague to a husband, and
    running him up doctor's bills. Finally, the father of a family of
    children, whose mamma was a medical gentlewoman, would enjoy the
    advantage, instead of suffering the expense, of having a doctor
    always in the house.

    That the Legislature will compel the Medical Council to grant a
    diploma to every lady who can satisfy their examiners is the hope

    Yours truly, CELSUS EXCELSIOR.

[Illustration: OUR NURSES

EXPERIENCED NIGHT NURSE (sternly): "Come, come, sir! You must stop
that horrid noise. If you keep wheezing and snoring like that all
night, how am I to get to sleep?"]

The question of the admission of women to the Bar had already attracted
serious discussion. In June, 1869, _Punch_, generalizing from a
particular case, expressed mock horror at the prospect:--


    (Respectfully but remonstratively recommended to the notice of John
    Stuart Mill)

    Is this, we earnestly ask, in the name of cruelty to legal animals,
    what Court and Clients must be prepared for when ladies are
    admitted to practice at the Bar?

    The Shedden legitimacy case was resumed this morning for the
    fifteenth time before the House of Lords. The Lord Chancellor
    commented upon the extreme prolixity of Miss Shedden's address,
    which has now occupied fourteen days, and exhorted her to confine
    her remarks to the evidence. Shortly after commencing to address
    their Lordships this morning Miss Shedden swooned, and was carried
    out. Dr. Bond being sent for, testified that the lady was suffering
    from hysteria, brought on by nervous exhaustion. Their Lordships
    postponed the case till to-morrow, when, if Miss Shedden should be
    unable to proceed, her father will be heard.

    Talk of "the Subjection of Women," Mr. Mill! Here's the whole force
    of Law Lords in subjection to one woman ... who, after fifteen
    days, talks herself into hysteria, and their Lordships into--but
    what single word can be found comprehensive enough to describe
    their Lordship's state of body and mind, under the _peine forte et
    dure_ of this distressingly fluent female. Fancy a Bar of Miss
    Sheddens! The masculine legal mind recoils in horror from the idea!

[Sidenote: _The Suffrage Question_]

According to the D.N.B. Miss Shedden conducted her case for thirty days.
But a few months later _Punch_, discussing the "Professions of
Petticoats," approved of the contemplated innovation, and in 1870 wrote:
"Open the Bar, forensic as well as tabernary, only insist on the wig and
gown--the regulation gown--let the law of judicial vision be the same
for female counsel as for male."

The advance in _Punch's_ education in regard to the most controversial
of all woman's claims--that to the vote--is much smaller, but it is an
advance. He began in ribaldry and ridicule; but the persistence, the
ability, and the high character of the advocates of Woman Suffrage
converted him (intermittently) to seriousness, and even respect. The
successive stages of this change are interesting to trace. In 1857 a
Feminist Meeting at Leicester is merely the subject for chaff. We have
noted in the previous volume that Mayfair held severely aloof from the
Women's Rights movement in its earlier days. But in the summer of 1858,
at the same time when Almack's was revived, the Marchioness of
Londonderry and Lady Dysart proclaimed their adherence to Woman
Suffrage. _Punch_, still somewhat democratic, was not moved by this
social portent, and when it was announced that the Ladies' Gallery in
the House of Commons was to be enlarged, unfeelingly suggested that it
must be a concession to crinoline: otherwise there could be no reason
for favouring "a parcel of chattering and giggling women."

In 1859 we find a burlesque account of a woman's meeting, convened to
discuss the Suffrage question. But a slightly altered tone is observable
in the early 'sixties. Women's indirect electoral power is recognized in
the hostile criticism of the _Realm_, a recently-founded Conservative
organ, in the issue of April 23, 1864, and when the question of Woman
Suffrage came up before the Social Science Congress in 1866, it is
significant that _Punch_ abandons ridicule for argument:--


    The cause of Womanhood Suffrage was ably pleaded by Madame Barbara
    Bodichon at the Social Science Congress, and Madame Bodichon was
    gallantly followed on the same line by Dr. Mary Walker. It may
    safely be said that if every man is fit to vote, so is every woman;
    on conditions. These, of course, are, that if women are to exercise
    political functions, like men, they must accept all the obligations
    of the sterner sex. For instance, the right of voting would give
    women a voice in the organization of the army. This ought not to
    exist apart from liability to be drawn for the Militia, or to
    become subject to conscription, if that method of recruiting should
    come to be adopted in this country. The ladies who sigh for the
    suffrage should lose no time in enrolling themselves in regiments
    of Amazonian volunteers to signify that whilst they demand the
    rights, they are ready to accept the duties of citizenship.

Dr. Mary Walker was the American lady who wore a masculine or
semi-masculine garb; Madame Bodichon was the benefactress who invented
and endowed Girton.

[Sidenote: _J. S. Mill on the Suffrage_]

It was reserved, however, for John Stuart Mill, when, in the debate on
the Reform Bill,[25] he moved that in Clause 4 the word "person" should
be substituted for "man," to come nearest to breaking down _Punch's_
opposition to Woman Suffrage. Mill's speech shook him very badly, as may
be gathered from the full and eulogistic summary in the "Essence of

    And now, Ladies, _Mr. Punch_ does you the justice of believing that
    you would like to know what arguments your Friend advanced. You may
    be sure that all that could be said was said in the best manner by
    Mr. Mill, and that such of you as wish to fight the battle may have
    all the weapons, elegantly polished, at hand, _Mr. Punch_--your
    devoted slave--lays them before you in the most convenient form.
    Mr. Mill urged that at present:-

    Neither birth, merit, exertion, intellect, fortune, nor even
    accident can enable any woman to have her voice counted in matters
    which concern her and hers as nearly as any person in the kingdom.

    It is not just to make distinctions between the Queen's subjects,
    except for a positive reason.

    Are women who manage property, or business, or teach more than most
    male electors know, unfit for the function of voting?

    Would they be revolutionary?

    Taxation and Representation should go together. Women pay taxes.

    The real difficulty felt is not a practical one; it is only a
    feeling of Strangeness.

    That is a thing which wears off. What are the objections?

    1. Politics are not women's business.

    2. You don't desire the suffrage.

    3. You are sufficiently represented by your influence over male

    4. You have power enough already.

The answers are:--

    1. Nor are they man's, unless he is a professional politician. He
    has business of his own, which he does not neglect, for the sake of
    voting, more than a woman would.

    2. But many do, and others would but for fear of being ill thought
    of. We are not to suppose that leading questions put to ladies
    elicit their real sentiments. None are so well schooled as women in
    making a virtue of necessity.

    3. Does man apply this argument to rich men and others with

    4. You have great power, but it is under the worst conditions, for
    it is indirect, and therefore irresponsible. And he would have you
    work by a manly exchange of opinions, and not by cajolery.

There is a feeling which men have, but are ashamed to express--this:

A woman has no right to care about anything but how she may be the most
useful and devoted servant of some man.

Mr. Mill professed such indignation at this idea that he would not argue
about it.

In the old days woman and man lived apart--that is, the wife was a
plaything or an upper servant. His friends were men. This is changed.
The women of the family are the man's habitual society. The wife is his
chief associate, most confidential friend, most trusted counsellor.

Then, should a man wish that such a companion should be studiously kept
inferior to himself, and taught ignorance or indifference about the
subjects among which his highest duties are cast?

The time has come when, if women are not raised to the level of men, men
will be pulled down to theirs.

[Footnote 25: May 20, 1867.]

As to women being sufficiently protected, he would like a return of the
number of women annually beaten or kicked, or trodden to death by their
male protectors--of the cases when the dastardly criminal did not get
off altogether--of the cases in which such brutes received lighter
sentences than are awarded for trifling thefts.

Old educational endowments were for boys and girls alike. The girls have
been shut out, as at Christ's Hospital, where there are 1,100 boys and
26 girls.

The Doctors shut out the ladies.

The painters do the same, excluding them from the associateship of the
Academy, because they were distinguishing themselves too much.

A husband can tear away every shilling of his wife's and spend it in
debauchery, and even then, if she struggles and saves, he can pounce on
her earnings, unless she is judicially separated.

Your Champion, Ladies, wound up with an earnest assurance that when the
time should come, as come it would, for acceding to his motion, we
should never repent of the concession.

And _Punch_ is sure that whether you want votes or not, you will say
that the cheers Mr. Mill gained were well earned.

Mr. E. K. Karslake thought Mr. Mill confounded the distinction between
man and woman.

Mr. Denman supported him, but thought the Bill already conferred the

Mr. Fawcett (a newly married man too) earnestly supported the motion,
and said that the time for chaff on the subject had gone by.

Mr. Laing talked nonsense about the ideal of woman, said that Juliet,
Ophelia and Desdemona had nothing to do with votes--the poets understood
woman better than Mr. Mill.

Sir George Bowyer, like a gallant knight, supported your cause.

Lord Galway said the motion placed admirers of the fair sex in an
awkward position.

Mr. Onslow said that two young ladies had told him they would vote for
the man who gave them the best pair of diamond ear-rings.

Mr. Mill was pleased, as well he might be, at the fearful debility of
his opponents, and took the division, which was,

  For the Ladies        73
  Against              196
         Majority      123 for keeping you out, dears.

This speech of Mr. Mill's was the event of the week.

At any rate it cannot be said that _Punch_ failed to do justice to the
debate on its merits. His account is both ampler and fairer than many
reports of important discussions in Parliament which appear in the daily
press of to-day. But this was the day of verbatim reports. _Punch_
mentions one debate which occupied thirty-six columns of closely-printed
small type in _The Times_.


"Pray clear the way, there, for these--ah--persons."]

By way of an offset to the admissions made in his Parliamentary report,
_Punch_ published a long, open letter to Mr. Mill. The argument founded
on the derogatory word "person" need not detain us. The letter is signed
"Judy," but the voice is the voice of _Punch_, who would not give women
the vote because he believed they could exercise their political rights
of sovereignty more effectually by proxy. Why should they wish to
exercise power through the franchise when they were already omnipotent
over those who had the franchise? Men were not much the happier or the
better or the wiser for their politics. Mill's proposal to exclude
married women from the franchise is dexterously turned to account as an
admission that female influence was paramount as it was; that it was
unnecessary to give women what they already exercised through their
husbands. In fine, till women were married, they were learning to rule
their husbands. After they were married they had their husbands to rule.
Politics were the natural occupation of the inferior or slavish sex.
When would Mill's logic open his eyes to the fact that, like the
Constitutional Sovereign, _la femme règne et ne gouverne pas_?

Such a letter brought but cold comfort to the Suffragists. It was like
feeding them with the East Wind. But at its worst it was an immense
improvement on the heavy facetiousness of _Punch's_ earlier manner.

In May, 1868, _Punch_ virtually sided with his "dear enemy":--

    Mr. Mill presented to the Commons a petition signed by 21,757
    women, who asked for the Franchise. The first signature was that of
    Mrs. Somerville, Mechanist of the Heavens; the second that of Miss
    Florence Nightingale, Healer on Earth. Right or wrong, the request
    ought to have been granted to such petitioners.

[Sidenote: _Open Letter to Mrs. Fawcett_]

So when at a meeting in Manchester in December, 1869, it was resolved to
form a guarantee fund of £5,000, _Punch_ declared that if the Suffrage
was to be had for love or money, women would shortly have it, and went
on with characteristic effrontery to claim the credit of being "the
Liberator of the Ladies":--

    When ladies, ere many months shall have passed over their heads,
    rush to the poll and tender their votes for the men of their
    choice, let them not forget to whom they are mainly indebted for
    ability to exercise the birthright of a Britoness. It has ever been
    the aim of _Mr. Punch_ to elevate Woman as well as Man. To this end
    he has directed pen and pencil to the special exposure of the
    peculiarities which distinguish silly from sensible women to
    derision. The consequence has been a very general relinquishment of
    those ludicrous peculiarities, and an awakening the female mind to
    logical perception, and a sense of the absurd and the grotesque.
    Hence will sooner or later inevitably result Female Emancipation,
    for which Female Intellect will have to thank _Mr. Punch_.

These indiscretions, which were apparently only meant in a Pickwickian
sense, obliged _Punch_ to regularize his position in a letter to "Mrs.
Professor Fawcett" in the following April. He congratulates the
Suffragists on dropping the limitation with which they started and going
in for repealing the electoral disabilities of all women--married as
well as single. In revising their claim they were at once logical and
wise in their generation. But on the broad question _Punch_ comes down
on the anti-Suffragist side of the fence:--

    Has it never occurred to you that in parcelling out life into two
    great fields, the one inside, the other outside the house-doors,
    and in creating two beings so distinct in body, mind, and
    affections as men and women, the Framer of the Universe must have
    meant the two for different functions? Can you deny, or shut your
    eyes to the fact that a similar distinction runs through the whole
    animal kingdom? Surely, so long as the masculine creature keeps
    aloof from the domain of the feminine, and leaves to her the
    nursing and rearing and training of the family, and the ordering
    and gracing of the home, there lies a tremendously strong
    presumption against the wisdom of the feminine entry on the
    masculine domain of business and politics.

The conclusion he comes back to is his old argument: Why give women
votes when they have them already?

    In a word here is my dilemma, dear Mrs. Professor. Either women
    don't care for votes--in which case they will make a bad use of
    them; or they do care for them, in which case they have ours.

    Look how you rule in that Parliament for the business of which you
    do care, and whose budget you control and appropriate. What man
    dares call his home his own? What man, that deserves to be called a
    man, with a good wife, wishes to be other than her humble servant,
    breadwinner, hewer of wood and drawer of water, within the walls of
    that sacred sphere, of which the household hearth is the central
    sun? Depend upon it, if Nature had meant you for the franchise, you
    would have had it long ago. But then, if you had been in our place,
    we should have been in yours. Do you think it would be a better
    world for the change?

The worldly wisdom and common sense shown in this letter is also to be
found in _Punch's_ review of the whole question of Women's disabilities
in the same year. The facetious, patronizing tone is largely dropped,
and though the cartoon on the "Ugly Rush," inspired by the rejection of
Jacob Bright's Suffrage Bill, clearly approves of the result, it fully
recognizes the seriousness of the onslaught on man's monopoly of the
franchise. The time for chaff on the subject, as Fawcett said, had gone

Short of the vote, however, about which he remained recalcitrant,
_Punch_ supported the claims of women to official employment in
connexion with the Poor Law, Education, Local Government generally. He
bestows a tempered approval on the appointment of Women Parish Officers
in Bucks in 1868, and when the first elections to the London School
Board were held at the close of 1870, unofficially but strenuously
championed the three women candidates--Miss Garrett, M.D., Mrs. Grey and
Miss Davies:--

    There are some very good men in the candidature, but they are well
    known, and can speak for themselves. _Mr. Punch_ only wishes to
    point out that three ladies desire to do Woman's Work, and he hopes
    that they will be accredited to the Board. He seldom condescends to
    treat of mere political elections, but these Educational Elections
    are important, and wise men had better look to them.

[Illustration: AN "UGLY RUSH"! MR. BULL: "Not if I know it!" (_See
Division on the Woman's Vote Bill._)]

[Sidenote: _Mrs. Nassau Senior_]

The appointment of Mrs. Nassau Senior by the President of the Local
Government Board to inspect and report on pauper schools, and her
contribution to the Third Annual Report of that Department, meet with
unqualified approval:--

    In the midst of that vast blue-book of seven hundred pages there is
    a bit of motherly writing by Mrs. Nassau Senior, which is
    delightful to read, and cannot fail to be of immense use. Mrs.
    Senior has visited pauper schools, and has traced about seven
    hundred girls who had been educated at pauper schools; and her
    brief biographies of these poor little waifs are perfect in their
    simplicity. She believes that the Poor Law system will, in time,
    come to an end through improvement in education. _Mr. Punch_ is not
    so sanguine. Mendicity is eternal. But the pauper may be gradually
    raised to a higher level; and such an inquiry as Mrs. Senior's is
    likely to do great good in this way.

    _Mr. Punch_ is delighted when a lady does in this direction what no
    man could possibly do. The terse memoirs of these poor little
    pauper maids are much more pathetic than anything in modern
    fiction. We trace the poor children from place to place--we see
    them stunted, sulky, squinting, suffering from ophthalmia, the very
    refuse of the world. Mrs. Senior, kind and keen in her
    investigations, tells the Guardians of the Poor (who too often deem
    themselves mere guardians of the ratepayers) how they may
    gradually diminish this evil. Mr. Stansfeld did a wise thing when
    he asked her to undertake the inquiry; if the lessons of it are
    rightly read, her second contribution to the blue-book will have a
    far rosier tinge.

The treatment of the Higher Education of Women follows much the same
course--from ridicule to respect. When a Women's Library was founded in
New York, it is seriously suggested in 1860 that a similar institution
might with advantage be established in London, with Miss Bessie Parkes,
who was an active promoter of the Social Science Association, as
Librarian. But when in the summer of 1862 Mlle. Emma Chenu was admitted
to the degree of Bachelor of Science at the Sorbonne, _Punch_ contents
himself with drawing up a burlesque list of Lady Professors for the
University of Cambridge, most of them popular actresses of the time,
including Marie Wilton, Patty Oliver, Lydia Thompson, etc. By way of
contrast to this carnival of punning facetiousness we may note the
rebuke administered in May, 1863, to the students of University College,
who hissed the proposal to admit women to degrees.

[Sidenote: _Girton College_]

Great capital was made out of "Sweet Girl Graduates" by Du Maurier in
many characteristic variations on the "Princess Ida" theme. But the
movement was rapidly passing beyond the stage in which it could only be
treated sentimentally or in a spirit of ridicule. Huxley was lecturing
to women at South Kensington in 1870, and in 1871 the Ladies' College at
Hitchin (founded in 1869), which owed its origin to the enterprise and
liberality of Madame Bodichon--the friend of George Eliot and the
zealous advocate of the improvement of women's position in the
state--had so far justified itself as to earn _Punch's_ commendation,
under the typically frivolous heading of "The Chignon at Cambridge," a
good example of inept alliteration's artless aid:--

    At the examination lately held at Cambridge a number of students
    from the Ladies' College at Hitchin passed their "Little-go"; the
    first time that such undergraduates ever underwent that ordeal. It
    is gratifying to be enabled to add, that out of all those flowers
    of loveliness, not one was plucked. Bachelors of Art are likely to
    be made look to their laurels by these Spinsters, and Masters must
    work hard or they will be eclipsed by Mistresses, more completely
    than the Sun was the other day by the Moon. And we may expect that
    when such competitors of both sexes come to perform upon the
    classical and mathematical Tripos, a Pythoness will be first upon
    the former, and another young lady will dance off triumphantly
    Senior Wrangler.


_Punch's_ prophecy was fulfilled by the exploits of Miss Ramsay
(afterwards Mrs. Montagu Butler) and Miss Philippa Fawcett, daughter of
Henry and Millicent Garrett Fawcett. The College at Hitchin was moved to
Cambridge in 1873, when it entered on a new and prosperous career under
the title of Girton. But _Punch_, reverting to his facetious manner,
availed himself of the opportunity to publish a set of burlesque
regulations and syllabus of lectures for the new College. The same
spirit is betrayed in the comments on the proposed Ladies' Club in

    A Ladies' Club is said to be in process of formation. How the male
    mind shudders at this most tremendous news! What a field for
    fearful questions the intelligence suggests! Will there be a Club
    Committee? and, if so, at its meetings how many ladies' tongues
    will be allowed to speak at once? Will there be a smoking-room?
    And, if so, will cigars be suffered to be lighted, or will the fear
    of being ill restrain the ladies from indulgence in anything except
    the very mildest cigarettes? Will conversation be restricted to the
    politics of the nursery and the latest news in bonnets; or what
    will be the limits sanctioned to recounters of a thrilling bit of
    scandal, or to narrators of a tale of love, or marriage, or
    divorce, which has just been set a-wagging in high life? Instead of
    billiards we presume the younger members will amuse themselves with
    tatting, while the elder are engaged in a fierce battle at

    The ladies will, of course, want a title for their Club. Perhaps
    "The Femineum" would be a fitting name for it; or would its members
    prefer to call themselves "The Chatterers" while the present
    fashion lasts? Should the Ladies' Club prove popular, there may
    doubtless be some little ducks desirous to belong to it. But we
    trust, however silly may be certain of its members, nobody will
    ever dream of calling it "The Goose Club."

The promoters might have retorted that such criticisms were worthy of
the members of the "Asineum." But _Punch_ was fairly entitled to make
such capital as he could out of the advertisement quoted in 1874:
"Philosopher wanted, as Secretary to a Ladies' Club."

[Sidenote: _The Economics of Marriage_]

As we have seen, _Punch_ had frankly recognized that matrimony was not
and could not be the be-all and end-all of all women--that there were
some girls who, though they might marry if they chose, did not wish to;
girls who preferred independence to matrimonial servitude; girls, again,
who would make excellent wives, but were not chosen because men were
stupid enough to be governed in their choice by looks and looks alone.
The economics of marriage, again, were becoming an increasingly
important consideration as a result of the raising of the standard of
life and the cost of living. In the 'forties _Punch_ printed a song of
which the refrain was "If I had a thousand a year," which represented a
sum almost beyond the dreams of middle-class avarice, to judge by all
the things the dreamer would do and all the luxuries he would indulge
in, if his income reached four figures. In 1858 _The Times_ started a
serious discussion of the problem "Marriage on £300 a year," which the
same audience nowadays would regard not as practical politics but an act
of insanity. _Punch,_ however, satirized the discussion from the point
of view of an agricultural labourer earning a wage of 10s. a week.

Though in the golden days of Gladstonian finance the income tax came
down to 4d. and even 3d. in the pound, the standard of living rose, and
£500 a year is mentioned in 1867 as a possible basis for matrimony. From
whatever the cause--possibly the prevalence of large families had
something to say to it--the rapidity with which married people of both
sexes grew old, as compared with the juvenile grandparents of to-day, is
strikingly illustrated in the pages of _Punch._ Take for example the two
pictures "Twelve months after Marriage" and "Twenty years after
Marriage" in 1862. When we take into account the earlier age at which
people married sixty years ago, the couple in the picture on p. 265 need
no be more than forty-five; yet they both look at least seventy. One is
reminded of a passage in _Sense and Sensibility_ (though, that, of
course, was fifty years earlier), in which John Dashwood, speaking of
his mother, who is "hardly forty," suggests that "she may live another
fifteen years." The pictures given here represent a happy marriage.
_Punch_ had no panacea for unhappy marriages; but he remained of the
same opinion, so often expressed in his earlier days, that a cheap
Divorce Act was a better cure than the punishment of cruel wife-beaters.
And throughout this period he remained constant in his support of the
campaign for the amendment of the Women's Property Acts, on the lines of
his summary of Lord Brougham's three resolutions moved in the House of
Lords on February 13, 1857. They were "First, that their present rights
were all wrongs. Second, that a woman was entitled to her own property;
and third, that if our ridiculous theory of marriage prevented a woman
from having this justice, at all events a profligate husband should be
restrained from wasting her possessions." Lastly, he remained unshaken
in his adhesion to the cause of marriage with a deceased wife's sister,
or, as he termed it, "the Bill for Emancipation of Sisters-in-Law from
the tyrannical disqualification which prevents their taking the
matrimonial oath when elected by a Briton and a widower."


"Bobby ought to love his pet for taking such care of his beautiful


"My dear Bobby, you must let me pull it off your nose; it looks so

[Sidenote: _The English Feminine Type_]

By way of conclusion we may add that if _Punch_ reserved to himself the
right of castigating the follies of his countrywomen, he was valorous in
their defence when they were depreciated or caricatured by foreign
critics or artists. In 1858 he falls foul of a German journalist, under
the head of "British and German Beauty":--

    The Berlin _Charivari_ contains the following humorous remarks on
    English beauty:--

    "Each Nation thinks itself the handsomest in the world. We paint
    the devil black; the blacks will have him white. Miss Pastrano
    delights in her beard, and every Englishman thinks his red-haired,
    crooked-nosed, rabbit-toothed, goggle-eyed, loose-legged, calfless
    Dulcinea the very perfection of human beauty."

    Not quite that. Not so perfect as the raven-haired, Grecian-nosed,
    white-and-sound-toothed, sloe-eyed, neat-legged young Teutonic
    lady, with such pretty little feet and ankles at the end of her
    legs. Of course the Prussian _Charivari's_ notion of an English
    girl is a bit of fun, complimentary irony; and we are sure our fair
    countrywomen will feel highly honoured by the mock-depreciation of
    our cousin German.

Much later on the French caricaturists, who habitually represented
Englishwomen as lean, gaunt, ill-favoured and ill-dressed, and with long
projecting teeth, roused him to protest with equal vigour against their
gross and unseemly libels.


There is probably no better means of testing a man's literary sense than
his estimate of poetry other than that written by authors of established
reputation. And as with individuals so is it with papers. _Punch_
deserves no special credit for his devotion to Shakespeare, or for his
ridicule of the Baconians who, in his phrase, sought to make the Swan of
Avon a Goose. It is curious, however, in this context to note that, on
_Punch's_ authority, Lord Palmerston suspended judgment on the question.
In the arm-chair commentary on current events which appeared in 1865
under the heading, "_Punch's_ Table-Talk," we read:--

    When Ben Jonson's verses, in laudation of William Shakespeare, were
    mentioned to the late Premier, he said, "Oh, these fellows always
    stand up for one another. Besides, he may have been deceived like
    the rest."

It is only one and a small proof of Shakespeare's "myriad-mindedness"
that _Punch_ throughout his career has drawn more freely from his plays
for subjects for cartoons than from any other source. Shakespeare, as a
modern writer puts it, "has always been there before." It was partly no
doubt due to _Punch's_ distrust of the national capacity to organize and
carry out picturesque demonstrations that led him to treat the
Shakespeare Tercentenary Celebrations in 1864 with scant respect. But an
honourable jealousy for the repute of our greatest writer was enough to
warrant his dissatisfaction. There were wide divergences of opinion and
considerable friction among the members of the National Memorial
Committee, a huge unwieldy body representing all professions and
interests, and containing, along with many great and honoured names, not
a few thrusting notorieties and even nonentities. The festival at
Stratford was a _fiasco_, and the grandiose schemes of the promoters
came to little practical result. One is indeed tempted to draw the
conclusion that it is almost unnecessary to attempt a special
celebration of one who is being celebrated every day and all the time.


As a critic of letters _Punch_ is subjected to more searching ordeal in
his references to living and rising than to dead or risen authors. His
recognition of James Montgomery--the author of one of the very few fine
modern hymns--has been noticed elsewhere. There was chivalry as well as
appreciation in his defence of Alexander Smith when the charge of
plagiarism was brought against the "City Poems" by the _Athenæum_. The
ridicule of the "Spasmodic" school in Aytoun's brilliant burlesque drama
_Firmilian_ was a much more damaging criticism, but in recognizing
Smith's force and originality _Punch_ ranges himself on the side of
Clough and Matthew Arnold, John Forster, Arthur Helps and G. H.
Lewes--in other words, the most enlightened and best equipped critics of
the time.

Though Tennyson had been Laureate for several years, he was still
regarded--surprising and even painful as it may seem to the neo-Georgian
reader--with a certain amount of suspicion by austere critics bred up in
eighteenth century traditions. Both as regards matter and manner he was
considered to be an innovator. _Punch's_ admiration for Tennyson was
already an old story. He had lent him the hospitality of his pages in
1846 to reply to Bulwer Lytton's defamatory abuse in _The New Timon_.
But in some quarters judgment was still suspended, and Tennyson was not
yet held to have completed the period of probation. So when in 1859 the
bust of the Laureate was denied admission to the Library at Trinity
College, Cambridge, on the ground that the honour was premature, _Punch_
printed a satirical "Fragment of an Idyll" in which the poet's
detractors were rebuked in his own manner.

[Sidenote: _A Wonderful Three-penny-worth_]

_Punch's_ championship of Tennyson never faltered, though he was
reconciled to Bulwer Lytton, who had called the Laureate a
"School-miss," and it dated back to a time when Tennyson's claims to
recognition were vehemently canvassed. Still we are inclined to regard
as a much more remarkable sign of his _flair_ and enlightenment, the
quoting of Meredith's poem, _Modern Love_, in his "Essence of
Parliament," in the year 1865. It is only a scrap--four words; yet when
one remembers how remarkably small Meredith's audience was in the
'sixties, even for his prose, the quotation is a notable sign of grace.
But Shirley Brooks, who distilled the "Essence," was a scholar and
something of a poet into the bargain. There was also a special bond
between _Punch_ and George Meredith. In 1860, under the heading "An
Honest Advertisement," _Punch_ refers to _Once a Week_ as having been
enlarged to thirty-two pages, and speaks of it as "already one of the
most extraordinarily cheap publications in the world when you consider
the brilliancy of the literature and the beauty of the illustrations."
This was admittedly a puff, for the proprietors of _Punch_ and _Once a
Week_ were the same, but it was no more than the truth. _Once a Week_
was the most wonderful three-penny-worth in the whole journalistic
history of the nineteenth century, with Millais, Rossetti, Sandys,
Frederick Walker, G. J. Pinwell and Charles Keene as regular
illustrators. As for the letterpress, it is enough to say that
Meredith's _Evan Harrington_ (illustrated by Charles Keene) appeared in
its pages, as well as many of his and Tennyson's poems. In spite of this
galaxy of talent the magazine was not a commercial success, and after a
few years passed into other hands.

In extending a welcome to Kingsley's[26] _Water Babies_, and later on to
_Alice in Wonderland_, our friend _Punch_ did no more than might have
been expected of him. But his praise of the former story is pitched in a
pretty high key: the author of the "Table Talk" in 1865 declaring that
he "would rather have written the _Water Babies_ than any book in the
last fifty years." In the controversy that raged over _Poems and
Ballads_, in 1866, _Punch_ committed himself truculently to the side of
the angels of decorum. In consequence he writes pungently, that "having
read Mr. Swinburne's defence of his prurient poetics, _Punch_ hereby
gives him his royal licence to change his name to what is evidently its
true form--"Swine-born." Name-twisting, with a view to casting odium on
an antagonist, is an old but dangerous game. The most that can be said
in _Punch's_ defence, which is not much, is that he was not the only
offender. In the acrimonious pamphlet warfare that raged between
Swinburne and Dr. Halliwell Phillipps, the latter called the poet
"Pigsbrook," and the poet retorted by referring to his opponent as
"Hell-P." Apart from this error of taste, _Punch_ had at least the
support of powerful and distinguished allies in his condemnation. But he
overdid his disparagement when four years later he observed that
"certain Songs before Sunrise are promised us ere long, from the pen of
a young poet." Nor was the allusion to Walt Whitman as "an impostor" in
1869 any happier than his previous description of him as a Yankee rough.

[Footnote 26: In 1858 _Punch_ had chaffed Kingsley for his _Ode to the
North-East Wind_ in a parody purporting to be written by a dyspeptic
valetudinarian, who resented the strenuous "muscular Christianity" of
the original.]

[Sidenote: _Martin Tupper_]

Though by no means an infallible or judicial critic, _Punch_ made no
mistakes about bad poets, even though they were popular. Throughout this
period he was the champion of the middle-classes in politics; but his
championship did not extend to their literary preferences. In the
'sixties, Tupper was widely read and, judged by circulation, the most
successful poet of the day. To this generation his name has become a
synonym for platitude; and as an author, he survives, if at all, in the
immortal parody of Calverley. Yet we can never get away from the fact
that he gave pleasure to scores of thousands of decent people by his
blameless banalities. Though his _Proverbial Philosophy_ was the
quintessence of commonplace and orthodoxy, there are passages in it, as
Professor Elton has pointed out, which deviate into something like
poetry. He was, though vain, a kindly, good man, and a patriotic
citizen, who did good service in promoting the Volunteer Movement. He
was not a fool: did he not defeat Mr. Gladstone in the competition for a
prize for a theological essay at Christ Church? The University of Oxford
conferred on him the honorary degree of D.C.L. in 1847. He was also an
inventor in a small way, and patented a screw-top for glass bottles. He
was even a Fellow of the Royal Society! But to _Punch_ he was simply a
bad poet, and as such a subject for ridicule and parody. Thus, _à
propos_ of his _Three Hundred Sonnets_, _Punch_ published in 1860 what
purported to be the three-hundred-and-first on "My Five New Kittens,"
winding up with the couplet:--

    O cook, we'll keep the innocents alive,
    They're five, consider, and you've fingers five.

The illustration alluding to a girl who writes to her lover with the aid
of "Tupper's poems and a Dictionary," acquires a peculiar point from the
fact, recorded in Spurgeon's Life, that he proposed to the lady who
became his wife by help of a passage from Tupper.

[Illustration: SHE "JESTS AT SCARS----."

AUNT: "And how's Louisa, my dear? Where is she?"

SARCASTIC YOUNGER SISTER (fancy free): "Oh, pretty well, but she won't
be on view these two hours. She's writing to her 'Dear Fred'; at least,
I fancy I saw her come out of the library with Tupper's poems and a

Owing to heavy financial losses Tupper accepted a Civil List pension of
£120 at the end of 1873, and _Punch_ supported the grant on the ground
that though philosophers might have learned little from _Proverbial
Philosophy_, there could be no doubt that a work read by the million had
either taught or entertained them a good deal. He also hailed it as an
earnest of better times coming for authors in general; for if Tupper had
received £120 a year, how many times that sum should be awarded to
writers of really durable works? This mitigated approval prepares us for
_Punch's_ subsequent malice in publishing a burlesque poem, purporting
to come from Tupper's pen, on a Royal wedding in January, 1874. But the
bestowal of those pensions too often invited direct censure. The
notorious "Poet Close" of Kirkby Stephen, Westmorland, who described
himself as "Poet Laureate to the King of Bonny," was patronized by Lord
Palmerston (who indirectly compared him with Burns) and had been put on
the Civil List in 1861, though the pension was afterwards withdrawn. But
when _Punch_ learned in 1863 that the poet was poor in more senses than
one, he promised him an immunity from ridicule, and wished success to
his next work. The promise was hardly fulfilled in the following year
when "English literature was enriched" by Poet Close's _Grand Sensation
Book_ and by _Cithara_--a selection from the Lyrics of Martin Tupper. Of
the latter _Punch_ cruelly remarks: "it contains some new pieces, in
which Mr. Tupper has excelled himself: but _Nemo repente fuit
Tupperrimus_." The two poets are bracketed (as in one of Gilbert's _Bab
Ballads_) in some ironical stanzas, but the conjunction was hardly fair
to Tupper, who at his worst was assuredly a cut above "Poet Close." A
lower depth, however, was sounded by the poet Young, whose pension was a
positive scandal. Tupper is very generously treated in the D.N.B.; "Poet
Close" appears, though more as a curiosity than as a writer of any
literary merit whatsoever, his verses being described as "metrical
balderdash"; but for Young we have to go to _Hansard_ or _Punch_, whose
comment in 1867 runs as follows:--

    We had some fun by way of ending an important week. Palmerston had
    his Close, and Derby has his Young, only the doggerel of the latter
    is not merely vulgar and foolish, but offensive. However, he is
    pensioned. Mr. Whalley (probably thinking that Young was author of
    the _Night Thoughts_) defended the grant, and said that Young's
    sentiments were truly Protestant. Mr. Disraeli said what he could,
    which was that Lord Derby had been hoaxed, and that it would be a
    warning to himself never to sign or believe in a Memorial.

    The vigilance displayed by _Punch_ in this matter no doubt helped
    to improve matters, but even as I write, in 1921, the world of
    letters has been staggered by the bestowal of a decoration on the
    strength of literary achievements of which no record could be
    discovered in any publisher's catalogue or library.

[Sidenote: _Thackeray and Dickens_]

One of the great novelists of the Victorian Age, Thackeray, had been for
many years a regular and brilliant contributor to _Punch_, and though he
retired from the staff in 1854, remained a constant member of the
council and sat with them only eight days before his death on Christmas
Eve, 1863. The tribute in the issue of January 2, 1864, pays homage more
to the affectionate and loyal comrade than to the great writer; but in
the following number _Punch_ repels with spirit the charge that
Thackeray was a cynic. Thackeray's contributions to _Punch_ belong to an
earlier period, but the brilliant burlesques of popular novelists, which
he initiated by his travesties of Bulwer Lytton, Disraeli, G. P. R.
James and Lever were carried on with great spirit by Burnand in
_Mokeanna_ (suggested by the romances in the _London Journal_), _Chikkin
Hazard_ (founded on Charles Reade's _Foul Play_), and _One and Three_
(after Victor Hugo's _Quatre-Vingt-Treize_). Burnand's burlesques were
not nearly so subtle or artistic as Thackeray's; they relied more upon
farcical quips and ingenious puns; but still they served a useful
purpose in the elevation of parody from mere verbal mimicry into a
genuine function of literary criticism, a process in which _Punch_ has
played an increasingly active and successful part in recent years.

Dickens's intimate relations with the _Punch_ staff have been noted in
the previous volume. There had been friction with the proprietors, but
all was forgotten on his death in June, 1870. The lines which recognize
him as in the same category as Shakespeare, only say what even modernist
critics admit to-day--that he created a new world and peopled it with
creatures of his imagination who are as real as those of real life. In
the same number _Punch_, with some slight reserves, espoused Disraeli's
side when Goldwin Smith had rashly "put on the cap" fitted for him in
_Lothair_, and publicly and vehemently protested against being libelled
as a "social parasite." In some doggerel verses _Punch_ made acid
reference to the professor's bilious temper, intellectual arrogance and
general cantankerousness. If Disraeli's attack was cowardly and
contemptible, why notice it with such passion?

[Illustration: A NOVEL FACT

OLD-FASHIONED PARTY (with old-fashioned prejudices): "Ah! Very clever, I
dare say. But I see it's written by a lady, and _I_ want a book that my
_daughters_ may read. Give me something else!"]

Trollope is genially commended in the "Honest Advertisement" mentioned
above. The popularity of Miss Braddon's _Lady Audley's Secret_ and
_Aurora Floyd_ is attested in 1863; Miss Broughton's novels are barely
referred to, but the reference clearly indicates disapproval of their
audacity. Nor can we find any appreciation of the now unduly neglected
novels of George Eliot, though there is a curious mention in 1859 of an
anonymous sequel to _Adam Bede_ brought out by an obscure publisher
named Newby. It may be recalled that a claim to the authorship of _Adam
Bede_ was set up on behalf of a Mr. Liggins, a gentleman as unscrupulous
as his name was unromantic.

[Sidenote: _Carlyle and Ruskin_]

The imposture caused great annoyance to the real author, and hastened
the divulging of the secret which had hitherto been well kept.

_Punch_ had welcomed Macaulay's peerage, and on his death at the end of
1859 spoke of his as "the noblest name our Golden Book could show." In
spite of occasional sharp divergences of opinion, Carlyle is nearly
always treated with honour and respect. When he was elected Lord Rector
of Edinburgh University in 1866, _Punch_ saluted him in his own peculiar
style as a "brave, wise old man" who in an age of "eternal butter and
testimonial-plasterings of mediocrity," had flagellated windbags,
scourged sham patriotism, spoken words of manly cheer, and in general
shown that the root of the matter was in him. _Punch's_ further salute
in 1874 when "the Prussian Royal Order of Merit was presented to the
English historical biographer of Frederick the Great," is pitched in a
key that jars on modern ears by its eulogy of Bismarck and the Emperor
William; but the last stanzas of "True Thomas and his Order" are worth

    Our mother England has no stars
      For soldiers of the Pen:
    With us such honours spring from wars
      Watered with blood of men.

    Then let us rather smile than sneer,
      When from the Vaterland,
    Whose thought to us he has brought near,
      There is stretched forth a hand,

    To pin the badge of merit fair
      On Carlyle's manly breast:
    The star can shed no honour there,
      'Tis honoured there to rest.

The only other great Victorian literary lion of whom mention is made is
Ruskin, and _Punch's_ attitude towards him is somewhat mixed. In 1871 he
addressed an open letter to Ruskin, _à propos_ of his suggestions for
preventing inundations of the Tiber, the gist of it being that, whatever
he might be as an art critic, he was not infallible as an engineer.
_Punch_ admitted the "mystical and musical" eloquence of Ruskin, whom he
was quite content to regard as an oracle--though not always
intelligible--on Art and Nature, Paintings Old and Modern, Lamps of
Architecture, Crowns of Wild Olive, and so forth, but he refused to take
him seriously as a writer on economics or social problems. He showed
unexpected sympathy with him, however, over the famous road-making
experiment in 1874 at Hincksey, when the not very expert efforts of his
disciples moved Philistine undergraduates to ribald mirth:--


(See recent Correspondence in _Daily News_, and elsewhere)

    'Tis well for snarlers analytic,
      Who the art of the snarl to the sneer have brought,
    To spit their scorn at the eloquent critic,
      Leader of undergraduate thought.
    Heart of the student it will not harden
      If from the bat and the oar he abstain,
    To plant the flowers in a cottage garden,
      And lay the pipes of a cottage drain.

    Pity we have for the man who thinks he
      Proves Ruskin fool for work like this.
    Why shouldn't young Oxford lend hands to Hincksey,
      Though Doctrinaires may take it amiss?
    Careless wholly of critic's menace,
      Scholars of Ruskin, to him be true;
    The truths he has writ in _The Stones of Venice_
      May be taught by the Stones of Hincksey too.

Other papers laughed at the "amateur navvies," Oxford caricaturists were
busy, and "to walk over to Hincksey and laugh at the diggers became a
fashionable afternoon amusement." But the road was wanted, and Ruskin,
according to his biographer,[27] saw in it a means of practical protest
against the fetish-worship of athletics, to say nothing of his probable
desire to dissociate himself from the Postlethwaites and Maudles who had
stolen some of their catchwords from Ruskin, but whose creed of "art
for art's sake" he cordially loathed. And perhaps the best vindication
of the experiment was the fact that the undergraduate road-diggers
included Alfred Milner and Arnold Toynbee; and that in encouraging his
disciples in the "gospel of labour" Ruskin formulated principles of
social service on lines which have been faithfully carried out in the
Universities' Settlements in East London and other cities.

[Footnote 27: See the _Life of John Ruskin_, by Sir E. T. Cook.]

[Sidenote: _Punch and American Humorists_]

American humour is not always to English taste. And, conversely, English
humour, as represented by _Punch_, has not always commended itself to
American critics, though nothing could be more generous than the tribute
to _Punch_ paid by New York _Life_ during the late war. At an earlier
date we remember a picture in an American comic journal representing a
room of torture, crowded with thumbscrews and racks and other engines of
malignity, with a pile of volumes of _Punch_ enthroned in the place of
honour. In this context one recalls with satisfaction that _Punch_
extended a cordial welcome to two great American humorists--Artemus Ward
and Mark Twain--in the 'sixties and early 'seventies. Artemus Ward was
in broken health when he visited our shores in 1866, but his lectures at
the Egyptian Hall were an immense success, and elicited the admiration
of such diverse critics as John Bright, Richard Holt Hutton, of the
_Spectator_, who wrote an admirable appreciation of them in his paper,
and _Punch_. Hutton once told the present writer that he was never so
convulsed with laughter in his life as when listening to the lecture. It
may be read in Artemus Ward's collected works, and it is very good
reading in cold print, but the effect was enormously enhanced by the
contrast between the lecturer's cadaverous appearance and melancholy
manner on the one hand, and the extravagant farce of his utterances on
the other. This is well brought out in _Punch's_ notice of "A Ward that
deserves watching":--

    _Mr. Punch_ would recommend "funny men" on or off the stage, to
    hear Artemus Ward "speak his piece" at the Egyptian Hall, and then,
    in so far as in them lies, to go and do likewise....

    Oh, if these unhappy abusers of gag, grimace, and emphasis--these
    grating, grinding, grinning, over-doing obtruders of themselves in
    the wrong place--could take a leaf out of Artemus Ward's "piece,"
    and learn to be as quiet, grave, and unconscious in their delivery
    of the words set down for them as he is in speaking his own! Unlike
    them, Artemus Ward has brains. That is, of course, beyond hope in
    their case. But if they could once be made to feel how immensely
    true humour is enhanced by the unforced way it drops out of A.W.'s
    mouth, they might learn to imitate what, probably, it is hopeless
    to expect they could understand.

    To be sure, Artemus Ward's delivery of fun is eminently
    "un-English." But there are a good many things English one would
    like to see un-Englished. Gross overdone low comedy is one of them.
    Snobbishness is another. The two go hand in hand. One of the best
    of many good points of Artemus Ward's piece is that it is quite
    free from all trace of either of these English institutions. And it
    is worth noting, that we owe to another native of the States,
    Joseph Jefferson, the best example lately set us of unforced and
    natural low comedy. His _Rip Van Winkle_ was very un-English, too.

[Sidenote: _Artemus Ward in London_]

But _Punch's_ approval was not confined to applause. He invited Artemus
Ward to contribute to his columns, and the invitation led to a series of
delightful papers--"Artemus Ward in London"--which appeared in 1866.
Some have found in them signs of flagging spirits--Artemus Ward died of
consumption at Southampton on March 6, 1867--but the mixture of
extravagance and "horse-sense" was never better shown than in the visit
to the Tower:--

    "You have no Tower in America?" said a man in the crowd, who had
    somehow detected my denomination.

    "Alars! no," I anserd; "we boste of our enterprise and
    improovments, and yit we are devoid of a Tower. America, oh, my
    onhappy Country! Thou hast not got no Tower! It is a sweet Boon."

    The gates was opened after awhile, and we all purchist tickets, and
    went into a waitin-room.

    "My frens," said a pale-faced little man, in black close, "this is
    a sad day."

    "Inasmuch as to how?" I said.

    "I mean it is sad to think that so many peple have been killed
    within these gloomy walls. My frens, let us drop a tear!"

    "No," I said, "you must excuse me. Others may drop one if they feel
    like it; but as for me I decline. The early managers of this
    institootion were a bad lot, and their crimes was trooly orful; but
    I can't sob for those who died four or five hundred years ago. If
    they was my own relations I couldn't. It's absurd to shed sobs
    over things which occurd durin' the reign of Henry the Three. Let
    us be cheerful," I continnerd. "Look at the festive Warders in
    their red flannil jackets. They are cheerful, and why should it not
    be thusly with us?"

    A Warder now took us in charge, and showed us the "Trater's Gate,"
    the armers and things. The Trater's Gate is wide enuff to admit
    about twenty traters abrest, I should jedge; but beyond this, I
    couldn't see that it was superior to gates in gen'ral.

    Traters, I will here remark, are a onfortnit class of peple. If
    they wasn't, they wouldn't be traters. They conspire to bust up a
    country--they fail, and they're traters. They bust her, and they
    become statesmen and heroes....


ENTHUSIASTIC PEDESTRIAN: "Am I on the right road for
Stratford--Shakspere's town, you know, my man? You've often heard of

RUSTIC: "Ees. Be you he?"]

Mark Twain did not visit London until seven years later, and _Punch_
greeted the "distinguished humorist" in the quatrain headed "Welcome to
a Lecturer":--

    "'Tis time we Twain did show ourselves." 'Twas said
    By Cæsar, when one Mark had lost his head:
    By Mark whose head's quite bright, 'tis said again:
    "Therefore, go with me, friends, to bless this Twain."

The greeting was renewed a couple of months later, and _Punch's_
admiration, thus early expressed, never wavered in all the years that
elapsed before Mark Twain was entertained by _Punch_ at his table on the
occasion of his last visit to England in 1907, when he came over to
receive the degree of Doctor of Literature from the University of

[Sidenote: _W. S. Gilbert_]

The relations of W. S. Gilbert with _Punch_ were made public property to
a certain extent by Gilbert's statement, in the preface to the collected
edition of the _Bab Ballads_, that the _Cruise of the Nancy Bell_ had
been "offered to the Editor and declined by him on the ground that it
was too cannibalistic to suit the taste of his readers." The _Bab
Ballads_ (so called from the signature "Bab" which Gilbert appended to
his illustrations) appeared in _Fun_, which was founded in 1861, and
were, while they lasted, the chief attraction of that paper. Gilbert was
undoubtedly nettled by Mark Lemon's decision; had it been otherwise, he
might very probably have become a regular contributor to _Punch_. But it
is not strictly correct to say, as the author of the notice of Gilbert
in the _Encyclopædia Britannic_a does, that Gilbert continued to
contribute to _Fun_ because he had failed to gain the _entrée_ into the
pages of _Punch_. As a matter of fact he had frequently contributed,
both with pen and pencil, to _Punch_ in the early 'sixties. In 1865 his
contributions included an amusing illustrated squib on the hydrophobia
scare, the lines to "An Absent Husband," and a long prose piece "A
wonderful Shilling's worth!" on the performances at the Polytechnic. The
last named was Gilbert's final contribution to _Punch_.

_The Nancy Bell_ was offered and rejected early in 1866, and appeared in
_Fun_ of March 3 without illustrations. The nonsense verses, "Sing for
the Garish Eye," which appeared in _Punch_ on April 16, 1873, were from
Gilbert's pen, but the explanation given a fortnight later showed that
they had been printed inadvertently; a "valued contributor" having
forwarded them for _Punch's_ private diversion and not for publication.
They had actually been printed elsewhere ten years earlier. The _amende_
was handsomely made, but Gilbert never contributed again to _Punch_. One
cannot help regretting that he began the _Bab Ballads_ with just the
only one to which exception could have been taken, for it _is_

Holding that a Free Press was an advantage to a nation, _Punch_ had
supported the Memorial to Leigh Hunt, who had been sent to prison "for
publishing opinions which _Mr. Punch_ in perfect safety may now put
forth when he pleases, and the fact that _Punch_ can just say what he
likes without a fear of Newgate is owing in great measure to the battles
Leigh Hunt fought," for which _Punch_ was content to overlook Leigh
Hunt's self-indulgent improvidence--so cruelly satirized by Dickens in
Harold Skimpole. But when Charles Knight died in 1873 there was no need
for reservation in the homage paid to that life-long and stalwart
fighter for the repeal of the taxes on learning:--

    Oft times the fuel well nigh failed his flame,
    And Ruin stood between him and his aim,
    But manfully he grappled the grim foe,
    Nor ever yielded sword though oft struck low.
    And his reward was that he lived to see
    Cheap Letters broad-cast sown, and knowledge free!


Before the middle 'fifties critics of the Stage in England--apart from
the extreme Puritans--had three main grounds for complaint: the monopoly
of the patent theatres, the patronage of foreigners by the Court and
fashionable Society, and the popularity of degrading sensational plays;
and up to 1857 the pages of _Punch_ were eloquent on all three counts.
In the period covered by this volume not only was royal patronage more
judiciously and impartially bestowed, but the abolition of the exclusive
privileges of the patent theatres had cut at the root of the evil and
rendered possible such enlightened ventures as those of Phelps and Mrs.
Warner at Sadler's Wells. The immediate result of the Free Trade policy
in plays was to stimulate the legitimate drama, and in particular the
cult of Shakespeare. Phelps's work in this connexion comes in for
repeated approval, especially for his good all-round casts.
Shakespearean actors are prominent throughout. The announcement of the
death of Scribe in 1861 inspires the comment that the Members of the
Dramatic Authors' Association are as well as can be expected. _Punch_
had no love for endless _réchauffés_ of French plays, but he was no
bigot where foreign actors of merit were concerned, and cordially
welcomed Fechter as Hamlet in 1861, while deprecating the preliminary
puffing of his manager. It was not needed, for while admitting that
Fechter's accent was disconcerting, _Punch_ had nothing but praise for
his admirable play of feature, his graceful ease of attitude and gesture
and his intelligent conception of the character. As for the
interpretation as a whole, foreigners were entitled to read Shakespeare
for themselves: _Punch_ held no brief for the Protection of British
Stage Traditions, but believed in free trade in intellect as well as in

[Sidenote: _Fechter and Ristori_]

At the foot of the notice there is a picture of a stout, shabby
tragedian exclaiming "Fechter! Pah! Hamlet with light hair and no
points. Pah! The drama's gone." This professional jealousy is again
ridiculed in "The Groan of a True Briton" a month later. The "boom" in
Shakespeare this winter was quite remarkable, with _A Midsummer Night's
Dream_ at Sadler's Wells, Booth in _The Merchant of Venice_ and _King
Richard II_, Brooke at Drury Lane, and Fechter at the Princess's.
Othello's occupation (on the stage) was extremely popular. We read in
the issue of November 9, under the heading "Great Fall of Blacks":--

    Five Othellos are stabbing themselves regularly, just now, and
    there will soon be a sixth, Mr. Charles Kean having ordered the
    largest pot of blacking Messrs. Day and Martin supply, and having
    announced that he is cubbing dext.

The vendetta against Charles Kean, it will thus be seen, was so
implacable that _Punch_ could not resist the temptation of dragging him
in without any provocation.

Another and a greater foreigner dominated the scene in 1863. Of Adelaide
Ristori, "the greatest of living actresses" in his opinion, _Punch_
confessed that her genius beggared description. When she appeared at Her
Majesty's in the summer of 1863 he declared that "in no English or
American dictionary could be found words of sufficient strength" to
express his admiration of Adelaide Ristori, or "his compassion for the
unhappy person who does not go and behold one or two of her
performances. This is a debilitated under-statement of the case.... What
a magnificent voice hers is, and how artistically managed. The _vox
humana_ is the first musical instrument in the world, but then so few
can perform upon it. Our Adelaide is one of the few." Here, at least,
_Punch's_ estimate never varied, and was only heightened by further
familiarity. When Ristori played Lady Macbeth in English ten years
later, _Punch_ owned to some misgivings as to her accent,[28] but on the
second performance he only noticed it twice. Otherwise "there was not,
from first to last, one single fault to be found with this remarkable

[Footnote 28: The present writer saw and heard Ristori in the
sleep-walking scene at Manchester in the early 'eighties, and her
foreign accent was undoubtedly most pronounced. Her first words provoked
laughter from the gallery, drowned immediately in a storm of cheering,
renewed at the end of an impersonation so powerful and even terrifying
that one entirely forgot the accent. The episode had an amusing sequel.
An old theatre-goer wrote to a Manchester paper to express indignation
at Ristori's reception by the gallery. The laughers could not be
Manchester men: they must have been boors from Chowbent. A couple of
days later a letter appeared from an equally indignant resident at
Chowbent repelling the aspersion on a community so civilized that it
possessed a Town Hall!]

[Sidenote: _The Drama in Russia_]

Foreign actors and actresses were in the main treated handsomely and on
their merits by _Punch_. Bandmann, the German-American actor, was highly
commended in 1868 and advised to act Shakespeare. The visit of the
audacious Schneider belongs to another phase of the drama, but the
condemnation of French acting as a mere "swindle" put into the mouth of
"Opie Wing," a "British Veteran--legitimate lead and blank verse
heavies," is purely ironical. The methods of the Comédie Française
troupe visiting London in 1871 are attacked precisely for the qualities
which were their greatest distinction--their refusal to force the note
or play to the gallery, their delicacy and self-effacement in the
interests of ensemble, as when Delaunay came on in livery just to give a
message. _Punch's_ readiness to admit that fruitful suggestions for the
improvement of the British Stage might come from the most unexpected
foreign quarters receives a curious and even prophetic illustration in
his remarks on "The Theatre for the People":--

    Russia may well be described as a benighted country! But of all the
    queer notions ever bred of barbarism, commend us to one in the
    _Pall Mall's_ latest "Notes from Russia." Conceive a Commission
    appointed to examine the question of the establishment of a
    "Theatre for the People"! And more; imagine the Commission
    reporting strongly that such a theatre should be constructed! A
    theatre with a moral object! A theatre meant "to divert the people
    from foolish, vulgar and gross amusements, by providing them with
    healthy and elevating spectacular entertainments at a cheap rate"!
    A theatre to contain seats for 2,350 people--say something between
    Drury Lane and the Lyceum--with 1,300 of the seats at prices
    varying from 2d. to 4d., and the others from 4d. to 3s. 2d.! This
    infatuated Committee further report that such a theatre might be
    made to bring in a profit of £5,000 a year--or ten per cent, on
    the capital employed. They recommend that the management should be
    entrusted to a competent private person, of experience, taste and
    refinement, and have prepared a repertory of 140 pieces in the
    Russian language, original and translated, calculated, they think,
    to forward their object of entertaining and elevating.

    They further recommend that lotteries, masked balls, and the sale
    of spirituous liquors be forbidden in the "Theatre of the People."

    Hear that, ye stunning sons of the music-halls--hear that,
    frequenters of our splendid saloons and brilliant bars! Contrast
    this barbaric dream of a Russian Blue Book, with the civilized
    reality of London, where Free Trade in theatres does its work, and
    the demand is allowed to create the supply of theatrical pabulum
    for the people, from the Victoria[29] to the penny gaff! The idea of
    the people being condemned to "healthy and elevating"
    entertainment; when their betters can revel in the Schneider, the
    Menken, the Cancan and the Opera Bouffe, the indecent burlesque,
    the breakdown, and the sensational drama!

[Footnote 29: The "Old Vic," now reclaimed very much on the lines of the
Russian ideal.]


MATRON IN STALLS (reads from programme): "'Overture to L'Onfong
Prod-eeg.' What does that mean? The prodigious child, eh?"

ACCOMPLISHED DAUGHTER (shocked): "Mamma, dear! No--'L'Enfant
Prodigue'--it means the Infant Prodigy!!"]

The historic invasion of the Russians did not occur till about forty
years later. Of the famous French players who delighted English
audiences between 1857 and 1874 the last and not the least fascinating
was Aimée Desclée, who, after an arduous apprenticeship to her art and
ten years of weary waiting, had been discovered by Alexandre Dumas
_fils_, and leapt into fame in _La Femme de Claude_, _Diane de Lys_,
_Princesse Georges,_ and, above all, as the original Frou-Frou in the
play of that name. Of her it was well said by a French critic that "she
had a strange, wandering, unbalanced look that revealed the troubled
depths of her soul. Her voice had a most peculiar _timbre_, and her
abrupt utterances, every word of which stung like the strokes of a whip,
fell upon a spellbound audience that hung on every word." After
fulfilling a brilliant engagement at the Princess's Theatre in 1873 she
returned to Paris to die at the age of thirty-seven. The tragedy of her
brief success and the exacting temper of the Parisian public are well
summed up in _Punch's_ memorial tribute:--

    But too late came the harvest of her pains;
      The roots of Death had struck deep in her heart;
    And what cares Death for glory or for gains,
      Guerdon of that short life, so spent for Art?

    And she was dying, with the pitiless cry
      Of box and pit and gallery in her ear,
    "Give us thy life, but act, and, after, die;
      It is to live with thy life we are here."

While extending salutations to the foreigners _Punch_ was not slow to
acclaim native talent. In 1865 he recognized in Kate Terry "one of the
most consummate actresses of her own range of parts we have ever seen on
the English Stage." That was said of her appearance in _Henry Dunbar_ in
December, 1865, and in June, 1867, in Reade's _Dora_, "a real English
Idyll, sweet, simple, natural and breathing of the country," he found
her completely satisfying in a part unlike her usual stage self. Three
months later _Punch_ bade her farewell on her marriage and withdrawal
from the stage, paying homage to her triple endowment of Genius,
Goodness and Beauty, her "innocent sensitive face," and her gentle,
gracious and womanly presence. Her "delicate influence" was a standing
disproof of the arguments of those who despaired of true art and its
reign on the stage, and she was retiring "from the top of the ladder
reached fairly at last with her laurels still springing and none of them

[Sidenote: _The Coming of Irving_]

The rise of Irving from comedy and melodrama to Shakespearean drama is
attentively and sympathetically followed. His performance in the
"nightmare play" of _The Bells_ is pronounced to be a triumph of merit;
the sense of relief experienced on the fall of the curtain was in itself
the highest praise. The programme at the Lyceum ended with _Pickwick_,
with Irving as Jingle. _Punch_ regarded it as an incongruity: he
preferred to see Irving play _The Bells_ without the Jingle. There was
nothing wrong with _Charles I_ but the play. "His make-up was admirable,
his playing of the first and the last Act well-nigh faultless; but
between these two Acts the actor was left to make the best bricks
possible out of the scantiest wisps of straw.... I have no hesitation in
saying that the last Act is as affecting a spectacle as anything I have
ever seen on the stage." With Irving's _Richelieu_, in 1873, _Punch_ was
disappointed, though allowing him some pathetic moments. But Irving, it
is suggested, may have been the victim of the bad traditions attaching
to what was after all a pretentious and "wind-baggy" play. Irving's
_Hamlet_ was another matter altogether, and is treated very seriously
and exhaustively by _Punch_. It was a "genuine and well-deserved
success." No such strong and general sensation had been produced since
Fechter, over whom Irving had the great advantage of speaking as a
native the tongue in which Shakespeare wrote. No impersonation with
which _Punch_ was familiar, including that of Macready, displayed a more
consistent conception, more sustained intention, more intelligent
mastery of this many-sided character. This much granted, _Punch_
severely criticized Irving's cavalier treatment of the text, his
suppressions and omissions, his handling of all the scenes with the
Ghost. The psychological interpretation of Hamlet's madness erred
through over-emphasis on his pathetic and gentle side. The unsound
strain was kept too much in the background, and consistency was attained
at the expense of the text. Sundry scenic innovations are also
condemned, and altogether high praise is tempered with a good deal of
acute and legitimate criticism. On the vexed question of Hamlet's
madness _Punch_ writes intelligently, but without the wit which inspired
the immortal couplet in Gilbert's _Rosencrantz and Guildenstern_:--

    Hamlet is idiotically sane,
    With lucid intervals of lunacy.

There are some good lines, however, in the issue of December 12, 1874,
on "Hamlet's Right Hair," whether flaxen or raven. After all, as _Punch_
argues, it is not a question of the thatch of Hamlet's upper storey:

                    ... It is a brain
    Fitting the part, that's asked to play the Dane.

[Sidenote: "_The Menken_"]

Turning from serious drama to melodrama and comedy high and otherwise,
we find a liberal acknowledgment of the excitement furnished by the
_Colleen Bawn_, Boucicault's bedevilled version of Gerald Griffin's fine
novel _The Collegians_, when it was produced towards the close of 1860.
The plot is fully set forth, and "Jack Easel" confesses that he enjoyed
the evening very much. "Whatever may be the opinion of the learned
regarding Mr. Boucicault as a dramatist, there can be little doubt of
his merits 'on the boards.' I can hardly imagine a better stage
Irishman." But _Punch_, who had no mercy for Boucicault's resentment of
criticism, in March, 1862, printed a mock notice signed "Dion
Boucicault," threatening condign punishment on all who disparaged his
genius or dared to leave the theatre before the curtain fell and D.B.
appeared before the same. And a month later we read a mock trial of an
unfortunate pittite who had ventured to make some unfavourable comments
on the Cave scene. The production of the melodrama founded on Charles
Reade's _Never Too Late to Mend_, in 1865, met with _Punch's_ approval.
Some of the audience hissed the prison scenes: yet Menken had been
tolerated. This was the famous and notorious Adah Isaacs Menken, a
native of Louisiana; dancer, actress, school teacher, journalist and
poetess, married first of all to a Jew, whose faith she adopted, and
then to the "Benicia Boy," Heenan, the prize-fighter. After a chequered
career on and off the stage in America she appeared at Astley's in
_Mazeppa_ in 1864, when _Punch_ made reference to her as "a bare-backed
jade on bare-backed steed." It was certainly a _succès de scandale_, but
"the Menken" made a stir in the literary world and found patrons and
friends in Charles Reade, Charles Dickens (to whom her volume of poems,
_Infelicia_, was dedicated), and Swinburne. In Paris, to which city she
migrated, and where she died in 1869, she enjoyed the friendship of
Dumas and Théophile Gautier. "The Menken" was not intended for a placid
domestic life; she would not have been in her element at a Mothers'
Meeting; but she was a highly educated woman, had studied Latin and
Greek, had played Lady Macbeth, and, though not a Sappho, was a much
better poetess than Ella Wheeler Wilcox.

[Illustration: AT THE FRENCH PLAY

Happy thought: Incognito secured--blushes concealed--and self-respect
preserved (at least outwardly).]

Another actress of the "hectic" type, about whom _Punch_ as an informal
_censor morum_ was much exercised, was the famous Mlle. Schneider, who
incarnated the _canaillerie_ of Offenbach, and was the idol of Paris in
the years in which the Second Empire was dancing to its doom. She
appeared in _La Grande Duchesse_ and _La Belle Hélène_ in London in the
season of 1868, drew the town at the St. James's Theatre, but met with
little encouragement from the Press. _Punch_ declares that Schneider was
far more vulgar in London than in Paris, though on her native heath her
performance was witnessed chiefly by ladies of the faster set; and draws
the moral that they manage these things better in France. He found her
"perhaps scarcely so extravagant in her vulgarity" in _La Belle Hélène_,
but "there is all that excessive grimacing, continual adoption of the
'cad'-tone (which her admirers think so charmingly clever), that
pointless introduction of rough horse-play, hitting and kicking, without
which Schneider would not be Schneider." So _Punch_ notes, as a "natural
consequence" of the indulgence allowed by the Lord Chamberlain to
Schneider to "kick up behind and before," like "Ole Joe," on every
occasion, the production of the notorious and (for the time) audacious
play of _Formosa_ a year later. _Formosa_ was a play of fast life, with
scenes at Cookham (hence the name); a strange amalgam of impropriety and
sentimentality; and _Punch_ dealt faithfully with the ridiculous
situation in which the heroine, discovered by her parents in the most
compromising company, "makes a sudden and miraculous leap from the
lowest vice to the height of most sublime virtue."

[Sidenote: _Comedy and Satire_]

Schneider and _Formosa_ were, however, excrescences on the history of
the British stage. A really characteristic Victorian product was the
series of "drawing-room comedies" by T. W. Robertson, associated with
the Prince of Wales's Theatre in the Tottenham Court Road, and the
management of the Bancrofts. _Punch_ thought _Play_ faulty in
construction and tricky in its effects, but had nothing but praise for
the acting of Marie Wilton, Lydia Foote, Montague, Bancroft and John
Hare. With him the _Play_ was not the thing, but the players; still
Robertson's later comedies, for all their artificiality, gave an
immense amount of harmless pleasure to Victorian audiences. Elderly
playgoers will always retain the pleasantest memories of _School_ and
_Caste_; they were a most amusing "sentimentalization" of a phase of
society which has passed away, and fitted the company to perfection. The
little playhouse in the Tottenham Court Road did excellent work in other
ways, as _Punch_ acknowledged in his dream dialogue with Sheridan, when
_The School for Scandal_ was revived in 1874 with Bancroft as Joseph
Surface, Coghlan as Charles, Hare "a perfect picture" as Sir Peter, and
Mrs. Bancroft admirable in "the rural coquette who had adopted all the
graces and manners of a woman of fashion." Another notable Sheridan
revival was that of _The Rivals_ at the Haymarket in November, 1870,
though _Punch_ notes the disconcerting effect of Buckstone's
personality: people roared with laughter at him before he spoke, or if
he merely winked.

The satiric drama was dormant until 1873, when _The Happy Land_ was
produced at the Court Theatre by Miss Marie Litton on March 17. It was
founded on Gilbert's _Wicked World_, "a fairy comedy," written for
Buckstone and the Kendals, and produced at the Haymarket with only
moderate success on January 4. _The Happy Land_ was designed by Gilbert
himself, but the stage version was mainly worked out by Gilbert Arthur à
Beckett. Gilbert's name did not appear on the bill, on which the piece
was assigned to F. L. Tomline (i.e., Gilbert) and à Beckett. _The Happy
Land_ was a satire on the Gladstonian administration, and three of the
principal actors were made up to caricature Gladstone, Lowe and
Ayrton--so closely that after a few days the Lord Chamberlain intervened
and the make-up was considerably modified. _Punch_ saw the piece before
the Lord Chamberlain's order had been issued, and "crabbed" it heavily.
Unlike most of those who saw the play, he found little wit in it. There
were three or four "palpable hits" in the opening scene, but ten minutes
of it were enough: the satire was of the sledge-hammer order, and the
slain were hewn over and over again to weariness. "For a short time the
First Act was lively; the Second was a faint shadow of the First."
_Punch's_ disparagement is rather odd, in view of à Beckett's connexion
with the paper: it is hard to avoid the suspicion that the estrangement
from Gilbert, referred to elsewhere, may have coloured his judgment.

The year 1873 was marked by the passing of Macready, who died on April
27. His services to Art, his high aims and neglect of fashion are
recognized in the memorial verses, from which we borrow the last

    Hail and Farewell--thou last of a great line,
      Who in ideal art moved as at home!
    Because you bowed at a now empty shrine
      Was your faith false? Lo, the believing come!

The sentiment is not easily to be reconciled with the generally hopeful
view of the theatre expounded by _Punch_, or his comparison of Irving
with Macready a few months later. In this personal context it is
interesting to find that _Punch's_ misgivings were at least partially
removed by the emergence of a new star of the first magnitude. He had
already welcomed Ellen Terry as Puck in the revival of _A Midsummer
Night's Dream_ at the Queen's Theatre; he now paid an unreserved tribute
to her performance in _The Wandering Heir_ at the same theatre in March,

    Considering the present position of our Theatre, such qualities as
    spontaneity, grace, the finest truth of accent and emphasis,
    tenderness in grave passages, mirthfulness in gay ones, and all
    these fused in an atmosphere of buoyancy and brightness which
    exhilarates like champagne, and irradiates like light, are
    something to be indeed thankful for, when found combined in one
    Actress on an English Stage. They are to be seen combined at this
    moment in Miss Ellen Terry's impersonation of Philippa, in Mr.
    Charles Reade's drama of _The Wandering Heir_, at the Queen's
    Theatre. Let those who may doubt if such praise nowadays can have a
    solid foundation, go and admire for themselves. A new power of
    graceful comedy and womanly sentiment comes to us with the return
    to the boards of this young and charming Actress, whose eclipse for
    the last few years has been hard indeed upon a Stage that had no
    light to spare.

[Sidenote: _Stage Realism_]

In the earlier years of this period _Punch_ was much concerned with the
craze for sensation, and the stage-realism which leaves nothing to the
imagination, but exalts the practical carpenter at the expense of the
dramatic genius. This stock complaint reaches a climax at the close of
1865 in connexion with the announcement in a fashionable paper that in a
play to be shortly produced in Paris there would be "a grand park with a
real waterfall" and "a real river flowing through the stage." _Punch's_
comments, if not very subtle, are at least a sane contribution to the
everlasting conflict over stage illusion waged between "enterprise" and

[Illustration: Well, Syusan, 'ow did yer like _Aroorer Floyd_ last

"Oh! so lovely, Jeames--I cried so! that wicked Conyers!... Oh, Jeames,
you won't desert me for _our_ young missus, will you, dear?"]

Over-reliance on scenery and machinery was, however, a venial offence
compared with the exploits of management recorded in the following

    With exquisite good taste a highly enterprising Manager engaged "a
    few of the survivors" who were rescued from the wreck of the
    _London_, and has been paying them to appear every evening at his
    theatre, as a prelude to the gambols of Pantaloon and Clown. With a
    similar high notion of the duties of men catering to entertain the
    public, another enterprising Manager has hired "kind old Daddy,"
    late of Lambeth Workhouse, to exhibit himself nightly in a new
    sensation drama, called _The Casual Ward_. "Sweet are the uses of
    adversity," when it is utilized in this way for dramatic
    exhibition; and flourishing indeed is the condition of the drama,
    when such magnets are deemed requisite to make a play attractive,
    and to draw a decent house.

    If the horrors of the casual ward be thought a fitting subject for
    dramatic exhibition, perhaps we soon may see a drama called _The
    Union Infirmary_, with a score of real paupers all lying really
    ill. Or a sensation scene of surgery perhaps might prove
    attractive, and a real leg or arm be amputated nightly, before a
    crowded house.... Playgoers will thus become familiarized with
    horrors, which they read of with dismay; and to some minds a
    calamity may fail to cause regret on the ground of its affording a
    good subject for the stage.

[Sidenote: _Music-Halls_]

These particular anticipations have, fortunately, not all been
fulfilled, though persons who have been tried (and acquitted) on a
murder charge have appeared on the boards of recent years, and the
deliberate cult of horrors has become the avowed aim of the disciples of
the Grand Guignol school at the Little Theatre. The imaginary forecast
in 1858 of the possibilities of playbills as a means of advertisement
has long been transcended in fact. More interesting than these
speculations is the prophecy which grew out of the complaint against
long runs in the middle 'sixties. _Punch_ predicts in the summer of 1864
that if the repertory system is kept up in the provinces Londoners will
go to Brighton every night for their play or their opera. The actual
fact is that the revival of repertory theatres in the provinces has
rendered country cousins less dependent on their periodical visits to
London in order to keep abreast with the latest dramatic developments.
The mention of Brighton recalls a curious episode illustrative of the
social code of mid-Victorian times. In the autumn of 1858 _Punch_
rebukes the headmaster of a Brighton school who sent away the son of a
distinguished actor lest it should damage his connexion! Today such a
pupil is probably an asset rather than a handicap. The attitude of the
Church to the Stage was hardly benevolent in the 'sixties: this may
account for the satisfaction displayed by _Punch_ over the
"exceptionally sensible" sermon preached in 1873 at St. James's,
Piccadilly, by Lightfoot, then Canon of St. Paul's, and afterwards
Bishop of Durham. Dr. Lightfoot maintained that the stage, well
conducted, would be an auxiliary of the pulpit; that it was an enormous
and powerful instrument in the hands of Society for good or evil; and,
while holding that the present state of the drama was far from
satisfactory, he paid all honour to those dramatists and managers who
were attempting to raise it by not pandering to the vitiated tastes of
some of the public. In all of which sentiments he was vigorously
applauded by _Punch_, who could not, however, resist the temptation of
making verbal capital out of the preacher's name.

The competition of music-halls with theatres had already begun, and
_Punch_ had little or no conception of the length to which it was
ultimately destined to be carried. He had no love of the music-hall as
then organized, and nothing but contempt for the style of song which
flourished in the temples of variety. So when the Bill, promoted in 1865
by Mr. Locke, M.P. for Southwark, for legalizing theatrical performances
in music-halls was supported by a "dramatic authors' petition," he fell
foul of the petitioners especially in regard to their initial

    "The Lower Middle Class and Working Class have, of late years,
    developed a large appetite for intellectual amusement, which the
    number of theatres, and the present construction of theatres (which
    give no comfortable or proper accommodation for these classes) have
    failed to satisfy."

    Perhaps we may admit that the theatre, as generally conducted
    nowadays, is not exactly the place in which to satisfy an
    "intellectual appetite." With our "intellectual appetite," still
    suffering under the mockery of a Barmecide entertainment, in the
    shape of a recent course of burlesques, we feel that the
    intellectual playgoer, like the sheep in Milton's Sonnet, "looks up
    and is not fed" in our London theatres. But is there not something
    besides "numbers" and "construction" of theatre to blame here? May
    not the quality of the theatrical fare provided have a leetle to do
    with it? And who are the purveyors of that fare but many of the
    gentlemen who sign this petition.

    If they fail so miserably in satisfying the "intellectual appetite"
    of even "the Lower Middle and Working-Class" in our theatres, how
    are they to satisfy it better in the music-halls which they wish to
    open for the unlimited consumption of their viands?

    If they have anything better to offer, why not try it in the
    theatres, where they will, at least, find the cooks--such as they
    are--in the shape of actors, and the best procurable garnish of
    scenery, dresses, and decorations, without the distractions of
    chops and steaks, sherry cobblers, cold withouts, and

      ... But the less the demand for the opening of the music-halls to
    theatrical representations is based on the demands of the
    "intellectual appetite" of the Lower Middle and Working Classes,
    the better.

Three years later _Punch_ was unable to notice any great improvement in
the variety stage:--

    The music-hall gentry had a great gathering the other day, for a
    purpose which we should approve, if we did not hold that the
    music-hall, as at present conducted, is so pestilent a nuisance
    that charity can have nothing to say to it. One of the performers
    had grace or shame enough to deliver some doggerel in which he
    deprecated the wrath of _Punch_ on the ground that everybody must
    live. It is the plea usually heard in the dock, and the answer is:
    "Yes, but decently." But as it is of no use telling the music-hall
    folks what gentlemen think of them, perhaps they would like to know
    what the respectable artisan thinks of them, and of the spirit in
    which it is not impossible that he may deal with them. Here are the
    words of the organ of hundreds of thousands of the skilled artisans
    and the Trades Unions, in fact, and we recommend them to special

    "To these glaring temples of dissipation our youth are nightly
    attracted; where they are being gradually trained to drinking
    habits; where their minds are debased by the low songs and vulgar
    exhibitions provided for them; and where their morals are
    undermined and corrupted by contact with loose associates, when
    their blood is fired and their brains bemuddled with drink.... The
    expenditure incurred in those places of amusement keeps young men
    poor; causes marriage to be greatly postponed--to the increase of
    vice; or, if entered into, without the necessary provision for
    making a comfortable home; while the habits they acquire by going
    there will too frequently cause them to neglect home and family for
    their nightly amusements."

So says the _Beehive_ speaking the sentiments of the Working Man. We do
not think that he will see much force in the mewing plea of "must

The music-halls of to-day do not call for such censure; they have even
become fashionable; but one is tempted to wonder whether there is any
modern counterpart in Labour journalism to the austerely Puritan

[Sidenote: _Opera in 1858_]

In the world of opera the domination of the Italian School of composers
and singers, though intermittently and not unsuccessfully assailed,
remained practically unbroken throughout this period, 1857-1874. Still,
the formation of the company for the performance of English operas by
Louisa Pyne and William Harrison in 1856 is a landmark that must not be
overlooked. The partnership was dissolved in 1862, but the performances
given at the Lyceum, Drury Lane, and Covent Garden theatres in those
years anticipated the good work done in later years by the Carl Rosa and
other companies. The general musical situation in 1858 is not badly
summarized in the lines published at the end of June under the heading
"Musicians and Maniacs":--

      Three _Traviatas_ in diff'rent quarters,
      Three _Rigoletti_ murd'ring their daughters!!
      Three _Trovatori_ beheading their brothers,
      By the artful contrivance of three gipsy mothers!!!
      Verdi in the Haymarket, Verdi at the Lane,
      Green's in Covent Garden, and Verdi again!
    Was ever a being so music be-ridden,
    Barrel-organ-beground, German brass-band bestridden;
      What with all the Concerts at all the Halls,
      And the Oratorios--_Samsons_ and _Sauls_--
      Mozart and Mendelssohn, Haydn and Handel--
        All lights of the Art in every part,
      From the blaze of the Sun to a farthing-candle!
        And the Classical Matinées,
        With Clauss's touch satiny,
      That to hear her your heart seems to go pit-a-pat in ye--
        And Hallé so dignified, pure and sonorous,
        And Henry Leslie's amateur chorus,
          And fair Arabella, so melting and mellow,
    That she charms the stern judgment of Autocrat Ella,
    And Rubinstein--rapid and rattling of fist,
    That one cries out with _Hamlet's_ Papa, "Liszt, Oh Liszt."

Ella was the founder and director of the "Musical Union," which gave
Chamber Music Concerts much on the lines of the famous "Pops"; Arabella
was Arabella Goddard, the leading British pianist. Henry Leslie's choir
for the performance of madrigal music carried off the prize against all
comers at Paris in 1867. Wilhelmine Clauss was the Bohemian pianist,
known in later years as Mme. Szarvady. To return to opera: it is amusing
to find precisely the same charge hurled against Verdi as against Wagner
twenty or thirty years later--that he cracked or wore out voices in
their vain effort to contend against orchestral din. Grisi was still the
chief _diva_, though a new star had arisen in Titiens, whose name
spurred _Punch_ to display his metrical prowess:--

    We've got a great artist, a lady named Titiens,
      Whose praises we'd sing, but her name will not rhyme.
    Stuff! Horace reminds you, with "_Tantalus sitiens_,"
      We've thirsted for music like hers a long time.

[Sidenote: _The Advent of Patti_]

The new Opera House had been opened at Covent Garden, and on the first
night patrons complained of getting covered with white, as the paint was
still fresh. The "Music of the Future" continues to excite _Punch's_
derision, and at the close of 1858 he seizes the opportunity of running
a tilt against _Lohengrin_:--

    Meyerbeer's opera of the _Africaine_ seems to be "The Opera of the
    Future," for there appears but little chance of its ever being
    played in our lifetime. How many years has it not been locked up in
    the great composer's portfolio, undergoing a species of African
    slavery, of which manager after manager has tried in vain to find
    the musical key. However, we are sorry to find Meyerbeer lending
    his great name to Messrs. Wagner, Liszt, and other crotchet-mongers
    of the _Music of the Future_, in support of their inharmonious
    fallacies, that have lately been aired in a grand pretentious
    production, called _Lohengrin_. A "grin" seems to be the end of all
    their Operas, though at best it is but a melancholy one, and
    anything but flattering to those who provoke it. The Viennese are
    all _Lohengrinning_ like mad. We wish Meyerbeer would put this band
    of musical fanatics to shame by allowing his _Africaine_ to become
    an "Opera of the Present," instead of "the Future," and so prove to
    these hare-brained gentlemen what good music really is. The best
    _Music of the Future_ is that which has the elements of vitality
    in every note of it, so that there can be no doubt about its
    living several scores of years after its production. The specimen
    that we know of this class is _Don Giovanni_, and our would-be
    Mozarts cannot do better than take it as a model.

[Illustration: MODEST APPEAL

LADY (to big drum): "Pray, my good man, don't make that horrid noise. I
can't hear myself speak!"]

_Punch's_ enthusiasm for Piccolomini had so far cooled that when a
testimonial to her was suggested in 1860, he declined his support on the
ground that she was "a pretty little personage, of good family, who, by
force of bright eyes, intelligent acting, and a charming smile, pleased
the public into a belief that she was a lyric artist." Moreover, if
there was to be a testimonial, Grisi was the proper recipient. The
following year was noteworthy for the advent of Patti, unheralded by any
strident flourish of trumpets. _Punch's_ first reference to her _début_
in May was brief and ambiguous, and disfigured by a pun on her name. Six
weeks later he remains still unshaken in his allegiance to his old
heroines--Malibran, Jenny Lind, and Grisi--and suspends his judgment on
the newcomer. Patti's arrival coincided with the "final farewell
appearances" of Grisi, a mistress of the grand style as singer and
actress, queen-like in her gestures and gait, unequalled even by Titiens
(in _Punch's_ opinion) in _Norma_ and as Donna Anna; but _Punch_ soon
succumbed to the furore for Patti. As Zerlina she was "more charming
than he expected," and a year later he celebrated his enslavement in
jingling rhyme:--

    O charming Adelina!
    How sweet is thy _Amina_
    How bewitching thy _Zerlina_!
    How seldom has there been a
    More tunable _Norina_!
    And have I ever seen a
    More enjoyable _Rosina_?
    But to tell the praise I mean a-
    -Las! there should have been a
    Score more rhymes to Adelina.

_Punch_ said what he could in 1861 of two forgotten operas--Balfe's
_Puritan's Daughter_, with Santley in the cast, and Benedict's _Lily of
Killarney_, a tertiary deposit from _The Collegians_--but found more
congenial occupation in the spring of 1862 in levelling the shafts of
ineffectual, because uninstructed, ridicule against Wagner:--


    We read that Herr Wagner is about to compose a comic opera, music
    and words. We agree with our facetious contemporary, _The Musical
    World_,[30] that we never heard an opera of Wagner's yet that was
    not more, or less, comic.... As this gentleman's music is said to
    belong to "The Future"--and certainly as a Present it is not worth
    having--we suppose he generally gets it executed by the celebrated
    Band of "Hope."

[Footnote 30: _The Musical World_ was edited by J. W. Davison, the
musical critic of _The Times_, a well-equipped musician, an unflinching
champion of Mendelssohn and a bitter and persistent disparager of Wagner
and Schumann.]

[Sidenote: _Wagner and Gounod_]


    Herr Wagner, the great composer, "for the future" (A.D. 1962), has
    received sharp orders from the King of Saxony to return home
    instantly. Is the King jealous that other parts of the Continent
    should have so much of the services of his Kapellmeister, and he
    comparatively so little? He probably wishes to have Wagner all to
    himself. Far from quarrelling with the desired monopoly, in the
    cause of music we heartily rejoice at it. The royal edict will have
    the effect of narrowing the evil of contaminating compositions. It
    is tantamount to a musical quarantine. Travellers must not venture
    too near, or else they may be infected with one of his malignant
    airs, which are not so catching, perhaps, as they are lowering,
    leaving a fearful sense of depression behind them. Henceforth, the
    flights of _The Flying Dutchman_ will be restricted to one kingdom
    instead of half a dozen. We hope Wagner will be confined to Dresden
    all his life. Our Philharmonic will gain from his imprisonment. It
    will run no further risk of being nearly knocked on the head from
    another blow of his erratic baton.

The chief operatic attractions of 1863 are set forth in an excellent
mock-Virgilian Eclogue in which the two rival impresarios, Gye and
Mapleson, figure as Damoetas and Menalcas and _Punch_ as Palaemon.
Patti's popularity is attested in the couplet:--

    My little Patti all the world must own
    The nicest little party ever known.

[Illustration: SIC VOS NON VOBIS

Literature, Science, and Music at an evening party. Total defeat of the
two former.]

The list of celebrities includes Titiens, Carvalho, Trebelli, Mario,
Tamberlik (a heroic tenor, famous for his "_ut de poitrine_"), Giuglini,
Faure, Formes, Santley--all of them long dead, except the last, who had,
in 1862, just cast in his lot with Italian opera. He took part in the
first performance of _Faust_ in England as Valentine, and with such
success that Gounod wrote for him the additional number "Dio possente."
_Faust_ is a landmark in the annals of opera in England; because it was
the first work which shook the allegiance of the fashionable world to
the Italian school, and for fifty years at least enjoyed a popularity
equal to that of the early Verdi, of Donizetti, Bellini, and Rossini,
and, judged by the test of performances, greater than that of Mozart or
Meyerbeer. _Faust_ was certainly founded on Italian rather than German
traditions, but there was much in it that was essentially French, and
one turns with curiosity to read how it struck so orthodox and, in some
ways, so insular a critic as _Punch_. He treated the opening
performance perfunctorily, briefly observing that the opera seemed to
suit everyone's taste, but made his _amende_ a month later:--

    Thank you, M. Gounod; thank you, Mr. Gye; thank you, Mr.
    Mapleson.[31] As produced by your exertions _Faust_ is certainly
    Faust-rate. _Mr. Punch_ makes his apology for not saying so before,
    but he is not like some clairvoyants who can criticize by
    foresight. Moreover, such cascades of praise have spouted on all
    sides that he feared a while to add to the laudatory deluge. Now,
    having seen and heard and reflected at his leisure, _Punch_ is
    ready to allow that the shower of superlatives has not fallen
    undeserved, and he will own that M. Gounod has produced the
    sweetest, prettiest and pleasantest new opera that, since the first
    night of _Les Huguenots_, the world has seen brought forth. The
    only drawback _Mr. Punch_ felt when he witnessed the performance
    was that M. Gounod had not set the Brocken Scene. With that
    addition, _Faust_ might have eclipsed _Der Freischütz_, and even
    without this it is not far inferior.

[Footnote 31: _Faust_ was produced at Her Majesty's Theatre (Mapleson)
on June 11 and at Covent Garden (Gye) on July 2.]

[Sidenote: "_Homeric Catalogue of Singers_"]

Many of the greatest singers of the time appeared in these performances.
Miolan-Carvalho (the original Marguerite), Faure (the first
Mephistopheles), Giuglini, the incomparable Trebelli, and Santley. Patti
assumed the _rôle_ of the heroine in the following year with great
success; but _Punch_ did not fail to welcome Titiens as Leonora in
_Fidelio_, an achievement which he describes as "noble music nobly
rendered." It was in 1864 again that the efforts of English opera to
raise its diminished head called forth _Punch's_ satire. Foreign opera
still held the field, and the only English feature of the venture was
the conductor Mellon.

The "Homeric Catalogue of Singers," published on April 1, 1865, shows
how formidable was the competition of the foreign singers, headed by
Patti, Lucca, and the honey-tongued Miolan-Carvalho, with other prima
donnas from Munich, Berlin, Milan, Moscow, and Lisbon, and, amongst men,
Mario, Wachtel ("the far-famed shouter of high notes"), Ronconi (a great
actor and humorist) Tagliafico, and half a dozen others whose names have
fallen into the limbo of forgotten singers.

Meyerbeer's long-promised and posthumous _L'Africaine_ arrived at last
in the summer season of 1865, but before its performance on July 22,
with Pauline Lucca in the part of Selika, the libretto of this "grand
new old opera" is irreverently burlesqued by _Punch_ with delightful
pictures by Du Maurier. We can only find room for an excellent travesty
of the Song of Inez:--

    I go to execution,
    'Tis righteous retribution,
    And by this Constitution
        All foreigners must die--

and the excellent and well-merited criticism of the execrable singing of
the opera chorus (old style).

[Illustration: "JUST HINT A FAULT"

Little Tommy Bodkin takes his cousins to the gallery of the Opera.

PRETTY JEMIMA: (who is always so considerate): "Tom, dear, don't you
think you had better take off your hat, on account of the poor people
behind?" you know?"]

[Sidenote: _Nilsson and Grisi_]

_Punch_ returns to _L'Africaine_ a couple of months later, but in a vein
of irresponsible ribaldry. _Punch's_ notice, however, is valuable
because it is a good (if partly unconscious) satire on the attitude of
the frivolous opera-goer who goes (or shall we say went) to the opera to
be amused and titillated, to see and be seen, to applaud the "stars" in
their show songs, but for the rest deaf to the appeal of poetry and
passion. _Punch_, at his worst, never sank to this level, witness his
appreciation of Jenny Lind and Titiens and Ronconi; but the glamour of
good looks and a fine voice seldom failed to touch his susceptible
heart. His appreciation of Christine Nilsson on her appearance in 1867
is, with certain reserves, a good estimate of one who in her prime was
an almost perfect Marguerite, or perhaps one should say Gretchen, and
who might have stepped out of one of the canvases of Kaulbach:--

    It is not usual, I know, to wear thick boots at the opera; but I
    regretted very much that, obeying my young wife, I had put on a
    thin pair, when I went the other night to hear the new young
    Swedish singer. I have seldom been more charmed than I was by her
    fresh voice, fair face, and her agreeable demeanour. She sings in a
    pure style, with intelligence and taste, and she can hold a long
    soft note with none of the affected trembling of the voice which of
    late has been so fashionable. Her tones are clear and full, high
    but never shrill; and she has no need of French polish to conceal
    those cracks and blemishes which Verdi makes in thin weak voices.
    She is very young at present, and must not be crudely criticized;
    but she seems by nature gifted for the operatic stage, and having
    ardour and ambition to shine lastingly upon it. Because she happens
    to be Swedish, people think of their old favourite, and make absurd
    comparisons between a finished artist in the climax of her fame and
    a clever débutante who is wishful to be famous. The parallel,
    though premature, may in one point be permitted, for these Swedes
    have both the gift of singing not to the ears only, but simply to
    the heart; and though Christine Nilsson may not be a second Jenny
    Lind, she is even now among the very first of _prime donne_.

In 1868 regret is expressed that Royalty bestowed more patronage on
Offenbach than Handel--the Handel Festival coinciding with the
production of _La Grande Duchesse_ in 1868; on the other hand, Patti's
marriage to the Marquis de Caux is thought worthy of a mention under the
heading of "Essence of Parliament"! In 1869 _Punch_ notes the knighthood
conferred on Costa, whom he had once described as "the tamer of wild
prima donnas," and pays homage to Grisi, who died at the close of the


    Nay, no elegies nor dirges!
    Let thy name recall the surges,
    Waves of song, whose magic play
    Swept our very souls away:
    And the memories of the days
    When to name thee was to praise;
    Visions of a queenly grace,
    Glowings of a radiant face,
    Art's High Priestess! at her shrine
    Ne'er was truer guard than thine.
    Were it Love, or were it Hate,
    It was thine, and it was great.
    Glorious Woman--like to thee
    We have seen not, nor shall see.
    Lost the Love, the Hate, the Mirth--

       *       *       *       *       *

    Light upon thee lie the earth!

Hervé's _Chilpéric_ is hailed in 1870 as a welcome substitute for the
tyranny of Schneider and Offenbach; as for _Tannhäuser_, _Punch_ was
apparently very much of the same way of thinking as the members of the
Jockey Club in Paris, who received it with whistles and cat-calls in


A Solo by Mr. Crusty, after hearing a Selection from the Opera of

    "The music of the future," eh?
      Well, some may think it pleasant!
    But when such trash again they play,
    I'll for the future hope I may
      Not be among the present!

Mario's farewell benefit, on July 19, 1871, when he played Fernando in
_La Favorita_ for the last time in London, was a scene of "roaring and
wreaths" described with mingled humour and emotion by _Punch_, who
hailed the retiring idol as the Prince of Lyric Artists:--

                Though lost to ear
                To memory dear
    I ne'er shall look upon his like again!


Anyone who wishes to study the true dramatic expression of the Tragic
Muse in the act of drinking the last bitter cup of despair to the very
dregs, should watch a young mother teaching the elements of music to her

[Sidenote: _Popular Songs in 1858_]

Concert music between 1841 and 1857 began and ended, so far as _Punch_
was concerned, with Jullien. To what we have written in the previous
volume of Jullien's disasters and death, it may here be added that
_Punch_ bade him God-speed on the grand tour in 1858 which was to
restore his fortunes, and when the end came was active in canvassing for
funds to support his widow and family, who were left totally unprovided
for. Also, that he repeated his tribute to Jullien's great services as
an educator of the "shilling-paying public." The taste of the musical
million was still a matter of concern to _Punch_. His detestation of
street bands, Ethiopians, Germans, Tyrolese, and Italians--principally
emissaries of Verdi, his pet aversion--amounted almost to an obsession.
The names of the popular songs in 1858--"Jim Crow" and "Keemo Kimo" were
certainly not romantic. At a concert held in St. James's Hall in June,
1858, a negro song was sung with the delectable refrain: "Flip up in de
scidimadinc, jube up in de jubin jube." _Punch_ found some solace,
however, in the concerts at Sydenham, where _morceaux_ of Mozart,
Mendelssohn, and Handel, served up by Costa, took the sickly taste of
_Traviata_ out of his mouth. _Punch's_ own education was advancing, but
he had not yet learnt to spell Liszt's name properly. The extravagances
of Liszt worship, which certainly reached a pitch never surpassed in the
annals of musical idolatry, are burlesqued in a series of paragraphs
aimed at Wagner as well as his son-in-law to be. Writing of Liszt's
"fearful engagement" in Dresden, in 1859, he facetiously asserts that
"Not less than two pianos were killed under him, and upwards of two
dozen music-stools severely wounded." The "encore nuisance" had already
found in _Punch_ a strenuous critic; and a tumultuous scene at the
Surrey Hall, when Sims Reeves had withstood the demands of a rowdy
section of the audience for half an hour, provoked an indignant
fulmination against the brutal exigencies of concert goers. Sydenham was
in the main a centre of musical culture, but there was a slight lapse
from grace at the end of this year when the "Calliope" or "Steam
Orchestra" was imported from America. It was in reality only a big
barrel organ, which gave out more steam than harmony. But the Crystal
Palace redeemed itself in the following year by the performance of the
_Elijah_, at a Mendelssohn commemoration, by 3,000 performers before an
audience numbering 18,000. Sims Reeves, Miss Dolby, and Madame Parepa
were the soloists; and _Punch_ could think of no better praise of the
last-named singer than to say that she reminded him of his Clara. For
there was a Clara in those days, too: Clara Novello, the friend of
Charles Lamb, all unmusical though he was, who had won the praise of
Schumann at the outset of her distinguished career as a very great and
noble oratorio singer. _Punch_ went to hear her last farewell at the
Crystal Palace in the autumn of 1860; "went, heard, and for the
thousandth time was conquered."

The year 1860 was also noteworthy for the visit of the French
_Orphéonistes_, a body of choral singers directed by M. Delaporte. The
visit afforded _Punch_ great sport because of the special "Vocabulaire
et Guide des Orphéonistes Français à Londres" which was specially issued
for their benefit, and contained, amongst other delights, a full
transliteration of the National Anthem beginning:--

    "God sève aoueur grésheuss Couinn."

[Sidenote: _The "Pops"_]

Blondin's performances at the Crystal Palace, which were a great feature
of 1861, suggested to _Punch_ that the concerts might be popularized if
the performers appeared on the tight rope. But this was "wrote
sarcastic"; the morbid taste of the public for witnessing dangerous
performances is repeatedly rebuked, and as a matter of fact Blondin was
forbidden to trundle his child in a wheelbarrow along the tight rope.


INTELLIGENT YOUTH OF COUNTRY TOWN: "Ah say, Bill, 'ull that be Elijah
goin' oop i' that big box?"]

Orchestral music was still a luxury, but London was waking up. August
Manns, who succeeded Jullien at Drury Lane in 1859, had provided the
public with "more music and less row than in the Jullienic era"; but his
great work was done at the Crystal Palace. The "Pops," which came in the
'fifties and were cordially supported by _Punch_, have gone, and with
them St. James's Hall, where for so many years the votaries of chamber
music listened to Joachim and Patti, Hallé and Lady Hallé, Madame
Schumann, and other great artists: and Exeter Hall, where the Sacred
Harmonic Concerts were held, has undergone a startling metamorphosis.
Oratorio has lost something of its hold on the British public. But the
work done by the "Pops" can never be forgotten; and the multiplication
of first-rate string quartets can be traced in great measure to their
inspiring influence in the days when they were attended by George Eliot
and Herbert Spencer, Browning and Leighton.

Another pioneer whose talents _Punch_ was quick to recognize was John
Parry, the first, and as some old critics think, the best of the series
of single-handed musical entertainers. Parry began as a serious
musician, but soon found that his true bent lay in humorous sketches of
the trials and tribulations and futilities of amateurs. After seeing
Dundreary for the nineteenth time, _Punch_ was persuaded by a friend to
see John Parry in _Mrs. Roseleaf's Party_ at the Gallery of
Illustration. He was rewarded by a truly exhilarating impersonation of
Mrs. Roseleaf, her little pet daughter, a tender tenor with a chronic
cold in his head, a fascinating ringleted "Gusheress," and a
matter-of-fact musician--all done by one gentlemanly actor without
change of dress. Parry's gifts as a pianist extorted the admiration of
eminent artists, and we may pardon _Punch_ for saying that "none but
himself can be his Parrylel."

[Sidenote: _Sims Reeves_]

Sims Reeves had been energetically supported by _Punch_ in his refusal
of encores. But when he was "conspicuous by his absence, as everybody
might have known," on the occasion of a charitable performance in 1864,
_Punch_ made bold to observe that "considering how often Mr. Reeves is
indisposed, it is high time that a deputy should be permanently hired
for him." On this particular occasion "the usual medical certificate was
produced and read amid the laughter of the audience, who had clearly
come prepared to hear the usual apology which is expected now whenever
Mr. Sims Reeves is announced." These are hard words, but the excuse was
so frequently made that concert-givers in the provinces were in the
habit of posting over their bills the reassuring announcement: "Sims
Reeves has arrived." Even then he could not always be reckoned on. The
famous tenor had undoubtedly a very delicate throat, and objected
strongly to sing if he was not feeling perfectly fit. But his inordinate
vanity was also a contributory cause. Sir Charles Hallé used to tell a
story how, on one occasion, when Sims Reeves was engaged to sing at
Manchester, he failed to appear at rehearsal. Hallé went off at once to
his hotel--for he had "arrived"--and was told that Mr. Reeves was too
ill to sing; but persisting in his intention, he was admitted to the
sick chamber and found that the illness was due to the fact that Sims
Reeves's name had been printed in the bills in the same type as the
other performers. Sir Charles Hallé accordingly sent for copies, and by
a process of accurate measurement succeeded in demonstrating that this
awful act of _lèse-majesté_ had not been committed and that "Sims
Reeves" was printed in larger capitals than any other name. Whereupon
the patient made a wonderful recovery and fulfilled his engagement.


(What they have to put up with sometimes.)

AFFABLE DUCHESS (to Amateur Tenor, who has just been warbling M.
Gounod's last): "Charming! Charming! You must really get somebody to
introduce you to me."]

As the "Pops" fulfilled _Punch's_ ideal of a model chamber music
concert, so the Saturday concerts at the Crystal Palace, conducted by
Manns, with "G" (Sir George Grove[32]) as programme writer, best
satisfied his requirements in the domain of the symphony and orchestral
music generally. Charles Keene's picture in 1866 of the two enthusiasts,
one political and one musical, is a pleasing comment on the growth of
musical taste. They both agree that Monday had been a glorious night,
but the one was thinking of Gladstone in the House, the other of Joachim
in the Kreutzer Sonata.

[Footnote 32: Grove was then--in 1872--the manager of the Crystal
Palace, and late in that year _Punch_ wrote of him, "The Crystal Palace
has never been so well kept as under the sway of my friend Mr. George
Grove, _Nemorum pulcherrimus ordo_--Grove's rule is most admirable."]

_Punch_ had already saluted John Parry; he extended a similar welcome in
1867 to the German Reed entertainment at St. George's Hall:--

    It is really quite a novelty to hear some comic singing done by
    English singers, without feeling a strong wish that one had been
    born deaf. "Tol de rol," and "Rumti-iddity," and such old English
    comic choruses, have long since had their day. Go to the St.
    George's Opera if you would know what comic English choruses should
    be. In the interests of good music, we thank Mr. German Reed for
    giving men a chance of hearing something better, in the way of
    comic singing, than "Champagne Charley," or "Costermonger Joe." We
    hope his charming little opera-house will tempt people from going
    to the vulgar, stupid music-halls, when they want to hear some
    singing which may make them laugh.

This, be it remarked, was at the time when the favourite popular songs
were "Champagne Charley," "Not for Joseph," and "Paddle Your Own Canoe,"
and when, in consequence, _Punch's_ complaints of the idiocy of
music-hall songs were both frequent and free.


[Sidenote: _Depreciation and Discovery_]

_Punch's_ virtual conversion to the principles of Pre-Raphaelitism has
already been noted, and the alliance was confirmed by the enterprise of
his publishers in connexion with _Once a Week_, to which Millais,
Sandys, and Rossetti were regular contributors. So we are not surprised
to find his criticisms of the Royal Academy growing in frankness and
even hostility during the early years of the period now under review. In
June, 1858, he complains of the monotony of the subjects chosen for
treatment at the annual show--endless portraits of a lady or gentleman;
Tom Jones and Sophia; Sancho Panza and the Duchess; Moses and the
Spectacles; Sir Roger de Coverley; Bruce and the Spider. To the same
year belongs his protest against the patronage of foreign sculptors _à
propos_ of the Wellington Memorial Competition. But the point of his
criticism is rather blunted by his failure to acknowledge the merits of
native genius, as represented by Alfred Stevens, that "rare artist, too
little recognized and revered," as a modern writer has truthfully
described him. _Punch_ refers to his design, but misspells his name
"Stephens," and evidently saw nothing uncommon in his work. Against this
lapse may be set the evidence of a true _flair_ two years later. Amid a
wilderness of mediocrities _Punch_ finds an oasis or two at the Academy
Exhibition of 1860. The names of most of the exhibitors are forgotten,
but there is one notable exception:--

    One would have expected Mr. Whistler's talents to have been
    developed on the flute rather than At the Piano (598). Nevertheless
    the painting of that title shows genius. The tone which he has
    produced from his piano is admirable, and he has struck on it a
    chord of colour which will, I hope, find an echo in his future


SARAH JANE: "Lawks! Why, it's hexact like our Hemmer!"]

In 1861 the practice of holding "single picture" shows, charging for the
privilege of beholding one canvas the price of a whole exhibition, comes
in for semi-serious rebuke at the hands of an income-tax payer. But
there was another evil against which _Punch_ inveighed with positive
ferocity in the tirade provoked by the Academy Banquet of 1862. The
Royal Academy was not merely "mean in its local habitation" (the present
exhibition rooms were not built till 1866), it was mean all through:--

    Mean in its spirit, its schools, in the quality of the Art it has
    most fostered and engendered, mean in the self-seeking spirit of
    its rules of exhibition; mean in its treatment of the greatest men
    who have belonged to it, and still more, of the painters outside
    its pale; mean in the cliques which divide its own ranks, and the
    jealousies which distract its councils.

    But it reaches the climax of its meanness once a year--at its
    Annual Dinner--and at this year's dinner it has capped the climax
    of meanness reached by all the dinners of all the years since first
    the Academy dined together.

    This Academy Dinner is like the banquet which the poor lunatic,
    whose story is told by Sir Walter Scott, used to be set down to
    every day in his cell at the asylum. He fancied his table spread
    with a magnificent dinner of three courses, and ate of this
    imaginary feast with great gusto; but "somehow" he used to whisper
    to his visitors, "everything tastes of porridge." So at the Academy
    dinner everything tastes of toads.

[Sidenote: _The R.A. Banquet_]

The writer proceeds to drive home this indictment of Sir Charles
Eastlake's[33] fulsome flattery of noble patrons and the niggardly
encouragement of real talent by the familiar device of a dream. At the
dinner of his vision great foreign painters are welcomed, and the
solidarity of the Arts confirmed by the invitation of illustrious
musicians and men of letters. Then comes the awakening:--

    The newspaper reports of the Academy dinner lay before me, with its
    small list of distinguished statesmen, its long bead-roll of Titled
    Nobodies who never bought a picture or gave a commission to a
    painter; its absence of every one of the distinguished artists by
    rare chance assembled in London; its ignoring of foreign letters,
    and its scanty recognition of the respect due to native literature;
    its utter passing by of the claims of the Sister Arts--Music and
    the Drama; the fulsome fulness of its laudations of all who can
    influence its fortunes by favour; its sycophancy of rank and title
    and outward influence, and that in the face of a series of cool
    contemptuous disclaimers of all knowledge or interest in Art by the
    men before whom in succession the Academic speaker knocked his
    forehead on the ground; and lastly, as if to sum up in one
    unmeaning act the stupid snobbishness that marks the whole of this
    Academic entertainment, the toast of "Literature and its prospects
    and influences on Art" relegated to the very end of the feast, when
    every other institution which it can enter into the heart of a
    respectful and awe-stricken Academician to bow down to has been
    honoured, and when the lordly guests whom the bad dinner has
    disagreed with, or the President's eloquence has bored, have left
    the spaces at the tables, lately filled by their august heads,

[Footnote 33: Another Charles Eastlake, the namesake and nephew of the
P.R.A., for many years contributed art-criticism to _Punch_ over the
signature "Jack Easel," but was clearly free from the suspicion of
family bias.]

[Illustration: ART _v._ NATURE

SITTER: "Oh, I think this position will do; it's natural and easy."

PHOTOGRAPHER: "Ah, that may do in ordinary life, ma'am; but in
photography it's out of the question entirely!"]

The Royal Academy has, in many respects, reformed itself out of all
recognition as the institution which provoked and justified this
explosion. It is only one of the many evidences which go to prove how
much more than a merely comic journal _Punch_ was that he should have
contributed as damaging an attack as was ever penned against the
principles and policy of the R.A. in the days when it laid itself most
open to criticism.

There are not many events in the art world in the 'sixties dealt with in
so serious a vein. When Frith's _Railway Station_ was purchased in 1863
for £20,000 by a Mr. Flatou, _Punch_ contented himself with calling the
purchaser a "Flatou Magico." There are friendly and well-merited
memorial notices of John Phillip, R.A., in 1867, and of Alexander Munro,
the Scottish sculptor, in 1871, while in 1870 _Punch_ supported the
appeal for funds to put up a tombstone to George Cattermole, who died

English etching was "up in the market" in 1871. _Punch_ has high praise
for Seymour Haden, higher still for Whistler, his "brother-in-law and
etching master." The peculiar quality and historic interest of the
etchings contained in the portfolio issued by Ellis, of King Street,
Covent Garden, have seldom been better described than in this

    Whistler has etched the tumble-down bank-side buildings of Thames,
    from Wapping and Limehouse and Rotherhithe to Lambeth and Chelsea,
    above-bridge--great gaunt warehouses, and rickety sheds, and
    balconies and gazebos hanging all askew, and rotting piles and
    green weeded quays and oozy steps and hards, where masts and yards
    score the sky over your head, and fleets of barges darken the mud
    and muddy water at your feet, and all is pitchy and tarry, and
    corny and coaly, and ancient and fishlike.

    Such etchings of this queer long-shore reach and marine-store
    dealers, and ship-chandlers, bonded warehousemen, and
    boat-builders, ancient mariners, and corn-porters, wherry-men, and
    wharfingers, Thames-police, and mud-larks, are all the more
    precious because the beauties they perpetuate are dying out--what
    with embankments and improvements, increased value of river
    frontage, and natural decay of planking and piling. Whistler has
    immortalized Wapping, and given it the grace that is beyond the
    reach of anything but art. Let all lovers of good art and
    marvellous etching who want to know what Father Thames was like
    before he took to having his bed made, invest in Whistler's

[Sidenote: _Academy Pictures in 1872_]

_Punch_ was a great Londoner, and his enthusiasm for an artist who was
able to perpetuate the romance and magic of the "ancient river" carries
weight. He scores some palpable hits, again, in the "Academy Rhymes,"
published in 1872, which begin:--

    Bad pictures hot!
      Bad pictures cold!
    Bad pictures such a lot!
      So well sold!

This shaft is especially aimed at Sir Francis Grant, P.R.A., and Mr.
James Sant, R.A. Millais's famous _Hearts are Trumps_ is neatly hit off
in the quatrain:--

    Liz, Di, and Mary, cool and airy,
      How does your garden grow?
    Azaleas in clumps, and hearts for trumps,
      And three pretty maids in a row.

[Illustration: A POSER

ENTHUSIASTIC YOUNG LADY: "Oh, Mr. Robinson, does not it ever strike you
in listening to sweet music, that the rudiment of potential infinite
pain is subtly woven into the tissue of our keenest joy?"]

_Punch_ was in no doubt as to the merits of one of the famous pictures
of the year:--

    About "Harbours of Refuge," no year
      But some M.P.'s a valuable talker;
    But my "Harbour of Refuge" is here
      And its C.E. is A.R.A. Walker!

But he was sadly to seek in his disparagement of Mason's beautiful
_Harvest Moon_:--

    Sweet, but scamped in every part,
      Such half-work most students guide ill:
    The free-masonry of Art
      Asks more labour, e'en in Idyll.


TOM: "I say, old man, now you've got that stunning house of yours, you
ought to be looking out for a wife!"

RODOLPHUS: "Quite so. I was thinking of one of those Miss Gibsons, don't
you know."

TOM: "Ah! Let me recommend the _tall_ one, old man. She'll make the best
wife in the world!"

RODOLPHUS: "Quite so. But the _short_ one seems to harmonize better with
the kind of _furniture_ I go in for--_buhl_ and _marqueterie_, don't you

[Sidenote: _Sir Edwin Landseer_]

Landseer had often been severely handled by _Punch_ for his
accommodating courtiership, but when he died in the autumn of 1873, the
long set of memorial verses which appeared on October 11 overlook this
infirmity and concentrate on Landseer's services as a teacher of
sympathy between man and brute. He was the first of painters who "give
dumb things a soul"--in the faithful collie in the lone shieling with
his head on his master's coffin; in his St. Bernards and antlered
monarchs of the glen. It may be objected that the soul which Landseer
gave his animals was a human soul and a sentimental one at that, and
that Bewick had forestalled him with a more accurate diagnosis; but the
insistence on Landseer's services as a promoter of the _entente
cordiale_ between man and beast is well justified. Landseer at the
moment of his passing was probably, as _Punch_ contends, "our best-known
name in Art." The writer of the verses traces the official recognition
of artists abroad:--

    Till even upon this, our little isle
      That looms so large in light of various fames,
    The fair Queen deigned at last, though late, to smile
      And dubbed her Knights--a few but glorious names.

But surely this is to overlook the knighthoods of Van Dyck and Lely
(both from the Netherlands), to say nothing of Sir Joshua.

The campaign directed against the extravagances of aestheticism by Du
Maurier belongs in the main to a later decade, but even in the early
'seventies the vagaries of preciosity had already begun to furnish him
with fruitful subjects for genial satire.


In the period under review in this volume England was dominated by two
monstrosities, the crinoline and the Claimant. Fortunately they were not
concurrent or England might have succumbed beneath the double incubus.
The former was pronounced "gone" in 1867, the same year in which the
arrival and recognition of the so-called Sir Roger Tichborne as the
rightful heir was announced in the columns of _Punch_. The historic
trial soon loomed large on the horizon, though it did not open till
1871. Of this portent some notice will be found elsewhere. Of the
crinoline it is no exaggeration to say that _Punch_ waged war against it
for ten solid years; his pages resolve themselves into a sort of
_Crinoliniad_; and when the monster fell it was not by force of arms
assisted by guile as in the parallel campaign against Troy, but by its
own absurdity and through the weariness of its supporters. With _Punch_
it was a positive obsession. The extravagances of the crinoline dominate
his "social cuts" from 1857 onwards. In 1858 he tells us that "Fops'
Alley" at the opera is to be rechristened "Petticoat Lane"; and that the
Ladies' Gallery in the House of Commons is to be enlarged as a
concession to the lateral expansion of women's skirts. The popular negro
song "Hoop de Dooden Doo" is re-written to fit the prevailing fashion,
and a classical lyric, "My Flora," is perverted to suit the same
purpose. Even at this early stage, however, _Punch_ seems to have
recognized the futility of his crusade. As he puts it:

    The more you scoff, the more you jeer,
    The more the women persevere
    In wearing this apparel queer.

[Sidenote: _Crinoline Absurdities_]

He applauds the railway companies for their alleged determination to
charge for ladies' trunks by size, not weight, but adds: "It's no use
trying to laugh or reason women out of it (crinoline). In all matters of
dress and in that of crinoline especially, the mind female is impervious
to ridicule and reason. The only argument to use with them is the
_argumentum ad pocketum_."

[Illustration: "IN THE BAY OF BISCAY, O!"

The last sweet things in hats and walking sticks at Biarritz.]

_Punch_, though pessimistic, was persevering, if inconsistent, and
continued to rely largely on the weapon of ridicule, and he had no lack
of material. Thus we read in December, 1858:--

    Visitors to the Cattle Show, at least those who go in Crinoline,
    would do well before they start to read the following short
    paragraph, which we extract for their perusal from a country

    "The Show was attended by several of the fair sex, for whose
    admission special means of entrance were provided. Through a
    pardonable neglect on the part of the Committee, this was neglected
    to be done at first, and a highly amusing incident occurred through
    the omission. Within a very few minutes of the Show being opened, a
    distinguished party of ladies and gentlemen arrived, and on coming
    to the turnstile (which was then the only entrance) it was
    discovered that the ladies, who we need not say were dressed in
    all the amplitude of fashion, could not possibly squeeze through so
    limited a space. In this dilemma, as the turnstile could not
    possibly be widened to the width that was required, the only course
    was, obviously, to throw open the great gates, through which the
    ladies, not without a titter, sailed majestically Show-wards in the
    wake of the prize beasts."

Ridicule, again, inspires the caricature of crinolines in the park
chairs, or the account of children in crinolines. In 1861 _Punch_
describes a child of four at an evening party who was fully six times
and a half as broad as she was long, and reads a homily on the danger of
implanting such follies in the mind of susceptible youth, since the
child is the mother of the woman as well as the father of the man. There
is, too, a burlesque picture of a modern governess giving a geography
lesson on a globe formed by her own inflated skirts. But often he struck
a serious note, and his suggestion of a crinoline hospital was not so
absurd in view of frequent accidents, such as the following:--


    Notwithstanding all that _Punch_ has said upon the subject, the
    accidents from Crinolines are, it would seem, upon the increase.
    Half a score at least have occurred through fire since Christmas,
    and several others we could cite have taken place from other
    causes. One of the last we saw reported was occasioned by a dress
    being caught up by a cab-wheel while the wearer was crossing a
    street at the West End. Here the victim was so fortunate as to
    escape with merely a bad fracture of her leg; but in most cases the
    sufferers have lost their life by their absurdity in wearing the
    wide dresses which are now accounted fashionable.

[Sidenote: _Length Succeeds Breadth_]

So the campaign went on for years and years, though _Punch_ was
magnanimous enough to record in 1864 that the much-abused monster had
been the means of saving a girl's life by acting as a parachute and
breaking her fall. In 1865 the fashion was already on the wane, but very
long dresses were in vogue, to the great annoyance of _Punch_:--


    Crinoline at length is going out, thank goodness! but long,
    trailing dresses are coming in, thank badness! In matters of
    costume lovely woman rarely ceases to make herself a nuisance; and
    the length of her skirt now is almost as annoying as, a while ago,
    its width was. _Robes à queue_ they call these draggling dresses;
    but it is not at Kew merely that people are tormented by them.
    Everywhere you walk, your footsteps are impeded by the ladies, who,
    in Pope's phrase, "drag their slow length along" the pathway just
    in front of you. "Will anybody tread upon the tail of my
    petticoat?" This seems to be the general invitation they now give.
    Sad enemies to progress they are, in their long dresses; and a
    Reform Bill should be passed to make them hold their tails up.


But the new nuisance was trifling compared with the old, and relief
predominated in the "Rhymes to Decreasing Crinoline" published a few
months earlier. It was not, however, until 1867 that crinolines
practically disappeared in fashionable circles, and that long skirts
were curtailed to reasonable dimensions.

Though chiefly preoccupied with skirts, _Punch_ bestowed a good deal of
attention on the vagaries of feminine headgear. In 1857 the huge round
hats in vogue moved him to protest. They were discredited, in his view,
when worn by elderly ladies, but he allowed them the negative merit of
having displaced the "ugly." The "dear little Spanish hat, so charming
and so much more sensible than a horrid bonnet" shown in the picture of
a stout lady of uncertain age, justifies the reservation "on some
people." But the hat was entering into a serious competition with the
bonnet, and by 1860 the "pork-pie hat," so indelibly associated with
Leech's portraits of mid-Victorian girls, was firmly established in
favour and gradually ousting the spoon-shaped bonnet which disappeared
in 1865. This growing popularity of the hat trimmed with feathers, as
opposed to bonnets trimmed with ribbons, had the result of causing
considerable distress in the ribbon trade in Coventry. _Punch_, though
"no lover of extravagance," found himself accordingly driven to urge his
lady readers to flock to their dressmakers and drapers and purchase as
many hat-ribbons as possible. They could justify their action by singing
in the slightly adapted words of the old song,

  All round my hat I wear a new ribbon,
    All round my hat a new ribbon every day,
  And if anyone should ask of me the reason why I wear it,
    "'Tis to help the poor of Coventry who are wanting work," I'll say.

The appeal was followed up a week later by an ingenious
and graceful picture of the new Lady Godiva riding through
Coventry in a costume composed entirely of ribbons.

[Sidenote: _Chignons_]

Bonnets held their own but in dwindling dimensions, their
minuteness being specially noticed in 1867. This is attributed
by _Punch_ to the fashion of the chignon, on which he bestows
ironic praise in 1869 as needing very small and therefore cheap
bonnets. In 1871 "Dolly Varden" hats, flower-trimmed and
with one side bent down, named after the character in _Barnaby
Rudge_, engage _Punch's_ pencil; a year later Mr. Austin Dobson
wrote in _St. Paul's Magazine_: "Blue eyes look doubly blue
beneath a Dolly Varden."


The very last thing in chignons.]

Turning from headgear to hairdressing, we find _Punch_ a
vigilant critic of _coiffure_. In 1858 he attacks the vagaries of
mode as shown in hairdressing _à la Chinoise_ "pulled up by
the roots," and the fashion of wearing coins. To judge from
Leech's pictures he greatly preferred the simpler style of braids
and hair nets. The great event of the mid-'sixties, however,
was the advent of the chignon, which proved only second to the
crinoline as an incentive to caricature and criticism. In the
ironical verses addressed to a "Young Lady of Fashion," the
chignon stands first in the list of the artificial enhancements of
beauty resorted to half a century back:--

    I love thee for thy chignon, for the boss of purchased hair,
    Which thou hast on thine occiput the charming taste to wear.
    Oh, what a grace that ornament unto thy poll doth lend,
    Wound on what seems a curtain-rod with knobs at either end!

    I love thee for the roses, purchased too, thy cheeks that deck,
    The lilies likewise that adorn thy pearly-powdered neck,
    And all that sweet "illusion" that, o'er thy features spread,
    Improves the poor reality of Nature's white and red.

    I love thee for the muslin and the gauze about thee bound,
    Like endive that in salad doth a lobster's tail surround.
    And oh! I love thee for the boots thine ankles that protect,
    So proper to the manly style young ladies now affect.

The chignon was no new invention, but a revival of a fashion mentioned
by the _Lady's Magazine_ for 1783, and described twenty-five years later
by Maria Edgeworth as a combination of hair natural and false "plastered
together to a preposterous bulk and turned up in a sort of great bag or
club." But the fashion attained its apogee in the middle and late
'sixties, and afforded endless opportunities to the pencils of Du
Maurier and Sambourne. One of the most ludicrous of the many caricatures
to which the habit gave rise is that in which Du Maurier represented a
lady riding on a pony with its mane and tail fluffed out to harmonize
with her stupendous chignon. Later developments of the chignon are
ridiculed by Sambourne in 1871.

[Sidenote: _Madame Rachel_]

The second stanza of the poem quoted above furnishes not an unfair
summary of the arts of facial adornment of which that amazing
adventuress Madame Rachel was the most notorious and expensive high
priestess. Her beginnings were obscure and even ignominious. Her maiden
name was Russell, but it is not certain whether she was born near
Ballinasloe in Ireland or in London. Her first husband was a chemist's
assistant in Manchester, from whom she had probably learned something of
the compounding of cosmetics; her second and third husbands were both
Jews--James Moses who was lost in the _Royal Charter_, October 26, 1859,
and Philip Leverson. She kept a fried-fish shop in Vere Street, Clare
Market, for a while, then started as a hair restorer in Conduit Street,
and from 1861 to 1868 was in business in New Bond Street under the name
of Madame Rachel (probably borrowed from that of the famous tragedian)
as an enameller and vendor of cosmetics. She professed, in the phrase
eternally associated with her name, to make women "beautiful for ever,"
but it was a costly process. Under the heading, "The Trials of Beauty,"
_Punch_, who had referred to her cosmetics as early as the winter of
1858, writes in 1862:--

    The wife of a Captain has been called upon to pay near upon £1,000
    for having been enamelled by Madame Rachel. Ladies take warning. Be
    natural rather than artificial. Never appear in society with a mask
    on, no matter how beautiful the mask may be. From the above you
    should learn in time how much it may cost you for being


What we _must_ come to before long!]

The warning, however, was unheeded, and Madame Rachel continued to
flourish exceedingly for more than five years, living in an elegant
house in Maddox Street and paying £400 in 1867 for a box at the opera.
The first crash came in 1868, when she was tried for swindling Mrs.
Borradaile, the widow of a colonel in the Madras Cavalry, out of £5,300
on the pretence of making her "beautiful for ever" and fitting her to be
the wife of Viscount Ranelagh. In September of that year she was
sentenced to five years' penal servitude, and she was burnt in effigy on
Guy Fawkes' day. In the following March her house, furniture and effects
came to the hammer, and _Punch's_ description affords a good clue to the
extent of her profits:--

    The lady's business having been knocked down by the Judges, her
    effects are about to be knocked down by the auctioneer. The
    catalogue and sale bills are quite overpowering to the imagination.
    The drawing-rooms and principal apartments are said to "present
    splendour and magnificence difficult to describe." There are
    candelabra (brass and lacquer probably) formerly belonging to the
    Emperor Napoleon, and incense-burners once the property of the King
    of Delhi! "Dispersed through the house are numerous works of Art
    and articles of virtu, many of them presentations from Madame
    Rachel's distinguished patronesses."

[Sidenote: _Fashions in Coiffure_]

_Punch_ headed his remarks "Madame Rachel's Last Appearance," but the
heading was premature. Released on a ticket-of-leave in 1872 Madame
Rachel boldly renewed her operations in Duke Street, Portland Place, in
1873, and continued them till 1878, when she was sentenced a second time
to five years' penal servitude for swindling another client, and died in
Woking Prison on October 12, 1880. The curious may turn for further
details to the reminiscences of Serjeant Ballantine and Montagu
Williams. Both Serjeant Ballantine and Montagu Williams appeared for the
prosecution in the Borradaile case. There were two trials: in the first,
held in August, the jury disagreed. It is perhaps not unfair to say that
the heavy sentence passed by Mr. Commissioner Kerr was due more to
Madame Rachel's demerits and her record than to the merits of the case.
But she had not merely obtained money under false pretences: she was a
forger and a blackmailer as well. Ballantine, who could not be accused
of squeamishness, had known of her in earlier days and describes her as
"one of the most filthy and dangerous moral pests that have existed in
my time and within my observation."[34] Montagu Williams, who gives a
full account of the trial, calls her a "wicked old woman," but contents
himself with observing that the case "afforded a striking illustration
of the vanity of some women, and of what tricks can be played upon them
by the artful."[35] Madame Rachel does not appear in the D.N.B., though
less remarkable impostors have found a niche in that comprehensive
temple of native talent, and her fame was not confined to one
hemisphere. One of the springs on the shores of Lake Rotorua in New
Zealand was named "The Madame Rachel Bath" in virtue of its medicinal
and rejuvenating qualities.

[Footnote 34: _Some Experiences of a Barrister's Life._]

[Footnote 35: _Leaves of a Life._]


From the "Journal des Coiffeurs."

(_The ladies have already begun._)]

In 1866 the rage for dyeing the hair auburn seems to have been at its
height. "Mr. Frizzle," a _coiffeur de dames_, is represented in one of
Du Maurier's pictures as saying to a customer, "Black hair is never
admitted into really good society." Enlarging on this theme in another
place in the same volume, _Punch_ observes that the maxim "Never say
Dye" is completely abandoned, and suggests daily changes of complexion
to suit the dresses worn. In 1864 we read of small dogs being dyed to
match their mistresses' colouring! By 1867 the pendulum seems to have
swung in the opposite direction and brunettes are again in vogue. The
picture (also by Du Maurier) of fashionable ladies with short hair can
hardly be taken seriously; it is probably not more than an unconscious
prophecy of the "bobbing" habit of recent years. In 1869 _Punch_ was
much exercised by learning, on the authority of an American paper, that
"nearly all the brilliant complexions seen among the fashionable women
of New York are the result of eating arsenic. Since the introduction of
the blonde fashion, arsenic-eating has become almost a mania." Tirades
against tight-lacing date back to 1859, but they culminated in the
ponderous irony of the "Wanton Warning to Vanity" published ten years

    Indeed the _Morning Post_ ought to be ashamed of itself. That
    journal, which we used to call our fashionable contemporary,
    publishes a paragraph, headed "Tight-Lacing," which reports the
    particulars of an inquest held at the College Arms, Crowndale Road,
    Camden Town, on the body of a young woman, aged only nineteen, and
    whereby, if they see it, our dear girls who take in such
    instructive journals as the _Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine_ will
    be terrified to no purpose by the information that--

    "She was out three hours with a perambulator, in which was one
    child, and as she neared her destination she fell down insensible.
    She was taken to 10, Polygon, where upon examination by Dr. Smellie
    she was found quite dead. It was discovered that she was very
    tightly-laced, and Dr. Smellie stated that death was caused by
    effusion of blood on the brain, caused by fatty heart, accelerated
    by compression of the chest produced by tight-lacing. The jury
    returned a verdict in those terms."

    This statement, so inconsistently published by our once, and, we
    hitherto supposed, our still fashionable contemporary, is
    calculated to have a most unfashionable effect, namely, that of
    deterring girls from following the revived fashion of lacing as
    tight as they can stand, and tighter than they are sometimes able
    to go. But a propensity, which seems a law of their nature,
    happily compels them, for the most part, to follow the fashion
    regardless of consequences. The typical and average woman can no
    more deviate from the dress of the day than an animal can choose to
    change its skin or its spots. There is no fear that any girls
    accustomed to tight-lacing will ever be induced to relinquish that
    practice which renders them such delightful objects to one another,
    if ridiculous and repulsive to stupid men, by any such nonsense as
    a report of the verdict of a coroner's jury ascribing death to the
    effect of tight-lacing in accelerating fatty degeneration of the

[Illustration: THE GRECIAN BEND

Does not tight-lacing and high heels give a charming grace and dignity
to the female figure?]

[Sidenote: _The Grecian Bend_]

High heels are not noticeable in Leech's pictures or before the middle
'sixties. The "manly style" of boots mentioned in the lines of the
"Young Lady of Fashion" quoted above probably refer to the stout
laced-up "Balmorals" which Frederick Locker refers to in his _London
Lyrics_. The advent of tailor-made garments for women in the summer of
1864 is looked upon as a curiosity. Towards the end of the period under
review a mode of carriage known as the "Grecian Bend," celebrated in a
comic song of the time, is more than once noted and caricatured in
_Punch_; faint echoes of the "Grecian Bend" still linger in the memories
of the elderly; the "Roman Fall" is merely the shadow of a name. By the
'seventies the æsthetic movement had already begun to exert an influence
on dress, but it was confined to a small coterie, to the _précieux_ and
_précieuses_ who worshipped old china and wore waistless dresses of sage
green. On the general question of "the Influence of costume and fashion
on High Art," which was discussed in a manifesto issued by "The Artists
of the Nineteenth Century," _Punch_ wrote sensibly enough:--

    The declaration is signed by a great number of eminent men at home
    and abroad, and its point is to insist that people of the present
    day dress so hideously that they will not make pictures. A
    transitional change is recommended, and the Declarers
    affectionately remind the public that so long as they make Guys of
    themselves at the instigation of tailors and milliners, portraits
    have no value except as family memorials, whereas, if we dressed
    properly, the artists would make us into tableaux which the whole
    world should admire. All this is perfectly true, but what is to be
    done? How are we to extricate ourselves from the tyranny of the
    tailor and the milliner? This the Declarers do not tell us, nor was
    it to be expected perhaps that they should advise us how to conduct
    a rebellion. But why do they not tell us how they would like us to
    dress? Men, for instance. Are they to come out with a choice array
    of colour, and with a picturesquely cut garb, and that general
    ampleness and nobleness in treatment of costume, which bespeaks the
    grand and heroic in the wearer?

[Sidenote: _The Briton Abroad_]

At this point _Punch_ deviates into absurdity. But the main argument is
sound. As a transition, however, to the subject of men's dress, another
deliverance serves our purpose even better. _Punch_ loved to criticize
and even carp at his countrymen and countrywomen, but he did not easily
suffer any infringement of his prerogative. And so, when a correspondent
of _The Times_ fell foul of the dowdiness of Englishmen and Englishwomen
abroad, he was up in arms at once:--

    _The Times_ abuses John Bull, and Madame son Épouse, for going
    about on their travels got up as Guys--for shocking foreign
    prejudices, and showing their contempt for foreign opinion, by
    sporting eccentric shooting-coats, flaming flannel shirts, reckless
    wide-awakes--and worse still on the ladies' part, by the general
    shabbiness and ugliness of their travelling toilettes and headgear.

    Now, making every allowance for the desperate necessities of
    newspaper writers in the dead season, and admitting that British
    travellers--male and female--include specimens both of the Guy and
    the Gorilla, _Mr. Punch_ must put in his protest against any such
    wholesale indictment as this of his compatriots en voyage. On the
    contrary he is prepared to maintain, after surveying mankind from
    Calais to Calatafimi ... that, as a rule, the wearer of the best
    travelling suit (for stuff, cut, and condition together), the
    cleanest shirt, the least ragamuffin or ridiculous hat, the
    soundest and shapeliest foot-covering, is a Briton.

    Englishmen turn neater and sweeter out of a railway carriage after
    a night's rattle, restlessness and frowst than any other people;
    they are more presentable, more like gentlemen, after an Alpine
    scramble among glacier and moraine, crevasse and couloir; they
    present better brushed hair, and cleaner hands and faces and whiter
    linen at the Table d'hôte under difficulties, and fall into less
    profound abysses of misery and degradation in sea-going steamers,
    than the natives of any other country.

    I, _Punch_, am speaking now of the men. For the ladies--bless
    them!--I am compelled to admit they don't understand dress as an
    art so well as their French sisters. Millinery and dressmaking have
    their home and headquarters in France, just as cooking has; and for
    the same reason--because the inferiority of the raw material makes
    the elaborate and well-studied dressing of it a matter of sheer

    But, apart from their national shortcoming in the art of dress, I
    maintain that Englishwomen, on their travels, deserve as much good
    said of them as Englishmen. Bless their fresh faces, and smooth
    hair, and clean cuffs and collars! In these particulars, what
    French or German woman can hold the candle to 'em?

    I admit that the plain British female looks plain on her travels,
    and maybe dowdy ... But this I will maintain, that an attractive
    Englishwoman loses less of her attractiveness under the necessities
    and accidents of travel than any of her Continental rivals. She has
    a quality of purity and freshness about her which seems to repel
    all soil, whether material or moral, as the oil in the duck's
    tail-gland drives off the water-drops from his plumage; and, as a
    rule, her clothes, and her way of wearing them, have the same
    merits of freshness and purity in comparison with those of her

    This, then, is the first proposition I am prepared to maintain
    against all comers: that English travellers, of both sexes, are, as
    a rule, the best-dressed travellers in the world.

    My next proposition is like unto it, viz.: that the English abroad
    are the best-mannered travellers, and at home the best-mannered
    dealers with travellers, to be found in the circle of civilized

[Illustration: A HINT FOR TAILORS

This is John Jones, who has kindly selected Mrs. de Cotillon's _Thé
Dansant_, to display his idea of what the alterations in evening dress
(said to be meditated by a certain R-y-l P-rs-n-ge) ought to be.]

[Sidenote: _Masculine Dress_]

Throughout the period dealt with in the previous volume man, in _Punch_,
was the predominant partner in the domain of dress. From 1857 onwards
the balance is handsomely redressed in favour of the women. And as
_Punch_ was staffed by men, we may fairly attribute this change to the
standardizing of male attire which dates from the middle of the
nineteenth century. The difference between the dress of men to-day and
in 1860 is immensely less than that between the dress of women at the
same two dates. Beaver hats were still worn in 1858; they are even now
exhibited in the shop front of a well-known hatter's in St. James's
Street; but the silk chimney pot had already come to stay. The evening
dress suit was indistinguishable from that now worn. There was not much
difference in the cut of morning coats. Only in the "nether integuments"
is the flux of fashion really marked. "Peg-top" trousers were in vogue
in 1858 and for a few years subsequently, and _Punch_ attributes their
shape to mimicry of the crinoline, though in one passage he professes to
derive it from the _contours_ of the Cochin China fowl. The "Peg-top,"
however, did not last. It was otherwise with the introduction of
knickerbockers, so-called from the resemblance to the knee-breeches of
the Dutchmen in Cruickshank's illustrations to Washington Irving's
_History of New York_.


_Enter_ Mamma and Aunt Ellen.

MAMMA (to old woman): "Pray, have you met two ladies and a gentleman?"

OLD WOMAN: "Well, I met three people--but, la! there, I can't tell
ladies from gentlemen nowadays--when I was a gal, etc., etc."]

[Illustration: AFTER DUNDREARY

FIRST SWELL: "A-a-wah! Waw! Waw! How did you like him?"

SECOND DITTO: "Waw-waw-waw. No fellaw evaw saw such a fellaw. Gwoss

In a letter to _The Times_ in May, 1859, Lord Elcho recommends
"nickerbockers"--so he spells the word--as a substitute for trousers for
volunteers. Charles Kingsley in the same year derived them from
country-made--and badly made--puffed trunk-hose. But their utility and
convenience for country wear and sport were soon established, though the
dreadful abbreviation "Knickers" did not come into use for some twenty
years. The shortening of ladies' dresses and the bagginess of men's
knickerbockers afforded _Punch_ some excuse for professing to be unable
to distinguish the sexes at a distance, but the actual assumption of
knickerbockers by women belonged to a later generation.

[Sidenote: _Lord Dundreary_]

It is rather in the fashion of wearing their hair than in their dress
that the changes effected in the appearance of men in the last sixty
years can be best studied. Beards came in after the Crimean War, but
they were not universally popular. The Bishop of Rochester took up so
strong a line on the subject in 1861 that _Punch_ was moved to

    Good Doctor Wigram (Rochestere),
      At Parsons' beards is raving:
    We sadly fear that we shall hear
      The Bishop's _head_ needs shaving.

But whiskers were the great feature of the 'sixties. They had been
"ambrosial" before, but now the thing became a monstrosity in its
profuse luxuriance. For this was the age of "Piccadilly Weepers," and of
Lord Dundreary, the eccentric stage peer created by Sothern in _Our
American Cousin_. Sothern, be it remembered, was a hunting-man and a
_persona grata_ in fashionable circles; and allowing for the element of
caricature in his impersonation, it was at least based on firsthand
knowledge of the type satirized. There is an interesting notice of the
first production at the Haymarket of _Our American Cousin_ in which Lord
Dundreary is described as "a double eye-glassed dandy, with dyed
whiskers which he paws and throws over his shoulder," but the critic
admits that in spite of all Mr. Sothern's "funny and fantastic
caricaturing, there is a something true to nature in his almost every
touch." The hold that Sothern's impersonation took upon public fancy is
shown by the fact that for several years _Punch_ adopted "Dundreary" as
a synonym for a vacuous, solemn, well-bred and prodigiously whiskered
dandy, and in the Preface to Vol. xlii. Lord Dundreary is introduced as
interlocutor in the usual dialogue.


Tailors' pseudo-classical nomenclature was already a frequent theme with
_Punch_. In the same year _Punch_ quotes a tailor's advertisement of a
"Negligé Milled Tweed suit, consisting of cape jacket, vest and trousers
for £2 2s. 0d.," which arouses the envy of the post-war Englishman.
Hair-brushing by machinery is noted as a novelty in the autumn of 1863;
we trust that the customers contrived to keep their whiskers out of the
way of the brush. For the rest, we may briefly note the advent of the
"Ulster" in 1871, and the prevalence of the single eye-glass in 1873.


[Illustration: A CHIP OF THE OLD BLOCK

GRANDPAPA: "Bless his heart--just like me! Spare the _Nim_rod--spoil the
child, I say."]

In the region of sport fox-hunting continues to dominate the scene.
Leech's pictures are largely devoted to satirizing cockney sportsmen,
but they render full justice to the enterprise and intrepidity of the
younger generation and of hard-riding young ladies. He is less happy or
at any rate less genial in ridiculing the irregularities of the "Mossoo"
in the hunting field. The exploits and adventures of the ubiquitous Mr.
Briggs form an agreeable pendant and supplement to the novels of
Surtees. Mr. Briggs was not an aristocrat, but he was more of a
gentleman if less of a personality than Jorrocks. But Leech's premature
death left a tremendous gap, for both in humour and draughtsmanship the
artists who took his place as delineators of the chase were
immeasurably his inferiors. In connexion with the "noble animal" we may
note that the advent of Rarey, the famous horse-tamer, was warmly
welcomed by _Punch_ and Leech in 1858. The possibilities of the
treatment are developed in a variety of ways, but there is more than
mere burlesque in the suggestion that it could be profitably applied to
stablemen and horsebreakers. And here we may note a crude foreshadowing
of winter-sports in Leech's picture of the frozen-out foxhunter who
builds a "treboggin" and, with his groom seated behind, careers down
hill and across country in a machine about 12 feet long and not 2 feet
wide with a splash-board in front.


Sporting Militaire recalls to mind his Canadian experiences (the ground
being deep with snow), builds a treboggin, and for the moment ceases to
swear at the frost, or to regret the six hunters he has eating their
heads off in the stable.]

[Sidenote: _In Praise of the Ring_]

_Punch_ was in the main a supporter of "muscular Christianity" and had
already noted, with more sympathy than hostility, the encouragement of
boxing as an integral part of the education of the ingenuous youth.
Disraeli's Parliamentary duel with Palmerston in 1858 is described in
pugilistic terms, in which the victory is given to the former "on
points." But, in view of his generally humane and humanitarian outlook,
he had hardly prepared us for his remarkable eulogy of the Prize Ring in
the year 1860. For it was in that year that the historic fight took
place between the American Heenan (the "Benicia Boy") and Tom Sayers at
Farnborough on April 17, and it was chronicled at full length in
_Punch_. "The Fight of Sayerius and Heenanus: A Lay of Ancient London"
in the style of Macaulay occupies a whole page. Its chief interest to
modern readers resides in the fact that it is "supposed to be recounted
to Great-grand-children, April 17, A.D. 1920, by an Ancient Gladiator."
The narrative is put in the mouth of "Crawleius" well known "in the
_Domus Savilliana_[36] among the sporting men," presumably a relative
real or imaginary of Peter Crawley, a well-known prize fighter. But the
speaker did a gross injustice to the next generation but one when he

    'Tis but some sixty years since
      The times whereof I speak,
    And yet the words I'm using
      Will sound to you like Greek.
    What know ye, race of milksops,
      Untaught of the P.R.,
    What stopping, lunging, countering,
      Fibbing or rallying are?

    What boots to use the _lingo_
      When you have not the _thing_?
    How paint to _you_ the glories
      Of Belcher, Cribb, or Spring,
    To _you_, whose sire turns up his eyes
      At mention of the Ring?

[Footnote 36: Savile House, on the north side of Leicester Square,
originally the residence of Sir George Savile, Burke's friend, was in
its latter days rebuilt as a place of entertainment and became a resort
of Bohemians and fast men about town. It was burned down in 1865 and the
site is now occupied by the Empire Theatre.]

The train journey to Farnborough in the grey dawn, the company, and the
fight itself are, however, described with spirit:--

    Not only fighting covies,
      But sporting swells besides--
    Dukes, Lords, M.P.'s and Guardsmen,
      With county beaks besides;
    And tongues that sway our Senators
      And hands the pen that wield
    Were cheering on the Champions
      Upon that morning's field.

We pass over the details of the fight--how Sayers was floored nine
times, and had his right arm crippled; how Heenan had both eyes put in
mourning--to come to the last stage:--

    Two hours and more the fight had sped,
      Near unto ten it drew,
    But still opposed--one-armed to blind--
      They stood, the dauntless two.
    Ah me! that I have lived to hear
      Such men as ruffians scorned,
    Such deeds of valour brutal called,
      Canted, preached down and mourned!
    Ah, that these old eyes ne'er again
      A gallant mill shall see!
    No more behold the ropes and stakes,
      With colours flying free!
    But I forget the combat--
      How shall I tell its close,
    That left the Champion's belt in doubt
      Between those well-matched foes?
    Fain would I shroud the tale in night,--
    The meddling Blues[37] that thrust in sight,--
      The ring-keepers o'erthrown;--
    The broken ring,--the cumbered fight,--
    Heenanus' sudden, blinded flight,--
    Sayerius pausing, as he might,
    Just when ten minutes used aright
      Had made the fight his own!

[Sidenote: _Bull Fight at Islington_]

This curious document, valuable as contemporary evidence, worthless as
prophecy, serves to show how strangely _Punch's_ humanitarianism was
leavened and influenced by primitive instincts in the domain of sport.

[Footnote 37: Policemen.]

[Illustration: UPPER CLASS: "Winged him, my lord!"]

[Illustration: LOWER CLASS: "There's another, 'Arry!"]

Pigeon-shooting and bull-fighting were another matter altogether. In
1870 an abortive attempt was made to introduce the latter at the
Agricultural Hall, Islington, and the Islington-Spanish bull-fight is
treated with a happy mixture of ridicule and contempt in a contribution
to _Punch's_ "Evenings from Home." The proceedings appear to have been
tame enough, and the bulls were probably "doped," yet enough of the real
thing remained to warrant the hostile reception which the entertainment
received. At its close the "Islington Spaniards" dispersed to the
Islington public-houses. _Punch_ returned to the subject a month later.
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals had interfered to
good purpose. The Islington bull-fighters had been summoned before a
magistrate and fined, and their "entertainment" had been stopped.
_Punch_ seized the occasion to add a comment which, on the very day on
which, in 1921, I write these lines, is as timely as it was more than
fifty years ago:--

    From Islington to Wormwood Scrubbs is not far, and it is much to be
    feared by the tame-pigeon-shooting nobility and gentry that the
    officers of an impartial Association, vigilant to protect poor
    animals from cruelty, will as soon as possible be down upon the Gun

[Illustration: "TO MEMORY DEAR"

ENTHUSIASTIC CRICKETER: "Ah, last season was a good one! I'd both eyes
blacked in one match, and two fingers smashed in the return match the
same week! But give me 1870 over again. I got the ball on my forehead at
'short leg,' and was senseless for three-quarters of an hour!"]

[Sidenote: _Cricket and Football_]

Turning to cricket, we find that "over-hand bowling flung from the
elbow" was mentioned by _Punch_ as a novelty in the late 'fifties.
Cricket was still played in tall hats at that time; but by the 'sixties
caps had come in. The dangers of the game are a not infrequent subject
of comment, and, before the days of billiard-table pitches, the ball was
capable of a good deal of awkward bumping; but to judge from _Punch's_
pictures the resultant contusions were regarded with equanimity by the
players as part of the day's work or play. Cricket was extending its
domain, and _à propos_ of the establishment of clubs at Lisbon and
Oporto _Punch_ quotes an entertaining account of a game between these
clubs by a Lisbon sporting journalist for the instruction of his
countrymen. The incident is taken by _Punch_ as an occasion for
suggesting international games of cricket: Turks and Chinamen, Dutch and
Japanese. The Dutch have long been votaries of cricket; and though it
has not caught on with the Japanese and Chinese, both these races have
of late years cultivated lawn tennis with considerable success. Here,
then, as so often happens, a mock prophecy is fulfilled in a way in
which the prophet never expected. A critical year in the annals of
Lord's was reached in 1864 when there was a danger of the ground being
sold for building purposes. A sum of £10,000 was needed to secure the
interests of cricket, and _Punch_, in an imaginary dialogue between a
countryman and a cockney, represents the former as ready to contribute
5s. to avoid a national disgrace and "zave Lard's cricket ground."

References to football are confined to comments, mostly humorous but
occasionally serious, on the practice of shinning or hacking. The Rules
of the "West Shynnington Football Club" are conveniently used as a
vehicle for a number of bad puns, but the trials of the modern referee
are foreshadowed in the suggestion that "a Police Magistrate should
always be in attendance to dispose of all charges made by players."
_Punch_ in more serious mood discerns in the letter of "A Surgeon" to
_The Times_ the disastrous results of hacking as then permitted by the
Rugby code. "Hacking," in _Punch's_ view, was simply an unfair form of
fighting and should be abolished.

The outstanding event in rowing circles during these years was the
famous race between the Oxford and Harvard fours on August 27, 1869.
_Punch_ celebrated the victory of Oxford in a notice giving the names of
those who took part in the contest, congratulating Oxford, and wishing
health to both crews, the accompanying cartoon representing a gigantic
brawny John Bull shaking hands with a muscular but comparatively slim
Uncle Sam, both in rowing trim, with the legend "Well Rowed All!"
_Punch_, as umpire, remarks: "Ha, dear boys, you've only to pull
together to lick all the world!" The sentiment is better than the
treatment. Unluckily the race led to some acrimonious comment in the New
York papers on British sportsmanship, and _Punch_, in his rejoinder, was
more vigorous than polite. River "aquatics" have not always been free
from recrimination. The origin of the famous retort to bargees, "Who ate
puppy pie under Marlow Bridge?" is obscure; but it is mentioned as far
back as the Almanack for 1858.


LEONORA: "Dear! Dear! How the arrow sticks!"

CAPTAIN BLANK (with a sigh of the deepest): "It does, indeed!"]

[Sidenote: _Croquet and Flirtation_]

"Golf Sticks" are alluded to in January, 1858, but during the rest of
this period I find no further mention of golf. Of social pastimes
archery is still in favour, but croquet is by far the most frequently
referred to. To judge from the pictures, croquet, then in its
unscientific infancy, was played on lawns innocent of mowing machines or
scythes. It was mainly an excuse for flirtation between Charles and
Clara; and the cheating earlier mentioned was regarded as quite fair
game. _Punch_ dealt with it in a serial poem of heroic proportions in
the year 1863. This epic--for it was little less--ran to seven numbers,
but it is not memorable apart from its length. When the Croquet
Tournament was held at Wimbledon in 1870, _Punch_ was ready to
acknowledge the presence of Queens of Beauty, but could not accord the
men players a higher title than that of Carpet Knights.

[Illustration: CROQUET

CHORUS OF OFFENDED MAIDENS: "Well! If Clara and Captain de Holster are
going on in that ridiculous manner--we may as well leave off playing."]

[Illustration: LAWN TENNIS

MISS MAUD: "How do we stand?"

CAPTAIN LOVELACE: "They are six to our love; and 'love' always means
nothing, you know."

MISS MAUD: "Always?"]

[Sidenote: _Lawn Tennis_]

"Aunt Sally"--alleged to have been introduced by the Duke of
Beaufort--is portrayed as a novel adjunct to the amenities of garden
parties in 1860 by Leech. Roller-skating came in about 1873, and about
the same time lawn tennis having survived its early name of
"Sphairistikè," began to attract the attention of _Punch's_ artists. The
implements employed have a prehistoric appearance, but the pastime,
thought still in its insular, garden-party and "pat-ball" stage,
inspired some graceful lines in 1874:--


    Now the long shadows of September come,
      And idle for a time the scribbler's pen is,
    He passes from the Town's discordant hum,
    From garrulous gossip of the kettle-drum,[38]
    From orators who should have been born dumb,
      To watch upon green lawns the girls play tennis.

    Robins are trilling in the faded trees,
      The flitting swallows of their voyage chatter,
    Testing their wings before they dare the seas,
    For Nile's dun marge or blue-girt Cyclades;
    The sportsman's shots come frequent on the breeze,
      The flying balls keep up a pleasant clatter.

    Croquet's a merry game for those who flirt
      (Who doesn't, pray--_Punch_, poet, peer, or parson?),
    But Tennis, when the ladies are alert,
    Follow the swift ball with a looped-up skirt,
    Strike it on high with graceful arm expert,
      Burns up the masculine heart with sudden arson.

    So, pour some icy fluid in a glass
      Tinged with deep mulberry stain, true work of Venice:
    And _Mr. Punch_ will let the soft hours pass,
    Watching with tranquil eyes each lovely lass
    Flit like an Oread o'er the smooth green grass,
      And win his old heart as she wins at Tennis.

[Footnote 38: "Drum"--a crowded social reception--dates back to the days
of Pope. The Victorian "kettle-drum" was a tea-party.]

_A complete Index will be found in the Fourth Volume._





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