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Title: Mr. Punch's History of Modern England Vol. III of IV
Author: Graves, Charles L. (Charles Larcom)
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. III of IV" ***

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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_. The small letter e with a macron cannot be
represented in plain text. It is instead shown in this text as [=e].

[Illustration: EMPRESS AND EARL;


Lord Beaconsfield: "Thanks, your Majesty! I might have had it
before! Now I think I have _earned_ it!"

_Reproduced from the Cartoon by John Tenniel._]





VOL. III.--1874-1892

  London, New York, Toronto and Melbourne

_Published by arrangement with the Proprietors of "Punch"_



















                                PART I

                         THE NATIONAL OUTLOOK

                             HIGH POLITICS

The pageant of the Victorian age reached its grand climacteric in the
period on which we now enter. As a "drum and trumpet chronicle" the
history of the eighteen years from 1874 to 1892 was void of any British
military operations on the grand scale. Of the names Kandahar, Maiwand,
Isandhlwana, Majuba, Khartoum and Tel-el-Kebir only the first and last
minister to our complacency. Yet the achievements of Lord Roberts in
the two Afghan campaigns were splendid examples of bold leadership
and British endurance, and Lord Wolseley's suppression of the revolt
of Arabi was more than efficient. In the mid 'seventies Germany came
perilously near forcing a fresh war on France; but the influence of
the British Crown and Government was largely instrumental in averting
the calamity. We were twice on the verge of war with Russia in 1878,
first in April after the Treaty of San Stefano at the close of the
Russo-Turkish war, and second in July over Russia's intervention in
Afghanistan. The country was divided, for while there had been a
revival of the old distrust of Russia, Gladstone had thrown the whole
weight of his influence into the campaign of protest against the
"Bulgarian atrocities." The Government, on the whole, steered a middle
course between the "Jingoes" and those who supported Gladstone's "bag
and baggage" policy towards the Turks. At the height of the Tory Press
campaign against Russia, Lord Salisbury, in a speech in the City,
observed: "It has been generally acknowledged to be madness to go to
war for an idea, but it is yet more unsatisfactory to go to war against
a nightmare." _Punch_, who was never pro-Russian, but at the moment was
strongly anti-Turk, interpreted this saying as a caution against Jingo

In one of the earliest of his cartoons on the possibility of war over
the Eastern question, he represented Disraeli standing on the edge
of a precipice with Britannia, asking her to move "just a leetle
nearer." Britannia declines to move one inch farther, adding, "I'm a
good deal nearer than is pleasant already." But four months later, in
May, 1878, when he showed Britannia between two advisers, Disraeli
and Bright[1]--the former wearing a sword camouflaged with an olive
wreath--_Punch_ supported neither, but applauded the third Voice, that
of Neutrality. Professorial intervention he resented strongly; and
severely rebuked Freeman, the historian, for a violent and unpatriotic
speech. In fine, he was equally down on the blatant bunkum of the
music-halls and the ill-considered agitation of fussy Pacificists; on
War-Donkeys and Peace-Donkeys; "Asses are asses, whether bound in Lion
or in Calf."

[Footnote 1: Bright had recently made a vehement speech at Manchester
against the Turks. It was about the same time that he described Lord
Salisbury as "prostrating his intellect (to Lord Beaconsfield) in hope
of a succession that might never come."]


But if in Europe Great Britain never got beyond the stage of naval
demonstrations and the summoning of troops from India, these eighteen
years were not devoid of great as well as spectacular events. They
opened with the triumphant return to power of Disraeli, admirably
symbolized in Tenniel's great cartoon of the chariot driver and his
fallen rival, and with his efforts to translate into practical politics
his grandiose doctrines of Imperialism. He made the Queen Empress
of India, he riveted our hold on the Suez Canal by the opportune
purchase of the Khedive's shares in 1875; he claimed to have brought
back "Peace with Honour" from the Berlin Congress of 1878, the year
which marked the zenith of his power and the beginning of its decline.
The twelve years that followed Gladstone's success at the polls in
1880 were crowded with momentous events; the rise and ferment of the
new nationalities abroad; the advent of new champions and gladiators
in the political arena at home--Parnell and Randolph Churchill and
Chamberlain. In the sphere of domestic politics Ireland dominated
the scene. Parliamentary obstruction was raised to a high art; the
activities of the physical force extremists culminated in the tragedy
of the Phoenix Park murders, and the history of the next few years
is written in the two words Coercion and Conciliation, which split the
Liberal Party, brought back the Conservatives to power in 1886, and
under the Balfourian _régime_ restored a certain measure of peace and
prosperity to Ireland. Lord Beaconsfield's "spirited foreign policy"
had been largely reversed under Gladstone, and the results did not
nourish our national pride. The handling of our frontier troubles in
India had at least the support of some of the wisest Anglo-Indian
experts, but our magnanimity to the Boers after Majuba was not merely
open to the charge of craven-spiritedness, it paved the way to further
troubles. It has been said that "any fool can annex"; but it needs
a wise man to know when to grant autonomy. Moreover, the loyalty
of Gladstone's supporters--including _Punch_--was strained to the
uttermost by the disastrous failure of the attempt to relieve Gordon
at Khartoum. The full knowledge now available makes it clear that
Gordon's appointment was a risky experiment--that his judgment was
not equal to his nobility of character--but the months and months of
procrastination and vacillation, and the inadequacy of the relieving
force when dispatched, cannot be explained away. It was just one of
those situations which warranted the old gibe against Gladstone's
"three courses." There were moments, and this was one of the most
searching, in which he was mentally incapable of "seeing his duty, a
dead sure thing" and going for it "there and then" in the way in which
plain men with plain minds would have done.

[Illustration: WILFUL WILHELM

An Imperial German Nursery Rhyme. (_From the Very latest edition of

    WILFUL WILHELM: "Take the nasty _Punch_ away!
                     I won't have any _Punch_ to-day!"

    Young Wilhelm was a wilful lad,
    And lots of "cheek" young Wilhelm had.

    He deemed the world should hail with joy
    A smart and self-sufficient boy,

    And do as it by _him_ was told;
    He _was_ so wise, he _was_ so bold.


When we add to this brief summary the Jubilee of Queen Victoria in
1887, the passing of Lord Beaconsfield and Bright among the elder
statesmen, and the tragic eclipse of Parnell, it will be seen that
there was enough and more than enough to engage the pen and pencil of
_Punch_ as a political and social chronicler. Mention has already been
made of our thorny relations with Russia. With regard to Germany, the
attitude of England might be described as one of reluctant admiration
punctuated by moments of misgiving. These moments were not infrequent
in the days of the old Emperor; they ceased during the brief reign of
his son, only to recur in a more acute form when Kaiser Wilhelm II
"dropped the pilot," made it clear that he intended not only to rule
but govern, and by his meteoric versatility and frequent references to
his divine mission and to the Germans as the chosen race, awakened the
world to the emergence of a new and formidable promoter of European
unrest. Our relations with France were correct rather than cordial;
her _rapprochement_ with Russia did not make for popularity on this
side of the Channel; but in the main English observers read the inner
meaning of the Boulanger episode aright, and without exactly exulting
over his collapse, were relieved by his failure to revive a military

By way of filling in this rough outline with more detail, we may note
that Gladstone's resignation of the Liberal leadership at the close
of 1874 was regarded by _Punch_ as premature. In one of the first
cartoons in the next year Dizzy is shown saying good-bye to his great
antagonist: "Sorry to lose you! I _began_ with books; you're _ending_
with them. Perhaps you're the wiser of the two." Perhaps he would have
been--in the ultimate verdict of posterity--had his decision been
final. But _Punch_ was right in regarding Gladstone as an unspent
force, and in his regretful and affectionate farewell clearly indicates
a hope of his return:--

    Will he who, from Llandudno's calm retreat
    Late burst, at once, on battle and defeat,
    Will he, though Harcourt gird, and Granville pray,
    Himself the Leader's truncheon fling away,
    Still in his prime of power, unbent by years,
    Renounce the joy of battle with his peers,
    Unmoved by _Punch's_ counsel, or his prayer,
    Nor to his realm relinquished name an heir?

[Sidenote: _The New Shepherd_]

Lord Hartington, moved by public spirit rather than ambition or
enthusiasm, undertook what in the circumstances was the far from
enviable task of leading the Liberals. _Punch_ hit off the situation
truly enough in the cartoon in which Bright hands the crook of
leadership to the "New Shepherd"--and Hartington in his smock-frock
replies, "Hey, but Measter!--Where be the sheep?"

The parallel is followed up in the doggerel lines:--

    The Marquis Bo-Peep
    Herds the Liberal Sheep--
    If he only knew where to find them.
      Will they ever come home
      And--please Home Rule and Rome--
    Bring their Irish tails behind them?

_Punch_, always concerned with the dignity of the Mother of
Parliaments, was from the very outset exasperated by the increasing
levity and obstructiveness of the new House. The levity he satirized
in a series of burlesque entertainments with Mr. Whalley as call-boy
and Dr. Kenealy as gasman. Dr. Kenealy's efforts to re-open the
Tichborne case ended in absurdity--his motion being supported by only
two members, Mr. Whalley and Major O'Gorman, that gigantic playboy of
the West.[2] Obstruction, another and far more serious matter, was
soon organized into a science, and led to repeated scenes of which
more anon. Of the new Ministers, Mr. Ward Hunt, the First Lord, was
especially singled out for attack because of his cavalier treatment
of the loss of the _Vanguard_ and the Admiralty's Fugitive Slave
Circulars. _A propos_ of the former, _Punch_ represented Neptune
warning Britannia that there would be a row if she did not rule the
waves properly. The Fugitive Slave question led to protracted debates
and much hostile criticism. In October, 1875, a cartoon shows a slave
crawling on board a British warship and clinging to the flagstaff,
while Ward Hunt, popping up from the companion, observes: "A runaway
slave, John. You'll have to give him up, you know! See our Circular of
July 31." John Bull retorts: "Give 'im up, yer Honour!! As well order
me to haul down that there flag at once!!!" A fortnight later Ward Hunt
is made to reply to his friend _Punch_:--

    We haven't hauled down the British Flag
      (See one of your recent productions),
    But we've chosen the other alternative--
      We've hauled down our Mis-instructions.

[Footnote 2: Major O'Gorman does not appear in the D.N.B. But he
inspired an immortal comment from a sympathetic compatriot, who calling
to inquire about the Major's progress during a serious illness, was
told that he was being kept up by periodic teaspoonfuls of brandy.
"Tayspoons!" was the indignant retort. "And what use 'ud a tayspoon be,
sthrayin' about in such a wilderness of a man?"]

_Punch's_ view, expressed in comments on the debate in the following
February, was that the matter should be left in the discretion of
captains--as it had been for thirty-six years. He declared, not without
reason, that both circulars were virtually dead, and that the country
would not stand them. Meanwhile the growth of the German Navy, which in
his earlier years _Punch_ had persistently ridiculed and belittled, had
begun to excite attention and misgiving; _Punch_, though a Liberal, was
a "big Navy" man, and, early in 1875, was concerned with the dangers of
our falling behind in the race of naval armaments:--

                            RULE, GERMANIA!

 _The Times_ informs us that, of "iron-clad cruisers of the strongest
 type, Germany will, in the present year, have seven built against five
 of our own navy." The _Pall Mall Gazette_ is of opinion that "the
 Germans have too many irons in the political fire to give exclusive
 attention to any one of them."

 But very soon, unless we get beforehand with the Germans, will they
 not have too many irons in the water, too?


DIZZY: "Bulgarian Atrocities! I can't find them in the
Official Reports'!!!"]

The restoration of the monarchy in Spain under Alfonso XII, in the same
year, also gave _Punch_ occasion for serious thought. We may pass over
the cartoon representing John Bull's anxiety about Spanish bonds as a
satire on British commercialism. But there is shrewd political insight
in the picture of Alfonso between two fires--Bismarck and the Pope.
The German Chancellor makes his support conditional on the withdrawal
of the anti-Protestant edicts; while the Pope, on the other hand,
maintains the claims of his Church.

In 1876 the Queen assumed the title of Empress of India; Disraeli went
to the Lords as Earl of Beaconsfield, Sir Stafford Northcote succeeding
him as Leader of the House of Commons; and the "Bulgarian Atrocities"
proved the first phase in the conflict which made the Balkans the
cockpit of Europe for over forty years. _Punch_ did not cavil at
Disraeli's earldom, though he thought his refusal of the Garter in 1878
well calculated rather than modest. He suggests, moreover, that Earl of
Coningsby would have been a better title; and in the cartoon headed,
"Empress and Earl, or One Good Turn deserves Another," shows Dizzy
kneeling to the Queen and saying, "Thank your Majesty! I might have had
it before! _Now_ I think I have _earned_ it!" More sympathetic are the
verses in which _Punch_ describes the realization of Disraeli's triple
dream of success in Fashion, Letters and Politics--the dream that
inspired him when he was only an articled clerk and a Jew boy:--

    After forty years' fighting, he steps from the fire
      To the height scarcely scaled in his Old Jewry dream;
    Adds a third to his two wreaths of boyish desire,
      Though sore set against him the stress of the stream.

    And all who can honour faith, patience, and power
      And the strenuous purpose that runs a life through
    Like a muscle of iron, are glad of the hour
      That sees his hand close on the honour his due!

Mr. Gladstone was now employing his leisure by felling trees at
Hawarden, and the contrast lent point to one of Tenniel's happiest
cartoons--that of "The Earl and the Woodman"; Disraeli, in his earl's
robes and coronet, contemplates Gladstone arrayed _à la_ Watteau, and
observes with emotion: "How happy is this blithe peasant, whilst I,
alas!----" (Dissembles.) _Punch_, however, was becoming more sceptical
of the genuineness of Gladstone's desire for retirement, and in a
parody of "You are old, Father William," scouts the notion of his
prematurely posing as a Nestor.

[Illustration: "NO MISTAKE"

THE BRITISH LION: "Look here! I don't understand _you_!--But
it's right you should understand _me_! _I don't fight to uphold what's
going on yonder!!_"]

The Balkan trouble led to a violent conflict of public opinion in
which _Punch_ sided whole-heartedly with Gladstone against those, and
they were many, who upheld the traditional view of the "Gentlemen's
party," that the Turk was the only "gentleman" in the Near East, and
that he might do what he liked with his own. Disraeli's scepticism;
his professed inability to find any "atrocities" in official reports;
and his dismissal as "coffee-house babble" of evidence brought by a
Bulgarian to a vice-Consul, roused _Punch's_ indignation against the
Premier and his official informants. It was a "hideous subject" of
which Government had heard a good deal and was likely to hear a good
deal more:--

  Let _Punch_ speak his mind in this matter. Political partisanship and
  party spirit are both at low, as well as lukewarm, water in England
  just now; but, if anything will fire John Bull's blood to fever heat,
  it is such horrors as have been perpetrated in Bulgaria--and part
  of his wrath will assuredly be visited on those who have striven to
  interpose official blinds or buffers between England and the sight
  or shock of these horrors.... The head of Her Majesty's Opposition
  asserted for the Newspaper Correspondents the credit which English
  common sense and experience unite to claim for them.

Contemporary records--including the files of _Punch_--do not bear out
the statement about the lukewarmness of party spirit. The country was
acutely divided, and dissatisfaction with Sir H. Elliot, our Ambassador
at Constantinople, prompted _Punch's_ retort, when Lord Beaconsfield
declared that the Bulgarian atrocities were "beyond recall," "Yes, but
your Ambassador isn't." Gladstone is rebuked for hiding in his tent;
but he made amends by launching his famous, though sadly premature,
phrase about clearing the Turk out of Europe, "bag and baggage."

[Sidenote: _Neutrality under Difficulties_]

Serbia's resistance was soon overcome, but the Powers forced Turkey to
grant her an armistice, and largely through Great Britain's influence,
a Conference was held at Constantinople where Lord Salisbury was our
representative. A short breathing-space was thus gained, but the
Conference was abortive, and war between Russia and Turkey broke out in
1877. _Punch_ was in rather a delicate position: for while distinctly
anti-Turk, he had never trusted Russia. Thus, while assailing the
_Daily Telegraph_, _Pall Mall Gazette_ and _Morning Post_ for their
Chauvinism, and the Tory press generally for their campaign against
Russia and their support of the "veracious Turk," he was hardly less
severe in his strictures on the belligerent humanitarians who would
have welcomed pro-Russian intervention. _Punch_ advocated neutrality,
but he was fully alive to the difficulties of the situation, and
expressed them in a cartoon in which the British Lion is exhibited in
a bothered mood, distrustful of Russia, and unable to make out what
the Government meant, or the Opposition either. In his comments on the
debate on Mr. Gladstone's resolution, _Punch_ deplores the weakness and
dissensions of the Opposition and supports the bolder spirits. Many
years were to elapse before Lord Salisbury made his remarkable speech
about our having "backed the wrong horse," i.e. Turkey, in the Crimean
War. That speech proved that _Punch_ was fully justified in seizing
on the caution which the same speaker had given nearly twenty years
earlier. For Lord Salisbury declared in 1897 that the defence of the
diplomacy of 1878 lay in its traditional character, not in its inherent
excellence, and that neither he nor Lord Beaconsfield was free from
misgivings as to its results. The music halls have not often enriched
the language with permanent additions, but they added "Jingo" and
"Jingoism" in 1877. _Punch's_ comment on Macdermott's famous song is
instructive. It was inspired by a reference in the Paris _Figaro_:--

  On the back page of the _Figaro_ is given one verse in English, with
  the music, of that "War Song" of the Music Halls, which just now
  enjoys its share of popularity with "_Nancy Lee_," and "_Jeremiah,
  Blow the Fire_," and a translation of the whole song into French, of
  which the _Figaro_ says apologetically, "_Des vers français n'auraient
  pu arriver à la sauvage énergie de l'original_." The chorus of the
  song, as sung by most of our London street-boys, instead of "_They all
  do it_," and "_Woa Emma_," recently shelved, is this:--

  "We don't want to fight, but by Jingo if we do," etc. And the
  translation, which "_n'aurait pu arriver à la sauvage énergie de
  l'original_," is:

  "_Nous ne voulons pas la guerre, mais, par Dieu! si nous combattons_,"

  If "_par Dieu_!" is not to an Englishman's thinking rather more
  savagely energetic than "By Jingo!" then words are meaningless. If
  "_par Dieu_!" is to be accepted as an equivalent, and as, after all,
  rather a weak equivalent for "by Jingo!" then either the Frenchman
  has a very low idea of the Englishman's religion, or his "_Dieu_"
  means nothing more, ordinarily, than our "Jingo." But "Jingo" is not
  a savagely energetic exclamation, nor is the true feeling of this
  country to be gauged by the popularity of a Music-Hall song.

_Punch_ was both right and wrong. The music halls are not a true index
of the political sagacity of the country; but he did not foresee that
the refrain of this particular song would survive, by virtue of its
very blatancy, as a terse summary of national complacency. At the same
time he paid homage to its merits by printing a neat Latin rendering
from the pen of an Etonian:--

    _Inviti quamquam saevo confligere bello,
    Adsit opus, Jingo testamur Bellipotentem,
    Sunt nobis nummi, sunt agmina, tela, carinae._

[Sidenote: _Indian Troops in Europe_]

The intervention of amateur diplomatists, clerical or professorial,
however well-meant, was firmly and impolitely discouraged when Turkey
and Russia were at death grips at Plevna. Early in 1878 _Punch_
endeavoured to turn such efforts into ridicule, as instances of
"self-election of the unfittest." Still the naval demonstration in
Besika Bay found _Punch_ in his most pacific mood, applauding Lord
Carnarvon, who with Lord Derby had resigned, and condemning Lord
Beaconsfield's dangerous action and unconvincing explanations. The
calling out of the Reserves still further increased _Punch's_ anxiety,
and inspired a "Proclamation" calling for self-restraint. When it was
announced that Carlyle had joined Bright and the Duke of Westminster
in signing a petition against war, _Punch_ noted that the old sage
of Chelsea was anything but a lover of peace at any price. But the
incident which perturbed him and other critics of the Government more
than anything else was the bringing of a contingent of Indian troops to
Europe. _Punch_ vigorously supported Gladstone, who held the action
of the Government to be not merely provocative but unconstitutional.
When the troops were re-shipped to India, he published a sarcastic
inscription, to be engraved on a monument on Primrose Hill
commemorating an exploit which had cost £750,000. It seems a little sum
to us with our profligate habit of thinking in millions, but the frugal
taxpayer of the 'seventies, as represented by _Punch_, thought it a
monstrous extravagance. The inscription is too long to quote in its
entirety, but we may give the peroration:--

        So, having more than fulfilled
    The Expectations of those who imported them
    And who, after having transferred them to Cyprus,
        Found themselves considerably embarrassed
            What next to do with them,
    They were re-shipped, quietly and unobtrusively,
            To the general mystification of Europe
            For the Land of their Birth;
    Though they have merited the Admiration of Some
            And the Respect of Many,
            And have left behind them
        An Election Cry to All,
    It is to be hoped that they will never again visit
    The Western Dominions of their Imperial Mistress
        Who, through the mouth of _Punch_
            Gladly bids them _Adieu_!
            Not _Au Revoir_.

_Heu vatum ignarae mentes!_ But _Punch_, who printed this acid _jeu
d'esprit_ on August 3, 1878, could hardly be expected to foresee the
need of August 4, 1914.

The year 1878 marked the zenith of Lord Beaconsfield's prestige,
for it was the year of the Berlin Congress--from which he claimed
to have brought back "Peace with Honour"--and of the annexation of
Cyprus. _Punch_, however, was always suspicious of Dizzy's phrases and
preferred to symbolize the results of the Congress in a _Pas de Deux_
by Lord Beaconsfield and Lord Salisbury, both Gartered, and in a rhymed
dialogue complacently referring to their egg-dance. The Afghan trouble
was assuming a menacing aspect, finely typified in Charles Keene's
cartoon, "The Shadow on the Hills." _Punch_ applauded vigilance, but
distrusted the Government's intentions, deprecated the spirited policy
which involved "a vague and boundless adventure of annexation," and
showed Lord Beaconsfield leading John Bull by the nose in search of
a "scientific frontier"--another Disraelian phrase--and the Ameer of
Afghanistan, between the Bear and the Lion, exclaiming, "Save me from
my friends."


The Transvaal had been annexed by Sir Theophilus Shepstone in the
previous year, but _Punch_ had received Lord Carnarvon's announcement
with acquiescence rather than enthusiasm.

[Sidenote: _Bismarck's Creed_]

On the other hand, the visit of the Australian cricket team in 1878
furnished him with an occasion for paying tribute to the progress and
enlightenment of the Colonies and acknowledging England's debt to their

The services of King Edward as a promoter of the _Entente_ with
France date back to the same year, in which as Prince of Wales he
is represented in a _Pas de Trois_ with the Republic and Marshal
MacMahon. _Punch_ applauded the visit, but rebuked the flunkeyism of
the accounts given by the Paris correspondent of _The Times_. For
the moment Germany's home rather than her foreign policy engrossed
attention, for this was the time of the _Kulturkampf_ and the campaign
against Socialism. Bismarck is shown in one cartoon squeezing down the
Socialist Jack-in-the-Box. These repressive measures were deprecated by
_Punch_, and a few months later he commented ironically on Bismarck's
_rapprochement_ with the Papacy, the cartoon "Of one mind (for once!)"
showing Bismarck and the Pope barring the door against Socialism
and Democracy. The reminiscences of the notorious Dr. Busch had
appeared, and _Punch_ based on them a bitter set of verses, "The Pious
Chancellor's Creed," adapted from one of Lowell's _Biglow Papers_:--

    I do believe in subtle skill
      Disguised as brutal frankness;
    And the display of ruthless will
      In rowdy _Reiter_-rankness.
    As well shirk shedding blood for fear
      Of staining God's pure daisies,
    As strive to rule this lower sphere
      By sentimental phrases.

    I hold the great Germanic race
      Is Heaven's favourite bantling,
    Supreme in virile power and grace
      And breadth of moral scantling.
    The Franks are hounds, their women pigs
      Gr-r-r! I the vain vile vermin hate!
    I'd squelch them--but for pap-soul'd prigs
      Who funk the word exterminate.

Bismarck was alive and formidable. Thiers and Pio Nono passed away in
1877 and 1878. The services of the French Statesman are tersely summed
up in the stanza:--

    Monarchy loving much, he loved yet more
    The realm, whoe'er its badge of headship wore;
    And, waiving self, was willing to abide
    That rule which Frenchmen would the least divide.

In the accompanying cartoon France is seen laying a wreath on the
tomb inscribed "_Libérateur de la Patrie, 1872_," while the shades of
monarchists and Communards are seen in the background. The tribute to
Pius IX is kindly but not uncritical. He had outlived the patriotic
Liberalism of his younger self:--

    Happy that one thing he did _not_ outlive,
      The charitable soul, the kindly heart,
    That rigid dogma's slaves could scarce forgive,
      Fearing lest he might play them Balaam's part,

    And bless whom he should curse; and so they drew
      Their bonds about him closer day by day
    Living or dying, till no will he knew
      But theirs, and as they pointed, marked the way.

In Home Politics Ireland largely dominated the scene during the latter
half of the Beaconsfield administration. As early as 1876 _Punch_
had dealt faithfully with the plea advanced on behalf of political
prisoners in the following caustic argument:--

  Killing is no murder if complicated with treason. That renders it
  a mere misdemeanour. A military offence, simply capital, becomes a
  minor offence when treasonable besides. Treason is an extenuating
  circumstance of mutiny and murder, and its commission in committing
  those crimes reduces murderers and mutineers to political offenders.
  Therefore, instead of being hanged or shot, they ought, if punished at
  all, and not, on the contrary, rewarded, to be condemned to nothing
  worse than temporary seclusion, and should, all of them, after a
  merely nominal imprisonment, be respectfully released.

[Sidenote: _Obstruction and the Remedy_]

This was a logical and ironical _reductio ad absurdum_; yet _Punch_
lived to see it translated into practical politics forty years later.
In 1877 the scientific obstruction practised by the Irish Party in the
House of Commons prompted a whole series of cartoons. In one Parnell,
Biggar and Callan appear as "Erin's Three Graces." In another a drove
of Irish pigs (including Whalley) are shown blocking the railway line
of Parliament. In a third _Punch_ bids schoolmaster Northcote to take
down not the words, but something else of the obstructives. Commenting
on the twenty-six hours' sitting in July, 1877, in which the House was
held up by a group of obstructives that never rose above seven, _Punch_

  Four Chairmen--Raikes, Childers, Sir H. Selwin-Ibbetson, and W. H.
  Smith--were used up in the night-watches, and the House was kept, by
  relays, against the "Dauntless Three"--for Gray, Callan, Nolan and
  Kirk are but recruits to the banner of Biggar, Parnell and O'Donnell,
  the standard-bearers of Obstruction. All pretence of argument was
  early abandoned; and it became a mere contest of endurance, varied
  by episodes of more or less--generally less--lively squabbling and
  chaff--if such a word may be used of anything that passes in the
  august Temple of Legislation. All this while the new Standing Orders
  seemed, by tacit consent, set aside; and Parnell, Biggar and O'Donnell
  moved the Chairman out of the Chair, or report of progress, again and
  again. And yet the Leader of the House had the rod of suspension in
  his hand, though he forbore to use it, preferring the _reductio ad
  absurdum_ of such a night's match between the toughness of the House
  and the tenacity of its Obstructives. Once only he went so far as
  to threaten more summary proceedings, on which, they say, O'Donnell
  collapsed. Of course, the great O denies it.

  But why, _Punch_ must again ask, allow debates to be degraded to
  a farce, and the House to a bear-garden? Go to his Cartoon, ye
  squeamish, and be wise. With the rod in the Speaker's hands, it is
  not the Obstructives' _words_ that _Punch_ would have taken down. The
  House sat from four o'clock on Tuesday till six on Wednesday.

The announcement of Mr. Gladstone's visit to Ireland later on in
the year prompted a burlesque account of what his omniscience and
omnivorous thirst for information would enable him to achieve. Nor
could _Punch_ be moved to treat seriously O'Donovan Rossa's threat to
introduce osmic acid--a forerunner of tear-shells--into the House of
Commons. But it was beginning to be difficult to joke about Ireland,
and there was grim point in Keene's picture of the native reassuring
the English angler who hadn't a licence for salmon: "Sure ye might kill
a man or two about here an' nobody'd say a word t'ye."

[Illustration: LIFE IN LEITRIM

SAXON ANGLER: "Oh, but I can't try for a salmon, I haven't got
a licence."

NATIVE: "Is it a licence ye want to kill a fish? Sure ye might
kill a man or two about here an' nobody'd say a word t'ye."]

The death of Isaac Butt in the spring of 1879 marked the final
close of the moderate stage of Parliamentary agitation; the reins
of leadership had already passed into the hands of a bolder, more
masterful and uncompromising chief--the "uncrowned King," as he was
called, till the days of Committee Room 15. Moreover, discontent was
aggravated by genuine distress in the South and West of Ireland, and
here, unfortunately, benevolence was hampered by party politics, for
the violent speeches made by Parnell in America at the close of 1879
were not exactly designed to assist the Duchess of Marlborough's
Relief Fund. According to _Punch_, however, in his comments on "Irish
Obstructives to Irish Aid," these speeches failed to influence the
American public:--

[Sidenote: _The Zulu War_]

  Uncle Sam is showing his sense by sending his liberal contributions
  in relief of Irish distress through all channels except the cruelly
  warped ones of Messrs. Parnell and Dillon. The arch-agitator has the
  impudence to accuse the Duchess of Marlborough's and all other relief
  agencies, except his own, of political bias. This is the Gracchi
  complaining of sedition with a vengeance! Pigs, we know, cut their
  own throats in trying to keep their heads above water. This Irish
  Mis-leader seems involuntarily to be imitating the short-sighted Irish
  animal. If any man _could_ have frozen the current of charity--in
  New World and Old--it would be such a bitter and malignant advocate
  of mutual hate, civil strife, anarchy, and insecurity of life and

Ireland was only one of many embarrassments to the Beaconsfield
administration in its closing years. Early in that year _Punch_
published a cartoon on "Bull and his burdens"--John Bull as a patient
ox carrying Russia; the Ameer; the Turk; a Glasgow Bank Director
(commemorating a recent discreditable financial disaster); a striker;
and last of all a Zulu jumping on behind. For this was the year of the
unhappy Zulu war, which _Punch_ described as "one of the costliest
blunders of modern times"--it cost ten millions--and again as "alike
unnecessary, costly, and disastrous." He saw in Isandhlwana not merely
a tragedy but a lesson, and enforced it in a cartoon showing a Zulu
warrior writing on a slate, "Despise not your enemy." The accompanying
verses, while deprecating rashness, assert that the dead must be
honoured and avenged. The heroes of Rorke's Drift, Chard and Bromhead,
are duly acclaimed, but _Punch_, true to an old and honourable
tradition, prints a letter on behalf of the non-combatant officers who
gallantly took part in the defence. As the only rampart which they
had was made of meal-bags, _Punch_ ingeniously applies to them the
phrase, "_Couvert de gloire et de farine_," which Voltaire had used of
Frederick the Great, who spent his first battle sheltering in a mill
behind sacks of flour. Cetewayo, the Zulu chieftain, was subsequently
captured, brought to London and lionized, _Punch_ observing that "the
great Farini [the _impresario_ who introduced Zazel, the acrobat who
was shot from a cannon] suggests that he should be exhibited at the

Throughout the war and afterwards _Punch_ was a harsh and ungenerous
critic of the policy of Sir Bartle Frere, whom he regarded as a
prancing proconsul and nothing more. Nor was _Punch_ much happier
in his treatment of the painful episode of the death of the Prince
Imperial who, whether owing to his own rashness or the negligence
or loss of nerve of his escort, fell to the assegais of the Zulus.
_Punch's_ inveterate anti-Imperialism is betrayed even in the memorial

    Talk not of plots and plans that, ripening slow,
      Are by this death struck down with blast and blight;
    We have no thought but for that mother's woe,
      The darkness of that childless widow's night.

Unfortunately, the raising of the question of a memorial to the
Prince in Westminster Abbey induced _Punch_ to abandon his resolve of
reticence, and prompted other "thoughts," which he expressed with more
vigour than good taste. There is no proof that the suggestion emanated
from Dean Stanley, as _Punch_ implies, though the Dean certainly
favoured a proposal for which a strong precedent could be found in the
burial in Henry VII's chapel of the Duc de Montpensier (the younger
brother of Louis Philippe) who died an exile in England in 1807.
Public opinion was divided, but democratic sentiment prevailed, and in
deference to a hostile vote in the Commons the scheme was withdrawn.

[Sidenote: _Turnerelli's "Tribute"_]

The waning splendours of the Beaconsfield _régime_ were not revived
by the launching of one of the last of his phrases, "_Imperium et
Libertas_." _Punch_ only saw in it "the catchword of a self-seeking
swaggerer." Great men suffer much at the hands of injudicious admirers,
and the "People's Tribute" to Lord Beaconsfield organized by an
amiable enthusiast, heavily weighted by the unpropitious name of Tracy
Turnerelli, must have been a sore trial to the Premier, while it
supplied _Punch_ with food for mirth for the best part of a year. The
subscriptions of the million were invited to purchase a gold wreath,
but after a little while Mr. Turnerelli had to appeal for further funds
to clear off a deficit. Later on, when the Tribute had been finally
refused by Lord Beaconsfield, Mr. Turnerelli offered to hand over
the wreath to one of our great national museums, if a suitable case
were provided. He also suggested that he might be reimbursed for his
out-of-pocket expenses in getting up the Tribute. _Punch_ recommended
that he should pocket the affront and hand over the "Tribute" to Madame
Tussaud's, where he had already appeared in wax. This is what actually
happened, and in November, 1879, _Punch_ sardonically records the
fulfilment of his suggestion.

[Illustration: SUNSET

(_After B. R. Haydon._)]

The disquieting news from the Afghan frontier led to a serious attack
on the Government early in 1880, an attack in which _Punch_ vigorously
joined, publishing a list of questions all animated by misgiving
and by distrust of Lord Beaconsfield's phrases and Lord Lytton's
policy and silence. The tension was relieved by Lord Roberts' famous
march to Kandahar, and on his return to England in the autumn _Punch_
represented him as snowed under by invitations to complimentary
banquets, and invoked the shade of Wellington to congratulate him on
his celerity. Meanwhile, however, Parliament had been dissolved in
March, and the verdict of 1874 completely reversed at the General
Election. _Punch_ hailed Gladstone triumphing with his axe over Lord
Dalkeith, and borne aloft on a shield by Harcourt, Hartington, and
Bright, under the heading, "Hail to the Chief." As a pendant we have
the cartoons in which Lord Beaconsfield is eclipsed by the sun of
Liberalism or watches the sinking of the sun of Popularity, and the
verses in which the parting Sphinx soliloquizes on his methods of
leadership--appeals to sentiment and passion and the deft use and
reiteration of phrases which intoxicate the masses.

When the House reassembled, it was to find the Irish Question still
further complicated by the activities of the Land League and the No
Rent Campaign. There was also another burning question--that of the
Parliamentary Oath--which the return of Mr. Bradlaugh made a matter
of urgency. _Punch_, as the "sturdiest of Protestants, was perforce
the staunch supporter of the right of private judgment which is the
corner-stone of Protestantism." Also he frankly admitted that he had
no desire to see Mr. Bradlaugh made a martyr. His point of view is
developed with refreshing common sense in the following argument:--

  The House has swallowed such a succession of camels, Quakers and
  Separatists, Moravians and Jews, Latitudinarians and Platitudinarians,
  Unitarians and Humanitarians, Anythingarians and Nothingarians, and
  now it is straining over such a gnat as poor Mr. Bradlaugh, natural
  representative of the Northampton Shoemakers, who object to the
  immortality of the Sole, and spell the word indifferently with or
  without a "u" and an "e."

  The time has surely passed when the House should seek shelter against
  objectionable beliefs or unbeliefs, behind such delusive defences as
  oaths and tests. "Let the Swearers swear, and the Sayers say," the Law
  has proclaimed, in all Courts. Why, then, not in the High Court of
  Parliament--the Court of Courts--the very conduit and fountain-head of

[Sidenote: _Irish Troubles_]

Unluckily the collective wisdom of the House was slow to accept this
view, and the inevitable conclusion was only arrived at after a
great expenditure of time and a great loss of temper. Bradlaugh was
ejected and finally admitted; but the pacification of Ireland seemed
farther off than ever. Gladstone was anxious to proceed with the
further instalment of his policy of conciliation inaugurated by the
Disestablishment of the Irish Church in his previous administration,
but _Punch_ summed up his difficulties pretty accurately in the
cartoon of November 20, 1880, in which Law tells Liberty to wait
until Ireland first learned to respect her. _Punch_ regarded the Land
League as sheer anarchy; it was the League and not the Government
who practised Coercion. He summoned up the shade of Dan O'Connell to
condemn outrages and the tyranny of "Captain Moonlight." But posthumous
evocations are seldom of any avail; and O'Connell's was no longer
a name to conjure with. In the year 1880, "Boycott" ceased to be a
surname, and became an engine of political intimidation, while in the
House obstructionist methods continued, culminating in the suspension
of some thirty Irish M.P.s _en masse_ early in 1881. Irish "scenes"
were frequent and only excited _Punch's_ disgust. At the same time he
administered a severe rap over the knuckles to the "Honourable the
Irish Society of London" for maladministering their funds, pauperizing
prosperous towns and neglecting to subsidize deserving poverty or
encourage Irish industries. The appeal to the Queen, the Prince and
Princess of Wales and the Duke of Connaught to visit Ireland, signed,
"Larry Doolan of the Irish Jaunting Car," is shorn of all its cogency
by the Transpontine Donnybrook Fair language in which it is couched.
_Punch_ has been a frequent offender in this respect; and also in his
representations of the Irish peasant. It did not really help the cause
of Unionism to portray Fenians and Land Leaguers with baboon-like
faces. Dan O'Connell, whom _Punch_ again evoked from the shades, this
time to play Virgil to Gladstone's Dante in the Irish "Inferno," though
he was a potato-faced Irishman, would have resented this method of
criticism. As a matter of fact, _Punch_ was so seriously remonstrated
with for his Irish cartoons that he published a long article in
self-defence and justification of his methods, maintaining that he
never hit the weaker side because it _was_ the weaker side, but because
that side at the time appeared to be in the wrong:--

[Illustration: THE IRISH "INFERNO"

"Death, violent death, and painful wounds upon his neighbour he
inflicts; and wastes, by devastation, pillage, and the flames, his
substance."--Dante, Canto XI.]

[Sidenote: _Punch and Ireland_]

 The Ogreish character is the embodiment of the spirit of Lawlessness,
 of Anarchy, and of that Communism which, by its recent No Rent
 manifesto, has now drawn down upon itself the just condemnation
 of such men as the Archbishops of Dublin and Cashel. Houghing
 and mutilating dumb animals, maiming men and women, and shooting
 defenceless victims, are ugly crimes, and the embodiment of them in
 one single figure cannot be made too hideous or too repulsive. On the
 other hand, _Punch_ has consistently and persistently kept before the
 public his ideal classic figure of Hibernia, graceful, gentle, tender,
 loving but "distressful," as being more or less in fear of that Ogre,
 her evil genius, from whose bondage may she soon be free; and then,
 mistress of herself, with peace and plenty in her land, blessed with
 wise Administration and Local Government, in happy and unbroken union
 with her sister, England, with a regal residence in her midst, may she
 see the emerald gem of the Western World set glittering in the crown
 of one who will be no longer a stranger.

_Punch_ was moved to return to the subject in September, 1882, in order
to repel the attacks made on him by the _Spectator_ and the _Nineteenth
Century_. The latter had not been sparing of rebuke:--

  "No savages have ever been so mercilessly held up to loathing mockery
  as the Irish peasants by the one comic paper in Europe which has been
  most honourably distinguished for its restraint and decorum and good

Here the defence takes the form of an imaginary trial before L.J.
Public Opinion, in which Hibernia gives evidence in _Punch's_ favour
on the strength of cartoons published from 1844 onwards. Of course,
_Punch_ is acquitted and pronounced to have triumphantly refuted a
calumnious attack. This much, however, must be admitted to _Punch's_
credit, that he did not regard the campaign of outrage and defiance of
the Law in Ireland as a reason for withholding remedial legislation,
but supported Gladstone's measures designed to promote a settlement of
the Land question.

Over the war with the Transvaal in 1881 _Punch_ found it hard to find
the _justum medium_. The true estimate of the situation was no more
to be found in the view of the "excellent law-abiding people who
would send off a British army of 15,000 men to crush out a rebellious
enterprise," than in the demands of the enthusiastic humanitarians who
would give "a struggling community their legitimate liberty." _Punch_
frankly admitted that the Boers had been brutal to the natives, had
shown an inability to govern themselves, and by their unfitness either
to establish or extend civilization had almost jeopardized the hold of
the white man on South Africa altogether. Yet he supported the Boers in
their contention that the Proclamation of Sir Theophilus Shepstone in
1877 was invalid. There was wrong and right upon both sides. Writing
in January, 1881, he expressed the hope that a pacific settlement
might be arrived at by a Cabinet "not deficient either in the ready
pluck which deals with pressing danger or the quieter courage that
is not afraid of timely compromise." These hopes were not fulfilled,
and _Punch's_ confidence in the pluck and courage of the Gladstone
Cabinet was severely shaken in 1884 and 1885. In 1881 he was hardly a
true interpreter of public opinion in his comments on the disaster of
Majuba, when he excused the British defeat by the valour of the Boers.
The cartoon, "_Fas est et ab Hoste_," and the verses on the inadequacy
of our military training, rubbed in the lessons of the war with more
point than consideration. The sequel of Majuba humiliated the majority
of Englishmen: and the policy of compromise and concession failed to
achieve a lasting settlement.

Lord Beaconsfield died in the spring, but _Punch_, though respectful
and appreciative, added little in his memorial tribute to what he had
said on many previous occasions in the way of criticism and eulogy. The
insecurity of Russian rule had a year previously been recognized in a
cartoon representing Nihilism lighting a torch in a cavern beneath the
throne. The assassination of the Tsar Alexander II prompts an appeal
to the "Northern Terror." Ordered Liberty must disown such fiendish
methods. _Punch_, no lover of autocracy, admits that the Tsar was
"the gentlest of his line," and implores the Russians to put manhood
in their wrath, and "not foul the work they call divine with demon
ruthlessness," an appeal that still remains unanswered. This was the
year in which another, but an uncrowned Head, was laid low in President
Garfield, and the loss of the United States is recognized as a common


BOER (to F.-M. H.R.H. the Commander-in-Chief): "I say, Dook!
You don't happen to want a practical 'musketry instructor', do you?"]

In Home politics no one is more frequently or unflatteringly referred
to than Lord Randolph Churchill. Sambourne's "Fancy Portrait"
represents him as a midge: in verse, bitter and derisive, he is dubbed
"the coming mannikin." On the other hand, Mr. Balfour is welcomed as an
accession of strength to his party, and his wit is commended as being
no less pretty than his uncle's, though less explosive in its flashing
forth. To this year also belongs the reaction of "Fair" against "Free"
Trade; and the adoption of the new cry by Lord Randolph and Mr. James
Lowther, amongst others, is alluded to in a parody of a once popular
drawing-room song, "O Fair Dove, O Fond Dove." But these amenities
and trivialities were soon forgotten. In May, 1882, came the terrible
tragedy of the Phoenix Park murders--the first deliberate political
assassinations that had stained our history for centuries--and if
_Punch's_ references in prose and verse seem perfunctory and laboured,
it may be pleaded in the words of the classic aphorism: "small cares
are vocal, mighty woes are dumb." Better justice was rendered to the
event in the cartoon of the "Irish Frankenstein" in which Parnell
crouches horrified before the monster of his own creation. _Punch_ did
not, however, despair of conciliation, and a fortnight later supported
the Arrears of Rent Bill as "a gift badly wanted," though his support
was tempered by the observation that "Ireland is to have a clean slate,
and, as usual, at the expense chiefly of the British taxpayer. That
patient Jackass is to be saddled with another burden."

In the latter half of 1882 Ireland gave place to Egypt as a
storm-centre. Arabi's revolt, which involved us in another of our small
wars, was speedily suppressed, after Alexandria had been bombarded by
Admiral Sir Beauchamp Seymour, and the rebel forces on land had been
routed at Tel-el-Kebir by Sir Garnet Wolseley, "our only General," as
he was then called. _Punch_ celebrated his success and his peerage
in an "Idyll of the Queen," beginning, "Garnet the brave, Garnet the
fortunate." But he also recognized the strained relations with France
which the campaign brought about, and uncompromisingly maintained our
position in his cartoon, "The Lion's Just Share." Here the claims of
all the other Powers are made ridiculous in comparison with those of
Britain, France figuring as a poodle, Turkey as a fox, Spain as a
mule, and Italy as a toy greyhound. It is not a conciliatory picture;
_Punch_ was on safer ground in emphasizing the intrigues of Abdul Hamid
and the unpatriotic sympathies of Mr. Wilfrid Blunt.

[Sidenote: _Parnell and his Monster_]


"The baneful and blood-stained Monster ... yet was it not my Master to
the very extent that it was my Creature?... Had I not breathed into it
my spirit?" ... (_Extract from the Works of C. S. P-rn-ll, M.P._)]

Ireland resumed the first place as a preoccupying factor in British
politics in 1883, when the capture of Monaghan by the Parnellites
inspired _Punch_ to depict him as cutting a bit off a coat labelled
Ulster. Another cartoon, "Crowning the O'Caliban," prompted by the
Irish leader's talk of the "moderation" of the Land League, shows him
crowning a hideous figure, sitting on a barrel labelled Anarchy,
Rebellion and Murder, and receiving from him a bag containing
£40,000--in reference to the "Parnell Tribute" presented to the Irish
leader in that year.

Lord Randolph is easily the chief butt of the year. He is the
"bumptious boy," the 'Arry of the hunting field, disregarding the
old whip, Stafford Northcote. Yet amid all this derision there is an
uneasy consciousness that this aggressive and ill-mannered young man
may yet "arrive." In another cartoon Lord Randolph is drawn as a small
boy looking at Lord Beaconsfield's statue and saying, "Ah! They'll
have to give _me_ a statue--some day." The twenty-fifth anniversary
of John Bright's election for Birmingham, which fell in June, 1883,
is treated in a very different spirit. _Punch_ disagreed with Bright
over the Egyptian war, but strikes no jarring note in the verses on his
political silver wedding:--

    Mellower voice has never rung
      Round the lists of Party fray:
    Sharper scorn has seldom stung.
      Yet your Silver Wedding Day
    Wakes good wishes near and far
      E'en from fighters who have gone
    Dead against you in the war.
      Here's a health to you, Friend John.

That "annual blister, Marriage with deceased Wife's sister," as Gilbert
called it, found _Punch_ still faithful to the cause of relief, and
exceedingly and impartially wroth against clerical obstructors,
Anglican or Roman Catholic, to the extent of depicting Cardinal Manning
and Archbishop Benson in the guise of old women. Where the Liquor
Laws were concerned, however, _Punch_ was frankly reactionary. In a
"Look into Limbo" in July, 1883, he forecasts a general revolt against
crotcheteers and faddists, his pet aversion being Local Option, which
he defines as "a scheme for giving the six, who love spouting, supreme
control over the liberty of the sixty or six hundred who dislike noise,
and so hold their tongues until, in self-defence, they are compelled to
use them."

[Sidenote: _German Militarism_]

Foreign politics do not obtrude themselves much on _Punch's_ vision
during the Gladstonian administration. But he was alive to the menace
of militarism contained in a characteristic speech by Marshal von
Manteuffel, the sentiment of which curiously resembles some of the
utterances of the ex-Crown Prince William:--

                          THE PSALM OF DEATH

  "Gentlemen, I am a soldier, and war is the soldier's element; and well
  I should like again to experience the elevated feeling of commanding
  in a pitched battle, knowing that the balls of the enemy are every
  instant summoning men before the judgment seat of God."--Marshal von
  Manteuffel to the Provincial Committee of Alsace-Lorraine.

What the heart of the young Teuton said to the old Marshal is summed up
as follows:--

    Tell me not in mournful numbers
      Death is shocking. Not at all!
    Death clears off the scum that cumbers
      This o'er-populated ball.

    Death is stirring, Death is splendid,
      (Death of other men, not mine)
    And its spreading is attended
      By a feeling great--divine.

           *       *       *       *       *

    Let us then be up and fighting
      (_A la_ Marshal von Manteuffel)
    Set the Mob to mutual smiting,
      While _we_ sing Death's O be joyful!

Gambetta's brief and stormy career had closed at the beginning of
the year, and _Punch_ acknowledged the debt which France owed to his
passionate patriotism and "wild strength" in a cartoon showing the
Republic leaning sadly against his memorial bust while Bismarck, with
arms folded, stands in the background.

_Punch_ had for some twenty years been, on the whole, a consistent
supporter of Mr. Gladstone, but his loyalty was more severely tested in
the years 1884 and 1885 than at any other time in the Liberal leader's
career. Indeed, there were moments when it might be said to have broken
down, and respect gave place to something like contempt. This mood
was revealed in the very first of the Gordon cartoons early in 1884.
Gordon is seen ploughing along through Egyptian difficulties with
Gladstone, "The Grand Old Man of the (Red) Sea," complacently smirking
on his back. In February _Punch_ demands instant action. An angry John
Bull bids Gladstone unmuzzle the British Lion _at once_, and _Punch_
comments severely on the Premier's word-jugglery and sophistry. Later
on we see Gladstone in the desert "after the Simoom," leading a camel.
"Mirage" shows Gordon looking anxiously for relief from the battlements
of Khartoum. A burlesque correspondence between a British Hero and
the British Government pours satire on the cheap sympathy and lax
opportunism of the Government, who are only concerned with saving their
skin and their faces. The Premier's preoccupation with trivial home
legislation comes in for indignant rebuke, and the Trelawny quatrain
is adapted for the benefit of Gordon. The two cartoons in May are
especially bitter. Mr. Gladstone, on the Treasury Bench, as Micawber,
declares, "I am delighted to add that I have now an immediate prospect
of something turning up. I am not at liberty to say in what direction."
A fortnight later the Liberal Majority (or Mrs. Micawber) protests she
will never desert Mr. Micawber--referring to the result of the Vote of

_Punch_, however, had no intention of crossing the floor of the
House. The Conservative opposition to the Franchise Bill rekindled
his Liberalism. Lord Salisbury's attitude in particular excited his
hostility. He figures in verse as "The Losing Leader" (after Browning),
and in a cartoon as the bell-wether followed into the pit by a flock of
coroneted sheep. It was "no Curtius leap, but mutton madness," and the
hotheads are compared to the Gadarene swine. _Punch_ heaped laboured
ridicule on the great Hyde Park Demonstration, printed burlesque
advertisements suggesting employment for peers after the abolition of
the House of Lords, and indulged in prophetic forecasts of "What it may
come to."

[Sidenote: _The Franchise Bill_]

[Illustration: "BILL" THE GIANT-KILLER]

The Opposition suffered from the defection or lukewarmness of some of
the wiser peers--Cranbrook, Cairns and Wemyss--and finally withdrew
on the unofficial but opportune publication in the _Standard_ of the
outline of the Government's Redistribution Scheme. _Punch_ gives his
own account of the incident, according to which the whole Cabinet
was mesmerized into revealing the Government plans, and summed up
the whole business in his cartoon, "'Bill' the Giant-killer." The
little Franchise Bill is seen blowing his horn before a castle (the
House of Lords) with Lord Salisbury, as a huge Ogre, looking over the
battlements and dismayed to find that his castle is not impregnable
against Truth. In this context we may note that the payment of members
was foreseen by _Punch_ in a burlesque "Thumb-nail Summary for 1884,"
printed in the first issue of that year. Under July we read:--

  Newly elected Parliament meets for the first time, and commences a
  campaign of active legislative reform by abolishing the Speaker.

  The "Payment of Members Bill," involving a State income of £2,000
  a year, the right to a stall at West End Theatres on first nights,
  family railway tourist-tickets during the summer season, and free
  dining for self and friend at the Holborn Restaurant while Parliament
  is in Session, carried without a division.

  The "Payment of Members Bill," being thrown out by the Peers, the
  House of Lords is abolished by a short comprehensive Act, framed for
  the purpose, in one sitting.

  Much aristocratic distress prevails towards the end of the month,
  and gangs of hungry Peers infesting the public thoroughfares are
  prosecuted daily by the Secretary of the Charity Organisation Society,
  and ultimately shipped to a Coral Island in the Pacific.

Mr. Gladstone's seventy-fifth birthday on December 29, 1884, was
welcomed in a set of verses in which the eulogy is only tempered by a
faint reserve as to his lack of youthful resolution and his excess of
caution. Had the anniversary fallen a few weeks later, _Punch_ might
have found it harder to pay such generous homage, for on February
7 appeared the unlucky cartoon which assumed that Gordon had been
relieved. Yet even then, when the truth became known and while raising
the cry of "Too late," _Punch_, though condemning delay and caution,
deprecated party rancour:--

    Not this the hour to echo faction's cry
    Of half-exultant chiding, or to ply
    The Party-phraser's venomed word-lash. No!
    But laggard wills, counsels confused and slow
    Should need no sharper spur, no keener goad
    Than this to urge them on plain Honour's road.

[Sidenote: _The Tragedy of Khartoum_]

_Punch's_ contribution to the Gordon "Memorial" was an ode from which
we may quote one stanza:--

    Gordon! A name to gild our island story,
      Opulent yet in many a noble name,
      With lustre brighter than mere statecraft's fame,
    More radiant than the warrior's glittering glory.
      Such lesser lights eclipse them in the fine
      Sun-glow of selfless valour such as thine,
    Soldier whose sword, like Galahad's, was not used
      To hew out honour, but to champion right;
      Plan-shaper who, in council as in fight,
    Wast endlessly resourceful, yet refused,
              Death-snared, an easy flight!

[Illustration: "MY BOYS!"]

Other pens were busy over this episode, which inspired perhaps the most
scarifying epigram of our times:--

    Judas despairing died, his guilt confessed,
      But had he lived in this our age and city,
    He surely would have figured with the best
      Upon a Christ Memorial Committee.

The disaster, however, had one heartening result in the offer of
military assistance from Canada, Victoria and New South Wales, duly
recorded by _Punch_ in his cartoon of the Lion and the Colonial
cubs. The year 1885 had opened with a sinister display of activity by
dynamiters, and _Punch_ rebuked Sir William Harcourt for his alleged
apathy and imperious resentment of criticism by calling him the
"Not-at-Home Secretary." America promptly took legislative action,
refusing sanctuary to dynamiters, and was loudly applauded, while
Mr. Parnell, in _Punch's_ opinion, missed a golden opportunity for
disavowing and condemning these outrages. In "What Mr. Parnell _might_
have said" _Punch_ printed the speech which he did _not_ make but ought
to have made, "as a man, an Irishman and a Christian."


MRS. GUMMIDGE-GLADSTONE: "I ain't what I could wish myself to
be. My troubles has made me contrairy. I feel my troubles, and they
make me contrairy. I make the house uncomfortable. I don't wonder at

JOHN PEGGOTTY-BULL (_deeply sympathizing aside_): "She's been
thinking of the old 'un!"--_David Copperfield._]

The days of the Gladstone administration were numbered, and the motion
in favour of Proportional Representation excited but a languid and
academic interest. _Punch_ thought the system far too complicated,
and sought to reduce it to absurdity by a practical illustration. He
was much more serious in his resentment at the hectoring attitude of
Bismarck _à propos_ of a recent speech of the Imperial Chancellor. In
"Lecturing a Lecturer--a Friendly Tip to the Teuton Titan," he showed
Bismarck standing in a truculent pose before a map of Europe while
_Punch_ looks on in amusement. The point of the accompanying verses is
that Britain was not to be scared or scolded into submission:--

                                Orbilian Colossus,
    You'd chide us and spank us and goad us and toss us,
    But when Polyphemus world-wigging would try
    He may--pardon the _argot_--get "one in the eye."
    And _Punch_, Herr Professor, whose point seldom misses,
    Is ready if needful to play the Ulysses.

The attempt to represent Bismarck as a professor might not seem to show
a very acute reading of the facts were it not that German professors
proved the chief inflamers of militarism. It must be added that, as a
set off to this expostulation, _Punch_ indited a remarkably genial poem
to Bismarck a couple of weeks later on the occasion of his seventieth
birthday. But this can hardly have atoned for the extremely acid and
acute satire on the Spirit of German Colonization published about the
same time. Here Germania declares her intentions to the native races
in language which the treatment of the Herreros in German South-West
Africa proved to be well within the mark:--

    I haf brought you German culture for the poddy and the mind,
    Die erhabene Kultur of efery sort and efery kind;
    All the pessimistic dogtrines of the Schopenhauer school
    And the blessings of a bureaucratish-military rule.
    I shall teach you shplendit knowledge, vot you hitherto haf lacked,
    That religion is a fantasy, vhilst sausage is a fact;
    Ja, the mysteries of sauerkraut to you shall be made clear,
    And your souls shall learn to float on foaming waves of Lager-Bier!

    I do not intend to long-while you mit missionary rant,
    But to brighten up your intellects mit Hegel and mit Kant.
    Mit our Army-Service system I'll begift you by-and-by,
    And mit all the priceless blessings of our Hohe Polizei.
    Ach! I lofes you as a moder, and your happiness, I shwear,
    Shall forefer be the von surpassing object of my care.
    _I'll_ civilize you, Kinder, mid dem edlen Gerstenbrei,
    And mit discipline, Potztausend!--or I'll know the reason vhy!

    And then die hehre Göttin, hof'ring in the aether blue,
    Vill summon up her gunboats and her Pickelhauben too,
    Her bearded brawny varriors, vot nefer knew no fear,
    And troops of learned bureaucrats, all buttoned-up to here.
    Then if the shtupit natifes don't attend to vot she said,
    And makes themselves unpleasant, they must all be shooted dead;
    For trifles in the vay of German culture must not shtand--
    Hoch soll der Bismarck leben! I drinks, "Our Fatherland!"

[Sidenote: _Lord Randolph Churchill_]

When the Government was defeated in June "on the Budget Stakes," as
_Punch_ put it, he went so far as to accuse Gladstone of "riding to
lose," and resented this action as not quite on the square. A month
earlier he had shown Gladstone as the political Mrs. Gummidge, the
"Old 'un" being Disraeli, whose portrait hangs on the wall. There
was a rumour of Mr. Gladstone going to the Lords, and _Punch_ had
a picture of Tennyson, in his robes in the "gay garden of elegant
earls," inviting W. E. G. to "come into the garden," but Mr. Gladstone
declines, preferring to paddle his own canoe. Lord Randolph was
included in the Salisbury administration, which held office for six
months, as Secretary of State for India, but his elevation to Cabinet
rank did not appease _Punch's_ distrust--rather the reverse. He was
not really an undersized man, but he invariably appears in _Punch_
about this time as a boy, a mannikin or some diminutive pest, while
the vehemence of his language is resented in bitter criticism of his
"mud-spattering" abuse, vulgar invective, and "Billingsgate Babel."
In particular a speech which he delivered at a Conservative gathering
at Canford Manor, Wimborne, excited _Punch's_ wrath, and prompted
the picture of "Funny Little Randolph," as a "star comique" singing
a topical song, "I don't care a rap," and exulting in his grimaces
and bad manners. In the previous year _Punch_ had fallen foul of the
"windy ravings of Loyalist Speakers" in Ireland, "the Loyalist Cæsar,
and the Nationalist Pompey seem 'very much alike' indeed--in the
matter of noisy mischief.... One feels that the Orange Champions would
not hate 'disloyalty' so much did they not hate their 'Green' fellow
countrymen more."

[Illustration: SAUCE FOR THE GOOSE

DICK: "I've chose my Three Acres--next to the Parson's. I mean
to dig and grow 'Taters. Where 'ave you chose yours?"

HARRY: "I ain't chose no Land. I shan't grow no 'Taters. I
shall take _your_ 'Taters!"]

Yet in the autumn of 1885, when Lord Carnarvon was Viceroy, _Punch_
developed a strong distrust of the conciliatory policy of the
Conservatives. In one cartoon he shows Captain Moonlight masked
and armed at an open door, the bar of the Crimes Act having been
removed. In October he wrote, "when Tyranny alone is free where is the
safety--save for slaves." In another cartoon he showed the National
League as the Irish Vampire, hovering over Hibernia in her uneasy
sleep, and bade her awake and banish the hideous monster that was
sapping her strength. _Mr. Punch's_ "Political Address," issued shortly
before the resignation of the Salisbury Cabinet, claimed that he was
the only real Independent Candidate, the nominee of no party, section,
or sect; bound to no programme, but "all for the four P's--Principle,
Progress, Patriotism and Peace"--in fine, "whichever Party he returned
to office, _Mr. Punch_, the non-partisan Member for Everywhere, will be
in power." The new cry of "Three Acres and a Cow" raised at the close
of 1885 left him cold, witness Du Maurier's "Sauce for the Goose."
The verses in the same number on "New Words and Old Songs" imply that
it was a mere vote-catching device, and at the same time mock at the
cadging tactics of the Knights and Dames of the Primrose League founded
in 1884.

[Sidenote: _Home Rule Rejected_]

On the resignation of the Salisbury Cabinet, Mr. Gladstone returned
to power with Mr. Morley as Chief Secretary for Ireland. The story of
his conversion to Home Rule, his failure to convert his colleagues,
the split in the Cabinet and the introduction and rejection of the
Home Rule Bill of 1886 is well told in the series of cartoons which
begin with "At the Cross Roads" in February. There Gladstone is shown
hesitating between Land Purchase and Home Rule, while Chamberlain as
the cowboy advises the former. In "The Thanes fly from me" we see
Gladstone as Macbeth asking Morley (Seyton) to give him his armour:
"This push will cheer me ever or disseat me now." The Home Rule Bill
is typified as the "Divided Skirt." Gladstone as the Grand Old Man
Milliner is trying in vain to reconcile Britannia to her new dress. The
sequel is shown in the "Actæon" cartoon in which Gladstone is pulled
down by his own hounds--Chamberlain, Hartington, Goschen--and in the
adaptation of Meissonier's "Retreat from Moscow," where Gladstone
figures as the defeated Napoleon. It is rather curious, by the way, to
note that during the debates _Punch_, in his "Essence of Parliament,"
describes Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman and Mr. Labouchere as the "two
drolls of the House" at Question time.

[Illustration: THE "DIVIDED SKIRT"

GRAND OLD MAN-MILLINER (_persuasively_): "Fits beautifully,
Madam! A little alteration here and there!"

MRS. BRITANNIA: "It's very uncomfortable, and I'm sure it
isn't becoming. I shall never get along with it as it is!!"]

On the merits of Home Rule _Punch_ is rather non-committal, and speaks
with more than one voice. The secession of the Liberal Unionists
impressed him greatly; but he was bitterly antagonistic to the Ulster
extremists, witness this epigram printed in May:--

                  _Lucus a non Lucendo_

    Loyal? Nay, Ulster, you, for very shame
    Should cede your long monopoly of that name.
    Loyal--to whom--to what? To power, to pelf,
    To place, to privilege, in a word, to _self_.
    They who assume, absorb, control, enjoy all,
    Must find it vastly pleasant to be "loyal."

Lord Randolph Churchill's famous jingle: "Ulster will fight. Ulster
will be right," inspired a prophetic forecast of the result of such
action, in which Ulster does fight and is defeated:--

  The battle had been severe, but it was over at last. Belfast was
  taken. Derry was in ruins. Everywhere the Orange faction had been
  outnumbered and worsted. The reverse was crushing and complete. "We
  shall now," said the General commanding the National forces, "be
  suffered, perhaps, to hold our Parliament on College Green in peace."
  He turned to a batch of captured officers as he spoke. They were a
  motley crew. Among them figured several wearing the Queen's uniform,
  while here and there stood some distinguished sympathizer with the
  beaten cause, who had thrown in his lot to support rebellion against
  Queen and Empire. Among these latter a scion of a Ducal House and
  former well-known Member of the House of Commons, was weeping over
  a broken drumhead. The General singled him out, and beckoned him
  to approach. He drew near, surlily: "Well, my Lord," continued the
  Commander, in a tone of banter. "How about your prophecy? Ulster will
  fight. Ulster will be right. Ulster has fought. Ha! Ha!"

  "And she has been wrong!" was the submissive and humble reply.

[Sidenote: _Lord Randolph at the Tresury_]

This squib was written before the rejection of the Home Rule Bill, a
result which _Punch_, or the writer, probably did not anticipate. The
accuracy of the forecast, however, remains still to be tested.

The Elections went against the Government, and Lord Salisbury was
returned to power, with Lord Randolph as Chancellor of the Exchequer
and Leader of the House of Commons. The verses which accompany and
expand the cartoon of "The Grand Young Man" with the shade of Dizzy
looking on, almost deviate into geniality. _Punch_ fancies that
Randolph, in spite of his defects of taste and manners, is "more
than a mere mime," but, in contrasting his career with that of Lord
Beaconsfield, points out that he was born in the purple and that his
rise to power was easier and quicker. This comparatively friendly mood
soon gave way to the old distrust, and by October, in "Swag, or the
political Jack Sheppard," we see Lord Randolph, anxious to eclipse
Dizzy as a Tory Turpin and "disher" of the Whigs, rifling a chest
labelled "Liberal Measures," while Mr. Gladstone peers into the room at
the back. _Punch's_ distrust was partly justified by Lord Randolph's
impetuous resignation in December. What might have been a great career
was wrecked by an impatient temper. Immense ability, industry, courage
and reforming zeal were there, and it was hardly fair to represent him
as a modern Curtius leaping into the pit of Popularity. The Treasury
was not the only Government Office in which reform was thwarted by
obstruction and mismanagement. _Punch_ attacked the War Office in the
autumn of 1886 for setting its face "not merely against change, but
against experiments pointing to change," and scouting all inventors as
nuisances. He simultaneously proposed the foundation of an official
organ of the Admiralty to be called "Dowb," the burlesque prospectus
of which obliquely satirizes the abuse of perquisites, bad stores,
muddled finance, futile commissions of inquiry and general incompetence
in high places. Home politics engrossed attention throughout the year,
but _Punch_ did not fail to note the gathering clouds in the Balkans,
when Prince Alexander of Battenberg, the hero of Slivnitza, a gallant
and picturesque figure, had abdicated the throne of Bulgaria, Russian
jealousy having rendered his position untenable. In the cartoon of
"The Vanishing Lady," the Tsar is shown as a juggler using the cloak
of diplomacy to extinguish the freedom of the country he had helped to
emancipate. The same year which witnessed the disappearance from the
political scene of Prince Alexander was marked by the birth of Alfonso
XIII of Spain, and _Punch_ offered his ceremonial greeting to one of
the few sovereigns who survived the monarchical _débâcle_ of the Great
War of 1914.

The Victorian age reached its grand climacteric in 1887, the year of
the Queen's Golden Jubilee and the gathering of the Kings and Captains.
Of the celebrations we speak elsewhere. _Punch_, no longer anti-Papist,
linked them with those at the Vatican--in honour of Leo XIII, who had
been ordained priest in 1837--in his lines on "Two Jubilees":--

    St. Peter's and St. James's face to face
    Exchanging with a more than courtly grace
            Their mutual gifts and greetings!

    A sight to stir the bigot; but the wise
    Regard with cheerful and complacent eyes
            This pleasantest of meetings.

And so on with praise of the Good Queen and Holy Father, _Punch_, as a
"true freeman unfettered by servile fear or hate's poor purblind heat,"
being free to celebrate them both.

It was also the Centenary year of the United States, welcomed by
_Punch_ in John Bull's song on Miss Columbia's Hundredth birthday to
the air of "I'm getting a big boy now." Mr. Gladstone was invited to
the celebrations but did not cross the Atlantic. John Bull abounds
in professions of good-will, but there is a slight sting in the last

    You are getting a great girl now,
    May you prosper, and keep out of row;
        Shun Bunkum and bawl
        All that's shoddy and small,
    For you're getting a _great_ girl now.

[Illustration: THE CHALLENGE]

The Salisbury Cabinet was strengthened by the inclusion of Mr. Goschen
as Chancellor of the Exchequer--Mr. Goschen whom Lord Randolph
"forgot," and whom _Punch_ styled the "Emergency man," a phrase now
also forgotten, but then applied to the volunteers who assisted
boycotted farmers and loyalists in Ireland. Mr. Balfour was at the
Irish Office, the scene of his greatest administrative successes,
and the Crimes Act and the Land Act were the two principal measures
of the Session. In those days _The Times_ was the great champion of
the Unionist policy, and in the summer of 1887 is shown prodding on
Lord Salisbury and Mr. Balfour, armed with Crimes Act blunderbusses,
in their attack on the Land League wild boar. The Land League was
"proclaimed" in August; and already the controversy had begun between
Mr. Parnell and _The Times_ over the former's alleged participation
in the responsibility for the Phoenix Park murders. The question was
raised in a series of articles on "Parnellism and Crime"; but the
charges were not made specific until the following year. John Bright's
secession from the Gladstonian Liberals had been a serious blow, and
his contributions to the Unionist armoury were so vigorous and pointed,
that it is rather strange to find _Punch_ assailing him in March, 1887,
for his pacificist tendencies:--

    The white flag, John, _may_ bid all battle cease,
    Not the white feather! In defence of right,
    Despite your dogmas, men perforce must fight
    With swords as well as words: be it their care
    With either, to heed honour, and fight fair.
    You would "speak daggers" only; be it so;
    But a word-stab may be a felon blow.

John Bright certainly spoke daggers against those who, in his own
phrase, kept the rebellion pot always on the boil.

[Sidenote: _Germany's Momentous Year_]

The Earl of Iddesleigh, better known as Sir Stafford Northcote, died
in January. There is an unmistakable reference to Lord Randolph
Churchill's treatment of his one-time leader in the verses in which
_Punch_ paid homage to a statesman "worn yet selfless, disparaged and
dispraised," yet a "pattern of proud but gentle chivalry":--

    So the arena's coarser heroes mocked
      This antique fighter. And his place was rather
    Where Arthur's knights in generous tourney shocked
      Than where swashbucklers meet or histrions gather:
    Yet--yet his death has touched the land with gloom;
    All England honours Chivalry--at his tomb.

Here the reference to Lord Randolph is inferential though unmistakable.
But an opportunity for having a dig at him is never missed. When the
Bulgarian throne was offered to Prince Ferdinand, and his cautious and
diplomatic tactics resulted in long delays, _Punch_ in pure malice
suggested that the crown should be offered to Lord Randolph. He may be
forgiven, however, in view of the remarkably accurate estimate which
he formed of the slyness, timidity and meanness of "Ferdinand the
Fox," and the alternations of servility and insolence in his attitude
towards Russia. Bismarck again comes in for honorific notice this year
in the guise of Sintram, accompanied and menaced by Socialism (the
Little Master), but confidently riding along on his steed Majority. But
1888 was a momentous year for Germany--the year in which two Kaisers
died and a third succeeded to the heritage of the Hohenzollerns. The
old Emperor Wilhelm, the "_Greise Kaiser_," died on March 9; within a
hundred days his son, the "_Weise Kaiser_," had fallen to the fatal
malady which had sapped his splendid physique, to be succeeded in turn
by the "_Reise Kaiser_," the nickname bestowed on Wilhelm II for his
passion for movement and travel. At the moment of his accession _Punch_
was not inclined to be critical. The cartoon of "The Vigil" in June of
that year expresses no misgivings, but only sympathy for one called
to bear so heavy a burden. And this view is amplified in the verses
in which the lessons of the past are used to fortify the hopes of the

                               THE VIGIL

    "Verse-moi dans le coeur, du fond de ce tombeau
    Quelque chose de grand, de sublime et de beau!"

    _Hernani_, Act iv, Scene 2.

    The prayer of Charles, that rose amidst the gloom
    Of the dead Charlemagne's majestic tomb,
    Might fitly find an echo on the lips
    Of the young Prince, whose pathway death's eclipse
    Hath twice enshadowed in so brief a space.
    Grandsire and Sire! Stout slip of a strong race,
    Valiant old age and vigorous manhood fail,
    And leave youth, high with hope, with anguish pale,
    In vigil at their tomb! Watch on, and kneel,
    Those clenched hands crossed upon the sheathèd steel.
    Not lightly such inheritance should fall.
    Hear you not through the gloom the glorious call
    Of Valour, Duty, Freedom?

                ... And youth must face
    What snowy age and stalwart manhood found
    A weight of sorrow, though with splendour crowned.
    Young Hohenzollern, soldierly of soul,
    Heaven fix your heart on a yet nobler goal
    Than sword may hew its way to. Those you mourn
    Heroes of the Great War when France was torn
    With Teuton shot, knew that the sword alone
    May rear, but shall not long support a throne.
    William has passed, bowing his silver crest,
    Like an old Sea King going to his rest;
    Frederick, in fullest prime, with failing breath,
    But an heroic heart, has stooped to death:
    Here, at their tomb, another Emperor keeps
    His vigil, whilst Germania bows and weeps.
    Heaven hold that sword unsheathed in that young hand,
    And crown with power and peace the Fatherland!

Only a fortnight before the death of the old Emperor, Bismarck's Army
Bill had awakened _Punch's_ misgivings. He reluctantly admired the
strength of the lion combined with the shrewdness of the fox; and put
into Bismarck's mouth the sonorous couplet:--

    I speak of Peace, while covert enmity
    Under the smile of safety wounds the world.

[Illustration: A WISE WARNING

(_Founded on the first part of an old Fable of Dædalus and Icarus, the
Sequel of which Mr. Punch trusts may never apply._)]

But by September it was the young Kaiser, not Bismarck, who invited
"A Word in Season." The counsel was prompted by a speech in which he
declared, "It is the pride of the Hohenzollerns to reign at once over
the noblest, the most intellectual and most cultured of nations," a
sentiment mild when compared with later utterances, yet sufficiently
thrasonic to earn a rebuke for indulging in demagogic flattery,
coupled with the advice to read Lord Wolseley's article in the
_Fortnightly_ on Marlborough, Wellington and Napoleon, and to emulate
the reticence of Moltke. In less than a month the inevitable cleavage
between the Kaiser and his Chancellor is foreshadowed in the splendid
cartoon reproduced, where Bismarck as Dædalus warns Wilhelm as Icarus,
in a paraphrase of Ovid:--

    My son, observe the middle path to fly,
    And fear to sink too low, or rise too high.
    Here the sun melts, there vapours damp your force,
    Between the two extremes direct your course.

    Nor on the Bear, nor on Boötes gaze,
    Nor on sword-arm'd Orion's dangerous rays;
    But follow me, thy guide, with watchful sight,
    And as I steer, direct thy cautious flight.

    _Metamorphoses_, Book VIII, Fable iii.

For the establishment of the Triple Alliance _Punch_ held Bismarck
responsible. The three high contracting Powers become the "Sisters
Three," Italy as Atropos, Austria as Lachesis, and Germany as Clotho.
The policy is expounded in "a Bismarckian version of an old classical
myth." Bismarck claims to be working for peace so long as he is the
cloud compeller. While he is in power it will be all well with Germany.
Of Austria he is less certain, owing to the precariousness of her
crown, but he counts confidently on Italy, and ends on an optimistic
note, dwelling on the pacific aims of this new political pact. It is
hard to tell whether this is irony on the part of _Punch_ or a genuine
approval of the Triple Alliance. But there is no doubt of his mistrust
of Germany's ulterior motives in undertaking to co-operate with England
in suppressing the Slave Trade in Africa--a mistrust expressed in the

    When Fox with Lion hunts,
      One would be sorry
    To say who gains, until
      They've shared the quarry.

[Sidenote: _Boulanger's Bid for Dictatorship_]

The sequel justified the suspicion, and less than a year later _Punch_
published a companion cartoon in which the Lion, coming round the
corner, finds the Fox has pulled down the notice "Down with Slavery"
and is about to put up a Proclamation in which "Up" takes the place of

Bismarck's hostility to the Empress Frederick was notorious. In her
husband's brief reign there was a question of their daughter, Princess
Victoria, marrying Prince Alexander, ex-sovereign of Bulgaria. _Punch_
represented Bismarck forbidding the banns, and putting an extinguisher
labelled "Policy" on Cupid. It was stated that Bismarck threatened
to resign if the marriage plan were proceeded with; _Punch_, the
sentimentalist, believed that love would find out a way, and it did,
but in a different direction. The Prince married, but the lady was not
of royal or even noble birth, and as Count Hartenau he remained in
obscurity and died while still a young man.

France also had her troubles in 1888, for this was the year of
Boulanger, the _brav' Général_, who captivated the mob for a while,
seemed at one moment to be within an ace of overthrowing the Republic
and establishing a stratocracy, but collapsed ignobly in the testing
hour. _Punch_ recognized the danger in his cartoon of France ruefully
balancing the Cap of Liberty on her finger. But even in _L'Audace_,
where Boulanger is shown climbing up a steep cliff, with "Deputy" at
the bottom, "President" and "Dictator" at the top, and the Imperial
Eagle peering over the summit--we are made to feel that the climber is
not equal to the task. The conditions are exactly reproduced in the
companion picture, "Many a Slip," only that Boulanger is shown rolling
down the precipice.

New South Wales celebrated her Centenary on January 26, 1888, and
_Punch_ added his tribute in a happily-worded greeting under the
familiar heading, "Advance, Australia!":--

    A hundred years! At Time's old pace
      The merest day's march, little changing;
    But now the measure's new, the race
      Fares even faster, forward ranging.
    What cycle of Cathay e'er saw
      Your Century's wondrous transformation?
    From wandering waifs to wards of Law!
      From nomads to a mighty nation!
    Belated dreamers moan and wail;
      What scenes for croakers of that kidney,
    Since first the _Sirius_ furled her sail
                Where now is Sydney!

    A hundred years! Let Fancy fly--
      She has a flight that nothing hinders,
    Not e'en reaction's raven cry--
      Back to the days of Matthew Flinders,
    Stout slip of Anglo-Saxon stock
      Who gave the new-found land its nomen.
    Faith, memory-fired, may proudly mock
      At dismal doubt, at owlish omen.
    Five sister-colonies spread now
      Where then the wandering black-fellow
    Alone enjoyed day's golden glow,
                Night's moonlight mellow.

    "The Island-Continent! Hooray!"
      Punch drinks your health in honest liquor
    On this your great Centennial day,
      Whose advent makes his blood flow quicker.
    We know what you can do, dear boys
      In City-founding--and in Cricket.
    A fig for flattery!--it cloys;
      Frank truth, true friendship--that's the ticket!
    Land of rare climate, stalwart men,
      And pretty girls, and queer mammalia,
    All England cries, through _Punch's_ pen,
                "Advance, Australia!"

The same year witnessed the starting of the Australian navy. "Naturally
the biggest island in the world has the biggest coast-line, and so
needs the biggest fleet." The lead was taken by Victoria. _Punch_ saw
nothing but healthy rivalry between the different colonies as the
outcome of the movement, but looked to Federation as the true means
to prevent the different Australian Colonies from being at "Southern
Cross-purposes" when they all had their navies. The trouble in the
Soudan prompts a warning from the Shade of Gordon: "If you mean to send
help, do it thoroughly and _do it at once_," but anxiety was allayed by
the success of General Grenfell at Suakin, an example of prompt action
worthy of the attention of "long-halting statesmen."

[Sidenote: _Parnell and "The Times"_]

The most important measure of the Session at Westminster was the Local
Government Bill establishing County Councils. _Punch_ made considerable
capital out of Mr. Chamberlain's _rapprochement_ to the Tory interests.
At a meeting of the National Society, Archbishop Benson had referred
amid cheers to the words of Mr. Joseph Chamberlain at the opening of
a School Board in Birmingham, and his acknowledgment of the fact that
Voluntary Schools must have their place in the education of the people
recognized. Mr. Chamberlain's views on the Liquor question had shown
a similar concession to the demands of the brewing trade. So _Punch_
represents the "Artful Joe" walking arm-in-arm with the Archbishop
and "Bung," and observing, "What a lot of nice friends I'm making."
Mr. Chamberlain is already acknowledged to be "incomparably the best
debater in the House"; _Punch_ rendered full justice to his ability,
but his chief cartoonist, Tenniel, though still capable of splendid
work, never managed to seize and reproduce the alert vivacity of Mr.
Chamberlain's features. The progress of the controversy between Mr.
Parnell and _The Times_ impelled _Punch_ as an _amicus curiæ_ to
suggest that one or other of the disputants should wake up the Public
Prosecutor in preference to the appointment of a Special Commission.
The latter method of procedure, however, was adopted. The course of
the inquiry was followed by _Punch_ in a series of articles, and when
Parnell was exculpated on the chief count by the breakdown of _The
Times_ witness Pigott, who confessed to forgery, fled the country and
committed suicide, _Punch_ exhibited the Clock-face doing penance in
a white sheet with the lines, "His honour rooted in dishonour stood,
etc." But when the Report of the Commission was finally published,
_Punch_ found it a veritable chameleon, which disappointed both sides,
because most of those interested wore party-coloured spectacles or else
were colour-blind.

England was visited in 1889 by two of the most perturbing personalities
in European politics, the Kaiser Wilhelm II and General Boulanger.
_Punch_, however, resolutely and, as it turned out, rightly refused to
take the _brav' Général_ seriously, though he found in him plenty of
food for disparaging satire as a shoddy hero on his prancing steed,
as a "General Boum" in real life (recalling the grotesque figure in
_La Grande Duchesse_), and as an uninvited guest, whose unwelcome
arrival John Bull took as an occasion for going off to the French
Exhibition. In a burlesque cartoon on France's embarrassments in
choosing the right form of Government, _Punch_ exhibited President
Carnot, the Comte de Paris, Prince Jerome Bonaparte ("Plon-Plon") and
General Boulanger dancing a grotesque _pas de quatre_ before the French
Electorate. But Boulanger was already ended, though his death, by his
own hand, did not take place till the autumn of 1891. His histrionic
equipment was perfect, and the French, though the most logical of
people, are often carried away by their theatrical sense. He had served
with some distinction in the army, and he was a fine figure on a
horse. But he lacked the inflexible will, the iron resolution and the
ruthlessness which make Cæsars and Napoleons; and _Punch's_ epitaph is
a closely-packed summary of the forces and influences which conspired
to his undoing:--

    So high he floated, that he seemed to climb;
    The bladder blown by chance was burst by time.
    Falsely-earned fame fools bolstered at the urns;
    The mob which reared the god the idol burns.
    To cling one moment nigh to power's crest,
    Then, earthward flung, sink to oblivion's rest
    Self-sought, 'midst careless acquiescence, seems
    Strange fate, e'en for a thing of schemes and dreams;
    But Cæsar's simulacrum, seen by day,
    Scarce envious Casca's self would stoop to slay,
    And mounting mediocrity, once o'erthrown,
    Need fear--or hope--no dagger save its own.

The Kaiser's visit to attend the Naval Review at Spithead is treated
in a somewhat jocular and cavalier spirit in the cartoon, "Visiting

 GRANDMA VICTORIA: "Now, Willie dear, you've plenty of
 _soldiers_ at home; look at these pretty _ships_--I'm sure you'll be
 pleased with _them_!"

[Sidenote: _Mistrust of the Kaiser_]

The Kaiser is shown with a toy spade making sand castles for his
soldiers. Yet these soldiers were giving ground for anxiety--witness
the cartoon in January on the armed peace of Europe with Peace holding
out the olive in one hand, with the other on a sword hilt. The
inevitable verses allude to the "truculent Kaiser" and evince mistrust
of one who comes in such equivocal guise. _Punch_ credited Bismarck
with exerting a restraining influence on the warlike activities of
the Triple Alliance. He showed him in the spring playing Orpheus to
this Cerberus, and lulling it to sleep. But the Kaiser inspired no
such confidence, and at the close of the year he is shown posing as a
peacemaker but preparing for war--fondling the dove on his hand, while
behind is the eagle, with bayonets for feathers, feeding on the Army


Another sovereign whom _Punch_ failed to read with the same
penetration was King Leopold II of the Belgians. On the occasion of
the International Anti-Slavery Congress at Brussels in November, 1889,
_Punch_, while very properly applauding the occasion as tending to the
overthrow of "the demon of the shackle and the scourge," acclaimed
Leopold II as a "magnanimous King." Cecil Rhodes, some years later,
after an interview with the same monarch, said that he felt just as if
he had been spending the morning in the company of the Devil.

_Punch_, like other critics, was happier in dealing with the dead than
the living, and the death of John Bright in March inspired a generous
though discriminating tribute to the memory and achievements of
"Mercy's sworn militant, great Paladin of Peace":--

    For Peace, and Freedom, and the People's right,
      Based on unshaken Law, he stood and fought;
    If not with widest purview, yet with sight
      Single, sagacious, unobscured by aught
      Of selfish passion or ambitious thought;
    Seeing day's promise in the darkest night,
    Hope for the weak 'midst menaces of Might:
      Careless of clamour as of chance-blown dust,
    Stern somewhat, scornful oft, and with the stark
      Downright directness of a Roundhead's stroke,
        Who drew a Heaven-dedicated sword
    Against the foes of Freedom's sacred ark,
      The friends of the oppressor's galling yoke,
        All fierce assailants of the Army of the Lord.

These memorial verses, however, if I may say so without incurring the
charge of unfilial disrespect--suffer throughout this period from
prolixity. The writer says excellently, but diffusely, in ninety lines
what is summed up in the majestic quatrain of Scott which stands at
their head:--

    Now is the stately column broke,
    The beacon-light is quench'd in smoke,
    The trumpet's silver sound is still,
    The warder silent on the hill!

[Sidenote: _Dropping the Pilot_]

Mr. Gladstone's golden-wedding day in July furnished the theme for
friendly and affectionate congratulations to a couple who stood for
"Darby and Joan" _in excelsis_. Mr. Gladstone's domestic happiness was
unclouded, but he was subjected to a painful ordeal in 1890 by the
disclosures of the Parnell-O'Shea divorce case and the split in the
Irish Party which followed. _Punch_ supported Gladstone in his breach
with the Irish leader. He is shown in one cartoon refusing to give his
hand to Parnell:--

    The hand of Douglas is his own
    And never shall in friendly grasp
    The hand of such as Marmion clasp.

Gladstone is acquitted of "mere Pharisaic scorn." But an element
bordering on the ridiculous enters into the succeeding cartoon of
Gladstone and Morley as the Babes in the Wood, while Parnell and Healy
as the wicked uncles are seen fighting in the background. The further
developments of the struggle are shown in an adaptation of Meissonier's
famous "La Rixe," in which Parnell is held back by Dillon and O'Brien
from Healy, who is restrained by Justin McCarthy. Parnell's sun was
setting in gloom and storm, but a greater than Parnell was passing
from the stage of high politics in 1890. For this was the year of the
dismissal of Bismarck by the Kaiser, commemorated in the issue of March
29 by Tenniel's famous "Dropping the Pilot" cartoon. _Punch_ saw no
good in the change; he indulges in ominous speculations. Was Bismarck
animated by faith or fear of the future in quitting his post? Would
the new Pilot strike on sunken shoals or "wish on the wild main, the
old Pilot back again"? The Kaiser's gifts are seen to be no solace for
the wound of dismissal. As a matter of fact, Bismarck never used the
ducal title of Lauenburg conferred on him. In little more than a month
the Kaiser is shown as the Enfant Terrible of Europe, "rocking the
boat," while France, Italy, Austria and Spain all appeal to him to be
more careful and not tempt fate. The Kaiser's dabbling in industrial
problems, in the hope of propping his rule by concessions to Socialism,
meets with no sympathy. But a more serious ground for discontent
arose over the cession of Heligoland. _Punch_ waxes indignantly
sarcastic over Lord Salisbury's deal in East Africa by which Germany
gained Heligoland as a bonus. It was "given away with a pound of tea";
Salisbury's weakness was worse than Gladstone's scuttle and surrender,
and _Punch_ ruefully recalls the verses he printed nineteen years

[Sidenote: _The Surrender of Helgoland_]

[Illustration: "GIVEN AWAY WITH A POUND OF TEA!!!"]


 On June 24, 1871, _Mr. Punch_ sang, _à propos_ of the Germans desiring
 to purchase Heligoland:

    Though to rule the waves, we may believe they aspire,
      If their Navy grows great, we must let it;
    But if one British island they think to acquire,
      Bless their hearts, don't they wish they may get it?

 And they _have_ got it!

But the fashionable world went on its way unheeding. Du Maurier
satirized this indifference in a picture in which one lady asks
another: "_Where_ is this Heligoland they're all talking so much
about?" and her friend replies, "Oh, I don't know, dear. It's one of
the places lately discovered by Mr. Stanley."

Russia, it may be added, also incurred _Punch's_ censure in 1890, the
legalized persecution of Jews forming the theme of a prophetic cartoon
in August, in which the shade of Pharaoh warns the Tsar, as he stands
with a drawn sword and his foot on a prostrate Hebrew: "Forbear! That
weapon always wounds the hand that wields it."

In 1891 the new "orientations" of the European Powers attract a good
deal of notice. The Franco-Russian _entente_ is symbolized by the Bear
making France dance to the tune of the Russian loan. _Punch's_ distrust
of Russia--semi-Asiatic and half-Tartar--dated from the 'forties. The
tightening of the Franco-Russian Entente in 1891 gave him no pleasure.
He quotes with manifest approval the comment of a daily paper on the
infatuation of France:--

  The success of a Russian Loan is not dearly purchased by a little
  effusion, which, after all, commits Russia to nothing. French
  sentiment is always worth cultivating in that way, because unlike the
  British variety, it has a distinct influence upon investments.

The cartoon of President Carnot embracing, and being hugged by, the
Bear was founded on an episode at Aix-les-Bains where he kissed
a little girl in Russian dress who gave him a bouquet, saying:
"J'embrasse la Russie." _Punch's_ verses represent Carnot as fully
conscious of his _blague_, yet with an uneasy consciousness that the
Bear is going to squeeze him. Russia's religious intolerance again
comes in for strong condemnation. The Tsar is shown wielding the knout
on an aged Jew while the Emperor of China greets a Christian priest.
This contrast was based on the issue of a decree in which the Chinese
Government condemned anti-Christian excesses. In another cartoon the
Tsar bids his minions remove another aged Jew on the familiar ground
that Jews were always to the fore in Nihilist plots. The European
Powers, it should be added, were not satisfied by China's official
tolerance. The treatment of foreigners had provoked a collective
protest, from which Russia abstained. So when John Bull, as a sailor,
asks Russia to take a hand in controlling the Chinese Dragon, Russia
replies: "Well, I don't know--you see, he's a sort of relation of mine!"

The admiration which _Punch_ had so often if reluctantly expressed for
Bismarck in office yielded to something like disgust at his undignified
bitterness in retirement, above all at his use of the "reptile press"
as a means of attacking the Imperial policy and Caprivi, his successor
as Chancellor. This feeling animates the "Coriolanus" cartoon in
February, where Bismarck is shown with the _Hamburger Nachrichten_ in
his hand. The death of Moltke a couple of months later is duly recorded
in a versified tribute making all the usual points--on his taciturnity,
composure, foresight and strategy. With his death Bismarck became
the lonely survivor of "the Titanic three, Who led the Eagles on to
Victory." Moltke died full of years and honours. It was otherwise with
Parnell who at forty-five fell,

                            not as leaders love to fall,
    In battle's forefront, loved and mourned by all;
    But fiercely fighting, as for his own hand,
    With the scant remnant of a broken band;
    His chieftainship, well-earned in many a fray,
    Rent from him--by himself!
                                  None did betray
    This sinister strong fighter to his foes;
    He fell by his own action, as he rose.
    He had fought all--himself he could not fight,
    Nor rise to the clear air of patient right.

[Sidenote: _The Passing of Parnell_]

_Punch_ notes his coldness, his impassive persistence as an agitator,
but says nothing of the ill-concealed contempt he showed for his
followers, and the entire lack of geniality, _bonhomie_, and humour,
which partly explained the mercilessness with which he was pursued
once his power was shaken. As he had never won or tried to win their
affection, he could not expect to find magnanimity in mean souls.

The wheels of the Parliamentary chariot drove heavily over the Land
Purchase Bill. _Punch_ showed Mr. Balfour leading the poor tired little
Bill through a maze of amendments. _A propos_ of its complicated nature
and endless, obscure sub-sections, which aroused much hostile criticism
in _The Times_, Mr. Balfour is made to say:--

    _The Times_, too, may gird, and declare 'tis absurd not to know
     _one's own Labyrinth_ better;
    _The Times_ is my friend, but a trifle too fond of the goad and
     the scourge and the fetter.

This, of course, was in the days when _The Times_ was ultra-Unionist.
However, the Bill finally passed through its various stages, and Mr. W.
H. Smith exhibits it with the fruits of the Session in June, 1891, as
a gigantic strawberry. The choice of this particular fruit as a symbol
was dictated by the fact that both he and Lord Salisbury had exhibited
strawberries at the Horticultural Show.

The relations of Canada with England and the United States provoked
much discussion in 1891. _Punch_ expressed confidence in Canada's
loyalty, and simultaneously published a burlesque "Canadian Calendar
(to be hoped not prophetic)," foretelling complete absorption in the
United States. It begins with Reciprocity with the U.S.A., and goes on
with the dying out of trade with and emigration from the old country,
the increase of improvident Irish, the request of Canada to be annexed
to America, and finally her decline into a tenth-rate Yankee state. On
the death of the Canadian premier, Sir John Macdonald, "old To-morrow"
as he was nicknamed from his habit of procrastination, _Punch_
overlooked the thrasonical magniloquence criticized in an earlier poem,
and only dwelt on his long services to the Dominion.

Earlier in the year _Punch_ had typified the Federation of the
Australian Colonies in a boating cartoon, the British Lion from the
bank applauding a racing eight, manned by cubs and coxed by a kangaroo,
and bidding them swing together.

On the death of the old Duke of Devonshire at the close of 1891, and
the accession of Lord Hartington to the title, Mr. Chamberlain became
leader of the Liberal-Unionists in the Commons. Mr. Chamberlain, in
spite of the _rapprochement_ already noted, was still looked upon in
some quarters as a somewhat dangerous Radical, and in January, 1892,
_Punch_ represented the clock-faced _Times_ lecturing him on his
responsibilities. Mr. Balfour succeeded Mr. W. H. Smith on the death of
that unselfish, honest and capable statesman, as Leader of the House of
Commons. The shades of Dizzy and Pam are friendly in the cartoon which
records the promotion; slightly anxious on the score of Mr. Balfour's
youth--he was then forty-four--but on the whole inclined to think
that he will do. Parliament was dissolved in June, the Liberals were
returned at the Elections, and the new House met on the now ominous
date of August 4.

                           NATIONAL DEFENCE

In the 'seventies _Punch_, as we have seen, was decidedly
non-interventionist. By the middle 'eighties he found it harder
to preserve a middle course between the extremes of Jingoism and
Pacificism, though he bestows impartial ridicule on both "Scuttle and
Grab" in his burlesque forecast of the alternate foreign policies of
the ultra-Imperialists and the ultra-Radicals. This was published early
in 1885, when the Liberals were in power, and though deliberately
fantastical and even farcical, shows how the wildest anticipations are
sometimes verified by fact. Four periods are chosen. In 1890 the Grab
Party inaugurate a forward policy all round by spending fifty millions
upon the Army and Fleet, and are turned out by John Bull when it is
found that their schemes involve

  the seizure of sixteen islands, conquest of five native races,
  absorption of fifty thousand square miles of--useless--new territory,
  seven small wars, two large ones, four massacres, and an Income-tax of
  five shillings in the pound.

The Scuttle Party is installed in power in 1895 with a big majority and
bigger promises:--

  Finishes off all wars by caving in all round, retiring everywhere
  and relinquishing everything. Cuts down Army, and resolves to sell
  half the Ironclad Fleet as old metal. Power which buys it immediately
  utilizes it against us. Another Fleet has to be ordered at once at
  fancy prices in response to Press clamour. Scuttle Party, in cleft
  stick, halts between two opinions; in pursuit of peace is found
  fighting all over the world, and after frantic efforts at economy,
  runs up Income-tax to six shillings in the pound. John Bull turns out
  Scuttle Party.

Then we jump to A.D. 2000, but even then the wildest stretch of
_Punch's_ imagination does not exceed the establishment of conscription
and the raising of the Army to a million men. Finally in his last
forecast _Punch_ is reduced to solving the problem by an insurrection
under a popular soap-boiler, the seizure of the leaders of the two
parties, and the banishing of both "Scuttle" and "Grab" from the
political dictionary.

[Sidenote: _Snubbing the Volunteers_]

With the return of the Conservatives to power, we find that _Punch_,
so far from rebuking the Government for their expenditure on bloated
armaments, develops into something like an alarmist on the subject
of national preparedness and the folly of "cheap defences." The
inefficiency of the Army and Navy is a constant theme from 1887
onwards. The bursting of big naval guns, the badness of munitions
and designs for battleships are dealt with in bitter satirical
verses: while the damaging report of the Parliamentary Committee
on Army equipment and stores prompts a series of advertisements of
the "Benevolent Bayonet," the "Blazing Breech-loader," the "Comic
Cartridge," and so on. Dishonest contractors and incompetent officials
are attacked as "the Vultures of Trade" and "the Vermin of Office and
Mart." The persistent discouragement of volunteers by the military
authorities was an old grievance of _Punch's_, and it crops up in this
year in connexion with the removal of the camp from Wimbledon by order
of "George Ranger." Indeed, the bitterness of _Punch's_ attack on the
Duke of Cambridge revives the memories of the 'forties, when a duke,
royal or otherwise, was his favourite cockshy:--

    Some prate of patriotism, and some of cheap defence,
    But to the high official mind that's all absurd pretence;
    For of all the joys of snubbing, there's none to it so dear,
    As to snub, snub, snub, snub, snub, snub, snub the British

    A patriotic Laureate may bid the Rifles form,
    And Citizens may look to them for safety in War's storm;
    But Secretaries, Dooks, and such at this delight to jeer,
    And to snub, snub, snub, snub, snub, snub, snub the British

    A semi-swell he may be, but he may be a mere clerk,
    And he's an interloper, and to snub him is a lark.
    Sometimes he licks the Regulars, and so our duty's clear,
    'Tis to snub, snub, snub, snub, snub, snub, snub the British

    He hankers for an increase in his Capitation Grant,
    It's like his precious impudence, and have the lift he shan't.
    What, make it easier for him to run us close? No fear!
    We'll snub, snub, snub, snub, snub, snub, snub the British

    He has a fad for Wimbledon, but that is just a whim,
    And as eviction's all the go, we'll try it upon _him_.
    _He's_ not an Irish tenant, so no one will interfere,
    When once more we snub, snub, snub, snub, snub the British

    His targets and his tents and things are nuisances all round,
    As Jerry-Builders, Dooks, and other Toffs have lately found,
    Compared with bricks and mortar and big landlords he's small beer,
    So we'll snub, snub, snub, snub, snub, snub, snub the British

    The Common's vastly handy, there's no doubt, to chaps in town,
    And crowds of Cockneys to the butts can quickly hurry down;
    But what are _all_ Town's Cockneys to one solitary Peer?
    No; let us snub, snub, snub, snub, snub, snub the British

    Your Citizen who wants to play at soldiers need not look
    To have his little way as though he were a Royal Dook;
    With building-leases--sacred things!--he must not interfere,
    So let us snub, snub, snub, snub, snub the British

    If he _must_ shoot his annual shoot somewhere, why, let him go
    To Pirbright or to Salisbury Plain, or e'en to Jericho.
    But out from his loved Wimbledon he'll surely have to clear,
    A final snub, snub, snub, snub, snub to the British

_Punch_ was not generous or just in representing the Duke of Cambridge
as a mere obstructive; and the sequel has not verified his forecast.
Wimbledon Common remains a great playground of the people, and the
annual meetings of the National Rifle Association, held at Wimbledon
from 1860 to 1888, have not suffered in prestige or value since the
move to Bisley in 1890.

References to the inadequate state of the national defences reach their
highest frequency in 1888. We have the duel between Lord Randolph
Churchill preaching retrenchment and Lord Charles Beresford advocating
expenditure on an increased Navy. This is followed up by _Punch's_
"Alarmist Alphabet" dedicated to our naval and military experts, to
whose warnings our rulers attach no particular importance:--

    A's the Alarm that the Country's defenceless.
    B's the Belief such assertions are senseless.
    C's the Commission that sits with regard to them;
    D's our Defences--the one topic barred to them!
    E's the Expense--it's supposed we shall grudge it!
    F is the Fear of increasing the Budget.
    G stands for Guns, which we thought we had got.
    H is the Howl when we hear we have _not_.
    I's the Inquiry, abuses to right meant;
    J is the Judgment (a crushing indictment!);
    K is the Knot of red tape someone ties on it;
    L's Limbo--where no one will ever set eyes on it!
    M is the Murmur, too quickly forgotten.
    N is our Navy, which some say is rotten.
    O's the Official who bungles with _bonhomie_.
    P's Party-Government--all for Economy.
    Q is the Question engrossing our Statesmen.
    R is Retrenchment, which so fascinates men.
    S stands for Services, starved (out of Policy).
    T is the Time when--too late!--we our folly see.
    U is the Uproar of Struggle Titanic;
    V is the Vote we shall pass in a panic.
    W's War--with the Capture of London.
    X our Xplosions of fury, when undone.
    Y is the Yoke we shall have to get used to.
    Z is the Zero our Empire's reduced to!

[Sidenote: _The Race of Armaments_]

Simultaneously Britannia figures in a cartoon as the "Unprotected
Female" surrounded by a litter of burst guns, broken contracts, broken
blades, unfinished ships, etc. Then we find _Punch_ suddenly appearing
at Downing Street at "the first meeting of the Inner Cabinet," and
shattering the complacent satisfaction of the Premier and the War
Secretary by a peremptory and menacing demand for speeding-up in the
supply of rifles and more energetic recruiting. In July, under the
heading of "_Punch's_ Parallels," the tercentenary of the Armada is
celebrated in a satiric perversion of the famous game of bowls into "a
nice little game of Ducks and Drakes--with the public money," in which
Lord George Hamilton, the First Lord of the Admiralty, is attacked as a
lethargic aristocrat. Another cartoon shows Moltke rebuking the Duke of
Cambridge for persistently discouraging the volunteer movement; while
the enforced expense of life in the regular army is condemned in "The
Pleasant Way of Glory." Commenting on the swamping of the subaltern's
pay by compulsory but unnecessary outlay, _Punch_ remarks that "the
life of the British officer, as thus revealed, seems to resolve itself
into a prolonged struggle to keep up a false position on insufficient
means"; and he regrets that Lord Wolseley seemed to acquiesce in the
evil instead of encouraging British officers to be more frugal. Such
criticisms are not unfamiliar even to-day, for the old traditions die
hard. On the general question of national and especially naval defence,
_Punch_ was not by any means a voice crying in the wilderness. Public
opinion had been worked up by other powerful advocates, amongst whom
_Punch_ rightly mentions Mr. W. T. Stead. The debate on the Address
in the session of 1889 was prolonged and acrimonious. Early in March,
however, Lord George Hamilton moved a resolution, on which the Naval
Defence Bill was founded, authorizing an expenditure of £21,500,000 on
the Navy. The measure, of course, met with some opposition from various
quarters, but public opinion was manifestly in its favour, and it
received the Royal Assent before the end of May.

Throughout this campaign it is interesting to note how the personality
of the German Emperor obtrudes itself as a disquieting factor in the
international race in armaments. At the close of 1891 a lady with
alleged abnormal "magnetic" power was giving performances at the
Alhambra, and _Punch_ adapts the incident in a cartoon suggested by the
Kaiser's _dictum_--inscribed in the Visitors' Book of the City Council
at Munich--_Suprema Lex Regis Voluntas_. The accompanying verses
on "The Little Germania Magnate" are derisive, not to say abusive,
with their references to "Behemoth Billy," "Panjandrum-plus-Cæsar,"
"Thraso" and "Vulcan-Apollo." _Punch_ was evidently inclined to regard
the German Emperor as one of those "impossible people" who, as _The
Times_ had suggested in a happy phrase, ought to "retire into fiction."
Unfortunately he remained a fact, and was not to be killed by _Punch's_

                    MEN AND MASTERS: WORK AND WAGES

In the preceding volume I endeavoured to trace and account for the
waning of _Punch's_ reforming zeal and democratic ardour, and to
illustrate his gradual movement from Left to Right Centre in the
'fifties, 'sixties, and early 'seventies. Many abuses had been
remedied, the barriers of class privilege had been broken down,
the cleavage between the "Two Nations" was less glaring, national
prosperity had increased, the ladder of learning had been set up
by Forster's Education Act. Free Trade and Gladstonian finance had
eased the burden of the working man and the taxpayer. England was
not a Utopia, but she had travelled far from the days of the Hungry
'Forties. In December, 1883, the late Sir Robert Giffen, one of the
most trustworthy and deservedly respected of the much abused tribe of
statisticians, published a comparative table of the consumption of the
agricultural labourer in 1840 and 1881. _Punch's_ comment takes the
form of an imaginary letter from a farm hand under the heading of "Food
and Figures":--

  "Sir, Maister _Punch_,

  "Look 'ee here, Sir. Squire Giffen, a-spoutin' tother night about I
  and we country folk, stuck to it that we wur better fed nowadays than
  we wur forty-one year ago; and them as 'eard 'im say that there, they
  up and swore as how we wur a grumblin', cantankerous, discontented,
  set o' chaps as didn't knaw naught of our own jolly good luck. Now
  look 'ee 'ere, Maister _Punch_; 'ere be Squire Giffen's figures. Says
  he that forty-one year ago, that be in 1840, I eat this 'ere in the
  first column, say in about a couple o' weeks, and that now I gets
  through this 'ere, wot he's set down in the second, in the same matter
  o' time."

[Sidenote: _Food and Figures_]

The table follows, and then Hodge continues:--

  "Now addin' all that there up, that be for 1840, about 69 lbs. of food
  for I; while now he says, says he, 'Hodge, you old pig, you swallows
  373 lbs.--that be six times as much--just as easy in the same time,
  and you grumbles at it too!' Now look 'ee 'ere, Maister _Punch_, if I
  does that there--and figures is figures--well ain't it plain that a
  feed up like that must give I such a fit o' blues from indigestion,
  as sets I hankerin' about franchise and land stealin', and such like
  things o' which I knows and cares just naught, and gets I called by
  a set o' chaps, as wants nothin' more than to make summat out o' me,
  yours all of a puzzle,



(_Overheard at Ironopolis_)

INTELLIGENT WORKING MAN: "Arbitration! Ca' _that_ arbitration!
Why, _they've given it against us_!"]

"Appetite comes with eating"; and here we have a concrete and
"luciferous" example of the somewhat grudging approval which made
_Punch_ acknowledge improved conditions, while at the same time
he expressed his misgivings at the leverage which the improvement
furnished to agitation and unrest. In the 'forties _Punch_ had
recognized that the legitimate grievances of the underfed masses
were a real danger. He now recognized, or at any rate implied, that
when well-fed they might become equally dangerous under the guidance
of extremists. He still believed that there was a great fund of
inert anti-revolutionary sentiment amongst the rank and file of the
people, but long before the days of "direct action," was alive to the
possibilities inherent in the oligarchical rule of Trade Unionism. He
saw that a well-organized minority in a key industry might dislocate
the whole fabric of production, and when in 1877 the miners attempted
to restrict output in order to keep up the price of coal and the rate
of wages, addressed the following remonstrance to Mr. Macdonald, the
mining M.P.:--

                         THE ARGUMENT A MINORI

    So you suggest that they our coals who quarry
      Should shorten shifts to raise black diamonds' price?
    But, if so, why should other workers tarry,
      Each in his craft, to follow your advice?
    Till soon, hauled o'er the coals, like spark in stubble,
      Over-production's doctrine goes ahead,
    And all trades work half time, and come down double
      For beef and beer, for house, and clothes, and bread!

Towards the close of the 'seventies industrial distress was so general
that in January, 1879, _Punch_ abandoned his critical attitude
and appealed for united effort and a cessation of party strife to
drive the wolf from the door. The "New Charity" that he recommended
was a voluntary curtailment of the luxuries of the rich--balls,
entertainments, dinners, and theatre parties, the purchase of jewels,
wines, etc.--in order to help in relieving distress. This involved a
surrender of his old argument in favour of the production of luxuries
on the ground that they provided lucrative employment. At the same
time, the terrorism applied to non-Unionists by the "Rebecca" gangs in
Durham moved him to vigorous protest, and in the verses on "blacklegs"
in April he writes:--

    Blackleg _versus_ Blackguard be it!
    Let's see which shall have their way!

[Illustration: THE TEMPTER

SPIRIT OF ANARCHY: "What! No work! Come and enlist with
me--I'll find work for you!!"]

[Sidenote: _Henry George and Socialism_]

Henry George's _Progress and Poverty_, which attained a wide
circulation in 1883, comes in for a good deal of hostile criticism. It
was an epoch-making book; and though, as water to wine when compared to
the strong drink of modern anti-capitalistic literature, it was thought
worthy of serious attention by _Punch_. In his cartoon in January,
1884, Red Riding Hood is confronted by the Wolf of Socialism, with
Henry George's book peeping out of his pocket. _Punch_, who reminds
us that Mr. Labouchere called the author "George the Fifth," admits
that gross inequalities existed, but saw no remedy in Henry George's
policy, which he regarded as wholesale robbery, and in "St. George and
the Dragon" ranked the American author along with Proudhon, the author
of the saying "Property is Theft." Yet a few weeks later he rebukes the
Duke of Albany, who, in a speech at Liverpool, had recommended that the
poor should be taught cookery. _Punch_ was a great believer in cookery,
but held that your hare must be caught first:--

    Prince, you spoke a word in season
      'Gainst uncleanly plates and slops,
    But the workman cries with reason
      "Teach me first to catch my chops."

In 1886 the number of the unemployed rose to a formidable figure.
There was rioting in Pall Mall and Piccadilly on February 8th after a
meeting in Trafalgar Square, and _Punch_, under the heading, "Sneaking
Sedition," indulged in a violent tirade against the "firebrand
fanatics," Messrs. Hyndman, John Burns, and Champion. It is headed by
a picture in which _Punch_ is gleefully stringing up three puppets
whose faces are portraits of the three "blatant trumpeters of sedition
who prated a mixed mob to passion heat, and then discreetly withdrew
whilst that passion found vent in wrecking and ruffianism." The writer
denies with an exuberance of fiery rhetoric that they represented the
unemployed, or anything but "fanatic hatred and shallow conceit--that
is to say, themselves." They were "cowardly Catilines of the gutter,"
recruiting sergeants of the "Army of Anarchy," "Sedition-spouters," who
egged on "the drunken, violent _un_working-Man" to outrage. _Punch_
appealed to all honest working men to repudiate these so-called but
misrepresentative leaders, and "sweep these social democrats for ever
from the land." It is a tremendous tirade, but disfigured by a great
deal of sheer abuse, and the cause of law and order was not assisted
thereby. Sedition cannot be quelled by strong language, and _Punch_
admitted that honest wage-earners were exploited by Capitalists,
Monopolists, and Middlemen; that all must compassionate the workless
working man, and that all should help him by friendly aid at the
moment and hereafter by well-considered reform. In the same number a
strong appeal is made to the opulent to help the Mansion House Fund
for Unemployed, and not to be scared by frothy street sedition. There
had been wild talk at the Trafalgar Square meeting about gallows and
lamp-posts for Ministers and Members of Parliament, and _Punch_, who on
occasion was a true prophet, may be pardoned for his failure to foresee
a time when John Burns would be denounced as a crusted bureaucrat and
Mr. Hyndman publish an enthusiastic eulogy of the Clemenceau whose
motto was "_Je fais la guerre_."

[Illustration: SOWING TARES

(With a thousand apologies to Sir John E. Millais, Bart., R.A.)]

[Illustration: THE TWO VOICES

ONE OF THE REAL "UNEMPLOYED": "How am I to make _my_ voice
heard in this blackguard row!"]

[Sidenote: _Unemployed and Unemployables_]


(_Æsop slightly altered_)

MR. P.: "Don't lose your head, my man! Who'd suffer most _if
you killed it_?"]

The contrast between the unemployed and the unemployables is repeatedly
emphasized in these years. Works were closed down because the hands
took themselves off to join a procession of unemployed. Wasters refused
work, preferring hymn-singing in the streets and levying doles from
credulous householders. A cartoon in 1887 shows one of the "real
unemployed" exclaiming: "How am I to make my voice heard in this
blackguard row?" Socialism is seen "Sowing Tares"--after Millais's
picture. Anarchy as the tempter prompts unemployment to plunder,
looting, and riot--the wrong way. But _Punch_ was not content with
chastising sedition-mongers, and in another cartoon rebuked callous
complacency as a real danger in a time of serious distress. The
contrasts of splendour and discontent were curiously illustrated in
these years. In the spring of 1886 there was a "scene" at the Opera
when the scene shifters struck work in the middle of the performance,
and appeared on the stage begging for money. In 1887, the year of the
Queen's Jubilee, special constables were sworn in, and Mr. Gladstone
as the "Grand Old Janus" is shown with one face applauding a constable
"downing" an English rough, while the other frowns on an R.I.C. man
standing over a rebellious Irishman. It was in the same year that the
growth and popularity of street processions moved _Punch_ to protest
against the invasion of the Parks by public meetings, which drove away
quiet people who used them for recreation from fear of King Mob and the
rabble rout. The procession habit has long since come to stay, though
it is only of recent years that the presence of children has become a
feature in these demonstrations. As for the Hyde Park stump orators,
the types genially satirized in one of the _Voces Populi_ series in
1889 include the Elderly Faddist, the Irish Patriot, the Reciter, and
the Physical Force Socialist. The Reciter, who dates back to the time
when the Latin satirist spoke of him as a nuisance in the dog-days, has
disappeared from the Parks, though he flourishes in Georgian coteries.
The other types remain with us, together with some new varieties.
But there is little new under the sun. In 1887 the Annual Register
mentions the exploit of a political agitator who chained himself to the
railings in a conspicuous position in Central London, thus depriving
the militant "suffragettes" of the credit of introducing this method of

[Sidenote: _Praise for Cardinal Manning_]


PROCRUSTES: "Now, then, you fellows; I mean to fit you all to
my little Bed!"

CHORUS: "Oh, Lor-r!"

  ["It is impossible to establish universal uniformity of hours without
inflicting very serious injury to workers." (_Motion at the recent
Trades Congress._)


In the great dock strike of 1889 _Punch_, on the whole, showed a
disposition to side with the men. In his first cartoon in September
the working man appeals to the employer to think less of his luxuries,
more of Labour's needs. A week later _Punch_ appeals to the working
man not to kill the guinea-fowl (Trade), that lays the golden eggs,
by striking. In October, employer and employee are shown at the game
of Beggar-my-Neighbour, the master playing Lock-out against Strike.
_Punch_ pleads for give-and-take. _Both_ will lose by the game they
are playing. The same argument is further developed a few months later
in another cartoon in which the foreign competitor is the _tertius
gaudens_. The foreign Fox goes off with Trade, while the two dogs,
Capital and Labour, are asleep. To return to the dock strike, we may
note that Cardinal Manning's intervention was warmly applauded. _Punch_
thought the Cardinal ought to have been made a Privy Councillor and
Lord Mayor Whitehead a baronet for their services as conciliators.
Praise for a Cardinal and a Lord Mayor is indeed a wonderful change
from the _Punch_ of forty years earlier. The settlement of that "deed
of darkness," the gas strike in 1889, prompted the cartoon showing the
indignation of Bill Sikes and the Artful Dodger over the frustration
of their plans. Industrial troubles were rife in 1890. The Labour May
Day, already instituted, inspires a set of verses after Tennyson, in
which an enthusiastic operative sings,

    "Toil's to be Queen of the May, brother, Labour is Queen o' this

The introduction of an eight hours' day, already vigorously agitated
for, set _Punch_ thinking on what would happen if the principle were
logically applied all round--to the Courts, restaurants, theatres and
the medical profession. He returned to the subject in the following
year, and came to much the same conclusion--that it would turn out a
new bed of Procrustes, on the ground that the universal uniformity
of hours of work could not be established without inflicting serious
injury on the workers. Socialism still continued to preoccupy _Punch_
in 1890. This time it is depicted as a snake attacking an eagle in
mid-air, rather a strange inversion of natural history. The eagle is
_Trade_, the wings are _Labour_ and _Capital_. The prosaic critic
will ask how the snake got there except on the wings of a soaring
imagination. John Burns is still a favourite _bête noire_, and is
severely rebuked for his dictatorial and aggressive speeches at the
Trade Union Congress and his action in connexion with industrial
trouble on the Clyde, the ghost of Robert Burns being invoked to
chastise his namesake in an adaptation of "The Dumfries Volunteer."
At the Congress John Burns had said that he was "in the unfortunate
position of having probably to go to Parliament at the next election,
but he would rather go to prison half a dozen times than to Parliament
once.... He must know on what terms he must do the dirty work of going
to Parliament." This was not a happy utterance, though it hardly
merited _Punch's_ bludgeoning. Burns was "perhaps Boanerges spelt
little": he "laid about him like mules who can kick hard"; "the mustard
had gone to his nose," etc. But in view of the way in which Mr. Burns
sank without a ripple from public notice in August, 1914, there is
point in the caution:--

[Sidenote: _The Coal Strike of 1890_]

    Be warned in good time--why there isn't a man, Sir,
      Or at most one or two, whom the universe misses;
    You strut for a moment, and then, like poor _Anser_,
      You vanish, uncared for, with splutter and hisses.

[Illustration: THE NEW "QUEEN OF THE MAY"]

To modern readers, however, the most instructive passages dealing with
industrial unrest in 1890 relate to the Coal Strike. In March of that
year _Punch_ published a prophetic journal of events, looming possibly
somewhere ahead, of life in London after being without coal for sixteen
weeks. It is interesting to compare this forecast with the realities
of 1921. According to the prophet, people have burned their banisters
and bed furniture; a syndicate of noblemen start boring for coal in
Belgrave Square, but are stopped by the sanitary inspector. The wood
pavement is pulled up and riots have broken out. The Archbishop of
Canterbury preaches on the Plague of Darkness in the Abbey by the light
of a farthing candle, which goes out; etc. Even if the recent stoppage
had lasted sixteen instead of thirteen weeks, it is more than doubtful
if _Punch's_ prophecies would have been fulfilled. At best they are
an exercise in burlesque, and lacking in circumstantial imagination.
_Punch_ might have foreseen the scenic possibilities of a long coal
stoppage and its clarifying effect on the atmosphere. And with his
belief in the solid sense of the people he ought to have refrained
from the suggestion of riot. But he may be pardoned for failing to
foresee how oil would come to our rescue. At the close of the same
month _Punch_ addresses a versified remonstrance to the miners. He
admits that pay should be liberal for dangerous underground work, but
deprecates the use of the strike weapon as ruinous to trade and other
industries by the laying up of ships and the closing of factories and
railways. So, just two years later, in a cartoon on "Going on Play,"
he condemns the miners' strike, which aimed openly at creating an
artificial scarcity, and thereby kept up wages. A poor clerk is seen
expostulating with a working man: "It's all very well, but what's play
to you is death to us." In the omnibus strike of 1891 _Punch_ was
decidedly sympathetic towards the overworked drivers and conductors,
just as he backed up the hairdressers in the same year when they
agitated for an early closing day and better and healthier conditions.
The verses on the Democratic Village of the Future, a paradise of
sanitation in which there would be no more "bobbing to their betters,"
and the rule of Squire and parson would cease, are largely ironical,
and the Socialist appropriation of May Day inspires a long warning to
this "new May Day Medusa"--the International--in a "Hymn of Honest
Labour" in May, 1892.

[Sidenote: _Bidding for the Labour Vote_]

Irony predominates, again, in the cynical verses of a year earlier
satirizing the tendency of all parties to bid for the Labour vote:--

                            STRIKING TIMES

 New Version of an Old Street Ballad (By a Labouring Elector)

    Cheer up, cheer up, you sons of toil, and listen to my song,
    The times should much amuse you; you are up, and going strong.
    The Working Men of England at length begin to see
    That their parsnips for to butter now the Parties all agree.


    It's high time that the Working Men should have it their own way,
    And their prospect of obtaining it grows brighter every day!

    It isn't "Agitators" now, but Parties and M.P.'s,
    Who swear we ought to have our way, and do as we darn please.
    Upon my word it's proper fun! A man should love his neighbour,
    Yet Whigs hate Tories, Tories Whigs; but oh! they all love Labour!

                     Chorus--It's high time, etc.

    There's artful Joey Chamberlain, he looks as hard as nails,
    But when he wants to butter us, the Dorset never fails;
    He lays it on so soft and slab, not to say thick and messy,
    He couldn't flummerify us more were each of us a Jesse!

                     Chorus--It's high time, etc.

    Then roystering Random takes his turn; his treacle's pretty thick;
    He gives the Tories the straight tip--and don't they take it--quick?
    And now, by Jove, it's comical!--where will the fashion end?--
    There's Parnell ups and poses as the genuine Labourer's Friend!

                     Chorus--It's high time, etc.

    Comrades, it makes me chortle. The Election's drawing nigh,
    And Eight Hours' Bills, or anything, they'll promise for to try.
    They'll spout and start Commissions; but, O mighty Labouring Host,
    Mind your eye, and keep it on them, or they'll have you all on


    It's high time that the Working Men should have it their own way,
    They'll strain their throats--you mind your votes, and you may find
      it pay!

We have now seen _Punch_ more as the critic than the friend of
organized Labour, and it will be remembered that even in his most
democratic days he evinced a deep-rooted distrust of delegates and
Union officials. But there is another side to the picture, in which
the old championship of the poor and oppressed is as vigorous and
vocal as ever. If _Punch_ was more mistrustful of Trade Unionism, he
was at least as unsparing as in his early days in pillorying examples
of the greed and tyranny of masters and employers who misused their
opportunities of exploiting unorganized or partially organized labour.
In the notes made for this section during this period the very first
relates to the sinking of the _La Plata_ and the burning of the
_Cospatrick_, two emigrant ships, in 1875, and the indignation felt
when it was found that the cargo of the latter vessel was highly
inflammable and the boats inadequate in number. The scandal moved
_Punch_ to rewrite Dibdin, with compliments to Mr. Plimsoll for
his campaign against coffin ships, which had not yet been carried
to its successful legislative conclusion. He also published, in
January, 1875, a mock inquiry--after the manner of Dickens's Bardell
_v._ Pickwick trial--by shipowners into the loss of the emigrant
ship _Crossbones_. The Court exculpates the offenders after finding
that the cargo--containing all sorts of combustible and inflammable
materials--was of the most harmless description, adding as a rider
that the boats should in future be always launched keel upwards. The
old abuse of the "climbing boys" still reared its unsightly head; Lord
Shaftesbury, in the debate on his Chimney Sweepers' Bill, in May,
1875, quoted the remark of a master sweep: "In learning a child you
can't be soft with him; you must use violence," and _Punch_ enlarged
on this text in his best manner. No appeal on behalf of children
left him unmoved. When subscriptions were invited in 1878 to lay out
a children's playground near St. Peter's, London Docks, he suggests
that the fortunate children of the West End should help to give this
playground to their less favoured brothers and sisters of the East.
As a lover of children, _Punch_ was quick to recognize those who had
laboured on their behalf.

[Sidenote: _George Smith of Coalville_]

In the Christmas number of 1879 he tells the life story of George
Smith, of Coalville, who began life as a poor lad in the brickfields;
worked his way up to the post of foreman and manager; and then devoted
his life to calling attention to the cruel overwork and ill-treatment
of the children whose labour he had once shared. In spite of neglect,
opposition, and obloquy, he secured the passing of an Act which brought
these hopeless little outcasts under the eye of Inspectors, limited
their hours of labour, and secured them some measure of teaching.
Though his action gave grievous offence and he lost his job, he set to
work to render a similar service to the children of the bargees, and
was the main agent in passing a law for the registration and inspection
of canal boats. In these labours he sacrificed not only his time, but
his means, and _Punch_ appealed to his readers to contribute to the
support of "this practical preacher of good will to man, this friend
of the friendless, this helper of those who, till he came, had none to
help them."


BOARD-SCHOOL MASTER: "Now then, boys, we must get to work

ADVANCED SCHOLAR: "Please, Sir--mayn't we have somethin' to
relieve the craving of 'unger fust?"]

In 1881 the hard time of boys in attendance on weighing machines, said
to be on duty for thirteen or fourteen hours a day, aroused _Punch's_
sympathy and ire. Invention, however, rather than philanthropy,
furnished a remedy in the "automatics."

In the same year _Punch's_ appeal for the fund to provide poor children
with country holidays, embodied in "The Children's Cry," enabled him to
forward £280 to the promoters. In 1885 the "almost formidable success"
achieved by the experiment of Poor Children's Play-Rooms, in the parish
of St. Martin's-in-the-Fields, delighted his heart. In 1888, _Punch_,
in "Cramming _versus_ 'Clemming'" emphasizes the need of providing free
meals for poor children. At the very end of the period under review in
this volume I have come across a notice of a book purporting to show
up the cruelties practised on young people and animals in training
them for acrobatic performances. The book was poor as literature, but
if true called for searching inquiry. Children have, we may safely
assume, been long safeguarded from the mishandling alleged to have been
possible in 1892; but at the moment of writing these lines--August 11,
1921--an inquiry is being held into the treatment of animals by showmen
and conjurers.

Nor was _Punch_ less concerned with the conditions of women workers. In
his "Dream of Fair Women" suggested by factory inspectors' reports in
1875, he points to lack of combination among women as the incentive to
slave-driving on the part of "foggers". He prefaces a set of verses in
October with a passage from a Report on the Black Country:--

  The women are said to take the place of fathers as well as husbands,
  while the men are idle and drunken.... At Bromsgrove I heard also of
  the growing custom of idle, lazy young lads looking out for skilled
  industrious wives, in order to obtain an easy life.

[Sidenote: _Men, Women and Dogs_]

It was, as _Punch_ puts it, an inversion of the old legend of
Penthesilea and the Amazons. Women were unsexed by labour and serfdom.
As for the men:--

    _You_ loaf, train your whippets, and guzzle and gorge,
    While they sweat at the anvil, and puddle and forge.

So at the time of distress in the mining districts in 1875 the miners
are accused of using charitable relief for the welfare of their
dogs rather than of their families. "How is it," asks a benevolent
directress, "you've brought two cans to-day, Geordie?" And a miner on
strike replies: "The yain's for my mither, marm, and t'uther for the

[Illustration: "TEMPORA MUTANTUR"

FARMER'S DAUGHTER: "I say, Jem, fancy! Mother said to me
to-day I was to help in the Dairy, and might help in the Milking!
Because she did when she was a Girl! I said I'd go for a Gov'ness

There is little mention of the hardships of life on the land, though
labourers' wages were still very low; but the rise of the farmer
class to "gentility" is noted in 1885 in the picture of the farmer's
daughter seated at the piano and declaring that she would rather go as
a governess than help in the dairy. _Punch's_ sympathies were more
readily enlisted on behalf of shop and saloon girls. The movement
began in Bristol in 1876, where a number of ladies issued a circular
to employers asking that chairs should be provided for shop girls; the
plan was adopted in Manchester, and, following the lead of Lancashire,
_Punch_ repeatedly urges the plea for more considerate treatment. The
matter was "beyond a joke," and _Punch_ recommended ladies to patronize
shops where they were allowed, and boycott others. The subject was
taken up by the _Lancet_, and the movement spread to Scotland, where
a group of ladies made a personal tour of inspection in Edinburgh to
see which shops provided seats. One of _Punch's_ pictures in this
year shows a considerate customer handing a chair over the counter to
a tired shop-girl, and a set of verses describes a girl driven into
sin by need of rest. As he put it in his plea for "More Seats and
Shorter Hours," "A country where humanity interposes on behalf of an
over-driven cab-horse will surely not go on suffering hard-working,
weak and defenceless girls to be driven to death with impunity."
There was only one other place in which seats are not allowed. "That
is the House of Commons, but there the torture is only inflicted on
one-half of the Members." We hear little nowadays of the hardships of
shop-girls, but the seating accommodation of the House of Commons is
even more inadequate than in 1880. _Punch_, however, discussed Sir John
Lubbock's Shop Hours Bill in 1887 with an impartiality that borders on
inconsistency, showing the other side of the question and the popular
preference in poor districts for shopping in the evening, districts
in which "St. Lubbock" was looked upon as a well-meaning but fussy

[Sidenote: _"The Cry of the Clerk"_]

As an individualist, a lover of independence, and an opponent of
monopoly, _Punch_ was in a difficult position. Some, at any rate, of
the monster shops led the way in the humane and considerate treatment
of their assistants. But the freezing out of the small shopkeeper
struck him as an undoubted hardship, and in 1886 he published a
prophetic article describing an interview in the "dim and distant
future" between a Stranger and the last shopkeeper in London. It is
an allegory of the tyranny of capitalism and monopoly, of the cult of
bigness and universality, the triumph of ubiquitous caterers. That "dim
and distant future" has not yet arrived, and after thirty-five years
the small shopkeeper is still going almost as strong as in the days
when _Punch_ uttered his dismal prophecy. But his most impassioned plea
in the 'eighties was not uttered on behalf of the working man or woman,
or the small shopkeeper. It was reserved for the victims of State
parsimony, underpaid clerks and Government officials. The campaign
on behalf of these new _protégés_ of his opened with "The Cry of the
Clerk," a long wail, charged with sentiment, uttered by an overworked
and underpaid drudge:--

    I don't growl at the working man, be his virtue strict or morality
    He'd strike if they gave him my weekly wage, and they never ask
      _him_ for the Income-tax!
    They take his little ones out to tea in a curtained van when the
      fields are green,
    But never a flower, or field or fern in their leafy homes have my
      children seen.
    The case is different, so they say, for I'm respectable--save
      the mark!
    He works with the sweat of his manly brow, and I with my body and
      brain--poor Clerk!

       *       *       *       *       *

    Why did I marry? In mercy's name, in the form of my brother was I
      not born?
    Are wife and child to be given to him, and love to be taken from me
      with scorn?
    It is not for them that I plead, for theirs are the only voices that
      break my sorrow,
    That lighten my pathway, make me pause 'twixt the sad to-day and the
      grim to-morrow.
    The Sun and the Sea are not given to me, nor joys like yours as you
      flit together
    Away to the woods and the downs, and over the endless acres of
      purple heather.
    But I've love, thank Heaven! and mercy, too; 'tis for justice only I
      bid you hark
    To the tale of a penniless man like me--to the wounded cry of a
      London Clerk!


FAIR BUT CONSIDERATE CUSTOMER: "Pray sit down. You look so
tired. I've been riding all the afternoon in a carriage, and don't
require a chair."]

The verses lack the desperate poignancy of Hood's "Song of the
Shirt," but they made their mark and were quoted in their entirety
in _The Times_. Subsequent articles and verses especially single out
the telegraph clerks as the victims of State slave-driving. _Punch_
declares that there was no rest for the telegraph "operator," and
describes a letter of appointment from the Government to one of this
class as being really a death warrant, offering £65 a year with the
prospect of rising to £160 after twenty years' service. Early in 1881
he writes under the heading, "Wiredrawn Salaries":--

  The giggling girls, precocious boys, and half-starved clerks, who
  form the Telegraphic Staff of that money-grubbing department of
  Government--the Post Office--have petitioned for a slight increase
  of pay, and have been officially snubbed for their pains. They have
  petitioned for eight years, and for eight years they have received no
  answer. The Manchester clerks were too wise to petition. They struck,
  and their demands were at once attended to.

[Sidenote: _New Views of the Strike Weapon_]

This is not very polite to the ladies, but the comment is significant,
since it shows that _Punch_ was, on occasion, ready to abandon his old
view of the inefficacy of the strike weapon. In June of the same year
he announced that "The worms have turned":--

  The chief art of Government is to do nothing with an air of doing
  much. The best administrators are those who have thoroughly mastered
  the axiom that zeal is a crime, and who are clever at sitting upon
  troublesome questions. Unfortunately there are questions that will
  not be sat upon, and the grievance of the Telegraph Clerks is one of
  them. The Government have "considered" this grievance so long and so
  dreamily, that at last the discontented Clerks have threatened to
  strike. They may not at present have the organization and the command
  of funds of the "working man," who is always on the verge of striking,
  but these will come in the fullness of time. The Government have
  roused a spirit of self-reliance in these overworked and underpaid
  servants of a money-grubbing department, which no tardy concessions
  can destroy. The patronizing, not to say fatherly articles in some
  of the newspapers will encourage this spirit, for under the tone of
  warning is an ill-concealed fear that skilful telegraphists are not
  to be obtained from the fields and gutters. How much better it would
  have been to have "considered" less and acted more, and have yielded

The Government were not, however, the only offenders whose parsimony
excited _Punch's_ indignation. In 1878, when the wages of the
railwaymen on the Midland were reduced, he prophesied increased
inefficiency and more accidents. Railway servants were, in his
opinion, overworked and underpaid. Twelve years later, in the autumn
of 1890, Major Marindin, in his report on the collision at Eastleigh,
found that an engine-driver and stoker had failed to keep a proper
look-out, but noted that they had been on duty for sixteen and a
half hours. _Punch's_ comment took the form of the cartoon of "Death
and his brother Sleep" on the engine. The overloaded country postman
had excited _Punch's_ compassion in 1885, and in the same year the
outrageously long hours--sixteen a day and seven days a week--imposed
on tram drivers and conductors had come in for severe censure in
an article which also mentions the sweating of East End tailors'
apprentices. It was this scandal, and the campaign which it provoked,
that led to the appointment of a Royal Commission with Lord Dunraven
as Chairman. _Punch_ joined in the controversy with a whole series of
articles, cartoons, and verses. His first contribution was headed with
a picture of a fat fur-coated contractor raking sovereigns out of the
"sweating furnace," and took for its text Lord Dunraven's statement
that "as regards hours of labour, earnings, and sanitary surroundings,
the condition of these workers is more deplorable than that of any
body of working men in any portion of the civilized or uncivilized
world." A set of ironical advertisements followed of clothes made by
sweated labour, including "The Happy Duchess Jacket--straight from a
fever-stricken home," and "The Churchyard Overcoat," the product of
slave-labour in the East End. Then we have "The modern Venus attired by
the Three Dis-Graces"--a stalwart fashionable lady waited on by three
starveling sempstresses; a mock Ode on the Triumph of Capital, full of
ironic eulogy of Mammon; and, most remarkable of all, a long sardonic
poem, published in September, 1888, under the heading, "Israel and
Egypt; or Turning the Tables," which is at once an indictment of, and
an apology for, the Jew Sweaters.

_Punch_ prefaces the poem with two extracts:--

  "The Children of Israel multiplied so as to excite the jealous fears
  of the Egyptians.... They were therefore organized into gangs under
  taskmasters, as we see in the vivid pictures of the monuments, to
  work upon the public edifices. 'And the Egyptians made the Children
  of Israel to serve with rigour. And they made their lives bitter with
  hard bondage in mortar and in brick and in all manner of service in
  the field.'"--Smith's _Ancient History_.

  "The Sweater is probably a Jew, and, if so, he has the gift
  of organization, and an extraordinary power of subordinating
  everything--humanity, it may be, included--to the great end of getting
  on.... The conditions of life in East London ruin the Christian
  labourer, and leave the Jewish labourer unharmed."--_The Spectator_ on
  _Sweaters and Jews_.

[Sidenote: _Jews and Gentiles_]

The verses compare the treatment of the Israelites under Pharaoh with
the modern sweating of the Gentile by the Jew middleman:--

              Yes, the Gentile once "sweated" the Jew,
    But the Hebrew has now turned the tables; Dunraven will tell you
      that's true.


SWELL (_at West-End Tailor's, to the Foreman_): "Ah--look
here, Snipson, I've been reading all about this Sweating System,
don'tcherno!--and as I find that the Things I pay you Eight Guineas
for--ah--you get made by the Sweaters for about--ah--Two-and-Six--I've
made up my mind--ah--to do the thing well, without screwing you down.
So--ah--just take my order _for a Seven-and-Sixpenny Dress Suit_."]

The moral is summed up in the last four lines:--

    And, behold, though the Sun-God is silent, the Son of the Sun-God
    Still merciless Mammon is master, the slaves of the Gold-God still
    Be his ministers Hebrew or Gentile, his worship is cruelty still;
    Still the worker must sweat 'neath the scourge that the stores of
      the tyrant may fill.

Lord Dunraven withdrew from the Commission, and _Punch_ congratulated
him on his retirement, though it "seemed caused by a fad," when the
Report was published in 1890. The recommendations were inadequate, in
_Punch's_ view. He spoke contemptuously of applying the "rose-water
cure" and whitewashing the sweater, whom he depicts as a monster
vampire. Socialism, as we have seen, was a serpent of the boa
constrictor type. The tendency to big combines was typified by an
octopus, labelled Monopoly, controlling cotton, iron, coal, salt and
copper, and threatening a distressful lady (Commerce) perilously
navigating a frail canoe.

Bumbledom was not dead, but its activities were less blatant. _Punch_
gibbets the stinginess of the Lambeth Workhouse when in 1875 the
Guardians decided that Christmas pudding was too rich in good things
and recommended a plainer variety. Fourteen years later, under the
sarcastic heading, "Luxury for Paupers," we encounter the following
elegant extract from the _Standard_ of December 5, 1889:--

  "At the Chester Board of Guardians yesterday, a discussion took place
  as to whether, in view of the Christmas dinner, it would be advisable
  to allow the inmates to have knives to cut their meat. It was
  explained that at present the paupers had to tear the meat to pieces
  with their fingers and teeth.... The Rev. O. Rawson proposed that they
  should buy knives and forks.... Mr. Charmley, farmer, opposed the
  proposal.... The motion to hire knives and forks on Christmas Day only
  was put, and carried by thirteen votes to ten."

[Sidenote: _Manchester under the Microscope_]

The negligence and delay in administering Parish relief moved
_Punch_ in 1876 to declare that sick paupers were worse treated than
sick cows or horses. As an illustration of "The way we die now,"
there are further exposures of cruelty in lunatic asylums, and the
hard-heartedness of Guardians in harrying "bundles of rags." But
these revelations are fewer than in former years, and dwell more on
mismanagement and extravagance than actual inhumanity. Thus the report
of the committee of inquiry into the administration of the Metropolitan
Asylums Board in 1885 revealed gross waste and extravagant consumption
of wine and stimulants, not by the patients, but by the officials.
_Punch_ was "so long accustomed to hear of the wondrous doings of
'Manchester the Great' and the grand example she set to the rest of
the Kingdom in all that constituted good and pure government and sound
finance," that he could not repress a certain malicious satisfaction
at the result of the audit of the accounts of her Corporation by
the "Citizens' auditor," published in the autumn of 1884. The first
instalment, reviewed in October, is an entertaining document winding
up with an allusion to the pantomime of the _Forty Thieves_, fully
justified by the further revelations summarized by _Punch_ a month

                      MANCHESTER'S PLUCKY AUDITOR

  This bold Gentleman continues his amusing revelations to the
  apparent delight of the ratepayers, and the disgust of the bumptious
  Corporation. We can only make room for one or two extracts. This is
  the bill for a dinner, at the Queen's Hotel, for the Members of the
  Baths and Wash-houses Committee, at which it will be seen that they
  drank punch, sherry, hock, champagne, claret, port, gin, whiskey,
  brandy, _liqueurs_, and mild ale:--

  "To Twenty-one dinners, caviare, turtle, etc., 15s. each, £15 15s.
  0d.; sherry, 16s.; hock, 50s.; punch, 7s. 6d.; champagne, 138s. 6d.;
  claret, 50s.; port, 25s.; mild ale, 1s.; liqueur, 20s.; coffee, 10s.
  6d.; cigars, 64s. 6d.; soda, 22s. 6d.; gin, 2s. 6d.; whiskey, 15s.;
  brandy, 27s. 6d.; service, 21s.

  "In addition to the above, the Committee had sent up to the Baths
  the day before the opening, one dozen bottles of whiskey, 48s.;
  one dozen gin, 36s.; half-a-dozen brandy, 84s.; half-a-dozen port,
  48s.; half-a-dozen sherry, 48s.; two dozen soda, 4s. 6d.; one dozen
  lemonade, 4s. 6d.; one dozen potass, 4s. 6d.; two boxes cigars, 22s.
  6d. each; and half-a-dozen bottles of St. Julien, 36s.; making a total
  of £52 2s. paid to the proprietors of the Queen's Hotel."

He adds that strenuous efforts have been made to find out the Gentleman
who called for Mild Ale, and, when got, consumed a shilling's-worth of

If there were many such auditors, audits would form a most amusing
portion of our comic literature.

In these circumstances _Punch_ expressed a natural joy that Municipal
Reform was tackled at last in Sir William Harcourt's Bill, while in
his "Bitter Cry of Alderman and Bumble" he showed these two worthies
bursting into tears over the iniquities of "Werdant 'Arcourt."

The housing problem comes up early in 1877 _à propos_ of the late
Sir B. W. Richardson's hygienic theories. _Punch_ admits that he was
probably on the right track, but waxes sarcastic at the expense of
crotchety alarmists, and his own suggestions are more whimsical than
helpful. It was not until 1883 that he began to take the problem
seriously. I deal in another section with the fashionable craze for
"slumming," which _Punch_ ridiculed as insincere and absurd. But
there is genuine indignation in his verses on a judge's remarks at
Manchester, and on the report of an inquest, at which it came out
that a whole family occupied one bed on the floor; in the poem (after
Hood) on the Real Haunted House, comparing slum dwellers with rural
labourers; in the cartoon, "Mammon's Rents," on the text, "Dives, the
owner of property condemned as unfit for habitation, is getting from
50 to 60 per cent. on his money"; and in "The Slum-dweller's Saturday
Night" (after Burns), where _Punch_ drives home his old point of the
futility of foreign missions when we had all this unreclaimed slum
savagery at home. The personal investigations of slum areas undertaken
by Sir Charles Dilke, then President of the Local Government Board,
traced the evil to the greed of grasping landlords.

To this year belong _Punch's_ tirades against the iniquity of unjust
rates. In December he has quite a long article based on the hardships
of shopkeepers, small and large. He quotes two cases. The first is that
of a small shopkeeper. The street in which he lived had been recently
widened. Immediately his landlord raised his rent £30 a year, and his
rates were at once raised from £16 to £30. Another victim carrying
on business in a principal City thoroughfare paid a rental of £800 a
year, his gross profits being £1,500. The street was improved; his
rent was increased to £1,000; and £40 a year were added to his rates
in consequence of an improvement which had already cost him £200 a
year, which the landlord had received without the expenditure of a
single shilling. One does not expect to find precise information on
rating and rentals in a comic journal, but in the 'eighties at any rate
_Punch_ did not shirk such topics.

[Sidenote: _Housing and Health_]

In the issue of December 8, 1883, _Punch_ ventured to remind his
readers that on the 16th of that month, exactly forty years had elapsed
since Hood's immortal "Song of the Shirt" appeared in his pages; but
it was perhaps an overstatement to say that the "Bitter Cry" was as
"loud and heart-rending" then as in the 'forties. The handling of the
Housing Commission in 1884 is decidedly irreverent, and the account of
its meetings and the speeches of Lord Salisbury, Mr. Lyulph Stanley
(now Lord Sheffield), and Mr. Jesse Collings borders on the burlesque.
Only towards Cardinal Manning does _Punch_ extend a limited measure
of sympathy. There was, however, no alloy in his praise of Sir Edward
Guinness's gift in 1880 of £250,000 for the better housing of the poor.
When Christ Church Cathedral was restored in Dublin by the liberality
of a wealthy distiller, a poor Irishwoman, as she gazed on the
building, remarked: "Glory be to God! To think that whisky could do all
that!" _Punch_ more discreetly commended "good Edward Guinness" as the
"munificent host of 'The Tankard.'"

This was the year of the Health Exhibition, the second of that
annual series which was a special feature of the 'eighties. On their
recreative aspect I speak elsewhere. It may suffice here to say that
_Punch_ summed up the conflict of aims which they represented in
the phrase "Commerce _v._ Cremorne." His anticipatory notice of the
"Healtheries" abounds in burlesque suggestions for hygienic exhibits;
in the account of the opening praise is largely tempered with irony;
and his "insane-itary guide" shows how largely these Exhibitions
depended on _al fresco_ entertainments, illuminations, and bands.

The growth of the modern mania for amusement was still in its infancy,
but _Punch_ has some instructive remarks on the decline of the many
institutions which had begun with the highest instructional aims and

  The Crystal Palace at Sydenham ... commenced its career with the
  highest aspirations. The British Public were to be shown the
  architectural glories of the Alhambra and Pompeii, and soon found
  themselves watching the evolutions of Léotard and Blondin. In
  like manner the Westminster Aquarium was inaugurated by the Duke
  of Edinburgh, as a sort of supplement to "the mission of Albert
  the Good," but soon had to fall back on Zazel and a "Variety

_Punch_ accordingly prophecies a similar evolution in the character of
the South Kensington Exhibition, and the sequel proved that here, at
any rate, he was a true prophet.

Students of Criminology will find much to interest them in _Punch's_
pages during this period. We have already seen that he had abandoned
his objection to capital punishment in the 'sixties. Commenting on the
debate in June, 1877, _Punch_ defended the maintenance of the gallows
as an _ultima ratio legum_--much on the lines of J. S. Mill, who had,
more than anyone else, converted him from his old view. Later on, when
the abolition was rejected by 263 votes to 64, he writes:--

  We keep our gallows for the brute whom no rope weaker than the hempen
  halter will bind, and no terror less terrible than Tyburn Tree will
  hold in awe. There are such ruffians; and for them the gallows is, and
  will be, kept for the present standing.

In 1879 the trial of Peace, the murderer, gave _Punch_ a good opening
for condemning the undue prominence given in the Press to the
personalities and tastes of criminals. He makes a good point against
papers which speak with two voices: filling their news columns with
personal details of murderers and denouncing the cult of the criminal
in their leading articles. Such inconsistencies, however, still
continue to grieve the judicious. In the early 'eighties the urbane
inefficiency of the Police Force, and especially of the detective side,
is a frequent theme of criticism, both burlesque and serious. The most
amusing entry relates to a constable alleged to have reported: "At 1.45
this morning, found an earthquake opposite No. 207." _Punch_ christened
the C.I.D. the "Defective Police," but proved his impartiality by
handsomely admitting the heavy odds against which constables had to
contend--the truncheon was no match for the burglar's revolver.

[Sidenote: _Crime in Whitechapel_]

Frequent allusions to hooliganism and armed burglars occur in 1882.
_Punch_ speaks of a "Mohock Revival," and asks, "Is the Police Force no
remedy, or must we all carry revolvers?" For a while complaints against
the impotence of the police cease, or take a new form, as when _Punch_
turns his attention to the disgraceful conditions prevailing at the
Central Criminal Court, where respectable men and women subpoenaed
as witnesses were exposed to hustling and insults from roughs--and
constables. In 1887 he extended his censure to the shocking condition
of the prisons in which unconvicted prisoners were lodged awaiting
trial. For the conduct of the police during the Jubilee Celebrations he
has nothing but praise, and waxed lyrical in "_Punch_ to the Peelers"
over their humanity and courtesy.

But a far more severe ordeal awaited the police in 1888, the year of
the crime wave in Whitechapel. Sarcastic allusions to the inefficiency
of the Force are renewed. One cartoon represents them blindfolded
and stumbling about amongst jeering criminals. _Punch_ was nearer
the mark in the cartoon headed, "The Nemesis of Neglect"--based on
a letter from "S. G. O." in _The Times_ pointing out that East End
slums invited crime--and in his admissions that the numbers of the
police were inadequate and that their inefficiency was largely due to
the publicity given to the movements of detectives, and the measures
taken by the authorities, by sensational interviewers in the cheap
press. The amateur "crime investigator" unfortunately continued to
flourish in spite of _Punch's_ censure. Hideous picture-posters,
vividly representing sensational scenes of murder, exhibited as the
"great attractions" of certain plays, are also condemned as a blot on
civilization, a disgrace to the Drama, and a suggestion of crime. It
should be added that _Punch_ expressly exempted Sir Charles Warren from
blame, and indignantly dissociated himself from the attacks of those
who joined in making him a scapegoat:--

  The Police Force requires strengthening, and Sir Charles is perfectly
  alive to the fact. What on earth can it matter if, in number, our
  Police compare favourably with the Police Force at Constantinople,
  or St. Petersburgh, or Vienna, or Jericho, if we have not sufficient
  Police to protect life and property in the Metropolis? Socialistic
  sensational Journalists and rowdy demagogues would like to see the
  Police Force reduced to one in every two thousand, until they fell to
  fighting among themselves, when they would be the first to yell out
  "Police!" and scream for the intervention of the enfeebled arm of the

In April, 1889, the proposed flogging of dangerous criminals excited
a good deal of controversy. In _Punch's_ cartoon in April Bill
Sikes protests as an injured innocent against the cat on the ground
that it will make a brute of him. _Punch's_ attitude was strongly
anti-sentimentalist, but he held that the lash should be used with

In the summer he renews his demand for increasing the police. The new
Chief Commissioner, Monro, is shown telling John Bull that he can have
any number of policemen _if he likes to pay for them_, while Policeman
X, Junior, declares that the Force is overworked. It is curious to
note that, in the list of police difficulties, besides Whitechapel
murders, _Punch_ includes the control of Salvation Army processions and
obstructions. But in these days even so wise and good a man as Huxley
did not hesitate to label--and libel--Salvationism as "Corybantic

On the everlasting Drink Question _Punch_ sided with the moderate
reformers, disapproved of coercion or Prohibition, and found
confirmation of his views in the testimony of the Howard Association in
1876 that moral persuasion and improvement in the conditions of living
afforded the only real remedy. Recreation, as an alternative to and
distraction from the public-house, he always advocated. When the Sunday
opening of galleries and museums was again rejected in 1879, _Punch's_
cartoon took his familiar line that Sabbatarianism drove men to drink.
"Bung" congratulates Archbishop Tait on the support of the Episcopal
bench in defeating the measure. But in the same month, in "Friend
Bung's Remonstrance," _Punch_ inserted a protest against the notion
that all public-housekeepers would support Sabbatarian legislation.
That he was sensitive to foreign criticism is shown by his skit on M.
Millaud's articles in the _Figaro_ in 1880 in which the drunkenness of
London had been unfavourably commented upon.

[Sidenote: _Licensing Anomalies_]

The "marvellous magisterial licensing system" of the period, which was
"vexatious, inconsistent, and meddlesome," is repeatedly criticized
in the year. In an article on the degeneracy of the Aquarium, _Punch_
gives a full account of its vulgar, inane, and sensational shows, and
alludes to the nocturnal orgies enacted at that place of entertainment.
Music and dancing licences, he declared, would be applied for by the
ten thousand if there were freedom and wisdom, instead of the chaos and
vested interest maintained by "Maw-worm" and "Meddlevex" (Middlesex)
magistrates. The result was that London was "a city of unmitigated
pot-houses." Yet drinking, judged by the test of state finance, was
decreasing. The revenue from intoxicants in 1882 had fallen 2½
millions in seven years, and _Punch_ indulges in ironical comment.
The picture in the spring of 1883 of the "Temperance Budget" shows
the financial conditions of the country as only fairly satisfactory,
and represents John Bull as saying: "I have been too sober--_Nunc est
bibendum_." This was obviously ironical, but it was irony that might
easily be misread. _Punch_ would probably have endorsed Archbishop
Magee's famous dictum: "Better England free than England sober."
Teetotalism was to _Punch_ inextricably associated with cranks,
faddists, and fanatics. He was a robust humanitarian. Cock-fighting was
a barbarous pastime, but he resented the unfair differentiation which
punished working men who indulged in it with a heavy fine, while rich
and aristocratic pigeon-shooters went scot-free. Dr. Carver's shooting
performances at the Crystal Palace in 1879 are specially praised
because he did not exhibit his skill by the slaughter of pigeons. So
in 1876 _Punch_ had supported Mr. Flower's agitation against the use
of bearing-reins for horses. Cruelty to animals he detested; but, on
the burning question of vivisection, firmly upheld the practice, in the
interests of humanity, when guarded by stringent regulations, and sided
with Lister and Paget against Lord Shaftesbury, whose opposition he
deeply regretted.


(_Vide Bishop of Oxford's Speech at the Church Congress_)

ELIZABETH WARING (_Laundress and Charwoman, and Sunday School
Teacher to the U.C._): "And now, my dear little Ladies and Gentlemen,
I trust you will not _desecrate_ this beautiful Sunday Afternoon by
going on the River! You can do that from Monday Morning till Saturday
Night, you know! His Lordship here, who was at Eton and Oxford, will
no doubt _remember how the Oars he had plied so busily all the week,
lay untouched on Sunday_! And you too, my dears, will please to give up
the River, on that one day--to those who have been toiling all the busy
Week long in stifling Offices and grimy Workshops, and suchlike!"]

Wages, as I have remarked above, were still remarkably low, judged by
our post-war standards. In 1880 _Punch_ quotes an advertisement from
the _Lincoln Gazette_ for an "active young town crier and bill-poster
who can live on 1s. 3d. a week." But prices were low also, and by
the mid 'seventies cheap railway fares and excursions had led to a
great increase of travelling among the working classes. The "cheap
tripper" figures largely in _Punch_ throughout these years, and his
(and her) manners and customs lent themselves more readily to satire
than sympathy. _Punch_ was still the friend as well as the critic of
the masses, and when in 1883 the steam launch nuisance on the Thames
was exciting a good deal of inflammatory comment, published his "Sunday
School for the Upper Classes," in which a laundress and charwoman is
seen giving a lesson to young gentlefolk, turning the tables on their
Sabbatarian teaching, and asking them to give up the river on Sunday
to those who worked all the week. But here, as so often, _Punch_
showed his habitual impartiality by simultaneously admitting that the
state of the river was a scandal, and welcoming an official inquiry by
the Thames Conservancy Board. A year later he emphasized Sir Charles
Dilke's statement that the river was "a sort of savage place," with no
real police to enforce the law; _Punch's_ picture of the Thames on Bank
Holiday exhibits a carnival of rowdyism, collisions, and upsets. The
steam launch was no favourite of _Punch_. He had already shown it as an
intruder on the waterways of Venice, crowded with 'Arries and 'Arriets
emitting characteristic comments on the Bridge of Sighs.


("Sic Transit Gloria Mundi")

'ANDSOME 'ARRIET: "Ow, my! If it 'yn't that bloomin' old
Temple Bar, as they did aw'y with out o' Fleet Street!"

MR. BELLEVILLE (_referring to Guide-book_): "Now it 'yn't!
It's the famous Bridge o' _Sighs_, as _Byron_ went and stood on; 'im as
wrote _Our Boys_, yer know!"

'ANDSOME 'ARRIET: "Well, I _never_! It 'yn't much of a _size_,

MR. BELLEVILLE: "'Ear! 'Ear! Fustryte!"]

Throughout the 'eighties all the unlovely and odious attributes of
lower middle-class vulgarity were concentrated by _Punch_ in a series
of verses directed against 'Arry, who takes the place of the "snob"
and the "gent" of the 'forties and 'fifties. One sometimes wonders
whether the late Mr. Milliken, the creator of _Punch's_ 'Arry, was not
intoxicated by the exuberance of his own invention, by the deftness
of his patter, and exaggerated the atrocities of the original. For
there is no redeeming feature in 'Arry, or in 'Arriet, who is indeed
the worse of the two." ... Modesty? Meekness? Thrift? Oh, Jiminy!
Ladies of Fashion ain't caught now with no such moral niminy piminy."
Their lingo is extensive, peculiar, and unpleasant, and much of it has
mercifully passed into the limbo of lost words--"rorty," for example,
and (let us hope) "lotion" for drink. 'Arry, as depicted in these
monologues, is always the Cockney; the withers of the provincial are
unwrung in contemplating his excesses. He is sometimes a clerk, though
not of the class whose "Cry" had evoked _Punch's_ sympathy, sometimes a
counter-jumper, but always a cad. He and his partner are always drawn
in such a way as to lend point to the cynical saying that "life would
be endurable but for its amusements." His notion of pleasure is largely
made up of din and destruction. If he takes a holiday in the country,
he disturbs its sylvan seclusion by tearing up ferns and tearing
down branches. But he is in his true element at the seaside--witness
_Punch's_ gruesome adaptation of Southey's lines on Lodore, under the
heading "The Shore."

[Sidenote: _'Arry and 'Arriet_]

[Illustration: A GROUP OF 'ARRIES

In the centre of which may be seen the plain but captivating Mr.
Belleville, who explains to the lovely Miss Eliza Larkins that it's of
no consequence whether a man be handsome or not, "_so long as he looks
like a gentleman_!"]

'Arry figures in a less repulsive mood when visiting the Paris
Exhibition of 1889--"'Arry in Parry." He is very far from belonging to
the submerged classes, and has generally plenty of money to spend on
his amusements and creature comforts. But he is not enamoured of hard
work. The competition of the German clerk in 1886 fills him with fury.
He is disgusted with the "Sossidges" for ousting Englishmen from their
jobs, but is not prepared to emulate the industry of the foreigner:--

    Young Yah-Yah 'as nobbled my crib, turns his pink shovel nose up,
      old man.
    _He_ may live upon lager and langwidges, Charlie; sech isn't
      _my_ plan.

Mr. Gladstone had appealed to the Englishman to prove himself the
better man by competing with the German on the ground on which the
latter excelled. The Cockney clerk retorts that it isn't good enough,
and clamours for the expulsion of the industrious aliens who undercut

Mixed up with 'Arry's selfishness, greediness, and general lack of
decency and good feeling there is a certain element of shrewdness, of
practical common sense, but it is always exerted on behalf of Number
One. Taken all round, he is easily the most disagreeable of all the
types created by _Punch_ in a period in which his former complacency
had given place, at best, to a somewhat peevish optimism, sinking at
times, as we note elsewhere, to dismal laments over our decadence.
But, in justice to _Punch_, it is right to add that by far the most
severe denunciations are reserved for the degenerates in high places.
The 'Arry poems do not show _Punch_ in the light of a Jeremiah or a
Juvenal. Taken together, they form a sort of composite photograph of
the mean Cockney who belongs neither to the classes nor the masses, who
lacks the breeding and reticence of the one and the primitive virtues
of the other. Moreover, the unabashed and undefeated complacency of
these monologues, apart from their shrewdness, inspires a certain
grudging admiration for this entirely impenitent "bounder."

[Sidenote: _Punch and the Army_]

But we part from him without regret, and with a feeling that he is
almost too odious to be true to type. He bulks so largely in the pages
of _Punch_ as to obscure the evidences of abiding friendliness to the
true democracy on which 'Arry was a mere excrescence. The manners
of the cheap tripper might offend _Punch_, but he was genuinely
delighted when bands were introduced in the Parks on Sundays to the
discomfiture of Sabbatarians and Pharisees; and we find him contrasting
the activity of the police in suppressing gambling in Bermondsey
with the tolerance extended to certain West End clubs. There was
nothing new in this attitude, but we may note a change in regard to
his views on emigration, which in earlier days _Punch_ had supported
with enthusiasm. In 1877 a curious letter, guaranteed genuine, is
published from a settler in Australia, describing the conditions there,
and strongly deterring emigration to a country where there were no
comforts, and nothing was cheaper than in England save meat.

[Illustration: TECHNICAL

"'Ellow, 'Erry! Why, 'ow _are_ yer?"

"_Eighteen Car-rat_, ole man! 'Ow's yerself?"]

In the earlier volumes of this survey it has been shown how deep-seated
was the prejudice against the Army amongst respectable middle-class
and working people. In his earlier and anti-militarist days _Punch_
had shared this feeling, and even denounced the recruiting-sergeant
as an ogre or worse. From the Crimean War onward this hostility gave
place to the wiser and saner view that the men who served their country
bravely and faithfully should be decently treated, properly fed, and
encouraged in self-respect by the community which they defended.
How far public opinion fell short in this regard may be seen in the
excellent appeal headed "Men Wanted" which _Punch_ issued in January,
1875. The Army was greatly in need of recruits, and the evidence taken
before the Recruiting Commission proved that "the want of respect shown
by civilians to Her Majesty's uniform had a great deal to do with the
Army's loss of popularity." Whereupon _Punch_ proceeds to point out:--

  1. That the intellectual training of Soldiers is now a matter of
  paramount importance, and that the Privates of many Regiments can
  compare favourably with civilians as regards education.

  2. That through the exertions of H.R.H. the Duke of Cambridge,
  Recreation Rooms and Libraries have been established in all the
  Barracks, with the object (an object that has been attained) of
  fostering refinement in the ranks.

  3. That, during the recent series of Autumn Manoeuvres, the Armies
  in the Field have gained golden opinions from all with whom they have
  come in contact.

  4. That most Soldiers, when they leave the Service, are found to be
  admirably adapted to fill the positions of clerks, railway-guards,
  policemen, and other posts of importance and responsibility.

  5. That a Colour-Sergeant is a Non-Commissioned Officer in command of
  some sixty or a hundred men, who has been promoted after many years'
  service in the ranks, in recognition of zeal, cleverness, and good

Having made these observations, Field-Marshal _Punch_ is forced to
record his deep regret:--

  1. That a Magistrate speaking from the Bench should have thought
  proper to inform a Recruit that to join the Army was to take a false
  step in life, which might possibly entail the breaking of his parents'

  2. That a Non-Commissioned Officer should be refused admission
  to the best seats in a place of public entertainment because he
  (the Non-Commissioned Officer in question) happened at the time of
  purchasing his ticket to be wearing the should-be honoured uniform of
  Her Majesty the Queen.

Field-Marshal _Punch_ consequently feels it to be his duty to issue the
following orders:--

  1. In future, City Aldermen, in their official capacities, will
  refrain from making remarks calculated to bring the Army into
  ridicule, hatred, or contempt.

  2. If any regulation exists preventing soldiers in uniform from
  appearing in the better seats of places of entertainment, the rule in
  question must be immediately abolished.

  In conclusion, Field-Marshal _Punch_ is strongly of opinion that
  recruiting will continue to remain slack until the difference existing
  between the social conditions of the British Soldier in the present,
  and the Negro Slave in the past, is thoroughly understood and admitted
  by the public in general, and the people to whom this circular is
  addressed in particular. It must be remembered in future that the
  Livery of Her Majesty is worn by warriors, and not by flunkeys.

[Sidenote: _Mismanagement at Reviews_]

The remonstrance was well needed, though many years were to elapse
before the second of these orders was acted on. Yet if _Punch_ had
little mercy on those who imagined that _all_ soldiers were "brutal
and licentious," he had no compassion on those who disgraced their
uniform. In the controversy which arose in 1880 between Dr. W. H.
Russell and Sir Garnet Wolseley over alleged breaches of discipline
among our troops during the Zulu campaign, _Punch_ held that the
war correspondent's was a "true bill," and actually advocated the
reintroduction of flogging in the Army for "exceptional cases of
brutality which degrade the soldier to the level of the garrotter or
the wife-beater."

The allusions to the Volunteer Review in the Great Park at Windsor
in July, 1881, dwell chiefly on the habitual neglect and lack of
consideration meted out to the Army on these occasions:--

                         HOW TO TREAT THE ARMY

  Select the hottest day you can possibly find for a perfectly useless
  sham fight and send the men out with the heaviest, clumsiest, most
  antiquated, and unseasonable headgear. When a few of them perish, as
  a matter of course, of sunstroke, express the utmost astonishment
  that anybody can die from such a cause in such perfect uniform in a
  temperate climate.

                      HOW TO TREAT THE VOLUNTEERS

  Encourage fifty thousand men to attend a Review, and then tell them
  coolly that your military organization is quite unequal to the task
  of giving them a day's food.... As they are nearly all respectable
  middle-class members of Society, give them a shilling apiece to take
  care of themselves, and trust to their decency not to abuse such
  extraordinary liberality.

_Punch_ gave credit to the Duke of Cambridge for his efforts to improve
the amenities of barrack life, but came down heavily on him for
opposing the introduction, when the late Duke of Devonshire was at the
War Office, of neutral-tinted uniforms on active service. The Duke of
Cambridge thought it a good thing for a soldier that, when in action,
he should be visible, and _Punch_ dealt faithfully with this ducal

                          "THE THIN RED LINE"

                          (Horse Guards Duo.)


    Who says a soldier's a thing ready made
    Of a suit of grey and a service-spade?--
    That there's pluck in picking a 'vantage ground,
    Then digging a hole and heaping a mound?
    The notion's preposterous, laughable, quizzible!
    By Jove, Sir, a soldier--he ought to be visible!


    I grant you all that; but when Six-foot Guards
    Like ninepins go down at a thousand yards,
    'Tis time to note that, if work's to be done,
    A field to be saved, a day to be won,
    It won't be by speeches as firework as fizzible,
    But by getting well home with movement invisible.


    Pooh! Stuff, Sir! What served us at Waterloo?
    Your neutral tint, or your washed-out blue?
    Digging and dodging?--I rather opine
    A rush with a cheer of a "thin red line,"
    In the midst of a hailstorm of all things whizzible!
    Don't talk, Sir, to me of a coat that's not visible!


    No use, my good friend; for though you may bless
    The days that departed with Old Brown Bess,
    If you make that "red line," that never will yield,
    A target for every shot in the field,
    Of your foemen you'll stir the faculties risible--
    For neither your troops nor your brains will be visible!

[Sidenote: _Heroes, Charlatans and Criminals_]

Nor did _Punch_ in his zeal for the soldier on active service forget
the claims to grateful recognition of the ex-service man. In 1890 we
find an indignant appeal for the survivors of the Balaklava Charge,
showing how they had been forgotten--except in music-hall recitations.
To reinforce the appeal, _Punch_ printed a picture contrasting a
Balaklava survivor, dying in a garret, with the well-remunerated
professional "fasting man," one of whom was much in the public eye just
then. An even more lurid contrast in modern hero-worship is exhibited
in the sardonic description of the fêting and glorifying of criminals.
The verses "I'd be a criminal" show how fashion, pseudo-science,
sensational journalism, and sentimental folly conspired to apotheosize
the murderer.

                          THE STATUS OF WOMEN

[Sidenote: _Undomestic Daughters_]

The history of modern England as set forth in the files of _Punch_
is largely a record of the education of the average man; and there
are few, if any, aspects of this education during the period under
review in this volume in which greater changes are observable than
in _Punch's_ altered view of the _status_ of women. Even in his
earliest days he had "rounded Cape Turk"; he had never favoured an
Oriental seclusion of his womankind. But an element of condescension
and patronage mingled with his chivalry. Their efforts to emerge
from the sphere of domestic duties met for the most part with amused
ridicule. For the rest the phrase "pretty dears" fairly sums up
_Punch's_ earlier view of the place of women in the universe. This
view had already been largely modified. We have seen how he had been
shaken over the question of the suffrage, how he had been converted to
women's invasion of the medical and other professions, and to their
election to the London School Board. The progress of this recognition
continues throughout this period; the competition of women sometimes
excites chaff, sometimes misgiving, but it is no longer regarded as
futile. Their solid achievements in a variety of spheres of activity
are handsomely acknowledged. We hear less of the "pretty dears" and
"ducks"; they are increasingly credited with the capacity to hold their
own intellectually with the lords of creation. A conspicuous proof
of this altered view is to be found in the texts which accompany the
"social cuts" in the 'eighties and 'nineties. It has been said that
"the ball of repartee cannot be kept up without constant repercussion,"
but in the days of Leech the repercussive quality was denied to the
fair sex. This defect has _now_ been so completely redressed that the
balance inclines rather to the other side, and in Du Maurier's pictures
the "score" is generally given to the women. The day of the domestic
"doormat" was passing, and grown-up girls are no longer at the mercy
of pert or tyrannous schoolboy brothers. True, this self-assertion was
far from complete. The solidarity and cohesion of the family circle was
substantially unimpaired. Bachelor girls and revolting daughters were
a negligible minority; and in the 'eighties the number of professional
women was so small that unmarried aunts still played a considerable
part in the domestic system, and are frequently found in charge of
their small nephews and nieces. It was not until 1890 that _Punch_
included in his series of "Modern Types" that of "The Undomestic
Daughter"; and even then her self-expression is circumscribed by lack
of opportunity and, in the portrait given, can only find vent in
fussy and futile philanthropy. She is a dreary rebel, with a genius
for discomfort, who neglects her family when they need her most,
ultimately contracts an unromantic marriage, and ends up as a domestic
tyrant--a sort of variant on Mrs. Jellyby, but hardly recognizable as a
forerunner of the emancipated daughter of to-day.


MATERFAMILIAS: "Where have you been all the morning, girls?"

SOPHRONIA CASSANDRA: "We've been practising old Greek
attitudes at lawn-tennis, mamma!"

PAPA (_who is not æsthetic_): "Ah! hope you like it, I'm sure!"

SOPHRONIA CASSANDRA: "Very much, papa--only we _never hit the

_Punch_ was already a convert to the higher education of women within
certain limits. His reservations are shown in 1875 in an interview
between Professor _Punch_ and an ideal candidate for the Ladies'
University as it should be. Domestic economy comes first in the
curriculum, the humanities second. A picture in the following year
would seem to indicate that _Punch's_ ideal was inverted, for one
Girton student is shown reading to another a valentine headed with
the famous lines from the _Antigone_ of Sophocles beginning [Greek:
Erôs anikate machan].[3] "How much jollier," she observes, "than
those silly English verses fellows used to send!" Classics were still
the predominant partner, and in 1878 _Punch_ notes and resents the
attempted revival of classical costume inaugurated by a fashionable
poetess. 'Arry's tirade against the higher education of women in 1879,
blaspheming against the whole movement as ridiculous and unnatural, is
heavily ironical, for in the same year _Punch_ has some friendly verses
on the extension of Girton and Newnham, and in 1880 congratulates
Miss Scott on being bracketed eighth Wrangler. _Punch_ simultaneously
congratulated Mrs., afterwards Lady Butler, on being elected an A.R.A.,
and rejoiced that the doors of the Academy had been reopened to the sex
once honoured in the days of Sir Joshua:--

  Mrs. Butler, née Elizabeth Thompson, _Punch_ takes off his hat to you
  as the first Lady Associate. Your predecessors, Angelica Kauffmann and
  Mary Moser, sprang into being full-blown R.A.'s.

  This is as it should be. At last _Punch_ may say, and with pride he
  says it, the Ladies are looking up--looking up to the high places of
  Science and Art, which should never have been held beyond their reach,
  and which will be graced by their occupancy.

  But when the Academy doors are reopened to the Ladies, let them be
  opened to their full width. Let us not hear of any petty restrictions
  or exclusions from this or that function or privilege of R.A. What
  these letters bring men let them bring to women.

_Punch's_ congratulations were premature. Forty years have elapsed, and
no women have yet been elected Associates.

[Footnote 3: The quotation reminds me that, when I was an undergraduate
at Oxford at this time, the handmaiden at a certain lodgings was called
"Annie Katie" by successive generations of undergraduates. These
were not her baptismal names: they had been bestowed upon her by an
ingenious scholar because her surname was Macan.]

[Sidenote: _A Song of Degrees_]

It was in 1880 again that _Punch_ backed the appeal of Girton for funds
to carry out the extension scheme and supported the petition of women
for university degrees. Here he represents the would-be woman graduate
as Vivien endeavouring to win over the recalcitrant academic Merlin:--

    In Arts, if once examiners be ours,
    To take degrees we must have equal powers;
      The loss of these is as the loss of all.

    It is the little rift within the lute,
    That soon will leave the Girton lecturer mute;
      And, slowly emptying, silence Newnham Hall.

    The little rift in academic lute,
    The speck of discontent in hard-earned fruit,
      That, eating inwards, turns it into gall.

    It is not worth the keeping; let it go:
    But shall it? Answer fairly, answer no;
      And take us all in all or not at all.

The decision of Durham University to grant women the B.A. degree in
1881 is cordially applauded, though the welcome is impaired by the
facetious heading, "'Ducks' at Durham"; and the liberality of Cambridge
in admitting women to the Tripos Examination is contrasted with the
churlishness of Oxford. As I write the tables have been turned and
Oxford is the paradise of the girl graduate.

In his earlier days _Punch_ never wearied of insisting on the
importance of cookery, but a set of verses in 1881 marks an altered
mood towards the old "woman in the kitchen" cry. Here the suggestion
is even made that _men_ would be benefited by a course of lessons in
cooking, and there is obvious irony in the concluding lines:--

    This is woman's true position--
      In the kitchen's inmost nook;
    And a lady's noblest mission
            Is to cook.

The two moods are subtly combined in Du Maurier's famous and
unforgettable picture of the cynical widow advising a wife of two
years' standing to "feed the brute."


WIFE OF TWO YEARS' STANDING: "Oh yes! I'm sure he's not so
fond of me as at first. He's away so much, neglects me dreadfully, and
he's so cross when he comes home. What _shall_ I do?"

WIDOW: "Feed the brute!"]

[Sidenote: _"Punch's" Misgivings_]

From the 'eighties onward physical culture plays an ever-increasing
part in the education of girls. _Punch_ went astray in assuming in 1883
that bicycling was impossible for women, but in this and the next year
we find him encouraging gymnastics for girls, though there is a touch
of satire in Du Maurier's fashionable mother, who boasts to an eligible
aspirant that every one of her daughters can knock their father down.
The invasion of the domain of pastime and athletics by women and girls
will be noted later on. For the moment I am concerned with their
intellectual rather than their physical development. Little is said of
girls' schools, though an interesting sidelight is shed on the methods
of the old-fashioned boarding-school in the picture of the charming
girl who explains to a Frenchman her fluency in his tongue: "At school
the girl who sat next me at dinner used to eat my fat, and I used to
do her French exercise for her; so I got lots of practice." Girls were
becoming more studious, more highly educated, but they were not all
female Admirable Crichtons. In 1885 _Punch_ chronicles the ingenuous
remark of a young lady to her friend, "Only fancy! _As You Like It_ is
by Shakespeare!" He welcomed the admission of lady graduates to the
Convocation of the University of London in 1884, but misgiving mingles
with admiration in his forecast of the omniscient "Woman of the Future"
in the same year:--

    The Woman of the Future! She'll be deeply read, that's certain,
    With all the education gained at Newnham or at Girton;
    She'll puzzle men in Algebra with horrible quadratics,
    Dynamics, and the mysteries of higher mathematics;
    Or, if she turns to classic tomes a literary roamer,
    She'll give you bits of Horace or sonorous lines from Homer.

    You take a maiden in to dine, and find, with consternation,
    She scorns the light frivolities of modern conversation;
    And not for her the latest bit of fashionable chatter,
    Her pretty head is wellnigh full of more important matter;
    You talk of Drama or Burlesque, theatric themes pursuing,
    She only thinks of what the Dons at Oxford may be doing.

           *       *       *       *       *

    The Woman of the Future may be very learned-looking,
    But dare we ask if she'll know aught of housekeeping or cooking?
    She'll read far more, and that is well, than empty-headed beauties,
    But has she studied with it all a woman's chiefest duties?
    We wot she'll ne'er acknowledge, till her heated brain grows cooler,
    That Woman, not the Irishman, should be the true home-ruler.

    O pedants of these later days, who go on undiscerning
    To overload a woman's brain and cram our girls with learning,
    You'll make a woman half a man, the souls of parents vexing,
    To find that all the gentle sex this process is unsexing.
    Leave one or two nice girls before the sex your system smothers,
    Or what on earth will poor men do for sweethearts, wives,
      and mothers?

Here we find _Punch_ reverting to his earlier attitude. Moreover,
as I have shown elsewhere, in the middle 'eighties he was in a
decidedly pessimistic frame of mind, and inclined, like Porson, to
"damn the scheme of things in general." The dismal mood passed, and
_Punch_ is himself again and obviously rejoicing in his own malice in
the verses on an imaginary episode at Girton, where a breakdown in
health, attributed to the excessive study of Browning, is traced to
over-indulgence in chocolate creams by the members of the Browning
Club. _Punch's_ claim to be regarded as an expert authority where
women's colleges are concerned is seriously invalidated by his
confusing the sites of Newnham and Girton and, worse still, by calling
the former "Nuneham" in the same year. But he redeemed himself
triumphantly in his study of "The Girton Girl" (No. IX, and by far
the best, of his series of "Studies from _Mr. Punch's_ Studio") in
December, 1886. I have the testimony of a distinguished Girton student
of nearly twenty years later that _Punch's_ sketch remained even then
a masterly dissection of the "mentality" of the Girton Girl, and
reveals an inside knowledge, both of generalities and details, which
no mere man could have attained. The Girton Girl of fact is carefully
distinguished from the Girton Girl of superstition. The latter is fast
becoming as extinct as the Dodo:--

[Sidenote: _The Girton Girl in 1886_]

  The modern schoolgirl is taking her place, no longer the giggling,
  flirting maiden of fiction, but an ascetic and hard-working young
  woman. Work has been her lot since the day when she stepped out of
  her cradle to combine education and amusement in the arrangement of
  alphabet bricks; and she looks back with a wistful incredulity to the
  time when the mystic letters, B.A., were to her nothing worse than
  the voice of the black sheep in the nursery rhyme. She inclines by
  instinct towards æstheticism in dress, affecting the limpest materials
  and the strangest hues, and making a compromise in the matter of
  collar and cuffs by wearing at neck and wrists a piece of very _écru_
  lace, turned down the wrong way. Her boots are the terror of stray
  blackbeetles, for a course of lectures on Hygienic clothing early
  taught her to view with horror and distrust a slim ankle and a pointed
  toe. She has a scholarly touch of shortsightedness, which she corrects
  by free use of the tortoiseshell _pince-nez_ that dangles from her

  Her sense of duty is remarkable, and appalling. She virtuously accepts
  the onerous office of secretary to innumerable societies. Countless
  notices, in her bold and clear handwriting, may be seen day after
  day upon the College notice-boards, some of them of a sufficiently
  pathetic character. "Will the following members be so very good as to
  pay their subscriptions due the _term before last_ to the 'Society
  for promoting Masculine Intelligence'?" She does not even resent her
  appointment as sub-officer of the Fire Brigade, the duties of which
  position involve a constant personal supervision of two or three
  repulsively oily little hand-engines, which she tends and lubricates
  with loving care, till she has reduced her hands and face to the
  colour of the brown holland apron which enshrouds the rest of her
  person. Not even the horrors of an alarm practice can daunt her,
  though she may just have settled herself to revel for an hour in the
  pleasant byways of Professor Sidgwick's _Ethics_, when screams of
  "Fire!" rushing footsteps, and an alarm-rattle, such as heralds a
  bump in the May races, compel her to leave her books, and fly to the
  Hall. Then the canvas buckets must be produced, her corps arranged in
  alphabetical order, and marched off to the supposed scene of action.
  All this she does in an incredibly short time; and when, at the
  discretion of the head captain, the pumping of engines and passing of
  buckets is allowed to stop, she returns to her work with fortitude and
  resignation past belief.


(Cambridge, June, 1887)]

Yet in spite of her multifarious and strenuous activities the Girton
Girl is not inhuman or immune to the appeal of her less serious-minded
fellow students, and the sketch ends with a really charming portrait
of a witty, incorrigibly frivolous, generously hospitable and
irresistibly popular member of the college. At once critical, judicial,
and genial, the study is a little masterpiece of its kind. The verses,
published some months earlier, on a young Spanish lady who took her
doctor's degree at Barcelona at the age of nineteen, are appropriately
cast in Swinburne's "Dolores" stanza (as that was her Christian name)
with the refrain, "Our M.D. of Spain," but are not remarkable either
as a parody or an appreciation. Much happier in every way is the
well-known picture of Miss Ramsay (afterwards Mrs. Montagu Butler)
entering a first-class carriage "For Ladies Only" on the occasion
of her being placed Senior Classic in 1887, an exploit which caused
_Punch_ once more to raise his voice on behalf of the bestowal of
degrees on women.

An even more remarkable success was achieved by Miss Philippa Fawcett,
who in 1890 was declared to be "above the Senior Wrangler," and
_Punch_, in "Topping the Tripos, or Something like a Score for the
Sex," while congratulating the daughter, did not forget her father,
always one of his heroes:--

    Above the Senior Wrangler! Pheugh!
      Where now are male reactionaries
    Who flout the feminine, and pooh-pooh
      Sweet Mathematic Megs and Maries?
    Who says a girl is only fit
      To be a dainty, dancing dangler?
    Here's girlhood's prompt reply to it:
      Miss Fawcett tops the Senior Wrangler!

    Would it not have rejoiced the heart
      Of her stout sire, the brave Professor?
    Agneta Ramsay made good start,
      But here's a shining she-successor!
    Many a male who failed to pass
      Will hear it with flushed face and jaw set,
    But _Mr. Punch_ brims high his glass,
      And drinks your health, Miss P. G. Fawcett!

[Sidenote: _The Eternal Feminine_]

Yet along with his acknowledgment of these scholastic triumphs, _Punch_
was equally ready to welcome evidences of feminine weakness in the
haunts of austere study. In 1888 Miss Helen Gladstone recalled the fact
that when she was at Newnham, a motion had been brought forward at the
Debating Society that "life without gossip was not worth living" and
carried by a large majority, and _Punch_ alluded to the incident under
the heading, "_Nous_ at Newnham."

To round off _Punch's_ educational record in this period, I may add
that in 1892 he alludes to that irrepressible controversialist, Sir
James Crichton-Browne, the champion of mutton chops, and common sense,
who had condemned the higher education of women from the medical point
of view. _Punch_ professes himself converted by a young Amazon who
reduces him to pulp and humiliation by her prowess at games of all

[Illustration: THE OLD, OLD STORY

THE COLONEL: "Yes, _He_ was Senior Wrangler of his Year,
and _She_ took a Mathematical Scholarship at Girton; and now they're

MRS. JONES: "Dear me, how interesting! And oh, how different
their Conversation must be from the insipid twaddle of Ordinary Lovers!"


HE: "And what would _Dovey_ do if Lovey were to _die_?"

SHE: "Oh, Dovey would die _too_!"]

The entrance of women into existing professions or the creation
by them of new callings is in the main viewed with sympathy and
benevolence. In the controversy that arose in 1875 between Mrs. Nassau
Senior, who had been appointed an inspector of Female Pauper Schools,
and Mr. Tufnell, an official of the L.G.B., _Punch_ espoused the side
of the lady, who, he considers, had the best of it both in temper and
argument. The statement in April of the same year that a lady had been
engaged by a firm of solicitors as consulting counsel at a high salary,
quoted from a Liverpool paper, was probably apocryphal; but it prompted
_Punch_ to observe that the more employments fit for gentlemen that are
opened to ladies the better. Any such calling is better than marriage
accepted merely as a situation.

[Sidenote: _"Jills in Office"_]

Unfortunately some doubt is thrown on the sincerity of this testimonial
by the sketch "Portia in Petticoats" in 1882--a burlesque description
of a solicitor's office where only women clerks are employed. After
a week's absence the head of the firm returns to find that they have
mostly disappeared, eloped or got married. The election of Miss Maude
Stanley, a cousin of the Dean, as a Guardian in 1877 is the subject of
a friendly notice at the expense of Bumble, who regards it as a "most
unporochial innowation." In the same year _Punch_ views with admiration
the beneficent work of the Ladies' Sanitary Association, established
twenty years earlier to inculcate the value of healthy, sensible habits
by means of lectures, tracts and handbooks. The suggestion made by a
Hastings doctor in 1879 that women might be employed as dispensers
is praised, though not without some reserves, in "Girls among the
Gallipots," and the new "Ladies' Association for the Promotion of
Horticulture and Minor Food Production" founded in the same year by
Mrs. Thorne meets with _Punch's_ unqualified approval. This is the
first mention that I have met in _Punch_ of a movement which led to the
establishment of the horticultural schools at Swanley and elsewhere
and the numerous poultry farms run by women all over the country. The
institution of the "Royal Red Cross" decoration for nurses in 1883 is
welcomed in friendly doggerel. As Bumble had condemned women guardians,
so Mrs. Gamp is now represented as very indignant and contemptuous of
the "nursing sisters," their position and recognition. But _Punch_
had no use here for amateurs. There is excellent point in Du Maurier's
picture of the applicant for the post of matron or head nurse to a
hospital who based her claim on being "not trained but gifted." By 1885
the female commercial traveller was apparently already in existence,
but _Punch_ treated this innovation with jocular suspicion:--

    I know a Maiden with a bag,
            Take care!
    She carries samples in a drag,
            Beware! beware!
            O Draper fond,
        She is fooling thee!

    She has the true "Commercial" style,
            Take care!
    To which she addeth woman's guile,
            Beware! beware!
            O Grocer goose,
        She is plucking thee!

And so on with other shopkeepers.

On the efficiency of female clerks _Punch_ speaks with two voices in
1887, under the heading "Jills in Office." First of all we have an
unflattering picture of the rudeness and inattention of the girls in
one of those joint establishments--half shop and half post-office. In
the next number we are given the reverse of the medal; the public are
the offenders, and the girls act up to their names--Miss Goodchild,
Miss Meekin and Miss Mannerly. The announcement in the same year
that ladies were to be allowed to take diplomas in dentistry prompts
_Punch_ to some frigid pleasantries; but this is a subject on which
it has always been difficult to joke with discretion. _Punch_ found a
happier theme in the institution of the "Lady Guide Association" in
1888. He applauds the scheme which aimed at "providing remuneration
and employment for intelligent gentlewomen debarred by the present
overcrowded labour market from earning a livelihood," but he recognized
that the guides would have to be very formidably accomplished persons,
since their duties comprised the giving advice and information to
newcomers on every possible subject. As a "preliminary examination" was
spoken of, _Punch_ supplied a test paper containing, _inter alia_, the
following questions:--

  1. A four-wheeled cab, containing five inside passengers, two children
  on the box, and seven trunks on the roof, is taken from Liverpool
  Street Station to the extreme end of Hammersmith, and the Lady who has
  secured your services as guide, after having made the cabman carry the
  seven trunks up to the third storey offers him, as his fare, two and
  ninepence, which he indignantly refuses. On his subsequently claiming
  thirteen and sixpence, and taking off his coat and offering to fight
  the gentleman of the party for that amount on the steps of the house
  in the presence of a sympathizing crowd, what speedy measures, if any,
  should you adopt to effect a compromise?

  2. You are engaged to conduct an intelligent, scientific, and
  inquiring party of sixteen people over Windsor Castle, the Marylebone
  Workhouse, the Thames Tunnel, Hanwell Lunatic Asylum, the National
  Gallery, the British Museum, and the London Docks. Do you think that
  your thorough knowledge of English history, your acquaintance with the
  working of the Poor Laws, your grasp of the progress of European Art,
  and your general familiarity with all the great political, commercial,
  engineering, economic and other problems of the hour are such as to
  warrant you in facing the coming ordeal with a jaunty confidence?

  3. You are required by an economical Duke to provide a cheap wedding
  for his only daughter, and he has stipulated that the breakfast
  shall not, at the outside, cost more than ninepence a head. With a
  four-and-sixpenny bridal cake, and a sound champagne that must not
  exceed fifteen shillings a dozen, how do you propose to make the thing
  go off with _éclat_?

In 1890 the "Dorothy" Restaurant was started for "Ladies Only," but
this condition, though the _raison d'être_ of the venture, was soon
modified: men were admitted from 6.30 to 10 P.M., and _Punch_ was
unchivalrous enough to make humorous capital out of the concession.

In regard to the suffrage and "Women's Rights" _Punch_ remained on
the side of the fence where he had got down after a good deal of
vacillation. In 1879 he publishes what is apparently a _bonâ fide_
letter from "A Lancashire Witch" protesting against Miss Lydia
Becker's claim to represent the general feeling of the district. "I
assure you," she writes, "that Miss Becker's followers are chiefly
ladies of her own pronounced politics, or semi-foreigners, and not
Englishwomen _pur sang_." _Punch_ observes that "no Lancashire
Witch need fear to be mixed up with the Representative Gathering of
vote-claiming Spinsters which Miss Lydia Becker threatens to bring
down on the Free Trade Hall. Witches who know whence comes the real
potency of their charms will certainly not seek to mix voting-powder
in the cauldron." This was not friendly to the Suffragists, but the
tone is preferable to that of 'Arry's views on Women's Rights in 1881
after attending a lecture. There is a certain admixture of shrewd
commonplace in his remarks, but the verses are chiefly remarkable as a
storehouse of cad-slang, fortunately mostly obsolete. Female emigration
comes up for comment in the same year, but, as the object was avowedly
matrimonial, the scheme had no political significance. The picture
of the large, self-indulgent, sultanic brother advising his adoring
sisters, cousins and aunts to assert their rights by learning to be
more independent of men is purely ironical and has no bearing on the
problem of women's economic dependence. The dialogue in two scenes
between Edwin and Angelina in 1883 on the working of the new Married
Women's Property Act is a rather cynical burlesque. The first scene
shows the Act as it is expected to work, to the advantage of women; in
the second we see it as it is sure to work--to the confirmation of the
_status quo_, the woman continuing to leave her money affairs entirely
in her husband's hands.


(_A Troubled Dream of the Future_)]

[Sidenote: _Women Jurors_]

Sambourne's prophetic picture of "The Angel in 'the House'" in 1884
is an improvement on _Punch's_ earlier fancy portraits of women
legislators, but it does not render prophetic justice either to Lady
Astor or Mrs. Wintringham. _Punch_ refers more than once in 1885 to
the Parliamentary candidature of Miss Helen Taylor who stood for
Camberwell, but her nomination papers were not accepted. _Punch_ offers
"Helen of Camberwell" his condolences, but they are shorn of all grace
by his previous comparison of her to the Three Tailors of Tooley Street
and other acidulated puns. Du Maurier's picture in 1887 of a Jury of
Women antedates reality by more than thirty years; while the tension of
party feeling in 1888 is illustrated by the genuine advertisement of
a governess seeking work who had been "dismissed from a Conservative
Clergyman's family for her Gladstonian views." Lady canvassers were
already beginning to make their influence felt, and _Punch_ recognizes
their value in a "lay" which gives an entertaining account of their
"unscrupulous, seductive, siren ways." At any rate they could not be
ignored. The temper of "The Political Woman"--one of the "Modern Types"
series--in 1890 is acid and disparaging throughout:--


  Having left school with an ill-assorted mass of miscellaneous
  knowledge, she will show her contempt for ordinary feminine
  accomplishments by refusing to attend dances, and by crushing
  mild young men whom misfortune may have thrown in her way. Having
  discovered from one of these that he imagines the Rebecca Riots to
  be an incident of Old Testament History, and has no definite views
  upon the currency question, she will observe in a tone of some
  bitterness, that "These are our Governors!" and, having left him in a
  state of collapse, will scale the ramparts of political discussion,
  in company with a Professor, who happens to be unmarried and a
  Member of Parliament. After making love for some months, by means of
  an interchange of political tracts, these two will be married in a
  registrar's office and will spend their honeymoon in investigating the
  social requirements of Italian organ-grinders.

Thenceforward she exists chiefly as a member or president of
innumerable committees; she neglects her husband and the son "whom, in
a moment of regrettable absent-mindedness, she bore to the professor
and brings up on Spartan principles and little else." Her home is a
centre of slatternly discomfort:--

  She will eventually fail to be elected a member of the School Board,
  and having written a strong book on a delicate social question, will
  die of the shock of seeing it adversely reviewed in _The Spectator_.

Sir Albert Rollit's Bill for extending the franchise to women was
introduced in the early summer of 1892, and defeated on the second
reading by only twenty-three votes. _Punch_, in his "Essence of
Parliament," refers to an uproarious meeting in St. James's Hall,
and to Mr. Asquith's "merciless logic" in demolishing the Bill. The
Women's Liberal Federation had declared for the suffrage, and _Punch_
illustrated the situation in a picture of two political lady cricketers
appealing to the G.O.M. at the wicket: "A team of our own? I should
think so! If we're good enough to scout [i.e. field] for you, why
shouldn't we take a turn at the bat?"

Women's clubs increased in numbers throughout this period, but met
with little encouragement from _Punch_. In 1877 they are satirized
as enemies to domestic life; as the haunts of semi-detached, smart
women--types which _Punch_ portrayed in his "Dream of Queer Women"
(after Tennyson) in the same year, wherein mention is made of the
"shrieking sisterhood," realistic novelists, "art-beauties," shrewish
suffragists and shady adventuresses. When the project of a Women's
University Club was mooted in 1886, _Punch_ takes a less lurid view of
its possibilities. Smoking, card-playing and billiards are indicated,
but at worst the ladies will only be mild, if sedulous apes of the male
clubman. Gossip will predominate, and _Punch_ suggests that the new
venture should be called "The Blue-Stocking." As for smoking, in 1888
_Punch_ registered a protest under the title, "To a Fair Nicotian,"
in which the Laureate remonstrates with Lady Clara. He likes his own
yard-long Broseley clay pipe, but disapproves even of a cigarette in
the lips of lovely woman.

[Sidenote: _The Athletic Woman_]

[Illustration: AT "LORD'S"

(_It is always well to be well informed_)

CLARA (_pointing to the Umpires_): "Who are the two men in
billycock hats and white coats?"

MATILDA: "Oh, don't you know? Those are the headmasters of
Eton and Harrow!"]

Towards the athletic woman _Punch_ was, on the whole, more benevolent.
In 1883 he pays graceful homage to a woman with the engaging name of
Jessie Ace who had saved a man from drowning. In the same year young
ladies are gently chaffed for beginning to affect a knowledge of the
technicalities of pastime and sport. But if _Punch_ is to be believed,
it was still sketchy. Rugby and Association football are mixed up with
cricket, and the two charming girls at the Eton and Harrow match at
Lord's mistake the two umpires for the two headmasters. The slightly
more serious view taken in 1884, when several cricket matches were
played by women, is noted elsewhere. Fencing and boxing for women,
under male instructors, French and British, are depicted by Du Maurier
as "the last new fad" in 1886. The former, at any rate, came to stay
and deserved to. Ladies had long figured in lawn tennis tournaments,
but in his "Caution to Championesses" in 1887, _Punch_ displayed some
misgiving as to the development of this competition. Nor did he approve
of the novelty of women riding astride in 1890, begging them to do
anything but that, and rewriting the old nursery rhyme for these new

    Ride a cock-horse,
    To Banbury Cross
    To see a young lady
    A-straddle o' course!

The _Almanack_ for the same year gives four types of model middle-class
wives. The French keeps her husband's accounts; the German is the
_Hausfrau_ and cook; the American is an intellectual; the English
plays lawn tennis. The "Manly Maiden" (No. XXII in _Punch's_ "Modern
Types") described in December, 1890, is less closely observed and
far less interesting than _Punch's_ "Model Fast Lady" of forty years
earlier. The sketch is a rather cruel caricature of the persevering
but inefficient sportswoman who is always in the way, and is destined
to "develop from a would-be hard-riding maiden into a genuinely
hard-featured old maid." In agreeable contrast to this acid study
is _Punch's_ homage to the exploits of a Guernsey rifle-woman, Miss
Leale, at Bisley in 1891, and his welcome to Mrs. Sheldon, the American
traveller, on her return from her travels in Africa, in which he
suggests that in time to come Stanley may be known as "the male Mrs.
Sheldon." The exaggeration may be ironical, but the irony is so well
veiled as to be almost imperceptible. In the years that were to come
the achievements of Mary Kingsley and Gertrude Bell were beyond the
reach of the most subtle disparagement.

[Sidenote: _Women Workers_]


SHE: "What a fine-looking man Mr. O'Brien is!"

HE: "H'm--hah--rather rough-hewn, I think. Can't say I admire
that loud-laughing, strong-voiced, robust kind of man. Now that's a
fine-looking woman he's talking to!"

SHE: "Well--er--somewhat _effeminate_, you know. Confess I
don't admire _effeminate_ women!"]

On the subject of women workers _Punch's_ utterances are apparently
but not really irreconcilable. The "Wail of the Male; being a British
workman's view of the cheap female labour question, respectfully
submitted to the Trade Union Congress" in 1887, is a protest against
women undercutting men in the labour market. But the voice is the
voice of 'Arry, not of _Punch_--shrewd, glib and entirely selfish.
The speaker has just got the "bullet"--having been sacked without
notice--and speculates on further possibilities:--

                Look here, Bill! If they shunt
    You and me, and our like, as they're doing all round,
    Because Women are cheap, and there's heaps to be found,
    Won't it come to this, sooner or later, my boy,
    That the most of us chaps will be out of employ,
    Whilst the Women will do all the work there's to do,
    And keep us, and the kids, on about half our "screw"?
    Who's a-going to gain by that there but the boss?
    And for everyone else it is bound to be loss.
    A nice pooty look-out! Oh, I know what they say--
    That the women work better than us for less pay,
    And are much less the slaves of the pint and the pot,
    What's that got to do with it? All tommy rot!
    We have all got to live, and if women-folk choose
    To collar our cribs or to cut down our screws,
    _They_ will have to be bread-winners, leaving us chaps
    To darn stockings at home with the kids on our laps.
    Well, I hope as they'll like it. I tell you what, neighbour,
    The world's being ruined by petticoat labour.
    Besides, Mate, in spite of this Woman's Rights fuss,
    Work don't make 'em better _as_ women, but wuss.
    It mucks 'em for marriage, and spiles 'em for home,
    'Cos their notion of life is to racket and roam.
    Just look at that work-girl there, her with the fringe!
    She's a nice pooty specimen! Makes a chap cringe
    To think of that flashy young chit as a wife.
    That's what cheap woman labour will do for our life.
    Oh, give 'em the Vote, and the breeks, while you're at it,
    Make 'em soldiers, and Bobbies, and bosses. But, drat it,
    If this blessed new-fangled game's to prewail,
    I pities the beggar who's born a poor Male!

Against these arguments, illustrative of a certain habit of mind, which
at best excite a grudging acknowledgment of their coarse common sense,
one may set the "Dream of Unfairly Treated Women" (after Tennyson) in
1890, describing the hardships of sempstresses, governesses, "slaveys"
and shop-girls, the victims of sweating, greed, and worse, which
unhappily were all too prevalent so recently as thirty years ago.

_Punch_, in fine, exhibits through this period a progressive
acknowledgment of women's claims to be regarded as an intelligent
being, tempered by moments of reaction. In 1875 he has a picture of an
evening party at which all the men are anxious to be introduced to the
wonderful Miss Pynke, that _rara avis_ "who has never written a novel
or contributed to a magazine." In 1887 the "score" is given to the
professor in his retort to the "high-brow" lady:--

  MISS HYPATIA: "Yes, now that we are gradually educating
  ourselves up to your level, you Men ought at least to meet us

  THE PROFESSOR: "Meet you halfway? How? By gradually
  _un_educating ourselves down to yours?"

[Sidenote: _Feline Amenities_]

In 1890, again, the amusing series of "Feline amenities" continued
for some years, though they are a tribute to the wit of women, are
invariably based on a denial of the quality of magnanimity. In this
context I am minded to include a curiosity, dating from the year
1886, in the shape of an imaginary letter signed "Elizabeth Fry
Romper," which is of interest as showing the change in the attitude of
philanthropic women during the century. The writer describes how "of
course on the hottest day of the whole summer" she was told off to take
a lot of Sunday school girls for "a day in the country" to Greenwich,
"which is supposed to have an elevating effect upon them for the rest
of the year." Of all the disagreeable things she ever has to do, this
is "far the worst." The picture given is decidedly realistic:--

  It is no joke waiting for an hour at a suburban station, with eighty
  "young girls"--_real_ young girls--pouring in by detachments, all in
  the wildest state of excitement, and decked with the entire contents
  of their jewel-cases. Of course, the first thing they did was to
  rush, helter-skelter, into a wrong train, and all the railway staff
  hardly sufficed to pull them out again before the train started. I
  had a whole compartment to look after, and felt rather nervous at
  the thought that the next one was filled with men--smoking shocking
  tobacco, by the way--and that the _talk_ was distinctly _audible_.

  I was truly thankful to reach Greenwich, and trusted that the girls
  might be fully occupied in getting tea, and that the heavy cake might
  calm down their excitement a little. So we all set to with a great
  deal of unnecessary bustle, and were flattering our elderly hearts
  that everything was going off splendidly, when, on the bell being
  rung--we had brought one on purpose--for the girls to be seated, the
  Superintendent looked round for the head girl to lead the singing
  grace. Instead of pious music of any sort, our ears were greeted with
  a shout of discordant laughter, which was found to proceed from some
  broken ground in the distance, where the _whole_ of our first class
  were engaged in playing _Kiss in the Ring_ with a party of soldiers
  from the neighbouring barracks. My dear, if you could have seen
  the picture, you would never have forgotten it. I thought I should
  have died of laughing on the spot. The hot, dishevelled, romping
  girls, and the smart soldiers, quite unconscious of the awful face
  of the Superintendent, as she advanced towards them, and the way the
  damsels scuttered off as she let fall a few words of rebuke--it was
  the funniest thing I ever saw. She succeeded in driving her flock,
  sheepish but giggling, before her; all but one, who stoutly declined
  to leave her soldier, declaring she didn't want no tea, but would 'ave
  a spree in the merry-go-round with 'im. A separation was ultimately
  effected, but the gloom that hung over that meal I never shall forget.
  It was a mercy everyone else took it so seriously, or I couldn't have
  held out; as it was, when I got home, I laughed myself nearly into a

The combination of duty, detachment and a sense of humour is not
commonly credited to Victorian girls. But the problems that had to be
tackled were very much the same, and so was human nature.


Hasty generalizations from the study of _Punch_ throughout this period
might easily lead one to the conclusion that the two great evils
in national education were the craze for athletics in Public and
Preparatory, and over-pressure in Board and Elementary, Schools. A
more detailed examination of his pages tends to correct or modify this
view. _Punch_ was in the main a firm believer in the public school
system as an instrument of character-building, and he was no enemy
of the ladder of learning which had been erected by Forster's Act of
1871. But while he detested snobbery, extravagance and complacent
Philistinism, he was by no means satisfied that the State was getting
good value for its constantly increasing expenditure on education. Thus
to take the Elementary schools first, we find continual references,
mostly unfavourable, to the administration and working of the Board
School System. In 1875 he falls foul of the pedantry of over-zealous
officials--the red-tape methods of inspectors, and the action of
visitors who sent children back to school before they were free
from infection. These inquisitorial activities roused _Punch's_ old
democratic sympathies, and some ten years later we find him suggesting
that a similar method might fairly be applied to the upper and upper
middle classes--that what was sauce for the goose in the slums might be
served up to the gander in the squares.

[Illustration: PREDESTINED!

NORTHERN MATRON (before the School Board): "I'm not against
Eddication, Ladies and Gen'l'men. I al'ays make him take his Book o'
nights. But reelly I calls it a flyin' in the face o' Providence to be
keepin' a Boy out o' the Stables with such a pair o' Legs as his'n!!"]

In the series of articles on "Education Made Easy" in 1887, _Punch_
sympathizes with the mothers who were constantly harried by "attendance
officers" for neglecting to send their children to the Board Schools.
Ignorance was a great evil, but the Board Schools were attempting too
much. The essentials were not thoroughly taught; pupil-teachers were
overworked; there was too much of the 'ologies, and the three R's
were in danger of going to the wall. The reactionary protest against
the teaching of music--"We don't want Grisis at Board Schools"--is
ironical; but _Punch_ espoused the cause of those who condemned
over-cramming in Board Schools, and based their crusade on Sir James
Crichton-Browne's Report on over-pressure in 1884. But his great point
was that there was too much teaching of the things that did not matter.
His "Indignant Ratepayer" in 1887 welcomes the decision of the London
School Board to hold an inquiry into the curriculum of their schools.
The special committee were also to report "whether such changes can
be made as shall secure that children leaving school shall be more
fitted than they now are to perform the duties and work of life before
them." One of the speakers had declared that "the boys educated in
public elementary schools scorned all handicraft work, and wanted to be
clerks, while girls in like-manner scorned all domestic service." The
"Indignant Ratepayer" congratulated the School Board on turning over a
new leaf, though it had taken them sixteen years to realize that they
were on the wrong tack.

[Sidenote: _Indignant Ratepayers_]

A week later _Punch_ published another letter from another "Indignant
Ratepayer," deprecating the congratulations as premature and

  I, too, _Mr. Punch_, am a ratepayer; I have seen my rates trebled
  since the creation of the School Board; and I am now told that I ought
  to thank my stars that, after sixteen years' work, they have at length
  displayed a glimmering of common sense. There seems to be something
  ominous in this term of sixteen years, for it appears that it is just
  for this period that we have been supplying the Army with bayonets
  that won't stab, and the Navy with cutlasses that won't cut. We are
  always calling ourselves, though nobody else does, a practical people.
  But what care we for the opinion of our neighbours, so long as we are
  happy in the calm contemplation of our superiority?

  "The unexpected always happens," so said Beaconsfield, and it seems
  he was right, for who would have ever dreamed that the School Board
  would have ever made such a confession? But although they confessed
  much, they did not confess all. They said nothing of the numberless
  half-starved children whose health has been impaired or ruined by the
  tasks imposed upon them. Nothing of the hundreds of thousands spent in
  bullying and worrying their poor parents. Nothing of the money spent
  in endless litigation. On all such subjects the Board are discreetly
  silent. They draw attention only to the outcome of their labours,
  namely the boys and girls whose education has been completed--the
  survival of the fittest in short--but who are fit for nothing.

  "No handicraft work for the boys, no domestic service for the girls."
  The boys all want to be clerks; what the girls want to be we are not
  informed, but domestic service is not to be thought of, so the sooner
  my wife and daughters take to such work the better. And for this
  have I paid trebled rates. For this have we been passing Code after
  Code, and fixing Standard after Standard, to find at last that the
  whole work must be begun afresh. I too am indignant, as well as your
  Correspondent, not that the School Board have been telling the truth,
  but that they have been so long in telling it.

  I protest against my money having been spent in injuring the health of
  half the poor children of London, and of injuring the morals of the
  other half.

_Punch_ was ready to give a hearing to economists who really felt the
burden, but he had no sympathy with the "old gang" of City Fathers
who were frankly obscurantist on the subject of education, while they
were proud of having dined and wined themselves into the possession of
"first class stomachs":--


  That not particularly learned body which rejoices in the name of the
  Commissioners of Sewers of the City of London, held a Special Meeting
  at the Guildhall last week, to discuss the terribly extravagant
  conduct of the London School Board in adding one penny in the pound to
  the amount of the rate to be levied in the wealthy City of London for
  the ensuing year. Much burning eloquence, of the peculiar City type,
  was used on the occasion, and a statement by one highly excited member
  that there were no fewer than 313 Board Schools in the Metropolis in
  which the great work of education was being successfully carried on,
  and that the cry was still for more, was received with as terrible a
  groan of horror as if it had been announced, on authority, that there
  were to be no more "Cakes and Ale" for the Sewage Commissioners.

  In vain was it stated by those who, apparently, love light rather than
  darkness, that whereas the population of London some ten or twenty
  years ago was one of the most ignorant of any capital of Europe, it
  was now, thanks to the School Board, assuming its proper place in this
  respect, by giving all its children a good education. They were met by
  a shout of derision from an angry Commissioner, who demanded to know
  "why they didn't try to teach a cow to win the Derby," which brilliant
  interrogation elicited great applause.

  In vain was it suggested that this sudden affectation of sympathy
  with the poor Ratepayer for having to pay this additional penny for
  education, was but a blind to screen their own increased rate of
  double the amount, for a purpose of not one-tenth the importance.
  The Sewage Commissioners listened with impatience, reserving their
  enthusiastic approbation for the very demonstrative gentleman who
  addressed them after their own heart; and in language that all could
  understand and thoroughly sympathise with. He was quite willing,
  generous soul, that the poor children should have bread, but what he
  objected to was rumpsteaks! and he concluded his brilliant oration
  with the following magnificent peroration:--"Everybody should have
  his meal, but he must have a stomach of the highest class before they
  could give him turtle soup and port wine!"

  Who but a member of the City Corporation could have contrived, when
  discussing the question of the education of the Poor, to have brought
  in those two gods of his idolatry, turtle soup and port wine? And in
  combination too!

[Sidenote: _Under-feeding and Under-housing_]

[Illustration: PROGRESS

YOUNG RUSTIC: "Gran'fa'r, who was Shylock?"

SENIOR (_after a pause_): "Lauk a' mussy, boy, yeou goo to
Sunday Skewl, and don't know that!"]

This well-merited castigation preceded the protests of the "Indignant
Ratepayers" by a couple of years, but it is more truly representative
of _Punch's_ convictions on the main question. We had to educate our
masters, and we must not squeal over the bill--provided the education
was sound. On that point _Punch_ was by no means satisfied, and in 1887
he invokes the testimony of the British workmen, who is made to protest
against the unpractical nature of modern education, and the undue
prominence assigned to the 'ologies and 'ometries. A cartoon in 1888
represents Education betrayed by its "friends"--pedantry and jobbery.
Over-pressure was aggravated by under-feeding and under-housing.
As for the former, _Punch_ prints an East End remonstrance against
the penny rate: "When we wants daily bread it ain't any good saying
you only wants 'that there penny.'" But the steady growth of State
expenditure on education is resented on the ground that it was
devoted to inappropriate or unnecessary objects. In 1891 _Punch_
publishes a forecast of the Exasperated Public protesting against
the ever-increasing extravagance of the London School Board, who have
taken to building observatories and raised the salaries of elementary
teachers to £2,500 a year.

This is burlesque, but there is criticism and dissatisfaction at the
back of it. So when the Bill providing for "assisted" (i.e. Free)
Education, for which the Budget surplus of £2,000,000 was to be
devoted, was introduced in the same year, _Punch_ represented the
cross-currents of the Unionist Party in his cartoon. Mother Goschen,
the Chancellor of the Exchequer, is seen introducing her adopted
child (Free Education), whom she had found in Birmingham, to the Old
Tory Party (Mrs. Gamp), who doesn't like the looks of him at all.
But Goschen carried his point--that the Government were pledged to
alleviate the burden which compulsory education had, in recent years,
imposed upon the poorer portion of the people; and by September 1 the
free education proposals of the Government were generally adopted
throughout the country by both Board and Voluntary Schools.

The old question of corporal punishment comes up in 1880 and 1881, but
in a new light. There was "one law for the rich and another for the
poor," but here, at any rate, it could not be maintained that the poor
were oppressed. Already flogging was only commonly resorted to in the
schools for the upper classes, and _Punch_ emphasizes the contrast in
his dialogue between the Peer and the Peasant. The Peasant observes
that when he is tapped over the head with a cane, his mother goes and
bashes the teacher over the head with the poker and gets him fired
for assaulting her son. The Peer, on the other hand, owns to having
been "swished" four times in a fortnight without attempting reprisals.
Whereupon the Peasant suggests that he should have sent _his_ mother
to go and bang his old master. If _Punch_ is to be believed, conflicts
between teachers and parents were pretty frequent at this time. They
are not unknown even to-day; but parents are less inclined to take the
law into their own hands.

[Sidenote: _Literature and Crime_]

The education of the million, however, was not confined to school
hours, and with the decline of illiteracy the growth of the reading
habit brought its perils as well as its privileges. Juvenile
criminality was no longer the result of ignorance and neglect--at least
to the same extent. _Punch_ was inclined to trace the evil largely to
the low tone of the cheap literature provided for the young. In the
Diary of a Boy Burglar in 1886, his downfall is ascribed to his putting
into practice the principles imbibed by a perusal of _Jack Sheppard_.
A somewhat alarmist article in the _Fortnightly Review_ on "What Boys
Read" declared that while many boys' books were healthy and helpful,
the majority of the journals supplied for the children of the working
classes were devoid of every element of sweetness and light. "They are
filled with stories of blood and revenge, of passion and cruelty, as
improbable and almost impossible in plot as they are contemptible in
literary execution."

The solution of the matter by Press censorship, advocated by the
writer, presented difficulties which _Punch_ did not shirk, and his own
views, though strong, are tempered by sound common sense:--

  Ainsworth's story may serve the turn of an Opéra-bouffe Librettist,
  and the scamp himself be played by a sprightly actress without much
  harm being done to anybody. _Jack Sheppard_, for instance, ought not
  to be sanctioned by the Licenser any more than _Claude Duval_, _Dick
  Turpin_, or any other drama of a like kind, of which the recognized
  motive is the veiled incentive to crime. Still, a raid on Harrison
  Ainsworth, notwithstanding the acknowledged mischief that has been
  done to the young and ignorant by a perusal of his cracksman's
  romance, would scarcely be the same thing, and yet the cases are
  sufficiently parallel to admit at least of argument. We should be
  inclined to suppress such romances as _Jack Sheppard_, _Rookwood_,
  Bulwer's _Claude Duval_, and also _Eugene Aram_, which was so severely
  and so justly satirized by Thackeray in _Mr. Punch's_ pages. For the
  truth about Jack Sheppard our readers have only to refer to one of the
  earliest volumes of _Mr. Punch's_ series, where they will find his
  character as described by Ainsworth, and his true character as given
  in the Newgate Calendar, displayed side by side in parallel columns.
  _There was no sort of romance about the real Jack Sheppard._

  Meantime, for want of a better remedy to meet the evil, let parents
  and guardians, and those who have charge and direction of the
  young idea, keep their eyes open and have a special regard to the
  direction in which it shows inclination to shoot. It is just as
  ready to derive its nutriment from the "penny healthful," as from
  the "penny dreadful," and as a mere matter of commercial enterprise,
  the former could be as easily forthcoming and available as the
  latter. Philanthropy is continually actively busying itself about
  the education of the young--here is something practical for it to
  do--let it look to the quality of its _Magazine literature_. It wants
  some energy and some capital, but both in these days ought to be
  forthcoming. To drive the penny dreadful out of the literary field is
  not a task beyond the powers of organization and enterprise. And it is
  in this direction that the first steps will be taken in the material
  and moral amelioration of "What boys read."

The subject recurs in 1889 and 1890, when sensational juvenile
literature is again denounced; but the new stories are more
vigorously condemned than the old, and the Ghost of Jack Sheppard,
in a conversation with the Shade of Dick Turpin, scouts the notion
that _they_ could upset the minds of the young. Why, they weren't in
it with the papers read by everyone everywhere! _Punch_ vigorously
supported the efforts of those who sought to abate the evils of child
insurance, and welcomed the intervention of Magee, then Archbishop of
York, who died while on a visit to London to attend a Committee of
the House of Lords on his Infant Insurance Bill, in May, 1891. But
when the Prevention of Cruelty Bill was in Committee in the summer of
1887, _Punch_ strongly supported the Attorney-General's amendment to
omit from the Bill the words prohibiting the employment of children
under ten in theatres and licensed places of public entertainment. Mr.
Mundella, who was in charge of the Bill, accepted the amendment, but
"Dick Temple, Sam Smith and other superlatively good people objected,"
and it was defeated both in the Committee and the Report stages, to
_Punch's_ undisguised annoyance. After the Bill became law in July,
he added "one word more," and his arguments, if not convincing, are
at least consistent with his life-long sympathy with the professional

[Sidenote: _The Stage and Education_]

  Well-intentioned persons do a heap of mischief, and talk and write a
  lot of nonsense about what they don't understand. There are dangers to
  morality ("who deniges of it?") in the Theatrical Profession, as in
  every other profession; but these affect the amateur, and those who
  go on the stage late in life, not those who are to the manner born.
  The loves of poor, honest, hard-working theatrical families, where the
  sons and daughters obtain theatrical employment at an early age, are
  thoroughly respectable. Their stage-work is not only compatible with
  their receiving a sound education, but is a complement of it. Habits
  of strict discipline, cleanliness, and domestic thrift are inculcated;
  the little children, from the biggest down to "the Widow's Mites"
  engaged in a Pantomime, are seldom sick, and never sorry, but do their
  work with pleasure, and would probably be willing to undertake even
  "more study," rather than be deprived of their theatrical employment
  which brings in the money, pays the school, and helps to keep a happy
  family together under one roof, which, "be it never so 'umble," is
  styled by that dear old English word "home"--and there is no place
  like it. The efforts of those who would exclude children under ten
  from theatrical work may cause great misery and break up many such
  happy homes. We say this in serious earnest, and, from practical
  experience, we do know what we are talking about.

_Punch_ resented pedantic, official, or fussy interference with
children whether at work or play. A Children's Party at the Mansion
House in January, 1881, provokes well-merited ridicule. No mixed
dancing was allowed; the only diversion was provided by some "hideous
negro entertainers" and, by way of compensation, a sermon by Mr.
Spurgeon! After 11.30 P.M. young ladies were allowed to dance,
but _only_ with young ladies; and the young gentlemen with young
gentlemen. At the same time _Punch_ was a believer in the cane, when
administered with discretion, and a resolute discourager of precocity.
The full-page illustration in the _Almanack_ of 1884, "Education's
Frankenstein," representing the omniscient child of the future, ruining
all professions, as everyone can do everything, is an extravagant
burlesque, but it foreshadows the complaints we have had of late of
the "unfair competition" of the infant author and artist with the
adult practitioner. In 1885 Du Maurier's Child of the Period gravely
rebukes her grandmother who speaks of a "puff-puff"--"The locomotive, I
suppose you mean, grandmamma." But this is a form of joke which recurs
throughout the ages.

_Punch's_ "Winter Exhibition of the Works of Young Masters" in 1888 is
a really illuminating piece of prophetic satire. The exhibitors are all
children, and the works shown all belong to the Nursery Period. We may
take one example:--

  Billy Bolaine, born 1868, flourished 1880-2. No. 3. _Landscape, with
  horse, ducks and figures._ Silvery effect of about eight o'clock in
  the morning anywhere. The animals have given rise to some discussion,
  but the general impression seems to be that the artist, who never
  depicted anything without a subtle meaning, originally intended at
  least one of them for a cow.

Altogether this is an excellent skit on the critics who greet all the
efforts of the young with a foolish voice of praise. Self-conscious,
aggressive and complacent precocity _Punch_ could not endure; the small
American child who treats a bishop, who had endeavoured to repress
him, as a back number, is clearly regarded as a nuisance. But in his
plea for the unhappy infant prodigy _Punch_ recognized it as a real
grievance that child performers were overworked by over-practising and
continual travelling. In 1888 it was borne in upon him that, whether
from the engrossing nature of modern girls' and boys' occupations, or
their preference for contemporary and realistic fiction, the study of
Fairy Tales and Nursery Lore was fast falling into neglect if not into
positive contempt. To avert what he considered a national calamity, he
felt it his duty to suggest to parents that no child should be allowed
on any pretext in future to leave the Nursery for School until it had
passed an examination in these subjects.

[Sidenote: _Fairy Tale Test Papers_]

_Punch's_ test papers are all excellent, but I can only find room for
the General and the Pantomime Papers:--

                        CRITICAL AND GENERAL.

  1. What is your opinion of the intelligence of Giants as a race? Of
  what substance were they in the habit of making their bread? Would you
  draw any and what distinction between (a) Giants and Giantesses, (b)
  Ogres and Ogresses, (c) a Mamma Ogress and her daughters?

  2. What is a Roc? What do Rocs feed on? If you were on the edge of
  steep cliffs surrounding an inaccessible valley, strewn with diamonds
  and visited by Rocs--how would you proceed in order to obtain some of
  those diamonds? Give the reply of the Slave of the Lamp to Aladdin's
  request that a Roc's egg should be hung up in his dome.

  3. Mention instances when (a) a Wolf, (b) a Bear, (c) a Cat, (d) a
  Harp, are recorded to have spoken, and give the substance of their
  remarks, when possible, in each case.

  4. Write down the name of any hero you can remember who suffered
  inconvenience from (a) the imprudence, (b) the disobedience, of his

  5. How would you act if you were invited to go to a party on the
  opposite side of the way, and had nothing to go in but a pair of
  Seven-Leagued Boots? Compare the drawbacks and advantages of going to
  a State Ball in glass slippers.

  6. State which family you would rather belong to: One in which
  there was (i.) a Wicked Uncle, (ii.) an Envious Sister, (iii.) a
  Jealous Brother, or (iv.) a Cruel Stepmother? Give your reasons, and
  illustrate them by examples. How many Wicked Uncles do you remember to
  have read of? Are Wicked Uncles ever sorry, and, if so, when?

  7. Give any instances that occur to you where it is stated that the
  chief personages of the story "all lived happily ever afterwards." Are
  there any exceptions to this rule?

                           PANTOMIME PAPER.

  (Optional, and for those Students only who may decide to "take up"
  this branch of the subject.)

  1. Did the manners, language, and general deportment of the various
  Kings and Queens you have seen in Pantomimes correspond at all with
  what you had expected them to be from the books?

  2. Mention any fairy tale in which (1) long ballets, (2) allusions
  to subjects in last year's papers, (3) jokes about "drinks" and
  "pawn-tickets," (4) comic duets which you didn't quite understand, and
  (5) men dressed up in women's clothes, occur. Mention (if you can) any
  Pantomime in which they do not.

  3. Were you surprised to hear at Drury Lane that the King who
  befriended the Marquis of Carabas was originally a Potman? Do you
  remember this in the original text?

  4. Why do you suppose that the Wicked Brothers in this year's
  Pantomime were frightened by green snakes, pink lizards, and enormous
  frogs? Did their own explanation that they had "the jumps" convey much
  to your mind? Did this scene make you laugh?

  5. Give as clear and intelligible an account as you are able of the
  story of any one Pantomime you have been to, mentioning where--if at
  all--it departed from the version you have studied, and whether or
  not you considered such departures (if any) to be improvements.

  6. Investigate the principal peculiarities of Pantomime Animals. How
  do they chiefly differ from other animals? Describe the effect of
  kindness upon a Pantomime Donkey, and account for it.

  N.B.--Not more than four questions need be attempted in each of
  the above papers. Candidates are advised not to leave any question
  unattempted from a mere inability to answer every part of such

The Pantomime Paper conveys some excellent dramatic criticism, which is
needed as much to-day as thirty years ago, but it may be permitted to
stand in this educational context. As a counterblast to the charge of
indifference towards fairy tales on the part of the modern child, it is
only right to add that in 1892 Du Maurier's picture, "A Warning," shows
a touching belief in the actuality of Bluebeard:--

  ARCHIE (to his Sister, who has been reading him Fairy Tales):
  "Won't there be a lot of Us, if none of us go and get married? Worse
  than Hop-o'-my-Thumb!"

  SISTER: "Yes; but you know I mean to be married!"

  ARCHIE: "Do you mean to say you'd go and live alone with a
  Man after reading Bluebeard?"

When we turn to the Public and Preparatory Schools we find that
_Punch's_ criticisms resolve themselves into a triple indictment of
their costliness, their curriculum and their undue exaltation of
athletics. The attack on the athletic craze begins in 1875, when
_Punch_ published an imaginary Report of a boy's work for 1895 at St.
Paul's, Eastminster, which deals with nothing but his progress at games
and sports.

[Sidenote: _The Fetish of Games_]

The charge had a good deal to justify it, but the choice of a name was
not happy, since Colet's famous foundation has in its recent phase
never invited criticism on the score of any slackness in studious
industry. _Punch_ renews the attack more than once. In 1880, in a
burlesque account of a Prize Day, brain-work is just tolerated;
athletic prowess is the only thing really encouraged and rewarded. Yet
simultaneously we encounter Master Freddy from Eton, who considers that
energy of any sort is "bad form." "Good form," in _Punch's_ view,
might easily degenerate into a snobbish fetish, and in one of his
"International Comparisons," in the _Almanack_ of 1879, he emphasizes
the comprehensiveness of French public schools as contrasted with the
class distinctions observed in England. It was in the same year that an
inquiry was held into the administration of Wellington College and the
alleged departure from the intentions of the founders. _Punch_ took the
line that what was meant to be a military orphanage had become a rather
costly public school of the common type, and noted that Mr. Gladstone
defended the change because Benson, his son-in-law, was head master.
This was a partial error. Gladstone's son-in-law was Wickham, who had
succeeded Benson as head master. But the sting remained. _Punch_, it
may be added, was thoroughly consistent in his attitude of antagonism
to the diversion of old foundations from their original aims.

[Illustration: THE NEW TYRANNY

"Of course you needn't _Work_, Fitzmilksoppe; but _Play_ you _must_ and

The costly inefficiency of the public schools came up again in 1880, _à
propos_ of a correspondence in _The Times_, in which a "disappointed
mother" recounted the experience of her two sons who, on leaving a
public school at the age of nineteen, had forgotten all they knew
before they went there:--

  Hence a justly "Disappointed Mother" naturally enough concludes that
  "_Our great schools want inspection sadly_." Experience has certainly
  given her some cause to compare them unfavourably with private
  schools; although as to the latter she generalizes rather widely in
  saying that they "must teach, or close." Too many of them do neither.

  Her boys, at any rate, both of them learned at a Private Boarding
  School enough to enable them to pass the Junior Oxford Local
  Examination at an early age. Unquestionably they were taught so much;
  but then how were they taught it? In such a style that they have now,
  at an adult age, to be taught it over again.

  So it seems that a "Disappointed Mother's" two sons were educated
  at the Private Boarding School as the bottles are aërated in a
  soda-water manufactory. Information must have been forced into the
  former as carbonic acid gas is pumped into the latter. The gas is
  retained in the bottles whilst corked down, but escapes on the
  removal of pressure; so, if the boyish minds are left open, their
  school-learning, set free from forcible compression, goes off in
  youthful effervescence. Admirable system, by which our youth at an
  early age are enabled to pass the examinations, for which at maturer
  years they have to be crammed all over again!

[Sidenote: _Classics v. Commerce_]

The inspection of public schools has remained a subject of acute
controversy ever since; and it is not clear whether _Punch's_ approval
would have extended to Government inspection. It was in the same year,
by the way, that Du Maurier illustrated the dialogue between Sir
Gorgius Midas and an aristocratic Colonel. Sir Gorgius's main regret
was that he had never been at a public school; the Colonel, who was
once at Eton, laments that he suffers from a neglected education.
Burnand, who succeeded to the editorship of _Punch_ in 1880, was also
an old Etonian, but was not on that account prepared to grant his old
school a complete immunity from criticism. The "Diary of a Present
Etonian," which appeared in 1885, is in the main jocularly descriptive,
but illustrates a prevalent Philistinism, the habits of ragging and
borrowing money, and tells of a week with only one whole school-day
and two whole holidays. Yet while fully alive to the waste of time and
money which went on at the public schools, _Punch_ was very far from
embracing the creed of the revolutionary utilitarians who would scrap
the old curriculum wholesale. In 1887 he printed an ironic account of
the "Public School of the Future," thoroughly impregnated with the
Commercial Spirit. The hero, the new "Tom Brown," develops a talent for
finance so remarkable that his father longs to see him loose on the
Stock Exchange.

_Punch_ did not believe in compulsory classics, because he disliked
dons, pedants and academics; but in his parody of "The Isles of Greece"
from the point of view of a British schoolboy, he made it abundantly
clear that he had no love of the purely commercial "bread-study" view
of Education:--

    Oh feed me not on mythic lore,
      But Science and the Modern Fact;
    Teach me Electric Fires to store,
      The difference 'twixt "Bill" and "Act."
    Why should a Cockney care a "cuss"
    For Homer or for Æschylus?

    For who _are_ they? But what art thou,
      My Country? On thy fertile shore
    The heroic lyre is tuneless now;
      To scheme for dividends, dig for ore,
    _These_ are the things we hold divine,
    Not Homer's long-resounding line.

In dealing with University Education _Punch_ maintained his attitude
of a moderate reformer. Keble College, Oxford, dates from 1870; in
1878 _Punch_ twice over displays a keen hostility to the Anglican
spirit of its founders and the "gingerbread and gilt" of Butterfield's
architecture. He seizes the occasion to belittle Keble's poetry, to
attack Pusey, Burgon and Liddon, and to describe the college in the
following contemptuous quatrain:--

    Half withdrawn in ways ascetic,
      Half with modern notions stirring;
    Half athletic, half æsthetic,
      Neither fish, flesh nor red herring.

_Punch_ did not share the late Canon Liddon's pessimism over the new
Science degree at Oxford in 1879. Liddon is quoted as saying that
without the habits of exactness and precision acquired by classical
studies it was impossible to reach the higher characteristics of
an educated man. The argument was naturally resented by those who
maintained that "exactness and precision" were precisely the qualities
inculcated by scientific training, and in an ironical dialogue _Punch_
derides specialization as compared with the "humanities." In 1885 the
neglect of English literature at the older Universities is satirized in
the picture of the undergraduate reading out his illiterate letter, in
which the first and third persons are hopelessly mixed up.

In 1886 the spread of free education to the Universities is
foreshadowed in a description of the Slade Professor at Oxford
lecturing to a mixed audience of coal-heavers and undergraduates;
and the "Progressists' Calendar" indicates a revolt of Ratepayers
against their new burdens. In the same year the "Studies from
_Punch's_ Studio" include a portrait of the new type of University
don. "Wyckham of Jude's," who displays much versatile energy and
a wide range of interests--athletics, music, philosophy, Browning
and psychical research--ultimately goes to Australia as a Professor
of Greek. The reference to "Eleutheria Hall" foreshadows Ruskin
College, which was founded in 1899, and in other ways _Punch's_
fancy portraiture illustrates the changes which had come over the
spirit of Oxford's dream. We note, for example, the allusion to the
new cosmopolitanism--the invasion of foreigners, white and coloured,
anticipating the time some thirty years later which gave birth to one
of the best of modern Oxford anecdotes. A film was being exhibited
showing a large canoe manned by Hawaiian natives, whereon a voice arose
from the audience, "Well rowed, Balliol!"

[Sidenote: _The Value of Modern Languages_]

The proposal, since realized, to introduce Agriculture as a subject
for study at Oxford is jocularly treated early in 1887 in the form of
a diary of a candidate who is ploughed for his unorthodox views on
potato culture. As for modern languages, the advantages of a foreign
education--social and artistic as well as commercial--are excellently
summed up in the same year in Du Maurier's picture of the industrious
and accomplished young man from Hamburg, who is not only a skilled
pianist but can speak six languages, live on a pound a week, work
eighteen hours out of the twenty-four, and do without a holiday!

       *       *       *       *       *


YOUNG MÜLLER (from Hamburg) accompanies the Miss Goldmores in
some of Rubinstein's lovely duets--to the envy and disgust of Brown,
Jones, and Robinson. (N.B.--Young Müller can also speak six languages,
live on a pound a week, work eighteen hours out of twenty-four, and do
without a holiday.)]

In 1875 _Punch_ dwelt sympathetically on the still surviving prevalence
of classical learning amongst statesmen. The occasion was furnished by
Disraeli's florid eulogy of the imagination of the English School of
Art at the Royal Academy banquet:--

                     "HE TOO WAS BORN IN ARCADIA"

           (Matthew Arnold on Disraeli at the R.A. Dinner).

    Born in Arcadia! Ay, he knew
    Pan's cloven foot-print on the dew,
    And heard, the mystic woods across,
    Aigipod[=e]s, Philokrotos,
    "The bright-haired god of pastoral,"[4]
    With pipings to his wood-nymphs call.
    Yes, but a nobler sound there came--
    The clarion of imperial Fame,
    By which our greatest are withdrawn
    From the serene Arcadian lawn.

    Derby and Gladstone felt the breeze
    That urged their sails to Homer's seas;
    Yet in the Senate found their fate,
    And drank the hot wine of debate.
    Perish the thought that England's realm
    Should e'er have dullards at the helm!
    Far from us be the stolid serf
    Who ne'er has trod Arcadian turf,
    Nor heard, amid the glimmering trees,
    Pan's happy Orestiades.

 [Footnote 4: Chapman: Homeric Hymns.]

  Probably the exigencies of the metre are responsible for the strange
  lapse which made _Punch_ substitute "Orestiades" for "Oreades." Greek
  was not then in the "last ditch," though the following advertisement,
  which _Punch_ reproduces in the same year, seems to show that its
  study did not conduce to opulence:--

  A Bachelor, elderly and somewhat infirm, having a moderate
  acquaintance with the Latin and Greek languages and who is
  likewise expert with a weeding hoe, seeks a HOME and
  EMPLOYMENT. A bracing air and easy access to the services of
  the Church indispensable.--Address, &c.

Nowadays one of our leading literary weeklies talks of the "Hyperion
Spring." But as early as 1891 the question of Compulsory Greek was
attracting a good deal of attention, and _Punch_ sided with _The
Times_ in expressing his disbelief in "protected studies." He also
took occasion to criticize the narrowness of the old curriculum in his
picture deriding the ignorance of Dante shown by classical students. It
is just as well that he heads the picture "Too much Greek," for no good
Virgilian would ever have laid himself open to such a charge.

[Sidenote: _Too Much Greek_]


FIRST CLASSIC: "By the way, hadn't Dante got another Name?"

SECOND CLASSIC: "Yes; Alfieri, I think--or else Alighieri."

FIRST CLASSIC: "Ah, perhaps you're right. I had a notion it
was Gabriel Rossetti, or something!"]

At the beginning of this period _Punch_ undoubtedly showed a good deal
of mistrust of the new methods of elementary education, in so far
as they encouraged literary aspirations among the masses and tended
to convert the artisan into the clerk. At its close he strikes a
different and decidedly more democratic note in his ironical proposed
"inscription for a Free Public Library" under the heading, "_Laissez

    Here is an Institution doomed to scare
    The furious devotees of _Laissez Faire_.
    What mental shock, indeed, could prove immenser
    To Mumbo Jumbo--or to Herbert Spencer?
    Free Books? Reading provided from the Rates?
    Oh, that means Freedom's ruin, and the State's!
    Self-help's all right--e'en if you rob a brother--
    But human creatures must not help each other!
    The "Self-made Man," whom Samuel Smiles so praises,
    Who on his fellows' necks his footing raises,
    The systematic "Sweater," who sucks wealth
    From toiling crowds by cunning and by stealth--
    He is all right, he has no maudlin twist,
    He does not shock the Individualist!
    But rate yourselves to give the poor free reading?
    The Pelican to warm her nestlings bleeding,
    Was no such monument of feeble folly.
    Let folks alone, and all will then be jolly.
    Let the poor perish, let the ignorant sink,
    The tempted tumble, and the drunkard drink!
    Let--no, don't let the low-born robber rob,
    Because--well, that would rather spoil the job.
    If footpad-freedom brooked no interference,
    Of Capital there might be a great clearance;
    But, Wealth well-guarded, let all else alone,
    'Tis thus our race hath to true manhood grown:
    To make the general good the common care,
    Breaks through the sacred law of _Laissez Faire_!

_Laissez Faire_ in the family circle was another matter. The authority
of the father in domestic affairs is represented as still unquestioned
even by the mother as late as 1879. But, just as you can always find
proverbs which are mutually contradictory the one of the other, so
the pages of _Punch_ constantly provide simultaneous illustrations
of opposing tendencies. In the very same year in which the doctrine
of patriarchal rule is shown to be still firmly established, _Punch_
exhibits a highly modern aspect of the relations between the two
generations. Squire Quiverfull's son, who pays 60s. a hundred for his
cigars, rebukes his father for paying 3d. each for _his_: "If I had as
many children to provide for as you, I wouldn't smoke at all."

                       RELIGION AND THE CHURCHES

In the previous volume it was shown how _Punch_ ranged himself on the
side of the determined Protestantism of the mass of the English people
against the growth of Ritualistic opinions and practices in the Church
of England.

The tone of _Punch's_ remonstrances was not always judicious or
considerate, and it would be easy to overrate their influence. Still,
they were not unrepresentative, and undoubtedly played a part in the
movement which led to the introduction in the spring of 1874 of the
Archbishops' Bill for the Regulation of Public Worship. As it was
originally drafted, the directory power as to worship was given to
the Bishop, assisted by a board of Assessors, clerical and lay, with
an appeal to the Archbishop with a Board of Assessors whose decision
should be final. The provisions of the Bill were criticized by Lord
Salisbury, the Bishop of Peterborough, and Lord Shaftesbury, but of the
amendments proposed those of Lord Shaftesbury carried the day, viz.
that an Ecclesiastical Judge should preside in the Courts of Canterbury
and York, to be appointed by the two Archbishops with the approval of
the Crown, and that before this Judge, and not before the Bishop, such
case of complaint, if not dismissed by the Bishop as frivolous, was
to go for trial; one appeal should lie from this Judge to the Privy
Council. These amendments gave the final character to the Act.

So far the Ministers had not committed themselves, and grave
differences of opinion were known to exist in the Cabinet. On the
introduction of the Bill into the Commons further cross-currents were
revealed. Mr. Gladstone declared uncompromising war on the Bill, on the
ground that it was not asked for by the Bishops, and as now modified
was "manufactured not by the two Primates but by members of Parliament
independently of them"; that it lacked weight and authority; and gave
undue powers to indiscreet Bishops. He accordingly formulated six
resolutions embodying the principles which ought to guide legislation
on the subject. Sir William Harcourt followed, vigorously traversing
his late leader's argument, and defending the Bill. His "Erastian
Manifesto" was so favourably received by the House that Disraeli, in a
remarkable speech, made it clear that the Government had adopted the
Bill. It was in this speech that he declared that it "would be wise for
us to rally on the broad platform of the Reformation." As long as the
doctrines relating to the worship of the Virgin, or the Confessional
were held by Roman Catholics, he was prepared to treat them with
reverence. "What I do object to is Mass in masquerade."

The second reading was carried without a division; on the following
day Mr. Gladstone withdrew his resolutions; and large majorities
confirmed the principal clauses in Committee. When the Bill came back
from the Lords, Disraeli gave way on an important amendment dealing
with the question of appeal, which the Commons had introduced and the
Lords had thrown out; he repeated that the Bill was intended "to put
down Ritualism"; incidentally he described Lord Salisbury, who had
repudiated "the bugbear of a majority of the House of Commons," as
"a great master of gibes and flouts and jeers," but appealed to the
House not to fall into the trap and lose the Bill by gratifying their
_amour-propre_. The appeal was not in vain; the Commons without a
division decided not to insist on their amendment, and the Bill which
was appointed to come into operation in July, 1875, was read a third
time on August 3. It is hard to say whether Sir William Harcourt's
panegyrics of Disraeli, or Disraeli's sarcasms at the expense of Lord
Salisbury caused more remark.

[Sidenote: _Gladstone on Vatican Decrees_]

But a more sensational sequel of the debates in Parliament was provided
by Mr. Gladstone's article on Ritualism in the October _Contemporary_
and his pamphlet issued in November on _The Vatican Decrees_. By
the former, in which he insisted on the hopelessness of the attempt
to Romanize the Church and people of England, he provoked the Irish
Romanist journals to fury and indignation. The reverberations of the
_Vatican Decrees_ pamphlet were even wider. For Mr. Gladstone was
not content with assailing the Papal claim to Infallibility: he went
so far as to say that "it was a political misfortune that during the
last thirty years the Roman Catholic Church should have acquired such
an extension of its hold upon the highest classes of this country."
The conquests had been chiefly among women, "but the number of male
converts, or captives (as I might prefer to call them), has not been

Gladstone's challenge was taken up both by Ultramontane and Liberal
Catholic champions, lay and clerical, with the result that the latter
disowned the former, and their conflicting answers revealed an
extraordinary divergence of opinion among the professing members of
the Roman Church. The views of Cardinal Manning and Lord Acton were
irreconcilable; and Manning's circular issued at the end of November
amounted to an excommunication of the followers of Döllinger, the
famous German "modernist" whom Gladstone had visited earlier in the
year, and who had been excommunicated himself in 1871 for refusing to
subscribe to the Vatican decrees. But Döllinger had refused to allow
himself to be consecrated a bishop of the old Catholic Church, and
though by conviction he belonged to the old Catholic Community he never
formally joined them.

The Ultramontane organs in Rome ascribed Gladstone's pamphlet to the
alarm occasioned by the progress Romanism was making in England,
and even hinted that his attacks were designed to clear himself of
the suspicion of hidden Catholicism, which he had incurred by his
conversations with Döllinger. This brief sketch of current theological
controversy in 1874 may assist us in recognizing the incentives which
animated _Punch's_ continued attacks on High Anglicans and Ritualists.
At the close of 1875 he quotes the following from the _Church Times_:--

  "We regret to observe that that 'chartered libertine,' the Dean of
 Westminster, has once more degraded the venerable church which is so
  unfortunate as to be committed to his charge, by making its nave a
lecture room in which Nonconformist Ministers may disport themselves."

The same organ described the service in the Abbey on St. Andrew's Day
as "Dr. Moffatt's entertainment," and _Punch_ asks, "if this is High
Church pleasantry, what is Low?" In 1876, when communion was refused on
account of the would-be communicant's disbelief in the Devil, _Punch_

    The cleric mind in quarrels seems to revel.
    Devil or none, some clerks will play the Devil.

[Illustration: AT THE CATTLE SHOW

(_A Troublesome Lot._)]

The intransigent attitude of the High Church party towards
Nonconformists is condemned with equal frankness when a Cornish vicar
repudiated the title of Reverend as it was "desecrated" by the "carrion
of dissent." In the same year the Rev. Arthur Tooth, of Hatcham, was
inhibited by the Dean of Arches, and _Punch_ warns Mother Church that
she will have no peace till she has got rid of this tooth. The familiar
line of argument is adopted that he was neither a sound Anglican nor a
true Romanist, and his church is called "St. James's (Colney) Hatcham."
Frequent and unflattering allusions to a manual entitled, _The Priest
in Absolution_, occur in 1877; and ironical comment is passed on the
suggestion made in the Lower House of Convocation, that vestments might
be allowed as from a distance they were not distinguishable from a

Mr. Mackonochie's continued recalcitrancy also occupied _Punch's_
attention a good deal in 1877. In December he explains the views on
canonical obedience of the Vicar of St. Alban's, Holborn, as follows:--

  When a Ritualist has gone on too long playing at Popery, he may,
  through impaired biliary function affecting the sensorium, finally
  contract a subjective delusion, induced upon his dominant fixed idea
  that he is his own Pope, etc.

A week later, when Mr. Mackonochie was reported to have withdrawn
into a Retreat, _Punch_ kindly suggests that in earlier ages it
would have been Anticyra--the town celebrated for hellebore, the
chief remedy in antiquity for madness. Later on he gives specimens,
under the heading of "Obedientia Docet," of correspondence from
Mackonochie's Letter Writer to meet the situation of a subaltern
reprimanded by his colonel, a stockbroker replying to a client who
has objected to an investment effected on his credit, etc.--in all
of which insubordination and disregard of orders and instructions
are casuistically defended. On matters of doctrine and discipline
_Punch_ differed acutely from Archdeacon Denison, but he greeted the
publication of his _Notes of My Life_ affectionately, holding the
author to be "most optimist of pessimists, John Bullest of John Bulls."
In 1879 under the heading, "Coronatus, non Pileatus," _Punch_ applauds
Newman's refusal of a cardinal's hat, accompanying his approval with a
back-handed sarcastic reference to Manning, who had accepted the honour
in 1875. Manning's instructions for the observance of Lent are roughly
handled in the lines which end,

    Will the great Lord Cardinal kindly make known
    On what day, if any, our souls are our own?

But this was practically the Swan-song of _Punch's_ no-Popery campaign.
Lord Salisbury, in his speech on the Public Worship Regulation Bill,
had spoken of three schools of religious thought--the Sacramental, the
Emotional and the Philosophical. Henceforth and for a good many years
to come _Punch_ was mainly concerned with the two latter schools, and
most of all with the second. He reverted with undiminished vigour
to his old campaign against the Sabbatarians, but his chief _bête
noire_ was the Salvation Army. Here he was at one with Huxley in
his criticisms on "Corybantic Christianity," but for the rest he
impartially combated the pretensions of scientific dogmatism, of
Agnosticism (which he called the Nothingarian creed) and Positivism. He
warns France against the danger of a purely secularist education:--

    An Atheist's "The Fool"--the Psalmist saith:
      Will France risk such a brood of Fools?
    Irreverent youth, with neither Hope nor Faith,
      Will be the product of your Godless Schools.

[Sidenote: _Sunday Observance_]

He satirizes the advocates of undenominationalism in the picture of the
toy-shop man who declines to supply a Noah's Ark to a lady customer.
He had given up keeping them since School Boards came in: "They was
considered too denominational, M'um."


LADY CUSTOMER: "My little boy wishes for a Noah's Ark. Have
you one?"

TOYMAN: "No, M'um, no. We've given up keeping Noah's
Harks since the School Boards come in. They was considered too
denominational, M'um!"]

As for the keeping of Sunday, _Punch_ eulogizes Canon Basil Wilberforce
for encouraging Sunday bands, and contrasts his tolerance with the
attitude of a Dr. Watts, of Belfast, who objected to Sunday bathing:
"It was not necessary for a man to bath himself every morning. He did
not see, therefore, why it was necessary to open public baths on the
Sabbath morning." The Sunday opening of the picture galleries at the
Royal Manchester Institution proved a conspicuous success in 1880.
Those who opposed the experiment had been, if not silenced, confuted,
and _Punch_ entreated London to follow this excellent lead and not
stand _last_ in the Sunday Race between Public House and Public Gallery.

So when the Tay Bridge disaster was regarded by the Sabbatarian
zealots as a direct judgment on Sunday travelling, _Punch_ dealt with
them as they deserved:--

  One of these self-sufficient judges of judgments, and complacent
  dealers out of denunciations, converting the awful catastrophe
  triumphantly to the account of his own black and bitter creed--in
  which the Almighty figures as a sort of Ashantee Fetish, to be
  propitiated by death and destruction--has no hesitation in putting
  his finger on its immediate cause. Referring to the imprisoned
  passengers--men, women, and little children--many of them known to
  have been on their way to or from errands of friendship, mercy and
  family affection--he asks whether it was not "awful to think" that--

  "They had been carried away when many of them must have known that
  they were transgressing the law of God."

It might do this gentleman some good to reflect that it is possible to
be "carried away" in another fashion, and to transgress a great law of
God--"Judge not that ye be not judged," in a more questionable manner.
To see the professing minister of a religion, of whose virtues one of
its leading Apostles has declared charity the greatest, swept off his
narrow line of literal sectarianism in a hurricane of bitter bigotry,
is suggestive of reflections which, if not exactly "awful," are neither
agreeable nor edifying.

[Sidenote: _Sunday Pastime and Sunday Closing_]

In the lines on "Our Sunday--down East"--permission to include which in
the programme of any Sabbatarian Penny Reading was freely granted by
_Punch_--he writes:--

    Which is the day that _should_ be blest,
    And to the weary, work-opprest,
    Bring wholesome pleasure, peace, and rest?
            Our Sunday.

    Yet which the day of all the seven
    To our sour lives adds sourer leaven,
    And leaves poor folk most far from heaven?
            Our Sunday.

The persistence of the Sabbatarian instinct, even where it was
disregarded, is illustrated in the picture of the young lady on a
railway platform asking her grandfather to hide their rackets: "We
needn't show everybody that we are going to play lawn tennis on a
Sunday afternoon."

When in 1888 Sunday boating was allowed in the parks after church
time, _Punch_ applauds "George Ranger" and Mr. David Plunket for
the _act_ but not the language of the order, which he condemns as
"Pharisaical trash." In the same year a largely signed petition was
laid before the Upper House of Convocation of Canterbury protesting
against the increasing pursuit of Sunday pastime by the "upper and
fashionable classes of Society." _Punch_ ridicules the vagueness of the
protest against "amusing programmes of fun and frolic," and sums up in
these words:--

  Our English Sunday is none too lovely or lively an institution, but
  as yet neither the upper nor the lower classes of English Society
  have shown any tendency, publicly, to desecrate it. When they do, it
  will be time enough, if not for the Upper House of the Convocation of
  Canterbury, at least for the Public Opinion of the country to express
  itself upon the matter. Meantime, grandmotherly interference had
  better let it alone.

_Punch_ had evidently modified his earlier views as to the saving grace
of Sunday dullness in England as compared with the Continental Sunday.
The Bill for the Sunday closing of public-houses introduced in 1889
is dealt with in detail and at great length. The cartoon of "Sunday à
la Pharisee" aims at showing that the habitual toper will not suffer,
but that the decent working-man will be incommoded. It is rather
unfortunate, however, that the latter is shown sending his little girl
to the public-house for his beer. The accompanying verses are founded
on a wonderful fulmination in _The Times_:--

  "To hedge people round with petty restrictions instead of teaching
  them nobility of conduct and a worthy use of liberty, is the perennial
  resource of shallow and incompetent reformers.... A depraved and
  servile human nature, cribbed, cabined and confined by an infinity of
  minute regulations enforced by the policemen, is their reading of the
  social problem.... A small minority occasionally injure themselves
  with bad liquor on Sunday, and these reformers can think of nothing
  better than to forbid the entire Community to drink on Sundays at

_Punch_ descants rhetorically for nearly one hundred lines on Smugby's
Sabbath, fanaticism, Pharisaism, etc., but as a Londoner he had
probably never witnessed the orgies of the Glasgow Fair. He never
failed to insist on the intemperateness of Temperance reformers, but
as a supporter of moderate drinking he was himself often guilty of
immoderate language.

In regard to anti-Semitism, another of his pet aversions in this
period, his record is far less open to criticism. He made a perfectly
fair point in representing men of Jewish extraction as the chief
offenders, for these were the days of the _Libre Parole_, edited by
Drumont, himself a renegade Jew, and of the anti-Semitic campaign in
France which reached its climax in the Dreyfus "affair" in the middle
'nineties. As early as 1881, in one of Du Maurier's pictures, Sir
Gorgius Midas is backed up in a tirade against the Jews by "Baron
von Meyer," who, with the stigmata of his race written all over him,
flatters himself that nobody can suspect his origin. In the cartoon on
the Jewish "pogroms" in Russia in 1882, Humanity, compared to a Portia
who pleads _for_ and not _against_ the Jews, is shown appealing to the
Tsar, who stands with his back turned and arms crossed. How would it
read in English, _Punch_ asks, if our papers contained accounts of the
murdering of Jews and the burning of their houses in Houndsditch, with
the police looking on in amused indifference, and the Home Secretary
sending messages of thanks to the murderers?

In the verses published in January, 1882, "A Cry from Christendom,"
against the old anti-Semitic cry of "Hep! Hep!" _Punch_ indignantly
denounces the hounding down of the Hebrew in the name of the Cross:--

    Oh out on the Tartuffes of Creed! Let the spirit of Christendom
    Plain words of unfaltering truth for the cause of the helpless and

[Sidenote: _Punch's Toleration_]

No warnings of possible retaliation come from _Punch_; such a
possibility did not enter into the calculations of sympathizers with
the oppressed Jews, who were regarded as incapable of effective
resistance. A different aspect of the question is satirized in
references to Society "mariages de convenance" with rich Jewesses,
probably not unconnected with a recent notable alliance between a
distinguished peer and the daughter of a great Jewish house. _Punch's_
general view, however, was that expressed in the saying that "every
country has the Jews which it deserves," and he was ready to admit
that the good English Jews were very good indeed. In 1883 he published
Sambourne's portrait of Sir Moses Montefiore, a Hebrew of the Hebrews,
"who on the 8th day of Chesvan (November 8) entered on the hundredth
year of his blameless, brave and beneficent life"; and when the old man
died in the summer of 1885 _Punch_ paid him farewell homage in these

    Long in the land his days, whose heart and hand
    All high and human causes could command;
    Long in the land his memory will abide
    His country's treasure, and his people's pride.

In 1886 _Punch_ vociferously applauded Dean Bradley, Stanley's
successor, for "his admirable answer to the three fanatical
Protestant-defence Secretaries, who would have forcibly ejected from
Westminster Abbey some Roman Catholics who were saying their private
prayers around the 'strong quadrilateral barrier of bronze,' which, as
stated by Canon Duckworth, protects the tomb of Edward the Confessor
from profane hands." He improves the occasion by some general remarks
aimed at Protestant visitors to Roman Catholic churches on the

  _Mr. Punch_ heartily wishes that the conduct of English Protestants
  visiting the Catholic Churches abroad were anything like as
  inoffensive, and as appropriate to the sacred precincts, as was that
  of the poor benighted Romanists in Westminster Abbey, who, thinking
  that the best use to which a church could be put was to say prayers in
  it, knelt and prayed accordingly.

After rebuking the insolent caddishness of ill-bred British tourists
which not only offended the congregation proper, but scandalized their
decent compatriots, _Punch_ continues:--

  If Dean _Punch_ saw a hundred 'Arrys, Romans or Rum 'uns of any sort,
  praying in Westminster Abbey would he interfere? No, bless 'em,
  certainly not. But if he saw one of them sneaking out a pencil to
  scribble his name on a monument, or attempting to nick a bit out of a
  shrine, or off a tomb, he'd be down upon him then and there, and have
  him up before the nearest police-magistrate charged with "maliciously
  damaging," and fined heavily for the offence, no matter what his
  excellent motive might have been for such wanton destruction. And
  this is what the Dean and Chapter would do, too; for whether it be a
  fanatic on one side or the other, law and order must not be set aside
  in favour of such a rule as "_Omne ignotum pro Fanatico_."

The doctrine is excellent if the language is jocular. But _Punch's_
plea for tolerance is seriously impaired by the virulent hostility with
which he had for years assailed the Salvation Army and its founder. It
is true that he had always discouraged and discountenanced emotional
religion. The visit of Moody and Sankey in 1875 had drawn from him a
set of acid verses on "Missionaries in Motley." After describing their
methods, he continues:--

    Their intent is sincere--let us trust, in all charity--
    But Religion they cloak in the garb of Vulgarity,
    And, under a visor of seeming profanity,
    As comic evangelists, preach Christianity.

    Those discourses of theirs are an exaggeration
    Of the jocular species of pulpit oration,
    Which was brought into vogue by that eminent surgeon
    And physician of souls to the multitude, Spurgeon.
    An impressible people are they that sit under
    These 'cute Boanerges, these smart sons of thunder,
    Who cause them, at will, to sing psalm or doxology
    By an influence much like electro-biology.
    Ira Sankey performs, as a musical Stentor,
    To the _mobile vulgus_ the part of Precentor.
    His remarkable name may suggest the inquiry
    If he ever exhorts them to sing "_Dies Iræ_?"
    _Quorsum hæc_? Can tomfoolery kindle true piety?
    Maybe so. Human nature is fond of variety.
    Mr. Merriman's unctuous sallies might irk us,
    But although a Revival American Circus,
    Ira Clown in the Ring, decent people would anger,
    Couldn't Moody and Sankey join Hengler and Sanger?
    If it didn't conduce much to edification,
    It would probably pay, as a good speculation.

[Sidenote: _Punch and the Salvation Army_]

The verses gave such offence that _Punch_ was moved to publish an
explanation a week later, disclaiming any intention to throw any doubts
on the motives or the sincerity of the American Evangelists, but
maintaining his right to criticize what he honestly believed to be bad
taste in the style and manner of their appeals.

Let it be granted that there was much in the early methods of the
Salvation Army that provoked opposition and caused the judicious
to grieve. The outrageous familiarity with which the most sacred
names and subjects were treated in the _War Cry_; the conversion of
the most popular songs into hymn tunes; the military organization,
uniforms and titles; the "allonging and marshonging" with big drums
and trombones--all these features affronted and disgusted good people
who associated worship with privacy and reticence; while the hooligans
looked on the Salvationists as sour-faced Puritans, and organized a
"Skeleton Army" to break up their meetings. Collisions were frequent,
and throughout the 'eighties members of the Salvation Army were fined
and even imprisoned as disturbers of the public peace. Those of us who
are old enough to remember these scenes can well recall the impression
which the Salvationists made upon the detached observer of forty years
ago. Men and women and girls, they wore the set look of people who had
espoused an unpopular and even perilous cause and were resolved to
carry it through. They seldom looked happy, and they had little cause
for it. In ten years the physiognomy of the Salvationists had changed,
and they went about their work unmolested with serene and cheerful
faces. _Punch_ could at least plead this extenuation of his hostility,
that it was shared by learned and excellent men. But there is really
no excuse for his childish exultation over the Queen's refusal to
subscribe to the Salvation Army's funds in 1882, and his jeers at the
Archbishop of Canterbury for investing "his modest fiver in the Booth

The prophecy in which he indulged in that year in an article headed,
"Bootheration to 'Em," is worth quoting. _Punch_ regretted the
conversion of the Grecian Theatre--"a place of generally harmless
recreation for the East End"--into a temple of Salvationism:--

  Yet we feel certain that the Army, once possessed of a great
  permanent meeting-place, will speedily convert it into some sort of
  Conventicle, the excitement of "drums and excursions" will gradually
  cease, conservatism will increase, Respectability and recognition by
  Respectability will be the object of the majority, reformers will
  arise and "camp out," regiments will desert, and some twenty new Sects
  will be added to the list of the country which possesses "any number
  of religions and only one sauce."

Part of the prophecy has been fulfilled; the concluding part, in which
the wish was father to the thought, has been falsified. For _Punch_ in
these days only saw hysteria and vulgarity in what he considered an
unhealthy mania. He seized on the repellent features of the crusade,
e.g. the song, "On Board of the 'Allelujah," issued by "Admiral
Tug" of the Salvation Navy--and overlooked the sincere and devoted
efforts at social reclamation which underlay these exuberances. Mr.
Justice Field's decision in June, 1882, allowing Salvationists to hold
processions and parades was deplored as likely to encourage all the
strange sects enumerated in _Whitaker's Almanack_--Jumpers, Shakers,
Mormons and Recreative Religionists--to go and do likewise. The verses
printed in November, 1883, are a bitter and violent tirade against the
movement in general and the Booth family in particular, with offensive
references to "dear Catherine ... blushing so feminine" who had been
arrested by a Swiss magistrate:--

    All the world knows we're so blessedly 'umble--
      (How like the Master we follow so well!)--
    That for a Booth there's no chance of a tumble,
      Though e'en the Temple of Solomon fell.

[Sidenote: _Hostility to General Booth_]

"Atlas" of the _World_ denounced the "Salvation Army nuisance" in the
autumn of 1884. It had spoilt a season at Worthing and might do so at
Brighton. _Punch_, welcoming the pious Mr. Edmund Yates as an ally,
proposed as a remedy the prohibition of _all_ processions, excepting
only those of State requirements, as a relic of barbarism and an

  Let the Salvation Army, with their ensigns and captains and uniforms,
  and drums and trumpets, assemble in their Barracks just as Christians,
  Jews, Turks and Heathens do in their Churches, Synagogues, Mosques
  and Temples; and let their recruiting sergeants go about where they
  list, or where they are likely to 'list; but let this out-of-door
  _irreligious_ movement, this outrageous travesty of _Ecclesiastical
  symbolism_, with its fanatic war-cries, its fanfares, its martial
  hymns, and brass-band accompaniment, leading to riot and bloodshed on
  the Lord's Day, let this be forthwith suppressed, as it can be, we
  believe, by existing law; and if not, let the law be made. Of course
  that harmless body of publicans and sinners, the Freemasons, would be
  sufferers by such a regulation; but with His Royal Highness of Wales,
  their Grand Master, at their head, they would be willing to bear the
  privation of being occasionally deprived of an open-air display of
  sashes, aprons and emblems for the sake of law and order.

_Punch's_ animosity towards the Salvationists showed little abatement
right on into the 'nineties. General Booth was twice caricatured: in
1885 as "His own Trumpeter" blowing an instrument like a French horn
in mid air, and in 1892 as "General Boombastes"--a composite title
of derision founded on Bombastes Furioso and General Boum of the
_Grande Duchesse_--in connexion with a great demonstration held by
the Salvation Army in Hyde Park in February of that year. Sarcastic
references occur from time to time to the finance of the Army, which
in those years lent itself to criticism. But science and intellect,
cynicism and fastidiousness were routed or converted in the sequel.
The Salvation Army came nearer success in reclaiming "the submerged
tenth" than any other sect or church: it outlived derision, criticism
and scepticism, and earned the tribute of imitation in the organization
of the Church Army. No finer example of this conversion is to be found
than in the life of Frank Crossley, the senior partner in the great
Manchester engineering firm, that noble and benevolent philanthropist,
who began in antipathy to the methods of the Salvation Army and
devoted the end of his life to intimate, self-sacrificing and cordial
co-operation with them in the slums of Ancoats.

Burnand, who succeeded to the editorship of _Punch_ in 1880, was
a Roman Catholic; but it cannot be asserted that he abused his
opportunities any more than Charles Cooper, who was a Romanist when
he joined the editorial staff of the _Scotsman_, a much more delicate
position for a member of that communion. _Punch_ became perhaps less
aggressively Protestant, but there was no substantial change in the
theological policy of the paper, or in its mainly Erastian attitude in
regard to the relations of Church and State. No serious exception can
be taken to the verdict on the Revised Version--completed in 1880--as
"a very qualified success if not an absolute failure," coupled with a
wish to know what were the suggestions for improvements made by our
American cousins. The verses in the same year on "A Life's Work and a
Life's Wage," recounting the sad experience of a Devonshire curate who
after thirty years' work, applied for an order to enter the workhouse
as a pauper--are only a renewal of _Punch's_ familiar complaints on
the scandal of underpaid clergy. Eleven years later, in 1891, he takes
up the same parable _à propos_ of a statement by Mr. Gladstone to the
effect that "if the priest is to live, he must beg, earn or steal,"
comparing the needy vicar, with eighty pounds a year, and the bishop
with five thousand. Yet in the same number, under the heading of
"Mitred Misery," _Punch_ has an article on the heavy and extortionate
fees incurred by bishops on their installation or translation. The
victim is represented as just managing to meet the expenses of his
elevation to one episcopal see and his translation to another, but
declining an archbishopric on the ground that it would land him
in the Bankruptcy Court. In an earlier year the contrast between
the well-to-do cleric and the poor is ironically emphasized in the
"Consolation" administered by Mr. Dean: "Ah, my poor fellow, your case
is very sad, no doubt! But remember that the rich have their troubles
too. I dare say, now, _you_ can scarcely realize what it is not to know
where to find an investment which will combine adequate security with a
decent interest on one's money."

[Sidenote: _Disestablishment_]

Doctrinal opportunism is satirized in Du Maurier's picture of the
vicar of a seaside town who was "High Church during the season, and
Low all the rest of the year." Much in the same spirit is the list
of qualifications necessary for a curate in a country parish: the
chief desideratum being that he must be able to play tennis with the
vicar's daughters. These jests were almost common form at the close
of the Victorian age. A more serious situation arose in 1885 owing
to the demand for Disestablishment put forward by the Radicals, but
_Punch_ refused to treat it seriously. His cartoon, "A False Alarm,"
shows a chorus of Conservative owls--including Lord Salisbury and Mr.
Cross--crying, "Too-whit, too-whoo, Church in Danger."

[Illustration: "TEMPORA MUTANTUR"

THE BISHOP (_to his youngest and favourite son_): "Now, why
shouldn't you adopt the _stage_ as a profession, Theodore? Lord Ronald
Beaumanoir, who's a year younger than yourself, is already getting
_sixteen guineas a week_ for low comedy parts at the Criterion! The
duchess told me so herself only yesterday!"]

_Punch_ appends an extract from a speech by Mr. Chamberlain expressing
his incredulity of any settlement of this question being arrived at in
the Parliament about to assemble. This view is further developed in
a burlesque forecast, "The Disestablisher's Diary," with sensational
and circumstantial details of the passing of Disestablishment, the
conversion of Westminster Abbey into a Coffee Hall, bishops begging in
the streets, riots of country clergy, etc. In 1887 the scheme of the
late Dean, then Archdeacon or "Harsh Deacon" Farrar (as _Punch_ called
him), for a Church House as a Jubilee memorial roused _Punch's_ violent
animosity. It was giving a stone to those who needed bread--the poor
clergy. In the cartoon on "Mammon the mendicant," who was sending round
the hat, John Bull declines to give anything to the seedy cleric for
the Church House: "I'd rather put it into your own [hat]."

A long article is devoted in 1890 to the trial of Bishop King of
Lincoln, but beyond facetious descriptions of the eminent counsel
engaged the only point made is that the bishop never came near the
place. In the same year another bishop, Dr. Jayne of Chester, earned
_Punch's_ unstinted approval for encouraging dancing among the working
classes. At a conference of the Girls' Friendly Society the bishop had
remarked that, "until they were prepared to introduce basket-making
into London Society as a substitute for quadrilles and waltzes he was
not disposed to accept it as an equivalent for balls and dances among
girls of other classes." This liberality of view prompted _Punch_ to
cut a series of ecstatic capers over the pluck and common sense of "my
pithy Jayne."

In agreeable contrast to these punning comments on Church matters are
the tributes to two remarkable men, widely sundered in temperament,
physique and doctrine, who both passed away in January, 1892. The
memorial lines on Cardinal Manning insist that he was much more than

    A great priest, shrewd marshaller of men,
    Subtle in verbal fence with tongue or pen,
            Ascetic of the cell--

He is extolled as the friend of the poor, the struggling weak, the
toiler for temperance, the hastener on of light:--

    In many a fray when Right's at odds with Might,
    Might's foes will miss their friend.

[Sidenote: _Homage to Spurgeon_]

It should be remembered that _Punch_ did not easily applaud Temperance
advocates in this period, when he avowed himself as "capable of special
sympathy with the publicans." _Punch_ owed an _amende_ to Spurgeon as
well as to Manning, and made it handsomely. He recognizes Spurgeon's
sturdiness and geniality:--

                You spoke a potent word
    In the World's ear and listening thousands heard.

Spurgeon stirred the throng, not fastidious or sensitive souls. He was
honest, robust, Puritan but not ascetic:--

    Crudeness may chill, and confidence offend,
    But manhood, mother-wit and selfless zeal,
    Speech clear as light and courage true as steel,
    Must win the many. Honest soul and brave,
    The greatest drop their garlands on your grave.


GERTRUDE: "You never do anything now, Margaret, but go to all
sorts of Churches, and read those old Books of Theology. You never used
to be like that."

MARGARET: "How can I help it, Gerty? I'm writing a Popular

At all points Spurgeon was poles apart from the "Adulated Clergyman,"
one of _Punch's_ "Modern Types" held up to contempt in the previous
year, and noted in another section--who develops out of a mincing
effeminate boy into an unconventional emotional preacher, ferocious
in pulpit denunciations, but full of honeyed sweetness in fashionable
drawing-rooms; adored by weak women, distrusted and despised by normal

A new rival to the pulpit, it may be noted in conclusion, had sprung up
in the "theological romance." Mrs. Humphry Ward, whose _Robert Elsmere_
appeared in 1888, was its most widely read representative. But perhaps
her greatest title to our gratitude in this context is the fact that it
was her recommendation which induced Messrs. Macmillan to publish Mr.
Shorthouse's remarkable novel _John Inglesant_.

                       LONDON AND ITS GOVERNMENT

Growth and expansion rather than reconstruction was the leading
feature of London in the period with which we are now concerned. The
spreading of the "great wen," as Cobbett called it, went on in almost
all directions, and the linking up of the once detached village of
Kensington with Central London was followed by a remarkable extension
of that typically Victorian suburb. In 1884 _Punch_ described
travellers journeying for hours and hours in a northerly or westerly
direction, only to find that they had reached North Kensington or West
Kensington, as the case might be. Already in 1876 he had noted the
swallowing up of Brompton in South Kensington. Concurrently with this
suburban expansion the disappearance or removal of many old landmarks
went on apace. In 1876 _Punch_ had suggested that Temple Bar should be
removed by one of the elephants in the Lord Mayor's procession. The
long contemplated removal took place in 1878, and the historic site was
duly occupied by the pedestal bearing the much-criticized "Griffin,"
which led to abundant satirical comment in prose and verse and
pictures. The block in the traffic had been removed, but the cartoon of
"Alice in Blunderland" showed that from an architectural point of view
_Punch_ thought the remedy worse than the disease. Cremorne Gardens,
the scenes of alternate revelries in high and low life, were closed in
1877, and the withdrawal of "Evans's" licence in 1879 was plaintively
celebrated in the lament of a middle-aged Man about Town:--

    Farewell the quiet chop! the kidneys poached!
    Farewell the grizzled bones and the mixed drinks,
    That made abstention virtue--O, farewell!
    Farewell the ready waiter, the vague bill,
    The nose-enlivening pinch, eye-winking smoke,
    The kindly hand-shake, and all quality,
    Pride, pomp, and circumstance of Paddy Green!
    And O you ancient Basses, whose rude throats
    The immortal Jove's dread clamour counterfeit,
    Farewell!--A fellow's occupation's gone!

    --_Othello_ improved.

In January, 1883, the old colossal equestrian statue of the Duke of
Wellington at Hyde Park Corner was taken down, and on the night of
August 12, 1884, was "removed by Messrs. Pickford in a specially
constructed waggon drawn by ten horses to Aldershot." The old statue,
universally condemned and ridiculed, which would have been removed
immediately but for Wellington's own objection, had been allowed to
de-decorate a splendid site for nearly forty years. Boehm's statue,
which replaced it, dates from 1888. To turn from the grandiose to the
homely, we may note that _Punch_ vigorously espoused the cause of the
cow-keepers in St. James's Park in 1885, and under the heading, "Wild
Sports Near the Horse Guards," protested against the "chivvying from
their milk-stalls of a lot of poor old women." One does not look for
humour in the _Annual Register_, but the mention of this episode in
that useful book of reference blends information with entertainment:--

  _September 1st, 1885._ In pursuance of the orders of H.R.H. The
  Ranger, the stall-holders in St. James's Park, who represented the
  ancient "Milk Fair," held for nearly two centuries in the Mall, were
  ordered to close their booths and remove their cows. Two only of the
  stall-keepers refused to comply and after a strong protest in the
  newspapers, stating that some of the existing tenants had held stalls
  for more than a century [_sic_], the order for their immediate removal
  was relaxed and a compromise at length effected.

The respite granted to these interesting centenarians expired a few
years later, and now the St. James's Park menagerie contains nothing
larger than the pelicans.

[Sidenote: _Demolition and Innovation_]

The proposed demolition of Staple Inn in 1886 was peculiarly
distasteful to _Punch_, who held all these old buildings in pious
reverence, and inspired him to indite a ballad of remonstrance to
the builder. As a matter of fact, the protest was premature, for the
Prudential Assurance Company, into whose hands it passed by purchase,
maintained the building as a relic of vanishing London. No such regrets
as those awakened by the passing of Staple Inn were aroused by the
announcement in 1887 that the Old Bailey and Newgate Prison were to be
demolished. When the old Fleet prison was dismantled, _Punch_ could
indulge in legitimate rejoicing, because it marked the close of a harsh
and cruel penal system--imprisonment for debt. Here it was only a case
of structural and sanitary improvements. In ancient days there were
prisons impressive by their dignity of design. Their purpose inspired
the strange and sinister side of Piranesi's genius in his famous
imaginative series of "Carcere." But a modern gaol can at best be an
unobtrusive reminder of a still necessary evil.

Though no achievement comparable in size and importance to the
scheme of the Thames Embankment is associated with this period, new
architectural features were not wanting; foremost among them were
Street's new Law Courts, the swan-song in stone of the Gothic revival;
a group of buildings dignified in conception and treatment, but
terribly handicapped by their internal discomforts and darkness. I have
already spoken of the "Griffin." Cleopatra's Needle was at last set up
on the Embankment in 1878, and remains to this day a standing proof of
the doubtful wisdom of detaching ancient historic monuments from their
surroundings. There is something forlorn in this relic of Ptolemaic
Egypt, as it faces the winking sky signs of the Surrey side. To the
late 'seventies belongs another architectural innovation destitute
of beauty, and only remarkable for its size and height--Queen Anne's
Mansions. The invincible conservatism of the English could not be more
strikingly displayed than by the fact that after more than forty years
Queen Anne's Mansions remains our solitary skyscraper. The El Dorado
which this method of economizing space offers to landlords and builders
has never been exploited. Some put it down to our sense of the æsthetic
fitness of things; others to the paralysing effect of building laws,
vested interests, and the dead hand of "ancient lights." Sir Martin
Conway, as becomes one who has scaled high peaks in both hemispheres,
has recently come forward as an apostle of altitude in architecture,
but so far without much response. _Punch_ had no quarrel with anything
about Queen Anne's Mansions except their ugliness, and unreservedly
withdrew the charge of irregular financial procedure which he had
brought--on the strength of _The Times_--against the projector and
original proprietor, Mr. Hankey.

But Queen Anne's Mansions were interesting in another way, for they
marked the beginning of the system of residential flats, which has
since revolutionized London life. Though Queen Anne's Mansions remain
unique at the moment when I write, the flat system "came to stay," to
be extensively used, exploited, and criticized. "Flats" however, as we
understand the term, were devised for the convenience of the well-to-do
or middle-class people. Among the contributions to the solving of the
housing problem of the poor on the block system, the most notable
in this period was the benefaction of Lord Iveagh, who in 1889 set
aside £250,000 for the purpose, following the fine example set by the
American millionaire, Peabody. Charing Cross Road, opened in February,
1887, was one of the first of the new thoroughfares which have changed
the face of Central London. _Punch_ was much concerned in 1883 by a
report that tramways were about to invade Kensington; some years were
to elapse before they were admitted to the Embankment, but _Punch_
already complained in this year that it was being spoiled by railways
and roughs. Trafalgar Square continued to excite his unflattering
comments, but there is no public place in the world which lends
itself to more criticism. As an American writer once remarked, the
buildings seem to emphasize rather than to correct the slope, so that
everything seems to be slithering down towards Whitehall. A notable
addition was made to the Square in 1887 by the erection of the Gordon
Memorial, and _Punch_ records the curious fact that Thornycroft's
statue was unveiled, without any formality, by Mr. David Plunket, Chief
Commissioner of Works, in the presence of a few friends of the general.

[Sidenote: _National Opera Houses_]

The connexion of art with architecture was not very happy or impressive
in these years. When the Royal College of Music was founded in 1882
with Sir George Grove, _Punch's_ old friend, as Director, it was
temporarily and inadequately housed in the buildings of the National
Training School of Music, in which it had been merged. The move to the
new buildings in Prince Consort Road did not take place till 1894. The
annals of opera, so far as architecture is concerned, are positively
disastrous. Mapleson, the once famous operatic impresario, projected
a grand National Opera House on the Embankment; the first brick was
laid by Mlle. Titiens in September, 1875, and the first stone of the
building by the Duke of Edinburgh in December. But the patronage of
"stars" and Royal Dukes could not conjure money out of the pockets
of the investing public. The scheme languished, and in 1881 _Punch_
records that the unfinished Opera House was being converted, not
musically, into "flats." By the summer of 1884 the project collapsed
entirely, and _Punch's_ comments on "A Beggar's Opera House" are not
without their point to-day:--

  The sale by auction last week of what the retiring newspaper paragraph
  chronicling the melancholy fact described as the "materials of the
  unfinished Grand National Opera House on the Thames Embankment,"
  cannot but afford food even to the least artistic mind for some rather
  disagreeable reflections. That after a six years' struggle, involving
  the sinking of something like £100,000 in hard cash, the speculative
  element, that ought to have been equal to the emergency in the first
  capital in the world, should have been contented to look on and smile,
  while, to quote once more the paragraph in question, "157 lots, the
  principal portion of which consisted of the iron girders and columns
  used in the formation of the pit and box circles, originally costing,
  it is said, £40,000," were knocked down for "the small sum of £218" is
  something not very far removed from a national disgrace.

The building was finally demolished in 1888.

Another scheme which also ended disastrously, though the building
survives, was D'Oyly Carte's venture into the domain of serious opera.
The new English Opera House in Shaftesbury Avenue opened in 1891 with
Sullivan's _Ivanhoe_, but the analogy of the Gilbert and Sullivan light
operas was deceptive: the expectation of a long run was doomed to
failure, and the English Opera House was shortly afterwards converted
into the Palace Music Hall. _Punch's_ patriotic _amour propre_ was
wounded by the fact that where _Ivanhoe_ had failed, the _Basoche_,
its successor, and an essentially French opera, had caught on. Why,
he asks, call it the English Opera House? Why not the "Cosmopolitan"
or the "Royal Babel Opera House"? But these are questions which do
not fall within the scope of our immediate inquiry. It is enough to
record the fact that an abortive attempt to establish English opera on
a permanent basis succeeded in enriching the variety stage with a new
temple, while the site of Mapleson's projected Grand National Opera
House is now occupied by New Scotland Yard, generally admitted to be
the most successful outcome of the genius of Norman Shaw.

In earlier days _Punch_ had constituted himself an unofficial
Inspector of Nuisances for the Metropolis, and he never fulfilled
these self-imposed duties with greater zeal and even fury than in the
long campaign which he waged throughout the 'eighties against the
then Duke of Bedford. London was a "City of Dreadful Dirt" and Covent
Garden Market and the small streets around it, in _Punch's_ view, held
the palm for filthiness. He had given the Dukes a rest for a good
many years, but the scandal of "Mud-Salad Market" revived in him a
truculence worthy of Douglas Jerrold:--

[Illustration: A HOLIDAY TASK

Scene--Mud-Salad Market

DUKE OF MUDFORD: "Sweet pretty place, ain't it?"

MR. P. (_Inspector of Nuisances_): "No, my Lord Duke, it
isn't pretty, and it isn't sweet! Here, take this broom, and make a
clean sweep of it!"]

[Sidenote: _Mud-Salad Market_]

  Mud-Salad Market belongs to his Grace the Duke of Mudford. It was
  once a tranquil Convent Garden, belonging first to the Abbot of
  Westminster, and finally to the Dukes of Mudford. The property
  having been let on building leases, it became a small square in the
  centre of London, bounded on one side by Inigo Jones's church--"The
  handsomest barn in England"--on another side by a theatre, and warmly
  supported on other sides by numerous minor taverns. The hot-houses
  of the old Garden have become the pot-houses of the modern Market.
  Mud-Salad Market, like its own vegetables, has now sprouted out in
  all directions. You may start from Cabbage-leaf corner, near the site
  of Temple Bar, on a market-morning, and may go as far as Turnip-top
  Square in Bloomsbury, or Cauliflower-place at Charing Cross, and
  it is all Mud-Salad Market. Houses are barricaded with mountainous
  carts of green-stuff, cabs lose themselves in vain attempts to drive
  through the maze of vegetables, the costermonger makes temporary
  gardens on the pathway, while the roads are blocked with waggons,
  carts, donkey-trucks, and porters staggering under the weight of huge
  baskets. Carrots, turnips, vegetable-marrows, potatoes, lettuces, and
  onions are masters of the situation. Vegetable refuse, ankle deep,
  carpets the pathway in every direction, mixed with mud and rain-water,
  and trampled into a pulpy slimy muck by thousands of hob-nailed boots.
  Leases drop in, old houses are pulled down, great spaces are cleared,
  new houses of an approved stucco type are built, and no attempt is
  made to increase the legitimate limits of Mud-Salad Market.

        *       *       *       *       *

  It is not too much to say that Mud-Salad Market is a disgrace to
  London, a special disgrace to his Grace of Mudford, and about the
  greatest nuisance ever permitted in a great City of Nuisances.

  Rather different this account of Mud-Salad Market from Leigh Hunt's
  description of a certain Covent Garden Market in his day, when "it was
  the most agreeable in the metropolis," and when it had been "raised"
  into "a convenient and elegant state by the noble proprietor." Let his
  Grace of Mudford take a leaf from that Duke's tree, and, if he can't
  "raise" Mud-Salad Market, let him "raze" it, and give us a new one.

  Grant, your Grace, a new broom to some one, let a clean sweep be
  made of Mud-Salad Market, and your petitioners will never again pray
  anything any more.

That was written in August, 1880. A fortnight later _Punch_ renews and
enlarges his attack:--


  The Duke of Mudford's grip upon London extends far beyond Mud-Salad
  Market. As Lord Cul-de-Sac and the Earl of No Thoroughfare, he claims
  and exercises a right of blockade in Gloomsbury. London is a very
  peculiar city. It is said to be sixteen miles long and eight miles
  broad, and is supposed to contain a population of four millions.
  Its parochial rulers for the last ten years have devoted all their
  energy to the improvement of the great avenues of communication from
  East to West, but the cross avenues are in much the same condition
  as they were in the days of Dr. Johnson. The Strand and Fleet Street
  have been improved, Oxford Street, Holborn, Newgate Street, etc.,
  have been widened, a noble Embankment has been made, and a great
  serpentine roadway, extending from Waterloo Bridge to Whitechapel, is
  in course of formation. While this is done, or being done, there is
  not a thoroughfare worthy of the name from South to North, from Park
  Lane to Chancery Lane. Berkeley Street, Bond Street, St. Martin's
  Lane, and other cross streets have to get rid of their northern
  traffic by dodging round corners. The most central and most important
  thoroughfare from South to North, is composed of Waterloo Bridge (a
  bridge from which the halfpenny tax on suicide has just been removed),
  Wellington Street (which stands on a hill, and is adorned by the
  Thalia and Melpomene Theatres), Bow Street (which might be called
  Bow-legged Street, where criminals are tried), Endell Street (where
  they grow the criminals who are tried at Bow Street), and Gower
  Street, which belongs to the Duke of Mudford.

[Sidenote: _A Ducal Defaulter_]

  At the north end of Gower Street the traffic is stopped by a ducal
  barrier, and turned round several narrow streets, to find its way
  to the Euston Road as best it can. Three of the largest railway
  termini--the North Western, the Midland and the Great Northern lie in
  this direction; but the Duke of Mudford, Lord Cul-de-Sac, and Earl of
  No Thoroughfare claims his right to stand between these railways and
  their floods of traffic. The line must be drawn somewhere, and it is
  drawn at Gower Street. It was Mrs. Partington's mission to try to mop
  back the Atlantic: it is the Duke of Mudford's mission to push back
  four millions of people.

  By the way, Mud-Salad Market was at its dirtiest and filthiest last
  Thursday. Such a standing nuisance in London ought to be as impossible
  as it is impassable.

When the Duke of Westminster helped to start a cheap eating-house
with beds and baths in Bow Street, _Punch_ invidiously contrasted his
philanthropy with the recalcitrance of the Duke of "Mudford." Nor was
he content with agitating for the improvement of Covent Garden, but
followed up his attack by a similar exposure of the filthy condition
of Billingsgate, maintained by force of vested interests, where the
overcrowding led to the destruction of large quantities of fish and
the consequent enhancement of prices.[5] In 1883 the Duke of Bedford
had apparently been goaded into offering Covent Garden Market to
the Municipal Authorities, but they declined to relieve him of his
responsibilities, and the campaign continued. _Punch_ was not the only
paper which attacked the Duke for neglecting his London property, but
it was the most outspoken and persistent. The Duke had the reputation
of being an improving landlord on his country estates, but over a
million sterling had been added to the ducal revenues in his time by
fines exacted on leases falling due on his Bloomsbury estate, and, in
view of this fact, the scandal of Covent Garden inevitably exposed him
to hostile comment, from which his successors have been wholly immune.

[Footnote 5: An attempt was made in 1884 to open a new fish market in
Smithfield to break the monopoly of Billingsgate, but the scheme failed
through mismanagement, and _Punch_ renewed his attacks in 1889.]

Much of _Punch's_ criticism of the drawbacks of London was destructive.
But he did not refrain from specific suggestions. For example, he
persistently agitated for the painting of street names on lamps as a
guide at night, and to good purpose, as the extract overleaf shows. The
lighting of London still left much to be desired, and foreshadowed the
obligatory darkness of war time:--

  Punch has long been pegging away at the Vestries and District Boards,
  to turn the street lamps to account for display of the street names
  after dark. His pegging has profited. He is glad to hear that the
  practice is spreading, and will soon, he hopes and trusts, be
  general. Wherever it is neglected, let ratepayers take up the cry,
  and bombard not their street lamps, but their District Boards. The
  manufacturer who has supplied labels with street names for the
  lamps in Camberwell, writes to _Punch_ to say that he has furnished
  similar labels throughout the parishes of Kennington, St. George
  the Martyr Southwark, St. Mary's Newington, and Limehouse, as also
  to the boroughs of Leeds, Leicester, Birmingham, Bootle-cum-Linacre
  near Liverpool, and Newcastle-on-Tyne. He has also been supplying the
  Board of Works with lamp-tablets notifying the position of Fire-plugs
  and Hydrants, in the parishes of St. George the Martyr Rotherhithe,
  Deptford, Charlton, and Woolwich, and is now preparing to fix similar
  tablets in the parish of St. George the Martyr Hanover Square.

  "Light--more Light"--is _Punch's_ cry, as it was fighting Ajax's, and
  dying Goethe's. All honour to Sugg for his railway-Argand-burner, and
  his new naphthalene with its forty-candle power--and when next he fits
  it to a train, may _Punch_ be there to see, instead of to struggle
  with a tantalising twilight, as he does under the present mockery of
  railway-carriage illumination.

Another movement in which _Punch_ took an active part was that for
the provision of respectable restaurants for girl workers. The
"Coffee-Houses," which were then almost the only sort of cheap
eating-houses available, were both dirty and dismal, and the need
offered _Punch_ in 1881 an opportunity for combining a practical
suggestion with a dig at the Duke of Bedford:--

[Sidenote: _Punch's Suggested Improvements_]

                          A GOOD THING TO DO.

  If the Church and Stage Guild, and the Association for Administering
  Weak Tea to Reluctant Ballet Girls, are inclined for practical work,
  we can tell them how to make themselves exceedingly useful to the
  humbler members of the dramatic profession. Pantomime rehearsals are
  beginning, and hundreds of girls, many of them living far off in the
  suburbs, and most of them receiving only a few shillings a week, are
  brought into the neighbourhood of Covent Garden early, kept at work
  all day, with no time to return home before they are required for
  their night duty at the theatres. There are hundreds of taverns,
  public-houses, coffee-shops, restaurants, and pastry-cooks, in and
  about the Strand, but, as far as we are aware, and we are pretty well
  up in the supply resources of this neighbourhood, there is _not one
  place where these girls can go to get a cheap and decent meal_. They
  can go to hundreds of places, if they like to spend half their week's
  earnings in less than an hour, but they cannot even do this without
  being stared at like wild beasts, or annoyed by the insolent patronage
  of the cad and the prowler. Commercial philanthropy has given the
  market-men and women of Covent Garden a "kiosk" in Bow Street, and
  what is done for the Mudford gang might surely be done for Theatrical
  London. The old Bow Street Police Station is empty and wanting a
  tenant, as "To Let" bills are stuck upon its broken windows. It has
  space and position, and the least the Duke of Mudford--the proprietor
  of Covent Garden and Drury Lane Theatres--can do, is to offer it at a
  very moderate rental for this useful purpose. A chance for Mudford and

A series of articles on "How to Improve London" began in the same
year, and though some of the suggestions were fantastic or counsels
of perfection, many have since been translated into reality. The list
of metropolitan improvements suggested in 1886 betrays perhaps an
excessive solicitude for equestrians in the Parks and a corresponding
desire to control 'buses and carts in their interests. The scheme
for doing away with all private residences within Regent's Park is
magnificently comprehensive. _Punch_ wished to construct

  a public Summer and Winter Garden on a French and German model, with
  Restaurants open for luncheons, dinners, and suppers, a theatre, a
  circus, lawn tennis grounds, tennis court, boating by day, and by
  night fireworks on the ornamental water. Such an establishment is a
  real want, and Regent's Park, being at once well within reach, and
  yet so far removed as to offer no obstruction to traffic, is the very
  place for the purpose.

There is a patriarchalism which is almost Teutonic in his suggestion
for preserving the amenities of the Parks and public places:--

  _Parks and Streets._ All Processions, not being State Pageants, should
  be prohibited. All bodies of persons marching about with and playing,
  or attempting to play, musical instruments, should be prohibited. Fine
  and imprisonment should be the punishment for breaking these laws.

  _Quiet Streets._ All organ-grinders and so-called street-musicians
  should not be permitted to come within a radius of ten miles of
  Charing Cross on pain of imprisonment, fine, and, for a third offence,
  penal servitude for not less than seven years.

  _Meetings._ Public spaces, at least four miles out of London, to be
  set apart for open-air meetings, if required, and only such spaces to
  be used for such purposes.

  _Parks._ The London Parks shall be only used by the Public for the
  purposes of recreation and enjoyment, and not for political meetings,
  haranguing, preachings, and suchlike nuisances, which render Sunday a
  day of turbulence and unrest, and prevent quiet, peaceable people, who
  are at work all the week, from enjoying the fresh air on their only

The reference to musical instruments in processions is clearly aimed at
the Salvation Army, of which in its earlier phase _Punch_, as we have
learned, was the resolute enemy.

[Illustration: WINDOW STUDIES

June. The festive hour, 7.45 p.m., Piccadilly.]

[Sidenote: _Public Vehicles_]

In 1889 _Punch_ drew up a new Bill for London Improvements,
including his old schemes for extending Rotten Row, making new
rides, and otherwise protecting the equestrian interest, but adding
new suggestions for the wholesale planting of trees along the
principal streets and thoroughfares, the training of creepers over
all the structures of the District Railway, the provision of popular
restaurants in Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, and in general the
opening of as many open-air refreshment places as possible--on the
French model.


Times are so bad, that the Stanley de Vere Talbots have to give up
their Carriage. They go about (Grandpapa included) all over London on
those nice Omnibuses with proper Staircases behind and Chairs on the
top instead of a Knife-board, and find it much less monotonous than
eternally driving round the Park. Their Carriage Acquaintances still
bow to them; perhaps because they are still Stanley de Vere Talbots!]

There is much less abuse of the imperfections of public vehicles in
this period, though they are by no means exempt from censure. In 1875
_Punch_ quotes at length the account of an exceptionally honest cabman
with the additional information that his name was Isaacs. The frequency
of cab accidents in 1880 elicits the fact, if it was a fact, that cabs
were not obliged to carry lights! The congestion of horse-drawn traffic
at the Marble Arch and the Piccadilly end of Hamilton Place clamoured
for a remedy, but _Punch_ was more concerned by the discreditable
congestion of pedestrian traffic in the neighbourhood of Piccadilly
Circus, and the nocturnal orgies enacted there. These belonged to the
scenes and institutions calculated to bring London into disrepute, of
which _Punch_ made a list in 1882 under the heading, "Things to Show
Cetewayo." To return to the vehicles, the hansom still retained its
popularity--witness Du Maurier's picture--and taximeter cabs introduced
in Paris by 1890 aroused hopes not destined to be fulfilled until
much later. The "growler" still held its own. _Punch_ had no love
for it or its driver, but supported the plea for more cab-shelters.
As for the omnibuses, the abolition of the "knife-board" and the
introduction of garden-seats and proper staircases were handsomely
acknowledged by _Punch_, though he still resented the importunities of
rival conductors. Only those who can remember the atmosphere on the
old and unelectrified Underground can properly appreciate _Punch's_
tirades against the dirt and discomfort of subterranean travel in
the 'eighties. They were aggravated, moreover, by an outbreak of
hooliganism, which became a serious nuisance in 1881. Nor was it any
comfort to the semi-asphyxiated passenger to be assured that the
underground officials were singularly free from bronchial affections.

[Sidenote: _The Tyranny of King Fog_]

In this atmospheric context the question of London fog and the smoke
nuisance naturally emerges. The table of the total number of days
of fog in London from 1871 onwards published in the Meteorological
Society's Journal shows a decline in the 'seventies and a recrudescence
in the 'eighties and early 'nineties. In 1878 _Punch_ notes ironically
that the London fogs made it impossible to see colours at a
dressmaker's, but did not interfere with "doing" the Old Masters. There
are frequent allusions in his pages to the Conference on Smoke and
Fog held in 1880, but at the end of the decade, when the nuisance was
unusually acute, _Punch_ launched out in a long, sardonic, and spirited
doggerel tribute to the unimpaired sovereignty of the demon King Fog.
The occasion was the visitation of January 9th-13th, 1888, when a heavy
fog settled over England and a great part of Ireland, traffic by sea
and land being greatly impeded and many accidents reported from all
parts of the country. But London, as usual, suffered most. _Punch_
describes how King Fog, having summoned all his attendant demons,
determined to surpass all his previous efforts in torturing "miserable
mortals," and succeeded.

[Illustration: FERVOUR IN THE FOG

UNPROMISING INDIVIDUAL (_suddenly, his voice vibrating with
passion_): "She's moy Unney; Oi'm 'er Joy!"]

The fog of January, 1888, was equalled, if not eclipsed, by that of
Christmas, 1904, but the table of statistics already referred to
records a marked decline from 1900 onwards. Statistics, however, are
a poor consolation. The late Director of the Meteorological Society,
writing in 1910, frankly owns that no statistics of the "frequency
occurrence" of fog warrant the inference that the atmosphere of
London is approaching that of the surrounding districts as regards
transparency. It is true that an absolute approximation was made in the
spring and early summer of 1921, but it was purchased at a cost which
even in these days must be regarded as exorbitant.

Sir William Harcourt's Bill for the reform of the Government of London,
introduced in April, 1884, and withdrawn in July, fell between two
stools; it exasperated the Obstructives and failed to satisfy the
Reformers. _Punch_, however, seized the opportunity to indulge in
a burlesque prophetic account of the first meeting of the reformed
Corporation, illustrating the embarrassment created by the _damnosa
hæreditas_ of the Metropolitan Board of Works, and, in general,
indicating the immense amount of work to be done, and the rooted
disinclination of the old gang to undertake it. Yet when the new
authority was established five years later, and the first elections to
the London County Council were held in January, 1889, it cannot be said
that _Punch_ exhibited any great enthusiasm. It is true that in his
verses on the "London County Council Dream," widespread improvements
and reforms are foreshadowed, but they end up on a note of tempered

[Sidenote: _A Mixed Epitaph_]

[Illustration: REACTION

INDIGNANT CITIZEN (_who had expected great things of the
London County Council after the extinction of the Metropolitan Board
of Works and the abolition of the Wine and Coal Dues, receives an
application for Rates amounting to 2s. 8¾d. in the pound_): "D--!
D--!! D--!!!"]

In the very next month the mood of disillusionment is apparent in
the cartoon revealing friction and the delight of the ex-Bumble
and ex-member of the Metropolitan Board of Works. Not that _Punch_
regretted the Board, though he rendered justice to its greatest
achievements in the decidedly mixed epitaph composed for its tombstone,
to be surmounted by an armed figure labelled "Black Mail" and headed
"Peace to Its Hashes":--

                To the Melancholy Memory of
              The Metropolitan Board of Works.
              It was an Unfortunate Institution.
          Flushed in the earlier years of its Existence,
                  With a laudable Ambition
    To command the Respect and Admiration of the Ratepayers,
            It gave an Embankment to the Thames,
                      Drained London,
                And suddenly showed the world
    How jobbery could be elevated to the level of the Fine Arts;
            Thus Fighting to the End, it was more anxious
          To leave an Inheritance of Spite to its Successor,
    Than to retire from the Scene of its Late Labours with Dignity to
                Unwept, Unrepentant, yet Unhung,
          It has Passed for Good and Aye to that Oblivion
        From which it is Possible the More Thoughtful and
                    Philosophical Ratepayer
            May think it would have been as Well
          For the Interests of Municipal Honesty
                That it had Never Emerged.

The series of articles on "County Councildom" are by no means
sympathetic; and the indignation of the ratepayer, who had expected
a reduction in his burdens and was proportionately disappointed, is
vividly and vocally expressed in Du Maurier's picture of "Reaction."
The resignation of Sir John Lubbock and later on of Lord Rosebery,[6]
the Chairman of the L.C.C., lent point to _Punch's_ allusions to the
jubilation of "Bumble" and his confident hope that he will have to come
back. "Bumble's" idea is that the "toffs" and "big pots" were "hooking
it" in disgust at the bad manners and arrogance of the "Progressives."
But if the truth be told, it was not the methods of the L.C.C. in
dealing with ordinary affairs of administration that disappointed
and exasperated _Punch_: it was the spirit in which the Progressives
addressed themselves to the task of regulating theatres and places of
entertainment. In his verses "Ye Moderates of England" he inveighs
against the grand-maternal rule of the Puritan L.C.C., and more
especially Messrs. McDougall and Lidgett:--

    When Lidgett and McDougall
      Are censors of the play,
    We can patronize the drama
      In a strictly proper way.
    When Parkinson's Inspector
      Of Ballets, we shall know
          He will stop
          Any hop
      If he sees a dancer's toe.

[Footnote 6: Lord Rosebery, during his tenure of office, is generally
alluded to as "Mr. Rosebery," because he preferred to be called "Mr.
Chairman" rather than "My Lord."]

That was in March, 1892, and in the cartoon of "The Bogie Man" in
the previous number, Gog and Magog are seen shaking in their shoes
before the Progressives, who had been returned with a largely
increased majority. Lord Rosebery had declared his intention of not
offering himself for re-election to the L.C.C. in consequence of
the announcement that the election would be fought on Party lines.
_Punch_ made no secret of his disappointment, for he believed that
Progressivism was merely extravagance writ large, and had advised
everyone to vote for the Moderates:--

    Oh, Rosebery turned traitor,
      And Lubbock seemed to cool,
    McDougall, now, and Parkinson
      May proudly play the fool.
    London's delivered to be ruled
      On the "Progressive" plan,
    And "Ben" can bear the honoured name--
      Ye gods!--of _Alderman_!!!

"Ben" was Mr. Ben Tillett. As a matter of fact, Lord Rosebery was
re-elected Chairman, and held the post for a few months longer.

[Sidenote: _The Cockney Dialect_]

To conclude this survey of London between 1874 and 1892, one may note
that the changes included not only a new form of self-government, but
a new lingo. The progressive development of the Cockney dialect is far
too large a subject to be treated in a paragraph. Let it suffice to say
that while in Dickens's time the distinguishing mark of the Cockney was
the interchange of the "v" and "w," in the 'eighties and 'nineties he
turned his attention to the other end of the alphabet, replaced "a" by
"y," and began that "general post" of the vowels which is the despair
of those who seek to erect a true phonetic standard.

[Illustration: POOR LETTER "A"

"Do you sell Type?"

"Type, Sir? No, Sir. This is an Ironmonger's. You'll find Type at the
Linendryper's over the w'y!"

"I don't mean _Tape_, Man! _Type_, for _Printing_!"

"Oh, _Toype_ yer mean! I beg yer pardon, Sir!"]

[Illustration: THE BOGIE MAN

    "Hush! Hush! Hush!
    Here comes the bogie man!"

    "Then hide your heads, my darlings,
    He'll catch you if he can!"



Railways continue to be a fertile seed plot of grievances. In 1876
Charles Keene devises a patent costume for collisions, closely
resembling that of a diver. This was the year in which Captain
Tyler's report on the Long Ashton accident to the "Flying Dutchman"
on July 27 prompted _Punch_ to a scathing set of verses on the G.W.R.
directors, of which the motto was, "Westward Ho! with grim Death."
The introduction of the Pullman dining-car in 1879 is welcomed in a
lyrical effusion, to the air of "The Low-backed Car," in which _Punch_
contrasts the discomforts of "Mugby Junction" days with the new
amenities of travel:--

    Five minutes, a frantic fixture,
      You strove with might and main
    To gulp some scalding mixture,
      While the bell rang--for the train!
    Your tea or soup you swallowed,
      As much as did not fly
    On your shirt-front or your waistcoat,
      From the dense crowd hustling by.
    While the minxes at Mugby Bar
    Smiled, serene, upon the war,
      For they'd learnt the art,
      And looked the part--
    Of "We are your betters far."

    But in Pullman's dining-car, Sir,
      Now run on the Northern Line,
    You've a soup, and a roast, and _entrées_,
      And your cheese and your pint of wine.
    At his table snug the passenger sits,
      Or to the smoke-room moves,
    While on either side the landscape flits,
      Like a world in well-greased grooves.
    Thanks to Pullman's dining-car,
    No more Mugby Junction Bar--
      No more tough ham and chicken,
      Nor passenger-pickin'
    For the minxes behind the Bar!

[Sidenote: _Punch is a Railway Critic_]

_Punch's_ jubilation was short-lived; and in 1883 his discontent
takes the form of a wholesale indictment of unnecessary noises,
draughts, dismal chilly waiting-rooms, atrocious refreshment-rooms,
undistinguishable station-names. The regulations and adjustments of
Railwaydom, he sums up, "can only be praised in the same spirit as
that in which Charles Kingsley lauded the British North-Easter." On
the question of Railways in the Lake District, about which Ruskin had
raised an exceeding bitter cry, _Punch_ seems rather to favour the
Philistine view:--

    Let sentimental Ruskinites the thing disparage,
      Most scenery afoot you miss--it cannot be denied:
    The Nature-lover's point of view's a third-class smoking carriage,
      'Twould be a blot if there were not a line to Ambleside.

"Justice at Fault," a cartoon in 1887, based on a recent inquiry,
reiterates _Punch's_ familiar complaint: overworked signalmen are
punished, while the directors go scot free. No jarring note, however,
is struck in the cartoon in the same year on the completion of the
Canadian Pacific Railway--"the New North-West Passage," or in the
verses in which Britannia and Canada exchange mutual compliments
and indulge in hopeful auguries. The opening of the first electric
underground railway in England by the Prince of Wales on November 4,
1890, passed unnoticed by _Punch_, but he rendered full justice in 1891
to the historic conclusion of the famous "Battle of the Gauges," when
Stephenson's triumph over Brunel was finally crowned by the abandonment
of the broad gauge on the Great Western. It had been an heroic contest,
and _Punch_ treated the defeated champion with dignity and respect,
quoting the words, "Good-bye, poor old Broad Gauge, God bless you!"
which were found written on the G.W. track.

The record of novelties, inventions and discoveries opens modestly in
1875 with the mention of hot-water bottles in bed as "a new idea."
They have long since ousted the warming-pan, which until recently
maintained a precarious existence in old-fashioned inns, and is now
merely a picturesque antique. Lovers of _The Rose and the Ring_
will remember its use as a weapon, and romantics will deplore its
abandonment, for there is no romance in a hot-water bottle. I have
dealt with the bicycle under the head of Pastime, but may supplement
what I have said elsewhere with a few further observations on this
momentous innovation. What I believe to be the first mention of the
word occurs towards the end of 1878. Before that we only hear of
velocipedes or "rantoones," and in the year 1879 an epigram refers to
the "Bycicle." _Punch's_ early references to the "steel horse" and the
"public wheel" are decidedly friendly, and he contrasts the bicyclist
favourably with the hangers-on of the noble animal:--

    No slinking knaves environ him
      And dog his ins and outs;
    No jockeys, ostlers, stable-boys,
      No tipsters and no touts.

Another substitute for the horse, I may remark in parenthesis, comes in
for notice at the time of our Egyptian campaigns.

The rules for the road in 1878 are farcical, their only interest being
the reference to proprietors of 64-in. machines, for this was the day
of the old "ordinary." The use of bells was first made obligatory in
Liverpool in 1877. Twelve years later, when the "safety" bicycle was
coming in, _Punch_ addressed a warning to enthusiasts in the form
of a skeleton cyclist stooping over the handles, in the approved
attitude, with an alarming curvation of the spine. In the same year
allusion is made to the thrill caused by the Bishop of Chester's
taking to the bicycle; but the rumour was exaggerated, for Dr. Jayne
only patronized the tricycle. _A propos_ of skeletons, it may be noted
that Mr. (afterwards Sir) Seymour Haden's advocacy of burial in wicker
coffins and the exhibition held at Stafford House to popularize the
scheme in 1875 merely served _Punch_ as an occasion for punning on the
projector's name, and suggesting that the funeral march of the future
seemed likely to be Haydn's "With Verdure Clad," as the wicker baskets
were to be filled with moss and ferns.

[Illustration: CAMEL-SHIP!

TOMMY ATKINS (to Mate, who had been told off to the same
refractory Animal): "Oh, look here, Bill, here's this cussed Beast has
been playing 'Cup and Ball' with me for the last Two Hours! Missed me
ever so many times!"

(_Vide Special Correspondence from the Soudan._)]

[Sidenote: _Flying Machines_]

Of more topical interest to the readers of to-day is the account given
by _Punch_ in the autumn of 1876 of a flying machine invented by a
Mr. Ralph Stott of Dover. Under the heading, "A Dædalus at Dover,"
_Punch_ forecasts the use of the flying machine as an engine of war.
Mr. Stott, who claimed that his machine was capable of speed up to
one hundred miles an hour, and of hovering in mid-air, went to Berlin
to see Bismarck, but backed out of the proposed trial ascent when the
German Government declined to pay him £1,000 in advance. This recalled
to _Punch_ the old story of "Twopence more and up goes the donkey"; for
the rest, while suspending judgment on the invention, he observes that
its use in war will constitute a "fearfully costly addition to already
bloated armaments: but the cheap defence of nations is now no longer
possible, and Governments, in their martial preparations, are obliged
to be regardless of expense."


_Punch_ was not an inventor himself; he never even put a hat on the
market; but almost every new invention or discovery prompted him to
indulge in forecasts, often farcical or fantastical, but, when read in
the light of subsequent views, sometimes proving that he prophesied
better than he knew. This is specially true of the development of
scientific warfare. The warship of the future, designed by Sambourne
in 1875, is not nearly so wonderful as some of the "blisters" of
the late war. In the following year the eighty-one-ton guns made
at Woolwich prompt an account of an imaginary sea-fight in which
battleships engage at fourteen miles distance. In 1879 Victor Hugo
declared that the twentieth century would see war abolished, along with
capital punishment, monarchy, dogmas and frontiers. _Punch_ replied
with a satirical forecast, in Hugo's manner, of a twentieth-century
invasion of Paris based on the pacificist assumption that, given
non-resistance, it would result in a "fraternal walk-over." The Channel
Tunnel scheme, revived in the early 'eighties, was the subject of much
discussion and debate, until in 1883 the Joint Select Committee of
the Lords and Commons decided by a majority that it was inexpedient
to give Parliamentary sanction to a submarine communication between
England and France. In 1881 _Punch_ notes the acute divergence of
views between various experts, and the military opposition headed by
the Duke of Cambridge and Lord Wolseley. He summed up the views of
the majority in a picture of Britannia saying that she was glad to
_lunch_ with Sir Edward Watkin--the indefatigable champion of the
scheme--any day, but drew the line at the tunnel. Early in 1883, under
the heading, "After it is Open," _Punch_, in a vein of laboured and
fantastic irony, records the evidence given before a "Channel Tunnel
_Closing_ Committee." Here by a complete change of front Lord Wolseley
is represented as urging the maintenance of the tunnel, and John
Bright as opposing it--both on account of the unforeseen consequences
of its having been made. The alternative and subsequent scheme of a
ferry or bridge is dealt with in 1890 by Du Maurier in a picture of
a cross-Channel gigantic Pullman car labelled, "Electric Plate-glass
Express." Du Maurier's fantasies were always fascinating, but the
nightmare element robs them of any pretence to realism. This applies
also to the "Tale for the Submarines in A.D. 2086" with
Sambourne's illustration, published in February, 1886. The forecast
of a naval battle given in 1891 under the title "Who'd be a Sailor? A
Story of Blood and Battle," is a slightly more circumstantial attempt
to realize the possibilities of marine warfare fifty years later.
_Punch's_ description of the devastating effect of high explosives
is not too extravagant, though it is meant to be farcical. Points of
more real interest in this fantasy are the idea of a Federation of
Anglo-Saxon nations--England, the Dominions and the United States--and
the well-merited recognition by name of the late Mr. Stead as an
advocate of the maintenance of Great Britain's naval supremacy.

[Illustration: "UNDER THE SEA!"

(A Tale for the Submarines in A.D. 2086)

"Mr. Nordenfeldt, if he has not actually made a discovery that will
revolutionize naval warfare, is on the track of one."--_Daily Paper._]

[Sidenote: _Gas v. Electricity_]

In 1881 _Punch_ published a cartoon with the title "What will he grow
to?" in which King Steam and King Coal are seen sulkily contemplating
the new and portentous infant Electricity. The question has only been
partially answered in the ensuing forty years, but _Punch_ found
ample material for comment and speculation in the achievements of the
'seventies and 'eighties. In his "Ode to the Coming Light" in 1878
delight is expressed at the possibility of a clean substitute for
gas. Yet he showed a wise caution as well as true foresight in the
verses accompanying the cartoon inspired by the slump in gas shares
in the same year. The notion that gas is likely to go utterly to the
wall is discouraged, and the panic-stricken share-holders typified by
the silly birds clustering round the Electric Lighthouse are advised
not to knock their brains out against the "Edison Light." Things
would work themselves out right in the end, and they did. Night has
not yet been turned into day, though a football match was played by
electric light at Sheffield more than forty years ago, and fresh
comfort for holders of gas shares was furnished in 1882 when the
eminent Dr. Siemens recommended the use of gas stoves for cookery. The
Electric Exhibition in 1881 is celebrated in an explosion of jocular
optimism; and in a burlesque fantasia on electricity in the house in
1883, _Punch_ anticipates the time when everything will be done by
electricity--shaving, boot-cleaning, carpet-beating--down or up to an
"Electric Family Prayer Reader," though not without frequent accidents,
as when the last-named machine gives the same chapter of Genesis three
mornings running. It was in the same year, by the way, that sixpenny
telegrams were first introduced--one of the many vanished privileges
which inspire envy in the harassed Georgian citizen.

References of the telephone abound through these years. The prevailing
temper of _Punch_ is shown in one of his earliest allusions to what
he calls "The Coming Agony," in 1877. An experiment in long-distance
telephoning is described in which a newspaper reporter is quoted as
saying, "On putting the instrument to my ear, I felt somewhat as if
a regiment of the line had fired a volley, at a hundred yards, into
that member." The _Almanack_ of 1878 has a page of telephone pictures,
illustrating bottled composers and singers--Gounod, Patti, Nilsson,
Santley, Henschel and De Soria--talks with the antipodes, etc. Mary
starts a "tallyphone" in the kitchen to converse with her young man;
and in another picture, suggested by the phonograph, Du Maurier
foreshadows the coming of the gramophone. A more friendly note is
struck in the article "Good-bye, Telephone," in 1881, lamenting that
vested interests were, by legal decision, ousting the telephone in
order to perpetuate the inefficiency of the telegraph:--

  We may read about scientific progress, but we must go abroad to
  see it. The wire that misspells a message, and the street Arab who
  delivers it at his leisure, are all we shall get in this country till
  the day when we are conquered by the Irish.

On the whole I am inclined to think that this is the strangest of
_Punch's_ many strange prophecies.

In the illustration of the "Photophone," the long-promised and
culminating development of the film, Du Maurier in 1881 depicts the
romance of long-distance courtship between Boulogne and Folkestone.
The "Telephone Trials" of 1885 are hardly distinguishable from those
of to-day. Telephonic communication with Paris was first established
in March, 1891, and _Punch_ represents Lord Salisbury and President
Carnot conversing over the wire about "outstanding questions." For
the ordinary person it was an expensive luxury, even in those days
of cheapness, and the lonely wife in Du Maurier's picture, on being
reassured by her husband (just off to Paris) that she can talk to
him over the telephone, but that it was rather costly, suggests he
had better leave her some blank cheques. A cartoon in the following
year, 1892, represents the telephone as the Cinderella of the Post
Office; but _Punch_ boldly predicts her final triumph over her "ugly
sisters"--the Telegraph and the Letter Post. The imperfections of
the telephone were simultaneously "guyed" in a delightful burlesque
on "Telephonic Theatre-goers," suggested by performances of the
"Theatrophone" at the Electrical Exhibition held in that year. The
experiences of auditors of different types are ludicrously reproduced,
notably those of the Irritable Person who is just beginning to hear the
dialogue of an exciting melodrama:--

  GHOSTLY VOICES (_in the Irritable Person's ear as before_):
  "Your _wife_?" "Yes, my wife, and the only woman in the world I ever

  THE IRR. P. (_pleased, to himself_): "Come, now I'm getting
  accustomed to it, I can hear capitally."

  THE VOICES: "Then why have you----?... I will tell you all.
  Twenty-five years ago, when a shinder foodle in the Borjeezlers I----"

  A STILL SMALL VOICE (_in everybody's ear_): "TIME,

[Sidenote: _Unconscious Crime_]

In the realm of discovery the return of the Arctic Expedition of the
_Alert_ and the _Discovery_ under Nares was an outstanding event of
1876 and was commemorated in two cartoons. As a mountain had been named
after _Punch_ he was naturally inclined to be proud of an expedition
which had given him something to be proud of. In 1880 a plan for a
new Arctic Expedition in which balloons should take part attracted
a good deal of notice, but _Punch_ was reluctantly sceptical of the
feasibility of this "wild scheme," expounded before the Lord Mayor
by a deputation mainly of sailors, but including Coxwell the famous
aeronaut. In 1885 we catch the first murmurs of modern psychological
jargon in a ballade on "The Unconscious Self":--

    'Tis a famous idea of Myers,
      The _Spectator_ attempts to explain,
    There's a hitch in the cerebral wires
      That the burden of thinking sustain;
    One "hemisphere" bustles amain,
      While the other is laid on the shelf,
    And what tenants these cells of the Brain?
      It is just the Unconscious Self!

    Now suppose that this essence inspires
      All acts that give Moralists pain,
    That ferocious passions it fires,
      Why the sinner may guiltless remain!
    He may forge, and may hurry to Spain
      With a parcel of alien pelf,
    But the culprit's that Side of his Brain,
      It is just the Unconscious Self!

    What a comfort to ladies and squires
      When their scutcheon is under a stain!
    They must answer whoever inquires,
      With apology none can disdain,
    "Automatic vagaries arraign,
      But acquit the poor innocent elf.
    Ananias is guiltless, and Cain,
      It is just the Unconscious Self!"

    Prince, surely the notion is plain
      To the critical mind of a Guelph,
    When we sin 'tis a kink in the brain.
      It is just the Unconscious Self!

Write "Subconscious" for "Unconscious," and _Punch's_ lines remain
an excellent exposition and criticism of the fashionable doctrine of
Psycho-Analysis of to-day.


LODGER: "Dear me, Mrs. Cribbles, your cat's been at this
mutton again!"

LANDLADY: "Oh no, Mum, it can't be the cat. My 'usband says he
b'lieves it's the Collerlarda Beetle."]

The arrival of the Colorado Beetle, a "newcomer" the reverse of
"blithe," is turned to humorous account by Keene in 1877. It was not
_Punch_, however, who was responsible for the unfeeling suggestion
that a young man, who had little to recommend him but the size of his
feet, and was in need of employment, should emigrate to Colorado to
crush the Beetle. Inoculation was already sufficiently advanced by
1881 for _Punch_ to make it the subject of what no doubt seemed to him
burlesque treatment. A lady, whose nephew is going out to Sierra Leone,
comes to buy him some Yellow Fever from her chemist, who offers her the
Traveller's half-guinea assortment of six of the Commonest Zymotics, to
be supplemented with most of the Tropical diseases at 5s. each. In the
light of the development of medical science the burlesque is not so
fantastic after all. Of the alternative method of cure by suggestion or
hypnotism _Punch_ was sceptically critical, though he exhibits in 1889
an ironical preference for the hypnotic treatment of dipsomaniacs as
compared with the repressive laws advocated by temperance extremists.

[Sidenote: _Drugs, Diet, and Speed_]

In 1890 influenza attained the proportions of an epidemic, and under
the heading, "Refreshments in Vogue," a butler is shown saying to a
lady, "Quinine or Antipyrin, my lady?" _A propos_ of refreshments, it
is to be noted that _Punch_, while no teetotaller, bestowed a somewhat
lukewarm benediction on Vegetarianism in 1886, when a Vegetarian
Restaurant was opened in the Strand opposite the Law Courts. The
movement was supported by several eminent medical men, including Sir
Henry Thompson and Sir James Crichton-Browne, on the ground that we
ought to eat less meat. Of late years Sir James Crichton-Browne has
shown more benevolence to carnivorous habits.

The general speeding-up of traffic on land and sea by improved methods
of locomotion inspired _Punch_ with mixed feelings. He was far-sighted
enough to recognize the need of raising the status of the engineer in
the Royal Navy long years before the introduction of the system of the
"common entry," but when he read in 1883 that a ship was being built to
cross the Atlantic in five days, he remarked that we were reducing our
periods of astonishment: "It's only a five days' wonder now." Wonder
gives place to protest, in 1889, against the racing of great Atlantic
liners; and the following passage has a curiously prophetic ring when
one thinks of the tragedy of the _Titanic_:--

                          RACING THE "RECORD"

            (Suggestion for a brief Mid-Atlantic Cantata).

  "Tearing ahead with the green sea sweeping the decks from end to end,
  never slacking speed in the face of the heaviest weather, regardless
  alike of the risk of crashing into some coming vessel and of the
  chance of splitting in half on some suddenly appearing iceberg, as
  of the dense fog which conceals both; with fires blazing and stokers
  fainting over the stress of work that is wrung out of them--the
  passage is made, from start to finish, at high-pressure pace. What is
  gained is a few hours' triumph in time over the performance of some
  rival Company, and the cost, if the practice be not speedily checked,
  will, sooner or later, most assuredly be the loss in Mid-Atlantic of
  a whole shipload of loudly protesting but as yet helpless and totally
  unheeded passengers."--Notes of some recent Atlantic Passages taken at
  random from the Daily Papers.

The speeding-up of agriculture by machinery found little favour in
_Punch's_ eyes. In the two pictures representing the "Delights of the
Peaceful Country" in 1884, the point of view is that of the sportsman.
Horses, maddened by the noise and smoke of steam ploughs and traction
engines, are seen bolting in all directions. The leader of a tandem is
shown standing on his hind-legs. Nowadays we expect to see sensitive
motorcars behaving in a similar way in the presence of Highland cattle.

_Punch_ did not retain a City editor on his staff, but the great
increase of limited liability companies in the 'eighties did not escape
his notice. The movement had gone so far that in 1886 a cartoon shows
a "Baked Tater Merchant" about to convert his business into a limited
liability company and retire into private life. The gold boom in
Johannesburg in 1889 inspired him with no misgivings, and an optimistic
article in the _Daily News_ prompted him to picture the Transvaal, a
Colonial Cinderella, transformed by Gold the fairy godmother. England
was visited in the same year by a party of American engineers on their
way to the Paris Exhibition, and their impressions are summarized in a
set of verses entitled, "Yankee Notions," in which _Punch_ undertakes
to interpret their admiration and gratitude. They would be admirable if
they had been written by an American, but acknowledgments of this sort
lose nine-tenths of their virtue when the host usurps the privilege of
the guest. Yet as a record of British achievement the lines are worth

    We have seen the Mersey Tunnel, 'tis a tidy little funnel;
      The Manchester Ship Canal, and Bridge of Forth, John Bull,
    And we find the land of Smeaton not so easily is beaten.
      We have travelled East and West, and South and North, John Bull.
    In your skill we've grown believers, and those Forth Bridge
      Lick the topping towers of Washington and Eiffel, John Bull.
    And now we would say thankee on behalf of every Yankee
      Who has had your hospitality, no trifle, John Bull.

    At the Guildhall Banquet truly every toast was honoured duly,
      And the Yankee Engineers received a bumper, John Bull.
    The old "Star-spangled Banner," sung by Fryer in a manner
      All his own, made every Yankee heart a thumper, John Bull.
    It seemed to float right o'er us as we all joined in the chorus,
      And drank the loving cup in Civic style, John Bull.
    Well, and here's three hearty cheers for Old England's Engineers,
      Who make the best of your queer little isle, John Bull.

    'Tisn't long, 'tis rayther narrow, but Laird, Bessemer, and Yarrow,
      With Armstrong, Whitworth, Maudslay, Ford, and Rennie,[7]
        John Bull.
    And others quite as clever use their very best endeavour
      To make their little land as good as any, John Bull.
    We must presently go back, and when on the homeward track
      The results of our excursion we shall tot, John Bull,
    And shall find ourselves agreeing we have seen _some_ things worth
      In the land of Telford, Stephenson, and Watt, John Bull.

[Footnote 7: The Maudslays, Joseph and Thomas Henry, were both famous
marine engineers; the Rennies, George and Sir John, carried on the
business and enhanced the repute of their father, a famous civil
engineer and pupil of James Watt. Ford is probably a misprint for Fox
(Sir Douglas Fox), the engineer of the Mersey Tunnel. Mr. Fryer, the
vocalist of the evening, was a professional singer.]

[Illustration: SALTS AND STOKERS

VULCAN (Chief Engineer): "Yes, Ma'am, things _do_ look bad,
and won't be better till you make a change in your officering! It's
been Captain Nep's boys till now--it must be _both_ our boys in

"Snapshot" photography is mentioned, but one cannot say honourably
mentioned, in 1887, and in 1892 the "detective" camera is spoken of as
a fashionable plaything. The introduction of the Parcel Post in 1883
inspires a burlesque correspondence on its abuse by the senders of
unsuitable articles, such as red herrings. In 1890 the Jubilee of the
Penny Post is celebrated in a ballad in praise of Rowland Hill, always
one of _Punch's_ heroes, who had carried his point though denounced as
a lunatic.

                                PART II

                           THE SOCIAL FABRIC

                            CROWN AND COURT

It was in keeping with the "Orientalism" which coloured Disraeli's
conception of Empire that his return to power in 1874 should be marked
by a strengthening of the ceremonial ties linking the throne with our
great Eastern Dependency. In 1875 the Prince of Wales visited India; in
1876 the Queen assumed the title of Empress of India. _Punch_ showed no
lack of good will in speeding the Prince on his journey, while frankly
criticizing the incidence of the cost. The grant of money for his
expenses was opposed in the House in January, and _Punch_ admitted that
the opposition was not altogether captious:--

  Everybody but Mr. Disraeli and Mr. Gladstone seems to think the
  Government has done the thing shabbily. To be sure, the Government
  ought to know best.

  _Punch_, with Mr. Fawcett, would have preferred that England should
  have paid every penny of the bill. India has certainly _not_ invited
  the Prince, and is as little in a position to invite him as she is
  to decline his visit: is certainly _not_ as well able to afford
  the expense of entertaining him as Canada was. As to the feeling
  of the Working-men (_Punch_ is a representative Working-man, and
  knows), nineteen-twentieths of them--as Mr. Burt, with characteristic
  straightforwardness admitted--neither think nor care a ha'penny about
  the matter: the other twentieth, including the blatant gentlemen who
  get up nasty noisy little mobs in Trafalgar Square, and who claim
  to speak for the Working-men, because they speak, peculiarly, for
  themselves, oppose the visit and the grant for it--as they oppose
  everything suggested by their betters, and, in particular, all grants
  to members of the Royal Family. They have found just enough voice
  in Parliament to show how thoroughly they stand opposed to general

The Prince's return was welcomed with a disclaimer of all venal

    'Tis no mere flourish of paid pen, no phrase of courtier's tongue
      Proclaims us loyal to our line of law-abiding Kings;
    'Tis for a son in more than name that England's heart is strung
      To this high note of welcome that through the welkin rings.

           *       *       *       *       *

    He is kindly, gay and gracious--he is manly, bold and brave;
      He bore him manly, princely, as an English prince should do;
    He took the rubs and roughings of travel like a man,
      And, if he won new friends in crowds, to the old friends still was

It was once said of an old Tory that, although generally intelligent,
whenever he began to talk of the Royal Family or the nobility, his jaw
dropped, and he became quite inarticulate. _Punch's_ jaw certainly did
not drop over the Queen's new title, for which he had no welcome. He
thought it a piece of Oriental Disraelian clap-trap, gave a sarcastic
account of the Proclamation at Delhi, and published cartoons in which
Disraeli figured as repainting the sign of the old Queen's Head, and
as a magician with new crowns for old. _Punch's_ antipathy to the new
style also found vent in a "Hymn to Victoria" after Ben Jonson:--

    Queen or Empress, Lady fair,
      Sovran of the swelling deep,
    Who, in distant Orient air,
      Dost the sway of nations keep,
          Must we, changing style with scene,
          Hail an Empress in our Queen?

    Where the tiger haunts the glade,
      Where the mystic Ganges flows,
    Where we English, unafraid,
      Govern friends who once were foes,
          There thy power is felt, unseen,
          There men bow to England's Queen.

    Lay the imperial style apart;
      Leave it to the lords of legions:
    Queen in every English heart,
      Be thou Queen in Eastern regions.
          Keep thy style and state serene--
          Who so great as India's Queen?


MR. BULL: "No, no, Benjamin, it will never do! You can't
improve on the old 'Queen's Head'!"]

Another set of verses printed a month or so later go so far as to
call "Emperor" a "name accursed." The old title was good enough for

    Still "King" or "Queen," from earliest days,
      To British understanding
    A sense of rank supreme conveys
      That brooks no rash expanding.

    Symbol august of royal state
      With Freedom's spirit blended;
    Can title so securely great
      Be altered or amended?

The Queen's visit to Lord Beaconsfield at Hughenden in December, 1877,
is treated in a spirit of genial irony with an undercurrent of distrust
in the Premier's flamboyant imagination. _Punch_ wonders what the
tree was that the Queen planted: possibly "of some Asian order from a
Hebrew root." In the accompanying picture it is labelled, "Conditional
Neutrality," and Gladstone is shown looking on, with his axe, as though
he would like to cut it down. Opposition to the Royal grants was again
vocal in 1878 in connexion with the Duke of Connaught's marriage, when
Sir Charles Dilke's motion was defeated by 320 to 33 votes. Dilke's
view was that there was no instance of the Crown holding out for a
marriage portion--except in the case of marriages in a manner forced
to raise Royal issue--before the present reign. The Government and the
Opposition, backed by Gladstone, contended that the precedents did not
apply. _Punch_ advocated an overhauling of the existing arrangements
as soon as they ran out. In the memorial stanzas on Princess Alice,
the Grand Duchess of Hesse Darmstadt, _Punch_ abstains from prophecy,
a fortunate abstention in view of the tragic future in store for her
daughters; and pays a well merited tribute to a good woman, above
reproach whether as daughter, wife, mother and sovereign. He applauds
the Duke of Albany for a speech in 1879 warning the British working man
not to be outstripped by foreign competitors in industry, intelligence
and taste, and welcomes the Prince as following in the steps of
his father. The Duke of Connaught's marriage in the same year is
celebrated in verse, _Punch_ declaring that he can't _gush_, but feels
glad; a sentiment tempered by an ironical description of the Royalties
and nobilities present at the wedding and of their cheap and homely

[Sidenote: _Loyalty with Reserves_]

There is a kindly reference in the same year to the death of the Prince
of Abyssinia (son of King Theodore), who was taken prisoner at Magdala
in 1868, and buried at Windsor by the Queen's desire. In his Elegy on
"poor Rasselas," _Punch_ speaks of the "kind Queen's mother heart." Yet
the continued seclusion of the "Royal Recluse" does not escape notice,
and the Birthday verses to the Princess of Wales show that it proved a
strain on _Punch's_ loyalty:--

    'Tis not that _Punch_--as leal as wise--
    Loves less his Queen by closer ties,
    Though she but rarely glads his eyes
        From Deeside and from Wight.
    "The absent still are in the wrong!"
    So runs a French saw current long;
    But _Punch's_ loyalty is strong,
        Be who will wrong or right.

The artistic efforts of Royalties are commended in 1881, when Princess
Louise and the German Crown Princess exhibited canvases at the Society
of Painters in Water Colours. _Punch_, in his earlier days, had seldom
a good word to say for the Royal patronage of the arts, and in the
same year he indulged in an audacious description of the depressing
conditions under which they were studied in Royal Palaces, and of
the boredom resulting from perpetual attendance on the Queen in her
self-imposed seclusion:--

                         FROM A COURT JOURNAL

                   (_Not published every Saturday_)

  1st. Back from Balmoral. What a relief! So pleasant to be near
  something civilized again. Dear L---- called early, and wanted me so
  much to make a pleasant day of it. It would have been so nice. Private
  view of some lovely frescoes to begin with. Then a quiet little
  luncheon together, and, after that, to Lady ----'s delightful place,
  to have some lawn-tennis, perhaps a little boating, and then finish
  with a drive back to town in the cool of the evening. Of course, I
  couldn't be spared. So, rest of diurnal programme as usual. Walked
  with Mamma. Had luncheon with Mamma. Drove with Mamma. Dined with
  Mamma. On the whole, rather a monotonous day.

  2nd to 9th inclusive. Nothing particular. Walked daily with Mamma.
  Had luncheon daily with Mamma. Drove daily with Mamma. Dined daily
  with Mamma. So, the fifteen pressing invitations for various things
  this week had, of course, to be declined. Never mind: I got on with
  my etchings; but the next book I illustrate shall be called "The
  New Cinderella." Dear me! if I could only get somebody to write
  it, couldn't I make a capital picture of the young maid's delight
  at finding her wretched State-coach changed suddenly into a lovely

  10th. A very eventful day. Some Indian potentate, with a peculiar
  turban, was made, by Mamma, an honorary Member of Knights of the
  Third Class of the Order of St. Michael and St. George. I attended.
  As usual, it was all over in three minutes. I wonder whether he could
  have taken a walk with Mamma, stayed to luncheon with Mamma, had a
  drive with Mamma, and have dined with Mamma, if Mamma had thought of
  ordering him! But there was no opportunity. The gentleman, too, who
  brought him, seemed so very anxious to get him back to Claridge's
  Hotel as quickly as possible. Perhaps he feared the honour might
  be too much for the Asiatic mind. _N'importe!_ Ah! happy Indian
  potentate, breathing the free air of Claridge's Hotel!

  11th to 18th. More walking with Mamma, taking luncheon with Mamma,
  driving with Mamma, and dining with Mamma. Some Germans to dinner once
  or twice. I shall learn Chinese. And that reminds me. I wonder whether
  Aladdin's Princess, with her tiny little feet, managed, after all, to
  get better about Pekin than I can about London.

  19th. Osborne. Dear A---- came with the children and pressed for me to
  be allowed to join them on the yacht, and see the regatta, and have a
  real sail, and spend a quite too lovely day! No use; so she went back,
  and I took a walk as usual with Mamma, had luncheon as usual with
  Mamma, and dined as usual with Mamma. Everything very much as usual.
  Stay, though; I am forgetting. I must add a two hours' steam up and
  down on the _Alberta_, a mile and a half away from everything, which
  the _Court Journal_ will no doubt describe as "witnessing the regatta"
  with Mamma!

  20th to 27th. The usual Osborne routine. Of course, I am perfectly
  happy doing nothing else but walking, taking luncheon, driving and
  dining continually with Mamma; though I should like to be able to
  get away a little now and then. In one of our drives round the island
  we passed several groups of happy girls enjoying themselves, in the
  society of their relatives and friends, in various healthful and
  innocent ways (with the permission of their Mammas). Yes, I must take
  in hand "The New Cinderella"!

  28th and 29th. Off again to Balmoral, without waiting for the State
  ball on the 30th. Journey full of novelty.

  30th. Once more in the bonnie Highlands! Attend the Servants' Ball,
  and wonder why, while they may enjoy a dance, I mayn't. Wonder how
  the State Ball is going on. Go to rest wondering, and finally dream
  that I am walking, taking luncheon, driving, dining and making immense
  progress in Chinese, simultaneously, with Mamma till further notice!

[Sidenote: _The Empress of Austria's Visits_]

In this context it should be noted that _Princess Beatrice's Birthday
Book_, illustrated by Walter Crane, Caldecott and Kate Greenaway, is
commended by _Punch_ at the close of the year.

The Kaiser's marriage forms the theme of some jocular and negligible
lines: too little then was known of his character and temperament to
expect any illuminating comment on the event. But a good deal of space
is devoted to the Empress of Austria's hunting visits to Ireland and
England--a vivid contrast to the dreary experiences chronicled in the
_Court Journal_ quoted above. Hunting in Meath had been boycotted
in the winter of 1881, and the Empress returned to her quarters at
Combermere Abbey in Cheshire. _Punch_ appeals to the Irish to wipe out
the stain and revert to the chivalry of the Irish Brigade, while he
welcomed the Empress to England.

In the following year the attempt on the Queen's life by a lunatic, and
the intervention of the Eton boy who punched the lunatic's head, are
duly chronicled. In one of the worst of his ceremonial cartoons _Punch_
is seen on bended knee presenting a letter of congratulation from
her loving People to the Queen and Princess Beatrice. Even the great
Tenniel could not always give dignified expression to a genuine and
general sentiment. No criticism, however, can be offered on _Punch's_
approval of the Queen's courage in appearing in public, shortly after
this incident, to open Epping Forest. The verses on the marriage of the
Duke of Albany in 1882 alluded to him as "the latest, youngest, not
least wise" of Royal Princes, and the worthy inheritor of the Prince
Consort's studious tastes. The accompanying cartoon shows the Duke with
the Duchess behind him on a pillion, riding to Claremont. In the autumn
of the same year his delicate health aroused public uneasiness, and
_Punch_ contrasts the formidable technical account of his symptoms in
the _Lancet_ with the reassuring statements of the _Morning Post_.

On the relations of Royalty to sport, _Punch_ had always been extremely
sensitive. The bitterest things he ever said of the Prince Consort were
directed against his stag-shooting exploits and pheasant battues in
the 'forties. Much in the same spirit is the vehement protest which he
uttered early in 1878 against the cruelty to an eagle which was trapped
at Windsor after Prince Christian and several keepers had vainly
tried to shoot it. The wretched eagle, according to _The Times_, tore
itself out of the trap, leaving one of its toes behind, and _Punch_
is indignantly sarcastic at this treatment of the royal bird. He was
mildly satirical in 1876 when the Balmoral Curling Club was broken up
owing to the tendency of the game "to encourage a love for whisky."
On the other hand, and unlike other critics, he was always ready to
acknowledge when Royalties acted on the maxim _noblesse oblige_.
The Princess of Wales's efforts to get pigeon shooting abolished at
Hurlingham in 1883 prompted the picture of the Triumph of Sir Pigeon
in the Lists with the Princess as Queen of Beauty in the Tournament of
Doves. Unluckily _Punch's_ jubilation was premature. Mr. Anderson's
Bill, supported by W. E. Forster, and opposed by Sir Walter Barttelot,
was "turned down" by the House, to the disgust of _Punch_, who asked
why could not the Home Secretary, Sir William Harcourt, follow the
example of Holland and forbid pigeon shooting. Still, two minor
victories are scored to the credit of the Princess of Wales this year.
"She has banished the crinolette, in spite of Paris. She has retained
the small bonnet, still in spite of Paris," and _Punch_ chronicles the
triumph in pleasantly whimsical rhymes.

[Sidenote: _John Brown_]

The critic re-emerges in a long and sarcastic account of the public
sale by auction of portraits and furniture--down to kitchen
chairs--belonging to the Duke and Duchess of Teck, which _Punch_
considered as undignified and improper, though he found the catalogue
a feeding-ground for laughter and a stimulant to satire. In the same
year the Queen's trusted attendant, John Brown, died. It is hard for
the present generation to realize the mixed feelings which the Queen's
reliance on this royal factotum excited in the minds of the public
at a time when the popularity of the Court was impaired by her long
seclusion. His very name is now forgotten, though in the 'seventies and
early 'eighties it was on every lip--often as an incentive to slighting
or indecorous comment. _Punch's_ tribute is somewhat ponderous in
style, but he makes a good point in distinguishing this faithful if
somewhat angular Scotsman from the minions and freaks of other Courts:--

    Service of Kings not always in earth's story
    Has been a badge of honour: gilded glory
    Of silken favourite dulls down to dust;
    Devotion self-respecting, sober, just,
    Lifts lowliest tendance to ennobling state.
    A good Queen's faithful follower! His the fate
    To wear the honours of the antique school,
    Right Service, nobler than unrighteous rule.

_Punch's_ alternations of loyalty and exceedingly frank criticism of
Royalty during this period are, it must be admitted, abrupt and even
bewildering. In the following extracts from _The Speaker; a Handbook to
ready-made Oratory_, we find him in his most unbridled and unmuzzled

                        PART I.--LOYAL TOASTS.

  _Duke of Edinburgh._--Sailor. Plays the fiddle like an angel. Married
  to rich Russian Princess. Friend of Sir Arthur Sullivan.

  _Duke of Connaught._--First-class Soldier, covered with Egyptian
  Medals.... His Royal Highness may be called "the heroic and beloved
  son of our revered Sovereign"--by a provincial Mayor. Name may be
  introduced in connexion with Ireland, the Franco-German War, Foreign
  Stocks--"Prefs." and "Unified"--the late Duke of Wellington, and "the
  Patrol Camp Equipage Hold-all."

  _Duke of Albany._--Scientific. Called after the King of the Belgians.
  Was at Oxford. Connected more or less with South Kensington, Upton
  Park Road, Bedford Park, the Kyrle Society, and Cremona violins. Is
  walking in the steps of the late greatly lamented Prince Consort.

  _Prince Teck._--Served with distinction as a letter-carrier on the
  field of Tel-el-Kebir, sold furniture of Kensington Palace by auction,
  and retired abroad. Name of no great value to anyone.

Here _Punch_, consciously or unconsciously, was satirizing himself in
his ceremonial moods. He was on much safer ground in the excellent
pictorial burlesque of the life of the Duke of Clarence at Cambridge,
based on a series of illustrations in a serious picture-paper in which,
amongst other incidents, the Prince had been depicted as "coxing"
a racing boat from the bow! This was fair game. There is a spice
of malice in the prospectus of an hotel which would supply "a long
felt want" by catering at cheap prices for Royal visitors, foreign
Princes and potentates, who could not be suitably accommodated in
Buckingham Palace. The publication in February, 1884, of a further
instalment of "Leaves from her Journal in the Highlands" is claimed
as the Queen's Valentine to _Mr. Punch_. When the Duke of Albany died
in March, _Punch_ did not err on the side of underestimating the
promise and achievement of that estimable Prince, but there is an
uncanny resemblance between his graceful elegiac stanzas and the points
outlined in the handbook of loyal toasts noted above. For a few months
the irresponsible satirist is silent; but he explodes again towards the
close of the year over the rumour that the Crown of Brunswick had been
offered to the Duke of Cambridge, and that he absolutely refused to
resign the command of the British Army. As the rumour was groundless,
there was no excuse for _Punch's_ malicious imaginary dialogue between
the Duke and the foreign officer who had come to make him the offer.
In representing the Duke as being discovered writing an article for
the _Sunday Times_ on "Dress," _Punch_ was only reverting to the old
familiar gibe at the passionate preoccupation of the Royal Family with

[Sidenote: _A Pacific Prince_]


"And what's all this I hear, Barbara, about your wanting to find some

"Well, you see, it's so dull at Home, Uncle. I've no Brothers or
Sisters--and Papa's paralysed--and Mamma's going blind--so I want to be
a Hospital Nurse."]

The alternations of candour and cordiality continue in the following
year. The Duke of Clarence is heartily congratulated on attaining
his majority; and the visit of the Prince and Princess of Wales to
Ireland is chronicled in cartoons in which the Prince figures as a
stage Irishman, and Erin is seen reproving a sullen little rebel. The
Prince of Wales's visit to Berlin in the same year (1885) is hailed as
an omen of more pacific relations--the Prince figuring as a Dove, the
old Emperor as a friendly Eagle. This was the year in which Princess
Beatrice, the youngest of the Queen's daughters, was married to Prince
Henry of Battenberg. _Punch_ makes a remarkably frank allusion to the
discussions in the House over her marriage portion in May. The passage
is interesting not merely for the matter but for the new manner of the
"Essence of Parliament," widely different from that of Shirley Brooks:--

  _Thursday._ Gladstone moved Resolution allotting Wedding Dowry of six
  thousand a year to Princess Beatrice. On the whole rather a depressing
  business. More like a funeral than the preliminary to a wedding party.
  House listened in politely glum silence. Gladstone seemed to feel
  this, and laboured along making most of argument that this was the
  last. Also (being the last) promised Committee for next year to go
  into whole matter. Labby opposed vote, and O'Brien testified afresh
  to his disappointment at failure of efforts made to spoil success of
  Prince of Wales' visit to Ireland. W. Redmond gave the proposal a
  great fillip by opposing it, and House divided: 337 for making the
  little present; 38, chiefly Parnellites, against.

By way of set-off, _Punch_ descanted melodiously on the "Royal
Ring-Doves," alluding to Princess Beatrice as

    England's home-staying daughter, bride, yet bound
    As with silk ties, within the dear home-round
    By many a gentle reason.

Here one cannot forget that terrible _Court Journal_ of four years
back, or acquit _Punch_ of irony in the light of the fact (recorded
in the _Annual Register_) that the Queen only gave her consent to
the marriage on condition of Princess Beatrice's living in England.
The discomforts and stinginess of the Court are satirized in an acid
extract from the "Letter of a Lady-in-Waiting" in January, 1886, and
there is a good deal of veiled sarcasm in the long account of the
opening of the Colonial and Indian Exhibition in the summer. The whole
ceremony is made to appear tedious, badly rehearsed and trivial, and
the Queen is described as speaking with a "slightly foreign accent."
Cordiality revives, however, in the verses "Astræa Redux," on the
Queen's "happy restoration to public life," _à propos_ of her visit to
Liverpool; and in the reference to her patronage of the Carl Rosa Opera
Company at the Lyceum.

[Sidenote: _Punch's Jubilee Ode_]

With the year of the Queen's Golden Jubilee _Punch's_ chivalrous
devotion to the person of the sovereign, which had never failed even
in his most democratic days, reawakened in full force. In his Jubilee
ode he emphasizes throughout the peaceful aim of the celebration:--

    Not with the ruthless Roman's proud parade
      Of flaunting ensigns and of fettered foes,
          Nor radiantly arrayed
      In pomp of purple, such as fitly flows
    From the stern Conqueror's shoulders, comes our Queen
    Whilst England's ways with June's glad garniture are green.

    Not with the scent of battle, or the taint
      Of cruel carnage round about her car,
          Making the sick air faint
      With the dread breath of devastating war,
    Rolls on our Royal Lady, whilst the shout
    Of a free people's love compasses her about.

    The pageantry that every step attends
      Is not the martial pomp that tyrants love,
    No purchased shout of slaves the shamed air rends;
          Peace's white-pinion'd dove
    Might perch upon those banners unafraid,
    The shackled forces here are thralls of Art and Trade.

           *       *       *       *       *

    Triumph! Shall we not triumph who have seen
      Those fifty years round on from sun to snow,
    From snow to sun, since when, a girlish Queen
          In that far June-tide's glow,
    Your brow first felt that golden weight well-worn,
    Which tried the Woman's heart, but hath not over-borne?

    Fifty fair years which, like to all things fair,
      Are flecked with shadow, yet whereon the sun
    Hath never set in shame or in despair,
          Their changeful course have run.
    And we who saw the dawn now flock to see
    June's noonday light illume Victoria's Jubilee.

    Just, pure, and gentle, yet of steadfast will
      When high occasion calls and honour pricks!
    With such a soul our Commonwealth should thrill,
          That, that alone shall fix
    Our rule in rock-like safety, and maintain
    Free way for England's flag o'er the wind-winnowed main.

    And _Punch_, whose memory scans those fifty years,
      Whose patriot forecast broods o'er coming-days,
    Smiles with the smiling throngs, and lifts his cheers,
          With those the people raise,
    And prays that firmer faith, spirit more free,
    May date from this proud day of jocund Jubilee.

The June and July numbers are dominated by the Jubilee, and _Punch_,
though he spoke with many voices in dealing with the various phases
of the festival, kept his criticism within limits of wholly genial
satire and whimsicality. There was a scene of decorous "revelry by
night" at the Reform Club, which gave a ball on June 16, recorded in
a set of verses with solos for Sir William Harcourt, John Bright and
Lord Rosebery, packed with political innuendoes, and winding up with a
soliloquy from the grand old M.C. (without) who sings:--

    Call this a Ball? More muddled every minute;
    Not one good dancer there. Glad I'm not in it!

The Lord Chamberlain, in Sambourne's picture, figures as the "boots"
of an hotel, run off his legs by the demands of Princes, Potentates,

    'Midst pleasures and 'midst palaces to roam,
      Is nice for foreign dignities, no doubt;
    But then they've lots of palaces at home,
      Which we are quite without.

"Robert, the City Waiter," descants on the festivities; the Editor
was prodigal of puns; there were Jubilee mock advertisements; and a
certain amount of criticism of the arrangements, though, as I note
elsewhere, _Punch_ pays a special tribute to the police for their
efficiency, courtesy, patience and humanity. A protest is entered
against the route of procession being exclusively West End, and
_Punch_ suggests an extension to take in some of the poorer parts of
London. The procession itself is described in a long article entitled
"The Longest Day," noting various incidents, such as the unhorsing of
the Marquis of Lorne, and summing up in the words: "For impressive
splendour and simple dignity, the Royal Procession couldn't be beaten.
But as a Pageant there was much to be desired." The closed carriages
were a mistake; the military bands were not fully used, and musically
the procession was "the dullest of its sort ever witnessed in any big
city on any big occasion." Still the police were A1, and Messrs. Brock
gave the public a "Brocken night" at the Crystal Palace, where the
rhododendrons were in their glory. The scene in the Abbey was "Abbey
and glorious." But _Punch_, after an explosion of punning, becomes
serious as he describes the scene when the Queen took her seat on the
Throne, and the moving sequel when she discarded precedent and showed
her womanliness by embracing her children. Nor does _Punch_ omit to
mention the masque, performed by the Benchers of Gray's Inn, originally
produced by Sir Francis Bacon in 1613; the Naval Review with the
curious incident of Lord Charles Beresford's resignation in consequence
of a breach of etiquette on his part in using public signals to send a
private message to his wife; and the Queen's visit to Hatfield when the
"lordly Cecil" entertained his sovereign as his ancestor had done in

[Illustration: "GOD SAVE THE QUEEN!"]

_Punch_, as I have often been at pains to insist, was a Londoner, but
he did not hesitate to pronounce the Manchester Exhibition as the "gem
of the Jubilee," a "perfect article" and "a superb model." It was
better than any of the shows at South Kensington, and _Punch_ rightly
singles out as its special glory the magnificent Picture Gallery
of Modern English Painters. On the other hand, provincial ideas of
suitable Jubilee memorials come in for a good deal of ridicule. The
list, which includes a central pig-market, a new town pump, a cemetery,
a new sewage scheme, gasworks, etc., is clearly farcical, but an actual
instance is quoted from the _Western Daily Mail_ of the decision of
a village in Cardiganshire to celebrate Her Majesty's Jubilee by
providing a public hearse. "The chairman, who originated the proposal,
was congratulated upon his happy idea, and an Executive Committee was
formed to carry it out," which prompted _Punch_ to suggest that they
ought to get Mr. Hayden Coffin to sing their Jubilee ode. _Punch's_
own serious suggestion for a Jubilee memorial was the revival and
extension of Queen Anne's Bounty to improve the lot of the poor clergy,
in place of the Church House Scheme.

[Sidenote: _How to Conciliate Ireland_]

The visit of Prince Albert Victor (the Duke of Clarence) and Prince
George (the present King) to Ireland in the summer of 1887 is taken
as the text of one of _Punch's_ periodical appeals to the Queen to
conciliate Ireland by going there herself, Hibernia being credited with
a desire for her presence:--

    Ah, then, if your Majesty's self we could see
      Sure we'd drop every grumble and quarrel;
    Stay a month in the year with my children and me,
      'Twould be a nice change from Balmoral.

The Prince of Wales's silver wedding fell in 1888, and furnished
_Punch_ with a theme for loyal verse. It was also the momentous year in
which three Emperors reigned in Germany, but of the significance of the
change from Wilhelm I to Wilhelm II I have spoken elsewhere. _Punch's_
Jubilee fervour had now died down, and Prince Henry of Battenberg's
appointment as Governor of the Isle of Wight is recorded in a
semi-burlesque picture of the Prince "with new scenery and costumes,"
and the comment: "Old England is safe at last."

On May 21 Prince Leopold of Battenberg (now Lord Mountbatten) had
been born at Windsor: on the following day a meeting was held under
the chairmanship of Lord Waterford to discuss the advisability of
abolishing the office of Viceroy of Ireland. Accordingly, _Punch_,
more in malice than seriousness, suggests as a solution of the Irish
difficulty that a Battenberg Prince should be born in Ireland, and
brought up as the future Viceroy, in imitation of the trick of Edward
Longshanks as related by Drayton in his "Polyolbion":--

    Through every part of Wales he to the Nobles sent
    That they unto his Court should come incontinent
    Of things that much concern'd the county to debate;
    But now behold the power of unavoided fate!
    When thus unto his will he fitly had them won,
    At her expected hour the Queen brought forth a son--
    Young Edward, born in Wales, and of Carnarvon called,
    Thus by the English craft the Britons were enthralled.

_Punch_ treats the parallel from Paddy's point of view, and winds up:--

    Sly Longshanks long ago with Cambria played a game--
    What if, say, Battenberg should contemplate the same?
    Pat, give him a fair chance, will prove himself--right loyal;
    But--ye can't heal ould wounds with mere soft soap--though Royal.

The last line is, we fear, a much truer reading of the problem than the
sentiments ascribed to Hibernia on a previous page.

The betrothal of the Princess Louise to the Earl, afterwards Duke, of
Fife, in the summer of 1889, impelled _Punch_ to rewrite Burns's "The
Wooing o't" for the occasion. The messages to the House from the Crown,
asking that provision should be made for Prince Albert Victor and
Princess Louise, led to a prolonged debate, and the question of Royal
Grants was referred to a Committee of all sections of the House, on
the basis that "Parliament ought not to recognize in an indefinite way
the duty of providing for the Royal Family in the third generation."
The Queen did not formally waive her claim, but made it clear that she
would not press it in the case of any other of her grandchildren. Mr.
Labouchere, Mr. Bradlaugh and Mr. Storey opposed the Majority Report of
the Committee in spite of a strong speech made by Gladstone in favour
of the grants, which were ultimately carried by large majorities.
_Punch_ approved of the Committee, on the ground that it was high time
we knew exactly how far the system was to be carried, and ascribed
similar sentiments to the average working man in his new version of a
popular song of the day. The Majority Report was embodied in the Prince
of Wales's Children Bill, which became law on August 9, in spite of the
opposition of those, including Mr. Morley and Sir William Harcourt, who
maintained that the grant was proposed in such a way as to leave room
for further claims and to bind future Parliaments.

[Sidenote: _Two Views of the Kaiser_]

The young Kaiser and his wife visited England in 1891, and _Punch's_
greeting came near to being fulsome. In July _Punch_, the Kaiser and
the Prince of Wales are associated in the cartoon, "A Triple Alliance,"
the accompanying legend containing the following high tribute to the
Imperial guest:--

    The Prince of Wales doth join with all the world
    In praise of--Kaiser Wilhelm; by my hopes
    I do not think a braver gentleman
    More active-valiant, or more valiant young,
    More daring, or more bold, is now alive
    To grace this latter age with noble deeds.

Yet at the close of the year the feverish versatility of the young
ruler is treated with the utmost disrespect:--

  The German Emperor has lately rearranged his scheme of work for
  weekdays. From six A.M. to eight A.M. he gives
  lectures on Strategy and Tactics to generals over forty years old.
  From eight to ten he instructs the chief actors, musicians and
  painters of Berlin in the principles of their respective arts. The
  hours from ten to twelve he devotes to the compilation of his Memoirs
  in fifty-four volumes. A limited edition of large-paper copies is to
  be issued. From twelve to four P.M. he reviews regiments,
  cashiers colonels, captures fortresses, carries his own dispatches to
  himself, and makes speeches of varying length to all who will listen
  to him. Any professional reporter found taking accurate notes of His
  Majesty's words is immediately blown from a Krupp gun with the new
  smokeless powder. From four to eight he tries on uniforms, dismisses
  Ministers and officials, dictates state-papers to General Caprivi,
  and composes his history of "How I pricked the Bismarck Bubble." From
  eight to eleven P.M. His Majesty teaches schoolmasters how to
  teach, wives how to attend to their families, bankers how to carry on
  their business, and cooks how to prepare dinners. The rest of the day
  he devotes to himself. On Thursday next His Majesty leaves Berlin on
  his tenth visit to the European Courts.

Another royal visitor in 1891 was Prince Victor Emmanuel of Italy--the
present King--to whom _Punch_, in the character of Niccolo Puncio
Machiavelli, proffers worldly advice, advising him to be liberal of

The Prince of Wales, born in the same year as _Punch_, completed his
fiftieth year in November. _Punch's_ Jubilee greeting is friendly
without being effusive. Reviewing the Prince's career from childish
days, _Punch_ recalls the picture of him in sailor kit as a child; the
nation's "Suspense" at the time of the dangerous illness in December,
1871. _Punch_ had watched him all along, abroad and at home, "where'er
you've travelled, toiled, skylarked"; and recognizes him at fifty
as "every inch a Prince," and worthy of cordial greeting; adding a
graceful compliment to Alexandra, "the unfading flower from Denmark,
o'er the foam."

The betrothal of the Duke of Clarence to Princess Mary of Teck had been
hailed with loyal enthusiasm, and his premature death in January, 1892,
was recorded with genuine feeling and sympathy. In neither cartoon,
however, was Tenniel at his best, and the memorial verses, though
graceful and kindly, do not lend themselves to quotation, the reference
to the "rending of Hymen's rosy band" betraying a pardonable inability
to predict the sequel.



SIR GORGIUS MIDAS: "Hullo! Where's all the rest of yer gone

HEAD FOOTMAN: "If you please, Sir Gorgius, as it was past two
o'clock, and we didn't know for certain whether you was coming back
here, or going to sleep in the City, the hother footmen thought they
might go to bed----"

SIR GORGIUS: "'Thought they might go to bed,' did they? A
pretty state of things, indeed! So that if I'd 'a 'appened to brought
'ome a friend, there'd 'a only been you four to let us hin, hay!"]

Critics and satirists of fashionable English society in the early
and middle periods of the Victorian age were mainly concerned with
its arrogance and exclusiveness. As we reach the 'seventies, with
the breaking down of the old caste barriers and the intrusion of
the new plutocracy, the ground of attack is shifted; the "old
nobility," dislodged from their Olympian fastnesses, are exhibited
as not merely accepting but paying court to underbred millionaires,
and eking out their reduced incomes by an irregular and undignified
competition with journalists, shopkeepers, and even actors. Society
had ceased to be exclusive; it was becoming "smart," and had taken to
self-advertisement. Wealth without manners had invaded Mayfair.

[Sidenote: _Woes of the Country Squire_]

These days ushered in the age of Society journals, of Society beauties,
of vulgarity in high places, of parasitic peers, of the invasion
of society by American heiresses, of the beginning of the end of
the chaperon, the dawn of the gospel of "self-expression," and the
rebellion of sons and daughters. Money, or the lack of it, was at the
root of all, or nearly all, these changes. Dukes had already begun to
sell their libraries and art treasures, and the wail of the old landed
aristocracy was not unfairly vocalized in "The Song of the Country
Squire," to the air of "The Fine old English Gentleman," and published
by _Punch_ in the autumn of 1882:--

    The fine Old English Gentleman once held a fine estate,
    Of a few thousand acres of farm and forest land, with polite
      and punctually-paying tenants, excellent shooting, ancestral oaks,
      immemorial elms, and all that sort of thing.
    But it hasn't been so of late;
    For the rents have gone down about twenty per cent., lots of acres
      are laid down in grass,
    And the person who imagines that the Squire of whom Washington
      Irving and Mounseer Montalembert wrote all sorts of pretty things
      has a jolly good time of it in these de--testable days,
    Is a sentimental ass,
    Says the fine Old Country Gentleman, one of the present time.

    The fine Old Country Gentleman has an Elizabethan mansion,
    But what the dickens is the good of that if his means continually
      narrow in proportion to
    His family's expansion?
    If he gives up his deer, and sells his timber, dismisses his
      servants, and thinks of advertising his house for a grammar
    Or a lunatic asylum
    (As he often has to do), what is there in his lot to excite the
      jealousy of those darned Radicals, though the common comfort of
      that poor _caput lupinum_, the Land Owner, on however little
      a scale
    Seems invariably to rile 'em?
    Asks the fine Old Country Gentleman, one of the modern time.
    With an encumbered property, diminishing rent-roll, and expenses
      beyond his income,
    The question which confronts him at every corner is, whence will the
      needful "tin" come?
    And when they prate to us about our "improvidence," and advise us to
     "cut down" and economize, why, where, in the name of patience,
     I ask'll
    Be the pull of being a Country Gentleman at all, if one has to live
      like a retired pork-butcher or prosperous publican, and perhaps
      you will answer
    That question, Mr. Charles Milnes Gaskell![8]
    Of the fine Old Country Gentleman, one of the modern time.

[Footnote 8: This gentleman had recently written an article on the
subject in the _Nineteenth Century_.]

The "profiteer" was already in Society and on the moors; _Punch_
reviled him in "My 'art's in the 'Ighlands," and in a picture of an
opulent Semite swearing that he hasn't "a drop of Hebrew blood in ma
veinth, 'thelp me." Du Maurier created Sir Gorgius Midas as typical
of the New Plutocracy--a gross, bediamonded figure, surrounded by
flunkeys, with Dukes and Duchesses as his pensioners. The alleged
poverty-stricken condition of the aristocracy is a frequent theme: one
ducal family can only afford to go to the opera when Sir Gorgius lends
them his box. But the Dukes still had their uses. The Beresford Midases
put their boy's name down both for Eton and Harrow, and decided to send
him to whichever has most "dooks" when the time comes. The New Rich
show themselves apt pupils in all the snobbery of rank. For example,
Sir Gorgius is shocked at the innovation of ladies and gentlemen riding
in or on omnibuses. This is not documentary evidence, of course, but it
was perfectly legitimate caricature. Du Maurier was not attacking the
self-made man whose creed is summed up in the Lancashire saying: "Them
as 'as brass don't care a damn what them as 'asn't thinks on 'em." He
bestowed his ridicule impartially on the servile plutocrats who aped
the customs of the titled classes, and the aristocrats who were unable
to grow poor with dignity. Du Maurier's contribution to the social
history of the middle and later Victorian age was invaluable on its
critical and satirical side. But he was emphatically an aristocrat in
the sense that he believed in good manners and fine physique: he set
beauty above rank or riches, and was an early apostle of Eugenics. Long
before the cult of athletics had begun to affect the stature and build
of English girls, he devoted his pencil to glorifying the Junoesque
type of English beauty. And while none of _Punch's_ artists ever paid
more consistent homage to elegance and distinction of feature and
figure, he could be on occasion a merciless satirist of the physical
deterioration brought about by intermarriage amongst the old nobility.
Thus in 1880 he showed a ridiculous little degenerate affectionately
rebuking his effete parents for "interfering in his affairs," with the
result that he is "under 5 feet 1 inch, can't say Boh to a goose, and
justly passes for the gweatest guy in the whole county."

The same spirit is shown in the fantastic contrast between the
aristocracies of the past and the future. The scene is "an island in
British Oceana"; the time 1989, a hundred years later than the date of
the picture:--

  Prown--in your lôfly bresence I forket my zixty-vour kvarterings.
  I lay my Ditle at your Veet. Bitte! pecome ze Crant Tochess of

  MISS BROWN: "Your Highness also forgets that I have
  sixty-four Quarterings!"

  HIS HIGHNESS: "Ach! How is dat, Miss Prown?"

  MISS BROWN: "Why, my father and mother, my four grandparents,
  my eight great-grandparents, my sixteen great-great-grandparents, and
  my thirty-two great-great-great-grandparents were all certified over
  six foot six inches, perfect in form and feature, and with health and
  minds and manners to match, or they would not have been allowed to
  marry. And though I'm the shortest and plainest girl in the colony, I
  should never be allowed to marry anyone so very much beneath myself as
  your Highness!"


MRS. BERESFORD MIDAS: "I'm so glad we've put down
Plantagenet's name for Eton, Beresford! Here, the newspaper says there
are more Lords and Baronets there than ever!"

BERESFORD MIDAS, ESQ., J.P. (_Brother and Junior Partner of
Sir Gorgius_): "Ah, but only one Dook! Pity there ain't a few more
Dooks, Maria!"

MRS. BERESFORD MIDAS: "Perhaps there _will_ be when
Plantagenet's of an age to go there."

MR. BERESFORD MIDAS: "Let's 'ope so! At all events, we'll put
down his name for 'Arrow as well; and whichever 'as most Dooks when the
time comes, we'll choose _that_, yer know!"]


Our prophetic instinct enables us to foresee that the British
Aristocracy of the future will consist of two distinct parties--not
the Tories and the Whigs--but _the handsome people_ and _the clever
people_. The former will be the highly developed descendants of the
athletes and the beauties, the splendid cricketers and lawn tennis
players of our day. The latter will be the offspring, not of modern
æsthetes--oh, dear, no! but of a tougher and more prolific race, one
that hasteth not, nor resteth; and for whom there is a good time
coming. The above design is intended to represent a fashionable
gathering at Lord Zachariah Mosely's, let us say, in the year two
thousand and whatever-you-like.

N.B.--The happy thought has just occurred to His Lordship that a fusion
of the two parties into one by means of intermarriage, would conduce to
their mutual welfare and to that of their common progeny.]

[Sidenote: _Mrs. Ponsonby de Tomkyns_]

In illustrating the falling away of the titled classes from the
maxim _noblesse oblige_ on its physical side, Du Maurier occupied
an exceptional position on _Punch_; but he was not less active than
other artists and writers in exposing the "moral and intellectual
damage" which they inflicted on the community. In 1878 the vogue of
"Fancy Fairs" evokes a vigorous protest against the vanity, bad taste,
forwardness and free-and-easiness of society women who made themselves
cheap in order to sell dear to 'Arries. From this date onwards the
vagaries of Mrs. Ponsonby de Tomkyns, in whom Du Maurier incarnated
all the pushfulness of the thrusting woman of fashion, are a constant
source of entertainment. One of her earliest exploits as a Lion-hunter
was to invite Monsieur de Paris to one of her receptions. Her husband
thought she meant the Comte de Paris, but she speedily undeceives
him. It was the headsman she was pursuing, not the Prince. "All the
world" came, but the faithless executioner went to visit the Chamber of
Horrors at Madame Tussaud's instead! Later on, as the social mentor,
guide, philosopher and friend of Lady Midas, we find her warning her
pupil against inviting the aristocracy to meet each other. A music-hall
celebrity must be provided as a "draw," and Mrs. Ponsonby de Tomkyns
recommends Nellie Micklemash and her banjo. "She is not respectable,
but she is amusing, and that is everything." So when the Tichborne
Claimant was released in 1884, Mrs. Ponsonby de Tomkyns contemplates
inviting him to dinner: "Surely there are still _some_ decent people
who would like to meet him." Elsewhere and in more serious vein _Punch_
denounces the undue publicity given to this impostor's movements in
the Press--one leading paper having stultified itself by condemning
the practice in a leading article and simultaneously publishing an
advertisement of the Claimant's appearance at a music-hall. This
dualism, however, was no monopoly of the 'eighties and has become
common form in the Georgian Press.

Mrs. Ponsonby de Tomkyns acts as a bridge between the old and the new
_régime_ in her ceaseless and indiscriminate worship of celebrities
and notorieties. She is the descendant of Mrs. Leo Hunter, but adds
the shrewdness and cynicism of the go-between to the simple silliness
of her ancestress. Todeson, another familiar figure in Du Maurier's
gallery, attaches himself exclusively to the old nobility, but is
always putting his foot in it by being _plus royaliste que le roi_, or
more ducal than the duchess. For in the slightly distorting mirror of
Du Maurier's genius we see, as an evidence of the spread of liberal
ideas, a Duke dining with his tailor and being kept in very good order
by him; and a musical Duchess learning to sing Parisian chansonnettes
from a French expert in the _franchement canaille_ manner. The craze
for the stage among "Society people" had now reached formidable
dimensions. They were no longer content with amateur theatricals, but
had begun to enter into competition with the professionals.

The invasion of journalism by the same class _Punch_ took much more
seriously. Hazlitt, some fifty years earlier, had written in his essay
"On the Conversation of Lords": "The Press is so entirely monopolized
by beauty, birth or importance in the State, that an author by
profession resigns the field to the crowd of well-dressed competitors,
out of modesty or pride." But this was written when the mania for
fashionable novels by Noble Authors was at its height, and Hazlitt uses
the word Press of the printing press generally. In the early 'eighties
the competition of titled amateurs was mainly confined to Society
journals, a characteristic product of the new fusion of classes. As
one of their ablest and most cynical editors said of his own paper,
they were "written by and for nobs and snobs." They are now practically
dead, owing to the absorption in the daily Press of the special
features--above all the "personal note"--then peculiar to these weekly
chronicles of high life. _Punch_ ascribed the invasion of the Street
of Ink by the amateurs to the penurious condition of the aristocracy
and their ignoble readiness to turn their social opportunities into
"copy" and cash. Under the heading of "_Labor Omnia Vincit_, or How
Some of 'em try to live now," _Punch_ published a satiric sketch of the
new activities of Mayfair. The scene is laid in the boudoir of Lady
Skribeler, a successful contributor to various Society journals. The
scene opens with the arrival of her friend the Hon. Mrs. Hardup, who
gives a pathetic account of her disastrous ventures in business and her
failure to secure an engagement on the stage. Why, asks Lady Skribeler,
had she not made her husband go into trade or keep a shop, or sell

[Sidenote: _Titled Professionals_]

  MRS. HARDUP: "Oh, he has done that. He was Chairman of that
  Thuringian Claret Company; and we got ever so many people about us
  to take a quantity. But it fermented--or did something stupid; and
  they do say it killed the poor Duke, who was very kind to Harry, you
  know, and took a hundred dozen at once. And now, of course, there's no
  sale--or whatever they call it; and Harry says if it can't be got rid
  of to a firm of Blue Ink Makers, who are inquiring about it, it will
  have to go out to the Colonies as Château Margaux--at a dreadful loss.
  [Summing up.] I don't believe the men understand trade a bit, dear. So
  I'm going to do something for myself."

The sequel describes her initiation into the tricks of the trade by
Lady Skribeler:--

  Profiting by the morning's conversation, Mrs. Hardup besieges
  unprotected Editors, contributes to the literature of her country
  most interesting weekly accounts of the doings of her friends and
  acquaintances, and, it is to be hoped, practically solves, to her own
  satisfaction, the secret of the way in which a good many of us manage
  to live now.


LADY GWENDOLINE: "Papa says _I'm_ to be a great artist, and
exhibit at the Royal Academy!"

LADY YSEULTE: "And papa says _I'm_ to be a great pianist, and
play at the Monday Pops!"

LADY EDELGITHA: "And I'm going to be a famous actress, and act
Ophelia, and cut out Miss Ellen Terry! Papa says I may--that is, if I
_can_, you know!"

THE NEW GOVERNESS: "Goodness gracious, young ladies! Is it
possible His Grace can allow you even to _think_ of such things! Why,
_my_ Papa was only a poor half-pay officer, but the bare thought of
my ever playing in _public_ or painting for _hire_, would have simply
_horrified_ him--and as for acting Ophelia or anything else--gracious
goodness, you take my breath away!"]

For success in this walk of journalism, "literary culture
must be eschewed, for with literary culture come taste and
discrimination--qualities which might fatally obstruct the path of
the journalistic aspirant." It was not by any means monopolized by
amateurs, and _Punch_, in his series of "Modern Types" a few years
later, traces, under the heading "The Jack of all Journalisms," the
rise to power and influence of a humble but unscrupulous scribe,
successively venal musical and dramatic critic, interviewer and
picturesque social reporter, but always "the blatant, cringing,
insolent, able, disreputable wielder of a pen which draws much
of its sting and its profit from the vanities and fears of his
fellow-creatures." The sketch is an ingenious composite photograph,
in which those familiar with London journalism in the 'eighties and
'nineties will recognize in almost every paragraph the lineaments of
one or other of the most notorious and poisonous representatives of the
Society Press.

As we have seen, journalism was only one field for the commercial
instincts of penurious "Society people." In 1887 _Punch_ takes for his
text the following paragraph from a daily paper:--

  "One well-known West End Milliner is a graduate of Girton; another
  bears a title; a third conceals a name not unknown to Burke under a
  pseudonym.... Many of the best women of all classes are ready to do
  anything by which the honest penny may be earned."

_Punch_ was somewhat sceptical as to the honesty of their intentions;
the only way, he tells us, to get an invitation to the dances given by
one titled shopkeeper was to buy one of her bonnets. This may have been
a malicious invention, but he was fairly entitled to make game of the
advertisement which appeared in the _Manchester Evening Times_ in the
spring of 1887:--

  "To Christian Widowers.--A Nobleman's Widow, of good birth, about 40,
  no family, left with small income, pleasing, sweet-tempered, cultured,
  domesticated, fond of children, desires Settled Home and a high-minded
  Protestant Husband of 50, or older, seeking domestic happiness with a
  devoted, loving Christian wife.--Address----"

[Sidenote: _The American Invasion_]

The lady shopkeeper had become such an institution that _Punch_
included her in one of his series of "Modern Types" in 1891. The
portrait is not exactly flattering, though he admitted that she
sometimes possessed other than purely social qualifications for

  At first everything will go swimmingly. Friends will rally round
  her, and she may perhaps discover with a touching surprise that the
  staunchest and truest are those of whom, in her days of brilliant
  prosperity, she thought the least. But a _succès d'estime_ is soon
  exhausted. Unless she conducts her business on purely business lines,
  delivers her goods when they are wanted, and, for her own protection,
  sends in her accounts as they fall due, and looks carefully after
  their payment, her customers and her profits will fall away. But if
  she attends strictly to business herself, or engages a good business
  woman to assist her, and orders her affairs in accordance with the
  dictates of a proper self-interest, she is almost certain to do well,
  and to reap the reward of those who face the world without flinching,
  and fight the battle of life sturdily and with an honest purpose.


THE NEW GOVERNESS (_through her pretty nose_): "Waall--I come
right slick away from Ne' York City, an' I ain't had much time for
foolin' around in Europe--you bet! So I can't fix up your gals in the
Eu-ropean Languages no-how!"

BELGRAVIAN MAMMA (_who knows there's a Duke or two still left
in the Matrimonial Market_): "Oh, that's of no consequence. I want my
daughters to acquire the American accent in all its purity--and the
idioms, and all that. Now I'm sure _you_ will do _admirably_!"]

Millinery was the favourite field of enterprise, but the duchess
who rebuked the indiscreet Todeson for his condemnation of trade as
unworthy of the nobility, mentioned that her husband had gone in for
bric-à-brac and her mother for confectionery. "Society people," in
short, were dabbling extensively in trade, but it was mainly confined
to the luxury trades. _Punch_ does not mention, however, what was
generally believed to be true, that a well-known peer was a partner in
a firm of money-lenders, trading under a name most literally suggestive
of blood-sucking. Commercialism in high places is illustrated
indirectly but pointedly by the invasion of American heiresses.
Dowagers with large families of daughters--for large families were
still frequent and fashionable--found themselves seriously affected
by the "unfair competition" of these wealthy and vivacious beauties.
In 1888 _Punch_ satirized their misfortunes in a picture representing
English society mothers engaging American governesses so that their
daughters might be instructed how to hold their own against American
girls in attracting eligible dukes. So again in the _Almanack_ of 1889,
under the title "Social Diagnosis," a French baron identifies a certain
lady as an English duchess on the evidence of her indisputably American
origin, and in the same year, in a sardonic article, _Punch_ exposes
the American tendency to gloat over evidences of class distinctions in
English society, while pretending to denounce them. This was inspired
by the activities of certain American correspondents and "G. W. S."
(the late Mr. Smalley) in particular, who is described as "too intimate
with the 'hupper suckles' to think much of them." It was he, by the
way, whose favourite form of social entertainment was described as
not a "small and early" but an "Earl and Smalley." The hardest thing
that _Punch_ said of the American heiresses was put into the mouth of
one of their number. In 1890 he published a picture of three fair New
Yorkers conversing with a young Englishman. When he asks whether their
father had come with them to Europe, one of them replies: "Pa's much
too vulgar to be with us. It's as much as we can do to stand Ma." But
the verses on "The American Girl" in the same year wind up on a note of
reluctant admiration:--

[Sidenote: _Mayfair's New Idols_]

                          THE AMERICAN GIRL.

  (An American Correspondent of _The Galignani Messenger_ is very severe
               on the manners of his fair countrywomen.)

    She "guesses" and she "calculates," she wears all sorts o' collars,
      Her yellow hair is not without suspicion of a dye;
    Her "Poppa" is a dull old man who turned pork into dollars,
      But everyone admits that she's indubitably spry.

    She did Rome in a swift two days, gave half the time to Venice,
      But vows that she saw everything, although in awful haste;
    She's fond of dancing, but she seems to fight shy of lawn tennis
      Because it might endanger the proportions of her waist.

    Her manner might be well defined as elegantly skittish;
      She loves a Lord as only a Republican can do;
    And quite the best of titles she's persuaded are the British,
      And well she knows the Peerage, for she reads it through and

    She's bediamonded superbly, and shines like a constellation,
      You scarce can see her fingers for the multitude of rings;
    She's just a shade too conscious, so it seems, of admiration,
      With irritating tendencies to wriggle when she sings.

    She owns she is "Amur'can," and her accent is alarming;
      Her birthplace has an awful name you pray you may forget;
    Yet, after all, we own _La Belle Américaine_ is charming,
      So let us hope she'll win at last her long-sought coronet.

An heroic attempt was made in 1882 by that devoted apostle of the
(socially) Sublime and Beautiful, Mr. Gillett, to revive Almack's. But,
as _Punch_ had frankly and even cheerfully recognized in connexion with
a previous attempt, the time had gone by for the oligarchical control
of the entertainments of the fashionable world.

Society had ceased to be small, select and exclusive; it was becoming
increasingly mixed, cosmopolitan and plutocratic. The horizon was
enlarged and the range of interests multiplied, but the desire to be
in the movement was not always indulged in with dignity or discretion.
Mayfair worshipped at new shrines and erected new idols. It was an
age of strange crazes and pets and favourites. The great ladies of
the 'thirties and 'forties may have been arrogant, but they seldom
exploited their personalities, or cultivated a limelight notoriety.
There is shrewd criticism in the legend of one of the earliest of the
"Things one would have rather left unsaid," illustrated by Du Maurier
in 1888:--

  AUNT JANE: "Ugh! When I was your age, Matilda, Ladies of
  Rank and Position didn't have their photographs exposed in the shop

  MATILDA (_always anxious to agree_): "Of course not, Aunt
  Jane. I suppose photography wasn't invented then?"

[Sidenote: _Old Bailey Ladies_]

Photography has much to answer for; and certainly played its part in
luring the titled classes from their ivory towers, and creating the
professional beauty. The "Giddy Society Lady," as portrayed by _Punch_
in 1890, is a new version of the "Model Fast Lady" he described some
forty years earlier, and though less mannish in her deportment, is much
more flashy, vulgar and selfish than her predecessor. Tailor-made by
day, excessively _décolletée_ at night, and preferring Bessie Bellwood
to Beethoven, this semi-detached and expensive wife as delineated by
_Punch_ is not an attractive figure. Yet with very few changes the
portrait might stand for the modern society Maenad. Cigarette-smoking,
it should be noted, was still considered "fast." Another recurrent
type of unlovely womanhood much in evidence in these years is the "old
Bailey lady" as _Punch_ christened her many years before. In 1886 the
writer of "A Bad Woman's Diary" expressly states that she would not go
to a theatre in Lent, though she spends all her spare time attending
murder trials. _Punch_ did not spare the judges who lent themselves to
this abuse, as may be gathered from the following dialogue:--

  HER GRACE: "Thank you so much for keeping such nice places
  for us, Judge! It was quite a treat! What romantic looking creatures
  they are, those four pirates! I suppose they really did cut the
  Captain and Mate and Cook into bits, and there's no doubt about the

  SIR DRACO: "Very little indeed, I fear!"

  HER GRACE: "Poor Dears! I suppose if I and the girls get
  there between five and six to-morrow, we shall be in time to see you
  pass the sentence? Sorry to miss your summing-up, but we've got an
  afternoon concert, you know!"

  SIR DRACO: "I'll take care that it shall be all right for
  you, Duchess!"

So, again, under the sarcastic heading, "True Feminine Delicacy of
Feeling," this morbid curiosity is scarified in the conversation of two
ladies in 1889:--

  EMILY (_who has called to take Lizzie to the great Murder
  Trial_): "What, deep black, dearest?"

  LIZZIE: "Yes. I thought it would be only decent, as the poor
  wretch is sure to be found guilty."

  EMILY: "Ah! Where I was dining last night, it was even
  betting which way the verdict would go, so I only put on half


GWENDOLINE: "Uncle George says every woman ought to have a
profession, and I think he's quite right!"

MAMMA: "Indeed! And what profession do you mean to choose?"

GWENDOLINE: "I mean to be a professional beauty!"]

It was in the same year that _Punch_ published a double cut, showing
the _tricoteuses_ under the guillotine at the French Revolution, and,
as a pendant, society ladies in a modern English Court of Justice.

[Sidenote: _The Terrors of Reminiscence_]

The fashionable craze for "slumming," which set in early in the
'eighties, was less objectionable; it was at worst an excrescence
on the genuine interest taken in the housing question by serious
reformers. But as practised by Mayfair it was ridiculed by _Punch_ as
a mere excuse for excitement; Du Maurier reduced it to an absurdity by
his picture of society ladies going slumming in mackintoshes to avoid
infection; and by another of Todeson, who had taken part in one of
these excursions, being disillusioned by contact with real workers, and
self-sacrificing East End clergymen. I have not been able to ascertain
whether the same artist's picture of professional pugilists being
_fêted_ by society in 1887 was a mere piece of burlesque or not; but
it was, at any rate, a good example of intelligent anticipation. His
satire of "Society's new pet--the artist's model," in a picture of a
handsome Junonian girl surrounded by infatuated Duchesses, drinking
in her artless and h-less confidences, is probably only a fantastic
caricature of aristocratic commercialism, as one of the great ladies
is represented as thinking of letting her daughter become a model as a
means of social advancement. Mention has been made of the invasion of
journalism by society people. But students of foretastes and parallels
will find a really remarkable anticipation of the terrors of modern
Diaritis--not to use a more vulgar word--in the burlesque review of _A
Modern Memoir_--the Autobiography and Letters of Miss Skimley Harpole,
published by Messrs. Rakings & Co.:--

  Seldom have we perused a book with so much interest as has thrilled
  us during our reading of these two handsome volumes. Situate as Miss
  Harpole was, the daughter of a famous bishop, claiming for mother a
  lady whose good deeds are remembered to this day, sister of one of
  the most brilliant female leaders of society, and herself popular,
  fêted and caressed, there is small room for wonder that even the bare
  details of Miss Harpole's everyday life would prove interesting, but
  when told in a charmingly frank style her book becomes a model of
  what a Memoir should be. In a few short simple sentences she, with
  delicious _naïveté_, relates her home life, and so clearly is the
  picture put before us that we cannot resist quoting the fragment:

  "Take us at home of a night! The Bishop in an easy chair, with his
  gaitered legs crossed, and elevated on the back of another, with a
  short clay pipe in his mouth, is vaguely mixing his eleventh tumbler
  of hot gin-and-water, causing us girls great pain to conceal our
  titters, when, as happens very often at this period of the evening,
  he deposits the greater part of the hot water on the tablecloth or
  himself. My mother, regardless of him, sits, carefully studying a
  sporting paper, and the Racing Calendar, and making her selections for
  the next day's horse-race. For a heavy gambler is my mother, as is my
  brother, who, when at home--which is seldom--is either delighted at
  having won, or in the sulks because he has lost money to his fellow
  legal students at billiards. As a rule he is delighted, and always
  carries a lump of chalk in his pocket. My sister is writing notes to
  Men about Town, Peers and Guardsmen, her lovely features only losing
  their serenity when lit up by an arch look of wonderment whether she
  has made appointments with two different men at the same hour and
  place, while I am sitting, in my school-girlish way, by myself, making
  notes, so as to tell the world some day the true story of my life."

  Space forbids us to say any more of the merits of this charming work,
  but we cannot resist one extract which shows how true was the estimate
  of the Bishop's noble character:--

  "We were one night at the Italian opera, of which my father was
  passionately fond, and during the ballet our attention was drawn to a
  singularly lovely girl on the stage. 'Alas!' said the Colonel, 'she
  is as bad as she is beautiful.' The Bishop immediately avowed his
  readiness to investigate the case at the earliest opportunity. He
  was always thinking of others, despite Mamma's occasionally stubborn

  This concludes our notice. In brief, the book is a most excellent
  specimen of the modern style of Memoir, conceived with kindliness of
  heart and charity of remembrance and executed with literary taste,
  skill and polish.

This was fiction, based on what purported to be truth, and in turn
was destined to be easily eclipsed by the actual reminiscences of a
later generation. It may be noted in this context that the "blazing
indiscretions" in the "Life of Bishop Wilberforce," published in 1883,
and the letters of protest which they evoked, had already prompted the
satire and sympathy of _Punch_.

[Illustration: OVERDOING IT

"What? Going already? And in Mackintoshes? Surely you are not going to

"Oh, dear no! Lord Archibald is going to take us to a dear little Slum
he's found out near the Minories--such a fearful place! Fourteen poor
Things in One Bed, and no Window--and the Mackintoshes are to keep out
Infection, you know, and hide one's Diamonds, and all that!"]

[Sidenote: _Thought-Reading and Theosophy_]

The fashionable quest of the unseen world took no new forms in the
'seventies and 'eighties. We hear much less of Spiritualism under
that name. This was no doubt in part due to the success of Maskelyne
and Cook in outdoing the "manifestations" of mediums, a success so
remarkable that they were actually claimed as spiritualists by some of
the fraternity. In 1874 _Punch_ waxes facetious at the statement that
additional help had been obtained in the working of certain mines by
ghostly assistants. Later on there are references to the activities of
palmists and Society Sibyls, but the study of the Unseen and the Occult
in the 'eighties entered on a new and formidable phase with the advent
of thought-readers, theosophists and psychical researchers. _Punch_
devotes a good deal of space to an exhibition of his powers by Irving
Bishop, a well-known thought-reader of the time, at which politicians
were impressed and sceptics--represented by Ray Lankester--were
unconvinced. The pin-finding business was certainly much less
impressive than the exploits of the Zancigs some thirty years later.
The invasion of the drawing-room by pseudo-science met with little
sympathy from _Punch_, who summed up his view in the phrase, "modish
science is a sciolist"; and in 1891 he expressed his resentment against
the new mysticism and the jargon of Theosophy in a comprehensive
denunciation of "useless knowledge." The verses are worth quoting, not
for their poetic quality but for the list of names quoted:--

                         OUR REAL DESIDERATUM

                     (_By a "Well-informed" Fool_)

    Ah! I was fogged by the Materialistic,
      By Huxley and by Zola, Koch and Moore;
    And now there comes a Maëlstrom of the Mystic
      To whirl me further yet from sense's shore.
    Microbes were much too much for me, bacilli
      Bewildered me, and phagocytes did daze,
    But now the author 'cute of _Piccadilly_,
      Harris the Prophet, the Blavatsky craze,
    Thibet, Theosophy, and Bounding Brothers--
      No, Mystic Ones--Mahatmas I should say,
    But really they seem so much like the others
      In slippery agility!--day by day
    Mystify me yet more. Those germs were bad enough,
      But what are they compared with Astral Bodies?
    Of Useless Knowledge I have almost had enough,
      I really envy uninquiring noddies.
    I would not be a Chela if I could.
      I have a horror of the Esoterical.
    Besant and Olcott may be wise and good,
      They seem to me pursuing the chimerical.
    Maddened by mysteries of "Precipitation,"
      The Occult Dream and the Bacillus-Dance;
    We need Societies for the propagation
      Of Useful--Ignorance!

This bracketing of Huxley with Zola is decidedly unfair, and the
juxtaposition of Koch the famous physiologist and of Mr. George
Moore--already known for his realistic romances--borders on the
grotesque. _Piccadilly_ is, of course, the brilliant novel by Laurence
Oliphant, diplomatist, man of the world and mystic, who became the
disciple of the American "prophet" Harris, spiritualist and founder of
the "Brotherhood of the New Life"; and Blavatsky is the amazing Russian
lady who brought a new religion from the Far East as another woman,
Mrs. Eddy, brought another from the Far West. Madame Blavatsky is no
more, but Mrs. Besant is still very much with us, and Theosophy and
Christian Science are firmly established in a country which, as the
French cynic remarked, boasts a hundred and fifty religions but only
one sauce.


MEDIUM: "The spirit of the late Mr. Jones is present."

JONES'S WIDOW (_with emotion_): "I hope you are happy, Jones!"

JONES (_raps out_): "Far happier than I ever was on earth!"

JONES'S WIDOW: "Oh, Jones! Then you must be in Heaven!"

JONES: "_On the contrary!_"]


HUSBAND: "I think you might _let me_ nurse that teapot a
little _now_, Margery! You've had it to yourself all the _morning_ you

[Sidenote: _The Æsthetic Movement_]

[Illustration: AFFILIATING AN ÆSTHETE _Pilcox, a promising young
Pharmaceutical Chemist, has modelled from memory an Heroic Group, in
which Mrs. Cimabue Brown is represented as the Muse of this Century,
crowning Postlethwaite and Maudle as the Twin Gods of its Poetry and

POSTLETHWAITE: "No loftiah theme has evah employed the
sculptah's chisel!"

MAUDLE: "Distinctly so. Only work on in _this_ reverent
spirit, Mr. Pilcox, and you will achieve the _Truly Great_!"

MRS. CIMABUE BROWN: "Nay, you _have_ achieved it! Oh, my young
friend, do you not know that you are a HEAVEN-BORN GENIUS?"


(Gives up his pestle and mortar, and becomes a hopeless Nincompoop for

[Sidenote: _The Chief Æsthete_]

But of all the Society crazes of this period the Æsthetic movement
created the most resounding stir. Æstheticism on its social side was
an excrescence on, and a perversion of, doctrines and principles to
which English art and decorative design and letters owed a real
and lasting debt. It is enough to mention the names of Rossetti and
Morris, the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, and Ruskin to realize how far
the fashionable æsthetes disimproved on their masters. Ruskin was in
particular unfortunate, since many of their catchwords were borrowed
from him and distorted to serve other ends. For while Ruskin deplored
the fetish-worship of athletics, he believed in honest manual labour,
and never subscribed to the maxim of art for art's sake, which, by
the way, was anathema to Watts. Morris was essentially manly and a
worker. The æsthetes were neither. In life and letters they cultivated
languor, eccentricity, paradox, and extravagance of speech and dress.
It was their aim to exploit, as a social asset and a means to the
achievement of notoriety, the creed of artistic emotion which had been
formulated by Pater. For Oxford, it must be regretfully admitted,
was the "spiritual home" of the æsthetes. The word "æsthetic," as
we have seen, in its modern cant sense dates back to the 'sixties,
but it was not until the middle 'seventies that it began seriously
to attract the attention of _Punch_. To 1874 belongs Du Maurier's
picture of the effete-looking artist begging his wife to let him
nurse the china teapot she had monopolized all the morning. In 1876
we read of the damping of "Mr. Boniface Brasenose's" enthusiasm by
a fashionable lady. But the fashionable ladies soon succumbed to the
craze, and became adepts in the lingo of intensity. _Punch_ attacked
the æsthetes alternately with the rapier and the bludgeon, using the
former in the delicate raillery of Du Maurier's pictures, the latter
in prose and verse comments on their eccentricities and extravagance.
Here his attitude is invariably that of the healthy Philistine. But
when we speak of "æsthetes" it would be more precise to use the
singular. Maudle and Postlethwaite and all the other types satirized
by Du Maurier are only variants on the chief priest of the new cult,
Oscar Wilde, whom _Punch_ attacked directly and indirectly with all
the weapons at his disposal. _Punch's_ ridicule was often trenchant
and effective, but undoubtedly it helped to advertise one who was avid
of notoriety, and infinitely preferred abuse to neglect. _Punch's_
feelings towards him were all through of a piece with those of the
witty Fellow of All Souls who, when a friend of Wilde's indignantly
remarked that the men who had ducked him in the Cherwell ought to be
prosecuted, interposed with the biting comment, "I suppose you mean
under the Rivers' Pollution Act." For more than a year and a half,
from the spring of 1881 to the end of 1882, there was seldom a number
without a picture or a poem or a prose article in which the chief
æsthete was held up to derision. Sambourne's drawing in June, 1881, is
called a "fancy portrait," but it is quite a realistic likeness. "A
Maudle-in Ballad, to the Lily," had appeared in April:--

    My lank limp lily, my long lithe lily,
      My languid lily-love, fragile and thin,
    With dank leaves dangling and flower-flap chilly,
    That shines like the shin of a Highland gilly!
      Mottled and moist as a cold toad's skin!
      Lustrous and leper-white, splendid and splay!
    Art thou not Utter? and wholly akin
    To my own wan soul and my own wan chin,
      And my own wan nose-tip, tilted to sway
    The peacock's feather, sweeter than sin,
      That I bought for a halfpenny, yesterday?

    My long lithe lily, my languid lily,
      My lank limp lily-love, how shall I win--
    Woo thee to wink at me? Silver lily,
    How shall I sing to thee, softly, or shrilly?
      What shall I weave for thee--which shall I spin--
      Rondel, or rondeau, or virelay?
    Shall I buzz like a bee, with my face thrust in
    Thy choice, chaste chalice, or choose me a tin
      Trumpet, or touchingly, tenderly play
    On the weird bird-whistle, sweeter than sin,
      That I bought for a halfpenny, yesterday?

Other parodies by "Oscuro Wildegoose" followed, and Wilde's poems are
"slated" in the Bludyer vein under the heading "Swinburne and Water." A
good deal of Wilde's verse was derivative--even tertiary deposit--and
_Punch_ made fair game of the Swinburnian echoes and phrases such as
"argent body," "pulse of sin," and "kosmic soul." But his literary
criticism is somewhat heavy-handed. He is much happier in "Oscuro
Wildegoose's" burlesque sonnet lamenting the unenlightened Philistinism
of Grahamstown, in South Africa, where the Town Council did not know
what a dado was, and conjectured that it was an ecclesiastical term!
Wilde's visit to America in 1882 let loose a cascade of ridicule
beginning with a bogus interview, followed up by a cartoon "Ariadne
in Naxos," representing (in the manner of W. B. Richmond) the grief
of Æstheticism at the departure of her hierophant. When Wilde
lectured at Boston sixty students appeared in white waistcoats and
knee-breeches, with sun-flowers in their buttonholes, and _Punch_
welcomed the attention as a _reductio ad absurdum_ of Wilde's efforts
to revolutionize costume. Later on occurred the episode--which caused
_Punch_ unfeigned delight--of a letter addressed to "Oscar Wilde, Poet,
London," being returned as "Not known." But the craze was passing.
Gilbert's _Patience_, produced in 1881, had been largely instrumental
in reducing the pose of preciosity to its true proportions, and by
the summer of 1883 we find _Punch_ coupling "Oscar" and "Jumbo" (the
elephant) together as overrated lions. From this point onward the
campaign slackens. In some acid verses on the _Zeit-Geist_ in the
spring of 1884, which we quote later on, a would-be Juvenal denounces
vulgarity as the dominant feature of the time; and in his list of
nuisances and impostors no room is found for the æsthete. At the close
of the same year, however, to judge by another set of pessimistic
verses, he was still active if not exactly rampant:--

    The "culture," too, of the æsthetes, with all its flaccid flams,
    Its turgid affectations and its silly sickly shams,
    Is but as dross of Brummagem compared with virgin gold,
    When matched against the vigorous realities of old.

[Sidenote: _The Cult of Intensity_]


_Scene--A drawing-room in "Passionate Brompton."_

FAIR ÆSTHETIC (_suddenly, and in deepest tones, to Smith,
who has just been introduced to take her in to dinner_): "_Are you

The "Dilettante" satirized in a rather ponderous article--one of
the series of "Modern Types"--in 1890 represents a later stage of
pseudo-culture, in which a contempt for everything characteristically
English is the leading trait. He warbles French chansonnettes, defies
all the rules of English grammar and metre in his poetry, is much in
request at charitable concerts in aristocratic drawing-rooms, affects
a mincing delicacy in gait and manner, paints his face in middle age,
talks habitually in an artistic jargon, and passes away in an odour
of pastilles. The type existed and exists, but hardly deserved such
detailed and elaborate portraiture. There is more interest in the
verses on the over-cultured undergraduate in 1891--one of a series
entitled "Men who have taken me in--to dinner," by a Dinner Belle:--

    He stood, as if posed by a column,
      Awaiting our hostess' advance;
    Complacently pallid and solemn,
      He deigned an Olympian glance.
    Icy cool, in a room like a crater,
      He silently marched me downstairs,
    And Mont Blanc could not freeze with a greater
      Assurance of grandeur and airs.

    I questioned if Balliol was jolly--
      "Your epithet," sighed he, "means noise,
    Vile noise!" At his age it were folly
      To revel with Philistine boys.
    Competition, the century's vulture,
      Devoured academical fools;
    For himself, utter pilgrim of Culture,
      He countenanced none of the schools.

    Exams. were a Brummagem fashion
      Of mobs and inferior taste;
    They withered "Translucence" and "Passion,"
      They vulgarized leisure by haste.
    Self to realize--that was the question,
      Inscrutable still while the cooks
    Of our Colleges preached indigestion,
      Their Dons indigestible books.

    Two volumes alone were not bathos,
      The one by an early Chinese,
    The other, of infinite pathos,
      Our Nursery Rhymes, if you please.
    He was lost, he avowed, in this era;
      His spirit was seared by the West,
    But he deemed to be Monk in Madeira
      Would probably suit him the best.

[Sidenote: _Preciosity and Self-Expression_]


HAWKER: "Book o' the words, my Lady. Hortherized copy. The Dam
o' Cameleers!"

MRS. JONES (for the benefit of the bystanders): "Oh no, thank
you. We've come to see the _acting_, we do not wish to understand the

It is not a bad picture of Oxford preciosity in the early
'nineties--the age of the _Yellow Book_--and contains the first
reference in _Punch_ to the new educational gospel of self-realization,
or "self-expression," as it is now called. The mention of early Chinese
poetry was probably only a piece of "intelligent anticipation,"
for its vogue only began yesterday. So too with the Nursery Rhymes
which some of the Georgian poets assiduously cultivate. But there
is no foreshadowing of the characteristic Balliol product of some
ten years later, the "intellectual blood" who combined hard and free
living with hard work for his schools--who was at once dissipated
and distinguished. The new worship of intellect--a sort of inverted
snobbery--had already been satirized by Du Maurier in his sketch of the
new _parvenu_, foreshadowing the "coming aristocracy of mind":--

  HE: "Charming youth, that young Bellamy--such a refined
  and cultivated intellect! When you think what he's risen from, poor
  fellow, it really does him credit!"

  SHE: "Why, were his people--a--inferiah?"

  HE: "Well, yes. His Grandfather's an Earl, you know, and his
  Uncle's a Bishop; and he himself is Heir to an old Baronetcy with
  eighty thousand a year!"

Manners were in a state of transition and flux. As late as 1883 smoking
in the presence of ladies was still taboo and severely restricted even
at clubs, and _Punch_ contrasts the "bereavement" of gentlemen by the
disappearance of ladies after dessert with the "consolation" afforded
by the cigarette. It was not until 1884 that smoking was allowed for
the first time after dinners at the Mansion House, an innovation
deplored in the wail of an "Old Fogey." _Punch_ had no love of the old
proprieties where they were insincere, as, for example, when in 1881
he represented Mrs. Jones declining the offer of a "hortherized copy"
of the book of words of the _Dam o' Cameleers_ from a hawker: "Oh no,
thank you. We've come to see the _acting_, we do not wish to understand
the _play_." But he resented the curt colloquialisms, an outcome of the
general speeding-up of life, which in his view impaired the courtesies
of social intercourse between the sexes; while on the other hand modish
artificialities, whether new or old, always excited his ire. Twice over
in 1884 he was moved to protest against the excessive use of cosmetics,
in the verses to a "Painted Lady" (prompted by Malcolm Morris's address
at the Health Exhibition), in which the writer looks forward to the
time when it will be fashionable to be healthy, and a few months later,
in "A Few Home Truths," we read:--

    Our matrons and our girls "make up" with powder, bismuth, dye--
    Figures as well as frocks, obliging milliners supply--
    Alas! the fairest cheeks are stained with artificial hue:
            'Tis true--'tis pity; pity 'tis, 'tis true!

[Sidenote: _High-handed Greetings_]


1787              1887"


A Chapter on the Evolution of Deportment.]

Nowadays young ladies begin making-up rather earlier, but, if _Punch_
is to be believed, we can draw consolation from the fact that they are
little worse in this respect than their modish mothers or grandmothers.
Another of _Punch's_ pet aversions was the fashionable high hand-shake
introduced in the 'nineties:--

                        HANDS AS THEY ARE SHOOK

                              (New Style)

    In healthier times, when friends would meet
    Their friends in chamber, park, or street,
    Each, as hereunder, each would greet.

    Your level hand went forth; you clasped
    Your crony's; each his comrade's grasped--
    If roughly, neither friend was rasped.

    Such was the good old-fashioned cue
    Of honest British "How d'ye do?"
    I think it manly still--don't you?

    But now, when smug acquaintance hails
    A set that would be "smart," but fails,
    Another principle prevails.

    The arm, in lifted curve displayed,
    Droops limply o'er the shoulder-blade,
    As needing some chirurgeon's aid.


Our Mashers are still improving. They no longer enter the Ball Room
with their Hands in their Pockets. They have adopted a Mode of
Progression more in harmony with their Mental Structure.]

[Sidenote: _The Decline of the Chaperon_]

The offenders here castigated are young men, but the ladies excelled
in the new greeting. Languor was the distinguishing note of the young
men of fashion in the 'eighties and 'nineties. It was the age of the
"masher"--dreadful word--of the "Johnnie" and the "Chappie." In 1883
_Punch_ published a poem entitled "Child Chappie's Pilgrimage," a
modern Rake's Progress. Later on he satirized the studied imbecility
of deportment of young dandies entering a ballroom as "The Earlswood
Totter." Students of slang will note with interest the emergence of
the word "bounder" in the year 1887. _Punch's_ verses on the type
thus designated indicate a much harsher view than now prevails.
Nowadays we admit that a "bounder," though socially "impossible," may
be a "stout fellow." _Punch's_ portrait, in which the "bounder" is
represented as a bilker and a blackmailer, corresponds with the "cad"
in the worst sense which we now attribute to that word. Mention has
been made of the decline of the _chaperon_. Here _Punch_ virtually
sides with the "little flirt" who boldly enunciates the doctrine that
"in future a girl is her own chaperon." At the same time he clearly
disapproved of the new habit of dispensing with introductions, and
its logical outcome, satirized in one of Du Maurier's most graceful
pictures--entertainments at which the hostess was ignorant of the very
names of her guests.


SUSCEPTIBLE YOUTH: "Would you present Me to that Young Lady
with the Black Fan?"

HOSTESS: "With pleasure, if you will tell me her Name--and

The Roller-Skating craze, which attained the dimensions of an epidemic
in 1875 and 1876, is treated by _Punch_ rather as a form of social
recreation fraught with matrimonial possibilities than an athletic

The year 1876 was also noteworthy for an epidemic of Fancy Dress Balls
and Spelling Bees. The latter were never popular in Mayfair; spelling
had never been a strong point with the British aristocracy. But in
less exalted circles Spelling Bees flourished exceedingly for a while,
and the prizes awarded may well have conduced to an improvement in the
orthography of the upper middle classes. _Punch's_ references to the
craze are copious. It may suffice, however, to quote his "Dream of a
Spelling-Bee," an engaging piece of dictionary-made nonsense verse:--

    Menageries where sleuth-hounds caracole,
      Where jaguar phalanx and phlegmatic gnu
    Fright ptarmigan and kestrels cheek by jowl
      With peewit and precocious cockatoo:

    Gaunt seneschals, in crochety cockades,
      With seine-nets trawl for porpoise in lagoons;
    While scullions gauge erratic escapades
      Of madrepores in water-logged galleons:

    Flamboyant triptychs groined with gherkins green,
      In reckless fracas with coquettish bream,
    Ecstatic gurgoyles, with grotesque chagrin,
      Garnish the gruesome nightmare of my dream!

[Sidenote: _Suburban Sentiment_]

The Spelling Bee was a solace of the suburbs, which were steadily
rising into prominence, owing to increased facilities of communication
with the centre of London, and the "Suburban Love Song" which _Punch_
printed in May, 1889, marks the emergence of a class of society
hitherto neglected in his pages--a class quite well-educated and not
vulgar, but essentially bourgeois and sentimental:--

    The blacks float down with a lazy grace,
      Hey, how the twirtle-birds twitter!
    And softly settle on hands and face;
      And the shards in the rockery glitter.

    The boughs are black and the buds are green--
      Hey, how the twitter-birds twirtle!
    And Cicely over the trellis-screen
      Is bleaching her summer kirtle.

    The mustard and cress (can they grow apart--
      Those twin-souls, cress and mustard?)
    Are springing apace: they have made such a start
      That the pattern is rather fluster'd:

    For I made a device in the moist dark mould,
      In the shape of A's and S's,
    In capital letters, firm and bold,
      I sow'd my mustard and cresses.

    Here comes no nymph where the blue waves lisp
      On the white sands' gleaming level,
    Where the sharp light strikes on the laurel crisp,
      And flowers in the cool shade revel.

    But the garden shrubs are as fair to me
      As pine and arbutus and myrtle
    That grow by the shores of the Grecian sea,
      Where deathless nightingales twirtle.

    And the little house, with its suites complete,
      And the manifold anti-macassar,
    And the chalet cage, whence he greets the street--
      _Meae puellae passer_--

    Are fairer than aught that the sun is above
      In the world as much as I've seen of it;
    For the little house is the realm of love,
      And my sweet little girl is the queen of it.

[Sidenote: _Foreign Travel Popularized_]


INDIGNANT ANGLO-SAXON (_to Provincial French Innkeeper,
who is bowing his thanks for the final settlement of his exorbitant
and much-disputed account_): "Oh, oui, Mossoo! pour le matière
de _ça_, je _paye_! Mais juste vous regardez _ici_, mon ami! et
juste-vous-marquez-mes-_mots_! Je _paye--mais je mette le dans la_

For another view of the suburbs one may turn to the drab and depressing
realism of George Gissing's novels. _Punch_ himself did not always look
at them through rose-coloured spectacles, and a year later, under the
heading "Green Pastures or Piccadilly?" (adapted from a book by William
Black), emphasizes the drawbacks of a bad train service, exorbitant
tradesmen, imperfect drainage, and the desolation of a region in
which, from 9 A.M. to 6 P.M., "not a single male human being is visible,
all of them being in town."


"Are there any second-class carriages on this line, Rogers?"

"No, my lord."

"Ah! Then take two first-class tickets and two third."

"Beg pardon, my lord! But is me and Mrs. Parker expected to go

"Gracious heavens! No, Rogers! Not for the world! The third-class
tickets are for my lady and me!"]

At the beginning of this period foreign travel had ceased to be
the exclusive privilege of the "classes." The days of cheap trips
to "Lovely Lucerne" were yet to come, but Cook was already a power
in the land, and as early as the close of 1874 we find _Punch_
frankly expressing his opinion that travel agencies had assisted to
"lower middle-class-Englishize the Continent." The value of travel
as a corrective of insularity and a means of promoting a better
understanding of our foreign neighbours is not recognized. Residence
on the Continent was another matter, and the series of articles,
"Elizabeth's residence in a French country house," indicate the
possibilities of enlightenment on various points. In particular stress
is laid on the fact that there was no spoiling of women in France;
in that country they were the real workers. At home the increase of
excursion trains only served to excite _Punch's_ wrath against their
discomfort and overcrowding and the greed of directors. Yet these
drawbacks did not prevent impecunious or economical aristocrats from
travelling third class, though their domestics had to go first.

The everlasting servant problem recurs again and again in the
'eighties. Complaints of inadequate wages are seldom heard. In 1876
_Punch_ refers to a letter of Charles Reade on the comparative luxury
of the lives of servants contrasted with those of dressmakers. In
1875 Mrs. Crawshay, of Cyfarthfa, had read a paper before the British
Association advocating the introduction of "Lady Helps," but _Punch_
was not convinced by her arguments, and turned the suggestion to
something like ridicule in his burlesque extension of the idea in a
series of advertisements of "Gentlemen Helps." "Jeames" was still a
target, but a dwindling target of _Punch's_ satire. When the _Morning
Post_ was reduced to a penny in 1881, "Jeames" tells the policeman that
on hearing the news "you might have knocked me down with a peacock's
feather." As of old, _Punch_ found the real root of flunkeyism in the
snobbery of masters and mistresses, and the worst offenders in this
period were the _parvenus_, like Sir Gorgius Midas, who surrounded
themselves with flunkeys even at picnics, and exaggerated the
ostentation of the class whose manners they crudely aped. The shabbily
dressed peer is contrasted with the bediamonded _parvenu_, and in one
of Du Maurier's "Social Problem" pictures the problem is to tell the
butler from the lord, the former being a most aristocratic-looking
person, while his master--a new creation--is an unmistakable "bounder."
Towards the growing self-assertion of female servants _Punch_ was much
more tolerant. In 1877, when the problem was already acute, he praises
an independent attitude in a servant as being merely business-like,
and later on sides with Mary Ann against despotic mistresses who
advertised for parlourmaids and cooks who must not wear fringes. In
1891 _Punch_ published a set of verses inspired by the dismissal, after
nine days, of a maid who refused to wear a cap. But the extremists who
would make the mistress the "woman" and the servant the "lady" found no
favour in his sight; he was no more a supporter of tyrannical servants
than of exacting mistresses, and in 1884 our sympathies are distinctly
enlisted on the side of the graceful young wife, terrified at the
prospect of having to give warning to a formidable cook, and begging
the page-boy to stand by during the ordeal.

[Sidenote: _Mistress and Maid_]

[Illustration: JEAMES: "They tells me as the _Mornin' Post_ is
comin' to a penny! When I fust heard of it, constable, you might 'ave
knocked me down with a peacock's feather!!"]

In 1886 _Punch_ discussed the formation of an Anti-Tipping League, but
came to the shrewd conclusion, verified by experience, that it called
for too much courage to prove successful. A year before, in a series
of papers on "Public Grievances," he had published a set of letters
written from different points of view, showing that mistresses and
maids were both at fault. The sketch of "My Housemaid" in 1892 reverts
to the old complaints of destructiveness and "followers," and notices,
as special traits, a love of funerals and Exeter Hall.

Nine years earlier the _Daily Telegraph_ had published a sensational
report of the impending importation of Chinese labour for domestic
service. _Punch_ was not inclined to take the report seriously, but it
cropped up again in 1882 in the _St. James's Gazette_:--

  Domestic servants will view with well-grounded anxiety a decision
  arrived at by the Chinese merchants who met in conference a few days
  ago in London. It was resolved, among other things, to send letters to
  various Clubs in China, recommending emigration to England. If this
  recommendation is acted on, we may be on the eve of a great domestic
  and social revolution. There will, no doubt, be a prejudice at first
  in some households against the introduction into the family circle
  of the "heathen Chinee." But when his merits are discovered, it is
  not impossible he may be warmly welcomed as a valuable acquisition,
  meeting one of the most pressing requirements of the day.

_Punch_ contented himself with publishing a mock protest from "John
Thomas" of Belgravia against this "rediklus" proposal:--

  The "St. Jeames's" takes a Lo view of the Domestic's Posishon. As if
  Work was the one thing Needfull. Whereas the fact is that a Footman
  in Good Societa is requier'd not only for Use but much more still for
  horniment. Look at a Chinee's legs. Look at his shoalders. Where's the
  bredth of the Won and the Carves of the Huther? Compare our ites mine
  and his. Six foot to sixpennuth of apence. Ow can I and sitch as me
  think of bein jellus of a Beger like that? If we was we mite petition
  for a additional Dooty on Forren Men Servants; but we don't want No
  sich Protection for Native Industry agin Imports.

[Sidenote: _The Doctors' Dilemma_]

In the same vein is a picture of a policeman paralysed by the
appearance of a male Chinese cook in the area. But a somewhat different
note is sounded in the Rip Van Winkle survey of England in 1932,
published in the same number as John Thomas's protest, showing the
British workman crowded out of every sort of employment by his laziness
and greed and forced to take refuge in the workhouse, while the work of
the country is wholly done by industrious aliens.


The scandal of underpaid governesses practically disappears from
_Punch's_ pages in this period. The evil was not extinct, but
"superfluous women" were beginning to find other occupations, and the
growing popularity of girls' schools undoubtedly diminished the demand
for governesses.

In regard to inequalities of remuneration, _Punch_ proved himself a
sturdy champion of the medical profession. A lecture by Mr. Richard
Davy at the Westminster Hospital in the autumn of 1875 took a decidedly
pessimistic view of the professional prospects of medical students:--

  Their salaries were simply miserable; hospital physicians and surgeons
  were, for the most part, unpaid. Poor Law Officers most piteously;
  surgeons in the services very badly, and young practitioners not at
  all. For seven years' hard work in the Marylebone Dispensary he
  had received one guinea, and a very distinguished London assistant
  physician had found that his salary equalled that of the man who put
  the skid on the omnibus wheels at Holborn Hill.

  He advised every one to resign at once any and every
  thought of becoming a medical man unless he possessed three
  qualifications:--First, independence; second, an aptitude and love for
  the profession; third, the readiness to pay a heavy premium in this
  world for his prospects of reward in the next.

_Punch_ expressed righteous indignation at the "generosity" with which
an appreciative Government and a grateful Public were accustomed to
requite the services of medical men. But the disparities of which Mr.
Davy legitimately complained were nothing to those which have been
common of late years. In 1920 the demonstrators in science at Oxford
were getting just about the same pay as the Oxford road-sweepers.
Attempts to disparage the social status of doctors were invariably
resented by _Punch_, and when, in November, 1880, the Bishop of
Liverpool, in a speech to medical men, observed "I am not ashamed to
say I have a son a doctor," _Punch_ promptly retorted in the following

    How kind of the Bishop, and how patronizing,
    And yet to his _Punch_ 'tis a little surprising,
    That speaking to medical men there in session,
    He dared speak of shame and a noble profession.
    A Bishop looks after our souls, but how odd is
    The sneer that's implied at the curers of bodies.
    For surely it would be no hard task to fish up,
    A hundred brave Doctors as good as the Bishop.

[Sidenote: _Cremation and Comprehension_]

_Punch_, it will be remembered, had been a caustic critic of medical
students of the Bob Sawyer type in the 'forties. But he made his
_amende_ handsomely in 1886, when he acknowledged the change in
the type and contrasted the serious and frugal modern student with
the rowdy, bibulous sawbones of forty years before. Of irregular
practitioners _Punch_ had always been a hostile critic, and even the
orthodox members of the profession did not always escape a certain
amount of genial satire, as when, in 1886, an eminent physician,
feeling ill, declines to call in any doctor because "we all go in
for thinking each other such humbugs." In this context it may be
permissible to add to what has already been said on the subject of
cremation, and _Punch's_ support of Sir Henry Thompson, that in 1874
there appeared the following mock "Grave-digger's Remonstrance" with
that eminent surgeon:--

    Who are you to be thieving
      The poor sexton's bread?
    How can we earn our living
      If you urn our dead?

[Illustration: CREMATION

NEPHEW: "I hope you haven't been waiting long, Uncle?"

UNCLE: "All right, my boy. Been reading the paper, and had
a pinch--By the by, it's queer flavoured snuff in this jar of yours,

NEPHEW (aghast): "Snuff, Uncle!--Jar! Good gracious!--That's
not snuff! Those are the ashes of my landlord's first wife!"]

_Punch_, always a strong advocate of comprehension, saw in cremation a
means of breaking down the barriers erected between conformists and
nonconformists by exclusive graveyards.

Turning to other callings and the social problems which they presented,
we may note that the difficulty experienced by retired officers in
finding suitable and remunerative employment had begun to attract
attention in 1885. The suggestions made by Lord Napier of Magdala in
that year did not meet with a sympathetic response from _Punch_, who,
in a somewhat infelicitous burlesque, foreshadowed the strange results
on hotel management of the employment of officers in various menial
capacities. The hardships of the underpaid clergy and "ragged curates"
are seldom referred to in this period. In 1889 we are introduced to a
new type in the moustachioed, eye-glassed, but energetic curate, who
observes, "My vicar's away. I preach three times on Sunday, and boss
the entire show." Indulgence in slang by bishops, however, did not come
in till more than thirty years later.

Social inversions are a frequent theme of comment. The new commercial
Croesus expresses a contemptuous compassion for the "poor devils
with fixed incomes." The Highlands are invaded by prosperous suburban
tradesmen in kilts, and pen and pencil are enlisted to illustrate the
embarrassments of the "New Poor," the altered balance between High and
Low Life, and the comparative wealth of the working classes owing to
their freedom from taxation and responsibilities. A notable sign of
the times was the emergence of the American millionaire art collector.
The first great ducal sale at Stowe dates back to 1848, but it was an
isolated example and looked upon as almost a portent. In the 'eighties
the depression of the landed interest led to further dispersion of
treasures, beginning with the Duke of Hamilton's sale in 1882, and
in 1889 the activity of American purchasers excited the laments of
patriotic Frenchmen, echoed by _Punch_. There is, however, a good deal
to be said on the other side when the American millionaire happens to
be as enlightened and generous as the late Mr. Pierpont Morgan and his
son. The influence of the "New Rich" in England on art only ministered
to _Punch's_ sense of ridicule, happily exercised at the expense of
_parvenus_ who bought books by the hundred yards or purchased faked
"ancestral" portraits. These atrocities furnished congenial scope for
the comments of Du Maurier's "Grigsby"--one of his most diverting
creations--who plays the part of the facetious skeleton at the feasts
of "Sir Pompey Bedell" and other self-satisfied plutocrats.

[Sidenote: _"Grigsby" on Family Portraits_]


GRIGSBY: "By the way, that's a new Picture, Sir Pompey--the
Knight in Armour, I mean!"

SIR POMPEY BEDELL: "Er--yes. It came to me in rather a curious
way--er--too long to relate at present. It's an Ancestor of mine--a
Bedell of Richard the Third's period!"

GRIGSBY (_who made an all but successful offer of
three-seventeen-six_ for said Picture, last week, to old Moss Isaacs,
in Wardour Street): "By Jove, he was precious near being an _Ancestor
of Mine_, too!"

(_Proceeds to explain, but is interrupted by Sir P.'s proposing to join
the Ladies._)]

_Punch's_ attitude to the French, it may be noted, had grown much more
genial and appreciative after the war of 1870. This mellower temper
reflected a general feeling, but it was due in part at least to the
influence of Du Maurier, who had French blood in his veins and had
studied art in Paris. He did not refrain from chaffing the French
"sportman," but his satire was delicate and tempered by candour.
For example, one need only point to the picture of the Englishman in
France expostulating with his French artist friend at the caricatures
of Englishwomen in the Parisian Press, and suddenly silenced by the
inopportune appearance of a party of Englishwomen exactly bearing out
the caricature! _Punch_ had no love of the English tourist on the
Continent, and seldom failed to gibbet his inconsiderate angularity.
He was no believer in globe-trotting as a means of promoting mutual
understanding. But he was increasingly ready to admit that there were
things which they managed better abroad, and to acknowledge that we
might go very far astray if we formed our estimate of France on "_Les
Français peints par eux mêmes_." Both nations have a way of putting
their worst foot foremost, the one through shyness and reserve, the
other through an excess of outspokenness, and Du Maurier's racial
dualism made him an excellent interpreter of both failings.

Out of many miscellaneous features of this period we may single out
the Japanese craze, a form of cheap æstheticism satirized by _Punch_
in the early 'eighties; the popularity of the banjo, honoured by more
than one reference in 1886 when it appears among the luggage to be
taken to the seaside; the fashion in huge St. Bernard dogs, beloved of
Du Maurier, who yet recognized the absurdity of breeding gigantic types
in one of his nightmare pictures in 1879; and the plague of recitation,
faithfully dealt with in _Punch's_ admirable "Manual for Young
Reciters." Christmas cards became fashionable in 1876; and _Punch_,
as a sentimentalist, did not support the agitation against them as
a "senseless extravagance" in 1878. The "Missing Word Competition"
entered on its devastating career in 1892.

[Sidenote: "_Fin-de-Siècle_"]

As a symptom of the general speeding-up of life, and the resort to
short cuts of all sorts in speech, as well as in action, one may
note the appearance of a group of new words, of which "leaderette"
and "sermonette" were the most notable until the arrival, many years
later, of the "Suffragette." With the arrival of the 'nineties another
formidable phrase, _fin-de-siècle_, sprang into prominence, and soon
achieved a popularity that exasperated _Punch_ beyond the bounds of

                         WANTED, A WORD-SLAYER

    _Fin-de-siècle_! Ah, that phrase, though taste spurn it, I
    Fear, threatens staying with us to eternity.
            Who _will_ deliver
            Our nerves, all a-quiver,
    From that pest-term, and its fellow, "modernity"?


_Just as he is pointing out to Monsieur Anatole Duclos, the Parisian
journalist, how infinitely the English type of female beauty
(especially amongst our Aristocracy) transcends that of France, or
any other nation--who should come up from the beach but Lady Lucretia
Longstaff and her five unmarried daughters!_

--"And as for those idiotic old French caricatures of les Anglaises,
with long gaunt faces and long protruding teeth and long flat
feet--why, good heavens! my dear Duclos, the type doesn't even

_Punch_ was much preoccupied with "modernity" and its numerous
manifestations in these years, and his preoccupation took the form
of a comprehensive series of "Modern Types," to which reference has
already been made. Some of them will appear anything but modern to
the Georgian reader, and, indeed, are not so much new as recurrent
types--for example, the precocious undergraduate who gambles, drinks,
fails in his schools, emigrates and dies miserably. The "Young
Guardsman" is an eminently conventional portrait of a type which
disappeared in the Great War, and is almost a libel on a Brigade whose
social prestige is of infinitely less importance than its magnificent
record of heroic achievement. The "Average Undergraduate" is in the
main a handsome tribute to the public school system. He is not an
Admirable Crichton, a Blue or a Scholar, but a decent fellow, truthful
and ingenuous, who will always be a "useful member of the community."
The tone of the whole series, however, is very far from ministering
to national complacency. The bitterest of all these portraits is that
of "The Adulated Clergyman," an effeminate, self-indulgent, insincere
and unwholesome impostor, at all points a base variant of the type
satirized in Thackeray's fashionable preacher, Charles Honeyman.

_Punch's_ handling of social pests and evils throughout this period
is decidedly pessimistic. The frank verses on divorce by consent--or
rather collusion--in 1886 are a legitimate criticism enough. But at
times he quite overshoots the mark, as, for example, in the acrimonious
and grotesque tirade against the House of Lords, published in December,
1883, under the heading of "The Speaker: A Handbook to Ready-made
Oratory." After giving a few notes on the personal appearance of some
"titled types," the writer continues:--

  There is a motto which every Peer is supposed to adopt as a rule of
  life--"_noblesse oblige_." It is presumed that every bearer of a
  hereditary title, carrying with it a right to receive numberless Blue
  Books published at the expense of the Public, is willing, in virtue
  of his position, to please everyone. Now it gratifies the community
  at large to hear a Peer talking in public, and, as some Peers cannot
  talk in public, it may be as well to give the specimen of the sort
  of speech which would cause unlimited satisfaction in all quarters
  but the highest. Of course, the imaginary speaker is a myth--a
  foolish but frank Lord, with the courage of his opinions. Should
  such a person, however, be found, there would be no doubt about his
  popularity--again, in certain circles. It must be remembered that, as
  the speaker would be a Peer addressing Commoners, all his Lordship's
  remarks would be received with the deepest approval.

[Sidenote: "_Noblesse Oblige_!"]


OUR GALLANT COLONEL: "And where and how have _you_ spent the
Summer, Miss Golightly?"

MISS GOLIGHTLY: "Oh, I sat in a punt with my favourite man--a
quite too _delicious_ man!"]

  Noble Orator (rising at the right of the Chairman).
  Gentlemen--(enthusiastic applause)--I am sure I must thank you
  for the honour you have conferred upon me. ("No, no!") Yes, it
  is an honour, because I believe I am verily the most uneducated
  dolt in all this brilliant assembly. (Cheers.) I am, indeed: and,
  although a great many of my peers--perhaps the majority--are highly
  respectable, still in my class you will discover many who resemble me
  in nearly every particular. (Applause.) As a lad I refused to learn
  anything, and could scarcely spell my name--certainly it was a long
  one--at fifteen. (Great cheering.) I was a dunce at school, and a
  cad at the University. (Frantic enthusiasm.) It is my great pride
  to remember that at this latter seat of learning I had the honour
  to burn half the College library, and to screw up the door to my
  tutor's apartments. (Roars of laughter.) But from this you must not
  imagine that I am fond of squandering. On the contrary, I audit my
  own butcher's book, and superintend the store-cupboard of my Lady's
  housekeeper. (Cheers.) I never go by a cab when I can take an omnibus,
  and if asked for a shilling by a genuinely starving beggar, would,
  after mature consideration, advance him a halfpenny on account,
  chargeable on approved security. (Cheers.) And yet I am very rich,
  enormously rich. (Renewed applause.) Many of the slums of the greatest
  city in the world belong to me. (Cheers.) And although slums are not
  pretty to look at or live in, they are good ones to pay. (Shouts of
  enthusiasm.) From this slight confession you may imagine that I am
  ignorant, vicious, mean, and grasping. (Prolonged cheering.) Well, I
  am all these, and more, for I am an ass into the bargain. (Thunders of
  applause.) Besides this, I have no birth to boast of. A hundred years
  ago or so, my great-grandfather swept a crossing, and his wife dealt
  in hare-and rabbit-skins. But what matter the past when we have the
  present before us! I am crassly ignorant and intolerably offensive,
  but I am a Lord. (Enormous enthusiasm.) And, as a Lord, I can give you
  what laws I please--("You can; you can!")--or never go near the House
  of Lords from one year's end to another. I generally adopt the latter
  course, except when the interest of my own class, or the gratification
  of a fad, cause me to perform my highly responsible duties. On these
  occasions, however, I take care that I represent none but myself. (A
  storm of applause.) Under these circumstances, as I am bored out of
  my life, and have just enough sense to see that I am a nuisance to
  everyone, inclusive of myself, I am sure you are glad that you are not
  me. "_Noblesse oblige_," I want to console you! (The noble speaker
  here resumed his seat amidst the wildest enthusiasm.)

  Such a speech as the above would, no doubt, reconcile many listeners
  to cease to envy the Peerage, the more especially if they happened to
  be either Baronets of James the First's creation or members of the
  oldest (not the mushroom) county families.

[Sidenote: _Punch's Pessimism_]

The speaker was "imaginary," though the burning down half a College
library was a true bill, and the ringleader in this exploit afterwards
attained high rank as a politician. But these composite portraits are
seldom satisfactory, and in this instance the resultant monstrosity
ceases to be representative. The House of Lords was not exclusively
composed of black sheep at any time, and on the whole more dangerous
scoundrels have made their way into the elected House. But here, as so
often happens, _Punch_ provides the antidote to his own bane. In 1886,
under the heading "A Radical Snob," he reprints what Thackeray wrote in
his own pages just forty years earlier:--

  "Perhaps, after all, there's no better friend to Conservatism than
  your outrageous Radical Snob. When a man preaches to you that all
  Noblemen are tyrants, that all Clergymen are hypocrites or liars,
  that all Capitalists are scoundrels, banded together in an infamous
  conspiracy to deprive the people of their rights, he creates a
  wholesome revulsion of feeling in favour of the abused parties, and a
  sense of fair play leads the generous heart to take a side with the
  object of unjust oppression.

  "The frantic dwarf ... becomes a most wicked and dangerous Snob when
  he gets the ear of people more ignorant than himself, inflames them
  with lies, and misleads them into ruin."

Yet, when all allowance has been made for inconsistency and
extravagance, we cannot deny that a strongly marked vein of discontent
and dissatisfaction--often too well-grounded--with the "scheme of
things in general" runs through the pages of _Punch_ throughout these
years, culminating in a dismal explosion of pessimism in March, 1884,
over the decadence, the degeneracy and the vulgarity of the age:--


    Oh, for the Muse that laughed and stung
    On _Gulliver's_ indignant tongue!
    Curt was his speech and fierce and strong,
    In lofty scorn of Cant and Wrong,--
    And small indeed the times that teach
    Weakness of grip for strength of speech,
    Craving once more that Muse to fire
    The chords of Satire's slackened lyre!

    Oh, little day of little men,
    What themes invite the mocker's pen!
    What rush for wealth at any cost,
    Honour and Health defied and lost;
    What blatant parodies of Fame
    (That hardly won and noble name),
    Dragged in the sickly spectral lee
    Of sallow Notoriety;
    Ambition's highest aim to quaff
    The rinsings of a paragraph,
    And Life's whole purpose sunk and spent
    To furnish an advertisement!
    Oh, for some Juvenalian verse
    Thy sound and fury to rehearse,
    While Indignation pours the strain
    Which Nature may desire in vain.[9]
    Where'er the stifled spirit fly,
    What sights and sounds obscure the sky!
    The Statesman's cut-and-dried abuse,
    And frothy violence turned to use,
    Dead Christian hatreds spurred to life,
    To serve the ends of party strife;
    The Lawyer's pæans in his fees;
    The Actor's noisy juggleries,
    As every little journal tells
    Where last he shook the cap and bells;
    The Critic in his newest dress,
    _Sans_ scholarship or kindliness,
    With no credentials under Heaven
    For worthy work or asked or given,
    And nagging, after Insult's wont,
    At those who "do," for those who don't;
    Patriots by bravos hired and sung,
    For bright sword carrying fish-fag's tongue.
    The Poetaster's mixture, made
    Of pitch and darkness for a trade;
    The Man of Science, self-crowned King
    Of Learning and of everything,
    Serenely squatting on his throne,
    Fogged with conundrums of his own,
    And probing with his two-foot rod
    His muddy substitutes for God,--
    While tambourines and banjos raise
    The Hymn of Noise for that of Praise;
    Our very island's sea-girt rock
    Risked to be land-bound into "stock";
    Ay, even Woman's tarnished crown
    Hawked through the windows of the town,
    And all our sires held first and best
    In pufferies of all sizes dressed,
    Till England watch, through England's Press,
    The fall of English manliness!

    Vexed soul, seek out some other shore;
    Houses are castles here no more;
    Vain in the penny-age to fly
    From all the penny-trumpetry:
    Or hide thee from the watchful zeal
    Of those who serve the weekly meal
    For jaded gluttons, keen to gloat
    On savoury sauce of Anecdote.
    Yet let nor cook nor eaters rue,
    The eaten seem to like it too,
    For in Society's new game
    Cooks, food, and eaters are the same,
    And Fashion, spider-like, supplies
    Her self-spun web to catch her flies!

    Thou boastful "Spirit of the Time,"
    Wake prose itself to angry rhyme!
    Soon shall the dark forbid the light
    To any hand with power to write,
    And the new myriad scribbling-race,
    Like locusts shroud all Sense's face,
    Rushing (where angels are not seen)
    Into the _Prigs' Own Magazine_,
    While Upper-Tens profusely scrawl
    In grammar from the servants' hall,
    Till Ink itself shall blush to tint
    Nothing but amateurs in print,
    And the true child of letters learn
    He has no space to breathe or turn,
    And scorn accept the Century's plan,
    That all may write, save those who can.
    I turn me, wearied, at my desk,
    From the last "thinker's" last burlesque
    The last Agnostic's windy plea
    That none knows anything, but he,
    In English carefully destroyed
    To hide his meaning's outer void;
    And, bowing to the wisdoms old,
    Read simpler lessons writ in gold:
    And would but in a single word
    The "Spirit of the Age" be heard,
    Let him take up his glass and see
    His image this--Vulgarity.


[Footnote 9: "_Si Natura negat, facit indignatio versum._"]

[Sidenote: _The Spirit of the Time_]

What a list it is! The quest of notoriety, blatant advertisement,
party rancour and sectarian strife, forensic greed, mummer-worship,
incompetent and ungenerous criticism, fleshly poetry, the arrogance
of science, "Corybantic Christianity," tarnished womanhood, the decay
of manly fibre, prying journalism, amateurism in letters, windy
Agnosticism, with vulgarity enthroned as high priestess of the age!
Modern Juvenals, when they are Jeremiahs into the bargain, are not
exhilarating companions. Here _Punch_ saw life in England neither
steadily nor whole, and made the mistake, not surprising in a Londoner,
of confounding the extravagances, the eccentricities and the vices of
London coteries and cliques, and, above all, of her idle rich, with the
tone and temper of the nation at large. "Smart" London Society did not
represent England or even London. But _Punch_ spoke with many voices,
and in the "Voces Populi," with which, towards the end of this period,
Mr. Anstey had begun to refresh and rejoice the hearts of his readers,
you will find an agreeable corrective of the unqualified pessimism
of "Marius." The "people" whose "voices" are recorded were often
ridiculous, vulgar and semi-educated, but they were not corrupt or
degenerate. Twenty years later the extravagances castigated by "Marius"
were even more pronounced, but were confined to the same limited though
highly advertised circles. Yet many of those who seemed most wedded to
self-indulgence were capable of a noble regeneration in the hour of
their country's need. And outside these circles there was, in 1884, as
at a later date, a great if unobtrusive throng of men and women who
stood in the authentic line of the heroes and heroines of the past,
only waiting for an opportunity to prove themselves the inheritors of
their spirit.

                    RECREATION, SPORT, AND PASTIME

The second half of the nineteenth century was not only notable for
the organization of Labour. It was also the age of the organization
of Recreation, the age of Exhibitions. The Exhibition of 1851 was a
serious affair in which entertainment was subordinated to the demands
of Commerce, Industry and Science. The series of Exhibitions which
marked the decade of the 'eighties, though their names and their avowed
aims were serious, practical or scientific, were run with an ever
increasing tendency to emphasize the spectacular element, to cater for
the amusement and entertainment (in all senses) of the public.

_Punch_ summarized this tendency happily enough in the phrase that he
applied to the possibilities of the Imperial Institute--"Commerce _v._
Cremorne." He had already deplored the decline of institutions, such
as the Crystal Palace, which beginning with high educational aims,
had come to rest their popular appeal on dangerous acrobatics and
freak performances. He was even more outspoken in his comments on the
degeneracy of the Aquarium at Westminster in 1879 and 1880.

References to "Zazel," the acrobat who was nightly shot from a cannon,
and to Zazel's successor, "Zæo," abound in protests not only against
the enterprising manager, and the cynical indifference of the Home
Secretary, but above all against the public who went simply because
of the risk, the chance of seeing accidents. "Zazel's" performance,
as a matter of fact, was not as dangerous as it appeared; it proved
a theme of fruitful burlesque on the part of Nellie Farren at the
Gaiety Theatre; and when it was rumoured that Zazel was going to marry
an Archdeacon, _Punch_ did not refrain from a ribald allusion to her
passing "out of the mouth of a Canon into the arms of an Archdeacon."
At the same time he was equally critical of the ostentatiously
labelled "Entertainments for the People" organized as a sort of
compromise between High Art, the Penny Reading and the Variety
Stage. The efforts of the Kyrle Society to "bring Beauty home to the
working-classes" left him cold or facetiously intolerant of patronizing
preciosity. So, too, the performances at the Victoria Coffee Music-Hall
in 1881 are damned with less than faint praise in a criticism put into
the mouth of one of the class they were intended to reach, on the
grounds that they were not only teetotal, but third-rate music-hall,
and dull at that. The whole thing was spoiled by an atmosphere of
conscious edification and of condescending patronage.

_Punch's_ attitude to the series of annual exhibitions which began
with the "Fisheries" in 1883, underwent many phases. It began in hope
and mild praise, but ended in disillusion, as the side-shows, _al
fresco_ entertainments, bands and illuminations, and the everlasting
"Welcome Club," became the stereotyped and dominating attractions of
each successive show. _Punch_ wanted the site of the Fisheries made
into a permanent Public Garden with a shilling gate money. But while he
applauded the good intention of the promoters, he represented the West
End fishmonger as "none the worse for it": the price of fish had not
come down as it was thought it would.

[Sidenote: _Exhibition Absurdities_]

The "Healtheries" and "Inventories" followed in 1884 and 1885, and
_Punch's_ verdict was that "The Fisheries and the Healtheries were
very much the same, especially the Inventories." The Colonial and
Indian Exhibition (the "Colinderies" as _Punch_ christened it) in 1886
prompts the usual mock-serious account of the opening ceremony. Some
distrust was excited by the suggestion of the Prince of Wales that
the Exhibition should be given a permanent existence as an Imperial
Institute, to be founded as a Jubilee Memorial, and _Punch_ gave his
blessing to a proposal which was carried into effect. The subsequent
history of the Imperial Institute affords an interesting commentary on
the fear, expressed by _Punch_ in 1888, that it would degenerate into
another popular Exhibition, with bands, side-shows, etc. He regarded it
at the moment as "a big-sounding name, signifying nothing; to conjure
with but nothing more"; and some of the names of the organizing
committee filled him with astonishment at the ineptitude of their

Buffalo Bill's "Wild West" Show in West Kensington in 1887 struck a
somewhat new note. _Punch_ was impressed by the buck-jumping, but
the rest smelt too much of footlights and sawdust, and he asks, "Why
should Noble Savages be always beaten by the Cowboys?" Still "Buffalo
Bill" was a picturesque figure, with a not undistinguished record of
active service; the Queen's visit is appropriately described in the
"Hiawatha" metre, and Du Maurier, in a spirited fantasy, hints that
the introduction of a team of buck-jumping ponies would brighten the
monotonous decorum of the meets of the Four-in-Hand Club.

The absurdities of the annual Exhibitions did not escape _Punch_ in
their earlier days. At the "Healtheries" he describes a representation
of a street in Old London, in which there was a girl in Tudor
costume selling photographs! The strange miscellaneous international
exhibitions which followed the first four were rich in material for
ridicule. A prominent attraction at the Anglo-Danish Exhibition of 1888
was a "grotto of Mystery," consisting chiefly of skeletons. At the
Italian Exhibition which followed, the great feature was the "Triumph
of Titus," a representation of a gladiatorial contest, and chariot
races by "wild omnibus horses." The sons of Belial, as represented by
Master Freddy, who was disappointed because "they didn't have lions
and--and real martyrs," were dissatisfied, but Mr. Anstey in his "Voces
Populi" had a glorious time.

Ridicule predominates in the notice of the Spanish Exhibition in 1889,
and in the same year _Punch_ devoted a special number to the Paris
Exhibition, containing the impressions of his staff, and bristling with
references to the Eiffel Tower, Paulus, the comic singer, and other
delights. In 1889 also Barnum returned, "the greatest Showman," in
_Punch's_ opinion, "of this or any other age"; and the autobiographic
speech which he made on the occasion of the opening of his show at
Olympia prompted _Punch_ to revive old memories:--

  Forty-five years ago Albert Smith wrote in Bentley's _Miscellany_ a
  paper entitled "A Go-a-head Day with Barnum." The article wound up by
  saying: "As we expressed our fatigue at supper, Barnum said, 'Well, I
  don't know what you call work in England; but if you don't make thirty
  hours out of the twenty-four in Merekey, I don't know where you'd be
  at the year's end. If a man can't beat himself in running, he'll never
  go ahead; and if he don't go ahead, he's done.'" The Great Barnum is
  apparently as active in 1889 as he was in 1844. He is as enthusiastic
  on the wrong side of eighty as he was on the right side of forty. If
  he has not beaten himself in running, he has allowed no one to beat
  him. He has caught most people, but the old bird himself has never yet
  been caught. If you look in just now at Olympia, you will find him up
  to time and smiling, and going ahead more than ever.

The last and one of the very best of the Exhibitions in this period
that I have to record was held at Chelsea in 1891. _Punch_ renders
justice to the Royal Naval Exhibition in light-hearted style, but
"Robert, the City Waiter," is righteously indignant that none but
German waiters were employed.

The increasing predominance of pastime throughout this period is
faithfully illustrated in the pages of _Punch_. It is true that he
never was much of a racing man, though always ready to find parallels
in the classic events for political situations, and, as we have noted
elsewhere, anxious to safeguard the privileges of the equestrian.
But hunting and fishing cuts are far less frequent than in the days
of Leech and Mr. Briggs, and in 1881 we find _Punch_ lamenting the
degeneracy of modern sports-big battues, champagne luncheons on the
moors, the lavish refreshment of the shooters and the facile butchery
of tame birds.

[Sidenote: _Futile Feats_]

In 1882 we meet a series of sporting illustrations from the victims'
point of view--e.g., a coursing match as envisaged by the hare with
a crowd of yelling "sportsmen" looking on. _Punch_ had respected and
admired the pugilists of the old school, but here, again, he found
signs of decadence. In 1890 Slavin, an Australian, fought Jem Smith
in France, and the crowd intervened and ill-treated the former, who
won. _Punch_ treats the affair in a neo-Virgilian episode (somewhat in
the style of his lay on the Sayers-Heenan contest), which takes the
form of a dialogue between "Punchius" and "Sayerius" in the Elysian
Fields; and when _Punch_, after narrating the fight, asks the shade
of Sayers what he thought of it, Sayers thinks the sooner the P.R.
is put down the better. The craze for contests for futile endurance
met with no encouragement from _Punch_. When swimming for women was
advocated in the _Medical Press and Circular_ in 1878, _Punch_ printed
a letter on "Maids and Mermaids" in the style and over the signature
of "William Cobbett" vigorously recommending this exercise. But a
year or so later, when Miss Beckwith swam for a hundred hours in a
tank, _Punch_ registered a vehement protest against these "agony-point
Amusements." The spectacle of a girl of eighteen floundering in a tank
for a hundred hours at a stretch was to him as objectless as it was
penitential, as ungraceful as it was degrading. The exploits of Gale,
the pedestrian, at Lillie Bridge in 1880 only disgusted _Punch_, who
marvelled at the folly of the promoters of a "stupid, cruel, degrading
piece of tomfoolery" in sending him tickets to witness it. "I knew," he
says, "that were a horse treated as this man consented to be treated,
the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals would
interfere. But there's no Royal Society and no power in the world that
can prevent a man making an ass of himself if he chooses to do so."
Even in the noble sport of mountaineering _Punch_ found symptoms of a
vainglorious love of self-advertisement. His tribute to Mr. Whymper in
1880 is decidedly two-edged. Under title of "Excelsior, Excelsissimus"
_Punch_ salutes his achievements with a strong undercurrent of satire,
suggesting, e.g., that he should "change his name from Whymper to
Crow and take for his crest a Chanticleer _struttant_, _chantant_
on a mountain reduced to a molehill." _Punch_ winds up on the same
disparaging note;--

  If ever a Gentleman was entitled to advertise himself as "in the
  perpetual Snow line," Whymper is the man, a self with no Company.
  We propose that the Empire he has so proudly assisted over the
  old-established inaccessibilities of the world should be recognized as
  a higher form of Imperialism--Whymperialism.

The overdoing of athletics at schools is a favourite topic in these
years, but on the whole _Punch_ acquiesced in the new and formidable
organization of pastimes of all sorts that went on in the 'seventies
and 'eighties. He saw nothing but wholesome rivalry in contests with
the Dominions. The early visits of the Australian cricket teams
are dealt with at great length. In 1878, the year of Spofforth's
"demoniacal" exploits, we read how,

    The Australians came down like a wolf on the fold,
    The Mary'bone cracks for a trifle were bowled;
    Our Grace before dinner was very soon done,
    And our Grace after dinner did not get a run.

Criticism was not wanting, but it was not directed against the
visitors. At the close of the season _Punch_ gives wholesome advice
to English cricketers to repair their bad taste, bad management and
bad play, and the advice is not without its point in 1921. _Punch_ had
already adapted Byron for his purpose; now he turned to Campbell:--

    The Cricketers of England!
    They yet may have their turn,
    When pique, and fuss, and funk depart
    And good pluck and luck return.
    Meanwhile, ye smart Australian lads,
    Our parting cup shall flow
    To the fame of your name,
    Who have laid our wickets low;
    Who have bowled great Grace, and scored from Shaw,
    And laid all our wickets low!

[Sidenote: _Dr. W. G. Grace_]

In the valedictory lines a week later _Punch_ wishes the Australians
godspeed on their homeward journey, with special mention of Spofforth,
Gregory, Bannerman, Blackham and Boyle. They returned in 1880, and
the match at the Oval inspired the usual Lion and Kangaroo cut. W. G.
Grace made 152 and Murdoch 153, but England won. _Punch_ celebrates
the heroic contest in the manner of Macaulay. "W. G." was now one of
_Punch's_ special heroes. He had even in 1878 bracketed him with Mr.
Gladstone in "The Two W. G.'s" (based on "The Two Obadiahs," a popular
song of the hour), and in July, 1880, the verses on "Grace: an Ode à
la mode," are a good picture of W. G. in his large mastery of the grand

[Illustration: "THE LEVIATHAN BAT"

_Or Many-Centuried Marvel of the Modern (Cricket) World, in his
high-soaring, top-scoring, Summer-day Flight. (Dr. William Gilbert

    As Champion him the whole World hails,
      Lords! How he smites and thumps!
    It takes a week to reach the Bails
      When he's before the Stumps.

    "_Chevy Chase_" (_revised_).

    Praxiteles should have sculped thee, not that thou
      Art slim, soft-moulded, sleek-limbed, epicene,
      Nay, faith, but swart, square-shouldered, stalwart, keen,
    With bellying shirt back-blown and beaded brow,
    Brawny bat-gripping hands, and crisp-curled beard
    As black as Vulcan's own.


FAIR BATTER (ætat. 18): "Now, just look here, Algy Jones--none
of your Patronage! You _dare_ to Bowl to me with your Left Hand again,
and I'll Box your Ears!"]

[Sidenote: _Two Views of Lord's_]

In 1888 when Grace made 215 runs at Brighton _Punch_ saluted him as
"my black-bearded, cricketing Titan," and in 1889 he figures in a
fancy portrait as "The Leviathan Bat" with scores on his wings. From
1880 onwards notices of matches abound; Eton and Harrow, and the
Canterbury Week in 1881, and in 1882 Southey is laid under contribution
to celebrate the "famous victory" of Australia at the Oval with
Spofforth as hero of the occasion. Surrey _v._ Notts in 1887 inspires
a column of verses from an enthusiastic Surreyite with due praise
of W. W. Read, K. J. Key and the exhilarating and intrepid George
Lohmann. But even in these years _Punch_ had his moments of misgiving,
his cold as well as his hot fits. The lines professing to bewail the
feminine invasion of man's last stronghold in pastime--cricket--in
1884, are facetious, or semi-ironical. Women had competed in croquet,
roller-skating and lawn tennis, and man had successively yielded these
various fields of pastime, hoping to retain the mastery of the cricket
field, now threatened. But the verses on "Lord's" in the same year
contain a serious and even ponderous indictment of the fetish-worship
of athleticism, "the Muscle-Cultus forced into a fever," with a lurid
portrait of the "adipose Old Blue," and the decline of the popular
compiler of centuries into that "unvirile _vaurien_ a Town-dangler"
with no profession, no intellectual resources, no interests save his
own past. Yet in the very next year _Punch_ glorified Lord's in an
illustration of the Pavilion crowded with portraits of cricketing
celebrities--"W. G.," I. D. Walker, A. J. Webbe, Lord Harris, A. P.
Lucas, C. J. Thornton, Alfred Lyttelton, A. G. Steel, C. T. Studd, etc.
Whether this was intended as an _amende_ or not, I cannot say, but it
was certainly a considerable advertisement.


If space is limited, there is no reason why one shouldn't play with
one's next-door neighbours, over the garden wall. (One needn't visit
them, you know.)]

Passing on to 1892, we find that _Punch_ was petrified in that year by
the exploits of "Ranji," who scored eleven centuries in that season.
His laudatory ode, however, is largely taken up with efforts to wrestle
with the spelling and pronunciation of the hero's name, for the now
familiar abbreviation had not been generally adopted.

Cricket was still the national pastime _par excellence_, but new rivals
were already creeping up. Lawn tennis, even in 1878, had ceased to
be the monopoly of fashionable circles; it was already invading the
suburbs. In 1885 _Punch_ sang, after Tennyson,

    For other games may come and go,
    Lawn Tennis lives for ever.

Two years later Du Maurier satirized the social importance attached to
the stars of the "Lawn-Tennis world." Football was not yet regarded,
by _Punch_ at any rate, as a serious competitor. Professionalism was
as yet in its infancy. _Punch_ greeted the Maori team which visited
England in 1888, and complimented them on their successes over Surrey
and Kent:--

    Your kicking, brother Maoris,
      Has given us the kick;
    You're well matched all, well "on the ball,"
      And strong, and straight, and quick.
    By Jove, this is a rum age,
      When a New Zealand team
    Licks Bull at goal and scrummage!
      It beats Macaulay's dream.

    You're welcome, brother Maoris,
      Here's wishing you good luck!
    With you there pace and power is,
      And skill, and lots of pluck.
    A trifle "rough." Why, just so!
      But that you'll mend, no doubt,
    And win, all Sportsmen trust so,
      In many a friendly bout.

[Sidenote: _Baseball Arrives_]

The allusion to rough play is not an isolated mention; John Bull is
shown protesting in the same month (October, 1888) against "this
brutal sort of thing," in a cut in which the players are arrayed
in knee-breeches and long stockings; and a year later two football
players, after losing the match, are shown carrying off the referee
in a bag. Lacrosse was already acclimatized in England in the early
'eighties, and the visit of the Toronto Club in 1888 gave impetus to
a fine game which has never seriously threatened the popularity of
cricket and football.

The American baseball team who came over in the spring of 1889 not
only failed to impress _Punch_, they excited him to hostile and
unsympathetic comment on a game which he didn't understand and didn't
want to. Still, he had the grace to admit that he was a prejudiced
spectator; also that the players were as agile as cats and threw like
catapults. He had not the vision to foresee a time when "baseball
results" would be a daily feature of the tape and an Exalted Personage
would be credited with the confession that he thought it was a better
game to watch than cricket, adding, however, "for goodness' sake, don't
say that I said so, or there might be a Revolution."


"I say, Uncle, that was Young Baldock that went by--Wilmington Baldock,
you know----!"

"Who the dickens is _he_?"

"What! Haven't you heard of him? Hang it! He's making himself a very
first-rate position in the _Lawn-Tennis_ world, I can tell you!"]

[Sidenote: _Lawn Tennis v. Golf_]

Pastime was not only being organized, systematized, commercialized.
It was beginning to be the subject of serious literary and scientific
study. The _Badminton Library_ series dates from 1885, when the first
three volumes were published. _Punch_ made excellent fun of the Duke of
Beaufort's preface, repeated in each volume, with its glowing account
of the Prince of Wales's accomplishments as a sportsman, and of the
literary lapses of the Duke and his editors. The volume on Golf, by
Horace Hutchinson, with contributions by Mr. Balfour and Andrew Lang,
certainly did not lay itself open to this rebuke. It was a delightful
tribute to the charm of a pastime which had invaded England seriously
in the 'eighties. Golf had been played sporadically in the south
ever since the days of James I. But until the 'eighties, the golfer
was looked upon as a species of lunatic. _Punch's_ first notable
acknowledgment of the fascinations of the Royal and Ancient Game dates
from 1885, when Du Maurier in "The Golf Stream" shows the stream of all
ages and both sexes that "flows along the Eastern Coast of Scotland
during the summer and autumn."

[Illustration: THE GOLF STREAM

Flows along the Eastern Coast of Scotland during the summer and autumn.

(_Vide Report of British Association--Section V._)]

The jealousy of the votaries of other pastimes is made vocal in Keene's
lawn-tennis player, who sees no fun in a game which consists in
"knockin' a ball into a bush and then 'untin' about for it." Even in
1890 Du Maurier represents the newcomer in an invidious light when he
makes a weedy little man say to an Amazonian lady lawn-tennis player
that "golf is the only game for _men_ nowadays. Lawn tennis is only for
girls." _Punch_ prophesied more truly in the verses, "Golf Victor!" at
the close of the same year. There it is the ladies who say, "Golf is
the game for the girls":--


    Henceforward, then, Golf is the game for the fair--
      At home, and abroad, or in pastures Colonial,
    And the shouts of the ladies will quite fill the air
      For the Links that will turn into bonds Matrimonial,
    And for husbands our daughters in future will seek
    With the powerful aid of the putter and cleek!

In 1892 the confessions of the "Duffer" at Golf after forty years'
experience are interesting from the classified gradations of

  The Learned have divided golf into several categories. There is
  Professional golf, the best Amateur golf, enthusiasts' golf, golf,
  Beginners' golf, Ladies' golf, Infant golf, Parlour golf, the golf of
  Scotch Professors. But the true Duffer's Golf is far, far below that.
  The born Duffer is incurable. No amount of odds will put him on the
  level of even Scotch Professors.

To-day these categories need revising; the ladies have gone up two or
three classes; amateurs have not for the first time held their own with
the best professionals, and even the infants are becoming formidable.

Mentions of cycling in the 'eighties are mainly confined to the
tricycle. There is a strange picture of a kind of tricycle for four
in 1882. Du Maurier's Pillion-Bicycle is a romantic anticipation of
the "Flapper-rack" of a later age. The four chapters on "Cyclomania"
in 1885, including an account of a "spin" to Brighton ending in a
smash, are largely burlesque, but indicate that, though clubs were
multiplying, the cult had not yet outgrown its fashionable phase, or
established itself on a democratic basis.

Signs of advancing popularity, however, are manifest in 1887, when
the old Scotswoman in Keene's picture observes: "Ah dinna ken what's
come ower the Kirk. Ah canna bide to see our Minister spankin'
aboot on yon cyclopaedy!" The publication of a new edition of Mr.
Sturmey's _Handbook of Bicycling_ in the same year inspires a set of
verses reviewing the immense progress made since the days of the old
"bone-shaker," the expansion of the industry at Coventry, and the
exploits on the racing track of Keen and other professionals. The
safety bicycle associated with the name of J. K. Starley dates from
1885, but it was not until the invention of the pneumatic tyre by
Dunlop in 1888 that what had been a pastime was revolutionized and
became an universal mode of locomotion. _Punch_ celebrates the coming
of the "Safety" in October, 1890, in "Breaking a record on the Wheel"
(after Tennyson's "Break, break"), but his admiration of the exploits
of Messrs. Mecredy and Osmond is tempered by regret for the heroes of
the "ordinary"--Keen and the Hon. Ion Keith Falconer. _Punch_ was not
aware that he was in the presence of an epoch-making invention, the
most wide-reaching in its influence in our time between the railway
engine and the coming of the motor. The verses make no mention of
the pneumatic tyre; the present writer saw a bicycle race in 1891 at
Eastbourne at which all the competitors save one rode on the high
model, and he proved the winner.

[Illustration: PAST AND PRESENT]


"Do you evah _Wink_, Miss Evangeline?"

"Do I ever _what_, Mr. Smythe?"


"What _do_ you mean, Sir?"

"Well, _skate_, if you pwefer the expwession!"]

[Sidenote: _The Vicissitudes of Pastime_]

In contrast with the ever-increasing speeding-up of life one may
note _Punch's_ tribute in 1889 to the charms of caravanning; its
inevitable slowness being compensated by freedom from hotel bandits and
extortionate lodging-house keepers.

Rifle-shooting is a serious pursuit rather than a pastime or sport,
but may claim a word of notice in this survey. The National Rifle
Association came of age in 1881, and _Punch_ celebrated the event in a
cartoon in which he toasts a handsome young rifleman in a Jeroboam of
Perrier-Jouet, 1859, and in verses congratulating the comrades of the
rifle on their long survival and triumph over official snubbing.

Lastly I may note that in the Jubilee number of _Punch_ in 1891 the
popular or rather fashionable recreations in the 'sixties, 'seventies,
'eighties and 'nineties are shown in four illustrations of croquet,
roller-skating, lawn tennis and golf. Of these roller-skating has
temporarily disappeared. In the 'seventies "Rinkomania" was a
short-lived but acute malady. It led to a good many accidents and
much speculation, mostly disastrous. Much money was made and more
lost by the financiers who embarked on rink-building. At the end of
1875 _Punch_ notes a report that the Albert Hall was to be converted
into a Grand Skating Rink. At the moment the rumour was by no means
incredible; and the scenes of social and political revelry enacted in
that building of recent years must have often disturbed the _manes_ of
its eponymous hero.

Lawn tennis and golf have become democratic, international and
spectacular pastimes; while croquet continues to hold its own in a
select, scientific and secluded circle of votaries.

                           FASHION IN DRESS

Men's dress had already ceased to be decorative long before the
'seventies were in their mid career. There had been spasmodic attempts
to introduce a note of colour and picturesqueness into male attire,
and a fresh effort was made by the apostles of the æsthetic movement,
but the average man of fashion took no heed of these eccentricities.
His aim was to be unobtrusively well dressed, though in the domain of
pastime one may note an increasing addiction to highly coloured hose
and the multiplication of club colours and ribbons.

As a chronicler and illustrator of the vagaries of Mode, _Punch_
continues to pay far more attention to the costume of women than of
men. But here also one notes a change--a tendency which warrants
the labelling of this period as the Age of Approximation, in which
in regard both to material and design women were more and more
inclined to take a leaf from the fashion books of their brothers. The
increasing addiction of girls to athletic pastimes was no doubt largely
responsible for a change which could not be better exemplified than
in Du Maurier's picture in 1877 of an old gentleman who mistakes the
Dean's three daughters for young men and is gravely corrected by the
verger. The mistake was venial, for the young amazons in their ulsters
and hard hats presented a decidedly masculine appearance. In a word,
they were "tailor-made"--a word of vast and epoch-making significance.

[Sidenote: _The Divided Skirt_]

References to this approximation recur throughout the 'eighties. In
1880 Sambourne, taking for his text an article in the _Journal des
Modes_, gives us a design of evening dress entitled, "Man or Woman--a
Toss Up," and in the same year Du Maurier, in a picture of the "_Ne
Plus_ Ulster," represents a customer expostulating with the shop-woman,
"But it makes one look so like a man," only to be told, "That's just
the beauty of it, Miss." Within limits _Punch_ applauded the change.
When short dresses for dances were said to be coming in, in the same
year, he dilates in verse on the salutary innovation. To the year 1881
belongs the foundation of the "Rational Dress Society." "Bloomerism,"
as I pointed out in an earlier volume, never appealed to Mayfair.
But the Rational Dress Society claimed a live Viscountess--Lady
Harberton--as its President, and recommended the adoption of a "dual
garmenture" or "divided skirt" as its cardinal tenet. _Punch_ declared
that the "divided skirt" was simply the old Bloomer costume slightly
disguised, and saw in the movement only a fresh proof of woman's
conscious inferiority:--

    True that another skirt hides this insanity
      Miss Mary Walker in old days began;
    Yet it should flatter our masculine vanity,
      For this means simply the trousers of Man!


OLD GENTLEMAN (shocked beyond description) to Verger: "Don't
you think those youths had better be told to take their hats off?"

VERGER: "Take their 'ats off! Bless you, Sir, those are the
_Dean's_ young ladies!"]

The Rational Dress reformers were tremendously in earnest, but they
entirely failed to convert the fashionables, and _Punch_, who refused
to take them seriously, ridiculed the movement in a burlesque cut of
"United Trousers _v._ Divided Skirts," in which retaliation effects a
_reductio ad absurdum_. An exhibition of Rational Dress was held in
Prince's Hall in the summer of 1883, but _Punch_ remained unconvinced,
and even obscurantist in his comments:--

    We look at the models--they puzzle our noddles--
      Regarding them all with alarm and surprise!
    Each artful customer revives Mrs. Bloomer,
      And often produces an army of guys.
    The costume elastic, the dresses gymnastic,
      The wonderful suits for the tricycle-ess--
    Though skirts be divided, I'm clearly decided,
      It isn't my notion of Rational Dress!

    See gowns hygienic, and frocks calisthenic,
      And dresses quite worthy a modern burlesque;
    With garments for walking, and tennis, and talking,
      All terribly manful and too trouseresque!
    And habits for riding, for skating, or sliding,
      With "rational" features they claim to possess;
    The thought I can't banish, they're somewhat too mannish,
      And not quite the thing for a Rational Dress!

    Note robes there for rinking, and gowns for tea-drinking,
      For yachting, for climbing, for cricketing too;
    The dresses for boating, the new petticoating,
      The tunics in brown and the trousers in blue.
    The fabrics for frockings, the shoes and the stockings,
      And corsets that ne'er will the figure compress;
    But in the whole placeful there's little that's graceful
      And girlish enough for a Rational Dress!

    'Tis hardy and boyish, not girlful and coyish--
      We think, as we stroll round the gaily-dight room--
    A masculine coldness, a brusqueness, a boldness,
      Appears to pervade all this novel costume!
    In ribbons and laces, and feminine graces,
      And soft flowing robes, there's a charm more or less--
    I don't think I'll venture on dual garmenture,
      I fancy my own is the Rational Dress.

[Sidenote: _Punch the "Anti-Rationalist"_]

Strong-minded women, in _Punch's_ view, only emphasized their
angularity by the masculinity of their attire--witness his "Aunt
Jemima," an uncompromising Blue Ribbonite, in an ulster and hard felt
hat, explaining to a French cab-driver that the extra half-franc
is a "_pour-manger_" and not a "_pour-boire_." The allusion to
corsets in the lines quoted above may be supplemented by a paragraph
which appeared early in 1891 showing that the "rationalizing" of
dress had spread to the Dominions. At Sydenham, Ontario, corsets
had been declared, in a memorable phrase, to be "incompatible with
Christianity." To the end of this period _Punch_ discourages the
extremes of the "Rational" school. His wittiest criticism is the
paradoxical remark put in the mouth of one girl who disapproves of the
mannish costume of a friend in a covert coat with a man's hat: "It
makes you look like a Young Man, you know, and that's so effeminate!"
The small deer-stalking cap worn by the lady, salmon fishing with a
formidable gillie, in 1885, is identical with that worn by the male
sportsman. The ulsters and "golf-capes," worn by women when travelling,
and the narrow-brimmed felt hats shown in 1891, are practically
identical for men and women; and in 1892 _Punch_ laments (after
Herrick) the introduction of the loose "sack" coat, in imitation of the
masculine model:--

    Whenas my Julia wears a sack,
    That hides the outline of her back,
    I cry in sore distress, Alack!

Later on in the same poem his clothes philosophy is summed up in six

    Although men's clothes are always vile--
    The coat, the trousers and the "tile"--
    Some sense still lingers in each style.

    But women's garments should be fair,
    All graceful, gay, and debonair,
    And if they lack good sense, why care?

[Sidenote: _Slaves of Fashion_]

In the last three lines we find the whole essence and spirit of Du
Maurier's method. He proved to demonstration again and again that women
could dress in the fashion of the moment and be delightful to look at,
so long as they were the judicious interpreters and not the Slaves of
Mode. If he saw no beauty in the designs of the "Rationalists," and
habitually ridiculed the sprawling attitudes, the shapeless garments,
and unwholesome languor of the female "æsthetes," he did not spare the
monstrosities and barbarities of the ultra-fashionables. The age of
lateral expansion had given place to a craze for compression, to the
"eel-skin" model. Skirts were so tight in 1875 that Du Maurier suggests
that upholsterers should devise a special sort of chair suited to the
peculiar exigencies of ladies who can neither stoop nor sit down. Three
years later a lady and a hussar officer at a dance are depicted as
both equally unable to depart from a rigidly perpendicular attitude.
Tight lacing was again in fashion but met with no approval from
_Punch_. In 1877 Du Maurier depicts a lady resolutely determined to
lace down to the waist measurement of a rival, and _Punch_ quotes with
approval Miss Frances P. Cobbe's indictment of the causes which led to
the "Little Health of Women." Besides tight lacing the list includes
the neglect of exercise, the discouragement of appetite, sentimental
brooding over disappointments, the lack of healthy occupation for
mind and body, false hair, bonnets that don't protect the head, heavy
dragging skirts, high heels and "pull-backs"--a tolerably comprehensive
catalogue. _Punch_ renews his attack on tightly-laced pinched-in
figures in his Horatian ode to "A Modern Pyrrha" in 1880, and in 1889
Jones, after offering the wasp-waisted Miss Vane tea and strawberries
at a garden party, remarks to himself: "By Jove! she takes 'em--she's
going to swallow 'em! But where she'll put 'em--goodness knows!"

[Illustration: A MODERN WAIST

JONES (_to himself, as he offers Miss Vane a cup of tea and
some strawberries_): "By Jove! She takes 'em--she's going to swallow
'em! But where she'll _put_ 'em--goodness knows!"]

[Illustration: TO UPHOLSTERERS, etc.

Now that fashionable skirts are worn so tight that the fair wearers
thereof can neither stoop nor sit down, it might be worth somebody's
while to devise a chair suited to the peculiar exigencies of the


LADY (_speaking with difficulty_): "What have you made it
round the waist, Mrs. Price?"

DRESSMAKER: "Twenty-one inches, ma'am. You couldn't _breathe_
with less!"

LADY: "What's Lady Jemima Jones's waist?"

DRESSMAKER: "Nineteen-and-a-half just now, ma'am. But her
Ladyship's a head shorter than you are, and she's got ever so much
thinner since her illness last autumn?"

LADY: "Then make it _nineteen_, Mrs. Price, and _I'll_ engage
to get into it!"]

The crusade against wearing birds' wings is an old story. The Baroness
Burdett-Coutts' efforts in 1875--cordially supported by _Punch_--were
prompted by the cruel practice of obtaining rare feathers by plucking
birds when alive. The Baroness had approached Mme. Louise, who was
sympathetic but pointed out that there was an increasing demand for
this kind of decoration. _Punch_ repeatedly protests against the
practice, and in 1889, when flowers were once more in fashion as hat
trimmings, expressed his delight at a change which checked wholesale
bird slaughter:--

    When lovely woman stooped to folly,
      And piled bird plumes upon her head,
    She no doubt fancied she looked jolly,
      But filled the woodland choirs with dread.

His delight, however, was short-lived, and in 1892 he was again moved
to denounce the "Modish Moloch of the Air," and pillory, under the
title of "A Bird of Prey," the woman of fashion who decked herself out
in feathers.

[Sidenote: _Fringes and Bustles_]

This was the age of the fringe, another of _Punch's_ pet aversions,
whether worn by 'Arriet or the maidens and matrons of Mayfair. Du
Maurier lent his aid in the triple cut headed "Alas!" representing
"Pretty Grandmamma Robinson" as she was in 1851, as she is now in 1880,
in a tight dress cut low in front with a monstrous frizzed fringe,
and finally as she might and should be--altogether a most instructive
sermon on the art of growing old gracefully and the reverse.


"What does t'lass want wi' yon _Boostle_ for? It aren't big enough to
_Smoggle_ things, and she can't _Steer_ herself wi' it!"]

It is interesting to note, by way of contrast, that caps were still
worn in the house by quite young married women. The affectation of
perennial youth was not universal in 1880. The popularity and drawbacks
of the jersey are attested in the same year, when we are shown the
fearful struggles of Jones in his efforts to help his lovely wife
to divest herself of this garment. In 1881 reference is made to the
agitation against a revival of the crinoline. The successful stand made
against the "crinolette" by the Princess of Wales in 1883 is alluded to
elsewhere. _Punch_ declares that the very large fans used at this time
were almost as great a nuisance in the stalls as crinoline had been,
but this is obviously a gross exaggeration. The red veils which were
introduced in 1884 were to him a sheer abomination. "It makes girls
look blear-eyed and red-nosed. It gives them the appearance of just
recovering from the measles."

In the same year the ultra-smart ladies are shown wearing hats, while
others still have bonnets. In 1886 Du Maurier shows ladies in a
brougham specially built to match the fashion of hats with high conical
crowns. The small fur capes of a few years back give place in 1887 to
long fur boas--so long that one picture shows a lady walking between
two men with the ends of her boa round their necks.

A more formidable monstrosity of these years was the "bustle,"
admirably criticized by the fisherman in Du Maurier's picture. By 1889
_Punch_ celebrated its departure along with other excrescences in a
parody of Browning:--

                             EVELYN'S HOPE

    The hideous bustle at last is dead.
      Come and talk of the beast a minute!
    Never again will it flourish, it's said;
      What on earth we women saw in it,
    Or why we liked it, is hard to discover;
      Only the world is a nicer place,
    Now that the pest called a "dress-improver"
      Is improved, by Fashion, right off its face.

    There's the tall hat, too, which they say is doomed.
      One rather liked it, or viewed it with awe,
    Till one sat in a theatre, and far away loomed
      A rampart of feathers, frilling, and straw,
    Hiding the stage, the footlights, and all,
      Save perhaps the top of a paste-board tree;
    Oh, then one's fingers did certainly crawl
      To fling a book at the filigree!

    But, some day, in Fashion's whirligig,
      The monstrous bustle, the Eiffel hat,
    May arise once more, even twice as big,
      For our great-grandchildren to wonder at.
    Well, that's Posterity's matter, not mine.
      The one thing now is to put up a hymn
    Of praise, and of hope that, when new suns shine,
      Good taste may flourish instead of whim!

[Sidenote: _Æsthetic Children_]

In 1891 a new fashion of dressing hair in the "teapot handle" style
arose and was pronounced by _Punch_ to be "frightful," and the epithet
is at least justified by _Punch's_ caricature.


MAMMA: "Who are those extraordinary-looking children?"

EFFIE: "The Cimabue Browns, Mamma. They're _Æsthetic_, you

MAMMA: "So I should imagine. Do you know them to speak to?"

EFFIE: "Oh dear no, Mamma--They're most _exclusive_. Why, they
put out their tongues at us if we only _look_ at them!"]

Throughout this period the children in Du Maurier's pictures, however
dressed, are a joy to look at. The fashion of arraying them in
"æsthetic" costumes meets, however, with no favour. It is even implied
that such a garb impairs their manners and conduces to arrogance,
witness Du Maurier's picture of the young Cimabue Browns putting out
their tongues in derision at ordinary normally clad children in the
park. In 1881 we read:--

  The poor little Guys who have been compelled by unthinking parents to
  walk about in long skirts, antique cloaks, and coal-scuttle bonnets,
  have caused so much laughter that the dress is now called "The
  Grinaway Costume."

It may have been by _Punch_; but against his churlish condemnation must
be set the enthusiastic approval of Kate Greenaway's illustrations by
leading art critics, including Ruskin, throughout the world; and the
extraordinary success of her revival of old-fashioned costumes for
children. In spite of _Punch_, and in virtue of the exquisite charm
of her designs, she went a long way toward justifying the verdict of
one of her admirers that "Kate Greenaway dressed the children of two

[Illustration: THE DANCING MAN

SHE: "Awfully nice Dance at Mrs. Masham's last night?"

HE: "Yaas. Were you there?"

SHE: "_Was I there?_ Why--I danced with you Three Times!"

HE: "Really! So glad!"]

[Sidenote: _The Demon "Topper"_]

Allusions to men's attire in this period are few and far between, and
a careful study of _Punch's_ illustrations reveals little substantial
divergence between the fashions of 1880 and 1920. The only approach to
a crusade or campaign in which _Punch_ engaged was directed against
his old enemy the "chimney pot." When Dr. Carpenter in 1882 declared
that Englishmen "would rather suffer martyrdom than give up its use,"
_Punch_ enlarged on this text in an "anti-sanitary ballad." He reverts
to the theme in "All round my hat" in 1889:--

    Incarnate ugliness, bald, tasteless, flat,
          My stove-pipe hat!
    A rigid cylinder that engirts
    My cranium close, and heats, and hurts
          My head most frightfully.
    It cuts, it chafes, it raises lumps,
    Each vein beneath it throbs and thumps
          Fiercely and spitefully;
    An Incubus of woe, and yet I wear it
          And grin and bear it.

    Its pipy structure, black and hollow,
    Would make a guy of bright Apollo,
          Clapt on his crown.
    It takes one's top-locks clean away,
    And turns the scanty remnant grey,
          Once thick and brown.
    And oh! how terrible its torrid tether
          In sultry weather!

    Ever the same, though fashion's whim
    Wide-bell the body, curl the brim,
          Or more or less;
    Play little tricks with shape or size,
    And Yankeefy or Quakerize
          Design or dress,
    Long, short, broad, narrow, curled this way or that,
          'Tis still a hat!

The centenary of the tall-hat (according to the _Daily News_) arrived
in 1890, and _Punch_ heaped scorn on this unlovely centenarian:--

    Mad was the hatter who invented
    The demon "topper," and demented
    The race that, spite of pain and jeers,
    Has borne it--for One Hundred Years!

For holiday or sporting wear Tyrolese hats came into vogue in the late
'eighties, and the picture of two "chappies" at Monte Carlo in what is
presumably the height of the fashion presents them in check tweeds,
spats and Austrian _jäger_ hats. The Homburg hat belongs to a slightly
later period.

Mr. A. C. Corbould, in an illustration of the correct costume for
Rotten Row in 1885 and 1889, shows that for men the tall hat and
frock coat had yielded in the latter year to the bowler and tweeds.
The dress of the ladies shows less change, but the tall hat has gone
and the skirts are grey not black. Short tailless coats for morning
wear were coming in, and _Punch_ welcomes in 1889 the introduction of
brown boots as a relief from "that dual despotism, dreadful grown, of
needless nigritude and futile polish." Whiskers were still worn, but,
amongst young men, were severely restricted in length, and shorn of the
ambrosial exuberance of the 'fifties and 'sixties.

"Æsthetes" were once described as a set of long-haired men and
short-haired women, and Du Maurier's pictures justify the summary, but
these peculiarities were confined to a coterie; they never seriously
affected the usages of Mayfair or involved any revision of the "petty
decalogue of Mode." Spats were generally worn, and the "mashers" of
the 'eighties carried very slim umbrellas when they took their walks
abroad in the park for Sunday parade. Evening dress presents few and
negligible differences from that in vogue to-day. One of the very few
references to military uniforms in these years indicates the reaction
against "useless flummery." A military correspondent in _The Times_
had said, in 1890, that the day of cocked hats and plumes was gone,
and _Punch_ availed himself of the saying to design a new and rational
uniform for general officers, so that they might be mistaken by the
enemy for harmless gentlemen farmers.


As I ventured to remark in an earlier volume, a literary critic's
acumen and _flair_ are better shown in his estimates of writers
whose fame is as yet unassured, or who are just emerging above the
horizon, than of authors of established reputation. No special credit
attaches to _Punch_ for writing with reverence of Shakespeare, Milton,
Wordsworth, Scott or Charles Lamb, whose centenary evoked a charming
tribute in 1875, when the Headmaster of Christ's Hospital appealed
in _The Times_ for support in erecting a memorial to Elia in his old
school. A better test is furnished in his references to Browning and
Swinburne, Matthew Arnold, Charles Reade and Trollope, Jefferies and
Stevenson and Thomas Hardy, George Eliot and Mrs. Humphry Ward, and,
to come down to the end of this period, Kipling and Barrie. Yet all
established reputations were not respected by _Punch_. When Rabelais
was included in Professor Henry Morley's series of World's Classics in
1883 _Punch_ uttered a vehement protest against the choice. He calls
Rabelais a "dirty-minded, scurrilous, blasphemous, witty, broadly
humorous and extravagantly grotesque clerical buffoon." The _Saturday
Review_ thought otherwise, but _Punch_ declared that the defence
was only put forward as "a stalking-horse for a malicious attack on

The lines on George Eliot in 1881 are brief but laudatory. The phrase
declining to rank her "among the tricksy mimes" is not happy; but she
is spoken of as "this large-orbed glory of our times," and _Punch_
prophesies for her "unfading bays," a prophecy to which the present
generation would seem inclined to demur. _Punch_ had little to add to
his previous tributes to Carlyle when the Sage of Chelsea passed away
in the same year, except to express the view that he was profoundly
discontented with the England of to-day:--

    He lived through England's triumph, but he heard
    With dying ears the shadow of decline.

[Illustration: CULTURE--1881

MISTRESS: "As you've never been in Service, I'm afraid I can't
engage you without a 'character.'"

YOUNG PERSON: "I have three School Board certificates, Ma'am!"

MISTRESS: "Oh, well--I suppose for honesty, cleanliness----"

YOUNG PERSON: "No, Ma'am--for 'Literatoor,' Joggr'phy and
Free'and Drawin'!"]

[Sidenote: _Relations with American Authors_]

The founding of the Browning Society in the same year met with no more
encouragement from _Punch_ than Miss Braddon's boiled-down versions
of Scott's novels. _Punch_ dimly recognized Browning's greatness
while resenting his obscurities and eccentricities, and in a further
skit on the Society carefully disclaims any disrespect for Browning
himself. This mitigated appreciation is developed in the memorial
verses in 1889 which hail him as a gallant and manly singer and apostle
of healthy optimism, while denying his Muse the quality of elegance.
_Punch_ was nearer the mark in his laconic reference to Tupper, who
died in the same year:--


  Martin F. Tupper, famed for his _Proverbial Philosophy_, has joined
  the majority. He was thoroughly in earnest, and said many a true thing
  in what popularly passed for poetry. He will be remembered as "The
  Great Maxim Gun" of the nineteenth century.

The _Annual Register_ reminds us that in twenty-five years over 100,000
copies of _Proverbial Philosophy_ were sold in England and nearly half
a million in America.

_Punch_ was happier in dealing with Longfellow than with Emerson; the
description of the latter as "the cheery oracle, alert and quick,"
is hardly adequate. _Punch_, however, protested against the proposed
monument to Longfellow in the Abbey. He had learned to appreciate J. R.
Lowell, who, on leaving England in 1885 after his four years' tenure
of office as American Minister, said that "he had come among them as
a far-away cousin, and they were sending him away as something very
like a brother." _Punch_ refused to say good-bye to this great and
wise American, and his "au revoir" verses contain pleasant allusions
to _The Biglow Papers_ and _Study Windows_. Nor was his welcome of
Oliver Wendell Holmes a whit less cordial, when the beloved "Autocrat"
visited England to receive a D.C.L. degree in 1886. Bret Harte had been
welcomed by _Punch_ in 1879 as a master of wit and wisdom, humour and
pathos. Though, as was said of a famous composer, he began as a genius
and ended as a talent, the influence of _The Luck of Roaring Camp_[10]
on the development of the short story was fruitful and abiding. To
complete the record of _Punch's_ relations with American authors it may
be noted that in 1881 he greeted Joel Chandler Harris, the author of
_Uncle Remus_, as a benefactor; that he resented Mr. W. D. Howells's
critical depreciations of Dickens and Thackeray; and that, when Walt
Whitman died in 1892, he indited what was virtually a palinode:--

    Whilst hearts are generous and woods are green,
    He shall find hearers, who, in a slack time
    Of puny bards and pessimistic rhyme,
    Dared to bid men adventure and rejoice.
    His "yawp barbaric" was a human voice;
    The singer was a man.

[Footnote 10: It was translated in the feuilleton of an Italian paper
as _La Fortuna del Campo Clamoroso_!]

To return to native writers, _Punch_ happily linked a great Churchman
and a great Victorian novelist in the stanza which appeared at the
close of 1882:--

    Two men whose loss all Englishmen must rue,
      True servants of the Studio and the State.
    No manlier Churchman Trollope ever drew
      Than History will portray in gentle Tait.

_Punch_ had long acclaimed Tennyson as one of the major poets; but a
slight element of reserve mingles in the congratulations on his peerage
in 1883. Approval is tempered by chaff, and allusion is made to the
Laureate's being prevented from taking his seat in the Lords by having
lost his robes. There are no reserves in the tribute to the "beloved
Cambridge rhymer" C. S. Calverley, when he passed away in early middle
age in 1884. The memorial verses omit all mention of Calverley's
genius for high parody, and incorrectly speak of the Ode to Beer as
being written in Spenserian stanzas, but are otherwise affectionately

    Well, well, omnivorous are the Shades;
      But seldom hath that Stygian sculler
    Oared o'er a gayer ghost than "Blayds,"[11]
      Whose transit leaves the dull world duller.

[Footnote 11: The surname borne by C. S. C. until his branch of the
family resumed that of Calverley.]

[Sidenote: _Literary Controversies_]

Charles Reade, who died in the same year, is not ineptly described as
the "Rupert of Letters," and his indiscretions and exuberances are
overlooked in virtue of his services both as a dramatist and novelist,
and the "noble rage" with which he vindicated "the master-virtue,

Echoes of a controversy over the censorship exerted by the libraries,
revived periodically in later years, come to us from the years 1884
and 1885, when the banning of Mr. George Moore's novels led to a
correspondence in the _Pall Mall Gazette_. Here the late Mr. George
Gissing, while professing little sympathy with Mr. Moore, had fallen
foul of Thackeray for truckling to the demands of Mrs. Grundy and
betraying his artistic conscience--_à propos_ of the Preface to
_Pendennis_. This was altogether too much for _Punch_, who belaboured
Mr. Gissing to his heart's content in his most truculent vein, and did
not abstain from his old and ugly habit of making offensive capital out
of an antagonist's name: "humbly we own that we never heard of his name
before, though it seems suggestive of a kind of guttural German embrace
performed by the nationalizer of the Land [Henry George]."

Another famous literary quarrel broke out in 1886, the year of the
trenchant attack, recalling the style and temper of Macaulay, on Mr.
Gosse in the _Quarterly Review_ for October. As _Punch_ had already
indulged in a good deal of acid pleasantry at the expense of the
mutual admiration of "Poet Dobson" and "Poet Gosse," it was easy to
guess on which side his sympathies would be enlisted. The sting of the
_Quarterly's_ indictment lay in the statement that "the men who write
bad books are the men who criticize them," and _Punch_ did not refrain
from rubbing in the charge:--

    Quarterly pay was dear to man
    Since or ever the world began,
    Chances vanish, and ventures cross,
    Even sometimes for bards like Gosse;
    Since or ever the world began.
    Quarterly pay was dear to man.

    But there's a something in quarterly pay
    Which doesn't please all men alway!
    Less than half-truth is a _quarter-lie_,
    Bound to be found out by-and-by;
    Since or ever the world began,
    Quarterly pay has been strict with man.
    Play straight and honest--for, if you don't,
    The public meed 'tis receive you won't;
    The mutual arts of puff and praise,
    Even in these degenerate days,
    Sink at last in the scorn they raise;
    Since or ever the world began,
    Quarterly pay has been straight with man.

           *       *       *       *       *

    Poet Dobson shall claim on high
    From Poet Gosse immortality!
    And Poet Dobson shall shed the same,
    No doubt, upon Poet Gosse's name--
    While a weak world wonders whence they came,
    And never a weakling dares deny
    (For there's no such thing as puffery)
    To each his immortality!
    Yet Quarterlies dare to say, for once,
    That dunce's works are reviewed by dunce.

    Shocking! Anonymous donkeys speak
    Donkey's dislike of a cultured clique--
    ("Fudge," by Goldsmith; but now called "cheek")--
    Yet since or ever the world began,
    Quarterly reckoning's good for man!

The _Quarterly_, not for the first time, overshot the mark by its
"savage and tartarly" methods, and the incriminated critic survived
an attack fortified by accurate learning but impaired by unrestrained

[Sidenote: _Punch Salutes Mr. Kipling_]

_Punch_ resumed his genial strain in his tribute to Richard Jefferies,
when that admirable prose poet of rural England and the pageantry
of the seasons died prematurely in 1887. Matthew Arnold was not
exactly one of _Punch's_ literary heroes. His urbanity was admitted,
but _Punch_ slightly resented his intellectual superciliousness.
Yet the verses on his death in 1888, cast in the "Thyrsis" stanza,
acknowledge the value of his crusade against Philistinism, and the
beauty of his elegiac poetry; he was "the great son of a good father."
Towards Matthew Arnold's distinguished niece, Mrs. Humphry Ward,
_Punch_ was less benevolent on the occasion of the appearance of
_Robert Elsmere_ in the same year. The sorely tried hero is described
as "wandering about, a married Hamlet in clerical attire, undecided
as to his mission to set everything right and dying a victim to
the Mephistophelean-Betsy-Prig spirit." Nor was _Punch_ altogether
appreciative of R. L. Stevenson, though he pays a reluctant homage to
his genius in one of the "Mems for the New Year" for a literary man in
January, 1889: "Resolutely to avoid making the most distant reference
to 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.'" The standard of precision in the editing
of _Punch_ at this time was not above reproach. In the same year "Mr.
J. L. Stevenson's _Master of Ballantine_" is reviewed though there
was no such author and no such book. _Punch_ made amends, however, in
1890 in his salutations of two notable newcomers. In February he was
delighted by "the homely simplicity," the keen observation, shrewd wit
and gentle pathos of Barrie in _A Window in Thrums_. Six weeks later
he recognized in Rudyard Kipling's _Plain Tales from the Hills_ a "new
and piquant flavour," as of an Anglo-Indian Bret Harte. _Punch_ found
an "excessive abundance of phrases and local allusions which will be
dark sayings to the uninitiated." But here adverse criticism ends. For
the rest he acknowledges in the new writer a surprising knowledge of
life, civil, military and native, and a happy command of pathos and
humour. This tribute was followed up a few weeks later by a much more
characteristic act of homage in doggerel verse:--

                      TO THE NEW SCRIBE AND POET

Air:--"_O Ruddier than the Cherry._"

    O Rudyard, in this sherry,
    I drink your very, very
        Good health. I would
        That write I could
    Like Kipling, sad or merry.

          (Signed) INVIDIUS NASO.

The literary quality of _Punch's_ literary criticism was not high in
these days and his outlook was decidedly limited. It is therefore a
welcome surprise to find him not only recognizing the beauty of Cory's
_Ionica_ in 1891, but specially singling out the famous version of the
epitaph on Heraclitus. _Punch_ could not dissect it as Walter Headlam
did afterwards, but he noted one blemish--the confusion of "thou" and
"you." Almost as unexpected, in view of his attitude towards much
contemporary realism, is _Punch's_ eulogy of Hardy's _Tess_ in 1892.
Barring the "absurdly melodramatic character of the villain" _Punch_
has nothing but praise for its essential truth; acquits the author
of "foolhardiness" in "boldly telling ugly truths about the Pagan
Phyllises and Corydons of our dear old Christian England," and accepts
his word for the faithfulness of the portraiture.

_Punch_ had rejoiced over the dissolution of the Browning Society
formed by Dr. Furnivall in 1891:--

    Lovers of Browning may laugh and grow fat again,
    Rid of the jargon of Furnivallese.

He was not, however, any better disposed to Swinburne, Furnivall's
antagonist and rival in the art of ferocious obloquy, of whom he wrote
in the same year:--

    There was a poor poet named Clough;
    Poet Swinburne declares he wrote stuff--
        Ah, well, _he_ is dead!
        'Tis the living are fed,
    By log-rollers on butter and puff!

[Sidenote: _Parodies and "Limericks"_]

Of _Punch's_ relations with Ruskin we speak in another place. The
most detailed notice of Meredith grew out of a real incident, the
calling of the illustrious novelist as a witness in a libel action
in the year 1891. _Punch_ professes to give a full report of his
evidence, in which Judge and Counsel are overwhelmed in a deluge of
Meredithyrambics. It is a perfectly friendly and by no means inexpert
parody of the contortions and obscurities which induced Tennyson
to declare that reading Meredith was like wading through glue.
_Punch's_ friendly irreverence to his old friend of thirty years'
standing prompts me to add that, throughout this period, parody was
continually and increasingly employed, not like the bladder with which
the Fool belabours bystanders, but as a weapon of genuine criticism.
Here is a list, though not a complete list, of the authors who were
subjected to this method in the period under review. Rhoda Broughton
(for her emotional sentimentality) in _Gone Wrong_; Captain Hawley
Smart, the sporting novelist; "Ouida"; Trollope; Disraeli, the florid
magnificence and aristocratic atmosphere of whose _Endymion_ is
amusingly travestied in 1880; J. C. Harris, the author of _Uncle
Remus_; Rider Haggard; Lord Lytton ("Owen Meredith") in "Fitzdotterel,"
a parody of Glenaveril; Stevenson; F. C. Philips, the author of _As
in a Looking Glass_; Oscar Wilde; Barrie; Kipling; Hardy; Henley and
Maeterlinck (in the style of Ollendorff).

Burnand was not a parodist of the class of Calverley or Sir Owen
Seaman, Max Beerbohm or Mr. J. C. Squire; but what he lacked in
literary felicity and scholarship and in that impersonation which
assumes the habit of mind of the author travestied, he made up in
his unfailing sense of the ludicrous, his high spirits and audacious
burlesque. He confined himself mainly to prose. At the end of this
period Mr. Anstey was a veritable tower of strength to the paper.
His _Voces Populi_ and his burlesques of recitations and music-hall
songs are masterpieces of close observation and high-spirited fun. The
extravagances of the æsthetic poets engaged other pens, but the best
literary parodies belong to a rather later date. There is, however,
a good specimen in the "domestic threnody" on Oleo-Margarine in the
manner of Swinburne, which appears in 1881, and opens impressively:--

    I am she whose nameless naked name to utter
            The strong are weak;
    The suet-sprung soft sweet sister of bad butter,
            Yet rid of reek.
    I, that, molten o'er the fires beneath me burning,
            From void of vat,
    Uprise supremer, in this my creamless churning,
            First-born of fat!

In this context I may note an original contribution to existing forms
of verse in the ingenious doggerel French "Limericks" of Du Maurier, of
which two specimens may suffice:--

    _Il était un homme de Madère
    Qui cassa le nez à son père.
        On demandait "Pourquoi?"
        Il répondit "Ma foi!
    Vous n'avez pas connu mon père!"_

    _Il existe une Espinstère à Tours,
    Un peu vite, et qui porte toujours
        Un ulsteur peau-de-phoque,
        Un chapeau bilicoque,
    Et des nîcrebocqueurs en velours._


THE PROPRIETOR: "I'll tell you what it is, Shardson, I'm
getting sick of the 'ole bloomin' Show! _The Knacker_ ain't selling a
Scrap--no notice took of us anywhere--not a bloomin' Advertisement!
And yet there ain't 'ardly a livin' Englishman of mark, from Tennyson
downwards, as we 'aven't shown up and pitched into, and dragged 'is
Name in the Mud!"

THE EDITOR: "Don't let's throw up the Sponge yet, Old Man!
Let's give the dead 'uns a turn--let's have a shy at Thackeray,
Browning, George Eliot, or, better still, let's bespatter General
Gordon and Cardinal Newman a bit--_that_ ought to fetch 'em a few, and
bring us into Notice!"]

[Sidenote: _Russel and Delane_]

Turning for the moment from gay to grave, we may note that _Punch_
bestowed his benediction on the _Dictionary of National Biography_,
when the first instalment of what was the greatest act of true
sportsmanship in the publishing world of our times appeared in January,
1885. _Per contra_, the proposal for a British Academy in 1890 only met
with irreverent suggestions from _Punch_ for the constitution of the
Elective Body.

_Punch_ kept a watchful eye on the developments of journalism and
periodical literature. He notes in 1876 the impending appearance of
_Truth_, but his opinion of Society journals, discussed elsewhere,
was not flattering. When Alexander Russel, the great editor of the
_Scotsman_, died in July, 1876, _Punch_ did not fail to recognize the
conspicuous services of that fearless, honest and trenchant publicist
and _malleus stultorum_:--

    The shadows that make up our night,
    Were growing thin for him to fight,
    But still he fights, we think with pride,
    Our battle from the other side!

           *       *       *       *       *

    Long in our mêlée will be missed
    The mace of Russel's mighty fist,
    That struck and, wasting nought in sound,
    Buried its blow without rebound.

Bagehot, equally distinguished in letters and journalism, passed
unnoticed in 1877, but Delane, the third and most widely renowned of
the three great editors who died in the last half of this decade, was
fitly eulogized in 1879 by one who was not the only writer who had
served on the staff of both _Punch_ and _The Times_:--

    Rest in thy grave, that knew no resting here,
      Editor without equal, strenuous soul,
    Staunch friend, despising favour, scorning fear,
      Far-seeing, forward, cleaving to thy goal.

    He left a different scene from that he found,
      And had a large part in all change he saw,
    No slave, nor leader, of his time, but bound
      Abreast of it to keep its glass from flaw.

The centenary of _The Times_, which occurred in 1888, is duly noted,
and by way of contrast to what was then a national institution there
are allusions to short-lived but now forgotten papers and periodicals,
more notorious than notable. _Punch_ kept a vigilant eye on the
provincial press, but he was, on the whole, more inclined to utilize
it when it suited its purpose and to make humorous capital out of its
shortcomings than to acknowledge its solid merits. Of _Punch's_ own
domestic history it may suffice to maintain that a mountain in the
Arctic regions was named after him by the expedition under Captain
Nares in 1876; and that he was once more banned in Paris on account of
the cartoons on Marshal MacMahon in 1878. He paid affectionate homage
to Tom Taylor on his death in 1880 as a cultivated man of letters, a
considerate and judicious editor, above all, a warm-hearted, upright
man and a staunch and loyal friend. Henry Mayhew, who died in 1887,
"comrade of _Punch_ and champion of the poor," was only associated with
the paper in its earlier days and for a short period. By the death of
the gentle Percival Leigh, of "Pips's Diary" fame, in 1889, the last
link was snapped with the days of Mark Lemon, Douglas Jerrold, Leech
and Doyle and Thackeray.

                               FINE ARTS

A survey of the Fine Arts from 1874 to 1892, based on a study of
_Punch_, reveals changes and even reactions in his outlook. As we have
seen in an earlier volume, he had been converted in great measure to
Pre-Raphaelitism; he had welcomed Whistler as a master etcher; he
had been a severe and at times even savage critic of the stereotyped
conventions, the opportunism, the inanities of the Royal Academy.

[Sidenote: _Punch and Æstheticism_]

Something of this spirit remains in the period under review. The annual
exhibitions at Burlington House are dealt with in no reverential
mood. As far back as 1877 we note the first appearance of an article
with illustrations very much on the lines of the modern "Academy
Depressions." The pictures exhibited in the years of his declining
powers by the late Mr. J. R. Herbert, R.A., are caricatured without
mercy in 1885, and the New English Art Club is welcomed in 1889 for
its revolt against "the dull dead level of sleek respectability, the
commonplace churchwardenism of suburban gentility." The sequel invites

  A bold, original, impudent lot are these New Englanders, but they are
  notwithstanding wonderfully refreshing. Sometimes their spirits are
  too much for their strength, and they come tremendous "croppers." It
  has been well said that a strikingly original writer occasionally
  writes absolute nonsense, and by the same rule an artist, who turns
  aside from the well-swept, carefully watered, mathematically paved
  academic high road, must not infrequently paint absolute nonsense; but
  he thinks for himself, he does not view Nature through the spectacles
  of others, and in nine cases out of ten he is likely to produce
  works that will be successful in the long run. Though there are some
  pictures among the collection will make the casual visitor jump, there
  are not a few will make him think.

Some of the rebels of 1889 have developed into the academics of thirty
years later, and _Punch's_ list of the most notable contributors
makes us jump as well as think: John S. Sargent, Solomon J. Solomon,
Whistler, B. Sickert, Tuke, Edward Stott, A. Roche, N. Garstin, G.
Roussell, Sidney Starr, F. Brown, A. Mann, H. Vos, W. J. Laidlaw and J.
E. Christie.

_Punch_, then, cannot be written down as a Philistine, but there is no
denying the fact that his artistic judgment was warped and impaired by
his invincible hostility to the æsthetic movement; his inability to
disentangle the good in it from the evil; his confusion of charlatanry
and sincerity; and his failure to recognize the great services rendered
by Morris in the domain of decorative design. Prejudice and ignorance
mingle with good sense and good feeling in the manifesto which _Punch_
put forth in 1882, and which may serve as a general exposition of his
artistic and literary creed in the 'eighties:--

                              IN EARNEST

  Let us be clearly understood. The word "Æstheticism" has been
  perverted from its original meaning; i.e. the perception of all
  that is good, pure and beautiful in Nature and in Art, and, as now
  vulgarly applied, it has come in a slang sort of way to stand for
  an effeminate, invertebrate, sensuous, sentimentally-Christian, but
  thoroughly Pagan taste in literature and art, which delights in the
  idea of the resuscitation of the Great God Pan, in Swinburnian songs
  at their highest fever-pitch, in the mystic ravings of a Blake, the
  affectation of a Rossetti, the _Charmides_ and revoltingly pantheistic
  _Rosa Mystica_ of Oscar Wilde, the Songs of Passion and Pain and
  other similar mock-hysterical imitations of the "Mighty Masters."
  Victor Hugo, Ouida, Swinburne, Burne-Jones, have much to answer for.

  This Æstheticism, as it has gradually come to be known, is the
  reaction from Kingsley's muscular Christianity. Exaggerated muscular
  Christianity, in its crusade against canting and whining religion,
  in its bold attempt to show that the practice of true religion was
  for men, as well as for women, trampled on the Christian Lily, emblem
  of perfect purity; and what Athleticism trod under foot, Æstheticism
  picked up, cherished, and then, taking the sign for the reality, paid
  to it the extravagant honours of a Pagan devotion; and the worship
  of the Lily was substituted for the veneration paid to the sacred
  character, in whose hand Christian Art had originally placed it. To
  this was added the worship of the Peacock's Feather. It is this false
  Æstheticism which we have persistently attacked, and will persistently
  attack to the bitter end, and henceforward those who misunderstand us
  do so wilfully, and it may be maliciously.

 [Illustration: ACUTE CHINAMANIA

 MAY: "Mamma! Mamma! _Don't go_ on like this, _pray_!!"

 MAMMA (_who has smashed a favourite pot_): "What have I got
 left to live for?"

 MAY: "Haven't you got _me_, Mamma?"

 MAMMA: "_You_, child! _You're not_ unique!! There are six of
 you--a complete set!!"]

[Sidenote: _Whistler and Ruskin_]

_Punch_ was justified in deploring the opportunism of Millais in
painting "pot-boilers" and "pretty-pretty" pictures, such as "Bubbles."
He had powerful and well-equipped allies in his view that Whistler in
his later manner left off painting or etching where the difficulties
began, a view expressed in the lines in 1883 on "Whistler in Venice":--

    Whistler is "Niminy-Piminy,"
      Funny, fantastic, and quaint.
    Yet he's so clever that Jimmy nigh
      Makes men believe he can paint.

    What of his works? Why, each etching is
      Only at present half done,
    And on the copper the sketching is
      Simply a wild piece of fun.

    Vainly the Critics will sit on him,
      Why such a butterfly slay?
    No one can e'er put the bit on him--
      Whistler's the wag of the day.

Yet _Punch_ thought Ruskin had gone too far in the famous onslaught
which led to the historic lawsuit and verdict in 1878:--

                            To John Ruskin

                         (On a recent Verdict)

    If "_Fors Clavigera_," dear Slade Professor,
      Means "Force that bears a club,"
    Be warned, since of a big stick you're possessor,
      And more discreetly drub.
    Strength unrestrained's not greater strength but lesser,
      And scorn provoketh snub.

The Grosvenor Gallery, opened in 1877, at once eclipsed Burlington
House as the favourite target of _Punch's_ ridicule and caricature, and
as the home of all the tendencies which he repudiated in the manifesto
quoted above. His general attitude is very much that of Gilbert in
_Patience_; and Burne-Jones and Rossetti (whom he miscalls "D. S.
Rosetti" as late as 1880) were indiscriminately confounded in dispraise
along with the lesser fry. Tennyson's "Palace of Art" is perverted into
a vehicle for assailing Pre-Raphaelitism. The "Dream of Queer Women"
in 1878 gives prominence to the artistic type, and a visit to the
Grosvenor Gallery in the early summer of the same year inspires "The
Haunted Limbo; a May-night Vision" animated by the same hostility:--

    Those women, ah, those women! They were white,
      Blue, green, and grey--all hues, save those of nature,
    Bony of frame, and dim, and dull of sight,
            And parlous tall of stature.

    _Ars longa est_--aye, very long indeed,
      And long as Art were all these High-Art ladies,
    And wan and weird; one might suppose the breed
            A cross 'twixt earth and Hades.

    If poor Persephone to the Dark King
      Had children borne, after that rape from Enna,
    Much so might they have looked, when suffering
            From too much salts and senna.

    Many their guises, but no various grace
      Or changeful charm relieved their sombre sameness
    Of form contorted, and cadaverous face,
            And limp lopsided lameness.

[Sidenote: _Homage to Cruikshank_]

Leighton's "Athlete and Python" in 1877 had been saluted as "a statue
at last," and _Punch_ welcomed his election as P.R.A. in the following
year, with an excellent portrait by Sambourne of "the right man in the
right place." It was in 1878 again that _Punch_ turned aside from the
flagellation of his pet aversions to pay homage to the genius of George
Cruikshank, who died on February 1:--

  England is the poorer by what she can ill spare--a man of genius.
  Good, kind, genial, honest and enthusiastic George Cruikshank,
  whose frame appeared to have lost so little of its wiry strength
  and activity, whose brain seemed as full of fire and vitality at
  fourscore as at forty, has passed away quietly and painlessly after a
  few days' struggle. He never worked for _Punch_, but he always worked
  with him, putting his unresting brain, his skill--in some forms of
  Art unrivalled--and his ever productive fancy, at the service of
  humanity and progress, good works, and good will to man. His object,
  like our own, was always to enforce truth and urge on improvement
  by the powerful forces of fun and humour, clothed in forms sometimes
  fanciful, sometimes grotesque, but never sullied by a foul thought,
  and ever dignified by a wholesome purpose.

  His fourscore and six years of life have been years of unintermitting
  labour, that was yet, always, labour of love. There never was a purer,
  simpler, more straightforward, or altogether more blameless man. His
  nature had something childlike in its transparency. You saw through
  him completely. There was neither wish nor effort to disguise his
  self-complacency, his high appreciation of himself, his delight in the
  appreciation of others, any more than there was to make himself out
  better, or cleverer, or more unselfish than his neighbours.

  In him England has lost one who was, in every sense, as true a man
  as he was a rare and original genius, and a pioneer in the arts of

[Illustration: A LOVE-AGONY. Design by Maudle

(_With verses by Jellaby Postlethwaite, who is also said to have sat
for the Picture._)]

_Punch's_ estimate accords with that of the friend who knew Cruikshank
well and described him as "in every word and deed a God-fearing,
Queen-honouring, truth-loving, honest man," and it is all the more
significant in view of Cruikshank's vehement and even fanatical
espousal of the cause of temperance. Another great illustrator, though
of a very different type, emerged in the following year in Randolph
Caldecott. His genial and graceful commentaries on Nursery Rhymes
were entirely after _Punch's_ heart. He was speedily enlisted as an
occasional contributor up to 1886, the year of his premature death,
when _Punch_ faithfully summed up the gifts of a true benefactor of all

    We loved the limner whose gay fun
      Was ever loyal to the Graces;
    Who mixed the mirth of _Gilpin's_ run
      With willowy forms and winsome faces;
    Who made old nursery lyrics live
      With frolic force rejuvenated,
    And yet the sweetest girls could give
      That ever pencil-point created.

    From _Bracebridge Hall_ to _Banbury Cross_
      His fancy flew with fine facility.
    Orchards all apple-bloom and moss,
      Child sport, bucolical senility,
    The field full cry, snug fireside ease,
      Horse-fun, dog-joke his pencil covers,
    With Alderman and hawthorn trees,
      Parsons and Squires, and rustic lovers.

But in these years _Punch_ had little time to spare for praise; he was
so busy belabouring Burne-Jones and Rossetti, the Grosvenor Gallery,
the Kyrle Society, or new fashions in house decorations and furniture,
in which he saw nothing but gloom and discomfort. The protest in
1879 of the three Slade Professors--Sidney Colvin, W. B. Richmond
and Legros--against the critics who denied Burne-Jones genius and
greatness on the strength of defective anatomical details, left _Punch_
impenitent. He mocked at their "triune testimonial" as an unconvincing
attempt to convert the callous and captious critics who,

    Persisted in belabouring B.-J. with tongue and pen
    Whilst Philistia looked on and laughed at those Three Mighty Men.

[Sidenote: _Prigs and Philistines_]


(Ineffable Youth goes into ecstasies over an extremely Old Master--say,
Fra Porcinello Babaragianno, A.D. 1266-1281?)

MATTER-OF-FACT PARTY: "But it's such a repulsive _subject_!"

INEFFABLE YOUTH: "'Subject' in art is of no moment! The
_Picktchah_ is beautiful!"

MATTER-OF-FACT PARTY: "But you'll own the _Drawing's_ vile,
and the _Colour's_ beastly!"

INEFFABLE YOUTH: "I'm Cullah-blind, and don't p'ofess to
understand D'awing! The _Picktchah_ is beautiful!"

MATTER-OF-FACT PARTY (_getting warm_): "But it's all out of
_Perspective_, hang it, and so abominably _untrue to Nature_!"

INEFFABLE YOUTH: "I don't care about Naytchah, and hate
Perspective. The _Picktchah_ is _most_ beautiful!"

MATTER-OF-FACT PARTY (_losing all self-control_): "But, dash
it all, man, where the _dickens_ is the _beauty_, then?"

INEFFABLE YOUTH (_quietly_): "In the Picktchah!"

_Total defeat of Matter-of-fact Party._]

It is true that _Punch_ makes some reservations in his "Moral":--

    Critics are full of "cussedness," omniscience sometimes slips,
    And even triune Oracles may chance to miss their tips.

But his sympathies undoubtedly remain with the critics, and he
virtually identifies himself with Philistia in the plea of the
Philistine in the following year:--

    Take away all your adornments æsthetical,
      Plates of blue china and bits of sage green,
    Though you may call me a monster heretical,
      I can't consider them fit to be seen.
    Etchings and paintings I loathe and abominate,
      Grimly I smile at the name of Burne-Jones,
    Hating his pictures where big chins predominate--
      Over lean figures with angular bones.

    Buy me what grinning stage rustics call "farniture,"
      Such as was used by our fathers of old;
    Take away all your nonsensical garniture,
      Tapestry curtains and borders of gold,
    Give me the ancient and solid mahogany,
      Mine be the board that will need no repairs,
    Don't let me see, as I sit at my grog, any
      Chippendale tables or spindle-legged chairs.

    Hang up a vivid vermilion wall-paper,
      Covered with roses of gorgeous hue,
    Matching a varnished and beautiful hall-paper,
      Looking like marble so polished and new.
    Carpets should all show a floral variety,
      Wreaths intermingling of yellow and red;
    So, when it enters my home, will Society
      Say, here's a house whence æsthetics have fled.

[Sidenote: _Belabouring Burne-Jones_]

The "Lay of the Private View" at the Grosvenor Gallery in May, 1881,
forms a useful supplement to Gilbert and Sullivan's _Patience_,
produced a fortnight before the verses appeared:--

    The Grosvenor! the view that's called private,
      Yet all the world seems to be there;
    Each carriage that comes to arrive at
      The door, makes the populace stare.
    There's Gladstone, severe of demeanour,
      It's plain that the pictures don't please;
    And there, with an aspect serener,
      Her Highness the Princess Louise.

    The Haunt of the very æsthetic,
      Here come the supremely intense,
    The long-haired and hyper-poetic
      Whose sound is mistaken for sense.
    And many a maiden will mutter,
      When Oscar looms large on her sight,
    "He's quite too consummately utter,
      As well as too utterly quite."

           *       *       *       *       *

    Here's Whistler paints Miss Alexander,
      A portrait washed out as by rain;
    'Twill raise Ruskin's critical dander,
      To find James is at it again.
    The flesh-tints of Watts are quite comic;
      There's Herkomer's chaos of stones;
    But where is the great anatomic
      Improver on Nature, Burne-Jones?

    A Grosvenor without him so strange is,
      We miss the long chins and knock-knees,
    The angel of bronze, who for change is
      Tied up to the stiffest of trees:
    Limp lads with their _belli capelli_,
      Mad maidens with love smitten sore,
    Oh, shade of defunct Botticelli,
      Burne-Jones comes to startle no more!

I deal in another section with the fashionable cult of æstheticism,
which was now at its zenith. In estimating its artistic importance,
_Punch_ erred in his refusal to discriminate between eccentricity and
independence. He continued to "belabour B.-J.," and brackets him with
Whistler in the ribald suggestion that they were jointly responsible
for the pictures exhibited by the "Screevers" or pavement artists.
Millais is congratulated on breaking away from Pre-Raphaelitism, and
invidious comparisons are drawn in 1886 between his pictures and those
of Holman Hunt:--

  There couldn't be a better foil to the manliness of the Millais Show
  at the Grosvenor than the pseudo-mediæval-O-quite-too-beautiful-namby
  -pamby-gilt-edged-and-gothic-clasped-Church-service style of the
  effeminate religious Art of Mr. Holman Hunt. Millais tried it, and,
  after a struggle, snapped the Pre-Raphaelite fetters, and escaped.

Yet in the next two years Millais is criticized for sacrificing
character to "prettiness" and desecrating his talent by placing
it at the disposal of the advertiser. Watts's enigmatic "Hope" was
"guyed" in 1887 under the title "Cutting off her head with a saw."
The multifarious activities of Herkomer--painter, etcher, director of
a school of art at Bushey, designer of posters, operatic composer,
etc.--did not escape _Punch's_ amused notice. _Punch_ himself, as might
readily be expected, did not enjoy an immunity from art criticism. In
1883 he had congratulated Ruskin on his second election to the Slade
Professorship at Oxford; at the end of the year Ruskin repaid the
compliment, in his lectures on the Art of England, by a long detailed
and in the main highly eulogistic survey of _Punch's_ artistic work.
But the panegyric was tempered by certain reserves:--

  Says Mr. Ruskin, having before him in review one or two selected
  specimens of _Mr. Punch's_ cartoons:--

  "Look, too, at this characteristic type of British heroism--'John Bull
  guards his pudding.' Is this the final outcome of King Arthur and
  Saint George, of Britannia and the British Lion? And is it your pride
  or hope or pleasure that in this sacred island that has given her lion
  hearts to Eastern tombs and her Pilgrim Fathers to Western lands, that
  has wrapped the sea round her as a mantle, and breathed against her
  strong bosom the air of every wind, the children born to her in these
  latter days should have no loftier legend to write upon their shields
  than 'John Bull guards his Pudding'?"

  And then Mr. Ruskin, as if conscious that the very onward sweep of
  his own free fancy has carried him beyond the limits of fair and
  reasonable estimate, as it were, harks somewhat back again, and
  offering _Mr. Punch_ something in the nature of an apology, acquits
  him of all true responsibility for this same terrible and offending

  "It is our fault" (proceeds Mr. Ruskin) "and not the Artist's; and I
  have often wondered what Mr. Tenniel might have done for us if London
  had been as Venice, or Florence, or Siena. In my first course of
  Lectures I called your attention to the Picture of the Doge Mocenigo
  kneeling in prayer; and it is our fault more than Mr. Tenniel's if he
  is forced to represent the heads of the Government dining at Greenwich
  rather than worshipping at St. Paul's."

[Sidenote: _Punch's Virtues as an Art Critic_]

_Punch_ took the criticism in good part, while declaring that he had
found this commonplace nineteenth century and its humdrum materials
pretty well suited to his purpose; and after indulging in a whimsical
dialogue between the editor, Giovanni Tennielo, and Ruskino in
Venice, comes to the conclusion that after all the Queen of the
Adriatic may have had even in her great days something less noble to
lose than that condemned typical "pudding" which John Bull as yet has
fortunately known how to guard. In this context I may add that in 1885
_Punch_ reprinted an advertisement in which a young man, seeking for
a place, stated amongst his credentials that he could "paint and talk


THE DUKE OF DILWATER: "I--a--have taken the liberty of calling
to say that I shall esteem myself highly honoured if you will be so
very kind as to accept from me a Commission to paint my Portrait, at
any time most convenient to yourself!"

FASHIONABLE ARTIST (_after careful survey of His Grace's
features_): "You must excuse me, Duke, but I really can't. I--a--always
choose my own Subjects now, you know, and I'm sorry to say that your
Grace won't do!"]

As I have not minimized _Punch's_ limitations as an art critic, it is
only fair to add that he was often sound and sometimes even acute. He
said the right thing on the _parvenu_ as art patron, and delicately
hinted his approval of the independence of portrait painters. His
appreciation of the strength of "Phiz" (Hablot K. Browne) as the
illustrator of Dickens and Lever in helping us to visualize and fix
certain types is excellently done, and generous admiration does not
prevent him pointing out "Phiz's" weaknesses--his sketchiness, thin and
skimpy style, and simpering mannerisms. This was said on the occasion
of the show of "Phiz's" drawings in 1883 (the year after his death)
which _Punch_ recommended to "genial Middle-age with memories and
unpriggish Youth without hyperæsthetic prejudices."

Nothing could be better in its way, again, than the castigation of the
"slick" and deliberate eccentricities of Jan Van Beers in 1886. _Punch_
admits the Dutch artist's talent, his capacity for higher work, proved
in historical paintings, and then sets to work to wield the lash:--

  Popinjay Art is plentiful enough. It is the trick whereby mediocrity
  antics itself into a sort of notoriety, and cynical cleverness
  indolently plays the fool with an easily humbugged public. It is
  probably calculated--perhaps with some reason--that these stagey
  tricks, and limelight effects, and dismal draperies, and bogey
  surprises, and peep-show horrors will perplex people into a foolish
  wonder, if not into an impossible enjoyment or an honest approval.
  Maybe that is all which is aimed at? But what an aim for anything
  calling itself Art!

  Posturing Pierrots and smirking skeletons, goggling sphinxes and
  giggling cocottes, cadaverous surprises and ensanguined startlers,
  all the parade of nightmare and nastiness, pall upon the mind, as
  the phantasmagoric effects and sickly scents do upon the senses,
  of the visitors to the Salon Parisien. Whim and fantasy are all
  very delightful in their way. But this is not Wonderland, it is the
  world of drunken delirium and the Witches' Sabbath. A girl with
  emerald face, purple hair, and vivid vermilion lips, peeping between
  amber portières, is an inoffensive though purposeless, and not very
  interesting bizarrerie. But such gratuitous ghastlinesses as "Will
  o' the Wisp," "_Felo de se_," "_Vive la Mort!_" and particularly
  the offensively named "_Ecce Homo_," are simply revolting horrors.
  Somebody has hazarded the statement that they are Edgar-Poe-ish.
  Pooh! Poe was creepy sometimes, but he was an artist, an idealist,
  subordinating even occasional horror to the beautiful in his daring

[Illustration: A FORTIORI

PHILISTINE FATHER: "Why the dickens don't you paint something
like Frith's 'Derby Day'--something everybody can understand, and
somebody buy?"

YOUNG GENIUS: "_Everybody understand_, indeed! Art is for the
few, Father, and the higher the art, of course, the fewer the few.
The highest art of all is for _one_. That art is mine. That _one_

FOND MAMMA: "There speaks my own brave boy!"]

[Sidenote: _Impartial Satire_]

As a rôle _Punch_ was a strong partisan in art; yet on occasion he
could hold the balance. I have illustrated the change in his view
of Whistler, but it never degenerated into abuse. The dialogue,
"Wrestling with Whistler," suggested by the exhibition at the Goupil
Gallery in the spring of 1892, impartially satirizes Whistlerites,
frank Philistines, and the literal and prosaic persons who were
puzzled and bewildered by "arrangements," "harmonies," "symphonies"
and "nocturnes." These simple souls, unable to recognize the objects
depicted, were not helped by the faithful who retorted, "Ah, but it's
the way he saw it!" To-day, as thirty years ago, their point of view is
faithfully expressed in the unconscious irony of the serious elderly

  I've no patience with the man. Look at Gustave Doré now. I'm sure
  _he_ was a beautiful artist if you _like_. Did _he_ go and call his
  "Leaving the Prætorium" a "Symphony" or a "Harmony," or any nonsense
  of that kind? Of course not--and yet look at the _difference_!

It is true that the artist, like the prophet, is often "not without
honour save in his own country and in his own house." The saying
happily does not apply to _Punch_ and his contributors. When Richard
Doyle died in 1883, more than thirty years had elapsed since he severed
his connexion with the paper, but _Punch_ had never forgotten the old
comrade who had designed his cover, and had been equally at home among
the imps of Elfland and the swells and snobs of society:--

    Turning o'er his own past pages,
      _Punch_, with tearful smile, can trace
    That fine talent's various stages,
      Caustic satire, gentle grace,
    Feats and freaks of Cockney funny--
      Brown, and Jones, and Robinson;
    And, huge hive of Humour's honey,
      Quaint quintessence of rich fun,
    Coming fresh as June-breeze briary
      With old memories of our youth--
    Thrice immortal Pips's Diary!
      Masterpiece of Mirth and Truth!

Personally I should invert the epithet "thrice immortal" and apply it
to the "Continental Tour of Brown, Jones and Robinson"; otherwise the
verses are a well merited tribute to the winged fancy and graceful
humour of "Dicky Doyle." Charles Keene's death in January, 1891,
removed another good comrade whose association with the paper was
unbroken up to his last illness, and was one of the chief if not the
greatest of its artistic glories:--

    Frank, loyal, unobtrusive, simple-hearted,
      Loving his book, his pipe, his song, his friend,
    Peaceful he lived and peacefully departed,
      A gentle life-course, with a gracious end.

[Sidenote: _Ruskin on Leech_]

So much for the man; as for the artist, _Punch_ was hardly overstating
the case when he claimed that the exhibition of Keene's work in the
following May stood for the supreme triumph of black and white in the
achievements of its greatest master.

Ruskin, in the lecture noted above, had described Leech's work as
containing "the finest definition and natural history of the classes
of our society, the kindest and subtlest analysis of its foibles, the
tenderest flattery of its pretty and well-bred ways, with which the
modesty of subservient genius ever immortalized or amused careless
masters." Small wonder was it, then, that _Punch_ appealed for greater
generosity to John Leech's three surviving sisters. Their combined
pensions only amounted to £180--a "dole" which lent point to the
dramatic dialogues in 1881 between a Minister and a Celebrity and
(after the Celebrity's death) between the Minister and his Secretary,
as a result of which the former decides to give the orphan daughter £50.

The cult of Japanese art in the late 'eighties furnished _Punch's_
artists with new formulas and new methods of treating Parliamentary
scenes. It also inspired the following ingenious adaptation of a famous

  Madame Roland Re-Edited (from a sham Japanese point of view): O
  Liberty! what strange (decorative) things are done in thy name!

_Punch_ had reproached Millais for condescending to the "pretty-pretty"
style, but in 1888 he was moved to caricature the modern fear of the
same tendency--a fear destined to dominate so much of modern art in
later years and to enthrone the Golliwog in the nursery.

                        DRAMA, OPERA AND MUSIC

_Punch_ was mixed up with the drama from the very beginning. He
drew his name and his initial inspiration from a puppet-show;
all four editors who held the office between 1841 and 1892 were
playwrights--three of them, Mark Lemon, Tom Taylor and Burnand prolific
playwrights--and many of his leading contributors from Douglas Jerrold
onwards owed a double allegiance to journalism and the drama. In these
circumstances one can hardly expect to find in _Punch's_ copious
references to plays and players an entirely judicial or dispassionate
critical attitude. Yet when all deductions have been made on the
score of old loyalties, partisanship and even prejudice, his record,
during the period which opened with the visits of Salvini and ended
with Tree's Hamlet and the tyranny of "Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay," shows
a creditable readiness to acclaim fresh talent and to applaud a
good thing irrespective of its origin. We find a certain amount of
resentment against the adulation of foreigners, but his patriotism in
this respect is untainted by any Chauvinism--witness his "Salvo to
Salvini" in 1875:--

  _Punch_ is rejoiced to see that a representative body of the London
  Actors lately made express application to the great Italian Player,
  now displaying his art for London's behoof, to give a morning
  performance of _Othello_, at which they could be present. Salvini
  answered the application with an Italian's courtesy, and an artist's
  feeling with his fellows. Remembering how, when _Punch_ was young,
  an illiterate English mob once howled and hooted a French company
  from the stage of Drury Lane, and how, when the noblest Actor of
  his generation, William Macready, published a protest against the
  cowardly outrage, in which he associated his brother Actors with
  himself, a large body of those Actors disclaimed such association,
  and denied William Macready's right to speak for more than William
  Macready--_Punch_ cannot but rejoice in the present indication of a
  larger and less "parochial" spirit of appreciation.

  The actors who had the good fortune to see Salvini on Monday have seen
  a great artist, in the ideal sense of the word--one whose art "in
  the very storm and whirlwind of his passion, can beget a temperance
  that gives it smoothness"; whose voice keeps its music even in rage
  or agony, and whose action can be graceful, even in its moments of
  utmost vehemence; and this without forfeiture of force, or sacrifice
  of truth. It is of secondary importance whether or not those who
  hear Salvini understand Italian. They are sure to know the text of
  _Othello_; and Salvini's look, tone, and gesture speak the universal

[Sidenote: _Salvini, Ristori, Bernhardt_]

  They must have marked the breadth and calmness of his style, the
  self-restraint that never betrays effort, and the grandeur resulting
  from this element of large effect. They will have seen how superior
  to points and petty tricks and clap-traps he is from first to last;
  how completely the Moor, steeped at first in the stately Oriental
  calm that almost looks like languor, till love lights in his eye and
  mantles in his face, or doubt begins to torture, and sense of wrong
  gathers and glows to fury, and a rage, far more terrible and unsparing
  than a wild beast's, works to madness in his brain.

The over-vehemence of Othello's final agony is deprecated, but _Punch_
concludes by recommending all "who wish to know the highest expression
of ideal tragic acting to see this famous Italian actor."

As he had welcomed another glory of Italian art in Ristori, so he
yielded to the versatile enchantments of the "divine Sarah" in her
frequent visits to our shores. The following tribute dates from 1879:--

                        TO SARAH!

              (By an exuberant Enthusiast)

    Mistress of Hearts and Arts, all met in you
      The Picturesque, informed by Soul of Passion!
    Say, dost thou feed on milk and honey-dew,
      Draining from goblets deep of classic fashion
    Champagne and nectar, shandy-gaff sublime,
      Dashed with a pungent smack of _eau-de-Marah_,
    Aspasia, Sappho, Circé of the time?
              Seductive Sarah!

    "Muse"? All Mnemosyne's bright brood in one!
      Compound of Psyché, Phryné, Britomarté,
    Ruler of storm and calm, Euroclydon
      And Zephyr! Slender Syrian Astarté!
    With voice the soul of music, like that harp
      Which whilom sounded in the Hall of Tara.
    How dare Philistines at thy whimsies carp,
              Soul-swaying Sarah!!

    "_Poseuse_"? Pooh! pooh! Yet who so well _can_ pose
      As thou, sweet statuesque slim sinuosity?
    "Stagey"? Absurd! "The death's-head and the rose"?
      Delicious! Gives the touch of tenebrosity
    That lifts thee to the Lamia level. Oh!
      Shame on the dolts who hint of Dulcamara,
    _A propos_ of _levée_ and picture-show,
              Serpentine Sarah!!!

       *       *       *       *       *

    O idol of the hour and of my heart!
      Who calls thee crazy, half, and half-capricious?
    A compound of _Lionne's_[12] and Barnum's part,
      In _outrecuidance_ rather injudicious?
    Ah! heed them not! Play, scribble, sculp, sing, paint,
      Pose as a Plastic-Proteus, _mia cara_;
    Sapphic, seraphic, quintessential, quaint,
              _Sémillante_ Sarah!!!!

[Footnote 12: Presumably a reference to Louis XIV's versatile Minister
of that name.]

[Sidenote: _"Pierrot à Londres"_]

[Illustration: THE DIVINE SARAH

(_For whose sake we've all gone wrong_)

FIRST CRITIC (_ætat. 21_): "Beats Rachel hollow in
_Ong-Dromack_, hanged if she don't!"

SECOND CRITIC (_ditto_): "So _I_ think, Old man! And in
_L'Etrong-jair_ she licks Mademoiselle Mars all to fits!"]

This is enthusiasm at high-water mark, though the note of irony is
not absent. Admiration, appreciation, or criticism never lacking in
friendliness mark the notices of other visitors from the Old or the
New World--the Dutch actors from Rotterdam in 1879 whose performance in
_Anne Mie_ impelled _Punch_ to rewrite Canning's dispatch:--

    In matters dramatic the charms of the Dutch
    Are perfect _ensemble_ and sharpness of touch;


"Seen the _Enfant Prodigue_, Mr. Softy?"

"No; waiting till they do it in _English_!"] Modjeska, "a charming and
consummate actress" in 1880; the German Shakespearean actors at Drury
Lane in 1881; Mary Anderson in 1883; Coquelin in 1887; and Mlle. Jane
May in _L'Enfant Prodigue_, that delightful pioneer dumb-show play
which prompted _Punch_ to exclaim in 1891, "Vive Pierrot à Londres!"
with the Victorian _caveat_ "but not a play for children." _Punch's_
views on the transplantation of foreign products were never expressed
more frankly or wisely than in his comments on the abortive attempt
made by Mr. Wybrow Robertson to present selected tableaux from the
Ober-Ammergau Passion Play at the Westminster Aquarium in 1879. The
announcement of the withdrawal of the scheme was followed by a
statement that no native of Ober-Ammergau had anything to do with it,
which gave _Punch_ his cue:--

  It is a comfort that one set of people come well out of the mess--the
  worthy, simple and pious peasants of the Ober-Ammergau, for whom
  the performance of their Passion Play is a religious solemnity, in
  performance of a vow made in 1633, when their village was ravaged by
  a pestilence. When the performance of Passion Plays was interdicted
  in Bavaria in 1779, this one was specially excepted, as being under
  the superintendence of the monks of Ettal, hard by, and, besides, in
  fulfilment of a vow.

  But if the institution of the play stayed the pestilence in 1633
  (as these simple Ober-Ammergauers believe), its continuance may
  introduce a new pestilence in 1880, should it bring on Ober-Ammergau,
  as yet pure and simple, the plague of speculating Managers to tempt
  the village Actors, as well as of Cook's tourists and cosmopolitan
  audiences, to poison the village life with greed of gain, and take the
  sanctity of simple faith from this Passion Play, so turning it--as
  there is already fear it has begun to be turned--into a show which, in
  becoming popular, must become profane.

The long and consistently hostile campaign which _Punch_ conducted
against Ibsen and the Ibsen plays shows him in a much less favourable
light and on precarious ground. It was open to him to pronounce Ibsen
dreary, disagreeable and didactic; some of his plays were fair game
for the parodist and the opportunity was turned to excellent account.
But the long and acrimonious tirade against the Ibsenites and their
"Arch or Archer-priest" in 1891 is seriously weakened by the writer's
confession that his knowledge of the Ibsen plays was confined to
perusal of "several of them"--that he had never seen one of them on the
stage; and his challenge to the Ibsen-worshippers to test the merits of
their idol by a single performance at a London theatre was rash, to say
the least of it.

[Sidenote: _Actors and Society_]

Turning to native drama, one cannot avoid noticing that _Punch_, who
had followed Irving's career with interest and sympathy from its
modest beginnings in farce and comedy, became increasingly critical
of his later ventures. He is pronounced physically unsuited to the
part of Macbeth in 1875, and _Punch_ did not fail to fasten on the
vulnerable points in his Romeo in 1882. In the same year Irving is
especially blamed for his resort to the "benefit" performance system,
and his defence is pronounced unconvincing in an article ingeniously
headed, "The Doubt of the Benefit," in which Irving is described as "an
admirable Comedian, an occasionally impressive Tragedian, a nervously
painstaking Actor, and, generally, an indifferent Elocutionist." But
_Punch_ had indulged in even more caustic criticism of the popular
actor-manager in the previous year, _à propos_ of an address delivered
at Edinburgh:--

  Again the sickening cry is raised about the "social status of the
  Actor," and this time _à propos_ of a paper read by Mr. Henry Irving,
  at a Philosophical Institution known as The Music Hall in Edinburgh.
  The social status of the Actor is that of a well-fed, well-clothed,
  well-paid--perhaps over-paid--worker in a curious profession. If
  he be amusing and intelligent, and behaves like a gentleman, he is
  exceptionally favoured by what is called "Society"; as most people,
  except a few fanatics, are interested in the world behind the
  footlights. But every Actor is not necessarily amusing, intelligent,
  and gentlemanly, and these are the people, probably, who are a
  little uneasy about their status. If they are not content with their
  pudding, the world is all before them. On the other hand, the more
  favoured ones are a little apt to be spoiled by injudicious patronage.
  "Society" is a little too ready to treat them like pet poodles.

  Why on earth does Mr. Irving yearn for the companionship of Bishops?
  Does he want to convert them all to Irvingism, and to come and listen
  to him discoursing Shakespearean Inspirations in Unknown Tongues? Does
  he require Church Patronage for the Stage, and his Theatre Stalls
  filled as those of a Cathedral are with Prebends, Minor Canons and
  Greater Guns of the Ecclesiastical Establishment? Is it the height
  of an Actor's ambition to swell the crowd of distinguished Nobodies
  at the Duchess of Mountrouge's reception, or to appear as a great
  attraction of Lady Doubtful's Assemblies, and to be able to exhibit
  cards of fashionable "At Homes" in the mirror which is held up to
  Nature over his mantelpiece?

  Elevation of the Stage forsooth! We should have thought that the Stage
  had elevated Mr. Irving above all such twaddle as this.

    "Act well your part, there all the honour lies."

  Be satisfied with this: Live for your Art, not for that limited,
  narrow, uncharitable, scandalmongering section of the great public
  which calls itself "Society," and which loves to patronize Art in any
  form at the least possible cost to itself.

Even harsher is the rebuke administered three weeks later to Irving
for his self-laudatory speeches, and the unnecessary autobiographical
reminiscences in which he contrasted his present with his past
earnings, thus creating a false impression of one who was in reality
the most generous of men. The petting of actors by society appealed to
_Punch_ no more than the invasion of the stage by amateurs; he regarded
such favouritism as ministering to their worst infirmity, vanity; and
in 1884 he fell foul of Mrs. Kendal's speech at the Social Science
Congress on the social position of actors, in which she reprobated
self-advertisement (Satan rebuking Sin, according to her critic), but
claimed a recognition which _Punch_ denounced as mere snobbishness. Of
Ellen Terry, who was associated with Irving at the Lyceum from 1878,
_Punch_ remained the affectionate and benevolent admirer, though he
admitted that her conception of Lady Macbeth in 1889 raised a good deal
of legitimate criticism. The lavish mounting of the Lyceum revivals, I
may add, exercised _Punch's_ frugal mind, and reached a climax in the
production of _Henry VIII_ in 1892.

[Illustration: THE NEW CRAZE

Scene--_The Green-Room of the Parthenon, before rehearsal_.

HARD-WORKING BARONET: "Here's the Duke, confound him! Only
been six months on the stage, and getting twenty guineas a week!"

CONSCIENTIOUS VISCOUNT: "Yes, and us only getting six after
ten years of it. I hate these beastly Dukes coming and spoiling the

AMBITIOUS EARL: "Ugh! I hate all amateurs, hang 'em, taking
the bread out of one's mouth!"]

[Sidenote: _Idols of the 'Eighties_]

_Punch_, as I have so often insisted, was a Londoner first and
foremost, but he did not exclude the provinces from his survey. The
opening of the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre at Stratford-on-Avon in
1879 was a landmark in the history of the legitimate drama, and _Punch_
did not fail to acknowledge the strenuous local labour and large
local liberality which had carried to completion a worthy scheme for
commemorating the most memorable work ever wrought by mortal brain.
It was in the same year, again, that _Punch_ recorded with sympathy
and admiration the memorial performances given at Manchester for the
benefit of the widow and family of Charles Calvert, the actor-manager
"who did more for the elevation and development of the higher drama,
historical and imaginative, than any provincial manager on record,
and than any metropolitan managers, except Macready, Charles Kean
and Phelps." Phelps and Charles Mathews had both died in 1878, and
Buckstone in 1879. Mrs. Langtry, who had taken to the stage, is
advised to give up acting in 1882. In 1883 Mr. Anstey Guthrie's
immortal _Vice Versâ_ was dramatized and produced with Mr. Charles
Hawtrey as Mr. Bultitude. The evergreen veterans of to-day were already
advancing in fame and popularity. Sir Johnston Forbes Robertson had
appeared as Romeo in 1881. In 1884 the late Mr. Wilson Barrett,
encouraged by his successes in melodrama, essayed the rôle of Hamlet.
_Punch_ maliciously embodies his criticisms in a letter to Irving, then
touring in America, but the general tenor of his remarks is decidedly
reassuring to Irving. The long run of _Our Boys_ in 1877 was equalled
and eclipsed, after an initial failure, by the prodigious popularity
of _The Private Secretary_, also in 1884. Lady Bancroft died only the
other day; Sir Squire is still hale and hearty. Yet it is thirty-six
years ago since they resolved, while still at the zenith of their
popularity and in early middle age, to quit the scenes of their many
triumphs, and _Punch_, in his notice of their farewell performance,
says no more than the strict truth:--

  The Bancrofts have done much for the Stage; in fact, the
  _mise-en-scène_ at the houses where Comedy is played, owes its
  present completeness entirely to them. They, and Mr. Hare with them,
  introduced the natural style of acting, thereby supplanting the
  theatrical tone and gestures of the old school, which Burlesques had
  done good service in laughing off our Stage for ever.

The performance at Cambridge of the _Eumenides_ by "Messrs. Æschylus
and Verrall" in the same year is handled in a vein of friendly
facetiousness. _Punch_ found Sir Charles Stanford's music rather more
than worthy of the occasion, but thinks Æschylus and his very clever
collaborator might have shown more common sense and allowance for
modern feeling.

_Punch_ was less considerate in his treatment of the performance of
Shelley's _Cenci_ by the Shelley Society which had been founded by
"a Dr. Furnivall," the scholar and redoubtable controversialist whom
_Punch_ had already attacked in connexion with the Browning Society.
The performance was described by a member of the society as four hours
of monotonous horror:--

  "The actors and actresses in the labour of love did all that could be
  done; but the play is proved to be impossible, and so let us leave it
  in the hope (shared by many of my fellow-members) that before another
  'sixty years' it will be possible to debate the matter calmly, but
  _not_ to put '_The Cenci_' on the Stage."

_Punch_ was less hopeful. He regarded "the literary disease of which
the Shelley Society may be regarded as an exemplar" as an ineradicable

[Sidenote: _"L'Assommoir" in French and English_]

Sir Frank Benson's productions of _A Midsummer Night's Dream_ and _The
Taming of the Shrew_ in 1890 come in for more commendation of the
scenic effects than the acting, but a favourable exception is made
in favour of the late Stephen Phillips, afterwards better known as
poet and dramatist. _Punch's_ notice of the late Sir Herbert Tree's
Hamlet in the summer of 1892 is a good specimen of discreetly veiled
disparagement. But it does not quite accord with Gilbert's famous
description, "funny without being vulgar," as _Punch_ considered some
of the new readings and by-play to be tasteless and grotesque. It was
this production that gave rise to that "desperate saying" that to solve
the Bacon-Shakespeare controversy, all that was necessary was to let
Tree play Hamlet and then open the two graves and see which of the
mighty dead had turned.

It would be tedious to enumerate all the references to actors and
plays, famous or forgotten, which crowd the pages of _Punch_ in this
period; to quote them in full would be impossible. Toole was one of
his favourites. Boucicault was not, and excites satirical comment for
having written a letter to Disraeli in 1876, puffing his own play
_The Shaughraun_. A little earlier The Great Vance--immortalized
in Stevenson's _Wrong Box_--the "lion comique" of the music-halls,
is rapped over the knuckles for advertising his performances as
"patronized by the Prince and Princess of Wales." _Punch's_ notice of
Zola's _L'Assommoir_ when he saw it in Paris in May, 1879, reflects
a divided mind. He found it fascinating and intolerable. Gil-Naza's
acting as Coupeau was "wonderful, fearful, admirable, awful, infernal."
Yet "the moral to most of those who assisted, the other evening, at
_L'Assommoir_ was, 'I say! Dash it! It's too horrible! Let's go and
drink!' and the biggest drink I've had for a long time--much needed,
I assure you--was after seeing _L'Assommoir_." _Punch_ doubts whether
the play could ever be done in English, but it was produced at the
Princess's Theatre only a few weeks later in Charles Reade's version,
with Charles Warner as Coupeau. The notice in _Punch_ purports to be
written by a working man, who signs himself "one as is a-thinking
seriously of Taking the Pledge, but don't see his Way to it yet."
He acknowledges the terrible realism of Warner's acting, but his
testimonial is invalidated by the final sentences:--

  Yes, Sir, _Drink_ is a moral drama if ever there was one. It ought to
  do a deal of good. And as I think it over, I feel as I want a little
  something just to take the taste on it out o' my mouth.

_Punch_ clearly did not believe in temperance propaganda on the stage.
Nor did he support the restriction of child performers, maintaining
in 1880 that the theatres at Christmas time were admirable infant
schools; "even for teaching," he was "open to back the Theatre, while
it lasts, against the Board School any day." There was much talk at
this time about dramatic schools, but _Punch_ refused to take the
movement seriously, preferring to give a burlesque list of lectures by
well-known actresses on aspects of acting entirely foreign to their own
styles. He joined in the protest against the abolition of the pit at
the Haymarket and the general raising of prices in the same year; and
Captain Shaw's Treatise on Fires in Theatres found in him an energetic
supporter of reform in respect of structural and other safeguards.
Laments over the degeneracy of pantomime and the decline of the red-hot
poker business still occur, but honourable exception is invariably made
on behalf of the famous Vokes family. He had at an early date described
the Drury Lane pantomime as "_Vokes et præterea nihil_." _Bluebeard_,
at Christmas, 1879, is called "Vokes's Entire." "The family is a
necessity at Drury Lane"; and then _Punch_ goes on to embroider his
text. Necessity has no Legs, but here the Vokes family have the pull
over the Mother of Invention--alluding to the high-kicking exploits of
Fred Vokes and other members of that engaging and high-spirited family.
If pantomime showed signs of decay, the "sacred lamp of Burlesque" was
burning brightly at the Gaiety with John Hollingshead as Lampadephoros
and the famous quartet--Nellie Farren, Kate Vaughan, Edward Terry and
Royce--as his chief hierophants. Miss Vaughan's secession in 1883,
chronicled in a graceful tribute, rendered possible the historic
question from the bench, "Who is Miss Connie Gilchrist?" but by 1892
she too had quitted the Gaiety to add histrionic lustre to the pages of
Debrett. In 1883 Miss Vesta Tilley was playing in pantomime at Drury
Lane; in 1884 Mrs. John Wood was singing "His Heart _was_ true to
Poll"; in 1886 the inauguration of the O.U.D.S. at Oxford introduced
Mr. Bourchier as Feste in _Twelfth Night_; in 1887 _Punch_ records the
_début_ of Miss Violet Vanbrugh.

[Sidenote: _More Gibes at Ibsen_]

Ibsen's _Pillars of Society_, produced at a matinée in July, 1888, is
compared by Punch with a melodrama performed at the "Old Vic" before it
became "a sort of frisky Coffee Palace," very much to the disadvantage
of Ibsen. In the old play the dialogue was crisp and to the point,
in the new it was "hopelessly dull." _Punch_ adds that Mr. William
Archer's translation seemed excellent, adding, "But what a pity he ever
learned Norwegian!" Ada Rehan, the famous Irish-American actress, made
her first appearance in London with Daly's company in the summer of
1890, but _Punch_, while delighted by her charming vivacity, thought
she was already too old to play _ingénue_ parts. Her successes in
Shakespearean comedy were to come later.

[Illustration: IBSEN IN BRIXTON

MRS. HARRIS: "Yes, William, I've thought a deal about it,
and I find I'm nothing but your Doll and Dicky Bird, and so I'm
going!"] Three familiar names greet us in the notices of the Christmas
pantomimes of 1891. Marie Lloyd, Dan Leno and Little Tich all appeared
in _Humpty Dumpty_, but the last-named receives the Benjamin's portion
of praise. "Why Marie?" asks _Punch_, who disliked these unnecessary
variants, which have since taken a more eccentric form in "Maudi,"
"Mai," and so forth.

The Court Theatre was drawing the town with its Triple Bill in the
spring of 1892, and _Punch_ did not spare his praise of the "Pantomime
Rehearsal" which, with Ellaline Terriss, Decima Moore, Weedon Grossmith
and Brandon Thomas in the leading parts, is pronounced to be "about
the very funniest thing to be seen in any London theatre." Gilbert's
brilliant Hamlet burlesque, _Rosencrantz and Guildenstern_, was for a
while included in the bill, and _Punch_ describes it as "an excellent
piece of genuine fun." It is all that and more. Gilbert never wrote
anything wittier than the passage in which Ophelia discusses the
various theories of the Prince's "mentality" and synthesizes them in
the conclusion:--

    Hamlet is idiotically sane,
    With lucid intervals of lunacy.

These were stirring years in the realm of music. To take only some of
the outstanding events, there was the Wagner Festival at the Albert
Hall in 1877, conducted by the composer, which led in due time to
something like a revolution in the repertory of grand opera in London;
there was the coming of Hans Richter, whose orchestral concerts lent a
fresh impetus to the cult of symphonic music already fostered by Manns
and Hallé; there were the visits of Rubinstein and Liszt in 1886; the
superb performance of Verdi's _Otello_ in 1887 by the Scala Company,
with Tamagno and Maurel in the cast; the advent of the de Reszkes and
Melba in 1889 and of Paderewski in 1890. Last and assuredly not least,
when the test of pleasure and popularity is applied, there was the long
and fruitful collaboration of Gilbert and Sullivan which began with
_Thespis, or the Gods grown Old_, in 1871, and continued till nearly
the close of the period under review.

[Sidenote: _Punch the Anti-Wagnerite_]

All these events and many others came under _Punch's_ notice, but
it must be confessed that his shortcomings as a critic are nowhere
so conspicuous as in the domain of music. It is true that in 1875 he
expressed a guarded admiration for _Lohengrin_: he found it good in
parts, like the curate's egg. "Though not melodious, it is certainly
most musically interesting and abundantly poetical." But the report
of his Bayreuth correspondent in 1876 is admittedly a bogus document,
compiled from German phrase-books in London, and tells us nothing about
the music, for the writer never went to Bayreuth. The Albert Hall
Festival is treated much in the same spirit of entirely irresponsible
burlesque. _Punch_ is determined at all costs to represent the Festival
as a carnival of "Wagnerian waggeries." When it was over he admitted
that many who went to scoff remained to praise. "The _Rhinegold_ is a
masterpiece," but he, is careful to add "this is not a discovery of
mine," and goes on to express his deliberate opinion that the Tetralogy
must inevitably be vulgarized by representation on the stage. "Such a
_mise-en-scène_ as the _Ring_ demands is impossible," and he turns with
obvious relief to discuss Patti in _Dinorah_ and the performance of
_Orphée aux Enfers_ at the Alhambra.

In 1882 _Punch_ attended the performances of the _Ring_, and after four
nights "deliberately" said, "Never again with you, _Wotan, Siegfried &
Co._" He found nothing new in the idea of leading motives: it was as
old as the oldest pantomime. A few weeks later _Punch_ heard _Tristan_
done at Drury Lane and was bored to extinction:--

  Had it been by a young English composer, or an elderly English
  composer of the Hanwellian School, it would not have been tolerated
  for half an hour after its commencement. For ourselves, if of two
  penances we had to choose one, either to sit out a long, dull sermon
  in a stuffy church on an August afternoon, or to hear one Act of
  _Tristan and Isolda_, we should unhesitatingly select the former,
  where, at all events, there would be the certainty of a tranquil
  repose, from which no cruel drum, bassoon, or violoncello, but only
  the snoring of our own nose, could rouse us. That there are occasional
  snatches of melody is undeniable, but a snatch here and there is not
  the grasp of a master hand to hold an audience. Judicious selections
  will always be welcome; but that, taken as a whole, it is the
  embodiment of stupendous boredom, might be the verdict of all English
  opera-goers who delight in the Operas of Rossini, Mozart, Meyerbeer,
  Gounod, Verdi, Balfe, Wallace, Bizet, and we are not afraid to add,
  even in these days of æsthetic mysticism, art-vagueness, and higher

_Punch_ then proceeds to "guy" the libretto and stage directions and

  This sort of music can never, in our lifetime at least, thank
  goodness, become popular with the British public. It may, as Dr.
  Johnson said of the violoncello performance, be wonderful, but we only
  wish it were impossible. Wagner's lyrical-dramatic music requires
  no operatic vocalists at all. Let there be a first-rate orchestra,
  a book of the plot in hands of the audience, and tableaux vivants
  or dissolving views to illustrate it--as illustration is still
  necessary for the illiterate. To ourselves, speaking as mere laics
  in the matter, with a fondness for tune, harmony, and good dramatic
  situations, it seems that singing and acting are thrown away on such
  vocal music and such tedious and unsavoury libretti. Richard Wagner's
  Operas will be remembered when the _Barbiere_ and a few more trifles
  are forgotten, but not till then.

And then Wagner inconsiderately went and died a few months later, and
_Punch_, who was never given to indulging in war-dances over his dead
enemies, printed not exactly a palinode, but a liberal acknowledgment
that this "arch-revolutionist" of the brood of "Demiurgus militant" was
a considerable figure. Given his temperament and aims, _Punch_ asks:--

                                What wonder
      He brought the sword into mild Music's sphere,
      And in the clangour of the hurtling spear,
    The clashing mail, and the loud battle-thunder,
    Missed, sometime, of the finer harmony
      The still small voice, known of the subtler ear,
      Which outlives all War's clarions? Year on year
    May pass ere he is measured. Yet we see
    The work of a strong shaper, one whose part
      Was with new light to show a newer way.
      He stripped the gewgaw'd shams of Opera,
    Lord of two spheres, he wedded Art with Art,
    And Music, sunned in brighter, larger fame,
    May date its nobler dawn from Wagner's mighty name.

[Sidenote: _"The Beggar's Opera" in 1878_]

The splendid Indian summer of Verdi's genius which gave us _Aïda_,
_Otello_ and _Falstaff_ is only partially recognized. When Aïda was
produced in 1876 _Punch_ was more interested in Patti and Nicolini, the
magnificence of the mounting and the chatter of the boxes, than in the
music. In the _finale_ "the brass was everywhere, the voices nowhere."
_Punch_ was happier in dealing with _Carmen_, in which Nietzsche, after
he had abandoned Wagnerism, found the exemplification of his dictum
"_il faut Méditerraniser la musique_," and which has won the allegiance
of all schools. And it is interesting in view of the wonderful success
recently achieved by the revival of _The Beggar's Opera_ to read
_Punch's_ eulogies of Sims Reeves, when the famous tenor appeared at
Covent Garden as Captain Macheath in 1878. But here again he is more
interested in Sims Reeves's singing and acting than in the play or the

  It was a treat. But what a stupid play! What a set of sordid, squalid,
  ruffianly characters, all, except Polly Peachum, prettily played by
  Madame Cave-Ashton, who obtained more than one encore. The chorus of
  "Let us take the Road" was very effectively given. I should like to
  see _The Beggar's Opera_ with a well remodelled plot, an efficient
  cast, to include, of course, Mr. Sims Reeves (it would be nothing
  at all without his Captain Macheath) and Madame Cave-Ashton, and
  produced under such careful stage-management as was shown by Mr.
  Hare in bringing out _Olivia_ at the Court Theatre. However, for the
  present, _The Beggar's Opera_, which, I believe, was the result of a
  considerable amount of "collaboration," is, as played the other night
  at Covent Garden, good enough, by way of a musical treat, for Your

What _Punch_ wished to see forty years ago has been achieved under the
inspiring direction of Mr. Nigel Playfair, though not exactly on the
lines indicated.

Cherishing an old-fashioned weakness for a tune, _Punch_ naturally
deplored the passing of Offenbach, one of the greatest tune-coiners
of the century. The memorial lines in October, 1880, are an admirable
summary of the qualities which made Offenbach the musical incarnation
of the unbridled gaiety of the Second Empire. But it is rather a
surprise to find an allusion to "Golden Schneider" in view of _Punch's_
earlier castigation of that ultra-vivacious lady. For the rest _Punch_
was still true to the tradition expressed in the avowal of the
Philistine who said he would rather hear Offenbach than Bach often.
Regret of a very different temper inspires the tribute to Jenny Lind,
_Punch's_ favourite singer, on her death in 1887. Forty years earlier
he had christened her "the Nightingale that sings in Winter," and
recognized her unfailing response to all charitable appeals:--

    "Dear Jenny Lind!" So then his song addressed her
      Who still is "Jenny Lind," and still is dear.
    Though Genius praised, and Fashion's crowd caressed her,
      She sank not, like some stars, below her sphere
              Into those darkening mists
      Whose taint the true and tender heart resists.
    Her nature fame was powerless to soil,
    Whom splendour hardened not, and puffery could not spoil.

    How the crowd rushed and crushed, and cheered and clamoured,
      Forty years syne, to hang upon her song!
    Of _La Sonnambula's_ heroine enamoured,
      Thrilled by the flute-like trillings sweet as strong
              Of their dear Nightingale.
      Amina, Lucia, Alice, each they'd hail
    With fervent plaudits, in whose flush and stir
    Love of her silvery song was blent with love of her.

    And each well earned! The crowd would press and jostle
      To hear their favourite warbler, from whose throat,
    Clear as the lark, and mellow as the throstle,
      The limpid melody would soar and float.
              Now like a shattered lute,
      The Nightingale who sang in winter's mute;
    But long remembered that pure life shall be,
    To Music dedicate and vowed to Charity.


"By Mendelssohn, is it not, Miss Prigsby?"

"We believe so."

"One of the 'Songs Without Words'?"

"Possibly. We nevah listen to Mendelssohn."

"Indeed! You don't admire his music?"

"We do not."

"May I ask why?"

"Because there are no wrong notes in it!"

(_Our gallant colonel is "out of it" again._)]

[Sidenote: _Jean and Edouard de Reszke_]

The idols of the operatic world in _Punch's_ earlier days were mainly
Italian or trained in Italy. In the period which we have now reached
no single nation retained a monopoly of "stars." Madame Nordica, who
appeared in 1890, was an American, Madame Melba was Australian-born of
Scottish descent, and the two de Reszkes, Jean and Edouard, the chief
glories of many recurrent seasons at Covent Garden, were Poles. A
hundred years earlier Lord Mount-Edgcumbe, a famous amateur and critic,
declared that the French opera singers were excruciating to listen
to. In the late 'eighties and 'nineties the best singing was heard
from those who had been trained in Paris. The de Reszkes in particular
helped to achieve what _Punch_ had declared to be impossible--they
made Wagner popular among the fashionable opera-goers by singing his
later works as they had never been sung before, turning to them at the
zenith of their powers and reputation, a service to art which more
self-protective singers have sedulously avoided. Jean de Reszke was
great in _Faust_, _Roméo et Juliette_, _Aïda_, _Le Prophète_, but he
was greater as Siegfried and Tristan. And so with his brother Edouard,
when his Mephistopheles or his Friar Laurence are compared with his
Wotan, his Hagen or his King Marke. I have spoken elsewhere of the
disastrous National Opera House scheme of Mapleson and the _fiasco_
of the Royal English Opera House in Shaftesbury Avenue. _Ivanhoe_,
Sullivan's solitary excursion into the domain of grand opera, which was
written for the opening of the last-named building, did not achieve
more than a _succès d'estime_. _Punch's_ notice is friendly but not
enthusiastic. When it gave place to the _Basoche_, he summed up the
situation facetiously but shrewdly enough under the heading, "English
Opera as She isn't sung":--

  It seems impossible to support a Royal English Opera House with
  its special commodity of English Opera, that is, Opera composed by
  an Englishman to an Englishman's libretto, and played by English
  operatic singers. _Ivanhoe_, a genuine English Opera, by a genuine
  English Composer (with an Irish name), produced with great éclat,
  has, after a fair run and lots of favour, been Doylécarté, in order
  to make room for the _Basoche_, an essentially French Opera, by a
  French Composer and Librettist, done, of course, into English, so
  as to be "understanded of the people." The _Basoche_ has "caught
  on," and our friends in front, including Composer, Librettist, and
  Middleman--Druriolanus, who bought it, and Doyly Carty, who bought it
  of Sir Druri--are all equally pleased and satisfied. Considered as a
  matter of business, what signifies the nationality as long as the spec
  pays?--_tout est là_.

"Druriolanus" was _Punch's_ ingenious _agnomen_ for Augustus Harris,
who, beginning as a melodramatic actor, had blossomed into a manager
and operatic _impresario_ and was knighted in 1891. It was at the
close of the same year that Mascagni's _Cavalleria Rusticana_ was
first produced in England, scored a success which the composer has
never succeeded in recapturing, and established the tyranny of the
"Intermezzo," which is not even yet overpast. Verga's powerful story of
love and revenge, on which the libretto is based, counted for much, but
the crude emotional vigour of the score is not to be denied. _Punch_
adored the "Intermezzo," speaks of the "charm" of the music, but says
nothing of the plot. The Italian Company in 1891 were only moderately
good; Madame Calvé's marvellously tragic impersonation of Santuzza,
in the season of 1892, is inseparably associated in the minds of
middle-aged opera-goers with Mascagni's solitary triumph.



    "I'll not leaf zee, sow lone von,
      To bine on ze Schtem!
    Zins ze lôfly are Szchleebingk,
      Coh! szchleeeb sow fiz dem!
    Zos ghyntly I schgadder
      Zy leafs on the bet,
    Vair zy maids of ze karrten
      Lie schentless and tet!"

[Sidenote: _Gilbert and Sullivan_]

When we turn from grand to comic opera, the names of Gilbert and
Sullivan confront us throughout the entire period under review in a
light that sheds a still undiminished lustre on native art. Of each
of the two partners in this long and fruitful collaboration it may
be said, in the often quoted phrase, that if not absolutely great he
was great in his _genre_. Between them they created an entirely new
type of light opera. Moreover, it was an entirely English or British
product in its spirit and structure, and relied entirely on British
performers. _Punch_ welcomed the venture from the outset, and in 1880,
in some verses modelled on the Judge's song in _Trial by Jury_, and
anticipating Sullivan's knighthood in 1883, he happily summarizes
the career of the composer, with whom, by the way, Burnand had been
associated in _Cox and Box_ in 1866:--

    As a boy I had such a musical bump,
      And its size so struck Mr. Helmore,
    That he said, "Though you sing those songs like a trump,
      You shall write some yourself that will sell more."
    So I packed off to Leipsic, without _looking back_,[13]
      And returned in such classical fury,
    That I sat down with Handel and Haydn and Bach--
      And turned out _Trial by Jury_.

    But W.S.G. he jumped for joy
      As he said, "Though the job dismay you,
    Send Exeter Hall to the deuce, my boy;
      It's the _haul_ with me that'll pay you."
    And we hauled so well, mid jeers and taunts
      That we've settled, spite all temptations,
    To stick to our Sisters and our Cousins and our Aunts--
      And continue our pleasant relations.

[Footnote 13: The title of one of Sullivan's most popular songs.]

In 1885, on the occasion of the production of the _Mikado_, which
_Punch_ bracketed with _Pinafore_ as the best of all the series, there
are some excellent observations on the dual autocracy exerted to
admiration at the Savoy:--

  Rarely, if ever, have Composer and Author produced piece after piece
  under conditions so favourable to success as have Messrs. Gilbert and
  Sullivan at the Savoy. They are their own Managers, the theatre is
  practically theirs, the Members of the Company, from the soprano and
  tenor down to the latest novice in the chorus, or among the "extras,"
  depend mainly, if not entirely, upon the Composer and Author for
  their engagements. This Beaumont and Fletcher of Eccentric Opera can
  order rehearsals when they choose, can command the scene-painters and
  property-men, and, what is much more to the point, be obeyed. They
  have jointly and separately the authority of the Centurion: the Author
  is the autocrat of the acting and the Savoy stage generally; the
  Composer is the autocrat of the music, vocal and instrumental.

[Sidenote: _The Savoy Autocrats_]

  At other theatres an Author may try to assume the autocrat, but,
  unless he can be absolutely independent, and able to take his
  piece out of the theatre without damaging his chance of earning a
  livelihood, the attempt is only a ridiculous and palpable failure.
  True that times have changed, considerably for the better, since
  Albert Smith said that "there was only one person in the theatre lower
  than the call-boy, and that was the Author," yet, in spite of much
  improvement, a young Dramatist will still sympathize with the spirit
  of Albert Smith's observation; and, ordinarily, the most experienced
  Playwright, if not, as I have said, absolutely independent, has, in
  almost every instance, to accommodate himself to the exigencies of
  the theatre, and to the tempers of the Actors. From the moment he
  has a piece in rehearsal, there is no peace for him on the Stage. He
  is promised what he will never obtain; he has to accept just what he
  can get; he has to humour the ideas of others and sacrifice his own;
  he has to make the best of unintentional mistakes and deliberately
  intentional alterations; he has to accede to the Manager's date for
  producing the piece, and its first night of public performance is, in
  the majority of cases, really and truly only a dressed rehearsal, and,
  in some cases, it is the first real rehearsal the piece has had.

  Now nothing of this sort ought to take place at the Savoy. There
  Messrs. Gilbert and Sullivan have only themselves to please, only
  themselves and their piece to consider; they are monarchs of all they
  Savoy--I should say "survey"--they are masters of the situation, and
  if they allow any piece of theirs to be produced in a hurry, with
  incomplete appointments, with inappropriate scenery, faulty dresses,
  or after insufficient rehearsal, on their own heads be it and on
  no one else's. The Actor-singers are only intelligent puppets in
  their Showman's hands, and the more faithfully they carry out the
  instructions given them by their masters, the greater their individual
  and collective chance of success.

  It delights me to see the precision of the action on the Stage of the
  Savoy, the result of a carefully-thought-out plan and well-regulated
  drill. The principals have been judiciously selected for the work,
  and they are suited by the two clever fellow-workers who, having
  taken their measure to a nicety, give them just what they can do,
  and no more; and who insist on their original conceptions being
  executed exactly according to their ideas. The result is that the
  ensemble is about the most effective thing in London--or in Paris for
  that matter--because the individuality of the Actor-singer is not
  destroyed, but is judiciously made use of, and worked up, as valuable
  material for the character he has to represent.

_Patience_ in 1881 specially appealed to _Punch_ because it was aimed
against the æsthetes. His general appreciation of the Savoy Operas was,
however, tempered by criticism. For example, he pronounces _Iolanthe_
in 1882 to be "not within a mile of _Pinafore_ and not a patch upon
_Patience_." _The Gondoliers_ in 1890 is placed third in order of
excellence after the _Mikado_ and _Pinafore_. The unfortunate temporary
estrangement between the collaborators which led to the severance of
their partnership in the same year, and which was alleged to have grown
out of a dispute over a carpet, is treated in "A Chapter of Dickens
up to Date," with Gilbert as Mrs. Gamp and Sullivan as Mrs. Prig.
_Punch's_ view of the merits of the dispute may be gathered from the
fact that he gives the last word to Mrs. Prig, who, after alluding
to a tempest in a teapot, observes: "Wich I don't believe there's
either rhyme or reason in sech an absurd quarrel!" Yet when the _Court
Circular_ of March 9, 1891, recorded the performance at Windsor Castle
of _The Gondoliers_, "a Comic Opera composed by Sir Arthur Sullivan,"
with full details of the programme, performers, etc., but no mention of
Gilbert at all, _Punch_ rubs in this conspicuous absence in his most
sarcastic vein.

Mr. D'Oyly Carte, it seems, was presented to the Queen after the
performance, and _Punch_ goes on:--

  Did R. D'Oyly think of mentioning that "the words" were by W.S.G.?
  And then it is told how D'Oyly refused to take any payment for the
  performance. Noble, generous-hearted, large-minded and liberal D'Oyly!
  Sir Arthur Courtly Sullivan's name was to the Bill, and so his consent
  to this extra act of generosity may be taken for granted. But what
  said Sir Brian de Bois Gilbert? By the merry-maskins, but an he be not
  pleased, dub me Knight Samingo! Will D'Oyly be dubbed Knight? And what
  sort of Knight? Well, remembering a certain amusing little episode
  in the more recent history of the Savoy Theatre, why not a "Carpet

If _Punch_ kept most of his friendships in good repair, it must be
admitted that he also displayed on occasion a positive genius for
impish malice.

[Sidenote: _Liszt, Rubinstein, Pachmann_]

Among the musical celebrities who visited us in these years _Punch_ had
a special word for Joachim, to whom England was almost a second home,
and Madame Schumann, whose portrait with that of the great violinist
appears in 1881. M. Pachmann's performance at a concert in 1883 is
described with more fidelity than reverence:--

  Then came a M. Vladimir de Pachmann, who, in consequence of his long
  hair, and a bulkiness about his waist and coat-tails suggestive
  of concealed fish-bowls, to be presently produced from under a
  handkerchief, I at first set down as a Conjurer. He wasn't, however,
  being a Pianist of considerable skill, with an overpowering propensity
  for getting the most out of every note, and listening in rapt
  admiration to its dying away in the distance, and then slowly raising
  his left hand as if pronouncing a blessing on the instrument as he
  went along.

Liszt and Rubinstein (who once said that compared with Liszt all other
pianists, including himself, were mere wood-choppers) both visited
England in 1886--Rubinstein still in the full possession of his
powers, which he displayed in his remarkable cycle of seven historical
recitals; Liszt, full of years and honours, but claiming attention as
a composer, not as a performer, though he did play once or twice in
private. The mention of the performance of his oratorio _St. Elizabeth_
in St. James's Hall comes home to the present writer, who was a humble
member of the chorus. _Punch's_ notice is an adroit blending of
facetiousness and respect. In his Postscript he observes, "How tired
Liszt must be of hearing his own music! Fancy Pears being treated for
a whole week to nothing but his own Soap!" I wonder whether _Punch_
knew, what was the fact, that Liszt fell asleep in the performance of
his own oratorio. Three months later he died at Bayreuth, having never
recovered from the exhaustion caused by the lionizing hospitality of
his English admirers. Rubinstein survived his visit for eight years.
_Punch_ was not far out in describing him in 1886 as the first player
in the world. He was then fifty-seven, and his playing of Beethoven's
Op. 57--the _Appassionata_ Sonata--beggared description. Rubinstein
used to say that in these recitals he played enough wrong notes to make
a symphony; he was at times violent and extravagant and took strange
liberties with the text. But here he was Titanic, and _Punch's_ welcome
was well deserved, though the critic erred in ranking Rubinstein the
composer on the same plane with Rubinstein the performer. It is amusing
to read, in the reference to the last recital, that the programme
included works by

  --such small contemporary deer as Liadoff, Balakireff,
  Rimsky-Korsakoff, and César Cui. My gracious! What names! Familiar,
  too, don't they seem? In the same category the patronymic of
  Tschaikowski rings refreshingly as that of an old friend.

The spelling of foreign musicians' names had always been a stumbling
block to _Punch_, and I have revised his versions of two of the
composers mentioned above, but by 1886 he had at least learned to spell
Liszt correctly.

Hans Richter had shared the duties of conductor at the Wagner Festival
of 1877 with the great composer himself. The concerts which made his
name a household word in the musical world began in 1879. His leonine
appearance and Olympian calm, his wonderful memory, which enabled him
to conduct the great masterpieces, classical and modern, without a
score; and the dignity and authority of his interpretations soon gained
for him an admiration which survived his repudiation in 1914 of all the
honours and distinctions conferred on him by the country in which for
many years he had made his home. There are still a good many orchestral
players amongst us who have a warm corner in their hearts for the
"Doctor," and a profound respect for his mastery of the high art of
conducting. His quaint sayings are legion, and ought to be collected.
One of the best is his rebuke of his band at a rehearsal of the
_Venusberg_ music: "Gentlemen, you play it as if you were teetotallers,
_which you are not_."

_Punch_ acclaimed him as a master in 1886, and his tribute is all the
more remarkable because it is coupled with an unexpected acknowledgment
of the genius of Brahms, whose Fourth Symphony, a very tough nut to
crack in those days, is contrasted with the "howling balderdash" of
other moderns. Paderewski, who made his first appearance in the spring
of 1890, is handsomely extolled. His first concert, which the present
writer attended, only attracted a meagre audience, but the effect on
his hearers was electrifying and the _crescendo_ of popularity was
immediate and abiding. _Punch_, of course, made puns on his name, but
in these years he was so consistent an offender that he might very well
have appropriated the old doggerel confession:--

    If for every pun I shed
    I were to be punishèd,
    I could not find a puny shed
    Wherein to hide my punnish head.

[Sidenote: _The Plague of Prodigies_]

London has never been free from the plague of prodigies, but the
epidemic was acute in 1888, and _Punch_ treated the matter in a style
which has a strangely familiar ring--when allowance is made for the
usual puns:--

  That there is a regular flood of these musical prodigies threatening
  to sweep over every concert-hall platform, there is not a doubt; and
  while the public rush in applauding crowds to welcome them, it is not
  easy to see where it is to stop. As long as the fever lasts, their
  parents, whatever their weight, may be counted upon to keep hurrying
  them to the "scales," and set them down to the key-board practising
  till they are often literally laid on their _Bachs_. Meantime, while
  the infants struggle, it is becoming a serious question for the
  regular adult performers, who will find their occupation gone, and
  certainly not know what to do with themselves, if the former are to
  have it all their own way. For them, whatever the public may think of
  it, the matter will undoubtedly be no mere "child's play," and they
  will surely hail any signs indicating that this recent determined
  invasion of the concert-room by the nursery is at all on the wane,
  with every expression of unfeigned delight.

The subject is handled more judiciously in one of the admirable "_Voces
Populi_" series; best of all in Du Maurier's "Happy Thought":--

  MRS. TRIPLETS: "And how is your concert getting on, Herr

  EMINENT VIOLINIST: "Pudiful, as far as de Brogramme is
  goncerned--Beethoven--Schumann--Brahms! But ze dickets don't zell!!
  Ach! Py ze vay, Mrs. Triplets, you don't happen to haf zoch a zing
  as a Moozicalish Infantile Venomenon apout you zat you could lend me
  for ze occasion. Ja? Gonzertina! Pantscho! Pones! Gomb! Anyzing vill
  blease ze Pritish Boblic, if ze berformer is onter vife years olt!"

_Punch_ was in his element when Eduard Strauss--son of Johann the
elder, and brother of the most famous of all the Viennese Waltz-Kings,
Johann Strauss of the _Blue Danube_ and the _Fledermaus_--brought his
band to the Inventions Exhibition in 1885. In these days waltzing
was still popular, and on the page overleaf I give two phases in its
evolution as recorded by the pen of Du Maurier. Eduard Strauss wrote
many delightful waltzes, and was an inspiring if somewhat exuberant
conductor. _Punch_, who had sat under Jullien in his boyhood, compares
the methods of the two, and pronounces the performance of dance-music
by Strauss's band to be a revelation. "It unvulgarizes even the polka,
and, from time to time, imparts an elevating tone to that ungraceful
and prosaic dance." Finally _Punch_ rewrites C. F. Adams's "Leedle
Yawcob Strauss" in honour of the Waltz-King:--

    He hops und schumps und marks der time,
      Und shows such taste and nous,
    Dot dere's to equal him no vun,
      Mine clever Eduard Strauss.

           *       *       *       *       *

    He dakes der viddle in his hands,
      Und he schust blay it, too!
    He dake der schtick to beat der time,
      Mine gracious, dot vos drue.

    Und ven der beeble hear dot band
      Dey at each oder glance,
    Den vag deir heads, den move deir veet,
      Und vish dot dey might dance.

    Und ven dey blay der "Danube Blue,"
      Vich vos vor an encore,
    Dey velcome it as zomtings new,
      Und call for it vonce more.

    Der beeble listen as dey blay
      As guiet as a mouse,
    Dere's none vor dance tunes any day
      Like leedle Eduard Strauss.

The cult of Berlioz, started by Hallé at Manchester in 1880, was now
in full swing, and his _Faust_ figures constantly in the programmes
of choral concerts and festivals, with Henschel and Santley (who had
abandoned opera for oratorio), Mary Davies and Edward Lloyd in the
principal rôles. _Punch_ did not overlook the provincial festivals in
the days when the standard quartet was made up of Mmes. Albani and
Patey--whose likeness to Handel was noted by Samuel Butler--Edward
Lloyd and Santley. He was present at Leeds in 1886 when Sir Arthur
Sullivan conducted his _Golden Legend_, and Stanford his exhilarating
_Revenge_. Sullivan is saluted as "the English Offenbach," a somewhat
two-edged compliment, though meant sincerely. At Gloucester, in 1889,
_Punch_ praises the music of Parry's _Judith_, but damns the libretto:
"_Punch_ and _Judith_ can never agree." No subject, sacred or profane,
was secure from _Punch's_ puns. _The Golden Legend_ and _The Prodigal
Son_, both by Sullivan, were included in the programme at Gloucester,
and are turned to characteristic account in the following comment:--

  The _Golden Legend_ is a traditional tale of a fortune amassed at
  Gloucester by an hotel-keeper during the Festival week; while _The
  Prodigal Son_ is the sad story of a young man who, in spite of his
  father's warnings, lived an entire week at a Gloucester Inn.


DISTINGUISHED FOREIGNER: "Voulez-vous me faire l'honneur de
Danser cette Valse avec moi, Meess Matilde?"

MISS MATILDA (_an accomplished waltzer_): "Avec plaiseer,
Monsieur. Quelle est voter Forme--le '_Lurch de Liverpool_,' le '_Dip
de Boston_,' ou le '_Kick de Ratcliffe Highway_'?"

(We have feebly tried to represent the "Ratcliffe Highway Kick," which
at present is only danced in the very best society, and confers a great
air of distinction on the performers.)]


This is not an example of the Struggle for Existence--it is merely
"The Valse," as we have lately seen it danced at Suburban Subscription
Balls, etc.]

The Royal College of Music was founded in 1882. George Grove, the
first director, the "dear 'G'" of countless friends in all walks of
life, was an old ally, and the venture, in which the Prince of Wales
took from the very outset an active and energetic part, received
_Punch's_ benediction, though an element of genial chaff is not absent
in the picture of the Prince conducting his orchestra of royal and
noble minstrels, with the Duke of Edinburgh as first violin. _Punch_
showed a truer insight into the potentialities of the new institution
when he suggested that it might help to solve the problem of National
Opera. By its annual operatic performances so admirably directed for
some thirty years by Sir Charles Stanford, and by the training of
first-class instrumentalists and singers, the R.C.M. has done an amount
of spade-work which has more than fulfilled _Punch's_ prediction.

[Sidenote: _Popular Songs_]

On the educative value of the music-halls _Punch_ in earlier years
had maintained an attitude of scepticism, not to say hostility. He
had been careful to draw invidious distinctions between the vulgarity
of music-hall comedians and the entertainments provided by the German
Reeds and Corney Grain, in whom he recognized "one in ten thousand"
and a true follower of John Parry, the father and perhaps the greatest
of all musical entertainers, whose _vis comica_, allied to unfailing
good taste and reinforced by remarkable musicianship, had won the
admiration of Lablache and Malibran. I have noted elsewhere _Punch's_
disparagement of the efforts to improve the music-halls. He displays
a certain lukewarm approval of the prospectus of the "Coffee Music
Hall Company, Limited," issued in 1879 under the auspices of Lord
and Lady Cowper, Mr. and Mrs. Cowper-Temple, Sir Charles Trevelyan
and Canon Duckworth; the names of Mr. and Mrs. German Reed and Sir
Jules Benedict, however, inspired him with more confidence than their
aristocratic co-patrons.

The popular songs of the hour seldom failed to attract _Punch's_
vigilant censure. In 1887 "Two Lovely Black Eyes" enchanted the
million. It was well parodied in the series of "Popular Songs Resung"
by "Miss Virginia Bowdler" in 1891, and in 1889 _Punch_ published his
excellent "Model Music-Hall Songs." The song that broke his heart in
1891 was "Hi-tiddly-hi-ti"; in 1892 a "Melancholy Muser" is plunged
into despair by the "Ta-ra-ra" boom:--

    I am shrouded in impenetrable gloom-de-ay,
    For I feel I'm being driven to my doom-de-ay,
                By an aggravating ditty
                Which I don't consider witty;
    And they call the horrid thing, "Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay!"

    Every 'bus-conductor, errand-boy, and groom-de-ay,
    City clerk, and cheeky crossing-sweep with broom-de-ay
                Makes my nervous system bristle
                As he tries to sing or whistle
    That atrocious and absurd "Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay!"

    So I sit in the seclusion of my room-de-ay,
    And deny myself to all--no matter whom-de-ay--
                For I dread a creature coming
                Whose involuntary humming
    May assume the fatal form, "Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay!"

    Oh, I fear that when the Summer roses bloom-de-ay,
    You will read upon a well-appointed tomb-de-ay:
                "Influenza never lick'd him,
                But he fell an easy victim
    To that universal scourge--'Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay!'"

The amazing popularity of Mr. Albert Chevalier's coster songs is
acknowledged in 1892, but _Punch_ hardly does justice to the talents of
the creator of what was virtually a new and specialized type of comic
song heavily larded with sentiment.

                          HEROES AND WORTHIES

In the course of these chapters mention has not infrequently been made
of the homage paid by _Punch_ to his special heroes and heroines.
Memorial verses had always been a feature of the paper, and in the
beginning of this period they assumed formidable dimensions: at
its close there was a welcome reaction towards brevity; but in the
following anthology I have not always quoted these tributes in full,
preferring to extract the stanzas or lines which seemed to me to come
nearest the mark in truth of portraiture or felicity of expression.
Thus, while other features of Charles Kingsley's work in life and
letters are noted in the verses printed on his death in 1875, his
achievement in the domain of historical romance is much the most
happily treated:--

    He raised strong Saxon Hereward from death
      In his grey shroud of mist from mere and fen;
    Called up the England of Elizabeth,
      With Drake and Raleigh, chief of Devon men.

To 1878 belong the lines on the "Christian athlete" Selwyn, Bishop of
New Zealand and afterwards of Lichfield:--

    At length from work he rests, and to the bier
      His good deeds follow him, and good men's love;
    And one true Bishop less we reckon here,
      And one good angel more they count above.

The epitaph on Lord John Russell, who died three weeks after his golden
wedding in 1878, applauds his consistency but is not memorable, though
he is well described as a fighter for freedom "in spite of what was
done in Freedom's name."

The lines on the great John Lawrence in July, 1879, contain one good

    A simple mannered, rude and rugged man,
      But true and wise and merciful and just.
    Of all these monuments, when all we scan,
      Which rises o'er more justly honoured dust?

[Sidenote: _Rowland Hill, Stanley, and Darwin._]

Rowland Hill, always one of _Punch's_ special heroes, was buried in the
Abbey in September of the same year. Here _Punch's_ best tribute is in
prose, when he speaks of him as

  One of the greatest benefactors to his country and to the civilized
  world that it ever produced; now inhabiting an abode among the band of
  departed worthies who in this life were heroes and saints and bards of
  the better sort:--

             _Inventas aut qui vitam excoluere per artes_.

The verses on Dean Stanley in July, 1881, are not quoted in his _Life_
by Lord Ernle, so I make no excuse for printing them here:--

    With clear, calm eye he fronted Faith, and she,
      Despite the clamorous crowd,
    Smiled, knowing her soul-loyal votary
      At no slave's altar bowed.
    With forward glance beyond polemic scope
      He scanned the sweep of Time,
    And everywhere changed looks with blue-eyed Hope,
      Victress o'er doubt and crime.
    But inward turning, he, of gentle heart,
      And spirit mild as free,
    More gladly welcomed, as life's better part,
      The rule of Charity.

_Punch's_ most generous acknowledgment of the genius of Charles Darwin
was published in 1877:--


    Though dogmatists and dullards long opposed
      His Theory with venomous persistence,
    Darwin may now consider it has closed
            Its--"Struggle for existence."

    To calm research, not fierce polemic raid,
      Truth yields her secrets. After fair inspection
    The age twixt Science and her foes has made
            A--"Natural selection."

    Thou canst not, Zealotry, as blind as hot,
      Truth's champion slay, however hard thou hittest.
    Darwin outlives detraction. Is this not
            "Survival of the fittest"?

When Darwin died in April, 1882, _Punch_ had entered on a phase in
which the claims of science to solve the riddle of the universe excited
his misgiving, and his obituary lines are of a non-committal order,
save for one admirable couplet:--

    Recorder of the long Descent of Man
    And a most living witness of his rise.

There are no reserves in his valediction to Henry Fawcett in November,

    No braver conquest o'er ill fortune's flout
      Our age has seen than his who held straight on,
      Though the great God-gift from his days was gone,
    "And Wisdom at one entrance quite shut out"--
    Held on with genial stoutness, seeing more
      Than men with sight undarkened, but with mind
      Through prejudice and Party bias blind.

Another statesman of equal fearlessness and independence was W. E.
Forster; but here the whole virtue of _Punch's_ salutation in April,
1886, is summed up in the two lines:--

    A sturdy lover of a sturdy land,
    He served it, zeal at heart and life in hand.

I pass over the "In Memoriam" lines on the good Lord Shaftesbury in the
previous year. They render full justice to his splendid and life-long
service on behalf of the "helpless thralls of trade" and the "all
unchildlike children" "victims of modern Molochs," "all who creep or
fall on poverty's rough road or crime's steep slope"; but they are
otherwise laboured and diffuse. Sincerity is no guarantee of literary
excellence. _Punch_ shows to greater advantage in the lines on Newman
in August, 1890, who is lauded, not as a great Cardinal nor as one

      Above all office and all state,
      Serenely wise, magnanimously great;
    Not as the pride of Oriel, or the Star
    Of this host or of that in creed's hot war,
      But as the noble spirit, stately, sweet,
      Ardent for good without fanatic heat,
    Gentle of soul, though greatly militant,
    Saintly, yet with no touch of cloistral cant;
      Him England honours, and so bends to-day
      In reverent grief o'er Newman's glorious clay.

[Sidenote: _Lord Granville and W. H. Smith_]

Two statesmen, widely differing in birth, temperament and character,
are commemorated in 1891. Of Lord Granville _Punch_ writes:--

    Bismarckian vigour, stern and stark
      As Brontë's self, was not his dower;
    Not his to steer a storm-tost bark
      Through waves that whelm, and clouds that lower.
    Temper unstirred, unerring tact
      Were his. He could not "wave the banner,"
    But he could lend to steely act
      The softly silken charm of manner.

Mr. W. H. Smith was a much harder subject for eulogy, for he was not a
"dæmonic genius," an orator, or a romantic figure, but simply a good
plain honest servant of his country. Yet _Punch's_ verses, if not
inspired by high poetic rapture, are something more than adequate in
their appreciation of Mr. W. H. Smith's solid qualities:--

    A capable, clear-headed, modest toiler,
      Touched with no egoist taint,
    To Duty sworn, the face of the Despoiler
      Made him not fear or faint.

    O'erworn, o'erworked, with smiling face, though weary,
      The tedious task he plied;
    Sagacious, courteous, ever calm and cheery,
      Unsoured by spleen or pride.

    As unprovocative as unpretentious,
      Skilful though seeming slow;
    Unmoved by impulse of conceit contentious
      To risk success for show.

    O rare command of gifts, which, common branded,
      Are yet so strangely rare!
    Selflessness patient, judgment even-handed,
      And spirit calmly fair!

To turn from grave to gay, I may round off this collection with two
zoological elegies. When "Jumbo," the famous elephant at the Zoo, whose
purchase by Barnum and departure from London had provoked a grotesque
explosion of sentimentality, was killed by a railway accident in
America in 1885, Punch recorded his decease in the following epigram:--

    Alas, poor Jumbo! Here's the fruit
      Of faithless Barnum's greed of gain;
    How sad that so well-trained a brute
      Should owe his exit to a train!

The elegy on Charles Jamrach, the celebrated naturalist and
menagerie-keeper of St. George's-in-the-East, who died in September,
1891, at the age of seventy-six, was better deserved. Charles
Jamrach, the most notable of the dynasty which for three-quarters of
a century enjoyed a practical monopoly of the trade in wild animals
in this country, was a "stout fellow": Frank Buckland describes his
single-handed struggle with a runaway tiger in 1857; he appears in the
D.N.B.; and _Punch_, in his lines on "The King of the Beasts," after
describing the lamentations of the animals at the Zoo, ends up on a
note of genuine regret:--

    O Jamrach! O Jamrach! Woe's stretched on no sham rack
      Of metre that mourns you sincerely;
    E'en that hard nut o' natur, the great Alligator,
      Has eyes that look red, and blink queerly.
    Mere "crocodile's tears," some may snigger, but jeers
      Must disgust at a moment so doleful;
    For Jamrach the brave, who has gone to his grave,
      All our sorrow's sincere as 'tis soulful!


        _A complete Index will be found in the Fourth Volume._

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