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ABRAHAM LINCOLN AND THE LONDON PUNCH
[Illustration: THE AMERICAN JUGGERNAUT]
ABRAHAM LINCOLN AND THE LONDON PUNCH
Cartoons, Comments and Poems, Published in the London Charivari, During the American Civil War (1861-1865)
WILLIAM S. WALSH
Author of "A Handbook of Literary Curiosities," "Curiosities of Popular Customs," "Faust, the Legend and the Poem," etc.
New York Moffat, Yard and Company 1909
Copyright 1909, by William S. Walsh New York Published March 1909
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
The American Juggernaut _Frontispiece_
Divorce A Vinculo 12
The American Difficulty 14
The American Gladiators 14
Naughty Jonathan 20
How they went to take Canada 20
A Family Quarrel 20
King Cotton Bound 22
The Genu-ine Othello 26
Over the Way 28
The Wilful Boy 33
A Likely Story 34
Look out for Squalls 40
A Bad Case of Throwing Stones 42
Waiting for an Answer 42
Columbia's Fix 42
Boxing Day 46
"Up a Tree" 46
Naughty Jonathan 48
Oberon and Titania 50
The New Orleans Plume 52
The "Sensation" Struggle in America 54
The Latest from America 56
One Good Turn Deserves Another 58
"Not up to Time" 60
Lincoln's Two Difficulties 60
More Free than Welcome 60
The Overdue Bill 62
Abe Lincoln's Last Card 64
Latest from Spirit-Land 64
Scene from the American "Tempest" 64
The Great "Cannon Game" 70
"Rowdy" Notions of Emancipation 72
Brutus and Cæsar 74
The Black Conscription 74
John Bull's Neutrality 76
Scylla and Charybdis 79
The Storm-Signal 84
Extremes Meet 86
"Beecher's American Soothing Syrup" 88
"Holding a Candle to the ****" 97
Something for Paddy 98
Very Probable 98
Mrs. North and her Attorney 106
Columbia's Sewing-Machine 106
The Black Draft 109
The Federal Ph[oe]nix 109
Grand Transformation Scene 109
The Threatening Notice 109
Vulcan in the Sulks 109
The American Gladiators--Habet! 111
Brittania Sympathises with Columbia 111
ABRAHAM LINCOLN AND THE LONDON PUNCH
"Tell me what a man laughs at, and I will tell you what he is," was one of Goethe's pregnant apothegms.
Laughter, one of the chief lines of cleavage between man and beast, is one of the chief points of differentiation between man and man. From the good-natured banter which kins all the world to the envenomed sneer that sunders it, laughter runs the whole gamut of human emotions.
It is always sincere, even in its own despite. No subterfuge, when subterfuge underlies it, is more easily unmasked. A man may smile and smile and be a villain, but villainy by the seeing eye can be infallibly detected beneath the smile.
A counterfeit laugh may be uttered, as counterfeit coin is uttered, but it does not ring true. Its baseness reveals itself to more senses than one.
Now for more than sixty years the recognized organ of British laughter has been the London _Punch_. The contemporary mood of John Bull towards Brother Jonathan has always voiced itself through the grinning lips of this chartered jester.
It cannot be said that even before the outbreak of the Civil War _Punch_ had shown itself friendly to America or Americans. Why should it? The British mob disliked us and flouted us. _Punch_ as the mouthpiece of the mob, followed suit. In the original prospectus of that journal, issued in 1845, it was expressly announced that the paper was to be devoted in part to "Yankee yarns," to "the naturalization of those alien Jonathans whose adherence to the truth has forced them to emigrate from their native land." It would appear from this new crook-backed Daniel come to judgment, that Ananias and Autolycus were models of punctilious honesty and meticulous truthfulness compared with the average American.
[Illustration: DIVORCE A VINCULO. Mrs. Carolina Asserts her Right to "Larrup" her Nigger.]
Writing from Boston to Sir Edward Head, in 1854, George Ticknor said: "I am much struck with what you say about the ignorance that prevails in England, concerning this country and its institutions, and the mischief likely to spring from it. From _Punch_ up to your leading statesmen, things are constantly said and done out of sheer misapprehension, or ignorance, that have for some time been breeding ill-will here, and are likely to breed more."
[Illustration: THE AMERICAN DIFFICULTY. PRESIDENT ABE. "WHAT A NICE WHITE HOUSE THIS WOULD BE, IF IT WERE NOT FOR THE BLACKS!"]
Up to, and even immediately after the war, _Punch's_ sympathies professedly leaned towards the North, though it took occasion to lecture both sides from the standpoint of a disinterested and superior friend, who saw that neither side was absolutely and unconditionally right.
When the news of the secession of South Carolina reached England, in January, 1861, John Tenniel contributed a cartoon to the jester's pages entitled: "Divorce a Vinculo" with the explanatory subtitle "Mrs. Carolina asserts her rights to 'larrup' her nigger." Mrs. Carolina was represented as a vulgar virago holding a cat-o-nine tails in her right hand, and shaking her clenched left fist in the face of a serenely defiant youth, clad in a star-spangled shirt, to whom a little brat of a nigger appealed with clasped hands.
[Illustration: "CÆSAR IMPERATOR!" OR, THE AMERICAN GLADIATORS.]
In the same number the following poem breathed a similar anti-secession sentiment.
SECESSION AND SLAVERY
Secede, ye Southern States, secede, No better plan could be, If you of niggers would be freed, To set your niggers free. Runaway slaves by federal law At present you reclaim; So from the Union straight withdraw And play the Free Soil game.
What, when you've once the knot untied, Will bind the Northern men? And who'll resign to your cow-hide The fugitives again? Absquatulate, then, slick as grease, And break up unity, Or take your president in peace And eat your humble pie.
But if your stomachs proud disdain That salutary meal And you, in passion worse than vain, Must rend the commonweal, Then all mankind will jest and scoff At people in the case Of him that hastily cut off His nose to spite his face.
Later, _Punch_ applauded that portion of Abraham Lincoln's first inaugural, which dealt with the question of secession.
THE COMMINUTED STATES
Who can say where Secession will stop? That is a question which is raised by MR. LINCOLN, in a part of his inaugural address, directed to enforce upon fools and madmen the necessity of acquiescence by minorities in the decision of majorities. The President tells the frantic portion of his fellow countrymen that:--
"There is no alternative for continuing the Government but acquiescence on one side or the other. If a minority in such a case will secede rather than acquiesce, they make a precedent which in turn will ruin and divide them, for a minority of their own will secede from them whenever a majority refuses to be controlled by such a minority. For instance, why may not any portion of a new confederacy, a year or two hence, arbitrarily secede again, precisely as portions of the present Union now claim to secede from it? All who cherish disunion sentiments are now being educated to the exact temper of doing this."
The force of this simple reasoning will be seen by the lunatics to whom it is addressed, during their lucid intervals, if they have any. It may even be hoped that some of them may recover the use of their reflecting faculties so far as to be enabled to follow out PRESIDENT LINCOLN'S argument, and their own folly, into ultimate consequences and conclusions. Then they will see what is likely to be the end of Secession, for it is not quite true that there is no end to Secession, and the end of Secession will be for the Secessionists an end of everything. Seceders will go on seceding and subseceding, until at last every citizen will secede from every other citizen, and each individual will be a sovereign state in himself, self-government personified, a walking autonomy, a lone star, doing business and supporting itself off its own hook.
[Illustration: NAUGHTY JONATHAN. "YOU SHAN'T INTERFERE, MOTHER--AND YOU OUGHT TO BE ON MY SIDE--AND IT'S A GREAT SHAME--AND I DON'T CARE--AND YOU SHALL INTERFERE--AND I WON'T HAVE IT."]
When the seceding states were in search of a name, _Punch_ suggested that of Slaveownia, and when at the convention held February 9, 1861, at Montgomery, Alabama, they adopted the title of the Confederate States of America, _Punch_ reopened his battery in this fashion:
[Illustration: HOW THEY WENT TO TAKE CANADA. "For the outrage offered in the Queen's Proclamation, the United States will possess itself of Canada,"--New York Herald.]
"The Southern Secessionists must be admitted to be blessed with at least the philosophical virtue of self-knowledge. They term this new league the 'Confederate States of America'; thus they call themselves by what they doubtless feel to be their right name. They are confederates in the crime of upholding slavery. A correct estimate of their moral position is manifest in that distinctive denomination of theirs, 'Confederate States.' This title is a beautiful antithesis to that of the United States of America. The more doggedly confederate slave mongers combine, the more firmly good republicans should unite."
[Illustration: SEPTEMBER 28, 1861. A FAMILY QUARREL]
Once more when reviewing Jefferson Davis' message to the Confederate Congress, _Punch_ recognized that slavery was really the bone of contention between the two sections:
THE JUST AND HOLY CAUSE OF SLAVERY
"We feel," says PRESIDENT JEFFERSON DAVIS, in his Message to the Secessional Congress, "that our cause is just and holy." Could not the negroes of the Southern States, if they rose against their masters, say just as much, with at least equal justice, for their own insurrection? The less MR DAVIS says about justice and holiness the better, if he does not want to preach a dangerous doctrine, besides being considered a humbug. "Dash holiness, and justice be blanked!" is the consistent language for MR. JEFFERSON DAVIS. "Might is right; we expect to thrash the Northerners; and the Institution of Slavery for ever!"
Again, when General Beauregard declared in a proclamation to the South that "unborn generations would arise and call them blessed," _Punch_ declared that the reporters, with their proverbial inaccuracy, had omitted the concluding word "rascals."
[Illustration: KING COTTON BOUND; Or, The Modern Prometheus.]
Yet even now, it appealed to both sections to restrain their hands from flying at each other's throats:
ODE TO THE NORTH AND SOUTH
O JONATHAN and JEFFERSON, Come listen to my song; I can't decide, my word upon, Which of you is most wrong. I do declare I am afraid To say which worse behaves, The North, imposing bonds on Trade, Or South, that Man enslaves.
And here you are about to fight, And wage intestine war, Not either of you in the right: What simpletons you are! Too late your madness you will see, And when your passion cools, "Snakes!" you will bellow, "How could we Have been such 'tarnal fools!"
One thing is certain; that if you Blow out each other's brains, 'Twill be apparent what a few Each blockhead's skull contains. You'll have just nothing for your cost, To show, when all is done. Greatness and glory you'll have lost; And not a dollar won.
Oh, joined to us by blood, and by The bond of kindred speech, And further, by the special tie Of slang, bound each to each, All-fired gonies, softhorn'd pair, Each other will you lick? You everlastin' dolts, forbear! Throw down your arms right slick.
You'll chaw each other up, you two, Like those Kilkenny cats, When they had better things to do, Improvin' off the rats. Now come, shake hands, together jog On friendly yet once more; Whip one another not: and flog Creation, as before!
Still again, _Punch_ showed good feeling in admonishing Lord Palmerston, after firing on Sumter, to keep Great Britain neutral.
[Illustration: THE GENU-INE OTHELLO. OTHELLO. "KEEP UP YOUR BRIGHT SWORDS, FOR DE DEW WILL RUST DEM. · · · · BOTH YOU OB MY INCLINING, AND DE REST."]
"Well Pam," says Mr. Punch to his workman, "of course I shall keep you on, but you must stick to peace-work."
Nor could the North object to the cartoon, in May, 1861, in which Lincoln made his first appearance in _Punch_. The face, faithfully limned from the early beardless photographs, represented him as a man of clean-cut intelligent features,--in marked contrast to the bearded ruffian, a repulsive compound of malice, vulgarity and cunning which John Tenniel's pencil subsequently delighted to give to the world as a counterfeit presentment of the President of the United States.
In this first picture Lincoln is represented as poking the fire and filling the room with particles of soot, saying with downcast look:
"What a nice White House it would be, if it were not for the blacks."
[Illustration: OVER THE WAY. MR. BULL. "OH! IF YOU TWO LIKE FIGHTING BETTER THAN BUSINESS, I SHALL DEAL AT THE OTHER SHOP."]
Nevertheless, the poem with which _Punch_ greeted the news of the fall of Fort Sumter was not calculated to arouse kindly sentiments in the North.
INK, BLOOD AND TEARS
(THE TAKING OF FORT SUMTER.)
A Forty hours' bombardment! Great guns throwing Their iron hail: shells their mad mines exploding: Furnaces lighted: shot at red-heat glowing: Shore-battr'ies and fort-armament, firing, loading-- War's visible hell let loose for forty hours, And all her devils free to use their powers-- And yet not one man hit, her flag when Sumter lowers.
"Oh, here's a theme!" quoth Punch, of brag abhorrent, "'Twixt promise and performance rare proportion! This show-cloth, of live lions, giving warrant, Masking some mangy, stunted, stuffed abortion: These gorgeous covers hiding empty dishes, These whale-like antics among little fishes-- Here is the very stuff to meet my dearest wishes.
What ringing of each change on brag and bluster! These figures huge of speech, summed in a zero: This war-march, ushering in _Bombastes'_ muster: This entry of _Tom Thumb_, armed like a hero. Of all great cries e'er raised o'er little wool, Of all big bubbles by fools' breath filled full, Sure here's the greatest yet, and emptiest, for JOHN BULL!
JOHN always thought JONATHAN, his young brother, A little of a bully; said he swaggered: But in all change of chaff with one another, Nor JOHN nor JONATHAN was e'er called 'laggard.' But now, if JOHN mayn't JONATHAN style 'coward,' He _may_ hint Stripes and Stars were better lowered From that tall height to which, till now, their flag-staff towered."
_Punch_ nibbed his pen, all jubilant, for galling-- When suddenly a weight weighed down the feather, And a red liquid, drop by drop, slow falling, Came from the nib; and the drops rolled together, And steamed and smoked and sung--"Not ink, but blood; Drops now, but soon to swell into a flood, Perchance e'er Summer's leaf has burst Spring's guarding bud.
Blood by a brother's hand drawn from a brother-- And they by whom 'tis ta'en, by whom 'tis given, Are both the children of an English mother; Once with that mother, in her wrath, they've striven: Was't not enough, that parricidal jar, But they must now meet in fraternal war? If such strife draw no blood shall England scoff therefore?
If she will laugh, through thee, her chartered wit, Use thou no ink wherewith to pen thy scoff: We'll find a liquor for thy pen more fit-- We blood drops--see how smartly thou'lt round off Point, pun and paragraph in this new way: Till men shall read and laugh, and, laughing, say, 'Well thrust! _Punch_ is in vein: 'tis his red-letter day.'"
The weight sat on my quill: I could not write; The red drops lustered to my pen--in vain; I had my theme--"Brothers that meet in fight, Yet shed no blood!"--my jesting mood turned pain. I thought of all that civil love endears, That civil strife breaks up and rends and sears, And lo! the blood-drops in my pen were changed to tears!
And for the hoarse tongues that those bloody gouts Had found, or seemed to find, upon my ears Came up a gentle song in linkèd bouts, Of long-drawn sweetness--pity breathed through tears.
And thus they sang--"'Twas not by chance, Still less by fraud or fear, That Sumter's battle came and closed, Nor cost the world a tear."
[Illustration: THE WILFUL BOY. JONATHAN. "I WILL FIGHT--I WILL HAVE A =NATIONAL DEBT= LIKE OTHER PEOPLE"]
It was the Southern victory of Bull Run and the Northern policy of blockade that finally and definitely changed the attitude of England and of _Punch_. The victory gave hopes that the Confederates might be successful in overturning a hated and dreaded republic; the blockade aroused fears that the pocket of the British manufacturer might be damaged. All pretence of love for the negro was swallowed up by these more potent and more personal emotions.
[Illustration: A LIKELY STORY. CAPTAIN JONATHAN, F.N. "JIST LOOK'D IN TO SEE IF THAR'S ANY REBELS HE-ARR." MR. BULL. "OH, INDEED!--JOHN! LOOK AFTER THE PLATE-BASKET, AND THEN FETCH A POLICEMAN."]
On November 2, 1861, in a cartoon and an accompanying poem _Punch_ sought to put its commercial anxiety on an altruistic plane. Here is the poem:
KING COTTON BOUND; OR, THE NEW PROMETHEUS.
Far across Atlantic waters Groans in chains a Giant King; Like to him, whom Ocean's daughters Wail around in mournful ring, In the grand old Grecian strains Of PROMETHEUS in his chains!
Needs but Fancy's pencil pliant Both to paint till both agree; For King Cotton is a giant, As PROMETHEUS claimed to be. Each gave blessings unto men, Each dishonour reaped again.
From the gods to sons of clay If PROMETHEUS brought the flame, Who King Cotton can gainsay, Should he equal honour claim? Fire and life to millions giving, That, without him, had no living.
And if they are one in blessing, So in suffering they are one; Both, their captive state confessing, Freeze in frost and scorch in sun: That, upon his mountain chain, This, upon his parching plain.
Nor the wild bird's self is wanting-- Either giant's torment sore; If PROMETHEUS writhed, while panting Heart and lungs the vulture tore, So Columbia's eagle fierce, Doth King Cotton's vitals pierce.
On those wings so widely sweeping In its poise the bird to keep, See, if you can see for weeping. "North" and "South" are branded deep-- On the beak all reeking red, On the talons blood-bespread!
But 'tis not so much the anguish Of the wound that rends his side, Makes this fettered giant languish, As the thought how once, in pride, That great eagle took its stand, Gently on his giant hand!
How to it the meat he'd carry In its mew to feed secure; How he'd fling it on the quarry, How recall it to the lure, Make it stoop, to his caresses, Hooded neck and jingling jesses.
And another thought is pressing, Like hot iron on his brain-- Millions that would fain be blessing, Ban, e'en now, King Cotton's name. Oh, that here those hands are bound, Which should scatter wealth around!
"Not this Eagle's screaming smothers That sad sound across the sea-- Wailing babes and weeping mothers, Wailing, weeping, wanting me. Hands that I would fain employ, Hearts that I would fill with joy!
"I must writhe--a giant fettered,-- While those millions peak and pine; By my wealth their lot unbettered, And their suffering worse than mine. For they know that I would fain Help their need, were't not my chain!
"But _I_ know not where to turn me For relief from bonds and woe; Frosts may pinch and suns may burn me, But for rescue--none I know, Save the millions I have fed, Should they rise for lack of bread--
"Saying, 'We will brook no longer, That King Cotton bound should be: Be his gaolers strong, _we_'re stronger, In our hunger o'er sea-- More for want, than love, uprisen, We are come to break his prison!'
"Welcome even such releasing, Fain my work I'd be about: Soon would want and wail be ceasing, Were King Cotton once let out-- Though all torn and faint and bleeding, Millions still I've strength for feeding."
[Illustration: LOOK OUT FOR SQUALLS. JACK BULL. "YOU DO WHAT'S RIGHT, MY SON, OR I'LL BLOW YOU OUT OF THE WATER."]
Then came an episode which did for the moment set John Bull and _Punch_ on a nobler basis. All during the Trent affair--when the United States was obviously wrong in arresting the Confederate Commissioners, Mason and Slidell, on board an English ship--the Tenniel cartoons rose to the higher level of just indignation.
[Illustration: A BAD CASE OF THROWING STONES. _Mr Bull._ "NOW MIND YOU, SIR--NO SHUFFLING--AN AMPLE APOLOGY--OR I PUT THE MATTER INTO THE HANDS OF MY LAWYERS, MESSRS. WHITWORTH AND ARMSTRONG."]
Even now, however, _Punch_ was unable or unwilling to see the magnanimity of Abraham Lincoln's apology for an error not his own.
[Illustration: WAITING FOR AN ANSWER.]
This was all the more unjust because _Punch_ was both able and willing to discriminate between the level-headed men of the North and the jingoes, as this extract will show.
[Illustration: COLUMBIA'S FIX. COLUMBIA. "WHICH ANSWER SHALL I SEND?"]
OUR DEAR BROTHER JONATHAN
This delightful ebullition of fervent brotherly love has most fittingly appeared in a Philadelphia paper:--
"It may be, in view of all these grave considerations and the sad necessities of the case, that, in order to avoid a war which could only end in our discomfiture, the Administration may be compelled to concede the demands of England, and perhaps release MESSRS. MASON and SLIDELL. God forbid!--but in a crisis like this we must adapt ourselves to stern circumstances, and yield every feeling of pride to maintain our existence. If this contingency should ever arise--and I am only speculating upon a disagreeable possibility--then let us swear, not only to ourselves but our children who come after us, to repay this greedy, insolent, and cowardly Power with the retribution of a just and fearful vengeance. If England in our time of distress makes herself our foe, and offers to be our assassin, we will treat her as a foe when we can do so untrammeled and unmenaced by another enemy."
"Greedy, insolent, and cowardly," these are nice fraternal terms; and what a truly loving spirit is evinced by swearing "fearful vengeance" upon the "assassin," and handing to posterity the keeping of the oath!
No whit less affectionate in feeling is what follows:--
"If we do concede the demands of England, however, it will only be because we desire to crush this rebellion, as a duty we owe to mankind. It will be because we prefer to master the great evil, and do not wish to be alienated from our duty by an international and comparatively unimportant quarrel; it will be because we prefer national salvation to the gratification of any feeling of national pride. It will be a great act of self-denial. But when we come from this rebellion it will be with a magnificent army, educated and organised, and with the sense of this wrong weighing upon them. It will be with a navy competent to meet any navy upon the globe. It will be for us then to remember how England was our enemy in the day of our misfortune, and to make that remembrance a dark and fearful page of her history, and an eternal memory of our own."
That these are the opinions of most people in America nobody on this side of the Atlantic will believe. But that there are roughs and rowdies in the States, who as they have nothing they can lose by war are always full of bluster and warlike in their talk, this may any one in England very easily conceive. Of course it is to please them that such stuff as we have quoted is stuck in Yankee newspapers; and our sole surprise is that the journals which admit it find it pays them so to do. The rowdies as a rule are not overflushed with wealth and can ill afford to spend their coppers upon literature, which, the chances are, they scarcely would know how to read.
[Illustration: BOXING DAY. MR PUNCH. "NOW THEN! WHICH END WILL YOU HAVE, JONATHAN?"]
For the benefit of the American jingoes _Punch_ on December 7th, issued the following warning, with an appropriate cartoon:
[Illustration: "UP A TREE." Colonel Bull and the Yankee 'Coon. 'COON. "AIR YOU IN ARNEST, COLONEL?" COLONEL BULL. "I AM." 'COON. "DON'T FIRE--I'LL COME DOWN."]
A WARNING TO JONATHAN;
OR, "DOTH HE WAG HIS TAIL?"
JONATHAN, JONATHAN, 'ware of the Lion: He's patient, he's placable, slow to take fire: There are tricks which in safety a puppy might try on, But from dogs of his _own_ size they waken his ire.
With your bounce and your bunkum you've pelted him often, Good humoured he laughed as the missiles flew by, Hard words you've employed, which he ne'er bid you soften, As knowing your tallest of talk all my eye.
When you blustered he still was content with pooh-poohing, When you flared up he just let the shavings burn out: He knew you were fonder of talking than doing, And Lions for trifles don't put themselves out.
But beware how you tempt even leonine patience, Or presume the old strength has forsaken his paw: He's proud to admit you and he are relations, But even relations may take too much law.
If there's one thing he values, 'tis right of asylum; Safe who rests 'neath the guard of the Lion must be: In that shelter the hard-hunted fugitive whilome Must be able to sleep the deep sleep of the free.
Then think twice, and think well, ere from guard of the Lion Those who seek his protection you try to withdraw: Though STOWELL and WHEATEN and KENT you rely on, There are points on which Lions won't listen to jaw.
Remember in time the old tale of the showman, Who his head in the mouth of the Lion would sheath, Till with lengthened impunity, bold as a Roman, He seemed to forget that the Lion had teeth.
But the time came at last, when all risks madly scorning, He went just too far down that road rough and red, When, with only one wag of his tail for a warning, Snap went Leo's jaws, and off went BARNUM'S head!
[Illustration: NAUGHTY JONATHAN. MRS BRITANNIA. "THERE, JOHN! HE SAYS HE IS VERY SORRY, AND THAT HE DIDN'T MEAN TO DO IT--SO YOU CAN PUT THIS BACK INTO THE PICKLE-TUB."]
This was followed up on December 14th, with one of Tenniel's finest cartoons, that entitled "Waiting for an Answer."
[Illustration: OBERON AND TITANIA. OBERON (MR. PRESIDENT LINCOLN) "I DO BUT BEG A LITTLE =NIGGER= BOY, TO BE MY HENCHMAN." TITANIA (MISS VIRGINIA) "SET YOUR HEART AT REST, THE =NORTHERN= LAND BUYS NOT THE CHILD OF ME."]
Two amusing bits of doggerel appeared in the same number, one representing the British nation's view of the international episode.
MRS. DURDEN ON THE AMERICAN DIFFICULTY
"Them there nasty good-for-nothing Yankees!" cried old MRS. DURDEN, "Worrits me to that degree, it makes my life almost a burden. Board our mail and seize our passengers, the ribbles! Goodness, gracious! Like their imperence to be sure; 'tis that what makes 'em so owdacious.
"What next now I wonder, Captain?" Answer CAPTAIN SKIPPER made, "Well Ma'am, our next move, I fancy, will be breaking their blockade." "Blockhead! Ah!" exclaimed the lady. "Truer word was never spoken. Drat the blockheads, all says I; may every head on 'em be broken!"
The other is a bit of broad fun, in mockery of the profuse volumes of smoke and sound which were emitted by Yankee fire-eaters.
[Illustration: THE NEW ORLEANS PLUM. BIG LINCOLN HORNER, UP IN A CORNER, THINKING OF HUMBLE PIE; FOUND UNDER HIS THUMB, A NEW ORLEANS PLUM, AND SAID, WHAT A CUTE YANKEE AM I!]
A VOICE FROM WASHINGTON
_From our Special Correspondent_
We Yankees ain't given to brag; JOHN BULL, we expect, has no notion Of going to war; but his flag If he does, we shall sweep from the ocean And when the old vagabond lies In a state of teetotal prostration, Old Ireland in glory will rise, Independence to win as a nation.
Our breadstuffs from England kept back, The sequel must be destitution. Her famishing millions, in lack Of food, will force on revolution. VICTORIA will have to retire; Aristocracy, friends of Secession, Will be hurled down, and trod in the mire; No more for to practise oppression.
Rebellion we'll bring to an end, The slaves 'mongst our heroes dividing, Or arms to the niggers we'll lend, To give their darned masters a hiding. Work up all our cotton at home, Let not one more bale be exported, Have the world at our feet, like old Rome, By the kings of the airth as was courted.
Want money? I reckon not we; A national debt we'll create, Twice as heavy as yourn, which will be, For SAMSONS like we air, no weight. On Government bonds we shall borrow Any money in Europe with ease. Why London and Paris, to-morrow Will lend us as much as we please.
Foreign goods we shall purchase with paper, Which let foreign usurers hold; The British may swagger and vapour, At home whilst we keep all our gold. As BELMONT to SEWARD has written, Any stock may in Europe be "placed," And the chance, if the ROTHSCHILDS ain't bitten, Will be by the BARINGS embraced.
We've twice before whipped all creation, We've now got to whip it again. We air a remarkable nation Of modest, but resolute men. JOHN BULL, then, allow us to kick you, And don't go resenting the act, Or into a cocked hat we'll lick you, Yes, Sir-ree, you old hoss, that's a fact.
[Illustration: THE "SENSATION" STRUGGLE IN AMERICA.]
The manly and tactful apology which represented the feeling of the better sort of folk in America, and which was wrung from a reluctant cabinet by Abraham Lincoln, softened for a moment the asperity of our old antagonist. The following rather amiable verses were written in anticipation of the amicable settlement which already (January 11, 1862), seemed probable:
[Illustration: THE LATEST FROM AMERICA; Or, the New York "Eye-Duster," to be taken Every Day.]
A FAIR OFFER FROM JOHN BULL TO MISS COLUMBIA
Shall we kiss and be friends? Why not? Sister COLUMBIA, No more ugly faces let you and me pull; Though we both have our tempers, our worries and troubles, Let "bygones be bygones" for me, says JOHN BULL.
You must own that you've given me a deal of bad language, And have been far too free with your bunkum and brag; _That_ I'll pocket, if now, like a sensible woman, You'll disclaim your friend WILKES, and salute the old flag.
Fools may sneer and call family feelings all humbug, But I feel that one blood in the veins of us flows: Our tongues are the same, though I don't like your fashion Of talking, (as you'd make _me_ pay) through the nose.
We snarled and we scratched, in the days of our folly, When you wanted to leave me and start for yourself; To think of those times makes me quite melancholy---- The blood that we wasted----the temper and pelf!
When I vowed that I'd tame you, and make you knock under, And you dared me and bit, like a vixen as well; I did think by this time we had both seen our blunder; Meant to live as good friends and in peace buy and sell.
But of late I can't think what the deuce has come o'er you: First, you turn your own house out of window, and then, Declare that _I_ want to o'erreach you and floor you, Stop my ships, seize my passengers, bully my men!
I can stand a great deal from my own blood-relations, And I know that your troubles your temper have soured; But I can't take a blow, in the face of all nations, And consent to see law by brute force overpowered.
Only own your friend WILKES is a blundering bully, And make over MASON and SLIDELL to me, And all that is past, I'll condone, fair and fully, Kiss you now, and in future, I _do_ hope, agree!
[Illustration: ONE GOOD TURN DESERVES ANOTHER. OLD ABE. "WHY I DU DECLARE IT'S MY DEAR OLD FRIEND SAMBO! COURSE YOU'LL FIGHT FOR US, SAMBO. LEND US A HAND, OLD HOSS, DU!"]
Yet Lincoln, the peacemaker of the occasion, got little credit from _Punch_, which, indeed, began now to pursue him with unremitting invective.
The gorilla-like caricature of Lincoln's features makes its first appearance in a cartoon wherein this repulsive face is joined to a raccoon's body.
The "coon" is shown up a tree, Colonel Bull, standing below, has drawn a bead on him with his gun.
"Air you in earnest, Colonel?" asks the coon.
"I am," replies the mighty Bull.
"Don't fire," says the coon, "I'll come down."
[Illustration: "NOT UP TO TIME;" Or, Interference would be very Welcome.]
Even Lincoln's proclamation emancipating the slaves in the seceding states did not soften the asperity of the old-time anti-slavery advocate. _Punch_ feigned to see in this message only the ruse of a wily combatant driven to a last resource. This idea is put into a quatrain, as follows:
THE AMERICAN CHESS-PLAYERS
Although of conquest Yankee North despairs, His brain for some expedient wild he racks, And thinks that having failed on the white squares, He can't do worse by moving on the Blacks.
[Illustration: LINCOLN'S TWO DIFFICULTIES. LIN. "WHAT? NO MONEY! NO MEN!"]
Under the heading "One Good Turn Deserves Another," Old Abe is shown extending musket, sword and knapsack to a negro who refuses to be cajoled by his honeyed words.
[Illustration: MORE FREE THAN WELCOME--A PROSPECTIVE FIX. _Nigger._ "NOW DEN, MASSA JONATHAN, WHAT YOU GOIN' TO DO WID DIS CHILD? EH?"]
"Why I do declare," says Abe, "it's my dear old friend, Sambo! Course you'll fight for us, Sambo. Lend us a hand, old hoss, do."
[Illustration: THE OVERDUE BILL. MR. SOUTH TO MR. NORTH. "YOUR 'NINETY DAYS' PROMISSORY NOTE ISN'T TAKEN UP YET, SIRREE!"]
The same jibe finds vent in the following poems:
ABE'S LAST CARD; OR, ROUGE-ET-NOIR
Brag's our game: and awful losers We've been on the _Red_. Under and above the table, Awfully we've bled. Ne'er a stake have we adventured, But we've lost it still, From Bull's Run and mad Manassas, Down to Sharpsburg Hill.
When luck's desperate, desperate venture Still may bring it back: So I'll chance it--neck or nothing-- Here I lead THE BLACK! If I win, the South must pay for't, Pay in fire and gore: If I lose, I'm ne'er a dollar Worse off than before.
From the Slaves of Southern rebels Thus I strike the chain: But the slaves of loyal owners Still shall slaves remain. If their owners like to wop 'em, They to wop are masters; Or if they prefer to swop 'em, Here are our shin-plasters!
There! If that 'ere Proclamation Does its holy work, Rebeldom's annihilation It did oughter work: Back to Union, and you're welcome Each to wop his nigger: If not, at White let slip darky-- Guess I call that vigour!
[Illustration: ABE LINCOLN'S LAST CARD; OR, ROUGE-ET-NOIR.]
In September, 1862, the two combatants are represented as sinking exhausted into the arms of negro backers, who are vainly attempting to put them on their feet. In the background stands a self-important eagle arrayed in the Napoleonic uniform and a biped lion dressed in a sack coat and an air of conscious superiority.
[Illustration: LATEST FROM SPIRIT-LAND. GHOST OF KING GEORGE III. "WELL, MR. WASHINGTON, WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR FINE REPUBLIC NOW, EH?--WHAT D'YE THINK? WHAT D'YE THINK, EH?" GHOST OF MR. WASHINGTON. "HUMPH!"]
Says the eagle to the lion, "Don't you think we ought to fetch the police?"
The legend under the cartoon runs, "Not Up to Time, or Interference Would Be Very Welcome."
[Illustration: SCENE FROM THE AMERICAN "TEMPEST." CALIBAN (SAMBO). "_YOU_ BEAT HIM 'NOUGH, MASSA! BERRY LITTLE TIME, I'LL _BEAT HIM TOO_."--SHAKSPEARE. (_Nigger Translation._)]
In the following January comes a well imagined cartoon entitled "The Latest From Spirit Land," showing the bluff and kindly ghost of George III trying to enter into conversation with the stiffly stupid ghost of Mr. Washington. "Well, Mr. Washington," says George, "what do you think of your fine republic now, eh? What d'ye think? What d'ye think, eh?" To which Mr. Washington retorts with an inarticulate "Humph!"
In May of 1863 a cartoon entitled "The Great Cannon Game" shows Abe Lincoln playing billiards with Jeff Davis. It is the latter's shot.
"Hurrah for Charleston!" he cries; "that's another to me."
Abe Lincoln mutters in an aside, "Darned if he ain't scored ag'in! I wish I could make a few winning hazards for a change."
[Illustration: "BEWARE!" KEEPER. "HE AIN'T ASLEEP, YOUNG JONATHAN, SO YOU'D BEST NOT IRRITATE HIM".]
An accompanying article entitled "The Great American Billiard Match" is amusing enough when read to-day in the light of the great "winning hazards" that were to be made by Abe within less than sixty days.
"Considerable excitement," it runs, "has been caused in sporting circles by this long protracted match, which, owing to the style of play adopted by the parties, appears to make but very little progress toward a finish. The largeness of the stakes depending on the contest might be supposed to make the players careful in their strokes, but few expected that the game would last so long as it has done, and no one now dare prophesy when it will be finished. It having been resolved to play the cannon game, some anxiety at first was not unreasonably felt among the backers of Jeff Davis, the crack player for the South; but the knowing ones, who knew their man, made no attempt to hedge, notwithstanding what was said about his being out of play and, in the cannon game especially, somewhat overmatched. It is needless to remark here that the first strokes which he made quite justified their confidence, and, indeed, throughout the game he has done nothing yet to shake it, so that if he have but a fair amount of luck, his backers feel assured that he won't easily be beaten, and an extra fluke or two might make him win the match.
"As for old Abe Lincoln, the champion player of the North, his backers, we believe, are as confident as ever that he is the best man, although at times his play has not appeared to prove it. There is no doubt that he has more strength at his command, but strength is of small use without knowing how to use it. Abe Lincoln may have skill, but he has not yet shown much of it; and certainly he more than once has shown himself outgeneralled. His backers say he purposely is playing a slow game, just to draw out his opponent and see what he can do. In ninety days, they say, he is cocksure of a victory, but this is an old boast, and nobody except themselves now places any faith in it. Abe's famous Bull Run stroke was a bad start to begin with, and his Charleston break has ended in his having to screw back, and thus slip into balk to save himself from mischief.
How the game will end we won't pretend to prophesy. There are plenty of good judges, who still appear inclined to bet in favor of the South and longish odds are offered that the game will be a drawn one. Abe's attempt to pot the niggers some put down as a foul stroke, but whether foul or not, it added little to his score. Upon the whole we think his play has not been much admired, although his backers have been vehement in superlatively praising it. There is more sympathy for the South, as being the weaker side--a fact which Jeff's supporters indignantly deny, and which certainly the North has not done much as yet toward proving. Without ourselves inclining one way or the other, we may express a neutral hope that the best player may win; and we certainly shall echo the desire of all who watch the game if we add that the sooner it is now played out the better."
[Illustration: THE GREAT "CANNON GAME." ABE LINCOLN (ASIDE). "DARN'D IF HE AIN'T SCORED AG'IN!--WISH I COULD MAKE A FEW _WINNING_ HAZARDS FOR A CHANGE."]
The boasted "neutrality" was put to a rather severe test when, in less than "ninety days," the victory of which Abe's backers were "cock sure" proved a double barrelled one at Vicksburg, in Mississippi, and at Gettysburg, in Pennsylvania. The news of these tremendous events set all the Federal States of America shouting with triumph on the succeeding Fourth of July. There were no international cables in those days. Consequently it was not until two weeks later that the news reached England.
In the interim, on that very July 4, certain Northern Americans in London, all unconscious of what had happened, celebrated their national anniversary almost in earshot of the _Punch_ office to the great disgust of the gentlemen on its staff.
[Illustration: "ROWDY" NOTIONS OF EMANCIPATION. "The mob on the corner, below my house, had hung up a negro to the lamp-post. In mockery, a cigar was placed in his mouth. * * * For hours these scared negroes poured up Twenty-seventh Street, passing my house. * * * One old negro, 70 years old, blind as a bat, and such a cripple that he could hardly move, was led along by his equally aged wife with a few rags they had saved, trembling with fright, and not knowing where to go."--MANHATTAN'S _Letter in the Standard, July 30th._]
"There is something peculiarly graceful," [snarls Punch in the issue for July 18th], "in celebrating Independence Day in London. 'The Britishers whipped all the world and we whipped the Britishers,' used to be the established formula of Yankee self-glorification. It is the Yankees' belief that they accomplished their secession from England by simple conquest; triumphant superiority in arms. To hold the anniversary of successful insurrection, not to say rebellion, in the very den of the British lion, treading on his tail and gently poking him with a playful boot tip, is to compliment that noble animal with credit for some magnanimity. The British residents in Paris would hardly have the confiding generosity and the taste in like manner to celebrate the return day of the Battle of Waterloo in the French capital.
"We pause here to ask whether the Confederates do not, as they reasonably may, repeat the Yankee boast above quoted with brag additional? Have they not begun to say, 'The Britishers whipped all the world, the Yankees whipped the Britishers and we whipped the Yankees'? Not yet, perhaps. Averse to indulgence in premature exultation, they may reserve that saying for Independence Day No. 2."
In conclusion _Punch_ makes this comment on the fact that in honor of the anniversary the flag of the United States had been hoisted on the summit of certain buildings, "Shouldn't it have been hoisted halfmast high?"
The answer came in the form of a thunderous negative with the next mail from America.
[Illustration: BRUTUS AND CÆSAR. (From the American Edition of Shakspeare.) _The Tent of_ BRUTUS (LINCOLN). _Night. Enter the Ghost of_ CÆSAR. _Brutus._ Wall, now! Do tell! Who's you? _Cæsar._ I am dy ebil genus, massa LINKING. Dis child am awful Inimpressional.]
Thereafter _Punch_ lost his supreme interest in the great Civil War. He made no allusions to Gettysburg or to Vicksburg. The "neutral hope" was painfully dampened by Northern triumphs. His commercial sympathy was all with the losing side. The wish was father to the not very neutral thought that the negro might prove the undoing of his Northern allies. On August 15 appeared a cartoon entitled "Brutus and Cæsar, from the American Edition of Shakespeare." To the tent of Brutus (Lincoln) enters at night the ghost of Cæsar, a black spectre. This colloquy occurs:--
Brutus--Wall, now, do tell! Who's you?
Cæsar--I am dy ebil genius, massa LINKING. Dis child am awful Inimpressional.
[Illustration: THE BLACK CONSCRIPTION. "WHEN BLACK MEETS BLACK THEN COMES THE END (?) OF WAR."]
In October appeared a cartoon headed with unconscious satire, "John Bull's Neutrality." John Bull standing with his arms akimbo in the doorway of his shop is glaring defiantly at two bad boys, clad respectively in federal and in confederate uniforms, who slink away before his glance and drop the stones they were preparing to hurl at his windows.
[Illustration: JOHN BULL'S NEUTRALITY. "LOOK HERE, BOYS, I DON'T CARE TWOPENCE FOR YOUR NOISE, BUT IF YOU THROW STONES AT MY WINDOWS, I MUST _THRASH YOU BOTH_."]
"Look here, boys," says John, "I don't care twopence for your noise, but if you throw stones at my windows I must thrash you both."
The same moral is enforced in the following poem:--
MR. BULL TO HIS AMERICAN BULLIES
Hoy, I say you two there, kicking Up that row before my shop! Do you want a good sound licking Both? If not, you'd better stop. Peg away at one another, If you choose such fools to be: But leave me alone; don't bother, Bullyrag and worry me!
Into your confounded quarrel! Let myself be dragged I'll not By you, fighting for a Merrill Tariff; or your slavery lot. What I want to do with either Is impartially to trade: Nonsense I will stand from neither Past the bounds of gasconade.
You North, roaring, raving, yelling, Hold your jaw, you booby, do; What, d'ye threaten me for selling Arms to South, as well as you? South, at me don't bawl and bellow, That won't make me take your part; So you just be off, young fellow: Now, you noisy chap, too, start!
To be called names 'tis unpleasant; Words, however, break no bones: I control myself at present; But beware of throwing stones! I won't have my windows broken, Mind, you brawlers, what I say, See this stick, a striking token; Cut your own, or civil stay.
In a succeeding cartoon _Punch_ called for a separation between the fighters, for now, said he, "dis-union is strength." Another cartoon hails the fraternization--reported to have taken place between negroes bearing the flags of the rival armies--with the epigram "When black meets black then comes the end of war."
[Illustration: SCYLLA AND CHARYBDIS, OR THE MODERN ULYSSES.]
Henry Ward Beecher's visit to England, in the autumn of 1863, is celebrated by a cartoon and by a poem in which due praise is given to the vigor of his oratory and to the excellence of his intentions.
BRITISHER TO BEECHER
Alas! what a pity it is, PARSON BEECHER, That you came not at once when Secession broke out, As ABRAHAM LINCOLN'S Apostle, a preacher Of the Union; a gospel which Englishmen doubt; For that Union, you see, Was a limb of our tree: Its own branches to break themselves off are as free.
Still, BEECHER, if you had been only sent hither, When at first the Palmetto flag flouted the sky, Commissioned foul slavery's faction to wither, And this nation invoke to be Freedom's ally, With your eloquent art You had won England's heart; We were fully disposed towards taking your part.
Instead of a Reverend BEECHER, appealing To our conscience, in Liberty's name, for the right, We heard a cool scoundrel advise in the stealing Of BRITANNIA'S domains, North and South to unite; And your papers were full Of abuse of JOHN BULL; Whilst he bore the blockade which withheld cotton wool.
Malevolence, taking our ill-will for granted, Has reviled us, pursued us with bluster and threat, Supposing itself the remembrance had planted In our bosom of wrongs which we couldn't forget, And should take, in its case Of misfortune, as base A revenge as itself would have ta'en in our place.
Tirades against England, with menace of slaughter, Never yet have your SUMNERS, and such, ceased to pour, Your bards talk of blowing us out of the water, And threaten to "punish JOHN BULL at his door." Now this isn't the way To make Englishmen pray That the Yankees may finish by gaining the day.
An afterthought only is "Justice to Niggers;" 'Tis a cry which those Yankees raised not till they found That they for a long time had been pulling triggers, At their slaveholding brothers, and gained little ground. First ABE LINCOLN gave out That he'd fain bring about, The Re-union with slavery too, or without.
So don't waste your words in attempts at persuasion, Which impose on no Britain alive but a fool, But husband your breath for another occasion, That is, BEECHER, keep it your porridge to cool. "Strictly neutral will I Still remain standing by." Says BRITANNIA: "D'ye see any green in my eye?"
[Illustration: THE STORM-SIGNAL. We know not whence the storm may come, But its coming's in the air, And this is the warning of the drum, Against the storm, PREPARE!]
Later, _Punch_ published this:
ADIEU TO MR. BEECHER
MR. BEECHER has left us; he has sailed for America, where he can tell his congregation just what he likes, but where he will, we are sure, tell MESSRS. LINCOLN and SEWARD the exact truth, namely that large numbers of the uneducated classes crowded to hear a celebrated orator, and that the press has been very good-natured to him. Also, we hope he will say, because he knows it, that the educated classes are at the present date just as Neutral in the matter of the American quarrel as they were before the reverend gentleman's arrival. Having duly stated these facts to the PRESIDENT and the Minister, MR. BEECHER may put them in any form he pleases before the delightful congregation, whose members pay £40 a-year, each, for pews. And to show that we part with him in all good nature, we immortalise his witty allusion to ourselves in his farewell speech:--
"I know my friend _Punch_ thinks I have been serving out 'soothing syrup' to the British Lion. (_Laughter._) Very properly the picture represents me as putting a spoon into the lion's ear instead of his mouth; and I don't wonder that the great brute turns away very sternly from that plan of feeding." (_Renewed Laughter._)
A gentler criticism upon us could not be, and we scorn to retort that, having a respect for anatomy, we did not make the lion's ear large enough to hold the other spoon depicted in that magnificent engraving. For the REVEREND BEECHER is not a spoon, whatever we may think of his audiences in England. And so we wish him good-bye, and plenty of greenbacks and green believers.
[Illustration: EXTREMES MEET. _Abe._ Imperial son of NICHOLAS the Great, We air in the same fix, I calculate, You with your Poles, with Southern rebels I, Who spurn my rule and my revenge defy. _Alex._ Vengeance is mine, old man; see where it falls, Behold yon hearths laid waste, and ruined walls, Yon gibbets, where the struggling patriot hangs, Whilst my brave myrmidons enjoy his pangs.]
The re-election of Abraham Lincoln, in November, 1864, called forth a grotesque and unpleasant caricature of Lincoln as the "Federal Ph[oe]nix." It was accompanied by these verses:
THE FEDERAL PH[OE]NIX
When HERODOTUS, surnamed "The Father of History" (We are not informed who was History's mother), Went a travelling to Egypt, that region of mystery, Where each step presented some marvel or other,
In a great city there, called (in Greek) Heliopolis, The priests put him up to a strange story--rather-- Of a bird, who came up to that priestly metropolis, Once in five hundred years, to inter its own father.
When to filial feeling apparently callous, Not a plume ruffled (as _we_ should say, not a hair rent), In a _pot-pourri_ made of sweet-spice, myrrh, and aloes, He flagrantly, burnt, after burying, his parent.
But POMPONIUS MELA has managed to gather Of this curious story a modified version, In which the bird burns up itself, not its father, And soars to new life from its fiery immersion.
This bird has oft figured in emblems and prophecies-- And though SNYDERS ne'er painted its picture, nor WEENIX Its portraits on plates of a well-known fire-office is, Which, after this bird's name, is christened the Ph[oe]nix.
Henceforth a new Ph[oe]nix, from o'er the Atlantic, Our old fire-office friend from his brass-plate displaces; With a plumage of greenbacks, all ruffled, and antic In OLD ABE'S rueful phiz and OLD ABE'S shambling graces.
As the bird of Arabia wrought resurrection By a flame all whose virtues grew out of what fed it, So the Federal Ph[oe]nix has earned re-election By a holocaust huge of rights, commerce, and credit.
[Illustration: "BEECHER'S AMERICAN SOOTHING SYRUP." "If I have said anything against England, I'll stick to it. * * * When I look not to the sentiments of popular assemblies, but to such significant acts as the detention of those Rams at Liverpool (_cheers_); when I look to such weighty words as those spoken by EARL RUSSELL at Glasgow, and by the Attorney General at Richmond * * * I feel that the two nations are still one in the cause of civilisation, of religion, and I trust we shall continue to be one in international policy, and one in every enterprise."--_Rev. Ward Beecher at Exeter Hall._]
On December 10th, _Punch_ published this brutal burlesque anticipation of that noble speech made by President Lincoln at his second Inauguration, which has now taken its due rank among the great masterpieces of forensic English:
PRESIDENT LINCOLN'S INAUGURAL SPEECH
_(By Ultramarine Telegraph)_
Well, we've done it, gentlemen. Bully for us. Cowhided the Copperheads considerable. _Non nobis_, of course, but still I reckon we have had a hand in the glory, some. That reminds me of the Old World story about the Hand of Glory, which I take to have been the limb of a gentleman who had been justified on the gallows, and which the witches turned into a patent moderator lamp, as would lead a burglar safe into any domicile which he might wish to plunder. We ain't burglars, quite t'other, but I fancy that if ULY GRANT could get hold of that kind and description of thing to help him into Richmond, he'd not be so un-Christian proud as to refuse the hand of a malefactor. (_Right, right!_) Well, right or left hand, that's no odds, gentlemen. (_Laughter._) Now I am sovereign of the sovereign people of this great and united republic for four years next ensuing the date hereof, as I used to say when I was a lawyer. (_You are! Bully for you!_) Yes, gentlemen, but you must do something more than bully for me, you must fight for me, if you please, and whether you please or not. As the old joke says, there's no compulsion, only you must. Must is for the King, they say in the rotten Old world. Well, I'm King, and you shall be Viceroys over me. But I tell you again, and in fact I repeat it, that there's man's work to do to beat these rebels. They _may_ run away, no doubt. As the Irishman says, pigs may fly, but they're darned onlikely birds to do it. They must be well whipped, gentlemen, and I must trouble you for the whipcord. (_You shall have it!_) Rebellion is a wicked thing, gentlemen, an awful wicked thing, and the mere nomenclating thereof would make my hair stand on end, if it could be more standonender than it is. (_Laughter._) Truly awful, that is when it is performed against mild, free, constitutional sway like that of the White House, but of course right and glorious when perpetrated against ferocious, cruel, bloodthirsty old tyrants like GEORGE THE THIRD. We must punish these rebels for their own good, and to teach them the blessings of this mighty and transcendental Union. (_We will, we will!_) All very tall talking, gentlemen, but talking won't take Richmond. If it would, and there had been six Richmonds in the field, we should long since have took them all. If Richmond would fall like Jericho, by every man blowing of his own trumpet, we've brass enough in our band for that little feat in acoustics. But when a cow sticks, as GRANT does, in the mud, how then? (_Great laughter._) Incontestably, gentlemen, this great and mighty nation must give her a shove on. Shove for Richmond, gentlemen. (_That's the talk!_) Now about these eternal blacks, you expect me to say something touching them, though I suppose we're none of us too fond of touching them, for reasons in that case made and provided, as I used to say. Well, listen. We've got them on our hands, that's a fact, and it reminds me of a nigger story. Two of these blacks met, and one had a fine new hat. "Where you got dat hat, SAMBO?" says t'other. "Out ob a shop, nigger," says SAMBO. "'Spex so," says t'other, "and what might be the price ob dat hat?" "Can't say, zactly, nigger, the shopkeeper didn't happen to be on the premises." (_Laughter._) Well, we've got the niggers, and I can't exactly say--or at least I don't think you'd like to hear--what might be the price of those articles. But we must utilise our hats, gentlemen. We must make them dig and fight, that's a fact.
There's no shame in digging, I suppose. Adam digged, and he is a gentleman of older line than any of the bloated and slavish aristocracies of Europe. And as for fighting, they must feel honoured at doing that for the glorious old flag that has braved for eighty-nine years and a-half, be the same little more or less, the battle and the breeze. (_Cheers._) Yes, and when the rebellion's put down, we'll see what's to be done with them. Perhaps if the naughty boys down South get uncommon contrite hearts, we may make them a little present of the blacks, not as slaves, of course, but as legal apprentices with undefined salaries determinable on misconduct. (_Cheers._) Meantime, gentlemen, I won't deny that the niggers are useful in the way of moral support. They give this here war a holy character, and we can call it a crusade for freedom. A man may call his house an island if he likes, as has been said by one of those fiendish British writers who abuse our hospitality by not cracking us up. (_War with England!_) Well, all in good time, gentlemen. Let our generals learn their business first. I don't blame them, mind you, that they haven't learned it yet, for when a man has kept a whiskey-store, or a bar, or an oyster-cellar, or an old-clothes' shop for years, he can't be expected, merely because he puts on a uniform, to become a Hannibal or a Napoleon, or even a Marlborough or a Wellington. Likewise, they must learn to keep reasonable sober. Friends at a distance will please accept this intimation. (_Roars of Laughter._) When that's done, and the rebels are whipped, and we are in want of more fighting, we'll see whether Richmond in England, where the QUEEN'S palace of Windsor Castle is situate lying and being, is a harder nut to crack than Richmond nearer us. (_Cheers._) Gentlemen, one thing more. Did you ever hear the story of the farmer who had been insulted by an exciseman? "He wur so rude," said the farmer, "that I wur obliged to remonstrate with him." "And to what effect did you remonstrate?" asked a friend. "Well I don't know about effect, but I bent the poker so that I was obliged to get a hammer to straighten it." Gentlemen, we must straighten this glorious Union, and the hammer is taxes. (_Laughter._) You may laugh, but you must pay. I don't mean to be hard upon this mighty nation, and our friend MR. COBDEN (_cheers_) has already indirectly informed the besotted masses of British slaves that we intend to repudiate our greenbacks, except to the amount they may be worth in the market when redeemed. But the poker wants a deal of hammering, nevertheless, and you must pay up. You'll hear more about this from a friend of mine in the Government, so I only give you the hint, as the man said when he kicked his uncle down-stairs. (_Laughter._) I believe that's about all I had to say, and this almighty Union will be conserved to shine through the countless ages an ineffable beacon and symbol of blessed and everlasting light and glory if you will only mind the proverb of Sancho Panza, which says, "Pray to God devoutly, and hammer on stoutly." (_Laughter, cheers, and cries of "Bully for you!"_)
[Illustration: "HOLDING A CANDLE TO THE *****" (MUCH THE SAME THING.])
On April 15, 1865, came a cartoon, a really superb one, which is sometimes reckoned Tenniel's masterpiece, entitled "Habet!" It represents the combatants as gladiators before the enthroned and imperial negroes ("Ave Cæsar!").
[Illustration: NEUTRALITY. MRS. NORTH. "HOW ABOUT THE _ALABAMA_ YOU WICKED OLD MAN?" MRS. SOUTH. "WHERE'S MY RAMS? TAKE BACK YOUR PRECIOUS CONSULS--THERE!!!"]
But in sentiment at least a nobler was to come, the affecting picture of Britannia's tribute and _Punch's_ amende, called simply "Abraham Lincoln, foully assassinated April 14, 1865."
[Illustration: SOMETHING FOR PADDY. O'CONNELL'S STATUE (LOQ). "IT'S A _REPALER_ YE CALL YOURSELF, YE SPALPEEN, AND YOU'RE GOIN' TO DIE FOR THE _UNION_."]
The accompanying verses, by Tom Taylor, not, as has sometimes been asserted, by Shirley Brooks, were a complete recantation for former misunderstanding and wrongdoing. They will bear quoting again:--
[Illustration: VERY PROBABLE. LORD PUNCH. "THAT WAS JEFF DAVIS, PAM! DON'T YOU RECOGNISE HIM?" LORD PAM. "HM! WELL, NOT EXACTLY--MAY HAVE TO DO SO SOME OF THESE DAYS."]
_Foully Assassinated April, 14, 1865_
You lay a wreath on murdered Lincoln's bier, You, who with mocking pencil wont to trace Broad for the self-complacent British sneer His length of shambling limb, his furrowed face,
His gaunt, gnarled hands, his unkempt, bristling hair, His garb uncouth, his bearing ill at ease; His lack of all we prize as debonair, Of power or will to shine, of art to please.
You, whose smart pen backed up the pencil's laugh, Judging each step, as though the way were plain; Reckless, so it could point its paragraph Of chief's perplexity or people's pain.
Beside this corps, that beats for winding sheet The Stars and Stripes he lived to rear anew, Between the mourners at his head and feet, Say, scurril-jester, is there room for you?
Yes, he had lived to shame me from my sneer, To lame my pencil, and confute my pen-- To make me own this hind of princes peer, This rail-splitter a true-born king of men.
My shallow judgment I had learnt to rue, Noting how to occasion's height he rose, How his quaint wit made home-truth seem more true, How, iron-like, his temper grew by blows.
How humble yet how hopeful he could be; How in good fortune and in ill the same; Nor bitter in success, nor boastful he, Thirsty for gold, nor feverish for fame.
He went about his work--such work as few Ever had laid on head and heart and hand-- As one who knows where there's a task to do Man's honest will must heaven's good grace command:
Who trusts the strength will with the burden grow, That God makes instruments to work his will, If but that will we can arrive to know, Nor tamper with the weights of good and ill.
So he went forth to battle on the side That he felt clear was liberty's and right's, As in his peasant boyhood he had plied His warfare with rude nature's thwarting mights--
The uncleared forest, the unbroken soil, The iron back, that turns the lumberer's axe; The rapid, that o'erbears the boatman's toil, The prairie, hiding the mazed wanderer's tracks,
The ambushed Indian, and the prowling bear-- Such were the needs that helped his youth to train: Rough culture--but such trees large fruit may bear If but their stocks be of right girth and grain.
So he grew up, a destined work to do, And lived to do it; four long-suffering years' Ill-fate, ill-feeling, ill-report lived through, And then he heard the hisses change to cheers,
The taunts to tribute, the abuse to praise, And took both with the same unwavering mood: Till, as he came on light from darkling days And seemed to touch the goal from where he stood,
A felon hand, between the goal and him, Reached from behind his back, a trigger prest-- And those perplexed and patient eyes were dim, Those gaunt, long-laboring limbs were laid to rest.
The words of mercy were upon his lips, Forgiveness in his heart and on his pen, When this vile murderer brought swift eclipse To thoughts of peace on earth, good will to men.
The Old World and the New, from sea to sea, Utter one voice of sympathy and shame! Sore heart, so stopped when it at last beat high, Sad life, cut short just as its triumph came.
A deed accurst! Strokes have been struck before By the assassin's hand, whereof men doubt If more of horror or disgrace they bore; But thy foul crime, like Cain's, stands darkly out.
Vile hand, that brandest murder on a strife, Whate'er its grounds, stoutly and nobly striven; And with the martyr's crown crownest a life With much to praise, little to be forgiven!
[Illustration: MRS. NORTH AND HER ATTORNEY. MRS. NORTH. "YOU SEE, MR. LINCOLN, WE HAVE FAILED UTTERLY IN OUR COURSE OF ACTION; I WANT PEACE, AND SO, IF YOU CANNOT EFFECT AN AMICABLE ARRANGEMENT, I MUST PUT THE CASE INTO OTHER HANDS."]
From that time forward _Punch_ took seriously to heart the lesson he had taught himself, and his relations with Brother Jonathan were thereafter of a very different and a far more cordial kind.
[Illustration: COLUMBIA'S SEWING-MACHINE. MRS. BRITANNIA. "AH, MY DEAR COLUMBIA, IT'S ALL VERY WELL; BUT I'M AFRAID YOU'LL FIND IT DIFFICULT TO JOIN _THAT_ NEATLY."]
That these verses made a profound impression in the United States is undoubted. It has even been opined that they were largely instrumental in preventing an imminent war between Great Britain and the United States.
[Illustration: THE BLACK DRAFT.]
Perhaps the effect would have been less if we on this side had known how grudgingly the amende was offered. Mr. A. H. Layard in his recent "Life of Shirley Brooks" has invited us to take a peep behind the _Punch_ curtain. He shows that the editorial staff of the paper was divided in the matter, Shirley Brooks leading the opposition against the publication of the poem. In Brooks' diary Mr. Layard discovered the following entry:--
"Dined _Punch_. All there. Let out my views against some verses on Lincoln in which T. T. (Tom Taylor) had not only made P. eat humble pie, but swallow dish and all."
[Illustration: THE FEDERAL PH[OE]NIX.]
[Illustration: GRAND TRANSFORMATION SCENE FOR THE END OF THE YEAR 1864.]
[Illustration: THE THREATENING NOTICE. ATTORNEY LINCOLN. "NOW UNCLE SAM, YOU'RE IN A DARNED HURRY TO SERVE THIS HERE NOTICE ON JOHN BULL. NOW, IT'S MY DUTY, AS YOUR ATTORNEY, TO TELL YOU THAT YOU _MAY_ DRIVE HIM TO GO OVER TO THAT CUSS, DAVIS----" (_Uncle Sam Considers._)]
[Illustration: VULCAN IN THE SULKS. BRITANNIA. "IF YOU TURN SULKY, AND WON'T MAKE MY ARMOUR, HOW SHALL I BE ABLE TO RESIST MARS?"]
[Illustration: THE AMERICAN GLADIATORS--HABET!]
[Illustration: BRITANNIA SYMPATHISES WITH COLUMBIA.]
[Illustration: PEACE. MR. PUNCH'S DESIGN FOR A COLOSSAL STATUE, WHICH OUGHT TO HAVE BEEN PLACED IN THE INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION].
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(1) Spelling, punctuation and typographical errors have been corrected, with the exception of those which occur in the illustrations and text copied directly from "Punch".
(2) The cartoons have been left in chronological order, ignoring their possible relevance to surrounding text.
(3) To avoid irritating breaks for the reader, illustrations have been moved to the nearest end of a paragraph, poem or quotation. The page numbers in the List of Illustrations have been adjusted accordingly, as far as page 100. The remaining illustrations, being beyond the end of the text, have been given arbitrary page numbers to assist any reader trying to locate them.