Punch-A-Day

A daily excerpt from a a historical edition of Punch – the greatest satirical magazine in history
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28th June 1914: Franz Ferdinand shot dead

With it being the two hundredth anniversary of the outbreak of the first world war, I thought that I would mark the occasion by going real time through the events that happened through the war, as chronicled by Punch.

It would of course be prudent for me to start at the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the throne whose death precipitated a series of events that lead to war the world over.

Yet, in Punch, the event scarcely makes a mention. In fact, by scarcely, I mean not at all.

With the benefit if hindsight, this seems like a glaring omission from the pages of Punch. In fact, regardless of the political backdrop, surely the assassination of any member of a European royal family should make major news?

This may well normally have been the case. There is, however, another enveloping crisis at the moment that is occupying much more interest in Punch. It is, of course, Irish home rule.

The situation here has rapidly been deteriorating of late. Later on, as we will see, civil war in the united kingdom seems to be the logical conclusion of the unfolding events.

As we know now, something rather large happened that distracted the country at large from the Ulster problem.

At the moment, however, the idea of a war in Europe is not being entertained. Certainly, diplomacy between the European nations is not at its best, but war in Europe – indeed, a world war – is utterly unthinkable.

So, unfortunately I don’t have an extract or cartoon for you pertaining to the second world war from Punch at all. Instead, I will provide you with this one, from around the time that the Archduke was murdered.

A guide to voter fraud

A SYNOPSIS OF VOTING, ARRANGED ACCORDING TO THE CATEGORIES OF “CANT.”

There hath been long wanting a full and perfect Synopsis of Voting, it being a science which hath become exceedingly complicated. It is necessary, therefore, to the full development of the art, that it be brought into such an exposition, as that it may be seen in a glance what are the modes of bribing and influencing in Elections. The briber, by this means, will be able to arrange his polling-books according to the different categories, and the bribed to see in what class he shall most advantageously place himself.

It is true that there be able and eloquent writers greatly experienced in this noble science, but none have yet been able so to express it as to bring it (as we hope to have done) within the range of the certain sciences. Henceforward, we trust it will form a part of the public education, and not be subject tot he barbarous modes pursued by illogical though earnest and zealous disciples; and that the great and glorious Constitution that has done so much to bring it to perfection, will, in its turn, be sustained and matured by the exercise of what is really in itself so ancient and beautiful a practice.

VOTING MAY BE CONSIDERED AS

  • 1st. He that hath NOT A VOTE AND VOTETH; which may be considered,
    • 1st. As to his CLAIM, which is divisible into
      1. He that voteth for dead men.
      2. He that voteth for empty tenements.
      3. He that voteth for many men.
      4. He that voteth for men in the country, and the like.
    • 2nd. As to his MOTIVE, which is divisible into
      1. Because he hath a bet that he will vote.
      2. Because he loveth a lark.
      3. Because he LOVETH HIS COUNTRY.
        • [Here also may be applied all the predicates under the subjects BRIBING, HUMBUG, and PRINCIPLE.]
  • 2nd. He that hath A VOTE AND VOTETH NOT; which is divisible into
    • 1st. He that is PREVENTED from voting, which is divisible into
      1. He who is upset by a bribed coachman.
      2. He who is incited into an assault, that he may be put into the cage.
      3. He who is driven by a drunken coachman many miles the wrong way.
      4. He who is hocussed.
      5. He who is sent into the country for a holiday, and the like.
    • 2nd. He that FORFEITETH his vote, which is divisible into
      1. He who is too great a philosopher to care for his country.
      2. He who has not been solicited.
      3. He who drinketh so that he cannot go to the poll.
      4. He who is too drunk to speak at the poll.
      5. He who through over-zeal getteth his head broken.
      6. He who stayeth to finish the bottle, and is too late, and the like.
  • 3rd. He that hath A VOTE AND VOTETH; which is divisible into
    • 1st. He that voteth INTENTIONALLY, which is divisible into
      • 1st. He that voteth CORRUPTLY, which is divisible into
        • 1st. He that is BRIBED, which is divisible into
          • 1st. He that is bribed DIRECTLY, which is divisible into
            • 1st. He that receiveth MONEY, which may be considered as
              1. He that pretendeth the money is due to him.
              2. He that pretendeth it is lent.
              3. He who receiveth it as alms.
              4. He who receiveth it as the price of a venerated tobacco-pipe, a piece of Irish bacon, and the like.
            • 2nd. He that seeketh PLACE, which may be considered as
              1. He who asketh for a high situation, as a judgeship in Botany Bay, or a bishopric in Sierra Leone, and the like.
              2. He who asketh for a low situation, as a ticket-porter, curate, and the like.
              3. He who asketh for any situation he can get, as Secretary to the Admiralty, policeman, revising barrister, turnkey, chaplain, mail-coach guard, and the like.
            • 3rd. He that taketh DRINK, which may be considered as
              1. He that voteth for Walker’s Gooseberry, or Elector’s Sparkling Champagne.
              2. For sloe-juice, or Elector’s fine old crusted Port.
              3. He who voteth for Brett’s British Brandy, or Elector’s real French Cognac.
              4. He who voteth for quassia, molasses, copperas, coculus Indicus, Spanish juice, or Elector’s Extra Double Stout.
          • 2nd. He that is bribed INDIRECTLY, as
            1. He who is promised a government contract for wax, wafers, or the like.
            2. He who getteth a contract, for paupers’ clothing, building unions, and the like.
            3. He who furnisheth the barouches-and-four for the independent 40s. freeholders.
            4. He who is presented with cigars, snuffs, meerschaum-pipes, haunches of venison, Stilton-cheeses, fresh pork, pine-apples, early peas, and the like.
        • 2nd. He that is INTIMIDATED, as
          1. By his landlord, who soliciteth back rent, or giveth him notice to quit.
          2. By his patron, who sayeth they of the opposite politics cannot be trusted.
          3. By his master, who sayeth he keepeth no viper of an opposite opinion in his employ.
          4. By his wife, who will have her own way in hysterics.
          5. By his intended bride, who talketh of men of spirit and Gretna Green.
          6. By a rich customer, who sendeth back his goods, and biddeth him be d—d.
        • 3rd. He that is VOLUNTARILY CORRUPT, which may be considered as
          1. He who voteth from the hope that his party will provide him a place.
          2. He who voteth to please one who can leave him a legacy.
          3. He who voteth to get into genteel society.
          4. He who voteth according as he hath taken the odds.
          5. He who, being a schoolmaster, voteth for the candidate with a large family.
          6. He who voteth in hopes posterity may think him a patriot.
      • 2nd. He that voteth CONSCIENTIOUSLY, which is divisible into
        • 1st. He that voteth according to HUMBUG, which is divisible into
          • 1st. He that is POLITICALLY humbugged, which is divisible into
            • 1st. He has SOME BRAINS, as
              1. He who believeth taxes will be taken off.
              2. He who believeth wages will be raised.
              3. He who thinketh trade will be increased.
              4. He who studieth political economy.
              5. He who readeth newspapers, reviews, and magazines, and listeneth to lectures, and the like.
            • 2nd. He that has NO BRAINS, as
              1. He who voteth to support “the glorious Constitution,” and maintain “the envy of surrounding nations.”
              2. He who believeth the less the taxation the greater the revenue.
              3. He who attendeth the Crown and Anchor meetings, and the like.
          • 2nd. He that is MORALLY humbugged, as
            1. He who thinketh the Millennium and the Rads will come in together.
            2. He who thinketh that the Whigs are patriots.
            3. That the Tories love the poor.
            4. That the member troubleth himself solely for the good of his country.
            5. That the unions are popular with the paupers, and the like.
          • 3rd. He that is DOMESTICALLY humbugged, as
            1. He who voteth because the candidate’s ribbons suit his wife’s complexion.
            2. Because his wife was addressed as his daughter by the canvasser.
            3. Because his wife had the candidate’s carriage to make calls in, and the like.
            4. Because his daughter was presented with a set of the Prince Albert Quadrilles.
            5. Because the candidate promised to stand godfather to his last infant, and the like.
        • 2nd. He that voteth according to PRINCIPLE, which is divisible into
          • 1st. He whose principles are HEREDITARY, as
            1. He who voteth on one side because his father always voted on the same.
            2. Because the “Wrong-heads” and the like had always sat for the county.
            3. Because he hath kindred with an ancient political hero, such as Jack Cade, Hampden, the Pretender, &c., and so must maintain his principle.
            4. Because his mother quartereth the Arms of the candidate, and the like.
          • 2nd. He whose principles are CONVENTIONAL, as
            1. He who voteth because the candidate keepeth a pack of hounds.
            2. Because he was once insulted by a scoundrel of the same name as the opposite candidate.
            3. Because the candidate is of a noble family.
            4. Because the candidate laid the first brick of Zion Chapel, and the like.
            5. Because he knoweth the candidate’s cousin.
            6. Because the candidate directed to him—“Esq.”
          • 3rd. He whose principles are PHILOSOPHICAL, which may be considered as
            • 1st. He that is IMPARTIAL, as
              1. He that voteth on both sides.
              2. Because he tossed up with himself.
              3. He who loveth the majority and therefore voteth for him who hath most votes.
              4. Because he is asked to vote one way, and so voteth the other, to show that he is not influenced.
              5. Because he hateth the multitude, and so voteth against the popular candidate.
            • 2nd. He that is INDEPENDENT, as
              1. He who cannot be trusted.
              2. He who taketh money from one side, and voteth on the other.
              3. He who is not worth bribing.
              4. He who voteth against his own opinion, because his letter was not answered.
              5. He who, being promised a place last election, was deceived, and the like.
  • 2nd. He that voteth ACCIDENTALLY, which is divisible into
    • 1st. He that voteth through the BLUNDERS OF HIMSELF, which may be considered as
      1. He who is drunk, and forgetteth who gave him the bribe.
      2. He who goeth to the wrong agent, who leadeth him astray.
      3. He who is confused and giveth the wrong name.
      4. He who is bashful, and assenteth to any name suggested.
      5. He who promiseth both parties, and voteth for all the candidates, and the like.
    • 2nd. He that voteth through the BLUNDERS OF OTHERS, which may be considered as
      1. He who is mistaken for his servant when he is canvassed, and so incensed into voting the opposite way.
      2. He who is attempted to be bribed before many people, and so outraged into honesty.
      3. He who hath too much court paid by the canvasser to his wife, and so, out of jealousy, voteth for the opposite candidate.
      4. He who is called down from dinner to be canvassed, and being enraged thereat, voteth against his conviction.
      5. He who bringeth the fourth seat in a hackney-coach to him who keepeth a carriage and the like.

      (July 1841)

Christmas shopping tips

HINTS ON CHRISTMAS SHOPPING.

(By a good Old-fashioned Clown.)

Knock at a shop-door, and then lie down flat in front of it, so that the shopman, coming out, may tumble headlong over you. Then bolt into the shop, and cram into your pockets all the big things you can find, so that in trying to get out, you cannot squeeze them through the doorway. For instance, if it be a watchmaker’s, clap an eight-day kitchen clock and a barometer or two, let us say, in your right pocket, and a brass warming-pan, or some such little article of jewellery (as you will take care to call it) in your left one; taking pains, of course, to let the handle stick well out of it. If it be a butcher’s, pouch a leg of beef and half a sheep or so, and be sure not to forget to bring a yard or two of sausages trailing on the ground behind you. Then, if you can’t squeeze through the doorway, the simplest plan will be to jump clean through the shop-front, and in doing this take care to smash as many panes of glass as you are able, crying out, of course, that you took “great pains” to do so. En passant, you will kick into the street whatever goods are in the window, and then run off as quickly as your heels can carry you.

If the shopman should pursue you, as most probably he will, make him a low bow, and say that it was really quite an accident, and that of course you mean to pay him—indeed, yes, “on your honour!” If he won’t believe you, punch him in the waistcoat, and batter him about with his barometer and warming-pan, or sausages and mutton.

Should a policeman interfere, and want to know what you are up to, catch up your red-hot poker (which you will always have about you), and hold it hidden behind your back, while you beg him to shake hands with you, because you mean to “square the job” with him. Then, when he puts his hand out, slap the poker into it, and run away as fast as your stolen goods will let you.

But after a few steps, of course you must take care to let the handle of your warming-pan get stuck between your legs, and trip you up occasionally; and you will manage that your sausages become entangled so about you that, at every second step, you are obliged to tumble down and roll along the ground, and double up into a heap, till the policeman, who keeps up the chace, comes close enough to catch you. Then you will spring up again, and, jumping on his back, you will be carried off to Bow Street, with the small boys shouting after you; or, else, if you prefer it, you may “bonnet” the policeman, and run away and hide yourself ere he can lift his hat up, to see where you are gone to.

(January 1872)

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