Page:English Caricaturists and Graphic Humourists of the nineteenth century.djvu/397

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303
THE CAMP AT CHOBHAM.

By the year 1853, the only persons who steadily shut their eyes to the signs of the times, and continued steadfastly to believe in the immediate advent of the "Millennium," were the peace-at-any-price party (represented by Messrs Bright and Cobden), the members of the Peace Society, and the very strange people who obstinately opposed any attempt on the part of England to provide for her national safety by putting her defences in order. To the Peace Society, Leech especially addressed his cartoon of No Danger, which represents a donkey braying in front of a loaded cannon; while to the mischievous lunatics who opposed any scheme of national defence, he dedicated an appropriate gift in the shape of A Strait Waistcoat Worked by the Women of England.[1] By this time John Bull had awoke from his dreams, and tacitly admitting that the time for conversion of his swords into ploughshares and his spears into pruning hooks had scarcely arrived, adopted the far more sensible method of sending his troops to the camp at Chobham by way of getting them acclimatized to the trials and vicissitudes of wind and weather. This step leads of course to a number of little pleasantries. In one cartoon we see an officer of household cavalry parting his hair in front of his cuirass, whilst a soldier servant brings him his shaving water in a bucket; another, entitled A Cold in the Head, represents an officer in this melancholy condition, who requests his servant to bring him his bucket of gruel as "sool as he has tallowed his loze." John, in fact, had been aroused from his slumbers by the Emperor Nicholas, who, thinking it a good time to appropriate Turkey, was suspected of having offered a slice to Austria. The rumour is referred to in the cartoon of The Old 'Un and the Young 'Un, in which we see the Russian and Austrian Emperors at table with a bottle of port between them, 'Now then, Austria," says Nicholas, "just help me to finish the Port(e)." In another cartoon, John Bull nails the Russian eagle to his barn door, remarking to his French friend the while, that he

  1. The national defences, such as they are, being an accomplished fact, these strange people are now making themselves active in the promotion of the last suicidal mania—the Channel Tunnel!