Page:English Caricaturists and Graphic Humourists of the nineteenth century.djvu/402

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308
ENGLISH CARICATURISTS.

plished at a ruinous waste of time, men, materiel, and money.[1] We had defeated the Russians at Inkerman without French assistance,[2] whilst the timidity and professional jealousy on that occasion of Marshal Canrobert had again failed to turn our success into a crushing disaster for the enemy.[3] If England was dissatisfied, Russia was still more discontented, and her strength moreover at this time well-nigh exhausted. Efforts in the direction of peace were being made by Austria, which are referred to in the cartoon, Staying Proceedings (vol. xxx.), wherein plaintiff John Bull instructs his solicitor Clarendon (who is setting off for Paris bag in hand), "Tell Russia," says angry John, "tell Russia if he doesn't settle at once I shall go on with the action;" but so unprofitable to us in the end was the arrangement effected by the solicitor, that the action was settled after all on the terms of each party having to pay their own costs. This preposterous result is referred to in the admirable sketch entitled Swindling the Clarendon, wherein landlord Bull angrily expostulates with his two waiters (Louis Napoleon and Palmerston), "What!" says John, "quite the gentleman! Why he has left nothing but a portmantel of bricks and stones, and gone off without paying the bill."[4]

Just complaints were made in the papers of 1857 of the arrangements, or rather want of arrangements, at the Royal levées. The space was circumscribed and the crush frightful, and ladies returned from the ceremony with torn dresses and dishevelled hair, just as if they had been engaged in some feminine battle-royal. To accustom them to this uncomfortable but apparently inevitable ordeal, John Leech, in one of the very best of his sketches (vol. xxxii.), suggested

  1. Kinglake's "Invasion of the Crimea," 6th edition, 1877, vol. iii. p. 349.
  2. At 8.30 a.m. the Russians had 17,000 infantry and 100 guns opposed to 3,600 English with 36 guns and 1,600 French infantry and 12 guns [Ibid. vol. vi. p. 321]. Three hours later on, Canrobert had under his orders 9,000 fresh men, who remained inactive: "So far as concerned any active exertion of infantry power, our people were now left to fight on without any aid from the French " Ibid. pp. 416, 417.
  3. Ibid. vol. vi. pp. 439, 440.
  4. A more telling commentary on our useless waste of blood and treasure could scarcely be found. Truly they manage these things better in Germany.