Squibs from Punch

Vegetable Diet (Oct, 1845)

HOWEVER much the disease among the potatoes may distress the poor Irish during the following winter, it will not in the least alter the diet of the Great Agitator, whose living is very plain, having existed all his life upon cabbage.


The Irish Curfew Bill (April 1846)
As no person in Ireland is to be allowed to leave his house after a certain hour at night, Mr. Punch respectfully asks LORD LINCOLN, how the evicted tenants are to manage, who have no houses to remain in? Are they to roost in the hedges? An answer will oblige.


O’Connell’s Two Buckets (Nov. 1846)
A DAY or two since, at Conciliation Hall, MR. O’CONNELL said, “My heart is full for Ireland.” May not an agitator’s heart and his pocket be sometimes like two buckets at a well; the one becoming “full” as the other becomes empty?


Blunderbuss Ireland (Dec. 1846)
A LETTER from Virginia (county Cavan) speaks of a public sale by auction of muskets and bayonets; an Enniskillen paper has also a sort of price current for guns and pistols. The Free Press, speaking of the south, says “there is more business doing in the trade in guns, pistols, and blunderbusses, than in any other in this town.” Birmingham pants at its stithy, and cannot sufficiently supply weapons to famishing Ireland; one proof that Ireland has a very ostrich-like stomach; and wanting food, can make a very dainty meal off iron. We think we shall commission our artist to execute a fancy portrait of starving Erin swallowing, like an Indian juggler, knives by the dozen: and caring not to lay her money out upon necessary bread and potatoes, enjoying the luxury of gunpowder and, á la Chinois, dishes of slugs.


Landlord’s Pledges (Feb. 1847)
LORD MOUNTCASHEL states that the rental of Ireland is about thirteen millions, that the landlords have pawned their rents to the amount of ten millions, leaving the population to starve upon the remaining three millions. Under these circumstances, which, like the rents, cannot be redeemed too quickly, we think the emblem of Ireland should be changed from the shamrock to the pawnbroker’s balls. The emblems of the United Kingdom henceforth should be “The rose, the thistle, and the three balls.”


A Suggestion to M. Soyer, or, The Ticket for Soup (March 1847)
M. SOYER deserves to be called the Gastronomic Regenerator of Ireland. His receipt for cheap soup is the best practical suggestion which has been yet made for the relief of that unlucky island. It has, however, been objected against M. SOYER’s soup, that it contains an insufficient quantity of meat. We have a plan to propose, by which this defect may be remedied. Nay, we will show how animal matter may be plentifully introduced into the soup with positive gain instead of expense to the country. Let gam be applied to this purpose. We shall be told that it will require all the game in the kingdom. Exactly so. Two great savings will thus be effected; one in crops to the agriculturist, the other in prosecutions and prison-expenses to counties. For if the Irish eat up the game, the game will not eat up the farmer; poaching will be impossible, and the Game Laws become a dead letter. We therefore, for once, recommend a series of battues for the benefit of the starving Irish. Let us not be told that this is an unseasonable proposal. Famishing people can eat stranger food than game out of season. March hare will make very sensible soup. Our scheme we know will spoil sport; but it is rather better to sacrifice that than human life. Instead, therefore, of making game of SOYER’s soup, we say, let SOYER’s soup be made of game. And the extirpation of game by the instrumentality of SOYER will add appropriate lustre to a name associated with Reform.


Irish Title (March 1847)
M. SOYER has been nicknamed by the Irish, “The broth of a boy.”


Physic for Ireland (March 1847)
THE case of Ireland reminds us of one which frequently occurs in medical practice. A patient is labouring under a state of constitution which can only be remedied by perseverance with some unpalatable remedy– say, a very bitter pill. The sufferer does not like the treatment necessary for him; accordingly he resorts to vegetable medicines– elixirs of life– and runs the whole round of the specifics of advertising quacks.

At last, an attack of illness, threatening instant dissolution, throws him on his bed. A regular practitioner is then sent for, and prescribes the physic that should have been administered in the first instance, shaking his head, observing that he should have been applied to before, and hoping that his assistance may not have been sought too late. Thus has LORD JOHN RUSSELL, at the eleventh hour, been called in by the friends of Ireland, and with these misgivings he prescribes the Poor-Law Pill.


Emigration (April 1847)
As emigration is being carried out on a very large scale in Ireland, could not the SMITH O’BRIEN party be induced to leave their country? We are not particular where they go to, providing it is as far away from Ireland as possible. Government might present them with some snug little island at the Antipodes, where they might make speeches to the natives as much as they pleased, and be allowed to legislate for themselves. We are confident, if this scheme was properly carried out, it would be the greatest boon to Ireland that has happened since the day when ST. PATRICK “drove out all the varmint.”


Irish All Over (June 1847)
THE Times has announced that the Irish circuits have been postponed for three months, on account of the prevalence of fever in Cork. The judges, it seems, like everybody else in Ireland, will make any thing an excuse for neglecting their business. We shall next have Irish constables refusing to apprehend a thief on the plea that it is a rainy morning.


Irish Entomology (July 1847)
THE Cork Constitution says, that the Indian corn, which has been introduced into Ireland to meet the wants of the people, has been attacked “with swarms of little reptiles or insects, of different varieties, some shaped like ants, others like diminutive beetles.” These vermin, we are informed, from their devouring the food of the people, have acquired the appellations of “Squireens” and “Middlemen.”


More Fallacies of the Irish (Jan. 1848)
IT is not necessary to discharge a gun in order to discharge a debt.
You needn’t shoot your landlord to prove you can pay your shot.
You are wrong to imagine that England is for the Irish.
There are better plans of making an agent alive to your wants, and sensitive of your wrongs, than by firing his bosom.


A potato Conspiracy (June 1848)
We extract the following important intelligence from the Ballinasloe Star:–

“The dearly-loved potato of the Irish peasant is springing up with seeming health, and greater luxuriance, and in greater abundance, at this early period of the year, than we recollect on former occasions.”

There can be no doubt that this general rising of the potato throughout Ireland, is solely to bring contempt upon the opinions of the distinguished prophets of Parliament and Exeter Hall, who declared that the potato was for ever destroyed by the Maynooth Grant. As if to complete the case, the Star further informs us, that “Turnips are slowly making head.” Hence, the heads of the aforesaid prophets are further threatened with dangerous rivals.


Soyer Rewarded (Sept. 1848)
COLONEL DUNNE very significantly questioned the right of SIR C. TREVELYAN to the proposed grant of money for overlooking Irish supplies of oatmeal and potatoes. The gallant Colonel wished to know why “M. SOYER, of the Reform Club,” had not been rewarded for his commissariat services. The hint has not been lost upon Ministers. SOYER has been created a K.C.B.– Kettle Cook of the Broth.


Irish Uses for English Money (Feb. 1849)
ARCHBISHOP M’HALE and his suffragan Bishops have addressed a pastoral letter to their flocks, in which, after bitterly complaining of Irish destitution, and utterly ignoring the efforts of English charity to relieve it, they urge those addressed to subscribe, out of their necessity, in order to afford an independence to the Pope. “And afterwards,” concludes the document, “we will have your bounty carried to Rome.”

Parliament is called upon to vote £50,000 for the relief of Irish famine, and this grant– as Goodness knows it is not the first, so neither will it be the last of a series. We are to give Ireland, who cannot feed herself, but can subsidize the Pope, £50,000, and more.

And afterwards, DR. M’HALE and his coadjutors will have our bounty carried to Rome!