The Last Straw

The Last Straw. Signed “FAE lower left”. Source: Fun (19 December 1893): 262. Courtesy of the Suzy Covey Comic Book Collection in the George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida. Click on image to enlarge it.

M. F. H.: — “You’ve gone over!”

M. P.: — “Yes, awfully sorry. Stock to Gladstone as long ’s I could; swallowed Home Rule, Local Veto and even Parish Councils, but hang it, when they whipped us up for Saturdays, my only day for hunting, I began to feel conscientious scruples about the Ministerial policy!”

This cartoon mocks upperclass members of Parliament who follow their party's leader, in this case, Gladstone — until his desire for Parliament to meet and work on Saturday interferes with their primary interest — fox hunting. Fun here repeats the charge Thomas Carlyle made in Chartism a half century earlier, namely, that in times of crisis when leadership is urgently needed, the aristocracy is busy preserving their game. — George P. Landow

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Last modified 29 April 2016