"But I never own to it before the old girl. Discipline must be maintained." — fifty-ninth illustration by Fred Barnard in the Household Edition (1873). 9.4 cm high by 13.7 cm wide (3 ⅝ by 5 ⅜ inches), framed, p. 429. Chapter 66. Running head: "The Altered Place in Lincolnshire" (437). [Click on the image to enlarge it.]

Passage Illustrated: Mrs. Guppy Mightily Put Out

A goodly sight it is to see the grand old housekeeper (harder of hearing now) going to church on the arm of her son and to observe—which few do, for the house is scant of company in these times—the relations of both towards Sir Leicester, and his towards them. They have visitors in the high summer weather, when a grey cloak and umbrella, unknown to Chesney Wold at other periods, are seen among the leaves; when two young ladies are occasionally found gambolling in sequestered saw-pits and such nooks of the park; and when the smoke of two pipes wreathes away into the fragrant evening air from the trooper's door. Then is a fife heard trolling within the lodge on the inspiring topic of the "British Grenadiers"; and as the evening closes in, a gruff inflexible voice is heard to say, while two men pace together up and down, "But I never own to it before the old girl. Discipline must be maintained." [Chapter LXVI, "Down in Lincolnshire," 436-437]

Commentary: The Strategic Use of a Tagline

Phiz's original serial portrait of Mrs. Bagnet's birthday party: Friendly Behaviour of Mr. Buckets (May 1853).

Barnard uses the tagline "Discipline must be maintained" so that readers can readily identify the bald-pated speaker in the first illustration for Chapter 66 as the good-hearted husband and musical instrument dealer Matthew Bagnet, standing beside a slightly balding military man, undoubtedly George Rouncewell. Completing the scene at the lodge on the Chesney Wold estate are the Old Girl herself (Mrs. Bagnet), George's aged mother, the fife-playing Woolwich, and, standing to one side side, the faithful shooting gallery factotum, Phil. The charming group foils the melancholy of Richard's "beginning the world" by passing out of just after the Cause has fallen apart at Westminster Hall as the entire estate Richard had so longed for has been entirely consumed in legal fees.

Other​ Illustrations​ of George and the Bagnets, 1867 and 1910

Left: Harry Furniss's version of the convivial; birthday party: Mr. Bucket's Pleasant Evening (1910). Centre: Sol Eytinge, Jr.'s family portrait at the Old Girl's birthday party: Mr. George and the Bagnets (1867).

Related Material, including Other Illustrated Editions of Bleak House

Scanned image, colour correction, sizing, caption, and commentary by Philip V. Allingham. [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose, as long as you (1) credit the person who scanned the image, and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.]


"Bleak House — Sixty-one Illustrations by Fred Barnard." Scenes and Characters from the Works of Charles Dickens, Being Eight Hundred and Sixty-six Drawings by Fred Barnard, Gordon Thomson, Hablot Knight Browne (Phiz), J. McL. Ralston, J. Mahoney, H. French, Charles Green, E. G. Dalziel, A. B. Frost, F. A. Fraser, and Sir Luke Fildes. London: Chapman and Hall, 1907.

Collins, Philip. Dickens and Crime. London: Macmillan, 1964.

Davis, Paul. Charles Dickens A to Z: The Essential Reference to His Life and Work. New York: Facts On File, 1998.

Dickens, Charles. Bleak House. Illustrated by F. O. C. Darley and John Gilbert. The Works of Charles Dickens. The Household Edition. New York: Sheldon and Company, 1863. Vols. 1-4.

_______. Bleak House. Illustrated by Sol Eytinge, Jr, and engraved by A. V. S. Anthony. 14 vols. Boston: Ticknor & Fields, 1867. VI.

_______. Bleak House, with 61 illustrations by Fred Barnard. Household Edition. London: Chapman and Hall, 1873. IV.

_______. Bleak House. Illustrated by Harry Furniss [28 original lithographs]. The Charles Dickens Library Edition. Vol. 11.​ London: Educational Book, 1910.

_______. Bleak House, ed. Norman Page. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1971.

Hammerton, J. A. "Chapter 18: Bleak House." The Dickens Picture-Book. The Charles Dickens Library Edition. London: Educational Book, 1910. XVII, 366-97.

Vann, J. Don. "Bleak House, twenty parts in nineteen monthly instalments, October 1846—April 1848." Victorian Novels in Serial. New York: The Modern Language Association, 1985. 69-70.

Created 29 March 2021