A True Friend

WAG 4681


This work is inscribed: Humble host: "I suppose you find Swell Society very delightful, don't you, Topsawyer?" Gorgeous Guest: " I believe yer, my Boy! Why, last night at Dinner, now, there I was with a Baronet's Lady on one side, and a Dowager Viscountess on the other, and Lord Alfred something sitting just opposite, and everything else to match! But Lor' Bless you, I'm quite content to come and dine with you, Dear old boy, and drink your half-crown sherry!" (Helps himself to another glass) This cartoon was published in 'Punch' on 23rd May 1874. 'Punch' was a magazine founded in 1841 by writer Henry Mayhew and engraver Ebenezer Landells. The idea came from the French satire newsapaper, 'Le Charivari'. In homage, the first issue of 'Punch' was subtitled, ‘The London Charivari’. 'Punch' was internationally famous for its humour and wit. Its political and social cartoons captured English life in the 19th and 20th centuries. The term ‘cartoon’ previously referred to a preliminary sketch made for murals or stained glass windows. 'Punch' and other illustrated publications adapted the term and introduced the concept of ‘cartoon’ as we know it today.