Punch successively knocks on the head or otherwise slaughters his baby, his wife, the doctor, the policeman, the servant, and such others as the varying ingenuity of the operator may introduce; that he counts the corpses over, hustles then about, and stuffs them into coffins with every form of irreverence; that for these offences he is haunted by ghosts, executed by hangmen, and dragged down by demons.
It is not strange that there should be city precincts so degraded that this sort of thing should just meet the public taste.
In the old-time Seven Dials of London
, or Five Points
of New York, it might seem at home, and perhaps be regarded as a moral exhibition.
The strange thing is that it should be selected by refined and high-minded parents for the delectation of innocent children amid the roses and perfumes of summer gardens.
How far it directly harms these children it is impossible to say. We all know that such young people-can see a great deal of evil pass before their eyes without being really reached by it. The story of the little boy who throttled his baby brother by trying to apply the noose like Punch's hangman may or may not be correct.
It has never been proved that the children of butchers were more brutal than those of other people; but no thoughtful person would wish to bring up his family at the next door to an abattoir
. And surely Punch should