conclusion and a moral bearing.
The English version strikes off all these redeeming traits, and the American
is worse than the English
For instance, the English
performance has usually a little dog (Toby
) added, the only live member of the dramatis personae
, and the only decent one, his worst offence being to leap up and snap at everybody's nose.
The noses being only those of puppets, this can hardly be counted as a moral offence; and the shouts of laughter it excites are at least innocent.
But our ordinary performances of “Punch and Judy
” exhibit nobody so alive and so harmless as a real puppy; it is one dreary series of quarrels and fights, and proceedings that would be very blood-thirsty except that there is no blood.
It is a wonder that some more artistic Punch does not provide this too.
As our children go through the world they must necessarily make acquaintance with brutality and sin and wrong; but this should never be done in the way of joke, any more than we should wish them to laugh at the spectacle of a drunken man. Up to a certain point ignorance is the best shield; and beyond that point there should be serious disapproval, not uproarious laughter.
used to make their Helots intoxicated, not for the amusement of their children, but for their abhorrence; that the latter should become disgusted with excess, and so avoid it. It was a questionable process, but