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[257] 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. The Spartans 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

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