Punch,  42 (1862), 205.

Progress and Devastation (Dedicated to Lord Derby)



Poetry, Drollery


Pollution, Environmentalism, Government, Manufactories, Industrial Chemistry, Evolution

    A response to the establishment under Edward G G S Stanley (14th Earl of Derby) of a House of Lords Select Committee on Injury from Noxious Vapours. Complains of the 'foul smoke' with which 'factory chimneys' taint 'Nature's fair face'. Proceeds to lament the pollution of streams and 'pleasant' rivers by 'the refuse of "Works"', the poisoning of fish and the fleeing of the spirit of 'old Isaac Walton', and the diffusion of the 'breath of chemical corrosion' from 'vast chemical workshops'. Concludes by insisting that 'If the struggle for life, our engrossing employ' is destroyed by 'All that makes life worth living', science should save some 'verdure and flowers' for the short remaining time.

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