Punch,  46 (1864), 103.

Directions for Making Parliamentary Fireworks (À La Disraeli)



Poetry, Drollery


Politics, Heat, Light, Instruments, Amusement

    Reflecting on Benjamin Disraeli's aggressive parliamentary tactics, this poem opens by pondering the nature of the 'stuff' of 'the undertaker / Of the unsavoury trade of / Opposition firework-maker'. It then describes the construction of fiery parliamentary speeches as if they were fireworks. They are constructed from such unsavoury ingredients as 'inferences and fictions', and 'Steel-filings epigrammatic / And salt for burning blue [a reference to the traditional colour of the Conservative Party]', but 'Any paper a case will make / And any stick a handle', while the 'party' can supply 'cold water' for making 'Wet powder' fireworks. Having described the ascent and descent of the 'firework', notes that parliamentary fireworks 'Are warranted perfectly harmless'.

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