Punch,  57 (1869), [170]–[171].

A Perilous Passage

J T *


Illustration, Drollery

Relevant illustrations:



J T *


Politics, Transport, Invention

    Shows Emperor Napoleon III of France, dressed as a circus performer who traverses a tight-rope on a velocipede. Represents his increasing difficulties with political opposition to his regime (notably his unpopular policies on Italy and Mexico, popular disillusionment with his economic policies and the corresponding rise of socialism and communism). The tight-rope is marked 'Message of July'—a reference to the controversial speech made by Napoleon announcing radical political changes, which prompted several ministerial resignations. The wheels of his velocipede are marked 'personal government' and 'representative government' and the ends of his balancing pole are labelled 'repression' and 'concession', referring to political issues that Napoleon was trying (but failing) to keep in the balance. Far below the tight-rope lie jagged rocks shrouded in mist that contains the ominous message 'revolution', which threatened Napoleon's empire.

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