Master Humphrey's Clock, and published by Bradbury and Evans in volume form in 1849. 3 ½ x 4 ½ inches (6 cm high by 11.6 cm wide), vignetted; composite woodblock engraving dropped into text: fifty-second full-page illustration in the series for Dickens's Barnaby Rudge, Chapter the fifty-fifth, 253. [Click on the images to enlarge them.]from instalment 29 (28 August 1841) in
Passage Illustrated: Old John a Victim, of the Rioters, reflects upon his circumstances
Left: Harry Furniss's study of the publican trussed up like a turkey in his own bar: After the Raid on the Maypole Bar (1910).
John Willet, left alone in his dismantled bar, continued to sit staring about him; awake as to his eyes, certainly, but with all his powers of reason and reflection in a sound and dreamless sleep. He looked round upon the room which had been for years, and was within an hour ago, the pride of his heart; and not a muscle of his face was moved. The night, without, looked black and cold through the dreary gaps in the casement; the precious liquids, now nearly leaked away, dripped with a hollow sound upon the floor; the Maypole peered ruefully in through the broken window, like the bowsprit of a wrecked ship; the ground might have been the bottom of the sea, it was so strewn with precious fragments. Currents of air rushed in, as the old doors jarred and creaked upon their hinges; the candles flickered and guttered down, and made long winding-sheets; the cheery deep-red curtains flapped and fluttered idly in the wind; even the stout Dutch kegs, overthrown and lying empty in dark corners, seemed the mere husks of good fellows whose jollity had departed, and who could kindle with a friendly glow no more. John saw this desolation, and yet saw it not. He was perfectly contented to sit there, staring at it, and felt no more indignation or discomfort in his bonds than if they had been robes of honour. So far as he was personally concerned, old Time lay snoring, and the world stood still.
Save for the dripping from the barrels, the rustling of such light fragments of destruction as the wind affected, and the dull creaking of the open doors, all was profoundly quiet: indeed, these sounds, like the ticking of the death-watch in the night, only made the silence they invaded deeper and more apparent. But quiet or noisy, it was all one to John. If a train of heavy artillery could have come up and commenced ball practice outside the window, it would have been all the same to him. He was a long way beyond surprise. A ghost couldn’t have overtaken him.
By and by he heard a footstep — a hurried, and yet cautious footstep — coming on towards the house. It stopped, advanced again, then seemed to go quite round it. Having done that, it came beneath the window, and a head looked in. It stopped, advanced again, then seemed to go quite round it. Having done that, it came beneath the window, and a head looked in.
It was strongly relieved against the darkness outside by the glare of the guttering candles. A pale, worn, withered face; the eyes — but that was owing to its gaunt condition — unnaturally large and bright; the hair, a grizzled black. It gave a searching glance all round the room, and a deep voice said:
"Are you alone in this house?"
John made no sign, though the question was repeated twice, and he heard it distinctly. After a moment’s pause, the man got in at the window. John was not at all surprised at this, either. There had been so much getting in and out of window in the course of the last hour or so, that he had quite forgotten the door, and seemed to have lived among such exercises from infancy.
The man wore a large, dark, faded cloak, and a slouched hat; he walked up close to John, and looked at him. John returned the compliment with interest. [Chapter the Fifty-fifth, 253]
Commentary: Following up the Cattermole illustration in Chapter Fifty-fourth
Cattermole's vigorous depiction of the mob's ransacking the bar at The Maypole in A Raid on the Bar leads directly into the next illustration, in which Phiz shows John Willet, trussed up in his chair, pondering the vandalism (epitomised by the pole thrust through the front window) as a mysterious stranger enters through another window. The text leads to suspense as Dickens tantalizes the reader with the possibility that Ned Dennis will hang the publican; in the next illustration, the arrival of the mysterious stranger intensifies the reader's concerns about the publican's safety. In particular, Dickens and Phiz keep the reader in suspense about the intentions and identity of the black-caped intruder.
Related Material including Other Illustrated Editions of Barnaby Rudge
- Dickens's Barnaby Rudge (homepage)
- Cattermole and Phiz: The First illustrators: A Team Effort by "The Clock Works" (1841)
- Cattermole's seventeen illustrations (13 Feb.-27 Nov. 1841)
- Felix Octavius Carr Darley's six illustrations (1865 and 1888)
- Sol Eytinge, Jr.'s ten Diamond Edition illustrations (1867)
- Fred Barnard's 46 illustrations for the Household Edition (1874)
- A. H. Buckland's six illustrations for the Collins' Clear-Type Edition (1900)
- Harry Furniss's 28 illustrations for The Charles Dickens Library Edition (1910)
Scanned image and text by Philip V. Allingham. [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the person who scanned the image and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.]
Dickens, Charles. Barnaby Rudge. Illustrated by Hablot K. Browne ('Phiz') and George Cattermole. London: Chapman and Hall, 1841; rpt., Bradbury & Evans, 1849.
________. Barnaby Rudge — A Tale of the Riots of 'Eighty. Illustrated by Fred Barnard. The Household Edition. 22 vols. London: Chapman and Hall, 1874. VII.
Hammerton, J. A. "Ch. XIV. Barnaby Rudge." The Dickens Picture-Book. The Charles Dickens Library Edition, illustrated by Harry Furniss. London: Educational Book Co., 1910. 213-55.
Vann, J. Don. "Charles Dickens. Barnaby Rudge in Master Humphrey's Clock, 13 February-27 November 1841." New York: MLA, 1985. 65-66.
Created 29 March 2019
Last modified 25 Dectember 2020