Indeed, there is much more to be said in favour of the physical force of the public than there is in favour of the public's opinion.
The fact is, that the public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything, except what is worth knowing.
However, let us leave what is really a very sordid side of the subject, and return to the question of popular control in the matter of Art, by which I mean Public Opinion dictating to the artist the form which he is to use, the mode in which he is to use it, and the materials with which he is to work.
To certain theatres, such as the Lyceum and the Haymarket, the public seem to come in a proper mood.
This is, of course, quite obvious in the case of the vulgar theatre-going public of English men and women.
Will they say of any tale of cruelty and horror, however aggravated in degree, that it is improbable, when they can turn to the public
prints, and, running, read such signs as these, laid before them by the men who rule the slaves: in their own acts and under their own hands?
They were dispersed all over the public offices, and held all sorts of public places.
As it was, Mr Barnacle, finding his gentlemanly residence extremely inconvenient and extremely dear, always laid it, as a public servant, at the door of the country, and adduced it as another instance of the country's parsimony.
'The Circumlocution Department, sir,' Mr Barnacle replied, 'may have possibly recommended--possibly--I cannot say--that some public claim against the insolvent estate of a firm or copartnership to which this person may have belonged, should be enforced.
'It is competent,' said Mr Barnacle, 'to any member of the-- Public,' mentioning that obscure body with reluctance, as his natural enemy, 'to memorialise the Circumlocution Department.
You told me you didn't know whether it was public business or not.'
The first thing in the morning I sent a polite note to Gentleman Jones, informing him that I had abandoned all idea of exhibiting his likeness to the public
in my series of prints, and giving him full permission to inspect every design I made before it went out of the prison.