Trust Me!, 1870. Britannia is shown grasping her trusty sword of defence in a meaningful manner as Belgium asks her help. As usual in this cases, Britannia is more masculine and forceful than her younger and more feminine foreign counterparts. War had recently been declared by France on Prussia, and Belgium had some cause to fear an aggressive move against her by France. Taken in isolation, this cartoon might suggest that Britain was ready to spring to Belgium's defence, when the truth was that Britain was maintaining a policy of isolation. There was no gain to be had from Britain seeking to intervene and Punch believed that the Prime Minister, Gladstone, was taking reticence too far in his replies to the Commons. From Punch, or the London Charivari, August 13, 1870.
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