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The Author is indebted to the conductors of the Illus-
BEFORE THE PLAY AND AFTER.
FEW sad words, by way of preface, to
some pleasant reminiscences of one of the most genial, kindly, and noble-hearted of God's creatures. Mark Lemon had all the qualities of true greatness. He was modest, unaffected, sympathetic, generous, manly. He never under-estimated any work so much as
He was a good husband, an affectionate father, a true friend. He believed in one God, in one woman, in one publication. Simple in his tastes, his ambition was the ambition of every honest man, to be useful to his country and a blessing to his home. In the
conduct of Punch he soared above the satirist, he repudiated the mere cap and bells. He had a romantic faith in the power which he directed. In this enthusiasm and devotion may be found the secret of his success as an editor. Years hence, it may almost seem beyond belief, that the founder of Punch died without deserving the enmity of any man, beloved by all who had laboured with him, respected by men of all creeds and parties; being, nevertheless, one who had never sacrificed the independence of his paper, regarding it always as an estate of the realm, a power that belonged to the country, a national institution.
With a sad yet tender interest I have been looking over a drawer full of Mark Lemon's letters. Amongst his last written words to me, I find an assurance of affection which had been borne in upon me many a time and oft during the last few years.
"I wish we lived nearer to each other, for I love you and yours