Bacchus and the Tee-Totallers

Bacchus and the Tee-Totallers by Rumfusticus Bibulus, esq., president of the Anti-Temperance Society (London: Sherwood, Gilbert, and Piper, 1841). Illustrations by Robert Cruikshank (1789-1856). Graphic Arts Collection (GA) Cruik R 1841.2

At left, Steam Coachman to the Moon stamped on a Riviere binding.


A collection of drinking songs (without music) by an anonymous author using the pseudonym Rumfusticus Bibulus. The text and songs are all attacks on abstinence by the fictitious Anti-Temperance Society. Here’s a piece:

“The Publicans, as well as every other branch of the community, were aware that recent improvements in modern science had effected a Rail Road from this Earth to the Moon, in which part of the Isle of Sky Bacchus has an airy summer residence; they therefore resolved to send up by the new Steam Coach, one of the Victualler Chiefs, to invite their jovial patron down to head their forces, and to fight their battles with their foes, The Tee-Totallers.”

Robert Riviere (1808-1882) established a bindery in Bath around 1829, moving to London eleven years later where he opened a shop on Great Queen Street, and then, on Piccadilly. Riviere was the top of the line and this small satirical volume must have had an important backer to finance a custom Riviere binding and six aquatinted plates by Cruikshank.

A Meeting of Victuallers

The Victuallers of old,
Were jolly and bold,
And quaff’d Brandy and Water gaily,
And were all well nurs’d
With a quart of the First,
To a pint of pump water daily!

Water when mix’d up with Spirits strong store,
No Publican dreams of scorning,
But of Water alone, why—he drinks no more,
Than his pots supply,
Of the drops that lie
In his pewter pints of a morning!