The Two Pictures (Editorial - People's Friend - 1" December 1883)
The orator who in his Town Hall speech at Calcutta, a few months ago, abused Babus as sneaks, villains and as being greasy charlatans, at Birmingham very prudently adopted different tactics on the platform. He did not this time go in for wholesale abuse; but he moderated in his sneers and went in also for a little damning with faint praise, to use the poet Pope's sarcastic allusion against his friend Addison, of whom the great bard was envious. We feel amused at the two pictures. Branson of Calcutta is an inferior likeness to Branson at Birmingham. The features are there unchanged, but the attitude is different. Branson of Town Hall, with clinched fist, with uproarious voice, with fierce, gesticulation, with violent garrulity, decorated with abusive epithests - is the Indian Photograph – and Branson before an English audience with his soft sawder, with his Magnacharta crotchets, with his ancient right and character of liberties, notions with his moderate, toned down language and with little of that ostentatious particularity which manifested itself and constantly obtruded itself in the Calcutta Town Hall – is the Birmingham photograph!
But who is Mr. Branson after all? He now belongs to the Calcutta Bar, which is very creditable to him. He is a Madras man, born in Madras and educated in Madras, at first in the Vepery Grammar School and then at the Doveton College during Mr. Halley's time. He went to England afterwards and became a member of the Bar and he wisely went to Calcutta, as in Madras he was well known. His famous speech, which was hailed with loud cheers by the Hoogly gents, would not have been tolerated in this city where Sir Charles Trevelyan's noble Kuam flows. The barrister's father was a partner of Pharowh and Co., who were also Publishers of the Athenaeum when it flourished under Mr. John Bruce Norton's Editorship, so that the great Town Hall Cicero and the expurgate edition of Cicero at Birmingham after all a Madarasee! We say we are proud of him, inasmuch as he had worked himself upto his present position originally from this city – but we felt something akin to remorse when we became aware that a Madarasee so for forgot himself as to lend enchantment to Calcutta Eurasians and Europeans by