From the Diss Express – Friday 15 July 1870 section “Extracts from the Comic Papers”
What the Early Bird Catches.
The Mitchamites are not to be found napping. At all events, they possess two separate associations for getting up at daybreak, namely, the Upper Mitcham Early Rising Association and the Lower Mitcham Peep of Day Club.
The rival societies played a cricket match last week on their common, when the stumps were pitched at 3.30 a.m. and drawn at 7 a.m. The players must have been determined that their pleasure should not interfere with their duty, but at what time did they go to bed, and how fit were they for their several occupations by noon?
Getting up early is very well in its way, but — like those who practise it in immoderation — it can be “done to death.” As the song has it,
Early to bed and early to rise,
Makes men lazy and increases their size.