The caption of a large cartoon in Punch magazine, March 20, 1890, drawn by the magazine's chief cartoonist John Tenniel (who was later knighted, and is better known as the illustrator of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland).
The cartoon showed a ship dropping off its pilot (by implication, after he had helped navigate it through difficult waters). Drawn as the pilot is the aging Otto von Bismarck, who had just been dismissed by Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany (who is shown as the captain of the ship).
The cartoon achieved international fame, not through any particular merit, but simply by virtue of its timing - after decades of a Europe overshadowed by the personality of the Iron Chancellor, the relief at his departure from power was noticeable. It ran in newspapers and satirical magazines all over the globe, and the caption became a catchphrase of the day.