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shot eyes he looked at it. As for the Jew in the dungeon, let us say nothing of it what can we say to describe it? What a fine homely poet is the man who can produce this little world of mirth or woe for us ! Does he elaborate his effects by slow process of thought, or do they come to him by instinct? Does the painter ever arrange in his brain an image so complete, that he afterwards can copy it exactly on the canvas, or does the hand work in spite of him?

A great deal of this random work of course every artist has done in his time; many men produce effects of which they never dreamed, and strike off excellences, haphazard, which gain for them reputation; but a fine quality in Mr. Cruikshank, the quality of his success, as we have said before, is the extraordinary earnestness and good faith with which he executes all he attempts — the ludicrous, the polite, the low, the terrible. In the second of these he often, in our fancy, fails, his figures lacking elegance and descending to caricature ; but there is something fine in this too: it is good that he should fail, that he should have these honest naïve notions regarding the beau monde, the characteristics of which a namby-pamby tea-party painter could hit off far better than he. He is a great deal too downright and manly to appreciate the flimsy delicacies of small society — you cannot expect a lion to roar you like any sucking dove, or frisk about a drawing-room like a lady's little spaniel.

If then, in the course of his life and business, he has been occasionally obliged to imitate the ways of such small animals, he has done so, let us say it at once, clumsily, and like as a lion should. Many artists, we hear, hold his works rather cheap; they prate about bad drawing, want of scientific knowledge : — they would have something vastly more neat, regular, anatomical.

Not one of the whole band most likely but can paint an Academy figure better than himself; nay, or a portrait of an alderman's lady and family of children. But look down the list of the painters and tell us who are they? How many among these men are poets (makers), possessing the faculty to create, the greatest among the gifts with which Providence has endowed the mind of man? Say how many there are, count up what they have done, and see what in the course of some nine-and-twenty years has been done by this indefatigable man.

What amazing energetic fecundity do we find in him! As a boy he began to fight for bread, has been hungry (twice a day we trust) ever since, and has been obliged to sell his wit for his bread week by week. And his wit, sterling gold as it is, will find no such purchasers as the fashionable painter's thin pinchbeck, who can live comfortably for six weeks, when paid for and painting a portrait, and fancies his mind prodigiously occupied all the while. There was an artist in Paris, an artist hairdresser, who used to be fatigued and take restoratives after inventing a new coiffure. By no such gentle operation of headdressing has Cruikshank lived: time was (we are told so in print) when for a picture with thirty heads in it he was paid three guineas -- a poor week's pittance truly, and a dire week's labor. We make no doubt that the same labor would at present bring him twenty times the sum; but whether it be ill paid or well, what labor has Mr. Cruikshank's been! Week by week, for thirty years, to produce something new; some smiling offspring of painful labor, quite independent and distinct from its ten thousand jovial brethren ; in what hours of sorrow and illhealth to be told by the world, “ Make us laugh or you starve Give us fresh fun; we have eaten up the old and are hungry.” And all this has he been obliged to do — to wring laughter day by day, sometimes, perhaps, out of want, often certainly from ill-health or depression to keep the fire of his brain perpetually alight: for the greedy public will give it no leisure to cool. This he has done and done well. He has told a thousand truths in as many strange and fascinating ways; he has given a thousand new and pleasant thoughts to millions of people ; he has never used his wit dishonestly; he has never, in all the exuberance of his frolicsome humor, caused a single painful or guilty blush: how little do we think of the extraordinary power of this man, and how ungrateful we are to him!

Here, as we are come round to the charge of ingratitude, the starting-post from which we set out, perhaps we had better conclude. The reader will perhaps wonder at the high-flown tone in which we speak of the services and merits of an individual, whom he considers a humble scraper on steel, that is wonderfully popular already. But none of us remember all the benefits we owe him ; they have come one by one, one driving out the memory of the other : it is only when we come to examine them all together, as the writer has done, who has a pile of books on the table before him a heap of personal kindnesses from George Cruikshank (not presents, if you please, for we bought, borrowed, or stole every one of them) — that we feel what we owe him. Look at one of Mr. Cruikshank's works, and we pronounce him an excellent humorist. Look at all : his reputation is increased by a kind of geometrical progression; as a

whole diamond is a hundred times more valuable than the hundred splinters into which it might be broken would be. A fine rough English diamond is this about which we have been writing

JOHN LEECH'S PICTURES OF LIFE AND

CHARACTER.*

WE, who can recall the consulship of Plancus, and quite ' respectable, old-fogyfied times, remember amongst other amusements which we had as children the pictures at which we were permitted to look. There was Boydell's Shakspeare, black and ghastly gallery of murky Opies, glum Northcotes, straddling Fuselis! there were Lear, Oberon, Hamlet, with starting muscles, rolling eyeballs, and long pointing quivering fingers ; there was little Prince Arthur (Northcote) crying, in white satin, and bidding good Hubert not put out his eyes; there was Hubert crying ; there was little Rutland being run through the poor little body by bloody Clifford ; there was Cardinal Beaufort (Reynolds) gnashing his teeth, and grinning and howling demoniacally on his death-bed (a picture frightful to the present day); there was Lady Hamilton (Romney) waving a torch, and dancing before a black background, - a melancholy museum indeed. Smirke's delightful “Seven Ages” only fitfully relieved its general gloom. We did not like to inspect it unless the elders were present, and plenty of lights and company were in the room.

Cheerful relatives used to treat us to Miss Linwood's. Let the children of the present generation thank their stars that tragedy is put out of their way. Miss Linwood's was worstedwork. Your grandmother or grandaunts took you there, and said the pictures were admirable. You saw the Woodman in worsted, with his axe and dog, trampling through the snow; the snow bitter cold to look at, the woodman's pipe wonderful : a gloomy piece, that made you shudder. There were large dingy pictures of woollen martyrs, and scowling warriors with limbs strongly knitted ; there was especially, at the end of a black passage, a den of lions, that would frighten any boy not born in Africa, or Exeter 'Change, and accustomed to them.

* Reprinted from the Quarterly Review, No. 191, Dec. 1854, by permission of Mr. John Murray.

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Another exhibition used to be West's Gallery, where the pleasing figures of Lazarus in his grave-clothes, and Death on the pale horse, used to impress us children. The tombs of Westminster Abbey, the vaults at St. Paul's, the men in armor at the Tower, frowning ferociously out of their helmets, and wielding their dreadful swords; that superhuman Queen Elizabeth at the end of the room, a livid sovereign with glass eyes, a ruff, and a dirty satin petticoat, riding a horse covered with steel : who does not remember these sights in London in the consulship of Plancus? and the wax-work in Fleet Street, not like that of Madame Tussaud's, whose chamber of death is gay. and brilliant; but a nice old gloomy wax-work, full of murderers ; and as a chief attraction, the Dead Baby and the Princess Charlotte lying in state?

Our story-books had no pictures in them for the most part. Frank (dear old Frank !) had none; nor the “ Parent's Assistant;” nor the “ Evenings at Home ;' nor our copy of the " Ami des Enfans : ” there were a few just at the end of the Spelling-Book; besides the allegory at the beginning, of Education leading up Youth to the temple of Industry, where Dr. Dilworth and Professor Walkinghame stood with crowns of laurel. There were, we say, just a few pictures at the end of the Spelling-Book, little oval gray woodcuts of Bewick's, mostly of the Wolf and the Lamb, the Dog and the Shadow, and Brown, Jones, and Robinson with long ringlets and little tights ; but for pictures, so to speak, what had we? The rough old woodblocks in the old harlequin-backed fairy-books had served hundreds of years ; before our Plancus, in the time of Priscus Plancus in Queen Anne's time, who knows?

We were flogged at school; we were fifty boys in our boarding-house, and had to wash in a leaden trough, under a cistern, with lumps of fat yellow soap floating about in the ice and water.

Are our sons ever flogged? Have they not dressing-rooms, hair-oil, hip-baths, and Baden towels? And what picture books the young villains have! What have these children done that they should be so much happier than we were? We had the “ Arabian Nights” and Walter Scott, to be

Smirke's illustrations to the former are very fine. We did not know how good they were then ; but we doubt whether we did not prefer the little old “Miniature Library Nights” with frontispieces by Uwins; for these books the pictures don't count. Every boy of imagination does his own pictures to Scott and the “ Arabian Nights” best.

Of funny pictures there were none especially intended for us

sure.

children. There was Rowlandson's “ Doctor Syntax”: Doctor Syntax in a fuzz-wig, on a horse with legs like sausages, riding races, making love, frolicking with rosy exuberant damsels. Those pictures were very funny, and that aquatinting and the gay-colored plates very pleasant to witness; but if we could not read the poem in those days, could we digest it in this? Nevertheless, apart from the text which we could not master, we remember Doctor Syntax pleasantly, like those cheerful painted hieroglyphics in the Nineveh Court at Sydenham. What matter for the arrow-head, illegible stuff? give us the placid grinning kings, twanging their jolly bows over their rident horses, wounding those good-humored enemies, who tumble gayly off the towers, or drown, smiling, in the dimpling waters, amidst the anerithmon gelasma of the fish.

After Doctor Syntax, the apparition of Corinthian Tom, Jerry Hawthorn, and the facetious Bob Logic must be recorded

a wondrous history indeed theirs was! When the future student of our manners comes to look over the pictures and the writing of these queer volumes, what will he think of our society, customs, and language in the consulship of Plancus ? “ Corinthian,” it appears, was the phrase applied to men of fashion and ton in Plancus's time : they were the brilliant predecessors of the “oswell” of the present period — brilliant, but somewhat barbarous, it must be confessed. The Corinthians were in the habit of drinking a great deal too much in Tom Cribb's parlor : they used to go and see 66 life” in the ginshops; of nights, walking home (as well as they could), they used to knock down 66 Charleys,” poor harmless old watchmen with lanterns, guardians of the streets of Rome, Planco Consule. They perpetrated a vast deal of boxing; they put on the “ mufflers” in Jackson's rooms; they “ sported their prads” in the Ring in the Park; they attended cock-fights, and were enlightened patrons of dogs and destroyers of rats. Besides these sports, the délassemens of gentlemen mixing with the people, our patricians, of course, occasionally enjoyed the society of their own class. What a wonderful picture that used to be of Corinthian Tom dancing with Corinthian Kate at Almack's ! What a prodigious dress Kate wore! With what graceful abandon the pair flung their arms about as they swept through the mazy quadrille, with all the noblemen standing round in their stars and uniforms ! You may still, doubtless, see the pictures at the British Museum, or find the volumes in the corner of some old country-house library. You are led to suppose that the English aristocracy of 1820 did dance and

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