« AnteriorContinuar »
vernor-General was represented as Ver the war-spirit thus infused, and these res, and the eloquent Sheridan was the sentiments ripened into a deep hatred modern Cicero who impeaches him. of the French and of France. The truth seems to be that both Hast- In September, 1792, the French Conings and his opponents spent money vention elected two English members freely amongst the artists and writers to their body. They were, Thomas of the period. Those who wish to see Paine, and Dr. Priestley. Henceforward some proof of this, will find an interest- nothing was too bad or too abusive to ing memorial, in the trial of “Pasquin be said of the English liberals. Dr. v. Faulder," attached to Gifford's “Bæ- Priestley's house, in Birmingham, was viad."
attacked and burnt, and Paine fled to To chronicle every single work of France. In calling this behaviour atroartists so notoriously fertile and industri- cious, I do not seek to defend the pecuous as those we are contemplating, forms liar religious tenets of either of these no part of the plan of this work; I must men; but their political belief should therefore let appear a huge hiatus, have been held as sacred from mob vionot perhaps valde deflenda, and hasten lence, as was their religious creed. to the busiest period of the life of the Younger and better men than they, principal caricaturist, James Gilray. world-famous now, drank eagerly of the
This was about the time of the terri- same draughtof liberty: Southey the deep ble first French Revolution, when the scholar, Wordsworth the poet of naminds of the English were kept at al- ture, and Coleridge, philosopher, metamost a fever-heat, by various appeals to physician, and bard ; than whom postheir loyalty, their patriotism, or their sibly flourishing at one period, three fear. Mr. Cobden's recent pamphlet greater cannot be found, had imbibed has shown very successfully, I think, these doctrines, and were at that time that the French nation did not seek at ardent republicans. Yet Sayer could that period to quarrel with, and revolu- produce plates, representing the belief tionise Great Britain. But there were no of these men as demoniacal; and Fox doubt violent propagandists who would and North, clad in shirts and boots, but have gone any length to have established veritable sans-culottes, force obnoxious their unripe doctrines of Republi- liberty down the throat of John Bull. canism over the world. The opinions Gilray, whose continued drunkenness of these, evidently a contemptible mi- had by this time produced fits of insanority, were promulgated by the English nity, seems to have gone mad for the ocministry and aristocracy as those of casion, and his plates, wild, bloody, and the whole French nation. The aristo- fiery, exhibit some of the worst scenes cracy of England were fearful lest their which took place in the worst days in fate might be that of those of France; Paris. The guillotine, the pike, the and the wild and insane speeches of the bleeding and severed head, the firebrand, injudicious partizans, but worst enemies and the extempore gallows (la lanterne), of an ideal republic, were weapons in bloom in hideous profusion all through their hands which they well knew how the series. One side of the Channel
presents of course a flattering contrast Both the ministry and the opposition to this noise and turmoil; a plate by seemed of one mind in regard to the Sayer of the 10th of December, 1792, new government, the Convention of represents the soldier and sailor as the France. The recent and brilliant work only defence of England against the of Burke, “ Reflections on the French horrors of Republicanism. Revolution,” full of glittering phrases, Gilray, eccentric in every thing, apwritten evidently ad captandum, made pears for a moment to have had a gleam & great impression upon the young and of sense, and published a deep satire on generous minds of the English youth. the alarmists, in opposition to one of Upwards of 30,000 copies were sold be- Sayer'sprints. It represents Pitt as workfore the first demand was satisfied. The ing upon John Bull's fears, as in truth he picture of Marie Antoinette, the pause, did; he has John by the arm, and theatrical apostrophe to that un- tends to descry through a telescope the fortunate Queen, made the swords of enemies of his country. A clever the young volunteers ready, indeed, to burlesque of Pitt's speech at the openleap from their scabbards for her rescue. ing of parliament shows both his own Those in power took care to cultivate alarm and that of his protegé.
and preJohn ! there! I see them, get your arms upon a flaunting flag, are all we have ready, John! there's ten thousand sans to show for what we might have done. culottes on their way, and there! the The caricaturists began the attack by Irish and Scotch have caught the itch, ridiculing Fox, Paine, and Priestley
. and have began to pull off their breeches." The author of the “ Rights of Man," who John is terribly alarmed, but his com- had been a stay-maker at Thetford, was mon sense whispers a better way than by no means a pure or unassailable subfighting “ Where's the use of firing ject. Gilray brought out a print, on now?
What can us two do against the 10th Dec. 1792, called “ Tom Paine's them hundreds of millions of thousands Nightly Pest,” which represents the of monsters? had we not better try if they English republican stretched upon
his won't shake hands with us and be friends?" pallet of straw, dreaming of judges' wigs, The nation was too alarmed to take this and all sorts of horrors and punishhint. The aristocracy and the young ments. On the 2nd of the following farmers rushed to militia bands, felt January, another print by the same proud of their uniform, and clumsy hand, represents Paine fitting Britannia leather fire-man's helmet, and the land with a pair of French stays. The lady bristled with bayonets, and the coasts objects to the republican tight-lacing, of Kent were white with tents. Church, and clings to the British oak for protecking, and laws were appealed to; a king tion. Meanwhile, the object of these whose hot and ungovernable temper had pictorial satires had, by advocating lost us America; a church, pure in doc- leniency to the unfortunate king, incurtrine, but corrupt and persecuting in her red the odium of his fellows, and was practice; and laws which permitted Old at Paris, thrown into a dungeon by Sarum, and pocket-boroughs, and legal- Robespierre and his associates. In priized judicial murder for a petty theft. son he wrote the most blasphemous of Ye Britons be wise, as you're brave and humane, readers know the strange accident, which
his books, the “ Age of Reason.” All You then will be happy without any Paine; We know of no despots, we've nothing to fear, looks almost like the interposition of And this new-fangled nonsense will never do here. Providence, which saved him from the Then stand by the chnrch, the king, and the laws,
guillotine ; but neither prison nor the The old lion still has his teeth and his claws; strange escape taught him humility or And chastise all those foes who dare call her sons there lived, publishing harmless slan
veneration, he went to America, and slaves,
ders against religion and his native
country, till death put an end to the The success of these song writers and strange freaks of “ Citizen Paine." caricaturists was complete. Britain “ The Republican Soldier," "False strove to chastise France, but in the Liberty rejected, or no fraternizing with struggle suffered too. In turning over the French cut-throats,” and others mark the crimsoned productions of mad old the temper of the nation at the time; Gilray, we are reminded that for some meanwhile Fox's affairs were getting time we are to undergo the saddest pro- more and more involved, and the great vince of the historian, and to contem- statesman was reduced to a condition plate, like the shipwrecked wretch of of absolute poverty. His friends held Lucretius, the mad turmoil, the blood, a meeting at the Crown and Anchor, the tears, and wounds, occasioned by and the popularity which he still enthat saddest of all infectious diseases, joyed was proved by a large subscripthe martial fever of nations. The thou- tion, by which an annuity was pursand gentle charities broken off, the chased. This Gilray ridiculed as “Blue sweetintercourse interrupted, the flowers and Buff Charity,” in a print wherein of peace uprooted, the industry of the Fox is receiving aid from Priestley, merchant thwarted, his ruined family and Horne Tooke, Michael Angelo Taylor, bankrupt state, the scholar unheard Earl Stanhope, and Mr. Hall
, the sonamongst this din of war, and more than in-law of that eccentric nobleman. Mr. all these the sharp calls of the weakest Hall had been an apothecary in Long and poorestof mankind forjustice, reform Acre, and is represented as ragged and and progress neglected and passed by, poor, with a phial in his hand. Stanstart up and haunt these plates like hope had sincerely embraced republican ghosts. Some millions slain, and a few principles, and had married his daughter names broidered in glistering tinsell to a plebeian to prove his sincerity.
Let Britain still rule in the midst of her waves,
Rank, character, distinction, fame, But this caterpillar has another phase
And noble birth forgot,
of existence as a chrysalis in Holland, Himself a sans culotte.
and at last bursts into existence as a Of pomp and splendid circumstance glorious butterfly in republican France. The vanity he teaches;
This hint is significant enough; but the And spurns, like citizen of France,
people, pressed for bread and irritated Both coronet and breeches.
with loss of work through the stoppage These ideas of freedom were enough of factories, were at last tired of war, in the then state of opinion to render did not care for glory, and little thought him obnoxious to the mob. In June of patriotism. When George the third 1794, his house was attacked and fired in went to open parliament on the 29th several places by bands of ruffians, and of October 1795, his carriage was sura gentleman or nobleman was seen to rounded by an infuriate mob, who cried, distribute money to them from his car- "Down with George, no peace, no king, riage windows; if the people could be down with him ;” thewindow was smashworked up to such outrages, what won- ed, and the panel perforated by a bullet, der if they could be persuaded reform it is presumed, from an air gun, the was odious, and that economy and liberty, populace all the while crying, "Bread, were but so many synomyms for rob- bread! Peace, peace!" The arrival of bery, spoliation, and murder? The the guards rescued the King, and on the English were hurried into a war, the 1st of November, Gilray gave a burDuke of York was dispatched to Flan- lesque version of this attack, wherein ders, to co-operate with our German the ministry are attacked by Fox, Stanallies, but for a time did nothing but hope, and other Whig leaders. commit a series of mistakes. Gilray In December, 1796, ISAAC CRUIKhimself went over there on a sketching SHANK, the father of the present caricatour, and has given us a plate of " The turist, came before the world with a plate Fatigues of the Campaign in Flanders," bordering upon servility to the triumwhich is a picture of drunken revelry phant minister. Pitt is represented and licentiousness. Whilst the duke as the royal extinguisher, putting was commanding in his gallant way, out the flame of sedition. Bitter his mistress, the celebrated Mary Anne prints on the other side represent that Clarke, was selling commissions in the minister as feeding (in consequence of army at a very reduced rate,* and di- the scarcity of bread) on gold; and verting the money of the nation to her others represent him as indulging in own pocket; for this the lady was his favourite vice of the bottle. Gilray brought to the bar of the House of represents him as Bacchus, and his Commons, a trial which Gilray has per- friend Dundas as Silenus. petuated.
To carry on the war new taxes were neThese incidents made the “swinish cessary, and an additional land tax was multitude,” as Burke politely termed imposed. The people, smarting under the lower orders of our countrymen, their old burdens, resented this by namlittle satisfied with the war. New taxes ing Pitt · Midas,' and aying, by their made the householders equally against newspapers and caricatures, that he it
, and the caricaturists, who turned wished to turn everything he touched into their satires to profit, took advantage gold; this idea is probably re-echoed by of what they themselves had contributed Cowper :to occasion, and pictured John Bull as
Ten thousand casks reduced to a state of beggary. The King Touched by the Midas finger of the state, was represented as the Horse of Hanover Bleed gold for ministers to sport away. riding over the swinish multitude, in We must pass over some years now; the shape of a drove of pigs, in one new taxes, new complaints, riots in the print; and in another as a state cater- manufacturing districts, and the death pillar,” the ring of the body composed of Burke, marked the passing years, of state offices, pensions and other and gave rise to caricatures more or less sources of extravagant expenditure. powerful. The Irish rebellion, and a
perpetual and carefully stimulated fear * Some idea of which may be formed from the of invasion occupied the English nafew figures subjoined
tion, which grew at last quiet under the Government. 900 guineas
continued war, and now and then hilar, 2,600 do.
ious at the naval victories of Nelson,
For a major's com.
John Bull is frequently represented as other; Mr. Pitt, in fact, although he taking a “fricassée à la Nelson," com- puts on a bold countenance, is repreposed of a course of French ships; and sented as almost sinking to the ground Buonaparte, mostly if not always in a in his fright. In other prints, however, ridiculous attitude and costume, appears the conqueror of the greater part of disputing the world with John Bull. Europe was represented as The Irish union, which took effect on pigmy compared to King George and Jan. 1, 1801, is chronicled by Gilray in his valiant Britons. In one, King a print called the "The Union Club,” | George holds the Lilliputian hero in wherein Britannia and Hibernia, dis- his hand, and looks at him with a magtinguished by their Shield and Harp, nifying glass; the print bears the name give each other the kiss of peace. of The King of Brobdignag and Gul
The fashions of the day may be seen liver." Our readers will recollect that in all their elegance or monstrosity by Mr. Leech repeated the idea in Punch reference to some of the works of Gilray, some two or three years back, by robut we can but refer to them, as they presenting the Duke of Wellington, would not be understood, unless accom- looking at General Tom Thumb dressed panied by illustrative cuts. Ballooning as Buonaparte; the print was called the figures as Folly in a new shape" in "Giant and the Dwarf.” 1785, and the rage for masquerades, From this period to his death, the and the inordinate passion for gaming great majority of the works of Gilray which some ladies of title indulged in, satirize the Emperor Napoleon; one of such as Lady Buckinghamshire, Lady them, published towards the latter end Luttrell, and Lady Archer, were severely of 1803, is called the “Hand-writing on and justly dealt with by the carica- the Wall," and predicts the approachturists. Other subjects which we meeting downfall of Napoleon; his empress, with, thereby commemorated are, the his sisters, and his generals are bitterly “Infant Roscius," the management of satirized by its forcible drawing, and it Drury Lane, the 0. P. riots, and Boy- is said that few things annoyed the dell's Shakespère Gallery: A glimpse great conqueror so much as a copy of into the passing follies of the day, is by this print which was shewn to him. no means the least instructive or amus- Pitt in opposition, the new coalition, ing lesson which may be gathered from the volunteers, and other events make the pages of the caricaturists.
up subjects of the numerous plates of ROWLANDSON, an artist of eccentric the indefatigable artist. The appro power, but notorious for a vulgar and ing death of Fox did not shield that almost Dutch freedom of drawing, had great statesman from these pictorial made his appearance on the field of attacks; a plate, called " Visiting the politics, in 1799, but Gilray for some Sick," published on the 28th July, years afterwards bore off the greater represents Fox on the bed of death, share of work. In 1802 the peace mourned over by few, and insulted by which took place between France others. The 13th of September found and England was celebrated by that that great man no more; he was sucartist, as “The First Kiss these ceeded as foreign secretary by Lord Grey, ten years :" a French citizen is em- then Lord Howick. The name of that bracing à fair English dame, and statesman, and of Sir Francis Burdett, saying, “Madame, permit me to seal in the field of politics, and of the elder on your divine lips everlasting attach- Cruikshank, and of Rowlandson in the ment." This caricature enjoyed vast field hitherto so industriously occupied popularity, many copies were sent by Gilray himself, brings us down to to France, and Buonaparte was, it is comparatively recent times. said, highly amused by it. In 1803, Gilray's labours to the last turned the first consul again declared war with against Napoleon, representing him as England, and prepared to invade her. entering into the “Valley of the Shadow Gilray's print on the question repre- of Death” in his struggle with the sents Pitt on one side the Channel and northern powers ; how truly and clearly Buonaparte on the other; the latter foreseen, we need not here remark; as distinguished by his immense sword bound in chains to the triumphal car and enormous cocked hat. The print is of Great Britain; and as suffering every called, “ Armed Heroes," and both the possible misfortune which the artist personages are terribly afraid of each could invent. In 1809, the pencil of
the caricaturist ceased from its labours. elevation of his countrymen, That Sayer had already given over, and man is others were rising, but none with the
GEORGE CRUIKSHANK. graphic force of Gilray; he would have still monopolised the field, had not his The name, the reader will at once own acts destroyed him. He had an perceive, is Scotch. A generation of the almost insatiate thirst for spirits, and Cruikshanks flourished in the '48, and left his own publisher with whom he the grandfather of the present artist lodged, in Bond-street, frequently, to went out with Charles Edward, and, sell plates to Fores, in Piccadilly, for like that once popular prince, finished the purpose of procuring ardent drink his campaigns on Drummossie Moor. with the money.
His last work is Tradition states that members of the dated 1811, after that he sank into a artist's mother's family, were also active state of mingled delirium and imbecility, in aiding the young fugitive, and in and attempted suicide, by endeavouring shielding and hiding him in his many to throw himself out of window. For perilous escapes. These circumstances four years he lingered in this state, and no doubt impoverished his family, and finally died on the first of June 1815, the father of Isaac came from Edinburgh and was buried in the churchyard of to London, like hundreds of his countrySt. James's, Piccadilly, near the rectory men, bent upon trying his fortune. He house.
left his son an orphan in London, and James Gilray had occupied the public there, in the parish of Bloomsbury, his almost incessantly with his plates from son George was born, in the year 1794. the year 1779 to the year 1811. His He was the second son of Isaac Cruikdrawings have force, great skill, and shank, caricaturist and engraver, having display an immense power of invention, for an elder brother Robert, a follower of He lived in a stirring political time, and the same art, and once known popularly seems to have hit upon popular subjects as the illustrator of Coleridge's "Devil's with an unerring sagacity. His poli- Walk," and of “Monsieur Tonson," tics were most probably liberal, but as about the eccentric author of which he sold the efforts of his pencil, and Jerdan discourses pleasantly in his reperhaps cared most for the side which cent autobiography. paid best, it is somewhat difficult to In that art in which he was to gain judge. He was a man who had, how-distinction, George Cruikshank had litever humble some may deem his wea- tle or no instruction.
He picked up
his pon, an immense influence on his fel- knowledge by seeing his father work, Iow countrymen, and through them on and once in his early life made a drawthe world, and in looking over, even ing from a cast, as a specimen to obtain casually as we have done, his numerous his admission as a student of the Royal works, we cannot but endorse the Academy, under the superintendence of opinion of Croker, expressed in his Fuseli, a learned professor, who with "New Whig Guide," " that political his nine languages, might well claim to caricatures are parts of political history. be classed amongst those who are ac. They supply information as to the per
credited sonal habits, and often as to the motives
Well versed in Greek, deep men of letters. and objects of public men, which cannot be found elsewhere."
The classes of such a professor were To trace the lives of Rowlandson and sure to be well attended, and when Fuof Isaac Cruikshank, to give each par- seli received the drawing of Cruikshank ticular of Woodward and of Bunbury, the room was crowded. He examined would be no easy task, neither, it must the drawing, was well pleased with it, be confessed, would it be a grateful one. and sent down the following character. But there is one man whom we must istic message to the draughtsman, “Tell not omít, and whose works are the most him, he may come up, but he must universal of any caricaturist who has fight for a seat.” The young artist did yet existed, one whose works and name fight for room that evening, but engageare a synomyn for popularity, and ments which brought in money, occuwho has exercised the very great pied his time fully, and he neglected to talent he possesses, not alone in creat- go any more. While upon the subject ing laughter and dispersing care, but we may as well mention that the second also for the moral improvement and drawing for admission to the Royal