George Cruikshank

Prev | Next | Contents


the work, which was then the property of Mr Murray, has since that period passed into the hands of Mr Tegg, whose shop seems to be the bourne to which most books travel -- the fatal retreat of the unfortunate brave. Mr Tegg-, like death, will never give up his prey. We implored of him a loan of the precious wood- blocks that are buried in his warehouses; but no, Tegg was inexorable, and such of Mr Cruikshank's charming little children as have found their way to him, have not been permitted to take a holiday with many of their brethren whose guardians are not so severe.

Let us offer our thanks to Messrs Whitehead, Tilt, Robins, Darton and Clark, Thomas, and Daly, proprietors of the Cruikshank cuts, who have lent us of their store. Only one man has imitated Mr Tegg, and he, we are sorry to say, is no other than George Cruikshank himself, who, although besought by humble ambassadors, pestered by printers'-devils and penny post letters, did resolutely refuse to have any share in the blowing of his own trumpet, and showed our messengers to the door.

Our stock of plates has also been increased by the kindness of Messrs Chapman and Hall, who have lent us some of the designs for the Boz sketches, not the worst among Mr Dickens's books, as we think, and containing some of the best of Mr Cruikshank's designs.

We are not at all disposed to undervalue the works and genius of Mr Dickens, and we are sure that he would admit as readily as any man the wonderful assistance that he has derived from the artist, who has given us the portraits of his ideal personages, and made them familiar to all the world. Once seen, these figures remain impressed on the memory, which otherwise would have had no hold upon them, and the Jew and Bumble, and the heroes and heroines of the Boz sketches, become personal acquaintances with each of us. O that Hogarth could have illustrated Fielding in the same way! and fixed down on paper those grand figures of Parson Adams, and Squire Allworthy, and the great Jonathan Wild.

With regard to the modern romance of ' Jack Sheppard,' in which the latter personage makes' a second appearance, it seems to us that Mr Cruikshank really created the tale, and that Mr Ainsworth, as it were, only put words to it. Let any reader of the novel think over it for a while, now that it is some months since he has perused and laid it down -- let him think, and tell us what he remembers of the tale ? George Cruikshank's pictures -- always George Cruikshank's pictures. The storm in the Thames, for instance; all the author's laboured description of that event has

Prev | Next | Contents