Apart from his artistic services to Punch, Mr. du Maurier has been a contributor to its pages of verse and prose, comparable with some of the best that has appeared there. Who can forget his admirable nonsense-verses, his "Vers Nonsensiques a l'usage des Familles Anglaises," or his exquisite fooling in his "Shalott" poem, or his "Alphabet" verses, or his vers de societe? They worthily heralded the novelist as we know him now, who is also the author of one of the most brilliant lectures—brimming over with happy thought and sparkling epigram—that have been composed in recent years. It is by his long, varied, and effective service that Mr. du Maurier has to be recognised as one of the four artists—Leech, Keene, and Tenniel being the others—who bore the chief share in raising Punch to his pinnacle, and he is to be named with Keene as a truthful recorder of the life and humours of Society during the last forty years of the nineteenth century. But if it is for this achievement, and for his delightful genius that he is primarily esteemed in Whitefriars and throughout the English-speaking world, it is for himself and his own good-humour that "Kiki"—as he is known to his intimates—has been regarded with affection and admiration by his colleagues during the long period of his honourable, dignified, and brilliant connection.
For the space of one-and-twenty years—a period which drew to a close in 1895—Mr. du Maurier has lived and worked in his house near Hampstead Heath, from which he has wrought so many backgrounds for his Punch pictures. Whitby, Scarborough, Boulogne, as well as Paris and London, have oftentimes afforded him local colour; but you get to learn Hampstead as you look at his drawings better than any of the others, and to know his sanctum—his salon-studio. Its characteristic bits, its bow-window, its Late-Gothic fireplace, its window-seat, are all familiar. And here the artist's model has latterly been the draughtsman's more constant companion, for "the older I grow," says Mr. du Maurier, "the more careful, the more of a student I become." So, for every Punch drawing he now makes beautiful pencil studies which, in my opinion, are even more delightful and more dainty than the pen-and-ink pictures they assist in perfecting. Examples of these studies, accurately and simply drawn, are here reproduced, and they will be seen to reveal the draughtsman's graceful artistry more completely than any other work in his recognised medium.
It was in the year following Mr. du Maurier's debut that Mr. John Gordon Thompson began his short connection with Punch. He was a very young man, and these drawings were almost his earliest work. He was at that time studying for the Civil Service, and after his appointment to Somerset House he discontinued to a great extent his artistic efforts; but when he left the Service in 1870 he resumed the pencil, and became, and remained for twenty years without one week's break, the cartoonist of "Fun." His style was not yet formed when he contributed to Punch, and his three-and-thirty socials, all published by 1864, gave little promise of the ability he afterwards displayed in the papers, magazines and books innumerable which he illustrated with such furious ardour.
Mr. H. Stacy Marks, R.A., also made his appearance in the paper in 1861, with a design for an architectural hat of Tudor-Gothic order, fitted with gargoyles round the brim for rainy weather. He also made an initial "I," and then was seen in Punch no more until the Almanac for 1882, when he made a full-page ornithological drawing of "Up before the Beak."
Paul Gray was another of Punch's promising contributors fated to an early death. He began with a few initials—a couple of "A's" were his first little feat, one of them made out of an old woman and a bathing machine. Then came "socials" up to 1865, which attracted attention for their grace, in spite of their lack of backbone; but after a variety of work, including drawings for the "Argosy" and illustrations for Kingsley's "Hereward," his pencil was laid down, and he was no more than twenty-five when he died.
Half-a-dozen sketches by Harris in 1863 were followed by Sir John Millais' first contribution—a mock-heroic illustration to Mr. Burnand's "Mokeanna" (p. 115, Vol. XLIV.). The distinguished artist repeated his unusual experience in the Almanac for 1865, when in a technically exquisite drawing he showed a couple of children in a studio assaulting the lay figure. There were other pictures by which Sir John figured indirectly in Punch. As one of the most intimate friends of John Leech, he took the liveliest interest in his work. "Once," he informs me, "I forwarded two drawings to Leech from Scotland, and he traced them on to the wood and they appeared in Punch—one a tourist struggling against the wind in a plaid; the other, two artists sketching with veils on to escape the midges. Possibly they were the occasion of my attending the Dinner. Leech, I think, asked me to do a drawing for 'Mokeanna' and the drawing of the 'Children in the Studio.'"
About this time it is claimed that Miss Joanna Hill, the niece of Sir Rowland Hill, contributed some sketches on the convict question; but it is certain that nothing in her name was ever accepted.
A far more interesting and amusing adherent was Mr. Fred Barnard, a humorist of the first rank; but as he was not yet seventeen years of age at the time it is not surprising that his drawings were greatly inferior to his admirable work of later years. His first joke was rejected, as he quaintly explains in the following note: "In 1863 I was a student (and in consequence fondly supposed to be studying) at Heatherley's School of Art in Newman Street, and was then half-past sixteen. I must have had plenty of assurance at that time, for, unknown to anyone, I sent a joke, accompanied by a pencil sketch, to Punch. It represented a brute of a dustman belabouring his horse's head with the butt-end of his whip. To him enters a fussy, benevolent-looking, and slightly sarcastic old gentleman, who remonstrates with him in these words: 'My good man, that isn't the way to treat your horse! You should poke it in his eye—poke it in his eye, man!' Mark Lemon returned it as, he said, 'the enclosed is rather too painful for Punch.' Encouraged by this repulse, I sent in another joke and drawing, which were accepted. A small parcel arrived shortly afterwards containing a 'block' of wood. As I had never seen one before, and had no notion whatever as to the process of wood engraving, I didn't know what it was, or for what use. At the back, on its rough ribbed surface, was a mystic inscription which I interpreted into 'C. Bramitsi Struss,' but which a friend informed me was intended for '6, Bouverie Street,' and he showed me how to set to work. And so I did the drawing and some dozen others.... But I rather fancy I shine with more than usual brilliancy in religious periodicals—especially when the articles I have to illustrate are written by imbecile women or ministers of the Gospel—I find it so congenial and instructive." In three years Mr. Barnard was seen but fifteen times in all. Twenty years later, in 1884, he made a last appearance in a drawing which did not show him at his best (p. 303, Vol. LXXXIV.). This was entitled "Early Prejudice," in which a child, referring to the baby, suddenly exclaims, "Oh, mamma! when baby begins to talk, what a dreadful thing if we find out he's an Irishman!"—a joke, by the way, which in its main point was anticipated by Mr. du Maurier in 1876, in his drawing called "Waiting for the Verdict." Lastly there was a sketch called "Evening at Earls," which was sent in and engraved, but not used; and since that day Mr. Barnard abstained from further contribution.
In this same year a young lady named Miss Mansel (now Mrs. Bull) sent in a drawing of an incident which occurred at her uncle's place at Anglesey in Hampshire—the initials "R. M." on the buckets being those of Colonel Mansel. "My eyes!" says Cooper the groom, in effect, to a gentleman who has watched a lady dismount from her over-ridden animal; "to them ladies a 'oss is a 'oss, and he must go!" Leech slightly re-touched the drawing, adding pigeons in the foreground, and so forth, but, of course, did not add his initials. Curiously enough, this block was included among that artist's "Pictures of Life and Character" (p. 52, Series IV.). "I remember I was very proud," writes the lady, "a few days after the drawing appeared, at hearing some officers in High Street, Portsmouth, quoting my sketch as a lady galloped up the road. I was only about seventeen then."
After a single contribution (entitled "Clara") by that ill-fated genius, George Pinwell, Mr. R. T. Pritchett left his rifles for Punch's pages. He was in fact but a boy when he took charge of his father's gun factory at Enfield, and was still a lad when he conducted experiments in competition, with his own hand, for a new Government gun, introducing a bullet of his own conception, firing every shot, and triumphing over every competitor. So the "Enfield" or "Pritchett rifle" brought him fame; but it proved the stumbling-block of his artistic career, for he found out for himself the truth that a man known for one thing has little chance in any other field—particularly in the artistic field. He was glad, however, when the Government eventually decided to manufacture the gun themselves, and the House of Commons voted him L1,000—though the experiments had cost nearly three times as much—and he was enabled to take to art.
It was at a meeting of the Moray Minstrels, the delightful "Jermyn Band" promoted by Mr. Arthur Lewis—where every man was invited on his own merits and guests were excluded—that he met John Tenniel. John Forster was the leader, and there were often present John Leech, Dickens, Stanfield, Thackeray, Landseer, Tom Angell, Sir John Millais, Mr. Carl Haag, Mr. Frith, Mr. Marks, Charles Keene, Mr. Whistler, and Sir Arthur Sullivan; altogether a notable company. It was under Sir John Tenniel's hospitable roof that Mr. Pritchett was initiated into the mysteries of wood-drawing. He had been watching the Master drawing his cartoon, and was busy sketching the top of his amiable head, when its owner told him he would be much better occupied in drawing on the wood, and threw him over a piece. Upon it Mr. Pritchett made a sketch, which Sir John took to Mr. Swain, and which afterwards appeared in one of A. K. H. B.'s works. By Mr. Swain the draughtsman was introduced to "Once a Week" and to Punch, and for the latter Mr. Pritchett began with some initials. His work appears from 1863 until 1869, some six-and-twenty amusing drawings in all, and when he ceased in order to take to painting, he drew for no other comic paper; for he had adopted the proud motto: "Aut Punch, aut nullus." He then took to travel, writing books and illustrating them by himself, and commended himself still further by the cruise he made and illustrated with Lady Brassey in The Sunbeam. Moreover, he has for many years drawn privately for the Queen, in recognition of which he received the Jubilee medal. A portrait of him, drawn by Charles Keene, may be seen in the Punch picture wherein a little girl asks her papa if she "may have the gentleman's moustache for a tail for her horse"—a portrait so good that by virtue of it he made the acquaintance of Mr. Sambourne years after, when the latter gentleman accosted him with the words "I know you by Keene's likeness of you in Punch!"
Then came Fritz Eltze, who was introduced to Punch on May 1st, 1864, and in due course took up some of the work let fall by Leech. He was a son of Sir Richard Mayne's confidential secretary, and most of what he knew of the life he drew was what he could see down Scotland Yard, or what he could remember of happy early days at Ramsgate. He was a confirmed invalid who had never enjoyed life like other children, and the consumption from which he died was already developing. He submitted a few sketches to Mark Lemon who, according to his custom, sent Mr. Swain to make inquiries, with a result that was the brightest spot in the artist's life. Although his work had the touch of the amateur about it, it had a curious charm; and rapid improvement followed. His humours of the fashions and follies of the day were greatly appreciated, especially as his work advanced to half-page "socials;" but it was to his tender touches that his popularity was chiefly due, particularly in his treatment of child-life. The little one who—being told that they may not have mistletoe in church at Christmas—naively asks if "they must not love one another in church," and the other who, when playing at "horses" and one of the leaders falls, cries to its companion next in command to "sit on her head and cut the traces," are typical of his work in this direction. His last contribution (Mr. Punch a la Turc on a minaret) appeared in September, 1870, but a couple of drawings, in 1872 and 1875, were published "out of stock." Eltze, one of Punch's tall men, by the way, was a pleasing draughtsman whose work, in its curious absence of lining, had a striking appearance of originality in its practically broad outline.
Mr. A. R. Fairfield may be known by his sign-manual like a Sign of the Zodiac run wild. It is, however, merely an inverted "A" on the Greek character [Greek: Phi] with its stem elongated. He sprang from an artistic family, and after three months' training at South Kensington in 1857, he began to draw on wood for "Fun" at about the same time as Mr. W. S. Gilbert—the autumn of 1861. His connection with Punch was fortuitous. Being sent by Dr. James Macaulay, the editor of the "Leisure Hour," to Mr. Swain for some blocks on which to make his drawings for that magazine, he was smartly captured by the vigilant engraver for the "London Charivari." The result was many initials and drawings made to his own jokes; but his first contributions appeared in the special "Shakespeare Jubilee Number." His work appears often enough after that—four-and-twenty times in 1864 and 1865. They were at times amateurish in manner, but they had character and humour. It was Leech's death that practically put an end to Mr. Fairfield's connection with Punch, for Keene then came to reign supreme in the art department; but it did not matter much, as Mr. Fairfield, at that time a clerk at the Board of Trade—in which capacity only he ever came into contact with Tom Taylor, then Secretary of the Local Government Board—was given to understand that his career would be interfered with if he prosecuted too far his outside work. In 1887 (p. 245, Vol. XC.) another sketch appears, comet-like, after an interval of more than twenty years.
Colonel Seccombe followed a few weeks after Mr. Fairfield's debut. At that time he was a subaltern. His youthful military drawings—signed with a sketch of a cannon—were clever, and highly promising. His cuts appeared in 1864, 1866, and again in 1882—eight altogether. Foreign service interrupted the young draughtsman's artistic studies for a considerable period, but the result of his later labours is seen in the many works for children and others which he has since published.
At the same time came a bevy of draughtsmen, who added little to Punch's prestige—Dever, whose eight drawings are but caricatures, which none can see without being reminded of some of the grotesque types which later on were adopted by Mr. E. T. Reed in his earlier work; H. R. Robinson with two (though his work was not printed till two years later); Chambers with one; and Rogat with three; and then the year 1865 brought two or three contributors of interest and importance.
The first of these was Fred Walker, A.R.A., whose first drawing, printed in the "Almanac," shows a number of water-nymphs sea-bathing around Neptune—called "The New Bathing Company (Limited). Specimens of the Costumes to be worn by the Shareholders"—is graceful, and technically good, but not particularly remarkable, and is rather fanciful than funny. His second and last, "Captain Jinks of the Selfish and his Friends enjoying themselves on the River"—a more masterly sketch—was made in 1869 (p. 74, Vol. LVII.), in hot indignation at the selfishness and mischievousness of steam-launch skippers on the upper Thames. He had himself been an angry witness of the destruction of the river-banks by private steamboats, but had fairly boiled over at the sight of the very incident which he recorded in Punch—the outrageous, insolent indifference shown by the trippers to all on the river or its banks, save their own selfish selves. As a fisherman, Mr. Leslie, R.A., tells us, Walker looked upon the steam-launcher as his natural enemy; and it was while the two friends were on the river together that the incident occurred, and the drawing was decided upon. "He was most fastidious about this work, rehearsing it many times before he was satisfied.... In rendering the distant landscape the work becomes entirely finished and tender. It is a beautiful little bit of Bray, with the church and poplars drawn direct from Nature; a bridge is introduced to prevent the scene being too easily recognised. On the opposite bank is a portrait of myself, with easel and picture upset by the steamer's swell.... I was told that three copies of Punch were sent to the steam-launch proprietor on the day of publication.... This clever bit of satire had no effect."
"Dumb Crambo, Junior"—Mr. J. Priestman Atkinson—is better remembered by Punch readers, perhaps, by his pencil-name than by his common cipher. In 1864 he was in the General Manager's office at Derby, pleasingly varying his clerical duties by drawing caricatures for the amusement of his fellow-clerks, and designing cartoons for the local satirical journal, the "Derby Ram," which appeared spasmodically and devoted itself principally to electioneering purposes. One of his colleagues was Harry Lemon, Mark's son, who showed his father some of his friend's sketches. On the occasion of a subsequent visit paid by Mr. Atkinson to town, Mark Lemon invited him to dine at the Garrick Club (whither they drove in a hansom, much in the style shown in the sketch), and Shirley Brooks drank to him as "the future cartoonist of Punch." His first cut—an initial T—appeared on p. 15, Vol. XLVIII, and thenceforward Mr. Atkinson has been considered on the "outside Staff," with but two breaks: the first during an absence in Paris for artistic instruction, and the second from 1869 to 1876, when an opportunity occurred to make a "sure fortune" in commerce. The "sure fortune," as usually befalls, became a pecuniary loss, and the draughtsman gladly went back to the service of Punch and the other papers and books to which his pencil (under a different signature) has been devoted. It is years since Mr. Atkinson, who has latterly worked less for Punch than in the early days of his connection, was able to do himself full justice in a half-page drawing; but his "Dumb Crambo" series remain among the happy things which Punch has published in the direction of punning sketches. They remind one of those by Hine, Newman, and the rest, in the old "blackie" days, and are often little masterpieces of comic ingenuity—as may be seen in "Shooting over an Extensive Moor," where a man is discharging his weapon over the portly figure of a Moorish gentleman. Mr. Atkinson, in addition, made some two score literary contributions to the paper and "Pocket-book"—poems chiefly, and stories, not counting smaller trifles, between August, 1877, and the accession of Mr. Burnand to the Editorship. It was, I may add, at the suggestion of Mr. Burnand that Mr. Atkinson adopted his nom de crayon, just as he suggested Mr. Furniss's "Lika Joko."
One of the brightest and most talented draughtsmen Punch has ever had was Charles H. Bennett, the forerunner of Mr. Linley Sambourne. He had graduated in comic draughtsmanship, having been the life and soul of "Diogenes" (August, 1855), and rendered solid service to the "Comic Times" (1855), and the "Comic News" (1863 to 1865), by which time his cipher of an owl, and then of a B in an owl's beak ("B in it" = Bennett), were known and appreciated. Apart from his Punch work, his "Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress" was his masterpiece in serious art; while in the opposite direction his "Shadows" (which procured him for a time the public nickname of "Shadow Bennett"), as well as his amusing "Studies in Darwinesque Development" for Vizetelly's "Illustrated Times," and his second series, somewhat less satisfactory, of "Shadow and Substance," obtained for him great popularity. But when he came on Punch, introduced to Mark Lemon by Hain Friswell, he was within two years of his death. His debut was on February 11th, 1865, with a sketch of "Our Play Box," in which "Mr. Punch's delight at finding his Dear Old Puppets where he left them in July" shows that the artist had already begun those illustrations to the "Essence of Parliament" which form the backbone of his Punch work. Occasional pictures there are, unconventional in shape, grotesque, ingenious, graceful in fancy, that delight us while, as a rule, they successfully conceal any lack of early artistic education; but the Parliamentary drawings are those by which Bennett will be best remembered. Between the date of his first sketch, when he was forthwith summoned to the Table without serving any probationary period, to that last sketch in the spring of 1867, showing Lord John Russell as a cock crowing upon the 1832 Easter egg (p. 116, Vol. LII.), he had made over 230 drawings for the paper, besides his contributions to the Pocket-books of 1866 and 1867. He had already established himself, despite repeated absences through ill-health, one of the greatest favourites in Punch's company; and the comic letter addressed to him by his colleagues during one of his illnesses is printed in the chapter on the "Punch Dinner." Indeed, he had not time to cut his cipher on the Table; the H is begun and abandoned. "As for dear Bennett," Mr. Frederic Shields tells me, "every link that attached me to him has so long since been severed, that to attempt to find the lost end of the thread is hopeless. Nothing remains but the sweet odour of his memory—like a faded rose-leaf turned up in a long-closed drawer." But Mr. Sala declares that he had been, "socially, the most miserable of mankind. He was sober, industrious, and upright, and scarcely a Bohemian; but throughout his short life he was 'Murad the Unlucky.' At one time he occupied shabby chambers in the now defunct Lyon's Inn, Strand; and it was the poor fellow's fate to have a child born—a child that died—the sack from his employers, and the brokers in, all in the same day." Still, Bennett, who was one of the original founders of the Savage Club, was cheerful enough, and of a singularly lovable disposition—as may almost be gathered from his pictures in Punch, in which the shadow of none of his former troubles is ever reflected: nothing but his "facile execution and singular subtlety of fancy." Indeed, "Cheerful Charley," as he was known to his intimates, became, as he himself declared, one of the luckiest and happiest of men—fully appreciated for his art and his own delightful qualities by troops of admiring friends. It was his extraordinary power of realising an abstract thought and crystallising it at once into a happy pictorial fancy that set him on a pedestal, a poet among his colleagues—those colleagues who, when he died, lamented "the loss of a comrade of invaluable skill, and the death of one of the kindliest and gentlest of our associates, the power of whose hand was equalled by the goodness of his heart."
But Bennett left his family in sad straits, and, on Shirley Brooks's initiative, the "Punch men" at once set about devising a means to help them. The result was the theatrical performance referred to on pp. 132-134. The Moray Minstrels wound up this famous entertainment, and Shirley Brooks delivered a touching address of his own writing.
Besides T. W. Woods (who made four drawings), Prehn (two), Lowe (six), and Hays (three), Mr. W. S. Gilbert swelled the list of contributors in this same year (1865). His work, consisting of fifteen small cuts signed with the now familiar "Bab," and designed to illustrate the rhymes they accompany, was lost to Punch by the indisposition for compromise displayed by contributor and Editor alike. "I sent three or four drawings," Mr. Gilbert informs me, "and half-a dozen short articles; but I was told by Mark Lemon, or rather a message reached me from him, that he would insert nothing more of mine unless I left 'Fun,' with which I was connected. This I declined to do unless he would take me on the regular staff of Punch. This he declined to do, and so the matter ended. I had previously offered 'The Yarn of the Nancy Bell' (the first of the Bab Ballads) to Punch, but Mark Lemon declined it on the ground that it was 'too cannibalistic for his readers.'" So Mr. Gilbert knew Punch no more; and it is commonly related that he enjoys nothing more than an occasional good-humoured fling at the journal which could not see his worth. "I say, Burnand," he has many times been reported to have said at the Garrick Club and elsewhere, when the Editor had referred to the heavy post-bag delivered each day at the office, though witticisms found among the wilderness of suggestions were desperately few, "do you never get anything good?" "Oh, sometimes—occasionally." "Then," drawled the other, "why don't you ever put one of them in?"
"A Hot Chestnut" (p. 143, Vol. XLIX.) was the first contribution of G. B. Goddard, well known a little later on as Bouverie Goddard, the animal-painter. Oil-colour was in truth his medium; but his drawings were good, and Punch for a couple of years rejoiced in his new hunting draughtsman. Goddard was a great friend of Charles Keene, with whom he shared for a time a studio in Baker Street; but feeling that he must paint pictures rather than draw upon the wood-block, he left the paper, after placing to his credit fourteen drawings—of which some were adjudged to contain the best horses seen in its pages since the death of Leech.
By far the most important lady artist who ever worked for Punch was Miss Georgina Bowers (for some years now Mrs. Bowers-Edwards). It is not usual, as I have remarked before, to find a woman a professional humorist, though a colonial Punch is edited by a lady; but it is, I believe, an undoubted fact, that up to this year of grace no female caricaturist has yet appeared before man's vision. But Miss Bowers was a humorist, with very clear and happy notions as to what fun should be, and how it should be transferred to a picture. Her long career began in 1866, and thenceforward, working with undiminished energy, she executed hundreds of initials and vignettes as well as "socials," devoting herself in chief part to hunting and flirting subjects. She was a facile designer, but her manner was chronically weak. It was John Leech who set her on the track; Mark Lemon, to whom she took her drawings, encouraged her, and with help from Mr. Swain she progressed.
"My first published drawing," Miss Bowers tells me, "was a dreadful thing of a girl urging a muff of a man to give her a lead at a brook. My 'jokes' all came from incidents I saw out hunting, and from my own varied adventures with horse and hound; but occasionally a suggestion sent to the Editor was transferred to me to be put into shape. Then some one else wrote up to them. When I first hunted in Hertfordshire, I had great opportunities for provincial sporting studies. I feel now that some of my subjects were too personal, and wonder how many people forgave me. I often overheard stories about myself in the hunting-field (where I had hard times with ladies occasionally). When Shirley Brooks died, I felt I had lost my best and most helpful friend; and then Mr. Tom Taylor cared nothing for sport or sporting subjects, so that I felt that my work was uncongenial to him, and I got on badly and lost all interest in it, and gave up, after having drawn ten years for the paper, to which I shall never again contribute."
Mr. Walter Crane, of all people in the world, appears on p. 33 of Vol. LI. The cut is hardly funny, except in idea—it represents a chignon-show—nor is it as well drawn as much of the work he was doing at the time; he had not yet hit upon the style or subject that he afterwards made his own. A couple of sketches by O. Harling, an amateur, conclude the list for the year.
The year 1867 is famous in Punch's calendar for the acquisition of Mr. Linley Sambourne; but an earlier arrival was Mr. Frederic Shields. Mr. Swain suggested that he should "do a letter or two"; Mr. Shields did three, including a "social" ("Want your door swep', marm?"), and a girl curling her hair with the fender-tongs. The initials were kept over until 1870; and this constituted the sum of Mr. Shields' artistic adventure into the domain of humour.
 Mr. Henry James, jun., considers ("Century Magazine," 1883) that "since 1868, Punch has been, artistically speaking, George du Maurier."
 See "Encyclopaedia Britannica."
 See "Magazine of Art," 1891.
 "The Art of England: The Fireside," p. 174.
 The other ladies are Miss Coode, Mrs. Romer (Mrs. Jopling-Rowe), Mrs. Field, Miss Fraser, Miss Mansell (Mrs. Bull)—merely a sketch, and Miss Maud Sambourne.
PUNCH'S ARTISTS: 1867-82.
Mr. Linley Sambourne—Mechanical Engineering Loses a Decorative Designer—Mr. Sambourne's Work—His Photographs—And Enterprise—Strasynski—Mr. Wilfrid Lawson—Mr. E. J. Ellis—Mr. Ernest Griset—Mr. A. Chasemore—Mr. Walter Browne—Mr. Briton Riviere, R.A.—An Undergraduate Humorist—A Punch Initial Converted into an Academy Picture—Mrs. Jopling-Rowe—Mr. Wallis Mackay—Mr. J. Sands, Artist, Traveller, and Hermit—Mr. W. Ralston—Mr. A. Chantrey Corbould—Charles Keene's Advice—Randolph Caldecott—Major-General Robley—R. B. Wallace—Colonel Ward Bennitt—Mr. Montagu Blatchford—Mr. Harry Furniss—Origin of Mr. Gladstone's Collars—A Favourite Ruse—How It's Done—Mr. Furniss and the Irish Members—The Lobby Incident—Clever Retaliation—Mr. Furniss's Withdrawal—Mr. Lillie—Mr. Storey, A.R.A.—Mr. Alfred Bryan.
One day when Mr. Linley Sambourne made a successful appearance as Admiral Van Tromp at a fancy-dress ball, Mr. W S. Gilbert drily observed, "One Dutch of Sambourne makes the whole world grin!" The jest was wider in its application than he who made it, probably, had intended. The humour of the artist, his quaintness of fancy, wit, and touch, are appreciated by whoever looks for something more, even in a professedly comic design, than that which is at first and immediately obvious. When, early in 1867, Mark Lemon fell into admiration of a little drawing that was luckily thrust into his hand, and declared that the young draughtsman who wrought it had a great future before him, he proved himself possessed of a faculty of critical insight, or of an easy-going artistic conscience, uncommon even among editors. Few who saw Mr. Linley Sambourne's early work, even throughout the first two or three years of his practice, would have imagined that behind those woodcuts, for all their cleverness, there lay power and even genius, or that the man himself would soon come to be regarded as one of the greatest masters of pure line of his time.
At that time Mr. Sambourne had been working in the engineering draughtsmen's office of Messrs. Penn and Sons, of Greenwich. But the work was not congenial; the "pupil" spent most of his time in sketching, and there is a story—doubtless as apocryphal as it is malicious—that in one of his designs for a steam-engine, he sacrificed so much to "effect" as to carry his steam-pipe through the spokes of the fly-wheel. It was his office companion in misfortune, Mr. Alfred Reed, who secured his friend's release from the thraldom of the iron-bound profession, by seizing the sketch already alluded to and showing it to his father, German Reed. By that gentleman it was submitted to his friend Mark Lemon, who had about that time been writing an "entertainment" for the company at the "Gallery of Illustrations." The result was an editorial summons to the sketcher, and an engagement which has lasted to the present day. Thus it was that, with a sketch of John Bright tilting at a quintain under the title of "Pros and Cons," Mr. Sambourne found himself, at the age of twenty-two, a regular contributor to Punch—though he had still to wait until 1871 before he was rewarded with a seat at the Table.
Of artistic education he had had practically none. In the engineering drawing-office he had learned how to handle the pen and to put it to uses which have become a feature of his draughtsmanship. But besides a life-school attendance extending over not more than a fortnight, he had no other teachers than his own eyes and his own intelligence. In his earliest work with the pencil there was a curious use of the point. Suddenly he was called upon, through the unexpected absence of Charles Keene from town, for more important work than that with which he had hitherto been entrusted. This was the half-page head-piece and the tail-piece to the preface to Vol. LIII. Then came promotion to the "small socials" and "half-page socials." Some of the work he did fairly well, founding himself now upon Leech, now upon Keene; but his character and originality were too powerful to follow any man. He began to form a style of his own, and that style did not lend itself to the representation of modern life. It was suited better for decoration than for movement; while the beauty of line and of silhouette which he sought and obtained, in spite of his intense, almost aggressive, individuality, placed him absolutely apart from all the black-and-white artists of the day.
It was, I have said, to the example of his predecessor, Charles H. Bennett, who died in April, 1867 (the very month in which Sambourne's first drawing appeared), that we owe those wonderful initial letters to the "Essence of Parliament" of Shirley Brooks—those intricate drawings which, covering nearly a whole page, were such miracles of invention, of fancy, and of allusion, swarming with figures, overflowing with suggestion, teeming with subtle symbolism. But these things did not come at once. It was not until the "comic cut" idea was put entirely on one side and his imagination allowed full play, that Mr. Sambourne fully developed his powers—his strength of conception, design, and execution. And then it was that he revealed the fact that though a humorist—and invariably, too, a good-humorist—by necessity, he is a classic by feeling.
The artist's personality, as it should, impresses us first, powerfully and irresistibly. While under Mark Lemon, Mr. Sambourne, as an artist, was still unformed. Under Shirley Brooks was awakened his wonderful inventive faculty. Under the regime of masterly inactivity—the happy policy of laissez faire—of Tom Taylor, the talent had burst forth into luxuriance, not to say exuberance. And under Mr. Burnand it was schooled and restrained within severer limits.
It was many years before regular political cartooning fell to his lot. He illustrated several of Mr. Burnand's serials in Punch, and some of his work out of it. But afterwards he rose to the treatment of actuality. Upon the event of the hour his picture is formed, and each week his work must be forthcoming. There can be no question of failure, no dallying with the subject, however elaborate or unpromising it may appear. A decision must be come to, and that rapidly; and there the artist sits, his watch hung up before him, "one eye on the dial and the other on the drawing-paper," knowing that at the appointed hour the work must be ready for the messenger. Thus the majority of his four thousand designs have been greatly hurried—hurried in thought as well as in execution. Many have been wrought in a single day; the great majority within two days; very few, indeed, have taken more. But when he has the time he wants, what amazing results are achieved! Sir John Tenniel once exclaimed to me: "What extraordinary improvement there is in Sambourne's work! Although a little hard and mechanical, it is of absolutely inexhaustible ingenuity and firmness of touch. His diploma for the Fisheries Exhibition almost gave me a headache to look at it—so full, cram-full of suggestion, yet leaving nothing to the imagination, so perfectly and completely drawn, with a certainty of touch which baffles me to understand how he does it."
For the rest, Mr. Sambourne's method, like his work, is unique. Keen of observation though he is, his memory for detail is not to be compared to that of Sir John Tenniel; and, actuated by that desire for accuracy which he holds desirable in a journal specially devoted to topical allusion, he avails himself extensively of the use of photography. In the cabinets in his studio, filled full of drawers, each labelled according to their contents, over ten thousand photographs are classified: every celebrity of the day, and to a certain extent of the past, British and foreign, at various ages, in various costumes, and in various attitudes; representatives of the Church, the Bench, and the Bar; of Science, Art, Literature, and the Stage; the beasts and birds and insects in and out of the Zoological Gardens; figures by the score, nude and draped; costumes of all ages and every country; soldiers, sailors, and the uniforms of every army and navy; land and sea and sky; boating and botany, nuns and clowns, hospital-nurses, musical instruments, and rifles, locomotives, wheel-barrows, shop-windows, and everything else besides—everything, in short, as he himself declared, "from a weasel to a Welshman"—all are photographed mostly by himself, and all are arranged by himself, in readiness against the demand for accuracy and the exigencies of haste. But when time permits, Mr. Sambourne goes to greater trouble still. Does he require a special uniform? he begs the War Office—not unsuccessfully—to lend him one or two men, or even a detachment; does he want to represent Mr. Gladstone—say, as Wellington (as he did November 2nd, 1889)? he procures the loan of the duke's own raiment, and only stops short at borrowing Mr. Gladstone himself. For his types, too, he takes pains not less thorough. For Britannia's helmet, he made working drawings of the unique Greek piece in the British Museum, and from that had a replica constructed—one of the most notable items in a notable "property" room.
At the back of his house is a paved courtyard, wherein his servant poses as every character under the sun while he is photographed by his master, who then runs inside to develop the plate and make a dash at his drawing. Or he will photograph himself, or the model in the desired attitude; or he will get his friends to pose. Among his sitters there is none more useful than the burly man who serves equally well for "Policeman A 1" or John Bull, for the Duke of Cambridge or Prince Bismarck. It was he who sat for one of the finest of Mr. Sambourne's "junior cartoons" on the occasion when the great ex-Chancellor had said: "I am like the traveller lost in the snow, who begins to get stiff while the snow-flakes cover him." This picture of the aged and forlorn statesman, accompanied only by his faithful hound, is perhaps the best of the artist's achievements of dignity and pathos—worthy of being named with "Dropping the Pilot" of Sir John Tenniel. His passion for realism is so great that, I remember, when he was engaged on his "Mahogany Tree" for the Jubilee number of Punch—one of the most popular drawings he ever made—he had just such a table duly laid for dinner in the courtyard, with one person sitting at it in order to show the proportion, and photographed it from a window of the house at the necessary elevation. But for his love of accuracy he would not have done these things; nor, but for his love of naturalism, could he have given us his numerous fine studies of Nature. And but for this, Mr. Punch would never have printed one or two of his Norwegian sketches, such as "The Church-going Bell," in which there was not the slightest attempt at humour or fun—nothing but a calm and reposeful love of Nature, the deep, sad impression on the mind and heart of the artist as he watches the northern sun dip in sleepy majesty behind the panting waves.
Like Rabelais, he can use the pencil to greater ends under cover of the motley, and encase bitter truths with the gilt of a printed jest. Like Giotto and his legendary feat, he can draw you a perfect circle with his pen—and perhaps he is the only man in the country who can do it. His is the rare gift that in him sense of fun, of dignity, and of art is equal. He will brook nothing more serious in his sallies than chaff and banter; and yet his kindly art, based upon Nature and observation of the work of others, has, by its very truth, made him enemies even on foreign thrones. Nevertheless, it is less as a politician and a satirist that he claims recognition; it is primarily as an artist that he will assuredly be remembered when his place among his countrymen has to be determined.
A Polish artist, with Mr. Sambourne's initials, L. Strasynski by name, also began in 1867, and during that and the following year contributed nine cuts, very foreign in feeling and firm in touch. Then, after an anonymous draughtsman, "M.S.R.," had appeared with a single cut ("Candles"), Mr. F. Wilfrid Lawson, the elder brother and teacher of Cecil Lawson, contributed a sheetful of initials and vignettes which dribbled forth in the paper up to 1876; and Mr. T. Walters, a half-a-dozen, up to 1875. Mr. E. J. Ellis, now better known in other fields than comic draughtsmanship, began on December 12th, 1867. He had received an introduction to Mark Lemon through Mr. (now Sir) Algernon Borthwick, and found the Editor "good-natured enough," as he himself says, "to allow me to do a dozen or so of initials, and a quarter-page illustration. They were all more or less pinched and painful things, and Mr. Lemon did not conceal from me that 'he was not knocked over by them.' But they were drawn on the block—not on paper—and from the strangeness and discomfort of it came the tight-elbowed style of the work. Of what I did altogether, only about a third were printed; half were paid for; but what they paid for they did not print, and what they printed they did not pay for." At that time Mr. Ellis caught the fever of decorative art, classic and romantic, which culminated in the "interpreted" edition of Blake's "Prophetic Books," in collaboration with Mr. Yeats; and Punch lost a promising recruit.
The experience of Mr. Ernest Griset, who is first seen on p. 61 of Vol. LIV., was more extensive but less gratifying. He excelled at comic animals—his human figures are most of them of one ragged type—but on Bennett's sudden disappearance he was quickly encouraged to take up the dead man's work, and was enabled to show in many of his three-and-sixty drawings of that year the full range of his talent, his remarkable invention and ingenuity. Mr. Griset, though born in Boulogne, was educated in England, and after studying art under Gallait, intended to follow water-colour painting, taking subjects by preference of a Glacial Prehistoric kind. But the foundation of "Fun" gave him the opportunity of comic draughtsmanship, and the work he did for the paper brought him Mark Lemon's invitation to call upon him. A cordial reception and a flattering tribute to his ability were followed by an understanding of regular employment, and the young draughtsman became a Punch artist unattached. But he did not remain long in favour. His work, perhaps, was not highly popular, and Mark Lemon perceptibly cooled towards him. So, finding he was no longer wanted, Mr. Griset, who was then no more than twenty-four years of age, retired, and consoled himself in other directions—notably by illustrating "AEsop's Fables," which had attracted Bennett and Sir John Tenniel before him.
At the end of the index to Vol. LIII. is a little tail-piece that marks the advent of Mr. A. Chasemore. This draughtsman was welcomed by Mark Lemon with the words: "You may try your hand at a large drawing, but let it be broad fun. We don't want any more ladies and pretty children." That was in 1868—yet ladies and pretty children do not even now seem to have lost their popularity! The original drawing was not a success, and had to be touched up by Keene. It is mentioned here as affording another good example of the careful way in which sketches are adapted. The subject was a recruit joining a volunteer corps. The adjutant inquires: "What company would you wish to be in?" to which the recruit replies: "Oh, gentleman's co'pany, of course!" The recruit was left untouched, but the adjutant was re-drawn by Keene. "I'm afraid there's not much humour in the idea," wrote the artist with quaint modesty; "still, I hope it's good enough for Punch!" Up to 1875 Mr. Chasemore contributed thirty-three drawings, and in addition there was a belated one in 1879; and then he passed over to "Judy," to which paper he thereafter devoted himself.
The last recruit of the year was "Phiz'" young son, Walter Browne, who, through his father's influence with Mark Lemon, was allowed to contribute a few drawings, the first of which appeared on p. 148, Vol. LV., and the last on November 20th, 1875. He was hardly out of his studentship at the time—he was a pupil of Bonnat—and his work was "young;" but he might have risen on Punch had he not allowed himself to be tempted away by a delusive offer of Tom Hood's of constant work on "Fun," so that he closed the door in his own face, and had thenceforward to look to news-drawing and book-illustration for advancement.
Mr. Briton Riviere, R.A., appeared in the month of January, 1868. Few who have followed his career as painter would detect in him the inveterate humorist; yet it was in that direction that his bent led him while he was still a boy. When at Oxford he had amused himself of an evening with making humorous illustrations in pen-and-ink, and a book which he then so drew was shown by him in 1868 to his friend Mr. G. L. Craik, one of the partners in the house of Macmillans, and the husband of John Halifax, Gentlewoman. This book Mrs. Craik sent to Mark Lemon, who invited the young graduate to the Punch office, and adopting the grotesque illustrations to "Mazeppa" at once, gave him a sort of running commission to do incidental work, to which Mr. Riviere gladly responded by a total of the twenty-three cuts—chiefly of wild animal subjects—contributed by him through 1868 and 1869. Not only was the work congenial, but the artist at the time was entirely dependent upon illustration for his livelihood, for he was newly-married, and the picture-buying public had not yet been educated up to purchasing his canvases. His illustrations—in chief part for American publications—were all done at night, as his days were delivered over to earnest though unremunerative painting. But directly his pictures began to make way, he dropped illustration, which had made inroads upon his health and had permanently injured his left eye through the strain of the artificial light. So Mr. Riviere ceased his Punch connection, the proprietors, moreover, consenting to suppress those blocks which had not yet appeared, as the painter feared that they would do harm to himself professionally, and no particular good to the paper. Yet he has always expressed his pride that he should have been one of the outside "Punch Staff," and he has proved it by elaborating the initial "M," which was published on p. 217, Vol. LVI., in "Punch's Derby Sporting Prophecy," into his picture "Of a Fool and His Folly there is no End," which was painted and exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1890.
A couple of drawings from Mr. Cooper, and an initial by "W. V." (the cipher of Mr. Wallis Mackay, whose sketch and subsequent work did not appear for a couple of years) were next sent in, and then came Mr. J. Moyr Smith, whose long series of clever mock-Etruscan drawings continued with few breaks for the space of ten years. Although the spirit that runs through them becomes monotonous after a while, the draughtsmanship and the excellence of the fooling always elicit admiration. Mr. Smith had served his time to architecture; but natural love of figure-drawing, intensified by the study of Sir John Tenniel's comic illustrations of the historical costume, faithfully and even learnedly delineated and perfectly drawn, settled his career, and "Fun," under Tom Hood's editorship, witnessed his start in humorous life. Referred to Mark Lemon by "Pater" Evans, he obtained a ready hearing, and for a couple of years drew for the paper; but he did not work regularly, during an interval of three years, until 1872. From this time forward he was one of Punch's recognised outside contributors, though he worked for it only when not engaged in making designs for art-manufacturers. It was under Shirley Brooks's editorship, and later under Tom Taylor's, that he gave full rein to his passion for classic treatment, and his ornament, which gave a distinct cachet to Punch up to 1878, was not founded on a mere grotesque treatment of classical subjects, but was the fruit of a close study of and easy familiarity with heathen mythology, classical, Egyptian, and, in particular, Norse. The fun was not particularly broad, but Tom Taylor was especially tickled by his attempts to find amusement in the extraordinary head-dresses worn by ladies of Ancient Egypt—such as that in the cut (July 11th, 1874) learnedly inscribed "Oos Yer Atter?"
Mrs. Jopling-Rowe, then Mrs. Frank Romer, was the only new arrival in the year 1869. The death of her husband had left her under the necessity of supporting herself and her children, and as niece of Mark Lemon she might have obtained easy admittance to Punch, had she not found portrait-painting a more remunerative occupation. Under the initial of her name she made but four drawings of little importance, the most ambitious being an illustration of the "Song of Sixpence," which was treated as a subject from "Nursery History." It appeared on page 56 of Volume LVII.
Mr. Wallis Mackay, the clever "Captious Critic" of later days, followed "W. G."—a contributor of a couple of trifles—and worked for Punch from 1870 to 1874, making seven-and-twenty drawings, "socials" chiefly, in his well-known style. It was in the latter year that Tom Taylor succeeded to the editorship, and having been mortally offended with a personal sketch which the "Captious Critic" had drawn some time before, he forthwith cancelled the connection. Even the blocks already in hand and paid for were suppressed, with the exception of four, of which the last appeared in 1877. On the accession of Mr. Burnand, says Mr. Mackay, he was informed that Bouverie Street was no longer "a close borough," and that the Essence of Parliament awaited him; but the "Special Correspondent" was away in the wilds of Ireland, and the opportunity passed by.
The same day as that on which the first of Mr. Bennitt's four drawings arrived—(he must not be confounded with the Colonel Bennitt who is referred to later on)—saw also the first contribution of Mr. J. Sands, Charles Keene's friend, who put his little anagrammatic device of an hour-glass to more than three-score drawings between the years 1870 and 1880. Save for their ingenuity, they were not of first-rate importance. Mr. Sands had been an Edinburgh and Arbroath solicitor; a prairie farmer; an art-student under Charles Keene, who made him practise drawing until he became dyspeptic and melancholy at the sight of his own feeble work; an emigrant to Buenos Ayres, where he practised most trades in turn, including that of newspaper artist; a contributor and draughtsman (again under Keene's eye) to London magazines, and to Punch; a sojourner in the almost inaccessible island of St. Kilda; an archaeological explorer in the islands of the Hebrides; and finally, for thirteen years a hermit, living a hermit's life, solitary and intellectual, at the water's edge, at Walls, Shetland. Many have been the stones that have rolled for Punch, but few that have rolled so far, or gathered so much moss the while. In his more civilised moments, so to speak, Mr. Sands lived for a time a good deal in the life of Keene, to whom he presented many jokes and sketches for pictures; but he became disheartened at the slowness of his own promotion, and suspecting, moreover, that Keene, in his heart, would have been glad were he to retire in favour of Mr. A. Corbould, Keene's nephew, he finally decided to withdraw. Nevertheless, the friendship of the two men lasted to the end—a friendship that was a rare and deep attachment.
Two more names belong to 1870—that of Mr. E. F. Brewtnall, R.W.S., whose single contribution was sent in in this year; and Mr. W. Ralston, of Glasgow, later a photographer by profession, but by taste and opportunity an artist. It was with Shirley Brooks's succession to the Editorship that Mr. Ralston obtained his recognition. "I remember," says the draughtsman, "how in walking down to business that day I tried to look unconscious of my greatness, and mentally determined that it would make no difference in my bearing." His drawings at first were very hard, but the point of humour was invariably good, and the Scottish "wut" equal to that of the best man who ever drew for the paper. He was a self-taught draughtsman, who learned by watching his younger brother, "whose artistic boots," says he, "I was not fit to black;" but he improved rapidly, and contributed in all two hundred and twenty-seven drawings, initials, and "socials." At the death of Tom Taylor, Mr. Ralston's contributions ceased, only one more from his pencil ever appearing in the paper—in 1886. It was partly because Mr. Ralston became a busy "Graphic" artist, and partly because the Editor was in search of new blood; but the only time Mr. Ralston made his post-Taylorian appearance in Punch (that was not "old stock") was with an article in the Sandford and Merton style, directed against the Duke of Bedford and the Bloomsbury gates. This little attack, called "K.G.—Q.E.D.," constitutes Mr. Ralston's sole contribution to the literature of the age.
Mr. A. Chantrey Corbould, as already explained, was introduced to Punch by his uncle, Charles Keene. Beginning in 1871, he worked on until 1890, when a temporary cessation intervened. His work, dealing chiefly with hunting and "horsey" subjects, has always a certain freshness, in spite of being, technically speaking, a little tight, and at one time raised their author to very near the front rank in popularity. He was only eighteen when he joined (the expression "Mr. Punch's young men," it will be seen, is no misnomer), having already had the benefit of Keene's advice. One of the elder artist's letters is before me as I write:—
"I saw your drawing this morning," he says, "and think it very good, considering the short time you have had to study art; but I can see that the execution would render the drawing rather difficult to engrave, and you want a little more study and practice in 'the human face divine' to please the newspaper people. I never give advice on these matters, but I can tell you from my own experience I don't think drawing on wood is a good road to stand on as an artist; but if you don't agree with me, and wish to go in for this particular branch, it seems to me that you should article or apprentice yourself by legal agreement with some engraver of large business for a certain time on certain terms. This is how I began, and have been sorry for it ever since!"
Fourteen years later, when Mr. Corbould was still hoping for that position with which many people already credited him—a Staff appointment—Keene wrote:—
"I've no doubt myself that it is in your power, if you manage well, to get on to Punch. It is rather unlucky that Burnand is not a sporting man" [Mr. Burnand, by the way, is an inveterate horseman]. "... I should advise you to drive gently but steadily at hunting and country subjects, and if you get a good idea of any sort have a shy at it, and encourage your friends to look out for you.... You've noticed I only do one a week now, as a rule. I send you an idea you might work out. Wouldn't you make it a meet (in background), and the speakers mounted?
"'Think I must part with him.' SHE: 'What! all at once, wholesale? Wouldn't it be better to sell him retail on little skewers?' I'll look out and send you anything in your line I hear of."
This joke of Keene's was duly worked out by Mr. Corbould, and was produced Nov. 22, 1884 (p. 249, Vol. LXXXVII). Up to this time the draughtsman had worked under three Editors, to whom, as was the practice, he would send in slight sketches to "legends," and work out those which were accepted, the selection being made in due course, with a bit of criticism to take the vanity out of him, thus: "Very good subject. The man is far too big for the horse, which is a 15.3 if he's an inch. This was generally Leech's mistake; so you err in remarkably good company. Why 'Hunting Puzzle'? It's not a puzzle."
Apart from a couple of sketches by Mrs. Field and one by Mr. Graham, the year 1872 brought no contributor but Randolph Caldecott. The half-a-dozen sketches together comprising his "Seaside Drama" (p. 120, Vol. LXI.) contains no hint of that peculiar style, individual humour, and perfect suggestion, which he was to make his own. His drawings were published in 1872, 1873, and 1875, and then again in 1879, 1880, 1882, and 1883—eighteen drawings in all; but it was not until 1879 that Caldecott showed any of his later freshness and humorous exaggeration. It was in 1870, his biographer asserts, that his drawings were shown to Shirley Brooks and Mark Lemon:—
"Mr. Clough thus records the incident: Bearing an introductory letter, he went up to London on a flying visit, carrying with him a sketch on wood and a small book of drawings of 'The Fancies of a Wedding.' He was well received. The sketch was accepted, and with many compliments the book of drawings was detained. 'From that day to this,' said Mr. Caldecott, 'I have not seen either sketch or book.' Some time after, on meeting Mark Lemon, the incident was recalled, when the burly, jovial Editor replied, 'My dear fellow, I am vagabondising to-day, not Punching.' I don't think Mr. Caldecott rightly appreciated the joke."
Caldecott had had some practice in humorous drawing, having drawn three years before for the "Will-o'-the-Wisp" and "The Sphinx." But his Punch work was merely occasional; his more serious labours were for the "Graphic," "The Pictorial World," and most notably, on Mr. Edmund Evans's suggestion, for the immortal children's books which the engraver might print in colours. He was only forty years old when he died, and Punch, in the course of a long obituary poem, bore witness to his singular charm, though he made no reference to the work contributed to his own pages:—
"Sure never pencil steeped in mirth So closely kept to grace and beauty. The honest charms of mother Earth, Of manly love, and simple duty, Blend in his work with boyish health, With amorous maiden's meek cajolery, Child-witchery, and a wondrous wealth Of dainty whim and daring drollery."
Perhaps the best military contributor of jokes that Punch has had is Major-General H. G. Robley. Keene, as I have already stated, re-drew or touched up the earlier of his sketches, which dealt for the most part with military life on foreign service. Twenty-seven contributions, many of them unsigned and of varying degrees of importance, came from young Captain Robley, as he was then, of the 91st (Argyle and Sutherland) Highlanders. To Keene he was, as the artist confessed, "a very obliging correspondent," who sketched well and sent him many suggestions. "You see, a mess-table makes a very 'preserve' for Punch subjects. I don't follow his drawings very much, but they are very useful in military subjects." Captain Robley contributed during the years 1873-8. Mr. W. J. Hennessy, who has since established his position as a delicate and accomplished draughtsman, made a couple of drawings of social subjects in 1873, and two more in 1875, but they were by no means of the excellence to which the artist afterwards attained.
No fresh contributor appears in 1874, the couple of sketches signed "C. B." having been sent in twelve months before, and that of F. Woods having been practically redrawn, although his initials were allowed to stand; but 1875 witnessed the work of five new hands in the paper. The first was Robert Bruce Wallace, whose style was modelled on that of C. H. Bennett, and greatly inspired besides by Mr. Sambourne. The bulk of his work was done from 1875 to 1878 inclusive, but in the latter year he fell away, and his contributions became very rare. He died in 1893, and one of his drawings made a posthumous appearance in 1894. He was a very prolific contributor. Wallace gave up his Punch connection—not, as has been said, because the remuneration was insufficient, but because he considered himself ill-treated. According to him, he had fully understood that he was to succeed Miss Georgina Bowers, and with this promotion in view, he had proceeded to Worcestershire from Manchester, where he lived, and made preparatory studies of horse and hound and landscape scenery. When, contrary to expectation, he found himself passed by, he was grievously disappointed and annoyed, and refused to go on with initials and so forth—which he drew with so much beauty and conscientiousness. He was a secretary of the Manchester Academy of Fine Arts, and had a considerable reputation as a wit at its councils; and when Ford Madox Brown was engaged on his Manchester frescoes, Wallace acted for some time as his assistant.
Then followed Colonel Ward Bennitt, late of the 5th Lancers, who drew several initials and "socials;" but being at that time a lieutenant (in the 6th Inniskilling Dragoons), he found that he had no time during the day to draw for Punch, and that night work affected his eyesight. Mr. J. Curren, with a couple of sketches, in 1875 and 1876; Mr. L. G. Fawkes, of the Royal Hibernian Academy, with a single drawing in the former year; and that clever young painter, Valentine Bromley, who died so young after promising so well, with a single drawing, complete the list; but there was nothing distinctive in the work of any save the last.
Mr. Montagu Blatchford, who adopted—not without success—the Bennett-Sambourne-Wallace style of half-decorative, half-pictorial representation, appeared towards the end of 1876; and although he was supplanted a few years later by Mr. Harry Furniss and Mr. Wheeler, he continued, even after 1881, to be seen fitfully in Punch. He was, by profession, a carpet-designer, with unusual skill in freehand drawing; and when in the spring of 1876 he no longer saw Mr. Sambourne's work in the paper, he adopted the shrewd idea of sending in some sketches in which that artist's style was respectfully imitated. But Tom Taylor was shrewder still, and wrote: "Dear Sir,—Mr. Sambourne's absence is only temporary. I have not, therefore, an opening for a designer to fill his place, and return your drawings, which are very clever;" adding that he would be glad to give the young applicant an opening if possible—a chance which soon came, but which never meant very much for the artist. He began with a comic umbrella-stand, and from that basis made scores of small subjects, all, with but half-a-dozen exceptions, of his own suggestion. Then, when Tom Taylor died he sent less and less—a little sore that he should be pushed aside for younger men—and finally ceased altogether, returning to Halifax in response to business calls. Then followed W. J. Hodgson (who is not to be confounded with the draughtsman of the same name and initials of nearly twenty years later), with four cuts, during 1876 and the two next years; "Captain F.," with a couple; Miss Fraser ("MF"), daughter of Colonel Fraser of the City Police, with seven sketches; and Mr. Hallward, with a couple of initials.
For four years no accession of importance was made, Mr. W. G. Smith, with a single initial, and Mr. W. G. Holt, with three more ambitious cuts, being all that 1878 had to show; while 1879 brought forth Mr. Dower Wilson with a "social" in the Almanac, and a nameless F. B. ("Memorials"). In the following year Mr. Athelstan Rusden made his maiden appearance as an illustrator with a Disraeli Elephant, which he had drawn on the wood and sent in from Manchester; but "Moonshine" offered the inducement of continuous occupation, and the young amateur drifted away.
The year 1880 is memorable for the enlistment of Mr. Harry Furniss. Mr. E. J. Wheeler was the other arrival, and he still (1895) spreads over Punch's pages his bright little theatrical sketches and initials, as well as illustrations to Mr. Burnand's own literary contributions. His drawings are unmistakable, as much by their rather old-fashioned method as by the well-known monogram of later years, or by the appropriate sign-manual of a "four-Wheeler" in his earlier contributions.
In Mr. Harry Furniss Punch found an artist who was destined to become, during the fourteen years of his connection, a considerable factor in his career. Mr. Furniss was bred up in the Punch tradition. While still a boy at school in Ireland—where, through a mistake on Time's part, he was born, of English and Scotch parents—he produced, edited, and illustrated "The Schoolboys' Punch" in manuscript, in careful imitation of the original, drawing the cartoon as well. One of these "big cuts" represented himself as the performer in a cabinet-trick—(the sensation of the Davenport Brothers was before the public at the time)—in which the cabinet was the school, and the ropes that bound him the curriculum; while from another cabinet he emerges in full blaze of scholastic triumph. He soon began drawing, and engraving his own designs, for Mr. A. M. Sullivan's Irish version of Punch; and having met Tom Taylor—who then reigned in Whitefriars—and been by him applauded for his sketches, he accepted the hint that he might send in drawings to the original Hunchback of Fleet Street. But when they came, Taylor declined them on the ground that the ideas were unsuitable; yet, curiously enough, they several times appeared, re-drawn by members of the Staff. One of these, re-drawn by Mr. du Maurier in February, 1877, represented a scene witnessed by Mr. Furniss from the railway—a flooded field navigated by two men in a boat, who are reading a notice-board indicating that the submerged "highly-eligible site" was "To be Let or Sold for Building." Mr. Furniss thereupon decided to have done with Punch during that editorship; and came to London to seek his artistic fortune. He speedily made such way on leading journals, especially on the "Illustrated London News," that Mr. Burnand, on succeeding to his office, invited the young draughtsman, then aged twenty-six, to become a regular contributor. Mr. Furniss's first sketch (published on p. 204, Vol. LXXIX., 1880) was a skit on what is ignorantly called the Temple Bar Griffin—(it is really an heraldic dragon, designed by Horace Jones)—executed by his friend C. B. Birch, A.R.A.
At that time Mr. Henry W. Lucy had just been summoned to reinforce Punch's Staff, and to take over the "Essence of Parliament," since Shirley Brooks's death so ponderously distilled by the late Tom Taylor, and to him was left the selection of an illustrator of his "Toby's Diaries." In selecting Mr. Furniss he made a wise choice, for the "Lika Joko" of later times had been a close student of politics, and seemed cut out for the post. How he justified himself is sufficiently known; he achieved for himself a great popularity, and unquestionably acquired for Punch a unique position among journals, as representing to the people that personal side of Parliamentary life, the familiar aspect and the vie intime of the House of Commons, not to be found elsewhere. No doubt, here and there some offence was taken; and wives would at times protest against the caricatures of husbands' figures, clothes, or faces; but as a rule the "truthful falsehood" was appreciated by Mr. Furniss's victims—many of whom would ask to be included in his pictures—and few frequenters of the Lobby were more popular than he.
"Mr. Gladstone's collars" are a by-word in the land; and Mr. Furniss made them. It is generally recognised that Mr. Gladstone wore no such collars. Nevertheless, his favourite sitting attitude in the House was one very low down, his chin buried in his chest; and the more tired or depressed he was—the more weary or dejected at the course of the debate—the more his head would sink within his collar, and the more the linen rose. This fact gave Mr. Furniss the idea, in the course of a few sessions, of his drawing of "Mr. Gladstone's Choler Getting Up;" and thereon was based his popular fiction. Similarly, the representation of Lord Randolph Churchill as a small boy of irrepressible "cheek" was at first intended to typify the noble lord's irrepressible unimportance in the Chamber (that was before he had risen from the Fourth Party leadership to the Chancellorship of the Exchequer); while the creation of the complacent, many-chinned descendant of the Plantagenets in "The House of Harcourts"—a page imagined and drawn in greatest haste straight on to the wood-block, to fill up—was received with uproarious delight by the public as a true piece of satirical humour. But of all his "types" the funniest, as well as the easiest, was the ungainly but side-splitting caricature of Sir Richard Temple—which helped not a little to spread his fame throughout the land. All these men took the fun in the best of good part, Sir William Harcourt only protesting—not when Harry Furniss endowed him with an extra chin, but when he did not credit him with the full complement of hair.
To obtain his portraits Mr. Furniss would stalk his quarries unawares: for self-consciousness in a sitter kills all character. A favourite ruse was for him to tell Mr. A. that he wanted to sketch Mr. B., and that his work would be greatly facilitated if the hon. member would keep the other in conversation. Mr. A. would enter gleefully into the joke, and then Harry Furniss would sketch Mr. A! If need be, he would make his sketch, unseen and unseeing, upon a piece of cardboard or in a sketch-book, in the side-pocket of his overcoat. In this way detail, mannerism, gesture, pose—character, in fact, would be secured, and next week's Punch might contain the portrait—sometimes severe, generally humorous, and always well-observed. A rapid worker, too, is Furniss—incomparably the quickest of his colleagues—who could produce anything from a thumbnail sketch to a full-page drawing, portraits and all, in an hour or so, although he would prefer, of course, to have fair time to arrange his composition, to pencil it in, and then work it up carefully from the living model. On the occasion when Lord Randolph Churchill's hunting adventures in South Africa kept London amused, Mr. Furniss, who was in the country and about to start for town by rail, saw an account of the exploit in the morning paper. He wired to Mr. Burnand: "See Churchill's lion-hunt, page — 'Times.' Splendid opportunity. Reply —— Junction." At ten-thirty he found the answer awaiting him at the junction: "Good. Let engravers have it to-day." He set to work at once in the train. Having to change several times, he found the junctions of great use for drawing in the faces; and by half-past four the finished page was in Mr. Swain's possession.
Indefatigable and unconventional, as much a journalist as an artist, gifted with a rapid intelligence and a subacid humour, Mr. Furniss, in his work on Punch, has been extremely varied, and by the strength of his personality he imparted to the Parliamentary side of the paper a touch of his own convictions. It was obvious from his treatment of the Irish that he was a strong Unionist, and that his sympathy with the Irish party was neither very deep nor very cordial. This was emphasised by some of the best caricatures he ever produced. They were bitterly resented; but probably more ill-feeling was created by the ludicrous picture he subsequently drew of the patriots as they returned, sea-sick, moist, and dejected, to Dublin from the "London Conference," entitled "A Sketch at Kingstown." On the top of this came the irritation caused by his laughable but merciless mimicry, in his famous entertainment of "The Humours of Parliament," of the imaginary Member for Ballyhooly; but it was the caricatures of Mr. Swift MacNeill, M.P., that brought matters to a head. Mr. MacNeill had previously appreciated the sketches, and begged certain of them. But at last, on the occasion of an exuberant and unflattering, but still not an ill-humoured, portrait, supported by a solid contingent of his Party, he sought the artist out and, reproaching him in excited and unmeasured terms, he committed a "technical assault" upon him. Mr. Furniss was not to be induced to retaliate, even when Dr. Tanner, M.P., and others who surrounded him addressed him in words more violent and offensive than Mr. MacNeill's, and threatened him with corporal punishment. As it appeared to the draughtsman that it was all a pre-arranged affair, he remained passive, lest a development of the situation should lead—as it was probably intended that it should lead—to his exclusion from the Lobby. Punch himself, however, snapped his fingers at this argumentum baculinum, and Mr. Furniss, with rare good taste, revenged himself by a full-page drawing (21st September, 1893) of "A House of Apollo-ticians," in which every member has been idealised to a point of extraordinary personal beauty, while the artist himself appears in the corner as a malignant ape of hideous aspect. This was balm, no doubt, to the gentleman who had been so incensed at being "caricatured, now as a potato, now as a gorilla;" while the situation was cleverly summed up thus:—
"O, Mr. MacNeill was quite happy until a Draughtsman in Punch made him like a gorilla— At the Zoo the gorilla quite happy did feel Till the draughtsman in Punch made him like the MacNeill."
Meanwhile, several series of importance had come from his pencil. His "Puzzle-heads" are marvels of ingenuity, in each of which a portrait of a celebrity is built up of personal attributes, characteristics, or incidents in the career of the person represented; his Lika Joko "Japanneries" caught with amazing truth the spirit of Japanese draughtsmanship—far more completely than either Bennett or Brunton ever succeeded in achieving; and his "Interiors and Exteriors" reflect social and public life with exuberant, almost with extravagant, humour.
But the end of his connection with Punch was at hand. He had joined in October, 1880. He had been called to the Table four years later, and on the 21st February, 1894, he ate his last dinner at it, and resigned in the following month. Meanwhile, like Charles Keene, he was never one of the salaried Staff, but to the end was paid by the square inch. This permitted him to do as much work as he chose for other papers; but it made him feel, at the same time, that he was not flesh of their flesh, while he suspected himself of getting into a cast-iron groove from which he sought to free himself. So, after a minor "misunderstanding" had been put right, Mr. Furniss quitted his old friend Punch, and forthwith set about starting a monthly magazine of his own. This enterprise, in the course of evolution, was considerably modified; and for a time the weekly "Lika Joko" soon emerged into open rivalry with the paper which for nearly fourteen years had made the name of Furniss as celebrated throughout all English-speaking lands as that of any of his colleagues.
And such is the Passing of Furniss, whose extraordinary powers of observation (he was the first, by the way, to detect and represent truthfully Mr. Gladstone's loss of a digit) and of catching a likeness in its essential lines, and whose unbounded and buoyant good-humour early justified Mr. Burnand's selection. Though he so soon drifted into Parliamentary sketching, there is no class of work, except the officially-recognised political "cartoons," which he did not attempt; and he romped through Punch's pages with unlimited invention and inexhaustible resource—with comedy and farce, with drama and tragedy, and sometimes with work startling in its truth and touching in its pathos.
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The men who immediately followed Mr. Harry Furniss did not come to stay. In December, 1880, a sketch of "Cherry Unripe"—a clever parody on Sir John Millais' famous picture—was contributed by Mr. Stowers, who then rested on his laurels. Mr. Finch Mason contributed three sporting cuts in 1881, three in 1882, and one in the following year, and then Mr. Charles J. Lillie appeared on the scene. Mr. Lillie's principal victories have been won in the field of poster-designing, his favourite achievement being the design of a young lady in bathing costume who, being wrecked, succeeded by the aid of Somebody's Soap, with the cleverness of her sex, in "washing herself ashore." At the time when Mr. Herkomer was designing his famous poster for the "Magazine of Art," Mr. Lillie submitted to Punch a set of humorous sketches nominally adapted to similar advertisements of wines. Thus, "Port: Old and Crusty," was of course a typical Colonel Chutnee, a fire-eating Anglo-Indian; "Sherry: Pale and Dry," was an ascetic philosopher; "Claret: Very Light and Delicate," was a maiden dainty and graceful; and so forth. Some of these were published in the early summer of 1881; but that of "Champagne" (here reproduced) was not used. Shortly afterwards the clever draughtsman sought work and adventure in Europe, Africa, and America, and on his return devoted himself to story-writing, confining his pencil to the illustration of his own articles. Like Mr. Sambourne and others of Mr. Punch's artistic contributors, Mr. Lillie was trained as an engineer.
As already recounted, a new idea was carried into effect in Punch's Almanac for 1882: drawings were sought from certain members of the Royal Academy who were supposed to be afflicted with the vis comica in any pronounced degree. Of these, only Mr. G. A. Storey made his debut in Punch on this occasion; but his drawing of "Little Snowdrop"—a fancy character-portrait of a Dutch lady—pretty as it was, displayed but a very mild sort of humour. In the following February Mr. Alfred Bryan began his series of "Sketches by Boz," in which public men of the day were caricatured as personages in Dickens' novels. Thus, the Duke of Cambridge was most happily identified with "Joe Bagstock, Sir!", Sir John Holker was the Fat Boy, and Mr. Bradlaugh appeared as Rogue Riderhood "taking his Davy." These clever sketches, to the number of twenty-seven, were spread over that year and the next, when, to the regret of both Editor and artist, the connection was unavoidably severed.
 Mr. Sambourne's cartoons are dealt with in the chapter devoted to that subject.
 It may be as well to give here the names of the diners, so that the reader may identify them in the reproduction which forms the frontispiece to this volume. Mr. Burnand, at the head of the table, with his left hand outstretched towards the figure of Punch, is giving the toast of the evening; on his left is Mr. Anstey, and then Mr. Lucy and Mr. E. T. Reed, the late Gilbert a Beckett and Mr. Milliken, Sir W. Agnew, the late Mr. W. H. Bradbury, Mr. du Maurier, Mr. Furniss and Mr. R. C. Lehmann, Mr. Arthur a Beckett, Mr. Sambourne, and Sir John Tenniel. The portraits and busts along the wall are (from left to right) of Mark Lemon, Gilbert Abbott a Beckett, with, under it, Douglas Jerrold, Thackeray, Doyle, Hood, Leech, Shirley Brooks, and Tom Taylor. On the easel is a portrait of Charles Keene, then recently dead.
 This is all very well; but as the alleged visit took place in 1870, the year in which Caldecott came up to London, and as Mark Lemon died on the 23rd of May in that year, and that not suddenly, the story is hardly above suspicion.
PUNCH'S ARTISTS: 1882-95.
Mr. William Padgett—Mr. E. M. Cox—Mr. J. P. Mellor—Sir F. Leighton, Bart., P.R.A.—Mr. G. H. Jalland—Monsieur Darre—Mr. E. T. Reed—His Original Humour—"Contrasts" and "Prehistoric Peeps"—Approved by Sports Committees and School Classes—Mr. Maud—A Useful Drain—Mr. Bernard Partridge—Fine Qualities of his Art—Mr. Everard Hopkins—Mr. Reginald Cleaver—Mr. W. J. Hodgson—Excites the Countryside—Miss Sambourne—Sir Frank Lockwood, Q.C., M.P.—Mr. Arthur Hopkins—Mr. J. F. Sullivan—Mr. J. A. Shepherd—Mr. A. S. Boyd—Mr. Phil May—A Test of Drunkenness—Mr. Stafford—"Caran d'Ache"—Conclusion.
At the same time as the single sketch signed with a swan (by Mr. Thompson), Mr. William Padgett, the excellent painter of poetical landscape, made his unique appearance. He had been arranging the mock-aesthetic costumes for Mr. Burnand at the Prince of Wales's Theatre, when "The Colonel" was about to deal a crushing blow at the absurdities of the "artistic craze." Mr. Padgett had painted the large picture called "Ladye Myne"—a burlesque of the "greenery-yallery" type then in fashion at the Grosvenor Gallery; and the departure of the apostle of the movement from these shores for the United States inspired the painter with the words and the drawing of the mourning "Ariadne," which were shown to the Editor of Punch and forthwith inserted. The only other stranger of 1882 was Mr. Pigott, with a single sketch entitled "Cultcha."
The six years that followed were almost a close time for outsiders. The only arrival of 1883 was Mr. Everard Morant Cox, an artist of dainty imagination and graceful pencil, whose seven charming little cuts appeared at intervals up to July, 1890. The next was Mr. John Page Mellor, barrister-at-law (appointed in 1894 Solicitor to the Treasury), who contributed three drawings from 1886 to 1888—"Sub Punch and Judice" (p. 305, Vol. XCI.), which was partly re-drawn; a skit on the proposed Wheel and Van Tax (p. 205, Vol. XCIV.); and the "Judges going to Greenwich," signed with mystic Roman numerals. In the same year Mr. Harper Pennington, the American artist, made a couple of drawings of the opera of "The Huguenots," followed by a sketch of Mr. Whistler and another.
Sir Frederic Leighton, President of the Royal Academy, once paid homage to Punch by the contribution of a single drawing—a portrait of Miss Dorothy Dene—which illustrated an article entitled "The Schoolmaster Abroad," and was published on May 29th, 1886 (Vol. XC.). It is one of the few tint blocks that have appeared in the paper, and is, strictly speaking, not a woodcut at all, but a wood-engraving.
Mr. G. H. Jalland began his genuinely comic hunting sketches in 1888. Although an amateur, Mr. Jalland is often extremely happy in his drawings (which now and again are excellently drawn), and his jokes are usually conceived in a richly comic vein. A great many—nearly a hundred—of his subjects were published during 1889, and he is still an occasional contributor to the fun of the week. We would not willingly lose the artist who gave us the sketch of a Frenchman bawling during a hunt: "Stop ze chasse! Stop ze fox!!! I tomble—I falloff!" The sportsman's mantle, which fell from Leech's shoulders on to Miss Bowers', and then on to Mr. Corbould's, descended at last on to those of Mr. Jalland, who wore it almost exclusively for a time, and, from the humorist's point of view, wore it easily and well.
Monsieur G. Darre, who had worked in Paris on the "Charivari" for a couple of years, and for a short time on the "Journal Amusant," "Le Grelot," "Le Carillon," and others, besides making a series of illustrations for a monumental "Histoire de France," came to London in 1883. Five years later, at the suggestion of Mr. Swain—who had already cut some of his work for other periodicals—he sent in his first sketch to Punch. This was a drawing of "Joseph's Sweetheart," at the Vaudeville, showing great mastery over pen-and-ink. It was followed during this year and the next with sketches of varied importance, theatrical and political, in which France and General Boulanger played chief part, and in which portraits were always well rendered; but when the thirteenth had been delivered—(alas! the fatal number)—the arrival of Mr. Bernard Partridge convinced him that there would no longer be room for him. After contributing for a time to other illustrated papers, the artist made himself proudly independent of black-and-white by becoming a successful designer of show-cards in water-colour for commercial houses. He may claim to have introduced, in a small way, a more clashing style into Punch than had hitherto been seen there; but though his drawings, especially those on his native politics, were undeniably clever and very effective, they lacked true artistic quality and Punch's essential spirit.
Some sketches signed "C. A. M." were sent in, in 1889, by Mr. C. A. Marshall, solicitor of Retford, Notts. Their chief merit appeared to be the excellence of the horse-drawing; but only a couple of them were accepted, and these were published in the course of the year.
The great arrival of the year was Mr. E. T. Reed, who was to bring a new form of humour into Punch—or, rather, to bring back the old, rollicking, genuine low-comedy class of fun, more generous and mirth-provoking than the higher comedy of the day, that aims but to induce a smile.
His appearance in Punch (on the 8th of June, 1889) was due to the casual remark of Mr. Linley Sambourne to Mr. Blake Wirgman that the Editor was looking round for some new man who could do comic work. Mr. Wirgman suggested their common friend, Mr. Reed, whom, however, Mr. Sambourne only knew as a painter-student, and the latter promised to send some of his sketches to Mr. Burnand to look at. The upshot was a request for a drawing representing "The Parnell Commissioners enjoying themselves up the River" during a pause in the trial of Parnell v. the "Times." Other drawings, that attracted general attention, followed in rapid succession. Who that has seen it can forget the "Fancy Portrait" (by induction) "of my Laundress"—a brawny-armed woman standing over his shirts, which she belabours with a spike-studded club? or the "Automatic Policeman" at a crowded crossing, which, when a penny is dropped into the slot, puts up its arm and stops the traffic? or the "Restored Skeleton of a Bicyclist," and other "happy thoughts" of that period? It was obvious that the draughtsman was not a practised artist, although a skilful amateur; but those who detected the artistic lack of training forgave it heartily for the genuine fun and originality of a fresh and delightful kind. Since that time Mr. Reed rapidly developed his undoubted powers, which, for a young man who did not begin to draw until he was twenty-three years of age, showed themselves at once to be remarkable.
Then followed a clever series of "Contrasts," such as the professional fasting man fortune-making at the Aquarium, and a Balaclava hero left to starve by a grateful country—thus repeating unconsciously Cruikshank's famous plate of "Born a Genius: Born a Dwarf," wherein the tragedy of Benjamin Robert Haydon and the triumph of Tom Thumb, both proceeding in the Egyptian Hall, were dramatically depicted. Another, and still more remarkable, contrast of Mr. Reed's was that in which the terrible tricoteuses of the French Revolution, knitting with quite tragic joviality before the guillotine, are compared with the modern Society ladies in court enjoying a criminal's sensational trial, so that the spectator hardly knows which are the more repellent. It may be stated, as a matter of curiosity, that—except for the point of contrast, which, after all, is a principal feature of the design—Doyle anticipated Mr. Reed's protest by showing, in 1849, a "Scene in Court during an interesting Trial," when the crime of Manning and his wife was engrossing the attention of all England and proving a "great attraction" to dames du monde.
In 1890 Mr. Burnand raised his young recruit to the rank of Staff-officer to fill the vacancy which had just occurred—a premature promotion, the wiseacres said. Mr. Reed then produced his forensic drawings, often basing them on sketches supplied by Sir Frank Lockwood, Q.C.; yet his work fluctuated so much in quantity that it was more than once rumoured that he and Punch had parted company. But in due course his triumph came when, in the Christmas number of 1893, he began "Prehistoric Peeps"—including "The First Hansom," "Primeval Billiards," and "A Quiet Game of Whist in Primeval Times." These popular fancies were no sudden inspiration; they were developed gradually. Following a natural humorous bent for dealing with sham antiquities in Punch, Mr. Reed had started during the previous year a series of "exhibits" in the Imperial Institute of the Future, consisting of comic restorations of common objects of to-day—the ridiculous speculations of the future archaeologist. There was a much-patched and battered restoration of a four-wheeled cab; then a comic policeman; and the draughtsman was proceeding with a hansom when he experienced a difficulty in getting freshness into the treatment. So he determined to become a Cuvier on his own account, and, by going back to the beginning, to show the real original hansom, as it might have been, in pre-historic times. The artist was intensely amused with the idea, and finishing his three drawings—the other two suggesting themselves—delivered them just in time for the Almanac. The result was, in its way, electrical. Within a week everybody was laughing at them and talking about them. In the "Daily News" a leading-article was devoted to arguing, with admirable mock-gravity, that the artist's object in these drawings—especially in that of the Prehistoric Parliament, in which all our legislators are clad in primeval fashion, while the Speaker keeps order with the aid of an enormous tomahawk—was, of course, to prove the theory that similarity of face and figure accompanies similarity of pursuit throughout the generations. At Cambridge, in the May Week, the tableaux vivants of the "Footlights Society" included exact reproductions of the "Primeval Billiards" and "No Bathing To-day!"—skins, expressions, mastodons and all; while at Molesey Invitation Regatta (August, 1894) the "Prehistoric Coaching for the Boat Race" was carried out to the life in mid-river, with Gaul and Briton, woad-stained skins, raft, and fight, with the fearsome palaeontological intruders, complete to the last detail—and applications were quickly made to the Punch Proprietors for permission to reproduce the scenes on magic-lantern slides for the use of schools! This, perhaps, is to be explained by the accuracy of many of the pre-historic beasts. Even at the London Institution a scientific lecturer has borne witness to the life-likeness of Mr. Reed's stegosaurus imglutis, and especially of the triceratops and the sprightly pterodactyle. Little wonder Sir William Agnew broke through the rule of "no speeches" at the Wednesday Dinner, and proposed the health of the young artist who had made for the paper so striking a success. When Mr. Harry Furniss retired, Mr. Reed was appointed his successor as Parliamentary draughtsman, and soon showed his independence of humour in his new post.
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After Mr. Whistler had contributed his butterfly (p. 293, Vol. XCVIII.)—the sign-manual in the use of which he has for some years found so much harmless, if rather childish, pleasure—Mr. Maud, at that time a Royal Academy student, began his sporting sketches. The first drawing (published on p. 249, Vol. C., though it had been sent in six months before) was called "A Check." A country lout is sitting on a fence-rail shouting, and the hunt comes up. "Seen the fox, my boy?" asks the huntsman. "No, I ain't!" replies the lad. "Then what are you hollarin' for?" "Because," answers the scarecrow, "because I'm paid for it." This picture was a valuable introduction, procured through a friend who forwarded his drawing, for it brought him an invitation to illustrate "Romford's Hounds" and "Hawbuck Grange," as well as an established, though intermittent, connection with Punch. With few exceptions, Mr. Maud's jokes are the result of personal experience, for he looks to contretemps in the field for his humorous subjects. Through falling with his horse into a big drain in the Belvoir country—a precious accident for him—he collected sufficient matter to produce three jokes which duly saw the light. But the collection of such material is "damned hard riding," and each hunting season has only brought forth about ten such productions. Since that time Mr. Maud has turned his attention to sources of humour other than the hunting-field; and as in 1893 he carried off the Landseer scholarship and two silver medals for painting from the life, it is possible that he may in the near future be tempted far from the joyous art of comic black-and-white.