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needle, while the woodcuts to "Three Courses and a Dessert," one of

which is here given, are equally good examples of his work on the

block.  The "Triumph of Cupid," which begins the "Table Book," is an

excellent instance of his lavish wealth of fancy, and it contains

beside, one--nay more than one--of the many portraits of the artist.

He is shown en robe de chambre, smoking (this was before his

regenerate days!) in front of a blazing fire, with a pet spaniel on

his knee.  In the cloud which curls from his lips is a motley

procession of sailors, sweeps, jockeys, Greenwich pensioners, Jew

clothesmen, flunkies, and others more illustrious, chained to the

chariot wheels of Cupid, who, preceded by cherubic acolytes and

banner-bearers, winds round the top of the picture towards an altar

of Hymen on the table.  When, by the aid of a pocket-glass, one has

mastered these swarming figures, as well as those in the foreground,

it gradually dawns upon one that all the furniture is strangely

vitalised.  Masks laugh round the border of the tablecloth, the

markings of the mantelpiece resolve themselves into rows of madly-

racing figures, the tongs leers in a degage and cavalier way at the

artist, the shovel and poker grin in sympathy; there are faces in

the smoke, in the fire, in the fireplace,--the very fender itself is

a ring of fantastic creatures who jubilantly hem in the ashes.  And

it is not only in the grotesque and fanciful that Cruikshank excels;

he is master of the strange, the supernatural, and the terrible.  In

range of character (the comparison is probably a hackneyed one),

both by his gifts and his limitations, he resembles Dickens; and had

he illustrated more of that writer's works the resemblance would

probably have been more evident.  In "Oliver Twist," for example,

where Dickens is strong, Cruikshank is strong; where Dickens is

weak, he is weak too.  His Fagin, his Bill Sikes, his Bumble, and

their following, are on a level with Dickens's conceptions; his Monk

and Rose Maylie are as poor as the originals.  But as the defects of

Dickens are overbalanced by his merits, so Cruikshank's strength is

far in excess of his weakness.  It is not to his melodramatic heroes

or wasp-waisted heroines that we must look for his triumphs; it is

to his delineations, from the moralist's point of view, of vulgarity

and vice,--of the "rank life of towns," with all its squalid tragedy

and comedy.  Here he finds his strongest ground, and possibly,

notwithstanding his powers as a comic artist and caricaturist, his

loftiest claim to recollection.

Cruikshank was employed on two only of Dickens's books--"Oliver

Twist" and the "Sketches by Boz." {13}  The great majority of them

were illustrated by Hablot K. Browne, an artist who followed the

ill-fated Seymour on the "Pickwick Papers."  To "Phiz," as he is

popularly called, we are indebted for our pictorial ideas of Sam

Weller, Mrs. Gamp, Captain Cuttle, and most of the author's

characters, down to the "Tale of Two Cities."  "Phiz" also

illustrated a great many of Lever's novels, for which his skill in

hunting and other Lever-like scenes especially qualified him.

With the name of Richard Doyle we come to the first of a group of

artists whose main work was, or is still, done for the time-honoured

miscellany of Mr. Punch.  So familiar an object is "Punch" upon our

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