X hits on this document





65 / 70

"Mad Tea Party?"  Observe the hopelessly distraught expression of

the March hare, and the eager incoherence of the hatter!  A little

further on the pair are trying to squeeze the dormouse into the

teapot; and a few pages back the blue caterpillar is discovered

smoking his hookah on the top of a mushroom.  He was exactly three

inches long, says the veracious chronicle, but what a dignity!--what

an oriental flexibility of gesture!  Speaking of animals, it must

not be forgotten that Tenniel is a master in this line.  His

"British Lion," in particular, is a most imposing quadruped, and so

often in request that it is not necessary to go back to the famous

cartoons on the Indian mutiny to seek for examples of that

magnificent presence.  As a specimen of the artist's treatment of

the lesser felidae, the reader's attention is invited to this

charming little kitten from "Through the Looking-Glass."

Mr. Tenniel is a link between Leech and the younger school of

"Punch" artists, of whom Mr. George du Maurier, Mr. Linley

Sambourne, and Mr. Charles Keene are the most illustrious.  The

first is nearly as popular as Leech, and is certainly a greater

favourite with cultivated audiences.  He is not so much a humorist

as a satirist of the Thackeray type,--unsparing in his denunciation

of shams, affectations, and flimsy pretences of all kinds.  A master

of composition and accomplished draughtsman, he excels in the

delineation of "society"--its bishops, its "professional beauties"

and "aesthetes," its nouveaux riches, its distinguished foreigners,-

-while now and then (but not too often) he lets us know that if he

chose he could be equally happy in depicting the lowest classes.

There was a bar-room scene not long ago in "Punch" which gave the

clearest evidence of this.  Some of those for whom no good thing is

good enough complain, it is said, that he lacks variety--that he is

too constant to one type of feminine beauty.  But any one who will

be at the pains to study a group of conventional "society" faces

from any of his "At Homes" or "Musical Parties" will speedily

discover that they are really very subtly diversified and

contrasted.  For a case in point, take the decorously sympathetic

group round the sensitive German musician, who is "veeping" over one

of his own compositions.  Or follow the titter running round that

amused assembly to whom the tenor warbler is singing "Me-e-e-et me

once again," with such passionate emphasis that the domestic cat

mistakes it for a well-known area cry.  As for his ladies, it may

perhaps be conceded that his type is a little persistent.  Still it

is a type so refined, so graceful, so attractive altogether, that in

the jarring of less well-favoured realities it is an advantage to

have it always before our eyes as a standard to which we can appeal.

Mr. du Maurier is a fertile book-illustrator, whose hand is

frequently seen in the "Cornhill," and elsewhere.  Some of his best

work of this kind is in Douglas Jerrold's "Story of a Feather," in

Thackeray's "Ballads," and the large edition of the "Ingoldsby

Legends," to which Leech, Tenniel, and Cruikshank also contributed.

One of his prettiest compositions is the group here reproduced from

"Punch's Almanack" for 1877.  The talent of his colleague, Mr.

Linley Sambourne, may fairly be styled unique.  It is difficult to

compare it with anything in its way, except some of the happier

Document info
Document views237
Page views237
Page last viewedSat Jan 21 00:59:24 UTC 2017