Page:English Caricaturists and Graphic Humourists of the nineteenth century.djvu/155

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CHAPTER V.


THE CARICATURES OF ISAAC ROBERT CRUIKSHANK.


The Brothers Cruikshank.It was the misfortune of the brothers Cruikshank that they outlived their popularity: in the case of the younger brother, this result (as we shall presently see) must be attributed in a certain measure to his own fault; but as regards Robert, his efforts as a caricaturist were destined to be eclipsed by the greater novelty and attractions of HB, whilst a tendency to carelessness, and the absence of actual genius, prevented him from attaining lasting celebrity in the line of book illustration which George made so peculiarly his own. The final result, however, was the same in both cases; and the brothers might have said with truth, that, in suffering both to die poor and neglected, the British public treated both with the strictest impartiality. Here, however, the impartiality ended; for whilst over two hundred articles have been penned in praise of the brilliant man of genius, poor Robert Transit[1] (a name strictly appropriate to his memory) reposes in his nameless grave still unregarded and still forgotten. Few writers indeed have wasted pen and ink about Robert Cruikshank or his work: Robert William Buss, in his book on "English Graphic Satire" (a work published for private circulation only), devotes exactly a line and a half to his memory; his friend, George Daniel, gives him a few kindly words in memoriam; Professor Bates's essay on his brother George contains several pages of valuable information in relation to some of his book illustrations; whilst Mr. Hamilton presents us with a dozen specimens of work of this kind which are nothing less than libels on his

  1. The name given him by Bernard Blackmantle.