Page:English Caricaturists and Graphic Humourists of the nineteenth century.djvu/159

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93
THE DANDIES.

entitled, Dandies having a Treaty wherein we are shown a couple of eccentricities in a confectioner's shop; one of them, who eyes himself with much complacency in the glass, has his back to us, and is habited, à la Gilé, in a very tight coat, whose tail commences just below its collar and narrows to a very fine point when it reaches its extremity; short wide trousers terminate at the knees, at which points they are met by a pair of Wellington boots. He entreats his equally strangely dressed companion to pay no attention to the uncomplimentary remarks of certain rude people who stand at the door and seem strongly inclined to subject them to the discipline of the pump. The pretty girl in attendance expresses to herself a hope that "the creatures will leave the shop," as she fears the exasperated people will do some mischief. Another caricature of the same year shows us A Dandy Shoemaker in a Fright, or the Effects of Tight-lacing. In stooping to measure a lady's foot, the fellow's stays have given way, and he evidently fears he shall tumble to pieces. In another subject, Robert shows us a couple of dandies diving into a countryman's pockets, in the neighbourhood of St. James's Palace; others are entitled respectively, A Dandy put to his Last Chemisette, or Preparing for a Bond Street Lounge; A Dandy Cock in Stays; and The Hen-pecked Dandy. Besides those already mentioned, I find four or five other coarse caricatures of Robert's, published by Fores in 1818.

Robert Cruikshank was "a man about town" in those days, and the "dandies" whom he and his fellow caricaturists satirized and ridiculed were the sham "Corinthians" of his time. Apart from the idea of caricature they must have been queer fellows—these men with the large eye-glasses, squat broad-brimmed hats, huge cravats and collars, cauliflower frills, tight coats, short bell-shaped trousers, and well-spurred Wellington boots! In one of the satires of the time (which I take to be Robert's) we see five of them preparing for conquest in a hairdresser's shop; and the "make up" comprises, in addition to the tremendous neckties, cauliflower frills, and top-boots of the period, false calves and stays, a pair of which the Frenchman hairdresser is lacing for one of his customers. Another of the party,