Page:English Caricaturists and Graphic Humourists of the nineteenth century.djvu/189

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119
MR. WESTMACOTT GETS HIS DESERTS.

Berkeley. Such a character as Molloy, otherwise Westmacott, was bound to get sometimes into trouble (in these days he would prob ably receive his reward for "endeavouring to extort money by threats"); and if he did not get exactly what he deserved, he did get, on the tenth of October, 1830, a tremendous thrashing from Charles Kemble. References to the memorandum books of this Ishmaelite of the press, in which he entered (for future use) some of the scandalous chronicles of his time, and which were offered for sale at his death in 1868, will be found im Mr. Bates's interesting book, from which we have already quoted.

"Points of Humour."Returning to his friend and coadjutor, Robert Cruikshank, the best of the artist's coloured illustrations to the "English Spy" are contained in the first volume; in the second he falls into those habits of carelessness which,with all his ability and artistic talent, were a besetting weakness. Robert lacked the genius, the fine fancy, the careful, delicate handling of George. Up to the publication of the "Life," the brothers as we have seen had worked together frequently, but after this period they separated. George had already achieved one of his earliest triumphs in book illustration—"The Points of Humour," which provoked the universal admiration of the critics, and proclaimed him one of the most original geniuses of the time. The "Life," however, had made both brothers famous, and the general public had scarcely yet learnt to distinguish between the pencils of George and Robert. This confusion was taken advantage of by unscrupulous publishers (a practice at which Robert himself seems to have connived) to trade upon the popularity of the Cruikshank name. We frequently find, for instance, in literary advertisements of the time,, that a forthcoming book is illustrated by "Cruikshank," and the work we have just named is a case in point. No sooner had the "Points of Humour" appeared and made their mark, than they were followed by an announcement by Sherwood, Jones & Co., of the "Points of Misery," the letterpress by Charles Molloy Westmacott, and the designs by "Cruikshank," that is to say—Robert. Although this publication is marred by the slovenliness of execution which characterised the artist in his careless