Page:English Caricaturists and Graphic Humourists of the nineteenth century.djvu/254

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176
ENGLISH CARICATURISTS.


The Last Cab Driver ["Sketches by Boz"] deserves a passing notice, because it has preserved from oblivion a class of vehicles which has long since disappeared from the London streets. It looked for all the world like the section of a coffin set on end, the seat (which was intended to accommodate only one person besides the driver) occupying the centre. The cabman being a very mauvais sujet, we find the surroundings (after the artist's practice) in strict keeping with his character. The building past which he drives is marked "Old Bailey"; whilst a snuff manufacturer in the street at the back advertises himself as the vendor of "Real Irish Blackguard."

Waverley NovelsThe dry, quaint humour of the author of "Waverley" exactly suited the quaint imaginings of our artist. Both Scott and Cruikshank delighted in the supernatural and the marvellous, and this is why some of the most characteristic of the artist's designs are to be found in his illustrations to the "Waverley Novels." In one of these he shows us the illustrious Dominie at the moment, when reaching over to gather a water-lily, he falls souse into the Slough of Lochend, in which he forthwith became bogged up to the middle, his plight drawing from him of course his favourite ejaculation of amazement. By the assistance of some women the luckless Dominie was extracted from his position, justifying the remark of one of his assistants, that "the laird might as weel trust the care of his bairn to a potato-bogle." Which was the most helpless of the two men—the Laird of Dumbiedikes, or the illustrious Dominie—it would be difficult to say; both these most original characters took a powerful hold on the artist's imagination, and as a natural consequence the ideas of Scott were completely realized. A very comical design is that in which he shows us the worthy but witless laird with his laced cocked hat and empty tobacco pipe,[1] and his hand extended "like the claw of a heraldic griffin," when he managed to utter something beyond his usual morning greeting, and frightened

  1. This idea of the empty pipe is splendid, there never is any tobacco in it; a better notion of absolute forgetfulness—of inability to exercise the most trifling effort of memory—could not be conveyed.