Page:English Caricaturists and Graphic Humourists of the nineteenth century.djvu/255

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177
DUMBIEDIKES.

Jeannie into the belief that he had so far "screwed his courage to the sticking place" as to venture on a matrimonial proposal, to which unwonted effort of imagination his intelligence, however, proved altogether unequal.

In the "Comic Almanack" will be found many examples of Alliterative Designs George's tendency to graphic alliteration. The Fall of the Leaf affords a capital specimen of the kind of design to which we allude. The leaf of the dinner-table has been so insecurely fastened that it falls, burying with it the mistress of the house, the fish, the champagne, a sherry decanter, a vase of flowers,—everything, in fact, to which it formed a treacherous and unreliable support; Gibbon's "Decline and Fall" lies in a corner of the room, and the walls are hung with appropriate subjects, such as the Fall of Foyers, the Falls of Niagara, Falls of the Clyde, and so on. An illustration of a similar kind will be found in Taurus—a Literary Bull. The animal has rushed into a printing office and scattered the compositors right and left; some seek shelter beneath their frames, one clambers wildly up the shelves of a paper case, while others scuttle over the frames, and one man, too wholly dismayed and bewildered to run, brandishes a stool in helpless imbecility. The bull is perhaps the most astonished of the dramatis personæ, and evidently wonders into what manner of place fate has brought him. The walls are pasted with appropriate advertisements: "Some Account of the Pope's Bull," "A Cock and Bull Story," "Theatre Royal, Haymarket—John Bull" "To be Sold by Auction, the Bull Inn," "Abstract of the Act against Bull-baiting," and so on. In Libra Striking the Balance (same year), a dishonest tradesman has been detected in using false weights and measures. The beadle holds up a pair of scales, one of which weighs very much heavier than the other. The wretched culprit, conscious, all too late, that honesty would have proved "the best policy" for himself, leans against his shelves the picture of sullen and detected guilt. The window of the shop bears on it the painted legend of "The cheapest shop in London." Leaning against the counter we find a programme of the "City Theatre," announcing the performance of "Measure for Measure": to conclude