Page:English Caricaturists and Graphic Humourists of the nineteenth century.djvu/372

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ENGLISH CARICATURISTS.

in this year we find designs which are thoroughly worthy of his reputation. Among these may be named "The Children of the Mobility," seven lithographs (reproduced in 1875) dealing with the humorous and pathetic episodes of the London street arabs; "The Comic Latin Grammar"; "The Comic English Grammar"; and a now exceedingly rare jeu d' esprit, bearing the full title of "The Fiddle-Faddle Fashion Book and Beau Monde a la Française, enriched with numerous highly coloured figures of lady-like gentlemen,"[1] a most amusing skit upon the absurd fashion books of the period, containing four coloured plates of gentlemen (more than fifty figures) in male and female costume, posed in the ridiculous and well-known simpering style of those periodicals. All these works were produced in conjunction with Percival Leigh, one of the artist's fellow-students at St. Bartholomew's, and led directly to his engagement on the pages of Punch, which was started the following year.

Among the rarer works published in 1840, to which John Leech contributed the benefit of his assistance, may be mentioned a publication, entitled "The London Magazine, Charivari, and Courier des Dames" (Simpkin, Marshall & Co.), in which we find some portraits and other work altogether out of the range of his usual style of illustration. The tone of this publication was personal in the extreme. Charles Dickens had produced (among other publications) his "Pickwick Papers," "Oliver Twist," "Nicholas Nickleby," and at this time was engaged on the most touching and pathetic of his stories, "The Old Curiosity Shop," which was, however, so little appreciated by the editor of this scurrilous publication, that we find him perpetrating the following sorry libel on the writer and three of his contemporaries: "To cheesemongers and others! Ready for delivery, at a halfpenny per pound, forty tons of foundered literature; viz., Mrs. Trollope's 'Unsatis-factory Boy,'[2] 'Master Humphrey's Clock' (refer to the second meaning in 'Johnson's

  1. Chapman & Hall, 186, Strand, 1st November, 1840.
  2. "Adventures of Michael Armstrong, the Factory Boy."