Page:English Caricaturists and Graphic Humourists of the nineteenth century.djvu/427

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
333
THE FUNERAL OF JOHN LEECH.

Star newspaper. "The scene round the grave was a most impressive one. There, ranged round the coffin, stood the remnant of that famous body of wits who had caused the name of Punch to be famous at the ends of the earth; there, in the coffin, lay all that was earthly of him who, more than any of them, had helped to spread its renown, and to win for himself a name familiar as a household word in all our English homes. By its side stood Mark Lemon, who, for two and twenty years has presided over the weekly dinner where the good things are suggested, and the weekly sheet whereon they are inscribed; who has seen comrades fall out of the ranks in the march of life, and perish by the wayside. And such comrades! Gone the brilliant, meteoric A'Beckett; fiery, impulsive, scathing Jerrold; playfully cynical Thackeray; and now—John Leech! There stood Shirley Brooks, who since Jerrold's death has been Punch's literary mainstay; Tom Taylor, working now in other channels, but still attached to the staff; Horace Mayhew and Percival Leigh, old colleagues of the dead man; F. C. Burnand and H. Silver, the youngest of the corps; and John Tenniel, who had taken Mr. Doyle's place on his secession, and worked in thorough amity with Leech. Over the coffin bowed the handsome head of Millais in overwhelming grief. All round one caught glimpses of well-known people. There, in the front rank of the crowd, was the frank, earnest face of Charles Dickens; by him Alexander Munro, the sculptor; there a group of artists—Messrs. Creswick, O'Neil, and Elmore;[1] Messrs. Mowbray, Morris, Dallas, and W. H. Russell, of the Times. At the back of the grave, by the canopy, Mr. W. P. Frith, R.A.; near him a group of journalists—Messrs. Friswell, Halliday, Gruneison; Mr. Swain, the engraver, who had had for years the engraving of Mr. Leech's drawings; Richard Doyle; Mr. Orridge, the barrister; the Rev. C. Currey, preacher of the Charter House; Lieutenant-Colonel Wilkinson, who had had John Leech for his school-fellow and fag at Charter House; while amateur art was worthily represented by Messrs. Arthur Lewis, M. F. Halliday, and

  1. H. K. Browne ("Phiz"), T. Landseer, George Cruikshank, Marcus Stone, Sir John Gilbert, and Mr. Philips, R.A., were also present.