Page:English Caricaturists and Graphic Humourists of the nineteenth century.djvu/440

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ENGLISH CARICATURISTS.

attorney, who, with coat buttoned up to the chin, and evidently suffering from severe influenza, looks the picture of shivering discomfort. Although in no better plight herself, Sally rejoices in the sufferings of her brother, and as she sips her tea, her repulsive features are distorted with a hideous grin of satisfaction. Quilp, seated on his barrel beneath the only remnants of a roof, occupies a comparatively dry corner, and looks the very picture of rollicking fun and enjoyment.

But incomparably one of the best of Browne's comic illustrations is the one in "Dombey," wherein Captain Cuttle encounters Mrs. Macstinger in charge of Bunsby, bent on rivetting matrimonial chains upon that confused and ancient mariner. "Bunsby."Bunsby is one of the happiest of Dickens's creations; stupid as an owl, he has nevertheless an oracular mode of delivering himself, and the simple-minded Cuttle places as much reliance upon this wooden-headed sailor as the ancients did on the mysterious utterance of the Delphic Apollo. That the powerful will of Macstinger should hold himself in subjugation so long as he was under the dominion of her eye was a matter of course; but that this man of wisdom should be so easily boarded and captured by the enemy, is so absolutely beyond his simple comprehension that he scratches his head in sheer amazement. As for poor Bunsby, the cup of his humiliation is full. So far as his wooden features are capable of expression, they indicate two distinct trains of thought: a conviction that his own pretensions have been detected and exposed, and a desire to run, an inclination repressed by the powerful clutch of his strong-minded bride, who retains his wrist in a grasp of iron. Compare the look of bewilderment on Cuttle's face with the look of mingled contempt and triumph on the features of Macstinger; and then look at poor Bunsby!

"Phiz" began etching when he was seventeen, and was in full work when he was twenty-one. It was his three drawings on the wood for Dickens's rare tract, "Sunday Under Three Heads,"[1] which introduced him first to public notice. This was intended as a

  1. Now lately republished.