Page:English Caricaturists and Graphic Humourists of the nineteenth century.djvu/483

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373
C. H. BENNETT.

ment, which appeared in the Illustrated Times, an edition of the "Pilgrim's Progress," edited by the Rev. Charles Kingsley; "John Todd," a work by the Rev. John Allen; "Shadows," and "Shadow and Substance," just spoken of; "Proverbs, with Pictures by Charles H. Bennett," etc., etc. His talent at last attracted the notice of the weekly Punch council, and he received the coveted distinction of being engaged on the permanent staff of that periodical.

His life, however, was a brief one. The diary of Shirley Brooks, who took much personal interest in him, refers 'with some anxiety to his illness on the 3oth of March, 1867. On the 3ist of March the report was somewhat more favourable; but the 2nd of April brought a letter from the editor of Punch, Mark Lemon, which said that Charles Bennett had died between the hours of eight and nine o'clock that morning. "I am very sorry," adds Shirley Brooks in an autograph note appended beneath the letter referred to. "B[ennett] was a man whom one could not help loving for his gentleness, and a wonderful artist." The obituary notice by the same hand which appears in Punch records that "he was a very able colleague, a very dear friend. None of our fellow-workers," it continues, "ever entered more heartily into his work, or laboured with more earnestness to promote our general purpose. His facile execution and singular subtilty of fancy were, we hoped, destined to enrich these pages for many a year. It has been willed otherwise, and we lament the loss of a comrade of invaluable skill, and the death of one of the kindliest and gentlest of our associates, the power of whose hand was equalled by the goodness of his heart." Charles Bennett was only thirty-seven when he died.

He left a widow and eight children unprovided for, for his health having precluded it, no life insurance had been effected. The Punch men, however, with the unselfishness which so nobly characterizes them, put their shoulders to the wheel for the family of their stricken comrade. "We shall have to do something," said Shirley Brooks in his diary of the 3rd of April; and they did it accordingly. A committee was immediately started, on which we find the names of