Page:English Caricaturists and Graphic Humourists of the nineteenth century.djvu/489

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375
W. M. THACKERAY.

You knew his power, his satire keen but fair,
And the rich fancy, served by skill as rare.
You did not know, except some friendly few,
That he was earnest, gentle, patient, true.
A better soldier doth life's battle lack,
And he has died with harness on his back."

The last verse alludes to Kate Terry's approaching marriage:—

"Last, but not least, in your dear love and ours,
There is a head we'd crown with all our flowers.
Our kindest thanks to her whose smallest grace
Is the bewitchment of her fair young facé.
Our own Kate Terry comes, to show how much
The truest art does with the lightest touch.
Make much of her while still before your eyes—
A star may glide away to other skies."

By this performance, a second which took place at Manchester on the 29th of July, and the efforts of Shirley Brooks and the members of the committee, a large sum was raised.

* * * * * *

The Punch volumes, prior to his withdrawal from its pages, are interspersed with numerous mirth-provoking drawings on wood by the late Mr. Thackeray. Probably the best of these will be found in the "Novels by Eminent Hands," in one of which (in amusing burlesque of Phiz's spirited title-page to "Charles O'Malley") we see the hero flying over the heads of the French army. Charles Lever was nervously sensitive to ridicule, and, although he laughed at and enjoyed the clever jeux d'esprit in which "Phil Fogarty," "Harry Jolly-cur," "Harry Rollicker," etc., put in their respective appearances, he declared nevertheless, with evident vexation, that he himself might just as well retire from business altogether. This, indeed, he proceeded to do; and although we miss from that time the rattling heroes of the Frank Webber and Charles O'Malley school, we are indebted to Thackeray for the striking proof which Charles Lever was thus enabled to afford us of the versatility of a genius which enabled him to change front and alter his style with manifest advantage to his literary reputation.