Page:English Caricaturists and Graphic Humourists of the nineteenth century.djvu/506

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388
ENGLISH CARICATURISTS.

all. So he wrote to resign his connection with Punch, stating the reasons plainly and simply. This was in 1850, after he had been contributing for more than six years. Now he must simply start afresh, in consequence of what his Protestant friends regarded as an ecclesiastical crotchet. He must turn aside from the path of worldly success; he must give up all for conscience' sake. But as the Daily Telegraph remarks, in an article respecting him that does it honour, 'He made a wise and prudent choice. The loss was ours, not his; and, apart from the claims of his genius to admiration, such conduct at the critical moment of a career will never cease to command respect.'"

Passing by (as we may afford to do) the assertion that we Protestants "raved and stormed and talked bigoted nonsense without end respecting this new invasion," and the somewhat unnecessary boast that Lord John Russell's Ecclesiastical Titles Bill has been suffered to become a "futile and obsolete" measure, we would recognise the value of the writer's remarks as establishing in the clearest possible manner the perfect honesty and unselfishness of the motives which induced the artist to resign his connection with Punch, and to throw up the chances of an assured and brilliant future. We think however, that the value of his statement does not end here. We may here acknowledge that, while admitting the perfect purity and disinterestedness of Doyle's motives, we ourselves never thoroughly understood them until we had read the article from which we have quoted. We had taken into consideration the fact that when he took this decided step he was but twenty-five years of age, and we suspected (let us honestly own it) that other influences might have been at work independent of the artist himself, of which we as Protestants must always remain ignorant. There are grounds on which Protestant and Catholic writers may meet one another even in connection with religious questions; and although a "bigoted" Protestant, I am glad to admit that the writer's clear and lucid statement has removed an impression that was absolutely without foundation.

With respect, however, to the ultimate consequences of this deci-