Page:English Caricaturists and Graphic Humourists of the nineteenth century.djvu/121

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59
THE KALEIDOSCOPE.

alone. Judging by a caricature of Williams's, published by Fores in June, 1818, and its doggerel explanation, the toys would appear even at this time to have been made and sold by every street boy. The satire is called, Caleidoscopes, or Paying for Peeping. In it, we see the pertinacious vendors pushing the sale of their wares upon the passengers in the streets—many of them women. A bishop resolves to buy one because the coloured glass reminds him of a painted window in his cathedral, another person has paid dearly for "peeping," and discovers that while gratifying his curiosity, his "pocket-book has slipped off with two hundred pounds in it." Williams was a satirist of the old school, and the allusions made by some of the vendors render this otherwise interesting satire wantonly coarse and indelicate. Attached to this rare and curious production is the following doggerel:—

"'Tis the favourite plaything of school-boy and sage,
Of the baby in arms and the baby of age;
Of the grandam whose sight is at best problematical,
And of the soph who explains it by rule mathematical.

Such indeed is the rage for them, chapel or church in,
You see them about you, and each little urchin
Finding a sixpence, with transport beside his hope,
Runs to the tin-man and makes a caleidoscope!"

1819.
The Hobby.
Another invention made its appearance in 1819: this was the velocipede, or as it was then called "the hobby," the grandfather of the bicycle and tricycle of our day. A tall gawky perched on the summit of a lofty bicycle, with an enormous wheel gyrating between a couple of spindle shanks capped with enormous crab-shells, is a sufficiently familiar and ridiculous object in our times; but the appearance presented by the people of 1819, who adopted the spider looking thing called a "hobby," was so intensely comical that it gave rise to a perfect flood of caricatures. The best of these we have personally met with is one entitled, The Spirit Moving the Quakers upon Worldly Vanities, a skit upon the Society of Friends (published by J. T. Sidebotham). The scene is laid in front of a "Society of Friends Meeting House," and numerous "Friends" of