Page:English Caricaturists and Graphic Humourists of the nineteenth century.djvu/314

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
228
ENGLISH CARICATURISTS.

spondents, is here supposed to have received a letter." A second skit shows us a critic examining a picture representing "the death of À Beckett, Archbishop of Cant." A figure in armour, with its vizor down (obviously intended for the artist) is depicted in the act of cutting at the "archbishop" with a sword, the blade of which is inscribed "debts due." His first blow has severed the mitre labelled "assumption," and the pastoral staff, inscribed "impudence," with which the victim vainly endeavours to defend himself. "Don't," says À Beckett, as he falls prostrate amid a heap of "spoilt paper," among which we recognise, "Figaro," "The Thief," "The Wag," and other periodicals with which his name was associated. "Don't cut at me 'our own inimitable, our illustrious, our talented;' pray don't give me any more cuts; think how many I have had and not paid you for already:" a hand indicates the way "to the Insolvent Court."

"Figaro," after the retirement of À Beckett, passed into the editorial hands of Mr. H. Mayhew, and conscious of the injury which the defection of Seymour had done to the undertaking, he lost no time in opening negotiations with a view to his return. In this he experienced little difficulty, for Seymour was glad to avail himself of the opportunity of giving to the public the most convincing proof which could have been adduced of the falsity of the libels which had been published by the retiring and discomfited editor. The fourth volume commenced 3rd of January, and from that time until his death (in 1836) he continued to illustrate the paper. Mayhew announces his return after the following curious fashion: "The generous Seymour, with a patriotic ardour unequalled since the days of Curtius, has abandoned all selfish considerations, and yielded to our request for his country's sake. Again he wields the satiric pencil, and corruption trembles to its very base. His first peace-offering to 'Figaro in London,' is the rich etching [woodcut] our readers now gaze upon with laughing eyes." Constant references of a laudatory kind are made to him in succeeding numbers.

The woodcuts after Seymour's designs, which appear in "Figaro