Page:English Caricaturists and Graphic Humourists of the nineteenth century.djvu/439

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

justice which overtakes Mrs. Squeers, when she falls into the hands of her late victims, and is drenched in her turn with the loathsome brew she had so long administered to themselves.

"MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT.Specially noteworthy is the bright little picture on the title-page, where the coach, with its spanking four-in-hand, gallops on its distant journey after depositing Martin Chuzzlewit at his destination. The guard, as he mounts up behind, watches with curious interest Pecksniff's unctuous reception of the new pupil. Nothing can well be cleverer than his realization of the Pleasant Little Family Party at Mr. Pecksniff's, where that hypocritical personage, surrounded by foes, assumes a look of persecuted benevolence, and gravely requests his daughter, when he takes his chamber candlestick that night, to remind him to be more particular in praying for Mr. Anthony Chuzzlewit, "who had done him an injustice." The Warm Reception of Mr. Pecksniff by his Venerable Friend gives us the liveliest satisfaction. If old Chuzzlewit's face is one of the "caricatures" referred to, it must be remembered that it is distorted with passion, and the fact is forgotten in the satisfaction with which we hail the detection and punishment of the whining rascal, the sting of which is envenomed by the astounding revelation that all the while he has been weaving his web of falsehood around his intended victim, he himself has been the dupe of the man he had schemed so long to hoodwink and deceive.

"THE OLD CURIOSITY SHOP.Regard again Quilp, the dwarf, and his elfin errand boy (in the "Old Curiosity Shop"), enjoying the agonies of Sampson Brass as he essays to smoke a long churchwarden. Behold Quilp upon his back taunting the large fierce dog with hideous grimaces, triumphant in the consciousness that the shortness of his chain will not permit him to advance another inch. Look at Mrs. Jarley's wax-work brigand. "with the blackest possible head and the clearest possible complexion," going his rounds in the company of little Nell, his eyes fixed on the miniature of his lady-love, and his hand pressed to his stomach instead of his heart. Behold the dwarf once more, as he entertains Sampson and his sister Sally in the ruined outhouse overlooking the river; the rain pours down on the head of the hapless