Page:English Caricaturists and Graphic Humourists of the nineteenth century.djvu/470

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Puppet Show, notwithstanding the ability of Mr. Procter, enjoyed but a very brief and transitory existence. The strong and healthy constitution of Punch enabled him not only to outlive all these, but even a publication superior in some important respects to himself. We allude to the Tomahawk, whose cartoons are certainly the most powerful and outspoken satires which have appeared since the days of Gillray.[1]

Among the draughtsmen whom Punch called in to help him in his early days was a useful and ingenious artist, inferior in many respects to Kenny Meadows, his name was Alfred Henry Forrester, better known to most of us under his nom de guerre of "Alfred Crowquill." The scribes of the "Catnach," or Seven Dials school, of literature are satirized by Forrester (in the second volume), wherein we see a "Literary Gentleman" hard at work at his vocation of a scribe of cheap and deleterious literature, consulting his authorities—"The Annals of Crime," a "Last Dying Speech and Confession," and the "Newgate Calendar." In The Footman we have a gorgeous figure, adorned with epaulets, lace, and a cocked hat, reading (of all things in the world) the "Loves of the Angels," over a bottle of hock and soda-water! The Pursuit of Matrimony under Difficulties is a more ambitious performance. "Punch's Guide to the Watering Places" (vol. iii.) is illustrated with a number of coarsely executed cuts, wholly destitute of merit; the fourth volume contains a cartoon entitled Private Opinions. But the graphic humour of Alfred Crowquill, although amusing and sometimes bright and sparkling, was unsuited to the requirements of a periodical such as Punch. As better men came forward, he gradually dropped out of its pages, and we see nothing more of him after the fourth volume.

Alfred Crowquill was a sort of "general utility" man, essaying the character of a littérateur as well as that of an artist, and achieving as a natural consequence no permanent success in either. In his literary capacity, Alfred Henry Forrester made his first appearance (we believe) in "The Hive," and "The Mirror," under the editorship

  1. As the Tomahawk appeared in 1867, it does not come within the scope of the present work.