Page:English Caricaturists and Graphic Humourists of the nineteenth century.djvu/52

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Proposed Method of arrangement.Although Gillray began his work in 1769,—thirty years before our century commenced, and Rowlandson five years later on, in 1774, their labours were continued some years after 1799, and are so interwoven, so to speak, with the work of their immediate successors, that it is almost impossible in a work dealing with nineteenth century caricaturists to omit all mention of them. In collecting too materials for the present treatise, we necessarily met with many anonymous satires, without signature, initials, or distinguishing style, which may be, and some of which are probably due to artists whose pencils were at work before the century began. Even if equal in all cases to the task of assigning these satires to the particular hands which designed and executed them, we submit that little real service would be rendered to the cause of graphic satire. It appears to us therefore that the most convenient method will be to indicate in this and the following chapters some of the leading topics of caricature during the first thirty years of the century, and to cite in illustration of our subject such of the work of anonymous or other artists, for which no better place can be assigned in other divisions of the work.

The attention of the public during the first fifteen years of the century was mainly directed to the progress and fortunes of the great national enemy, Napoleon Bonaparte. The hatred with which he was regarded in this country can scarcely be appreciated in these days; and in order that the cause of this bitter antipathy may be