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Theodore Lane, who then resided in Judd Street, Brunswick Square, called upon his brother-in-law, Mr. Wakefield, a surgeon of Battle Bridge, intending to proceed in the latter's gig to Hampstead, to join a party of friends who had gone there to spend the day. Mr. Wakefield having to visit a patient in Manchester Street, Gray's Inn Lane, drove there with his brother-in-law, and this was the last time he was seen alive. Close to the place was a horse bazaar, which the artist appears to have entered by way of passing the time. The horse and trap were there, but no trace of poor Lane; and on search being made, his body was found lying lifeless at the foot of the auctioneer's stand. He appears to have wandered into the betting-room, and by some unexplained means or other fallen backwards through an insufficiently protected skylight. The clever head was battered so completely out of recognition that he was only identified by his card-case. That Lane was a man of unusual proinise is shown by the fact that amongst the subscribers for the benefit of the widow and children of the deceased, we find the names of Sir Thomas Lawrence, president of the Royal Academy ; F. Chantrey, R.A. ; George Westmacott; Cooper, the celebrated animal painter; and Leahy, the painter of the celebrated picture of “Mary Stuart's Farewell to France.” The remains of this ill-fated, talented young fellow lie in the burial ground of old St. Pancras.
TNE CARICATURES OF ISAAC ROBERT CRUIKSHANK.
It was the misfortune of the brothers Cruikshank that they outlived The Brothers their popularity: in the case of the younger brother, this result (as CRUIK we shall presently see) must be attributed in a certain measure to his own fault; but as regards Robert, his efforts as a caricaturist were destined to be eclipsed by the greater novelty and attractions of H?, whilst a tendency to carelessness, and the absence of actual genius, prevented him from attaining lasting celebrity in the line of book illustration which George made so peculiarly his own. The final result, however, was the same in both cases; and the brothers might have said with truth, that, in suffering both to die poor and neglected, the British public treated both with the strictest impartiality. Here, however, the impartiality ended; for whilst over two hundred articles have been penned in praise of the brilliant man of genius, poor Robert Transit * (a name strictly appropriate to his memory) reposes in his nameless grave still unregarded and still forgotten. Few writers indeed have wasted pen and ink about Robert Cruikshank or his work : Robert William Buss, in his book on “ English Graphic Satire” (a work published for private circulation only), devotes exactly a line and a half to his memory; his Iriend, George Daniel, gives him a few kindly words in memoriam ; Professor Bates's essay on his brother George contains several pages of valuable information in relation to some of his book illustrations; whilst Mr. Hamilton presents us with a dozen specimens of work of this kind which are nothing less than libels on his
* The name given him by Bernard Blackmantle.
graphic powers. To the general public of to-day the name of Robert Cruikshank is so little known, that comparatively few are cognizant of the fact that he was one of the most popular and successful graphic satirists of his time. It is the misfortune of the caricaturist that his wares attain only a transitory popularity, whilst it is their peculiarity that after he is dead their value is increased fourfold. It is by no means uncommon for five and even seven shillings to be demanded and obtained for one of the impressions of Robert's plates, which in his lifetime could have been purchased at the cost of a shilling. It is the design of this chapter to rescue the memory of a clever artist from undeserved oblivion, and restore him to that place in comic art which he once occupied, and which it seems to us he deserved to fill not only on account of his own merits, but by reason of being associated in illustrations of a different character with such men as his brother George, Robert Seymour, Thomas Rowlandson, John Leech, and other artists of genius and reputation.
Isaac Robert, or rather Robert Cruikshank (as he usually styled himself), was born in 1790. He had as a boy acquired the groundwork of his technical education as an artist and etcher under the direction of old Isaac his father ; but we personally have met with little of his work prior to 1816, which is accounted for by the fact that he followed for a short time a sea life in the service of the East India Company, and after having thrown this up in favour of a calling more congenial to his tastes, he devoted himself for some years almost exclusively to miniature and portrait painting, by which he earned not only a fair livelihood, but a certain amount of fashionable patronage. Gradually, however (George tells us), he abandoned this occupation, and took almost exclusively to designing and etching. He occasionally alternated his work with water-colour drawing, in which he is said to have greatly excelled. His works in this line are extremely rare, sor Robert had neither the means nor the patience 10 wait for the tardy patronage to be commanded by a higher walk in art; there was a demand for caricatures and comic etching in his day, which afforded a present means of livelihood, and Robert's water colours were executed more by way of relaxation than in the THE PRINCESS CHARLOTTE.
way of actual artistic pursuit. Among his early caricatures we may mention a rough and coarsely coloured affair engraved by him aster the design of an amateur, published by Fores on the 28th of April, 1816, entitled, The Mother's Girl Plucking a Crow, or German Flesh and English Spirit. The Princess Charlotte, as we have seen, had an undoubted will of her own, and could, as we have also seen, assert it when occasion demanded. Here she is presented to us at the moment when a hideous German duenna, catching her in the act of writing to her mother abroad, orders her at once to desist. The princess, however, in plain terms, enforced with a clenched fist, gives her clearly to understand that she fully intends to have her own way. Another caricature, published by T. Sidebotham, in 1817, bearing the title of The Horse Marine and his Trumpeter in a Squall, is dedicated to the United Service Club.
Subjects for the pencil of a clever graphic satirist were not Strange FRENCH wanting sixty years ago. France in those days set the fashion both F in male and female attire, and the strangest eccentricities had marked the emancipation of that country from the thraldom of the Terror. There were the incroyables, a set of young dandies who affected royalist sympathies, and paraded the streets of Paris when young Napoleon was yet a general in the service of the Directory. They wore short-waisted coats with tails of preposterous length, cocked hats of ponderous dimensions, green cravats, powdered hair plaited and turned up with a comb, while on each side of the face hung down two long curls called dogs' ears (oreilles de chien). These charming fellows carried twisted sticks of enormous size, as weapons of offence and defence, and spoke in a peculiarly affected manner. * Some sourteen or fifteen years later on, when we had driven Joseph Bonaparte and his brother's legions out of Spain, the fashions had
* Further particulars of them will be found in the “Memoirs of the Duchess d'Abrantes" (Madame Junot). The fashions of the years which immediately preceded the Revolution appear to have been almost as funny. I have somewhere seen a French semi-caricature depicting fashionables of the Palais Royal in 1786, and the people who had their heads cut off in '93 were almost as queer as the dandies of the Directory and the Consulate.
not improved. The biographer of Victor Hugo gives us the picture of one Gilé, a Parisian dandy of that period, whose coat of olive brown was cut in the shape of a fish's tail, and dotted all over with metal buttons even to the shoulders. Young men who went to moderate lengths in fashion were content to wear the waists of their coats in the middle of their backs, but the waist of this Gilé intruded on the nape of his neck. His hat was stuck on the right side of his head, bringing into prominent notice on the left a thick tuft of hair frizzed out with curling irons. His trousers were ornamented with stripes which looked like bars of gold lace; they were pinched in at the knees and wide at the bottom, giving his feet the appearance of elephant's hoofs. Our own costume had been strange enough, in all conscience; but when Napoleon's continental system had been broken up after Leipzig, and a free market had been once more opened out between this country and foreign nations, fashions more strange and eccentric, if possible, found their way into England. Thackeray, when writing his “Vanity Fair,” the scenes of which are laid prior and subsequent to the battle of Waterloo, was fain to confess that he had intended to depict his characters in their proper costumes; “ but when he remembered the appearance of people in those days, he had not the heart to disfigure his heroes and heroines by costumes so hideous," and thenceforth he habited these men and women of 1815 in the costume of the men and women of 1848. George Cruikshank's “ Monstrosities” are familiar to all acquainted with his works; and his brother Robert and his contemporaries were equally fond of ridiculing the preposterous fashions of their time. We find in the year 1818 a pictorial satire by Robert, which shows us a pair of Dandies at Tea, habited in the short-waisted, long-tailed coats, tight breeches, terrific stocks, shirt collars, and top boots of the period. “My dear fellow, Mr. Sim," one of them, asks,“ is your tea agreeable ?” to which the other answers, “ Charming, my dear Lollena ; where do you buy it?” They are seated in an attic, which, like that of the cobbler, serves “for parlour and bedroom and all,” and the washing of the tenant hangs suspended on a line above the heads of the interesting pair. We find another the same year,