George Cruikshank

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well-nigh starved in the streets, where nobody would listen to his old guitar ? No one gave a shilling to bless him, not one of us who owe him 80 much.

Illustration by George Cruikshank

We know not if Mr Cruikshank will be very well pleased at finding his name in such company as that of Clown and Harlequin; but he, like them, is certainly the children's friend. His drawings abound in feeling for these little ones, and hideous, as in the course of his duty, he is from time to time compelled to design them, he never sketches one without a certain pity for it, and imparting to the figure a certain grotesque grace. In happy school-boys he revels; plumb-pudding and holidays his needle has engraved over and over again; -- there is a design in one of the comic almanacs of some young gentlemen who are employed in administering to a schoolfellow the correction of the pump, which is as graceful and elegant as a drawing of Stothard. Dull books about children George Cruikshank makes bright with illustrations -- there is one published by the ingenious and opulent Mr Tegg, of Cheapside -- from which we should have been charmed to steal a few wood-cuts. It is entitled ' Mirth and Morality,' the mirth being, for the most part, on the side of the designer -- the morality, unexceptionable certainly, the author's capital. Here are then, to these moralities, a smiling train of mirths supplied by George Cruikshank -- see yonder little fellows butterfly-hunting across a common! Such a light, brisk, airy, gentleman-like drawing was never made upon such a theme. Who, cries the author,

-- Who has not chased the butterfly,

And crushed its slender legs and wings,
And heaved a moralizing sigh;
Alas! how frail are human things ?"

A very unexceptionable morality truly, but it would have puzzled another than George Cruikshank to make mirth out of it as he has done. Away, surely not on the wings of these verses, Cruikshank's imagination begins to soar; and he makes us three darling little men on a green common, backed by old farm- houses, somewhere about May. A great mixture of blue and clouds in the air, a strong fresh breeze stirring, Tom's jacket flapping in the same, in order to bring down the insect queen or kin^ of spring that is fluttering above him, -- he renders all this with a few strokes on a little block of wood not two inches square, upon which one may gaze for hours, so merry and life- like a scene does it present, what a charming creative power is this, what a privilege -- to be a god, and create little worlds upon paper, and whole generations of smiling, jovial men, women, and

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