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noble achievements of our fathers, their discovery of the printing press carried hard-won liberties, their blood-shedding its boon to the caricaturist as to every and battles; their martyrdom and im- one else; by it impressions could be mulprisonments, have been made the vehi-tiplied indefinitely; and it was therecles of the smart sentence and the inane fore during the latter part of tbe 16th jest. Nothing could be more odious to and more than ever during the 17th the writer, or more hurtful to the young centuiies that caricatures became the than such a proceeding; how could potent weapons which they are in polithey reverence past ages, their early tical warfare, and formidable instruments acquaintance with which began with in working upon the feelings of the laughter? how could they worship a populace. hero whose deeds had been a subject of But the reader must not fall into the jest? No; such is not the purpose of common mistake of regarding this art this paper ; too much dulness is indeed as entirely comic. Nothing can be fara grave fault; but unbounded levity, ther from the truth. In their earliest often, as in the case of a modern revo-period they were seldom, if ever, pictures lution, the concomitant of impiety and merely to provoke a laugh, but were cruelty, is a sin. .
serious affairs, frequently of a very saBut to our subject.
vage nature, and made subservient to Caricature seems to be derived from the political warfare which was then an Italian word, caricare, to overload, going on, the character of which they, and therefore a caricature has been well of course, partook. The chief of our defined as a loaded, overcharged repre- English caricatures were imported from sentation. Caricature in painting, Holland, and they first came into exbears an affinity to Burlesque in poetry, tensive circulation and notoriety after and a finely drawn caricature would bear the revolution of 1688, which happily the same analogy to Raphael's picture placed the third William upon an Enof the Last Judgment, as Butler's Hu- glish throne. No doubt, this arose dibras does to Paradise Lost as an epic from the fact of England possessing no poem. Addison defines caricature, as artists of sufficient skill to enable them pictures “where the art consists in pre- to produce the plates rapidly and effecserving amidst distorted proportions tively. The caricatures, of which there and aggravated features, some distin-were plenty which satirized the Protecguishing likeness of the person.” Such, tor Cromwell, were executed chiefly by indeed, is the style of caricature which the Dutch ; and in the flood of this was prevalent in his day, but we have kind of pictures, which that stirring arrived to a much more refined state of time of speculation, the days of the the art, and have been gradually pro- South Sea Bubble gave rise to, the large gressing towards, perhaps, a perfection majority came from the Dutch. Their which the elder caricaturists little character was totally different to what dreamt of.
we now understand by the same The application of pictures of a satiri- term. They were chiefly emblematical, cal kind to politics, which constitutes and in a folio volume of them, all relating the great body of the caricatures with to the speculating mania, which prewhich we shall have to deal, is, it has vailed both in Holland and France at been well observed, no new thing, and the time of Law and his Mississippi can be traced among every people with scheme, and which was published under whom, historically, we have any ac- the title of “Her groote Tafereel de quaintance. In the very centre of the Devaasheid,” (The great Picture of pyramids, upon Egyptian tombs, cari- | Folly,) some of them are so difficult to catures have been found; and many an divine, and have so very little point, that old manuscript or sculptured piece of an authority on the subject has sugwood tells us that our most remote an- gested that the great sale of caricatures cestors enlivened the darkness of the made the booksellers look up old plates middle ages with pictorial satire. But published upon totally different subin those days the artists laboured under jects, and after adding new inscriptions immense disadvantages. * Engraving and new explanations publish them as was indeed understood, but the art of caricatures on the Bubble. multiplying the impressions from the plate, and spreading them before the
* Thomas Wright, Esq., M.A., F.S.A., “History eyes of the Many was unknown. The l of the House of Hanover."
This dulness and emblematical cha- cies of humorous composition, his racter seemed for a long time to per- finer works are so far removed from it, vade the artists of the day, and even that they should rather be held as fine Hogarth, when he turned his skilful and deep satires upon humanity, satires pencil to this kind of art, seems to have moreover partaking more largely of been unable to disengage himself from Tragedy than of Comedy. . “ Recollecthe prevailing fault. In his second tion," says Charles Lamb, “ of the scene of the election, the “Canvass," manner in which his prints (the Harthe British Lion is represented as lot's and Rake's Progresses) affected swallowing a golden fleur-de-lis, an me, has often made me wonder when I emblem, we take it, of French gold have heard Hogarth described as a being used plentifully as a means of mere comic painter, as one whose chief bribery; and in the third plate, the ambition was to raise a laugh. To deny “ Polling," the carriage of Britannia is that there are throughout the prints I represented as overturning, whilst the have mentioned, circumstances intro. coachman and footman on the box are duced of a laughable tendency, would playing at cards; another emblematic be to run counter to the common norepresentation of the gaming propensitions of mankind; but to suppose that ties of the ministers, a madness shared in their ruling character they appeal by the whole aristocracy. But these chiefly to the risible faculty, and not are mild and favourable instances. Two | first and foremost to the very heart of celebrated publications of this artist, man, its best and most serious feelings, which are undoubted caricatures, “The would be to mistake no less grossly Times," and drew upon the designer their aim and purpose. A set of much odium, contain more glaring severer satires (for they are not so examples of this fault than those we much comedies, which they have been have quoted.
likened to, as they are strong and mas. After Hogarth, the art of modern culine satires,) less mingled with anycaricature appears to have taken its thing of mere fun, were never written rise from the pencils of a number of upon paper or graven upon copper, known and unknown amateur artists, They resemble Juvenal, or the satiric (amongst whom we may mention the touches in Timon of Athens."* notorious George Townshend,) who were Bearing the foregoing in mind, we actively engaged in the political in- will proceed. trigues of George II. These carried WILLIAM HOGARTH was born on the on the attack and defence for some 19th of December, 1697, in the parish time; in the earlier years of his suc-of St. Bartholomew, London. Ile was cessor, the rage for this kind of pictures descended from a Westmoreland family, became great, and then for a while died which had borne the name of Hogard, out to grow brighter, stronger, and or Hogart; his father being the youngest more popular than ever, under the of three brothers, the eldest of whom pencil, and by the conceptions of the lived and died as a yeoman, the second tertile Gilray. This artist was suc- as a farmer, whilst the third, Hogarth's ceeded by others who have not let the father, came up to London, being, perart die, and who have carried down the haps, more educated and having more chain of caricaturists to our own day. learning than the two eldest, and earned So that all of their works collected and arranged with accompanying explana- * Swift, who might just as well be get down as
a merely comic (i, e, that which is understood by the modern and somewhat peurile word funny
writer, as Hogarth solely 48 & caricaturint. than any we have at present.
seemed to have entertained the same ideas as
Lamb. In writing the biographies of a class
“ How I want thee, humorous Hogart! of men who have produced, or rather
Thou, I hear, a pleasant rogue art ! who have greatly assisted in producing Were but you and I acquainted,
Every monster should be painted: such memorable events as have the
You should try your graving tools caricaturists, it would be an omission On this odious group of foolg; not to include the name of WILLIAM
Draw the beasts as I describe them
From their features while I give them. HOGARTH, but it would also be an in
Draw them like for I assure-a justice to assume that he was nothing You'll need no caricatura,
Draw them so that we may trace more than a mere caricaturist, for
All the soul in every face." although he dealt largely in that spe- A Character, &c., of the “ Legion Club," 1735.
a precarious living as a corrector for he adds, “my exercises at school were the press. He married one whose name more remarkable for the ornaments or kindred no one has mentioned; kept which adorned them than for the exera small school in Ship Court, oid cise itself. In the former I soon found Bailey, and having in vain sought dis- that blockheads, with better memories, tinction as an author, sank under dis- would soon surpass me; but for the appointed hope and incessant labour, latter I was particularly distinguished.” and died in 1721, leaving one son and With such an intuition the choice he two daughters, Ann and Mary. made was a happy one. Demi-lions,
As soon as William could be pro- griffins, hydras, cockatrices, and seaperly called master of his name, he, lions, and all the fabulous monsters of like the poet Malloch, who called himself heraldry exercised his young hand, and Mallet, and the author Foe, who in-gave it facility and precision. Before sisted on the “De" before his name, his apprenticeship, the long term of determined to improve its euphony by seven years, had expired, he had gone adding the final “h." The troubles of beyond these things, and had conceived his father had an effect upon the boy the great ambition of being an engraver which we cannot regret. The father on copper-plate. “Engraving on copwas a scholar and a man of varied ac- per was at twenty years of age my quirements, but the son refused to make utmost ambition. To attain this it was these his own. “I saw," he says, “ the necessary that I should learn to draw difficulties under which my father la- something like nature.” To arrive at boured; the many inconveniences he this desired end, he scouted the common endured from his dependence, living | path of continually copying other men's chiefly on his pen; and the cruel treat-works, which he considered was like ment he met with from booksellers and pouring wine out of one vessel into printers... it was therefore con- another; he therefore early practised formable to my own wishes that I was himself in acquiring and retaining in taken from school, and served a long his memory, we use his own words, apprenticeship to a silver plate en perfect ideas of the things he meant to graver.” He was apprenticed to Ellis draw, considering that he "who could do Gamble, a silversmith, in Cranbourne so would have as clear a knowledge of Alley, Leicester Square. The place the figure as he who can write freely has disappeared in the recent improve-hath of the twenty-five letters of the ments, but one side of Cranbourne alphabet, and their infinite combinaStreet marks the spot where it stood. tions." Filled with this, he began to The profession which he embraced con- turn every opportunity to account, and sists not only in engraving spoons and to sketch almost everything he had forks with crests or cyphers, but also seen, carrying the idea away in his in ornamenting the larger and more retentive memory. If, however, a very costly articles of plate, and in engray- singular face struck him, he would, ing thereon the armorial bearings of rather than lose its expression, copy it the possessors. It includes, therefore, on the nail of his thumb, and carry it or should include, a knowledge of he- home to enlarge upon at leisure. Like raldry, and, indeed, the silver engravers the present Præ-Raphaelites he went at of that day were also the heraldic en-once to nature. “Instead of burthengravers. Hugh Clark, the author of ing the memory with musty rules, or the best small introduction to heraldry tiring the eye with copying dry or dawhich we have, was a silver engraver, maged pictures, I have ever found and the book-plates of the nobility were studying from nature the shortest and done by artists on silver. Many of safest way of obtaining knowledge in these done by Hogarth himself are now my art.” We quote these sentences, in the portfolios of collectors, regarded and linger thus upon the threshold of as objects of great value and curiosity. his life, in the hopes that they may The taste which led Hogarth to choose perhaps inspire some young devotee of such an occupation was manifested at a art with a determination of following very early age, even when a mere child out so good a plan, and may strengthen he was employed at every possible op- a preconceived determination to go to portunity in making drawings. He the fountain of originality and excellearnt not to write, but to “draw the lence, Nature herself. alphabet with great correctness," and Keeping strictly to this determination, Hogarth did not let slip any opportu- lington Gate." Those vicious amusenity of exercising his art, under the ments, then very prevalent, masquertutorship of nature. On one occasion, | ades, are held up to ridicule; multitudes he, in company with Hayman, the are represented as crowding to one of painter, strolled into a low pot-house, those assemblies, led by a figure, approwhere two loose women were drunk, priately tricked out with cap and bells. and quarrelling. One of them filled On the summit of the gate, the arbiter her mouth with brandy, and dexterously elegantiarum of the day, William Kent,* spirted it into the eyes of her antagonist. an architect and artist, much in vogue, "See! see!" cried Hogarth, and taking is brandishing his pencils, with Michael out his note-book, sketched her. This | Angelo and Raphael for his supporters. figure afterwards was put to use, and But a more important personage, no forms a principal one in his “ Modern less than Alexander Pope, also suffers Midnight Conversation.” Such an anec- from the artist's satire. The poet is dote as this offends many, as it did introduced as “A. P-pe, plasterer, Horace Walpole, who from it has pre- whitewashing and bespattering;” drawn sumed that the painter was a man of as a deformed dwarf, Pope is mounted loose habits and low conversation, an on a scaffolding, whitewashing the gate, idea very far from the truth; but the whilst, by his awkwardness, he sends a conscientious biographer must chronicle shower of dirt on a coach below, and a fact which throws a light upon the with his foot he is overturning a pail, modus operandi of the artist.
and spilling the contents on a passenger After his apprenticeship was served, beneath, who is explained as "any one Hogarth had some difficulty in main that comes in his way.” This is in taining himself. “ (wing," he says, allusion to the very free way in which “to my desire for qualifying myself for that great poet placed any one who engraving upon copper, &c., I could do offended him in his satires. little more than maintain myself till Il Soon after the appearance of this was near thirty ;” and he adds a sen- plate the booksellers began to employ tence which does him honour: “but him as an illustrator, and draughtsman even then I was a punctual paymaster. of embellishments and frontispieces. .... I remember the time when I He illustrated Moutraye's “Travels," have gone moping into the city with Apuleius' “Golden Ass," and Beaver's scarce a shilling, but as soon as I have" Military Punishments." He engraved, obtained ten guineas there for a plate, Imoreover, subjects very foreign to his have returned home, put on my sword, power, viz. : his illustrations to Miland sallied forth again with all the con- | ton's “ Paradise Lost.” In 1726, he was fidence of a man who has thousands in employed to illustrate Butler's “Huhis pockets.” So it ever is with rising dibras ;" little of the genius of the poet talent; at first hard to be distinguished, seems to have descended upon the ilit wins for its owner a scant and pre-lustrator. The plates are common carious existence; but when acknow- enough to this day, but the figures are ledged it reaps, as it should do, the certainly clumsy and awkward. At harvest which it deserves. The nature this time Hogarth was in such indifof Hogarth was too confident and bold ferent circumstances, that he sold to to sink under difficulties which would Bowles, the print-seller, some plates have daunted others. Richard Wilson just then completed by weight, at the repined and grew melancholy under rate of half-a-crown a pound, avoirduthe pressure of misfortune, and in pois. He next published a print of a another walk of art, young Chatterton curious nature, the trial of Bambridge, destroyed himself; but Hogarth, confi- the jailor of Newgate. This man was dent in the future, bore his disappoint-tried and found guilty of cruelty to his ments manfully, and finally triumphed prisoners, of extortion, and breach of over them.
trust. The figure of Bambridge has The first work of much merit which appeared from his graver, was called * Kent's judgment was considered paramonnt
in all things. Walpole relates that “so impetu
ous way fashion, that two great ladies prevailed 1724. This was a legitimate caricature,
on him to design their birthday gowns. The
one he dressed in a petticoat decorated with lashed.
columns of the five orders of architecture; the Young satirists are always Lother like a bronze, in a copper-coloured satin severe. The print is now termed “Bur- with ornaments of gold."
been highly praised by Horace Walpole is wonderfully like. This excellent man for the expression of villany, fear, and having laid out his entire fortune in the working of conscience it contains. acts of benevolence, was reduced to "If this was a portrait," says Walpole, great poverty in his old age. To the “it is the most striking ever painted honour of the nation, an annuity of if it was not, it is still finer." * Another one hundred pounds was purchased and caricature of his old enemy-Kent, pro- presented to him. On receiving it he cured Hogarth the friendship of Sir said, " I did not waste the wealth which J. Thornhill, who regarded Kent as an I possessed in self-indulgence or vain opponent, and in 1829, on the 23rd of expense, and in my old age, I am not March, our artist, then in his 32nd ashamed to own that I am poor." A year, married Jane, the only daughter second portrait of remark is that of of Sir James. This match, not an im- Fielding, the novelist, painted from prudent one on the part of the lady, who recollection, from a paper cutting, and had passed the bloom of youth, was uns from the mimicry of Garrick dressed in dertaken without the consent of her the departed author's clothes. So runs parents, and her father was offended. the story. Fielding himself, a rare At the time Hogarth was scarcely con- instance among men of any celebrity, sidered a painter, and Sir James was never sat for his portrait. A third serjeant and history-painter to the portrait brings us closely home to our king, he therefore considered the match subject, and is that of the notorious beneath his daughter's rank. Two John Wilkes. It has been styled a years, however, and Hogarth's increas- caricature, but is in fact so little so that ing fame, served to appease Thornhill's Wilkes himself owned the likeness. anger. The entreaties of his wife, the “I am growing," he writes, “every day submission of his daughter, and the more and more like my portrait by rising reputation of his son-in-law, were Hogarth.” The portrait is the work of the arguments which prevailed. Ho- a genius, and speaks for itself. The garth laid aside his satiric designs, took notorious author of the “Essays on a house in Leicester Fields, and com- Woman," the chairman of the “H-1menced the profession of portrait fire Club," and one of the most profane, painter—an art in which, to say the yet able men of the day, is seated in truth, he was not qualified to succeed an easy and not ungraceful attitude, largely, wanting grace and prettiness with a wand in his hand, at the top of in his portraits, and being “a man which is a Phrygian cap, bearing that whose talent was certainly not flatter- word which was by the mob so often ing, nor his talent adapted to look on coupled with his own name, “Wilkes vanity without a sneer." His facility and Liberty." The portrait is correct, of catching likenesses, however, drew but the touch of the artist has prehim a considerable quantity of business served scarcely anything human in the for some time, and he also added face, which reveals only the sensualist novelty to his art by painting small and the fiend. The sinister eyes, the conversational pictures, which he says slightly open mouth, the wig, with its succeeded for a few years, but even curls so placed as to look like horns, this he says, was “but a less kind of all proclaim sensuality and hypocrisy, drudgery, and as I could not bring and the demon stands confessed. Wilkes myself to act like some of my brethren, has lately had his champions, and there and make it a sort of manufactory, to is little doubt that he was not so deeply be carried on by the help of back-sunk in every vice as some have repregrounds and drapery painters, it was sented him, but that he was a profligate not sufficiently profitable to pay the and abandoned man there is little doubt, expenses my family required." The and the portrait by Hogarth will, to best of the portraits he painted at this use the words of Pope, transmit him to time, is perhaps, that of Captain Coram, posterity, the philanthropic founder of the
“Damned to everlasting fame." Foundling Hospital.
Captain Coram, as represented in The last portrait which can be menHogarth's portrait, has a dignity and tioned here is that of " Garrick as Richsweet benevolence in his face, which ard III.” After working for some time we hear from contemporary authority at these, he designed and etched the was not in the original; yet the portrait I first portion of the “Harlot's Progress,"