By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: The Confessions of a Caricaturist, Vol. 1
Author: Furniss, Harry, 1854-1925
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Confessions of a Caricaturist, Vol. 1" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.





                        HARRY FURNISS


                          VOLUME I







[_All rights reserved._]

December, 1901.


If, in these volumes, I have made some joke at a friend's expense, let
that friend take it in the spirit intended, and--I apologise beforehand.

In America apology in journalism is unknown. The exception is the
well-known story of the man whose death was published in the obituary
column. He rushed into the office of the paper and cried out to the

"Look here, sur, what do you mean by this? You have published two
columns and a half of my obituary, and here I am as large as life!"

The editor looked up and coolly said, "Sur, I am vury sorry, I reckon
there is a mistake some place, but it kean't be helped. You are killed
by the _Jersey Eagle_, you are to the world buried. We nevur correct
anything, and we nevur apologise in Amurrican papers."

"That won't do for me, sur. My wife's in tears; my friends are laughing
at me; my business will be ruined,--you _must_ apologise."

"No, si--ree, an Amurrican editor nevur apologises."

"Well, sur, I'll take the law on you right away. I'm off to my

"Wait one minute, sur--just one minute. You are a re-nowned and popular
citizen: the _Jersey Eagle_ has killed you--for that I am vury, vury
sorry, and to show you my respect I will to-morrow find room for you--in
the births column."

Now do not let any editor imagine these pages are my professional
obituary,--my autobiography. If by mistake he does, then let him place
me immediately in their births column. I am in my forties, and there is
quite time for me to prepare and publish two more volumes of my
"Confessions" from my first to my second birth, and many other things,
before I am fifty.

[Illustration: Faithfully yours
                         Harry Furniss]

LONDON, 1901.

     [The Author begs to acknowledge his indebtedness to the Proprietors
     and the Editor of _Punch_, the Proprietors of the _Magazine of Art_,
     the _Graphic_, the _Illustrated London News_, _English Illustrated
     Magazine_, _Cornhill Magazine_, _Harper's Magazine_, _Westminster
     Gazette_, _St. James' Gazette_, the _British Weekly_ and the _Sporting
     Times_ for their kindness in allowing him to reproduce extracts and
     pictures in these volumes.]




  Introductory--Birth and Parentage--The Cause of my remaining a
   Caricaturist--The Schoolboys' _Punch_--Infant Prodigies--As a
   Student--I Start in Life--_Zozimus_--The Sullivan
   Brothers--Pigott--The Forger--The Irish "Pathriot"--Wood
   Engraving--Tom Taylor--The Wild West--Judy--Behind the
   Scenes--Titiens--My First and Last Appearance in a Play--My Journey to
   London--My Companion--A Coincidence                     _pp._ 1-29



  I arrive in London--A Rogue and Vagabond--Two Ladies--Letters of
   Introduction--Bohemia--A Distinguished Member--My Double--A Rara
   Avis--The Duke of Broadacres--The Savages--A Souvenir--Portraits of
   the Past--J. L. Toole--Art and Artists--Sir Spencer Wells--John
   Pettie--Milton's Garden                                 _pp._ 30-53



  The Light Brigade--Miss Thompson (Lady Butler)--Slumming--The Boat
   Race--Realism--A Phantasmagoria--Orlando and the Caitiff--Fancy Dress
   Balls--Lewis Wingfield--Cinderella--A Model--All Night Sitting--An
   Impromptu Easel--"Where there's a Will there's a Way"--The American
   Sunday Papers--I am Deaf--The Grill--The World's
   Fair--Exaggeration--Personally Conducted--The Charnel House--10,
   Downing Street--I attend a Cabinet Council--An Illustration by Mr.
   Labouchere--The Great Lincolnshire Trial--Praying without Prejudice
                                                           _pp._ 54-87



  Drawing--"Hieroglyphics"--Clerical Portraiture--A Commission from
   General Booth--In Search of Truth--Sir Walter Besant--James Payn--Why
   Theodore Hook was Melancholy--"Off with his Head"--Reformers'
   Tree--Happy Thoughts--Christmas Story--Lewis Carroll--The Rev. Charles
   Lutwidge Dodgson--Sir John Tenniel--The Challenge--Seven Years'
   Labour--A Puzzle MS.--Dodgson on Dress--Carroll on Drawing--Sylvie and
   Bruno--A Composite Picture--My Real Models--I am very Eccentric--My
   "Romps"--A Letter from du Maurier--Caldecott--Tableaux--Fine
   Feathers--Models--Fred Barnard--The Haystack--A Wicket Keeper--A Fair
   Sitter--Neighbours--The Post Office Jumble--Puzzling the
   Postmen--Writing Backwards--A Coincidence               _pp._ 88-130



  What is Caricature?--Interviewing--Catching
   Caricatures--Pellegrini--The "Ha! Ha!"--Black and White _v._
   Paint--How to make a Caricature--M.P.'s--My System--Mr. Labouchere's
   Attitude--Do the Subjects Object?--Colour in Caricature--Caught!--A
   Pocket Caricature--The Danger of the Shirt-cuff--The Danger of a
   Marble Table--Quick Change--Advice to those about to Caricature
                                                           _pp._ 131--153



  Gladstone and Disraeli--A Contrast--An unauthenticated Incident--Lord
   Beaconsfield's last Visit to the House of Commons--My Serious
   Sketch--Historical--Mr. Gladstone--His Portraits--What he thought of
   the Artists--Sir J. E. Millais--Frank Holl--The Despatch
   Boxes--Impressions--Disraeli--Dan O'Connell--Procedure--American
   Wit--Toys--Wine--Pressure--Sandwich Soirée--The G.O.M. dines with
   "Toby, M.P."--Walking--Quivering--My Desk--An Interview--Political
   Caricaturists--Signature in Sycamore--Scenes in the Commons--Joseph
   Gillis Biggar--My Double--Scenes--Divisions--Puck--Sir R.
   Temple--Charles Stewart Parnell--A Study--Quick Changes--His
   Fall--Room 15--The last Time I saw him--Lord Randolph Churchill--His
   Youth--His Height--His Fickleness--His Hair--His Health--His
   Fall--Lord Iddesleigh--Sir Stafford and Mr. Gladstone--Bradlaugh--His
   Youth--His Parents--His Tactics--His Fight--His Extinction--John
   Bright--Jacob Bright--Sir Isaac Holden--Lord Derby--A Political
   Prophecy--A Lucky Guess--My Confession in the _Times_--The Joke that
   Failed--The Seer--Fair Play--I deny being a Conservative--I am
                                                           _pp._ 154--214



  Two _Punch_ Editors--_Punch's_ Hump--My First _Punch_ Dinner--Charles
   Keene--"Robert"--W. H. Bradbury--du Maurier--"Kiki"--A Trip to the
   Place of his Birth--He Hates Me--A Practical Joke--du Maurier's
   Strange Model--No Sportsman--Tea--Appollinaris--My First
   Contribution--My Record--Parliament--Press Gallery Official--I Feel
   Small--The "Black Beetle"--Professor Rogers--Sergeant-at-Arms'
   Room--Styles of Work--Privileges--Dr. Percy--I Sit in the Table--The
   Villain of Art--The New Cabinet--Criticism--_Punch's_ Historical
   Cartoons--Darwen MacNeill--Scenes in the Lobby--A Technical
   Assault--John Burns's "Invention"--John Burns's Promise--John Burns's
   Insult--The Lay of Swift MacNeill--The Truth--Sir Frank
   Lockwood--"Grand Cross"--Lockwood's Little Sketch--Lockwood's Little
   Joke in the House--Lockwood's Little Joke at Dinner--Lewis Carroll and
   _Punch_--Gladstone's Head--Sir William's
   Portrait--Ciphers--Reversion--_Punch_ at Play--Three _Punch_ Men in a
   Boat--Squaring up--Two Pins Club--Its One Joke--Its One Horse--Its
   Mystery--Artistic Duties--Lord Russell--Furious Riding--Before the
   Beak--Burnand and I in the Saddle--Caricaturing Pictures for
   _Punch_--Art under Glass--Arthur Cecil--My Other Eye--The Ridicule
   that Kills--Red Tape--_Punch_ in Prison--I make a Mess of
   it--Waterproof--"I used your Soap two years ago"--Charles
   Keene--Charles Barber--_Punch's_ Advice--_Punch's_ Wives
                                                           _pp._ 215--302

[Illustration: HARRY FURNISS'S (EGYPTIAN STYLE). _From "Punch."_]

                         LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

  My Caricature of Mr. Gladstone                           _Frontispiece_

  Initial "In." Writing my Confessions. A Visitor's Snapshot           1

  My Mother                                                            3

  My Father                                                            5

  Harry Furniss, aged 10                                               6

  A Caricature, made when a Boy (never published). Dublin Exhibition.
      Portrait of Sir A. Guinness (now Lord Iveagh) in centre         11

  An Early Illustration on Wood by Harry Furniss.  Partly Engraved
      by him.                                                         16

  Sketches in Galway                                                  19

  "Judy," the Galway Dwarf                                            23

  Phelps, the first Actor I saw                                       24

  Mrs. Hardcastle. Mr. Harry Furniss. From an Early Sketch            25

  Caricature of Myself, drawn when I first arrived in London          30

  Age 20                                                              35

  A successful "Make-Up"                                              36

  Two Travellers                                                      38

  The Duke of "Broadacres"                                            40

  Savage Club House Dinner. From a Sketch by Herbert Johnson          41

  The Earl of Dunraven as a Savage                                    42

  "Another Gap in Our Ranks"                                          43

  "Jope"                                                              43

  H. J. Byron                                                          44

  A Presentation                                                      45

  Savage Club. My Design for the Menu, 25th Anniversary Dinner        47

  "Savages"                                                           50

  Letter from Sir Spencer Wells                                       51

  Distress in the Black Country                                       54

  At the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race                               55

  As Special at the Balaclava Celebration                             57

  Distress in the North                                               59

  Realism!                                                            61

  "The Caitiff" and Orlando                                           62

  An Invitation                                                       63

  At a Fancy Dress Ball                                               65

  Lewis Wingfield as a Street Nigger Home from the Derby              67

  "The Liberal Candidate"                                             68

  Sketches at the Liverpool Election: A Ward Meeting                  69

  My Easel. Drawing Mr. Gladstone at a Public Meeting                 71

  The American Sunday Papers                                          72

  Major Handy                                                         74

  The World's Fair, Chicago. A "Special's" Visit                      75

  "On dashed the Horses in their wild Career"                         77

  Initial "A"                                                         79

  The Charnel-House. Chicago World's Fair                             80

  Initial "London"                                                    83

  The Bishop of Lincoln's Trial                                       85

  Initial "If"                                                        88

  Majuba Hill                                                         89

  Canon Liddon. A Sketch from Life                                    92

  Letter from Sir Walter Besant                                       94

  The Late Sir Walter Besant                                          95

  The "Jetty"                                                         95

  Illustration for "The Talk of the Town"                             96

  "That's just what I have done!"                                     98

  Specimen of James Payn's Writing                                    99

  The Typical Lovers in Illustrated Novels                           100

  Initial "T"                                                        101

  Instructions in a Letter from Lewis Carroll                        103

  Specimen of Lewis Carroll's Drawing and Writing                    106

  Original Sketch by Lewis Carroll of his Charming Hero and Heroine  107

  Lewis Carroll's Note to me or a Pathetic Picture                   108

  Sylvie and Bruno. My Original Drawing for Lewis Carroll            110

  I Go Mad!                                                          111

  From Lewis Carroll                                                 112

  "I do want a Wicket-keeper!"                                       113

  Portion of Letter from Lawrence, age 9                             114

  Reduction from a Design for my "Romps"                             115

  Portion of a Letter from George du Maurier                         117

  A Transformation                                                   119

  "Yours always, Barnard"                                            119

  Barnard and the Models                                             120

  "I sit for 'Ands, Sir"                                             121

  The Grand Old Hand and the Young 'Un                               122

  My Fighting Double                                                 124

  Specimen of Mr. Linley Sambourne's Envelopes to me                 125

  Cheque for 5-1/2d. passed through two Banks and paid. I signed it
      _backwards_, and it was cancelled by Clerk _backwards_         127

  Sir Henry Irving writes his Name backwards                         128

  Sir Henry Irving's Attempt                                         128

  Mr. J. L. Toole's first Attempt                                    128

  Mr. J. L. Toole's second Attempt                                   128

  Autograph: Harry Furniss                                           129

  Initial "If"                                                       131

  The Studio of a Caricaturist                                       132

  Caricature of me by my Daughter, age 15                            134

  A serious Portrait--from Life                                      135

  Initial "H"                                                        136

  "Penguin"                                                          139

  Mr. Brown, Ordinary Attire. Court Dress                            139

  Two Portraits                                                      140

  A Caricature                                                       140

  _Not_ a Caricature                                                 140

  The Editor of _Punch_ sits for his Portrait                        144

  A Model unawares and the Result                                    145

  Sketch on a Shirt-Cuff                                             146

  "Mundella"                                                         147

  Mr. Labouchere                                                     149

  The M.P. Real and Ideal                                            150

  The Photo. As he really is                                         151

  "Dizzy" (Beaconsfield) and Gladstone                               154

  The Inner Lobby of the House of Commons                            156

  Explanation to Illustration on page 156                            157

  Lord Beaconsfield. A Sketch from Life                              158

  The last Visit of Lord Beaconsfield to the House                   161

  Mr. Gladstone. A Sketch from Life                                  163

  Mr. Gladstone "under his Flow of Eloquence"                        165

  Mr. Gladstone. Conventional Portrait                               167

  Caricature of the Holl Portrait                                    169

  Note of Mr. Gladstone made in the Press Gallery with the wrong
      end of a Quill Pen                                             171

  Invitation to a "Sandwich Soirée"                                  173

  Mr. Gladstone sits on the Floor                                    174

  The Fragment of _Punch_ Mr. Gladstone did not see                  175

  The Gladstone Matchbox                                             176

  Mr. Gladstone's Collars                                            178

  Parnell                                                            179

  To Room 15                                                         182

  Outside Room 15                                                    183

  Outside my Room                                                    185

  "The G.O.M." and "Randy"                                           185

  Mr. Louis Jennings                                                 186

  Lord Randolph and Louis Jennings                                   188

  Lord Randolph Churchill                                            189

  Behind the Speaker's Chair                                         190

  Initial "S"                                                        191

  Initial "H"                                                        193

  Bradlaugh Triumphant. _From "Punch"_                               194

  Charles Bradlaugh                                                  195

  The Meet at St. Stephen's                                          197

  Sir George Campbell                                                199

  Heraldic Design illustrating Mr. Plunkett's (now Lord Rathmore)
      Joke                                                           201

  Mr. Farmer Atkinson                                                202

  I must Introduce you to Lucy. Here he is                           203

  Joseph Gillis Biggar                                               204

  Initial "I"                                                        206

  The House of Commons from Toby's Private Box                       208

  The Government Bench--before Home Rule                             211

  Reduction of one of my Parliamentary Pages in _Punch_              214

  Initial "T"                                                        215

  Age 26, when I first worked for _Punch_                            216

  My first Meeting with the Editor of _Punch_                        217

  My first Invitation from _Punch_                                   218

  A Letter from Charles Keene, objecting to an Editor interviewing
       him                                                           219

  "Robert"                                                           220

  George du Maurier                                                  221

  Suggestion by du Maurier for _Punch_ Cartoon                       224

  Du Maurier's Souvenir de Fontainebleau. _From "Punch_"             225

  _Punch_ Staff returning from Paris                                 227

  Japanese Style                                                     229

  "Birch--His Mark"                                                  231

  Chinese Style. From a Drawing on Wood                              232

  Familiar Faces                                                     234

  An Official in the Press Gallery                                   235

  "He spies me"                                                      236

  "What are you?"                                                    236

  "Blowed if the Country wants you"                                  238

  "I feel smaller!"                                                  241

  The Black Beetle                                                   242

  The Sergeant-at-Arms' Room                                         243

  Capt. Gosset, late Sergeant-at-Arms                                244

  My "Childish" Style in _Punch_                                     245

  A simple Document                                                  246

  I Sketch the House                                                 247

  Dr. Percy. "The House Up"                                          250

  Mr. Punch's Puzzle-Headed People. Mr. Goschen                      251

  Mr. Punch's Puzzle-Headed People. "All Harcourts"                  252

  The New Cabinet                                                    255

  Reduction of Page in _Punch_, showing that my Caricatures were--in
      this case--published too large                                 258

  Reduction from the Original Drawing, showing that I gave
      Instructions for the Caricature to be "reduced as usual"       259

  What really happened                                               261

  Dr. Tanner                                                         262

  Assault on me in the House. What the Press described               263

  John Burns                                                         265

  Note from Sir Frank Lockwood, after reading the Bogus Account of
      the "Assault"                                                  266

  Letter supposed to come from Lord Cross. (Lockwood's Joke)         267

  Sir F. Lockwood      269

  Lewis Carroll's Suggestion, and my sketch of it in _Punch_         270

  Nature's Puzzle Portrait                                           271

  Initial "W"                                                        272

  "Three Oarsmen under a Tree"                                       273

  Lord Russell's Acceptance to dine with me                          275

  "It's your Turn next"                                              277

  Letter from Sir Frank Lockwood                                     277

  Mr. Linley Sambourne                                               278

  Portrait of me as a Member of the Two Pins Club, by Linley
       Sambourne                                                     279

  The late Lord Russell, the President of the Two Pins Club          280

  "Furious Riding." Sketch by F. C. Gould                            282

  My Portrait, by F. C. Burnand                                      285

  Mr. Punch "doing" the Picture Shows                                286

  The Picture Shows. Design from _Punch_                             288

  "The World-Renowned and Talented Barnardo Family"                  289

  The Great Baccarat Case. My Sketch in Pencil made in Court, and
       Congratulatory Note from the Editor of _Punch_                291

  Letter from Professor Herkomer                                     293

  A Prisoner                                                         294

  "Good Advertisement." Original Idea as sent to me                  297

  Ditto. My Drawing of it in _Punch_                                 297

  "English Waterproof Ink"                                           299

  I sit for John Brown                                               300

  A Crib by an American Advertiser                                   301

  Finis                                                              302

                       CONFESSIONS OF A CARICATURIST.

                                CHAPTER I.


  Introductory--Birth and Parentage--The Cause of my remaining a
   Caricaturist--The Schoolboys' _Punch_--Infant Prodigies--As a Student--I
   Start in Life--_Zozimus_--The Sullivan Brothers--Pigott--The Forger--The
   Irish "Pathriot"--Wood Engraving--Tom Taylor--The Wild
   West--Judy--Behind the Scenes--Titiens--My First and Last Appearance in
   a Play--My Journey to London--My Companion--A Coincidence.


In offering the following pages to the public, I should like it to be
known that no interviewer has extracted them from me by the thumbscrew
of a morning call, nor have they been wheedled out of me by the caresses
of those iron-maidens of literature, the publishers. For the most part
they have been penned in odd half-hours as I sat in my easy-chair in the
solitude of my studio, surrounded by the aroma of the post-prandial

I would also at the outset warn those who may purchase this work in the
expectation of finding therein the revelations of a caricaturist's
Chamber of Horrors, that they will be disappointed. Some day I may be
tempted to bring forth my skeletons from the seclusion of their
cupboards and strip my mummies, taking certain familiar figures and
faces to pieces and exposing not only the jewels with which they were
packed away, but all those spicy secrets too which are so relished by
scandal-loving readers.

At present, however, I am in an altogether lighter and more genial vein.
My confessions up to date are of a purely personal character, and like a
literary Liliputian I am placing myself in the hand of that colossal
Gulliver the Public.

I may, it is true, in the course of my remarks be led to retaliate to
some extent upon those who have had the hardihood to assert that all
caricaturists ought, in the interest of historical accuracy, to be
shipped on board an unseaworthy craft and left in the middle of the
Channel, for the crime of handing down to posterity distorted images of
those now in the land of the living. This I feel bound to do in
self-defence, as well as in the cause of truth, for to judge by the
biographical sketches of myself which continually appear and reach me
through the medium of a press-cutting agency, caricaturists as
distorters of features are not so proficient as authors as distorters of

I think it best therefore to begin by giving as briefly as possible an
authentic outline of my early career.

For the benefit of anyone who may not feel particularly interested in
such details, I should mention that the narration of this plain
unvarnished tale extends from this line to page 29.

I was born in Ireland, in the town of Wexford, on March 26th, 1854. I do
not, however, claim, to be an Irishman. My father was a typical
Englishman, hailing from Yorkshire, and not in his appearance only, but
in his tastes and sympathies, he was an unmistakable John Bull. By
profession he was a civil engineer, and he migrated to Ireland some
years before I was born, having been invited to throw some light upon
that "benighted counthry" by designing and superintending the erection
of gas works in various towns and cities.

My mother was Scotch. My great-great-grandfather was a captain in the
Pretender's army at Culloden, and had a son, Angus, who settled in
Aberdeen. When Æneas MacKenzie, my grandfather, was born, his family
moved south and settled in Newcastle-on-Tyne. A local biographer writes
of him: "A man who by dint of perseverance and self-denial acquired more
learning than ninety-nine in a hundred ever got at a university--an
accomplished and most trustworthy writer. The real founder of the
Newcastle Mechanics' Institute, and the leader of the group of
Philosophical Radicals who made not a little stir in the North of
England at the beginning of the last century." He was not only a
benevolent, active member of society and an ardent politician (Joseph
Cowen received his earliest impressions from him--and never forgot his
indebtedness), but the able historian of Northumberland, Durham, and of
Newcastle itself, a town in which he spent his life and his energies. If
I possess any hereditary aptitude for journalism, it is to him I owe it;
whilst to my mother, who at a time when miniature painting was
fashionable, cultivated the natural artistic taste with much success, I
am directly indebted for such artistic faculties as are innate in me.


My family moved from Wexford to Dublin when I was ten. It is pleasant to
know they left a good impression. In Miss Mary Banim's account of
Ireland I find the following reference to these aliens in Wexford, which
I must allow my egotism to transcribe: "Many are the kindly memories
that remain in Wexford of this warm-hearted, gifted family, who are said
not only to be endowed with rare talents, but, better still, with those
qualities that endear people to those they meet in daily intercourse."
The flattering adjectives with which the remarks about myself are
sandwiched prevent my modest nature from quoting any more. However, as
one does not remember much of that period of their life before they
reach their teens I need not apologise for quoting from the same work
this reference to me at that age:

"One who was his playmate--he is still a young man--describes Mr.
Furniss as very small of stature, full of animation and merriment,
constantly amusing himself and his friends with clever[!] reproductions
of each humorous character or scene that met his eye in the
ever-fruitful gallery of living art--gay, grotesque, pathetic, even
beautiful--that the streets and outlets of such a town as Wexford
present to a quick eye and a ready pencil."

I can appreciate the fact that at that early age I had an eye for the
"pathetic, and even beautiful," but, alas! I have been misunderstood
from the day of my birth. I used to sit and study the heavens before I
could walk, and my nurse, a wise and shrewd woman, predicted that I
should become a great astronomer; but instead of the works of Herschel
being put into my hands, I was satiated with the vilest comic toy books,
and deluged with the frivolous nursery literature now happily a thing of
the past. At odd times my old leaning towards serious reflection and
ambition for high art come over me, but there is a fatality which dogs
my footsteps and always at the critical moment ruins my hopes.

It is indeed strange how slight an incident may alter the whole course
of one's life, as will be seen from the following instance, which I
insert here although it took place some years after the period to which
I am now alluding.

The scene was Antwerp, to which I was paying my first visit, and where I
was, like all artists, very much impressed and delighted with the
cathedral of the quaint old place. The afternoon was merging into
evening as I entered the sacred building, and the broad amber rays of
the setting sun glowed amid the stately pillars and deepened the shadowy
glamour of the solemn aisles. As I gazed on the scene of grandeur I felt
profoundly moved by the picturesque effect, and the following morning
discovered me hard at work upon a most elaborate study of the beautiful
carved figures upon the confessional boxes. I had just laid out my
palette preparatory to painting that picture which would of course make
my name and fortune, when a hoarse and terribly British guffaw at my
elbow startled me, and turning round I encountered some acquaintances to
whom the scene seemed to afford considerable amusement. One of them was
good enough to remark that to have come all the way to Antwerp to find a
caricaturist painting the confessional boxes in the cathedral was
certainly the funniest thing he had ever heard of, and thereupon
insisted upon dragging me off to dine with him, a proposition to which I
immediately assented, feeling far more foolish than I could possibly
have looked. I may add that as the sun that evening dipped beneath the
western horizon, so vanished the visions of high art by which I had been
inspired, and thus it is that Michael Angelo Vandyck Correggio Raphael
Furniss lies buried in Antwerp Cathedral. Strangely enough I came across
the following paragraph some years afterwards: "The guides of Antwerp
Cathedral point out a grotesque in the wood carving of the choir which
resembles almost exactly the head of Mr. Gladstone, as depicted by Harry

[Illustration: MY FATHER.]

My earliest recollections are altogether too modern to be of much
interest. Crimean heroes were veterans when they, as guests at my
father's table, fought their battles o'er again. The _Great Eastern_
steamship was quite an old white elephant of the sea when I, held up in
my nurse's arms, saw Brunel's blunder pass Greenore Point. I was hardly
eligible for "Etons" when our present King was married. When first taken
to church I was most interested, as standing on tiptoe on the seat in
our square family pew, and peering into the next pew, I saw a young
governess, at that moment the most talked-of woman in Great Britain, the
niece of the notorious poisoner Palmer. She had just returned from the
condemned cell, having made that scoundrel confess his crime, and there
was more pleasure in the sight than in listening to the good old Rector
Elgee who had christened me, or in seeing his famous daughter the
poetess "Speranza," otherwise known as Lady Wilde.

In the newspaper shop windows--always an attraction to me--the coloured
portrait of Garibaldi was fly-blown, the pictures of the great fight
between Sayers and Heenan were illustrations of ancient history, and in
the year I was born _Punch_ published his twenty-sixth volume.

[Illustration: HARRY FURNISS, AGED 10.]

Leaving Wexford before the railway there was opened, my parents removed
to the metropolis of Ireland, and I went to school in Dublin at the age
of twelve. It was at the Wesleyan Connexional School, now known as the
Wesleyan College, St. Stephen's Green, that I struggled through my first
pages of Cæsar and stumbled over the "pons asinorum," and here I must
mention that although the Wesleyan College bears the name of the great
religious reformer, a considerable number of the boys who studied
there--myself included--were in no way connected with the Wesleyan body.
I merely say this because I have seen it stated more than once that I am
a Wesleyan, and as this little sketch professes to be an authentic
account of myself, I wish it to be correct, however trivial my remarks
may seem to the general reader. It is in the same spirit that I have
disclaimed the honour of being an Irishman.

Once upon a time, when I was a very little boy, I remember being very
much impressed by a heading in my copybook which ran: "He who can learn
to write, can learn to draw." Now this was putting the cart before the
horse, so far as my experience had gone, for I could most certainly draw
before I could write, and had not only become an editor long before I
was fit to be a contributor, but was also a publisher before I had even
seen a printing press. In fact, I was but a little urchin in
knickerbockers when I brought out a periodical--in MS. it is true--of
which the ambitious title was "The Schoolboys' _Punch._" The ingenuous
simplicity with which I am universally credited by all who know me now
had not then, I fancy, obtained complete possession of me. I must have
been artful, designing, diplomatic, almost Machiavellian; for anxious to
curry favour with the head master of my school, I resolved to use the
columns of "The Schoolboys' _Punch_" not so much in the interest of the
schoolboy world as to attract the head master's favourable notice to the

Accordingly, the first cartoon I drew for the paper was specially
designed with this purpose in view, and I need scarcely say it was
highly complimentary to the head master. He was represented in a
Poole-made suit of perfectly-fitting evening dress, and the trousers, I
remember, were particularly free from the slightest wrinkle, and must
have been extremely uncomfortable to the wearer. This tailorish
impossibility was matched by the tiny patent boots which encased the
great man's small and exquisitely moulded feet. I furnished him with a
pair of dollish light eyes, with long eyelashes carefully drawn in, and
as a masterstroke threw in the most taper-shaped waist.

The subject of the picture, I flattered myself, was selected with no
little cleverness and originality. A celebrated conjuror who had
recently exposed the frauds of the Davenport Brothers was at the moment
creating a sensation in the town where the school was situated, and from
that incident I determined to draw my inspiration. The magnitude of the
design and the importance of the occasion seemed to demand a
double-paged cartoon. On one side I depicted a hopelessly scared little
schoolboy, not unlike myself at the time, tightly corded in a cabinet,
which represented the school, with trailing Latin roots, heavy Greek
exercises, and chains of figures. The door, supposed to be closed on
this distressing but necessary situation, is observed in the opposite
cartoon to be majestically thrown open by the beaming and consciously
successful head master, in order to allow a young college student, the
pink of scholastic perfection, to step out, loaded with learning and
academical honours.

"Great events from little causes spring!"--great, at least, to me. So
well was my juvenile effort received, that it is not too much to say it
decided my future career. Had my subtle flattery taken the shape of a
written panegyric upon the head master in lieu of a cartoon, it is
possible that I might, had I met with equal success, have devoted myself
to journalism and literature; but from that day forward I clung to the
pencil, and in a few years was regularly contributing "cartoons" to
public journals, and practising the profession I have ever since

Drawing, in fact, seemed to come to me naturally and intuitively. This
was well for me, for small indeed was the instruction I received. I
recollect that a German governess, who professed, among other things, to
teach drawing, undertook to cultivate my genius; but I derived little
benefit from her unique system, as it consisted in placing over the
paper the drawing to be copied, and pricking the leading points with a
pin, after which, the copy being removed, the lines were drawn from one
point to another. The copies were of course soon perforated beyond
recognition, and, although I warmly protested against this sacrilege of
art, she explained that it was by that system that Albert Dürer had been
taught. This, of course, accounts for our having infant prodigies in
art, as well as music and the drama. The rapidity with which Master
Hoffmann was followed by infantile Lizsts and little Otto Hegner as soon
as it became apparent that there was a demand for such phenomena, seems
to indicate that in music at all events supply will follow demand as a
matter of course, and if the infant artist can only be "crammed" in
daubing on canvas as youthful musicians are in playing on the piano,
then perhaps a new sensation is in store for the artistic world, and we
shall see babies executing replicas of the old masters, and the Infant
Slapdash painter painting the portraits of Society beauties. As a
welcome relief to Chopin's Nocturne in D flat, played by Baby Hegner at
St. James's Hall, we shall step across to Bond Street and behold "Le
Petit Américain" dashing off his "Nocturne" on canvas. I sometimes
wonder if I might have been made such an infant art prodigy, but when I
was a lad public taste was not in its second childhood in matters of art
patronage, nor was the forcing of children practised in the same manner
as it is nowadays.

Naturally enough I did not altogether escape the thraldom of the
drawing-master, and as years went on I made a really serious effort to
study at an art school under the Kensington system, which I must confess
I believe to be positively prejudicial to a young artist possessing
imagination and originality. The late Lord Beaconsfield made one of his
characters in "Lothair" declare that "critics are those who have failed
in literature and art." Whether this is true as to the art critics, or
that the dramatic critic is generally a disappointed playwright, it must
in truth be said that drawing-masters are nearly always those who have
failed in art. I can remember one gentleman who was the especial terror
of my youth. I can see him now going his rounds along the chilly
corridor, where, perhaps, one had been placed to draw something "from
the flat." After years and years of practice at this rubbish, he would
halt beside you, look at your work in a perfunctory manner, and with a
dexterity which appalled you until you reflected that he had been doing
the same thing exactly, and nothing else, for perhaps a decade, he would
draw in a section of a leaf, and if, as in my case, you happened to have
a pretty sister attending the ladies' class in the school, he would add
leaf to leaf until your whole paper was covered with his mechanical
handiwork, in order to have a little extra conversation with you,
although, I need scarcely add, it was not exclusively confined to the
subject of art.

This sort of thing was called "instruction in freehand drawing," and had
to be endured and persisted in for months and months. Freehand! Shade of
Apelles! What is there free in squinting and measuring, and feebly
touching in and fiercely rubbing out a collection of straggling
mechanical pencil lines on a piece of paper pinned on to a hard board,
which after a few weeks becomes nothing but a confused jumble of

Had I an Art School I would treat my students according to their
individual requirements, just as a doctor treats his patients. I am led
here to repeat what I have already observed in one of my lectures, that
for the young the pill of knowledge should be silver-coated, and that
while they are being instructed they should also be amused. In other
words, interest your pupils, do not depress them. Giotto did not begin
by rigidly elaborating a drawing of the crook of his shepherd's staff
for weeks together; his drawings upon the sand and upon the flat stones
which he found on the hillsides are said to have been of the picturesque
sheep he tended, and all the interesting and fascinating objects that
met his eye. Then, when his hand had gained practice, he was able to
draw that perfect circle which he sent to the Pope as a proof of his
command of hand. But the truth is that we begin at the wrong end, and
try to make our boys draw a perfect circle before they are in love with
drawing at all. For my part, I had to endure some weeks of weary
struggling with a cone and ball and other chilly objects, the effect of
which was to fill my mind with an overwhelming sense of the dreariness
of art education under the Kensington system. A short time, therefore,
sufficed to disgust me with the Art School, and I preferred to stay at
home caricaturing my relatives, educating myself, and practising alone
the rudiments of my art.


Early in my teens, however, I was invited to join the Life School of the
Hibernian Academy, as there happened to be a paucity of students at that
institution, and in order to secure the Government grant it was
necessary to bring them up to the required number. But here also there
was no idea of proper teaching. Some fossilised member of the Academy
would stand about roasting his toes over the stove. A recollection of a
fair specimen of the body still haunts me. He used to roll round the
easels, and you became conscious of his approaching presence by an
aroma of onions. I believe he was a landscape painter, and saw no more
beauty in the female form divine than in a haystack. It was his custom
to take up a huge piece of charcoal and come down upon one of your
delicately drawn pencil lines of a figure with a terrible stroke about
an inch wide.

"There, me boy," he would exclaim, "that's what it wants," and walk on,
leaving you in doubt upon which side of the line you had drawn he
intended his alteration to come.

I soon decided to have my own models and study for myself, and this
practice I have maintained to the present day. I really don't know what
Mrs. Grundy would have said if she had known that at this early age I
was drawing Venuses from the life, instead of tinting the illustrations
to "Robinson Crusoe" or "Gulliver's Travels" in my playroom at home.

Few imagine that a caricaturist requires models to draw from. Although I
will not further digress at this point, I may perhaps be pardoned if I
return later on in this book to the explanation of my _modus
operandi_--a subject which, if I may judge from the number of letters I
receive about it, is likely to prove of interest to a large number of my

It was when I was still quite a boy that my first great chance came.
Being in Dublin, I was asked one day by my friend the late Mr. A. M.
Sullivan to make some illustrations for a paper called _Zozimus_, of
which he was the editor and founder. As a matter of fact, _Zozimus_ was
the Irish _Punch_. Mr. Sullivan, who was a Nationalist, and a man of
exceptional energy and ability, began life as an artist. He came to
Dublin, I was told, as a very young man, and began to paint; but the
sails of his ships were pronounced to be far too yellow, the seas on
which the vessels floated were derided as being far too green, while the
skies above them were scoffed at as being far too blue. In these adverse
circumstances, then, the artist soon drifted into journalism, and,
inducing his brothers to join him in his new venture, thenceforth took
up the pen and abandoned the brush. Each member of the family became a
well-known figure in Parliamentary life. Mr. T. D. Sullivan, the poet of
the Irish Party, is still a well-known figure in the world of politics;
but my friend Mr. A. M. Sullivan, who died some years ago, belonged
rather to the more moderate _régime_ which prevailed in the Irish Party
during the leadership of Mr. Butt.

At the time when I first made his acquaintance he was the editor and
moving spirit of the _Nation_. It was a curious office, and I can recall
many whom I first met there who have since come more or less prominently
to the front in public life. There was Mr. Sexton, whom my friend "Toby"
has since christened "Windbag Sexton" in his Parliamentary reports. Mr.
Sexton then presided over the scissors and paste department of the
journals owned by Mr. A. M. Sullivan, and, unlike the posing orator he
afterwards became, was at that early stage of his career of a very
modest and retiring disposition. Mr. Leamy also, I think, was connected
with the staff, while Mr. Dennis Sullivan superintended the sale of the
papers in the publishing department.

But the central figure in the office was unquestionably the editor and
proprietor, Mr. A. M. Sullivan. His personality was of itself
remarkable. Possessed of wonderful energy and nerve, he was a confirmed
teetotaller, and his prominent eyes, beaming with intelligence, seemed
almost to be starting from his head as, intent upon some project, he
darted about the office, ever and anon checking his erratic movements to
give further directions to his subordinates, when he had a funny habit
of placing his hand on his mouth and blowing his moustache through his
fingers, much to the amusement of his listeners, and to my astonishment,
as I stood modestly in a corner of the editorial sanctum observing with
awe the great Mr. Sexton, who, amid the distractions of scissors and
paste, would drawl out a sentence or two in a voice strongly resembling
the sarcastic tones of Mr. Labouchere.

In another part of the office sat Mr. T. D. Sullivan, the poet
aforesaid, who, like his brother, is a genial and kindly man at heart,
although possessing the volcanic temperament characteristic of his
family. There he sat--a poet with a large family--his hair dishevelled,
his trousers worked by excitement halfway up his calves, emitting
various stertorous sounds after the manner of his brother, as he
savagely tore open the recently-arrived English newspapers. Such was the
interior of the office of the _Nation_, the representative organ of the
most advanced type of the National Press of Ireland.

But _Zozimus_, the paper to which I was then contributing, had nothing
in common with the rest of the publications issuing from that office. It
was of a purely social character, and was a praiseworthy attempt to do
something of a more artistic nature than the coarsely-conceived and
coarsely-executed National cartoons which were the only specimens of
illustrative art produced in Ireland. Fortunately for me, there was an
effort made in Dublin just then to produce a better class of
publications, and the result was that I began to get fairly busy,
although it was merely a wave of artistic energy, which did not last
long, but soon subsided into that dead level of mediocrity which does
not appear likely to be again disturbed.

I was now in my seventeenth year, and, intent on making as much hay as
possible the while the sun shone, I accepted every kind of work that was
offered me; and a strange medley it was. Religious books, medical works,
scientific treatises, scholastic primers and story books afforded in
turn illustrative material for my pencil. One week I was engaged upon
designs for the most advanced Catholic and Jesuitical manuals, and the
next upon similar work for a Protestant prayer-book. At one moment it
seemed as if I were destined to achieve fame as an artist of the
ambulance corps and the dissecting-room. One of my earliest
dreams--which I attribute to the fact that my eldest brother, with whom
I had much in common, was a doctor--had been to adopt the medical
profession. Curiously enough, my brother also had a taste for
caricaturing, and, like the illustrious John Leech in his medical
student days, he was wont to embellish his notes in the hospital
lecture-room with pictorial _jeux d'esprit_ of a livelier cast than
those for which scope is usually afforded by the discourses of the
learned Mr. Sawbones.

I remember that about this period a leading surgeon was anxious that I
should devote myself to the pursuit of this anything but pleasant form
of art, and seriously proposed that I should draw and paint for him some
of his surgical cases. I accepted his offer without hesitation, and,
burning to distinguish myself as an anatomical expert with the brush, I
gave instruction to our family butcher to send me, as a model to study
from, a kidney, which was to be the acme of goriness and as repulsive in
appearance as possible. Of this piece of uncooked meat I made a quite
pre-Raphaelite study in water-colours, but so realistic was the result
that the effect it had upon me was the very antithesis to what I
anticipated, disgusting me to such an extent that I not only declined to
pursue further anatomical illustration, but for years afterwards was
quite unable to touch a kidney, although I believe that had I selected a
calf's head or a sucking-pig for my maiden effort in this direction, I
might by now have blossomed into a Rembrandt or a Landseer.


Amongst other incidents which occurred during this period of my life was
one which it now almost makes me shudder to think of. I was commissioned
by no less a personage than the late Mr. Pigott, of Parnell Commission
notoriety, to illustrate for him a story of the broadest Irish humour.
Little did I think when I entered his office in Abbey Street, Dublin,
and had an interview with the genial and pleasant-looking little man
with the eye-glass, that he would one day play so prominent a _rôle_ in
the Parliamentary drama, or that the weak little arm he extended to me
was destined years afterwards to be the instrument of a tragedy. I can
truly say, at all events, my recollection as a boy of sixteen of the
great _Times_ forger is by no means unfavourable, and he dwells in my
memory as one of the most pleasant and genial of men. I ought, perhaps,
to say that in feeling I was anything but a Nationalist, because in
Ireland, generally speaking, you must be either black or white. But like
a lawyer who takes his brief from every source, I never studied who my
clients were when they required my juvenile services.

Although I was not of Irish parentage and did not lean towards
Nationalism in politics, it was necessary to sympathise now and then
with the down-trodden race. For instance, I remember that one evening a
respectable-looking mechanic called at my fathers house and requested to
see me. His manner was strange and mysterious, and as he wanted to see
me alone, I took him into an anteroom, where, with my hand on the door
handle and the other within easy distance of the bell, I asked the
excitable-looking stranger the nature of his business. Pulling from his
pocket a roll of one-pound Irish bank-notes, he thrust them into my
hand, and besought me at the same time not to refuse the request he was
about to make. An idea flashed through my mind that perhaps he had seen
me coming out of the offices of the National Press, and had jumped to
the conclusion that I could therefore be bought over to perpetrate some
terrible political crime. I even imagined that in the roll of notes I
should find the knife with which the fell deed had to be done. Seeing
that I shrank from him, he seized hold of my arm, and, in a most
pitiable voice, said:

"Don't, young sorr, refuse me what I am about to ask you. I'm only a
working man, but here are all my savings, which you may take if you will
just dhraw me a picter to be placed at the top of a complete set of
photographs of our Irish leaders. I want Britannia at the head of the
group, a bastely dhrunken old hag, wid her fut on the throat of the
beautiful Erin, who is to be bound hand and fut wid chains, and being
baten and starved. Thin I want prisons at the sides, showing the grand
sons of Ould Oireland dying in their cells by torture, whilst a fine
Oirish liberator wid dhrawn sword is just on the point of killing
Britannia outright, and so saving his disthressful country."

About this time someone had been good enough to inform me that all black
and white artists are in the habit of engraving their own work, and,
religiously believing this, I duly provided myself with some engraving
tools, bought some boxwood, a jeweller's eye-glass, and a sand bag,
without which no engraver's table can be said to be complete.

Then, setting to work to practise the difficult art, I struggled on as
best I could, until one fine day a professional engraver enlightened me
upon the matter. I need scarcely say he went into fits of laughter when
I told him that every artist was expected to be a Bewick, and he pointed
out to me that not only do artists as a rule know very little about
engraving, but in addition they have often only a limited knowledge of
how to draw for engravers.

However, thinking I should better understand the difficulties of drawing
for publishers if I first mastered the technical art of reproduction,
with the assistance of the engraver aforesaid I rapidly acquired
sufficient dexterity with the tools to engrave my own drawings, and this
I continued to do until I left Dublin, at the age of nineteen. Since
then I have never utilised one of my gravers, except to pick a lock or
open a box of sardines. Nor is this to be wondered at, considering that
one can make a drawing in an hour which takes a week to engrave, and
that an engraver may take five guineas for his share of the work whilst
an artist may get fifty. There is very little doubt, therefore, as to
the reason why artists who can draw refrain from engraving their own

[Illustration: SKETCHES IN GALWAY.
_Republished by permission of the proprietors of the "Illustrated London

In the studio of the engraver to whom I have above referred there hung a
huge map of London, and as I used to pore over it I took many an
imaginary walk down Fleet Street, many a canter in the Row, and many a
voyage to Greenwich on a penny steamboat, before I bade adieu to "dear
dirty Dublin" in the year 1873, and, as many have done before me,
arrived in the "little village" in search of fame and wealth.

Just prior to my leaving Ireland for the land of my parents I met no
less an editor than Tom Taylor, who was then the presiding genius of the
_Punch_ table, and he gave me every encouragement to hasten my
migration. He, however, had just returned from the wilds of Connemara,
and before setting my face in the direction of Holyhead he strongly
advised me also to pay a visit to the trackless wastes of the Western
country, for the purpose of committing to paper the lineaments of the
natives indigenous to the soil. This I did a week or so before quitting
the land of my birth, and the sketches I made upon that occasion formed
part of my stock-in-trade when I arrived in London.

After making the accompanying page of studies, I strolled along the bank
of the river; and while sketching some men breaking stones an incident
happened which first aroused me to the fact that the lot of the
sketching artist is not always a happy one. A fiend in human shape--an
overbearing overseer--came up at the moment, and roundly abused the
poor labourers for taking the "base Saxon's" coin. Inciting them to
believe that I was a special informer from London, he laughed on my
declaring that I was merely a novice, and informed me that I ought to be
"dhrounded." He was about to suit the action to the word and pitch me
into the salmon-stuffed river when he was stopped by the mediation of my
models, and I escaped from the grip of the agitator. In due course I
found myself in the Claddagh, a village of mud huts, which formed the
frontispiece by John Leech to "A Little Tour in Ireland" by "An
Oxonian," "a village of miserable cabins, the walls of mud and stone,
and for the most part windowless, the floors damp and dirty, and the
roofs a mass of rotten straw and weeds." Pigs and fowls mixed up with
boats and fish refuse. Women old, dried and ugly; girls young, dark, of
Spanish type, scantily dressed in bright-coloured short garments, all
tattered and torn; and children grotesque beyond description. I sketch
three members of one family clothed (!) in the three articles of attire
discarded by their father--one claimed the coat, another the trousers,
whilst the third had only a waistcoat. No doubt Leech had seen the same
sixteen years before, when he was there; and if "the Oxonian," who
survives him--Canon Hole, of Rochester--were to make another little tour
in Ireland, he would find the Claddagh still a spot to give an
Englishman "a new sensation." All I can say is, that having escaped a
"dhrouning" in the river when in Galway in 1873, I have visited many
countries and seen much filth and misery, but I have seen nothing
approaching the sad squalor of the wild West of Ireland.

The majority of those I sketched were hardly human. Tom Taylor was
right--"I would find such characters there not to be found in all the
world over," and I haven't. The people got on my overstrung youthful
nerves. I left the country the moment I had sufficient material for my
sketches. I had shaken off the unpleasant feeling of being murdered in
the river. I had survived living a week or two in the worst inns in the
world. I had risked typhoid and every other disease fostered by the
insanitary surroundings--for I had to hide myself in narrow turnings and
obnoxious corners so as to sketch unseen, as the religion of the natives
opposed any attempt to have themselves "dhrawn," believing that the
destruction of their "pictur'" would be fatal to their souls! I had
sketched the famous house in Deadman's Lane--and listened as I sketched
it, in the falling shades of night, to the old, old story of
Fitz-Stephen the Warden, who had lived there, and had in virtue of his
office to assist at the hanging of his own son. And, when in the dark I
was strolling back to my hotel, my reflections were suddenly interrupted
by something powerful seizing me in a grip of iron round my leg. I was
held as in a vice, and could hardly move, by what--a huge dog--a wolf?
No, something heavier; something more hideous; something clothed! As I
dragged it under a lamp I saw revealed a huge head, covered by a black
skull cap--a man's head--a dwarf, muttering in Irish something I could
not understand--except one word, "Judy! Judy! Judy!" It was a woman of
extraordinary strength thus clasped on to me. I dragged her to the hotel
door, where I engaged an interpreter in the shape of the "boots," and
made a bargain with "Judy" to release me on my giving her one shilling,
and to sit to me for this sketch for half-a-crown. I have still a lively
recollection of the vice-like grip.

[Illustration: "JUDY," THE GALWAY DWARF.]

My friend who had introduced me to the editor of _Punch_ was a prominent
city official, and entertainer in chief of all men of talent from
London, and was also, like Tom Taylor, an author and dramatist; and when
I was a boy I illustrated one of his first stories. He also introduced
me behind the scenes at the old Theatre Royal. I recollect my boyish
delight when one day I was on the stage during the rehearsal of the
Italian opera. Shall I ever forget that treat? It was much greater in my
eyes than the real performance later on. If my memory serves, "Don
Giovanni" was the opera. One of the principals was suddenly taken ill,
and this rehearsal was called for the benefit of the understudy. He was
a dumpy, puffy little Italian, and played the heavy father. Madame
Titiens was--well--the heavy daughter. In the first scene she has to
throw herself upon her prostrate father. This is the incident I saw
rehearsed: the little fat father lay on the dusty stage, with one eye on
the O.P. side. As soon as the massive form of Titiens bore down upon him
he rolled over and over out of the way. This pantomime highly amused all
of us, the ever-jovial Titiens in particular, and she again and again
rushed laughingly in, but with the same result.

The first actor I ever saw perform was Phelps, in "The Man of the
World." If anything could disillusionise a youth regarding the romance
of the theatre, that play surely would. Be it to my credit that my
first impression was admiration for a fine--if dull--performance. From
that day I have been a constant theatre-goer. If I am to believe the
following anecdote, published in a Dublin paper a few years ago, I "did
the theatre in style," and had an early taste which I did not possess
for making jokes.

"The jarvey drove Harry Furniss, when a boy, down to the old Theatre
Royal, Dublin. On the way there Jehu enquired of the budding artist
whether it was true that the roof was provided with a tank whence every
part of the building could be deluged, shower-bath fashion, if
necessary. 'Yes,' replied Raphael junior; 'and, you see, I always bring
an umbrella in case of fire.'"


I may confess that I have only once appeared in theatricals, and that
was in high comedy as a member of the Dublin Amateur Theatrical Society.
The play was "She Stoops to Conquer," and I took the part
of--think!--_Mrs._ Hardcastle. I was only seventeen, and very small for
my age, so I owe any success I may have made to the costumier and
wig-maker. The Tony Lumpkin was so excellent that he adopted the stage
as his profession, and became a very popular comedian; and our Diggory
is now a judge--"and a good judge too"--in the High Court.

It was on a bright, breezy morning late in July, 1873, I shook the dust
of "dear dirty Dublin" off my feet. With the exception of the Welsh
railways, the Irish are notoriously the slowest in the world, and on
that particular morning the mail train seemed to my impatient mind to
progress pig-ways. The engine was attached to the rear of the train and
faced the station, so that when it began to pull it was only the
"parvarsity in the baste" caused it to go in the opposite direction,
towards Kingstown, in an erratic, spasmodic, and uncertain fashion, so
that the eight miles journey seemed to me eighty. It was quite a tedious
journey to Salthill and Blackrock. At the latter station I saw for the
last time the porter famous for being the slave of habit. For years it
had been his duty to call out the name of the station, "Blackrock!
Blackrock! Blackrock!" In due course he was removed to Salthill station,
on the same line, and well do I remember how he puzzled many a Saxon
tourist by his calling out continually, "Blackrock--Salthill-I-mane!
Blackrock--Salthill-I-mane!" No doubt the traveller put this chronic
absent-mindedness down to "Irish humour." I must confess that I agree in
a great measure with the opinion of the late T. W. Robertson (author of
"Caste," "School," &c.), that the witticisms of Irish carmen and others
are the ingenious inventions of Charles Lever, Samuel Lover, William
Carleton, and other educated men.


Dickens failed to see Irish humour, or in fact to understand what was
meant by it. So when he was on tour with his readings a friend of mine,
who was his host, in the North, undertook to initiate him into the
mysteries of Irish wit. As a sample he gave Dickens the following: A
definition of nothing,--a footless stocking without a leg. This conveyed
nothing whatever to the mind of the greatest of English humourists; but
when my friend took him to a certain spot and showed him a wall built
round a vacant space, and explained to him that the native masons were
instructed to build a wall round an old ruined church to protect it, and
pulled down the church for the material to build the wall, he laughed
heartily, and acknowledged the Irish had a sense of humour after
all,--if not, a quaint absence of it.

To me so-called Irish wit is a curious combination not wholly dependent
on humour, and frequently unconscious. There is a story that when Mr.
Beerbohm Tree arrived in Dublin he was received by a crowd of his
admirers, and jumping on to a car said to his jarvey, "Splendid
reception that, driver!"

The jarvey thought a moment, and replied, "Maybe ye think so, but
begorrah, it ain't a patch on the small-pox scare!" Was that _meant_?

The poor Saxon "towrist"--what he may suffer in the Emerald Isle! There
is a story on record of three Irishmen rushing away from the race
meeting at Punchestown to catch a train back to Dublin. At the moment a
train from a long distance pulled up at the station, and the three men
scrambled in. In the carriage was seated one other passenger. As soon as
they had regained their breath, one said:

"Pat, have you got th' tickets?"

"What tickets? I've got me loife; I thought I'd have lost that gettin'
in th' thrain. Have you got 'em, Moike?"

"Oi, begorrah, I haven't."

"Oh, we're all done for thin," said the third. "They'll charge us roight
from the other soide of Oireland."

The old gentleman looked over his newspaper and said:

"You are quite safe, gintlemen; wait till we get to the next station."

They all three looked at each other. "Bedad, he's a directhor,--we're
done for now entoirely."

But as soon as the train pulled up the little gentleman jumped out and
came back with three first-class tickets. Handing them to the astonished
strangers, he said, "Whist, I'll tell ye how I did it. I wint along the
thrain--'Tickets plaze, tickets plaze,' I called, and these belong to
three Saxon towrists in another carriage."

On the morning I left Ireland to seek my fortune in London I had a
youthful notion that, once on the mainland of my parents' country, St.
Paul's and the smoke of London would be visible; but we had passed
through the Menai tunnel, grazed Conway Castle walls, and skirted miles
of the Welsh rock-bound coast, and yet no St. Paul's was visible to my
naked eye which was plastered against the window-pane of the carriage.
The other eye, clothed and in its right mind, inspected the carriage and
discovered that there were two other occupants--a lady and her maid.
These interesting passengers had recovered from the effects of the
Channel passage, and were eating their lunch. The lady politely offered
me some sandwiches. "No, thanks," I replied; "I shall lunch in London."
This reminds me of a story I heard when I was in America, of two young
English ladies arriving at New York. They immediately entered the
Northern Express at the West Central. About 7 o'clock in the evening
they arrived at Niagara--half an hour or so is given to the passengers
to alight and look at the wonderful Falls. The gentleman who told me the
story informed me that as the two ladies were getting back into the
carriage he asked them if they were going to dine at once. They,
ignorant of the vastness of the "gre--e--at country Amuraka," replied,
"Oh, no, thanks, we are going to dine with our friends when we arrive.
It can't be long now, we have been travelling so fast all the day!"

"And may I ask, young ladies, where your friends live?"

"We are going to an uncle who has been taken suddenly ill in San

These young ladies would have had to wait certainly five days for their
dinner,--I only five hours.

The strange lady and I conversed a great deal on various topics. By
degrees she discovered that I was a young artist, friendless, and on his
way to the great city to battle with fortune. I may have told her of my
history, of my youthful ambitions and my professional plans,--anyway she
told me of hers, and, while her maid was lazily slumbering, she
confessed to me her troubles.

"My story," she said, "is a sad one. I am of good family, and I married
a well-known professional London man. He turned out to be a gambler, and
ran through my money, and I returned to my parents. I have left them
this morning again, and, like you, I am now on my way to London to
start in life, and if possible make my own living. You see my appearance
is not altogether unprepossessing" (she was tall, singularly handsome, a
refined woman of style) ... I bowed ... "Well, I am also fortunate in
having a good voice, it is well-trained, and I am going to London to
sing as a paid professional in the houses in which I have formerly been
a guest."

I sympathised with her, and she continued, weeping, to relate to me
events of her unhappy married life until we arrived at Euston. I saw her
and her maid into a four-wheeler, and I saw their luggage on the top.
She gave me her card with her parents' address in London written on it,
and requested that I would write to her at that address, as she would
like to hear how I got on in London. I never saw her again. But I did
write home, and found there was such a lady, her family were well-known
society people in Ireland, and that her marriage had not been a happy

After three years in London I ran over to Ireland to see my parents. On
my return I seemed to miss the charming companion of my journey over the
same ground three years previously. Two uninteresting men were in the
carriage: a typical German professor on tour, and communicative; and a
typical English gentleman, uncommunicative. As the journey was a long
one the German smoked, ate and drank himself to sleep, and after some
hours the other man and I exchanged a word. The fact is I thought I knew
his face,--I told him so. He thought he knew mine. "Had we gone to
school together?" "No." He was at least ten years my senior. It happened
he had been to school with my half-brother (my father was married
twice,--I am the youngest son of his second family). We chatted freely
about each other's family and on various topics, including the sleeping
Teuton in the corner. I incidentally mentioned my last journey. The lady
interested him, so I told him of the way in which she confessed to me. I
waxed eloquent over her wrongs. He got still more excited as I described
her husband as she described him to me; and as the train rolled into
Euston, he said, "Well, you know who I am, I know who you are,--I'll
tell you one thing more: that woman's story is perfectly true--I'm her

That was one of the most extraordinary coincidences which ever happened
to me. Three years after meeting the wife, over the same journey, at the
same time of the year, I meet the husband; and I had never been the
journey in the meantime.

                               CHAPTER II.


  I arrive in London--A Rogue and Vagabond--Two Ladies--Letters of
   Introduction--Bohemia--A Distinguished Member--My Double--A Rara
   Avis--The Duke of Broadacres--The Savages--A Souvenir---Portraits
   of the Past--J. L. Toole--Art and Artists--Sir Spencer Wells--John
   Pettie--Milton's Garden.

I did not make my appearance in London with merely the proverbial
half-crown in my pocket, nor was I breathlessly expectant to find the
streets paved with gold. Thanks chiefly to my savings in Dublin, my
balance at my bankers' was sufficient to keep me for at least a year,
and as soon as the editors returned from their summer holidays I was
fortunate enough to procure commissions, which have been pouring in
pretty steadily ever since.


It was with a strange feeling that I found myself for the first time in
London, among four millions of people, with not one of whom I could
claim acquaintance, and I think it will not be out of place if I here
offer a hint which may possibly be of use to other young men who are
placed in similar circumstances. Upon first coming to the metropolis,
then, let them invariably act, in as much as it is possible, as if they
were Londoners old and seasoned. To stand gazing at St. Paul's with
mouth agape and eyes astare, or to enquire your way to the National
Gallery or Madame Tussaud's, is a sure means of finding yourself ere
long in the hands of the unscrupulous and designing. For my part, as I
took my first admiring peep at the masterpiece of Sir Christopher, I
whistled to myself with an air of nonchalance, and as I passed down
Fleet Street I made a point of nodding familiarly to the passers-by as
if I were already a frequent _habitué_ of the thoroughfare of letters.
Did I find myself accosted by any particularly ingenuous stranger asking
his way, I always promptly told him to go on as straight as ever he
could go--a piece of advice which, coming from one so young, I think was
highly proper and creditable, whatever may have proved its value in some
cases from a topographical point of view. On the other hand, the
following incident will serve to show the prudence of exercising due
caution in addressing strangers oneself.

Upon the evening of my arrival in the big city I had dined at the London
Restaurant, which was situate at the corner of Chancery Lane and Fleet
Street, in the premises now occupied by Messrs. Partridge and Cooper
(the name of this firm must not be taken as an indication of the nature
of my repast), and, fired with the curiosity of youth, I mounted the
knifeboard of an omnibus bound for Hyde Park. Arrived at the famous
statue of Wellington astride the impossible horse which has since ambled
off to the seclusion of Aldershot, and which at once recalled to my mind
the inimitable drawings of that infamous quadruped by John Leech, an
artist who had done as much to familiarise me with London scenes and
characters with his pencil as had Dickens with the pen, I happened to
ask a sturdy artisan who was sitting beside me whether this was Hyde
Park Corner.

"'Ide Park!" he muttered. "'Oo are you a-tryin' ter git at? 'Ide Park!
None o' yer 'anky panky with me, my covey!"

I forthwith slipped off that 'bus, not a little nettled that the first
person to whom I had spoken in London should have taken me for a rogue
and a vagabond.

I had been fortunate enough to secure quarters which had been
recommended to me in a comfortable boarding-house in one of the
old-fashioned Inns in Holborn--Thavies' Inn--in which, I was informed,
whether accurately or not I do not pretend to know, the Knight Templars
of old had once resided. There were no Knight Templars there when I
arrived, but in their stead I found some highly-proper and
non-belligerent clerics with their wives and families, and other
visitors from the country, who seemed very satisfied with the
comfortable provision that was made for them. But, best of all, I found
a hostess who soon became one of the kindest and best of friends I ever
had, and although I at once engaged a studio in the neighbouring
artistic quarter of Newman Street, I continued for some time to live in
Thavies' Inn in the enjoyment of the pleasant society and many
advantages of her pleasant home.

Not the least of these to me was the perfect gallery of characters who
were continually coming and going, and the many and various studies I
made of the different visitors to that boarding-house long supplied me
with ample material for my sketch-book.

I should be ungallant indeed were I to omit to add that not only was it
a lady who first made me feel at home amid the bustle and turmoil of
Modern Babylon, but that it was also a lady who primarily welcomed me as
a contributor to the Press and gave me my first work in London.
Curiously enough, both of these ladies possessed points of resemblance,
not only in person, but in manner and goodness of heart. It was Miss
Florence Marryat, then editress of _London Society_, who gave me my
first commission, and I am more anxious to record the fact because I am
aware that many a youthful journalist besides myself owed his first
introduction to the public to the sympathy and enterprise of this
accomplished lady. Perhaps I have less to grumble at personally than
most others concerning the treatment which, as a young man, I
experienced at the hands of editors; but I must say that the majority of
such potentates with whom I then came in contact lamentably lacked that
readiness to welcome new-comers which Miss Florence Marryat notably, and
possibly too readily, evinced. Here I may offer a hint to
beginners--that on coming to London letters of introduction are of
little or no value. One such letter I possessed, and it led me into
more trouble, and was the means of my losing more time, than I should
ever have received recompense for, even if it had obtained me the work
which it was intended to bring me.

In the first place, these letters often get into the hands of others
than the particular individuals to whom they are addressed. In my case
the letter had been inadvertently directed to the literary editor
instead of to the art editor of one of the largest publishing firms, and
that gentleman--I refer to the literary editor--was good enough to
supply me with a quantity of work. I executed the commission, but, lo
and behold! when I sent the work in, the monster Red Tape intervened in
the person of the art editor, who became scarlet with rage because he
had not been invoked instead of his colleague, and promptly repudiated
the entire contract. Thereupon the literary editor wrote to me saying
that unless I withdrew my contributions he would be personally out of
pocket; and it may not be uninteresting to record that some day, when I
strip this amongst my other mummies, it will be found that he
subsequently became a wearer of lawn sleeves. Thus, whilst the two
editors quarrelled between themselves, I was left out in the cold, and
became a considerable loser over the transaction.

_A propos_ of letters of introduction, I am reminded of a brother
artist, who, although a caricaturist, was entirely devoid of guile, and,
in addition, was as absent-minded as the popularly-accepted type of
ardent scientist or professor of ultra-abstruse subject. Well, this
curious species of satirist was setting forth on travels in foreign
climes, and in order to lighten in some measure the vicissitudes
inseparable from peripatetic wandering, he was provided with a letter of
introduction to a certain British consul. The writer of this letter
enclosed it in one to my friend, in which he said that he would find the
consul a most arrant snob, and a bumptious, arrogant humbug as well--in
fact, a cad to the backbone; but that he (my friend) was not to mind
this, for, as he could claim acquaintanceship with several dukes and
duchesses, all he had to do was to trot out their names for the
edification of the consul, who would then render him every attention,
and thus compensate him to some extent for having to come into contact
with such an insufferable vulgarian. On the return of the guileless
satirist to England the writer of the letter of introduction inquired
how he had fared with the consul, and great was his surprise to hear him
drawl out, in his habitual lethargic manner:

"Well, my dear fellow, he did not receive me very warmly, and he did not
ask me to dinner. In fact, he struck me as being rather cool."

"Well, you do surprise me!" rejoined his friend. "He's a horrible cad,
as I told you in my letter, but he's awfully hospitable, and I really
can't understand what you tell me. You gave him my letter of

"Well, I thought so," said my friend; "but, do you know, on my journey
home I discovered it in my pocket-book, so I must have handed him
instead your note to me about him!"

Of course, in the remarks which I have been making I have not been
alluding to letters of merely social introduction, which are of an
entirely different nature. Such letters are generally handed to the
individual to whom they are addressed at more propitious moments, when
he is not either hard at work, as the case may be, in his editorial
chair, or overburdened with anxiety as to the fluctuations of the Bank

Be that as it may, I cannot refrain from citing here the case of another
brother artist, who was particular in the extreme as regarded the
neatness of his apparel and his personal appearance in general; in fact,
he laboured, rightly or wrongly, under the impression that the manner in
which a letter of introduction is received and acted upon by the person
to whom it is addressed depends upon the raiment and _tout ensemble_ of
the bearer.

Well, it so happened that he once had a letter of introduction to a man
he particularly wished to know, but, of all places in the world, fate
had designed that he should have no choice but to deliver it in the
boring of the Channel Tunnel, where the dripping roof rendered it
necessary for all visitors to be encased from head to foot in the vilest
and most unbecoming tarpaulin overalls. It was in these circumstances,
then, that the introduction took place, and as nothing came of it, my
friend will now go to his grave in the firm belief that fine feathers
make fine birds in the eyes of all those who receive letters of

The first Bohemian Club I joined was located over Gaze's Tourist Offices
in the Strand. Nearly my first engagement in London was for a still
flourishing sixpenny weekly. Started in Wellington Street, close by, the
editorial offices were there certainly, but editor, proprietors, and
others were not. They were only to be found in "the Club," so through
necessity I became a member. The flowing bowl of that iniquitous
concoction, punch, was brewed for the staff early in the afternoon and
kept flowing till early the next morning. The "Club" never closed day or
night till the broker's man took possession and closed it for good. I,
being young and unknown, was surprised to find myself an object of
attraction whenever I was in the Club. There was something strange about
me, something mysterious. This was so marked that my brief visits to
find my editor were few and far between. I discovered afterwards that
the curiosity and attention paid me had nothing to do with my work, or
my personal appearance, or my natural shyness or youth. It was aroused
by the fact that I was known as "the member who had paid his

[Illustration: AGE 20. [_From a photo. by W. & D. Downey._]]

This fact being noised abroad. I found it an easy matter to get elected
to another and a better Bohemian Club, having beautiful premises on the
Adelphi Terrace--a Club which has since gone through many vicissitudes,
but I think still exists in a small way. At the time I mention it was
much what the Savage Club is now; in fact, was located in the same
Terrace. Its smoking concerts, too, were its great attractions, and on
one of these evenings I played a part worth reciting, if only to
illustrate how difficult it is for some minds to understand a joke.

[Illustration: A SUCCESSFUL "MAKE-UP."]

A well-known literary man called to see me. On a table in my studio lay
a "make-up" box--used by actors preparing their faces for the
footlights--a bald head with fringe of light hair, large fair moustache,
wig paste, a suit of clothes too large for me, and other trifles. My
visitor's curiosity was aroused. Taking up my "properties," he asked me
what they were for. I explained to him a huge joke had been arranged as
a surprise at the Club smoking concert to take place that very evening,
in which I was to play a part with a well-known and highly-popular
member--the funny man of the Club, and an eccentric-looking one to boot.
He had conceived the idea to make me up as a double of himself. We were
the same height, but otherwise we in no way resembled each other. He was
stout, I was thin; he prematurely bald, I enjoyed a superabundance of
auburn locks; but he had very marked characteristics, and wore very
remarkable clothes. He was also very clever at "making-up." The idea was
to test his talent in this direction, and deceive the whole of our
friends. It was arranged that he was to leave the piano after singing
half his song, and I--up to that moment concealed--was to come forward
and continue it. This I explained to my visitor, who expressed his
belief that the deception was impossible. He promised to keep the
secret, and that evening was early in the room and seated close to the
piano. My "double"--fortunately for me, an amateur--sang the first
verses of one of his well-known songs, but in the middle of it
complained of the heat of the room (one of those large rooms on the
first floor in Adelphi Terrace, famous for the Angelica Kaufmann
paintings on the ceiling), and opening the French window close to the
piano he went out on to the balcony. There I was, having walked along
the balcony from the next room. So successful was my "make-up" that in
passing through the supper-room to get on to the balcony some of the
members spoke to me under the impression I was the other member! The
hall-porter had handed me a letter intended for my "double." Of course I
imitated his walk, his mannerisms at the piano, and his voice, but I
made a poor attempt to sing. This was the joke. "What was the matter?"
"Never sang like that before," "Evidently thinks it is funny to be
completely out of tune," "Hullo, what is this?" as _my_ "double" walked
through the crowded room just as I finished, and shook hands with me!

I would really have sung the song better, but my eye happened to catch
the puzzled stare of my friend the literary visitor in the front row. He
looked angry and annoyed, and before my "double" came up to me, my
friend, scowling at me, said, "Sir, I think it is infernal bad taste on
your part to imitate my friend Harry Furniss!"

Who is it that says we English have no sense of humour? My "double" in
the preceding tale was my brother-in-law, who as a boy was the companion
of Mr. George Grossmith, and in fact once appeared as an amateur at
German Reed's, the old Gallery of Illustration, in a piece, with "Gee
Gee" as his double, entitled "Too much Alike."

He was also an inveterate and clever _raconteur_, and of course
occasionally made a slip, as for instance, on a railway journey to
Brighton once, when he found himself alone with a stranger. The stranger
in conversation happened to ask my relative casually if he were fond of
travelling. "Travelling? I should rather think so" he replied airily,
and imagining he was impressing someone who was "something in the City,"
he continued, "Yes, sir, I'm a pretty experienced traveller. Been mostly
round the world and all that kind of thing, you know, and had my share
of adventures, I can tell you!" After a bit he gained more confidence,
and launched into details, giving the stranger the benefit of his
experience. "Why, sir, you read in books that hunters of big game, such
as tigers, watch their eyes. Not a bit of it. What you have got to do
is to watch the _tail_, and that's the thing. It mesmerises the animal,
so to speak, and you have him at your mercy," and so forth, and so
forth. On arriving at the hotel he found his travelling companion had
just signed his name in the visitors' book. It was Richard Burton! My
brother-in-law hastened to apologise to Sir Richard for his absurd
tales. He had no idea, of course, to whom he was retailing his stiff
yarns. Burton laughed. "My dear sir, not a word, please. I was more
entertained than I can tell you. You really might have travelled--you
lie so well!"

[Illustration: TWO TRAVELLERS.]

One of the most eccentric men I ever met, and certainly one of the most
successful journalists--a _rara avis_, for he made a fortune in Fleet
Street, and retired to live in a castle in the country--was a man whose
name, although a very singular one, remains absolutely unknown even to
members of the Fourth Estate. He was a clever, hard-working journalist;
every line he wrote--and he was always writing--was printed and
well-paid for, but he never signed an article, whilst others,
journalists, specialists, poets, essayists--logrollers of high
degree--see their name often enough, are "celebrities," "men of the
time," fêted and written about, but eventually retire on the Civil List.
Eccentricity is the breath of their nostrils, their very existence
depends upon it, publicity is essential. My friend's eccentricity was
for his own pleasure. He lived in a frugal--some might think in a
miserly way--in two rooms in one of the Inns of Court. Perhaps I shall
be more correct if I say he _existed_ in one. A loaf of bread and half a
pint of milk was his daily fare. The room he slept in he worked in. The
other was empty, save for bundles of dusty old newspapers containing
articles from his ever active brain. "I keep this room," said he, "for
times when I am over-wrought. Then I shut myself up in it, and _roar_!
When by this process I have blown away my mental cobwebs, my brain
regains its pristine energy, and I go back to my study calm and
collected, having done no one any harm, and myself a lot of good." I
have dined at his Club with him in the most luxurious fashion, quite
regardless of expense. He was a capital host, but, like the magazines he
wrote for, he only appeared replete once a month. His Press work he
looked upon as mere bread and milk. His work was excellent, journalism
which editors term "safe," neither too brilliant nor too dull, certainly
having no trace whatever of eccentricity.

I may here offer an opinion, and make a suggestion to young journalists,
and that is--safe, steady, dull mediocrity is what pays in the long run;
to attempt to be brilliant when not a genius is fatal. To have the
genius, brilliancy, pluck, and success means tremendous prosperity and
favour for a time, but the editors and the public tire of your
cleverness. You are too much in evidence. It is safer from a mere
business standpoint to be the steady, stupid tortoise than the brilliant
hare. The man or woman who writes a carefully thought-out essay is
flattered, and quoted, and talked about: for that article the writer may
possibly receive as many sovereigns as the writer of a newspaper article
receives shillings; but the shillings come every day, and the sovereigns
once a month. It is wiser in the long run to be satisfied with a loaf
and milk once a day than with a dinner at a Club every four weeks.

If in the old days the Bohemian scribbler was not in Society, he could
at least imagine himself there. There was nothing to prevent his
speaking of a member of the aristocracy as "one of us" with far less
embarrassment and with as much truth as he could nowadays when he _is_
invited--but still as the oil that never will mix with water. Except in
imagination--an imagination such as I recollect a well-known figure in
literary Bohemia had when I knew it well, a writer of stories for the
popular papers: Society stories, in which a Duke ran away with a
governess, or a Duchess eloped with an artist, each weekly instalment
winding up with a sensational event, so as to carry forward the interest
of the reader. This writer--quite excellent in his way--a thorough
Bohemian, knowing nothing about the Society he wrote about, had the
power of making himself, and sometimes fresh acquaintances, believe that
he played in real life a part in the story he was writing. He did not
refer to the experiences as related by him as incidents in his story,
but as actual events of the day.

[Illustration: "THE DUKE OF BROADACRES."]

"Brandy and soda? Thanks. My dear fellow, I feel a perfect wreck, shaken
to pieces. I had an experience to-day I shall never forget. I have just
arrived from Devonshire; ran down by a night train to look at a hunter
Lord Briarrose wanted to sell me. Bob--that is Briarrose--and I
travelled together. He is going to be married, you know; heiress; great
beauty--neighbour--rolling in wealth. I stopped at the Castle last
night, and before Bob was up I was on the thoroughbred and well over the
country, returning about eleven along the top of the cliffs. To my
horror, I saw a carriage and pair charging down a road which at one time
continued a long distance skirting the cliffs. Cliffs had fallen; road
cut off; unprotected; drop down cliff eight hundred feet on to pointed
rocks and deep sea. There was nothing between the runaway horses and the
cliff, except a storm-broken solitary tree with one branch curved over
the road. When the horses bolted, the groom fell off. There was only a
lady in the carriage, powerless to stop the frightened steeds dashing on
to death. As she approached I was electrified. Something told me she was
Bob's _fiancée_. A moment and I was charging the hunter under that tree.
Jumping up out of the saddle, I clasped the solitary branch with both
hands, and turning as an acrobat would on a trapeze, I hung by my legs,
hands downwards, calling to the lady to clasp them. The fiery steeds and
the oscillating carriage dashed under me--our hands met. With a
superhuman effort I raised the fainting fairy form out of the vehicle as
it passed like a whirlwind. The next moment horses and carriage were
being dashed to pieces on the rocks below. Under our united weight the
branch of the tree broke, and we fell unhurt on the moss-covered path.
When the eyes of the fair lady opened to gaze upon her deliverer, I
started as if shot. She sprang to her feet. 'Reginald!' she cried. 'Is
it you?'

"She was my first love. We had not seen each other for years! Thanks.
I'll have some more brandy. Hot this time, with some sugar, please."

The following week _The London Library_ appeared. I bought it, and read
"The Duke's Oak," all about Lord Briarrose and Lady Betty Buttercup and
the runaway horses. The tree with the one branch gave the title to the
story, and the Dashing Duke of Broadacres was the aristocratic
acrobat--my friend the author!


The Savage Club is a remnant of Bohemian London. It was started at a
period when art, literature, and the drama were at their lowest ebb--in
the "good old days" when artists wore seedy velveteen coats, smoked
clays, and generally had their works of art exhibited in pawnbrokers'
windows; when journalists were paid at the same rate and received the
same treatment as office-boys; and when actors commanded as many
shillings a week as they do pounds at present. This typical trio now
exists only in the imagination of the lady novelist. When first the
little band of Savages met they smoked their calumets over a
public-house in the vicinity of Drury Lane, in a room with a sanded
floor; a chop and a pint of ale was their fare, and good-fellowship
atoned for lack of funds. The Brothers Brough, Andrew Halliday, Tom
Robertson, and other clever men were the original Savages, and the
latter in one of his charming pieces made capital out of an incident at
the Club. One member asks another for a few shillings. "Very sorry, old
chap, I haven't got it, but I'll ask Smith." Smith replies, "Not a cent
myself, but I'll ask Brown." Brown asks Robinson, and so on until a
Croesus is found with five shillings in his pocket, which he is only
too willing to lend. But this true Bohemianism is as dead as Queen Anne,
and the Savages now live merely on the traditions of the past. His
Majesty the King, when Prince of Wales, was a member of the Club, and an
Earl takes the chair and entertains my Lord Mayor with his flunkeys and
all. The Club is now as much advertised as the Imperial Institute, but
the true old flavour is no more. No doubt some excellent men and good
fellows are still in the Savage wigwam. Some Bohemians--a sprinkling of
those Micawbers, "waiting for something to turn up"--keep up its
reputation, but in reality it is only Savage now in name.


I was not thirty when I ceased to be a member. I had been on the
committee, and had taken an active part in matters concerning it, until
it changed its character and lost its true Bohemian individuality, and
being a member of the Garrick Club, I found matured in it the element
the Savage endeavoured at that time to emulate. Although I am still in
my forties, few of those with whom I smoked the calumet of peace round
the camp fire at a great pow-wow in the wigwam of the excellent Savages,
alas! remain.

The old Grecian Theatre in the City Road was the nursery of many members
of the theatrical profession, and authors too. Two well-known members
of the Savage Club, Merritt and Pettitt, were writers of the common
stuff necessary for the melodramas of the kind connected with their
names. Merritt would have made an equal fortune if exhibited as the
original fat boy in "Pickwick," or as a prize baby at a show. I suppose
my readers are aware that it is not necessary to be a baby in order to
be exhibited as one, for I recollect, in my Bohemian days, going down to
Woolwich Gardens when the famous William Holland was manager of them,
and accidentally strolling into a tent outside of which was a placard,
"The Largest Baby in the World! 6d." I was not expected,--and the "Baby"
was walking about in his baby-clothes, with little pink bows on his
shoulders, smoking a horrible black clay pipe. He was the dwarf
policeman in Holland's pantomime in the winter-time!

[Illustration: "ANOTHER GAP IN OUR RANKS."]

Merritt would have made a capital prize baby. He was tall, very stout,
and possessed of a perfectly hairless, baby's face and a squeaky little
voice. I shall never forget a prize remark this transpontine author made
in the Savage Club, when an editor rushed in and said, "Have you heard
the news? Carlyle is dead!" Merritt rose, and putting his hand on his
chest, squeaked out, "Another gap in our ranks!"

[Illustration: "JOPE."]

A peculiar figure in Bohemia in those old days was "J." Pope, known as
"Jope," brother of the late celebrated K.C. Jo was nearly as large as
his brother, the well-known legal luminary, and Paul Merritt rolled into
one, and wore his black wide-awake on the back of his pleasing,
intelligent head. I saw him one sultry autumn evening leaning against a
lamp-post in Chancery Lane to take breath.

"Hullo, Pope, where are you going?"

"My dear boy, let me lean on you a minute. I'm going up to the
Birkbeck--to lecture--to lecture on 'Air, and How We Breathe!'"

As a contrast to the popular Doctor was a wit more popularly known, H. J.
Byron--as thin as the proverbial lamp-post. Of course the stories about
Byron would fill a volume, but there is one that is always worth
repeating, and that is his reply to a vulgar and obtrusive stranger who
met him at Plymouth, and said to him, "Mr. Byron, I've 'ad a walk _h_all
round the 'Oe."

"Yes, old chap, and the next time you have a walk I advise you to walk
all round the H."

[Illustration: H. J. BYRON.]

In those merry gatherings I recall the familiar features of true
Bohemians, when Bohemianism was at its best--not the ornamental names of
those one finds mentioned in all reports of the famous gatherings, but
of the members who really used and made the Club. Few of the outside
public recollect, for instance, the name of Arthur Mathieson, who wrote
and sang that pathetic ballad, "The Little Hero"; who also was an actor
and writer of ability,--in fact, he was what is fatal to men of his
class--a veritable Crichton. Being in appearance not unlike Sir Henry
Irving, he was engaged by our leading actor to play his double in "The
Corsican Brothers," and made up so like his chief that no one could
possibly tell the difference between the two. One evening during the run
of the piece an old Irishwoman who was duster of the theatre, and with
whom the genial double of Sir Henry often had a friendly word,
approached as she thought the familiar M., and in a rather frivolous
mood innocently tickled the actor under the chin with her dusting-broom.

"My good woman, what do you mean?"

The poor Irishwoman dropped on her knees, clasped her hands and said,
"The Saints protect me! it's the Masther himself--I'm kilt entoirely."

The "Masther," however, probably enjoyed the humour of it. Sir Henry,
like his dear old friend Mr. J. L. Toole, has found a relief in
occasional harmless fun. Toole, however, was irrepressible.

[Illustration: A PRESENTATION.]

I was one day walking with him in Leeds (when he was appearing in the
evening on the stage, and I on the platform). A street hawker proffered
the comedian a metal pencil-case for the sum of a halfpenny. Toole made
this valuable purchase. As soon as I left the platform that night, I
found a note for me, inviting me to the theatre directly after the
performance. Toole came back on to the stage, and making me an elaborate
and complimentary speech, referring to me as "a brother artist in
another sphere," etc., etc., presented me with the pencil! I made an
appropriate reply, and we went to supper.

The following paragraph from the pen of Mr. Toole appeared in the Press
the next day in London as well as the provinces:

"Brother artists, even when working in different grooves, do not lack
appreciation of each other's work. After Mr. Harry Furniss's lecture in
Leeds the other night, he and Mr. Toole foregathered; and the popular
and genial actor presented the 'comedian of the pencil' with a very neat
and handsome pencil-case, just adapted for the jotting down, wherever
duty takes him, of those graphic sketches with which the caricaturist
amuses us week by week."

I must confess I am sometimes guilty of mild practical jokes, but I am
always careful to select reciprocative and kindred spirits--with such a
spirit of practical joking as J. L. Toole, for instance. He and I have
had many a joke at each other's expense. It so happened that when he was
producing the great success, "The House Boat," he wintered at Hastings,
where I had a house for the season, and we saw a great deal of each
other. Toole was always what is called a bad study--that is, it was with
great difficulty and pain he learnt his parts. On this occasion the time
was drawing nearer and nearer for the production; he was getting more
and more nervous about his new part, and I received a visit from his
friend the late Edmund Routledge, asking me to protect "Johnny" from his
friends--in other words, to keep his whereabouts dark, as he had to
study. Toole had had one or two little practical jokes with me, which I
owed him for, so having to rush up to town, I had the following letter
written to him:

  "DEAR MR. TOOLE,--I suppose you recollect your old friends in Smoketown
when you performed one night at our Hall and did us the honour of
stopping at our house over Sunday. You then kindly asked us all to stop
with you when we went to London--a promise we have treasured ever since.
We called at Maida Vale yesterday, but finding you were at Hastings I
write now to say that we are on our way. Besides myself I am bringing
dear Aunt Jane you will remember--now unfortunately a confirmed
invalid--and my boy Tom who has got a bad leg, and Uncle William and his
three daughters, and my dear Sue, who, I am sorry to say, is still
suffering, but I think a week at Hastings will do us all a world of
good--particularly to have you to amuse us all the time.

                                                     "Yours very truly,"

And a signature was attached which I could not myself read.

The next day in London a hansom pulled up close to where I was walking,
and a friend of Toole's jumped out, and, seizing my hand, he said, "I
say, Furniss, you travel about a lot, lecturing and all that kind of
thing--do you know Smoketown?"

[Illustration: SAVAGE CLUB.
_The Original Drawing was by request presented to His Royal Highness._]

"Smoketown!" I said, "Smoketown!" (Truth to tell, at the moment I had
quite forgotten all about my letter to Toole; then it dawned upon me.)
"Oh, yes--well," I said; "I had one night there, and some frightful
friends of Toole's bored my life out. He had invited them, I believe, to
stop with him in London, and they--"

"Just the people I want. What's their name?"

"I forget that entirely."

"Can you read this?" he said, producing my letter.

"No," I said; "I can't read that signature."

"Do you know where they are likely to put up in town?"

"Not the slightest idea."

"I've tried every hotel in London."

"Temperance?" I asked.

"No, not one. Happy thought!--of course that is where they'll be."

"Try them all," I said, as I waved my hand. And off the cab rushed to
visit the various temperance hotels in London.

The next day I returned to Hastings, and went straight to Mr. Toole's
hotel. Getting the hall porter into my confidence, he sent up a message
to Mr. Toole that a gentleman with a large family had arrived to see
him; and the porter and I made the noise of ten up the stairs, and
eventually the gentleman and family were announced at Toole's door. I
shall never forget poor Toole, standing in an attitude so familiar to
the British public, with his eye-glass in his hand and his eyes cast on
the ground--he was afraid to raise them. As soon as he did, however, his
other hand caught the first book that was handy, and it was flung at my

Bohemianism, when I arrived in London, was emigrating from the tavern of
sanded floors and clay pipes into Clubland. Artists, authors, actors,
and journalists were starting clubs of their own, simply to continue the
same pot-house life without restraint; in place of turning the
public-house into a club, they turned the club into a public-house. If
journalists in Grub Street were at their worst in those days, artists
were at their best. The great boom in trade which followed the
Franco-German War produced a wave of extraordinary prosperity, which
landed many a tramp struggling in troubled waters safely on the beach of
fortune. Working men in the North were drinking champagne; some of them
rose to be masters and millionaires. They tired of drinking champagne,
they could not play the pianos they had bought, or enjoy the mansions
they had built; but they could rival each other in covering their walls
with pictures, so the poorest "pot-boiler" found a ready sale. The most
indifferent daubs were sold as quickly as they could be framed. Artists
then built their mansions, drank champagne, and played on their grand
pianos. When I, still in my teens, first met these good fellows, I might
have been tempted, seeing what wretched work satisfied the
picture-dealer, to abandon black and white for colour; but already the
boom was over. Artists, like their patrons, had found out their mistake.
They had either to let or sell their costly houses, and have, with few
exceptions, little to show now for those wonderful days of prosperity in
the early seventies--which they still talk over in their clubs in


The few exceptions are the survival of the fittest. But the best of
artists have never seen such a boom in art as that I saw in my early
days in London. It cannot be denied that, from a fashionable point of
view, picture shows are going down. Artists have had to stand on one
side as popular Society favourites: the actors have taken their place.
One has only to visit the studios on "Show Sundays" to see what a
falling off there is. "Show Sunday" was, some years ago, one of the
events of the year. From Kensington to St. John's Wood, and up to
Hampstead, the studios of the mighty attracted hosts of fashionable
people to these annual gatherings.

A familiar figure at these for many years was the genial Sir Spencer
Wells, the well-known surgeon. He lived monarch of all he surveyed at
Golder's Hill, Hampstead, and many a morning I met him when riding, and
we jogged into town together. He was a capital _raconteur_, a happy wit,
and told one incident I always recall to mind as I pass a house on the
top of Fitzjohn's Avenue, where a few years ago lived, painted and
"received" that Wilson Barrett of the brush, Edwin Long, R.A., a
hard-working, self-made artist who amassed a fortune by successfully
gauging the taste of the large middle-class English public in mixing
religion with voluptuous melodrama. On the annual "Show Sunday" no
studio was more popular than Long's. His subjects perhaps had something
to do with it. They were in keeping with the Sabbath. The work too was
as smooth and as highly finished as the most orthodox sermon. _Ars longa
est._ Yes, said some cynic, but art is not Long. But anyway Long's art
was commercially successful, and he was what is known as "a good
business man."


As haberdashers in the days of crude advertising used to place men in
costume at the shop door--a fireman when they were selling off a damaged
salvage stock, or a sailor or, if a _very_ enterprising tradesman, a
diver, helmet and all, when selling off goods damaged from a wreck--so
did this Academician, when exhibiting Biblical subjects on "Show
Sunday," engage a Nubian model to stand at the door of his shop. This
man had also to announce the names of the guests, and when the small,
spectacled, simple man with the large smile gave his name, Sir Spencer
Wells, the model pulled himself up to his full height and in his best
English proudly and loudly announced to the crowd in the studio--

"The Prince of Wales!"

The effect was magical: all fell in line, ladies curtseyed, men bowed,
when the Prince of Hampstead Heath entered. The artist looked as black
as his model, and the visitors laughed.

At the other end of Fitzjohn's Avenue once lived that ever popular
Academician, the late Mr. John Pettie. Mr. Pettie was a vigorous
draughtsman and a beautiful colourist, and many of his portraits are
very fine. He seemed to revel in painting a red coat--an object to many
painters as maddening as it is to the infuriated bull. On one "Show
Sunday" before the sending-in day of the Royal Academy, at which he
exhibited, I recollect admiring a portrait of Mr. Lamb, the celebrated
golfer, in his red coat, when the original of the portrait came into the
studio. Not feeling very well, Mr. Pettie had to avoid the crowd of his
admirers seeing him. There were a few exceptions, of which I was one. I
had just left him when I saw Mr. Lamb before his picture. In this
portrait the "bulger" golf club--which Mr. Lamb, I believe, invented, to
the delight of the golfing world--is introduced. I ran back to Mr.
Pettie and told him that there was a stupid man in the studio wanting to
know why artists always draw golf clubs wrongly; that as a Scotchman he
must protest against such a club, which was out of shape, like a club
foot. "Tell him, mon, it's a bulger--Lamb's invention!" I returned. "He
wants to know who Mr. Lamb is, and what is a bulger?--perhaps it's a new
kind of hunting-crop and not a golf club at all?" In rushed Mr. Pettie,
like an enraged lion, to slay the ignorant visitor, but in reality to
shake hands with Mr. Lamb and explain my childish joke.

Leaving Pettie, I called at a studio near Hampstead occupied by a very
clever Irish artist, who was very much depressed when I entered. Gazing
in bewilderment at his picture for the Academy, representing Milton with
his daughters in his garden at Chalfont St. Giles, he said--

"Furniss, I'm in an awful state entoirely over this picture. One of
those critic fellows has been in here, and he tells me this picture
won't do at all at all. I've painted in Milton's garden as I've seen it,
but the critic tells me that these are all modern flowers and weren't
known in the country in the poet's time. Now, what on earth am Oi to

"Oh, don't bother about those critics," I said. "They know nothing.
Milton was blind, don't you know, so how could he tell whether the
flowers were correct or not?"

"Begorrah, Furniss, you're right. Oi never thought of that. It's just
like those ignorant critic chaps to upset a fellow in this way."

                             CHAPTER III.


[Illustration: DISTRESS IN THE BLACK COUNTRY. _Acting as Special Artist
for The Illustrated London News._]

  The Light Brigade--Miss Thompson (Lady Butler)--Slumming--The Boat
   Race--Realism--A Phantasmagoria--Orlando and the Caitiff--Fancy Dress
   Balls--Lewis Wingfield--Cinderella--A Model--All Night Sitting--An
   Impromptu Easel--"Where there's a Will there's a Way"--The American
   Sunday Papers--I am Deaf--The Grill--The World's
   Fair--Exaggeration--Personally Conducted--The Charnel House--10,
   Downing Street--I attend a Cabinet Council--An Illustration by Mr.
   Labouchere--The Great Lincolnshire Trial--Praying without Prejudice.

[Illustration: AT THE OXFORD AND CAMBRIDGE BOAT RACE. (_Reduction of
Large Drawing._)]

Sir William Russell and I were called upon at a banquet in the City to
respond to the toast of the Press. Sir William made one of his
characteristic, graceful little speeches, reminiscential and modest.
When I rose I was for a moment also reminiscential--but not modest. "My
Lord Mayor, Sheriffs, and Masters of this Worshipful Company,--I
appreciate the appropriateness in coupling my name with that of Sir
William Russell, for both of us have made a noise in the world at the
same time--Dr. Russell with his first war letters to the _Times_, and I
in my cradle, for I came into this troubled world while others in arms
were making a noise in the Crimea."


Naturally for this reason I have always taken an interest in the doings
of that time; so it was quite _con amore_ that I acted as "special" at
the first Balaclava Celebration Banquet (1875), twenty years after
"Billy" Russell's first war letters and my first birthday.

The roll-call on the occasion was funny, seeing that it was that of the
"Light Brigade"--some were "light" and many were heavy--one I recollect
was about eighteen stone. The banquet was held in the Alexandra Palace,
Muswell Hill. The visitors, except the military--past or present--were
shamefully treated. We had to stand all the time behind the chairs and
wearily watch a scene not altogether elevating to lookers-on. We were
not allowed a chair to sit on, nor any refreshment of any kind--not even
if we paid for it; and I well recollect how hungry I was when I returned
to my studio after a tedious journey at 1 in the morning, having had
nothing to eat since 1 of the previous day. Such Red Tape was, I
suppose, to illustrate the disgraceful arrangements of the commissariat
in the Crimea! I was standing close to Miss Thompson (Lady Butler), who
had just become famous by her picture "The Roll Call." She was making
notes, and possibly intended painting a sequel to her celebrated
picture. She was exhausted and tired, and no doubt too disgusted by such
ungallant conduct on the part of the organisers of the banquet to touch
the subject. Had she painted this particular roll-call I fear many of
the figures would have had to be drawn out of the perpendicular.

Twenty years before one of the heroes was, possibly, a better and a
wiser man, and tackled the "Rooshins" with greater dexterity than he
displayed on this occasion in managing a jelly. He had waiters to right
of him, waiters to left of him, and waiters behind him, but that jelly
defeated him, although he charged it with fork, spoon, and finally with

From a very early age it was naturally my ambition to be introduced to
Mr. Punch, but this was not to be just yet, and the first London paper
for which I drew regularly was the _Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic
News_, which was started soon after I arrived in London. I continued to
work for it until it was bought by the proprietor of the _Illustrated
London News_, when I became a large contributor to that leading
illustrated paper.

Most of my work for the _Illustrated London News_ consisted of single
and double pages of character sketches, in which Eton and Harrow cricket
matches, Oxford and Cambridge boat races, tennis meetings, the Lawn at
Goodwood, and many other scenes of English life were treated
pictorially; but I also acted sometimes in the capacity of a special
correspondent, and this duty sometimes took me into places far from

[Illustration: DISTRESS IN THE NORTH. _Page (reduction), "Illustrated
London News." Republished by permission of the proprietors._]

On my twenty-fourth Christmas, the year after I was married, I recollect
having to start off upon such a mission to the North of England, where,
owing to strikes and labour disputes, most distressing scenes were
taking place. Throwing myself into the work, I thoroughly ferreted out
the distress which prevailed, pursuing my investigations into the very
garrets of the poor starving creatures whose privacy I thus disturbed at
the entreaty and under the escort of the district visitors and other
benevolent people, whilst the criminal classes also came in for a share
of my observation, which in this case was conducted under the sheltering
wing of a detective.

I cannot, however, say that my energy met with its due reward, for such
was the realism with which I had treated the subject allotted to me
that the editor and proprietors of the _Illustrated London News_ were
reluctant to shock the susceptibilities of their readers by presenting
them with such scenes, and I had to substitute for them sketches of soup
kitchens, committee meetings and refuges. That the editorial decision
was not a sound one was amply proved a few years later, when during a
somewhat similar crisis Mr. G. R. Sims and the late Mr. Fred Barnard
published work of a similar breadth and boldness with signal effect.

Visiting slums, seeing death from want and misery on all sides, is
certainly not the most pleasant way of spending the festive season. In
company with detectives, clergymen, or self-sacrificing district
visitors, you may swallow the pill with the silver on; but try it
single-handed, and it is a very different affair. I was taken for some
demon rent-collector prowling about, and was peered at through broken
windows and doors, and received with language warm enough to thaw the
icicles. The sketches I made during the weeks I spent in the haunts of
want and misery would have made a startling volume, but time and money
were thrown away, and only the perfunctory pictures were published. The
public have no idea, or seldom think, of the great trouble and expense
incurred in faithfully depicting everyday scenes. Still, it is not
possible for a "special" even to see everything, or to be in two places
simultaneously; and consequently, in ordinary pictorial representations,
dummy figures are frequently looked upon as true portraits. One boat
race, for example, is very much like another. Some years ago I executed
a panoramic series of sketches of the University Race from start to
finish, and as they were urgently wanted, the drawings had to be sent in
the same day. Early in the morning, before the break of fast, I found
myself at Putney, rowing up to Mortlake, taking notes of the different
points on the way--local colour through a fog. Getting home before the
Londoners started for the scene, I was at work, and the drawings--minus
the boats--were sent in shortly after the news of the race. The figures
were imaginary and unimportant, but one correspondent wrote to point out
the exact spot where he stood, and complained of my leaving out the
black band on his white hat, and placing him too near a pretty girl,
adding that his wife, who had not been present, had recognised his

Yes, I must confess, one has often to draw upon the imagination even in
serious "realism," Some years ago I went with a colleague of the pen to
illustrate and describe the dreadful scenes which were said to take
place in St. James's Park, where the poor people were seen to sleep all
night on the seats. We arrived about 2 A.M. It was a beautiful moonlight
night, but though we walked up and down for hours not a soul came in
sight. My companion said, "It's a bad business; we cannot do anything
with this." I replied, "We must not go away without something to show;
now if you will lie down I will make a sketch of you, and then I will
lie down and you can describe me."

[Illustration: REALISM!]

One of the most "uncanny" experiences I ever had as a "special" I find
graphically described by the late Hon. Lewis Wingfield, who accompanied
me on the strange mission.

[Illustration: "THE CAITIFF" AND ORLANDO.]

"Winter without. Snow. A sea of billows drifting across the sky,
glittering, frosted--a symphony in metals--silver, aluminium,
lead--rendered buoyant for the nonce, ethereal--as though the world were
really gone Christmas mad, and, having a sudden attack of topsy-turvydom
in its inside, had taken to showering its treasures about the firmament,
instead of keeping them snugly put away in mines below ground. A sheet
of snow, and bitter white rain driving still. A huge building looming
black, its many eyes staring into the dark--lidless, bilious, vacant.
This is a hospital. Or is it a factory, disguised with a veneer of the
Puginesque? Or an æsthetic barrack? Or an artistic workhouse? Visible
yet, under falling snow which has not had time to cover them, are
flower-beds, shrub-plots, meandering walks. Too genteel and ambitious
for the most æsthetic of workhouses or advanced of hospitals, we
wonder what the building is; and our wonder is not decreased by seeing a
postern opened in a huge black wall, from which a handful of
conspirators creep silently. We rub our eyes. Are we dreaming? Is this,
or is it not, the age of scientific marvels, levelling of castes,
rampant communism, murder, agrarian outrage, sudden massacre?--the _olla
podrida_ which we are pleased to denominate enlightenment? That first
black figure is James the Second. Heavens! The Jacobites live yet, and
will join, doubtless, with the Fenians and Mr. Bradlaugh, and a _posse
comitatus_ of iconoclasts, to upset the reign of order, and add a thorn
to the chaplet of our hard-run Premier. James the Second. Not a doubt of
it. There he is--periwig, black velvet, and bugles. Where, oh where, is
the Great Seal, with which he played ducks and drakes in the Thames? Yet
no. This is no Jacobite plot, for His Majesty is followed by no troop of
partisans on tiptoe in hose and doublet. He is not seeking to win his
own again. A woodman trudges behind--we recognise him, for his name's
"Orlando"--(Wingfield himself, in a beautiful costume, which he had made
two years previously when playing the part of Orlando in a production of
"As You Like It" in Manchester, the Calvert Memorial performance; Miss
Helen Faucit (Lady Martin), Rosalind; Herman Merivale, Touchstone; Tom
Taylor, Adam; and other well-known celebrities assisting). Then he
describes me: "A muffled creature of sinister aspect. Short,
auburn-locked, extinguished by a portentous hat, tripping and stumbling
over a cloak, or robe, in whose dragging folds he conceals his identity
as well as his power of volition, a weird and gruesome phantom.
What--oh what--is this hovering ghost? He must be just defunct, for the
purgatorial garments fit him not, he stumbles at every step, and when he
trips an underdress is unveiled that's like a City waiter's. What is
he--the arch conspirator--doing himself? He starts, tries to conceal a
book, but we snatch it from him. Sketches! lots of sketches!
caricatures, low and vulgar portraits of ourselves! 'What are you?' we
scream, 'and why this orgy? Speak, caitiff, or for ever hold your


"Perceiving that we are in earnest and not to be trifled with, and glare
with forbidding mien, the caitiff speaks in trembling accents. 'If you
please,' he says, 'I'm the artist from the great illustrated journal;
I'm drawing pictures of the lunatics. My disguise is beyond my own
control, and trips me up, but I'm told it's becoming.' 'Lunatics!' we

"'Yes,' the caitiff murmurs. 'This is the annual fancy dress ball at
Brookwood Asylum. You and I and the doctors and attendants are the only
sane people in the place. By-and-by the country gentry will be admitted,
and then the tangle will be hopeless, for even in everyday life it's
impossible to know who's mad and who isn't. How much more here?'

"We left the trembling caitiff to his secret sketching, and the
despondency produced by his appearance. He was sane, was he? Then in him
were we revenged on human nature, for sure never was mortal more
oppressed by his gear and his surroundings."

The fact is that my editor, in sending his "young man," omitted to say
that the invitation was crossed with "fancy dress only," so I arrived in
ordinary war-paint. The Doctor was horrified. "This will never do. My
patients will resent it. You _must_ be in fancy dress." All my host
could find was a seedy red curtain and an old cocked hat (had it been a
nightcap I should have been complete as Caudle). I wrapped this martial
cloak around me, and soon found myself in the most extraordinary scene,
so graphically described by Wingfield. He was not alone in his scorn
for me. The "Duke of York" had a great contempt for my appearance, but
when introduced to him as His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, he
unbent, waved his bauble, and commanded me to be seated. The visitors
eyed me suspiciously all the evening, and on my entering the
supper-room, accompanied by the Doctor, they were seized with the idea
that I must be a very dangerous case, and readily made room--in fact,
made off. One of the poor patients was an artist, and showed me his
sketch-book, the work of many, many months--a number of drawings in
colour, stuck one on top of the other, resembling an elongated
concertina, so that only the corners of the pages could be seen. The
patients wore costumes designed and made by themselves, in marked
contrast to their stylish keepers. Among the guests the county families
were well represented, and garrison officers from a neighbouring depôt
formed a motley group which a looker-on, viewing the scene as in a
kaleidoscope, would laugh at. One turn, and the next moment some
incident might occur which an imaginative brain could easily work into a
romance too touching to relate.

For some years I had quite a run of fancy dress balls, a craze at that
time, acting as special artist for various periodicals, the _Illustrated
London News_ in particular. The ball above recorded was unique, but
there is very little variety in such gatherings, where variety is the
one thing aimed at, thus showing the limit of our English artistic
invention. The ingredients of a ball of three hundred, say, would be as
follows,--Thirty Marie Stuarts, ten Marguerites, twenty-eight Fausts,
fifty Flower Girls, nine Portias, three Clowns, sixteen Matadores,
thirty Sailors, twenty-five Ophelias, twenty-five Desdemonas, the
remainder uniforms and nondescripts. Of course any popular figure,
picture or play of the moment will be represented. When the relief of
Mafeking took place, the number of Baden-Powells, tall, short, young,
old, thin and stout, in the various fancy balls and bazaars appearing
will be, as newspaper leader-writers say, "a fact fresh in the mind of
the reader." Some years ago a portrait of the "missing Gainsborough," a
picture of the Duchess of Devonshire, which mysteriously vanished from
Agnew's gallery in Bond Street, was represented in dozens at the fancy
balls of the period, and the Gilbert-Sullivan opera "Patience," supplied
many a costume. My brother "special" on this occasion--Lewis
Wingfield--was a Crichton of eccentricity. The son of an Irish peer, an
officer in the Guards, he dressed as a ballet-girl and danced on the
stage; was a journalist and wrote for Charles Dickens when that great
novelist edited _Household Words_. Wingfield never did anything by
halves, so in writing a series of articles for Dickens on the casual
wards of London he personated a street photographer (having delicate
hands he could not pretend to be a labourer), and wrote his experiences
of the dreadful state of affairs existing in those days under the rule
of Bumbledom. The last he sought relief at was situated close to Golden
Square. Here he was very harshly treated, and when he left he rapidly
changed into his usual clothes, drove up to the establishment as one of
the life patrons (all his family had for years supported the charity),
and had the satisfaction of dismissing the overbearing overseer, to the
wretch's chagrin. Wingfield related this incident with great glee.

[Illustration: AT A FANCY DRESS BALL.]

Anxious to find out the amount niggers made on the Derby Day, he decided
to go as a burnt-cork nigger himself; but it is impossible to do this
unless you are of that ilk, for like the business of the beggars and
street performers, everything is properly organised; there is a proper
system and superintendent to arrange matters. After some difficulty he
managed to get introduced as the genuine article, and at 4 in the
morning had to stand with the other Ethiopian minstrels at "Poverty
Junction," between Waterloo Bridge and Waterloo Station, while lots were
drawn for positions on the course. As luck would have it, Wingfield drew
a pitch opposite the Grand Stand, where at least he would be among his
own acquaintances. All the niggers had to walk to Epsom, unless it
happened some friendly carter could be induced to offer a seat. Had
four-in-hands come along Wingfield might have been saved a walk, but
costers were to him unknown. By lunch-time he was heartily sick of his
new life. However, he was determined to carry it through. In the
evening, after his long, hot day's work, he found he had to wait for the
policeman's train. After the half-million people had returned to London,
he was allowed to crawl into a carriage, and being thoroughly tired he
fell asleep in a corner of the compartment. But the police wanted some
entertainment, and waking him up, said:

"Now then, darky, tune up! we can pay you as well as the toffs; let's
have a song!" They had a concert all the way, Wingfield singing the
solos. The hat was sent round and a collection made, and to the bitter
end Wingfield had to bang away at his banjo and squeak with what little
voice he had left. This nearly finished him. Arriving at Victoria, he
hailed a hansom. One driver after another eyed him scornfully and passed
on. He then for the first time realised that it is not a customary thing
for an itinerant nigger to drive about London in hansoms, even on Derby
Day. So he dragged himself wearily along the streets until he happened
to meet an intimate friend. To him he explained matters, and his friend
called a hansom for him and paid the driver as well before he would take
up his dusky fare. He thought the fact of his driving a street nigger a
great joke, and made merry over his passenger as he passed the other
drivers. But he was very much astonished when he drove up in front of
quite an imposing dwelling and saw the door opened by a footman as the
nigger toiled up the steps.


As an artist Wingfield was ambitious. Finding, as he told me, that he
could never be a great artist, he preferred not to be one at all. On his
walls were large classic paintings, not likely ever to find their way to
the walls of anyone else. But he tried his hand at popular art as well.
A scene in a circus, for instance, was one subject. A pretty little
child was engaged to sit in his studio, but as that day he was going to
Hengler's Circus to paint the background he, to the delight of the
child, took her with him. The little girl played about in the ring, and
was noticed by Mr. Hengler, who asked her if she would like to be
dressed up and play in the same ring at night. This led to the child
becoming a professional. She enchanted everyone as Cinderella. Her name
was Connie Gilchrist. I fell in love with her myself when I was in my
teens and first saw her as Cinderella. Afterwards when I came to London
I was as ignorant as a Lord Chief Justice as to who Connie Gilchrist
was; but I recollect a model sitting to me recommending my writing to
her younger sister for some figures she thought her sister would suit.
The day was fixed, but by the morning's post I received a letter from
the young lady to say that Mr. Hollingshead, of the Gaiety Theatre, had
sent for her, and she could not sit to me. She was Connie Gilchrist, and
I believe this was the last engagement she had accepted as a
professional model.

Telegram from the editor of the _Illustrated London News_:--"Election,
Liverpool, see to it at once." So I did. On arriving in the evening, I
rushed off to a "ward meeting," To my surprise the artist of a rival
paper sat down beside me. He did not frighten me away, but candidly
confessed that he had seen a private telegram of mine saying I was
starting, and his editor packed him off by the same train. Ha! I must be
equal to him! I sat up all night and drew a page on wood, ready for
engraving, and sent it off by the first train in the morning. It was in
the press before my rival's rough notes left Liverpool. One would hardly
think, to see candles stuck in my boots, that the hotel was the Old
Adelphi. I trust the "special" of the future will find the electric
light, or a better supply of bedroom candlesticks. All day again
sketching, and all night hard at work, burning the midnight oil (I was
nearly writing boots). A slice of luck kept me awake in the early
morning. A knock at my door, and to my surprise a friend walked in who
had come down by a night train for a "daily" and seeing my name in the
visitors' book had looked me up, thinking I could give him some "tips."
"All right," I said; "a bargain: you sit for me and I'll talk. Here,
stand like this"--the Liberal candidate. "Capital! Now round like
this"--the Conservative. "Drawn from life! And after another day of this
kind of thing, I reached home without having had an hour's sleep. Oh! a
"special's" life is not a happy one.

[Illustration: AN ALL-NIGHT SITTING.]

Great political excitement, there is no doubt, turns men's heads. Once I
recollect finding a most dignified provincial politician in this state,
and necessity compelled me to turn him into a sketching-stool. Mr.
Gladstone was speaking at Bingley Hall, Birmingham, and although close
to him on the platform, I could not, being only five feet two, see over
the heads of others when all stood to cheer. I mentioned this fact to my
neighbour. "Oh, you must not miss this scene!" he said, and quickly,
without ceremony, he had me on his back, his bald head serving as an
easel. It has struck me since that had this old gentleman, a big man in
his native town, and still bigger in his own estimation, seen himself as
others saw him at that moment, the probability is that he would not
have felt anything like so kindly to me as I did to him.

PAGE 138.

_Reduction of Page Design. Brush Drawing on wood, made after election
meeting at night, and despatched to London by early morning train. See
the Confessions of a Special Artist._]

Another instance of a special artist having to depend upon his wits was
when I found myself at a big central manufacturing town, sent down in a
hurry from London by the _Illustrated London News_ to illustrate a most
important election meeting--an election upon which the fate of the
Government of the day depended. When I arrived the mills had been
closed, crowds were in the streets, and it would have been a simple
matter to have got into Mafeking compared with getting into the hall in
which the meeting was at the time being held.


If there is one thing I dislike more than another it is a crowd,
particularly an electioneering crowd. Political fever is a bad malady,
even when one is impervious to it, if he has to fight his way through an
infected mob. Quickly slipping round to the principal hotel, and finding
there the carriages engaged for the celebrities of the meeting, I got
into one and was driven rapidly up to the hall, cheered by the mob, who
doubtless looked upon me as some active politician. Had I put my head
out of the window and promised them any absurdity, I believe they would
have chosen me their member on the spot. Arriving at the hall, I was
received by the tipstaffs, who, probably not catching my name
distinctly, thought as the hotel people had done, that I was sent down
in some official capacity, and politely ushered me to the platform,
where I was given a seat in the front row.

Ah, you little know the difficulties of the poor artist in running his
subjects to earth. When in New York I was specially engaged by the _New
York Herald_ to contribute a series of studies of the leading public
men. These were to appear in the Sunday edition.

Those Sunday papers! What gluttons for reading the Americans are! The
first Sabbath morning I was in the States I telephoned in an off-hand
sort of way from my bedroom for "some Sunday papers." I went on
dressing, and somehow forgot my order, but on leaving, or rather
attempting to leave, my room afterwards, I found to my astonishment the
doorway completely blocked with newspapers to the quantity of several
tons. I rang my bell vigorously. The attendant arrived, and seemed
considerably amused at my look of consternation. He explained to me that
these were five of the Sunday papers, and added apologetically that they
were all he could get at present. If I had stayed to read through that
pile I should be in the States now.


The first "subject" I was requested to caricature was the celebrated
sensational preacher, Dr. Parkhurst. When I arrived at his church it was
crowded to the doors, and I could not get near him. A churchwarden told
me to sit down where I was, but I put my hand to my ear and shook my
head, as much as to say "I do not hear you." Then one churchwarden said
to the other churchwarden, "This man is deaf, he doesn't hear; I was
telling him to sit down--"

"Pardon me, but are you speaking?" I whispered. "I regret to say that I
am very deaf. I came specially from London to hear your great preacher,
and I should not like to return without gratifying this one desire I

"Say, is your wife here to-day?" asked one churchwarden of the other.

"No, she is sick at home."

"Could not you squeeze this funny little Britisher into your pew?"

"Guess I could."

So they beckoned to me to follow them, and I was ushered up the aisle
and sat under the Doctor. The result of that little manoeuvre was that
I did my work in peace, although sadly troubled to see his face in
consequence of the church being dark and the reading lamp hiding portion
of it.

In America introductions are superfluous, so knowing Dr. Parkhurst came
over in the _Germanic_, the same ship that I travelled in some months
later, I walked boldly after the service into his room, shook him by the
hand, and mentioned in a familiar way the officers of the ship, the
storm, and other matters connected with his journey, and in that way had
the chance of ten minutes' chat and a closer observation of his facial

It may happen, even when everything is carefully prepared to make the
visit of a special artist easy and comfortable, that work may be
difficult to accomplish. I must go to the United States for an
illustration of what I mean.

Some years ago I met Max O'Rell at a London club, and was introduced by
him to a very English-looking gentleman with an American accent, who
immediately said:

"Glad to meet you, Mr. Furniss. When you come over to the States we must
put you on the grill!"

What did he mean? I looked at Max. Max turned pale, and seemed for a
moment to lose his self-possession, then hurriedly whispered in my ear:

"Jolly good fellow--very witty--president of strange club in America
where they chaff their guests--see my last book!"

I recollected reading about a club that goes in for roasting as well as
toasting its guests, and replied:

"Strange!" I said. "I always thought the Americans were in advance of
the English; yet here in my country we do not put the Furniss on the
grill, but the grill on the furnace!"

Max laughed and looked relieved, and said:

"You'll do--they'll let you off easy. A Frenchman can't stand chaff, so
I sat down."

He had stood the fire of the enemy upon the field of battle, but he
couldn't stand the fusillade of wit from the Americans at their dinner

The stranger was no other than Major Moses P. Handy, afterwards "Chief
of Department of Publicity and Promotion at the World's Columbian
Exposition, Chicago;" so when I found myself in the "Windy City" as an
unattached "special" from the Old World to the New "World's Fair," I
called at Rand-McNally Buildings, not to be put on the grill, but to be
put in possession of some facts concerning that great "Exposition."

[Illustration: MAJOR HANDY.]

Sometimes there is a great deal in a name. For instance, the late Major
Handy at once indicated the man--handy, always ready with tongue, hands
and legs. He handed me round the city, told me of its wonders, and sent
me off enraptured to the "Exposition." Here I was met by one of the
staff, and escorted all over the skeleton of what eventually proved to
be the most wonderful "Exposition," Exhibition, World's Fair, or
whatever you like to call it, that the New World had ever seen.

The gentleman in possession who met me and acted as my guide was a
clean-cut featured, smooth-faced, typical American, "full of wise saws
and modern instances" and--tobacco juice. He had a merry wit, and his
running commentary would have been invaluable "copy" to America's pet
humourist, Bill Nye.

I had a pencil in the pocket in one side of my coat, and a note-book in
the pocket in the other side, but the carriage in which I was driven
about rushed on so over the rough ground and "corduroy roads" and hills
and chasms, that I found it a matter of utter impossibility to get the
pencil and the book out together, and, therefore, the facts I give about
the "Exposition" may want verification, for my worthy guide kept firing
them into me with the rapidity of a Maxim or a Hotchkiss.


"Now here is the Manufactures and Liberal Arts Building. Guess the
largest building ever erected--1,641,223 feet long, 17,894 feet high--"
Down goes the trap on one side, plunging into some excavation, like a
double-harnessed Roman chariot. However, we scrambled up again, but I
had lost the important figure of the width of the building. Now I don't
for a moment wish to imply that my guide was exaggerating, but this
rather reminds me of a story told of an American visiting England, and
his host there one day remarked to him:

"My dear fellow, we are delighted with you here--in fact, you are quite
a favourite; but you will excuse me if I tell you that you possess one
failing pretty general with your countrymen--you do exaggerate so!"

"Guess I kean't help it, but if you'll just kindly give me a kick under
the table when I'm going too far I'll pull up sharp!"

With this agreement they went out to dinner that evening, and among
other topics the conversation turned upon conservatories. Captain de
Vere said that he had a conservatory 200 feet long, but that the Duke of
Orchid had one nearly 1,000 feet long. The American here struck in with:

"I reckon, gentlemen, you're talking about conserva_tor_ies. Now there's
a friend of mine in Amurrca, a private gentleman, who has a
conserva_tor_y 5,000 feet long, 3,000 feet high, and" (kick)--"oh!--2
feet wide!"

But had I heard the figures representing the width of the building, I
don't suppose they would have been in the same absurd proportion as
this, for not all the shin-kicking in the world would have deterred my
entertaining and conversational conductor.

"You must assemble together in your mind's eye all the mighty structures
already existing in the world to form any idea of the magnitude of this
_tre_menjious edifice before you. It is sixteen times as large as St.
Peter's Cathedral at Rome, Westminster Abbey and St. Paul's Cathedral
would nestle together in its ventilating shaft, and the whole of the
armies of Europe could sit down comfortably to dinner in the central
hall. The Tower of London would be lost under one of the staircases, and
fifty Cleopatra's Needles stuck one on top of the other would not
scratch the roof. The building cost fifty million six hundred and
eighty-four thousand two hundred dollars seventy-five cents, and----" On
dashed the horses in their wild career.

Down we went, I thought into the bed of Lake Michigan, but in an instant
we were up again, my hat in one direction and my stick in another, and I
was well shaken before being taken to the next building.

"Say, Mr. Furniss, the roads are not complete yet, but you mustn't mind
these little ups and downs. Guess these horses would pull through
anything--brought 'em right away from the fire-engine shed, considerable

At this moment a train came puffing along laden with masses of ironwork
for the central building. The horses shied at the smoky monster, turned
a somersault (at least, so it seemed to me), and we nearly took a header
into the lake again; but the charioteer managed to turn them just in
time, and the fiery fire-engine steeds snorted past their iron brother,
eclipsing even his noise and steam.


I now began to feel thoroughly happy, but I kept a watchful eye on those
gee-gees, and as we skipped over impromptu bridges, whizzed round the
corners of newly-made piles, and bumped over incomplete parapets, I
quite enjoyed myself; but somehow or other I couldn't quite manage to
catch all the marvellous details respecting the buildings we were
passing. I was qualifying myself for the Volunteer Fire Brigade. But our
steeds were reined in for a moment while my guide pointed out to me the
Dairy Building.

"I reckon, sir," he said, "that dairy will be an eye-opener. It'll be
_soo_perb, and I guess it won't be long after the opening of the show
that they'll be turning out gold-edged butter!"

Off we go again, over mounds and down dykes, jumping rocks and shooting
rapids, and I am certain that had our conveyance been a milk-cart,
butter, gold-edged or otherwise, would have been produced pretty soon.
We pull up with a jerk opposite the Agricultural Building.

"The building is 5,000 by 8,000 feet, design bold and heroic. On each
corner and from the centre of the building are reared pavilions."

"Indeed!" I said. "Are they reared by incubators, or upon some special
soil from the fertile tracts of the Far West?"

My guide did not evidently deem my question worthy an answer, and

"Surmounted by a mammoth glass dome 460 feet high, constructed on
purpose to accommodate the giant Pennsylvania pumpkin we're having
raised specially for the Exposition. That pumpkin will be hollowed out,
and 600 people will be able to sit down together at once in its

"Now we'll go to the Transportation Building," said my indefatigable
conductor to the driver.

"Bless me!" I thought; "is this a convict prison? Are we to have
visitors from Sing Sing, and am I to see some of my friends from
Portland and Dartmoor? Will there be a model of the Bastille, and a
contingent of escaped refugees from the mines of Siberia? Or is the
building an enormous concern for the transport of visitors to and from
the Exposition?"

"Say, Mr. Furniss, this is the most original conception in the whole
Exposition. You'll see contrasted here every mode of transport, and a
complete train, with a display of locomotives never before attempted,
will be quite _stu_pendous! To quote the guidebook: 'There will be at
least 100 engines exhibited, and placed so as to face each other,' and
every day we will have a steam tournament. Guess it will be a case of
the survival of the fittest of the engines when they meet! Visitors fond
of railway accidents can be despatched with a completeness only to be
witnessed in the stock-yards of this great city!"

This ghastly suggestion had the effect of making me feel more
comfortable than ever.

We had been some hours driving through this wonderful skeleton city.
The last dying rays of the setting sun, sinking behind the sweeping
prairies of the far, far West, lit up the horizon with a blood-red glow,
and, as the shades of evening began to descend and envelop the embryo
Exposition, the driver turned the horses' heads whence we had
come--towards the sunset.

The animals snorted, their nostrils inflated, their eyes glistened, and,
with tails erect, they tore off straight ahead at a tremendous rate.
They couldn't understand why they had been driven aimlessly about all
this time; but now they saw the glare, as they thought, of the fire--the
glare they had been accustomed to regard as the beacon to guide them to
their goal--a goal which had to be reached with lightning speed.


It seemed as if we were flying through a beautiful place destroyed by
the ravages of fire, for in the dim evening light the outlined houses
gave one the impression that they formed a city dead, not a city

Away to the Wild West of the Exposition we flew, and were eventually
pulled up outside of one of the larger and more complete buildings. My
faculties had been about all shaken out of me by this time, and I was so
bewildered by the chaos of figures in my brain--all that were left of
the volumes that had been poured into my ears--that I had to be all but
lifted out of the fire-engine trap by my good guide. He said, in an

"Now I'm going to show you something we keep a profound secret."

Making a supreme effort, I dispersed temporarily the armies of figures
conflicting in my unfortunate head, and became once more a rational
being, so as to appreciate fully this visual tit-bit reserved to the
last. We entered the structure. What was it? A mortuary, a
dissecting-chamber, or a pantomime property-room? Numbers of ghost-like
beings with bared arms streaming with an opaque-white liquid appeared to
be engaged in some ghoulish machinations. Mutilated figures of gigantic
creatures lay strewn about in reckless confusion. It seemed as if
pigmies were butchering giants; and in the dim, weird light among these
uncanny surroundings my jumbled imagination whispered to me that, after
all, this stupendous Exhibition I had just rushed through could not
possibly be the work of the insignificant little men who swarmed all
over the colossal buildings in such ridiculously absurd proportion to
their pretended handiwork.


No, these giants had performed this herculean undertaking, and were now
being cut up--the reward of many who attempt such ambitious tasks. In
reality, though, this charnel-house was the sculptors' studio, in which
were modelled the gigantic figures which were to be placed on the
buildings and about the grounds.

Now were I to design a model for a statue to be placed in the
Exposition, it would certainly be one of my excellent and entertaining
companion, who proved himself a model conductor, a model of an American
gentleman, and one who is justly proud, as all Americans must be, of
the greatness and thoroughness of the most splendid and most interesting
Exhibition ever recorded in the annals of their great country.

            *       *       *       *       *

One day I slipped up to 10, Downing Street, to make a note of that very
ordinary, albeit mystical, abode of English Premiers and officials. The
eagle eye of the policeman was upon me, and he was soon at my side
subjecting me to minute examination. My explanation satisfied him that
the only lead I had about me was encased in wood for the purpose of
drawing, and that the substance in my hand was not dynamite, but
innocent indiarubber, for wiping out people and places only of my own
creation. "Ah, sir, there ain't much to see there, unless the 'all
porter's a-lookin' out of the winder. But you ought ter be 'ere in the
mornin' and see the Premier a-shavin' of 'imself, with a piece of old
lookin'-glass stuck up on the winder ter see 'imself in--just wot the
likes of us would do!"

So I, as a "special," was allowed to make a sketch of the outside of the
famous No. 10. Not long afterwards I happened to be standing in the same
place with a number of journalists and a crowd of the public when a
political crisis drew all attention to the Cabinet, the members of which
were arriving at intervals, recognised and cheered by the curious. As
the door opened to allow one of the members of the Cabinet to enter, a
certain official noticed me standing on the opposite side of the street.
To my surprise he beckoned to me, and said, "I have been waiting to see
you, Mr. Furniss, for a long time. I have some sketches in the house
here I want you to see whenever you can honour me with a visit."

"No time like the present moment," I said.

Before the official realised that the present moment was a dangerous one
for the admittance of strangers I was taken into the house. While
examining the works of art in the official's private room a knock came
to the door, which necessitated his leaving me. The moment of the
"special" had arrived--now or never for a Cabinet Council! I was down
the passage, and in a few minutes stood in the presence of the Cabinet,
when Mr. Gladstone, the Premier, was addressing Lord Granville and the
others, who were seated, and just as the Duke of Devonshire (then Lord
Hartington) pushed by me into the room, I was seized by the alarmed
official. Of course I apologised for my stupidity in taking the wrong
turning, and I asked him about Mr. Gladstone's three mysterious hats in
the hall, which he informed me Mr. Gladstone always had by him,--three
hats symbolic of his oratorical peculiarity of using the well-known
phrase, "There are three courses open to us."

I patted Lord Hartington's dog on the head, and had quietly taken my
departure before the official was called into the Cabinet and questioned
about the "spy" who had so mysteriously interrupted their proceedings.

But what was perhaps a more daring and difficult feat than seeing a
Cabinet Council was to disturb the "Sage of Queen Anne's Gate" in his
semi-official residence. It so happened some few years ago I was
commissioned by an illustrated paper to make a drawing of a peculiar
scene that took place in the House of Commons. It was Mr. Gladstone's
only appearance in the Strangers' smoking-room of the House, into which
he had been lured by the Member for Northampton to attend a performance
of a thought reader, which Mr. Labouchere had arranged perhaps to show
his serious interest in the business of the country connected with our
great Houses of Parliament. Not being present at this show, I had no
means of getting material, and, being in a hurry, I boldly drove up to
the house of the "Sage of Queen Anne's Gate." And as I always treat
people as they treat others, I thought that a little of the Laboucherian
cheek (shall I substitute the word for confidence?) would not be out of
place in this instance. The servant took my card, and brought back the
message that Mr. Labouchere was not at home. As I was at that moment
actually acting the character of the "Sage," and remembering the
stories, true or untrue, which he so delights in telling himself about
his own coolness in matters probably not less important than this, I
asked the servant to allow me to write a letter to Mr. Labouchere, and I
was shown into his study, where I sat, and intended to sit, until Mr.
Labouchere made his appearance. From time to time the servant looked in,
but the letter was never written. And my thought-reading proved correct.
Without my pen and pencil I drew Mr. Labouchere. He eventually came
downstairs, and gave me all the information I required.

            *       *       *       *       *


London was in darkness. To quote the papers, "Foggy obscuration rested
over the greater part of its area." And I, in common with millions of
others, was having my breakfast by gaslight, when I received an
editorial summons to attend the trial of the Bishop of Lincoln at
Lambeth Palace. Soon a hansom was at the door, with two lamps outside
and one within; the latter smelt most horribly, and I found out later on
that it leaked and had ruined my new overcoat. With an agility quite
marvellous under the circumstances the horse slipped its slimy way over
the greasy streets to Lambeth, and dashed through the fog over
Westminster Bridge in a most reckless manner, which disconcerting
performance was partly explained by its suddenly stopping at the stable
door of Sanger's and refusing to budge. I was partially consoled by the
fact that we were just opposite St. Thomas's Hospital, so that I should
be in good hands if the worst befell. The fog becoming even denser,
Sanger's became veiled from the sight of our fiery steed, which
thereupon consented to slide on towards Lambeth Palace. A sharp turn
brought us to the gateway, where stood a hearse and string of mourning
coaches. Was I too late? Had the Bishops passed sentence, and had the
loved one of Lincoln really been beheaded?

My fears on this point were relieved by a policeman, who restrained my
driver's energetic endeavours to drive through the wall of the Palace,
and as my password was "Jeune" (November would have been more
appropriate on such a morning) I was allowed inside the gates. Here I
could not see my hand, or anyone else's, in front of me, and after
stumbling up some steps and down some others I finally flattened my nose
against a door. Policeman No. 2 suddenly appeared, and turned his
bull's-eye upon me. I felt that I was doomed to the deepest dungeon
beneath the castle moat; I thought of the whipping-post I have read of
in connection with the Palace; of the Guard Room with its pikes and
instruments of torture, and I trembled. Luckily, however, the rays of
the lantern fell upon the note in my hand, addressed to Francis Jeune,
Q.C., and the good-natured "All right, sir. Go hup. 'E's a-speakin'
now," came as a reprieve.

I stumble into the large historic hall known as the Library, wherein the
great trial of the Bishop of Lincoln is being held. The weird scene
strongly resembles the Dream Trial in "The Bells," where the judges,
counsel, and all concerned are in a fog. I expect the limelight to flash
suddenly upon the chief actor, the Bishop of Lincoln, as he takes the
stage and re-acts the part that has caused the trial. The only lights in
the long and lofty Library, excepting the clerical and legal, are a
dozen or two wax candles and a few oil-lamps--of daylight, gaslight, or
electric light, nothing. I can hear the voice of Jeune, Q.C., which
gladdens my heart amid these sepulchral surroundings, but I see him not.
As my eyes gradually become accustomed to the strange scene, I find that
it is composed of three distinct "sets," which present the appearance of
a muddled-up stage picture when the flats go wrong, and you have a part
of the Surrey Hills, a corner of Drury Lane and a side of a West End
drawing-room run on at the same time.

At the further end of the Library we have the Church, very High Church,
represented by an Archbishop and five Bishops; also a Judge, in a
full-bottomed wig, who has evidently got in by mistake. Then we have the
Law, represented by a row of Q.C.'s, their juniors, and attendants; and
then a chorus of ordinary people and common, or Thames Policemen. These
are separated by red ropes and some red tape; the latter I cut with my
self-written passport--my note to the Q.C. who still addresses the

[Illustration: THE BISHOP OF LINCOLN'S TRIAL. (_From "Punch."_)]

I have come here to see the Bishop of Lincoln, and I roam about in the
fog to find him. Ah, that figure! there he is! I immediately sketch him,
only to find out that the individual in question is the Clerk of the
Court, or whatever the title of that functionary's equivalent may be in
Lambeth Palace. What vexes me is that whenever I enquire the whereabouts
of the Bishop, a warning finger is raised to the lips to denote silence.
The Bishops sit round three tables, on a raised platform. In the centre
is the Archbishop of Canterbury; on his right the mysterious Judge, in
full wig and red robes; here is the Vicar-General, Sir James Parker
Deane, Q.C.; next to him sits Assessor Dr. Atlay, Bishop of Hereford,
who looks anything but happy, his hair presenting the appearance of
being blown about by a strong draught, while his hand is raised to his
face, suggesting that the draught had caused toothache. The portly
Bishop of Oxford on his right, like the other corner man, the Bishop of
Salisbury, scribbles away at a great rate in a huge manuscript book or
roll of foolscap. On the left of the Archbishop sits the Bishop of
London, who severely interrogates the Counsel, and evidently relishes
acting the schoolmaster once more. The Bishop of Rochester, sitting on
London's left, supplies the element of comedy as far as facial
expression goes, and his wide-open mouth and papers held in front of him
lead me to expect him to burst into song at any moment. But where is
_the_ Bishop--the Bishop of Lincoln? Ah, now I see him, in one of those
side courts, and I forthwith sketch him, marvelling at my stupidity in
not identifying him before. I write his name under the sketch, and show
it to one of the reporters. He scribbles "Wrong man" across it. Done
again! I write, "Then where is he?" He waves me away, as Mr. Jeune is
quoting some extraordinary document six hundred years old in reply to
Sir Horace Davey's authority, which only dates back five hundred and
ninety-nine years. It suddenly occurs to me that the Bishop is beside
his Counsel at the other end of the long table, but, alas! there is a
candle in front of him. This is all I can see, so I make my way to the
other side of the table, only to discover that my Bishop is an old lady.
I write on a piece of paper, "Where does the Bishop of Lincoln sit?" and
take it to an official. It is too dark to read, so some time is lost
while he takes my memorandum to a candle. He looks across at me, and
points to a corner.

At last! good! The old gentleman in the corner is in plain clothes, it
is true, but still he looks every inch a Bishop. I cautiously approach
to a coign of vantage close beside him, and have just finished a careful
study of him, when he turns round to me and whispers, "Please, sir, can
you tell me which is the Bishop of Lincoln?" I shake my head angrily,
and move away. This is really humbug. I'll bide my time, and take
Counsel's opinion--I'll ask Mr. Jeune. He is just occupied in answering
the hundred and seventh question of the Bishop of London, and is being
"supported" by Sir Walter Phillimore. Indeed, it amuses me to see the
way in which these two clever Counsel, when in a fog (and are we not all
in one?), hold an animated legal conversation between themselves, and
totally ignore the Bishops--not that the latter seem to mind, for they
scribble away merrily. An evil suspicion creeps into my head that they
are seizing the opportunity to write their next Sunday's sermons.

In the meantime I discover that one of the little side courts is
converted into a studio, with an easel and canvas. I approach my brother
brush, feeling that he, or she, or both (for a lady and a gentleman were
jointly at work upon a picture of the Trial, in black and white--the
black was visible, but there was no chance of seeing the white) will
tell me where I can catch a glimpse of the Bishop of Lincoln. I whisper
the question. But a "Hush!" goes up from the H'Usher, and the artists,
sympathising with me in my dilemma, obtain a candle and point out the
Bishop to me in their picture. I slip away in search of that face. Its
owner ought to be near his Counsel. The severe Sir Horace Davey sits
writing letters; next him is the affable Dr. Tristram, then the rubicund
Mr. Danckwerts, but no Bishop--in fact, there is no one of public
interest to be seen; probably they have not come, as to-day is to be a
half-holiday. It is now one o'clock, and the Bishops rise to go to the
Levée. I pounce upon Francis Jeune, Q.C., and gasp, "Where, oh, where is
the Bishop of Lincoln? Quick! I want to sketch him before he leaves."
"Oh, he's not here--never comes near the place!"

The play is over for the day. I have seen "Hamlet" with the Prince left

                              CHAPTER IV.


  Drawing--"Hieroglyphics"--Clerical Portraiture--A Commission from
   General Booth--In Search of Truth--Sir Walter Besant--James Payn--Why
   Theodore Hook was Melancholy--"Off with his Head"--Reformers'
   Tree--Happy Thoughts--Christmas Story--Lewis Carroll--The Rev. Charles
   Lutwidge Dodgson--Sir John Tenniel--The Challenge--Seven Years'
   Labour--A Puzzle MS.--Dodgson on Dress--Carroll on Drawing--Sylvie and
   Bruno--A Composite Picture--My Real Models--I am very Eccentric--My
   "Romps"--A Letter from du Maurier--Caldecott--Tableaux--Fine
   Feathers--Models--Fred Barnard--The Haystack--A Wicket Keeper--A Fair
   Sitter--Neighbours--The Post-Office Jumble--Puzzling the
   Postmen--Writing Backwards--A Coincidence.

[Illustration: If]

If I confess as a caricaturist, surely I need not caricature my
confessions by any mock-modesty. Although I have illustrated novels,
short stories, fairy tales, poems, parodies, satires, and _jeux
d'esprit_, for the realistic, the fanciful, the weirdly imaginative and
the broadly humorous, as my _Punch_ colleague, E. T. Milliken, wrote, my
more distinctive, natural and favourite _métier_ is that of graphic art.
This intimate friend, in publishing his "appreciation" of me, put in his
own too highly-coloured opinion of my black and white work in this
direction. I blush to quote it:

    _Reproduced by permission of the proprietors of the "Illustrated
    London News."_]

"And they are in error who imagine Mr. Furniss's powers to be
substantially limited to political satire or Parliamentary caricature.
Much of the work he has already given to the public, and perhaps more of
that which he has not yet published, but of which his chosen familiars
are aware, will prove that in more serious or imaginative work, in
strong, vivid realism as well as in frolic fancy, in landscape as well
as in life, in the picturesque as well as in the humorous, he can
display a notable mastery."

This confession of one of my "chosen familiars" I have the pluck to
reprint, as an answer to those unknown strangers who so frequently write
me down as "a conventional comic draughtsman of funny ill-drawn little
figures." "What shall I call him?" said one; "a master of
hieroglyphics?" Well, if I am commissioned to draw humorous
hieroglyphics, I do my best to master their difficulties. Caricature
pure and simple is not the art I either care for or succeed in
practising as well as I do in my less known more serious and more
finished work. When I joined _Punch_, at the age of twenty-six, I had
had nine-tenths of my time previous to that occupied (ever since I was
fifteen years of age) in drawing far more elaborate and finished work
than would be in keeping in a periodical such as _Punch_. _Punch_
required "funny little figures," and I supplied them; but my _métier_, I
must confess, was work requiring more demand upon direct draughtsmanship
and power. I am a funny man, a caricaturist, by force of circumstances;
an artist, a satirist, and a cartoonist by nature and training. The one
requires technical knowledge--in the other, "drawing doesn't count." The
more amateurish the work, the funnier the public consider it. The
serious confession I have to make is that I have been mistaken for a
caricaturist in the accepted and limited meaning of the term.

"It is the ambition of every low comedian to play Hamlet, that of every
caricaturist to be able to paint a picture which shall be worthy of a
place on the walls of the National Gallery," are my own words on the
platform; but I do not essay to play Hamlet on the platform, nor do I
paint pictures for posterity in my studio. Therefore I do not place
myself in the category of either, for I am neither a low comedian nor
am I strictly and solely a mere caricaturist. This fact is perhaps not
generally known to the public, but it is known to the publishers, and
when a Society Church paper wished to present a series of
supplements--portraits of the leading clergy--I was selected as the
artist. The portrait of Canon Liddon, which is here very much reduced,
is one of these.


And furthermore I received a commission from General Booth, which
unfortunately, through pressure of work, I was unable to undertake, to
make a study of Mrs. Booth, who was at the time on her death-bed,
suffering from cancer, which the General was "exceedingly anxious" to
reproduce and issue to his Army, as he had "never yet been able to
secure a good photograph, although frequent attempts had been made by
eminent London photographers."

I must confirm, a confession I made some years ago to the editor of the
_Magazine of Art_ regarding some of the difficulties with which artists
illustrating books have to contend. In that I questioned whether authors
and artists worked sufficiently together. Few authors are as
conscientious as Dickens was, or, in fact, care to consult with their
illustrators at all. In operatic work the librettist and composer must
work hand in hand. Should not the artist do likewise?

Undoubtedly there are some writers who take great trouble to see their
subject from the artistic standpoint. One sensational writer with whom I
am acquainted will make a complete model in cardboard of his "Haunted
Grange," so as to avoid absurdities in the working out of the tale. The
"Blood-stained Tower" is therefore always in its place, and the
"Assassin's Door" and "Ghost's Window" do not change places, to the
bewilderment of the keen-witted reader. Many writers, on the other hand,
show an extraordinary carelessness, or, shall I say, agility? "Hilarity
Hall" or "Stucco Castle" is supposed to be a firm erection, capable of
withstanding storm, or, if necessary, siege; whereas the artist too
often detects the author turning it inside out and upside down to suit
his convenience, like the mechanical quick-change scenes in our modern
realistic dramas.

It may seem strange, but I have never found over-conscientiousness in
seeking to secure "local colour" meet with the slightest reward. Two
instances among many similar experiences which have fallen to my lot
will serve to show my ground for making this observation.

Those who have read Sir Walter Besant's delightful but little known "All
in a Garden Fair" (it is interesting to know that this was
semi-autobiographical, and that its original title was "All in a Garden
Green") will recollect the minute description of the locality in which
the opening scenes take place. The author and I "talked it over." He
told me the exact spot where the story was laid--a village a good many
miles from London. The next day, provided with exact information, my
wife and I went by train to the station nearest to the village in
question, and then, taking a "trap," went on a voyage of discovery.
First, however, we endeavoured to gain some useful directions from the
proprietor of the hotel where we lunched, but, to our surprise, he knew
of no such village. The driver of our "conveyance" was equally unlearned
concerning the object of our search.

[Illustration: [Handwritten note]]

"Strange," said I, "how these country people ignore all the beauties and
graceful associations that are around them--they don't even know of the
existence of this idyllic village."

Nothing daunted, I undertook to pilot the party to the place, and after
a lovely drive we reached the spot where the village ought to be. Here I
saw a kind of model hotel, and, I think, a shanty of some description;
the rest was an ordinary English landscape. I hardened my heart, and
patiently sketched the building, which, of course, was not there at the
period the story referred to, and some details of the place where a
village only existed in the author's imagination.

When next I saw Sir Walter Besant, he tried to console me with the
assurance that there certainly must have been a village there some
centuries ago!


Besides being a wit and a delightful conversationalist, Sir Walter was
the most practical and businesslike of authors. It was a treat to meet
him, as I frequently did, walking into Town, and enjoy his vivacious
humour. I recollect one morning, speaking of illustrators, mentioning
the fact that Cruikshank always imagined that Dickens had taken "Oliver
Twist," merely endowing it with literary merit here and there, and
palming it off as his own!

"Ah!" said Besant, "how funny! Do you know, I overheard two of my little
girls talking a few mornings ago, and one said to the other, 'Papa does
not write all his stories, you know--Charlie Green helps him.'"

(Green was at the time illustrating Besant's "Chaplain of the Fleet.")

[Illustration: THE "JETTY."]

My second instance occurred about the same period. The author was the
most delightful and entertaining of literary men of our time, Mr. James
Payn. I was selected to illustrate the serial story in the _Illustrated
London News_, and as in that also the author minutely describes the
scene of the semi-historical romance, I, being a thoroughly
conscientious artist, visited James Payn, then editor of _Cornhill_, in
his editorial den in Waterloo Place, to talk the matter over. My notes
were: "Jetty--Lovers meet--Ancient church--Old houses." But the "Jetty"
was _the_ important object--I must get that. I therefore started for the
South Coast. Again I was forced to bow down before my author's
wonderful powers of imagination, for once more, in company with my wife,
with a hireling to carry my sketching stool and materials, I walked a
great distance in search of the jetty. Vain, vain! not a ghost of a
jetty was to be seen. The menial could not enlighten us. At last we
unearthed the "oldest inhabitant," who took us back to where a few
sticks in the water alone marked where it stood "a many years ago." I
tried to develop some of the powers of the late Professor Owen, when he
constructed an animal from the smallest bone, and succeeded in
"evolving" a jetty from the green remains of four wooden posts.

I forgave Payn as I forgave Besant. Both men were as genial as they were
eminent, and but for the circumstances of illustrating their stories I
might not have enjoyed their acquaintanceship. I also illustrated Payn's
most charming story, "The Talk of the Town," for _Cornhill Magazine_. I
never enjoyed any work of the kind so well as this--it has always been
my regret Payn did not write another of the same period. I recollect,
when I first saw him in Waterloo Place, I had just read an article of
his in which he gave a recipe for getting rid of callers, which was to
bring the conversation to an abrupt termination, say absolutely nothing,
but steadfastly stare at your visitor until he left. I can vouch for its
being a simple and effective plan.

            _By permission of the proprietors of "Cornhill Magazine."_]

When I entered his editorial sanctum the genial essayist received me
most cordially, and looked the picture of comfort, surrounded as he was
by a heterogeneous collection of pipes. Presently, through the clouds of
smoke through which he had chatted in that lively, vivacious manner
peculiarly his own, he knocked the ashes out of his finished pipe and
mutely stared point-blank at me till I, like the pipe, went out also.
But before making my exit I reminded him that I had read the article I
refer to, up to which he was no doubt acting, and that I was pleased and
interested that he practised the doctrine he preached. Possibly this
remark of mine was unexpected, and therefore somewhat disconcerted him
for a moment, for he quickly replied, "Not at all! not at all! Fact is,
I was rather upset before you came in by a miserable man who called to
see me, and at the moment I was, _à propos_ of him, thinking of a funny
story about Theodore Hook I came across last night I never heard before.
Poor Hook was at a smart dinner one evening, but instead of being as
usual the life and soul of the party, he proved the wet blanket on the
merry meeting, despite the fact that he, in all probability, had imbibed
his stiff glass of brandy to get him up to his usual form before
entering the house at which he was entertained. This most unusual phase
of Hook's character surprised everybody present, so much so that his
host ventured to remark that the volatile Theodore did not seem so merry
as usual.

"'Merry? I should think not! I should like to see anyone merry who has
gone through what I have this afternoon!'

"'What was that?' asked everyone, with one voice.

"'Well, I'll tell you,' said Hook. 'I have just come up from York in the
stage coach, and I was rather late in taking my seat; the top was
occupied to the full, so I had no alternative but to become an inside
passenger. The only other occupant of the interior was a melancholy
individual rolled up in a corner. He had donned his great-coat, the
collar of which was turned right up over his ears. He stolidly sat
there, never uttering a word, until I became fascinated by his weird
appearance. By-and-by the sun sank below the western horizon, the inside
of the coach became darker and darker, and more ghastly seemed the
cadaverous stranger as the blackness increased. The strain was too much
for me. I could not keep silent another minute.

"'My good sir,' I said, 'whatever is the matter with you?'"

"'I'll tell you,' he slowly muttered. 'Some months ago I invested in two
tickets in a great lottery, but when I told my wife of the speculation I
had indulged in she nagged and nagged at me to such a frightful extent
that at last I sold the tickets.'


"'Well, do you know, sir, to-day those two numbers won the two first
prizes, and those two prizes represent a sum of money of colossal

"'Goodness gracious me!' I shouted. 'If that had happened to me it would
have driven me to desperation! In fact I really believe that I should
have been frantic enough to cut my throat!'

"'Why, that's just what I have done!' replied the stranger, as he turned
down his collar. 'Look here!'"

[Illustration: "THAT'S JUST WHAT I HAVE DONE!"]

This ghastly tale reminds me of one of my earliest and most trying
experiences in illustrating stories. I had made a very careful drawing
to illustrate a startling episode in a novel by Mrs. Henry Wood.
Naturally it was designed on a block, and represented the hero having
just swallowed poison after committing a murder. The face in the drawing
was everything, and I had taken the greatest pains to depict in the
distorted features all the authoress desired--in fact, I was rather
proud of it. The authoress was pleased, and the block was sent to the
engraver. I was then about twenty--photographing a drawing on to wood
was unknown, and process work was not invented--all drawings were made
on boxwood and engraved by hand. To my horror the engraver returned the
block to me a week afterwards with an apologetic note. The face had been
destroyed in the engraver's hands, and he had "plugged the block"--that
is, another piece of wood had been inserted where the hero's head had
been, and whitened over, for me to draw another. The rest of the design
had been engraved. That face gone! How could I conjure it up again on
that unsightly, isolated patch of block, with all the rest of the
drawing engraved and therefore my lines undiscernible? I did my best.
When it was printed it was seen that the face did not fit on the neck
properly, and to my chagrin I received a sarcastic letter from the
editor to inform me that I had made a mistake. The hero had swallowed
poison and had not, as I supposed, cut his head off!


Another illustration of the conscientious illustrator in search of the
truth. I had to introduce the Reformers' Tree, Hyde Park, into a
picture. Now we are always hearing about the Reformers' Tree in
reference to demonstrations in the Park, so I went in search of the
historical stump. The first person to whom I put a question as to its
whereabouts pointed to a huge tree in flourishing condition. I had just
sketched in its upper branches when it somehow occurred to me that it
would be just as well to ask someone else and make assurance doubly
sure. This time I interrogated a policeman.

"No, that ain't it; that there row of hoaks is wot people calls the
Reformers' Tree."

I started another sketch on the strength of this statement, but feeling
a bit dubious over his assertion that the one tree was comprised of a
whole row, I tackled the "oldest inhabitant," an ancient and pensioned
park-keeper, who luckily hove in sight.

"Hover there," he replied, gruffly, pointing to a stump that resembled
the sole remaining molar the old man possessed.

This stump was picturesque. It must be the Reformers' Tree.
Result--another sketch, which I showed to the gatekeeper at the Marble

"Reformers' Tree? Why, there ain't no such thing in the Park." And I
really believe there isn't. It is a myth, and merely exists in the
fertile brain of the descriptive author or the imagination of the

After James Payn's "Talk of the Town" no book has given me such pleasure
to illustrate as F. C. Burnand's "Incompleat Angler." The combination of
the picturesqueness of Isaak Walton with the humour of Burnand could not
be otherwise, but most unfortunately the form of its publication ruined
the effect of the drawings. Over this, too, the author and I talked--no,
not exactly--to be exact we laughed over it. I dined with Burnand, and
afterwards in his study he read it to me, and as he frankly admitted he
never laughed so much at anything before.


The illustrator's difficulties by no means end when the author is
satisfied. Many authors give you every facility, and hamper you with no
impossibilities; but then steps in the editor, especially if he be the
editor of a "goody" magazine. Novels will be novels, and love and lovers
will find their way even into the immaculate pages of our monthly
elevators. I once found it so, and certainly I thought that here was
plain sailing. A tender interview at the garden gate. She "sighed and
looked down as Charles Thorndike took her hand"--unavoidable and not
unacceptable subject. Lovers are all commonplace young men with large
eyes, long legs, and small moustaches (villains' moustaches grow apace);
moreover, lovers, I believe, generally take care to avoid observation;
but no! it appears that "our subscribers" have a stern code which may
not be lightly infringed. A letter from the editor rebukes my worldly

   "DEAR SIR,--Will you kindly give Charles Thorndike a beard, and show
   an aunt or uncle or some chaperon in the distance; the subject and
   treatment is hardly suitable otherwise to our young readers."

Sometimes a publisher steps in and arranges everything, regardless of
all the author and artist may cherish.

Years ago a well-known but not very prosperous publisher sent for me,
and spoke as follows:

"Now, Mr. F., what I want is to knock the B.P. with Christmas. The story
is all blood and murder, but don't mind that--you must supply the
antidote; put in the holly and mistletoe, plenty of snow and
plum-pudding (the story was a seaside one in summer time). I like John
Tenniel's work--give us a bit of him, with a dash of Du Maurier and a
sprinkling of Leech here and there; but none of your Rembrandt
effects--they are too dark, and don't print up well. Never mind what the
author says; he hasn't made it Christmas, so you must!"

It is equally difficult to comply with an editorial request such as
this: "The story I send you is as dull as ditch-water; do please read it
over and illustrate it with lively pictures."

But some authors are their own publishers, and they are then generally
more careful of the illustrations. Perhaps the most exacting of all
authors was "Lewis Carroll."

[Illustration: T]

The name of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson is practically unknown outside of
Oxford University, where he was mathematical lecturer of Christ Church;
but the name and fame of "Lewis Carroll," author of those inimitable
books for children, both young and old, "Alice's Adventures in
Wonderland" and "Through the Looking-glass and what Alice found there,"
are known and beloved all over the world. His first book for children,
"Alice's Adventures," was published at a time exactly to suit me. I was
just eleven--_the_ age to be first impressed by the pen of Carroll and
the pencil of Tenniel.

When I, a little, a very little boy in knickerbockers, first enjoyed the
adventures of Alice and worshipped the pen and the pencil which recorded
them, I little thought I would some day work hand in hand with the
author, and when that day did arrive I regretted that I had not been
born twenty-two years before I had, for for me to follow Tenniel was
quite as difficult and unsatisfactory a task as for Carroll to follow
Carroll. The worst of it was that I was conscious of this, and Lewis
Carroll was not. Fortunately for me Sylvie was not like her prototype
Alice; the illustrations for Sylvie would not have suited Tenniel as
Alice did. I therefore did not fear comparison, but what I did fear was
that Carroll would not be Carroll, and Carroll wasn't--he was Dodgson. I
wish I had illustrated him when he was Carroll; that he was not the
Carroll of "Alice" is plainly indicated in his life in the following
passage:[1] "The publication of 'Sylvie and Bruno' marks an epoch in its
author's life, for it was the publication of all the ideals and
sentiments which he held most dear. It was a book with a definite
purpose; it would be more true to say with several definite purposes.
For this very reason it is not an artistic triumph as the two 'Alice'
books undoubtedly are; it is on a lower literary level, there is no
unity in the story. But from a higher standpoint, that of the Christian
and the philanthropist, the book is the best thing he ever wrote. It is
a noble effort to uphold the right, or what he thought to be the right,
without fear of contempt or unpopularity. The influence which his
earlier books had given him he was determined to use in asserting
neglected truths.

     [1] "The Life and Letters of Lewis Carroll," by Stuart Dodgson
         Collingwood (Fisher Unwin).

"Of course the story has other features--delightful nonsense not
surpassed by anything in 'Wonderland,' childish prattle with all the
charm of reality about it, and pictures which may fairly be said to
rival those of Sir John Tenniel. Had these been all, the book would have
been a great success. As things are, there are probably hundreds of
readers who have been scared by the religious arguments and political
discussions which make up a large part of it, and who have never
discovered that Sylvie is just as entrancing a personage as Alice when
you get to know her."


The character of the book was a bitter disappointment to me. I did not
want to illustrate a book of his with any "purpose" other than the
purpose of delightful amusement, as "Alice" was. Tenniel had point-blank
refused to illustrate another story for Carroll--he was, Tenniel told
me, "impossible"--and Carroll evidently was not satisfied with other
artists he had tried, as he wrote me: "I have a considerable mass of
chaotic materials for a story, but have never had the heart to go to
work to construct the story as a whole, owing to its seeming so hopeless
that I should ever find a suitable artist. Now that _you_ are found,"
etc. That was in 1885, and we worked together for seven years. Tenniel
and other artists declared I would not work with Carroll for seven
weeks! I accepted the challenge, but I, for that purpose, adopted quite
a new method. No artist is more matter-of-fact or businesslike than
myself: to Carroll I was not Hy. F., but someone else, as _he_ was
someone else. I was wilful and erratic, bordering on insanity. We
therefore got on splendidly.

Of course it was most interesting to me to study such a genius at such a
time, and in recording my experiences and impressions of Lewis Carroll
my object is not so much to deal with the actual illustration to those
ill-conceived books "Sylvie and Bruno," but to deal with my impressions
of the man obtained by working with him for so long, for to have known
the man was even as great a treat as to read his books. Lewis Carroll
was as unlike any other man as his books were unlike any other author's
books. It was a relief to meet the pure simple, innocent dreamer of
children, after the selfish commercial mind of most authors. Carroll was
a wit, a gentleman, a bore and an egotist--and, like Hans Andersen, a
spoilt child. It is recorded of Andersen that he actually shed tears,
even in late life, should the cake at tea be handed to anyone before he
chose the largest slice. Carroll was not selfish, but a liberal-minded,
liberal-handed philanthropist, but his egotism was all but second

He informed my wife that she was the most privileged woman in the world,
for she knew the man who knew his (Lewis Carroll's) ideas--that ought to
content her. She must not _see_ a picture or read a line of the MS.; it
was sufficient for her to gaze at me outside of my studio with
admiration and respect, as the only man besides Lewis Carroll himself
with a knowledge of Lewis Carroll's forthcoming work. Furthermore he
sent me an elaborate document to sign committing myself to secrecy. This
I indignantly declined to sign. "My word was as good as my bond," I
said, and, striking an attitude, I hinted that I would "strike,"
inasmuch as I would not work for years isolated from my wife and
friends. I was therefore no doubt looked upon by him as a lunatic. That
was what I wanted. I was allowed to show my wife the drawings, and he
wrote: "For my own part I have shown _none_ of the MS. to anybody; and,
though I have let some special friends see the pictures, I have
uniformly declined to _explain_ them. 'May I ask so-and-so?' they
enquire. 'Certainly!' I reply; "you may _ask_ as many questions as you
like!' That is all they get out of me."

But his egotism carried him still further. He was determined no one
should read his MS. but he and I; so in the dead of night (he sometimes
wrote up to 4 a.m.) he cut his MS. into horizontal strips of four or
five lines, then placed the whole of it in a sack and shook it up;
taking out piece by piece, he pasted the strips down as they happened to
come. The result, in such an MS., dealing with nonsense on one page and
theology on another, was audacious in the extreme, if not absolutely
profane--for example:

  "And I found myself repeating, as I left the Church, the words of Jacob,
  when he '_awaked out of his sleep_,' surely the Lord is in this.

  "And once more those shrill discordant tones rang out:--

               "'He thought he saw a Banker's Clerk
                 Descending from a bus;
               He looked again, and found it was--
                 A Hippopotamus.'"

These incongruous strips were elaborately and mysteriously marked with
numbers and letters and various hieroglyphics, to decipher which would
really have turned my assumed eccentricity into positive madness. I
therefore sent the whole MS. back to him, and again threatened to
strike! This had the desired effect. I then received MS. I could read,
although frequently puzzled by its being mixed up with Euclid and
problems in abstruse mathematics.

I soon discovered that I had undertaken a far more difficult task than I
anticipated, for in the first letter of instructions I received from the
author he frankly acknowledged I had my work "cut out." "Cut out"
suggests dressmaking, the very subject first chosen for discussion and

The extraordinary workings of this unique mind are shown by quotations
from his letters to me:

  "I think I had better explain part of the plot, as to these two--Sylvie
  and Bruno. They are not fairies right through the book--but _children_.
  All these conditions make their _dress_ rather a puzzle. They mustn't
  have _wings_; that is clear. And it must be _quite_ the common dress of
  London life. It should be as fanciful as possible, so as _just_ to be
  presentable in Society. The friends might be able to say 'What
  oddly-dressed children!' but they oughtn't to say 'They are not human!'

  "Now I think you'll say you have 'got your work cut out for you,' to
  invent a suitable dress!"

How I wish I had had those dresses cut out for me! The above
instructions were quickly followed by other suggestions which added to
my already scanty idea of a costume suitable to Kensington Gardens and
to fairyland! I was thinking this difficulty would be lessened if the
story took place in winter, when I received another letter, which I must
frankly confess rather alarmed me:


  "As to the dresses of these children in their fairy state (we shall
  sometimes have them mixing in Society, and supposed to be real children;
  and for _that_ they must, I suppose, be dressed as in ordinary life, but
  _eccentrically_, so as to make a little distinction). I _wish_ I dared
  dispense with _all_ costume; naked children are so perfectly pure and
  lovely, but Mrs. Grundy would be furious--it would never do. Then the
  question is, how little dress will content her? Bare legs and feet we
  _must_ have, at any rate. I so entirely detest that monstrous fashion
  _high heels_ (and in fact have planned an attack on it in this very
  book), that I cannot possibly allow my sweet little heroine to be
  victimised by it."

Another monstrous fashion he condemns refers to a picture of his
grown-up heroine in London Society:

  "Could you cut off those high shoulders from her sleeves? Why should we
  pay any deference to a hideous fashion that will be extinct a year
  hence? Next to the unapproachable ugliness of 'crinoline,' I think these
  high-shouldered sleeves are the worst things invented for ladies in our
  time. Imagine how horrified they would be if one of their daughters were
  _really_ shaped like that!"

I did make a note of a horrified mother with a nineteenth century
malformation, but I did not send it to the author, as it struck me, when
re-reading his letter, he was possibly serious. Still we had Sylvie's
dress, Mrs. Grundy, crinolines, and high heels to discuss:


  "As to your Sylvie I am charmed with your idea of dressing her in
  _white_; it exactly fits my own idea of her; I want her to be a sort of
  embodiment of Purity. So I think that, in Society, she should be wholly
  in white--white frock ('clinging' certainly; I _hate_ crinoline
  fashion): also I _think_ we might venture on making her _fairy_ dress
  transparent. Don't you think we might face Mrs. Grundy to _that_ extent?
  In fact I think Mrs. G. would be fairly content at finding her
  _dressed_, and would not mind whether the material was silk, or muslin,
  or even gauze. One thing more. _Please_ don't give Sylvie high heels!
  They are an abomination to me."

Then for months we corresponded about the face of the Heroine alone. My
difficulty was increased by the fact that the fairy child Sylvie and the
Society grown-up Lady Muriel were one and the same person! So I received
reams of written descriptions and piles of useless photographs intended
to inspire me to draw with a few lines a face embodying his ideal in a
space not larger than a threepenny-piece. By one post I would receive a
batch of photographs of some young lady Lewis Carroll fancied had one
feature, or half a feature, of that ideal he had conjured up in his own
mind as his heroine.


He invited me to visit friends of his, and strangers too, from John o'
Groats to Land's End, so as to collect fragments of faces. _A propos_ of
this I wrote in an artists' magazine a brief account of artists'
difficulties with the too exacting author. (It is quite safe to write
anything about Judges and Dons: they never read anything.) I described
how I received the author's recipe for constructing the ideal heroine. I
am not to take _one_ model for the lady-child or child-lady. I am to
take _several_; for all know no face--at least, no face with expression,
or with plenty of life or good abilities, or when showing depth of
religious thought--is perfect. I am therefore to go to Eastbourne to see
and study the face of Miss Matilda Smith, in a pastry-cook's shop, for
the eyes. I am to visit Eastbourne and eat buns and cakes, gazing the
while into the beauteous eyes of Miss Smith. Then in Glasgow there is a
Miss O'Grady, "with oh, such a perfect nose! Could I run up to Scotland
to make a sketch of it?" A letter of introduction is enclosed, and, as a
precaution, I am enjoined that I "must not mind her squint." But I _do_
mind, and I am sure the blemish would sadly mar my proper judgment of
the lovely feature for gazing on which those eyes have lost their
rectitude. For the ears a journey to Brighton to see Miss Robinson, the
Vicar's daughter, is recommended. No, she may listen, think I, to the
"sad sea-waves," or to her father's sermons, but never to any flattery
from me. The mouth I shall find in Cardiff--not an English or Welsh
mouth, but a sweet Spaniard's Señora Niccolomino, the daughter of a
merchant there. In imagination I picture that cigarette held so lovingly
in those perfect lips. But I am to draw an English heroine of fifteen
innocent summers--how those curly wreaths of pearly smoke would
disenchant my mind of the spell of youth and innocence! For the hair I
must go to Brighton; for the figure to a number of different places. In
fact, my author had mapped out a complete tour for me. Had he never
heard the old story of the artist who was determined to paint a
perfectly correct figure, strictly in accordance with the orthodox rules
of art? As he painted a portion he covered it up, and so went on until
the figure was complete. When it was finished he tore off the covering.
The result was hideous! He went mad! I feel sure that fate would have
been mine had I attempted to carry out Lewis Carroll's instructions. I
therefore worked on my own lines with success. As his biographer states:
"Meanwhile, with much interchange of correspondence between author and
artist, the pictures for the new fairy tale, 'Sylvie and Bruno,' were
being gradually evolved. Each of them was subjected by Lewis Carroll to
the most minute criticism--hypercriticism, perhaps, occasionally." Still
he was enthusiastic in his praise, and absurdly generous in his thanks.
He was jealous that I would not disclose to him who my model was for
Sylvie. When dining with us many a smile played over the features of my
children when he cross-questioned me on this point. Repeatedly he wrote
to me: "How old is your model for Sylvie? And may I have her name and
address?" "My friend Miss E. G. Thomson, an artist great in 'fairies,'
would be glad to know of her, I'm sure," and so on.

The fairy Sylvie was my own daughter! All the children in his books I
illustrated were my own children; yet this fact never struck him! He
visited us in the country when I was at work, and I soon afterwards
received the following letter:

  "Thanks. I was not aware that the boy, whose photo I sent you, had
  far-apart eyes. If you think (and you are _quite_ the best judge of the
  point) that these eyes are needed in order to give to the face the fun
  and roguery I want expressed, by all means retain them.

  "It had occurred to me to write and beg that, if Arundel did not furnish
  all requisite models for drawing from life, you would let all portions
  of pictures which would have to be done without models or wait till you
  return to town, _wait_. But as I think you definitely told me that you
  never do the finished pictures _except_ from life, I presume the
  petition to be superfluous."

When I received this letter at Arundel my second boy was sitting in his
bathing costume on a garden-roller on the lawn for a picture of Bruno
sitting on a dead mouse. I was chaffing my model about flirting with a
young lady he met at a children's garden party, and threatened to inform
his sweetheart in London, when he assured me with knowingness, "Fact is,
papa, the young lady here is all right for the country, you know--but
she would _never_ do in town!"

              (_Never published._)]

It was the same idea as Lewis Carroll's about models.

As I have brought my family into this, I may mention that there is one
picture in "Sylvie and Bruno" (vol. i., p. 134) which brings back to me
the only sorrowful hour I had in connection with the otherwise enjoyable
work. My wife was very ill--so ill it was a question of life and death.
Expert opinion was called in, and the afternoon I had to make that
drawing--with my own children as models--the "consultation" was being
held in my wife's room. Carroll was on his way from Oxford to see the
work, and I was drawing against time. It's the old story of the clown
with the sick wife. Caricaturists are after all but clowns of the
pencil. They must raise a laugh whatever their state of mind may be. For
a long time I never would show Lewis Carroll my work, for the simple
reason I did not do it. He thought I was at work, but I was not. That's
where my acting eccentricity came in. I knew that I would have to draw
the subjects "right off," not one a month or one in six months.
Correspondence for three months, as a rule, led to work for one week.
Isolated verse I did let him have the illustrations for, but not the
body of the book. This was my only chance, and I arrived at this secrecy
by the following bold stroke.

[Illustration: I GO MAD!]

Lewis Carroll came from Oxford one evening, early in the history of the
work, to dine, and afterwards to see a batch of work. He ate little,
drank little, but enjoyed a few glasses of sherry, his favourite wine.
"Now," he said, "for the studio!" I rose and led the way. My wife sat in
astonishment. She knew I had nothing to show. Through the drawing-room,
down the steps of the conservatory to the door of my studio. My hand is
on the handle. Through excitement Lewis Carroll stammers worse than
ever. Now to see the work for his great book! I pause, turn my back to
the closed door, and thus address the astonished Don: "Mr. Dodgson, I am
_very_ eccentric--I cannot help it! Let me explain to you clearly,
before you enter my studio, that my eccentricity sometimes takes a
violent form. If I, in showing my work, discover in your face the
slightest sign that you are not _absolutely_ satisfied with any particle
of this work in progress, the _whole_ of it goes into the fire! It is a
risk: will you accept it, or will you wait till I have the drawings
_quite_ finished and send them to Oxford?"

"I--I--I ap--appreciate your feelings--I--I--should feel the same
myself. I am off to Oxford!" and he went.

[Illustration: Handwritten note]

I sent him drawings as they were finished, and each parcel brought back
a budget of letter-writing, each page being carefully numbered. This is
the top of page 5 in his 49,874th letter. I am not sure if I received
all the remaining 49,873 letters in the seven years. To meet him and to
work for him was to me a great treat. I put up with his
eccentricities--real ones, not sham like mine.--I put up with a great
deal of boredom, for he was a bore at times, and I worked over seven
years with his illustrations, in which the actual working hours would
not have occupied me more than seven weeks, purely out of respect for
his genius. I treated him as a problem, and I solved him, and had he
lived I would probably have still worked with him. He remunerated me
liberally for my work; still, he actually proposed that in addition I
should partake of the profits; his gratitude was overwhelming. "I am
grateful; and I feel sure that if _pictures_ could sell a book 'Sylvie
and Bruno' would sell like wildfire."

Perhaps the most pleasant confession I have to make is my fondness for
children. They always interest and amuse me more than "grown-ups." The
commonplace talk is to them unknown; it is full of surprises.

Perhaps the nursery's record of my family is not longer or any more
interesting than the sayings and doings of the youngsters of any other
family; still a few extracts may interest those who, like myself, are
interested in first impressions.

My eldest, just entering on his teens, had as companions two brothers
and one sister. Hearing there was an addition to this little family
group, he, dressed in flannels, ran into my studio, bat in hand, "Papa,
is it a boy or a girl?"

"A boy."

"Oh, I am so glad. I do want a wicket-keeper, and Dorothy can't
wicket-keep a bit."

[Illustration: "I DO WANT A WICKET-KEEPER!"]

A stoutly-made little fellow of eight, to his mother, who happened to be
extremely thin:

"Oh, mother, I do believe you must be the very sweetest woman in the

"Thanks very much, Lawrence. But why so affectionate? What do you want?"

"I don't want anything. I only know you must be the very sweetest woman
in the world."

"Really, you are too flattering. Why this sudden outburst of affection?"

"Well, you know, I've been thinking over the old, old saying, 'The
nearer the bone the sweeter the meat.'"

Children, I think, have the art of "leading up" to jokes better than
adults. They hear some strange remark, they naturally analyse it, and it
suggests an application. For instance, this brat possibly objected to
some portion of meat at table. His mother had reminded of the old
saying, "The nearer the bone the sweeter the meat." Thin
mother,--there's the application.

One of my youngsters ran into the drawing-room at five o'clock tea. A
lady visitor thus addressed him:

"Come here, my little man. I suppose when you grow up you will be an
artist, like your father?"

"My father is not an artist."

"Oh, my dear, he _is_ an artist."

"Oh, no, no, no, my father is not an artist--he's only a black and white
man. I am going to be an artist in all colours."


My own children have been my models, not only for Lewis Carroll's books,
but for all my drawings of children. I have three boys and one girl.
Dorothy is now a successful artist, and Lawrence is, at the age of
eighteen, a professional draughtsman of mechanical subjects; my youngest
is just out of his teens. Their portraits manifolded will be found in
the page sketch from "Romps" Du Maurier wrote me a most graceful
appreciation of these books, which, considering his delightful pictures
of children in _Punch_, was most gratifying to me.



An artist for whose work I have the greatest admiration was the late
Randolph Caldecott, and the only occasion on which I had the pleasure of
meeting him was of a semi-theatrical kind. It was at one of the
"Artists' Tableaux" which were given in London some years ago. In those
produced in Piccadilly I took no part, and the entertainment to which I
refer was held at the Mansion House. At the last moment, in order to
complete one of the pictures, a portly Dutchman was required, and a
telegram was despatched to me to enquire whether I would represent the
character. A dress, which was not a very good fit, was provided for me
by the costumier of the show, and with the aid of a little padding, a
good deal of rouge, a long clay pipe, and a bottle of schnapps, I
managed to look something like the inflated Hollander I was
representing, in the centre of the group, where I was supposed to be
looking on at a game of bowls. Caldecott, who was placed at a window,
flirting with the maids of the Queen, was attired in a graceful costume
of the most faultless description, surmounted by a magnificent hat with
a sweeping brim and splendid feathers, upon which he had expended no
little pains and money. My head-gear consisted of a very insignificant
stage property hat, but as I was not intended to contribute an element
of beauty to the picture, that didn't matter. The tableau was arranged
by Mr. E. A. Abbey, and when taking his last look round before the
curtain was raised, his artistic eye detected that more black was
required in the centre. While we were thus in our allotted positions,
and straining every nerve to remain perfectly rigid--an ordeal which, by
the way, I never wish to go through again, as I had hard work to
restrain myself from breaking out into a Highland fling or an Irish jig,
or calling out "Boo!" to the audience to relieve my pent-up
feelings--Mr. Abbey suddenly seized the superb hat on Caldecott's head,
which the latter had had specially made, and in which he really fancied
himself, handed it to me, and to Caldecott's horror, and almost before
he was conscious that he had been made ridiculous by the wretched
remnant which had been sent from Bow Street for me, the curtain was rung

I confess I have a certain amount of pity, closely akin to contempt, for
the artist who must have the actual character he wants to paint, who
cannot use a model merely for reference, but paints in everything like a
photograph. Some artists call such feebleness conscientiousness, but to
me it seems mere weakness. Must an author paint each character in his
book, or an actor take his every impersonation on the stage, minutely
from some living model? Surely observation and natural originality is
more than the photographic copying of your "conscientious" artist! Worse
feebleness still it is when an artist has to paint a well-known
character, say King Lear or Mary Queen of Scots, and goes about hunting
for a living person as near as possible in appearance to the original,
and then costumes and slavishly reproduces him or her, without any show
of judgment or insight after the model is once selected. And this lack
of insight into character seems deplorably prevalent among our figure
painters, for how often we see in the exhibitions the model with a "good
head" tamely reproduced over and over again--here as a monk, there as a
Polonius, Thomas à Becket, a "blind beggar," "His Excellency," a
pensioner, or painted by some artist who wants to make a bid for
portraiture as "A portrait of a gentleman"!

Black and white men have to introduce so many characters into their
work, they are obliged to invent them; but it is a curious fact that
this facility disappears at times. The late Mr. Fred Barnard, clever as
he was at inventing character for his black and white work, found, when
he was painting in oil, that confidence had left him, and he spent
several days wandering about London to find real characters for a
picture he was painting representing the jury in "Pilgrim's Progress."
One day in Oxford Street he saw a hansom-cab driver with a face besotted
with drink and "ripe" for production as a slave to Bacchus. Barnard
hailed the hansom, jumped in, and directed the jehu to drive him to his
studio on Haverstock Hill. In going up the Hampstead Road a tram-car ran
over a child. Barnard was terribly upset by the touching sight, and told
the driver to pull up at the nearest tavern. Getting out, he looked at
his "subject," intending to invite him to refreshment before taking him
on to his studio, where he intended to paint him. To his horror the face
of the bibulous cabman had lost all its "colour," and was of a pale
greenish hue.

[Illustration: A TRANSFORMATION.]

"That was horful, sir, warn't it? It'll upset me for a week."

The disappointed artist dismissed his "subject."


Much could be written of this genuine humourist. His buoyant fun was
irrepressible; indoors and out of doors he entertained himself--and
sometimes his friends--with his jokes. In his studio he kept as pets
some little tortoises. They were allowed to crawl about as they liked,
but he had painted on their backs caricatures--a laughing face, a
sour-green face, one with a look of horror, another of mischief. A
visitor seated unaware of these would suddenly spring off the sofa as
the walking mask slowly appeared from underneath it! Barnard's power of
mimicry was great, and his jokes were as excellent as his drawings. Even
when sitting before the camera for his photograph, he had his little


There are a number of girls who go the round of the studios, but have no
right whatever to do so. They generally hunt in pairs, and this habit
surely distinguishes them from the real model. They are more easily
drawn than described. Two of this class once called on Barnard.

"What do you sit for?" he asked.

"Oh, anything, sir."

"Ah, I am a figure man, you are no use to me, but there is a friend of
mine over there who is now painting a landscape--I think you might do
very well for a haystack; and your friend might try studio No. 5 and sit
for a thunder-cloud, the artist there is starting a stormy piece--oh,
good morning." Tableau!

A wretched individual once called upon me and begged me to give him a
sitting. I asked him to sit for what I was at work upon: this was a
wicket-keeper in a cricket match bending over the wicket. I assured the
man he need not apologise, as he had really turned up at an opportune
moment; the drawing was "news," and it had to be finished that day. When
I had shown my model the position and made him understand exactly what I
wanted, I noticed to my surprise that he was trembling all over. I
immediately asked him if he were cold.




"Then why not keep still?"

"Well, that's just what I can't do, sir! I had to give up my occupation
because, sir, I am hafflicted with the palsy, and when I bend I do
tremble so. I only sit for 'ands, sir--for 'ands to portrait painters. I
close 'em for a military gent--I open 'em for a bishop--but when the
hartist is hin a 'urry I know as 'ow to 'ide one 'and in my pocket and
the hother hunder a cocked 'at."

[Illustration: "I SIT FOR 'ANDS, SIR."]

Hiding hands recalls to me a fact I may mention in justice to our modern
English caricaturists. We never make capital out of our subjects'
deformities. This I pointed out at a dinner in Birmingham a few years
ago, at which I was the guest of the evening, and as I was addressing
journalists I mention this fact in justice to myself and my brother
caricaturists. As it happened, that afternoon I had heard Mr. Gladstone
making his first speech in the opening of Parliament, 1886, after being
returned in Opposition. Turning round to his young supporters, he used
for the first time the now famous expression "an old Parliamentary
hand," holding up at the same time a hand on which there were only three
fingers. Now had I drawn that hand as it was, minus the first finger,
showing the black patch? It would have been tempting on the part of a
foreign caricaturist, because it had a curious application under the
circumstances. (But it would be noticed that in my sketch in _Punch_ the
first finger, which really did not exist, is prominently shown.) This
was the first time the fact was made public that Mr. Gladstone had not
the first finger on the left hand; since then, however, all artists,
humorous or serious, were careful to show Mr. Gladstone's left hand as
pointed out by me.

Now I had noticed this for years in the House, and I hold as an argument
that men are not observant the fact that Members who had sat in the
House with Mr. Gladstone, on the same benches, for years, assured me
that they had never noticed his hand before I made this matter public.
So that when I am told that I misrepresent portraits of prominent men I
always point to this fact.

Mr. Gladstone was careful to hide the deformity in his photographs, but
in his usual energetic manner in the House the black patch in place of
the finger was on many occasions in no way concealed.

These are plebeian models, but sometimes artists' friends recommend
amateur models--a broken-down gentleman or some other poor relation--and
when you are drawing social modern subjects, of course these are really
of more use than the badly-dressed professional model.


On "Private View Day" at the Royal Academy a few years ago a knot of
artists and their wives were in one of the rooms; it was late, and few
of the visitors remained. The attention of the artists was attracted by
a stately and beautiful being who entered and went round examining the

"How charming!" remarked one.

"Delightful!" replied another.

"Oh, if she would but sit to me!" prayed a third.

"Why not ask her?" asked the practical one. "If anyone can, you can; so
remember that faint heart never won fair sitter!"

"Well, here goes!" whispered the cavalier, Mr. Val Prinsep, R.A., in the
tone of one about to lead a forlorn hope, and he charged desperately
across the gallery. He approached the fair stranger, and politely taking
off his hat said diffidently:

"Madam, I am one of the Academy. Should you wish to know anything about
the pictures I shall be glad----"

"Oh, thanks. I know a good deal about them."

"Indeed! Then you will understand how we artists are always on the
look-out for beauty to paint--and--ah--hm--well, you see I--that is we"
(pointing to the group) "were so struck with your presence
that--ah--pardon my abruptness--we thought that if such a thing were
possible you might condescend to allow one of us to make a study of your

"Oh, with pleasure," said the fair visitor, taking from her hand-bag a
neat little note-book, and opening it, she said:

"Well, I have only got Sundays and one Wednesday next month
disengaged,--I have got sittings on every other day. Will this be of any
use to you?"

She was a model!

The first house I occupied after I married faced one occupied by a
well-known and worthy fiery-tempered man of letters, and it so happened
that one evening my wife and I were dining at the house of another
neighbour. We were gratified to learn that our celebrated _vis-à-vis_,
hearing we had come to live in the same square, was anxious to make our
acquaintance. On our return home that night we discovered the latch-key
had been forgotten, and unfortunately our knocking and ringing failed to
arouse the domestics. It was not long, however, before we awoke our
neighbours, and a window of the house opposite was violently thrown
open, and language all the stronger by being endowed with literary merit
came from that man of letters, who in the dark was unable to see the
particular neighbours offending him, and he referred to my wife and
myself in a way that could not be passed over. A battle of words ensued
in which I was proved the victor, and my neighbour beat a hasty retreat.
Before retiring I wrote a note to the friend we had just left to say
that in the circumstances I refused to know my neighbour, and he had
better inform him that I would on the first opportunity punch his head.
By the same post I wrote for a particular model,--a retired pugilist. As
soon as he arrived next morning I placed him at the window of my studio
facing the opposite house, now and then sending him down to the front
door to stand on the doorstep to await some imaginary person, and to
keep his eye on the house opposite. I went on with my work in peace.
Presently a note came:

  "DEAR FURNISS,--Your neighbour has sent round to ask me what you are
  like. He has never seen you till this morning, and he is frightened to
  leave his house. He implores me to apologise for him."

He departed from the neighbourhood shortly afterwards.

[Illustration: MY FIGHTING DOUBLE.]

Sad to relate that all Governmental undertakings of an artistic nature,
from our most colossal public building or monument to the design of a
postage stamp, are fair game for ridicule! The outward manifest record
of the Post Office Jubilee--rather the "Post Office Jumble"--was the
envelope and post card published by the Government and sold for one
shilling. The pitiful character of the design, from an artistic point of
view, shocked every person of taste; so I set to work and burlesqued it,
strictly following the lines of the genuine article. A glance at my
envelope alone, therefore, is sufficient to show the wretched quality of
the original. It happened that the postmen's grievances were very
prominent at that time. The Postmaster-General and the trade unionists
and others were at fever heat, and excitement ran high. This
caricature-parody, therefore, was a sketch with a purpose. It was said
at one of the meetings that my pencil "may perhaps touch the public
sympathy in behalf of the postman more effectually than any language has
been able to do." The wretched thing was thought worthy of an article
by Mr. M. H. Spielmann. My skit, it is needless to add, was very popular
with the postmen. They showed their gratitude by saving many a
misdirected letter. A letter addressed "Harry Furniss, London," has
frequently found me, without the loss of a post.


I signed a certain number, which sold at 10_s._ 6_d._ each, and were
bought up principally by the members of the Philatelic Society.

Perhaps the publication of this "Post Office Jumble" card was also the
cause of the puzzled postmen taking the trouble to decipher and deliver
the far more amusing artistic jokes of that irrepressible joker, Mr.
Linley Sambourne. By his permission I here publish a page, a selection
of the envelopes he has sent me from time to time.

It is bad enough purposely to puzzle the overworked
letter-carriers--they are too often tried by unintentional touches of
humour emanating from the most innocent and unsuspected members of the
public--but I confess that I was once the innocent cause of Mr.
Sambourne trying the same thing on with the overworked bank clerk.

SIGNED IT _backwards_, AND IT WAS CANCELLED BY CLERK _backwards_.]

I sent my _Punch_ friend a cheque, here reproduced, for the sum of
5-1/2_d._, payable to "Lynnlay Sam Bourne, Esqre," signed by me
backwards, crossed "Don't you wish you may get it and go." Sambourne
endorsed it "L. Sam. Bourne," and sent it to his bank. The clerk went
one better, and wrote "Cancelled" _backwards_ across my reversed
signature. It passed through my bank, and the money was paid. This is
probably unique in the history of banking.


_A propos_ of writing backwards, in days when artists made their
drawings on wood everything of course had to be reversed, and writing
backwards became quite easy. To this day I can write backwards nearly as
quickly as I write in the ordinary way. One night at supper I was
explaining this, and furthermore told my friends that they themselves
could write backwards--in fact, they could not avoid doing so. Not of
course on the table, as I was doing, but by placing the sheet of paper
against the table underneath, and writing with the point upwards.
Perhaps my reader will try--and see the effect. For encouragement here
are a few of the first attempts on that particular evening.


[Illustration: MR. J. L. TOOLE'S FIRST ATTEMPT.]

[Illustration: MR. J. L. TOOLE'S SECOND ATTEMPT.]

A few years ago a banquet was given at the Mansion House to the
representatives of French art; several English painters and others
interested in art were invited to meet them. Previous to being presented
to the Lord Mayor, every guest was requested to sign an autograph
album--an unusual proceeding, I think, at a City dinner. Were I Lord
Mayor I would compel my guests to sign their names--not on arrival, but
when leaving the Mansion House, and thus possess an autograph album of
erratic graphology, and one worth studying. In company with my friend
Mr. Whitworth Wallis, the curator of the Birmingham Museum and Art
Gallery, I entered the Mansion House, when we were immediately accosted
by a powdered flunkey in gorgeous uniform, in possession of the
autograph album, who presented a truly magnificent pen at us, and in
peremptory tones demanded our life or our signatures. Whitworth Wallis
wrote his first, with a dash and confidence. I stood by and admired.
"Oh," I said, taking the pen, "that's not half a dash; let me show you


Jeames, in taking the pen from me, looked condescendingly over the page,
and with the air of a justice delivering judgment said to me:

"Beaten 'im by hinches, sir. Beaten 'im by hinches!"

Months after that I gave an entertainment one evening at Woolwich. My
audience was principally composed of Arsenal hands. On leaving the
platform I was taken into the Athletic Club rooms, and asked to sign
their autograph book and say a "few words" to the members. The few words
consisted of the "record" I had made in the signing match I had with Mr.
Wallis at the Mansion House--an incident which was brought to my mind
suddenly when I took the pen in my hand. It so happened that Whitworth
Wallis, who is a well-known lecturer on art matters, was on that same
night lecturing in the North of England, and as he left the platform at
the same hour as I at Woolwich, he was, like me, asked to sign an
autograph book, and told the very same story to his friends in the North
as I was telling under exactly similar circumstances, the same evening,
at the same hour, in the South. Neither of us knew that the other was
lecturing that night. It is not by any means a usual thing to be asked
to sign a club album, and Wallis and I had not met or corresponded since
the evening at the Mansion House.

After working many years for the _Illustrated London News_, I became a
contributor to the _Graphic_, and for that journal wrote and illustrated
a series of supplements upon "Life in Parliament"; but from this time
forward it would be difficult to name any illustrated paper with which I
have not at some time or other been connected. For instance, the
_Yorkshire Post_ a few years ago started a halfpenny evening paper, and
sent their manager down to me to ask my honorarium to illustrate the
first few numbers with character sketches of the members of the British
Association, who were holding their meetings that week in Leeds. This
was a happy thought, as the "British Asses," as they are too familiarly
called, sent these first numbers of the paper all over the country; the
new ship had something to start upon, and is now a prosperous concern.
There are various stories about the sum I received for this work. It was
a large sum for England, where enterprise of this kind is very rare. I
was "billed" all over the town as if I were a Patti or Paderewski, and
telegrams were sent to the London papers by the special reporters
announcing the terms upon which I was at work; altogether it was a bit
of Yankee booming that would have made a Harmsworth or a Newnes green
with envy.


                               CHAPTER V.


  What is Caricature?--Interviewing--Catching Caricatures--Pellegrini--The
   "Ha! Ha!"--Black and White _v._ Paint--How to make a
   Caricature--M.P.'s--My System--Mr. Labouchere's Attitude--Do the
   Subjects object?--Colour in Caricature--Caught!--A Pocket
   Caricature--The Danger of the Shirt-cuff--The Danger of a Marble
   Table--Quick Change--Advice to those about to Caricature.

[Illustration: If]

If I am asked what is caricature, how can I define it? Ah, here it is
explained by some great authority--whom I cannot say, for I have it
under the heading of "Cuttings from Colney Hatch," undated, unnamed.
Kindly read it carefully:


"The word itself, 'caricature,' is related etymologically to our own
'cargo,' and means, in all Italian simplicity, a _loading_. So, then,
the finely analytical quality of the Italian intellect, disengaging the
ultimate (material) element out of all the (spiritual) elements of
pictorial distortion and travesty, called it simply a 'loading.' After
all, 'exageration' only substitutes the idea of mound, or _agger_ for
_carica_--the heaping up of a mound--for the common Italian word 'load'
or 'cartload.' One can easily understand how a cold, cynical, and hating
Neapolitan, pushed about by the police for a likeness much too like,
would shrug his shoulders, and say, possibly, the likeness was loaded.
But when we look at the character of the loading, there may be anything
there, from diabolical and malignant spite up to the simplest fun, to
say nothing of the almost impossibility of drawing the real truth, and
the almost necessary tendency to exaggerate one thing and diminish
another. But if the Italian mind, with a head to be chopped off by a
despot for a joke, discovered the colourless and impregnable word
'load,' the French _gamin_, on his own responsibility, hit upon the
identical word in French, namely, 'charge'--_une charge_ meaning both a
pictorial or verbal goak or caricature, and a load. When did the word
'caricature' first obtain in the Italian language, and how? When did the
word 'charge' acquire a similar meaning in France, and was it or not
suggested by the Italian word? But the thing caricature goes back to the
night of ages, and is in its origin connected with the subjective
risible faculty on the one side and the objective tendency to making
faces on the other. Curiously enough, the original German ideas of
caricature appear to have hinged precisely upon the distortion of the
countenance, since _Fratze_, the leading word for caricature, signifies
originally a grimace. Then we have _Posse_, buffoonery (Italian,
_pazzie_), which, without original reference to drawing, would exactly
express many of Mr. ----'s very exquisite drolleries, diving as they do
into the weirdest genius--conceptions of night and of day, of dawn and
of twilight--the mixture of the terrible, the grotesque, the gigantic,
the infinitely little, the animal, the beast, the ethereal, the divinely
loving, the diabolically cynical, the crawling, the high-bred, all in a
universal salmagundi and lobster nightmare, mixing up the loveliest
conceptions with croaking horrors, the eternal aurora with the
everlasting _nitschewo_ of the frozen, blinding steppe. Caricature! What
can we English call it?"

What indeed after this? Except in despair we adopt the child's
well-known definition--"First you think, and then you draw round the
think." I have been more than once asked to deliver a lecture explaining
the process. Of course such an idea is too absurd for serious
consideration. The comic writer cannot give anyone a recipe for making
jokes, nor can a comic actor show you how to grimace so as to make
others laugh in this serious country. We are not taught to look at the
comic side of things--any humorous element may grow, like Topsy,
unaided--nor is the power given to many to explain to others their
inventions. Bessemer, the inventor of the steel bearing his name, when
he first made his discovery was asked to read a paper explaining his
invention to a large meeting of experts. He had his carefully-prepared
notes in front of him, but they only embarrassed him. He struggled to
speak, but failed. Only the weight of the lumps of metal dangling in his
coattail pocket kept him from collapsing. Suddenly he dived his hand
into the pocket and produced a piece of steel, which he thumped on the
table. "Bother the paper! Here is my steel, and I'll tell you how I made
it!" So would it be with a caricaturist. After a struggle he would say,
"Bother words, words, words! Here is a pencil, and here is some paper.
I'll show you how I caricature."

Personally, I have no objection to being caricatured--I frequently make
caricatures of myself. Nor have I any objection to being interviewed--I
interview myself. What else are these pages but interviews? I confess I
fail to see any objection to a legitimate caricature or a legitimate
interview. On the contrary, I look upon interviewing by an experienced
and sympathetic writer as invaluable to a public man who is bringing out
something novel and of interest to the public at large. It certainly
seems to me judicious that he should give his preliminary ideas
regarding it to the public firsthand, instead of allowing them to leak
out in an unauthentic and disfigured form through the fervid
imaginations of irresponsible scribes, leading to much misconception.


But I do object to the incapable, be he an interviewer wielding the
pencil or the pen. To illustrate my meaning I shall take the latter
first. The pen in this case did his work in true professional style. He
came to interview me, and by doing so to "boom" me for a journal which
was about to make a feature of my contributions to its pages. He brought
with him a new note-book of remarkable size; an artist with a portfolio,
pencils, and other artistic necessities; and a photographer! The
interviewer shall describe the scene in his own words.


The interviewer remarked that the readers of the ----"would be very
interested in knowing exactly how the thing (interviewing) was done. How
did the ideas come? How did they take shape? And what was the method of
work? Neither at these nor at any other questions did Mr. Furniss wince.
It must not be forgotten that when he was in America last year he was
interviewed, on an average, once a day; and a man who has passed through
such an experience as that is unlikely to recoil before any ordinary
ordeal; although Mr. Furniss was bound to admit that a combination of
interviewer, artist, and photographer had never before got him into his
grip. The situation would have had its ludicrous side for anybody who
had chanced to peep through the skylight. The spectacle of five men (for
the presence of the indefatigable secretary was an indispensable part of
the proceedings) all solemnly drinking tea, while a deer-hound kept a
wistful eye on the sugar-basin, was unusual, and perhaps a little
grotesque--to all save the participants. Seated at his easel in the
characteristic position represented in our sketch, Mr. Furniss would now
and again ask permission to move his arm towards his cup of tea, and
would then bend back to the make-belief work at which he was posing."
There is a picture of interviewing! Everything so prepared, so studied,
so well described to impress the subscribers of the enterprising
journal. The photographer with a wide angle lens took in all that was in
my studio--to "make-believe," as the camera invariably does, that the
apartment was six times larger than it really is. But the artist, who
_should_ idealise if the photographer could not, who so sadly interfered
with my enjoying my tea, who was sent to make the most of me to raise
the enthusiasm of the readers and to increase the subscriptions,
succeeded in doing with his pencil what no interviewer has done with his
pen,--he made me wince! Here is a reduction of the serious portrait

I have sat down time after time to answer young correspondents'
questions about the "system" to adopt for the production of caricature.
I invariably end by drawing imaginary caricatures of my correspondent
and fail to reply. When interviewed on the subject of caricature, I
discourse on the history of the Pre-Raphaelite movement, and the
technique in the work of Burne-Jones, Rossetti, and Holman Hunt, and
caricature is therefore driven from our minds.

However, the difficulty was solved in a very unexpected manner. One day,
whilst smoking my cigar after lunch, I overheard an interview in my
studio, which I here reproduce.

A Pencil of mine was working away merrily shortly after the opening of
the Session, when suddenly my favourite Pen flew off the writing-table,
where it had been enjoying a quiet forty winks, and alighted on the


"How very awkward you are!" cried the Pencil. "See, you have knocked
against and so agitated me that I have actually given Sir William an
extra chin."

"One more or less does not matter, does it?" rejoined the Pen. "I
apologise, and trust you will make allowances for me, as I am only an
artist's Pen, don't you know, and naturally rather uncouth, I fear."

"Pray take a seat upon the indiarubber, and let me know to what I am
indebted for the honour of this visit."

"Well," continued the Pen, "I have flown over here to remind you of your
promise to confess to me some of the secrets of caricature."

"Ah, yes," replied the Pencil, "I remember now. I have really been so
busy sketching Members of Parliament at St. Stephen's, that I had almost
forgotten my promise."

"A poor Pen is out of place in an artist's studio, except to minister to
the requirements of the autograph hunter. Well, you need not be jealous.
My literary flight is not intended to be a very high one after all. Now
you know more about the secrets of the studio than I do; so tell me, is
it the custom of H. F. to have a regular sitting for a caricature, after
the fashion of the portrait painters?"

"Oh, you are too delightfully innocent altogether," laughed the Pencil,
rubbing its leaden head rapidly on a piece of paper, to sharpen its
point. "A regular sitting! What do _you_ think? No, sir, no,
emphatically never. Such an operation would be fatal to the delicate
constitution of a caricature, and the result would not be worth the
paper upon which it is drawn. It is only in ordinary portraiture that a
sitting is required, and upon that point I have a theory."

"Oh, never mind your theories now, old fellow," rejoined the Pen, as it
took a sip of ink and prepared to chronicle the reply. "What I want to
chat to you about at present is how to catch a caricature."

The Pencil pricked up his ears, and with a knowing wink, said:

"Ah, I see! You want to know secrets. Well, I will tell you 'how it's
done.' The great point about a caricature is that it must be caught
unawares. A man when he thinks he is unobserved struts about gaily, just
for all the world like a hedgehog. All his peculiarities are then as
evident as your cousins the quills upon the back of the fretful
porcupine. But the moment the man or woman who is about to be
caricatured observes H. F. take me in hand, I always notice that he
shrivels up and collapses as quickly as one of the insectivora surprised
at his feast. But wait a moment: now you ask me, I do recollect one
unfortunate man who, despite H. F.'s protest, insisted upon coming here
once to sit for a caricature. He looked the picture of misery, and sat
in the chair there, just as if he were at a dentist's. H. F. made a most
flattering portrait. Indeed, so much too handsome was it that I could
hardly follow the workings of his fingers, I was laughing so."

"'Oh, what a relief!' cried the sitter, when H. F. showed him the
drawing. 'You have certainly made a pretty guy of me, but, thank heaven,
I am not thin-skinned.'

"'Only thick-headed,' muttered H. F. _sotto voce_ to me as he continued
to chat with the sitter.

"No sooner had he left the studio than the 'study' was in the fire, and
the caricature which afterwards came from the Furniss was drawn entirely
from memory.

"The artist is in more evil case when he has absolutely no chance
whatever of making the slightest memorandum, for he must trust to memory
alone," remarked the Pencil.

"Yet Pellegrini boasted that he always trusted to memory," said the Pen.

"I know he did," replied the Pencil, "and more than once chaffed H. F.
for bringing me out. H. F., I know, has the greatest admiration for most
of Pellegrini's work, but thinks that 'Ape' certainly had the failing
common to all Italian caricaturists of being cruel rather than funny. I
may mention too, here, an incident for the truth of which H. F. can
vouch, and which illustrates another weakness of the inhabitants of the
Sunny South. When the poor fellow was ill a friend of his one day set to
work to put his room in order, and in moving a screen was surprised to
find behind it a number of soiled shirts. He began to count them over
with a view to sending them to the laundry, when Pellegrini starting up
exclaimed, 'You fellow! you leave my shirts there, or I am a ruined man.
Don't you see they are my "shtock in drade"?' And sure enough upon the
huge familiar linen cuffs were numerous notes in pencil--sketches, in
fact, from life for coming caricatures. Now, when H. F. intends to trust
entirely to memory, I often find that he makes a note in writing after
this fashion: 'Like So-and-so, with a difference,'--and the difference
is noted. Or 'Think of an animal, a bird, or a fish, and to that add
So-and-so, and subtract So-and-so,' and this results in a portrait. For
instance, if he saw a man like this, I should not be surprised by his
writing a single word as 'Penguin' for his guidance, and so on."

[Illustration: "PENGUIN."]

"The old caricaturists, I suppose, had a decided advantage over the
moderns in having artistic costumes to depict?" asked the Pen.

"Of course," replied the Pencil. "Even up to the time of Seymour the
tailor made the man, and was, therefore, largely responsible for the
caricature. You have only to see Mr. Brown in the ordinary attire of
to-day and also in Court dress to appreciate this, and sympathise with


[Illustration: COURT DRESS.]

"Now here is another point," continued the Pen, "upon which you can
throw some light, old fellow. I have often seen letters on the
writing-table from people asking H. F. for his recipe for the making of
caricatures. I invariably scribble the same reply, 'Find out the chief
points and exaggerate them.' Not satisfied with this, some have asked
him to explain his _modus operandi_." "I recollect an instance," replied
the Pencil. "It was in the studio here. An interviewer called, and asked
H. F. to explain the art of caricature. So he took down a volume of
portraits from the book-shelves, and opened it at this one. You see it
is the head of a man who should be universally respected by us of the
grey goose fraternity. 'Well, you see there is not much to caricature,'
said H. F.; 'it is simply the portrait of a kindly, intellectual-looking
man, the late Chief Librarian of the British Museum, I remember well,"
continued the Pencil, brightening up, "H. F. took me in hand, and
telling me to knock over the forehead, keep in the eyes, pull the nose,
and wipe off the chin, produced a caricature 'on the spot.'"


"I suppose sometimes you find caricatures ready-made, Mr. Pencil?"
continued the Pen.

[Illustration: A CARICATURE.]

[Illustration: _NOT_ A CARICATURE.]

"Of course we do," replied the Pencil. "Nature will have her joke
sometimes, nor can we blame her, for it is only by reason of contrast
that we admire the beautiful. _A propos_ of this, my dear Pen, I may
tell you that in county Wexford, in Ireland, there is a certain very
beautiful estate, round which runs a carefully-built wall. At a
particular point the regularity ceases, and the wall runs on,
constructed in every conceivable style, and contrary to all the canons
of masonry. There is a legend that the owner of the estate, tired of the
monotonous appearance of the wall, ordered that a certain space should
be left in it which should be filled up with a barrier as irregular in
construction as possible. This was done, and that portion of the wall is
called the 'Ha-ha!' because so funny does it look that everyone who
passes is observed to laugh. Now is it not much the same in Nature? A
world full of Venuses and Adonises would soon pall. So now and then we
find a human 'Ha-ha!' interspersed among them. In that case, I say, the
caricaturist's work is already done. He has simply to copy Nature. Yet
there are some who actually find fault with H. F. for doing that very
thing, saying that his pencil (that's me) is 'unkind,' 'cruel,' 'gross,'
and so on. There are many M.P.'s whom he habitually draws without the
slightest exaggeration, notwithstanding which, Mr. Pen, there are
members of your calling who do not scruple to inform the world that in
drawing the Parliamentary 'Ha-ha!' as he is, H. F. is libelling him.
There is one M.P. in particular---- No, I shall not give his name or
show his portrait. I believe him to be very clever, very interesting,
undeniably a great man, and extremely vain of his personal appearance.
But he is built contrary to all the laws of Nature, and if H. F. draws
him as he is, he is accused of libelling him. If he improves him, no one
knows him. Oh, Mr. Pen, you may take it from me that the lot of the
caricaturist is not a happy one."

"For the matter of that," put in the Pen, "neither is the painter's. You
know Gay's lines:

              "So very like, a painter drew,
              That every eye the picture knew,
              He hit complexion, feature, air,
              So just, the life itself was there.
              He gave each muscle all its strength,
              The mouth, the chin, the nose's length,
              His honest pencil touched with truth,
              And marked the date of age and youth.
              He lost his friends, his practice failed,--
              Truth should not always be revealed."

But Gay did not live in the days of Sargent!"

"We are getting on nicely," said the Pen. "Now answer a question which
is often put to me--viz., why caricaturists eschew paint?"

"Because," replied the Pencil, "people often seem to forget that in the
present day, when events follow each other in quick succession, a
subject becomes stale almost before the traditional nine days' interest
in it has expired--that paint is no longer the medium by which a
caricaturist can possibly express his thoughts. Of course, I am not
referring to mere tinting, such as that in which the old caricaturists
had their drawings reproduced, but to colouring in oils, after the
manner of the great satirist Hogarth. Some may remember H. F.'s
caricature in _Punch_ of the late Serjeant-at-Arms, Captain Gosset, as a
black-beetle. Now, had he painted a full-length portrait of him, and
sent it elaborately framed to the Royal Academy, it would not only have
taken him very much longer to execute, but the Captain would not have
looked a whit more like a black-beetle than he did in black and white in
the pages of _Punch_.

"It must be remembered, also, that in caricature everything depends upon
contrast. For instance, in a Parliamentary sketch he can easily make Sir
William Harcourt inflate himself to such an extent that he occupies a
good third of the picture, but were he to paint a portrait of him of
similar proportions it would be necessary to take the roof off
Burlington House and bring over the Eiffel Tower to which to hang the
enormous frame that would be requisite. Moreover, there would be an
additional disadvantage, for it would be impossible to take in the whole
figure at once, and it would be necessary to mount the first platform at
least to obtain a peep at even the lowest of the series of chins which
distinguishes the descendant of kings. However, it is just on the cards
that some day he may open a Parliamentary Portrait Gallery, and then I
can promise that Sir William will have justice done to him at last.
Sixteen yards of 'Historicus' would assuredly be enough to draw the
town. But, in point of fact, it would be just as reasonable to ask an
actor why he is not an opera singer as well, or to ask an opera singer
why he does not dispense with the music and play in legitimate tragedy,
as to enquire of a modern caricaturist why he does not work in colours."

The Pencil, after the delivery of this discourse, rolled over to the
barber-knife, who trimmed him up.

"There are some people," continued the Pen, "who object to be sketched
in any shape or form. I recollect an editor once challenging H. F. to
get a sketch of an interesting man who had defied photographers and
artists alike, and absolutely refused to have his portrait taken. You
will find a paragraph about this in press-cutting book, marked 'Pritt.'
Just read it when I'm being attended to."

  "Mr. Pritt, Leeds, is reckoned chief of the Yorkshire anglers. 'A
  striking peculiarity with him,' a Yorkshire correspondent says, 'is that
  he never will sit for his likeness. Mr. Harry Furniss, however, the
  well-known artist of _Punch_, during his recent visit to Leeds, on the
  occasion of the meeting of the British Association, managed to 'take'
  Mr. Pritt; and the portrait, drawn in characteristic style, appears in
  the _Yorkshire Weekly_ under the heading 'Caught at Last'."

"Yes, that's it. H. F. was invited to dine by this curious and clever

"'Delighted to see you, Mr. Furniss; but _one_ thing I must ask you to
understand _at once_--I'm not going to be sketched.'

"'I assure you,' he said, 'I shall not sketch you unless you are well
aware I am drawing you, and, in fact, willingly give me assistance.'

"'That's very good of you. Now I am happy. I have made up my mind I
shall never allow my face to be drawn or photographed, and once I make
up my mind nothing in the world will move me.'

"'Indeed!' he replied. 'But, pardon me, you have not always had that
antipathy. I am looking at a photograph of you hanging on the wall
there, taken when you were a baby.'

"'Oh, ah! Do you detect that? No one knows it to be me. Of course, I was
not accountable for my actions at that age.'

"'Ah, how you have altered! Dear me! why, your nose is not that shape
now. Here it is Roman; you have a sort of----'

"'Have a--what, eh?'

"'Have you a pencil?' (Taking me out.) 'This will do. Now, your nose is
like that.'

"'Is it? But my mouth is the same, isn't it?'

"'Not quite--I will show you.'

"'Of course, my chin isn't as round?'

"'Oh, no! It's more like this. And you have less hair--see here.'

"'Dear me! Of course, one can see who this is. This astonishes me.'

"Someone else coming in at that moment, he quickly pocketed the sketch
and me, and, much to his host's chagrin, it was duly published as a
portrait of the gentleman from a 'special sitting'--'Caught at Last.'


"This reminds me, by the way, of a portrait which H. F. once drew of the
author of 'Happy Thoughts' as a frontispiece to a new edition of that
humorous book of books. Our guv'nor's first effort at this portrait was
distinctly a failure, and no wonder, for the moment I was produced the
editor of _Punch_ turned his back upon us, and, with the greatest
vigour, commenced writing at his table. Not being so intimate then with
Mr. Burnand as we subsequently became, both I and the guv'nor thought
him peculiar. But after a considerable time the editorial chair was
wheeled round, and with a smile its genial occupant said calmly, 'Well,
let me see the result.'

"'The result is _nil_ at present,' replied H. F., 'for I have not yet
caught a glimpse of your face.'

"Mr. Burnand looked surprised. 'Dear me!' he said; 'I thought you were
making a study of me at work, you know.'

"'All I could see was the back of your head in silhouette. There
now--sit just as you are, please. That's exactly the pose and expression
which I want to catch. Thanks!' cried the guv'nor, as he rapidly set to
work, when suddenly all cheerfulness vanished from Mr. Burnand's
countenance, as with a horrified look he pointed to the table by my
side, where lay the sketching materials.

"'What's that?' he cried, dismayed.

"'Oh, a lump of bread, useful in touching up high lights,' said H. F.

"'You don't say so! The sight of it quite upset me. I really thought you
had brought your supper with you, and intended to work from me all
night. I shall never recover my natural expression this evening, so
please call again.' And as H. F. closed his sketch-book, the following
brief colloquy took place:

"The editor of 'Happy Thoughts': 'Caught anything?'

"H. F.: 'No.'

"The editor: 'Good evening!'

"And the door closed.


"Frequently a subject has posed for H. F. without being aware of the
fact that he was making a sketch. For instance, in his happy hunting
ground--Parliament--Brown, M.P., say, comes up to him in the Lobby: 'Ha!
I see you are up to mischief--taking someone off.'

"H. F. gives a knowing look, and points to Jones.

"'Ha! ha! I see. I'll talk to him. Ha! ha! and I'll look out for the
caricature. Don't be too hard on poor Jones!'

"'Thanks, awfully,' replies H. F. He makes a rapid sketch, nods to Brown
as much as to say, 'That'll do,' smiles, and walks off. He has of course
never troubled about Jones at all; it's Brown he has been sketching all
the time.

"It is utterly absurd to imagine you can escape from the caricaturist.

"H. F. trained himself to make sketches with his hand in his pocket, and
worked away with me and his book--or rather cards, which he had
specially for the purpose--whilst looking straight into the face of his
victim. He manages in this way to sketch people sitting opposite to him
in the train, and sometimes when talking to them all the time.

"You know that without special permission from the Lord High Great
Chamberlain no stranger is allowed to pass the door of the English House
of Lords, even when it is empty; but when the precious Peers are
sitting, the difficulty of making a sketch is too great for description.
You are not allowed to sit down, speak, smile, sneeze, or sketch. H. F.
once produced me in the House of Lords. Had he drawn a sword instead of
a pencil he could not have created greater consternation. Explanation
was useless. The officials knew that he was only for 'takkin' notes' for
_Punch_, but the vision of a pencil produced an effect upon them the
same as if they had caught sight of an infernal machine. But necessity
is the mother of invention. It was then he hit upon the plan I have just
told you about. He draws in his pocket. Keeping the card against his
leg, he sketches quite easily. A pocket Hercules is an oft enough
heard-of individual--so why not a pocket artist?

[Illustration: SKETCH ON A SHIRT-CUFF.]

"Previous to this he used to make a rapid note on his shirt-cuff; but
that is a dangerous practice. Wives might resent the face if it were too
pretty, and your washerwoman might recognise a Member of Parliament as
her intimate friend. The incident which cured him of using his
shirt-cuff for sketching happened at a large dinner, where he was
introduced to the wife of a well-known public man, who soon showed she
was not altogether pleased by the introduction, and truly at the moment
he had forgotten that he had made a sketch of the lady on his
shirt-cuff, which he did not take sufficient care to conceal.


"I recollect once on the terrace of the House of Commons he was
sketching a lady of foreign extraction, the wife of a gentleman
well-known to the Irish Party, with a profile something like this. I
made the sketch, unfortunately, on the marble tea-table. When H. F.'s
friends were leaving, he found he could not rub this off the table, and
what embarrassed him more was the fact that some Irish Members were
bearing down to take possession of the table as soon as we left. I had a
rapid vision of our guv'nor floating in the Thames, being hurled over by
the infuriated Members from the Emerald Isle; so I quickly transformed
the lady into something resembling a popular Member of Parliament at the
time, and, as we were leaving, I overheard an Irish Member say, 'Bedad!
and Furniss has been dhrawin' that owld beauty, Mundella!'

[Illustration: "MUNDELLA."]

"Have you anything new?" asked the Pen. "May I look? I know that St.
Stephen's is your happy hunting ground."

"Ah, yes," responded the Pencil, "I know it well. But I can tell you it
is not altogether a bed of roses. When we come across Members who have
taken liberties with their personal appearance during the recess, H. F.
and I resent it, I can tell you."

"Naturally," observed the Pen in a voice of the utmost sympathy, "for it
means more work."

"Of course," continued the Pencil. "Now I have always held that model M.
P.'s have no right to alter. They are the property of the political
caricaturist, and what on earth is to become of him if the bearded men
begin to shave and the smooth-faced to disguise themselves in
'mutton-chops' or 'Dundrearys'? Yet they _will_ do it. We may draw them
in their new guise, but the public won't have them at any price. They
want their old favourites, and if they miss a well-known 'Imperial,' a
moustache, a pair of dyed whiskers, or other such hall-mark in the
picture, or on the other hand find a set of familiar chins concealed
beneath an incipient Newgate fringe, a nose and chin which have been
accustomed to meet for many a long year suddenly divided by the
intrusion of a bristly moustache, or a delightfully asinine expression
lost under the influence of a pair of bushy side-whiskers, recognition
becomes impossible and the caricature falls flat. The fact is, my friend
Pen, it is not only their features, but their characteristic attitudes
which we make familiar, and their political differences cause the
artistic effect. To me it is marvellous to note how differently artists
draw the same head. Expression of course varies, but the construction of
the head must always remain the same. Yet I have seen no less a head
than that of Mr. Gladstone so altered in appearance in the work of
different artists that I have been forcibly reminded of the old story of
St. Peter's skull. A tourist travelling in Italy was shown a cranium at
Rome which he was assured was the veritable relic. In Florence he was
shown another, and somewhere else he was shown a third. Upon his
remonstrating the guide observed, 'It is quite right, sir: the skull you
saw at Rome was that of St. Peter when he was a boy; that at Florence
was his when he was a young man, and this was his skull when he died.'

"Then again, familiarity with the subject is only arrived at by
continually watching and sketching a Member. A few years ago I was lying
down in my berth in the sketch-book which was in H. F.'s pocket, when I
overheard a conversation between him and Mr. Labouchere upon
Parliamentary portraits."

"What did H. F. say about them?" asked the Pen. "He ought to know the
alphabet of Parliamentary portraiture at all events by this time."

"You're right," nodded the Pencil. "He's drawn a few thousand of them in
his time. What did H. F. say? Well, he told Labouchere that he always
created a type for each Member, and to that he adheres."

"'Yes,' said the Sage, late of Queen Anne's Gate, 'and when the original
turns up, those who derive their impression of a Member from your
sketches are disappointed if the two do not exactly tally.'"

"But surely our guv'nor does not sketch direct from life?" asked the
Pen, amazed.

"Of course he does," indignantly replied the Pencil. "He whips me out of
my bed at all times, but as he pointed out to the Member for Northampton
(see how Parliamentary I am getting), it would never do invariably to
sketch a man as you see him. 'For instance,' went on H. F. addressing
him, 'I made a sketch of you, Mr. Labouchere, in the corridor of the
House of Commons, kneeling on a seat, and had I never seen you before, I
should have no doubt used this as a characteristic instead of an
accidental attitude of yours.'

"Just fancy what you would have written, my dear Pen, if you had seen in
_Punch_ one of H. F.'s portraits of Lord Hartington with his hat upon
the back of his head instead of over his eyes, or Mr. Gladstone depicted
with a Shakespeare collar, or Mr. Cyril Flower without one, or Mr.
Arnold Morley smiling, or Mr. Balfour looking cross, or Mr. Broadhurst
in evening dress, or Mr. Chamberlain without an orchid in the
button-hole of his coat! Yet I venture to say the time has been when Mr.
Chamberlain may have had to rush down to the House orchidless, and when
Mr. Broadhurst may have worn evening dress. Stranger things than that
have happened, I can tell you. I have actually seen the irrepressible
smile vanish from the face of Mr. John Morley. But never--no, never,
will I believe that the ex-Chief Liberal Whip has ever looked jovial,
that Mr. Gladstone and Mr. Cyril Flower ever exchanged collars, or that
Lord Hartington ever wore his hat at the back of his head.

[Illustration: MR. LABOUCHERE.]

"On the other hand, my dear Pen, you know as well as I do that Lord
Randolph Churchill did not wear imitation G.O.M. collars, that Mr.
Herbert Gladstone is no longer in his teens, that Mr. Gladstone was not
always so wild-looking as H. F. usually represented him, and that
perhaps Sir William Harcourt is not simply an elephantine mass of

"Then why did he draw them so?" enquired the Pen.

"Ah! that is the secret of the caricaturist," laughed the Pencil. "There
is something more in politicians, you know, than meets the eye, and the
caricaturist tries to record it. You're so captious, my dear Pen. It is
not given to everyone to see a portrait properly, however true it may
be. Some folks there are who are colour-blind. There are others who are
portrait-blind. Others again are blind to the humorous. An old M.P.
came up to H. F. one day in the Lobby of the House of Commons when a new
Parliament had assembled for the first time, and said to him, 'Well, you
have a rich harvest for your pencil (that was me). I never saw such odd
specimens of humanity assembled together before.'

[Illustration: THE M.P. REAL AND IDEAL.]

"'That may be so,' replied H. F., 'but mark my words, after a session or
two, my comic sketches of the Members--for which, by the way, the
specimens you are looking at are merely notes, and which you are now
good enough to call faithful portraits--will become so familiar to you
that they will cease to amuse you. And you may even come to pronounce
them gross libels. In other words, you will find that their frequent
repetition will rob them in your eyes of their comic character
altogether, just as in the case with the attendants at the Zoo, on whose
faces you will fail to detect the ghost of a smile at the most
outrageous pranks of the monkeys, although you shall see everyone else
in the place convulsed with laughter.'"

"But surely, Mr. Pencil," argued the Pen, "you lose friends by
caricaturing them?"

"Not those who are worthy of friendship," replied the Pencil, with a
solemn air. "And those who cannot take a joke are not worthy of it. H.
F. is not a portrait painter. It makes the lead turn in my case to
witness the snobbishness which exists nowadays among certain
thin-skinned artists and writers. The Society grub has eaten the heart
out of all true artistic ambitions. An honest satirist has no chance
nowadays. He must not draw what he sees, or write what he really thinks
about it. Pleasing wishy-washiness is idolised, whilst Hogarth is voted
coarse. Great Scott! How this age of cigarettes and lemon squash would
have stirred the pulse and nerved the brush of the greatest of English

[Illustration: THE PHOTO. AS HE REALLY IS.]

Then as the Pencil wiped away a tear of regret for the decadence of
English satirical art the Pen jotted down the following lines culled
from the old tomb-stone at Chiswick:

                "If Genius fire thee Stranger stay,
                If Nature touch thee, drop a tear.
                If neither move thee, turn away,
                For Hogarth's honoured dust lies here."

"When he has not seen a Member, and has no reference to go by, how does
he manage?"

"He does not find photography of much use. Sometimes, if he has to draw
a man for some special reason, and has not seen him, a photograph is, of
course, the only means possible; then he generally gets a letter
something like this:

  "'Dear Sir,--I enclose you a photograph of myself, the only one I
  possess. It belongs to my wife, and she has reluctantly lent it, and
  trusts you will take every care of it and return it at once. It was
  taken on our wedding trip. I may mention that I have less hair at the
  top of my head and more on my face, and I may seem to some a trifle

"Well, here, you see, H. F. has to use his judgment.

"But to my surprise H. F. received a visit from the original of the
photograph shortly after his sketch was published, who came to inform
the guv'nor that no one could possibly recognise him in the sketch; and
when I saw him in the flesh I quite believed him. You can judge from the
sketch how useful the photograph was.

"The second appearance of the new and ambitious M.P. in the pages of
_Punch_ did not satisfy the legislator either. It was not his face he
took exception to, but his boots, like Mr. Goldfinch in 'A Pair of
Spectacles.' He lost faith in his bootmaker, squeezed his extremities
into patent leather shoes of the most approved and uncomfortable make,
and hobbled through the Lobbies doing penance at the shrine of
caricature. A caricature, you see, does not depend upon the face alone.

"One of H. F.'s earliest Parliamentary caricatures was a sketch of Mr.
Henry Broadhurst, the deservedly popular representative of the working
classes. He was Member for Stoke when the sketch was made. There is no
affectation about him. Neither the skin that covers his solid frame nor
that which encases his active feet is thin. His figure is one of the
best known and most characteristic in Parliament. Who is not familiar
with the round, determined little head, with the short cropped hair, the
square-cut beard, the shrewd expression, the genial smile, the short
jacket, the horsey trousers, the round hat, and the thick boots? The
figure often appeared in Mr. Punch's Parliamentary Portrait Gallery.
When our friend the late William Woodall introduced his fellow-candidate
to the electors of Stoke a voice cried out, 'We know 'im! we know 'im!
We've seen 'is boots in _Punch!_'

"No one can deny that the potters of Staffordshire are an artistic

"The late chief proprietor of the leading paper had the largest feet
ever seen in the House of Commons, and a certain noble lord whose name
will ever be connected with Majuba carries off the palm for the largest
in the Upper House. The new Member for ---- will, in due course, owe his
Parliamentary fame to the extraordinary heels of his boots, if nothing
else, just as the late Lord Hardwicke's reputation was due to the
mysterious shine of his hat.

"But, judging from the illustrated papers, M.P.'s all wear spats, new
trousers every day (for they never have a crease), the most
beautifully-fitting coats, and white hats with black bands round them.
Why are they drawn so?" asked the Pen.

"Excuse the familiar vulgar rejoinder--Ask me another."

"I hear it said that you never caricature women."

"What rot! Have I not worked in illustrating the Members of the Houses
of Parliament for years, to say nothing of Judges and--their wives?"

"I mean young women."

"Oh, really I have no time to answer these questions; here are a bundle
of my unpublished caricatures; take them and be off."

                              CHAPTER VI.


  Gladstone and Disraeli--A Contrast--An unauthenticated Incident--Lord
   Beaconsfield's last Visit to the House of Commons--My Serious
   Sketch--Historical--Mr. Gladstone--His Portraits--What he thought of
   the Artists--Sir J. E. Millais--Frank Holl--The Despatch
   Boxes--Impressions--Disraeli--Dan O'Connell--Procedure--American
   Wit--Toys--Wine--Pressure--Sandwich Soirée--The G.O.M. dines with
   "Toby, M.P."--Walking--Quivering--My Desk--An Interview--Political
   Caricaturists--Signature in Sycamore--Scenes in the Commons--Joseph
   Gillis Biggar--My Double--Scenes--Divisions--Puck--Sir R.
   Temple--Charles Stewart Parnell--A Study--Quick Changes--His Fall--Room
   15--The last Time I saw him--Lord Randolph Churchill--His Youth--His
   Height--His Fickleness--His Hair--His Health--His Fall--Lord
   Iddesleigh--Sir Stafford and Mr. Gladstone--Bradlaugh--His Youth--His
   Parents--His Tactics--His Fight--His Extinction--John Bright--Jacob
   Bright--Sir Isaac Holden--Lord Derby--A Political Prophecy--A Lucky
   Guess--My Confession in the _Times_--The Joke that Failed--The
   Seer--Fair Play--I deny being a Conservative--I am



  1. Dr. Tanner
  2. Rt. Hon. A. Akers-Douglas
  3. Lord A. Hill
  4. G. Cavendish-Bentinck
  5. J. A. Pinton
  6. Sir W. H. Houldaworth
  7. Sir Albert K. Rollit
  8. Rt. Hon. H. Chaplin
  9. Sir E. Waskin
  10. T. W. Rusell
  11. Rt. Hon. C. B. Spencer
  12. Christopher Sykes
  13. Lord Halabury
  14. H. Lubouchere
  15. T. Sexton
  16. Sir R. H. Fowler
  17. Earl Spencer
  18. Rt. Hon. J. Chamberlain
  19. Admiral Field
  20. Sir Frank Lockwood
  21. Rt. Hon J. B. Balfour
  22. Wm. Woodall
  23. F. Ashmead Bartlett
  24. Baden-Powell
  25. Sir T. W. Maclure
  26. Marquis of Hartington (Duke of Devonshire)
  27. Sir R. Temple
  28.  }
  29.  } Press
  30.  }
  31.  }
  32. H. W. Lucy (_Toby M.P._).
  33. Rt. Hon. John Morley
  34. Lord Randolph Churchill
  35. Press (_Times_)
  36.  "    "
  37. J. Henniker Heaton
  38. James A. Jacoby
  39. Sir H. H. Howorth
  40. P. Power
  41. C. S. Parnell]

Some years before Mr. Disraeli quitted the House of Commons upon his
elevation to the Peerage, I enjoyed witnessing a very remarkable
encounter between him and Mr. Gladstone. It was one of those passage
of arms, or to be more correct I should say, perhaps, of words, which in
the days of their Parliamentary youth were so frequent between the great
political rivals; and although I am unable to recall the particular
subject of the debate, or the exact date of its occurrence, I well
remember that Mr. Gladstone had launched a tremendous attack against his
opponent. However, notwithstanding the fact that from the outset of his
speech it was evident that Mr. Gladstone meant war to the knife, that as
it proceeded he waxed more and more hostile, and that his peroration was
couched in the most vehement terms, Disraeli remained to the finish as
if utterly unmoved, sitting in his customary attitude as though he were
asleep, with his arms hanging listlessly at his sides. Once only during
the progress of the attack he appeared to wake up, when, taking his
single eye-glass, which he usually kept in a pocket of his waistcoat,
between his finger and thumb, he calmly surveyed the House as if to
satisfy himself how it was composed, just as an experienced cricketer
eyes the field before batting, in order to see how the enemy are
placed. Then, having taken stock of those present, the eye-glass was
replaced in his pocket, and to all appearance he once more subsided into
a tranquil slumber. But this was only a feint, for the very instant that
Mr. Gladstone sat down up jumped Disraeli. The contrast between his
method and that of Mr. Gladstone was very noticeable. Placing one hand
artistically upon the box in front of him, and the other under his coat
tails, he commenced to speak, and in the calmest manner possible,
although with the most telling and polished satire, he aimed dart after
dart across the table at Mr. Gladstone. As he proceeded to traverse the
speech of his distinguished opponent with the most perfect and effective
skill, it soon became evident that in reality he had slept with one eye
open. With masterly tact, he had reserved the principal point in his
reply to the end, and then, bringing his full force to bear upon it, the
conclusion of his speech told with redoubled effect.


Whilst upon the subject of Mr. Gladstone and Lord Beaconsfield, I may
narrate a remarkable story, although I am unable to vouch for the
accuracy of it, as I cannot remember who was my original informant, nor
among my friends in or out of Parliament have I succeeded in discovering
anyone who actually witnessed the incident to which it refers. Should it
turn out to be an invention, like the champagne jelly of Lord
Beaconsfield or the eye-glass of Mr. Bright, I shall no doubt be
corrected. But if on the contrary the anecdote be authentic, I may earn
some thanks for resuscitating it. In any case I can testify that at the
time the story was told to me I had undoubtedly every reason to believe
that it was true.

A similar scene to that which I have described above was taking place in
the House between Mr. Gladstone and Mr. Disraeli, when the latter in the
course of his remarks had occasion to quote a passage from a recent
speech made by his rival upon some platform in the country.

Suddenly Mr. Gladstone started up and exclaimed:

"I never said that in my life!"

Disraeli was silent, and, putting his hands behind his back, simply
gazed apparently in blank astonishment at the box in front of him.
Several seconds went by, but he never moved. The members in the crowded
House looked from one to the other, and many imagined that Disraeli was
merely waiting for his opponent to apologise. But Mr. Gladstone, who had
a habit, which he developed in later years, of chatting volubly to his
neighbour during any interruption of this kind in which he was
concerned, made no sign. A minute passed, but the sphinx did not move.

A minute and a quarter, but he was still motionless.

A minute and a half of this silence seemed as if it was an hour.

When the second minute was completed, the excitement in the House began
to grow intense. Disraeli seemed to be transfixed. Was he ill? Was the
great man sulking? What could this strange silence portend?

Two minutes and a half!

Some Members rose and approached him, but Disraeli raised his hand as if
to deprecate their interference, and they stole back to their places
conscious that they were forbidden to interrupt. Then, at last, when the
second hand of the clock had passed three times round its course, the
most remarkable silence which the House had ever experienced within
living memory was broken as the Tory leader slowly began once more to

"'Mr. Chairman,'" he said, "'and gentlemen,'" and then word for word he
repeated the whole speech of Mr. Gladstone from which he had made his
quotation, duly introducing the particular passage which the Liberal
leader had denied. Then he paused and looked across at his rival. The
challenge was not to be avoided, and Mr. Gladstone bowed. He would have
raised his hat did he wear one in the House, which, in the phraseology
of the ring, was equivalent to throwing up the sponge. Mr. Disraeli
afterwards informed a friend that, working backwards, he had recalled
the whole of Mr. Gladstone's speech to his mind. Beginning at the
disputed quotation, he recovered the context which led up to it, and so
step by step the entire oration. Then he was enabled to repeat it from
the outset, exactly as he had read it.

I saw Lord Beaconsfield in the House of Commons on the occasion of his
last visit to that chamber in which he had been the moving spirit. I
well recollect that morning. There had been an Irish all-night sitting:
the House was supposed to be listening to the droning of some Irish
"Mimber." The officials were weary, the legislative chamber was untidy
and dusty, and many of those present had not had their clothes off all
night. Lord Beaconsfield, scented, oiled, and curled, the daintiest of
dandies, sits in the gallery, examining the scene through his single
eye-glass. Leaning over him stands the ever-faithful Monty Corry--now
Lord Rowton. I sat within a few yards of them, and made a sketch which
happens to be the most successful study I ever made. The _Academy_ wrote
of it: "In humour Mr. Harry Furniss generally excels; but his portrait
of Lord Beaconsfield on his last appearance in the House of Commons is
something else than amusing--it is pathetic, almost tragic, and will be
historical;" and columns of flattering notices must be my excuse for
confessing in these pages that I myself consider it to be the best
portrait of Lord Beaconsfield, and in no way a caricature.


A caricaturist is an artistic contortionist. He is grotesque for effect.
A contortionist twists and distorts himself to cause amusement, but he
is by nature straight of limb and a student of grace before he can
contort his body in burlesque of the "human form divine." Thus also is
it with the caricaturist and his pencil. The good points of his subject
must be plainly apparent to him before he can twist his study into the
grotesque; to him it is necessary that the sublime should be known and
appreciated ere he can convert it into the ridiculous, and without the
aid of serious studies it is impossible for him fully to analyse and
successfully produce the humorous and the satirical. Perchance he may
even entertain a feeling of admiration for the subject he is holding up
to ridicule, for serious moments and serious work are no strangers to
the caricaturist.


The famous collars I "invented" for grotesque effect, but I always saw
Mr. Gladstone without them, for to me his head has never been, as some
suppose, a mere block around which to wreathe a fantastic and
exaggerated collar.

"I am told a Japanese artist who wishes to study a particular flower,
for instance, travels to the part of the country where it is to be
found; he takes no photographic camera, no superb sketching pad or box
of paints, but he lives by the plant, watches day by day the flower
grow, blossom, and decay, under every condition, and mentally notes
every detail, so that ever afterwards he can paint that flower in every
possible way with facility and knowledge. I have myself treated Mr.
Gladstone as that Japanese artist treats the beautiful flower. I have
frequently sat for many many hours watching every gesture, every change
of expression. I have watched the colour leave his cheeks, and the hair
his head; I have marked time contract his mouth, and have noted the
development of each additional wrinkle. I have mused under the shade of
his collars, and wondered at the cut of his clothes, sketched his three
hats and his historical umbrella. More than that; during a great speech
I have seen the flower in his button-hole fade under his flow of
eloquence, seen the bow of his tie travel round to the back of his

[Illustration: MR. GLADSTONE.

"I have seen the flower in his buttonhole fade under his flow of

_Engraved on wood from an original study._]

Thus I spoke night after night from the platform, and the laugh always
came with the collars. It was not as a serious critic that I was posing
before the audience, so I could fittingly describe the collars rather
than the man. But when I had left the platform and the limelight, and my
caricatures, I have had many a chat with Mr. Gladstone's admirers, with
regard to the light in which I saw the great man without his collars,
and this fact I will put forward as my excuse for publishing in my
"Confessions" a few studies that I have made from time to time of the
Grand Old Man, as an antidote not only to my own caricatures, but to the
mass of Gladstone portraits published, which, with very few exceptions,
are idealised, perfunctory, stereotyped, and worthless. Generations to
come will not take their impressions of this great man's appearance from
these unsatisfactory canvases, or from the cuts in old-fashioned
illustrated papers, in which all public men are drawn in a purely
conventional tailor's advertisement fashion, with perfect-fitting coats,
trousers without a crease, faces of wax, and figures of the fashionable
fop of the period. The camera killed all this. But the photographer,
although he cannot alter the cut of the clothes, can alter, and does
alter, everything else. He touches up the face beyond recognition, and
the pose is the pose the sitter takes before the camera, and probably
quite different from his usual attitude. So it will be the caricatures,
or, to be correct, the character sketches, that will leave the best
impressions of Mr. Gladstone's extraordinary individuality.


I heard Mr. Gladstone express his own views on portraiture one evening
at a small dinner-party. My host of that evening had hit on the happy
idea of having portraits of the celebrities of the age painted for him
by a rising young artist. It was curious to note Mr. Gladstone as he
examined these portraits. His manner was a strange comment on the
political changes which had taken place, for as he came to the portraits
of those of his old supporters who no longer fought under his colours,
he would pass them by as though he had not seen them, or if his
attention were called to any of them he would seem not to recognise the
likeness, and pass on till his eye lighted on some political ally still
numbered among the faithful, when he would at once pronounce the
portrait excellent, and dwell upon its merits with apparent delight. A
portrait of Mr. Labouchere, however, he generally failed to recognise.
The portrait represented the Member for Northampton in a contemplative
mood, certainly not characteristic of his habitual demeanour in the

"I have found," said he, "the artist I have been looking for for years.
I have found an artist who can paint my portrait in four hours and a
half; he has painted three in thirteen hours; that is Millais."

I was much surprised by this curious criticism on portrait painting.
Surely, if the portrait of the great orator is to be painted in four
hours and a half, the same limitation, if carried out, would confine the
greatest speech ever made to a period of four-and-a-half seconds!

Someone pointedly asked Mr. Gladstone whether he liked Millais'

"Well," he replied, evading any brutal directness of reply, "I have been
very much interested with his energy; he is the hardest-working man I
ever saw."

"Do you prefer his result to Holl's?"

"Ah, Holl took double the time, and put me in such a very strained
position, nearly on tiptoe. I know my heels were off the ground; it
tired me out, and I was really obliged to lie down and sleep

"You found Millais charming in conversation?"

"He never spoke when at work; his interest in his work fascinated me."

"Mr. Watts?"

"Ah, there is a delightful conversationalist, and a wonderful artist; he
has attempted my portrait often--three attempts of late years--but he
has not satisfied himself, and I am bound to say that my friends are of
the same mind."

"I well remember," remarked Lord Granville, who was one of the party,
"how uneasy poor Holl was before he painted your portrait. He came to me
and said, 'I think if you would speak to Mr. Gladstone on some subject
that would interest him, I would watch him, and that would aid me very

In this picture of Mr. Gladstone the late Frank Holl failed to maintain
his reputation as an artist of the highest class: that picture of the
great Liberal leader was disappointing and altogether unworthy of his
name. This was the more unfortunate because, by the exercise of a little
forethought, the artist might easily have avoided that pitfall of
portrait-painters, an awkward, constrained, and unaccustomed attitude,
which Mr. Gladstone confessed was torturing him, and by a very simple
expedient have succeeded in placing Mr. Gladstone in the position which
everyone who has seen him in the act of delivering a speech in the House
of Commons would have recognised at once as a true and characteristic

Here I have mentioned Mr. Gladstone himself, saying how uncomfortable he
felt upon the occasion of Mr. Holl's visit to his house for the purpose
of obtaining a sitting; but I should add that the genial artist who was
to do the work informed me that he also was no less ill at ease. When
Mr. Gladstone enquired how he should sit for the portrait, Mr. Holl,
anxious no doubt to secure a natural pose, replied, "Oh, just as you
like!" This appeared to disconcert the great statesman somewhat, and he
appeared to be ruminating as to what sedentary attitude was really his
favourite one, when Holl came to the rescue.


"I happened," said Mr. Gladstone, "to be standing at my library table
with my hands upon a book, when Mr. Holl said, 'That will do, Mr.
Gladstone, exactly,' and the result was that he painted me in that
position. But I felt uncommonly awkward and uncomfortable the whole
time, and as I have just said, I had to lie down and sleep after each

Now why was this? It was the very attitude of all others with which we
who have studied it so often when the ex-Premier has been standing at
the table in the House are so familiar. No artist who had once seen him
in that position would have failed to select it as the most favourable
and characteristic for the purposes of a historical portrait. And yet
the picture, when it was completed, was a failure, and the artist
himself knew that it was. The explanation is, I think, very simple, and
it exemplifies once more the truth of the formula which defines genius
to be "an infinite capacity for taking pains." Frank Holl undoubtedly
had talent, but his omission of an important detail in this picture--a
detail which would have probably made all the difference between success
and failure--shows once more by how narrow a line the highest art is
often divided from the next best, that art of which we have such a
plethora nowadays--which just contrives to miss hitting the bullseye of

When Mr. Holl exclaimed, "That will do, Mr. Gladstone, exactly," he was
no doubt impressed with the idea that the great orator was more at ease
standing at the table in the House of Commons than in any other
position, and he therefore selected it for his picture. But he forgot
that upon the table in the House there stands a box on which Mr.
Gladstone was always in the habit, when he was speaking, of resting one
of his hands, and that if that box was missing he would naturally,
although perhaps unconsciously, be sensible that something to which he
was accustomed was absent, and that he would therefore be as
uncomfortable as a fish out of water. This was actually the case. But if
some substitute for the box, of the proper height and size, had been
forthcoming, I have not the slightest doubt, from my long and close
observation of the habits and movements of Mr. Gladstone in the House,
that he would at once have dropped easily into his customary attitude,
and that the picture in the hands of so true an artist as Holl would
then have been a conspicuous success.

Mr. Gladstone was asked whether he thought the tone of the House had
degenerated in recent times. He replied that he did not think so at all,
quoting in proof that after the introduction of the first Reform Bill
many Members used to express their feelings in cock-crows and other
offensive ways. Mr. Gladstone, however, at the time I met him, was
getting decidedly deaf, and no doubt much that went on behind him in the
House "did not reach" him.

Asked if the "count out" ought to be abolished, Mr. Gladstone said it
was too convenient a custom to be abolished, but that he noticed a very
important alteration of late years in the mode of conducting it. Years
ago he recollected it was the rule that, when a Member moved that
"forty Members were not present, he was obliged to remain in his place
while the 'count out' was in progress." "Now," said Mr. Gladstone, "he
gets up and rushes out.

"Indeed," continued the veteran statesman, "I understand very little
about the rules and regulations of the House now. I am very ignorant
indeed; I believe I am the most ignorant man in the House, and I mean to
continue so; it is not worth my while to begin now to learn fresh


He told us of a curious incident which happened in the House when he was
a young Parliamentary hand. Members did not leave the House for a
division, but it was left to the discretion of the Speaker to decide
which side was in the majority. He would then order them to walk to the
other side of the House, and anyone remaining would of course be counted
with the opposite side. Old Sir Watkin Wynn, I believe, was determined
to vote against a certain Bill. He had been hunting all day, and rode up
to town in time to vote. Arriving in his hunting costume and muddy
boots, he took his seat tired out, and soon went fast asleep. The
division came on, and his party were ordered to go over to the other
side of the House. He slept in blissful ignorance, waking some time
afterwards to find to his horror that he had been counted with those in
favour of the Bill.

Mr. Gladstone remarked that it was curious that in the old days the
Whips could tell to a vote how a division would go. He recollected well,
in 1841, a vote of no confidence in Lord Melbourne was moved. The point
was going to be decided by one vote. I shall never forget the "Grand Old
Man's" graphic description of that vote. There was an old Member who was
known to be to all intents and purposes as dead as a door-nail. The
excitement was intense to know if that still breathing corpse could be
brought to vote. Mr. Gladstone, with other young Tory Members, stood
anxiously round the lobby door watching, and just at the critical moment
when the vote was to be taken the all but lifeless body was borne along
ignorant of all that was going around him, his vote was recorded, and
that one vote sealed the fate of a Ministry.

In Mr. Gladstone's opinion, American humour invariably consisted in
dealing with magnitudes. He preferred to hear American stories on this
side of the Atlantic. He never had been in America, and never intended
going. He expressed himself as apprehensive of the effect on the nervous
system of the vibration caused by the engines of a steamer travelling at
a high speed, but spoke with admiration of the rapid travelling at sea
performed by the Continental mail packets, saying that a few days
before, returning from the Continent, he had only just settled down to
read when he was told to disembark, for the steamer had reached Dover.

I overheard Mr. Gladstone asking the question: "Why is it that when we
get a good thing we do not stick to it?" I fully expected him to launch
into some huge political question, such as the "Unity of the Empire" or
"Universal Franchise." Instead of this, I was somewhat surprised to hear
him proceed: "Now, I recollect an excruciatingly funny toy which you
wound up, and it danced about in a most comical way. I have watched that
little nigger many and many a time, but lately I have been looking
everywhere to get one. I have asked at the shops in the Strand and
elsewhere, and they show me other things, but not the funny nigger I
recollect, so I have given up my search in despair."

I noticed that Mr. Gladstone took champagne at dinner, and after dinner
a glass of port. Some conversation arising with reference to the history
of wines, the old politician seemed to know more on the subject than
anyone else at table; in fact, during the whole evening, there was not a
subject touched upon on which he did not give the heads for an
interesting essay. The only time Mr. Gladstone mentioned Ireland was in
connection with the subject of wines, when he dilated upon the beauties
of Newfoundland port, which was to be found in Ireland in the good old

In one respect Mr. Gladstone was not an exception among the old, for he
seemed fond of dwelling upon the great age which men have attained. He
seemed to think that the high pressure at which we live nowadays would
show its effect on the longevity of the rising generation, and remarked:

"You young men will have a very bad time of it."


It is curious that very few statesmen indeed have led the House of
Commons in their old age. It may be said that Lord John Russell was the
first to do so; Lord Palmerston also was very old before he obtained
office. And so chatted the Grand Old Man, in the most fascinating and
delightful manner. He was always the same on such occasions, entering
into the spirit of the entertainment, and, as was his habit, forgetting
for the time everything else. When my old friend William Woodall, M.P.
for Stoke (Governor-General of the Ordnance in Mr. Gladstone's
Government 1885), gave at St. Anne's Mansions his famous "Sandwich
Soirées" to his friends, the spacious ballroom on the ground floor
packed with his many friends--a characteristic, polyglot gathering of
Ministers and Parliamentarians of all kinds, musicians, dramatists,
authors, artists, actors, and journalists, who sang, recited, and gave a
gratuitous entertainment (for some of these I acted as his hon.
secretary, and helped to get together a collection of modern paintings
on the walls, besides designing the invitations)--I recollect the
greatest success was the Grand Old Man. There was "standing room" only,
but a chair was provided for Mr. Gladstone in the centre of the huge
circle which had formed around the mesmerist Verbeck. Many guests sat on
the floor, to afford those behind a better chance of seeing. The Prime
Minister, noticing this, absolutely declined to be an exception, and he
squatted "à la Turk" on the floor. I confess this struck me as "playing
to the gallery." It certainly was playing to the Press, for Mr.
Gladstone's attitude on that occasion was paragraphed all over the
country, by means of which fact I have here refreshed my memory. In
fact, Mr. Gladstone was always _en évidence_. When the great statesman
dined with Toby, M.P., I was sitting close to him. He had dispensed with
his own shirt-collars, and wore quite the smallest, slenderest, and most
inconspicuous of narrow, turn-down collars, assumed for that occasion
only. "One of Herbert's cast-offs," someone whispered to me. "That's
strange," said another guest to me. "Last night at dinner the pin in the
back of Gladstone's collar came out, and as he got excited, the collar
rose round his head, and we all agreed that 'Furniss ought to have
witnessed what he has so often drawn, but never seen.'"


Mr. Lucy has made the statement that Mr. Gladstone was "a constant
student of _Punch_" and "knew no occasion upon which he was not able to
join in the general merriment of the public; but hadn't there been
enough about the fabulous collars?"

I received an editorial order to bury them, "but before long they were
out again, flapping their folds in the political breeze."


Well, I have no doubt that Mr. Gladstone for many years was "a constant
student of _Punch_," for during the greater portion of his political
career he was idealised in the pages of _Punch_, and not caricatured. I
doubt very much, however, if he made _Punch_ an exception in his latter
period, for it is well known that for years he was only allowed to see
flattering notices of himself, and all references at all likely to
disturb him were kept from his sight. At Mr. Lucy's own house, the night
Mr. Gladstone dined with him, a copy of _Punch_ was lying on the table,
containing a rare thing for _Punch_--a supplement. In this case it took
the shape of my caricatures of the Royal Academy, 1889. Just as dinner
was announced Mr. Gladstone saw the paper, and was on the point of
taking it up. I handed it to him, but at the same moment slipped the
supplement out of the number and threw it under the table, for it
contained a caricature of Professor Herkomer's Academy portrait of Mrs.
Gladstone, objecting to being placed next to a lady by Mr. Val Prinsep
sitting for the "altogether." During dinner Mr. Gladstone mentioned this
portrait of Mrs. Gladstone, and expressed great delight with Herkomer's
work: it showed her mature age, he said, and as a portrait was very
happy and true--he did not say anything about the hanging of it!

Mr. Gladstone was the life and soul of a party, and seemed to enjoy
being the centre of attraction wherever he was.


Mr. Gladstone's portrait has been adopted by others besides
caricaturists. It is carved as a gargoyle in the stone-work of a church,
and the head of the Grand Old Man has been turned into a match-box. The
latter I here reproduce. It was shown to me one evening when I was the
guest at the Guard Mess at St. James's Palace. A clever young Guardsman,
who had a taste for turning, worked this out in wood from my caricatures
of Mr. Gladstone, and I advised his having it reproduced in pottery. The
suggestion was carried out by the late Mr. Woodall, the Member for the
Potteries, and was largely distributed at the time the G.O.M. was
politically meeting his match and thought by some to be a little

In being shown round the beautiful municipal buildings in Glasgow I
found my caricature there accidentally figuring in the marble-work; and
the guides at Antwerp Cathedral (as I have mentioned in the first
chapter) point out a grotesque figure in the wood carving of the choir
stalls which resembles almost exactly Mr. Gladstone's head as depicted
by me.

I find a note which I introduce here, as I hardly know where to place it
in this hotch-potch of confessions. Is it a fact that Mr. Gladstone
once signed a caricature of himself? In 1896 a Mr. J. T. Cox, of the
"Norwich school" of amateurs, procured a slab of a sycamore tree felled
by Mr. Gladstone, and on it reproduced in pencil my _Punch_ cartoon
depicting a visit of the "Grand Old Undergrad" to his Alma Mater,
Oxford. This was sent to Hawarden, and returned signed with the
following note:

                                                      "HAWARDEN CASTLE.

  "Mr. Gladstone is obliged to refuse his signature, but Mrs. Drew asked
  him for it for herself on enclosed--it was so cleverly arranged.

  "_May 5th_, 1896."

Here is to me, I confess, a first-he-would-and-then-he-wouldn't, Cox and
Box mystery I fail to explain.

I drew the G.O.M., Mr. Cox drew me, he drew Mrs. Drew, and Mrs. Drew
drew Mr. Gladstone. Mr. Gladstone refused his signature, and yet he
signed it. I think he signed his cut of sycamore, and not my cut at him.

Both as a "special artist" for the _Illustrated London News_ in my
pre-_Punch_ days, and later for various periodicals, I saw and sketched
Mr. Gladstone on many important occasions, but towards the end of his
career it was sad to see the great man. The _Daily News_ once gave me a
chance in the following account of Mr. Gladstone during one of these
scenes; when Mr. Gladstone, having accidentally mentioned the approach
of his eightieth birthday, "the vast audience suddenly leapt to its feet
and burst into ringing cheers. Mr. Gladstone was evidently deeply
touched by this spontaneous outburst of almost personal affection. He
stood with hands folded, head bent down, and _legs quivering_." The fun
of this joke, however, lies in the fact that the "legs" which quivered
were the telegraph operators'. The reporter wrote "lips."

So great was the public admiration for the illustrious leader of the
Liberal Party that merely to see him was, to the majority of his
audience, enough. In later years he could not be heard at public
meetings. Penetrating as his voice was, it was absolutely impossible for
any but those standing immediately around the platform to hear him upon
such occasions as that of the famous Blackheath meeting, or those at
Birmingham or elsewhere; but the masses nevertheless came in their
thousands, and were more than repaid for their trouble by catching only
a distant glimpse of William Ewart Gladstone.

Whatever one may think of Mr. Gladstone as a politician (and some say
that he was no statesman, and others that he was never sincere, while
many maintain that he was merely a "dangerous old woman"), all must
agree that as a man he was a figure that England might well be proud of.
It will be interesting to see what historians will make of him. When the
glamour of his personality is forgotten, what will be remembered? His
figure, his face--and shall I say his collars?


In my time Mr. Parnell was the most interesting figure in Parliament,
and, after Mr. Gladstone, had the greatest influence in the House. Mr.
Gladstone was, politically speaking, Parliament itself (at one time he
was the Country); but I doubt if even Mr. Gladstone ever hypnotised the
House by his personality as Parnell did. There was a mystery in
everything connected with the great Irish leader; no mystery hung about
Mr. Gladstone. Mr. Gladstone in the House was voluble, eloquent,
communicative. Mr. Parnell was silent, a poor speaker, and as
uncommunicative as the Sphinx. Mr. Gladstone's power lay in his
unreservedness; Mr. Parnell's lay in his absolute reserve. His orders
were "No one to speak to the man at the wheel," and the man at the wheel
spoke to no one. He guided the Irish ship just as he liked over the
troubled waters of a political crisis, and not one of his men knew what
move would be his next. By this means, so foreign to the Irish
character, he held that excitable, rebellious, irrepressible crew in
thrall. He made them dance, sleep, roar; he made them obstructionists,
orators, buffoons, at his will. He made them everything but friends. A
characteristic story was circulated when Parnell was known as "the
uncrowned king." Accompanied by his faithful private secretary, he was
walking from the House, when he met one of his colleagues. The satellite
saluted his chief and "smiled affably at the private secretary." Mr.
Parnell took no notice whatever of Mr. ----, but after a few seconds had
elapsed, turned to his companion and said, "Who was that, Campbell?"

"Why, ----" (mentioning the name of the hon. Member), was the reply.

"What a horrible-looking scoundrel!" exclaimed the uncrowned king in his
most supercilious manner, and then began to talk of something else.

He was a study as fascinating to the artist as to the politician, and no
portrait ever drawn by pen or pencil can hand down to future generations
the mysterious subtlety in the personality of the all-powerful leader.

[Illustration: PARNELL.]

He was as puzzling to the Parliamentary artist as he was to the
politician: he never appeared just as one expected him. When I first
made a sketch of him he had short hair, a well-trimmed moustache,
shortly-cut side whiskers, a neat-fitting coat and trousers, and
well-shaped boots. He then let his beard and hair grow, and his coat and
trousers seemed to grow also--the coat in length and the trousers in
width; and his boots grew with the rest--they were ugly and enormous.
His hat didn't grow, but it was out of date. Then he would cut his beard
and hair again, wear a short coat, a sort of pilot jacket, and
eventually a long black coat. So that if a drawing was not published at
once it would have been out of date.

Some artists have been flattering enough to take my sketches as
references for Parliamentarians, but others depended on photographs, and
for years I have seen Mr. Parnell represented with the neatly-trimmed
moustache and closely-cut side whiskers. _A propos_ of this, I may
mention here how mistakes often become perpetuated. John Bright, for
instance, was generally represented in political sketches with an
eye-glass. This was a slip made by an artist in _Punch_ many years ago.
But ever after John Bright was represented with an eye-glass--which he
never wore, except on one occasion just to see how he liked it.

The effect upon the House when Mr. Parnell rose was always dramatic. He
sat there during a debate, seldom, if ever, taking a note, with his hat
well over his eyes and his arms crossed, in strong contrast to the
restlessness of those around him. When he rose, it seemed an effort to
lift his voice, and he spoke in a hesitating, ineffective manner.
Neither was there much in what he said, but he was _Parnell_, and the
fact that he said little and said it quietly, that what he said was not
prepared in consultation with his Whips or with his Party, that in fact
he was playing a game in which his closest friends were not consulted,
made his rising interesting from the reporters' gallery to the
doorkeepers in the Lobby the other side.

Mr. Parnell seemed to have been very little affected by his continued
reverses; and perhaps the only visible effect of his loss of power was
that the "uncrowned king" of Ireland changed his top-hat to a plebeian
bowler, but he did not change his coat. He was always careless about his
dress, and his tall, handsome figure looked somewhat ridiculous when he
wore a bowler, black frock coat, and his hair as usual unkempt.

The fall of Parnell was one of the most sensational and certainly the
most dramatic incident in the history of Parliament.

Mr. Parnell was politically ruined and the Irish Party smashed beyond
recovery in the famous Committee Room No. 15, after the disclosures in
the Divorce Court in which Mr. Parnell figured as co-respondent. Mr.
Parnell had found the Irish Party without a leader, without a programme,
without a future. He had by his individual force made it a power which
had to be reckoned with, and which practically controlled Parliament. He
had been attacked by the most important paper in the world. He had come
out of the affair, in the eyes of many, a hero; he made his Party
stronger than their wildest dreams ever anticipated. But his followers
little thought that in hiding from them his tactics he had also hidden
the weakness which caused his ultimate downfall. Howbeit the Irish
Party, whom he held in a hypnotic trance, agreed to stand by him still.
Then, suddenly, Mr. Gladstone made his demand for a sacrifice to Mrs.
Grundy. His famous letter, written November 24th, 1894, to Mr. Morley,
was the death-warrant to Parnellism, and, as it subsequently proved, to
Gladstonianism as well.

There was a strange fascination in watching the mysterious Leader of the
Irish Party during the crisis, and I took full advantage of my privilege
in the House to do so. I was in and about the House early and late, and
probably saw more of Mr. Parnell than anyone else not connected with
him. It was just before his exposure that I happened to be in an
out-of-the-way passage leading from the House, making a little note in
my sketch-book on a corner of the building, when Mr. Parnell walked out.
He stood close by, not observing me, and was occupied for a minute in
taking letters out of the pocket on the right side of his overcoat: they
were unopened. He looked at them singly; now and then he would tap one
on the other, as much as to say, "I wonder what is in that?" Then he
passed it over with the others and put them all into the pocket on the
left side of his overcoat, and strolled off to catch his train to
Brighton. That incident, as I subsequently found out, was the cause of
much of his trouble; for I was informed, when I mentioned it to a great
friend of Mr. Parnell's and of mine--Mr. Richard Power--that about that
time he had written him important letters which might have saved him if
they had been attended to in time.

But those who saw the fallen chief during the sittings in Committee Room
No. 15, when, through the letter of Mr. Gladstone to which I have
referred, he was denounced, and had to fight with his back to the wall,
can never forget his tragic figure during that exciting time. No one
knew better than he that the tactics of his lieutenant would be cunning
and perhaps treacherous; so this lazy, self-composed man suddenly awoke
as a general who finds himself surprised in the camp, and determines to
keep watch himself. Every day he took by right the chair at the
meetings. Had he not been present, who knows that it would not have been
wrested from him? In the early afternoon I saw him more than once walk
with a firm step, with an ashy pale face, his eyes fixed straight in
front of him, through the yard, through the Lobby, up the stairs, and
into Room 15, accompanied by his secretary, Mr. Campbell. The members of
his Party, on their arrival, found him sitting where they had left him
the night before. I recollect one morning, as he passed where I was
standing, he never moved his head, but I heard him say to Mr. Campbell,
"Who's that? what does he want?" in a sharp, nervous manner. He never
seemed to recognise anyone, or wish them to recognise him. His one idea
was to face the man who wished to fight him in the little ring they had
selected in the Committee Room No. 15.

[Illustration: TO ROOM 15.]

No outsider but myself heard any portion of that debate, for at the
beginning of it the reporters, who were standing round the doors outside
to hear what they could, were ordered away; and I was left there, not
being a reporter, to finish a rather tedious sketch of the corridor. A
policeman was placed at either end of this very long passage, and if
anyone had to pass that way he was not allowed to pause for a moment at
the door of the room upon which the interest of the political world was
centred at the moment. Nearly all the time I was there I only saw the
policeman at either end, and one solitary figure seated on the bench
outside the door. It was the figure of a woman with a kind,
homely-looking face, resting with her head upon her hand. She seemed not
to be aware of, or at least not interested in what was going on inside;
she simply sighed as Big Ben tolled on toward the hour for the dismissal
of the Leader of the Irish Party. She was the wife of a blind Member of
Parliament who was taking part in the proceedings, and her thoughts were
evidently more intent upon seeing that her husband was not worn out by
that strange, long struggle than in the political significance of the

[Illustration: OUTSIDE ROOM 15.]

It was my good fortune to hear what was perhaps the most interesting of
the speeches--John Redmond's defence of his chief--and I never wish to
listen to a finer oration. Everyone admits that the Irish are, by
nature, good speakers, but they are not always sincere. Here was a
combat in which there was no quarter, no gallery, and no reporters. The
men spoke from their hearts, and if any orator could have moved an
assembly by his power and genius, Mr. Redmond ought to have had a
unanimous vote recorded in favour of his chief. I am not a phonograph,
nor was I a journalist privileged to record what passed, and have no
intention of breaking their trust.

I shall never forget the scene one Wednesday afternoon when Mr. Maurice
Healy, brother of "Tim," and one of the Members for Cork, challenged Mr.
Parnell to retire and so enable their respective claims to the
confidence of the people of Cork to be tested. He tried to drag Mr.
Parnell into a newspaper controversy upon this point, but failing to do
so repeated in tragic tones his somewhat Hibernian sentiment that Mr.
Parnell did not represent the constituency which elected him. Mr.
Maurice Healy, a somewhat sickly-looking young man, with a family
resemblance to his brother, is much taller than his more famous
relative, but lacks the stamina and vivacity of the Member for Longford.

At this moment, when the Irish Party might have been likened to
machinery deprived of its principal wheel, it was curious to notice how
energetic Mr. Parnell became. He tried to cover his position by being
unusually active in Parliament; he followed the Chief Secretary for
Ireland in the debates upon the Land Purchase Bill, to the obvious
discomfort of Mr. Morley, and rather delighted the young Conservatives
by twitting the faction which had thrown him over. His speeches,
however, were laboured, and, as one of the Irish Members remarked to me
in the Lobby, it had a curious effect on them to see Mr. Parnell sit
down after making an important speech without hearing a single cheer.
And whereas for years he had addressed the House with the greatest
calmness, his chief characteristic being his "reserve force," he now
changed all this, and one Friday night caused quite a sensation in the
House in his attack upon Mr. Gladstone, not so much by what he said as
by the manner in which he said it. His excitement was visible to all,
and he was observed to be positively convulsed with anger. He also
remained, contrary to his previous custom, late in the House.

The last occasion on which I saw Charles Stewart Parnell was a few
months before his death. I was in Dublin during the Horse Show week,
giving my "Humours of Parliament" to crowded houses in the "Ancient
Concert Rooms," and my ancient hotel rooms were at Morrison's
Hotel--"Parnell's Hotel," for the "uncrowned king" (at that time
deposed) always stopped there--in fact it was said he had an interest in
the property. It was late on Sunday afternoon. I was writing in my
sitting-room on the first floor, next to Parnell's room, when the
strains of national music of approaching bands smote my ear, and soon
the hotel was surrounded by a cheering, shouting crowd. Banners were
flying, bands were playing, thousands of voices were shouting. Standing
in a brake haranguing the surging mass of people was the familiar figure
of Charles Stewart Parnell. With difficulty he descended from the brake,
and had literally to fight his way into the hotel, while his worshippers
clung on to him into the building, till they were seized and ejected by
the servants. I went out of my door to see the scene, and in the passage
outside, between Parnell's sitting-room and mine, he sat apparently
exhausted. His flesh seemed transparent--I could fancy I saw the
pattern of the wall-paper through his pallid cheeks. The next moment,
before I was aware, another figure sat on the same seat, arms were
thrown round my neck. It was my old Irish nurse, who had come up from
Wexford to see me, and had been lying in wait for me.

[Illustration: OUTSIDE MY ROOM.]

The first picture I drew for _Punch's_ essence of Parliament was a
portrait of Lord Randolph Churchill, "Caught on the Hip," to illustrate
the following truly prophetic words of Toby, M.P.: "The new delight you
have given us is the spectacle of an undisciplined Tory--a man who will
not march at the word of command and snaps his fingers at his captain.
You won't last long, Randolph; you are rather funny than witty--more
impudent than important." That was written at the opening of Parliament,

[Illustration: "THE G.O.M." AND "RANDY."]

I must plead guilty to being the cause of giving an erroneous impression
of Lord Randolph's height. He was not a small man, but he _looked_
small; and when he first came into notoriety, with a small following,
was considered of small importance and, by some, small-minded. It was to
show this political insignificance in humorous contrast to his bombastic
audacity that I represented him as a midget; but the idea was also
suggested from time to time by his opponents in debate. Did not Mr.
Gladstone once call him a gnat? and do we not find the following lines
under _Punch's_ Fancy Portraits, No. 47, drawn by Mr. Sambourne?

          "There is a Midge at Westminster,
            A Gnatty little Thing,
              It bites at Night
              This mighty Mite,
            But no one feels its sting."

Two gentlemen of Yorkshire had a dispute about his correct height, and
one of them, anxious to have an authoritative pronouncement, wrote to
the noble Lord, and received the following reply:

                                       "2, CONNAUGHT PLACE, W.

  "Dear Sir,--Lord Randolph Churchill desires me to say, in reply to
  your letter of the 21st inst., that his height is just under 5ft. 10in.

                 "I am, yours faithfully,

                                    "CECIL DRUMMOND-WOLFF, Secretary."

[Illustration: MR. LOUIS JENNINGS.]

Lord Randolph Churchill was a mere creature of impulse, the spoilt pet
of Parliament--what you will--but no one can deny that he was the most
interesting figure in the House since Disraeli. He had none of
Disraeli's chief attraction--namely, mystery. Nor had he Disraeli's
power of organisation, for, although Lord Randolph "educated a party" of
three--the first step to his eventually becoming Leader of the House--it
cannot be said that at any time afterwards he really had, in the strict
sense of the word, a party at all. He was a political Don Quixote, and
he had his Sancho Panza in the person of Mr. Louis Jennings. Perhaps
nothing can show the impulsive nature of Lord Randolph more than the
incident which was the cause of Mr. Jennings breaking with Lord
Randolph. Mr. Louis Jennings was, in many ways, his chief's superior: a
brilliant journalist, originally on the _Times_, afterwards editor of
the _New York World_, when, by dint of his energy and pluck, he was the
chief cause of breaking up the notorious Tammany Ring; a charming writer
of picturesque country scenes--in fact, an accomplished man, and one
harshly treated by that fickle dame Fortune by being branded, rightly or
wrongly, as the mere creature of a political adventurer.

One afternoon I was standing in the Inner Lobby when Mr. Jennings asked
me to go into the House to a seat under the Gallery to hear him deliver
a speech he had been requested to make by the Government Party, and one
he thought something of. At that moment Lord Randolph came up and said,
"I am going in to hear you, Jennings; I have arranged not to speak till
after dinner." And we all three entered the House.

Lord Randolph, who had then left the Ministry, sat on the bench in the
second row below the gangway, on the Government side of the House. Mr.
Jennings was seated on the bench behind, close to where he had found a
place for me under the Gallery. He carefully arranged the notes for his
speech, and directly the Member who had been addressing the House sat
down, Mr. Jennings jumped to his feet to "catch the Speaker's eye." But
Lord Randolph, who had been very restless all through the speech just
delivered, sprang to his feet. Jennings leant over to him and said
something, but Churchill waved him impatiently away, and the Speaker
called upon Lord Randolph. Jennings sank back with a look of disgust and
chagrin, which changed to astonishment when Lord Randolph fired out that
famous Pigott speech, in which he attacked his late colleagues with a
vituperation and vulgarity he had never before betrayed. His speech
electrified the House and disgusted his friends--none more so than his
faithful Jennings, who left the Chamber directly after his "friend's"
tirade of abuse, returning later in the evening to make a capital
speech, full of feeling and power, in which he finally threw over Lord
Randolph. In the meantime, meeting me, he did not hide the fact that the
incident had determined him to have nothing more to say to Churchill.
And this was the man I once drew a cartoon of in _Punch_ on all fours,
with a coat covering his head (suspiciously like a donkey's head), with
"Little Randy" riding on his back!


If Samson's strength vanished with his hair, Lord Randolph's strength
vanished with the growing of his beard. The real reason why Lord
Randolph so strangely transformed himself is not generally known, but it
was for the simplest of all reasons--like that of the gentleman who
committed suicide because he was "tired of buttoning and unbuttoning,"
Lord Randolph was tired of shaving or being shaved; hence the heroic
beard, which has offended certain political purists who think that a man
with an established reputation has no right to alter his established
appearance. Still, if he had not vanished to grow his beard, I doubt if
he would have survived the winter; and probably he discovered that it
was good for any man to escape now and then from what the late Mr. R. L.
Stevenson called "the servile life of cities." Perhaps no one received
such a "sending off," or was more fêted, than Lord Randolph Churchill.
Happening to be a guest at more than one of those festive little
gatherings, I heard Lord Randolph say that all the literary food that he
was taking out with him to Mashonaland consisted of the works of two
authors--one English, and the other French. We were asked who they were.
"In Darkest England," suggested one. "Ruff's Guide to the Turf," said
another. Both were wrong. And it ultimately transpired that, together
with his friends' best wishes for his safe return, Lord Randolph was
carrying with him complete sets of the works of Shakespeare and Molière.

The deafness which attacked Lord Randolph led to his making mistakes,
and to others making a scene, particularly when the noise in the House
was so great through the excitement on the Home Rule question. I find a
note made then upon this point, alluding to a little incident _à propos_
of Lord Randolph Churchill's deafness: "It is really dangerous,
considering the high state of feeling in the House, that Members
antagonistic to each other should have to sit side by side. During the
stormy scene to which I have just alluded, I was sitting in one of the
front boxes directly over the Speaker's chair, and, although remarks
kept flying about from the benches below, it was difficult to catch the
words, and still more difficult to stop the utterer; so I don't wonder
that Lord Randolph Churchill--who is rather deaf--should have
misconstrued the words, 'You are not dumb!' as 'You are knocked up!'
Later on, however, an Irish Member knocked down another one who was
opposed to him in politics; and this the Press called 'coming into


There is little doubt that ill-health was the cause of that
querulousness which led to Lord Randolph's curious and fatal move. I
recollect being introduced to an American doctor in the Lobby one
afternoon when Lord Randolph was at the zenith of his height and fame.
Lord Randolph passed close to us, and stood for a few minutes talking to
the Member who had introduced the doctor to me. I whispered to the
American to take stock of the Member his friend was talking to. He did,
and when Lord Randolph walked away he said, "Well, I don't know who that
man is, but he won't live five years." It was unfortunate for the
reputation of Lord Randolph that the doctor's words did not come true.

Many efforts were made by the friends of Lord Randolph to bring Lord
Salisbury and his lieutenant together again. A deputation of a few
intimate friends, ladies as well as gentlemen, called on Lord Salisbury,
presumably on quite a different matter, but led up to Lord Randolph.
Lord Salisbury, seeing through their object, asked the question, "Have
any of you ever had a carbuncle on the back of your neck?"


"Then I have, and I do not want another."

But perhaps Lord Salisbury saw more than anyone else that Lord Randolph
was not the man he once was. It was painful in his latter days to see
the Members run out of the House when he rose to speak, and to recollect
that but a few years before they poured in to listen to the "plucky
little Randy"; and the sympathy of everyone for him was shown in a very
marked way by the kindness of the Press when one of the most
extraordinary figures in the Parliamentary world had passed away.


Lord Randolph Churchill recalls another familiar figure I
caricatured--Lord Iddesleigh, a statesman who will always be remembered
with respect. No statue has ever been erected in the buildings of the
House of Commons to any Member who better deserves it, and, strange to
say, the white marble took the character and style of the man,
chilliness, pure, and firm. A country gentleman in politics and out of
it, free from flashy party-colour rhetoric.

            *       *       *       *       *


Sir Stafford Northcote, as he was known in the House of Commons, the
gentlest of statesmen, had by no means a peaceful career in politics. He
was at one time Mr. Gladstone's secretary, and those who knew him
declare that he never lost his respect and admiration for his former
master, although time took him from Mr. Gladstone's flock to the fold of
Lord Beaconsfield. I recollect on one occasion, when I was seated in a
Press box directly over the Speaker's chair, seeing Mr. Gladstone write
a memorandum on a piece of paper and throw it across the table to Sir
Stafford, who was at that time Leader of the House of Commons; after
reading it, Sir Stafford nodded to Mr. Gladstone, and they both rose
together and went behind the Speaker's chair. One could easily detect in
the manner of the two old friends an existence of personal regard, and
their estrangement on political circumstances must have been a matter of
mutual regret. Sir Stafford and Mr. Gladstone towards the end, however,
did not show that friendliness that had gone on for so many years. This
may have been brought about by many causes, not the least of which was
the fact that Mr. Gladstone refused to lead the House during the
Bradlaugh scene, and left it to Sir Stafford, then Leader of the
Opposition. For instance, after the division in which Mr. Bradlaugh was
refused the House by a vote of 383 to 233, the Speaker appealed to the
House to know what to do. Mr. Bradlaugh stood at the table and refused
to leave it. Mr. Gladstone lay back on the seat of the Government bench
motionless, so Sir Stafford took up the leadership of the House, and
asked the Prime Minister, whom he facetiously called the Leader of the
House, "whether he intended to propose any counsel, any course for the
purpose of maintaining the authority of the House and of the Chair." And
so it was on many occasions. When Mr. Bradlaugh did rush up to the table
of the House, escorted by Mr. Labouchere and Mr. Bass, and went through
the amusing part of taking the oath, he brought the book which he kissed
and the papers which he signed, and then rushed back into his seat. The
House witnessed the scene indescribable by either pen or pencil. But
here again Mr. Gladstone refused to lead the House. There had been a
division, and Mr. Bradlaugh had once more been refused admission; so Sir
Stafford Northcote came forward, as he always did on these occasions, in
the mildest possible way and the most gentlemanly manner, which rather
added to the effect of his taking the reins left dangling uselessly by
the Leader of the House. He said: "Mr. Speaker, I need hardly say that
if the Leader of the House desires to rise, I will give him the
opportunity; but assuming that he does not, I intend to do so, and as I
see no indication of his consent to do so, I shall call the attention of
the House to the position in which we stand," and so on. Sir Stafford
Northcote was not a man to stand the rough treatment which Members have
had in the House during the last fifteen years. Had he been a Member
twenty years before that, or even a little more, he would have been more
in tone with the "best club in London." He was perplexed by Mr.
Gladstone, he was bullied by Lord Randolph Churchill, and he was
generally looked upon as an old woman, and eventually he was simply sent
up to the other House. It was not until his sad and tragic death
occurred that everyone realised that they had lost one of the most able
statesmen and one of the finest gentlemen that ever sat in the House of

[Illustration: H]

Had Mr. Bradlaugh taken the oath with the rest of the Members when first
introduced to the House, or had he, after refusing to take it, behaved
with less violence, I doubt if he would have made any name in
Parliament. The House was determined to fight Bradlaugh, and it is not
to be wondered at, for he paraded his atheism, and his views on other
matters, in the most repulsive manner possible. But Bradlaugh did not
run the risk of fighting down mere prejudice. Had he taken the oath, he
would only have won the ear of the House by proving himself a great
politician. This he was not, though he was a hard-working one, and a
model Member from a constituency's point of view. But the only big
question he mastered was his own right to take his seat. Once he got it,
he became a respectable and respected Member of Parliament, and nothing
more. So, with the wisdom of the serpent, he did not enter the House
quietly to fight a wearisome and impossible battle against the
inveterate prejudices of the Members. No, Bradlaugh defied the House of
Commons; he horrified it, he insulted it, he lectured it, he laughed at
it, he tricked it, he shamed it, he humiliated it, he conquered it. He
brought to their knees the men who howled at him--as no other man has
ever been howled at before--by sheer force of character.

[Illustration: BRADLAUGH TRIUMPHANT. _From "Punch."_]

Bradlaugh's bitter struggle would fill a volume. Select Committees were
appointed, and they declared against him. Ignoring them, Bradlaugh
marched up to the table and demanded to be sworn. The Fourth Party would
not let him touch the Testament. Three days followed of angry debate on
Bradlaughism, with more scenes. A new Committee reversed the decision of
its predecessor, and said that Bradlaugh might affirm. Two days were
consumed in discussing this, and the present Lord Chancellor, then Sir
Hardinge Giffard, swayed the House against the report of the Committee.
Nothing daunted, Mr. Bradlaugh the very next day was back at the table
of the House, clamouring to be allowed to address the House on his case.
A scene of wild confusion resulted, Mr. Bradlaugh endeavouring to speak,
the House howling to prevent him. Eventually he was ordered below the
Bar--that is, nominally outside the House, although within the four
walls. After much acrimonious chatter from all sides, he was allowed to
make his speech. His hour had come. He stood like a prisoner pleading
before a single judge and a jury of 670 of his fellow-men. His speech
was more worthy of the Surrey Theatre than of the "Best Club." It was
bombastic and theatrical. He was ordered to withdraw, while the jury
considered their verdict. When he was recalled, it was to hear sentence
of expulsion passed on him. But he would not depart, and another
tremendous uproar took place. Mr. Bradlaugh's well-trained platform
voice rose above all others in loud assertion of his "rights," and he
continued to call for them all through the House, the Lobbies, the
corridors, up the winding stair into the Clock Tower, where he was
immured by the Sergeant-at-Arms. The following day he was released after
another angry debate, and he quickly returned to the forbidden
precincts. Then he was induced to quit, but on the next day he came down
to the House with his family, and with a triumphant procession entered
the House amid the cheers of the crowd. So the drama went on day after
day, like a Chinese play. The characters in it were acted by the leading
players on both sides of the House, and the excitement never flagged for
a moment until Mr. Bradlaugh was allowed to affirm. He was told that he
would vote at his own risk. He voted repeatedly, and by so doing
incurred a fine, at the hands of Mr. Justice Mathew, of the little round
sum of £100,000 (he never had 100,000 farthings), nor could he even open
his mouth in the House without savage interruption. Finally, Mr.
Labouchere, his colleague, moved for a new writ for the borough of
Northampton. Bradlaugh re-won the seat by the small majority of 132
votes, and the Bradlaugh incubus lay once more on Parliament. Then
followed the same old cycle of events, the same scene at the table, the
same angry religious warfare in debate (Mr. Bright's great oratorical
effort will be remembered), the same speech from Mr. Bradlaugh at the
Bar, the same division, the same result. Scene followed scene, and
scandal scandal for weeks, months, years.

[Illustration: CHARLES BRADLAUGH.]

To appreciate Mr. John Bright fully, one must have heard him. Really to
comprehend his power and greatness, one must have heard him at his best.
Yet the greatness of his oratory lay not so much in what he said as in
the beautiful way he said it.

Previous to my having the opportunity of listening to the debates, Mr.
Bright had reached that stage a singer reaches who has to all intents
retired from the stage, and merely makes an appearance for someone's
benefit now and then. In the first two or three years which I recall in
these pages Mr. Bright was making his last appearance in grand political
opera. He was in the Government, but although he assured the House that
"he was not going to turn his back upon himself"--an assertion of his
powers as a contortionist I endeavoured to depict in _Punch_ the
following week--Mr. Bright had practically turned his back upon making
great oratorical displays. The Bradlaugh scandal was in 1881 the subject
of the hour, and it was whilst appearing for Mr. Bradlaugh's benefit, on
the occasion of one of the numerous matinées arranged by the elected for
Northampton, that Mr. Bright used the words. But on no occasion in my
memory did he rise in a full-dress debate to make one of those grand
efforts with which his name will ever be remembered as the great orator.

Statesmanship was not so much to him as speechifying. He was not a
diplomatist such as Beaconsfield, a tactician like Mr. Gladstone, a
fearless, dashing debater like Lord Derby the elder, "The Rupert of
Debate"; nor had he the weight of Lord Salisbury, nor the æstheticism of
Mr. Balfour. But as a mere voice in the political opera he had a charm
above them all. In appearance he was commonplace compared with these
others I have mentioned. Often the most indifferent-looking horse in the
stable or in the paddock is the best in action. You would not give £40
for some standing at ease; but in action, moving to perfection, with
fire and speed and staying power, the price is more like £20,000. Mr.
Bright never got into his stride at any time or in any event while he
came under my observation.

[Illustration: THE MEET AT ST. STEPHEN'S.]

These equine remarks about a great politician bring to mind a protest I
received about a drawing of mine, which appeared a year or two ago,
representing Mr. Gladstone as a Grand Old Horse, hearing the horn at the
meet, cantering towards his companions in so many runs in which he had
taken the lead, and for which his day had gone. The protest came from a
Quaker, horrified at my depicting Mr. Gladstone as a gee-gee! as if he
had not been so depicted often enough before.

Jacob Bright was the very antithesis to his brother, both in appearance
and manner--tall, of a nervous, wiry frame, rigid face, severe
expression. He, like others without a spark of humour, was often the
means of unconscious merriment. For instance, when Lord Randolph
Churchill was Member for Woodstock, Mr. Jacob Bright referred to him as
the noble lord "the Member for Woodcock." Sir John Tenniel in the
cartoon in _Punch_, and myself in the minor pictures of Parliament in
that journal, made full use of the "woodcock," and, therefore, revelling
in heraldry, quickly added the woodcock to the Churchill arms.

Half the bores in London clubs are Indian officials returned to us with
their digestion and their temper destroyed, to spend the rest of their
days in fighting their poor livers and their unhappy friends. The
etiquette of Clubland prevents one from protesting. But in the "Best
Club" they are not spared. They are either howled at, or left to speak
to empty benches.

Perhaps Sir George Campbell, who had been Governor of Bombay, was the
most eccentric bore we have ever had in the House of Commons. Sir George
has acknowledged that he could not resist the temptation to speak. On
one occasion he made no less than fifty-five speeches on the Standing
Committee of one Bill. At breakfast in the morning he read in the
_Times_ his heated, unconsidered interruptions in the House the night
before, and he read of the contempt with which they were received--the
"Loud laughter," cries of "Order!" "Divide! divide! divide!" and the
snubs administered to him by the wearied and disgusted Members. He read
after lunch at his club the jeering remarks of the evening Press. He was
well aware he was a nuisance to the House, and he resolved as he walked
down Whitehall not to open his mouth. But as soon as he crossed Palace
Yard and entered the corridors of the House he sniffed the odour of
authority and the fever of debate. He, the Great Sir George of
India,--silent? Never! Whether there was a question about the
bathing-machines on the beach at Hastings, or the spread of scarlet
fever at Battersea, or about an old pump at Littleshrimpton, he cared
not: he must act his part--that of the Pantaloon in Parliament.

[Illustration: SIR GEORGE CAMPBELL.]

In appearance he was a striking, handsome man, with a strong
individuality. A good head, piercing eye, well-shaped nose, and tall,
active frame no doubt added to his authority in India. He struck me as a
man who had been taken to pieces on his way home to this country, and
put together again badly, for his joints were all wrong. Certainly his
head was, and he was over wound up. His tongue never ceased, and the
worst of it was he had a rasping, penetrating voice, with the strongest
Scotch accent. One afternoon in the House this accent led to one of
those frequent outbursts of merriment and protest combined--so common
when Sir George bored the House, as he was always doing. Sometimes he
made over thirty speeches in one evening. A question was asked about the
obstructive methods of the irrepressible Sir George, who on this
particular afternoon was supported in his boredom by two other bores,
the Member for Sunderland and Mr. Conybeare. These three had the House
to themselves, and peppered the Government benches with question after
question, speech after speech. Sir George alluded to themselves as "a
band of devoted guerillas." The weary House, not paying particular
attention to every accent, failed to catch most of what Sir George said,
as his rasping Scotch accent left them no escape. But the last word was
misunderstood, and an outburst of laughter, long, loud, and hearty,
followed, and, in a Parliamentary sense, killed Sir George for the day.
The House understood him to say "a band of us devoted gorillas."

Perhaps the neatest rebuke Sir George ever had in the House--or, as a
matter of fact, any Member ever had--was administered by that most
polished wit, Mr. Plunket (now Lord Rathmore). Sir George solemnly rose
and asked Mr. Plunket, who happened at the time to be Minister of Public
Works, whether he (Mr. Plunket) was responsible for the "fearful
creatures" whose effigies adorn the staircase of Westminster Hall. Mr.
Plunket rose and quietly replied, in his effective, hesitating manner,
"I am not responsible for the fearful creatures either in Westminster
Hall or in this House," a retort which "brought down the House" and
caused it to laugh loud and long. This I chronicled in a drawing for
_Punch_ the following week.

The subject of gargoyles recalls another witticism, which, however, has
the light touch that failed.

Now there is nothing so disappointing to a humorist as to lead up to an
interruption, and then find he is not interrupted. Mr. Chamberlain
seldom fails to bring off his little unsuspected repartee, and it is his
mastery of this art that make his speeches sparkle with diamond
brilliancy, but then these are usually serious, and he can afford a few
miss-fires. Mr. Goschen, in the Commons, romped through his "plants" for
his opponents; his interruptions were three or four deep, but he was
ready for all of them. He may be likened to a professional chess player,
playing a dozen opponents at once, and remembering all the moves on the
separate boards. But for a humorist to miss fire--after an elaborate
joke is prepared--is a catastrophe.

Colonel Sanderson rose on a very important and ticklish occasion to
"draw" Mr. Labouchere. The Member for Northampton had been electrifying
the House by his free handling of a matter affecting the morality of
private individuals, a course of action for which, later on, he was
suspended. Colonel Sanderson, alluding to Mr. Labouchere, called him a
"political gargoyle." Mr. Labouchere did not, as was expected, rise in a
furious state and demand an explanation. The Colonel paused and
repeated, "I say the hon. gentleman, the Member for Northampton, is a
political gargoyle." No notice was taken by the gentleman compared to
the architectural adornment of past days; it was evident that, like the
gargoyle in ancient architecture, the remark of the humorous Colonel was
some elaboration too lofty to be noticed. A few days afterwards Mr.
Labouchere met the Colonel, and asked him what he meant by calling him a
political gargoyle. "Well," said the Colonel, "rather late to ask me;
you will find the definition in the dictionary. It is a grotesque
gutter-spout." Said Mr. Labouchere, "You're a very clever fellow,
Colonel; that would have been a capital point--if you had made it."

RATHMORE) JOKE. _From "Punch."_]

Mr. Farmer Atkinson, who succeeded Sir William Ingram of the
_Illustrated London News_ and the _Sketch_ as Member for Boston,
Lincolnshire, was an invaluable "subject" for me during his brief hour
upon the Parliamentary stage. Our introduction was peculiar. It so
happened that when Mr. (now Sir) Christopher Furness was first returned
for Hartlepool, Mr. Atkinson, although of opposite politics, was most
anxious to welcome him to Parliament as a companion Dissenter. After
diligent inquiries for Mr. Furness, I was by mistake pointed out to him.
I suddenly found both my hands clasped and warmly shaken by the mistaken
M.P. "Delighted to meet you, Mr. Furness! Allow me to congratulate you.
We are both Dissenters, you know,--what a pity we are on different sides
of the House!"

"Yes," I replied, "a thousand pities,--you see, you are inside and I am

[Illustration: MR. FARMER ATKINSON.]

My introduction to Mr. Christopher Furness a day or two afterwards was
in a way similar, but rather more embarrassing.

Perhaps there are not two men with surnames so similar and yet so
different in every other way than that great man of business, Sir
Christopher Furness, and myself. He has an eye for business, but not one
for his surname--I have an "I" in my name, and two for art only. When
Mr. Furness was first returned to Parliament, plain Mr., neither a
knight nor a millionaire, _then_ he asked to see me alone in one of the
Lobbies of the House of Commons. He held a note in his hand, _strangely_
and nervously,--so I knew at once it was not a bank-note.

"I--ah--am very sorry,--you are a stranger to me, I--a--stranger to the
House. This note from a stranger was handed to me by a strange
official. I read it before I noticed the mistake. It is addressed to

"Oh, that is of no consequence, I assure you," I said.

"Oh, but it is--it must be of consequence. It is--of--such a private
nature, and so brief. I feel extremely awkward in having to acknowledge
I read it,--a pure accident, I assure you!"

He handed me the note and was running away, when I called him back. It

             "Meet me under the clock at 8.


"I must introduce you to Lucy."

"No, no! not for worlds,"

But I did. Here he is.


There were more "scenes" in Parliament in the few sessions that I have
selected to write about in this volume than there were in the rest of
the last century put together. This was largely due to the climax of
Irish affairs in the House. For effect in debate the English and Scotch
Members,--not to speak of the Welsh Representatives,--are failures
compared with those Members from across the water. No matter how hard
the phlegmatic Englishman, the querulous Scotchman, or the whinings of
those from gallant little Wales may try for effect, they have to give
way to the Irish in the art of making a scene in the House.
Occasionally, as when Dr. Kenealy shook some pepper over the House, and
in the case of Mr. Plimsoll--or some other honourable gentleman--who
went so far as to hang his umbrella on the Mace, an English Member
causes a sensation which might almost excite a pang of envy in the
breast of Dr. Tanner or Mr. Healy. No Englishman, however, has exceeded
Mr. Bradlaugh in the persistent quality of sensationalism in Parliament,
which now is sadly in want of another political phenomenon to enliven
its proceedings.

One of the best studies in those days of good subjects for the
Parliamentary caricaturist was the figure of that "squat and leering
Quilp," Joseph Gillis Biggar, Member for County Cavan. Mr. Lucy (Toby,
M.P.), who acted as Biggar's Boswell, records the interesting fact that
when Mr. Biggar rose for the first time in the House (1874) to put a
supplementary question to a Minister, Mr. Disraeli, startled by the
apparition, turned to Lord Barrington as if he had seen seated in the
Irish quarter an ourang-outang or some other strange creature,--"What's


From that moment Mr. Biggar was a continual source of amusement--and
"copy." I venture to say that Toby, M.P., has written a good-sized
volume about Mr. Biggar's waistcoat alone. What he saw in the waistcoat
to chronicle I confess I have failed to see. "A fearsome garment," Mr.
Lucy called it, "which, at a distance, might be taken for sealskin, but
was understood to be of native manufacture."

Mr. Biggar--waistcoat and all--was certainly seen and heard to advantage
"at a distance." He was no doubt useful to his Party, acting, as I
believe he did, as a kind of good-natured nurse to them, looking after
their comfort and seeing they kept in bounds.

Mr. Biggar was always repulsive in both appearance and manner. His
unfortunate deformity, his gargoyle-like face, his long, bony hands,
large feet, the black tail coat and baggy black trousers, the grin and
the grating voice, and the fact that pork was his study before
Parliament, made Joseph Gillis Biggar's appearance as ugly as his name.
His chief claim to a niche in Parliamentary history is the fact that he
originated Obstruction, and showed the manner in which it should be
applied by making a speech occupying four hours of valuable time. He
also showed the length to which gross impertinence can be carried to
bring the House into contempt. He "spied" His Royal Highness, our
present King, one day in the gallery, and by the law of Parliament a
Member by suddenly observing that he "spies" a stranger may have the
House cleared of all but its Members, including Royalty--worse than that
he on one occasion alluded to Mr. Gladstone as "a vain old gentleman."

The nearest approach I ever had to enter into practical politics was a
request I received in March, 1892, to become the successor of Lord (then
Sir Charles) Russell, as chairman of a local Radical association. In
reply I confessed my political creed, and I see no reason to alter it.

                        MY POLITICAL CONFESSION.

  "I have just received your flattering communication asking me to become
  the chairman of No. 2 Ward of the East Marylebone Liberal and Radical
  Association. It is the first time my name has ever been associated with
  Party politics, and I am puzzled to know myself whether I am a Radical,
  a Tory, a Liberal, or a Liberal Unionist!

  "I read the _Times_ every morning, and the _Star_ and the _Pall Mall
  Gazette_ every evening. I read the sporting papers for their politics,
  and the political papers for their literary and artistic notes.

  "I work sixteen hours a day myself, and would agree to any law
  prohibiting others in my profession from working more than three hours.

  "I am strongly opposed to Home Rule, as the disappearance of the Irish
  Members (who are invaluable to me in my profession) from St. Stephen's
  would be a serious loss to me.

  "I agree to paying Members of Parliament, but would propose that they
  should be fined for non-attendance, and for the privilege of speaking
  too long, too often, or not often enough. These fines, in the majority
  of cases, would come to three times the amount of the Member's income.

  "I am not in favour of capital punishment, and would do away with all
  judges and trials by jury, leaving the Press to fight out the criminal
  cases between themselves.

  "I believe in free education, free libraries, and a free breakfast
  table, and would propose that free book-stalls and free restaurants
  should be compulsory on all railways.

  "I am strongly opposed to vivisection, and hold that the life of a
  rabbit is quite as valuable as that of a professor. At the same time I
  would not countenance any law making it a punishable offence to boil a
  lobster alive.

  "I am a believer in hypnotism, thought-reading, and theosophy (I have
  been a bit of an amateur conjurer myself).

  "Right of public meeting? Certainly. This should be a free
  country--everyone do as he likes. Football in Hyde Park, and fairs in
  Trafalgar Square. Equal freedom for all processions--if Booth can stop
  the traffic, why not Sanger's menagerie?

  "As to local option, by all means let all public-houses be closed. (I
  never enter one.) And all clubs, too, so long as my own are not
  interfered with.

  "I am not at present a member of any political club, but if you wish me
  to become one I will put up at the Reform, either as a fervent
  Gladstonian or a red-hot Unionist; I don't mind which, as neither have
  the slightest chance of getting in now.

  "If, after considering these qualifications, you are of opinion that I
  would be the right man in the right place, I shall be most happy and
  willing to become your chairman.--Yours, etc."


I regret to have to confess that I once posed as a political prophet. I
was encouraged to prophesy the fact that six months before the election
of July, 1892, when Mr. Gladstone was confident of "sweeping the
country" and coming back with a majority of 170 or so, when both sides
predicted a decisive result, and political prophets were cocksure of
large figures, I luckily happened to be more successful in my
vaticinations than they, giving the Gladstonians a majority of something
between forty and forty-five. The actual majority turned out, six
months afterwards, to be forty-two. This encouraged me to write the
following letter to the _Times_, and it appeared July 19th:

                     "_A Parliamentary Prophecy._

  "Sir,--I am surprised that no Parliamentary chronicler has written to
  the papers to thank the electors of the United Kingdom for the happy
  result of the General Election. The jaded journalist is the only person
  to whom the result is pleasing, as he will have no lack of material for
  descriptive matter in the coming Parliament.

  "The Gladstonians are not pleased, because they have barely got a
  working majority. The Conservatives are not pleased, because they have
  not got one at all. The Liberal Unionists are not pleased, because they
  go with the Conservatives. The Irish Nationalists are chagrined, because
  of the success of five Unionists in Ireland. The Parnellites feel
  mischievous but unhappy. The Labour representatives mischievous and
  happy--they are the heroes of the hour--and, although the members of the
  Labour Party have hitherto been nonentities in the House, they will
  probably be 'named' several times in the future. But Parliament is a
  refrigerator for red-hot rhetoric, and such Members will, in time, find
  respectability and aspirants,[2] and grow dull.

       [2] See page 212.

  "A harassed leader, an ambitious Opposition, the balance of power
  resting in the hands of the Irish, divided amongst themselves, a new and
  probably noisy party, boredom increased, faddism intensified--such are
  the ingredients of the new House; and with little spice thrown in in the
  shape of a revived morality scandal, the new Parliament promises to be a
  hotch-potch of surprises. I myself take no side in politics, and am
  glad to say that I have numerous friends in all parties. Perhaps it was
  in consequence of this that I heard all sides of opinion, thereby
  enabling me six months ago to weigh all my information correctly and
  predict the result of the General Election--a Gladstonian majority of
  between forty and forty-five votes--and to this opinion I have firmly
  adhered in spite of the fluctuating prospects before the fight. Even on
  Wednesday, the 6th inst., when the returns pouring in seemed to point to
  a Government majority, I stuck to my prophecy.

  "I am now receiving from my friends (more especially from my Liberal
  friends) congratulations upon my perspicacity, and, although I am no
  Schnadhorst, I must now regard myself in the light of a Parliamentary
  prophet. Having in that capacity chanted my incantations and calculated
  the number of square feet of Irish linen in one of Mr. Gladstone's
  collars to be in inverse ratio to the dimensions of his Mid-Lothian
  majority, and having by abstruse computations discovered the hitherto
  unknown quantity of Sir William Harcourt's chins, I can safely predict
  that there will be another General Election within the space of
  thirteen months, and that the result of the same will be the return of
  the Unionists with a majority of fifteen.

                                             "Yours truly,

                                                         "HARRY FURNISS.

     "Garrick Club, London, July 19."


The regret I felt was not caused by any failure of my prediction
contained in the last paragraph in that letter, but that the whole of it
was taken seriously. Editorial leaders appeared in the principal papers
all over the kingdom. Letters followed, discussions took place, and
politicians referred to it in their speeches. "Mr. Harry Furniss has
taken the public into his confidence, as one who is thoroughly
acquainted with Party politics, though he takes no personal interest in
them. Men who can thus truthfully describe themselves are excessively
rare, as far as we know. It is usually the person who does not
understand politics who takes no interest in them. A man who understands
politics, but does not concern himself to take sides, is in the position
of the looker-on who sees most of the game," was truthfully written of
me _à propos_ of this letter--but why _à propos_ of this letter? Why not
of my serious work instead? No, my "airy persiflage" was only a cloak. I
was seriously and instantaneously accepted as a serious political
prophet, and otherwise criticised:

                   "_To the Editor of the 'Times.'_

  "Sir, In a letter signed by Mr. Harry Furniss, which appeared in the
  _Times_ of the 21st inst., the writer concluded by predicting that there
  would be another general election within thirteen months, and that the
  result would be a Unionist majority of fifteen.

  "Mr. Furniss is evidently fond of odd numbers, but may I point out to
  him, and to many other political prophets who have fallen into the same
  trap, that the fulfilment of his prediction is an impossibility?

  "In a House of 670 Members, or any other even number, if divided into
  two parties, the majority (in the sense he uses the word--viz., the
  difference) must always be an even number. It is true that the division
  lists sometimes show a majority which is an odd number, but in such a
  case an odd number of Members must have been absent from the division.
  Mr. Furniss must prophesy either fourteen or sixteen.

  "The English language is so defective that the word 'majority' is used
  to mean 'the greater number,' and also 'the difference between the
  greater number and the less.' Cannot a new word be invented to replace
  'majority' in one or other of these meanings, and so avoid the use of
  the same word for two distinct ideas?

                                      "Your obedient servant,

                                               "GEORGE R. GALLAHER,

                                   "Fellow of the Institute of Bankers.

    "44, Fenchurch Street, London, E.C."

I suppose F.I.B. stands for "Fellow of the Institute of Bankers."
Anyway, before I had time to reply to the courteous captious critic the
_Times_ published the following:

                     "_Political Prophecy._

  "Sir,--In endeavouring to correct Mr. Furniss your correspondent Mr.
  Gallaher has forgotten that, although the House of Commons consists of
  an even number of Members, one of those Members will be elected Speaker;
  and that consequently, if all the Members were on any occasion to
  attend, the majority would be an odd, and not an even number. There is
  therefore no necessity for Mr. Furniss to alter his prophecy at present.

                                         "Your obedient servant,

                                                         "FAIR PLAY."

Other correspondents, less technical but strongly political, accused me
of being "an inspired Conservative spy." Others that I was an oracle
worth "rigging." And the Irish and Radical Press questioning my
impartiality, I published this letter:

         "_To the Editor of the 'Manchester City News.'_

  "Sir,--My attention has been called to a paragraph in your issue of July
  23rd, stating that I am a Conservative, an assertion which has highly
  amused those who know me well, for I am one of the strongest of Radicals
  in some things and the hottest of Tories in others. I earnestly advocate
  the claims of the working man, and sometimes I feel myself a Whig of the
  old school. Whether I am a Tory, a Liberal or a Radical, troubles me
  very little, but as you seem to take a kind interest in my political
  opinions I should have preferred you to have styled me an Independent,
  which I understand means nothing.

                                                       "HARRY FURNISS.

    "Garrick Club, London."

But neither "Independent" nor humorous would the partisan
Press allow me to be. Certainly I was applauded by some for
having held steadfastly to my prophecy, despite temptations
which would have made Cassandra succumb. I was flattered
by being held up as an exception among the prophets. From
Mr. Gladstone to Mr. T. P. O'Connor politicians had prophesied
and were hopelessly wide of the mark. Mr. Chamberlain,
speaking at Birmingham that week, said, "The gravity of the
weighty man of the House of Commons, gentlemen, is a thing
to which there is no parallel in the world," and oh! so serious!

               A rough Sketch made in the House.

Mr. W. E. Foster.     Mr. Gladstone.      Mr. John Bright.
          Lord E. Fitzmaurice.   Lord Hartington.]

"Prophets--at any rate political prophets--are chiefly distinguished
from other people by being always dull and nearly always wrong. To-day,
however, appears a brilliant exception to the almost universal rule,"
wrote one paper, and yet continued, "Mr. Furniss is simply within his
own ground as one of the shrewdest and best trained of living observers,
when he describes the newly-elected House of Commons as thoroughly
discontented with itself. But we wish that Mr. Furniss had carried his
prediction into the regions of counsel, and had been able to read in
'Mr. Gladstone's collars,' or in the 'unknown quantity of Sir William
Harcourt's chins,' and whatever else serves him for his Stars, what is
to be the outcome of a situation in which no party is able to obtain a
working majority. If Mr. Furniss is right, the question of 'how is the
Queen's Government to be carried on?' will assume a practical importance
which it never had before; and unless he himself, as a thoroughly
non-party man, can be induced to undertake the formation of an
administration of similarly fortunate persons, one does not see what is
to be done. Party government is based upon big majorities--it is within
measurable distance of breaking down altogether unless the country will
make up its mind to stand no more nonsense, and to prefer what is really
a party to a conglomerate of fads and factions."

I was beginning to feel like a man who had started a story and forgotten
the point of it. The only "comic relief" was the following note from the
Editor of _Punch_:

                                                  _21st July, 1892.

                   "_Vates et Vox Stellarum._

  "Dear H. F.,--'Respectability and aspirants.' Didn't you squirm at the
  misprint? Is that setter-up-of-type still alive? Je m'en doute. The
  reference to Harcourt's _chins_ will _get you liked_ very much. You
  dated it from the Garrick, but you didn't put the time of night when
  you wrote it. 'P.S.'--_Post Supperal_, eh?

  "Farewell, O Prophet!--but 'why _didn't you say so before_?'

  "Allah il Allah Ari Furniss is His Prophet!

                                                     "Yours ever,

                                                               "F. C. B.

  "_Advt._--'LIKA JOKO'! Parliamentary Prophet!! Prophecies sent out on
  shortest notice. Terms, ----. Reduction on taking a quantity."

Yes! I did squirm at the misprint, which, however, was rectified in the
next issue:

  "_A Parliamentary Prophecy._--In Mr. Harry Furniss's letter under this
  title in the _Times_ of yesterday the word 'aspirates' should be read
  instead of 'aspirants' in the following passage: 'The Labour
  representatives feel mischievous and happy--they are the heroes of the
  hour--and, although the members of the Labour Party have hitherto been
  nonentities in the House, they will probably be 'named' several times in
  the future. But Parliament is a refrigerator for red-hot rhetoric, and
  such members will, in time, find respectability and aspirants, and grow

I wish I had followed the example of Mr. John Morley, who announced a
couple of months before the election that he had written down his
General Election tip and placed it in a sealed envelope; but so far as I
have heard, he never risked his reputation for prophecy--he refrained
from publishing the secret. That grave and weighty right hon. gentleman
scored as the humorist, and I failed as a prophet in my second attempt.


                               CHAPTER VII.


  Two _Punch_ Editors--_Punch's_ Hump--My First _Punch_ Dinner--Charles
   Keene--"Robert"--W. H. Bradbury--du Maurier--"Kiki"--A Trip to the
   Place of his Birth--He Hates Me--A Practical Joke--du Maurier's Strange
   Model--No Sportsman--Tea--Appollinaris--My First Contribution--My
   Record--Parliament--Press Gallery Official--I Feel Small--The "Black
   Beetle"--Professor Rogers--Sergeant-at-Arms' Room--Styles of
   Work--Privileges--Dr. Percy--I Sit in the Table--The Villain of Art--The
   New Cabinet--Criticism--_Punch's_ Historical Cartoons--Darwen
   MacNeill--Scenes in the Lobby--A Technical Assault--John Burns's
   "Invention"--John Burns's Promise--John Burns's Insult--The Lay of Swift
   MacNeill--The Truth--Sir Frank Lockwood--"Grand Cross"--Lockwood's
   Little Sketch--Lockwood's Little Joke in the House--Lockwood's Little
   Joke at Dinner--Lewis Carroll and _Punch_--Gladstone's Head--Sir
   William's Portrait--Ciphers--Reversion--_Punch_ at Play--Three _Punch_
   Men in a Boat--Squaring up--Two Pins Club--Its One Joke--Its One
   Horse--Its Mystery--Artistic Duties--Lord Russell--Furious
   Riding--Before the Beak--Burnand and I in the Saddle--Caricaturing
   Pictures for _Punch_--Art under Glass--Arthur Cecil--My Other Eye--The
   Ridicule that Kills--Red Tape--_Punch_ in Prison--I make a Mess of
   it--Waterproof--"I used your Soap two years ago"--Charles Keene--Charles
   Barber--_Punch's_ Advice--_Punch's_ Wives.

[Illustration: T]

The first representative of Mr. Punch with whom I came into contact was
the late Tom Taylor, at that period the tenant of the editorial chair.
To this meeting I have referred on a previous page, when I mentioned
that Mr. Taylor had just returned from the wilds of Connemara and
strongly advised me to make some explorations in that little-known
district for the purpose of making sketches of the "genus _homo_
indigenous to the soil," which I did a week or so prior to my setting
foot in the busy haunt of men on murky Thames.

Tom Taylor was, I believe, one of the best of men, and the possessor of
one of the kindest hearts; but although he certainly professed to take
an interest in me (probably owing to the fact that it was to a relative
of mine that he was indebted for his first introduction to literature),
the fact remains that whenever I sent him a sketch I used to receive one
of his extraordinary hieroglyphical missives supposed to be a note
courteously declining my efforts, notwithstanding that I was often
flattered although not enriched by subsequently seeing the subjects of
them appear redrawn under another name in the pages of _Punch_.

It was not until Tom Taylor had passed away that Mr. Punch would deign
to give me a chance. I had then been seven years in London hard at work
for the leading magazines and illustrated papers, and I may truly say
that my work was the only introduction I ever had to Mr. Burnand.

[Illustration: Age 26, WHEN I FIRST WORKED FOR PUNCH. [_From a Photo by
C. Watkins._]]

When I first entered the goal of my boyish ambition--that is to say, the
editorial sanctum of Mr. Punch--I had never met the gentleman who for a
number of years afterwards was destined to be my chief, and I fully
expected to see the editor turn round and receive me with that look of
irrepressible humour and in that habitually jocose style which I had so
often heard described. I looked in vain for the geniality in the
editor's glance, and there was a remarkably complete absence of the
jocose in the sharp, irritable words which he addressed to me.

"Really," said he, "this is too bad! I wrote to you to meet me at the
Surrey Theatre last night, and you never turned up. We go to press
to-day, and the sketches are not even made."

"I don't quite understand you," I replied, "for I never heard from you
in my life, and I don't think that you ever saw me before."

"But surely you are Mr. ----?" (a contributor who had been drawing for
_Punch_ for some weeks). "Are you not?"

"No," I said. "My name is Furniss, and I understood that you wanted to
see me."


This was in 1880, and from that period up to the time of my resignation
from the staff of _Punch_ I certainly do not think that I have ever seen
Burnand's face assume such a threatening and offended expression as it
wore that day.

I was then twenty-six. Strange to say, Charles Keene and George du
Maurier were exactly the same age when they first made their _début_ in
_Punch_, but not yet invited to "join the table."

As I was leaving my house one summer evening a few years afterwards, the
youngest member of my family, who was being personally conducted up to
bed by his nurse, enquired where I was going.

"To dine with Mr. Punch," I replied.

"Oh, haven't you eaten all his hump _yet_, papa? It _does_ last a long
time!" And the little chap continued his journey to the arms of
Morpheus, evidently quite concerned about his father's long-drawn-out
act of cannibalism.

The first feast to which I was bidden was not one of the ordinary or
office description, but a banquet given at the "Albion" Tavern, in the
City, on the 3rd of January, 1881, to celebrate the installation of Mr.
Burnand as the occupant of the editorial chair. And on my invitation
card I first sketched my new friends, the _Punch_ staff, and a few of
the outside contributors who were present, conspicuous among whom was
George Augustus Sala, the honoured stranger of the evening. That he
should be so struck me as peculiar, for it was an open secret that Sala
wrote and illustrated that famous attack (nominally by Alfred Bunn), "A
Word with _Punch_," a most vulgar, vicious, and personal insult which
had given much offence years before; a clear proof of Mr. Punch's
forgiving nature. That grand old man of _Punch_, Tenniel, I made an
attempt to sketch as he was "saying a few words," but on this particular
occasion it was my _vis-à-vis_ Charles Keene who interested me more than
any other person present. He wore black kid gloves and never removed
them all during dinner--that puzzled me. Why he wore them I cannot say.
I never saw him wearing gloves at table again, or even out of doors.
Then he was in trouble with his cigar, and finally I noticed that he
threw it under the table and stamped upon it, and produced his favourite
dirty Charles the First pipe, the diminutive bowl of which he filled
continually with what smokers call "dottles." He was then apparently
perfectly happy, as indeed he always looked when puffing away at his
antique clay. Years afterwards, when sketching a background for a
_Punch_ drawing in the East End, I noticed some labourers returning
from working at excavations, laughing over something they had found in
the ground; it was a splendid specimen of the Charles clay pipe, longer
than any I have seen. I bought it from them to present to Keene, but he
was ill then, and soon after the greatest master of black and white
England ever produced had passed away.



[Illustration: "Robert."]

After Keene the strangest character present was Mr. Deputy
Bedford--"Robert" in the pages of _Punch_--an undertaker in the City,
and one of the most humorous men within its boundary. I recollect
introducing my wife to him at some function at the Mansion House--not as
Robert, but as Mr. Deputy Bedford. She expressed her pleasure at meeting
one of the City dignitaries, and he offered to show her over the
treasures in the Mansion House. "There's a fine statue for you! Don't
know who did it, but we paid a thousand pounds for it. And that one over
there, which weighs half a ton less, cost twice as much. Oh! the
pictures are worth something, too. That portrait cost £800; I don't know
what that one cost, but the frame is cheap at £20. Yes, fine gold plate,
isn't it? Old designs? Yes, but old or new, boiled down, I should think
£80,000 wouldn't be taken for the pile!" And so on, and so on, with a
merry twinkle in his eye and an excellent imitation of what outsiders
consider City men to be.

[Illustration: GEORGE DU MAURIER.
   _From a pen and ink drawing by himself, the property of the Author._]

My caricature of the genial E. L. S. (Sambourne) is not good, but quite
as kind as Sala's remarks were on that occasion in chaffing Sambourne
for turning up in morning costume. In the bottom right-hand corner of
the card is a note of the late Mr. W. H. Bradbury, one of the
proprietors of _Punch_, the kindest and the best host, the
biggest-hearted and most genial friend, I ever worked for. He has his
eye, I notice, on a gentleman making an impromptu speech--the sensation
of the evening--referred to by Mr. M. H. Spielmann in "The History of
_Punch_." Next to that irrepressible orator is Mr. Lucy, "Toby, M.P.,"
as I saw him first.

I note on this card an attempt to sketch du Maurier, the "Thackeray of
the pencil." By the way, I was certainly the first to apply that term to
him--in my first lecture, "Art and Artists." He was some distance from
me at the banquet when I made these notes.

It is a curious fact that I really never had a seat allotted to me at
the _Punch_ table. I always sat in du Maurier's, except on the rare
occasions when he came to the dinner, when I moved up one. It was always
a treat to have du Maurier at "the table." He was by far and away the
cleverest conversationalist of his time I ever met,--his delightful
repartees were so neat and effective, and his daring chaff and his
criticisms so bright and refreshing.

For some extraordinary reason du Maurier was known to the _Punch_ men as
"Kiki," a friendly sobriquet which greeted him when he first joined, and
refers to his nationality. In the same way as an English schoolboy calls
out "Froggy" to a Frenchman, his friends on the _Punch_ staff called him
Kiki, suggested by the Frenchman's peculiar and un-English art of

Du Maurier took very little interest in the discussions at the table; in
fact, he resented informal debate on the subject of the cartoon as an
interruption to his conversation, although he once suggested a cartoon
which will always rank as one of the most historical hits of Mr.
Punch--a cartoon of the First Napoleon warning Napoleon the Third as he
marches out to meet the Germans in the War of 1870.

At times he might enter into the artistic treatment of the cartoon; and
I reproduce a sketch he did on the back of a _menu_ to explain some idea
in connection with the cartoon which appeared the following week in

Du Maurier's extremely clever conversation struck me the moment I
joined the staff of _Punch_. As I went part of his way to Hampstead, we
sometimes shared a cab, and in one of these journeys I mentioned my
conviction that he, in my mind, was a great deal more than a humorous
artist, and if he would only take up the pen seriously the world would
be all the more indebted to him. He told me that Mr. James had for some
time said nice things of a similar character.


About ten days afterwards I received a letter saying that my
conversation had had an effect upon him, and that he was starting his
first novel. So perhaps the world is really indebted to me, indirectly,
for the pleasure of reading "Peter Ibbetson" and "Trilby;" the fact
being that he had, with Burnand and myself, just visited Paris--the
first time he had set foot in the gay city since his youth. Many things
he saw had impressed him, and "Peter Ibbetson" was the result. How
interesting it was to watch him in Paris, the place of his birth,
standing, the ideal type of a Frenchman himself, smiling and as amused
as a boy at his own countrymen and women. "So very un-English, you
know!" Then, as we drove about Paris, he stood up in the carriage,
excitedly showing us places familiar to him in his young days, and
greatly amused us by pointing out no fewer than three different houses
in which he was born! We three were the guests of Mr. Staat Forbes at
Fontainebleau during the same trip, and du Maurier's sketches of our
pleasant experiences on that occasion appear in _Punch_, under the
heading "Souvenir de Fontainebleau," in three numbers in October, 1886.
In the drawing of our _al fresco_ dinner, "Smith" is our host, I am
"Brown," du Maurier "Jones," and Mr. Burnand "Robinson."

Three years afterwards du Maurier re-visited Paris with most of the
staff to see the Paris Exhibition, 1889. In my sketch "En Route--Mr.
Punch at Lunch," du Maurier is speaking to Mr. Anstey Guthrie, who, "for
this occasion only," called du Maurier the Marquis d'Ampstead.

Du Maurier had a little of the green-eyed monster in his bosom, although
he lived to laugh at all when he himself became the greatest success of
any man in his sphere.

When I made my hit with my Exhibition of the "Artistic Joke," du
Maurier, to my surprise, turned sharply round to me one night in the cab
and said, "My dear Furniss, I must be honest with you--I hate you, I
loathe you, I detest you!"


_From "Punch."_]

"Thanks, awfully, my dear fellow! But why?"

"Ah!" he said, "your success is too great. When I get the return you
send me in the morning, showing me the number of people that have been
to your Exhibition, the tremendous takings at the turnstiles, the number
of albums subscribed for, the number of pictures you have sold, I cannot
work. I go on to Hampstead Heath to walk off my jealousy; when I come in
to lunch I find your first telegram, telling me you have made £80 that
morning. I walk out again, and looking down upon London, although I
shake my fist at the whole place, my wrath is for you alone. I come in
to tea to find another telegram--you have made £100! How can I sit down
and scratch away on a piece of paper when you are making a fortune in a

This nearly took my breath away.

"My dear du Maurier," I replied, "I feel hurt--seriously, irrevocably.
I shall always feel degraded in your eyes. Of course you are the victim
of a practical joke."

Du Maurier pulled from his pocket one of my supposed returns. It was an
imitation of printing, with the amounts filled in. "This is the kind of
thing I get every morning."

"Why, of course, it is written, not printed. That is the work of the
irrepressible practical joker. But it makes no difference, du Maurier;
if you thought that I would be such a cad as to send you these returns,
I cannot see how we can ever be great friends."

Although as du Maurier believed for a time I had the necessary vulgarity
of the "bloated millionaire," to use his own words, we were never much
more than acquaintances--although very pleasant acquaintances--and I
believe du Maurier reciprocated the kind feeling I had towards him. Du
Maurier rarely forgave a satirical thrust at his expense. His dislike
for Mr. Whistler on this account is well known to all the early readers
of "Trilby," and he often related with unconcealed glee a remark he once
made to Whistler. It appears they had not met for a long period, during
which du Maurier with his satirical pictures on the æsthetic craze,
published in _Punch_, and Whistler with his "symphonies" and "harmonies"
on canvas, exhibited in the Law Courts, had both increased their

"Hullo, Kiki!" cried Whistler. "I'm told that your work in _Punch_ is
the making of some men. You have actually invented Tomkins! Why, he
never would have existed but for you! Ha! ha! how on earth did you do

"Look here, Jimmy, if you don't look out, by Jove, I'll invent you!"

How Kiki--du Maurier--carried out his threat in "Trilby," and what
resulted from it, all the world knows.

By the way, the mention of "Trilby" reminds me of a story about Mr. du
Maurier's own Trilby which is perhaps worth recording. Du Maurier for
some years lived on the top of Hampstead Heath, rather inaccessible for
models. But more than once friends asked him to take a sitting from some
lady or another, as he, drawing fashionable ladies, was different,
perhaps, from painters using models for costumes or, as du Maurier
would say, for the "altogether." In this way a model was introduced to
him, and, to his surprise, she drove up to his house in a hansom, and he
heard her asking one of the servants for change of a sovereign to pay
the cabman. She did not sit very well, so after a short time Mr. du
Maurier told her that he only drew from models for part of the day, and,
rather apologetically, said he of course did not pay for the whole of
the usual day's sitting. And she said:

"Oh, thanks! I am only too pleased to sit for a short time. But would
you kindly ask one of your servants to fetch me a hansom?"

         (_The original hangs on the wall of Mr. Punch's dining room._)]

This made the artist more than ever miserable, and he said:

"Excuse me, but perhaps you are not aware we only pay a modest amount
for sitters; in fact, I generally pay five shillings for two

"You don't mean to say you are really going to give me five shillings?
Oh, how kind of you! It will just pay half my cab fare home. I didn't
know I was going to be so lucky." And she vanished, leaving the artist
more bewildered than ever.

Some time afterwards, in Hyde Park, he was surprised to see a carriage
beautifully appointed pulled up to where he was standing, and a lady
lean out and say:

"I have never seen you before to thank you for your kindness in allowing
me to sit for you. I was so anxious to see what a studio was like.
Thanks, awfully; you must let me call again."

Du Maurier had the faculty of unaffected fun, he had also a feeling for
caricature in portraiture, but he did not care to exercise either to any
extent in _Punch_. I recollect Sir Henry Thompson--the celebrated
physician--showing me a copy of a book he had written, in which he
speaks of hospital life in London. Du Maurier had studied in a London
hospital when he first arrived in England, and he wrote to Sir Henry,
then a stranger to him, to ask him if the wretch in his book who wheeled
off the remains of the corpses from the dissecting-room was the same man
he knew and loathed years ago. The sketch accompanying this query Sir
Henry had pasted in the book in triumph. "There is the man," he said,
"to the life!"

At dinner du Maurier ate sparingly, drank moderately, and smoked
cigarettes. He avoided champagne, preferring the wine of his
country--claret; and after dinner, in place of coffee, he had a huge
breakfast-cup of tea, and, like the soap advertisement boy, he was not
happy till he got it.


Mentioning an advertisement suggests that it may interest some to know
du Maurier drew the label for a most popular mineral water. It is safe
to predict that not one person in the tens of thousands looking at it
yearly would connect du Maurier with it. It is that elaborate and rather
inartistic design on Appollinaris water, for which he received fifty
guineas from his friend--one of the proprietors. Anyone following his
work in _Punch_ must have noticed that he was a hypochondriac.
Hypochondriasis was a disease with him, he was always thinking of his
health, and I fear that sudden burst of popularity following the success
of "Trilby," in place of bracing him up, made him dwell somewhat more
upon his state of health, and hastened the end.

I recollect his telling me years ago he was advised to take horse
exercise for his health's sake, so he hired a hack and started in the
direction of Richmond Park. Arriving at the well-known windmill, and
before descending the beautiful slopes on the other side, he took out
his watch and, opening the case, put out his tongue to see what effect
the ride had had on his health. The horse moved, and he found himself
the next moment on the ground.

He gave up horse exercise after that!

My first contribution to _Punch_ appeared in the number dated October
30th, 1880. "Punch," as a policeman, commanded the removal of the
newly-erected "Griffin" in the place of Old Temple Bar: "Take away that
Bauble!" The much-abused "Griffin" is the work (but after the design of
Horace Jones) of an old friend of mine, the late C. B. Birch, R.A., a
clever sculptor and a capital fellow. He sent me "his mark" of
appreciation, but I may say he was the last man to use the instrument of
torture suggested by his name.


I then "did the theatres" with the editor--no mistake this time--and a
very pleasant time it was. My first "social" drawing appeared in the
second number in the following December, illustrating Scotch "wut"
manufactured in London.

Two Scotch rustics outside an eating-house. One points to a card in the
window on which is "Welsh Rabbit, 6d."

Hungry visitor (ignorant of the nature of this particular delicacy):
"Ah, Donal, mon, we ken weel hev the Rawbit fur saxpence. We ken get twa
Bawbees fur the Skeen when we get bock to Glasgow!"

The Scotch is certainly new, if the joke is not.


An Irish joke followed, and then in the Almanack I illustrated a hit at
the style of ladies' dress of the period; in fact, at that time I drew
for _Punch_ quite a number of social subjects dealing with the æsthetic
craze. Besides illustrating various social subjects and caricaturing the
Academy and the new plays, I was illustrating the "Essence of
Parliament." As Mr. M. H. Spielmann in "The History of _Punch_" says
truly, "I romped through _Punch's_ pages." I open a number of _Punch_
published only eighteen months after my first contribution appeared, and
two years previous to my joining the staff, and find no fewer than
eleven separate subjects from my pencil; and I may say that up to the
last I probably contributed more work to _Punch_ than any other artist
ever contributed in the same number of years, Leech not excepted. I do
not claim that this was wholly due to artistic merit, but to a business
one. I never refused to draw a subject I was asked to do, I never was at
a loss for a subject, and I was never late. It was to this facility I
owe the good terms on which the editor and I worked so pleasantly and
for so long. Being accustomed to work at high pressure for the
illustrated papers and magazines since boyhood, I confess that _Punch_
work to me was my playtime.

I contributed over two thousand six hundred designs, from the smallest
to the largest that ever appeared in its pages (the latter were
published in the Christmas Numbers, 1890 and 1891), and I was not in
receipt of a salary, but was paid for each drawing at my full rate. I
have reason to think I drew in the time more money from _Punch_,
proportionately, than any other contributor in its history in a like
period. I read from time to time accounts of the remuneration men like
myself receive. Of course these statements are invariably fiction, as in
fact is nearly everything I have read outside Mr. Spielmann's careful
analysis of _Punch_ concerning myself and my friends.

I deal with my Parliamentary confessions, personal and artistic, in
other chapters; I shall in this merely touch upon a few points in
connection with _Punch_. The greater portion of my Parliamentary work,
however, appeared in other periodicals, but it is probably by _Punch_
work in this direction most of my readers identify me. I was fortunate,
in the twelve years I represented _Punch_ in Parliament with the pencil,
in having the exceptional material for work upon Mr. Gladstone at his
most interesting period, Parnell's rise and fall, Churchill's rise and
fall, Bradlaugh's rise and fall, and a host of others strutting their
brief hour on the political stage. Where are they now? Mr. Chamberlain
alone interests the caricaturist. Parliament itself is dull, the public
is apathetic, and everything appertaining to politics is flat and
unprofitable. Yet as far back as 1885, in the figure "Punch," I asked
for some new character, the familiar faces were getting worked out!

I had attended some sessions of Parliament before I made the
acquaintance of the official presiding over the Press Gallery. The Press
Gallery is, as all know, directly over the Speaker. The front row is
divided into little boxes where the representatives of the leading
papers sit. The others are seated above them against the wall. These
members of the Press look like a row of aged schoolboys very much
troubled to write anything about Parliament to-day. Their monitor sits
by the seat near the door, which in former days was in the middle of the

[Illustration: FAMILIAR FACES.

_Mr. Punch (Cartoonist-in-Chief)._ "OH, I KNOW ALL YOU OLD MODELS. I

I shall never forget my first experience of this Press Gallery official.
He was big, and fat, and greasy; in evening dress, and he wore a real
gold chain with a badge in front like a mayor or sheriff. He awed
me--recollect I am now speaking of the day I attended as a comparatively
new boy, and I trembled in his presence. There was no seat vacant except
the one next to him. He sleeps! Nervously I slip into the seat. He
wakes, and looks down at me.

"H'm! What are you?" is his sleepy remark.

"_Punch_," I reply.


"Left at home."

"Bring it next time."

"Certainly," say I, relieved. He slumbers again. I strain over to see
who is speaking. This wakes the gentleman with the real gold chain
again. He gazes down upon me. I feel smaller.

"What are you?"


"Eh! Where's ticket?"

"Left at home."

"Bring it next time. Saves bother, young fellow."

[Illustration: "HE SLEEPS."]

"Certainly," I reply, and, encouraged by his familiarity, I venture to
ask, "Who is that speaking?" I just got the question out in time, for he
was dozing off again.

"New Member," he replied, and, half dozing, he goes on, more to himself
than to me: "One more fool! Find his level here! All fools here! Stuff
you've been givin' them at your College Union. Rubbish! Yer
perambulator's waitin' outside. Oh, follow yer Dad to the Upper House,
an' look sharp about it." He mumbles. I well recollect the youthful
Member, so criticised, labouring through his maiden speech. The eldest
son of a Peer, with a rather effeminate face, Saxon fairness of
complexion, and with an apology for a moustache, it struck me that if
petrified he would do very well as a dummy outside a tailor's
establishment. Yet this youthful scion of a noble line has a good
record. He carried off innumerable prizes at Eton, was a double first at
Oxford, President of the Union, and a fellow of his college; one of the
University Eight, and of the Eleven; distinguished at tennis, racquets,
and football; hero of three balloon ascents; great at amateur
theatricals; a writer upon every possible subject, including theology,
for the leading magazines; member of sixteen London clubs; married a
titled heiress, and is only thirty years of age.

[Illustration: "HERE, I SAY, WHAT ARE YOU?"]

[Illustration: "_PUNCH_," I REPLIED.]

Some of his college friends sit in the Strangers' Gallery to hear their
late President make his first great effort in the real Parliament. The
effect disappoints them. Their champion is "funky." When the Oxford
Eight were behind at Barnes Bridge, it was "Dolly's" muscle and nerve
that pulled the crew together and won the race. When at Lord's the match
was nearly over, and the Light Blues had won all but the shouting,
"Dolly" went in last man and rattled up fifty in half an hour and won
the match. When at the Oxford Union he spoke upon the very question now
before the House--namely, whether a tax should be imposed upon
periwinkles--his oratory alone turned the scale, and gave his party the
victory. Yet now his speech upon the periwinkle problem has certainly
not impressed the House. Men listened for a time and then adjourned to
dinner, and his splendid peroration, recognised by his friends as the
same which he had delivered at the Oxford Union, failed to elicit a
single cheer.

Curiosity, however, induced his supporters to remain and hear the reply.
The next speaker was a contrast to their hero, and a titter went round
among Dolly's friends in the Gallery. He was a type of the preaching
Member. No doubt a very worthy soul, but hardly an Adonis to look at,
nor a Cicero to listen to. Still he is sincere, and with his own class
effective; and sincerity, after all, is the most valuable, and I may add
the most rare, quality in the composition of an ordinary Member of

My neighbour, the Usher, at this point opens his left eye, which takes
in at a glance the Opposition side of the House, and breaks out in this

"All right, little 'un! Keep wot yer sayin' till Sunday. Yer sermon's
sending me to sleep. Forcing taxation on the winks of the 'ungry
Englishman will raise the country to revolt. Tommy rot! Here endeth the
first lesson, thank goodness!"

The soliloquising official rolls off his seat chuckling along the
Gallery. Envelopes are handed to him by the reporters. He rolls back to
the door, opens it, gives the copy to the messengers waiting for it, and
rolls back once more into his seat. In doing so he spies me.

I feel smaller.

"Here, I say, what are you?"


"Where's ticket?"

"Left at home."

"H'm! Don't forget it again."

"Certainly not."

I say nothing more, as I am too interested in his running commentary of
the proceedings. A grunt. Shake down:

"Old Waddy, is it? Another sermon. Blow black plaster. Tell that to the
juries, and use it again in chapel. Yer a good friend to us--get a count
soon. Ah, I thought so. Joey Biggar up to count and snuff."

"Have a pinch?" he said to me.

"Thanks." I sneeze.

"What are you?" asked the man of the golden badge, looking down at me. I
met his query as before.

Same demand.

Same reply.

Same promise.

The electric bells were ringing for a "count out." He opened both eyes
to watch if forty Members came in. They did; and three times forty.

"Torment 'em! Keep me here all night, I see."

Samuel Banks Waddy--Pleader, Preacher, Parliamentarian (as he is
designated in a work on M.P.'s)--continues preaching. He is followed by
the Leader of the House. My soliloquising friend continues:

"Ah, Old Morality--as Lucy calls ye--up at last. Move the closure, now
then, that's right; speak of yer dooty to the House and Country. Set the
Rads laughing, shut yer own mouth, and sit down. Oh lor! 'Ere's the
Grand Old Muddler up. We're getting 'usky, old 'un; both of us have 'ad
too much of this job. We're very much alike, Gladdy and me--both great
eaters and great sleepers."

[Illustration: "I FEEL SMALLER!"]

Mr. Gladstone was telling the House all about black plaster, and gave
three points why it should not be used in public hospitals. With the
third point he landed a blow at Home Rule, and his ingenuity in doing
so brought forth a derisive cheer from the Irish benches, which roused
my neighbour.

I looked up at him smiling, as much as to say, "Just like the Old
Parliamentary Hand."

"What are you?" he growled.



Same reply and promise.

Appeased, he continued:

"Words, words, words--no 'ed no tail. Oh, of course you remember the
introduction of white plaster--3rd of June, 1840--why didn't you say
half-past two o'clock? More convincing. No doubt you got into some
scrape and 'ad to use it. Won't you catch it from the old woman in the
Gallery when you get home if you say so! Can't 'ear yer, thank goodness.
Scribblers will take down any rot you talk. They want _me_, I suppose.
Blowed if the country wants you."

Again he rolls out of his seat, collects the reporters' copy, and gives
it to the attendants.

"Who are you? Ah, _Punch_. Don't forget yer ticket."

Again he dozes.

"'Icks Beach up! 'Ave all the Board of Trade chaps up, capping each
other. Funny thing--Board of Trade chap says anything, all the Board of
Traders must have a word in. Same with Local Government Board--new man
says anything, old 'uns put in a word for theirselves, just to keep the
place warm for them to return. Board!--I'm bored--joke there for Lucy.
Thought the Irish lot couldn't keep quiet much longer. Tanner up,--ought
to know more about plaster than politics. Rum fellers, these doctors in
the House; leave their patients at 'ome, and come here to try
ours--'nother good joke for Lucy--make his 'air stand on end. Tanner
sticking to the plaster--now then, young Tories, jeer 'im down. The
Doctor's goin' it. Order! order! That's right, Brand, turn 'im
out,--wouldn't stand 'im in any place else. City Fowler's
bellowing,--scene a-brewing,--good copy for these quill-drivers."

Dr. Tanner had recited some harrowing tale about black plaster being
used in his native town by a hospital surgeon on the scratched face of
some old woman who had joined "the boys" in a street fight, although she
protested that pink suited her complexion.

"It was a base Saxon trick!" roared the infuriated Member for Cork
County. "On a par with the mane, dirty doings of puppets and spalpeens
like the Mimbers opposite."

"Order! order!" cried the Speaker. "The hon. Member must withdraw that

"I'll not withdraw anything except by adding that they're all liars on
the Tory benches."

"The hon. Member must withdraw."

The Doctor "exits" with a flourish, glares at the Conservative benches
below the gangway, and hisses at them:

"Better order a ton of plaster, for you'll want it after I meet ye

Mr. Labouchere and two or three Irish Members rise at once.

My neighbour sneers.

"Oh, sit down, ye rubbishy lot! Labby,--better keep yer jokes for yer
paper. Bless me if Conybeare ain't left standing! Now for an hour of

"He _is_ a bore," I remark.

"Yes, I've stood Kenealy and Wharton, but this bore I can't. I'll chuck
it up. Kenealy did his best for the Claimant, and was amusing at times;
and Wharton,--well, he had good snuff, and his hat was a treat; but this
Conybeare is a bore and nothing else."

So he went on.

The "descendant of kings," Sir William Harcourt, rose to pulverise
Torydom and put an end to the Government and everything in general, when
the Speaker rose and said that the question before the House was whether
black sticking-plaster could be used in public hospitals.

"Oh, that's right, he wants putting down; too much of the grand Old
Bailey style. Make yer fortune in plush and knee breeches as a prize
flunkey; platform stuff won't do for us. What are you?" I feel smaller!


"You take Harcourt off with the chins?"


"Shake hands!"

We were friends ever afterwards.

[Illustration: "I FEEL SMALLER!"]

One day when I arrived,--actually with my Gallery ticket,-a fresh
pleasant official sat in my old friend's place, wearing his gold chain
and badge. "Should this meet the eye" of his predecessor, soliloquising
in the retirement of his suburban home, I trust it will not disturb the
serenity of his well-earned repose, for he was a capital fellow, and I
can answer for much good sense in his "official utterances."

If a politician were not a caricature by nature, I made him one. Mr.
Gladstone's collar I invented--for the same reason a journalistic friend
of mine invented Beaconsfield's champagne jelly--for "copy." When
Members suggested nothing new, I turned my attention to officials. The
Sergeant-at-Arms in that way became known as the "Black Beetle."

I watched Captain Gosset from the Press Gallery walk up the floor of the
House in court dress, his knee-breeches showing off his rather bandy
legs, elbows akimbo, and curious gait; his back view at once suggested
the beetle, and as the Black Beetle he was known. This, I was assured,
gave offence, so that I was rather anxious to see how I should be
greeted when Professor Thorold Rogers took me into the Sergeant's
presence, after I had been drawing him as the "Beetle" for some time.

The late Professor Thorold Rogers was for many years a familiar
Bohemianish figure in Parliament. He had a marked individuality, a
strong head and a rough tongue, an uncouth manner, sloppy attire, and
his conversation was anything but refined. Still he was kind and
amusing, and, for a Professor in Parliament, popular. Professors are not
liked in St. Stephen's, and never a success; and as a politician
Professor Thorold Rogers was no exception to this rule. It was he who
introduced me to the Sergeant-at-Arms' room, that _sanctum sanctorum_ of
the lively spirits of Parliament. Perhaps I ought correctly to call it
Captain Gosset's room, for although Captain Gosset was the
Sergeant-at-Arms, the Sergeant-at-Arms was by no means Captain Gosset.
An anecdote will illustrate this.

A friend of mine, a well-known journalist, travelling abroad during the
Recess, fell in with Captain Gosset, and they became companions in their
journey. A few days after they arrived home my journalistic acquaintance
was in the Inner Lobby of the House of Commons as the Sergeant-at-Arms
was passing through, and he called out, "How are you, Captain Gosset?
Any the worse for your journey?"

"I beg your pardon, sir, I have not the pleasure of your acquaintance.
You are mistaken."

"Nonsense, Captain! Why, we travelled together. I am----"

"That may be, but---- Oh, I see, you are thinking of that fellow Gosset.
Sir, I am the Sergeant-at-Arms!" And he strode off with the greatest

I was agreeably surprised when I was introduced to the "Black Beetle."

[Illustration: THE BLACK BEETLE.]

"Here is Harry Furniss, Gosset" (not Sergeant, I observed); "now give it
to him."

"Delighted to make your acquaintance, Mr. Furniss. You see how I
appreciate your work." And he pointed to a row of black beetles, cut out
of _Punch_ and pasted on the wall, the rest of the wall being covered
with interesting and dignified portraits of Members. Here was Gosset at
twelve o'clock at night. At twelve noon he would be Sergeant-at-Arms,
with power to take me to the Clock Tower.

[Illustration: THE SERGEANT-AT-ARMS' ROOM. _From "Punch."_]

This room is still the Sergeant-at-Arms' office, but in it are no
portraits, no black beetles--on paper; there may be some living
specimens, for aught I know, haunting the old room in search of the
lively company, the pipes, and the huge decanters. The present
Sergeant-at-Arms is as unlike a black beetle as he is unlike the
Bohemian Gosset. But I shall be surprised if, when the courteous and
universally appreciated Sergeant-at-Arms retires, and the present
Assistant Sergeant-at-Arms, Mr. Gosset, takes his place, we shall not
see the old room again the most entertaining spot in the Houses of

When Professor Rogers was escorting me to the famous room, he implored
me to leave politics outside of it,--as if I ever talked politics in the
House! "Rule is--no politics, so don't forget it."

"Ah," he said, as soon as he sat down, "why aint you in the House, Tom,
vilifying and misrepresenting the Irish as I heard you this afternoon!
Disgraceful, I say, disgraceful!" and he thumped the table.

"No politics, Professor," "Dick" Power remarked.

"Oh, indeed, my noble Whip; that comes well from a beater to a beaten
gang. Why aint you at your post,--the door-post, ha! ha!--and rally your
men and overthrow these damned Tories? Oh, yes, King-Harman, your good
looks do not atone for bad measures."

"No politics, Professor," all cried.

"Come, Furniss, come away, they're all drunk here. I'll tell you my last
story on the Terrace. These Tories destroy everything."

[Illustration: CAPT. GOSSET, LATE SERGEANT-AT-ARMS. _From the
"Illustrated London News."_]

Such was my introduction to this select little club in Parliament, in
which, with the exception of the Professor, all forgot politics, and the
best of the Tories, Home Rulers, Radicals, and officials were at peace.
I was always on most friendly terms with my "Black Beetle," a proof that
caricature leaves no unkind sting when the victim is really a man of the
world and a jolly good fellow. Surely nothing could be more offensive to
an official in high office than to be continually represented as a black

[Illustration: MY "CHILDISH" STYLE IN _PUNCH_.]

When I did not "invent" a character, such as the "Beetle," I adopted for
a change various styles of drawing. For even the work of a caricaturist
becomes monotonous if he is but a master of one style and a slave to
mannerisms. To avoid this I am Egyptian, Chinese, Japanese, and at times
"Childish"--a specimen of each style in _Punch_ the proprietors have
kindly allowed me to republish in these pages. There is really very
little artistic merit in the "Childish" style of work. I did not use it
often, but whenever I did I tried to introduce some "drawing" as well.
Here, for instance, are my Academy skits--drawn as if by a boy, but the
figures of the teacher and pupil are in drawing. By the way, these
different styles, I am glad to see, are still kept alive in the pages of
_Punch_ by new--if not younger--hands. This year's (1901) Academy skits
and other drawings, I notice, are signed "'Arry's Son," but they are
not--as might be thought--by one of my own boys.


During most of the time I enjoyed a privilege which belonged to no one
else, not excepting Members, for even Members must, like schoolboys,
keep "within bounds." They are not permitted, for instance, to enter the
Press Gallery, or the portion of the House reserved to the Press;
neither can Press-men enter the Members' rooms at will. The public,
being ignorant of the stringent rules of St. Stephen's, cannot
understand the obstacles there are to seeing the House. One instance
will suffice to show the absurdity of the rules. The ex-Treasurer of the
House of Lords, whose acquaintance I had, and whose offices were in the
corridor by the Select Chamber, could not take anyone into the House,
even when it was empty, without a written order. Although armed with a
Gallery Ticket, and also on the "Lobby list," _i.e._, the right to enter
the Inner Lobby, I was not free to make any sketches of the House
itself, inside or out. Requiring to get such material for the elaborate
interiors and exteriors I use in my Lecture-Entertainment, "The Humours
of Parliament," I boldly bearded the highest official in his den, and
left with this simple document. Aladdin's key could not have caused more
surprise than this talisman. The head of the police, the
Sergeant-at-Arms himself, could not interfere. "The Palace of
Westminster" includes the House of Commons, so I made full use of my
unique opportunity, and possess material invaluable for my Parliamentary

[Illustration: I SKETCH THE HOUSE.]

I had facilities in another way. At one time the Engineer-in-Chief was a
friend of mine, Dr. Percy. Few men were better known in and about the
House than this popular official engineer of the Palace of Westminster.
To begin with, he was over six feet high, and had a voice that would
carry from the Commons to the House of Lords. He had to be "all over the
place"--under the House, over the House, and all round the House. He was
as well-known in the smoking-room of the Garrick Club as he was in the
smoking-room of the Commons, and it was when I joined the Garrick I made
his acquaintance. He was also an art _connoisseur_, and had a very fine
collection of water-colours. The first time I saw the Doctor was years
before on a steamer on the Rance, between Normandy and Brittany. I made
a sketch of his extraordinary features, so that when he entered the
Garrick Club I recognised the original of my caricature. We frequently
walked down to the Houses of Parliament together after dinner, and more
than once he invited me behind the scenes and under the stage of
Parliament, through the "fog filter" and ventilating shafts, when he was
wont to indulge in a grim, saturnine humour appropriate to his
subterranean subject. As he opened the iron doors for us to pass from
one passage to another, close to and above which the benches are
situated,--for the whole House is honeycombed for ventilating
purposes,--he pretended that long experience enabled him to discriminate
between the odours from different parts of the House, and declared that
he could tap and draw off a specimen of the atmosphere on the Government
benches, the Opposition side, or the Radical seats, at will.

"There, my boy! eh? Pretty thick, aint it? That's the Scotch lot. Now
hold your nose. I open this door and we get the Irish draught. Ugh! Come
on, come on quickly--mixture of Irish, working-men M.P.'s, and Rads.
Kill a horse!"

The table of the House, which Mr. Disraeli erroneously described as "a
solid piece of furniture," is in reality--like so many arguments which
are flung across it--perfectly hollow; and one evening when I arrived
with Dr. Percy and found that in consequence of the winding-up speech of
Mr. Gladstone in a great debate the Press Gallery was full and all the
seats under the gallery were occupied, Dr. Percy kindly allowed me to
sit _inside the table_. I was sorely tempted to try the effect of
inserting my pencil through the grating which forms the side of the
table, and tickle the shins of the right hon. gentleman. Anyway, I
looked straight into the faces of the Ministers and those on the front
bench, and not only heard every word, but the asides and whispers as

[Illustration: DR. PERCY. "THE HOUSE UP."

_From "Punch."_]

I only once caricatured Dr. Percy in _Punch_ (December, 1886), after
there had been a sort of earthquake in the Inner Lobby of the House, and
the tesselated pavement was thrown up. I made a drawing, "The House up
at last." Dr. Percy "is personally directing the improvements." It is
interesting to know that some of the pavement taken up on that occasion
is laid in the hall of an hon. Member's house in the country, not far
from West Kirby, Cheshire.


_From "Punch."_]

                      THE VILLAIN OF ART.

One frequently hears the remark, "Caricature is so ugly." Well,
certainly pure caricature is the villain of art, and the popular
draughtsman, like the popular actor, should, to remain popular in his
work, always play the virtuous hero. If the leading actor _must_ play
the villain, he takes care to make up inoffensive and tame. So the
villain caricaturist need not be "ugly"--but then he cannot be strong.
Nor is it left to an actor--unless he be the star or actor-manager--to
remain popular by being tame and pretty in every part. So is the
caricaturist, if he is not the star, liable to be cast to play the
villain whether he likes it or not, and if he is a genuine worker he
will not shrink from the part, merely to remain popular and curry favour
with those deserving to be satirised.

               _From "Punch."_]

Now in _Punch_, as I was cast for it, I played the villain's part. In
doing so I was at times necessarily "ugly," and therefore to some
unpopular. I confess I felt it my duty not to shrink from being "ugly,"
although whenever I could I introduced some redeeming element into my
designs--the figure of a girl, allegorical of Parliament or whatever the
"ugly" subject might happen to be--but in some of my _Punch_ drawings
this relief was impossible. For instance, the series of "Puzzle Heads,"
in each of which a portrait of the celebrity is built up of personal
attributes, characteristics, or incidents in the career of the person
represented, could not but be unpleasant pictures. Some subscribers
threatened to give up the paper if they were continued; others became
subscribers for these Puzzle Heads alone. It is ever so. The old saying,
"One man's meat is another's poison," is as applicable to caricature as
to anything else. It is impossible to please all tastes when catering
for the large public, unless an editor is satisfied to be stereotyped
and perfunctory; but Mr. Punch has made his name by his strength, not
his weakness, and it may be safely inferred that no Tory thinks less of
him for having used all his talent in attacking Benjamin Disraeli year
after year as no man has been attacked before--or since--in his pages.

In looking through the volumes of _Punch_ one is apt to forget that the
strong situations and stirring events by which a caricaturist's hit is
made effective at the time of publication fade from one's memory. The
cartoon in all its strength remains a record of an event which has lost
its interest. One cannot always realise that the drawing was only strong
because the feeling and interest at the time of its conception demanded
it. Allowance should therefore be made for the villain's ugly
caricature, if it is a good drawing, prophetically correct, and
therefore historically interesting.

Perhaps no cartoon of mine in _Punch_ caused such hostile criticism as
"The New Cabinet" (August 27, 1892). It gave great offence to the
Gladstonians. The Radical Press attacked me ferociously, and as I think
most unfairly, for they treated it politically and not pictorially, and
severely reprimanded Mr. Punch for publishing it. Had it been a
Conservative Cabinet the Tory Press would not have resented it or
allowed narrow-minded party politics to prejudice their mind in such
trivial matters. _Punch_ is supposed to be non-political. Its present
editor is impartial. Mr. Punch's traditions are Whig, and somehow or
other a certain class of its readers at that particular crisis was
strongly opposed to the two sides of a question being treated. Yet I
venture to say two-thirds of the readers of _Punch_ are Conservatives,
and should therefore be amused. It is impossible to treat a strong
political subject--such as the meeting of that particular Cabinet
caricatured by me--without offending some readers by amusing others,
unless, as I say, the subject is treated in a colourless manner. This
particular cartoon hurt because it hit a strong situation in a truthful
and straight-forward manner, and subsequent events proved it to be a
correct conception. Yet at the time no name was too bad for me, and as
these are my confessions, let me assure the public that had the Cabinet
been a Conservative one I would have treated it in exactly the same way;
and it is my firm conviction that had such been the case I would have
given no offence either inside or outside of Mr. Punch's office.

My readers will sympathise with me. I am to draw political cartoons
without being political; I am to draw caricatures without being
personal; I am to be funny without holding my subject up to ridicule; I
am to be effective without being strong--in fact, I am to be a
caricaturist without caricature! On the other hand, no cartoon I ever
drew for _Punch_ was more popular. Non-politicians were good enough to
accept it as an antidote to the usual caricatures, and those papers on
the other side of politics were extravagantly complimentary, and I
received a large sum for the original for a private collection. I allow
the following leaderette from the _Birmingham Post_ to illustrate the
point, and at the same time to describe the cartoon. The same paper, I
may add, comments on the principal cartoon in _Punch_ that week--drawn
by Tenniel--as showing that _Punch_ "thinks little of the prospects of
the present Government":


  "'Mr. Punch' is in 'excellent fooling' this week. Rarely has he, even
  he, more happily burlesqued a political situation than in Mr. Harry
  Furniss's cartoon of 'The New Cabinet.' Not a word of explanation
  accompanies the picture: it is good wine, needing no bush, and making
  very merry. A glance suffices to seize its meaning, for it expresses a
  thought that has flitted, at one time or another, through everyone's
  mind. The big moment has come when Mr. Gladstone is to reveal to his
  colleagues the secret he has hitherto withheld from them, not less than
  from the electorate--to submit to them, masterly, succinct, complete,
  the scheme which, with unexampled courage and sublimest modesty, they
  have defended on trust, for which they have sacrificed their personal
  independence without knowing why, and as to which, painful to remember,
  they have sometimes blundered into confident and contradictory
  conjecture. We can picture the subtle excitement--in one Minister of
  joyful expectation, in another of horrid misgiving--under which they
  have come together. Well, Mr. Gladstone unfolds the fateful document,
  and lo! it is a blank sheet. Paralysis and grim despair fall upon the
  spirits of the assembly; face to face with a nightmare reality, not a
  man amongst them has strength to say, 'This is a dream.' At the head of
  the table, his elbows resting on the parchment, and an undipped quill
  actually split upon it in his angry grasp, sits the Premier, a
  never-to-be-forgotten picture of impotent ill-humour. The task with
  which the Cabinet is confronted, for him as for the rest, is impossible
  and yet inexorable. In the candle-flame, by an effect of hallucination
  natural at such a moment, the face of Mr. O'Brien seems to limn itself
  out, implacable and contemptuous; and there is a fearsome shadow on the
  blind--the massive head of Lord Salisbury. The candle, marked '40,' is
  the majority, which dwindles while the Ministers are sadly musing; and
  over the mantelpiece, behind the Premier's chair, mutely reproachful,
  hangs a picture of the great Cabinet of 1880. It is distinctly the best
  thing Mr. Furniss has done."

That impression was shared by my private friends as well, even those on
_Punch_. My dear friend Mr. E. J. Milliken, a strong Radical, and a most
active member of the staff, in a reply to a letter of mine, in which I
intimated that I was afraid my cartoon would give offence, replied in a
most flattering spirit.

I had to play the "villain" in another scene in the same political
drama, "Mr. Punch's Historical Cartoons" (1893), in which the same
Cabinet is shown in Mr. Gladstone's room in the "Bauble Shop"--the House
of Commons. Those Radicals who had not joined the Unionists again took
offence. Those Radicals who had become Unionist wrote to congratulate
me. From one well-known and powerful personality, a historical name in
the publishing world, I received the following:

                                                 "February 23rd, 1893.

  "Your cartoon p. 95 delights us all. I have looked at it twenty times
  and seen fresh points in it. Nothing for years, I should say, has so
  entirely caught the very spirit of a great crisis.

  "We shall owe something to you for this felicitous exposure of
  Gladstone's insane Bill. Alas! the miners and the brickies, the
  costermongers and the dust-cart drivers, have now the power. The middle
  class has been out-numbered, and if it were not that some labouring men
  and artisans have hard heads enough to comprehend the position we should
  be landed in a pretty pickle next September.

  "It is a pity traitors' heads are nowadays their own copyright."

A "copyright" in heads is a good suggestion, and coming from a publisher
too! But apart from "traitors," there are others known to a
caricaturist. The House of Commons at one time was rich in them. Some
such works of art suffer in being translated. Indeed, what the poet
"Ballyhooley" wrote of one might apply to others:

                      "DARWIN MacNEILL.

     "Darwin MacNeill, all the papers are hot on you,
      Darwin MacNeill, they are writing a lot on you.
      What in the world sort of face have you got on you?
      Send us your photograph, Darwin MacNeill.
      Surely you must be both lovely and pure!
      Have you got fatures that nothing can cure?
      Let's have the first of it,
      Let's know the worst of it:
      Is your face only a caricature?
      Here's a health to you, Darwin MacNeill,
      Let penny canes all your enemies feel;
      Show me the crature would slander a fature
      Of the beautiful Mimber for ould Donegal.

     "Our childhers are dull, and we wish to be brightening them
      Send us your picture and we'll be enlightening them,
      Maybe 'twill only be useful for frightening them;
      Still let us have it, dear Darwin MacNeill.
      Shut up the slander and talk they are at,
      Show us the head you've got under your hat;
      True every particle, genuine article,
      Send us your picture in answer to that.
      Here's a health to you, etc.

     "I hear that the Queen she has simply gone crazy, man;
      Says she to Gladstone, 'Get out, you old lazy man!
      Cannot you see that I'll never be aisy, man,
      Till I've a portrait of Darwin MacNeill?'
      When of that picture she first got a sight,
      She held it up, so they say, to the light,
      Looked at the head of it, then all she said of it,
      'I'm of opinion that Darwin is right.'
      Here's a health to you, etc.

     "There's just arrived now, to give great content to us,
      A lovely picture, which someone has sent to us.
      We know the worst now, for there has been sent to us
      What's called a portrait of Darwin MacNeill.
      If it's a likeness, I just tell you what,
      That you have acted in ways you should not.
      Don't try a turn of fists
      On with the journalists;
      Thrash those who gave you the head you have got.
      But here's a health to you, Darwin MacNeill!
      Only just manage new fatures to steal,
      Then show me the crature would slander a fature
      Of the beautiful Mimber for ould Donegal."

This "Pen Portrait," by Mr. Robert Martin, refers to a matter of much
regret to me. I have to confess my sorrow that I was the means of making
a Member of Parliament ridiculous! The innocent item came in the
ordinary course of my work for _Punch_. I was sent an incident to
illustrate for the Diary of Toby, M.P., which, when published, was used
as an excuse to "technically assault" me in the Inner Lobby of the House
of Commons.


Perhaps in the circumstances I may be pardoned if I confess a secret
connected with these Parliamentary caricatures. For some years I
provided a page drawing and some small cuts in every number during
Parliament--the latter were generally sketches of Members of Parliament.
These single portraits were supplied in advance, and engraved proofs
sent in a book to Mr. Lucy to select from week by week. The following
letter is worth quoting in full as a characteristic letter from the
Editor, typical of his light and pleasant way of transacting business
with his staff:

  "Dear H. F.,--"Please keyindly see that H. L. (not 'Labby,' but 'Lucy')
  has all your parliamentarians whom you (as your predecessor Henry VIII.
  did) have executed on the block sent to him, as he found himself
  unprovided up to the last moment and so wrote to me in his haste.

  "(?) Fancy portrait. Our artist, H. F., as Henry VIII. taking off his
  victims' heads on the block, eh?
                                                   "Yours, "F. C. B."

To this rule, however, there were exceptions. This particular caricature
was one of them: it was drawn at the last moment to illustrate a
particular passage in Mr. Lucy's Diary of Toby, M.P. Here it is:

  "'Look here, Bartley,' said Tommy Bowles; 'if you're going on that tack,
  you must come and sit on this side. When I saw MacNeill open his mouth
  to speak, I confess I thought I was going to be swallowed whole. You sit
  here; there's more of you.'"


Now had I shown "Pongo," as he was familiarly called in the House, in
the act of swallowing "Tommy Bowles," I might have produced a most
objectionable caricature. I made, however, a smiling portrait of the
genial Member. I was away at the time recovering from a long illness:
the sketch was made in the country, and sent up to the _Punch_
engraver's office. By some mistake there, it was not reduced in size in
reproduction as others had been; therefore in the paper it was
apparently given extra importance--I had nothing to do with that. That
Mr. Lucy's reference to Mr. MacNeill is not a caricature can be judged
by anyone reading the passage I had to illustrate, given above. The
notion that the drawing was _purposely_ produced on a larger scale than
usual, so as to give this special caricature prominence, is disproved by
the fact that the caricature of the gallant and genial Admiral Field I
drew exactly under the same conditions appears on the same page also far
too large. Therefore it is a mistaken idea that this particular portrait
was intentionally offensive, or different from others.

It was really the combination of circumstances, if anything, that called
special attention to that particular page in _Punch,_ and gave rise to

                     A SCENE IN THE LOBBY.

I shall, in describing the curtain rising on this historical incident,
borrow Mr. Lucy's own account of the way in which the Member approached
me after he had seen my illustration to Mr. Lucy's clever Diary of the

"It was shortly after seven o'clock that Mr. Harry Furniss strolled into
the Lobby. He had been suffering from a long and severe sickness,
dedicating this the first evening of his convalescence to a visit to the
scene of labours which have delighted mankind. Over the place there
brooded an air of ineffable peace. The bustle of the earlier hour of
meeting was stilled. The drone of talk went on in the half-empty House
within the glass doors. Now and then a Member hastily crossed the floor
of the Lobby, intent on preparations for dinner. One of these chanced to
be Mr. Swift MacNeill, a Member who, beneath occasional turbulence of
manner, scarcely conceals the gentlest, kindliest disposition, a
gentleman by birth and training, a scholar and a patriot. The House,
whilst it sometimes laughs at his exuberance of manner, always shows
that it likes him. Mr. Furniss, seeing him approach with hurried step,
may naturally have expected that he was making haste to offer those
congratulations on renewed health and reappearance on the scene of
labour that had already been proffered from other quarters. What
followed has been told by Mr. Furniss in language the simplicity and
graphicness of which Defoe could not have excelled."

Mr. Lucy refers to the following account I wrote at the time:

"On my return to continue my work in Parliament for Mr. Punch after my
severe illness, I found the jaded legislators yearning for fresh air,
and even the approaching final division on the Home Rule Bill had failed
to arouse more than a languid interest. I felt this depression when I
entered the Lobby, its sole occupants being the tired-out doorkeepers
and the leg-weary policemen. I really believe a swarm of wasps would not
have roused them to activity, for I noticed a bluebottle resting
undisturbed upon the nose of one of Inspector Horsley's staff. Even the
Terrace was dusty, and the Members rusty and morose. One of the Irish
Members had selected as his friend Frank Slavin, the well-known
prize-fighter, who had an admiring group round him, to whom no doubt he
was relating the history of his many plucky battles.

[Illustration: WHAT HAPPENED.]

"The stimulating effect of this may have been the cause for the assault
upon me in the Inner Lobby, which has afforded the stale House some
little excitement, which has been the salvation of the silly season. So
many papers have given startling accounts of this attack upon me, some
stating that I was caned, others that I was pummelled, shaken like a
dog, and so on, that I am glad to take the opportunity of giving a clear
statement of what really occurred. I was standing close to the doors of
the Inner Lobby, talking to Mr. Cuthbert Quilter, when Mr. Swift
MacNeill interrupted us by asking me, 'Are you the man that draws the
cartoons in _Punch_?' 'That depends upon what they are,' said I. 'I
refer to one,' said the excited Member, 'that has annoyed me very much,'
'Let me see it,' I replied. Mr. MacNeill then drew out his pocket-book
and showed me a cutting from the current number of _Punch_. 'Yes,' I
said, 'that is from a drawing of mine,' 'Then ye're a low, black-guardly
scoundrel,' melodramatically exclaimed the usually genial Member. Taking
two or three steps back, he hissed at me, with a livid face, a series of
offensive epithets too coarse for publication. Having exhausted his
vocabulary of vulgarity, a happy thought seemed to strike him. 'I want
to assault you,' he said, and forthwith he nervously and gingerly tapped
me as if he were playing with a hot coal. He then danced off to Members
who were looking on, crying, 'This is the scoundrel who has caricatured
me; witness, I assault him!' and he recommenced the tapping process
which constituted this technical assault. Knowing that Mr. MacNeill is a
very excitable subject, and at once detecting that this assault was a
'put-up job,' I was determined to remain perfectly cool; and, truth to
tell, the pirouetting of the agitated Member hugely amused me,
particularly as the more excited he became, the more he resembled the
caricature which was the cause, or supposed to be the cause, of this
attack, I treated the hon. Member exactly as the policeman treated the
bluebottle--with perfect indifference, not even troubling to brush away
the trifling annoyance. But when in the midst of its buzzing round me I
moved in the direction of one of the officials, it flew away. Then
appeared what I had been anticipating, and the real cause of the insult
transpired. Dr. Tanner came up to me just as I recollect Slavin
approaching Jackson in their historic fight. He showered the grossest
insults upon me, and I was surrounded at once by his clique, who were
anxious for the scene which must have occurred had I, like Jackson, been
the first to let out with my left. But here again was I face to face
with a chronically excited Member, backed up by his friends, and I
refused to be drawn into a brawl. But the secret of the real cause of
this organised attack upon me was revealed to me by Dr. Tanner, who at
once informed me that it was the outcome of my imitations of the Irish
Members in my entertainment, 'The Humours of Parliament,' which I have
given for two seasons all over the country. This was my offence; my
caricature of Mr. Swift MacNeill the excuse for the attack."

[Illustration: DR. TANNER.]

Mr. MacNeill's "technical assault" was a very childish incident. He
merely touched the sleeve of my coat with the tip of his finger, and
asked me if I would accept that as a "technical assault." This
mysterious pantomime was subsequently explained to me, and meant that I
was to take out a summons--but I only laughed. At the moment Mr.
MacNeill was pirouetting round me at a distance, Mr. John Burns came on
to the scene, and chaffed Mr. MacNeill, drawing an imaginary picture
(for Mr. Burns was not in the Lobby) of a real assault upon me. A
gentleman connected with an evening paper, who happened to enter with
Mr. Burns, failed to see Mr. Burns's humour, and thereupon took down in
shorthand Mr. Burns's imaginary picture as a matter of fact. It was
published as a fact, and, for all I know or care, some may still believe
that I was assaulted!


When I read that I had been treated like a cur, I was rather amused; but
when I read a statement in the papers from a man like John Burns saying
that he saw me "taken by the lapels of the coat and shaken like a dog,
and then taken by the ear and shaken by that," I thought the joke had
been carried far enough. Determined to have this cock-and-bull story
contradicted at once, I went down to the House and saw Mr. John Burns,
who expressed to me his regret that he should have invented the story,
and he left me to go to the writing-room, and promised I should have
from him a written contradiction.

After waiting a considerable time, a message was brought to me that Mr.
Burns declined to keep his promise. I therefore wrote these particulars
and sent them off to the Press. At the same time Mr. Burns, who had been
closeted with some Radical journalists, wrote an offensive note--which
was shown me, and which I advised him to publish.

Poor Mr. MacNeill! Well may he say, "Save me from my friends!" The Press
put on their comic men to make copy at his expense. If I were to publish
it all, it would make a volume as large as this. By permission I publish
the following lay from the _St. James' Budget_ (September, 1893):

                 "THE LAY OF SWIFT MACNEILL.

                 (_Picked up in the Lobby._)

  "Have ye heard, have ye heard, of the late immortal fray,
   When the lion back of Swift MacNeill got up and stood at bay,
   When the lion voice of Tanner cried, 'To Judas wid yer chaff!'
   An' the Saxon knees were shaking, though they made believe to laugh.

  "'Twas widin the Commons' Lobby, in the corner by the dure,
   There was Misther Harry Furniss a-standing on the flure,
   When up to him came stalking, like O'Tarquin in his pride,
   The bowldest of the bowld, MacNeill, wid the Docther by his side.

  "Then the valiant Swift MacNeill from his pocket he took out
   A picther very like him, an' he brandished it about,
   An' he held it up to Furniss for his Saxon eyes to see,
   An' he asked of him, 'Ye spalpeen, is this porthrait meant for me?'

  "''Tis your likeness, as I see it,' was the answer that he got,
   An' the wrath of Misther Swift MacNeill then wax'd exceeding hot,
   An' he cast the picther from him, an' he trod it on the ground,
   An' he took an' danced an Irish jig the artist's form around.

  "'Ye spalpeen,' thus again he spoke, 'ye most obnoxious fellow!
   Ye see that I'm a lion, yet ye've made me a gorilla;
   If your Saxon eyes are blinded to the truth of what I say,
   Go and borrow for a moment the glasses of Tay Pay.

  "'They will show ye that our seventy are Apollos one and all,
   That we're most divinely lovely an' seraphically tall;
   They will show ye we're all angels--though for divils I'll allow,
   'Tis the black ones ye'll be seeing where the lost to Redmond bow.'

  "Then Misther Swift MacNeill, just to lave his meaning clear,
   Wid flowers of Irish eloquence filled Mr. Furniss' ear;
   An' he also shook wid passion, an', moreover, shook his fist,
   An' the Docther an' his blackthorn stood all ready to assist.

  "Misther Furniss smiled serenely, an' the only word he spoke
   Was to say it seemed that Misther Swift was slow to see a joke,
   But for all his jokes an' blarney, things were looking like a fight,
   When a minion of the Spayker was seen to be in sight.

  "Then Apollo Swift MacNeill from his dignity got down,
   An' he withered Misther Furniss wid a godlike parting frown,
   An' he stalked along the Lobby wid his grand O'Tarquin stride,
   An' the other Mimbers followed him, an' went the House inside.

  "An' there they still are threading on the necks of Saxon slaves,
   An' nightly wid their eloquence they're digging Saxon graves;
   An' my counsel to the artist who their fatures would porthray,
   Is to thry and see their beauty through the glasses of Tay Pay."

This manufactured "scene," coming as it did in the silly season, was
made to serve instead of the Sea-Serpent, the Toad-in-the-Rock, the
Shower of Frogs, and other familiar inventions for holiday reading.
Unfortunately the poor Members of Parliament obliged to remain in St.
Stephen's had to suffer far more than I did through the eccentricity of
Mr. Swift MacNeill. Several of them complained to me that he lured them
into the corridors and corners of the House, and then vigorously set to
work to demonstrate practically how he assaulted me, or how he imagined
he assaulted me, to the discomfiture and consternation of the poor

[Illustration: JOHN BURNS.]

I should like to explain why this "technical assault" on me was not made
a matter of discussion. I did intend a friendly Member should have
brought it before the Speaker, and in that way published the truth of
the matter and exposed the stupid inventions of Burns & Co. With that
object I had an interview with the Speaker, and he implored me not under
any circumstances to have it brought before the House. He was already
tired, at the end of a trying session, and did not want any personal
questions discussed, which invariably led to protracted scenes. For that
reason, and for that reason only, it was not mentioned in Parliament,
notwithstanding it was really a much more serious affair than was
imagined. It was a deliberately organised conspiracy. When I was leaving
the Lobby, after my amusing interview with Mr. MacNeill, in which he
told me that I was "technically assaulted," Chief Inspector Horsley took
me down a private passage, and informed me that he had been looking for
me, as he had discovered there was a conspiracy to attack me, and at
that moment nine or ten Members from Ireland were in the passage
downstairs, out of which I would have in the ordinary course gone
through, lying in wait for me. So I left with him by another door.


In this I was not more to blame than other caricaturists, but I was more
in evidence, and was selected to be "technically assaulted," so as to
force me to bring an action, in which all papers, except those
supporting the Irish Party, would have been attacked and discussed, and
their influence if possible injured for purely political purposes. An
aggrieved person, smarting under a gross injustice, does not
"technically assault" the aggressor. Had Mr. McNeill tried it on with
me, weak and ill as I was, I think I had enough power to oblige him; as
it happened, I only saw the humour of the thing.


One of the most amusing sketches I received was this from Sir Frank
Lockwood. Lockwood and I frequently exchanged caricatures, as shown by
the clever sketches I introduce here and there in these pages. Sometimes
he sent me some chaffing note written in a disguised hand, and disguised
drawing; but the latter experiment, although it failed to deceive,
certainly entertained me greatly. Here is a letter supposed to be from
Lord Cross, a favourite subject of mine when he was in the Lower House.
Seldom a week passed but I made his nose shorter and his upper lip
longer, made his head stick out, and his spectacles glisten. Did he
object? No, no! "Grand Cross" is a man of the world; nor was he ever a
mere notoriety-seeking political adventurer. I once met him at dinner,
and we chatted over my caricatures of him, and I recollect his saying,
"A man is not worth anything if he is thin-skinned, and certainly not
worth much if he cannot enjoy a joke at his own expense."

Sir Frank Lockwood whiled away the weary hours in Parliament to his own
amusement and those around him, but he was not aware perhaps that what
he did was seen from the Ladies' Gallery. The ladies got a birdseye view
of his caricatures in progress. One in particular was the cause of much
amusement, not only to the ladies, but to the Members. My lady informant
related the incident to me thus: "I always watch Mr. Lockwood sketching,
and I saw he had his eye on the burly figure of a friend of mine sitting
on the Ministerial bench. Mr. Gladstone turned round to say something to
him, and his quick eye detected Mr. Lockwood sketching. The artistic
Q.C. handed the sketch (which I saw was a caricature of the late Lord
Advocate) to Mr. Gladstone, who fairly doubled up with laughter, and
handed it to those on either side of him. Eventually it was sent over to
Mr. MacDonald and Mr. Balfour, and they thoroughly enjoyed the
caricature of themselves, as did all their Tory friends. But _we_ had
seen it first!" It may have been this sketch subsequently sent to me and
redrawn in _Punch_.

I recall an incident which happened one evening when I was on watch in
the Inner Lobby to find and sketch a newly-elected M.P., who, I heard,
was about to make his maiden speech, and it was most important I should
catch him. Just as I was going up to the Press Gallery, Sir Frank
Lockwood came into the Lobby and offered to get me a seat under the
Gallery where I could see the new M.P. to advantage. The new M.P. was
"up," so Lockwood went into the House to fetch me the Sergeant's order.
I waited impatiently for his return; a long time passed; still I waited.
A smiling Member came out of the House, and I asked him if he had seen
Lockwood. "Oh, rather," he replied, smiling still; "I've just been
sitting by him, watching him make a capital caricature of a chap making
his maiden speech." When the Member had finished his speech, Lockwood
ran out, and cheeringly apologised to me for his absent-mindedness. "So
tempting, you know, old chap, I couldn't resist sketching him!"

Sir Frank Lockwood was perhaps the most favourable modern specimen of
the buoyant amateur. Possessing a big heart, kindly feeling, a brilliant
wit, and a facile pen, he treated art as his playfellow and never as his
master. And in the spirit in which his work was executed so must it be
judged. The work of an amateur artist possessing a distinct vein of
humour is, in my opinion, far more entertaining than that of the
professional caricaturist, the former being absolutely spontaneous and
untrammelled by the conscientiousness of subsequent publication, of
correct draughtsmanship, made only from impressions of the moment, and
not the effort (as in the case of many a professional humorist) of
having to be funny to order.

An excellent example of the amateur at his best is to be found in the
drawings of Sir Frank Lockwood. No one would resent less than Lockwood
himself having the term "amateur" applied to his work; indeed, he would,
I am sure, have felt proud to be classed in the same category as several
of our most popular humorous artists.

[Illustration: SIR F. LOCKWOOD.]

Circumstances connected with a curious coincidence concerning a
caricature (what alliteration!) are worth confirming.

One morning I was taking my usual horse exercise round the ride in the
inner circle of Regent's Park, before that spot, once the quiet haunt of
the horseman, became the noisy ring of the cyclist. At that time a few
cycling beginners used the circle for practice, and their alarming
performances were gradually depleting the number of equestrians. One of
these novices came down the hill, having an arm round the neck of his
instructor, and one leg on the pedal, the other in mid air. He was
unable to steer the machine, and as I cantered up, the performer's hat,
which had been over one eye, fell off, disclosing the features of
Professor Bryce. The next moment the machine, its rider and his
instructor, were "all of a heap" on the ride up which my horse was
cantering. I had just time to jump my horse on to the path and thus
save my own neck, and the life of the energetic Member of Parliament,
who I noticed later in the day, when sitting in the Press Gallery, was
on the front Opposition bench, next to Sir Frank Lockwood, quite
unconcerned. I made a rough sketch of the incident of the morning, and
sent it down to my brother Two Pins, Sir Frank, with a request that his
friend Bryce should in future select some other spot to practise
bicycling. This was handed to Lockwood just as he was leaving the House,
strange to say, on his way home to dress for a dinner at Professor
Bryce's. Lockwood mischievously placed the sketch in the pocket of his
dress coat, and at the dinner led up to the subject of cycling,
suggesting at the same time that his host ought to try it.

"Well, strange to say, Lockwood, I've been seriously thinking of it, but
I don't know how one should begin."

"Don't you?" cried Lockwood from the other end of the table. "What do
you say to this, nearly killing my friend Harry Furniss!" And my
caricature was produced and handed down from guest to guest, to the
chagrin of the host. That was Lockwood's version of the coincidence.


Suggestions for _Punch_ came to me from most unexpected quarters, but
were rarely of any use. Lewis Carroll--like every one else--got excited
over the Gladstonian crisis, and Sir William Harcourt's head to Lewis
Carroll was much the same as Charles the First's to Mr. Dick in "David
Copperfield," for I find in several letters references to Sir William.

  "_Re_ Gladstone's head and its recent growth, couldn't you make a
  picture of it for the 'Essence of Parliament'? I would call it 'Toby's
  Dream of A.D. 1900,' and have Gladstone addressing the House, with his
  enormous head supported by Harcourt on one side, and Parnell on the

This suggestion is the only one I adopted. Strange to say, neither
Gladstone, Parnell, nor Lewis Carroll lived to see 1900.

  "Is that anecdote in the papers _true_, that some one has sent you a
  pebble with an accidental (and not a 'doctored') likeness of Harcourt?
  If so, let me suggest that your most _graceful_ course of action will be
  to have it photographed, and to present prints of it to any authors
  whose books you may at any time chance to illustrate!"

This is the "anecdote":

  "Someone found on the seashore the other day a pebble moulded exactly on
  the lines of Mr. Furniss' portrait of Sir William Harcourt."

Other notices were in verse. This from _Vanity Fair_ is the best:

     "For Fame, 'tis said, Sir William craves,
        And to some purpose he has sought her;
      His face is fashioned by the waves:
        When will his name be 'writ in water'?"

I lay under a charge of plagiarism. Nature had "invented" my Harcourt
portrait, and had been at work upon it probably before I was born; the
wild waves had by degrees moulded a shell into the familiar features,
and when completed had left the sea-sculptured sketch high and dry on
the coast. I now publish, with thanks, a photo-reproduction of the shell
(not a pebble) as I received it: it is not in any way "doctored." It is
a large, weather-beaten shell.


There is no doubt but that at one time Lewis Carroll studied _Punch_,
for in one of his earliest letters to me he writes:

  "To the best of my recollection, one of the first things that suggested
  to me the wish to secure your help was a marvellously successful picture
  in _Punch_ of a House of Lords entirely composed of Harcourts, where the
  figures took all possible attitudes, and gave all possible views of the
  face; yet each was a quite unmistakable Sir William Harcourt!"

Again he refers to _Punch_ (March, 1890):

  "A wish has been expressed in our Common Room (Christ's Church, Oxford),
  where we take in and bind _Punch_, that we could have 'keys' to the
  portraits in the Bishop of Lincoln's Trial and the 'ciphers' in
  Parliament" (a Parliamentary design of mine, "The House all Sixes and
  Sevens"). "Will you confer that favour on our Club? If you would give me
  them done roughly, I will procure copies of those two numbers, and
  subscribe the names in small MS. print, and have the pages bound in to
  face the pictures. The simplest way would be for you to put numbers on
  the faces, and send a list of names numbered to correspond."

Yet a few years brought a change (October, 1894):

  "No doubt it is by your direction that three numbers of your new
  periodical have come to me. With many thanks for your kind thought, I
  will beg you not to waste your bounties on so unfit a recipient, for I
  have neither time nor taste for any such literature. I have much more
  work yet to do than I am likely to have life to do it in--and my taste
  for comic papers is _defunct_. We take in _Punch_ in our Common Room,
  but I never look at it!"

Hardly a generous remark to make to a _Punch_ man who had illustrated
two of his books, and considering that Sir John Tenniel had done so much
to make the author's reputation, and _Punch_ had always been so
friendly; but this is a bygone.

                              PUNCH AT PLAY.

[Illustration: W]

Well, Sir John, the Grand Old Man of _Punch_, the evergreen, the
ever-delightful Sir John, has earned a night's repose after all his long
day of glorious work and good-fellowship. "A great artist and a great
gentleman": truer words were never spoken. It seems but yesterday he and
I took our rides together; but yesterday he and I and poor
Milliken--three _Punch_ men in a boat--were "squaring up" at Cookham
after a week's delightful boating holiday on the Thames.


    "There sat three oarsmen under a tree,
       Down, a-down, a-down--hey down!
     They were as puzzled as puzzled could be,
              With a down;
     And one of them said to his mate,
     'We've got these mems in a doose of a state,'
       With a down derry, derry down!

    "Oh, they were wild, these oarsmen three,
       Down, a-down, a-down--hey down!
     Especially one with the white puggree,
               With a down;
     For it's precious hard to divide by three
     A sum on whose total you can't agree,
       With a down derry, derry down!

    "They bit their pencils and tore their hair,
       Down, a-down, a-down--hey down!
     But those blessed bills, they wouldn't come square,
              With a down;
     'Midst muddle and smudge it is hard to fix
     If a six is a nine or a nine is a six,
       With a down derry, derry down!

    "A crumpled account from a pocket of flannel
       Down, a-down, a-down--hey down!
     With dirt in dabs, and the rain in a channel,
               With a down,
     Is worse to decipher than uniform text,
     Oh, that is the verdict of oarsmen vext,
       With a down derry, derry down!

    "A man in a boat his ease will take,
       Down, a-down, a-down--hey down!
     But financial conscience at last will wake,
              With a down;
     Then Nemesis proddeth the prodigal soul
     When he finds that the parts are much more than the whole,
       With a down derry, derry down!

    "Those oarsmen are having a deuce of a time,
       Down, a-down, a-down--hey down!
     The man in the puggree is ripe for crime,
             With a down.
     Now heaven send every boating man
     For keeping accounts a more excellent plan,
       With a down derry, derry down!"

So pencilled poet Milliken. "The man in the puggree" is Sir John,--ripe
for many years to come, and when he has another banquet, may I be there
to see.

_The Two Pins Club_ was a _Punch_ institution.

Original notice of

                       "THE TWO PINS CLUB.

  "There are Coaching Clubs, Four-in-hand Clubs, Tandem Clubs, and
  Sporting Clubs of all sorts, but there is no _Equestrian Club_.

  "The object of the present proposed Club is to supply this want.

  "The Members will meet on Sundays, and ride to some place within
  easy reach of town: there lunch, spend a few hours, and return.

  "Due notice will be given of each 'Meet,' and replies must be sent in to
  the Secretary by Wednesday afternoon at latest. When it is considered
  necessary, Luncheon will be ordered beforehand for the party, and those
  who have neglected to reply by the time fixed, and who do not attend the
  Meet, will be charged with their share of the Luncheon.

  "There will be other Meets besides those on Sundays, which will be
  arranged by the Members from time to time.

  "The title of the Club is taken from the names of the two most celebrated
  English Equestrians known to 'the road,' viz.:--

                     "'DICK TURPIN'


                     "'JOHN GILPIN.'

  "The Members of 'THE TWO PINS' will represent all the dash of the one
  and all the respectability of the other.

  "The original Members at present are:--

                  MR. F. C. BURNAND.
                  MR. JOHN TENNIEL.
                  MR. LINLEY SAMBOURNE.
                  MR. HARRY FURNISS.
                  MR. R. LEHMANN.

  "It is not proposed at first to exceed the number of twelve. The other
  names down for invitation to become members are--

              MR. FRANK LOCKWOOD, Q.C., M.P.
              MR. JOHN HARE.[3]
              SIR CHARLES RUSSELL, Q.C., M.P.

  "We hope you will join. The eight Members can then settle a convenient
  day for the first Meet, and inaugurate the TWO PINS CLUB.

                 [3] "N.B. No hounds."


The Two Pins Club was started in 1890, and flourished until its
President, Lord Russell, was elevated to the Bench. My only claim for
distinction in connection with it rests on the fact that I was the only
member who, except when I was in mid-Atlantic on my return from the
States, never missed a meet. Were the Club now a going concern, I would,
of course, refrain from mentioning it, but as it is referred to in the
"History of _Punch_" by Mr. Spielmann, and in "John Hare, Comedian," by
Mr. Pemberton, I may be pardoned and also forgiven for repeating the one
joke ever made public in connection with this remarkable Club.

One afternoon our cavalcade was approaching Weybridge, which had been
the scene of the boyish pranks of one of our members. To the amusement
of us all, this brother Two Pins, as reminiscences of the district were
recalled to him by one object and another, grew terribly excited.

"Ah, my boys, there is the dear old oak tree under which I smoked my
first cigarette! And there, where the new church stands, I shot my first
snipe. Dear me, how all is altered! I wonder if old Sir Henry Tomkins
still lives in the Lodge there, and what has become of the Rector's
pretty daughter?" etc.

Sir Frank Lockwood, observing lettering on the side of a house, "General
Stores," casually asked our excited reminiscent friend if he "knew a
General Stores about these parts?"

"General Stores! Of course I do, but he was only a Captain when I lived

When the members lunched at The Durdans our host and honorary member,
Lord Rosebery, remarked that it was a Club of "one joke and one horse!"
the fact being that we all drove over from Tadworth, Lord Russell's
residence, where we were staying, with the exception of Lord Russell
himself, who rode. We had, of course, each a horse: some of the members
a great deal more than one, but we were careful to trot out one joke
between us: "General Stores" became our general and only story.

The first public announcement respecting the Club appeared in the _Daily
Telegraph_, the 4th of May, 1891:

"The T.P.C. held its first annual meeting at the 'Star and Garter Hotel'
yesterday morning. There was a full attendance of members. Under the
careful and conciliatory guidance of the President, Sir Charles Russell,
supported mainly by Mr. F. C. Burnand, Mr. Frank Lockwood, Mr. Harry
Furniss, Mr. Edward Lawson, Mr. Charles Mathews, Mr. John Hare, Mr.
Linley Sambourne, and Mr. R. Lehmann (hon. sec.), the customary
business was satisfactorily transacted, and the principal subjects for
discussion were dealt with in a spirit of intelligent self-control. Mr.
Arthur Russell was unanimously elected a member of the association,
which in point of numbers is now complete."

[Illustration: _This sketch is à propos of Mr. Linley Sambourne's
portrait in "Vanity Fair." Note refers to his being made


But the object of the Club being carefully concealed, much mystery
surrounds its name. Few were aware that it was merely a band of
"Sontag-Reiters." Our hon. sec., being at the time prominent in
politics, received congratulations from those who imagined the T.P.C.
was a political association, and much wonderment was excited by the
decidedly enigmatical appellation of the small and select society. Sir
Edward Lawson showed marked ingenuity in retaining the mystery by his
paragraphs in his paper. The first meet of our second season was the
only one I missed during the years the Club existed:

"The first meeting of the T.P.C. for the season of 1892 took place
yesterday at the 'Star and Garter Hotel,' under the presidency of Sir
Charles Russell, who was assisted in the performance of his duties by
Mr. Frank Lockwood, Mr. Linley Sambourne, Mr. Edward Lawson, and Mr C.
W. Mathews. The arrangements for the season were completed, and a digest
was made of the subjects which claimed the immediate consideration of
the members. The President called attention to a delay which had
occurred in the fulfilment of certain artistic duties which had been
entrusted to Mr. Harry Furniss and Mr. Linley Sambourne, and which had
been retarded in their accomplishment by Mr. Furniss' voyage to America.
But it was understood that immediate attention would now be bestowed
upon the work in hand; and the remainder of the business was of a
routine character."

[Illustration: MR. LINLEY SAMBOURNE.]

The "artistic duties" referred to, I have no recollection of, but I know
that at our preliminary meeting, when all matters, artistic and
otherwise, were discussed and arranged, the two following important
resolutions were proposed, seconded, and carried unanimously:--

  "That Mr. Rudolph Lehmann be elected Permanent Secretary, and that the
  duty of sending out all notices convening the Meets of the T.P.C., as
  well as all arrangements connected with the Club, be entrusted to him;
  and that every notice of meeting be posted and prepaid by him eight
  lunar, or at least three calendar, days before the date of each Meet;
  and further, that records in a neat and clerkly style of each and every
  Meet be faithfully kept by the said Secretary, and be at all times open
  for the inspection of each and every member of the T.P.C."

  "That Mr. Linley Sambourne shall provide at his own expense the
  notepaper and envelopes required for the business of the Club, and shall
  invent and draw a design, which design, also at his own expense, he
  shall cause to be stamped or otherwise engraved on the said notepaper
  and envelopes, and shall cause the said notepaper so stamped or
  engraved to be forwarded to the Perpetual President, the Permanent
  Secretary, and the other members, for use in connection only with the
  business of the Club."

  "It was further resolved that all maps and charts be kept at the
  Secretary's Office, and in the event of any dispute, the Ordnance Map or
  the Admiralty Chart shall be decisive."

But during the existence of the Club there never was any cause to refer
to an Ordnance Map or Admiralty Chart. There never was a Secretary's
Office, nor did Mr. Linley Sambourne either design or provide the
notepaper or envelopes, nor are there any records in existence, either
printed or written "in a neat and clerkly style," of the merry meetings
of this unique Club. It ran its delightful and dangerous course, its
wild career, unmarred by any dispute or accident. The last "meet" was to
dine Lord Russell on his elevation to the Bench.


I shall never forget the first occasion on which I saw the late Lord
Russell. It was in the old days when the Law Courts were in
Westminster,--and I, in search of "character," strangely enough found
myself wandering about the Divorce Court, where so many characters are
lost. It was a _cause célèbre_,--the divorce suit of a most
distinguished Presbyterian cleric who charged his wife, the
co-respondent being the stable-boy. Russell (then plain Mr.) was for the
clergyman, and when I entered the crowded court, he was in the midst of
his appeal to the jury, working himself up to a pitch of eloquence,
appealing to all to look upon the saintly figure of the man of prayer
(the plaintiff, who was playing the part by kneeling and clasping his
hands), and asking the jury to scorn all idea of his client having any
desire to free himself of his wife so as to marry his pretty governess,
or cousin, or whomever it was suggested he most particularly admired.
Russell had arrived at quoting Scripture,--he was at his best, austere,
eloquent, persuasive, an orator, a gentleman, a great advocate, and as
sanctimonious as his kneeling client.


He was interrupted by someone handing him a telegram. As he opened it he
said, waving it towards his client, "This may be a message from Heaven
to that saint,--ah, gentlemen of the jury, the words so
pure--so--so----" (he reads the telegram).

"D----! D----! D----!" He crushed the telegram in his hand, and with an
angry gesture threw it away. Although his words were drowned by the
"laughter in Court," his gestures and face showed his chagrin and
disgust. The Grand National had been run half-an-hour before.

Years afterwards, on his own lawn at Tadworth, I told him of this
incident, and asked him what the contents of that telegram were. He
declared I was wrong, such an incident never occurred in his career. I
convinced him I was right--it was the first time I saw him, and every
detail was vividly impressed upon my memory. After dinner he came to me
and said, "Furniss, I have been thinking over that incident. You are
quite right--it has all come back to me. I lost my temper, I recollect,
because I had wired to my boy over there to make a bet for me on an
outsider at a long price; when at lunch, I heard the horse had won. I
was delighted, and therefore at my best when I addressed the jury. The
telegram was from my boy to say that he forgot to put the money on!"

Riding has caused my appearance in a Police Court, but not as a member
of the Two Pins Club. In October, 1895, I was returning from my usual
ride before breakfast, accompanied by my little daughter; we turned into
the terrace in which we live, and our horses cantered up the hill about
120 yards. As we were dismounting, a Police Inspector passed, addressing
me by name, and in a most offensive tone declared that he would summon
me, as I had been cautioned before for furious riding. This remark was
so absolutely untrue that I met the summons, and the Inspector in the
Court made three distinct statements on oath: That I spurred my horse
(when cross-examined by me, he gave a minute description of my spurs);
that I charged up the hill 250 yards at the rate of sixteen miles an
hour; and that I had been cautioned before for the same thing. Now, I
have never been cautioned in my life; the distance I went up the hill is
120 yards, and no horse could get up any pace in that distance; and I do
not wear spurs, although two constables swore I did.

The magistrate, face to face with these three facts, looked the picture
of misery. It was evident to him, as it must be evident to every
fair-minded man, that the police were in the wrong. And when the
magistrate was thinking out this dilemma, I made a fatal mistake. I gave
my reason for appearing as a sacrifice on my part to show the magistrate
the sort of evidence upon which poor cabmen and others are fined and
made to suffer. The magistrate, Mr. Plowden, waxed very wroth, and as he
could not punish me, and would not reprimand the police, I was asked to
pay the costs of the summons, which was withdrawn. The late Mr. Montagu
Williams, who sat in the Marylebone Police Court, the court in which I
was charged with furious riding, gave it as his private opinion that the
longer a policeman was in the service the less he could rely upon his

               _From the "Westminster Gazette._"]

This case led to all sorts of trouble. I was assailed by people in the
street, strangers to me, for "riding over children." Letters came from
all sorts of societies--Cruelty to Animals, and other excellent
institutions. I found people measuring the terrace; others riding up it
to see if it were possible to get the pace (which it is not), but few
knew the truth. The constable when I left the court remarked to me,
"I'll tache ye to caricature Oirishmen in Parleymint!" However, I was
repaid by the humour the incident gave rise to in the imagination of my
brother workers on the Press. Mr. F. C. Gould made this capital sketch,
and others portrayed my crime in verse. The following was written to me
by one of London's most celebrated editors, and has never been published

      "H. Furniss was an artist gent
         Of credit and renown,
       Who'd ride a horse up Primrose Hill
         With any man in town.

      "The morn was fine as morn could be
         Upon last Thursday week,
       And, like the early morn, H. F.
         Was up before the beak.

      "(Full little dreamed that worthy cit,
         Some dozen mornings hence
       He would be 'up before the beak'
         In quite another sense.)

      "Upon two tits of pranksome mood,
         The gallant Lika Joko
       And Likajokalina rode,
         'Desipere in loco.'

      "'Cantare pares' rode the pair,
         Ad equitatum nati,'
       But to a bobby's summons not
         'Respondere parati.'

      "So 'appy rode the blithesome pair,
         They scoured the hill and plain,
       And warming with their morning's work,
         Rode hotly home again.

      "But by the slope of Primrose Hill
         The rude Inspector Ross
       Beheld H. Furniss canter up
         Upon his foaming hoss.

      "'Look 'ere, young man,' says he to him,
         'There are some children dear
       That by the ridin' of you folk
         Do go in bod'ly fear.

      "'Your hasting steed pull up, I say!
         S'welp me, draw your rein!
       The innocents abroad, young man,
         Are frightened by you twain.

      "'Look at yer smokin' job 'oss 'ere--
         I seen you job 'is flank!
       'E's well nigh done--tyke 'im away,
         And back upon the rank.'

      "H. Furniss fixed him with his eye;
         His brow was awful cross;
       He Kyrled his lip contemptuous-like
         At this rude man of Ross.

      "'The spirit of my gallant cob,
         Ruffian, you shall not squelch;
       I ride nor Scotch nor Irish hot,
         But Furniss-heated Welsh.

      "'Mine and my daughter's gentle pace
         Could not affright a foundling;
       Be off, and peep down areas, or
         Move on some harmless groundling!'

      "The Inspector glared: 'Come, Mr. F.,
         We can't stand this no longer;
       I summons you to Marylebone'--
         (He muttered something stronger).

       *     *     *     *     *

      "Good Mr. Plowden heard the charge,
         As two policemen swore it;
       Then heard H. Furniss' defence,
         And sagely pondered o'er it.

      "'The Inspector swears you galloped up;
         You swear you merely trotted:
       My own opinion in this case
         Is, as usual, Gordian-knotted.

      "'Now Gordian knots were tied to be
         By magistrates divided;
       We cut them--and the severed ends
         Do much as once the tied did.

      "'In this case, add the paces up,
         And then divide by two:
       A canter is the quotient;
         I think that that should do.

      "'A sound decision that will please
         Both parties this I trust is;
       It is a fine distinction, but
         Avoids the fires of justice.

      "'You, Mr. Furniss, must disburse
         Two bob costs to my till,
       And promise me to try no more
         Primrose babes to kill.

      "'And all in Court, take warning by
         The furious Canterer's fate,
       And go not up the Primrose path
         At such an awful rate.

      "'But if your sluggish livers you
         Must vigorously shake,
       "Vigor's Horse Exercise at Home"
         (Vide Prospectus) take.'"

As a matter of fact, the magistrate did not look at the charge-sheet,
or know me, or catch my name, or he might have made
his usual joke at my expense in another way.

[Illustration: MY PORTRAIT, BY F. C. BURNAND.]

Mr. Burnand and I rode a great deal together. Avoiding the Row, my
editor preferred to ride to Hampstead, Harrow, or Mill Hill, calling for
me on the way. Once, when I could not ride, he wrote: "Very sorry to
hear of your being laid up with a cold; it shows what even the Wisest
and Best amongst us are liable to. The idea is monstrous of a _Cold
Furniss_. A _coal'd_ furniss is satisfactory. Don't take too much out of
yourself with riding. 'He speaks to thee who hath not got a
horse'--Shakespeare." Then follows later a specimen of his irrepressible
good humour:

                                                      _22 Nov._

              "Alas and alack!
              I've got a hack,
          But the weather's been such,
              I've not got on his back.

              "I got no jog
              Because of the fog,
                And up to twelve,
                  In breeches and boots,
                Which I had to shelve
                  And recover my foots.
              I lunched at the 'G'
              (So there was, you see,
              One _Gee_ for me).

              "Then I came back
                And wrote some play
              But oh, good lack!
                No riding to-day.
              If foggy here,
              At Ramsgate 'twas clear.

              "Alas and alack!
              I'll sell my hack,
                Much to my sorrow.
                I'll ride to-morrow,
              That is, if fine,
              But not at nine.
          I shall not start, if I'm alive
          And have the heart, till ten forty-five.

              "Away to parks I'll trot
              To get a little hot,
              Also to get a little dirty,
              And with you be 11.30.

              "Till one,
              Then done.
                Back to Lunch,
                Then to Office of _Punch_.
          This my plan, you'll be happy to learn, is
          At your disposal, Mr. Furniss."

But excursions in search of material my editor and I had to do on foot,
and were not so pleasing; still, Mr. Burnand always managed to have his
little joke in all circumstances.


One day he and I were "doing" the picture shows in the interests of Mr.
Punch. At one o'clock, feeling jaded and tired, a retreat to the Garrick
Club to lunch was suggested. "Happy thought!" said my editor. "Better
still, here is an invitation for two to the Exhibition of French Cookery
at Willis's Rooms. Capital lunch there, I should think." So off we went,
anticipating a _recherché_ lunch. Fancy our chagrin on arrival to find
cooks galore, discussing their art, but, alas! their art, like the high
art of the Masters of the Brush in our National Gallery, was all under
glass! Aggravatingly appetising, but absolutely uninteresting to the two
hungry art critics. We soon were in a cab and at the Garrick. As we
pulled up, the greatest _gourmet_ of the Club, that clever actor, Arthur
Cecil, greeted us:

"Hallo, Frank, where have you two come from?"

"Oh, Arthur, _such_ luck! Furniss and I have just had the most
_recherché_ lunch you could imagine."

"H'm--hullo--h'm--where? The deuce you have! Lucky dogs! Eh, what was it

"Oh, you can see it for yourself; it's going on now at the French
Cookery Exhibition in Willis's Rooms. Special invitation--ah, here's a

"Thanks, old chap! what a treat! I'm off there! No, no; you fellows
mustn't pay the cab--I'll do that. Here, driver--Willis's Rooms--look

Arthur Cecil undoubtedly was a quaint fellow and a clever actor, but he
had an insatiable appetite. One would never have thought so, judging
from appearance: his clever, clean-cut face, his small, thin figure,
together with the little hand-bag he always carried, rather suggested a
lawyer or a clergyman. His eccentricity was a combination of
absent-mindedness and irritability. The latter failing, he told me,
would at times take complete control of him: for instance, he had to
leave a train before his journey was completed, as he felt it impossible
to sit in the carriage and look at the alarm bell without pulling it. I
have watched him seated in the smoking-room of the club we both
attended, in which the star-light in the centre of the ceiling was
shaded by a rather primitive screen of stretched tissue paper, gazing at
it for half-an-hour at a time, and eventually taking all the coins out
of his pocket to throw them one after another at the immediate object of
his irritation. He frequently succeeded in penetrating the screen, the
coins remaining on the top of it, to the delight of the astonished

His eccentricity--perhaps I ought to say in this case his
absent-mindedness--is illustrated by an incident which happened on the
morning of the funeral of a great friend of his. As Cecil (his real name
was Blount) was having his bath, he was suddenly inspired with some idea
for a song; so, pulling his sponge-bath into the adjoining sitting-room
closer to the piano, he placed a chair in it, and sat down to try it
over. A friend, rushing in to fetch him to the funeral, found him so
seated, singing and playing, balancing the dripping sponge on the top of
his head.


[Illustration: THE PICTURE SHOWS.
               _Design from "Punch."_]

To feed upon one's own kind is a custom which, like so many other
vestiges of a previous civilisation, seems in the present day to have a
fair chance of revival. We have long had with us the City Cannibal, the
Fleet Street Cannibal, the Dramatic, Literary and Musical Cannibals.
Latterly the Society Cannibal has come more distinctly to the front.
Then why, I long ago asked myself, should there not be the Cannibal of
the etching pen and the brush? Especially as the writhing victims of
those mighty instruments appear to be so enamoured of their fate as to
besiege that comic slaughter-house, the studio of the caricaturist, and
with persistent cries of "Eat us! eat us! Our turn next!" solicit the
"favour of not being forgotten" in his next batch of "subjects."


It may be a revelation to many of my readers, but I can assure them it
is a fact, that it is only in very exceptional cases that artists object
to having their pictures caricatured. Indeed, many of the leading
painters have given me to understand that the omission of their work
from my sketches would be anything but agreeable to them, although, when
the desired travesties of their pictures appear, they may pretend to be
highly indignant. There is one Royal Academician of my acquaintance who
has so keen an appreciation of humour that he never loses an opportunity
of giving me a hint when his magnifying glass has detected the slightest
element of the grotesque in a fellow artist's work. And that most
amiable of men, the late Frank Holl, could never refrain, when occasion
offered, from directing my attention to the humorous points of his
sitters, although I need hardly add that no trace of his having
perceived them was ever apparent in any of his works. Do artists object?
Well, in _Punch_, May, 1889, du Maurier touches this point:

"What our artist (the awfully funny one) has to put up with: _Brown_: 'I
say, look here! What the deuce do you mean by caricaturing my
pictures--hay?' _Jones_: 'Yes, confound you! and _not caricaturing

I have even known artists so anxious to be parodied that, if they
happened to have a vein of humour in their pencils, they would actually
send me caricatures of their own pictures. Even poor Fred Barnard once
sent me an admirable sketch, caricaturing an excellent portrait of his
three children which he had painted for the Royal Academy, where it duly
appeared. Others less humorously imaginative perhaps have written to me
assuring me of the great pleasure which would have been theirs had they
themselves conceived the idea which my caricature of their work

Although, however, there are so few artists who object to having their
pictures caricatured, there is, of course, another side to the question.
It is indeed most true that nothing kills like ridicule, and in the
course of my experience I have found it is just as easy unconsciously to
inflict an injury with my pen and Indian ink as it is to do good. Let us
suppose, for instance, that a great painter has just finished a very
sentimental work--a picture so brimful of beauty and pathos that it
appeals to everybody, myself included. As I stand before it, and admire,
it is impossible perhaps for me to restrain a sympathetic tear from
making its appearance in, at all events, one of my eyes. But how about
the other? Ah! with regard to that other eye, I must confess it is very
differently employed, and, superior to my control, is searching the
canvas high and low for that "something ridiculous" which, except in the
case of the very greatest masters, is always there. Now what ensues? The
purchaser of that picture, who, mark you, unlike myself, regarded it and
admired it with _both_ of his eyes, congratulates himself upon its
acquisition. I have known it for a fact, however--to my regret--that
after the publication of the caricature the purchaser was never able to
look at his picture again through his own glasses, and bitterly
regretted his outlay.


An art publisher with whom I was acquainted agreed to pay a heavy sum
for the copyright of a work of a well-known and popular painter, and
after the caricature had appeared in _Punch_ he resolved to forego the
publication of the engraving from it by which he had hoped to recoup his
expenditure, because he considered that the sobriety of the work was so
completely destroyed as to preclude the possibility of sale; and an
eminent sculptor, who was responsible for a well-known statue which I
caricatured some years ago when it appeared in the Royal Academy, has
told me, since it was put up in the Metropolis, that he has actually
meditated replacing it by another piece, owing to the ludicrous
suggestion affixed to it.

On the other hand, the caricature of an important work is sometimes
received in the proper spirit. Here is a letter from Professor Herkomer,
with reference to my caricature of the work of our greatest art genius,
Alfred Gilbert, R.A.:


Of course, the caricaturing of pictures has its seamy as well as its
smooth side. Among the annoyances to which an artist engaged on this
description of work is exposed I am inclined to give a prominent place
to the fussy and vexatious regulations imposed upon him by the
authorities at Burlington House. One would have supposed, for instance,
that anyone like myself, who is well-known as merely taking notes for
caricature, would have been allowed to consult his own convenience to
some extent in making his sketches. But not a bit of it. The penalty is
something too dreadful if you are found making the slightest note of a
picture at the Royal Academy at any other time than on the one appointed
day. The object of this regulation is, of course, to protect the
copyright of the pictures--a very proper and legitimate precaution; but
I submit that a better instance of the spirit of Red Tapeism which is so
rampant at Burlington House, and which I am always endeavouring to
expose, could not be adduced than the inability of the officials to
discriminate between the accredited representative of a paper and the
piratical sketcher who is taking notes for an illegitimate purpose. I
need hardly say that this regulation is peculiar to the Royal Academy.
At the Grosvenor Gallery, which, alas! is no more, the officials about
the place understood these matters better, and at all times were pleased
to give every facility to the representative of the Press. The polite
secretary would give up his chair to me any day I liked to look in, and
would often point out to me some comical feature in the surrounding
canvases which his sly humour had detected.

[Illustration: A PRISONER.]

Equal praise must indeed be accorded to the management of the New
Gallery and all the other Exhibitions with which I have been brought in
contact in the course of my professional duties. Personally, as I have
always made my notes at the Royal Academy on the authorised occasion, I
have had nothing to fear from those who preside there. But my friend
Linley Sambourne, who wished upon one occasion to caricature a picture
of Burne-Jones' for a political cartoon in _Punch_ (of course altering
the figures and indeed everything else, so as not in any way to trench
upon the great artist's copyright) was dogged by a detective, arrested,
and finally thrown into the darkest dungeon beneath the Burlington House
moat! Protest was useless. What his terror must have been my pen fails
to describe. Visions of the thumbscrew, the rack, and all the tortures
conceivable rose in the fertile imagination of my colleague, and beads
of perspiration made their appearance upon his massive brow. After weary
hours, when lunch-time without the lunch had come and gone, and the
pangs of hunger began to be added to his other miseries, when he was
reflecting that his week's work for _Punch_ was yet unfinished, that the
engravers would be in despair at not having it in time, and that at that
moment his editor was probably telegraphing to him all over London and
instituting a search for his person all over his club, suddenly the
bolts of his prison-chamber were withdrawn and his gaoler, the
blood-thirsty tyrant Red Tape, allowed the genial artist to return to
the bosom of his wife and family--not, however, without leaving a
hostage behind him. The sketch--the guilty sketch--the cause of all his
troubles, was detained. In vain the harassed artist explained to his
grim Cerberus that the work was wanted for the next week's issue of
_Punch_, and although as a matter of fact it duly appeared at the
appointed time, Mr. Sambourne had to trust to his memory instead of to
the courtesy and common sense of Burlington House for the reproduction
of his skit.

I remember another incident which will serve to illustrate the trials
and misfortunes of the caricaturist when pursuing his vocation outside
the walls of his studio. It was the opening day of the New Gallery, and
as I draw my sketches of the pictures with an ordinary pen and liquid
Indian ink direct, and have them afterwards, like all my drawings,
photographed on wood and engraved--of late years they are reproduced by
process engraving--I was holding my bottle of ink and my sketch-book in
one hand, while my pen was busy with the other. Upon arriving very early
in the morning I thought I must have made a mistake, and that I had
entered a manufactory of hats, for the hall was almost entirely taken up
with hat-boxes. Upon enquiry, however, I learned that these merely
contained the new hats in which the directors would, later on, receive
their visitors. When the hall began to fill, and the fashionable crowd
was pouring in, I was standing in the central lobby, sketching away with
a will, when my friend Sir William Agnew, always early to arrive on such
occasions, happened to come up and soon interested me in conversation
about the genius of Millais and the beauties of Burne-Jones. In my
energetic manner I was debating a matter of some little interest when my
eye caught that of Mr. Comyns-Carr, who, with his newly-selected hat on,
was standing close by and regarding me with an expression of
indescribable horror. "What is the matter with Carr?" I observed to
Agnew; "surely Sargent should be here and hand down that expression to
posterity." But when I followed his eyes as they passed sternly from
mine to the floor, my hat nearly sprang off my head at the sight which I
beheld! Forgetting that I held the bottle of ink in the hand with which
I had been suiting the action to the word in my animated harangue to Sir
William, I had splashed the virgin marble on which we were standing in
all directions with hideous stains of the blackest of liquids. In my
consternation I did not stay to see the incongruous figure of the
charwoman and bucket who was immediately introduced amid the _élite_ of
fashionable London, but fled incontinently from the gallery and, rushing
in where angels fear to tread, sought sanctuary in my accustomed haunt,
the Gallery of the House of Commons. There at least I thought I should
be safe. Presently, when I had somewhat recovered from my agitation, I
was making my way out of the House when I encountered a friend in the
Central Lobby. I was explaining to him the unfortunate _contretemps_
which had occurred at the New Gallery, and utterly forgot that I still
held the bottle of ink in my hand, and on the sacred floor we stood upon
I had perpetrated the offence again!

My only consolation for this chapter of accidents was that the
particular ink in my bottle is different from the ordinary writing
fluid, and leaves no stain behind it. It is in fact merely paint, and is
innocent of gall. There are inks, as there are other forms of
journalism, whose consequences are not so easily effaced or so harmless;
but like the caricaturist's work itself, the material with which it is
accomplished often looks blacker than it really is.

               MY DRAWING OF IT IN _PUNCH_.]

Fortunately all this happened previous to the introduction of the ink I
use now, known as _Waterproof_ ink--ink that will not _run_ when washed
over with water. The manufacturers of this article sent me a specimen
bottle to experiment with, and asked me for my opinion of it. In
replying, I sent the following note. The sketch was touched in to amuse
my youngest boy, who was puzzled by the meaning of Waterproof ink. The
makers, in acknowledging the note, asked me to mention the sum I would
accept if, with my permission, they used the note and sketch I sent as
an advertisement. I replied that they were welcome to use my note, but
that I could not accept payment. However I received in a few days a
large parcel of artists' materials: paints, sketch-books, brushes,
pencils, &c.


This is more than I ever received for a better known advertisement: "I
used your soap two years ago." I was never offered so much as a cake of
soap from those who used my _Punch_ sketch so freely! Permission was
given for its use by the proprietors of _Punch_, not knowing I had any
objection, and at the time I was ill with fever and unable to protest.
The firm certainly paid me some years afterwards for the publication of
the same advertisement for two insertions in a periodical I was
starting, but only at the ordinary rate. I mention this fact as I have
heard from friends all over the world that I received untold gold for
the use of it, and as it has interested so many perhaps I may at the
same time clear up another fallacy, which I did not know existed until
I read Mr. Spielmann's "History of _Punch_." In that he refers to the
very "oft-quoted drawing (lately used as an advertisement), the idea of
which reached him from an anonymous correspondent. It is that of a
grimy, unshaven, unwashed, mangy-looking tramp, who sits down to write,
with a broken quill, a testimonial for a firm of soap-makers. A further
point of interest about this famous sketch was that Charles Keene was
deeply offended by it at first, in the groundless belief that it was
intended as a skit upon himself. It must at least be admitted that the
head is not unlike what one might have expected to belong to a
dissipated and dilapidated Charles Keene." Poor Keene! How sorry I was
to read this when too late to explain to him that he was never in my
mind for a moment when I was drawing it! But, strange to say, the
original who sat for it was a brother artist, another Charles, quite as
delightful as Keene, equally clever in his own way, and my greatest
friend--Charles Burton Barber, the animal painter, in appearance rather
like Charles Keene, but nothing of the Bohemian about him, and a
non-smoker! Still I am always being told that I had So-and-so in my eye
when drawing the figure. I might in truth quote Sir John Tenniel's
remark _à propos_ of being accused of caricaturing his late comrade,
Horace Mayhew, as the "White Knight" in "Alice in Wonderland": "The
resemblance was purely accidental, a mere unintentional caricature,
which his _friends_, of course, were only too delighted to make the most
of." Ah, those _friends_ are at the bottom of all these
misunderstandings. I could a tale, or two, unfold, but that--that's
another volume.

[Illustration: I SIT FOR JOHN BROWN.]

Yes, poor Barber sat for the tramp, and I in return sat to him for a
figure quite as incongruous in my case as the tramp was in his. I sat
for John Brown for the picture Queen Victoria had commissioned of Mr.
Brown surrounded by her pet dogs, which she had in her private room. She
was so delighted with the picture that she had a replica made of it, and
placed it in the passage outside, so that it was the first picture she
looked at as she left her room. Barber's animals and children were
delightful, but he was weak with his men, and was in trouble over John
Brown's calves,--it was then that I posed for the "brawny Scott," but
only for the portion here mentioned.


This figure of the tramp in my sketch of "I used your soap two years
ago" has in fact been mistaken for myself. A relative of my own, who has
been living in the Cape for many years, paid a visit to London, and on
his return informed his children that he had seen me and brought my
portrait back with him. "Oh, we have Cousin Harry's portrait in our
nursery for some time: one he has signed too." It was the Punch-Pears
production in colour! I am sure I do not know how ridiculous stories are
received as true, that I got a fabulous sum for the use of this one;
that such-and-such a member of the staff gets a huge retaining fee, &c.,
and other inventions--one in particular. If I have met one, I have met a
score of people at different times of my life who positively declared
that they actually sent that ever famous line: "Punch's advice to those
about to marry--Don't!" and received immediately remuneration in sums
varying from £5 to £500. That joke was probably conceived and thrown in
at the last moment, at the critical point when the editor is "making up"
the paper.

As I am writing these disjointed notes for family reading, it may
perhaps not be out of place just to refer to the domestic relations of
the staff of _Punch_. Our wives and families were invited to meet on the
occasion of the Lord Mayor's procession, when they may have been
observed upon the roof of the publishing office--till recently it was in
Fleet Street--from which coign of vantage they had an excellent view of
the civic show, afterwards having a capital lunch in a room on the first
floor. Yet how much men who live on their wits owe to their domestic
happiness! It is a pleasant fact to be able to chronicle that--I believe
at all times--the domestic lives of the _Punch_ staff have been most
happy. It is rather curious that all of them have made the same kind of
matrimonial selection--they have married "sensible wives," women who
have all been sympathetic, devoted, bright, and domesticated. The wit at
the dinner-table, the humorous writer or the caricaturist in the pages
you read, is a very different dog at home. It must naturally be so. It
is the reaction, and it is to such men that the woman possessed of tact
and cheerfulness is invaluable. In truth, Punch's advice to those about
to marry, "Don't!" has been disregarded by the majority of his members,
in every case with the utmost satisfaction to themselves.


*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Confessions of a Caricaturist, Vol. 1" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.