Illustrations of Popular Works. By GEORGE CRUIKSHANK. Part I.
We like this idea, the plan, and 'the title ; and the designs and their execu- tion are admirable. GEORGE CRUIKSHANK here serves us up sauce piquante wherewith to relish anew the choicest bonnes bouches of those standing dishes at the " feast of reason" which have ever been our prime favourites. What gusto he imparts to the dry humour of Knickerbocker's story of Ten Breeches ! what racy flavour he adds to that of the little Dutch Trumpeter Peter Stuyvesant ! The everlasting story of the " Family Picture" in the Fear of Wakefield is rechronicied in a graphic version; and the worthy and simple-minded Vicar preaching-to the jailbirds is ren- dered at once ludicrous and serious, without impairing the fun or weakening the force of the moral. " The De'il runs awa with the Exciseman," in a style of infinite glee, his forked tail serving the pastoral office of crook to the black sheep ; and poor little Weazel, pinned up in a corner of the inn- kitchen by the levelled spit of Roderick Random, looks the personification of a galvanized frog. Mr. ()nu msHANK'S readings of the novels of FIELDING and SMOLLET T are provocative of side-bursting laughter ; and he does justice not only to the individual characters of the story, but to the broad humour of the author, for he enters into the spirit of the scene and the dialogue. He has opened up a rich vein in Knickerbocker. As every good joke that is not the worse for wear is called a Joe Miller, so we predict every sly hit-every graphic poke in the ribs from an artist's pencil-will in future ages be termed a " George Cruikshank."
We will just hint, that a little carelessness in the execution of one or two of the plates-as, for instance, in that of the Vicar preaching to the pri- soners-has a tendency to lessen and obscure that brilliancy and point which equally characterize the style and the conceptions of this inimitable artist.