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as Oliver Twist, which name, he said, he would give the boy, as he thought it would answer his purpose. I wanted the boy to have a very different name, such as Frank Foundling or Frank Steadfast; but I think the word Twist proves to a certain extent that the boy he was going to employ for his purpose was a very different sort of boy from the one introduced and recommended to him by, Sir, your obedient servant, GEORGE CRUIKSHANK.
“HAMPSTEAD ROAD, Dec. 29, 1871.”
Mr. Forster refers to this letter in the corrections to the first volume of his "Life of Dickens," and says in regard to "the foregoing fable" that "Mr. Cruikshank is to be congratulated on the prudence of his rigid silence respecting it so long as Mr. Dickens lived." As Mr. Forster had seen, while he was writing his first volume, the "Life of Dickens by Dr. R. Shelton Mackenzie, in which it is stated that Mr. Cruikshank laid claim to "Oliver Twist" as far back as 1847, twenty-three years before the death of Dickens, Mr. Forster is to be congratulated for what?
But Mr. Cruikshank made other claims than the one in regard to "Oliver Twist," for in a published letter written, over a year earlier than the letter to the "Times," he wrote, "I was the first artist to illustrate any of Mr. Dickens's writings, and the earliest of them was the first volume of Sketches by Boz' (January, 1836), and the next was the second volume under this title, the greater part of which was written from my hints and suggestions." He continues, in the same letter, "I am preparing to pub lish an explanation of the reason why I did not illustrate the whole of Mr. Dickens's writings, and this explanation will not at all redound to his credit." That Mr. Cruikshank believed then, and believes now, that Dickens was largely indebted to him, is evident from a speech delivered by him on the 20th of April of the present year. The following
paragraph in relation to it appeared in the "London Globe" of April 21st: "Mr. George Cruikshank delivered an address yesterday on intemperance, at Manchester. In supporting a vote of thanks to the veteran artist the Mayor referred to Mr. Cruikshank's illustration of Charles Dickens's works. Mr. Cruikshank, in responding, said the only work of Dickens which he had illustrated was 'The Sketches by Boz.' Then came the question why he had not illustrated the others. The Mayor: You forget ‘Oliver Twist.' Mr. Cruikshank: That came out of my own brain. I wanted Dickens to write me a work, but he did not do it in the way I wanted. I assure you I went and made a sketch of the condemned cell many years before that work was published. I wanted a scene a few hours before the strangulation, and Dickens said he did not like it, and I said he must have a Jew or a Christian in the cell. Dickens said, 'Do as you like,' and I put Fagan, the Jew, into the cell. Dickens behaved in an extraordinary way to me, and I believe it had a little effect on his mind. He was a most powerful opponent to teetotalism, and he described us as 'old hogs.'
That something has had a little effect upon the mind of Mr. Cruikshank is evident from his language, which must be characterized as rather intemperate in the mouth of a veteran teetotaler. It is not in this role, however, nor as the originator of "Oliver Twist," that he will be known to posterity, but as an artist of peculiar and great power, who in the latter part of his long and active life created materials for a chapter which has yet to be written in the "Curiosities of Literature," and which should be christened "The Delusions of an Artist."
R. H. S.
WILLIAM MAKEPEACE THACKERAY.
THACKERAY IN AMERICA.
R. THACKERAY (who that has heard him with sweetness of voice unequaled, speak of Mr. Joseph Addison, and Mr. Congreve, and Mr. Fielding, and Mr. Atterbury; who that has read "Henry Esmond," or "The Virginians,” will find fault with me for so describing him?) came to Philadelphia on his first visit to America in the month of January, 1853. My impression is that he brought very few letters of personal introduction, and was rather careless of what may be called "social success," though anxious about the work he had in hand, his course of lectures on the English Humorists, — and, as he used to say, "the dollars he wished to make, not for himself, but for his little girls at home." With or without letters, he soon made friends, on the hearts of whom the news of his death has struck a sharp pang. As one of them, I venture to jot down a few memories of him who is gone.
The lectures were very successful. There are two classes of people in every American microcosm those who run after celebrities, and those, resolute not to be pleased, who run as it were against them. All were won or conquered by his simple naturalness; and, as I have said, the lectures were a great success.
My personal relations to him happened to become very in
timate. He seemed to take a fancy to me and mine, and I naturally loved him dearly. He used to come to my house, not the abode of wealth or luxury, almost every day, and often more than once a day. He talked with my little children, and told them odd fairy tales; and I now see him (this was on his second visit) one day in Walnut Street walking slowly along with my little girl by the hand -- the tall, gray-haired, spectacled man with an effort accommodating himself to the toddling child by his side; and then he would bring her home and one day when we were to have a great dinner at the club given to him, and my wife was ill, and my household disarranged, and the bell rang, and I said to him, “I must go and carve the boiled mutton for the children, and take for granted you do not care to come;" and he got up, and with a cheery voice, said, "I love boiled mutton, and children too, and I will dine with them," and we did; and he was happy, and the children were happy, and our appetite for the club dinner was damaged. Such was Thackeray in my home.
I met him once at the house of a friend, and there happened to be an odd collocation at the table. There was a guest, a man of brilliant talent, of mature age, and high education, measured at least by our American standard, who was marked by two peculiarities his remarkable physical resemblance to Thackeray, and the fact that, although upwards of fifty years of age, born and bred in Kentucky, he had never beforc crossed the Alleghanies, and never until that very day seen z ship, or any square-rigged vessel. They the bright backwoodsman, who had never looked upon the ocean, and the veteran Londoner, who had made a voyage from India before the days of steam, and had seen a fat man in white clothes and a big straw hat at St. Helena called “Buonaparte
were a charming contrast. The year 1863 carried both to their graves one in Kensal Green, and the other on the banks of the Ohio,
It was a bright moonlight night on which we (Thackeray and I) walked home from that dinner; and I remember well
the walk and the place, for I seem to localize all my associations with him, and I asked him what, perhaps, he might have thought the absurd question, "What do you honestly think of my country? or rather, what has most struck you in America? Tell me candidly, for I shall not be at all angry or hurt if it be unfavorable, or much elated if it be not.” And then his answer, as he stopped (we were walking along Penn Square), and, turning round to me, said: "You know what a virtue-proud people we English are. We think we have got it all to ourselves. Now that which most impresses me here is, that I find homes as pure as ours, firesides like ours, domestic virtues as gentle; the English language, though the accent be a little different, with its home-like melody; and the Common Prayer Book in your families. I am more struck by pleasant resemblances than by anything else." And so I sincerely believe he was.
There was a great deal of dining out while "the great satirist," as we used to address him, was here; but although always genial, I do not think, according to my recollection, he was a brilliant conversationist. Those who expected much were often disappointed. It was in close private intercourse he was delightful. Once it was in New York - he gave a dinner, at which I was a guest, to what are called "literary men," authors and lawyers, and actors (two very accomplished ones, and most estimable gentlemen one still living), and editors and magazine men. Then he made what seemed to be an effort. He talked for the table. He sang some odd post-prandial songs; one in a strange sort of a "recitative " about Doctor Martin Luther. But, as I have said, it was an effort, and I liked him better at home and alone. It was on this occasion, or rather on our return journey to Philadelphia, that, on board the steamboat (here again am I localizing), he spoke to me of domestic sorrows and anxieties too sacred to be recorded here.1 And yet it was this man whom vulgar
1 He referred to a friend whose wife had been deranged for many years, hopelessly so; and never shall I forget the look, the manner, the voice with which he said to me : It is an awful thing for her to continue so to live. It is an awful thing for her