Volltext: A history of caricature and grotesque in literature and art

feated with his face turned to the tail. The fubject of fatire is fuppofed 
to be the character then enjoyed by the Irilh as fortune-hunters. The 
point, however, is not very apparent, and indeed Gillray's earlieil carica- 
tures are tame, although it is remarkable how rapidly he improved, and 
how foon he arrived at excellence. Two caricatures, publiihed in June 
and July, 1782, on the occafion of admiral Rodney's victory, are looked 
upon as marking his firtl decided appearance X11 politics. 
A diltinguifhing characteriitic of Gillray's flyle is, the wonderful tact 
with which he feizes upon the points in his fubject open to ridicule, and 
the force with which he brings thofe points out. In the fineneis of his 
delign, and in his grouping and drawing, he excels all the other cari- 
caturifis. He Was, indeed, born with all the talents of a great hiflorical 
painter, and, but for circumliances, he probably would have {hone in that 
branch of art. This excellence will be the more appreciated when it is 
underllood that he drew his picture with the needle on the plate, without 
having made any previous iketch of it, except fometimes a few haily 
outlines of individual portraits or characters [crawled on cards or fcraps of 
paper as they {truck him.  
Soon after the two caricatures on Rodney's naval victory, the Rocking- 
ham adminittration was broken up by the death of its chief, and another 
was formed under the direction of Lord _Shelburne, from which Fox and 
Burke retired, leaving in it their old colleague, Pitt, who now deferted 
the Whig party in parliament. Fox and Burke became from this moment 
the butt of all forts of abufe and fcornful fatire from the caricaturifts, fuch 
as Sayer, and newfpaper writers in the pay of their opponents; and 
Gillray, perhaps becaufe it offered at that moment the befl chance of 
popularity and fuccefs, joined in the crufade againil the two ex-rniniilers 
and their friends. In one of his caricatures, which is a parody upon Milton, 
Fox is reprefented in the character of Satan, turning his back upon the 
minifterial Paradife, but looking envioufly over his {houlder at the happy 
pair (Shelburne end Pitt) who are counting their money on the treafury 
table Z_' lljirle lze turned 
For en-uy, yet will: jealvus leer malign 
Eyed them ajkance. 
3 0 Another 



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