Confessions of a Caricaturist
by Oliver Herford
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Confessions of a Caricaturist


Oliver Herford

New York . Charles Scribner's Sons


Copyright, 1917, by Charles Scribner's Sons

Published September, 1917




William Dean Howells 3

Napoleon 4

Dante 6

Theodore Roosevelt 8

Rudyard Kipling 10

Ignace Jan Paderewski 12

Daniel Frohman 14

Charles W. Eliot 16

J. Pierpont Morgan 18

Gilbert K. Chesterton 20

Guglielmo Marconi 22

George Bernard Shaw 24

Brander Matthews 26

John S. Sargent 28

Arnold Bennett 30

Shakespeare 32

William Howard Taft 34

G. K. Chesterton 36

David Belasco 38

Henrik Ibsen 40

J. Forbes-Robertson 42

John Drew 44

Israel Zangwill 46

George Bernard Shaw 48

Peter Dunne 50

Saint Paul 52

John D. Rockefeller 54

Hiram Maxim 56

George Ade 58

Christopher Columbus 60

F. W. Hohenzollern 62

Hafiz 65

Confessions of a Caricaturist

William Dean Howells

Not squirrels in the park alone His love and winter-kindness own. When Literary Fledglings try Their wings, in first attempt to fly, They flutter down to Franklin Square, Where Howells in his "Easy Chair" Like good Saint Francis scatters crumbs Of Hope, to each small bird that comes. And since Bread, cast upon the main, Must to the giver come again, I tender now, long overtime, This humble Crumb of grateful rhyme.

(See Frontispiece)


I like to draw Napoleon best Because one hand is in his vest, The other hand behind his back. (For drawing hands I have no knack.)


If you should ask me, whether Dante Drank Benedictine or Chianti, I should reply, "I cannot say, But I can draw him either way."

Theodore Roosevelt

The ways of Providence are odd. If THEODORE means "The Gift of God," Let us give thanks, at any rate, The Gift was not a duplicate.

Aside (To T. R)

Dear Theodore, should it give you pain To read this Rhyme, let me explain. If we 'exchanged' you, where on Earth Could we find one of Equal worth?

O. H.

Rudyard Kipling

I seem to see a Shining One, With eyes that gleam, now fierce, now tender, Through Goggles that reflect the Sun "With more than Oriental Splendor"; I see him sitting on a chest Heavy with padlocks, bolts, and cording, Where Untold Treasures hidden rest, Treasures of Untold Yarns he's hoarding. Oh, Rudyard, please unlock that chest! With hope deferred we're growing hoary; Or was it all an empty jest Your saying, "That's another story"?

Ignace Jan Paderewski

When Paderewski is forgot, Our children's children, like as not, Will worship in the Hall of Fame, Some great piano-maker's name.

Daniel Frohman

I love to picture Daniel Frohman In costume of a noble Roman. For Dan has just the style of hair, That Julius Caesar used to wear.

Charles W. Eliot

And now comes Dr. Eliot stating That Hell won't bear investigating. It looks like Charlie's out to bust The Great Hell-Fire Insurance Trust.

J. Pierpont Morgan

In Rome, when Morgan came to town, They nailed the Colosseum down. A great Collector! Once his Fad Was Coins, but when in time he had Collected all the coin in sight, To Europe's Art his thoughts took flight. But let not Europe palpitate For fear of an Art Syndicate. There are more Rembrandts, strange to say, Than ever were in Rembrandt's day; And statues "planted" in the sand Will always equal the demand.

Gilbert K. Chesterton

Unless I'm very much misled, Chesterton's easier done than said. I have not seen him, but his looks I can imagine from his books.

Guglielmo Marconi

I like Marconi best to see Beneath a Macaroni tree Playing that Nocturne in F Sharp By Chopin, on a Wireless Harp.

George Bernard Shaw

The very name of Bernard Shaw Fills me with mingled Mirth and Awe. Mixture of Mephistopheles, Don Quixote, and Diogenes, The Devil's wit, the Don's Romance Joined to the Cynic's arrogance. Framed on Pythagorean plan, A Vegetable Souperman. Here you may see him crown with bay The Greatest Playwright of his day;[1] Observe the look of Self Distrust And Diffidence—upon the bust.

[1] For "his" read any.—G. B. S.

Brander Matthews

I'd best beware how I make free With Brander Matthews L. L. D. Since Prexy Wilson's paved the way He may be President some day.

John S. Sargent

Here's Sargent doing the Duchess X In pink velours and pea-green checks. "It helps," says he, "to lift your Grace A bit above the commonplace."

Arnold Bennett

'Tis very comforting to know That every other day or so A Book by Bennett will appear To charm the Western Hemisphere. I see him now, with zeal sublime, Pounding from dawn to dinner-time Four typewriters, with hands and feet. When the four novels are complete, He'll fold, and send a grande vitesse His Quadrumanuscript to press.

P. S.

Just think how much we'd have to read If Bennett were a centipede

O. H.


Will Shakespeare, the Baconians say, Was the Belasco of his day— Others more plausibly maintain He was the double of Hall Caine.

William Howard Taft

I'm sorry William Taft is out Of Politics; without a doubt Of all the Presidential crew He was the easiest to do.

G. K. Chesterton

When Plain Folk, such as you or I, See the Sun sinking in the sky, We think it is the Setting Sun, But Mr. Gilbert Chesterton Is not so easily misled. He calmly stands upon his head, And upside down obtains a new And Chestertonian point of view, Observing thus, how from his toes The sun creeps nearer to his nose, He cries with wonder and delight, "How Grand the SUNRISE is to-night!"

David Belasco

Behold Belasco in his den, Wielding the scissors, paste and pen, And writing with consummate skill A play by W. De Mille.

Henrik Ibsen

I once drew Ibsen, looking bored Across a deep Norwegian Fjord, And very nearly every one Mistook him for the midnight sun.

J. Forbes-Robertson

I'm told the Artist who aspires To draw Forbes-Robertson requires A Sargent's brush. Dear me! how sad! I've lost the only one I had.

John Drew

For Perfect Form there are but few That can compare with Mr. Drew; A Form most fittingly displayed In roles from London, tailor-made By Messrs. Maughn, Pinero, Jones, In quiet, gentlemanly tones. The Nouveaux-Riches flock, day by day, To learn from John how to display (Without unnecessary gloom) The manners of the drawing-room. This possibly may be the cause (Or one of them) why John Drew draws.

Israel Zangwill

This picture though it is not much Like Zangwill, is not void of worth It has one true Zangwillian touch It looks like nothing else on earth.

George Bernard Shaw

George Bernard Shaw—Oh, yes, I know I did him not so long ago. But then, you see, I like to do George Bernard Shaw (George likes it too).

Peter Dunne

By the Harp

"Shpeaking of Harps, sure me frind Pete Has got the Harp of Tara beat," Said Mr. Dooley. "Div'l a thing That boy can't play upon won shtring. For all the wurrld, to hear him play You'd think 'twas a whole orchestray. Great Shtatesmen come from far and near And shtop their talking, just to hear Him harp upon the latest kinks In politics and social jinks. Niver was such a music sharp, I'd orter know, sure I'm the Harp."

Saint Paul

It saddens me to think Saint Paul Such lengthy letters had to scrawl. And so to make his labor lighter I picture him with a typewriter.

John D. Rockefeller

Few faces interest me less Than Rockefeller's, I confess. 'Twould vastly better suit my whim To draw his bank account, than him.

Hiram Maxim

From Hiram Maxim's hair you'd think His specialty was spilling ink— You'd never dream he'd spilt more blood Than any one man since the Flood.

George Ade

Somehow I always like to think Of GEORGEADE as a Summer Drink, Sparkling and cool, with just a Tang Of Pleasant Effervescent Slang; A Wholesome Tonic, without question, And Cure for Moral Indigestion. In Summer-time, beneath the shade, We find Refreshment in GEORGEADE. And 'mid the Scorching City's roar We drink him up and call for more. I often wonder what the "Trade" Buys half so precious as GEORGEADE.

Christopher Columbus

Columbus is an easy one To draw, for when the picture's done, Where is the captious critic who Can say the likeness is not true?

F. W. Hohenzollern

In things like this I've always tried To look upon the Brighter Side; And when I see the Prince, I say "The Crown's worth something anyway."


When Hafiz saw the portrait free, By Monty Flagg, of him and me, He made remarks one can't repeat In any reputable sheet.


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