Read Confessions Of A Caricaturist of Confessions of a Caricaturist , free online book, by Oliver Herford, on

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.


    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 Cæsar 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 Méphistophélès,
    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;
    Observe the look of Self Distrust
    And Diffidence ­upon the bust.

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.