Four New Ways of Paying Old Debts

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Robert Seymour (1798-1836), Four New Ways of Paying Old Debts, 1829. Hand colored etching. Graphic Arts British Caricature

The Corinthian says “I’ll call and pay.” The regular bad one says, “‘Vy I did pay!!!” An unfortunate says, “I can’t pay!” And the Lawyer Shark says, “I shan’t pay!!!!”

The British humorist and illustrator, Robert Seymour led a cheerless life. Described as high-strung, Seymour suffered a nervous breakdown shortly after completing this caricature. He returned to work but six years later, committed suicide after he felt he had been humiliated while working on Pickwick Papers with Charles Dickens.

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Well done on featuring the work of Robert Seymour. I am actually writing a book about Seymour, who has fascinated me for a number of years and indeed in 2005 my wife and I found his long-lost tombstone, which was lying abandoned in a "tombstone dump" in a spooky church crypt in London. It took five years to get the Church authorities to agree that it deserved a more fitting final resting-place, but eventually they agreed, and in July of this year, the stone was moved to the garden of the Dickens Museum in London, where it is on permanent display.