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Title: Anecdotes about Authors and Artists
Author: Timbs, John
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                              JOHN TIMBS.

                       [Illustration: colophon]



                         LINCOLN’S INN FIELDS.



                         LINCOLN’S INN FIELDS.






                                PART I.


This collection of anecdotes, illustrative sketches, and _memorabilia_
generally, relating to the ever fresh and interesting subject of BOOKS
AND AUTHORS, is not presented as complete, nor even as containing all
the choice material of its kind. The field from which one may gather is
so wide and fertile, that any collection warranting such a claim would
far exceed the compass of many volumes, much less of this little book.
It has been sought to offer, in an acceptable and convenient form, some
of the more remarkable or interesting literary facts or incidents with
which one individual, in a somewhat extended reading, has been struck;
some of the passages which he has admired; some of the anecdotes and
jests that have amused him and may amuse others; some of the
reminiscences that it has most pleased him to dwell upon. For no very
great portion of the contents of this volume, is the claim to
originality of subject-matter advanced. The collection, however, is
submitted with some confidence that it may be found as interesting, as
accurate, and as much guided by good taste, as it has been endeavoured
to make it.




The MS. Diary, or “Kalendarium,” of the celebrated John Evelyn lay among
the family papers at Wotton, in Surrey, from the period of his death, in
1706, until their rare interest and value were discovered in the
following singular manner.

The library at Wotton is rich in curious books, with notes in John
Evelyn’s handwriting, as well as papers on various subjects, and
transcripts of letters by the philosopher, who appears never to have
employed an amanuensis. The arrangement of these treasures was, many
years since, entrusted to the late Mr. Upcott, of the London
Institution, who made a complete catalogue of the collection.

One afternoon, as Lady Evelyn and a female companion were seated in one
of the fine old apartments of Wotton, making feather tippets, her
ladyship pleasantly observed to Mr. Upcott, “You may think this
feather-work a strange way of passing time: it is, however, my hobby;
and I dare say you, too, Mr. Upcott, have _your hobby_.” The librarian
replied that his favourite pursuit was the collection of the autographs
of eminent persons. Lady Evelyn remarked, that in all probability the
MSS. of “_Sylva_” Evelyn would afford Mr. Upcott some amusement. His
reply may be well imagined. The bell was rung, and a servant desired to
bring the papers from a lumber-room of the old mansion; and from one of
the baskets so produced was brought to light the manuscript Diary of
John Evelyn--one of the most finished specimens of autobiography in the
whole compass of English literature.

The publication of the Diary, with a selection of familiar letters, and
private correspondence, was entrusted to Mr. William Bray, F.S.A.; and
the last sheets of the MS., with a dedication to Lady Evelyn, were
actually in the hands of the printer at the hour of her death. The work
appeared in 1818; and a volume of Miscellaneous Papers, by Evelyn, was
subsequently published, under Mr. Upcott’s editorial superintendence.

Wotton House, though situate in the angle of two valleys, is actually on
part of Leith Hill, the rise from thence being very gradual. Evelyn’s
“Diary” contains a pen-and-ink sketch of the mansion as it appeared in


A _Quarterly_ Reviewer, in discussing an objection to the Copyright Bill
of Mr. Sergeant Talfourd, which was taken by Sir Edward Sugden, gives
some curious particulars of the progeny of literary men. “We are not,”
says the writer, “going to speculate about the causes of the fact; but a
fact it is, that men distinguished for extraordinary intellectual power
of any sort rarely leave more than a very brief line of progeny behind
them. Men of genius have scarcely ever done so; men of imaginative
genius, we might say, almost never. With the one exception of the noble
Surrey, we cannot, at this moment, point out a representative in the
male line, even so far down as the third generation, of any English
poet; and we believe the case is the same in France. The blood of beings
of that order can seldom be traced far down, even in the female line.
With the exception of Surrey and Spenser, we are not aware of any great
English author of at all remote date, from whose body any living person
claims to be descended. There is no real English poet prior to the
middle of the eighteenth century; and we believe no great author of any
sort, except Clarendon and Shaftesbury, of whose blood we have any
inheritance amongst us. Chaucer’s only son died childless; Shakspeare’s
line expired in his daughter’s only daughter. None of the other
dramatists of that age left any progeny; nor Raleigh, nor Bacon, nor
Cowley, nor Butler. The grand-daughter of Milton was the last of his
blood. Newton, Locke, Pope, Swift, Arbuthnot, Hume, Gibbon, Cowper,
Gray, Walpole, Cavendish (and we might greatly extend the list), never
married. Neither Bolingbroke, nor Addison, nor Warburton, nor Johnson,
nor Burke, transmitted their blood. One of the arguments against a
_perpetuity_ in literary property is, that it would be founding another
_noblesse_. Neither jealous aristocracy nor envious Jacobinism need be
under such alarm. When a human race has produced its ‘bright, consummate
flower’ in this kind, it seems commonly to be near its end.”


Towards the close of the last century, there met at Mrs. Montague’s a
literary assembly, called “The Blue-Stocking Club,” in consequence of
one of the most admired of the members, Mr. Benjamin Stillingfleet,
always wearing _blue stockings_. The appellation soon became general as
a name for pedantic or ridiculous literary ladies. Hannah More wrote a
volume in verse, entitled _The Bas Bleu: or Conversation_. It proceeds
on the mistake of a foreigner, who, hearing of the Blue-Stocking Club,
translated it literally _Bas Bleu_. Johnson styled this poem “a great
performance.” The following couplets have been quoted, and remembered,
as terse and pointed:--

    “In men this blunder still you find,
     All think their little set mankind.”

    “Small habits well pursued betimes,
     May reach the dignity of crimes.”


When Hannah More came to London in 1773, or 1774, she was domesticated
with Garrick, and was received with favour by Johnson, Reynolds, and
Burke. Her sister has thus described her first interview with Johnson:--

“We have paid another visit to Miss Reynolds; she had sent to engage Dr.
Percy, (‘Percy’s Collection,’ now you know him), quite a sprightly
modern, instead of a rusty antique, as I expected: he was no sooner gone
than the most amiable and obliging of women, Miss Reynolds, ordered the
coach to take us to Dr. Johnson’s very own house: yes, Abyssinian
Johnson! Dictionary Johnson! Ramblers, Idlers, and Irene Johnson! Can
you picture to yourselves the palpitation of our hearts as we approached
his mansion? The conversation turned upon a new work of his just going
to the press (the ‘Tour to the Hebrides’), and his old friend
Richardson. Mrs. Williams, the blind poet, who lives with him, was
introduced to us. She is engaging in her manners, her conversation
lively and entertaining. Miss Reynolds told the Doctor of all our
rapturous exclamations on the road. He shook his scientific head at
Hannah, and said she was ‘a silly thing.’ When our visit was ended, he
called for his hat, as it rained, to attend us down a very long entry to
our coach, and not Rasselas could have acquitted himself more _en
cavalier_. I forgot to mention, that not finding Johnson in his little
parlour when we came in, Hannah seated herself in his great chair
hoping to catch a little ray of his genius: when he heard it, he laughed
heartily, and told her it was a chair on which he never sat. He said it
reminded him of Boswell and himself when they stopped a night, as they
imagined, where the weird sisters appeared to Macbeth. The idea so
worked on their enthusiasm, that it quite deprived them of rest.
However, they learned the next morning, to their mortification, that
they had been deceived, and were quite in another part of the country.”


When Miss Mitford left her rustic cottage at Three Mile Cross, and
removed to Reading, (the Belford Regis of her novel), she penned the
following beautiful picture of its homely joys:--

“Farewell, then, my beloved village! the long, straggling street, gay
and bright on this sunny, windy April morning, full of all implements of
dirt and mire, men, women, children, cows, horses, wagons, carts, pigs,
dogs, geese, and chickens--busy, merry, stirring little world, farewell!
Farewell to the winding, up-hill road, with its clouds of dust, as
horsemen and carriages ascend the gentle eminence, its borders of turf,
and its primrosy hedges! Farewell to the breezy common, with its islands
of cottages and cottage-gardens; its oaken avenues, populous with rooks;
its clear waters fringed with gorse, where lambs are straying; its
cricket-ground where children already linger, anticipating their summer
revelry; its pretty boundary of field and woodland, and distant farms;
and latest and best of its ornaments, the dear and pleasant mansion
where dwelt the neighbours, the friends of friends; farewell to ye all!
Ye will easily dispense with me, but what I shall do without you, I
cannot imagine. Mine own dear village, farewell!”


In the year 1809 was interred, in the churchyard of St. Martin’s-in-the
Fields, the body of one Hew Hewson, who died at the age of 85. He was
the original of Hugh Strap, in Smollett’s _Roderick Random_. Upwards of
forty years he kept a hair-dresser’s shop in St. Martin’s parish; the
walls were hung round with Latin quotations, and he would frequently
point out to his customers and acquaintances the several scenes in
_Roderick Random_ pertaining to himself, which had their origin, not in
Smollett’s inventive fancy, but in truth and reality. The meeting in a
barber’s shop at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, the subsequent mistake at the inn,
their arrival together in London, and the assistance they experienced
from Strap’s friend, are all facts. The barber left behind an annotated
copy of _Roderick Random_, showing how far we are indebted to the genius
of the author, and to what extent the incidents are founded in reality.


Mr. John Ragsdale, of Richmond, in Surrey, who was the intimate friend
of Collins, states that some of his Odes were written while on a visit
at his, Mr. Ragsdale’s house. The poet, however, had such a poor
opinion of his own productions, that after showing them to Mr. Ragsdale,
he would snatch them from him, and throw them into the fire; and in this
way, it is believed, many of Collins’s finest pieces were destroyed.
Such of his Odes as were published, on his own account in 1746, were not
popular; and, disappointed at the slowness of the sale, the poet burnt
the remaining copies with his own hands.


Alas! poor Morris--writes one--we knew him well. Who that has once read
or heard his songs, can forget their rich and graceful imagery; the
fertile fancy, the touching sentiment, and the “soul reviving” melody,
which characterize every line of these delightful lyrics? Well do we
remember, too, his “old buff waistcoat,” his courteous manner, and his
gentlemanly pleasantry, long after this Nestor of song had retired to
enjoy the delights of rural life, despite the prayer of his racy verse:

    “In town let me live, then, in town let me die;
     For in truth I can’t relish the country, not I.
     If one must have a villa in summer to dwell,
     Oh! give me the sweet, shady side of Pall Mall.”

Captain Morris was born about the middle of the last century, and
outlived the majority of the _bon vivant_ society which he gladdened
with his genius, and lit up with his brilliant humour.

Yet, many readers of the present generation may ask, “Who was Captain
Morris?” He was born of good family, in the celebrated year 1745, and
appears to have inherited a taste for literary composition; for his
father composed the popular song of _Kitty Crowder_.

For more than half a century, Captain Morris moved in the first circles.
He was the “sun of the table” at Carlton House, as well as at Norfolk
House; and attaching himself politically, as well as convivially, to his
dinner companions, he composed the celebrated ballads of “Billy’s too
young to drive us,” and “Billy Pitt and the Farmer,” which continued
long in fashion, as brilliant satires upon the ascendant politics of
their day. His humorous ridicule of the Tories was, however, but ill
repaid by the Whigs upon their accession to office; at least, if we may
trust the beautiful ode of “The Old Whig Poet to his Old Buff
Waistcoat.” We are not aware of this piece being included in any edition
of the “Songs.” It bears date “G. R., August 1, 1815;” six years
subsequent to which we saw it among the papers of the late Alexander

Captain Morris’s “Songs” were very popular. In 1830, we possessed a copy
of the 24th edition; we remember one of the ditties to have been “sung
by the Prince of Wales to a certain lady,” to the air of “There’s a
difference between a beggar and a queen.” Morris’s finest Anacreontic,
is the song _Ad Poculum_, for which he received the gold cup of the
Harmonic Society:

    “Come thou soul-reviving cup!
        Try thy healing art;
     Stir the fancy’s visions up,
        And warm my wasted heart.
     Touch with freshening tints of bliss
        Memory’s fading dream;
     Give me, while thy lip I kiss,
        The heaven that’s in thy stream.”

Of the famous Beefsteak Club, (at first limited to twenty-four members,
but increased to twenty-five, to admit the Prince of Wales,) Captain
Morris was the laureat; of this “Jovial System” he was the intellectual
centre. In the year 1831, he bade adieu to the club, in some spirited
stanzas, though penned at “an age far beyond mortal lot.” In 1835, he
was permitted to revisit the club, when they presented him with a large
silver bowl, appropriately inscribed.

It would not be difficult to string together gems from the Captain’s
Lyrics. In “The Toper’s Apology”, one of his most sparkling songs,
occurs this brilliant version of Addison’s comparison of wits with
flying fish:--

    “My Muse, too, when her wings are dry,
       No frolic flight will take;
     But round a bowl she’ll dip and fly,
       Like swallows round a lake.
     Then, if the nymph will have her share
       Before she’ll bless her swain,
     Why that I think’s a reason fair
       To fill my glass again.”

Many years since, Captain Morris retired to a villa at Brockham, near
the foot of Box Hill, in Surrey. This property, it is said, was
presented to him by his old friend, the Duke of Norfolk. Here the
Captain “drank the pure pleasures of the rural life” long after many a
bright light of his own time had flickered out, and become almost
forgotten; even “the sweet, shady side of Pall Mall” had almost
disappeared, and with it the princely house whereat he was wont to
shine. He died July 11, 1835, in his ninety-third year, of internal
inflammation of only four days.

Morris presented a rare combination of mirth and prudence, such as human
conduct seldom offers for our imitation. He retained his _gaieté de
cœur_ to the last; so that, with equal truth and spirit, he

    “When life charms my heart, must I kindly be told,
     I’m too gay and too happy for one that’s so old.”

Captain Morris left his autobiography to his family; but it has not been


Incredible as it may appear, it is sometimes stated very confidently,
that English authors and actors who give dinners, are treated with
greater indulgence by certain critics than those who do not. But, it has
never been said that any critical journal in England, with the slightest
pretensions to respectability, was in the habit of levying black mail in
this Rob Roy fashion, upon writers or articles of any kind. Yet it is
alleged, on high authority, that many of the French critical journals
are or were principally supported from such a source. For example, there
is a current anecdote to the effect that when the celebrated singer
Nourrit died, the editor of one of the musical reviews waited on his
successor, Duprez, and, with a profusion of compliments and apologies,
intimated to him that Nourrit had invariably allowed 2000 francs a year
to the review. Duprez, taken rather aback, expressed his readiness to
allow half that sum. “_Bien, monsieur_,” said the editor, with a shrug,
“_mais, parole d’honneur, j’y perds mille francs_.”


Mr. Davy, who accompanied Colonel Cheney up the Euphrates, was for a
time in the service of Mehemet Ali Pacha. “Pickwick” happening to reach
Davy while he was at Damascus, he read a part of it to the Pacha, who
was so delighted with it, that Davy was, on one occasion, called up in
the middle of the night to finish the reading of the chapter in which he
and the Pacha had been interrupted. Mr. Davy read, in Egypt, upon
another occasion, some passages from these unrivalled “Papers” to a
blind Englishman, who was in such ecstasy with what he heard, that he
exclaimed he was almost thankful he could not see he was in a foreign
country; for that while he listened, he felt completely as though he
were again in England.--_Lady Chatterton._


“I remember when I was a little boy, (writes Swift in a letter to
Bolingbroke,) I felt a great fish at the end of my line, which I drew up
almost on the ground, but it dropt in, and the disappointment vexes me
to this day; and I believe it was the type of all my future

“This little incident,” writes Percival, “perhaps gave the first wrong
bias to a mind predisposed to such impressions; and by operating with so
much strength and permanency, it might possibly lay the foundation of
the Dean’s subsequent peevishness, passion, misanthropy, and final


The following characteristic story of these two “intellectual
gladiators” is related in “A New Spirit of the Age.”

Leigh Hunt and Carlyle were once present among a small party of equally
well known men. It chanced that the conversation rested with these two,
both first-rate talkers, and the others sat well pleased to listen.
Leigh Hunt had said something about the islands of the Blest, or El
Dorado, or the Millennium, and was flowing on in his bright and hopeful
way, when Carlyle dropt some heavy tree-trunk across Hunt’s pleasant
stream, and banked it up with philosophical doubts and objections at
every interval of the speaker’s joyous progress. But the unmitigated
Hunt never ceased his overflowing anticipations, nor the saturnine
Carlyle his infinite demurs to those finite flourishings. The listeners
laughed and applauded by turns; and had now fairly pitted them against
each other, as the philosopher of Hopefulness and of the Unhopeful. The
contest continued with all that ready wit and philosophy, that mixture
of pleasantry and profundity, that extensive knowledge of books and
character, with their ready application in argument or illustration,
and that perfect ease and good-nature, which distinguish each of these
men. The opponents were so well matched, that it was quite clear the
contest would never come to an end. But the night was far advanced, and
the party broke up. They all sallied forth; and leaving the close room,
the candles and the arguments behind them, suddenly found themselves in
presence of a most brilliant star-light night. They all looked up.
“Now,” thought Hunt, “Carlyle’s done for!--he can have no answer to
that!” “There!” shouted Hunt, “look up there! look at that glorious
harmony, that sings with infinite voices an eternal song of hope in the
soul of man.” Carlyle looked up. They all remained silent to hear what
he would say. They began to think he was silenced at last--he was a
mortal man. But out of that silence came a few low-toned words, in a
broad Scotch accent. And who, on earth, could have anticipated what the
voice said? “Eh! it’s a _sad_ sight!”---- Hunt sat down on a stone step.
They all laughed--then looked very thoughtful. Had the finite measured
itself with infinity, instead of surrendering itself up to the
influence? Again they laughed--then bade each other good night, and
betook themselves homeward with slow and serious pace. There might be
some reason for sadness, too. That brilliant firmament probably
contained infinite worlds, each full of struggling and suffering
beings--of beings who had to die--for life in the stars implies that
those bright worlds should also be full of graves; but all that life,
like ours, knowing not whence it came, nor whither it goeth, and the
brilliant Universe in its great Movement having, perhaps, no more
certain knowledge of itself, nor of its ultimate destination, than hath
one of the suffering specks that compose this small spot we inherit.


Johnson, the publisher in St. Paul’s Churchyard, obtained the copyright
of Cowper’s Poems, which proved a great source of profit to him, in the
following manner:--One evening, a relation of Cowper’s called upon
Johnson with a portion of the MS. poems, which he offered for
publication, provided Johnson would publish them at his own risk, and
allow the author to have a few copies to give to his friends. Johnson
read the poems, approved of them, and accordingly published them. Soon
after they had appeared, there was scarcely a reviewer who did not load
them with the most scurrilous abuse, and condemn them to the butter
shops; and the public taste being thus terrified or misled, these
charming effusions stood in the corner of the publisher’s shop as an
unsaleable pile for a long time.

At length, Cowper’s relation called upon Johnson with another bundle of
the poet’s MS., which was offered and accepted upon the same terms as
before. In this fresh collection was the poem of the “Task.” Not alarmed
at the fate of the former publication, but thoroughly assured of the
great merit of the poems, they were published. The tone of the reviewers
became changed, and Cowper was hailed as the first poet of the age. The
success of this second publication set the first in motion. Johnson
immediately reaped the fruits of his undaunted judgment; and Cowper’s
poems enriched the publisher, when the poet was in languishing
circumstances. In October, 1812, the copyright of Cowper’s poems was put
up to sale among the London booksellers, in thirty-two shares. Twenty of
the shares were sold at 212_l._ each. The work, consisting of two octavo
volumes, was satisfactorily proved at the sale to net 834_l._ per annum.
It had only two years of copyright; yet this same copyright produced the
sum of 6764_l._


Thomas Warton, in his Account of Oxford, relates that at the sign of
Whittington and his Cat, the laborious antiquary, Thomas Hearne, “one
evening suffered himself to be overtaken in liquor. But, it should be
remembered, that this accident was more owing to his love of antiquity
than of ale. It happened that the kitchen where he and his companion
were sitting was neatly paved with sheep’s trotters disposed in various
compartments. After one pipe, Mr. Hearne, consistently with his usual
gravity and sobriety, rose to depart; but his friend, who was inclined
to enjoy more of his company, artfully observed, that the floor on which
they were then sitting was no less than an original tesselated Roman
pavement. Out of respect to classic ground, and on recollection that the
Stunsfield Roman pavement, on which he had just published a
dissertation, was dedicated to Bacchus, our antiquary cheerfully
complied; an enthusiastic transport seized his imagination; he fell on
his knees and kissed the sacred earth, on which, in a few hours, and
after a few tankards, by a sort of sympathetic attraction, he was
obliged to repose for some part of the evening. His friend was,
probably, in the same condition; but two printers accidentally coming
in, conducted Mr. Hearne, between them, to Edmund’s Hall, with much
state and solemnity.”


Sheridan’s wit was eminently brilliant, and almost always successful; it
was, like all his speaking, exceedingly prepared, but it was skilfully
introduced and happily applied; and it was well mingled, also, with
humour, occasionally descending to farce. How little it was the
inspiration of the moment all men were aware who knew his habits; but a
singular proof of this was presented to Mr. Moore, when he came to write
his life; for we there find given to the world, with a frankness which
must have almost made their author shake in his grave, the secret
note-books of this famous wit; and are thus enabled to trace the jokes,
in embryo, with which he had so often made the walls of St. Stephen’s
shake, in a merriment excited by the happy appearance of sudden
unpremeditated effusion.--_Lord Brougham._

Take an instance from this author, giving extracts from the common-place
book of the wit:--“He employs his fancy in his narrative, and keeps his
recollections for his wit.” Again, the same idea is expanded into “When
he makes his jokes, you applaud the accuracy of his memory, and ’tis
only when he states his facts that you admire the flights of his
imagination.” But the thought was too good to be thus wasted on the
desert air of a common-place book. So, forth it came, at the expense of
Kelly, who, having been a composer of music, became a wine-merchant.
“You will,” said the _ready_ wit, “import your music and compose your
wine.” Nor was this service exacted from the old idea thought
sufficient; so, in the House of Commons, an easy and, apparently,
off-hand parenthesis was thus filled with it, at Mr. Dundas’s cost and
charge, “who generally resorts to his memory for his jokes, and to his
imagination for his facts.”


This man of genius among trading authors, before he began his History of
England, wrote to the Earl of Shelburne, then in the Whig
Administration, offering, if the Earl would procure for his work the
patronage of the Government, he would accommodate his politics to the
Ministry; but if not, that he had high promises of support from the
other party. Lord Shelburne, of course, treated the proffered support of
a writer of such accommodating principles with contempt; and the work of
Smollett, accordingly, became distinguished for its high Toryism. The
history was published in sixpenny weekly numbers, of which 20,000 copies
were sold immediately. This extraordinary popularity was created by the
artifice of the publisher. He is stated to have addressed a packet of
the specimens of the publication to every parish-clerk in England,
carriage-free, with half-a-crown enclosed as a compliment, to have them
distributed through the pews of the church: this being generally done,
many people read the specimens instead of listening to the sermon, and
the result was an universal demand for the work.


The transcript of Magna Charta, now in the British Museum, was
discovered by Sir Robert Cotton in the possession of his tailor, who was
just about to cut the precious document out into “measures” for his
customers. Sir Robert redeemed the valuable curiosity at the price of
old parchment, and thus recovered what had long been supposed to be
irretrievably lost.


When Mr. Fox’s furniture was sold by auction, after his decease in 1806,
amongst his books there was the first volume of his friend Gibbon’s
_Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire_: by the title-page, it appeared
to have been presented by the author to Fox, who, on the blank leaf, had
written this anecdote of the historian:--“The author, at Brookes’s, said
there was no salvation for this country until six heads of the principal
persons in administration were laid upon the table. Eleven days after,
this same gentleman accepted a place of lord of trade under those very
ministers, and has acted with them ever since!” Such was the avidity of
bidders for the most trifling production of Fox’s genius, that, by the
addition of this little record, the book sold for three guineas.


Sir Joshua Reynolds used to relate the following characteristic anecdote
of Johnson:--About the time of their early acquaintance, they met one
evening at the Misses Cotterell’s, when the Duchess of Argyll and
another lady of rank came in. Johnson, thinking that the Misses
Cotterell were too much engrossed by them, and that he and his friend
were neglected as low company, of whom they were somewhat ashamed, grew
angry, and, resolving to shock their suspected pride, by making the
great visitors imagine they were low indeed, Johnson addressed himself
in a loud tone to Reynolds, saying, “How much do you think you and I
could get in a week if we were to work as hard as we could?” just as
though they were ordinary mechanics.


The Earl of Dudley, in his _Letters_, (1814) says:--“To me Byron’s
_Corsair_ appears the best of all his works. Rapidity of execution is no
sort of apology for doing a thing ill, but when it is done well, the
wonder is so much the greater. I am told he wrote this poem at ten
sittings--certainly it did not take him more than three weeks. He is a
most extraordinary person, and yet there is G. Ellis, who don’t feel his
merit. His creed in modern poetry (I should have said _contemporary_) is
Walter Scott, all Walter Scott, and nothing but Walter Scott. I cannot
say how I hate this petty, factious spirit in literature--it is so
unworthy of a man so clever and so accomplished as Ellis undoubtedly


Little Britain, anciently Breton-street, from the mansion of the Duke of
Bretagne on that spot, in more modern times became the “Paternoster-row”
of the booksellers; and a newspaper of 1664 states them to have
published here within four years, 464 pamphlets. One Chiswell, resident
here in 1711, was the metropolitan bookseller, “the Longman” of his
time; and here lived Rawlinson (“Tom Folio” of _The Tatler_, No. 158),
who stuffed four chambers in Gray’s Inn so full, that his bed was
removed into the passage. John Day, the famous early printer, lived
“over Aldersgate.”


A Dean of Gloucester having some merry divines at dinner with him one
day, amongst other discourses they were talking of reconciling the
Fathers on some points; he told them he could show them the best way in
the world to reconcile them on all points of difference; so, after
dinner, he carried them into his study, and showed them all the
Fathers, classically ordered, with a quart of sack betwixt each of them.


Sir James once asked Dr. Parr to join him in a drive in his gig. The
horse growing restive--“Gently, Jemmy,” the Doctor said; “don’t irritate
him; always soothe your horse, Jemmy. You’ll do better without me. Let
me down, Jemmy!” But once safe on the ground--“Now, Jemmy,” said the
Doctor, “touch him up. Never let a horse get the better of you. Touch
him up, conquer him, do not spare him. And now I’ll leave you to manage
him; I’ll walk back.”


Sir James Mackintosh had a great deal of humour; and, among many other
examples of it, he kept a dinner-party at his own house for two or three
hours in a roar of laughter, playing upon the simplicity of a Scotch
cousin, who had mistaken the Rev. Sydney Smith for his gallant synonym,
the hero of Acre.


The number of Lope de Vega’s works has been strangely exaggerated by
some, but by others reduced to about one-sixth of the usual statement.
Upon this computation it will be found that some of his contemporaries
were as prolific as himself. Vincent Mariner, a friend of Lope, left
behind him 360 quires of paper full of his own compositions, in a
writing so exceedingly small, and so exceedingly bad, that no person
but himself could read it. Lord Holland has given a facsimile of Lope’s
handwriting, and though it cannot be compared to that of a dramatist of
late times, one of whose plays, in the original manuscript, is said to
be a sufficient load for a porter, it is evident that one of Mariner’s
pages would contain as much as a sheet of his friend’s, which would, as
nearly as possible, balance the sum total. But, upon this subject, an
epigram by Quarles may be applied, written upon a more serious theme:

    “In all our prayers the Almighty does regard
     The judgment of the _balance_, not the _yard_;
     He loves not words, but matter; ’tis his pleasure
     To buy his wares by _weight_, not by measure.”

With regard to the quantity of Lope’s writings, a complete edition of
them would not much, if at all, exceed those of Voltaire, who, in labour
of composition, for he sent nothing into the world carelessly, must have
greatly exceeded Lope. And the labours of these men shrink into
insignificance when compared to those of some of the schoolmen and of
the Fathers.


Other writers, of the same age with Lope de Vega, obtained a wider
celebrity. Don Quixote, during the life of its ill-requited author, was
naturalized in countries where the name of Lope de Vega was not known,
and Du Bartas was translated into the language of every reading people.
But no writer ever has enjoyed such a share of popularity.

“Cardinal Barberini,” says Lord Holland, “followed Lope with veneration
in the streets; the king would stop to gaze at such a prodigy; the
people crowded round him wherever he appeared; the learned and studious
thronged to Madrid from every part of Spain to see this phœnix of their
country, this monster of literature; and even Italians, no extravagant
admirers, in general, of poetry that is not their own, made pilgrimages
from their country for the sole purpose of conversing with Lope. So
associated was the idea of excellence with his name, that it grew, in
common conversation, to signify anything perfect in its kind; and a Lope
diamond, a Lope day, or a Lope woman, became fashionable and familiar
modes of expressing their good qualities.”

Lope’s death produced an universal commotion in the court and in the
whole kingdom. Many ministers, knights, and prelates were present when
he expired; among others, the Duke of Sesa, who had been the most
munificent of his patrons, whom he appointed his executor, and who was
at the expense of his funeral, a mode by which the great men in that
country were fond of displaying their regard for men of letters. It was
a public funeral, and it was not performed till the third day after his
death, that there might be time for rendering it more splendid, and
securing a more honourable attendance. The grandees and nobles who were
about the court were all invited as mourners; a novenary or service of
nine days was performed for him, at which the musicians of the royal
chapel assisted; after which there were exequies on three successive
days, at which three bishops officiated in full pontificals; and on each
day a funeral sermon was preached by one of the most famous preachers of
the age. Such honours were paid to the memory of Lope de Vega, one of
the most prolific, and, during his life, the most popular, of all poets,
ancient or modern.


The first of these ladies, whom Swift romantically christened Varina,
was a Miss Jane Waryng, to whom he wrote passionate letters, and whom,
when he had succeeded in gaining her affections, he deserted, after a
sort of seven years’ courtship. The next flame of the Dean’s was the
well-known Miss Esther Johnson, whom he fancifully called Stella.
Somehow, he had the address to gain her decided attachment to him,
though considerably younger, beautiful in person, accomplished, and
estimable. He dangled upon her, fed her hopes of an union, and at length
persuaded her to leave London and reside near him in Ireland. His
conduct then was of a piece with the rest of his life: he never saw her
alone, never slept under the same roof with her, but allowed her
character and reputation to be suspected, in consequence of their
intimacy; nor did he attempt to remove such by marriage until a late
period of his life, when, to save her from dissolution, he consented to
the ceremony, upon condition that it should never be divulged; that she
should live as before; retain her own name, &c.; and this wedding, upon
the above being assented to, was performed in a garden! But Swift never
acknowledged her till the day of his death. During all this treatment of
his Stella, Swift had ingratiated himself with a young lady of fortune
and fashion in London, whose name was Vanhomrig, and whom he called
Vanessa. It is much to be regretted that the heartless tormentor should
have been so ardently and passionately beloved, as was the case with the
latter lady. Selfish, hardhearted as was Swift, he seemed but to live in
disappointing others. Such was his coldness and brutality to Vanessa,
that he may be said to have caused her death.


Coleridge, among his many speculations, started a periodical, in prose
and verse, entitled _The Watchman_, with the motto, “that all might know
the truth, and that the truth might make us free.” He watched in vain!
Coleridge’s incurable want of order and punctuality, and his
philosophical theories, tired out and disgusted his readers, and the
work was discontinued after the ninth number. Of the unsaleable nature
of this publication, he relates an amusing illustration. Happening one
morning to rise at an earlier hour than usual, he observed his
servant-girl putting an extravagant quantity of paper into the grate, in
order to light the fire, and he mildly checked her for her wastefulness:
“La! sir,” replied Nanny; “why, it’s only _Watchmen_.”


Mr. Samuel Ireland, originally a silk merchant in Spitalfields, was led
by his taste for literary antiquities to abandon trade for those
pursuits, and published several tours. One of them consisted of an
excursion upon the river Avon, during which he explored, with ardent
curiosity, every locality associated with Shakspeare. He was accompanied
by his son, a youth of sixteen, who imbibed a portion of his father’s
Shakspearean mania. The youth, perceiving the great importance which his
parent attached to every relic of the poet, and the eagerness with which
he sought for any of his MS. remains, conceived that it would not be
difficult to gratify his father by some productions of his own, in the
language and manner of Shakspeare’s time. The idea possessed his mind
for a certain period; and, in 1793, being then in his eighteenth year,
he produced some MSS. said to be in the handwriting of Shakspeare, which
he said had been given him by a gentleman possessed of many other old
papers. The young man, being articled to a solicitor in Chancery, easily
fabricated, in the first instance, the deed of mortgage from Shakspeare
to Michael Fraser. The ecstasy expressed by his father urged him to the
fabrication of other documents, described to come from the same quarter.
Emboldened by success, he ventured upon higher compositions in prose and
verse; and at length announced the discovery of an original drama, under
the title of _Vortigern_, which he exhibited, act by act, written in the
period of two months. Having provided himself with the paper of the
period, (being the fly-leaves of old books,) and with ink prepared by a
bookbinder, no suspicion was entertained of the deception. The father,
who was a maniac upon such subjects, gave such _éclat_ to the supposed
discovery, that the attention of the literary world, and all England,
was drawn to it; insomuch that the son, who had announced other papers,
found it impossible to retreat, and was goaded into the production of
the series which he had promised.

The house of Mr. Ireland, in Norfolk-street, Strand, was daily crowded
to excess by persons of the highest rank, as well as by the most
celebrated men of letters. The MSS. being mostly decreed genuine, were
considered to be of inestimable worth; and at one time it was expected
that Parliament would give any required sum for them. Some conceited
amateurs in literature at length sounded an alarm, which was echoed by
certain of the newspapers and public journals; notwithstanding which,
Mr. Sheridan agreed to give 600_l._ for permission to play _Vortigern_
at Drury-lane Theatre. So crowded a house was scarcely ever seen as on
the night of the performance, and a vast number of persons could not
obtain admission. The predetermined malcontents began an opposition from
the outset: some ill-cast characters converted grave scenes into
ridicule, and there ensued between the believers and sceptics a contest
which endangered the property. The piece was, accordingly, withdrawn.

The juvenile author was now so beset for information, that he found it
necessary to abscond from his father’s house; and then, to put an end to
the wonderful ferment which his ingenuity had created, he published a
pamphlet, wherein he confessed the entire fabrication. Besides
_Vortigern_, young Ireland also produced a play of Henry II.; and,
although there were in both such incongruities as were not consistent
with Shakspeare’s age, both dramas contain passages of considerable
beauty and originality.

The admissions of the son did not, however, screen the father from
obloquy, and the reaction of public opinion affected his fortunes and
his health. Mr. Ireland was the dupe of his zeal upon such subjects; and
the son never contemplated at the outset the unfortunate effect. Such
was the enthusiasm of certain admirers of Shakspeare, (among them Drs.
Parr and Warton,) that they fell upon their knees before the MSS.; and,
by their idolatry, inspired hundreds of others with similar enthusiasm.
The young author was filled with astonishment and alarm, which at that
stage it was not in his power to check. Sir Richard Phillips, who knew
the parties, has thus related the affair in the _Anecdote Library_.

In the Catalogue of Dr. Parr’s Library at Hatton, (_Bibliotheca
Parriana_,) we find the following attempted explanation by the Doctor:--

“Ireland’s (Samuel) ‘Great and impudent forgery, called,’ Miscellaneous
Papers and Legal Instruments, under the hand and seal of William
Shakspeare, folio 1796.

“I am almost ashamed to insert this worthless and infamously trickish
book. It is said to include the tragedy of _King Lear_, and a fragment
of _Hamlet_. Ireland told a lie when he imputed to _me_ the words which
_Joseph Warton_ used, the very morning I called on Ireland, and was
inclined to admit the possibility of genuineness in his papers. In my
subsequent conversation, I told him my change of opinion. But I thought
it not worth while to dispute in print with a detected impostor.--S. P.”

Mr. Ireland died about 1802. His son, William Henry, long survived him;
but the forgeries blighted his literary reputation for ever, and he died
in straitened circumstances, about the year 1840. The reputed
Shakspearean MSS. are stated to have been seen for sale in a
pawnbroker’s window in Wardour-street, Soho.



Hoole was born in a hackney-coach, which was conveying his mother to
Drury-lane Theatre, to witness the performance of the tragedy of
_Timanthes_, which had been written by her husband. Hoole died in 1839,
at a very advanced age. In early life, he ranked amongst the literary
characters that adorned the last century; and, for some years before his
death, had outlived most of the persons who frequented the
_conversazioni_ of Dr. Johnson. By the will of the Doctor, Mr. Hoole was
enabled to take from his library and effects such books and furniture as
he might think proper to select, by way of memorial of that great
personage. He accordingly chose a chair in which Dr. Johnson usually
sat, and the desk upon which he had written the greater number of the
papers of the _Rambler_; both these articles Mr. Hoole used constantly
until nearly the day of his death.

Hoole was near-sighted. He was partial to the drama; and, when young,
often strutted his hour at an amateur theatre in Lincoln’s Inn Fields.
Upon one occasion, whilst performing the ghost in _Hamlet_, Mr. Hoole
wandered incautiously from off the trap-door through which he had
emerged from the nether world, and by which it was his duty to descend.
In this dilemma he groped about, hoping to distinguish the aperture,
keeping the audience in wonder why he remained so long on the stage
after the crowing of the cock. It was apparent from the lips of the
ghost that he was holding converse with some one at the wings. He at
length became irritated, and “alas! poor ghost!” ejaculated, in tones
sufficiently audible, “I tell you I can’t find it.” The laughter that
ensued may be imagined. The ghost, had he been a sensible one, would
have walked off; but no--he became more and more irritated, until the
perturbed spirit was placed, by some of the bystanders, on the
trap-door, after which it descended, with due solemnity, amid roars of


During the residence of Lord Byron at Venice, a clerk was sent from the
office of Messrs. Vizard and Co., of Lincoln’s Inn, to procure his
lordship’s signature to a legal instrument. On his arrival, the clerk
sent a message to the noble poet, who appointed to receive him on the
following morning. Each party was punctual to the minute. His lordship
had dressed himself with the most studious care; and, on the opening of
the door of his apartment, it was evident that he had placed himself in
what he thought a becoming _pose_. His right arm was displayed over the
back of a splendid couch, and his head was gently supported by the
fingers of his left hand. He bowed slightly as his visitor approached
him, and appeared anxious that his recumbent attitude should remain for
a time undisturbed. After the signing of the deed, the noble bard made a
few inquiries upon the politics of England, in the tone of a finished
exquisite. Some refreshment which was brought in afforded the messenger
an opportunity for more minute observation. His lordship’s hair had been
curled and parted on the forehead; the collar of his shirt was thrown
back, so that not only the throat but a considerable portion of his
bosom was exposed to view, though partially concealed by some fanciful
ornament suspended round the neck. His waistcoat was of costly velvet,
and his legs were enveloped in a superb wrapper. It is to be regretted
that so great a mind as that of Byron could derive satisfaction from
things so trivial and unimportant, but much more that it was liable to
be disturbed by a recollection of personal imperfections. In the above
interview, the clerk directed an accidental glance at his lordship’s
lame foot, when the smile that had played upon the visage of the poet
became suddenly converted into a frown. His whole frame appeared
discomposed; his tone of affected suavity became hard and imperious; and
he called to an attendant to open the door, with a peevishness seldom
exhibited even by the most irritable.


No one knew how to apologize for an affront with better grace, or with
more delicacy, than Lord Byron. In the first edition of the first canto
of _Childe Harold_, the poet adverted in a note to two political
tracts--one by Major Pasley, and the other by Gould Francis Leckie,
Esq.; and concluded his remarks by attributing “ignorance on the one
hand, and prejudice on the other.” Mr. Leckie, who felt offended at the
severity and, as he thought, injustice of the observations, wrote to
Lord Byron, complaining of the affront. His lordship did not reply
immediately to the letter; but, in about three weeks, he called upon Mr.
Leckie, and begged him to accept an elegantly-bound copy of a new
edition of the poem, in which the offensive passage was omitted.


Lord Brougham, in an essay published long ago in the _Edinburgh Review_,
read a smart lesson to Parliamentary wits. “A wit,” says his lordship,
“though he amuses for the moment, unavoidably gives frequent offence to
grave and serious men, who don’t think public affairs should be lightly
handled, and are constantly falling into the error that when a person
is arguing the most conclusively, by showing the gross and ludicrous
absurdity of his adversary’s reasoning, he is jesting, and not arguing;
while the argument is, in reality, more close and stringent, the more he
shows the opposite picture to be grossly ludicrous--that is, the more
effective the wit becomes. But, though all this is perfectly true, it is
equally certain that danger attends such courses with the common run of
plain men.

“Nor is it only by wit that genius offends: flowers of imagination,
flights of oratory, great passages, are more admired by the critic than
relished by the worthy baronets who darken the porch of
Boodle’s--chiefly answering to the names of Sir Robert and Sir John--and
the solid traders, the very good men who stream along the Strand from
‘Change towards St. Stephen’s Chapel, at five o’clock, to see the
business of the country done by the Sovereign’s servants. A pretty long
course of observation on these component parts of a Parliamentary
audience begets some doubt if noble passages, (termed ‘fine
flourishes,’) be not taken by them as personally offensive.”

Take, for example, “such fine passages as Mr. Canning often indulged
himself and a few of his hearers with; and which certainly seemed to be
received as an insult by whole benches of men accustomed to distribute
justice at sessions. These worthies, the dignitaries of the empire,
resent such flights as liberties taken with them; and always say, when
others force them to praise--‘Well, well, but it was out of place; we
have nothing to do with king Priam here, or with a heathen god, such as
Æolus; those kind of folk are all very well in Pope’s _Homer_ and
Dryden’s _Virgil_; but, as I said to Sir Robert, who sat next me, what
have you or I to do with them matters? I like a good plain man of
business, like young Mr. Jenkinson--a man of the pen and desk, like his
father was before him--and who never speaks when he is not wanted: let
me tell you, Mr. Canning speaks too much by half. Time is short--there
are only twenty four hours in the day, you know.’ ”


Nathaniel Bowditch, the translator of Laplace’s _Mécanique Céleste_,
displayed in very early life a taste for mathematical studies. In the
year 1788, when he was only fifteen years old, he actually made an
almanack for the year 1790, containing all the usual tables,
calculations of the eclipses, and other phenomena, and even the
customary predictions of the weather.

Bowditch was bred to the sea, and in his early voyages taught navigation
to the common sailors about him. Captain Prince, with whom he often
sailed, relates, that one day the supercargo of the vessel said to him,
“Come, Captain, let us go forward and hear what the sailors are talking
about under the lee of the long-boat.” They went forward accordingly,
and the captain was surprised to find the sailors, instead of spinning
their long yarns, earnestly engaged with book, slate, and pencil,
discussing the high matters of tangents and secants, altitudes, dip,
and refraction. Two of them, in particular, were very zealously
disputing,--one of them calling out to the other, “Well, Jack, what have
you got?” “I’ve got the _sine_,” was the answer. “But that ain’t right,”
said the other; “_I_ say it is the _cosine_.”


This romance, on its first appearance, roused the attention of all the
literary world of England, and even spread its writer’s name to the
continent. The author--“wonder-working Lewis,” was a stripling under
twenty when he wrote _The Monk_ in the short space of ten weeks! Sir
Walter Scott, probably the most rapid composer of fiction upon record,
hardly exceeded this, even in his latter days, when his facility of
writing was the greatest.


Thomson, the author of the “Seasons,” was a very awkward reader of his
own productions. His patron, Doddington, once snatched a MS. from his
hand, provoked by his odd utterance, telling him that he did not
understand his own verses! A gentleman of Brentford, however, told the
late Dr. Evans, in 1824, that there was a tradition in that town of
Thomson frequenting one of the inns there, and reciting his poems to the


Goldsmith, during the first performance of this comedy, walked all the
time in St. James’ Park in great uneasiness. Finally, when he thought
that it must be over, hastening to the theatre, hisses assailed his ears
as he entered the green-room. Asking in eager alarm of Colman the
cause--“Pshaw, pshaw!” said Colman, “don’t be afraid of squibs, when we
have been sitting on a barrel of gunpowder for two hours.” The comedy
had completely triumphed--the audience were only hissing the after
farce. Goldsmith had some difficulty in getting the piece on the stage,
as appears from the following letter to Colman:--“I entreat you’ll
relieve me from that state of suspense in which I have been kept for a
long time. Whatever objections you have made, or shall make, to my play,
I will endeavour to remove, and not argue about them. To bring in any
new judges either of its merits or faults, I can never submit to. Upon a
former occasion, when my other play was before Mr. Garrick, he offered
to bring me before Mr. Whitehead’s tribunal, but I refused the proposal
with indignation. I hope I shall not experience as hard treatment from
you, as from him. I have, as you know, a large sum of money to make up
shortly; by accepting my play, I can readily satisfy my creditor that
way; at any rate, I must look about to some certainty to be prepared.
For God’s sake take the play, and let us make the best of it; and let me
have the same measure at least which you have given as bad plays as


Coleridge once dined in company with a person who listened to him, and
said nothing for a long time; but he nodded his head, and Coleridge
thought him intelligent. At length, towards the end of the dinner, some
apple dumplings were placed on the table, and the listener had no sooner
seen them than he burst forth, “Them’s the jockeys for me!” Coleridge
adds: “I wish Spurzheim could have examined the fellow’s head.”

Coleridge was very luminous in conversation, and invariably commanded
listeners; yet the old lady rated his talent very lowly, when she
declared she had no patience with a man who would have all the talk to


When Dr. Chalmers first visited London, the hold that he took on the
minds of men was unprecedented. It was a time of strong political
feeling; but even that was unheeded, and all parties thronged to hear
the Scottish preacher. The very best judges were not prepared for the
display that they heard. Canning and Wilberforce went together, and got
into a pew near the door. The elder in attendance stood alone by the
pew. Chalmers began in his usual unpromising way, by stating a few
nearly self-evident propositions, neither in the choicest language, nor
in the most impressive voice. “If this be all,” said Canning to his
companion, “it will never do.” Chalmers went on--the shuffling of the
conversation gradually subsided. He got into the mass of his subject;
his weakness became strength, his hesitation was turned into energy;
and, bringing the whole volume of his mind to bear upon it, he poured
forth a torrent of the most close and conclusive argument, brilliant
with all the exuberance of an imagination which ranged over all nature
for illustrations, and yet managed and applied each of them with the
same unerring dexterity, as if that single one had been the study of a
whole life. “The tartan beats us,” said Mr. Canning; “we have no
preaching like that in England.”


Hallam’s _History of the Middle Ages_ was the last book of any
importance read by Sir Samuel Romilly. Of this excellent work he formed
the highest opinion, and recommended its immediate perusal to Lord
Brougham, as a contrast to his dry _Letter on the Abuses of Charities_,
in respect of the universal interest of the subject. Yet, Sir Samuel
undervalued the Letter, for it ran through eight editions in one month.


It is remarkable, (says Bulwer, in his _Zanoni_,) that most of the
principal actors of the French Revolution were singularly hideous in
appearance--from the colossal ugliness of Mirabeau and Danton, or the
villanous ferocity in the countenances of David and Simon, to the
filthy squalor of Marat, and the sinister and bilious meanness of the
Dictator’s features. But Robespierre, who was said to resemble a cat,
and had also a cat’s cleanliness, was prim and dainty in dress, shaven
smoothness, and the womanly whiteness of his hands. Réné Dumas, born of
reputable parents, and well educated, despite his ferocity, was not
without a certain refinement, which perhaps rendered him the more
acceptable to the precise Robespierre. Dumas was a beau in his way: his
gala-dress was a _blood-red_ coat, with the finest ruffles. But Henriot
had been a lacquey, a thief, a spy of the police; he had drank the blood
of Madame de Lamballe, and had risen for no quality but his ruffianism;
and Fouquier Tinville, the son of a provincial agriculturist, and
afterwards a clerk at the bureau of the police, was little less base in
his manners, and yet more, from a certain loathsome buffoonery,
revolting in his speech; bull-headed, with black, sleek hair, with a
narrow and livid forehead, and small eyes that twinkled with sinister
malice; strongly and coarsely built, he looked what he was, the
audacious bully of a lawless and relentless bar.


This distinguished surgeon died suddenly on April 29, 1842, at Hallow
Park, near Worcester, while on his way to Malvern. He was out sketching
on the 28th, being particularly pleased with the village church, and
some fine trees which are beside it; observing that he should like to
repose there when he was gone. Just four days after this sentiment had
been expressed, his mortal remains were accordingly deposited beside the
rustic graves which had attracted his notice, and so recently occupied
his pencil. There is a painful admonition in this fulfilment.


It was suggested to a distinguished _gourmet_, what a capital thing a
dish all fins (turbot’s fins) might be made. “Capital,” said he; “dine
with me on it to-morrow.” “Accepted.” Would you believe it? when the
cover was removed, the sacrilegious dog of an Amphytrion had put into
the dish “Cicero _De finibus_.” “There is a work all fins,” said he.


Campbell was a great lover of submarine prospects. “Often in my
boyhood,” says the poet, “when the day has been bright and the sea
transparent, I have sat by the hour on a Highland rock admiring the
golden sands, the emerald weeds, and the silver shells at the bottom of
the bay beneath, till, dreaming about the grottoes of the Nereids, I
would not have exchanged my pleasure for that of a connoisseur poring
over a landscape by Claude or Poussin. Enchanting nature! thy beauty is
not only in heaven and earth, but in the waters under our feet. How
magnificent a medium of vision is the pellucid sea! Is it not like
poetry, that embellishes every object that we contemplate?”


One of the most stinging reproofs of perverted literary taste, evidently
aimed at Newgate Calendar literature, appeared in the form of a
valentine, in No. 31 of _Punch_, in 1842.

The valentine itself reminds one of Churchill’s muse; and it needs no
finger to tell where its withering satire is pointed:--


    “Illustrious scribe! whose vivid genius strays
     ’Mid Drury’s stews to incubate her lays,
     And in St. Giles’s slang conveys her tropes,
     Wreathing the poet’s lines with hangmen’s ropes;
     You who conceive ’tis poetry to teach
     The sad bravado of a dying speech;
     Or, when possessed with a sublimer mood,
     Show “Jack o’Dandies” dancing upon blood!
     Crush bones--bruise flesh, recount each festering sore--
     Rake up the plague-pit, write--and write in gore!
     Or, when inspired to humanize mankind,
     Where doth your soaring soul its subjects find?
     Not ’mid the scenes that simple Goldsmith sought,
     And found a theme to elevate his thought;
     But you, great scribe, more greedy of renown,
     From Hounslow’s gibbet drag a hero down.
     Imbue his mind with virtue; make him quote
     Some moral truth before he cuts a throat.
     Then wash his hands, and soaring o’er your craft--
     Refresh the hero with a bloody draught:
     And, fearing lest the world should miss the act,
     With noble zeal _italicize_ the fact.
     Or would you picture woman meek and pure,
     By love and virtue tutor’d to endure,
     With cunning skill you take a felon’s trull,
     Stuff her with sentiment, and scrunch her skull!
     Oh! would your crashing, smashing, mashing pen were mine,
     That I could “scorch your eyeballs” with my words,
                  “MY VALENTINE.”


Men before they die see and comprehend enigmas hidden from them before.
The greatest poet, and one of the noblest thinkers of the last age, said
on his death-bed:--“Many things obscure to me before, now clear up and
become visible.”


Stammering, (says Coleridge,) is sometimes the cause of a pun. Some one
was mentioning in Lamb’s presence the cold-heartedness of the Duke of
Cumberland, in restraining the duchess from rushing up to the embrace of
her son, whom she had not seen for a considerable time, and insisting on
her receiving him in state. “How horribly _cold_ it was,” said the
narrator. “Yes,” said Lamb, in his stuttering way; “but you know he is
the Duke of _Cu-cum-ber-land_.”


Alexander Newell, Dean of St. Paul’s, and Master of Westminster School,
in the reign of Queen Mary, was an excellent angler. But Fuller says,
while Newell was catching of fishes, Bishop Bonner was catching of
Newell, and would certainly have sent him to the shambles, had not a
good London merchant conveyed him away upon the seas. Newell was fishing
upon the banks of the Thames when he received the first intimation of
his danger, which was so pressing, that he dared not go back to his own
house to make any preparation for his flight. Like an honest angler, he
had taken with him provisions for the day; and when, in the first year
of England’s deliverance, he returned to his country, and to his own
haunts, he remembered that on the day of his flight he had left a bottle
of beer in a safe place on the bank: there he looked for it, and “found
it no bottle, but a gun--such the sound at the opening thereof; and this
(says Fuller) is believed (casualty is mother of more invention than
industry) to be the original of bottled ale in England.”


Canning was once asked by an English clergyman, at whose parsonage he
was visiting, how he liked the sermon he had preached that morning.
“Why, it was a short sermon,” quoth Canning. “O yes,” said the preacher,
“you know I avoid being tedious.” “Ah, but,” replied Canning, “you
_were_ tedious.”


The Rev. Sydney Smith compares Mr. Canning in office to a fly in amber:
“nobody cares about the fly: the only question is, how the devil did it
get there?” “Nor do I,” continues Smith, “attack him for the love of
glory, but from the love of utility, as a burgomaster hunts a rat in a
Dutch dyke, for fear it should flood a province. When he is jocular, he
is strong; when he is serious, he is like Samson in a wig. Call him a
legislator, a reasoner, and the conductor of the affairs of a great
nation, and it seems to me as absurd as if a butterfly were to teach
bees to make honey. That he was an extraordinary writer of small poetry,
and a diner-out of the highest lustre, I do most readily admit. After
George Selwyn, and perhaps Tickell, there has been no such man for the
last half-century.”


Mrs. Murray Keith, a venerable Scotch lady, from whom Sir Walter Scott
derived many of the traditionary stories and anecdotes wrought up in his
novels, taxed him one day with the authorship, which he, as usual,
stoutly denied. “What!” exclaimed the old lady, “d’ye think I dinna ken
my ain groats among other folk’s kail?”


Campbell relates:--“Turner, the painter, is a ready wit. Once at a
dinner where several artists, amateurs, and literary men were convened,
a poet, by way of being facetious, proposed as a toast the health of the
_painters_ and _glaziers_ of Great Britain. The toast was drunk; and
Turner, after returning thanks for it, proposed the health of the
British _paper-stainers_.”


Lord Byron, in a conversation with the Countess of Blessington, said
that he wept bitterly over many pages of _Anastasius_, and for two
reasons: first, that _he_ had not written it; and secondly, that _Hope_
had; for it was necessary to like a man excessively to pardon his
writing such a book; as, he said, excelling all recent productions, as
much in wit and talent as in true pathos. Lord Byron added, that he
would have given his two most approved poems to have been the author of


Walpole relates, after an execution of _eighteen_ malefactors, a woman
was hawking an account of them, but called them _nineteen_. A gentleman
said to her, “Why do you say _nineteen_? there were but _eighteen_
hanged.” She replied, “Sir, I did not know _you_ had been reprieved.”


This remarkable book was written upon covers of letters and scraps of
paper of such description as was nearest at hand; the greater part at a
house in Princes-street, Soho. Colton’s lodging was a
penuriously-furnished second-floor, and upon a rough deal table, with a
stumpy pen, our author wrote.

Though a beneficed clergyman, holding the vicarage of Kew, with
Petersham, in Surrey, Colton was a well-known frequenter of the
gaming-table; and, suddenly disappearing from his usual haunts in London
about the time of the murder of Weare, in 1823, it was strongly
suspected he had been assassinated. It was, however, afterwards
ascertained that he had absconded to avoid his creditors; and in 1828 a
successor was appointed to his living. He then went to reside in
America, but subsequently lived in Paris, a professed gamester; and it
is said that he thus gained, in two years only, the sum of 25,000_l._ He
blew out his brains while on a visit to a friend at Fontainebleau, in
1832; bankrupt in health, spirits, and fortune.


There is no book, except the Bible, which Bunyan is known to have
perused so intently as the Acts and Monuments of John Fox, the
martyrologist, one of the best of men; a work more hastily than
judiciously compiled, but invaluable for that greater and far more
important portion which has obtained for it its popular name of _The
Book of Martyrs_. Bunyan’s own copy of this work is in existence, and
valued of course as such a relic of such a man ought to be. It was
purchased in the year 1780, by Mr. Wantner, of the Minories; from him it
descended to his daughter, Mrs. Parnell, of Botolph-lane; and it was
afterwards purchased, by subscription, for the Bedfordshire General

This edition of _The Acts and Monuments_ is of the date 1641, 3 vols.
folio, the last of those in the black-letter, and probably the latest
when it came into Bunyan’s hands. In each volume he has written his name
beneath the title-page, in a large and stout print-hand. Under some of
the woodcuts he has inserted a few rhymes, which are undoubtedly his own
composition; and which, though much in the manner of the verses that
were printed under the illustrations of his own _Pilgrim’s Progress_,
when that work was first adorned with cuts, (verses worthy of such
embellishments,) are very much worse than even the worst of those.
Indeed, it would not be possible to find specimens of more miserable

Here is one of the Tinker’s tetrasticks, penned in the margin, beside
the account of Gardiner’s death:--

    “The blood, the blood that he did shed
     Is falling one his one head;
     And dredfull it is for to see
     The beginers of his misere.”

One of the signatures bears the date of 1662; but the verses must
undoubtedly have been some years earlier, before the publication of his
first tract. These curious inscriptions must have been Bunyan’s first
attempts in verse: he had, no doubt, found difficulty enough in
tinkering them to make him proud of his work when it was done;
otherwise, he would not have written them in a book which was the most
valuable of all his goods and chattels. In later days, he seems to have
taken this book for his art of poetry. His verses are something below
the pitch of Sternhold and Hopkins. But if he learnt there to make bad
verses, he entered fully into the spirit of its better parts, and
received that spirit into as resolute a heart as ever beat in a martyr’s


Leigh Hunt pleasantly says:--“I can no more pass through Westminster,
without thinking of Milton; or the Borough, without thinking of Chaucer
and Shakspeare; or Gray’s Inn, without calling Bacon to mind; or
Bloomsbury-square, without Steele and Akenside; than I can prefer brick
and mortar to wit and poetry, or not see a beauty upon it beyond
architecture in the splendour of the recollection. I once had duties to
perform which kept me out late at night, and severely taxed my health
and spirits. My path lay through a neighbourhood in which Dryden lived,
and though nothing could be more common-place, and I used to be tired to
the heart and soul of me, I never hesitated to go a little out of the
way, purely that I might pass through Gerard-street, and so give myself
the shadow of a pleasant thought.”


Lord Brougham says:--“The dreadful malady under which Bolingbroke long
lingered, and at length sunk--a cancer in the face--he bore with
exemplary fortitude, a fortitude drawn from the natural resources of his
vigorous mind, and unhappily not aided by the consolations of any
religion; for, having early cast off the belief in revelation, he had
substituted in its stead a dark and gloomy naturalism, which even
rejected those glimmerings of hope as to futurity not untasted by the
wiser of the heathens.”

Lord Chesterfield, in one of his letters, which has been published by
Earl Stanhope, says that Bolingbroke only doubted, and by no means
rejected, a future state.


It is said that Owen, the divine, greatly admired Bunyan’s preaching;
and that, being asked by Charles II. “how a learned man such as he could
sit and listen to an itinerant tinker?” he replied: “May it please your
Majesty, could I possess that tinker’s abilities for preaching, I would
most gladly relinquish all my learning.”


This popular work was commenced by its author after he had renounced
political satire for the more peaceful study of the antiquities of our
country. The publication was issued in weekly sheets, and extended
through two years, 1824 and 1825. It was very successful, the weekly
sale being from 20,000 to 30,000 copies.

In 1830, Mr. Southey gave the following tribute to the merits of the
work, which it is pleasurable to record; as these two writers, from
their antipodean politics, had not been accustomed to regard each
other’s productions with any favour. In closing his _Life of John
Bunyan_, Mr. Southey says:--

“In one of the volumes, collected from various quarters, which were sent
to me for this purpose, I observe the name of William Hone, and notice
it that I may take the opportunity of recommending his _Every-day Book_
and _Table Book_ to those who are interested in the preservation of our
national and local customs. By these curious publications, their
compiler has rendered good service in an important department of
literature; and he may render yet more, if he obtain the encouragement
which he well deserves.”


Bunyan had some providential escapes during his early life. Once, he
fell into a creek of the sea, once out of a boat into the river Ouse,
near Bedford, and each time he was narrowly saved from drowning. One
day, an adder crossed his path. He stunned it with a stick, then forced
open its mouth with a stick and plucked out the tongue, which he
supposed to be the sting, with his fingers; “by which act,” he says,
“had not God been merciful unto me, I might, by my desperateness, have
brought myself to an end.” If this, indeed, were an adder, and not a
harmless snake, his escape from the fangs was more remarkable than he
himself was aware of. A circumstance, which was likely to impress him
more deeply, occurred in the eighteenth year of his age, when, being a
soldier in the Parliament’s army, he was drawn out to go to the siege of
Leicester, in 1645. One of the same company wished to go in his stead;
Bunyan consented to exchange with him, and this volunteer substitute,
standing sentinel one day at the siege, was shot through the head with a
musket-ball. “This risk,” Sir Walter Scott observes, “was one somewhat
resembling the escape of Sir Roger de Coverley, in an action at
Worcester, who was saved from the slaughter of that action, by having
been absent from the field.”--_Southey._


More drolleries are uttered unintentionally than by premeditation. There
is no such thing as being “droll to order.” One evening a lady said to a
small wit, “Come, Mr. ----, tell us a lively anecdote;” and the poor
fellow was mute the rest of the evening.

“Favour me with your company on Wednesday evening--you are such a lion,”
said a weak party-giver to a young _littérateur_. “I thank you,” replied
the wit, “but, on that evening I am engaged to eat fire at the Countess
of ----, and stand upon my head at Mrs. ----.”


It happened one afternoon, in those years when Cowper’s accomplished
friend, Lady Austen, made a part of his little evening circle, that she
observed him sinking into increased dejection; it was her custom, on
these occasions, to try all the resources of her sprightly powers for
his immediate relief. She told him the story of John Gilpin, (which had
been treasured in her memory from her childhood), to dissipate the gloom
of the passing hour. Its effects on the fancy of Cowper had the air of
enchantment. He informed her the next morning that convulsions of
laughter, brought on by his recollection of her story, had kept him
waking during the greatest part of the night! and that he had turned it
into a ballad. So arose the pleasant poem of John Gilpin. To Lady
Austen’s suggestion, also, we are indebted for the poem of “the Task.”


Sir E. B. (now Lord) Lytton, in the memoir which he prefixed to the
collected works of Laman Blanchard, draws the following affecting
picture of that author’s position, after he had parted from an
engagement upon a popular newspaper:--

     “For the author there is nothing but his pen, till that and life
     are worn to the stump: and then, with good fortune, perhaps on his
     death-bed he receives a pension--and equals, it may be, for a few
     months, the income of a retired butler! And, so on the sudden loss
     of the situation in which he had frittered away his higher and more
     delicate genius, in all the drudgery that a party exacts from its
     defender of the press, Laman Blanchard was thrown again upon the
     world, to shift as he might and subsist as he could. His practice
     in periodical writing was now considerable; his versatility was
     extreme. He was marked by publishers and editors as a useful
     contributor, and so his livelihood was secure. From a variety of
     sources thus he contrived, by constant waste of intellect and
     strength, to eke out his income, and insinuate rather than force
     his place among his contemporary penmen. And uncomplainingly, and
     with patient industry, he toiled on, seeming farther and farther
     off from the happy leisure, in which ‘the something to verify
     promise was to be completed.’ No time had he for profound reading,
     for lengthened works, for the mature development of the conceptions
     of a charming fancy. He had given hostages to fortune. He had a
     wife and four children, and no income but that which he made from
     week to week. The grist must be ground, and the wheel revolve. All
     the struggle, all the toils, all the weariness of brain, nerve,
     and head, which a man undergoes in his career, are imperceptible
     even to his friends--almost to himself; he has no time to be ill,
     to be fatigued; his spirit has no holiday; it is all school-work.
     And thus, generally, we find in such men that the break up of the
     constitution seems sudden and unlooked-for. The causes of disease
     and decay have been long laid; but they are smothered beneath the
     lively appearances of constrained industry and forced excitement.”


A writer in the _Law Quarterly Magazine_ says:--To the best of our
information, James’s _coup d’essai_ in literature was a hoax in the
shape of a series of letters to the editor of the _Gentleman’s
Magazine_, detailing some extraordinary antiquarian discoveries and
facts in natural history, which the worthy Sylvanus Urban inserted
without the least suspicion. In 1803, he became a constant contributor
to the _Pic-Nic_ and _Cabinet_ weekly journals, in conjunction with Mr.
Cumberland, Sir James Bland Burgess, Mr. Horatio Smith, and others. The
principal caterer for these publications was Colonel Greville, on whom
Lord Byron has conferred a not very enviable immortality--

    “Or hail at once the patron and the pile
     Of vice and folly, Greville and Argyle.”

One of James Smith’s favourite anecdotes related to him. The Colonel
requested his young ally to call at his lodgings, and in the course of
their first interview related the particulars of the most curious
circumstance in his life. He was taken prisoner during the American
war, along with three other officers of the same rank; one evening they
were summoned into the presence of Washington, who announced to them
that the conduct of their Government, in condemning one of his officers
to death as a rebel, compelled him to make reprisals; and that, much to
his regret, he was under the necessity of requiring them to cast lots,
without delay, to decide which of them should be hanged. They were then
bowed out, and returned to their quarters. Four slips of paper were put
into a hat, and the shortest was drawn by Captain Asgill, who exclaimed,
“I knew how it would be; I never won so much as a hit of backgammon in
my life.” As Greville told the story, he was selected to sit up with
Captain Asgill, under the pretext of companionship, but, in reality, to
prevent him from escaping, and leaving the honour amongst the remaining
three. “And what,” inquired Smith, “did you say to comfort him?” “Why, I
remember saying to him, when they left us, _D--it, old fellow, never
mind_;” but it may be doubted (added Smith) whether he drew much comfort
from the exhortation. Lady Asgill persuaded the French minister to
interpose, and the captain was permitted to escape.

Both James and Horatio Smith were also contributors to the _Monthly
Mirror_, then the property of Mr. Thomas Hill, a gentleman who had the
good fortune to live familiarly with three or four generations of
authors; the same, in short, with whom the subject of this memoir thus
playfully remonstrated: “Hill, you take an unfair advantage of an
accident; the register of your birth was burnt in the great fire of
London, and you now give yourself out for younger than you are.”

The fame of the Smiths, however, was confined to a limited circle until
the publication of the _Rejected Addresses_, which rose at once into
almost unprecedented celebrity.

James Smith used to dwell with much pleasure on the criticism of a
Leicestershire clergyman: “I do not see why they (the _Addresses_)
should have been rejected: I think some of them very good.” This, he
would add, is almost as good as the avowal of the Irish bishop, that
there were some things in _Gulliver’s Travels_ which he could not

Though never guilty of intemperance, James was a martyr to the gout;
and, independently of the difficulty he experienced in locomotion, he
partook largely of the feeling avowed by his old friend Jekyll, who used
to say that, if compelled to live in the country, he would have the
drive before his house paved like the streets of London, and hire a
hackney-coach to drive up and down all day long.

He used to tell, with great glee, a story showing the general conviction
of his dislike to ruralities. He was sitting in the library at a
country-house, when a gentleman proposed a quiet stroll into the

     “ ‘Stroll! why, don’t you see my gouty shoe?’

     “ ‘Yes, I see that plain enough, and I wish I’d brought one
     too, but they’re all out now.’

     “ ‘Well, and what then?’

     “ ‘What then? Why, my dear fellow, you don’t mean to say that
     you have really got the gout? I thought you had only put on that
     shoe to get off being shown over the improvements.’ ”

His bachelorship is thus attested in his niece’s album:

    “Should I seek Hymen’s tie,
     As a poet I die,
       Ye Benedicts mourn my distresses:
     For what little fame
     Is annexed to my name,
       Is derived from _Rejected Addresses_.”

The two following are amongst the best of his good things. A gentleman
with the same Christian and surname took lodgings in the same house. The
consequence was, eternal confusion of calls and letters. Indeed, the
postman had no alternative but to share the letters equally between the
two. “This is intolerable, sir,” said our friend, “and you must quit.”
“Why am I to quit more than you?” “Because you are James the Second--and
must _abdicate_.”

Mr. Bentley proposed to establish a periodical publication, to be called
_The Wit’s Miscellany_. Smith objected that the title promised too much.
Shortly afterwards, the publisher came to tell him that he had profited
by the hint, and resolved on calling it _Bentley’s Miscellany_. “Isn’t
that going a little too far the other way?” was the remark.

A capital pun has been very generally attributed to him. An actor, named
Priest, was playing at one of the principal theatres. Some one remarked
at the Garrick Club, that there were a great many men in the pit.
“Probably, clerks who have taken Priest’s orders.” The pun is perfect,
but the real proprietor is Mr. Poole, one of the best punsters as well
as one of the cleverest comic writers and finest satirists of the day.
It has also been attributed to Charles Lamb.

Formerly, it was customary, on emergencies, for the judges to swear
affidavits at their dwelling-houses. Smith was desired by his father to
attend a judge’s chambers for that purpose, but being engaged to dine in
Russell-square, at the next house to Mr. Justice Holroyd’s, he thought
he might as well save himself the disagreeable necessity of leaving the
party at eight by dispatching his business at once: so, a few minutes
before six, he boldly knocked at the judge’s, and requested to speak to
him on particular business. The judge was at dinner, but came down
without delay, swore the affidavit, and then gravely asked what was the
pressing necessity that induced our friend to disturb him at that hour.
As Smith told the story, he raked his invention for a lie, but finding
none fit for the purpose, he blurted out the truth:--

     “ ‘The fact is, my lord, I am engaged to dine at the next

     “ ‘And, sir, you thought you might as well save your own
     dinner by spoiling mine?’

     “ ‘Exactly so, my lord, but----’

     “ ‘Sir, I wish you a good evening.’ ”

Smith was rather fond of a joke on his own branch of the profession; he
always gave a peculiar emphasis to the line in his song on the
contradiction of names:

    “Mr. Makepeace was bred an attorney;”

and would frequently quote Goldsmith’s lines on Hickey, the associate
of Burke and other distinguished cotemporaries:

    “He cherished his friend, and he relished a bumper;
    Yet one fault he had, and that was a thumper,
    Then, what was his failing? come, tell it, and burn ye:
    He was, could he help it? a special attorney.”

The following playful colloquy in verse took place at a dinner-table
between Sir George Bose and himself, in allusion to Craven-street,
Strand, where he resided:--

    “_J. S._--‘At the top of my street the attorneys abound,
       And down at the bottom the barges are found:
     Fly, Honesty, fly to some safer retreat,
       For there’s craft in the river, and craft in the street.’ ”

    “_Sir G. R._--‘Why should Honesty fly to some safer retreat,
       From attorneys and barges, od rot ’em?
     For the lawyers are _just_ at the top of the street,
       And the barges are _just_ at the bottom.’ ”


The late Mr. Tegg, the publisher in Cheapside, gave the following list
of remunerative payments to distinguished authors in his time; and he is
believed to have taken considerable pains to verify the items:

Fragments of History, by Charles Fox, sold by Lord Holland, for 5000
guineas. Fragments of History, by Sir James Mackintosh, 500_l._
Lingard’s History of England, 4683_l._ Sir Walter Scott’s Bonaparte was
sold, with the printed books, for 18,000_l._; the net receipts of
copyright on the first two editions only must have been 10,000_l._ Life
of Wilberforce, by his sons, 4000 guineas. Life of Byron, by Moore,
4000_l._ Life of Sheridan, by Moore, 2000_l._ Life of Hannah More,
2000_l._ Life of Cowper, by Southey, 1000_l._ Life and Times of George
IV., by Lady C. Bury, 1000_l._ Byron’s Works, 20,000_l._ Lord of the
Isles, half share, 1500_l._ Lalla Rookh, by Moore, 3000_l._ Rejected
Addresses, by Smith, 1000_l._ Crabbe’s Works, republication of, by Mr.
Murray, 3000_l._ Wordsworth’s Works, republication of, by Mr. Moxon,
1050_l._ Bulwer’s Rienzi, 1600_l._ Marryat’s Novels, 500_l._ to 1500_l._
each. Trollope’s Factory Boy, 1800_l._ Hannah More derived 30,000_l._
per annum for her copyrights, during the latter years of her life.
Rundell’s Domestic Cookery, 2000_l._ Nicholas Nickleby, 3000_l._
Eustace’s Classical Tour, 2100_l._ Sir Robert Inglis obtained for the
beautiful and interesting widow of Bishop Heber by the sale of his
journal, 5000_l._


The story of _Evelina_ being printed when the authoress was but
seventeen years old is proved to have been sheer invention, to trumpet
the work into notoriety; since it has no more truth in it than a
paid-for newspaper puff. The year of Miss Burney’s birth was long
involved in studied obscurity, and thus the deception lasted, until one
fine day it was ascertained, by reference to the register of the
authoress’ birth, that she was a woman of six or seven-and-twenty,
instead of a “Miss in her teens,” when she wrote _Evelina_. The story
of her father’s utter ignorance of the work being written by her, and
recommending her to read it, as an exception to the novel class, has
also been essentially modified. Miss Burney, (then Madame D’Arblay,) is
said to have taken the characters in her novel of _Camilla_ from the
family of Mr. Lock, of Norbury Park, who built for Gen. D’Arblay the
villa in which the work was written, and which to this day is called
“Camilla Lacy.” By this novel, Madame D’Arblay is said to have realized
3000 guineas.


Lamb lies buried in Edmonton churchyard, and the stone bears the
following lines to his memory, written by his friend, the Rev. H. F.
Cary, the erudite translator of _Dante_ and _Pindar_:--

    “Farewell, dear friend!--that smile, that harmless mirth,
     No more shall gladden our domestic hearth;
     That rising tear, with pain forbid to flow--
     Better than words--no more assuage our woe.
     That hand outstretch’d from small but well-earned store
     Yield succour to the destitute no more.
     Yet art thou not all lost: through many an age,
     With sterling sense and humour, shall thy page
     Win many an English bosom, pleased to see
     That old and happier vein revived in thee.
     This for our earth; and if with friends we share
     Our joys in heaven, we hope to meet thee there.”

Lamb survived his earliest friend and school-fellow, Coleridge, only a
few months. One morning he showed to a friend the mourning ring which
the author of _Christabelle_ had left him. “Poor fellow!” exclaimed
Lamb, “I have never ceased to think of him from the day I first heard of
his death.” Lamb died in _five days after_--December 27, 1834, in his
fifty-ninth year.


The author of this very successful work, (originally published in
_Blackwood’s Magazine_,) was a Mr. Mick Scott, born in Edinburgh in
1789, and educated at the High School. Several years of his life were
spent in the West Indies. He ultimately married, returned to his native
country, and there embarked in commercial speculations, in the leisure
between which he wrote the _Log_. Notwithstanding its popularity in
Europe and America, the author preserved his incognito to the last. He
survived his publisher for some years, and it was not till Mr. Scott’s
death that the sons of Mr. Blackwood were aware of his name.


The royal patent, by which the performance of the regular drama was
restricted to certain theatres, does not appear to have fostered this
class of writing. Dr. Johnson forced Goldsmith’s _She Stoops to Conquer_
into the theatre. Tobin died regretting that he could not succeed in
hearing the _Honeymoon_ performed. Lillo produced _George Barnwell_ (an
admirably written play) at an irregular theatre, after it had been
rejected by the holders of the patents. _Douglas_ was cast on Home’s
hands. Fielding was introduced as a dramatist at an unlicensed house;
and one of Mrs. Inchbald’s popular comedies had lain two years
neglected, when, by a trifling accident, she was able to obtain the
manager’s _approval_.


Marvellous anecdotes are related of Dr. Thomas Fuller’s memory. Thus, it
is stated that he undertook once, in passing to and from Temple Bar to
the farthest conduit in Cheapside, to tell at his return every sign as
they stood in order on both sides of the way, repeating them either
backward or forward. This must have been a great feat, seeing that every
house then bore a sign. Yet, Fuller himself decried this kind of thing
as a trick, no art. He relates that one (who since wrote a book thereof)
told him, before credible people, that he, in Sidney College, had taught
him (Fuller) the art of memory. Fuller replied that it was not so, for
_he could not remember that he had ever seen him before_; “which, I
conceive,” adds Fuller, “was a real refutation;” and we think so, too.


Horace Walpole records Lord Hervey’s memorable saying about Lord
Burlington’s pretty villa at Chiswick, now the Duke of Devonshire’s,
that it was “too small to inhabit, and too large to hang to your watch;”
and Lady Louisa Stuart has preserved a piece of dandyism in eating,
which even Beau Brummell might have envied--“When asked at dinner
whether he would have some beef, he answered, ‘Beef? oh, no! faugh!
don’t you know I never eat beef, nor horse, nor any of those
things?’ ”--The man that said these things was the successful lover
of the prettiest maid of honour to the Princess of Wales--the person
held up to everlasting ridicule by Pope--the vice-chamberlain whose
attractions engaged the affections of the daughter of the Sovereign he
served; and the peer whose wit was such that it “charmed the charming
Mary Montague.”


The following, one of the latest productions of the poet Moore,
addressed to the Marquis of Lansdowne, shows that though by that time
inclining to threescore and ten, he retained all the fire and vivacity
of early youth. It is full of those exquisitely apt allusions and
felicitous turns of expression in which the English Anacreon excels. It
breathes the very spirit of classic festivity. Such an invitation to
dinner is enough to create an appetite in any lover of poetry:--

    “Some think we bards have nothing real--
       That poets live among the stars, so
     Their very dinners are ideal,--
       (And heaven knows, too oft they are so:)
     For instance, that we have, instead
       Of vulgar chops and stews, and hashes,
     First course,--a phœnix at the head,
       Done in its own celestial ashes:
     At foot, a cygnet, which kept singing
       All the time its neck was wringing.
     Side dishes, thus,--Minerva’s owl,
       Or any such like learned fowl;
     Doves, such as heaven’s poulterer gets
       When Cupid shoots his mother’s pets.
     Larks stew’d in morning’s roseate breath,
       Or roasted by a sunbeam’s splendour;
     And nightingales, be-rhymed to death--
       Like young pigs whipp’d to make them tender.
     Such fare may suit those bard’s who’re able
     To banquet at Duke Humphrey’s table;
     But as for me, who’ve long been taught
       To eat and drink like other people,
     And can put up with mutton, bought
       Where Bromham rears its ancient steeple;
     If Lansdowne will consent to share
     My humble feast, though rude the fare,
     Yet, seasoned by that salt he brings
     From Attica’s salinest springs,
     ’Twill turn to dainties; while the cup,
     Beneath his influence brightening up,
     Like that of Baucis, touched by Jove,
         Will sparkle fit for gods above!”


Cottle, in his Life of Coleridge, relates the following amusing

“I led the horse to the stable, when a fresh perplexity arose. I removed
the harness without difficulty; but, after many strenuous attempts, I
could not remove the collar. In despair, I called for assistance, when
aid soon drew near. Mr. Wordsworth brought his ingenuity into exercise;
but, after several unsuccessful efforts, he relinquished the
achievement, as a thing altogether impracticable. Mr. Coleridge now
tried his hand, but showed no more grooming skill than his predecessors;
for, after twisting the poor horse’s neck almost to strangulation and
the great danger of his eyes, he gave up the useless task, pronouncing
that the horse’s head must have grown (gout or dropsy?) since the collar
was put on; for he said ‘it was a downright impossibility for such a
huge _os frontis_ to pass through so narrow a collar!’ Just at this
instant, a servant-girl came near, and, understanding the cause of our
consternation, ‘La! master,’ said she, ‘you don’t go about the work in
the right way. You should do like this,’ when, turning the collar
completely upside down, she slipped it off in a moment, to our great
humiliation and wonderment, each satisfied afresh that there were
heights of knowledge in the world to which we had not yet attained.”


Sir John Hawkins, in his “Memoirs of Johnson,” ascribes the decline of
literature to the ascendancy of frivolous Magazines, between the years
1740 and 1760. He says that they render smatterers conceited, and confer
the superficial glitter of knowledge instead of its substance.

Sir Richard Phillips, upwards of forty years a publisher, gives the
following evidence as to the sale of the Magazines in his time:--

“For my own part, I know that in 1790, and for many years previously,
there were sold of the trifle called the _Town and Country Magazine_,
full 15,000 copies per month; and, of another, the _Ladies’ Magazine_,
from 16,000 to 22,000. Such circumstances were, therefore, calculated to
draw forth the observations of Hawkins. The _Gentleman’s Magazine_, in
its days of popular extracts, never rose above 10,000; after it became
more decidedly antiquarian, it fell in sale, and continued for many
years at 3000.

“The veriest trifles, and only such, move the mass of minds which
compose the public. The sale of the _Town and Country Magazine_ was
created by a fictitious article, called _Bon-Ton_, in which were given
the pretended amours of two personages, imagined to be real, with two
sham portraits. The idea was conceived, and, for above twenty years, was
executed by Count Carraccioli; but, on his death, about 1792, the
article lost its spirit, and within seven years the magazine was
discontinued. _The Ladies’ Magazine_ was, in like manner, sustained by
love-tales and its low price of sixpence, which, till after 1790, was
the general price of magazines.”

Things have now taken a turn unlooked for in those days. The price of
most magazines, it is true, is still more than sixpence--usually a
shilling, and at that price the _Cornhill_ in some months reached an
impression of 120,000; but the circulation of _Good Words_, at sixpence,
has touched 180,000, and continues, we believe, to be over 100,000.


And who was Mrs. Southey?--who but she who was so long known, and so
great a favourite, as Caroline Bowles; transformed by the gallantry of
the laureate, and the grace of the parson, into her matrimonial
appellation. Southey, so long ago as the 21st of February, 1829,
prefaced his most amatory poem of _All for Love_, with a tender address,
that is now, perhaps, worth reprinting:--

              “TO CAROLINE BOWLES.

       “Could I look forward to a distant day,
        With hope of building some elaborate lay,
        Then would I wait till worthier strains of mine,
        Might have inscribed thy name, O Caroline!
        For I would, while my voice is heard on earth,
        Bear witness to thy genius and thy worth.
        But we have been both taught to feel with fear,
        How frail the tenure of existence here;
        What unforeseen calamities prevent,
        Alas! how oft, the best resolved intent;
        And, therefore, this poor volume I address
        To thee, dear friend, and sister poetess!

    “_Keswick, Feb. 21, 1829._ “ROBERT SOUTHEY.”

The laureate had his wish; for in duty, he was bound to say, that
worthier strains than his bore inscribed the name of Caroline connected
with his own--and, moreover, she was something more than a dear friend
and sister poetess.

“The laureate,” observes a writer in _Fraser’s Magazine_, “is a
fortunate man; his queen supplies him with _butts_ (alluding to the
laureateship), and his lady with _Bowls_: then may his cup of good
fortune be overflowing.”


M. Agassiz, the celebrated palæontologist, is known to have relinquished
pursuits from which he might have been in the receipt of a considerable
income, and all for the sake of science. Dr. Buckland knew him, when
engaged in this arduous career, with the revenue of only 100_l._: and of
this he paid fifty pounds to artists for drawings, thirty pounds for
books, and lived himself on the remaining twenty pounds a year! Thus did
he raise himself to an elevated European rank; and, in his abode, _au
troisième_, was the companion and friend of princes, ambassadors, and
men of the highest rank and talent of every country.


Lord North had little reason to congratulate himself when he ventured on
an interruption with Burke. In a debate on some economical question,
Burke was guilty of a false quantity--“_Magnum vectĭgal est
parsimonia_.” “_Vectīgal_,” said the minister, in an audible under-tone.
“I thank the noble lord for his correction,” resumed the orator, “since
it gives me the opportunity of repeating the inestimable adage--“_Magnum
vectīgal est parsimonia_.” (Parsimony is a great revenue.)


When Victor Hugo was an aspirant for the honours of the French Academy,
and called on M. Royer Collard to ask his vote, the sturdy veteran
professed entire ignorance of his name. “I am the author of _Notre Dame
de Paris_, _Les Derniers Jours d’un Condamné_, _Bug-Jargal_, _Marian
Delorme_, &c.” “I never heard of any of them,” said Collard. “Will you
do me the honour of accepting a copy of my works?” said Victor Hugo. “I
never read new books,” was the cutting reply.


Dr. Johnson’s wigs were in general very shabby, and their fore-parts
were burned away by the near approach of the candle, which his
short-sightedness rendered necessary in reading. At Streatham, Mr.
Thrale’s butler always had a wig ready; and as Johnson passed from the
drawing-room, when dinner was announced, the servant would remove the
ordinary wig, and replace it with the newer one; and this ludicrous
ceremony was performed every day.--_Croker._


Mr. Pitt was accustomed to relate very pleasantly an amusing anecdote of
a total breach of memory in some Mrs. Lloyd, a lady, or nominal
housekeeper, of Kensington Palace. “Being in company,” he said, “with
Mr. Sheridan, without recollecting him, while _Pizarro_ was the topic of
discussion, she said to him, ‘And so this fine _Pizarro_ is printed?’
‘Yes, so I hear,’ said Sherry. ‘And did you ever in your life read such
stuff?’ cried she. ‘Why I believe it’s bad enough,’ quoth Sherry; ‘but
at least, madam, you must allow it’s very loyal.’ ‘Ah!’ cried she,
shaking her head--‘loyal? you don’t know its author as well as I
do.’ ”


The following were Dr. Johnson’s several places of residence in and near

   1. Exeter-street, off Catherine-street, Strand. (1737.)
   2. Greenwich. (1737.)
   3. Woodstock-street, near Hanover-square. (1737.)
   4. Castle-court, Cavendish-square; No. 6. (1738.)
   5. Boswell-court.
   6. Strand.
   7. Strand, again.
   8. Bow-street.
   9. Holborn.
  10. Fetter-lane.
  11. Holborn again; at the Golden Anchor, Holborn Bars. (1748.)
  12. Gough-square. (1748.)
  13. Staple Inn. (1758.)
  14. Gray’s Inn.
  15. Inner Temple-lane, No. 1. (1760.)
  16. Johnson’s-court, Fleet-street, No. 5. (1765.)
  17. Bolt-court, Fleet-street, No. 8. (1776.)


Gibbon, when speaking of his own genealogy, refers to the fact of
Fielding being of the same family as the Earl of Denbigh, who, in common
with the Imperial family of Austria, is descended from the celebrated
Rodolph, of Hapsburgh. “While the one branch,” he says, “have contented
themselves with being sheriffs of Leicestershire, and justices of the
peace, the others have been emperors of Germany and kings of Spain; but
the magnificent romance of _Tom Jones_ will be read with pleasure, when
the palace of the Escurial is in ruins, and the Imperial Eagle of
Austria is rolling in the dust.”


Fielding having finished the manuscript of _Tom Jones_, and being at the
time hard pressed for money took it to a second-rate publisher, with the
view of selling it for what it would fetch at the moment. He left it
with the trader, and called upon him next day for his decision. The
bookseller hesitated, and requested another day for consideration; and
at parting, Fielding offered him the MS. for 25_l._

On his way home, Fielding met Thomson, the poet, whom he told of the
negotiation for the sale of the MS.; when Thomson, knowing the high
merit of the work, conjured him to be off the bargain, and offered to
find a better purchaser.

Next morning, Fielding hastened to his appointment, with as much
apprehension lest the bookseller should stick to his bargain as he had
felt the day before lest he should altogether decline it. To the
author’s great joy, the ignorant trafficker in literature declined, and
returned the MS. to Fielding. He next set off, with a light heart, to
his friend Thomson; and the novelist and the poet then went to Andrew
Millar, the great publisher of the day. Millar, as was his practice with
works of light reading, handed the MS. to his wife, who, having read it,
advised him by no means to let it slip through his fingers.

Millar now invited the two friends to meet him at a coffee-house in the
Strand, where, after dinner, the bookseller, with great caution, offered
Fielding 200_l._ for the MS. The novelist was amazed at the largeness
of the offer. “Then, my good sir,” said Fielding, recovering himself
from his unexpected stroke of good fortune, “give me your hand--the book
is yours. And, waiter,” continued he, “bring a couple of bottles of your
best port.”

Before Millar died, he had cleared eighteen thousand pounds by _Tom
Jones_, out of which he generously made Fielding various presents, to
the amount of 2000_l._; and he closed his life by bequeathing a handsome
legacy to each of Fielding’s sons.


The showman’s work is very profitable at the country-house of Voltaire,
at Ferney, near Geneva. A Genevese, an excellent calculator, as are all
his countrymen, many years ago valued as follows the yearly profit
derived by the above functionary from his situation:--


  8000 busts of Voltaire, made with earth of
    Ferney, at a franc a-piece                       8,000
  1200 autograph letters, at 20 francs              24,000
  500 walking canes of Voltaire, at 50 francs each  25,000
  300 veritable wigs of Voltaire, at 100 francs     30,000
                           In all                   87,000


Lord Brougham, during his indefatigable canvass of Yorkshire, in the
course of which he often addressed ten or a dozen meetings in a day,
thought fit to harangue the electors of Leeds immediately on his
arrival, after travelling all night, and without waiting to perform his
customary ablutions. “These hands are clean!” cried he, at the
conclusion of a diatribe against corruption; but they happened to be
very dirty, and this practical contradiction raised a hearty laugh.


Jasper Mayne says of Master Cartwright, the author of tolerable comedies
and poems, printed in 1651:--

    “Yes, thou to Nature hadst joined art and skill;
    In thee, Ben Jonson still held Shakspeare’s quill.”


“One of the Authors of the _Rejected Addresses_” thus writes to a

“Let me enlighten you as to the general disposal of my time. I breakfast
at nine, with a mind undisturbed by matters of business; I then write to
you, or to some editor, and then read till three o’clock. I then walk to
the Union Club, read the journals, hear Lord John Russell deified or
_diablerized_, (that word is not a bad coinage,) do the same with Sir
Robert Peel or the Duke of Wellington; and then join a knot of
conversationists by the fire till six o’clock, consisting of lawyers,
merchants, members of Parliament, and gentlemen at large. We then and
there discuss the three per cent. consols, (some of us preferring Dutch
two-and-a-half per cent.), and speculate upon the probable rise, shape,
and cost of the New Exchange. If Lady Harrington happen to drive past
our window in her landau, we compare her equipage to the Algerine
Ambassador’s; and when politics happen to be discussed, rally Whigs,
Radicals, and Conservatives alternately, but never seriously,--such
subjects having a tendency to create acrimony. At six, the room begins
to be deserted; wherefore I adjourn to the dining-room, and gravely
looking over the bill of fare, exclaim to the waiter, ‘Haunch of mutton
and apple tart.’ These viands despatched, with the accompanying liquids
and water, I mount upward to the library, take a book and my seat in the
arm-chair, and read till nine. Then call for a cup of coffee and a
biscuit, resuming my book till eleven; afterwards return home to bed. If
I have any book here which particularly excites my attention, I place my
lamp on a table by my bed-side, and read in bed until twelve. No danger
of ignition, my lamp being quite safe, and my curtains moreen. Thus
‘ends this strange eventful history,’ ” &c.


The celebrated Mrs. Thicknesse undertook to construct a letter, every
word of which should be French, yet no Frenchman should be able to read
it; while an illiterate Englishman or Englishwoman should decipher it
with ease. Here is the specimen of the lady’s ingenuity:--

“Pre, dire sistre, comme and se us, and pass the de here if yeux canne,
and chat tu my dame, and dine here; and yeux mai go to the faire if yeux
plaise; yeux mai have fiche, muttin, porc, buter, foule, hair, fruit,
pigeon, olives, sallette, forure diner, and excellent te, cafe, port
vin, an liqueurs; and tell ure bette and poll to comme; and Ile go tu
the faire and visite the Baron. But if yeux dont comme tu us, Ile go to
ure house and se oncle, and se houe he does; for mi dame se he bean ill;
but deux comme; mi dire yeux canne ly here yeux nos; if yeux love
musique, yeux mai have the harp, lutte, or viol heere. Adieu, mi dire


Flatman’s beautiful lines to Walton, (says Mr. Jesse) commencing--

    “Happy old man, whose worth all mankind knows
     Except himself,”

have always struck us as conveying a true picture of Walton’s character,
and of the estimation in which he was held after the appearance of his

The last male descendant of our “honest father,” the Rev. Dr. Herbert
Hawes, died in 1839. He very liberally bequeathed the beautiful painting
of Walton, by Houseman, to the National Gallery; and it is a curious
fact, as showing the estimation in which any thing connected with Walton
is held in the present day, that the lord of the manor in which Dr.
Hawes resided, laid claim to this portrait as a heriot, though not
successfully. Dr. Hawes also bequeathed the greater portion of his
library to the Dean and Chapter of Salisbury; and his executor and
friend presented the celebrated prayer-book, which was Walton’s, to Mr.
Pickering, the publisher. The watch which belonged to Walton’s
connexion, the excellent Bishop Ken, has been presented to his amiable
biographer, the Rev. W. Lisle Bowles.

Walton died at the house of his son-in-law, Dr. Hawkins, at Winchester.
He was buried in Winchester Cathedral, in the south aisle, called Prior
Silkstead’s Chapel. A large black marble slab is placed over his
remains; and, to use the poetical language of Mr. Bowles, “the morning
sunshine falls directly on it, reminding the contemplative man of the
mornings when he was, for so many years, up and abroad with his angle,
on the banks of the neighbouring stream.”


Dr. Still, though Bishop of Bath and Wells, seems not to have been over
fond of water; for thus he sings:--

    “A stoup of ale, then, cannot fail,
       To cheer both heart and soul;
     It hath a charm, and without harm
       Can make a lame man whole.
     For he who thinks, and water drinks,
       Is never worth a dump:
     Then fill your cup, and drink it up,
       May he be made a pump.”


Sydney Smith writes:--If men are to be fools, it were better that they
were fools in little matters than in great; dulness, turned up with
temerity, is a livery all the worse for the facings; and the most
tremendous of all things is a magnanimous dunce.


In 1841, the author of _Pelham_ lived in Charles-street,
Berkeley-square, in a small house, which he fitted up after his own
taste; and an odd _melée_ of the classic and the baronial certain of the
rooms presented. One of the drawing-rooms, we remember, was in the
Elizabethan style, with an imitative oak ceiling, bristled with
pendents; and this room opened into another apartment, a fac-simile of a
chamber which Bulwer had visited at Pompeii, with vases, candelabra, and
other furniture to correspond.

James Smith has left a few notes of his visit here: “Our host,” he says,
“lighted a perfumed pastile, modelled from Vesuvius. As soon as the cone
of the mountain began to blaze, I found myself an inhabitant of the
devoted city; and, as Pliny the elder, thus addressed Bulwer, my
supposed nephew:--‘Our fate is accomplished, nephew! Hand me yonder
volume! I shall die as a student in my vocation. Do thou hasten to take
refuge on board the fleet at Misenum. Yonder cloud of hot ashes chides
thy longer delay. Feel no alarm for me; I shall live in story. The
author of _Pelham_ will rescue my name from oblivion.’ Pliny the younger
made me a low bow, &c.” We strongly suspect James of quizzing “our
host.” He noted, by the way, in the chamber were the busts of Hebe,
Laura, Petrarch, Dante, and other worthies; Laura like our Queen.


Sterne’s sermons are, in general, very short, which circumstance gave
rise to the following joke at Bull’s Library, at Bath:--A footman had
been sent by his lady to purchase one of Smallridge’s sermons, when, by
mistake, he asked for a _small religious_ sermon. The bookseller being
puzzled how to reply to his request, a gentleman present suggested,
“Give him one of Sterne’s.”

It has been observed, that if Sterne had never written one line more
than his picture of the mournful cottage, towards the conclusion of his
fifth sermon, we might cheerfully indulge the devout hope that the
recording angel, whom he once invoked, will have blotted out many of his


A few days before the close of 1840, London lost one of its choicest
spirits, and humanity one of her kindest-hearted sons, in the death of
Thomas Hill, Esq.--“Tom Hill,” as he was called by all who loved and
knew him. His life exemplified one venerable proverb, and disproved
another; he was born in May, 1760, and was, consequently, in his 81st
year, and “as old as the hills;” having led a long life and a merry one.
He was originally a drysalter; but about the year 1810, having sustained
a severe loss by a speculation in indigo, he retired upon the remains of
his property to chambers in the Adelphi, where he died; his physician
remarking to him, “I can do no more for you--I have done all I can. I
cannot cure age.”

Hill, when in business at the unlettered Queenhithe, found leisure to
accumulate a fine collection of books, chiefly old poetry, which
afterwards, when misfortune overtook him, was valued at 6000_l._ Hill
was likewise a Mæcenas: he patronized two friendless poets, Bloomfield
and Kirke White. The _Farmer’s Boy_ of the former was read and admired
by him in manuscript, and was recommended to a publisher. Hill also
established _The Monthly Mirror_, to which Kirke White was a
contributor. Hill was the Hull of Hook’s _Gilbert Gurney_. He happened
to know everything that was going on in all circles; and was at all
“private views” of exhibitions. So especially was he favoured, that a
wag recorded, when asked whether he had seen the new comet, he
replied--“Pooh! pooh! I was present at the private view.”

Hill left behind him an assemblage of literary rarities, which it
occupied a clear week to sell by auction. Among them was Garrick’s cup,
formed from the mulberry tree planted by Shakespeare in his garden at
New Place, Stratford-upon-Avon; this produced forty guineas. A small
vase and pedestal, carved from the same mulberry-tree, and presented to
Garrick, was sold with a coloured drawing of it, for ten guineas. And a
block of wood, cut from the celebrated willow planted by Pope, at his
villa at Twickenham, brought one guinea.


Sir David Brewster relates that in the year 1566, an accident occurred
to Tycho Brahe, at Wittenberg, which had nearly deprived him of his
life. On the 10th of December, Tycho had a quarrel with a noble
countryman, Manderupius Rasbergius, and they parted ill friends. On the
27th of the same month, they met again; and having renewed their
quarrel, they agreed to settle their differences by the sword. They
accordingly met at seven o’clock in the evening of the 29th, and fought
in total darkness. In this blind combat, Manderupius cut off the whole
of the front of Tycho’s nose, and it was fortunate for astronomy that
his more valuable organs were defended by so faithful an outpost. The
quarrel, which is said to have originated in a difference of opinion
respecting their mathematical attainments, terminated here; and Tycho
repaired his loss by cementing upon his face a nose of gold and silver,
which is said to have formed a good imitation of the original. Thus,
Tycho was, indeed, a “Martyr of Science.”


George Colman, the younger, notes:--“There is no Shakspeare or Roscius
upon record who, like Foote, supported a theatre for a series of years
by his own acting, in his own writings; and for ten years of the time,
upon a wooden leg! This prop to his person I once saw standing by his
bedside, ready dressed in a handsome silk stocking, with a polished shoe
and gold buckle, awaiting the owner’s getting up: it had a kind of
tragic, comical appearance, and I leave to inveterate wags the ingenuity
of punning upon a Foote in bed, and a leg out of it. The proxy for a
limb thus decorated, though ludicrous, is too strong a reminder of
amputation to be very laughable. His undressed supporter was the common
wooden stick, which was not a little injurious to a well-kept
pleasure-ground. I remember following him after a shower of rain, upon a
nicely rolled terrace, in which he stumped a deep round hole at every
other step he took, till it appeared as if the gardener had been there
with his dibble, preparing, against all horticultural practice, to plant
a long row of cabbages in a gravel walk.”


                     _Mr. Gifford to Mr. Hazlitt._

     “What we read from your pen, we remember no more.”

                     _Mr. Hazlitt to Mr. Gifford._

     “What we read from your pen, we remember before.”


This question has not yet been satisfactorily answered. In 1812, Dr.
Mason Good, in an essay he wrote on the question, passed in review all
the persons who had then been suspected of writing these celebrated
letters. They are, Charles Lloyd and John Roberts, originally treasury
clerks; Samuel Dyer, a learned man, and a friend of Burke and Johnson;
William Gerard Hamilton, familiarly known as “Single-speech Hamilton;”
Mr. Burke; Dr. Butler, late Bishop of Hereford; the Rev. Philip
Rosenhagen; Major-General Lee, who went over to the Americans, and took
an active part in their contest with the mother-country; John Wilkes;
Hugh Macaulay Boyd; John Dunning, Lord Ashburton; Henry Flood; and Lord
George Sackville.

Since this date, in 1813, John Roche published an Inquiry, in which he
persuaded himself that Burke was the author. In the same year there
appeared three other publications on Junius: these were, the Attempt of
the Rev. J. B. Blakeway, to trace them to John Horne Tooke; next were
the “Facts” of Thomas Girdlestone, M.D., to prove that General Lee was
the author; and, thirdly, a work put forth by Mrs. Olivia Wilmot Serres,
in the following confident terms:--“Life of the Author of _Junius’s
Letters_,--the Rev. J. Wilmot, D.D., Fellow of Trinity College, Oxford;”
and, like most bold attempts, this work attracted some notice and

In 1815, the Letters were attributed to Richard Glover, the poet of
_Leonidas_; and this improbable idea was followed by another, assigning
the authorship of the Letters to the Duke of Portland, in 1816. In the
same year appeared “Arguments and Facts,” to show that John Louis de
Lolme, author of the famous Essay on the Constitution of England, was
the writer of these anonymous epistles. In 1816, too, appeared Mr. John
Taylor’s “Junius Identified,” advocating the claims of Sir Philip
Francis so successfully that the question was generally considered to be
settled. Mr. Taylor’s opinion was supported by Edward Dubois, Esq.,
formerly the confidential friend and private secretary of Sir Philip,
who, in common with Lady Francis, constantly entertained the conviction
that his deceased patron was identical with Junius.

In 1817, George Chalmers, F.S.A., advocated the pretensions of Hugh
Macaulay Boyd to the authorship of Junius. In 1825, Mr. George Coventry
maintained with great ability that Lord George Sackville was Junius; and
two writers in America adopted this theory.

Thus was the whole question re-opened; and, in 1828, Mr. E. H. Barker,
of Thetford, refuted the claims of Lord George Sackville and Sir Philip
Francis, and advocated those of Charles Lloyd, private secretary to the
Hon. George Grenville.[3]

In 1841, Mr. N. W. Simons, of the British Museum, refuted the
supposition that Sir Philip Francis was directly or indirectly
concerned in the writing; and, in the same year, appeared M. Jaques’s
review of the controversy, in which he arrived at the conclusion that
Lord George Sackville composed the Letters, and that Sir Philip Francis
was his amanuensis, thus combining the theory of Mr. Taylor with that of
Mr. Coventry.

The question was reviewed and revived in a volume published by Mr.
Britton, F.S.A., in June 1848, entitled “The Authorship of the Letters
of Junius Elucidated;” in which is advocated with great care the opinion
that the Letters were, to a certain extent, the joint productions of
Lieut.-Colonel Isaac Barré, M.P., Lord Shelburne, (afterwards Marquess
of Lansdowne,) and Dunning, Lord Ashburton. Of these three persons the
late Sir Francis Baring commissioned Sir Joshua Reynolds, in 1784-5, to
paint portraits in one picture, which is regarded as evidence of joint

Only a week before his death, 1804, the Marquess of Lansdowne was
personally appealed to on the subject of _Junius_, by Sir Richard
Phillips. In conversation, the Marquess said, “No, no, I am not equal to
_Junius_; I could not be the author; but the grounds of secrecy are now
so far removed by death (Dunning and Barré were at that time dead), and
change of circumstances, that it is unnecessary the author of _Junius_
should much longer be unknown. The world is curious about him, and I
could make a very interesting publication on the subject. I knew Junius,
and _I know all about_ the writing and production of these Letters.” The
Marquess added, “If I live over the summer, which, however, I don’t
expect, I promise you a very interesting pamphlet about Junius. I will
put my name to it; I will set the question at rest for ever.” The death
of the Marquess, however, occurred in a week. In a letter to the
_Monthly Magazine_, July 1813, the son of the Marquess of Lansdowne
says:--“It is not impossible my father may have been acquainted with the
fact; but perhaps he was under some obligation to secrecy, as he never
made any communication to me on the subject.”

Lord Mahon (now Earl Stanhope) at length and with minuteness enters, in
his History, into a vindication of the claims of Sir Philip Francis,
grounding his partisanship on the close similarity of handwriting
established by careful comparison of facsimiles; the likeness of the
style of Sir Philip’s speeches in Parliament to that of
_Junius_--biting, pithy, full of antithesis and invective; the
tenderness and bitterness displayed by _Junius_ towards persons to whom
Sir Philip stood well or ill affected; the correspondence of the dates
of the letters with those of certain movements of Sir Philip; and the
evidence of _Junius’_ close acquaintance with the War Office, where Sir
Philip held a post. It seems generally agreed that the weight of proof
is on the side of Sir Philip Francis; but there will always be found
adherents of other names--as O’Connell, in the following passage, of

     “It is my decided opinion,” said O’Connell, “that Edmund Burke was
     the author of the ‘Letters of Junius.’ There are many
     considerations which compel me to form that opinion. Burke was the
     only man who made that figure in the world which the author of
     ‘Junius’ _must_ have made, if engaged in public life; and the
     entire of ‘Junius’s Letters’ evinces that close acquaintance with
     the springs of political machinery which no man could possess
     unless actively engaged in politics. Again, Burke was fond of
     chemical similes; now chemical similes are frequent in Junius.
     Again; Burke was an Irishman; now Junius, speaking of the
     Government of Ireland, twice calls it ‘the Castle,’ a familiar
     phrase amongst Irish politicians, but one which an Englishman, in
     those days, would never have used. Again; Burke had this
     peculiarity in writing, that he often wrote many words without
     taking the pen from the paper. The very same peculiarity existed in
     the manuscripts of Junius, although they were written in a feigned
     hand. Again; it may be said that the style is not Burke’s. In
     reply, I would say that Burke was master of many styles. His work
     on natural society, in imitation of Lord Bolingbroke, is as
     different in point of style from his work on the French Revolution,
     as _both_ are from the ‘Letters of Junius.’ Again; Junius speaks of
     the King’s insanity as a divine visitation; Burke said the very
     same thing in the House of Commons. Again; had any one of the other
     men to whom the ‘Letters’ are, with any show of probability,
     ascribed, been really the author, such author would have had no
     reason for disowning the book, or remaining incognito. Any one of
     them but Burke would have claimed the authorship and fame--and
     proud fame. But Burke had a very cogent reason for remaining
     incognito. In claiming Junius he would have claimed his own
     condemnation and dishonour, for Burke died a pensioner. Burke was,
     moreover, the only pensioner who had the commanding talent
     displayed in the writings of Junius. Now, when I lay all these
     considerations together, and especially when I reflect that a
     cogent reason exists for Burke’s silence as to his own authorship,
     I confess I think I have got a presumptive proof of the very
     strongest nature, that Burke was the writer.”[4]


Three of the most celebrated resorts of the _literati_ of the last
century were _Will’s Coffee-house_, No. 23, on the north side of Great
Russell-street, Covent Garden, at the end of Bow-street. This was the
favourite resort of Dryden, who had here his own chair, in winter by the
fireside, in summer in the balcony: the company met in the first floor,
and there smoked; and the young beaux and wits were sometimes honoured
with a pinch out of Dryden’s snuff-box. Will’s was the resort of men of
genius till 1710: it was subsequently occupied by a perfumer.

_Tom’s_, No. 17, Great Russell-street, had nearly 700 subscribers, at a
guinea a-head, from 1764 to 1768, and had its card, conversation, and
coffee-rooms, where assembled Dr. Johnson, Garrick, Murphy, Goldsmith,
Sir Joshua Reynolds, Foote, and other men of talent: the tables and
books of the club were not many years since preserved in the house, the
first floor of which was then occupied by Mr. Webster, the medallist.

_Button’s_, “over against” Tom’s, was the receiving-house for
contributions to _The Guardian_, in a lion-head box, the aperture for
which remains in the wall to mark the place. Button had been servant to
Lady Warwick, whom Addison married; and the house was frequented by
Pope, Steele, Swift, Arbuthnot, and Addison. The lion’s head for a
letter-box, “the best head in England,” was set up in imitation of the
celebrated lion at Venice: it was removed from Button’s to the
Shakspeare’s Head, under the arcade in Covent Garden; and in 1751, was
placed in the Bedford, next door. This lion’s head is now treasured as a
relic by the Bedford family.


At the close of the first canto of _Don Juan_, its noble author, by way
of propitiating the reader for the morality of his poem, says:--

    “The public approbation I expect,
       And beg they’ll take my word about the moral,
     Which I with their amusement will connect,
       As children cutting teeth receive a coral;
     Meantime, they’ll doubtless please to recollect
       My epical pretensions to the laurel;
     For fear some prudish reader should grow skittish,
       I’ve bribed my Grandmother’s Review--the British.

     I sent it in a letter to the editor,
       Who thank’d me duly by return of post--
     I’m for a handsome article his creditor;
       Yet if my gentle muse he please to roast,
     And break a promise after having made it her,
       Denying the receipt of what it cost,
     And smear his page with gall instead of honey,
       All I can say is--that he had the money.”
                                    _Canto I. st._ ccix. ccx.

Now, “the British” was a certain staid and grave high-church review, the
editor of which received the poet’s imputation of bribery as a serious
accusation; and, accordingly, in his next number after the publication
of _Don Juan_, there appeared a postscript, in which the receipt of any
bribe was stoutly denied, and the idea of such connivance altogether
repudiated; the editor adding that he should continue to exercise his
own judgment as to the merits of Lord Byron, as he had hitherto done in
every instance! However, the affair was too ludicrous to be at once
altogether dropped; and, so long as the prudish publication was in
existence, it enjoyed the _sobriquet_ of “My Grandmother’s Review.”

By the way, there is another hoax connected with this poem. One day an
old gentleman gravely inquired of a printseller for a portrait of
“Admiral Noah”--to illustrate _Don Juan_!


Sir Robert Walpole, in one of his letters, thus describes the relations
of a skilful Minister with an accommodating Parliament--the description,
it may be said, having, by lapse of time, acquired the merit of general
inapplicability to the present state of things:--“My dear friend, there
is scarcely a member whose purse I do not know to a sixpence, and whose
very soul almost I could not purchase at the offer. The reason former
Ministers have been deceived in this matter is evident--they never
considered the temper of the people they had to deal with. I have known
a minister so weak as to offer an avaricious old rascal a star and
garter, and attempt to bribe a young rogue, who set no value upon money,
with a lucrative employment. I pursue methods as opposite as the poles,
and therefore my administration has been attended with a different
effect.” “Patriots,” elsewhere says Walpole, “spring up like mushrooms.
I could raise fifty of them within four-and-twenty hours. I have raised
many of them in one night. It is but refusing to gratify an
unreasonable or insolent demand, and _up starts a patriot_.”


Johnson decided literary questions like a lawyer, not like a legislator.
He never examined foundations where a point was already ruled. His whole
code of criticism rested on pure assumption, for which he sometimes gave
a precedent or authority, but rarely troubled himself to give a reason
drawn from the nature of things. He judged of all works of the
imagination by the standard established among his own contemporaries.
Though he allowed Homer to have been a greater man than Virgil, he seems
to have thought the Æneid to have been a greater poem than the Iliad.
Indeed, he well might have thought so; for he preferred Pope’s _Iliad_
to Homer’s. He pronounced that after Hoole’s translation of _Tasso_,
Fairfax’s would hardly be reprinted. He could see no merit in our fine
old English ballads, and always spoke with the most provoking contempt
of Dr. Percy’s fondness for them.

Of all the great original works which appeared during his time,
Richardson’s novels alone excited his admiration. He could see little or
no merit in _Tom Jones_, in _Gulliver’s Travels_, or in _Tristram
Shandy_. To Thomson’s _Castle of Indolence_ he vouchsafed only a line of
cold commendation--of commendation much colder than what he has bestowed
on _The Creation_ of that portentous bore, Sir Richard Blackmore. Gray
was, in his dialect, a barren rascal. Churchill was a blockhead. The
contempt which he felt for Macpherson was, indeed, just; but it was, we
suspect, just by chance. He criticized Pope’s epitaphs excellently. But
his observations on Shakspeare’s plays, and Milton’s poems, seem to us
as wretched as if they had been written by Rymer himself, whom we take
to have been the worst critic that ever lived.


The house of Gibbon, in which he completed his “Decline and Fall,” is in
the lower part of the town of Lausanne, behind the church of St.
Francis, and on the right of the road leading down to Ouchy. Both the
house and the garden have been much changed. The wall of the Hotel
Gibbon occupies the site of his summer-house, and the _berceau_ walk has
been destroyed to make room for the garden of the hotel; but the terrace
looking over the lake, and a few acacias, remain.

Gibbon’s record of the completion of his great labour is very
impressive. “It was on the day, or rather the night, of the 27th of
June, 1787, between the hours of eleven and twelve, that I wrote the
last line of the last page, in a summer-house in my garden. After laying
down my pen, I took several turns in a _berceau_, or covered walk of
acacias, which commands a prospect of the country, the lake, and the
mountains. The air was temperate, the sky was serene, the silver orb of
the moon was reflected from the waves, and all nature was silent.”

At a little inn at Morges, about two miles distant from Lausanne, Lord
Byron wrote the _Prisoner of Chillon_, in the short space of _two days_,
during which he was detained here by bad weather, June 1816: “thus
adding one more deathless association to the already immortalized
localities of the Lake.”


A fellow passenger with Mr. Dickens in the _Britannia_ steam-ship,
across the Atlantic, inquired of the author the origin of his signature,
“Boz.” Mr. Dickens replied that he had a little brother who resembled so
much the Moses in the _Vicar of Wakefield_, that he used to call him
Moses also; but a younger girl, who could not then articulate plainly,
was in the habit of calling him Bozie or Boz. This simple circumstance
made him assume that name in the first article he risked to the public,
and therefore he continued the name, as the first effort was approved


Sir John Malcolm once asked Warren Hastings, who was a contemporary and
companion of Dr. Johnson and Boswell, what was his real estimation of
Boswell’s _Life of Johnson_? “Sir,” replied Hastings, “it is the
_dirtiest_ book in my library;” then proceeding, he added: “I knew
Boswell intimately; and I well remember, when his book first made its
appearance, Boswell was so full of it, that he could neither think nor
talk of anything else; so much so, that meeting Lord Thurlow hurrying
through Parliament-street to get to the House of Lords, where an
important debate was expected, for which he was already too late,
Boswell had the temerity to stop and accost him with “Have you read my
book?” “Yes,” replied Lord Thurlow, with one of his strongest curses,
“every word of it; I could not help it.”


In the reigns of William III., of Anne, and of George I., even such men
as Congreve and Addison could scarcely have been able to live like
gentlemen by the mere sale of their writings. But the deficiency of the
natural demand for literature was, at the close of the seventeenth, and
at the beginning of the eighteenth century, more than made up by the
artificial encouragement--by a vast system of bounties and premiums.
There was, perhaps, never a time at which the rewards of literary merit
were so splendid--at which men who could write well found such easy
admittance into the most distinguished society, and to the highest
honours of the state. The chiefs of both the great parties into which
the kingdom was divided, patronized literature with emulous munificence.

Congreve, when he had scarcely attained his majority, was rewarded for
his first comedy with places which made him independent for life. Rowe
was not only poet laureate, but land-surveyor of the Customs in the port
of London, clerk of the council to the Prince of Wales, and secretary of
the Presentations to the Lord Chancellor. Hughes was secretary to the
Commissioners of the Peace. Ambrose Phillips was judge of the
Prerogative Court in Ireland. Locke was Commissioner of Appeals and of
the Board of Trade. Newton was Master of the Mint. Stepney and Prior
were employed in embassies of high dignity and importance. Gay, who
commenced life as apprentice to a silk-mercer, became a secretary of
Legation at five-and-twenty. It was to a poem on the death of Charles
II., and to “the City and Country Mouse,” that Montague owed his
introduction into public life, his earldom, his garter, and his
auditorship of the Exchequer. Swift, but for the unconquerable prejudice
of the queen, would have been a bishop. Oxford, with his white staff in
his hand, passed through the crowd of his suitors to welcome Parnell,
when that ingenious writer deserted the Whigs. Steele was a Commissioner
of Stamps, and a member of Parliament. Arthur Mainwaring was a
Commissioner of the Customs, and Auditor of the Imprest. Tickell was
secretary to the Lords Justices of Ireland. Addison was Secretary of

But soon after the succession of the throne of Hanover, a change took
place. The supreme power passed to a man who cared little for poetry or
eloquence. Walpole paid little attention to books, and felt little
respect for authors. One of the coarse jokes of his friend, Sir Charles
Hanbury Williams, was far more pleasing to him than Thomson’s _Seasons_
or Richardson’s _Pamela_.


When Brummell was obliged by want of money, and debt, and all that, to
retire to France, he knew no French; and having obtained a grammar for
the purpose of study, his friend Scrope Davies was asked what progress
Brummell had made in French. He responded, that Brummell had been
stopped, like Buonaparte in Russia, by the _Elements_.

“I have put this pun into _Beppo_, (says Lord Byron), which is a fair
exchange and no robbery, for Scrope made his fortune at several dinners,
(as he owned himself,) by repeating occasionally, as his own, some of
the buffooneries with which I had encountered him in the morning.”


In a paper in the _Edinburgh Review_, we find this cabinet picture:--The
club-room is before us, and the table, on which stands the omelet for
Nugent, and the lemons for Johnson. There are assembled those heads
which live for ever on the canvas of Reynolds. There are the spectacles
of Burke, and the tall thin form of Langton; the courtly sneer of
Beauclerc, and the beaming smile of Garrick; Gibbon tapping his
snuff-box, and Sir Joshua with his trumpet in his ear. In the
foreground is that strange figure which is as familiar to us as the
figures of those among whom we have been brought up--the gigantic body,
the huge massy face, seamed with the scars of disease; the brown coat,
the black worsted stockings, the grey wig, with the scorched foretop;
the dirty hands, the nails bitten and pared to the quick. We see the
eyes and nose moving with convulsive twitches; we see the heavy form
rolling; we hear it puffing; and then comes the “Why, sir!” and the
“What then, sir?” and the “No, sir!” and the “You don’t see your way
through the question, sir!”


In October, 1841, Dr. Chalmers commenced two series of biblical
compositions, which he continued with unbroken regularity till the day
of his decease, May 31, 1847. Go where he might, however he might be
engaged, each week-day had its few verses read, thought over, written
upon--forming what he denominated “Horæ Biblicæ Quotidianæ:” each
Sabbath-day had its two chapters, one in the Old and the other in the
New Testament, with the two trains of meditative devotion recorded to
which the reading of them respectively gave birth--forming what he
denominated “Horæ Biblicæ Sabbaticæ.” When absent from home or when the
manuscript books in which they were ordinarily inserted were not beside
him, he wrote in short-hand, carefully entering what was thus written
in the larger volumes afterwards. Not a trace of haste nor of the
extreme pressure from without, to which he was so often subjected, is
exhibited in the handwriting of these volumes. There are but few words
omitted--scarcely any erased. This singular correctness was a general
characteristic of his compositions. His lectures on the Epistle to the
Romans were written _currente calamo_, in Glasgow, during the most
hurried and overburthened period of his life. And when, many years
afterwards, they were given out to be copied for the press, scarcely a
blot, or an erasure, or a correction, was to be found in them, and they
were printed off exactly as they had originally been written.

In preparing the “Horæ Biblicæ Quotidianæ,” Chalmers had by his side,
for use and reference, the “Concordance,” the “Pictorial Bible,”
“Poole’s Synopsis,” “Henry’s Commentary,” and “Robinson’s Researches in
Palestine.” These constituted what he called his “Biblical Library.”
“There,” said he to a friend, pointing, as he spoke, to the above-named
volumes, as they lay together on his library-table, with a volume of the
“Quotidianæ,” in which he had just been writing, lying open beside
them,--“There are the books I use--all that is Biblical is there. I have
to do with nothing besides in my Biblical study.” To the consultation of
these few volumes he throughout restricted himself.

The whole of the MSS. were purchased, after Dr. Chalmers’s death, for a
large sum of money, by Mr. Thomas Constable, of Edinburgh, her Majesty’s
printer; and were in due time given to, and most favourably received by,
the public.


In the autumn of 1831, died the Rev. Dr. Shaw, at Chesley,
Somersetshire, at the age of eighty-three: he is said to have been the
last surviving friend of Dr. Johnson.

On the 16th of January, in the above year, died Mr. Richard Clark,
chamberlain of the City of London, in the ninety-second year of his age.
At the age of fifteen, he was introduced by Sir John Hawkins to Johnson,
whose friendship he enjoyed to the last year of the Doctor’s life. He
attended Johnson’s evening parties at the Mitre Tavern, in
Fleet-street;[6] where, among other literary characters he met Dr.
Percy, Dr. Goldsmith, and Dr. Hawksworth. A substantial supper was
served at eight o’clock; the party seldom separated till a late hour;
and Mr. Clark recollected that early one morning he, with another of the
party, accompanied the Doctor to his house, where Mrs. Williams, then
blind, made tea for them. When Mr. Clark was sheriff, he took Johnson to
a “Judges’ Dinner,” at the Old Bailey; the judges being Blackstone and
Eyre. Mr. Clark often visited the Doctor, and met him at dinner-parties;
and the last time he enjoyed his company was at the Essex Head Club, of
which, by the Doctor’s invitation, Clark became a member.


The chemical philosophers, Dr. Black and Dr. Hutton, were particular
friends, though there was something extremely opposite in their external
appearance and manner. Dr. Black spoke with the English pronunciation,
and with punctilious accuracy of expression, both in point of matter and
manner. The geologist, Dr. Hutton, was the very reverse of this: his
conversation was conducted in broad phrases, expressed with a broad
Scotch accent, which often heightened the humour of what he said.

It chanced that the two Doctors had held some discourse together upon
the folly of abstaining from feeding on the testaceous creatures of the
land, while those of the sea were considered as delicacies. Wherefore
not eat snails? they are known to be nutritious and wholesome, and even
sanative in some cases. The epicures of old praised them among the
richest delicacies, and the Italians still esteem them. In short, it was
determined that a gastronomic experiment should be made at the expense
of the snails. The snails were procured, dieted for a time, and then
stewed for the benefit of the two philosophers, who had either invited
no guests to their banquet, or found none who relished in prospect the
_pièce de resistance_. A huge dish of snails was placed before them:
still, philosophers are but men, after all; and the stomachs of both
doctors began to revolt against the experiment. Nevertheless, if they
looked with disgust on the snails, they retained their awe for each
other, so that each, conceiving the symptoms of internal revolt
peculiar to himself, began, with infinite exertion, to swallow, in very
small quantities, the mess which he internally loathed.

Dr. Black, at length, showed the white feather, but in a very delicate
manner, as if to sound the opinion of his messmate. “Doctor,” he said,
in his precise and quiet manner--“Doctor--do you not think that they
taste a little--a very little, green?” “D----d green! d----d green!
indeed--tak’ them awa’,--tak’ them awa’!” vociferated Dr. Hutton,
starting up from table, and giving full vent to his feelings of
abhorrence. So ended all hopes of introducing snails into the modern
_cuisine_; and thus philosophy can no more cure a nausea than honour can
set a broken limb.--_Sir Walter Scott._


“Curran!” (says Lord Byron) “Curran’s the man who struck me most. Such
imagination!--there never was anything like it that I ever heard of. His
_published_ life--his published speeches, give you no idea of the
man--none at all. He was a _machine_ of imagination, as some one said
that Prior was an epigrammatic machine.” Upon another occasion, Byron
said, “the riches of Curran’s Irish imagination were exhaustless. I have
heard that man speak more poetry than I have ever seen written--though I
saw him seldom, and but occasionally. I saw him presented to Madame de
Stael, at Mackintosh’s--it was the grand confluence between the Rhone
and the Saone; they were both so d----d ugly, that I could not help
wondering how the best intellects of France and Ireland could have taken
up respectively such residences.”


The poet Cowley died at the Porch House, Chertsey, on the 21st of July,
1667. There is a curious letter preserved of his condition when he
removed here from Barn Elms. It is addressed to Dr. Sprat, dated
Chertsey, 21 May, 1665, and is as follows:--

     “The first night that I came hither I caught so great a cold, with
     a defluxion of rheum, as made me keep my chamber ten days. And,
     too, after had such a bruise on my ribs with a fall, that I am yet
     unable to move or turn myself in bed. This is my personal fortune
     here to begin with. And besides, I can get no money from my
     tenants, and have my meadows eaten up every night by cattle put in
     by my neighbours. What this signifies, or may come to in time, God
     knows! if it be ominous, it can end in nothing but hanging.”----“I
     do hope to recover my hurt so farre within five or six days (though
     it be uncertain yet whether I shall ever recover it) as to walk
     about again. And then, methinks, you and I and _the Dean_ might be
     very merry upon St. Ann’s Hill. You might very conveniently come
     hither by way of Hampton Town, lying there one night. I write this
     in pain, and can say no more.--_Verbum sapienti._”

It is stated, by Sprat, that the last illness of Cowley was owing to his
having taken cold through staying too long among his labourers in the
meadows; but, in Spence’s _Anecdotes_ we are informed, (on the authority
of Pope,) that “his death was occasioned by a mere accident whilst his
great friend, Dean Sprat, was with him on a visit at Chertsey. They had
been together to see a neighbour of Cowley’s, who, (according to the
fashion of those times,) made them too welcome. They did not set out for
their walk home till it was too late; and had drank so deep that they
lay out in the fields all night. This gave Cowley the fever that carried
him off. The parish still talk of the drunken Dean.”


Although Dr. Johnson had (or professed to have) a profound and
unjustified contempt for actors, he succeeded in comporting himself
towards Mrs. Siddons with great politeness; and once, when she called to
see him at Bolt Court, and his servant Frank could not immediately
furnish her with a chair, the doctor said, “You see, madam, that
wherever you go there are _no seats to be got_.”


Day, the author of _Sandford and Merton_, was an eccentric but amiable
man; he retired into the country “to exclude himself,” as he said, “from
the vanity, vice, and deceptive character of man,” but he appears to
have been strangely jilted by women. When about the age of twenty-one,
and after his suit had been rejected by a young lady to whom he had paid
his addresses, Mr. Day formed the singular project of educating a wife
for himself. This was based upon the notion of Rousseau, that “all the
genuine worth of the human species is perverted by society; and that
children should be educated apart from the world, in order that their
minds should be kept untainted with, and ignorant of, its vices,
prejudices, and artificial manners.”

Day set about his project by selecting two girls from an establishment
at Shrewsbury, connected with the Foundling Hospital; previously to
which he entered into a written engagement, guaranteed by a friend, Mr.
Bicknell, that within twelve months he would resign one of them to a
respectable mistress, as an apprentice, with a fee of one hundred
pounds; and, on her marriage, or commencing business for herself, he
would give her the additional sum of four hundred pounds; and he further
engaged that he would act honourably to the one he should retain, in
order to marry her at a proper age; or, if he should change his mind, he
would allow her a competent support until she married, and then give her
five hundred pounds as a dowry.

The objects of Day’s speculation were both twelve years of age. One of
them, whom he called Lucretia, had a fair complexion, with light hair
and eyes; the other was a brunette, with chesnut tresses, who was styled
Sabrina. He took these girls to France without any English servants, in
order that they should not obtain any knowledge but what he should
impart. As might have been anticipated, they caused him abundance of
inconvenience and vexation, increased, in no small degree, by their
becoming infected with the small-pox; from this, however, they recovered
without any injury to their features. The scheme ended in the utter
disappointment of the projector. Lucretia, whom he first dismissed, was
apprenticed to a milliner; and she afterwards became the wife of a
linendraper in London. Sabrina, after Day had relinquished his attempts
to make her such a model of perfection as he required, and which
included indomitable courage, as well as the difficult art of retaining
secrets, was placed at a boarding-school at Sutton Coldfield, in
Warwickshire, where she was much esteemed; and, strange to say, was at
length married to Mr. Bicknell.

After Day had renounced this scheme as impracticable, he became suitor
to two sisters in succession; yet, in both instances, he was refused. At
length, he was married at Bath, to a lady who made “a large fortune the
means of exercising the most extensive generosity.”


Geoffrey Crayon (Irving), and Wilkie, the painter, were
fellow-travellers on the Continent, about the year 1827. In their
rambles about some of the old cities of Spain, they were more than once
struck with scenes and incidents which reminded them of passages in the
_Arabian Nights_. The painter urged Mr. Irving to write something that
should illustrate those peculiarities, “something in the
Haroun-al-Raschid style,” which should have a deal of that Arabian spice
which pervades everything in Spain. The author set to work, _con amore_,
and produced two goodly volumes of Arabesque sketches and tales, founded
on popular traditions. His study was the Alhambra, and the governor of
the palace gave Irving and Wilkie permission to occupy his vacant
apartments there. Wilkie was soon called away by the duties of his
station; but Washington Irving remained for several months, spell-bound
in the old enchanted pile. “How many legends,” saith he, “and
traditions, true and fabulous--how many songs and romances, Spanish and
Arabian, of love, and war, and chivalry, are associated with this
romantic pile.”


When the late Sir Richard Phillips took his “Morning’s Walk from London
to Kew,” in 1816, he found that a portion of the family mansion in which
Lord Bolingbroke was born had been converted into a mill and distillery,
though a small oak parlour had been carefully preserved. In this room,
Pope is said to have written his _Essay on Man_; and, in Bolingbroke’s
time, the mansion was the resort, the hope, and the seat of enjoyment,
of Swift, Arbuthnot, Thomson, Mallet, and all the contemporary genius of
England. The oak room was always called “Pope’s Parlour,” it being, in
all probability, the apartment generally occupied by that great poet, in
his visits to his friend Bolingbroke.

On inquiring for an ancient inhabitant of Battersea, Sir Richard
Phillips was introduced to a Mrs. Gilliard, a pleasant and intelligent
woman, who told him she well remembered Lord Bolingbroke; that he used
to ride out every day in his chariot, and had a black patch on his
cheek, with a large wart over his eyebrows. She was then but a girl, but
she was taught to look upon him with veneration as a great man. As,
however, he spent little in the place, and gave little away, he was not
much regarded by the people of Battersea. Sir Richard mentioned to her
the names of several of Bolingbroke’s contemporaries; but she
recollected none except that of Mallet, who, she said, she had often
seen walking about in the village, while he was visiting at Bolingbroke


Milton was born at the _Spread Eagle_,[7] Bread-street, Cheapside,
December 9, 1608; and was buried, November, 1674, in St. Giles’s Church,
Cripplegate, without even a stone, in the first instance, to mark his
resting-place; but, in 1793, a bust and tablet were set up to his memory
by public subscription.

Milton, before he resided in Jewin-gardens, Aldersgate, is believed to
have removed to, and “kept school” in a large house on the west side of
Aldersgate-street, wherein met the City of London Literary and
Scientific Institution, previously to the rebuilding of their premises
in 1839.

Milton’s London residences have all, with one exception, disappeared,
and cannot be recognised; this is in Petty France, at Westminster, where
the poet lived from 1651 to 1659. The lower part of the house is a
chandler’s-shop; the parlour, up stairs, looks into St. James’s-park.
Here part of _Paradise Lost_ was written. The house belonged to Jeremy
Bentham, who caused to be placed on its front a tablet, inscribed,

In the same glass-case with Shakspeare’s autograph, in the British
Museum, is a printed copy of the Elegies on Mr. Edward King, the subject
of _Lycidas_, with some corrections of the text in Milton’s handwriting.
Framed and glazed, in the library of Mr. Rogers, the poet, hangs the
written agreement between Milton and his publisher, Simmons, for the
copyright of his _Paradise Lost_.--_Note-book of 1848._


Dr. Dibdin, in his _Reminiscences_, relates:--“Sir John Stoddart married
the sister of Lord Moncrieff, by whom he has a goodly race of
representatives; but, before his marriage, _he was the man who wrote up
the Times newspaper_ to its admitted pitch of distinction and
superiority over every other contemporary journal. Mark, gentle reader,
I speak of the _Times_ newspaper during the eventful and appalling
crisis of Bonaparte’s invasion of Spain and destruction of Moscow. My
friend fought with his _pen_ as Wellington fought with his _sword_: but
nothing like a tithe of the remuneration which was justly meted out to
the hero of Waterloo befel the editor of the _Times_. Of course, I speak
of remuneration in degree, and not in kind. The peace followed. Public
curiosity lulled, and all great and stirring events having subsided, it
was thought that a writer of less commanding talent, (certainly not the
_present Editor_,) and therefore procurable at a less premium, would
answer the current purposes of the day; and the retirement of Dr.
Stoddart, (for he was at this time a civilian, and particularly noticed
and patronised by Lord Stowell,) from the old _Times_, and his
establishment of the _New Times_ newspaper, followed in consequence. But
the latter, from various causes, had only a short-lived existence. Sir
John Stoddart had been his Majesty’s advocate, or Attorney-General, at
Malta, before he retired thither a _second_ time, to assume the office
of Judge.”


The portal of the Boar’s Head was originally decorated with carved oak
figures of Falstaff and Prince Henry; and in 1834, the former figure was
in the possession of a brazier, of Great Eastcheap, whose ancestors had
lived in the shop he then occupied since the great fire. The last grand
Shakspearean dinner-party took place at the Boar’s Head about 1784. A
boar’s head, with silver tusks, which had been suspended in some room in
the house, perhaps the Half Moon or Pomegranate, (see _Henry IV._, Act.
ii., scene 3,) at the great fire, fell down with the ruins of the
houses, little injured, and was conveyed to Whitechapel Mount, where it
was identified and recovered about thirty years ago.


The _Edinburgh Review_ was first published in 1802. The plan was
suggested by Sydney Smith, at a meeting of _literati_, in the fourth or
fifth flat or story, in Buccleugh-place, Edinburgh, then the elevated
lodging of Jeffrey. The motto humorously proposed for the new review by
its projector was, “_Tenui musam meditamur avena_,”--_i. e._, “We
cultivate literature upon a little oatmeal;” but this being too nearly
the truth to be publicly acknowledged, the more grave dictum of “_Judex
damnatur cum nocens absolvitur_” was adopted from _Publius Syrus_, of
whom, Sydney Smith affirms, “None of us, I am sure, ever read a single
line!” Lord Byron, in his fifth edition of _English Bards and Scotch
Reviewers_, refers to the reviewers as an “oat-fed phalanx.”


However great talents may command the admiration of the world, they do
not generally best fit a man for the discharge of social duties. Swift
remarks that “Men of great parts are often unfortunate in the management
of public business, because they are apt to go out of the common road by
the quickness of their imagination. This I once said to my Lord
Bolingbroke, and desired he would observe, that the clerk in his office
used a sort of ivory knife, with a blunt edge, to divide a sheet of
paper, which never failed to cut it even, only by requiring a steady
hand; whereas, if he should make one of a sharp penknife, the sharpness
would make it go often out of the crease, and disfigure the paper.”


The _Gentleman’s Magazine_ unaccountably passes for the earliest
periodical of that description; while, in fact, it was preceded nearly
forty years by the _Gentleman’s Journal_ of Motteux, a work much more
closely resembling our modern magazines, and from which Sylvanus Urban
borrowed part of his title, and part of his motto; while on the first
page of the first number of the _Gentleman’s Magazine_ itself, it is
stated to contain “more than any book of the _kind_ and price.”


This ingenious woman was the daughter of Joshua and Sarah Kirby, and was
born at Ipswich, January 6, 1741. Kirby taught George the Third, when
Prince of Wales, perspective and architecture. He was also President of
the Society of Artists of Great Britain, out of which grew the Royal
Academy. It was the last desire of Gainsborough to be buried beside his
old friend Kirby, and their tombs adjoin each other in the churchyard at

Mrs. Trimmer, when a girl, was constantly reading Milton’s _Paradise
Lost_; and this circumstance so pleased Dr. Johnson, that he invited her
to see him, and presented her with a copy of his _Rambler_. She also
repeatedly met Sir Joshua Reynolds, Dr. Gregory, Sharp, Hogarth, and
Gainsborough, with all of whom her father was on terms of intimacy. Mrs.
Trimmer advocated religious education against the latitudinarian views
of Joseph Lancaster. It was at her persuasion that Dr. Bell entered the
field, and paved the way for the establishment of the National Society.
Mrs. Trimmer died, in her seventieth year, in 1810. She was seated at
her table reading a letter, when her head sunk upon her bosom, and she
“fell asleep;” and so gentle was the wafting, that she seemed for some
time in a refreshing slumber, which her family were unwilling to


It was on a visit to the parliament house that Mr. Henry Erskine,
(brother of Lord Buchan and Lord Erskine,) after being presented to Dr.
Johnson by Mr. Boswell, and having made his bow, slipped a shilling into
Boswell’s hand, whispering that it was for the sight of his
_bear_.--_Sir Walter Scott._


Lord Elibank made a happy retort on Dr. Johnson’s definition of oats, as
the food of horses in England, and men in Scotland. “Yes,” said he, “and
where else will you see _such horses_, and _such men_?”--_Sir Walter


The house in which Dr. Johnson was born, at Lichfield--where his father,
it is well known, kept a small bookseller’s shop, and where he was
partly educated--stood on the west side of the market-place. In the
centre of the market-place is a colossal statue of Johnson, seated upon
a square pedestal: it is by Lucas, and was executed at the expense of
the Rev. Chancellor Law, in 1838. By the side of a footpath leading from
Dam-street to Stow, formerly stood a large willow, said to have been
planted by Johnson. It was blown down, in 1829; but one of its shoots
was preserved and planted upon the same spot: it was in the year 1848 a
large tree, known in the town as “Johnson’s Willow.”

Mr. Lomax, who for many years kept a bookseller’s shop--“The Johnson’s
Head,” in Bird-street, Lichfield, possessed several articles that
formerly belonged to Johnson, which have been handed down by a clear and
indisputable ownership. Amongst them is his own _Book of Common Prayer_,
in which are written, in pencil, the four Latin lines printed in
Strahan’s edition of the Doctor’s Prayers. There are, also, a
sacrament-book, with Johnson’s wife’s name in it, in his own
handwriting; an autograph letter of the Doctor’s to Miss Porter; two
tea-spoons, an ivory tablet, and a breakfast table; a Visscher’s Atlas,
paged by the Doctor, and a manuscript index; Davies’s _Life of Garrick_,
presented to Johnson by the publisher; a walking cane; and a Dictionary
of Heathen Mythology, with the Doctor’s MS. corrections. His wife’s
wedding-ring, afterwards made into a mourning-ring; and a massive chair,
in which he customarily sat, were also in Mr. Lomax’s possession.

Among the few persons living in the year 1848 who ever saw Dr. Johnson,
was Mr. Dyott, of Lichfield: this was seventy-four years before, or in
1774, when the Doctor and Boswell, on their tour into Wales, stopped at
Ashbourne, and there visited Mr. Dyott’s father, who was then residing
at Ashbourne Hall.[8]


After Coleridge left Cambridge, he came to London, where soon feeling
himself forlorn and destitute, he enlisted as a soldier in the 15th
Elliot’s Light Dragoons. “On his arrival at the quarters of the
regiment,” says his friend and biographer, Mr. Gilman, “the general of
the district inspected the recruits, and looking hard at Coleridge, with
a military air, inquired ‘What’s your name, sir?’ ‘Comberbach!’ (the
name he had assumed.) ‘What do you come here for, sir?’ as if doubting
whether he had any business there. ‘Sir,’ said Coleridge, ‘for what most
other persons come--to be made a soldier.’ ‘Do you think,’ said the
general, ‘you can run a Frenchman through the body?’ ‘I do not know,’
replied Coleridge, ‘as I never tried; but I’ll let a Frenchman run me
through the body before I’ll run away.’ ‘That will do,’ said the
general, and Coleridge was turned in the ranks.”

The poet made a poor dragoon, and never advanced beyond the awkward
squad. He wrote letters, however, for all his comrades, and they
attended to his horse and accoutrements. After four months’ service,
(December 1793 to April 1794), the history and circumstances of
Coleridge became known. He had written under his saddle, on the stable
wall, a Latin sentence (Eheu! quam infortunii miserrimum est fuisse
felicem!) which led to an inquiry on the part of the captain of his
troop, who had more regard for the classics than Ensign Northerton, in
_Tom Jones_. Coleridge was, accordingly, discharged, and restored to his
family and friends.


Perhaps, in Cobbett’s voluminous writings, there is nothing so complete
as the following picture of his boyish scenes and recollections: it has
been well compared to the most simple and touching passages in
Richardson’s _Pamela_:--

     “After living within a hundred yards of Westminster Hall and the
     Abbey church, and the bridge, and looking from my own window into
     St. James’s Park, all other buildings and spots appear mean and
     insignificant. I went to-day to see the house I formerly occupied.
     How small! It is always thus: the words large and small are carried
     about with us in our minds, and we forget real dimensions. The
     idea, such as it was received, remains during our absence from the
     object. When I returned to England in 1800, after an absence from
     the country parts of it of sixteen years, the trees, the hedges,
     even the parks and woods, seemed so small! It made me laugh to hear
     little gutters, that I could jump over, called rivers! The Thames
     was but ‘a creek!’ But when, in about a month after my arrival in
     London, I went to Farnham, the place of my birth, what was my
     surprise! Every thing was become so pitifully small! I had to cross
     in my postchaise the long and dreary heath of Bagshot. Then, at the
     end of it, to mount a hill called Hungry Hill; and from that hill I
     knew that I should look down into the beautiful and fertile vale of
     Farnham. My heart fluttered with impatience, mixed with a sort of
     fear, to see all the scenes of my childhood; for I had learned
     before the death of my father and mother. There is a hill not far
     from the town, called Crooksbury Hill, which rises up out of a flat
     in the form of a cone, and is planted with Scotch fir-trees. Here I
     used to take the eggs and young ones of crows and magpies. This
     hill was a famous object in the neighbourhood. It served as the
     superlative degree of height. ‘As high as Crooksbury Hill,’ meant
     with us, the utmost degree of height. Therefore, the first object
     my eyes sought was this hill. I could not believe my eyes!
     Literally speaking, I for a moment thought the famous hill removed,
     and a little heap put in its stead; for I had seen in New Brunswick
     a single rock, or hill of solid rock, ten times as big, and four or
     five times as high! The post-boy, going down hill, and not a bad
     road, whisked me in a few minutes to the Bush Inn, from the garden
     of which I could see the prodigious sand hill where I had begun my
     gardening works. What a nothing! But now came rushing into my mind
     all at once my pretty little garden, my little blue smock-frock, my
     little nailed shoes, my pretty pigeons that I used to feed out of
     my hands, the last kind words and tears of my gentle and
     tender-hearted and affectionate mother. I hastened back into the
     room. If I had looked a moment longer, I should have dropped. When
     I came to reflect, what a change! What scenes I had gone through!
     How altered my state! I had dined the day before at a secretary of
     state’s, in company with Mr. Pitt, and had been waited upon by men
     in gaudy liveries! I had had nobody to assist me in the world. No
     teachers of any sort. Nobody to shelter me from the consequence of
     bad, and nobody to counsel me to good behaviour. I felt proud. The
     distinctions of rank, birth, and wealth, all became nothing in my
     eyes; and from that moment (less than a month after my arrival in
     England), I resolved never to bend before them.”

Cobbett was, for a short time, a labourer in the kitchen grounds of the
Royal Gardens at Kew. King George the Third often visited the gardens
to inquire after the fruits and esculents; and one day, he saw here
Cobbett, then a lad, who with a few halfpence in his pocket, and Swift’s
_Tale of a Tub_ in his hand, had been so captivated by the wonders of
the royal gardens, that he applied there for employment. The king, on
perceiving the clownish boy, with his stockings tied about his legs by
scarlet garters, inquired about him, and specially desired that he might
be continued in his service.


During his residence at Nether Stoney, Coleridge officiated as Unitarian
preacher at Taunton, and afterwards at Shrewsbury. Mr. Hazlitt has
described his walking ten miles on a winter day to hear Coleridge
preach. “When I got there,” he says, “the organ was playing the 100th
psalm, and, when it was done, Mr. Coleridge rose and gave out his
text:--‘He departed again into a mountain himself alone.’ As he gave out
his text, his voice rose like a stream of rich distilled perfume; when
he came to the two last words, which he pronounced loud, deep, and
distinct, it seemed to me, who was then young, as if the sounds had
echoed from the bottom of the human heart, and as if that prayer might
have floated in solemn silence through the universe. The idea of St.
John came into my mind, of one crying in the wilderness, who had his
loins girt about, and whose food was locusts and wild honey. The
preacher then launched into his subject, like an eagle dallying with
the wind. The sermon was upon peace and war--upon Church and State; not
their alliance, but their separation; on the spirit of the world and the
spirit of Christianity; not as the same, but as opposed to one another.
He talked of those who had inscribed the cross of Christ on banners
dripping with human gore! He made a poetical and pastoral excursion;
and, to show the fatal effects of war, drew a striking contrast between
the simple shepherd-boy driving his team a-field, or sitting under the
hawthorn, piping to his flock, as though he should never be old, and the
same poor country-lad crimped, kidnapped, brought into town, made drunk
at an alehouse, turned into a wretched drummer-boy, with his hair
sticking on end with powder and pomatum, a long cue at his back, and
tricked out in the finery of the profession of blood.

    “ ‘Such were the notes our once-loved poet sung;’

and, for myself, I could not have been more delighted if I had heard the
music of the spheres.”


Fontenelle, who lived till within one month of a century, was very
rarely known to laugh or cry, and even boasted of his insensibility. One
day, a certain _bon-vivant_ Abbé came unexpectedly to dine with him. The
Abbé was fond of asparagus dressed with butter; Fontenelle, also, had a
great _goût_ for the vegetable, but preferred it dressed with oil.
Fontenelle said, that, for such a friend, there was no sacrifice he
would not make; and that he should have half the dish of asparagus
which he had ordered for himself, and that half, moreover, should be
dressed with butter. While they were conversing together, the poor Abbé
fell down in a fit of apoplexy; upon which Fontenelle instantly
scampered down stairs, and eagerly bawled out to his cook, “The whole
with oil! the whole with oil, as at first!”


The craft of authorship is by no means so easy of practice as is
generally imagined by the thousands who aspire to its practice. Almost
all our works, whether of knowledge or of fancy, have been the product
of much intellectual exertion and study; or, as it is better expressed
by the poet--

    “the well-ripened fruits of wise decay.”

Pope published nothing until it had been a year or two before him, and
even then his printer’s proofs were very full of alterations; and, on
one occasion, Dodsley, his publisher, thought it better to have the
whole recomposed than make the necessary corrections. Goldsmith
considered four lines a day good work, and was seven years in beating
out the pure gold of the _Deserted Village_. Hume wrote his _History of
England_ on a sofa, but he went quietly on correcting every edition till
his death. Robertson used to write out his sentences on small slips of
paper; and, after rounding them and polishing them to his satisfaction,
he entered them in a book, which, in its turn, underwent considerable
revision. Burke had all his principal works printed two or three times
at a private press before submitting them to his publisher. Akenside and
Gray were indefatigable correctors, labouring every line; and so was our
prolix and more imaginative poet, Thomson. On comparing the first and
latest editions of the _Seasons_, there will be found scarcely a page
which does not bear evidence of his taste and industry. Johnson thinks
the poems lost much of their raciness under this severe regimen, but
they were much improved in fancy and delicacy; the episode of Musidora,
“the solemnly ridiculous bathing scene,” as Campbell terms it, was
almost entirely rewritten. Johnson and Gibbon were the least laborious
in arranging their _copy_ for the press. Gibbon sent the first and only
MS. of his stupendous work (the _Decline and Fall_) to his printer; and
Johnson’s high-sounding sentences were written almost without an effort.
Both, however, lived and moved, as it were, in the world of letters,
thinking or caring of little else--one in the heart of busy London,
which he dearly loved, and the other in his silent retreat at Lausanne.
Dryden wrote hurriedly, to provide for the day; but his _Absalom and
Achitophel_, and the beautiful imagery of the _Hind and Panther_, must
have been fostered with parental care. St. Pierre copied his _Paul and
Virginia_ nine times, that he might render it the more perfect. Rousseau
was a very coxcomb in these matters: the amatory epistles, in his new
_Heloise_, he wrote on fine gilt-edged card-paper, and having folded,
addressed, and sealed them, he opened and read them in the solitary
woods of Clairens, with the mingled enthusiasm of an author and lover.
Sheridan watched long and anxiously for bright thoughts, as the MS. of
his _School for Scandal_, in its various stages, proves. Burns composed
in the open air, the sunnier the better; but he laboured hard, and with
almost unerring taste and judgment, in correcting.[9]

Lord Byron was a rapid composer, but made abundant use of the
pruning-knife. On returning one of his proof sheets from Italy, he
expressed himself undecided about a single word, for which he wished to
substitute another, and requested Mr. Murray to refer it to Mr. Gifford,
then editor of the _Quarterly Review_. Sir Walter Scott evinced his love
of literary labour by undertaking the revision of the whole of the
_Waverley_ Novels--a goodly freightage of some fifty or sixty volumes.
The works of Wordsworth, Southey, Coleridge, and Moore, and the
occasional variations in their different editions, mark their love of
the touching. Southey was, indeed, unwearied after his kind--a true
author of the old school. The bright thoughts of Campbell, which sparkle
like polished lances, were manufactured with almost equal care; he was
the Pope of our contemporary authors.[10] Allan Cunningham corrected but
little, yet his imitations of the elder lyrics are perfect centos of
Scottish feeling and poesy. The loving, laborious lingering of Tennyson
over his poems, and the frequent alterations--not in every case
improvements--that appear in successive editions of his works, are
familiar to all his admirers.


Joe Miller, (Mottley,) was such a favourite at court, that Caroline,
queen of George II., commanded a play to be performed for his benefit;
the queen disposed of a great many tickets at one of her drawing-rooms,
and most of them were paid for in gold.


Much has been said of the state of insanity to which the author of the
_Ode to the Passions_ was ultimately reduced; or rather, as Dr. Johnson
happily describes it, “a depression of mind which enchains the faculties
without destroying them, and leaves reason the knowledge of right,
without the power of pursuing it.” What Johnson has further said on this
melancholy subject, shows perhaps more nature and feeling than anything
he ever wrote; and yet it is remarkable that among the causes to which
the poet’s malady was ascribed, he never hints at the most exciting of
the whole. He tells us how Collins “loved fairies, genii, giants, and
monsters;” how he “delighted to roam through the meanders of
enchantment, to gaze on the magnificence of golden palaces, to repose by
the waterfalls of Elysian gardens.” But never does he seem to have
imagined how natural it was for a mind of such a temperament to give an
Eve to the Paradise of his Creation. Johnson, in truth, though, as he
tells us, he gained the confidence of Collins, was not just the man into
whose ear a lover would choose to pour his secrets. The fact was,
Collins was greatly attached to a young lady who did not return his
passion; and there seems to be little doubt, that to the consequent
disappointment, preying on his mind, was due much of that abandonment of
soul which marked the close of his career. The object of his passion was
born the day before him; and to this circumstance, in one of his
brighter moments, he made a most happy allusion. A friend remarking to
the luckless lover, that his was a hard case, Collins replied, “It is
so, indeed; for I came into the world _a day after the fair_.”


Mr. Speaker Abbott having spoken in slighting terms of some of Moore’s
poems, the poet wrote, in return, the following biting epigram:

    “They say he has no heart; but I deny it;
     He _has_ a heart--and gets his speeches by it.”


When Lord Byron was in Parliament, a petition setting forth, and calling
for redress for, the wretched state of the Irish peasantry, was one
evening presented to the House of Lords, and very coldly received. “Ah!”
said Lord Byron, “what a misfortune it was for the Irish that they were
not born black! they would then have had plenty of friends in both
Houses”--referring to the great interest at the time being taken by some
philanthropic members in the condition and future of the negroes in our
West Indian colonies.


At a club of which Jerrold was a member, a fierce Jacobite, and a
friend, as fierce, of the Orange cause, were arguing noisily, and
disturbing less excitable conversationalists. At length the Jacobite, a
brawny Scot, brought his fist down heavily upon the table, and roared at
his adversary, “I tell you what it is, sir, I spit upon your King
William!” The friend of the Prince of Orange rose, and roared back to
the Jacobite, “And I, sir, spit upon your James the Second!” Jerrold,
who had been listening to the uproar in silence, hereupon rang the bell,
and shouted “Waiter, spittoons for two!”

At an evening party, Jerrold was looking at the dancers, when, seeing a
very tall gentleman waltzing with a remarkably short lady, he said to a
friend at hand, “Humph! there’s the mile dancing with the milestone!”

An old lady was in the habit of talking to Jerrold in a gloomy,
depressing manner, presenting to him only the sad side of life. “Hang
it,” said Jerrold, one day, after a long and sombre interview, “she
would not allow that there was a bright side to the moon.”

Jerrold said to an ardent young gentleman, who burned with desire to see
himself in print: “Be advised by me, young man: don’t take down the
shutters before there is something in the windows.”

While Jerrold was discussing one day, with Mr. Selby, the vexed question
of adapting dramatic pieces from the French, that gentleman insisted
upon claiming some of his characters as strictly original creations. “Do
you remember my Baroness in _Ask No Questions_?” said Mr. Selby. “Yes,
indeed; I don’t think I ever saw a piece of yours without being struck
by your _barrenness_,” was the retort.--_Mark Lemon’s Jest-book._


John Dennis, the dramatist, had a most extravagant and enthusiastic
opinion of his tragedy of _Liberty Asserted_. He imagined that there
were in it some strokes on the French nation so severe, that they would
never be forgiven; and that, in consequence, Louis XIV. would never make
peace with England unless the author was given up as a sacrifice to the
national resentment. Accordingly, when the congress for the negotiation
of the Peace of Utrecht was in contemplation, the terrified Dennis
waited on the Duke of Marlborough, who had formerly been his patron, to
entreat the intercession of his Grace with the plenipotentiaries, that
they should not consent to his surrender to France being made one of the
conditions of the treaty. The Duke gravely told the dramatist that he
was sorry to be unable to do this service, as he had no influence with
the Ministry of the day; but, he added, that he thought Dennis’ case not
quite desperate, for, said his Grace, “I have taken no care to get
myself excepted in the articles of peace, and yet I cannot help thinking
that I have done the French almost as much damage as Mr. Dennis
himself.” At another time, when Dennis was visiting at a gentleman’s
house on the Sussex coast, and was walking on the beach, he saw a
vessel, as he imagined, sailing towards him. The self-important timidity
of Dennis saw in this incident a reason for the greatest alarm for
himself, and distrust of his friend. Supposing he was betrayed, he made
the best of his way to London, without even taking leave of his host,
whom he believed to have lent himself to a plot for delivering him up as
a captive to a French vessel sent on purpose to carry him off.


Lully, the composer, being once thought mortally ill, his friends called
a confessor, who, finding the patient’s state critical, and his mind
very ill at ease, told him that he could obtain absolution only one
way--by burning all that he had by him of a yet unpublished opera. The
remonstrance of his friends was in vain; Lully burnt the music, and the
confessor departed well pleased. The composer, however, recovered, and
told one of his visitors, a nobleman who was his patron, of the
sacrifice he had made to the demands of the confessor. “And so,” cried
the nobleman, “you have burnt your opera, and are really such a
blockhead as to believe in the absurdities of a monk!” “Stop, my friend,
stop,” returned Lully; “let me whisper in your ear: I knew very well
what I was about--_I have another copy_.”


The learned Sale, who first gave to the world a genuine version of the
Koran, pursued his studies through a life of wants. This great
Orientalist, when he quitted his books to go abroad, too often wanted a
change of linen; and he frequently wandered the streets, in search of
some compassionate friend, who might supply him with the meal of the


Sir Richard Lovelace, who in 1649 published the elegant collection of
amorous and other poems entitled _Lucasta_, was an amiable and
accomplished gentleman: by the men of his time (the time of the civil
wars) respected for his moral worth and literary ability; by the fair
sex, almost idolized for the elegance of his person and the sweetness of
his manners. An ardent loyalist, the people of Kent appointed him to
present to the House of Commons their petition for the restoration of
Charles and the settlement of the government. The petition gave offence,
and the bearer was committed to the Gate House, at Westminster, where he
wrote his graceful little song, “Loyalty Confined,” opening thus:

    “When love, with unconfined wings,
       Hovers within my gates,
     And my divine Althea brings
       To whisper at my grates;
     When I lie tangled in her hair,
       And fettered in her eye;
     The birds that wanton in the air
       Know no such liberty.”

But “dinnerless the polished Lovelace died.” He obtained his liberation,
after a few months’ confinement. By that time, however, he had consumed
all his estates, partly by furnishing the king with men and money, and
partly by giving assistance to men of talent of whatever kind, whom he
found in difficulties. Very soon, he became himself involved in the
greatest distress, and fell into a deep melancholy, which brought on a
consumption, and made him as poor in person as in purse, till he even
became the object of common charity. The man who in his days of
gallantry wore cloth of gold, was now naked, or only half covered with
filthy rags; he who had thrown splendour on palaces, now shrank into
obscure and dirty alleys; he who had associated with princes, banqueted
on dainties, been the patron of the indigent, the admiration of the wise
and brave, the darling of the chaste and fair--was now fain to herd with
beggars, gladly to partake of their coarse offals, and thankfully to
receive their twice-given alms--

    “To hovel him with swine and rogues forlorn,
      In short and musty straw.”

Worn out with misery, he at length expired, in 1658, in a mean and
wretched lodging in Gunpowder Alley, near Shoe Lane, and was buried at
the west end of St. Bride’s church, Fleet Street. Such is the account of
Lovelace’s closing days given by Wood in his _Athenæ_, and confirmed by
Aubrey in his _Lives of Eminent Men_; but a recent editor and biographer
(the son of Hazlitt) pronounces, though he does not prove, the account
much exaggerated.


The Empress Catherine of Russia having sent, as a present to Voltaire,
a small ivory box made by her own hands, the poet induced his niece to
instruct him in the art of knitting stockings; and he had actually half
finished a pair, of white silk, when he became completely tired.
Unfinished as the stockings were, however, he sent them to her Majesty,
accompanied by a charmingly gallant poetical epistle, in which he told
her that, “As she had presented him with a piece of man’s workmanship
made by a woman, he had thought it his duty to crave her acceptance, in
return, of a piece of woman’s work from the hands of a man.”--When
Constantia Phillips was in a state of distress, she took a small shop
near Westminster Hall, and sold books, some of which were of her own
writing. During this time, an apothecary who had attended her once when
she was ill, came to her and requested payment of his bill. She pleaded
her poverty; but he still continued to press her, and urged as a reason
for his urgency, that he had saved her life. “You have,” said
Constantia, “you have indeed done so: I acknowledge it; and, in return,
here is my life”--handing him at the same time the two volumes of her
“Memoirs,” and begging that he would now take _her life_ in discharge of
his demand.


Chatterton, the marvellous boy, wrote a political essay for the _North
Briton_, Wilkes’s journal; but, though accepted, the essay was not
printed, in consequence of the death of the Lord Mayor, Chatterton’s
patron. The youthful patriot thus calculated the results of the
suppression of his essay, which had begun by a splendid flourish about
“a spirited people freeing themselves from insupportable slavery:”

  “Lost, by the Lord Mayor’s death, in this essay, £1 11  6

      Gained in elegies,              £2  2  0
        Do.  in essays,                3  3  0
                                      --------      5  5  0
      Am glad he is dead by                        £3 13  6”


Locke, the brilliant author of the _Essay on the Human Understanding_,
was once introduced by Lord Shaftesbury to the Duke of Buckingham and
Lord Halifax. But the three noblemen, instead of entering into
conversation on literary subjects with the philosopher, very soon sat
down to cards. Locke looked on for a short time, and then drew out his
pocket-book and began to write in it with much attention. One of the
players, after a time, observed this, and asked what he was writing. “My
Lord,” answered Locke, “I am endeavouring, as far as possible, to profit
by my present situation; for, having waited with impatience for the
honour of being in company with the greatest geniuses of the age, I
thought I could do nothing better than to write down your conversation;
and, indeed, I have set down the substance of what you have said for the
last hour or two.” The three noblemen, fully sensible of the force of
the rebuke, immediately left the cards and entered into a conversation
more rational and more befitting their reputation as men of genius.


When the immortal composer Haydn was on his visit to England, in 1794,
his chamber-door was opened one morning by the captain of an East
Indiaman, who said, “You are Mr. Haydn?” “Yes.” “Can you make me a
‘March,’ to enliven my crew? You shall have thirty guineas; but I must
have it to-day, as to-morrow I sail for Calcutta.” Haydn agreed, the
sailor quitted him, the composer opened his piano, and in a few minutes
the march was written. He appears, however, to have had a delicacy rare
among the musical birds of passage and of prey who come to feed on the
unwieldy wealth of England. Conceiving that the receipt of a sum so
large as thirty guineas for a labour so slight, would be a species of
plunder, he came home early in the evening, and composed other two
marches, in order to allow the liberal sea captain his choice, or make
him take all the three. Early next morning, the purchaser came back.
“Where is my march?” “Here it is.” “Try it on the piano.” Haydn played
it over. The captain counted down the thirty guineas on the piano, took
up the march, and went down stairs. Haydn ran after him, calling, “I
have made other two marches, both better; come up and hear them, and
take your choice.” “I am content with the one I have,” returned the
captain, without stopping. “I will make you a present of them,” cried
the composer. The captain only ran down the more rapidly, and left Haydn
on the stairs. Haydn, opposing obstinacy to obstinacy, determined to
overcome this odd self-denial. He went at once to the Exchange, found
out the name of the ship, made his marches into a roll, and sent them,
with a polite note, to the captain on board. He was surprised at
receiving, not long after, his envelope unopened, from the captain, who
had guessed it to be Haydn’s; and the composer tore the whole packet
into pieces upon the spot. The narrator of this incident adds the
remark, that “though the anecdote is of no great elevation, it expresses
peculiarity of character; and certainly neither the composer nor the
captain could have been easily classed among the common or the vulgar of


During his stay in England, Haydn was honoured by the diploma of Doctor
of Music from the University of Oxford--a distinction not obtained even
by Handel, and it is said, only conferred on four persons during the
four centuries preceding. It is customary to send some specimen of
composition in return for a degree; and Haydn, with the facility of
perfect skill, sent back a page of music so curiously contrived, that in
whatever way it was read--from the top to the bottom or the sides--it
exhibited a perfect melody and accompaniment.


It was Swift that first suggested to Gay the idea of the _Beggar’s
Opera_, by remarking, what an odd, pretty sort of a thing a Newgate
pastoral might make! “Gay,” says Pope, “was inclined to try at such a
thing for some time; but afterwards thought it would be better to write
a comedy on the same plan. This was what gave rise to the _Beggar’s
Opera_. He began on it; and when he first mentioned it to Swift, the
doctor did not much like the project. As he carried it on, he showed
what he wrote to both of us; and we now and then gave a correction, or a
word or two of advice, but it was wholly of his own writing. When it was
done, neither of us thought it would succeed. We showed it to Congreve,
who, after reading it over, said, ‘It would either take greatly, or be
damned confoundedly.’ We were all, at the first sight of it, in great
uncertainty of the event, till we were very much encouraged by hearing
the Duke of Argyle, who sat in the next box to us, say, ‘It will do--I
see it in the eyes of them.’ This was a good while before the first act
was over, and so gave us ease soon; for the Duke (besides his own good
taste) has as particular a knack as any one now living, in discovering
the taste of the public. He was quite right in this, as usual; the good
nature of the audience appeared stronger and stronger every act, and
ended in a clamour of applause.”


Sheridan made his appearance one day in a pair of new boots; these
attracting the notice of some of his friends: “Now guess,” said he, “how
I came by these boots?” Many probable guesses were then ventured, but in
vain. “No,” said Sheridan, “no, you have not hit it, nor ever will. I
bought them, and paid for them!” Sheridan was very desirous that his son
Tom should marry a young lady of large fortune, but knew that Miss
Callander had won his son’s heart. Sheridan, expatiating once on the
folly of his son, at length broke out: “Tom, if you marry Caroline
Callander, I’ll cut you off with a shilling!” Tom, looking maliciously
at his father, said, “Then, sir, you must borrow it.” In a large party
one evening, the conversation turned upon young men’s allowances at
college. Tom deplored the ill-judging parsimony of many parents in that
respect. “I am sure, Tom,” said his father, “you have no reason to
complain; I always allowed you £800 a-year.” “Yes, father, I confess you
allowed it; but then--it was never paid!”


In a journey which Mademoiselle Scudéry, the Sappho of the French, made
along with her no less celebrated brother, a curious incident befell
them at an inn at a great distance from Paris. Their conversation
happened one evening to turn upon a romance which they were then jointly
composing, to the hero of which they had given the name of Prince
Mazare. “What shall we do with Prince Mazare?” said Mademoiselle Scudéry
to her brother. “Is it not better that he should fall by poison, than by
the poignard?” “It is not time yet,” replied the brother, “for that
business; when it is necessary we can despatch him as we please; but at
present we have not quite done with him.” Two merchants in the next
chamber, overhearing this conversation, concluded that they had formed a
conspiracy for the murder of some prince whose real name they disguised
under that of Mazare. Full of this important discovery, they imparted
their suspicions to the host and hostess; and it was resolved to inform
the police of what had happened. The police officers, eager to show
their diligence and activity, put the travellers immediately under
arrest, and conducted them under a strong escort to Paris. It was not
without difficulty and expense that they there procured their
liberation, and leave for the future to hold an unlimited right and
power over all the princes and personages in the realms of romance.


Hawkesworth and Stillingfleet died of criticism; Tasso was driven mad by
it; Newton, the calm Newton, kept hold of life only by the sufferance of
a friend who withheld a criticism on his chronology, for no other reason
than his conviction that if it were published while he lived, it would
put an end to him; and every one knows the effect on the sensitive
nature of Keats, of the attacks on his _Endymion_. Tasso had a vast and
prolific imagination, accompanied with an excessively hypochondriacal
temperament. The composition of his great epic, the _Jerusalem
Delivered_, by giving scope to the boldest flights, and calling into
play the energies of his exalted and enthusiastic genius--whilst with
equal ardour it led him to entertain hopes of immediate and extensive
fame--laid most probably the foundation of his subsequent derangement.
His susceptibility and tenderness of feeling were great; and, when his
sublime work met with unexpected opposition, and was even treated with
contempt and derision, the fortitude of the poet was not proof against
the keen sense of disappointment. He twice attempted to please his
ignorant and malignant critics by recomposing his poem; and during the
hurry, the anguish, and the irritation attending these efforts, the
vigour of a great mind was entirely exhausted, and in two years after
the publication of the _Jerusalem_, the unhappy author became an object
of pity and terror. Newton, with all his philosophy, was so sensible to
critical remarks, that Whiston tells us he lost his favour, which he had
enjoyed for twenty years, by contradicting him in his old age; for “no
man was of a more fearful temper.”


Of Butler, the author of _Hudibras_--which Dr. Johnson terms “one of
those productions of which a nation may justly boast”--little further is
known than that his genius was not sufficient to rescue him from its
too frequent attendant, poverty; he lived in obscurity, and died in
want. Wycherley often represented to the Duke of Buckingham how well
Butler had deserved of the royal family by writing his inimitable
_Hudibras_, and that it was a disgrace to the Court that a person of his
loyalty and genius should remain in obscurity and suffer the wants which
he did. The Duke, thus pressed, promised to recommend Butler to his
Majesty; and Wycherley, in hopes to keep his Grace steady to his word,
prevailed on him to fix a day when he might introduce the modest and
unfortunate poet to his new patron. The place of meeting fixed upon was
the “Roebuck.” Butler and his friend attended punctually; the Duke
joined them, when, unluckily, the door of the room being open, his Grace
observed one of his acquaintances pass by with two ladies; on which he
immediately quitted his engagement, and from that time to the day of his
death poor Butler never derived the least benefit from his promise.


The celebrated club at the “Mermaid,” as has been well observed by
Gifford, “combined more talent and genius, perhaps, than ever met
together before or since.” The institution originated with Sir Walter
Raleigh; and here, for many years, Ben Jonson regularly repaired with
Shakspeare, Beaumont, Fletcher, Selden, Cotton, Carew, Martin, Donne,
and many others whose names, even at this distant period, call up a
mingled feeling of reverence and respect. Here, in the full flow and
confidence of friendship, the lively and interesting “wit-combats” took
place between Shakspeare and Jonson; and hither, in probable allusion to
some of them, Beaumont fondly lets his thoughts wander in his letter to
Johnson from the country:--

                  “What things have we seen
    Done at the Mermaid? heard words that have been
    So nimble, and so full of subtle flame,
    As if that every one from whom they came,
    Had meant to put his whole wit in a jest.”

For the expression, “wit-combats,” we must refer to Fuller, who in his
“Worthies,” describing the character of the Bard of Avon, says: “Many
were the wit-combats between Shakspeare and Ben Jonson. I behold them
like a Spanish great galleon, and an English man-of-war. Master Jonson,
like the former, was built far higher in learning, solid, but slow in
his performances; Shakspeare, like the latter, less in bulk but lighter
in sailing, could turn with all tides, tack about and take advantage of
all winds, by the quickness of his wit and invention.” With what delight
would after generations have hung over any well-authenticated instances
of these “wit-combats!” But, unfortunately, nothing on which we can
depend has descended to us.


Professor Porson, the great Græcist, when a boy at Eton, displayed the
most astonishing powers of memory. In going up to a lesson one day, he
was accosted by a boy in the same form: “Porson, what have you got
there?” “Horace.” “Let me look at it.” Porson handed the book to his
comrade; who, pretending to return it, dexterously substituted another
in its place, with which Porson proceeded. Being called on by the
master, he read and construed the tenth Ode of the first Book very
regularly. Observing that the class laughed, the master said, “Porson,
you seem to me to be reading on one side of the page, while I am looking
at the other; pray whose edition have you?” Porson hesitated. “Let me
see it,” rejoined the master; who, to his great surprise, found it to be
an English Ovid. Porson was ordered to go on; which he did, easily,
correctly, and promptly, to the end of the Ode. Much more remarkable
feats of memory than this, however, have been recorded of Porson’s


Wycherley being at Tunbridge for the benefit of his health, after his
return from the Continental trip the cost of which the king had
defrayed, was walking one day with his friend, Mr. Fairbeard, of Gray’s
Inn. Just as they came up to a bookseller’s shop, the Countess of
Drogheda, a young, rich, noble, and lovely widow, came to the
bookseller and inquired for the _Plain Dealer_--a well-known comedy of
Wycherley’s. “Madam,” said Mr. Fairbeard, “since you are for the _Plain
Dealer_, there he is for you”--pushing Wycherley towards her. “Yes,”
said Wycherley, “this lady can bear plain dealing; for she appears to me
to be so accomplished, that what would be compliment said to others,
would be plain dealing spoken to her.” “No, truly, sir,” said the
Countess; “I am not without my faults, any more than the rest of my sex;
and yet I love plain dealing, and am never more fond of it than when it
tells me of them.” “Then, Madam,” said Fairbeard, “You and the Plain
Dealer seem designed by Heaven for each other.” In short, Wycherley
walked with the Countess, waited upon her home, visited her daily while
she was at Tunbridge, and afterwards when she went to London; where, in
a little time, a marriage was concluded between them. The marriage was
not a happy one.


Boileau, the celebrated French comedian, usually passed the summer at
his villa of Auteuil, which is pleasantly situated at the entrance of
the Bois de Boulogne. Here he took delight in assembling under his roof
the most eminent geniuses of the age; especially Chapelle, Racine,
Molière, and La Fontaine. Racine the younger gives the following account
of a droll circumstance that occurred at supper at Auteuil with these
guests. “At this supper,” he says, “at which my father was not present,
the wise Boileau was no more master of himself than any of his guests.
After the wine had led them into the gravest strain of moralising, they
agreed that life was but a state of misery; that the greatest happiness
consisted in having been born, and the next greatest in an early death;
and they one and all formed the heroic resolution of throwing themselves
without loss of time into the river. It was not far off, and they
actually went thither. Molière, however, remarked that such a noble
action ought not to be buried in the obscurity of night, but was worthy
of being performed in the face of day. This observation produced a
pause; one looked at the other, and said, ‘He is right.’ ‘Gentlemen,’
said Chapelle, ‘we had better wait till morning to throw ourselves into
the river, and meantime return and finish our wine;’ ” but the
river was not revisited.


The author of the _Seasons_ and the _Castle of Indolence_, paid homage
in the latter admirable poem to the master-passion or habit of his own
easy nature. Thomson was so excessively lazy, that he is recorded to
have been seen standing at a peach-tree, with both his hands in his
pockets, eating the fruit as it grew. At another time, being found in
bed at a very late hour of the day, when he was asked why he did not get
up, his answer was, “Troth, man, I see nae motive for rising!”


Fraulein Dorothea Schlozer, a Hanoverian lady, was thought worthy of the
highest academical honours of Göttingen University, and, at the jubilee
of 1787, she had the degree of Doctor of Philosophy conferred upon her,
when only seventeen years of age. The daughter of the Professor of
Philosophy in that University, she from her earliest years discovered an
uncommon genius for learning. Before she was three years of age, she was
taught Low German, a language almost foreign to her own. Before she was
six, she had learned French and German, and then she began geometry; and
after receiving ten lessons, she was able to answer very difficult
questions. The English, Italian, Swedish, and Dutch languages were next
acquired, with singular rapidity; and before she was fourteen, she knew
Latin and Greek, and had become a good classical scholar. Besides her
knowledge of languages, she made herself acquainted with almost every
branch of polite literature, as well as many of the sciences,
particularly mathematics. She also attained great proficiency in
mineralogy; and, during a sojourn of six weeks in the Hartz Forest, she
visited the deepest mines, in the common habit of a labourer, and
examined the whole process of the work. Her surprising talents becoming
the general topic of conversation, she was proposed, by the great
Orientalist Michaelis, as a proper subject for academical honours. The
Philosophical Faculty, of which the Professor was Dean, was deemed the
fittest; and a day was fixed for her examination, in presence of all
the Professors. She was introduced by Michaelis himself, and
distinguished, as a lady, with the highest seat. Several questions were
first proposed to her in mathematics; all of which she answered to
satisfaction. After this, she gave a free translation of the
thirty-seventh Ode of the first Book of Horace, and explained it. She
was then examined in various branches of art and science, when she
displayed a thorough knowledge of the subjects. The examination lasted
two hours and a half; and at the end, the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
was unanimously conferred upon her, and she was crowned with a wreath of
laurel by Fraulein Michaelis, at the request of the Professors.


Pope was one evening at Button’s Coffee-house, where he and a set of
literati had got poring over a Latin manuscript, in which they had found
a passage that none of them could comprehend. A young officer, who heard
their conference, begged that he might be permitted to look at the
passage. “Oh,” said Pope, sarcastically, “by all means; pray let the
young gentleman look at it.” Upon which the officer took up the
manuscript, and, considering it awhile, said there only wanted a note of
interrogation to make the whole intelligible: which was really the case.
“And pray, Master,” says Pope with a sneer, “what is a _note of
interrogation_?”--“A note of interrogation,” replied the young fellow,
with a look of great contempt, “is a little _crooked thing_ that asks


“Dryden,” says Leigh Hunt, “is identified with the neighbourhood of
Covent Garden. He presided in the chair at Russell Street (Will’s
Coffee-house); his plays came out in the theatre at the other end of it;
he lived in Gerrard Street, which is not far off; and, alas for the
anti-climax! he was beaten by hired bravos in Rose Street, now called
Rose Alley. The outrage perpetrated upon the sacred shoulders of the
poet was the work of Lord Rochester, and originated in a mistake not
creditable to that would-be great man and dastardly debauchee.” Dryden,
it seems, obtained the reputation of being the author of the _Essay on
Satire_, in which Lord Rochester was severely dealt with, and which was,
in reality, written by Lord Mulgrave, afterwards the Duke of
Buckinghamshire. Rochester meditated on the innocent Dryden a base and
cowardly revenge, and thus coolly expressed his intent in one of his
letters: “You write me word that I am out of favour with a certain poet,
whom I have admired for the disproportion of him and his attributes. He
is a rarity which I cannot but be fond of, as one would be of a hog that
could fiddle, or a singing owl. If he falls on me at the blunt, which is
his very good weapon in wit, I will forgive him if you please, _and
leave the repartee to Black Will with a cudgel_.” “In pursuance of this
infamous resolution,” says Sir Walter Scott, “upon the night of the 18th
December 1679, Dryden was waylaid by hired ruffians, and severely
beaten, as he passed through Rose Street, Covent Garden, returning from
Will’s Coffee-house to his own house in Gerrard Street. A reward of
fifty pounds was in vain offered in the _London Gazette_ and other
newspapers, for the discovery of the perpetrators of this outrage. The
town was, however, at no loss to pitch upon Rochester as the employer of
the bravos; with whom the public suspicion joined the Duchess of
Portsmouth, equally concerned in the supposed affront thus revenged....
It will certainly be admitted that a man, surprised in the dark, and
beaten by ruffians, loses no honour by such a misfortune. But if Dryden
had received the same discipline from Rochester’s own hand, without
resenting it, his drubbing could not have been more frequently made a
matter of reproach to him; a sign, surely, of the penury of subjects for
satire in his life and character, since an accident, which might have
happened to the greatest hero that ever lived, was resorted to as an
imputation on his character.”


Samuel Rogers was requested by Lady Holland to ask Sir Philip Francis
whether he was the author of _Junius’ Letters_. The poet, meeting Sir
Philip, approached the ticklish subject thus: “Will you, Sir
Philip--will your kindness excuse my addressing to you a single
question?” “At your peril, Sir!” was the harsh and curt reply of the
knight. The intimidated bard retreated upon his friends, who eagerly
inquired of him the success of his application. “I do not know,” Rogers
said, “whether he is Junius; but, if he be, he is certainly Junius


Alfieri, the greatest poet modern Italy produced, delighted in
eccentricities, not always of the most amiable kind. One evening, at the
house of the Princess Carignan, he was leaning, in one of his silent
moods, against a sideboard decorated with a rich tea service of china,
when, by a sudden movement of his long loose tresses, he threw down one
of the cups. The lady of the mansion ventured to tell him, that he had
spoiled the set, and had better have broken them all. The words were no
sooner said, than Alfieri, without reply or change of countenance, swept
off the whole service upon the floor. His hair was fated to bring
another of his eccentricities into play. He went one night, alone, to
the theatre at Turin; and there, hanging carelessly with his head
backwards over the corner of the box, a lady in the next seat on the
other side of the partition, who had on other occasions made attempts to
attract his attention, broke out into violent and repeated encomiums on
his auburn locks, which were flowing down close to her hand. Alfieri,
however, spoke not a word, and continued his position till he left the
theatre. Next morning, the lady received a parcel, the contents of which
she found to be the tresses which she had so much admired, and which the
erratic poet had cut off close to his head. No billet accompanied the
gift; but it could not have been more clearly said, “If you like the
hair, here it is; but, for Heaven’s sake, leave _me_ alone!”


Smollett, perhaps one of the most popular authors by profession that
ever wrote, furnishes a sad instance of the insufficiency of even the
greatest literary favour, in the times in which he wrote, to procure
those temporal comforts on which the happiness of life so much depends.
“Had some of those,” he says, “who were pleased to call themselves my
friends, been at any pains to deserve the character, and told me
ingenuously what I had to expect in the capacity of an author, when
first I professed myself of that venerable fraternity, I should in all
probability have spared myself the incredible labour and chagrin I have
since undergone.” “Of praise and censure both,” he writes at another
time, “I am sick indeed, and wish to God that my circumstances would
allow me to consign my pen to oblivion.” When he had worn himself down
in the service of the public or the booksellers, there scarce was left
of all his slender remunerations, at the last stage of life, enough to
convey him to a cheap country and a restoring air on the Continent.
Gradually perishing in a foreign land, neglected by the public that
admired him, deriving no resources from the booksellers who were drawing
the large profits of his works, Smollett threw out his injured feelings
in the character of Bramble, in _Humphrey Clinker_: the warm generosity
of his temper, but not his genius, seeming to fleet away with his
breath. And when he died, and his widow, in a foreign land, was raising
a plain memorial over his ashes, her love and piety but made the little
less; and she perished in unbefriended solitude. “There are indeed,”
says D’Israeli, “grateful feelings in the public at large for a
favourite author; but the awful testimony of these feelings, by its
gradual process, must appear beyond the grave! They visit the column
consecrated by his name--and his features are most loved, most
venerated, in the bust!”


Douglas Jerrold and some friends were dining once at a tavern, and had a
private room; but after dinner the landlord, on the plea that the house
was partly under repair, requested permission that a stranger might take
a chop in the apartment, at a separate table. The company gave the
required permission; and the stranger, a man of commonplace aspect, was
brought in, ate his chop in silence, and then fell asleep--snoring so
loudly and discordantly that the conversation could with difficulty be
prosecuted. Some gentleman of the party made a noise; and the stranger,
starting out of his nap, called out to Jerrold, “I know you, Mr.
Jerrold, I know you; but you shall not make a butt of me!” “Then don’t
bring your hog’s head in here!” was the instant answer of the wit.


An Edinburgh acquaintance is related to have sent to Shenstone, in 1761,
as a small stimulus to their friendship, “a little provision of the best
Preston Pans snuff, both toasted and untoasted, in four bottles; with
one bottle of Highland Snishon, and four bottles Bonnels. Please to let
me know which sort is most agreeable to you, that I may send you a fresh
supply in good time.”


Waller wrote a fine panegyric on Cromwell, when he assumed the
Protectorship. Upon the restoration of Charles, Waller wrote another in
praise of him, and presented it to the King in person. After his Majesty
had read the poem, he told Waller that he wrote a better on Cromwell.
“Please your Majesty,” said Waller, like a true courtier, “we poets are
always more happy in fiction than in truth.”






                               PART II.

     _Compiler of “Anecdotes of Lawyers, Doctors and
     Parsons.”--“Inventions, Discoveries,” &c., &c.--“Standard Jest
     Book.”--“Railway Book of Fun.”--“Traveller’s New Book of
     Fun.”--“Modern Joe Miller.”--“Best Sayings of the Best
     Authors.”--“Rule of Life.”--“Maxims for Everyday Life,” and “Art of


Perhaps there is no notable department of human effort and interest--not
excepting literature itself--that furnishes such delightful and
plentiful materials for anecdote and illustration, as ART and ARTISTS.
As the studios of eminent painters or sculptors afford a favourite
lounge for men of taste and leisure; so, to those to whom such a
pleasure is denied, or as regards those sovereigns of the pencil and
chisel who are at rest from their labours, there is a peculiar
gratification in being placed, in fancy, in contact with the creators of
immortal things of beauty and of power. Artists, besides, have been and
are, in very many cases, also men of culture and wit, of refined taste
and powerful intellect--men remarkable quite apart from their
performances on canvas or in marble. Their works, moreover, possess what
we may almost term a personal history and vitality: they are each unique
and full of character, like human beings; and their voyagings and
vicissitudes are at times of even greater interest than those of their
authors--whose life, too, is but as a span in comparison with theirs.
This selection of facts and anecdotes relating to Art and Artists,
therefore, seems to require for its subject-matter no strenuous
recommendation to the favour of the reader; and it is put forth in the
confident hope that it may not be found lacking either in variety or in




In 1547, at the invitation of Charles V., Titian joined the imperial
court. The Emperor, then advanced in years, sat to him for the third
time. During the sitting, Titian happened to drop one of his pencils;
the Emperor took it up; and on the artist expressing how unworthy he was
of such an honour, Charles replied that _Titian was_ “_worthy of being
waited upon by Cæsar_.”--(See the Frontispiece.)--After the resignation
of Charles V., Titian found as great a patron in his son, Philip II.;
and when, in 1554, the painter complained to Philip of the irregularity
with which a pension of 400 crowns granted to him by the Emperor was
paid to him, the King wrote an order for the payment to the governor of
Milan, concluding with the following words:--“You know how I am
interested in this order, as it affects Titian; comply with it,
therefore, in such a manner as to give me no occasion to repeat it.”

The Duke of Ferrara was so attached to Titian, that he frequently
invited him to accompany him, in his barge, from Venice to Ferrara. At
the latter place, he became acquainted with Ariosto. But, to reckon up
the protectors and friends of Titian, would be to name nearly all the
persons of the age, to whom rank, talent, and exalted character


Benjamin West, the son of John West and Sarah Pearson, was born in
Springfield, in the state of Pennsylvania, October 10, 1733. His mother,
it seems, had gone to hear one Edward Peckover preach about the
sinfulness of the Old World and the spotlessness of the New: terrified
and overcome by the earnest eloquence of the enthusiast, she shrieked
aloud, was carried home, and, in the midst of agitation and terror, was
safely delivered of the future president of the Royal Academy. When the
preacher was told of this, he rejoiced, “Note that child,” said he, “for
he has come into the world in a remarkable way, and will assuredly prove
a wonderful man.” The child prospered, and when seven years’ old began
to fulfil the prediction of the preacher.

Little West was one day set to rock the cradle of his sister’s child,
and was so struck with the beauty of the slumbering babe, that he drew
its features in red and black ink. “I declare,” cried his astonished
sister, “he has made a likeness of little baby!” He was next noticed by
a party of wild Indians, who, pleased with the sketches which Benjamin
had made of birds and flowers, taught him how to prepare the red and
yellow colours with which they stained their weapons; to these, his
mother added indigo, and thus he obtained the three primary colours. It
is also related, that West’s artistic career was commenced through the
present of a box of colours, which was made to him, when about nine
years old, by a Pennsylvanian merchant, whose attention was attracted by
some of the boy’s pen-and-ink sketches.


Guido, when in embarrassment from his habit of gaming and extravagance,
is related by Malvasia, his well-informed biographer, to have sold his
time at a stipulated sum per hour, to certain dealers, one of whom
tasked the painter so rigidly, as to stand by him, with watch in hand,
while he worked. Thus were produced numbers of heads and half figures,
which, though executed with the facility of a master, had little else to
recommend them. Malvasia relates, that such works were sometimes begun
and finished in three hours, and even less time.


Shortly after Gainsborough’s death, Sir Joshua Reynolds, then President
of the Royal Academy, delivered a discourse to the students, of which
“the character of Gainsborough” was the subject. In this he alludes to
Gainsborough’s method of handling--his habit of _scratching_. “All these
odd scratches and marks,” he observes, “which, on a close examination,
are so observable in Gainsborough’s pictures, and which, even to
experienced painters, appear rather the effect of accident than
design--this chaos, this uncouth and shapeless appearance--by a kind of
magic, at a certain distance, assumes form, and all the parts seem to
drop into their proper places; so that we can hardly refuse
acknowledging the full effect of diligence, under the appearance of
chaste and hasty negligence.”


Giorgione is, in some of his portraits, still unsurpassed. Du Fresnoy
observes of him, that he dressed his figures wonderfully well; and it
may truly be said, that, but for him, Titian would never have attained
that perfection, which was the consequence of the rivalship and jealousy
which prevailed between them.


Backhuysen’s favourite subjects were wrecks and stormy seas, which he
frequently sketched from nature in an open boat, at the great peril of
himself and the boatmen. He made many constructive drawings of ships for
the Czar Peter the Great, who took lessons of the painter, and
frequently visited his painting-room. Among his other avocations,
Backhuysen also gave lessons in writing, in which he introduced a new
and approved method. He was a man of cheerful eccentricity. Within a few
days of his death, he ordered a number of bottles of choice wine, on
each of which he set his seal. A certain number of his friends were then
invited to his funeral, to each of whom he bequeathed a gold coin,
requesting them to spend it merrily, and to drink the wine with as much
cordiality as he had in consigning it to them.


George Morland, the famous painter of rustic and low life--a great but
dissolute genius--when he left the paternal roof, had for master an
Irishman in Drury-lane, who kept him constantly at his easel by never
leaving his elbow. His meals were brought him by the shop-boy; his
dinner consisting usually of sixpennyworth of beef from a cookshop, and
a pint of beer. If he asked for five shillings, his taskmaster would
growl, “D’ye think I’m made of money?” and give him half-a-crown.
Morland painted pictures for this man enough to fill a room for
admittance to which half-a-crown was charged. From this bondage he was
freed by an invitation to Margate, by a lady of fortune, to paint
portraits in the season; he stole away from his garret, and entered on
profitable labour. In winter he returned to London. He had so risen in
repute, that prints from his pictures had a marvellous sale. Soon, such
was the demand for anything from his hand, that, though often ill-paid,
he could earn from seventy to a hundred guineas a-week. But no man could
be more heedless of money; and he hardly ever knew what it was to be out
of want. He was constantly granting bills, and when they fell due, he
seldom had cash to meet them. To get a note of £20 renewed for a
fortnight, he has been known to give a picture that at once sold in his
presence for £10. His easel was always surrounded by associates of the
lowest cast--horse-dealers, jockeys, cobblers, &c. He had a wooden
barrier placed across his room, with a bar that lifted up, to allow the
passage of those with whom he had business, or who enjoyed his special
favour. He might have been said to be in an academy in the midst of
models. He would get one to stand for a hand, another for a head, an
attitude, or a figure, according as their countenance or character
suited him. Thus he painted some of his best pictures, while his low
companions were regaling on gin and red herrings around him.

Morland, indeed, neither in nor beyond the studio let slip an
opportunity which he could turn to professional advantage. Nature was
the grand source from which he drew all his images. He dreaded becoming
a mannerist. With other artists he never held any intercourse, nor had
he prints of any kind in his possession; and he often declared that he
would not step across the street to see the finest assemblage of
paintings that ever was exhibited. Once, indeed, he was induced to go to
see Lord Bute’s collection; but, having passed through one room, he
refused to see more, declaring that he did not wish to contemplate the
works of any other man, lest he should become an imitator.

At the death of his father, Morland was advised to claim the dormant
title of Baronet, which had been conferred on one of his lineal
ancestors by Charles II. Finding, however, that there was no emolument
attached to the title, he renounced the distinction; saying that “plain
George Morland could always sell his pictures, and there was more honour
in being a fine painter than a titled gentleman; that he would have
borne the vanity of a title had there been any income to accompany it;
but as matters stood, he would wear none of the fooleries of his
ancestors.” He died in 1804, while in confinement in consequence of


There are no examples in the history of painting, of such noble
disinterestedness as has ever been shown by the English Historical
Painters. Hogarth and others adorned the Foundling for nothing; Reynolds
and West offered to adorn St. Paul’s for nothing, and yet were refused!
Barry painted the Adelphi without remuneration; but, as Burke
beautifully says, “the temple of honour ought to be seated on an
eminence. If it be open through virtue, let it be remembered, too, that
virtue is never tried but by some difficulty and some
struggle.”--_Haydon’s Lectures._


One of the finest examples of preserving beauty, even in maturity, is
given in Niobe, the mother.

“In early life, at a rout, (says Haydon,) I admired and followed, during
the evening, a mother and her daughters, distinguished for their beauty.
The mother did not look old, and yet looked the mother. On scrutinizing
and comparing mother and daughters, I found there was a little double
chin in the mother, which marked her, without diminishing her beauty. I
went at once, on my return to my studio, to the Niobe mother, and found
_this very mark_ in the Niobe mother, which I had never observed before,
under her chin.”


When Sir Richard Phillips, in his _Morning’s Walk from London to Kew_,
visited the Church on Kew-green, he halted beside the tomb of
Gainsborough, and said to the sexton’s assistant, “Ah, friend, this is a
hallowed spot--here lies one of Britain’s favoured sons, whose genius
has assisted in exalting her among the nations of the earth.”--“Perhaps
it was so,” said the man; “but we know nothing about the people buried,
except to keep up their monuments, if the family pay; and, perhaps, Sir,
you belong to this family; if so, I’ll tell you how much is due.”--“Yes,
truly, friend,” said Sir Richard, “I am one of the great family, bound
to preserve the monument of Gainsborough; but if you take me for one of
his relatives, you are mistaken.”--“Perhaps, Sir, you may be of the
family, but were not included in the will; therefore, are not
obligated.” Sir Richard could not avoid looking with scorn at the
fellow; but, as the spot claimed better feelings, gave him a trifle, and
so got rid of him.


In a note-book of 1848, we read of Ruskin’s first work:--One of the most
extraordinary and delightful books of the day, is _Modern Painters_, by
a “Graduate of Oxford;” in which the author admits and vindicates his
direct opposition to the general opinion, in placing Turner and other
modern landscape painters above those of the seventeenth
century--Claude, Gaspar Poussin, Salvator Rosa, Canaletto, Hobbima, &c.

Yet, this remarkable book has been strangely treated by what is called
the literary world. The larger reviews have taken little or no notice of
it; and those periodicals which are considered to represent the
literature of the fine arts, and to watch over their progress and
interests, almost without an exception, have treated it with the most
marked injustice, and the most shameful derision. Yet, in spite of all
this neglect and maltreatment, the work has found its way into the minds
and hearts of men. This is better shown by the first volume having
reached a third edition, than by any of the most elaborate patronage
from the press.

A writer in the _North British Review_, waxing eloquently wroth at this
reception of a work of unquestionably high genius by the critics,
observed:--“The national treatment is in this case a good index to the
national mind and feeling; so that it is not to be wondered at, that
such productions as Charles Lamb’s Essays on the Genius of Hogarth, and
on the Barrenness of the Imaginative Faculty in the productions of
Modern Art--Hazlitt’s Works on Art--those of Sir Charles Bell and his
brother John,--should rarely occur, and be not much regarded, and little
understood, when they do, in a country where Hogarth was looked upon by
the majority as a caricaturist fully as coarse as clever,--where
Wilkie’s ‘Distraining for Rent’ could get no purchaser, because it was
an unpleasant subject,--where to this day Turner is better known as
being unintelligible and untrue, than as being more truthful, more
thoughtful, than any painter of inanimate nature, ancient or
modern,--where Maclise is accounted worthy to illustrate Shakspeare, and
embody Macbeth and Hamlet, as having a kindred genius,--and where it was
reserved to a few young, self-relying, unknown Scottish artists,
(students of the Royal Scottish Academy,) to purchase Etty’s three
pictures of Judith, the Combat, and the Lion-like Men of Moab, at a
price which, though perilous to themselves, was equally disgraceful to
the public who had disregarded them, and inadequate to the deserving of
their gifted producer.”


This exquisite picture was the gem of Sir Robert Peel’s fine collection.
Its transparency and brilliancy are unrivalled: it is all but life
itself. It was bought by Sir R. Peel for 3500 guineas.

The name of “Chapeau de Paille,” as applied to this picture, appears to
be a misnomer. The portrait is in what is strangely termed a Spanish
hat. Why it has become the fashion in this country to designate every
slouched hat with a feather a Spanish hat, it is hard to say; since at
the period that such hats were worn, (about the reign of Charles I. in
England,) they were not more peculiar to Spain than to other European
countries. Rubens himself wore a hat of this description; and it is
related that his mistress, having placed his hat upon her own head, he
borrowed from this circumstance the celebrated picture in question. With
respect to the misnomer, it has been conjectured that _Span’sh hut_
being somewhat similar in sound to _Span hut_, Flemish for straw hat,
first led to the incongruous title “_Chapeau de Paille_.” Now, _Span
hut_, the Flemish name of this work, does not mean a straw hat, but a
wide-brimmed hat; and further, whoever has had the good fortune to see
the picture, must be aware that the woman is there represented not in a
straw (_paille_) hat, but a black hat. The French title, “Chapeau de
Paille,” is, therefore, and we think with reason supposed to be but a
corruption of _Chapeau de_ Poil (nap, or beaver,) its real designation.


Opie was painting an old beau of fashion. Whenever he thought the
painter was touching the mouth, he screwed it up in a most ridiculous
manner. Opie, who was a blunt man, said very quietly, “Sir, if you want
the mouth left out, I will do it with pleasure.”


Never, relates Haydon, was anything more extraordinary than the modesty
and simplicity of Wilkie, at the period of his production of “The
Village Politicians.” Jackson told me he had the greatest difficulty to
persuade him to send this celebrated picture to the Exhibition; and I
remember his (Wilkie’s) bewildered astonishment at the prodigious
enthusiasm of the people at the Exhibition when it went, May, 1806. On
the Sunday after the private day and dinner, the _News_ said:--“A young
Scotchman, by name Wilkie, has a wonderful work.” I immediately sallied
forth, took up Jackson, and away we rushed to Wilkie. I found him in his
parlour, in Norton-street, at breakfast. “Wilkie,” said I, “your name is
in the paper.” “Is it, really?” said he, staring with delight. I then
read the puff, _ore rotundo_; and Jackson, I, and he, in an ecstacy,
joined hands, and danced round the table.


Sir Thomas Lawrence, when attending the funeral of Mr. Dawe, R.A., in
the vault of St. Paul’s Cathedral, was observed to look wistfully about
him, as if contemplating the place as that to which he himself would
some day be borne; and, when the service was concluded, it was remarked
that he stopped to look at the inscription upon the stone which covers
the body of his predecessor, West. Within three months from the date of
this incident, the vaults were re-opened to receive Lawrence’s remains.


“Oh, how I hate this expression!” said poor Haydon, in his famous
Lectures. “When Wellington said he would break the charm of Napoleon’s
invincibility, what was the reply? _It will never do!_ When Columbus
asserted there was another hemisphere, what was the reply? _It will
never do!_ And when Galileo offered to prove the earth went round the
sun, the Holy Inquisition said, _It shall never do!_ _It will never do_
has been always the favourite watch-cry of those, in all ages and
countries, who ever look on all schemes for the advancement of mankind
as indirect reflections on the narrowness of their own petty


George the Fourth (when Regent) proposed to connect Carlton House, in
Pall-Mall, with Marlborough House, and St. James’s Palace, by a gallery
of portraits of the sovereigns and other historic personages of England;
but, unfortunately Mr. Nash’s speculation of burying Carlton House and
Gardens, and overlaying St. James’s Park with terraces, prevailed; and
this magnificent design of an historical gallery was abandoned; although
the crown of England possesses materials for an historical collection
which would be infinitely superior to that of Versailles.


“Of all conceptions, as well as executions of portraits,” says Dr.
Dibdin, “that of Lord Heathfield, by Reynolds, is doubtless amongst the
very finest and most characteristic. The veteran has a key, gently
raised, in his right hand, which he is about to place in his left. It is
the key of the impregnable fortress of Gibraltar; and he seems to say,
‘Wrest it from me at your peril!’ Kneller, and even Vandyke, would have
converted this key into a truncheon. What a bluff spirit of unbending
intrepidity and integrity was the illustrious Elliott! His country knows
no braver warrior of his class than he!”


“What are these marbles remarkable for?” said a respectable gentleman at
the British Museum to one of the attendants, after looking attentively
round the Elgin Saloon. “Why, sir,” said the man, with propriety,
“because they are so like life.” “Like life!” repeated the gentleman,
with the greatest contempt; “why, what of that?” and walked away.


Mr. Howard, the well-known Secretary and Professor of Painting to the
Royal Academy, died October 5, 1847, in the seventy-eighth year of his
age. He was born in 1770; and was at Rome in 1794, when, in his
twenty-fourth year, he forwarded his first work, “The Death of Cain,” to
the Royal Academy Exhibition. In 1807, he painted “The Infant Bacchus
brought by Mercury to the Nymphs of Nysa;” and in the autumn of the same
year, he was elected a Royal Academician. Of his fellow academicians, in
1848, only two out of forty survived--Sir Martin Archer Shee, and Mr. J.
M. W. Turner. Others, however, elected after him, had died before
him--Callcott, and William Daniell, for instance; Wilkie, Dawe, Raeburn,
Hilton, Collins, Jackson, Chantrey, Constable, and Newton. His diploma
picture on his election was “The Four Angels, loosed from the River
Euphrates.” For fifty-three years, from 1794 to 1847, Mr. Howard never
missed sending to a Royal Academy Exhibition. It would be difficult,
perhaps, to find another example of such assiduity; yet, where his
pictures went--for he had few or no patrons, so called--it is hard to
say. Banks and Flaxman, the two great sculptors, took notice of Howard’s
early efforts, gave him friendly encouragement in all he did, and
suggested, it is said, new subjects for his pencil. Yet, his pictures
were very popular; they are classically cold; his place, therefore, in
the history of Art is not likely to be high or lasting.


In 1841, Messrs. Smith, the eminent printsellers, of Lisle-street, had
the good fortune to discover in the country a duplicate set of the
pictures of “The Marriage à-la-Mode,” by Hogarth; which appear to have
escaped the researches of all the writers on his works. They are
evidently the finished sketches, from which he afterwards painted the
pictures now in the National Gallery, which are more highly wrought. The
backgrounds of these pictures are very much subdued, which gives a
greater importance to the figures. They became the property of H. R.
Willett, Esq., of Merly House, Dorsetshire, who added them to his
already rich collection of Hogarth’s works.

These pictures of “The Marriage-à-la-Mode” are painted in an
exceedingly free and sketchy manner and are considered to have been most
probably painted at the same time as the four pictures of the Election,
now in the Soanean Museum, the execution of which they very much
resemble. There is a considerable number of variations between these and
the National Gallery pictures; and such differences throw much light
upon the painter’s technical execution, which is somewhat disputed.
“Although in some respects rather sketchily handled,” says a critic,
“they are not painted feebly; and if they cannot be called highly
finished, these productions are worthy to rank as cabinet pictures. To
be fairly understood, (to use Charles Lamb’s happy expression,)
‘Hogarth’s pictures must be _read_, as well as looked at.’ ”


The first great painter in encaustic, of whose works lengthened
descriptions have been handed down, was Polygnotus. He painted his
celebrated “Triumph of Miltiades and the Victors of Marathon,” by public
desire; and such was the admiration in which it was held, that the
Athenians offered to reward the artist with whatever he might desire.
Polygnotus nobly declined asking anything; upon which the Amphictionic
Council proclaimed that he should be maintained at the public expense
wherever he went. Such was the homage of a whole nation! What, then,
shall we say to the sentiments of the narrow-minded prelate, who
declared that a pin-maker was a more valuable member of society than


Brunelleschi was the discoverer of the mode of erecting cupolas, which
had been lost since the time of the Romans. Vasari relates a similar
anecdote of him to that recorded of Columbus; though this has
unquestionably the merit of being the first, since it occurred before
the birth of Columbus. Brunelleschi died in 1446; Columbus was born in

A council of the most learned men of the day, from various parts of the
world, was summoned to consult and show plans for the erection of a
cupola, like that of the Pantheon at Rome. Brunelleschi refused to show
his model, it being upon the most simple principles, but proposed that
the man who could make an egg stand upright on a marble base should be
the architect. The foreigners and artists agreeing to this, but failing
in their attempts, desired Brunelleschi to do it himself; upon which he
took the egg, and with a gentle tap broke the end, and placed it on the
slab. The learned men unanimously protested that any one else could do
the same; to which the architect replied, with a smile, that had they
seen his model, they could as easily have known how to build a cupola.

The work then devolved upon him, but a want of confidence existing among
the operatives and citizens, they pronounced the undertaking to be too
great for one man; and arranged that Lorenzo Ghiberti, an artist of
great repute at that time, should be co-architect with him.
Brunelleschi’s anger and mortification were so great on hearing this
decision, that he destroyed, in the space of half an hour, models and
designs that had cost him years of labour, and would have quitted
Florence but for the persuasions of Donatello. It is almost unnecessary
to add, that the cupola was completed with perfect success by
Brunelleschi; since St. Peter’s, at Rome, and our own St. Paul’s, were
formed upon the model of his dome at Florence.

By the way, some of the wise men of the day proposed that a centre
column should support the dome; others, that a huge mound of earth (with
quatrini scattered among it) should be raised in the form of a cupola,
the brick or stone wall built upon it. When finished, an order was to be
issued, allowing the people to possess themselves of what money they
might find in the rubbish; the mound would thus be easily removed, and
the cupola be left clear!


When Raphael enjoyed at Rome the reputation of being the mightiest
living master of the graphic art, the Bolognese preferred their
countryman, Francisco Francia, who had long dwelt among them, and was of
eminent talent. The two artists had never met, nor had one seen the
works of the other. But a friendly correspondence existed between them.
The desire of Francia to see some of the works of Raphael, of whom he
ever heard more and more in praise, was extreme; but advanced years
deterred him from encountering the fatigues and dangers of a journey to
Rome. A circumstance at last occurred that gave him, without this
trouble, the opportunity of seeing what he had so long desired. Raphael
having painted a picture of St. Cecilia, to be placed in a chapel at
Bologna, he wrote to Francia, requesting him to see it put up, and even
to correct any defects he might perceive in it. As soon as Francia took
the picture from its case, and put it in a proper light for viewing it,
he was struck with admiration and wonder, and felt painfully how much he
was Raphael’s inferior. The picture was indeed one of the finest that
ever came from Raphael’s pencil; but it was only so much the more a
source of grief to the unhappy Francia. He assisted, as desired, in
placing it in the situation for which it was intended; but never
afterwards had he a happy hour. In one moment he had seen all that he
had ever done, all that had been once so much admired, thrown quite into
the shade. He was too old to entertain any hope, by renewed efforts, of
coming up with the excellence of Raphael, or even approaching it. Struck
to the heart with grief and despair, he took to his bed, from which he
never rose again. He was insensible to all consolation, and in a few
days, the victim of a sublime melancholy, he died, in his sixty-eighth


“I think,” says the “Graduate of Oxford”--Ruskin--in his _Modern
Painters_, “the noblest sea that Turner has ever painted, and, if so,
the noblest certainly ever painted by man, is that of the Slave Ship,
the chief Academy picture of the Exhibition of 1840. It is a sunset on
the Atlantic, after prolonged storm; but the storm is partially lulled,
and the torn and streaming rain-clouds are moving in scarlet lines to
lose themselves in the hollow of the night. The whole surface of sea
included in the picture is divided into two ridges of enormous swell,
not high nor local, but a low broad heaving of the whole ocean, like the
lifting of its bosom by a deep-drawn breath after the torture of the
storm. Between these two ridges, the fire of the sunset falls along the
trough of the sea, dyeing it with an awful but glorious light,--the
intense and lurid splendour which burns like gold, and bathes like
blood. Along this fiery path and valley, the tossing waves by which the
swell of the sea is recklessly divided, lift themselves in dark,
indefinite, fantastic forms, each casting a faint and ghastly shadow
behind it along the illumined foam. They do not rise everywhere, but
three or four together, in wild groups, fitfully and furiously, as the
under strength of the swell compels or permits them; leaving between
them treacherous spaces of level and whirling water, now lighted with
green and lamp-like fire, now flashing back the gold of the declining
sun, now fearfully dyed from above with the indistinguishable images of
the burning clouds, which fall upon them in flakes of crimson and
scarlet, and give to the reckless waves the added motion of their own
fiery flying. Purple and blue, the lurid shadows of the hollow breakers,
are cast upon the mist of the night, which gathers cold and low,
advancing like the shadow of death upon the guilty ship as it labours
amidst the lightning of the sea, its thin masts written upon the sky in
lines of blood, girded with condemnation in that fearful hue which signs
the sky with horror, and mixes its flaming flood with the sunlight; and
cast far along the desolate heave of the sepulchral waves, incarnadines
the multitudinous sea.”


When Fuseli went with Haydon to the Elgin marbles, on recognising the
flatness of the belly of the Theseus, in consequence of the bowels
having naturally fallen in, he exclaimed, “By Gode, the Turks have
_sawed_ off his belly!” His eye was completely ruined.


During the residence of Haydn, the celebrated composer, in England, one
of the royal princes commissioned Sir Joshua Reynolds to paint his
portrait. Haydn went to the residence of the painter, and gave him a
sitting; but he soon grew tired. Sir Joshua, with his usual care for his
reputation, would not paint a man of so distinguished genius with a
stupid countenance, and in consequence he adjourned the sitting to
another day. The same weariness and want of expression occurring at the
next attempt, Sir Joshua went and communicated the circumstance to the
commissioning prince, who contrived the following stratagem. He sent to
the painter’s house a pretty German girl who was in the service of the
Queen. Haydn took his seat for the third time, and as soon as the
conversation began to flag, a curtain rose, and the fair German
addressed him in his native tongue, with a most elegant compliment.
Haydn, delighted, overwhelmed the enchantress with questions, his
countenance recovered its animation, and Sir Joshua rapidly and
successfully seized its traits.


At my entrance among these divine things, (says Haydon,) for the first
time with Wilkie, 1808, in Park-lane, the first thing I saw was the
wrist of the right hand and arm of one of the Fates, leaning on the
thigh; it is the Fate on the right side of the other, which, mutilated
and destroyed as it was, proved that the great sculptor had kept the
shape of the radius and ulna, as always seen in fine nature, male and

I felt at once, before I turned my eyes, that _there_ was the nature and
ideal beauty joined, which I had gone about the art longing for, but
never finding! I saw at once I was amongst productions such as I had
never before witnessed in the art; and that the great author merited the
enthusiasm of antiquity, of Socrates, of Plato, of Aristotle, of
Juvenal, of Cicero, of Valerius Maximus, and of Plutarch and Martial.

If such were my convictions on seeing this dilapidated but immortal
wrist, what do you think they were on turning round to the Theseus, the
horse’s head, and the fighting metope, the frieze, and the Jupiter’s

Oh, may I retain such sensations beyond the grave! I foresaw at once a
mighty revolution in the art of the world for ever! I saw that union of
nature and ideal perfected in high art, and before this period
pronounced by the ablest critics as _impossible_! I thanked God with all
my heart, with all my soul, and with all my being, that I was ready to
comprehend them from dissection. I bowed to the Immortal Spirit, which
still hovered near them. I predicted at once their vast effect on the
art of the world, and was smiled at for my boyish enthusiasm!

What I asserted in their future influence and enormous superiority,
Canova, eight years after, confirmed. On my introduction by Hamilton,
(author of _Egyptiaca_,) I asked Canova what he thought of them? and he
instantly replied, with a glistening Italian fire, “Ils renverseront le
systême des autres antiques.” Mr. Hamilton replied, “I have always said
so, but who believed me? and what was the result of the principles I
laid down? Why, many a squeeze of the hand to support me under my
infirmities, and many a smile in my face in mercy at my delusion. ‘You
are a _young_ man,’ was often said; ‘and your enthusiasm is _all very
proper_.’ ”

“After seeing them myself,” says Haydon, “I took Fuseli to see them;
and, being a man of quick sensibility, he was taken entirely by
surprise. Never shall I forget his uncompromising enthusiasm; he strode
about, thundering out--‘The Greeks were gods!--the Greeks were gods!’
When he got home he wanted to modify his enthusiasm; but I always
reminded him of his first impressions, and never let him escape.”


James Smith says:--“I don’t fancy Painters. General Phipps used to have
them much at his table. He once asked me if I liked to meet them. I
answered, ‘No; I know nothing in their way, and they know nothing out of
it.’ ”


These are to be found in works of all ages. Thus we have Verrio’s
Periwigged Spectators of Christ Healing the Sick; Abraham about to shoot
Isaac with a pistol; Rubens’ Queen-mother, Cardinals, and Mercury;
Velvet Brussels; Ethiopian King in a surplice, boots, and spurs; Belin’s
Virgin and Child listening to a Violin; the Marriage of Christ with St.
Catherine of Siena, with King David playing the Harp; Albert Durer’s
flounced-petticoated Angel driving Adam and Eve from Paradise; Cigoli’s
Simeon at the Circumcision, with “spectacles on nose;” the Virgin Mary
helping herself to a cup of coffee from a chased coffee-pot; N.
Poussin’s Rebecca at the Well, with Grecian architecture in the
back-ground; Paul Veronese’s Benedictine Father and Swiss Soldiers; the
_red_ Lobsters in the Sea listening to the Preaching of St. Anthony of
Padua; St. Jerome, with a clock by his side; and Poussin’s Deluge, with
boats. In our time, West, the President of the Royal Academy, has
represented Paris in a Roman instead of a Phrygian dress; and Wilkie has
painted Oysters in the Chelsea Pensioners Reading the Gazette of the
Battle of Waterloo--in June!


Not one in ten thousand, perhaps, Mr. John Bell says, can move his ears.
The celebrated Mr. Mery used, when lecturing, to amuse his pupils by
saying that in one thing he surely belonged to the long-eared tribe;
upon which he moved his ears very rapidly backwards and forwards. And
Albinus, the celebrated anatomist, had the same power, which is
performed by little muscles, not seen. Mr. Haydon tried it once in
painting, with great effect. In his picture of Macbeth, painted for Sir
George Beaumont, when the Thane was listening in horror before
committing the murder, the painter ventured to press the ears forward,
like an animal in fright, to give an idea of trying to catch the nearest
sound. It was very effective, and increased amazingly the terror of the
scene, without the spectators being aware of the reason.


This ingenious R.A. was a native of Guildford, and the eldest son of Mr.
John Russell, bookseller, of that town. In early youth he evinced a
strong predilection for drawing, and was placed under the tuition of Mr.
Francis Coates, an academician of great talent, after whose decease “he
enjoyed the reputation of being the first artist in crayon painting, in
which he particularly excelled in the delineation of female beauty.” In
1789, Russell was chosen a member of the Royal Academy; and soon after
appointed crayon-painter to the King, the Prince of Wales, and the Duke
of York. Notwithstanding this constant succession of professional
employment, he devoted considerable attention to astronomical pursuits;
and his _Selenographia_, or Model of the Moon, which occupied the whole
of his leisure from the year 1785 until 1797, affords a remarkable
instance of his ingenuity and perseverance. At the time of his decease
he had finished two other drawings, which completed his plan, and
exhibit an elaborate view of the moon in a full state of illumination.
Mr. Russell died at Hull in 1806.


On the birth of the son of a friend (afterwards a popular novelist), Sir
David Wilkie was requested to become one of the sponsors for the child.
Sir David, whose studies of human nature extended to everything but
infant human nature, had evidently been refreshing his boyish
recollections of kittens and puppies; for, after looking intently into
the child’s eyes, as it was held up for his inspection, he exclaimed to
the father, with serious astonishment and satisfaction, “He sees!”


When assured that the progress of his fatal malady (cancer) precluded
all hopes of life, Gainsborough desired to be buried in Kew churchyard,
and that his name only should be cut on his gravestone. He sent for Sir
Joshua Reynolds, and was reconciled to him: then exclaiming, “We are all
going to heaven, and Vandyke is of the company,” he immediately expired,
in the sixty-first year of his age. Sheridan and Sir Joshua followed him
to his grave.


It is curious to reflect, that mistaken views of religion have in all
times been the prime cause of the ruin of art. It was not Alaric or
Theodoric, but an edict from Honorius, that ordered the early Christians
to destroy such images, if any remained.

Flaxman says: “The commands for destroying sacred paintings and
sculpture prevented the artist from suffering his mind to rise to the
contemplation or execution of any sublime effort, as he dreaded a prison
or a stake, and reduced him to the lowest drudgery in his profession.
This extraordinary check to our national art occurred at a time which
offered the most essential and extraordinary assistance to its
progress.” Flaxman proceeds to remark, that “the civil wars completed
what fanaticism had begun; and English art was so completely
extinguished that foreign artists were always employed for public or
private undertakings.”

In the reign of Elizabeth it became a fashionable taste to sally forth
and knock pictures to pieces; and in the “State Trials” is a curious
trial of Henry Sherfield, Esq., Recorder of Salisbury, who concealed
himself in the church, and with a long pike knocked a window to pieces:
as he was doing this, he was watched through the door, and seen to slip
down, headlong, where he lay groaning for a long time, and a horse was
sent for to carry him home: he was fined 500_l._, and imprisoned in the
Fleet; and the Attorney-general for the Crown, 1632, said there were
people, he verily believed, who would have knocked off the cherubim from
the ark. By the witnesses examined, it was evidently a matter of
religious conscience in Sherfield, who complained that his pew was
opposite the window, and that the representation of God by a human
figure disturbed him at prayer.

Queen Elizabeth was the bitterest persecutor: she ordered all walls to
be whitewashed, and all candlesticks and pictures to be utterly
destroyed, so that no memorial remain of the same.

In Charles the First’s time, on the Journals of the House is found,
1645, July 23: “Ordered, that all pictures having the second person in
the Trinity shall be burnt.” Walpole relates, that one Blessie was hired
at half-a-crown a day to break the painted glass window at Croydon
Church. There is extant the journal of a parliamentary visitor,
appropriately enough named _Dowsing_, appointed for demolishing
superstitious pictures and ornaments of churches, &c.; and by
calculation, he and his agents are found to have destroyed about 4660
pictures, from June 9, 1643, to October 4, 1644, evidently not all
glass, because when they were glass he specifies them.

The result of this continued persecution, says Hayden, was the ruin of
“high art;” for the people had not taste enough to feel any sympathy for
it independently of religion, and every man who has pursued it since,
who had no private fortune, and was not supported by a pension like
West, became infallibly ruined.

Historical painters left without employment began to complain. In the
time of Edward VI. and Elizabeth we find them petitioning for bread!
They revived a little with Charles I. and II. Thornhill got employed in
the early part of the last century; then came the Society in St.
Martin’s Lane, 1760; and in 1768 was established the Royal Academy, _to
help high art_; but there being still no employment for it, the power in
art fell into the hands of portrait-painters, who too long continued to
wield it, with individual exceptions, to the further decay and
destruction of this eminent style.


Every one remembers the marvellous story of Sir James Thornhill stepping
back to see the effect of his work, while painting Greenwich Hospital;
and being prevented falling from the ceiling to the floor, by a person
intentionally defacing the picture, and causing the painter to rush
forward, and thus save himself. This _may have occurred_; but we rather
suspect the anecdote to be of legendary origin, and to come from no less
distance than the Tyrol; in short, to be a paraphrase of a catholic
miracle, unless the Tyrolese are quizzing the English story, which is
not very probable. At Innspruck, you are gravely told that when Daniel
Asam was painting the inside of the cupola of one of the churches, and
had just finished the hand of St. James, he stepped back on the scaffold
to ascertain the effect: there was no friend at hand gifted with the
happy thought of defacing the work, and thus saving the artist, as in
Sir James Thornhill’s case, and therefore Daniel Asam _fell backward_;
but, to the astonishment of the awe-struck beholders, who were looking
up from beneath, the hand and arm of the saint, which the artist had
just finished, were seen to _extend themselves_ from the fresco, and
grasping the fortunate Asam by the arm, accompany him in his descent of
200 feet, and bear him up _so gently_, that he reached the ground
without the slightest shock. What became of the “awe-struck beholders,”
and why the saint and painter did not fall on their heads, or why they
did not serve as an _easel_ in bringing the pair miraculously to the
ground, we are not told.

The Painted Hall at Greenwich, contains 53,678 square feet of Sir James
Thornhill’s work, and cost 6,685_l._, being at the rate of 8_l._ per
yard for the ceiling, and 1_l._ per yard for the sides. The whole is
admirably described in Steele’s play of _The Lovers_.


The pictures which now constitute the private gallery of her Majesty at
Buckingham Palace, were principally collected by George the Fourth,
whose exclusive predilection for pictures of the Dutch and Flemish
schools is well known. To those which he brought together here, and
which formerly hung in Carlton House, her present Majesty has made,
since her accession, many valuable additions--some purchased, and others
selected from the royal collections at Windsor and Hampton Court; others
have been added by Prince Albert, from the collection of the late
Professor d’Alton, of Bonn. * * * George IV. began to form his
collection about the year 1802, and was chiefly guided by the advice and
judgment of Sir Charles Long, afterwards Lord Farnborough, an
accomplished man, whose taste for art, and intimacy with the king, then
Prince of Wales, rendered him a very fit person to carry the royal
wishes into execution. The importation of the Orleans gallery had
diffused a feeling--or, it may be, a _fashion_--for the higher specimens
of the Italian schools, but under the auspices of George IV. the tide
set in an opposite direction. In the year 1812, the very select gallery
of Flemish and Dutch pictures collected by Sir Francis Baring was
transferred by purchase to the Prince Regent. Sir Francis Baring had
purchased the best pictures from the collections of M. Geldermeester of
Amsterdam, (sold in 1800,) and that of the Countess of Holderness, (sold
in 1802,) and, except the Hope Gallery, there was nothing at that time
to compare with it in England. Mr. Seguier valued this collection at
eighty thousand pounds; but the exact sum paid for it was certainly much

The specimens of Rubens and Van Dyck are excellent, but do not present
sufficient variety to afford an adequate idea of the wide range or power
of the first of these great painters, nor of the particular talent of
the last. On the other hand, the works and style of Gerard Douw,
Teniers, Jan Steen, Adrian and Wilhelm Vandevelde, Wouvermans, and
Burghem, may be very advantageously studied in this gallery, each of
their specimens being many in number, various in subject, and good in
their kind. Of Mieris and Metzes, there are finer specimens at Mr.
Hope’s and Sir Robert Peel’s; and the Hobbimas and Cuyps must yield to
those of Lord Ashburton and Lord Francis Egerton. But, on the whole, it
is certainly the finest gallery of this class of works in England. The
collection derives additional interest from the presence of some
pictures of the modern British artists--Reynolds, Wilkie, Allan, Newton,
Gainsborough. It is, however, only just to these painters to add, that
not one of their pictures here ought to be considered as a first-rate
example of their power.--_Mrs. Jameson._


To West must be given the record of achieving this honour; and what he
has thus done in restoring historical painting to the purity of its
original channel, can only be appreciated by those who have contemplated
the debauched taste introduced into this country by Verrio, Laguerre,
and other painters, who revived the ridiculous fooleries patronized in
the reign of James the First; but which had, by the countenance of the
nobility, and people of fashion, taken strong hold of most men’s minds.
“A change,” says Cunningham, “was now to be effected in the character of
British art: hitherto historical painting had appeared in a masquing
habit; the actions of Englishmen seemed all as having been performed, if
costume were to be believed, by Greeks or by Romans. West at once
dismissed this pedantry, and restored nature and propriety in his noble
work of ‘the Death of Wolfe.’ The multitude acknowledged its excellence
at once; the lovers of old art, the manufacturers of compositions,
called by courtesy classical, complained of the barbarism of boots and
buttons, and blunderbusses, and cried out for naked warriors, with bows,
bucklers, and battering rams. Lord Grosvenor, disregarding the frowns of
the amateurs, and the, at best, cold approbation of the Royal Academy,
purchased this work, which, in spite of laced coats and cocked hats, is
one of the best of our historical pictures. The Indian warrior watching
the dying hero to see if he equalled in fortitude the children of the
desert, is a fine stroke of nature and poetry.”

West, however, was plagued with misgivings as to his new doctrine; and
the dampers came forth in numbers with their unvarying, “It will never
do.” When it was understood that West actually intended to paint the
characters as they appeared on the scene, the Archbishop of York called
on Reynolds, and asked his opinion; they both called upon West to
dissuade him from running so great a risk. Reynolds warned him of the
danger which every innovation incurred of contempt and ridicule; and
concluded by urging him to adopt the costume of antiquity as more
becoming the greatness of the subject than the garb of modern warriors.
West replied that the event to be commemorated happened in the year
1758, in a region of the world unknown to Greeks and Romans, and at a
period when no warriors wearing such costumes existed. The subject to be
represented was a great battle, fought and won; and the same truth which
gives laws to the historian should rule the painter; that he wanted to
mark the place, the time, the people, and to do this he must abide by
the truth.

The objectors went away, and returned when West had finished the
picture. Reynolds seated himself before it, and examined it with deep
and minute attention for half an hour; then rising, said to Drummond,
“West has conquered--he has treated his subject as it ought to be
treated. I retract my objections: I foresee that this picture will not
only become one of the most popular, but will occasion a revolution in
art,” “I wish,” said king George the Third, to whom West related the
conversation, “that I had known all this before, for the objection has
been the means of Lord Grosvenor’s getting the picture; but you shall
make a copy of it for me.” This anecdote, though it operates against the
foresight of Reynolds, carries truth on the face of it.

The king not only gave West a pension of 1000_l._ a year, but when the
artist hinted that the noble purpose of historical painting was best
shown in depicting the excellencies of revealed religion, the monarch
threw open St. George’s Chapel to be decorated with sacred subjects; and
on his Majesty’s restoration to health, finding that the work had been
suppressed, and the money withheld, he instantly ordered him to be
paid, and the works proceeded with. The heads of the church, however,
acted otherwise; for when the Academy proposed to decorate St. Paul’s
with works of art, and Reynolds, West, Barry, Dance, Cipriani, and
Angelica Kauffman offered pictures free of expense, the Bishop of
Bristol, Dr. Newton, at that time Dean of St. Paul’s, warmly took up the
idea; but the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of London refused
their consent. The Bishop of London said: “My good Lord Bishop of
Bristol, I have already been distantly and imperfectly informed of such
an affair having been in contemplation; but as the sole power at last
remains with myself, I therefore inform your lordship that whilst I live
and have the power, I will never suffer the doors of the metropolitan
church to be opened for the introduction of popery into it.”

Notwithstanding this heavy blow to the cause of art, the example of the
king was the cause of many altarpieces being painted by West and others;
one of the best of which is the very appropriate one in the chapel of
Greenwich Hospital.[11]


Gottfried Mind, a celebrated Swiss painter, was called the _Cat
Raphael_, from the excellence with which he painted that animal. This
peculiar talent was discovered and awakened by chance. At the time when
Frendenberger painted his picture of the Peasant cleaving wood before
his Cottage, with his wife sitting by and feeding her child with pap out
of a pot, round which a cat is prowling, Mind cast a broad stare on the
sketch of this last figure, and said, in his rugged, laconic way, “That
is no cat!” Frendenberger asked, with a smile, whether he thought he
could do it better? Mind offered to try; went into a corner, and drew
the cat, which Frendenberger liked so much that he made his new pupil
finish it out, and the master copied the scholar’s work--for it is
Mind’s cat that is engraved in Frendenberger’s plate. Prints of Mind’s
cats are now very common.


Fuseli had a great dislike to common-place observations. After sitting
perfectly silent for a long time in his own room, during “the bald
disjointed chat” of some idle callers in, who were gabbling with one
another about the weather, and other topics of as interesting a nature,
he suddenly exclaimed, “We had pork for dinner to-day!” “Dear! Mr.
Fuseli, what an odd remark!” “Why, it is as good as anything you have
been saying for the last hour.”


Barry, the painter, was with Nollekens at Rome in 1760, and they were
extremely intimate. Barry took the liberty one night, when they were
about to leave the English Coffee-house, to exchange hats with him;
Barry’s being edged with lace, and Nollekens’s a very shabby, plain one.
Upon his returning the hat next morning, he was requested by Nollekens
to let him know why he left him his gold-laced hat. “Why, to tell you
the truth, my dear Joey,” answered Barry, “I fully expected
assassination last night, and I was to have been known by my laced hat.”
Nollekens often used to relate the story, adding: “It’s what the Old
Bailey people would call a true bill against Jem.”


When Lawrence was but ten years old, his name had flown over the
kingdom; he had read scenes from Shakspeare in a way that called forth
the praise of Garrick, and drawn faces and figures with such skill as to
obtain the approbation of Prince Hoare; his father, desirous of making
the most of his talents, carried him to Oxford, where he was patronized
by heads of colleges, and noblemen of taste, and produced a number of
portraits, wonderful in one so young and uninstructed. Money now came
in; he went to Bath, hired a house--raised his price from one guinea to
two; his Mrs. Siddons, as Zara, was engraved--Sir Henry Harpur desired
to adopt him as his son--Prince Hoare saw something so angelic in his
face, that he proposed to paint him in the character of Christ, and the
artists of London heard with wonder of a boy who was rivalling their
best efforts with the pencil, and realizing, as was imagined, a fortune.

The Hon. Daines Barrington has the following record of Lawrence’s
precocious talent in his _Miscellanies_: “This boy is now, (viz.
February, 1780,) nearly ten years and a half old; but, at the age of
nine, without the most distant instruction from any one, he was capable
of copying historical pictures in a masterly style, and also succeeded
amazingly in compositions of his own, particularly that of _Peter
denying Christ_. In about seven minutes he scarcely ever failed of
drawing a strong likeness of any person present, which had generally
much freedom and grace, if the subject permitted.”


This celebrated picture, (known also as “The Kemble Family,” from its
introducing their portraits,) was the last and most esteemed work of J.
H. Harlow, whom Sir Thomas Lawrence generously characterizes as “the
most promising of all our painters.” The painting was commenced and
finished in 1817; immediately after its exhibition at the Royal Academy,
it was finely copied in mezzotint, by G. Clint; and the print in its
time probably enjoyed more popularity than any production of its class.
A proof impression has been known to realize upwards of twenty guineas.

The picture is on mahogany panel, stated to have cost the artist 15_l._;
it is one and a half inch in thickness, and in size about seven feet by
five feet. It originated with Mr. T. Welsh, the professor of music, who,
in the first instance, commissioned Harlow to paint for him a kit-cat
size portrait of Mrs. Siddons, in the character of Queen Katherine, in
Shakspeare’s play of Henry VIII., introducing a few scenic accessories
in the distance. For this portrait Harlow was to receive twenty-five
guineas; but the idea of representing the whole scene occurred to the
artist, who, with Mr. Welsh, prevailed upon most of the actors to sit
for their portraits; in addition to these are portraits of the friends
of both parties, including the artist himself. The sum ultimately paid
by Mr. Welsh for the picture was one hundred guineas; and a like amount
was paid by Mr. Cribb for Harlow’s permission to engrave the well-known
print, to which we have already adverted.

Harlow owed many obligations to Fuseli for his critical remarks on this
picture: when he first saw it, chiefly in dead-colouring, he said: “I do
not disapprove of the general arrangement of your work, and I see you
will give it a powerful effect of light and shadow; but you have here a
composition of more than twenty figures, or, I should rather say, parts
of figures, because you have not shown one leg or foot, which makes it
very defective. Now, if you do not know how to draw legs and feet, I
will show you,” and taking up a crayon, he drew two on the wainscot of
the room. Harlow profited by these instructions, and the next time
Fuseli saw the picture, the whole arrangement in the foreground was
changed. He then said to Harlow, “So far you have done well; but now you
have not introduced a back figure, to throw the eye of the spectator
into the picture;” and then pointed out by what means he might improve
it in this particular. Accordingly, Harlow introduced the two boys who
are taking up the cushion.

It has been stated that the majority of the actors in the scene sat for
their portraits in this picture. John Kemble, however, refused when
asked to do so by Mr. Welsh, strengthening his refusal with emphasis
profane. Harlow was not, however, to be defeated; and he actually drew
Kemble’s portrait in one of the stage-boxes of Covent Garden Theatre,
while the great actor was playing his part. The vexation such a _ruse_
must have occasioned to a man of Kemble’s temperament may be imagined.
Egerton, Pope, and Stephen Kemble were successively painted for Henry
VIII., the artist retaining the latter. The head or Charles Kemble was
likewise twice painted; the first, which cost him many sittings, was
considered by himself and others to be very successful. The artist
thought otherwise; and, contrary to Mr. Kemble’s wish and remonstrance,
he one morning painted out the approved head: in a day or two, however,
entirely from memory, Harlow repainted the portrait with increased
fidelity. It is stated that but one sitting was required of Mrs.
Siddons: the fact is, the great actress held her uplifted arm frequently
till she could hold it raised no longer, and the majestic limb was
finished from another original.


Towards the close of Correggio’s days, it is said that the canons of one
of the churches which he was employed to embellish, were so disappointed
with the work, that, to insult him, they paid him the price in copper;
that he had this unworthy burthen to carry eight miles in a burning
sun; the length of the way, the weight of the load, and depression of
spirits, brought on a fever which carried him in three days to his

Among the many legends respecting this illustrious artist, it is said
that, when young, he looked long and earnestly on one of the pictures of
Raphael--his brow coloured, his eye brightened, and he exclaimed, “I
also am a painter.” Titian, when he first saw his works, exclaimed,
“Were I not Titian, I would wish to be Correggio.”


In the spring of 1837, Mr. Atherstone bought for a few guineas a
Magdalen, by Correggio, at the Auction Mart, where he saw it among a
heap of spoiled canvass, that an amateur (no connoisseur) of pictures
had sent to be sold. This gentleman had bought it in Italy for 100_l._,
admiring its beauty, but ignorant of its value. It was in perfect
preservation; in the grandest style of Correggio: and in colouring
surpassing in brilliancy and depth of tone even the famous specimens in
the National Gallery.


Washington, on seeing this picture, remarked, “this work, highly
valuable in itself, is rendered more estimable in my eye when I remember
that America gave birth to the celebrated artist that produced it.” The
picture is ten feet long, and seven feet six inches high. The painter
refused fifteen hundred guineas for it; it was purchased, we know not
at what price, by the Earl of Liverpool, who used to say that such a
work ought not to be in his possession, but in that of the public. These
words were not heard in vain by the son of the Earl, who munificently
presented it to the National Gallery.


Allan Cunningham warms into rapture in speaking of this wondrous
picture, captured by Wellington at Vittoria. “The size is small, some
fifteen inches square, or so; but true genius can work miracles in
little compass. The central light of the picture is altogether heavenly;
we never saw anything so insufferably brilliant; it haunted us round the
room at Apsley House, and fairly extinguished the light of its
companion-pictures. Joseph Bonaparte, not only a good king, but a good
judge of painting, had this exquisite picture in his carriage when the
tide of battle turned against him: it was transferred to the collection
of the conqueror.”


One day, when Giotto, the painter, was taking his Sunday walk, in his
best attire, with a party of friends, at Florence, and was in the midst
of a long story, some pigs passed suddenly by; and one of them, running
between the painter’s legs, threw him down. When he got on his legs
again, instead of swearing a terrible oath at the pig, on the
Lord’s-day, as a graver man might have done, he observed, laughing,
“People say these beasts are stupid, but they seem to me to have some
sense of justice; for I have earned several thousands of crowns with
their bristles, but I never gave one of them even a ladleful of soup in
my life.”


Sir John Sinclair, happening once to dine in company with Wilkie, asked,
in the course of conversation, if any particular circumstance had led
him to adopt his profession. Sir John inquired, “Had your father,
mother, or any of your relations a turn for painting? or what led you to
follow that art?” To which Wilkie replied, “The truth is, Sir John, that
you made me a painter.”--“How, I?” exclaimed the Baronet; “I never had
the pleasure of meeting you before.” Wilkie then gave the following
explanation:--“When you were drawing up the Statistical Account of
Scotland, my father, who was a clergyman in Fife, had much
correspondence with you respecting his parish, in the course of which
you sent him a coloured drawing of a soldier, in the uniform of your
Highland Fencible Regiment. I was so delighted with the sight, that I
was constantly drawing copies of it; and thus, insensibly, I was
transformed into a painter.”


In the year 1300, Giovani Cimabue and Giotto, both of Florence, were the
first to assert the natural dignity and originality of art; and the
story of these illustrious friends is instructive and romantic. The
former was a gentleman by birth and scholarship, and brought to his art
a knowledge of the poetry and sculpture of Greece and Rome. The latter
was _a shepherd_; when the inspiration of art fell upon him, he was
watching his flocks among the hills; and his first attempts in art were
to draw his sheep and goats upon rocks and stones. It happened that
Cimabue, who was then high in fame, observed the sketches of the gifted
shepherd; entered into conversation with him; heard from his own lips
his natural notions of the dignity of art; and was so much charmed by
his compositions and conversation, that he carried him to Florence, and
became his close and intimate friend and associate. They found Italian
painting rude in form, without spirit, and without sentiment. They let
out their own hearts fully in their compositions, and to this day their
works are highly esteemed for grave dignity of character, and for
originality of conception. Of these great Florentines, Giotto, the
shepherd, is confessedly the more eminent: in him we see the dawn, or
rather the sunrise, of the fuller light of Raphael.


This great man showed from his infancy a strong inclination for drawing,
and made so early a proficiency in it that, at the age of fourteen, he
is said to have corrected the drawings of his master, Domenico
Ghirlandaio. When Michael Angelo was an old man, one of these drawings
being shown to him, he said, “In my youth I was a better artist than I
am now.”


This celebrated picture was disposed of by the painter by lottery. There
were 1843 chances subscribed for; Hogarth gave the remaining 167 tickets
to the Foundling Hospital, and the same night delivered the picture to
the Governors. The fortunate number is generally stated to have been
among the tickets which the painter handed to the Hospital; but, it is
related in the _Gentleman’s Magazine_, though anonymously, that _a lady_
was the possessor of the fortunate number, and intended to present it to
the Foundling Hospital; but that some person having suggested what a
door would be opened to scandal, were any of her sex to make such a
present, it was given to Hogarth, on the express condition that it
should be presented in his own name.


Mr. Gordon relates:--“M. Averani, a young French artist at Florence, had
extraordinary talent for copying miniatures, giving them all the force
of oil. I had frequently seen him at work in the gallery, and I
purchased of him a clever copy of the Fornarina of Raphael, and one of
the Venus Vestita of Titian, in the Pitti Palace, said to be the only
miniature painted by this great man. It had a good deal of the character
of Queen Mary Stuart, was painted on a gold ground, had great force, and
was highly finished. I gave the artist his price, six sequins, and
brought it to England. When I disposed of my _vertu_, in Sloane-street,
previous to my settling in Scotland, this miniature made a flaming
appearance in the catalogue. The gem was bought by a gentleman for
fifty-five guineas. I thought I had done very well by this transaction,
until I saw it advertised in the _Morning Chronicle_, stating that “an
original portrait of Mary, Queen of Scotland, the undoubted work of
Titian, value one thousand guineas, was to be seen at No. 14, Pall-mall;
price of admission, 2_s._ 6_d._” The bait took; the owner put three or
four hundred pounds into his pocket by the exhibition, and sold the
portrait for seven or eight hundred pounds. Here was I an innocent
accessory to the greatest imposition that was ever practised on the
public. As a work of art, it was worth all I got for it; and I was
offered nearly that sum by a friend who knew its whole history. I
understand that a nobleman was the purchaser of this beautiful


John Astley, the painter, was born at Wem, in Shropshire. He was a pupil
of Hudson, and was at Rome about the same time with Sir Joshua Reynolds.
After his return to England, he went to Dublin, practised there as a
painter for three years, and in that time earned 3000_l._ As he was
painting his way back to London, in his own postchaise, with an
outrider, he loitered in his neighbourhood, and, visiting Nutsford
Assembly, he there saw Lady Daniel, a widow, who was so captivated by
him, that she contrived to sit to him for her portrait, and then
offered him her hand, which he at once accepted. Poor Astley, in the
decline of life, was disturbed by reflections upon the dissipation of
his early days, and was haunted with apprehensions of indigence and
want. He died at his house, Duckenfield Lodge, Cheshire, Nov. 14, 1787,
and was buried at the church of that village.


Wills, the portrait-painter, was not very successful in his profession,
and so quitted it, and, having received a liberal education, took
orders. He was for several years curate of Canons, in Middlesex, and at
the death of the incumbent he obtained the living. In the year 1768, he
was appointed chaplain to the chartered Society of Artists; and he
preached a sermon at Covent-garden Church, on St. Luke’s Day, in the
same year; the text being taken from Job, chap. xxxvii. verse 14--“Stand
still, and consider the wondrous works of God.” This discourse was
afterwards printed at the request of the Society; but Wills did not long
enjoy his appointment, in consequence of the disputes which broke out
among the members.


The celebrated Italian sculptor Canova, when rich and titled, remained
the same simple, unostentatious man as in his unknown and humble youth.
He cared nothing for personal luxuries. Not only the pension of 3000
crowns granted him by the Pope with the title of Marquis, but a great
part of the wealth acquired by his labours, were bestowed in acts of
charity, and upon unfortunate artists. One year, the harvest failing, he
fed the poor of his native Venetian village all winter at his own
expense. The manner in which he bestowed his favours reflected
additional honour on him. A poor, proud, bad painter, was in danger of
starving, with all his family. Canova knew the man would refuse a gift;
and, out of respect to his feelings, he sacrificed his own taste. He
requested him to paint a picture, leaving the subject and size to his
own choice, and saying he had set aside 400 scudi (not less than £100)
for this purpose, half of which he handed him at present, the other half
should be sent when the work was finished; adding, that the sooner he
received it, he should be the better pleased.


Hogarth displayed no little vanity regarding his pretensions as a
portrait-painter. One day, when dining at Dr. Cheselden’s, he was told
that John Freke, surgeon of St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, had asserted in
Dick’s coffee-house, that Greene was as eminent in composition as
Handel. “That fellow, Freke,” cried Hogarth, “is always shooting his
bolt absurdly, one way or another. Handel is a giant in music, Greene
only a light Florimel-kind of composer.” “Ay, but,” said the other,
“Freke declared you were as good a portrait-painter as Vandyke.” “There
he was in the right,” quoth Hogarth; “and so I am, give me but my time,
and let me choose my subject.”

Writing of himself, Hogarth says:--“The portrait which I painted with
most pleasure, and in which I particularly wished to excel, was that of
Captain Coram, for the Foundling Hospital;” and he adds, in allusion to
his detraction as a portrait-painter, “If I am so wretched an artist as
my enemies assert, it is somewhat strange that this, which was one of
the first I painted the size of life, should stand the test of twenty
years’ competition, and be generally thought the best portrait in the
place, notwithstanding the first painters in the kingdom exerted all
their talents to vie with it.”


That Tenterden Steeple was the cause of Goodwin Sands does not appear a
whit more strange than that in the Foundling Hospital originated the
Royal Academy of Arts. Yet, such was the case. The Hospital was
incorporated in 1739, and in a few years the present building was
erected; but, as the income of the charity could not, with propriety, be
expended upon decorations, many of the principal artists of that day
generously gave pictures for several of the apartments of the hospital.
These were permitted to be shown to the public upon proper application;
and hence became one of the sights of the metropolis. The pictures
proved very attractive; and this success suggested the annual Exhibition
of the united artists, which institution was the precursor of the Royal
Academy, in the Adelphi, in the year 1760. Thus, within the walls of the
Foundling, the curious may see the state of British art previously to
the epoch when King George the Third first countenanced the historical
talent of West.

Among the earliest “governors and guardians” of the Hospital we find
William Hogarth, who liberally subscribed his money, and gave his time
and talent, towards carrying out the designs of his friend, the
venerable Captain Coram, through whose zeal and humanity the Hospital
was established. Hogarth’s first artistical aid was the engraving of a
head-piece to a power-of-attorney, drawn for the collection of
subscriptions towards the Charity; Hogarth next presented to the
Hospital an engraved plate of Coram.

Among the early artistic patrons of the Charity, we find Rysbrach, the
sculptor; Hayman, the embellisher of Vauxhall Gardens; Highmore, Hudson,
and Allan Ramsay; and Richard Wilson, the prince of English
landscape-painters. They met often at the hospital, and thus advanced
charity and the arts together; for the exhibition of their donations in
paintings &c. drew a daily crowd of visitors in splendid carriages; and
a visit to the Foundling became the most fashionable morning lounge of
the reign of George the Second. The grounds in front of the Hospital
were the promenade; and brocaded silks, gold-headed canes, and laced
three-cornered (Egham, Staines, and Windsor) hats, formed a gay bevy in
Lambs’ Conduit Fields.

A very interesting series of biographettes of “the artists of the
Foundling,” with a _catalogue raisonnée_ of the pictures presented by
them, will be found in Mr. Brownlow’s “Memoranda; or, Chronicles” of the
Hospital. Among the pictures by Hogarth, are--“Moses brought to
Pharaoh’s Daughter,” the “March to Finchley,” and a “Portrait of Captain
Coram.” Here are, also, “The Charterhouse,” by Gainsborough; “St.
George’s and the Foundling Hospitals,” by Wilson; “Portrait of Handel,”
by Kneller; “The Earl of Dartmouth,” by Reynolds; The Cartoon of “The
Murder of the Innocents,” by Raphael; the altarpiece of the chapel,
“Christ presenting a Little Child,” by West; Portrait of the “Earl of
Macclesfield,” by Wilson; “Dr. Mead,” by Allan Ramsay; “George the
Second,” by Shackleton; “the Offering of the Wise Men,” by Casali;
crayon portrait of “Taylor White,” by Cotes; “A Landscape,” by Lambert;
“A Sea-piece,” by Brooking, &c.


M’Ardell, (says Smith, in his _Life of Nollekens_), resided at the
Golden Ball, Henrietta-street, Covent Garden. Of the numerous and
splendid productions of this excellent engraver of pictures by Sir
Joshua, nothing can be said after the declaration of Reynolds himself,
that “M’Ardell’s prints would immortalize him;” however, I will venture
to indulge in one remark more, namely, that that engraver has conferred
immortality also upon himself in his wonderful print from Hogarth’s
picture of ‘Captain Coram,’ the founder of the Foundling Hospital. A
brilliant proof of this head in its finest possible state of condition,
in my humble opinion, surpasses anything in mezzotinto now extant.


Liotard, a Swiss artist, who came to this country in the reign of George
II., and stayed two years, is best known by his works in crayons. His
likenesses were as exact as possible, and too like to please those who
sat to him: thus he had great business the first year, and very little
the second. Devoid of imagination, and one would think of memory also,
he could render nothing but what he saw before his eyes. Freckles, marks
of the smallpock, everything, found its place; not so much from
fidelity, as because he could not conceive the absence of anything that
appeared to him. Truth prevailed in all his works; grace in very few or
none. Nor was there any ease in his outline; but the stiffness of a bust
in all his portraits. Liotard’s lack of employment may, therefore,
easily be accounted for.


It is painful to think how soon the paintings of Raphael, and Titian,
and Correggio, and other illustrious men, will perish and pass away.
“How long,” said Napoleon to David, “will a picture last?” “About four
or five hundred years--a fine immortality!” The poet multiplies his
works by means of a cheap material; and Homer, and Virgil, and Dante,
and Tasso, and Moliere, and Milton, and Shakspeare, may bid oblivion
defiance; the sculptor impresses his conceptions on metal or on marble,
and expects to survive the wreck of nations, or the wrongs of time; but
the painter commits to perishable cloth or wood, the visions of his
fancy, and dies in the certain assurance that the life of his works will
be but short in the land they adorn.


This merry imp is the portrait of a child, which was painted without any
particular aim as to character. When Alderman Boydell saw it, he said:
“Sir Joshua, if you will make this pretty thing into a Puck, for my
Shakspeare Gallery, I will give you a hundred guineas for it.” The
President smiled and said little, as was his custom: a few hours’ happy
labour made the picture what we see it.


This cartoon came into the possession of the Foundling Hospital by the
conditional bequest of Prince Hoare, Esq. Haydon describes it as “one of
the finest instances in the world of variety of expression and beauty of
composition, as a work of ‘high art.’ ” It is the centre part of
one of the best cartoons which belonged to the set executed by Raphael,
at the order of Leo X., and sent afterwards to Flanders, to be copied in
tapestry, for exhibition at the Vatican.

The original number of the cartoons was thirteen; but in consequence of
the Flemish weavers cutting them into strips for their working
machinery, after the tapestry was executed and sent to Rome, the
original cartoons were left mingled together in boxes.

When Rubens was in England, he told Charles I. the condition they were
in; and the king, who had the finest taste, desired him to procure them.
Seven perfect ones were purchased, all, it may be inferred, which
remained, and sent to his majesty; what became or had become of the
remainder, nobody knows; but here and there, all over Europe, fragments
have appeared. At Oxford there are two or three heads; and we believe
the Duke of Hamilton or Buccleuch, has others. After Charles’s
misfortunes, the cartoons now at Hampton Court were sold, with the rest
of his Majesty’s fine collection; but by Cromwell’s express orders they
were bought in for three hundred pounds. During the reign of Charles II.
they were offered to France for fourteen thousand francs, but Charles
was dissuaded from selling them.

The above portion of the “Murder of the Innocents,” was sold at
Westminster many years ago, as disputed property. Prince Hoare’s father,
before the sale, explained to an opulent friend the great treasure about
to be disposed of, and persuaded him to advance the money requisite, on
condition of sharing the property. To his great surprise he bought it
for twenty-six pounds; and his friend, having no taste, told Mr. Hoare
if he would paint him and his family, he would relinquish his right.

These particulars Mr. Haydon had from Prince Hoare, the son; they are
related in a letter from the painter to Mr. Lievesley, at the Foundling
Hospital, dated October 3, 1837, wherein Haydon suggests the better
exhibition of the work as a model of study; and soon after the
Governors of the Hospital sent the cartoon by way of loan, to the
National Gallery, where it may now be seen and studied.[12]


Spencer was a miniature-painter of much celebrity, contemporaneous with
Hogarth. He was originally a gentleman’s servant, but having a natural
turn for art, he amused himself with drawing. It happened that one of
the family with whom he lived sat for a portrait to a miniature-painter,
and when the work was completed, it was shown to Spencer, who said he
thought he could copy it. He was allowed to make the attempt, when his
success was so great, that the family he lived with at once patronised
him, and by their interest he became a fashionable painter of the day.


Peter Jones, a pupil of Hudson, may be considered a portrait-painter,
though his chief excellence was in painting draperies. In this branch of
the art, so useful to a fashionable face-painter, he was much employed
by Reynolds, Cotes, and West. Many of Sir Joshua’s best whole-lengths
are those to which Jones painted the draperies: among them was the
portrait of Lady Elizabeth Keppell, in the dress she wore as bridesmaid
to the queen: for this Jones was paid twelve guineas; but Sir Joshua was
not remarkably liberal on such occasions, of which Jones did not
neglect to complain. When the Royal Academy was founded, he was chosen
one of its members.


The following anecdote of Sir Robert Strange, (says Smith,) was related
to me by the late Richard Cooper, who instructed Queen Charlotte in
drawing, and was for some time drawing-master to Eton School. “Robert
Strange, (says Cooper,) was a countryman of mine, a North Briton, who
served his time to my father as an engraver, and was a soldier in the
rebel army of 1745. It so happened when Duke William put them to flight,
that Strange, finding a door open, made his way into the house, ascended
to the first-floor, and entered a room where a young lady was seated at
needlework, and singing. Young Strange implored her protection. The
lady, without rising, or being in the least disconcerted, desired him to
get under her hoop. He immediately stooped, and the amiable woman
covered him up. Shortly after this, the house was searched; the lady
continued at her work, singing as before; the soldiers upon entering the
room, considering Miss Lunsdale alone, respectfully retired. Robert, as
soon as the search was over, being released from his concealment, kissed
the hand of his protectress, at which moment, for the first time, he
found himself in love. He married the lady; and no persons, beset as
they were with early difficulties, lived more happily.”

Strange afterwards became a loyal man, though for a long time he sighed
to be pardoned by his king who, however, was graciously pleased to be
reconciled to him, and afterwards knighted him. Sir Robert was a
conscientious publisher in delivering subscription impressions of
prints; he never took off more proofs than were really bespoken, and
every name was put upon the print as it came out of the press, unless it
were faulty, and then it was destroyed; not laid aside for future sale,
as has been the practice with some of our late publishers.


George Lambert was for many years principal scene-painter to Covent
Garden Theatre; and being a person of great respectability in character
and profession, he was often visited, while at work, by persons of
consideration. As it frequently happened that he was too much pressed by
business to leave the theatre for dinner, he contented himself with a
beef-steak, broiled upon the fire in the painting-room. In this humble
meal he was sometimes joined by his visitors: the conviviality of the
accidental meeting inspired the party with a resolution to establish a
club, which was accordingly done, under the title of “The Beef-Steak
Club;” and the party assembled periodically in the painting-room.[13]
The members were afterwards accommodated with a private apartment in
the theatre, where the meeting was held for many years; but, after
Covent Garden was last rebuilt, the place of meeting was changed to the
Shakspeare Tavern. It was then removed to the Lyceum Theatre, in the
Strand, on the destruction of which, by fire, in 1830, the place of
meeting was transferred to the Bedford Coffeehouse, in Covent Garden.
The _regime_ of the club is a course of beef-steaks, followed by stewed
cheese in silver dishes. The number of members is only twenty-four; and
the days of meeting are every Saturday, from November until the end of


John Burnet was educated with Wilkie in the first four years of his
studies in the Trustees’ Academy of Edinburgh; and, after arriving in
London, in 1806, witnessed the progress of nearly every picture of
familiar life which he painted. Burnet relates, that Wilkie was always
first on the stairs leading up to the Academy, (which was then held in
St. James’s-square,) anxious not to lose a moment of the hours of
drawing; and this love of art, paramount to all other gratifications,
continued with him to the last, even when his success had put the means
in his power of indulging relaxation and procuring amusement. When in
the Academy, his intenseness attracted the notice of the more volatile
students, who used to pelt him with small pills of soft bread. As he was
one of the first to be present, so he was one of the last to depart.
After Academy hours, which were from ten to twelve in the forenoon,
(the best time of the day for application,) those who were apprentices
returned to their several professions; but Wilkie invariably returned to
his lodgings, there to follow out what was begun in the Academy, by
copying from his own hands and face in a mirror: thus, as it were,
engrafting the great principles of the antique on the basis of nature.


Sir Joshua appears to have been but an irregular manager in his
conviviality. “Often was the dinner board prepared for seven or eight,
required to accommodate itself to fifteen or sixteen; for often, on the
very eve of dinner, would Sir Joshua tempt afternoon visitors with
intimation that Johnson, or Garrick, or Goldsmith was to dine there. Nor
was the want of seats the only difficulty. A want of knives and forks,
of plates and glasses, as often succeeded. In something of the same
style, too, was the attendance; the kitchen had to keep pace with the
visitors; and it was easy to know the guests best acquainted with the
house by their never failing to call instantly for beer, bread, or wine,
that they might get them before the first course was over, and the worst
confusion began. Once was Sir Joshua prevailed upon to furnish his table
with dinner-glasses and decanters; and some saving of time they proved;
yet, as they were demolished in the course of service, he could never be
persuaded to replace them. “But these trifling embarrassments,” says Mr.
Courtenay, describing them to Sir James Macintosh, “only served to
enhance the hilarity and the singular pleasure of the entertainment.”
It was not the wine, dishes, and cookery, not the fish and venison, that
were talked of or recommended: those social hours, that irregular
convivial talk, had matter of higher relish, and far more eagerly
enjoyed. And amid all the animated bustle of his guests, the host sat
perfectly composed; always attentive to what was said, never minding
what was ate or drank, and leaving every one at perfect liberty to
scramble for himself.”--_Forster’s Life of Goldsmith._


Brooking, a ship-painter of rare merit, about the middle of the last
century, like many of the artists of the time, worked for the shops. Mr.
Taylor White, Treasurer of the Foundling Hospital, one day saw some of
the sea-pieces of this artist in a shop-window in Castle-street,
Leicester-square. He inquired his name, but was answered equivocally by
the dealer, who told Mr. White that if he pleased he could procure other
pictures by the same painter. Brooking was accustomed to write his name
upon his pictures, which mark was as often obliterated by the shopkeeper
before he placed them in his window. It, however, happened that the
artist carried home a piece on which his name was inscribed; and the
master being from home, his wife, who received it, placed it in the
window without effacing the signature. Luckily, Mr. White saw the
picture before it was removed, and thus discovered the name of the
painter whose works he so much admired. He instantly advertised for the
artist to meet him at a certain wholesale linen-draper’s in the city. To
this invitation, Brooking, at first, paid no regard; but, seeing it
repeated, with assurance of benefit to the person to whom it was
addressed, he prudently attended to it, and had an interview with Mr.
White, who, from that time, became his friend and patron. One of
Brooking’s sea-pieces hangs in the Foundling Hospital: it was painted in
eighteen days, and is, altogether, a first-class picture.--_Brownlow’s
Memoranda of the Foundling Hospital._


Sir D. Wilkie, in his remarks on Portrait Painting, says:--No
representations of female character have equalled in sweetness and
beauty the female portraits of Sir Joshua Reynolds; yet, a contemporary
has remarked, that this was accomplished greatly at the expense of
likeness. Hoppner, who was himself distinguished for the beauty with
which he endowed the female form, remarked, that even to him it was a
matter of surprise that Reynolds could send home portraits with so
little resemblance to the originals. This, indeed, in his day,
occasioned portraits to be left on his hands, or turned to the wall,
which, since the means of comparing resemblances have ceased, have
blazed forth in all the splendour of grace and elegance, which the
originals would have been envied for had they ever possessed them. I may
add to this what is remarked of Sir Thomas Lawrence: his likenesses were
celebrated as the most successful of his time; yet, no likenesses
exalted so much or refined more upon the originals. He wished to seize
the expression, rather than copy the features. His attainment of
likeness was most laborious: one distinguished person, who favoured him
with forty sittings for his head alone, declared he was the slowest
painter he had ever sat to, and he had sat to many.

This distinguished person, (says Burnet, in his _Practical Essays_,) I
believe, was Sir Walter Scott. The picture was painted for his Majesty,
and Lawrence was most anxious to make the picture the best of any
painted from so celebrated a character. At other times, however, Sir
Thomas was as dexterous with his pencil as any artist. I remember him
mentioning that he painted the portrait of Curran, the celebrated Irish
barrister, in one day; he came in the morning, remained to dinner, and
left at dusk; or, as Lawrence expressed it, quoting his favourite

    “From morn till noon,
     From noon to dewy eve.”


Zoffani was a native of Frankfort, and came to England as a painter of
small portraits, when he was about thirty years of age. He was employed
by George the Third, and painted portraits of the royal family. He was
celebrated for small whole-lengths, and painted several pieces of
Garrick, and his contemporaries in dramatic scenes. He was engaged by
the queen to paint a view of the tribune of Florence; and while there he
was noticed by the Emperor of Germany, who inquired his name; and on
hearing it, asked what countryman he was. Zoffani replied, “An
Englishman.” “Why,” said the Emperor, “your name is German!” “True,”
replied the painter, “I was born in Germany; that was accidental: I call
that my country where I have been protected.”

Zoffani was admitted a member of the Royal Academy in 1783. He went
afterwards to the East Indies, where he became a favourite of the Nabob
of Oude, and amassed a handsome fortune, with which he returned to
England, and settled at Strand-on-the-Green. Whilst there, he presented
a large and well-executed painting of the Last Supper, as an altarpiece,
to St. George’s Chapel, then lately built, where it still remains. Every
head in the picture, (excepting that of Christ) is a likeness. Here is a
portrait of Zoffani himself; the others were likenesses of persons then
living at Strand-on-the-Green and Old Brentford. Zoffani had in his
establishment a nursemaid who possessed fine hands, which he ever and
anon painted in his pictures.


To suffer from the want of discernment on the part of the nobility and
the people, appears to be the fate of artists in this country. It was
not a whit better formerly than it is in our own time. Hogarth had to
sell his pictures by raffle, and Wilson was obliged to retire into
Wales, from its affording cheaper living. The committee of the British
Institution purchased a picture by Gainsborough, for eleven hundred
guineas, and presented it to the National Gallery, as an example of
excellence; yet this very picture hung for years in the artist’s
painting-room without a purchaser; the price was only fifty pounds. In
our own times, says John Burnet, “let us take the case of Sir David
Wilkie as an example; a painter who has founded a school of art unknown
before in this or in any other country--a combination of the invention
of Hogarth with the pictorial excellences of Ostade and Teniers; yet
this artist’s works, on his coming to London in 1804, were exposed in a
shop window at Charing Cross for a few pounds; and a work for which he
could only receive fifteen guineas, was sold the other day for eight
hundred. Do transactions such as these show the taste or discernment of
the public? Lord Mansfield thought thirty pounds a large sum for ‘the
Village Politicians;’ and Sir George Beaumont, as a kind of patronage,
gave Wilkie a commission to paint the picture of ‘the Blind Fiddler,’
and paid him fifty guineas for what would now bring a thousand at a
public sale.[14] It seems, therefore, a fair inference that a discerning
public, or a patronising nobility, are only shown when an artist’s
reputation makes it safe to encourage him.”--_Practical Essays._


Antonio More was a favourite of Philip of Spain, whose familiarity with
him placed the painter’s life in danger; for he one day ventured to
return a slap on the shoulder, which the king in a playful moment gave
him, by rubbing some carmine on his Majesty’s hand. This behaviour was
accepted by the monarch as a jest; but it was hinted to More that the
holy tribunal might regard it as sacrilege; and he fled, to save
himself, into Flanders, where he was employed by the Duke of Alva.


The late Sir Walter Scott used to say that when he told a story, he
generally contrived to put a laced coat and a cocked hat upon it: this
is a good illustration of the Venetian painters--their stories look like
the spectacles of a melodrama.--_Burnet’s Essays._


In a fire at Belvoir Castle, in October, 1816, several of the pictures
were burnt; among them was Sir Joshua Reynolds’s “Nativity,” a
composition of thirteen figures, and in dimensions twelve feet by
eighteen. This noble picture had been purchased by the Duke of Rutland
for 1200 guineas.


Holloway, who so successfully copied in black chalks the cartoons of
Raphael in Hampton Court Palace, was an eccentric genius, deeply read in
Scripture, which he expounded in the most nasal tone; but it was very
interesting to listen to his observations on the beauties and merits of
these master-pieces of art. A Madame Bouiller, a French _emigrée_, was
also occupied on the same subjects. She was patronised by West, who gave
her permission to study in the palace; and said that he had never seen
such masterly artistical touches of the crayon as hers.

One morning Holloway was found foaming with rage in the Cartoon Gallery.
Some person had written against the cartoons, denominating them
“wretched daubs;” and sorely did it wound the feelings of the
enthusiastic artist, who worshipped with religious fervour these works
of Raphael. Yet it was a grotesque scene to behold Madame Bouiller
pacing after Holloway, up and down the gallery, with all the grimace and
intensity of a Frenchwoman, and re-echoing his furious lamentations.


Sir Abraham Hume, the accomplished annotator of _The Life and Works of
Titian_, observes: “It appears to be generally understood that Titian
had, in the different periods of life, three distinct manners of
painting: the first hard and dry, resembling his master, Giovanni
Bellino; the second, acquired from studying the works of Giorgione, was
more bold, round, rich in colour, and exquisitely wrought up; the third
was the result of his matured taste and judgment, and, properly
speaking, may be termed his own--in which he introduced more cool tints
into the shadows and flesh, approaching nearer to nature than the
universal glow of Giorgione.”

After stating what little is known of the mechanical means employed by
Titian in the colouring of his pictures, Sir Abraham remarks: “Titian’s
grand secret of all appears to have consisted in the unremitting
exercise of application, patience, and perseverance, joined to an
enthusiastic attachment to his art: his custom was to employ
considerable time in finishing his pictures, working on them repeatedly,
till he brought them to perfection; and his maxim was, that whatever was
done in a hurry, could not be well done.” In manner and character, as
well as talent, Titian may not inappropriately be associated with the
most eminent painter this country ever produced, Sir Joshua Reynolds.


Catlin, the traveller, was born in Wyoming, on the Susquehannah: he was
bred to the law, but after he had practised two or three years, he sold
his law library, and with the proceeds commenced as painter in
Philadelphia, without either teacher or adviser. Within a few years, a
delegation of Indians arrived from wilds of the far west in
Philadelphia, “arrayed and equipped in all their classical beauty--with
shield and helmet--with tunic and manteau, tinted and tasselled off
exactly for the painter’s palette. In silent and stoic dignity, these
lords of the forest strutted about the city for a few days wrapped in
their pictured robes, with their brows plumed with the quills of the
war-eagle,” and then quitted for Washington city, leaving Catlin to
regret their departure. This, however, led him to consider the
preservation by pictorial illustrations of the history and customs of
these people, as a theme worthy the life of one man; and he therefore
resolved that nothing short of the loss of life should prevent him from
visiting their country, and becoming their historian. He could find no
advocate or abettor of his views; still, he broke from all connexions of
family and home, and thus, firmly fixed, armed, equipped, and supplied,
he started, in the year 1832, and penetrated the vast and pathless wilds
of the Great Far West--devoted to the production of habitual and graphic
portraiture of the manners, customs, and character of an interesting
race of people who were rapidly passing away from the earth.

Catlin spent about eight years in the Indian country, and, in 1841,
brought home portraits of the principal personages from each tribe,
views of their villages, pastimes, and religious ceremonies; and a
collection of their costumes, manufactures, and weapons. He was
undoubtedly the first artist who ever started upon such a labour,
designing to carry his canvass to the Rocky Mountains. He visited
forty-eight different tribes, containing 400,000 souls, and mostly
speaking different languages. He brought home 310 portraits in oil, all
painted in their native dress, and in their own wigwams; besides 200
paintings of their villages, wigwams, games, and religious ceremonies,
dances, ball-plays, buffalo-hunts, &c.; containing 3000 full-length
figures; together with landscapes, and a collection of costumes and
other artificial produce, from the size of a huge wigwam to that of a
rattle. It was for a time expected that the collection would have been
purchased by the British Government, and added to the British Museum,
but the opportunity was let slip; and thus did we lose these records of
a race of our fellow-creatures, whom we shall very shortly have swept
from the face of the globe.


Sir E. Bulwer Lytton has written this eloquent criticism: “Martin’s
‘Deluge’ is the most simple of his works; it is, perhaps, also, the most
awful. Poussin had represented before him the waste of inundation; but
not the inundation of a world. With an imagination that pierces from
effects to their ghastly and sublime agency, Martin gives, in the same
picture, a possible solution to the phenomenon he records; and in the
gloomy and perturbed heaven, you see the conjunction of the sun, the
moon, and a comet. I consider this the most magnificent alliance of
philosophy and art of which the history of painting can boast.”


In the year 1760, a youth named Buckingham, a scholar at Mr. King’s
academy, in Chapel-street, Soho, presuming upon his father’s knowledge
of Sir Joshua Reynolds, asked the President if he would paint him a flag
for the next breaking-up of the school; when Sir Joshua goodnaturedly
replied, if he would call upon him at a certain time, he would see what
he could do. The boy accordingly went, accompanied by a school-fellow,
named Williamson (the narrator of this anecdote), when Sir Joshua
Reynolds presented them with a flag, about a yard square, on which he
had painted the king’s coat of arms. This flag was carried in the
breaking-up procession to the Yorkshire Stingo, an honour to the boys,
and a still greater honour to him who painted it, and gave up his
valuable time to promote their holiday amusements.


The admirers of Mr. Cooper’s Cuyp-like pictures will be gratified with
the following anecdote of the early recognition of the painter’s genius,
pleasantly related by Miss Mitford, in her _Belford Regis_.

“Sometime in November, 1831, Mr. Cribb, an ornamental gilder in London,
(King-street, Covent Garden,) was struck with a small picture--a
cattle-piece, in a shop window in Greek-street, Soho. On inquiring for
the artist, he could learn no tidings of him; but the people of the shop
promised to find him out. Time after time, our persevering lover of the
arts called to repeat his inquiries, but always unsuccessfully; until
about three months after, when he found that the person he sought was a
Mr. Thomas Sydney Cooper, a young artist, who had been for many years
settled at Brussels, as a drawing-master, but had been driven from that
city by the Revolution, which had deprived him of his pupils, among whom
were some of the members of the royal family; and, unable to obtain
employment in London as a cattle-painter, he had, with the generous
self-devotion which most ennobles a man of genius, supported his family
by making lithographic drawings of fashionable caps and bonnets, I
suppose, as a puff for some milliner, or some periodical which deals in
costumes. In the midst of this interesting family, and of these caps and
bonnets, Mr. Cribb found him; and deriving from what he saw of his
sketches and drawings additional conviction of his genius, he
immediately commissioned him to paint a picture on his own subject, and
at his own price, making such an advance as the richest artist could not
scruple to accept on a commission, conjuring him to leave off caps and
bonnets, and foretelling his future eminence. Mr. Cribb says, that he
shall never forget the delight of Mr. Cooper’s face when he gave the
order--he has the right to the luxury of such a recollection. Well! the
picture was completed: our friend, Mr. Cribb, who is not a man to do his
work by halves, bespoke a companion, and while that was painting, showed
the first to a great number of artists and amateurs, who all agreed in
expressing the strongest admiration, and in wondering where the painter
could have been hidden. Before the second picture was half finished, a
Mr. Carpenter, (I believe that I am right in the name,) gave Mr. Cooper
a commission for a piece, which was exhibited in May, 1833, at the
Suffolk-street Gallery; and from that moment orders poured in, and the
artist’s fortune was made. It is right to add, that Mr. Cooper was
generously eager to have this story made known, and Mr. Cribb as
generously averse to its publication. But surety, it ought to be
recorded for the example sake, and for their mutual honour.”


Verrio, who painted the ceilings in Windsor Castle, was a great
favourite with Charles II. The painter was very expensive, and kept a
great table; he often pressed the King for money, with a freedom
encouraged by his Majesty’s own frankness. Once, at Hampton Court, when
he had but lately received an advance of £1000, he found the King in
such a circle, that he could not approach. He called out, “Sire, I
desire the favour of speaking to your Majesty.” “Well, Verrio,” said the
King, “what is your request?” “Money, Sire; I am so short of cash, that
I am not able to pay my workmen; and your Majesty and I have learned by
experience, that pedlars and painters cannot long live on credit.” The
King smiled, and said “he had but lately ordered him £1000.” “Yes,
Sire,” replied Verrio; “but that was soon paid away, and I have no gold
left.” “At that rate,” said the King, “you would spend more money than I
do to maintain my family.” “True,” answered Verrio; “but does your
Majesty keep an open table as I do?”


Soon after his marriage, Hogarth had summer lodgings at South Lambeth,
and became intimate with Jonathan Tyers, then proprietor of Vauxhall
Gardens. On passing the tavern one morning, Hogarth saw Tyers, and
observing him to be very melancholy, “How now, Master Tyers; why so sad
this morning?” said the painter. “Sad times, Master Hogarth,” replied
Tyers, “and my reflections were on a subject not likely to brighten a
man’s countenance: I was thinking, do you know, which was likely to
prove the easiest death, hanging or drowning.” “Oh,” said Hogarth, “is
it come to that?” “Very nearly, I assure you,” said Tyers. “Then,”
replied Hogarth, “the remedy you think of applying is not likely to mend
the matter; don’t hang or drown to-day. I have a thought that may save
the necessity of either, and will communicate it to you to-morrow
morning; call at my house in Leicester Fields.” The interview took
place, and the result was the concocting and getting up the first
“Ridotto al Fresco,” which was very successful; one of the new
attractions being the embellishment of the pavilions in the gardens by
Hogarth’s pencil. Thus he drew the Four Parts of the Day, which Hayman
copied; and the two scenes of Evening and Night, with portraits of Henry
VIII. and Anne Boleyn. Hayman was one of the earliest members of the
Royal Academy, and was, when young, a scene-painter at Drury Lane

Hogarth was at this time in prosperity, and assisted Tyers more
essentially than by the few pieces he painted for the gardens; and for
this Tyers presented the painter with a gold ticket of admission for
himself and friends, which was handed down to Hogarth’s descendants--the
medal being for the admission of six persons, or “one coach,” as it was


It is related that Rubens caused a remarkably fine and powerful lion to
be brought to his house, in order to study him in every variety of
attitude. One day, Rubens observing the lion yawn, was so pleased with
his action, that he wished to paint it, and he desired the keeper to
tickle the animal under the chin, to make him repeatedly open his jaws;
at length, the lion became savage at this treatment, and cast such
furious glances at his keeper, that Rubens attended to his warning, and
had the animal removed. The keeper is said to have been torn to pieces
by the lion shortly afterwards; apparently, he had never forgotten the


Andrea Boscoli, the Italian painter, whilst sketching the fortifications
of Loretto, was seized by the officers of justice, and condemned to be
hanged; but he happily escaped within a few hours of execution, by the
interposition of Signor Bandini, who explained to the chief magistrate
the painter’s innocent object.


Gainsborough was born at Sudbury, in Suffolk, in 1727, and had the good
fortune to take Nature for his mistress in art, and her to follow
through life. Respecting this painter, memory is strong in his native
place. A beautiful wood, of four miles extent, is shown, whose ancient
trees, winding glades, and sunny nooks inspired him while yet a
school-boy with the love of art. Scenes are pointed out where he used to
sit and fill his copy-books with pencillings of flowers and trees, and
whatever pleased his fancy. No fine clump of trees, no picturesque
stream nor romantic glade, no cattle grazing, nor flocks reposing, nor
peasants pursuing their work, nor pastoral occupations, escaped his
diligent pencil. He received some instruction from Gravelot; and from
Hayman, the friend of Hogarth. Having married, he settled in Ipswich;
but in his thirty-first year removed to Bath, where he was appreciated
as he deserved, and was enabled by his pencil to live respectably.

He then removed to London, where he added the lucrative branch of
portrait-painting to his favourite pursuit of landscape. The permanent
splendour of his colours, and the natural and living air which he
communicated to whatever he touched, made him at this time, in the
estimation of many, a dangerous rival of Sir Joshua himself.

Gainsborough was quite a child of nature, and everything that came from
his easel smacked strongly of that raciness, freshness, and originality,
the study of nature alone can give. “The Woodman and his Dog in the
Storm” was one of his favourite compositions; yet, while he lived, he
could find no purchaser at the paltry sum of one hundred guineas. After
his death, five hundred guineas were paid for it by Lord Gainsborough,
in whose house it was subsequently burnt. “The Shepherd’s Boy in the
Shower,” and the “Cottage Girl with her Dog and Pitcher,” were also his
prime favourites. Although having the good taste to express no contempt
for the society of literary or fashionable men, Gainsborough, unlike the
courtly Sir Joshua, cared little for their company. Music was his
passion, or rather, next to his profession, the business of his life.
Smith, in his _Life of Nollekens_, relates that he once found Colonel
Hamilton playing so exquisitely to Gainsborough on the violin, that the
artist exclaimed, “Go on, and I will give you the picture of the ‘Boy at
the Stile,’ which you have so often wished to purchase of me.” The
Colonel proceeded, and the painter stood in speechless admiration, with
tears of rapture on his cheek. Hamilton then called a coach, and carried
away the picture.


Haydon was born at Plymouth, and at ten years old was sent to the
Grammar School, under the care of the Rev. Dr. Bidlake, who possessed
great taste for painting, and first noticed Haydon’s love of drawing;
and, as a reward for diligence in school, the reverend gentleman used to
indulge his pupil by admitting him to his painting-room, where he was
allowed to pass his hal.-holidays.

At the age of fourteen, Haydon was sent to Plympton St. Mary School,
where Sir Joshua Reynolds acquired all the scholastic knowledge he ever
received. On the ceiling of the school-room was a sketch drawn by
Reynolds with a burnt cork; and it was young Haydon’s delight to sit and
contemplate this early production of the great master. Whilst at this
school, he was about to join the medical profession; but the witnessing
of an operation at once debarred him. When he left the Plympton School,
after a stay there of about two years, he had not decided what
profession he should pursue; and whilst at home in this unsettled state,
his mind was never at rest, but he was constantly employed in drawing or
painting, and reading hard. About this time, Reynolds’s “Discourses”
attracted his attention, and fixed his resolution on painting; and, as
the first step to which, he resolved to study anatomy.


Rubens was in the habit of rising very early: in summer at four o’clock,
and immediately afterwards he heard mass. He then went to work, and
while painting, he habitually employed a person to read to him from one
of the classical authors, (the favourites being Livy, Plutarch, Cicero,
and Seneca,) or from some eminent poet. This was the time when he
generally received his visitors, with whom he entered willingly into
conversation on a variety of topics, in the most animated and agreeable
manner. An hour before dinner was always devoted to recreation, which
consisted either in allowing his thoughts to dwell as they listed on
subjects connected with science or politics,--which latter interested
him deeply,--or in contemplating his treasures of art. From anxiety not
to impair the brilliant play of his fancy, he indulged but sparingly in
the pleasures of the table, and drank but little wine. After working
again till evening, he usually, if not prevented by business, mounted a
spirited Andalusian horse, and rode for an hour or two. This was his
favourite exercise: he was extremely fond of horses, and his stables
generally contained some of remarkable beauty. On his return home, it
was his custom to receive a few friends, principally men of learning, or
artists, with whom he shared his frugal meal, (he was the declared enemy
of all excess,) and passed the evening in instructive and cheerful
conversation. This active and regular mode of life could alone have
enabled Rubens to satisfy all the demands which were made upon him as an
artist; and the astonishing number of works he completed, the
genuineness of which is beyond all doubt, can only be accounted for
through his union of extraordinary diligence with the acknowledged
fertility of his productive powers.


Like other great painters, Rubens was an architect, too; and, besides
his own house, the church and the college of the Jesuits, in Antwerp,
were built from his designs.

We are enabled to form some estimate of the astonishingly productive
powers of Rubens, when we consider that about 1000 of his works have
been engraved; and, including copies, the number of engravings from his
works amount to more than 1500. The extraordinary number of his
paintings adorn not merely the most celebrated public and private
galleries, and various churches in Europe, but they have even found
their way to America. In Lima, especially, there are several, and some
of them of considerable value and excellence. Yet, of the countless
pictures everywhere attributed to Rubens, but a small proportion were
entirely painted by his own hands; the others contain more or less of
the workmanship of his pupils. The greatest number of works, begun and
finished by his own hands, are to be found in the galleries of Madrid,
Antwerp, and Blenheim.--_Mrs. Jameson’s Translation of Dr. Waagen’s
Essay on Rubens._


This picture was bought of the artist by Sir W. Elford and Mr. Tingcomb,
for 700_l._ Whilst painting it, Haydon got embroiled in a controversy on
the Elgin Marbles, with Mr. Payne Knight, one of the Directors of the
British Institution. This gave great offence; and when the painter had
been four months at work on the “Solomon,” he was left without
resources; but, by selling successively his books, prints, and clothes,
he was enabled to go on with his picture. At length, after a labour of
two years, and by a closing exertion of painting six days, and nearly as
many nights, the picture was completed, and exhibited in Spring Gardens,
with great success. The Directors of the British Institution then showed
their sense of Haydon’s genius by a vote of 100 guineas, and all
ill-feeling was forgotten. For this work, Haydon was presented with the
freedom of the borough of Plymouth, says the vote, “as a testimony of
respect for his extraordinary merit as an historical painter; and
particularly for the production of his recent picture, ‘the Judgment of
Solomon,’ a work of such superior excellence, as to reflect honour on
his birthplace, distinction on his name, lustre on the art, and
reputation on the country.”

Miss Mitford addressed to the painter the following Sonnet on this

    “Tears in the eye, and on the lips a sigh!
       Haydon, the great, the beautiful, the bold,
       Thy Wisdom’s King, thy Mercy’s God unfold?
     There art and genius blend in unison high,
     But this is of the soul. The majesty
       Of grief dwells here; grief cast in such a mould
       As Niobe’s of yore. The tale is told
     All at a glance. ‘A childless mother I!’
       The tale is told, and who can e’er forget,
     That e’er has seen that visage of despair!
       With unaccustomed tears our cheeks are wet,
     Heavy our hearts with unaccustomed care,
       Upon our thoughts it presses like a debt,
     We close our eyes in vain; that face is there.”

Mr. West, on seeing the picture, was affected to tears, at the figure of
the pale, fainting mother.


When Dr. Waagen visited England in 1835, his sea passage gave rise to
the following exquisite critical observations: “I must mention as a
particularly fortunate circumstance, that the sea gradually subsided
from a state of violent agitation to a total calm and a bright sunshine,
attenuated with a clouded sky, and flying showers. I had an opportunity
of observing in succession all the situations and effects which have
been represented by the celebrated Dutch marine painters, William Van
de Velde, and Backhuysen. Now, for the first time, I fully understood
the truth of their pictures, in the varied undulation of the water, and
the refined art with which, by shadows of clouds, intervening dashes of
sunshine near, or at a distance, and ships to animate the scene, they
produce such a charming variety in the uniform surface of the sea. To
conclude in a striking manner this series of pictures, Nature was so
kind as to favour us at last with a thunder-storm, but not to interrupt
by long-continued rain, suffered it to be of very short duration.”


It was the constant practice of Sir Joshua Reynolds, as soon as a female
sitter had placed herself on his throne, to destroy the tasteless
labours of the hairdresser and the lady’s maid with the end of a


Dr. Waagen relates the following singular anecdote of one of the
portraits in the Waterloo Chamber at Windsor Castle--that of the
minister, William von Humboldt. The conception is poor, and the likeness
very general; but the want is, that the body does not at all suit the
head; for when king George the Fourth, who was a personal friend of the
minister, during his last visit to England, and a short time before his
departure, made him sit to Sir Thomas Lawrence, the latter being pressed
for time, took a canvass on which he had begun a portrait of Lord
Liverpool, and had already finished his body in a purple coat, and
painted upon it the head of M. Von Humboldt, intending to alter it
afterwards. This, however, in consequence of the death of the king, and
of Sir Thomas Lawrence, was not done.


In the spring of 1830, there was exhibited in London a superb specimen
of painting on glass, the size almost amounting to the stupendous, being
eighteen by twenty-four feet. The term “window,” however, is hardly
applicable to this vast work, for there was no framework visible; but
the entire picture consisted of upwards of 350 pieces, of irregular
forms and sizes, fitted into metal astragals, so contrived as to fall
with the shadows, and thus to assist the appearance of an uninterrupted
and unique picture upon a sheet of glass.

The subject was “the Tournament of the Field of the Cloth of Gold,”
between Henry VIII. and Francis I., in the plain of Ardres, near Calais;
a scene of overwhelming gorgeousness, and, in the splendour of its
appointments well suited to the brilliant effects which is the peculiar
characteristic of painting in enamel. The stage represented was the last
tourney on June 25, 1520. The field is minutely described by Hall, whose
details the painter had closely followed. There were artificial trees,
with green damask leaves; and branches and boughs, and withered leaves,
of cloth-of-gold; the trunks and arms being also covered with
cloth-of-gold, and intermingled with fruits and flowers of Venice gold;
and “their beautie shewed farre.” In these trees were hung, emblazoned
upon shields, “the Kynge of Englande’s armes, within a gartier, and the
French Kynge’s within a collar of his order of Sainct Michael, with a
close croune, with a flower de lise in the toppe;” and around and above
were the shields of the noblemen of the two courts. The two queens were
seated in a magnificent pavilion, and next to the Queen of England sat
Wolsey; the judges were on stages, the heralds, in their tabards, placed
at suitable points; and around were gathered the flower of the French
and English nobility, to witness this closing glory of the last days of

The _action_ of the piece is thus described:--The trumpets sounded, and
the two kings and their retinues entered the field; they then put down
their vizors, and rode to the encounter valiantly; or, as Hall says,
“the ii kynges were ready, and either of them encountered one
man-of-armes; the French Kynge to the erle of Devonshire, the Kynge of
England to Mounsire Florrenges, and brake his Poldron, and him disarmed,
when ye strokes were stricken, this battail was departed, and was much

The picture contained upwards of one hundred figures (life size) of
which forty were portraits, after Holbein and other contemporary
authorities. The armour of the two kings and the challenger was very
successfully painted; their coursers almost breathed chivalric fire; and
the costumes and heraldic devices presented a blaze of dazzling
splendour. Among the spectators, the most striking portraits were the
two queens; Wolsey, Anne Boleyn, and the Countess of Chateaubriant;
Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk; and Queen Mary, Dowager of France;
with the ill-fated Duke of Buckingham, whose hasty comment upon the
extravagance of the tournament proved his downfall. The elaborate
richness of the costumes sparkling with gold and jewels, the fleecy,
floating feathers of the champions, their burnished armour and
glittering arms, the congregated glories of velvet, ermine, and
cloth-of-gold, and the heraldic emblazonry amidst the emerald freshness
of the foliage--all combined to form a scene of unparalleled
sumptuousness and effect.

The picture was executed in glass by Mr. Thomas Wilmshurst (a pupil of
the late Mr. Moss), from a sketch by Mr. R. T. Bone; the horses by Mr.
Woodward. The work cost the artist nearly 3000_l._ It was exhibited in a
first-floor at No. 15, Oxford-street, and occupied one end of a room
decorated for the occasion with paneling and carving in the taste of the
time of Henry the Eighth. It was very attractive as an exhibition, and
nearly 50,000 descriptive catalogues were sold. Sad, then, to relate, in
one unlucky night, the picture and the house were entirely burnt in an
accidental fire; not even a sketch or study was saved from destruction;
and the property was wholly uninsured. As a specimen of glass painting,
the work was very successful: the colours were very brilliant, and the
ruby red of old was all but equalled. The artistic treatment was
altogether original; the painters, in no instance, borrowing from the
contemporary picture of the same scene in the Hampton Court collection.


It was thus Claude Lorraine denominated a book in which he made drawings
of all the pictures he had ever executed. Since even in his own day his
works had obtained a great reputation, it was found that many inferior
artists had painted pictures in his style, and sold them as genuine
Claudes; so that it was found necessary to prove the authenticity of his
paintings by a reference to his “Book of Truth.”

This renowned record of genius is in the possession of the Duke of
Devonshire. The drawings are in number about 200, and upon the back of
the first is a paper pasted, with the following words in Claude’s own
handwriting and orthography:--

“Audi 10 dagosto, 1677. Ce livre aupartien a moy que je faict durant ma
vie. Claudio Gillee Dit le lorains. A Roma ce 23. Aos. 1680.”

When Claude wrote the last date, he was seventy-eight years old, and he
died two years afterwards. On the back of every drawing is the number,
with his monogram, the place for which the picture was painted, and
usually the person by whom it was ordered, and the year; but the
“Claudio fecit” is never wanting. According to his will, this book was
to remain always the property of his own family; and it was so
faithfully kept by his immediate descendants, that all the efforts of
the Cardinal d’Estrées, the French ambassador at Rome, to procure it,
were in vain. His later posterity had so entirely lost all traces of
this pious reverence for it, that they sold it for the trifling price of
200 scudi to a French jeweller, who again sold it in Holland, whence it
came into the possession of the Duke of Devonshire, who preserved it
with due honours. The well-known copies by Barlow, in the work of
Boydell, give but a very vague and monotonous representation of these
splendid drawings.

Dr. Waagen, who inspected the treasure at Devonshire House, says: “The
delicacy, ease, and masterly handling of all, from the slightest
sketches to those most carefully finished, exceed description; the
latter produce, indeed, all the effect of finished pictures. With the
simple material of a pen, and tints of Indian ink, sepia, or bistre,
with some white to bring out the lights, every characteristic of
sunshine or shade, or ‘the incense-breathing morn,’ is perfectly
expressed. Most happily has he employed for this purpose the blue tinge
of the paper, and the warm sepia for the glow of evening. Some are only
drawn with a pen, or the principal forms are slightly sketched in
pencil, with the great masses of light broadly thrown in with white; the
imagination easily fills up the rest.”


This picture is--Portraits of a Flemish Gentleman and Lady, standing in
the middle of an apartment, with their hands joined. In the back-ground
are a bed, a mirror, and a window, partly open; the objects in the room
being distinctly reflected in the mirror. A branch chandelier hangs from
the ceiling, with the candle still burning in it; in the foreground is a
small poodle. In the frame of the mirror are ten minute circular
compartments, in which are painted stories from the life of Christ; and
immediately under the mirror is written “Johannes de Eyck fuit hic,”
with the date 1434 below. This signifies literally, “John Van Eyck was
this man,” an interpretation which leads to the conjecture that this may
be Van Eyck’s own portrait, with that of his wife, though in this case
the wife’s name should have been written as well as his own; and the
expression is not exactly that which would have been expected. The words
are, however, distinctly _fuit hic_. As already mentioned, the date of
the picture is 1434, when John Van Eyck was, according to the assumed
date of his birth, in his fortieth year, which is about the age of the
man in this picture. Van Mander speaks of the painting as the portraits
of a man and his wife; or bride and bridegroom: it may be a bridegroom
introducing his bride to her home.

This picture, about a century after it was painted, was in the
possession of a barber-surgeon at Bruges, who presented it to the then
Regent of the Netherlands, Mary, the sister of Charles X., and Queen
Dowager of Hungary. This princess valued the picture so highly, that she
granted the barber-surgeon in return, an annual pension, or office worth
100 florins per annum. It appears, however, to have again fallen into
obscure hands; for it was discovered by Major-General Hay in the
apartments to which he was taken in 1815, at Brussels, after he had been
wounded at the battle of Waterloo. He purchased the picture after his
recovery, and disposed of it to the British Government in 1842, when it
was placed in the National Gallery. It is the oldest painting in the


The great experimental colourist of the fifteenth century, Van Eyck, has
left unfading proofs of his skill as well as his genius; whilst the
experimental colourist of the eighteenth century, Sir Joshua Reynolds,
has already lost so much of his tone and brightness. The painters of our
own time throughout Europe, notwithstanding the recent discoveries in
chemistry and natural science, are unable to reproduce the rich hues of
Titian, or of the early Germans.

Yet, Van Eyck met with many disappointments. He had just applied a
newly-invented combination, (probably of lime-water and some other
ingredients,) to a large and highly-finished picture. This mixture
required to be rapidly dried; and for that purpose the picture was left
for a short time in the sun. When the artist returned to witness the
result of his experiment, he found that the action of the heat on the
composition had split the canvas, and that his work was utterly ruined!
Happily for the arts, their best votaries have possessed the genius of
perseverance, as well as the genius of enterprise.


One of Stothard’s last great designs was that for the frieze of the
interior of Buckingham Palace. The subjects are illustrative of the
history of England, and principally relative to the Wars of the Red and
White Roses. The venerable artist was between seventy and eighty years
old when he executed these; and they possess all the spirit and vigour
of imagination that distinguished his best days. As a whole, there is
not, perhaps, to be found a more interesting series of historical
designs of any country in ancient or modern times. The drawing of this
frieze ought to have been in the possession of the King; but they were
sold at Christie’s, with other works, on the decease of the painter. Mr.
Rogers was the purchaser.


About the year 1844, when John Martin, the historical painter, was
examined before the Parliamentary Committee on Arts and Manufactures, he
was questioned as to the information he had collected on the subject of
glass-painting. To this he replied, “Glass-painting has fallen almost to
the same level as china-painting; but it might be greatly improved now
to what it was in ancient times. There is an ignorant opinion among the
people that the ancient art of glass-painting is completely lost: it is
totally void of foundation; for we can carry it to a much higher pitch
than the ancients, except in one particular colour, which is that of
ruby, and we come very near to that. We can blend the colours, and
produce the effect of light and shadow, which they could not do, by
harmonizing and mixing the colours in such a way, and fixing by proper
enameling and burning, that they shall afterwards become just as
permanent as those of the ancients, with the additional advantage of
throwing in superior art.” Martin began life as a painter on glass. One
of his earliest pictures was for the conservatory at the mansion of the
Marquess of Wellesley, at Knightsbridge.


If you have an artist for a friend, (says N. P. Willis,) he makes use of
you while you call, to “sit for the hand” of the portrait on his easel.
Having a preference for the society of artists myself, and frequenting
their studios considerably, I know of some hundred and fifty
unsuspecting gentlemen on canvas, who have procured, for posterity and
their children, portraits of their own heads and dress-coats to be sure,
but of the hands of other persons.


Prince Hoare introduced Haydon to Fuseli, who was so struck with his
close attendance at the Royal Academy, that he one day said, “Why, when
do you dine?” The account of his introduction is very characteristic.
“Such was the horror connected with Fuseli’s name, (says Haydon,) that I
remember perfectly well the day before I was to go to him, a letter from
my father concluded in these words: ‘God speed you with the terrible
Fuseli.’ Awaking from a night of awful dreaming, the awful morning
came. I took my sketch-book and drawings,--invoking the protection of my
good genius to bring me back alive, and sallied forth to meet the
enchanter in his den! After an abstracted walk of perpetual musing, on
what I should say, how I should look, and what I should do, I found
myself before his door in Berners-street----1805.” Haydon was shown into
his painting-room, full of Fuseli’s hideous conceptions. He adds:--“At
last, when I was wondering what metamorphosis I was to undergo, the door
slowly opened, and I saw a little hand come slowly round the edge of it,
which did not look very gigantic, or belonging to a very powerful
figure, and round came a little white-faced lion-headed man, dressed in
an old flannel dressing-gown, tied by a rope, and the bottom of Mrs.
Fuseli’s work-basket on his head for a cap. I was perfectly amazed!
there stood the designer of Satan in many an airy whirl plunging to the
earth; and was this the painter himself?--Certainly. Not such as I had
imagined when enjoying his inventions. I did not know whether to laugh
or cry, but at any rate I felt that I was his match if he attempted the
supernatural. We quietly stared at each other, and Fuseli kindly
understanding my astonishment and inexperience, asked in the mildest
voice for my drawings. Here my evil genius took the lead, and instead of
showing him my studies from the antique, which I had brought, and had
meant to have shown him, I showed him my sketch-book I did not mean to
show him, with a sketch I had made coming along, of a man pushing a
sugar-cask into a grocer’s shop. Fuseli seeing my fright, said, by way
of encouragement, ‘At least the fellow does his business with
energy.’ ” From that hour commenced a friendship which lasted till
his death.


Wilson loved, when a child, to trace figures of men and animals, with a
burnt stick, upon the walls of the house, a predilection which his
father encouraged. His relation, Sir George Wynn, next took him to
London, and placed him under the care of one Wright, an obscure
portrait-painter. His progress was so successful, that in 1748, when he
was thirty-five years old, he had so distinguished himself as to be
employed to paint a picture of the Prince of Wales and the Duke of York,
for their tutor, the Bishop of Norwich. In 1749, Wilson was enabled by
his own savings, and the aid of his friends, to go to Italy, where he
continued portrait-painting, till an accident opened another avenue to
fame, and shut up the way to fortune. Having waited one morning for the
coming of Zuccarelli the artist, to beguile the time, he painted a scene
upon which the window of his friend looked, with so much grace and
effect, that Zuccarelli was astonished, and inquired if he had studied
landscape. Wilson replied that he had not. “Then I advise you,” said the
other, “to try--for you are sure of success;” and this counsel was
confirmed by Vernet, the French painter. His studies in landscape must
have been rapidly successful, for he had some pupils in that line while
at Rome; and his works were so highly esteemed, that Mengs painted his
portrait, for which Wilson, in return, painted a landscape.

It is not known at what time he returned to England; but he was in
London in 1758, and resided over the north arcade of the Piazza,
Covent-garden, where he obtained great celebrity as a landscape painter.
To the first Exhibition of 1760, he sent his picture of Niobe, which
confirmed his reputation. Yet Wilson, from inattention to his own
interests, lost his connexions and employment, and was left, late in
life, in comfortless infirmity--having been reduced to solicit the
office of librarian of the Royal Academy, of which he had been one of
the brightest ornaments.


Had its origin in the Orleans Gallery. The Italian part of the
collection had been mortgaged for 40,000_l._ to Harman’s banking-house,
when Mr. Bryan, a celebrated collector and picture-dealer, and author of
the “Dictionary of Painters,” induced the Duke of Bridgewater to
purchase the whole as it stood for 43,000_l._ The pictures, amounting to
305, were then valued separately by Mr. Bryan, making a total of
72,000_l._; and from among them the Duke selected ninety-four of the
finest, at the prices at which they were valued, amounting altogether to
39,000 guineas. The Duke subsequently admitted his nephew, the Earl
Gower, and the Earl of Carlisle, to share his acquisition; resigning to
the former a fourth part, and to the latter an eighth of the whole
number thus acquired. The exhibition and sale of the rest produced
41,000_l._; consequently, the speculation turned out most profitably;
for the ninety-four pictures, which had been valued at 39,000_l._, were
acquired, in fact, for 2000_l._ The forty-seven retained for the Duke of
Bridgewater were valued at 23,130_l._ * * The Duke of Bridgewater
already possessed some fine pictures, and after the acquisition of his
share of the Orleans Gallery, he continued to add largely to his
collection, till his death in 1803, when he left his pictures, valued at
150,000_l._, to his nephew, George, first Marquis of Stafford,
afterwards first Duke of Sutherland. During the life of this nobleman,
the collection, added to one formed by himself when Earl Gower, was
placed in the house in Cleveland-row; and the whole known then, and for
thirty years afterwards, as the Stafford Gallery, became celebrated all
over Europe. On the death of the Marquis of Stafford, in 1833, his
second son, Lord Francis Leveson Gower, taking the surname of Egerton,
inherited, under the will of his grand-uncle, the Bridgewater property,
including the collection of pictures formed by the Duke. The Stafford
Gallery was thus divided: that part of the collection which had been
acquired by the Marquis of Stafford fell to his eldest son, the present
Duke of Sutherland; while the Bridgewater collection, properly so
called, devolved to Lord Francis Egerton, and has resumed its original
appellation, being now known as the Bridgewater Gallery. This gallery
has a great attraction, owing principally to the taste of its present
possessor: it contains some excellent works of modern English painters.
Near to the famous “Rising of the Gale,” by Van de Velde, hangs the
“Gale at Sea,” by Turner, not less sublime, not less true to the
grandeur and the modesty of nature; and by Edwin Landseer, the beautiful
original of a composition which the art of the engraver has made
familiar to the eye, the “Return of the Hawking Party,” a picture which
has all the romance of poetry and the antique time, and all the charm
and value of a family picture. Nor should be passed, without particular
notice, one of the most celebrated productions of the modern French
historical school--“Charles I. in the Guard Room,” by Paul Delaroche; a
truly grand picture, which Lord Francis Egerton has added to the Gallery
since 1838.--_Mrs. Jameson._


It is well known that, in 1623, Charles, then Prince of Wales,
accompanied by his father’s favourite, George Villiers, the celebrated
Duke of Buckingham, visited Madrid, with the avowed object of wooing and
winning the Infanta. We are informed by Pacheco, that his son-in-law,
Velasquez, received one hundred crowns for taking the portrait of the
prince, probably designed as a present to his lady-love. The suit,
however, proved unsuccessful; but what became of the picture has not
been recorded, even incidentally. There is reason to suppose it was
committed to the custody of Villiers, who had at York House, which
occupied the site of Villiers, Duke, and Buckingham streets, in the
Adelphi, a splendid collection of pictures. Charles, on his return from
Spain, reached York House past midnight, on the 6th of October; and the
picture may have been left there in some private apartment, and
afterwards have gradually fallen out of mind. There was a sale of
pictures on the assassination of the first duke. Again, when the second
duke fled to the Continent, to escape the vengeance of the parliament,
he sold part of his paintings to raise money for his personal support;
and according to a catalogue of these pictures, compiled by Vertue, the
Velasquez was not among them. Subsequently, the parliament sold part of
the remaining pictures. Either at or before the death of the second
duke, a fourth sale took place. In 1697, York House was burned down; and
it is possible the missing portrait may have been in the house at this

A very interesting search after the lost treasure is detailed in a
pamphlet, extending to 228 pages, published in 1847, from which these
particulars are, in the main, condensed:

     About four years since, Mr. Snare, a bookseller, at Reading, and a
     dealer in pictures, was much struck with the notice of the
     long-lost portrait of Charles, by Velasquez, which occurs in Mr.
     Ford’s _Hand-Book for Spain_. Not long after, Mr. Snare,
     accompanied by a portrait-painter also living at Reading, went to
     Radley Hall, between Abingdon and Oxford, and there, among other
     pictures, saw a portrait in which he recognised the features of
     Charles the First; the owner told him the figure was by Vandyke,
     and the back ground by the artist’s most clever pupils; but a
     dreamy conviction came over Mr. Snare that it was the missing
     portrait by Velasquez. On the 25th of October, 1845, the pictures
     in Radley Hall were sold by auction; Mr. Snare attended, and bought
     the portrait for 8_l._, notwithstanding many picture-dealers were
     present. After some delay, he took the treasure home: he put it in
     all lights; he moistened it with turpentine, which strengthened his
     conviction: he ran for his wife to admire it with him, and he was
     wrought up to the highest pitch.

     “I was quite beside myself,” says he, “with enthusiasm. I could not
     eat, and had no inclination to sleep. I sat up till three o’clock
     looking at the picture; and early in the morning I rose to place
     myself once more before it. I only took my eyes from the painting
     to read some book that made reference to the Spaniard whom I
     believed its author, or to the Flemish artist to whom, by vague
     report, it was attributed.”

     To trace the pedigree of the picture was the possessor’s next
     object; and, in Pennant’s _London_, he found mentioned the house of
     the Earl of Fife, as standing on part of the site of the palace of
     Whitehall, anciently called York House, which Mr. Snare confuses
     with the York House beyond Hungerford Market, the family mansion of
     the Duke of Buckingham. Among the works which adorned Fife House,
     Pennant mentions--

     “A head of Charles I., when Prince of Wales, done in Spain when he
     was there in 1623 on his romantic expedition to court the Infanta.
     It is supposed to have been the work of Velasco.”

     Here was some clue. Mr. Snare then traced the owner of Radley Hall
     to have received the picture from a connoisseur, who in his turn
     received a number of pictures from the Earl of Fife’s undertaker,
     after his lordship’s funeral, in 1809.

     Next he discovered a quarto pamphlet, entitled, “Catalogue of the
     Portraits and Pictures in the different houses belonging to the
     Earl of Fife, 1798.” A reprint of this catalogue was then found in
     the possession of Colonel Tynte, of Halewell, dated in 1807, the
     only alteration being a slight addition to the preface. Colonel
     Tynte remembers having been shown the pictures at Fife House, by
     the Earl himself. On page 38 of the Catalogue, under the head,
     “First Drawing-room,” the following entry  occurs:--

     “Charles I. when Prince of Wales. Three quarters. Painted at
     Madrid, 1625, when his marriage with the Infanta was proposed.

     ---- Velasquez. This picture belonged to the Duke of Buckingham.”

     Pennant, however, speaks of the portrait as a head; but this may be
     owing to confused recollection, especially as there appears to have
     been in the ‘Little Drawing-room of the hall’ a head of Charles I.
     by old Stone.

     Two persons, upon inspecting the portrait, next identified it as
     the picture they had seen at the connoisseur’s, and at the

     The general opinion, however, seemed to be that the painting was by
     Vandyke, not by Velasquez: so believed its possessor at Radley
     Hall, and the experienced person who cleaned the picture for Mr.
     Snare. He, on the other hand, maintains that although Vandyke was
     in England for a few weeks in 1620, there is no proof that he
     painted for royalty till 1632, when Charles was too old for the
     portrait in question, and when any allusion to the Spanish match
     would have been an insult to the nation.

     Cumberland, in his “Anecdotes of Eminent Painters in Spain,” states
     that Prince Charles did not sit to Velasquez, but that he
     (Velasquez) took a sketch of the prince, as he was accompanying
     King Philip in the chase. Pacheco seems to have been the authority
     to Cumberland, who, however, has mistranslated the passage, which
     really should be “in the meantime, he also took a sketch
     (_bosquexo_) of the Prince of Wales, who presented him with one
     hundred crowns.” The word “sketch,” however suggests another
     difficulty, for the picture itself is a fine painting on canvas.
     Mr. Ford, in his _Hand Book for Spain_, comes to the rescue, when
     he says that Velasquez “seems to have drawn on the canvas, for any
     sketches or previous studies are not to be met with.” Still, the
     picture in question is all but finished. In it can be traced the
     red earthy preparation of the canvas, and the light colour over it,
     which Velasquez was accustomed to introduce. The pigments also bear
     decisive evidence of their belonging to the Spanish school, and
     are exactly similar to the pigments used in the authenticated works
     of Velasquez--“the Water Seller,” in the possession of his Grace
     the Duke of Wellington; the portrait of Philip II., in the Dulwich
     Gallery; and a whole-length portrait, the property of the Earl of

     Mr. Snare thus describes the painting itself:--

     “Prince Charles is depicted in armour, decorated with the order of
     St. George; the right arm rests upon a globe, and in the hand is
     held a baton; the left arm is leaning upon the hip, being partly
     supported by the hilt of the sword; a drapery of a yellow ground,
     crossed by stripes of red, is behind the figure, but the curtain is
     made to cover one half of the globe on which the right arm is
     poised; the expression is tranquil; but in the distance is depicted
     a siege, numerous figures being there engaged in storming a town or

     Some proofs of identity are traceable in the costume and
     accessories. Thus, among the jewels sent to the Prince, was “a fair
     sworde, which was Prince Henry’s, fully garnished with dyamondes of
     several bignes.”

     Now, the hilt of the sword in the picture sparkles as if jewelled.
     The drapery, which covers half of the globe, is a rich yellow
     damask, with streaks of red. These are the national colours of

     In the “Memoirs of George Villiers, first Duke of Buckingham,” p.
     17, we are told that, on the arrival of the Prince and Marquis--

     “He (Olivarez) then complimented the Marquis, and told him, ‘Now
     the Prince of England was in Spain, their masters would divide the
     world between them.’ ”

     Similar mention of dividing the world between them also occurs in
     notices of the above meeting in the Journals of the House of
     Commons; and in Buckingham’s Narrative, in Rushworth’s Historical
     Collections. This may explain the Prince leaning on the globe,
     while half of it is covered by the national drapery of Spain.
     Still, the globe and drapery were afterthoughts in the painting.

The picture was exhibited for some time in Old Bond-street; but the
opinion in favour of its being by Velasquez did not gain ground among
connoisseurs: the distance has more of the painter’s manner than the
portrait itself, which is rather that of Vandyke. The pamphlet goes very
far to settle the identity of the picture with that mentioned in the
Fife House Catalogue; but the ascription may merely have been that of
the Earl of Fife; and it is somewhat strange that it should not have
been specially mentioned as the lost picture, had its identity been
positively settled.

Since the publication of Mr. Snare’s pamphlet, Sir Edmund Head, in his
“Handbook of the History of the Spanish and French Schools of Painting,”
has expressed his disbelief in the authenticity of the picture being the
long-lost portrait; adding, first, it is not in his opinion by
Velasquez; secondly, it is a finished picture; and, thirdly, it
represents Charles as older than twenty-three years, which was his age
when at Madrid. Again, Mr. Stirling, in his “Annals of the Artists of
Spain,” published in 1848, does not consider the picture proved to be
that formerly at Fife House; nor does he regard it as a sketch,
(“bosquexo,”) but more than three parts finished. He thinks also that
Charles looks considerably older than twenty-three; and he sees “no
resemblance in the style of the execution to any of the acknowledged
works of Velasquez.” To both these objections, Mr. Snare replied, in a
second pamphlet, wherein he opposed to their opinions the cumulative
evidence of his unwearied investigations. His first pamphlet, “The
History and Pedigree”--is a singularly interesting array of presumptive


While Haydon was an inmate of the King’s Bench Prison, in July, 1827, a
burlesque of an election was got up. “I was sitting in my own
apartment,” (writes the painter,) “buried in my own reflections,
melancholy, but not despairing at the darkness of my own prospects, and
the unprotected condition of my wife and children, when a tumultuous and
hearty laugh below brought me to my window. In spite of my own sorrow’s,
I laughed out heartily when I saw the occasion.” (He sketched the
grotesque scene, painted it in four months with the aid of noblemen and
friends, and the advocacy of the press, in exciting the sympathy of the
country.) “To the joint kindness of each,” wrote the painter, in
gratitude, “I owe the peace of the last five months, without which I
never could have accomplished so numerous a composition in so short a
time.” The picture proved attractive as an exhibition; still better, it
was purchased by King George IV. for 500_l._, and it was conveyed from
the Egyptian-hall to St. James’s Palace. A committee of gentlemen then
undertook Mr. Haydon’s affairs; and with the purchase-money of the
picture, and the proceeds of the exhibition, the painter was restored to
the bosom of his family. In 1828, he painted, as a companion to this
picture, “The Chairing of the Members,” which was bought by Mr. Francis,
of Exeter, for 300 guineas.


The Eastern Zoological Gallery of the British Museum has its walls
decorated with an assemblage of portraits, in number upwards of one
hundred, forming, probably, the largest collection of portraits in the
kingdom. The execution of many of them is but indifferent; there are
others which are exceedingly curious; and some are unique. Great part of
them came into the Museum from having belonged to the Sloanean,
Cottonian, and other collections, which now form the magnificent
library; and others have been the gifts of individuals. Before the
rebuilding of the Museum, many of these pictures were stowed away in the
lumber-rooms and attics of the mansion; and it was principally at the
suggestion of an eminent London printseller, that they were drawn from
their “dark retreat,” cleaned, and the frames regilt, and hung in their
present position, above the cases containing the fine zoological
specimens. The Gallery itself occupies the whole of the upper story of
the wing of the edifice, and has five divisions formed by pilasters, on
the side walls, the ceilings being also divided into the same number of
compartments, which gives an harmonious proportion to the whole it
would not otherwise possess. The light comes from elevated skylights,
and it may be a question whether, taken altogether, its advantages for
the display of paintings are not superior to those of the National
Gallery, in Trafalgar-square.

Among the portraits are those of the English Sovereigns, including
Richard II., Henry V., Margaret Countess of Richmond, Edward VI., (no
doubt an original,) and Elizabeth, by Zucchero. Here are likewise
foreign sovereigns, British statesmen, heroes, and divines, &c.,
peculiarly appropriate to the place; naturalists and philosophers,
mathematicians, navigators, and travellers, whose labours have
contributed to enrich this national Museum.


Bacici, a Genoese painter, in the seventeenth century, had a very
peculiar talent of producing exact likenesses of deceased persons he had
never seen. He first drew a face at random; and afterwards, altering it
in every feature, by the advice and under the inspection of those who
had known the subject, he improved it into striking resemblance.


The fame of Copley as a portrait-painter is comparatively limited. I can
speak (says Dr. Dibdin) but of _four_ of his portraits from
reminiscence; those of the late Earl Spencer, Lord Sidmouth, Lord
Colchester, and the late Richard Heber, Esq.--the latter when a boy of
eight years, in the dining-room at Hodnet Hall. These portraits, with
the exception of the last, are all engraved. That of Earl Spencer, in
his full robes as a Knight of the Garter, and in the prime of his
manhood, now placed at the bottom of the great historical portrait
gallery at Althorp, must have been a striking likeness; but, like almost
all the portraits of the artist, it is too stiff and stately. The
portrait of the young Heber has, I think, considerable merit on the
score of art. There is a play of light and shadow, and the figure, with
a fine flowing head of hair, mixes up well with its accessories. He is
leaning on a cricket-bat, with a ball in one hand. The face is, to my
eye, such as I could conceive the original to have _been_, when I first
remember him a Bachelor of the Arts at Oxford, full, plump, and
athletic. In short, as Dean Swift expresses it, “if you should look at
him in his boyhood through the magnifying end of the glass, and in his
manhood through the diminishing end, it would be impossible to spy any
difference.” The contemplation of _this_ portrait has at times produced
mixed emotions of admiration, regard, and pity.


In the year 1800, M. Masquerier had occasion to go to Paris on family
matters. Like a sensible man, who made all his pursuits available to the
purposes of his profession, he conceived the happy thought of obtaining
permission to make a portrait of Bonaparte, (then First Consul,) and
afterwards portraits of his generals the whole of which were
concentrated in one grand picture, of the size of life, and exhibited
in this country as “Bonaparte Reviewing the Consular Guard.” It appears
that Masquerier, through the interest of a friend acquainted with
Josephine, got permission to be present at the Tuilleries, where he saw
Bonaparte in the _grey great-coat_, which has since been so well-known
throughout Europe. Masquerier remarked that Bonaparte’s appearance in
this costume was so different from all portraits which he had seen, that
he resolved to fix him in his sketch-book in this identical surtout, the
French thinking that the portrait of a great man must necessarily be
tricked out in finery. He sketched him just as he saw him, and carried
him to England; placing him upon a grey horse, his usual charger, and
surrounding him with his staff. The picture told in all respects. The
Prince Regent (afterwards George IV.) and Tallien, then in London on his
return from Egypt, were among the twenty-five or thirty-thousand
visitors who went to see it. Tallien left in the exhibition-room the
following testimony to the likeness of the First Consul:--

“_J’ai vu le portrait du General Buonaparte fait par M. Masquerier, et
je l’ai trouvé tres resemblant._” TALLIEN, _Londres, ce 24 Mars, 1801_.”

There is a print of this picture, which is scarce. The original was
afterwards sold, to be taken to America. Masquerier netted about
1000_l._ by this speculation, but the remuneration did not overpay the
toil. Such was the reaction, from incessant application and anxiety,
that the artist was confined to his room several weeks afterwards.


One of Lawrence’s most remarkable male portraits is that of Curran:
under mean and harsh features, a genius of the highest order lay
concealed, like a sweet kernel in a rough husk; and so little of the
true man did Lawrence perceive in his first sittings, that he almost
laid down his palette in despair, in the belief that he could make
nothing but a common or vulgar work. The parting hour came, and with it
the great Irishman burst out in all his strength. He discoursed on art,
on poetry, on Ireland; his eyes flashed, and his colour heightened; and
his rough and swarthy visage seemed, in the sight of the astonished
painter, to come fully within his own notions of manly beauty. “I never
saw you till now,” said the artist, in his softest tone of voice; “you
have sat to me in a mask; do give me a sitting of Curran, the orator.”
Curran complied, and a fine portrait, with genius on its brow, was the

Allan Cunningham, whose Memoir of Lawrence we quote, states how he
gradually raised his prices for portraits as he advanced to fame. In
1802, his charge for a three-quarter size was thirty guineas; for a
half-length, sixty guineas; and for a whole-length, one hundred and
twenty guineas. In 1806, the three-quarters rose to fifty guineas; and
the whole length to two hundred. In 1808, he rose the smallest size to
eighty guineas, and the largest to three hundred and twenty guineas; and
in 1810, when the death of Hoppner swept all rivalry out of the way, he
increased the price of the heads to one hundred, and the full-lengths
to four hundred guineas. He knew--none better--that the opulent loved to
possess what was rare, and beyond the means of poorer men to purchase;
and the growing crowds of his sitters told him that his advance in price
had not been ill received.


It was the lot of Northcote to live long in something like a state of
opposition to Opie. They were both engaged in historical pictures, by
the same adventurous alderman, (Boydell,) and acquitted themselves in a
way which, with many, left themselves in a balance. In after life, when
Opie had ceased to be in any one’s way, Northcote would recal, without
any bitterness, their days of rivalry. “Opie,” said he to Hazlitt, “was
a man of sense and observation: he paid me the compliment of saying,
that we should have been the best of friends in the world if we had not
been rivals. I think he had more feeling than I had; perhaps, because I
had most vanity. We sometimes got into foolish altercations. I
recollect, once in particular, at a banker’s in the City, we took up the
whole of dinner-time with a ridiculous controversy about Milton and
Shakspeare. I am sure neither of us had the least notion which was
right; and when I was heartily ashamed of it, a foolish citizen added to
my confusion by saying, ‘Lor! what I would give to hear two such men as
you talk every day!’ On another occasion, when on his way to Devonport,
Opie parted with him where the road branches off for Cornwall. He said
to those who were on the coach with him, ‘That’s Opie, the painter.’ ‘Is
it, indeed!’ they all cried, and upbraiding Northcote for not informing
them sooner. Upon this, he contrived, by way of experiment, to try the
influence of his own name; but his fame had not reached the enlightened
‘outsides;’ and the painter confessed he felt mortified.”--_Cunningham._


In Shire-lane, Temple Bar, is said to have originated the famous Kit-Kat
Club, which consisted of thirty-nine distinguished noblemen and
gentlemen zealously attached to the protestant succession of the house
of Hanover. The club is supposed to have been named from Christopher
Kat, a pastry-cook, who kept the house where the members dined; and who
excelled in making mutton-pies, which were always in the bill of fare,
these pies being called kit-kats. Jacob Tonson, the bookseller, was
secretary to the club. “You have heard of the Kit-Kat Club,” says Pope
to Spencer. Sir Richard Steele, Addison, Congreve, Garth, Vanburgh,
Manwaring, Stepney, and Walpole, belonged to it.

Tonson, whilst secretary, caused the club meetings to be transferred to
a house belonging to himself at Barn Elms, and built a handsome room for
the accommodation of the members. The portrait of each member was
painted by Sir Godfrey Kneller; but, the apartment not being
sufficiently large to receive half-length pictures, a shorter canvas was
adopted; and hence the technical term of kit-kat size. Garth wrote the
verses for the toasting-glass of this club, which, as they are preserved
in his works, have immortalized four of the reigning beauties at the
commencement of the last century--Lady Carlisle, Lady Essex, Lady Hyde,
and Lady Wharton.

In 1817, the club-room was standing, and was the property of Mr. Hoare,
the London banker. Sir Richard Phillips visited it at this date, when it
was sadly in decay. It was 18 feet high, and 40 feet long, by 20 wide.
The mouldings and ornaments were in the most superb fashion of the last
century; but the whole was falling to pieces from the effects of
dry-rot. There was the faded cloth-hanging of the walls, whose red
colour once set off the famous portraits of the club that hung around
it. Their marks and sizes were still visible, and the numbers and names
remained as written in chalk for the guidance of the hanger! “Thus,”
says Sir Richard, “was I, as it were, by these still legible names,
brought into personal contact with Addison, and Steele, and Congreve,
and Garth, and Dryden, and with many _hereditary_ nobles, remembered
only because they were patrons of those _natural_ nobles!--I read their
names aloud!--I invoked their departed spirits!--I was appalled by the
echo of my own voice! The holes in the floor, the forests of cobwebs in
the windows, and a swallow’s nest in the corner of the ceiling,
proclaimed that I was viewing a vision of the dreamers of a past
age--that I saw realized before me the speaking vanities of the anxious
career of man! The blood of the reader of sensibility will thrill as
mine thrilled! It was feeling without volition, and therefore incapable
of analysis!”

Not long after this the club-room was united to a barn, to form a
riding-house. The kit-kat pictures were painted early in the eighteenth
century, and about the year 1710, were brought to this spot; but the
club-room was not built till ten or fifteen years afterwards. The
paintings were forty-two in number, and were presented by the members to
the elder Tonson, who died in 1736. He left them to his great nephew,
also an eminent bookseller, who died in 1767. They were then removed
from the building at Barn-Elms, to the house of his brother, at
Water-Oakley, near Windsor; and on his death, to the house of Mr. Baker,
of Hertingfordbury, where they were splendidly lodged, and in fine
preservation. We are not aware if the collection has been dispersed.


Copley, the father of Lord Lyndhurst, painted a vast picture of the
Relief afforded to the Crew of the Enemy’s Gun-boats on their taking
fire at the Siege of Gibraltar. The painting was immense, and it was
managed by means of a roller, so that any portion of it, at any time,
might be easily seen or executed. The artist himself was raised on a
platform. The picture was at length completed, and a most signal mark of
royal favour was granted the painter, by his receiving permission to
erect a tent in the Green Park for its exhibition. It attracted
thousands. Beneath the principal subjects, in small, was painted Lord
Howe’s relief of the garrison of Gibraltar; and the portraits of Lords
Heathfield and Howe, (heads only,) occupied each one side of this
smaller subject.

When Copley’s magnificent picture, afterwards hung up in the Egyptian
darkness of the Council-room in Guildhall, was first exhibited, Dr.
Dibdin one day placed himself in front of it, and was sketching the
portrait of Lord Heathfield with a pencil on the last blank page of the
catalogue, when some one to his right exclaimed, “Pretty well, but you
give too much nose.” The Doctor turned round--it was the artist himself,
who smiled, and commended his efforts.


Mr. (subsequently Sir) Robert Kerr Porter, at the age of nineteen
produced a performance at once inconceivable and unparalleled--the
panorama of _the Storming and Capture of Seringapatam_. It was not the
very first thing of its kind, because there had been a panorama of
London exhibited in Leicester Fields by Mr. Barker; but it was the very
first thing of its kind, if artist-like attainments be considered. The
learned, (says Dr. Dibdin,) were amazed, and the unlearned were
enraptured. I can never forget its impression upon my own mind. It was a
thing dropt from the clouds--all fire, energy, intelligence, and
animation. You looked a second time; the figures moved, and were
commingled in hot and bloody fight. You saw the flash of the cannon, the
glitter of the bayonet, the gleam of the falchion. You longed to be
leaping from crag to crag with Sir David Baird, who is hallooing the
men on to victory! Then again, you seemed to be listening to the groans
of the wounded and the dying--and more than one female was carried out
swooning. The oriental dress, the jewelled turban, the curved and
ponderous scimitar--these were among the prime objects of favouritism
with Sir Robert’s pencil: and he touched and treated them to the very
spirit and letter of the truth. The colouring, too, was good and sound
throughout. The accessories were strikingly characteristic--rock, earth,
and water, had its peculiar and happy touch; and the accompaniments
about the sally-port, half choked up with the bodies of the dead, made
you look on with a shuddering awe, and retreat as you shuddered. The
public poured in by hundreds and by thousands for even a transient
gaze--for such a sight was altogether as marvellous as it was novel. You
carried it home, and did nothing but think of it, talk of it, and dream
of it. And all this by a young man of nineteen.

Miss Jane Porter, Sir Robert’s sister, wrote for Dr. Dibdin a very
interesting narrative of this extraordinary work.

     “It was two hundred and odd feet long,” says Miss Porter; “the
     proportioned height I have now forgotten. But I remember, when I
     first saw the vast expense of vacant canvas stretched along, or
     rather in a semicircle, against the wall of the great room in the
     Lyceum, where he painted it, I was terrified at the daring of his
     undertaking. I could not conceive that he could cover that immense
     space with the subject he intended, under a year’s time at least,
     but--and it is indeed marvellous!--he did it in SIX WEEKS! But he
     worked on it every day (except Sundays) during those weeks, from
     sunrise until dark. It was finished during the time the committees
     of the Royal Academy were sitting at Somerset House, respecting
     the hanging of the pictures there for that year’s exhibition;
     therefore it must have been towards the latter end of April. No
     artist had seen the painting of Seringapatam during its progress;
     but when it was completed, my brother invited his revered old
     friend, Mr. West, (the then President of the Royal Academy,) to
     come and look at the picture, and give him his opinion of it, ere
     it should be opened to the public view. * * * Mr. West went over
     from the Lyceum, on the morning on which he had called to see my
     brother and his finished painting, to Somerset House, where the
     Committee had been awaiting his presence above an hour. ‘What has
     detained our President so long?’ inquired Sir Thomas Lawrence of
     him, on his entrance. ‘A wonder!’ returned he, ‘a wonder of the
     world!--I never saw anything like it!--a picture of two hundred
     feet dimensions, painted by that boy KERR PORTER, in six weeks! and
     as admirably done as it could have been by the best historical
     painter amongst us in as many months!’ You, my dear Sir, need no
     description of this picture; you saw it; and at the time of its
     exhibition you also must have heard of, and probably also saw, some
     of the affecting effects the truth of its pictorial war-tale had on
     many of the female spectators.

     “After its exhibition closed, it was deposited, packed upon a
     roller, in a friend’s warehouse. Thence, some circumstances caused
     it to be removed successively to other places of supposed similar
     security, but in one of which I believe it finally perished by the
     accidental burning down of the premises. The original sketches of
     this ‘noble and stupendous effort of art,’ as you so truly call it,
     are now in my own possession; and you may believe I value them as
     the apple of my eye. I must not forget to mention, with regard to
     Seringapatam, that had our British government, at the time of my
     brother’s ardour for these paintings, possessed a building large
     enough for the purpose, he would have presented his country with
     that picture, and three others on British historical subjects, to
     form a perpetual exhibition for the benefit of its military and
     naval hospitals. Mr. Pitt lamented to him the impossibility then,
     of commanding such a building; so the project fell to the ground.
     The last of these intended four pictures was that of ‘_The Battle
     of Agincourt_,’ which my brother afterwards presented to the city
     of London, where it was hung up in the Egyptian Hall of the Mansion
     House. Some alterations in the room occasioned its being taken down
     for a temporary purpose; but it never saw the light again until
     _last year_, when (after above a dozen years oblivion in--nobody
     knew where), it was accidentally found in one of the vaulted
     chambers under Guildhall. When disentombed, it was hastily spread
     out against one of the walls of the great hall itself, and
     announced, in the newspapers, as a picture of _unknown antiquity_,
     of some also unknown but evidently distinguished artist; and most
     probably it had been deposited in those vaults for security, at the
     _great fire of London_, and had remained there, unsuspected, ever
     since! The hall was thronged, day after day, to see it; and Sir
     Martin Shee told me, that so great was the mysterious valuation the
     discovery had put on it, that he heard he had been quoted as having
     passed his opinion on it, that ‘it was a picture worth £15,000!’
     Without proper safeguards behind the canvas, a long exposure on the
     wall would have injured the picture; and it was taken down again
     before I came to London, after having heard of the discovery of the
     ‘_Agincourt_’--for I immediately recognised what, and whose, the
     picture was--and hastened to inform the present gentlemen of the
     city corporation accordingly.”

Such is the affectionate narrative from the pen of the youthful
painter’s sister.


Zoffani was employed by George III. to paint a scene from Reynolds’s
_Speculation_, in which Quick, Munden, and Miss Wallis were introduced.
The King called at the artist’s to see the work in progress; and at last
it was done, “all but the _coat_.” The picture, however, was not sent to
the palace, and the King repeated his visit. Zoffani, with some
embarrassment, said, “It is all done but the goat.” “Don’t tell me,”
said the impatient monarch; “this is always the way. You said it was
done all but the coat the last time I was here.” “I said the goat, and
please your Majesty,” replied the artist. “Ay!” rejoined the King; “the
goat or the coat, I care not which you call it; I say I will not have
the picture,” and was about to leave the room, when Zoffani, in agony,
repeated, “It is the _goat_ that is not finished,” pointing to a picture
of a goat that hung up in a frame, as an ornament to the scene at the
theatre. The King laughed heartily at the blunder, and waited patiently
till “the goat” was finished.


In the year 1644, Cosmo, the son of Ferdinand II. de Medici, undertook a
journey, an account of which was written at the time by Philipe
Pizzichi, his travelling chaplain. This work was published at Florence,
in 1829. It contains some curious notices of persons and things, and,
among others, what will interest every lover of the fine arts. Speaking
of Verona, the diarist mentions the Curtoni Gallery of Paintings, in
which “the picture most worthy of attention is the Lady of Raffaello, so
carefully finished by himself, and so well preserved, that it surpasses
every other.” The editor of these travels has satisfactorily shown that
Raffaello’s lady here described is the true Fornarina; so that of the
three likenesses of her said to be executed by this eminent artist, the
genuine one is the Veronese, belonging to the Curtoni Gallery, then the
property of a Lady Cavalini Brenzoni, who obtained it by inheritance.


Upon pulling down the Bishop’s palace at Chelsea, many years ago, a
singular discovery was made. In a small room near the north front were
found, on the plaster of the walls, nine figures as large as life,
three men and six women, drawn in outline, with black chalk, in a bold
and animated style. Of these correct copies have been published. They
display much of the manner of Hogarth, who, it is well known, lived on
intimate terms with Bishop Hoadly, and frequently visited his lordship
at this palace; and it is supposed that these figures apply to some
incident in the Bishop’s family, or to some scene in a play. His
lordship’s partiality for the drama is well known. His brother, who
resided in Chelsea, at Cremorne House, wrote one of the best comedies in
the English language--_The Provoked Husband_.


Mr. Cribb, of King-street, Covent Garden, has (1848), in his collection
of memorials of men of genius, a palette which belonged to Sir Joshua
Reynolds. It descended to Mr. Cribb from his father, who received it
from Sir Joshua’s niece, the Marchioness of Thomond. It is of plain
mahogany, and measures 11 inches by 7 inches, oblong in form, with a
sort of loop handle.

Cunningham tells us that Sir Joshua’s sitters’ chair moved on castors,
and stood above the floor a foot and a half. He _held his palettes by a
handle_, and the sticks of his brushes were 18 inches long. The
following memoranda are dated 1755:--“For painting the flesh, black,
blue-black, white, lake, carmine, orpiment, yellow ochre, ultramarine,
and varnish. To lay the palette: first lay, carmine and white in
different degrees; second lay, orpiment and white ditto; third lay,
blue-black and white ditto. The first sitting, for expedition, make a
mixture as like the sitter’s complexion as you can.”


Sir Joshua once hearing of a young artist who had become embarrassed by
an injudicious marriage, and was on the point of being arrested,
immediately hurried to his residence, to inquire into the case. The
unfortunate artist told the melancholy particulars of his situation;
adding, that £40 would enable him to compound with his creditors. After
some further conversation, Sir Joshua took his leave, telling the
distressed painter he would do something for him. When bidding him adieu
at the door, Sir Joshua took him by the hand, and, after squeezing it
cordially, hurried off with a benevolent triumph in his heart--while the
astonished and relieved artist found in his hand a banknote for £100!


The anecdotes of the dog which menaced a goat depicted by the faithful
pencil of Glover, and of the macaw, which, with beak and wings, attacked
the portrait of a female servant painted by Northcote, are well known.
Two family portraits, painted by Mr. J. P. Knight, were one day sent
home, when they were instantly recognised with great joy by a spaniel
which had been a favourite with the originals. On being taken into the
room, and perceiving the canvas thus stamped with identity even to
illusion, the faithful dog endeavoured, by every demonstration of
affection, to attract the notice of her former friends; and was with
difficulty withheld by one of the bystanders from leaping upon them, and
overwhelming them with her caresses. This interesting recognition
continued for many minutes, and was repeated on the next and following
days; until finding, doubtless, that the scent was wanting, poor
“Flossy” slunk away abashed, in evident mortification that her
well-known playfellows were so regardless of her proffered kindness.
Yet, turning upon them both alternately many a wistful look, she seemed
unwilling to be convinced, even by experience, that she had thus
mistaken the shadow for the substance.


The Plough public-house at Kensal-green, on the road to Harrow, was a
favourite resort of George Morland. Here this errant son of genius was
wont to indulge in deep potations. He lodged hard by, and was frequently
in company with Ward, the painter, whose example of moral steadiness was
exhibited to him in vain. While at Kensal-green, Morland fell in love
with Miss Ward, a young lady of beauty and modesty, and soon afterwards
married her; she was the sister of his friend, the painter; and to make
the family union stronger, Ward sued for the hand of Maria Morland, and
in about a month after his sister’s marriage, obtained it.

Morland’s courtship and honeymoon drew him from the orgies at the
Plough, but on returning to the metropolis, he betook himself to his
former habits. Yet, with all his dissipation, Morland was not indolent;
as is attested by four thousand pictures, most of them of great merit,
which he painted during a life of forty years.

Among Morland’s portraits is one which has become of peculiar historical
interest: it is a small whole-length of William the Fourth when a
midshipman. The sailor-prince is looking wistfully upon the sea, which
he loved far dearer than the cumbrous splendour of a crown.


Henry Cornelius Vroom, the Dutchman, having painted a number of devout
subjects, started for Spain to sell them; but was cast away upon a small
island near the coast of Portugal. The painter and some of the crew were
relieved by monks, who lived among the rocks, and they conducted them to
Lisbon, where Vroom was engaged by a picture-dealer to paint the storm
he had just escaped. In this picture he succeeded so well, that the
Portuguese dealer continued to employ him. He improved so much in
sea-pieces that he saved money, returned home, and applied himself
exclusively to that class of painting. He then lived at Haerlem, where
he was employed to design the suite of tapestry representing the Defeat
of the Spanish Armada, which hung for many years upon the walls of the
House of Lords, at Westminster. It had been bespoken by Lord Howard of
Effingham, the Lord High Admiral of the English Fleet, which engaged the
Armada; it was sold by him to James the First. It consisted originally
of ten compartments, forming separate pictures, each of which was
surrounded by a wrought border, including the portraits of the officers
who held command in the English fleet. This tapestry was woven,
according to Sandrart, by Francis Spiering: it was destroyed in the fire
which consumed the two Houses of Parliament, in 1834. Fortunately,
engravings from these hangings were executed by Mr. John Pine, and
published in 1739, with illustrations from charters, medals, &c.


The following summary of the fortunes of painters is at once curious and

“One must confess that if the poets were an order of beings of too great
sensibility for this world, the painters laboured still more under this
malady of genius. Zoppo, a sculptor, having accidentally broken the
_chef d’œuvre_ of his efforts, destroyed himself. Chendi poisoned
himself, because he was only moderately applauded for the decorations of
a tournament. Louis Caracci died of mortification because he could not
set right a foot in a fresco, the wrong position of which he did not
perceive till the scaffolding was taken away. Cavedone lost his talent
from grief at his son’s death, and begged his bread from want of
commissions. Schidone, inspired with the passion of play, died of
despair to have lost all in one night. There was one who languished, and
was no more from seeing the perfection of Raphael. Torrigini, to avoid
death at the hands of the Spanish Inquisition, put an end to himself,
having broken to pieces his own statue of the Virgin, an avaricious
hidalgo, who had ordered it, higgling at the price. Bandinelli died,
losing a commission for a statue; Daniel de Volterra, from anxiety to
finish a monument to Henry IV. of France. Cellini frequently became
unwell in the course of his studies, from the excitement of his
feelings. When one sums up the history of painters with the furious and
bloody passions of a Spagnoletto, and Caravaggio, Tempeste, and
Calabrese, one must suppose all their sensibilities much stronger than
those of the rest of mankind.”


This far-famed picture, believed to be the only genuine portrait of the
poet, was bought at the sale at Stowe, in the autumn of 1848, by the
Earl of Ellesmere, for 355 guineas. Its history, as stated in the
_Athenæum_ shortly after the period of the sale, is as follows:--“The
Duke of Chandos obtained it by marriage with the daughter and heiress of
a Mr. Nicholl, of Minchenden House, Southgate; Mr. Nicholl obtained it
from a Mr. Robert Keck, of the Inner Temple, who gave (the first and
best) Mrs. Barry, the actress, as Oldys tells us, forty guineas for it.
Mrs. Barry had it from Betterton, and Betterton had it from Sir William
Davenant, who was a professed admirer of Shakspeare, and not unwilling
to be thought his son. Davenant was born in 1605, and died in 1668; and
Betterton, (as every reader of Pepys will recollect,) was the great
actor, belonging to the Duke’s Theatre, of which Davenant was the
patentee. The elder brother of Davenant, (Parson Robert,) had been heard
to relate, as Aubrey informs us, that Shakspeare had often kissed Sir
William when a boy.

“Davenant lived quite near enough to Shakspeare’s time to have obtained
a genuine portrait of the poet whom he admired--in an age, too, when the
Shakspeare mania was not so strong as it is now. There is no doubt that
this was the portrait which Davenant believed to be like Shakspeare, and
which Kneller, before 1692, copied and presented to glorious John
Dryden, who repaid the painter with one of the best of his admirable

“The Chandos Shakspeare is a small portrait on canvas, 22 inches long by
18 broad. The face is thoughtful, the eyes are expressive, and the hair
is of a brown black. The dress is black, with a white turnover collar,
the strings of which are loose. There is a small gold ring in the left
ear. We have had an opportunity of inspecting it both before and after
the sale, and in the very best light, and have no hesitation in saying
that the copies we have seen of it are very far from like. It agrees in
many respects--the short nose especially--with the Stratford bust, and
is not more unlike the engraving before the first folio--or the Gerard
Johnson bust on the Stratford monument--than Raeburn’s Sir Walter Scott
is unlike Sir Thomas Lawrence’s--or West’s Lord Byron unlike the better
known portrait by Phillips. It has evidently been touched upon; the
yellow oval that surrounds it has a look of Kneller’s age.”

The opinion of the writer in the _Athenæum_ is, that the Chandos picture
is not the original for which Shakspeare sat, but a copy made for Sir
William Davenant from some known and acknowledged portrait of the poet.


Sir Joshua Reynolds has done more than any one else to vindicate the art
of portrait-painting as indigenous to our country--he has started it
afresh from its lethargy and recovered it from its errors--placed
himself at once above all his countrymen who had preceded him, and has
remained above all who have followed. Like Holbein and Vandyke, Sir
Joshua put his stamp upon the times; or rather, like a true artist and
philosopher, he took that aggregate impression which the times gave.
Each has doubtless given his sitters a character of his own; but this is
not our argument. Each has also made his sitters what the costume of the
time contributed to make them. If Vandyke’s women are dignified and
lofty, it is his doing, for he was dignified and lofty in all his
compositions; if they are also childish and trivial, it is the accident
of the costume; for he was never either in his other pictures. If
Reynolds’s sitters are all simple, earnest, and sober, it is because he
was the artist, for he was so in all he touched; if they are also
stately, refined, and intellectual, it was the effect of the costume,
for he was not so in his other conceptions. For instance, Lady St.
Asaph, with her infant, lolling on a couch, in a loose tumbled dress,
with her feet doubled under her, is sober and respectable looking--in
spite of dress and position. Mrs. Hope, in an enormous cabbage of a cap,
with her hair over her eyes, is blowsy and vulgar in spite of Reynolds.

To our view, the average costume of Sir Joshua was excessively
beautiful. We go through a gallery of his portraits with feelings of
intense satisfaction, that there should have been a race of women who
could dress so decorously, so intellectually, and withal so becomingly.
Not a bit of the costume appeals to any of the baser instincts. There is
nothing to catch the vulgar, or fix the vicious. All is pure, noble,
serene, benevolent. They seem as if they would care for nothing we could
offer them, if our deepest reverence were not with it. We stand before
them like Satan before Eve, “stupidly good,” ready to abjure all the
fallacies of the Fathers, all the maxims of the moderns--ready to eat
our own words if they disapproved them--careless what may have been the
name or fame, family or fortune, of such lofty and lovely
creatures--yea, careless of their very beauty, for the _soul_ that
shines through it. And then to think that they are all dead!--_Quarterly


Before the change that took place in the general appearance of London,
soon after the accession of George III., the universal use of signs, not
only for taverns and ale-houses, but also for tradesmen, furnished no
small employment for the inferior rank of painters, and sometimes even
for the superior professors. Cotton painted several good ones; but among
the most celebrated practitioners in this branch, was a person of the
name of Lamb, who possessed a considerable degree of ability. His pencil
was bold and masterly, well adapted to the subjects on which it was
generally employed. Mr. Wale, who was one of the founders of the Royal
Academy, and appointed the first Professor of Perspective in that
institution, also painted some signs; the principal one was a
full-length of Shakspeare, about five feet high, which was executed for
and displayed before the door of a public-house at the corner of Little
Russel Street, Drury Lane. It was enclosed in a sumptuously carved gilt
frame, and suspended by rich iron-work. But this splendid object of
popular attraction did not stand long before it was taken down, in
consequence of an Act of Parliament that was passed for paving, and
removing the signs and other obstructions from, the streets of London.
Such was the total change of fashion, and the consequent disuse of
signs, that this representation of the immortal bard was sold for a
trifle to a broker, at whose door it stood for several years, until it
was totally destroyed by the weather and other accidents.


The Duchess of Kingston was very anxious to be received by some crowned
head, as the only means of relief from the disgrace fixed upon her by
her trial and conviction for bigamy. The Court of Russia was chosen,
where pictures were sent as presents, not only to the Sovereign, but to
the most powerful of the nobles. Count Tchernicheff was represented to
the Duchess as an exalted character, to whom she ought, in policy, to
pay her especial _devoirs_. Feeling the force of the observation, she
sent him two paintings. The Duchess was no judge of pictures, and a
total stranger to the value of these pieces, which were originals by
Raphael and Claude Lorraine. The Count was soon apprised of this, and,
on the arrival of the Duchess at St. Petersburg, he waited on her Grace,
and professed his gratitude for the present, at the same time assuring
the Duchess that the pictures were estimated at a value in Russian money
equal to ten thousand pounds sterling. The Duchess could with the utmost
difficulty conceal her chagrin. She told the Count “that she had other
pictures, which she should consider it an honour if he would accept;
that the two paintings in his possession were particularly the
favourites of her departed lord; but that the Count was extremely kind
in permitting them to occupy a place in his palace, until her mansion
was properly prepared.” This palpable hint was not taken.


J. Swartz, a distinguished German painter, having engaged to execute a
roof-piece in a public townhall, and to paint by the day, grew
exceedingly negligent; so that the magistrates and overseers of the work
were frequently obliged to hunt him out of the tavern. Seeing he could
not drink in quiet, he one morning stuffed a pair of stockings and shoes
corresponding with those that he wore, hung them down betwixt his
staging where he sat to work, removed them a little once or twice a-day,
and took them down at noon and night; and by means of this deception he
drank without the least disturbance a whole fortnight together, the
innkeeper being in the plot. The officers came in twice a-day to look at
him; and, seeing a pair of legs hanging down, suspected nothing, but
greatly extolled their convert Swartz as the most laborious and
conscientious painter in the world.

Swartz had once finished an admirable picture of our Saviour’s Passion,
on a large scale, and in oil colours. A certain Cardinal was so well
pleased with it, that he resolved to bring the Pope to see it. Swartz
knew the day, and, determined to put a trick on the Pope and the
Cardinal, painted over the oil, in fine water-colours, the twelve
disciples at supper, but all together by the ears, like the Lapithæ and
the Centaurs. At the time appointed, the Pope and Cardinal came to see
the picture. Swartz conducted them to the room where it hung. They stood
amazed, and thought the painter mad. At length the Cardinal said,
“Idiot, dost thou call this a Passion?” “Certainly I do,” said Swartz.
“But,” replied the Cardinal, “show me the picture I saw when here last.”
“This is it,” said Swartz, “for I have no other finished in the house.”
The Cardinal angrily denied that it was the same. Swartz, unwilling or
afraid to carry the joke further, requested that they would retire a few
minutes out of his room. No sooner had they done so, than Swartz, with a
sponge and warm water, obliterated the whole of the water-colour
coating; then, re-introducing the Pope and the Cardinal, he presented
them with a most beautiful picture of the Passion. They stood
astonished, and thought Swartz a necromancer. At last the painter
explained the mystery; and then, as the old chroniclers say, “they knew
not which most to admire, his work or his wit.”


Richardson, in his anecdotes of painting, tells the following:--“Some
years ago, a gentleman came to me to invite me to his house. ‘I have,’
said he, ‘a picture of Rubens, and it is a rare good one. Little
H----the other day came to see it, and says it is a copy. If any one
says so again, _I’ll break his head_. Pray, Mr. Richardson, will you do
me the favour to come and _give me your real opinion of it_?’ ”



[1] Southey’s Life of John Bunyan.

[2] In his Comic Miscellanies.

[3] Supported by the following note, written by Dr. Parr, in his copy of
“The Letters of Junius:”--“The writer of ‘Junius’ was Mr. Lloyd,
secretary to George Grenville, and brother to Philip Lloyd, Dean of
Norwich. This will one day or other be generally acknowledged.--S. P.”

[4] Personal Recollections of the late Daniel O’Connell, M.P. By William
J. O’N. Daunt.

[5] See, also, an ensuing page, 120.

[6] Johnson, by the way, had a strange nervous feeling, which made him
uneasy if he had not touched every post between the Mitre Tavern and his
own lodgings.

[7] The house has been destroyed many years.

[8] “The Dyotts,” notes Croker, “are a respectable and wealthy family,
still residing near Lichfield. The royalist who shot Lord Brooke when
assaulting St. Chad’s Cathedral, in Lichfield, on St. Chad’s Day, was a
Mr. Dyott.”

[9] “I have seen,” says a Correspondent of the _Inverness Courier_, “a
copy of the second edition of Burns’s ‘Poems,’ with the blanks filled
up, and numerous alterations made in the poet’s handwriting: one
instance, not the most delicate, but perhaps the most amusing and
characteristic will suffice. After describing the gambols of his ‘Twa
Dogs,’ their historian refers to their sitting down in coarse and rustic
terms. This, of course, did not suit the poet’s Edinburgh patrons, and
he altered it to the following:--

    ’Till tired at last, and doucer grown,
     Upon a knowe they sat them down.’

Still this did not please his fancy; he tried again, and hit it off in
the simple, perfect form in which it now stands:--

    ‘Until wi’ daffin weary grown,
     Upon a knowe they sat them down.’ ”

[10] Campbell’s alterations were, generally, decided improvements; but
in one instance he failed lamentably. The noble peroration of Lochiel is
familiar to most readers:--

    “Shall victor exult, or in death be laid low,
     With his back to the field and his feet to the foe;
     And leaving in battle no blot on his name,
     Look proudly to heaven from the death-bed of fame.”

In the quarto edition of _Gertrude of Wyoming_, when the poet collected
and reprinted his minor pieces, this lofty sentiment was thus

    “Shall victor exult in the battle’s acclaim,
     Or look to yon heaven from the death-bed of fame.”

The original passage, however, was wisely restored in the subsequent

[11] Abridged from “Practical Essays on the Fine Arts,” by John Burnet,
F.R.S., an acute and amusing work.

[12] See Haydon’s graphic letter in Brownlow’s “Memoranda; or,
Chronicles of the Foundling Hospital.”

[13] Peg Woffington was for some time President of the Club; and often,
after she had been portraying on the stage

    “The fair resemblance of a martyr queen,”

she was to be seen in the Club-room, with a pot of porter in her hand,
and crying out, “Confusion to all order! let liberty thrive!”

[14] The Germans are great admirers of English art, and a picture by
Wilkie has long graced the Gallery of Munich.

[15] There hangs in the Long or Zoological Gallery of the British Museum
a portrait of Charles I., when Prince of Wales. The artist by whom this
picture was executed is unknown. Neither in the features, nor in the
thoughtful expression of countenance, does it resemble the portraits
taken in his maturer age: the melancholy which Vandyke has thrown into
the celebrated picture of the King, at Windsor Castle, is here wanting;
yet this portrait is known to have been amongst those that were sold by
order of the Commissioners of the Commonwealth, from the collection at

       *       *       *       *       *

Typographical errors corrected by the etext transcriber:

just by by chance=> just by chance {pg I,98}

snm of four hundred=> sum of four hundred {pg I,110}

had a great gout=> had a great goût {pg I,124}

proved his downfal=> proved his downfall {pg II,88}

have no hesitatation=> have no hesitation {pg II,126}

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