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Nay then, the spectre stern rejoin'd,
These are unjustifiable yearnings;
If you are lame, and deaf, and blind,
You've had your three sufficient warnings.
So come along, no more we'll part:

He said, and touch'd him with his dart;
And now old Dobson, turning pale,
Yields to his fate

so ends tale.
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THE STREATHAM PORTRAITS.

MADAME D'ARBLAY's description of the Streatham Portraits will be the best preface to the following verses on them: "Mrs. Thrale and her eldest daughter were in one piece, over the fire-place (of the library), at full length. The rest of the pictures were all threequarters. Mr. Thrale was over the door leading to his study. The general collection then began by Lord Sandys and Lord Westcote (Lyttelton), two early noble friends of Mr. Thrale. Then followed Dr. Johnson, Mr. Burke, Dr. Goldsmith, Mr. Murphy, Mr. Garrick, Mr. Baretti, Sir Robert Chambers, and Sir Joshua Reynolds himself all painted in the highest style of this great master, who much delighted in this his Streatham. gallery. There was place left but for one more frame when the acquaintance with Dr. Burney began at Streatham."

The whole of them were sold by auction in the spring of 1816. According to Mrs. Piozzi's marked catalogue, they fetched respectively the following prices, which appear to vary according to the celebrity of the subjects, and to make small account of the pictures considered as works of art: "Lord Sandys, 36l. 15s. (Lady Downshire); Lord Lyttelton, 43l. 18. (Mr. Lyttelton, his son); Mrs. Piozzi and her daughter, 817. 188. (S. Boddington, Esq., a rich merchant); Gold

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smith (duplicate of the original), 1337. 78. (Duke of Bedford); Sir J. Reynolds, 1281. 28. (R. Sharp, Esq., M.P.); Sir R. Chambers, 847. (Lady Chambers, his widow); David Garrick, 1837. 158. (Dr. Charles Burney); Baretti, 317. 10s. (Stewart, Esq., I know not who); Dr. Burney, 841. (Dr. C. Burney, his son); Edmund Burke, 2521. (R. Sharp, Esq., M.P.); Dr. Johnson, 3787. (Watson Taylor, Esq.), by whom for Mr. Murphy was offered 102. 188., but I bought it in." In 1780 Reynolds raised the price of his portraits (three-quarter size) from thirty-five to fifty guineas, which, Mrs. Piozzi complains, made the Streatham portraits in many instances cost more than they fetched, as she had to pay for them after Mr. Thrale's death at the increased price. Her own prefatory remarks are:

"With the dismal years 1772 and 1773 ended much of my misery, no doubt. The recollection of the sweet and saint-like manner in which my incomparable mother meekly laid down her temporal existence, sweetened the loss of her who I shall see no more in this world, and whose situation in the next will probably be too high for my most fervent aspirations. The loss of our dear boy fell so heavy on my husband, that it became my duty to endure it courageously, and shake away as much of the weight as it was possible. Among other efforts to amuse myself and my eldest daughter, now my daily companion, and a charming one, but never partial to a mother who sought in vain to obtain her friendship, was a fancy I took of writing little paltry verse characters of the gentlemen who sate for their portraits in

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the library, and of whose sittings I was cruelly impatient. No wonder when such calamity was hanging over our heads as is mentioned in the last volume. Let that reflection make you hesitate in censuring the satirical vein which perhaps does run through them all :

I.

LORD SANDYS appears first, at the head of the tribe,
But flat insipidity who can describe?

When such parents and wife as might check even

Pindar,

Form family compacts his progress to hinder :
Their oppression for forty long years he endur'd,
The nobleman sunk, and the scholar obscur'd;
Till rank, reason, virtue, endeavʼring in vain
To fling off their burden, and break off their chain,
Can at last but regret, not resist, his hard fate,
Like Enceladus, crush'd by the mountainous weight.

II.

Next him on the right hand, see Lyttelton hang;
Polite in behaviour, prolix in harangue.
With power well matur'd, with science well bred,
He had studied, had travell'd, had reason'd, had read.
Yet the mind, as the body, was wanting in strength,
For in Lyttelton everything ran into length;

Of his long wheaten straw that the farmer complains,
Where the chaff is still found to outnumber the

grains.

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III.

*

In these features so placid, so cool, so serene,
What trace of the wit or the Welshwoman's seen?
What trace of the tender, the rough, the refin'd,
The soul in which such contrarieties join'd!
Where, tho' merriment loves over method to rule,
Religion resides, and the virtues keep school:
Till when tir'd we condemn her dogmatical air,
Like a rocket she rises, and leaves us to stare.
To such contradictions d'ye wish for a clue?
Keep vanity still, that vile passion, in view,
For' tis thus the slow miner his fortune to make,
Of arsenic thin scatter'd pursues the pale track,
Secure where that poison pollutes the rich ground,
That it points to the place where some silver is found.

* She complained in prose as well as in verse of the want of likeness in her own portrait. Northcote, in his Life of Reynolds, observed of Sir Joshua's pictures in general that "they possess a degree of merit superior to mere portraits; they assume the rank of history. His portraits of men are distinguished by a certain air of dignity, and those of women and children by a grace, a beauty, and simplicity which have seldom been equalled and never surpassed. In his attempts to give character where it did not exist, he has sometimes lost likeness, but the deficiencies of the portrait were often compensated by the beauty of the picture." Mrs. Piozzi remarks on this passage: "True, in my portrait above all, there is really no resemblance, and the character is less like my father's daughter than Pharaoh's." Speaking of Sir Joshua's picture of Lady Sarah Bunbury "sacrificing to the Graces," Mrs. Piozzi says: "Lady Sarah never did sacrifice to the Graces. Her beauty was in her face, which had few equals; but she was a cricket-player, and ate beefsteaks upon the Steyne at Brighthelmstone."

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