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favour of Sigismunda," says Nichols with the simplicity of a zealous virtuoso, "might have commanded a proof print, or forced an original sketch out of our artist's hands. The furnisher of this remark owes one of his scarcest performances to the success of a compliment which inight have stuck even in Sir Godfrey Kneller's throat.” Some one had compared a performer to Handel, and Hogarth sneered at the idea; “ but, Mr Hogarth,” continued the retailer of the opinion, “he said you were equal to Vandyke.” “Ay, there he was right enough,” replied the artist, “and, by God, so I know that I am; give me my own subject and time." In pursuance of a similar boast, he painted 'A Conversation Scene, after the manner of Vandyke,' of which all that need be said is, that he has assembled an unpleasing group of illdressed and disagreeable looking people. His Pool of Bethesda,' and his · Illustrations of Milton,' with their hideous angels and grotesque fiends, remain curious illustrations of his appreciation of his own powers; but his performance most unfortunate for his own peace of mind, was the renowned picture of Sigismunda, designed to rival the representation by Corregio of the same subject, purchased at Sir Luke Schaub's sale, in 1758, for above £400. The person for whom the picture was painted refused to receive it; and Hogarth, burning with wrath, resolved it should never be sold under £500. It is questionable whether the rolling vituperations of Walpole are a true estimate of the merits of this performance; but it is certainly a most unpleasing picture, and a circumstance, afterwards removed by the artist, must have added to its offensiveness when the critique was written—the fingers were bloody. The fate of this production elicited from the artist some verses, of no peculiar merit; but it was finally a subject of deep harassment. When, in 1762, he published his print of. The Times,' Wilkes answered the satire in the North Britain. Hogarth caricatured Wilkes in return; Churchill came forward to the assistance of the writer, and Hogarth stamped him with the die of ridicule, in the picture of a Russian Bear with a pot of Porter.' The chief handle of attack to the penmen was the picture of Sigismunda. Mrs Hogarth displayed some animosity towards those who had underrated the picture, and it had been whispered that she was herself the model from which it had been taken. If this was the case, the feelings of the artist and his consort cannot have been allayed by the remark of Wilkes, that, “If the figure had a resemblance of anything ever on earth, or had the least pretence to meaning or expression, it was what he had seen, or perhaps made, in real life, his own wife in an agony of passion; but of what passion no connoisseur could guess." The feelings of irritation and wounded pride occasioned by this controversy, imbittered the latter days of the great artist's life. In 1762 he complained of an inward pain, which speedily increased to an incurable disorder, during which, in expectation of the speedy approach of death, he employed himself in diligently retouching his plates. The last performance of his unrivalled pencil possesses a curious and melancholy interest. “My next undertaking,” he observed to a party of persons who were enjoying themselves convivially in his presence, “shall be the end of all things.” “ If that is the case," observed a friend, “ your business will be finished; for there will be an end of the painter." “ There will be so," answered the artist; "and therefore, the sooner my work is done the better.” He fell busily to
work, and laboured with an energy which showed a fear that he might not live to complete his plan. He gathered together in this allegory, with his usual ingenuity, almost all the figures which could aptly be used as types of ruin: "a broken bottle an old broom worn to the stump—the butt-end of an old musket-a cracked bell-bow unstrung -a crown tumbled in pieces--towers in ruin—the sign-post of a tavern, called the World's-end, tumbling—the moon in her wane-the map of the globe burning-a gibbet falling, the body gone, and the chain which held it dropping down-Phæbus and his horse dead in the clouds -a vessel wrecked— Time, with his hour-glass and scythe broken, a tobacco-pipe in his mouth, the last whiff of smoke going out-a playbook opened, with exeunt omnes stamped in the corner-an empty purse—and a statute of bankruptcy taken out against Nature.” When he had looked over the dreary assemblage, he observed one omission ; “Nothing remains but this," he said, taking the pencil and hastily dashing off the likeness of a broken palette; “finis !” he exclaimed, “the deed is done all is over!" On the 25th of October, 1764, about a month after the above incident, he was conveyed from Chiswick to Leicester fields, in a state of cheerfulness, but great debility. He had received a letter from his friend Dr Franklin, to which he had drawn up a rough draught of an answer; but on retiring bed, his disorder attacked him with unusual violence, and in two hours he expired. Among his friends and relatives he left behind him a very high character for the practice of the domestic virtues.
Lady Mary Wortley Montague.
BORN A. D. 1690,-DIED A. D. 1762.
This highly-gifted lady was the eldest daughter of Evelyn, earl of Kingston. She was born at Thoresby, in Nottinghamshire, about the year 1690. Her education was of a more masculine kind than usually fell to the lot of young ladies of her time. She was placed under the same preceptors as her brother, Viscount Newark, and made distinguished proficiency under their tuition in the classical and modern languages. Among her earliest compositions was a translation of the Enchiridion of Epictetus, which is noticed by Bishop Burnet in terms of high praise.
In 1712 she married Edward Wortley Montague, eldest son of the Honourable Sidney Montague. This union was not an auspicious one. The husband was a man of inferior parts, and of a cold suspicious temper; Lady Mary was quick, lively, and penetrating,_highly susceptible in her attachments, and at times perhaps a little indiscreet in her manDer of evincing them. Mr Wortley had a seat in parliament, and, upon the accession of George I., became a confidential supporter of the administration. In 1716 he was appointed ambassador to the Porte, and set out, in the month of August, for Constantinople. His wife accompanied him; and, during her stay in Turkey, wrote those admirable and animated letters by which she is so generally known, and which contributed more than all preceding publications in the English language to familiarize the public with Turkish manners. The correspond
ents to whom chiefly at this period she communicated the result of her foreign observations were her sister the countess of Mar, Fenton's • Seraphic Rich,' Mrs Thistlethwaite, and Pope. These letters were afterwards collected and transcribed by herself with a view to publication. They were first surreptitiously printed by Beckett, in three vols. 12mo., in 1763. Lady Mary's descriptions are lively and faithful; her remarks exceedingly acute; and the whole style of her letters fascinating in the highest degree. Her husband also mingled the pursuits of literature with his diplomatical employments, and collected some valuable manuscripts while in the east. In 1718 Mr Wortley was recalled. Lady Mary returned with him to England, and, in order to enjoy the society of Pope, fixed her residence at Twickenham.
Pope had corresponded closely with Lady Mary during her residence abroad, and her ladyship’s letters to the poet are written in a strain of high friendship and respect. Their friendship, however, it would appear, could not stand the test of familiarity. At first on Lady Mary's settlement at Twickenham, Pope was in ecstasies, and wrote and said a thousand foolish things to her and about her. He got her ladyship to sit for her portrait to Sir Godfrey Kneller. During the progress of the picture he thus writes Lady Mary :-“ Indeed, dear Madam, it is not possible to tell you whether you give me, every day I see you, more pleasure, or more respect; and, upon my word, whenever I see you, after a day or two's absence, it is in just such view as that you yesterday had of your own writings. I find you still better than I could imagine, and think I was partial before to your prejudice. The picture dwells really at my heart, and I have made a perfect passion of preferring your present face to your past. I know, and thoroughly esteem yourself of this year; I know no more of Lady Mary Pierrepont, than to admire at what I have heard of her, or be pleased with some fragments of hers, as I am with Sapphio's. But now, I cannot say what I would say of
Only still give me cause to say you are good to me, and allow me as much of your person as Sir Godfrey can help me to. Upon conferring with him yesterday, I find he thinks it absolutely necessary to draw your face first, which, he says, can never be set right on your figure, if the drapery and posture be finished before. To give you as little trouble as possible, he purposes to draw your face with crayons, and finish it up, at your own house, in a morning, from whence he will transfer it to canvass, so that you
need not go to sit at his house. This, I must observe, is a manner they seldom draw any but crowned heads; and I observe it with a secret pride and pleasure. Be so kind as to tell me if you care he should do this to-morrow at twelve. Though if I am but assured from you of the thing, let the manner and time be what you best like; let every decorum you please be observed. I should be very unworthy of any favour from your hands, if I desired any at the expense of your quiet and conveniency in any degree." When the artist had completed his task, Pope was enraptured, and presented Lady Mary with the following couplets :
“ The playful smiles around the dimpled mouth,
That happy air of majesty and truth,
The equal lustre of the heavenly mind,
Mr Dallaway's account of the origin and progress of the misunderstanding betwixt the two friends, fails, we think, to account entirely for the rupture.
Upon the accession of George II. the countess of Bristol and her son Lord Hervey possessed great influence in the new court, and were the favourites of Queen Caroline. The political sentiments of Lady Mary were conformable with those of Sir Robert Walpole and his administration, and she was much connected with the courtiers of that day. With Lord Hervey she seems to have formed an alliance of genius, as well as politics; and as both were poets, they were in habits of literary communication, and sometimes assisted each other in joint compositions. Pope, who had been the original promoter of Lady Mary's residence at Twickenham, now became jealous of her partiality to the Herveys, and insinuated many severe criticisms against verses which were admired at court, He had now mixed politics with his poetry, and was so firmly attached to Bolingbroke and Swift, that he held the whigs in a detestation which he was careless to conceal. There was still a common friend, Lady Oxford, at whose house they frequently met, but rarely without opening their batteries of repartee, and that with so many personalities, that Pope's petulance, willing to wound, and yet afraid to strike,' sought to discharge itself by abrupt departure from the company. Seeming reconciliation soon followed out of respect to Lord and Lady Oxford; but the wound was rankling at his heart. Lady Mary had long since omitted to consult him upon any new poetical production; and when he had been formerly very free in proposing emendations, would say, 'Come, no touching Pope ; for what is good the world will give to you, and leave the bad for me!' and she was well aware that he disingenuously encouraged that idea. She had found, too, another inconvenience in these communications, which was, that many poems were indiscriminately imputed to Pope, his confederates, and to herself. Swift, on one of these occasions, sent her the Capon's Tale' published in Sheridan's edition of his works, and concluding there,
• Such Lady Mary are your tricks,
But since you hatch, pray own your chicks.' “ In the original copy now before the editor, four more very abominable lines are added. The apparent cause of that dissension, which was aggravated into implacability, were satires in the form of a pastoral, entitled, “ Town Eclogues. They were certainly some of the earliest of Lady Mary's poetical essays, and it is proved by the following extract from one of Pope's letters, addressed to her at Constantinople, that they had been written previously to the year 1717, when she left England : · The letters of gold, and the curious illuminating of the sonnets, was not a greater token of respect than what I have paid to your eclogues; they lie inclosed in a monument of Turkey, written in my fairest hand; the gilded leaves are opened with no less veneration
than the pages of the Sibyls; like them, locked up and concealed from all profane eyes, none but my own have beheld these sacred remains of yourself, and I should think it as great a wickedness to divulge them, as to scatter abroad the ashes of my ancestors.'
“ After her return, the veil of secrecy was removed, and they were communicated to a favoured few. Both Pope and Gay suggested many additions and alterations, which were certainly not adopted by Lady Mary; and as copies, including their corrections, have been found among the papers of these poets, their editors have attributed three out of six to them. - The Basset Table,' and the • Drawing-Room,' are given to Pope, and the Toilet,' to Gay. It is, therefore, singular, that Pope should himself be subject to his own satire on Philips, and
• The Bard whom pilfered pastorals renown.' “ The Town Eclogues contained that kind of general satire which rendered them universally popular, and as the sagacity of every reader was prompted to discover whom he thought the persons characterized, the manuscript was multiplied by many hands, and was in a short time committed to the press by the all-grasping Curl. Characters thus appropriated soon became well-known; Pope and his friends were willing to share the poetical fame, but averse fronı encountering any of the resentment which satire upon powerful courtiers necessarily excites. He endeavoured to negotiate with the piratical bookseller, and used threats, which ended in no less than Curl's publishing the whole in his name. Irritated by Pope's ceaseless petulance, and disgusted by his subterfuge, Lady Mary now retired totally from his society, and certainly did not abstain from sarcastic observations, which were always repeated to him. One told him of an epigram,
• Sure Pope and Orpheus were alike inspired,
The blocks and beasts flocked round them and admired;' and another, how Lady Mary had observed, that some called Pope, little Nightingale—all sound, and no sense. We think Mr Dallaway has borne rather hard on Pope in this explanation; and the reader will do well to receive it as the statement of the lady's professed apologist.
Lady Mary remained in England till the year 1739, when finding her health declining she formed the resolution of returning to the continent. She at first settled herself on the shores of Lake Isco, in the Venetian territory, where she led a truly rural life, superintending her garden and orchard, and entering into the domestic economy of her establishment with great zeal: at the same time exchanging visits with the neighbouring nobility, and keeping up her acquaintance with Eng. lish literature through the medium of her daughter, the countess of Bute, who supplied her with the new publications. Under date, Louvere, 19th June 1751, we find her thus writing to the countess :-" The people, I see here, make no more impression on iny mind than the figures in the tapestry; while they are directly before my eyes, I know one is clothed in blue, and another in red; but out of sight, they are so entirely out of memory, I hardly remember whether they are tall or short. I sometimes call myself to account for this insensibility, which has something of ingratitude in it, this little town thinking themselves highly honoured and obliged by my residence: they intended me an