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obscurity is deepened by the yellow glazing of the low dome, and the feeling of want of size is increased by the huge statue of Napoleon, stowed away, cabined, and confined in a corner at the foot of the steps. This emblem of the chances and changes of fickle fortune, and the uncertainty of human prosperity, does indeed point a moral and adorn a tale. Here the effigy of one for whose vaulting ambition the world was too small, looms like a caged eagle; nor could Nemesis the sternest, or Justice the most poetical, have appointed a fitter sentinel for the dwelling of oursepoy general.'

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This statue was ordered by Buonaparte shortly before his coronation; and the Phidias of his day, summoned from Rome, forgot the subjugation of his country in his eagerness to descend, as he said, to posterity united with the immortality of the modern Cæsar.' Canova speedily reached the Tuileries, and there modelled the head: as the sittings were rare and the sitter restless, the attitude and attributes had to be conventional. The statue, eleven feet high, and cut, with the exception of the left arm, from one block, was sent to Paris in 1810, but remained in its unopened case. Buonaparte, superstitious, and prescient of the coming end, disliked the winged Victory, which, turning her back to him, seemed ready to fly from him for ever-nor was he pleased with the classical character or the nudity-that language of ancient art: still less was le petit caporal satisfied with the colossal dimensions. He dreaded mocking comparisons, and preferred the apparent reality of his own natural inches, together with the worldknown Redingote Grise, &c. &c.-which he caused Claudet to adopt for the bronze figure mounted with such pomp on the column of the Place Vendôme-soon to be pulled down amid the frantic exclamations of the Parisians-in due season to be once more elevated with the like accompaniments-and who can prophesy its future ups and downs? When it was known that Buonaparte felt coldly about Canova's performance, the courtier-critics of France, who knew it only from casts, pronounced the forms clumsy and too muscular for a demi-god;' on the other hand, the Italians, captivated by the exquisite finish and air of the antique, held it to be the apotheosis of their Alaric. The excellences of this statue, which essentially requires ample room and verge enough, cannot be fairly appreciated in its present cell -a site as unsuited of itself as uncontemplated by the sculptor or his Cæsar, and anything but improved by the jaundice of the Piccadilly skylight. The marble, still in its Roman box, was upon the Emperor's downfall purchased from the Bourbon government by ours for less than 30007., and presented to the Duke. He, it may be recalled par parenthèse, was born in the same year


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with his last and greatest antagonist. Le ciel nous devait cette récompense, said Louis XVIII., when informed of this natal coincidence of his bane and antidote. Canova, on learning the final destination of his work, wrote immediately to Mr. Hamilton, who preserves the autograph, minutely detailing how the statue was to be put up, referring to a mark still to be found on the pedestal, which a plumb-line suspended from the right breast would touch; and the direction has been recently tested.

On ascending into the drawing-room which fronts Piccadilly, it is impossible not to see the Duke's mark in the selection and arrangement of the pictures. Devoid of any high æsthetic perceptions, and no judge of fine art, he was far above making pretension to anything out of his line, and never uttered one syllable of the cant of connoisseurship. He took and looked at art in his own practical way, and enjoyed imitations of nature and fact on canvass or in marble, just in proportion as the fidelity of the transcript appealed to his understanding. While he could not sympathise with the ideal and transcendental, he fully relished those exact, though perhaps humble, representations which come home to the senses and to common sense- to the business and bosoms of all people who on earth do well.' Selfrelying, he confined his acquisitions simply to what was pleasing to himself; and the objects therefore-be they good or not— have a decided interest of their own as bearing evidence of the heart, mind, and os of the Man. The place of honour was assigned by Wellington to Marlborough. The portrait, attributed to Wooton, is indifferent-nay, some have doubted, and still doubt, its being one of Marlborough at all-nor do we volunteer a decided opinion. The Duke of Wellington purchased it at the sale of the late Duke of Marlborough's effects at White Knights-this pedigree being, as he thought, and was well entitled to think, a sufficient voucher of authenticity. He, however, possessed other and better portraits of his great predecessor, and at Stratfieldsaye placed one, which represents him on the field of Blenheim, exactly opposite his own triumph at Vitoria-in order, as he said, to exhibit the differences of costume and strategies. Not less striking are the points of difference and parallel between Marlborough and Wellington. For our part we cannot entirely coincide with the depreciatory full lengths of the former drawn by Thackeray and Macaulay-albeit forced, with milder masters, to admit that he did not quite escape the spirit of his corrupt age, or resist the contagion of civil conflicts and revolution, by which so many eminent men of modern France have been infected. Be that as it may, and however they differed in antecedents and moral character, the resemblance in military supremacy and success


was signal. Both commenced their career when France was in an insolent ascendance, and England dispirited and ill prepared; both were thwarted by party and faction at home-hampered by unworthy allies abroad: both, in spite of most inadequate means, proved all sufficient in themselves: both finally beat down their foe and raised their country to the pinnacle of power and glory. It is curious to speculate on the difference of period in their developments. When Marlborough began his series of conquests at Blenheim, he was older by eight years than Wellington was when he wound up his at Waterloo. Marlborough first shone forth, in short, after that time of life when, according to both Wellington and Buonaparte, a commander ought to strike work-and to be sure Buonaparte's own early history had read the world many stern lessons on the discomfiture and waste of blood and treasure occasioned by trusting to effete octogenarians. Neither his words nor his deeds, perhaps, have had adequate effect in our own case. The rare, very rare quality, the genius of a great commander by sea or land, remains after all, however, a mysterious problem in the metaphysics of man' fearfully and wonderfully made.' Does it consist in some exquisite organization, some perfection of the nervous system, some divine spark, which in the idiosyncracy of such soldiers becomes more collected and alive in proportion as they are surrounded by circumstances the most likely to upset and disturb? Irrespective of age or previous occupation, it would seem almost born and intuitive: at all events it has blazed forth in the maturity of Blake, Cromwell, and Marlborough-nay, in the hoary antiquity of Radetsky-no less than in the youth of Condé, Nelson, Wellington, and Napoleon; and the latter great captain seemed to feel the gift to be inexplicable, when he replied to a flatterer of his generalship-Mon Dieu, c'est ma nature; je suis fait comme ça.'

To come back to the drawing-room-opposite to Marlborough hangs a picture of Van Amburg in the wild beasts' den, by Landseer. This expression of the triumph of human reason over brute bone and muscle was painted after the positive instructions of the Duke, who, with the Bible in hand, pointed out the passage (Genesis, chap. i. ver. 26) in which dominion is given to Adam over the earth and animals. He caused the text to be inscribed on the frame, as the authority which conferred on him a privilege of power, and gave him the 'great commission' which he fully carried out on the fields of battle and chase. The wild beasts, their awed ferocity and submission, are finished with most masterly touch. The unfortunate eyes and straddle of Van Amburg were 'a likeness' more pleasing to the practical patron than to the refining artist; Sir Edwin, however, was compelled

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to obey orders as strictly as if his R. A. had meant Royal Artillery. Thus, when some of his sketches were submitted to the great F. M., he was met by the remark, Very fine, I dare say, but not what I want;' and an equally cool hint struck out a most picturesquely placed panther :-No-that's a taught trick,' The Duke's true love for the United Service is marked by two pictures in this room, the Chelsea Pensioners and the Greenwich Veterans. The Duke, who had a sympathetic admiration for the singleness of purpose and precision of aim with which Wilkie went directly to his unpretentious themes, early as 1816 commissioned him to paint 'British Soldiers regaling at Chelsea'-a suggestion which by and bye expanded into reading the Waterloo Gazette.' Wilkie has recorded in his diary the repeated reconnoitrings made, while the sketches were in preparation, by his military Mæcenas, who, carrying into the studio the tactics of the field, wished to brigade all the ideas into one canvass-but was above all else anxious that a good number of his own Peninsular soldiers-whom he never forgot in war or peace-should be introduced. The picture was only finished in 1822, for Wilkie, who worked slowly and painfully, spared neither labour of brain nor hand on such a subject and for such a patron. When the Canny Dauvid,' as he honestly tells us, brought it in, with the bill charging1260 pounds, i.e. 1200 guineas,' his Grace, neither less a man of business nor less thrifty in phraseology than the Scottish Teniers, paid instanter, counting out the cash himself in bank notes, and without adding one word expressive of satisfaction or otherwise. Only when the recipient interrupted him by a suggestion that a check might save trouble, the paymaster gave him a smile and said, 'Do you think I like Coutts's clerks always to know how foolishly I spend my money?' The Duke, however, who was an optimist, and whose opinion of his acquisitions always grew with possession, subsequently praised the picture much, regularly remarking that he himself had selected the site of the incident. The treatment of the localities and portraits is capital-all the expressions and individualities are most happily caught-but portions of the groupings, especially in the right corner, are feeble. It is painted with a nice silvery tone, and with all the conscientious care and finish of Sir David's original and peculiar style, from which he afterwards unfortunately departed-but which he had resumed in the two admirable pieces left unfinished at his too early death. The painting was the lion of the exhibition of its year, and Burnet's fine engraving has spread its fame to the far antipodes; and whatever the Duke might think, say, or not say, the artist was altogether satisfied with the Chelsea Pensioners, as he received from Messrs. Graves another 12007.—that is, we hope,

1200 guineas'-for the copyright. The Duke consented to part with the original for three years, the term required by Mr. Burnet for the engraving, and, on the Saturday before this term expired, walked into the publisher's shop and asked, 'Shall I have my picture back on Monday?' 'Yes, your Grace, and by twelve o'clock.' It was sent to time, whereupon the Duke, watch in hand, said, 'Now, Mr. Graves, you shall have any other picture of mine.'

The companion-work had for its inventor, painter, and engraver Mr. Burnet-who, as Wilkie declined the subject, set up his easel at Greenwich itself, amid the living models of the Hospital. When it was finished, our Sailor King, William IV., had it brought to him, but, on hearing that three years would be required to engrave it, replied that's a lifetime,' and sent it back. When the Duke bought the print of Mr. Graves the picture was suggested to him, and on being assured that its purchase by him would be very beneficial to the artist, he at once paid down five hundred guineas, the price asked. When Mr. Burnet thanked him for having placed it near Wilkie's, the Duke replied-'Aye, and it will remain so, as I have made it one of the heir-looms;' and it may be added the last order given by the Duke on leaving Apsley House never to return, was, to 'have this picture re-varnished.'

Sir David himself, although a countryman and fellow student of Burnet's, was not over-pleased with a juxta-position by which the engraver was put on a par with the painter. As works of art the two pieces cannot be compared; the Greenwich scene is treated with a coarse touch, and the homely figures stand out in hard and heavy relief. Skilled as he was in the history and theory of art, Mr. Burnet naturally wanted palette practice, and will be known hereafter more for his works on copper than on canvass. Nor will this patronage of the Duke diminish his popularity; and few of these weather-beaten tars, these splintered spars of Nelson's victories, these planks drifted down from so many storms, had more braved the breeze than the Duke himself, who, constantly buffeted by foul winds, again and again narrowly escaped shipwreck. No two pictures in any collection convey a nobler moral. The blue jackets call up Aboukir Bay and Trafalgar-the red coats Salamanca and Waterloo.* The past is the prophet of the future, and deep is our confidence in the sturdy loyalty and patriotism of Englishmen—that, however

* Wellington and Nelson, in death not divided, met but once when alive, and in the small ante-room of the Colonial Office, Downing Street. The Seaman, who did not know the Soldier, was so struck by him that he stepped out to inquire who he was. This occurred very shortly before Lord N. started on his last expedition.


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