Page images



mon thing for a king to confer a title upon a painter of transcendent merit. Charles the first, James, and Charies II. did it. Foreign sovereigns have ennobled and otherwise exalted eminent painters, and we think it justice and policy to do Who deserves such a recompense more than the men who spend their lives, we might say shorten them, ba sedentary profession which embellishes In all proand enriches their country. bability such an expectation has never entered the thoughts of the subject of these remarks. if his modesty (as is probable) be equal to his merit, he would say any outward mark of royal favour would be above his deserving, and he would flee from it. But honours and royal favours of that kind are too much at the disposal of a minister, who endeavours to have them conferred on persons promoting his views rather than the nation's welfare. Courtiers would tell a king they might be better disposed of than on painters. Such men ought to be reminded of the reply of the emperor Charles V. to certain courtiers, jealous of the notice his majesty had taken of his favourite painter, by conferring knighthood on him, and making him Count Palatine, and all his descendants gentlemen. "I can never want courtiers (said he) for my court, but I may not always have a Titan with me." Many may be illiberal enough to think that pecuniary acknowledgments are the and the complete rewards proper of a painter, however gifted. Mr. West may think so himself; for the writer is as fully unacquainted with his thoughts hereon or of the measure of his professional recompense, royal or private, as he is of the affairs of the Grand Seignior. It is from the artist's works alone that we are led to doubt whether the honours he has done his profession are not more than equal to any advantages he may have derived from it. By exPainting, in France, has been at times pertness alone he has been intitled to great gains. Protogenes painted many degraded and reduced to a very low ebb: fine pieces, among the rest one of Ja- witness the commencement of the late Lysus, but he was seven years about it, revolution when nothing but ribaldry and he lived in want till accident raised or obscenity was observed or sought after, him above it. It has been matter of and yet there was a time when only they surprise to many that the painters of who were of noble blood were permit the last thirty years, by whom the art ted to exercise this art, because it was has been advanced to so much excel- to be presumed that all the ingredients of lence, should heve been so little noticed good painter, are not ordinarily found in and honoured. Except in the case men of vulgar birth. That a good judg of Sir Joshua Reynolds, we look in ment, a warm and vigorous fancy, with a vain for especial favour or distinction sublimity and reach of thought are in

A Sir Peter Lely, a Sir Christopher Sir Robert Strange, a Sir Wren, a Joshua Reynolds, were at once orna. ments and pillars of their country, to To deliennoble such men is to ennoble the nation which possesses them. reate a sublime historical event by the pencil, with perspicuity and dignity, is to display a power almost divine; it may well be called the epic of the art, Is it then for want of some able writer to speak of the utility of the art, that it is not more honoured? There has been less published in our own country, on painters, than in almost any other country in Europe. In Italy, in France, Germany, and Holland, excellent lives of painters, and treatises on the art of painting have been written. neighbours unquestionably have, hitherto held in greater esteem both professors, and the works of their hands, than we have. This, however, is not likely to be the case in future. The subject of this Memoir may be said to have contributed so largely and so hopply to adorn the national temple of painting, that there can be no apprehen sion of its henceforward wanting vota ries. It is but a duty, therefore, to transmit with honour and gratitude to posterity, the name of a man who has done so much for his country. Poetry and painting have always been termed twin sisters. They are now united in a Shee. Let us hope, therefore, we shall not want for poets and historians to do justice to the value of the art at all times, and particularly at this time.

As painting speaks an universal language, Mr. West has properly considered it as a powerful instrument, and there fore that it ought to be employed for moral and useful purposes. Nothing indelicate, nothing even grotesque, has issued from his pencil. His works are a silent, but impressive system of morality, piety, and patriotism.


dispensible in a painter none can deny; and yet that these qualities may be possessed without the blood of hereditary nobility, we have not only the present instance before us as a proof, but many, very many others, which we could name if we were writing the lives of the eminent painters of Great Britain. Mr. West has turned the influence of his art to the promotion of virtue. He has done his part to improve the world, by placing before the eyes of mankind the noblest examples of their predecessors or cotemporaries. It is therefore as much for the goodness of the man as the excellence of the painter that he is so much esteemed abroad, and by persons who never saw him. It was for this that he was so flatteringly followed and distinguished by the scientific of the capital of France, in 1802, when with his youngest son, he went to Paris to view the national gallery of the arts.

He was received among them in the most friendly and even affectionate manner: the central administration of the arts invited him to a dinner given in a great measure on his account. The following beautiful and classical verses were written by Lavallée one of their members, and read to Mr. West at this fraternal repast. We hope to be able to give our readers a suitable translation of them in a future number of our miscellany.

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

Mais quand de l'olivier l'heureuse époque arrive,

La Guerre en expirant, pour laver ses for


Lègue à son dernier jour sa constance a

la Paix.

Français! Anglais! pourquoi, martyrs
d'un vain courage,

Vous charger des destins de Rome et de

N'avez-vous pas tous deux épouvantéCésar?
A la gloire tous deux vous avez même part.
Contre les Sarasins déployant vos bannières,
Ensemble défendu les tombeaux de vos
pères ?

La Neustrie a fourni des mères a vos fils?
L'Armorique a reçu les enfans de l'Isis;
Quand la Croix dépeupla notre Europe


Vous momates ensemble aux champs de l'Idumée :

Même amour pour les Arts et pour la Li-

Mêmes vœux pour la gloire et l'immortalité,
Egal attachement aux droits de la Patrie,
Philosophie égale et pareille industrie,
Ambition, grandeur, infortunes, succès,
Anglais, tout vous forma les frères des

Soyez-le pour toujours, et nous donnons
Enfans des Arts! vos cœurs de l'honneur

sont le temple;

Soyez le premier nœud de ces nœuds so


[blocks in formation]

Convoquez vos Bretons autour de vos Ta-
Si la guerre jamais rallumait ses flambeaux,

bleaux ;

Montrez, Peintre savant, à leur ame atten-

Lesang que les combats coûtent à la Patrie;
Offrez à leurs regards ce Wolfe, si jeune


Frappé loin de leurs bras au ciel du Labra


[blocks in formation]


To the Editor of the Universal Mag. (his earliest productions) which, for


their elegance and tender simplicity
stand unrivalled. I have reason to
think that his "Will ye go to the
Indies, my Mary?" was addressed by
him to the same lady, when he had
determined to go to the West Indies
at one time, as appears in his "Life.”

IN perusing the last Number of your excellent Magazine, I remarked the anxiety of your correspondent, Mr. Clennel, to know who Burn's Highland Mary" was. I shall be happy if any information I can give him may lead to a more satisfactory I have not been able yet to find out answer to his question. Highland Highland Mary's surname, as the Mary was the daughter of a farmer poet was always very reserved upon in Ayrshire, who lived in the same these subjects. The whole piece is neighbourhood with the bard. He beautiful, but the two last verses dehad conceived an early attachment serve particular notice. to Mary, but, being obliged to leave the place for some time, he found on his return, that she had died in his absence; which called forth from his muse those enchanting strains

If you think the above hints wor-thy of publication, you have liberty to make any use you please of them, from your humble servant,




To the Editor of the Universal Mag. and extensive erudition; their opinion on subjects of controversial YOUR correspondent, C. A. A. divinity is certainly entitled to more having very properly animadverted respect than to excite " risibility in on a sermon recently preached before the freshmen of Cambridge," who the University of Cambridge, by the perhaps never read the Bible in their Rev. Mr. Tyrrwhitt, the object of lives. When Peter Martyr held a which was to disprove and deny the public disputation at Oxford with doctrine of the Trinity; I confess my- the great men of that university, on self surprised, and indeed not a little the subject of the eucharist, they fregrieved, that his cause should be quently objected to him the authoespoused, and his conduct vindicated, rity of the fathers. Martyr did not by any man who professes to be a treat them with contempt, but proved member of the church of England. beyond contradiction from the works Mr. T. has certainly a right to his of those excellent men, the truth of private sentiments, but I conceive it the doctrine he was so anxious to to be a piece of uncommon effron- establish, and he was perhaps as tery, to stand up publicly before the wise and learned as any of CamUniversity, on purpose to decry and bridge can boast. Your corresponbring into contempt a leading article dent observes "all doctrines are to of the church: if the doctrine of the be believed solely on the authority of Trinity had no ground in Scripture, Scripture," but when the Bible and and the contrary could be clearly all antiquit agree, it is to me at proved, the matter would have been least a confirmation of the truth of widely different; but the true church them. I have not at present temein all ages has uniformly given her rity enough to set up my opinion assent to this doctrine, and I am against the uniform testimony of the happy to observe, that she has some church of Christ in all ages, especifriends still remaining, generous ally when it is agreeable to the Word enough to come forward in justifica of God, I leave that to the "freshtion of her injured honour. Had men of Cambridge." If these arguMr. T. employed his talents in bold- ments are inadmissible, I take the ly rebuking vice, and nobly exalting liberty of asking your ingenious his Lord and Master, instead of deny- correspondent, what other mode of ing an essential part of his Godhead, reasoning he would be kind enough I take the liberty of presuming he to adopt to settle any point of diswould have been much more profit- pute, if the opponent should happen ably employed, and his auditory to be a churchman. Sorry I am, a great deal more edified. Mr. T. that the church of England is bemay be a very amiable character, come so lax in her discipline, as to and as head of the house of the Tyr- suffer members to continue in her whitts is entitled to respect: that cir- communion who for "thirty years cumstance does him much more together" have uniformly rejected credit as a man, than being at the and denied, and that "on mature head of the Unitarians does as a deliberation," every article proposed Christian. Your correspondent of to them as a test of their orthodoxy; St. John's does not seem inclined to and which before their admission enter into the merits of the contro- they had solemnly sworn to defend versy, and as I am likewise averse to and maintain; by denying these, they disputation, it is so far fortunate; give up every essential doctrine of but I cannot avoid noticing the little the christian religion, and make the deference he pays to the opinion of clerical function a mere nose of wax, the ancient fathers, who were for to be turned and twisted in any man the most part men of exalted piety ner they may think proper, to suit VOL. II.

3 E

the whim of the day, or the humour inquire, "whether any doctrine can be clear in its meaning or evidence, or be said to be sufficiently inculcated in the Scripture, which is never directly taught therein, nor cannot be expressed in words of Scripture, or any other words, without the appearance of contradiction." To answer this inquiry would lead us too far into a discussion of the doctrines of the Trinity, which your correspendent wishes to avoid: I however beg leave to differ from Mr. T. that this is a good argument for the rejection of the doctrine. In a revelation from heaven, such as the Bible is, and on so grand a subject as the doctrine in question, which necessarily includes God's eternal existence in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity, is it any wonder that fallible man should not have sufficient conception of so great a mystery, much less be competent to clothe the same in words intelligible to our shallow capacities. I call upon Mr. T. or your ingenious correspondent, to prove to a demonstration the exact mode of their own existence, how the soul acts on the body, and vice versa, in what part of it the spirit resides, and of what materials (if I may be allowed the expression) it is composed; this union is nevertheless a matter of fact, and cannot be denied, though it may exceed our weak capacities perfectly to explain. I have nothing more to add on the subject, but that I hope and trust few, very few of the university of Cambridge, are contaminated with this ancient Unitarian heresy, which again appears to be making rapid strides among us; your correspondent says, Mr. T.'s sermon was listened to with profound attention and silence, which proceeded, I presume, not so much from the profound manner in which he treated the subject, as from the profound amazement many of the auditory were thrown into, on hear ing so venerable and grave a minister, reject and deny so essential an article of their faith, and that too

of their own fancies; this is stabbing their Saviour in the house of his friends, and acting the hypocrite with a vengeance: but I hope and trust the clergy of the church of England have not all so learned Christ. We are now to be sure living in an age of reason, and look back with sovereign contempt on the savage era when the primitive fathers, or our noble reformers, flourished; men who firm ly held the doctrines your correspondent denies, and were neither afiaid nor ashamed of sealing them with their blood. "As the Ptolemaic system gave place to the Copernican," so I presume, agrecably with your correspondent's reasoning, must the religion of the Bible and the articles of our church give place to the lights of the present day; but the God of the Bible made every thing perfect, nothing can be added as an improvement of it; in this instance, at least, there is no room for the ingenuity of our modern theorists; and as to the articles, God forbid that the religious republican ism of the present day should ever be suffered to overturn and annihilate the excellent constitution of our church. "The doctrine of the Trinity and the earth's rest may both be true." This sentiment is rather too accommodating for me. The earth's rest is false, and not a Scripture doctrine, you may believe or disbelieve it as you please; the Scriptures were not written with an intention to make us philosophers, but christians. In the one case you differ only from the opinion of Copernicus, or Newton, who were like ly to err, and incur no risk by so doing; but by denying the doctrine of the Trinity, you endanger your eternal felicity, inasmuch as you reject the God of the Bible, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, in one essential and eternal Jehovah; this system will stand good, when the Ptolemaic, Copernican, and Newtonian, are no more. Mr. Tyrwhitt requests us to

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »