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he would do him the favour to introduce himself into the piece. As he could not well refuse, Titian with great modesty plaeed his own portrait in the most obscure part of the painting ; but the Emperor, not contented with this mark of distinction, and being desirous of rewarding him in a more splen. did manner, enobled him and all his descendants; he afterwards bestowed upon him the order of St. James, and created him a Count Palatine.
While he was painting for the third time the portrait of his august protector, who had always treated him with the greatest respect, Titian let fall his pencil, which the Emperor hastened to take up; the artist, upon this, throwing himself upon his knees, cried out, “Sire, I am unworthy of such service." Charles replied, “a Titian deserves to be served by a Cæsar.
REMBRANT, like most people of great talents, was of a very whimsica) and capricious temper. One day, while he was employed in painting a whole family in one piece, and when his work was on the point of being finished, some one came and informed him that his monkey was dead. Much affected by this loss, he ordered it to be immediately brought him; and, without paying any regard to the persons whom he was painting, he drew the portrait of the animal upon the same canvas. This singularity, as might be expected, gave much offence to the family for whom the picture was intended; but he refused to efface it, and chose rather to run the risk of not being paid for his labours.
DONATELLO, a celebrated sculptor, when he was giving the last stroke with his mallet, called out to the statue, “speak!"
The paintings in the dome of the cathedral at Parma, in which CORREGio has displayed all the beauties of his art, were not approved by the canons who had ordered the work. Although the price agreed on was very moderate, it appeared to them far above the merit of the artist; having, therefore, brought it as low as they desired, they fixed it at length at the sum of 200 livres, which they had the meanness to pay all in copper. The unfortunate Corregio, bent under the load he had received, set out with the intention of returning to his own habitation, which was at the distance of two or three leagues from Parma. The weight of his burden, the heat of the day, the length of the road, vexation, disappointment, and the anxiety he was under for his family, added to his drinking cold spring water when he was extremely warm, all conspired to bring on a pleurisy, which soon put a period to his life and misfortunes.
OBSERVATIONS ON THE PREVAILING CUSTOMS, DRESS,
&c. OF THE INHABITANTS OF GREAT BRITAIN.
Propria quæ maribas.
A POPULAR writer of the present day has very justly observed, “ that the nation seems to have divided itself into two great bodies, almost as distinct from each other as the patricians and plebeians of ancient Rome.”, It may, perhaps, be found a matter of considerable difficulty to draw the line
of demarkation between these two divisions, quite correctly, but it may easily be described in a manner sufficiently accurate to answer our present purpose. The inferior division seems to be confined to those who are uccupied in the subordinate departments of trade and agriculture; to the ploughman, the waggoner, the journeyman and day-labourer ofevery description. These may in general be considered unable to render themselves conspicuous either by their exterior appearance or their mental endowments: for poverty, that almost insuperable barrier to eminence, generally damps their genius, however aspiring, and frustrates their hopes, however sanguine. The other class comprises all who are not included in the former division; all who have received a learned education, or distinguished themselves by their progress in any particular art or science; and, indeed, all who can maintain a respectable appearance in society. To such, the pleasures and advantages of polished conversation are at all times accessible. Wealth is no longer the established criterion of respectability, and the true gentleman may be as frequently discovered in the shop or the counting-house as at the court or levee.
But this system of equalization, Mr. Editor, though it offers many advantages to merit
, and possesses many excellences in other respects, is liable to numerous objections, the most important of which, perhaps, is the inordinate vanity which it has a tendency to create in the minds of those who bare suddenly risen into notice ;-whose ambition stimulates them to aspire to situations for which nature never intended them, and education has not qualified them.
Unbounded in his expectations, and possessing no intrinsic merit, yet borne along the stream of life by a succession of fortunate coincidences, the vain man is apt to look upon himself with the greatest self-complacency, and to imagine that he was born for nothing less than to establish a new æra in the history of mankind.
« Hear and improve, he pertly cries;
I come to make a nation wise.”—GAY. Numerous instances of this nature have occurred within the limited sphere of my own observation, and I am at the present time acquainted with a young gentleman of very limited powers, who imagines that he is going to overturn Sir Isaac Newton's system of the universe.
But there is another kind of vanity frequently excited by this want of distinction in the different orders of society, which is still more unjustifiable in its nature and injurious in its consequences. It is the vanity of dress ; the contemptible ambition of aspiring to eminence by the shape of a hat or the cut of a garment. There is not a more certain indication of weakness of intellect than this absurd regard to outward appearance ; for modern fashion can scarcely boast a single ornament, which does not detract from from the dignity of human nature.
When we compare the scrupulous nicety of a modern courtier with the manly indifference of a Roman senator, even the decided partiality which we entertain in favour of the manners and customs of our own age and nation, is insufficient to counterbalance the preference which we naturally feel VOL. II.
for the graceful ease and elegant simplicity of the ancients. It is true, indeed, that amongst all nations pride in the article of dress seems to have kept pace with luxury and refinement. Martial, with his accustomed severity, alludes to this spirit of ostentation among the Romans :
“ Undecies unâ surrexti Zoile cæna,
O Zoilus, didst arise ;
Thy mantle change likewise." But this vanity seems to have displayed itself only in the richness and variety of their dresses. Nothing like the gaudy finery of the present day was to be found amongst them. The beautiful folds of the toga, in every variety of its form, are calculated to inspire a degree of reverence and respect which all the superfluities of modern invention are unable to produce. Of this fact the general adoption of a loose robe at the bar and in the pulpit is a sufficient confirmation.
The costume of our military gentlemen, which has undergone many alterations for the better during the last few years, is still more calculated to excite laughter than command respect; although the natural qualifications of many of the officers of our army by no means render the powers of art unnecessary. How ridiculous and contemptible would a group of these gentlemen appear in a picture, twirling their canes, or playing with their snuffboxes, when contrasted with as many Roman soldiers poising the spear or wielding the battle-axe! Some of them, indeed who have emerged from the lowest shades of obscurity, (and there are many such to be found,) prcsent, perhaps, the most perfect caricature of manhood which the imagination can conceive.
“ By nature cowards, foolish, useless tools,
CenTLIVAE. A few nails of scarlet cloth, a few ounces of steel, a few pennyweights of gold and silver, and a few, a very few grains of common sense seem to be the principal ingredients in their composition. Merrick has perfectly described an individual of this numerous body in his tale : "the Monkeys."
"Whoe'er, with curious eye, has rang'd
Thro' Ovid's tales, has seen
A tribe of worthless men." &c.
Nor could a name bestow;
And call'd the thing a beau."
sively to the officers of the army. There are thousands in the more private walks of life of whom they are no less accurately descriptive. The following item from the common-place book of Lewis XI.
King of France, is still preserved in the Chamber of Accounts, A.D. 1461, “Two shillings for fustian to new-sleeve my old doublet, and three half-pence for liquor to grease my boots.” How inimical to this spirit of frugality was the ostentatious display of Sir Walter Raleigh, who wore in his shoes pearls and precious stones of the value of six thousand six hundred crowns ! But how infinitely more inconsistent even than this, are the manners and customs of the present reign! Equally remote from the parsimony of Lewis and the extravagance of Sir Walter, your modern beaux fall short of neither in absurdity; and although their balf-pence are not expended in liquor for their boots, nor their crowns in pearls for their shoes, the principal share of their time and their income is lavished upon articles still more ridiculous and contemptible.
The manią for taking snuff is perhaps one of the most striking peculiarities of the modern fine gentleman. This article, as you may recollect, Mr. Editor, was only inhaled by old women a few years ago, and there was at that period, if I remember rightly, but one kind; it is now become so essential to the equipment of a man of fashion that there are no less than sixty-four descriptions, of different flayours, as I was very lately informed by a gentleman of the trade, on whose veracity I can depend. Indeed, Mr. Editor, the ladies of the present day are so incessantly pestered and teazed, not to say insulted, with pressing solicitations to immerge the summits of their digits" into gentlemen's snuff-boxes, that it is become a serious subject of complaint to the whole of our sex, compelled as we are to spend a considerable portion of our time in their society. If they were assured that instead of applauding the custom, we universally detest and deprecate it, they might perhaps, be sufficiently polite and forbearing to keep it to themselves, and appropriate it entirely to the disfiguration of their own features, and the pollution of their own shirt-frills.
The practice of smoking tobacco has likewise made rapid advances among the more respectable orders of society during these last few years, and unless an astonishing change take place, many of our modern gentlemen may expect to be transmitted to posterity in the society of Turks and Dutchmen. They have still, it must be confessed, a sufficient regard to propriety to restrain them from wielding their pipes in our immediate presence, but their clothes are so frequently contaminated by secret fumigation, that we are often obliged to shun their society in order to avoid infection. 66 An old man,” it has been said, “never presents so complete a picture of happiness, as when he has a pipe in his mouth; but when we picture to ourselves a beardless face enveloped in the smoke of tobacco, we can only feel disgust and aversion.” The author of this observation was, doubtless, himself an old man. For my part, Sir, I must confess that the practice of inhaling a disagreeable vapour, merely to breathe it out again, and make the throat a mere chimney, is utterly incompatible with my ideas of perfection at any age. But this practice, it must be acknowledged for the credit of my countrymen, is not very general; there are those, to their honour be it spoken, who can comfortably take of their three or four bottles without the assistance of a pipe to increase their thirst, and can ronse their dormant faculties with the fumes of wine, without the aid of pulverized tobacco. But whether extravagance, even in this respect is not inconsistent with the character of a rational being, I shall leave to their serious and mature consideration, while I proceed to the further consideration of my subject.
One might naturally imagine, from the constitution of the human mind, that no one would be sufficiently absurd to spend his time and consume his existence in the pursuit of any thing which is not intrinsically excellentbut one would be very much mistaken. There are a thousand objects of general desire which are in themselves unimportant, nay contemptible, and amongst these I would particularize articles of dress, and badges of finery. There are few young gentlemen we meet with whose minds are not almost constantly discomposed on this subject, which will not appear by any means singular when we take into consideration the hours they occupy in dressing, and the considerable extent of their changes of apparel. A young lady, a friend of mine, has been kind enough to favour me with the following particulars respecting the dress, &c., of her brother, who is considered by no means extravagant in his wardrobe.
“ I found," says she, “ no less than fourteen pairs of small-clothes of different shapes and colours, one pair in particular so wide that, for the jokes' sake I absolutely crept down one leg, but so long that I thought I should never have arrived at the bottom. These I believe are denominated Don Cossacks ; others have received the popular appellation of Wellingtons, Waterloos, Cobourgs, &c. &c. Of the waistcoat tribe I found nearly twenty species of various colours, but differing in form only about the collar. Of coats there were but six, the distance from the collar to the waist-buttons varying from ten to fourteen inches. Of the cravats I took no particular account, some were white and some coloured, and most of them carefully starched. In one corner of his drawers I discovered an elastic pad, and a pair of gentleman's stays of the quality and form of a horse's girth. In the other corner amongst several obsolete broaches, &c., was a bill of parcels to the following purport. Mr.
Dr. to Mesds.
neatly worked. 1 dozen pairs ristbands.
So terminates the account of my friend.
To keep pace with this system of profusion those individuals of the beau monde whose finances are inadequate to such considerable expenses, are obliged to make use of a thousand manæuvres, and to invent a thousand expedients. But I have already occupied too considerable a portion of your valuable Magazine, and I shall here take an eternal leave of yourself Mr.