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professional contemporaries, courted by the great, caressed by sovereigns, and celebrated by poets, yet arrogance or presumption was never visible in his conduct or conversation to the most scrutinizing eye. His talents of every kind, and his social virtues, rendered him the centre of many agreeable circles. He had too much merit not to excite jealousy, and too much innocence to provoke enmity. The loss of no man of his time was felt with more general and unmixed sorrow. His remains were deposited in the metropolitan cathedral of St. Paul. No one better deserved honorable sepulture than the man who, by precept and example, taught the practice of the art he professed, and who added to a thorough knowledge of it the literature of a scholar, the knowledge of a philosopher, and the manners of a gentleman.
Sir Joshua Reynolds was the son of the Rev. Samuel Reynolds. He was born at Plymplon, in Devonshire, July 16, • 723. and about the year 1742 placed under Hudson, who, though a poor painter, was the best of his time, and had been a pupil to Richardson, who thus appears to have been Sir Joshua's pictorial grandfather. Reynolds went with admiral (afterwards lord) Keppel, to Minorca, in 1749, and thence accompanied him to Italy, where he staid till 1753. At Rome he painted caricatures of some English gentlemen there, with their own consent, which was much the fashion of the day. He particularly painted sort of parody on Raphael's School of Athens, in which all his English acquaintances at Rome were introduced. This picture contains nearly thirty portraits, with the portrait of the possessor, Joseph Henry, Esq., of Straflan, Ireland. Reynolds returned from
whole-length picture of lord Keppel, which introduced him at once into the first business in portrait painting. He painted some of the first-rate beauties; the polite world flocked to see the pictures, and he soon became the most fashionable painter, not only in England, but in Europe. He then lived in Newport Street, whence he removed to Leicester Fields about 1760. He chiefly employed himself on portraits, because, in a country wnere self-love prefers likenesses of itself to representations of natural and historica truth, the historical department is no* equally eligible. Among Reynolds's best deviations from " head dressing," are his pictures of Venus chastising Cupid for having learned to cast accounts, Dante's Ugolino, a Oipsey telling fortunes, The Infant Jupiter, the calling of Samuel, the Death of Dido, the Nativity, the Cardinal Virtues, &c, for New college Chapel; Cupid and Psyche, Cymon and Iphigenia, Mrs. Siddons as the Tragic Muse, and Hercules strangling the Serpents. He also painted a few landscapes. He did not owe any part either of his fame or his fortune to royal favor; George III. never commissioned him to paint a single picture, nor once sat to him, except in 1771, when he gave his portrait to the Royal Academy. Sir Joshua, Mr. Garrick, Mr. Cumberland, Mr. Goldsmith, Mr Burke, and his brother Richard, Mr. William Burke, and Dr. Bernard, afterterwards bishop of Killaloe, had happened to dine together three or four times at the St. James's Coffee-house, and an epitaph on Goldsmith, which Garrick produced one day, gave birth to Goldsmith's " Retaliation." The lines on Sir Joshua R. are worth transcribing, though the character was left unfinished, by Goldsmith's death:—
Italy in 1753 or 1754, and produced a
"Here Reynolds is laid; and, to tell you my mind,
He has not left a wiser or better behind;
His pencil was striking, resistless, and grand;
His manners were gentle, complying, and bland.
Still born to improve us in every part,
His pencil our faces,—his manners our heart:
To coxcombs averse, yet most civilly steering;
When they judg'd without skill, he was still hard of hearing;
When they talk'd of their Raphaels, Corregios, and stuff,
He shifted his trumpet and only took snuff."
Sir Joshua was so remarkably deaf as to be under the necessity of using an eartrumpet in company. His prices were, About 1755, for a head, . 12 Guineas Scon After, 1760 ... 25 ditto
About 1770 35 guineas
From 1779 till he ceased to
paint 50 ditto
Half and whole lengths in proportion. Horace Walpole, earl of Orford, in the advertisement prefixed to the fourth volume of his Anecdotes of painting, justly says,—"The prints after the works of Sir Joshua Reynolds have spread his fame to Italy, where they have not at present a single painter who can pretend to rival an imagination so fertile that the attitudes of his portraits are as various as those of history.—Sir Joshua had been accused of plagiarism, for having borrowed attitudes from ancient masters. Not only candor, but criticism, must deny the force of the charge. When a single posture is imitated from an historic picture, and applied lo a portrait in a different dress, and with new attributes, this is not plagiarism, but quotation; and a quotation from a great author, with a novel application of the sense, has always been allowed to be an instance of parts and taste, and may have more merit than the original. When the sons of Jacob imposed on their father by a false coat of Joseph, saying, ' Know now whether this be thy son's coat or not?' they only asked a deceitful question— but that interrogation became wit, when Richard I., on the pope reclaiming a bishop whom the king had taken prisoner in battle, sent him the prelate's coat of mail, and in the words of Scripture asked his Holiness, whether That was the coat of his son or not?—Is not there humor and satire in Sir Joshua's reducing Holbein's swaggering and colossal haughtiness of Henry VIII, to the boyish jollity of Master Crewe? Sir Joshua was not a plagiary, but will beget a thousand. The exuberance of his invention will be the grammar of future painters of portraits In what age were paternal despair,
and the horrors of death, pronounced with more exDressive accept* than in his pic
ture of Ugolino? When were infantine loveliness, or embryo passions, touched with sweeter truth, than in his portraits of Miss Price and the Baby Jupiter."
Dr. Johnson says, in the Life of Cowley, " Sir Joshua Reynolds, the great painter of the present age, had the first fondness for his art excited by the perusal of Richardson's Treatise." He adds, " I know no mail who has passed through life with more observation than Reynolds—whose observations on alt subjects of criticism and taste are so ingenious and just, that posterity may be at a loss to determine whether his consummate skill and execution in his own art, or his judgment in that and other kindred arts, were superior."
A print, engraved by Bartolozzi, was presented to each attendant on Sir Joshua's funeral. The principal figure in it is a beautiful female, clasping an urn; near her is a boy or genius, holding an extinguished torch in one hand, and pointing with the other to a tablet on a sarcophagus, inscribed SueccJit Jamu, vivusque per ora j'eret'tr*
February 23. Day breaks . . 4 54 Sun rises . . 6 47 — sets ... 5 13 Twilight ends .76 The apricot begins to show a few blossoms.
White butterbur often in full flower if mild; but there is sometimes a month'* difference in the blowing of this plant.
* Gents. Mag
Now spring the living herbs, profusely wild, O'er all the deep green earth, beyond the power Of botanist to number up the tribes: Whether he steals along the lonely dale, In silent search; or through the forest rank, With what the dull incurious weeds account, Bursts his blind way; or climbs the mountain's top, Fired by the nodding verdure of its brow.
But who their virtues can declare? who pierce. With vision pure, into those secret stores Of health, and lift, and joy t
OAK IN THE WALL OF BOXLEY ABBEY.
The parish of Boxley, in Kent, adjoins and earl of Kent, at whose disfra^
the town of Maidstone on the north-east, about 1084, it became forfeited to the
The manor, at the general survey for crown, with his other p^isessions. Doomsday Book, formed part of the vast In 1146 William dlnre earl of K»„»
estate of Odo, the (real bishop of Bayeux who afterwards became a monk at Laon
in Flanders, founded the abbey of Boxley for monks of the Cistercian order, and dedicated it to the Virgin Mary, as all houses of that order were. In 1189 king Richard I. gave the manor to the abbey, which was aggrandized and variously privileged by successive monarchs.
Edward I. summoned the abbot of Boxley to parliament. At the dissolution, Boxley shared the common fate of church lands, and Henry VIII. leserved it to the crown, but by indenture exchanged the abbey and manor,excepting the parsonage and advowson, with Sir Thomas Wyatt, of Allyngton, Km., for other premises. Two years afterwards Boxley was again vested in the crown.
Queen Mary granted the manor to the lady Jane Wyatt, widow of Sir Thomas, and her heirs male in eaptte, by knight's service. It again reverted to the crown, by attainder of blood, which was restored by act of parliament to George Wyatt, Esq , who, by a grant from the crown, possessed this estate in fee; and his descendant, Richard Wyatt, Esq., who died in 1753, bequeathed it, with other estates, to Lord Romney. The abbey passed through the families of Silyard and Austen, to John Amhurst, of Rochester, Esq, afterwards of Bensted.*
A little tract, *' Summer Wanderings in Kent, 1830," which may be considered as almost privately published—for it is printed and sold at Camberwell—mentions the remains of this ancient edifice, and the title page is frontispieced with a view of the old oak growing from the ruined wall, as it is here represented The engraving is referred to in the annexed extracts from the " Wanderings:"—
"Over the fields to Boxley
Abbey, once notorious as the scene of a pious fraud—the notorious * Rood of Grace," burnt afterwards at Paul's Cross, which, according to Lambard, could 'bow itself, lift up itself, shake and stir the hands and feete, nod the head, roll the eyes, wag the chaps, and bend the browes,' to admiration. The principal remains [of the abbey) consist of a long bam, a brick gateway and lodge, and the boundary wall thickly overgrown with ivy, in which I observed an oak of considerable magnitude and apparently in a flourishing state, notwithstanding the rigid soil in which it grows, the roots in several
places, where they had displaced parts of the wall, being as thick as a man's leg. The Indian Peepul-tree seems to delight in similar situations, where it attains such a size as frequently to throw down, not only walls, but whole buildings.
"Passed a spinner, cheered by the fall of unseen waters; and forcing a passage through the hedge which guarded it, arrived at a beautiful cascade, remarkable for encrusting with a pearly coat any substance immersed in :T. Towards the hills, where I saw a pair of ravens swinging on a strong breeze over a thick cover, into which they soon dropped, and a hawk breasting the pure air far above them. Gained the summit, and gazed awhile on the varied prospect before me. Saw a stone with this inscription:—
Here I was set
great, Judg as
you pleas, Twos for your ease. (1409—1609.) The purpose for which it was erected cannot be determined with any certainty. It has the appearance of a stepping block for enabling horsemen to mount; or perhaps some worthy friar of the neighbouring abbey of * Boxele,' willing to do a service to kindred minds, caused it to be planted here for the ease of such as might repair to the delightful eminence on which it is set, 'to meditate at eventide.'
—— " Shaped my course eastward, and obtained a charming view of Boxley church, with its green church-yard finely relieved against a cluster of towering trees, and reposing in a quiet valley, surrounded by scenery the most luxuriant and extensive.
"After forcing a passage through thickets and brakes, I came suddenly upon the new pathway cut by Lord Romney in a zig-zag direction down the hill, at a point where the branches of two venerable yew trees meet across it,—
a pillared shade
Upon whose grassiest flour of red-brown hue
"About this walk, the greater part of which is open to the charming landscape below, are planted numerous firs, from whose dusky recesses the new foliage shot forth, like spent -tars from a jet of fire dropping through the still twilight. Heard the tinkling of a sutru-bell, and the shrill whistle of a lazy urchin stretched in the shadow of a neighbouring thicket, and soon caught a glimpse of the flock hurrying down from the skirts of a coppice to the more open pasture below. A short walk brought us to Boxley. In the church-yard, I noticed a plain memorial for' Rose Bush,' aged 21—a fine theme for the punster and the poet."
Speech From A Tree.
A prodigal, who was left by his father in possession of a large estate, well-conditioned, impaired it by extravagance. He wanted money, and ordered a number of timber trees, near the mansion, to be felled for sale. He stood by, to direct the laborers, when suddenly a hollow murmuring was heard within the trunk of a venerable oak, and, after several groans, a voice from the tree distinctly said :—
** My young master,
"Your great grandfather planted me when he was much about your age, for the use of his posterity. I am the most ancient tree in your forest, and have largely contributed by my products to people it. There is, therefore, some respect due to my services, if none to my years. I cannot well remember your great grandfather, but I recollect the favor of your grandfather; and your father was not neglectful of me. My shade assisted his rest when he was fatigued by the sultry heat, and these arms have sheltered him from sudden showers. You were his darling, and, if the wrinkles of age have not obliterated them, you may see your name traced in several places by his own hand on my trunk.
"I could perish without regret, if my fall would do you any real service. Were I destined to repair your mansion, or your tenants' ploughs and carts, and the like, I should fulfil the end for which. I exist—to be useful to my owner. But to be trucked away for vile gold, to satisfy the demand of honorable cheats, and be rendered subservient to profligate luxury, is more than a tree of any spirit can bear.
"Your ancestors never thought you would make havoc and waste of the woods they planted. While they lived it was a pleasure to be a tree; the old ones amongst us were honored, and the young ones were encouraged around us.
Now, we must all fall without distinction, and in a short time the birds will not find a branch to build or roost upon. Yet, why should we complain? Almost all your farms have followed you to London, and, of course, we must take the same journey.
"An old tree loves to prate, and you will excuse me if I have been too free with my tongue. I hope that advice from an oak may make more impression upon you than the representations of your steward. My ancestors of Dodona were often consulted, and why should a British tree be denied liberty of speech?
"But you are tired, you wish me to _ remain dumb. I will not detain you, though you will have too much reason to remember me when I am gone. I only beg, if I must fall, that you will send me to one of his majesty's dock-yards, where my firmness and integrity may be employed in the service of my country, while you, who are a slave to your wants, only live to enslave it."
The prodigal could bear no more : he ordered the oak to be dispatched, and the venerable tree fell without a groan
The name of this apostle in the church calendar denotes this to be a holiday.'
1655. Feb. 24. Mr. Eve.yn notes h;s having seen a curious mechanical contrivance. "I was shewed a table clock, whose balance was only a chrystal ball sliding on parallel irons without being at all fixed, but rolling from stage to stage till falling on a spring concealed from sight, it w as thrown up to the utmost channel again, made with an imperceptible declivity; in this continual vicissitude of motion prettily entertaining the eye every half minute, and the next half giving progress to the hand that showed the hour, and giving notice by a small bell, so as in 120 half minutes, or periods of the bullets falling on the ejaculatory spring, the clock-part struck. This very extraordinary piece (richly adorned) had been presented by some German prince to our
• For St. Mathias, see Every Day Book, li. 254.