Rossetti Archive Textual Transcription

Document Title: Pre-Raphaelitism and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood
Author: William Holman Hunt
Date of publication: 1914
Publisher: E. P. Dutton and Company
Printer: Richard Clay and Sons, Limited
Edition: Second

The full Rossetti Archive record for this transcribed document is available.

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W. Holman-Hunt

Sir W. B. Richmond, K.C.]


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Pre-Raphaelitism and

the Pre-Raphaelite







Vol. II


New York

E. P. Dutton & COMPANY



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Facsimile of the Initials on Millais “Lorenzo and Isabella,” 1848

Facsimile of the Initials on Millais'

“Lorenzo and Isabella,” 1848

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Note: The word “Page” appears as a running header over the page numbers.

    Lord and Lady Napier and Frederick Lockwood—Visit the caverns beneath Jerusalem—

    Letter from D. G. Rossetti—Kaimil Pasha—Sir Moses Montefiore—Duke of Brabant—

    Visit to the mosque—Max and the pistol—Contention with the bishop concerning Arab

    converts—Letter from Millais—Jerusalem ladies come to see my picture—Send “Scape–

    goat” to England—Moonlight over the city. . . . . . . . . 1


    An honest Jewish convert—Story of the mercer—Visit Levi's house—The retribution—

    “Selection” in Art—Warder Cressen—Water–colour of Gihon—Succumb to fever—

    Visit the mosque—Send pictures to Oxford—Journey to Nazareth, Tiberias, Lake of

    Merom, and Mount Hermon—Syrian landscape—Country between Tabor and Tiberias—

    Guide and Issa converse about my faith—Tents pitched on burial–ground—Cholera

    raging—Moonlight on Tiberias— Mukary refuses to stay—The spring of Capernaum—

    Safid—Graham departs westward. . . . . . . . . . . 16


    Plain of Merom—Issa is not appreciating the scene, feels his superiority—Cæsarea Philippi—

    Ancient remains—Moslem boy lost—Hasbeya—Dar al Akmar—Damascus—Consul–

    General Sir Henry Wood—Lady Ellenborough—Zebedeen—Baalbec—Temple—A primi–

    tive hotel—Unconscious actor to delighted audience—Ascend Lebanon—Zahle—Reach

    Beyrout and part with Issa—Take ship to Constantinople for the Crimea—Cholera and

    mutiny on board—Arrive at Crimea. . . . . . . . . . 36


    Marseilles to Paris—Mike Halliday—February 1856—Halliday and I take house together—

    Disintegration fo the Brotherhood—Rossetti in Oxford—Miss Siddal—Christina

    Rossetti's sonnet on the P.R.B.—Woolner's return from Australia—Several artists

    working on our lines—Madox Brown steadfastly doing so—Annual prizes at Liverpool—

    Arthur Hughes—Millais and Ruskin—Millais' marriage—Visit Oxford—“Pot–boilers”—

    Small “Eve of St. Agnes” sold to Mr. Miller—Gambart treats for copyright of “Light

    of the World”—Copyright in England and France—Ford Madox Brown paints direct

    from Nature—Exhbition in Charlotte Street—Illustrations to Tennyson—Rossetti's

    designs—The volume a commercial failure—Menzel's work—“Scapegoat”—Millais brings

    his picture to London—Ruskin—John Luard's first picture—Millais' “Peace” and

    “Burning Leaves”—Gambart's strictures on the “Scapegoat”—Criticisms on the picture

    in The Times, etc.—Further comments in the Press on P.R.B. picutres. . . 59


    Leighton—Work at Claredon Press, Oxford—Thackerary stands for Parliament—His visit

    to Mr. Combe—Letters from Millais—Mr. Combe persuades me to become a candidate

    for R.A. Associateship—Enrolled myself for winter election—Watts—Miss Emma

    Brandling—Little Holland House—Woolner—Tennyson at Roehampton—Tennyson

    demurs to my illustrations—Robert and Mrs. Browning—Death of my father—Seddon—

    Take Hook's house on Campden Hill—Lady Goderich's dinner–party—Sir Colin Campbell

    and Carlyle—Woodward and the Oxford Museum—Decoration of the Union, Oxford—

    First meeting with Burne–Jones—Fitting up my house at Kensington—Bachelor parties

    at Henry Vaux's—The Academy rejects me. . . . . . . . 86

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    The Hogarth Club—Leighton and a Royal Commission—Mrs. Combe and Mrs. Collins—

    Completion of my “Temple” pictures continually delayed—Arthur Lewis's social

    gatherings—Fred Walker—Mr. and Mrs. George Grove and Mr. and Mrs. Phillips—

    Millais exhibits “Sir Isumbras”—Tom Taylor's imitation of ancient ballad—Ruskin's

    denunciation of the picture—Charles Reade buys it—Frederick Sandy's caricature—

    Mr. and Mrs. Combe visit Brown's studio—Letter from Brown about Carlyle—Oxford

    Museum—O'Shea—Manchester loan exhibition—Conversation with Sir Thomas Fairbairn

    about Woolner—Woolner and his work—Rossetti avoids Millais and myself—Ruskin's

    appreciation of Rossetti's power—Mr. and Mrs. Thoby Princep—Tennyson and

    Thackeray—Remonstrances on my “idleness” from unknown correspondents . . 111


    Visit to Tennyson—His page boy—Distress at critics—National support of Art—Millais’

    early genius—George Leslie delivers his father's dying message—G. F. Watts—

    Thornbury's criticism in the Anthenæum on P.R.B.–ism—Mr. and Mrs. Combe at

    Oxford—St. Barnabas Church—University Press—Conference on ways and means—Our

    relations with Dickens—Wilkie Collins—His room—Visit to Charles Dickens in Tavistock

    Square—The Duchess of Argyll—Sir C. Eastlake—Gambart's treatment of my terms for

    the “Temple” picture—It goes to Windsor—Chat with Thackeray at Cosmopolitan

    Club—Introduce Woolner at Oxford. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133


    Breakfast with Gladstone—The Rev. Joseph Wolf—I discuss the merit of Dresden china—

    Walking tour in 1860 with Tennyson, Palgrave, Woolner, and Val Prinsep—Gad's Hill—

    Charles Collins marries Kate Dickens, 1861—His views on the merits of a good tailor—

    Morris's business formed—Poynter's picture “Faithful unto Death”—Injury from fire

    to my “Temple” picture—Portrait of Judge Lushington—His stories—1862 Exhibitition—

    Prince Consort's death—Woolner. . . . . . . . . . . 153


    Jacob Omnium controversy in the Times—Death of Augustus Egg—Letter from Charles

    Dickens—Visit to Sir Thomas Fairbairn—Wingrove Cook—Conversation about

    Thackeray—Trelawny—George Meredith—Proposal for George Meredith to live with

    D.G. Rosetti—Marriage of the Prince of Wales—Visit to the Prince and Princess of

    Wales to my exhibition—Garibaldi's visit to England—Baron Lys—Breakfast at the

    Duchess of Argyll's—John Tupper as art master—Royal Academy efforts to pacify

    malcontents—G. F. Watts. . . . . . . . . . . . 176


    W. Beamont and St. Michael's, Cambridge—Delay in returning to the East—My marriage—

    “The Festival of St. Swithin”—Fred Walker—My bank stop payment—Start for the

    East—Cholera prevailing at Marseilles—Quarantine—Go to Florence—“Isabella and

    the Pot of Basil”—Death of my wife—Return to England—The home of Charles

    Dickens—My election to the Athenæum Club—Return to Florence to complete my wife's

    tomb—Meet Ruskin in Venice—Conversation with Ruskin. . . . . . 196

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    I visit Rome—Take ship at Naples for Syria—Commence “Shadow of Death”—Dar Berruk

    Dar—Bethlehem—The Crown Prince of Prussia—Nazareth—Cana—Captain Luard—

    Ride to Jerusalem with news of Franco–German War—Fever—Visit Pasha in Armenian

    church—Libeation of Ezaak—Finish my picture—Visitors in vain—Paris after the

    German War—Picture arrives in London—Millais in vain urges me to put down my

    name again for the Academy—Commission from Queen Victoria—Elizabeth Thompson—

    Briton Rivière. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 219


    Tissot—Charles Collin's death—My second marriage—We travel to Jerusalem—Meeting with

    Lieutenant Kitchener—Trouble from non-arrival of cases—“The Ship”—The “Inno–

    cents”—To Ascalon—Go south to paint background—New studio—Visit of the

    Mahomedan ladies—Expedition to Jordan and Dead Sea—Send family to take refuge in

    Greek convent at Jaffa—I remain in Jerusalem—After two and a half years return with

    partly finished painting—The Grosvenor Gallery—R. Browning and Velasquez—Sir R.

    Owen's portrait—“Amaryllis”—“Miss Flamborough”—Robert Browning—His son—

    Browning and D.G. Rossetti—Visit to my old studio in Chelsea—Typhoid fever—

    Sir William Gull—Millais advises me to have the picure relined—I buy a house at

    Fulham—Ruskin's visit there—His Oxford lecture—Abandon Jerusalem “Innocents”—

    Recommence on new canvas—Illness—Finish the picture—Exhibition of my works at

    “Fine Arts” Society. . . . . . . . . . . . . 249


    Lawless—F. Walker—Philip Calderon—Walter Crane—“The Triumph of the Innocents”—

    Acquired by Liverpool—“Christ among the Doctors”—D.G. Rossetti's death—Articles

    in Contemporary—Address at Rossetti's fountain—Madox Brown—Whistler—H.

    Herkomer—F. Shields—Rev. E. Young—Rossetti's work—E. Burne–Jones—Gilbert

    and Sullivan's Patience and those satirised—E. R. Hughes—Cecil Lawson—John Brett—

    “The Bride of Bethlehem”—“Sorrow”—Millais made a baronet—He talks of the early

    P.R.B. days—Millais and I walk to see Charles Keane—The Bishop's moat—Artist's

    materials. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 285


    Commence “The Lady of Shalott”—“May Morning”—Last meeting with Mrs. Combe—

    Her death—Journey through Italy, Greece, Egypt to the East—Illustrations to Sir Edwin

    Arnold's Light of the World—The Miracle of “Holy Fire”—W. B. Scott's death—

    Banquet at Guildhall—Madox Brown's position—Leigton's death—Millais’ death—

    William Morris' death—Burne–Jones' style—My portrait by W. B. Richmond presented to

    me—Last talk with Watts—The University of Oxford bestows the degree of D.C.L. upon

    me—King Edward VII confers upon me the Order of Merit—Reflections on our course

    —Nationality in art—Foreign art—Millais’ pictures—The sale room no test of merit—

    Educational activity injurious rather than beneficial to the nation's art. . . . 308



    W. Morris and Co.—William de Morgan—Controversy about leadership of the P.R.B.—

    W. Rossetti's sonnets in The Germ —Monsieur Sizeranne's letter—Mr. Cook's hand–

    book—Extracts from William Rossetti—The genesis of D.G. Rossetti's picture “Found”

    —“The Awakened Conscience”—F.M. Brown's diary—The meaning of the word

    Pre-Raphaelite—F. G. Stephens, W. Sharp, W. Bell Scott. . . . 335

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    Retrospect ( continued)

    The delusions of our interpreters. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 353


    Retrospect ( concluded)

    Art and its national quality—Journalism—Lord Leighton's warning—Art the handmaid of

    morality—Art is love—Foreign academies—Impressionism—American students in Paris—

    Effect of civil wars on English art—The rise of portrait painting in England—Constable's

    prophecy—“Bacchus and Ariadne”—Copyright laws—What a people is led to admire,

    that it will become—Leonardo da Vinci speaks—Slavish idolatry not reverence—The

    great days of Italian art—Want of undersanding leads to unrestrained utterances—

    The responsibility of the Press—The purpose of the art. . . . . . . . 358

  • Last Notes by the Editor. . . . . . . . . . . . 380

  • Appendix. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 385

  • Index. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 435

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Note: The word “Page” appears as a running header over the page numbers.
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Note: This page is one quarter the size of the other pages in the book.

Vol. II.
  • p. 89, line 18, “Lister” should read “Leslie.”
  • p. 155, lines 5, 10; p. 399. lines 4, 7, 22, 28; p. 400, lines 7, 19, “Sèvre”

    should read “Sèvres.”
  • p. 342, lines 42, 46, 50, “G. F. Stephens” should read “F. G. Stephens.”
  • p. 343, line 2, “M. Madox Brown” should read “F. Madox Brown.”

    line 31, “F. J. Stephens” should read “F. G. Stephens.”
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But whosoever chooseth the life to come and directeth his endeavour towards the same, being also a true believer, the endeavour of these shall be acceptable unto God. — Al Koran.

The winter came with its succession of storms of some days’ duration, leaving two or three feet of snow on the ground.
My first hope had been to complete my picture of “The Scapegoat” in time to send it to London for the Royal Academy, but owing to the delay in finding the third suitable goat, this had become impossible and the work was still incomplete at Easter when many English visitors arrived.
While the city was more cheerful than usual, Lord Napier and Ettrick, with Lady Napier and her young sons, arrived, and Frederic Lockwood, whom I had known at Cairo, came over to meet his sister.
I delayed showing them the “Azazel” until it should be nearer completion, and when I had that pleasure, their discriminating and cultivated judgment was of the greater service to me, since I had been for so long removed from the opportunity of hearing artistic opinion. 1
Transcribed Footnote (page [1]):

1While preparing a second edition I have come upon a letter of interest at this time from D. G. Rossetti, even more important than it seemed to be when it was received by me. I regret that the closing lines are missing; I give it not only for its contemporary news, but also for its bearing upon Gabriel's picture of “Found” and my picture of “The Awakened Conscience” —W. H. H.

30 th January, 1855.

Dear Hunt,—

I am quite ashamed in setting-to at this letter after so long a promise-breaking silence; but as I should be still more ashamed at seeing you again, and remembering your friendly letters, as the only ones which had passed between us, I bespeak a little very comparative content with myself by writing even thus late. I am beginning this at Albany Street where Christina, seeing the paper lying on the table and hearing of its destined use, has just charged me with a charge to you to bring home an alligator (an allegory on canvas not to be accounted a fair substitute), in which she proposes that a few of your select friends should be allowed to take shares, after which its sudden presentation to the Zoological Society should make the fortunate Joint Stock Company members for life of that dismayed Institution. This, she thinks, is a project of moderate promise and a great additional incentive to defer writing no longer.

One great reason for my not writing long before this has been the wish to have something worth saying to you of my own doings and plans, and this no doubt you have guessed. It is possible that Sisyphus, for the first few rolls of his stone, may have dwelt on the causes

Sig. VOL. II. B
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An ancient quarry which penetrated under the city had been recently discovered. The Mahomedans were very jealous about it, and forbade
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of his failure at some length and vowed to do the trick yet; but one inclines to believe that the occupation soon became and continues chiefly a silent one.

Anxieties and infelicities, this sort among the rest—did not seem the best subjects to write about; but they have not prevented my enjoying the tardy justice done to you last year in your works—that is, in all quarters of any consequence, and remembering how we were together while you strove bitterly towards it, deserving it all the time in days that never come again.

I have no doubt that which you are doing now when seen, will bring to more than completeness the result which was more than begun last time, and feel very desirous to see your new works and have a first chance of learning what the East is really like. I can tell you, on my own side, of only one picture fairly begun—indeed, I may say, all things considered, rather advanced; but it is only a small one. The subject had been sometime designed before you left England and will be thought, by any one who sees it when (and if) finished, to follow in the wake of your “Awakened Conscience,” but not by yourself, as you know I had long had in view subjects taking the same direction as my present one. The picture represents a London street at dawn, with the lamps still lighted along a bridge which forms the distant background. A drover has left his cart standing in the middle of the road (in which, i. e. the cart, stands baa-ing a calf tied on its way to market), and has run a little way after a girl who has passed him, wandering in the streets. He has just come up with her and she, recognising him, has sunk under her shame upon her knees, against the wall of a raised churchyard in the foreground, while he stands holding her hands as he seized them, half in bewilderment and half guarding her from doing herself a hurt. These are the chief things in the picture which is to be called “Found,” and for which my sister Maria has found me a most lovely motto from Jeremiah: “I remember Thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals.” Is not this happily applicable? “Espousal,” I feel confident from knowledge of the two words in two or three languages would most probably be rightlier rendered “betrothal,” which is the word I want and shall substitute as soon as I have consulted some one knowing Hebrew. The calf, a white one, will be a beautiful and suggestive part of the thing, though I am far from having painted him as well as I hoped to do—perhaps through my having performed the feat, necessarily an open-air one, in the time just preceding Christmas, and also through the great difficulty of the net drawn over him; the motion constantly throwing one out—me especially, quite new as I was to any animal painting. I wish that if anything suggests itself to you which you think would advantage this subject, or any objection, you would let me know of it, though otherwise than for such a purpose I cannot expect to hear from you before doing this duty at least once again. I have not spoken of the subject at all to any of our circle except Brown, at whose house at Finchley I stayed while painting on it there, and Hughes, who happened to be painting at my rooms when I began it. Since Christmas I have been prevented from working on this picture by illness first, and since by having other things necessary to be done, but I hope soon to be on it again, though even were it ready in time I should have small thoughts, as yet, of sending it to any exhibition unless compelled. It was originally a commission from that fellow X., a subject which he chose himself from two or three I proposed to him; but he either is or professes himself too nearly ruined now to buy more pictures, so I suppose that chance is up. But it is no use writing about bothers of that kind.

The other day I had a visit from Moxon (at Millais’ kind suggestion I believe), asking me to do some of the woodcuts for the new Tennyson, on which I hear you are at work already. I can find few direct subjects left in the marked copy he has left me, and shall probably do “Vision of Sin,” “Palace of Art,” and things of that sort, if I get into the way of liking the task well enough to do them well; but I think illustrated editions of poets, however good (and this will be far from uniformly so), quite hateful things, and do not feel easy as an aider or abettor. I have just done one for Allingham's forthcoming volume, and know that were I a possessor of the book I should tear out the illustrations the first thing.

By the bye I have long had an idea for illustrating the last verse of “Lady of Shalott,” which I see marked to you. Is that a part you mean to do, and if not and you have only one design in prospect to the poem, could I do another? One of my occupations at present is a class on Monday evenings at the “College for Working Men,” got up by Maurice and others in Red Lion Square. Ruskin kindly came forward to teach drawing, but as his class only comprises foliage, etc., I have added a class for drawing the figure and have begun by setting the pupils—mostly real working-men carpenters, etc.—to draw heads from Nature, one of them sitting to the rest. Even already there are one or two of them doing really well. I draw there myself, and find that by far the most valuable part of my teaching—not only to me, but for them. I have (of course) one or two subjects which I hope to get immediately in hand as pictures. I have always feared to attempt a figure of Our Saviour, but if opportunity serves, hope to paint this year one which I have long wished, on the motto “Whose fan is in His hand.”

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entrance, but Cayley, the eccentric traveller, and some young Englishmen were anxious to see it, and Sim and I undertook to conduct them. In the afternoon we left the city by separate gates, and waited at a distance until the last belated wayfarers had re-entered the walls, and the guards had shut the heavy doors upon themselves. The country around was by that time quite abandoned, and we made the necessary circuit to the Damascus gate, cautiously creeping close up to the foundations, beyond sight of the city ramparts, in order to reach the opening to the cave. It was not difficult to remove a stone or two put there to seal up the entrance, and one by one we crept in. After about eight feet of level rock there was a drop of the same extent; inside we lit our candles and waited for the whole party to descend. We proceeded, touching the quarried rock with our hands; following along we came to chambers where the quality of the stone had tempted the ancient masons to extend their operations. In parts water dripped from the roof into pools, where the splashed surface of the rock was glazed and rounded; the blocks lying about had all been worked into measure and form, as the Bible describes the stones of the Temple to have been. Some of these had been discarded and left on the ground, presumably because of a discovered flaw. While most of us were examining a large door nearly finished, which was fresh as if of recent work, we were dismayed by the loud explosion of some firearm in our rear, the noise of which reverberated alarmingly through all the hollows of the cavern. It turned out that a pistol had been fired with extreme thoughtlessness by one of our company, “merely for fun.” How far it could be heard by the inmates of houses above our heads we never knew, but although we could
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This letter is unbearably egotistical hitherto. Let me try if I have any news of friends, but I see few, and those seldom. Woolner seems, after all, to be disappointed of that commission, as perhaps you have heard from him. It is a pleasure to have him again here, but I suppose it cannot be for long. He talks of painting with me, so as to be able to portraitise on his return to Australia, both in paint and clay, and so be able to accept a larger number of commissions. This would, I should think, be a wise thing, and I have no doubt he would at once be perfectly successful in painting when he only began rightly. Brown has just added a little boy to his family; but I fear what would and ought to be a cause of congratulation, is only one of anxiety just now.

He is painting again on that picture of “Emigrants,” which is now far advanced, but fortune does not seem to turn yet. You heard perhaps of one result of his discouraged state some time back—his sending two pictures—“King Lear,” and a large landscape just then finished after many months’ work, to a wretched Jew shop-sale, where they fetched nearly the price of their frames. Of course, this injured him in more than one way. You are almost sure to have heard of X's attempt months ago to put up your “Two Gentlemen of Verona,” and a few more of his pictures to sale at Christie's when yours reached in real biddings £300, was run up ostensibly much beyond that by his touters in the room, but finally remained with him, not reaching though apparently approaching if I remember, his reserved price of £500, which was the one he put on it by my advice. I do not know whether he has since sold the picture, but at that time it returned with him to Ireland. Among deaths, you have perhaps heard that of another of our early “patrons,” Cottingham, who was one of the passengers lost in the Arctic last September; and of the end of poor North, at New York, by a quarter of an ounce of prussic-acid, of which there was a long account in the Daily News—you may see it one day, as Woolner has it. It is a subject one cannot talk of, and too hopelessly sad even to dwell much on the mind, however sincerely one regrets and pities him.

Brown talks of obtaining a country mastership in the School of Design, and I believe has lately taken some steps towards it.

D. G. Rosetti

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believe that they would be more afraid than ourselves, we became anxious lest our place of exit should be obstructed. When the quarry had been first entered, on its discovery by a shepherd, the skeleton of some unfortunate explorer had been found, who had evidently sought a means of escape in vain.
The Pashas of Jerusalem appointed from Stamboul were changed very frequently in these days; one came preceded by a reputation for superiority to fanatical prejudices, he arrived not only without a bevy of many wives, but without a single one. He was known as “Kiamil Pasha”; he was, I believe, the same who at the installation of the Young Turkish party became their new Grand Vizier. Stories were told of  

Kiamil Pasha was Re-Appointed Grand Vazier in 1912


him as of a Turk of rare enlightenment. He conceived a cordial friendship with Dr. Rosen, the Prussian Consul, and visited him as an intimate so habitually that ceremony was dispensed with, and Madam Rosen (daughter of Moschelles, the musical composer) went about her household duties superintending the servants without consideration that her methods were being studied. The Pasha soon avowed to the Consul that the European system of managing a house was distinctly to be preferred to that of the Oriental, in that dishonesty in the servants was effectually checked; this he declared was truly excellent, but still he added there is one point I cannot understand: your wife guards you from dishonest servants, but what check have you to prevent her from defrauding you herself?
Sir Moses Montefiore came early in the spring on a charitable mission.
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While he was encamped outside the Jaffa Gate I wrote to him concerning the misinterpretation of my innocent object as a painter, by the Jews and their rabbis, and I begged that he would explain my purpose, and induce the rabbis to remove the interdict which prevented the more orderly minded Jews from coming to me. Mr. Sebag Montefiore saw me on the subject, and promised attention to the question. Mr. Frederic D. Mocatta arriving rather later, I urged the point with him also; his knowledge of art and artists enabled him to understand my difficulties the better, so now I had improved prospect for “The Temple” picture, when I could be free again to work on it.
It had been a vexation to me during its progress to have no opportunity of seeing, from the platform of Moriah, the distant slope of the northern Olivet which came into the background of the picture. Since the crusading successors of Godfrey de Bouillon were chased from Jerusalem no Christian, but in disguise or by stratagem, at a risk of very probable death, had entered its precincts.
I had been able only to satisfy my interest in the sanctuary by such view as could be had from the roofs of houses on a height.
Early in April, however, the Duke of Brabant, the heir-apparent of Belgium, arrived in Jerusalem, and it was whispered that the very enlightened and francophile Pasha of the day was making great efforts to gratify the Duke's ambitions to enter the enclosure. The Prince had been provided with a firman to enter the Mosque area, yet it was probable, as with many previous travellers coming from Constantinople, that His Highness would be told it would be fatal to the lives of all who attempted to act on the Sultan's favour; but gossip had not much to indulge in, and soon it was said that the Duke would be privileged to enter the Hareem. I called on the Consul, and urged that if it were so, the English residents might also pass the sacred gates. He told me that this was generally felt, and that he was watching to secure the opportunity. On the Saturday of the Greek Easter, he sent me word to hold myself in readiness that afternoon. Earlier in the day I had witnessed the ceremony of the Miracle of the Sacred Fire in the Church of the Sepulchre.
This year no Russian pilgrims were present, yet the building was crowded with strangers, male and female, from Greece, Armenia, Egypt, and Abyssinia; in fact, in this respect the occasion was like the ancient Feast of Pentecost, bringing strangers from all parts, and such resemblance was undoubtedly in mind when the original form of this ceremony was instituted, for it is on record that an artificial dove descended through the opening of the dome, carrying the fire with it into the sepulchral shrine. Curzon in his Monasteries of the Levant describes his experiences in 1834, when three hundred people were killed in the disorderly crush. Kinglake, who was there the next year, treats of it in his most graphic manner, and Dean Stanley was a witness of the scene in 1854, a year before my own visit.
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At 4 P.M. I presented myself at the appointed place of entrance to the Mosque, and found the secretary nearly alone. The company increased by ones and twos, and the Pasha had just counted twenty-one when our Consul arrived with a train of some thirty English subjects, clergy with their wives, and other ladies connected with mission work. Very obvious was the bewilderment of the Pasha, but his politeness was equal to the need. When he left the apartment time after time, and returned with no show of having advanced matters, I was inclined to suspect that he had as poor an estimate as I had of the interest which the majority of the crowd were likely to take in the features of the Mosque, that he would therefore consider that the risk should not be incurred, and that it might be wise to delay action until advancing darkness should render our entrance into the sacred place impossible.
During this time it transpired that the Pasha was intent upon the success of a summons issued to all the dervishes of the Mosque to assemble in a chamber of the Hareem to discuss a point of great moment, which had to be considered by the holiest authorities. Concluding it was the question of admitting the Belgian prince which had to be debated, they thronged into the building to utter their loudest protests. Delays arose in making certain that all the dervishes were assembled, and then the doors were locked, and a company of soldiers posted outside for an hour to turn the council-chamber into a prison.
After this precaution, the Duke of Brabant and his suite advanced, and we were bidden to follow; passing a few courts belonging to the house, we emerged from a dark passage into the great area which includes the site of the ancient Temple.
It was a moment in life to make one's heart stir as the door was turned on its hinges, and the way into this long-dreamed-of, much-longed-for, yet ever-forbidden sanctum was at last open to us.
On my first arrival in Jerusalem, wandering alone, I had entered the gates by mistake, but before I had realised my position I was set upon by one, then by two blacks, and threatened by an approaching crowd of wild and dark Indians and Africans, from whom I escaped by a hasty retreat. Now the place was empty, and I gazed with boundless delight on the beautiful combination of marble architecture, mellowed by the sun of ages, of mossy-like cypresses, and Persian slabs of jewel hues; but at once I was told that no one must linger. At the foot of the steps we were ordered to take off our boots; wearing Turkish shoes, I had no difficulty, but many were unprepared; and it was one of the grim mockeries of fate that at such a moment ladies and gentlemen should intensify the hideousness of modern costume by hobbling about in lacerated stockings, carrying Wellington boots and fashionable shoes in their hands. Unfortunately the Royal Duke gave no sign of caring for the wonders about him; he sometimes glanced to right or left as the guide referred to different objects, but never once did he pause from his swift march around the Mosque As Sakreh or through Al Aksa to
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dwell on any object, nor did he turn aside to examine anything out of the direct line of the prescribed route; an Arab in Westminster Abbey would not have been more supremely superior. When Sim and I ran off to look at the interior of the Beautiful Gate, we were quickly summoned back by a messenger, with a caution that it would be imprudent to go alone, in the face of possible danger from concealed dervishes. We pleaded that we were armed, and would take the chance, but the Pasha still objected, and we had to abandon our hope. I left with my curiosity only increased. On emerging from the gate to Via Dolorosa we saw a body of Moslems in the street, who glared with hatred such as only religious rancour can inspire, but they allowed us to disperse in peace.
Montefiore, before the close of his charitable work, sought and obtained admittance to the Mosque. His entrance was not so shocking to the sons of Ishmael as to his own brethren. The Rabbis pronounced against the part which he had taken in availing himself of such opportunity, as the exact spot of the Holy of Holies not being known, he might have offended in treading on the ground sacred for the High Priest alone.
If all the Christian visitors to the Mosque that day felt the respect for Mahomedans which the sight of their reverent conservation of the sacred spot awakened in me, and if the sons of Hagar assembled at its doors had thus been able to read our feelings, their attitude towards us could scarcely have been other than that of brotherly pride in such hospitality as all followers of the Prophet are enjoined to exercise. From the day that Abraham met Melchisedek, this site has been the theatre of events which have struck deepest roots in the life of humanity. It has been the sanctuary of Jew, Christian, and Moslem. Had the Jews still possessed it, there would have been signs of bloody sacrifice. Had any sect of Christians possessed it, the place would have been desecrated either by tinselled dolls and tawdry pictures, as is the case in the Church of the Sepulchre, or else by the ugliness, emptiness, and class vulgarity of the Anglican and Prussian worship, as found in the city of Jerusalem. In the case of the Moslem there was not an unsightly nor a shocking object in the whole area, it was guarded, fearingly and lovingly, and it seemed a temple so purified from the pollution of perversity that involuntarily the text, “Here will I take my rest for ever,” rang in my ears. The past, so many pasts, stood about, even the very immediate present was a mystery and a wonder; it was an epoch of the world's history, a summons to reflection, the moving of the index finger. The Osmanli sands were running fast, and the hour-glass might soon be turned; but I felt that Hagar's sons had been appointed to the great purpose, keeping the spot sacred until the sons of Sarah should be enough purified by long-suffering, to take it again into their charge.
I had not attained my object, not having been able to make even the slightest scribble of the landscape for my picture. I had, however, gained the distinct knowledge that the only point from which it could be obtained was the roof of the “Mosque of the Rock.” That I should
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ever be able to mount upon this, unless it might be in the guise of a workman, seemed quite out of hope, because only Moslems were employed in the reparation of the roof.
Photographs and exhaustive discussions have now made familiar the variations in the character of the outside and the inside of the Mosque As Sakreh. Remarking upon the evidence pointing to its having once been a Christian church, which its interior suggested to me, my companion said, “I see you are a convert to Fergusson's theory.” I had not then heard of the architectural critic's conclusions, drawn from examination of drawings made under extraordinary circumstances by Catherwood and Bonomi.
In May all the pleasant English company went away together, for the Consul had the opportunity of visiting Gerash, which was not always open to travellers, and the chance was eagerly seized by those who made that place a fresh stage on their journey. The temptation was great for me to join them, but the time for my work was too precious to spare, and a discovery I had made did much to decide the question for me. The gun which I had carried on my saddle, and which had often served me in good stead, had a crack in the stock; it was not yet in danger of causing disruption, but when it was fired the strain dipped the barrel enough to make it hit low. A much more serious and troubling discovery was, that the revolver, on the efficacy of which my life had more than once depended, had reverted to its old fault of getting fixed in the lock; I therefore called my landlord and said: “I want you to go to ‘Frederic’ and deliver my pistol; explain to him yourself that it is loaded and cannot be fired off because of the defect for which I first sent it to him; he returned it repaired, but it is still untrustworthy, he must now put it into proper working condition at any cost, for a pistol that cannot be trusted is worse than useless. Say that I know he is clever, and quite capable of curing the fault.”
My landlord was a philosopher who at all times strove to enforce consideration for the weaknesses of others. “Vell, vell, yas! ve most ’ave patience. Frederic, poor fellaw! he unhappy. I go to Frederic, I say, ‘Vy for you not marry, plenty nice gals ‘ere now, you are von ov us, you av goot busness, vy not take vife?’ Vot—” and here he shrugged his shoulders commiseratingly—“ ’e say, ‘I stay ’ere only to die like my vrent die, an' den wot my vife do?’ He tocht in ’ed, poor fellaw!” “I know, I know, Max, but mind you give him my message, and take care that no one touches the pistol but yourself, till you deliver it into his hands with the caution that it is loaded,” said I.
The next morning Max, who was as conscientious as he was proud of his proficiency in English, assured me he had acquitted himself of his commission scrupulously. He said Frederic had listened attentively, and pleaded that the pistol needed a new spring. He was too busy for a day or two to attend to it, however, and would not take it in hand until he could finish it properly.
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“Ah,” said Max, “he quite mad, poor fellaw! ’e ’ang id op, bak shob”; by which I understood that he had put it safely by for the present.
On a previous Sunday there had been an overflow of water at Beir Yoab, and the people of Jerusalem had gone out to see it, some with keen enthusiasm because it seemed like the return of the promised early rain, which they said had been withheld since the destruction of the Temple. I walked with Dr. Sim in the midst of the throng, and we met Frederic all alone at St. Stephen's Gate; he smiled pleasantly but sadly to our salutation. We knew no German and he knew no English, so we exchanged a few words in Arabic and separated.
The evening after my message to Frederic, I called on Sim to choose the wild goat's skull for my “Scapegoat” picture; he had a large collection of such things. He told me that he had just come back from seeing poor Frederic, who had been shot by his apprentice in his own shop! He had extracted the bullet, and hoped from its small size that it had not pierced the body, but travelled round as bullets partly spent occasionally do. It was desirable to leave the patient undisturbed, he said. Frederic, it seemed, had been working at an anvil in the front of the shop, the apprentice came in, while the master, who was steadily filing, became apprehensive that the fool was at some mischief, and turning quickly, said, “You are not touching that loaded pistol?” The boy in his fright nervously pulled the trigger, and the bullet struck the master in the side. He fell on the floor, the noise attracted a crowd, who came in and surrounded him. He groaned, “Ah, I am paid now. I knew it would come to this.” Waving the people aside, he said, “I am going away to die,” and jumped up to run through the street up a steep lane into the door of the German Hospice, where he threw himself on to a bed, and there the doctor had seen him.
From Sim's favourable opinion I encouraged the idea that the man was not wounded to death; but on the morrow—fourteen months after the death of his friend—the lot had fallen upon him also.
It was my accursed revolver that had brought about this dire tragedy. I tell such stories not in support of any theory, but because they claim record as strange personal experience. There are people in Jerusalem now who remember Frederic with sorrow, and who wonder what became of the loved maiden in Germany who was to have been his wife.
Although the Exhibition date was past, I was working hard to finish “The Scapegoat” and send it away to Mr. Combe. I trusted that possibly among the patrons of art who had expressed a wish to have some picture of mine one might be found to purchase it, and so make me more at ease and free to prolong my stay; in any case, it would relieve the dejection I often felt at having brought none of my works to completion. My time was, however, seriously taxed in consequence of a contention I was drawn into with the bishop about the character of one of the Arab converts. I will say no more on this
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subject, but should any wish to know of the business, they may learn all particulars from a pamphlet which I published after my return to England. Yet, lest the story should be taken as a proof that I look with a feeling of disrespect upon English Missions, let me say that the circumstances were exceptional.
Early in the summer of this year two regiments of soldiers were sent up to quell disturbances caused by the fellahin. It was not alone the outbreak against the government near Hebron, of which, at the request of the Consul, I had made a report, but in the western hills in the neighbourhood of Betir the sheiks were fighting for the mere pleasure of fighting and delight in bloodshed, and one indeed deservedly acquired for his cruelty the name of “butcher.” The newly arrived soldiers were encamped upon the slopes of the Pool of Gihon, and thus it seemed as though indirect pressure alone was to be used against the fellahin; travellers were, under this military influence, enabled to use the roads in greater safety; perhaps it was this that brought the Prussian Quarantine doctor from Hebron to Jerusalem. Seeing him riding with the Prussian Consul as I was going out of the Jaffa Gate to enjoy the evening air after a fatiguing day's painting, it seemed to me that he had not seen me, so I deferred accosting him. It was a mistake which I often regretted later, for on the morrow he had returned home, and in a few weeks he committed suicide.
The soldiers after a month's encampment moved for a few weeks to the Pools of Solomon; and, when the fellahin were quite off their guard one night, they surprised the insurgent villages about Hebron, slaughtering and burning to the content of the Ottoman heart.
I had no contribution at the Academy Exhibition, and I had told my English correspondents that I might suddenly give up further attempts in Syria and return, but I had a great desire to know of the treatment of our School this year, thinking that the election of Millais might be a mark of more favourable feeling. A letter from him enlightened me painfully on this point; a few extracts will explain the disillusion; it also gives some reference to his approaching marriage—
Langham Chambers, Langham Place,

May 22, 1855.

My dear old friend,

All the hurry and excitement of the R.A. is over, and yet I find myself delaying until it is absolutely necessary that I should tell you first that next month, please God, I shall be a married man. What think you of this? You must have partly expected this, and will not be knocked down by this sudden announcement. I have let the time slip by me so fast that I am at a loss what to tell you first....I have gone so far as to take a place near her family at Perth for the autumn, and I leave this in a fortnight's time, when to return I don’t know....Lear has been here just this moment telling me of your letter he has received. Collins also received one. When you come back, you must come and see me. I am afraid I shall not be in London to receive you when you arrive.... Apropos of work, my picture (“The Fireman”) this year has been blackguarded more than ever;

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altogether the cabal is stronger than ever against every good thing—such injustice and felonious abomination has never been known before. Fancy A——, B——, and old Satyr C—— as hangers. Collins above the line is the Octagon, Martineau at the top of the picture against the door of the middle room. The very mentioning of these disgraceful facts incenses me so that I begin to tremble. I almost dropped down in a fit from rage in a row I had with the three hangers, in which I forgot all restraint and shook my fist in their faces, calling them every conceivable name of abuse. It is too long a story to relate now, but they wanted to lift my picture up, after I had got permission to have it lowered three inches, and tilted forward so that it might be seen, which was hardly the case as it was first hung. Oh! they are felons—no better than many a tethered convict—so let them pass. The Exhibition you will see, so there is no need of any mention of it. William I never see scarcely, as he lives down at Kingston. I am going to be married so quietly that none of my family come to the wedding. Good gracious, fancy me married, my old boy!...It is quite impossible to foresee the end of anything we undertake. Every day I see greater reason to be tolerant in judging others. We cannot reckon upon ourselves for the safe guidance of a single project. But I must not fill this letter with truisms....If I omit to tell you anything of interest you may afterwards find out, it will be from forgetfulness....Wilkie Collins is here and sends greeting. To-morrow is the Derby Day. Last Epsom I went too, we went together with Mike—you remember....My dear old friend, I feel the want of you more than ever, and art wants you home; it is impossible to fight single-handed, and the R.A. is too great a consideration to lose sight of, with all its position, and the public wealth and ability to help good art. When Lady Chantrey dies, the Academy will have funds at its disposal for the purchase yearly of the best living works, and all this should be in our hands. In my contest with the hangers I said I would give up my associateship if they dared to move my picture, which so frightened them, I suppose, that they didn’t touch it afterwards. I want you back again to talk over this matter of Exhibition. I am almost indifferent about these things now, and yet I think it a duty, for other poor fellows like Brown (whose three pictures were rejected), Anthony, Seddon were turned out also.

Ever affectionately yours,

John Everett Millais.
Miss Mary Rogers had come to Jerusalem with her brother, the future Consul of Damascus, and she gave me the London art news. One most important item was the appearance of a new artist, with a large picture representing the procession of Cimabue's picture through the streets of Florence. The artists’ name was Leighton, and the work was strikingly admirable, independent of the fact that it was his first exhibited original composition; his father had allowed him to paint it on condition that if not successful he should finally relinquish art. This picture was in great favour with artists, and the Queen secured the young painter's future success by buying it for £500.
While I was completing “The Scapegoat,” for the first time in the history of Turkish rule cannons were fired for a Christian monarch, on the 24th of May, Queen Victoria's birthday. The European ladies, hearing that my picture would soon be sent to England, now came in little groups to see it, one of these expressed a strong wish that some
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sound and practical landscape painter could come and help me with wise counsel as to the finishing of it. Afterwards I heard that her commiseration had been stimulated by the perusal of an article in a London paper brought to her by a neighbour, wherein I was held up as a proverb of artistic extravagance. On 15th June the work was finished, and put into its case. I rose early, and Sim, Graham, and I sallied out of the Jaffa Gate at 4.30 A.M. Sim, was leaving and going as army surgeon to the Crimea. He had made himself deeply loved and valued, and many of the grateful people accompanied us a mile or two on the road to take leave of him. I went to Jaffa with paint-box packed up, so that if I saw need, I might put further finishing touches on the picture before shipping it. The ride was delightful. Graham lent me his clever rhowam-paced pony, and Sim had an Arab which he was taking with him by sea, and as the third of our party was well mounted, we careered across the cornfields, many of which were cut, while others were being reaped. The trusty Issa meanwhile could be left with the baggage. It was high time I had such change, for I was far from well. The rest of two hours at the Ramla Convent with the cheery old monks delighted our hearts, and we arrived at Jaffa in the afternoon, when all seemed careless peace with the retiring sun, and as I passed my picture through the customs and took it on board, I felt cut off from the cause of many galling anxieties, and trusted issues to gentle Providence.
I had intended to stay with Graham a few days at the seaport, but the next afternoon Issa, his servant, who was deeply concerned in the proceedings conducted by the bishop to which I have lately referred, came to me with news gained from later arrivals that caused him deep concern, and I offered to ride back to Jerusalem with him in the night, which he eagerly accepted. On my return I sat down before my “Temple” picture to take stock of its condition and of my prospects, improved by the intermediation of my friendly Hebrew advocates, Sir Moses Montefiore and F. D. Mocatta, and at once took steps to recommence work.
Graham soon returned from Jaffa with health restored, and I frequently accepted his invitation in the hot summer to sleep in the refreshing air on Olivet. The window of this tower overlooked the Valley of Jehoshaphat, Gethsemane, and all the slopes of the city, and a good telescope was mounted on the sill. On moonlight nights, while my friend read aloud a king of literature for which I cared little, I could sit at the open window resting my brow against its cool lintel, and turn my eyes upon the traces left by the successive masters of the city since the days of Solomon, and upon the land so little changed since its history was first written upon it.
No scene could offer more for reflection. Many elements were wanting to satisfy the fullest sense of beauty, yet there was a solemn loveliness of expression settled in all the region, with centres of mystic suggestion that enchanted my eye, while my mind was enthralled by the thought
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that this spot had been the place from which in turn the leading nations of the world had been addressed as from heaven itself. Walls, towers, domes, minarets, and vacant spaces in succession made my regard wander across the wide prospect, and in and out of its intricate features. Lying there under full moonlight, the calm picture appeared as formed in mother-of-pearl, with rare points glinting among the opalescent hues. There were no street lamps in any part of the town; all bazaars were closed, most good men were in their homes, open casements revealed inner lights with families sitting at their last meal of the day; and elsewhere through perforated walls could be traced small companies on the roofs enjoying the cool night. Towering above the houses were the crowns of palm trees distributed among the courtyards inside their protecting walls. Afar, high up, nearly screened by buildings, were the Armenian gardens occupying the locality of Herod's Park and of the house of the High Priest, and there still slept a group of huge fir trees, one of which spread its sheltering branches around a delicate arboreal spire of cypress. Groves of olives were on southern Zion, and to the north of the walls was another plantation, amidst which was a massive sycamore near to a tower of necromantic tradition. The sombre trees mapped out the blanched limestone buildings and surfaces into intelligible shapes and helped to frame the ancient ramparts. The cupola of the Church of the Sepulchre with the adjoining tower stood in the heart of the city; wild growths spread over deserted spots, the remains of fallen buildings whose foundations were buried in their own ruins. The south-eastern corner of the square of the city was the Temple enclosure, whose history we know more continuously than that of any place on earth. Marble, alabaster, Persian tiles, and forms of early Byzantine design were beautified by the contrast of vegetation, deep and rich, fed by the hidden waters at their roots. Then the stately cypresses whispered together. The structures known as “The Dome of the Rock” and Al Aska divided the mind as to the site of the Holy of Holies, for the dimensions of the ancient Temple area were not enough to include both buildings; as though patiently sleeping, they rested like palled shapes in a heavy dream, detached by moonlight and moonshade. Although the platform was an open stage from which the actors had departed, yet fancy would people it with their spirits, prophets and martyrs stood arraigned there, delivering direful warnings from heaven. With tardy repentance more pitiful, were those haunting the scene for mourned-over memories of crimes towards the innocent; among them those who bewailed their bitterness towards the Son of Love Himself, for Gabatha lay there.
Beyond this enclosure I was attracted by the moving lantern of a cautious wayfarer; the flame taxed the sight as it hovered along, a very will-o'-the-wisp, through antiquated arches, threading receding streets, being blotted out now for a few seconds, now for a longer term, and anon as suddenly revealed. Occasionally home-seekers emerged from
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Kuteb Mueddin Calling to Prayer

W. H. H.]


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a door and stood still with a cluster of lights before taking leave of one another, and then diverged and crept along different lines like the sparks on unextinguished tinder, reminding me of what I had watched entranced in childhood and called “Quakers going home from meeting”; there was fascination in the tracing of these wandering lanterns. One bewitching jewel of light attracted me as a cherished possession, to be guarded with fear of its loss, as it came nearer and disappeared within the belt of the hareem enclosure; but it was not long before it re-appeared within the sacred square, where in passing it gilded marble pillars and elaborated carvings, and flared upon capitals, architraves, and arches, until it halted at the door of the minaret. In a few minutes appeared the flutter of the same light in the gallery above, and when the lantern was put down, I knew another dear sign of life would soon break out. The caller to prayer, with hands on the parapet, began his chant with a voice like a resonant bell across the homes of hidden men who at the sound bent in prayer and praise. The voice lingered and soared aloft; it was the chant of the “Kuteb Mueddin,” declaring itself emphatically in every fresh outburst, warbling, carolling, and exclaiming with ecstasy, till it expressed the fulness of thanksgiving and joy. It awakened the rapture with which I had heard the nightingale thrilling in his listening copse, and the dreamy hope grew dearer, that the time was coming when there could be no soul on earth not altogether at peace with the Father of Love. The singer turned in his gallery to awaken sleepers in the south, the west, the north, and then again in the full east. From a further tower a second psalmist responded, increasing his voice, and there echoed around a refrain of melody, a strophe, and antistrophe, and as the chant swelled a fuller height of rhapsody was attained; then by intervals the exalted strain slowly descended into a tender chorus, and ceased when the very deadness vibrated, consoling the yet unsatisfied and listening ear. Then all signs of restlessness took flight, the lights in turn became extinct, and the whole mountain of men, women, and children were at hush and rest, with nothing but the sound of barking dogs and screeches of marauding beasts of prey to be heard.
Turning my attention from the window, I heard Graham's enthusiastic droning as before, and when it ended my good friend asked if I had ever heard such an eloquent sermon, and I felt able to say “Never!”
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Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition.

Falsehood is so vile that if it spoke of God it would take something from the grace of His divinity, while truth is so excellent that when applied to the smallest things it makes them noble.—Richter.

Returning to my “Temple,” the suppression of the interdict of the Rabbis facilitated my appeals to the better class of Jews, and though some of the men whom I now approached were of very humble means, they bore themselves with unaffected dignity. One old fellow was heaven's own nobleman, he supported himself by the profits of a little chandlery business; all day he squatted cross-legged on his board in front of a cupboard with his wares: spices, coffee, sugar, arranged around him within easy reach, he had numerous customers who purchased small supplies at a time. On the Sabbath I always saw him at the Synagogue, and I learned that he was a Rabbi, who by his independent industry the better represented the celebrated doctors of Hillel's days. When I applied to him to sit, he explained that, having no relative or friend to carry on the business if he were away the shop would have to be shut up, and that the loss would be continued after he had reopened it, from the habit of his customers would contract of dealing elsewhere; but my terms tempted him, the bargain was that he should have four francs paid to him in the evening of each day, and that three more should be written up to his account, to be paid when I had completed the work, and if he had been punctual. He was always attentive and regular, keeping his part of the bargain, and never doubted my good faith in keeping mine.
I am glad to record this case as one of many I have met with to the credit of the Israelites. To prove the sincerity of some Jewish conversion to Christianity, and its fitness for such men, a story known to me of actors still living in 1854 is sufficient. In the year 1836 two Jews of unstable character had entered into partnership in a grocery business. They purchased a small stock of coffee and stored it in their dark shop. They indulged in stronger drink than that which their customers brewed, and in their cups they quarrelled. The division of the joint property was a difficulty which no one of their friends could
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arrange, until they remembered a poor fellow-descendant of Judah who had been converted to Christianity and yet had the esteem of all the Jews. He was the same Calman who kindly assisted to me later, and never did I know man who was more thoroughly without guile. He possessed an annuity of £50, and with this he had found a post on the Mission in Jerusalem for which he refused payment, and was appointed, while still young, keeper of the hospital where the invalid Jews were nursed. The hostile partners induced him to take charge of the key of their shop until their quarrel should be settled. When he was thus satisfying each that the other was not robbing him, a violent storm occurred; the wranglers knew that the shop roof was defective, and went to Calman, the custodian, to come with them and see that the coffee was not injured.
It proved to have been thoroughly soaked. They both declared themselves to be outraged, and contended that, being the guardian of their property, Calman was responsible, and that he should pay the value to them. After some vain appeals to their reason, and their assumed sense of justice, he paid the demand, principally perhaps because he believed in their poverty, and that the coffee was worthless. At this time Ibrahim Pasha was invading the country, and soon he invested Jerusalem. During the siege Calman heard that coffee was well-nigh exhausted in the city, and any variety of it was selling at famine prices. He brought out his bags and spread the contents in the sun, and the coffee proving to be but little hurt by the wetting, he sold it at a high price, which he took to pains to keep secret; indeed, with lingering Jewish belief in immediate recompense, he instanced it as an example of how he had gained by returning good for evil.
At this point, to his astonishment, the two grocers again appeared in mutual accord, stating that they knew that he had made a very great profit on their coffee, which Calman at once admitted. Then said they, “You must pay us the additional money for our coffee, for which you yourself admit you have yet only given us a quarter price.” He urged that this fresh demand to him seemed very unjust. “Oh no” they screamed, “you would be robbing us if you did not give us the extra money.” “If you declare this seriously I will not keep it,” he said. “We do; we do!” they shouted, and they went off with their booty, glorying in their superior cunning.
“What a fool that Calman is! And what stupidity his religion is!” said one to the other when on their way to the nearest drinking house. “Yes,” said the other, “he is a fool, and it is his religion that makes him so, but what a religion it must be to make a man cast away all selfish interest as he does.” Drunkards and schemers though they were by long habit, they embraced Christianity and came under influences which one may hope rendered them less unpromising men.
There was an honest and intelligent convert who helped me in securing as a sitter a Jew of middle age who kept a mercer's shop.
Sig. VOL. II. C
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Observing the latter for some time, I regarded him as a desirable model, but as he spoke only Polish, I was helpless. My friend therefore came with me to the shop, which was a comparatively prosperous one, and after getting into general conversation he adroitly introduced me as the Englishman who was painting a picture of Jewish “Rabbis,” and who would pay well if he would come and sit to me. The mercer urged, like the rest, that it would not be to his interest to shut up shop except for large remuneration, but when it was explained that I should want him for seven or eight days, that each evening he should receive four francs, and that three francs additional should be written up to his account towards a sum to be paid at the end, he finally promised to come to me the next day.
I waited, at the hour appointed, with all prepared for my new  

Study of Jew


figure, till, patience exhausted, I went straight to the shop, then to the Synagogue. Failing to find the mercer in either place, I enlisted my friend in the search. Most of the day was spent before we found him, and then he urged that although the pay for the time was liberal, it was not enough to cover the loss of custom that would occur afterwards, and I agreed to add £2 to the final payment if he would make no more delay and assent to come next morning. To this he agreed, apparently with great contentment.
On the morrow again I waited with palette in hand for an hour or so, but in vain. This time I determined to have a satisfactory explanation, or to give up the model finally if he failed me further, and I went to his house with my friendly interpreter.
The mercer, on being asked to account for his failure, was somewhat reticent, until we urged him to tell us plainly if he thought it a sin to aid in the making of a picture. Finding him still shy, I pointed out that in the Tabernacle and in the Israelitish camp and in Solomon's Temple also there were animal figures represented as symbols of the various tribes, and I argued further that the second Commandment did not mean more than that the images should not be made for worship. “Oh yes!” he said in a tone that meant we had been arguing quite needlessly, “I am a Rabbi myself, and have considered the question, and I know it is no sin; but it might be very imprudent, very rash indeed, and I might suffer for that,” and, turning with a confiding air, he went into a long explanation with my friend, who carried an amused expression on his face. Now I observed an extra play of
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suppressed mirth, and this fact, with the understanding of a few words common to all languages made me anxious to hear the interpretation, which my friend gave with great solemnity. “Well, you know the merchant's name is Daoud Levi. On the Day of Judgment the Archangel Michael will be standing at the gate of heaven, and the names of all faithful children of Abraham will be called out; there will be a great throng, and as each name is uttered the owner of it will press forward, and the Archangel on seeing him will give orders for him to pass, while the name will be checked from the book. When Daoud's name is called, if there were a picture of him, it might be that the likeness would arrive first, and this might be passed in, and the name on the roll struck off; and when he arrived to demand admittance he might  

Examples of Jewish Type

W. H. H.]


be told that Daoud Levi had already entered in, and that he must be a pretender, and although he might beg and pray and ask for investigation of the truth, it would not be surprising if he were told that he had brought the hardship upon himself, and that on such a busy occasion there was no opportunity to go into disputed questions.”
Daoud Levi zealously watched my face to see if the irresistible logic of his argument were duly appreciated. I did my best to betray due concern for the eternal peril he might unguardedly have provoked. “Neither of us had thought of that, had we?” I reflected aloud to my friend; “but perhaps the difficulty can be met. Ask whether if we take effectual steps to give the figure in the picture the name of a Christian, the danger will be obviated?” “Yes, if the means were satisfactory,” said Daoud. “Would baptising it do?” I asked. After a little reflection he decided that this would be an effectual means of separating the picture from himself, so I arranged that after I had made the first few strokes I would sprinkle some water on the likeness,
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and give it a distinct franghi name before his friends as witnesses, and with this understanding the obstacle to his attendance at my studio was removed.
The next morning, he appeared ready to sit to me, but not without searching glances into the corners of the room, and making many impatient inquiries about the details of my picture. It was a work of perseverance to get him to go far enough away from the canvas to allow me to see him. Faint lines he would not accept as the image, so I had to use charcoal, and when I could point out to him the features of a face, and show him that I was prepared for the ceremony of christening, he went as far away as possible. I then declared the figure's name to be Jack Robinson. Daoud was satisfied, but when the superabundant blackness was dusted away, scepticism on his part returned whether I had not expunged the baptised likeness, and I had to rechristen the painted preparation before a fair start in his posing could be made. It proved that when he was driven to it he could talk Arabic very well, and as I was then practising it grammatically, we got on without difficulty; in fact, he talked more than enough, with an eager and stumbling manner of speech, which was amusing but bewildering to my preoccupied mind. The visits of his friends, who diverted his mercurial mind and body from the pose, made the task no easier, so that at the end of the day I felt as though I had been working for a week, and my walk outside the city at sundown was very welcome.
A few days of this intercourse with the child-like man had impressed me in his favour, so that when he declared himself in great trouble, I invited him to reveal its nature to me. He said that the fast of the Atonement and the feast of the Tabernacle were coming on, and that from having neglected his business he had not been able to collect outstanding accounts, and that what money he had received from me was not enough for his preparations; he would be unable to come to me some days before the date of the feast, which would last a fortnight. It would be unjust for him to be kept out of his final payments so long, particularly as he heard I was going away soon and might defraud him altogether; he said that if I would let him have the retained money, with the £2 extra that had been promised on condition of his punctuality, he would have all that he wanted; he would not be obliged to search elsewhere for means for the feast and would come the preceding days. Suspecting my mistrust, he called heaven to witness that he would show his gratitude by coming the first moment after his religious duties released him.
I told him that I was ready to trust him, and paid the coveted money into his hands. His success was evidently more than he had expected, and he was profuse in his promises to come early in the morning.
When he did not appear, I would not at first allow myself to believe that he belonged to the legion of liars and overreachers; there was the
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possibility that some unavoidable business was detaining him, so I went to his shop. It was shut. I looked for him in other haunts in vain, and at last I went to his house. An old woman keeping her hold on the handle of the door, said he was not at home. While she spoke, I heard a screeching laugh within, and an inquiry in a female voice whether it was the “English fool” and the portress standing aside, I entered. At the top of a flight of steps I saw a handsome Jewess with clasped hands rocking herself, in convulsions of laughter, her closed palms alternately between her knees and above her head.
“You are, you are, you are a pretty fool! My husband told me that he should try to cheat you, but we scarcely thought you would be so taken in. You need not look for him any further, for he’ll never come to you any more, now he has the money, never!” My reply was, “I will call again soon.” “Do” she said, “I like to laugh at you.” I went to the Consulate. The Consul was not in, but his deputy heard my story and put a kawas at my service. Soon I was again knocking at Daoud Levi's house, with my follower left a little way out of sight. The old woman with a merry expression opened the door wide for me to enter the courtyard. “Can I see the master?” I asked, and hurriedly from an upper room out burst the wife, clapping her hands and salaaming, ending with, “Yes, you shall see the master. Come out, O husband!” and on the landing he also appeared with modified bravado, running on into a stammer, and apologising with bad grace, saying that the approaching feast made it impossible for him to come to me, and that the money received was not too much, for he had been for several days to my studio, and that it hindered his business. When I said that he had signed his name on my wall against the account, and had promised to come again, “Yes” he said, “that was to get the money. You wouldn’t have given it without.” “That was to get the money” repeated the antic of a woman, and she danced and crowed with an intoxication of triumph. “I have brought a friend who wants particularly to see you, O Daoud,” I said. “Ah, it is no use,” he urged, but he was cut short by his wife with, “Pray let the visitor favour us; pray come in, O friend,” raising her voice each moment to a higher pitch. I turned and made the sign, and down, with stately paces and a silver-knobbed mace, the kawas descended the stone stairs into the yard and stood majestic.
Groaning sighs from two apparently Medusa-stricken beings told how such a possibility as the actual consequences of the deceit had never entered into their imaginations. The woman pushed her husband to one of the doors, but I said, “You must not leave us alone, O Daoud. My friend here particularly wants your company, for he is going to the Pasha's court, and he must have you with him,” at which their faces became blank, their eyes started, and the colour fled from their lips. The woman fell on her knees, and the husband appealed to me to believe that he had intended to come, and that they had only declared
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the contrary in play. “No! No! You lie now as you lied before,” said I, unconcerned, and kept this tone until it seemed they had been enough punished for the nonce, then I charged them to listen to me. “If you wish me to save you from prison, you must give me back the two sovereigns and the extra money. You must give this ‘friend’ of mine two bishlick, and you will have to come with me to be painted now, for the whole day, and if you fail any day till the feast comes, you will have no mercy shown you.” The money was quickly forthcoming, and the kawas went back to the Consulate.
In five minutes more Daoud was in my room. Previously to setting to work I took the opportunity of trying to prove to him the iniquity of his conduct. “Your error is in thinking that because you are a son of Abraham, no truthfulness and no honesty is necessary in your dealings with the rest of the world to secure God's favour; but the whole teaching of the history of your nation proves that you were intended to be better than other people, and that when you disregard this, your sin is greater than that of people to whom the law was not given.” To my surprise I was at once challenged on this postulate in the meekest tone. “But it is not wicked to tell lies when it is for an object.” “Why” I returned, “is it not written, ‘a false weight and a lying tongue are an abomination to the Lord’?” “Yes, but that is when there is no purpose in it. Look,” he added eagerly, “all the patriarchs and David told lies at times.” I had to say, “Every one knows they did, and it is an example of the candour of the Bible that such blemishes are recorded in the character of men who otherwise were faithful servants of God.” But his next rejoinder surprised me. “No, these lies were merits in them, and to prove that falsehoods are not wrong we have the example of God Almighty uttering one when He reported to Abraham Sarah's want of faith in the promise that she should have a son, declaring that ‘she laughed,’ whereas she is reported only to have laughed ‘within herself’; thus the Almighty spoke, that her want of faith might appear the more heinous.” In vain I strove to convince him that the disputed point in Sarah's course was whether she had faith in God's promise of a child, but his rabbinical sophistry made him strain at a gnat and swallow a camel. However I had defeated his cunning and he made a valuable sitter.
It must not be supposed that an artist in honestly using his model does not obey the principles of selection, he has to eschew all marks of degradation unsuitable to the character he is depicting, exercising the same fastidiousness in this selection as in the theme itself.
Some painters who have since worked in the East on Scriptural subjects do not appear to have considered the gulf between the common men and women to be found in a degraded society and the great leaders of thought, whose lives were passed in an atmosphere of heavenly communion. The fact that Abraham was a nomad, that David was a shepherd, that Jesus was a carpenter, and that His first disciples
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were fishermen, makes it valuable for artists and authors to examine people following such occupations under the same sun, but seeing that it was not because the founders of the religion of the most advanced races were peasants that we want to know about them, the representation of uninspired peasants of this day will not satisfy a just thinker as the presentment of the leaders of men, who are worshipped and loved. To take a homely example from the case of Bunyan; to represent him, it would not be enough, because he was a tinker, to ascertain the exact costume of such a mechanic in the time of Charles II, and to copy a modern tinker in a made-to-pattern dress. If this were done, be it ever so correctly, the copy could not stand for the inspired dreamer, the patient enemy of worldly compromise, the martyr prisoner, and the steadfast truster in God. When historic painting is conceived in such servile spirit, it were better that the artist used his ingenuity in making boots, coats, or tables.
Warder Cressen was a Canadian who had left wife and family to preach Christianity to the Jews. Not sufficiently fortified in his enthusiasm to triumph in his task, in a few months he became a proselyte to Judaism, and after invitation to his family to follow his example, renounced them and took a wife of the daughters of Judah. From him I obtained the opportunity of painting from his roof the cypresses in my picture. When I was at his house I found that the husband knew not one word of the language of his wife, and she none of his, so they talked in dumb show; this disability was perhaps a safeguard against contention. He served me greatly by obtaining from the master of the Synagogue the loan of the silver crown of the law for my picture.
I had now begun a water-colour drawing of the pool of Gihon, from outside the walls, and in view of my forthcoming departure I applied myself diligently to this landscape, arriving at my place of work an hour or two before sunset. One day, when the wind was brisk enough to threaten, my things around me being scattered, the Armenian Patriarch came by on his mule, attended by a runner. I could only give him a bowing salute, but when he had passed, he pulled up, sending his man to ask me to speak with him; as my materials could not be left to the mercy of the winds, I was obliged to excuse myself with the request to be allowed to call at the Patriarchate the next day. Accompanied by a friendly interpreter, we were received in grand state in a large saloon, relays of sweetmeats, coffee, and long pipes were served; these ceremonies being over, the Patriarch explained that having seen me painting about the city, he had thought that I might execute for his church a fresh picture of Sit Miriam and another of Issa Messiah, and also add to the number and restore some of the existing life-sized pictures of saints decorating the building.
This was a tempting offer after my tedious work on a small scale; to have painted from grand-looking Armenian models on large work
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The Plain of Repham From Mount Zion

W. H. H.]


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in archaic and bold spirit and to have introduced the stately Patriarch himself, with handsome aureole, would have been refreshing, but now long-continued worries were telling on my health, and it was growing late in the autumn for my journey to the Lebanon, so I replied that I had been away from England nearly two years, that my father and mother were counting upon my return, and that his Excellency would see that I could not now commit myself to a fresh task, but that it was my intention to return very shortly, and I would then offer myself for his service. The good old nonagenarian was very pressing that I should stay, and even offered to write to my father, but I was obliged to persist in my refusal.
For near two years since landing in the East I had escaped fever. I had lived in unhealthy parts of the city, and spared my strength but little. My constitution had resisted all evils, and till the last few weeks acquaintances had wondered at my immunity, but now they assured me that I looked poorly, and it was not easy to affect indifference. My friend Graham often went to Artass on Sunday mornings to perform service there, and one day I agreed to start with him. I rode moodily and slowly in his company, and arrived in such a chilly condition that while the service proceeded I lay outside in the heat of the sun. As it shone on me, the iciness changed to violent burning, with a burdensome oppression in the head, and I wondered whether I could sit my horse to return. I had become late, and desperation urged me to mount, then to hurry up the rugged slope, and gallop on all the flatter roads, until I arrived home and thankfully threw myself into bed. Next morning I found myself attacked by tertiary fever. On my convalescence the doctor advised that I should start on my journey as soon as possible.
A few days later, Graham, who knew everybody in the city, told me that the Pasha’s secretary, hearing of my strong desire to go alone into the Mosque, promised that if I went that afternoon to his office he would secure me the opportunity. The formalities of coffee and pipes gone through, I was passed on to the custodian of the Mosque, a tall, handsome man of about forty-five years of age. He was the descendant of the official appointed by the Caliph Omar; lately a placeman from Constantinople had arrived to supplant him, but the man in possession proved that not even the present Head of the faithful could ever oust him or his sons, and the usurper went away discomfited.
The official led the way into the sacred enclosure, which looked more beautiful than before. It was a singular example of the Moslem’s submission to the inevitable that so soon after the faithful had been eager to die to defend the Mosque from intrusion, this later visit of mine could be made without guards to protect me, although I wore English costume. Having made a general round of the building, I revealed that my further wish was to ascend to the roof of As Sakreh and make a drawing; the guide looked uneasy, and
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declared that the key to the stairs was at a distance, and if I were seen alone I should be attacked. However, he gave way and came with me; and, shaded from the afternoon sun by the dome, I sat for an hour or so, making my map-like sketch of the walls and Scopas, and thus what had so lately seemed an insuperable obstacle was overcome.
I had deferred a visit of thanks to the secretary, but the next day, when in the midst of the confusion of packing, an urgent message was brought by the Pasha’s kawas that I should attend the Deewan at once. I took my sketch-book, and was received by the Pasha’s factotum, who declared that he had expected me to give him a drawing of the Mosque, and now requested it. I explained that it was then impossible for me to do this, as I was on the point of departure from the  

From Mosque As Sakreh


city, whereupon he said that he had supposed I would make him a present of his own portrait. He was a funny little short-necked Assyrian in bastard Frank costume, and I at once undertook a drawing of him. As I progressed, the mute servants about vainly endeavoured to hide their curiosity. In an hour the portrait was done, and he turned it about to see its resemblance and show some subtle beauties in it, only regretting that he could not be done a second time without his tarboosh.
It was on the 17th of October that I sent away my boxes to Oxford, with pictures and materials. In the afternoon I mounted my horse and left Jerusalem; Graham and Mr. Poole, a geologist who was visiting the country for the sultan’s information as to mining possibilities, rode with me.
We passed through to Beera to pitch our tent, and thence we went
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W. H. H.]


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on to Nablous and Nazareth, by way of Samaria and Jenin. On the stage from Jenin we were threatened by Bedouin, who, however, wheeled off when we drew up with the sign of “ready.” At the Galilean village, which is one of the few spots in Palestine to which English travellers accord the merit of beauty—which in my eyes in one way or the other every part of the country possesses—I was delayed long enough to undertake a coloured landscape. 1
Mr. Poole left us here, but Graham had fallen ill, and I became anxious; in the meantime tidings arrived that Tiberias, which was to be my next station, was so scourged by cholera that all its inhabitants had left it. I told my friend that the news settled with me in the  




negative the question of his coming, but he threw off his malady, and against my urgent remonstrance persisted in accompanying me.
We struck the tent early, and sent on the muleteer with the baggage direct, with orders to set the tent ready for our arrival. In the descending plain as we went up the ridge to Tabor; rich vegetation, rare on the tops of hills, surged up around old walls and towers, and between gaps were distances of beauty. So evident is it that the whole summit had been occupied by a city at the time of the Saviour, that the legend connecting the Transfiguration with this mount only increases the number of doubtful sites in which authority, unsupported by internal evidence, claims faith.
Clambering among rich tree growths, I reached a height where the
Transcribed Footnote (page 28):

1 In Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.

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old wall joined a fortification still undemolished enough to form, with the trunks and branches of trees, a frame to the distance. Below the furthest horizon, amid amethystine variation of gradating tints like those of a prism spectrum, lay a mirror, oval and unbroken in border, which reflected the turquoise sky so perfectly that it looked like a portion of the heavens seen through the earth. It was the Sea of Galilee, the next haven of which I was in search.
I have read many books that speak of Palestine as in itself devoid of attraction, without beauty, and wearisome in its sterility. Several writers are undoubtedly moved by the desire to demonstrate the entire fulfilment of the curse with which it was threatened. As far as I could see, the actual curse dates only from the time that the Turks entered into possession. From the landlord’s point of view undoubtedly there is now much to deplore, for miles of the mountain tablelands are unproductive; but this is owing to the destruction of the cisterns, aqueducts, and the terraces on the slopes that kept up the soil. The trees are also rooted up and become fewer each year, owing to the imposition of a tax upon every one of them that grows, even before the three years needful to bring it to fruitfulness have expired, so that any unforeseen drain on the farmer’s purse at once condemns the trees to be cut down and taken to the nearest market for firewood. But there is a beauty independent of fruitfulness, which perhaps it is too much to expect all to see, just as it is unreasonable to require the ordinary observer to appreciate the beauty of the proportions and lines of a human skeleton; and yet if the latter were placed in juxtaposition with the complete bones of an ourang-outang its grace could scarcely fail to be convincing. It is in this sense, with a hundredfold less strain upon natural prejudice, that Syria is intrinsically beautiful. The formation of the country, the spread of the plains, the rise of the hills, the lute-like lines of the mounts, all are exquisite; and with these fundamental merits there is at times enough of vegetation to add the charm of life to the whole. It may be that pictures of Oriental landscape do not always satisfy high expectations of beauty; certainly faithful transcripts are nearly always disappointing. This is accounted for by the fact that in a country of great range there is a variety and equipoise as the charmed spectator turns to left or right which does not exist in the limited picture.
I could have stood long looking at the scene which had burst upon me in such unexpected beauty, but the soldier reminded me of the length of the journey we had to make. Our guide led me to a spot where preparations were advanced for the foundations of three churches which were to be built: one to Moses, one to Elias, and one to Christ. We found Greek monks and a humble priest in charge, and after a little delay were supplied with a draught of clear water, whereupon with my friend I descended into the eastern plain.
The country between Tabor and Tiberias is full of enthralling
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associations. The loss of the sun was never more regretted than when it sank and the darkness grew; there was no moon, our way was rugged with rocks; our horses groped down and up deep waddies. The earth was so dim, and the sky was of such deep hue, that only the stars showed the whereabouts of the horizon. I was riding in advance when we came to extended flat, and I was admiring Cassiopeia and the Great Bear, when my attention was caught by an animated talk going on between the guard and my friend’s excellent servant, Issa Nicola. The guide was a soldier whom the Metsellim of Nazareth had urged us to take, and he was of course a Moslem.
“I did not know the franghis were Mahomedans,” said the guide.
“Neither are they,” said Issa.
“But your masters are,” the soldier argued.
“What are you talking about?” shouted Issa, all of his feeling of possessorship in us being outraged.
“Well,” added the other, “I don’t know for certain about the elder one, but that younger is a Moslem I am sure.”
“He’s no such thing,” said Issa; “he has lived in Jerusalem for a year and a half, and he is a Christian, I tell you.”
But the guide was not to be silenced thus. “He’s not a Christian, that’s very clear, and I’ll tell you why I know. On the top of Tabor, when we were going about, he became thirsty and asked me if I could find some water. I took him to where the builders are; a priest received us, and while waiting he produced a small crucifix carved out of the stone found there. The Khowagha took it, turned it over, peering at it closely all round, and then handed it back, thanking the priest. The latter urged him to keep it; but the Englishman refused, saying he did not want it. Now had he been a Christian you know very well that he would have kissed it first, and then muttered some prayers and put it in his bosom.”
“You are quite wrong,” said Issa. “He is a Protestant; Protestants don’t have idols or crosses in their churches, and do not carry crucifixes on their breasts. Their churches are empty of images, and they kneel only towards the east, and in their houses they pray only to the unseen God.”
“Well, that’s just what I say,” summed up the soldier; “he is a Moslem. ‘Protestant’ is, I see, another name for the same religion.”
The discussion did not end at this point, but it went off into tiresome details which I ceased to follow. The act from which the trooper had drawn conclusions as to my creed had been performed from dread of overloading myself with trifles.
The only variation in the scene before us was in the gradual uprising of the stars, except when the level plain had some break in it, which our horses could understand better than ourselves, and then we left them more than ever to their own guidance, until it was possible to distinguish changes of form in the objects in the near foreground.
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We were soon on the brink of a deep precipice; and there below the horizon in the gloom floated what might have been taken for a cloud, but that a solitary fire far away on the mountain land beyond and a nearer flame were reflected deep into its surface. This was the Sea of Galilee.
Dismounting we trod down the steep and rugged road, relaxing the bridles so that the horses should have an easy and deliberate choice of foothold. The descent was exceedingly irksome, the more so as I had scarcely slept the night before; but my fear was that my companion would be overtaxed in the incessant manœuvring to wind down the headlong path in such manner that the beast should not fall over upon him.
It must have been more than the depth of Shakespeare’s Cliff ere we found a midway tableland fit for our horses. When we had remounted and advanced a few yards, we felt ourselves suddenly confronted and surrounded. To our challenge, a speaker in disarming voice told us that Tiberias was so afflicted with cholera that it was deserted. Most of the residents had gone to Safid; but the very poor came up and slept arond the well each night. They added that our muleteers had passed soon after sunset, and had gone forward to prepare our tents for us. We gave them a few coins in return for water, and went on wishing more than ceremonious peace to them.
A further descent brought us to the slope on which Antipas built his imperial city. When within sight of the towers we called out for our muleteer, and found that he had chosen to pitch the tents in the burial-ground close to the walls of the pestilence-stricken city. We made him move them to a place above the town, where we settled for the night. While I watched the slowly increasing glow above the mountain horizon and the brightening waters below, suddenly a spot of flame-like brightness arose beyond the far mountain line, steadily growing into the burnished circle of the moon. As it ascended a path was spread across the lake below, and what had been erewhile blank and dead became a pulsating and breathing world.
I bless my soul now that I beheld that lovely scene. I shut my eyelids, and can see the creeping waters with the ladder of molten fire. I can count again its miles by the mark of currents and wisps of wind that fretted its surface. The waters labour, they travail, from the gloom they crawl and creep into the ray of glory, and then pass again into obscure repose.
I went out to see the lake from other points. The town sloped down steeply into the waves. Even by the moon’s light the walls and towers could be seen to have great fissures in them, caused, as I learnt, by the earthquake of 1837, and no light of any kind was seen within the city.
Seeing how important it was not to disturb my worn-out comrade, I decided against the attempt then to represent that moon enthroned
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among the stars and all they shone upon, but quietly lay down on my trestle-bed, having so arranged the tent door that I could watch the lake. As I looked the sweet composure of rocked babyhood came back to me, and so I fell asleep.
The sun was nearly on the horizon before we were willing to stir, and then special considerations induced us to give up the swim in the lake which we had promised ourselves. The situation was favourable in that there was a complete absence of Bedouin, they had all fled, and we were free to go anywhere. In my saunter before breakfast I climbed up the broken masonry of a tower to overlook the city. All was stillness there, but turning my gaze around to the burial field, I observed two men rise up from a finished task and make for a southern gate. They were traceable through the rectangular streets till they entered the door of a house. After a short while they reappeared in some way encumbered with a burden. They had converted a bed into a bier, and this they carried back to the graveyard, two others the while crossing them on a similar errand. I asked a man who passed us how many people remained in the town.
“None alive,” he replied; “the yellow wind has eaten them all,” and there was the look on him of helpless submission which Defoe describes so well.
“The yellow wind?” I repeated. “Can you smell it?”
“Can you not?” he inquired, and I could realise that since the sun had risen there had been a peculiar musty scent.
From where I stood the whole of the shores of the lake could be traced. I wished to see the country of the Gadarenes, but I could not make out any violently steep place. On the right there were the heights of Migdol; turning north, I saw the entrance of the Jordan, with all the spread of the land to west and east, where the sacred life was spent and the patient training of the disciples conducted. Miracles could only have convincing value to onlookers, but the words of love and peace uttered by the great Alleviator of sorrows still perform miracles before our eyes, slowly though this may be.
I descended from my post to find that breakfast was scanty, and the prospects for dinner very bad. We wanted to make the most of the day, and told Issa that we should be satisfied with whatever he could get; and then abandoning for the nonce an outline drawing which I had begun, we rode to the south, past the burial-ground and the thermal baths of Herod, and gained the very outlet of the Jordan, where we prowled about, my friend photographing while I sketched. As I was sketching, we discovered that we had attracted the attention of Arabs on the eastern side, and that a party was moving down towards us. We had no motive for prolonging our stay, so we remounted and rode back to camp.
Here we were received with more apologies than food for dinner, and with flat rebellion from the muleteers. The mukary said if we
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Lake of Tiberias

A. Hughes, from a sketch by W.H.H.]


Sig. VOL. II. D
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liked to be eaten up by the yellow wind we could, but that for his part he must and would leave the place that night. We urged that a true Mahomedan ought to be more resigned, but the utmost we could get from him was the concession of an hour for eating and consultation. Graham again was compelled to prolong his journey, for not an animal of any kind could be got to carry back his camera, so we were unexpectedly travelling together for a further stage.
When remounted I never felt less disposed to be lively. We had still an hour’s sunshine and the whole scene was one of sweet repose. I tried to divert thought from the chilly quiver that shook my frame. “Let us have a good scamper,” I said to my friend.
“Agreed,” he replied merrily. Every one who had seen him on horseback knew what to ride like a centaur meant, and he had a good white steed. Away my horse went too; never did I less enjoy a ride when starting; it was difficult to avoid toppling over, but as action warmed my blood the evil vein lessened, and we reined in at the distance of two miles with all my chilliness gone.
A novel scene made me slacken pace. Between us and the lake was a large field of Indian corn, and at intervals of about two hundred yards stages were erected. On each platform was a man nearly or entirely nude, standing on the alert with a sling, and with this he aimed at all birds which attempted to alight within reach. I reserved it as a subject for a statue in the future, but ere I could get the opportunity, Leighton had seen the same incident in Nubia, and made it the theme of one of his admirable pictures.
Happily it was still quite light when we reached the spring of Capernaum. There was no room for disappointment in looking into its bubbling waters, which were clear as crystal, engemming the pebbles which flickered below, and harbouring shoals of sheeny fish, while around great beautiful flowers and luscious fruit. It was a worthy emblem of the spiritual spring of life, which had its source in this region. Generations had been refreshed by it as they rested in going on their journey; the fountain, in truth, was indeed a paragon of purity. Josephus in his legend of its underground communication with Egypt, and of Egypt’s fish swimming in its waters, testifies to the marvellous feeling which it inspires.
Capernaum was nigh this spot, and the ground was covered with dried-up growths, but we had no time to search for ruins. Turning our faces from the plain, we were soon overtaken by sundown and gloom, not, however, before we had seen some remarkable caves with Gothic-like openings in the chasm below. I could not, during the long dark climb up to Safid, forget my discomfort, nor the conviction that had I stayed another hour at Tiberias I should have been plague-stricken. I did not recover altogether for six weeks, not indeed till I had landed at Marseilles.
On going forth from the tent the next morning, I was surprised to
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see how the altitude of the level we had reached dominated all the land we had passed through. It was indeed the “city built on a hill.” Tabor was far beneath the horizon, all was below us as it might have been from a balloon, and nearly every tract seemed as sterile as the face of the moon. Graham and I exchanged parting words, while a crowd stood by watching us with wondering interest. We had travelled much together in the last year and a half, and I grasped hands with him in silence ere we each went our several ways.
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The eye sees what it brings with it the power to see.

Without eyesight indeed the task might be hard. The blind or purblind man travels from Dan to Beersheeba and finds it all barren.—Carlyle.

Pursuing my solitary way, there seemed at first nothing to distract moodiness, and I rode on, taking stock of the thoughts I had gathered in Syria, of the friends I had made there, and of the work I had done, and this led me into a reverie about my many much-loved friends at home. I was awakened from this at the edge of a precipitous cliff, which divides the whole tablelands of Syria and Moab.
The full use of a pack animal’s tail had hitherto been unrevealed to me. The heavily laden mule had to drop its fore-feet over so deep a step that its centre of gravity was in peril; a counterpoise was therefore urgently needed. The muleteer then removed from the load his choice hubble-bubble, and with his disengaged hand took a firm grip on the mule’s tail. The animal, appreciating this attention, then felt its way to the very verge of the cliff, while the muleteer sloped back to the most oblique line possible, and the well-trained brute cautiously advanced his hoofs, then slipped both over the edge at the same moment: he had dropped about a foot. Great skill was needed on the part of the mule and the master to enable the former to turn aside in the direction of the escalier track and leave space for the descent of the hind-legs; all the time the man held on until he was convinced that the animal had recovered his equilibrium without further ballasting.
Notwithstanding all the art used, it seemed a marvel when the leading beast manœuvred successfully to turn himself and advance out of the way of the others; and when these had all managed to escape overbalancing, and disappeared from further service, we alighted from the risky descent onto a safe slope where we had no longer to watch our footsteps. I looked forward and saw the whole height of Hermon from its base to its snow-mantled apex. At its feet lay the lake of Merom and the Jordan-divided plain, the water everywhere reflecting the varying hues of the mountain from snowy height to verdured base, lit by the enriching sun. To the north, was the targe of Anti-Lebanon, amethystine and cerulean. It extended its chord-like rhythmic accompaniment,
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Jordan from Lake Tiberias



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making itself a background whenever there was an opening in the nearer hills. Turning again towards the east, each moment new perfections revealed themselves. The freshness of the borders of the hidden Jordan and of the meadows about the eastern coasts of the lake were all rendered ethereal by the clear eventide air. I hung behind to revel in the intense delectability of the scene, and when my company of dark mules and men in rich brown costumes with deep crimson tarbooshes passed in procession against the enchanting distance, I longed to have a friend at hand whom I could make a participant in my enjoyment. Seeing Issa, and thinking that he deserved to have his attention awakened to the intoxicating fascinations of the view which he was passing in a perfectly impassive mood, I beckoned to him. “O Issa,” I exclaimed, “men often fail to observe how beautiful God’s works are, but I will not let you pass the heavenly vision in front of us without charging you to look upon it! It will not last long, the sun will soon pass away, and perhaps we shall never be here again. Look! Does it not seem as though at last all the wondrous powers of creation have met together in this spot of earth, to show at one moment how transcendent is the loveliness of the world? How worthy the view might be of some region of heaven! Think how all the angels may have brought each his most precious contribution in order to make this noble picture! See how the firmament above us is sapphire, and how it melts into topaz and to amber behind the mountain line; and then the mountain itself is clear lapis lazuli, infused by the sun into ruby and fire, except where the milky snow, whiter than any fuller could whiten it, glows in the sun and intensifies every other gem. See how in the plain the water borders appear enamelled with emeralds, how the water is very jasper, and all the preciousness above is dropped molten into it, and the diamond stream of the Jordan carries its burden of colour along. Regard too the glory of these golden fields in front. Turn now and see the Tyrian purple in that broad tiara of Lebanon; and then, in front of all, how rich and grand are the deep colours of the muleteers, and see how much more celestial the hues beyond appear from the harmonious contrast.” I dropped my hands in their idolatrous worship, adding, “Bless your stars, O Issa, as I do mine, that you have been permitted thus to see the effulgence of the gods!”
As he turned his eyes from scrutiny of my face he looked angered, he blinked at the landscape far and near with his short sight. When he turned to me again it was to say, “Ya, Khowagha, if you went close up to the different things, you would find they were only rock, and dirt, and water, with common maize and trees.”
I did not take so long as he had done to realise the situation, and I said resignedly, “Yes! yes! I am a madman.” And he was proud that he had converted me.
He went on, and henceforth I hugged my enjoyment to my own bosom. Every turn in the road was a fresh bar in the melody, and it
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subsided only when an ashen twilight invaded the scene. Issa’s triumph over me had made him markedly reserved and haughty in temper for the remainder of the day. How difficult it is for a trespasser to reingratiate himself with an offended critic! The journey which we had contemplated to Banias was too long for our half-day. As we came near the waters of Melhaha, we described a party of horsemen in the distance coming towards us. We waited therefore before settling ourselves, but all apprehension was at rest when we could make out that they wore European dress, and proved to be two Americans on their way to Jerusalem. When the tents were pitched, before mine received its furniture and bedding, I took the precaution to turn over the stones, and discovered eight scorpions, which I had to turn out, with what was unpardonable tyranny, according to the benevolent theory that foreigners should never dispossess natives.
Waking betimes, I heard enough overhead to make me certain that the pond near us must be the resort of wild-fowl, and I sallied forth while it was still dark to secure some for our often monotonous cuisine. It needed but little skill to shoot them as they flew up, but some fell into the water and I had to take trouble to get them. I came back rejoicing in the acquisition, and thinking somewhat that this evidence of practical sense would negative the unfavourable impression I had made upon Issa yesterday. I told him we would take some ducks to a man upon whom I had promised to call at Hasbeya. It was easy to see that Issa was not in good humour, but for what reason I thought it needless to inquire. After breakfast I ventured to refer to the subject, but he made it evident that he had more pressing matters to attend to. When all was packed I asked what he had done with the birds.
”I have thrown them away,” he said.
”Why?” I inquired.
”Why?” he returned. “Of what use are they?”
“They are simply for use of eating,” was my response.
”We are not heathen; no Christian could eat animals whose blood has not been allowed to pour into the ground, for the blood is the life, and it is forbidden to eat the blood. You should have cut the heads off, and allowed the life to escape.”
Wishing to discover whether in the Oriental mind the phrase “the blood is the life” was an allowance that all animals have souls, I objected, “You are treating a Mosaic ordinance as though Christianity had never displaced it. We in England pay no regard whatever to the law you quote.”
It was an unfortunate admission. His temper mounted to his face; he could scarcely find words, but at last he spoke like a passionate child: “Then I deny that you are Christians, and we Christians repudiate such sectarians.”
I pleaded that he must not take me as an authority on the Western creed, and suggested that he should find the birds and bring them with
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us to a Syrian convert, who was a clergyman of the English Church, and who should decide whether such food was forbidden. Accordingly Issa was prevailed upon, sulkily enough certainly, to recover the birds, and accompany me in a gallop after the mules, which had meanwhile been getting forward on the road to Cæsarea-Philippi.
Our stage that day was a short one, and before mid-day we came to the approaches of the city which has such enchantment of Pagan and Christian history connected with it. First lay in our steps the outside arms of the Jordan, the deep shores fringed with shrubs and luxuriant plants, so much so that in many parts from a distance there were no other traces of the stream than indicated by this thick border. My horse led the way through this outer belt, and plunged down, standing thrilled throughout his whole frame—as horses will when first in a journey they dash into a bracing stream—settled thus adeep, he played with tossing head and curled lip, splashing about the water many times ere he thrust his nose in to drink his fill. With arms free, I gathered a long blossoming bough of oleander and saved some ripe seed for Millais’ mother, who had now left Gower Street for a cottage and garden at Kingston. The rivulets were many, and always delightful to ford. Soon we reached an ancient bridge over deeper runnings. The old pavement and parapet still remained, and farther on we came upon portions of an aqueduct of sculptured marble; we were entering Cæsarea-Philippi. The sparkling water was flowing through this marble channel, and at every opening welling over and tumbling about among carved ornaments, and varnishing them into exquisite finish and richness that gave such delight as no one could conceive who had not lived for seasons in arid regions. Having chosen a camping-place, I wandered about on foot, the better to trace the nature of the remains. Ascending a steep mound of earth decked with rich growth, my feet came abruptly to a cliff. Looking down, there was a wall of perfect architectural finish descending fifty feet into the stream below. Seeing how much lay buried, I thought of the statue of Christ curing the poor woman, which Eusebius said the Pagans had erected in this city to celebrate the miracle performed in the neighbourhood, as the act of a God come down from heaven, and which he declared still stood there in his day; although there is reason for concluding that whatever the group represented, it was destroyed by Moslems, I thought what a splendid field there was for some one to explore, when the Turk could be made to withhold his hindrance to intelligent research. It has still to be done, and it is more needful than ever that such remains as may exist here and there should be exhumed and compared, for with portions only of the puzzle we are liable to form wrong conclusions as to the whole pattern.
The cave of Pan was a worthy cradle even for the Jordan, and the old name Panius recommended itself to my ears as that of the city rather than that given by Herod in honour of Augustus Cæsar.
Our peace at Banias was soon disturbed by anxiety about a stranger
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whom we had taken under our care, a poor boy of about thirteen, whom I had first observed as an addition to our train on leaving Nablous. I agreed to his continuance with us, seeing no reason to distrust his story that he was returning from Jerusalem to his widowed mother at Damascus, from which city he had been tempted to accompany the soldiers by the story that the streets of Jerusalem were paved with gold, and the holy edifices built of priceless jewels. Having found the report a delusion, and having fared very badly, like the prodigal son, he had determined to return home. On the journey to Nablous his hardships had been so unbearable that the chance of our protection on the road, which Issa, subject to my approval, had promised, had been eagerly accepted.
While Issa and I had been discussing the question of the ducks, we had concluded that the boy had gone on with the muleteers, while they surmised that he was with us, but when all was in order at our encampment at Banias, we learned that he had been last seen by the baggage party loitering as if for our company. Thus he had been missed by both. We sent out scouts for him, and late in the day he was brought in. He had not seen us till we were galloping far out of reach, and then he had lost his way; he climbed up the mountain-side to see the road, and there, hungry and disheartened, he had sat and wept. He came down in so timid a mood that, seeing our searchers about, he had at first hidden himself, but from his lair had fortunately been able to distinguish the mukary, and so he was brought in on a donkey.
During this journey I had as usual relied for protection only upon the gun and revolver I carried myself; to have supplied weapons to any other of the party would have been doubly foolish, as at all times Arab servants handle them so clumsily that no fellow-traveller is safe, and in case of attack the first idea they act upon is for their own safety to deliver up their arms to the enemy. At the slow pace necessary for the protection of the baggage I had found it a relief to get off and walk, and then I wandered about after fowls of the air and any small deer for our larder. Seeing the boy footsore, I allowed him to take my place in the empty saddle, but the ignoble creation which bars brotherly love in the East between franghis and natives soon provoked exclusiveness, and forced me for the last day or two to leave the boy to walk.
A truly extraordinary contrast it was to mark the notions ruling the modern dwellers in the place as compared with those of their historic predecessors. In the centre of the remains of the palatial city the swamp produced stalwart reeds, and the descendants of the dwellers in marble palaces chose these as supports for their habitations. About fifteen feet from above the surface of the water was constructed a stage secured on four brakes with cane-woven sides to it, and a covering attached likewise above; into this nest the family climbed up the poles. At such an elevation they were saved from the attack of wild beasts or noxious reptiles, the children needed no rocking night or day, for the wind was a
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constant nurse, and yet the population did not seem numerous, for I saw evidence of only three or four families. These few people are certainly not the only descendants of the once populous place, and the question arises where the children of the ancient dwellers in this city, as also of others once thickly crowded, shall be looked for.
It was now the latter part of November, the days closed early and the nights became chilly. After supper I set myself to scribbling in my tent; on concluding I noticed that the company outside had ceased in their often long-continued chatter and hubble-bubbling; I then, as quietly as possible, disrobed myself, and as usual, in getting under my blankets, I arranged my gun with the stock between my legs, and the barrels under my head on the pillow. When the light was out I was thinking over the marvels of the place, and, with the snoring of the men around their fire, I fancied there was some altogether distinct noise of a shuffling movement. I then raised myself noiselessly to peer between the top of the skirt and the frill of the roof of my tent. Within two feet of me was a great hyena, astride of a slumbering man, with nozzle bent down touching the sleeper’s open lips, and at the moment the beast drew in his breath, eager as a hungry babe and loud as a behemoth; the man only turned. Dashing out of the tent with less stealthiness than impatience I disturbed the foul animal, which trundled along out of the fire-glow, fast as he could move, to where other denizens of the wilds were ramping scared by our fire from nearer approach. The report of my gun changed all into wakefulness for five minutes, for after the echoes came the questionings of birds, beasts, and men. The hyena escaped, and we returned to sleep with renewed confidence against molestation.
The next day we went along by the upper branch of the Jordan to Hasbeya. We had on our left the mount “Al Ferdous”—that is to say, “Paradise”; why so named, could not be guessed, unless it be that it seemed forbidden to the hungry or thirsty sons of Adam, and that in its perfectly barren way it was beautiful, being unjagged in form, and spotless and pure in tint of its virgin rock.
Issa had ingeniously escaped further argument over the continuity of the Mosaic prohibition respecting ducks, by losing them from his saddle on our scrambling ride from Melhaha.
While taking my walks in Hasbeya, I was surprised at finding sculptured relief representing animals—camels and, I think, elephants—above the door of the principal palace in the great piazza. While I stood speculating as to its origin, the muezzin priest came down from the minaret and joined me. I asked him as to its builders, and he said at once that the founders of the Moslem family then living in the palace had erected it, and placed the sculptured decoration there. I objected that in Syria there was no known instance of Moslems representing animals in ornamentation, and that it was only in Persia and Morocco that earlier artistic instincts had made Mahomed’s caution against the representations of living beings not an absolute interdiction; but he
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evidently did not know enough of Mahomedan dogma to understand the point, and I found that he never suspected there could be any doubt that a building which was the pride of the place, could have been raised by other than people of his own religion. His warmth convinced me that it was not well to push inquiry further. Beyond question the building was of crusading origin.
In the north about Damascus I knew that Moslem intolerance was then even less checked than in the neighbourhood of Jerusalem, but I little suspected that I had now entered upon ground where three years hence any who would not abjure Christ would be treated as their predecessors had been in the days of the first Conquest.
On the mountains beyond when encamped on the height at Dahr al  




Akmar the cold was so wintry that the chance of getting over Lebanon to the cedars seemed precarious. From this point our descent was made in the face of a gritty and frozen wind which was very discomforting. On the plain the ground about was cultivated gardens, the trees were full and even massive, and the water flowed with royal largess over the road; a landlord might have been satisfied with the nature of the plain, as an artist I was disappointed. No mass of buildings showed above the line of the walls, and having the designs for Tennyson’s poems already in consideration, I had counted upon finding appropriate some delightful views of the city. I came to the entrance of the “Street called Straight,” where all was rich with unexpected surprises. Economy and further experience in nomadic life were matters of importance, so I had determined to go to the khan, but when I saw the apartments available, I turned to the hotel, which after three weeks of wild tent life was truly luxurious. My bedroom was beautifully embellished with
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arabesque design; every rafter was artistically decorated and harmoniously coloured. I loitered some time admiring all, lingered on the roof and in the courtyard, and then I had to get money for Issa and the muleteers.
Soon I came into pleasant contact with the Consul-General—afterwards Sir Henry Wood—who was full of information and anecdote; he was at the time engaged in enrolling recruits for the Bashi-Bazouk service in the Crimea; each man on being passed at Constantinople received a handsome number of English sovereigns, and was then consigned to General Pearson. That all Orientals look alike is only true, as it is with sheep, to the unpractised eye. Mr. Wood was not easily deceived, and had recognised among new recruits, notwithstanding a fuller skin, several whom he had sent on only two months before. On writing to apprise the authorities at Stamboul of this, it transpired that the Consul’s letter first awakened attention to the fact of a desertion which on further examination proved to be general. Our interview being ended, Consul Wood went off to measure six hundred mules destined for the Crimea.
I was too much pressed for time to take any but mental impressions of this ancient and most picturesque city: lying away from any line of road frequented by Europeans in that day, it had escaped the rage for improvements and remained richer in Orientalisms than any other town I had seen; but I heard that two French silk mills had recently been opened in the neighbourhood, and already, as was seen in the market, the superb traditional patterns, exquisite in design and gorgeously harmonious in colour, were stricken and doomed: for, either from the idea that superiority in mechanics is supposed to be accompanied by greater excellence in taste, or from the greater attractiveness of meretricious design, as seen in the barbarous gimcracks of Europe, the new produce was and is preferred to the old. The lowness of my purse would not allow me to make many purchases of rare things, and I did but roam about, indulging my staring propensities for four days, denying myself all time-taxing work.
Of the Moslem boy and his mother we never heard after he left us at the gates to find his home. Two years later, I trust he expostulated with his fellows engaged in the massacre, and that at least he did not forget that in the hour of distress he had been helped by the infidel.
Lady Ellenborough had been talked of in Jerusalem as an Englishwoman who after a divorce, for which her husband was not thought blameless, had, as Lady Hester Stanhope a generation earlier, come to Syria. While making a tour under Bedouin escort, her fancy was enslaved by the charms of the young Sheik Mijwell, already the possessor of four wives. He lived with her as his fifth consort, in her palace at Damascus for short periods of separation from his desert hareem. While there I refrained from indulging in the common curiosity to visit
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the lady, but in my strolls I met her in the streets. She was tall and slim and must have been attractive in early years, she evidently wondered at the presence of an English stranger in the city of her adoption at so late a season, but so our mutual glances ended. Later in her history she went to Jerusalem under the name of Mrs. Digby and there in confidences to her landlady repined at her fate. She died soon after in Damascus, and Sheik Mijwell sold her house and properties and returned to his four desert wives.
After I had paid my bill, the landlord’s brother and others pestered me so effectively for additional backshish that I found when I had left that I had been fleeced even beyond measure. Winding up the western mountains and looking back at the town, I was surprised to find that pictorially the prospect appeared less an earnest of the perfect heaven than the prophet Mahomed had found it.
Afar were whirlwinds stirring the still air, and eagles circling about the heights. Gradually we were led into a winding valley thick with trees, whose tremulous leaves the winter’s breath had tinted amber pale and deep, and these against the cerulean sky formed a design which for arrangement was reminiscent of Persian decoration. Below were busy brooks winding among groups of grateful bushes. Our steps were then for a time on the banks of a stream which lent its own bed for our feet when from steepness or overgrowth the sides were impracticable. Towards the afternoon we came to rugged passes of rock and mountain torrent, grand as ideal gorge in childhood’s fancy. One cliff was breast high in its fallen fragments, and the stream beneath tossed about unbridled like a masterful horse; it had evidently not forgotten a wild leap it had recently made, the place of which we soon reached, where all the tumbling tan-coloured waters fell and swirled, marbled in dancing foam; it was spanned by a fragile bridge, and going over this narrow road we had to study our steps to avoid the hole where the key stones had dropped into the watery bed below.
It was a delight as we came to a partial opening in the hills to see more closely the tiara of high cliffs which we had gazed on from the slope of Merom. Here the highest crest of Anti-Lebanon was ranged along a continuous wall, jagged into sharp facets, now looking as though the primeval violence which had riven the eastern mountains from Lebanon had only occurred yesterday. Time’s softening hand had no power over it. Under shadow of dark clouds we descended round a mountain to our left into the broad plain of Baalbec.
Ours was the road taken by the fugitive Christians who refused to the Arab conqueror Khalid abu al Walid either apostasy or submission. Abu Obeidah had given them with their young and invalids three days’ grace to get out of reach of the malice of Walid, the superseded commander of the Moslem army. When they were reposing on the way to Emessa and rejoicing in the assurance of safety, Walid, guided by an apostate on a shepherd’s path across the mountains, came upon them,
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and slaughtered all, the betrothed of the apostate refusing his final offer of protection.
At night we camped at Zebedeen, in the front garden of a small stone cottage, such as might have been found in Wales or Scotland. I was still unwell, and slept but little in the rainy night, starting often out of bed from fear that we should be too late for an early departure. In the dawn a final fall of rain drenched my tent, and while it was being packed I went inside the cottage, where I found all the inmates shivering round a hearth fire. Winter was coming apace from the north to take possession of Lebanon, and to bar its road ere I could ascend. With increased means, better health, and corresponding leisure, I promised myself to take advantage of my present investigation by returning to work in this neighbourhood. We passed through Anti-Lebanon, and climbed up over broken rocks to a narrow shelf of road made round the slope of a mountain which stood up on high like a mother above her clinging children.
The wind blew strongly, telling of the ascending height. I was alone, but with no feeling of desolation, not even when the sun declined in the sky, and the sunset had come. I had, indeed, good cause to be satisfied, for the golden rays lighted up honey-toned Baalbec. There were other Hadrianic buildings nigh to the main temple, and cypresses were studded about, making obeisance to Baalbec like royal servitors to their masters; the pure verdure in the plain below received the lengthening shadows of the evening, as time stretched down his long and weary limbs to sleep through his restful night.
We were greeted by the man at the khan, who undertook to give us a clean and comfortable chamber. Having seen this, and given orders for its preparation, there being still good twilight, I walked through the principal temple. The carving of all the ornament was indeed wonderfully gorgeous and artful. In Palestine I had seen no classical pagan work so finished and rich as this. It was full of decorative character not known in Herod’s time, indeed where Greek or Roman ornamentation was attempted at any period in Palestine the result is too often undeserving of close attention, a defect arising from lack of artistic training in the sculptors. A small temple we had passed on the ridge, “Dahr al Akmar,” was a miserable example of such slovenly workmanship. In the temple of Baalbec the god was indeed honoured, but while I looked, the Moslem call to prayer rang out from the village minaret, and proclaimed that the once glorious worship had been overthrown, as had the columns strewing the ground, like the slain warriors of a defeated army.
When I returned to my khan I was visited by a native Christian who brought a handful of curiosities to turn over; one was the man’s own double teeth, which he was ready to sell for a consideration.
After my supper, to escape further visitors, I went out and prowled about in the dark; but the ground was treacherous and uneven, and
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the temple was hidden in the blackness. Staring aside over the chilly plain I peered into the emptiness, my eyes were drawn to right and left from the fancy that cloudy shapes moved about. Gradually the nebulosity was beyond doubt, although it disappeared immediately that it could be made out. On the phosphorescence becoming defined, it exploded into sparks, and then I recognised that for the first time I was looking upon an ignis fatuus. This interested me, and made me peer the more intently, that I might better scan the waste of darkness. Two globes of fire on my left were singularly steady; I fixed my regard upon them, but ever they glared unchanged, except that they advanced nearer, and proved to be the eyes of an approaching beast. The muzzle  

Riuns of Baalbec



of my gun was steadily held towards the animal as I retreated step by step, till I reached the door of the khan, where I lay down to sleep. The creatures of darkness, however, which come out from nooks and corners of ungarnished chambers allowed me but little rest. My compensation was, that I had the earliest morning for examining the ruins. I was told that Ibrahim Pasha had had the fallen stones built up into a mosque and castle, and the bewilderment caused me by this arrangement was more confusing than the disorder occasioned by successive earthquakes. I stole time for drawing by sending the muleteer cross the plain, with a promise to overtake him by fast riding. As I went on with my work, I heard the village forge beaten, the cocks crow, and the calling of the hours of prayer. Soon after mid-day I concluded that I must depart. In my final visit I observed that the keystone of the
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arch painted by Roberts had dropped lower, and was tremulous in the wind. The fallen stones which formed the ceilings of the side porches had as centres some admirably carved heads of Apollo and Diana, and in one central circle there was a portrait head of Hadrian, the donor.
We had counted too surely upon finding our road over the plain by a mark pointed out on the distant hills, but we lost our way, and had to retrace our steps considerably.
The horses, by dint of greater repose, and liberal green food, had become quite lively, and were fretful at the loss of their companions  

Temple at Baalbec


of the long journey. After some hours, when I was far ahead of Issa, our mules suddenly appeared in view, and my steed grew all on fire to join them. I had no objection to the straight line he preferred, until we were stopped at the brink of a stream twenty feet wide. Jerusalem horses are not trained to amphibious habits, so mine stuck at this unfamiliar obstacle; but he did not learn patience enough to go quietly along the banks to a crossing. Cumbered with a large sketch-book on my back, and a gun on my saddle, I was not disposed to humour him, so I turned him to the stream, using my spurs. We reached the middle of the rather deep and very cold water; there I found my animal had no more mettle left than was sufficient to get him clear of the weeds, and to plod through the mud on the further bank. When we landed, he made the rest of the road to his friends in more sober mood; the sun was hidden, and the wind raked us as with cold fingers; about sunset the veil was lifted off Lebanon, but it had left a mantle of snow on all parts not exposed to the wind. In the west the sun encrimsoned the heavy pall of cloud, and deepened the slopes below into a dark indigo, upon which lingered a roseate bloom.
We hurried our fagged beasts forward, for it was already late when the ascent from the plain was reached; few people were about, but we found Deir al Akmar before it was quite dark. It appeared an abandoned labyrinth of cattle yards, and the “clean inn” which had been strongly recommended to us defied our search. No lights were visible anywhere, but when we raised a shout a man appeared out of the ground and said, “Yes,” he knew the master we inquired for by name; thereupon he became our guide through many turnings between stone walls, and had not the rain been proof that nothing was between us and the sky,
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we might have thought ourselves in the Catacombs. He stopped at the door of a yard. I looked over the walls; and it was difficult to understand where all the “comforts” I had been assured of could be found. No house at all could we discern, but after frequent knocking a man emerged from the distant corner, while the voice of another published the fact that the Khowaghat had arrived. We were evidently expected, the gate was unbolted and we were invited in. I said, “I was told you kept a hotel.”
“It is so,” he replied, and he beckoned me forward to the other end of the yard where a corner was thatched in a rough way; we alighted and went to the shelter. The low door to the inner house wall was open, and inside glowed a warm fire, lighting up what was evidently a large underground chamber. It thawed my chilled spirit to see the flickering flame, and I asked the man whether I could have a similar room for myself alone, and whether my men and animals could also be accommodated indoors.
“Perfectly,” he said, and I went back expressing my content, and bringing my horse into the yard. As I returned to the protecting alcove there was a great stir inside, and I waited near the door for the announcement that all was ready. There could be no complaint of want of life-sounds now, for the noise was that of a market town; and presently were hustled out of the low door numerous broods of cackling fowls; followed by two lowing oxen, an ass or two, some mules and a horse; and at the tail of these, rushing like a wether newly belled, came a leader followed by a small flock of sheep.
“Stop,” I shouted, “I saw only men and women in the firelight.”
“Yes,” said the host, “we are all coming out.” And behind him appeared a family of some twelve or more people aged and young, all leaving their glowing hearth. It was needful to assume an angry tone to arrest the exodus.
“I will not allow it. Let them go back, and you come and talk to me.”
The landlord approached, still pleading for his plan, but I turned towards the sheltering lean-to, where was a truck on wheels, and an old ram mangered by a halter. “Can you put that ram elsewhere, move the cart and clean the place?” I said, and in spite of remonstrance, I took the vacated nook for my lodging. The tent suspended on the two outer angles with a lantern hanging on the wall, and Issa’s cooking-fire kindled outside; I was obliged to be satisfied with the exchange.
To employ the time profitably now, while the dinner was being cooked was my next object. I was wet through and muddy; and as I had to change my clothes, it seemed desirable to enjoy the abundance of water, which I could not always procure for a good bath. Two large buckets were therefore brought, and soon I was busy, making up for the cold of the water by rubbing and scrubbing and breathing the faster. While
Sig. VOL. II. E
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thus occupied for a while, in addition to the cheerful sounds of frying, and of the ordinary talking of my company, I heard a boisterous altercation going on between Issa and certain rollicking strange voices. Abating my stampings, and brisk towelling, I called out to him to explain the cause of the quarrel.
“Why, these people are so unreasonable, ya effendi, hearing that you were having a bath all the men, women, and children came out to look through a hole in the tent. But they can’t all see at once, and I want those who were here at the beginning to go away, and make place for others, but they won’t; and those behind are laughing and quarrelling with those in the front, and I threaten that I will turn them all away if they can’t agree.”
Mauvaise honte, I think, quite spoilt my talents as a performer when I knew that I was acting in public; but, in any case, perhaps the remainder of the entertainments could not have been so diverting as the earlier part of the play. I enjoyed my supper, unconscious if strange eyes criticised my manner of eating; and after an hour or two reading tucked myself up in my trestle bed, not the less confiding in the permanence of comfort in my quarters, because the rain made increasing music in many pools close at hand.
On waking, my first inquiry was whether the storm of the night had shut up the road to the cedars. The opinion grew, as daylight came, that it would be found just practicable; and accordingly we hurried our departure, and got well on the road before full daylight came. There was no sun, but every object behind us showed out in the greatest clearness; and with a colour, the fuller and richer, for having no glare to blanch its surface. It is an equivalent of which, in England, we have more than enough, for the enchantment of sunlight, but in a climate so perseveringly dazzling as in Syria the cloud-screened light, when it occurs, is a great delight and refreshment. Anti-Lebanon during the night had passed from summer to winter. Lebanon could be seen only below the clouds, and the muleteer pointed out that the increased snow was decisive against the attempt to ascend, that it was the beginning of the winter snow, which would stop travellers from crossing until May, but I would not heed these croakings. We left all luggage behind in the head muleteer’s care, and took with us only enough for a day. We found, throughout the climb, a thick covering of rich earth on the rock which made bad weather a great obstacle to the firm footing of animals; and at first we met with many stalwart fair-haired men loading their asses with wood for winter fuel. We had to grip hard to prevent the saddle from slipping backwards, and as the road grew steeper, showers of rain and sleet warned us to lose no time in our climbing. When we reached the region of snow, the cold was to me only pleasant, but the Arabs covered their eyes and mouths with handkerchiefs and burnooses. The plain below lay all squared out to the farther slopes like patchwork; by about ten o’clock we came to the level of a canopy of
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cloud resting as a ceiling on the verdant bosoms of the range, and reaching across to the eastern slopes. Higher still in our climb we looked down on the upper surface of this drooping covering, and through several gaps could again be seen with perfect clearness the villages, streams, and temples as separate pictures. Now we got on faster afoot, I dismounted and left my horse to keep the track by himself. About noon we reached the utmost height, and a mile or two in front of us we saw an opening, forming a gulfy ravine which descended to the Mediterranean plain seven thousand feet below. To the right lay a group of what looked like small mountain firs, these we were assured were the cedars. I shouted to my men to catch my horse, which had wandered in their direction, but he enjoyed his liberty, and on my taking up the chase led me many devious tracks ere he was secured. A short ride then brought us under the trees, some twelve of them were indeed mightily trunked and limbed. I had lately read that a French savant had calculated, from examination of a transverse section of one of them, that its age was five thousand years. The majestic beauty of the landscape before us, made me regret that I had not brought our animals with us, as we might have gone on the Beyrout coast from the point we had reached. All the people were Greek Christians, and singularly polite and honest looking. They replied to my questions, that they never broke off any of the living trees, because the cedars were “the Lord’s.”
As we led our horses with toilsome care down the steep descent, we were assailed by snow and drizzle. When we got into the saddle again there was a three hours’ ride to our cheerless shelter, which we regained at dusk. For consolation, I had the satisfaction of having fulfilled a long-cherished desire. I felt it the true education of an artist to see such things, convinced, as I have ever been, that it is too much the tendency to take Nature at second-hand, to look only for that poetry which men have already interpreted to perfection, and to cater alone for that appreciation which can understand only accredited views of beauty. The object of this journey had not been the transferring of any special scene to canvas, but rather to gain a larger idea of the principles of design in creation which should affect all art. I was but pursuing in my chosen region the principles which my fellows and I had agreed upon, and which they were to follow in their own ways at home. I finished the evening with reading some pocket volumes of cherished authors, whose pages were illumined by a lantern hung up in the corner of my bivouac.
My way northward by land had now ended. I turned to the south, and in the evening we encamped at Zahle with a running stream at our side. Resting the next day, I took the opportunity to walk about and observe the folk. They all looked well and comely, and some of the girls were beautiful; they were merry, and amused themselves good-naturedly at the solitary Englishman walking through their village and making his salutations.
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This happy home of peace and innocent mirth was soon after to be the centre of carnage, a place of revelry for incarnate demons!
During all the first half of the century there had been a full recognition of the might of England, and of her ability to punish outrage on Christians in Turkey, which had kept the worst spirits of evil afraid to show their heads. Britain’s power had been exhibited so strikingly under the eyes of Egypt and Syria, that in the Arab’s proverbial talk they held it to be more than merely of this world. At Aboukir Bay under Nelson, at Alexandria under Sir Ralph Abercrombie, at Acre under Sir Sydney Smith, the Moslems had followed the course of British victories, and they noted the further course of the Napoleonic War with wonder, and epitomised their conclusions by saying that Apollyon—the name they gave Napoleon—had overcome every nation, but England had destroyed him. The traditions of the previous generation had prepared young and old in 1837 to see Ibrahim Pasha defeated at a stroke, and when Sir Robert Napier arrived at Acre, exploded the powder magazine in an hour, and then with his marines drove out the Egyptian army, all was looked upon as a matter of course. This confirmed the earlier estimate of England’s masterfulness, so that when she with her allies took up the cause of Turkey and declared war against Russia in 1854, the expectation of the Mahomedan world was that every defence of our enemy would at once vanish before army and navy. Now, our long-retarded and still incomplete triumph had marred our prestige, and it was easy to see that we should have to fight for it all again in the East. The French had escaped commissariat disasters in the Crimea, and their regiments had figured in telling manner at the end of the long-continued Inkerman battle, so such respect as was still entertained by the bulk of Mahomedans for Christian forces was transferred to our rivals, whose prowess had not before been so fully recognised by them. The massacre in the Lebanon was the earliest outcome of the diminished fear of Europe in the minds of Druse and Moslem. The Persian War, the Chinese War, and the Indian Mutiny came as the price of our loss of prestige, but when it was seen that the issue proved the God of Battles had not forsaken us, and that we finally vanquished our too hasty assailants, Orientals again realised that savage instincts could not be indulged without count of a severe reckoning with Christendom.
Going along the road that led to Beyrout, which was to be my place of embarkation for the seat of war, I speculated on the future prospects of our arms; this national question occupied my attention in alternation with the thought of what the members of our fraternity had done and were doing, and how my best friends would care for the small store of work I should be able to show them. My curiosity was the greater, as, having assured them by post that I was on the point of starting for home, I had received but few letters for the last months.
While I was still proceeding south, the snowy peak of Hermon ever seemed to accompany me, and for a day it was my marching companion,
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Halt for the Night, Zahle



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but when I reached the road from Damascus I had to leave it behind, and the sea was then my attraction, entertaining my eyes and drawing me on to Beyrout.  




We passed companies going to Damascus, and we came upon a small tribe of Bedouin pitching their simple tents; farther on we encountered a woman of their party, who was wailing bitterly over her prostrate  

Smyrna Roadstead



husband. She turned, begging us to come to her help. I dismounted, and, procuring the brandy flask from Issa, I poured some down the fainting man’s throat. When he revived he was suspicious that it
Transcribed Footnote (page 54):

1 When I put the last touch to this sketch on board the Tancred, I put down my pencil to take up a sword to help quell a mutiny of furious Bashi-Bazouks, November 1855.

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was forbidden drink, and pushed it from him, saying it was “fire.” Assuring him that it was but medicine, I gave him more, after which he arose and walked to his friends.
When I reached Beyrout I had to settle accounts with honest Issa, the most truthful and trustworthy Arab I had met. In fulfilment of my promise to Graham, I sent him by Jaffa back to Jerusalem with the tents and animals. Long before I again trod the soil of Palestine the good fellow died.
I took my berth in the Messagerie boat Le Tancred, which had come  

Captain Pigeon


to Beyrout on its way to Constantinople. The vessel was crammed with Mahomedan passengers. Five hundred returned pilgrims from Mecca were enough to cumber the deck, but in addition there were over one hundred Bashi-Bazouks on their way—not perhaps for the first time—to join General Pearson’s contingent, and also about fifteen Syrians going to the Crimea for the land transport service, amongst whom—as his mocking fate would have it—was my unvaliant Oosdoom servant Issa Nicola. Unbidden and unknown to me was another fellow-traveller, the cholera.
Ours was a memorable journey, and its annals are doubtless written in the records of the society to which the vessel belonged. There was much adventure on the yellow-flagged way; the main event can scarcely be classed as belonging to artistic story, so I will not retard the resumption of the Pre-Raphaelite history by entering here into a sea yarn. Yet, to give honour to whom honour is due, had it not been for the sagacious valour of Captain Pigeon of the ship’s company, the Bashi-Bazouks in an attempted mutiny would have prevented the good vessel and every European passenger upon it, from ever arriving in the sweet waters of the Bosphorus. I finally parted with the brave man in Kasatcha Bay. When I arrive in the regions beyond the final harbour of this life’s journey, he will not be the last comrade of its voyage that I should care to greet. I made a drawing of him for his good wife in Marseilles. Constantimople delighted my soul by its excessive beauty
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Youthful Designs—Leigh Hunt's “Captain Sword and Captain Pen”

  • “Two loving women, lingering yet
  • Ere the fire is out, are met,
  • Talking sweetly, time-beguil’d,
  • One of her bridegroom, one her child,
  • The bridegroom he. They have receiv’d
  • Happy letters, more believ’d
  • For public news, and feel the bliss
  • The heavenlier on a night like this,
  • They think him hous’d, they think him blest,
  • 10 Curtain’d in the core of rest,
  • Danger distant, all good near;
  • Why hath their ‘Good-night’ a tear?

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  • “Behold him! By a ditch he lies
  • Clutching the wet earth, his eyes
  • Beginning to be mad. In vain
  • His tongue still thirsts to lick the rain,
  • They mock’d but now his homeward tears;
  • And ever and anon he rears
  • His legs and knees with all their strength,
  • And then as strongly thrusts at length.
  • Rais’d, or stretch’d, he cannot bear
  • 10The wound that girds him, weltering there;
  • And ‘Water!’—he cries, with moonward stare.”
Leigh Hunt: Captain Sword and Captain Pen.
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and picturesqueness. Why, unless staleness be the inducement, exhibitions should be full of pictures of Venice, already divinely represented by Turner, and why there should never be any illustrations of the Byzantine city, it is difficult to understand.  

Rough Sketch for Nativity


The spectacle of Christian nations contending in blood together in the Crimea was of humiliating sadness, and filled me with greater desire to develop the war subjects from Leigh Hunt’s Captain Sword and Captain Pen, which I had designed for the Cyclographic Club at the age of nineteen.
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It is said that Jealousy is Love, but I deny it; for though Jealousy be procured by Love, as Ashes are by Fire, yet Jealousy extinguishes Love as Ashes smother the Flame.— La Reine de Navarre.

The character of perfection as Culture conceives it, is in growing and becoming, not in having and resting; here, too, it coincides with Religion.— Matthew Arnold: Culture and Anarchy.

In January I returned from the Crimea to Constantinople, and thence by way of Malta to Marseilles. I had not quitted the City on the Bosphorus before news of the armistice had arrived. This being regarded as a prelude to peace, a large proportion of the officers had leave to return to England, so all the ships were crowded. I travelled from Marseilles to Paris with many English officers and officials. It was invigorating to see them looking forward to the honours they had so justly won; I had been away the full time of the campaign, and I was led to consider the difference of regard for their work and mine. I also had been trying to do the State some service, but alone. The soldiers’ struggle was of immediate result, while of mine the value, if any, would be discovered only in the future. I heartily concurred in the immediate reward offered for active service, and that such work as mine should find any honours it might possibly deserve in the far future.
I had met my friend Mike Halliday at Pera coming back from the Crimea, and we travelled together to Paris.
In the Crimea, Halliday had seen much of John Luard, who a few years before had left the army to become an artist, and was now staying behind with a former mess-mate in his hut, to complete a picture of its interior. This erstwhile son of Mars had been placed with John Phillip, to be initiated into the service of Art; Phillip soon recommended him to the care of Millais, who took him into his close friendship and guidance. Luard had lately been painting in Millais’ discarded studio in Langham Place, and Halliday advised me to go and knock up the servant there for the spare bed. We arrived in London about 3 A.M., and I left my companion to go to his lodgings, while I went to Langham Chambers. To my surprise my excellent friend Lowes Dickinson opened the door, welcoming me with as great cordiality as any long-lost wanderer ever received.
I had been away over two years. It was now the beginning of February 1856. Halliday and I took a house together in Pimlico, in
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which we each found a studio, and arranged another in an upper room for Martineau, who from diffidence, had not got on well with his work without an adviser. Halliday, who had been originally nothing but an earnest amateur, had been taken in hand by Millais, and under his guidance the picture “Measuring for the Wedding Ring” had been finished at Winchelsea.
This history is not one of personal or family affairs foreign to the progress of the reform of art by the members of our Brotherhood and its  

Cemetery, Pera

W. H. H]


Circle; I would avoid as much as possible to speak of the many other interests which come into the life of every man. But an artist, however devoted to his pursuit, cannot but have his right hand arrested or accelerated by the private circumstances of the family to which he belongs, so that I must say that the legal troubles suffered by my good father had now seriously undermined his health, a fact which involved me in duties demanding close attention.
One of my sisters had been attending a School of Art, and had determined to adopt the profession; I had therefore to give her personal superintendence of a continuous kind.
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No tangible combination now showed itself among the working and the sleeping members of our Brotherhood; neither was there any professed tie between us and the outside adherents of our Reform. For two years there had been no night excursions, no boating, and no corporate life of any kind. In earlier days it seemed as though we could always rely upon one another, if not for collaboration, at least for good-fellowship and cordiality; it proved, however, that these, too, were things of the past never to be revived. When I called upon Brown and asked him about Gabriel Rossetti, he told me that he was in Oxford, where the University “had thrown themselves at his feet” in recognition of his poetic and artistic accomplishments; he added that he was not, as some people said, engaged to Miss Siddal, but that she stood in the position of pupil to him, and that she had done some designs of the most poetic character; and that she had recently been entertained by Dr. and Mrs. Acland at Oxford. Brown's feeling of mistrust of the Academy and that of the Rossettis, as he reported it, was now more deep-seated than ever, and he dwelt on the idea that we should not longer try to propitiate the Body.
The continuous contribution of works by Millais and myself to Trafalgar Square 1 had not been enough to negative the suspicion on the part of our elders which the frequent diatribes of our anti-Academy members excited; for the satirical tone adopted by the literary entourage of our Brotherhood was constantly bruited about, provoking severe penalty upon us who were still relying upon Academy toleration.
Gentle Christina Rossetti's satirical verse is record of the tone of irreconcilable hostility to the Academy prevalent in her immediate circle. This not only conveyed the idea that the Institution was one to which much needed reform would be wholesome, but that it was a power altogether destructive of the true spirit of art, and one which it had been our main object to overthrow, that any connection with it must be fatal to our original ambition, and a signal of falling from our first estate.
The lines had been written upon the election of Millais as an Associate two years previously—
  • The P.R.B. is in its decadence:
  • For Woolner in Australia cooks his chops,
  • And Hunt is yearning for the land of Cheops.
  • D. G. Rossetti shuns the vulgar optic:
  • While William M. Rossetti merely lops
  • His B's in English disesteemed as Coptic.
  • Calm Stephens in the twilight smokes his pipe,
  • But long the dawning of his public day:
  • And he at last, the champion, Great Millais,
  • 10Attaining Academic opulence,
  • Winds up his signature with A.R.A.
  • So rivers merge in the perpetual sea;
  • So luscious fruit must fall when over-ripe:
  • And so the consummated P.R.B.
Transcribed Footnote (page 61):

1 The original building of the Royal Academy.

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Brown was full of projects for the bringing together of the original Brotherhood and its subsequent followers to act as a power in the profession, which in his view it had now failed to do.
I had desired to see the members of the Brotherhood and those immediately connected with them, in order to learn the position of our affairs. It had already become apparent that the result of our impetuous combination would fall far short of our original expectation.
Deverell had been so hindered by family troubles that he had not been able to do any important work after his probationary election, and at his death no proposal had been made to fill the vacancy. William Rossetti had now entirely given up the practice of drawing, and on account of the malignity of the critics Gabriel Rossetti had not resumed  

Death of Chatterton

Henry Wallis]


public exhibition. Millais and I, therefore, were left with a following of new converts to represent our cause. Woolner had come back from his Tom Tiddler's Ground without much heavier pockets than he started with, having, indeed, nothing more than a chance in a public competition, in London for a statue of Wentworth to be erected in Melbourne, and some small patronage for medallions and busts, gained mainly by the introductions of Carlyle, Tennyson, and Patmore. It was impossible, therefore, to resume the dream that a tangible Brotherhood still existed. One effort was made to repeat the system of the Cyclographic Society, in which certain accomplished amateurs—Lady Waterford, the Hon. Mary Boyle, and others—were to take part. A handsome folio was provided, and in due course sent to Gabriel for his contribution, but there its known history ended.
Several men outside our Body were openly working on our lines.
page: 63

April Love

Arthur Hughes]


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Ford Madox Brown with his picture, “The Last of England,” was now altogether adopting our principle; his picture of “Work” was being  

The Sailor Boy's Return

Arthur Hughes]


conducted on our plan, but it still was some years from completion. Wallis was painting his never-to-be-forgotten “Death of Chatterton”;  

Arthur Hughes


Arthur Hughes was moving forward in remarkable poetic power, as shown by his “April Love”; Windus of Liverpool was also an independent convert, exhibiting some ingeniously dramatic pictures, after his “Burd Helen”; and Burton, with his “Wounded Cavalier,” in the next Exhibition gained deserved repute.
Certain followers were admired mainly for their mechanical skill, which in some cases was of a very complete kind, although wanting in imaginative strain. An increasing number of the public approved our methods, perhaps the more readily when no poetic fancy complicated the claim made by the works. Time can be trusted to do justice to the relative values of poetic and prosaic work, though, as Hogarth said, “posterity is a bad paymaster.”
One sure mark of the increasing estimation of our movement was
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shown in the continued apportioning of the £50 annual prize at Liverpool to artists working on our principles. It had been awarded to me in 1851 for my “Valentine rescuing Sylvia.” Millais had gained it in 1852 for “The Huguenot,” in the following year it was awarded to me for “Claudio and Isabella,” and it was again obtained by Millais in a subsequent year. Mark Antony was also favoured for a landscape which bore strong traits of our manner, and Madox Brown in 1856 for his “Christ washing Peter's Feet,” and again in 1857-8 when his “Chaucer in the Court of Edward III” gained the prize. Further, the Royal Society of Fine Arts in Birmingham had accorded the prize of £60 to me in the year 1853 1 for “Strayed Sheep.”
In addition to these influences upon our Body a circumstance of great portent must now be treated unreservedly.
So many persons were, and some still are, under an unworthy impression concerning the separation of Mr. and Mrs. Ruskin and the remarriage of the lady to John Everett Millais, that it has been, to all friends of either who know the truth, painful to leave the circumstances ever open to misinterpretation. Mr. Ruskin in his Præterita naturally avoided the subject, and so the story remained untold, but it was only a question how long it could remain so. In the meantime, those who knew the facts were becoming fewer, and the danger of a permanent misunderstanding was increasing until Mr. Frederic Harrison, 2 in his monograph on Ruskin, so far broke silence that henceforth further reserve would involve injustice. Happily, the fuller truth exculpates every one involved from all but error of judgment. To understand the situation it must be realised that John Ruskin, as has been already publicly stated, while still young in manhood had been deeply wounded by the disappointment of his affections, and it was only after a visit to Switzerland and some stay there that a serious weakness of his lungs which had supervened was overcome. On his return his parents watched his condition with devoted care, and were glad the while to exercise hospitality toward the daughter of Mr. Grey of Perth, a friend of their youth; she in her youthful beauty and liveliness seemed to distract their son's brooding sadness. It was for her that he had written the story “The King of the Golden River.” The juvenile guest showed an untiring interest in the art questions which Ruskin was pursuing, and with his life-long delight in young people, he took her about with him to exhibitions and galleries, bestowing constant attention on her pleasure and instruction. The good mother and father rejoiced at these signs of distraction from memory of their son's former grief; and the mother, fondly, feeling herself justified, told him that she had the authority of his father to say that they had regarded with continual delight the gentleness shown to Euphemia, and she assured him that they hoped he would himself realise that his attachment to her was of a
Transcribed Footnote (page 65):

1Birmingham Journal, October 15, 1853. “But above all their School is Nature, and their genius enables them to expound its mysteries, apply its teachings, and make manifest to the less gifted of their fellows its manifold beauties."

Transcribed Footnote (page 65):

2Mr. Collingwood in 1893 had written to somewhat the same effect.

Sig. VOL. II. F
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tender nature, and no longer delay to make them all happy by declaring his affection for the lady. The son avowed surprise that this construction should be put upon his attentions to Miss Grey, and said that, since it was impossible his feelings towards her could ever be of warmer character, he felt forced by his mother's action to discontinue the interest which had proceeded only from a desire to entertain her and aid her improving taste. The mother thereupon begged him to forget that he had been misunderstood, and asked that as Effie knew nothing of this appeal to him, he should not make any difference whatever in his behaviour to her. The threatened interruption to Ruskin's attention to Miss Grey did not therefore occur, and his gentleness towards her was so unremitting that, as time went on, the parents again began to entertain hopes that their son could be induced to marry. Once more the mother spoke to him, this time much more pressingly, and assured him that, although he did not recognise the fact himself, she and his father were convinced that he was deeply enamoured of Effie, and that, if once he gave up his reserve, she would accept him, and as his wife be a centre of delight to them all. She besought her son not to delay acting on their wishes. Ruskin still held that his parents mistook his feelings, but agreed that if in spite of this candid confession they still desired him to act on their conviction, he would be obedient to their wish; accordingly he made his proposal, which the lady was guilelessly persuaded to accept. It can cause but little wonder that this marriage, which was celebrated at Perth, did not prove a happy one.
It was on distant terms that the two passed six years of their lives. Mr. Ruskin was ever ceremoniously polite to Mrs. Ruskin, and, doubtless, many regarded them as the most enviable of couples. She was always elegantly attired and adorned with exquisite jewels, and was admired for her beauty and bon esprit wherever she appeared in company with her genius-endowed partner, but observant visitors not infrequently remarked upon the absence of signs of deep affection and intimacy between them. After my first acquaintance with Ruskin, he invited Millais and me to stay with them for some months at the Bridge of Allan, but I was forced to relinquish the engagement; Millais, with some other guests, was, however, detained in this neighbourhood till late in the autumn, painting. Mike Halliday, returning from Scotland, reported that Millais on occasions had openly remarked to Ruskin upon his want of display of interest in the occupations and entertainments of Mrs. Ruskin. 1 Remonstrances grew into complaint, and gradually the guest found himself championing the lady against her legal lord and master. It was in the mood thus engendered that Millais had parted with the pair in December 1853, when he had returned to town to see me off on my Eastern journey. Ruskin still gave sittings to Millais in his own studio for the completion of his portrait. In the following April Mrs. Ruskin left her home one morning without notice and went
Transcribed Footnote (page 66):

It is needless to enter into further details of the words spoken at the time.

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direct by train to her father's house at Perth. Mr. Grey, a Writer to the Signet, immediately took steps to have the marriage declared null and void. Ruskin did not appear to contest the evidence, and accordingly the lady was liberated, and both released from their false position. Millais, to protect the lady from any possible misconception, determined that he would not see her until a twelvemonth had passed from the date of her flight from Ruskin's house, and on its anniversary in 1855 he was married to her, in her maiden name, in her father's drawing-room at Perth. The new state of things was not really in opposition to Ruskin's desires, as he himself assured me later in life, but now that it was attained, many friends would insist that he was an injured man, and certainly he had to suffer constant annoyance from the intermeddling of the vulgar officious.
The breach thus occasioned was very unfortunate for our Body. It became obvious at once that no one could, for some years at least, be cordially intimate with both Millais and Ruskin. Millais was my first and far closer friend, he had in the course he took towards the lady he married behaved in a thoroughly honourable and straightforward manner, and I could have no choice but to follow my inclination and temporarily lose the gratification of my sincere desire for further friendship with Ruskin. A bitter controversy arose in society about the case; I always did battle for my early friend, and certainly the misconstructions and falsehoods that had to be confronted were many.
Soon after my return to England I went up to Oxford, and found all my Syrian boxes there. Mr. Combe, after the arrival of the painting of “The Scapegoat,” had indefatigably written in turn to all those who had given me commissions; but each had replied that the subject differed too widely from my previous works fitly to represent me. One art lover in the North, after expressing this opinion, wrote that he should like to have the work sent to him for a few days, but my friend had not felt authorised to accede, and thus I was still the proud owner of the picture and also of a fast-dwindling exchequer. I was glad of the opportunity of unpacking my pictures and drawings to obtain the judgment of my friends. Two or three months’ separation from the works to a great degree dissipated the prejudice nurtured by familiarity with them, and my fresh judgment was a benefit to me. It comforted me to believe that the amount of painting achieved was not altogether so disappointing as I had feared, and I found that the parts finished in “The Temple” subject interested my friends greatly.
My little reserve of money in Mr. Combe's hands was almost expended in setting up my new home. I indulged optimistic dreams of bringing “The Temple” picture to completion before giving time to aught else. I obtained from influential directors introductions to the masters of Jewish schools, who allowed me to select boys from whom I painted, and I found a valuable model in a young Hungarian Jew, but
page: 68

Morning Prayer

W. H. H.]


page: 69
I was soon stopped in my desperate attempt to advance by finding that I had already outrun my balance.
“Pot-boilers” are so-called because they keep the kitchen range alight. I had to raise money as quickly as possible, the water-colour drawings I had made in the East did not at first command purchasers, for the prejudice ruling that an artist should paint only one kind of subject was always standing in my way. At that time picture-dealers told me there was a great demand for replicas of my works exhibited years ago, which when they first appeared had been roughly abused; I therefore took up the original studies of these, and elaborated them into finished pictures. These works escaped those critics’ diatribes which always met works incorporating a perfectly new idea, and thus timid purchasers were not frightened. Amongst those I now took up was the original sketch for “The Eve of St. Agnes.”
When in Syria I had received an offer from two engravers of £300 for the copyright of “The Light of the World,” but I had not felt sure that they would do the work satisfactorily, and refused to close with the proposal. Gambart now asked me to make a price with him for the design. I asked him the sum hitherto mentioned; but he objected on the ground that there was the chance of the public not liking the print, and then no one would divide his loss, while if it became popular, photographers throughout England would pirate the work, and the prosecution of each would cost him £70; while the only penalty to them would be the loss of a camera. In France, where the law treated piracy as a penal offence, the publisher was safe from such a violation of his rights, and so could pay the artist better. With this conclusion to the debate the business ended for the time; but in a few months the monetary pressure upon me became more stringent, and I was induced to accept £200 as my reward. One of the strongest marks of all exhibited Pre-Raphaelite painting, from the time of my “Rienzi,” was that the background was not done either from conventional fancy or memory, but from Nature, and if it could be avoided, not indirectly from sketches, but direct from the scene itself on to the canvas of the final picture. Madox Brown's first effort of this kind in “Pretty Baa Lambs” has been already referred to, he still continued to work on this sweet and innocent subject for some years, making the background more delightful; he painted the background of his “Work” from a picturesque part of Hampstead Road, high up towards the Heath.
To follow our method more religiously he had taken a lodging near his chosen background. For an easel he constructed a rack on the tray of a costermonger's barrow, above the canvas were rods with curtains suspended, which could be turned on a hinge, so that they shrouded the artist while painting. When all was prepared, the barrow was wheeled to the desired post; and forthwith Brown worked the whole day, surrounded of course by a little mob of idlers and patient children, who wondered when the real performance was going to begin. Once a
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passing ruffian hurled a stone across the road, so that it should splash into a puddle close to him. Brown was naturally indignant; but ere he could act in any way the companions of the offender turned upon him, and covered him with contempt, asking why he should hinder another from getting his living. In 1856, when the background was completed, and he was painting on the figures, he told me that Ruskin was patronising Rossetti and was using his influence with his friends to buy drawings of him. It was evident that Ruskin was not disposed to hold out the  

Experimental Design for “Cophetua”


same helping hand to Brown himself, or to express sympathy for his work. There was a great difference between our refusal of Brown in early years as a nominal “Brother,” and our welcoming him as an outside convert like other men whose art we admired, so that when he joined with Rossetti to get up a collection of small pictures for a private exhibition, I willingly contributed some Eastern landscapes. Rooms were secured in Charlotte Street, Fitzroy Square; and when all was arranged I went to a private view. Rossetti was there, and immediately on my arrival called me to come and see “the stunning drawings” that the Sid (the name by which Miss Siddal went) had sent. I complimented them fully, and said that had I come upon them without
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Sketch for “Cophetua


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explanation I should have assumed they were happy designs by Walter Deverell.
“Deverell!” he exclaimed; “they are a thousand times better than anything he ever did.”
As I did not probably realise any special interest Gabriel felt in Miss Siddal at the time, I had thought that to compare the attempts of the lady,—who had exercised herself in design for only two years, and had had no fundamental training,—with those of Gabriel's dear deceased  

Trial Sketch for “The Lady of Shalott”

W. H. H.]


friend, who had satisfactorily gone through the drilling of the Academy schools, would be taken as a compliment. But Rossetti received it as an affront, and his attitude confirmed me in the awakened painful suspicion that he was seeking ground of complaint against his former colleagues.
In non-painting hours I was now preparing designs for the illustrated edition of Tennyson. Millais had in Scotland already done the greater part of his set for the volume, and was still increasing his store. The publisher, Moxon, called upon me with many repinings that the book was so long delayed. I was steadily fulfilling my undertaking to do six illustrations and no other work, until they were completed. He revealed
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that his heart was sore about Rossetti, who had not sent any drawing, and now, when Moxon called, was “not at home,” and would not reply to letters.
As the price to be paid for each drawing was £25, and Rossetti was in pecuniary straits notwithstanding continual aid from his brother, his aunts, and Ruskin, it was difficult to account for his apparently determined neglect, so I took the first opportunity to see him. He avowed at once that he did not care to do any because all the best subjects had  

Trial Sketch for “The Lady of Shalott”

W. H. H.]


been taken by others. “You, for instance, have appropriated ‘The Lady of Shalott,’ which was the one I care for most of all,” he pleaded.
“You should have chosen at the beginning; I only had a list sent me of unengaged subjects,” I said. “You know I made a drawing from this poem of the ‘Breaking of the Web’ at least four years ago. It was only put aside when the paper was so worn that it would not bear a single new correction. A friend and his wife came to my studio, I showed them this embryo design, with other drawings in my portfolio,
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Experimental Sketch for “The Lady of Shalott”



Design for “The Lady of Shalott,” from Wood Block

W. H. H.]


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and the lady expressing a great liking for it, begged it of me, reminding me that I had never given her any design for her album. My protestations that I was dissatisfied with the drawing, except as a preparation for future work, were of no avail, and I yielded on condition that it should not be shown publicly, and that it should be mine when needed for future use. I have ever since been nervous lest this immature invention should be regarded as my finished idea, so I was glad on reading the list of poems chosen for the Tennyson book to find this one at my disposal. The drawing, as you may see, is now far advanced. I had determined also to illustrate the later part of the poem, but I will give that up to you  

Design for Haroun Al Raschid

W. H. H.]


if you like and any of the other subjects that I have booked, so you have no cause now for driving old Moxon to desperation.”
Gabriel then saw the publisher, and the matter was arranged, he stipulating that the price should be five pounds more than the other designers were receiving. So often however did the poor expectant publisher get disappointed in the delivery of each block, that it was said when, soon after, Moxon quitted this world of worry and vexation, that the book had been the death of him!
The illustrated volume was in the end a commercial failure. Those who liked the work of artists long established in favour felt that the pages on which our designs appeared destroyed the attractiveness of the volume, and the few who approved of our inventions would not give the price for the publication, because there was so large a proportion of the contributions of a kind which they did not value.
Messrs. Freemantle in 1901 brought out an edition of the poems
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with our illustrations alone. Mr. J. Pennell, an American popular writer on art as well as an accomplished black-and-white draftsman, has stated in his introduction to this volume that our drawings were based in style upon examples of those executed for books by Menzel in Germany.
It is, I know, a loss not to have seen all that this renowned book illustrator has done, but in fact I know him only by two drawings  

Design for Haroun Al Raschid

W. H. H.]


exhibited by him about the year 1885 at the old Water-Colour Gallery, and thus any resemblance between my woodcuts and his could have been only accidental.
Millais I am sure did not even see the water-colours. The examples of modern German drawings, besides those by Fürich, that could have influenced us, were those published in about the ’forties, and many of these were much admired by all our Circle. These were nearly always in outline as were Retzch's designs to Shakespeare, traceable from the example of Flaxman. We also looked with deep interest upon Rethel's
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“Death as a Friend” and “Death as an Enemy;” but while we admired these, his pencilling we found too subservient to that of Albert Dürer. I highly reverenced the drawings of the Nuremburg master, his fluency in the method he had settled upon for expressing himself, but the regularity of his shading gave a sameness in texture to all objects which was foreign to my ideals.
Millais, it may be assumed, had the same judgment, and, wisely or not, we followed our own instincts in our methods of expression. Whether Millais or Rossetti had seen Menzel's illustrations, I am unable to say, but Millais and I had not the time to go about to stray exhibitions, to  

Lady Godiva


booksellers’ shops, or elsewhere, to find examples of unknown continental work. Rossetti certainly had more disposition to rout out new publications, but he never spoke to me of Menzel's achievements.
The Exhibition season drew nigh. Millais came up to town with a great store of work. It was indeed a delight to me to see him happy after bitter troubles, and now talking joyfully of his home. 1 He, more
Transcribed Footnote (page 77):

Later letters of ’56 and ’57 illustrate Millais' delight in his little children—1856.

The baby is growing a dear little fellow, and I find myself approaching the confines of doting imbecility. Whether it is the natural result of having a baby or not I cannot say, but certainly I find the greatest pleasure in watching my boy in his little shoutings and comical ways. When I was occasionally called upon as a bachelor to enter into the feelings of fond parents who in like manner delightedly watched the movements of their children, I used to think how far gone they were in obliviousness of the outer world in supposing for

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than any of those who had seen “The Scapegoat” understood it, and was touched by the desolation of the scene and pathos of the subject; he was encouraging too about my unfinished work; and as I was until a day or two before the sending-in day foolishly counting upon completing “The Lantern Maker's Courtship” for the Exhibition, he good-naturedly volunteered to sit for a figure in the background. As Millais  



was leaving my studio, we heard Ruskin being ushered up; but a meeting was avoided.
Transcribed Footnote (page 78):

one instant that I could sympathise with them in their admiration. Now I understand all this and pay visits on tip-toe to the nursery to kiss my boy before I go to bed, but I shall be very careful in my selection of victims who shall visit the precincts of the nursery. I wish the nation would give me a few of Turner's wildest productions, “in his third more extravagant manner,” as The Times has it, to decorate a screen for my boy who is so fond of watching the fire and scarlet colour that I am sure he would appreciate William Mallard's latest efforts. I wish you could come and see me now and then, and let my boy pull your beard.

My boy is growing so delightful that I am sure you would love him if you saw him now he is growing wise and so prettily playful. He plays Bo Peep of his own accord in a great bed pulling the sheets over his little round face and suddenly discovering himself. He sits up without aid now and keeps me company for considerable time, absorbed in mystical evolutions with a large hog's hair brush which is like a wand in his hand.

Ever yours affectionately,


Annat Lodge, Perth,

Sunday evening, 1857.

I find my baby robs me of a great deal of my time, as I am continually in the nursery watching its progress and its ever-changing expression.

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Experimental Designs for “Oriana”


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John Luard had earned the love of our Circle, and had now come back with his first picture from the Crimea. It represented an officer opening a newly arrived box from home, and taking out from it a folded miniature of some one, sacred for his eyes alone. Concealing his interest from his companions, he is painted as furtively putting the portrait into his breast. It was in the studio in Langham Place that Luard's picture was seen, and here Millais showed his new works.
During the war it had become a scandal that several officers with family influence had managed to get leave to return on “urgent private affairs.” Millais had felt with others the shame of this practice, and he undertook a picture to illustrate the luxurious nature of these “private affairs.” A young officer was being caressed by his wife, and surrounded by his children, the substitutes for those laurels which he ought by rules of War to be gathering. When the painting was nearly finished the announcement of Peace arrived. What was to be done? The call for satire on carpet heroes was out of date; the painter adroitly adapted his work to the changing circumstances, and put The Times in the hands of the officer, who has read the news which they were all patriotically rejoicing over; he with a sling supporting a wounded arm to represent that he had nobly done his part towards securing the peace.
The second picture was of “Burning Leaves.” It may be said to be the first of a series of inventions of his, in which great consideration was given to the posing of the figures, while not unapt for the task engaging them, a certain poetic dignity breathes through them. In our walk to Long Ditton in 1851 he had anticipated the sweet reminiscences awakened by odour of burning leaves. His third picture was of a Highland soldier in the trenches at Sebastopol reading a letter from home. While I was realising the difficulty of re-establishing myself in the favour of the public, the amount of work that he had completed for exhibition acted as a new reproach to me. Visitors who came to see what I had brought from the East, had naturally expected to find some large figure picture, and when I showed “The Scapegoat” many expressed incredulity that this was the only finished canvas I had, and decided, as others had done, that the subject was not in my line. Some approved my water-colours, but for a similar reason no one then offered to buy any. Augustus Egg's prophecy that I should have to re-make my reputation from the beginning was fulfilled.
Gambart, the picture-dealer, was ever shrewd and entertaining. He came in his turn to my studio, and I led him to “The Scapegoat.”
“What do you call that?”
“‘The Scapegoat.’”
“Yes; but what is it doing?”
“You will understand by the title, Le bouc expiatoire.
“But why ‘expiatoire’?” he asked.
“Well, there is a book called the Bible, which gives an account of the animal. You will remember.”
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“No,” he replied, “I never heard of it.”
“Ah, I forgot, the book is not known in France, but English people read it more or less,” I said, “and they would all understand the story of the beast being driven into the wilderness.”
“You are mistaken. No one would know anything about it, and if I bought the picture it would be left on my hands. Now, we will see,” replied the dealer. “My wife is an English lady, there is a friend of hers, an English girl, in the carriage with her, we will ask them up, you shall tell them the title; we will see. Do not say more.”
The ladies were conducted into the room.
“Oh how pretty! what is it?” they asked.
“It is ‘The Scapegoat,’” I said.
There was a pause. “Oh yes,” they commented to one another, “it is a peculiar goat, you can see by the ears, they droop so.”
The dealer then, nodding with a smile towards me, said to them, “It is in the wilderness.”
The ladies: “Is that the wilderness now? Are you intending to introduce any others of the flock?” And so the dealer was proved to be right, and I had over-counted on the picture's intelligibility. To console Gambart for his disappointment at the unpopularity of my picture, I introduced him to Halliday and his picture of “Measuring for the Wedding Ring,” which he at once purchased. It was destined to achieve a great popularity; indeed, an English engraving and a German piracy gave it a transient European reputation.
Some of the clergy avowed interest in my picture. I wished with all my heart their stipends had been large enough to enable them to become patrons.
While the picture of the Goat devoted to “Azazel” 1 was being exhibited, the public accepted without demur the traditional interpretation put upon it of its being the unhappy bearer of the sins of others, and foredoomed to suffer. However, there was a school of theologians, who denounced the work as heretical in its signification; to them the goat should be the bearer of heaven's blessings and represent the risen and glorified Saviour. Thoughtful readings of the particulars connected with this sacrifice had led me to conclude that the common interpretation of the intention was more in accordance with the understanding of it at the time of Christ than that of such modern theologians, and that the Apostles regarded it as a symbol of the Christian Church, teaching both them and their followers submission and patience under affliction. Jesus Christ had borne the sins of the Jewish people and had put an end to blood sacrifices for ever. He taught His disciples that the persecution He suffered would also follow them. His spirit had ascended to God, but His Church remained on earth subject to all the hatred of the unconverted world.
Transcribed Footnote (page 81): 1

1 Azazel is the spirit to which the Scapegoat is devoted. The goat sacrificed in the Temple was devoted to the Lord.

Sig. VOL. II. G
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One important part of the ceremony was the binding a scarlet fillet around the head of this second goat when he was conducted away from the Temple, hooted at with execration, and stoned until he was lost to sight in the wilderness. The High Priest kept a portion of this scarlet fillet in the Temple, with the belief that it would become white if the corresponding fillet on the fugitive goat had done so, as a signal that the Almighty had forgiven their iniquities. The quotations from the Talmud which I gave in the catalogue preserve particulars of the manner in which this Israelitish rite was conducted at the date of Christ's ministry; that it was so conducted at a much earlier date is suggested by the passage in Isaiah: “Though your sins be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” The general tenor of the Epistles accords with the reading that the new Church was to endure evil when Christ had departed, just as the innocent goat did after the sacrifice of the first goat. This is more exactly conveyed in the symbol of St. John in the Book of Revelation, in which the Christian Church is represented by the woman bearing a child, confronted by the “Great Red Dragon” who strives to devour it; but the child being caught up into heaven, the woman takes flight into the wilderness, into which the dragon pursues her with a flood cast out of his mouth. The whole image is a perfect one of the persecution and trials borne by the Apostolic Church, and perhaps by the Church as subtly understood, to this day; and it can scarcely be doubted that the driving away of the Scapegoat into the wilderness, pursued by a flood of execrations, was a type in the evangelist's mind when he wrote the Apocalypse. Of necessity there must ever be a limit in such comparisons.
The following quotations show in what temper the Press was disposed to encourage the art patrons of the day to welcome our pictures—

Mr. Holman-Hunt's picture of “The Scapegoat” is disappointing, although there is no doubt much power in it. The distance is given well, the colour is very good, the mountains are lovingly painted; in the eye of the Scapegoat, too, as it comes to drink of the waters of the Dead Sea, there is a profound feeling, but altogether the scene is not impressive, and were it not for the title annexed it would be rather difficult to divine the nature of the subject. A much more successful work of Pre-Raphaelite art is one near it by a young artist named Burton, etc. etc.— Times, May 3, 1856.

At the R.A. Banquet the picture which perhaps arrested the most general attention was Mr. Hunt's “Scapegoat,” the scene of which is taken from Oosdoom, on the margin of the salt-incrusted shallows of the Dead Sea, and has the massive mountain range of Edom as a background. The power with which the artist has succeeded in conveying in his canvas the awful sense of desolation consonant with this fine Scripture subject was the theme of eloquent eulogy on the part of more than one member of the Episcopal bench. The impression produced on other beholders by this striking work, however complimentary to the skill of the painter, did not repress the lively wit of a very distinguished legislator who excited some merriment by his good-humoured bon mot suggested by the recollections of a recent Parliamentary debate, that Mr. Hunt's picture was an excellent portrait of Lord Stratford de Redcliffe.— Times, May 5, 1856.

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“The Scapegoat” (398), by Mr. Hunt, is a picture from which much has been expected, not merely from the original feeling of the painter, but from its being a Scripture subject, and one the scene of which is laid in a spot of prophetic and awful desolation, where it was actually painted. It was one of Wilkie's theories that Scripture scenes should be painted in the Holy Land, a theory which Raphael and some others are quite sufficient to disprove. We do not, however, find fault with the desires of realisation which at the present day, either from a wish for novelty or from a tendency to idealised materialism is grown almost a passion with our young artists and poets. The question is simply this, here is a dying goat which as a mere goat has no more interest for us than the sheep that furnished our yesterday's dinner; but it is a type of the Saviour, says Mr. Hunt, and quotes the Talmud. Here we join issue, for it is impossible to paint a goat, though its eyes were upturned with human passion, that could explain any allegory or hidden type. The picture, allowing this then, may be called a solemn, sternly painted representation of a grand historical scene (predominant colours purple and yellow), with an appropriate animal in the foreground. We shudder, however, in anticipation at the dreamy fantasies and the deep allegories which will be deduced from this figure of a goat in difficulties....Though not swept in very boldly, brute grief was never more powerfully expressed. We need no bishops to tell us that the scene is eminently solemn....Still the goat is but a goat, and we have no right to consider it an allegorical animal of which it can bear no external marks. Of course the salt may be sin and the sea sorrow, and the clouds eternal rebukings of pride, and so on, but we might spin these fancies from anything, from an old wall, a centaur's beard, or a green duck pool. For delicacy of detail we should mention the love of painting displayed in the clefts of the mountains which are photographically studied. Though the effects are strong, with the green water and yellow sky, we do not quarrel with them because they are probably strictly true to the scene, however strange and apparently unnatural.— Athenæum, 1856, p. 589.

No. 398, “The Scapegoat,” by W. H. Hunt. This work has been placed prominently before the public on the line, and the painter, as one of the Pre-Raphaelite Brethren, has attracted some share of public interest. It will be necessary to inquire into the merits of the work. The scene, we are told, was painted at Oosdoom on the margin of the salt-incrusted shallows of the Dead Sea, and the mountains closing the horizon are those of Edom. The subject of the picture is simply a white goat wandering exhausted and thirsty amid the salt deposit on the shore....The animal is an extremely forbidding specimen of the capriformous races, and does not seem formed to save its life by a flight of a hundred yards. If narrative and perspicuity be of any value in art, these qualities are entirely ignored here. There is nothing allusive to the ceremony of the Atonement, save the fillet of wool on the goat's horns, and this is not sufficiently important to reveal the story of the scapegoat. There is nothing to connect the picture with sacred history. There is no statement, no version of any given fact; a goat is here, and that is all. The ceremonies to which it is intended to refer, but does not, must be read in the Talmud. Had the picture been exhibited as affording a specimen of a certain kind of goat from the hair of which the Edomites manufactured a very superb shawl fabric, there is nothing in the work to gainsay this. It might be hung in the Museum of the Zoological Gardens as a portrait of an animal that lived happily and died lamented. There is nothing in the work to contradict it. The artist went to the Dead Sea to paint the scene, but there is nothing there so red and blue as the mountains of Edom. The only point in the picture that has any interest at all is the deposit of salt. This is interesting if the representation is true; for ourselves we have often heard of this, but we have never seen anything like a truthful picture of it. The picture demands no more elaborate criticism than this, notwithstanding it attracts scores of gazers.

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It is useless for any good purpose, meaning nothing, and therefore teaching nothing, although it exhibits large capabilities idly or perniciously wasted.— Art Journal, 1856, p. 170.

Mr. Millais must have been staying at the village which Goldsmith immortalises as “Sweet Auburn, loveliest village of the plain,” for plain people with red hair seem this year his idiosyncrasy. About all his pictures there is a red-haired inflammatory atmosphere very eccentric and unpleasing. Though true to texture, his drawing is now frequently coarse and careless, his colour treacly and harsh, and his shadows are heavy and disturbed. As usual he displays powers of original and poetical thought, but does not resort to violent contrasts or forced situations. He paints as if in defiance of his opponents much broader, and attempts to hit the popular tastes by selecting subjects of the day, one picture being a war scene, and another referring to the peace.

His best and most original personation, his smallest and least cared for, is entitled “The Child of the Regiment” (553)....Very exquisite is this little gem of a thought. Would that we could say as much of that disagreeable pretentious “Peace Concluded” (200). The thought in this is commonplace ....“The Blind Girl” (586) is another study of red hair, and really rather excites our gall....We must protest, however, against sweetmeat rainbows of lollipop colours, raw green fields, and lace-up boots ostentatiously large....“The Cavalier and Puritan” (413) by Mr. Burton is the most remarkable Pre-Raphaelite picture in this year's Exhibition....This is distinctly a step forward with Pre-Raphaelitism, because it is a combination of Dutch detail and Italian breadth in a modern poetical subject of the painter's own invention, and one of universal passion and interest.— Athenæum, 1856, p. 590.

The Pre-Raphaelites deserve to be noticed by themselves. Millais contributes several works of very various merit. The best is “Autumn Leaves”—girls burning these leaves—and here may at once be seen the advance made in his style. Compare the leaves with the straw in the ark of several years ago. There every straw was painted with a minuteness which it was painful to follow. Here the leaves are given with great truth and force, but the treatment is much more general and the work more vapid. Throughout all his works the same increasing insipidity of touch may be seen; but in all of them will not be seen colour as good as in this work or expression so true. All his subjects this year are children, and he has caught their little ways and looks with wonderful ease. The “ Portrait of a Gentleman” is capital, “The Blind Girl” is painful, “The Child of the Regiment” is sweet, the “Peace” is very bad and very good. The textures here are rendered with great skill, the children, too, are very life-like—the right arm of the girl in black, the dog too is good, with one eye turning to look at the spectator, but the principal figures are very bad, and the whole meaning poor. The symbols of the lion and the bear, and so forth, are very puerile. The lady is holding on we know not how, and the gentleman is shaking her hand we know not why.— Times, May 3, 1856.

Such were the comments of our critics!
Millais’ pictures all attracted great attention, and Ruskin in his Notes praised “Peace” beyond limit.
My “Scapegoat” began its new career in a gratifying place on the line. It was whispered at the Royal Academy that there had been great opposition to this favourable treatment, but Mr. Cope, who was on the Council, generously championed the picture, and would not yield to any proposal on the part of its detractors that it should be put up high.
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This being a secret, I was never able to thank my good protector. The price of the picture was 450 guineas, with copyright reserved. From the first, as may be gathered from other stories in the Press, it won great attention; on the opening day many members of the Academy and amateurs manifested their interest in the picture, but no one offered to buy it. After a month Sir Robert Peel wrote to me saying that he would give me £250 for it, and that it should be hung in his gallery pendant to a picture by Landseer; but the reader will understand how impossible it would have been for me to go on living on such a system as that on which my acceptance of the terms must have been based.
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Accepting all that happens and all that is allowed as coming from thence, wherever it is from whence he himself came.—Marcus Aurelius.

This is the everlasting duty of all men, black or white, who are born into this world. To do competent work, to labour honestly according to the ability given them; for that and for no other purpose was each one of us sent into this world; and woe is to every man who, by friend or by foe, is prevented from fulfilling this the end of his being.—Carlyle.

  • Cock, cock, cock, cock, cock, cockchafer,
  • If you won’t come, I won’t have you.— Child's Rhyme.
Leighton, it will be remembered, had appeared—from study in various continental cities—as a comet, but at once took up his course here as a fixed star. I gathered from my friends that on his arrival in 1855 the Academicians had hailed his “Cimabue” with loud appreciation, the more, perhaps, because its continentalism separated it from Pre-Raphaelite Arts. Influenced by the glowing accounts of his last work, I looked with the greater attention at his painting of “Orpheus and Eurydice” in 1856, and I found much to admire in it as an indication of the author's power, but I was in a minority in most society circles, where it was declared to be a decline from the promise of the previous year.
On Leighton's arrival in London from Rome, Berlin, and Paris, the young architect Cockerell invited me to meet him at a bachelor dinner. I was charmed with the new painter's graceful and easy air; it was that of a happy youth who had been ever surrounded by idolising friends, a youth who had never suffered the rubs of life, and so had absolute calm confidence in himself. This spirit offended many who had approached him with the strongest disposition in his favour. Had he had nothing behind his happy self-assurance I too should have perhaps felt disenchanted enough to smile, but I had seen that which made me recognise full warrant for his handsome estimate of his powers, and this, with his acquirements and good looks, of a kind that grew ever more dignified with age, inspired me with an affection for him which I never lost, notwithstanding occasional frank differences between us. His genius, seen in his work, gave me continual delight, the freehandedness with which he was able to keep up the campaign against public prejudice, stubborn even to innovators of his suavity, made life seem the easier.
page: 87

Frederick Leighton, Aged 21, By Himself


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With fast-increasing pressure I had to take counsel with myself as to my course.
The small original sketch of “The Light of the World” was still but half advanced. I could complete it from the finished picture without cost of time spent on a fresh design, and now that the picture had won its reputation I was certain of not having to wait for a purchaser. My friends at Oxford were ever hospitable and helpful, so I went to them, and worked from the picture day by day.
While I was thus engaged in 1857 Mr. Neale, the Member of Parliament for Oxford, was unseated, and surprised us all by bringing down Thackeray as ambitious to stand in his place. They addressed a public meeting and issued the usual placards, which advertised Thackeray's Liberal principles. Mr. Combe was a determined Conservative, but his wife, while echoing his political sentiments, mollified her spouse towards the author, by her ardent appreciation of Colonel Newcome, and I dwelt upon the greatness of Thackeray's teaching and influence, which was taken approvingly; I accordingly wrote to tell him that my friends, although not of his party, were personally inclined towards him, and that it might be prudent for him to call with a view to gaining their support. The next morning the cards of the retiring and the proposed member were brought up to me in the absence of both my hosts. I reported Mr. Combe as a lover of painting and a patron of Millais, Collins, and myself, and at their request I showed them the pictures of the house. Thackeray then asked, “What are you doing here? ” I returned, “I am working at the first study of an original picture of mine.” “Where is it?” said he, and on their expressing interest, I led them to my painting-room. When in front of the easel there was silence, which awakened in me bashful regret at my invitation. “Ah me! ” he pondered aloud, “I assume that we must regard this painting to be your magnum opus. ” The words were not unkindly intended; had I been in better spirits and not afraid of want of eloquence, I might have asked him to explain his sentiments on the picture unreservedly. I winced under the suspicion that he regarded the work as prompted by narrow sectarianism or insincerity, and I shrank from the idea that he who had taught me, and delighted me so much, should think me capable of either feeling. Mr. Combe firmly refused his vote to the Liberal side, and the majority of electors being too slow to appreciate the great teacher, Mr. Cardwell was elected by their preference.
After a full month's strenuous labour my task was done. Before the end, my good mentor, Mr. Combe, in our evening walks on Port Meadow, talked much about the difficulty of my monetary position, and urged that I was wrong in not soliciting election by the Royal Academy. Three years before, as a refutation to the prevailing suspicion that our Movement was intentionally inimical to that Institution, Millais and I had put down our names. In the election of 1852 both
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of us were passed over; 1 I had not expected election, but my compeer was at first very indignant, and wrote to me at Fairlight to declare
Transcribed Footnote (page 89):

183 Gower Street.

My dear Hunt—

You will be staggered to hear that——has been elected an associate. It has determined me in taking off my name from the list and in leaving entirely the R.A. None of my friends may follow, but for ever I am against that disgraceful place. I don’t believe any of the supposed friends I had, they must have behaved dishonourably. ——was quoted to me as the only man I had to fear, he being a connection of ——; and I was told by —— that the Kensington lot intended voting for him. I think we might get up an Exhibition of our own, but more of that when we meet. This election is certainly the most insulting affair to us that has been heard of. . . . To tell you the truth I am so much disgusted with this insult that I am not in a fit state to do anything. Let me hear from you soon to say what you think of the matter. . . .

Yours affectionately,

John E. Millais.

W. H. Hunt, Esq.

Tuesday evening,1852.

My dear Hunt,—

I have just received a letter from Lister in which he says that when my name was mentioned (upon looking into their books) that I was under age, which is right enough. This accounts for my not getting in and in some way softens the matter. . . . I was going to take off my name and not going to send there. Again I was so furious, but now I must go on sending as if nothing had happened. What humbug to be so particular about age. What does Lear think of the Election?

Yours brotherly,

John E. Millais.

W. H. Hunt, Esq.

83 Gower Street,

November 7, 1852.

My dear Hunt,—

Yesterday I sat to Leslie for my portrait and had more talk with him about the election. I allowed him to commence upon the subject, which he did, after speaking about the weather and other commonplaces. He began by saying that he was not aware that the rule was so strict as to age, and went on to explain how everything happened; it appears that every Academician is given a printed list of the candidates; each makes a scratch against the man he considers most worthy. Out of the number four were chosen, ——, —— and —— and X, who got the same number of scratches as I did. —— obtained four whilst we (X and self) had five, —— seven. All this was before balloting. When it was found that I and X were equal, they were about to have a separate ballot between us two to see which should be ——'s antagonist, when Mr. Knight's secretary rose and said that I was not eligible, being under age, which he could prove by the books. My name was then put aside and —— and X were opposed to each other. As all the votes had to be withdrawn from me more might fall to ——'s share than X, when he would be put against ——. This was the case, and it concluded greatly in favour of ——. I heard of X, who very nearly got in once before, from young Stanfield, who I met at dinner Saturday, and asked Mr. Leslie if it was true; he admitted it, and I openly expressed my disgust. Mr. L. only smiled, saying he could assure me that my election was only postponed for the few months between this November and next. When he said this, I, of course, said no more about the affair, but I intend calling upon Sir Edwin Landseer, who appears to have been very indignant about my not getting in, when I will make him promise that we are no more trifled with, as it is impossible to stand it longer. I really think he is a trump, otherwise he would never have troubled himself with calling here. Perhaps you are so disgusted with the election business that you are pained with reading any more about it, if so write to that effect and I won’t bother you further.


Jack Millais.

October 25, 1853

Next Monday the election of the Associates takes place, one painter and one, engraver, —— thinks I have the best chance of getting in, but seems to think it possible that —— may manage to wedge himself in, as he has a strong lot of the Kensington friends, ——, ——, —— and others, who would vote for anybody rather than one of us. I will let you know the decision if you feel at all interested in the matter. I confess I don’t care a rushlight about it, as it will not put a penny in my pocket, and the honour is literally nothing. All this afternoon I have been designing but cannot get on in the least. I do long for you to be back, and see each other in the evenings as we used to do in other years; I am tremendously dull here, William is never at home, and I have positively no person except —— (who is frightfully chilling to associate with). I really don’t know what to do sometimes, I run off to Hanover Terrace merely because it is an object, jest with the old lady, and tumble out

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that he would never have anything more to do with the Body. I knew he was likely to go about declaring this intention, so I wrote immediately, saying that while after the “Ophelia” and the “Huguenot” it was monstrous that his claim should be overlooked, it was still desirable he should not hastily declare that so serious a resolve; he knew I would always support him in an independent course if after deliberation it seemed to him wise, but I felt strongly we ought to take full time to consider the matter before we declared any such intention. A second letter from him crossed mine on the way, saying that Mr. Leslie had called, explaining that it was the rule against admitting any candidate under twenty-four that had prevented Millais from being elected, and that he was sure to be chosen the next year, whereupon he said he was appeased. In 1853 he was made a member, and our combined School loyalty having been thus expressed, I withdrew my name as candidate.
The unjust treatment of Millais by the hanging committee in the first year after his Associateship, and the determined bitterness of the Academy against our disciples, had convinced me that the Institution, conferring as it did life-memberships, enabled those of the Body whose first reputation was never justified by later productions, to strengthen a scheming minority whose interest it was to keep the prestige of the Institution for their own advantage, and to delay for years, and sometimes for ever, the acceptance of artists of independent power, so that it became a solid hindrance to the best interests of art.
When the Academy had been first founded, although it was intended for the encouragement of native genius, the full number of sixty members could not be made up from British artists, and the list was supplemented by many foreigners. At that date, therefore, there remained no able outsiders aggrieved. The numbers of the profession since then had increased so much that the institution now contained only a section of competent English artists. In every respect a revision of the original laws was needed, especially as to lifelong membership. When a single large-minded artist was elected, his attempts at reform were resolutely ignored. It was proved that a healthy renovation, to suit altered circumstances, could not come from within, for the hinderers of progress
Transcribed Footnote (page 90):

into the freezing night miserable. Wilkie Collins has finished his book (a modern novel), for which Bentley by report has given £300, and will be brought out directly after Thackeray's work, which is daily forthcoming and in immense demand. Bigotry is certainly one of the prevailing evils, every paper you take up contains a letter from one priest to another contradicting entirely the other's word or principles; it quite disgusts me with the clergy.

Gabriel is looking about for a house at Highgate, he has seen one which he likes, I understand, very much and is likely to take it. I was at Arlington Street after Patmore's evening and sat up till three in the morning. Rossetti appeared to me to be just the same as ever, flinging his legs up on to any object within reach and humming in a moody way, he attends Wells Street I think pretty regularly.

I am now going to bed to think upon my past life and what is probably coming, building castles in the air until I fall asleep all very gloomy. Good-night, old boy; cheer up, and don’t go to Egypt.


J. Millais.

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were too numerous. Maclise and E. M. Ward had taken the first opportunity at a Council to lay down their views as to the necessary alterations to be made, but their motions had been received in blank astonishment and the question was immediately put whether there was “any further business to discuss, ” so that all would-be reformers ceased to bestir themselves. Linnell's example, with that of others, had been of good service to us, for these artists had gained public regard despite the enmity of the Institution, and had quietly gone on exhibiting at the Academy, leading courageous patrons to feel that election to the Body was not the only stamp of superiority. For these reasons I wished to remain an outsider, hoping that in some way I might thus, with the help of others, do a wholesome service to the profession. Further talk on the question with Mr. Combe proceeded thus—
“You remember how they treated  

W. Holman Hunt


Millais with his ‘Fireman’ last year; their behaviour proved how little his election was a mark of their repentance or of any change in them, beyond a conviction of the need of separating you, the active Pre-Raphaelites, from each other. I would not imply that any of the members are intentionally insincere; on the contrary, many are men of high honour, but an Institution so entirely unchecked in the exercise of power was not framed for ordinary humanity, least of all for men who find constant difficulty in obtaining support for themselves and their families by their profession. Yet it is impossible to ignore the enormous advantage of membership in a pecuniary sense to either competent or incompetent artists.”
Mr. Combe, knowing how slow the world of patrons was in getting reconciled to my new work, strongly argued with me against my resolution of holding aloof from the Academy. The matter was not settled until the eve of the last day of July, and as the morrow was the final day for applicants to the Institution to subscribe their names, my good friend pressed me not to let the opportunity pass. It was undeniable that I could not afford to court the perpetuation of my difficulties, so I undertook to go to town in the morning to enrol myself for the winter election.
There were many other affairs I had to attend to; when I arrived at the clerk's office of the Royal Academy it was nearly striking four, and the official, whom I knew to be a masterful underling, was shutting up his door, and declared that it was too late to take my name. I would not bandy arguments with him, but at once set off to Mr. Knight,
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the secretary, who was fortunately at home. I acquainted him with the clerk's refusal, and told him that the man had objected that it was too near four o’clock for further business. Mr. Knight, glancing at his watch, exclaimed: “Why, it is now only a few minutes past four, the clerk's excuse is unjustifiable,” and he at once promised that my name should be inscribed, adding pleasantly that he could say sincerely that he hoped I should be elected.
Independently of the contentment felt at having acted on the advice of a good friend with sound practical judgment, I was glad to  

G. F. Watts, R.A.


have put to the test the estimate which the Academy now set upon my claim to recognition, and I had nothing further to do in this matter but to wait for the result of the election several months later. When the Exhibition was just closing, I received a message from Mr. Windus that he would buy “The Scapegoat” for 450 guineas, if I would forego my claim to the copyright, and this I agreed to do.
I had been continually hearing from friends of Watts’ personality, but so far I had not seen him. A common acquaintance brought me a cordial invitation from him to come to his studio. It was a wonderful home in which he lived, both for its surroundings and its inmates.
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Lord Holland, after his return from Italy, set apart a room in Holland House as a studio for Watts; there and at Dorchester House, between 1847 and 1849, he painted many pictures, after which he took a studio in 30 Charles Street. At this time he made the acquaintance of the Princep family and took them to see “Little Holland House, ” under the impression that if they mutually found it suitable they would share it. The Princep family wished for a home then out of London and yet near enough to the India Office for Mr. Princep's work there. Eventually they settled their home in “Little Holland House,” where Watts soon joined them.




It had, in Addison's days, been a farmhouse, but as London had come near to it the farmer had gone further afield, and its closeness to town had made it a delectable family home. A still-remembered duel, in which one combatant had been killed, occurred in the beginning of the century in the handsomely elmed grounds. At the time of my visit to Watts he had two painting-rooms, and a third in course of building. It was indeed a delight to see a painter of the day with such dream-like opportunities and powers of exercising his genius. It was more than a happy combination, for one may safely assert that nowhere
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else in England would it have been possible to enter a house with such a singular variety of beautiful persons inhabiting it. The sisters were seen in all their dignified beauty in Watts’ fine portraits, and other beautiful sitters had been attracted to his studio, as was witnessed by their delightful portraits upon his walls.
At the date of my visit the beautiful Miss Emma Brandling, afterwards Lady Lilford, was a cherished guest. I had known her brother, Henry Brandling, as a student at the Academy, and I had heard Charley Collins speak of her with worship. The father of this lady had made a noble sacrifice of his wealth by supporting George Stephenson in the expenses of his sturdy struggle to be allowed to endow the world with his beneficent invention. The portrait by Watts of the lady at that time will prove how much admiration of her grace was justified. Watts’ likenesses were not flattered, a phrase which always means that the real  


T. Woolner]


strength and character are taken out, no peculiarity was softened down, the very fulness of personality was given; but it was the incarnation of the soul rather than the accidental aspect. The drawing of heads, such as that of Mr. Wright of Manchester, of Layard, and others, now in the National Collection, which were then on his walls, are not second to those of the greatest painters, Raphael, Titian, Tintoretto, Rembrandt, Rubens, or Vandyck, or the great English portraitist. In respect to his fulness of rendering of the human form, I was fain to regard Watts as an ideal Pre-Raphaelite.
On leaving Little Holland House I was cordially urged by Mrs. Prinsep to repeat my visit, and on doing so I became acquainted with her sisters. Mrs. Cameron was perhaps the most perseveringly demonstrative in the disposition to cultivate the society of men of letters and of art; her husband, like Mr. Prinsep, was an East India Director.
One day when Woolner and I happened to be going to dine at Combehurst on Wimbledon Common, Mrs. Cameron asked us to stay on our way at her house at Roehampton, as “the great Tennyson” was there; there could be no stronger attraction, as I had repeatedly been prevented from meeting him. Woolner's admirably executed medallion sketch had led me to expect a man of somewhat haughty bearing, but the man I met was markedly unostentatious and modest in his mien, as though from the first courting trustfulness; his head was nobly poised on his grand columnar neck, rarely held erect, but inclined towards whomever he addressed with unaffected attention; he was swarthy of complexion, his black hair hanging in curls over
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his domed head; he had a great girth of shoulder, resembling certain Syrian Arabs I have met. As I entered he turned and said, with a ring of simple cordiality, slowly, in sonorous voice, “I have been wanting to know you for some while. I am told that you never received my letter thanking you for the Latakia tobacco which you bought at Baalbec from the farmer who had grown and dried it. I felt I wanted to recognise your kindness of thinking of me and to say what good flavour the tobacco had. The letter had my name outside and should not have miscarried. I was always interested in your paintings, and lately your illustrations to my poems have strongly engaged my attention.” After some general talk he said abruptly, “Why did you make the Lady of Shalott, in the illustration, with her hair wildly tossed  



about as if by a tornado?”
Rather perplexed, I replied that I had purposed to indicate the extra natural character of the curse that had fallen upon her disobedience by reversing the ordinary peace of the room and of the lady herself; that while she recognised that the moment of the catastrophe had come, the spectator might also understand it.
“But I didn’t say that her hair was blown about like that. Then there is another question I want to ask you. Why did you make the web wind round and round her like the threads of a cocoon?”
“Now,” I exclaimed, “surely that may be justified, for you say—
  • Out flew the web and floated wide!”
Tennyson insisted, “But I did not say it floated round and round her.” My defence was, “May I not urge that I had only half a page on which to convey the impression of weird fate, whereas you use about fifteen pages to give expression to the complete idea?” But Tennyson laid it down that “an illustrator ought never to add anything to what he finds in the text.” Then leaving the question of the fated lady, he persisted, “Why did you make Cophetua leading the beggar maid up a flight of steps? I never spoke of a flight of steps.”
“But,” rejoined I, “don’t you say—
  • In robe and crown
  • The King stepped down,
  • To meet and greet her
  • On her way?
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Does not the old ballad originally giving the story say something clearly to this effect? If so, I claim double warrant for my interpretation. I think that you do not enough allow for the difference of requirements in our two arts. In mine it is needful to trace the end from the beginning in one representation, you can dispense with such imitation, in both arts it is essential that the meaning should appear clear. Am I not right?”
“It may be so, but I should maintain the illustrator should always adhere to the words of the poet!” he persisted.



“Ah, if so, I am afraid I was not a suitable designer for the book. ” This I said playfully, when he returned, “You don’t mind my having spoken my conviction so frankly?” I replied that I was only too honoured by his having treated me candidly.
Watts soon came to see my oft-retarded picture, I felt abashed at its small size, but he had that catholicity of interest for other works than his own that all true artists reveal.
When I returned to town from Oxford, I found the Brownings had come to London, and soon Gabriel and I were invited to spend the evening with them. When the appointed hour approached I had a return of Syrian ague upon me, but this was not enough to prevent me from greeting the two poets; both were extremely unaffected and genial.
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Browning was taller than he had been described to me, perhaps about five feet six, robust and hearty in his tone of interest in all questions discussed, but I felt some self-reproach in so faintly recognising in him the stamp of a man as elevated above his fellows as his noblest poems had proved him to be.
Mrs. Browning was small and very fragile; she betrayed nervous anxiety in her eager manner, so that the supersensitive tenour of her poems seemed fitly embodied in her. Her hair was brought forward and fell in ringlets on her face in a manner quite out of fashion, and thus helped to make one feel that she disregarded all changes of mode since her youth. The special interest of the evening was the production of a poem by their son, aged about six, the subject Leighton's picture  






of “Orpheus and Eurydice.” It was, even taking the child's parentage into consideration, a wonderful example of precocity.
Gabriel seemed throughout the evening over apt to break in with jocular interruption to the conversation, as though claiming proprietorship in the company present; it was easy to yield to him in this whim, since it happened that we were all his debtors for the first knowledge of the works of our new friends.
Soon after my concession to the prejudices of fortune in becoming a candidate for Royal Academy membership, my dear father, who had become enfeebled of late by the worry caused by legal but inequitable claims connected with some property he had bought, suddenly determined to go to the seaside for his belated holiday. The resolution was so immediately acted upon, that it was decided he should go alone, and that my mother should follow the next day; it happened that a thunderstorm, the which had ever had a fascination for him, was at its full force when he arrived at Folkestone; he learnt that a ship was
Sig. VOL. II. H
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in the agonies of wreck on the rocks, and deciding on a lodging only to deposit his luggage, he hastened to the cliffs, where he stood in the pelting rain for hours, entranced by the tragic spectacle; returning to shelter he felt cold, and, refusing food, went to bed. On my mother's arrival the next morning he was feverish, and the doctor's verdict was that he had contracted inflammation of the lungs; he returned to town seriously ill, and despite the constant and kind attention of Sir Richard Quain, we soon had to recognise that he was past all human aid.
While in attendance upon my father, I was gratified by a declaration from him that he was at last thoroughly satisfied that my independent course in adopting my profession was justified. “I had hoped to see you with a substantial fortune before you in the City,” he said, “but you have proved your passion for art to be so strong, that you work even against unforeseen difficulties; this shows it is your natural occupation. Your profession provides fortunes but for few. I had hoped to see some indication by now that you would be one of these, but your pictures evidently do not meet the taste that is in vogue with picture-buyers, and you spend so much thought, time, and money upon them, that what would be a good price for the works of most others is but poor payment for you.” All I could do was to assure him that I was certain of my course, and that his confidence made me accept the penalty with patience and without fear, and I thanked him for the admission, that the anxiety I had caused him had not been wantonly or idly given, and conjured him not to fret about the prospects of the family. I watched him while his life ebbed away, and he sank in peaceful spirit into his last sleep.
About the end of the season, Seddon called upon me to ask advice about a new idea of his that he should return to the East, to make use of the knowledge he had acquired there for the painting of landscape, as the most likely means of enabling him to secure reputation. I had no doubt that the plan was the best that offered for him. He left soon after, and we heard of his arrival at Alexandria and his advance to Cairo, whence he wrote to me of plans he had made, but soon news came of an attack of dysentery, then came an interval of no letters, and then news of his death. Great sympathy was expressed for the widow and child, and Rossetti proposed that each of his painter friends should take up one of the unfinished works of the deceased, and bring it to completion. Brown, with generous enthusiasm, put this proposal into execution on a very embryonic painting of Penelope, but the other pictures were left without additional work, partly, perhaps, because most of them could be finished only in the East. As I was hard pressed by my own work and had given time to complete a water-colour of his when he left Syria so suddenly in 1854, I did not take part in this work. A meeting was held, at which Lord Goderich presided, and Ruskin made an address at the Society of Arts, in which, misled as to the real workman, he said that while beforehand he had only regarded
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Seddon as a landscape painter of great promise, he now saw by the “Penelope” that he was also an excellent figure painter; this was the prelude to much generous laudation of Seddon's landscapes; it was resolved to appeal to the public for subscriptions as a testimonial to Thomas Seddon. A sum of £600 was collected, and out of this £400 was voted for the purchase of a topographical picture of Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives.
It was impossible for me to attain the object, according to my father's wish, of teaching my sister to paint in my bachelor home at  


J. E. Millais]


Pimlico. I had, therefore, to find a fresh house. J. C. Hook was giving up the class of Venetian subjects which he had hitherto executed with grace of form and sweetness of colour; he now devoted himself to landscape and seascape, and for these he proposed to live in the country. His house on Campden Hill was now to let, and I determined to take it, in pursuance of Sir William Gull's advice, after curing me of Syrian fever, that I should always live on high ground.
I finished the small replica of “The Light of the World” and sent it to an Exhibition at Boston, undertaken by Captain Ruxton—an admirer of Turner drawings, and much spoken of by Ruskin; and it was sold for three hundred guineas.
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At a dinner at Lady Goderich's, Mr. and Mrs. Carlyle were amongst the guests, accompanied by Henry Bruce, afterwards Lord Aberdare, who had undertaken to draw out the Chelsea sage. There was a large company, some of whom I did not know. Mrs. Carlyle was the lady allotted to me. She sat on my left, and Carlyle was exactly opposite. Mrs. Carlyle assailed me for my opinion anent the marriage of Millais with Mrs. Ruskin; I defended him strenuously, saying that the lady had ceased to be Mrs. Ruskin by the nullification of her marriage as declared by the Scotch Court. Millais had not run away with her, I said, but had waited to claim her in her father's house, a full year after the day she left Ruskin. “If because husband and wife are not in  



accord they should separate, many marriages would be annulled,” she remarked drily.
I had not been able to listen to the torrent of talk on the opposite side of the table, which proceeded almost exclusively from the modern seer.
When the ladies rose from table, and we were again seated, I found that the man on my right was rather short, with thick black hair growing up, in what, from French Revolutionary times, was called the Brutus fashion; he sidled up to me, and in an undertone inquired if I knew the name of “the gentleman who talked so much. ” “Yes,” I whispered, “he is Thomas Carlyle”; then after a short pause he inquired, “What does he do? ” “He is the celebrated writer.” At this my new friend muttered, “Ah, yes. He's the atheist!” “No, ” I corrected him, with voice directed low, “you are thinking of another man of the same name who has been dead some years. He was a professed atheist. Thomas Carlyle says it is better to worship Mumbo-Jumbo than no God at all.” My interrogator then asked me to tell him what works Carlyle had written. I spoke of his translations from the German, of The French Revolution, of The Life and Letters of Cromwell, of The Latter-day Pamphlets. To satisfy his curiosity still further he drew himself up to scrutinise the object of his inquiry. At the moment Henry Bruce spoke across the table to my neighbour: “Sir Colin Campbell, my friend Mr. Carlyle is at the present time engaged upon a history in which acquaintance with military life is much called for. I am quite sure that if you would be good enough to tell us some of your own adventures in the field, it would be valued by Mr. Carlyle,
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and of not less interest to the rest of us.” This appeal helped me to identify my quiet neighbour, and I looked at him with suspense; his reply was curtly conclusive: “But I’ve nothing to tell. ”
“Sir Colin,” returned Mr. Bruce, “it is reported in the history of your campaign in the Peshawur district, that when in command of 700 men you had marched through a defile and had debouched into the plain, you were suddenly informed that a force of 30,000 native troops were only a couple of hours behind you, and that they were hastening to destroy your company. You then, it is said, immediately turned your troops about and made them scale the heights and march unseen until you were in the rear of your enemy, and then to their great dismay, you appeared on the heights and surprised them by a bold descent upon their rear. The enemy, concluding  



that there must be a large army in front, were seized by sudden panic, became confused and disordered, and were then quickly defeated by your small contingent. Now, may I ask whether this account of your action is correct?”
Sir Colin Campbell had no choice but to reply in some form; while all were intent on listening he simply said: “Well, there was nothing else to do.” 1
The persevering Mr. Bruce could make nothing more out of the taciturn hero. He then appealed to Carlyle to say what he thought of Froude's defence of Henry VIII in his History of England.
“For that matter,” replied the Chelsea philosopher, “I cannot say much, for I have not yet read it, but I’ve always esteemed Henry to be a much-maligned man. When I look into that broad yeoman-built face and see those brave blue eyes of his, as they are seen in the Holbein portrait, I must conclude that an honest soul resided within his sturdy body.” Raising his voice then to a treble, he continued, “He certainly had much trouble with his wives. I won’t pretend to decide anything for or against his divorce from Katherine, or the execution of the others; whether or not they deserved it depends upon evidence that I have not seen: this is a personal matter; but the great charge against the man is, that he had seventy thousand men hung for no ostensible crime whatever, merely because they were rogues and vagabonds. Now that seems like a serious incrimination, but then we have to consider the
Transcribed Footnote (page 101):

1“28th June.—Dined at Lord Goderich's with Sir Colin Campbell. . . . He is not much of a hero. . . . In fact, heroes are very scarce. ” — Letters of Jane Welch Carlyle.

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state of the country at the time. Until thirty years before, the whole country had but a waste population ready to be engaged to cut one another's throats on one side or the other of the York and Lancaster Wars. Such a national fury it is difficult to quench. Stalwart rascals were roving about, ready to do any unholy thing, and a good ruler was bound to eradicate marauders of all kinds. Henry would not tolerate them. He ordained that any man brought up who could not prove that he gained his living by useful work should be branded with a hot iron, and for a second offence ordered straight off to the gallows.”
Carlyle's emphasis had gradually subsided, but again he raised his  




voice, saying, “If any one here would like to come to me at Chelsea to-morrow morning I would undertake to lead him to a spot, a hundred yards from my door, where we should find thirty vagabonds leaning against the rail which divides the river from the road, and although these men have never been, as far as I know, convicted of any particular crime whatever, I will not hesitate to affirm that they would be all the better for hanging, both for their own sakes and for every one concerned. Now, if you’ll consider with me that I am only pointing out the case of one particular parish in London, or a part of it, and if you will calculate the number of parishes there are in the metropolis alone, and then extend your view over the whole country, you will agree that seventy thousand men was not by any means an extravagant number
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of irredeemable ne’er-do-wells whose suppression was put down to poor Henry's evil account.” The silent guest, the slayer of hundreds in open warfare, who had interrogated me, stared with wide eyes at the  






eloquent talker as he condemned this number of hapless men to death, while in fact he would never have killed a fly. Underlying all his idea of justice was the law that if a man will not work neither shall  

William Morris



A. C. Swinburne


he live. The judgment upon the negro question in the rebellion was actuated by this feeling, and he seemed more impelled to enforce the principle, because there were many doctrinaires prating that men should be encouraged to regard labour as a degrading affliction rather
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Than an ennobling blessing. It was the more interesting to me to  



remember the above colloquy, when a few months later Sir Colin Campbell was called upon by the Government to go out and “do,” when “there was nothing else to do,” what he did in quelling the Indian Mutiny.
Every time I visited Oxford I heard more of the sensation Rossetti was making there. Ruskin was taking the responsibily of directing the architect Woodward, who, with his partner Deane, was engaged in building the new Museum, and it was still said that Rossetti would return to Oxford to paint some of the walls. But as the building was not yet ready, and the rooms of  



the Union built by the same architects were advanced to the stage at which the bare walls showed temptingly smooth and white, Rossetti had volunteered to paint upon them the story of King Arthur with no other charge but for the materials. It was in character with Rossetti's sanguine enthusiasm that he induced many undergraduates, with little or no previous training, to undertake to cover certain spaces. Hungerford Pollen, Spencer Stanhope, Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris, were persuaded to take part in the work, Stanhope alone having had any preliminary training. I saw my name inscribed on a fine blank panel, and nothing would have delighted me more than to have contributed my share to the decorations, but I had too many stonger
Transcribed Footnote (page 104):

1 It is to be regretted there is no portrait of the period.

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claims to allow me to undertake this mural work. Some of those connected with the Council of the Union, it was reported, saw little to be grateful for in the generosity of the young decorators, and expressed themselves discourteously; perhaps it was this, coming to Rossetti's ears, that disenchanted him with his design, for he left it abruptly half-finished and returned to town, refusing all allurements of Ruskin and others to carry it further. Arthur Hughes, Val Prinsep, and some years later William Rivière, assisted by his son, took part in the work. Without previous experience of wall-painting, and disregarding the character of the pigments, the work of the group was doomed to change and perish speedily, and little of it now remains visible. Rossetti had lighted upon remarkable undergraduates of artistic though undeveloped genius, to which choice band was added Swinburne.






Calling one day on Gabriel at his rooms in Blackfriars, I saw, sitting at a second easel, an ingenuous and particularly gentle young man whose modest bearing and enthusiasm at once charmed. He was introduced to me as Jones, and was called “Ned.”
Although what Rossetti had painted at Oxford had not pleased the person most immediately concerned, his reputation grew there with those reputed to be connoisseurs in taste. The fame that his poetry had won for him enlarged the faith in his art powers. His five or six years of seniority over his disciples gave him a voice of authority, and Ruskin's ever-increasing praise perhaps did more than all in spreading the idea of what his brother calls his “leadership.” Retirement, therefore, from the outward struggle was no longer a disadvantage, but a distinct gain to him, for when any uninitiated commentator on the works of Millais, which appeared year by year, expressed his opinion
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about the progress of our reform movement, he was at once told that what Millais or any other had done towards it was only a reflection of Rossetti's purpose, that Rossetti disapproved of public exhibition, and that his studio could be visited only by a favoured few.
From this time he avoided Millais, Woolner, and myself to a degree that proved to be more than unstudied. Woolner did not accept this new attitude passively. He told me that on the occasion of a walk with Gabriel in the fields at Hampstead the latter spoke of his position so much as that of originator or head of the Brotherhood that Woolner—although, in allusion to his mediævalism, he had habitually addressed him as the “Arch Pre-Raphaelite” —said, “I wasn’t going to humour  



his seriously making such a preposterous claim, so I told him that it was against all the known facts of the case. At which he became moody and displeased, and so went home alone.” This is a painful page of my record, but in friendly combinations for a particular object such revulsions from harmony, which could not have been foreseen, are in accordance with the experience of all ages.
In furnishing my new house I was determined, as far as possible, to eschew the vulgar furniture of the day. Articles for constant practical use were somewhat regulated by necessity; but in the living rooms I could exercise control. For ordinary seats Windsor chairs satisfied me, but I kept these in countenance by a handsome arm-chair of old English form, and devised an ornamental scroll and shield, with my monogram to give it individuality. A more independent effort was the designing
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of a chair, based on the character of an Egyptian stool in the British Museum, to serve as a permanent piece of beautiful furniture. All were excellently made by Messrs. Crace; to these was added the sideboard from Kensington Palace, given by my generous friend, Augustus Egg,  



in recognition of my love of pure form in furniture. In course of time I added to these an ivory cabinet and an old English one for my studio. I had here to restrain further expenditure, still, I had done as much as I could to prove my theory that the designing of furniture is the legitimate work of the artist. When I showed my small group of household joys to my P.R.B. friends the contagion spread, and Brown, who
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idolised the Egyptian chairs, set a carpenter to work to make some of similar proportions. In showing them he proposed to introduce his newly found carpenter to me as a much more economical manufacturer than my own, able to make me a sadly needed table. He offered his own excellent design for one, which, with a few substantial modifications, I gratefully accepted. After this the rage for designing furniture was taken up by others of our Circle until the fashion grew to importance.
It was now evident that progress with “ The Finding in the Temple ” was to be in slow steps, for with my increased responsibilities I had to busy myself with any small replica work that dealers were waiting to take. One welcome boon was the sale of the copyright of “Claudio and Isabella” for £200, which gave me breathing space for a short time.
The bachelor parties organised by Henry Vaux, the Assyriologist, were of value, not alone for their entertainment, but also in the opportunity they afforded to meet so many of the men who were marked out as the peaceful soldiers of the coming era, and who in one way or the other were emulous to engage in the campaign of the world to bring in fuller knowledge, wisdom, and refinement. We were all self-appointed, with little care how long deferred official recognition might be, or if it came at all; but we each had an earnest desire to be accepted by one another, and to decide who were the competitors bearing the credentials of mutual recognition. Above all selfish considerations music intoxicated us; as the celestial rhythms of Purcell, Handel, Bach, Beethoven, and Chopin floated through the room, the notes breathed inspiration to pursuers of the higher ideals.
A life school had been started at Kensington, to meet three evenings a week; the early list of members included Barlow, Augustus Egg, Frith, Leighton, Val Prinsep, John Phillip, to which the septuagenarian student, Mulready, was eventually added. Often at the beginning and end of each evening there was a good deal of “banter” between a member of the Academy who openly ridiculed the aims of our Reform and myself; one evening Frith reminded me that the Council of the Academy had met the previous night to elect the new associates, and my playful railer undertook to supply news of the result. He spoke to me across the room thus: “I was very nigh last night doing you an injustice; in the list of candidates was the name of one Hunt, and the question was started whether you were the painter named. I declared that I was sure it could not be so, as you had told me you regarded the elections as actuated by a good deal of prejudice and narrowness of spirit and that you had instanced some artists who ought to have been elected, mentioning specially Ford Madox Brown, and that when I had asked whether you intended to compete you stated distinctly that you would not stand while he was left outside; after I had said this the voting proceeded and the choice fell upon others. The ballot was announced, and when all was supposed to be settled, Mr. Knight rose saying he had just learned that the voting had taken place with
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the understanding that the name of Hunt was not that of the Pre-Raphaelite, and that this was a mistake, because you had yourself left your name with him; on this it was decided the votes should be re-taken; it was done, but as you only gained one vote the result was all the same.”
“It was four or five years ago,” I replied, “when I spoke to you of Brown's claim, he then exhibited frequently at the Academy, he had been known since 1844 as an important artist; since 1852, when his picture of ‘Christ washing Peter's Feet’ was hung up near the ceiling, he has only appeared once at the Academy with a picture called ‘Waiting,’ three pictures that he sent in 1854 were rejected, and he has determined never to send again, or to desire the honours of the Academy. I have gone on steadily sending there, so the case in relation to Brown and myself is changed; however, the decision is in accord with the present policy of the members of the Institution, who elected Millais to break up our combination. They would now keep me paying court to the Academy until I had been induced to give up all originality. I shall not stand for election any more, unless the Academy be fundamentally reformed, ceasing to be intro-elective, with membership for life. Instead of this there should be proportionate control by the general profession, and a quinquennial curtailment of membership. Only with such differences could safety be obtained from the manœuvres of those members who know that their fortunes would be doomed by the admission of artists with original ideas. I do not underrate the Academy's power against outsiders, but at this time it is not quite what it used to be. With men like Linnell, Watts, Brown, Rossetti, and Leighton outside, I hope we shall be able to stand. I am grateful to the Academy for the benefits I received from it as a student, and I have great admiration for several of your members, but their word has little weight against the intriguers within its walls, who pervert the honourable objects of the Institution. An Academy to justify its existence should lead public taste, not follow it.”
My assailant here said, smiling, that he knew many who on being disappointed had declared that they would never again be candidates, but on the next opportunity had stood for election.
The result of my experiment as a candidate only made me more resolved patiently to go my own way, and trust for some good to come in the future, far or near, from my independence. What it might be I could not tell, but I still intended to follow the example of those outsiders who still exhibited at the Academy.
Were I to be silent about my rejection by the Academy it might be thought that I was anxious to have the world forget. In publishing it I disavow all sort of resentment against the Body for their treatment of me. I had dared to think for myself and to make no promise of amendment; in punishing me they acted according to their light. Undoubtedly it made a great increase of trouble in the struggle to
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overcome the prejudice of patrons, but I had the consolation through all of feeling that the value of the recognition which my words did or might gain from the public without the Academy's cachet was more likely to last and to increase in future days than it might do, did it come with encouragement from the powers in authority. I must run the risk of egotism in saying that I thought my claim a strong one. If I am wrong, later generations will justly silence my pretensions with forgetfulness. The unerring future not seldom reverses the verdict of the once-reigning world.
My application of 1856 was made after I had exhibited annually, with two exceptions, since 1845, and in some of these years I had contributed three and four pictures, most of which had attracted as much attention as any works exhibited. I had patiently taken severe treatment so long, that the rancour the Academy had indulged in early days might well have died out. It was not the majority of its members who entertained bitter hostility; it was the crafty activity of about a dozen men, whose names would now not be recognised as those of artists at all, who directed the oppression. Privately I was on friendly terms with many members. It was then necessary for candidates to offer their names annually. I continued to exhibit at the Academy for many years pictures not already secured by dealers for special exhibition, and I did so until I found that the unwritten law was, “Love me all in all or not at all.” It is true that plants which grow afield are scourged with frost and bleak winds and do not early captivate the eye, but when acclimatised, they may blossom and bear full-flavoured fruit, while the exotic plants may be cold-stricken and die, if the temperature of the conservatory is withdrawn. Yet, as the art world was constituted, with all its prejudices, there could be no blinding one's eyes to the increased difficulties of my present position. A new associate of the Academy immediately received an accession of demand for his works, and had I been distinguished by the badge of Academy favour, I could have counted upon the prejudice against my work by rich collectors being turned into approval and patronage. My position now was like that of a man pursued by wolves, having to throw away his belongings one by one to enable him to keep ahead of destruction.
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  • One half of the world does not know how the other half lives.
  • Write me as one who loved his fellow men.
—Leigh Hunt.
Brown's suggestion, before I moved from, Pimlico, that we should found a colony of artists where all our Body should reside and have a common room and a general dining-room, never got beyond the initial stage of good intention. It was a scheme which I think only Brown entertained seriously. He was fully persuaded of its practicability and of the advantages to be gained by it, declaring that the distance from London which would be an evil to one man alone would be no disadvantage to a company of painters. Brown argued that the colony would quickly acquire such a reputation in the world that all people in society would compete to procure invitations to its dinner and fête days. I asked with levity whether the lady members might not exercise themselves in getting up quarrels. After indulging himself in a good-natured laugh, he admitted that with ordinary women such would undoubtedly be the case, but that our sisters and wives would be so truly superior in comparison with others that no such calamity need be feared; but that, on the contrary, they would set so high an example of gentleness as could not fail to spread emulation abroad. Having discouraged Brown in his Utopian plan, I felt the more obliged to agree to become a member of the Hogarth Club. We fixed upon this name to do homage to the stalwart founder of Modern English art.
Probably it was to check a tendency to disruption in our ranks that this Club was founded. The idea was to have a meeting-place for artists and amateurs in sympathy with us, and to use the walls for exhibiting our sketches and pictures to members and friendly visitors. It was further claimed by its founders that the Club would promote harmony among the younger members of the profession at large; but the most that I expected of it was that it would show the degree of combination that was possible among the non-members of the Academy, and this, when established, it did but negatively.
When the first collection was brought together, Gabriel sent two excellent examples of his last oil work. He had now completely changed his philosophy, which he showed in his art, leaving monastic sentiment tor Epicureanism, and after a pause, which was devoted to design in
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Note: The spelling of “bestirrred” in the transcription reflects the spelling with three r's in the text.
water-colour, he had again taken to oil-painting. He executed heads of women of voluptuous nature with such richness of ornamental trapping and decoration that they were a surprise, coming from the hand which had hitherto indulged itself in austerities. Mr. Combe, at my instigation, possessed himself of one of his fine water-colours, “Dante drawing the Angel.” Sir Walter Trevelyan, Ruskin, and Colonel Gillum also bought many of his early designs, and to the kindness of the latter I am indebted for permission to reproduce some examples; at the time when the Hogarth Club came to life, his whole spirit as to his early friendships was changing. The Committee applied to me to use my interest with the possessor of “The Two Gentlemen of Verona” to contribute it. To prove myself a good clubman I took pains to persuade Mr. Fairbairn to lend the picture; but on seeing it on the walls, Rossetti immediately had his works removed. The Club was conducted from the beginning in this poor spirit. Brown, on one occasion, not being satisfied with the placing of his pictures, arrived at breakfast-time, took down all his contributions, and drove off with them in a cab. In balloting for new members the decisions were directed by prejudice—not against the candidate, but his nominator and supporters. Notwithstanding this dissension, the little exhibition was a very notable one. Burne-Jones—for perhaps the first time in public—there displayed his wonderful faculty of accomplished design in drawing and colour. Leighton exhibited a pathetic and exquisite outline of a simple group composed of a deformed likeness of the Godhead mournfully looking up, as he passes by, at the statue of a beautiful Antinous, and oh, the pity of it!
He had been placed originally under the German painter, Edward von Steinle. He told me that he considered this pupilage, although a happy one under a beloved Master, had been in some respects a misfortune to his style, which limitation he had made great effort to counteract in his subsequent practice. What was the source of his later manner he did not explain. His first exhibited painting was distinctly continental, but it reflected the best type of the fashion abroad; and it would be difficult to point to his definite teacher, though, when Carbanel's works were seen, it was impossible not to feel that the same influence had affected both. The work of each may be classed as of courtly classical character. The party in the Academy which had been most hostile to our movement at first greeted his work with loud acclamation of praise, but noting that the continuance of this generosity would involve them in danger of another innovation on their humdrum domains, they bestirrred themselves to oppose him also, and when these circumventing members were in power they treated Leighton's contributions in a manner that would best prevent them from attracting attention. His pictures for a few years were unequal, and occasionally he fell below the level of his first work. Yet while feeling for new possibilities he never lost his way. His power might be compared to
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that of an elegant yacht of dainty and finished capacity for pleasure service, without pretensions to serve as a transport carrying men bent on tragic purpose, but one to sail among summer islands and bring back dainty cargoes of beautiful flowers and fruits; he deserves comparison with the accomplished of any age, perhaps even more for his sculpture than for his painting. In his early days he had the advantage, seized most wisely, of his father's support; in the final years of his life it could not but be regretted that the weight of official duties interfered with the full exercise of his genius. Loyalty to innate classicalism was his religion, and in the end of the ’fifties it was still difficult to decide how far he would develop. Once, when I went round to him at Orme Square, where he had six paintings ready for Exhibition, after I had made my sincere congratulations and was hurrying away to my own work, he caught me at the door saying, “Now I want you to return and tell me which of my set you most approve.” I pointed out three or four that were distinctly decorative as exciting my great admiration. “And have you no words to say for these others?” he asked. “Very many, of envious admiration for the charming ability with which they are done,” I replied. “Now,” he returned with unconcealed pain, “I call this mortifying. You pick out for praise those which have cost me no serious effort whatever, and those which I have really expended my deepest feelings upon, you only praise as being done with facility.” I declared with warmth that I perhaps was wrong, but that I was sure he would find many as fully appreciative of the one set of pictures as I was of the other.
Every season his treatment at the hands of the Academy became more severe, and this continued till, in 1863, when giving evidence before the Royal Commission as to the condition of the Academy, 1 I instanced the way in which his paintings in the last Exhibition were disadvantageously hung, as convincing illustration of the manner in which certain artists were pursued with injurious prejudice.
Soon after this, he began to surmount Academic displeasure, and was elected a member of the Body. But in anticipating the story of Leighton's first decade, we have gone some years beyond the last days
Transcribed Footnote (page 113):

1 W. Holman-Hunt.—Without referring at all to the case of a person with the same views of art as myself, I may mention Mr. Leighton, a man who paints in a totally different way from myself, and to whom I certainly think injustice is done in the Academy. It seems to me that frequently his pictures have been put in places where they have not attracted the attention which their merits would have attracted for them if they had been at all fairly treated.

Viscount Hardinge.—Latterly his pictures have been well hung, have they not ? (W. H. H.) I remember two years ago, if not last year, his pictures were certainly put in places which prevented the public who had not come to look for them from seeing them; I think that that was unjust, and in talking to some Academicians about it, I found that they had what was really a conscientious prejudice against his work; and I think that if Mr. Leighton goes on exhibiting for three or four years they will find that, although he paints in a different way from them, he is a man of the utmost importance, and they will be glad to have him as a member; but it would be no advantage to him then to be made a member, he would already have established himself in the minds of the public. I have noticed many examples of the same kind. I only mention Mr. Leighton lest it should seem I were making a vague remark.

Blue Book, 1863.
Sig. VOL. II. I
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of the Hogarth Club, at which period, meeting me one day, Leighton spoke excitedly, saying that on finding out, as he did at some meeting at which I was absent, that the real object of the Club was to attack and upset the Academy, he had at once sent in his resignation. He concluded by saying: “I would not believe this was your intention until one of the members asserted it in so many words. I will have nothing to do with any such programme, and utterly disapprove of it.”
I told him that he never heard me say anything of the sort. I wanted no one to shape his course by mine, that I would go the way that seemed to me right and proper for myself, innocent of plots. “As to the Club,” I said, “my connection with it is eminently passive.”
When the Hogarth broke up, Brown came and rated me severely for being the cause of its ruin. “In what way?” I asked. “I’ve tried to avoid all the quarrels; and in fact the little I did in exhibiting and attending was really only in compliance with your expressed desire.”
“That is exactly what I complain of. You made it too evident you had no interest in the Club,” he said.
The next Academy season came round, and I had no contribution ready; so precious life sped, making my dream of returning to the East an ever-increasing mockery to me.
Mr. and Mrs. Combe now agreed that I had been right in my judgment of the course that I should take towards the Academy, and they then told me what had induced them the more to wish me to court the protection of the powerful Institution. Mrs. Combe in the previous year had been in London on the artists’ show day, and Mrs. Collins, the widow of the Academician, undertook to take her to the leading studios: as they entered the room of one of the favourite members, crowded with amateurs and picture buyers, the artist received the lady he knew with: “Ah, Mrs. Collins, now you are the very person to tell us whether it is true that Holman-Hunt has found some fool to give him four hundred guineas for that absurd picture which he calls ‘The Light of the World’?”
“It is quite true,” was the reply of the lady, who had a spirit of humour now not unmixed with asperity. “And you will perhaps permit me to introduce you to the wife of ‘the fool’ who will confirm the statement.”
As a further illustration of the spirit of the art-world that day, the following story will serve—
A picture dealer with a large business was entertaining a bachelor party, and a posse of painters in one corner were inveighing against the errors of Pre-Raphaelitism, when one of the company, the more remarkable that he was a member of the Academy, took up our cause, and declared that he approved our greater exactness in the rendering of Nature, and that so far was he converted by our example that he intended in the picture that now occupied him to paint the vegetation
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out of doors direct from Nature. The room was evidently an effective whispering gallery, it carried the words to the opposite side, and almost as quickly the host strode across, saying, “Well, Mr. P——, you were painting your present picture for me; after what I’ve heard I decline it.”
Nevertheless, established artists who had been adverse were converted to the principles which we had advocated and practised; more than one of the best men had painted with truth from Nature, with acknowledgments to us, and there were but few members who had not attempted to mend their ways in respect to thoroughness, and franker attention to the great Masters.
Too often I had to be reconciled to the sight of my “Temple ” picture turned to the wall while I was giving my time to work which  



would pay next quarter's bills, for when the fact of my non-election was bruited abroad, the verdict of adverse critics became more unqualified. I had no choice, therefore, but to persevere with replicas and with illustrations for poorly paid periodicals and books.
It will be seen that the election of Millais had not brought him a full measure of justice, but it had the advantage of persuading picture-buyers to believe that the judgment which had condemned him at first was now appeased by some imaginary submission to the arch authority of the recognised institution on matters of art, and the early hesitation in purchasing his original works was greatly put aside. I had still to suffer the disadvantage of my more than two years’ absence from England, and change of subject still hampered me.
When Henry Vaux’ evening gatherings came to an end, Arthur
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Lewis started more sumptuous smoking parties at his chambers in Jermyn Street. He was a widely accomplished man and an ardent lover of music. In his boyhood he had desired to be a painter, but his father urged upon him the lucrative nature of the business he would be rejecting, and this decided him to forego his artistic enthusiasm; but he indulged his taste as an amateur, and in time produced excellent etchings and studies from Nature. He sat the saddle like a master, and his accomplished driving of his four-in-hand made passers-by pause and turn.
In 1860 Lewis took possession of Moray Lodge on Campden Hill, a house with spacious gardens and lawn in the lane leading to Holland Park; on the left-hand side of this lane stood the house which had  



belonged to the Marquis of Bute, and which was now tenanted by the amateur painter, Sir John Leslie, and Lady Constance his wife. The second house belonged to Lord Airlie, the third to Lord Macaulay, and the last was that of the Duke of Argyll. The gates leading to these gardened abodes were lighted by tall lamps which at night spread a stately but sombre gleam over the road. The lane narrowed, and was barred to all but pedestrians beyond this point. In summer, garden parties were given, and on “Moray Minstrel” nights, it was a merry crew that greeted one another as they drove up to the Lewis domain. The host always welcomed his guests with cheery greetings, but, however late his hospitality kept him at night, he was always seen arriving by 8.30 at his place of business. The good character of his taste at Moray Lodge was seen in a fine bronze group of “The Wrestling Duellists,” by a Swedish sculptor, which Lewis had selected from a great Exhibition, also by paintings, among which were Arthur Hughes’ “April Love,” the first picture seen in England by Joseph Israel of
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“A Drowned Fisherman carried over the Beach by his Companions,” and a small picture by Millais of a Highlander reading in the trenches his letter from home.
One signal, even national, service which Lewis rendered, was the counsel he gave to the widowed mother of Frederic Walker who appealed to him to exercise his influence to introduce her son to some business  


W. H. H.]


career, the more desired because of his love of drawing, and the consequent danger that he might become an artist. Lewis, on seeing the designs of the boy, told Mrs. Walker that it would be unjustifiable to prevent her son from following his bent. This was the beginning of the artistic career of Fred Walker, one of the most poetic painters of the nineteenth century.
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Canon Harford told me that he once found F. Walker waiting with two finished pictures for an expected dealer, and he lamented how  



inadequate the sum he had resolved to ask would be to pay for pressing household needs. The Canon then took upon himself the responsibility  



of demanding more, but the dealer proved obdurate and refused to buy, which caused the artist to be overwhelmed with despair. The Canon, however, soon found another dealer who gladly took the pictures at higher prices, and gave fresh commissions to the painter.
Walker was a small and fragile man, not more than five feet four, and truly delicate in the double sense of the word. His face was beautifully modelled, of a classical build, not apparent to the casual observer, owing to an occasional marring of his complexion, resulting probably from incessant smoking and late hours. Observing the feebleness of his frame, one was naturally tempted to remonstrate with him about the overtaxing of his delicate constitution. Once or twice when I met him in the street in the small hours of darkness, he seemed to suspect possible admonitions, and hurried by as though to evade them. He was constant as a guest at Lewis’ parties,
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and was ever conspicuous in a knot composed of Calderon, Storey, Wallis, Du Maurier, and Stacey Marks; the two latter often delivered humorous recitals. Burne-Jones, who was then steadily growing in  



reputation at the old Water Colour Society, was an occasional visitor; and, later, the youthful W. B. Richmond.
It was a strange mixture of company and the entertainments became  



famous, for men of all classes were pleased to go into Bohemia for the night. There might be seen Thackeray, Anthony Trollope, Lord Houghton, Edmund Yates, Millais, Leighton, Arthur Sullivan, Canon Harford, John Leech, Dicky Doyle, Tom Taylor, Jopling, the first winner of the Wimbledon prize, the Severns, Mike Halliday, Sandys, Val Prinsep, Poole 1 the tailor—who helped to found the renewed French Empire by lending £10,000 to Louis Napoleon—and Tattersall the horse-dealer.
On Sunday afternoons I not infrequently went to Sydenham to visit my friends, Mr. and Mrs. George Grove and Mr. and Mrs. Henry Phillips, and we would pass the afternoon lounging in the courts and grounds of the Crystal Palace, with which Fergusson and Grove had been connected from the beginning, and had helped to make it the wonder it was when newly established. At my hosts’ table many
Transcribed Footnote (page 119):

1 See Appendix.

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friends met who adjourned by a ten o’clock train to the Cosmopolitan Club, where free and friendly converse often continued till morning's small hours.
Although I refused myself autumn holidays or visit to the country not necessary for painting accessories in small pictures, “The Finding in the Temple ” remained sometimes for months without a single day's work added to it. Season after season thus went by, while my companions were steadily adding to their fame. Millais appeared in town with three pictures, the most important of which was “The Knight crossing the Ford”; this was notable for poetic conception and realisation direct from Nature herself. That portion of the world of men who never recognise poetry unless it presents itself with a strong likeness to something already sanctified by usage were slow to see in this picture how sterling a poet the painter was. I was sure, however, that one oversight in the work would be a stumbling-block to undiscriminating appreciation. When first I saw the picture at the studio it struck me that the horse was glaringly too large; the room was full of visitors and I did not argue then, but in the evening I would not give up my candour, and I assured Millais that the exquisite beauty and the idea of the painting would be seriously marred to the impatient world if the work were exhibited without correction. He fought every inch of the ground, not liking that the exhibition of the work should be postponed for the proposed alteration, and the success promised for the picture delayed till next year, but eventually relented so far that he promised to go down and see the Guards exercising the next morning, thus to check the relative size of horse and rider, and if he found the proportion so much out as I said, he would keep the picture back. The next evening I inquired what he had decided. “Oh,” said he, “as to those Guards, I never saw anything so ridiculous in my life, and with a Society pretending to exist for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals! Every soldier ought to be prosecuted, for all had their feet nearly reaching the ground like dandy-horse riders; they ought to be compelled to get off and walk, and not torment the poor little creatures they bestride. No—I will tell you I have been talking to Tom Taylor about it, and he has written a verse in imitation of an old ballad. The size of the horse will now be a merit.”
With this resolution the picture was exhibited with the following verse—
  • The goode hors that the knyghte bestrode,
  • I trow his backe it was full brode,
  • And wighte and warie still he yode,
  • Noght reckinge of rivere:
  • He was so mickle and so stronge,
  • And thereto so wonderlich longe
  • In londe was none his peer,
  • N’as hors but by him seemed smalle,
  • The knyghte him cleped Launcival;
  • 10 But lords at horde and groomes in stalle
  • Cleped him Graund Destrere.
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On its appearance a storm of ridicule arose, and Ruskin in his Academy Notes was unboundedly denunciatory. There were but few independent enough to disregard the voice of the majority, and one who did so was Charles Reade the novelist, who bought the picture at the end of the Exhibition for £400, the painter for his own satisfaction erasing the horse and painting it again of smaller proportions. Late in that season a caricature of the picture appeared in print-sellers’ windows with some verses underneath, indicating that the ass which took the place of the horse in the picture was Ruskin bearing on his back Millais as the knight, with Rossetti and myself as the two children being carried over the stream. I saw a crowd in Fleet Street trying to settle that Sir Robert Peel was the knight, the child in front Disraeli, and the hindermost Lord John Russell; but as the street spectators had not seen the original picture, they could not discern the satire. This drawing was done by Frederick Sandys on a new system of etching which soon entailed the destruction of the plate, so that the impressions are now, I believe, rare. Another print, satirical of our School, had appeared some time before, in which the wicked artists were represented as porcelain poodles, but the point was so difficult to make out, that the public gave it up, and so did the print-sellers; still these pasquinades all tended to keep up the rancour against us.
Ford Madox Brown, acute with certain angularities, as has been already seen, was esteemed most by those who knew him best. He had often had differences with others, which sometimes ended in quarrels, but he was one of those dear and highly endowed fellows from whom, early in intimacy, it was easy to determine never to take offence, though I could not shut my eyes to his curious crochets. About this date Mr. and Mrs. Combe, with whom I had spoken warmly of him as one they ought to know, and who, I felt sure, were disposed to appreciate him, came to town quite suddenly, as was their wont, and asked me to go out with them for the day. I took them to his house, and was sorry to find he was not at home. As I was speaking with the servant, his daughter Lucy came to us, and on introducing my friends, I said I was hoping they might see her father's works.
At which Miss Madox Brown assured me we might all venture upstairs, and that she would show the paintings. The principal picture was “Work.” They greatly admired its execution, but it was not, I knew, of a kind they would wish to possess. The other paintings helped to increase their interest in the painter; shortly after this I received the following letter from Brown—

As I have never derived anything but disgust (except in the case of personal friends) from artistic meetings, I mean to keep at home and never talk of art or show my pictures except to those who I know come to buy. I am obliged to tell you this, because I have now made a strict rule in the house, that no one is ever allowed in my studio while I am out—which were it not explained to you as part of a general plan, might on some future occasion take you by surprise or appear unfriendly.
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The soreness that he thus revealed was a great bar to the possibility of making friends of service to him. We have already seen his great generosity in the recognition of fellow-artists. It was under stress of continued rebuff that he allowed himself to express mistrust and suspicion at acts which could only have been directed by admiration on the part of his friends. I had proposed that he should allow me to offer him as a candidate for the Cosmopolitan Club, but this also failed. The gentlest and kindest of men can be soured by continued ill-treatment, neglect, and misunderstanding. One evening I met him at Patmore's, and in walking home from Finchley, I made inquiries about the progress of his protracted picture “Work.”
He said that he had conceived the idea of representing F. D. Maurice and Carlyle as intellectual workers contemplating their brothers labouring physically, but that he found difficulty in obtaining Carlyle as a sitter. Whereupon I said that perhaps I might help him, because Carlyle had promised that he would allow me the opportunity to paint his portrait, and the sittings were to be given when first I was free, and that under this obliging bond I might ask the Philosopher to sit to Brown in the interim. A few days afterwards I received the following letter—
My Dear Hunt,

The evening at Patmore's when you mentioned the fact of your having obtained a promise from Carlyle not to sit for his portrait to any one else than you, and at the same time offered to speak to him on my behalf, I was taken so completely by surprise that I made an immediate resolve not to say a word on the subject till I had time to revolve the matter in my mind and make sure of the circumstances. I must now beg as a favour that you will not mention my name on the subject to him. I should have doubts of the success of your mediation; and indeed, from the step you have taken, you must be aware that the chances of my ever getting him to sit for the portrait of him in my large picture are now smaller than ever (if only from the mere disgust of being so frequently requested as a subject for an art he despises), and such as they can only be bettered by their being worked against yours and not possibly in unison with. Remains, of course, to you the right of pushing your interests in the matter how and when you like. However, I must pay you the compliment to tell you frankly (and only in the case of such an old friend as you could I take direct notice of such a thing), that your practice has been a leetle too sharp in this case considering the stake I had in the matter.

Believe me ever, yours most sincerely,

Ford Madox Brown.
The building of the Oxford Museum was progressing without gaining much admiration from any one. Ruskin had already in his writings upon architecture pointed out in unanswerable manner that the old carvings in porches, on cathedral columns, and choir stalls had been executed by the Gothic ornamentalists from their own invention, uncontrolled by the architect. It was determined, in pursuance of this idea, to employ stone-masons to work independently on the Museum.
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Alas! it has not been well considered that the ancient carvers were, in taste and training, contemporaneous with the builders. In the nineteenth-century Museum at Oxford the architect had endeavoured to make himself a fourteenth-century man; the carver chosen was an amusing Irishman named O'Shea, an unmitigated nineteenth-century stone-chiseller of great clevernesss, who had previously perhaps only carved tombstones to suit village taste, and cornucopias of flowers for summer-houses. O'Shea became the admired of the enthusiasts who  

John Ruskin and Dr. Acland


watched the decorating of the spaces destined to be enriched, yet a few unconverted ones would not be charmed with the work in any degree.
When I next went to Oxford it was to get brief repose by painting landscape from the Godstow meadows. I had but few collegiate friends remaining, as most of them were promoted and continually moving on, but I generally visited my valued friend Dr. Acland, and with him I went to the new buildings, which I watched with the greater interest as Woolner had accepted a commission to carve a figure of Lord Bacon there; Tupper also had in hand one of Linnæus; and Munro had a
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third—all possibly working in hope of future patronage, for the pay was less than meagre. Mr. Woodward, the architect, could not be very energetic in his supervision owing to weakness from an advanced stage of consumption. While Ruskin was absent Dr. Acland was left to supervise the decorative work. One morning O'Shea was busily engrossed chipping to his heart's content at an ambitiously composed but not very well prepared design, when the President of Trinity—one of the unconverted trustees of the building, which in his eyes every day displayed some new eccentricity—paused as he passed below. “What are you doing there now?” he demanded in a loud, querulous voice. “Eh, your honour? in faith it's some cats.” “How dare you destroy the University property in such shameful manner! Come down this instant. I will have no cats there; you shall not do another stroke to them. Come down, sir.” Such a tone disconcerted the much-appreciated mason; but now there was no question of remonstrances or justification, and soon he was on the ground, incredulously contemplating his despised chef-d’oeuvre. In his chagrin he bethought him of Dr. Acland, his possible defender, and hurried to the house in the Corn Market, where he explained his grievance. The young doctor was thoroughly perplexed; this he avowed after careful consideration, and dropped into a brown study. O'Shea, driven back on his own resources, suddenly had a brilliant inspiration; he jumped up, exclaiming as he rushed out, “I’ve got it, your honour.” In the evening the President of Trinity was again walking round the building for further supervision, and to his astonishment found O'shea at the same frieze hammering away as determinedly as before. The President was out of all patience: “You impudent fellow there, did not I tell you this morning that I would not permit you to disgrace the University Museum with your detestable cats?” “Yer did, yer honour, but, an’ if you plase, they are not cats any longer, they’re monkeys.” And so as monkeys they remain to this day.
My good friend Mr. Thomas Fairbairn was one of the Council of the Manchester Loan Exhibition, and a guarantor. The collection was partly hung by my true defender, Augustus L. Egg, who had placed all my pictures well. Mr. Fairbairn had taken great interest in my Eastern work as well as in my earlier pictures, and invited me to stay with him and to visit the collection. I walked with him into Manchester every morning, and we talked frequently about art and artists. Before starting one day he showed me some marble busts of members of his family, and inquired whether they were not very good. I admitted their claim to ordinary recognition, but I said: “You are now in a position to take a leading course in art matters, and you ought not to be satisfied with any but the best works of art.” I then referred to the bust of Tennyson just completed by Woolner, and dwelt upon its great superiority. I added that my friend was slowly but surely winning just appreciation, and that he was one of our seven P.R.B. and had
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had the hardest fate from the beginning, and I urged him to let me take him to see Woolner's studio when next in London. Fairbairn was interested, and revived the subject frequently. On an early evening after this talk, when we had retired to the smoking-room, my host began thus: “I have thought over the case of your friend the sculptor, and have spoken of it to Mrs. Fairbairn, and she is much interested. You know we have two children who are deaf and dumb; it was a great affliction to us at first, but as they grew up, and the singular difference of themselves from the rest of the world struck them, a confiding affection for one another showed itself in the children, which brought us great consolation, and my wife and I often confessed that we should like to have some memento of the sweet sympathy in their isolation. We have now agreed that we will have a marble group done of them by your friend, and when you go home you may prepare him for our visit to give him the commission.”
I could only say that this would be a splendid opportunity for Woolner to prove his powers, and that I hoped he would make a great success.
I had already suggested to Woolner that the weakness of his claim for just recognition consisted in his having nothing of an imaginative kind to show on full scale, and I had urged him to undertake some simple group that would prove he had the power to express beauty in dramatic interest, but he had pointed out that he had no patron. When I urged that I made pictures and trusted to find the patron afterwards, he would not allow that he could do the same, pointing out that between Painting and Sculpture there was a difference because no one took notice of a mere plaster cast of a design, and he could not afford to risk the cost of marble and assistants’ work.
So important a commission from Mr. Fairbairn was more than I had expected to obtain for Woolner, but my friends—when the large group was advanced—exceeded their original proposal by commissioning the sculptor also to make busts and medallions of Rajah Brooke, of Sir William Fairbairn, the great engineer, and other important friends.
Woolner was yet in some respects a mystery to me. I had been championing him in many quarters, and had often cited him as an example of the injustice done to English sculpture, by the rage, then as ever rampant among the dilettanti, for adoring foreign sculptors. Marochetti really had the support of all the aristocracy for public commissions, and once I heard in a club a talker of great influence declare, that since our climate or our nature made it hopeless to produce a native genius, we should aim at gaining honour—as our predecessors had done in the cases of Torrigiano and the painters Holbein, Antonio More, Rubens, Vandyck, and others—by giving our fullest appreciation and support to so great a sculptor as the Italian who had come to live amongst us. I argued that it was by such prejudice that our countrymen were prevented from proving their power in sculpture, giving
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temporary ground for saying that the country which had produced Flaxman was incapable of genius. Such folly clearly existed in Canova's time, but it was not shared by him, since he expressed surprise that in all the London circles to which he was invited the great English designer—renowned all over the Continent for his excellence—was never met. Marochetti had executed effective statues abroad, and had done some striking works in England, where perhaps a certain strain of theatricality did not lower the estimate formed of him. Assuming for the nonce that the unqualified admiration which the English extended to him was justified, it cannot be denied that had the baron commenced his career in a country where all the commissions for statuary were given to foreigners, he would have had no opportunity of attaining the position he had now won.
I often instanced Woolner's bust of Tennyson as distinctly better than any male head Marochetti had ever done, and no one ventured to dispute the point; but when they asked me what Woolner could show, or what designs could be seen of a poetic kind, I had to confess that my friend had never had an opportunity of realising female grace and beauty.
Woolner, when introduced to Mr. and Mrs. Fairbairn, had perfectly charmed them by his enthusiastic responsiveness. He went down to Manchester shortly after to make sketches for the group.
The works of our School were received so favourably by the Manchester public that I assumed their potentates had become converted to our views. Once when talking to my host about modern art I did not hesitate to refer to our School as Pre-Raphaelite in contradistinction to others. He stopped the conversation and with a serious countenance said: “Let me advise you, when talking to Manchester people about the works of your School, not to use that term; they are disposed to admire individual examples, but the term has through the Press become one of such confirmed ridicule that they cannot accept it calmly!” As the thinking circles in London had so generally ceased to adopt this tone, it was enightening to me to find that the rancour still lingered in the North. F. Madox Brown's picture “Christ washing Peter's Feet” was among the works exhibited, being well seen, although above the line. The body of the Saviour, originally nude, was at this time clothed. I wrote to him saying that I thought if he came to Manchester he might make valuable friends; but on his appearance I was sorry that I had pressed him to come, because it so distressed him to find his picture not on the line, which it certainly ought to have been.
It would be too confusing to trace in successive steps the details of Rossetti's actions when he had diverged from the combination with the original P.R.B., I therefore continue his story when he had exchanged us for new and younger friends, which anticipates a period of some years. After the publication in the Oxford and Cambridge Magazine
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of Gabriel's superb poem, “ The Burden of Nineveh ,” Ruskin's appreciation of his powers was justly widened, so that instead of claiming for him a sort of equality with Millais and me, as he did in the beginning of his acquaintance with Gabriel, he henceforth spoke of Millais and myself as secondary in comparison with his newer protégé. Millais and I had no leisure to read every pronouncement on our works that was published, we therefore did not heed the terms in which Ruskin compared the different members of our School. It is needful to point this out, or it might be asked why we did not at the time challenge the statement of Rossetti's leadership. For my part, not then contemplating the duty of historian to the Brotherhood, I did not feel called upon to heed Ruskin's verdict. Indeed, I should not now argue the point, for it is a matter of small importance which of the three of us was the originator of our Movement, provided that the desired object was attained. But what makes the question vital is, whether Rossetti's inspiration of ideals and manner of work did represent the original distinct, unwavering, objects of pure Pre-Raphaelitism from its beginning. In this saying I do not in the slightest degree disparage the genius that Rossetti showed both in his painting and in his poetry.
Each laudation by Ruskin of Rossetti was soon bruited abroad by his disciples. I had remonstrated unreservedly with Ruskin over his criticism of Millais’ “Sir Isumbras,” and to argue with him about any special criticism was within my right, but it was not in my province to take up the general question of his judgment of our relative merits; he, as any other arbiter, could formulate his independent opinion and publish the same; critical opinion, as such, I knew would eventually find its proper level. Rossetti was in this period making some admirable designs, his Llandaff Cathedral altar-piece was executed at the turning-point from his first severity of style to a more sensuous manner.
It was at this time that Carlyle asked Woolner what was the truth about Ruskin's statement to him that Rossetti was the greatest genius of the age, and Woolner expressed his bewilderment. Rossetti's undergraduate followers, not having known of the stages of his development as a painter, were easily disposed to ignore any facts which militated against the claims to his leadership among the P.R.B.
The spirit of discord was now no longer disguised, and there was no conclave existing to direct the true interests of our reform Movement. We had hoped to hand on to later generations the heritage of our own experience; this dream of corporate heredity could no longer be realised, but there were traditions already secured. In our first start it cannot be said that Gabriel's proselytising instinct had resulted altogether happily, but in these days of disintegration, the men upon whom his choice fell were of artistic nature; through the University prejudice of the day, their tendency was for revived Gothic, which Rosetti's Mediævalism accepted with more welcome than Millais and I would have approved. Constrained as we had been and still were, we had,
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however, not left our effort to re-establish art craftsmanship without proof and sufficient foundations for further extension.
During my struggle over ways and means, which I fear to dwell upon unduly, my visits to the Cosmopolitan Club and a circle of literary and artistic friends were a refreshing distraction to me.
Kensington often then rejoiced in a throng on their way to Little Holland House, who were happy in the certainty of there meeting the most interesting leaders of English society. The days of the old India Company were not yet numbered, and naturally the house represented all matters of East Indian concern to an unrivalled degree. The national interests in India alone would have impelled senators of all grades to throng a home where the last questions of Indian affairs were discussed, but Watts’ numerous friends added to the charm of the company. Aristocrats there were of ministerial dignity, and generals fresh from flood and field, appearing in unpretending habit, talking with the modesty of real genius, adding an interest to life such as nothing else could give. Mrs. Prinsep was cordiality itself, and surrounded by her sisters, could not but make an Englishman feel proud of the beauty of the Race. In the season the company was received out of doors, where the tea was served under shady elms, bowls and croquet were played on the lawn at hand, and on summer evenings the dinner tables were brought out for the welcome guests who lingered late.
To enter into the spirit of the times it is necessary to realise what had most recently startled the world of letters. Thackeray's Lectures on the Four Georges had been greatly admired on one side, while on the other the book was a grave cause of offence. The wife of General Fox, a handsome and natural daughter of William IV, surprisingly sweet-tempered, explained her views to be those of most courtly people, that such sarcastic strictures upon the “Georges” should never have been delivered while many of their children still lived. It was a pleasure to survey the handsome and very amiable features of this lady. Charley Collins said that to talk with her was like conversing with an old-fashioned half-crown.
One Sunday afternoon, coming along the path from the gate to Little Holland House, Thackeray met his old Carthusian schoolfellow Lord Wensleydale. Thackeray saluted him, and Lord W. studiously turned up his head and affected indignation towards the unsycophantic author. Thackeray stopped, and before his quondam friend had got out of hearing, affecting serious concern, but yet in tones of playground raillery said, “Dear, dear me, I’m afraid I’ve greatly offended my Lord Tuesdaydale!”
Children romped over the lawn, diverted from their play for the moment when a certain peer came in followed by a string of twelve French poodles, his own hair curled to match their fantastic coiffure. With such unparalleled success as these representative parties had, it
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was inevitable that the jealous should have their fling at them. One comment was that “Mrs. P.'s tea-gardens were very popular.” Indoors, Joachim and Hallé played, while Piatti and Garcia took their parts, and men were enraptured with Watts’ work. Old Thoby Prinsep's hearty laugh filled up the intervals, and was equal to any music. The son, Arthur, was going out to join his regiment in India. Anxious talk there was soon after of mysterious discontent amongst the sepoys; this continued for a month or two, when suddenly news came of the outbreak of the Mutiny. A cloud of fear spread over the house, but Mrs. Prinsep, the mother, still clung to the hope that her son's regiment would be loyal. But word arrived that its sepoys also had killed nearly all their officers on the parade-ground; and this was followed by news that Arthur had galloped off, followed by numerous shots, and losing his shako, had to ride for three days through the burning sun, being refused succour and even a covering for his head by the villagers he passed on his way. These tidings came from a friend who was then on the station nursing him for sunstroke, from which his glory of hair had not saved him. Every one grieved for the family, and Thackeray wrote some touching verses, which he presented to the mother with his own hand. 1 The music was listened to in silence,
Transcribed Footnote (page 129):


Times, February 11, 1858.

  • Historians have told
  • How the Spartarn boys, of old,
  • Were trained to hard endurance and the banishing of fear;
  • And how Spartan mothers gave
  • The broad shield of the brave,
  • Saying, “Let it guard thy breast or be thy bier!”
  • But to win the warrior's meed,
  • Our English boys have need
  • Of no precursive trial to lift their courage high;
  • 10The red blood in their veins
  • Each daring spirit trains,
  • And the motto of their race is, “Do or die!”
  • It seems but yesterday
  • A fragile darling lay,
  • His cheek rose-flushed with fever, and breathing with a moan;
  • While the father bent above,
  • With a look of pitying love,
  • And the tiny hand clasped close within his own.
  • A fragile child no more
  • 20On far India's troubled shore,—
  • ’Gainst wild revolt and massacre our English Arthur strives.
  • “Charge!” is the given word
  • And he fearless draws his sword,
  • While around him falls a hecatomb of lives.
  • Now, God be with the right!
  • Teach the slender hands to smite,
  • As when Israel's champion shepherd foiled the huge Goliath's thrust;
  • Where our young sons make their stand—
  • The Davids of our land—
  • 30Let the Giants of Revolt bite the dust.
  • Upon that dreary field
  • Where they fight who will not yield,

Sig. VOL. I. K
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and many a father could be seen resting his head upon his hand, the tears defying concealment as they trickled down his fingers. The veteran  



Henry Taylor, dramatic poet and Government official, was a constant presence in the throng, and shared in sympathy in both personal and national tribulation: he was of statuesque aspect and of demeanour somewhat dramatic. The hearty Tom Hughes, fresh in his Tom Brown laurels, and his happy wife shed a cordial spirit about them as they hailed both old and young.
Canvassed as Thackeray was in general society at that time, in his own home he was a figure of loving interest. Once when I had been dining
Transcribed Footnote (page 130):

  • And where the only conquered are those the foe hath slain,
  • Protect them, holy Heaven!
  • By the bitter war-cry given
  • Of our women and our children in their pain!
  • Arthur! thou bear'st the name
  • Of that warrior dear to Fame
  • Who, after all his battles, so calmly sank to sleep,—
  • 40With the dint of faded scars
  • From the old triumphant wars,—
  • In the hush of love and Walmer's castled keep
  • A nation mourned that day!
  • I saw the proud array,—
  • I saw the sable catafalque that darkly moved along,—
  • And the battle charger go,
  • With is drooping crest bent low,
  • Riderless amid the funeral throng!
  • I heard the muffled drum;
  • 50I saw the millions come;
  • Nor were there wanting earnest tears for true remembrance shed;
  • With a pang of solemn grief
  • The People mourned their Chief,
  • For Arthur, Duke of Wellington, was dead!
  • Arthur, may'st thou, like him,
  • Live till faded eyes are dim,
  • That with youth's impetuous sparkle watch the battle chances now,
  • And thy first wound only be
  • The first leaf from that tree
  • 60Whose fabled laurel binds the victors brow.
  • May thy name—which now is known
  • To loving friends alone—
  • Be one thy country yet shall link with many a famous fight;
  • And old men give this praise—
  • “ His first wound was in those days
  • When rebel India crouched to Briton's might!”
Thomas Newcome.

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with him, recognising a marble bust of him as a boy, I remembered the reported remark of the housekeeper at Charterhouse—after his pugilistic encounter with Venables. “You have destroyed the good looks of the handsomest boy in the school,” she said to his antagonist on seeing the bruise which Thackeray's face had received. The bust was well modelled and carved, and admirable for its open expression. It registered the form of the nose, the sinking of the bridge which distinguished his handsome, dignified face. When I had silently decided this, Thackeray noticed me and exclaimed: “I know what you are wondering at; you want to know whether the bust was done ‘before or after’! Well, it was done before.” This being so, one could see that his antagonist was properly exonerated from the heavy charge made against him at the time.
Once when Tennyson came up in unceremonious guise for a short engagement in town, and was staying with blue-eyed Venables at his chambers in the Temple, suddenly he was invaded by the not-to-be-refused Mrs. Prinsep, who declared that her brougham was waiting at the gate in Fleet Street to take him back to Kensington. Excuses of want of evening dress were all in vain. He was told that he should have a smoking-room to himself and that he should be invited to see no guests but those of his own asking, so he had to capitulate and be driven westward. At once I was summoned to join him.
His unflinching frankness of nature was the more impressive the more one met him. After some talk he unwarily descended into the garden. There the numerous company proved it to be a gala day, and Tennyson thoughtlessly approached the hostess, who was welcoming a quick succession of guests. Soon he was engulfed in the stream, and Mrs. Prinsep took occasion to present a gentleman as the “Editor of the Midnight Beacon.” Tennyson silently blinked at him with his head craned. The lady felt need of overcoming the awkwardness of the position, and ejaculated, “Mr. Tennyson is delighted to make your acquaintance!” Tennyson, with the stranger still standing waiting, turned to Mrs. Prinsep and said inquiringly but without petulance: “What made you say that? I did not say that I was delighted to make his acquaintance”; and this query dispersed the little group with the best grace each could assume, leaving Tennyson unintended master of the situation.
The Poet Laureate did not come down from his room again until dinner was announced. He had expected nothing but a family gathering but it proved to be a large party correctly attired at a long table, and the kind hostess appointed that I should sit immediately opposite to the unconscious lion of the evening, to prime him about the guests and their talk. Every one peered in turn to see the writer of In Memoriam , but there were other interests, and soon the hubbub became deafening. Tennyson addressed his sonorous voice to me, saying: “In this company there ought to be Lady Somers, whose beauty I have heard so
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much extolled. I can’t see her anywhere, is she here?” and he looked searchingly along the table. It was a delicate question to answer with full voice, but I did my best. Tennyson soon showed perplexity, put up his right hand, waved it from side to side, saying, “Your voice sounds like the piping of a little bird in the storm.”
Such refreshing change and distraction gave me the more courage to meet the difficulties which obstructed my progress with the Temple picture. My day was an exhausting one; at nine I began my painting, in the course of the day I had to spare time, which frequently extended to an hour or two, directing and amending my sister's practice, and that of the friends who painted with her. When I returned to my own easel, to save my quickly drying paint, it was needful to exert myself the more determinedly and to continue thus until the darkness stopped me. After dinner on alternate evenings I attended a Life School, and also took up illustrations. I then engaged in an extensive correspondence.
It has been recorded that in the first days of our struggle anonymous and insulting letters came to us. Some nameless correspondents were now of different spirit to these earlier writers; they professed sincere interest in my first works, expressed regret that I should allow so long a time to go by without producing other pictures, and argued in a touching vein of compliment that I owed a duty to the world which I ought not to neglect. My unknown admirers, however, seemed to be poor, for they never concluded their letters with an offer of a commission!
It is not mere art gossip to state that during this period some young adventurers had been doing a roaring trade in manufacturing Pre-Raphaelite pictures for second-class picture dealers at comparatively handsome prices. The success of our imitators tended to make mere acquaintances argue that if the followers had such good fortune the leaders must be affluent; and frequently I was appealed to by honest but impecunious students and young artists for help with advances of money under the conviction that I was really a wealthy man. One of these came to me relating that he was in debt, and much wanting £10 to pay his rent. I could not spare this sum, but advanced half the amount. In another month he appeared again with a light elastic step, saying gaily that again he had come to tax my purse. At this I had to reveal something of my real position. He betrayed astonishment, saying that “every one” spoke of me as “rolling in wealth.” Continual non-appearance at Exhibitions was seriously diminishing my prestige; friends also were expostulating, for I had been unable to contribute any subject picture to the Exhibitions of 1857, 1858 and 1859, while all my compeers were gaining fame by annual proofs of their genius. This so disheartened me that at times I questioned whether I had not been in error in relinquishing the idea I had entertained in 1851, of abandoning the pursuit of Art altogether, entangled as it seemed to be for me with insuperable hindrances.
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There are so many tender and holy emotions flying about in our inward world, which like angels, can never assume the body of an outward act; so many rich and lovely flowers spring up which bear no seed, that it is a happiness Poetry was invented, which receives into its limbus all these incorporeal spirits, and the perfume of all these flowers.—Jean Paul Richter.

Who keeps one end in view makes all things serve.—Browning.

Once, when I had been confessing to Woolner that I was worn out with work, Mrs. Tennyson sent me an urgent invitation to come and stay with her and her lord at Farringford. I put aside all obstacles and went. It was the noon of summer, and every mile of the journey  

Lady Tennyson

G. F. Watts]


soothed my tired spirits. On this occasion I saw Mrs. Tennyson for the first time. She was a fitting lady to be helpmate even to such a man as the kingly Poet. I was struck by her bearing an exalted likeness to Queen Elizabeth. She had two beautiful boys with dusky golden locks, full of frolic and fun. The house had not long been built; it was furnished with comfort, but devoid of expensive luxury. Tennyson told me it was paid for with his first earnings. He said that an American to whom he had mentioned this fact, had said, “Ah! had the opportunity been known in the States, the money would have been subscribed for you with a handsome margin, and they would feel honoured to do so, even now.” Said Tennyson, “Had this been done, and the money forwarded to me without any previous knowledge of it, I would have written over the door—

Populi Americani donum.”
He was intent on questioning me about the East, and we spent most of our time in his study talking.
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On some small panes of glass which had no outlook but on bare brick, Tennyson had tried his hand on colour decoration—young Millais, it will be remembered, had for the same object painted subjects of knightly and saintly story. The poet had introduced writhing monsters swirling about as in the deep. This had been done with remarkable taste and judgment. The paints, which in amateur hands generally have an abominable habit of negativing one another, had here been most happily combined to make mysterious tints, and a too definite rendering of forms had been judiciously relinquished when a general suggestion had been achieved. Thus the pigments had not lost their preciousness by over-elaboration, destructive of decorative quality. His absolute kindness and candour were illustrated by his interest in a page-boy, who occasionally came into the room. When the boy was out of hearing, Tennyson once asked me whether I had made out his real character. I confessed I had not given him any thought, and could not fairly express an opinion. “I ask you,” he pursued, “because I have altogether lost his respect.” “His respect,” I blurted out, “how?” “Well,” continued the poet, “when the boy came into the house, I thought that perhaps I might make his life more interesting to him, and I asked him whether I could lend him any book. He looked bewildered and answered, ‘No.’ Thinking his reply might proceed from shyness, I named several books that I thought might be attractive to such a lad, but he would not borrow any! From that attempt to treat him like a fellow human being, I have lost all his esteem. Had he gone to Mr. ——, my neighbour, he would have had no attention paid him, the master would scarcely have noticed him as a stranger in the house, and the boy would have respected him as a proper master; because I departed from this rule, he despises me altogether. My house is not so grand as others in the neighbourhood, so the boy concludes that I am not a real gentleman, and he shows his low estimate of me by his grumpiness. There are no doubt men of the lowest class without education at all who are of excellent common sense, and even superior judgment, and there are men who have had all the advantages of good position and education who are imbeciles. Withal the old feud between the conquered Saxon and the Norman still operates; this boy has the bitterness of the Saxon. He is ready to do his work, black the boots, or brush the clothes, but he resents the show of kindness as condescension from a Norman master.”
Amused, I replied, “Isn’t it a question whether the boy has ever heard about the Conquest?”
“It is very possible he has never heard of it, but he has inherited the bitterness of feeling, and he acts upon it,” persisted the mournful master, so the matter dropped.
One morning we went up to the beacon on the cliff, and after enjoying the wind for an hour or so, he inquired of me whether I could detect what a flying creature could be that we saw in the distance. I said,
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“I too have been watching it some minutes. I believe it's an eagle.”
“That is scarcely possible, we don’t have eagles here,” he said.
But I said that I had seen too many of the royal birds to be deceived as to their flight and form. When it passed over our head Tennyson was convinced, and a few days later I read of an eagle being shot in Hampshire.
Tennyson's short-sightedness, which made him bend his head forward when reading, had probably contributed to his bearing, which was the reverse of defiant. A casual example of the pains he took to overcome the disadvantages of his short-sight occurred, as we returned to the house. A shining fragment in the path arrested his steps. He stooped, picked up the glittering morsel, and placed it in his hand close to his eyes, rolling it in the palm with the forefinger, he then saw it to be a portion of a large pebble lately splintered to bits. The outside surface was still thickly encrusted with a concrete-like shell, but the shattered part was in facets of pale ruby colour, resplendent in its transparency. “Many of the most priceless jewels,” he observed, “are disguised as this lustrous pebble was, till the violence came which broke it up. No one would have suspected, in seeing this unsightly stone lying with clumsy boulders, that inside there could be such a gorgeous gem.” And when he had exhausted his examination of its varied phases, he carefully put it back into the path saying that it ought to be left there, that others might feel delight in seeing it. When we were near to the house, the luncheon bell ringing, he stopped and pointed along the road, asking whether there were not excursionists waiting to intercept our approach. I said that there were some apparently inoffensive people near the house. Hearing this, Tennyson turned aside and went a long way round to escape observation, telling me by the way that when he was doing any work in the garden, he would hear voices saying, “There he is—look,” and half-a-dozen heads, male and female, would appear in a row above the wall. A man had once got into the garden, and when they were at luncheon, the intruder was seen with flattened nose against the window-pane, and was heard to say, “You can see him well from here.”
On one occasion he spoke with lively pain of a review of one of his recent poems in an important journal. This, it seemed, had not only condemned his versification with the assumption of a masterful judgment, but has made a comparison of his poem with those of a period when all society was corrupted, leaving the reader to adopt the suggestions which such comparison was sure to convey. I had seen the review, and had contemptuously put it behind the fire. Tennyson bemoaned that other copies had escaped the flames, and had gone forth with their poison. He looked upon perverse criticism as a constant discouragement to writing, but I remarked that he gave too much attention to stings of such small insects as the writer of the scandalous
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article. “The man probably has a personal grudge against you,” I said, “and being lifted to the throne of Jupiter he uses his thunder without scruple; many, be assured, pass by his malicious nonsense unnoted. It is doomed to forgetfulness, to that limbo to which all spitefulness, and the authors thereof, are bound in the end.”
“Yes,” said Tennyson, “but when I have earnestly tried to sift out of the store of deeply imprinted impressions the reflections that present themselves as of living value, it is natural that I should be discouraged from all hope of influencing men when one, who is evidently educated, and has some knowledge of poetry, being entrusted with a position of authority, misinterprets my purpose and makes it convey a meaning odious to my whole soul.”
“Such a state of things is indeed disheartening, not to say more,” I reflected, “but somehow good work, like all truth, does get recognised in time; wisdom is made up of wrong verdicts revised.”
“Yes,” he said, “but while the grass grows the steed starves is true also.”
“But,” I urged, “the ordeal of professional criticism upon art is apparently a modern decree of Providence; and on the whole the complications entailed upon our branch of art are more arduous than on yours; you may respect the faculties of your reviewer for his degree of literary proficiency. Our reviewer gives no such proof of his knowledge of the subject he descants upon; he has the pen of a ready writer, and this, with some chit-chat about Gainsborough's ‘Blue Boy,’ or some other worn-out gossip or phraseology, is his diploma. Among the lovers of art there are a few who are not influenced by such oracles, and these often declare their admiration of a condemned work, but they are generally young professional men, too poor to be patrons, while the rich collector is often timid as to his own judgment, and wants only that which is popular at the time. Thus the painter may be wrecked in his career for want of support. Poets who are too good for their immediate day have to suffer a penalty from the displeasure of their too hasty judges; but there remains for them also independent connaisseurs who could not afford to buy pictures, yet can purchase a book. But perhaps from an impulse to make the wrong you suffer less bitter, I am dwelling too egotistically on the grievances of my own profession.”
His laments were anon varied by recitation, or rather intonation, of poems to which I had made special allusion; his organ-like voice gave these with the fullest grandeur.
Sir John Simeon frequently called at Farringford and discoursed of the experiences and observations of his naval life, all of which interested the poet as much as myself. One day, when out for a stroll, we visited the descendant of the officer to whom Cromwell had consigned the care of Charles the First when a prisoner at Carisbrook Castle, and who, from scruples as to his right to be the king's gaoler, gave up his appointment.
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I had been abroad when Tennyson one evening in town had read Maud to a company including some of my friends; but when at Farringford I had the opportunity of listening to other poems which he would speak of as having been composed by him on some subject which chanced to engage our passing attention. If I remarked that I had never read it, his reply was that he had never written the verses down but could remember them, and he would repeat them without faltering a syllable, although often the words had been composed twenty or more years ago; many such poems he told me he had finished and retained only in his memory. Once I offered for his judgment the idea of a great monarch, who sees only the glories of his rule, and not the miseries that are concealed from his sight, likening him to the sun, which never sees the shadows produced by the interception of its rays. “Yes,” he said, “the comparison is complete; I would have used it had it occurred to me, but now it would be Holman-Hunt's and not Alfred Tennyson's.”
After my visit I recalled to mind many matters which I should have liked to discuss with this king of gentle nature; the opportunity of being with him alone was precious and I valued it as a sacred privilege. I was profoundly impressed by the unpretending nature of this large thinker and consummate poet, who, deeply conversant with the character and forms of preceding singers of all Races and time, yet adopted for his themes the scenes, moral feeling, and science of his own day and country. His simplicity of manner was by some dwelt upon as childish; there was a truth underlying the comment, for his frankness of speech was like that of a child, whose unembarrassed penetration surprises the conventional mind. My holiday brought balm and health to me, and I went back to my work with renewed zest.
It has been said that Millais was unreasonable in that he showed discontent at the want of substantial recognition of the more ambitious work he was producing; for example, when his picture of “ The Vale of Rest ” did not immediately find admirers and a purchaser, he was impatient, while the commentators say that in fact he had but little time to wait before the picture was sold. Time will, I feel sure, justify the answer I have to give to that reproof. This artist was so exceptional in excellence among those of any age or any country that the question is not whether he obtained a ready sale of his pictures year by year, but whether our nation was making proper use of his genius. Before he was twenty he had painted a picture which bore signs of more capacious ability in conception, composition, drawing, colour, and technical qualities combined than any painter ever displayed at such youthful age. He had now been before the world in varying, but always great, power for ten or more years, he had added to the glory of modern art, and he had a right to expect that he should gain in return the ampler opportunities of exercising his genius which the old masters had universally been afforded, instead of merely securing a tardy livelihood. But critics had hung about his heels, and often so far impeded him that,
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instead of large or laborious efforts, he had been forced to do humbler works that would more easily come within the taste and the means of the general patron. In no other country would such an artist have been left without some national opportunity of exercising his genius. There were painters and sculptors then being employed to decorate the Palace at Westminster, but no public minister amidst the clamour that had been raised against our “heresy” would, however much he might have been instigated by his own taste, have had the courage to employ any one of us in public work, and Millais was never asked by any church dignitaries to paint for them. While his works were still vehemently abused by the press, those of artists of mediocrity were lauded to the skies, and certain of these painters were favoured by Parliamentary Commissioners of Fine Art. Now, persons of superficial reflection often say that Millais ought not under any temptation to have swerved from his higher inspirations, but great art cannot be produced even by men of the purest genius, if they are not supported by the country's demand for their work; the nation must be behind them, just as it must equip and provide for the soldier fighting for its cause. Raphael, when commissioned by the Pope to paint the “Stanze,” was only twenty-five years of age, and there can be no sober doubt that he had not then done work of such original power as Millais had shown before he was that age. Had Raphael died before his work in the Vatican was undertaken, his earlier paintings, facile and obediently learned as they were, would have placed him only in the second rank of Italian artists. Surely a man of genius has a right to marry when he has established his commanding position, and being married he is called upon to support his family. Millais in this position found himself driven to despair and want of faith, in the possibility of teaching his countrymen the value of poetic art. “I have striven hard,” he said to me, “in the hope that in time people would understand me and estimate my best productions at their true worth, but they—the public and private patrons—go like a flock of sheep after any silly bell-wether who clinks before them. I have, up to now, generally painted in the hope of converting them to something better, but I see they won’t be taught, and as I must live, they shall have what they want, instead of what I know would be best for them. A physician sugars his pill, and I must do the same.” There was a great rage at the time, under the direction of a certain leader of the rout, that painters should only do works of contemporary subjects. The incidents that are historically important are rarely recognised to be so till many years afterwards; on the day that rough George Stephenson arrived in London, no one saw that his coming was the most important event in Europe, that a complete change in the civilisation of all the races on the planet was thus heralded. Modern subjects that are paintable are generally of no historic moment. The demand for representations of trivial incidents was steady, and Millais being encouraged to seek these, often displayed great taste in their selection
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and treatment. His “Apple Blossoms” (1859) was an excellent example of this class, “Trust Me” had many pictorial excellences, and “My First Sermon” and “My Second Sermon” were endearing efforts of his power in this strain; but some which it is needless to instance, however excellent in workmanship, must have been done simply to meet the vulgar demand. Up to the year 1859 he painted in Perth, then he settled in Cromwell Place and finished “The Vale of Rest,” and “The Love of James the First of Scotland.”
We perhaps beyond other artists were saddened to hear that C. R. Leslie was in danger and had to undergo a serious operation which unhappily did not save his life. A few days after his death his son George Leslie called upon Millais specially to deliver a message from the dying artist. The charge was—
“Go to Millais and tell him that the future of English art is in his hands, and beg him to exercise his fullest power to sustain its honour and glory.”
This generous recognition of Millais and his aspirations marked a departure from the mistrust of most of the Academicians towards even that one of us who was a member of their own Body.
G. F. Watts up to this time had been treated with only prejudiced toleration, his pictures being put high up, in corners, and unfavourable places. Indeed it was said that one of the Academicians always remarked, “Oh, there's a Watts, let us sky it.” In the year 1858 he determined to conceal his identity, and sent in two large portraits of somewhat unusual style for him under the name F. W. George; these were admirably placed, and widely recognised. The following is a reference by Walter Thornbury in the Athenæum to P.R.B. works—

Exhibition at R.A., 1858

…In portraits there are the Pre-Raphaelite ones by a new name, Mr. George (we believe a mere masquerade), full of merit. …The two best portraits in the exhibition are by Mr. George (assumed name), really the works of Mr. Watts, a known cartoon drawer. They are Miss Senior (167) and Miss Eden (185). They are, in fact, great and daring experiments of introducing a Pre-Raphaelite finish of accessories into portraits—laurel bushes, box borders, gravel walks and flowers, instead of the venerable and immemorial books, curtains, pillars, and sloppy green distances. Paint furniture well and faces well, and the face will maintain the old superiority all the world over. Let Mr. Pickersgill paint red blobs and call them roses, for fear well-painted flowers should detract from his spotted, unfinished faces. In the one picture, Miss Senior, with a thoughtful, fine face, walks like a Miss Brontë's heroine down a garden, in a gown of a curious brown purple colour, every plait and fold carefully but not pedantically drawn. In the other, a lady is kneeling upon a chair, watering flowers, her figure cutting daringly enough with certain red and orange draperies against a wall of bright green. Oh remember, portrait painters, men of industry, talent, and perhaps still some faint, foolish lurking ambition, if you do not paint more like Mr. George, the inevitable gravitation towards the garret or the broker's of your now applauded pictures!

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Exhibition at R.A., 1859

…Mr. Watts’ “Isabella” (438) is a pretty portrait, painted in the manner of Sir C. Eastlake, turned, if it were possible, P.R.B. The painting is a little flat and over-cautious, but there is a great charm about it; it is the only good idealised portrait in the exhibition, and it is well and fairly hung too, which is miraculous.

When in finishing the landscape details of my sketches of earlier pictures, the doing of which most readily brought grist to the mill,  

Thomas Combe

W. H. H]


I was glad of the opportunity of enjoying the hospitality of Mr. and Mrs. Combe. In the Colleges I found, what all returned truants experience, that much of the remembered life had vanished, leaving the places nought but a saddening memory of the past, and I felt glad that the University Press was on the confines of the town towards Godstow and Wolvercott, where my painting ground lay. Mr. and Mrs. Combe were always angels of cheerful benevolence and piety. Attending constantly the Infirmary, where the patients were made intimate friends, the need of a chapel soon became evident to Mrs. Combe. The building of this they entrusted to Arthur Blomfield, and soon
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after its completion, finding the neighbourhood called “Jericho” increasing greatly in its population, they engaged the same architect to build a church and schools there, dedicated to St. Barnabas. A new duty, the consideration of which cost considerable anxiety, arose out of the question how Mr. Combe could keep the University Press a continuing source of profit instead of loss, as before his management it had been; the University had made him an M.A. in recognition of his improvement of their affairs. The looming trouble which had to  

Mrs. Thomas Combe

W. H. H]


be met was the approaching cessation of the monopoly enjoyed by the University of the printing of Bibles and Prayer Books, so that the surplus earned by him, and threatened by this outer competition, might not be lost. He knew that no modern Parliament would continue the University privilege, and he was driven to consider whether the papermakers’ profit might not be saved by manufacturing it themselves, but the University was debarred from engaging in business. One way that remained was for him to make the venture himself, and when the enterprise should become a sound undertaking, as partner to the University, to hand over the factory to the authorities as part of their established
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printing industry. There was a mill then out of use at Wolvercott, and we had wended our way there not infrequently in the character of searchers after the picturesque. Eventually the mill was taken, adapted for the change of work, and a cheery manager, one Mr. Stacey, was installed in the little cottage. This had two rooms always reserved for Mrs. Combe's tea when she came over in the pony carriage. The neighbourhood was perfect for such work as mine. I rode over Port Meadows in the morning, and made the fields of Godstow my studio till sunset, when, generally, there was assembled a pleasant party with whom to return by twilight.
Still, for what seemed a long time there was doubt about this project of the “Squire,” as Mr. Combe was always called, and the difficulties became a subject of talk with him, although it never clouded either the master's or mistress's face to the recipients of their bounty, either at Jericho or at the Mill. Gradually I could gather that prospects were getting better, but they were not yet realised, when late in the year Mr. Combe said to me, “Come on my left side, I am not deaf there. I think under your circumstances, with so much real property existing in the far-advanced Temple picture, your horror of becoming a borrower is a virtue carried to the extent of a vice. You may get three hundred guineas for your little replica of ‘The Hireling Shepherd’ when it is finished, this will take another month or so, eh? But I gather the profit will almost be swallowed up in rent and back claims. Well, what will you do then, unless you set to at some other pot-boiler ? You will lose next season, and ‘The Temple’ will still remain unfinished. Now you take my advice, Hunt. You really think you could finish it in another six months; I think so too. Well, borrow £300; that would keep you going, and when you finish and sell the picture, you’ll get out of difficulties sooner than you would in any other way.”
“But grant all this,” I said, “you don’t mean that Coutts would advance me the money on my unfinished picture?”
“No, but I could manage it easily now, and I should not want any security,” said he, as he looked at me under his eyebrows with a dart of merry triumph in a way that drove all further scruples from my mind.
I was now free on going back to town to work on the Temple picture for a longer period than I had been able to do since my return from the East, and was lavish in my arrangement, obtaining models far ahead for the remaining figures to be painted, and when my friends outside asked me whether my picture would ever be done, I could reply bravely in a way that defied bantering.
Our position in relation to Dickens was a delicate one. His attack in Household Words upon Millais’ picture of 1850 had revealed a strong animus against our purpose, and thus our partiality for him was exercised only by the reading of his works; but he was a great friend of Wilkie Collins and of his family. Their good-souled mother, in the years of my absence, had arranged a meeting of Millais and the great author at
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dinner, which resulted in removing all estrangement, and in making Dickens understand and express his sense of the power of Millais’ genius and character.
Millais always spoke of the meeting with satisfaction, but a letter written by Dickens a few days after the dinner endorsed the sentiments of the original article, and so again alienated the confidence of our circle from him.
Wilkie Collins began his reputation by writing the life of his father, and by the novel entitled Antonina. He had made previous essays in painting; one example by him was exhibited in 1849. The biography and his classical romance were the trial pacings of his Pegasus, and he was now exercising his powers in serial Christmas numbers and the like. At the time that he was writing Mr. Ray's Cash-box, Millais painted the admirable little portrait of the young author now in the National Portrait Gallery, which remained to the end of his days the best likeness of him.
Dickens and Wilkie contracted the closest friendship, and they were collaborators together in Christmas numbers—in this kind of work the younger writer became a favourite of the first order. Personally Wilkie was entirely without ambition to take a place in the competition of society, and avoided plans of life which necessitated the making up of his mind enough to forecast the future. In this respect he left all to circumstance; but although a generous spender at all times, he was prudent with money affairs. No one could be more jolly than he as the lord of the feast in his own house, where the dinner was prepared by a chef, the wines select, and the cigars of choicest brand. The talk became rollicking and the most sedate joined in the hilarity; laughter long and loud crossed from opposite ends of the room and all went home brimful of good stories. When you made a chance call in the day, he would look at you through his spectacles, getting up from his chair to greet you with warm welcome. He would sit down again, his two hands stretched forward inside the front of his knees, rocking himself backwards and forwards, asking with deep concern where you came from last. If he saw your eyes wandering, he would burst out: “Ah! you might well admire that masterpiece; it was done by that great painter Wilkie Collins, and it put him so completely at the head of landscape painters that he determined to retire from the profession in compassion for the rest. The Royal Academy were so affected by its supreme excellence and its capacity to teach, that they carefully avoided putting it where taller people in front might obscure the view, but instead placed it high up, that all the world could without difficulty survey it. Admire, I beg you, sir, the way in which those colours stand; no cracking in that chef-d’oeuvre, and no tones ever fail. Admire the brilliancy of that lake reflecting the azure sky; well, sir, the painter of that picture has no petty jealousies, that unrivalled tone was compounded simply with Prussian blue and flake white, it was put on you
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say by a master hand, yes, but it will show what simple materials in such a hand will achieve. I wish all masterpieces had defied time so triumphantly.”
There was a portrait of his mother by Mrs. Carpenter, her sister, which represented her in youthful beauty, and it reminded me how she had said that when a girl, at an evening party Samuel Taylor Coleridge had singled her out and had talked with her for twenty minutes in the highest strains of poetical philosophy, of which she understood not a word, nothing but that it flowed out of the mouth of a man with two large brilliant blue eyes. She wondered why he should have chosen to talk to her. The unpretending portrait explained the riddle.
Wilkie's room was hung with studies by his father, and beautiful coast scenes of the neighbourhood of the Bay of Naples.
“But tell me, Holman,” he said once, “what are you going to do with this wonderfully elaborate work of yours begun in Jerusalem? You must take care and get a thundering big price for it or you will be left a beggar”; I replied, “The truth is, my dear Wilkie, I am rather getting reconciled to the prospect looming before me that I shall not sell it at all, for no such price as those which picture buyers are accustomed to give, £1000 or £1500 at the most, would put me into a position to recommence on another Eastern subject, and I have no inclination to work to enrich picture dealers and publishers alone. I have many reasons to think that the public will be really interested in it, although the canvas is not a large one; had it been three times as big, it would have cost me less labour; I am told it will make an attractive and remunerative exhibition, and this will persuade some publisher to buy the copyright. I have no doubt that it will help my position as an artist, and bring purchasers for my other works. I shall soon pay outstanding claims, and have this picture to the good, yet I don’t want to waste my time on business, and I should be very glad to find some dealer to take it off my hands.”
“Now,” he demanded, “what would really pay you fairly, as a professional man?”
“Nothing less, I assure you, than 5500 guineas—a price that has never been given in England for a modern picture,” I said.
“Well, you ought to be able to get that; have you any nibbles?”
“Yes, nibbles of small fry but no bites; private people have asked me to let them have the first refusal of it. They certainly expect that I shall ask a handsome price; I shall not tell them till it is practically finished, and then I know they will be scared off and give it up, and only one will remain—Gambart, the dealer, who is prepared to go farther than the others, but ruled by the usual standard he will shy at my price.”
“I will tell you what you should do,” he suggested. “Dickens is not only a man of genius, he is a good business man; you go to him and ask him to tell you whether you could not make the terms so that, keeping to your price, you will get what you want from the dealer.
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Gambart is a sharp man, but being sharp, he knows better than to lose your picture, but you must give him the offer in a practicable way, and Dickens will tell you how to do this.”
“But, my dear Wilkie, although Mrs. Dickens was kind enough to ask me to her house to see your ‘Frozen Deep’ acted, and though when I have met Dickens he has been civil and pleasant, I have no reason to think that he has any kind of sympathy for my art, and accordingly I could not expect him to like being appealed to in this matter.”
“Dismiss any such thought. I will speak to Dickens, and you will see he will be very glad to help you,” rejoined my eager friend.

Charles Dickens, 1858


Shortly afterwards Dickens asked me to come and see him in Tavistock Square. He was then forty-eight years of age. By his early portraits he had appeared to be a good-looking beau of mid-Victorian days, the portrait painters had seized little that bespoke the firmness under a light and cheerful exterior; but in these later days all the bones of his face showed, giving it truly statuesque dignity, and every line on his brow and face were the records of past struggle and of present power to paint humanity in its numberless phases. It was a poor criticism of him, current at this time, that he would never in the future write anything equal to Pickwick.
He received me with a pleasant welcome, and after a few friendly
Sig. VOL. II. I.
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words added, “I am glad you are exact—we will proceed to business at once. How many years have you had this picture of yours in hand?”
“Six, with many intervals on smaller works, executed to bring grist to the mill,” said I.
“Will you tell me how long a time you employed on it in Jerusalem?”
I did my best to explain
“Your journey and stay there cost you a good deal of money? ”
I entered into the facts.
“Now you have got the picture nearly finished?”
“I may complete it in good time for the next Exhibition season.”
“What will be the sources of revenue for your dealer, should he buy it? ”
“He will be able to exhibit it at his gallery in London; we may average as much as £20 or £30 a day, taken at the door. The rent at the best season is of course heavy, and he has a canvasser paid partly on results, and a toll-keeper. I should calculate that a fifth of the revenue should suffice for this. The canvasser will take the names of all people willing to subscribe for the plate; the impressions will bring £3, £5, and £8 each. He will have to pay the engraver, say £800 or so, for his work, and then there will be the cost of printing and distribution. When this had been done he would get the price of the sale of the picture itself. There is, however, the doubt whether the public will look with favour on the work, the Oriental treatment may offend. As far as I can judge in my own studio, there is no prospect of this, but distinctly the contrary. Gambart frequently points out that I must not consider that this picture will fetch a price that would be a commensurate payment for my time; he tells me that I shall have to make a sacrifice for this, and be satilfied with the greater reputation it will give me, and make my profit on other works.”
Dickens smiled ironically and said, “Yes, we inspired workers for the public entertainment ought to think of nothing so much as the duty of putting money into publishers’ pockets, but we are a low-minded set, and we want a part of this filthy lucre for ourselves, for our landlords and our tradesmen, who most unfeelingly send us in bills as though we did nothing for their pleasure.”
I went on, “To venture the business myself would perhaps be the fairest for all, in that case the loss or gain would fall on me alone, but then a business man can carry on such enterprises, which the artist cannot, and the painter would waste his life in it.”
Dickens then said, “You say you want 5500 guineas—you ought to have it, and I decide that a business man can afford to give it to you, and your business man I feel pretty sure will give it to you, but you must consider that he will not get his return immediately, and you must give him time; let him pay you £1500 down, another £1000 in six months, and the other sums at periods extending over two and a half or three years. You will find he will not throw away the chance, but do not
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let it drag along, tell him that you want to be free to make other plans.”
I was much touched by his full attention, and thanked him most sincerely. In one respect I missed an opportunity from false pride on my part and timid reading of his nature. I ought to have said, “Now, will you do me the further honour of coming as far as Kensington to see this painting of mine?” but I let the door shut without saying this, and I never had again the opportunity of learning how far we differed or agreed in the purpose I was carrying out in this picture, of attempting to realise the actual history of the Divine Man.
The Duchess of Argyll, who was my neighbour in Kensington, had in the most agreeable manner, two years before, called upon me, and taken a genuine interest in my work, and other persons of the great world asked to see it. Certainly the reputation of the picture had grown.
When it was so far advanced that it needed only deliberate judgment for the last balancing and ripening tones and touches, Mr. Mulready came and made kind comments upon the picture, and later the President of the Academy and Lady Eastlake did me the same honour; it would not have been possible for them to have been more complimentary and kind than they were, and in the end Sir Charles paused, saying, “It has been said that you are resolved not to exhibit the picture, and I feel impelled to explain that in my mind it would be very wrong were you not to do so.” I was astonished, for I had never had such intention as that which Rossetti acted upon in showing his pictures only in his own studio, and I frankly repudiated the construction of my future intention, arising, probably, from my enforced abstention from public exhibition for the last three years. The President expressed his approbation of my reply, adding most unexpectedly, “I am able to assure you that the picture shall have a post of honour, and that it shall be placed with a rail in front, such as Mr. Frith's ‘Derby Day’ had, to protect it from the press of people.” It was only then that I understood how I was responsible for the rumour he had heard, and I felt pained in giving my explanation, dreading the suspicion that I gloried in refusing my picture to the Academy. I explained that with a picture which had cost me so much, I must take the special exhibition of it as one chance of remuneration to a dealer, and that I could not, therefore, send it to the Academy and lose what should be an important part of the property. He accepted my explanation most courteously.
Meanwhile my energetic dealer, Gambart, was impatient to know on what terms I would sell the picture to him, but I would not enter into the question until it was entirely finished.
After, according to my promise, offering the refusal to the other private collectors who had asked for it, I told Gambart that I was ready to treat with him. “Now,” he said, “you will tell me your price, but I hope you will come and dine with me, and we will talk it over after
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dinner.” When I came up to the fire after the ladies had gone, pouring out another glass of wine, he said, “Now then for this secret of yours. What is your price?”
I stated it.
“Oh, but it is impossible, no one ever heard of such a sum! ”
“I quite admit that,” was my reply. “You are called upon only to consider whether you can afford it.”
“It is quite impossible,” said he, “but you must take less.”
“I can’t abate a farthing,” I said. “Now let me understand, shall I conclude that you give it up?”
He waited, and then said, “You must take time to consider.”
My reply was, “I am called very obstinate by my companions, perhaps they are right; whether or no, you must not expect me to take anything less than I have said.”
“Well,” he said then, “leave it open for a week.”
My response was, “The Exhibition season is near.”
“Yes,” he returned, “and I shall have to make up my mind soon that I may calculate how much money I have to spend on pictures going to the Academy.”
In the end I gave him three or four days, and this led to his acceptance of my terms. To finish a long task and send it forth to the world is a greater lightening of the heart than many men apprehend. In this case there was a very magnified sense of relief.
The picture was ready towards the middle of April, and ere the last touches were dry, private view cards had been sent out for an early date; Gambart had stipulated that I should be present; the attendance was extremely large and there seemed to be every prospect of an enthusiastic recognition of the work, yet the signing of our agreement had been postponed.
Millais came with me to the gallery on the morning of the first public day; it was early, and we were alone, my friend was full of generous recognition without limit, and said of “ The Temple ” picture—when seen for the first time in its frame designed by myself with ivory flat, in what I meant to be semi-barbaric splendour—that the work looked “like a jewel in a gorgeous setting.”
The hour had come for the public to arrive, and still we were the only persons present; as we wondered, a timid lady presented herself at the half-opened door, with apologetic mien she inquired where she should find the picture which she had been told was on exhibition there, and we asked her in. Very few others came, and it turned out that the business people had put no notices at the door, and not a single newspaper had a line of advertisement to inform the public. This I corrected promptly, and the visitors began to arrive in numbers of eight hundred to a thousand a day.
One morning the attendant recognised as the Prince Consort a gentleman who was leaving the gallery after trying in vain to see the picture,
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he approached His Royal Highness, and asked to be allowed to send it to Windsor for the inspection of the Queen. The Prince expressed his approval of the proposal, and accordingly, to my surprise, when I arrived in the evening, the announcement was on the door that the picture was removed by command, after which it came back with a gracious message of appreciation.
Gambart employed Signor Morelli to make a drawing of the picture in black and white for the use of his engraver, and it was a wondrously exact and elaborate transcript of the original. To make the tracing for him, which I could not leave to other hands, I often was at the gallery at half-past five in the morning.
Disburdened of all my anxiety in launching my picture, I went one day earlier than usual for the full gathering of the Cosmopolitan Club. Thackeray and an intimate friend  

W. M. Thackeray


alone were there; as I approached the great man, he ejaculated, “God bless my living soul! here we are in the presence of the happiest man of the day. I hope that what I hear is true that you have sold a picture for 5500 guineas?”
“It is true, I’m glad to say,” I replied.
“Now, you are still a young man,” he continued, “and to have got so handsome a sum for one picture, and that I hear not a large one, is a truly wonderful piece of good fortune, and I congratulate you heartily; you have cause to be jubilant.”
“But,” I said, “I must not allow you to assume that I have suddenly become a wealthy adventurer; I began the work years ago, and to do it I had not to risk only my small store of worldly goods in going to the East, but also all the chances of success which I had gained before leaving England, and in truth the difficulties I had to overcome cost me so much, that ten or twelve paintings might have been done in the time. I am sure that I understate the case when I say that other men of my age have been saving more than I shall get at the best, even when this business is finished.”
“But,” urged Thackeray, “I thought it was finished.”
I explained that I had yet received only a goodly earnest of the money, that I had to pay some heavy debts connected with the picture, while still the outstanding balance was withheld. “Painting subject pictures,” I said, “is an expensive profession, and after my experience of going to the East on a small capital, I feel obliged to postpone returning
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there for further work until I have a little money invested to bring me in an income that will save me from daily fear that my means will be absorbed before my canvas has been turned into a picture.”
Thackeray thereupon rejoined, “But you are a single man, and have but few expenses.”
“I am only a poor bachelor,” I confessed, “but a man who does work which the public are pleased to take interest in, ought to be paid so that he can at thirty-three have the choice of marrying, and if, as many other men have, I have family claims upon me, that is not the world's affair, and it has no right to refuse him the just reward, such as if married he must claim.”
“Ha, ha, ha, then you know what it is to have claims upon your harvestings before they are gathered in perhaps, and I daresay you know something of other than blood relations who say ‘Give, give, give, but count not me the herd’—the thought of them makes me wince.”
“Yes,” I laughed, “we know who are always ready to prove that you should, considering your unvarying good luck in comparison to theirs, let them have more and more.”
“Yes, I know them all,” he said, “with their constant remindings of your ‘lucky star,’ and that they were not born with your golden spoon, and how everything has been against them. Well, well,” he said with a half-amused sigh, “they are a dispensation of Providence by which we are brought to reflect upon poor human nature, but then 5500 guineas at thirty-three, that is a good turning point in a man's fortune; I remember when I was about the same age I had been writing for some months for ——, and the magazine had, in consequence of my contributions, been restored from a state near collapse to increasing stability; at that juncture my wife fell ill, and the doctors assured me that she must be taken for a month to the sea-side. I had no funds for this, and thinking it not unreasonable, I wrote to the editor: ‘Dear sir, I am in severe need of ready money, I shall be sending the usual copy for the end of the month, could you oblige me by advancing me £20 on the forthcoming contribution to your magazine, and thus greatly oblige, W. M. T.’
“The reply was prompt, it was to the effect that the editor had made a rule never to pre-pay his writers, and that he was obliged to adhere to his regulation. You needn’t, my dear fellow, be any longer thus driven from pillar to post to get such a sum, and I am sincerely glad of it. Ah me!” he sighed, getting up, and left me with our common friend, going to the opposite end of the room, while I followed his lordly back till he became lost behind a posse of new comers. In a few minutes Thackeray returned, saying, “But you are, after all, a lucky dog, for you have something more than a miserable remnant or salvage of a life in which to do your work.”
It seemed, with his stalwart and manly frame before me, and with the knowledge of his daring independence of mind, an empty gibe at
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his additional years of life, but, alas! it was only three Christmas eves after this that I looked back upon this remark as a premonition that he felt the uncertainty of life more than he was disposed to admit. People sometimes repeat that at heart he was a snob, and that he had admitted this himself. In the society of the club where we met he would have shown this character had the statement been true, but I never saw any sign of such a weakness. The assumption, from his own words is like the conclusion that Keats was a dwarf, derived from his remark, “But who will care for the opinions of John Keats, five feet high?”
When I tendered the three hundred pounds advanced to me by Mr. Combe, he exclaimed, “No, I don’t need it, but you have interested us in your friend Woolner, and we should like to tide him over his low-water difficulties. Go to him, and say I hope he will receive the sum from me, and that he will keep it as long as he likes”; and he added, “It does not matter if he never gives it back, the amount will have been twice well used.”
This kindness enabled me to introduce the sculptor to my Oxford friends, and the increase of his circle at the University helped him as much as did the money. About this time he finished his statue of Lord Bacon for the Oxford Museum.
Once, when I had gone to the Exhibition gallery of my picture to meet Gambart, I found Dyce there; he was generously appreciative of the work, but objected that it was "three pictures in one.” Another artist of older standing was, I was told, not so approving of the treatment, but declared that the painting was nothing less than blasphemous, seeing “it was only a representation of a parcel of modern Turks in a café.”
The Times did not print a line of notice of the picture. Tom Taylor, its critic, told Millais he had written a notice, but the editor would not insert it. If this was in the flippant spirit of his comments on “The Light of the World” it could well be spared. The attendance at the gallery proved the interest that the impartial public took in my effort.
Meeting Dickens at a party in the full swing of the season, I was greeted by him with, “You have caused my hatter to be madder than ever. He declares that you have choked up Bond Street with the carriages for your exhibition, so that none of his established customers can get to his shop.”
Gambart asked me to write a short pamphlet on the story and object of Pre-Raphaelitism, to be sold in the gallery, to add to his profits. I objected that I could not undertake this, because there had been others actively bound up in our effort to bring about a purgation of art, each working on somewhat different lines, and that any such utterance of my own might appear as savouring of egotism. He next urged that I should write a memoir of myself. I declined on the ground that people should not regard an artist as a public character, except in his works,
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and I had a settled repugnance to obtruding personality. I argued that there was every reason for him to be satisfied with his success without any addition from extraneous excitement. He would not, however, be beaten back for more than a few days, and he came, saying, “I have been thinking that you can’t refuse to let your friend Stephens write the pamphlet on your life, and I would pay him thirty pounds for doing it.” I had to yield, and in a few days the pamphlet was issued and sold in the room.
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For there can be no state of life, amidst public or private affairs, abroad or at home—whether you transact anything with yourself or contract anything with another—that is without its obligations. In the due discharge of that consists all the dignity, and in its neglect all the disgrace of life.—Cicero.

Whatever is good is also beautiful in regard to purposes for which it is well adapted, and whatever is bad is the reverse of beautiful in regard to purposes for which it is ill-adapted.


Shortly after my exhibition had opened I received an invitation from Mrs. Gladstone to attend a breakfast in Carlton House Terrace. I found many old friends were present; the last arrival was the Rev. Joseph Wolff, who had lately returned from a mission to Bokhara.
When we sat down he was interrogated about his experiences at the Amir's Court, and what he reported may probably be read in his book; but the noticeable character of his narrative was the Oriental and antiquated phraseology he used:—
“And accordingly the King arose and spoke aloud. ‘O Traveller, wherefore art thou come? Declare unto us thy mission, and make known unto us the desire of the great Queen who sent thee.’
“And I spoke, ‘The great ruler in the Isles of the Sea desires to send unto thee salutations of friendship and recognition of the grandeur of thy sceptre, and to beseech that thou shouldst give thy kingly attention to the hardships and the cruelty which Colonel Stoddart and Captain Conolly, my subjects, have suffered in the regions belonging to thee, and I am commanded to demand of thee what has befallen these two brave and pious officers of Her Majesty the Queen of the Sea.’” The story was recounted in loud and sonorous voice in notes that rang without pause, as though the words had been read from a book, the cleanly cut face of our host, almost Dantesque in the compression of features, being riveted on the speaker the while, all other guests forbearing talk to listen. When the quaintly told story was ended, Mrs. Gladstone referred with great indignation to the report that Lord Palmerston had headed the subscription in Parliament to recognise the courageous endurance of Tom Sayers, the pugilistic champion of England, he being a man of five feet eight and a half inches in height, who, with his right arm broken at the beginning of the contest with Heenan, a handsome American of six feet two inches, had continued the struggle
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with his left hand only. Mrs. Gladstone was naturally horrified at the brutality incident to prize-fighting, and criticised its approval by statesmen of eminent position, appealing to the table to support her in denunciation, saying, “I am sure, William, you did not subscribe.” The great statesman replied with serious gesture, “Indeed I did not.”
Amid the company the lady perhaps noticed that I was more reserved in my endorsements of her sentiments than some others, and I was challenged to declare my views. I could only say that while I regarded pugilism as savage, I did so with regret that violence in one form or another could not be eliminated from rude states of society, and that pugilism was regarded by me as less objectionable than the use of murderous weapons (resorted to amongst people whose custom it was  



not) for settling quarrels. Unless there were men who perfected boxing scientifically, there would not be that degree of proficiency which English boys acquire at school, which stands them in ready stead in travelling and colonising, when barbarous natives think they may with impunity attack a stranger.
This I urged made me look with some toleration upon the class of persons in question, but the confession I could see shocked Mrs. Gladstone profoundly; and the recounting of tragedies in the use of knife or pistol by travellers on occasion of threatening, together with examples of the existing system of blood revenge, did not alter her judgment on the subject. When we rose from the table I took the opportunity to look at a painting of a female head by Dyce, which I had seen in the Exhibition a few years before. Mr. Gladstone accompanied me, saying, “I indeed feel ashamed of possessing that picture; I saw it in the Academy, and admiring it exceedingly, inquired the price; finding that it was only £37 I bought it; but since then Dyce's reputation has so justly grown that I increasingly feel how very inadequate the payment was.” To this he added many expressions of admiration of Dyce's genius. He then paused with me before a large Spanish picture representing a saint, who, desiring to evangelise a distant country, and having no ship, had thrown down his cloak on the surface of the water, and stepping upon it, had voyaged over the Mediterranean to the land which he subsequently converted. 1 With pleasant talk we reached the
Transcribed Footnote (page 154):

1St. James the Apostle who, according to legend, converted Spain.

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door, where I stood apologising for having taken up so much of his precious time, but he insisted upon accompanying me to the hall. I remembered Lord Stair's obedience to Louis XIV, when charged to ascend the carriage before him, and walked on through the antechamber. Passing a sideboard with choice specimens of Dresden and Sèvre china, I observed, “I may judge that you take a special interest in this German and French porcelain; in a humble way I commit extravagances only on Oriental china.” He asked, “And why do you prefer Oriental ware, Mr. Holman-Hunt?”
“I must admit that Sèvre and Dresden porcelain cause me pain in their elaborate determination to defy the fundamental principles of sound design,” I said.
“But how do they do that?” he inquired.
“By disregard of the fitness of things.”
“In what way does ‘fitness’ enter into the question?” he asked.
“It is not any personal theory I am propounding, although you may possibly have heard it spoken of as ‘Ruskin's dogma,’” I said; “for many before him tacitly or openly declared it. Socrates, for example, when he lays it down that beauty depends upon fitness; sound Art has ever recognised the law.” Seeing him hesitate, I said, “Allow me to explain,” and I took up a cup. “This is a vessel out of which a man drinks, and it should give an undisturbed impression as to its purpose, but when the cup is in our hand, we observe on the outside a picture of linear and aerial perspective, with light and shade of distant mountains, of a great plain of trees and a platform with steps in the foreground. We turn it forward, and at the bottom of the cup we see a distant bay, a ruined temple, a fountain with statues, and cavaliers and dames dancing about. Our mind is in a state of discord to reconcile opposite impressions, one being that this is a cup to hold liquid, the other being that of distances and buildings—on concave or convex surfaces—which could only be rightly depicted and intelligibly understood when seen on a flat surface; the cup and the pictures are perfectly incongruous, and elegant manipulation is misplaced. ”
“But,” said he, “Oriental porcelain sometimes has representations of objects and landscape painted on its surface.”
“True,” I said, “but these are not portrayed with the aid of elaborate perspective and light and shade. The objects are represented as decorative ornaments, controlled by design fit for the nature of the thing in use. ”
“You surprise and interest me,” he said; “it is a question to work out, and I sincerely thank you.” 1
In moving on to the door I reminded him not to assume that I claimed any originality in laying down this principle, and so I took my leave, much impressed by the humility of this leader of men.
I was still not my own master, and could not therefore yet return
Transcribed Footnote (page 155):

1See Appendix.

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to the East. Having long been engaged on works of scale below life-size, it seemed wise now to take up the painting of figures of full proportions. I commenced a picture which I afterwards called “Il dolce far niente.”
I was glad of the opportunity of exercising myself in work which had no didactic purpose; the picture, however, had to be laid by for  


W. H. H.]


the time, and I finished it at a later period from a second sitter. I then devoted myself to designing the full-length picture of “The Afterglow” on a small canvas, with great variation from the large picture.
Mr. and Mrs. Tom Hughes had become my valued friends, and when a “Cosmopolitan” gathering was to take place they often asked me to meet a pleasant company at dinner on my way to the club.
Little Holland House was still exercising its fascinations on the
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London world; but its lord was declining in health with weight of years, and its gaiety was much impaired in the eyes of those who remembered its brighter days.
In the autumn of 1860 Tennyson, Palgrave, Woolner, Val Prinsep, and I undertook a walking tour through Cornwall and Devon. As Woolner could not stay more than the first week, and Prinsep and I could not start till a day or two after the rest, they had begun their walk on the north coast, visiting Tintagel, reaching Land's End, and had gone over to the Scilly Isles ere we arrived at Penzance. We learnt their whereabouts, and followed in the packet-boat to St. Mary's Island, where we found our friends at an inn. Woolner there took his leave of the company. Inchbold had been found painting at the old Arthurian  



castle, and Tennyson's account of the mysterious place whetted my desire to go there, but this thought had to be relinquished; and after a day spent in visiting the gardens of the Scilly Isles we returned to Penzance. During the intercourse of this journey we were much engaged in discussions on the character of English poetry of all periods. Palgrave was a man of solid culture, and was engaged at the time on his unrivalled forthcoming selection The Golden Treasury. While Burns was under review, his poem To Mary in Heaven was excluded from the selection, Tennyson agreeing that the refrain of “Hear'st thou the groans that rend this breast?” had the ring of hysterical insincerity and bombast in it, a rare fault in that simple poet. The judgments on the verses offering themselves for consideration were finally resolved upon after dinner, when pipes and a “pint of port” ripened the humour of the company. Palgrave refers in his enthusiastically graceful
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acknowledgment in the dedication to his volume to the advice and assistance he had gained from the great poet in these critical investigations; they were at times continued throughout the day, at times on the heights of a cliff or on the shore below, while we painters were loitering over notes of features of the scene which fascinated us. We could watch Tennyson in his slouch hat, his rusty black suit, and his clinging coat, wandering away among rocks, assiduously attended by our literary friend, and if by chance the poet escaped his eyes for a minute, the voice of Palgrave was heard above the sea and the wind calling “Tennyson, Tennyson,” while he darted about here and there till he again held the arm of the errant comrade. It had been understood from the beginning that Tennyson's incognito should be preserved,  



as the only means of escaping bores or burrs who might spoil all our holiday, so the devotion of Palgrave evidently arose from consideration of the danger that might overtake Tennyson owing to his extreme shortsightedness. The poet, who was singularly unpresuming on his worldwide glory and his twenty or thirty years’ seniority over any of the party, perseveringly besought us not to use his surname in addressing him or speaking of him in the hotels. When this was forgotten by any one of us he remonstrated, “Why do you always use my name ? You must understand the probability of some one noting it, and instituting inquiries which would result in discovery, and then we should be mobbed out of the place.”
“Oh !” laughed Palgrave, who was singularly pertinacious in the habit he had adopted, “that is absurd. You think no one has any notion in his head but the question, ‘Where is Alfred Tennyson, Poet Laureate?’ whereas not one in a hundred we meet has ever heard your name. ”
The poet returned, “But that one would tell the others.”
“Not at all,” said our friend; “there are many people of the name besides yourself.”
“Well, I have known the consequences before, and I wish you would avoid calling me by name,” said Tennyson.
I think it was on account of the poet's apprehension of discovery that our stay at Land's End was shortened.
Tennyson's custom at that time was to take a vehicle from stage to stage, for he had hurt his foot. Palgrave ordered a dog-cart, and drove
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with him. Val and I walked. Val Prinsep was a burly, handsome young athlete, with breadth of shoulders and girth of limb that made him the admiration of Cornishmen, who by their wrestling bouts looked upon strangers as their forefathers did upon any new knights appearing in the jousting field. Our meetings with passers-by and with countrymen at the bars of inns, which at mid-day we entered for refreshments, engaged us in merry talk and badinage.
We joined our two friends at Helston, where they had chosen a comfortable hotel, and Palgrave took all the trouble upon himself of ordering supplies for the party. To the landlord he said with emphasis: “Above all things be particular  



about the old gentleman's port at dinner, for he is very fastidious about his wine. We others would not care about it, but he would be seriously displeased if the port were not quite up to the mark.”
“Do you mean me by the old gentleman?” said Tennyson, looking round as he was unwinding his large cloak from his broad shoulders.
“Of course I do,” Palgrave replied, and, turning to the landlord once more, he added, “You’ll be particular, won’t you, on account of the old gentleman?”
The landlord had scarcely shut the door when Tennyson, with face more perplexed than angry, said patiently, “What do you mean by calling me the old gentleman?”
“Why, what are we to call you?” pleaded the other. “You won’t let us call you by your name, you persuade yourself that the whole country would rise up if they heard that magical word, and so I’m obliged to call you the old gentleman. Besides, you know compared with the rest you are the old gentleman, and every one will at once know who is meant.”
“You might find some other appellation, I think,” suggested the poet, but he did not pursue the complaint further at the time.
The next day Val and I went out to sketch. In the evening we told the others of a poor old woman who had come while we were at work, saying that she had a black profile of a sailor son who had been away for years, and she had long ceased to receive tidings from him. “What consoles me now,” said the loving old soul, “is that every day more that he's away must be a day nearer to his return.”
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Her business with us was to ask whether we were not in the “same line” as the profilist who did the silhouette, and if so, whether we  



could not undertake the restoration of the portrait, which she was grieved to find had lost some of the features by reason of the black paper coming unglued and falling off. She added that it had been an excellent resemblance, and she had left it at home, but if we would come and see it and state our price, she should, if she could afford it, be glad to bear the expense. We had asked the address and meant to find it out in the morning. Tennyson urged us to give what attention we could to the lonely mother, and matters were progressing happily as we smoked the peaceful calumet, until the landlord appeared to take final orders, when our scholarly caterer repeated his references to “the old gentleman.” The poet was startled  



from his restored tranquillity at each repetition of the obnoxious epithet, and immediately the landlord closed the door Tennyson, with a sign of suppressed irritation, renewed his complaint. With an eloquence that would have done credit to an academic wrangler, Palgrave justified his position in successive stages: first of all, Tennyson must be called something; the natural mode of addressing him would undoubtedly be by his proper name, but then this was objected to, for what all rational people would consider quite inadequate reason, and so it had to be given up. Almost every other name would be objected to. “Mr. Alfred,” or “our old friend,” for instance, would not do, nor “the elderly gentleman” either. “No, on the whole, ‘the old gentleman’
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Sig. VOL. II. M
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is, I am sure, quite the best term,” he said. “Notwithstanding your black cloak and your mysterious secrecy, the folk won’t really interpret it as meaning His Satanic Majesty,” and here he laughed heartily.
Tennyson asked us whether we did not think he had a right to object, and we agreed, but the argument persisted until the business of the further journey was mooted, and a resolution was come to that we should start next morning. A gig was accordingly ordered, and on the morrow after breakfast it was at the door ready for the two non-walkers. Prinsep and I had counted upon having another day to complete drawings already begun, but we decided not to stay behind our friends. When we had seen them depart, after some inquiries, made altogether in vain, for the whereabouts of the old mother of the lost sailor, we started for the appointed place of meeting at the Lizard. On arriving at the little hostel, dinner had been ordered for four; our friends were away at the coast, and we could not stray far from the inn for fear of missing them. There were two coaches, which belonged to a party come from Falmouth, unhorsed, waiting in front of the inn. The company were returning from the coast in little groups, and were taking their places on the vehicles while the animals were brought out and harnessed. It was a pleasant scene in the evening light, and we were idly gazing, when suddenly I was recognised and saluted by one of the ladies, the graceful and pretty Miss Stirling, and her sister, the nieces of the Rev. F.D. Maurice. They said they had been down at the coast all day, which made me ask if they had seen the two other members of our party there. The reply was “Yes, we met them in coming up the cliff.” In guarded undertone I said, “Then I hope you understood from Tennyson that he wished his presence here to be kept strictly secret?” “Tennyson!” exclaimed they, the ladies next them joining in with delighted surprise. “We were not close enough to recognise him.” I saw by the commotion created among all the company that I had unwittingly done more mischief than Palgrave had yet brought about. I implored all to be cautious, adding that the poet would never forgive me; and when I renewed my regret at the blunder I had committed, they playfully said they were extremely glad, and entreated me to beg Tennyson to visit the Misses Fox when we left the Lizard.
At our meal that night, with converse smooth and delightful, although sometimes ending in wrangling, Tennyson asked whether we had visited the old woman at Helston to see whether we could not repair the black profile of her boy's portrait. I explained that her account of its condition had given us but little hope of repairing the damage, and that we had failed in the attempt to find her house. I felt how reasonable seemed his reproaches, repeated as they were in kindly tone, but without stint, over the wine and pipes. That night happily ended without any serious contention between the men of letters ere we wended our way to bed. The next day we were all down
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on the white shore admiring the purple marble rock polished and made lustrous by the sea washing it in calm and storm. Each of us found his own particular object of interest apart from those which appealed equally to all. Perhaps it was the peaceful noise made by the laughing waters, or the bellowing of the cave-entrapped wave, that made Palgrave less mindful than his wont, and again he was heard calling out the Laureate's name whenever for a moment he had escaped observation.
Prinsep and I each began a drawing of Asparagus Island, and as we settled to work, Tennyson proved how, despite his short-sightedness, he had acquired the knowledge of details found in his poems.
  • He clasps the crag with hooked hands;
  • Close to the sun in lonely lands,
  • Ring’d with the azure world, he stands.
  • The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
  • He watches from his mountain walls,
  • And like a thunderbolt he falls.
He was not satisfied with the first casual impression made by a new experience; he went about from point to point of his first observations, and conferred over each impression with his companions. We painters had placed ourselves upon a tongue of cliff which divided a large bight into two smaller bays; thence we could, to right and left, see down to the emerald waves breaking with foam white as snow on to the porphyry rocks. Our seats were approached by a shelving saddle of a kind that required keen sight and firm feet to tread. The poet had made up his mind to look down into the gulf, and we had to find an abutting crag over which he could lean and survey the scene. In the original sense of the word, he was truly nervous, he looked steadily and scrutinisingly. The gulls and choughs were whirling about to the tune of their music, with the pulsing sea acting as bass, and it was difficult for eye or ear to decide whether the sound or the sight were the most exhilarating. Tennyson, when led away to a broader and safer standpoint, said, “I could have stayed there all day.” He sat and talked for a time, then strolled away with Palgrave out of our sight and hearing. That night after dinner the conversation began again about the English classics, and while it lasted there was little said that was not of inexhaustible interest, for Palgrave, as his books show, was an ardent appreciator of high thought and polished scholarship; but in time the divergent note was struck. “You’re always losing your temper,” said Palgrave.
“I should be sorry to do that, unless the reason were a very weighty one,” said Tennyson.
“Surely,” said Palgrave, “you must see that you’ve been offended with the most inadequate cause ever since our start. I appeal to the
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others,” and after referring to the objection of the poet to the use of his name and the alternative epithets, he treated it as unreasonable that Tennyson had complained to me about the revelation of his name to the Misses Stirling.
I at once said Tennyson was quite right on this point, that I had been foolish in making the blunder, and that the alertness of the ladies had proved how well founded was his dread of being lionised.
The poet, taking up his candlestick, said, “Each must do as he thinks best, but I have no doubt what to do. There is no pleasure for any of us in this wrangling, and I shall to-morrow go on to Falmouth and take the train home.”
“There now,” said Palgrave, as Tennyson was at the door, “you’re most unreasonable; if things that you have a whim for are not absolutely yielded, no one else is to have a voice in the matter.” When the poet had gone, Palgrave said to us, “You’ve no idea of the perpetual anxiety he causes me.”
Val ejaculated, “Did you say that he caused you?
“Yes,” he returned. “The last words that Mrs. Tennyson said to me on leaving were that I must promise her faithfully that I would never on any account let Tennyson out of my sight for a minute, because with his short-sight, in the neighbourhood of the cliffs or on the beach of the sea, he might be in the greatest danger if left alone. I’m ever thinking of my promise, and he continually trying to elude me; if I turn my head one minute, on looking back I find him gone, and when I call out for him he studiously avoids answering.”
“But you call him by his name?” we pleaded for the poet.
“Of course I do, for I find that his fear of being discovered gives me the best chance of making him avow himself.”
Gradually Palgrave gathered that our sympathy for him was limited, and then he took his candle and went off to bed. Val and I, when quietly talking together afterwards over the dispute, had our attention arrested by creaking steps on the stairs, the door was quietly opened and Tennyson appeared in his slippers. Putting his candle down and taking a chair, he spread both his hands out afar on the table and said, “I’ve come down to say to you young fellows that I’m very sorry if I seem to be the cause of the bickerings that go on between Palgrave and myself. It is I know calculated to spoil your holiday, and that would be a great shame. I don’t mean to quarrel with any one, but all day long I am trying to get a quiet moment for reflection about things. Sometimes I want to compose a stanza or two, and find a quiet nook where I may wind off my words, but ere I have completed a couplet I hear Palgrave's voice like a bee in a bottle making the neighbourhood resound with my name, and I have to give myself up to escape the consequences.” We explained that all this arose from Palgrave's desire to keep him from danger, for he felt responsible. “Oh, I know he means very well,” said Tennyson, “but it worries me, and I am
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going away to-morrow morning, but I hope you will stay and enjoy yourselves.”
The next morning before we had finished breakfast a dog-cart stood before the window, and the landlord came in to say that the trap was ready for the luggage. Palgrave cut short the speaker, deciding that it was not for our party, but the Laureate interposed with the explanation that he had ordered it, and he held to his determination to go to Falmouth at once.
When he had already got up into the dog-cart, and Palgrave found that further remonstrance would be in vain, he darted back into the inn,  


G. F. Watts]


entreating his friend to wait a minute. It was fully ten minutes ere he reappeared, preceded by his luggage, and then jumped up beside Tennyson, greatly to the poet's surprise. He protested, but the remonstrance was met by Palgrave appealing to us to come too, and declaring that he was under promise to Mrs. Tennyson never to leave him on the journey, and as the pair were driven away we heard the two arguing as to whether such watchfulness were necessary.
On the walls of the inn where John Smith of Exmoor and Henry Muggins of Battersea had, with an equally distinguished multitude,
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set their autographs, Palgrave had at the last moment neatly inscribed a cartouch in which figured our four names, headed by that of the poet, and it or a duplicate will be found there to this day.
For two or three days Val and I remained working on the cliffs. My drawing was on a block, of which the sun had gradually drawn up one corner; this warped surface did not seriously interfere with my progress until one day a sudden gust of wind compelled me to put my hand on brushes in danger of going to perdition, when, turning round on my saddle seat, I saw my nearly completed picture circling about among the gulls in the abyss below. Luckily, a fresh gust of wind bore it aloft, until the paper was caught by a tuft of grass at the brink of the precipice. It proved to be within reach of my umbrella, which  



fixed it on the spot until with the help of my friend, I was able to rescue the flighty thing for completion.
We, in our turn, went on to Falmouth, and learned from the Misses Fox that Tennyson and his friend had been with them for more than a day, and had been very happy until a notice of the poet's presence in a local paper startled him to take train direct to the Isle of Wight. We enjoyed the hospitality of this family 1 for a few days before our return home by Salisbury and Stonehenge. Val Prinsep commenced his Exhibition career at the R.A. two years later, and attracted annual attention, particularly well merited in the year 1865 with his painting of "The Hiding Place of Jane Shore."
Gad's Hill must have been known to Shakespeare, who certainly travelled to and on the sea, like many Englishmen in his days, with transmitted Viking passion for wandering.
Transcribed Footnote (page 166):

1See an account of this Visit in Caroline Fox's Memories of Old Friends, p. 398 (1883).

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He was dear to Dickens, and perhaps the singling out of this outlying suburb of Rochester by Shakespeare had as much to do with Dickens’ choice of it for a home as his early family associations had. Once, falling into a talk with him about the great dramatist, I asked which of all the passages in Shakespeare entranced him most. “Ah!” he said, “that's an embarrassing question to answer, for I love passionately so many; one scene comes to mind in Henry IV of Justice Shallow in his house and orchard, talking to his man Davy about the management of his several acres, and Davy's appeal to his master to take up his rascally friend's cause, saying at  



last, ‘I grant, your worship, that he is a knave, sir. . . . . I have served your worship truly, sir, these eight years; if I cannot once or twice in a quarter bear out a knave against an honest man, I have but very little credit with your worship.’ Then the arrival of Falstaff to enrol the men of the new conscription, and at last the scene in Shallow's garden, with Justice Silence added to the party, and Falstaff returning from the Northern Wars. As I read I can see the soft evening sky beneath the calm twilight air, and I can smell the steaming pippins as they are brought on to the table, and when I have ended my reading I remember all as if I had been present, and heard Falstaff and the whole company receiving the news of the King's death.”
It was a pleasure to all his friends to hear that Charles Collins was engaged to Miss Kate Dickens. I was invited to the wedding at Gad's Hill, where many good friends were present. 1
Transcribed Footnote (page 167):

1My dear Hunt,— I take the opportunity of having nothing to do to write and express (most inadequately) the deep sense of gratitude which pervades my whole system when I reflect on what I owe to you in the matter of Poole. *

Why, it's a new sensation. I am unrecognisable. I am astounded at myself. I see life under a new aspect since the mighty genius of Poole has become know to me. I no longer dislike modern costume. But my dear fellow, why have you let me go on so long in ignorance? Why have you not long ago taken me in a cab without telling me what you were going to do, and placed me in the hands of this profound artist ? However, it's better late than never, and I am content.

Always yours,

Charles Aleston Collins. Gadshill Place,

Higham, by Rochester.

Transcribed Footnote (page 167):

* See Appendix.

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Charles Collins describes it in the following letter —

“This is a delightful place about a couple of miles from Rochester, a house of about the period of George the Second, red brick with a belfry; and from the high ground one sees the ships working up the estuary of the Thames. It has the oddest effect to see the ships apparently moving through the fields, for one cannot see the water always, and just now I saw a cutter, to all appearances sailing on the top of a green hill. This is the very spot where the Falstaff robbing took place.”

When at school I used to hear the name of “Boz” in connection with the Pickwick Papers, and the two words met my eyes as inseparable on all the advertising boards of the circulating libraries until the name of Nicholas Nickleby superseded that of his first story and made the nom de plume that of him from whom further rich store of life's romance and humour was to flow.
What an unrealisable dream it would have seemed to me then, had it been forecast, that I should be a guest at this magician's table on one of the most personal and sacred events of his life. He was not yet advanced in years, but rich in laurels and still multiplying them, with a name honoured around the world, and a distinction coveted without envy. Yet he revealed a certain sadness during the wedding feast, and this it was that induced him, when Forster rose up to make a speech, to command him not to proceed.
It was a lovely day, and when the ladies left the room and we stood up, no more graceful leader of a wedding band could have been seen than the new bride. I was near the father, and found myself opposite and close to a small picture of the Sphinx by Roberts; it had probably been given by the painter to the author. In turning I bent my head towards it; Dickens suddenly said, “You will not find anything in that picture to suit your particular taste, but I admire it.”
I replied, “It interests me particularly, because I lived nextdoor neighbour to the Sphinx for several months.”
“And what do you find fault with in it?” he asked.
“I had not any intention of finding fault with it,” I said; “and if Roberts had never been to Egypt, and had painted it only as a poetic conception, I should have had no perplexity about it.”
“What are you perplexed at now?”
“Well, that he should have put the orb of the setting or the rising sun immediately behind the profile of the Sphinx does puzzle me.”
Dickens abruptly said, “I admire it in that respect.”
“But surely you do not mean that licence should go so far in a topographical picture as to justify a painter in making the sun set in the full south?”
“But I do not see why he should not if he thinks it aids the effect.”
“But,” I urged, “consider the whole idea connected with this ‘Watchful One,’ that it is lifting up its head to look towards the rising sun for that Great Day in which the reign of absolute righteousness and
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happiness shall come, so that the sun strikes on its brow each morning and sends a shadow towards the west along the great plain; and as the sun advances to the west a shade closes over the face like sleep. To put the sun against the profile is therefore a very unaccountable liberty, because it is destructive of the cardinal idea.”
“Ah ! well, I had not thought of that; that certainly makes a difference; but I admire it as a poetical conception all the same,” he persisted.
“I hope you will believe that my critical feeling does not blind me to its merits,” I replied, and so the discussion ended.
He was in no such overstrained mood whenever I met him again. In London he had the habit of walking about ten miles each day as a constitutional; sometimes I encountered him and walked with him, enjoying his brilliant humour.
After the wedding breakfast it was my fortune to drive out about Rochester with dear old Mrs. Collins  



and John Forster. It was a favourable time for talking with this healthy minded writer, and I enjoyed a long debate with him on literary responsibility and the false influence of what is called poetic justice in a plot. Douglas Jerrold, with his caustic wit, had summed up Forster's appearance with the stigma that he was the “Bumbeadle of Creation”; and indeed, till he talked, you might have thought the epithet somewhat excusable, but his large reason soon gave dignity to his otherwise over-comfortable aspect.
About the year 1861 Rossetti persuaded Morris to use the promising artistic power he had shown as a subject painter, in decorative design. Having capital in hand, this energetic man of genius and of good business capacity incorporated Brown, Rossetti, Burne-Jones, and others, and founded a firm which, after some eccentric experiments, developed not only into a commercial enterprise, but into a school of taste which it is not too much to say went far, and ought to be still moving forward, to re-establish the best form of artistic invention for English crafts.
The archaic spirit of Gothic times which inspired this offshoot from P.R.B.-ism was undoubtedly a recommendation to the approval of contemporary connaisseurs, for ancient authority has ever been what dilettantism loves as orthodoxy in art; perhaps even in the attainment of artistic success it was of good augury, for the field to traverse was limited, and the men whom Rossetti had enlisted, being late in
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application to art, could attain their ambition more speedily than had the region before them been untried.
Throughout the period I am writing of, young artists of ability were from time to time appearing. Henry Holiday applied his artistic taste and training to the designing and execution of stained-glass windows. Edward Poynter began to attract the attention of the Exhibition world in 1861, and rapidly year by year advanced in power. In 1865 his admirable painting, “Faithful unto Death,” appeared, making a strong impression among thoughtful people, and establishing his claims to high  


Sir E. J. Poynter, P.R.A.]


consideration. I was so far affected by its excellence that I advised several friends to buy it, and when they would not, I was seriously tempted to become its possessor, but some richer amateur anticipated me.
My picture of the Temple came nigh to destruction within a year of its exhibition. A canopy had been erected to prevent the dresses of the spectators from being reflected into the glass of the frame; in the dark days of winter a row of gas lights was placed close above this. One freezing morning some of the company remarked upon the excessive heat of the room, and while attention was being given to the question
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the whole of the curtain fell down in flames. The crowd escaped into the next room, the flames were spreading fast, and only one pail of unfrozen water could be obtained. In this emergency a lady took off her valuable Indian shawl and threw it to the man to extinguish the fire, which was happily overcome, the picture being only discoloured in parts, where the damage with care was remedied, so that in a week or so it was returned to the Exhibition with no mark of the injury remaining.  


W. H. H.]


The lady, although advertised for, never came forward to receive compensation from the Insurance Company for the destruction of her shawl by the gracious act she performed. Years later I heard that she was the wife of Sir Walter Trevelyan.
My friend, Vernon Lushington, at this time invited me to paint the portrait of his father, the Right Hon. Stephen Lushington; therefore I stayed with the family at Ockham to paint it. At our first dinner
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gathering in the house, one of the sons asked me what line I took on the question of the War between North and South in America.
“I had better confess at once that I am on the unpopular side, I must avow that all the arguments I hear for the Southern cause have no weight with me,” I said.
“Well done!” he exclaimed, “we are all Northerners here.”
Scarcely any circle I had met up to then had received my confession of faith on this question so harmoniously.
I felt it was wise to make a study in chalk of the very interesting head of the great judge before beginning the portrait in oil. The old gentleman was stirred up to extraordinary vivacity when in conversation, and the expression thus aroused was that best known to his friends. When silent, his visage settled into a mask, almost grim; but the fact that this aspect was unknown to society made me feel it must be avoided, the difficulty was that in the mobility of his features it was almost impossible to find any phase between the two extremes that could give the interest of the charming old judge's character. When he saw that his listener was absorbed in his stories, he poured out a succession of wonderful memories, 1 reaching back to before the last decade of the preceding century; he was now eighty-two years of age. 2 He told how he had once, when back from Eton, gone to Drury Lane or Covent
Transcribed Footnote (page 172):

1 See Appendix.

Transcribed Footnote (page 172):

2From a letter to Mr. Combe of Oxford from W. Holman-Hunt, October 10, 1862—

“I wish I could spare time to put down all the Judge's tales, they are very good and particularly interesting from the fact that they illustrate a time that is over and past away from the memory of nearly all—think of his having been one of the few to whom Sir W. Scott read the Lay of the Last Minstrel before it was printed.”

“Mr. Hunt,” said the Judge, “I remember the time when the Strand used to be patrolled by pickpockets that were known to every man in London. I will tell you a curious circumstance that occurred to myself. When I first came to London my father took for me some chambers in Paper Buildings, Temple. I had for my clerk a very excellent young man, the son of a gamekeeper of the name of——. He was excellent in all things but one. There was no money at that time but in bank notes; when I went to bed I placed some of these one pound notes for safety under my pillow, in the mornings I noticed several times that one was missing. At first I preferred to think that my memory had deceived me rather than that any one in the house had taken them, but as the loss was repeated I determined to take some precaution. I therefore had a constable concealed one night in my rooms, in the morning one pound was gone as usual. I sent for the constable and insisted upon having —— searched; nothing was found upon him, but it was so certain that he was the thief that he was taken into custody and taken before the Lord Mayor, and was convicted. The Lord Mayor in concluding the case, said to me, ‘There is no doubt the young man will be hanged.’ I refused under the circumstances to prosecute; the Lord Mayor said, ‘We shall take means in that case to compel you.’ I replied that nothing on earth should induce me to speak a word to bring about so dreadful a punishment for so comparatively small an offence; he said, ‘Young man, you seem very headstrong, there is but one alternative,’ he added after a little reflection, ‘it is that he shall go to sea.’ I agreed gladly to this, and the clerk consented and was packed off. Two weeks after this I met my clerk in the Strand. ‘——,’ I said to him (he was with a gang of thieves), ‘I am shocked to see you here; you know nothing on earth can save you from the gallows sooner or later, if you persist in your present course,’ and I urged him to abandon it. I saw no more of him for fourteen years, when to my surprise I met him dressed as a gentleman, within a hundred yards of the same place. I asked him to tell me what had occurred to him, he replied, ‘Sir, I was left by you when I last saw you in great distress of mind, I knew what you said was true. After some reflection I went to Wapping immediately, and finding a ship about to sail, I agreed to go as a sailor without salary. I was clerk to the captain on board; at the end of a long voyage I was landed at Barbadoes. Before long a government resident gave out he wanted a clerk and engaged me. I served him faithfully for ten years; when he left he brought me with him and got me a place in Somerset House, where I am now an honest and prospering man, thanks to you.”

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Garden, he could not be certain which; at the end of the first act the Manager appeared before the curtain. “Ladies and Gentlemen,” he said in tremulous voice, “it is our intention as usual to proceed with the performance of the piece on the boards, but it is my duty to tell you that sad news has just arrived from France—it is, that the French people have murdered their King. We will obey your commands.” No response was made, but all in the theatre arose, took hats and coats in silence, and in a few minutes the building was empty. Scores of memories he recounted that made one regret that the fashion of storytelling was ceasing in society. He had once been in company with Sir Joshua Reynolds, but had not known it at the time. Of Napoleon Bonaparte he had several social reminiscences. In his turn he was also an excellent listener, and applauded a good point with clapping hands. Once, by the entrance of a member of the family when I was painting him, an interruption had come in an account I was giving him of an Eastern adventure; during the pause, I had waited in vain to catch a glimpse of the face in the right view: after resuming work, I was intent on exact observation of my sitter, when I noticed him to be impatient, and he expressed this suspended interest by saying, “Well, Mr. Holman-Hunt, tell me how the contention went on.” I had to reconsider my words, for my thoughts were at the moment more on my work than on my story. When I had proceeded a little way, his face became perplexed and self-absorbed. “But, sir,” he gravely said, “I don’t understand, your evidence does not fit together.”
“Oh, I see, sir,” I said. “I was wrong; I had left out an important link. I beg your pardon ! I will go back to the point where I left it before,” and I supplied what in my pre-occupation I had omitted. His face gradually became radiant as he interjected, rubbing his hands, “That's all right; now I understand exactly. Bravo! bravo!”
At dinner the judge enchanted every one. Afterwards he went into his study, and he told me that he was able then to resolve serious questions of his court better than at any other time. I stopped work at luncheon, and afterwards we took a ride, once trotting to Weybridge, partly across country. The judge kept us alive with sparkling conversation from the time we started till the moment we again reached the hall door.
When I had completed the chalk drawing, I invited the daughters to see it. They were full of admiration, but I could see there was some reserve in their minds, and when I pressed them to be quite frank, Miss Lushington innocently said, “Why, you've made Papa with wrinkles!” To her and the family these marks of age had come so peacefully that they did not exist.
Once, when I was talking to Dean Stanley about Judge Lushington's 1
Transcribed Footnote (page 173):

1“The old gentleman who talked in such pathetical tones.”— Letters of Jane Welch Carlyle.

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stories, I regretted that being so much absorbed with my work I was not able to write them down, as I felt they certainly should not be left unrecorded; but the Dean told me that he had made it a rule to register all that he had heard. No one could have chronicled them better, but these records have not yet appeared.
I now had the canvas on which I had begun “The Afterglow” increased to take a life-sized figure, which I proceeded with at intervals, and finished.
In December, 1862, all London was enthusiastically stirred in expectation of the glories of the forthcoming International Exhibition, which was to be more extended and superb than any that had preceded it. Sir Thomas Fairbairn, one of the great movers in the Manchester Loan Collection of 1857, was a guarantor of the new venture, and came to London to take his place on the board. Pictures and marbles were borrowed from afar, and the prospects were of the most promising character when, one Sunday morning while people were on their way to church, the ominous bell of St. Paul's tolled out the mournful note proclaiming that the much-esteemed Prince Consort was dead. This distressful loss grieved the whole nation and threw a pall over the fortunes of the Exhibition; but preparations had gone too far to allow it to be postponed, and when the opening day came, the satisfaction at the accomplishment of the undertaking and the prospect of the gathering together of the latest industrial achievements of the world was not diminished although the grandeur and gaiety of the opening ceremony were wanting. Some of Millais’ and my pictures, and several of Woolner's works in marble, were exhibited. In other particulars the Exhibition was of personal interest to me, for there the firm of Morris, Brown, and Rossetti demonstrated publicly for the first time in our age that the designing of furniture and household utensils was the proper work of artists.
The determination on the part of the new firm to be markedly different in all their productions to the works usually supplied to the market, had made many of their contrivances eccentric, so that the common world stigmatised their tables as rough benches, their sofas as racks, and their beds as instruments of torture; but the designers themselves learnt their lesson, and eventually started on admirable lines.
It was matter of great satisfaction to me to see Woolner's work well exhibited for the first time; he had a dozen fine examples of his marble carving in the Exhibition, and his busts showed to great advantage in comparison with many of those by others, not a few of which were as though they had been modelled in dough. It was undoubtedly a want that nothing he sent possessed the spirit of design, but it must be remembered that until now he had not had any opportunity of exercising his talent. Sir Thomas Fairbairn was proud to have been one of his early patrons. One night in his smoking-room, when Woolner
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and I were fellow-guests, he spoke of the need of an authorised handbook on the works of Art in the Exhibition, and asked whether we knew of any writer competent to undertake the guide. Woolner ardently assured our host that he knew the very man, Francis Turner Palgrave, and believed he could persuade him to take it up with enthusiasm. Woolner was appointed to bring his friend to consult over the matter, and the next day Palgrave arrived. He stipulated that he should express his personal opinion on the whole question, no harm was foreseen in this, as the writer was to sign his work. Woolner was somewhat elated by the attention his works were gaining, as was demonstrated one Sunday when Augustus Egg and I were going round the gallery. We came upon a set of photographs from Michael Angelo's Sistine Chapel; and were admiring the prodigious power of design and drawing shown in these works, Egg was the speaker, when Woolner happened to come up. “That fine form!” he laughed. “I call that vulgar display; why, a life drawing by Mulready would be worth the whole ceiling,” and he passed on. On this Egg drily commented, “Your friend Woolner is not deficient in self-confidence.”
Very soon the authorised handbook was ready. The historic part on English Art was excellent reading; but with only a glance I could see that when the modern collection was criticised, the author's prejudice against all other sculptors but Woolner was rampant, and his admiration of him riotous. I told Woolner that it would do him harm, in raising up a strong feeling of resentment against him, and events soon followed which only too well fulfilled this forecast.
There was a lull for a time in public attention to the handbook, but amongst artists and at clubs there was outspoken displeasure, which marred the just recognition of what was undoubtedly highly admirable in Woolner's work.
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  • Who was this master good
  • Of whom I make these rhymes ?
  • His name is Jacob Homnium Esquire,
  • And if I’d committed crimes,
  • Good Lord ! I wouldn’t ’ave that man
  • Attack me in The Times!
Thackeray's Miscellanies.

But I have praised you when you have well deserved ten times as much as I have said you did. — Antony and Cleopatra.

On the 15th May appeared this communication in The Times, from the redoubtable writer, Jacob Omnium —

May 15 th, 1862

The International Exhibition

To the Editor of The Times.


I desire to call the attention of the Commissioners of the International Exhibition to an indecent and discourteous act which is being perpetrated within the walls of the Exhibition with their avowed sanction and, I am assured, to their profit.

A critic named Francis Turner Palgrave, who describes himself as a Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford, and who clearly believes himself to be well fitted for the task he has undertaken, has been employed by the Commissioners to write for the use of the public A Handbook to the Art Collections in the International Gallery . Mr. Palgrave is evidently, in his own opinion, a thorough master of arts; he writes as positively and dogmatically on oil-painting and water-colour as he does on sculpture, architecture, and engraving. On all these topics he is “cock-sure.” There is a novelty and vigour in the slang of art criticism in which he indulges which is very remarkable; he does nothing by halves; those whom he praises—and he praises some very obscure people—he praises to the skies; those whom he condemns—and he condemns a large number of very distinguished men—he damns beyond the possibility of any future redemption. I will give a few short specimens of his style.

The Commissioners of the Exhibition have obtained from Sir Edwin Landseer such of his works as they thought would do most credit to their gallery—the choice was theirs, not his; and thus does the critic, hired by them to guide the ignorant public, illustrate their taste and discretion.

“In ‘Bolton Abbey,’ Landseer has wasted his great powers on the idle profusion of lifeless game and indolent sensuality. Nature is apt to revenge herself on the true man if he is unfaithful for a moment; Landseer is generally cold in colour, but in this picture the charming picturesque touch, which half redeems that deficiency, has also failed him.”

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It is, however, in dealing with Baron Marochetti, that Mr. Palgrave's good taste and courteous tones are most advantageously exhibited; of the Baron, who has, at considerable cost and trouble to himself, done his best to meet the wishes of the Commissioners, their “own critic” writes as follows—

“It was the writer's first intention when he learnt that the model of the ‘Twin Group’ was to be exhibited in the Gardens, to have given to it that serious criticism which so imposing a mass seems to demand. Careful examination of much else by the same hand for many years could not indeed lead him to anticipate sterling merit here, for the study which began with a belief in the excellence of Marochetti's work has led gradually and surely to a conviction of its baseness.”

This is pretty strong, but it is nothing to what follows. The Commissioner's “own critic” warms to his task as he proceeds. He inveighs against the “colossal clumsiness” of the sculptor's work, he points out his “ineffable scorn of ignorance of the rules of art”; he condemns the Turin monument as fit only to be classed with “the centre-pieces of a confectioner.” He denounces the courteous and accomplished gentleman who made it as a mere “mountebank.” It would be unfair to both operator and patient to attempt to condense what follows—

“Addison somewhere justly praises the impregnability of nonsense. ‘Nonsense,’ he says, ‘stands upon its own basis, like a rock of adamant secured by its natural situation against all conquests and attacks. If it affirms anything you cannot get hold of it; or if it denies, you cannot confute it. In a word, there are greater depths and obscurities in an elaborate and well written piece of nonsense than in the most abstruse and profound tract of school divinity.’ Thus it is with the ‘Carlo Alberto.’ Those who cannot at once see through the effect and specious audacity, and discover that there is nothing but an amateur's worthless sketch magnified into Memnonian proportions, will not be convinced even by a right arm which goes straight out from the trunk without a crease in the dress or a trace of muscular motion, swaying its ignorant arms like a branch in the wind, and with the left (which in its turn hangs at the shoulder like a dislocated doll's) covered with furrows, intended possibly for a coarse model of stratification; by a face constructed out of a lump of chin and a dab of moustache, by the padded shape which far more resembles a round of brawn with three cord marks round the middle of it, than the human body; by legs (please inspect the left) as round and rigid as water-pipes; and all this and much more of the same quality set bold upright like a child's toy rider astride on that too celebrated animal with the forequarters of one charger and the rear parts of another, which does duty already in Westminister, then descend (it is hardly the right word) to the remaining work, take the bas-reliefs crowded by figures drawn with all the accuracy and finish of the prints in the Penny Novelist—admire the grace of the Zouave on the North-West, the well known Sydenham Pantaloon on the diagonal corner, the modelling in the lower parts of his neighbour, so far from the least suggestion that they cover human limbs, the breeches are the very image of those which Jack hangs out upon the forecastle when he has washed and starched them in the Atlantic.”

Such is the style, sir, in which this Mr. Palgrave summarily disposes of Landseer, Marochetti, and many other artists who have not the good fortune to please him. On modern sculpture he is especially hard. He says that: “The very best modern antique bears its sentence in the simple fact that it is modern antique. The art which neither springs from real belief nor appeals to real belief—it matters little whose work it be—must be learned mockery; I do not see how the word can be avoided—a nonsense sculpture. Or, look at it in another way. Can we imagine Phidias carving the gods of Egypt or Syria? Should Shakespeare have written ‘Hamlet’ in Latin? Serious as the subject claims to be, I confess it is very difficult to think of Nolleken's

Sig. Vol. II. N
page: 178
‘Venus,’ Canova's ‘Venus,’ Gibson's ‘Venus,’ everybody's ‘Venus’ with due decorum. One fancies one healthy modern laugh would clear the air of these idle images; one agrees with the honest old woman in the play, who preferred a roast duck to all the birds of the heathen mythology.”

We are then warned against Brodie's, Durham's, Gibson's, and Lawler's emptiness, against Thrupp's “toppling and proportionless Hamadryads”; while Munro, Bell, and Theed are pronounced to be so nearly beneath even Mr. Palgrave's criticism as to “be only exempted from silence by their positive and prominent failure.” Against Munro Mr. Palgrave appears to entertain a special guignon; in alluding to that artist's “Auld Play”and his “Sound of the Shell” he says that—

“Such vague writhing forms have not even a good doll's likeness to human children; they are rather mollusca than vertebrata; gaps, scratches, lumps, and swellings stand here, alas, for the masterpieces of Nature's modelling. The eyes are squinting canters, the toes inarticulate knobs, while the very dresses of the poor children in reality so full of charm and prettiness, become clinging cerements of no nameable texture and thrown into no possible folds. We (the Commissioners?) should not have thought it worth while to scrutinise work of an ignoramus so grotesque and babyish as all we have seen by Munro with any detail, if it did not appeal in subject to popular interests, and if we had not some faint hope that, arduous as are the steps from ‘Child's Play’ to marble in art, the author of these works may retrieve himself by recommencing his art before it is too late.”

Pleasant for Mr. Munro, is it not? How truly grateful he must feel to the Commissioners for having first borrowed his statues to adorn their Exhibition, and for having then considerately discovered in Mr. Palgrave a critic competent to appreciate them, and bestow on the sculptor such kind and practical advice!

If in selecting works of art for exhibition the Commissioners have made a bad choice, on them let the blame fall; it was in their power, nay, it was their duty, to exclude any works deserving the opprobrious terms which Mr. Palgrave so lavishly and indiscriminately scatters. But it appears to me to be intolerable that the very gentlemen, who have earnestly solicited these artists to exhibit their work in the International Exhibition, should permit such ignorant and brutal abuse to be written and published under their sanction, and to be sold under their name within their walls. Indeed I can only explain their conduct by the supposition that they have never read what their critic has written. I have only to add that Mr. Palgrave's praise seems to me far less tolerable than his censure. He bestows it very lavishly on a certain gentleman named Arthur Hughes, of whom I blush to say I have never before heard, but who, in his opinion, is the first of our living painters, and thus does he bespatter Holman-Hunt —

“Hunt's pictures burn with a kind of inner fire which extinguishes almost all other men's work; the sun's heat seems within the ‘Cairo’; the pure crystal day itself in the scene from Shakespeare; the hazy celestial silver of the moon mixed with the stealthy influences of starlight and dawning, and subtle flashings from gem and dewdrop have been harmonised in the ‘Light of the World’ by we know not what mysterious magic,” and so on ad nauseam.

I feel certain that as soon as the attention of the Commissioners has been called to Mr. Palgrave's bumptious and shallow attempt to bully and mislead the taste of the public under the shelter of their wings, the sale of his precious “Handbook” will be prohibited within the Exhibition, and that that accomplished writer will be necessitated to take his chance of circulation extra cathedra with more courteous and competent critics, in which case I venture to prophesy that his chance will be a very bad one.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

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On the next day the following letter appeared in The Times

16 th May, 1862.


Mr. Francis Turner Palgrave, who tells us in the preface of his Handbook to the Fine Art Collections of the International Exhibition, that in abusing in such unmeasured terms some of the best artists in this country he is reluctantly fulfilling a grave judicial function entrusted to him by the Royal Commissioners, does not tell us who he is, or what claims he has to represent himself as the redeemer and regenerator of English art. I believe I am now in a position to throw a good deal of light on the subject.

Mr. Palgrave is a clerk in the Privy Council Office, and one of the Government Examiners connected with the Educational Department. He has tried his hand at novel-writing and as a poet with moderate success; he now comes forward as an art critic whose dicta are to be accepted as final, supported as they are by the patronage of the Royal Commissioners, for no dog of that herd may bark within the Exhibition but Mr. Palgrave. He claims in his Preface a special aptitude for sculpture, an art to which he has given many years’ close attention.

Now it must be observed that in his Handbook, although he uses the harshest and most insolent language to nearly all the best sculptors of the day, there is one on whom he lavishes pages of high-flown praise which would have made a Phidias blush; that sculptor is Mr. Woolner.

The object of this is evidently to fill Mr. Woolner's pockets at the expense of his fellow-labourers. If, as Mr. Palgrave points out (p. 105), Adams’ “Wellington” and Burdett Noble's “Barrow” and “Lyons,” Munro's “Armstrong,” Theed's “Adam” and “Lawrence,” are a disgrace to English art now, and an outrage on remote generations, there is a chance that people, desirous of ordering busts may rush to Mr. Woolner if they have any faith in the judgment and integrity of Mr. Palgrave and of the Royal Commissioners; and that not only Mr. Palgrave, but also Mr. Woolner, may make a good thing out of the Exhibition.

Under these circumstances, it is a matter of interest to know where Mr. Woolner resides. The Royal Blue Book affords that information. I find that it is at 29 Welbeck Street that the British Phidias is to be found, and I grieve to add that Mr. Palgrave, the regenerator of British Art—the man with a mission, who believes in Woolner, and in Woolner alone, and who orders us all to do the same—actually keeps house with the said Woolner. So says the Blue Book.

Surely this is suspicious. Is it not possible that the close attention which Mr. Palgrave professes to have given sculpture may merely mean that the Critic and Phidias have talked over the competitors of the latter a great deal at breakfast time, and that the glowing periods in which Critic praises Phidias and abuses everybody else may merely represent the latter's high opinion of himself and contempt for everybody else?

Why do they (the Commissioners) keep a critic at all? What title has Mr. Palgrave to use the language he has “under their sanction” to much abler and better men than himself? And above all, why are we to have Mr. Woolner forcibly thrust down our throats because he and Mr. Palgrave find it convenient to lodge together in Marylebone?

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

Then followed a letter signed by Calder Marshall, R.A., W. F. Woodington, and Edward Stephens, explaining efforts made by them to get the Handbook suppressed, and afterwards another from G. D.
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Leslie, protesting against the unjust detraction of his father's claims as a painter, the remarks on which were directed at the character of his colour, which indeed, though very restrained, was ever fresh, sound, and daylighty. On the 17th appeared a letter from F. T. Palgrave, in which he proved that the extracts from his catalogue given by J. O. were so selected that an undue idea was conveyed of their injustice to the painters and sculptors he blamed, and Woolner wrote to deny that he had in the slightest degree influenced Palgrave's opinions.
On Monday, the 19th, appeared a further letter from Palgrave, enclosing a correspondence between the Commissioners and himself, which terminated in the withdrawal of the Fine Art Handbook as an official publication. A later column also gave a further letter from “J. O.,” headed “Damon and Pythias,” in which he quoted long passages from the Catalogue to justify his charge of unjust laudation of Woolner, and his assumption that the latter had inspired Palgrave with his own prejudices on sculpture. The impression these letters made is illustrated in the following humorous verse which appeared in public from the pen of a man of note—
  • Confound his impudence! I cannot say
  • How little I’ve enjoyed myself to-day.
  • I positively shudder when I look
  • Within the pages of this crimson book,
  • For all that once seemed lovely, graceful, chaste,
  • Is shown to be in execrable taste.
  • I once thought Gibson charming, and, indeed,
  • Admired the “cold vacuity” of Theed!
  • But one, I find, is lifeless, tame, and vile,
  • 10The other in the “dull spasmodic” style.
  • On reading further on, I learn with pain
  • That Baron Marochetti tries in vain,
  • “Like other men of similar pretensions,
  • To puff and blow himself to Bull dimensions.”
  • I’m sure that Woolner, who's refined and modest,
  • Although his fellow-lodger's of the oddest,
  • Must blush at eulogy so coarse and stupid,
  • And own there's something in the tinted Cupid.
Now the author of the letter in The Times was a very agreeable member of the Cosmopolitan Club, with whom I was on friendly terms, although we more than once sparred over the degree of right that Marochetti had to oust all English sculptors from any chance of getting public employment. A very formidable man to all was this Mr. Higgins; six feet eight and a half inches was the crown of his cranium from the ground he stood on; perfectly broad, and strong in proportion, withal remarkably handsome, and he had been a favourite pupil of the existing belt-holder. Thackeray had written a strong eulogium on him, and he was in close relations with Society. “J. O.” cared nothing at all for the other sculptors of native birth whom he mentioned, neither did most of the fashionable classes.
page: 181
We had come to the pass now that Woolner, by reason of the commotion caused by the Handbook, was in danger of losing the prospect that he had at last secured, and I was determined that he should not suffer if any remonstrance from me could save him. It was impossible for me to expose Jacob Omnium's motive, veiled under the show of defending the whole profession; his desire was to turn the tide in favour of Marochetti for the commission of a statue of Macaulay to be put up at Cambridge, which was on the point of being decided by a Council largely composed of men in favour of Woolner.
I drafted my letter and went down to Welbeck Street. Palgrave and Woolner were just finishing breakfast, and I asked what hope might exist of a champion for their cause. They were dejected, and confessed that no one was likely to help them, which was the more serious to the Cambridge chance, because Jacob Omnium's letters had been timed so as to appear only a day or two before the award of the commission. I then produced my letter, and it was agreed that it was possible it might save the situation. Accordingly I sent it to The Times, and the editor with his usual courtesy at once inserted it—


Surely your correspondent J. O. goes somewhat beyond the just limit when, in his letter which appeared yesterday, he makes insinuations against Mr. Woolner's talents and honourable dealings, in addition to the strictures which he has passed upon the Handbook of the Exhibition, in which Mr. Woolner's works are, as he says, so exceptionally praised. It may be said that I am an interested person in maintaining the authority of the Handbook. In answer I have to declare that throughout a period of twelve or thirteen years, during which the works that I have exhibited have often been roughly handled by omnipotent critics, I have never attempted to say a word in public to avert the effect of their wrath, and I have equally refrained from acknowledging favourable criticisms either in public or private, although I have in both cases run the risk of being misunderstood by the readers as well as the writers of these judgments. I have not read the Handbook in question; my only knowledge of it is from “J. O.'s” quotations and other allusions, and I am not therefore in a good position to assent or to dissent from Mr. Palgrave's views.

Mr. Woolner and Mr. Palgrave, it is true, within the last two months have taken up their abode in the same house. Is there anything suspicious in this fact to any but “J. O.”? The first had set himself to work at sculpture for years, with a result which has commanded the admiration of many of the best men of the day. The second is, as “J. O.” says, a novel writer and poet, and moreover has given many years' close attention to sculpture. What is there in the positions of these two men to prevent them from occupying the same house, if their private circumstances make such an arrangement desirable, or to prevent a perfectly independent pursuit of their studies after they are established together? Any one would think, from “J. O.'s” letter, that no one had ever before complained of the general character of our public statues; that Trafalgar Square, the Royal Exchange, Cheapside, and the neighbourhood of the Palace of Westminster contained monuments which the nation regarded with just pride, as calculated to uphold our honour as an artistic nation against the world. Surely it required no imaginary breakfast-table conversations with Mr. Woolner to convince a sensible man that this is

page: 182
notoriously incorrect. Punch and your own columns have made indignation against such works almost proverbial. As a friend of Mr. Woolner, I may assert that his appreciation of the few really great things of our modern sculptors, which it would be invidious to specify in part only, is as absolute as that of any artist of my acquaintance.

When “J. O.” confines himself to the question of whether the Art Handbook should be sold under official patronage, he deals in a perfectly straightforward English manner, but the public will, I think, regard his attempt to use the interest which he has engaged for this question to the injury of a talented and honourable gentleman in a very different light.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

W. Holman Hunt.

Tor Villa, Campden Hill,

17 th, May.
The letter cost me not a little, as I knew it must do. J. O. naturally resented it, and I was now entirely cut off from Marochetti, whose talent I respected, although at times it bordered on the confines of theatrical bombast, as seen in the genteel vulgarity of his statue of Victory, and in the flaunting birds' wings in his Wellington tomb. There is much grace in his statue of Princess Elizabeth, and force in that of Sir Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy. Sir Edwin Landseer, who lately had shown a disposition to become friendly, now avoided me. And all the painters and sculptors condemned by Palgrave evidently thought me of his opinion, although, in fact, I often did not share it.
On the same day as mine, appeared a brief joint letter in The Times from Watts and Millais, in condemnation of Palgrave's Catalogue. Woolner, two or three days after my letter, told me that the Cambridge Council had passed a resolution that, while the heated controversy—I alone being the defender—was going on, it was desirable to postpone their decision for a month; and this, he was told, would secure him the commission, and it did so.
I feel bound to say, in justice to my own judgment, that when Woolner's statue was completed, it was a disappointment to me. And although part of his few ideal groups continually proved the excellence of his modelling and marble carving, the spirit of his design did not, on the whole, satisfy those early expectations of his power of invention, which his admirable statue of Sassoon had certainly revived. My protest perhaps gave a much-grudged opening to English sculptors, and quickly resulted in the development of men whose genius cannot be mistaken.
Though the original study for my picture of “The Finding in the Temple” had yet only some experimental parts painted on the canvas, it would have been a loss to leave it incomplete, and I devoted myself to finishing it, while for greater joy in the work, I chose to make changes of hue in some parts of the composition.
Augustus Egg had become so far affected in health that he now wintered abroad; this year he went to Algiers, and we were all hoping that he would return when we heard of his death.
page: 183
When I took the news to Wilkie Collins he was quite broken down, and rocked himself to and fro, saying, “And so I shall never any more shake that dear hand and look into that beloved face! And, Holman,” he added, “all we can resolve is to be closer together as more precious one to the other in having had his affection.”
I was appealed to for some reminiscences of my old friend for a journal, and the better to qualify myself for a task for which I felt little fitted, I wrote to Charles Dickens to help me with any testimony that he could supply. His response will be the best eulogium upon our common friend that could appear—

Gad's Hill Place,

Higham, near Rochester, Kent.

Sunday Night, 1 st, May 1863.

My dear Mr. Hunt—

I should have immediately complied with your request but for the sufficient reason that I really have nothing to tell which the public has any claim to know. The dear fellow was always one of the most popular of the party, always sweet-tempered, humorous, conscientious, thoroughly good, and thoroughly beloved. I always advised with him about the compositions of the figures and the like, 1 and his artistic feeling and his patience were what you know them to have been. There is not a single grain of alloy, thank God, in my remembrance of our intimate personal association. But I look back upon his ways and words, in that half-gipsy life of our theatricals, as sanctified by his death and as not belonging to the public at all. In that aspect of his life, as in every other, he was a thoroughly staunch, true, reliable man. All else I regard as private companionship and confidences.

Believe me, ever faithfully yours,

Charles Dickens
At this period I visited Sir Thomas Fairbairn at Burton Park near Penshurst. Wingrove Cook was also a guest there; he had been the correspondent to The Times in China during the recent war, and had written letters of world-wide interest on that subject. The later contributions to the series had been unprecedentedly amusing and edifying, describing the behaviour of the atrocious Commissioner Yeh on his voyage to India as a prisoner. He reported that when left alone in the saloon, the great Chinaman was observed through a peephole to jump down from his seat of state, and exhibit a monkey-like curiosity, turning over cushions and prying into corners; but on the slightest sound of returning footsteps, he would race back to resume his seat of dignity with the imperturbable serenity of a Buddhist image. Wingrove Cook was a writer of the greatest facility, who would, without pause for a word or expression, describe graphically all that had passed before his eyes. He was a man of ready wit, and generally a good fellow.
One day while out shooting we stopped to have lunch in an open glade, and talked of family pedigrees. Our host remarked that once he had the ambition to trace his family lineage; that he had got back two hundred years, to find that an ancestress had been burnt as a witch,
Transcribed Footnote (page 183):

1 This refers to arrangements made in theatrical tours by Dickens and his friends, including Egg, made in the provinces to secure a fund for the relief of decayed actors.

page: 184
and that he looked upon the discovery as a reason for stopping his investigations. His father, Sir William Fairbairn, was the great engineer, who had the credit of completing the Menai Bridge. When the son came to an end of the story of his ancestress condemned for diabolical dealings, Wingrove Cook reflected, “Well, had your father lived two hundred years ago, I have no doubt whatever that he would have kept up the family character and been burnt as a wizard.”
Still discoursing, we talked about the author of Vanity Fair. Cook said, “Thackeray is no genius! He was my schoolfellow, and I’ve known him all along for a rather able and plodding gentleman of letters, nothing more; amusing enough some of his lucubrations are, but he is overrated, he hammers out all with the greatest toil. Look here! when I came home last year after a long absence abroad, I invited a party of old chums to come and dine with me at Hampton Court. And I went to Thackeray, saying, ‘Now, my dear fellow, you must come and dine with me and a lot of ancient cronies next Wednesday.’
“‘Ah me!’ returned William Makepeace, ‘I wish ’twere not so, but the end of the month is coming, and so far I have not written a line of my new number, and I have put aside next Wednesday evening to go down to some quiet lodgings I have taken at Surbiton to make a big innings, so you see I am obliged to give up your attractive party. I’m truly chagrined.’
“‘Do you mean to tell me that you consider the writing a few pages of your story a sufficient reason for breaking through our good fellowship?’ I argued. ‘Why, I could write twice the quantity of your whole number in four hours.’
“‘Ah!’ Thackeray replied, ‘I know too well that I could not, and if I gave up Wednesday night, I should find that I was behind and all my sense of deliberate judgment would go. It would not do indeed.’
“ It was no use arguing with him, and I had to give him up,” said Cook. “Well, our party met. Every one asked why Thackeray was not there, and I told them. Nevertheless we had a jolly evening, and when we were breaking up, in reply to an inquiry where Surbiton was, I decided that we would drive home that way, and knock up W. M. Thackeray. We arrived at the dark village. There was one house with a light on the first floor; it was easy to conclude that we were at the right one, and we all shouted out ‘Thackeray.’ The window was forthwith opened and our friend appeared; recognising us, he said quietly, ‘Oh! wait a minute and I will come down and let you in. He descended and opened the door. He was feverish, yet very calm, and terribly sober.
“ We flocked in, and I preceded the party upstairs. There was the writing-pad with some sheets of notepaper on the table, and the upper sheet had about twelve lines of his neatest small writing, with a blank space at the bottom. I held it up before Thackeray. ‘Tell me,’ I said, ‘is this all that you have written this blessed evening?’
page: 185
“‘Alas!’ he replied quite sadly, ‘that is all.’
“ And I rejoined, ‘Then that is what you left all of us for? You ought to be ashamed of yourself.’ And in return, he admitted that I was quite right.”
While my mind was still in the lodging at Surbiton, and following the inspired author of Vanity Fair after his boisterous companions had gone and he sat down to gather up the disturbed threads of his wonderful embroidery, Wingrove Cook confidently exclaimed, “Now do you call that a genius?”
During my visit to Burton Park, Trelawny, the friend of Byron and  

John Keats

W. B. Scott, from J. Severn]


Shelley, arrived. He was a man of seventy years of age, in stature about five feet nine; his shoulders were of great width and his chest of Herculean girth, his neck was short and bull-like, and his head modelled as if in bronze, with features hammered into grim defiance. His eye was penetrating, and his mouth was shut, like a closed iron chest, above a Roman chin; it was no surprise to find his voice full and rough. And yet with all this there was a certain geniality in him which he at first concealed as though he were ashamed of it. While I was painting one morning in the park, I saw him approaching. When he was nigh I called out, “How do you do, Mr. Trelawny?” He walked on without answering, and coming close threw himself down on the grass behind me. I repeated my salutation. His reply was, “I think that is about the most foolish thing one man can say to another.” I hazarded, “Can
page: 186
I put it another way, and say, I hope you’re quite well, Mr. Trelawny?” “Of course I am,” he said. “I’m glad you’ve come out to see me, to give me the opportunity of a quiet chat with you,” I continued, not noticing his tone. “Besides Byron and Shelley, you knew Keats; tell me what height Keats was, for the idea prevails that he was extremely short, and that does not correspond with the character of his head as seen in the cast. From what Keats once idly said it is inferred he was only five feet in height.” “He was of fair middle height, like my own,” said Trelawny. “Tell me how the character of his face inspired you,” I continued. “He couldn’t be called handsome,” he replied, “because he was under-hung.” “You use the word in an opposite sense to that in which it is sometimes applied to Charles the Fifth and Philip the Second, or to a bulldog?” I said. “Of course Keats was the very  



reverse,” he grunted, “and the defect gave a fragile aspect to him as a man.”
We talked of Byron, and Trelawny said he had put to the test Byron's power of swimming, which he had referred to in his well-known lines. “Bathing from the beach one day,” said Trelawny, “I pointed to a ship out at anchor and asked him to race me to it. We started, and in a few strokes I found that it was a mockery for me to exert myself. I waited for him to come up and made a fresh start, repeating this two or three times; at last I swam round the ship, and as I returned met him not yet arrived. ‘Get away from me,’ he said, ‘I hate you,’ and I saw he was really angered; to pacify him I said, ‘Why, Byron, if I could write Childe Harold I should not mind any one beating me in swimmimg.’ But he was sore with me and remained so for some time.”
With the massive chest, shoulders, and arms before me, the story could well be understood.
A few days later at dinner Trelawny's place at table was empty, and a servant was sent up to his room, who reported that he was not there and could not be found. This arousing curiosity, the master asked the butler if he knew anything about the guest. “Yes, Sir Thomas,” he said, “I saw Mr. Trelawny going with his valise in his hand on his way to the station this evening, and I think, Sir, he has left.” Being pressed for further news of the guest, he said with the gravity becoming a trained servant, “Mr. Trelawny was sitting in the afternoon in the lake up to his neck in water reading a book, and he remained there till dusk, Sir Thomas.” Thus ended the visit of this survivor of a past generation.
A man occasionally appeared among our circle at this time who
page: 187
proved soon afterwards to be one of the great figures of our day. Before The Ordeal of Richard Feverel had made George Meredith receive his first welcome from the world, we recognised the author as both brilliant in his wit and singularly handsome in his person. Of nut-brown hair and blue eyes, the perfect type of a well-bred Englishman, he stood about five feet eight, and was near my own age. He had a boy of some five or six years old, and when his first wife—the daughter of Peacock, who had been a friend of Shelley—left him, he devoted himself unremittingly  

John Keats


to the child and to his training and education. When I was told Meredith was going to live with Rossetti in Cheyne Walk, I recognised regretfully that this combination would be an obstacle to the increase of my intimacy with the poet novelist at the time, but it transpired afterwards that he relinquished his project ere it was put into execution, and he has told me since that he never slept at Queen's House.
On the night of the marriage of the Prince and Princess of Wales, I went to the city to see the decorations of the streets through which the Royal party had passed. The display made many buildings by daylight dingy with city smoke, fairylike and gorgeous. Temple Bar was enlivened by hangings of gold and silver tissue, and London Bridge was hung with masts, crimson banners surmounting the Danish insignia of
page: 188
the Elephant; tripod braziers and groups of statuary made up the show of welcome to the Princess on a spot full of memories of Danish exploits of ancient times, and the whole was illuminated by an effulgence of light. Being fascinated by the picturesque scene, I made sketches of it in my note-book, and the next day, feeling how inadequate lines alone were to give the effect, I recorded them with colour on a canvas. When I had completed this, the Hogarthian humour that I had seen tempted me to introduce the crowd; but to do this at all adequately grew to be a heavy undertaking. I was led on, and felt that the months during which I could see that family matters would still detain me in England would not be ill spent in perpetuating this scene of contemporary history, but the work proved to be much greater than I had anticipated.  



When 1 the picture was finished I had it exhibited in a gallery in Hanover Street, together with a few others, including “The Afterglow,” and the painting of “The Last Day in the Old Home” by my pupil Martineau. I left the carrying out of all arrangement of lighting, etc., to a manager, and did not see what was done until the morning of the private view, when His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, with the Princess of Wales, had promised to do us the honour of visiting our pictures. My arrival was only a couple of hours before the Royal visit, and there was such a scene of confusion, of carpenters' tools, of sweeping materials, bare boards, steps and the like, that I was alarmed at the possibility that some of these might not be out of sight before the arrival of the Royalties.
Transcribed Footnote (page 188):

1See Appendix.

page: 189

London Bridge

W. H. H.]

London Bridge

(Night of the marriage of the Prince and Princess of Wales. March 10, 1863.)

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In extraordinary manner however all disappeared as by magic just as we heard the Royal approach announced.
Promptly His Royal Highness scanned Robert Martineau's picture with interested attention, then turned to “ The Afterglow ,” pointing out to the Princess the correctness of type, atmosphere, and costume of the Egyptian picture. The Prince then asked me for the picture of “London Bridge.” “Where is the Princess? where am I?” he inquired in looking on the motley scene. I explained that the picture dealt only with “London Bridge by Night on the Occasion of the Marriage,” crowded by the mob viewing the illuminations. Looking at it from point to point, our Royal guest asked many questions about it, but suddenly singling out Mr. Combe's figure, which I had introduced  



into the crowd, with face no larger than a sixpence, the Prince exclaimed, “I know that man! Wait a minute,” he added, “I have seen him in the hunting-field with Lord Macclesfield's hounds. He rides a clever pony about fourteen hands high, and his beard blows over his shoulders. He is the head of a house at Oxford, not a college——" as he went on following the trace in his mind— “but I’ll tell you—yes—I remember now—it's the Printing Press, and he rides in a loose red jacket. Am I not right?”
“You are, Your Royal Highness,” I answered; “for although I have not been with that pack when you, Sir, were in the field, Mr. Combe has often told me that he has seen Your Royal Highness with Lord Macclesfield.”
“Remind me of his name,” said the Prince.
Before I had well said it he took me up with, “Yes, I remember, Combe of course.”
This is an example of the extraordinary faculty possessed by the Royal Family of remembering faces and names, and it would be a want in my record of remarkable individuals of my time if I were not to note this experience of mine of King Edward VII's phenomenal and gracious recognition of individuals.
In 1864, when Garibaldi came to England, there was such a press of admirers about him, that I could not out of my much-taxed time make arrangements for seeing the great hero in any manner that would enable me to satisfy my artistic interest in the outward aspect which his inner divinity of soul had stamped upon his personality. Despairing of the opportunity of a satisfactory meeting with the hero, I was unexpectedly
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gratified at receiving an invitation from the Duchess of Argyll to meet him at breakfast. The party consisted of some twenty people, and the man who had made the greatest romance of modern days walked in modestly with a friend or two, who stepped aside while he advanced to be received by his host and hostess, with her mother, the gentle and still beautiful Duchess of Sutherland.
Garibaldi from his photographs had appeared to me to be a man of about five feet ten in height, and indeed when he stood alone he might still be thought to be of that stature, so well was he proportioned; but alongside of other men, the stalwart bag-pipers to wit, he proved to be not more than about five feet five.
What a difference there is between man and man! One is employing his full powers to dig a grave, while another no bigger is making a kingdom, and withal with the honesty of the simplest child; another will connect seas together and change the course of navigation. While one man quarrels in a drunken brawl, the other will use his strength to overthrow tyrants and consolidate a nation. It was the glory of Garibaldi that while he had achieved the latter task he had used no deceit. Machiavelianism was to him enough to condemn a cause as a miserable one; his yea was yea, and his nay nay, but was he then blunt and rugged? No. Certainly the gods had made in him a vessel of high nobility out of the clay of earth: not a line was there in his face or figure that was not wholly heroic. The forehead and nose seen in profile were of the same inclination, the bridge of the nose following the brow in leonine continuity, the eyes were profoundly caverned, the cheeks and the jaw amply expressed the power of judicious will, their anatomy showing itself vigorously below the surface, both alike declaring the strength of self-control and control of others. He talked in French, and taking the Duchess of Argyll on his arm with a perfection of courtesy, the red-shirted hero conducted her to table. On his left was the Duchess of Sutherland. After some talk about Italy, his earlier campaign in South America was discussed, and the ladies in the course of conversation inquired whether the people of Uruguay were of fair complexion. “Yes,” he said, “they are generally fair as Europeans.” Then reflecting that his remark in distinguishing the people from negroes and half-caste might require qualification, he gesticulated with either hand to the ladies on right and left in turn, and said, inclining his head ceremoniously, “Quand je dis blonde, it ne faut pas croire que ces personnes dont je parle possèdent la peau blanche de vous, Madame la Duchesse d’Argyll, ou de vous, Madame la Duchesse de Sutherland.”
I did not have personal talk with him, neither did I attempt a portrait, but many artists who induced him to sit to them had their work suddenly cut short, as it had been planned that he should make a circuit of the important provincial cities of Great Britain. On a day or two after my seeing him, at some public gathering he very simply expressed his indebtedness to the English fleet lying in the Bay of Naples
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for having refused to stir from their anchorage—which course had sheltered the force of volunteers as they were approaching the land forts—enabling him to bring his men close to shore without being exposed to fire. The course the British admiral had taken was really dictated by previous policy, Garibaldi was justified in taking advantage of it, but our Ministers could neither accept nor refuse his gratitude, and they feared further complications might be caused by future speeches; the wish was therefore expressed that he should not complete his provincial visits at that time. Garibaldi accordingly left our island very abruptly.
About this time Baron Leys’ pictures appeared in London. He had based his system upon Revivalism, but being a Netherlander he eschewed the classicalism of the Renaissance, not only as expressed in Italian art, but as it was reflected in Albert Dürer and other high German artists. He had rather taken for a model the Basle School as seen in Holbein and other portraitists. In his out-of-door scenes he avoided sunlight effects, and gave the more prevalent grey light of an aqueous climate; he often painted groups with scarcely traceable cast shadows, with almost childlike naïveté as to the posings of his figures, portraying these with full yet careful handling. A few of his performances in which women's figures appeared were at times distinctly possessed of grace of form and of pose. Alma-Tadema had been his pupil, and early acquired his master's power, which he applied from the beginning to Roman subjects of the Imperial time with an archæological insight and exactness never attained before.
Dr. Sewell, in earlier years, when founding Radley, had consulted me about an Art master for the school, one who could awaken and also satisfy interest by his lectures, and teach drawing. I had introduced to him my fellow-student, John L. Tupper, the author of the following verses in The Germ
  • The air blows pure for twenty miles,
  • Over this vast countrié;
  • Over hill and wood and vale, it goeth,
  • Over steeple, and stack, and tree;
  • And there's not a bird on the wind but knoweth
  • How sweet these meadows be.
  • The swallows are flying beside the wood,
  • And the corbies are hoarsely crying;
  • And the sun at the end of the earth hath stood,
  • 10And through the hedge and over the road,
  • On the grassy slope is lying;
  • And the sheep are taking their supper-food
  • While yet the rays are dying.
  • Sleepy shadows are filling the furrows,
  • And giant-long shadows the trees are making;
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  • And velvet soft are the woodland tufts,
  • And misty-gray the low-down crofts;
  • But the aspens there have gold-green tops,
  • And the gold-green tops are shaking;
  • 20The spires are white in the sun's last light;—
  • And yet a moment ere he drops,
  • Gazes the sun on the golden slopes.
  • Two sheep, afar from fold,
  • Are on the hill-side straying,
  • With backs all silver, breasts all gold;
  • The merle is something saying,
  • Something very, very sweet;—
  • ‘The day—the day—the day is done;’
  • There answereth a single bleat—
  • 30 The air is cold, the sky is dimming,
  • And clouds are long like fishes swimming.
(John Tupper, “The Germ,”

Sydenham Road, 1849.)
  • The chamber is lonely and light;
  • Outside there is nothing but night—
  • And wind and a creeping rain.
  • And the rain clings to the pane;
  • And heavy and drear's
  • The night; and the tears
  • Of heaven are dropt in pain.
  • And the tears of heaven are dropt in pain;
  • And man pains heaven and shuts the rain
  • 10 Outside, and sleeps; and winds are sighing;
  • And turning worlds sing mass for the dying.
(John Tupper, “The Germ,” 1849.)
Tupper was welcomed cordially by Dr. Sewell and his qualifications were recognised, but as no funds were available for the professor, the appointment had to be indefinitely postponed. In 1864, I met Dr. Temple at a country house, and he inquired if I knew of any artist qualified to fill the post of drawing-master at Rugby. I named Tupper, explaining that he would not be content to teach the ordinary routine of pencil drawing, but would strive to accomplish something much more thorough by his teaching. Immediately he entered into office he made a demand for funds to purchase a small collection of casts from the Pheidian marbles, and for the purchase of a skeleton and anatomical figure, with a hall in which to place them; nothing but the latter could be afforded, but my friend would not be defeated, and himself bought the objects for serious study. It was a protest against the ordinary practice of drawing broken-down cottages and dilapidated five-barred gates and pumps, and I know that in some cases it did good service in the serious training of youths in the knowledge of fundamental principles
Sig. Vol. II. O
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of form. But unhappily he did not live long. The school authorities bought the collection from his widow, and these examples remain, leaving the hope that even yet they may do some good service for Art, and influence the young who in the future may be a power in the realm to direct public taste in the choice of true architects, sculptors, and painters.
After the Royal Commission of 1863 had published its report on the Royal Academy, the leaders of that  



institution took some steps to pacify the malcontents by making overtures to those who seemed most important and promising. G. F. Watts was one of those who had been badly used by them for many years, and before the Royal Commission 1 he coincided with all others who avowed the opinion that the Academy needed radical re-modelling to make the constitution of the Body, framed a hundred years before, more conformable to the needs of the greatly expanded profession. It had been privately maintained that the only means of effecting reform was to refuse in a Body to accept Academy honours until radical changes had been conceded, making the control largely extra-mural, and that such influence should also be exercised over the work of the hanging Committee.
Neither had I allowed discretion to impose silence on me as to the merits of outsiders, as has been seen by the report of my evidence in 1863 before the Royal Commission.
Transcribed Footnote (page 195):

1 “The only mode I could suggest” (for improvement) “would be the introduction of some element from without. . . . I do not see its influence on our architecture—our street architecture, our fashions, or our taste in general, in any way whatever. The only national school which has grown up at all, has grown up outside the Academy, and indeed in opposition to it—that is the water-colour school; and the only definite reform movement (which the Pre-Raphaelite school may be called) was certainly not stimulated by the Royal Academy, and even met with opposition from it.”— (Extracts, G. F. Watts, Report of Royal


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Reason cannot show itself more reasonable than to leave reasoning on things above reason.—
Sir Philip Sidney
'Tis not in mortals to command success, But we'll do more, Sempronius—we’ll deserve it.—
Addison's Cato.
My friend the Rev. W. J. Beamont, Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, had been appointed vicar of the church of St. Michael and All Angels, and as holder of the benefice endowed by Hervey de Stanton, Chancellor of the Exchequer to Edward II, was wishful that I should decorate and paint the interior.
I made several visits to Cambridge to consider and consult about the work, but except some superintendence of the preparatory flat colouring, nothing further was done to carry out Beamont's purpose, and my affairs being now such that I could go back to the East, I did so, hoping to take up the church decoration on my return. There was strong reason for deliberation before deciding on the work in the weather-beaten condition of the walls of the church. To the north and south of the chancel were two suitable spaces for figure subjects, and at the eastern end of the north aisle a large surface offered a perfect place for a picture. I decided that the first two might be used for companion subjects, and the third be treated with an independent story, while the walls above the arches of the nave should have companies of angels to decorate them. For the northern chancel wall, I thought out the subjects of Michael and his host warring in heaven against the devil and his angels all deformed by expressions of different vices and supported by monsters of extinct type to indicate that the instincts of primeval rapacity may not exist with progress of society towards human perfection; practices of obsolete lower classes of animals being by the higher recognised as vices, and the object of continual warfare. On the south the same defeated crew were to be recognised in the sky holding beautiful masks before their faces, striving to entice the regard of fathers and mothers, youths, maidens, and children, as they were led up to the altar of self-sacrifice erected by the Founder.
It was part of my purpose although I did not reveal it, to paint as the Founder whose portrait was not preserved, my friend the vicar, a man of saintly countenance and bearing. I prepared some devices
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for decoration, which I determined should be absolutely new in character, but for these the walls were not ready, and I have never made use of them since.
Ah! if I permitted myself to linger over the pastures of personal romance which the members of our community traversed, how much greater would be the gleanings of human interest I could bring with me; but the sweet delirium, the trials and the rewards of human affection are the private treasure of a man, and no result but the satisfaction of impertinent  


W. H. H.]


curiosity could be gained were I to dilate upon these phases of the lives of men prominent in our Movement. I have avoided speaking of such experiences, except where the barrier of what to me would have been sacred privacy has been already overstepped, leaving inaccuracies to be corrected. Respecting thus the sacredness of private life in others, I claim it for myself, however much at some points this book may be mistaken for an autobiography.
On December 28th, 1865, I married Miss Waugh.
There had been substantial reasons for my long delay in returning to the East, I had to accept the lesson of my experiences with the Temple
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The Festival of St. Swithin

W. H. H.]


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picture and come to the conclusion that I must not go without sufficient funds to bring my new picture to a complete end.
I explained to a practical business friend my prudential reason for delaying my return to Syria; he counselled me how to improve my position by change in investments, and this advice I followed.
Another consideration hindering my departure was to advance my sister to a state of proficiency in her art by which she could proceed without my help. I had lately designed for her a picture of pigeons from an incident I had seen in a dovecot during a storm of rain.
During my absence in the country, I found my sister had grown tired of this painting and had given it up; the half already completed was nearly all by my own hand; as the dovecot was still in my garden and all arrangements made for carrying out the picture were at hand, it seemed foolish to throw away the work, so I decided to give the necessary time for its completion, and this delayed me a few months.
Walking one morning from Paddington to my house on Campden Hill, my attention was attracted to a youth coming out of a house in Park Place, holding his hands to his head and swaying his body to and fro as he walked across to the opposite pavement. It was evident that he was in distress. Hastening forward, I discovered that it was Fred Walker, and saw that he was suffering sore tribulation of mind. I approached, he clutched my wrist, and when I said, “What is it, my dear fellow?” he groaned, “O God, O God, what can I do!” He looked at me now with fresh recognition, revealing that he had been scarcely conscious who I was, and added, “My brother has just this moment died; he had been ailing a long while, and we had been sitting up with him. I had his hand in mine, and gradually found it was no longer his—he was dead—and I have come out to breathe; when I go back it will be to find him still lying dead. What can I do?” I asked if I could effect any good by coming in. “Oh no, don’t come, it would harass my mother and sisters.” I reluctantly parted from him, and afterwards I scarcely saw him again in any way worth recording, owing to circumstances attending him, and to my long absence abroad.
Soon after this there was a disquieting panic in the City, and one morning, taking up The Times, I read with dismay that a bank in which I was shareholder and depositor had stopped payment, while another business with the same directors was in as much discredit as the bank itself, so that the shares of both were less than valueless. I had to raise money by selling other property; so after all I had to carry out my plans with no surer provision for uninterrupted progress in the East than I had had before.
Meantime the strict principle upon which I worked was commented upon by each in his particular temper. Mr. Leigh, the head of a popular school in London, chatting with his elder student class, said: “Holman-Hunt is so superlatively conscientious that were he painting a picture in which everton toffee had to be introduced, he would never be satisfied
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unless he went to Everton to paint it, in order to make sure of representing the purest example of the article under best local conditions.” Such comments were harmlessly amusing.
My wife and I started in August 1866 for the East. At Marseilles, where I was intending to take the boat to Alexandria, I learnt that quarantine was established on account of the cholera, but as the secretary of the “P. and O.” assured me that the next departing boat would probably be allowed to enter Alexandria with a clean bill of health, we waited for this. In the meantime there were mournful crowds in the streets following the funeral processions, and the people brought out their furniture, making bonfires of it after dark. The next steamer from Egypt brought news that no boat from Marseilles would yet be allowed to enter. Accordingly we proceeded over the Maritime Alps for Leghorn, whence we heard it was possible to reach Egypt via Malta. We rested a night at Florence, intending to continue our journey the next morning, but learning that intercourse with Egypt was stopped, we had no choice for the present but to remain in Florence.
On December 20th, 1866, my wife died and my dear friends Spencer Stanhope and his wife took charge of my motherless son under their roof for a time. Necessitous labours were now my blessings. I remained in Florence to put up a monument to my wife, and I at once set to work on a design of “Isabella mourning over her Basil Pot.” I took a studio, the best I could find, and started on the work.

In September of the next year I returned to England with my child. My picture was bought by Gambart and exhibited by itself, and an engraving of it was made by Blanchard.
On my way home, as I had arranged with Gambart, I stopped in Paris in order to visit the engraver. His house was about sixteen miles beyond Paris, and having a few minutes to spare at the station, it seemed to me desirable to provide myself with some French book to read by the way to break my tongue of Italian; in looking over the stall I saw Monsieur de Camors which a lady in Florence had praised as a book exempt from some strictures I had expressed on French novels in general, a book in fact which she had selected for a nephew. In half an hour's reading of this book I had grown astonished at the lady's judgment, for although I had not met with a coarse word, it overflowed with pernicious sentimentalism and revolting immorality.
However, I carried it to my journey's end and put it on the hall table. The engraver was a man of most convincing carefulness in his moral tone and influence upon his home circle; he received me with courtesy and hospitality, and with recognition of the value of time he took me at once into his studio and showed me the work he had done, it had arrived at the stage of “demi-teinte” and I was happy in being able to express my satisfaction. On returning to the drawing-room we
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found the family assembled, models of mutual reverence and politeness. Two neighbours had been invited in to do me honour, and the conversation was fully interesting, augmenting my appreciation of the spirit that reigned in the house. With the déjeuner completed we moved into the hall, and Mr. Blanchard's eyes fell upon my book lying there.
Suddenly unaffectedly horrified he exclaimed, “Whoever has brought that abominable book into my house?”
I avowed that it was I who had bought it at the station, seeing that it was a novel I supposed to be admirable, its author being a member of the Academy.
“Oh!” he said, “such books are not written for Frenchmen; I assure you no respectable Frenchman would consent to have such a book in his house. Do,” he begged, “hide it away somewhere until you go to your train,” and so I did until I parted with this good man and his family.
Staying in England for a few months, I enjoyed the society of many old friends. Charles Collins kept me in touch with the family of Charles Dickens; it is ever pleasant to remember this country retreat, with declining lawn overlooking the Medway, the old castle, the bridge, and the undulating sweep of hills which led towards the sea. There were still many peaceful sweet days in store for the family in this house; but when, worn out with unceasing labour, he consulted his doctor, he learned that the day had come for him to begin the last chapter of his life. He thereupon ransacked every cabinet, cupboard, desk, and long-neglected recess, collecting records of relations, friends, and acquaintances, and possibly enemies, and consigned them to the peace-making flames. A large proportion of these letters were from men of illustrious names endeared over land and sea as household words, but he sent the laughter, the tears, the confidence, the blessings, the cursings, and the idle words—as a holocaust to the Father of the dead and the living, and so put an end to many sore revelations made by the writers only for the passing hour.
It was during my return to England at that time that the Athenæum Club, to which I owe many of my life's friendships, did me the honour to elect me its member under Rule II.
Some of my friends knowing that I was about to expatriate myself again, approached me to give my promise not to accept any overtures of the Royal Academy, unless all of us were satisfied with the reform pledges given.
Three months later in Italy I received news that some of these had accepted the overtures of the Institution to become members, being now satisfied that all matters would be reformed exactly as they should be. Brown, Rossetti, Burne-Jones and a few others were still deaf to the voice of the charmer.
When at Fiesole, I painted a damsel as a Tuscan straw-plaiter of the type of gentle features peculiar to the cities of the Apennines, such as
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Perugino love to picture. I also executed a few water-colour drawings from the hills, and so kept myself in the pure air.
In Florence, by the kindness of an American family there, I painted one of the daughters as “Bianca.”
I began this picture in tempera, tracing out the design and light and shade, as many of the old masters did, in the end adding the finishing painting in oil with amber varnish.
While I was waiting for the marble mason to finish the monument to my wife I went to visit my old Jerusalem friend, Dr. Sim, then established at Naples, and stayed for two or three weeks at Salerno and  


W. H. H.]


Ravello making drawings. There I became acquainted with Professor Salasaro, who had made interesting researches on early Christian art in that neighbourhood, and who showed me altar-pieces in subterranean churches of the fourth and fifth centuries.
On my return to Florence in compliance with the desire of Mr. Beamont, the vicar of St. Michael's, Cambridge, for which I had already considered the decoration, I drew a design for the lectern and contracted with a skilful artisan to make it, inlaying it with ivory, but before the desk had been shaped the sad news came that my dear friend had died of fever on his return from Mount Athos. One subject which I had conceived for a wall of the church was the Holy Family on their flight into
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W. H. H.]


“The Patroness of Heavenly Harmony”

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Egypt resting in the night, St. Joseph striking a light with flint, while around St. Michael and his company stood on guard, and child angels were attending and bringing food to the resting fugitives. I thought this treatment to be altogether my own, but going over the Uffizi Gallery I came upon a little picture by Annibale Caracci of the Holy Family in flight, with cherub angels bending down to them the branches of trees bearing fruit. I had forgotten that this story was told in the Gospel of Nicodemus. Since then I have seen kindred ideas represented, one by Lucas Cranach.
As the intention of painting the church at Cambridge had now come to an end, I had not to consider what my discovery of the unoriginality of the idea would determine me to do for the wall-painting in question, so I gave no time to altering this design, as otherwise I should have done.  

Letter to My Child


As the marble carver now made it clear that his chiselling of the monument to my wife would never be brought to a conclusion, I took up his tools and finished the work, to the best of my power and departed from the city of flowers, which had been so sad a resting-place to me. Occasionally I made hasty sketches for my infant son at home; notwithstanding their slightness they may stand as records of passing interest.
At this time Mr. and Mrs. Combe came to Florence, but the dangerous illness of my friend Tupper, who was there at the time, prevented us from going together to Rome, as we had mutually hoped to do.
It was not until the summer of 1869 that I was at last able to overcome evil Fate and start for the East. While in England I had painted some life-size portraits.
During my two years' detention in Italy, I had not managed to visit Venice, and as I had never seen the treasures of the Adriatic city I resolved now to spend a week or two more on the journey by going there, notwithstanding that it was not the season most approved by visitors.
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“The Birthday”

  • “My true love is grown to such excess,
  • I cannot sum up half my sum of wealth.”
Romeo and Juliet.

Sig. Vol. II. P
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There were indeed few English people in the hotels, but after the first day of my arrival, it was my surprising fortune to run against Ruskin in the piazza; he had only just arrived, after over twenty years' absence. A complication of circumstances had made me of late years unable to keep up my close intercourse with him. On seeing him again, and hearing that he had come to stay in the city some weeks, I very earnestly observed that I had often desired to renew our intimacy, and that no place in the world could be so fitting and delightful to meet him in as Venice, for I, like many others, had first conceived a love of its precious possessions from his description of its paintings and architecture, till then but little valued. I had ever since dreamed of the works he had described, and now, beyond all possible expectation, I was to see them for the first time in his company. He accepted my tribute in silence, observing that he should enjoy my company at all places where the precious pictures by Bellini, Carpaccio, Giorgione, Titian, Tintoretto, and Veronese were collected, and accordingly we went straightway by gondola to the landing steps leading to the Church of San Rocco.
Ruskin was at that time a man of nearly six feet in height, but of great spareness of limb, which his tailor only partially succeeded in concealing; the colour of his hair was still rusty, his eyes were bluish-grey, his complexion pink in hue, and his skin transparent, showing violet veins about the eyes, but the delicacy of the tint of his visage was in part subdued by sun freckles. He was faultlessly groomed, and, despite his soft felt hat, was not at all costumed like an art specialist, no passers-by stared at him more than they would have done at any other forestiere.
Entering the door of the church dedicated to San Rocco, we found the paintings designed to illustrate the virtues of the saint, so far effaced by time and defaced by restoration that the full perfection of these noble creations was only slowly realised. The other pictures illustrated acts of mercy by Our Lord, but these were disappointing in comparison to the full richness of the small original designs on canvas by Tintoretto, existing in English private collections, or perhaps by now with other Art treasures driven out of the country by recurring death-duties.
We were the more glad to find that on the paintings in the Scuola di San Rocco, representing the history of the Virgin, time alone had laid his hand, shown in the effects of damp and too great dryness in turn.
The first picture that we stood before was the “Annunciation;” the dilapidation and ruin represented in the dismantled house seemed greater than I had imagined it to be, from the description by my present companion, which I had read more than twenty years ago; but the image raised in my mind by the “Oxford Graduate,” and retained ever since, was not so different from what I saw before me, as conjured-up scenes derived second-hand often prove to be at sight of the original.
One vital question arose: Was the symbolism as described by Ruskin fanciful? Undoubtedly, here were ruins of a stately house no longer
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affording shelter to indwellers; no protecting or habitable domicile for the lone damsel within; she dwells amid the ugly broken-down bricks, crumbled stones, and unseemly mortar. But in the midst of this cheerlessness there lies the well-shaped block with mason's square and plummet at its side: this is an exception to the prevailing marks of decay, and who could read the story of the picture and resist the suggestion that this was “The stone which the builders rejected, which has become the headstone of the corner”? Recalling quattrocento and early cinquecento pictures dealing with the same subject, representing the Virgin in a stately palace, perfect and well-ordered, there could be no doubt that Tintoretto had the purpose to suggest the desolation that had come upon the existing Israelitish Church, and its replacement by a new edifice. The Virgin is at her devotions, and the Archangel Gabriel is entering on wing through a dismantled lattice. When language was not transcendental enough to complete the meaning of a revelation, symbols were relied upon for spiritual teaching, and familiar images, chosen from the known, were made to mirror the unknown truth. The forerunners and contemporaries of Tintoretto had consecrated the custom to which he gave a larger value and more original meaning. How far such symbolism is warranted depends upon its unobtrusiveness and its restriction within limits not destroying natural beauty. There is no more reason why the features belonging to a picture should be distorted for the purpose of such imaginative suggestion than that the poet's metaphor should injure his fundamental idea. Tintoretto's meaning was expressed with no arbitrary or unnatural disturbance of the truth, indeed there was no need for the spectator to engage his mind with its hidden teaching at all. In the case of this picture all that could be objected was that the materials needful for the preachment were somewhat uncomely Delectability should certainly be a preponderating element in every work of art; but this canvas presented only the root of the idea, which branched out into infinite beauties in the accompanying series. I thought what happiness Tintoretto must have felt when he had this illuminating thought presented to him, and of his joy in carrying it out on canvas, and was wondering how few were the men who had pondered over the picture to read it thoroughly, until in fulness of time the decipherer who stood beside me came and made it clear.
When he spoke he made it apparent that his mind was dwelling more on the arrangement of lines in the design and the technique displayed in the handling, than on the mysteries that he had interpreted five-and-twenty years before. He ended, in his most punctuated phraseology: “Now, my dear Holman, we will see what I wrote about it twenty or more years ago. I have not read a word of it since. I have no doubt that it will be marked by much boyish presumption and by inflated expression; I warn you of this, but it may be interesting to compare it with our present view, at least my own; so I will call my servant.”
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The valet waited at the door with a volume of the original edition of Modern Painters. Ruskin beckoned him, and opening the book at the required passage—he began deliberately and with pause to read to the end of it—

“Severe would be the shock and painful the contrast if we could pass in an instant from that pure vision to the wild thought of Tintoretto. For not in meek reception of the adoring messenger, but startled by the rush of his horizontal and rattling wings, the Virgin sits not in the quiet loggia, not by the green pasture of the restored scul, but houseless under the shelter of a palace vestibule ruined and abandoned, with the noise of the axe and the hammer in her ears, and the tumult of a city round about her desolation. The spectator turns away at first, revolted from the central object of the picture forced painfully and coarsely forward, a mass of shattered brickwork with the plaster mildewed away from it and the mortar mouldering from its seams. If he look again, either at this or at the carpenter's tools beneath it, he will perhaps see in the one and the other nothing more than such a study of scene as Tintoretto could but too easily obtain among the ruins of his own Venice, chosen to give a coarse explanation of the calling and the condition of the husband of Mary. But there is more meant than this. When he looks at the composition of the picture, he will find the whole symmetry of it depending on a narrow line of light, the edge of a carpenter's square which connects these unused tools with an object at the top of the brickwork, a white stone, four square, the corner-stone of the old edifice, the base of its supporting column. This I think sufficiently explains the typical character of the whole. The ruined house is the Jewish dispensation; that obscurely arising in the dawning of the sky is the Christian; but the corner-stone of the old building remains, though the builder's tools lie idle beside it, and the stone which the builders refused is become the headstone of the corner.”

The words brought back to my mind the little bedroom, twenty-two years since, wherein I sat till the early morning reading the same passage with marvel. When Ruskin had closed the book, he began: “No, there is no exaggeration or bombast such as there might have been, the words are all justified, and they describe very faithfully the character of the picture—I am well content”; and he gave the volume back to his man.
He passed on to the “Adoration of the Magi,” to the richly poetic “Flight into Egypt,” the “Baptism,” stopping at each with unabated interest, strolling on through the whole series of works in the lower chamber. At each we read as a chorus his earlier words, and he again said, “Yes, I approve”; and indeed there was good reason for his contentment.
In ascending the stairs we observed the painting by Titian of “The Annunciation,” rich in grace and beauty of colour, which Ruskin stayed a time to enjoy; it gave fairly favourably the treatment of the painters of the time, from which the picture below by Tintoretto was a departure. Some of the paintings on the ceiling in the hall above were hard to see, many, from damp, had the rich original colours (particularly of some pigment which seemed formerly to have been deep blue) blanched, by
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which the harmony of the whole was lost. In the chamber at the end on the left, we arrived at Tintoretto's “Crucifixion”; this more than warranted all of Ruskin's enthusiasm and eloquence, and we dwelt upon it for a full hour ere Modern Painters was called into requisition. How many, I thought, would envy me as I listened to his precise and emphatic reading of the ever memorable passage in which he describes this picture, and as I heard him say, “No, again I decide that what I wrote in past years is well”;—and it was well!
I pointed out to him that the painter had found his canvas at the left-hand bottom corner damaged, or too restricted for his design, and that he had made this up by unnailing a canvas from the smaller stretcher and fastening it, with its nail punctures unconcealed, onto the larger canvas. I saw also that the whole canvas had been but barely primed with gesso, and that the surface and, therefore, that of the other pictures not so accessible to close examination, had been at first painted in tempera medium, and this, for final painting, had been floated over with oil varnish, almost certainly of amber, and while each space was drying he had glazed and painted what was necessary in oil colours. Ruskin seemed, by his surprised present enthusiasm, never before to have noticed the opposite picture of “Christ brought out after the Scourging.”
Our tour had taken us the whole day, and I went back with Ruskin and dined at Danielli's. When we were alone after the repast, he said to me: “I want to ask you, Holman, whether, when you said to me this morning that you were so pleased to see me, you merely spoke in passing compliment, or with serious meaning?”
“What would make you doubt that I spoke with anything but deliberate candour?” I asked
“Because,” he replied, “for these many years, if you wanted to see me, Camberwell not being many miles from Campden Hill, you could easily have come to me, or asked me to come to you, and you have not done either.”
My return was: “My dear Ruskin, you know there were reasons for a time to obstruct our intimacy, but beyond that I would say, you always seemed to me to forget that every man's father is not behind him with a fortune that enables him to do what he would with his time; with me there were few days that I could do this, yet I confess that I might of late have stolen some occasions to see such a friend as you, had there not been further difficulties which I will not enter into.”
Ruskin immediately exclaimed: “Tell me. I do particularly want you to be unreserved.”
So I continued: “I may be quite wrong in my estimate of some of the characters who formed the band of men you had about you, but in my eyes they were so distinctly a bar to me, that, had you been the Archangel Michael himself, these satellites would have kept me away.”
He received this uncharitable utterance with a few moments’ pause.
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“You are quite right, Holman, I never was a good judge of character, and I have had some most objectionable people about me.”
I ventured: “I observed to-day, Ruskin, that when we were dwelling on the pictures, your interest was in the æsthetic qualities of the works alone. Was this because, having previously dwelt on the symbolism, you felt free to treat of the painter-like excellence of Tintoretto's labours only?”
The tacitly established unreserve existing between men, who venture to test new truths that offer themselves, is not always understood by the world, sometimes even they air their own experimental excursions into space with arguments that exaggerate the real nature of their convictions. I may, however, reveal the frankness with which Ruskin and I conducted our intercourse.
He replied: “Your inquiry brings me to avow what I have intended to tell you, as touching a point of great importance to yourself. I am led to regard the whole story of divine revelation as a mere wilderness of poetic dreaming, and, since it is proved to be so, it is time that all men of any influence should denounce the superstition which tends to destroy the exercise of reason. Amongst the chaotic mass there are exquisite thoughts, elevating aspirations, and poetic mental nourishment, and it would be a pity that these riches should be lost to the world. I want you, who have done a deal of harm by your works in sanctifying blind beliefs, to join with me and others to save these beautiful fragments, lest the vulgar, when indignant at the discovery of the superstition, should in their mad fury destroy what is eternally true in the beautiful thoughts with that which is false. The conviction that I have arrived at leads me to conclude that there is no Eternal Father to whom we can look up, that man has no helper but himself. I confess this conclusion brings with it great unhappiness. When my dear mother is in sorrow she appeals to me, and I exercise my power to console her, and when my valet is in trouble, I can relieve him. You must admit, Holman, that I am a kind-hearted man, and, being friendly by nature, I feel my loneliness in having no one to console me when I am overcome.”
“But, Ruskin,” I argued, “you must expect me to be astonished at what you say. I am not frightened at your declaration of Atheism. We know men often call themselves Atheists from a conscientious fastidiousness which makes them over-scrupulous about terms, while in all their actions they acknowledge a Deity, and professing believers often prove themselves unbelievers by working with all their might to ‘circumvent God!’ As to the Bible, I am perfectly ready to admit that many figures of speech, which may be described as Orientalisms, have led to misinterpretation of the meaning, the evidence of the individuality of Christ and of His teaching is absolutely convincing to me, there is record in the early books of the Bible of the advancing teaching of prophets, without which Christ's evangel would have been impossible. So far the revelation is established in my mind; all the rest is secondary
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and may be left in suspense, but I am the more astounded at your confession, because I remember that in a report of some address you made quite recently, you distinctly illustrated the service to the world of belief in divine governance, and such a change as you describe in yourself can scarcely have come about since then.”
He replied: “When first I was shaken in my faith, in speaking to a lady whose general judgment deserved the greatest respect, I declared that I must publish my change of views to the world. She restrained me from doing so, and made me promise not to act on this impulse for ten years. Being afterwards called upon to lecture, I had to debate with myself in what way I could satisfy the demand without breaking my compact, and I was led to allow the greatest latitude to the possibility that my new views might not be permanent. It was wise to test this by reverting to my earlier theories, and I therefore determined to deliver one of my old lectures, which, when written, was heartfelt and thoroughly conscientious; the report of this was what you read.”
In return I asked: “Is not the depression of mind you lament in opposition to the general joyous spirit of Creation? If so, is not this its own condemnation? As to the question of the existence of a creative mind in the formation of the universe, it seems to me precisely equivalent to the inquiry whether in Tintoretto's pictures the flax of the canvas, the gesso and the glue of the priming, the delightful forms and arrangement traceable on the surface came there by a happy chance, or whether all these materials were brought together by an intelligent mind, and the design was accomplished by wise direction and control. The conclusion forced on the mind in the case of a painting applies equally to the creation of the Universe. As we are talking about this artist, do you think that Tintoretto's convictions are of no value to us, that his great intelligence was deceiving him, that all his wrestlings with dead indifference on the part of the world were encouraged by delusions?”
Ruskin replied: “Tintoretto did not believe any more than I do the fables he was treating; no artist in illustrating fairy stories troubles himself about the substantiality of the fiction.”
“Myths,” I argued, “are of two kinds: one may be of the nature of a parable containing a never-dying truth, others are mere purposeless imaginings. The choice of Hercules is of the first kind. Its purport gives it the sacredness which nerved the artist and the poet to treat it as the mythic stories in the early Bible were treated; but an idle fable, such as the award of the apple by Paris, can only be taken for an exercise for æsthetic decoration; work of this kind always bears proof that the artist played with an intangible dream; the idea is a mere gossamer, never watered with the sweat, the tears, and the blood of men. Tintoretto treats his subjects in a spirit which bears the stamp of his having given his whole heart and soul to them. Working in the second half of the cinquecento, he accepted without question many legends, which in this day may be looked upon as fables, but the fundamental idea of the
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government of the world by the powers of good overcoming evil was to him, I am sure, an idea founded upon a rock; for, while some pictures of his contemporaries bear the stamp of superficial thought, his religious pictures give evidence of conviction that the more the ideas he treats are realised, the more the eternal truth will appear; every line he drew bore evidence of unfaltering sincerity. The testimony of science concurs with that of the Bible that there is continual trending to perfection, it is traceable in geological records, and in human affairs also the movement must be recognised, the better ever supplanting the less good. No sacrifice of existing peace seems too costly for this advance.”
We continued our talk at intervals, illustrating our arguments by reference to the teaching of Plato and the example of Socrates, adducing also the effect of Atheism upon the world at the decline of the Roman Empire. We discussed the teaching of the French philosophers and of their followers who exaggerated their tenets and dug the trench for the rivers of blood which followed in the French Revolution.
One day we went into the Church of the Salute and saw in the sacristy Tintoretto's great picture of “The Marriage in Cana,” which brought to mind Leonardo's “Last Supper,” and the contrast between the intellects of the two painters; his appreciation of the nobility of the history was unboundedly evidenced by each artist, but Da Vinci expressed his feeling by incessant effort to represent the highest type of humanity; he relied upon the power of god-like elevation of form and bearing to take captive the mind of the spectator, disdaining the adjuncts of aureole around the head even of Christ Himself. It was a startling determination of intellectual wilfulness when the imminent Reformation was battering in every quarter at the gates of the visible Church, and the Inquisition was exerting its power to suppress the exercise of reason.
Tintoretto was not an idealist in the form of the beings he portrayed; he drew with unmistakable mastery the men and women he came upon in the market-place as perfect enough to act in his dramas. Standing before his pictures I was somewhat reminded of Hogarth's casual apology that the persons he painted were not those of the original history, but players enacting their parts. Perhaps Tintoretto thought that sublime form and aspect given to the Messiah and his friends might prevent ordinary men from thinking that the example of the sinless One could be followed by themselves, creatures of common clay as they well knew themselves to be. Uncelestial as the features often were, the figures were crowned by a halo, and the painter was so practised in aiding the spirituality of the scene by this means that the decorative treatment contributed to the general glory of the effect of the picture.
Tintoretto's method certainly had in its off-handedness the advantage of multiplying his works a hundredfold in comparison to that pursued by Leonardo. I say this without altogether subscribing to the modern theory that Leonardo's existing productions are as few as they are often now stated to be.
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On proceeding to the choir of the empty church, observing that the marble pillars of a side altar were rich in embedded shell fossils, Ruskin walked up the steps, and pointed this out as an evidence of the much greater antiquity of the earth than the Bible records imply.
“But, Ruskin,” I argued, “surely this question is not a new one. Most of us considered such facts in our teens.”
But he, ignoring my remark, continued to urge importance in the argument that this marble, though not of igneous formation, must have been many millenniums anterior to man's appearance on earth.
I rallied him as having been brought up amongst “the strictest sect of the Pharisees,” and taught that to doubt literal interpretation was a sin which had sheltered him for a time, but caused the truth to be more destructive when it burst through this defence.
As we were speaking the sacristan appeared, walking steadily in our direction. He never diverged in his progress until he arrived opposite us, and then stopping addressed us with: “Signori, it is not permitted for any person not a priest to ascend the altar steps, and I must ask you to descend.”
We both came down to the lower level, and then Ruskin replied to the verger thus: “It is now over twenty years since I was in Venice, and your words to us are the first signs I have found in this day of due veneration for the claims of unseen authority. I do not pretend to be a Christian, I speak to you simply as a philosopher, and as such I am pained to see how much the feeling of reverence has ceased to exist during my absence. Everywhere I find indifference to any pure form of municipal life, the streets and the canals are often foul, and when there has been any fancy on the part of business people to make your city unlike what it was, and what it should ever be, and like to others which can never have your exceptional advantages, churches and the oldest historic buildings have been cut away and destroyed, and no one has raised a voice to prevent the desecration.”
The sacristan looked bewildered, while Ruskin continued: “To you I owe a tribute of sincere recognition, sir; I thank you very deeply for having told us that we were forgetting the sanctity of the spot where we were standing, and in bidding us descend. We shall never forget to pay respect in our memory to your sense of duty, and your obedience to it.” The sacristan gaped amazement.
There were but few places of interest that we did not visit together, often sighing over the changes of modern days that we came across, but ever delighting in the treasures that remained.
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When any pilgrims disembark here, interpreters and other officers of the Sultan instantly hasten to ascertain their numbers, to serve them as guides, and to receive in the name of their master the customary tribute.—
Bertrandon de la Brocquière.
Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us?—
St. Mark.
When I parted with Ruskin at Venice in 1869 I went on to Rome, where I chanced on my friend Captain, now General Luard. With him I visited most of the galleries there, and we swam daily in the Tiber, glad to find that the strong current could not prevent us from covering about a hundred yards ere our strength was spent in the struggle.
I departed from the Eternal City to Naples, thence took ship to Jaffa via Alexandria, where I landed after fourteen years’ absence.
I felt sad when the shores, the plain, and the mountains of Syria came again in sight, for I recalled familiar faces that were absent, some for ever gone.
Strolling one day in a back street of Jerusalem, I suddenly confronted an Arab whom I recognised as though I had seen him but yesterday. He was mate of the boat in which we journeyed from Damietta in 1854. “Welcome, my master,” he cried, and before I had made reply, he added, “How is the Khowagha Seddon?” and it seemed for a moment as though time had made no mark, till I replied, “He is dead.”
Had I been able years before to carry out my intention of returning to Jerusalem, I should have painted the subject of Jesus reading in the synagogue the prophecies of the Messiah out of the book of Isaiah, and announcing their fulfilment in Himself; the amazement and indignation of the elders, together with the loving suspense of those who better understood Him, was a subject not yet treated, and one I had studied patiently. I deferred, however, undertaking this subject, as a room suited to the painting of it could not then be obtained, but I reflected upon an earlier episode in the life of Jesus Christ when He worked as a carpenter, fulfilling by labour His humble duty as head of the family; this I thought tended to a fuller realisation of the value of His example in the perfection of His human life. I engaged myself, therefore, upon
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developing a design bringing out what St. Mark, more than the other evangelists, makes apparent in his words, “Is not this the carpenter?” He makes it clear also that the Virgin's faith well-nigh failed her as to her early hopes of the glorious and splendid career, which she, with all persons of the Jewish faith at the time, believed to belong to the reign of the Messiah. His teaching of non-resistance as the means of overcoming the Prince of this world, and the sending out of His most trusted disciples, two by two, like beggars, to preach this doctrine in all the cities and villages of Judea, induced the brothers to conclude that He was “beside himself,” and  


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they used this argument with the mother to destroy her exalted hopes. It was therefore justifiable to imagine that the doubt suggested by the brothers’ appeal, that Jesus should be put into “close custody,” as the only means of saving Him from the otherwise inevitable catastophe, had been anticipated in anxious hours as she watched Him day after day toiling like other men as the labourer “who waiteth for the shadow,” uttering words which could only be interpreted as discouragment of her immediate and temporal ambition for her Son and her Nation. Through all their fallen fortunes (like impoverished nobles) she would have retained the Magi's princely gifts, and for better safety she would have left them under her Son's care, so that at the end of the day when safe from intrusion, she would have joined her loved one at His toil, and opened the casket of her treasure to reassure herself that the gifts brought by the wise men were a reality, not the baseless fabric of a vision. She would see that there they lay: the golden crown, the royal sceptre, and the censer for His enthronement. Thus she would have been for the time confirmed in her hopes. Such were my imaginings, and I saw Him stepping over the plank at which He had been working, when the sun had reached the horizon, and recognising that the end of the day's labour had come, stretching His weary frame to relieve the long-felt tension, while murmuring a prayer to His heavenly Father. The sun at this moment projected His shadow on the wall, and the tool-rack accentuated the resemblance to that of a crucified man. At the moment of the
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revival of His mother's trust the shadow attracted her over-anxious gaze, and awoke the presentiment of the anguish she was doomed to suffer.
After the record by St. Mark that Christ at the beginning of His mission was “the carpenter,” no one but Justin Martyr had dwelt upon this fact; he relates that he had heard from elders who had known Jesus in his youth that he made jokes for the peasants; and I felt the importance of this statement.
For this picture, after much search, I obtained a house in an elevated part of the city, known as “Dar Berruk Dar”; a large stable occupied the ground floor, the living-house was reached by a flight of steps, the  


W. H. H.]


rooms and servants’ offices encircled the courtyard, above these were other rooms and the open roof. The house had a weird reputation, not diminished by the fact that the last tenant had been the consul of the hapless Maximilian, who had been for the time enacting the part of emperor in Mexico; it was in the Mahomedan quarter, and the neighbours said that in the reception-room there had stood “an idol” of the emperor, the size of life; they added that one day all were dismayed to find that the house was abandoned, and that this was soon accounted for by the news that the consul's master had been executed. No debts were paid, the house being left with but few contents, and “the idol” had disappeared. All men spoke of the place as being under an evil spell, and haunted, for it had been built, they said, by its original proprietor with the sweat and tears of widows and the fatherless. With the agreement that I might enlarge some windows I took it for three years.
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I made it my business to visit many native carpenters at work, I went over to Bethlehem, and searched out the traditional tools, fast being abandoned for those of European form.
I was debarred from the use of a picturesque interior, as it was necessary to have a flat wall for background, but the one opportunity of outbalancing the oppression produced on the mind by the bare, unlovely stone wall, was in the introduction of an open window immediately behind the Saviour. I stayed many weeks at Bethlehem, working on the roof in uninterrupted sunlight.
Thus I could select the models for my picture from the inhabitants, and when a timid woman had hesitatingly posed for the Virgin, and no dreaded doom fell upon her, the most intelligent of the people were  

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somewhat prepared to come at my subsequent summons to Jerusalem. On Saturday nights I returned to the city to see the progress made in the alterations to my house, and on Sunday nights I walked back to Bethlehem, where my tent was pitched in a garden.
It happened that while I was thus pursuing the tenor of my ways, which were not always “even,” Monsieur Lesseps, despite hindrances, which I feel shame in acknowledging often came from English politicians, had brought his Suez Canal to a triumphal completion. It was opened in the autumn of 1869, when all the courts of the civilised world were represented at the ceremony. I had been at Port Said on my journey out, and could not now leave my work, but I followed the news of the great event. I soon learned that the Crown Prince of Prussia was on his way from the new Mediterranean port to Syria, that he would enter by the short desert from Hebron, come on tour to Bethlehem, and rest for the mid-day meal at the German Mission.
My custom was to begin painting on the roof before sunrise, and
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there was no reason on the day appointed for the royal progress why I should not proceed as usual with my work, which was suspended at mid-day for three or four hours. I left my painting, therefore, as usual about ten o’clock, and walked out with my gun; game at this hour did not present itself, but I had a book in my pocket, and with  

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this I sat down on a rock, not forgetful of the fact that the German party would soon be traversing the road in view. After a time, I saw, a mile away, ascending over the ridge which hid the Pools of Solomon, a party of about thirty European horsemen, with stragglers behind.  

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The riders were all well mounted and of commanding stature, but even at the distance it was easy to distinguish the knightly Prince who formed the centre of the cavalcade, whose passing, peaceful as it was, undoubtedly accentuated a new phase in the fate of this eventful country.
I did not return to the house until the royal guest and his retinue
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were at their breakfast. Learning that they were discussing this in a room on the first floor, I felt that I might reach my roof studio without other hindrance than that offered by the mother-of-pearl salesmen who flocked the steps. I was half-way up the stairs, and opposite the closed door of the apartment occupied by the royal party, when it was suddenly thrown open, and the Crown Prince emerged; he was engrossed in his talk with an admirable lady of the Mission, and I stood aside making my obeisance, when the lady at once seized the opportunity of presenting me, explaining that I was the English artist, Mr. Holman-Hunt. The Prince immediately extended his hand, and with gracious readiness named some of my pictures, and inquired about the work that I was now engaged upon, asking in  



tones of sincere interest whether he could see it. I explained that to my regret my sketch was only just begun, and quite unintelligible. The Prince then said that still he hoped he should see it when it was finished, and after due acknowledgments I ascended to my roof. When after a short interval I descended, I found a crowd of vendors of native things extending to the landing outside the royal rooms, who all appealed to me to recommend them to notice. This, of course, I declined to do, but I saw, standing quietly, a Latin priest named Don Boldeno. I had often before spoken with him, and when he appealed to me for a presentation I felt that his claims were quite exceptional. Inviting him to follow me, I passed through the clamorous crowd, and went forward to the table, where, apologising for a possibly unpardonable intrusion, I introduced the good priest, saying that I was not myself of his church, but insisted upon the particular benevolence of his work, which was to receive abandoned children, to nurse them, educate them sensibly, teach them a trade, and start them in life—Jews, Christians, and Moslems alike.
“Where is this Home?” asked the Prince decisively. The priest raised his hand, and pointed through the window, over an intervening mound, to where the roof of the building could be seen. The Prince's reply was, “Let us see the house,” and he promptly left the room with the priest. Once out-of-doors, with long legs he strode towards the dusty mound; the priest joined me in recommending His Royal Highness to follow a cleaner though slightly more circuitous route; with some hesitation, he consented to do this, and I remained behind
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watching the two, Don Boldeno with effort keeping close to his royal leader, until they disappeared together into what may be called a true “Christian Refuge.” I saw no more, but I learnt that the Crown Prince was greatly satisfied with the evidence of true zeal in the management of the charity, and showed his appreciation by leaving a royal gift behind him. The Prince set forth with his following, and continued his journey to Jerusalem, where he was received with becoming state, and the Pasha announced that he was commissioned by the Sultan to hand over the Hospital of St. John to the Prince for Germany. It was anciently occupied by the Templars, but had been desecrated to the ignoble purpose of a tanner's yard. Miss Hoffmann was my informant of all that happened, as also of a visit to another charitable institution—German and Protestant this time—which formed a striking contrast to that at Bethlehem. The Prince was called upon to inspect a home for the training of young converted Jews. He expressed some impatience as he was conducted to the house through long, narrow, and tortuous lanes. On his arrival his first inquiry was for a glass of cold water. When it was brought, holding it up to the light, he exclaimed to the manager, with stern military promptitude, “Do you call that smeared and dirty glass fit to drink from?”
“Pray pardon me, your Royal Highness,” stammered the confused overseer, “we were not apprised that your Royal Highness’ visit would be so early.”
“I did not ask you, sir, if the glass were fit for me, the Crown Prince, to drink from, I asked you whether it was fit for any one to use, for nobody should be asked to drink a glass of water unfit for a prince,” thundered his visitor. The next moment the Prince's eyes made a hasty survey of the room, and he asked whether under the bed was a fitting place for a pair of dirty jack-boots which lay there. “Bring them out,” he said. One of the attendants darted to the spot and lugged at the boots; but the royal mandate was not so easily obeyed, for there proved to be a pair of legs inside those boots, and to those lower limbs a reluctant body was attached, and a face showing but little desire for a royal introduction. The wretched man had been employed in the room, when, hearing the steps of the august party, he had hurriedly crept under the bed, hoping that by remaining quiet he might escape observation. The Crown Prince's indignation was unmistakable. “I have been told, sir,” he said, turning to the disconcerted head of the establishment, “that you were once in the Prussian army, and I am not at all sure that I shall not have you reported and removed from the post you now fill with so little credit.” At this the Prince turned his back, leaving no golden coins behind him I was told. 1
Transcribed Footnote (page 225):

1“The Diocesan Schools in Jerusalem were altogether inadequate to the work of instructing the children of converts for any useful purpose of industry; they were conducted on principles satisfactory to none but those who read reports of the number of pupils, the high branches of Education and the large sums of money sacrificed on them.”—Bishops Gobat and Harmer Hadoub: Pamphlet,1858.

Sig. VOL. II. Q
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When all was ready at my house in the “City of Visions,” the banker, who had kindly taken the trouble to superintend the buildings during my absence, inquired of me whether I would allow him to invite a company of Moslem necromancers  




to hold an incantation ceremony in one of my rooms. Their object would be nothing less than to raise the form of a departed friend known to the circle, who, after a formula by the arch magician, would appear seated in a chair left vacant for the revenant from the other world. Being thus seated, he would reply to any questions put to him, and any one of the company might approach and satisfy themselves of the actuality of the presence by touching it, taking its hand, or feeling its raiment.
I assured my friend that to put to the test such pretensions would be of the greatest interest to me, but it was desirable to understand more exactly the characters of the people concerned in the business.
I learned that the spiritualistic believers formed a secret society; that when spoken to about their practices they would at first avow utter ignorance of what was meant, but on persevering, their interlocutor would ultimately end in persuading them to accept the  



invitation to hold an incantation at my house, which was well known to them, and would be regarded as eminently suitable for the purpose. As to further conditions, my friend added that the head magician, with all seated around him, would begin by burning aromatic herbs in a chafing
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dish; he would then call upon “Shaitan,” as the arch and successful withstander of the tyrant Almighty, to grant them the desired favour of the return to their company of some departed friend, and that in  

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gratitude for “Shaitan's” concession they would ever after be his devoted servants.
Said I: “They would not, I assume, require me to comply with this formula?”
“Yes,” my friend replied, “they would not proceed unless all joined in it.”
I have been blamed since for regarding this condition as a fatal objection to my prosecution of the investigation, but I could find no alternative, and therefore my contribution to the Eastern belief in supernatural dealings goes no farther than to show that such belief still exists. Mr. Bergheim afterwards published a full account of his own experience of the power of a celebrated dervish in the Lebanon.
The house was indeed a gaunt one, and my servants lived on the floor below me. Gabriel, the Abyssinian  

Letter to My Son


servant who marketed for me, was a handsome fellow; he had shining and beautiful teeth, and his eyes flashed the more peering from his dark skin. My cook, Miriam El “Megnoona,” or “the crazy one,” was an old Bethlehemite. While I sat up hours after my servants had gone to rest, the wind whistled whenever the air was disturbed, and in thunderstorms the reverberation from the hills carried awe with it; at night the windows rattled as though beset with angry spirits. With the bursting open of the casements the lamp would be extinguished, and in darkness I would traverse the intervening chambers to my bedroom, either to sleep or to re-kindle my lamp. One night, when no such turmoil of the elements was astir, I distinctly heard a noise advancing up the steps. Snatching up a candle I went to meet it. Half-way down I was confronted by a company of rats, which stood there defying me until I hurled something
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at them, on which they scampered away as if astonished at the cruelty of the oppressor. Among the intruders were serpents also. I shot some, and a charmer who had had his attention directed to one tormenting a mother pigeon on my wall, came and captured it. At times scorpions and centipedes crawling over stiff paper in my bedroom woke me up, and these alone would account for much of the ghostly reputation of the house. As a set-off the wind brought with it many pleasant odours, and the hills from which they came were delightful to look upon from my upper casements. There were but one or two roofs of houses to the west which rivalled mine in height, and a minaret shot up close by. The sky in the zenith was so clear, that in summer throughout the day Venus was often visible, and at night the whole Temple area could be seen as Titus saw it from the same spot, when Bezeeta was outside the city. To walk up and down in the cool, and glory that at  

Letter to My Son


last I had got back to work in the East, brought peace to my soul, although the reflection how far short of my erstwhile roseate hope my state was, often drove me indoors to my solitary work.
For my large picture, I found it necessary to have two wooden houses constructed on the roof, to ride on rollers, one open to the horizontal beams of the sun, so as to get the correct light and shade on my model; this was wheeled into place in the afternoon, to catch the glow of the setting sun. The other hut was to shade myself and my picture, and this also was movable. When I had, by some months’ steady work, advanced my picture to a point at which I could judge of my requirements for the window outlook, the proper season had come to find a landscape at Nazareth yet fresh in verdure, so I set out on a four days’ journey towards the north. Arrived at Nazareth I encamped below the town, and ascended each morning to the eminence on which the ancient city had been built. Thence I had an enchanting view of the valley fields cultivated by Nazarene farmers, and of its flanking hills reaching to “Gebel el Cowis,” the Hill of Precipitation, evidently so
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named from its conspicuously abrupt descent into the plain of Jezreel. On the great lower plain stretched the patchwork squares of cultivation under the slope of Tabor, the plain beyond continuing to the hills of Gilboa, which branched out into the swelling heights of Samaria and Carmel; while in the lowland, where ran “that ancient river the Kishon,” lay the plain where had flowed the blood of so many warriors of alien races who have shaped the course of history. As I sat quietly at work, I could hear the younger members of a house and garden higher up on the hill cheerfully contending at play, and as occasionally I turned I saw some grown girls on a swing, appearing and disappearing behind some trees. They were continually shouting a pean, with loud tongues, dividing the strains into verses. After a time I listened and discovered that their song was—
  • One has come to the town,
  • A khowagha he,
  • With horses and mules and asses,
  • And so we shout the song of festivity.
  • Muleteers and ass drivers and servants
  • Has he brought,
  • He is encamped in the lower vale,
  • And so we shout the song of festivity.
  • In the night well guarded
  • 10Sleeps he,
  • With sentinels around his tent,
  • And so we shout the song of festivity.
  • Robbers and beasts of prey,
  • And jackals of the night,
  • Fear to come nigh,
  • And so we shout the song of festivity.
  • Each morn he mounts to the hill
  • With many colours and pens,
  • And writes till eve, brightening his white board,
  • 20And so we shout the song of festivity.
  • From the Holy City he has come,
  • Yea, and even far beyond the sea,
  • And so we shout the song of festivity.
  • Will he go away again,
  • Or will he take our welcome?
  • While we shout the song of festivity.
The girls had probably talked to my attendants, and furnished with news, seldom varied in this quiet place, they had improvised this song on traditional lines, but they made no effort to satisfy their curiosity by coming out to see my work.
One Sunday morning I mounted my horse, and, with servant behind, rode out to Cana of Galilee. Nazareth has been compared to
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an open rosebud; it was interesting to see how deeply the road that took us out of the hollow had been worn by the feet of generations since first it received the form on which the comparison was based. We passed through villages and fields with trees bearing fruit already ripe and plentiful. To judge from the company round the well-cisterns, with laughing girls carrying on their heads large jars of water, there seemed reason to conclude that it was at the time a happy neighbourhood. Our animals were served by playful loiterers at every stage; when we reached the village we were assured that a stone house, now made into a Greek church, was the identical building where Christ had attended the bridal feast and turned the water into wine. The ceremony of the baptism of two babes was going on; the christening was a most complicated one. One child, not so robust as the other, gave up its protests before it was half unpaganised, but the evil spirit in the other protested to the end with lusty lungs, and it seemed as though all its previous appreciation of parental authority had been destroyed before the priest had finished his task. After this the whole company went away, and I was allowed to examine the simple building, behind the altar as well as in front of it.
An emotion of great sadness possessed me. Spite of all reason, I felt as though I had come to see a friend, and was disappointed that he was not there and could not be found. I left the house and village sorrowfully, as one does who has failed in an earnest desire. When, after several days, I had obtained the materials for my background, I returned to Jerusalem and resumed my work.
Captain Luard, the friend whom I had left in Italy, had accepted my invitation to stay with me a month or two on his return to India. I received a telegram to say that he would arrive at Jaffa by the next steamer, and he asked me to meet him at the seaport. Accordingly I started before daybreak, and reached Jaffa by noon. The French steamer arrived and anchored in the roadstead. I took a boat and went out to the ship, and on finding my friend I anxiously asked him, “Is it war or peace?”
He put his finger to his lips, saying, “Come into my cabin.” There he whispered, “It is war; but the officers of the ship are so excited that it is well not to speak of it at all before them. A German happens to have been my fellow-passenger, and he used to appear at the table in the saloon at meal-times; but the French officers made such demonstrations of the determination of France to overrun Germany and humble it to the dust, that he in prudence took his meals alone.” My friend, however, conversed with him in the night on unfrequented parts of the ship, when he declared that in Germany this war had been foreseen for years; that they knew the actual condition of the French army to be so inferior to its declared efficiency, and the German army to have been prepared so carefully for the contest that he had no doubt France would find itself in a very pitiable condition.
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We rode up to Jerusalem, carrying the news with us. It was a sorrowful year in every way. There had been a very insufficient fall of rain in the winter, the land had suffered from drought and most of the cisterns were empty. Children went from door to door, empty cup in hand, beseeching in God's name a drink of water. Attempts had been made to track underground cisterns, and two important channels on the northern side of the Mosque had been rediscovered; but these, owing to the choking up of soil, had only a few pools of worthless water in them, and the clearing out of the channels was forbidden by the French consul, who descended with his suite and claimed it for his Empire. It was natural that the opening of the Suez Canal was said to have drawn all the water away from this hill country, certainly  



before the rainy season had passed, it was tantalising to watch heavy clouds come up from the sea and pause as if to discharge their contents on the watershed of the country, then dissipate themselves into quickly dissolved shreds. I was fortunate in having a sufficient supply of water and to spare in my own wells.
We lived retired lives, scarcely meeting the community under English protection. One difficulty that I had with my subject was that while the model was of the bronzed complexion that I required, after two days’ burning of the sun he had become red, and this was succeeded by the chocolate colour of the Central Indian. In consequence I could not proceed until he had been covered up for a month, but the drapery I was able to work at in the intervals.
As the season wore on and the weather became too wild for painting on the roof, I was able in my studio to turn my attention to accessories. After supper, when my friend and I walked on the roof, he told me many a stirring tale of his experiences in the Indian Mutiny and the China War. His father, an amateur artist, had been at Waterloo; his brother John, our close friend, had died at an early age.
When he had left and I was again alone, the winter had passed and spring had returned. I was anxious to avoid a repetition of my troubles with the over-bronzed colour of my model, and I determined to make the best of my time before the sun grew too fierce. It was necessary for me to be on the alert throughout the night to observe whether the sky was clear and promising a fine sunrise, in which case, when the sun was getting near the horizon, I had the Bethlehem man, who slept in my house, awakened, and eagerly blocked out my work.
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It was often very cold in my shaded painting-hut, while the man in his shed felt the burning heat. After a quarter of an hour's work I felt confident in the satisfactory promise of my morning's preparation, but suddenly the light would often be obscured, and I found that the mist out of the valleys had gathered into a thick cloud, completely concealing the sun for many hours. Nature seemed to be jealous and to abhor the imitation of herself, appointing Fate to stand on the watch to frustrate all attempts at representing her. My man, although tall enough, was objectionably spare and wanting in richness of line.  



I had hoped to correct these defects sufficiently, but about this time certain large photographs of antique figures sent by my friend Luard—even with all allowance made for the Oriental character of my figure—reminded me by their greater fulness of form that my eye had become so far accustomed to the leanness of Syrians that I was in danger of finishing the figure of Christ without the comeliness of proportion it was my object to give. I was determined, therefore, to look out for a better-developed model. I had not yet found any one from whom I could study the head, but, wandering through the lanes of Bethlehem, I came upon a man of singularly noble form and beauty of expression. He agreed to sit to me, and I found him undoubtedly the most truthful, honest, and dignified servant I ever met in Syria. He was a staunch
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member of the Greek Church; his name Janus Hasboon. From this man I was able to paint the head and modify the figure.
The loneliness of my life in this second visit to Syria was so great a contrast to what I had planned it should be, that oftentimes I pitied myself. There were no companions with whom to have converse, and I felt what disadvantage it was to have no friendly eye to review my painting, nor any other works of art to refresh me. I often felt, while enjoying my work to the full, how foolish were the axioms of those modern social reformers who would have it that the labour of an artist is one of continuous enjoyment. Had they seen me sometimes in the quiet hours when alone, they would have been encouraged in the condemnation of my efforts, as altogether proving the want of that artistic self-confidence they so much admire. To work on settled lines, to give a Greek, a Michael Angelesque, a Titianesque, or any other traditional complexion to a design, may to many seem wiser, as in such a course stepping-stones will be found as assured conductors at every pass. I do not here dispute the fitness of traditional systems, but certainly to make a new idea intelligible and acceptable is an undertaking beset with pitfalls, and the effort to arrive finally at one's goal is often far beyond estimate of the danger of failure to be encountered.
Each evening, returning after sundown from my constitutional and ascending the steep hill of Bezeeta leading to my house, I passed a café held in a large hall, which I had more than once entered, at the instance of the master, to examine the large masonry of its walls and a stout column with capital of early post-Christian date at the farther side of the building; its fellow pillars were covered up in late stonework. In the dusk the chamber was arranged for the entertainment of Moslem husbands, who there enjoyed repose from the wrangles of their numerous “houri” wives. As I passed by, the interior was lighted with candles and lamps, the ground was neatly swept, and stools were placed for the assembling guests, while inside was a higher seat for the reciter. It was usual as I passed for the café keeper and some of his visitors to invite me courteously to join them, but I felt constrained politely to decline and pass on after interchange of compliment. The evening meal was prepared for me on my return, but when I had partaken of this I paced the roof to enjoy the cool air, the moon's soothing light and the boundless maze of stars, with view of the mosque area sacred as for all time. The silence was broken by the monotonous intonation of a chanter at the café, and when his droning was ended a many-mouthed chorus began which sang the praises of Antar (converted to Islam many centuries after his death), or of other champions against the infidel like Mokmah, who trod his scores of enemies under his feet. As the music ceased, the chant continued the theme until the chorus began again, completing the delight of the Mahomedan company. The alternating song continued inspiringly, so that step by step one's blood danced with the Arab destroyers rather than with the overthrown
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infidel who had fought for the Christian faith. In exchanging the reign of the olive branch for that of the sword, the religion of Mohammed followed no exceptional rule.
Before the story-teller had concluded his tale, the Kutib muezzin in the contiguous minaret appeared in the gallery and acclaimed in trumpet notes, “Allah illa Allah ou Mahmoud il rasoul Allah.” The piercing notes extended far over house-tops, mosques, Temple platform, castle towers, and walls, surging out to the mountains beyond like a strong tidal wave, I was led to ponder on the time when Omar's first rule substituted minarets and mosques for towers and spires. The riches of the Roman Empire descending to Christian converts had so corrupted the early faith of a simpler time, that Mohammed declared it to be too sublime for his contemporaries, and in the Koran offered a law, in his opinion more within the reach of humanity. Even now, in the city where the messenger endowed with the “soul of God” 1 had sealed His teaching with His blood, it was a question whether Mohammed's verdict had yet ceased to be accurate.
One late afternoon when working from my model, intent upon the rendering of the sunset tone, the man suddenly withdrew his raised arms and with an ejaculation retreated from the shed, pointing towards the west. Turning in that direction, I saw at the highest point of a house a hundred yards away, a bevy of women, looking steadily in our direction. As they saw me start up they shouted: “Why does your man, O Effendi, stand all the afternoon with his arms stretched out like an idol?” They were evidently in good humour, and one in talking let her veil blow aside, by which it was easy to perceive that she was beautiful. I answered that I was making a picture of him, that it was convenient to me for him to stand thus, and that I had not known before that the angles of the wall had any platform below on which people could stand and see us at work.
I contrived the best I could to avoid further curiosity and continued my painting; I should not have noted the trifling incident, but within a month one evening when at supper I heard most distressing sounds of lamentation, the inconsolable grievings as of a child, but the voice was that of a man. I asked my servant the cause of the low lament, and he told me it was the mourning of the effendi, my neighbour, for the loss of the most beautiful of his wives. All my fellow-residents on the height of Bezeeta were demonstrative in their feelings over domestic fortunes, and it was according to common experience that, a few days later, I heard loud tom-toms being beaten and the sound of lutes, together with strident cries of rejoicing stinging the evening air. I remarked to my man that the noisy merriment must be particularly painful to my effendi neighbour. The reply was, “No, the rejoicings are for his wedding with a new bride.”
In the intervals of my task I sometimes reflected upon the
Transcribed Footnote (page 235):

1Thus the educated Moslem designates Christ.

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relinquished subject of the “Flight into Egypt”; and pondering on the history given by St. Matthew, the notion came to me that since the little playmates of Jesus had been a vicarious sacrifice, they would in their spiritual life be still constant in their love for the forlorn but Heaven-defended family. Having become interested in this idea, while embodying it on a canvas I took occasion to make an expedition to the  



Philistine Plain towards Gaza, to get characteristic materials for the landscape. At Gaza a handsome group of trees over a water-wheel recommended itself as most suitable to my background, and I used the opportunity of staying up some nights in the moonlight until I had painted the trees with the figures. We returned by way of Ascalon, Gath, and Ashdod. A native told me there was an Englishman in the hotel at the point of death. I could do nothing alone, but on arrival
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at Jerusalem I saw the excellent Dr. Chaplin. The etiquette of the profession forbade that he should go without an appeal from some friend, but he agreed that I could take upon me this character. We were to go on the morrow, but in the afternoon a telegram came saying that the case was most urgent. At the same time came news of robbery and murder on the road, and the Pasha insisted that we should have two soldiers as guards. We started before sunset, our soldiers were lazy and lagged behind, till we were out of patience and rode on to Latrone. On our way we were called to by a group of fellaheen running towards us and charging us to stop, encouragingly adding that we should not fear. While trotting on we joked them that they were so slow we could not spare time for the pleasure of their interview, and that advancing night reminded us of the long journey before us, but we tantalised them  



by keeping far out of their reach. At the ascent of the hill, wishing them good-bye, we spurred our horses and cantered up the road; within a mile we were on the crest of the hill, in view of the plain in front, when suddenly we were faced by a mounted body of murderous-looking villains armed with weapons of many fashions. We took up our position with a prickly-pear hedge behind us, while the sheik asked us whether we were without guards. We confessed that our soldiers were too slow for us, and that we were well armed, and quite prepared to defend ourselves. After other inquiries and our candid replies, they drew aside and left the road open to us, which we cautiously pursued and came to Ramleh Convent, where we alighted for refreshment of welcome coffee and wholesome bread and fruit. On remounting we cantered to the German hotel, which we reached about two a.m.; it was shut up and dark, and we had to knock for half-an-hour, before the landlord opened and explained that the patient had been taken away to a hospital in the town. We elected to go on foot, for the chance
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of getting in, while there was yet hope of saving the sinking man. At the city gate we heard the sentinel inside marching up and down. We knocked, telling him that we as doctors had come to see a sick man in the town; for half-an-hour he imperturbably walked up and down and denied admission to us, but because of our importunity he ended by opening the gate.
At first our object seemed a hopeless one, but the doctor knew the German quarter, and we groped our way to it. One window showed sign of light, we knocked, and the answering German told us that the Englishman was there. We ascended to the sick-room and found the patient gave small indication of life, but the laboured breathing (sign that the fire was still within, although a very smouldering one), the  



doctor concocted a strong potion, and left it with the intelligent master and mistress to be given at the critical moment.
We then felt justified in going back to much-needed sleep.
After breakfast we returned to the hospital, and found that the Englishman had successfully thrown off the dreaded fits and was doing well.
We stayed in Jaffa a second day, leaving the patient safe, although unable to talk.
The doctor steadfastly refused all proffered fees.
Eventually the Englishman recovered, came to the hotel at Jerusalem, and went out shooting in the neighbourhood; but he called neither upon the doctor nor myself, so that we concluded he did not know how he had been brought back to life.
Before the next winter was “over and gone” fever came upon me. My servants with true Oriental fatalism, shrugged their shoulders to inquirers, saying, “God will provide,” or “God knows,” “If it be His
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will that the Moallim should die, nothing can save him, while if God ordains he should recover, he will get up again.” They lived on a floor below me, across a courtyard, and piously left me alone. The feeble clapping of my hands could not be heard, so I rarely could get my medicine, and only very uncertainly my food. The doctor then brought me a kind invitation to come and stay with his family, and this quite set me on my legs again.
Being most anxious to finish my work from the tall model before the spring came to an end, one Saturday night I detained Ezaak an hour beyond sunset, and sent him to walk the dark six miles to Bethlehem that he might spend the Sunday with his family, giving him strict injunctions to come back on the Sunday night to be ready for early Monday's work. On Sunday evening I took a ride along the southern road, and on the plain of Rephaim I met Ezaak, who assured me that he was going on to my house in the city. After another mile or so I turned my horse's head and went back to sup with the doctor; my handsome Abyssinian Gabriel was there waiting upon me, and when he heard me saying that I must be up before the sun to-morrow to work from my Bethlehem man, he bent down and whispered to me that Ezaak was in prison for a murder that he had committed on Saturday night.
“No,” I said, “I have just met him on the plain, and sent him on to the house.”
“Yes,” he returned, “but coming in by the Jaffa Gate he was recognised and seized by the police.”
Thereupon I wrote a note, saying that I felt sure it must be a mistake, and that it was important that he should be released at once unless the case were very serious. The reply was that he could not be liberated.
The next morning instead of painting I had to hurry off to see the Pasha; he had gone to do honour at a ceremony in the Armenian Church. I followed on his footsteps, but found the church full of pilgrims, so that I saw it would cause disturbance to get through them. I sent my card by a functionary to the Pasha, and in return his secretary came to me. I explained at once that I did not want the course of justice interfered with, but that unless my man had been guilty of some atrocious crime, I should be glad to have him liberated in the interim, and would incur responsibility for him.
The secretary immediately said, “Then are you the English artist painting a large picture of a Bethlehem man and woman?”
“Yes,” I said.
“Oh,” he replied, “the Pasha has been talking to me about it, and has been wanting me to come and visit you to know when he may see the picture.”
I said it would be better to wait a little, till I had got it quite finished, when I would invite him to do me the honour of seeing it. “But,” I asked, “what about the man?”
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“Oh, I will write you an order for his liberation.”
I interrupted: “If he has been really guilty of murder.”
“Oh! no matter, no matter, take this.” And so I went away armed with “An Order of Release.”
On the way I remembered terrible stories that had been told me about Ezaak's youth, and how he had once with some other wild spirits broken into the Church of the Nativity and stolen the gold and jewels from the Byzantine pictures of the Virgin and Child on the altar, and how he had been the terror of the neighbourhood on the roads for a time. I had not believed these stories, although some dames of the city had shaken their heads at me, saying they could not understand how I could venture to have him sleeping in my house, and go out with him on long rides to remote regions.
I had indeed always found him a very intelligent fellow, and I had perfect confidence in his trustworthiness. When I arrived at the prison I was admitted into a large courtyard full of Bethlehemites, with many of their mothers and wives sitting beside them looking woebegone and weeping, who at sight of me all clamoured that I would get their respective relatives released, to which appeals, however, I had to declare my powerlessness. The head of the police, asking many questions as to when I wanted Ezaak, then said he would see if he could be got off, and quickly left me.
Waiting unconscionably long, I sent again; when the official came I reminded him that the Pasha's order must be obeyed at once.
“Yes,” he said, “but there are many expenses, and till these are met I cannot get the prison door open.”
This statement made it clear why there were so many prisoners on this one charge, so I took from my pocket a sovereign. Almost immediately Ezaak came up to me and we sallied forth into Christian Street. I accosted him with reproof for his riotous behaviour, saying: “I have used my influence on this occasion, Ezaak, but I am not very comfortable at having done so, and I must tell you that if you indulge your bloodthirsty disposition while in my service, I will not again attempt to protect you.”
“But I have done nothing, ya Khowagha.”
“Nonsense,” I interrupted him. “I don’t know exactly what the facts are, but I have heard that there was a fight on Saturday evening at Bethlehem and there were two men killed, and you are accused of having had something to do with it; unless there had been some foundation for the charge why should they have apprehended you?”
His argument was conclusive. “I suppose, ya Moallim, you had to pay the head policeman, notwithstanding the strength of the Pasha's order, and I had also to give him all the money I had. There was a fight at Bethlehem on Saturday afternoon, but you will remember I did not leave your house till past six, and did not arrive home till about eight; this was four hours after the disturbance, but the Turkish
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police made it an occasion for seizing every Bethlehemite who came into Jerusalem, and few of them will escape until they have sold up every scrap of property belonging to their families.” Then he kissed my hand for my favour to him, and I admitted that he had justified himself, which later became even more apparent.
Slowly I brought my picture to a conclusion. I could not forget my promise to show it to the Pasha and other dignitaries ere it left the city. Miss Hoffmann, superintendent of an institution for the employment of divorced Jewesses, kindly consented to sit in my reception room and watch that the conditions I imposed should not be infringed by native visitors if I were out of the way.
Before seven in the morning the Pasha and his staff arrived, and it was of interest to me to hear and explain the particular enigmas that presented themselves to their uninitiated minds. With ejaculated compliments they stayed awhile, not leaving before the Greek party with the Patriarch had arrived, and these also appeared much interested. I asked the Patriarch whether they did not read the phrase in St. Mark as meaning that Christ was himself a carpenter, and he unhesitatingly said that τέϰτων, the word in the Gospel, undoubtedly meant that occupation.
Going backwards and forwards to my packing between these visits, I heard an extraordinary hubbub coming from below. “What is that noise?” I asked of Gabriel.
He replied, with a great sense of importance, “It is the little shopkeepers, masons, and workpeople of the neighbourhood, who, seeing the Pasha's party and the Patriarch's coming and going from the house, have knocked to know whether there is not something to see, adding that they would like to come up with the others. I have explained it is not for people like them, it is only to great personages that the picture is shown, but they are still waiting and blocking up the streets, so that the invited effendis can scarcely get to the door.”
I ordered my man to go down to the crowd and say that I could not allow them to come in and interfere with the convenience of my invited guests, but that if they would divide themselves into twenties at a time, they might all come up in turn, under promise to move away when my friends were to be accommodated, and in this way the room was filled continually till late in the evening.
Once I was sent for, with the message that a man particularly wished to see me before he left. He was a mason, dusty and splashed with lime-wash, as were his companions. With great courtesy he spoke: “ Ya Effendi, you have done us a great kindness in allowing us to see your picture. We had only before known such pictures as those in the Church of the Sepulchre, but we had heard of Frank paintings and had often desired to see them, so this opportunity is more enjoyed by us than perhaps you can easily understand. We shall always remember it with thanks, but we want you to do us one more favour; the lady
Sig. Vol. II. R
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The Shadow of Death

W. H. H.]


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here will not allow us to step over the cord to go up and touch the picture, although we promise not to do it any harm. Now, while you are here you can see us, and we beg permission to go and put our fingers on it.”
“No,” I said, “that cannot be; it would get soiled; the more because some of the paint is scarcely dry. But what can be your object in wishing to touch it?” I said.
“Well,” he replied, “we want to feel what is the difference between the linen and the flesh, the sky and the shavings; we have seen it with our eyes, and we want to feel it with our hands.”
“No,” I said; “I will show you another unfinished picture, and you will see that there is no difference in the surface at all.”
“Ah, but we want to touch the large finished one.”
I had to be firm, although I am sure it must have seemed to him and his friends unkind, but then he importuned another favour, which he urged in the name of all his friends. It was that I should turn the picture round and show them the back.
“That also is impossible,” I declared. “Don’t you see it is arranged at the exact angle not to reflect the glitter of the window light upon its surface, and if I were to turn it round it would take long to put right again, and other people who came would not be able to see it”; taking up a portable canvas I showed the back. “It is just like this, a mere framework of wood,” I said.
“Yes, that may be,” he returned, “but we should like to see the back of that one.”
“But it could be of no interest to you,” I said. At which the group seemed very dejected, till another spokesman stepped forward, saying—
“I think that I can convince you, O Moallim, why we ask this kindness; we have been here twenty minutes looking at the front of the Messiah and the back of the Sit Miriam; is it not natural that now we should wish to see the face of Sit Miriam and the back of the Christ?”
They were unconvinced by my explanation that they would not see what they wanted were the picture turned round. One tall and large-framed negress repeated her visits throughout the day; towards the evening a well-informed critical member of the crowd addressed her, saying, “Do you know the M'sowah took three years about this picture?”
“Did he?” she said. “I can imagine that I might have worked at it for three years, and it would not have been done yet,” which statement the crowd partly accepted.
Except one party of Latins, who came from Bethlehem, no others of the Roman community appeared among the throng of visitors. A day after, I inquired of an impartial person why this was, and heard that the papal dignitaries had decided that the representation of the Holy Virgin with the face hidden was denounced as a Protestant indignity to the Madonna, and they had forbidden all of their Church to
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come. They had posted sentinels at the Jaffa Gate to caution their members from Bethlehem not to appear, and the party of three who came had remained ignorant of this interdict by coming through the Damascus Gate. I had indeed tried many arrangements in order that the Virgin's face should be shown, but I had rejected all, from conviction that nothing but the direct glance at the shadow gave the tragedy of the idea.
The war had shut up most routes across the Continent for a time, but I despatched my picture from Jaffa, via Gibraltar, and then toot my own course to Trieste.
The Austrian Lloyd's boat was still engineered by the Englishman Thompson, who had been present at the battle of Lissa; he was the first to give a historical account in The Times when all Europe had been breathless with anxiety for more than a week to know the real issue of the fight. He explained to me the circumstances as we passed by the island in the Adriatic. Proceeding from Trieste, after a day's stay at Vienna, I found it practicable to proceed through France, and that Paris itself was open. Very lamentable it was to go through the cordon of ruins caused by the German siege, and still more in Paris to see the havoc wrought by the Communists.
On my return to England in 1871, Millais repeated that he was able to promise that if I would become a candidate for the Academy I should be forthwith elected; he again referred to the advantages accruing from participation in the sale of works to the Chantry Fund, soon to fall into the hands of the Academy, but I had taken my course and saw no fresh reason to depart from it.
When the picture arrived in London, large studios in those days being rare, it was difficult to find a vacant one of sufficient size, but Millais, with his wonted good-nature, made over his painting-room to me during his autumn holiday, commenting with frank but appreciative candour on the work which hitherto no other instructed eye had seen.
My return brought with it realisation of sorrow, caused by the recent death of Robert Martineau. He had of late been painting some excellent heads, and making several beautiful drawings full of dignity of style. “The Last Day in the Old Home,” now in the Tate Collection, was unfortunately terribly cracked in its principal parts; this is owing to an incorrigible habit he contracted of painting his picture over and over again while still wet.
The sudden change of climate had made me ill, so I was unable to use my time profitably for the fastidious amendments which my rested eyes prompted me to make, and I had to engage another studio for six months.
When I had brought my work on “The Shadow of Death” to a conclusion, there was some unexpected difficulty with the business arrangements concerning it. My good friend Sir Thomas Fairbairn
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came to my aid and negotiated the terms of its sale to Messrs. Agnew. Five thousand five hundred pounds were to be paid down for the large picture and for the first study, and a similar sum to be received by me in the future. It was now required that I should make a quarter-size and elaborate copy for the use of the engraver. The original painting was exhibited for a long term in London, and then sent to Oxford. As in Jerusalem, the extreme Church party denounced it as blasphemous, altogether refusing to acknowledge that the record in St. Mark should be read as authority for representing Jesus Christ as Himself a carpenter;  



when the picture was shown in the North it was hailed by artisans and other working men as a representation which excited their deepest interest, so that they came to the agent, asking him to receive subscriptions for the two-guinea print, week by week in instalments. This was exactly what I most desired (the dutiful humility of Christ's life thus carrying its lesson).
Lady Augusta Stanley now informed me that Her Majesty desired to see my picture at Buckingham Palace, and I had the honour of placing it there for the Queen to see. I received a most gracious message
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The Beloved

W. H. H.]


page: 247
of Her Majesty's interest in the work, together with a commission to repeat the head of the Saviour of such proportions as those indicated by the Queen in a small pencil sketch. I accordingly commenced the copy, but owing to extensive arrangements made by Messrs. Agnew for the Provincial Exhibition of his picture, I was prevented from carrying this copy very far, and before the Provincial Exhibitions came to an end I had gone abroad. It resulted to my great regret that Her Majesty's commission was long delayed in fulfilment, and when I was  



( Head from a picture)

again settled in England and able to have access to the picture, I felt some reluctance in approaching the Queen's representative on the subject of so long delay in the execution of this gracious command. However, through the right intermediary Her Majesty was reached, and nothing could have been kinder or more considerately generous than the Queen's acceptance of a long-delayed and grateful service. For many years the picture remained in the picture gallery at Buckingham Palace, now it hangs in the Chapel Royal.
Elizabeth Thompson astonished the world in 1874 by her deeply interesting picture of “The Roll Call.” It was a poetically selected
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incident from the tragedy of the battlefield, and while it was treated with unaffected naturalness, it was presented with such primal simplicity that to every one it bore a typical meaning of universal application. Her later paintings have increased respect for her accomplishments as an artist, and as a portrayer of the terrible heroism of the battle-field. Some years before this, Briton Rivière claimed admiration for his exquisite graceful treatment of animals in a succession of pictures, amongst which were “His Only Friend,” and “Sympathy.”
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Whereupon the child said: Verily I am the servant of God; he hath given me the book of the gospel and hath appointed me a prophet. And he hath made me blessed, wheresoever I shall be; and hath commanded me to observe prayer and to give alms, so long as I shall live; and he hath made me dutiful towards my mother and hath not made me proud or unhappy. And Peace be on me the day whereon I was born, and the day whereon I die, and the day whereon I shall be raised to life. This was Jesus, the Son of Mary, the Word of truth concerning whom they doubt. —
The Koran.
And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder—
St. Matthew.
The Franco-German War had brought many French artists to England, some of whom had returned to Paris, while others remained here. One evening at a small bachelors’ gathering at Millais’ studio, a foreigner, being told that I had just returned from Jerusalem, asked if I were Holman-Hunt, the painter of “ The Finding of Christ in the Temple,” which he had lately seen in Mr. Charles Mathews’ collection. He said that he had admired it and my principle of work so much that he had resolved some day to go to the East and paint on the same system. I then learnt that this artist was young Tissot.
I stayed a time in London to paint a few family portraits, and while preparing for the exhibition of my picture I frequently saw my friend Charles Collins. He was much debilitated in health, sad, but always philosophical, yet as perplexed as ever to make up his mind as to which of any two courses he should adopt. One morning, in the company of Millais, he came over to me while I was at work on “The Shadow of Death,” he was more feeble in his gait than of old. I went out with him and Millais on to the landing, and stood watching them as they descended. It was the last time I was ever to see him alive, for in a few days I was standing by his bedside drawing his portrait as he lay dead. This I gave to his brother Wilkie, who in the end left it to me. On his bed lay the canvas, taken off the strainer, with the admirably executed background painted at Worcester Park Farm. For the last few years he had not touched a brush, being entirely disenchanted with the pursuit of painting; yet his delicacy of handling and his rendering of tone and tint had been exquisite. Certain errors of proportion marred his picture “Convent Thoughts,” or it would now be a typical work of unforgettable account. At the time of the vacancy
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in our Brotherhood occasioned by the retirement of Collinson, I judged him to be the strongest candidate as to workmanship, and certainly he could well have held the field for us had he done himself justice in design and possessed courage to keep to his purpose. In his last artistic struggle Collins continually lost heart when any painting had progressed half-way towards completion, abandoning it for a new subject, and this vacillation he indulged until he had a dozen or more relinquished canvases on hand never to be completed. Of late years he had taken to literature, writing a New Sentimental Journey and A Cruise upon Wheels.
Brown at this time having met with some comparative success,  

Charles A. Collins

W. H. H.]


had removed to Fitzroy Square, where he at times gave receptions, brilliant in the celebrity of the guests, and cordial in hospitality of the host and hostess proud in the high reputation of their friends. Brown was able in the new home to show several of his large works, which thus found purchasers. Perhaps it was his French spirit of comradeship, or his sympathy for all revolutionists, that had made him follow with great concern the fortunes of the Communists in Paris. When they were driven out, hearing of a refugee in London, he invited him, his wife, and his son to take up their quarters in his home; accordingly the three formed part of the household, and Brown organised lectures and sold tickets to individuals of advanced ideas eager to applaud a leader in the last Parisian revolt. A mild-mannered gentleman this leveller seemed to be, while he explained the exalted hopes of his party's aspirations, the son was disposed to put the parental free ideas into
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The Terrace, Berne

W. H. H.]


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practice in daily life; and acting contrary to the ideas of the father, provoked his wrath, who with oaths declared that he would make the son see that he would have no “confounded  

Edith Holman-Hunt

W. H. H.]


communism” in his home. Brown was at this time painting “Don Juan,” and his son Oliver was fast proving his capacity both as painter and author.
It was not long before I was ready to start again for the East. As this record purports to give the experience of living artists which should be of value to succeeding painters, I am impelled to give more exact particulars than otherwise I should do of the ill consequences of neglect of a standing rule for travellers departing for a spell of work in uncivilised regions. All materials necessary to the task should be dispatched before one leaves home, or taken under one's guardianship. I had packed my painting materials in cases suitable for the back of mule or camel in Palestine. I had arranged with a London firm to call for them on the  

Cyril B. Holman-Hunt


morning of my departure, but the van had not arrived when I started, and the few hours of delay were pregnant with evil consequences, for they frustrated all my thought-out arrangements. 1
In November 1875 I went to Neufchâtel to be married to the sister of my first wife, my early friend Mrs. Craik, better known as Miss Mulock, escorting her thither; from that place we travelled via Venice down the Adriatic to Alexandria and Jaffa, meeting my son, now nine years of age, en route. Rumours of impending war between Russia and Turkey began to thunder amongst the people of Syria, and the angry feelings engendered among the Moslems crippled my choice of action. Rain, moth, and rust had devastated and made uninhabitable my house, “Dar Berruk Dar”; all my artistic materials
Transcribed Footnote (page 252):

1In the Appendix will be found details of this disaster.

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were seriously damaged, so that I had no supplies in reserve for work. The study for “The Triumph of the Innocents,” having been packed away, had alone escaped injury. I had left Jerusalem on the last occasion with the thought that my absence would be but for a few months; nearly three years, however, had passed, and now I was driven to abandon my ghostly tenement and to take up quarters in a hotel until a house outside the town should be ready for us. Having suffered from want of space and light while painting previous pictures, I bought a piece of ground to build a house thereon, with a large studio suitable for several compositions which I proposed to paint. The subject, “The  

Sketch Made in Synagogue

W. H. H.]


Flight into Egypt,” it may be remembered, I had chosen as one of those for the decoration of the Church of St. Michael and All Angels at Cambridge.
In 1856 after my first journey eastward, my friend George Grove had asked me many questions about Syria, and with his usual energy soon afterwards he paid a hasty visit to Jerusalem, and on his return initiated the establishment of the Palestine Exploration Society for surveying the land and making excavations. Officers of the Royal Engineers were appointed to engage in this object, and Lieutenant Kitchener was now completing the survey. In a few months he appeared at Jerusalem, and remained encamped for a while near our
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W. H. H.]


( From the first sketch. )

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house concluding his task ere departure. We thus had many opportunities of talking together about the future military prospects of Syria, which confirmed my idea that, after  



all, the Jews must be restored to their ancient land. I will not make my now distinguished friend, Viscount Kitchener, responsible for the conclusions which I formed upon the rival ambition of the European Powers as it affects this question; he certainly strengthened my opinion that any politico-military attempt of a European power to capture Palestine for itself would result in disaster. None but a people sustained there by mutual consent such as the Turks happen to be at present, and such as the Jews might be, could be left in peace. Seeing that every day there was the uncertainty as to what the result of the new quarrel between Russia and Turkey would be, the question of the future of Palestine was pertinent.  

From Sketch Book


Sometimes the indignation in the Moslem mind, excited by inflammatory newspapers read in the market-places, became alarming to Christians.
Transcribed Footnote (page 255):

1There is no portrait of the time.

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Unfortunately, during each of my sojourns in this country a terrible war had broken out that had occasioned unusual difficulties to Europeans living there.
With every mail inquiry about my missing cases at Jaffa proved to be in vain, and my letters from England brought me only bewildering responses to my questions. When it occurred to me that there was no sure hope of recovering them, I was disposed to go to Alexandria, or perhaps even to Naples, for fresh materials, but whisperings of an intended massacre of the Christians, when the Moslems were assured that the English were no longer going to help them against Russia, were too loud to permit me to leave my family unguarded.
The son of Mr. Gale, the painter who carried an introduction to me,  

From Sketch Book


had been murdered on the Plain of Jezreel on his way to Jerusalem. The baby models used in my preparations were fast growing out of their outlines. I was driven, therefore, of necessity to search in the bazaar for the best linen to be found there. I put a portion of this to the test and painted my small picture of “The Ship” upon it. I had made elaborate sketches on board the P. and O. boat on our way from Venice, seeing that the man at the wheel still guided the vessel from the stern, and thus I was able to illustrate Tennyson's quatrain—
  • I hear the noise about thy keel,
  • I hear the bell struck in the night,
  • I see the cabin window bright,
  • I see the sailor at the wheel! 1
Transcribed Footnote (page 256):

1It is now beyond thirty years since I painted the picture. Deeply entranced by the poetry of a vessel traversing the globe under the immensity of stars, bearing its freight of

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The Ship

W. H. H.]


Sig. Vol II. S
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The linen was amply stout for this small picture, and I was therefore persuaded to trust my chances to it for the larger painting. But when I pulled the cloth tight over the large framework it rent at the edge, so that I had to stop short of the usual tension. The acid in the flake white purchased in the bazaar required abundant washing, but with the residuum I made a ground which in itself was most pleasant to paint upon. The texture of the cloth occasioned me great increase of labour, still I was not so far discouraged as to think my task impracticable.
The advancing spring had enriched the land with verdure, so I made an expedition to Philistia to gain features for the landscape. Just as I was setting out I received a telegram from the agent at Jaffa, to state that not the three cases I had expected, but one of enormous size, had been deposited on the quay, and could be moved no farther. I directed my muleteers to await me next day at a trysting-place on the Jaffa road, and started before dawn for the seaport. When I arrived there, a mammoth case lay with its bulging lid, the lock fit only for a schoolboy's box—the key had not come with it—through the warping space beneath the cover the Jaffa mudlarks had been thrusting their hands, appropriating any articles that came within their grasp. On the lid being prised open my three poor cases lay within. It was a mockery to see them each properly addressed, buried in their gigantic coffin. They had now to be exhumed, and sent up separately to Jerusalem. From the day of my departure from London to the time of the arrival of the mammoth case at Jaffa, five months had elapsed. I now met my servants at the place appointed on the Jaffa road; we came upon an undulating country intersected by deep beds of mountain torrent. In the ruts where water had run the growths were luxuriant, reaching to double the height of the rider's head. I came upon the little stream-way, and village under a clump of fir-trees, which suited the arrangement introduced in my picture, thus I was provided with the landscape. On my return to Jerusalem, it would have been well had I decided to relinquish the work already done on the bazaar linen, and to repeat it upon a portion of the English canvas which had at last arrived, but this would have involved the sacrifice of some months’ work, and I persuaded myself that it would be wiser to complete my picture as it stood.
I had commenced the large painting with the intention of making the effect that of uncheckered moonlight, as in the original small study, but when the large work expanded before me I judged that in the pearly hue of the moon alone, a picture of such dimensions would be monotonous in aspect, and that a supernatural light on the ghostly infants
Transcribed Footnote (page 258):

human joys and woes, I undertook the picture on a Peninsular and Oriental steamer which yet retained the method of steering immortalised by Tennyson in his poem on the return of the body of Hallam—

  • “ To rest beneath the clover sod.”

(W. H. H. writing of this picture.)

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would help to convey the impression of their extra-mundane nature. To test the character of intensified moonlight, I used a lens on a bright night, and to my surprise found that the focus transmitted was not of silvery tone, but that of warm sunlight, and this I adopted. With such a chain of entwined children in positions impossible for babies to keep,  

The Painter's House, Jerusalem


the work demanded intense perseverance and study. Immediately my studio was apparently ready, I took possession, glad at having for the first time a spacious working room in Jerusalem. The rains were late this year, and until these should come I had held back 200 Napoleons  



of the final sum to be paid to the German builder, but I listened to the plea of his friends, and advanced the money with nothing but a renewed endorsement of his responsibility for the weather-proof character of the roof. When the rain did come the ceiling proved to be nothing but a sieve, and the water entered, leaving pools all over the floor, while my canvases could be protected only by tarpaulins; this caused much loss and delay before I could again set to work.
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One morning I heard steps on the staircase, followed by knocking on my door; when I opened it a grinning negro boy was standing there. Affecting a tone of great responsibility, he inquired whether a visit from the ladies of a neighbouring effendi would be convenient, they wanted to see the strange house. I sent back an invitation, and soon I heard the shuffling sound of many feet ascending the ladder-stair to my studio. I opened the door, and encountered a party of about a dozen ladies, the eldest of whom, but little above thirty, was the chief speaker. She explained with a certain reserved dignity, that they had watched with interest the building of the house, and had wondered at the unusual size of the saloon, and the purpose for which it would be used; they hoped I would show them what I was doing in it. I replied that I had not yet a finished picture to show them, but that they could see the sketches of different kinds which I had prepared for my future work. I conducted the group of strictly veiled ladies around the room. Etiquette required that whatever I said should be addressed to the eldest wife. The others made show of not listening, but when I had finished, the first turned and repeated my explanations, though, but for passive attention, no sign of interest did they yet exhibit. While they gathered gradually together around the stark uncouth mannikin lay-figure, I felt the need of apologising for this unaccountable interloper. When I was trying to speak they overruled my excuses with exclamations of delight. Their eyes were lighted up with animation as they declared in a chorus that the image was indeed truly beautiful. “See what a lovely face she has! What an exquisite nose! What a beautiful little mouth! Oh! look at her ears, and see what long flowing hair she has.” One also drew attention to the beauty of the fingers! At this I moved some of the joints, and also bent the limbs in various ways. As the hinges groaned and squeaked, they retreated, jumping like children with delight, but quickly recovering their sobriety of demeanour, they came back in silent admiration, leaving the elder to speak. This lady, collecting her thoughts, sedately addressed me. “We all know that the ‘Image’ is not yet completed.” Pointing at the time to the winchholes, she said, “Of course you will have to finish the figure where the skin is not joined together, and you will have to fix the head on, and to put a little more crimson on the lips and cheeks, but when completed it will be truly beautiful.” Exhausting their interest in this big doll, they turned to the painting on the easel. After consultation, the elder exclaimed, “It looks like paper on the surface, but on the margin outside it is linen!” Then, following the outlines drawn on the big canvas, they compared it with the small study of the picture. “Is that a man you’ve marked out there?” she asked. “Oh! I see a donkey! What a lot of babies, and in the middle is a woman on a donkey with a baby. What is all this, O Effendi?” I replied: “Nearly nineteen hundred years ago in Persia, certain wise men on the appearance of a great star remembered an ancient prophecy of the coming Messiah. They came
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W. H. H.]


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to this country to find him, and naturally they went to the King, thinking it would be his son, as he was to be a Prince. Herod had to confess his ignorance, but professed to be very desirous to find the Messiah, and conjured them to go on, and let him know when they had succeeded. At Bethlehem they came upon the Babe and His mother, the ‘Sit Miriam,’ but learning that Herod's purpose was to kill the Prince destined to be the universal King, they went home without returning to Herod. Baffled in every way, he in time determined to kill all the children under two years of age in David's city, to make sure that his own family should not be supplanted. Joseph, being warned of this intention, set out in the night with the young child and his mother, to escape to Egypt. This picture will represent them when they had passed over the mountain into the plain beyond, leading to Gaza.” When I had finished, the duenna wife turned and repeated my description, elucidating it with, “You know El Meluk Herod was a very wicked king, and the child Jesus was the only being born on earth who possessed the soul of God.”
The head lady asked about the children. I explained to her that the Mother, rejoicing at the safety of her son, was moved to sympathy for the deaths of the poor children who were massacred in His stead, and that her love for Him caused her to see the spirits of the children, who were in their different moods, at first sorrowful, and then joyful, in the heavenly service they had entered. She repeated my monologue, word for word, and pointing to each figure, counted them up, saying, “Seventeen babies in the large picture, and several more in the small one, with the Sit Miriam, Al Issa Messiah, and Mar Jusif. This is very well,” she said, “but on the day of judgment what will you do?” “Ah,” I returned, “I can trust only in the mercy of the Beneficent; but why, pray, ask me that question?” She returned, “Because the souls of these beings that you have made will be required of you, and what will you say then?” My reply, justified on metaphorical principle, was, “I hope every one of them will be present to justify me.” She looked bewildered, but then turned to her flock, re-echoing my assurance, saying, “Oh, if indeed you can satisfy God the Just with their souls, it will be well with you.” Then, recognising that there was nothing more to see, graciously expressing their thanks, the whole troop departed. This interview gave me a higher idea of the intelligence of superior Moslem ladies than I had entertained before.
Their visit had been made during a lull in the bitterness of temper on the part of the Moslems towards the Christians, but this better feeling had probably arisen when there seemed to be a prospect that the English, if not other Christian Powers, would after all come to the Ottoman defence. After the visit of Lord Salisbury to the Sublime Porte this hope proved to be fallacious, for one heard the Arabs saying he had been sent back “with his face blackened.” The rancour flamed, with fewer and shorter intervals. My wife and I profited by one of these to
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join travelling friends in an expedition to the Jordan and the Dead Sea. Afterwards, even on rides of ten miles out of Jerusalem, we were subjected to temporary arrest, stoppage, and insult, so we had to discontinue all excursions. When the anxiety became acute, the British Consul told me that he was taking advantage of the return to Jaffa of a party of English officers and sailors to send his wife to the Greek convent there, and I gratefully sent my wife, with my son, my infant daughter, tutor and nurse, under the same escort to Jaffa, where, as in an eagle's eyrie of the rock-built convent, they found shelter. The fanaticism never ceased, indeed it never died out until the massacre occurred two years later in Alexandria and throughout Egypt, during the rebellion  



which broke out under Arabi Pasha. Had not the bombardment of Alexandria occurred the murderous feeling towards Christians would certainly have been indulged all over the East. In fact it was the provocation which necessitated the occupation of Egypt by the English. After the departure of my family I remained working with less anxiety in the thought of their safety, for in case of an outburst they could have escaped to a flagship that plied to and fro along the coast, and I knew that I could always join my Christian neighbours in mutual defence. The miseries caused by the conscription and the sending away of the fellahin, bound together by chains, and the consequent destitution and starvation of their wives and children, I cannot attempt to describe here.
I had now progressed so far with my picture, that I arrived at the central group and painted the Virgin and Child. In the middle of the
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picture the surface of the canvas proved to be so irregular, that although in the light suitable for the painting of the head I could regard it as passable, on putting the picture into a light to suit the general effect the wrinkling of the cloth entirely distorted the symmetry of form. I therefore tried fresh positions, in the hope of finding other parts of the canvas more even, but there always proved to be some marring defect, until after some twenty attempts I resolved to postpone work on the two principal figures until my return to England, when I hoped the skill of a picture liner would put all right. I did not, however, come to this resolve before I had spent many a night with candle in hand, vainly testing the surface from all points in hope of amendment.



Even thus far I had wasted much of my best life. After two and a half years I returned to England with nothing but this partly finished picture. When I arrived in London, unpacking my painting was like the reapparition of an appalling ghost that had been laid for a time. My restorer undertook to back with a strong canvas my feeble cloth, but although the prospect at first seemed hopeful, it was only delusive, for after all, the original linen sheet retained its corrugations. Weeks grew into months, and months into years—always promising to each new effort a success which never came. It was indeed an evil time; friends naturally wondered at my postponement of invitation to come to my studio, and asked jocularly whether I had not altogether given up painting. When I tried to form a clear judgment I often persuaded myself that another fortnight might get me over the difficulty, for continually some new expedient recommended itself to me as promising.
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The thought had grown of late years that independent artists needed further opportunities for exhibition than those afforded by the Royal Academy and the existing institutions.
When I was in Palestine news was brought me by some travelling friends that Sir Coutts Lindsay had built the Grosvenor Gallery. In response to his invitation I finished and forwarded the picture of “Nazareth, overlooking the Plain of Esdraelon.”
I found that among those of our party who had been pressed to  



contribute, Rossetti, still mindful of his indignation at the strictures of journalistic critics, had refused; and Brown, who suspected that there was some hidden design in the whole business, declined to have anything to do with it. Burne-Jones, who had exhibited only at the Old Water Colour Society, and had now retired from that Body, accepted the opportunity of showing his oil paintings in public, and gained by general acclamation a crown to his hitherto private renown.
I began pictures which, unhappily, I never gained leisure to finish, and made a design of “The Father's Leave-taking.”
It was well-nigh thirty years since the conception of our Reform
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Movement, and but little less since the foundation of the P.R.B. Although Rossetti had long since broken his intimacy with us, there  






was still subsisting the unforgettable link which binds each branch of the tree to the trunk. Rossetti, who, as has been explained, never strictly adhered to the original character of our Movement, had spread
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“Buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that though mayest be rich; and white raiment that thou mayest be clothed; . . . and anoint thine eyes with eye salve, that though mayest see.”

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his interpretation of it among his fellows and abroad, and now spoke of our combination as the visionary vanity of half a dozen boys, and that the “banding together under the title was all a joke.”
Woolner, after his return from Australia in 1856, had always expressed zeal for unity with us, and desire to be remembered as one of the original brethren. He had lately found himself with an open way before him by the death of Foley and the departure of Marochetti, but to the surprise of many of his friends he devoted his energies to making a collection of pictures.




Millais, from the shelter of the Royal Academy, had gained the reputation, among superficial observers, of having abjured our principles, which, seeing that an ordinary interpretation of our purpose was that it was narrow mediævalism or Overbeckism, he could conscientiously leave uncontradicted.
Thus it transpired that I was alone in declaring that I worked on the simple principle of Pre-Raphaelitism, which, being the unending study of Nature, is an eternal principle, and the consequence of my persistence was that I was looked upon as incorrigible and incapable of profiting by admonition.
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During these years I sent portraits of my son Cyril and of Sir Richard Owen to the Grosvenor Gallery.
Observing that the pastel drawing of D. G. Rossetti, now removed from its frame, was threatened with damage, and reflecting that it represented the poet-artist at an age when his earnestness was shown in his face more than in later years, William Rossetti allowed me to make an oil-painting of this likeness of his brother. I exhibited it at the Grosvenor Gallery, as also “Amaryllis,” “Miss Flamborough,” and other works.
At private views and on Sunday afternoons the Gallery became a famous resort of many people of mark, while the King and Queen  



and other distinguished persons gave splendour to the gatherings. Browning was constantly there, being deeply interested in art, an interest which, it was said, he had shown several years before by drawing in the Schools at Rome. After the death of Mrs. Browning his devoted sister became the mistress of his house, and they made it the anxiety of their life to watch the prospects of the son. For a time all seemed uncertain about “Pen's” proclivities, but one day when I called upon the poet, in Bloomfield Terrace he showed me a group of still life, composed of a human skull and accessories, which the son had spontaneously painted. The assurance that “Pen” would take to painting was a great joy to his father, and he consulted me earnestly as to the course to be followed, but on a subsequent occasion he told me that he had been advised to send him to study in Belgium. After a few seasons some examples of
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his son's work were seen in the Grosvenor Gallery, when the poet expressed great gratification at any recognition that they gained. By this date Browning was an honoured celebrity. Some of his original champions were confessedly displeased in that he seemed to approve the fashionable admiration of London society rather than their own, and words were wafted about expressing indifference to his later poems. He spoke to me of a visit he had made to the National Gallery after a prolonged absence abroad, and of his close attention to the “Dead Knight” by Velasquez—he said it had struck him then with a weird astonishment in that it was an illustration of the initial scene of his poem of “Childe Roland” and that Velasquez had anticipated his  




vision. (The title now given to the picture is changed.) Once when I was talking to the poet I chanced to mention the name of Rossetti; he suddenly flamed up, saying, “That is a man I will never forgive; he is unpardonable.” I replied: “Certainly I cannot pose as one of his ‘ idolaters’ but one of his great merits in my eyes is that he was the first who introduced me to your poetry, and that was thirty years ago.” But Browning was still irate, declaring that he had no patience with him, and would never overlook his insolence. I did not inquire further about the exact cause of offence. It is possible that Rossetti, originally nearly as great an enthusiast for Mrs. Browning as for the poet himself, had recently uttered something derogatory to her as
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W. H. H.]


  • “In dewy mornings when she came this way,
  • Sweet bents would bow to give my Love the day;
  • And when at night she folded had her sheep,
  • Daisies would shut, and closing, sigh and weep.”

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well as to the poet, and his verdict that “Browning and poetry had parted company for ever” could scarcely have escaped the poet's ear.
While I was working on my “Innocents” picture in a Chelsea studio, my wife chanced to meet the owner of the house in Cheyne Walk in which I had painted “The Light of the World,” and as she expressed her wish to visit the old studio of early days, Mr. Tylor, the proprietor—who from that day became, with his family, valued friends— arranged the visit. It was dark when we sallied forth towards the house, which happened then to be unoccupied. As we approached the  



old building I looked at the blank windows as on the face of the Dead; no sign of light and life could be seen there, and all was dark and silent as we turned the corner to the side entrance. Ascending the steps, I knocked at the once familiar door. The sound could be heard reverberating through the vacant passages, but no approaching steps came in response. Thinking that perhaps the caretaker was asleep, our friend rapped again more noisily than I had done, but we listened in vain; the only echoes spoke of deserted chambers and untrodden stairs. As a prelude to our half-formed determination to abandon further attempt, we made one final appeal with a force which resounded in the street,
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when suddenly a man appeared from the opposite side, who proved to be the caretaker. He said that he had not expected us so soon, and as he had not the key with him he could not open the door from outside, however, he would climb the garden wall, and so get into the house and open it to us. We had not long to wait before we heard the noise  


H. and W. Greaves]


(The house of the left was that in which W. H. H. painted “The Light of the World.”)

Transcribed Footnote (page 273):

1Mr. Walter Greaves has told me some interesting things about Turner and Carlyle. He said his father continually took Turner out in his boat, when he always wore a brown frock coat and a top hat. Turner used to go either on the river or into Battersea Park to note the sunset. He did not talk much. His housekeeper was a tall, coarse, Scotch woman, and the walls of the little rooms in the house on the river were just covered with his sketches. Turner had offered sketches to Mr. Greaves’ father, but he had never thought it worth while to accept any.

Carlyle was met every day in the streets of Chelsea, always looking on the ground, and one day a group of workmen agreed to try to make him speak to them. “A fine day, Mr. Carlyle,” they said. “Tell me something I don’t know,” said the philosopher, and passed on.

Mr. Walter Greaves and his brother began painting by themselves, and Mr. Whistler seeing them at work, suggested they should come into his studio in Chelsea; there they worked with and for him for sixteen years. They were commissioned to paint frescoes in Streatham Hall, and left the studio to do this. The brothers Greaves were in the studio when Whistler painted his mother, and this he did rapidly; but other portraits, that of Mr. Leyland, for example, he was two years over, altering it continually.

When Carlyle came to sit to him through the persuasion of an Italian lady, Mr. Greaves was there, and when Whistler took up a big brush, Carlyle was satisfied, thinking the work would go fast, but when a small brush was employed he became restive; he only sat for the head; the coat and other parts were from a painted model. Mr. Greaves was often left in charge when Whistler went away, at times to escape his creditors, as on one occasion for four months.

Old Mrs. Whistler was very religious, and on occasions used to talk of religion to Mr. Greaves and his brother. Once a troublesome creditor for £10 (a baker) insisted on getting his money. “You won’t get it,” said Whistler, “but here, take two pictures.” The baker refused at first, but was persuaded. The whereabouts of these is not now known, but they were fair-sized pictures.

Mr. Greaves helped to paint Mr. Leyland's peacock room.

Sig. Vol. II. T
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of his movements in the room below. We could trace him ascending the stairs, followed by the echoes of advancing steps; the bolts were gratingly withdrawn, the key was turned, and the chain disentangled and dropped. The door at last was thrown open, and the caretaker tall and upright, stood in the void with a lantern in his left hand. I think we all looked somewhat startled at the strangeness of his appearance, for he seemed to think an apology necessary. “I could find no proper candlestick, sir,” he said, “and as this old lantern happened to be handy, I thought you would rather I brought it than that you should be kept waiting; it will light you over the house.” He led us up the stairs so many of my friends had ascended and descended. On the landing he turned aside into the well-remembered room of my early  

My Daughter Gladys



My Son Hilary


fortunes and misfortunes. Walking before us, he finally stood, lantern in hand, in innocent ignorance of its fitness, in the very place where my model had stood to receive the conflicting rays of lamp-light and moonlight in my picture. After leading us through all the vacant rooms, he went down the stairs and led us into the street; as we left we heard him bolting and barring the door again.
In the midst of my torments with the Jerusalem canvas, typhoid fever assailed me, resulting from a visit to Paris, and had it not been for the unwearied, skilful, and affectionate attention of Sir William Gull, I believe the attack would have ended my days. When after ten weeks I was restored to convalescence, and was able to go to my picture, I began with fresh patience, but in a month or two I asked Millais to come and help me decide whether I should give up the subject altogether, as one which seemed as though all the devils in hell would not let me
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My Son Hilary



My Daughter Gladys


page: 276
bring it to conclusion; or take up some other of my many reserved subjects, or recommence this same composition on a new canvas. He came with the best heart to advise me. When he stood before the work he was moved, after much pondering, to say that he thought it would be most unwise to abandon the picture with so little in it still to be completed. “I can see,” he said, “that at present the part on which you have to paint the principal group is quite impracticable, but I know a man who would put it right and make it tight as a drum.” Despite my  

Portrait Design, My Daughter Gladys



own doubts, I slowly acquiesced, and at last agreed to try his method, and sent the canvas to a restorer once more. It came back apparently quite sound, and I began with new hope, and progressed for some time with continuing determination. At this time a member of the Royal Academy wrote a letter to The Times, in which he declared that the Institution was absolutely perfect in its constitution and in the exercise of its powers. The writer was one who had in 1863, ere he was a member, signed a memorial to the Royal Commissioners praying that the Body should be radically reformed. Since he and most of the other petitioners had been elected, no changes, not even those required by the Royal
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Miss Flamborogh

W. H. H.]


The Flamboroughs had got their pictures drawn by a limner, who took likeness for 15 s. a head, there were seven of them, and they were drawn with seven oranges.— The Vicar of Wakefield

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Commissioners, had been made. I felt that the writer's statement, for the ultimate good of Art, must be controverted; I was allowed by the impartial editor to remonstrate and to propose reforms which might suit the Institution to the altered circumstances of the age, with such effect that ultimately, to a certain degree I convinced the defenders of the existing management.
In the year 1881, I bought an old-fashioned house in Fulham, surrounded by garden and trees, and settled down for the first time in a permanent home. I had but lately found this house, and while I was building me a studio I hired one in Chelsea to which I took Ruskin 1 to see my “Innocents” picture. As we were driving together, he said, “One reason I so much value the picture we have seen is that it carries emphatic teaching of the immortality of the soul.”
“What,” I exclaimed, “I was supposing that you were approving of it for its artistic qualities of design, colour, and handling; for you must remember that when we last met you declared that you had given up all belief in immortality.”
“I remember well,” Ruskin replied; “what has mainly caused the change in my views is the unanswerable evidence of spiritualism. I know there is much vulgar fraud and stupidity connected with it, but underneath there is, I am sure, enough to convince us that there is personal life independent of the body; but with this once proved I have no further interest in the pursuit of spiritualism.”
The carriage now brought us to our destination, and so our talk came to an end.
In an Oxford Lecture he expressed great enthusiasm for the picture and devoted a passage of consummate eloquence to it. 2
After eight months more fruitless work, again I had to give up my
Transcribed Footnote (page 278):

1Letter from Ruskin after this visit —

“I had an entirely happy afternoon with Holman Hunt, entirely happy, because first at his studio I had seen, approaching completion, out and out the grandest picture he has ever done, which will restore him at once, when it is seen, to his former sacred throne. It is a “Flight into Egypt,” but treated with an originality, power and artistic quality of design, hitherto unapproached by him. Of course my feeling this made him very happy, and as Millais says the same we’re pretty sure the two of us to be right! Then we drove out to his house at Fulham. Such Eastern carpets—such metal work! such sixteenth-century caskets and chests, such sweet order in putting together—for comfort and use—and three Luca della Robbias on the walls! with lovely green garden outside and a small cherry tree in it before the window, looking like twenty coral necklaces with their strings broken falling into a shower.”

Transcribed Footnote (page 278):

2“For all human loss and pain there is no comfort, no interpretation worth a thought, except only in the doctrine of the Resurrection; of which doctrine, remember, it is an immutable historical fact that all the beautiful work, and all the happy existence of mankind, hitherto, has depended on, or consisted in, the hope of it.

“The picture of which I came to-day chiefly to speak, as a symbol of that doctrine, was incomplete when I saw it, and is so still; but enough was done to constitute it the most important work of Hunt's life, as yet; and if health is granted to him for its completion, it will, both in reality and in esteem, be the greatest religious painting of our time.

“You know that in the most beautiful former conceptions of the Flight into Egypt, the Holy Family were always represented as watched over and ministered to by attendant angels. But only the safety and peace of the Divine Child and its mother are thought of. No sadness or wonder of meditation returns to the desolate homes of Bethlehem.

“But in this English picture all the story of the escape, as of the flight, is told in fulness of peace and yet of compassion. The travel is in the dead of the night, the way unseen and unknown; but, partly stooping from the starlight, and partly floating on the desert mirage, move with the Holy Family the glorified souls of the Innocents. Clear in celestial light

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“Innocents” picture. This time I determined to recommence the design on a new and somewhat enlarged canvas; feeling the necessity of progressing apace with the second painting, and fearing that, while much remained to be done, I might grow disheartened at the amount of this repetition work in favour of some fresh subject, I toiled without  

W. Holman-Hunt


intermission. At first I made quick progress, but insomnia ensued, and was not long in bringing other penalties.
I was seriously shattered in health for a time by my long wrestle
Transcribed Footnote (page 279):

and gathered into child-garlands of gladness, they look to the Child in whom they live, and yet for whom they die. Waters of the River of Life flow before on the sands; the Christ stretches out His arms to the nearest of them—leaning from His mother's breast.

“To how many bereaved households may not this happy vision of conquered death bring, in the future, days of peace!

“I do not care to speak of other virtues in this design than those of its majestic thought,—but you may well imagine for yourselves how the painter's quite separate and, in its skill, better than magical power of giving effects of intense light, has aided the effort of his imagination, while the passion of his subject has developed in him a swift grace of invention which for my own part I never recognised in his design till now. I can say with deliberation that none even of the most animated groups and processions of children which constitute the loveliest sculpture of the Robbias and Donatello can more than rival the freedom and felicity of motion, or the subtlety of harmonious line, in the happy wreath of these angel-children.

“Of this picture I came to-day chiefly to speak, nor will I disturb the poor impression which my words can give you of it by any immediate reference to other pictures by our leading masters.”