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same disgraceful way. Figure to yourself a gentlewoman, with a conscience, and some little instruction in the truth of things, the duty of self-restraint, and the true meaning of the holy word charity-figure to yourself, I say, this gentle creature followed for half-a-mile, and tormented by the disgusting sham which she has encountered in the same spot perchance every time she has had the courage to walk out since it was her misfortune to live in London. A ragged boy or girl, or a slattern of an English woman is bad enough, but an Irish woman, or worse still, an Irish man of the true beggar breed, with his accent of mixed entreaty and threat! think of that wretched being as the compulsory companion of a gentle lady's promenade. Does not every man who has a heart grieve for her. Does not every man who has one emotion of gallantry left feel his hand folding up of itself, and the sinews of his arm tightening as he witnesses this abominable tyranny? Does not every man who has a true English feeling left within him, blush for a country and a metropolis in which such things are possible? But is there no help for it? Cannot the police interfere to stop this infringement upon the true liberty of the subject? If they can interfere, it is clear they do not do so. We all know that begging is illegal, and the act of begging punishable. We know, too, that the beggar may be given in charge to the police; but the difficulty is to find these gentry when they are wanted, and to find the time for prosecuting the offender afterwards. A law is not worth having which is not easier of execution than that. Everybody feels, too, by a sort of instinct, that the law is unjust, so long as it punishes only one party to the offence-which imprisons the tempted, and lets the true criminal, the indiscriminate almsgiver (the Soft Tommy,' or "Tumbler of the mendicant's grateful vocabulary) gofree. Depend upon it, we shall make no step towards the true liberty of the pavé, till we fine the giver as we imprison the receiver.
The reader of Fraser has heard
these sentiments before, and if the powers that rule her pages do not interfere, they will hear them again. It is no small credit to periodical to be the first propounder of a good theory; and many of the readers of these pages will remember that before the great leader of the daily press thundered forth against the beggars, Fraser had blown the monthly trumpet of warning, and taught the world the true secret of mendicancy in the Plague of Beggars.'t Will no benevolent person republish that essay in a cheap form, and send it forth as an antidote to the poison of mock-philanthropy? Something ought to be done. It is high time to move in this matter when the City of London, with the Worshipful the Lord Mayor in the chair, and Mr. Charles Cochrane and M. Alexis Soyer as his instructors, can hit upon no better method of checking mendicancy than importing the nuisance of Leicester Square into the sacred precincts of the City. It is all very well for M. Soyer to assure us that there is no difficulty whatever in supplying an unlimited quantity of cheap soup. The magnates of the city, by the bye, would seem, of all people in the world, to stand least in need of such teaching; as the production of soup on the large scale is an art in which our citizens already excel. With a boiler large enough, and meat, vegetables, spices, and water in quantities liberal enough, and coals without stint, there can be no difficulty in supplying soup to every vagabond that can make up a face, and muster a befitting costume to ask for it. The City of London could contrive with equal ease to supply a bowl of the best turtle to every welldressed gentleman or lady who would consent to take it as a gift. The money to buy the soup is the only difficulty; and those who know their right hand from their left will wait till these wise philanthropists are able to assure them that this mendicant soup supply will not be taken out of the fund which belongs to the honest working man, as every farthing does that is spent in any way-ay, even in turtle-soup and venison. There
* In the language of the beggars, 'Does he tumble?' is equivalent to 'Does he give?'
+ See Fraser's Magazine for April, 1848.
fore, most grave and reverend seniors of the most wise and provident of corporations, do I humbly beseech you to pause while there is yet time, and reconsider this question of the soup-kitchen. This, at least, I can promise you, that will not you have a beggar the less for this new move, but, on the contrary, you will have just as many beggars as can live on the pence dropped about in the streets plus the beggars who can live on the new supply of soup. The beds, too, will be an additional attraction, of which the consequences will be visible in the streets, and the washing arrangements will not be unacceptable to the more genteel order of mendicants, who have other modes of exciting compassion than ragged and filthy garments, and clothes picturesquely rent into tatters. But, happily, this farce cannot last long. Red Lion-square has repented, and relaxed its system of persecution by ticket; and you will do the same after being very angry, as you were with the first sanitary reformers, whose facts and principles you have now adopted. This physic, too, you will swallow, after making a befitting succession of wry faces.
That accursed Marseillaise again! Am I never to write in peace, and let my temper, which I confess to be of the irritable order, simmer in a wholesome way in gentle grumblings, but I must be subject to this new infringement of my liberty? In the name of all that is reasonable and right, why is my house, which, the lawyers tell me, is my castle, to be thus periodically invaded with noise which I have never ordered or paid for? Is every grinning Savoyard to be allowed to make faces opposite my window and let off a box of noise at his pleasure, and I to have no remedy but to run out in the cold and order him away?
Perhaps if I do, he wont go, and I must send half-a-mile for the police; or perhaps he may put down his box, and vindicate his licence by physical force against my liberty. I have read of such things in the papers. I know that these men are awkward customers, and have a knack of using knives on small provocation. What, then, shall I do? Shall I wait till all the noise has been let off, and the Marseillaise is forgotten, and then sit down, and in my very best Fraserian style of composition, beseech my neighbours to refrain from tyrannizing over me by giving to this unhired vagabond the pence which tempt him to destroy my liberty at home, as their brethren the Soft Tommies (I like that name) of the streets, tempt other members of the same mendicant fraternity to infringe my liberty abroad? If this public appeal to their compassion, backed by the suggestion that these organ-grinders would be better off if left in their own country than they are now; and that having been kidnapped by scoundrels, whom your pence have tempted to bring them across the seas, they are cruelly farmed out, to make princely incomes for the aforesaid scoundrels ;-if, I say, this public appeal does not succeed, I shall have no alternative but to write to my neighbours, and reveal the authorship of these grumblings. It is a step which I should take with great reluctance, as I cherish my incognito, and only wish, like the master engineers, whose liberty of action has been for a time destroyed by the perverse folly of their workmen, to be let alone.' I want to have no music at home that I don't pay for, and no companions of my walks abroad who are not of my own choosing. At present I am not a free agent, nor is England a civilized nation.
THE LATE JOSEPH MALLORD WILLIAM TURNER.
TURNER will not be duly esti
mated nor take the rank he merits under the present generation. He was too original, and ventured to think and act too independently for the middle level in art. To live in a mode foreign to the conventional ideas of the mass in any profession
is heterodoxy to its brotherhood. His reserve, retiring habits, plain person, and absorption in the great pursuit of his life, made him the theme of many an ungenerous remark, and frequently subjected him to a sneer for closeness in money matters, with which envy was not
always unmingled. While his eminence was partially admitted, his later attempts in art, far from being placed to the account of a great genius nobly endeavouring, became the burthen of attacks from raw newspaper critics and the petty fry of affected connoisseurs. Most of these gentry had been born since Turner executed his finest works and had probably never beheld one of them. In proportion as this great artist trod in the footsteps of those who, above their contemporaries, built up a name for posterity and were less understood by the multitude that surrounded them, was he less comprehended by every-day people and mediocre art-tasters.
But my present purpose is merely to commit to paper a few faint recollections of one whose works will do more to extend the fame of English art than those of any other artist have yet done. I became acquainted with Turner in 1812. In the following year he made a tour into Devonshire, where I happened to be. He was received with great attention by several discriminating friends of the fine arts. He wished to explore the scenery of the southwest of the county, and everything in the way of accommodation was afforded him. He was accompanied in his excursions by one or more friends at whose houses he had been hospitably received. Boats and conveyances were placed at his disposal. Many years afterwards he spoke to me in London of the reception he met with on this tour, in a strain that exhibited his possession of a mind not unsusceptible or forgetful of kindnesses. Among his entertainers some preceded him to the narrow house, and foremost among them the late John Collier, then resident at Mount Tamar, and subsequently member of parliament for Plymouth.
As the birthplace of Turner has recently appeared to some persons a matter of doubt, I may here observe that he was born at Barnstaple, and neither in Maiden-lane nor at South Molton, if his own words go for anything. The latter place, it is true, is but twelve miles from Barnstaple. We were sailing together in a boat on the St. Germains river, near Ince Castle. I recollect it as well as if it occurred yesterday. Turner, Collier, and myself were
the only persons present except the boatmen. I was remarking what a number of artists the west of England had produced, particularly Devon and Cornwall. I enumerated all I could remember, from Reynolds to Prout. When I had done, Turner said, 'You may add me to the list; I am a Devonshire man.' I demanded from what part of the county, and he replied, 'Barnstaple.' I have many times since repeated the incident to others who would insist that the artist was a Londoner. His father was of the same trade as the parent of the distinguished equity lawyer, Sugden, and came to London when Turner was young. I remember the little plain, but not ill-made old man letting me into Turner's house, or rather gallery, in Queen Anne-street more than once. He was not as stout nor as bluff-looking as his son, allowing for the difference in years. The son was rough, reserved, and austere in manner at the time to which I allude. In personal appearance he somewhat resembled the master of a merchantman. the gold lay beneath the rough soil. The unprepossessing exterior, the natural reserve, the paucity of language, existed in combination with a powerful intellect, a reflective mind that lived within itself, and a faculty of vision that penetrated to the sources of nature's ever-varying aspects, and stored them in memory to a most extraordinary degree. His glance seemed to command in a moment all that was novel in scenery, however extensive, which he had never before encountered. He would only make a few outlines upon paper, scarcely intelligible to others. The next day or days after he would have the sketch filled up in oil upon millboard, not much larger than a sheet of letter-paper, still confused to the unpractised eye. Yet in his finished pictures the details were given in a manner truly wonderful, so that it might be imagined he must have made other sketches, which was not the case, or else that he executed them by some magical process. His views about Plymouth, seen in the engravings from his pictures, with the minutiae of which I am well acquainted, perfectly astounded me from their fidelity of detail, to say nothing of their won
derful effect; yet his sketches showed but little of the work. His observation of nature was so accurate, and he was so capable of reading its details and bearing them in memory, that it seemed a mental gift belonging to himself alone.
One day, an invitation was given me by two friends to run along the coast to Borough or Bur Island, in the corner of Bigbury Bay, within the Bolt-head. There was to be a winding up, for the season, of a fishing account. The invitation was to a regale of hot lobsters; the fish, just taken from the sea, were plunged into boiling water, and thus dressed served up. Turner was invited to be of the party. The coast scenery was just to his taste; he was an excellent sailor. Captain Nicols, a fine old weather-beaten tar-long gone to his account-owned a Dutch boat, a famous sea-going craft, with the usual outriggers. Turner, and an artist, named Demaria, Captain Nicols, and a military officer in a new suit of scarlet, made four of the
which numbered six in all. There was also a stout sailor boy to assist in managing the boat. The morning did not look very propitious: there was a heavy swell rolling into the sound, and the wind rising. The sen had that dirty, perturbed appearance which is sometimes the forerunner as well as the follower of a gale. We worked out into the sound, where the breakwater had been just commenced, keeping towards Penlee and Rame-head, to obtain an offing. As soon as we saw we were clear of the nearer headlands on the east, we got well off the land, and while still running to the eastward, the sea rose higher. Off Stoke's point it became very boisterous; but our boat mounted the ridges bravely. The seas in that part of the Channel, not broken so much as farther up, are generally a succession of regular furrows from the Atlantic. We had to run about fifteen miles. Turner looked on with most artistic watchfulness. When we were on the crest of a wave, he now and then articulated to myself for we were sitting side by side-That's fine!-fine!' Demaria was very ill and art driven out of his head; the soldier was groaning and spoiling his scarlet coat, extended upon the rusty ballast in the bottom of the boat. In
deed he wanted to fling himself overboard, and would have done so, had he not been withheld. Turner sat watching the waves and thei headlands, like Atlas, unremoved. When we were off the island, and saw the sea breaking upon it, there seemed no possibility of our landing. the line of white surf being con nected and unbroken. There was a river called the Avon within the island, running up the main; we made towards it, and getting under the lee of the island, landed without much difficulty, with a little wetting. All this time I could see Turner silently glancing over the boisterous scene. The little island and solitary house or hut upon it, the bay in the bight of which they lay, and the Bolthead stretching darkly to seaward, against the precipitous rocky shore of which the sea broke furiously— all formed a striking scene, and Turner thought so. While the unfortunate shell-fish were preparing to be seethed, I missed Turner, and found him, with a pencil and small book, near the summit of the island. I observed, too, he was writing rather than drawing. The tumultuous waves boiling below were seen to great advantage from thence. I imagined he had observed something novel in their appearance, but this, whatever it might be, I did not comprehend. We soon sat down to our repast, to which the artist did ample justice. He was much attached to vulgar porter, and discarded wine, at least with dinner, although afterwards he would take his glass freely, as was much more the custom in those days than at present.
Evening approached, and Captain Nicols proposed to return. The sea had not gone down, and there was not much inclination shown by the landsmen to tempt the passage back, which we knew must go far into the night. It would be necessary to work out into a stormy sea, in order to get an offing to make the sound. I proposed to Turner that we should walk to Kingsbridge and sleep, returning how we could, if the boat would not stay, there being something to be seen in that vicinity. The whole party were of the same opinion, but the gallant old tar, with whom we offered to return the next day if he would pursue the same
plan, would not listen to it. We separated, which I thought we ought not, from good fellowship, to have done. The boat left without us, and was obliged to stretch out nearly to the Eddystone. It did not get into Plymouth until between four and five in the morning, through a sea so bad that some of the men-ofwar in the sound dragged their anchors and fired guns in consequence. When I mentioned this afterwards to Turner, and my regret at leaving the gallant old Captain, he replied, 'We had the best of it; I would have gone, if it had been daylight.' He did not enter into my ideas about our deficiency in good fellowship.
We rose at seven the next morning in Kingsbridge, and went before breakfast to see the house, at Dodbrook, in which Dr. Walcot (Peter Pindar) was born. The artist made a sketch of it and of another house, a picturesque place not far distant. We had now more than twenty miles to travel home. A vehicle was provided, but we walked much of the way, for Turner was a good pedestrian, capable of roughing it in any mode the occasion might demand. When we came to the Lara passage, we met Lord Boringdon
afterwards Earl of Morley), who invited Turner, Demaria, and myself to Saltram, to dine and sleep, the following day. We went accordingly. In the morning we ascended the high ground in the park, whence there is a fine view. There is also some fine scenery near the eastern entrance, at the mouth of the Plym, and Turner made some sketches here.
Among the guests at Saltram was Madame Catalani, who sang some of her favourite airs. Zuccarelli's best paintings adorn this hospitable mansion, but I could not extract from Turner any opinion regarding them. In the billiard-room was Stubb's fine picture of Phaeton and the horses of the sun,' with which I remember the artist was much pleased, as, indeed, everybody must be; but it elicited no further remark than the monosyllable, 'fine.' Turner on retiring to rest had to pass my bedroom door, and I remarked to him that its walls were covered with paintings by Angelica Kauffman-nymphs, and men like
nymphs, as effeminate as possible. I directed his attention to them, and he wished me Good night in your seraglio.' There were very fine pictures in Saltram by the old masters, but they seemed to attract little of his attention, though they might have drawn more than I imagined, for it was not easy to judge from his manner what was passing in his mind.
On looking at some of the wonderful fancy-works of this artist painted a little subsequently, I perceived that several were composed of bits of scenery we had visited in company. He told me afterwards in London, that if I would look into his gallery, I should see a picture some of the features of which I could not fail to recognise. I went accordingly, and traced three distinct snatches of scenery on the river Tamar. It was a beautiful work. Though I cannot recollect what name he gave it, I recognised a scene on that river which he told me on the spot he had never observed in nature before. I know that the headlands of Plymouth Sound closed the distance twelve miles off, and that the intervening objects were those to which he alluded. In his gallery at that time I first saw, too, his picture of Hannibal crossing the Alps. Another picture, which was in the Exhibition, he told me was the fruit of our expeditions. I speak of his fancy compositions, for his pictures of existing scenery in the west cannot be mistaken; so faithful are they, so true to nature, and so deeply imbued with the magic of his genius. I was with Turner when he sketched Plymouth Sound, with part of Mount Edgecumbe; when he visited Trematon Castle, Saltash, the Wear Head, Calstock-in fact, all the views he made on the banks of that picturesque river, which have been since engraved.
We had one day reached the Wear Head of the Tamar, no great way below the Duke of Bedford's cottage at Endsleigh, when night came on. Turner was struck with admiration at the bridge above the Wear, which he declared altogether Italian. Our party consisted of four. To go down the river in the night was impracticable, on account of the chance of getting on shore upon the mud banks. There was an inn hard