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by at which beds could not be obtained: and some course must be resolved upon. We might walk to Tavistock, three or four miles off, but a vehicle which had come from Plymouth that day with two of our party, could do no more than carry two to the town. Turner said he would rather stay until the morning on the spot where we were debating the subject. He did not mind sitting up-would any one volunteer with him? The horse would come over fresh in the morning with those who might then leave: I volunteered. Our friends drove off, and the painter and myself soon adjourned to the miserable little inn. I proposed to plank it,' in the sailors' phrase-that is, to go to sleep on the floor; but some part of it was damp, and the whole well sanded, so that it was not a practicable couch, however hard. Turner said, before he considered any other matter, he must have some bread, cheese, and porter. Very good bread and cheese were produced, and the home-brewed suited Turner, who expatiated upon his success with a degree of excitement, which, with his usual dry, short mode of expressing his feelings, could hardly be supposed. I pleased him further by inquiring whether bacon and eggs could be obtained; and getting an affirmative reply, we supped in clover, and sat until midnight in conversation. I found the artist could, when he pleased, make sound, pithy, though sometimes caustic remarks upon men and things with a fluency rarely heard from him. We talked much of the Academy, and he admitted that it was not all which it might be made in regard to art. The clock that ticked against the wall' sounded twelve; I proposed to go to sleep. Turner leaned his elbow upon the table, and putting his feet upon a second chair, took a position sufficiently easy, and fell asleep. I laid myself at full length across three or four chairs, and soon followed his example.
Before six in the morning we rose, and went down towards the bridge. The air was balmy; the strong light between the hills, the dark umbrage, and the flashing water presented a beautiful early scene. Turner sketched the bridge, but appeared, from changing his
position several times, as if he had tried more than one sketch, or could not please himself as to the best point. I saw that bridge and part of the scenery afterwards in a painting in his gallery. He had made several additions to the scenery near the bridge from his own imagination. The picture was poetical; and, if I remember rightly, he had introduced into it some of the fictitious characters of the heathen mythology. He had bathed it in the gorgeous glories of the southern sun, clothed it in barbaric pearl and gold,' in fact, enriched it with that indefinable attraction which true genius confers on all its works. In delineating oceanstorm or calm, the effulgence of southern glory, or the chaste and highly decorated, but soberer scenery of his native land, Turner seemed to me then, as still, without a compeer. His sea-pieces far excel those of the higher Dutch masters. His pictures of Italy's sunny clime, her melancholy ruins, and the unsullied azure of her blue heaven, have received from Turner a charm which is scarcely to be found in any other painter. He was truly the poet of painting.
Turner said that he had never seen somany natural beauties in so limited an extent of country as he saw in the vicinity of Plymouth. Some of the scenes hardly appeared to belong to this island. Mount Edgecumbe particularly delighted him; and he visited it three or four times. have now in my possession a pencilsketch, of the roughest kind, which he drew. It is from the side of that fairy spot which looks into Cawsand Bay. There is the end of the seat, over which projects a thatched roof, the table, the bottle of wine, and a full-length of myself in the foreground-not the most flattering of his little-flattering impersonations. In the bay are several line-of-battle ships at anchor. This, a mere scrawl, is as full a representation as he took of many scenes of which he made some of his finest pictures. slender graphic memoranda induce me to think that he possessed the most extraordinary memory for treasuring up the details of what he saw in nature of any individual that ever existed, and that such outlines were to him what the few
heads of a discourse would be to a person who carried them away with a good memory. Some have said that he was not conscious of his own superiority. I believe that he was; and enjoyed the reflection as much as a nature would permit that did not participate in common susceptibilities, nor build its satisfaction upon such pleasures as the common mind most esteems. His habits were of the simplest character; he had no relish for the tawdry displays that obtain so much conventional estimation. A splendid house and large establishment would have been an encumbrance rather than a luxury to Turner. His mind was set on higher objects. If he desired what every-day people estimate highest, it was at his command. He was called close and niggardly ; but he had no desire to live and enjoy beyond the style of living and enjoying to which he was habituated. His mind lived in his art; he did not wish to appear other than he was. His wealth he had long determined to devote to a better purpose than giving dilettanti dinners, or assembling in a drawing-room the customary bevy of visitors that come and go to no good purpose, either as regards others or themselves. He was rather content to follow the path of most great men who have devoted themselves to a pursuit to which they have given their whole hearts. He did not fawn, as artists continually do, in the crowded rooms of men of rank and fortune for interested ends, while he did not shun an occasional intermixture in good society. His own time was too precious to be wasted as too many waste theirs. Turner felt that he bore, and desired still to bear, no surreptitious name in coteries, but to leave behind enduring renown as an artist. Concealed beneath his homely exterior there was much that was good and aspiring. Who with such ideas, humbly born as he was, so pre-eminent in art, destitute of fluency in language, though always speaking to the point-who with such ideas has ever existed without being an object of attack from some quarter or other!
He was charged with being close in money matters. If he satisfied his simple personal wants, who has
a right to call him niggardly when he preserved his wealth for a noble purpose? I denied to several artists who told stories of his love of money that his character was as they represented it. The most miserable of wretches is he who makes life a burthen in order to move in the track of other people's ideas. When I was out with Turner in Devonshire he paid his quota at the inns with cheerfulness; and some of our bills were rather higher in amount than bread and cheese would have incurred. Turner accommodated himself as well as any man I ever saw to the position of the moment. I chanced to relate to one of his brother Academicians that I was of a party to whom Turner had given a pic-nic in Devonshire, but I was scarcely credited-it was impossible, and so on. Yet such was the fact. There were eight or nine of the party, including some ladies. We repaired to the heights of Mount Edgecumbe at the appointed hour. Turner, with an ample supply of cold meats, shell-fish, and wines, was there before us. In that delightful spot we spent the best part of a beautiful summer's day. Never was there more social pleasure partaken by any party in that English Eden. Turner was exceedingly agreeable for one whose language was more epigrammatic and terse than complimentary upon most occasions. He had come two or three miles with the man who bore his store of good things, and had been at work before our arrival. He showed the ladies some of his sketches in oil, which he had brought with him, perhaps to verify them. The wine circulated freely, and the remembrance was not obliterated from Turner's mind long years afterwards. My opinion is, that this great artist always understood the occasion, and was prepared to meet it as any other individual would do. At home he led the life he preferred; he was not calculated for any but his own pursuit, and in that he shone-he knew and felt it. When I see a deviation from the common track in such a man, I feel persuaded that it is the result of a preference or inclination that should be respected.
He had a great regard for his own fame. If he was a close and
silent man, he had his predilections and biases. Persons of such a close temperament can only be well understood by collateral acts or accidental developments of their true character. Within two years of the decease of Campbell the poet, I met him in Cavendish-square. 'I am coming,' said he, from your quondam acquaintance, Turner. I have just played him a trick.' What do you mean?' 'Why,' observed Campbell, I had gone to a great expense for Turner's drawings to be engraved for my illustrated poems.' (I forget the number he said, for each of which he had paid twenty five guineas.) I was also told not to mind the expense, the drawings would sell, being Turner's, for what I had paid for them, as soon as the engravings were finished. They could not be disposed of at anything like the price. It was said they were not in his best style,-in short, I thought I should be compelled to keep them. One day I saw Turner, and told him what had occurred, and that I had hoped to make something of them. I added, in joke, that I believed I should put them up to auction. Turner said, feeling annoyed, I suppose, at my remark, 'Don't do that; let me have them.' I sent them to him accordingly,' said the poet, and he has just paid me for them.' I think Campbell said twenty guineas each, but I am not sure of the sum, my recollection failing me about the precise amount. I could not help saying, 'Turner does this because he is tender of his reputation; he will not have them in the market.' Campbell had just before been censured for lending his name to books written by other people, which struck me when I made the remark. The poet, however, was too joyous about his bargain to apply the remark to himself. I have since thought whether Turner did not do this with a desire to befriend Campbell. He was just the character to do such an act silently and bluntly. If those who accuse the great artist of an over-love of money object upon that score, I could recite instances of more extraordinary sacrifices from mere money-grubbers. If it was from a regard to his own fame, it establishes my position. The love of fame in these days is no
longer what it was; as a motive it is little understood, being supplanted by that lust of gain which keeps art in a state of tame mediocrity. The Augustan age of literature or art is not that of merchandise.
There was a manly vigour about Turner, or what some would call a decision of character, which stood pre-eminent. He showed nothing of what the world calls nervous feeling. His touches on the canvas were firm, and never laid on doubtingly. We were standing outside the works on the lines at Plymouth, close under a battery of twenty-four pounders, which opened only three or four feet above our heads. I was startled with the shock, but Turner was unmoved. We were neither prepared for the concussion, but he showed none of the surprise which I betrayed, being as unmoved at the sudden noise and involvement in the smoke as if nothing had happened.
We visited Cothele together, where the furniture is of the date of the reigns of Henry VII. and VIII. Turner did not seem much interested in the building; but with the woods and the views from some of the headlands round which the river winds he was so much taken, that, following him with a gig, we could not return, and were obliged to take out the horse, and lift the vehicle over a hedge by main strength. In doing this, and getting upon the hedge, there burst upon the view a noble expanse of scenery, which we had not anticipated. Here the artist became busy at once, but only for a short time. He had taken all down that he desired in ten minutes. 'Now,' said he, we shall see nothing finer than this if we stay till sun-down; because we can't, let us go home.' It was the last visit we paid to the scenery of the Tamar together. We subsequently had a pic-nic on the romantic banks of the Plym, and visited the crags and precipices of Sheep's Tor together. This visit closed nearly three weeks, for the most part spent in similar rambles. It was during these rambles that I imbibed higher ideas, not only of the artist, but of the man, than I had previously held, and still hold, now death has closed his shining
New Foes with an Old Face.
BY THE AUTHOR OF YEAST,' AND 'THE SAINT'S TRAGEDY.'
FOR two days the young monk
held on, paddling and floating rapidly down the Nile-stream, leaving city after city to right and left with longing eyes, and looking back to one villa after another, till the reaches of the banks hid them from his sight, with many a yearning to know what sort of places those gay buildings and gardens would look like on a nearer view, and what sort of life the thousands led who crowded the busy quays, and walked and drove, in an endless stream, along the great high roads which ran along either bank. He carefully avoided every boat that passed him, from the gilded barge of the wealthy landlord or merchant, to the tiny raft buoyed up with empty jars, which was floating down to be sold at some market in the Delta. Here and there he met and hailed a crew of monks, drawing their nets in a quiet bay, or passing along the great watery highway from monastery to monastery; but all the news he received from them was, that the canal of Alexandria was still several days' journey below him. It seemed endless, that monotonous vista of the two high clay banks, with their sluices and water-wheels, their knots of palms and date-trees; endless seemed that monotonous succession of bars of sand and banks of mud, every one like the one before it, every one dotted with the same line of logs and stones strewn along the water's edge, which turned out, as he approached them, to be basking crocodiles and sleeping pelicans. His eye, wearied with the continual confinement and want of distance, longed for the boundless expanse of the desert, for the jagged outlines of those far-off hills, which he had watched from boyhood rising mys. teriously at morn out of the eastern sky, and melting mysteriously into it again at even, beyond which dwelt a whole world of wonders, satyrs
VOL. XLV. NO. CCLXVI.
and dragons, anthropophagi and elephants, -ay, and the phoenix itself. Tired and melancholy, his mind returned inward to prey on itself, and the last words of Arsenius rose again and again to his thoughts. Was his call of the spirit or of the flesh?' How should he test that problem? He wished to see the world . . . that might be carnal. True; but he wished to convert the world. was not that spiritual? Was he not going on a noble errand? . thirsting for toil, for saintship, for martyrdom itself, if it would but come and cut the Gordian knot of all temptations, and save him-for he dimly felt that it would save him-a whole sea of trouble in getting safe and triumphant out of that world into which he had not yet entered. . . and his heart shrunk back from the untried homeless wilderness before him. But no! the die was cast, and he must down and onward, whether in obedience to the spirit or the flesh. Oh for one hour of the quiet of that dear Laura and the old familiar faces! ...
At last, a sudden turn of the bank brought him in sight of a gaudily. painted barge, on board of which armed men, in uncouth and foreign dresses, were chasing with barbaric shouts some large object in the water. In the bows stood a man of gigantic stature, brandishing a harpoon in his right, and in his left holding the line of a second, the head of which was fixed in the huge purple sides of a hippopotamus, who foamed and wallowed a few yards down the stream. An old grizzled warrior at the stern, with a rudder in either hand, kept the boat's head continually towards the monster, in spite of its sudden and frantic wheelings; and when it dashed madly across the stream, some twenty oars flashed through the water in pursuit. All was activity and ex
citement; and it was no wonder if Philammon's curiosity tempted him to drift down almost abreast of the barge, before he descried, peeping from under a decorated awning in the after-part, some dozen pair of languishing black eyes, turned alternately to the game and to himself. The serpents!-chattering and smil. ing, with pretty little shrieks andshaking of glossy curls and gold necklaces, and fluttering of muslin dresses, within a dozen yards of him! Blushing scarlet, he knew not why, he seized his paddle, and tried to back out of the snare but somehow, his very efforts to escape those sparkling eyes diverted his attention from everything else: the hippopotamus had caught sight of him, and furious with pain, rushed straight at the unoffending canoe; the harpoon line became entangled round his body, and in a moment he and his frail bark were overturned, and the monster, with his huge white tusks gaping wide, close on him as he struggled in the stream.
Luckily, Philammon, contrary to the wont of monks, was a bather, and swam like a water-fowl: fear he had never known: death from childhood had been to him, as to the other inmates of the Laura, a contemplation too perpetual to have any paralyzing terror in it, even then, when life seemed just about to open on him anew. But the monk was a man, and a young one, and had no intention of dying tamely or unavenged. In an instant he had freed himself from the line, drawn the short knife which was his only weapon, and diving suddenly, avoided the monster's rush, and attacked him from behind with stabs, which, though not deep, still dyed the waters with gore at every stroke. The barbarians shouted with delight. The hippopotamus turned furiously against his new assailant, crushing, alas! the empty canoe to fragments with a single snap of his enormous jaws; but the turn was fatal to him; the barge was close upon him, and as he presented his broad side to the blow, the sinewy arm of the giant drove a harpoon through his heart, and with one convulsive shudder, the huge blue mass turned over on its side and floated dend.
Poor Philammon! He alone was
silent, amid the yells of triumph; sorrowfully he swam round and round his little paper wreck... it would not have floated a mouse. Wistfully he eyed the distant banks, half minded to strike out for them and escape, and thought of the crocodiles, and paddled round again, . . and thought of the basi lisk eyes; he might escape the crocodiles, but who could escape women? . . . and he struck out valiantly for shore . . . when be hold he was brought to a sudden stop by finding the stem of the barge close on him, a noose thrown over him by some friendly barbarian, and himself hauled on board, amid the laughter, praise, astonishment, and grumbling of the good-natured crew, who had expected him, as a matter of course, to avail himself at once of their help, and could not conceive the cause of his reluctance.
Philammon gazed with wonder on his strange hosts, their pale complexions, globular heads and faces, high cheek bones, tall and sturdy figures; their red beards and yel low hair, knotted fantastically above the head; their awkward dresses, half Roman or Egyptian, and half of foreign fur, soiled and stained in many a storm and fight, but tastelessly bedizened with classic jewels, brooches and Roman coins, strung like necklaces. Only the steersman, who had come forward to wonder at the hippopotamus, and help to drag the unwieldy brute on board, seemed to keep genuine and unornamented the costume of his race, the deerskin leggings, the quilted leather cuirass, the bear's fur cloak, the only ornaments of which were the fangs and claws of the beast itself, and a fringe of grizzled tufts, which looked but too like human hair. The language which they spoke was utterly unintelligible to Philammon, though it need not be so to us.
A noble lad and a brave one, Wulf the son of Ovida,' said the giant to the old hero of the bearskin cloak; and understands wearing skins, in this furnace-mouth of a climate, rather better than you do.'
I keep to the dress of my forefathers, Amalric the Amal. What did to sack Rome in, may do to find Asgard in.'
The giant, who was decked out