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..'7 ^ ^ ^ 







VOL. n. 


SPOTTI8W0ODB8 and Shaw, 
New-itreet- Square 












VOL. n. 














At this point Haydon's autobiography breaks offi Hence- 
forward his life must be traced by help of his journals. 
These journals are curious volumes, twenty-six in num- 
ber, bulky, parchment-bound, ledger-like folios. He 
has recorded in them the incidents of his days, his de- 
ductions from books he has read or pictures he has seen, 
and such passing thoughts as seemed to have been worth 
arresting and fixing in this way. By their help one may 
follow the progress of all his pictures from the first con- 
ception, — often the best, — through all the alterations in 
composition, the trials of efiPects in light and shade, studies 
of groups, single figures, and parts of figures. All these 
drawings are dashed in with pen and ink, careless and 
hasty, but almost always spirited, and instinct with cha- 
racteristic action. Under sketches of the same subject, in 
different arrangements, are often written the reasons why 
one is better than another ; and so with draperies, hands, 
and feet From these may be determined, with tolerable 
precision, the time each picture was in hand from first to 

I find the earliest sketches for Lazarus about June, 
1820 ; but it was not till his return from Edinburgh that 
he fairly began the work on canvas. 

It may be worth remarking that after the first scarcely 
intelligible sketch — little more than an arrangement of 

B 2 

i MEMOIES OF B. R. HATDOS. [l821. 

lines — comes a composition almost exactly the same as 
that finally adopted fur this picture, which now hangs on 
the staircase landing of the Pantheon in Oxford Street. 

Long before I knew anything of Haydon or his life, I 
have often paused before the awful face of Lazarus in that 
picture, wondering how such a worli came to be in such a 
place, and how the same mind that conceived the Lazarus 
could have fallen into the coarse exaggeration of some of 
the other figures of the composition. 

I am much mistaken if this picture does not bear an 
impress of power which will hardly be found in the work 
of any other English historical painter. In spite of ob- 
vious blemishes, and the exaggeration of parts, I cannot 
but think it worthy of a place of honour in any part of a 
future National Gallery which may be appropriated to 
the works of British artists. 

Haydon had written to his friend William Allen of hia 
returning to London and work from his Edinburgh visit. 

" I felt as if for a fortnijjht I had been sailing with 
a party of fine fellows up a placid and beautiful river, now 
putting in and dancing on the shore, now singing, and 
laughing and revelling, when suddenly the course of the 
river had brought me again to the turbulent sea on which 
my destiny was fixed to buSet. I declare to you I 
plunged into it witli that sort of feeling a man has when 
he takes a dive in a gale of wind, watching each wave as 
it mounts, and then darting through it before it has time 
to smother him." 

At the beginning of 1821 * he saya, " I now see diffi- 
culties are my lot in pecuniary matters, and my plan must 
be to make up my mind to meet them, and fag as I can, 
— to lose no single moment, but seize on time that is free 
from disturbance and make the most of it. If I can float 

• The journal for tliat year bears the motto, 'Epyn, 'Epyn, 'Epyn, and 
this (from Tacitus de Mor, Ger.): "Reges ex nobilitate, duces ax- 
virtute sumunt .... et duces exempto potius quam imperioj aipromti, si 
coaspictii, Bi anle aciem agaid, admiratioDC prLesunt." The italics are 
bis own. 


and keep alive attention to my situation through another 
picture, I will reach the shore. I am now clearly in sight 
of it, and I will yet land to the sound of trumpets and 
shouts of my friends." 

Already by the 3d of January he was settling his Laza- 
rus ; balancing his composition so as to make the Christ 
the leading figure of the group, while Lazarus should 
share attention by his expression. " The author of the 
miracle first strikes the eye. He is alone, — as he ought 
to be ; standing erect and visible from head to foot : while 
the object of his power, on the point of appearing, is suf- 
ficiently seen to account for the agitation, without inter- 
fering with Christ, the first cause." 

Wilkie wrote more eagerly than usual (January 2d) 
** that he has a great deal to tell him;" and comes, his 
look, his walk important, his form dilated; sits down 
]breathing with that consciousness of victory a man has 
after a successful argument. Drawing near the fire and 
chuckling with inward triumph, out it comes at last. He 
has made his maiden speech at the Academy, has carried 
his motion, has been praised, and begins to feel his weight. 
He tells Haydon his wonder at finding himself listened to ; 
and is all eagerness for speech-making. " The next time 
he dines with me I am perfectly convinced he will get up 
and say, * Mr. President, I propose that the candle be 
snufied.' " He is now ofi^," writes Haydon, "for the next 
fortnight ; " and actually told me, when I asked how Lord 
Wellington's picture (the Chelsea Pensioners) was going 
on, that it was too cold to paint! What a character! 
Never was such simpUcity, such genius, such prudence, 
such steadiness, and such inconsistency united." 

Among his correspondents of this date was Sir Walter 
Scott, who gave him (December 27, 1820) an outline of 
a course of Scottish history, and (January 7) sent him the 
story of " the Laird's Jock," as a good subject for a sketch, 
in the mode of Salvator, though perhaps better adapted 
for sculpture. 

Sir George Beaumont (Feb. 14) renewed his judicious 

B 3 


advice to paint down your enemies (if you have any) 
rather than attempt to write them down, which will only 
multiply ihem. " There is no man so insignificant as not 
to stand his chance of having it in his power to do you a 
serious injurj' at some time or other," — advice which 
Haydon felt the full valne of, but always forgot on the first 

{March ]0(A.) Haydon spent an evening with Mrs. 
Siddons, to hear her read Macbeth. " She acts Macbeth, 
herself," he writes, "belter than either Kemble or Kean. 
Jt is extraordinary the awe this wonderful woman inspires. 
After her first reading the men retired to tea. While we 
were all eating toast, and tingling cups and saucers, she 
began again. It was like the effect of a mass bell at 
Madrid. All noise ceased; we slunk to our seats like 
boors, two or three of the most distinguished men of the 
day, with the very toast in their mouths, afraid to bite. 
It was curious to see Lawrence in this predicament, to 
hear him bite by degrees, and then stop for fear of making 
too much crackle, his eyes full of water from the con- 
straint ; and at the same time to hear Mrs. Siddons' ' eye 
of newt and toe of frog!' and then to see Lawrence give 
a sly bite, and then look awed, and pretend to be hstening. 
I went away highly gratified, and as I stood on the landing- 
place to get coo], I overheard my own servant in the hall 
say 'Wliat! is that the old lady making such a noise?' 
' Yes.' ' Why she makes as much noise as ever ! ' 
'Yes,' was the answer; 'she tuues her pipes as well as 
ever she did.' 

On the 15th of February, 1821, John Scott, Haydon'a 
old and warm friend, editor of the Champion and of the 
Loudon Magazine, was killed iu a duel.* There had been 

• The duel took pliice in conseiiuence of the pjUowing circum stances. 
Mr. Lockhart, the reputed author of " Peter's Letters to hia Kinsfolk," 
having been violently and personallj attacked in the London Magazine, 
caine to London for the purpose of obtaining from Mr. Scott an 
explanation, an apology, or a meeting. Mr. Scott declined unless Mr. 
Lockhart woald first deny that he nas tlie editor of Blackwood's 


a coolness between him and Haydon for some time before 
the sad event. But this catastrophe broke down the pride 
which had kept Haydon aloof from his friend, and he thus 
(March 9th) records the impression made upon him by 
the funeral. 

^^ Poor John Scott ! and thou at last ^ home hast gone, 
and ta'en thy wages.' 

" For a fortnight before his burial, I exhibited a fine 
instance of wounded pride struggling to keep down the 
urgings of former affection. I held out to the hour 
before his funeral, and then a sudden blaze of light 
on my brain, showed me his body, stretched out 
dead ! My old affections burst in like a torrent, and bore 
down all petty feelings of irritation. I hurried on my 
clothes and drove down to his door. As the room began 
to fill, I felt my heart heave up and down ; my feelings 
were too strong to be restrained. I hung back and suffered 
every one to go before me ; my very nature was altered ! 
I, who was always panting for distinction, even at a funeral, 
(for I felt angry at Opie's that I wasn't in the first coach,) 
now slunk away from observation with my lips quivering, 
my eyes filling, and my mind struggling to subdue its 

Magazine. This Mr. Lockhart did not consider it necessary to do, and 
the correspondence ended with a note from Mr. Lockhart containing 
very strong and unqualified expressions touching Mr. Scott*s personal 
character and courage. Scott published his account of the afiair, and 
Mr. Lockhart published his, in which he stated that a copy had been 
sent to Mr. Scott. The copy circuhited by Mr. Lockhart contained a 
denial of his being the editor of Blackwood^s Magazine. The copy 
sent to Scott did not contain this denial. Scott on this charged Mr. 
Lockhart with falsehood. The discrepancy between the copies arose 
from an oversight in printing the statement. But Scott's charge pro- 
duced a reply from Mr. Christie, who had acted as Mr. Lockhart*s 
friend in the afiair, and Mr. Christie*s reply led to a challenge from 
Scott, which was accepted. The parties met at Chalk Farm at nine o* 
dock at night, an unusual hour chosen on Mr. Scott*s suggestion. 
Two shots were exchanged : Mr. Christie fired wide the first time, in- 
tentionally, but on the second fire his ball entered Mr. Scott's side, 
and the wound was fatal ; Mr. Scott dying on the 27th. (Abridged 
from the Annual Begister for 1821. — Ed.) 

B 4 

8 MEMOIRS or B. E, HATDON. 1B21. 

emotions into a stern feeling of painful sorrow ; nature 
would not be commanded ; when I got into tlie coach, 1 
iid mj face in my cloak and cried like a child. By the 
time we reached the church, I was relieved : happily I was 
so, for the world would have regarded any exhibition then 
(however genuine) as affectation. As I squeezed by the 
coffin that contained the body of my former friend, with 
the long pall and black plumes waving and trembling as 
the wind moaned up the aisle, I shivered. All our con- 
versations on death and Christianity and another world 
crowded into my mind. 

"As the coffin was carried to the vault, the plumes were 
taken off, and as they nodded against the light window, 
I thought tliem endowed with human features — fates that 
bowed as we walked in submission to their power! 

" I descended the steps into a dark chamber and saw at a 
distance doors open and piles of black coffins, each with 
a trembling light fixed to its side. The mourners crowded 
forward: I felt too much to move; I heard the dry scraping 
of the cords, and then a dead jerk as the body sunk into its 
place. Immediately a voice rose breathing forth the beau- 
tiful words of our funeral service. Poor Scott! I took a 
last look at the coffin and walked away. 

"Daylight was painful; the stir in the streets seemed 
disgusting. I went into an obscure alley and so home. 

" Poor Scott, peace go with him ! It is a consolation to 
think that in those very fields where he was shot, he told 
me, last summer (after his boy's death), that he felt life as 
a bridge over which he was walking to eternity." 

The same month brought news of a heavier loss, (March 
29). "Keats too is gone ! He died at Rome, the 23rd 
February, aged twenty-five, A genius more purely poetical 
never existed! 

" In fireside conversation he was weak and inconsistent, 
hut he was in his glory in the fields. The humming of a 
bee, the sight of a flower, the glitter of the sun, seemed to 
make his nature tremble ; then his eyes flashed, his cheek 
glowed, his mouth quivered. He was the most unselfish 


1821.] DEATH OP KEATS. 9 

of human creatures: unadapted to this worlds he cared not 
for himself^ and put himself to any inconvenience for the 
sake of his friends. He was haughty and had a fierce ha- 
tred of rank ; but he had a kind gentle heart, and would 
have shared his fortune with any man who wanted it. His 
classical knowledge was inconsiderable, but he could feel 
the beauties of the classical writers. He had an exquisite 
sense of humour, and too refined a notion of female purity 
to bear the little sweet arts of love with patience. He had 
no decision of character, and having no object upon which 
to direct his great powers, was at the mercy of every petty 
theory—'s'Lgen'uity iht start 

" One day he was full of an epic poem ; the next day 
epic poems were splendid impositions on the world. 
Never for two days did he know his own intentions. 

" He began life full of hopes, fiery, impetuous and un- 
governable, expecting the world to fall at once beneath 
his powers. Poor fellow ! his genius had no sooner begun 
to bud) than hatred and malice spat their poison on its 
leaves, and sensitive and young it shrivelled beneath their 
effusions. Unable to bear the sneers of ignorance or the 
attacks of envy, not having strength of mind enough to 
buckle himself together like a porcupine, and present no- 
thing but his prickles to his enemies, he began to despond, 
flew to dissipation as a relief, which after a temporary 
elevation of spirits plunged him into deeper despondency 
than ever. For six weeks he was scarcely sober, and to 
show what a man does to gratify his appetites, when once 
they get the better of him, he once covered his tongue and 
throat as far as he could reach with Cayenne pepper, in 
order to appreciate the ' delicious coldness of claret in all 
its glory,'— his own expression. 

" The death of his brother wounded him deeply, and it 
appeared to me that he began to droop from that hour. 
I was much attached to Keats, and he had a fellow-feeling 
for me. I was angry because he would not bend his great 
powers to some definite object, and always told him so. 
Latterly he grew irritated because I would shake my head 


at )iis irregularities, and tell him that he would destroy 

" The last time I ever saw him was at Hampstead, lying 
in a white bed with a book, hectic, and on his hack, 
irritable at his weakness, and wounded at the way he had 
been used. He seemed to be going out of hfe with a 
contempt for this world and no hopes of the other. I 
told him to be calm, but he muttered that if he did not 
soon get better he would destroy himself. I tried to 
reason against such violence, but it was no use ; he grew 
angry, and I went away deeply affected. 

" Poor dear Keats ! Had nature but given you firmness as 
well as fineness of nerve, you would have been glorious in 
your maturity as great in your promise. May your kind 
and gentle spirit be now mingling with those of Shake- 
speare and Milton, before whose minds you have so often 
bowed. May you be considered worthy of admission to 
share their musings in heaven as you were fit to com- 
prehend their imaginations on earth ! 

" Dear Keats, hail and adieu for some six or seven years, 
and I shall meet you. 

" I have enjoyed Shakespeare more with Keats," he 
adds, " than with any other human creature." 

"Marchlth. — Sir Walter Scott, Lamb, Wilkie, and 
Proctor have been with me all the morning, and a most 
dehghtful morning have wc had, Scott operated on us 
like champagne and whisky mixed. In the course of 
conversation he alluded to Waverley; there was a dead 
silence. Wilkie, who was talking to him, stopped, and 
looked so agitated, you would have thought that he was 
the autlior. I was bursting to have a good round at 
him, but as this was his first visit I did not venture. It 
is singular how success and the want of it operate on two 
extraordinary men, Walter Scott and Wordsworth. Scott 
enters a room and sits at table with the coolness and self- 
possession of conscious fame ; Wordsworth with a mortified 
elevation of head, as if fearful he was not estimated as he 


" Scott is always cool and very amusing. Wordsworth 
often egotistical and overwhelming. Scott can ajSbrd to 
talk of trifles, because he knows the world will think him 
a great man who condescends to trifle ; Wordsworth must 
always be eloquent and profound, because he knows that 
he is considered childish and puerile. Scott seems to wish 
to appear less than he really is, while Wordsworth struggles 
to be thought, at the moment, greater than he is suspected 
to be. 

** This is natural. Scott's disposition is the effect of 
success operating on a genial temperament, while Words- 
worth's evidently arises from the effect of unjust ridicule 
wounding an intense self-esteem. 

** I think that Scott's success would have made Words- 
worth insufferable ; while Wordsworth's failures would 
not have rendered Scott a whit less delightful. 

*' Scott is the companion of nature in all her feelings and 
freaks ; while Wordsworth follows her like an apostle, 
sharing her solemn moods and impressions." 

Jpril 20th, — I find a letter from Miss Joanna Baillie, 
who, having been unable to attend the private view of 
Jerusalem, which she had now seen, writes to congratulate 
him " on having produced a most splendid and interesting 
work, so honourable for the artist and for the nation." 
Here, too, in his journal he has inserted some compli- 
mentary and playful Latin verses on that picture sent to 
the Examiner under a signature in which the reader will 
recognise the name of Charles Lamb. I do not remember 
to have seen any other Latin poetry from that pleasant 
hand, and certainly this specimen is more monkish than 


In tahulam egregii pictoris B. Haydoniy in qud Judcei ante 
pedes Christi palmas prostementes mird arte depin^ 

Quid vult Iste Equitans P et qiiid velit ista virorum 
Falmifera ingens turba, et vox tremebunda Hosannd ? 
Hosann& Christo semper semperque canamus. 


PaJma fuit Senior Pictor celeberrimus olim ; 
Atpalinnm cedat, modil ei foret ille euperstes, 
Falina, Haydone, tibi i tu palmas omnibus aufere. 
" Falmu negata macrum, donataque reddit opimum." 
Si simul iDciptat cum famd incrcscere corpus, 
Tu citb piuguesccs, fiea et, amicule, obcEua. 
Affectant lauros pictorea atque poetie — 
Sin laurum invideant (aed quis tibi?) laimgerenteB 
Fro lauro palmi viridanti terapora oinge. 

About tliia time, too, Le made tlie acquaintance of 

-^pril 21st. — " Belzoni is a glorious instance of what 
singleness of aim and energy of intention will accomplish. 
He was a man with no single pretension to calculate c 
attaching his name to Egypt, but by his indomitable 
energy he has attached Egypt to his name for ever : I saw 
him to-day and was struck by his appearance, good sense 
and unconquerable spirit. He has that union of enthu- 
siasm of conception with patient investigation before he 
acts, which is so seldom met, and thus what looks like 
madness to others is to him clear and practicable. He 
seems a man of gi'eat simplicity ; telis all his pai 
pleasures, and mortifications, ait his hopes, fears, and anti- 
cipations, with the openness of a child. This gives a 
value to everything he says or describes. \Vlien a man 
tells what the pride of most men would keep from the 
world, it may naturally be concluded that he has told the 
truth. The people of Europe wilt, periiaps, never com- 
pletely enter into Belzoni's raptures at finding the first 
tomb. He only can properly estimate his feelings who 
has wardered among a savage people, in a bare, sandy 
country, amidst shattered tenipies, prostrate figures, 
broken columns, and solitary pyramids. He only can 
share his delight at plunging into a tomb, twenty feet 
below the surface of an arid soil, and discovering it to be 
rich in colour, abounding in ornamental pictures, fresh as 
when first painted, aud unseen by human eye for pertiaps 
three thousand years! 

1821.] BELZONI. 13 

** The whole thing is like a fairy tale, and you read on 
with breathless attention. He took down two priests, 
expecting rapturous applause at his success, and his dis- 
appointment, when they coolly took snuff without a single 
observation, is a true touch of nature. Then came the 
Kislar Aga, and the only idea this extraordinary tomb 
suggested to him was, that it would make a good place 
for a harem, because the women would have something to 
look at. In a short time, such is your conviction of 
^ Belzoni's truth, you resign yourself completely into his 
hands, relish his difficulties, share his successes, hope in 
his beginnings, fear in his progress, and clap your hands 
when he has succeeded." 

There is a characteristic reference to himself in the 
following : — 

*^ In every sense Belzoni is a grand fellow. He suffered 
in his progress, as all suffer who dash at once upon great 
undertakings which thousands have feared to touch. 
The attempt alone is an insult to the understanding of all 
those who have never attempted, and would never attempt 
such a bold attack. When a great undertaking is ac- 
complished, it is * opportunity ' and Muck.' When it 
was undertaken it was * insanity.' They first endeavour 
to hinder a man from all attempts beyond the ordinary 
course, by asserting the impossibility of success, and when 
he proves them in error, they charitably attribute his 
success to * happy chance,' to anything in short but a com- 
bined action of his own understanding and will. 

" How strange it is, that the very people who make a 
man celebrated by talking of his name (which they cannot 
avoid) revenge themselves by attaching everything to it 
that can bring him down to their own level. 

" Ajpril 27th. — I saw to-day some heads in chalk, from 
Raffaele's School of Athens. What expression ! Eyes, 
mouth, nose, all seemed quivering with feeling — each 
feature sympathising with its brother feature. O 
Raffaele, Raffaele, what futile stuff is my art after thine ! 

14 MEMOIRS OP B. R. HATDON. [1821. 

"But it shall not be in my Lazarus. I see deeper than I 
ever did, and have grander notions of my art. O God ! 
grant me life, liealtli, and memory, to realise iny views. 

"28(/*. — As I stood last night in the midst of a con- 
versazione of celebrated nieu, I thought of Johnson's 
saying 'That there was not one of them but would feel 
pain at bis own reflections before midnight.' I first 
encountered Soane, smiling and talking to many others, a 
man of good heart but with a caustic temper that has 
rendered his life a burthen. Then I saw the Duke of 
Sussex, with a star on his breast and an asthma inside it, 
wheezing out his royal opinions ; and in this way I went 
through the greater part of the company, and ended with 
myself aching in heart and tortured in mind with pecuniary 
difficulties. After a few hours, away we all went to our 
respective pillows, delighted with our host's brilliant 
conversazione, and he enraptured that we were gratified. 

" And must there not be a world of justice, of peace, of 
truth hereafter, where souls may show themselves what 
they are, without bodies to disguise their real essence? 
There must be ? Ah 1 Scott, you know it by this time, 
and poor dear Keats too. I strolled the Kilbum meadows 
last evening. The influence of my two friends seemed 
breathing about me. The endeavour of this present 
breath must soon be over. I never felt so strongly the 
insignificance of life as I have lately : I see through its 
pretences thoroughly. Perhaps my highest days are over. 
I have enjoyed the greatest success, all the triumphant 
feelings of conquest and glory, and what then? One's 
heart sinks inwardly on its own resources and yearns for 
something higher, some immaculate virtue unattainable 
on earth, some radiant peace beyond the apprehension of 
mau — angelic smiles and angelic sympathies— the calm- 
ness of a brighter region, and the approbation of a God ! 

" All these feelings have been generated by that head of 
Raffaele. First I felt its beauty, then mused on its expres- 
sion, then thought of God who could give such features to 



express thought^ and then of the being who had the genius 
to represent those features with a brush and a little 
colour, so as to excite such sensations. One thought 
led to another till it ended as I have written." 

His pecuniary difficulties were now again pressing on 
him. He writes : — 

" May 2nd. — There is always a species of disgust in 
encountering pecuniary difficulties after having once felt 
the blessings of repose. It is a painful sacrifice of pride 
to be obliged to call on tradesmen as one did when an un- 
known student. As I awoke at two o'clock this morning, 
something like inspiration came over me and said " Why 
do you not act with your old energy of mind ? why do 
you lie here without looking your difficulties in the face ? 
why do you leave yourself to the power of your imagi- 
nation ? Act ! act ! Plan after plan darted into my head 
until I fell asleep, woke, got up, sallied forth for five 
hours, satisfied everybody, came home and found a pupil 
with 70Z. I ate my dinner with a calm mind. 

''I am inclined to imagine that much of the pain and 
anxiety of mind I have suffered for the last few days arose 
from nothing more or less than indigestion* My stomach 
was heated and affected my brain. Suppose in that 
humour I had shot myself? Would a superior Being 
have destroyed my soul, because, my brain being [irritated 
by an indigestion, I had in a state of perturbation put an 
end to a painful exitence ? Surely not ! " 

It is curious to observe how frequently Haydon recurs 
to the thought of suicide in this questioning fashion. <' I 
am sorry to say," he writes soon after this, " that I am 
not so convinced of the wickedness of suicide as I am of 
its folly." All through the journal of this period he seems 
harassed and disturbed, mainly I believe from the longing 
he had to marry, and his sense of the imprudence of doing 
so, in the present condition of his affairs. 

*^May 3rd. — Read the whole day and considered deeply 
on the head of Christ and on the expression for Lazarus. 

16 MEMOIRS OF B. B, HATDON. [1821. 

"There are two things which press upon one's mind 
dreadfully, viz. the passing of time and the growing of 
children ! 

" If children would hut remain smiling cherubs for ten 
I years what delights they would be ! As to ' timcj' 
I nothing is such a stimulus or such an eternal haunter of 
I my conscience. I have got into such a liahit of thinking 
I of thisj that resting a moment makes me start up as if I 
I heard time's eternal waterfall tumbling into the gulf below! 
T I bustle myself into action and get rid of the roar. 

"4(/*. — Went to the private view of the Academy; there is 
J evident making out in the portraits now, and a struggle 
to do things better, more correctly, than formerly. I think 
I can perceive that the influence of Keynolda in his most 
vicious habits is on the wane : hands begin to have bone ; 
heads to hiive ears ; leg's, shape ; and coats, arms beneath 
them. The whole lengths have been lowered a foot; 
artists are beginning to show an evident desire that their 
works may he lookedinto. This indeed shows an advanced 
feeling. The most entertaining thing is the vast strain to 
get something in the shape of historical pictures. Unable 
to conceive anything new they have been compelled to 
violate one of their own laws, and allow an old member to 
hang a picture that has been painted for thirty years- 
Feeble as it is, it yet shows their disposition. The poor 
historical painters ! A historical painter in the Academy 
is something hke the log Jupiter sent the frogs for a 

"5th. — Called on Jeffrey and found him preparing to have 
his face cast. Breakfast was ready and friends began to 
drop in. In spite of all efforts to conceal it, he was pleased 
at having his face cast before others. Can it be possible 
that critics should be hable to the weaknesses of human 
nature? Sidney Smith came in, the most playful, impu- 
dent, careless cassock I ever met. Mrs. Jeffrey and 
another Scotch lady were with us, and Sidney Smith 
began playfully to plague them by affecting to agree with 
them, giving in to all their little prejudices, sympathizing 

1821.] Jeffrey's face cast: belzoni. 17 

with all their little grievances^ and bantering all their little 
nonsenses in a way the most agreeable and amusing. I 
saw that he was drawing them out for materials for a good 
story for the evenings and capital materials he had. 

." By this time JeflTrey's coat was off, his chin towelled, 
his face greased, the plaster ready, and the ladies watching 
everything with the most intense interest. Mrs. Jeffrey 
began to look anxious ; the preparations for casting a face 
are something like those for cutting off a man's head. 
Not liking to seem too fond before others, she fidgetted in 
her seat, and at last settled on the sofa with her smelling- 
bottle barely visible, grasped tightly in her hand. The 
plaster was now brought, a spoonful taken up, Jeffrey 
ordered to keep his mouth close and his nerve firm, and 
the visitors to be quiet. Sidney Smith was dying with 
laughter, and kept trying to make Jeffrey laugh, but it 
would not do. When his face was completely covered, up 
jumped Sidney mock heroically, exclaiming, * There's im- 
mortality! but God keep me from such a mode of obtaining 
it.' Unfortunately Jeffrey's nostrils were nearly blocked 
up, breathing became difficult, his nerve gave way and the 
mould was obliged to be jerked off and broken. So much 
for this attempt at immortality. 

"Sidney Smith took up the cartoon of the Beautiful 
Gate, and began reading the fine speech of St. Peter to 
the beggar, * Silver and gold have I none.' * Ah ! that 
was in the time of the paper currency,' said he ! 

*'8th. — Belzoni dined with me, and we had a pleasant 
evening. Rank and situation are more adapted for the 
world than the naked majesty of talent or character. A 
man who depends on the esteem of the world, and has 
nothing but his talents or his character to keep it up, can 
do nothing inconsistent with either without losing that 
esteem ; but a man who is fenced with rank or office can 
do what is inconsistent with principle, and though in the 
world's eye he tarnishes his rank, yet he is held up and 
protected by those equally elevated, for the sake of his 


18 MEMOIRB OF B. K. HATDON. [l821. 

"These (if this be true) are the privileges of rank and 
wealth ; the privileges of thought have not yet been defined." 

Money straits and love longings together much disturbed 
the steadj progress of the painter's work about this time. 

" Nine days," he writes, " have passed in May, and I 
have not touched a brush. I wish to God I could keep 
up that principle of ' nulla dies sine lined.' And if I had 
nothing but my art to attend to, I would ; but, alaa ! 
pecuniary difficulties are sad obstructions to regularity of 
study." He seems even to frame excuses out of his work 
itself, for dallying with it. The head of Christ makes 
him pause before beginning. His mildness of character 
is so difficult to reconcile with depth of thought; the 
form that gives the one destroys the other. " Idle ! " {he 
writes, on the I4th), " 1 have done nothing yet but walk 
about with a sort of fury, as if my life depended on it, 
when I had nothing in the world to do out of doors." 
The Bale of Reynolds' works at Christie's gave him a 
tempting excuse for staying out of his painting-room. 
He has whole pages full of criticism of Reynolds, to whom, 
at this time, he hardly did justice. He complains of his 
picture of the Cardinal Virtues as having emptiness for 
breadth, plastering for surface, and portrait individuaHty for 
general nature. His tone is too much toned. Raffaele is 
pure and inartificial in comparison. He compares Reynolds 
to a man of strong feeling, labouring to speak in a lan- 
guage he does not know, and giving a hint of hia idea by 
a dazzling combination of images ; Raffuele to a master of 
polished diction, who conveys in exquisite phraseology 
certain perceptions of truth. But still he felt the spirited 
competition for Sir Joshua's pictures, and the high prices 
they brought at this sale, to be the most triumphant thing 
for the art of this country. He compares the indiiference 
with which a fine Teniers, a respectable Titian, and an 
undoubted Corregio, were put up, knocked down, and 
carried off, with the enthusiastic eagerness when a picture 
of Reynolds was offered. On the principle of seeking in 
each master his characteristic excellence, he avows his 


preference of the Charity to any of his larger productions. 
** It may take its place triumphantly," he says, " by any 
Corregio on earth." And next to this, he thinks his 
Piping Shepherd one of the finest emanations of the 
painter's sentiment. (19th May.) He made Mr. Phillips * 
buy this picture for 400 guineas, who being a new hand 
at buying, looked rather frightened at having -given so 
much. " But it was worth 1000 guineas," says Hay don. 
'* It is the completest bit of a certain expression in the 
world. Eyes and hands, motions and look, all seem 
quivering with the remembrance of some melodious tone 
of his flageolet. The colour and preservation are perfect 
It is a thing I could dwell on for ages." 

" 20^A. — Went again to Reynolds' sale. I found the 
400 guineas of yesterday had made a great noise in town, 
and Phillips was assailed by everybody as he came in. I 
soon found it was considered by the artists a sort of honour 
to be near him ; and in the midst of the sale up squeezed 
Chantrey. I was exceedingly amused; I turned round, 
and found on the other side Northcote! I began to 
think something was in the wind. Phillips asked him 
how he liked tiie Shepherd Boy. At first he did not 
recollect it, and then said, * Ah ! indeed ! Ah ! yes ! it 
was a very poor thing ! I remember it ! ' Poor Mr. 
Phillips whispered to me, * You see people have different 
tastes ! * It served him heartily right, and I was very 
glad of it ; he does not deserve his prize. The moment 
these people heard I was the adviser, they all began to 
undervalue it. I knew that Northcote's coming up was 
ominous of something. The attempts of this little fellow 
to mortify others are quite amusing; he exists on it. 
The sparkling delight with which he watches a face, when 
he knows something is coming that will change its ex- 
pression, is beyond everything. And as soon as he had 
said what he thought would make Phillips unhappy for 
two hours, he slunk away. 

* Afterwards Sir George. 
c 2 

20 MEMOIKS OP B. H. HATDON. [1821. 

" I Lave gained immense knowledge this last week, 
examining these pictures." 

On the 23iid, Haydon was still lamenting his idleness. 
Since he finished Christ's Agony in the Garden (the un- 
auecessful picture for Sir George Phillips), on the 26th of 
I February, he had done nothing. With common ener^ 
I he might have done wonders. To the readers of the 
Ijouroals there was no need for his adding, as he has done 
1 to this confession, a note of 1822. " The reason I was 
I 80 idle at this time was, uncertainty about being able to 
I marry, and being deeply in love." Still he consoles him- 
self by the thought, that the sight of Reynolds's pictures 
has done him great good; and he thinks that his next 
head (which he is so slow to begin) will be " more solid 
and ponderous in power." He was now in that mood 
when trifles move a man strongly. Strolling about on the 
26th, *' in agony of mind, torture of body, and racking of 
conscience," he accidentally fell in with the Georgian 
Gazette, and lighted on this passage; " Suffer not your 
zeal and activity to end with the occasions that call them 
forth ; but let duty stimulate you, and persevere, unshaken 
by difficulties, unappalled by danger." This sank into 
his aoul, " as if a hand had turned a leaf in it ; " and by 
Monday next, in the evening, " he hopes to give a better 
account of himself." But the very evening of tliis virtuous 
resolution, I find him again strolling in the British 
Galleiyj and on the 37th, the entry ia "up late last 
night, did nothing to-day ; " and on the 28th, he spends 
his day again at the Gallery, but consoles himself by 
reflecting " that May is now nearly over, which, from what- 
ever cause, is always the idlest month of the year with 
him." And on the 3Ist is the triumphant entry, " Began 
at last at the head of Christ," For these lazy, strolling, 
desponding, and self-condemning days, I find hardly a 
sketch in the journals; but with renewed diligence the- 
sketching pen was again busy, and the pages are filled aa 
usual with studies of heads, logs, arms, figures, groups, 
and efiects of light and shadow ; and as the cheering result 

1821.] HE IS ABBESTED. 21 

of hard work, in this energetic mind, he declares (June 4th) 
that since he began to work he has not had one uneasy 
moment Wilkie called constantly, and they held grand 
consultations about his picture, which, under the combined 
effects of Wilkie's advice and his own thinking, improved 
amazingly. So he worked diligently at his figure of the 
Saviour till (June SSnd), " a remarkable day in my life," 
he writes ; ** I am arrested. After having passed through 
every species of want and difficulty, often without a 
shilling, and without ever being trusted ; now when I am 
flourishing, I become a beacon, and a tradesman, who, if 
I had been on a level with himself, would have pitied my 
situation, is proud of an opportunity to show me he is as 
good a man. Law in England is often made subservient 
to gratify the democratic energy of the people, and used 
oftener as a means to vent their spite against rank and 
talent, and to give bread to attornies, than for the abstract 
sake of justice or self-righting. Here was a man, to whom 
I had paid 3002., who, because I employed another to fit 
up my last room, out of pique arrested me for the balance. 
The officer behaved like a man. I told him I must shave, 
and begged him to walk into the painting-room. I did 
so, and when I came down, I found him perfectly agitated 
at Lazarus. * Oh my God ! Sir,' said he, * I won't take 
you. Give me your word to meet me at twelve at the 
attorney's, and I will take it.' I did so. At the attorney's 
we argued the point, and I beat him in the presence of 
the officer. 1 proved the gross injustice of the proceeding, 
and the officer said ' he'd be damned if he did not see me 
through it.' I appointed the evening to arrange finally. 
* But you must remain in the officer's custody,' said the 
attorney. * Not he,' said the officer, * let him give me 
bis word, and I'll take it, though I am liable to pay the 
debt.' I did so, and this man, who never saw me in his 
life, left me free till night. At night I settled everything. 
The expenses were III. The footpad, who risks his life 
by braving the gallows, is a noble being, and entitled to 
8ympathyj( in comparison with the wretch, who, taking 

C 3 

22 MKMOinS OF B. R. HATDON. [l821. 

advantage of a law framed for the benefit of society, uaea 
it as a means of oppressing society, and robs those whofli 
he knows can pay him to supply his own wants. Will 
not the Great Judge, who will unravel the muffled hypocrite 
by a look, will He not see the difference between an 
attorney, who robs by law, and a poor starving creature, 
who is goaded to break a particular law made to secure 
property, probably amassed by legitimately robbing 
others? Alas! aias! how things will be one day changed! " , 

The compunction of the bailiff before the great canvass 
of Lazarus, I cannot help thinking as striking an incident 
in its way, as that of the bravoea aiTested in their 
murderous intent by the organ-playing of Stradella. Nor 
ought one to be surprized that this arrest embittered the 
poor painter into three folio pages of angry comment 
on the hollowness of such institutions as laws against 
debtors, and the mockery of justice which they secure, in 
which he institutes a comparison between actions and 
their consequences in Lord Castlereagh, John Hunt (then 
undergoing incarceration for an attack on that nobleman 
in the Examiner), a poor boy of St. Giles's, and himself. 
The same evening brought its striking contrast. "From 
the bailiff's house, I walked to Lord Grosvenor's, and 
my mind was extremely affected, after the insult I had 
just received, on entering a room full of lovely women, 
splendid furniture, exquisite pictures ; all was gay, breath- 
ing, animated voluptuousness. I strolled about amidst 
sparkling eyes, musing in the midst. I met Sir George ; 
he asked me to come home and see what he had been 
doing; so I walked home with him, and as I wanted to 
know where somebody lived, he sent his servant to 
accompany me, and so I walked across the square, with 
the servant of a man of high rank at my heels, as grandly 
as a bashaw, after having been tapped by a bailiff two 
hours before! I then went home, where 1 found the son 
of an old friend of my father, without a shilling, having 
lost a situation from his eccentricity. He had come by the 
coach, and left Ids trunk as security for his fare, which he 


wanted me to pay. I lent him what I could spare — little 
enough^ God knows ! and away he walked as happy as I did 
from the sheriff. In the evening I went to the sheriff's 
house, and, as I waited in his parlour, saw the tax- 
gatherer's paper over the chimney for taxes due, with 
a note of a peremptory nature ! Here is a picture of 
a human day, of human heings, human delusions, human 
absurdities, and human law." 

Hay don thus sums up his reasoning on this day of 18^1, 
in a note added afterwards : "Is it not more than probable, 
that J. Hunt, the poor boy of St Giles's, Lord Castlereagh, 
myself, the bailiff, and the attorney, will be equally sub- 
jects of commiseration, pardoned, made happy, and all 
follies, motives, and weaknesses forgotten, at the same 
time ?" Yet he cannot content himself with this sweeping 
consolation. " Alas!" he adds, " reflection cannot be borne, 
it shakes one to stupor." 

" July ifth. — I thank God my mind is now in the right 
tone, and not till lately has it been so. My error has been 
always expecting every picture I brought out to do every- 
thing I hoped, and put me above anxiety. My ambition 
is greater than ever, but my dependance on any single 
effort moderated. I have made up my mind to do as well 
as I can, if free from trouble so much the better ; if not, 
to do all I can in spite of trouble. This is the true state 
of mind to act in. I thank God for it. Wilkie drank tea 
with me. to-night, and brought me news Napoleon was 
dead! Good God! I remember in 1806, as we were 
walking to the Academy, just after the battle of Jena, we 
were both groaning at the slowness of our means of 
acquiring fame in comparison with his. He is now dead 
in captivity, and we have gone quietly on, ^parviscom- 
ponere magna^ rising in daily respect, and have no cause 
to lament our silent progress. Ah, Napoleon, what an 
opportunity you lost ! His death affects me to deep 
musing. I remember his rise in 1796, his glory, and his 
fall. Posterity can never estimate the sensations of those 
living at the time," 

C 4 

24 WEU0IK3 OF C. R. HATDON. [1S21, 

July \Qth. — Haydoii was now very happy, for his future 

wife had arrived in town. 

And now came the coronation, at which Haydon was 
present, in "Westminster Hall. His description is an 
effective word-painting of the most gorgeous ceremonial of 
our lime, the last coronation at which the champion threw 
down the glove against all gainsayers of the king's right 
and title. 

"July 19(A. — lonlygotmj ticket on Wednesday at two, 
and dearest Mary and I drove ahout to get all that was 
wanted. Sir George Beaumont lent me ruffles and frill, 
another friend a blue velvet coat, a third a sword ; I 
bought buckles, and the rest I had. I went to bed at ten, 
and arose at twelve, not having slept a wink. I dressed, 
breakfasted, and was at the Hall door at half-past one. 
Three ladies were before me. The doors opened about 
four, and I got a front place in the Chamberlain's box, 
between the door and the throne, and saw the whole 
room disrinctly. Many of the door-keepers were tipsy ; 
quarrels took place. The sun began to light up the old 
Gothic windows, the peers to stroll in, and other com- 
pany of all descriptions to crowd to their places. Some took 
seats they had not any right to occupy, and were obliged to 
leave them after sturdy disputes. Others lost their tickets. 
The Hall occasionally echoed with the hollow roar of 
voices at the great door, till at last the galleries were 
filled ; the hall began to get crowded below. Every 
movement, as the time approached for the King's ap- 
pearance, was pregnant with interest. The appearance 
of a monarch has something in it like the rising of a sun. 
Tliere are indications which announce the luminary's 
approach; a streak of light — the tipping of a cloud — the 
singing of the lark — the brilliance of the sky, till the 
cloud-edges get brighter and brighter, and he rises majes- 
tically into the heavens. So with a king's advance. A 
whisper of mystery turns all eyes to the throne. Sud- 
denly two or three rise ; others fall back ; some talk, 
direct, hurry, stand still, or disappear. Then three or four 

1821.1 THE CORONATION. 25 

of high rank appear from behind the throne ; an interval 
is left; the crowds scarce breathe. Something rustles, 
and a being buried in satin, feathers, and diamonds rolls 
gracefully into his seat. The room rises with a sort of 
feathered, silken thunder. Plumes wave, eyes sparkle, 
glasses are out, mouths smile, and one man becomes the 
prime object of attraction to thousands. The way in 
which the king bowed was really royal. As he looked 
towards the peeresses and foreign ambassadors, he showed 
like some gorgeous bird of the East. 

" After all the ceremonies he arose, the procession was 
arranged, the music played, and the line began to move. 
All this was exceedingly imposing. After two or three 
hour's waiting, during which the attempt of the Queen 
agitated the Hall, the doors opened, and the flower-girls 
entered, strewing flowers. The grace of their action, 
their slow movement, their white dresses, were indescrib- 
ably touching; their light milky colour contrasted with 
the dark shadow of the archway, which, though dark, was 
full of rich crimson dresses that gave the shadow a tone 
as of deep blood ; the shadow again relieved by a peep of 
the crowd, shining in sunlight beyond the gates, and 
between the shoulders of the guard that crossed the plat- 
form. The distant trumpets and shouts of the people, 
the slow march, and at last the appearance of the King 
crowned and under a golden canopy, and the universal 
burst of the assembly at seeing him, afiected everybody. 
As we were all huzzaing, and the King was smiling, I 
could not help thinking this would be too much for any 
human being if a drop of poison were not dropped into the 
cup ere you tasted it. A man would go mad if mortality 
did not occasionally hold up the mirror. The Queen 
was to him the death's-head at this stately feast. 

" After the banquet was over, came the most imposing 
scene of all, the championship and bringing in of the first 
dishes. Wellington in his coronet walked down the Hall, 
cheered by the oflicers of the Guards. He shortly re- 
turned, mounted, with Lords Howard and Anglesea. They 

2ff MEMOIRS OP B, n. HATDON. [l821. 

rode gracefully to the foot of the throne, and then backed 
out. Lord Anglesea's horse was restive. Wellington 
became impatient, and, I am convinced, thought it a 
trick of Lord Anglesea's to attract attention. He never 
paused, but backed on, and the rest were obliged to follow 
him. This was a touch of character. The Hall doors 
opened again, and outside in twilight a man in dark sha- 
dowed armour appeared against the shining sky. He then 
moved, passed into darkness under the arch, and suddenly 
Wellington, Howard, and the Champion stood in full 
view with doors closed behind them. Tliis was certainly 
the finest sight of the day. The herald read the chal- 
lenge ; the glove was thrown down. They all then pro- 
ceeded to the throne. My imagination got so intoxicated 
that I came out with a great contempt for the plebs; and 
as I walked by with my sword, I indulged myself in an 
' odi profanum,' I got home quite well, and thought 
sacred subjects insipid things. How soon should I be 
ruined in luxurious society ! " 

On October 10th his marriage took place, and his 
journal is full of raptures, with which the reader has no 
concern. Still I may give the record of the last day of the 
year. We are surely at liberty to pause on one rare 
passage of great and true happiness, amidst the harassment 
of one who, in all his troubles, found unfailing refuge in 
the enjoyment of his art and the love of his wife. 

"December S\st. — The last day of 1821. I don't know 
how it is, but I get less reflective as I get older. I seem 
to take things as they come without much care. In early 
life, everything being new excites thought. As nothing 
is new when a man is thirty-five, one thinks less. Or 
perhaps, being married to my dearest Mary, and having no 
longer anything to hope in love, I get more content with 
my lot, which, God knows, is rapturous beyond imagin- 
ation. Here I sit sketching, with the loveliest face before 
me, smiling and laughing, and 'sohtude is not.' Marriage 
has increased my happiness beyond expression. In the 
intervals of study, a few minutes' conversation with a crea- 


ture one loves is the greatest of all reliefs. God bless us 
both ! My pecuniary difficulties are still great, but my 
love is intense, my ambition intense, and my hope in God's 
protection cheering ! Bewick, my pupil, has realized my 
hopes in his picture of Jacob and Rachel. But it is cold 
work talking of pupils, when one's soul is full of a beloved 
woman! I am really and truly in love, and, without 
affectation, I can talk, write, or think of nothing else." 

During the first week of 1822 all went on well. Each 
day had its tale of work, — five hours, or six, or seven. 
Every part of the central group of his picture was studied, 
discussed, arranged, and rearranged; his wife coming in 
at intervals to soothe and encourage him. But already by 
the 7th of the month, he had to be out whole days to see 
and pacify discontented creditors. Yet he worked away 
full of glorious anticipations, reading, in the intervals of 
painting, the New Testament and the Commentators, and 
so strengthening his faith in the incident he was painting. 
I observe that the course of Haydon's reading was always 
determined by the picture on which he happened to be 
engaged. While painting Dentatus, he was busy with 
Livy and the Roman historians. During the progress of 
Solomon, the history and customs of the Jews occupied 
him ; and while at work on the Entry of Christ into Jeru- 
salem, and Lazarus, he was deep in study of the New 
Testament. Sammons, the ex-lifeguardsman, first his 
model and now his servant, sits to him for the nude parts. 
But his necessities and his art still crossed. He describes 
himself on his way from a lawyer's, (on whom he called 
to settle the payment of a debt, but was too early,) looking 
in at the Museum to solace himself with the Elgin Mar- 
bles. "Oh what a contrast!" he writes; "I saw and 
dwelt on them with the agony of rapturous remembrance. 
How many hours, days, nights of enchanting abstraction 
have you occasioned me, ye divine marbles ! " 

On the 25tb, his thirty-sixth birthday, he says, " One 
year more and I shall have completed Raffaele's age." 
The gentle influence of a wife whom he fondly loved was 

28 MEMOIRS OF B. K. HATDON. [1822. 

already beginning to tell upon him. Besides, liis own 
power had been recognised : the works of his pupils had 
shown the soUd results of his teaching. The irritability 
his attacks had occasioned was, he thought, wearing away ; 
and all parties, he hoped, would be inclined to do more 
justice to his next picture than they were to his last. 
Still the old fire was not quenched. " If I see cause," he 
says, " I will be at them again," But quiet, even this 
turbulent spirit owns, was more gratifying than angry 
heat ; and his wife's sweetness was taming his fierce nature. 
The very expression of his head, lie observes, is changing. 
It used to be fierce, determined, and with something ap- 
proaching brutality about the jaw. It is now looking 
happy and good-natured. His fond wife aided him in 
other ways besides thus softening his disposition. She 
sat jiatiently to him for his female figures, sometimes for 
five hours at a stretch. 

With calm wedded happiness came more and more 
passionate aspirations for his art. As he grows older he 
gets fonder of it, and fonder of life, that he may practise 
it. He looks forward to a time when he may paint with 
a mind undisturbed by pecuniary wants, as he did the 
time he painted the Penitent Girl and the Centurion's 
arm in the Jerusalem. Tliis was after Mr. Coutts' nohla 
gift; and then he gave up his whole soul to nature and 
art. DweUing on this theme he rises, as is usual with 
him, into prayer that no difficulty may hinder his com- 
pleting his present picture, and that he may make it bis 
greatest work, to the honour of God, of his country, and 
of the abilities God has given him. So January closed 
Letween joy and suffering, hope and fear. But he came 
back from all his hattlings with money-lenders, and law- 
yers, and creditors, to his wife and his painting-room, as 
to a spirit of peace and a harbour of refuge. I 

I cannot but think that at this time Haydon was spurred } 
on by genuine noble aspiration— dashed, it is true, by I 

tthat identification of his own glory with the glory of | 

1822.] DIFFICULTIES. 29 

his character. To many, this identification will be repul- 
sive. They will see in it a self-seeking and ignoble vanity. 
It undoubtedly sprung from a belief in his own powers, 
the manifestations of which it is difficult to distinguish 
from the workings of vanity. But it was at least the 
vanity of a powerful mind, bold in conception, vigorous 
in execution, impulsive, warped by a suspicion that all the 
world of artists were leagued against him, and not seeing 
that his perpetual and irritating self-assertion was, in the 
eyes of indifferent people, the best justification of the 
hostility which he complained of. 

Through the next two months he was workinydiligently 
at his principal female figures, his wife, as I have saidj 
serving often as his model. 

On the 18th of March he reviews his position, after 8^ 
fruitless application for money to his munificent patrouj 
Sir G. Phillips. " I left his house," he says, ** braced to an 
intensity of feeling I have not experienced for years. I 
called immediately on some turbulent creditors, and laid 
open the hopeless nature of my situation. Having relieved 
my mind, I walked furiously home, borne along by the 
wings of my own ardent a^^pirations. I never felt happier, 
more elevated, more confident. I walked in to my dear wife, 
kissed her, and then to my picture, which looked awful 
and grand," ** Good God ! " I thought, " can the painter 
of that face tremble ? can he be in difficulty ? It looked 
like a delusion. The figures seemed all so busy, and so 
interested in their employments. When I look at a figure 
that is complete, and remember from what difficulties it 
has issued, I am astonished ! But so it is with me. I am 
born to be the sport of fortune ; to be put up in one freak 
and bowled down in another, to astonish every body by 
being put up again. God grant me a spirit that will never 
flag — a mind not to be changed by time or place. I shall 
yet have a day of glory to which all my other glories shall 
be dull! 

" I write this," he adds, " without a single shilling in the 
world — with a large picture before me not half done, yet 

30 aiEHOIES OF B. E. HATDON. [1822. 

with a soul aspiring, ardent, confident— trusting on God 
for protection and support." Then, after an internal, " I 
shall read this again wltii delight — and others will read it 
with wonder." 

This last paragraph (and the journals contain many like 
it) indicate that Haydon expected that these records of his 
labours, strnggles, and thoughts would one day he made 
public. Indeed there is direct proof enough that he did. 
I therefore feel that the rule which forhids a biographer's 
prying into and laying open such a depository of the daily 
life of his subject does not apply in this case. 

The mqg^th goes on with a daily repetition of the same 
difficulties, aspirations, upliftings with visions of future 
greatness, utterances of happiness in his home, and fierce 
protests against his embarrassments. Some of the best parts 
of his picture, in Haydon'a own estimation, were painted 
during this struggle, and the sketches scattered through 
the journals of this date are unusually vigorous ; hia 
female heads, in particular, sweeter and tenderer than any 
before this, — the wifely influence again. 

By April he had arrived at the great difficulty and the 
great triumph of his picture, the head of Lazarus. He 
mentions in his autobiography, that this, the central con- 
ception of the work, flashed upon him when, in looking 
over prints in the British Museum, he saw an unfinished 
proof of the subject, in which the oval of the face of Lazarus 
remained awhite spot. This his imagination at once worked 
to fill up. The record of the circumstances under which 
this head was painted, and of the model who sat for it, may 
give an interest in this picture to those who have not 
yet felt one, and will increase the interest of those who, 
with me, see in it tlie moat awful representation of death 
just awakening into life that has ever been put upon. 

" Just as I was beginning, I was arrested by Smitli the 
colourman in Piccadilly, with whom I had dealt for fifteen 
years. The sheriff's officer said, ' I am glad, Mr. Haydon, 
you do not deny yourself — Sir Thomas Lawrence makes 


a point never to be denied.' I arranged the affair as 
rapidly as I could, for no time was to be lost, and wrote 
to my old landlord for bail. The officer took it, and ap- 
pointed to meet him in the evening, and then I set to 
work. For a few minutes my mind, hurt and wounded, 
struggled to regain its power. At last, in scrawling about 
the brush, I gave an expression to the eye of Lazarus ; 
I instantly got interested, and before two I had hit it. 
My pupil Bewick sat for it, and as he had not sold his 
exquisite picture of Jacob, looked quite thin and anxious 
enough for such a head. *1 hope you get your food 
regularly,' said I. He did not answer; by degrees his 
cheeks reddened, and his eyes filled, but he subdued his 
feelings. This is an illustration of the state of historical 
painting in England. A master and his pupil — the one 
without a pound, the other without bread ! " 

Still, mingled with these sorry experiences, there are 
entries which show the entire happiness of the painter's 
home, when once money troubles could be struggled 
through, postponed, or shut out. By the 16th of May, 
he began to see his way dimly to the completion of his 
picture, and by the end of May it was half finished. 

At the close of the half-year, he blesses God that mar- 
riage has softened his heart without weakening his energies. 
Through June and July he was still advancing his picture, 
amidst constant interruptions from impatient creditors— 
harassed with letters for money every hour — from time to 
time roused from the rapturous lethargy of intense study 
by threats of an execution from his landlord ; and keeping 
his models six, seven, and even eight hours occasionally, 
till they grew faint. 

" August 6th. — Lay abed till eleven. My painting-room 
finished, and I begin, I hope in God, to-morrow. Spent 
two hours in studying my own Solomon and Christ's Agony 
in the Garden. Solomon is in a good style certainly, but 
there is no part so complete as the Penitent Girl. The 
background of the Agony is very well, but Christ wants 
working out and strengthening. I question whether I 


sliall ever exceed tlie head of the man climbing up the 
column in Solomon, and this head I painted the day I 
got a letter informing me of my dear fathei-'s death : I waa 
EG occupied, the news had no effect; and it was not till the 
head was done, and the excitement over, that the loss I had 
sustained rushed on my mind." 

" August ^th, — Rossi threatened execution. I endeavoured 
again to get time, and went to work in rapture. Rossi is 
a man with a large family, and I feel for his wants; blithe 
ought to have a little sympathy with me, as I was always 
regular for the first four years. Finished the sleeve and 
hand, and veil of the other, which looks well. To-morrow 
the third of the month will he over. Two of the finest 
sayings on earth I got from two models— one, an old 
woman who used to sell apples under the Duke of Queens- 
berry's, and the other my washerwoman. The old woman 
said, on my talking of the difficuj ties of life : ' The greater 
the trouble, the greater the lion— that's my principle.' And 
my washerwoman said (as she was sitting for Lazarus's 
mother), ' It is better to hear the difficulties than the 
reproaches of this world." 

"August 19/A. — At last I have fixed on a seal for life. 
The head of my glorious Alexander, with part of a line 
from Tasso for a motto, 'Ali al cuor,' wings at the 
heart !" 

"August S\st, — August is ended, and four months more 
will complete the year. I have worked well, but not as- 
tonishingly well— June and August are the two most shame- 
ful months. My picture is advanced ; it might have been 
done; but then I have been ill, afilict«id deeply, and ha- 
rassed in money matters, and I have often gone to work 
with a mind shattered and disturbed. Oh God 1 how com- 
pletely do I see through the futility of all happiness, but 
such as depends on virtue, piety, and industry. Fame and 
riches, and honour and power and patronage, are nothing, 
if the possessor be accustomed to them ; and the possessor 
is as Hkely to think them futile as the commonest comforts 
of the commonest station, provided his liver refuses to act, 


or his digestiun is out of order, or his brain is diseased. 
How comes a mite in a cheese ? A certain combination of 
matter in a certain state produces a being with life, blood, 
motion and will. Why couM not another combination of 
matter produce man ? and when produced and propagating, 
why may not the absurdities, inconsistencies, vices, virtues, 
and infirmities of life be developed by a fortuitous con- 
currence of different dispositions, powers and beings acting 
on each other ? Surely sometimes one cannot, for a 
moment, admit the interference of a God in some things 
without doing him the most blasphemous injustice. 
Out of such fortuitous concurrences God may sometimes 
regulate, but does he regulate the crushing of a dear 
innocent child by a cart-wheel? Alt this is momentary 

Finished the girl's head in the corner from Mary, the most 
lite her beauty. On the whole I have not lost this month 
as I feared, but have done two important figures, and am 
greatly improved in practice of painting, in leaving and 
managing the ground, and all the etceteras of the brush. 

" September 5th. ■ — Finished the first background head 
on the same principle as I finished the background in 
Dentatus fourteen years ago. So little do we improve. 
All the time my mind was tortured by harassings, but I 
was determined to get on, let what would happen, and 
nothing but arrest, or not even that, should have stopped 
my proceeding with the picture. I have now only three 
beads left. Huzza! Huzza! Huzza! Dearest Mary 
is by, and laughing. 

"September llh. — Finished the other hand and settled 
drapery. Arranged the light in the skelch for background 
heads. Seven days gone — worked hard five. Sunday 
and Monday unavoidably idle. Gpod week, thank God ! 
I hope in God I shall be able to say the same thing next 
one. I have many threatenJngs of arrests. God grant I 
may parry them next Monday, and get the week clear. 

■' September 9tk. — Out all day to pacify, put off, and 
arrange ; came home nearly clear for the week. By God's 


34 MEMOIRS OP B, R. HATDON. ' [1822. 

blessing at work to-morrow, and then for a liead. O 
God! have mercy on me, and bring me gloriously through, 
and after that enable me to begin and go more gloriously 
througb the Crucifixion. Amen. 

" September 1 2/A. — Worked hard — got in the head again 
quite right. This comes of carelessness, and suffering the 
accidental beauty of an involuntary expression in a model 
to draw off your attention from your own conception. 

"September 14(/i. — It would be curious to analyse the 
reason why the first head would not do. The sentiment 
to be expressed was harmonious piety. Air, attitude, all 
must be in liarmony to express this. A profile was not in 

Yet in the midat of labour and anxiety the buoyancy 
of the artist's temperament breaks out in such joyous 
penniless freaks aa this. 

" SepleJiiber IGt/i and \7lh. — Dearest Mary and I were 
so set agog by Richmond, that I said, as we awoke, 'let. 
us go to Windsor.' She agreed, and away we went with 
barely money enough, but full of spirits. We got there, 
at six dined at the White Swan, evidently the remains of 
an ancient inn, and sallied forth to llio Castle, so full of 
spirits that we laughed at an odd-shaped stone or anything 
that would excuse a jest. The White Swan became so full 
and noisy, we went to the White Hart — a clean, neat inn, 
and were in comfort. We walked to Eton, and sat and 
lounged in the shade of its classical play-ground. Our 
money lasted well, but, unfortunately, a barber who shaved 
me, as he was lathering, so praised his Windsor soap, 
that T, victim as I was, took six cakes, spent four shillings 
out of the regular course, and thus crippled our resources. 
The great thing was now whether we should pay the inn 
bill, or pay our fare to town, and leave part of the bill to 
be sent. Mary was for paying the bill, and part of the 
fare, and paying the rest when we arrived. We did this, 
and I was reduced to sixpence wlien we took our places 
on the top. Before the coach set off I took out the six- 
pence, as if I had 50^. in my pocket, and said, 'Porter, 
here's sixpence for you ; ' flinging it so that it rang on 




the pavement. The porter, unused to sucli a present for 
looking after luggage, bowed and thanked me so much • 
that all the passengers saw it, and without sixpence in my 
pocket I got as much respect all the way home as if I had ' 

" September 25th. — "Worked hard —finished the hand, 
arm, and jaw. Introduced the figure of the Portland 
vase against all common sense ; but it is picturesque, and 
will afford food for critics, who must be fed like other 

" September 9,1th — Worked Lard, and got a complete 
figure done (the youth looking over the bank). This is 
the way, I am convinced, the old masters used to work ; 
and the rapidity of their execution is the great reason why 
their figures hang together so well. This is the first time 
in my life I ever finished a figure in a day, 

"September 28iA. — -Worked exceedingly hard till I had 
e pain in my side, and finished the last figure. Huzza ! 

"O God, on my bended knees I bless Thee for Thy 
mercies in enabling me to advance this picture so far 
through difficulties that were appalling. Amen, with all 


September SOth. — Out all day to battle with creditors 
— some I conquered, and some held out. The month is 
over, and I have got through the figures. 

"October 10/A.— Our wedding day. Sanimons had a 
dinner, and dearest Mary and I went to Richmond, and 
spent the day before the winter began. Dined in the 
same room at the Star as that in which we dined I2th 
July, 1821. We found the initials we cut on the glass 
B. K. H. 
M. H. 

M— A.D. 1821. 
"This year has been the happiest year of my life. 
God, accept my gratitude for the sweet creature with 
whom Thou hast blessed my being, and grant that every 
anniversary of our wedding-day may be as delightful in 
association as the present Amen. 

36 MEMOIRS OF B. E. HATDON. [1822. 

" October \ilh, — Out all day on business. The Martha* 
is a complete specimen of my own style of art. For once 
I have realised my notions as to idea and nature, colour 
and expression, surface and handling. 

" October 20lh. — After all my anxieties I have always 
had, so far, a bed to lie on, a house to cover me, and this 
year a sweet wife to lighten my cares, God grant me 
always such blessings, with eyes and intellect to make 
the proper use of them, as I have this year. Rainy day. 
Dearest Mary and I passed the day in reading, tenderness, 
and quiet. God protect us. Amen. 

" October Silk. — All passed in pecuniary anxieties, 
without work, and of course I suifered more. I am in the 
hands of a scoundrel. God extricate me ! 

"October S5tk. — I have got through this time, God he 
praised ! My dearest Mary's spirits are unaltered — this 
is fl great blessing. Worked yesterday, and finished 
Lazarus' feet. If it was not for my divine art I should 
certainly go mad; but the moment I touch a brush all 
pain vanishes." 

During this month Haydon received intelligence of the 
death of Canova, and with his life closed the painter's 
hopes of a visit to Italy, which Canova had promised to 
make a triumphant one. In the midst of his own diffi- 
culties Haydon was always ready to help those who sought 
his assistance, and we have seen him lending as much money 
as he could spare, just after he had been himself arrested. 
Godwin was now in distress, turned out of his house and 
business, and threatened with the seizure of all he pos- 
sessed in the way of stock and furniture. Haydon busied 
himself on behalf of the author of Caleb Williams, and 
Charles Lamb (as I find from his letters) was active in the 
same work. He casts about for a channel through which 
to bring the matter within reach of the capacious benevo- 
lence of Mrs. Coutts, who seems to have been regularly 
resorted to as a sort of Providence in these cases, but 1 do 

* Martha is the kneeling figure in Lazarus with the face to the 


not find that Haydon applied to lier. Lamb said in his 
letter, " Shelley had engaged to clear liim of all demands, 
and now he has gone down to the deep, insolvent." 
Haydon applied to Sir Walter Scott, who answers by 
enclosing a cheque for 10/. in one of his hearty, cheery, 
unaffected letters, not wishing his name to be made pubhc, 
he says, as "he dissents from Mr. Godwin's theories of 
politics and morality, as sincerely as he admires his genius, 
and as it would be indelicate to attempt to draw such a 
distinction in the mode of subscribing." 

Haydon was now at work on the background of Ma 
picture, at which he went (as he did at everything) " like 
a tiger," to use his own words. Feeling, however, the 
difficulty of putting action into a background without dis- 
turbing the action of the foreground, his spirits rise with 
every obstacle overcome j and finding that the background 
when finished has a great effect, he is satisfied in his 
sanguine way that this year is the happiest of his life, and 
one cause is, he has left off writing. I imagine that Mrs. 
Haydon had a good deal to do both with the happiness 
and the abstinence from the pen. But this calm happy 
progress does not long continue. He writes : — 

" November 12M. — Out the whole day on business and 
settled everything. Came home to relieve dear Mary's 
anxiety. Just as I was beginning to finish the right hand 
corner in came a man with ' Sir, I have an execution 
against you,' and in walked another sedate-looking little 
fellow and took his seat, I was astonished, for I had 
paid part of this very matter in the morning. I told 
the man to be civil and quiet, and left him in charge of 
old Sainmons, who was frightened as a child, and pale 
as death : I then ran up stairs, kissed dearest Mary and 
told her the exact truth. With the courage of a heroine 
she bade me ' never mind,' and assured me she would not 
be uneasy. Tired as I was I sallied forth again, telling 
the little Cerberus that I hoped he knew how to behave. 
These people are proud of being thought capable of 
appreciating gentlemanly behaviour ; I find this is the weak- 

38 MEMOIRS OF B. It. HATDON. [lS22. 

ness of all sheriffs' officers. I went to my creditor, a 
miserable apotliecary, I asked him if this was manly, 
when he knew my wife was near her confinement, and told 
him to come to the attorney with me. He consented, 
evidently ashamed. Away we went to the attorney, who 
had assured me in the morning nothing of the sort should 
happen, as he had not given the writ to an officer. He 
now declared the man had exceeded his instructions, and 
wrote a letter to him, which I took. The man declared 
he had not, and as I was going away with a release he 
said, ' I hope Mr. Haydon you will give me an order to 
see your picture when it comes out.' I rushed to dear 
Mary, and found my little sedate man with his cheeks rosy 
over my painting-room fire, quite lost in contemplating 
Lazarus. He congratulated me on getting rid of the 
matter, assured me he thought it all a trick of the at- 
torney's ; and hoped when the picture came out I would 
let him bring his wife. In the interim some ladies and 
gentlemen had called to see the picture, and he intimated 
to me he knew how to behave. Dearest Mary, quite over- 
come with joy at seeing me again, hung about me like an 
infant, wept on my shoulder, and pressed lier cheeks to 
my face and lips, as if she grew on my form. My heart 
heat violently, but pained as I was, I declare to God no 
lovers can know the depth of their passion unless they 
have such checks and anxieties as these. A difficulty 
conquered, an anxiety subdued, doubles love, and the soul 
after a temporary suspension of its feelings, from an intense 
occupation of a different sort, expands with a fulness no 
language can convey. Dearest love, may I live to conquer 
these paltry creatures, and see thee in comfort and tran- 
quillity. For Thy mercies, God, this day, accept my 
gratitude ; my rapid extrication I attribute to Thy good- 

No wonder amidst the constantly renewed harass of 
these money troubles, that Haydon's philosophy came to 
gumming itself up in such formulfe as " Art long, time 
swift, life short, and law despotic." Nor does it surprise 


1823.] A CHILD BORN. 39 

me to find about tliis time many records of daj-s spent "in 
fret, fidget, shivering by the fire, cursing the climate, 
groaning at the King, the GovenimeDt, the people, and 
looking gloomily on everything but the face of dearest 
Mary." There at least was sunshine. Interspersed with 
such profitless times are others of sudden and successful 
energy where a day's work is compressed Into an hour. 
Thus by fits and starts the picture advanced, and is finished 
by the 7th of December, with a " Laus Deo for this con- 
clusion," Already by the 8th a grand picture of the 
Crucifixion is projected, and a blessing on it prayed for 
with the characteristic supplication that it may be the 
grandest crucifixion ever painted. 

" December ISlk. — At half-past eleven in the forenoon 
was born Frank Haydon, whom I pray God to make 
a better man than his father. God bless him ! and grant 
him life, and virtue, and dauntless energy and health, and, 
above all, genius ! Accept my unbounded gratitude for 
the safety of my love, my only rapture in this dim spot, the 
sunbeam of my life. 

"0 God, this is the greatest mercy of all! On my knees 
I pray Thee to preserve her for years to come. 

"At night, December I2th. — Never to my dying day 
shall I forget the dull, throttled scream of agony that pre- 
ceded the birth, and the infant's cry that announced its 
completion. Tatham, the architect, a worthy man, was in i 
the pain ting- room, and Mrs. Tatham, who had had fourteen 
children, was with my dearest Mary. I had been sitting 1 
on the stairs listening to the moaning of my dearest . 
love, when, all of a sudden, a dreadful dreary outcry, as of, 
passionate, dull and throttled agony, and then a dead 
silence, as if from exhaustion, and then a peaked cry a 
a little helpless being, who felt the air, and anticipated the 
anxieties, and bewailed the destiny of inexorable hui 
nity! I rushed into the ante-chamber; Mrs. Tatham came 
out and said, " It is a boy." I offered to go in, and v 
forbidden. I went down into the paintmg-room, and 
burst into tears. 


The painter was now for a time very happy. His wife 
and infant are often sketched, and by their side are the 
fragments of his vast and growing design for the Crucifix- 
ion, which, if completed, would have been the largest 
painting of the subject ever executed except Tintorct's. 

The crucified Saviour forms the central object, and the 
amis of the crosses which bear the thieves are juat visible 
on the right and left. Longious on his horse looks up at 
the Saviour's face, from the left of the composition ; in 
front of him are the soldiers casting lots, halanced by the 
group of the fainting mother, with the holy women. On 
the right of the cross, but thrown behind its plane, is the 
soldier preparing to pierce Christ's side, and a group 
of kneeling disciples, soldiers and spectators, fills up the 
background. Above the cross the clouds arc opened, and 
the angels bow their heads around the central glorj-. 

But the painter was never to complete this vast design. 

So 1822 draws to its end, between careful tending of 
his young wife and passionate abstraction in bis new 
eoDception, and the year is closed, as usual, with a prayer. 

"The last day of 1822. For Thy mercies, O God, in 
bringing me through a year of such difficulties, accept my 
gratitude with all my soul. I prayed at the beginning for 
health and strength and energy to go through this year, 
and bring my picture to a conclusion. I have been blessed 
with health and strength and energy to bring it to a con- 
clusion, and have concluded it without one shilling of legi- 
timate resource. O God, Thou hast guided, protected and 
blessed me. From my soul I thank Thee. Amen. 

"Matrimony has restored the purity of my mind. I have 
no vice to reproach myself with this whole year. The 
birth of a son has deepened my feelings, and I hope in 
God I do not deceive myself, when I say I can conclude 
this year with more comfort of mind than any preceding 
one of my life ! May I deserve the mercies I have met. 
For the delivery of my dearest Mary from the dangers of 
childbirth, O God, I bow to Thy goodness with gra- 
titude. Amen." 

1823.] UATDON'a PRATERS. 41 

I have inserted this and other like utterances of devo- 
tion, that my readers may see what Haydon's prayers were, 
how compounded of suhmission and confidence, and in 
their constant demand fur success and personal distinction, 
liow unhke that simple and general form of petition which 
Christ has left us as the model of supplication to our 
Father who is in heaven. Haydon prays as if he would 
take heaven by storm, and though he often asks for 
humility, I do not ohserve that the demands for this 
gift bear any proportion to those for glories and triumphs. 
His very piety had something stormy, arrogant and self- 
assertive in it. He went on so praying from his arrival in 
Loudon to the very time of his death, and throughout his 
prayers are of the same tenour, I shall not therefore 
think it necessary to introduce them in future, unless 
when they are so interwoven with extracts that I caaaot 
honestly separate them. 

From the small number of pictures that Haydon had 
produced up to this date he was often charged with 
idleness. He took careful note of time, at all events, and 
was in the habit at short intervals of reckoning up his 
hours of work and of idleness. He makes such a calcula- 
tion at the opening of 1823, (defending himself to himself, 
as it were, against the charge of idleness). 

At work, brush in band 159 days. — Idle, that is 

not painting ----- 206 
Sundays - - - - - 52 


Two days a week absolutely idle about money 
matters, though I always carried paper or my 
sketch book, and arranged work for next day - 104 

42 MEMOIRS OP B. S. HATDON". [l823. 

" Thirty days decidedly idle from pleasure and inclinatioti, 
"but even then my art was never ahsent, so that in justice 
I do not think I am ever what may be called downright 
idle. I do not think it egotistical or absurd to say so. 
Before I paint I must think, and when I do not paint, it 
is because I have not thought conclusively. When I have 
thought conclusively I paint, and am wretched till I do 
begin, and when I am not painting, T am always thinking," 

Up to the SOth of January, Haydon had not touched a 
brush, immersed he says, " in pecuniary difficulties." 
Yet he found something in himself fitted for this struggle. 

" January 21af. — The faculties of some men only act in 
situations which appal and deaden others. Mine get 
clearer in proportion to the danger that stimulates them. 
I gather vigour from despair, clearness of conception from 
confusion, and elasticity of spirit from despotic usage. 
Perhaps independence would ruin me, and enjoyment and 
voluptuousness dull my vigour. Thus out of evil good 
springs, and want and necessity, which destroy others, 
have been perhaps the secret inspirera of my exertions," 

Haydon was a great reader, and a copious commentator 
on the books ho read, and these took in a range not often, 
embraced by the artist. Besides the great poets. Homer, 
Virgil, Dante, Tasso, and Milton, who were his constant 
companions, and whom he is fond of comparing and 
analysing, and the writers on art ancient and modern, he 
was a diligent reader of history. He spends whole days 
about this time over Las Casas and Montholon, and com- 
plains of the fascination of all reading about Napoleon, 
(who was one of hla heroes in spite of himself}, "Read- 
ing his memoirs," he says, "is like dram- drinking. To go 
to other things aller them is like passing from brandy to 

Here is an ejsample of his reading of this date with the 
comments on it. 

" January 2iind. — Put in the finished sketch of my next 
picture, Finished Robertson's America, and felt my head 
cleared of a great deal of ignorance, Cortez was perhaps 

1823,] PREPAKATI0K8 FOR EXniBITIO:^. 43 

as remarkable an iustaiice of decision of character as ever 
existed, always relieving himself from apparent ruin by 
attempts which would have been more ruinous, if un- 
successful, than the situations he got out of hy their 
success. This ia the true nerve so essential to the com- 
pletion of all schemes where great decision and energy and 
aeif-will are requisite. 

"Gold when obtained independent of commerce seems to 
have operated as a curse instead of a blessing ; in the caso 
of the Spaniards it deadened industry, destroyed energy, 
and rendered the nation more indolent and voluptuous 
than nature had made them : whereas when it can be 
obtained as a remuneration fur articles of manufacture or 
agriculture it is a stimulus to exertion, 

"Thus it is; love and gold, the things which Providence 
has given us to sweeten life above all others, when made 
objects of undue preference, become the bane of existence. 

" In the first settlements of the English at Virginia and 
Massachossetts the seeds of the future separation were 
planted. The settlers there were the violent, the discon- 
tented, the reformers of religion and politics, who as they 
gained strength would be sure to assert their indepen- 

"January 25(A. — My birth-day — tbirty-aeven. Icame 
to town to try my fortune May, 1804, nineteen years ago. 
At my age Rafiaele died. I think this is quite enough to 
nerve me for another year. 

" Dearest Mary ia sitting with the infant at her breast 
like an exquisite Charity and one of her babies, singing 
ditties in a melancholy strain. She asked me what I 
sighed for, as I put down my ago, and laugiied at my 
serious look. Tliank God I have been able so far to keep 
my ground. O God, grant I may keep it to the end of 
my life ! Amen." 

He now took a room at the Egyptian Hall for the 
exhibition of hia Lazarus, and the preparations at once 

" 28(A. — The men began to colour the room. I perceived 


4-1 MEMOIRS OF B. H. nATDON. [1S23. 

the same unwillingness in tlietn to begin, as I often feel 
myself, and the same aliicritj when once they had broken 
the ice. We are all alike, and the humble colourer of a 
partition has his moments of inspiration, as well as the 
man of genius, with this difference, that the inspirations 
of the one produce the Prophet of the Capella Sistina, 
and those of the other an even surface on a flat wall. 

'^February 3rd. — Moved tlie picture with indifference. I 
left it to Sammons. Fourteen years ago, when I painted 
Dentatus, I walked down with the porters, looked with 
anxiety at every corner, dreaded a tile from a chimney, a 
lamp-hghter's ladder, or a dray horse's kick, but now, 
experienced and hardened by practice, I left it to my 
servant, and walked coolly away — a picture, too, on 
which more depends than on any I have ever painted. 
Such is human nature. The picture was hung at the 
west corner of the room, and poor Sammons became 
frightened at its look ; it was so black and dingy. This is 
always the way when the north and eastern sky is the 
source of light. It should always be the southern and 
western portion of the sky, and a picture has then the 
glory of an evening sun to assist its colour. 

"5th. — Moved it to-day, and the colours brightened out 
so that the workman exclaimed ' Lazarus made me 
tremble ! ' It is now lighted by the south." 

By the 7th the picture was finally placed, 

"8tk, — Darkened the windows and settled the light 
finally. The picture looks admirably, and will have a 
great run unless anything political starts up, (like the 
Queen's business,) which always in England disturbs public 

"This moment, as I was looking at my sketch for the 
Crucifixion, it darted into my brain to make a group of 
sick and afflicted anxiously pressing forward to ask relief 
before Christ dies. 

" This I will make something of. 

" Studied the tones for glazing on Monday. It won't 
require much. 


" To-morrow I begin to glaze. God grant I may rival 
the rainbow in harmony, and the sound of the Haarlem 
organ in depth of tone. 

" 10//*. — I began to glaze to-day, and got over St, John, 
Martha, the Jews, Pharisees, St. Peter, and Mary's head, 
with pitcher. My arm ached. 

" lllh. — Glazed the drapery of Christ with crimson 
madder. To have seen me do this would have been a 
lesson for any pupil. Toned and cooled the background, 
black over green, and then asphaltum worked in with tones 
of lake and brown-pink ; it makes one's soul utter musical 

" Dearest Mary and I have scarcely seen each other these 
three days. She has been occupied with the child, and 
I with niy picture. The dear boy grows apace, and seems 
to be more pleased with colour than anything. He will 
lie for hours quietly looking at a variegated shawl ; and 
the moment his mother turns him on his face, if he is 
crying, he becomes quiet when he sees the colour of 
the carpet. God grant that he may have genius for the 
art, that he may complete what I leave unfinished. It 
requires one life to get a principle acknowledged, and 
another to get it acted on. If I get it acknowledged, and 
he acted on, we shall accomplish the glory of the country 
in art. God grant it ! Amen. 

" I worked to-day till I was faint and sick; but half -the 
picture is done. There is no delight in art equal to that 
of bringing a picture into tone. 

" I2lh. — Intensely at work. Glazed father and mother, 
sky and rocks, and worked deliciousiy in with cool tints. 

" ISik. — Worked till my optic nerve ached. Finished 
Lazarns, comer figures, and part of Mary, Sometimes 
one fancies one has spoilt a face, or rubbed off something 
in the agitation of glazing, I always go to something else 
till my perception gets clear, and then I find my former 
notion a delusion. 

" I4M. — Got through the glazing. The vigour and 
light on the father's head contrast famously with the 

46 MEMOlnS OF B. E. HATDON. Cl823. 

gloom and sepulcliral tone of Lazaius. For this mercy in 
"being permitted to paint another great picture, which 
must add to my reputation, and go to strengthen the art, 
I offer Thee, God, my humblest and most grateful 
thanks. Amen. 

" I5lh. — I looked at Lazarus again, and found little 
things to attend to. Dearest Mary not well. The more T 
reflect on the mercies of God, during my last picture, the 
more grateful I am, and ought to be. Bless me, God, 
through the exhibition of it, for Jesus Chi-ist'a sake. 
Grant it triumphant success. I have a sweet wife, and a 
lovely infant. Grant that 1 may soon begin the Crucifixion, 
and persevere to the conclusion of that, till 1 bring it to a 
conclusion equally positive and glorious. Amen. 

" 16M— 18M. — Attending to necessary things for private 
day. My eyes suffer a little 'from exertion last week. 
The time is now approaching. God bless me, and bring 
me through. Amt-n. 

" ]9ik. — l took the child to Raffaele's Cupid in the 
Galatea, and he laughed with ecstasy. If he should be 
a painter, this was his first impression. The boy continues 
to look at nothing but pictures and basts; and what is 
curious, he pays no attention to noises or singing, but 
laughs with delight the moment he sees any bust. A 
fragment of three horses' heads from the Elgin Marbles 
riveted him ; and he kept talking for half an hour in his 
way. I hope he has genius. 

" USrd—SSth. — All anxiously employed in getting up 
my picture, arranging the room, and, thank God, all is 
now ready. Grant, O God, that nothing untoward may 
happen, and that all may turn out gloriously and tri- 

" God, Thou who hast broughtme to the point, bring 
me through that point. Grant, during the exhibition, 
nothing may happen to dull its success, but that it may 
go on in one continual stream of triumphant success, to 
the last instant. God, Thou knowest I am in the 
clutches of a villain : grant me the power entirely to get 


out of them, for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen. And subdue 
the eVd disposition of that villain, »o that I may extricate 
myself from his power, without getting further into it. 
Grant this for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen, with all 
mj soul. 

" March 1st. — The private day was to-day, and the success 
complete and glorious. O God, accept my gratitude! 
But, owing to the previous private days I have had, I was 
less affected. Such is life. When one has exhausted 
every species of excitement here, one may perhaps be 
willing to try another existence. No picture I have 
painted has been so applauded. The approbation was 
universal, and Lazarus affected everybody; high, low, 
ignorant, and learned. 

" 3rd. — The picture opened to-day in rain and wind ; 
succeeded very well for such weather, 

" 4lh. — The receipts doubled to-day. It has made the 
greatest impression. 

"5(A.^ The impression continues. No picture I ever 
painted lias been so universally approved of. This proceeds 
entirely from my regular method of proceeding, so that 
everything sliould be as right as possible. It has not 
made the sudden burst the other did, but it will grow. 
O God ! grant me gratitude and patience ! 

** March 6lh. — The impression grows, and the receipts 
increase. Thank God! I have got my other canvas up, 
and shall begin it to-day, in gratitude and elasticity of 

On the 7th of March, the Crucifixion was begun, the 
ground oiled, the perspective settled, and the lines of the 
composition decided on ; all with a determination that the 
picture should be free from the faults which he admitted 
to exist in Lazarus. 

"March 3l8t was the crisis of the exhibition. It 
succeeded gloriously. I told Sanimons I would give him 
a guinea if he had five hundred visitors; and he came 
home half tipsy with glee, as the receipts were 311. lis. 
Had it failed to-day it would have sunk. 


48 MEMOine or n. k. haydon. [laaa. 

April lat was another glorious day, and brought in 
31/. 5s. Gd.; but despite of all the wolf was not to be 
kept from the door. There are notes from Wilkie, in- 
dicating hill transactions, and letters of Sir George Beau- 
mont's touching applications for au advance on his sub- 
scription for Jerusalem, and a draft for 30/. sent, though 
not without inconvenience, and the old fightings with 
creditors and lawyers; and through all, sketches and 
fancies, and new arrangements of the picture, executed in 
the intervals of struggling. " What a pity it is," he writes, 
(April 9th) "that I should be so harassed. But I get 
on, and thus a new picture is advanced." 

By the 21st, however, he is brought to a standstill. 

" Totally unable from continued pressure to proceed 
with my picture. I arranged the composition in the 
sketch as I rode along. Hutchinson, my solicitor, who 
accompanied me, was astonished to see me take out my 
sketch-book, and arrange the light and shadow of the 
Crucifixion, while he was pondering how to get me saved 
from an arrest." 

On the same page with this extract are sketched a 
pencil and port-crayon saltier-wise, with the motto " Balm 
of hurt minds." And then follows page after page of 
sketches, sometimes of groups, often of the entire com- 
position, with intercalations of lawyer's addresses and 
complicated entries of figures, as if he were trying to cal- 
culate ways and means, and other records of the like 
sadly significant kind. Even benevolent Mr. Harman, 
irritated at non-payment, has got snappish at last, — 

" Said he would not give a farthing for the Judgment 
of Solomon, though he liked it better than any of my 
other works. He must value my other works very highly. 
On my saying to him that my crime was the refutation 
of Payne Knight, he replied, ' It was.' ' It will never be 
forgiven,' said I. ' It ought not,' he answered. ' Young 
men should not give themselves airs.' So I, because I 
was a young man, ought not to have defended the Elgin 
Marbles because he was an old man who attacked them. 


1823.] ARRESTED. 49 

** The fact is, the connoisseurs, as a body, will never 
pardon the man who destroyed the value of their judg- 

He resolves at last, of all strange expedients, to present 
a petition to the House of Commons, backed by the elo- 
quence of Brougham. 

" April 9th. — Saw Brougham, who took great interest, 
and seems to give me more hope than any member ever 
did before. He seemed to understand nie, and often an- 
ticipated my thoughts. I have had to do with fools 
before. Brougham's mind entered intojt like lightning." 

But before this forlorn hope could be tried (on the 13th) 
an execution was put in on Lazarus. 

** And am I to be ruined?" he says passionately (on the 
18th), "and all my glorious delusions and visions! O 
God ! spare me the agonising disgrace of taking shelter 
under the law." And then come the scattered details of a 
hurried inventory of armoury, costumes, draperies, lay- 
figures, and other painter's gear, jotted down on the eve 
of the arrest, which, after long drawing near, did come on 
the 21st. 

His entry of the 22d is dated " King's Bench.*' 

" Well, I am in prison. So were Bacon, Raleigh, and 
Cervantes. Vanity ! vanity ! Here's a consolation ! I 
started from sleep repeatedly during the night, from the 
songs and roarings of the other prisoners. * Their songs 
divide the night, and lift our thoughts' — not to heaven.** 

His wife soon came to him, and often spent her days 
in his prison, cheering the depression which I find abun- 
dant traces of in the journal now. But the observing 
painter's eye was soon at work here as elsewhere. ** Pri- 
soners of all descriptions," he writes, "seem to get a 
marked look ; neglect of person is the first characteristic, 
and a sly cunning air, as if they were ready to take ad- 
vantage of you." 

A meeting of his creditors was called for the 28th, and 
his letter to them is worth extracting. 

VOL. ii» E 

5D memoirs of b. r, hatbon. tiBsa. 

" King's Bendi Prison, 27th Maj, 18SS. 
" CrentlemcD, 

" After nine years' intense devotion to historical panting, 
known and respected by many of the most celebrated men in 
Europe, and acknowledged in my own country to have deserved 
encouragement, the Bench is a refuge ! That I have not failed 
in the execution of ray pictures the thousands wbo have seen 
them in Scotland and England, and paid for seeiog them, give 
proof. But in interesting the Government or the patrons, the 
Church or the Sovereign, I have failed ; and being unsupported 
in the efforts I have made, overwhelmed by the immense ei- 
pences.of my undertakings, harassed bylaw, and drained by 
law expenses, to be disgraced by a prison is yet comparative 

" The unlimited confidence placed in me by iny tradesmen 
and my friends is the great cause why I resisted, till I could 
resist no longer, submission to necessity, being always animated 
by hope, till I found at last law was an enemy I could not 
conquer. My earnest, my eager desire, is that by acceding to 
some arrangement, you will prevent the dishonour of my claim- 
ing its protection. I am in the prime of my life : my practice, 
my talents, and my fame, are in full vigour. I only want se- 
curity for my time and my person, to obtain resources by their 
exercise, and make gradual liquidation ; but if I am kept locked 
np, with no power of putting my art in practice, what will be 
the result ? — depression, disquiet, and ruin, I shall infallibly be 
destroyed, and how can you be benedted by my death? My 
life alone is of consequence to you, and having involved so many 
innocent and confiding men, my object is to devote a portion of 
it for this reparation, I never wilfully wronged any man, so 
help me God! I have been pursuing great schemes for the 
honour of my country, and borne along by the ardour of my own 
imagination, I never reflected that I had no right to involve the 
property of others in my pursuits; misfortune lias turned my 
reflections inward, I have had time to reflect on the construc- 
tive want of principle that must be put on my conduct, and if 
1 am released from this horrid place, my character will be saved 
the agony of taking the act, and in two years the produce of 
my labour shall be laid before you, and payment made. I have 
nothing to offer you now — not a shilling; my property is en- 
tirely gone ; those who were the most severe possess it. I find 
no fault with any man, but al^er living for years in the silence 


and solitude of my study, and lately in the most tender domestic 
happiness, it is hard to be torn up by the roots, to have my 
books, easels^ prints, and materials of study dragged from their 
places ; to see my wife for days distracted, and my child's health 
injured from her condition, and that too after devoting the 
finest part of my life to the honour of my country, and want 
of support being the only failure. 

'^ I apologise for this tedious letter : Messrs. Kearsey and 
Spur will make a proposition to you. I hope an arrangement 
will take place, for I am anxious to put myself by my labours 
in a condition to repair the injuries I have made others feel. 

« B. R. Hatdon." 

It is pleasant to find so many proofs of substantial sym- 
pathy in the letters Haydon received during his confine- 
ment. Lord Mulgrave, Sir Edward Codrington, Brougham, 
Sir Walter Scott, Barnes (of the Times), his fast friend 
Miss Mitford, were all prompt and helpful. His active 
friend and physician, Dr. Darling, with Sir George Beau- 
mont, Wilkie and others as practically benevolent, bought 
at the sale many of his casts, prints, and painting materials, 
that he might have a nucleus for beginning work upon on 
coming out of prison. On opposite pages of his journal 
he has preserved a day-rule, with the epigraph " Diploma 
of Merit for English Historical Painters," and a letter from 
M. Smimove, informing him of his election as a member 
of the Imperial Academy of Russia ; which two documents 
he very naturally contrasts. His petition to the House 
of Commons was now presented by Mr. Brougham, as 
follows: — 


" To the Honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom of 
Great Britain and Ireland, in Parliament assembled ; 
«' The humble petition of Benjamin Robert Haydon, Historical 
Painter, late of Lisson-grove North, now in the King's 
Bench prison ; 

" Showeth, — That it is now seven years since the Committee 
for the purchase of the Elgin Marbles, in dismissing the subject 

s 2 

fi2 MEMOIES OF B. H. HATDON. Ll823. 

of tlieir deliberation, 'submitted to tbe attentive consideration of 
the House how liighly the cultivation of the Fine Art3 had 
contributed to the reputation, character, and dignity of every 
Government by which they had been encouraged, and Iiow 
intimately they were connected with the advancement of every 
thing valuable in science, literature, or art, 

" That though thia recommendation of the honourable Com- 
mittee excited the hopes and ambition of all those who were 
desirous of seeing their country distinguished by excellence in 
the arts, no further notice has been taken of the subject; and 
that, under the sanction of this recommendation, your petitioner 
presumes to hope that permission will be granted to liim to 
bring so interesting a subject before the attention of your 
lion curable House. 

" That as the said Committee has admitted the importance of 
the arts to everything valuable in science and literature^ any 
attempt to prove their importance to a country would be super- 
fluous ; but that, in addition to the benefits which have always 
accrued to every nation by which the arts have been successfully 
protected, the improvement of its manufactures cannot be denied 
nor overlooked. That there are two ways in which your peti- 
tioner presumes to think a successful excitement to the genius 
of the country toward^ historical painting could be given, viz., 
the purchase and presentation of pictures to adorn the altars of 
churches, or the sides of public halls, and the employment of 
artists of distinggished reputation to produce thetn. That were 
such an example given by your honourable House, the corporate 
authorities of the most distinguished towns would immediately 
follow it, OS they are doing and have done with regard to the 
encouragement of sculpture. 

" That had your honourable House done nothing whatever for 
any art or science, historical painting could not complain ; but as 
your honourable House has for fifty years bestowed the most 
liberal patronage on sculpture, as examples have been purchased 
for its improvement, and galleries built for tbeir reception, your 
petitioner appeals to the feelings of justice in your honourable 
House, whether the English historical painters, who, without one 
public act in their favour, have rescued their country from the 
stigma of incapacity which ao long hung over it in the opinion 
of foreign nations, do not deserve to share some part of the favour 
of your honourable House so liberally bestowed on another de- 


" That were there no pictures in churches, no music, or no 
sculpture, painting could not object to share exclusion with her 
BBter arts : but that as sculpture, and music, and painting are 
admitteil, and as many of the highest autharities in the Church 
base expressed their approbation at such admission, your peti- 
tioner earoestly hopes that your honourable House will not think 
subject over which you ought to have no control. That 
most of the historical productions painted in this country, by 
which its reputation hoa been raised, have been executed, not as 
1 Italy and Greece, in consequence of encouragement, but in 
spite of difficulties ; that Barry painted the Adelphi for nothing; 
that Hogarth adorned the Foundling for nothing; that Reynolds 
ed to grace St Paul's by his pencil, and yet was refused ; 
that historical pictures the full size of life being inadmissible 
into private houses from the nature of their execution, and such, 
pictures being the only ones that have given countries their 
fame, where art has flourished ; as the leading authorities of those 
countries were always the patrons of such productions, and from 

e expense attendant on their execution could alone be so, your 
petitioner humbly hopes your honourable House will not think 
it beneath its dignity to interfere, and by a regular distribution 
of a small part of the public wealth, place historical painting 
■and its professors on a level with those of the other departments 
«f the arts. 

" That your petitioner, (if he may be permitted to allude to 

I own misfortunes,) has devoted nineteen years to the study 
of historical painting; that his productions have been visited 
by thousands in England and in Scotland; that he iias received 
! of regard and estimation from many of the moat cele- 
brated men iu Europe; that the day after he was imprisoned he 
sraa greeted by a distinguished honour from a foreign academy ; 
l>ut that historical pictures of the size of life being ill adapted to 
private patronage, he has been overwhelmed by the immense ex- 
pense of such undertakings. That he ban been torn from hia 
home and hia studies ; that all the materials of his art, collected 
with the greatest care from all parts of the world, the savings 
and accumulation of his life, have been seized. That he is now 
in the King's Bench, separated from his family and his habits 
of employment, and will have to begin life again, with his pros- 
pects blighted, and the means by which alone he could pursue 
bis art scattered and destroyed. 

" That your petitioner prays you would take the situation of 

54 MEM01E8 OF B, B. DATDON. [leaS. 

the art into your consideration, more especially at a time when 
large sums are expending upon the erection of new churches, a 
very inconsiderable fraction of wliicli would improve those sacred 
edifices, and effectually rescue hiatorical painting and its profes- 
sors from their present state of discouragement. And he humbly 
prays you toappoint such a Committee as investigated the subject 
of the Elgin Marbles, to inquire into the state of encouragement 
of historical painting, and to ascertitin the best method of pre- 
venting, by moderate and judicious patronage, those who devota 
their lives to such honourable pursuits, so essentiiil (as jour 
Committee has affirmed) to science, literature, and art, from 
ending their days in prison and in disgrace. And your peti- 
tioner will ever pray, &o, &c. 

" B. K. HAn>ON." 

Sir Charles Long (to wtiom Haydon had made earnest 
applications for his support in Parliament, — applications 
met witli a most diplomatic chilliness, to judge hy Sir 
Charles's notes) insisting on some practical suggestion, 
Haydon laid before Mr. Brougham his plan for ornament- 
ing the great room at the Admiralty (which, no doubtj 
occurred to him as an old guest of Lord Mulgrave's there) 
with representations of naval actions, and busts and por- 
traits of naval commanders. This is worth noting as a 
first step to the result which is getting towards realiaatioH 
in the New Houses of Parliament. 

Here is Sir Walter Scott's kind and sensible letter : — 

" Dear Sir, 

" On my return from the country yesterday, I received 
with extreme regret and sympathy the letter which apprises 
me of your present unhappy situation. They have much to 
answer for, who proceed as your creditors have done, not only 
in the depreciation of your property, and the interruption nt 
once of your domestic happiness and professional career, but in 
the deprivation of your personal liberty by means of which 
you could in so many ways have been of service to yourself, 
and even to them. There is one advantage, however, in your 
situation which others cannot experience, and which ought to 
give you patience and comfort tmder your severe affliction. 

i823.] BIB W. SCOTT'S LETTEB. 55 

What real means of eminence and of future success you possess 
lie far beyond the power of the sheriff's writ. An official 
person is ruined if deprived of the power of attending his duty, 
a shop-keeper if deprived of bis shop, a merchant if his stores 
and credit are taken from him, but no species of legal distress 
can attack the internal resources of genius, though it may for 
a time palsy his hand. 

''If this misfortune had happened in Scotland, where our 
laws in such cases are of a most mild and equitable character, 
I could without trouble put you upon a plan of gratification. 
But the English laws are different, and I am unacquainted with 
them. Still, however, I think there must be an outlet under the 
insolvent act, of which you should not hesitate to avail yourself 
of it, for in the eye of justice and equity the creditors, who 
pushed on a hurried sale of your valuable pictures, must be 
considered to be over-paid. But as this may be a work of more 
time than I am aware of, perhaps some temporary arrangement 
might be made to obtain at least your liberty, for whenever at 
freedom I should have no fear that the exertion of your own 
talents would soon retrieve the comforts you have lost for the 
present An appeal to the public would doubtless raise a con- 
siderable sam, but I should be sorry any part of it went into 
the pockets of those hard-hearted men of mammon. I should 
rather endure a little buffeting, and keep this as a resource 
under my lee to run for, as soon as I was my own man again. 
But of this those advisers who know the law of England, and 
have the affairs fully under their consideration, will be the best 
judges. Among the numerous admirers of your genius, you 
must have many able and willing to assist you at this moment, 
and I need scarce point out to you the prudence of being 
entirely frank in your communications with them. 

'' I have now to make many apologies for the trifling amount 
of an enclosure which may be useful, as a trifling matter will 
sometimes stop a leak in a vessel : truth is I have been a little 
extravagant lately, and mean this only as a small on accompt, 
for which you shall be my debtor in a sketch or drawing when 
better spirits and more fortunate circumstances enable you 
to use a black-lead pencil or a bit of chalk. Excuse this 
trifling communication: I hope to have a better by-and-by. 
This has been a severe season for the arts : about a fortnight 
since I had a very merry party through Fifeshire, with our 
Chief JBaron (Sergeant Shepperd) and the Lord Chief. Commis^ 

B 4 

56 MEMOIRS OF B. B. HATDON. [1823. 

sioner, and above n.11. Sir H. Raeburn, our famous portrait 
painter. No one could aeem more henltliy than he was, or 
more active, and of an athletic spare habit, that seemed made 
for a very long life. But this morning I have the melancholy 
news of his death after three days' illness, by which painting ia 
deprived of a rotary of genius, our city of an ornament, and 
society of a most excellent and most innocent member. Sir 
Henry about twelve or thirteen years ago had become totally 
embarrassed in his affiurs from incautious securities in which be 
was engaged fur a near relative, who was in the West India 
trade. He met with more considerate and kinder treatment than 
you have unfortunately experienced, but, notwithstanding, the 
result was his being deprived of the fortune he had honourably 
acquired by his profession. He bore this deprivation with the 
greatest firmness ; resumed his pencil with increased zeal, and 
improved his natural talents by close study, so that he not only 
completely re-established his affairs, but has been long in the con- 
dition to leave an honest independence to his family. May 
you, my dear Mr. Haydon, as you resemble him in his mis- 
fortunes, also resemble him in the success with which my poor 
friend surmounted them. Above all, 1 Lope your youth and 
health will enable you much longer to enjoy returning pros- 
perity than it has been his lot to do. I will be very glad to 
hear from you when your plans are arranged, and particularly so 
if it should be in my power by any exertion to advance them. 
I am, with sincere sorrow, and best regards, 

" Dear Sir, yours very truly, 
" Walter Scott," 
" Edlnlinrgh, 8tli July." 

All attempts at arrangement with Lis creditors Ctiling, 
on the 22d of July Haydon had to face the Insolvent 
Court, In his account of his appearance there is evidently 
a kind of self-satisfaction. He would be the great man 
even in the Insolvent Court, and attitudinizes a great deal 
too consciously on the occasion. 

" July 23tf. —Yesterday I went up to court. "What a 

day ! That villain T entered his name as an opponent. 

The very moment before I went up, he called and relin- 
quished it ! I, who had been bo used to see his viWanoua 
and serpent face in a state of despotic insolence, felt 



deeply affected at the change. Never shall I forget his 
withered air. Poor human nature ! There is something 
in a court of justice deeply affecting. The grave, good look 
of the robed judges, the pertinacious ferreting air of the 
counsel, the eager listening faces of the spectators, the 
prisoner standing up like a soul in purgatory. 

** At last up rose a grave, black-robed man, and said in 
a loud voice, * Benjamin Robert Haydon ! Does any one 
appear ? Benjamin Robert Haydon ! ' 

" Nobody came, and I mounted. My heart beat vio- 
lently. I put my clenched hand on the platform where 
the judges sat, and hung the other over my hat. There 
was a dead silence : then I heard pens moving ; then there 
was a great buzz. I feared to look about. At last I 
turned my head right facing the spectators. First, the 
whole row of counsellors were looking like ferrets, knit- 
ting their brows, and turning their legal faces up to me 
with a half piercing half musing stare. I saw nothing 
behind but faces, front and profile, staring with all their 
soul. Startled a little I turned, and caught both judges 
vrith their glasses off, darting their eyes with a sort of 
interest. I felt extremely agitated. My heart swelled. 
My chest hove up, and I gave a sigh from my very soul, 
I was honourably acquitted, bowed low, and retired. 

« July 25^A.— Thanks to Thee, O God, I was this day 
released from my imprisonment. I went up to court 
again. About half-past eleven my name was mentioned. 
I stood up, when the Chief Commissioner said aloud, 
* Benjamin Robert Haydon, the Court considers you to 
be entitled to your discharge, and you are discharged 
forthwith.' I bowed low and retired. 

" Out of one hundred and fifty creditors not one opposed 
me. One, a villain, entered his name, but lost courage. 
I consider this an ordeal that has tried my character, and 
I feel grateful for it. 

" I am now free to begin life again. God protect me 
and grant that I may yet accomplish my great object." 

Even while in court he. found opportunity to sketch 

58 MEMOIRS OF B. R, H^iTDON. [1813. 

judges, and barristers, and a prisoner, a poor fellow who 
had not ate meat for two months, and who, harassed b; 
counsel, said in his desperation at last, " you counsel go 
on making black white, and never think of the other 
world " — an allocution which we are glad to hear " actually 
stopped the counsel in the middle of his severity." 

Haydon was scarcely free before he was again urging 
on repellent Sir Charles Long his plan for making a 
beginning of public employment for artists by the decora- 
tion of the great room of the Admiralty; as the House 
is likelier, he thinks, to be brought to the idea of en- 
couraging the arts out of the public purse by starting with 
a small undertaking, and thence passing on to such large 
ones as the decorating of the House of Lords or St. Paul's. 
At the same time be pressed on him the feasibility of the 
directors of the British Institution carrying out some 
similar work at their cost and under iheir auspices. Sir 
Charles received bis hot appeals with unvarying official 
frigidity. He was always ready to give everything " his 
consideration : but Mr. Haydon must be aware that Sir 
Charles Long has no means individually of giving effect to 
such a proposition" (as if Mr. Haydon ever thought he 
had !), and " he conceives that his (Mr. Haydon's) proposal 
would be more properly addressed to the Admiralty or the 
Treasury." The subject of adorning the halls of our public 
buildings with historical pictures has been, it appears, " at 
different times under the consideration of the directors of 
the British Institution, but they have thought the pecu- 
niary means at their disposal too limited to carry into 
effect any general plan of that nature," and so they pre- 
ferred to give premiums and buy pictures. 

It was in this unpromising way that Haydon began that 
unbroken series of violent epistolary assaults upon public 
men and ministers, in favour of pubbc employment for 
artists, which made him, I cannot doubt, a sad "bore" to 
his otGcial correspondents, from Sir Charles Long to Sir 
Robert Peel, Were it decorous or possible to publish the 
whole of this correspondence, it would be a dangerous 



encouragement to all men possessed by an idea for which 
they wish to win access to official minds. One would say^ 
after reading the correspondence on both sides^ that never 
was anything so hopeless as these appeals. But silence, 
snub, simple acknowledgment, formal phrase of courtesy 
meaning nothing, curt refusal, every variety of turn by 
which red-tapeism could trip up and disable an obtrusive 
enthusiast, was lost upon Haydon, who, nothing daunted, 
kept pouring in page after page of passionate pleading on 
Sir Charles Long, on Mr. Vansittart, on Mr. Robinson, on 
the Duke of Wellington, on Lord Grey, on Sir Robert 
Peel, on Lord Melbourne — on Sir Robert Peel again, and 
seemed to be making no way whatever with any of them. 
But our new Houses of Parliament are to have their 
statues, and their frescoes, and their oil pictures — and 
Haydon lived to take a part (though an unsuccessful one) 
in the first competition intended to test the capability of 
our artists for such work. 

It is certainly not clear how much this result has been 
contributed to by Haydon's pertinacious drumming of his 
darling tune in ministerial ears. But whether the achieve- 
ment be ^^ post hoc'^ or "propter hoc,'* it must be owned 
that Haydon wrote with the earnestness of a believer, and 
maintained, at a time when such a doctrine was alike new 
and unpalatable, that the future of art in England de- 
pended on the finding public employment for artists. He 
saw what the experience of every year is making more 
evident to all, that if pictures are to be painted for private 
patrons only, they will be apt to tend more and more to 
the rank of mere decoration ; they will be bound more and 
more to point no moral that is too grand or too stern for 
the atmosphere of a drawing-room, and to admit only so 
much of the heroic as can be congruously brought into 
juxtaposition with the indoor life of the nineteenth cen- 
tury. The effect of purely private patronage is to be seen 
in that blossoming of prettiness in fancy costumes which 
every year comes out to tempt a market at the Academy 
exhibitions — holding a divided empire with portraiture, 


and employing an amount of skill and a wealtli of technical 
resources which, better bestowed, nilglit place the English 
school in the van of European art. 

Meanwhile the work before Haydon, on coming out of 
the Bench, was clear. He must live, first of all — and he 
must live, if possible, without repeating that untoward 
attempt at living by credit, and borrowing, on no better 
security than high hopes and honest intentions, which had 
ended in the King's Bench and insolvency. His great 
pictures had been sold to creditors at prices very much 
under their value ; Lazarus to Binna, his upholsterer, for 
300/. ; and Christ's Entry into Jerusalem (which had 
brought him 3000/. in receipts of exhibition) for 240/. 

September 8M, — -So, curbing his inclination for the 
heroic, Haydon began what he calls "his portrait career," 
" by painting a gentleman. Before he came I walked 
about the garden in sullen despair. After I had got his 
head in, when he was leaving he told me he was sure I 
must want money, and slipped a note of considei-able 
amount into my hand. He does not come again till 
Thursday, and to-morrow with a light and grateful heart 
I will begin the sketch for my next picture. This is 
advancing steadily. O God, accept my gratitude." 

This next picture was a Bacchanalian subject — Silenus, 
but it went against the grain. " Humorous subjects" (he 
writes September 10th) " do not fill the mind so fully. 
You laugh, and there's an end ; but with sublime subjects 
you muse and have high thoughts, and think of death and 
destiny, of God and resurrection, and retire to rest above 
the world — prepared for its restlessness." 

And now began the torments of portrait-painting. " I 
proceeded with my portrait, irritated by the sitter wanting 
to go just as I was beginning to feel it. I submitted, of 
course, but he won't have half as good a head — so let it 
be. Well, I have been all day at work, and what thoughts 
are the consequence, — how to work the tip of a nose, or 
the colour of a lip t 
, " September 12M. — Proceeded with tlie drapery of the 


portrait. I learnt to-day what Reynolds meant by saying 
' A single figure must be single, and not look like a part 
of a composition with other figures, but must be a com- 
position of itself.' 

"14^A. — Ah, my poor lay figure ! He who bore the 
drapery of Christ and the grave-clothes of Lazarus, the 
cloak of the centurion, and the gown of Newton, was to- 
day disgraced by a black coat and waistcoat. I apostro- 
phised him, and he seemed to sympathise, and bowed his 
head as if ashamed to look me in the face. Poor fellow ! 
such are thy changes, O fortune. Such, as Napoleon said, 
is human grandeur, *Il ny a qyHun pas du sublime au 
ridicule.* '* 

He was not without his consolations, however. He had 
already been praised in the sonnets of Keats and Words- 
worth ; and now staunch Mary Russell Mitford sent him 
her tribute, to cheer him in his distasteful labours for 

Sonnet to B. R. Haydon, Esq. 

" Haydon I this dull age and this northern clime 
Are all unripe for thee I Thou shouldst have been 
Bom *midst the Angelos and Raphaels, seen 
By the Merchant Prince of Florence, sent to climb 
The flowery steep of art, in art's young prime, 
By Leo. Of those master spirits thou 
Art one : a greater never wreathed his brow 
With laurels gather'd in the field of time. 
And thine own hour shall come, the joyful hour 
Of triumph bravely won through toil and blame. 
Courage and constancy and the soaring power 
Of genius plumed by love. Then shall thy name 
Sound gloriously amid the golden shower 
Of fortune, crowned and sanctified by Fame.** 

Maby Bu8seij[< Mitfobd. 

(September 4th) 1823. 

A little practice in portrait-painting taught Haydon that 
this had its grave interest too, and awakened a suspicion 
of which I find frequent traces, that he had hitherto been 
unjust in his depreciation of a field of art, in which the 
greatest masters have worked and won honour. 

62 MEMOIRS OP B. R. nATDON, [1823. 

" September 20<A. — What tliey call 'style' in portrait 
painting in England, of which Reynolds is the ostensible 
inventor, has its foundation in Kneller and Leiy. They 
introduced it, and, in marking, Reynolds has a great deal 
of Kneller. Vandyke had nothing whatever of it. The 
great object of a portrait painter should be to restore the 
solid natural style of Vandyke or Rembrandt. 

" Worked hard, but alas, on what ? A hand and drapery 
around it I get excited though about portraits. My 
devotion to historical painting has plunged me into vast 
debts. Portraits and success are my only chance of paying 

" 24(A. Proceeded with my portrait. Nearly finished it, 

" il5th. Finished it. 

"28M. Was lent a capital picture of the Flemish school. 
Compared it with my portrait, which it made look flimsy. 
The lowest of the old painters had a mode of working 
their tints which I verily believe is lost to the world. We 
equal or excel them in thinking and propriety and- true 
taste, but in handling the brush — since Vandyke there has 
been no soul that knew anything about it. Wilkie is not 
to be compared to the Flemish school in that. There was 
a solidity, a body, a fleshy softness, a skilful purity 
which is gone from the art. There is not a soul now in 
existence who can paint a half tint. A man's feeling for 
colour can always be told by hia half tint. If that be muddy 
then there is no eye. t have gained a great deal to-day. 
I put my own works face to face with the Flemings, and 
I was bitterly disappointed. The result has sunk deeply 
into my mind, and in my small picture I will venture to 
try my hand. 

" Spent the day in Kensington with dearest Mary, sketch- 
ing bits for background. There are here some of the 
most poetical bits of tree and stump, and sunny brown, 
and green glen, and tawny earth. Mary took up the 
life of Mary Oueen of Scots, and sat by me as I sketched, 
and we passed a delicious four hours. 

" September 30th. I have worked pretty well this month, 
considering all things, I have now and then musing 

1823. j BLACK DATS. 63 

glimpses of my former glory, in my large room, striding 
about, looking at my large drawings from the Cartoons, 
then at the busts of Caesar and Alexander, then at my 
own picture, which makes me silent. By degrees it goes 
off, but I shall ever look on that part of my life as a dream 
of unrivalled heaven. Adieu days of pure unadulterated 
enthusiasm ! May your impressions go with me to the 
grave, and attend me at the resurrection ! " 

All the will in the world, however, will not bring sitters. 
Hay don had no reputation as a painter of portraits, and, I 
believe, was not happy in those he attempted, though his 
chalk heads are vigorous and faithful. The old dij£culties 
soon began to gather again. 

By November 5, it had come to extremities. " Obliged 
to go out,*' he writes, " in the rain. It was a foggy, rainy, 
dark November morning. I left my room with no coals 
in it, and no money to buy any, with little chance of re- 
turning with a shilling. But my case was desperate, and 
desperate was my remedy. I went to my sitter, and told 
him my situation. He felt deeply for me and assisted me* 
As I returned, 'Perhaps,' thought I, * my dear Mary has had 
no fire to dress the child by.' Here am I at this moment 
ready to do anything, to the portrait of a cat, for the means 
of an honest livelihood, without employment, or the notice 
of a patron in the country. I am determined I will find 
out the impasto mode of the Venetians. I shall proceed 
to-morrow, relieved for the time." 

All this time, with breaks of three weeks, sometimes, 
** spent in apathy, disgust, melancholy, weakness, com- 
plaints and folly," he was diligently studying Vasari for 
information as to the practice of the Venetian painters, 
and trying to succeed in getting an impasto like theirs. 

His studies are tinged by his humour. In his better 
moods, he takes up Voltaire, and thus describes the effect 
upon him. 

" When you are melancholy, if you take up Voltaire he 
is sure to render you more so, strange as it may seem. 
But may not that proceed from his showing you so com- 
pletely, as he sometimes does, the absurdity, the fallacyi 

64 HEUOIES OF B. H. HATDOS. [1823. 

the imposture of human belief in many superstitions? 
After reading him I returned to Vasari, and it was curious 
to feel the simplicity, the naWete, the piety, the good- 
beartedneu, as it were, of such a writer on a delightful 
subject, in comparison with Voltaire on a dreadful one. 
The cutting satire, the dreadful wit, the sneering chuckle 
of Voltaire, seemed diabolical in its contrast. It was as if 
a wrinkled fiend had put his grinning and ghastly face into 
a summer cloud, aud changed ils silvery sunniness into a 
black, heavy, suffocating vapour. 

" I hate Voltaire. His design is by cant to give colour 
to his indecency. He is charitable from contempt, blas- 
phemous from envy, pious from fear, and foul from a 
disgust at human nature." 

In the intervals of portrait painting, Haydon had 
finished a small picture of Puck bringing the asa's head 
for Bottom, and had began a Silenus. Full of passionate 
regrets for large canvasses and great subjects, he could not 
keep from sketching what liis circumstances forbade his 
attempting to paint. On one day, December 9th, he 
aketched four fine subjects, Macbeth on the Stairs, Mercury 
and Argus, Moses and Pharaoh, Venaa and Anchises, till 
he was sick of inventing, and more fagged (he says) than 
with a hard day's painting. 

"lOiA.— No sitters came. Idle to-day, from no other cause 
but the curse, the usual curse, — no money. Sketched 
Satan alighting, and Cymon hearing off Iphigenia, Filled 
up Aristides and Alfred, if I go on in this way, I shall 
die from disgust." And the day after, " Arose in an 
agony of feeling from want. Driven to desperation, I 
seized and packed up all the books I had except my 
Vasari, Shakspeare, Tasso, Lanzi, and Milton. Got into a 
coach and drove to a pawnbroker's. Books that had cost 
me 201. 1 only got 3/. for. But it was better than starvation. 
I came home and paid for our leggings." No wonder ha 
regretted the old days, the old painting-room. He baa no 
high inspiration now, he complains. " I used to kneel 
duwn regularly before my picture, and pray God for 
Hupport tlirough it, and then retire to rest after striding 


1823.] REVIEW OF 1823. 65 

through my solemn and solitary painting-room, with the 
St. Paul of Raffaele gleaming through the dim light at one 
end, the Galatea at the other, the Jupiter of the Capitol 
over the chimney-piece, and behind all my Lazarus ! What 
pleasure have I enjoyed in that study ! In it have talked 
Walter Scott, Wordsworth, Keats, Procter, Belzoni, 
Campbell, Canova, Cuvier, Lamb, Knowles, Hazlitt, 
Wilkie, and other spirits of the time. And above all 
thy sweet and sacred face, my Mary, was its chief grace, 
its ornament, its sunbeam.'* 

And yet with all his pains and troubles and lookings 
back, he feels strong in body and mind — approaching the 
prime of his powers in execution and conception. " Oh 
that I had a dozen pictures on the easel, and two dozen 
pupils at work on them," is his prayer. 

Upon this mingled web of distresses, retrospects, long- 
ings, sketchings, and strivings, 1823 closes. He reviews, 
as usual, this year, to him so eventful. 

" Last day of 1823. A year of more injury than any I 
have endured since my birth. Perhaps that of 1802, when 
I was blind, was more acute, but as the sphere of my affec- 
tions is extended now, of course my responsibility is more. 
My misery or my pleasure by being interesting to others 
is doubled to myself. 

^* This journal, continued for three years, ends with the 
year. It is interesting to turn it over. In the midst of 
such troubles as we have been afflicted with, we must feel 
gratitude to God for his mercies. Dear Mary, and myself 
and our children have had our health, our food, beds, 
shelter and firing. These are blessings which I never 
knew the full value of till I found myself without a 
shilling to procure them. I was enabled, by God's mercy, 
to provide my Mary with every comfort in her last lying- 
in. God in heaven grant me equal power to do that at her 

" For myself, I was never better, in fuller practice, or 
happier in my art. Melancholy as my fate seems, my 
very ruin and troubles, (my devotion being so thoroughly 


66 MEMOIRS OF B. R. HATDON. 1824. 

known) have given that shock to the feelings of the 
higher classes, which no work of art, however exquisite, 
could have given. Angerstein's pictures have been bought 
as the first foundation of a gallery. English pictures being 
amongst them of course will take their station with the 
great masters, for no gallery can be national if modem 
English pictures do not fill it, as well as the works of old 
foreign masters, I consider this is the greatest step since 
the Elgin Marbles. If Mr, Brougham can only now 
induce the House to grant a committee for the arts, the 
thing will be established. He is determined. Indepen- 
dently I have prospects of two commissions for large 
works, now when I have neither casts, prints, books, or a 
room. But so it is. I begin to think of death more than 
I used to do. Every wish of my heart, but two, have been 
gratified: I have only two left, viz., to be able to pay all I 
owe, and to see the Government practically by purchase 
encourage painting. God ! on my bended knees grant 
these two things before Thou callest me iience." 


The new year opened well.' Haydon passed the first 
day of it in hard work, and as he records, with some pride, 
paid his butcher — "a good sign." All January he was 
working on his picture of Silenus, intoxicated and moral, 
reproving Bacchus and Ariadne. 

"January 13M. — Very hard at work. I painted the 
best feet I ever painted certainly. I could not help 
thinking as I looked at them, that there was seventeen 
years' continual labour and thinking in those feet, and yet 
how it would take seventeen years more to paint them as 
they ought to be painted, and that then they would be one 
hundred years behind the beauty, and vigour and softness 
of life, and tliat even after one hundred years' practice 

• The eleventh volume of the Journal opeua with this year, with 
tUa motto from Shabspeare — 

" Nor stonj tower, nor walls of beaten brass, 
Nor airlesB dungeon, nor strong links of iron, 
" ~ o the Bfrength of spirit." 


there would be something to do, and a beauty that colli d 
not be done." 

But the wolf was always at the door. 

" 14fth. — Completed my yesterday's work, and obliged 
to sally forth to get money in consequence of the bullying 
insolence of a short, wicked-eyed, wrinkled, waddling, gin- 
drinking, dirty-ruffled landlady — poor old bit of asthmatic 
humanity! As I was finishing the faun's foot, in she 
bounced, and demanded the four pounds with the air of 
an old demirep duchess. I irritated her by my smile, 
and turned her out. I sat down quietly and finished my 
feet Fielding should have seen the old devil ! " 

He now began to feel that painting small pictures 
occasionally has its advantages. 

" Large pictures by the immense knowledge required 
give you the power of painting small ones better than if 
you painted small ones all your life. Because after the 
detail required by large works you give the masses only in 
small ones, with such decision that this work sends you 
back to a large canvas with more love for masses than 
when you left off. The parts in large works are so much 
larger than nature that you are apt to be too fond of 
detailing all you know, and in the small ones they are so 
much smaller that you are apt to omit too much. A 
painter in large when he paints small compresses his 
knowledge, but a painter in small when he enlarges 
extends his ignorance. It must be so. This is the reason 
Rubens' small works are so exquisite, and indeed all the 
small works of great painters." 

He this month took a lease of a house in Connaught 
Terrace, the same I think which he occupied for the rest 
of his life, and had already moved into it such furniture 
and painting materials as his friends had contrived to get 
together for him after his ruin, when behold on the 24fth 
another execution ! " The two old reptiles with whom we 
lived, and whom we had saved from starvation, who teased, 
enticed, plagued and pestered us to lodge with them, heard 
a short time ago that I had been in the Bench. They grew 

F 2 


irritable and restless, and of course the women in the house 
never met but to exchange broadsides. I took my wife's 
part, and flew at them like a tiger. I had paid up all my 
rent but 4^. 10*., and while Mar; and I were laughing, in 
walked a man with a distraint. These two miserable old 
people, with more than a foot in the grave, who had not paid 
their landlord for two years, put in a distraint for 4i 10*. 
after we had paid them 46^. Such is human justice! Dear 
Mary was frightened, and being near her time suffered for 
an hour or two. I was roused, set to work, and told my 
new landlord our situalion. He immediately ordered 
men to get the house ready, and there were we without 
a plate or a tea-cup, but with a great deal of experience. 
To-day (25th) is my birthday, and God protect us from 
the misfortunes, the inattention we have endured. God 
protect us and save us. 

"26tk. — Not yet settled. I do not know but that 
this execution will hurt me more than the one which 
ruined me. It revived all the tortures of last year, and 
agitated my mind with pangs which I thought had passed. 
It appeared as if we were fated to aufi'er. Last night I 
had a horrid dream. I awoke in a profuse sweat. I 
dreamed I was suddenly in a crowd who appeared to be 
watching some people, who were looking after a person 
they had lost, I asked what the people in robes were 
about, and some one in the crowd said, ' Tliey are looking 
for Haydon who has escaped from prison.' All of a 
sudden a set of voices said, ' There he is, there he is,' and 
I was seized like lightning. Instantly 1 felt myself 
between two officers in red robes, the one was the Marshal 
of the Bench, the other his deputy, behind were twelve in 
red jackets with their arms locked lest I should escape. 
At last we came at full gallop to the walls of an immense 
prison with a moat. The tide was in, and I saw the 
saudy shore gradually appear. We crossed and I heard 
the buzz of endless prisoners. All my regret I remember 
was at being unable to dine with Sir W. Beechey, and 
keeping him waiting. My anxiety was so great that I 
awoke " 


By the 6th of February he was settled in his new home, 
and on the 7th he mentions his meeting with Wilkie, 
whose influence on the art of England Haydon had thought 
injurious. " Nothing bold, or masculine, or grand, or 
powerful touches an English connoisseur. It must be 
small and highly wrought, and vulgar and humorous, and 
broad and palpable. I question whether Reynolds would 
now make the impression he did, so completely is the taste 
ebbing to a Dutch one." 

During the early part of this year he renewed his efforts 
with public men. Mr. Brougham, Mr. Robinson, and Mr. 
Lambton were successively appealed to. Of Brougham 
he had great hopes. He had found him ready to move in 
his cause when suffering and in prison, but discovered that 
his interest was more for the artist than the art. Mr. 
Robinson gave him an appointment at the Treasury, but, 
alas ! when he called he found a deputation of silk-mercers 
in waiting to remonstrate against the removal of the 
bounties on silks, and was obliged to leave in writing 
what he wished to have urged by word of mouth. His 
hopes from honourable gentlemen in office were never of 
long continuance, though he renewed his attacks on each 
successive First Lord of the Treasury. A letter of inquiry 
whether it was Mr. Robinson's intention to bring forward 
any measure in Parliament for the encouragement of English 
historical painting met with no more encouraging reply 
than the information (by the hand of the private secretary) 
that Mr. Robinson had already proposed to the House of 
Commons all the votes of money for the present year, 
which he calculated on bringing forward at the commence- 
ment of the session. 

Thus repulsed by the Minister, Haydon determined to 
try the Opposition, and Mr. Brougham having cooled, had 
recourse to Mr. Lambton, whom he found fearless and 
independent, and ready to present his petition, " reckless 
of any one's opinion." 

But by the 27th the prospect was as blank as ever, 
even from this quarter. " I had a long conversation with 

F 3 

■ 70 MEUOIES OF B. B. HATDON, [l8a<. 

Mr. Lambton this morniDg, who candidly gave me no 
hopes. He spoke to Sir C. Long in the House last night, 
and Long said it was no use to raise hopes in me, for uo 
one man would be entrusted with employment in the arts. 
He said 1 must not think of Italy, for that country was 
despotic, and it was the will of a despotic prince to select 
an individual, — that practice would not do in England, 
where every man conceived himself entitled to recommend 
his favourite artist. 

" I replied, the government was not despotic in Greece ; 
that public opinion at all times would and should influence 
the selection; that I had devoted my life exclusively to 
qualify myself for a course of practice, which no other 
artist in the country had done before ; that I did not want 
exclusive selection, but public competition, that the ice 
might be broken, and some prospect held out to future 
artists, wlio may devote themselves as I had done. 

"Mr. Lambton asked, 'in the event of a commission, 
who were they to select, who were to judge?' and said 
that 'the Government mistrusted themselves.' I said, 'I 
was happy to hear this; if they had done so long ago, 
St. Paul's would not have been disgraced.' 'In case of 
premiums who were to judge ?' I said, ' Let there be six 
artists and six connoisseurs.' He said he had no hopes. 
' The King is too old; and in the case of the recent com- 
mission to Turner for Trafalgar*, the Government were 
not satisfied. This had done great injury,' he said. ' Why 

select , aprotejreof Sir CbarlesLong!' I asked. 'Ah, 

there it is,' said he, 'You object to , and others 

would object to you.' ' If you wanted a secretary,' said I, 
' would you choose a man who could not spell ! ' ' No,' said 

he. ' Well,' said I, ' ■ cannot spell in the art, and the 

commonest observation can see it.' ' Yes,' said Lambton, 
' but you want to establish a system too early in the art; 
we must feel our way first. Your system would be the 
end, and not the beginning.' ' Yes, sir,' said I, * if genius 
could be raised like lettuces, it would be right to wait.' 
• A jtoTcmmcnt commission piunted for Grcenwigh, 


Lambton smiled. But he is sincere ; he damps me, — at 
least tries to do so. Long always flattered. Hamilton 
always predicted he was not sincere. 

" I think myself the man, and I would venture to pre- 
dict that if the books were open for the public to write 
the name of the man they think most capable of conduct- 
ing a great system of art, Haydon would preponderate 
fifty to one. I can only say that Dentatus in Italy would 
have given me employment the rest of my life, and pos- 
terity will think so." 

There was one set-off against such disappointment. 
The Government had at last purchased Mr. Angerstein's 
gallery, and so acquired the nucleus of a national collec- 
tion. Haydon visited the collection (May 18th). 

** Went to Angerstein's. Studied the Gevartius and 
Heathfield. I would rather be the painter of Lord Heath- 
field than of Gevartius. There is more of what may be 
called, or is understood by the word genius in the former. 
It is astonishing how its breadth and tone came on me as I 
entered the room. It affected me like the explosion of a 
bomb. It is an honour to the country. 

" It was delightful at last to walk into the gallery just 
as you felt inclined without trouble or inconvenience. I 
argue great and rapid advance to the art of the country 
from the facility of comparison this will afford the public." 

He had already executed a crayon head for his warm 
fi-iend Mr. Tatham, and a " Portrait of a Gentleman," 
— name unrecorded. 

By the end of May he had two more portrait- subjects 
in hand. One, a family group— citizens — and the other 
a full-length of Mr. Hawkes, a late mayor of Norwich, 
painted for St. Andrew's Hall in that city. Distasteful 
as the work was, necessities such as these were more in- 
tolerable than any work, however against the grain. 

'* April 2\st — 2Sd. — Passed in desponding on the future. 

Not a shilling in the world. Sold nothing, and not likely 

to. Baker called and was insolent. If he were to 

stop the supplies God knows, what would become of my 

F 4 


clildrcn! Landlord called, — kind and sorry. Butcher 
called, respectful but disappointed. Tailor good-humoured 
and w-illing to wait. Silenus' reputation has done this, 
as the moment your name is up again common people 
fancy your pocket full. Walked about the town. I was 
so full of grief I could not have concealed it at honae. 
Wrote Miss Mitford a violent letter on my situation. 
Called on Brougham, Hobhouse, and Sir Edward Cod- 
rington : all out. As Brougham has cooled, I must try 
Hobhouse. Dear Mary overcome as well as myself; cried 
the whole evening, and we both passed a heated, restless 
night. It seems as if a fatality attended us." 

To aggravate the painter's troubles his family was in- 
creasing. On March 17th his wife had brought him a 
daughter, and he had to watch and work by her in her 
suffering. He would have been too glad to paint portraits 

Wordsworth was in town this year and a frequent 

"March 3(?.— Wordsworth called and said, 'Well, 
Haydon, you found the world too strong.' ' Stop, sir, the 
battle is not over;' and down we sat and liad a regular 
set-to. I maintained my ruin had advanced the art, 
and that the purchase of Angerstein's pictures and Wil- 
kie's (a living artiat) among them, was the greatest triumph 
since the Elgin Marbles. He acknowledged it, and seemed 
angry that Wilkie was admitted. I told him I was con- 
vinced the art was advancing. I deny I found the world 
too strong, except in their ignorance ; and when a man 
is in the prime of his life and still living, I consider the 
battle but as half over." 

This year too he met Moore for the first time, and 
leaves this pleasant impression of him: — 

" March 23d. — Met Mooie at dinner, and spent a very 
pleasant three hours. He told his stories with a hit-or- 
miss air, as if accustomed to people of rapid apprehension, 
It being asked at Paris who they would have as a god- 
father for Rothschild's child, ' Talleyrand," said a French- 


man. ^ Pourquoi, Monsieur?^ ^ ParcequHl est le moins 
Chretien possible,^ 

" Moore is a delightful, gaj, voluptuous, refined, natural 
creature ; infinitely more unaffected than Wordsworth ; 
not blunt and uncultivated like Chantrey, or bilious and 
shivering like Campbell. No affectation, but a true, refined, 
delicate, frank poet, with sufficient air of the world to 
prove his fashion, sufficient honesty of manner to show 
fashion has not corrupted his native taste ; making allow- 
ance for prejudices instead of condemning them, by which 
he seemed to have none himself: never talking of his own 
works, from intense consciousness that everybody else 
did ; while Wordsworth is always talking of his own pro- 
ductions, from apprehension that they are not enough 
matter of conversation. Men must not be judged too 
hardly ; success or failure will either destroy or better the 
finest natural parts. Unless one had heard Moore tell the 
above story of Talleyrand, it would have been impossible 
to conceive the air of half-suppressed impudence, the 
delicate, light-horse canter of phrase with which the words 
floated out of his sparkling Anacreontic mouth. 

" One day Wordsworth at a large party leaned forward 
at a moment of silence, and said, * Davy, do you know the 
reason I published my White Doe in quarto?' *No,' 
said Davy, slightly blushing at the attention this awa- 
kened. * To express my own opinion of it,' replied Words- 

" Once I was walking with Wordsworth in Pall Mall ; 
we ran into Christie's, where there was a very good 
copy of the Transfiguration, which he abused through 
thick and thin. In the corner stood the group of Cupid 
and Psyche kissing. After looking some time he turned 
round to me with an expression I shall never forget, and 
said, 'TheDev-ils!' 

" May I2th. — Here I am waiting for a sitter to begin a 
family piece. How different used to be my sensations. 
This morning when I awoke I had a nasty taste in my 
mouth. I got up in dull foggy disgust. This is very 


weak, but I cannot help it. Silenus, my last tiop^i has 
not sold. My last hope! Lazaius has come back, and 
Binns has lost 300/. more by it, poor fellow t My debt 
was large enough without this. Some days ago, as my 
previous sketch shows, I settled the composition of Moses 
and Pharaoh. The background rushed into my head like 
an irruption. I tingled to the feet, and passed the day in 
a rapture, 

" Perhaps portrait-painting may do me good. I know it 
may be made subservient to historical purposes, but I, 
who paint everything from nature, don't want such a 
means. Pity, after twenty years' devotion to my art, and 
having just completed my studies, I should not now have 
an opportunity to give vent to my power. 

' " Portrait the size of life is better practice than 
historical pictures in Poussin size, surely ! 

" A wife and four* children must be fed, so to work I 
must go, willy nilly. Ah ! my glorious times. I swam 
through life in a dream of love and glory. Passed ! passed t 
passed ! 

" I think J felt yesterday something like a tinge of pain 
at my heart. If so, it is the beginning of my family com- 
plaint, angina pectoris. 

"My sitter will soon he here with his good-hearted, 
sunny, city face ; and so adieu speculation and thinking, 
of which my head is full. 

" UlA. — Hard at work on my picture; did not succeed 
of course. Painted the forehead well, and gained from 
painting it; but just as I wanted to go on, my sitter was 
obliged to go to the city. 

" Some men there are love not a gaping pig, 
Some that are mad if they behold a uit, 

* • ■ for afTeetion, 

Miatresi of passion, sways it to the mood 
Of what she likes or loathes. 



As there is no firm reason to be render*d 
Why he cannot abide a gaping pigv 
Why he a harmless necessary cat, 
So I can give no reason, and I will not, 
More than a lodged hate and a certain loathing 
I bear and ever shall to shortened noses, 
Long upper lips, small eyes, and hollow cheeks, 
And all the meagre wrinkled accidents 
Of booby faces — -." 

" I do not despise portrait I only don't like it. I am 
adapted for something else. 

^^ July 2nd. — Called on Binns, who purchased Lazarus. 
It had returned safe after all sorts of adventures. He 
unrolled it to show me a part. I saw the head of Lazarus 
and the hand of Christ, after a year's absence ; and if God 
in His mercy spare that picture, my posthumous reputation 
X is secured. 

" O God ! Grant it may reach the National Gallery 
in a few years, and be placed in fair competition with 
Sebastiano del Piombo. I ask no more to obtain justice 
from the world. 

" July 20th. — I have nothing to write, no thoughts; I 
am painting portraits ; voila tout.^* 

" July 24th. — * As you leave the atmosphere to complete 
the effect, so you ought often to leave the imagination to 
complete the expression.' This is the only thought I 
have had since I began portraits, and this is not worth 

" For these two months, having at last devoted myself 
to portraits, I have enjoyed tranquillity, luxury, quiet, 
and peace ; and have maintained my family with respect- 
ability and credit. But, alas! what an absence of all 
original thought. 

" These divine faces have been all I have studied, 
investigated, ascertained," (and here follows a row of cari- 
catured versions of the common-place features of his 

Wilkie was this year painting his portrait of George 

76 MEMOIRS OF B. K. HATDON. tl82*. 

IV. at Holyrood. This account of a visit paid to the 
picture, with the reflections on it, is characteristic. 

'•August I9(A. — Called on Wilkie. The King had sat 
to him, which I was very happy to find. I imagined the 
awkwardness of his last visit had ruined hia prospects in 
that quarter. I asked him why John Bull so immediately 
after attacked him. He said he could account for it by no 
other reason than that the printer had seen him with 
Denman, at some trials, and immediately concluded he 
was a radical. 

" After a few months Knighton called on him and said, 
' The King must sit to you ; I will speak to him to-day.' 
Wilkie soon had notice to come to Carlton House at a 
certain hour. The King was punctual, and sat to him 
two hours alone. Wilkie, finding himself /^(e-a-(^ie with 
a monarch, became so nervous he could not talk. After 
two hours the King rose ; Wilkie, in an agony of fear 
lest he had missed an opportunity that could never oeeui 
again, passed ihe evening in a perspiration of anxiety, and 
the next day resolved to let the matter have its swing. 
The next time he found Blomberg with the King. Hia 
majesty felt it awkward to be alone with him. 

" What an opportunity to pour into his ear sound views 
of art, and high notions of public encouragement ! Wilkie 
returned the first day miserable in mind at having missed 
an opportunity with royalty. His portrait was not like. 
He was dissatisfied with himself, and with his conduct. 
The next time he went early, and did a great deal before 
the King came in; at the end of his sitting he was much 
pleased, and at the end of the third still more pleased by 
the King's approbation. 

" These little facts are from Wilkie's own mouth this 
morning, and knowing, as I do, his love of truth and 
simplicity of mind, I will answer for their veracity. 

" I think, after all, this is a hit, and the picture a fine 
composition, and Holyrood House will be a fine accom- 

" Wilkie might have made more by this honour. Wilkie 


may have disappointed the King, but he has not offended 

" I should probably have exceeded his expectations, 
and have never been admitted again. I must own I long 
to have an audience with a monarch. I had a specimen 
of princes in the Russian Grand Dukes ; but still they 
were not kings, I think I could * touch the brink of all 
they hate ' without offending them. 

" Wilkie said the King seemed to have a great know- 
ledge of men and character. 

" If I could elicit certain things by conversation I 
would not mind being debarred his presence for ever. 
' Time and the hour run through the roughest day.' I 
wait with patience. 

^^ September 3rd» — Called accidentally at the Museum, 
after a long absence. There stood the Memnon's head, 
the wonder of travellers, and Belzoni, dead, the mover, 
transporter, and presenter of this superb fragment. There 
stood the Elgin fragments, which Socrates had looked at, 
and boys, fresh-coloured English boys, were drawing them 
— boys who were just born when first I drew them years 
ago. The actions I had studied, the knees I had in- 
vestigated, the feet I had adored, were there still, begin- 
ing to move, or to swing, or to balance. And yet in that 
siiort time empires had passed, and heroes made an in- 
glorious end. All the associations connected with these 
divine things filled my mind with the delight of re- 

*^ September iih, — Read through . Aberdeen's Essay on 
Greek Architecture in a shop in Holborn. It does credit 
to his intellect. 

" It is extraordinary that he can bring forth as arguments 
against the Iliad being the production of one genius, 
such facts as that writing was only known on stone, 
leather, or wood, — that the rhapsodists used, like the 
bards, to repeat the different portions of the Iliad, as 
distinct tales. Will Lord Aberdeen or Payne Knight 
place all these reasons against the positive evidence of th^ 

78 MEMOIES or B. E. HAYDON. [iSSi. 

work itself? Could such compoaition, such arrangement, 
such art, such exquisite character, such consistency 
througSiout, have ever heen attained from the accidental 
conceptions of different rhapsodists? Impossihle, I say 
of the Iliad, as I say of the Elgin Marbles. The works 
themselves are irresistible proofs that they proceeded from 
one mind, original, and enlightened. Lord Aberdeen 
doubts the Odyssey. Why, the single conception of Ajax 
disdaining to answer Ulysses, and Achilles striding with 
larger steps at hearing of his son's fame, are proofs of its 
being the production of the same mind. 

" Men of this nature of mind can surely never have 
heen impressed with the real power of a poetical work, or 
they could not thus be led astray by plausibiUty, ingenuity, 
and antiquarian research." 

On September 14tli, he mournfully writes that he has not 
had one historical fancy. His mind was, however, con- 
stantly reverting to the grand forms it most dehghted in. 
Sketches of the Theseus and Ilissus are on almost every 
page of his journal ; and below one careful study of a full- 
length figure, he has written "a sketch to try if I had 
forgotten all." Indeed, on the very next page to that oa 
which he has vented the above complaint, is a design for 
a subject he ever afterwards had in his mind, Uriel reveal- 
ing himself to Satan, from Paradise Lost. He made a fine 
fresco of the head of Uriel in ISiS, aa the wall of his 
painting-room in Burwood Place. 

In his dreams lie was urging those claims of high art 
to public encouragement which he never could get ac- 
knowledged in his waking assaults on men in power. 

" I awoke this morning (Sept. 19th), making a speech 
at a large dinner of artists in favour of historical painting, 
and a capital speech it appeared to me. I remember one 
passage only. ' Why must historical painting be sup- 
ported only when it can be made an engine of state or of 
religion, and held forth, enchained by superstition or 
power, like a beauty by a band, to ensnare and entrap the 
unthinking and unwary. These times are passed, and 


because they are passed, high art is to sink, because it 
cannot be employed as a means of seduction. Have we 
no heroic actions in the history of our country fit for repre- 
sentation ? Are we so bare of great deeds that we must 
descend to immortalising the caprices, the humours, and 
the absurdities of the day ? What do all English ex- 
hibitions show but a body of gigantic powers stooping to 
hit the taste, to flatter the passions, or suit the ignorance 
of the rich who visit them ? 

" All this and more came pouring out as I lay dozing." 
There are moments at which, if the entries in the 
journal are faithful transcripts of what was passing in the 
writer's mind, his sufiferings at the uncongenial work he 
was fastened down to at this time, seem to have gone nigh 
to shake his intellects. Thus I find : — 

Oct 6th, — " I am entirely abroad in mind, occupied 
with a continuity of daily trifles : in the evening I have no 
abstract idea of expression or character to muse on till 
the next day. I leave ofi" wearied and commence in dis- 
gust. I candidly confess I find my glorious art a bore. I 
cannot with pleasure paint any individual head for the 
mere purpose of domestic gratification. I must have a 
great subject to excite public feeling. I must be sup- 
ported with all sorts of anticipatory hopes, fears and feel- 
ings. In portrait I lose that divine feeling of inspiration 
which I always had in history. I feel as a common man ; 
think as a common man ; execute as the very commonest. 
Velasquez used to paint fruit, vegetables, still life and all 
life, again and again, to get facility. I would willingly do 
this, and have done it, could it end in anything worthy, 
but what worthy thing will happen to me ? Alas ! I have 
no object in life now but my wife and children, and almost 
wish I had not them, that I might sit still and meditate on 
human ambition and human grandeur till I died. I really 
am heartily weary of life. I have known and tasted all 
the glories of fame, and distinction, and triumph ; all the 
raptures of love and affection, all the sweet feelings of a 
parent. And what then? The heart, as I have said before, 

80 lUZMOIRS OF B. E. HATDON. lliSi. 

sinks inwardly, and longs for a pleasure calm and eternal, 
majestic, unchangeable. I am not yet forty, and can tell 
of a destiny melancholy and rapturous, bitter beyond all 
bitterness, afflicting beyond all affliction, cursed, heart- 
burning, heart-breaking, maddening. Merciful God, that 
Thou shouldst permit a being with thought and feeling to 
be so racked! But I dare not write now. The melancholy 
demon has grappled my heart, and crushed its turbulent 
beatings in his black, bony, clammy, clenching fingers. I 
stop till an opening of reason dawns again on my blurred 

But help was at hand from a quarter where few look 
for it. 

Haydon's legal adriaet at the time of his arrest, Mr. 
Kearsey, was his zealous friend also. Not content with 
most judicious and active professional service in that 
crisis, this friend bought his picture of Puck. He it was, 
too, who gave him a commission for the family picture 
which provoked some of his bitterest anathemas upon 
portrait painting. And now this rare lawyer came for- 
ward (Oct. 25ch) with an ofier of assistance, most kindly 
meant, but put in a way which probably chafed the un- 
fortunate painter not a little. 

At once Mecaenas and man of business — friend in need 
and attorney-at-law, — proffering a year's peace, at four 
per cent, and sufflcient securities — and even imposing the 
dimensions and prices of the pictures to be painted by his 
client and protege — wealthy and prudent Mr. Kearsey, 
now at Brighton for his health, thus writes to poor and 
improvident Mr. Haydon. 

" I cannot forget that on your introduction to me (now a year 
since or so), you came to me driven by the pitiless storm which 
was then about to annihilate you. The storm was doubtless in 
no small degree of your own raising. I carried your bark through 
it, but miserably despoiled, it's true, of tackle and stores. You 
was, however, then pushed off the shore and afloat, but I found 
you on ihe crisis of my lale attack in May last (which through 
a providence to you as well as to mc I survived), with your bork 


1824.] A HELPi-CL ATTORNEY. 81 

nground, and as helpless, if not more helpleas, than ever. This 
latter event was I admit, more your misfortune than juur fault ; 
then, and ever since then, I carried and have carried you through 
the surge, and you are floating again on the wave. I have reason 
to think you are, and have been tolerably industrious since thtf 
first great week, and that your state of depression may with a 
helping band at the critical moment be dispelled for ever, pro- 
vided industry, economy, and every good habit is in exercise by 

I. Therefore, although I have actually gone beyond my poor 

ins already, yet I am resolved that if it is in my power to 
help it, your talents shall not he sacrificed to rapacity, greediness, 
r avarice, and if you are not to rise, (which moat depends on 
yourself,) those shall not keep you down for at least one year 

come. Your necessities must not and shall not compel your 
genius to go crippled, or on all fours, seeking for and picking 
up crumbs. Ton doubtless from the former class of your studies 
have something yet Co attain in portrait painting, more especially 

tale portraits, and you must make, as you ought, for some 
time, a aacriflce in tlie price of portraits ; but this must not be 
dictated to by the extortionate. A whole length at this moment 
should not be done by you under seventy-five guineas, a three- 
quarter, fifty guineas, a half, thirty to thirty-five guineas; and 
I order to prevent your being obliged to take less than these 
sums, I have resolved for one year, from 1st January, 1825, to 

: January, 1826, to come forward at intervals (provided 
there is need, and I have reason to think you deserve it,) with 

im of 300?., secured to me as I shall by-and-by state. Thus 

I will have a year clear before you, if you do not gain a 
farthing, and the year (free and well employed) will give you 
the command, I trust, of a better fate. Your mind unembar- 
rassed will have a ftiU call and play of its energies. But mark 
well, while I do this, the following with others I may think of, 
f a similar nature, will be sine qua nons. And I am obliged 
he precise, because in what I am thus uncalled for proposing 
to do for you, a stranger, I shall (if I am called on to do it) 
be doing more than in justice to my own family, as is the 

Igar excuse, I ouglit to do for any one not allied by ties of 
friendship, blood, or other relation ship. 

" You will paint portraits to your best skill at the above 
prices when they offer, and you will try to get them. 

"You will paint no portrait at less price unless I assent: under 
penalty thia. 



" While not engaged in painting portraiO, you must be ac- 
tively engaged in paioting historic or compositions of fancy, of 
a small, and at most not larger than a saleable cabinet size, con- 
sulting me. I wish to kaon' what you are doing or about to 
do, more for any aid I can give, than any interdict to be pre- 
Humed hy me. 

" If I advance money, I must be repaid out of the produce of 
the first portraits, historic or other paintings, as paid for or sold, 
with interest at four per cent. I say this interest, because I 
will not have any earthly advantage of the smallest kind. All 
I propose or can have is to father on myself more anxieties and 

" The historic or other paintings must be as security for my 
advances till sold. 

" If tlie year's advance does not answer my or your expecta- 
tions, in giving you a command in portrait painting, your honour 
must be pledged not to make any further request to me, so that 
I shall have a proper virtue exercised by you, and my feelings 
not harrowed. That you may not be tempted to depart from 
the prices I state, you shall, if I require, make a statement on 
oath of what you have done, and you shall communicate to me 
instantly on all works engaged for. 

" My advances are to be secured by your bond, and a life in- 
Burance. I add this latter, more especially because it will be a 
benefit to your family, and what as a professional man you must 
do to a considerable extent, as your means will admit by-and- 
by, for if you live and have employ, your works will support 
your family, but dying your works must close, and your life as- 
surance will aid them. Think well on all this." 

This offer was accepted. I cannot refer the following 
paper to its exact date, though I would assign it to 
December of this year. 

" I have had two expiring flashes, but two 1 and they 
are expired — ' Pharoah dismissing Moses and Aaron at 
the dead of night,' on finding the heir to his throne, 
with all the other first bora, dead; and 'Satan in like- 
ness of a cherub inquiring of Uriel the way to the earth.' 
On the ground I would have had Pharaoh's queen in the 
agony of maternal hope, placing her hand on the heart of 
her boy, and listening for a beat of it in racking anxiety j 



the sisters, one exclaiming in affliction, the other, while 
supporting her dead brother, looking round to Moses with 
an inquiring horror. Behind the queen, Pharaoh, the 
subdued monarch, bending with majesty, and dismissing 
the lawgiver and his brother in waving, disdainful and 
yet vanquished pride : Moses right opposite to him point- 
ing to the dead child, and to heaven, as if saying, * I do 
this by superior direction;' and in the background the 
people in rebeUion, dashing up their dead children, and 
roaring like the sea for the dismissal of the Jewish leaders 
while the guards press them back lest they burst into the 
palace. A sphinx or two, a pyramid or so, dark and 
awful, with the front groups lighted by torches, would 
make this a subject terrific and affecting. It combines 
pathos and sublimity. 

" The next is Satan like a cherub innocently asking the 
way to the earth. Uriel, tall, grand and majestic, as if 
roused from deep thought, is looking round in awful 
silence. Behind him is an ocean of rolling cloud, on which 
his own grand shadow is flickering. 

"For a moment all my old raptures of study darted 
into my brain. I foresaw the colour, the expression, the 
light, shadow, form, and became quite inspired in my 
feelings ; when a thundering rap announced a sitter, rich 
and good-humoured, and away went all my glorious anti- 
cipations, and I sat down to paint my employer just as 
you would desire. I must own that the comforts and ease 
and tranquillity which attend portraits, and the misery 
and insults which have always attended my history paint- 
ing, begin to affect me. The very day I painted Ariadne's 
head, just in the middle of it, in burst our old landlady 
and abused us for four pounds rent, like the bawd in Cla- 
rissa Harlowe. The day I painted Lazarus's head I was 
arrested. So can you wonder at my thinking of an histo- 
rical painting with an absolute shrink ? " 

If Mr. Kearsey's terms were accepted, the prospect of 

a year free from harass may have had something to do 

with this entry. 

o 2 

84 MEMOIBS OF B. R. HATDON. t;i824. 

December \3th, — " I am getting at last interested with 
portraits, and began to feel all eagerness for surface, tone, 
softness, likeness, effect, and all the rich mockery of a 
head, (This was cant — June, 1825.) Reynolds was cer- 
tainly too blunt, Vandyke too finished. 

" Titian appears to combine them both. From a rapid 
feeling I got my Iiistorical heads so soon settled in ex- 
pression that I never worked them up. I could not do it, 
— when the impression was hit, that was enough." 

At the close of the year he reviews it as usual. 

"January, February, March, and April, my wants and 
necessities were horrible. In May a better fortune seemed 
to dawn on me, and at last I felt the sweets of living from 
my own gains, without degrading myself by borrowing. 

" Kearsey (on the brink of death) bought my Puck, which 
was the first symptom of better prospects, though I offered 
it for 20/. after having asked 80/. He gave me a family 
piece ; other commissions followed, and I have been kept 
pretty nearly in constant employment. 

" But devoting six months to Silenus after I came from 
prison, without resources, involved me in debt, out of 
which, notwithstanding all my employment and all my 
fortune this season, I am not extricated. The education 
of two boys and the expense of two infants are heavy 
indeed, but still I hope industry, and trust in God, will 
ultimately render me successful and independent. 

"With respect to the great object of my former am- 
bition, I candidly confess myself cooled. I have little 
hope, though my petition was received with something 
like enthusiasm in the House. The prejudices against me 
individually as the leader of that style are insurmountable 
during my life. I have given a shock to prejudice, cer- 
tainly created something hke a feelhig that art is not 
conducted grandly by the higher powers — but still it is as 
yet a dead letter. The Royal Academy, embedded as it 
is in the prejudices of the country, and sheltered by royal 
patronage, will turn for years the course of the strongest 
torrent of good sense, genius, and arguments. 


leai.] HEviEw or 1824. 85 

More intercourse with the world, which portrait- 
painting has given me, has opened my eyes to the thorough 
ignorance of educated men — to their utter insensibility to 
anything like a grand idea. The National Gallery may 
do something if they add the Cartoons of Raffaele and 
Mantegna to the other works. 

" My domestic happiness is doubled : daily and hourly 
my sweetest Mary proves the justice of my choice. My 
boy Frank gives tokens of being gifted at two years old. 
God bless bim ! My ambition would be to make him a 
public man. I have better prospects certainly than at the 
end of last year, though more in debt. I have not added 
much to my knowledge, — I fear I have lost something in 
Greek and Latin; in Italian I have gained. The absence 
of books of reference and prints is a bitter pang. At first 
I was enraged at not being able to get information in a 
moment as formerly ; at last I put it off, and now care 
nothing about it. 

" I have worked less this year than last, and occasionally 
have had hitter fits of melancholy and illness. 

" 1 am nearer the grave, and I hope more fit to be laid 
in it. My mind calmer, my principles of honour firmer, 
and those of religion deeper than ever. God spare me 
till my loss will be of no consequence to my sweetest 
Mary and children. In art I can be of little more utility. 
The vigour of my life has only made a cranny in the 
heavy wall of ignorance, through which, it may be, a star 
of light shines ; whether any other will batter a. breach in 
it time only can prove. For the mercies of the year, O 
God, accept my gratitude. 

" I think on the whole I have sunk into, or am sinking 
into, a sluggish apatliy, perhaps despair. The end of the 
next year will show." 

His last prayer before retiring to rest on the morning 
of the new year was that he might live to finish his design 
of the Crucifixion. That prayer was not granted. 

Thanks in a groat measure to Mr. Kearsey's oddly-offered 
but well-timed liberality, this year was, on the whole, a 



happy one for Hajdon. He was coinpararively free from 
embarrassment ; and, though he had atiil to struggle with his 
sore distaste for portrait-painting, he had three commissions 
for small historical pictures. The great drawback was the 
reception his critics gave his portraits when exhibited. 
Their attacks took what Hajdon calls " a new direction." 
The painter was assailed through the personal peculiarities 
of his sitters. It is natural enough to find the angry artist 
expressing an opinion that this is a cruel and deep-laid 
plot to injure him, at his starting on this more lucratiTe 
branch of his calling ; but we shall perhaps do the critics 
more justice if we believe that Hajdon'a portraits had 
something about them provokingly open to ridicule. The 
heroic style of treatment could hardly have been adapted 
to a comfortable citizen family, or a provincial ex-mayor. 
Indeed, I am assured that in the latter performance he had 
represented the mayor of proportions too heroic ever to 
have got through a doorway, out of which he was supposed 
to have issued in his civic state. 

His first work for this year was a Juliet at the Balcony, 
a commission from his good friend Kearsey. By the end 
of the month the picture was completed. 

On his birthday (the S.'ith January) I find, " My birth- 
day — thirty-nine years of age : one year more and I shall 
be at the maturity of manhood, from whence to move is 
to decline. Peace attend me! May I live to see the 
Vatican, finish the Crucifixion, and educate my children. 

" Received a letter from my first pupil, Eastlake. He is 
one of those who acknowledges his obligations, trifling as 
tliey are, with gratitude. It did my wounded spirit good," 

The passage which thus gratified Hay don was the 
following. " Be assured that your early kindness to me 
is among those obligations which I am least likely to 
forget. My early impressions in art (which might perhaps 
have produced a better result) I owe entirely to you, and 
I have always involuntarily connected my idea of many fi£ 
the perfections of art with your own practice." • • • 


An assurance, I may say here, the honest sincerity of 
which is borne out by every line of the many letters of the 
same writer which Haydon has preserved. I regret that the 
sanctity of private confidence, though for reasons I have 
already given, in no respect violated by the publication of 
passages from Hay don's own journal, prevents my drawing 
upon the letters of Sir C. Eastlake, in the way their value 
and interest as contributions to the criticism of art, would 
render me anxious to do. 

^^ February 3rd. — Lambton called to see my portraits. 
He thought them large. I then showed him my sketches 
for a series of national subjects. He approved of them, 
but said I might depend on it that the Government were 
determined that nothing of the sort should take place. 
The last year he sent to Long to know what day would be 
convenient for him to have my petition presented, and that 
he replied it was immaterial to him, as there was nothing 
in my petition he wished to say a word on. That is, there 
was nothing in my petition to which he could reply ! This 
was the truth. 

" From Lambton only have I ever got the truth. He 
begged me not to have the least dependence on the pro- 
mises of any man connected with Government ; for I might 
rely on it the great hobby-horse now was the National 
Gallery, where old pictures would be the first object of 

From a letter to Mr. Boaden, the biographer of John 
Kemble, I extract this passage of comparative criticism of 
that great actress and her brother. " Mrs. Siddons could 
act, as you know. Lady Macbeth twenty nights, and vary 
it each night. This was not from previous thinking. Oh 
no ! But fired by the part as she proceeded, her native 
faculty flashed out in gleams of power which no previous 
labour could have given her in her cold study. Kemble 
came into a part with a stately dignity, as if he disdained 
to listen to nature, however she might whisper, until he had 
examined and weighed the value of her counsel. Mrs. 
Siddons, on the contrary, seemed always to throw herself 

G 4 


on nature as a guide, and follow instantaneously what she 

" IGth. — My whole soul and hody raise the gorge at 
portrait. My mind becomes restless for want of mental 
occupation. When I painted poetry, night and day my 
mind and soul were occupied. Now as soon as the sitter 
is gone, I turn from his resemblance with disgust. Would 
1 could hit on some mode of putting forth sublime ideas 
which would provide me the means of existence," 

He at last received a commission for his Pharaoh dis- 
missing the Israehtes. And this picture occupied him, in 
the intervals of portrait labours, for the rest of the year. 
It is impossible not to sympathise with the spring of his 
energies, ever and anon, when at work on a subject which 
tasked them worthily, — which set him thinking, com- 
posing, and recomposing, analysing his own labours, and 
going for hints and guidance and inspiration to the great 
works of the old painters, 

" July 20ih. — Hard at work and arranged my little 
picture to my satisfaction. As a proof how an historical 
painting restores all my old deh'ghtful habitSj I awoke 
in the middle of the night with a pure conception of 
Christ sleeping in the Forest. The demons howling at 
him, and the storm roaring ! " 

On the day after this he had a glimpse of work still 
more to his mind. A proposition was made to him to paint 
the Crucifixion for the great hall at Liverpool, It even 
got so far as estimates and sketches, but no further. The 
place it would have filled is, I presume, that now occupied 
by Hilton's picture of the same subject 

His historical subject and his portraits have many a 
battle, in which portrait is certainly beaten, unless when 
a sitter happens to be peculiarly clamorous, or Mr. Kearsey 
intervenes with the bond — kindliest but most punctiliously 
exact of creditors. 

On the 24th was one of these battles, with a reflection 
appropriate to altered times and duties, " Ought to have 
paintedaportrait; looked at my historical picture: thought 

1825.] martin's pictures. 89 

I might as well set and arrange my drapery. I did so. 
There could be no harm in painting that bit ! so I painted 
it. Then it looked so well there could be no harm in 
painting the other bit, and then the whole would be com- 
plete ; so I did it, and dinner was announced before I was 
aware. Delightful art ! 

** To-morrow I must finish my portrait, and then to my 
historical picture. This is small, and yet in the height of 
my pride I refused a commission of five hundred guineas 
from Sir John Broughton to paint a small picture of 
Edward the Black Prince distinguishing an ancestor at 
the field of Poitiers, for fear it might interrupt my great 
plan. I was right, but it was a pity. I certainly would not 
refuse one now." 

Martin was now startling the town, and puzzling the 
critics with his vast perspectives. Haydon pronounced, on 
their appearance, a judgment of these singular works, which, 
without undervaluing them, it is safe to say that time has 
confirmed. ^' Martin has a curious picture of the Creation 
— God creating the Sun and the Moon, which is a total 
failure from his ignorance of the associations and habits of 
the mind. 

" No being in a human shape has ever exceeded eight feet. 
Therefore to put a human being with a hand extended, 
and a large shining circular flat body not much larger 
than the thing shaped like a human hand and four fingers, 
and call that body the sun, makes one laugh; for no 
efibrt can get over the idea that it is not larger than a 
hand. And the Creator, so far from being grand, looks no 
larger than a human being, and the sun looks like a shil- 
ling. It can't be otherwise, and no association can ever get 
over the relative proportions of a hand, and what is not 
bigger than a hand. It is no use to say that hand is a mile 
long. No efibrt of the mind can entertain such a notion : 
besides, it is the grossest of all gross ideas to make the 
power and essence of the Creator depend on size. His 
nature might be comprehended in an ordinary sized brain, 
and it is vulgar to make him striding across a horizon, and 


say the horizon is fifty miles long. It is contrary to human 
experience, and the Creator, so far from looking large, 
makes the horizon look little; for this is a natural result 
when a being with legs, arms, hands, beard, face is seen 
stretching across it. When Martin diminished his buildings 
to a point, put specks for human beings, then there was 
no improbabihty that bis rooms might be, for aught we 
know, forty miles long, his doors six miles high, his 
windows a mile across, or bis second floor two miles and 
three quarters above his first floor, — tight work for the 
servants if they slept in the attics. They must have had 
depots of night candles by the way, Martin, in looking at 
his Babylon with a friend of mine, said: 'I mean that 
tower to be seven miles high,' The association is pre- 
posterous. There is nothing grand in a man stepping 
from York to Lancaster; but when he makes a great 
Creator fifteen inches, paints a sun the size of a bank 
token, draws a line for the sea, and makes one leg of 
God in it and the other above, and says, " There, that 
horizon is twenty miles long, and therefore God's leg 
must be sixteen relatively to the horizon,' the artist 
really deserves as much pity as the poorest maniac in 

" I carried my picture in to-day, and seeing this picture 
was led into meditation on its inconsistency." 

In March this year Fuseli died. Few knew him better 
than Haydon, or appreciated him, as it seems to me, more 
justly, or more kindly. 

" Fuseli is dead ! An historical painter dead is an irre- 
parable loss ; for, however unsuccessful, if living, he is a 
perpetual reproach to the apathy, brutality and insincerity 
of the patrons. He keeps alive the complaint that his- 
torical painting is neglected — and thus, even in ruin, 
indirectly maintains a feeling which must die when he 
dies, for it can no longer be a subject of complaint that 
history is not supported, when its professors are extinct. 

"Notwithstanding the apathy of the public latterly to- 
wards his works, Fuseli had had his day. His Nightmare 



was decidedly popular all over Europe. Fuseli was paid 
30/. for the picture, and the engraver cleared 600L by the 
print. His great works were from Milton. His con- 
ception of Adam and Eve for pathos, and Uriel contem- 
plating Satan for sublimity, have never been excelled by 
the greatest painters of the greatest period of art either in 
Greece or Italy. With a fancy bordering on frenzy, as 
he used to say, the patience, the humility and calmness 
necessary for embodying your conceptions in an alt, the 
language of which, in spite of all the sophistry and cant 
about style and gusto, is undeniably grounded on a just 
selection and imitation of beautiful nature — angered and 
irritated him. His great delight was conception, not 
embodying his conceptions, and as soon as he rendered 
a conception intelligible to himself and others by any 
means, he flew off to a fresh one, too impatient to endure 
the meditation required fully to develope it. 

" To such a temperament nature was an annoyance, 
because she is an irrefutable reproach to extravagance and 
untruth. She put him out likely enough, and unable to 
bear the fatigue of investigating her perfections, he left her 
in anger because she disdained to bend herself to the 
frenzied irregularities of his own spasmodic conceits. The 
degeneration of style into which Fuseli latterly fell could 
have been predicted from his very first work, and let it be 
a warning to all students, who, in their occasional wise- 
headed discussions while they eat their tarts on the pe- 
destal of the Apollo, or roast their potatoes by the plaster- 
room fire, talk of the grand style, when they ought to be 
found at the feet of their figures, drawing hard and 
correctly from nature, and never venturing a step without 
her concurrence. His vigour of conversation continued 
to the last. His acquirements were great. He wrote 
Latin, spoke Italian, German, French perfectly well, and 
read Homer, but his knowledge of Greek was not solid. 
He could not argue, but illustrated everything by brilliant 
repattee; Home Tooke was the only man who was an 
over-match for him. 


" He was fond of praise, and if you did not praise any 
thing he was ahout, he would praise it himself; but if you 
praised it beyond truth, he would be severe in censuring 
it. It seemed a reflection on his genius if you did not 
praise, and a contempt for his understanding if you praised 
too much : in either case he resented. 

" He was an intense egotist, as all mannerists must be. 
If yoii acknowledged the supremacy of his style no man 
was more fatherly; if you disputed his infallibility, he 
heard you with irritation. 

"On the whole Fuseli was a great genius, but not a sound 
genius, and failed to interest the nation by having nothing 
in his style in common with our natural sympathies. 

" About the Elgin Marbles he did not behave so grandly 
as West and Canova and Lawrence. I was the first who 
took him to see these divine works. Wilkie had taken 
me. Tired, I went to Fuseli, set hira in a blaze, and he 
put on his great coat directly. 

*' Thrown off his guard by their beauty, he strode about 
the collection in his fierce way, saying, ' the Greeks were 
gods — they were gods.' We went home and looked over 
Quintilian and Pliny, and every author who alluded to 
the Parthenon, and the Greek artists. 

"A day or two afterwards, reflecting what he had written 
about the Apollo, &c., he tried to unsay, but it would 
not do. One aide of the Ilissuswas too short! I showed 
him a cast which was shorter. One arm of the Theseus 
was too thick. I proved it right by the different actions. 
His belly was too flat. I convinced him it was owing to 
the bowels falling in, while the bowels leaned out in the 
Ilissus, and then the belly protruded. Tliia was irre- 
futable. I had never differed as strongly before. He saw 
he was wrong, and had passed life on a wrong scent. A 
really great soul like Canova's would have acknowledged 
it. I fear Fuseli's self-love was too strong for this. He 
flew into a passion, and we were never cordial after. 
I regretted it, as no man owed more to Fuseli than 



" When a man of genius is in full fire never contradict 
him — give him swing — let him pour forth right or wrong, 
and a listener is sure to get a greater quantity of good, 
however mixed, than if you thwart or reason: in fact 
reasoning is out of the question. 

" The Royal Academy may get a Keeper who may be 
better in handling the chalk, or improving the regulations 
of its councils ; but they will never get another who will 
have the power to invigorate the conceptions, enlarge the 
views, or inspire the ambition of the students as Fuseli 

" How many delightful hours have I passed with him in 
one continued stream of quotation, conception, repartee^ 
and humour. In his temper he was irritable and violent, 
but appeased in 'an instant. In his person small, with a 
face of independent, unregulated fire. I have heard 
he was handsome when young, and with women (when 
gratified by their attentions) no man could be more 

" His loss to the Academy is great, for there is no one 
to supply his place as a lecturer, and in a few years so 
completely will historical painters be extinct, that no 
lectures will be given. This nest of portrait-painters are 
thus enjoying the full fruits of their own pernicious supre- 
macy — fruits that Reynolds predicted in his latter days. 
Their calumnies and perpetual attacks unseated Reynolds, 
impoverished West, destroyed Barry, crippled Fuseli, and 
for a time involved me. A decided step by Government 
would check its decay, but every member of the Govern- 
ment, with the King at their head, is so much at the mercy 
of portrait-painters, that if His Majesty was to resolve 
to-day, a hint from his portrait-painters would shake his 
resolution. Such is the condition to which the art is 
reduced, and lower still will it sink." 

At the exhibition of the Academy in May, the critics 
opened on Haydon's portraits. He relieves his irritation 
by some vigorous criticism of the critics, which I will not 
transfer to these pages, particularly as the angry painter 

94 MEMOIRS OF B. K. HATDON. [1825. 

himself, by a strong eflbrt of self-command, refrained from 
answering Iiia detractors. " It is hard to be quietj" he 
says, "hut my friends are right." 

" Afai/ 6th. — The exhibition is the hest I ever saw 
since I began the art. It is curious in a picture of the 
destruction of Pharaoh. The scenery is so preponderating 
that all grandeur is lost. There is no idea of force or 
power, but in the importance of the objects destroyed. 
There is no grandeur in the sea whirliog a bit of cork, and 
if human beings are so diminished as to be un distinguish- 
able, all idea of destruction vanislies." 

The irritation caused by the attacks on his portraits 
was somewhat allayed hy an opportunity which was given 
of exhibiting this month his Judgment of Solomon, with 
other works of the English school, at the gallery of the 
British Institution. The canvass had been rolled up two 
years, but on unrolling, Haydon was glad to find the 
picture safe and fresh. In the Gallery, while himselt 
exulting in this opportunity of again showing his work, 
" cheek by jowl with the Academicians," he met Wilkie, 
" dreadfully broken by his family troubles, unable to 
paint, or read, or think without confusion of head." 

Two days before Haydon had received from Sir John 
Leycester another commission. 

"May Wih. — While I was at the Gallery yesterday, 
poor old Northcote, who has some fine pictures there, was 
walking about. He nodded to me. I approached. I 
congratulated him on his pictures. ' Ah, sir,' said he, 
' they want varnisliing, they say.' ' Well,' said I, ' why 
don't you varnish ihem?' He shook his head, meaning 
he was too feeble. 'Shall I do it?' 'Will 'ee,' said 
Northcote, ' I shall be so much obliged.' To the astonish- 
ment of the Academicians I mounted the ladder, and 
varnished away. The poor old mummy was in raptures. 
I felt for the impotence of his age. He told me some 
capital stories when I came down. I saw the eyes of the 

R, A.'s sparkling as if they thought, ' Now what d d 

motive has Haydon got.' 


" May ISth. — Went to Lord Stafford's and studied the 
Orleans Raffaele, the little Rembrandt, and Virgin and 
Child by Vandyke. The more intelligible an action is, the 
less reason is there for the expression to be strong in the 
face. Vandyke's character is individual, his effect and 
execution perfect Raffaele's effect and execution are hard, 
his character high : Rembrandt's characters fine, yet indi- 
vidual, his colour, execution, surface, perfect. 

" Oh dear Raffaele, I went down with my mind disturbed 
by the perpetual attacks lately made on me, and the sight 
of thy divine picture calmed, soothed, and sent me home 
thinking only of my art and thee and nature. Bless thy 
genius for it vnth all my heart, and the God who bestowed 
it on thee. 

May beautiful thoughts alone possess my soul. But 
this is impossible in a Democratic Aristocracy like 

^^ May 29th. — Spent two hdurs with Wilkie. Had a 
long conversation, I regretted many things and he did the 
like. It was affecting. He was ill, and could not think a 
moment without being confused : we were both interested. 
He said he could not bear my conversation, it made him 
ill. We then thought of our mutual escapes from various 
things that occur to every man who comes to London very 
young. Our conversation was deeply exciting. It shook 
him to death." 

By the end of June, Haydon had got into his " old 
delightful habits of study" again, his mind " calm, happy 
and conceiving." The journals bear evidence of it. Instead 
of complaint or bitter reproaches of himself and others, 
they show nothing for many pages before this brief 
cheerful entry, but sketches for his picture of Pharaoh 
dismissing the Israelites, as vigorous as in his happiest 

So June ended happily, "though not employed as it 

" SOth. — Advanced, got into my habits, — the greatest 


" The mixture of literature and painting I really think 


the perfectioD of hofflao happiness. I piioi a besd, rerel 
in colour, hit an expression, sit donri fatigued, take up a 
poet or an historian, write m^- own thoughts, or muse on 
the thoughts of others, and hours and troaUes, and die 
tortures of disappointed ambition, pass and are Ibrgotteiu 
I wake as from a dream to the drowsj, foggj woiU with 
■oiTow and disgust. Oh, what would I gire for a compe- 
tence, a covering by a inountain stream, a lihraiy and 
a painting-room, with dearest Maiy and my children to 
educate and love. This will never be mj lot, and nerer 
can be, but I have enough to thank God for, and I do 
with all mj soul. 

"God grant my Frank may be a good and great man, 
honourable, upright, religious and diligent." 

He went on working cheerfully and successfully to the 
end of July, and so to the 5th of August, when his 
employer calling, " liked the picture capitally," and gave 
him a pleasant proof of bis admiration in an advance of 
50/. He had now another cause of delight. His last 
portrait was out of hand. How long it might hare 
remained unfinished is uncertain, but his sitter, a rich city 
man, had hinted his suspicions that the painter was 
"going to cheat him," though be had only put the picture 
by to let the colours get hard. " So much for his know- 

" Charles V. did not push Titian for his works.- — ' Magnia 
compojiere parva." 

Headstrong as Haydon was, he was given to speculate 
on the " why and because " of life, and to analyse closely 
and frequently the causes of success and failure. Here 
is an example: — "What singular apparent injustice ap- 
pears in the fate of some men of genius and the fortune 
of others. 

" Chantrey got a fortune by those two children in 
Litchfield Cathedral. One day calling on hira I was 
shown into his work-room, and on a table I saw a design 
of these very children by Stothard. I could swear to it. 

" A friend of mine was at a lock-up house to be bail for 


another ; while he was sitting there in walked Stothard, 
arrested for a coal-bill of Sil. He was going to the Aca- 
demy as visitor when it happened. My friend went up 
to him and said, * I know you, what can I do ?' He got 
him out time enough to attend his duties. 

" Thus, here is Chantrey drinking champagne for lunch, 
with employment for life, and a fortune for his heirs, in 
consequence of old Stothard's genius, while the possessor 
of the powers by which Chantrey rises is arrested by his 
coal-merchant, and escapes into the Academy as librarian 
to eke out a living. 

" Homer begged ; Tasso begged in a different way ; Gal- 
lileo was racked ; De Witt assassinated, and all for wish- 
ing to improve their species. At the same time Raffaele, 
Michel Angelo, Zeuxis, Apelles, Rubens, Reynolds, 
Titian, Shakspeare were rich and happy. Why? because 
with their genius they combined practical prudence. I 
believe this is the secret 

*' ' What a game you have thrown away ! ' said a friend. 

* No,' I replied, * what cards the injustice of others ren- 
dered fruitless.' 'Not so,* he answered, *You showed 
your hand too exultingly, and provoked them to cheat.' 

* So long as you acknowledge they cheated, I am content.' 

* But why provoke then ? Why not, conscious of your 
hand, play it without a word ? * * I grant you,' I said, 

* that would have been prudent, but I doubt if the result 
would have been different. The first triumph I gained 
would have equally provoked my adversaries.* He shook 
his head. 

" I find the artists most favoured by the great are those 
of no education, or those who conceal what they have. 
The love of power and superiority is not trod on if a man 
of genius is ignorant when a gentleman is informed. 

* Great folks,' said Johnson, * don't like to have their 
mouths stopped.' I believe it, and how often have I had 
occasion to curse my better information when my love of 
truth induced me to prove I knew more than a man of 


98 MEMOIRS OF B. E. HATDON. [isas. 

"A man of rank came up to me and said, 'Do you 
know, Mr. Haydon, I think Titian's grounds were so and 
so,' As long as I listened he appeared placid ; but this 
was putting a poker into a powder-barrel. I exploded, 
and poured forth all I had obtained from experience and 
reading. He looked grave, — humined, — talked of the 
weather, and took up his hat with a ' Good morning.' I 
can't think how Reynolds managed these things. North- 
cote says he always appeared ignorant. 

"Another time three men of rank and old West were 
talking of Milton's genius, of which they knew little 
enough. Sir George spoke of his plagiarism. I remarked 
there was something singular in his industry, and quoted 
two or three authors to prove how he studied. Instead 
of being pleased, one looked at his watch, another asked 
West how Mrs, West was, a third walked away, and not 
a word was said by any of them. In a minute I found 
myself alone. Curious ! 

" I do not think I am liked in company, except by 
women. When I know, I talk; when I am ignorant, I 
listen. Is not this fair ? When I can talk, I talk better 
than others; but I listen to others who talk better than 
me. Is not this fair? When I know better than 
others, princes or peers, I show it. When they know 
better I bow. They would have me bow in both instances, 
but I can't, and, what's more, I won't. 

" No, no, knowledge is power, genius is power, health 
is power; and why should genius, knowledge, and health 
bow to imbecility, ignorance, and disease ? Title is power, 
fortune is power, birth is power. Why should title, 
fortune, and birth bow to genius, knowledge, and health ? 
They certainly need not, on a general principle ; but when 
title talks ignorantly of what genius knows radically, why 
should genius bow to title ? 

" Because genius is dependent on title for development, 
— at least for employment. Because rank, at any rate, is 
entitled to civility, on the principle of rank being a reward 
to the possessor or his ancestor for some personal qualifi- 
cation or heroic deed. Of course centuries of possession 



say something for conduct; and because whatever tends 
to obstruct genius and deprive it of employment is per- 
nicious to its display. Painters should, therefore, not be 
talkers except with their brushes, or writers except on 
their art ; because the display of too much power when 
others know something, is apt to excite envy and injure 
a painter's development of his art. Men are content that 
you should know more of painting than they do, but they 
don't like that you should know as much of any other 
thing ; because they feel if this man can paint and yet be 
informed as well as we are in other matters, we are no- 
body and we won't patronise him. But if this man knows 
nothing out of his art, why we are somebody in something. 
We can spell and he can't; we know French, and he 
does not ; we read Homer, and he knows nothing of him. 
In a word, we can talk at dinner and he must be silent, 
except when we want to know a matter where it is no 
disgrace that he should know more than ourselves, on the 
same principle as we tolerate a tailor, a shoemaker, a car- 
penter, a butcher or a surgeon. 

" Therefore, oh ye artists who can spell, speak French, 
and read Homer, never show your patrons they speak bad 
French, or read bad Greek, and spell carelessly, but listen 
to their French as if it was Racine's, to their Greek as if 
old Homer himself were spouting, and read their epistles 
as if they had orthography, grammar and common sense. 
IW this and you will drink their claret, adorn their rooms, 
ride their horses, visit their chateaux and eat their venison. 
But if, on the contrary, you answer the French not meant 
for you to understand, rectify their quotations which you 
are not supposed ever to have heard of, and discuss 
opinions only put forth for you to bow to, you will not 
eat their venison, you will not adorn their apartments, you 
will not ride their horses, you will not drink their claret, 
or visit their chateaux, at any rate more than once. And, 
so, artists, be humble and discreet 

" 31*^ August. — Spoke to a sexton to-day who was dig- 
ging a grave. He answered me like Hamlet's. How true 

H 2 

■• -• 

-• -^ J j-'j j--*^ 


is Shakspeare ! A grave-digger, a turnpike-man, and a 
butcher, from consciousness of power, are all impudent — a 
grave-digger especially. He must, and he does feel that 
he is digging the lasC habitation of another. The con- 
sciousness that he is alive, and the other as it were hia 
victim, gives him a surly, healthy, witty independence. 

" My dear Frank was with me. * Ah," said I, ' Prank, 
that will be your's as well as my last home.' 'But your'a 
first, papa,' said he. 

"On the 29th of September, Martin called and thought 
I wanted more space. That fellow should have wings- 
He is an extraordinary genius in his way. He expressed 
himself much delighted, but wanted a town ten thousand 
feet high, and a hall or two in which a man might take a 
bed before he got to the end of the room ; where if a party 
was given a man must dispatch a courier with relays for 
soup or fish, if they liappoued to be at the bottom of the 

All this time the picture was going on rapidly. "On 
reviewing the past month it is gratifying to think how 
delightfully, rapidly, and conclusively I have painted. I 
hope to bring my picture, under God's blessing, to a com- 
pletion at the time I hoped. 

" I deferred my payments, and on the whole have had a 
whole month unembarrassed. My mind sprang, as it were, 
at once to the most difficult parts, so soon as I was secure 
of not being dunned. • 

" October ^8lh. — In the city about cash, the only thing 
the city is fit for. Called on Mrs. Belzoni, — found her 
full of energy and misery. An execution on Belzoni's pro- 
perly — his models, casts, and all seized. The widows of 
soldiers and sailors are providifd for, but the widows of men 
of science are not. Soldiers and sailors are requisite that 
John Bull may guzzle his porter and eat his beef in se- 
curity, but poets, painters, and travellers are not. He can 
do without them. Therefore their widows and themselves 
may go to the devil." 

There is little to note during the remainder of this year 
but the progress of his picture towards conclusion, and his 


studies and researches upon the subject of Egypt for the 
costume and architecture. 

*^ November 8th. — At the Museum all day. Searched 
Pocock and everything Egyptian in the Museum, and the 
great French work. 

"Any one who for a moment doubts that the principles 
of Greek architecture, sculpture, and painting had their 
origin from Egypt, can never have examined the works of 
that country. 

** The painting the walls of their palaces in fresco — the 
orders of their architecture — the principles of their 
temples — are all derived from Egypt evidently. The 
story of Callimachus and the acanthus are inventions. 

"What a delightful day I have spent! Ah — how 
superior to portrait painting. Here I was drinking in 
knowledge, and gloating on antiquity and all its delightful 

'^November I3th. — Hard at work, and completed my 
principal figure — Moses, the leader of six hundred thou- 
sand rebellious Israelites. 

^^ November 1 Gth. — In the city for cash — went and studied 
the little Rembrandt at the National Gallery for my back- 
ground. Red, blue, and yellow in different tones are the 
secret of fine colour. Saw a friend, Davis, from Italy. He 
said when a set of caricatures came new to the print shop, 
the poor Italians would go up and say, * Ahl niente de 
bello.' Beautiful expression of the taste and feeling of this 
gifted people. 

^^ November I9th. — Hard at work on the background, the 
most hazardous part of a picture. Mr. Green, the new 
professor of anatomy in the Academy, commenced last night. 
As usual he affirmed the Greek artists did not know mus- 
cular anatomy, because the medical professors were so 
ignorant. This is no argument but for the clique: because 
the medical men knew little is that any proof that the 
artists knew nothing ? Certainly not. 

" It is extraordinary how professors established for the 
very purpose of instructing youth in the principles of 

H 3 

102 MEM01B3 OP B, R. niYDON, [1835. 

anatomy, should begin to deaden their enthusiasm hy saying 
you must know it, because I am established to teach it, 
hut yet the greatest artists the world ever saw did not 
know it. What is the inference drawn by lazy youngsters? 
"Why, if the greatest artists did not know it, what use 
can it be to us ? 

" Carlisle did the same thing. ' Pliny and Pausanias,' 
he said, ' proved it.' 

'' I should tike to know where. Cockerell said he was 
not aware there was any authority for saying they (the 
Greeks) did not dissect. Lord Aberdeen said to me 
(1821) tliey certainly did not; hut 1 could get no autho- 

"November SSnd — SA'th, — Intensely absorbed in my 
background. To settle the quantity of colour, action, and 
light in a background is among the most diiEcult things 
in the art. It must keep up the story, and not interfere. 
It must be connected and yet distinct. 

" November ^1 til. — Very hard at work, and obliged to 
leave off, having settled, thank God! the whole of my 
picture, background and all, and having little to do but 

" Noveviber 30lh. — The four last days have been useless- 
ly (but unavoidably) spent in musing, thinking and strol- 
ling. The backs of the balls of my eyes were irritable — ^a 
sign I always dread. I left off directly, and am recovered. 

" Twenty-two days I have worked very hard, and though 
the painting of my picture is not completed, it is all so 
settled, that it soon will be with God's blessing. 

" December 1st. — My fits continue. I am all fits, — fits 
of work, fits of idleness, fits of reading, fits of walking, fits 
of Italian, fits of Greek, fits of Latin, fits of French, fits 
of Napoleon, fits of the navy, fits of the army, fits of reli- 
gion. My dear Mary's lovely face is the only thing that 
has escaped — a fit that never varies. 

" The finest touch of what may be called the delusion 
of Don Quixote is this: — 

" He makes a pasteboaid vizor, believing it is strong 


V leae 

H enough for the stroke of a giant. He ffches a blow at it 
H that smashes it to pieces. Mortified he fits it up again, 
H consoling himself that it is strong enough now, but Cer- 
H vaates says he did not give it another blow to prove it. 
H " This is a Shakesperian touch, and worthy of him, 

W This one willing shirk of evidence, lest he might even 
convince himself against his will, and unsettle bis frenzy, 
contains the whole history of his character, and is a deep, 
deep glance into human weakness." 

" I have read in my idle fit Sheridan's life by Moore. 
" Upon tlie whole it is a delightful book, but the excuse 
of an admirer. 

" Notwithstanding his passion for Miss Lindley, and 
his grief for the death of his father, (who had illuscd him), 
I question Sheridan's having a good heart really. 

" His making love to Pamela, (Madame de Genlis' 
daughter), so soon after his lovely wife's death, and his 
marriage in two years after her loss with a young girl, 
renders one mistrustful as to the real depth of his passion. 
" No man of wit, to the full extent of the meaning, can 
have a good heart, because he has, and must have, less 
regard for the feelings or sufferings of others, than for the 
brilliancy of bis own sayings, whoever may suffer. There 
must be more malice than love in the hearts of all ' wits.' 
Sheridan is a complete illustration. 

" His treatment of Storace's widow — the widow of one \ 
who had sacrificed his life to Sheridan's interests, ought I 
not to have been omitted by Moore. Sheridan gave the 
theatre for a benefit. The house was crowded of course. 
Sheridan went to the door-keeper, and manager, and 
friend, and swept off all the receipts, and the widow never I 
got a shilling. This was told me by Prince Hoare, one of J 
Stephen Storace's intimate friends. 

" No man with a good heart could have done this bad 
his faculties been ever so steeped in intoxication. 

* Coleridge points out tbia in his critiuiam on Don Quixote. Per- 
haps llayduD got it from Hazlitt. — Ec 

104 MUMOmS OF B. H. HATDON. [1825. 

" Publicly he acted, once or twice, with grandeur and 
principle ; but grandeur of public principle is not incom- 
patible with private immorality. The faults of the great 
"Whig leaders are of course leniently treated by Moore ; 
but the truth is, that neither Burke, Fos, nor Sheridan, 
had the caution or prudence requisite for government. 

" When Sheridan was Paymaster of the Navy at 
Somerset House, the butcher brought a leg of mutton to 
the kitchen. The cook took it, and putting it into the 
kettle to boil, went up stairs for the money, as the butcher 
was not to leave the joint without it. As she stayed rather 
long the butcher very coolly went over, took off the cover, 
took out the mutton, and walked away. This is a fact. 
The cook told it to the porter of the Royal Academy, who 
being my model told it to me as he was sitting. A 
creditor whom Sheridan had perpetually avoided, met him 
at last, plump, coming out of Pall Mail from St. James's 
Palace. There was no possibility of avoiding him, but 
S. never lost his presence of mind. ' Oh,' said Sheridan, 
'that's a beautiful mare you are on.' ' D'ye think so?' 
* Yes, indeed. How does she trot ? ' The creditor, flattered, 
told him he should see, and immediately put her into full 
trotting pace. The instant he trotted off Sheridan turned 
into Fall Mall again, and wets out of sight in a moment. 

" Moore's life of him wants courage. Society is Moore'a 
god. He can't, like Johnson, tell all the truth, and hid 
society defiance. 

" His burning Byron's manuscript was a sacrifice to liia 
fashionable friends, and his concealments in Sheridan's life 
are not worthy his native independence. 

" December 5th. — 3 o'clock, Sunday morning, December 
5th, 1825, Alfred Haydon born." Anxiety about his 
wife and child made Haydon now, for a while, relax in his 
application to his picture. 

" December 9fh. — Still nothing to talk of. Dearest 
Mary better, my mind easier, and shortly I begin. 

" lOiA.— Read hard Cuvier's Revolutions du Globe 
with great interest and delight. What a vast quantity of 


knowledge I am ignorant of — Astronomy, Natural History, 
Botany, Navigation, &c. I shrink within myself when I 
think of all I don't know. Yet there is a deljght when 
there is such a source open to one. No painting yet; 
but my arrangements quite ready. 

" llth, — Called on S , and spent a rich three hours 

with him. He is the reflection of the court, the patrons, 
and the nobility. He told me several curious things, 
absolute matters of history. Afterwards went to Hamilton, 
Stanley-Grove House, and spent an hour. Saw La Thiere's 
drawings : H. laughed heartily at my family picture, in 
which I joined most sincerely. Told them some anecdotes 
about my sitters, at which we laughed again — not quite 
fair, as they had maintained me for a year. 

" I2th, — Impenetrably dark. Could not paint. Went 
out. Called on Hazlitt, as being all in character with the 
day, and had a regular groan. 

" 13th. — Set to work. Thirteen days gone in anxiety 
and idleness : finished one side of the background as if in 
a fury, successfully and with great enjoyment, from having 
thought about it lately very much. I did it in a very few 

minutes. S told me Lord Wellington said Lawrence 

was a man of no mind. Set the thing before him, and 
he can do it : but be has no invention. Lord Wellington 
stood for L. three hours with his hands across. After he 
had done, he stepped down, and said, * Pshaw ! That is not 
like my sword.' * Please your Grace, I'll do it next time.' 
* Do it now.' * I must go to the Princess Augusta's.' * Oh 
no; you must put my sword right. It is really bad.' 
This was done. 

" S is a sort of echo of court opinions. He talked 

of Canning in a way I could fathom. He (Canning) was 
endured because he was useful more than from liking. 
It is astonishing how skilful the hangers-on of a court are, 

in feeling out the opinions of their superiors. S is a 

man of great sagacity and shrewdness, and could gather a 
notion how things are going on, by the sound of a word. 

'^December 14/A. — Hard at work, and finished the 

106 MEMOIRS OF B. R. HAYDON. [l825. 

Other architectural parts. Architecture by a painter 
should be correct and mathematical ; but it should be a 
painter's, made subservient to anhole, and should not look 
as if executed by an architect's clerk. This is the way 
Titian and Rubens painted architecture, and this is the 
way it ought to be painted. Dearest Mary getting 
rapidly well. 

" I5th. — Hard at work and finished background. Helf 
the month gone j and owing to anxieties I have only 
worked three days out of fifteen. Twelve lost. 

" December 16iA. — Hard at work and finished the sun. 
If anything is too hot, put something hotter, and it becomes 
cool. If any thing is too yellow, put something by it much 
yellower, and it becomes white. So of red, blue, black, &c. 
So of everything; lines, colour, expression. This is a 
deep principle, and cannot be too often remembered. 

"December 17i/i. — At work, but carelessly. At last 
got excited, and advanced and improved the picture. 
Have little now to do. 

" God be thanked, with all my heart and soul, for 
having enabled me to realise what I washed. "When I 
first conceived this subject, 1 prajed I might complete it. 
I have done so. God Almighty accept my thanks. 

"December I8th. — Finished the sky and moon. If the 
moon be painted equally light, it looks like a shilling in 
spite of the greatest genius. It must be varied, like 
everything else. Sharp and soft, and dark and light. 

"December 3lsL — The last day of the year 1825. 
How many last days of years with sage reflections do my 
journals contain ! This year has been one of mingled 
yarn — good and evil ; but the good, as it generally does, 
preponderated. I have to bless God for many great 
mercies indeed. After being deprived of my bread by 
the abuse of the press, a historical commission started up, 
gave me an opportunity again to burst forth, and saved us 
from ruin. I have finished it, and hope God will bless it 
with success. On it depends really my future subsistence. 



and my power to bring up my boys like gentlemen. I am 
now sitting in my parlour with Milton's Christian 
Doctrine before me, reading, and quietly awaiting the 
new year; in an hour it will be here. 1826! Shall I 
live to see 1856? Yes; by temperance, and piety, and 
keeping my mind tranquil, and pursuing my enchanting 
art. By God's blessing I shall ; but not else. I think I 
may say I have conquered several evil feelings. I am 
more regular ; not so rash or violent. I have subdued my 
hankering after polemical controversy; conduct myself 
more as if constantly in the eye of my Maker. All this 
I attribute to the purity of feeling generated by marriage. 
O God! for Thy infinite blessings throughout accept 
my deep gratitude. Pardon the many errors my dear 
Mary and myself have been guilty of. We acknowledge 
Thy goodness in humbleness and awe. Thou hast blessed 
us with another boy. Oh give us life to protect him till 
he can protect himself; to educate him in Thy fear and 
love, and make him, with our other children, good, virtuous, 
and distinguished. Grant these things for Jesus Christ's 
sake. Amen, in awe." 

By the 14th of January, 1826, his picture was finished 
and sent to the British Gallery. ** It is curious," he remarks 
(15th) ** the mixture of apathy and anxiety with which I 
await the fate of my picture. After all it is very little 
better than Dentatus, painted eighteen years ago. The 
background has more air, but it is not a bit better painted. 
Fuseli said you will never paint better so long as you live : 
perhaps the kneeling woman surpasses any other figure in 
Dentatus. But on the whole eighteen years have done 
little for my talents." 

Haydon was much gratified during this month by the 
receipt of a long and affectionate letter from Wilkie, de- 
scribing his impressions of the great works at Rome. The 
close intimacy between Wilkie and Haydon was by this 
time at an end, and the hope which Haydon expresses on 
receipt of this letter, that the old feelings of their student 

108 MEMOIRS OP B. R, HATDON. [1820. 

days might be renewed was not destined to be realised, 
tliough the two often met and always as friends. 

182G was a year of great commercial convulsion, the 
effects of which reached artists as well as men in business. 
Hajdon, as will be seen, suffered among others. Already 
by the 27th he notes; "In the city to get cash. My 
creditor looked nervous. This panic has strangely altered 
commercial men's looks. 

" 28M. — At the Gallery. Disappointment; though I 
ought to he satisfied with the look of my picture. Tone 
does not do for a modern exhibition. It looked sickly and 
fiat : the artists thought not, but there is something which 
freshness of colour, I think, would add to a historical picture. 
I am never satisfied with my pictures in a modem exhibi- 
tion. I will try something new. 

"SOih. — Spent three hours with S — ■, and a very 
entertaining three hours. Yesterday (Saturday) he was 

two hours with the King. S said the King was showing 

him the plan for Buckingham House. ' There,' said the 
King, ' is a road and door for people who come in a hackney 
coach ; that's the road for ministers and ambassadors ; 
there's the road for the Royal family, and that's the 
road for' — (here he hesitated) — for us,' said he with em- 
phasis, " on groat occasions."' S said the King was the 

best mimic he ever saw in his life, (from S 's good 

sense and taste I am quite sure the King unbends to him,) 
but he httle thinks that he, mimic as he is, is mimicked. 

S said that he thought the King the shrewdest man he 

ever saw. That he knew the world well — deeply. 

"The King little thinks that under that impenetrable ex- 
terior, that mild, modest, humble, unaffected manner. Ilea 
the deepest insight, and that while the King is supposing 

he sifts S , S is sifting him with the power and 

scrutiny of the devil himself. 

" This man turns the nobility round his finger like a play- 
thing, and they, good honest souls, fancy they are using 
him. Long, who introduced him, did so because he thought 
he could supply the place of Long himself in business 


matters of art. Alas! S will very shortly supply 

his place in everything. Long is shrewd, but S . is 

shrewder. S , in fact, is a match for all of them, and 

if he were a little more educated would be invaluable to 
any King. 

" S told me I might be sure my picture would do 

everything I wished." 

In February Haydon addressed a letter to Mr. Canning, 
who was now Foreign Secretary, asking him for an interview 
in which he might urge upon him the claims of historical 
art to public patronage. He was not more successful 
in this application than he had been with those to Mr. 
Robinson and Sir Charles Long. Mr. Canning begged him 
(Feb. 4.) to communicate his business in writing. This he 
did as follows : — 

'* Sir, 

" I beg to express my gratitude for the honour you have at- 
tached to me, in paying attention to my request. 

" My object was to ascertain if you would think it an impro- 
priety if I presumed to ask if you would present to the House 
of Commons, early this session, a petition in favour of the public 
patronage of historical painters, by the annual vote of a moderate 
sum, to be laid out as might hereafter be resolved on. 

** I hoped by an interview to interest you in the condition 
of historical painting, to induce you, sir, to make an effort for 
its protection ; to put you in possession of facts, for the exercise 
of your judgment. Mr. Burke said long ago that till a minister 
interfered for the arts, no further advances could be expected in 
the higher branches. The state of taste, and of the other branches 
of the arts which depend on private patronage, prove that things 
are tending rapidly to the desired conclusion, and only wait the 
impulsion of influence and power to bring them at once to their 
first elevation. 

" Pardon my presumption, sir, in saying, that every admirer 
of yours would feel delighted to see you fill the opening which 
the greatest statesmen of our country have hitherto left vacant. 

" I take the liberty of enclosing you a copy of the petition, and 
earnestly hope in God I may be so fortunate as to interest you 
in the subject." 

110 MEMOIRS OF I!, 11. HAYDON. [l826. 

Mr. Canning declined to present tlie petition, first, 
because its presentation by a minister would imply 
previous consideration and consent by the Government, 
and secondly, because, even if such consent had been 
given, the business belonged to the First Lord of the 
Treasury, and not to the Foreign Secretary. Haydon then 
applied to Sir Charles Long, who while declaring hia 
willingness to present the petition, adds that "with every 
wish to encourage historical painting, lie has never been 
of opinion that it would he successfully promoted by the 
means suggested in the petition." 

An interview followed, (Feb. 14th). 

" On the subject of nij petition, Sir Charles behaved 
very candidly, and told me he took a very different view 
of the subject to that vrhich I did. He said he had been 
long in the House of Commons, and that there was 
nothing less known than art. That when the Waterloo 
Monument was proposed, many different plans were sent 
in. That Lord Londonderry said the thing had better he 
given up. That all money voted by the House of 
Commons would be subject to supervision, and that the 
Directors, as independent gentlemen, had delermined, 
if the House voted the money, to refuse it, because they 
would not be subject to the investigation of Mr. Hume. 
When Sir Charles said this, his face had an expression 
quite extraordinary. It gave me more notion of Hume's 
power, and the dread place-hunters have of him than any- 
thing else on earth coiild have given me. He now 
stopped. I said, 'Your objections do not apply to the 
vote of money, but to the investigation that would 
naturally take place as to its expenditure. Do 3'ou not 
think that 4000/, a year spent in art would benefit it?' 
' Why I don't know,' said he ; 'if 4000?. was voted, and we 
were worried as to our expenditure, I would resign my 
ofiice as Director.' 

" ' Yes, sir, hut why should money here do more harm 
llian in Greece and in Italy. It has never been tried, and 


though no motion or vote would follow this session, yet 
by keeping the subject before the world, something like 
attention must be the consequence. Surely if money is 
voted for sculpture or the Museum, it may be for painting. 
Why not place painting on the same level V 

"It was no use talking : he seemed to have a rooted 
aversion. ' If not indelicate,' said I, * I still wish that 
you, Sir Charles, would present the petition.' He would 
do it, if I still wished, but no motion would be made 
by him. He then said Lord Liverpool had sent for him. 
He put on his glasses, and looked over some papers. I 
bowed and took my leave. 

" So much for Sir Charles. 

** Now the question is whether more good or harm would 
accrue from his presentation ? The public is decidedly 
against him, and if he slurs the thing over, he will injure 
and not benefit the cause. God knows. I shall put Mr. 
Brougham in possession of what passed, and beg him to 
watch the time of presentation. Long was a complete 
courtier. It was curious to me the art with which he 
appealed to my prejudices about the Koyal Academy. 

*' Here was Long in a palace, and I, who had devoted my 
life without a selfish feeling to the honour of my country, 
just escaped from a bailiff by getting my landlord to pay 
ten guineas, while I walked down to keep my appoint- 
ment with him. Such is life, — self-interest, absence of 
enthusiasm, and of high feeling, plodding, meanness, and 
sleek slavish cringing to power, though despised by the 
world, secure a man a palace and fortune, while public 
spirit, high feeling for your country's honour, generosity 
and independence, though admired by the world, render 
a man poor, and leave him the Bench for a refuge." 

After much hesitation, by Seguier's advice, Haydon 
determined to try Mr. Ridley Colborne, from whom he 
met at least with sympathy. Though Mr. Colborne had 
no expectation that the petition would lead to anything, 
yet he conceived it would keep the subject alive, and 

112 JlEMOIKa OF D. E. HATDON. [182B. 

presented it accordiugly, (Feb. SSrd), "especially well." 
It was as follows : — - 

''A petition of Benjamin Robert Haydon, Historical Paioter, 
of 58. Connaught Terrace, Portman Square, was presented, and 
read ; setting forth, that in all countries where the arts have 
flourished, the native artists were the principal objects of national 
patronage, and their productions the leading features in the pub- 
lic collections ; that no country where thia principle in the 
encouragement of the arts was not the leading principle erer 
rose to any great eminence or palpable 6uperiority, or ever dis- 
played in painting, or sculpture, or architecture, undeniable 
evidence of original national genius ; tliat the ancient Greeks, 
who are hecome proverbial for superlative excellence, made the 
native artists and their works the principal objects of national 
employment; that the ancient Romans, on the other hand, never 
rose to any distinguished excellence in painting or in sculpture, 
and cannot hear comparison with the ancient Greeks ; tliat this 
deficiency was not from want of capacity in the people, but from 
want of employment by the government, because in architecture, 
where employment was bestowed, the ancient Romans liave a 
great name ; that in a subsequent period, wlien the lieads of the 
Catholic Church felt the necessity of adding the powers of paint- 
ing and sculpture to illustrate the doctrines of tl)cir belief, the 
descendants of the same people, having then an opportunity for 
the displayoftheir native talents, shone forth with such grandeur 
of genius as to have been ever since as much objects of reference 
and standards of excellence nearly as the ancient Greeks; that 
it is therefore evident, bad tlie same opportunity been given ta 
their illustrious ancestors, the same results would have followed; 
that the petitioner humbly wishes to impress the importance of 
this principle of patronage on the attention of the House, ia 
consequence of the pmjected intention of a National Gallery, 
for no Gallery can strictly be called National, nor will any 
Gallery be ever of that advantiige to the native art, if it be 
built only to receive foreign productions as examples of in- 
struction, without provision being made for the purchase and 
reception of native works ; that the public of this country has 
been blamed for having no taste for historical painting, but 
this assertion appears to the petitioner to be unjust; for the 
petitioner is convinced, from his own experience, that soma 
plan of public patronage for nativo art is earnestly desired, 


and would be extremely popular, and that the public would be 
disappointed if, in the plan of a National Gallery, the purchase 
and display of native works did not form a conspicuous ft-ature; 
that the petitioner humbly suggests to the House whether there 
be another instance in the history of the world of any other 
nation, which has obtained a great name in the arts, hawing 
advanced so far in poetry, in science, in philosopliy, in naval 
and military glory, in commercial greatness, or in political 
wisdom, as Great Britain has done, without having established 
some system of public encouragement by which the arta might 
keep pace with the greatness of the country in other matters ; 
that the petitioner therefore submits to the House, if it be unjust 
that the English historical painters, after baring effectually 
rescued their country from the suspicions of an inherent de- 
ficiency of talent, by a continual struggle against prejudices, 
domestic and foreign, for more than half a century, should desire 
humbly that assistance from the House by which alone tliey can 
hope or expect to establish their country's capacity in the face 
of the world, as the painters in the other branches of art have 
already so triumphantly done, in consequence of the liberality 
of private patronage, and the establishment of the British 
Gallery, which has done so much, more especially as the sum 
required would be very moderate, and scarcely felt or perceived 
in the national expenditure j that the petitioner therefore hum- 
bly hopes that the House will not think it presumption in him, 
as an individual of that class, to mention, for the decision of the 
House, if the House should hereafter think fit, that a sum, not 
exceeding 4,000/. be annually, or at first every two years, set 
aside, principally, but not exclusively, for the encouragement 
of historical painting, to be spent either in the purchase of 
distinguished works already before the public, or in tlie employ- 
ment of artists already established, whose character and talents 
would ensure a proper return for such liberality, and according 

ly future plan, or under any direction the House may 
hereafter approve or decide on ; that the petitioner humbly 
hopes the House will not think this subject beneath their 
attention, or inconsistent with their duties at this particular 
period, and, when the National Gallery comes under their 
discussion, that they will deign to give it that notice which in 
their wisdom they may deem due, for the greatest statesmen 

orld has ever seen have always considered the arts an 

vol.. II. 1 

114 MEMOIRS OF B, K. HATDON, tl826. 

engine not unworthy to be used in advancing the commercial 
and political greatness of a people." 

I must remark, here, that it is difficult now-a-daj's to 
rate too highly the courage of Hay don's persistence, 
because we can hardly rate too low tlie conception then 
prevalent, even among men who held the first place as 
lovers of art, of what worthy patronage of art really was. 
The best of them do not seem to have understood by it 
anything beyond buying pictures, and thus encouraging 
the painters whose works they especially admired. I can- 
not find from anything in these journals, that art was by 
any of the great patrons ever seriously considered as an 
element of national education, or a source of national 
glory. It cannot, I think, be denied to Hajdon, that his 
perpetual pressing of a nobler estimate of the relations of 
artists and people has done something to create the feel- 
ing which has at length expressed itself, however im- 
perfectly, in the plana for decorating our new Houses of 

This matter of the petition off his mind, Haydon set to 
work on his new picture, (a commission from Sir John 
Leycester) of Venus appearing to Anchises, as described in 
the Homeric song. He was at work on this by the 27th 
of February. 

" Hard at work. Got Ancliises and Venus right. 
These commerciai distresses have reached me. My 
employer could not pay mc, I could not pay others, and 
these last five weeks I have been suffering the tortures of 
the Hnferno.' I heard to-day from Sir Walter Scott. What 
a picture of life are my journals. Two volumes ago, Scott 
sent me 107. for Godwin, then 201. for myself, and now he 
writes me he has lost a large fortune, and is in distress, 
though with a handsome competence. 

"21i( March. — I am dreadfully harassed. My 
friends advise me to send Sir John Leycester's picture to 
the Academy, but I really cannot. After having said 
what I have said, and written what I have written, it 
would not, it could not be consistenL 

"' But it would do me honour.' 



*' What honour ? The honour of being applauded by six 
or seven blockheads. Willingly I could shake hands and 
forget all, but I must be met half-way. The Academy is 
certainly modified, but still John Bull never pardons an 
appearance of renegadeism. 

" 24fth. — Hard at work till quite faint. What a 
beautiful and glorious delusion art has been to me, with 
all its sujffering and all its hollow rewards. Still, neces- 
sitous as I am, I would begin again as I begun, and go on 
as I have gone on, sure as I might be of the same result. 

" 25th. — Out all day in the city on cash matters 
n — cursed cash matters." 

The question was now should he send his picture to 
the Academy or not? Pride rebelled against a step 
which he felt would be construed into an act of submission, 
but necessity and self-interest were stronger than pride, 
and he yielded, sending his picture, after a severe struggle. 
** Spent the day in excruciating doubts what to do; with 
five children, surrounded by difficulties, and with nothing 
ready for individual exhibition, the Royal Academy alone 
is open to me. Will it be inconsistent to send ? No. 
The greatest part of the men now leading are my old 
fellow-students. The Academy is not what it was when 
I attacked it. I consider it materially modified, and 
why should I keep up a senseless hostility for the 
sake of gratifying the malignant and discontented, who 
have clapped their hands while I have been the victim ? 
The party that expelled Reynolds and brought the 
Academy into contempt is dead and powerless. This 
party I attacked and successfully. Young men of talent 
have been admitted, and its whole state and condition is 
improved. So thinking, I resolved to send my pictures 
there, which intention I hope will conciliate and destroy 
the angry feeling, and the notion that I have kept aloof 
from contempt. Really I hope it may lead to harmony 
and peace. 

" After the pictures were gone came the bitterness of 
reflection. Had I not violated a great principle ? Had I 

I 2 

116 MEMOIRS OF B. E. HAYDON. [1626, 

not gone on my knees? Had I not by the move put 
myself in the hands of men I had treated with utter con- 
tempt, and could I expect anything but contempt in 
return? God knows! I found the Academy too strongly 
embedded in the aristocracy of the country, headed by the 
King, to remodel. I was ruined in the attempt. I never 
flinched. As I find it not vanquishable by open attack, I 
will now try conciliation. 

" Perhaps after all I do this on the same principle on 
which Alcibiades cut off liis dog's tail, to make people 
talk — and talk they will." 

Within a few duys after executing this resolve he waa 
at work on "the finest subject on earth" — Alexander 
taming Bucephalus. The journal contains the usual 
evidences of energetic labour in the way of preparation 
and arrangement. Anatomical studies of the horse show 
that he began as usual, by laying a sound foundation of 
accurate structural knowledge. The numerous sketches 
of the composition both for line and chiaroscuro testify aa 
unmistakeably to the pains he took in this part of his 
labour, as long extracts from the Greek writers, and 
memoranda of frequent and extended researches at 
the British Museum, show the care with which he got 
together his literary materials and authorities. 

" April25th. — This last week I have worked hard at the 
iiorse, and I hope mastered his anatomical arrangement in 
a degree, till I go to nature. Stubbs is useful, but his horses 
are not grand enough in light and shadow for a painter. 
They may be just as correct without violating the principle 
of effect. They are delicate, minute and sweetly drawn, 
with great character, but they want substance. 

'^ April 30th. — To Stubbs and one dissection of the 
fore quarter of an ass, however, I owe my information. 
Thanks to him. The last day of the month, — a month in 
which I have worked little indeed. The times, the ruin of 
friends, the danger of my own prospects, have all had weight 
and distracted and disturbed my mind. Poor Wilbie is yet 
unable to paint, and really I begin to fear that at his time 


of life he may never be able lo paint again, if he does not 
soon recover. I am now without a single commission 
again— I have just lost one of five hundred guineas. The 
only people who do not sulTer, and who never do, are the 
portrait painters, as usual." 

This picture introduced him to Lord Egremont, one of 
the kindest and most liberal patrons the art had at this 

"May lith. — This day, two-and-twenty years ago, I 
left my father's house for London, and it is curious that 
on this day Lord Egremont called and gave me a com- 
mission for Alexander. God grant me health and eyes, 
means and genius, to make this my best work. 

" The following conversation passed yesterday with ray 
kind friend, Carew ; the only friend I ever met in the art. 
I wrote to Lord Egremont, saying I had lost from the 
distresses of the times a five hundred guineas commission 
which I had depended on. 

" Carew was at breakfast with Lord Egremont ' What 
bedevilment has Haydon got into now?' 'None, my 
Lord. He has lost commissions he relied on, and of 
course, having a wife and five children, he is anxious they 
sliould not starve.' 'Well, well, I'll call on you to- 
morrow, at three, and then go over to him at half past." 
Lord Egremont called accordingly at Carew's " : we saw hiin 
get out of his carriage, and go into the house. Dear 
Mary and I were walking on the leads, and agreed it 
would not be quite right to look too happy, being without 
sixpence: so we came in, I to the parlour to peep through 
the bh'nds, and she to the nursery. In about ten minutes 
I saw a bustle with the servants. Lord Egremont came 
out of Carew's, buttoned his coat, and crossed over. He 
came in, and walked up. ' I hope, ray Lord, I have not 
lost your esteem by making my situation known to you? ' 
' Not at all,' said he, ' I shall be happy to assist you.' He 
looked at Alexander, and said, ' I should like this. You 

• Ciirew's house waa williin sight of Hajdon's, on the other side of 
the way. 

118 MEMOIRS OF B. H, HATDON. tl82(i. 

must go on with it, and I shall call up occasionally." He 
came down, and went away smiling as if pleased with his 
own resolution. Carew said before he came over he 
talked of me the whole time. 'What mess is this?' 
Carew repeated the facts. ' Is he extravagant ? ' ' Not in 
the least, my Lord; he is domestic, economical and 
indefatigable.' ' Why did he take that house after his 
misfortunes?' 'Because the light was good, and he is at 
less rent than in a furnished lodging.' ■ Well, I most go 
over, and do something. — But why did he write ? ' ' My 
Lord, he was a very young man, and I believe he sincerely 
repents.' ' He has made himself enemies everywhere by 
his writing,' said he. He told Carew he thought Alexander 
the very thing, the cleverest picture I had conceived. It 
is decidedly so, I know. God only grant me health and 
peace to bring it to a grand and triumphant conclusion, 
and to make so generous a nobleman my lasting friend." 

For his Bucephalus he made many studies at the riding- 
school of the Horse Guards* ; nay, occasionally had one of 

* This account of some of hia studies for the picture a from i, 
letter written aeveral jeara after. 

" When Lord Egremont gave me the order, he wrote to Col, 
'•****, who then had the command at the riding-school, St. John's 
Wood, to allow me to choose the finest model of man and horse for hia 
picture ; the colonel gave me immediate leave to moke my choice, 
which 1 did — permitted me to have the riding-achool to myself, and 
atudj the action and bearing of man and home. 

First of all, — the lifeguardsman, a fine young man, stripped hiB 
limbs and mounted ; he Ihcn rode Ma horae fiercely round at gallop 
till he waa winded ; he then drew him up, as he pBSsed me, and halted 
him to a stand, at the aupposed distance the King in the picture would 
stand from my position in the riding-achool. By repeating this 
several times, and passing me at gallop and trot, I observed narrowly 
the agreeing action of hind and fore quarters, and neck, when palled 
in, as well as the expression of eara, mouth, eye, and nostrila. 

"Colonel" * • • • * then himself galloped agrey mare of hiB own 
round, pulled in, and I sketched the nostrils of the tnare, whilst 
breathing hard, to get the shape and character. After making one 
finished sketch in chalk of man and horae, beside several others, and 
the action and expression of tlie horse being approved by competent 
judges in the school, I vrss allowed to have both man and horse to my 


the chargers in his parlour. By the 11th of June Buce- 
phalus was in the picture. 

" Obliged to raise money on my property of all descrip- 
tions. Lord Egremont must not be spoken to, but I wish 
he knew it. I am sure he would wish I should work with 
an easy mind ; at least, patience. 

" I2tk. — Worked lazily — saw nothing distinctly. The 
model was exhausted, and I was dull ; and so, after five 
hours' twaddling, I gave up. 

^* IStk. — Got Alexander and horse together well. He 
must look a youth, or the gist of the thing is lost. At 
present he is like a long-forked life-guardsman. How 
soon one could finish a picture if one dashed at it like 
Rubens, careless of character. Finished Pepys' Memoirs, 
a Dutch picture of the times, deeply interesting. O 
God, grant me no longer life but while I can read and 

" I8th. — Hard at work to little elBFect. Got in Alex- 
ander's head, when a sudden ejffect on the model's head 
made me alter my original intention, and now it turns out 
it is not the thing. This has not happened to me for 
years. Always attend to the first ideas ; I never altered 
but to repent. In Lazarus and Pharaoh I never altered, 
and succeeded in every head. One head indeed I altered 
(as I did this), and was obliged to revert to my original 
idea. In Lazarus, the father looking up I put in first 
against the sky. Everybody gives it against the alteration 
— low and high — and they are right I fear. 

" 20th. — Pumiced out my yesterday's head, and I hope 
succeeded in my new one. God be praised with all my 
soul ! 

house; and the horse, though mettled, being drilled and obedient, 
walked into my house like a dog ; and he and the man stood in my 
parlour six hours whilst I made an oil sketch of both. The man 
and horse were then taken to a meadow behind my house, and the 
horse raced in it till exhausted, and at full speed pulled suddenly up* 
Having thus made myself master, from nature only, of the action and 
expression wanted, I painted the man and horse into the picture, and 
retouched both from life again in the picture." 

I 4 


120 MEMOIRS OF B. E. HATDON. [1836. 

"2lst. — At the horse's head — doubtful success — at 
it again to-morrow. 

" S2nd. — The head this morning looked well. So true 
is that which Wilkie has often said to me, ' Never rub out 
ill the evening of the day you have worked hard, if your 
labour should appear a failure.' Your nature, strained 
from over- excitement, is apt to be either disconcerted at 
your imagination being so much more noble than your 
attempts, or your digestion being deranged by long think- 
ing affects the brain, and fills it with gloomy appreliensions. 
I was exhausted last night : this morning got up refreshed 
and everything looked smiling. 

" 23rd, — Obliged to pawn my otlier lay-figure, the 
female, for 5^. ; cost me 30/.; obliged. Borrowed a horse's 
head to paint the teeth and gums from, and had not Ss. 
to pay the man. However, I am not now as during 
Solomon. I am high in the world, in a good house, have 
my food, a dear wife, a sweet family, and good credit; 
but it is hard to part with materials like these. My 
studies {Elgin ones), my books {most of them), and now 
my lay-figures, are all pawned. I looked at Vasari, at 
Lanzi, at Homer, at Tasso, at Shakespeare, but my heart 
was firm. The very back of a book containing the works 
of a celebrated genius is enough, if you know the contents 
well, to fill the mind with crowds of associations. I kept 
tliem. I may do without a lay-figure for a time, but not 
without old Homer — that great, native, true, immortal, 
illustrious, incarnate spirit. Hail to thee, blind and beg- 
ging as thou wert! The truth is, I am fonder of books 
than of anything else on earth. I consider myself, and 
ever shall, a man of great powers excited to an art which 
limits their exercise. In poUtics, law, or literature, ■ they 
would have had full and glorious swing, and I should have 
secured a competence. It is a curious proof of this that I 
have pawned my studies, my prints, my lay-figures, but 
liave kept my darling authors. 

" 27th. — My exhibiting with the Academicians has given 
great satisfaction to everybody, and they seem to regard 


laae.] an advance towards the acadesit. 121 

rae now without that gloomy dislike thej used to do. I 
heartily wish they may become as they seem, — cordial, and 
that in the end all animositiea may be forgotten in our 
common desire to advance the art. This is niy desire, 
God knows : whether it be their's time only will show. 
Westmacott called to-day — yesterday I went to see the 
horse for his statue of George III. for the end of the long 
walk at Windsor. Why will a man attempt a language 
without learning the A, B, C of it ? 

" It showed a great want of knowledge of the form of a 
horse, but in certain views it was grand and imposing. I 
hinted certain deficiencies, hut I question if he was pleased. 
Still he thanked rae. He liked Alexander, but agreed he 
was not young enough. I'll get the air of youth by 

" Westmacott has always spoken of me in the highest 
terms; he was affected when I told him this. He has a 
lind heart, and I hope we parted pleasantly. 'I heartily 
wish you were amongst us,' said he. ' So do I,' said I, 
' Time and conciliation,' said he, ' That's my present 
principle,' I said. He told Carew he was glad I was so 
much improved. 

" My God, how I have been mistaken ! 

" It is pleasant to be at peace, and at peace I wish to 
be for the rest of my life. Had I never got infected with 

, I should have always been so. But, however, time 

— time — time. I cannot expect to be received vrith open 
arms at once after the severity with which I have treated 
these men. But I see they are pleased with my present 
frame of mind, and making a httle allowance for what is 
due to themselves, the two or three I have spoken to have 
evidently behaved with great kindness. I see they have a 

high opinion of me. But no concession : d me if I 

make any concession. I'll be patient, and give them three 
years. If at the end of that time I am trifled with, then 
to hostilities again. I should wish to do the good I want 
accomplished, backed by the Academy ; but if I cannot, I 
must make one attempt to do it again without them, and 


perliaps perish before I accomplisli it. God only knows. 
Time — time — time." 

After a long day of research at the British Museiun 
among Greek books and Greek coins and sculptures, 
" How beautiful," he says, " it must have been to have 
entered a Greek Doric temple, at the head of a secluded 
river, buried in a grove, and there contemplated the most 
divine statues and most exquisite pictures. What a people 
they were for the arts ! 

" These three days have been delightfully spent. This 
is the happiness of historical painting. Dentatus ac- 
quainted me with the Romans: Solomon, and Jerusalem, 
and Lazarus with the Israelites and eastern nations ; 
Pharaoh with the Egyptians, and Alexander with the 
divine Greeks. Every hour's progress is an accession of 
knowledge, of pleasure and happiness. Tlie mind never 
flags, but is kept in one delicious tone of meditation and 
fancy; whereas in portrait one sitter, stupid as ribs of 
beef, goes, another comes, a third follows. "Women screw 
up their mouths to make them look pretty, and men suck 
tbeir lips to make them look red. The trash that one is 
obliged to talk ! The stufT that one is obliged to copy ! 
The fidgets that are obliged to be borne ! My God ! I 
will defy any man of strong imagination to curb it if be 
idealises at all, so as to elevate a common head, and yet 
keep a likeness. It requires a certain portion, but not 
such a portion as carries a man out of himself. This is 
the history of a portrait-painter's nature of mind. 

" Day after day goes away, and your mind rots for want 
of opening some new source of knowledge, unexplored 
and promising. I really don't care about the half-lint of 
a cheek. I really do not. I would rather devour £lian, 
or search Strabo, and blaze with Homer — 1 really would 
— and give my imagination the reins for hours, than paint 
a cheek like Vandyke. This is the truth." 

These investigations suggest a remark which has an 
application to pbgiarism in literature as well as in art. 
" Tbere is hardly anything new, I never literally stole 



but one figure in my life (Aaron) from Raffaele. Yet to-day 
I found my Olympias, which I had dashed in in a heat, 
exactly a repetition of an Antigone, and the first thing I saw 
in the Louvre was Poussin's Judgment of Solomon with 
Solomon in nearly the same position as in my picture* 
Yet 1 solemnly declare I never saw even the print when 
I conceived my Solomon, which was done one night, 
before I began to paint, at nineteen, when I lodged in 
Carey Street, and was ill in my eyes. I lay back in my 
chair, and indulged myself in composing my Solomon. 

" I will venture to say no painter but Wilkie will 
believe this, though it is as true as that two and two make 

By the 7th of July his diflSculties had fairly driven him^ 
he writes, " up in a corner." At last he determined, though 
warned of the danger of such a step, to disclose his 
embarrassments and necessities to Lord Egremont. " I 
begged him to pardon my laying open my circumstanced 
to him. I was warned against applying for money to 
him by others. It ruined Rossi with him, but Rossi, I 
suppose, applied in the style of a butcher. 

*^Oh what anxiety dearest Mary and I sufiered last 
night. * It will succeed,' said she, ' or ruin you.' Had 
it offended him I should really have had great diffi- 
culties, but still I would have got through. Well at 
dinner he called : I let him in with a beating heart* 
He walked up, liked Alexander very much indeed, and 
after looking some time said, * Why what have you 
been about all your life ? ' * Painting large pictures 
in hopes of the sympathy of the public, my Lord.* 
* That was imprudent,' said he. * It was,' I replied, (but 
I thought, * 1 wish I could be as imprudent again'). * Well, 
I have brought you 100/.' * My Lord, that's salvation.' 
He smiled and put five twenties on a chair. He then 
walked about my plaster-room; as I followed him — 
^ Take up your money,' said he. I did so. * Where are 
your large pictures?' I told him. His manner was 
altogether mild and benevolent, and he had not to-day 

124 MEMOIBS OF B, B, UATDON. tlS26. 

that short, sharp tone he has in general, which is not 
natural to him, and which he puts on, I am convinced, to 
keep people at a distance. 

" He seemed full of knowledge of me and my affairs, 
and 1 doubt not I shall yet have a regular conversation on 
the subject. Well, God be thanked, I am once more lifted 
from a pit by a guardian angel. 

" Alexander evidently pleased him. ' I wish,' said I, 
'to make him an aspiring youth,' at which he nodded. 
' Don't make the queen d^ — — d ugly.' ' No, my Lord, 
that I won't,' (' I flatter myself I like a handsome woman, 
and know as much of them as your Lordship,' thought I), 
'The king promises finely — Clytus I like very much. It 
is very fine.' He seemed pleased with himself, and with 
me, and walked about, and turned round on his heel, as 
if now he had a right to be familiar, 

"The only reward I wished him— and that would have 
been, God knows, sufficient — was to have seen my Mary's 
face in the evening. 

"Long life to him with all my soul, and from my soul 
I offer God my gratitude." 

We have seen how Haydon had so far conquered hia 
pride as to send his Venus and Anchises to the exhibition 
of the Royal Academy. He followed this up by a step, 
his account of which in his journal, (July 10th) he has 
headed (in 1839), " this is the disgrace of my life." As 
my object is to let the painter speak for himself, wherever 
I can, and as the incident is an important one in his life, 
and the narrative cJiaracteristic, I transfer to my pages 
without abridgment his account of the visits he paid to 
members of the Academy, with a view to conciliate that 
body, and, if possible, pave the way for bis own admission 
to it. He was ashamed of this step, when it turned out 
unsuccessful. I must confess that it is my o^m impression 
that bis shame at this ineifectual act of submission, bke 
liis original quarrel with the Academy, was more owing to 
personal feeling than to considerations of principle, though 
these might be mingled with the less worthy motive. 


'• A month ago, taking into consideration the kind 
reception I had met with in the Royal Academy, bj 
the hanging of my pictures, and the great good I had 
since derived from sending them there, I called on 
Calcott, who called on me after Solomon and its success, 
• and then spoke to me in a strain of subdued quiet. Oh, 
what an ass I was not to meet him then half-way ! I missed 
it, treated him with hauteur. I was victorious, honourably 
and openly victorious. But I was not a frank and forgiv- 
ing foe, and now it was ray turn to call on him. 

" Call I did, with a variety of sensations, and saw Cal- 
cott. I recalled his visit to me, told him I now called 
on him ; that my feelings had undergone a change in conse- 
quence of the way my pictures had been treated ; that 
I felt weary of keeping aloof from the profession, and 
asked him what chance he thought I should have of bring- 
ing things round amicably. He looked grave and im- 
portant, hut still I saw it was put on. He was pleased. 
•Why, really, Mr. Haydon, 1 won't hurt your feelings by 
saying what I think of your former violence.' * Yes, but 
Mr. Calcott, remember the cause,' (repeating all my argu- 
ments), 'remember I never criticised the works of any living 
artist. "What I did was on public grounds.' ' Well, Mr. 
Haydon, we won't talk about the matter. If you wish 
for reconciHation you will have heavy work.' • Well,' said 
I, ' Christian, in Pilgrim's Progress, shook off his load at 
last, and so shall I.' He said he wished me success, and 
held out his hand, wliich I shook and went away. In spite 
of the great irony of his expression, he was pleased, I swear. 
To-day I called on Shee : I told him, after sixteen years' 
absence, I tvished to recommence our acquaintance. Shee 
was much agitated, and asked me to walk in. There we 
discussed the whole matter. I maintained I began life 
with an enthusiasm for the Academy ; that I offended 
my patron by refusing to concede to bis desire of keeping 
Dentatus for the Gallery ;• that I sent it to the Academy, 
and that they, after hanging it up, then took it down, and 
• The British Institution. 

126 MEUOIKS OF B. H. HATDOK. [l8a8- 

placed it in the dark. (As I knew he was one of the 
hangers, I determined to tell this out.) He said he was 
used just as badly: but I replied, 'Portraits were paid for; 
liistorical pictures were the work of years, and such a 
proceeding, in the case of commissions from noblemeD, 
whose vanity became alarmed if repute did not follow 
employment by them was ruin.' Hesaid, 'Thenit wasyour 
own personal disappointment ?' ' Yes; for if a student, a 
devoted, enthusiastic young man, as I was, praised by all, 
after having given such successful proofs of having studied 
soundly, was not considered qualified for election or 
honour because he had not taken the trouble to render him- 
self personally agreeable to the Academicians, (taking into 
consideration the treatment Reynolds too had met with 
from the same party,) I was justified in suffering my 
personal disappointments to excite me to a general attack on 
the system. The personal consequences I was not aware of. 
I might have foreseen them if I had hesitated ; but I was 
heaped with calumnies, anonymous letters, had everything 
put on my shoulders, was accused of envy and hatred, called 
a Barry, when I have always preferred clean sheets, a glass 
of wine, and a clean house, and am naturally happy 
tempered.' So we went on ; he did not make any convincing 
reply to this. 1 agreed with everything he said about an 
artist writing, because I felt its fatal truth. It embitters 
and destroys his mind and his conceptions, turns aside the 
tranquil train of his thoughts, and renders his habits of 
thinking unpictorial. Making allowance for the severe 
things I have said of Shce, I expected and should have 
excused occasional hits. ' My dear sir,' (with his brogue), 
'a public body is invulnerable; a public body is only amused 
at the attacks of individuals.' ' Ah,' thought I, ' were you 
amused, ray dear Mr, Shee, when you called a general 
meeting of the Academy to take into consideration my 
accusation of mean motives for taking away the cartoon of 
Ananias ; and though no other step was taken, by Fuseli'a 
advice, than entering on your books the fact of the 
cartoon being lent to the Gallery, and your right to claim 


it/ (wbich Wilkie told me of,) ' I believe this was a little 
more than amusement," However I said nothing. I 
made them all tremble, and ibis tbey remember well. 
And, by heavens, my calling makes them tremWe still. 
Sliee shook bands heartily, and then said be would call 
very soon ; so we parted as I wished. 

" Now to old FJaxman. I think if I can get Beechey, 
Plaxman and Sbee, to say, ' I wish you well,' the greatest 
part of the road is got over. 

" In the course of conversation we talked of Cymon and 
Iphigenia at the Gallery. ' Portrait painters,' said Shee, 
• when they paint history, beat the historical painters.' If 
I had put him down, which I could in an instant, away 
would have gone our reconciliation. Who beat Raffae!e, 
Rubens, Michel Angelo, Titian, Tintoretto, Paul Vero- 
nese, Rembrandt, Domenichino, Guido, Guercino, Gior- 
gione ? 

" Because Reynolds beat West in force, depth and colour, 
portrait painters beat historical painters in character, ex- 
pression, form, drawing, and composition ! This is a 
specimen of the sort of family trash and namby-pamby 
that is the circulating medium of the Academy. It 
makes me sick. (I'll bet my existence I shall never have 
patience to go through.) Portrait painters, from the habit 
of imitation, will no doubt beat historical painters who 
compose and finish without reference to nature. But 
because Reynolds beat West, Fuseli, Singleton, Copley, 
and others of that species — does he mean to say that the 
great historical painters, who never painted without life, 
have left anything for portrait painters to complete ? Ah, 
Shee, I could have pointed to Prospero and Miranda over 
your chimney-piece as a refutation, but good breeding 
rendered it necessary to bow. 

" And now for my old friend Chantrey. 

"I always admired his simplicity and harmlessness of 
nature. Whether wealth and fame have altered him I 
must see. Once, when I called on horseback, he held my 
stirrup while I mounted, and that too when his Sleeping 

128 MEMOIK3 OP B. E. HATDOy. [l828. 

Children were before the world, and he was in the full 
blaze of repute. I alwajs remember this as a proof of his 
unaffectedness. Chantrey agreed with nie in my attack ; 
he seceded and left me. We shall see how he wtU take a 
visit on my part to pave the way to reconciliation. 

" When he set up his carriage he was not to be home. 
It was all day, ' John, telJ Richard to desire Betty to order ■ 
Mrs. Chan trey's maid to tell Mrs. Chantrey to send down 
my snuff-box.' He rode about as full of conceit as an egg; 
but I believe Chantrey 's heart to be good, and we shall see. 

" I shall only call on those whose feelings I have hurt, 
and I hurt the feehngs of some of whom I had no right to 
complain but as tliey were of the body corporate. 

"This was wanton, and gives me pain — great pain. 
Surely there can be no degradation in trying to heal up 
the wounds one has inflicted, without thought, at thirty. 
Old Flaxman, though pompous, is good. 

"July ISlk. — To-day I saw Beechey, who is hearty and 
sincere. I afterwards called on Flaxman, who received me 
most kindly. I saw the Michael he is doing for Lord 
Egremont, The head is fine. 

" I said, ' Mr. Flaxman, I wish to renew my acquaint- 
ance after twenty years' interval.' ' Mr. Haydon,' said the 
" intelligent deformity," 'I am happy to see you — walk 
in!' ' Mr. Flaxman, sir, you look well.' ' Sir, I am well, 
thanks to the Lord ! I am seventy-two, and ready to go 
when the Lord pleases.' 

" As he said this, there was a look of real unaffected 
piety, which I hope and believe was sincere. 

'"Ah, Mr.Haydon, Lord Egremont is a noble creature.' 
< He is, Mr. Flaxman ; he has behaved very nobly to me.' 
'Ah, Mr. Haydon, has he? how?' 'Why, Mr. Flaxman, he 
has given me a handsome commission.' ' Has he, Mr. 
Haydon? I am most happy to hear it — most happy — very 
happy ; ' and then with an elevation of brow, and looking 
askance, he said, 'How isyour friend Mr. Wilkie?' 'Why, 
Vlaxman, he is ill — so ill I fear he will never again have 
tellects in full vigour.' ' Really, Mr. Haydon, why it 





is miserable. I suppose it is his miniature -pain ting has 
strained him, for between you and me, Mr. Haydon, 'tis but 
miniature-painting you know : hem — he — m— e- — -e — m.' 
• Certainly, Mr. Flaxman, 'tis but miniature-painting.' ' Ab, 
Mr. Haydon, the world is easily caught.' Here he touched 
my knee familiarly, and leaned forward, and his old, de- 
formed, humped shoulder protruded as he leant, and his 
sparkling old eye and his apish old mouth grinned on one 
side, and he rattled out of his throat, husky with coughing, 
a jarry, inward, hesitating hemming sound, which meant 
that Wilkie'a reputation was all my eye in comparison 
with ours! 

"'Poor Fuseli is gone, sir.' 'Yes, sir.' 'Ah, Mr. 
Haydon, he was a man of genius, but, I fear, of no prin- 
ciple.' ' Yes, sir.' ' He has left, I understand, behind 
him some drawings shockingly indelicate.' ' Has he, 
sir?' 'Yes, Mr. Haydoii. Poor wretch!' said Flaxman, 
looking ineffably modest, ' Mr. Flaxman, good morning.' 
' Good morning, Mr. Haydon. I am very, very happy to 
see you, and will call in a few days.' 

" From him I called on Westall, who was out of town, 
ind then on ray old friend Bailey, Bailey had got on 
in life, and was now in a large house, and with plenty 
[uployment. I broke bread and drank wine with him, 
and he told me I might depend on him. I was too tired 
to do more, and came home to look at Toy picture with 

■' I have been very kindly received, and my intentions 
seem to give decided satisfaction. 

;ertainly wish to be at peace for ever. 

"July \1th. — To-day I saw Thompson, Ward, Howard, 
who is a gentlemanly clever fellow- — Soane, whom I used 
dreadfully ill — Stothard, who has an angelic mind. As an 
instance of bis calm nature he said, ' I never read the 
papers, Mr. Haydon ; they disturb my peace of thinking.' 
he sat making a sketch of Kemble's tomb for a 
gentleman, from a drawing of a lady's, and his beautiful 
pictures unbought about him, — beautiful, that is, as far 


130 MEMOmS OP B. R. HATDON. [1826. 

as sweetness of feeling wont. I felt quite affected. He 
has not material enough for modern art. He told me he 
remembered Sir Joshua looking at the effect of some 
people in a pork-shop near Newport Market, and imitated 
his manner, holding his head back, and taking off his 
glasses to see the effect. I could not help contrasting 
Stothard's simplicity and sincerity with Flaxmaii's frog- 
like croaking flattery. 

" He has a fine head, with silvery hairs, hanging brows, 
and a benignant smile that expresses a happy conception 
and a perpetual feasting on sweet thoughts. I left him 
highly gratified. He said he complained at the time to 
the hangers that Dentatus was not done justice to, and 
that they said ' It was a glarmg picture.' Every word 
uttered at the time, and which I got hold of one way or 
the other, proves the extent of the tacit agreement to stop 
my progress, and embarrass me for a time. This single 
act only of hanging that picture in the dark changed the 
whole current of ray life for a time. So great is the 
power of men who arrange the exhibition. I told Stot- 
hard that a week before the picture was sent in my room 
was filled with people of fashion and beautiful women, and 
that after it was so hung I never saw even my particular 
friends for a year. It darkened all my prospects. . It was 
not a picture dashed together in a hurry for a temporary- 
effect, but the labour of a year or longer, deeply studied and 
deeply thought on, on which my future fortune depended. 
I painted it to prove my sincerity, to prove the value of 
the studies I had made in that very Academy, and yet I 
was sacrificed to abase intrigue of West, Phillips, Howard, 
and Shee, who agreed to undo what Fuseli had induced 
them to do. Afier having hung it and voted it a place, 
coutd there be a greater cruelty or injustice than to take 
it down? I am happy to see, when I speak of this, the 
Academicians cannot bear my searching glance, and to all 
I have mentioned it as the first cause of my defection. 

Howard and I afterwards had a very interesting con- 
versation. He gave up the prospects of art in the country, 
I did not. He is the beau ideal of modern historical art 


, formed on the Roman antique; — Flaxmanj in fact, in 
colours — but an intelligent refined man, a great favourite, I 
have heard, with Sir Joshua. He did not see the good 
effects in the long run of the school "Wilkie has formed. 
It has effectually counterbalanced the slobber of Reynolds, 
and will in the end reflect itself back again on history, 
and be the means of advancing the whole system of art. 
Howard of course complained of its having engendered a 
premature art. I agreed ; but still I see the end of that 
and the good that must accrue. Of course he was a dis- 
appointed man. Now I am not a disappointed man, 
though a ruined one. 

" I then saw old Bone, the enamel painter, who has got 
a nervous twitch and a croaking voice, as if he was always 
watching a bit of ivory in a furnace for fear it should crack. 
He showed me all the celebrated characters of Elizabeth's 
reign. Elizabeth, by Sir A. More, capital — a man's 
head on woman's shoulders. Burleigh's was goodness and 
integrity personified. Spencer's like the sweetness of his 
own stanzas. ' Is it like Shakespeare ?' said I of a por- 
trait of Shakespeare. ' Why,' said old Bone, ' they have 
talked so much about Shakespeare they begin to know 
less than ever." 

" Soane was crabbedly good-natured, and happy to see 
me. Indeed all received me frankly, and shook hands 
heartily. They were cidently pleased. As a specimen 
of taste, on Soane's chimney-piece were bits of paper to 
light candles with, crumpled architecturally, in his peculiar 

'* Thompson and I bad a long conversation. He is a 
gentlemanly fellow. He told me goodnaturedly of several 
bits of rudeness on my part to him, which I never meant 
or thought of. 

'• With Ward I entered into a long conversation, and 
be was astonished at my declaring I never criticised any 
modern works whatever. 

" The lies that have been circulated about me, as I find 
now I come to see my enemies, are quite extraordinary. 


" So has passed this day. 

"July 25lh. — Out again and saw the rest of the Aca- 
demicians. Phillips and I had a long confah. PhiUips is 
kind but irritable. His manner of art is heavy — a sort of 
exaggeration of Kneller's and Reynolds's Ijreadth. He was 
pleased at my coming. He asked me if 1 did not do this, 
and I asked him if he had not done this and had not done 
that ; by which means we came to an anchor. He is the 
only man who has not behaved in the same manly way as 
the rest behaved ; but it is temper. This was the reason. 
'Do you believe,' said he, ' the ancients according to Pliny 
had only four colours — white, ochre, red, and black? 
Ochre,' he added, 'is no yellow.' He then mixed white 
with it to show me. 'But,' said I, 'I will make ochre 
look like gold by contrast and by management ; glaze it 
for a half-tint, touch in dark and red reflections, then 
heighten by white touches in lights. You will find the 
local colour — the real ochre — will look golden.' ' But 
they must have had no blue.' ' Well,' said I, ' the finest 
pictures in colour, expression, and form, could be painted 
without blue, though Titian's richness is principally owing 
to blue. Besides, by management, I will make black look 

" He then said, ' they knew nothing of light and 
shadow.' 'Why,' said J, 'do you remember Quintilian?' 
'Does Quintilian say any thing?' said Phillips. 'Ah,' 
thought I, 'prenez garde, M. Haydan. II faut Sire un 
ignorant en presence de M. le Professeur, souvenez-voiis en 
bien. Shall I send you an extract,' said I, ' I shall be 
obliged,' said he. ' What is your notion of the vehicle of 
the ancients ? ' ' Gad, sir, I know so little, really I have 
no idea. What is your's, Mr. Phillips ?' 'It was water,* 
said he ; ' how could a sponge else be thrown against a 
picture*, and produce the effect?' ' Of course,' said I, 

• Alluding to the storj of Protogenea having thrown his sponge In 
deapair at a picture he was painting of a dag with foam coming out of 
hie mouth, and having thus produced the effect he wbb seeking. 




though I thought oa that reasoniag it might he soap and 
water, for if it was water, hecause a spoDge was used, a 
sponge is as often used with soap as with pure water. 

It is siirely as likely, at least, that Protogenes liaving 
just ohliterated what he had painted with a sponge, the 
sponge must have heen covered with the colour and vehicle 
taken off, and if he dashed it up against the picture, the 
same vehicle and colour must have been again dashed on. 
It might be oil, or wax, or spirits, because sponge could 
equally clear all." Nothing certain could be obtained 
from taking the sponge as a principle of reasoning. 

" All this I did not say, but thought and looked pro- 
found, so I dare say he fancied I was amazingly struck by 
lits remark. 

" By this time he got peevish, and so I bid him adieu. 
I will certainly attend his first lecture. 

"From PhilUps I called on Sir Thomas, and I must say 
was amazingly struck by the beauty and force and grace 
of the women in his. gallery. 1 think I can venture to 
say with truth that he is the only man since Vandyke 
who has detailed, without destroying, the beauty of a face. 
He is not mannered as he used to be ; and a head of Lady 
Sutton's was really beautiful — pure in colour and expres- 
sion — his old men and bis women are his forte — his chil- 
dren are affected — his young men puppies — hut his women 
are fashionable, though, perhaps, a little dollish. That 
heavy lumbering breadth without detail he has left off, 
and he deserves his employment. 

" I did not say all I thought, because it might look like 
praising him to ingratiate myself. 

" Lawrence and Sir George Beaumont are the two most 
perfect gentlemen I ever saw. ■ Both naturally irritable 
and waspish, but both controlling every feeling which is 
incompatible with breeding. 

" At a large party once at an hotel in Jermyn Street, to 
breakfast with Sir Walter Scott, Sir George remained a 

I. Fhillipa was partly right. — B.R.n. 1837. 


134 MEMOIRS OF B. R. HATDON, [1926. 

long time with his empty cup waiting for tea. The con- 
versation being lively, he was forgotten by Sir Walter, 
and I sat watching him to observe how he would bear it. 
It was quite a study to see bow admirably Sir George 
by anecdotes, and laughing, and listening, all of which 
was intentional, kept everybody from believing he was 
neglected, or thought so. At last his cup caught Sir 
Walter's eye; he filled it, with an apology, and Sir George 
took it as if he had then only been thirsty, and as if on 
the whole his tea was a great deal better than if he had 
had it sooner. It was exquisitely done. Lawrence is not 
so inherently a gentleman. His air looks like obedience : 
in Beaumont it was like delicacy. 

" From him I called on Cooper, and after so many com- 
mon-place people Cooper, who is really a man of genius, 
was a consolation. His walk is English History. His 
knowledge is great there, and he talks well and enthusias- 
tically. With him I spent an intelligent, argumentative, 
and instructive half hour ; so much so that I almost forgot 
my object, and at last it came in incidentally, and was again 
soon swallowed up in the discussion of matters more im- 
portant. I have been used all my life to literary men, or 
men of genius. The portrait- painters are really so buried 
in self, and so occupied with individuality, that, except 
Lawrence, they are abroad on subjects of general interest. 
In the houses of Phillips and Shee there was not one 
bust of antiquity or work of art, while Lawrence's house 
is filled with them. 

" The moment Cooper and I met, there was a set-to, and 
his manner in talking struck me as like Wilkie's. It was 
quite a pleasure, a relief, and an excitement. I left 
Cooper with several new subjects of thought, many ori- 
ginal ideas, and walked leisurely home, determined not to 
disturb myself any more to-day. 

" Neither Shee, Phillips, nor any other said one thing I 
remembered, except Lawrence. 

" Perhaps it may not be a paradox to say the most 
waspish men are the best bred. 


" Tho perpetual consciousness of a defect of temper 
wliicli would destroy all affection begets a perpetual effort 
at control. Reynolds, Lawrence, and Sir George are ex- 
amples. Reynolds was naturally irritable. His good 
fortune and success, with the submission he received, kept 
Mm amiable ; but the first time he was thwarted he got 
into a passion, and resigned. 

" August 5th, — Hard at work on the drapery of Olym- 
pias, as I knew my lay-figure must go again in the evening 
for cash. In the evening it went till the next advance. 
I hope to get through now without feeling the want of it. 

" August Qth. — In Kent with Mary. Boy to school — 
Hayes — delicious place. The scent of woodbine, honey- 
suckle, roses and grass, so exquisite that I could have 
laid down like a dog and rolled about, enchanted and 

" August Wth. — Hard at work. Finished Philip. Now 
for Olympiaa — a sort of Lady Macbeth and Clytemnestra. 
The king's hands did well to-day. 

" August \2th. — Hard at work and succeeded with the 
queen — Olympias. Remembering what my old friend 
Apelles said (that he knew when to leave off) the moment 
I had hit the expression I ceased, congratulating myself 
on my forbearance, although the surface was a little too 
rough, and the colour not quite the thing yet. Expres- 
sion is the prime point, and I never will risk expression 
for anything. 

" August \Sth. — To-day the queen's head looked exactly 
the thing, and I rejoice I left off; though I was agitated 
and nervous to go on, and should have spoilt it in five 
minutes, had not dearest Mai-y begged me to keep my 

"August 14iA. — Both yesterday and to-day harassed 
to death. When I was employed on portraits I ordered 
. several frames ; the attacks of the press destroyed my 
portrait-painting, and these frames were left on my bands. 
I gave a bill for the amount, 37/. 15*. 0;^., was not 
paid for my Pharaoh, could not pay the bill, and have 


136 MEU0IR3 OF B. R. HATDON. [1826. 

lost two precious days in trying to get time to complete 
my picture. I hope to go to work to-morrow, as I am 
literally hungry to go on. 

" Called in at the National Gallery, and forgot ray bill 
for two hours with Titian, Raffaele, Vandyke, Rubens, 
Keynolds, and, happy am I to add, my old friend Wilkie. 
When 1 recollect that Wilkie painted this Blind Tiddler 
in the summer of 180fi, No. 10. Sol's Row, top of 
Tottenham Court Road, in a paltry first floor, — that he 
had but fifty guineas for it, and that now it is one of the 
prime ornaments of the English school at the National 
Gallery — when I recollect all the models he had, especially 
the old grandfather, whom we both painted, and the 
circumstances attending each, and the little anecdotes 
connected with them, I am deeply gratified. 

" August ISM. — Out to meet, persuade, and battle 
with a lawyer: we compromised the matter, but it destroyed 
my time, and I returned totally unhinged. This is the 
way half my precious time is lost. I not only lose my 
time, but I pay for losing it, which is a double loss. 

" August 20(/i. — Sunday. Spent a heavenly day. No 
duns; no lawyers' letters; no disturbance of any sort: 
but silent, peaceable, and holy in my feelings. My heart 
continually grateful to God. I only ask, if painting on a 
Sunday generates such feelings, and going to church and 
listening to a stupid parsou generates the contrary, which 
is most acceptable to God ? 

" August Slst. — Painted the queen's hand. Obliged 
to go out just as I felt abstracted and delighted. Obliged. 
Law. ' Your money or a writ.' This should be the 
lawyer's motto, or ' Your money or a prison.' Either 
will suit these amiable, established robbers. Foot-pads 
are respectable in comparison. At least I think so, who 
am generally a debtor and not a creditor. 

" September 1st. — The first thing I began the month 
with was a lawyer's letter, threatening proceedings if I 
did not settle directly. Away I was obliged to go on the 
top of a stage for the city. I talked him over for a month. 

1826.] DIFFICULTIES. 1 37 

He asked what I was about. I described the subject, and 
as I was talking I saw him open his mouth, and follow 
me by its motions, ' All right,' thought I, and I soon 
brought him to anchor. As I went along I studied as 
fine a sky aa I ever remember seeing. The arched vaulted 
look and sunny airiness was a perfect lesson which I did 
not miss, 

" September itnd. — Out again on the usual afl&irs. 
' Sir, a warrant will be granted if yon do not pay up 
your water-rate.' 

" Oh what a pity there should be taxes, water-rates, 
poor-rates, tailors' bills, book bills, rents, butchers' and 
bakers' bills, for a man of genius. He should be let alone, 
and though perhaps he would die in a few years from 
over-conception, it would be better for paintiog. 

" September 5t}i. — Saw elder Reinagle, a nice old fellow. 
He remembered Sir Joshua using so much asphaltum that 
it dropped on the floor. Reinagle said he thought me 
infamously used, and wondered I had not gone mad or 
died. ' Where is your Solomon, Mr. Haydon?' ' Hung 
up in a grocer's shop.' ' Where your Jerusalem ? * ' In a 
ware-room in Holborn.' • Where your Lazarus ? ' 'In 
an upholsterer's shop, in Mount Street,' ' And your Mac- 
beth?' ' In Chancery.' ' Your Pharaoh ? ' ' In an attic, 
pledged.' 'My God! And your Crucifixion ? ' 'In a hay- 
loft.' ' And Silenus ? ' ' Sold for half price,' Such was 
the conversation, at which the little man 

" ' Sliifted his trumpet, and only took anuff.' " 

During September, Haydon, who had not quitted Lon- 
don for two years, finding that his mind had "become 
rusty," rushed down to Brighton, where, he says, " he rolled 
in the sea, shouted like a savage, laved his sides like a 
hull in a green meadow, dived, swam, floated and came 
out refreshed." Enjoying the effects of the change and 
the sea air, he returned to town, and at the beginning of 
November brought down his wife and children. In the 
interval he mentions meeting with Bannister — once the 

138 IKEMOrKS OP B. R. HAYDON. [1826. 

most " sympathetic " of actors, on the wimiing effect of 
whose voice and manner old playgoers are still eloquent. 

"September 30lh. — Met Bannister hy accident in Cheniea 
Street, Bedford Square. His face was as fresh, his eye 
as keen, and bis voice as musical as ever. I had not seen 
him for years. He held out his hand just as he used to, 
do on the stage, with the same frank, native truth. As 
he spoke, the tones of his favourite Walter* pierced 
my heart. It was extraordinary the effect. ' Bannister," 
said I, ' Your voice recalls my early days.' ' Ah,' SMd 
he, 'T had some touches, had I not?' He told me a 
story of Lord Egremont. B. bought at Sir Joshua's 
sale the Virgin and Child. He sent it to a sale at a 
room for 250 guineas. Lord E. told the seller he would 
give 200. It was agreed to. Lord Egremont afterwards 
said to Bailey, ' I have bought Reynolds's Virgin and 
Child.' ' Ah,' said Bailey, ' it was Bannister's picture. 
You gave 250.' He said nothing, but the same day wrote 
to Bannister he was ashamed to have offered less, and sent 
him a cheque for the 50 owing. 

" I said to Bannister, as Napoleon said to Talma, ' We 
are talking history ; I shall put this down.' ' Shall ye 
though,' said he, as his face flushed. ' That I will,' said I ; 
and he hobbled off with a sort of wriggling enjoyment. 
His acting was delightful ; and his tones to-day accounted 
for his fame. They were as a man's something like Mrs. 
Jordan's as a woman's. Mrs. Jordan when making up a 
quarrel with a lover was touching beyond description. 

" Here are a brace of stories — se non veri, ben trovati. 

' Spent two hours with S . Among other gossip he 

told me, a large party at Petworth were dining, among 

whom was Lady L , with a page, a boy who holds 

her pocket handkerchief, and so forth. The first day 
this passed off well. The next, to the astonishment of 
the company, Lord Egremont had a great tall fellow 
behind him in a smock frock. In the middle of dinner 

1 the " Bahes in t!ie 


Lord E, called out, ' Page, give me some bread.' All 
eyes were immediately turned on her Ladyship, and off 
went my Lady the morning after. The above is a fact. 

" The following is a pendant, and a very good story : — 

"Tliis page was one day very impertinent to her 

Ladyship, She wrote a note to Lord L , saying, 

' Give him a box on the ear.' The page took tlie letter, 
and meeting his Lordship's Luge Swiss running footman, 
gave him the note to carry. The fellow took the note 
to his Lordship. His Lordship opened it, and read, ' Give 
the bearer a box on the ear.' The bearer was about 
7ft. 2 in. high!" 

While at Brighton with his family an invitation to 
Petworth arrived. His account of the visit may excite 
a smile, from the naivete of enjoyment, and the self- 
satisfaction of the writer. But it gives a glimpse of a 
hospitality so frank, kindly, and unstinted, and the emo- 
tions and impressions it discloses belong so peculiarly to 
Haydon, that I insert it without change, 

" November \3tk. — Set off for Petworth, where I 
arrived at half past three. Lord Egremont's reception 
was frank and noble. The party was quite a family one. 
All was frank good humour and benevolence. Lord 
Egremont presided and helped, laughed and joked, and 
let others do the same." 

" November 15th. — Sketched and studied all day. I 
dine with the finest Vandyke in the world — the Lady 
Ann Carr, Countess of Bedford. It is beyond everything. 
■ — I really never saw such a character as Lord Egremont, 
' Live and let live ' seems to be his motto. He has placed 
me in one of the most magnificent bed-rooms I ever saw. 
It speaks more for what he thinks of my talents than any- 
thing that ever happened to me. On the left of the bed 
hangs a portrait of William, Lord Marquis of Hertford, 
elected Knight of the Garter 1649, and by act of par- 
liament restored Duke of Somerset 1660. Over the 
chimney is a nobleman kneeling. A lady of high rank 
to the right. Opposite Queen Mary. Over the door a 

140 BIKMOIKS OF B. R. HATDON. [1626. 

head. On the right of the cabinet, Sir Somehody. And 
over the entrance door another head. The bed curtains 
are different coloured velvets let in on white satin. The 
walls, sofas, easy chairs, carpets, green damask, and a 
beautiful view of the park out of the high windows. 

" There is something peculiarly interesting in the in- 
habiting these apartments, sacred to antiquity, which have 
contained a long list of deceased and illustrious ancestors. 
As I lay in my magnificent bed, and saw the old portraits 
trembling in a sort of twilight, I almost fancied I heard 
them breathe, and almost expected they would move out 
and shake my curtains. What a destiny is mine ! One 
year in the Bench, the companion of gamblers and scoun- 
drels, — sleeping in wretchedness and dirt, on a flock bed, 
low and filthy, with black worms crawling over my hands, 
— another, reposing in down and velvet, in a splendid 
apartment, in a splendid house, the guest of rank, and 
fashion, and beauty ! As I laid my head on my down 
pillow the first night, I was deeply affected, and could 
hardly sleep. God in heaven grant ray future may now 
be steady. At any rate a nobleman has taken me by the 
hand, whose friendship generally increases in proportion 
to the necessity of its continuance. Such is Lord Egre- 
mont. Literally hkc the gun, The very flies at Petworth 
seem to know there is room for their existence j that the 
windows are theirs. Dogs, horses, cows, deer and pigs, 
])easantry and servants, guests and family, children and 
parents, all share alike his bounty and opulence and lux- 
uries. At breakfast, after the guests have all breakfasted, 
in walks Lord Egremoiit ; first comes a grandchild, whom 
he sends away happy. Outside the window moan a dozen 
black Spaniels, who are let in, and to them he distributes 
cakes and comfits, giving all equal shares. After chatting 
with one guest, and proposing some scheme of pleasure to 
others, his leathern gaiters are buttoned on, and away he 
walks, leaving everybody to take care of themselves, with 
all that opulence and generosity can place at their dis- 
posal entirely within their reach. At dinner he meets 

1836.] A TISIT TO PETWOETH. 141 

everybody, and then are recounted the feats of the day. 
All principal dishes ho helps, never minding the trouhle 
of carving ; he eats heartily and helps iiherally. There is 
plenty, but not absurd profusion; good wines, but not 
extravagant waste. Everything solid, liberal, rich, and 
English. At seventy-four he still shoots daily, comes home 
wet through, and is as active and looks as well as many 
men of fifty. 

" The meanest insect at Petworth feels a ray of his 
Lordship's fire in the justice of its distribution. 

" I never saw such a character, or such a man, nor 
were there ever many. 

" I6th and ITlA November. — The politics of Petworth 
are interesting. Of course amongst so many dependents 
jealousies will arise ; and I soon saw that the old military 
heroes who had for years been drinking my Lord's claret 

were confoundedly annoyed at the sudden irruption of , 

who, being a keen active fellow, did not conduct himself 
with all possible respect to the two old colonels. He left 
the dinner-table before they had finished their wine ; he 
contradicted their military notions, which Lord Egremont 
never took the trouble to do ; and the old heroes, disturbed 
in their entrenchments by this young interloper, revenged 
themselves by abusing him in all ways. 

" ISth November. — I left Petworth to-day, and arrived 
safely at Brighton, where I found my dear children and 
dearest Mary well. 

" Before leaving that princely seat of magnificent hos- 
pitality, I wrote, when I retired to my bed-room last 
night, the following letter: — 

" My Lord, 
" I cannot leave Petworth without intruding my gratitude for 
the princely manner in which I have been treated during my 
stay, and in earnestly hoping your Lordaliip may live ioDg, I 
only add my voice to the voices of thousands, who never utter 
your Lordship's name without a blessing. 
" I am, my Lord, 

'* Tour LordaJiip's bumble and grateful servant, 
" B. E. Haydon." 




Refreshed by rest, and cheered by the hearty hospi- 
tality of his noble employer, the painter's fancy " was now 
teeming with inventions daily" — and conceptions stream- 
ing out like sparks from a furnace. By the end of the 
month his Alexander was concluded, and the journal bears 
evidence, in its thick-coming designs and sketches, of the 
activity that peace, employment, and hope were quick lo 
engender. Among these are sketches for Mercury and 
Argus — for a Judgment of Paris, and for the picture 
which he now began of Eucles, who rushing from Mara- 
thon to Athens ivitb the news of victory drops dead at hia 
own door. The story is in Plutarch, and the painter had 
imposed on himself a difficult achievement — to express 
in his principal figure triumph and patriotic joy struggling 
with the weakness of imminent death. It occupied him 
for the remainder of the year, of which he gives his sum- 
mary as usual. 

" 3lsi December. — Another last day — so we go on 
and on. The sun rises and sets as it has ever done, while 
we rise and fall, die and become earth — are buried and 

" For want of a vent my mind feels like a steam-boiler 
without a valve, boiling, struggling, and suppressing, for 
fear of injuring the interests of five children and a lovely 

" Bitterly I have wanted and intensely I have enjoyed 
during this year. 

January and February 

Law and harassed. 

March - 

Hard work and harassed. 


Sketched and harassed. 


Ill and harassed. 


Began Alexander. 


Hard at work. 


Hard at work. 

September - 

Hard at work. 


Hard at work. 

November - 

Brighton and Petworth. 


Finished Alexander, and 

more harassed than ever. 

1826.] BEYIEW OF 1826. 143 

'' Thus ends this year, and I am harassed to death 
for paltry debts. My Mary is well, and dear Frank 
quite recovered : all the children are wonderfully better, 
and we have all passed a happy Christmas. Last year I 
was not harassed in petty money matters, but sickness 
had seized the house. I have therefore to thank God 
sincerely for the mercy of my dear family's health, and 
hope He will grant me strength to conquer and bear up 
against my wants. O God, grant it! Grant me the 
means this ensuing year to diminish my debts. Grant 
this time twelvemonth I may have deserved less pain of 
mind in that point, and may have it O God protect 
us, and grant us all that is best for our conduct here, and 
our salvation hereafter. Amen. 

'* Alas ! how unlike the endings of former years ! No 
noble scheme animates and inspires me. The coldness of 
men in power — the indifference of the people — the want 
of taste in the King, and the distressing want of money — 
the state of the Academy — all, all, press down hope, 
and freeze up the most ardent and enthusiastic imagin- 

" I have tried the people, and was nobly supported. I 
have tried the Ministers^ and was coolly sympathised with. 
I have tried the Academy, . and was cruelly persecuted. 
But the people alone could do nothing. Time — time — 

^^ I do not despond, but I do not see how. I have lost 
my road, and am floundering in bye-paths. I see no more 
the light that led astray. It has sunk, and left me 
groping — hoping, but cheerless. 

" Still I pray I may not die till the Grand Style is 
felt and patronised. Amen, with all my soul." 


The year opened gloomily. On the 12th of January 
an execution was in the house, and he was only saved 
from arrest by the prompt assistance of his friend. Sir 

144 MEMOmS OF B. H. HATDON. [l827. 

F. Freeling. Lord Egremont, who had promised him 
200/. (the balance of the price of his Alexander) at the 
beginniug of the year, did not send it till the 16th, aa I 
find from the journal. 

" January \Gth. — A happy day indeed for me. Lord 
Egremont sent me my cash, which literally saved me from 
ruin. The execution on the 12th was the meanest thing* 
ever done to me, and I take my leave of giving others 
such power. 

" I had no less than three warrants of attorney, three 
cognovits, and three actions. The perpetual loss of time 
and anxiety literally obstructed my thinking. I was 
flying from one to the other to get a couple of days to 
paint. Oh what would his Lordship have saved me from 
if he had sent me this a montli ago. However, it cannot 
he helped, and God be thanked it came at last. One 
man after 1 had paid him 10/. out of 16/., and paid for 
four dozen of wine, ran me to J8^, expenses an the 
W. left. 

" Another on 76/. to 18/. 6*. 

" Another on ML to 4/. 

" Another on &\l. to 4/. 5s. 

" Another on 8/. 10s. to 2/. 6*. 

" Another on 8/. to SL 

" Another on 5/. to 1 /. 4s., &c. &c. And this is tlie 
way I am served if behind-hand a moment! 

" The moment my mind was relieved from these 
agonising pressures it began conceiving subjects as I walked 
along the streets, with a sort of relishing delight. 

" January ZO Ik. — I called on Chantrey at Brighton. 
I had not seen him for eight years, and was astonished 
and interested. He took snuff in abundance. His nose 
at the tip was bottled, large and brown, his cheeks full, 
his person corpulent, his air indolent, his tone a little 
pompous. Such were the effects of eight years' success. 
He sat and talked, easily, lazily, gazing at the sua with 
his legs crossed. 

" He came to the door and we chatted a long time in 


the air. I soon saw that the essence* of the Quarterly 
Review which alludes to him came from himself. I asked 
him how he got on with Lord Egremont's Satan. He 
said he deferred it. " Stop," said Chantrey with a very 
profound look, " till I am perfectly independent, and then 
you shall see what I will do in poetical subjects." 

** To see a man of Chantrey 's genius so impose on him- 
self was affecting. Here he was, for that day at least, 
quite independent ; gazing at the sun, sure of his din- 
ner, his fire, his wine, his bed. Why was he not at that 
moment inventing ? Good God ! if I had waited till 
I had been perfectly independent, what should I have 

" Invention presses on a man like a nightmare. I 
composed the Crucifixion in part, while going in a hack- 
ney coach to sign a warrant of attorney. I began Solomon 
without a candle for the evening. I finished it without 
food, at least meat, for the last fortnight. And here is 
Chantrey putting off poetical inventions till he is perfectly 
independent ! 

" I smiled to myself to see a man of such genius under 
such a delusion." 

Su' George Beaumont died this year. Haydon who, in 
spite of their quarrel, did justice to the kindly qualities of 
Sir George Beaumont and to his real love of art, says of 
him, " Sir George was an extraordinary man, one of the 
old school formed by Sir Joshua — a link between the 
artist and the nobleman, elevating the one by an intimacy 
which did not depress the other. Born a painter, his 
fortune prevented the necessity of application for sub- 
sistence, and of course he did not apply. His taste was 
exquisite, not peculiar or classical, but essentially Shake- 
spearian, Painting was his great delight. He talked of 
nothing else, and would willingly have done nothing else. 
His ambition was to connect himself with the art of the 
country, and he has done it for ever. For though Anger- 
stein's pictures were a great temptation, yet without Sir 
George Beaumont's offer of his own collection, it is a 


146 MEMOIRS OF B. H. HATDON. [lB2r. 

question if tliey would have been purchased.* He ia 
justly entitled to be considered as the founder of tha 
National Gallery. His great defect was a want of moral 
courage : what his taste dictated to be right he would 
shrink from asserting, if it shocked the prejudices of 
others, or put himself to a moment's inconvenience. With 
great benevolence he appeared, therefore, often mean; 
with exquisite taste he seemed often to judge wrong; 
and with a great wish to do good he often did a great deal 
of harm. He seemed to think that to bring forth un- 
acknowledged talent from obscurity was more meritorious 
than to support it when acknowledged. The favourite of 
this year was forgotten the next. 

" His loss, with all his faults, will not easily be supplied. 
He founded the National Gallery. Let him be crowned. 
Peace to him." 

The remembrance of Sir George naturally brought up 
that of Wilkie, to whom he bad been an early patron and 
friend. In contrasting himself and Wilkie, " Wilkie's 
system," says Haydon, " was Wellington's ; principle 
and prudence the groundworks of risk. Mine that 
of Napoleon ; audacity, with a defiance of principle, if 
principle was in the way. I got into prison. Napoleon 
died at St. Helena. Wellington is living and honoured, 
and Wilkie has had a public dinner given him at Rome, 
the seat of art and genius, and has secured a competence, 
while I am as poor and necessitous as ever. Let no man 
use evil as a means for the success of any scheme, however 
grand. Evil that good may come is the prerogative of 
the Deity alone, and should never be ventured on by 

Dissatisfied with Iiis Alexander, Haydon this month 
determined to repaint the hero, observing (February 18th) 
on what he wished to realise in the figure, " It is a diflicult 
point. He must not look as if at the head of an army. 
He must look as if having just accomplished a dashing 


attempt made in the flush of youth and vigour of reflection, 
More of a growing youth in his form.". 

Feb. \9th. — Now came political* changes. '* Lord 
Liverpool seized on Saturday with apoplexy : what a 
break-up there will shortly be amongst ministers and the 
royal family. For my part I should like to see the Wel- 
lesleys having the sole direction of the country, as they 
yrill have. 

" Feb, 20th. — There are three things in this world I 
hope to see before I die, — the Americans thrashed at sea, 
my own debts paid, and historical painting encouraged by 

" 2lst, — Succeeded (I flatter myself) with the head of 
Alexander. I have hit the air of ambition, daring, firm- 
ness, cruelty, generosity, and reflection which characterised 
the noblest human animal that ever lived." 

Lord Egremont's letters on the projected alteration 
contain passages of good sense and sound criticism, and 
the change pleased him. In a letter of March 7th he 
says : — 

" Alexander now looks like a young hero, and I shall 
be very well satisfied with him if he is the same in the 
picture as he is in the drawing, I would not give a 
farthing for the opinion of all these persons*; but the 
object now is to make the best use of this picture to get 
other orders and more employment for yourself, and if 
you think that consulting all these persons will conduce 
to this object, as I think it may, I should advise you to 
do so." 

By the 10th of March the alteration was completed, and 
the picture really finished and ready for exhibition. Yet 
he could hardly give up working on it. 

^^ March llth, — Still hovering about Alexander. I 
altered the tone of colour by Clytus; made it a more 
pleasant mixture of hot and cold. I sometimes make my 

* Dukes of Bedford and Devonshire, Marquisses Lansdowne ancl 
Stafford, Lords Aberdeen and Farnborough. — B. B. H, 

148 MEM0IK8 OF It. R. UATDON. [l827. 

leds hot by keeping the lights on red drapery not light 
enough. The Lazarus was free, quite, from any heat, ao 
was the Solomon. 

" It Is a very nice question in art— though not if a man 
has the courage of Euripides^ — to tell how far to meet the 
received impression of the vulgar. 

" A wrist in a certain position is like an edge. The 
vulgnr, whoknow nothing, all say, ' Is not that svrist narrow, 
Mr. Haydon ? ' ' Yes, hut it must be so.' This does not 
seem to satisfy them. Ought I to make it broader to 
suit the general impression of a wrist? No. The vulgar 
ought to reflect and find out the reason of an artist." 

Before this time Haydon had conceived two subjects, 
both of which he afterwards painted, — Alexander's Combat 
with the Lion, and the First Sight of the Sea by the Ten 

Thousand, from the Fourth Book of Xenophon's Anabasis. 

He was doubtful which of the tliree subjects (Eucles, 

Alexander, and Xenophon) to begin with as a picture, 

hut, at last, determined on the Eucles. 

Haydon's painting- room was now crowded with visitors 

to see Alexander before itwent to the Exhibition, whither 

it was duly dispatched on the 4tb of April. On that day 

he has an entry : — 

" 4(A. — Sent Alexander to the Exhibition, I contrasted 

as I went down my feelings now and when I followed 

Dentatus, 1809, seventeen years ago. Apathy now, then 

all nervous anxiety lest a dray-horse should kick a hole ; 

now indifferent if a house fell on it, — not quite, but 


Among his visitors was Charles Lamb, of whom I find 

a pleasant letter nientioniiig the fact. 

" Dear Raffaele Haydon, 
" Did the maid tell you I came to see your picture, not oa 
Sunday but the day before? I think iLe face and bearing of 
the Bucephalus tamer very noble, his flesh too effeminate or 
painty. Tlie skin of the female's back kneeling is much mora 
earnoua. I bad small time to pick out praise or blame, for two 


lord-like Bucks * came in, upon whose strictures my presence 
seemed to impose restraint : I plebeian'd off therefore. 

*• I think I have hit on a subject for you, but can't swear it was 
never executed — I never heard of its being — ' Chaucer beating 
a Franciscan Friar in Fleet Street.' Think of the old dresses, 
houses, &c. ' It seemeth that both these learned men (Grower 
and Chaucer) were of the Inner Temple ; for not many years 
since Master Buckley did see a record in the same house 
where Geoffry Chaucer was fined two shillings for beating a 
Franciscan Friar in Fleet Street.' 

Chaucer's life by T. Speght^ prefixed to the black letter 
folio of Chaucer, 1598. 

" Yours in haste (salt fish waiting), 

" C. Lamb." 

The passage of Plutarch (JDe Gloria Atheniensium), which 
records the incident, describes how Eucles Tals Ovpats sfjr' 
ireaovra t&p irpwrtov expired with the simple words 'xaipsrs 
Kol 'xalpofiev. For an explanation of the t&v tt/jco- 
Tcoj/, I find Haydon laying under contribution Gaisford, 
Scholefield, Valpy, and other scholars of less note. The 
question was, whether the words meant " at the first 
houses he came to," or, " at the houses of the chief men?" 
A question, as Gaisford pointed out, of no possible im- 
portance to the picture ; but probably Haydon was not 
sorry to parade his Greek before the professors. He had 
at last determined on beginning with this subject, but po- 
litical changes affected his application. It was a stirring 
time, with the Catholic question agitating all minds. 

April 10th, I find, *' This breaking up of the ministry 
has disturbed us all. I regret Wellington. "While he 
was at the head of the army, I felt safe. He has made 
a mistake. This illustrious man is no longer necessary 
for the safety of the nation. Napoleon is no longer a 
bugbear, and now, with the well-known gratitude of 
nations, he is 

^ * Ungrateful, and savage, and stdlen, and cold, 
The nation's scorn, and army's hate.* 

♦ Duke of Devonshire and Agar Ellis. — B. R. H. 

L 3 

150 MEMOIES OF B. R. HATDOK. [isaf. 

" This is Moore in the Times. Think of such a man 
being so spoken of, who rescued the world from Napo- 
leon's grasp, and raised his own country to the highest 
glory. ' The naliou's scorn ; ' that is, the scorn of the 
Whigs and Radicals, because he destroyed the hopes of 
their hero, Napoleon : 

" ' To have done Is to hang 
In monumental mockery.' 

Lawrence offered a criticism on the Alexander, which 
the painter of it dissents from with some reason : — " Saw 
Lawrence, who thought my Olympias not animated enough. 
He said it ought to be more hke Volumnia. Never were two 
beings so opposite as Volumnia and Olympias. Alexander 
has merely broken a vicious horse, and it would have been 
beneath her, on such an occasion, to have done more than 
welcome his success, as if it was a feat scarcely worthy of 
her anticipation of his genius. 

" Volumnia would have blessed her son even if she had 
died the victim of his cruelty : Olympias would have made 
no scruple to have sacrificed Alexander, had he roused her 
revenge or wounded her pride." • 

Haydon had suffered, he thought, from the large si^e 
of his pictures. He now determined on adopting smaller 

"May \ith. — Rubbed in Eucles in the cabinet size. 
Now I will try my hand on the darling size of England. 
Success to it. It Is curious that I have at this moment a 
positive passion to try my hand at the cabinet size — to 
work it up like Rembrandt's small works — gemmy, rich, 
find beautiful. 1 hope 1 shall succeed. I will attack 
those fellows now in their own way. This is the first 
day I have felt my love of art revive for months. I had 
been all day in the city, and came home tired to death, 

" Ynl. XIY. of Journals begins at this date, with this motto : — 
" Haso Bub numine nos nobis feoimus Bapientid duce, fortunS per. 


fend set to work, and before dark it was in. If I had 
begun in tbis size I sbould have made my fortune. I 
offended the nobility of England by standing out against 
their predilections. I advanced the art — ruined myself 
— and when my larger works are again a novelty out I 
will bounce. 

" I6th. — -Completed the head of Eucles, and bit the 
expression — a gasp of exhausted, flasbing triumph, I am 
happy I have done so, 

" i8(A. — Lord Egremont called; before be called he 
was with Carew. * What am I to do with Haydon ?' 
Eaid he, ' My Lord, you know best,' said Carew. ' Why 
does be not paint portraits?' 'My Lord, his mind has 
been habituated to anotbet style.' ' His style is too bold 
for this country : has he anything to do ?' ' Nothing, my 
Lord.' After a few moments he said, ' He shan't starve. 
I'll go over to him.' 

" He then came over, and behaved in the kindest 
manner. In fact gave me another commission — for Eucles. 
Carew said the impression on his mind was, that some 
poison had been poured into his mind — that they bad 
been endeavouring to push him to employ me on portrait, 
where they hoped I would fail. 

" As he walked up stairs, he said, ' How do you find 
yourself? Have you anything to do?' 'Nothing, my 
Lord.' ' Why don't you paint portraits V ' My Lord, I 
am willing to paint anything for my family.' ' Only 
make 'em handsome,' said Lord Egreipont ; and then he 
said of Eucles, ' If you do not make a man catching him, 
you can't tell the story.' 

" From me Lord Egremont went to young Lough, the 
sculptor, who has just burst out, and has produced a great 
effect. His Milo is really the most extraordinary thing, 
considering all the circumstances, in modern sculpture. 
It is another proof of the efficacy of inherent genius. 

" Lord Egremont goes about helping everybody who 
wants it. 

152 MEMOIRS OF B. B. nATDOX. [l827. 

"20M. — Hard at work on Eucles — finished the hand 
and arm — sorry work. When I was painting Lazarus 
I used to wonder at the insignificance of human beings 
when I left my painting-room. I wonder now at the 

insignificance of my own paltry imitation. 

"21i(, — An execution put in for 18^. I hope to get 
rid of it. If I do not to-morrow, I will make the fellow 
sit for the other hand of Eucles. In looking at the small 
pictures to-day at the National Gallery, I was astonished. 
The fact is, that having to-day and yesterday turned my 
mind to small size, and heing astonished at the quantity 
of knowledge I was obliged to leave out, I went to look 
at other small pictures, and wondered at the same thing. 
It is really extraordinary, after doing the human figure 
the full size, to find how much one can conceal on a scale 
less than hfe. 

" ' Why does he not finish more?' aaid Lord Egremont ; 
' his style is too bold for this country, though I am per- 
fectly satisfied.' A love of finish argues an early or s 
decaying taste; where character, form, expression, colour, 
and drawing are not coveted because the mode is not 
finished, it argues a sorry fastidiousness and weak un- 

" ^2nd. — Westmacott, with the most heartfelt kind- 
ness, assisted me to get rid of the execution. I came 
home and dashed at and succeeded in the head of Euclea 
in my larger picture — the other hurts my eyes." 

Amidst his own jlistresses and self-assertions, it cannot 
be said that Haydon was insensible either to the wants or 
the talents of other artists. He did what he could to 
relieve the one and to enforce appreciation of the other. 
At this time appeared before the town a young and self- 
taught sculptor, — Lough. Though he is still living, I 
do not tliink he will consider any confidence violated by 
the publication of what follows, 

" May 23rd. — Young Lough spent die evening with 
me, and a very unaffected, docile, simple, high-feeling 
young man he is. His account of himself was peculiarly 



1827.] l.Ot'GU'9 botdood: dis milo. 153 

touching; — from his earliest boyhood he was always 
making figures in clay with his brother. In his father's 
window lay an old Pope's Homer. His brother and he 
were so delighted, that they used to make thousands of 
models, he taking the Greeks, and his brother the Trojans. 
An odd volume of Gibbon gave an account of the Colos- 
EKum, He and his brother after reading it, the moment 
the family were in bed, built up a ColossEeum of clay 
in the kitchen, and by daylight had made hundreds of 
fighting gladiators. A gentleman I know was returning 
from fox-hunting, and saw in a garden attached to Lough's 
father's cottage hundreds of models of legs and arms lying 
about. He alighted and walked in, and found the ceiling 
of the kitchen drawn all over, and models lying about in 
every direction. Lough was sent for, invited to this 
friend's house, who showed him Canova's works and Mi- 
chel Angelo's. To use his own language to me, Canova 
did not prick him, but Michel Angelo affected him 
deeply. He used to follow the plough, and shear the 
corn; and in this obscure Northumberland spot the only 
artist they heard of was Haydon. His Entry into Jeru- 
salem they had long read about, and he and his brother 
used to sketch Christ and the Ass on the walls, and 
wonder how I had placed him. This interested me very 
much ; in fact, I was highly delighted. He went on 
chatting till past one, and I promised to come down and 
go over his figure by candlelight, 

"24iA. — I went down, and was perfectly astonished. 
The feet and hands are not equal to the rest, but the body, 
head, thighs, legs, and whole expression and action, are 
grand beyond description. The beautiful mixture of flesh- 
iness and muscular action, of high style and individual 
truth, is beyond praise. The back is as fine as the The- 
seus ; and this, irom me, is no small thing to say. 

"It is the most extraordinary effort since the Greeks — • 
ith no exception — not of Michel Angelo, 


I pointed out one defect — in the loins. 

154 MEMOIRS OF B. E. flAYlWN. [1827. 

80 flattered I could hardly bend him to alter iL The 
moment he did it with a piece of wood, he acknowledged 
the iiiiproveinent. To see such a splendid effort of innate 
power, built up in an obscure first floor (No. 11. Burleigh 
Street, over a greengrocer's shop), without the aid of 
education, foreign travel, patronage, money, or even food, 
ia only another instance of the natural power which no 
aid or instruction can supply the want of. If he goes to 
Italy he will he ruined ! What becomes of all those who 
go and doze in the Vatican ? They come back castrated. 
Lough did not, like Chantrey, put off his hour of inspira- 
tion till he was independent. Alas, lie could not. His 
genius sat on him night and day like an incuh us— goaded, 
haunted, pressed, worried, drove him to exertion. I 
was a fortnight without meat during Solomon. Lough 
never ate meat for three months; and then Peter Coxe, 
who deserves to be named, found hira : he was tearing up 
his shirts to make wet rags for his figure to keep the clay 
moist, and on the point of pulling it down. Mr, Coxe 
saved it — aided him, and by this one act has made 
amends for a life of folly and his poem of the ' Social 

" Lough will be a great man. He has all the conscioua' 
ness of genius, with great modesty. The only fear is, he 
has become so soon ripe, and has so mature a style, that he 
may, if not perpetually curbed by nature, get into manner. 
I told him this, and he seemed grateful. The more I re- 
flect on this extraordinary work, the more delighted I 
am. The thigh and back looked like flesh itself." 

His Alexander was now at the Exhibition, not hung, 
in the painter's opinion, as it deserved. Debt and diffi- 
culty were pressing. Lord Egiemont's commission had 
not been followed by others. Still, harassed as he was, 
Haydon took an active part in helping on a proposed ex- 
hibition of Lough's figures. 

"June 8ih. — Lazily at work. Interested for Lough 
and his exhibition, whom I hope in God I have rescued 
from a set of harpies who wanted to make him a tool. 


:7,3 lough's early struggles. 135 

Cockerell got him a room. I Lave set him on the right 
road, and his own energy will do the rest. 

" This is the only high and sound genius I have ever 
knovri". To-night he said to me, as if half afraid he 
should he laughed at, ' Mr. Haydon, I fancy myself in 
the Acropolis sometimes, and hear a roaring noise like 
the tide,' ' My dear fellow,' said I, 'when I was at my 
great works, ' I saw with the vividness of reality tlie faces 
of Michel Angelo and Rafikelle smiling about my room. 
Nurse these feelings, but tell them not — at least in Eng- 

" 9th. — Lough passed the evening with me, and wo 
excited each other so much by mutual accounts of what 
we had suffered, that we both felt tears in our eyes, 

" He declared solemnly to me that he had not ate meat 
for tliree montiis, and began the fourth. He said every 
day at dinner-time he felt the want, and used to lie down 
till it passed. He felt weak — at last famt — giddy conti- 
nually, and latterly began to perceive he thought sillily, 
and was growing idiotic. He had only one busliel and a 
half of coals the whole winter, and used to lie down by 
the side of his clay model of this immortal figure, damp as 
it was, and shiver for hours till he fell asleep. He is a 
most extraordinary being — one of those creatures who 
come in a thousand years ; and last night when be said he 
went from my conversation always inspired, the gaunt and 
lustrous splendour of his dark eyes had a darkened 
fire, as if a god was shrined within his body, and for a 
moment forced his concealment. He told nie with abso- 
lute horror that Hilton said Michel Angelo was a very 
clever man, hut that there were many cleverer. Lough ia 
the only man I have ever seen who gave me an idea of 
what people used to say of me. In short, he is the only 
man I have ever seen who appears a genius. 

" lOth. — Lough's private day. It was a brilliant one. 
I wrote to Mrs. Siddons, and begged her to come. She 
came, and I conducted her into the room. Perhaps it will 
be the last private day she will ever go to. The room 


156 MEUOtRS OF B. B. HATDOV. [1S!T. 

cleared round her as if Ceres was coming in. She was 
highly delighted. Several Academicians were there, and 
as I did not wish to injure Lough, by associating him 
with the prejudices connected with me, or to appear too 
priDcipal in the affair, I gradually left her to herself. 
Westmacott sidled up to her. Here came the question. 
'Shalt I cut the little good man out, or shall I let him 
triumph?' ' Well,' thought I, 'I brought her; he will 
be mortified if I put him by.' Mrs, Siddons was going. 
She looked to me. I inclined back. She felt it. 'Good 
morning, Mr. Haydon,' Westmacott offered his ami, and 
I immediately took Miss Siddons. Westmacott thus 
sallied forth in triumph. As a young gentleman am- 
bitious of academic honour, it became me to be modest. 
I followed. Had I led, and left him the daughter, I 
should have lost his vote ! Such is human nature, and 
such are the secret workings of every bosom in all assem- 
blies of men and women who meet to smile, to be sincere 
and to be happy. 

" The Duke of Wellington entered before Mrs. Sid- 
dons and I had gone. I never saw one whose air and 
presence were so unlike genius or heroism. He seemed 
embarrassed, and as if he felt he was unpopular. Lord 
Farnborough with his mean face immediately went up to 
him. As Lord Farnborough was looking at Milo with 
me, and talking with hollow abstracted insincerity of its 
grandeur, looking at the door to every visitor to see if he 
had not committed himself by coming — in came the Duke 
— and away flew my Lord. I saw easily that Lord Farn- 
borough would get off, if he could, without committing 
himself for sixpence. The question was how. I watched. 
The Duke felt great admiration indeed, and going to the 
books opened, wrote with his own illustrious right hand 
—which as the means of conveying the conceptions of 
his great genius had destroyed Napoleon — an order for 
Milo and Sampson. It was done iji a spirited manner. 
He then turned round. One of Lough's patrons came 
over, and shook his Grrace by the hand, and thanked 

1827.] lough's exhibition, 157 

him. The Duke said, * He should go abroad/ in his loud, 
distinct, and military voice. Silvertop, who had just heard 
my opinion, hesitated. The Duke, surprised at his view 
not being acceded to, half blushed, and said, * Not to 
stay, but to see — eh — the eh — great works, as others have 
done.' He then turned, I bowed to thank him : as he 
walked out he touched his hat, like a military man, to me 
and to all. 

" The moment he went out Farnborough made a bust- 
ling pretence he had something to say, and hurried after 

" To conclude : the day was, I know, a brilliant one. I 
saw it would be, and first advised this step. Such attend- 
ant circumstances can never concur again in the execu- 
tion of any future work of the same man. I therefore 
told Lough ' be prompt and decisive — get a friend to 
do, I will direct, and promise you a harvest.' He did so. 
Lord Egremont approved. A friend, whose modesty for- 
bids the disclosure of his name, got all the tickets ready. 
I marked the Court Guide — his servant took them round ; 
Cockerell and Bigge secured his room, and, God be 
thanked ! we have placed this mighty genius on the road 
to prosperity. If his health keep strong, which I pray 
God it may, he will be the greatest sculptor since Phidias. 

" 14^A. — I have been quite ill from excitement about 
Lough and my own anxiety to work again. The first day 
he took 8/. 3«., the second 10/. 4^. This will do, con- 
sidering it is but a single figure." 

To Haydon's great delight the young sculptor's exhi- 
bition was successful, but the excitement of it com- 
pletely overcame the passionate painter, who saw in the 
difficulties so nobly overcome by this self-taught artist a 
reflex of his own early struggles, and of the spirit in 
which they were encountered. I should have hesitated to 
introduce these passages, relating as they do to an artist 
still living and labouring amongst us, but that they seem 
to me to reflect equal credit on the friend and the be* 

158 MEMOIRS OF B. R. nATDON. [|S27. 

Ill June of this year came a repetition of the blow which 
had already fallen on Haydon in 1823. He was once 
more arrested for debt. Once more he appealed to the 
public throug;li the newspapers, and to Parliament by 
petition. Mr, Brougliam presented his petition, and the 
newspapers printed his letters. It was in vain to preach 
to one of his sanguine temperament and determined habit 
cf self-assertion, as his friend Du Bois did, with great 
good sense, at this time : " Rely on yourself and your own 
powers, which may yet work wonders ; but pray, as you 
would avoid the gall of disappointment, build little on 
exciting the active interference of the public. Any battery 
opened against their poor pockets in favour of the fine 
arts will make as much impression, I fancy (to use a 
simile in the Times) as cannon-balls on a mud bank." But 
if public appeals were vain, private applications were met 
with a promptitude and liberality which show what a large 
fund of real benevolence there is lying in the world for the 
unfortunate to draw on. Sir W. Scott was here, as ever, 
among the readiest with his purse and his sympathy, while 
the unaffected, manly kindness of the letters in which both 
money and sympathy are conveyed must have doubled 
their value. I iind letters from Lawrence and Campbell, 
both kind, but alike unable to relieve. Mr. Lockhart, 
whose strenuous and practical help on this and other like 
occasions calls forth repeated expressions of Haydon's 
gratitude, suggested the plan of a subscription for the 
purchase of one or more pictures, finished or unfinished. 
Joseph Strutt, of Derby, too, one whose heart seems 
always to have guided the distribution of his ample means, 
sent a draft of 100/. for a picture to be painted at the 
artist's convenience. The Duke of Bedford, Lady de 
Tabley, and the artist's warm friend Mr. Chauncey Hare 
Townshend, were equally active in this crisis, 

The result of Mr. Lockhart's suggestion was a public 
meeting on the 23rd of July, the following report of which 
it is worth while to append, as it contains a summary 
■ccoant of the painter's expenditure and embarrassments. 


" A Public Meeting was held yesterday at the Crown and 
Anchor Tivern, Lord Francis Leveson Gower in the chair, 
* For the purpose of raising a subscription to restore Mr. Haydon 
to his family and pursuits, he having been imprisoned one month 
in consequence of embarrassments arising from an over-eager- 
ness to pay off old debts, from which he was exonerated, and 
the want of employment for eight months.' 

" Lord F. L. Gower said, that the object of the Meeting would 
perhaps be best forwarded by the perusal of a statement of Mr, 
Haydon*s affairs which had been prepared for the occasion by a 

" Mr. Burn then addressed the Meeting. He would be as brief 
in his remarks as possible ; and in order to put the meeting fully 
in possession of the state of Mr. Hay don's pecuniary affairs he 
would read a debtor and creditor account, which had been made 
out. Mr. Haydon's debts amounted to 1,767/. 17 s, ; and the 
only assets which he had to meet them were the picture Eucles, 
which, when finished, will be worth five hundred guineas, and 
whatever might be the produce of the exhibition of that picture. 
Since 1823 Mr. Haydon had contracted debts to the amount of 
1,131/. 17«., and had received, by cash, for paintings, portraits, 
&c., 2,547/. 14«. 2c?. The difference between the sum 1,131/. 17*. 
and the 1,767/. 17*. before mentioned, was 636?., which was 
made up of debts incurred by Mr. Haydon previous to his em- 
barrassments in 1823, and consequently could not be carried 
to the profit and loss account since that period. It appeared 
then that Mr. Haydon had expended, during the last four years, 
the sum of 3,679/. 1 Is. 2c/., and as it was but right that this 
meeting should be informed of the manner in which he had done 
so, he (Mr. Burn) would read the different items. They were 
as follows : — 

By house-keeping expenses, for four years, at 220/. 

per year ------ £880 

By professional expenses, viz. 

Colours at - - 3^20 per annum 

Models - - 60 „ 

Drapery - - 10 „ 

Brushes - -10 „ 

£100 per year for four years 400 
Carried forward £1280 


Brought forward 1280 

D , A, (Rent -£121 

By rent and taxes J ^^^^ 3^ 

£151 per year for four jears 604 

By casli paid for furniture . - - . igo ig 7 

By ditto paid debts owing previous to 1823 - - 337 
By wearing apparel for self, Mrs. Hajdon and children, 

at GOl. per year for four years ... 240 
By schooling for two children, 6W. per annum, equal 

120I, a^year for four years - - . . 4go 

By servants' wages, 30(. per year for four years ■ - 120 

By law e^tpenees, within the same period - - 280 

By travelling and incidental expenses, 202. per year - 80 D 

£3,871 18 7 
" Such was the state of Mr. Haydon's affairs, and the meeting 
would not tail to remark, that a conaiderahle portion of Mr. 
Haydon's burthen had arisen from his ansiety to discharge debta 
from which the law had freed bini. He had seen Air. Haydon 
in prison, in distress, in destitution ; he was, in fact, at that 
momeat, without the slightest prospect or liope of relief, but 
such as might flow from the sympathy of tlie public. Under 
such circumstances, it might be natural to inquire, even before 
relief was given, how an artist of Mr. Haydon's acknowledged 
abilities, had failed to reap that encouragement which had ao 
often been bestowed on artists in countries far less civilised 
than England. He believed that his friend had fallen a Tietim 
to his own too ardent imagination. He had not only aimed 
at the highest branch of his art, but he had neglected to re- 
member that while be was toiling to reach the first station, be 
was making but little provision for the necessities of the passing 
day. It was well known that the cultivation of the arts tended 
to promote civilisation and happiness : Mr. Haydon had laboured 
strenuously to forward that which he professed, and the gene- 
rosity of the public could not be better directed than to bia 
relief. Painters of his talent had been protected by monarchs 
themselves. If Mr. Haydon had enemies who had the slightest 
inclination to oppose tlie object of that meeting, he would ask 
them to visit the prison, and then proceed with their opposition 
if they could. If there wei-e critics who questioned the merits 
I of Mr, Haydon's performances, he would call on them in the 
■Bame of charity to forget their opinions ; or if Mr. Ilaydoa had 


friends, ns he saw he had, he would entreat them to seize on the 
opportunity which then presented itself, and exert themselvea 
to rescue their friend from prison and restore him to his suffer- 
ing family. It was proposed to raise a subscription for Mr. 
Haydon, but not to place the money in Mr. Haydon's own hands. 
Trustees were to be named ; and as he had prepared a. series of 
Resolutions which would explain the plan, he would beg leave 
to read them, — It would he the duty of the trustees to liberate 
Mr. Haydon as soon as possible, in order that he might exert 
himself in his profession, which he would do to the utmost, and 
then to make such arrangements as might appear best calculated 
to do justice to the creditors and rescue Mr. Uitydon and hia 
family from distrees. Mr. Haydon had a wife and flye children 
and was in the daily expectation of an increase to his family; 
he had no hope of relief but in the sympathy and generosity of 
the public, and it was hoped that the appeal would not be made 

" The resolutions were then put seriatim, and agreed to. 

" Lord F, L, Gower said, that after the statement which had 
been made, it must be quite unnecessary for him to detain the 
meeting by offering any remarks. Mr. Haydon's cose was one 
of those in which every one who respected genius, or commise- 
rated misfortune, must take a lively interest. His Lordship then 
read a letter from the Duke of Bedford, in which his Grace 
Baid, that absence from London would prevent him from attend- 
ing the raeeling ; but in consideration of Mr. Haydon's merits 
and distresses, he begged to enclose a check for 50/. 

" Mr. Burn said, that as an impression had gone abroad that 
Mr. Haydon had received ParUamentary relief in 1823, he 
thought it right to state, that he then held a letter in his hand, 
in which Mr, Brougham declared, that fi-om circumstances no 
application had been made. 

" Lord F. L. Gower having left the chair, together with a 
cheque for 20/., the [hanks of the meeting were voted to hb 
Lordship and it broke up. 

" In the course of a few minutes subscriptions to the amount 
of 1201. were received, including 50/. from the Duke of Bedford 
and 20/. from Lord F. L. Gower," 

At this meeting it was resolved, That under the cir- 
cumstances which liave caused Mr. Haydon's present 


182 HBHOIR8 OF B. B. HATDOW, [l82T. 

miHfortunea, be was entitled to public sympatby and relief. 
That an account be opened with Messrs. Coutts & Co. 
(who consented to receive subscriptions) in the names of 
J. G, Lockhart and S. G. Bum, Esqs., as trustees for 
itibicription, with the intention, as soon as the amount 
Hubscribed should equal the price of his picture of Eucles 
(600 guineas), that lots should be cast for that picture,— 
Wl. to give one chance, 201. two, and so on. 

The result was Haydon's release at the close of July. 

While in the King's Bench he saw the mock election, 
n picture of which he afterwards painted. In a letter to 
the Duke of Bedford, written just after his release, he 
describes that incident, 

" In the midst of this dreadful scene of affliction up 
sprung the masquerade election, — a scene which, con- 
trasted as it was with sorrow and prison walls, beggars all 

" Distracted as I was, I was perpetually drawn to the 
windows by the boisterous merriment of the unfortunati 
happy beneath me. Rabelais or Cervantes alone could do 
it justice with their pens. Never was such an exquisite 
bui'lesque. Boronets and bankers, — authors and mer- 
chants, — young fellows of fashion and elegance, insanity, 
idiotism, poverty and bitter affliction, all for a moment 
forgetting their sorrows at the humour, the wit, the 
absurdity of what was before tbem, 

" I saw the whole from beginning to end. I was 
resolved to paint it, for I thought it the finest subject for 
liumour and pathos on earth." 

By the l5th of August the picture was rubbed in. 
Among the characters he encountered during his imprison- 
ment was one, from whoso information he furnishes this 
passage of secret history in illustration of Mr. Canning's 
negotiations with the South American republics. 

" 16/A. — What a half-year this has been. In the 
Bench 1 met Chnmbers, the banker, and a Dr. Mackay, 
who was employed by Canning to arrange and negotiate 

1827.] A SECRET AGENT. 163 

the treaty of commerce and independence with South 

** Dr. Mackay had resided many years in Mexico, and 
knew all the parties thoroughly. He made a fortune and 
had returned to England. He was sent for by Canning, 
and after all due preliminary caution sent out to Mexico. 

" As he and I paced up and down the racket-ground 
by moonlight, he told me every particular, and interesting 
it was. I invited him to my room, and, like a true poli- 
tician, or employe politique, he began to suspect me. 
* Remember,' said he, * before I proceed, you make no 
use of this.* I gave him my word and he proceeded. 
Vittoria was his old friend. On his way to Mexico, 
under pretence of pressing business, he called on Vittoria, 
and found him in actual negotiation with Spanish com- 
missioners ; that evening a treaty was to be signed and 
settled. Vittoria begged him to dine. He refused a long 
time, but Mackay making him promise to put off the Com-» 
missioners till next day, he agreed. Vittoria sent word he 
was ill, and Mackay was received as an English physician 
and old friend. That night the ground was broken. Vit- 
toria complained they were forsaken by England. Mackay 
opened his powers, and it was agreed that Vittoria should 
continue ill, Mackay visiting and prescribing every day. 
He did so ; and at last Vittoria got better and better, and 
received full authority from Mexico, and Mackay and he 
used to walk out to take a little air and retire unobserved 
into a bye street, to a room hired for the purpose. In this 
way the treaty of independence and commerce was finally 
settled. One party proposed an article, — after discussion 
it was written in a book, each party at liberty to reflect 
till next day. When they met again the article proposed 
and agreed to was restated and discussed again, and if 
nothing had occurred to alter and amend, it was finally 
entered into a separate book, whence there was no 


" In this way Dr. Mackay told me the whole treaty 
was settled. As he knew the Spaniards well, and that 

M 2 

164 MEM0IU3 OF B. H. HATDON. [l827. 

pride was their failing, lie got nothiiig by downright op- 
position, but carried everytliing by yielding and persuading 
them that even he would not have so favoured England by 
such a proposition, &c., &c. Mr. Canning was highly 
delighted and gave him great praise. 

" It was interesting to talk to Dr. Mackay, who bad lost 
40,000^, (which he had amassed in Mexico by a long life 
of labour) in speculations on the Stock Exchange. 

" Here he was planning steam stage-coaches, and talking 
of setting off for Mexico as soon as he was free and un- 
disturbed. He seemed to have a very great idea of 
Canning's genius, and spoke of him with the greatest 

This is the painter's own description of the Mock Elec- 
tion, the picture of which was finished by the close of the 
year, and exhibited in January, 1838, at the Egyptian 

" Nothing during the last year excited more curiosity than the 
Mock Election, which took place in the King's Bench Prison ; 
as much from the circumstances attending its conclusion, as 
from the astonishment expressed that men, unfortunate and 
confined, could invent any amusement at which they had a right 
to be happy. 

" At the first thought, it certainly gave one a shock to fancy 
a roar of boisterous merriment, in a place where it was hardly 
possible to imagine any other feelings to exist than those of 
sorrow and anxiety ; but, on a little more reflection, there was 
nothing very unprincipled in men, one half of whom had been 
the victims of villany, one quarter the victims of malignity, and, 
perhaps, not the whole of the remaining fourth justly imprisoned 
by angry creditors in hope to obtain their debts ; it was not 
absolutely criminal to prefer forgetting their afflictions In the 
temporary gaiety of innocent frolic, to the dull, leaden, sottish 
oblivion, produced by porter and cigars. 

" I was flitting in my own apartment, buried in my own re- 
flections, melancholy, but not despairing at the darkness of my 
own prospects, and tjie unprotected condition of my wife and 
children, when a sudden tumultuous and hearty laugh below 


brought me to the window. In spite of my own sorrows, I 
laughed out heartily myself when I saw the occasion. 

" Before me were three men marching in solemn proeeaalon, 
the one in the centre a tall, young, reckless, buahy-haired, light- 
hearted Irishman, with a rusty cocked-hat under his arm, a 
bunch of flowers in his bosom, his curtain rings round his neck 
for a gold chain, a mopstick for a white wand, tipped with an 
empty strawberry pottle, bows of ribbons on his shoulders, and 
a great hole in his elbow, of which he seemed perfectly uncon- 
scious ; on his right was another person in burlesque solemnity, 
with a sash, and real white wand ; two others, fantastically 
dressed, came immediately behind, and the whole followed by 
characters of all descriptions, soma with flags, some with stafls, 
and all in perfect merriment and mock gravity, adapted to soma 
masquerade. I asked what it meant, and was told, it was a 
procession,of bui^esses, headed by the Lord High Sheriff, and 
Lord Mayor, of the King's Bench Prison, going in state to open 
the poll, in order to elect two members to protect their rights 
in the House of Commons ! 

" ' Ah I L' Strange chose que la vie I ' — Molierg. 

I returned to my room, and laughed and wept by turns I Here 
were a set of creatures who must have known afflictions, who 
must have been in want and in sorrow, struggling (with a spiked 
wall before their eyes) to bury remembrance in the humour of 
a farce ! flying from themselves and their thoughts, to smother 
reflection, though, in the interval between one roar of laughter 
and another, the busy fiend mould flash upon ' their inward 
eye,' their past follies and their present pains! Yet, what is 
the world but a prison of larger dimensions? We gaze after 
the eagle in his flight, and are bound by gravitation to the earth 
we tread on ; we sail forth in pursuit of new worlds, and after 
a year or two return to the spot we started from ; we weary 
our imaginations with hopes of something new, and find, after 
a long life, we can only embellish what we see ; so that while 
our hopes are endless, and our imagination unbounded, our 
faculties and being are limited, and whether it be sis thousand 
feet, or six thousand miles, a limit still marks the prison ! 

" I bore in pain that day the merriment and noise so uncon- 
genial to an aching heart ; but the next, an irresistible desire 
induced me to go out, and, as I approached the unfortupate, but 
inerry crowd, to the last day of my life I shall ever remember 

166 JIEMOIES OF B. R. HATDON. [l82r. 

the irapression I received ; — baroneta and bankers ; authors 
and merchants; painters and poets; dandies of rank in silk and 
velvet, and dandies of no rank in raga and tatters j idiotism and 
insanity ; poverty and affliction, all mingled in indiscriminate 
merriment, with a spiked wall, twenty feet high, above their 
heads 1 I saw in an instant the capacity there existed in this 
scene of being made morally instructive and interesting to the 

public, by the help of an episode in aasiatance. I told Mr. , 

the banker, wlio stoud by me, I would paint it, and asked him 
if he believed there ever were such characters, such expres- 
sions, and such heads, on human shoulders, assembled in one 
group before ? 

" Day by day the subject matured in my mind, and, as soon 
as I was restored to my family and pursuits, I returned and 
aketched all the heads of the leading actors in this extraordinary 
scene : — began the picture directly, and have finished it in 
four months. 

" I will now explain to the Epectatore the details of the 
picture : — 

" In the centre is the Lord High Sheriff, with burlesqae 
elegance of manner, begging one of the candidates not to break 
the peace, or be irritated at the success of Lis rival, towards 
whom he is bending his fist; while Harry Holt, the pugilist, in 
a striped dressing-gown, is urging on the intended member, and 
showing him how he can most effectually hit. The intended 
member is dressed in green, with an oil-skin cap and a red bow 
(the colours of his party). The gentleman who actually filled 
this character is, I have heard, a man of considerable fortune in 
Ireland; from the speeches he made, he evidently believed him- 
self going to the House of Commons, as much as ever did 
Mr. Canning or Mr. Hohhouse. Right opposite, attired in the 
quilt of his bed, and in a yellow turban, is the other member, a 
gentleman who actually sat in the House two years, and who, 
by his experience in the finesse of elections, was the moving 
spring in all the proceedings of this. His face expresses sar- 
castic mischief — he is pointing, without looking at his opponent 
with a sneer! Between the Lord High Sheriff, and the candi- 
date in a quilt, is the Lord Mayor, with the solemn gravity 
becoming his office ; he holds a white wand with a blue and 
yellow bow, and a sasb of the same colours — he was a third 
candidate. The colours of the Erst member I have made red. 



of the one in a quilt blue, and the Lord Mayor's colours blue 
and yellow. 

" Immediately below, in a white jacket, is the head poll 
clerk, with quizzing humour, swearing in the three burgesses 
before they are allowed to vote, and holding up his linger, as 
xnuch as to say, epeak the truth. The three voters are holdiug 
a bit of deal ; the first, a dandy of first fashion just imprisoned, 
with a fifty-guinea pipe in his right hand, a diamond ring on 
his finger, dressed in a yellow silk dressing-gown, velvet cap, 
and red Morocco slippers ; on his left stands an esquisite, who 
has been imprisoned three years, smoking a three-penny cigar, 
with a hole at his elbow, and his toes on the ground ; and the 
third ia one of those characters of middle age and careless dis- 
sipation, visible in all scenes of this description, dressed in a 
blue jacket and green cap. 

" Between the dandy in yellow and the short red-nosed man, 
dressed in the red curtain of his bed, with a mace, and wilhin 
the hustings, is another poll clerk, entering in a book the names 
of the electors- Above the clerk ia the Assessor, suppressing 
a laugb, and behifid the member, in a quilt, is a man sticking 
in a pipe, as an additional ornament to the member's person. 

" These characters form the principal group ; the second 
group is on the right, and on the left is the third, while the 
prison wall and prison form the background. 

" In the right hand group, sipping claret, aita a man of family 
and a soldier, who distinguished himself in Spain; he was 
imprisoned in early life for running away with a ward in 
Chancery ; embarrassment followed, and nine years of confine- 
ment have rendered him reckless and melancholy ; he has one 
of the most tremendous heada I ever saw in nature, something 
between Byron and Buonaparte ; it was affecting to see his pale 
determined face and athletic form amongat the laughing afflicted, 
without a smile 1 without an emotion I Indifferent to the 
humour about him, contemptuously above joining in the bur- 
lesque, he seemed, like a fallen angel, meditating on the ab- 
surdities of humanity ! 

Sat on kis faded cheek, bat under brows 
Of dauDtleEs courage, and considerate pride 
Waiting revenge ; cruel his eye, but cast 
Signs of remorse and passion.' — Miltom. 


168 MEMOIES OF B. B. HAYDON. [182T. 

" In tbe picture I hare made Lim sit at ease, with a 
companion, wliile champagne bottles, a dice box, dice, cards, 
a rncket bat and ball on the ground, announce his present 

" Leaning on him, and half terrified at the mock threats of 
the little red-nosed head constable with a mace, is an interest- 
ing girl attached to him in his reverses ; and over his head, 
clinging to the top of the pump, is an elector intoxicated and 
huizuing ! 

" The third and last group is composed of a good family in 
affliction- Tbe wife, devoted, melting, clinging to her hus- 
band ! The eldest boy, with the gaiety of a child, is cheering 
the voters; behind is the old nurse sobbing over the baby, 
five weeks old ; while the husband, virtuous and in trouble, 
is contemplating the merry electors with pity and pain. The 
father and mother are in mourning for the loss of their second 
boy, for * troubles never come in single flies, but whole bat- 
talions J ' in his hand he holds a paper, on it — ' Debt 261. lOa. 
paid — costs 157/. H*. unpaid. Treachery, Squeeze and Co., 
Thieves' Inn.' 

" Behind this family is a group of electors with flags and 
trumpets, and all the bustle of an election. On one flag ia 
'The Liberty of the Subject;' on the other, 'No BailiBs;' 
%vhile the spiked wall and state house floish this end. The 
opposite end ia the commencement of the prison, each window 
marking a separate apartment, and under a red striped blind 
are a party of electors, listening to a speech before march- 
ing up. 

" An old fat fellow, between the head constable and the young 
girl, is laughing at bis mock severity, while two fellows, arm 
in arm behind, and a bill of exchange of the Hon. Henry 
Lawless lies on tbe ground, at 999 years' date, to Mc Cabbage, 
tailor, of Bond Street, for 1,5621. 14«. 7d., for value receive^ 
complete the composition, in which I have done my best to 
convey, to tbe nobility and the public, a scene that almoat 
baffles pencil or pen ! 

" Many may be inclined to be severe, and disposed to ask, 
* how I could be thinking of painting, when I was making the 
town ring with my afflictions?' I have only to reply, I could 
not help it ; a man, who for years has never looked at a face, 
without instinctive reference to its imitatioo, baa absolutely a 


sixth sense, and in all probability, even at the stake, would 
ptudj the expression of his executioners." 

The following entries in the journal in relation to the 
characters and circumstances introduced in the Mock 
Election seem curious enough for insertion. 

*^ August 22nd. — Succeeded in the High Sheriflfs head. 
Tt should be a sort of Beggars' Opera — Polly and Mac- 
heath affair. I have hit him, and the world will think so. 

** 2Srd. — Hard at work, and advanced the High 
Sheriff. The careless, Irish, witty look, the abandon de 
gaiete of his head and expression was never surpassed by 
Hogarth. This is my genuine belief and conviction, and 
so will posterity think. 

** 2%th. — Went to the King's Bench to make sketches. 
I sketched the head of a smuggler who carried the Union- 
jack in the election. Never in my life did I see such a 
head : — air, — wind, — grog, — risk, — anxiety, — daring, 
— and defiance, were cut into his handsome weather beaten 
head. * After being at sea,' said I, * does not this life hurt 
your health?' *My health, sir? I keep up my health 
with grog. Eh, Bob ? ' turning round to a veteran crony, 
* How many tumblers d'ye average ? ' * Why, I think, 
sir, I may say five-and-twenty ! ' 

** What a set of heads I shall have in this picture. 

** Looked at Staunton's head to-day, and liked it. 

" What a set of beings are assembled in that extraor- 
dinary place — that temple of idleness and debauchery. 
When you walk amongst them, you get amongst faces 
that are all marked by some decided expression, quite 
different from people you meet in the street." 

" 28^A. — Put in the gallant colonel exquisitely, from 
the remembrance of the principles of an idiot's head. I 
hit his likeness in a minute. Child's cheeks, woman's 
nose, age's lips and chin, fool's forehead. 

** The calm beauty of Eucles, when 1 looked at it to- 
day after the rag-fair subject of the election, was extraor- 
dinary. The principles of the one will illustrate the 

170 MEMOIRS OP B. R. HATDON. [lB2r. 

"31si. — Last day of August The last sixteen days T have 
employed myself well I have got the Election well on. 
I went to the Bench to-day to sketch, and got bo melan- 
choly from stories of want and misery and crime around 
me, I was ohliged to return, 

" Sept, 3rd. — Put in the gallant colonel. Capital cha- 
racter — ^Irish — hot-headed — duelling— idiotic — the only 
person serious in the whole scene. The subject grows on 
me rapidly. 

"4th. — Holt, the t oxer, sat. Finished him and the 
colonel's right hand. 

"5th. — Hard at work, and finished Holt. If I had 
not made a good likeness of Holt, I should have lost my 
reputation in the ring. Holt said to-day, ' I have always 
heard of you, sir, for these twenty years, but not knowing 
any thing of art, I thought you were an old master. 

"How true is the antiq^ue. Holt is the only instance 
I ever saw of the hair springing up from the forehead like 
wire, as the hair of Alexander does on his bust. 

" \Qth. — Worked hard, and advanced my puppy. 

" Wth. — Worked hard, and improved my puppy. 

" \^th. — Worked and finished the velvet cap of the 
puppy. I take such delight in this puppy, that on look- 
ing at Eucles after, it seemed cold and chaste. I should 
not wonder if this picture has awakened a faculty that has 
been dormant." 

On the 14th of September, the progress of his work 
was for a white arrested by the birth of a son — Fre- 

" l(j/A, — 'The child is father to the man,' as Words- 
worth says. From a hoy I had always an intense desire 
for seclusion. I remember then, as now, my delight in a 
study of my own. I remember constructing of pasteboard 
a little place shutting in a window, where I used to retire 
as soon as school was over, to sketch, and draw, and 

" The other night as I walked into my pain ting- room, 
and saw Eucles on the floor, and the sketches and picture^ 




about, I felt a delight, an elevation 1 cannot describe. 
I remember feeling the same thing thirty years ago 
in my pasteboard house. Such is the truth ; and it is 
painful to think how little real knowledge one gets after 

" I'ith. — I took my child Frank to-day to see Macbeth 
at Sir George's, Grosvenor Square. As we wandered 
through the deserted gallery and drawing-rooms I thought, 
here have assembled more men of real genius, and more 
pretenders to it, than in any other room perhaps ia 

" Since he gave his collection to the National Gallery, 
there are, of course, few pictures left. The Tondo of 
Michel Angelo, with his bust over it, was still in the 
Gallery, and the picture from the Colonna Palace. The 
walls were covered with his own works, many of which I 
had been consulted about ; and on seeing the silent rooms, 
half lighted and half dusty, with the furniture covered, 
I was exceedingly affected with a sort of sympathy at the 
mortality of us all. Poor Sir George. The genius of 
the place was gone to his audit, and if we meet hereafter, 
as I hope we may, purged of our weaknesses, we shall 
find we have each qualities for the enjoyment of the other, 
which worldly passi.ou obscured and dulled." 

On the very day Frank was bom. Sir George and Lady 
Beaumont calied within a few hours. It was interesting 
to see his little figure striding about where his father had 
so often strode before. 

" Macbeth keeps its colour capitally. 

" I8th. — Began a portrait to-day, and I felt as if my 
hand, and soul, and imagination were numbed, ' e senza 
stelle.' How can I succeed under such impressions ? 

"I9lh. — Attacked the head-constable to-day with delight 
— a Bardolphian dog as ever lived. Succeeded — though 
yesterday my model was an interesting, fine fellow, and 
the face to-day a red-nosed, ugly pug. I got on to-day 
with delight, because, though cramped as to likeness, I 
was working with reference to a story. The hatred of 

172 MEMOIRS or B, R. HATDOW. tl827. 

portrait-painting is, I am sorry to say, a feeling in my 
nature, invincible ; at least I fear so. 

"23d. — Hard at work and dashed away successfully. 
Read Vasari's life of Raifaele till the tears came into my 
eyes. I saw my Lazarus to-day, and the further I get 
from the grand style, the more I am struck with my 
former pictures, and the more bitterly feel my afflictions. 

" Ah, what a shame to the patrons of my time ! Truly 
might Lord Ashburnham say he wondered liow tliey 
could answer to their own consciences for their shameful 
neglect of me. What will become of me? Yet this is 
cant. I do not despair ; and something whispers me that I 
shall yet do greater things than I have ever yet done, and 
that my knowledge will not be suffered to leave the world 
without a period arriving of full development. 

"27th. — Began to work in irritable spirits. The 
colours were badly mixed, the brushes were badly cleaned. 
I hesitated — trifled — faddled — and idled; but at last, 
ashamed of my delays, I plunged at a hand, and getting 
interested, soon forgot my troubles. I shall accomplish 
the group by the time marked out. From the habit of 
running about the town so in pecuniary difficulties, when 
they ceased I actually looked to Monday, for at least a 
week or two, as a day of walking, squabbling and battle. 
Such is habit. 

" Oct. \sf. — Went to the Bench and finished all my 

<■ 27id. — Arranged the effect for to-morrow— sky, &c., 
and improved it much : made a drawing for the corner 
figure from my old model, Forster. 

"3rd. — Putin the foreground head— wants paring — 
a terrific character." 

"4.;/,. — Was unhinged and unsettled — could not tell 
whv. Advanced, but not conclusively, as I was trying 
to doctor yesterday's attempt. 

ii lOiA. — Hard at work, and nearly completed one of 
the corner figures. Third of the month gone- Not bd 
much to show as I ought, or intended to have. Anniver- 


sary of my wedding day — six years. Well, we have had 
some exquisite happiness, and some bitter agony. God 
protect us ! For the mercies, gratitude — for the pains, 
gratitude also, if they have contributed to purify our 
souls, and fit them for immortality. 

" 20th, — Began again to-day, thank God, and got in 
the head of the good man. 

" 2\8t. — Hard at work — finished the Gambler. 

*' 22nd. — Hard at work — coated the good man in 
sorrow and affliction. 

" 23rd, — Got in nurse and infant. Hard at work, and 
finished the good man. 

** 24fth, — Obliged to lay by from deranged digestion. 
All painters seem to have suffered from this. All thinkers 
in fact — painters or not. Rubehs used to take his great 
meal at night You get up with a black veil over your 
fancy, through which you see all things. 

" 28th. — Hard at work on the mother and wife. 

** 29th. — Hard at work, and advanced the mother. 

"30^A. — Worked at a sitting seven hours — then took 
lunch, and set to one hour and a half. Finished the 

** 31*^ — Last day. I worked pretty well up, but 
people called, and chatted, and gossiped, and plagued 

''Nov. 1st. — Hard at work, and succeeded in com- 
pleting the boy. I don't know that I think less ; but I 
think less of the thoughts that occur. 

** 4fth. — Hard at work. Finished my portrait of Tal- 
fourd, and got an order for his wife. 

** 5th. — Hard at work, and put in another head. 

" 6th. — What a strange thing is the intellectual power, 
I awoke between four and five saying to myself, * it may 
be laid down as an axiom, that that art which, as a prin- 
ciple, renders the inanimate or inferior parts of equal con*' 
sequence to the intellectual or superior, is erroneous in 
foundation, and contrary to the great principle of our 
highest associations. The Greek school, and all the great 


modern scbook of 1500, were conducted on the opposite 
principle, the modem French school on the above.' 

"This was a mere caprice of my mind in sleep, for I 
had not been dreaming, and it was evident from so sound 
a remark that my mind bad had rest enough." 

By the beginning of December the picture was nearly 
finished, (as well as a portrait of his friend, Mr. Talfourd, 
painted while the Mock Election was in progress), and 
before the close of the year, the Exhibition opened. 

r 1828. 

" January \st. — I began this new year and ended the 
last in apathy and indifference. No prayer, no thanks- 
giving, no reflection, no thought I was ill, and fretful, 
and callous. My Frank was seized with an attack of the 
lungs. He recovered. My Mock Election opened and 
succeeded moderately, but it has not sold; and though I 
have to thank God for the last five months with all my 
heart and all my soul, I am beginning again to apprehend 

He was now at work on Eucles, when a new subject 
suggested itself as adapted to that Hogarthian faculty 
which he flattered himself might have developed itself in 
the Mock Election. He thus describes the subject and 
the circumstances under which it occurred to his mind. 

" February \st. — For this last week I thought I should 
have gone mad at the prospect of losing dearest Frank — • 
a fellow string of the same instrument as myself. O 
Frank — dear little intellectual, keen, poetic soul ! One 
night as I was sitting by the fire in his room — his still 
room — sobbing quietly, in bitter grief, and resolving, if 
he died, to glory in letting my faculties rot over my 
blasted hopes, when — will it be believed — Punch, as thi 
subject for a picture, darted into my thoughts, and I com- 
posed it, quite lost to everything else, till dear little 
Frank's feeble voice recalled me. 

my ] 
the I 

m- J 



*' This invoUiiitary power it is which has always saved 
me. To God I offer my gratitude for its possession." 

"March \st.* — I begin my new volume, not with the 
enthusiasm of my former ones. I have ceased to make 
great attempts, and have gradually sunk to fit uiy efforts 
to the taste of those on whoni I depend : that nohle ele- 
vation of soul I feel no longer. The necessities of a large 
family, imprisonment, and sorrow, have startled me for 
the time out of that glorious dream. I can't pray now to 
the Great God to aid and help and foster me in my at- 
tempts for the honour of my great country, for I am 
making no attempt at all. I am doing that only which 
will procure me subsistence, and gratify the love of no- 
velty, or pander to the prejudices of my countrymen, 
Even that does not succeed. I have not sold the Mock 
Election. I have no orders — no commissions. After all 
the public sympathy of last year, I am still without em- 
ployment. The exhibition of the picture gets me a. bare 
subsistence, and that is all. 

' Koa sum nualis eram." 

" What to do I am at a loss. Brougham is chilled, 
and the state of the finances render any expectation of 
a government vote for the higher walk of art a vain delu- 
sion. My admission into the Academy is out of the 
question. It has turned out as I predicted to Lord 
Egremont it would, I begin at last to long to go abroad, 
family and all. Had I been single, after leaving prison 
for the first time, I would have gone hack to my stripped 
house and finished the Crucifixion ; but here my wife 
shrank, and I loved her too well to pain her, 

" To have finished the Crucifixion without a bed to lie 
on, or a chair to sit on — without casts or prints, because 
the world thought it impossible — was to my mind a cause 
of fiery excitement. I would have gloried in doing it, 

• The FifteeotU Tolume of lie Journals opens at this date, with 
the motto, " For I have eaten ashes like bread and mingled my drink 
with weeping." — Ftalmcu. 

176 MEMOIRS OP B. R. HAYDON. [l828i 

and would have done it. But by painting lately only 
paltry things, I have ceased to excite the enthusiasm I 
once lived in, because I have ceased to feel it myself. 
How ail this will turn out God knows— for though I do 
not pray to Him as I used, I trust in His mercy, as I erer 
shalL I dread blindness in my old age, but I hope my 
God will space me this calamity. His will, not mine be 

" March 2nd, — I got up melancholy in the extreme, 
and sallied forth to call on Brougham, in order to come to 
some conclusion. I saw him in the passage. His carriage 
was at the door — a gentleman was eagerly talking — 
Brougham had his foot on tlie stall's, and could not get 
up for the importunity of this man. Brougham's hand 
was full of papers, and his whole appearance was restless, 
harassed, eager, spare, keen, sarcastic and nervous. The 
servant did not hear me ring, and the coachman called 
from his box in a state of irritable fidget — 'Why, George, 
don't you see a gentleman here? He has been here these 
five minutes.' Up came George, half dressed, and showed 
me right in. The moment Brougham saw me, he seemed 
to look ' Here's Haydon — at such a moment — to bore me.' 
Brougham never shakes hands, but he held out his two 
fingers. ' Mr. Haydon, how d'ye do ? I have no appoint- 
ment with you. Call on Wednesday at half past five. I 
can't spare you two minutes now.' I never saw such a 
set out The horses were not groomed. The coachman 
not clean. The blinds of the coach were not down, and 
gave me the idea as if inside the air was hot, damp, foul 
and dusty. There the horses were waiting, half dozy^ 
the harness not cleaned or polished — their coats rough 
as Exmoor ponies ; and inside and outside the house, 
the whole appearance told hurry-scurry, harass, fag, late 
hours, long speeches, and vast occupation. Since I saw 
him last he seems grown ten years older — looks more 
nervous and harassed a great deal. He tried to smile, by 
way of saying, ' Don't be hurt ; ' but I never am hurt by 
such things. When a man calls on another in that way. 

' 1898,] CnAIEIKG THE MEMBER. 177 

lie must expect the consequences of breaking in. I wisli 
any body was as considerate for me," 

Haydon now proceeded to turn to further account liis 
King's Bench experiences. The tragi-eomedy of which 
he had delineated the first act in his Mock Election, fur- 
nished him with a second, under the title of Chairing 
the Member, I append the painter's own account of the 
picture, at this point, as it wilt render intelligible many 
subsequent entries in his journal between the commence- 
ment of the work and its conclusion towards the end of 

" The scene now painted and represented to the public is 
The Mock Chairing, which was acted on a water-butt one 
evening, but was to have been again performed in more magni- 
ficent costume the next day; just, however, as all the actors in 
this eccentric masquerade. High Sheriff, Lord Mayor, Head 
Constable, Assessor, Poll Clerks and Members were ready 
dressed and preparing to start, the Marshal interfered and 
stopped the procession I Such are human hopes ! 

" The Marshal sent word he wished to speak with those he 
named ; they went directly, anticipating admonishment if their 
innocent frolic was irregular, and resolving to submit to 
Mr. Jones's wishes ; but, after a few words, the whole who had 
obeyed his desire were ordered to be closely confined in a room, 
to which the Black Hole at Calcutta was a palace. 

" Those who were thus treated were gentlemen, one of whom 
had been member of the House of Commons for two years. 
They had been guilty of nothing hut an innocent and harmless 
frolic, that relieved their own anxieties, and contributed very 
materially to assuage the anxieties of others ; they had tres- 
passed on no privilege of authority, they had shown no disre- 
spect to their superiors, there had been no wilful violence, no 
riot, no drunkenness; in fact, during the continuance of this 
extraordinary scene, there had been less of what was improper 
or abandoned ; for the minds of the unhappy had for a time 
been excited, and they forgot their troubles, and their usual 
methods of burying the recollection of them. 

" The Marshal now sent for some others, whom he had for- 
gotten in the first instance; but, dreading a similar fate to 
their companions, they refused to go ; speeches, expostulations, 

VOI-. II. N 

178 - MEMOIRS OP B. R. HATDON. [1828. 

and messages took place, and the Blarahal waa advised to send 
for the Guards I 

" About the middle of a sunny day, when nil was quiet, save 
the occasional cracking of a racket-ball, while aome were 
reading, some smoking, some lounging, some talking, some 
occupied with tlieir own sorrows, and some with the sorrows of 
their friends, io rushed sis fine grenadiers with & noble fello^tr 
of a sergeant at their head, with bayonets fixed, and several 
round of ball in their cartouchei, expecting to meet (by their 
looks) the most desperate resistance ! 

" However, those are questions out of my province ; I merely 
state what I saw, and that I, as an Englishman, felt bitterly 
wounded that the most heroic troops on earth, the Guards of 
the Sovereign, should have been sent for to outflank Harry 
Holt and cut off the retreat of four gentlemen in dressing- 

" The materials thus afforded me by the entrance of the 
Guards I have combined in one moment, aa I did those in the 
last picture. In that picture, the dandy in yellow and the 
dandy in rags, the characters in one corner and the characters 
in the other, were not all assembled at the same moment at the 
same place. Some of the materials existed, others I invented. 
So, in this picture of the Chairing, I have combined in one 
moment what happened at different moments. The characters 
and soldiers are all portraits. I have only used the poet's and 
painter's licence, 'guidlibet audendi,' to make out the second 
part of the story, — a part that happens in all elections, viz., 
the chairing the successful candidates. 

" In the corner on the left of the spectator are three of the 
Guards, drawn up across the door, standing at ease, with all the 
self-command of soldiers in sucli situations, hardly suppressing 
A laugh at the ridiculous attempts made to oppose them ; in 
front of the Guards is the commander of the enemy's forces, 
viz., a little boy with a tin sword, on regular guard position, 
ready to receive and oppose, with a banner of 'Freedom of 
Klection ' hanging on hia sabre ; behind him stands the Lord 
High SheriS^ affecting to charge the aoldiers with bis niopstick 
and pottle, but not quite easy at the glitter of a bayonet. He 
is dressed in a magnificent suit of decayed splendour, n 
old court aword, loose elU: stockings, white shoes, and i 
buckled knee-bands ; his shoulders are adorned with white I 
bows, and liis curtain-ringa for a, chain, hung by a blue ribbon I 


I from bis neclc. Next to him, adorned with a blanket, is a 
I character of voluptuous gaiety, helmeted by a saucepan, holding 
up the cover for a shield, and a hottte for a weapon. Then 
comes the fool, making grimaces with his painted cheeks, and 
bending his fista at the military; while the Lord Mayor, with 
his white wand, is placing his hand on his heart with mock 
gravity and wounded indignation at this violation of Magna 
Charta and civil rights. Behind Itim are different characters, 
with a porter pot for a standard, and a watchman's rattle ; 
while in the extreme distance, behind the rattle, and under the 
wall, is a ragged orator addressing the burgesses on this abomi- 
nable violation of the privileges of election. 

" Right over the character with a saucepan is a turnkey hold- 
ing up a key and pulling down the celebrated Meredith, who, 
quite serious, and believing he will really sit in the House, is 
endeavouring to strike the turnkey with a champagne glass. 
The gallant member is on the shoulders of two men, who are 
peeping out and quizzing. 

" Close to Meredith is bis fellow member, dressed in Spanish 
hat and feather, addressing the sergeant opposite him, with on 
arch look, on the illegality of his entrance at elections, while a 
turnkey has got hold of the member's robe, and is pulling him 
off the water-butt with violence, 

" The sergeant, a fine soldier, one of the heroes of Hougou- 
mont, is smiling and amused, while a grenadier, one of the 
other three under arms, is looking at his sergeant for oi'ders. 

" Two of the three soldiers are only seen, the third is sup- 
posed to be behind the member. 

" In the corner, directly under the sergeant, is a dissipated 
young man and his distressed family, addicted to hunting and 
sports, without adequate means for the enjoyment. He, half 
intoxicated, his only refuge left his bottle, has just drawn a 
cork, and is addressing his only comfort, while bis daughter is 
delicately putting the bottle aside and looking with entreaty at 
her father. 

" The harassed wife is putting back the daughter, unwilling 
to deprive the man she lovea of what, though a baneful consola- 
tion, is still one; while the little shoeless boy, with his hoop, 
is regarding his father with that strange wonder with which 
children took at the unaccountable alteration in features and 
expression which take phice under the effects of intoxication. 

180 MEMOIRS OF B. R. HAYDON. 11828, 

" Three pawnbrokers' duplicates, one for the child's ehoea, 
1«. Gd., one for ihe wedding-ring, 5*., and one for the wife's 
necklace, 11., lie at tlie feet of the father, with the Sporting 
Magazine; for drunkarda generally part with the little necea- 
saries of their wives and children before thej treBpass on their 

" At the opposite corner lies curled up the Head Constable, 
hid away under his bed-curtain, which he had for a robe, and 
Blily looking, as if he hoped nobody would betray him ! By 
bia side is placed a table, with the relics of luxurious enjoys 
ment, while a washing-tub ae a wine cooler containa, under the 
table, a pine, bock, Cliampagne, and Burgundy. 

" Directly over the sergeant, on the wall, are written, ' The 
JUajesti of the Peepel for ever — huzza I ' 'No military at 
Elections r and 'No Marshal!' On the standards to the left 
are ' Confusion to Credit, and no Jrawdalent Creditors' In 
the window are a party with a lady smoking a hookah ; on thfl 
ledge of the window ' Success to the detaining Creditor ! ' At 
the opposite window is a portrait of the painter, looking down 
ijn the extraordinary scene with great interest; underneath 
him, ' Sperat infestis' 

" On a board under the lady smoking is written the order of 
the Lord Mayor, enjoining Peace, as follows : — 

" Banco Regis 
" Court House, July 16, 
" In the Sixth year of the 
" Eeign of George IV- 
'' Peremptorily ordered : — 

" That the special constables and headboroughs of this 
ancient bailwick do take into custody all persons found in 
any way committing a breach of the peace during the pro- 
cession of chairing the members returned to represent this 

" Sir Robert Birch (Collegian), Lord Mayor. 

" ' A New Way to pay old Debts,' is written over the first 
turnkey; and below it, 'NB. A rery old way, discovered 
3394 years B. C. ; ' and in the extreme distance, over a shop, 
is, ' Dealer in everything genuine.' 

" While the man beating the long drum, at the opposite end^ 
another the cymbals, and the third blowing a trumpet, with the 

1838.] CHAmtNG THE MEMBER. 181 

windows all croi^ed with spectatorB, complete the compoBition, 
with tbe exception of the meloncholj' victim behind the High 

" I recommend the contemplation of this miserable creature, 
once a gentleman, to all advocatea of imprisonment for debt. 
First rendered reckless by imprisonment, — then hopeless, — 
then sottish, and, last of all, from utter despair of freedom, 
insane! Round bis withered temples is a blue ribbon, with 
^ Dulce est pro patria mori' (it is sweet to die for one's 
country) ; for he is baring his breast to rush on the bayonets 
of the Guards, a wilHng sacrifice, as he believes, poor fellow, 
to a great public principle ! In his pocket he has threo 
pamphlets. On Water Drinking, On the Blessings of Imprison- 
ment for Debt, and Adam Smith's Moral Essay. Ruffles bang 
from his wrists, the relics of former days; lags cover his feeble 
legs ; one foot is naked, and his appearance is that of a being 
decaying, mind and body," 

"March \Gth. — Lough's private day to-day. He had 
a brilliant one, but no orders, though the Musidora is 
the most beautiful of his productions. 

" Lough is delicate, sensitive, and will be short-lived : 
but what a mighty genius. He dined with tne to-day. 
What a gaunt, fiery eagle he looks. He complained of 

" His having no orders affected him, though I told him 
it was the consequence of fashion. I propped him up, 
and restored his spirits ; but he is still depressed. If he 
goes through one quarter of what I have gone through, 
he will die, 

" God grant him life, for the sake of the art. What 
a pure, virginal, shrinking, chaste, delightful creature is 

"March 24ih. — I am in a very precarious state of 
mind — in apathy. I cannot begin on anything, do what 
I will. I feel a lassitude of mind and being ; I hope 
it is not the symptom of some disease. I finished the 
£lectioD at tbe beginning of December ; then wrote the 
catalogue, and fell iU. By the time I was well, Frank was 
ill ; and now he is well dearest Mary is ill, so that I have 

182 XEVOIBS OF B. B. nAYDOS, tlS2S. 

condnnal anxiety. But one must make llje most of oae'ft 
ntuation, let the difficoltics be what they may. 

" March 25lh. — Lough has not had one order for the 
Mnsidora. My God ! to hear on the prirate day people 
Baying, ' Very promisiog yonng man,' — at works before 
which Michel Angelo would have bowed. ' Why does 
he not do busts?' Why does not the slate give him 
sufficient emplovment to present the necessity ? 

" March fi6eh. — My greatest weakness, I am sorry to 
say, is the expectation I form of erery picture. I am 
then disappointed — grow angry and foreboding — wander 
about, and do not return to my pursuits till drawn by 
conscience. Shee (to whom I strolled for comfort, and 
who made me worse) said yesterday, ' that an artist was 
always miserable in reality or in imagination; — in reality 
if he fancies he is perfect, in imagination if he have a 
perfect idea he can never realise.' (This was the day 
Shee said to me, on my saying to him the Academy was 
founded for historical purposes, ' That never entered their 
heads. It was most likely founded on intrigue.*) " 

Haydon ought now to hare been employed on th* 
Eucles, for the purchase of which his friends had subscribed 
at the time of his imprisonment, But he hung back from 
beginning it for some reason he could not explain to 
himself. The cause was probably that depression whict 
is apparent in the preceding extracts from the journal, 
the result of disappointment and ever-recurring difficulty 
from which he at this moment despaired of being able to 
extricate himself, and which drove him to apply to his 
friends, high and low, for money, — a practice which he 
frequently laments that he ever had recourse to, and from 
which earlier "condescension" to portrait ptainting and 
pictures of the cabinet size might have saved him. Now 
that he was willing to do anything for money, patrons 
were, naturally, less eager to employ one, who in the 
heyday of his reputation had refused to undertake such 
commissions as they were ready to give. 

On the 8lh of March he writes, " Sent in a study of a 


child's head to the Academy, and worked hard at copying 
an old head from a miniature. What an employment ! 
After painting the head of Lazarus, to think at forty-two 
years of age I am compelled to do this for bread, — 
pursuing my art as I have pursued it, with all my heart 
and all my soul, for the honour of my country. The fact 
is England is strictly and decidedly commercial, and tlie 
highest gifts of genius are considered more in the light of 
curses than blessings, if a man puts forth his powers on 
any principle incompatible with the commercial basis of 
sale and returns. 

" lO^A. — In the city on business. Met my old fellow- 
student L last night at Buckingham's conversazione. 

He had been in Rome thirteen years. Went out in 
enthusiasm, and of course in Rome and Italy had in- 
creased it by coming in contact with the works of the 
departed great. He has brought his large picture to 
exhibit, and was full of all sorts of hopes, and quite 
inexperienced in the apathy of the great. I felt for him, 
but did not repress his feelings." 

There is much probability (admitting his claims to the 
title of a man of high genius) in the reasons he gives in 
the following extract, for the sympathy shown for him in 
his misfortunes and the apathy which followed. 

" IQth. — The nobility were touched by my sorrows 
last year, not because I was a man of genius in sorrow, but 
because I was a husband shut up from my wife at a time 
of approaching confinement, and they fell for my dreadful 

, situation as men and human beings. If it was from sym- 
pathy for talent, why am I not employed ? Why ? Be- 
cause they do not care about my talents, and would rather, 
conscientiously, if put to the test, not be cursed with any 
who have powers in a style of art they do not comprehend, 

r and wish not to encourage because they do not com- 
prehend it, In short, a man of high genius is an incum- 

11 brance on the patrons of this country, a nuisance to the 

I portrait-painters, and an object of sympathy to the public. 

I " The above is a bitter truth, but it is a truth," 


184 MEMOIRS OP B. H. HATDON. [l828. 

But a stroke of great and unexpected good fortune was 
at hand, which swept away the gloom from his path,' and 
quickened into new life tJie sanguine anticipations of a 
nature which no experience of adversity ever really 
schooled into either prudence or submission to circum- 
stances. This piece of unlooked-for happiness occurred 
on the 18th of this month, and is thus recorded. 

itlth to 31s'. — This morning, to my surprise, the King, 
George IV. (whom God preserve !) sent Seguier to say he 
would wish to see the Mock Election, For ray part I am 
so used to be one day in a prison, and the other in a 
palace, that it scarcely moved me. God only have mercy 
on the art, and make me a great instrument in advancing 
it by any means, suffering or happiness. Oh have mercy, 
and grant this lot of fortune, under Thy mercy, may turn 
out profitable to my creditors. 

" \9th. — This morning I moved the Mock Election to 
St James's Palace. I rang the bell, and out came a respect- 
able-looking man, dressed in black silk stockings. I was 
shown into a back room, and the picture moved in. In 
a sliort time livery servants, valets, and the devil knows 
who, crowded around it. At eleven, Seguier came : the 
picture was moved up into the state apartments. I went 
into the city to my old friend Kearsey, one of those who 
had supported me during the struggle. He was gone to 
a funeral. ' Man groweth up and is cut down like a 
flower.' ' Dust to dust, and ashes to ashes,' was a very 
proper rap to me in my super-human elevation. 

" When I came back Seguier called me aside. The 
room was in a bustle. ' Well,' said he, ' the King is de- 
lighted with your picture. When it was brought in he 
looked at it and said, '■ this is a very fine thing." To the 
figures on the left hand he said, " This is our friend 
Wilkie out-and-out." He then turned to Campbell in 
the corner. " That's a fine head, it's like Buonaparte." 
" Your Majesty, Mr. Haydon thinks it's like Buonaparte 
and Byron." " Can I have it left to-day." " Mr. Haydon 
will leave it with your Majesty as long as you di 

" Seguier declared the King was highly delighted, and 

te J 

oa M 

ad I 



said, ' Come to me to-morrow.' Seguier said he really waa 
astonislied at the taet of the King. He told some stories 
about his father so capitally, and laughed ao heartily, 
that the pages were obliged to go out of the room. (Ex- 
quisite flattery of the pages.) 

" Seguier said ' Can the King have it directly ? ' ' Di- 
rectly,' said I. ' Meet me at the British Gallery at twelve 
on Monday.' 'That I will, my hero,' said I. What des- 
tinies hang on twelve on Monday ! 

" Laclcington (my landlord) said ' D n it, I hope he 

will let you have it again, as you will pay your creditors 
10«. in the pound !' vrai Jean Bull! As I went down I 
dreaded all sorts of disappointments. ' Might not the 
King be ill ? Might not the palace catch fire ? Might 
not Seguier have overruled his expectations ? ' 

" Thus it is ; when we are young, from our ignorance of 
evil, we dash on expecting flowers to bloom at every step ; 
at maturity, from our dread of evil in consequence of 
sufiFering, no pleasure is felt unraingled with apprehension. 

"20i/i. — I thought in the morning, shall I go to 
church and pour forth my gratitude ? Will it not be 
cant? Will it not be more in hopes for what is coming, 
than in gratitude for what is past ? Yes. But my Creator 
is merciful. He knows the weaknesses of human nature. 
To give up trying to do our duty because we cannot do it 
perfectly, is more criminal than trying to do it sincerely, 
however imperfectly. I went. I laboured in prayer to 
vanquish vain aspirations. I poured forth my gratitude, 
and felt the sweet assurance which prayer only brings. 

" Slsi. — To-day has been a bright day in the annals of 
my life. The King has purchased my picture, and paid 
me my money. I went to the British Gallery at half- 
past eleven ; at twelve Seguier came, with a face bursting, 
and coming up to me, said, ' Get a seven and sixpenny 
stamp. ' ' My dear fellow, I have only got 5s. in my 
pocket 1 ' Seguier looked mischievously arch as he took 
out 2«. Gd. Away I darted for a stamp. ' Threepence 
id the girl. I ran back again, got the Sd., took 
the stamp, signed it, and received the money. 


186 MEMOIES OF B. R. HATDON. [iflas. 

" Seguier was really rejoiced, and verily I believe to 
him 1 owe this honour." 

Elated by his good fortune it required all the cool 
good sense of his friend Seguier to restrain Haydon 
from writing to the King a letter of gratitude, in which, 
we may be sure, he would not have missed the oppor- 
tunity of inculcating that duty of encouraging art by 
public patronage, which he so perseveringly forced upon 
ministers. But though occasional suspicions of his friend's 
motives in imploring him to be quiet crossed his mind, 
his better judgment bowed to the force of the advice, 
and he abstained. 

The purchase of his Mock Election by the King sent 
him with fresh spirit to the companion picture of the 

On the 28th I find in his journal: — " On Friday week 
at the palace of my Sovereign : to-day in his prison. I 

called on C , and found him much improved. His 

face had lost that desperate look. He expected to be 
restored to the world. Such was the effect of hope. 

" After sketching heads worthy of Shakespeare, I had 
a desire to throw the possessors oif their guard. I sent out 
for lunch and wine, and ate and drank with tliem. What 
a scene ! What expressions ! What fiery, flashing vigour 
of diabolism ! It was eight niorfths since I bad seen them, 
and the weather-beaten sailor who boasted he drank 
twenty-six glasses from sunrise to sunset was completely 
altered — flabby,— -nervous, — gouty. The young bearded 
Canadian was feeble, — hesitating, — tired, — weak. Mere^ 
dith's death seemed to have touched them. 

" I now, I hope, take my leave of the King's Bench for 

" I completed all my studies, and am ready. To-morrow 
the High Sheriff sits. I met him as I was coming home, 
loitering about the detestable neighbourhood as if en- 

■' The Beuch is the temple of idleness, debauchery, and 



Sir Walter Scott was now in town and visited Haydon. 

" SOtk.— Began the High Sheriff's head, and succeeded. 
Sir Walter Scott called. I introduced liim to the High 
Sheriff. Sir Walter kissed dear Frank's forehead and 
hiessed him, and hoped he would he a clever man. It was 
highly interesting to see Sir Walter, with his fine bead, 
kissing little Frank, who watched and scrutinised him. 
He promised to let me have a sketch of his head before he 
went. Sir Walter laughed heartily at the subject of 
Chairing the Member. • The Marshal should have let 
the poor fellows finish it,' said he. 

" Afo!/ 5M. — Sir Walter came to breakfast according 
to promise. Talfourd, Eastlake, and a young surgeon, 
met him, and we had a very pleasant morning. He sat 
to me afterwards for an hour and a half, and a delightful 
sitting it was. I hit his expression exactly. Sir Walter 
Scott seems depressed. He came up to he happy with 
his family, to be among them ; and, said he, ' They are 
all scattered like sheep. My daughter expected a fine 
season at the Caledonian Ball and Almack's ; packed up 
her best gown, and she found her sister so anxious, she 
has given it all up ! ' I myself was touched. I had not 
seen him so long, and when I saw him last, Lazarus 
towered behind us. I had been imprisoned; he had lost 
43,000/.; he was getting older; I could not be younger, 
In short, the recollections of life crowded on my mind. 

" He told some admirable stories, but still was quieter 
than before. He is such a native creature. I told him 
of an Irishman in St. Giles's, who, coming by where there 
was a great row, seized his stick, looked up to heaven, 
and saying, ' The Lord grant I may take the right side ! ' 
plunged in, and began to thump away. ' Ah,' said Sir 
Walter, ' he showed more discretion than the rest of 
his countrymen ; ' and then he began to look up with an 
arch look, and pretending to spit in his hands and seize 
a club, like Paddy, told us of an adventure he met with 
in Ireland himself; but directly after relapsed into a 
musing, heavy sadness. 

188 MEMOIRS OF B. H. HATDOW. " [1828, 

" I started ghosts, quoting Johnson's assertion in Ras- 
selas. He told us some curious things, affecting to con- 
sider them natural, but I am convinced he half thought 
them supernatural. Sir Walter Scott has certainly the 
most penetrating look I ever saw, except in Shakespeare's 

" C. H, Townshend, the author of The Reigning Vice, 
being in an agony of desire to see Sir Walter, I called 
with him. Sir Walter came out with his usual sim- 
plicity of manner and chatted. Townshend came away 
quite happy, and triumphant over a maiden aunt, who 
laughed at him for having such a desire. 

" ' Mr. Townshend,' said I, ' is a great admirer of your 
genius. Sir Walter.' ' Ah, Mr. Haydon, we vron't say a 
word about that. At any rate, I have amused the public, 
and that is something.' We talked of all sorts of things. 
In speaking of the Thames Tunnel, he said, ' Mr. Brunei 
should take care of the river, for he has proved he is 
capable of bursting in.' 

" But there was a heaviness about him of which I 
never saw a symptom before." 

Time has done something to correct Haydon's judg- 
ment of more than one of his contemporaries in art; 
and his criticism of one at least of the two painters re- 
ferred to in the following entry will scarcely be accepted 

" Ma^ 9th. — Worked till two, and then went out to the 
private days of Martin and Lane. How completely my 
private days and exhibitions have bit them all. 

" Martin and Danhy are men of extraordinary imagi- 
nations, but infants in painting. These pictures always 
seem to artists as if a child of extraordinary fancy bad 
taken up a brush to express its inventions. The public, 
who are no judges of the art, as an art, overpraise their 
inventions, and the artists, who are always professional, 
see only the errors of the brush. 

" 19/A.— My portrait-day. By devoting a day to por- 
traits without interruption, I find my dislike waning. I 


I then make it a study, and fiiid it useful and delightful, 
r and go to my pictures the day after, improved by it. 

" Wlh.— Hard at worli on High Sheriff's hands ; finished 
' them. How every part in nature is in harmony. These 
hands, bony, venous, long and Irish, would suit no other 
head ; returned to my picture with delight." 

There is truth, which has now a chance of being ad- 
mitted, in this criticism of Sir Thomas Lawrence's por- 

"22nd. — Spent a whole morning at the Exhibition. 
Lawrence's flesh has certainly no blood : Jackson's is flesh 
and blood. 

" Lawrence sacrifices all for the head ; and what an 
absence of all purity of tint, in comparison with Vandyke 
or Reynolds ! His excellence is expression, but it is 
conscious expression ; whereas the expression of Rey- 
nolds, Vandyke, Titian, Tintoretto, and Raffaele, is un- 
conscious nature. 

" Lawrence is not a great man : indeed posterity will 
think so. Lady Lyndhurst's hands are really a disgrace 
in drawing, colour, and everything. He affects to be 
careless in subordinate parts, but it is not the carelessness 
of conscious power ; it is the carelessness of intention. 

" Since he went to Italy his general hue is greatly 
improved, but his flesh is as detestably opaque as ever. 

" The whole Exhibition was lamentably deficient. 
Constable and Jackson are the only colourists left. 

" Why are there no historical pictures? Hilton has had 
no commissions, Etty has had no commissions, I have 
had no commissions. Why are there so many portraits t 
Lawrence has had commissions, Jackson has had commis- 
sions, Shee has had commissions, and a hundred others 
bave had commissions, and that is the reason there are 
so many portraits. 

" If Lawrence dies, there is nobody to give an air of 
fashion and taste to the room. In fact I regret I went. 
There was no one single thing I learnt anything from, 
, but many thousand things I deeply regret remembering. 

1838,3 -*T '^^^ EXHIBITION. 189 

190 MEMOIItS OF D. E. HATDON. [lB2a. 

group of Joseph and Mary is very fine, and there is really 
nothing like Martin's picture (Nineveh) in the world. 

" 22nd and 23rd. — Hard at work making pen sketches 
of the heads in the Mock Election, and writing a great 
many anecdotes in a catalogue handsomely bound, which 
I mean to request his Majesty's acceptance of. Left it 
with Lord Mountcharles. 

" 27th. — Portrait day ; a day of coats, waistcoats, 
cheeks, lips and eyes — for themselves alone. The moment 
the last sitter went, I turned his head to the wall, pulled 
out my historical easel, placed the Chairing on it, and 
Boon forgot the turn-up nose. 

" June 8jA. — Hard at work. The young man who sat 
for the sportsman in the Mock Election had spent two 
handsome fortunes; and {as a specimen of the henefit 
derived hy a creditor from imprisoning a debtor) swore 
his creditor should never get a sixpence, and in a reck- 
less feeling of defiance and disgust gave seventy guineas 
for a case of pipes, a short time after he was in, I ordered 
up a bottle of wine, which excited him, and his face got 
that keen relish and fiery flush which is visible in a de- 
bauchee when temptation is near. He drank it all, as if 
the devil was at his elbow. He had served in Spain, and 
was up to everything. He had once, for fun, joined a 
strolling company. The actors all boarded with the 
manager, and one day, at dinner, he addressed them thus: 
' Gentlemen, them as can act Thelley or Argo must eat 
taties ! ' 

I could not help thinking what a pity it was that those 
qualities which were so engaging and disinterested gene- 
rally led to ruin, whilst the meanest vices realised fortunes. 

" June2i:lh, — Worked hard at the wife, and succeeded; 
but how superior was nature. Left off depressed at my 
own ineffective attempt, when in came some one and ad- 
mired my effort at imitation, because he had not seen, as 
I had, superior nature. 

" 26th.— Hard at work on the fool's head, and succeeded. 
Walked in the evening in my old haunts in the Kilburn 



meadows, where I have walked so often witli Keata ; went 
on to Hampstead to Well- Walk, and home in a state of 
musing quiet. The grass, and hay, and setting aun, and 
singing birds, and humming bees entered into my soul, 
and I lay dozing in luxurious remembrances till the 
evening star began to glitter dimly in the distance." 

Wilkie had now returned to England, after his three 
years' quest of health, and the old friends met again, and 
renewed acquaintance ; but with little, I fear, of the cor- 
diality of their student days. Their natures, in fact, were 
antagonistic, and each secretly distrusted the other for the 
qualities in which they differed respectively. 

"June 9,1 th. — Worked till two, and then went to Lord 
Grosvenor's, where I met Wilkie after an absence of three 
years. He was thinner, and seemed more nervous than 
ever. His keen and bushy brow looked irritable, eager, 
nervous, and full of genius. How interesting it was to 
meet him at Lord Grosvenor's, where we have all assem- 
bled these twenty years under every variety of fortune ! 
Poor Sir George is gone, who used to form one of the 
group. Wilkie, Seguier, Jackson and I are left. Lord 
Mulgrave is ill. 

*' As usual, Wilkie started a new theory — about the 
pictures in Spain not being varnished. He says he 
saw a Titian in a convent that had evidently not been 
touched since it was painted. We saw one together at 
Malmaison, belonging to Josephine, which was evidently 
pure, the blues in harmony, Wilkie said it was now in 

" I was deeply interested at seeing my old fellow-student 
and friend ; but Wilkie chills everybody ; it is his un- 
fortunate nature. He told me he never ate animal food 
till he came to Edinbro' — his father was too poor. Per- 
haps tliis laid the foundation of hia unhappy debility of 
constitution. Whether the energy of England will re- 
cover him I do not know. I hope so. He looks radically. 

'■ 39M.— Called on Wilkie — found him better. He 


eaid Newton's Vicar of Wakefield looked like Gold- 
smith in a dress of Moliere's. It had not got the sim- 
plicity of Goldsmith. He was afraid to talk much ; but 
he will recover. He seemed more impressed with Spain 
ttan either Italy or Germany. The whole world has had 
Buch a rattle, that the highest as well as the lowest have 
abated of their pretensions. 

" SOth. — Completed the group, L dined with me 

yesterday : already, poor fellow, cut up, as I predicted 
three months ago. He has resolved to relinquish histo- 
rical painting, and turn to portraits. 

'^ July 9tL — The moment I quit my canvas, I get 
into all sorts of messes. 

" Whether it is the activity of my mind, or that trifles 
press more heavily on me when not occupied, I can't tell : 
but the children seem to cry more than usual ; the post- 
man knocks harder than his wont; the dustman 'h bell 
makes more noise ; and I get restless, yawn, gape at the 
clock, stroll into the fields, get weary of my existence. 
What a life an idle man of fortune's must be. 

" 12(A, 13M. — Better. Worked faintly at the fool. 
Every body who called exclaimed, * What a melancholy 
sot, with a touch of insanity.' This was the very thing. 
13 days gone. Six ill — idle — business. 

7 at work, 
Eighteen days left. Let us see whether, if I work with 
prudence and attention to my health, I can keep up the 
whole eighteen. The misfortune with me is, I do too 
much at particular times. But it can't be helped : im- 
pulses must be attended to. My delight in my art is so 
intei-woven with my nature, that I envy the very fellow 
who grinds my colours, I could be always in my painting- 
room when once there. I always leave my work with 
difficulty, dwell on it till I return, and recommence in 
pleasure. I would not let pupils set my palette, or grind 
■mv colours, or aid my designs. 1 love it all too much, 

iioess, ODxietiea, and sickness take their turns of retar- 



dation ; but my heart h anchored, and it is only a slack- 
ening of the cable for a time. It is never loose, and 
when the sea is calm and the winds are high, I haul taut 
up, and ride fearless, in delight and triumph. 

" 14(A. — At work successfully, but not long. Rather 
melancholy from ray state of personal health. 

" ISth. — At the moment I opened my window a mag- 
nificent wliite cloud was passing, I rushed in for my 
palette, and dashed it into my picture before it had 
passed. It does exactly. 

" Instead of getting better, I got worse, and dear Mary 
advised me to go out of town for a few days. I 6ew off 
directly, and instead of forming one of the vulgar idlers 
at a watering-place, determined to make a pilgrimage to 
Stratford-ou-Avon, Happy, indeed, am I, I did so. A 
more delightful jaunt I never had in all my life. It will 
be a blight spot in my imagination for years and years. 

" The first day I went to Oxford. I got in late, and 
peeped into some of the colleges. After the bustle, 
anxieties, fatigue, and harass of a London life, the peace 
and quiet of those secluded, Gothic-windowed, holy 
chambers of study, came over one's feelings with a cooling 
sensation, as if one had mounted from hell to heaven, and 
heen admitted on reprieve from the tortures and fierce 
passions of the enraged, the malignant, the ignorant and 
the lying, to the beautiful simplicity of angelic feelings, 
where all was good, and holy, and pious, and majestic. 

"I need not say it was vacation, or very likely my 
feelings in peeping in would not have been so very holy. 

" I left Oxford next morning outside, and got to Strat- 
ford at two, I ordered dinner, and hurried away to Hen- 
ley Street. The first thing I saw was a regular sign, 
projecting from a low house. ' The immortal Shakespeare 
was born in this house.' I darted across, and cursed the 
door for keeping me out a moment, when a very decent 
and iieat widow-looking woman came from a door that 
entered from the other house, and let me in. I marched 
through, mounted an ancient staircase, and in a moment 
TOL. ir, O 


194 MEMOIRS OF B. R. HATDOS. [1828. 

was in the immortal room where Shakespeare gave the first 
puling cry, which announced he was living and healthy. 

"It is low and long, and has ercry appearance of having 
been in existence long before Shakespeare's time. The 
^arge old chimney has a cross-beamed front. There is a 
document to the effect that his father bought the house 
when Shakespeare was ten years old, and a tradition he 
occupied it before : so that there is perhaps little doubt 
he was bom in it, and as people generally are horn in bed- 
rooms, why this up-stairs room probably gave birth to the 

"The present possessor complains bitterly of the pre- 
vious tenant, who after promising not to injure the 
names uf all the illustrious visitors for the last eighty 
years, in mere spite, because she was obliged to leave, 
whitewashed the whole room. His Majesty's name, as 
Prince of Wales, can't be found ; Garrick's, and the 
whole host of the famous of the last century, are for ever 
obliterated: and hundreds on hundreds of immortal ob- 
scure who hoped to cut out a little freehold of fame, are 
again and for ever sunk to their natural oblivion. 

" The name of this old beldame is Hornby, and let her 
be damned to eternal fame with her worthy predecessor, 
Mr. Gastrell. Illustrious pair, hail and be cursed. 
"When she thought she was dying, she confessed she had 
imposed on the visitors with her absurd relics, and begged 
they might be burnt. Now she is well again, she swears 
by them as much as ever. Those who sat up by her told 
the present occupant this. 

" A squinting cockney came in while I was there, so I 
left, and walked to the sequestered and beautiful spot 
where the dust of this great genius lies at rest. A more 
delightful place could not have been found. It is Shake- 
speare in every leaf. It must have been chosen by him- 
self as he stood in the chancel musing on the fate of the 
dead about him, and listening to the humming murmur 
and breezy rustle of the river and trees by which it 
stands. The most poetical imagination could not have 

1828.] STRATFORD-ON-AVON. 195 

imagined a burial-place more worthy, more suitable, more 
English, more native for a poet than this, — above all 
for Shakespeare. As I stood over his grave and read his 
pathetic entreaty and blessing on the reader who revered 
his remains, and curses on him who dared to touch ; as I 
looked up at his simple unaffected bust, executed while 
his favourite daughter was living, and put up by her hus- 
band; as I listened to the waving trees and murmuring 
Avon, saw the dim light of the large windows, and 
thought I was hearing what Shakespeare had often heard, 
and was standing where he had stood many times, I was 
deeply touched. The church alone, from the seclusion of 
its situation, with the river and trees, and sky and tombs, 
was enough to call out one's feelings ; but add to this, 
that the remains of Shakespeare were near me, prostrate, 
decaying, and silent in a grave he had himself pointed out, 
in a church where he had often prayed, and with an 
epitaph he had himself written while living, and it is impos- 
sible to say where on the face of the earth an Englishman 
should be more affected, or feel deeper, more poetical, or 
more exquisite emotions. I would not barter that simple, 
sequestered tomb in Stratford for the .Troad, the Acro- 
polis, or the field of Marathon. 

" The venerable clerk, whose face looked as if not one 
vicious thought had ever crossed his mind, seeing me 
abstracted, left me alone after unlocking the door that 
leads to the churchyard, as much as to say, * Walk there, 
if you please.' 

'* I did so, and lounging close to the Avon, turned 
back to look at the sacred enclosure. The sun was 
setting behind me, and a golden light and shadow che- 
quered the ancient Gothic windows, as the trees moved 
by the evening wind alternately obscured or admitted 
the sun, I was so close that the tower and steeple 
shot up into the sky, like some mighty vessel out at 
sea, which you pass under for a moment, and which 
wdth its gigantic masts seems to reach the vault of 


o 2 

IflC 3IENOTBS OF B. B. HATDOX. [1828. 

" I Stood and drank in to enthusiasm all a buman being 
could feel — all that the most ardent and devoted lover of 
s great genius could hare a sensailon of — all that the 
most tender scenery of river, trees and suiisel-skj together 
could excite. I was lost, quite lost, and in such moment 
should wish my soul to take its Sight, (if it please God) 
when m; time is finished. As soon as I recovered from 
my trance, I was sorry to walk back to the town, to talk 
to waiters and chamber-maids of tea and bread and butter. 
To feel ihey were requisite, to think of eating and drink- 
ing at all, was a bore and a disgust. 

" However, gratified I had lived to enjoy such feelings, 
I left this delightful seclusion. I dozed all night in a 
dream ; I returned to bed but could not sleep, and early 
the next morning got up to set off for Charlecote. 

" To Charlecote I walked on foot as fast as my legs 
could carry me, and crossing a meadow, entered the im- 
mortalised park by a back pathway. Trees, gigantic and 
umbrageous, at once announce the growth of centuries : 
while I was strolling on I caught a distant view of the old 
red-tricked house, in the same style and condition as 
when Shakespeare lived, and going close to the river side 
came at once on two enormous old willows, with a large 
branch aslant the stream, such as Ophelia hung to. Every 
blade of grass, every daisy and cowslip, every hedge- 
flower and tuft of tawny earth, every rustling, ancient 
and enormous tree which curtains the sunny park with 
its cool shadows, between which the sheep glittered on 
the emerald green in long lines of light, — every ripple of 
the river with its placid tinkle, 

" ' Giving a genlle kiss to every sedge 

It overtaketh in its pilgrimage,' 

announced the place where Shakespeare imbibed his 
early, deep and native taste for landscape and forest 
scenery. Oh, it was delightful indeed ! Shakespeare 
seemed to hover and bless all I saw, thought of, or trod on, 
" Those great roots of the lime and oak bursting, tu| 

1828.] STRATFORD-ON-AVON. 197 

it were, above the ground, bent up by the depth they had 
struck into it, Shakespeare had seen — Shakespeare had 
sat on. 

" Wondering I had seen no deer, I looked about, and 
saw a rascal, a lineal descendant, may be, of the very buck 
Shakespeare shot, lounging on his speckled haunches and 
staring at me. This completed the delightful delusion, 
and crossing a little old bridge over a branch of the Avon, 
of the same age as the hall, I came at once on the 
green before the house, and turning to the right under an 
arched doorway, reached the front entrance of another 
archway with a tower at each angle. In the tower facing 
my left was a clock. Here was an iron gate, and inside a 
regular garden, the old front of the house showing at the 
end of it. 

** A young lady and an old one were talking to a parrot, 
and a gardener was shaving the grass-plot with a scythe. 
He referred me to the housekeeper ; so fearing I had 
intruded, I returned to the back entrance, and meeting 
a servant, asked to see the house. By this time chamber- 
maid, cook, butler, and all the evidences of a full es- 
tablishment, peeped at me by turns. I sent the respects 
of a gentleman from London, and begged to see the 
house. The butler shortly after showed me to the hall, 
and afterwards the housekeeper came in. 

*' The housekeeper of Washington Irving's time was 
married. I saw the same pictures as he saw, and am 
convinced the hall is nearly the same as when Shakespeare 
was brought to it. I saw the old staircase, and a col- 
lection of pictures with a good one or two amongst them — 
one a genuine Teniers of his marriage — a fine Honde- 
koeter, and heads of Sebastian del Piombo and Hobbima, 
all genuine. 

" The Lucy family appeared to me shy. They may not 
be ambitious of showing themselves as the descendants of 
the ' lousy ' Lucy : that satire sticks to them, and ever 
must, as long as the earth is undestroyed. They sent 

o a 


for my card, but nothiug came of it. Perhaps they never 
licard of my name. 

" ' This is tile hall,' said the amiable good-humoured 
housekeeper, ' where Sir Thomas tried Shakespeare.' 
This is evidently the way the family pride alludes to 
the fact, and I dare say servants and all think Shake- 
speare a profligate, dissolute fellow, who ought to have 
heen transported. 

" In the great hall window were the Lucy arms — three 
luces. I left the ill-bred, inhospitable house, my respect 
for the Lucies by no means much higher than Shake- 
speare's ; but the park amply compensated me, for a 
nobler, more ancient, and more poetical forest I never 

" Fulhrook I could not stay to see ; but if I live I will 
spend a week at Stratford, and ransack every hole and 
stream, and no doubt shall find the very place where 
Jaques soliloquised upon the wounded deer. 

"Just as I came again amongst the venerable trees it 
began to rain with a jubilee vigour, but the invulnerable 
foliage completely secured me. I sat down on the roots 
of an ancient lime, and mused on the house before me. 
A mis-shapen moss-growu statue of Diana, on a pedestal, 
as old as the house, was at the end of the large trees; 
and as I sat in thought, a beautiful speckled doe and 
her young one, after regarding me for a moment, sprang 
off with a light spring, as if their feet were feathered. 
Again they stopped, and again stared, and again they were 
off, and dashed behind some enclosure. Weary of the 
rain I sallied forth, and after crossing the meadow came 
into the road ; but disdaining the beaten track I plunged 
into a bye-path, which brought me to the river, of 
which I caught a long, placid, and willowed stretch, as 
lucid as a mirror, reflecting earth and sky in sleepy 
splendour. I mounted the hank again, and scrambling 
through a damp, soaking path, came out on the road, 

" I could not help remarking how short a road is when 

1828.] STRATFORD-ON-AVOK. 199 

in pursuit of any object, and how tedious after the object 
is gained. 

" Wet to the knees, I passed, as I approached the old 
bridge, a humble sign of the Plough and Harrow. In I 
walked, and found an old dame blowing a wood fire — the 
room and chimney of the same age as Shakespeare. On 
a form with a back sat a countryman smoking, and by the 
window a decent girl making a gown. On the table by 
the door was a bundle of pipes, enclosed in three rings, 
the two end rings resting on two feet A clock made by 
Sharp (who bought Shakespeare's mulberry tree), a chest 
of drawers on three legs, the old furniture, and the whole 
room looking clean, humble, and honest. I ordered ale, 
which was excellent, and giving the smoker a pint, asked 
him if he ever heard of Shakespeare. ' To be sure,' 
said he, * but he was not born in Henley Street.^ 
' Where was he born ? ' ' By the water side, to be 
sure.' 'Why,' said I, 'how do you know that?' 
* Why John Cooper, in the almshouses.' 'Who's he?' 
said I. 'What does he know about it?' said the old 
hostess. ' Nonsense ! ' said the young girl. My pot com- 
panion, giving a furious smoke at being thus floored at his 
first attempt to put forth a new theory of Shakespeare's 
birthplace, looked at me very grave, and prepared to over- 
whelm me at once. He puffed away, and after taking 
a sip said, ' Ah, sir, there's another wonderful fellow.' 
' Who ? ' said I, imagining some genius of Stratford who 
might contest the palm. ' Why,' said he, with more gra- 
vity than ever, ' Why, John Cooper.' ' John Cooper I ' 
said I; 'Why what has he done?' 'Why, zur, I'll 
tell 'ee ; ' and then laying his pipe down, and leaning on 
his elbow, and looking right into my eyes under his old 
weather-beaten, embrowned hat, ' I '11 tell 'ee. He's lived 
ninety years in this here town, man and boy, and has 
never had the tooth-ache, and never lost wan.' He then 
took up his pipe, letting the smoke ooze from the sides 
of his mouth instead of puffing it out horizontally, till it 

ascended in curls of conscious victory to the ceiling of 

o 4 

200 MEU0tB9 OF B. R. HAYDON. [lB28. 

the npartnieiit, wliile tiiy companion leaned back his head 
and crossed his legs with an air of superior intelligence, 
as if this conversation must now conclude. We were no 
longer on a level. 

" I spoke not another word: retired to my inn, the Red 
Horse ; took another sequestered sigh at the grave, another 
peep at the house, got into the garden where the mulberry 
tree grew, heard the clock strike which Shakespeare had 
often heard, and getting into a Shrewsbury stage at nine 
the next uiorning, was buried in London smoke and 
London anxieties before nine at night. 

" Hail and farewell ! Not the Loggie of Raffaele, or 
the Chapel of Michel Angelo, will ever give me such 
native, unadulterated raiiture as thy silver stream, em- 
bosomed church, and enchanting meadow, immortal 

Soon after his return to town Haydon again saw Wilkie. 
" Jul// 2i/h. — Called on Wilkie, and saw his ItaUan 
pictures, and was much pleased, Wilkie is getting better, 
and as he finds I am rising again he was not so cold. 
Parts of Washing the Pilgrims' Feet were beautiful. His 
two studies of the Sybils from Michel Angelo were 
beautiful, but of course his want of knowledge made the 
drawing deficient. 

" Every feeling and theory of Wilkie centres in self. 
His theory now is no detail, because he finds detail too 
great an effort for his health. He said, ' When you and 
I began the art we found everything splash and dash. 
We sot about reforming it, and we did reform it.' I was 
astonished at the liberality of this acknowledgment, 

" The King, with his usual benevolence, has bought two 
of his pictures. I was glad to see Wilkie recovering. We 
both talked of our excessive misfortunes; of Sir Walter's 
misfortunes, and remarked if we all got through, how 
useful they will have been to the whole of us. 

.' 27M.— Wilkie called. He said I had no idea of Fra 
Burtolomeo. He said some good things and some weak 
things, as usual. He said he always stopped when ha 




found a difficulty, and never painted anything but what 
was perfectly easy. This was entirely on account of his 
health, and because his health was weak, he laid down as 
an axiom in art, that when you come to a difficulty you 
should stop. A pretty doctrine to teach a pupil! He 
said (which was good) ' that behind any object of interest 
there should be repose, and a flat shadow.' I gave him a 
catalogue, and he said he must get it read to him, for he 
had not strength to read it. He looked gaunt and feeble. 
God knows what to make of Wilkie's health. 

" But I was happy to see him. The many early and 
pleasant associations I have connected with Wilkie always 
must make him interesting to me. His selfishness and 
Scotch individuality have chilled, without destroying, my 

By close and hard work Ha3'don, by the end of July, 
had finished his picture of Chairing the Member. 

" July 30th. — Hard at work and finished the soldiers. 
It is done, and God be praised that I have accomplished 
this work in precisely the same time as the last, and that 
I have been blessed with health and competence and 

" Slsi.— The Duke of Bedford called; he was infirm. 
He said, ' I suppose the King will have this to complete 
the suite.' 1 wish lie may. He admired it exceedingly ; 
but it is a satire touching so nearly on depravity that 
nobody but a king could sanction it. I passed the day 
before my picture contemplating improvements, and with 
my dear friend Miss Mitford. I prayed gratefully and 
sincerely ; and have been quiet, serene, and contented." 

The point was now the exhibition of the picture. Where 
was the money to be found for a frame and for adver- 
tising? " I wrote to two or three friends," he says, — " I 
hope successfully. Till 1 am out of debt, I shall be 
still obliged to pester ray friends occasionally." His ap- 
plication, in one quarter at least, was successful. Joseph 
Strutt, of Derby, was ready again in this emergency. It 
is hut one instance of assistance so given by this benevo- 

202 MEMOIUS OH' U. R. HAVDON. [183S. 

lent man, oat of many of which records are preserved in 
the journala of Haydon, and in all, the manner of con- 
ferring the aid is as noble aa the aid itself is munificent 

The exhibition opened, (at the Western Bazaar in 
Bond Street) and was moderately successful. Besides the 
new picture, it included Solomon, Christ's Entry into 
Jerusalem, and ihe drawings for the two prison pictures. 
The Mock Election was not there, as it had before this 
been removed to Windsor. From many letters of con- 
gratulation I select this from Charles Lamb. The half- 
profane half-rcvorent allusion towards the end of it seems 
intended as a hint that it was questionable taste to intro- 
duce into the same exhibition of a single painter's works 
subjects of broad humour and of religious solemnity ; 
and the motive of this hint, to my mind, excuses the 
manner of it. 

" Dear Hay don, 
" I have been tardy in telling you that your Oiairing the 
Member gave me great pleasure — 'tia true broad Hogarlhian 
fun, the High Sheriff capitah Considering, too, that you had 
the materials imposed upon you, and that you did not select 
tbem fram the rude world as U. diJ, I hope to see many more 
Huoh from your hand. If the former picture went beyond thia 
I have had a loss, and the King a bargain. I longed to rub 
the back of my hand acroBS tlie hearty canvas that two senses 
might be gratified. Perhaps the subject is a little discordantly 
placed opposite to another act of Chairing, where the huzzaa 
were Hosannahs ! but I was pleased to see so many of my old 
acquaintances brought together notwithstanding. 

" Believe me, yours truly, 

" C. Laub." 

The Chairing of the Member being at length off the 
easel, Eucles was fairly begun. Here is the painter's own 
description of that picture, (which was exhibited next 
year iu an unfinished state,) introduced here to render 
more intelligible subsequent references to it while in 
Apr ogress. 


" Eucles was a Greek soldier, who ran from Marathon to 
Athens, as soon as tlie victory over the Persians was decided, 
and died from fatigue and wounds just as he entered the city. 

*^ It is supposed (in the manner of treating the subject) that 
after Eucles had announced the victory to the primates, he ran 
bleeding and exhausted to his own home, and dropped just as 
he reached it. 

** His wife and children are rushing out to welcome him, 
not knowing his condition : a man is springing from a step to 
catch him as he drops, a woman is hiding her face, and her 
daughter clinging to her, while a man on horseback is huzzaing 
to those behind. 

" In the background is the Acropolis ; with the Propy- 
Iseum, the Parthenon, and the statue of Minerva Promachus. 

" It is wished to express in the figure of Eucles, the condi- 
tion of a hero, fresh from a great battle — his crest torn — his 
helmet cleft intone greave lost — and the other loose — all 
military array disorganised, and the whole figure announcing 
struggle, triumph, and approaching death ! 

" Every caution, criticism, and remark are courted. The 
intention, expression, composition, and action are as they are 
meant to be ; the colour alone is unfinished, and not a subject 
for criticism. To show a picture in this state is an experi- 
ment, but it is to let the subscribers see it is advancing, and 
that it will soon be done. 

^^ As remarks have been made, in consequence of this pic- 
ture not being finished before the Mock Election, Mr. Haydon 
begs to say, he had leave of the principal subscribers to paint 
the Election first.** 

During the later months of 1828, Haydon was actively 
engaged in writing on the old subject — public patron- 
age for art — to influential members both of the Lords 
and Commons. The Duke of Wellington being now at 
the head of afiairs, Haydon addressed himself to him, as 
he had done to Mr. Robinson, Mr. Vansittart and Mr. 
Canning, but with no better eflTect. 

'« December ISth. — I wrote the Duke, begging his 
leave to dedicate a pamphlet to him, on the causes which 
have obstructed the advance of high art in England for 
the last seventy years. 

201 UEM0IK8 OF B. R. nATDON. D828. 

" Here is bis answer in his own immortal hand. 

" ' London, 12th December, 1828. 

" The Duke of Wellington presents his compliments to Mr. 
Haydon, and has lo flckuowledge the receipt of hia letter. 

" The Duke has long found himself under the necessity of 
declining to give his formal permission that any work what- 
ever should be dedicated to him. 

" The Duke regrets much, therefore, that he cannot comply 
with Mr. Ilaydon'a desire." 

Nothing daunted, Haydon returns to the charge. 

" December ^Ut. — Wrote the Duke and stated the 
leading points of a system of public encouragement. God 
in heaven grant I may interest him. Ah, if I do 1 

On the 23rd came the prompt and decisive answer. 

" The Duke of Wellington presents his compliments to Mr, 
Haydon, and will readily peruse and attend to his work, but he 
is much concerned again to repeat that he must decline to give 
permission that any work should be dedicated to hira," 

On the 35th, Haydon again wrote, and thus recapitu- 
lates the points of his letter. 

" According to the Duke's permission I sent him the leading 
points, 1 pointed out how a practical plan could be immediately 
put in force by adorning the Admiralty, Cliel:iea Hospital, 
House of Lords, &c. I said I have been asked by membera of 
both Houses what practical plan I could propose. Encouraged 
by such a question I have replied, let the great room at the Ad- 
miralty and Chelsea Hospital be adorned with the leading pointa 
of naval and military glory, and the House of Lords with four 
subjects to illustrate the beat government, the first showing 
Horror of Democracy (Banishment of Aristides), the second, 
Horror of Despotism (Burning of Rome by Nero), the third, 
Blessings of Law (Alfred establishing Trial by Jury), and the 
fourth, Limited Monarchy settled (the King returns crowned 
to Westminster Hall, welcomed by the shouts of beauty and 

" What finer accompaniment to the graceful magnificence of 
His Majesty ? 


" Between each, portraits of the great, Alfred, Bacon, Nel- 
son, Wellington, &c., and all those who established our great- 

" I concluded a strong letter by pointing out all the causes 
of the failure of historical painting, in the preponderance 
portrait got at the Reformation ; and the remedy, the 
patronage of the state and the Sovereign. I finished by 
saying, * Encumbered by laurel as the Duke is, there is 
yet a wreath that would not be the least illustrious of his 

" As this was an extract and not addressed to him, I 
apologised for the allusion. 

** But I suspect the Duke is innately modest : he was not 
pleased, and sent the following cold ofiicial reply, so dif- 
ferent from his other letters. 

" The Duke of Wellington presents his compliments to Mr. 
Haydon, and begs leave to acknowledge the receipt of his letter 
of the 25th inst. 

« * London, Dec. 26. 1828." 

" I know his character. I questioned the policy of say- 
ing it, but still, after my explanation, I trusted he would 
have understood the nature of my mind, and my eager 

" At any rate the truth has gone unto him, and though 
he may be angry with my obliging him to see it, he can't 
forget it. I have put him in possession of the ground. 
Time will develope all." 

On the last day of the year a purchaser * was found 
for the Chairing at 300/., '' 2251. less than its worth," 
says Haydon, but the oflTer was accepted from sheer 
necessity. The net receipts from these two pictures, 
including the produce of the exhibition and the sale of 
drawings, amounted to 1,396/., a sum, as he observes, 
which in better circumstances and with less expense would 
have been a comfortable independence for the year. 

♦ Mr. Francis, a country gentleman, living near Exeter. 



Cl8S9. V 


The first month of this year ushered into tlie wortc 
pamphlet, in which Haydon set out for the public the 
same reasons which he had so long been vainly urging on 
ministers, in favour of the public employment of artists. 
The best disposed of hia friendly critics agreed that, 
admitting the truth of his reasoninff, it was hopeless to 
expect any realisation of what he asked for. The Duke 
of Wellington, with his usual punctuality, acknowledged, 
with his own hand, the receipt of the pamphlet, immersed 
as he was, at the moment, in the growing difficulties of 
the Catholic question, which now agitated the country 
and engrossed the Cabinet. 

Haydon remarks on this striking proof of disciplined 
attention at such a moment, " What an extraordinary 
man Wellington is. The day I sent my letter his bead 
must have been full, morning, noon, and night. Par- 
liament opens on Thursday. The Catholic question was 
coming on. The Spitalfields weavers came in processioa 
with a petition. There was a Council till six. The day 
before he was at Windsor. In addition to all this, con- 
sider the hundreds of letters, and petitions, and immediate 
duties, and yet he found lime to answer himself my re- 
quest, with as much caution and presence of mind, as if 
lounging in his drawing-room with nothing else to do." 

On the 30th he wrote the Duke " to ask with all the 
respect due to his illustrious character," whether if his 
plan for the encouragement of historical painting by a 
grant of a moderate sum of money was brought forward 
in the House of Commons, it would meet with any 
obstacle on the part of His Grace, or whether if Hia 
Grace should be favourably disposed towards his prostrate 
style of art, he would rather that any plan of that nature 
should emanate entirely from himself? 

His Grace's opinion (Haydon assured him) would be 
held sacred by him, and he concluded with every apology 
for hia presumption. 


The Duke replied : — 

" The Duke of Wellington presents his compliments to Mr. 
Haydon, and has had the honour of receiving his letters. 

" The Duke begs leave to reserve his opinion upon the en- 
couragement proposed to be given to historical painting, until 
he will see the practical plan for such encouragement.'* 

On this Haydon at once submitted his practical plan : — 

" 7th February, 1829. 

" May it please your Grace, 

" I beg respectfully to express my deep sensibility of the high 
honour conferred by your Grace's reply, viz., that you reserved 
your opinion till you saw the practical plan to be proposed. 
May it please your Grace, it must be admitted that historical 
painting has never flourished in England as in Italy or France, 
solely because it has never been patronised by the State in this 

" It will therefore be proposed (not without the sanction of 
your Grace), that 4000/, be granted every two years for six 
years for the employment of historical painters ; and if, at the 
end of that period, the works produced justify the liberality of 
the grant, 

" That the 4000/. shall be continued annually for ten years 
more, to be renewed every ten years, or abolished at the end of 
the first ten years, according to the success or failure of the 
system pursued. 

" It will be proposed that a Committee of the House, as in 
the case of the Elgin Marbles, be selected to examine the most 
eminent artists as to the best method of disposing of the money 
to be distributed, the plan to be regulated according to the re- 
port made. 

" May it please your Grace, 

" The above is the plan to be proposed, provided your Grace 
approves of it being brought into the House, but if your Grace 
should say 4000/. shall be laid aside to try the effect of com- 
missions from the State as in France, and should condescend to 
ask me, as an individual, for my opinion as to an immediate 
practical plan, I should presume, encouraged by such a distinc- 
tion, to say the best and most effectual plan would be at once 

208 MEMOmS OF B. B. nAYDON. [lB99. 

to give four commissions to four of the most established artists 
to piuDt four pictures on an important scak, size of life, viz,, 

One military - - for Chelsea Hospital. 

One naval - - for great room Admiralty, 

One sacred - - for an altar-piece. 

One civil - - for hall of justice. 

" May it please your Grace, 
" I have received a letter from a distinguished member of 
the House of Commons wiihin this week, saying historical 
painting will never flourish in England, but from grants of 
public money aa in France, where the effect of such a Bjrstem 
is visible, a large school of history being solely supported by 

" I humbly and respectfully hope that the sum proposed will . 
be considered by your Grace as so moderate as not (if per- 
mitted) to interfere with the system of rigid economy deter- 
mined on by Hia Majesty's Government, and that aa the condi- 
tion of historical painting is prostrate, and that it will decay 
and be extinct without the system pursued in other countries 
where it has flourished be odopted, that your Grace will be 
pleased to add to the other glories of your ministry, the glory 
of establishing a system of national aid to the aria in the 
highest style. 

" Anxiously awaiting your Grace's reply as my sole guide, 
" Ever your Grace's humble servant and 
" Ardent admirer, 

" B. R. Hatdon." 

which eager appeal was met by this brief and conclusive 
answer : — 

" The Duke of Wellington presents hia compliments to Mp. 
Haydon, and has had the honour of receiving hia letter. 

" The Duke must again beg leave to decline to give an 
answer until the plan shall be brought regularly before him. 

" TJie Duke must, however, in the first instance, object to the 
grant of any public money for the object." 

This left no opening for further correspondence, even 
to Haydon's pertinacity, and he applied for advice to 
Mr. George Agar Ellis. 

' February ^^Ih. — Saw Mr. Agar Ellis by appoint-* 


ment, anil told him all that had passed between the Duke 
and myself. Asked him if I had any chance by laying the 
plan regularly before him through the secretaries. He 
said, ' Not in the least : that last year the Directors of the 
Gallery applied to Government for 3000/., offering 3000Z. 
of their own money, for a piece of ground to extend the 
National Gallery. Lord Wellington would not listen to 
it. And when he granted the Museum some money he 
told the trustees that next year they must go without.' 

" Mr, Agar Ellis said he would be on the alert, and put 
in a word occasionaHy whenever an opportunity occurred, 
but he gave nae no hope whatever at present. He begged 
me to continue my pamphlets every year, and whenever 
he s'Sw a prospect he would make the motion requisite, 
but unless sanctioned by Government it would be im- 
possible to carry it, because there is a strong party in the 
House against it, which if backed by Government would 
be quite irresistible. Well. The King is my only hope 
now; and perhaps he is afraid of the Duke, as everybody 
appears to be. I cannot help expressing my astonishment 
at the masterly manner in which the Duke has managed 
Peel. If he had let him resign, he would have been head 
of the opposition to emancipation, and safe to have been 
minister. By persuading him to stay he has ruined the 
only chance he ever had of being formidable. All my 
predictions about Wellington are daily coming true. 
He will rescue the country, double its power, and leave 
it with its revenue flourishing, feared, respected, and 
wondered at." 

July S^nd, — This matter settled, Haydon now re- 
newed his intercourse with Wilkie. " Had a very pleasant 
two hours indeed with Wilkie looking over his Spanish 
pictures, and had one of our usual discussions about art. 
The worst of it is one never can find out Wilkie's genuine 
opinion upon art. He is always influenced by his im- 
mediate interests, or convenience, whatever that may be. 
Now it is all Spanish and Italian art. He thinks notliing 
of his early and beautiful efforts — his Rent Day, his 


210 MEMOIRS OF B. R. HATDON. [1829. 

Fiddler, hi* Politicians. ' They are not carried far enough,' 
as if anything on earth, in point of expression and story, 
was ever carried further. 

" We then of course got on the old subject — my writ- 
ing. Wilkie said, ' It is not the most conducive to a man's 
interests to he too right.' (I thought this a good touch.) 
' It is rather better,' said he, ' to let others imagine they 
are right, and you wrong, if you want to gel on in the 

" When an opinion of Wilkie's cannot be traced to any 
personal consideration, it may be listened to with safety. 
In composition he is perfectly infallible. 

" Italian art is to him quite new, and he comes out to 
Ilia own astonishment with notions and principles which, 
to those who began, as I did, with Italian art, are quite a 
settled and old story. At the same time there is great 
liberality in Wiikie, for he keeps nothing to himself, and, 
right or wrong, always communicates bis thoughts to 

" 25th. — Wilkie called, and we had again a long and en- 
tertaining conversation. He said when he came to Madrid, 
of course English art had never been heard of. He had a 
character to make. He began his Council of War, which 
the King had bought. The artists called and could make 
nothing of his system of art. At last, as it began to be 
completed, they began to be interested, and old Gomez 
{Ferdinand's painter) said to a friend of Wilkie's, ' Depend 
on it the English don't know who they have got in Signior 
Vix.' He never could pronounce Wilkie's name. 

" Wilkie strenuously advised me to get to Italy, family 
and alh One can't depend on his siucerity. T have got a 
character, and made a hit in satire ; got ground in a style 
which he finds he cannot touch without being considered 
an imitator. God knows, — he may be sincere. Would 
to God men had lanterns in their breasts, as Socrates said. 
By staying so long abroad he has lost ground, I am con- 
vinced; and I am also convinced if I went now I should 
break up an interest I could never effectually 


" By dunning all classes about my misfortunes, I have 
got all classes to lament that my style of art js not more 
supported ; this is a step. If I go away and break off, 
the sympathy will be dissipated. 

" March 1st. — Spent an hour with Wilkie very de- 
lightfully. Since his return from Italy he seems tending 
to me very much. We got mutually kind to-day, and 
mutually explained. The only quarrel we ever had was 
about that arrest. I was too severe and he too timid. 
We ought to have made mutual allowance for our re- 
spective peculiarities. He had been my old friend. He 
had dined with me the night before. We had drank suc- 
cess to my marriage. We parted mutually friendly. The 
next morning I was arrested by a printer, to whom I had 
paid 120/. that year, for the balance of 60/, It was the 
second time in my life. The bailiff said, ' Have you no 
friend, sir?' 'Certainly,' said I, and at once drove to 
Wilkie's. Where ought I to have driven ? Whom ought 
I to have thought of? ' I thought it would come to this,' 
said Wilkie, and after a great deal of very bad behaviour 
lie became my bail. When roused I am like a furious bard 
of ancient days. I poured forth such a dreadful torrent 
of sarcasm and truth that I shook him to death. Wilkie 
told me to-day it sank deep into his mind, and never left 
him for months. His journey to Italy has opened his 
mind to the value and importance of my views of art. I 
see he thinks higher of me than ever. We agreed to-day 
never to allude to our unfortunate quarrel, with a mutual 
desire of continuing our friendship, and I hope it is 
buried for ever. I should hope it is, 

" His temperament is different; but my sister told me 
she was convinced he had more regard for me than any 
other person. He was affected to-day, and so was I. I 
hope we shall end our lives as we began them. 

" We both talked of Sir George, and of the happy days 

e had passed with him, and bitterly lamented him, 
" ' Real art is that which savages feel as well us the 





refined,' said Wilbie. ' Of course,' said I, ' and the 
greatest artists are tliose whose fame does not depend on 
teclinicalities, but on intellect and expression. These 
form a universal language.' 

" He speaka very highly of Fra Bartolomeo, Michel 
Angelo, and Titian. I do not think Raffaele impressed 
him so mucli. He is quite altered in his views of art, and 
has got a large canvas up, to my infinite delight. 

" When I remember the rows we used to have about 
my painting large, and to hear him now say, ' Ah, — dear, 

— dear, — I wish my pictures were larger,' it is impossible 
to help laughing. That is all I fear. 

" Wilkie's mind is a mind of extreme simplicity. For 
eight years I battled him about his painting to please the 
Academicians. He now says they nearly ruined him. In 
fact, he finds I am right in attacking the whole system of 
British art. What I did publicly, he is now doing pri- 
vately. He argued with me that there was not a man 
who can colour in the art except Jackson, and He only 

" Wilkie said if Lawrence did not paint portraits he 
would not get a subsistence. I agreed with him. What 
a thing the King's portrait was ! We both agreed. Good 
God ! what drawing — perspective — composition! What 
will foreign artists think ? Was there ever such a thing 
painted ? The head is the only part my eye can bear. 

" I never saw any man so ignorant of perspective and 
composition as Lawrence. He never puts his feet at the 
right angle. 

" Wilkie wished me to tiy subjects of more simplicity, 
I think he is right. He said, ' Why paint subjects of 
humour ? ' ' Ah, my friend, these I have started up in since 
you were abroad ! ' I may say to him, ' Why paint 
subjects of history ?' He said, ' You belong to a certain 
class of art, and you ought to keep there.' No! — no! 

— I will carry the principles of a higher class into satire, 
and, as Lord Gower said, ' I'll found a new one.' 

" Master David, I think I scent the old human nature. 



But with all thy faults I like tiiee still, and can nowhere 
find thy equal. 

" I believe you think so of me, and the best way is 
to forget, and make the remainder of our lives as happy 
as possible ; for twenty years will make such a vast 
advance towards the grave, and then there will be no time 
to forget grievances. 

" We have known each other twenty-four years — 
since 1805 — the finest time of our lives. Now comes 
the mature part, and then the decaying, God grant we 
may yet add to our reputation. 

" More want of prints. I have little continental reputa- 
tion ; but I will have. And if they cried per Baccho for 
"Wilkie in Rome, they shall cry per Giove for me, they 
may depend on it — when I come." 

On the 6th of March Haydon had another child bom 
to him, — a daughter, — brought into the world amidst 
the excitement of Catholic emancipation and the distresses 
of her strugghng and combative father, who could not 
be brought to comprehend the indifference with whicli 
the great bulk of the Cabinet, the Legislature, and the 
public viewed the whole subject of art. 

" ' When the country is quiet,' he writes (March 20th), 
' something will be done for art.' When the country is 
quiet 1 When wilt that be? Was Florence ever quiet? 
Was Rome, or Pisa, or Venice, or Athens ? No. Nothing 
but turbulence and struggle in them, and yet the arts 
advanced and flourished." 

With all his devotion to hia pencil, Haydon took a 
keen interest in the politics of the day, and wrote many 
letters to the newspapers in favour of Catholic emanci- 
pation, strenuously urging trust in Wellington. Nay, he 
even wrote to the Duke a letter of sympathy and respect- 
ful encouragement, which the Duke acknowledges with his 
usual promptness. But besides the distraction of public 
events, Haydon was harassed at tliis time by the conduct 
of the purchaser of his last picture — a young man, who 
after buying it became alarmed at his rash act, and it was 

214 MEMOIBS OF B. E. nATDOJf, [1829. 

not till the painter was on the brink of avrest, (from which 
indeed he was only saved by hia friend Dr. Darling), 
that he got the price of the picture, 300/., half in money 
and half in bills. This saved him from a prison, and he 
began his picture of Punch. 

"April \5tk.- — Finished one cursed portrait — have 
only one more to touch, and then I shall be free. I have 
an exquisite gratification in painting portraits wretchedly. 
I love to see the sitters look as if they thought, can this 
be Haydon's — the great Hay don's— painting ? I chuckle. 
I am rascal enougli to take their money, and chuckle more. 
When a man says, ' Paint me a historical picture,' my 
heart swells towards him. All my powers rush forth. 
He seems at once to have turned the key to my cabinet of 
invention, for I teem instantly with thoughts. Yesterday 
when I rubbed in Punch, my thoughts crowded with de- 
light. My children's noise iiurt my brain. At such 
moments no silence is great enough, but I am never let 
alone. Good God ! what I should have produced had I 
been let loose in a great palace, and saved from distracting 

" IGth. — Rubbed in Punch. It should rather be called 

" May 2nd. — Began to-day, — worked and completed 
all my portraits. Now to imagination with ali my heart 
and all my soul. Sir George Phillips called, and on look- 
ing at my portraits and small Eucles, said, ' Ah, you are in 
the right way now ! ' i. e., I have come down to what artists 
and connoisseurs think so. God help them ! Give me 
the dome of St. Paul's, and they should see which I think 
the right one. 

" Srd, — Called on Wilkie, who was at the levee on 
Friday. On the whole he seemed pleased with the effect 
of his pictures at the Academy. Wilkie's face expressed 
great feeling when I wished him good morning. 

" nil. — At the Exhibition, Wilkie's portrait of Lord 
Kellie looked dark in flesh, but broad and wonderfully 
fine in effect. I agree with Seguier. He spoilt it by the 


caution he put it in with. His other Italian and Spanish 
pictures have not made t!ie impression he imagined. In- 
deed they are in so altered a style tlie public cannot 
make them out. The woman in the Saragossa is not beau- 
tiful. I am not pleased they do not look better. 

" It is no use to affect what I do not feel. I have little 
or no sympathy with the modems. The communion I 
feel is with Titian, with Rubens, with Veronese for ex- 
ecution and colour, with Raffaele and Michel Angelo, 
and the Elgin Marbles for form and expression, and with 
nature for all these, with the addition of humour, and 
fun and satire. I see nothing in modem exhibitions 
from which I can learn, and which I can look at with that 
delight and confidence I feel before an ancient work. 
It is not from conceit, for I reverence my superiors; but 
there is in English art an inherent ignorance of the frame 
and stmcture — a vulgar ruddiness of colour — an ignorance 
of harmony of action as well as its contrasts — a lack of 
repose that leaves the mind in a state of excitement and 
fatigue, till one hurries away to a Titian or a Claude for 
relief and consolation, as one looks out of a heated ball- 
roona at day-break and listens to the lark, and scents the 
cool freshness of the dewy grass, and forgets the passions, 
disgusts, heats, fatigues, and frivolities within, in the 
peace and heavenly repose of renewing nature. And yet 
what vast, mistaken, illiterate power is in an English 
exhibition, struggling like an untaught giant to give vent 
to his ideas in a language be does not scientifically know. 

" But why say all this ? Why not keep my mind fixed, 
and in blessed quiet do my best without interfering with 
others ? This is the best way, and the only way. Paint — 
paint — paint ! 

"6th and 7th. — Went early to the Exhibition, and 
fell in accidentally with Lady Beaumont and Mrs. Phipps. 
Wilkie's portrait does not preponderate, as I thought it 
would ; and except the Cigar picture, the Spanish pictures 
do not support his reputation. The Cigar picture is a 
beautiful thing, and the best 


« Called on W- , who was half-distant, half-dis- 

torbed. He told me I^wrence addressed the Duke at 
tlie dinner, and appealed to bim for aid to build an 
academy. The DuLe rubbed his face with his hand. 

" Here was Lawrence owing the Duke 2000/. nearly, 
which be had advanced him for a large picture of all his 
general officers in Spain, and which be had never touched, 
— to the Duke's great anger, who expresses himself every- 
where very strongly,— here was Lawrence addressing the 
Duke, both be and the Duke feeling conscious of their 
private relation, and Lawrence the merest tool of the 
Academicians, who bad set bim on. It is pitiable! I 
never saw any man who has so subdued a look as Law- 
rence, as if he was worried out of his senses. 

" 18/A. — Spent the day at the British Museum in 
ecstasy. How the Elgin Marbles looked after a long time ! 
I bowed bareheaded as I entered, as I always do. 

" Sketched from the Capitoline, Clementine, and Flo- 
rentine Museums. How thoroughly the ancients under- 
stood form, and motion, and grace! Nothing they ever 
did was ungraceful, 

" 10/A. — Read prayers at home — felt bitter remorse 
of conscience at my late neglect. It is extraordinary 
infatuation. I go on, day after day, like Johnson, in 
hypochondria, looking for hours at my picture, without 
the power to do one single thing. With my family it is 
dreadful. I am so often thrown off my balance by pe- 
cuniary difficulty, that it is a perpetual struggle to get on 
the road again. And yet the only chance I have of getting 
out of difficulty is by bard work, and now my health is so 
much recovered, I ought not thus to dissipate the fine 
maturity of my life. Ten days are gone in May ; all 
April and all January [ did nothing: oh, it is disgraceful ! 
O God, assist me to vanquish this bitter delinquency of 
infatuation. If I had read, if I had increased my know- 
ledge, it would be well. But to have done nothing, but 
sic, and muse, and build castles, till I awoke and mused 
again ! I can hardly read without sleeping. Nothing 




keeps me alive but painting, and that I think of at this 
moment with disgust. Strange creature, man t 

" II Ih. — Went first to the National Gallery, and 
studied well the Gevartius, the Titian, the Sebastiano. 
Then walked to the Royal Academy on purpose to com- 
pare modem with ancient art. Wilkie's portrait of Lord 
KcUie looked blackish and broad. Clint's Lord Spencer 
made the flesh suffer. Tliis portrait has raised my opinion 
of Clint very much indeed ; the bead is exceedingly fine. 
Wilkie's portrait looks like a common person iu a lord's 
dress ; Clint's like a nobleman of literature and taste, 
dressed as be ought to be. There is something in the 
eminent portrait-painters, from tbeir daily and perpetual 
intercourse with nature, that painters of history can 
always look at with advantage and learn from, I am 
astonished at this portrait of Clint's, for whom I had once 
a great contempt. Pickersgill and Clint are instances of 
what hard work and diligence will accomplish, without 
one atom of invention or genius. 

" 12iA.— Partly breakfasted wdtb Wilkie, and spent two 
hours pleasantly. The King sitting to him, his being 
at the levee, and altogether his intercourse at Court 
have afi'ected him, though not much, I dare say he will 
be Sir David if he succeed with the King. He advised 
me to be patient. God knows I need it. The more one 
reflects on Christianity, the more one is convinced Christ's 
advice is the best guide, 

" 14(A. — Worked hardish, and all my depression va- 
nished. I have lost hope for history, and this is a great 

" \Tth, — Worked deliciously hard; felt light, happy, 
and invincible. Walked in the evening with Talfourd, 
Read prayers with dear Frank, and slept tranquilly, as if 
angels were fanning me with their wings. Ah, could I 
always feel so ! 

" Sucxieeded in the head of the mother of Eucles. 
Talfourd said, before I asked, ' What a distracted and 
anxious beauty,' — the very thing I tried for. 

218 MEMOIRS OF B. E. nATDON. [1829. 

" 18(A. — Made a drawing, but felt feeble in mind, and 
lazy in body. Called at the Admiralty, and saw Mr. 
Riley, who gave me hopes of placing my boy • in a ship. 
I hope he will distinguish himself. One of the critics on 
Pharaoh f said, ' [he Oueen and all the family were too 
much dressed for the time of night.' I had a great mind 
to write, and say ' I had authority for stating that Pharaoh 
and the royal family were too anxious that night to take 
off their clothes ; and that there is every reason to infer 
from a passage in Sanconiathon, Lib. Mccccccxix, chap. 
MMMii., that the ladies of the family came out of their 
apartments in their tunics only, the elder sister with only 
one sandal and one ear-ring, and that Pharaoh had his 
night-cap on when he first got up ; but being reminded 
by the eunuch in waiting, took it off, and put on his 

" What criticism ! If there was time to send for Moses 
and Aaron, surely there was time to dress at least 

"9S.nd. — At West's sale. I took Frank, and asked him 
how he liked the Christ in Christ rejected, and he said 
it was common. He is six years old, and this is a capital 
evidence of feeling and taste. Nothing on earth could be 

" When first I came to town. West was in the vigour 
of his life — tall and upright. He then sunk down, lost 
his teeth, and died. His works, and house, and all are 
selling ; and shortly not a vestige of his house and gallery 
will be left. 

" Sketched in a print-shop. Saw a print of Correggio, 
which enchanted me. Beauty should predominate in 
everything — form, expression, colour, light and shadow, 
drawing and drapery. Beauty in means and pleasure 
in effect should be the principle. Did not paint. 

" 23rd, — Exceedingly bard at work, but after working 
eight hours, was obliged to undress my lay figure and 

• His second atep-aon, Simon Hyman. — Ed. 
t Then exhibiting. 


1B39.] west's PICTUEES: PUNCH, 219 

take her out to raise three pounds for my fumily. Some- 
thing might be done to prevent this disgrace. 

"25th. — Hardish at work— four hours. Went to the 
last daj ofWest's sale. Studied his work. Titian took 
eight years to paint tlie Peter Martyr. West would have 
painted eight hundred in the time. 

" In drawing and form his style was beggarly, skinny 
and mean. His light and shadow was scattered) his 
colour brick dust, his impression unsympathetical, and his 
women without beauty or heart. 

" There was not one single picture of a quality to de- 
light the taste, the imagination, or the heart. - 

"The block-machine at Portsmouth could be taught to 
paint as well. 

" His Venuses looked as if they never had been naked 
before, and were too cold to be impassioned — bis Ado- 
nises dolts — his Cupids blocks — uiiamorous. As I left 
the room, I went into the dining parlour, and saw two de- 
licious sketches of Rubens. My heart jumped." 

In July, Haydon set heartily to work on his picture of 
Punch, and was occupied with it continuously (with the 
interval of a visit to Plymouth, to vote for his friend. 
Captain Lockyer) till its completion in November. The 
picture is now in the possession of his old and tried friend. 
Dr. Darling. Its character is Hogarthian — ^a humorous 
satire on life. The scene is near Marylebone Church. 
In the left hand corner of the picture is Mr, Punch's 
theatre, with the performance in progress; in front of it, 
a simple old farmer, hat in hand, and dog at heel, is 
gazing with delight at that admirable tragi-comedy, un- 
conscious that a pickpocket's hand is upon his pocket- 
book, while a flashily-dressed confederate holds the victim 
in talk ; near the farmer, a soldier and sailor, a nurse-maid 
with a child, and a street-sweeper are looking on in de- 
light ; a revel of May-day sweeps, with Jack-in-the-green 
and his lady, is in full caper in the right-hand corner of 
the composition, while behind the knot of spectators, a 
Bow Street officer, truncheoa in hand, is stealing ferret- 

220 MEMOIRS OF B, R. HATDON. [1829. 

like upon the pickpocket. The extreme left of the 
composition is occupied by a charming figure — an orange- 
girl sleeping by her stall. A carriage, with a newly mar- 
ried pair, is driving past the show^ — in the middle distance 
a hearse issues out of a cross-street. Just beyond Mr. 
Punch's theatre, a tub-preacher is energetically holding 
forth, and in the background is an Italian image-boy, 
with casts of the Theseus and Ilissus on his board, ne- 
glected for the more potent attractions of Punch. 

The picture is remarkable for the force and truth of 
expression in the heads throughout, and the execution of 
much of it, particularly the old farmer and his dog, and 
the sleeping girl, leaves nothing to be desired. The 
canvas is about 8 feet by 6, and the figures of course 
leas than life size. Wilkie esteemed the picture very 
highly. Dr. Darling mentions, in a letter now before me, 
that he saw Sir David, " no mean judge and not over- 
much given to praise," when this picture was exhibited, 
pass his hand over the left-hand portion, exclaiming, " how 
fine, how very fine, that part isl" adding, " if that pic- 
ture were in Italy, you would see it surrounded by stu- 
dents from all parts of Europe engaged in copying it." 
The picture altogether impresses me with a high opinion 
of the painter's power of conceiving and delineating 
character. The old farmer, especially, in dress, attitude, 
and character at all points, would do credit to either 
Hogarth or Wilkie himself, though it may be doubted if 
either could have equalled it on the same scale. 

The fault of the picture is a little over-crowding, and a 
consequent effect of sometliing like confusion in the lines 
of the composition. 

While this picture was in progress, Haydon saw Wilkie 
from time to time — with something, indeed, like a re- 
newal of their old intimacy. 

July 30th, I find, " Called on Wilkie, who was finish- 
ing Holyrood House picture for the King. This will be 
a very curious picture. He began it before he went to 
Italy, when detail and finieh were all in all to him. He 


is finishing it now, when lie lias entirely changed liis 
style. The Duke of Argyle, the King's head, the man 
on horseback with the crown, are in his first stjlc : the 
trumpeters, the dress of the Duke of Hamilton, the 
woman, &c. in his last ; and the mixture is like oil and 
water. He was pate and rather depressed. He has not 
made the hit this season he imagined he should make. I 
sat with him and his sister while they dined, and he had 
evidently sunk down into an emaciated old hachelor. 
There sat I, rosy, plump, and full of difiiculties, harass, and 
trouble, with a large family, and a dear wife. I could 
not help thinking in early life of our occasional conversa- 
tions on marriage. ' When I marry,' Willde used to 
say, ' it will be a matter of interest.' ' When I marry,' 
I always said, ' it will be for love, and for nothing else.' 
See the result. He has no household anxieties, no 
domestic harass, no large family to bring up. But he has 
no sweet affections, no tender sympathies. Would I 
exchange my situation for David Wilkie's ? No, no. If 
I had ten times the trouble, the anxiety, the harass, the 

" August \st. — Moderately at work. Wilkie called 
and we bad a long confab. We both lamented the death 
of Sir George and Lady Beaumont. She has left the 
Michel Angelo to the Academy. 

" Wilkie liked the Eucles very much indeed. Now he 
is glazing mad, he was advising me what to do, and I 
told him to take the palette and do it. He then glazed 
and muddled a head, just in the style he is doing now, 
which looked rich and filthy, and I rubbed it out. I 
cautioned him as to his disposition to manner and excess 
from any new idea in his head, which he acknowledged. 
His pictures are actually becoming black and wliite 
patches, like Raeburn's. Wilkie laughed at Punch. We 
thought it odd he should tumble into history, and I into 

" 2/id. — Hard at work and finished the sailor, and 
then advanced the whole picture. 


222 MEUOiKS or b. e. uxtdos. [isas. 

" Srd. — Moderately at work and advanced the effect 
aud light and shadow. Wilkie was full of wax, and lord 
knows what — restless thing the human mind. His first 
picture will stand for ever, and so will mine, and now he 
has almost tempted me to quack as well as himself, with 
his wax and magylp, Solomon, Jerusalem, Lazarus, 
Macbeth and Denlatus, are painted in pure oil — so are 
the Fiddler, Politicians, Card-players, Chelsea Pensioners, 
Village Wake ; in fact all his early works. 

When I first began to paint I executed a head, glazing 
over pure colour. Wilkie was pleased, and horrowed it. 
He had then painted nearly all the Blind Fiddler, except 
the right hand of the fiddler, which he immediately 
hegan, leaving out yellow, and painting in white, red, and 
blue purely, and glazing it into tone. Any painter will 
see the difierence of colour and texture in the right hand 
of the fiddler from all the other fiesh in the picture. 

" 6th. — Harassed: fagged about in the heat and filth 
of the town to arrange money-matters, and came home 
exhausted: after some refreshment, my horseguardsman 
being ready, I set to work heartily and finished him 
before four, and a capital fellow he is in the picture. 

" 7th. — Harassed still. A severe pain in the pit of 
my stomach from sheer anxiety. Flew about the town 
like an eagle. Got things settled. Talked to this man, 
promised t'other, took a cab, and dashed home, and after 
a lunch, which I devoured like a hungry tiger, I set to 
work at my Punch, and vastly advanced it. Tlius so far 
I have not missed a day. I'll try to go through the 

month so if possible. I saw E L as I came home 

lounging through Bond Street on a blood-horse, with a. 
white hat, and all the airs of a man of fashion. There 
was I, his instructor and master, trudging on with seven 
children at my back, and no money. 

" 8fA.— Worked hard till one o'clock : then sallied forth 
to stop lawyers, and battle with creditors. The week is 
over, and I have to thank God that in the mixture of good 
and evil good has preponderated largely. 


r" I look for thorough rest to-morrow, hut I fear I must 
not take it. 
" 9tA, — I took rest and retired to the windmill heyond 
Kilbuni, where I lounged on the grass, and read the firat 
volume of Allan Cunningham's Lives of the Painters. I 
am sorry to see cant rising which I will not demohsh till 
it is more ripe, viz., a disdain for all education in art ; an 
indifference to the great who are gone ; and a disposition 
to trust all to the ' wild Academy of Nature.' Hogarth 
is a specimen of the one ; Reynolds, Rubens, Titian, 
Riiffaele and Michel Angelo of the otliers, Reynolds 
has long settled the question, but Allan Cunningham, 
a disciple of Chantrey's, who believes himself to be 
nature's own high-priest, has laboured hard to revive this 
exploded trash. 

" His review in the Quarterly, and his Lives, shall 
undergo an investigation as soon as I have time. 

" ISih, — Finished the shepherd's dog, {the farmer's). 
Met him by accident. 1 am remarkably fortunate in 
models. I went out yesterday in a pet because a model 
disappointed me. Just as I came into the New Road 
down rushed a flock of sheep, and a most thorough-bred 
sheep-dog. I hailed the drover, and engaged the dog 
instanter, and to-day completed him. All my dissections 
of the lion came into play immediately, the construction 
being the same. 

" 9.%nd. — 111 and fatigued, harassed, exhausted. Nature 
will be paid back in repose what she has paid in labour. 
Napoleon's plan was a good one, to counteract excessive 
labour by excessive repose." 

Much of the following criticism Still applies to the 
Painted Hall at Greenwich. 

" 24M. — Went to Greenwich, and spent the day with 

my friend, one of the purchasers of Solomon. Saw the 

gallery they are making. The plan originated with me. 

Lord Farnborough had the meanness to decline my plan 

■ for the Admiralty, and adopt it, without reference to me, 

I at Greenwich. 

224 U&MOIH3 OP n. R. nAYDON. [1829. 

" Never was the ignorance of the power, the public 
power of the art, shown so completely as in the arrange- 
ment of the gallery. Instead of making history the 
leading feature, adorned and assisted by leading portraits 
of the great and illustrious only, it is a family collectioa 
of portraits with names oue never heard of — men who 
got commands through borough-mongeries, and did nothing 
to deserve distinction, then or now. Kanged along at the 
bottom are a few paltry attempts at incidents of naval 
history, cabinet sizL', as if to bring the higher walks of art 
into actual contempt No figure in such a gallery ought 
to be less than life at least, and as to subjects, let them 
be chosen to illustrate the actors, and not the actors to be 
buried in the scenes and shipping. 

" Lord Farnborough and Mr. Croker have got unlimited. 
power to adorn this hall, and now they have the op- 
portunity we see the extent of their notions of the 
capability of painting. All they have done is to unlock 
the garrets of old families who have had a Dick or Jack 
in the navy, who once in their lifetime burnt a Terror 
bomb or drove off a pirate from a convoy. 

" Instead of arranging the whole hall with reference to 
one general idea, the glory of the British Navy, their 
principal object has been to oblige my lord by hanging up 
some fusty old portrait of my lord's great grandl'ather. 
In fact, they have reversed the order of the art, and if 
they had wished to degrade history, they could not have 
done it more successfully than by their present plans," 

The old hankering after the pen instead of the pencil 
still occasionally crossed Haydon's mind ; but experience 
had taught a lesson even to him. 

" September \Qth. — I saw a pompous announcement 
in The Times which excited me dreadfully to be at it. 
I got up; set my palette, my imagination teeming with 
thoughts of sarcasm and humour, I took up my. pen j 
laid down my brush, stopped, thought, and inwardly 
said, ' The wit, though irresistible, will be temporary ; the 
injury lasting ; paint — paint.' After a struggle I conquered 



mj evil genius, and finished the best hand I ever painted, 
except the Christ's in the Lazarus. 

" \lth. — The safest principle through life, instead of 
reforming others, is to set about perfecting yourself. I 
triumphed yesterday over my evil passions, and this 
thought was the result." 

In September Haydon was at Plymouth, as passionately 
absorbed (he confesses with shame) in the bustle and 
strife of a borough-election, as if electioneering had been 
his business instead of painting. This inteiTal of varied 
activity, however, improved his health (which during the 
whole of this year had been suffering from the harass of 
perpetual money difficulties), but threvr him back in his 

" October 12(A.— This day month I left town for De- 
vonshire, and have not touched a brush till to-day. Borough 
squabbles I have nothing to do with, and it will hardly be 
believed how deeply this jaunt has cut into my habits, 
instead of getting quiet, (to which I was entitled after 
work,) I got down among old friends who worried and dis- 
tracted me : gossip, chatter, scandal, idleness, dining, 
toasting, and speechifying interrupted the chain of my 
conceptions, and instead of finisliing my picture, which 
I should have accomplished, I came back, and have all 
to begin again, just as I was getting into thick-coming 
fancies and delightful thoughts. Curse these interruptions, 
they may do one's health good, but they destroy one's 

"SOtk.— Oae should keep all the traits and all the 
stories one can collect of the times of Napoleon. Monsieur 
D'Embden, an old officer of the Chasseurs de la Garde, 
dined with me, and in moments of expansion, by a good 
fire, and over a glass of wine, described the deeds of vice, 
violence, and iniquity which the soldiers of Napoleon had 
done over Europe, No wonder the world arose as if by 
instinct against his despotism. Wherever the army came 
convents were opened 1 In Bohemia the men under 
D'Embden's command escnladed a convent. The first 



victim was a poor young creature who had been &om 
twelve years of age a nun. The old abbess fell on her 
knees, and begged for mercy. The soldiers kicked her 
away, said D'Embden, pretending to believe (with true 
French refinement of vice) that she was praying for an 
embrace. On a march once they were quartered on a 
gentleman, who saiil, ' Officiers Franfais, here is my wife, 
I trust her to your honour.' His two daughters he con- 
cealed. The aoldiera violated the servant girl, and found 
out there were daughters. At dinner the next day 
D'Embden said, ' I don't dine without your daughters.' 
The master of the house brought them, blushing and 
confused. D'Embden said, ' You have deceived me ; I 
place you under arrest three days.' The officers then 
proceeded to seduce wife and daughters, wbich they 
accomplished, while they were drinking this man's wine, 
and living in his house. 'Mon ami Chauviu,' said D'Emb- 
den, 'got into a good thing. In passing through a town 
we entered a church as a young bridegroom and bride 
just married were coming out. The bridegroom pushed 
a French soldier. It was taken as an insult. Chauvin 
put him instantly under arrest, and made a conquest of 
the bride.' 

" Of the Cossacks he seemed to have great horror. He 
said they had a way of swinging their spears, and thump- 
ing the soldiers between the ribs, which took away their 
breath. D'Embden had twelve wounds, and lost four or 
five toes in the Moscow retreat, though he did not go 
higher than Smolensko. After losing many men, he came 
to Davoust with a report of his loss. ' Ne me paries pas 
des hommes,' said Davoust. ' Combien de chevaux avez* 
vous perdu ? ' " 

On the completion of Punch, the subject of the first 
sight of the sea on the retreat of the Ten Thousand oc- 
curred to him and was sketched in. About this time, too, 
I find the first sketch of a subject which he afterwards 
painted, and with which the name of Haydon is more 
identified than with any other of his works — I mean Na- 


poleon at St. Helena contemplating the setting sun. This 
first sketch is marred by an allegorical Britannia with her 
lion, in the clouds, which luckily he did not carry into the 
picture. He now painted, also, a small subject of Lady 
Macbeth listening on the stairs while the murder of 
Duncan is being perpetrated. 

" December 6th. — It is astonishing how unexcited I 
am without an important composition. I shall go on with 
Xenophon to-morrow, or my mind will rot. Pecuniary 
diflSculties bring a train of harassing interruptions which 
have been fatal to peace and study this week." 

During the last month of 1829 Hay don succeeded in 
getting his step-son, Simon Hayman, entered as a mid- 
shipman. Here are the maxims for his guidance pasted 
by his stepfather inside the lid of the youngster's sea- 
chest. It is worth noticing how he presses on his observ- 
ance the rule never to borrow. He had felt in his own 
case the humiliating and fatal consequences of neglecting 
it. Almost the last words he wrote, before his death, were 
in solemn reiteration to his children of the same warning. 

Maxims for Simon Hayman which I pasted on the cover of 

his trunk. 

" Remember God is ever present and witness of your actions. 
Therefore always act as if in his presence. 

" Hold your word as sacred as your oath. He who is ever 
ready to promise seldom keeps his promise. 

" Never purchase any enjoyment if it cannot be procured 
without borrowing of others. 

" Never borrow money. It is degrading. Remember Lord 
St. Vincent. 

" I do not say never lend, but never lend if by lending you 
render yourself unable to pay what you owe ; but under any 
circumstances never borrow. 

228 MEMOIRS OF B. K. HATDON. [1829. 

" Make no man your friend who is regardless of his word, 

" Nelson said yon must hale a Frenchman. There is no oc- 
casion to hate any man, hut never treat with a Frenchman till 
fon have beaten him, and then with caution. 

" Consider your life as a trifle, where its sacrifice would, ho- 
nour your Eing or keep up the character of the nary. 

" Be obedient to your superiors, and kind to those below 

" Aity Aptanvciv, always excel. Be this your motto. 

" Honour, truth, dependence on God, diligence and docihty, 
will carry you through all danger and difficulties. 

" Never be ashamed of being ignorant, if you wish to gain 


" Piety is not cowardice, nor boasting courage. 

" Vice is not heroism, nor drunkenness virtue. 

" Remember a British officer under all circumstances must 
be a gentleman. This comprises all. Remember this. 

" Eemenjber also that your father would welcome your dead 
body if you died in honour, and spit on you living, if you re- 
turned in disgrace. 

" Lay these things to thy heart, and God protect thee. 

" London, December, 1839." 

He closes his journal for the year with a summary as 
usual. " January and February I worked little. From 
March to November I finished Eucles and Punch, and 
since I have three small pictures nearly ready, though I 
have not seized all moments of study ; this has often pro- 

1829.] DEATH OF LAWBENCE. 229 

ceeded from harass, which has thrown me off my balance. 
My cliildreii are in health. My dearest Mary as lovely 
and as tender as ever. One of my boys has begun life- 
God protect him, and make him an honour to the navy. 
I have reason to hope for the same mercies for the 
year to come, provided I still struggle (as under God's 
blessing) to render myself equally deserving. 

" O God on my knees I bless Thee for the mercies of 
the year past. Still bless mc through the ensuing year." 


In January of this year Sir Thomas Lawrence died. On^ 
the 9th I find this criticism of the painter and his works, 
much of which has already been sanctioned by the soundest 
judgments in art, 

" Lawrence is dead— to portrait-painting a great loss. 
Certainly there is no man left who thinks it worth while, 
if he vrere able, to devote his powers to the elevation of 
common-place faces, 

" He was suited to the age, and the age to him. He 
flattered its vanities, pampered its weaknesses, and met its 
meretricious taste. 

" His men were all gentlemen, with an air of fashion, 
and the dandyism of high life ; his women were delicate, 
but not modest — beautiful, but not natural. They appear 
to look that they may be looked at, and to languish for 
the sake of sympathy. They have not that air of virtue 
and breeding which ever sat upon the women of Reynolds. 

" Reynolds' women seem as unconscious of their beauty 
as innocent in thought and pure in expression — as if they 
shrank even from being painted. They are beings to be 
met with reverence, and addressed with timidity. To 
Lawrence's women on the contrary you feel disposed to 
march up like a dandy, and offer your services, with a 

cock of your hat, and a ' A e will tliat do ! ' Whatever 

characteristics of the lovely sex Lawrence perpetuated, 
modesty was certainly one he entirely missed. 

230 MEMOIRS OF B, R, HATDON. [l830. 

" As an artist he will not rank higli in the opinion of 
posterity. He was not ignorant of the figure, hut he 
drew with great incorrectness, because he drew to suit 
the fashion of the season. If necks were to be long, 
breasts full, waists small, and toes pointed. Sir Thomas 
was too well-bred to hesitate. His necks are therefore 
often hideously long, his waists small, his chests puffed, 
and his ancles tapered. He had no eye for colour. His 
tint was opaque, not livid, his cheeks were rouged, his lips 
like the lips of a lay -figure. There was nothing of the red 
and white which nature's own sweet and cunning hand 
laid on. His bloom was the bloom of the perfumer. Of 
composition he knew scarcely anything; and perhaps in 
the whole circle of art there never was a more lamentable 
proof of these deficiencies than in his last portrait of the 

" Twenty years ago his pictures (as Fuseli used to say) 
were like the scrapings of a tin-shop, full of little sparkling 
bits of light which destroyed all repose. But after his visit 
to Italy the improvement which took place was an honour 
to his talents. His latter pictures are by far his best. His 
great excellence was neither colour, drawing, composi- 
tion, light and shade, or perspective, for he was hardly ever 
above mediocrity in any of these, but expression, both in 
figure and feature. Perhaps no man that ever lived con- 
trived to catch the fleeting beauties of a face to the exact 
point, though a little affected, better than Lawrence. The 
head of Miss Croker is the finest example in the world. He 
did not keep his sitters unanimated and lifeless, but, by 
interesting their feelings, he brought out the expression 
which was excited by the pleasure they felt. 

" As a man Sir Thomas Lawrence was amiable, kind, 
generous, and forgiving. His manner was elegant, but 
not high-bred. He had too much the air of always sub- 
mitting. He had smiled so often and so long, that at last 
his smile had the appearance of being set in enamel. He 
indulged the hope of painting history in his day, but, as 
Romney did, and Chantrey will, he died before he began; 


and he is another proof, if proof were wanting', that creative 
genius is not a passive quality tliat can be laid aside or 
taken up as it suits the convenience of the possessor. 

" How would RafFaele or Michel Angelo have laughed 
1 hear C. L. and R. talk of doing great things, but not 
they were rich ! 

He was not educated, and once gave me a long lecture 
about the head of Olympias, the mother of Alexander, 
calling her Olympia. 

" The election of Sir Thomas to the chair of the Royal 
Academy was a blow to high art it has never recovered, 
and never will, unless, indeed, this opportunity be seized 
by the members of the Academy, — unless the historical 
painter, the sculptor, the architect, the low life, or land- 
scape artist, make a. stand, and bring in, as they ought, 
some manof geninsin some one of these walks, to the exclu- 
sion of any portrait-painter, whoever he may he. If they 
do not, they will sign the death-warrant of the arts in 

" But, alasl in public bodies the majority are too lazy 
to take an active share ; and any chattering, talking person, 
who can make a plausible speech, however impotent in 
his art, -will in all probability get their suffrages. 

" To tliink of Shee occupying the throne of Reynolds !" 

The election of Sir M. A. Shee as President of the 
Academy was certain to elicit a burst of bitterness from 
Haydon, During the preceding year a correspondence 
had passed between them in which, if Haydon was coarse. 
and offensive, Shee retorted in terms of such contempt as 
no man can ever forget or forgive. I give Haydon's 
remarks on the election, which contain much truth, — con- 
veyed, it is true, in the harsh and irritated tone which 
invests truth with some of the worst features of falsehood, 
— not for the sake of showing the feeling with which he 
regarded the Academy, which is already evident enough, 
but rather as an illustration of the way in which prejudice 
will colour a man's inferences from fact, and an example 
of how little dependence can be placed on predictions in- 


232 MEJIOIRS OF B. R. IIATDON. [l830- 

flucnced by dislike. How astonislied would Haydon have 
been could it have been foreshown to hiin that the suc- 
cessor of this obnoxious portrait-painter would be that 
friend and pupil of his own (as he delighted to call him), 
who now fills the President's chair in the Royal Academy ! 
How he would have stormed against any one who had 
maintained that the tendency of English art, even at this 
inauspicious moment, was from portraiture towards sub- 
jects, if not historical in Haydon 's sense of the word, still 
partaking more of the character of history than of por- 
traiture. I extract the following passage because its most 
acrimonious expressions will, I believe, be read even by 
the Academicians of the present day without irritation, 
largely altered as the composition of the Academy has been 
since the time the passage was written, while there is still 
much in it which may profitably be laid to heart by artists. 
It cannot be doubted that if artistic claims be those on 
which alone should rest the choice of a President of the 
Academy, Wilkie was the man rather than Shee ; but the 
theory that seemed to Haydon so entirely beyond dispute 
may, no doubt, be disputed, and on very strong grounds 
too. A president has ceremonial duties to perform; and 
erudition, eloquence, and personal acceptahleness, may be 
quite as important qualifications for the post as skill and 
success in art. I ofi'er no opinion of my own on the 
point, but I cannot help seeing that Haydou's view is far 
from incontestable. Nor should it be forgotten, in esti- 
mating his opinions, that the public encouragement of art, 
which he urged so importunately and so long, has at length 
been conceded by the Legislature, and that we cannot 
measure the fruits of that encouragement by the limits 
within which it has hitherto been confined. 

With this preface I think there is no reason for with- 
holding Haydon's comments on the election of a successor 
to Sir Tliomas Lawrence. 

" January 29th. — In the private history of the art of 
the country the last three weeks have been interesting 
beyond all calculation. Lawrence's sudden death threvir 



the Acadeinj into the most bitter puzzle; the intrigue, 
the bustle, the vanity, the nervousness, the fidget, and the 
fear evident among the whole, were beyond expression 
or description. 

" I called imnaediately on Wilkie, and found him qui- 
escently at breakfast. His affected grief for Lawrence, 
and his sorrow for the loss the art had sustained, were 
doled forth under an air of conscious power that was 

" In the midst of other conversation I dashed out at 
once, ' I hope they will elect you,' He became agitated, 
and affected not to hear me ; but I saw in the expression 
of his face enough to convince me that he had no distant 
hopes. On going up-stairs to look at the picture of the 
King at Holyrood House, I repeated it. He put liis 
hand on my shoulder, as much as to say, ' Bo quiet.' 
' Very well,' said I, — 'not a word more.' 

" AH sorts of reports, all sorts of surmises, every species 
of • hum,' and ' ha,' and, ' Who d'ye think ? ' went on in the 
gossip of the art till Lawrence was buried, and the awful 
time approached. 

"On Monday the election took place, and on Monday 
morning out came in the Gazette, from the Lord Cham- 
berlain's office, the King's appointment of Wilkie as his 
sergeant painter. The moment I read it I said, ' This 
will destroy Wilkie's chance of success ; ' and in the evening 
the Academicians rushed in as the time approached, with 
a heat, and fury, and violence, and passion, quite a dis- 
grace to the feelings of gentlemen, or even the lowest 
members of the lowest clubs. So fearful were they of 
some message from the King that it would be pleasing 
to his feelings if Wilkie were elected, that without regular 
balloting they made every member write down the name 
of the man he wished ; and at each successive knock they 
ran down, and hurried their friend above stairs, without 
allowing him to take off his great coat. Wilkie had one 
or two votes, — some tell me oue, some the other — and 
Shee eighteen, the announcement of which was received 
with B hum ! 

234 MEMOIRS OF B. R. HATDON". [1830. 

" Wiltie is a uiRn of the greatest geniuSj and a hatted 
of superiority had no small share in adding to the appre- 
hension of the Academicians. Wilkie had just that day 
been appointed the first painter to the King, and this 
spark was only wanting to explode the magazine. 

" Shee is an Irishman of great plausibility — a speechi- 
fying, colloquial, well-informed, pleasant fellow, conscious 
of no high power in art, and very envious of those who 

" Such a man is sure to be popular, and he will be the 
most popular president that the artists have ever had ; 
but the precedent estabhslied, viz., that high talent is 
not necessary to the highest rank in the art, is one of 
the most fatal blows ever inflicted on the dignity of the 
Academy since it has been established, and will lower it 
in English and continental estimation. Here was David 
Wilkie — the greatest genius in his walk that ever lived 
— the only hving artist who has a picture in our Na- 
tional Gallery — the only painter who has a great Eu- 
ropean reputation — honoured by his Sovereign, respected 
by the nobility, modest, discreet, upright, diligent, and 
highly gifted — from whose existence an epoch in British 
art must be dated— to whose works our present high 
rank is owing in the opinion of Europe — David Wilkie 
had two votes! And Martin Archer Shee, the most 
impotent painter in the solar system — a man who for 
forty years has never painted any human creature without 
making bim stand on bis tip-toes from sbeei ignorance — 
in short, the great founder of the tip-toe school — had 
eighteen ! 

" The present unhappy mistake in the art was predicted 
forty years ago. Reynolds said a party was gaining 
ground which would ruin the institution, and he was 
obliged to resign, finding himself thwarted in everything. 
West, Opie, and Fuseli, said the same thing. 

" ' Ah ! but Wilkie is a Scotchman, and we shaE have 
nothing but Scotch,' 

" Here's an acknowledgment ! What would the world 



say if Sir Walter Scott had contended for the presidency 
of literature, and had been denied because he was a 

" The cause is very simple. Portrait-painters have all 
their wealth and employment from the domestic sym-i 
pathies of one of the most domestic nations on earth. 
Against the influence of this important body historical 
painters have to struggle without employment, with ut 
patronage, and in face of prejudices which portrait-paiC ra 
with great art keep up. 

" There is only one remedy, viz., a moderate annual 
vote from Parliament, distributed by a committee of the 
House, which, by placing historical painters on a level 
with portrait-painters, will enable them to hold their 
ground, and save tlie art." 

The concluding passage expresses in brief the doctrine 
which Haydon was preaching all his life from 1810. It 
may contain some truth, but it certainly does not explain 
what it professes to do. Whether portrait-painters on the 
whole earn larger incomes than their fellows in the 
painters' calling is matter of dispute. And whatever may 
have been the case when this was written, it is not true 
now that portrait-painters are dominant in the Academy, or 
the most highly remunerated class among artists. The 
painters of landscape and what are called " genre " pic- 
tures stand on a level with them, at least, on these 
points. But if Haydon's remark be limited to the paint- 
ing of large pictures, it is undoubtedly true that for 
these private galleries in England afford no room, and 
that public employment alone can provide for high art 
on a large scale. 

Wilkie was now working on his picture of the King at 
Holyrood, and Haydon thus records a visit to the picture 
in company with an old courtier and personal friend of 
the King in the ' salad days ' of the Regency. 

" February 22nd, — Went in the morning with Sir 
Thomas Hammond to see Wilkie's portrait of the King. 
Sir Thomas Hammond, who had been one of the King's 


236 MEMOIBS Of B. H. HATDOH. [1830. 

most intimate friends, found fault, and justly, with the 
legs and feet, which are really wr(3tched, and a disgrace to 
the picture. He lilied the head very much, and it is fine. 
After we came out Sir Thomas Hammond said to me, 
'There is no getting on with a Scotchman- — there really 
ia not ! ' I afterwards dined with him, and spent a very 
delightful evening; we got into most familiar and confi- 
dential conversation about the Court. 

" I never knew till last night that the crown at the 
Coronation was not bought, but borrowed. Rundell's 
price was 70,000/., and Lord Liverpool told the King he 
could not sanction such an expenditure. Rundell charged 
7000^. for the loan, and as some time elapsed before it 
was decided whether the crown should bo bought or not, 
Rundell charged $0001. or 4000/. more for the interval. 

" Sir Thomas Hammond said, that once after a long 
absence, when the King, who had sent for him, received 
him before a brilliant assembly, he put his hand to his 
mouth sideways, and whispered, 'Weil, damn ye; how 
are ye ? ' and then looked grave before the company. Sir 
Thomas Hammond complained that the manner of young 
men and women of fashion was altered. Everything now 
was slang and impudence, and not elegance and grace, as 
it was when the Prince was in his prime." Young Lord 

C came in, a fine fellow. What fine, high-rainded, 

brave, creatures there are amongst the young nobility." 
Eueles and Punch were now exhibited, and to the painter's 
delight, an order came to send the latter down to Windsor 
for the King's inspection. In u flutter of expectation, the 
picture was dispatched. Much depended on its sale. 
Haydoii'a difRculiies had accumulated afresh, till the 
shadow of the King's Bench was again darkening upon 
him. On the 6th, the picture was dispatched. On the 
8th it came back unbought. 

"8ik. — The Punch came back to-day. I called on 
Seguier in the morning, but I saw by the girl's face at 
the door the King had not bought the picture. 

* Taice the aboTe anecdote ai an example I— Ed. 




" Few men have courage to say they believe in dreams j 
last night I dreamt the King told Seguier he did not like 
, i]ie picture, and would not have it. 

" I got up this morning greatly distressed in mind about 
it, and said, ' If this prove true, is there not something in 
dreams t ' 

" It has proved true. The King thought tliere was too 
much in Punch. He admired the apple^irl excessively) 
but thought the capering chimney-sweeper too much like 
an opera dancer! " 

Now that the publication of confidential memoirs and 
letters has been sanctioned by so many high examples, 
I do not feel that the following passage of private history 
need be withheld. 

" I5lh. — Spent the evening with Hammond — a de- 
lightful one. He opens his cabinet of past times to me 
with great confidence. 

" He said when it was quite uncertain whether Napoleon 
would or would not make peace at Chatillon, he dined 
with the Prince of Conde, (who was getting quite childish!, 
and the Duchess D'Angouleme. Their anxiety was lest 
peace should he made. Every horn that blew, the Prince 
of Conde sent out for the Gazette. Frightened out of 
hia life, he kept saying, ' jik, Monsieur le general, la 
paix est faite — la pa'ix est fails/' Hammond said he 
tried to keep their spirits up, but the Duchess kept de- 
claring, ' Non, noH, nous sovimes des pauvre miserahles — 
e'en est fait de nous' 

" The next morning he.was with the King privately, and 
they were talking about Napoleon, when Sir Thomas 
Hammond said, ' If the fellow does not sign the treaty, 
it would be no bad time to shove in the Bourbons.' 
'Ah,' said the Prince, 'You like them better than I I 
do. Little, I fear, can be done.' The next day he saw ' 
the Prince again, and the Prince said, ' 'Gad, Hammond, 
I have been thinking of what you said, and I'll see if 
something can't be done for them. Say not a^ word.' 
Hammond then went down to M'Mahon, who was writing 
in his (Hammond's) room. M'Maliou "Kt^t m.'^ ^.q "^"^ 

-^ ■ ■' IT - 

238 MEMOIRS OP B. H. HATDON. [l830. 

Prince, and shortly after came down, and (as he told 
Hammond all the stale secrets) said, ' What do you 
think? There is the devil to pay up stairs — Lord Liver- 
pool will resign. The Prince says he will restore the 
Bourhons — Lord Liverpool won't hear of it,' At this 
instant Lord Liverpool crossed the yard in the dumps, 
and went away. Hammond's window looked into the yard, 
and up St. Alban's Street, opposite (before Regent Street 
was built). Sir Thomas declared solemnly to me this 
was the beginning of the return of the Bourbons, and the 
Prince always said ' Hammond was their best friend.' " 

Despite of desperate difficulties, Haydon had now once 
more got to work on a historical picture. 

" March 2Qth. ■ — I shall now date my Xenophon, for 
to-day, God be praised ! I begin, having got a breathing 
day. I dashed in the effect. My mind teemed with 
expressions : the enthusiasm of Xenophon cheering on his 
men, with his helmet towering against a sea-sky — a 
beautiful woman in her husband's arms exhausted, heai^ 
ing the shout of ' The sea, the sea,' languidly smiling 
and opening her lovely eyes, — (good God! What I 
could do if I were encouraged !) — a wounded and sick 
soldier raising his pale head, and waving his thin arm and 
hand in answer to the cheer of his commander- — horses 
snorting and galloping — soldiers cheering and huzzaing, 
all struggling to see the welcome sight. I'll read all the 
retreats; Napoleon's, Charles XII.'s, Moore's, Antony's, 
&c. &c. God spare my life and eyes; I fear the in- 
trigues of S have destroyed all prospects with my 

King. I'd inspire him if I was near him. They all know 
this, and from him they will keep me. In my Protector 
I trust. 

" SGlh. — Took down a large canvas, and looked with 
longing eyes. At last I thought it no harm to draw in 
Xenophon with chalk. Then a. little Vandyke brown 
would be such a pretty tone, and while I was deliciously 
abstracted, in walked my love and said, ' Why do you not 
do it tLat size?' 'Shall I.' 'Yes,' said she, * I know 



1830,] AT WORK ON XENOPHON. 239 

you are loBging.' I only wanted this hint ; so I will risk 
it at any rate. God bless it, beginning, progression, con- 

" 21th. — Worked hard these three days : but for what 
purpose? To die and leave my children starving, for 
that will be the end. 

" Sunday Q8tk. — Went into my painting-room, and 
felt my heart swell at the look of Xenophon. An over- 
whelming whisper of the muse urged me again and again 
to go on. I set my palette, put on my jacket, and after 
reading prayers to my children, completed the rubbing in, 
Oh! I was happy, deliciously happy, I am just come 
down from poring over the picture (nine o'clock), with 
all my old feelings of glory, I have been impelled to do 
this. God knows how. In Him I trust, as Job trusted, 
for ever. 

" S9fA, — I am this moment (half-past eight) come 
into my paJnting-room, and the effect of Xenophon is 
absolutely irresistible. Go on I will 

" O God, on my knees I humbly, humbly, humbly 
pray Thee to enable me to go through it, Let no diffi- 
culties obstruct me, no ill health impede me, and let 
no sin displease Thee from its commencement to its 
conclusion. Oh save me from prison, on the confines 
of which I am hovering. I have no employment, no 
resources, a large family and no hope. In Thee alone I 
always trust. Oh let me not now trust in vain. Grant, 

God, that the education of my children, my duties to 
my love and to society, may not be sacrificed in proceed- 
ing with this great work (it will be my greatest). Bless 
its commencement, its progression, its conclusion, and its 
effect, for the sake of the intellectual elevation of my great 
and glorious country. 

" 3\st. — I looked over my picture with longing eyes. 
Had a half hour, which I devoted before going to a lawyer 
for 10/., and 6/. expenses. I had 31. and wanted time, 

1 left my dear picture and saw him. He gave me time, 
and away I ran with all the freshness of youth to my 



pain ting- room. I am now returned, and after two letter^ | 
to defer, still 1 hope to complete the rubbing in before 

" Rubbed in the whole picture. 

" jlpril ilh. — Made drawings for Xenophon, but I 
actually tremble at the thought of concluding it, with my 
family, and no encouragement. God guide me ; for 1 
hesitate ; let me recollect Xenoplion after the death of 
Cyrua, and Cortez in South America. 

" AprilGth. — Eucles was raffled for this day. The three 
highest numbers were 28 — Duke of Bedford, Mr. Strutt 
of Derby, and Mr. Smith of Dulwich. They all three 
threw again, when Smith threw 28, the Duke 25, and 
Mr. Strutt 17. 

" Before the meeting, Lord F. L. Gower promised to 
take the chair, but as the time approached he apologised. 

" All the people of fashion seemed ashamed to sanction 
this raffle, as if the necessity reflected on their patronage. 
A great deal of pretty coquetting passed between us." 

Xenophon was now progressing, under the usual diffi- 
culties, which I sometimes fear will prove as fatiguing to 
read of as saddening to record. 

j^pril 13(A." — The advertisement in the note f published 

* At this date opens the Seventeenth Volume of (he Journals, 
with the motto liiya ippavimv. 

f " Mr. Haydon'fl Euclee. As tbe pledge given at the public 
meeting, 1827, with respect to Eucles, has been kept Entisfactorily to 
all parties, Mr. Hajdon takes the liberty of laying before his creditors 
the correct amount of Lis receipts and expenses from July 1, 1827, t« 
April 1, 1830, as a great many notions, erroneous and unjust, exist, 
to his injury, of what he has received and what he must now possess. 

ReceiTed from July I, 1827, to 
July 1, 1828. 

SubBoriptiou forEados i338 17 

Exhib. of Mock Election 321 11 6 

A conunission - . 100 

Thrae portraits - - 7B 

Side of Mock Election 625 

Sketch - - - B 14 

il,37a 2 6 

Expenditure io the same time. 
]{«3toririg Mr. Hajdon 

lohia family - - £137 7 
Expenses of Mock 

Election cshibition - 270 1 fi 

Divds. and clcbta paid 400 
Living, profession, Sic. 510 19 10 

Advcitising Eucles' sub. 21 4 

£1,339 12 4 




about this time, refers to these difficulties, and shows 
how anxious Haydon was that the pubUc should know his 
exact position. This fashion of trumpeting his distresses 
did him infinite mischief, but he could not be persuaded 
to rehnquish it. 

Received from July 1, 1828, to 

Expenditure in 

[he same time. 

July 1, 1829. 

Expenses of ciMb 


Balance from last year £32 10 


of Chairing ■ 

-£168 6 

SubscnpttOQ ofEudes 191 3 

Ditto, of Pharaoh 

- 83 13 6 

Exhib. of Chairing Mem. 167 8 

Paid creditor - 

Exhibition of Fbumuli Gl 7 

Liviog, &c. . 

- 500 

Studies of Mock Election 60 

Bale of Chairing - 300 

Sale of Sketches - 62 

£374 8 


£SB5 S G 

" Receipts from July 1. 1829, to April 1, 1830. — Sale of Sketch, 
251. ; Napoleon and Uriel, 001. ; receipts of Eucles' exhibition, 
77/. 7s. :— total 152/. 7*. 

"Expenditure.^EucW exhibition, 79/. 2». ; law expenses alone, 
on pnltry debts, 67/. Is., independently of maintenance. 

" Mr. Hajdon now hopes that those who, placing their own debts 
against 500 guineas for Eucles, 500 guineas for Mock Election, 300/. 
for Cbairtng, believe money still to be in bis hands will see how the 
expenditure is accounted for, and instead of suspecting him of having 
Bayed money, will perceive that, from mere want of employment, he 
is verging fast again to unavoidable embarrassnient. In short, if 
his friends, and those who think he is entitled to protection, do not 
instantly support the scheme for the disposal of Punch before the 
first day of Term (the 28lli), he will be overwheliued by law, without 
the possibility of helping it. He appeals to the Nobility and lo the 
public whether, if he deserved to he taken from a prison, he has or 
has not proved since be deserves to be kept from one. Ue has bad 
his picture of Xenophon nearly a month in fais painting-room, and 
has not been able to apply more than four days from sheer harass, 
day after day racing the town, assuaging iiTitability, begging mere/, 
and praying for time. 

Subscription to the Punch. 

At Messrs. Coutta and Co.'s. I Lor<i F. L. Gower - 21 
J. Codings, Esq. - 10 10 Earl Darnley - - 10 10 
Hon. G. A. Eilia - 10 10 | J. P. Bell, Esq. - 2! 

" His creditors may depend on it that law proc^ecdings will only 
ruin him, and obstruct all hope of his paying them." 


242 HEXOtBS OF B. B. HATDOX. [iSSO.'. 

" Out in the roomiDg on the old story ; called on a- 
lawyer, who had orders to proceed ; he promised not to 
do so till he wrote : this was for 19/,— my coal merchant. 
Came home very tired ; lunched ; set to work. Dearest 
Mary sat, and before dinner I finished the female bead 
in the Xenophon, and was fairly afloat. I first thought 
of making her languid and exhausted, looking up with 
feeble joy ; afterwards it came into my head to make her 
a spirited, fine creature, with eyes sparkling at the sound 
of the trumpet ; in short, such a creature as would follow 
her lover through peril of land and water. I think I have 
succeeded. Now I have got both my lay figures to take 
out of pawn before I can go on," 

To relieve urgent necessity, for what in studio slang is 
called " pot -boiling," portraits must occasionally be painted, 
with whatever loathing, 

" Jpril 22nd. — Finished a rascally portrait, the last I 
have got — a poor, pale-faced, skinny creature, who waa 
tiling his lips to make them look red, rubbing up his hair, 
and asking me if I did not think he had a good eye. My 
picture of Xenophon was put out of the way for the time. 
I could not help looking at the nape of the heroic neck. 
I finished on Sunday with the background and trumpets 
and scenery. My breast swelled, my heart beat, and I 
nauseated this bit of miserable, feeble humanity ! " 

But Haydon was compelled to acknowledge, in an entry 
of this year, that this disgust proceeded as much from 
dissatisfaction with his own want of success in portraiture 
as from the nature of the work itself. " In spite of my 
affecting to despise portraits, I am uneasy at my want of 
success. I went this morning to look at Pickersgill' 
who has more tenderness of execution than any. I wa* 
much gratified. He is an old fellow-sludent, and has a 
great deal of independence and noble feeling. I respect 
him excessively. My own portraits looked hard and stiff. 
There is something in the art I know little of, but, I am 
resolved to know it, and I think the knowledge will give 
double interest to my historical pictures, The fault I 



find with his heads is the fault I find with all the English 
school. They have not the exquisite purity of taste of 
Vandyke, Reynolds, or Titian, but still there is a great 
deal of knowledge to be gained hy studying good English 

" May IQtk. — Harassed out of my life. I want to go 
through this picture, if possible, without calling my cre- 
ditors together, but it will be a desperate struggle. The 
background on Sunday was a vast addition. 

" May I5l/i. — An execution put in for 10/. \8s. Gd. - I 
had paid 6/. I5s. on this 107. before, and now at least 51., 
will be added. Since September I have paid (with my 
family expenses too) 031. law costs." 

At length comes the catastrophe — he is again arrested ! 

" \7t/i, 18M, I9th. — Harassed, and at last torn from 
my family for 15/, I6s. in execution. Ah ! what a sight. 
Mary tried for a long time to encourage me, but at last 
tears hurst forth. ' Will you be taken from me ? ' ' Yes, 
my love ? ' ' Can't I influence the man ? ' she went on, tears 
trickling down her cheeks ; the man was touched, but 
could not yield. 

" I went to a house which looked into a churchyard. 
What a power for one human being to have over another! " 

On the next page (on the fly-leaf torn from a volume of 
Blair's Sermons) is a sketch of a fellow- prisoner, a young 
Uussian merchant, ruined, and sleeping, worn out with 

Amongst other demands on the unhappy painter were 
considerable ones for arrears of taxes, for recovery of 
which proceedings had already been begun. In his ex- 
tremity he wrote to Sir Robert Peel, praying his good 
offices to stay these proceedings. The reply was prompt 
as kind : — 

" Whitehall, 29 th May, 

" Sir, 
" Immediately on the receipt of joar letter of yesterday, I 
wrote to Mr. Dawson, transmitting that letter to him to be laid 

244 MEMOIllS OF B. R. HATDON. [l 

before tlie Lorda of the Treasury, and expressing a hope that 
every indulgence consistent with the public intereet might be 
shown to you under the unfortunate circumstances in which 
you are placed. 

" I send you the letter I have just received, and I shall ba 
glad if you are enabled to pursue your professional labours, and 
if your wife and children can be allowed to remain unmolested. 
I write in great haste, and 

" I am, sir, your obedient servant, 

" BoBERT Peel. 

" I beg you will send the enclosed note for ten pounds to 
your wife, as she may be in immediate difficulty." 

On the letter itself are Haydon's comments. " Con- 
sidering that lie went to Windsor and had a long confer- 
ence with the King, considering the enormous quantity of 
public business, this haaty snatch of time to alleviate my 
family's sorrows is good and feeling. Is this letter a proof 
of Peel's frozen heart, as the Radicals call it ? " 

This relief brought a ray of hope. 

" May S9th. — Sir Robert Peel's kindness has relieved 
my mind greatly. My miseries have been great indeed, 
but I feel a lightness of heart I cannot get rid of,-^a sort 
of breaking in of light on my brain, like the influence of 
a superior spirit. I trust in God, who has supported me 
so wonderfully, with all my heart. 

" O Lord, keep us all in health, and let me be restorefl 
to my dear children before their dear mother is con- 
fined. Oh, grant me power to accumulate the means of 
educating my dear children as I have educated my sons- 
in-law, and grant all these afflictions may tend to the 
purifying of our natures, and make us worthy Thy protec- 
tion and reward. Grant that I may live to see the great 
object of my life— public support to art — accomplished. I 
care not for living to taste its fruits. I want no reward, no 
worldly honours. I want to live to establish a principle; 
rant all my sufferings may tend to its success." 

Haydon by this time had acquired a sort of home-feel- 
ing in the King's Bench. He had old friends, as it were. 


1830.] BENCH EXrERIENCES. 245 

among tlie iiimfites, and took suet interest in studying 
their ways, that after changing his quarters from a ground 
floor room to one higher up, he came down again, that he 
might be better situated for observation. Here are some 
of his prison scenes and characters. 

"June 3rd. — Col. L and Major B— — (afterwards 

distinguished in Portugal), both Waterloo heroes, and men 
of fortune and family, are here. While I was sitting with 
Col. L., a thorough-bred old soldier came in, every inch of 
whose bead seemed drilled. His nose could belong to no 
other than an adjutant. We talked of his major, with 
whom he had served in the 10th. ' He is in great dis- 
tress, and to be sore how he used to throw money away. 
Tlie whole regiment lived on him, and he has spent 150^. 
in a day. When I called the other day, Colonel, he 
was washing his own handkerchiefs because he could not 
afford to pay for them.' Here the old weather-be.iten 
veteran stopped, and seemed choking: tears filled his eyes. 

Col. L was affected, and so was I. I thought instantly 

of going and giving a sovereign, though, God knows, I was 

poor enough. I told Col. L I dreaded his getting into 

Bench habits. He seemed fast sinking into despair. On 

the racket-ground at night he, Coh L and I walked and 

talked. I excited them about Waterloo, and I never passed 

pleasanter evenings. ' D me,' said Major B , the 

other night, ' I should like to have another shy at them,' 

Waterloo heroes absolutely abound here, but L and 

his friend are high-bred and accomplished men ; his friend 
became security for his brother, who went to India, and, 
as a curious bit of retributive justice, Davis, the officer, to 
whose house I was carried, came to Hounslow to arrest a 
private. The soldiers enticed him into a room, tossed 
him in a blanket, and afterwards threw him into a pool of 
filth from the mess kitchen. Who should arrest Major 

B , but this very man, who hurried him at once to tbe 

county gaol, and told the keeper he had attempted to run 
away, and must be handcuffed. 

246 MEMOIRS or B. B. HATDOTT. [l830. 

*' Here is still G , tte man with a kettle on his 

head in the Chairing, In all his attitudes of ease and 
jollity he is a perfect study for Fatsta£ I have watched 
him through the blinds for days. 

" Alas, how are the jovial of the once famous Mock 
Election fallen ! The Lord Mayor is dead, the High 
Sheriff turned attorney's clerk, the smu^ler, who car- 
ried the union jack, has got the gout, and C is 


" I called on C , and knocked at his door. Nobody 

answering, I walked in. There he lay on his bed, sound 
asleep — his grand Satanic head grander than ever. His 
black matted hair tumbled about his white pillow; his 
cheeks hollow ; his mouth firm, as if half dreaming ; while 
his teeth grated a little. How altered ! I stood for a mo- 
ment too much affected to speak. I folded my arms, and 
gazed at this grand heroic fellow fast sinking to the grave 
— this victim of passion and pride. 

" Would any one believe that in consequence of the 
Mock Election, the King sent to him by Sir Edward 
Barnes, and begged him to state his services, and his 
wishes, and they should be gratified. Too conscious of 
his fallen state he never replied. This is just like him. 
His wounds have opened afresh, and he is bent, crippled, 
and reduced. 

" To-day he dressed himself neatly, put on white 
gloves, and came over to my side, but did not come in. 
As I was walking he joined me, with an evident fear in 
his eye that it was a liberty. I did not like it, I acknow- 
ledge, but, poor fellow, who knows his own strength ? 

" This man was first imprisoned for contempt of court, 
then ran into debt, then got exasperated ; and having no 
principle of a regulated mind gave way to every passion, 
as a species of revenge. Alas ! Like Satan he has brought 
on his own head double damnation. 

" I have not half done justice to this tremendous scene; 
the pencil alone can do it. 

" My friends wish me to go into the Rules, but here is 



a perpetual fund of character that will break into roy 
mind at after periods of life. 

" This man G is quite enough to prepare me for 

Falataff. All the positions, all the actions of this fat man 
arc one perpetual balancing of one part of his ponderons 
body against the other, tbat the whole may stand upright. 

" A fine subject would be the inside of the Bench, en- 
titled ' Projilable Labourers. Adam Smith.' " 

As usual, Haydon found no want of friends in his incar- 
ceration. He complains that they were only ready to 
relieve him when in prison, but that they would not give 
him employment when out. To one who asked him 
(^June I8t/i) why he did not leave the country, he answers, 
" Why because I love it. I glory in its beef, its bot- 
tom and its boxing. It is the duty of every Englishman 
of talent to stay and reform, to combat or destroy the 
prejudices of his obstinate countrymen. Their very vir- 
tues become their vices. The same invincible bottom 
which beat the French at Waterloo induces them to 
prepare to receive cavalry at every approaching innova- 
tion. They look at reform as at a cuirassier. There they 
stand and bayonet a genius who ventures to tell them they 
may stand with more grace ; and when they have killed 
him and he shouts to the last, they begin to admire his 
bottom, bet upon his hfe, and then adopt his plans and 

" Thus it is, and thus it ever will be. Mr. Fox said it 
was a long time before truth could sink into the thick 
skull of John Bull. It may be, but this is no reason we 
should not keep it there soaking, till it does find its way 
at last. 

" The English have the finest arms and the broadest 
chests of any nation in the world, and though by far the 
least-looking men in Paris of all the Allies took up more 
ground than even the gigantic' Russian guards. This was 
entirely owing to the breadth of their shoulders. 

Meanwhile he prepared another petition to the House of 
Commons. It was presented by Mr. Agar Ellis, who im- 

248 UEUOIRS OF B. B. HATDON. [l830. 

mediately afterwards presented one from St. MartiD's-in- 
the-Fields agaiDst the Bill for removing Vagrants, which 
struck Hajdon as " a beautiful combination." This peti- 
tion runs : — 

" Tliat it 13 now fonrleen years since yonr Honoiirable 
House, in the Report on the Elgin Marbles, recommended to 
tbe attention of the Government the grejit distinction to which 
so small a state as Attica had risen, principally by the public 
encouragement bestowed by the authorities on painting, sculp- 
ture, and architecture. That, in every country, where tbe arts 
bave risen to eminence, the private patronage of the opulent, 
and the public patronage of the Government, have gone hand 
in band. That in England the arts have risen to their present 
excellence by private patronage alone. That in every branch 
of art which depends solely on private support, the greatest 
excellence has been the result ; and tbe British arlist at pre- 
sent, in those branches, stands unrivalled in the world ; but tha^ 
in that important department, historical painting (to advance 
which effectually a monarch or a government alone are able), 
there is still the same want of support or established system of 
reward, though the Eoyal Academy has been founded sixty-two 
years, and the British Gallery twenty-five. That though your 
Honourable House has most generously afforded the student 
the most distinguished examples for the improvement of bis 
taste, in the purchase of the Elgin Marbles and Angerslein 
pictures, yet tbe attempt of any British artist to approach, how- 
ever humbly, the great works amongst those splendid produc- 
tions, is as much an effort of uncertain speculation and probable 
ruin as before they were purchased — for no other reason, hut 
fvoia a want of a syslem of public encouragement, by an annual 
■vote of money, as in France, Germany, Netherlands, Frussia, 
Bussia, Sweden, Denmark, and Spain. That, in the late foun- 
dation of two Universities in tiiia metropolis, no provision was 
made for cultivating the taste in art of tbe student ; while in 
France, on the very first plan for establishing a Society for the 
Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, in imitation of one founded in 
London, tbe fine arts were at once placed with literature and 
philosophy; thus affording a most remarkable evidence of the re- 
lative estimation of art in the two greatest nations of the world. 
That your petitioner presumes to think this proceeded not 


from superiority of taste, but from the Buperior importance 
giTen to the arts in consequence of an annual sura bestowed by 
the government for their cultivation, thereby raising their 
dignity in the opinion of all classes. That, from his own per- 
Bonal experience, your petitioner is entitled to say, that no 
moderate vote of money would be more popular, with the edu- 
cated middle classes, than such a vole for such purposes. That 
your petitioner is even ready with a. plan or plans for such a 
system of reward ; and respectfully and humbly begs to assure 
your Honourable House, that, till the English historical painter 
is placed on a level with the portrait painter, — till he is saved 
from the struggles of poverty, and degradation and iuipriaon- 
ment are not permitted to he the conclusion of a life of arduous 
labour and indefatigable anxiety — till, in fact, the Honourable 
the House of Commons, or the Government, cease to think his 
wanla not worthy of national consideration — the arts of Britain, 
however high and however perfect may be the productions of a 
domestic nature, will never rank with those of Italy or Greece, 
and this glorious country never by foreign nations be estimated 
as capable of producing painters who will take their station by 
the side of the poets, the philosophers, the statesmen or the 
heroes which she has so prolificaliy produced. And your peti- 
tioner humbly trusts your Honourable House will, at no very 
distant period, take this beautiful department of art under your 
protection ; and, in your wisdom, devise such means for its re- 
ward as to your Honourable House may seem fit. And your 
petitioner will ever pray. 

" B. R. Haydon." 
" King's Bench Prison, Jane 2. 1 S30." 

In presenting the petition Mr. Ellis remarked, that he 
Relieved the petitioner to be a person of great merit in 
his profession ; but anxious as he felt to encourage the 
fine arts, he could not recommend a grant of money for 
the purpose. 

" Anxious as he felt ! " says Haydon. " Divine '. This 
is something like Pitt's anxiety when Lord Elgin applied 
to him for public aid to make busts and drawings in 
Athens, Pitt said, anxious as he felt to advance the arts, 
he could not authorise such a use of the public money j 
and directly after that spent 300,000^, in catamarans to 

2.J0 HEHOIB8 OF B. B. HATDOX. [tS30. 

blow Up the flotilla at Boulogne. Oh, oar public men ! 
our public men ! A couple of tuton of painting snd 
sculpture at Oxford and Cambridge would send tbem into 
ParUament with justcr notions of what waa due to the 
arts and the country." 

June 19M. — Now came the result of his application to 

« Sir, 

" From a communication 1 hare had from the Treasury I 

am induced to hope that your wife and family will not be 

troubled on account of the arrears of taxes due, and that time 

would he given you to liquidate those arrears by your own 

" I am, sir, your obedient Ber?ant, 

" RouERT Pekl." 

" Kind and good — God bless hira. Nothing could be 
Idnder but a good commission, which would put it in mj 
power to pay my arrears." 

Here is a Sunday in prison. " 30M. — Passed the 
day in all the buzz, blasphemy, hum, noise and confu- 
sion of a prison. Thoughtless creatures ! My room was 
close to theirs. Such language ! Such jokes ! Good 
heavens. I had read prayers to myself in the morning, 
and prayed with the utmost sincerity for my dearest Mary 
and children, and to hear those poor fellows, utterly indif- 
ferent as it were, was really distressing to one's feelings. 
One of them had mixed up an enormous tumbler of mulled 
wine, crusted with nutmeg, and as it passed round, some 
one hallooed out, ' Sacrament Sunday, gentlemen 1 ' Some 
roared with laughter, some affected to laugh, and he who 
was drinking pretended to sneer ; but he was awfully an- 
noyed. And then there was a dead silence, as if the 
blasphemy had recalled them to their senses. After aa 
occasional joke or so, one, with real feeling, began to hum 
the 100th psalm, not in joke, but to expiate his previous 
conduct, for neither he nor any one laughed then, but 
seemed to think it too serious a subject. 


1830.] DEATH OF GEORGE IV. 231 

"June2Gth. — The King died this morning at fifteen 
minutes past three. 

" Thu3 died as thoroughhred an Englishman as ever 
existed in the country. He admired her sports, gloried 
in her prejudices, had confidence in her bottom and spirit, 
and to him, and him alone, is the destruction of Nupoleon 
owing. I have lost in him my sincere admirer ; and had 
not his wishes been perpetually thwarted, he would have 
given me ample and adequate employment. 

"The people the King liked had all a spice of vice in 
their nature. This is true. There was a relishing sort of 
abandonment about them which marked them as a pecu- 
liar class; and one could judge of the King's nature by 
the companions he seemed to like. Hammond is an ex- 

" Certainly there is an interest about vice, when joined 1 
to beauty and grace. The devil makes bis instrument 1 

"The account of his death is peculiarly touching. 
There must be something terrifically awful in the mo- 
ment, physically considered. His lips grew livid, and he 
dropped his head on the page's shoulder, and saying ' This 
M death/' died. 

" July 2nd. — M the gunmaker is in prison too. 

I met him. He has all the slang of fashion, without the J 
excuse. He said to me, ' My schedule was the most 1 
beautiful schedule you ever saw, d — me.' Good God, 1 
what a state of mind t A gentleman said to me, ' When | 
you are in this place, you must get rid of all the finer I 
feelings.' ' Pardon nie,' said I, ' you must struggle hard 1 
to keep them. This is your only salvation.' I 

" 5ih. — Dear Frank came. His little face seemed I 
toned by misfortune, as if he had been prematurely think- J 
ing about something he could not make out. SweetJ 
fellow ! God protect him, and grant him vixtue andS 
genius. 1 

" Orlando, for whose schooling I have been imprisoned 
twice and arrested once, has won a scholarship at Wadham 


College, Oxford, at nxteen. There is some pleasure in 
lufferiag for a bo; like this. He was bom April 14th, 

" 7lh. — There was a report last night that Prince Leo- 
pold had shot WeQingtou. It was extraordlnai^ how all 
were affected. It was as !f oar shield was taken from as, 
I awoke in the morning, and felt inclined to curse Leo- 
pold. I never saw anything like the general feeling. 
Notwithstanding all the abuse of Wellington, we could 
soon see how people would take hb sudden death. 

" 10(A. — B ■ dined with me, A fine fellow — a 

Waterloo hero in the 10th — the picture of a fine, open, 
generous soldier. 

" IStfi. — In a state of torpor, hut hoping and trusting 
in ni>' protector ; Lord de Dunstanviile sent me assistances 

" These young soldiers are fine animals — nothing more. 
They talt, act, and think like colts suddenly gifted with 
the power of expressing their thoughts. 

" IGth. — B- married a daughter of IJord 's, 

the lanthe of Byron. Last night I spent an hour with 
her. Here's justice ! There sat a Waterloo hero covered 
with wounds, who had been arrested by a rascally trades- 
man, and had every debt he owed nearly doubled by law 
expenses, after having paid 1000/. to that tradesman. 
There sat his accomplished and interesting wife. Poor 
B has the noblest and most amiable heart. Many pri- 
soners he has paid out. They all come to him when they 
are in want — some to pay their gate-fees — some for this, 
and some for that ; and here he is, neglected by friends 
to whom he has lent, and by whom he is now owed, thou- 
sands, harassed by lawyers, and each creditor and his soli- 
citor (because B has friends) pushing their expenses 

to the utmost, for the sake of profiting by bis troubles. 

" 19lh. — Again put on my trial, and again honour- 
ably acquitted. At the conclusion, the Chief Commis- 
sioner said, ' There has nothing passed this dity which can 
reflect in the slightest degree on your character.' 


" Throughout the whole of this affliction God has in- 
deed been merciful. 

"20th. — Returned to my family, and found all the 
children with their dear mother quite well, and happy to 
see me, I fell on my knees and thanked God with all 
my heart, and all my soul. Now to work like a lion after 
a fast, as soon as I am settled. 

" 2\st. — Passed the day in a dull stupor, as if recover- 
ing from a blow. Studied the Xenophon, but quite 
abroad. The same number of the Times contains a pow- 
erful attack on the Academy — Kean's farewell — my in- 
solvency, and the King's funeral. 

" A true picture of life. If the Times takes up the art 
the thing will be done, 

" 22nd. — Saw the King review the Lancers in the 
Green Park. He looked well. Called on Sir Robert 
Peel and Lord Stafford, After coming from prison, the 
splendour of their residences amazingly impressed my 
imagination. The regiment of Lancers was the same of 
which ■ was major. He saw Napoleon at St. He- 
lena, and had previously known Gourgaud. Gourgaud 

wrote his name in 's pocket-book. When at St. 

Helena, he showed it to Bertrand, who understood the 
hint. Letters were directly got ready. Lowe suspected 

it — invited him to dine, and searched his trunks. • 

said his shirts had all been tumbled about. gave 

the letters to a lady, who sewed them in ber stays. They 
succeeded in bringing them over, and ■■■ — went to Paris, 
and delivered them. They were of the greatest conse- 
quence. "When Lord B , from parliamentary influ- 
ence, was promoted to the colonelcy of the Lancers, 

• called on the Duke, told him he was covered with 

wounds, and had served in the Peninsular War. The 
Duke said, 'Well, sir, you did no more than your duty, 

I suppose.' ' Perhaps not,' said , ' and I'll take 

d — d good care not to do that again,' and the next morn- 
ing sent in his resignation, which was refused. 

" It affected me to see this gallant regiment to-day, 


which he had disciplined, while he himself was in prison, 

disgraced, — at the mercy of tailors and lawyers, villains 
without heart, who make use of tie law of arrest as a 
means of profit. 

" Slth. — My worthy landlord, Newton, gave me a 
commission to finish Mercury and Argus for twenty 
guineas. So I am set off. Darling gave me a commis- 
sion to paint a head for ten guineas. Oh, if I can keep 
out of debt and carry my great object ! 

" 3ist. — Occupied in various ways, but recovered my 
spirits and health. My grocer gave me a commission to 
paint his portrait. I could be very moralising at the end 
of this month, but I am overstrained." 

This was the time of the glorious Three Days in Paris, 
Haydon was certainly not open to the reproach often 
urged against artists of indifference to public events. 
Many pages of his journal are filled with reflections on 
what was passing across the channel, of which the following 
may servS as an example. 

" August 3rd. — The great thing will be to take care 
that fellow Metternicb does not render nugatory this 
glorious popular burst, by tampering, by negotiation, or 
by artifice; and let the French depend on it, he will 
attempt it. 

" With respect to any apprehensions the people of 
Europe may entertain that tlie monarchs will assemble to 
put the French people down, it is futile. They can't do 
it if they would. The very same reason which enabled 
the monarchs to put down Napoleon, because the people 
were roused to back the monarchs, will enable the French 
now to resist the monarchs of Europe ; and if the monarchs 
of Europe are led astray by the supposition that the 
French people were conquered in 1815, and that they can 
be conquered again, they will find their mistake. 

" The French people were not conquered. It was 
Napoleon and the army who were conquered. The people 
never moved. Had they done so, the Allies would have 
had a very different result of their efforts. The people 



were utterly indifferent to the fate of tbe army or of 
Napoleon. They had suffered so much from both ; and 
they submitted with a wary patience to the dictation of 
tbe Allies. 

" The only thing to apprehend ia, that their inherent 
national vanity will lead them astray, and induce them to 
attempt to disturb Europe again, for the mere purpose of 
recovering' their tarnished military glory. 

" If they are too much puffed with tbe result of this 
attempt they should recollect that hoth the guards and 
the line did not exert themselves to the full extent of 
their power. There was something indecisive — something 
of feeling for the people they were killing — something of 
that doubt which always attends a had cause. 

" Politics are not my profession ; but still, in such days, 
when there ia evidently a struggle bursting forth for 
human rights, no man can be indiiferent; and I conclude 
as I began, by affirming, without fear of refutation, that 
no nation will ever secure their liberty who do not begin, 
as we began, by first shaking off the overwhelming pressure 
of superstition. Till they do, the enlightened may lay 
down schemes of right and law and justice, but they will 
never be permanent — never- — and tbe battle will ever 
be to fight, when it will appear to have been long won. 

" Stk. — Walked to Hampstead with dear Frank, and 
enjoyed the air and sweet-scented meadows. Thought of 

tlie poor prisoners in the Bench, B and others, who 

would have relished this sweet smell - — what I have seen, 
and what I have suffered, always give a touch of melan- 
choly to my enjoyments. 

" The recollection of these three days haunts me like 
Waterloo. The same enthusiasts who would have made 
us succumb to Napoleon are beginning again with their 

" 10(A.— Thank God, the Trench have settled their 
government and the Duke of Orleans is king. What a 
great point for liberty over the whole earth ! 

" How discreet, how active, how judicious are the 

256 MEMOIRS OF B. H. HATDON. [1830. 

Freiicli become ! How useful is adversity. At their first 
revolution tliey acted like a set of monsters just escaped 
from a long slavery, who had got hold of razors, and were 
exasperated at seeing the marks of chains on their limbs. 
Now they have acted like just men, enraged at the pros- 
pect of losing their rights, and magnanimously merciful as 
soon as they have obtained them. 

" Still I fear their character. Nous verrons, 

" l\lk. — I hope the fools here won't overdo their joy. 
They should remember we can obtain our wiahed-for 
reforms by law; and though we may be longer, it is better 
to be so. The firmness of the English character is such 
that if soldiers and people get to loggerheads, no matter 
for what cause, they will fight till both are exterminated. 

" I hope Mr. Hobhouse will allow that if his darling 
Napoleon had been victorious at Waterloo, the present 
happy prospects of France would never have been realised. 
Wellington, therefore, contributed, by the destruction of 
Napoleon, to this desired event. I pity the Duchess 
d'Angouleme. Wilkie and I saw her in 1814 at cliapel — 
the picture of crying sorrow, humbleness, absence of mind, 
and meekness of appearance. The Duke was the meanest 
of the mean. I wondered tlien how such a people as the 
French could bear such wretches as the Bourbons looked, 
with the exception of Louis, who had a keen black eye, 
and appeared intellectual. 

" All the old oSicers with crosses of St. Louis were a 
diminutive, mean race, in comparison with the produce of 
the revolution. While Louis was praying I stood observ- 
ing them, when an old bigot of an officer, on his knees, 
struck mine twice, and said, 'a bas, a bas, Monsieur.' 

" I2tk, — Everything goes on in France as it ought to 
do, and 1 hope will end so, But as to attributing it to 
the pure love of the French for liberty — nonsense. 

" The principal feeling was mortification, increasing 
for fifteen years, at having the family forced on them. 

" I only hope the French will not exasperate the English 
by attributing the EngUsh subscriptions to the widows to 


our apprehension of their power. God knows : such is 
their vanity. However, they have heen well bled and 
blistered, and are certainly improved." 

This month, too, brouglit another mouth to feed. 

" 19th. — At half past five in the morning was born a 
ine boy, whom I thinlt I shall call Benjamin Robert 
Haydon, God protect him and his dear motlier, 

" As a proof of Sliakespeare's intense truth, while 
dearest Mary was l^ing in agony, Darling sitting quietly 
waiting, and I with my head in my hands listening to her 
moans, little Frank, who was soundly sleeping just by, 
laughed in a dream. 

" ' There was one did laugh in his sleep, and one cried 
murder,' says Macbeth. 

" This has been ridiculed as too violent a contrast — 
as if it was unnatural to bring in a dreamer laughing at the 
instant a murder was being committed, while here was 
a dreamer laughing at the very instant agonies of the 
bitterest description were going forward." 

He had now on hand an engraving from his small pic- 
ture, painted the year before, of Napoleon musing at St, 

" 28th. — Out the whole day on business connected with 
the print of Napoleon. I saw Beauvinet, the publisher, 
who had a tricoloured ribbon in his button-hole. There 
is a look about the French which is insufferable. While 
1 was talking I felt my blood boil up, I could not tell 
why. Wait a little — till they get settled — till they 
are acknowledged by Europe— and if the great nations 
be not forced to divide tiiem before 100 years are over, 
I am no politician. Thetf he at peace! Absurd. They 
can't be quiet. They never will ; and soon we shall hear 
of the Rhine and Belgium being the natural boundaries 
of France. 

" 30(A. — Out all day about my print. What a bora 
business is. I wonder, too, men of business ever come to 
a conclusion. The chicanery, the selfishness, the petty, 


258 MEMOIRS OP B. H. HATDON. [lH30, 

paltrj meanness of their mutual attempts to OTerreach 
each other, is enough to drive a man out of his senses. 

" Think of coming from the sublime conception of my 
head of Lazarus to bargain about a print with a French 
dealer — 100 ounces of civet ! 

" September 3rd. — I sent the Duke the first proof of 
Napoleon, and though occupied, as he must be, with the 
affairs of Europe at this moment, he returned an answer 

" London, September 2. IB30, 

" The Duke of Wellington presents his compliments to Mr. 

" The Duke begs leave to retiira hia thanks to Mr. Hajdoa 
for his letter, and for sending to the Duke a print," 

His friend Dr. Darling was now sitting to him for his 

" ith. — Hard at work, and made a complete study of 
Darling's head, which is a very fine one. I am interested, 
and will strug'gle hard to succeed. 

" Gth, — At work — painting one coat, one waistcoat, 
one cravat, &c, 

" 7tk. — A portrait-painter should make out his bill. 

To two eyes at 10 guineas each - -^2100 

a nose - ■ - - 5 5 

two lips (red, &c.) - - - 6 6 

two cheeks (fine complexion, &c.) - 5 5 

lobe of the ear - - - 110 


To one cravat - - - - 110 

half a coat - - - - 110 

one finger - - - - 1 I 

To a white cloud, table and back of chair 

and curtain ... 550 

48 5 
To altering mouth to a smile, and brown- 
ing grey hair - - - 1 15 
'0th. — Began again Xenophon on the saleable size 
es. I could not bear to look at the two. If they 


had not put me in prison, I should nearly have done it the 
size of life. April, May, June, July, August, all fine 
months for working and light. I have uow September, 
October, November, December, January, February, 

" IGtk. — At work on my portrait, but alas, I really 
lose all inspiration — I can't tell why. A leaden demon 
seems to weigh on my pencil; and it is a pang to thinlf 
my Xenophon was behind, and would any man believe, 
I often scrawled about my brush, and did nothing, while 
I was studying Xenophon through the openings of my 

" I shall certainly be very eminent as a portrait-painter, 
not a doubt of it ! 

" I yesterday, after a long absence, came in contact with 
the Last Judgment of Michel Angelo ; perhaps I was 
better qualified to judge than if I had had it constantly 
under my eye. 

*' The swinging fierceness of action was astonishing, but 
I prefer the Theseus, and Ilissus, and fighting Metope. 
The style is Florentine — grand, flowing, ponderous, im- 
posing, sledge-hammering, blackguard. 

" October 2nd. — Out the whole day on business. 
Heard from Lady Stafford, who kindly interested herself 
in getting Lord Stafford to assist me with 50^. to get my 
eldest step-son matriculated at Oxford, ibr which I am to 
paint a picture. It is very good and kind of Lord 

" ISih. — I wrote the Duke, calling his attention to the 
report of Guizot, who had recommended the King to 
employ the historical painters to commemorate the late 
events. I contrasted the condition of the art here. I 
said that my Jerusalem, which his Grace had admired, was 
in a cellar; that Etty's picture was in a shop ; and that 
Hilton had had no employment two years. I asked his 
Grace if he would suffer England to be inferior to France. 
I sent my letter at nine in the morning to-day: at two 
came the follow 

250 MEMOIRS OP B. H. HATDOK. [i830. 

"^ "London, October I2lh, 1830. 

" Sir, 
" I have received your letter. 

" It is rertainlj true that the Britiah public give but little 
encouragement to the art of historical painting. The reason 
is obvious. There are no funds at the disposal of the Crown or 
its ministers, that are not voted by parliament upon estimates, 
and applied strictly to the purposes for Trbich such funds are 

" " No minister could go to parliament with a proposition for 
a vote for a picture to be painted, and there can be therefore 
no such encouragement here as there is in other countries for 
tbia art. 

" I am much concerned that I cannot point out the mode in 
which this want of encouragement can be reroedied. 
" I have the honour to be, 
" Sir, your moat obedient bumble servant, 

" Wellington," 

" I cannot say his Grace's reasoning is conclusive. I 
siiall answer it. Canning shirked the question. Welling- 
ton has grappled with it, but I think it will give him 
a squeeze." 

Here is a sad letter. 

" \4th. — This perpetual pauperism will in the end destroy 
my mind. I look round for help with a feeling of despair that 
is quite dreadful. At this moment I have a sick house with- 
out a shilling for the common necessaries of life. This is no 
exaggeration. Indulged by my landlord, indulged by tba 
Lords of the Treasury for my taxes, my want of employment 
and want of means exhaust the patience of my dearest friends, 
and give me a feeling as if I were branded with a curse. For 
Giod's sake, for the sake of my family, for the sake of the art I 
have struggled to save, permit me, my Lord Duke, to say, em- 
ploy me. I will honour your patronage with all my heart and 
_ nil my aoul I " 

(No an™er.) 

And a sad sequel. " \5lh. ~ The harassings of a family 

Tire really dreadful. Two of my children are ill. Mary 

i nursing. All night she was attending the sick, and 



hushing the suckling, with a consciousness that our last 
shilling was then going. I got up in the morning be- 
wildered — Xenophon hardly touched — no money — butcher 
impudent — tradesmen all insulting. I took up my book 
of private sketches, and two prints of Napoleon, and 
walked into tlie city. Moon and Boys had sold all. This 
was good news to begin with. Hughes, Kearsey's partner, 
advanced me five guineas on the sketch-book. I sold 
my other prints, and returned home happy with 8/. 4*. in 
my pocket. 

" How different a man feels with money in his pocket ! 
I bought for sixpence a cast for the children. 

" I met a man of 40,000/. at Kearsey's. He talked of 
Virgil and art. I was in no spirits to answer him. I 
thought of my dear Mary at home, harassed, surrounded 
by little children, some ill, all worretting." 

In the meantime he had again written to the Duke in 
the old strain, on the old subject, urging the proposal of a 
grant of public money for the encouragement of art. His 
answer came, prompt and decisive as ever. 

" The Duke of Wellington presents his compliments to Mr. 
Haydon, and has received his letter of tbe 14th. 

" The Duke is convinced that Mr. Haydon's own good sense 
will point out to him the impossibility of doing what he sug- 
gest e." 

" Conclusion for the season I 

" Impossibility, from Wellington's mouth, must be impos- 
sibility indeed. He can't answer my letter. It is evident, 
he is worried about finance. At any rate it is a high honour 
to hear from him in this way. And his letters this time 
show more thinking on the subject than the last. At it 
again at a future time. 

" S5th. — Out, selling my prints. Sold enough for 
maintenance for the week. Several people looked hard at 
me with my roll of prints, but I feel more ashamed in 
borrowing money than in honestly thus selling my labours. 
It is a pity the nobility drive me to this by their neglect. 


" SGth, — Hard >t work; nibbed in X.ord Sufford's 
picliu% — Venus and Ancbisea quarrelling. 

*' S7(A. — Hard at work. Gave instructions to a yoang 
writing-master in painting at 10<. 6d. a lesson. I painted 
in a head in black and wbite for bint. Showed bim bow 
to mass bis lights and shadows, and then put in bis 
extreme darks and lights, at which he was enrapttired; 
■aid ' Scales bad fallen from his eyesJ' He lamented his 
incapacity to pay more than 10«. 6d. 

" 29ri, — Provided shoes for mj dear Maiy, and s 
dinner for mj family. What an extraordinary, invisible 
sort of stirring is the impulse of genius. You first feel 
uneasy, you cannot tell why. You look at your picture, 
and think it will not do. You walk for air — your picture 
haunts you. You cannot sleep j up you get in a fever, 
when all of a sudden a great flash comes inside your besd, 
as if a powder-magazine had exploded without any noise. 
Then come ideas by millions — the difficulty is to choose. 
Xenophon cheering on the point of a rock came flashing 
into my head. It is a hit. Everybody says it will do. 
I am sure of it. The world will echo it. It is the finest 
conception I ever saw, I speak as my own critic. I know 
it is wrong to say so. I care not, O God ! grant me 
life and health to complete this grand work ! 

" How mysteriously I was impelled to begin it — by an 
urging when on the brink of ruin. Am I then reserved for 
something? I know it — I feel it. O God, my Creator, 
Thou knowest it. Thou kuowest I shall not die till I have 
accomplished that for which I was born ! 

" November l»t. — Out selling prints. Bronght home 
4>l. 13*. Od. 

" 3nd. — Out selling prints. Brought home SL The 
whole of the first impression is gone. 

" We still have justice here. Everything for which I 
used to despise mankind, I have been obliged to do, I 
used to despise Wilkie for taking about his prints, as if it 
was not honester and infinitely more respectable than 
borrowing money without a certainty of paying it again. 



" Alas ! I was imperfectly brought up." 

All readers will remember the anxiety that prevailed 
this year about the Sovereign's visit to the city, and the 
speculations that were rife as to the wisdom or unwisdom 
of its being put off. The following extract may throw 
some light upon the sort of fears that influence ministers. 
The information referred to was given on the 8th. 

" lOtk. — ^The following is a curious letter. My servant 
said her father knew the ringleader of a gang who were 
determined to attack the Duke. I wrote the Duke 
immediately and received an instant answer. I was not 
going to turn informer until I had more positive evidence, 
or involve a poor man in {rouble on mere ipse dixit, I 
examined the girl, and she denied it, but this would not 
do. I sent for her father, and he promised to come, 
but he never came, and it turned out her mother had 
scolded her for saying anything about it. 1 have no doubt 
of it myself. My object was to set his Grace on his 
guard, and if anything more palpable had come out, I i 
would have remitted the name and address. I am perfectly ] 
convinced that had the King gone to the city, most 
dreadful scenes would have happened, and then what an 
outcry against ministers for not preventing His Majesty. 

" A Whig said to me, ' Grey is coming in.' ' Is he ?' 
said I. ' When 1 see Wellington out, I'll believe it.' 
Ah, little do they think what la hid beneath that simple 

" Tlie Duke of Wellington presents his compliments to Mr. 
IJaydon and has received his note of this morning, for which 
he is very much obliged to him. 

" The Duke requests that Mr, Haydon will be so kind as to 
call upoQ Mr. Pliillips, the under- Secretary of State at the Homo 
Office, and state to him in detail the circumstances to wliich he 
adverts in his note to the Duke, the names of the persons who 
are determined to attack him," Sec. &c, 

■' London, Norember Slh, 1830." 

On the 3d Haydon had written to the Directors of the 

26-1 SIEMOIES OF B. B. HAYDON. [l8aa 

British Gallery. It muBt have been pressing necessity 
indeed which wrung this letter from a high-spirited man. 

" Mr. Ilajdon presents his respects to the noblemen and 
gentlemen who compose the committee at the British Gallery, 
and begs to appeal to them in his present struggling condition, 
with eight children and nothing on earth left him in property 
but what he is clothed with, after twenty-six years of intense 
and ardent devotion to painting, after leaving a capital pro- 
perty and handsome income from pure devotion to historical 

" Mr. Haydon is well aware that more discretion in his early 
life would probably have placed him in a very different condi- 
tion, and had he borne what he conceiveoximustice on the 
part of the Royal Academy with more temper, such bitter ruin 
as he has been afflicted with would certainly never have hap- 
pened, but still he was never actuated bj any mean motive : his 
love of art more than a just regard for his own personal in- 
terest he can conscientiously affirm was his great inducement. 

" Perhaps the Directors of tlie British Gallery will not think 
too severely of his endeavouring by an appeal to their feelings 
to avert further calamities from his family. 

"The kindness of Lord Stafford in lately giving him a small 
commission has saved them from wanting the commonest necea- 
saries, and if the committee would aid him by a moderate, 
though not unimportant, sum to finish his Xenophon, it would 
perhaps enable him to keep out of debt for the rest of his life. 
Should the committee feel sufficient interest to receive any 
pleasure from seeing the picture, Mr. Haydon need not say 
how honoured he should be to sliow it them before they de- 
cide whether, for the purpose of considering it, tliey should 
think him entitled to assistance. Out of the 14,000/. given by 
the Gallery Mr. Haydon has never had but 200/., and out of 
the 75,000/. spent in sales only 60/. Mr. Haydon is quite 
aivare this is no one's fault but his own, yet he cannot help 
asking in conclusion, whether the committee think, should they 
even honour him by a commission, he is likely now to fail, 
when through life he has ever eserled himself to the utmost 
when such a distinction has been conferred. 

"Mr. Haydon anxiously apologises for this intrusion, and 
hopes he may be so happy as to receive an answer which may 
re-animaio his labours." 


On the lltb came the answer — such an answer as s 
a letter was likeliest to produce. 

" Sir, 
" I am (ieaired by the Directors of the British Institution to 
inform you tliat your letter of the 3d instant has been this day 
laid before them, and further to add that the only way in whioli 
they can entertain the subject of it is by requesting your ac- 
ceptance of 50/,, a draft for which I have now ihe honour to 

" I beg you to believe me. Sir, 

"Most faithfully your obedient servant, 

" Charles Beloe, 

" Secretary." 

The dajs were gone by in which he would have spumed 
this alms, and the 50/. was accepted with thanks for the 
kindness of the Directors. 

" ISlh. — I called on Lord Farnborough. He was 
grown old. The interview was interesting. He seemed 
ashamed of the 50/. He talked of Lawrence. He said 
his family would have nothing hut the 3000/., the result of 
his exhibition. He wondered how it was. I told him 
the moment I got into trouble, I met Lawrence in all 
quarters, at which he drew his hand across his face, as if 
shocked at my frankness in talking so of a President. 
But I was determined to let him know I was aware of 
Sir Thomas's condition, and would not be considered the 
only embarrassed gentleman in the art. 

Now came what but ten days before seemed so impro- 
bable .i— the downfall of the Wellington administration, 
and the advent of Lord Grey to power. Haydon remarks 
on these great changes : — " 18(A. — Wellington is out I 
Thus ends that immortal Tory ministry, whose energy and 
true English feeling carried them through the most tre-- 
mendous contest that ever nation was engaged in. The 
military vigour, the despotic feeling engendered by 
twenty-five years of furious war, rendered them unfit, 
perhaps, to guide the domestic policy of the country, and 

266 MEUOIiiS OF B. E. HAYDON. ClB30. 

though the Wliigs would have sacrificed the honour and 
grandeur of Old England, for the sake of advancing the 
abstract principles of the French Revolution, and conse- 
quently were very unfit for the war with Napoleon, now 
that the danger is over, they are perhaps more adapted to 
carry the cotuitry through its present crisis. God grant 
they may. 

*' 22rid. — The Whigs have come in at a tremendous 
crisis. God grant they may be equal to the opportunity. 
If they rise in proportion to the tide, they will prove a 
blessing to the world. I dread their inexperience in 

" 2ith. — But after all inexperience is soon got rid of. 
The mighty principle is the thing. The Holy Alliance 
is dashed to atoms for ever ■ — that incuhus on independent 

" 25tk. — Called to congratulate Lord Brougham. 

" 1 sent in my card and begged one minute. The 
servant came out and said, ' My Lord's compliments; he 
can't.' As the door opened, I heard the buzz of a secre- 
tary. The servant, who knew me, looked arch as he said 
' My Lord.* 

" And now Brougham has the power we shall see if 
the Whigs do anything for art ! " 

In December of this year happened an event which 
caused Haydon both pride and satisfaction. Sir Robert 
Peel gave him a commission for a picture of Napoleon at 
St. Helena — (the subject he had already painted in cabi* 
net size the year before) — nay more, called on Haydoa 
and received a lecture on art. 

" 8ih. — Sir Robert Peel called, and gave me a com- 
roiseion to paint Napoleon musing, the size of life. 

" He liked the Xenophon much. He seemed greatly- 
interested. I asked him to walk into my plaster-room. 
He mistook the Ilissus for the Theseus, and asked if the 
fragment of the Neptune's breast was the Torso. 

" Now had I been lecturer on art at Oxford when he 
was a, student, he, Sir Robert, as a minister of England, 


should not bave mistaken a fragment of liie Elgin 
Marbles for the Torso of Apollonius. 

" He seemed very desirous of information, and asked it 
candidly, but the state of his information was evidence 
how Lawrence must have lauglied in his sleeve, and 
flattered his ignorance, to get at lus money. I will not 
do this. 

" It is a great point bis giving me such a commission, 
and Iiis calling. He said, ' There is a great opening for a 
portrait painter,' ' Yes,' I replied, ' hut I fear Lawrence's 
power of seizing and transferring the most beautiful 
expressions of people's faces is likely to he unrivalled.' 
He replied, 'What do you mean?' I explained, and 
added, that Lady Peel and Miss Croker were the finest 
instances of female expression in diiferent ways in art. 

" I hope this visit will lead to good. So great a friend 
as he is of the Academy would hardly take such a step 
without some ultimate desire to do me good, or to ascer- 
tain whether I merit the obloquy I have met with. My 
keeping my word to him to pay up my taxes has had no 
had elfect. 

" This commission will be an interruption. Sir Robert 
Peel asked me what I had for whole lengths : I said what 
was true, 100 guineas. I ought to have said 200, but 100 
was the truth. (It was wrong* of him to take advantage 
of this, and pay me 100 guineas only, as if Napoleon was 
a common whole length. Thirty he sent afterwards,) 

" 9lk. — The interview yesterday only convinces me of 
the necessity of lectures at Oxford, and that such a system 
is the only chance for the art and manufactures of the 
country. At the same time Peel showed fine natural taste. 
He said, ' Do the Elgin Marbles deserve all that has beea 

• Haydon was ill-judging enough to make BUtwequent aHusions to 
this in letters to Sir Rotiert Peel, and even to make a demand of a 
higher price. Sir Robert Peel was naturally annoyed at this after 
tlie inquiry and answer given here. And Haydoo bimself, when the 
ating of necessity niu not goading him, admitted the folly of hil 
conduct in this particular. — Eo, 

26B MEMOIHS OF B. E. HAYDON. [1830. 

Baid of them ? ' ' More if possible.' ' Why ? ' 'I will tell 
you. These t\*'o legs and thighs illustrate all. The foot 
of No. I. is turned out, that of No. 2. is turned in. These 
two actions of the foot make all the difference of marking 
in the respective legs and thighs.' 

" I showed him another foot. ' You can see at once,' 
said he, ' the decided superiority. What beauty t ' 

" This was genuine, because on showing him the Venus 
he thought the instep fat. I showed him the roll of skin 
under Neptune's arm-pit, and proved to him that the 
union of the accidents of nature with ideal beauty was 
the great principle of Phidias, which all subsequent ages 
lost sight of in search of a higher ideal beauty, and made 
life no longer visible. 

" He saw this at once, and I will venture to say I did. 
him more good in ten minutes than ever Lawrence did in 
ten years. 

" l\lh. — Out the whole day mating studies for Na- 
poleon's hat, with as much care as I would for the ana- 
tomical construction of a limb. I know it now as well. 
The hat fitted me exactly, and my skull is, like Napoleon's, 
twenty-two inches in circumference. There was some- 
thing terrific about its look, and it excited associations as 
powerful as the helmet of Alexander! 

" 16(A. — Began Napoleon for Sir Robert Peel. God 
bless its commencement, progression, and conclusion. 

" llth. — Called on Sir Robert Peel, who introduced 
me to Lady Peel, and treated me with the greatest kind- 
ness, I do not wonder at Sir George saying to me once, 
' What a day we passed yesterday at Peel's ! Such a wife, 
Buch children, such a dinner, and such pictures!' Egad, I 
agree with him. His collection is quite exquisite — the 
rarest specimens of Dutch and Flemish power. He ia a 
fine creature, His conduct on the Catholic question was 
a Roman sacrifice of feeling, 

" 18M.— Moderately at work, Wrote Sir Robert Peel, 
BtftUng my wish to devote myself to Napoleon, and saying 
it was impossible unless he aided me by some portion in 


advance. God knows if this may offend him or not. I 
hope not, but the sure way to get on with people of 
fashion is never to ask them for money. However, as Sir 
Robert sent to me in prison, he will not be angry at my 

« Whitehall, Dec. IStli. 
« Sir, 

" I enclose, in pursuance with your request, a draft for thirty 
guineas on account of the picture which you are painting for 
me. I meant to have offered it to you, and, therefore, need not 
assure you that I cannot be in the least degree displeased by 
the application. 

" I am, sir, your faithful servant, 

** EoBEBT Peel." 

" I wrote the Duke for leave to sketch some part of 
Napoleon's dress from one of his pictures. Here is his 

'* The Duke of Wellington presents his compliments to Mr. 
Haydon, and has received his note. 

'^ The Duke has four pictures of Napoleon in different cos- 
tumes. On his return to town he will desire that they may be 
brought together, and prepared for Mr. Haydon's inspection." 

" Winchester, Dec. 23rd, 1830.** 

** Read Moore's second volume * with such intensity I 
forgot the last day of the year, a thing I never did before 
in my life. 

" The year is ended, but it is too late now to philo- 

" I am convinced Byron's Italian excesses were not 
from love of vice, but experiments for a new sensation, on 
which to speculate. After debauchery, he hurried away 
in his gondola, and spent the night on the waters. 

** On board a Greek, ship, when touching a yataghan, 
he was overheard to say, * I should like to know the feel* 
ings of a murderer.' 

* OfByron's Life and Journals. 

270 UEUOIBS OF B. H. HATDOK. tidal. 

" This contains the essence of his moral character ; and 
his assertion that he relished nothing in poetry not 
founded on fact, that of his poetical. 

" For the gjeat mercies of the year past, O Lord, accept 
my deep gratitude ; for the corrections, deep submission 
to Tby sacred will. Amen." 

And so ends the Journal for 1830. 


Haydon opened this year in diligent application to 
the large picture of Napoleon for Sir Robert Peel, though 
with some despondency at first 

"January 29lk. — All passed since the 11th in a fit of 
ennui and self-reproach, which my misfortunes and the 
remembrance of them sometimes generate. I struggle and 
vanquish my despondency, but in spite of all, these fits 
hold dominion now and then for the time. By God's help 
I will get out. The cloud will pass, and a successful day's 
hit will soun restore my faculties. 

" February 5th. — I am like Wellington's soldiers, who, 
after a hard campaign, got ill the moment they moved 
into winter-quarters. The moment that from any cause I 
leave off hard work my fibres seem to relax, and I get 

" Thomas Hope is dead, my early patron, and the pur- 
chaser of my first picture; a good but capricious man. 
He objected to my painting Solomon the size of life, 
though he had .given a French painter 800 guineas juaC 
before for Damocles, full size. He got offended, yet 
when I was ill he sent me 200/. in the noblest manner, and 
insisted I should not consider it as a debt. 

" Gtk. — I dreamt Napoleon appeared to me and pre- 
sented me with a golden key. This was about a month 
since. It is curious. I have lately had singular dreams : 
as Achilles says, the shades of our friends must be per- 
nitted to visit us. 

" Miss Edgeworth called with Mrs. Lockhart. There 


was great simplicity and sense in Miss Edgeworth. Mrs, 
Lockhart is a Miranda in nature. 

" 8(A. — Succeeded at last in getting Napoleon firm on 
his legs. Strange I did it at once in the small sketch, 
and missed it when meaning to be very grand in the large 
picture. Dreamt Michel Angelo came to me last night 
in my painting-room. I talked to him, and he shook 
hands with me. I took him to the small medallion over 
my chimney-piece, and said, ' It's very like, but I do not 
think your nose so much broken as I had imagined.' I 
thought it strange in my dream. I could not make it out 
how he came there. He had a brown coat and complexion. 
I certainly think something grand in my destiny is coming 
on, for all the spirits of the illustrious dead are hovering 
about me. 

" I dreamt the other night I crept through a window 
into the Capella Sistina, and thought the power in the 
Prophets terrific. I saw a hand of Jeremiah modelled 
with touches which I shall never forget. No man, I 
thought, has been worse engraved. 

" My eyes and health are recovered. I burn in my 
feelings with some undefined anxiousness of expeclation, 
' some unborn greatness in the womb of time,' which I 
can't describe, but I seem as if 1 was seized with super- 
natural communication, and start up in solitude. I ex- 
pect a ' Dira facies ' or a smiling angel beckoning and 

" 9lh, — In my painting-room from a quarter past eight 
till four incessantly glazing; it is the most nervous opera- 
tion in the art. The sky is not what I imagine it ought 
to he. Titian would have gone solidly through it as I did 
first i no modern scrambling and tricks, but a manly, fair, 
masterly, solid painting, and then skilful, flat, concealed 

" 10(A. — Strained exceedingly in my feelings. Wound 
up the sky and sea. The sea I am proud of, not the sky 

' Sir Robert was to have called, hut did not. One 

272 5IEMOIR3 OF B. R. HATDOy. [1S3I. 

hundred guineas is all I asked, but it is loo little. I meant 
that was my price for a whole length, 

" West told me he never know what it was to have a 
head or stomach. I should think so from his colour and 
expression. They were all by a man who had neither 
head, stomach, or heart. 

" I4th. — Out all day about money and rooms. I 
called on Sir Kohert Peel. I found him sitting in his 
magnificent library reading, and very pale. He seemed 
harassed. He promised to call to see his picture. In the 
afternoon he called, and was much pleased. I showed 
him all my studies from the Elgin Marbles. I explained 
their principles, and what gave them their superiority. He 
listened with great attention. I hope I have done his 
mind good. But he had a cowed air. Why I know not. 
Politically he is, I dare say, harassed about this Reform 
Bill, and his party perhaps wanting him to take the lead, 
and he is really unwilling to leave the sweets of private 
life for the turbulence and harass of a public situation. 

" Whatwould I not give for such a library ! Sir Robert 
Peel is a most amiable man, very sincere, diffident and 

Haydon, as usual, furnished a description of the picture 
when exliibited, from which I extract the passage which 

" Napoleon was peculiarly alive to poetical association as pro- 
duced by scenery or sound ; village bells with their echoing 
ding, dong, dang, all bursting full on the ear, now dying iu the 
wind, affected him as they affect every body alive to natural 
impressions, and in the eve of all his great battles, you find him 
stealing away in the dead of the night, between the two hosts, 
and indulging in every species of poetical reverie. 

" It was impoaaihle to think of such a genius in captivity, 
without mysterious associations of the sky, the sea, the rock, 
and the solitude with which he was enveloped : I never imagined 
him but as if musing at dawn, or melancholy at sunset, listen- 
ing at midnight to the beating and roaring of the Atlantic, or 
meditating as the stars gazed and the moon elione on him : in 


short Napoleon never appeared to me but at those seasons of 
eilerce and iwiiiglit, when nature seems to sympathise with the 
faUen, and when if there he momenta in this turbulent earth fit 
for celestial intercourse, one roust imagine these would be the 
times immortal spirits might select to descend within the sphere 
of mortality, to soothe and comfort, to inspire and support the 

" Under such impressions the present picture was produced, 
— I imagined him standing on the brow of an impending cliff 
and musing on his past fortunes, — sea-birds screaming at his 
feet, — the sun just down, — the sails of his guard ship glittering 
on the horizon, and the Atlantic calm, silent, awfully deep, and 
endlessly extensive. 

" I tried it in a small sketch, and it was instantly purchased, 
— I published a, print and the demand is now and has been in- 
cessant ; a commission for a picture the full size of life, from 
one well-known as the friend of artists and patron of art fol- 
lowed, and thus I have ventured to think a conception so un- 
expectedly popular might, on this enlarged scale, not be unin- 
teresting to the public. 

" No trouble has been spared to render the picture a re- 
semblance : its height is Napoleon's exact stature, according 
to Constant^ his valet, viz. five feet two inches and three quar- 
ters, French, or five feet five inches and a half, English ; the 
nniform is that of one of the regiments of Chasseurs ; every 
detail has been dictated by an old officer of the regiment ; and 
his celebrated hat has been faithfully copied from one of Napo- 
leon's own hats now in England. 

" The best description I ever saw of Napoleon's appearance 
was in the letter of an Irish gentleman, named North, published 
in the Dublin Evening Post, and as it is so very characteristic) 
it may amuse the visitor. He saw him at Elba in 1814, and 
thus paints him : — 

" ' He bnt little resembles the notion I had of him, or any 
other roan I ever saw. He is the squarest figure I think I ever 
remember to have seen, and exceedingly corpulent. His face 
is a perfect square, from the effects of fat, and, as he has no 
whiskers, his jaw is thrown more into relief; this description, 
joined to his odd little three- cornered cocked hat, and very 
plain clothes, would certainly give him the appearance of a 
vulgar person, if the impression was not counteracted by his 

274 UEHOIBS OF B. B. HATDOy. [lS31. 

soldierly carriage, and the peculiar ninnner of his walking, 
which is conMent theatrical and a little ru£Gan-Iike, for he 
stamps the ground at every step, and at the same time tmsts 
Ilia body a little. He was dressed that day in a green coat, 
turned up with a dirty white, &c., &c., fcc. Hia neck ia short, 
liis shoulders very broad, and his chest oi>en • • ■ 

* His features are remarkably masculine, regular and 
well formed. His skin is coarse, unwrinkled and weather-besten, 
his eyes possess a natural and unaffected fierceness, the moiC 
extraordinary I ever beheld : they are full, bright, and of a 
brassy colour. He looked directly at me, and bis stare is by 
far the most intense I ever beheld. This time, however, 
curiosity made me a match, for I vanquished him. It is when 
he regards you, that you mark the singular expression of hia 
eyes — no frown — no ill-humour — no affectation of appearing 
terrible ; but the genuine expression of an iron, inexorable 

The exhibition of the picture was opened in April, but 
the dissolution of Parliament, and the agitation of the 
Reform question, were fatal to its success. The failure 
left the painter once more in embarrassment which had 
now, indeed, become normal with him. His own powers 
of application to his art were diminished by the political 
excitement of the times, in which he shared to the full, 
writing letters on Reform to The Times, of which he 
declares himself very proud, and filling his journals with 
political reflections and speculations instead of sketches 
and criticism of books or pictures. 

Haydon's mind was certainly not limited to the range 
of his art. I have already pointed out tbat each successive 
picture served him as an introduction to some distinct 
branch of knowledge or information which was keenly 
and searchingly followed up. This picture of Napoleon 
suggests to him long and elaborate reflections on the 
conduct and character of the Emperor, with which it does 
not appear necessary to trouble the reader. 

In April Wordsworth was in town. 

" Jpril 12th. — Wordsworth called after an absence of 
several years. I was glad to see him. He spoke of my 



Napoleon with his usual straightforward intensity of 
diction. We shook handa heartily. He spoke of Na- 
poleon so highly that I wrote, and asked him to give me 
a sonnet. If he would or could, he'd make the fortune 
of the picture. 

" SOlk to 26(A. — All lost in politics, heat, fury, dis- 
cussion, and battling. Never was such a scene seen as in 
the House of Lords last Friday. The Marquis of Lon- 
donderry bent his fist at the Duke of Richmond, and if it 
had not been for the table would certainly have struck him. 

"2Ttk,S8tA. — There was an illumination last night. 
The mob broke all windows which had no lights. They 
began breaking the Duke's, but when the butler came 
out and told them the Duchess was lying dead in the 
house, they stopped. There is something affecting in the 
conqueror of Napoleon appealing for pity to a people he 
had saved. 

" May Isl, — Since the 10th of March I have done 
little. The exhibition in consequence of the dissolution 
fell to nothing. I closed it last night, though there never 
was a picture so admired, or that made so complete a hit 
with the connoisseurs. 

" Worked to-day at the Xenophon. I have two com- 
niissions for Napoleon, and only wait for a remittance. 
God bless my effotts again. 

" 21«(. — To-day, after an absence of some years, I 
visited Lord Stafford's gallery, now belonging to Lord 
Francis.* There I met Wilkie and Collins, with whom I 
associated for twenty years in this very place. Since we 
last met here, since we last studied here the beautiful 
pictures from which I originally gained all I know in 
colour, we had lost Sir George, who gave a double relish 
to everything. 

" Wilkie seemed duller. The pictures did not appear 
to be so fine as I used to think them. I strolled about, 
devoid of ail enthusiasm, and when Wilkie began to think 

• The Ear! of Ellesmere. 

276 MEMOrBS OF B. B. DATl>ON, [te31. 

about the composition of a bit of Raffaele'a drapery, I 
tUougln how unworthy a subject to occupy any man while 
the Poles were fighting for existence. The times are too 
full of impulse for art. 

" S.'-Znd. — Took dear Frank to school. The pang of 
separation from a dear child born in trouble, and nurtured 
in convulsion, who had shared our sorrows, and reflected 
our joys in hia beautiful face, was painful. Mary cried 
bitterly. The children were grave, and all night I kept 
dreaming he was ill-used by the servants. I pray God 
most sincerely he may be able to stand it. This dear 
boy's birth is recorded in my journal for 1823. He was 
our first child, and I overwhelmed him with an eager in- 
terest which broke him down. 

"June \at. — Oh dear- — this is sad work ! Nothing but 
one day's painting, and the rest sketching — sucking in 
fresh air, — basking in sunsets, — rolling with my chil- 
dren on the grass, and observing nature. But the last 
summer was spent in prison; and there is something to 
be said when I find myself with a guinea in my pocket 
and no duns before rae. However, to work I must goj 
and to-morrow, as an earnest, I am to select my horse at 
the Guards for Xenophon. It must be a mottled Sienua 
horse, which will set off the light on the fair one. 

" Since I last wrote, poor Jackson is gone. A more 
amiable, inoffensive man never lived. He had a fine eye 
for colour, hut not vast power, and could not paint women. 
He is the first of the three to go. God protect him. It 
is curious what a set came in together under Fuseli: — 
Wilkie, Mulready, Collins, Pickersgill, Jackson, Etty, 
Hilton, and myself, I have produced Landseer, Eastlake, 
Lance, and Harvey; Wilkie the whole domestic school. 

" June 9iA. — Mrs. Siddons died this morning — the 
greatest, grandest genius that ever was bom ! Peace to 
her immortal shade ! She was good, and pious, and an 
afl^ectionate mother. Posterity can never properly estimate 
her power, any more than we can estimate Garrick'a. 
Hail and farewell t What a splendid Pythoness she 


seemed when reading Macbeth ! And wJien acting Lady- 
Macbeth — what a sight ! " 

The I9th of June brought Wordsivorth'a promised 

t " My dear Haydon, 

" I send you the sonnet, and let me have your ' Kingdom ' for 
it. What I send you is not warm, but piping-liot from the 
brain, whence it came in the wood adjoining my garden not 
ten minutes ago, and was scarcely more than twice as long in 
coming. You know how much I admired your picture both 
for the execution and the conception. The latter is flrst-rate, 
and I coutd dwell upon it for a long time in prose, without dis- 
paragement to the former, which I admired also, having to it 
no objection but the regimentals. They are too spruce, and 
remind one of the parade, which the wearer seems to have 
just left. 

" One of the beat caricatures I have lately seen is that of 
Brougham, a single figure upon one knee, stretching out his 
arms by the sea-shore towards the rising sun (William the 
Fourth), which, as in duty bound, he is worshipping. Do not 
think your excellent picture degraded if I remark that the force 
of the same principle, simplicity, is seen in the burlesque com- 
position, as in your work, with infinitely less effect, no doubt, 
from the inferiority of style and subject, yet still it is pleasing 
to note the under-currents of affinity in opposite styles of art. 
I think of Napoleon pretty much as you do, but with more dis- 
like, probably because my thoughts have turned less upon the 
flesh and blood man than your's, and therefore have been more 
at liberty to dwell with unqualified scorn upon his various 
liberticide projects, and the miserable selfishness of his spirit. 
Few men of any time have been at the head of greater events, 
yet they seem to have had no power to create in him the least 
tendency towards magnanimity. How, then, with this impres- 
sion, can I help despising him? So much for the idol of 

r thousands. As to the Reformers, the folly of the ministerial 
leaders is only to be surpassed by the wickedness of those who 
will speedily supplant them. God of Mercy have mercy upon 
poor England ! To think of this glorious country lacqueying 

I the heels of France in religion (that is no religion), in morals, 

I government, and social order 1 It cannot come to good, at 

278 MEM0IE8 OP B. R. HAYDON. [1831. 

least for the present generation. They hare began it in 
shamei and it will lead them to misery. God bless jou. 

" Wm. Wordsworth. 

" You are at liberty to print tbe sonnet with my name, 
when and where you think proper. If it does you the least 
service the end for which it is written will be answered. Call 
Qt Moxon's, Bond Street, and let him gire you from me, for 
your children, a copy of the selections he has just published 
from my poem a. 

" Would it not be taken as a compliment to Sir Robert Peel, 
who you told me has purchased your picture, if you were to 
send him a copy of the sonnet before you publish it ? 

Sonnet to S. B. Haydan, Esq., composed on seeing his Pictut 
of Buonaparte on the Island of St. Helena, 

" Hajdon ! let worthier judges praise the skill 
Here by thy pencil shown in truth of lines. 
And charm of colours ; / applaud those sij^na 
Of thought, that give the true poetic thrill, — 
That unincumber'd whole of blank and still — 
Sky without cloud — ocean without a wave — 
And the one Man, that lahour'd to enslave 
The world, sole standing high on the bare bill. 
Back turn'd— amw folded, the unapparent face 
Ting'd (we raaj fancy) in this dreary place 
With light reflected from the invisible sun. 
Set — like his forlunes I but not set for aye 
Like them — the unguilty Power pursues his way, 
And before Him doth dawn perpetual sun." 

" June 12th. — I received to-day the news of my son's 
being rated, and another great pleasure, Wordsworth' 
sonnet, and fancied myself the greatest of men when I 
was returning from my walk after indulging in anticipa- 
tion of a certain posthumous fame. As 1 entered my 
hall I found a man sitting and writing. He told me what 
he wanted, and because I refused to consent he abused 

me excessively, and called me ' a shabby fellow, a d d 

shabby fellow.' 


" This is life : — a sonnet in the morning, and damned 
as a shabby fellow in the evening. 

" One does not like to be called shabby, and it made 
me uneasy all the evening. 

'* * A mingled yarn — a mingled yam I ' 

" June 18th. — Went to Oxford about my son, veho 
had suffered great privations, and lived on bread and veater 
for breakfast, when not invited out. This astonished the 
opulent warden and proctors. Perhaps there never before 
was a scholar who did this. All my boys are brought up 
to think knowledge, virtue, and fame, can only be got by 
privations. I called on the warden, who gave him the 
highest character. The very porter at the gate looked 
mild when he spoke of him, and while I was talking, in 
he walked, looking good, pure, and intellectual. 

*' Hyman will be distinguished, I am convinced. Col- 
lege life, properly taken advantage of, is a delightful life. 
Wadham is the most scholastic-looking place of all the 

" The warden looked horror-struck when he said, * I 
fear he does not always eat meat,' as if not eating meat 
was the ne plus ultra of college privations. I never saw 
a place that has so much the air of opulence and ease as 

*' Orlando has behaved like a hero. I told him he 
must go as the son of a poor man to make knowledge and 
virtue his great objects, and to consider all privations as 
the price. He has done so. He will be an example to 
all the rest of the children. No boy of mine can go to 
college but such as earn the means, as Orlando has done, 
by getting a scholarship at sixteen. 

" His brother is rated on board the Prince Regent for 
his good behaviour, and Frank, my own dear son, has 
begun his career at school. I have now his sister, seven 
years old, to think about starting. Frederic is a fine boy, 
and swears he will be a soldier. Alfred, in bc^d health, 
handsome, peevish, and fretful, says he will be a painter. 

T 4 


(He is qualified now for an K. A.) Hanj ia a baby ; 
and Fanny iU. God spare my life to see aU educated, 
refined, and honourable. For happiness in life they must 
not follow my example. I am of the Napoleon species. 
Wilkie is the man I shall ever hold up in point of caution 
and integrity — though not of heart : but heart is not 
incompatible with prudence. God spare my life and 
health! I have plenty to occupy it — a large family and 
a large picture. 

" I told the warden I was for a fortnight without eat- 
ing meat in concluding Solomon. 

"But for these scholarships, no poor man would have 
a chance for Oxford. 

"2lst. — Thus ends half the year. Finished one Na- 
poleon — half finished another — four sketches — and ad- 
vanced Xenophon. I have kept no regular account of 
how I liave passed my time. I must begin again, or my 
mind will be injured. Saturday, Sunday, Monday and 
to-day, worked hard and advanced. Horse nearly done. 
Instead of that detestable cart-horse breed of Rajfaele 
and others, I have tried the blood Arab. It seems to 
give great satisfaction. 

"27 (/(. — I have, God be thanked! advanced Xenophon 
this week by a mighty stride. Worked hard and late, and 
had what I used to call the glorious faint feel. I re- 
member once in 1812 making a jorum of tea, putting it 
all into a wash-hand basin, and dipping it out in tea-cups 
full — drinking in ecstasy. Nothing like your tea to stu- 
dious men. Nectar is nothing to it. This was after 
painting the wicked mother in Solomon. 

" Jul// 20th. — A quarter to nine. This moment I have 
conceived my background stronger than ever. I strode 
about the room imitating the blast of a trumpet — my 
cheeks full of blood, and my heart beating with a glorious 
heat. Oh, who would exchange these moments for a 
throne ? 

" ' Here is mj throne — let king* bow down to it 1' 

•' Now for my palette— and then canvaa look sharp. 



" August ^%ih. — Out of town to Margate and Rams- 
gate the whole week. Never did human creatures suck 
in sea air with such rapture as I and my dear Mary and 
children. The heach at Ramsgate is superb. The steady 
blue sea, the glittering sail, the expansive and canopied 
skj-, were treats that literally overpowered one's eyes and 
faculties, after being pent up in brick walls. 

"It is five years since we were at the sea — some of the 
children never saw it. Twice I have been imprisoned ; 
and I thought it was a little at the expense of principle 
to go without settling all my bills ; yet as my income is 
current, and all depends on my talents, and the developing 
of them in health, it may be excused. 

" What a scene a steam-hoat is ! My next comic picture 
shall be ' A Margate steamer after a gale — Land — 
Land ! ' I engaged all the musicians to sit, and go next 
week to sketch the locale of the vessel, 

"Slst. — Thus ends August, and thus end the eight 
months — as unsatisfactorily passed as any eight since I 
began the art. Peel's picture, from anxiety to do better 
than well, was a dead loss ; and though he gave me 130 
guineas, 200 would hardly have paid me. I am melan- 
choly — can I be otherwise? After twenty-eight years' 
work, and sincere devotion, not to have saved one guinea, 
or to know where to go for one in case of sudden illness, 
broken limbs, or fever. Not only not to have any pro- 
perty left, hut to have lost all that I had ever saved — all 
the school hooks of my youth ; all the accumulations of 
boyhood, youth and manhood — to lose impressions of 
language, for want of means of reference — to forget 
poets — to have Tasso slide from ray mind, and almost 
dear Shakespeare fade on my memorj*. "When I contrast 
my present unhappy condition, and remember myself 
in my father's shop devouring all the new books, sur- 
rounded with all great works — my father's shop was a 
distinguished library — when I recollect it was at ray 
service, and the happy, happy hours I have spent poring 
over astronomy, geography, and acquiring knowledge in 

em; n^, and t^en fam* ts bj nnd &e pennrj of bj 
preamt condttkn, it foms lean to i^ ejes, I have 
BOtUng 1^ on earth I cm call a^ ova, bat mj braina. 

"Tet Hjr landkcd is beaerakstf and good — n^ wife 
kmag — Bj- c Mdi CT beaMlfBL U; two ddest Im^ an 
doing wcB — mj owa *>***'*■, dMogli mt onshaken, jet 
good — WEj finae iDcveanf^ ; bat alas! debt and mia have 
toodud tbe boBoaT of mj name^ Tet I am not tmbappj, 
I nerer lose tbe mjstenoas «hi^>cT, * Go en,' and I feel 
tbat in spite of cahniitj and present appearances, if I 
TirtaoDB and good, 1 dudl, before I die, can; my great 

" Washington Irving says, ' Columbus imagined the 
Toice of the Dehj spoke to him, to comfort him ia his 
troobles at Hispaniola.' Xo — he did not imagine it — he 
did hear it, and it did speak. Iiring calls him s risionaiy. 
Oh, no. Ir»ing has no such object — he has no such com- 

" Well, adieu August. I never concluded any month 
more calmly melanchoi;, or more prepared when it pleases 

"Sept. \5th. — Orting to the plague of exhibition, to 
the worrit of a subscription, the harass of a large family, 
my interruptions have been terrific It is impossible to 

" Two hundred and fifty-eight days have passed, and I 
liave only worked legitimately sixty-one, leaving 197 
days, valuable days, unprofitable and useless. This is so 
dreadful my brain almost maddens. A picture might have 
been done, hut necessity is half the cause. And the treat- 
ment of Peel, which, to tell the truth, has sunk deep into 
me; hut it was my own fault, though he might have be- 
haved more nobly. Only 130 guineas for such a picture 
as Napoleon ! I expected from his fortune an ample re- 
ward. It is no use to despair. Oh that I should ever 
speak the word^ hut my feelings are very acute. He did 
not behave as became him ; and I conducted myself with 
folly. These 197 days will rise up to my mind at my last 



hour. It is a serious crime. Never since I began the 
art have I been bo guilty. It would be better policy 
to say nothing ; but this is a journal of my mind and 
habils, and in conscience I can't conceal it, Tlie state I 
have lately been in is shocking. My mind fatuous — im- 
potently drawling over Petrarch — dawdling over Pausa- 
nias — dipping into Plutarch. Voyages and travels no 
longer exciting- — all dull, dreary, iiat and disgusting. I 
seem as if I never should paint again. I look at my own 
Xenophon, and wonder how I did it— read the Bible- 
gloat over Job — doubt religion to rouse my faculties, and 
wonder if the wind be East or S. S. W. — look out of 
window and gape at the streets — shut up the shutters, 
and lean my cheek on my hand — get irritable for dinner, 
two hours before it can be ready — eat too much — drink 
too much, and go to bed at nine lo forget existence. I 
dream horrors — start up — lie down again, and toss and 
tumble and listen to the caterwauling of cats, and just 
doze away as light is dawning in. 

"Delightful life — fit attendants on idleness. With 
my ambition ! my talents ! my energy ! Shameful. 

" i8(A. — Worked hard. Called on Leslie in the morn- 
ing. Talked of Byron. Rogers said Moore had scarcely 
read his (Byron's) manuscripts, that he was occupied, and 
lent it about ; that the women read the worst parts, and 
told them with exaggeration ; that Moore got frightened 
at hearing it abused, and burnt it without ever having 
read it through. Irving told Leslie he had read a part, 
and there was exquisite humour, though it cnuld not all 
have been published. 

" Belgrave Hopner told me that be had read it, and it 
ought to have been burnt. i 

" But it would have been but justice to have heard , 
what Byron could say about his marriage, and now my 
Lady has it all her own way. 

" Leslie said, Coleridge and Madame de Stael met— 
each furious talkers ; Coleridge would talk. The next 
day she was asked bow she liked Coleridge. ' For a. 


moaotogae,' >aid she, ' exceHeot ; bat as to a dialogue — - 
good faesTen* ! ' 

" She would have been better pleased if Coleridge could 
have Baid this of her. For that evening nerer were two 
people to \ikely to hate each other." 

The feelings of depression which at this time beset 
Haydon translate themselfes in the pages of uneasj ques- 
tioning about " fate, free will, fore-knowledge absolute, 
which fill the journals of these mooths. Besides pecu- 
niary difBculties, the political agitation of the time hsd 
probably much to do with this mood, as it distracted the 
painter from his work, and as with him interruptioD in 
hti painting was always a source of disconaforl and dis- 
satisfaction with himself and things about him. In this 
month the picture of Christ's Entry into Jerusalem waa 
sold by its possessor, for Messrs. Cbilds and Inman, of 
Philadelphia. Its departure from Ungland was a heavy 
blow to the painter. 

" September 2'Jrd. — My Jerusalem is purchased, and 
is going to America. Went to see it before it was em- 
barked. In the room was a very fine head of a Pope, by 
Velasquez. As this opportunity for a lesson was not to 
be lost, I placed it immediately in the centre of my pic- 
ture, and compared them closely. The head by Velasquez 
was fresher, and there was evidently no yellow in it. 
In many of my heads the yellow predominates a little ; 
but the penitent girl, and the centurion and the Sama- 
ritan woman, kept their ground triumphantly. After 
this I will fear no competition with any other work. 

" It was melancholy thus to look at a work for the last 
time which had excited so great a sensation in England 
and Scotland ; the progress of which had been watched by 
all the nobility, foreign ministers, and people of fashion, 
and on the success of which all prospect for the historical 
art of the country at that time appeared to hang. It was 
leaving ray native country for ever, where I had 
I hoped to have seen it placed triumphantly in some public 
1 building, 



" However I trust in God it will be preserved from fire 
and ruin, and as it was a work painted with the moat fer- 
vent prayers to Him, the author of all things, for health 
and strength to go through it, that He will he pleased to 
grant that it may cross the seas in safety, and do that 
good in America it has failed to do here. 

" Out the whole day about this picture. Its condition 
is admirable. It was painted in pure linseed oil, and not 
a single atom of gum in it, or on it since. God bless it, 
and the result of its mission. What a disgrace to the 
aristocracy ! 

" 2ith. — Out the whole day on money matters, I 
should have returned without a guinea, but for the kind- 
ness of my dear friend, Talfourd, who lent me five sove- 
reigns. I wrote the Bukes of Bedford and Devonshire 
to take another share — to no purpose yet. I am nearly 
through Xenophon, but with not a shilling for the winter, 
and my children literally in want of stockings for the cold. 
Triumph I shall. It is the dowry of Englishmen to con- 
test and vanquish impossibilities. If this Reform Bill 
passes, whose breast will not broaden, and heart swell, 
who will not go down on his knees and thank God he was 
born in England ? 

"28(A. — Out trying to arrange and defer the payment 
of my taxes and rates till Xenophon was done, and to en- 
deavour to get the next month entirely clear for work. 
Succeeded ; but what time is lost. 

" October 3rd. — Hard at work on the First Child for 
my friend, Kearsey, one of the most infernal self-willed 
devils (except myself) that ever lived. This engagement 
is of long standing. It was my duty, but I could not get 
over a certain disgust. This morning, Xenophon being 
comparatively off my mind, the whole of this last subject 
darted into my mind. I flew at it like a Turk, and 
to-nigbt (the 4th) have got through it, except a trifle 
or two. 

" ilk. — Worked from eight till four, with only ten 

28G MEMOIRS OF B. R. HATDON. [l831. 

itiiautes iaterval, and got through the First Child. I neveT 
painted a picture bo quick in all my life. 

" 5th. ~ Out to get money to pay the governess of my 
children. Succeeded by the kindness of my friend, Clarke, 
one of my trustees. I did not get home till past twelve. 
One called and the other called, and I then worked till 
half-past four, three hours and a half, and wound up my 
small picture of the First Child, though I painted it all 
yesterday. I shall paint some more small pictures, 

" Gth. — After working with intense anxiety to keep 
my engagement with Kearsey, and having succeeded, to 
my conviction, in producing a rapid and finished sketch 
with character, colour, handling, and chiaroscuro, I took it 
down, expecting praise. "When he saw it, with that air of 
insolence money gives city people, he said, ' I suppose 
this was done in three quarters of au hour?' What was 
that to the purpose ? Were there not all tlie requisites of 
art, and all the experience of my life ? There were. 

" I took my leave, and went to see Jerusalem packed 
up, which was carefully and excellently done. I sighed 
at the thoughts of its leaving old England, but it is better 
in America than in a cellar in London. God grant it may 
have a safe passage. 

" As I was near the Bench I walked over, and called 

on poor D , the victim of the commissioners for ten 

years. He was altered, and spoke in a voice sinking from 
exhaustion. He said he was starving. He said he had 
nothing alt day yesterday. All his clothes were gone. I 
gave him a trifle, all I could afford, for really I had not 
10*. I felt it a duty, and small as the sum was it gave me 
a glow of confidence in God. (The widow's mite.) Wei], 
I thought, my prospects of getting on are uncertain, but 
I'll trust where I have never trusted in vain. In coming 
home I took shelter from rain, where I found a poor Irish 

t:ch-woman, and a sick boy under her cloak, crouching. 

f her a penny. It was contemptible, hut it caused 

"ure. I came home in very low spirits. Kearsey 

'ed like an ignorant brute about the sketch of 


the First Child. D had made me low, and I did not 

know where to get a guinea myself, when on the chimney- 
piece I found a letter from the Duke of Bedford enclosing 
ten guineas, and begging another share. It may be said, 
whether you had been charitable or not the ten guineas 
would have been there. Perhaps not. I like to consider 
it more than a happy coincidence ! " 

Here is an example of the painter's political utterances 
in the shape of a letter to the Times, on the rejection of 
the Reform Bill by the Lords in this month. 

To the Editor of The Times. 

e of teaching nations how 

" Sir, 

" The Bill ia rejected ; but let the nation remember it has 
been legally rejected. The Lords are a component part of the 
legislature, and have as great a right to decide as they please, 
as any other body of Britons. 

" Patience, sound sense, and, above all, perseverance, have 
ever been considered by the world as the great leading points 
in the character of Englishmen. Earnestly do I hope it may 
now be proved. The Bill is lost, but only for the time. From 
the habits of the Lords, from their separated society, their 
ignorance of the power of the press, and their affectation of 
despising it, no man vrho knew them expected at first another 
conclusion. But yet, sir, let us hope that all classes will re- 
member, that riot, confusion, fire, murder, robbery, and exas- 
peration will not advance reform, but impede it — embarrass 
the Government, and confirm the assertion of the Lords that 
people are not fit for greater influence. Let them not give 
their enemies such a handle. 

" As an Englishman who glories in his country, who would 
rather die on a dunghill in it, than be possessed of affluence in any 
other, I earnestly appeal to the people to do nothing illegal, — not 
to hamper the King or the ministers by distracting their atten- 
tion, but to be quite certain that Lords Grey and Brougham, 
and His Majesty, will do all that can be done to obtain the 
nation's great determination by another regular, legal attempt. 

iSS MEMOIKS O? B. S. BATnoy. [1831. 

** Let emj' ■■■, tbcn&K, mttend lo Ua duties, ftnulj sr 
|«ofaiwonri. I>t CToy naa id his cpbve exert himself te 
nsfloeace it, hj adrimg peaoe^ pitieiice, and Gnnaea, Tor 
■otlung would kffiird raeh ylf iirc to the enemies of refbnn i^ 
ioatt, tx the enemica of &ighBd abroad, u to see the eoontiy 
rinking in ptditie*] and domeEtie iafloeDce, a prey to qtSi 
bnil* and fierce and senseless blood; >traggks. 

" In a coontrj so r^ubied bj the habit of a long establisb* 
ment of law sod gorenunent, there is no eense in proTing oor 
lore of libertj bj catting the tlmmts of oar neighbonra ; or 
becaiue a noble Lord ma; have differed with the advanced 
notiona of the people on moral right, there is no evidence of 
eaperior kooirledge in dcMrOTing his house, burning his li- 
brary and pictnrea, — in short, giving way to all the feelings, 
more fit for a savage than a rational being. 

" Reform must pas^ but what a triumph it will be tat 
England if it pass, as it will, bj law, and reason, and con-- 
stilDtional means. 

" Thns will England prove the assertion of Slilton t thm 
will she give a lesson to the world, and not forget, sir, the 
precedence of teaching nations how to live. 

" If reform be passed by any other means we may rejoice, 
but our joy would have been purer, and England would hava 
Blood higher, if it had passed, as I trost in God it will yet 
pass, and as it mu~t, if the people conduct themselves with 
temperance and firmness. 

" A Ke FORMER." 

" October 8lh. — Very moderately at work. Never so 
excited since Waterloo as now about politics. I hope the 
people will be sensible. 

" 9lh. — At work and improved the Xenophon still, 
but much excited about reform." 

It was while under the influence of this political fever 
that Hajdon painted his picture of Waiting for the Times, 
which, with its bearing on the feeling of the times, had 
a great success, as might have been expected. The 
original picture was painted for Lord Stafford, to whose 
mely aid Kaydon owed the means of matriculating his 
. Step-son Orlando at Oxford, but he painted more than 



one duplicate of the subject, which is well known from 
the engraving. 

" Wih. — Rubbed in Reading the Times, a capital 

" I2th. — Completed the rubbing in of Reading the 
Times. About the middle of tlie day became very un- 
easy from the state of the town, and went to Pall-Mail. 
In a bookseller's shop I met Watson Taylor. He under- 
valued the exasperation of the people, aud said it would 
he over iu a week. I beg his pardon. It is a much 
deeper feeling than he or any other of the borough- 
mongers imagine. How the borough- monger ing has 
corrupted the country. There is a chuckling sneer, a 
supercilious air, a knowing blinking of eye in a real 
borough-monger quite extraordinary ; — at the same time 
a manner of fashion, and as if he knew more than meets 
the eye, as if he was a criminal by right, and did wrong by 
superior education. 

" If we had not got the means of renovating our- 
selves, we should sink into slavery and corruption; but 
what I fear is, that the people have been so tri6ed with 
that mere reform will not satisfy them — that they look 
beyond. The success of American independence has been 
the torch which has lighted the world for the last fifty 
years. It will now never cease blazing till cheap govern- 
ments are established. The Coronation of George IV. 
may be considered the setting-sun of that splendid impo- 
sition — monarchy. 

" I wrote Lord Londonderry, and begged him to take 
care of his Corregios. God knows what the mob might do. 

" Now Xenophon is done, I feel the want of a great 
work to keep my mind excited. A number of small things 
does not do so ; it is not enough, 

" lith. — I think I shall begin the Crucifixion. I called 
on Lord Londonderry, who was cut in the face by three 
pickpockets. He was more shaken than hurt, the porter 

Sir Hussey Vivian last night reproached Lord John 


290 MEMOIRS OF B, K. HAYDON. [l831. 

Russell with corresponding witli the Birmingham Asso- 
ciation, and said it ought to be put down, as in 1793. It 
requires a very different capacity to discover resemblances 
and to detect differences. The minister vrho guided him- 
self by the example of Mr. Pitt in 1793 has passed forty 
years in his own country to very little purpose. 

" The state of public knowledge now and then is quite 
different. The knowledge of the result of violent revolu- 
tionary proceedings was not then acquired. And it was 
Tight and proper to take stern measures that a constitu- 
tion of 100 years should not be overturned by the adop- 
tion of thoughtless maxims of theoretic perfection. But 
now the people cry out, not for revolution, but for restor- 
ation. They wish for their rights, and their rights they 
will have." 

Sir Walter Scott was in London this month, previous 
to his sailing for Italy. Haydon paid him a last visit. 

" IGlk. — Called on dear Sir Walter yesterday, and was 
affected at the alteration in him. Though he was much 
heartier than I expected to find him, his mind seemed 
shaken. He said ho feared he had occasionally done too 
much at a time, as we all do. We talked of politics, of 
course. Though grateful to the King, he was ' too old a dog,' 
he said, ' to forget George IV.' His son was on duty at 
ShefReld. I lamented that a poor fellow perfectly innocent 
had been shot on duty. 'Ah,' said Sir Walter, 'soldiers 
should be careful how they fire, because bullets are gen- 
tlemen not. much given to reflection.' Here was a touch 
of the old humour. We chatted about Shee having the 
presidency. ' An accomplished gentleman,' said Sir Walter, 
' whom nacbody ever haird on,' affecting more Scotch ac- 
cent than he has. This was d — d fine. 

" We then talked of the late King. Sir Walter said 

he never saw anybody so pleased with a picture as he 

vith the Mock Election. After a quarter of an hour 

[ took my leave, and as I arose, he got up, took his stick, 

"vith that sideling look of his, and then burst forth that 

beautiful smile of heart and feeling, geniality of soul. 

1831,] SIE WALTEE'a LAST VISIT, 291 

manly courage and tenderness of mien, whicli neitlier 
painter nor sculptor has ever touched. It was the smile of 
a superior creature who would have gathered humanity 
under the shelter of his wings, and while he was amused 
at its follies, would have saved it from sorrow, and shel- 
tered it from pain. Perhaps it may he the last time I am 
ever to see him, as he sails in a day or two ; and if it be, 
I shall rejoice that this was the last impression. 

" Ocl. 22nd. — I must this day conclude this journal, 
and a curious record it is of my mind and sufferings. 
Strange and extraordinary events are recorded of the fate 
of nations, and many singular sufferings of myself as an 
individual. But I have got through the Xenophon, aa I 
prayed at the commencement; and for this great mercy I 
offer my deepest gratitude to the Almighty Disposer of 
events. Something extraordinary will happen with rela- 
tion to Xenophon. I began it in the midst of anxieties 
and afflictions, under the most extraordinary impulses of 
such a nature that I felt as if some influence was in the 

"God bless my family, and grant that I may live to see 
the reform of art I have ever prayed for. 

"Oct, 32d.' — This day I begin a new journal. My 
Xenophon is done, except a trifle. The prospects of art 
at this time are precarious; but if the Bill passes, I think 
corporate bodies (the great nuisance) will be shaken, and 
native art will then have a better chance. I saw Wilkie 
to-day. He was almost as much horrified at reform aa 
when Ottley, and poor Scott and I made him drink suc- 
cess to it in my large painting-room in Lisson Grove. 

" He was looking old, and complained of his head. He 
will never again be what he was. 

" SGth. — I called at the palace to-day ; but what a 
difference in the attendants. All George IV.'s seiTants 
were gentlemen, to the very porters, — well-fed, gorgeous, 

• ITie Eighteenth Volume of the Journals oommBncea at this date, 
with the motto, " Continao culpam ferro eompesce." 

292 MEMOISS OF B. E. OATDOS. [1831. 

gold-Iaced rascals. Monarclij is settiog. In 100 years 
more, I don't think there will be a king in Europe. It ii 
a pity. I like the splendid delusion ; but why make it so 
expensive? Voting now 100,000/. a-year for the Queea 
— as if 5000/. was not enough for any woman's splendour! 
These things won't be home much longer. 

" 2Slh. — ^"A glorious day. King William IV. lias 
consented to place his name at the head of my list fov 
XcnophoQ. Huzza ! God bless bim. 

" Upon reflection I shall certainly vote for her Majesty 
haying 100,000/. a year after this. What can a queen do 
with less ! It is impossible. How short-sighted we are^ 
I thought I felt peculiarly dull all day yesterday. Thif 
comes of grinding colours. 

" Drank His Majesty's health in a bumper, and sue 
to reform : I think kings ought not to set. They wil] 
keep in the meridian yet. 

"29lk. — Kearsey bought my Waiting for the Time* 
— a blessing. Exchanged several of H. B.'s admirable 
caricatures for my Napoleons. Whoever H. B. is, hi 
a man of great genius. He has an instinct for expres- 
sion, and power of drawing, without academical cant, I 
never saw before ; but evidently an amateur from the 
delicacy of his touch, or timidity rather. 

"31st. — I wrote Lord Grey I thought it would b* 
honourable to genius if those who had their freedoms. 
voted to them either for their talent or bravery should 
be still allowed to retain their rights, notwithstanding they 
were non-resident. He is of opinion it cannot be done;. 
I still retain my opinion. It would be a tribute to 
genius a Greek or Roman would not have hesitated to 

" November 1st. — Worked hard, and half did Writing 
for the Times. Horrid news from Bristol. In the 
midst of a mass of people roaring vengeance. Sir Charles 
Wetherell threatened to commit. Think of a man threaten- 
ing to commit the sea at the deluge! These people, 
accustomed to authority, are like poor George III., who 



continued to make peers and baronets long after his senses 
had gone from him. 

" I2lh. — As time approaches for the meeting of Par- 
liament, people apprehend the decision of the Wliigs. 
The bill will be thrown out, I have no doubt. God knows 
what will be the consequence. I will bet five to one the 
Duke comes in after all, and carries the measure. If he 
do I shall laugh. I have never taken his bust away, but 
keep it on my chimney-piece, in spite of the devil, and 
will do so. Though a reformer, I am yet a John Bull to 
the marrow. I am not going to forget him who raised 
the nation from disgrace. 

*' What I complain of is the inflammation of mind this 
Reform Bill has generated. I can fix on no reading but 
reform meetings, I am sick of it, and wish for any con- 
clusion that will be a conclusion — but the fact is, it will 
never conclude. 

" lilh. — I dreamt last night of dear Keats. I thought 
he appeared to me, and said, ' Haydon, yon promised to 
make a drawing of ray head before I died, and you did 
not do it. Paint me now.' I awoke and saw him as dis- 
tinctly as if it was his spirit. I am convinced such an 
impression on common minds would have been mistaken 
for a ghost. I lay awake for hours dwelling on the re- 
membrance of him. Dear Keats, I will paint thee, 
worthily, poetically. 

" \8th, — This day my dear little child Fanny died, at 
half past one in the forenoon, aged two years, nine months 
and twelve days. The life of this child has been one con- 
tinued torture : she was weaned at three months from her 
mother's weakness, and attempted to be brought up by 
hand. This failed, and she was reduced to a perfect 
skeleton ; one day when I was kissing her, she sucked 
my cheek violently. I said, this child wants the bosom 
even now. Our medical friend said it was an experiment, 
but we might try it. I got a wet nurse instantly, and she 
seized the bosom like a tigress ; in a few months she ro- 




coTercd, but the woman who came to suckle her weaned 
her own child. 

" I called on the nurse hefore she came, and found a 
fine baby, her husband and herself in great poverty. I 
said, 'What do you do with this child »' She replied, 
' Wean it, sir. We must do so, we are poor.' I went 
away, ' Is this just,' thought I, ' to risk the life of anothei 
child to save my own ? ' I went home tortured about 
what I should do, but a desire to save my own pre- 

" The nurse came, Fanny was saved, but the fine 
of tlie poor nurse paid the penalty. I was never easy, 
Fanny never can, and never will prosper, thought I. 
What right had I to take advantage of the poverty of this 
poor woman to save my own child, when I found out she 

had an infant of her own ? When the nurse's time was 


Fanny withered, the bosom was again offered, and refused. 
From that moment she daily sank in spite of all medical 
advice, and to-day, after two convulsive fits, expired with- 
out a gasp, 

" 23rd. — Dearest Fanny was buried lo-day, close to- 
Mrs, Siddons, in a most retired and sweet spot, where I 
hope to have a vault for all of ua. Two trees weep over 
the grave. No place could have been more romantic and 

" Peace to her — little soul — bom weakly, hut her weak- 
ness aggravated by improper treatment ; always ill, in a 
large family, wanting repose and rest and never getting it. 
What a weakly child suffers from the healthy children ! 
Good God ! the teazing, the quizzing, the tyranny, the 

" S4:lh. — Began my family picture with dear AMredV 
head, who is dying too. 1 went on painting and crying. 
There he sat, drooping like a surcharged flower ; as I 
looked at him, I thought what an exquisite subject a dying 
child would make. There he dozed, beautiful and sickly, 
his feet, his dear bauds, his head, all drooping, and dying, 
• In Pftddington bow churehysrd. 



" S5lk. — Rubbed in the dying boy to-day. It wiU 
make a most piercing subject. 

"S6lh. — Hard at work on my family picture. They 
shall see if I can paint portraits, now my heart is in it. 

" 30lh. — A month of occupation, but not such occu- 
pation as equals my intentions. When shall I ever do 

" My sweet Fanny died this month. There is now such 
an intimate connection with me and the grave that I shall 
never break the chain. I pierce through the earth, the 
coffin and the lid, and see her lying still and awful. At 
breakfast, at dinner, at tea, I see lier. I look forward to 
my own death with placid resignation, and only hope God, 
in His mercy, will not let me suffer much. 

" I should like to finish my life, clear up my own cha- 
racter, and leave my n*me free from the spots misfortune 
has implanted there. Bless my intentions, O Lord. 

" December 2nd. — ■ To-day I have done nothing on earth 
but muse, ponder, wonder, blunder, and mope. I want 
50^. : how to get it, where to get it, and when to get it, 
God knows. In Him I trust, and shall not trust in vain. 

"3rd. — After a harassing day, calling on the com- 
missioners of taxes, and trying to defer the payment of a. 
cognovit, I came home fagged to death. I found a letter 
from Francis of Exeter, a proof of his good heart, offering 
me 50^. If I get this blessing next week it will save me. 
Dies sine lined. Not a touch yet. 

" S9tk. — There is in the English people a fierce re- 
solution to make every man live according to the means 
he possesses. The principle is fine, but they do not 
sufficiently draw the line between the actual possession 
and the justifiable hope of possessing. 

" Slst. — The following letter of Goethe's is an immortal 
honour. Think of this great man saying his soul is 
elevated by the contemplation of the drawings of my 
pupils from the Elgin Marbles — drawings which were 
the ridicule and quiz of the whole body of Academicians. 

^^— lue SCO 
^^^k^qf the 

296 WEMOIKS OF B. H. UAYDON. [l831, 

" My dear sir, 

" The letter which you have had the kindness to address to 
me hos aObrded me the greatest pleasure, for as my eoul has 
been elevated for many years by the contemplation of the im- 
portant pictures formerly sent to me, which occupy an honour- 
able station in my bouse, it cannot but be highly gratifying to 
me to learn that you still remember me, and embrace this op- 
portunity of convincing me that you do so. 

" Alost gladly will I add my name to the list of subscribers 
to your very valuable painting *, and I shall give directions to 
my banker here to forward to you the amount of my ticket^ 
through the hands of his correspondents in Loudon, MeBSre. 
Coutts & Co. 

" Reserving to myself the liberty at a future period for 
further information as well about the matter in question, and 
the picture that is to bo raffled for, as concerning other objects 
of art, I beg to conclude the present letter by recommending 
myself to your friendly remembrance. 

" H. Goethe." 

" Weimar, December 1. 1831. 

. " I2lh. — Hard at work; indeed, racing the town; 
succeeded in selling the copyright of Napoleon to pay off 
my temporary embarrassments, and send my son mooey, 
I hope to go to work to-morrow. 

" I wrote Peel, offering to send him my picture. 
Waiting for the Times, to look at, as if he liked and 
purchased it, it would have saved me from all the em- 
barrassment Napoleon brought me into. His answer is 

" More than a third of this month has gone in dark 
days and anxiety. I see my way now better, and trust in 
God for my guide. I am come to that point now at which 
I feel the inspiration of the Bible, and its superiority over 
all the authors in the world. Go from Homer, Shake- 
speare, Tasso, Ariosto, Plutarch, Csesar, Tacitus, or any 
genius, however great, to the Bible, and you see at once 
the scope of the Bible's object, viz., the eternal salvation 
lOf the soul of man. 

• Xenophon 

1831.] BBVIEW OF 1831. 297 

" ^Snd. — Laid up in my eyes from studying Suetonius' 
life of CiGsar the greater part of the night— very intereat- 
ing, but his Latin is not so delightful to me as Sallust's, 
My classical knowledge is so shallow I really ought not 
to give an opinion, but it appears far-fetched and harsh 
in comparison. 

*' The lives of ambitious men are the lives that really 
delight me. The biographies of Csesar, Alexander, Na- 
poleon, give me naore real pleasure than those of all the 
philosophers and moralists in Christendom. 

" 23rd. — Rubbed in two subjects, David and Goliath, 
and Falstaff and Doli Tearsheet. 

" Now for it. The vein is opened again. It is curious 
that nobody has remarked (at least, not that I know of) 
that Petrarch's Trionfo della Fama, IIL certainly assisted 
or suggested Raffaele'a School of Athens.* 

" December S\st. — Another last day of auother last 

" What have I to say ? Nothing, but that after forty- 
five years I have been more irresolute, more idle, more 
doting, more unworthy of my name, than any preceding 
year of my life. 

" Lord Stafford enabled me to matriculate my eldest 
step-son. I was to paint him a picture for the amount, 
50/., I have done it, and sent him Waiting for the Times. 
He is pleased, and I am highly gratified. I have thus 
kept my word, and I am gratified for the power. 

" January — February. — Worked hard. 

" March* — April, — Occupied with exhibition. 

" May. — Worked hard. 

" June. — Mad about Paganini. 

" July, August, September. — Worked hard. 

" October, November, December. — Faddled. 
" Thus endeth 1831. 

" I own I cannot see better reaaons for the opinion than Flu- 
ellen'a for thu comparison between Maccdon and Monmouth. — Ed. 


This year was memorable in Haydon's life. It brought 
him into relation with the leaders of the Trades Unions 
at Birmingham, and with the Minister who carried the 
Reform Bill. In it he made an unsuccessful attempt to 
raise a subscription for a picture of the Trades Union 
Meeting at Newhall Hill, and was actually commissioned 
by Earl Grey to paint a picture of the Reform banquet 
ill Guildhall. For this commission the leading men of 
the Liberal party sat to him, and the occasion awakened 
in his mind, (still sanguine in spite of the many proofs 
of self-deception which the struggles of the last years 
must have carried with them,} hopes which were not 
destined to be realised. This work was further grate- 
ful to the painter, as it gave him opportunities of im- 
pressing on his distinguished sitters those views upon 
the public encouragement of art which, to do him justice, 
he maintained energetically and consistently from the 
beginning to the end of his career. His vanity too was 
flattered by access to ministers and noblemen, and in the 
journals of this period there is abundant and undisguised 
expression of satisfaction at these relations, which will be 
offensive to many, but which in any honest exhibition of 
the man can in no way be suppressed or softened. Be- 
sides what concerns the Reform picture the journals con- 
tain the usual record of difficulties, borrowings, battlings, 
indignant protests against the "horrid necessities" of 
his position, alternated with passionate demands for help, 
which, as they weary the reader of them, may well have 
irritated the persons to whom they were addressed. But 
the mischief was done now, and the habit of resorting to 
this easy source of relief had deadened, though it never 
destroyed, the sense of humiliation which must accompany 
[ begging. Interspersed with these unlovely portions of 
■ the life are passages of good feeling and noble aspiratioa 

I lasa.] STILL AT xesophon: the dying BOr. 299 I 

which plead for a more lenient judgment of the man than 
I ought, perhaps, to hope for him. 

" January \st. — How much have I to thank God for. 
I passed the first day in peace and happiness. We had a 
good dinner, a good fire: we crowded round it, and chatted 
innocently and happily. The children all well. The last 
the image of me, large, restless, flying from one thing to 
the other, and delighted with pictures. 

" The only pain I felt was at the thought of the many 
poor souls in cold and hunger. In the morning I read 
prayers, and impressed on my children all that we owed to 
God. I find it a good method of correction to pray 
pointedly in the prayers against any particular vice of the 
week. Thus, if a child screams, the next Sunday I pray 
against it, looking sternly at the child; so of lying, 
quarrelling, &c. It has cured them. They dread a 
falsehood, and correct each other. 

" 13(A. — Hard at work : attacked the sketch of Xeno- 
phon; heightened the ornaments of the horse. It enriched 
the horse, but took off its naked majesty. Now here is a 
fair struggle between the ornamental and essential. The 
ornaments hide the form, but add to the splendour; 
Michel Angelo and the Greeks would have kept the 
form, and rejected the ornament ; Titian would have kept 
the ornament to hide the form. What shall I do ? (Re- 
ject the ornaments of course. B. R. H. 1835.) 

" 19(A. — Completed the brother. To give an idea of 
my situation, on the morning of the ITth, I was setting 
my palette, wondering how I should meet a bill of 12Z., 
my butcher's, in came two friends, one, my dear Edward 
Smith. He looked over my small pictures, and seemed 
afiected at the dying boy. ' I should like that,' said he. 
' Take it at twenty-five guineas, half down.' He agreed, 
and paid the money into Coutts' to meet the bill. I went 
to work and finished the boy's head before three, happy 
and grateful. 

" 25iA, — My birth-day, aged forty-six. Twenty-eight 
years ago exactly I xeviewed my life, and resolved on 


300 UEMOIBS OP B. E. HATDON. tl832^ 

various corrections, and am now as much in need of them 
as ever. Got another Email com mission to-daj from 


" February 26th. — The worse a man is used in this 
world, the more likely he is to lean on, and love, and hope 
in his Creator. 

'* Prosperity, except in the most virtuous characters, 
would be apt to render man forgetful of God, 

" I do not think prosperity would have so affected me. 
But God knows best, I bow, I adore, I hope. I only know 
adversity has thrown me more on God's mercy than in 
my days of comparative fortune and ease. I see Him 
more distinctly in trouble. I am almost afraid to say bow 

" Oh, I look forward to death as a blessed, blessed, 
blessed opening to scenes of splendid peace and majestic 
intellectuality. When will it come, Thou All-good, Thou 
All-wise, Thou All-merciful God? (February 26th, 1833. 
In my painting-room, happy, and solitary, and glorying.) 

" March 2Tlh. — Well. Here I begin again. My private 
day was the 24th. I opened yesterday, but the novelty ia 
over, I felt less interest. So it seemed with Dtber§, 
though all was praises. 

" It was affecting to see my oldest patron, Sir George 
Phillips, come tottering in, decrepid, and many of those 
who were babies when I began exhibiting grown fine 
dashing girls of fashion. My private days are really 
epochs in fashionable life, and I have had the honour of 
receiving at my * at homes' two generations of the beau- 
ties of England, 

" I was painting when a note came from Sir H. 
"Wheatley, saying the King would lend me the Mock 
Election for my exhibition. Down went brushes, and 
away I marched. I got the order, went straight to 104s 
Pall Mall, saw Mr. Jutsum, and had the picture taken 

" I spent an hour last week with my old friend Sir 
Thomas Hammond, who amused me as usual. He sai4 


he knew the late King sent a messenger to Charles X., 
ind told him if he insisted on forcing religion down the 
throats of the people, his government would he over- 
turned. Charles replied that no government could sub- 
is t without religion. 

" He told me an anecdote of the late King which 
illustrates the ' asides ' of a coronation. When the bishops 
were kissing the King, and doing homage, and the music 
was roaring, the Bishop of Oxford (whom they used to 
call mother somebody) approached and kissed the King. 
The King said, ' Thankee, my dear.' This is exactly 
like him. 

" There sat Hammond breakfasting, the complete pic- 
ture of an old man of fashion, — with a muslin night-cap, 
wrapped in a dressing-gown, tea-things on a silver waiter, 
toilet full of unguents, &c. &c. Sec, making himself up. 

" Said I, ' Sir Thomas, I was affected at my private 
day to see all my old friends become decrepid.' ' And so 
was I at the levee/ said he, ' I never saw such a set of 
old rips in my life — their breeches all about their bellies. 
The Court is not the same ; no politeness in the servants ; 
all the people looked old. I am an old horse officer, and 
know how to make myself up, so I cut them all out, but 
such a set God defend me from.' 

" Jpril 5M.— Dined with C * at Children's Hotel, 

from desire to get into his history. He told me the 
whole story of his committal. He ran away with a ward 
in Chancery. Lord Eldon said, ' It was a shame meu 
of low family should thus entrap ladies of birth.' 

" ' My Lord,' said C , ' my family are ancient and 

opulent, and were neither coalheavers nor coalheavera' 
nephews,' in allusion to Lord Eldon's origin, for which i 
Eldon committed him. Every apology was offered, hut 
Eldon never forgave it. On Lord Brougham's accession 
he petitioned, and by a special order was discharged. 

" As he got wai'm, (1 declined taking much wine iti 

• The original of the broken man of fiisliion id the Mock Election, 


302 MEMOIHS OF B. E. HAYDON. 1.1832. 

order to observe hiin,) I got him on religion in this 
world and the next, women, &c. He then begaa to 
confess, and it affected me deeply. He said he never 
loved any woman but his first wife. He married her at 
fifteen. He had one child by her. When Eldon com- 
mitted him, she went to his mother's in Scotland. They 
allowed him on his mere word to see her to Gravesend. 
She cried incessantly, and died in Scotland from sheer 
broken heart. 

" He was at the storming of Ciudad Rodrigo, Burgos, 
Badajoz, and St. Sebastian : there he was crippled. 

" At the coffee-house were two or three young apes of 
fortune who hovered about him like moths about a candle, 
and came occasionally over to listen. I fear long habits 
of a prison have rendered him what he ought not to be. 

" I thought I saw something like a tear fill his tre- 
mendous, globular, demoniacal eye, when he said his wife 
was a splendid creature, but he clenched Ms mouth, and it 

" How can Lord Lldon die in peace with the conscious- 
ness of having imprisoned a human creature tliirteen years, 
merely because he had the spirit to reply to an insult ? 

" His form was like Belzoni's, small hand, small head, 
large limbs, short body. As he leaned he rolled like the 
Theseus, bending from the navel, the sure characteristic 
of a fine form in the highest style. 

" What a destiny ! He sat by Meredith, and saw him 
die. He told me tliis, as if he felt pleasure and triumph 
at seeing a human creature prostrated. • By G — , Hay- 
don,' he said, ' I have seen all the real pleasures, all the 
humiliations, all the miseries. Death will come. I know 
it. I never curl myself up in bed, but I pray never 
to wake again.' 

" As early remembrances of liis campaigns, his loves, 
his vices, his disgraces, and his triumphs crowded his 
imagination, his face heated by wine shone out, his eye 
seemed black with fire, his mouth got long with revenge- 
fill feehngs. He looked like a spirit who had escapi 


from hell, and was wandering till his destiny was over. 
Mephistophiles and Faust in Auerbach's cellar came into 
my mind. 

" The wicked mother in Solomon, and C in the 

Mock Election, are both from nature. Two of the most 
tremendous characters in life — such people as appear 
once in a century. 

" Some years ago an attorney called R was enticed 

into the Bench, and nearly murdered by pumping. 

C to-night told me he was in bed at the time, but 

hearing the noise he slipped on his dressing-gown, and 
went down. In the crowd and confusion he lost a red 
slipper, and this slipper being found the next morning, he 
was taken to the Marshal as one of the rioters, and 
imprisoned in the condemned cell at Hui-semonger Lane. 
Two men in it when he came were bung the next raorn- 
jng. As he told me this he said with a terrific sneer, 
' There was I, sir, in bed when it begun, innocent of 
the crime alleged, hurried oif like a culprit to the con- 
demned cell of felons and murderers, on suspicion. I 
was imprisoned at first for telling an old tyrant who 
insulted my origin the truth, and now herded with rep- 
tiles for a crime I never committed. By G — I never 
show my teeth till I can bite, but I'll bite yet.' I 
shrank at this recital. He seemed changing his skin as he 
told it He sits to me on Tuesday, and dines with me at 
a coffee-house afterwards. I fear to let my family see 

" I'll make three studies of his bead for Satan. Such 
a head. It haunts me. 

" How much the most vicious human creature can set 
forth in extenuation, and will not a Great God listen ? Yes, 
yes, yes ! " 

In April of this year 30,000?. was voted for a buildmg 
to receive the national collection of pictures, augmented 
now by the munificent bequests of Sir George Beaumont 
and Mr. Holwell Carr. In the debate (April IStb), refer- 
ence was made by Sir R, Peel to the necessity of giving 

3fH MEXOnS OF B. B. HATDOS. [isss, ' 

cncmnagenKBt to ^enpt, wlnck mm adnitteJ hj Vr. 
Hnne. B^doo, appljiag das to utktic design gmersllj, 
and not, as it was infant, to design lor naDO&ctara (utlj'i 
tfaoBgjbt this " an tatfiwr pcHnt.* He seized the o|ipoi^ 
tmo^ to RDCW bis efliirts on the subject of pubUc at- 
cntmgement for art — writing to Sir Robert Peel, and 
obtaining an inteiriew with iir. Home — on whlcfa be 
enters with the remark, " Well, Joseph, — Vansittart, 
Canning, Goderich, Wellington, have all taken up this 
sabject at n^ suggestion, feeblv. Let os see on Thursdav 
what tboo wilt do with tfa^ sagacity and shrewdness." 

He found, however, at this interriew that, as usual, he 
had inferred tcx> much. 

" Just returned, and had a long and interesting conver- 
sation. It seems I overrated the meaning of Peel and 
Hume. There is a committee on the silk trade, and their 
talk of de»ign had no reference to high art. I said * That 
waa the mistake. There cogid be no design if there was 
no connection with the foundation of all design.' " | 

Here is a confession which throws light on many chinos ■ 
in Haydon's life. 

" 23d. — I am perfectly convinced that if I could bring 
my mind for one whole year to a proper study of portiait, 
it would be of essential use to my work in history as long 
as I live. Then why do I not do it ? It is a weakness 
and a disgrace to me. Shall I put up with this imputation 
on my own character, or shall I make a resolute slrugolg 
to vanquish the difficulties which have hitherto vanquished 

" ni make no vows, but set quietly to work, and daily 
report progress. My attacks on the Academy do not do 
the good to me they do to the art, because they give an 
idea of my being sore, as I certainly am — most dreadfully 
so, for that is the truth — sore at their perversion of art 

— sore at my humiliations, my loss of property, my ruin 

— sore at being supposed to be unable to paint portraits. 
" I have now an opportunity. A very pretty Spanish 

girl is going to ait. Lady Gower says she ought to he 



painted as a nun. I will make a regular ti'ial, and this 
head shall be my test. 

" If I fail here, I'll at it again. I am new in portrait 
after all, and 1 will have a regular touch at it with all my 
energy. God in heaven grant me success, because it will 
benefit my high art — it will benefit my family, and secure 
me from those harassings which disturb all the claims of 

" S8th. — Since my last misfortunes, I have lost more 
time than ever I did in all my life before. Occasional 
disgust gets such hold of my feelings as to bewilder ray 
faculties. I fear it will permanently affect my habits. I 
tave been again writing in newspapers, which is wrong — 
it distracts and disturbs the invention. Yet I hardly see 
how I could avoid it — God knows what will become of 
me. Xenophon is not failing, but it is not succeeding. 
The times are so exciting they call off attention. A due 
reward for my labour would save me from want j but I 
am not diligent enough to remedy the deficiency of en- 
couragement. If I were more diligent, attended more 
to painting, and did not suffer my mind to take such dis- 
cursive flights, I could surely keep from this continual 
necessity and pecuniary obligation. 

"29M. — Called on my dear old fnend "Wilkie, and 
spent two hours with him. He had had a monk's dress 
made, and made me put it on. I took off my cravat, and 
Wilkie exclaimed at my grand bald head and bare neck. 

" As usual we had a brilliant interchange of thought, 
and talked of old times. He looked remarRably well. 
We talked of Lady Mulgrave, who is younger than ever. 
He said he met Constable the other day, who alluded to 
our dining together at the back of Slaughter's coffee-house 
twenty-six years ago, where we used to meet regularly. 

" May ilh. — When I was just beginning the Spanish 
nun, I was arrested for 14i balance of my insolvent at- 
torney. I gave him 6/. more to wait till Xenophon was 
He did so, and drew on me. As I relied on the half- 
price of a commission which I have lost, the bill went 

vol,. II. X 


back. I called on the holder, who promised to wait till 
the next day. At the very time a writ had been issued, 
and though last night he begged me to keep my mind 
easy, I was arrested tliia morning. 

" It serves me entirely right. Would any man living 
have trusted attornies after my experience ? — and to make 
it 20/. myself — an arrestable sum ! The fact is, when I 
have done a great picture, I care for nothing. I agree to 
anything — do anything — promise anything — only to 
clear the way for its opening — noise, uproar, attack and 

" Then come the bitter results. Wiser I shall never 
get. All I hope is, that my whole life being hke a wheel 
in constant succession of up and down, I may die in a 
moment of glory and success. O God ! on my kuee, 
grant it. 

" 8th. — Moderately at work on the nun. Went to the 
Royal Academy. The portraits are worse than ever. 

"Wilkie's portrait of the King is fine. The flesh 
wants breadth and clearness. John Knox is fine. The 
group with Murray, &c. exceedingly fine. 

" All the portraits are on their toes except Wilkie's. 
The style of some of them is absolutely disgusting." 

Earl Grey resigned on the 9th of this month, to return 
again to office on the 18th, after a fruitless negotiation 
of the King with Sir Robert Peel. 

The agony of public excitement about the Reform 
Bill was fiercer than ever, and Haydon, as I have said 
before, shared in it to the full. 

" I2tk. — I lay awake from one till four in the morning, 
my heart beating violently about this Reform Bill. 

*' While these rotten boroughs exist, no Englishman 
can call himself theoretically, as well as practically, free. 
We have nothing personally pressing on our liberty but 
the consciousness of this excrescence, 

" Saw Wilkie yesterday, who of course was in ecstaciea. 
Wait a little — they will pass the bill yet. 

" The great misfortune will be, that if the people do not 


1832.] Lawrence's empty house. 307 

succeed, they will for ever have proved their impotence 
' — a tremendous exposure. 

" 25ih. — I passed Lawrence's bouse. Nothing could 
be more melancholy or desolate. I knocked and was 
shown in. The passages were dusty — the paper torn — 
the parlours dark — the pain ting- room, where so much 
beauty had once glittered, forlorn, and the whole appear- 
ance desolate and wretched — the very plate on the door 
green with mildew. 

" I went into the parlour which used to be instinct 
with life ! ' Poor Sir Thomas, — always in trouble,' said the 
woman who had the care of the house. ' Always some- 
thing to worrit him,' I saw his bed-room, small, only a 
little bed ; the mark of it was against the wall. Close to 
his bed-room was an immense room (where was carried on 
all his manufactory of draperies, &c.}, divided, yet open 
over the partitions. It must have been five or six small 
rooms turned into one large workshop. Here his assist- 
ants worked. His painting-room was a large back draw- 
ing-room : his show-room a large front one. He occu- 
pied a parlour and a bed-room ; all the rest of the bouse 
was turned to business. Any one would think that people 
of fashion would visit from remembrance the house where 
they had spent so many happy hours. Not they, they shun 
a disagreeable sensation. They have no feeling, no poetry. 
It is shocking. It is dirty." 

As an example of the rebuffs Haydon's pertinacity 
often drew upon him, I insert this letter from one who 
always sbowcd a disposition to aid bim. He had been 
pressing Sir Robert Peel for a commission. 

" Sir, 

" I beg leave to decline acceding to the proposition which 
you have made to me. 

" I think it rather hard that because I manifested a desire to 
assist jou in your former difficulties, I alioiild be exposed to the 
incessant applications I have siuce received from you. As I 
see no difference in your case from that of other artiata, as, in 
trutli, I am obliged constantly to decline the applications of 

308 MEUOIES OF B. E. IIATDO.V. [1833. 

olh«r9i wbo are saflering from the present state of political ex- 
dl«meot, I cannot gire you commis^ona for pictures I do not 

" I have the honour to be, 

" Sir, your obedient servant, 
- litli May, 1832." " Robert Pkel." 

When the great Reform meeting of the Trade Unions 
took place at Xevrhall HiU, near Birmingham, it occurred 
to Haydon that the moment the vast concourse joined in 
the sudden prayer offered up by Hugh Hutton nould make 
a fine subject for a picture. 

" 28tfi. — Occupied all day in harassing about the copy- 
right of Waiting for the Times. Sold it. 

" I wrote Mr. Attwood, saying the meeting at Newhall 
Hill was imposing b<.-yond expression. I wished to make 
sketches, I wrote Hugh Hutton and proposed a picture. 
If I can get Birmingham to vote a grand historical picture 
commemorating the scene at Newhall Hill, it will give an 
immense impulse to the art. I shall be off." 

The Birmingham leaders were pleased with the idea. 
Haydon with characteristic audacity wrote to Lord Grey 
to ask bis patronage for the picture. This was of course 
at once refused, but the refusal (which approved itself, on 
reflection, to the painter's better judgment) was softened 
by a profession of Earl Grey's readiness to give any assist- 
ance in his power to a painting of any subject connected 
with the Reform Bill to which the same objections would 
not apply. On receiving promises of support from the 
leaders at Birmingham, Haydon at once set about finding 
trustees to take charge of subscriptions. His visit to Bir- 
mingham brought bim in contact with the leaders of the 
movement there, and the account of it contains some 
rather curious disclosures, showing how near, in the opi- 
nion of those leaders, matters then were to revolution. 

The Reform Bill was read a third time in the Lords on 
the 4tb, and carried by 106 to 29. 

"June 2nd. — Out all day on business. Saw Mr. Parke« 
in the morning, who consented to be trustee. He waa 



not up, and sent for me, and begged me to come in. I 
went in, and there was this Birmingliam man, half dozing, 
and telling me all about the energy of the Union, and what 
they meant to do. 

" He said warrants were made out against the whole of 
them, and that if Wellington had succeeded they would 
all have been taken up, and then the people would have 
fought it out. I went on talking to him of the sublimity 
of the scene at Newhall Hill. He said, ' You are the same 
man in prison as out. I'll be your trustee.' So having a 
pivot to go on, I advertised directly. 

" My dear sir, 

" Accept my gratitude. I will exert every nerve, and do 
my best. I eliall come down this week, and begin sketches 
directly. You must all tell me, as nearly as possible, how you 
stood, wliat you wore, even to gloves and hats. 

" For God's sake nt the next meeting of the Union let this 
proposal issue from that heroic body, that on the day of jubilee 
all reformers in all parts of the United Kingdom should as- 
semble on one day, and at one hour, and return thanks to God. 
It will be done if you propose it, and do not hesitate. It will 
be the grandest thing ever done on earth. 
" T. Attwood, Esq." 

" lOlh. — Birmingham. Here I am after a day's journey, 
in which I was alternately baked, drenched, squeezed, 
cramped, and broiled, Attwood-sat to-day for his head, 
which is fine. As I sketched him we had a very interest- 
ing conversation. He told me the whole history of the 
Union. In one of bis first speeches he said to the people, 
' Suppose, my friends, we had two millions of threads ; 
suppose we wound these two millions of threads into a 
good strong cord ; suppose we twisted that cord into a 
good strong rope ; suppose we twisted that rope into a , 
mighty cable, with a hook at the end of it, and put it into 
the nose of the borough-mongers, d'ye think we should not 
drag the Leviathan to shore V (Immense shouts.) 

" Attwood said some very strong things. ' After poverty, 

SIO SIEMOnifl OF B. R. HAYDON. [l832. 

sir, there is nothing ao mucli hated as independence. We 
are become a nation of petty, paltry corporations, and love 
of wealth. The five pounder adores the ten, and the ten 
the twenty.' He told Lord Melbourne, ' If the people 
do not get their belly full after this, I shall be torn to 
pieces.' ' And so much the better. You deserve it,' said 
Lord Melbourne. ' Yes, my Lord,' said Attwood, ' but 
they will begin with you. I do not despond of seeing you 
all tried for your conduct, Commons and all.' 

" Attwood is a wonderful man, with a strong natural 
understanding. His features are well cut, and vigorous. 
His forehead high, white and shining. His hair grows out 
up, and elasticatly like Alexander's. His features play as 
he talks. His mouth expresses great decision, and when 
be spoke on his favourite subject, the blood rushed into 
his face, as if he were possessed by a spirit. 

" ' At one time,' said he, ' I used to question whether 
it was best for us or the United States to sink. I thought 
it would be better for us. But now I do not think so. 
"We have redeemed ourselves,' 

" He said Lord Grey asked him what he thought would 
be the end of these unions. He replied, as people got 
prosperous and satisfied, they would die away. ' 1 am 
much inclined to be of your opinion,' said Lord Grey. 

" He said one of the Ministers • told him they owed 
their places to the Birmingham Union, 

" Attwood is an extraordinary man, and really a leader. 
The other members seem to have an awe of him. In 
conversation I found the influence of the leaders of this 
Union was not from temporary causes, but connected with 
their predictions on finance — that they had predicted all 
the ruin which had taken place to Ministers, and thus 
gained the confidence of the people, and led the way to 
the establishment of a body which should take the lead. 

"Sunday. — Went to Mr, Button's meeting. He 

made a very powerful sermon, and afterwards I dined 

with him at his beautiful cottage, and found him a highly 

* Lord Durham.— B.R.H. 

1832.] THE BIRMINCHASI tkades-unionists. 311 

powerful and intellectual young man. The more I see of 
these Birmingham gentlemen the less am I astonished at 
their late energy. Hutton had in his study portraits of 
the great reformers. Hutton is a high -principled person, 
ripe to do all that he has done. He told me he paced liis 
garden, and made up his mind to fight. His dinner was 
simple, and showed narrow circumstances. 

" They had been so excited lately they are absolutely 
languid in conversation. But they are high in feeling — 
Roman quite - — and will be immortal in their great 
struggle. I shall be proud to commemorate it. 

" Spent the evening with Jones, a leader. When the 
tax-gatherer called during the three days he said to him, 
' If you dare, sir, to call again, I will have you nailed by 
the ear at my door, with a placard on your breast saying 
who you are.' 

" \2th. — Dined with Mr. Scholeaeld, — the othet 
leader of the Union, — and a very pleasant day I had 
after hard work. 

" The cause of* the strong republican feeling at Bir- 
mingham is their connection with Amei-ica. 

" Hadley, the secretary of the Union, sat to-day. 
He told many interesting anecdotes of the interview with 
Lord Grey." 

Here is his account of his first visit to Lord Grey, 
and his commission for the Reform Banquet Picture. 

" 26th, 2Tlh, 28th. — Hard at work, and finally did the 
sketcli, I called at Lord Grey's to-day to see Mr, Wood, 
After waiting in the waiting-room some time in came two 
Lords, one after the other — one with all the obsequious 
humbleness of a place-hunter. As I had nothing to do, 
I sketched the whole scene,* changing the position of 
Hutton to the end, which increased the value and effect 
wonderfully. After waiting some time Mr. Wood came 
in and said, ' Mr. Haydon, if you can wait a quarter of an 
hour. Lord Grey will gee you himself.' I arose and 
said, ' Of course.' 

• OftbeNewhall Hill Meeting,- 

312 URMOIBS OF B. R. BATDON. [1832. 

" One Lord was called out first. Then, after an 
interval, the other Lord went, and a message followed for 
me. In I walked. Lord Grey was sitting wilh the 
window to the left. He received me in his usual amicable 
manner. I congratulated Mm on his good looks, which, 
after all the fag and labour, were extraordinary. He then 
said, ' I wish to explain to you that it would not be 
delicate for me, as a Cabinet Minister, to head any sub- 
scription connected with the unions," to which I replied, 
' Perhaps it was indelicate in me to expect it.' ' But I 
should be happy to subscribe to any other subject con- 
nected with reform.' ' My Lord,' said I, ' I should be 
proud to paint the great leaders^ the Ministry.' ' Sup- 
pose,' said Lord Grey, 'you paint the grand dinner in the 
city, where we shall all be on the lllh.' 1 replied, 'I 
should be delighted.' He seemed much pleased, I said, 
' Of course you'll sit to me,' ' Certainly,' he said. 

" I then went up stairs with him to see a portrait by a 
young man I taught to draw. 

" Lord Grey did not speak of the ilnions as he ought. 
He seemed to think of them as subjects beneath my pencil ; 
and when I put into his hands the sketch I had made, 
while I waited, he merely replaced it in my own without 
a word. 

"Is this not a subject of the finest moral nature? 
Does it not show the value of the religious feeling operat- 
ing in m^ accustomed to give vent to their feelings? 
Does it not show the vast utility of the industrious 
classes obeying the men of property in the neighbourhood 
as leaders, instead of wildly wreaking their vengeance on 
property from ignorance and passion? Surely this is a 
subject kings and lords ought to protect," 

The Birmingham pictm:e was begun on the SOth, and 
several subscriptions to it obtained, both in London and 
Birmingham. But the hardy hammermen had no real 
heart in the matter, and, without minutely recording the 
nps and downs of the work, I may dismiss the subject 
by saying that it came to nothing. 


The banquet was fixed for the Uth, and the painter, 
on Lord Grey's recommendation, had every facihty given 
to him by the committee. Here is his entry on the evening 
of the llthr — 

" I spent the day at Guildliall, and the evening was, 
as Paddy would say, the most splendid day of my life. 

" I breakfasted and dined with the committee, who 
treated me with the greatest distinction, and assigned me 
the place I had chosen to paint from (under Lord 
Chatham's monument). The confusion of the day is not 
to be described; hut what was that to the roar of the 
night ? 

*' I painted all the morning, and got in the room and 
window, amidst gasmen and waiters, and by night, the 
instant the room filled, I dashed away. It was a lesson 
in colour I shall never forget. The nobility treated me 
with great distinction. The Duke of Argyll sent to take 
wine, and so did others. I was obliged to sip, or I should 
have been more inspired than was requisite. It was a 
splendid sight — a glorious triumph ; and a curious fact 
in my curious life that I should have been employed to 
paint it in the hall. 

" I saw Lord Grey the next morning, who was shaken ; 
and ou Tuesday I took him down my sketches, which I 
trust in God will end in two grand commissions. 

" What a day ! As I passed to go there, I saw a man 
just hanging at Newgate. 

" In the evening the servants down stairs were drunk, 
while Lord Gtey was considering it a high honour up- 

" I was an object of great attention without 5s, in my 
pocket — and this is life. 

" The Ministers all seem afraid of the people. Ah ! 
had concessions been made before, no danger would have 

" Juiff llth. — Called on Lord Grey to-day with all 
my sketches. He was highly gratified. Lord AJthorp 
v/a» with him. Lord Grey gave me a commission for the 

314 MEMOIRS OF B. It. nAYDO:!. [1932. 

Banquet at 500 guineas. He was taking up the sketch 
to show Lady Grey, when she met him. He introduced 
me. He said, ' I mean this for Howick.' I said, ' I am 
delighted to paint it for your Lordship, where it will be 
kept for ever in your family. 1 glory in it,' said I. Lord 
Grey was pleased, and added, 'You like your subject, I 
am sure.' ' Indeed, I do." 

"Slst. — I went by appointment this morning. Lord 
Grey received me kindly, He wanted to set off, but I 
stuck to him. ' How long will you he V ' Half an hour, 
my Lord.' ' May I read ? ' 'If your Lordship will hold 
3-our head high.' ' Where must I sit?' ' Opposite the 
window.' ' Ah ! ' said he, as if he thought it a great bore, 
took up his ministerial hox and came over. I sketched 
away like fire. Some one called, and he went out, leaving 
me alone with the ministerial boxes. I thought to myself, 
now if I chose to be a villain, I might learn somethii 
hut 1 kept my post and went on chalking in the back- 
ground. He darted in, but finding all right, sat down 
quietly. It was a very interesting hour. 

" It was a high honour. He treated me with perfect 
confidence, and I was highly pleased. I made an energetic 

Here is a contrast. 

" 24lh. — Faddled — specimens of the ' mingled yarn ' 

Nos. 1. and 2. I owed 251. I left him out in 

my schedule on a principle of honour and affection. Six 
months ago I wrote him to say my prospects were better, 
and offered to arrange to pay him, I got no answer ; but 
to-day, without notice, got a lawyer's letter. 

" He is beginning to feel wealthy, and to love accumu- 
lation. There is nothing wrong, hut it is little. 

" 26lk. — Painted only an hour, obliged to go out, 

and try to arrange about 's debt and my water-rate. 

When I consider what I have lent artists and never got 
again, and never thought of proceeding, I am shocked at 

. 's conduct. Never mind. For him who has known 

necessity to embarrass me at this critical moment is shock- 

1832.] CONTEASTS. 313 

ing. However, peace to him. The fact is, I never would 
proceed against any human creature. 

" 2Tth. — Painted hard six hours, and advanced rapidly. 
Dear Lord Grey sent half. God be thanked. It has 
saved me — - quite. 

" g8(A. — Painted a head in the morning, and out after 
business, received my money, and paid right and left. 

Arranged 's debt of ^51. by paying his lawyer 

3/. 3s. Amicable robbery ! 

" 31j(. — June and July, I have worked satisfactorily. 
My Birmingham picture is advanced, Lord Grey's also 
prepared, and to-morrow I begin his. God grant me suc- 
cess also. Amen. 

" To-moiTow the anniversary of the Victory of the Nile. 
I'll begin seriously nay Reform Picture — success ! 

" September 3rd. — Out all day in the city about busi- 
ness of various descriptions. Delightful difference, that 
instead of being tortured by the want of money, it waa 
to be delightfully deceived by the receipt of it. 

More contrasts. "8th- — In the evening I was sitting 
and luxuriating by anticipation in all the delights of colour 
in my jncture, when a note came from an officer's widow, 
starving. I went out, and called immediately. It was a 
room on the ground, two little children were sleeping in 
dirt and blankets, without any cleanly comfort on earth, 
beside them was a press-bed, and a respectable mother, 
pale, hollow-cheeked, and Irish. ' What regiment,' said 
I, ' did your husband belong to?' 'The 8th or King's 
Own,' said she, with a brogue one could have known at the 
Straits of Magellan. 'Poor creature! why did he leave 
the regiment ? ' ' He quarrelled with his superior officer.' 
' Why did you send to me ? ' 'I heard you were humane.' 
Of course I gave her all I had in my pocket, 5s. I went 
away bitterly affected. The night was clear, poetical, 
and heavenly. What a contrast to the wretchedness I had 
left. ' Oh Sir,' said she, ' it's a fortune, it's a fortune.' In 
the morning I see a Prime Minister who thinks the levee 
a bore : in the evening the widow of an officer iu the 


King's Own, (who perhaps would not put up with an in- 
sult from a superior officer and lost his commission,) sends 
to me for 5s. Such is life 1 She had the appearance of 
having seen better days. 

" 9tk, — Lord Grey called to-day, and it did one's 
heart good to see him look so well. He was full dressed 
at half-past twelve. He was much pleased with the pic- 
ture, and agreed with me that the moat able supporters of 
the hill ought to be introduced, without regard to their 
real places. 

" In coming in he tripped on the step, and as lie was 
going out Frank came in with all his books, and ran 
against him. But he was quite amiable, and said to 
Frederick, ' How d'ye do, sir,' at which he turned from 
his play, and stared at him like a Newfoundland puppy. 
He seemed used to children. 

" lOth, — Oh, oh, I've found out the reason Lord 
Grey looked so young and gay. Lord Howick was to be 
married. He went from me to the ceremony. Old as he 
was, lie really looked more like a bridegroom than a 
minister of state. Lord Grey was enough yesterday to 
make any man begin with champagne the moment he 
was gone. He looked like the firet glass, after the burst- 
ing pop. Seeing him thus will influence my treatment of 
his head. 

" IIM. — Sick of pictures, town, nobility, King, Lords 
and Commons, I set off by a steamer to Broadstairs. 
Came in stewed by steam and broiled by sun. I fagged 
about till sick, and got lodgings for my dears for a short 
breathe of sea air, 

" Slept at an inn in a small room, fried till morning, 
got up at half-past five, took a delicious dip and swam 
exulting like a bull in June, ate a breakfast worthy of 
an elephant; put oflT and joined the Ramsgate steamer, 
and was in town again by half-past four. To-day I am 
fatigued, and to-morrow I take all my dears down. It is 
six years since tliey have changed air but for a day or two. 
I hope it will do them all good. 


" 13th. — Ought I to spend 201. owing it as I do ? If I 
do not my children suffer. They want sea-air. I struggle 
between the feelings of the father and the citizen. 

" 23rd, — We have all been down to Broadstairs. The 
children vastly benefited. Dear little Alfred, after the 
warm bath, said he had not had pains in his knees for two 
days. What ought to be my feelings to dear Lord Grey 
for advancing me half, and enabling me to do this good to 
my dear children ? 

" 29th, — Closed my exhibition, and moved all my 
pictures : — 

Receipts £167 6 3 

Expences 170 10 3 Loss onh/ £3 3 3 

*' Such are the times. A blessing not to lose more. 

" 30^^. — Out all day. Rolled up Xenophon, which, 
as I removed it into a stronger light, really shone with 
colour. If it comes out again it will astonish. 

*' Would any man believe that the whole body of the 
Academicians have declared Xenophon a failure ? 

*' Wilkie came in to-day while Dr. Elmore was there, 
and after looking at it some time, he said, ' It's a great 
work, let 'em say what they will.' 

** He knows it as well as L 

« B. R. Haydon, 
'^ I have been put off so often by thee, that if thy acceptance 
is not taken up on the I7th inst. when I call (say about nine 
o'clock in the morning), I intend putting the law in force with- 
out delay. 

BiU . . - £28 8 5 

Noting - - . 2 6 

Postage - - - 10 

£28 6 9 

** He called, and I persuaded this worthy man to take 
lOt, and the balance in a fortnight. The following con* 
versation ensued. 

'* H. * Why thee ought with thy splendid talents to 
make 1000/. a-year, Haydon.' * So I do, sir, but irre* 

318 MEMOIRS OF B. R. HATDON. [l632. 

gularlj.' H. ' Then thee should live on 500;.' Hay. • So 
I do not. I can't.' H. ' Then thou art imprudent,' 
Hay. ' No, Sir, I am not. I have eight childreu.' H. 
'Eight children! That is a proof of thy imprudence.' 
Hay. 'Come, come, that's hard; I consider 20 i. of this 
bill I need not have paid but on a principle of honour !' 
H. ' 1 have nothing to do vtitli that, though I commend 
thee. Well, well, thou hast great talents, and I'll try 
thee once more,' There was something about this so 
sincere I was affected. He walked about the room with 
his hat on, his coat buttoned up to his chin, healthy- 
looking, keen, firm, honourable, and good, though severe 
in his expression. When I saw him out, his horse and 
gig had the appearance of wealth without being fashion- 
able. It was peculiar, and all in character. 

" This debt was for my baker's bill, whom I had 
always promised to pay in my troubles out of the first 
sum of any amount I received. Does he thank me ? 
Not he. He is just as likely, now he is safej to behave ill 
as a stranger. 

"26th, — Breakfasted with Lord Nugent.* Sketched 
him. Passed a very delightful morning. He took down, 
with the grace of high birth, a print of Hampden which 
hung in an old English frame, and presented it to me, 
writing his name on the back. He said some capital 

" Talking of the Greeks, he said, ' I acknowledge they 
are liars. But why ? It is the arm of slavery against 
tyranny.' He said, ' I have as delightful associations 
about the enclosed county of the civil wars as about 
Greece or the Troad. I have as much pleasure in 
standing and thinking I see the whole hedge lined with 
cuirassiers, as if they were ancient Greeks in the Acropolis.' 
' Yes,' said I, ' my Lord, and I never think of the civil 
wars but I associate the terrific face of Cromwell gleam- 

• Who was on the point of starting as Governor for the Ionian 


ing — dira fades — above the field. He was a grand 
fellow, my Lord. He died in power.' ' Yea, he did j 
but recollect Napoleon,' said Lord Nugent, immediately 
grasping my meaning, ' what he suffered, with a thief- 
catcher ferreting his dirty linen, harassed by a hideous 
complaint, and tortured by insults.' He went on. ' Do 
you know who H. B. is ? ' ' No.' ' I think I do.' ' "Who, 
my Lord ?' ' I think it is Hari-j Burrard, of the Guards. 
We went to school together, and he drew capitally.' We 
then went into a long discussion about arms, tried rapiers, 
looked at black jacks. He ordered up a bloodhound, 
and a Scotch greyhound that would honour Abbotsford, 
and after forty visits, twenty letters, after Joe, and Bill, 
and Dick, and Harry had had their orders, in came the 
groom, ' Where's the little mare ?' ' At Stowe, ray Lord.' 
'How came she there?' 'My Lord, your own orders.' 
' Get her directly, in time to embark. Who covered 
her?' 'I don't know, my Lord.' In came Joe. 'My 
Lord, the captain of the steamer.' ' Show him in. Mr. 
Haydon, we had better begin.' I began, wanting hia 
head to the left ; but the captain sat on the right, and 
every instant Lord Nugent jerked his head to the right, 
to discuss the various probabilities of embarkation, and 
there I sat catching bis features as I could, and getting 
them in rapidly. 

'* After seeing the drawing, he said, ' I shall be happy 
to see you at Corfu. You can be out in three weeks in 
a steamer. We'll take a trip to the Troad and Con- 
stantinople. Don't forget it. Joe?' ' My Lord.' 'Tell 
Mr. What's-his-name, Hookham will settle it.' • Yes, my 
Lord. My Lord, here's the silversmith.' ' Who ? ' ' The 
silversmith.' ' Send him to Hookham's too. Then, cap- 
tain, we must be on board by three ? Can the horses, eh, 
what do you call it — can the horses— the horses get on 
board easily ?' ' As easy as a glove, my Lord.' ' Well, 
captain, you had better see Lady Nugent, and talk to 
her about the baggage,' 'Yes, my Lord.' 'Joe,' 'Yes, 

320 HEUOIBS OF B. B. HATDON. [1S32. 

my Lord.' ' Ask Lady Nugent for that old painting.* 
' Ves, my Lord.' ' Michel ?' ' Out, milord.' 

" In the tnidst of all this I finished my sketch, and was 
off. I like Lord Nugent very much. He is of race, and 
looks like a noble. His manners are graceful and com- 
manding. He is cultivated and entertaining, and I dare 
say will honour his station. 

"2'ith, — Finished the head of the chairman. Lord 
Nugent and Sir Matthew Wood called, and liked the 
picture. Lord Nugent made some capital remarks, which 
I adopted. He embarked at three, 

" October \3tk. — Lord Melbourne came, and a very 
pleasant morning we had. He relished my stories, and 
was extremely affable and amiable. He has a fine head, 
and looked refined and handsome. As he was leaving he 
saw the Birmiugham sketch. I question if he exactly 
relished it — it might be my fancy. I bit his expression,* 
and he will come in well and elegantly. 

" \3lh. — Lord Melbourne sat again to-day, with great 
amiability. I asked him point blank several things. I 
was very much delighted with bis exceeding good-humour, 
and I hope I have hit bis expression. He asked about 
Hazlitt, Leigh Hunt, Keats, and Shelley, and seemed 
much amused at my anecdotes, I never bad a pleaaanter 
sitter — a delightful, frank, easy, unaffected man of fashion. 

" There is nothing like 'em when they add intelligence 
to breeding. 

" I spoke of Lord Durham's return. Dead silence. I 
talked of Birmingham. A sort of hint as to Scholefield 
and Attwood- — a passing opinion, yet confidential. 

" The whole sitting was entertaining ; and now, if he 
is only pleased with his own head, it will do. 

" lilh, — Saw Sir Hudson Lowe to-day in the streets. 
Micheli and an Italian had stopped me. Micheli's friend 
had sailed with, and knew him. "We all walked by, and 

then turned, and had a d d good stare. He turned 

and looked fiercely at us, and gave us a good opportunity 


by crossing. A meaner face no assassin ever had. H 
answered Napoleon's description to a T. 

" 16^A. — ^Lord Melbourne sat again to-day — a deliglit- 
ful two hours. He liked the head in the picture liie best 
of the three. This will be a complete course of study 
in portrait-painting. I made a chalk drawing, an oil 
sketch, and then put it into the picture by myself, 
imagining his expression. It is extraordinary that the 
head I painted by myself is the best; I can do an ex- 
pression I imagine better than one I see. 

" Lord Melbourne, iu the course of talk, said he knew 
that Lord North often endeavoured to persuade the King 
not to continue the American war, but that the virulence 
of the old King's feelings obliged him. Lord Melbouroe 
added, that he (the King) patronised West against Rey- 
nolds because the latter was too intimate with Fox and 

" We had a long confab about art. He seemed to be 
afraid history would never have that patronage portrait 
had. I replied the Government could alone do it. He 
asked, how. I said, first by a committee of the House, 
and then by a vote. He said he was afraid selections 
might be invidious. Of course, I replied, he that was 
selected was more likely to be envied than otherwise, but 
the same might be said of all commissions. He said, 
' had not the sculptors had every opportunity, and had 
they done as they ought ? ' ' Certainly not. But it was 
no argument,' I replied, 'because one class of artists had 
acted as manufacturers, we should." Lord Melbourne 
said, ' we shall see what a popular parliament will do. 
Hume is not against it. It seems feasible.' 

" I8th, — Lord Altborp sat to me in Downing Streets 
He is not so conversational as Lord Melbourne, but the 
essence of good nature. I said, ' My Lord, for the first 
time in my life I scarcely slept, when Lord Grey was out 
dui'ing the Bill — were you not deeply anxious?' 'I 
don't know,* said Lord Altborp, ' I am never very 
anxious.' Lord Althorp seems heavy. I tried to excite 


322 MEMOIRS OP B. B. HAYDON. [1888, 

tim into conversation. He said Sir Joshua painted hiiq 
when a boy. He said nothing remarkable. He has 
air of rank, like all of them. I hit his expression- 
said his secretary! hut I saw he evidently thought it not 
young enough. He brought me down Hayter's miniature 
painted nineteen years ago. As a work of art detestablen 
but he thought highly of it. 

" I afterwards called on Lord Palmerston, and waa 
amazingly impressed by his good-humoured elegance. 
Col. Walpole had made a. mistake. He did not mean to 
sit — he only thought I wanted to tee him. He said ha 
could no more sit than he could fly ; but the first leii 
hour he would not forget me. 

" I9th, — Visited Lord Althorp again. He told me the 
day before that I might come again any morning I liked. 
So anxious was I to get on, that I went down again tho 
next day, was admitted, made the servant fit up the win- 
dows, and block up the light. Rubbed in the head by- 
way of preparation, and was expecting his I/ordship. Jjord 
Althorp had made an appointment with an engraver at 
the same hour, and had not had time to tell me ; so in 
walked his Lordship, half laughing, saying he had done so, 
and begging to know if it would interrupt me. I said 
' No.' By his side stood his secretary with papers. The 
door opened, and in toddled ' ■ — ■, with his clump foot, 
and a large portfolio. Lord Althorp roared with laughter, 
and so did I. The whole thing was dramatic. All this 
so disturbed me — so perplexed my thoughts — was so 
like the solitude of my own study, where I can indulgi 
visions, that I only thought how to get out of it in peace, 

" Lord Althorp, who is a heavy man, stood up for th( 
head, that the engraver might touch it. The graceless 
way in which he stood was irresistible. I could paint 
picture of such humour as would ruin me. 

" The fact is, one should never forget what is due to 
s self. The moment I found Lord Althorp made no 
gentlemanly appeal to me, as the whole rencontre was bii 
fault, I should very quietly have daubed out the whol^' 


head, and merely made generalities. The truth was, he 
seemed to think it a devilish good joke — not knowing I 
have no intercourse with artists ; and that though I could 
not help laughing, it was little hetter than an insult. 
What had I in common with an engraver, let him he ever 
so eminent? I was there by Lord Grey's desire, and as 
his representative; and I ought to have heen treated with 
marked distinction. However, I have a scale : — 
Those noblemen who come to me. 
Those who oblige me to come to them. 
And those who do not sit at all, 
shall all be represented according to their respective 

" 22nd. — Lord Lansdowne sat, and I was much inter- 
ested. His face is amiable in the extreme. We had a 
long confabulation about the Academy, &c. &c., in which 
he asked several meaning questions of me. 

"2>k/i.— Lord John Russell sat to-day. He did not 
say much. There is a marked inflexibility of purpose 
about his head. He was pleased with the picture, and 
thought I ought to place the more prominent characters 
conspicuously. Lord Lansdowne differed. He thought, 
however improperly placed the company were, I ought to 
be strictly correct as to the first line, since the picture was 
to be an historical record. I was much gratified by the 
honour of his visit. 

"25th. — Went to the Duke of Richmond's, and made 
a successful sketch of him. He baa a fine head. We had 
a talk of art. I put in 'public vote of money.' Hia 
Grace admitted it — that was all, 

" 2Glfi. — Went again to the Duke of Richmond's. 
The Duchess came in to have a peep. I think she did 
not consider it handsome enough. They expect in an 
historical picture I am to perfume them like Lawrence. 
My object is nature and truth for reference hereafter, and 
not domestic portrait to gratify papa and mamma, by 
smothering nature and giving them something else, which 
no one can reduce to principle. 


" I know well nij sketches wQl not please tbem. 

" They want a peculiar expression in the eye — an arcbed 
brow, a red Up, a smirk, and so oo. 1 can't do tliu. I 
won't do this. The eje is a component part of a face, 
and is liable to the same Tariations of Uglit and shadow 
«s the nose or mouth. Sometimes it is lost in balf tint 
or shadow — sometimes glitters in light ; but under alt 
circumstances to make it tight is absurd. Lawrence al- 
ways did i and I am convinced from what I see again of 
people of fashion, Sir Joshua never could bare been a 
favourite at heart. Heard from Lord Godericb. Called 
on Wilkie, and found he had been painting the Duke of 
Sussex. Here's a pretty radical ! He is ratting. It waa 
something like Lawrence and Raebum, and not like him- 
self ; and yet fine, but not original. 

" 2"th.- — In thus coming to portrait in a spirit of in- 
vestigation, I have arrived at the following conclusion^ 
that Vandyke even is a£'ectcd, Reynolds and Titian un- 
afiected in tlie most delightful degree. 

" In Reynolds and Titian there is nothing forced : in 
Vandyke the character is often forced. Vandyke pUced 
the eyes often for the purpose of showing them to the 
best advantage ; the eye seems conscious of liow to look, 
so as to get the bit of light to come exactly in the same 
pretty place. But in Titian, eyes look like eyes without 
these ridiculous absurd trickeries. So in all the great 
masters. Reynolds often made a striking likeness with 
the eye hardly seen. 

" This picture will bu of great use. It will compel me 
to study portrait, which I detested, as this picture has a 
national object as well. 

" Had Lawrence never existed, it would have been 
better for the art. In spite of all, I must think so. Yea, 
he had a mischievous fascination. There is nothing in 
him sound — nothing to which you can devote your whole 
soul, without fear of contaiuinatioii, as iu Reynolds, 
. Titian, Rafiitele, Corregio. 

" 28/A. — Called on L . He gave me a poor account 


of Gait, and censured him for his follies. He said Gait 
had thrown away three opportunities of fortune, by quar- 

relling with his superiors. L 's account rather in- 

terested me. , when Secretary for the Treasury, 

told him they wanted an editor for the Courier, who 
would come every morning to the Treasury, and take his 

tone from them. L mentioned Gait. He was sent, 

and accepted. When the King was ill, — ^ said, ^ Mr. 
Gait, the King reads the Courier, and nothing whatever 
must be said of His Majesty's danger. Sir H. Halford 
will inform you daily what to say.' 

" All the papers went on swearing the King must die. 
Gait maintained the contrary; but it was so ridiculous, 
that his honesty of mind could not brook it, and he 

boldly spoke out. sent for him, remonstrated on 

his folly. Gait stood up for his independence. ■■ 
said he must retire. Gait threw up his employment, 
and is now prostrated with paralysis, without a guinea, 
and with ten children. 

" ^th* — Got in Lord John's head ; but my conscience 
would not allow me to keep him by the side ; I therefore 
put him on the line of honour. 

" 31*^. — In the city, and arranged my necessities. 

" The last day of the month, and a very triumphant 
month it has been to me. God be thanked, with all my 

^^ November Srd.* — Lord Goderich sat, and afterwards 
I went to Sir James Graham's. Lord Goderich began 
the instant he sat down, * Well, we are to have a new 
Academy.' * Yes, my Lord.' * How do you like the 
plan ? ' ' It is an honour to the art certainly, but I 
fear its ultimate influence.' * Fear ! why?' * Because, 
by bringing the annual efforts of British artists in com- 
parison with the choicest works of the choicest ages, the 

* The Nineteenth Yolume of the Journals begins at this date, with 
the mottoes, ''Who best can suffer, best can do** (Milton), and 
" Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver. I have chosen 
thee in the furnace of affliction.** — Ptalm xlviii. 

T 8 

320 MliMOIES OF B. E. HATDOX. [l832. 

inference will be too obvious, and the opinion of Britisb 
art must sink. There is no hope for British art but by 
H moderate and regular vote to support history.' ' But 
how ? ' said he ; ' we have no houses.' ' My Lord, there is 
the mistake. We do not want houses. We want public 
support, for public objects, in public buildings ; and your 
Lordship may depend on it the art of the country will 
sink. No young men will devote themselves to acquire 
the power, if ruin and a prison are to be the result of 
studying the art as a science, instead of making it what 
it is, — a trade, and a means of getting money and sitters.' 
" We went over the old ground. I found him a 
staunch friend of the powers that be in art. He said the 
anuual exhibition gratified a number of people. They 
saw views of places they knew, likenesses of people they 
beard of, &c. ; and he did not think that ancient art, 
however eminent, would be likely to interfere in such a 
case. He said, ' The dinner gratified him always.' I 
said, ' I dare say. It must be a gratifying thing ; but, 
my Lord, an English exhibition puts me in mind of a 
giant with great genius, and great powers of mind, strug- 
gling to speak a language he does not understand.' He 
laughed, and said, ' What would you have ?' ' A better 
and more systematic education. The French are more 
regularly prepared.' ' I would not give sixpence for 
French art,' said he. * You value it too highly,' said I. 
' But a little French regularity would correct, without 
destroying, the exuberance of English excess. The French 
are wliat Sir George Beaumont used to call them, the 
upholsterers of the art.' ' Suppose a grant of money given, 
how would you begin?' said he. 'At once, at the great 
room at the Admiralty, Take two great pictures of two 
of the most important epochs of English marine glory. 
Adorn the other parts of the room with smaller designs. 
Take two portraits of two of the greatest heroes, and two 
busts.' He shrugged his shoulders, and said, ' Well, 
fcI<orcIs Grey and AUhorp hold the purse-strings, propose 
t to them.' Here was an acknowledgment he had nothing 


"What ■will lie do? Go away — and perhaps abuse 
me for proving my plan feasible. 

" He retired, and I drove down to an attorney to 
prevent an execution for 9^. 14s, Od. ; paid 5L, 4/. to his 
client, and IL to him for waiting a fortnight for the 
balance, and then to Sir James Graham, at the Admiralty. 
I sketched him. 

" 7th. — Sir John Hobhouse sat, and a very interesting 
hour I had. 

" 14iA. — Lord Goderich sat again to-day, and we went 
into the wliole question of the Academy. He asked 
innumerable questions. I gave him the whole history of 
Reynolds' resignation, my ill- treatment, Shee's conduct, 
&c. &c. ' Upon my honour,' said he, ' if they do not 
take care, the public will be against them.' ' They are 
already,' said I ; ' and my apprehensions are, that this 
money voted for them will only serve to give additional 
weight to their unjust pretensions.' He alluded to my 
former applications to him about art, and added, ' I fear I 
have neglected you.' ' Yes, my Lord,' said I ; ' once when 
I was waiting to see you a deputation of silk-mercers from 
Coventry came in, and I gave up hope.' He laughed, but 

" On the whole, public men shrink from discussion. 
They are so occupied with the fate of nations, and their 
political relations, that truth even on other points seems 
unworthy investigation, Metaphysical inquiry they de- 
test Matters of taste they skim. Religion they con- 
sider only as an engine of state ^ and I do not tliink 
much extension of knowledge on general principles is to 
be acquired by intercourse with them. They are inter- 
esting from their rank and occupation; but a habit of 
having snch mighty interests hanging on their decisions 
generates a contempt for abstract deduction, and an in- 
disposition to enter into matters of literature, art, and 
morals. Men bke Lord Grey — old politicians — are 
too wary to give you a clue by any hint or look as to 
what is going on. 

328 MEM0IH9 OF B. H. HATDON. [l832, 

" nth. — Made anotlier sfeetcli of Sir James Graham 
to-day — a better view of his fine head. Dr. Litshington 
came in, and I staid with Lady Graham for nearly two 
hours, and spent a delightful time. 

" i9th. — Saw Lord Grey, who was sitting quietly by 
the fire reading papers. When I came to the door Col. 
Grey was talking to Lord Essex. Lord Essex saw me, 
and said, ' I have nearly persuaded Lord Holland to ait.' 

" It would be a pity if such a strenuous advocate of 
reform should be out. 

" I aent in my name and was admitted. Lord Grey 
was looking the essence of mildness. He seemed dis- 
posed for a chat. In my eagerness to tell him all he 
wanted to know, I sprung up oif my chair, and began to 
explain, bending my fist to enforce my argument. Lord 
Grey looked at me with a mild peacefulness of expres- 
sion, as if regarding a bit of gunpowder he had ad- 
mitted to disturb his thoughts. Now I should have sat 
still, and chatted quietly, for that is what he wanted — to 
be relieved by gentle talk. But he began to talk to me 
about the picture, and touched a sensitive spring. I 
blazed away, made arrangements for his sitting next 
week, and took my leave. 

" I came in like a shot, talked like a Congreve-rocket, 
and was off like an arrow, leaving Lord Grey for five 
minutes not quite sure if it was all a dream. How de- 
lightfully he looked by the fire. What a fine subject he 
would make in his ofiicial occupation. 

" 20lh. — Hard at work on Sir James Graham. I never, 
I think, passed a more interesting month ; to be admitted, 
as I have been, on the most friendly terms to the secret 
recesses of Cabinet Ministers, left alone, as I have been, 
with letters, dispatches, boxes, and trusted with perfect 
confidence, chatting with them on art, and having the 
full command of them for an hour at a time, with no dis- 
turbance or interruption, is a very high distinction. 

"25th, — At Lord Althorp's again, and spent a very 
interesting hour. By degrees 1 got him on art and the 


Natiooal Gallery, and the necessity of encouraging history 
by au annual vote. 

" He said an annual vote would be injurious, because it 
implied a necessity of always buying, when there might 
be nothing to buy. He said Government did nothing, be- 
cause it was not the habit. I instanced sculpture, and he 
acknowledged. We discussed the junction of the National 
Gallery and Academy. He agreed it would either ruin 
them, or make them. If properly taken it would be the 
making of the art. He said, ' You are at war with the 
Academy.' * I am, my Lord. I disapprove of them on 
principle. They are the borough-mongers of the art.' I 
said, ' Chantrey had agreed with me in my opinion on the 
Academy, yet had joined them.' I said, ' They are a set 
of interested men who are fearful of their supremacy being 
shaken by the foundation of legitimate art. They obliged 
Reynolds to resign. They persecuted Opie, West, Wilkie, 
and myself, and being portrait-painters, and engrossing 
the power, they can do so with effect.' I begged to assure 
his Lordship I had no paltry view in recommending com- 
missions to the most eminent, but asked either for that, 
or some other plan, that the consequence of pursuing 
art from feeling, and not for gain, might not be ruin to 
all who attempted it. I pressed on his attention the po- 
pularity of the measure. He said, ' D'ye think so ?' ' My 
Lord, I am sure of it. And the junction of the Royal 
Academy with the National Gallery is not popular, because 
it is feared additional power will be put into the hands of 
those who already have wielded what tbey have to the 
oppression of the art.' I said, ' Sooner or later. Lord 
Althorp, it must be done, and I should be happy to see 
the glory secured by the present administration. It is 
difficult for me to speak of the Royal Academy without 
passion, but be assured the art is the last thing thought of 
there.' He said, ' Would premiums be a good plan?' 
'No, my Lord. Commissions are best.' 'Sometimes,' 

i he, 'pictures make a great dash and are forgotten. 
Government might commit itself. Fifty years, I tl 

330 MEMOIRS OF B, R. HAYDON. tl832. 

ought to pass before a picture is bought.' ' And the 
painter starves in the meantime,' said I. ' My Jerusalem 
is ill America. Lazarus is going, and Solomon is in a dust- 
loft. After thousands are spent in the Gallery, the art 
will be in the same condition. Why not give painters a 
chance as in other countries V 

" He seemed impressed with a notion that something 
was wanting. This is the first step. I see Lord Grey 
this week, and I will be at him. God knows if anything 
will come of it. They shall not be ignorant; and then 
all excuse is taken away. At my calling the Academy 
' The borough-mongers of the art,' he laughed. He said 
of all professions lawyers were the most jealous. This to 
me was new, 

" I think I shook his convictions in the infallibility of 
the Academy. I said, I feared if the art was injured by 
the National Gallery, the dealers would get a-head again. 
He said he did not fear that. 

" He seemed quite ignorant and quite astonished that 
anything could be said against the plan, or in favour of 
anything else. 

" He said, ' Who is to judge ? Patrons in matters of 
taste and persons of technical knowledge ?' I said, ' No, 
my Lord, all the world can judge if an expression he true, 
or a story told. All the world would be impressed with 
a national series of pictures to illustrate a principle : but 
all the world are not judges of technicalities. This is 
exclusively professional.' 

" Lord Althorp said, if he had not affected to be 
against the National Gallery, fifty people would have 
sprung up in the House, and have opposed, but by appear- 
ing to disapprove, he secured success. 

" When I took my leave, I begged he would not forget 
the art. 

" S9th. — Lord Althorp called and was much pleased. 
Began Lord Grey musing by the fire. 

' 3(XA. —Rubbed in the great picture of the above 
Mubject, and very interesting it will be, I had Brown's 



men down instantly, and, as I had a canvas ready, it was 
mounted, and begun in iia!f-an-hour. Success to it. If 
done as it ought, it will give posterity a complete idea of 
this illustrious man in his hahitual attitude. i 

" December \st. — Out all day, and exceedingly ha- ' 
russed for want of money. This picture causes such con- 
tinual loss of time it is dreadful. In grievous difficulty I 
ran in to nij dear old friend Cockerell, and though he has 
great reason to complain of my irregularity, he lent me 
5L I wanted him to buy my sketch of Sir Walter. He 
could not, hut advised me to ask Lord Francis. To him 

I wrote, and if he does, it will rescue me from M 

fangs, and enable me to get on. I cannot appeal to . 
Lord Grey till next moatli, 

" 2nd. — Called on the Duke of Sussex, and saw him. , 
It was quite a picture. There he sat in a little room, 
richly furnished, smoking, with a red Turkish cap, like 
Ali Pasha — his hands covered with rings — his voice 
loud, royal and asthmatic. ' Sit down, Mr. Haydon.' 
Down I sat. He began about the Academy instantly as 
if to flatter me. 

" 5th. — Lord Melbourne sat again to-day. His last 
sitting, and a very pleasant morning I had. 

" Lord Melbourne is the most delightful sitter of any, 
and I am always brilliant with him. He seems equally 
pleased with me, I feel at my ease. He is a shrewd 
man, and is not satisfied with random reasons. I was 
talking about art, and he brought me to an anchor for a 
minute, by asking me a question that required reflexion 
to refute, and set me thinking when he was gone. 

" l\th. — Lord Auckland sat, and I congratulated him 
on the success of the elections. He said, ' Truly it justifies 
all that has been done for the middle clas'ies.' It did 
most gloriously. I wrote Hobhouse I would carry him 
round myself, if a chair was wanting. 

" 2\ri, — Lord Headfort concluded to-day, and in the 
morning I passed an hour with Lord Melbourne, iu which 
art and all its interests, great pictures iu churches, public 

332 ICOtOIRg OF B. B. HATDOX. [isaL 

enooursgenient, &c. were discussed, but with little effect. 
There is no hope from any minister the other side of forty, 
A man at forty has proved the hollowness of life, and 
ftmilea at zeal with a consciousness of its uselessnesa. 
Lord Melbourne seemed to have a notion that I was a 
disappointed enthusiast, whom he found it amusing to 
listen to, however absurd it might be to adopt my plans. 

" 3\tl. — The last day of a year, perhaps the most 
celebrated of my life. 

" The immortality conferred on me by Lord Grey in 
giving me a picture connected with reform — the glory 
of that night at Guildhall — the return of fortune, and 
the peace, happiness, and study i have enjoyed in con- 
sequence, are all causes of my feeling deep gratitude to 
my merciful Creator. 

" My health never was so good, but I regret to say the 
materials I have to work with for art — King, nobility, 
and people — are materials from which little good can be 
expected. I am at this moment in abeyance, and feel 
more happiness in pursuing my studies without battling 
or struggling for an abstract principle. I regret it, for 
it is not high-minded. I shall try the rest of my life to 
do my best, and let that take its chance. 

" I have worked very hard to-day from nine to four, and 
seven to half-past ten — ten and a half hours — my eyes 
like iron. 

" There are two things I once hated — portrait and 
perspective. This picture has forced me to study them, 
and I will conclude by being capable of both. 

" It is now half-past eleven. The conclusion is ap- 
proaching of the most wonderful year in the history of 
England. Oh ! how I glory that I contributed to the 
great result, however humbly, by my three letters * to 
The Times, When my colours have faded, my canvas 
decayed, and my body mingled with the earth, these 

• Tlu'ee anonjmous letters under tbe signature of " AEefonoer;" 
K very creditable contributions to a newspaper, but in no waj, as tax U 
Z can see, justifjing this jubilation. — Eo. 

1683.] THE CLOSE OF 1832. 333 

glorious letters, the best things I ever wrote, will awaken 

the enthusiasm of my countrymen. I thank God I 

lived in such a time, and that He gifted me with talent 

to serve the great cause. I did serve it. Gratitude to 


" Twelve has struck ! 

" Adieu for ever 1832." 


This burst of exultation at the share Haydon attributed 
to himself in bringing about the triumph of Reform by his 
three letters in The Times is not the least curious illus- 
tration of the gigantic proportions which trifles assumed 
in the strangely distorting mirror of his mind, the moment 
they related to himself or his doings. Brought into 
familiar, and in one sense confidential, relations with 
ministers and leaders of parties, at this stirring time, it is 
not to be wondered at that the painter imagined himself 
for the moment lifted up again to his early days of Ad- 
miralty dinners and Coleorton hospitalities. These re- 
lations continued through the whole of 1833, and the 
records of the sittings given him successively by all the 
conspicuous guests at the Guildhall Banquet fill the rest 
of this volume of his journals. Ministers and Peers, 
Whig notabilities, and Radical leaders, figure in it at full 
length, with their conversations and remarks entered in 
great detail. There is much in these transcripts of 
opinions, judgments, impressions, scandals, and on-dits^ 
which might figure very effectively either in a chronique 
galante, or a secret history of the time. But the period 
is too recent to admit free use of such confidences, even 
if it were fair to make public what was certainly never 
meant to meet the public eye. I hope that in the 
few extracts taken from the journal for these years I have 
confined myself to passages which, while they illustrate 
character, and occasionally contain matter of political 
interest, are free from anything that can wound personal 

334 MEMOIHS or B. R. HATDON. ClS33. 

" January \it. — Hume sat, and a very interesting con- 
versation we had. It seems it was he who proposed the 
junction of the National Gallery aud Royal Academy. 

" Hume seems excessively disposed to act liberally 
about art, and I am convinced he is more likely, at last, 
to do what is wanted than any man. 

" 25;A. — My birthday — forty-seven years old; passed 
the day in hard work and peace ; with my dear children 
in the evening. 

"26(fi. — Out all day. Had worked till I had not a 
guinea left. Called on Lord Grey. Found him happy, 
healthy-looking, and in good spirits, thank God. We are 
pretty much on a level. Antwerp plagued him as pecu- 
niary matters plague me, and reform plagued the King. 
We all have our plagues. 

" He agreed to let me dedicate the work to him, and I 
went away without his alluding to my affairs. I then 
went to Colonel Grey, and left with him a short note I 
had written at a bookseller's shop, I was in great agita- 
tion for fear of oifending him. I drove into the city, and 
went to Fletcher, the chairman (a fine, manly fellow), to 
tell him my wants, and to ask him for 5/, to get through 
the night. As I had not paid him the 12/., he said he 
ought not, I returned home in a state not to be described. 
When I came home the children had been all fighting-, 
and no water had come to th ■ cistern. Mary was scolding ; 
and I went to my painting-room, and d— — d all large 
pictures, which always bring this evil on me. The evening 
passed on, as it always does in a family where the father 
has no money. The children smoke it; the servants 
suspect it. There is either an over-kindness, an over- 
irritability, or an aSected unconcern, which opens at once 
their lynx eyes. Tea passed off. I went to my picture ; 
apostrophised my art ; complained of Lord Grey, and sat 
down with a pain in my lumbar vertebra;. As I had 
appointed a great many people for small sums, I marched 
off to my landlord, Newton. Knowing he would relieve 
me, and anticipating success, I knocked. I heard the 




light steps of a girl ; down went the candlestick, and the 
door opened. ' Mr. Newton at home ? ' said I, marching 
in, praying to God it might be so, but half fearing it 
might not, when I was suddenly stopped by, ' No, sir, he 

is gone to the play.' ' D n the play ! ' thought I — 

* this is the way. What business had he to be giggling 
at some stuff in the pit, while I am in danger of having 
no money?' Away I marched again, tired, croaking, 
grumbling, and muddy, and came home in a slate of 
harass. ' Sir, the man won't send the wood without 
the money!' was the first salutation. 'Sir, there is no 
water in the cistern, and has not been all day ! ' ' Why,' 
thought I, ' the very lead pipes begin to perceive their 
masters won't be paid for their trouble.' I sat down in 
a rage, and, pulling off my great-coat, sallied up to my 
dear. ' At least,' thought I, ' this is left me, and woe to 
any mortal who stops me here.' 

" Mary, like an angel, consoled me in my affliction, 
and I came down in high glee, bidding defiance to aU 
obstructions, and swearing I would again apply to my 
work on Monday at light. 

" Just as I had made up my mind in came the servant 
with a letter from Lord Grey, marked ' Private.' My 
heart jumped. It contained a cheque — I read it, and 
vowed vengeance against all rascally tradesmen on earth. 
This was wrong. By degrees I recovered my good feel- 
ings, and went to bed thanking God, grateful to Lord 
Grey, and at peace with my family and the world. 

" 27th, — Hard at work. I made a capital drawing of 
Lord Stanley. 

^'February 3rd. — The Chancellor sat to-day. Hia 
eye is as #ne as any eye I ever saw. It is like a lion's, 
watching for prey. It is a clear grey, the light vibrating 
at the bottom of the iris, and the cornea shining, silvery, 
and tense. I never before had the opportunity of exa- 
mining Brougham's face with the scrutiny of a painter, 
and I am astonished at that extraordinary eye. 

336 MEMOIRS OF B. U. BAYDOK. [1633. 

" Tth. — Lord Ebrington came, and a very delightful 
ettting we had. I asked him about Napoleon.* He said 
he acknowledged the massacre at Jaffa without ihe least 
compunction, though he did not think him blood-thirstj. 
We talked about the fag of the House of Commons. He 
said t!ie old scliool during Mr. Fox's time neglected their 
food during debate. He remembered when he was first 
ill Parliament, in 1804, Mr. Fox used to take him to 
Brooks's, and have hot suppers at whatever lime the debate 
ended. I remarked on the danger of the House of Com- 
mons from the heat and draughts of air. He said, by 
prudence iu diet, and taking a light dinner only, he felt 
no inconvenience, but that if he lived as he did at other 
times, he would not be able to bear it. 

II (A. — Duke of Richmond sat, and Lord Ebrington. 
I asked the Duke if there was ever a moment when he 
desponded at Waterloo. He said, ' Never. For an 
instant some young officers might fear, when the cavalry 
were on tlie liill, that they had got possession of the ar- 
tillery; but all old ones knew that cavalry getting pos- 
session of artillery was nonsense' 

" 12(A. — Lord Westminster sat to-day. After Lord 
W. was gone came the Lord Advocate (Jeffrey). He 
amused me delightfully, and talked incessantly ; but there 
is a sharp, critical discovery of what is defective in nature 
which is not agreeable. He described Lord Althorp's 
reception of him last May, when he called to ask what he 
should do about his resignation, which was quite graphic 
Lord Althorp's secretary could not give him any informa- 
tion, and Lord Althorp desired he would walk up stairs. 
Up Jeffrey walked. Lord Althorp had just done washing, 
and one arm was bare above the elbow, and richer hairy. 
His razor was in the other, and he was about to shave. 
* Well, Mr. Advocate,' said his Lordship, ' I have the 
pleasure to inform you tliat we are no longer His Majesty'* 
Ministers. We sent in our rtsignations, and they ars 

« With whom Lord Ebrington had several conversations at Elba. 


accepted.' When they returned Jeffrey called again. He 
was looking over his fowling-pieces, and said to Jeffrey, 
^ Confound these political affairs ; all my locks are got out 
of order/ in his usual grumbling, lazy way. 

" Jeffrey said he thought him a fine specimen of what 
an English gentleman ought to be. There was not a single 
head in the picture Jeffrey recognised. He sees nothing 
in nature but what is a subject of criticism. 

" 16th. — This week I have finished Duke of Cleve- 
land, Lord Ebrington, put in Lord Westminster, Duke 
of Richmond, and Lord Advocate — fair work — and 
rubbed in Falstaff for my dear friend, W. Newton. If 
that fellow was to die I should break my heart — though, 
God knows, I have often broken his by worrit. For him 
and Ed. Smith I would lay my head on the block, though 
I have tried their patience severely. Peace to 'em. 

" 24fth. — This week I have finished Lord Westminster, 
Hume, and Lord Ebrington, and Lord Morpeth I am 
advancing. Next week Lord Cavendish, Burdett, and 
Lord Howick, sit. 

" Jeffrey told me a capital story of Talleyrand at a 
public dinner. His health was drank. Before the noise 
was over he got up, made a mumbling, as if speaking — 
spoke nothing — made a bow, and sat down; at which 
the applause redoubled, though all those immediately 
about him knew he never said a word. 

" 26th, — Lord Cavendish sat, and was ready to let 
me make any use of his face — three parts of it, or half of 
it — and put him anywhere. Now, when I contrast this 
with some of the city committee, who march up to the 
picture and say, * Put me there,' close to Lord Grey, it is 
really exquisite. 

" The beauty of high breeding is delightful. No people 
are better trained. The Duke of Richmond said he 
approved of fagging. It made a boy know himself. Lord 
March was at Westminster. He was educated there 
himself. Every Saturday he came home, which the Duke 
thought advantageous. From our public schools have 

VOL. II. z 


338 WEMOIES OF B, H. HATDON. [1893. 

proceeded certainly as manly a race of nobility as tbere 
is in any country in the world, and greater statesmen. 
There is something bard in their training. 

" March Srd. — Sketched Sir Francis Burdett at 
Brookes's, in the little parlour as you enter the door, on 
the right. He was reading Cobbett, and it was interesting 
to watch the expression of his face. He seemed satisfied 
that the great grievance had been got rid of, and thought 
after a little noise all would be quiet. I hope it may. 

" I asked him if O'Connell had been cut. He said he 
did not know; but that he certainly would never notice 
him again. 

" Sir Francis was the picture of health. His hands 
were strong and coarse, like a horseman's. 1 asked him 
how he preserved such good health, and if he lived in 
any particular manner. He said, never. He used the 
hath, not regularly, but often; drank no wine, except 
when he dined out, and was always better without it. 
He did not live by rule, and conformed to society; but 
frequent baths, no wine, and hunting, agreed with him. 

"9th. — Lord Advocate came in for half-an-hour ; 
amusing as usual, £x cathedrA. You must not take the 
lead, or my Lord looks at his watch. We talked of 
O'Connell. * 1,' said I, ' never saw such a head — cut up 
by deep passions.' ' Deep sears of thunder' — his cheeks 
entrenched,' said my Lord, taking the quotation out of 
my mouth, and I could not get in again. He repeated 
the passage with fine emphasis, as finely as I ever heard 
it. ' There are parts,' said I, ' in the Paradise Regained, 
as fine as anything.' He would not listen, but kept 
mumbling to himself, I said in a loud voice, for I was 
determined to have a touch too, — 

" And here and there was room 
For barren deserl, fountuiiiless ond drj." 

He stopped, and said, * very fine.' I tried to turn the 
inversation, that I might leave off witli Milton, but he 
ick to the first passage like a little gamecock. 


thought I had better he quiet. He has a fine melodious 

" 20th. —Lord Plunkett sat patiently and sensibly. He 
is very arch, amusing, and witty. He asked me what I 
thought of Barry's picture in the Adelphi. I told liim 
Dr. Johnson had said, ' There was a grasp of mind there 
you found nowhere else.' And he was right. I said 
' Barry was ignorant of colour, could not draw, and had 
no refined ideas of heauty ;' he agreed with me. He said 
he had visited him in 1786 — that he talked with great 
fluency and power, and called Sir Joshua ' That man in 
Leicester Fields.' 

" I pointed out to him the fatal consequences of not 
having professors at the universities. He agreed with 
me. I told him West had had Pitt's and Fox's promise. 
I had corresponded with Lord Liverpool, Canning, Go- 
derich, and Wellington, without effect. 

"I said, 'It will be done at last, my Lord, It rauat 
be done, or the manufactures will decay, and the art 
itself go out.' 

" Lady Howick and Miss Eden called afterwards. 
Just as I was preparing to put in Lord Plunkett, up came 
an odd, hurly-looking man, full of colour, with great 
energy. He began, ' I have been a staunch reformer 
twenty-eight or thirty years. I dined there that day. 
Ought I not to be here ? I am a magistrate.' ' Sir,' said 
I, ' you have a head worthy of any dinner ; but I fear my 
places are taken.' ' I hope not, Mr. Haydon. I brought 
in Col. Grey. I did, sir. I am true to the bone,' &c. &c. 
Seeing there was no getting rid of him, I said, ' Come, ' 
sir, sit down. I'll make a sketch, and see if I can't 
squeeze you in.' He sat down, and amused me amazingly, 
with all sorts of anecdotes about elections, and D'Israeli'a 
failure, &c. He had a head like a vulgar eagle — a com- 
plete specimen of a species nowhere to be seen but in an 
English country town. There sat a fellow before me, as 
Lord Brougham said, who cared for nothing, — shilt, shells, 
bayonets, or prisons — bottom to the bone — blood to tha 

340 MEMOIRS OP B, H. nATDON. [1893.- 

vitalsj — as if a gamecocb, a race stallion, a bull-dog, a 
mastiJF and a lion had been concerned in his propaga- 
tion. There he sat, as if defying the devil. I thought 
to myself, 'is there such another specimen on earth?' 
' They said to me,' said he, ' who is Col. Grey V ' Who 
is he ?' said I. ' When you buy a cock you ask who his 
father is. Well, if he is of a good hrccd you buv hinii 
Never mind who Col. Grey is, wc know his sire.' 

" I finished him. He took his leave. ' I hope to know 
more of 'ee, sir.' 'I hope so, sir;' and he went off, giving 
his name and address, — a genuine country squire, 

" 23rd. — Duke of Sussex sat smiahly. I never saw 
anything like it. He exceeds all my sitters for patience 
and quiet. There he sat smoking and talking. I felt 
quite easy, and sketched with more ease than I ever did 
before. He talked on all subjects. I hit him, and he 
was pleased. No interruption whatever took place. 

" I found him regarding the National Gallery now with 
a very different feeling to what he held before, and I 
plainly see I have had effect in high life. 

" 25M. — Finished the Duke of Sussex till he comes. 
There is literally as much difference between a royal 
person and a mere nobleman as between a nobleman and 
a mere plebeian. Such is the effect of breeding and habit. 

" 2Tlk. — Lord Plunkett sat, very amiably and quietly. 
He has an arch humour. 'When do you sketch O'Con- 
nell ? ' said one of his daughters. ' There is one thing,' 
said Lord Plunkett, ' If you could take liis head entirely 
off, you would do great good to society.' 

" Lord Plunkett said, ' You have put - — between the ■ 
candles. Pll lay my hfe be would be thinking of the 
expense of so much wax,' I thought I should have died 

with laughing, because actually said, as he looked at 

the candles, 'That's bad wax.' 'Why, sir?' said 1. 
' Because there is too much snuff j no good wax has any.' 

"April 18M. — Was at the House of Commons last 

, night, under the gallery. I was much amused. As I was 

waiting at the door of the entrance, an old wliite-headed 


man, of the Pitt and Fox days, said, lifting up the whites 
of his eyes, * They are at the Jews to-night : my God ! * 
as if the world was coming to an end at such an innova- 
tion. O'Connell, in the midst of great confusion, thundered 
out, ' I know I shall get no attention about Ireland ; go 
on, gentlemen, make as much noise as you like. It is 
only a bit of fresh despotism for lerrlan^! The House 
was dead quiet. Hobhouse, Hume, and Campbell made 
effective replies. When the question wa^ put about the 
Jews, the burst of ' Ayes' was sublime,— like a heavy 
volley of musketry, — while the scattering of the * Noes * 
was absolutely ridiculous. 

" May 16^A. — Mr. Coke and Sir Ronald Ferguson sat. 
Mr. Coke's head is the finest I ever saw — the only one I 
ever saw which I would choose for Aristides. This is a 
genuine unsophisticated opinion. He told some beautiful 
anecdotes of Fox. He said the first time he came into 
power he dined with him. He went on talking before the 
servants. After they were gone some one said, * Fox, how 
can you go on so before the servants ? ' * Why the devil,' 
said Fox, * should they not know as much as myself ? ' 

" Mr. Coke said he remembered a fox killed in Caven- 
dish Square, and that where Berkeley Square now stands 
was an excellent place for snipes." 

On the 17th Haydon sustained a bereavement in the 
death of one of his children, Alfred, a sickly but inter- 
esting boy between seven and eight years old. 

" August 20th. — Alfred was buried. Dear Fanny's 
co£S.n was taken out quite uninjured, and Alfred put 
under. I cried when I saw them both put together, who 
had been together in life, and were now in death insepar- 

*^ 2lst. — I expect Mr. Pendarves, and ought to be 
preparing for him ; but I am sitting still, staring at my 
picture, and musing on my boy's expression when he 

" Mr. Tom Duncombe sat yesterday, but I was very 

languid in the drawing. It is a painful struggle. 

z 3 

342 MEMOIRS OP B. E. HAYDON. [l833. 

" Put in Mr, Pendarvea well. Yesterday visited the 
grave of my children, close to Mrs. Siddons', whose name 
is almost obliterated." The birds were singing — thrush, 
blackbird, and linnet It is tiie prettiest burial-ground in 
England, except Shakespeare's. 

" Mr. Coke came late, and a most delightful sitting he 
gave me. He ia full of reminiscences. He told me a 
story of Charles Fox. One night at Brookes's, he made 
some remark on government powder, in aDusion to some- 
thing that happened. Adams considered it a reflection 
and sent Fox a challenge. Fox went out, and took his 
station, giving a full front. Fitzgerald said, ' You must 
stand sideways.' Fox said, ' Wliy I am as thick one way 
as the other.' ' Fire,' was given— Adams fired, Fox did 
not ; and when they said he must, he said, ' I'll he damned 
if I do. I have no quarrel,' They then advanced to 
shake hands. Fox said, ' Adams, you'd have killed rae if 
it had not been government powder.' The ball hit him 
in the groin, and fell into his breeches. 

" I asked him a question which interested him very 
much. I had heard Lord Mnlgrave say at table it was a 
fact that Charles Fox would have agreed to come in under 
Mr. Pitt latterly, as Secretary for Foreign Affairs. Mr. 
Coke said there was sucli a report, and he wrote Fox, 
saying if it were so they must separate. Fox assured hira 
on his honour it was not so, and he has the letter now. 

" Mr. Coke said Fox was as fond of shooting as a 
school-boy. He went out one morning. It came on to 
rain. Fox stood under some firs with a gamekeeper, who 
was a great talker. All the day it rained incessantly. 
As the ladies were all waiting dinner in came Fox. 
' "Where have you been, Charles ?' said Mr. Coke. ' Why 
talking to that fellow all day. There is hardly a man I 
can't get something from if he talks,' said Mr. Fox. 

" Mr, Coke said George IV. swore he would knight 
him once, when a very violent petition was coming up, 
fc brought by Mr. Coke. Mr. Coke said he had made up 
■ ' In Foddington new cliiirclt-;ard. 

1833.] ME. coke: AT THE BENCH: SIR JOSHUA. 343 

liis mind that if the King attempted it he would have 
knocked ofF the sword. 

"June 13th. — Oat. Went to the King's Bench. Called 

on poor D . I found hira just the same. While 

he was talking to me about hia prospects of getting out 
again, a little girl behind took up a pipe, and began to 
blow bubbles. I never saw such a moral. It aifected 
me. The bubble rose, glittering and trembling, hit 

against poor D "s head, and biurst. I gave Lini a 

little, and as I went down my old messenger was standing 
to receive me. He called out, ' God bless ye, Mr. Haydon; 
I was in hopes when I saw you, you had come in again.' 
' Thank you, my hero, you are very good.' ' How d'ye 
do, sir," said the turnkey, ' God bless you. You've quite 
deserted us.' ' Ah, Mr. Haydon,' said Joe Ward (one of 
the figures in Chairing the Member), ' You are looking 
quite fat and jolly.' I went away musing. 

" nth. — Being exceedingly exhausted I went out to 
take air, and look at Sir Joshua. Sir Joshua always de- 
lights and improves me. Lawrence looks by his side like 
a miniature-painter in large, and West like a skilful sign- 
painter. Sir Joshua had the true feeling. Ottley, who 
remembered him, said the first time be saw Sir Joshua he 
showed him a picture of the Continence of Scipio. Ottley 
said it put him in mind of Farmigiano. Sir Joshua seemed 
angry, for it was stolen from that painter. 

" While I was out the Duke of Sussex called. This is 
always the way. He sat quietly by himself looking at the 
picture. Lady Duncannon called. The Duke left word 
he would come in two or three days, and give me a 
sitting. Now I have hardly been out at that time of day 
for several weeks, and the first day I do in cornea H. II. 

" Lord Melbourne said the other night, ' I remember 
Reynolds. He was a hardworking old dog. When I sat 
to him, he worked too hard to be happy.' 

" This is exactly Lord Melbourne ! He is one of those 
three boj-s who are standing up in the picture, 

344 MEMOIRS OF B. R. HAYDON. [lB33. 

"20(A. — Mr. Coke sat with his two boys. He said 
when Burke was dying Fox went down to see liim : but 
Burke would not see Fox. When he came back Mr. Coke 
was lamenting Burke's obstinacy. ' Ah,' said Fox, ' Never 
mind, Tom, I always find every Irishman has got a piece 
of potatoe in his head,' 

" July 2nd. — Went to Lord Spencer's, by I^ord Lyt- 
tleton's desire, to see first editions, vellum copies, rare 
Boccacios, unaccountable Dantes, impossible to be found 
Virgils, and not to be understood first editions of Homer! 

" Met Sir C. Bagot, whom I remember Canning's pri- , 
vate secretary for foreign correspondence (1807). 

" Sir Charles Bagot said Michel Angelo's own copy of 
Dante, with a large margin and his designs, fell into the 
hands of the Bishop of Derry, and was lost going across 
to Marseilles. 

" Juli/ Glh. — Captain Spencer and Lord Althorp called. 
I had a remarkable evidence of Lord Althorp's goodness 
of heart. 

" The Whigs bad been d g Attwood for a radical 

and a fool, and begging me not to put him in. 

" Lord Althorp said, ' Ob yes, he was prominent in the 
cause. He ought to be in.' This was noble ; all party 
feelings vanished in his honest heart. 

" Lord Althorp was much pleased. 

" In reviewing my account of my sitters, they all seem 
to be amiable and delightful, and they really have been 
so. They came on terms of equality. I received and 
painted them like a gentleman ; they did not pay me, so 
there was no disagreeable feeling of employer and em- 
ployed. A more delightful time never artist had. 

" 18tJi — \9lh. — Attended Irish Church debate in the 
Lords closely, and with great advantage to the picture. 

" The Duke spoke well and without hesitation. There 
was a manly honour about his air, and when he read a 
quotation, to see bim deliberately take out his glasses and 
put tliem on was extremely interesting. He enforces 
what he says with a bend of his head, striking his band 


forcibly, and as if convincedj on the papers. He fiiiislied, 
and, to my utter astonishment, up started Lord Melbourne 
like an artillery rocket. He began in a fury. His 
hmguage flowed out like fire. Ho made such palpable 
hits that he floored the Duke of Wellington as if he had 
shot him. But the moment the stimulus was over his 
habitual apathy got a-head. He stammered, hemmed, 
and hawed. But it was the most pictorial exhibition of 
the night. He waved liis white hand ivith the natural 
grace of Talma; expanded his broad chest, looked right 
at his adversary like a handsom.e lion, and grappled him 
with the grace of Paris. 

" August \Qtk. — Hard at work, Duke of Cleveland 
sat. On the 29th ult, I was just beginning to work, 
when in rushed two sherifis' officers, saying they had 
an execution against my person. This was an aSair of 
three years standing. 1 had been secui'ity — paid half — 
the rascal had neglected to pay the other half, and they 
8ued me. Away I was hurried, almost bewildered. All 
my former agonies returned. I spent a day and a night 
of torture, absent from my family and children; I reco- 
vered my faculties, after very nearly putting an end to 
myself during the night. I wrote Mr. Ellice, who had 
expressed great sympathy. He sent Mrs. Haydon 50Z,, 
which released me at once. He wrote to the Duke of 
Cleveland, 50/. more came from him, and in a few hours I 
was as happy and as hard at work again as ever. 

" \Oth. — The picture is much advanced. Mr. Mac- 
kenzie, Mr. Ellice, and Mr. Geo. Lamb sat to-day. Mr. 
Ellice told a story of old Lady Rosslyn. Mrs, ■ was 

announced. When the women were bundling off, ' Sit 
still, sit still,' said old Lady R,, ' It is na' catching.' 

" \2tk. — Hard at work. Put in Charles Grey, and 
finished Mr. Poyntz. He said he lived formerly with 
Sheridan a great deal. Once when he was dining with him 
at Somerset- Ho use, and they were all in high feather, in 
rushed the servant, and said, ' Sir, the house is on fire ! ' 

346 MEMOIRS OP B, K. HATDON. [l833. 

' Bring another bottle of claret,' said Sheridan. ' It is 
not my house.' 

" I really begin to get sick of sitters,' and long to be at 
the general effect. The work ia beginning to tire me; 
ninety-sGvcn heads, all portraits ; I have not had a moment's 
rest for nine months. Lord Grey seems half-wom out, 
but not so much so as last year. 

" September 26tk. —Lord Melbourne sat, and I began 
a sketch of him. We got on art, I said, ' Why do you 
leave out the Academy in this Commission on Corpora- 
tions ?' He replied, ' You may have it in, if you please.' 
Hous verrons. ' What would have been the state of art,' 
be asked, ' if no Academy bad been founded ?' Ireplied, 
' When Reynolds, Hogarth, Wilson, and Gainsborough 
had started up without an Academy, did you found 
one to raise them? When Michel Angelo, Raffaele, 
Leonardo da Vinci, Titian, and Tintoretto bad flowered, 
they did the same in Florence and in Rome.' ' It was a 
great mistake,' Lord Melbourne replied. 

" S7th. — Lord Melbourne sat again to-day. I spoke to 
him about a scries of national subjects. He said, ' Nothing 
but abuse would follow the selection of any individual.' 
And supposing it did? What moral cowardice! I 
showed him the subjects. He approved of ail, but said, 
' If we subscribed 100/. a-piece, every man has bis 
favourite artist,' Of course : but the same complaints 
were made of Raffaele's selection. San Gallo and all the 
old boys complained that a young man had been employed. 
Would I had been born under a despot of taste I The 
will is wanting here. 

" October I Ith. — Lord Palmerston sat. We had a 
delightful conversation. I stuck it into liim well about 
the Elgin Marbles. I showed bim from his own wrist 
their truth in hands. I proved to him their science in 
the action of two feet and legs, and he acknowledged he 
now saw the cause of my enthusiasm. Lord Palmerstoa 

a sincere in this. 

' IS'M. — Lord Palmerston sat finally. I bored bim on 


Greek art, which he listened to with the most amiahle 
patience. I showed him drawings from dissections — ex- 
plained to him principles of form, which he entered into. 
It varied the monotony of sitting, but I fear he thought 
me a nuisance. 

" I'll/I. — Dined at Lord Palmerston'a. Met Baron 
Bulow, Baron Wesseoburg, the American Minister, Lord 
Hill, and a distinguished party. 

" I sat next to Lord Hill. I said, ' My Lord, I feel 
great interest in seeing your Lordship after reading so 
much about you.' ' Ah,' said Lord Hill, ' those days are 
past.' ' But,' said I, ' not forgotten.' He seemed pleased 
at my allusion, and came home with me to see tha 

" While in the carriage I said, ' My Lord, was there 
ever any time of the day at Waterloo when you desponded ?' 
' Certainly not,' he replied, ' There never was any panic ?' 
' No, There was no time of the day.' I said, ' I apologise ; 
but Sir Walter Scott asked the Duke the same thing, and 
he made the same reply.' Lord Hill said, in the simplest 
way, ' I dare say,' 

" He went into my parlour, and saw the portrait of 
Lord Durham, with his own writing under. On the left 
Napoleon's bed ; on the right, his column. 

" He was pleased at Lord Grey's picture. 

" 2lst, — Out the whole precious day in the city to 
beg time, and sign a cognovit, to get time for the balance 
of another. My sympathies involve me, 

*' ' Why do you give bills ? ' because I want time. 
' Wliy cognovits?' because people will not wait, first 
without bills, then without security ; but tliis is the way 
I have been always ruined. Time never stops, A man 
should never rest in his labours, especially with a family. 
On rolls the wheel till its movement is too strong to be 

" November Wlh. — The scene at the Lord Mayor's 
dinner at Guildhall last night was exquisite — the mis- 
chievous air of orer-politeness with which Locd .B — ■-- 


348 aiEU0IB3 OF B. K. HATDON. tlSS 

handed in the Lady Mayoress, — the arch looks of TjoI 

Melbourne, — the supercilious sneer of Lord S i 

citj affair,' as he called it. 

" In the ball-room I said to Lord S , * Loi 

Melbourne enjoys it,' ' There is nothing Lord Melbourt; 
does not enjoy,' said he. 

" Can there be a finer epitaph on a man ? It is true i 
Lord Melbourne, who is all amiability, good-humour, an 
simplicity of mind. 

" ilth. — Lord Althorp sat, and a very pleasant chi 
we had. He said, ' Do you paint portraits ? ' ' Ye 
my Lord.' ' I thought you were above it.' In the coun 
of sitting', he said, ' Do you think you could paint 
goodish portrait?' He has been tampered with. 

" I sketched him successfully. We talked of Cannini 
I said, ' Do you think Canning would have stopped n 
form?' ' No,' said Lord Althorp, ' he might have post 
poned it. He could not have stopped it." I said, ' Wlia 
do you think of Canning ? ' 'A man of splendid taleni 
who would have been steady when he had realised hi 
ambition by getting to the top,' said Lord Althorp. 
remarked, ' He was not to be depended on.' He assente< 
I then said, ' He was haughty to his inferiors,' ' He wi 
silent in general company,' said Lord Althorp. • Hoi 
Attwood has fallen,' said I. ' I always expected it,' sai 
Lord Althorp. ' What would have been the result. 
Lord,' said I, 'had his paper system been adopted? 
' A crash,' said Lord Althorp, 


" January Gth. — Improved Lord Grey, Lady Gres 
(lid not call, as I expected, Faddled, and made a capitt 
drawing from tlie naked modeh My heart yearned wii 
delight at seeing the naked figure again— its beautiill 
varieties, its unaffected grace, 

" IIM. — Lord Grey sat very pleasantly indeed, and 
.iinade, \a my own opinion, and that of Lord Lansdowne, 

1834.] LORD grey's AMIABILITY. 349 

successful drawing. Sir W. Gordon came in, and suggested 
one or two things of great use. He said the basis of Lord 
Grey's character was excessive amiability, and it was this 
which attached others to him. He wished me to soften 
one or two things : ' for instance, the brow,' said he ; 
* if a man was dressed it would not be up.' Lord Grey 
smoothed it down. Sir Willoughby little thought what 
a principle of art was here concealed, — dressed ! nature 
dressed ! 

" Velasquez would have gone 500 miles for such a brow 
and nostril as Lord Grey's, and to suit the weakness of 
modern effeminacy, I will not emasculate the one, or dress 
the other. 

" I have often wondered at the reason of the power and 
vigour I see in the heads of Vandyke. The age was less 
fastidious and dandy. Perhaps the manners were grosser, 
but they were more native. There was at least none of 
that meretricious mania for softening and polishing down 
all expression and character into one universal smoothness, 
void alike of truth and strength. 

" I4fth, — While we were talking on Saturday to Sir 
Willoughby Gordon, Lord Grey said, with the greatest 
simplicity of expression, ' What in God's name do you 
do with so many sentries ? What is the use of a sentry in 
Downing Street? Why at the end of the passage there's 
one, and two by the Duke of York's column, — what is the 
use of that ? When tl>e east winds come you'll have all 
the men laid up. That place is like a funnel.' 

" Lord Grey was quite right. It was fine to see his 
love of civil liberty playing in. Sir W. Gordon smiled 

" 24^A.-^I now close this book full of interesting 
matter. I have had opportunities of impressing the highest 
classes with the value of high design. But I found them, 
from Lord Grey downwards. Ministers and all, perfectly 

" Lord Grey said to me the other day he did not see 
much the value of drawing, ' Look at Reynplds and 

350 MExoiBs or B. E. hatdott. 

Corrcgto,' Baid be. Thii was not his own, bot Shee's. 
looked lierj, bat did not speak, because I could not 
without making him ridiculous. 

" Doign is tbe basIi of art, and a basis of sucb 
that manufactures, as well as art, rest in its excellence. 

" He does not see the atilitj of bringing the 
into London, He does not see the utility of leaving nxm 
for future beque&ts of old works, or future purchases of 
fine national works. He does not see tbe danger of i 
junction of the Academy and National Gallery under i 
roof. In fact, he likes the Academy, its dinner, its p 
traits, its inefficiency. 

" I have now put down my name for the Professorsl 
of Design at the London University. Shall I get 
No — though I am certainly the most fit man in Englai 
And here, as in art, I shall be driven to fling myself a 
my principles on public sympathy, and instead of i 
fluencing the people through tbe nobility, compel t] 
nobility through the better taste and knowledge of d 
people. I await the result only, when I ivill do it.* Di 
pressed 1 am not. It is not in my nature. I trust 
Cod. He who inspired me for a great purpose, wl 
has carried me through bo many shocks, will not 1 
me live in vain, but will render my life, death, or fcno" 
ledge, available to a great reform in my country's art. 

" February \&lh.^ — Called on Lord Alchorp and fou: 
him as good-humoured as usual. Amidst all this « 
went in to Lord Grey, and found him on the point 
setting off for Wohurn. He looked capitally well ; andj 
could not help thinking, as I looked at him, what a ve 
interesting head he had got, — peaceable, delicate, ai 
touching in expression. He agreed to come at the end 
the week. 

• How prophetic of my Lectures (Ifl3S). — B. R. H, 
f Here begins the 20th volume of the jouroals (marked on \ 
bsi'k " Whig Journnl "), with the motto from Job, " Behold, bap 
i» tbe man whom God correcteth, therefore despise not thon \ 
chantenini; of the Almighty." 


' " He objected to my putting Lord Durham's name on 
the standards. Lord Durham objects to be placed on the 
steps because he was Minister and at Petersburgh ; and 
so, between the two, Lord Durham will be out where he 
ought to be most specifically in, 

•' Put in Lord Durham's name concealed on a standard. 
Lord Grey won't find it out till it is too late. 

" One hundred years hence, when the picture is taken 
down to be cleaned, they'll soy, ' Bless me, here's Lord 
Durham's name — and Bentham's.' 

*' 22nd. — A very interesting day. At twelve I went 
to O'Connell's, and certainly his appearance was very 
different from what it is in the House of Commons. It 
was on the whole hilarious and good-natured. But there 
was a cunning look. He has an eye like a weasel. Light 
seemed hanging at the bottom, and be looked out with 
a searching ken, like Brougham, something, but not with 
his depth of insight. 

" I was first shown into bis private room. A shirt 
hanging by the fire, a hand-glass tied to the window-bolt, 
papers, hats, brushes, wet towels, and dirty shoes, gave 
intimation of * Dear Ireland.' After a few moments 
O'Connell rolled in in a morning gown, a loose black 
handkerchief tied round his neck, God knows how, a wig, 
and a foraging cap bordered with gold lace. As a specimen 
of character, he began, ' Mr. Haydon, you and I must 
understand each other about this picture. They say I 
must pay for this likeness.' ' Not at all, sir.' This is 
the only thing of the sort that has happened to me. 

" He sat down and I sketched him. We talked of 
repeal. ' What did ye think of me when X first started 
the question ! ' ' That you were mad,' said I. ' Do you 
not think, sir,' I said, ' that Ireland, being the smaller, 
must always be subject to England, the larger island ? ' 
' No,' said O'Connell. ' Is not Portugal a smaller country 
than Spain ? ' ' Yes, but she is a separate country.' 
" ' One great mistake of the Liberals,' said he, ' is their 

352 ICOCOISS OV B. X. trATIX)!E. (1« 

infidelitj. Now, tliere are do infidds to Ireland.' * tl 
(■id 1, ' they are too poetical.' 0*Connel] looked at a 
t» if tlie tliotight waa new and true. I succeeded in 1 
head. It is a head of hiLirit3r and good-huntonr, wlu 
his Do«e and ejea denote fceen cunniDg. His voice 
meiodioiu and penuasire, and there is a natural poetc 
about his mind that renders him interesting. There \ 
DO Ie» than lire papers in the room, in which O'Coniie 
read altenxately. He said, ' I got a scolding from Pt 
last night. I told him I spared him this once — but t 
next time — ' 

" 24(A. — A drawing-room. The Duke of ! 
being excused on account of his eyes, sent word he i 
ML Lord Saye and Seie sat first, and the Duke came 1 
half-past two. I made the room comfortable for him — 
lighted a candle for his cigars — pot a thick rug for 1 
feet, and the Duke said he felt quite comfortable. H 
Bcetned so, and we got into a regular political talk, 
for as the Catholic question for Ireland went, I go,' sai 
the Duke, ' but no further. Directly they got this the 
talked of Repeal. Then I hesitate. So with the di" 
scnters. The Test and Corporation acts were unjust: 
was right to repeal them. But when the dissenters begil 
to make this repeal only a ground for encroachment, thei 
I stop also.' 

" We talked of royalty. He said he did not think i 
was quite fair, after giving up the Royal domains, thU 
the Royal family should be obliged to sue in Jbrnti 
pauperis for subsistence. He said, ' We begin in debt, 
did not get an establishment till 1 was thirty.' 

" 26/A, — Lady Grey called, but she was not satisfied 
You can never please a lady in the portrait of her husband 
unless you give him a spice of that expression which woi 
her heart. Then she says it is exactly like him. 

" March \sf, — O'Connell sat. Just before he sat Lor( 
Spencer's secretary called. While he was yet with i 
O'Connell came in hia best wig, and looking in greal 
health and vigour. O'Connell has a head of great 3ent{>< 

1831.] o'coN^ELL. 353 

nient and power, but yet cunning. The instant he came 
in be looked at the picture, and said, ' Ah, there's Stanley ,' 
wilh a smite I never yet saw on his countenance ; — Mel- 
bourne, Graham, Russell, — Grey, but too handsome ; — 
AUIiorp, the bitterest enemy of Ireland, — but he shall 
never legislate for her.' 

" O'Connell was in great good-humour, and I begged 
him to give me a Iiistory of his early life. He did so 
immediately — explained their first meeting to consider 
the grievances of Catholics — their being interrupted by a 
company of soldiers, &c., &c. The poetical way in which 
he described the crashing of the muskets on the stones at 
' Order arms ' was characteristic. I said, ' It is somewhat 
ungrateful, after getting emancipation, to turn round and 
demand repeah' ' Not in me^ said O'Connell, ' I always 
said repeal would be the consequence of emancipation, and 
I always avowed such to be my object.' ' Do you think 
you will carry it?' 'Not a doubt of it,' said O'Connell. 
* If you get repeal, what will you do ? ' ' Have an Irish 
Parliament directly.' ' But an Irish Parliament,' said I, 
' was always corrupt.' ' Yes,' said he, ' in borougb-mon- 
gering times; but now there is a constituency. Besides, 
corrupt as it was, it carried important measures.' 

" I then varied ibc conversation, and told him some 
Irish stories, which he laughed at and retorted. I told 
him the highest compliment which was ever paid me was 
by an Irishman : — ' It is a pity that the hand which painted 
that picture should be ever under the turf.' O'Connell 
was amazingly pleased. He told me some capital stories. 
Some great big Irish counseller said to Curran, 'If you go 
on so I'll put you in my pocket.' ' By God, if you do,' 
said Curran, 'you'll have more law in your pocket than 
r you had in your head.' 

' ' Upon my word,' I said, ' you take up more time 

J in the House than you ought.' ' We can't help it,' said 

O'Connell. ' Don't you think the Irish people bar- 

[ baious?" said I. O'Connell was shaken, and he tried to 

I explaiu why they were not, but did not succeed. O'Con- 

TOL. II. A 4. 

354 MEMOIRS OF B. E. DATDON. [l834, 

nell spoke of himself with great candour. He said, 
' How could the Government expect, after the character 
and publicity I gained by emancipation, I could relapse 
into a poor barriBter? Human vanity would not per- 
mit it.' 

" He was pleased with my portrait, and said if I wished 
to paint him the size of life, he would give me an hour 
every Saturday. I shall begin him the size of life. I 
said, 'My room is a curious scene. I paint everybody 

from Lord Grey to ' ' The poor radical like me,' 

said O'Connell, I was going to say, ' Humble committee- 

" 'How they hore you,' said I, 'in the House about 
Barrett.' 'All,' said O'Connell, witli one of his wicked arch 
smiles, ' Barrett and I understand each other. He makes 
1500^. or 2000i a-year by being my organ,' 

" April \4tk. — Five minutes before two, dear Harry 
died. God bless him. 

" This boy was my favourite child. His character was 
noble, his talents great, he was as quick as lightning. 

" His passion foe the memory of Napoleon was extra- 
ordinary. He had a collection of Napoleon prints — two 
hundred — which every day after dinner he looked over. 
He used to stand for hours looking at'my Napoleon musing. 

" His organ of destructiveness was large, firmness great^ 
aud combativeness very large. 

" He talked of a charge of cavalry with rapture. 

" 18M. — The death of this beautiful boy has given my 
mind a blow I shall never eifectually recover. I saw him 
buried to-day, after passing four days sketching his dear 
head in the coffin — his,beautiful head '. What a creature ! 
"With a brow like an ancient god ! His heart was noble, 
his intellect extraordinary, and his sensibility deep and 
touching, with a figure and form as fiue as his beautiful 
head : — 

" Hia day witboDt a cloud wbb passed. 
And he was lovely to tbe last." 


" ^Srd. — Began Cassandra. God bless me through it. 

" Siih. — Advanced, Saw Lord Grey, and had a very 
interesting interview. I showed him my sketches to 
adorn the House of Lords, of a series of subjects to illus- 
trate the best government for mankind. He replied, 
• They are a fine series, but there is no intention I know 
of to take down the tapestry, and the House of Commons 
is in such a temper about expenditure, that I could not 
propose such a thing. For myself I have done as much as 
I can afford.' ' My Lord, I have no personal object with 
you individually. Do you think there is any prospect of 
Buch a mode of employment for me ? Could you under- 
take to sanction it?' Lord Grey replied, 'I could not.' 
He then said, ' I have no doubt you would get through 
them, and do the country honour.' 

" He said, ' How does your exhibition go on ?' ' Badly, 
my Lord, I am losing money every day.' ' I am very sorry 
for it,' he said. I said, 'My Lord, the middle classes do 
not come.' Lord Grey mused with an air of anxiety, and 
then said, ' The picture is not liked.' I said, ' My Lord, 
it is not so : I have never painted a picture more liked by 
the artists or the visitors.' 

" Lord Melbourne told me it was generally approved. 

" The fact is, the Government is not popular, and the 
middle classes give this exhibition a poUtical feeling. 

" A respectable tradesman at Charing Cross told me so, 
as I returned. 

" Here am I again, after nineteen months' fashion and 
prosperity, in necessity, with the chance of poverty and 

This refers to the picture of the Reform Banquet, 
which was exhibited towards thiti end of the month. But 
the agitation of the public mind was too great to allow 
them to feel interest in pictures — or at least this was the 
cause to which Haydon himself attributed a failure which 
]eft him once more in his usual straits. 

" Mtiff 2nd, 3rd, ilh. — Hard at work, very much em- 

356 MEJIOIES OF B. K. HATDON, [183-1. 

barrassed about my exhibition. Lord Grey is anxious 
because it has failed. I am on the borders of ruin. 

" ISlh. — Out the whole day on harassing pecuniary 

" It is really lamentable to see the effect of success and 
failure on people of fashion. 

" Last year all was hope, exultation, and promise with 
me. My doer was beset: my house besieged : my room 
inundated. It was an absolute fight to get in to see rae 
paint. Ah, that was the curiosity. Well, out came the 
work, — the public felt no curiosity, — it failed, and my door 
is deserted, no horses, no carriages, I said to Edward 
Ellice, ' I hope they won't let me sink.' 'You may de- 
pend," said he, ' you will not he let sink.' ' We shall see,' 
said I. 

" The morning he and Lord Durham set out for Paris, 
he came to my exhibition, said Lord Grey was not a 
little pleased, and wished me a good month of it. I wrote 
to him to say it had failed. He says, ' I can give you no 
advice.' J remind him of our conversation. No reply. I 
tell him I am sinking. No answer. 

" \5tfi. — Hill, member for Hull, called on me, and 
begged I would be in the lobby of the House at five, as 
Ewart, member for Liverpool, was to bring on his motion 
for a committee of inquiry at the Academy, and he would 
get me under the gallery. I went down. Out came Hill 
with Ewart. Mr. Spring Rice had been spoken to, and 
had assured him in all probability the Academy would 
never get into the National Gallery at all. At any rate 
they would be tenants-at-will. So he liad deferred Ms 
motion till next session." 

Haydoo had by this time begun a new picture, froin 
the Agamemnon of ^schylus, of Cassandra, who, at the: 
entrance of the palace of Mycenie, meets Agamemni 
returning victorious from Troy, and prophesies his im- 
pending fate. 

" Ju}ie iih. — Began again at Cassandra, after it had 
dried a month. 

" Now for executions, misery, insult, and wretchednesa. 


" I worked under continual depressions hardly to be 
borne. Mary is exasperated, what with nursing and 
harass, till her mind will certainly give in. My dear little 
infant Georgiana will be the sacrifice. In fact with such 
alternations of success and misfortune, first a palace, then 
a prison, a family can hardly be brought through. God 
only knows. I have sent a long letter to the Duke of 
Devonshire. No answer yet. Perhaps it will bo thrown 
among the begging letters. Improved Cassandra. 

" 1th. — Mary and I in agony of mind. All my Italian 
books, and some of my best historical designs, are gone to 
a pawnbroker's. She packed up her best gown and the 
children's, and I drove away with what cost me 40/. and 
got 4:1. The state of degradation, humiliation, and pain 
of mind in which I sat in the dingy hell of a back-room 
is not to be described. The Duke of Bedford had sal in 
the morning. I was in the House of Lords last night, 
the companion of princes, to-day in a pawnbroker's 

" Came home in exhausted spirits, and found 50/. from 
the Duke of Sutlierland, for a small commission. Such is 
life ! " 

Haydon had, some time before this, (as has been re- 
corded,) offered himself as a candidate for the Professor- 
ship of Design, which it was the design of the Council of 
the London University to establish. He was informed 
that his application would be unsuccessful, and withdrew 
hia name from the list of candidates. The design of 
founding such a Professorship was afterwards abandoned. 
As usual, Haydon attributed hia want of success to the 
secret influence of the Academy. Meanwhile Cassandra 
'was advancing, and to his great joy, on the 3d of July, he 
received a commission to paint it from the Duke of 
Sutherland, whose timely aid he had not now to acknow- 
ledge for the first time. 

" July 5th. — Began the Cassandra for the Duke of 
Sutherland. God bless me through it. Amen." 

In this month Lord Grey resigned. Haydon had con- 

358 MliMOlKS OF B. K. UAYBON. lltM. 

ceived a stroDg feeliiig of regard for him during iHe 
progress of tlie Banquet, and he was neither slow nor cold 
in his expression of it, on Lord Grey's retirement from 
office. I do not conceive, however, that I should be 
acting judiciously iik inserting here any of Haydon's 
political disquisitions or letters, which at this time are 
both numerous and long. He was an ardent reformer, in 
spite of his old high Tory predilections, and the favours he 
had received from the leaders of the Reform Ministry had 
strengthened the influences originally derived frona the 
spirit of the time. His political speculations sorely 
interfered with his painting, and the journals of last year 
and this show it in the diminished number of theii 

'* Jufy I9ih. — Advanced Cassandra beautifully. Tlie 
difficulty I have had to fall back into my old habits 
of study is scarcely to be believed. I was in a perpetual 
fever for nineteen months, excited by politics, mingling 
with political characters, regularly attending the House 
of Lords. I got so mixed up with public affairs that my 
art was almost forgotten ; though all this gave me an 
insight into the state of the nobility as to art, not to be 
obtained otherwise. 

" August 8tk. — Out in the morning in great pecuniary 
anxiety. Advanced in the evening the Cassandra. Wrote 
Lord F, L. Gower offering him the Birmingham drawing 

" 9lh. — Heard from Lord F. L. Gower, who declined. 
Worked hard and finished Falstaff and Hal. 

" lOih. — Called on Wilkie; found him at work od. 
Columbus. Wilkie'a thin paintings are too apparent. 
We had an interesting conversation as usual, 

" 13/A. — Worked hard. Wilkie called, looked in- 
teresting and kind. We had a grand consultation about 
Cassandra. I disapproved of the kneeling figure as too 
common, I showed the sketch where I had tried the 
horses alone. He suggested the altar, which I think may 
I'll try to-morrow. We were both pleased to see 

icb other again consulting. It is a pity we ever separated 



on academical politics. Perhaps we can never be so 
intimate as we were ; though we both seem hankering. 
He admired my dear eldest daughter, baby, and dear 
Mary, and went away with great amiability. 

" IGtk, — I awoke early. As I lay musing I thought 
' Lord Grey leaves Downing Street to-day. It is my 
duty to go, and take a last look.' Lord Grey was at 
breakfast with Lady Georgina and some one else. Lord 
Grey shook my hand heartily. I was affected, and as I 
shook his I thanked him for all his goodness to me. He 
looked at me, and was touched also, for my voice began 
to break. I never saw him looking better, fresher or 
stronger — no longer that horrid, gasping anxiety. I 
took my leave, and wished him health and happiness. 
Lord Grey was receiving my adieu as an official thing, 
but the moment my voice gave evidence of my sensibility, 
I shall never forget t!io look of his keen eye as he 
examined my face. I am sure it must have convinced 
him of my sincere feelings. I shall never see him again i 
there as First Lord.^ — 'Hail and farewell. I 

" He has done little for art. Let us see what I can do I 
now with Lord Melbourne. Lord Grey, with the greatest 
simplicity, thought he was advancing the art by housing I 
the National Gallery and Royal Academy under one ! 
roof. I first shook his belief, but it was too late for any I 
good. Tliey dine together, speechify, cajole, and gossip | 
over their wine, and the art is jobbed and ruined. I 

" 29M. — Closed my unfortunate exhibition. Lost 2301. 
ty it. God knows if I shall recover this. God protect 
my dear children. If they should be stopped in theiE 
education it will be their ruin. J 

" Tlie latter part of this month has been passed in I 
harass and disappointment. To-morrow I am threatened J 
with an execution for 18/. 6s. ; 5/. of which is sheer law! 
expenses. I have written the Duke, but if no answee'l 
comes to-morrow, my ruin will be certain. I 

I undertook the picture of the Reform Banquet for 5251. I 

1 have lost . . - . _ 330?. I 


" ThoB the price Is reduced to 295?. The citj was to 
have had a copy, which it has not commissioned me to 
paint, and never wilL But for the conuniasion of the 
Duke of Sutherland, I should have been crushed. And 
hut for the protection of my Great Protector in all things, 
I shall be crushed yet. 

" 30/A. — Went into the city in great misery, havinif 
raised II. lOs. by pledging valuable studies. Fletcher, 
the chairman of the city committee, gave me 10?. for some 
sketch he is to call and select. This relieved my mind. I 
called on my creditor, and begged to pay this 181, 6s. at 
5/. a week. He referred me to his attorney. I saw the 
attorney, a humane and worthy young man, who seemed 
shocked at a man of my fame begging mercy for my 
family. He promised no execution till he heard, and I 
came home comparatively happy for this promise, but 
alas it will be the same over again on Monday. Time lost, 
mind jaded, spirit irritated. 

" September Sad. — In the city all the morning, and 
after some trouble got a severe creditor to wait till the 
15th. While I was waiting for a friend who went to him 
for me, the New Post Office flashed in ray mind as 
adapted for Agamemnon's palace. I bought a sixpenny 
book and borrowed a pencil of the shopman, and made a 
sketch : when I came home I rubbed in a new back- 
ground, which 1 had been conceiving, and it is a great 

" September 3rd. — The background that the Post 
Office suggested yesterday is an immense improvement. 
To-day, after a week of misery, came 100?. from the Duke, 
and 10?. from Hill, M. P. for Hull, so that here I am 
up in key again. I drew for four hours with delight, and 
got all my figures nearly ready from the naked." 

Lord Melbourne being now at the head of the adminis- 
tration, Haydon availed himself of his easy good-humour 
and accessible habits to urge on him, as he had done on 

i predecessors for twenty years, the duty of providing 
public employment for artists. But the charming insoucy- 

1834.] EFFOETa Wnii LORD MELBODESE. 361 

ance of Lord Melbourne waa worse than the most frigid 
formality of any of his predecessors. He was always ready 
to listen when Haydon talked, but as to impressing him 
with any sense of the importance of the subject ! Here is 
one example, out of many, of these conversations between 
the pleasant Minister and the passionate painter. 

" Silk. — Called on Lord Melbourne; was very glad to 
see him and he me. We had a regnlar set-to about art. 
I went on purpose. I said for twenty-five years I have 
been at all the Lords of the Treasury without effect. 
The First Lord who has courage to establish a system for 
the public encouragement of high art will be remembered 
with gratitude by the English people. He said, ' What 
d'ye want?' ' 2000/. a year.' ' Ah," said Lord Melbourne, 
shaking his head and looking with his arch eyes, ' God help 
the Minister that meddles with art' 'Why, my Lord?' 
' He will get the whole Academy on hia back.' ' I have 
had them on mine, who am not a minister and a noble- 
man, and here I am. You say the Government ia poor : 
you voted 10,000/. for the Poles, and 20,000/. for the 
Euphrates.' ' I waa against 10,000/. for the Poles. These 
things only bring over more rei'ugees,' said Lord Mel- 
bourne. ' What about the Euphrates ? ' ' Why, my Lord, 
to try if it be navigable, and all the world knows it is 
not.' Then Lord Melbourne turned round, full of fun, 
and said, ' Drawing is no use, it is an obstruction to 
genius. Corregio could not draw, Reynolds could not 
draw.' ' Ah, my Lord, I see where you have been lately.' 
Then he rubbed his hands, and laughed again. ' Now, 
Lord Melbourne,' said I, ' at the bottom of that love of 
fun, you know you have a mine of solid sense. You know 
the beautiful letter you wrote me. Do let us have a re- 
gular conversation. The art will go out.' ' Who is there 
to paint pictures ?' said he. 'Myself, Hilton, and Etty.' 

' Etty ! why he paints old ,' said Lord Melbourne. 

' Well, come on Sunday at eleven.' ' I am going out of | 
town and will put my ideas clearly on paper.' ' Well, 
Sunday week. Will that do?' 'Tea, my Lord. Now, 


my dear Lotd, do be scrioiu aboat it. ' I will,* said li% 
looking archly grave, with his handsome face, aod 1 
naJfcd neck, for he was just out of his bed, id his d 
gonn. 'Gad, it is something to get him to say he will 
really listen : he has more sagacity than any of them. 

" I said, ' Do you occupy Downing Street ? ' He said* 
' Xo,' with hesitation. I fancy he fears his lease ; but he 
is a man fond of his leisure, and by keeping his hou»e ha 
is out of the way of bore till business hours. Lord Gr^ 
was always in iL 

" aOth. — Altered and improved the composition of C 
Sandra. My mind has recovered its tone, though thai 
dear boy Harry haunts me, and my harassings are really 
dreadful ; yet the lawyers are more disposed to be quie^ 
and to use me well." 

A sorry comment on this occurs four pages later, wherfl 
he has amused himself bitterly, by wafering on the leaved 
a half-dozen of lawyers' letters, in various moods of p& 

" Oct. 6th. — I am convinced long suffering from peco^ 
niary necessity affects the imagination. It magnifies diSi 

" 8th. — Worked hard — advanced Cassandra betteri 
Paid away right and left. Directly after the Duke'i 
letter came with its enclosed cheque, an executioa wM 
put in for the taxes. I made the man sit for Cassandra'i 
hand, and put on a Persian bracelet. When the broke] 
came for his money, he burst out a-laughing. There v 
the fellow, an old soldier, pointing in the attitude of Ca» 
Sandra— upright and steady, as if on guard. Lazarus' 
liead was painted just after an arrest; Eucles finished froii^ 
a man in possession ; the beautiful face in Xenophon iif 
the afternoon after a morning spent in begging mercy ol 
lawyers ; and now Cassandra's head was finished in agon^ 
not to be described, and her hand completed from \ 
broker's man. 

' \Glh. — Good God ! I am just returned from the tei 
rific burning of the Houses of Parliament. Mary and ! 


went in a cab, and drove over the bridge. From the 
bridge it was sublime. We alighted, and went into a 
room of a public-house, which was full. The feeling 
among the people was ex.traordinary — jokes and radical- 
ism universal. If Ministers had heard the shrewd sense 
and intelligence of these drunken remarks ! I hurried 
Mary away. Good God, and are that throne and tapestry 
gone with all their associations ! 

" The comfort is there is now a better prospect of 
painting a House of Lords. Lord Grey said there was no 
intention of taking the tapestry down — little did he think 
how soon it would go." 

Here is another of those hopeless struggles with the 
elasticity of Lord Melbourne. 

" I9th. — Called on Lord Melbourne, and after a little 
while was admitted. He looked round with his arch face, 
and said, * What now ?' as much as to say, * What the devil 
are you come about — art I suppose.' * Now, my Lord,' 
said I, ' I am going to be discreet for the rest of my life, 
and take you for an example.* I got up, and was eagerly 
talking away, when he said, * Sit down.' Down I sat, and 
continued, * Do you admit the necessity of state sup- 
port ? ' * I do not,' said he ; * there is private patronage 
enough to do all that is requisite.' * That I deny,' I re- 
plied, at which he rubbed his hands and said, * Ha, ha.' 
He then went to the glass, and began to comb his hair. 
I went on : * My Lord, that's a false view ; private pa- 
tronage has raised the school in all the departments where 
it could do service, but high art cannot be advanced by 
private patronage.' * But it is not the policy of this 
country to interfere,' said he. * Why ? ' * Because it is 
not necessary,' said he. * You say so, but I'll prove the 
contrary.' * Well, let us hear,' said Lord Melbourne : 
* where has art ever flourished ? In Greece, Egypt, Italy. 
How ? by individual patronage. *.No, my Lord, by the 
support of the state alone. Has it flourished in any 
country without it ? No. How can your Lordship ex- 
pect it in this.* He did not reply. * Ergo/ said I, * if it 

364 MEMOIHS OP B. R. HATDOIT. [1834, 

lias ilourislied in every country where state patronage ac- 
companied it, and if it has never flourished here, where 
there has been no atate patronage, what is the inference ! 
High ai't does not end with itsel/. It presupposes great 
knowledge, which influences manufactures, as in France. 
Wliy is she superior in manufactures at Lyons ? Because 
by state support she educates youth to design. It came 
out in committee, and Peel and Hume both acknowledged 
our general ignorance iu design was the reason of our 

" ' You aay you can't aflbrd it. In Lord Bexley's 
time the same thing was said, and yet 30,000^. was 
spent to build an ophthalmic hospital — it failed— 50007. 
was fetched by the sale of the materials, and 4000^. 
voted to Adams, for putting out the remaining eyes of 
the old veterans,' ' No doubt,' said Lord Melbourne, 
* a great deal of money has been uselessly spent.' ' I 
take the excuse of poverty as a nonentity,' I said. He 
did not reply. 

" ' Now, my Lord, Lord Gtey said there was no inten- 
tion of taking down the tapestry. It's down. A new 
House must be built. Painting, sculpture, and architec- 
ture must he combined. Here's an opportunity that 
never can occur again. Burke said it would ultimately 
rest on a Minister. Have you no ambition to be that 
man ? ' He mused, but did not reply. ' For God's sake. 
Lord Melbourne, do not let this slip — for the sake of 
art — for your own sake — only say you won't forget 
art. I'll undertake it for support during the time I am 
engaged, because it has been the great object of my life. 
I have qualified myself for it, and be assured, if high art 
sinks, as it is sinking, all art will go with it.' No reply. 
' Depend on ray discretion. Not a word shall pass from 
me ; only assure me it is not hopeless,' Lord Melbourne 
glanced up with his fine eye, and looked into me, and said, 
' It is not.' 

" There will be only a temporary building till Parlia- 
ment meets, There's lime enough." 


"20M. — Out to battle with lawyers; pawned all myj 
Birmingham studies for 5/., and my lay-figures for 41 1 
This was a great help. I was able to pay off balances. I j 
received 120/. a week ago, and it's all gone. 

" If tlie Duke had not been so kind, God only knows 
what I should have done. 

'* November "th. — All day at the background. Back- 
grounds are very serious affairs. The old masters put 
as little interest as possible into the background. 
Nothing but what would set-off and never interfere with 
the foreground. Now in the Agamemnon, victory and 
welcome from his people should be apparent, contrasted 
with the evil impending, and the inspired threatenings of 
Cassandra ; and yet any mark of triumph in the streets, 
Buch as tapestry, people huzzaing, &c. &c., seems to 
overpower the interest in front instead of adding to it. 

" 9th. — Sent down in the morning to know if Lord 
Melbourne could see me. He sent me back word he 
would receive me at one. At one I called, and saw hira. 
The following dialogue ensued, ' Well, my Lord, have 
you seen my petition to you ?' 'I have.' ' Have you read 
it ?' ' Yes.' ' Well, what do you say to it ? ' He affected 
to be occupied, and to read a letter. I said, ' What 
answer does your Lordship give? What argument or 
refutation have you?' 'Why, we do not mean to have 
pictures. We mean to have a building with all the sim- 
plicity of the ancients.' ' Well, my Lord, what public 
building of the aucieuts will you point out without pic- 
tures ? I fear. Lord Melbourne, since I first saw you, 
you are corrupted. You meet Academicians at Holland 
House. I am sure you do,' He looked archly at me, 
and rubbed bis hands. ' I do. I meet Calcott. He is a 
good fellow.' ' Good enough : but an Academician.' 
' Ha, ha,' said Lord Melbourne. ' Now, my Lord, do bo 
serious,' ' Well, I am : Calcott says he disapproves of the I 
system of patrons taking up young men to the injury of ■■ 
the old ones ; giving them two or three commissions, 

ing tbem die in a workhouse.' ' But if young i 


ate Dtrei to be taken op, how are lliey to become known ! 
But to return. Look at Guizot. He ordered four gieat 
pictures to com mein orate the barricades for the govern' 
nc-Dt. Why will not the Governmeut do that here? 
What is the reason. Lord Melbourne, that no £nglidl 
minister is anare of the importance of art to the manufac^ 
tures and wcahh of the country? I will tell you, my 
Lord, you want tutors at the Universities' — I was goinf[ 
on talking eagerly with my hand up. At that moment th^ 
door opened, and in stalked Lord Brougham, He held out 
his two fingers and said, ' How dy'e do, Mr. Haydon t * 
While I stood looking sta^ered. Lord Melbourne glaiicei 
at me and said, * I wish you good morning.' I bowed b 
both and took my leave. 

" I cannot make out Lord Melbourne, but I fear he i 
as insincere as the rest. The influence behind the curtail] 
is always at work, and if he meets Academicians at HoU 
land House, their art playing on his comparative igno* 
ranee chills him. 

" The first great opportunity was the million voted fat 
the new churches. I appealed to Vansittart. It came to 
nothing, though Lord Farnhorough really exerted himself. 
This is the next, — the new Houses of Parliament, and yet 
this will end in smoke too. The soil is bad, uncultivated. 

" llih. — Hardish at work; but no letter from the 
Duke to-day. Obliged to go out, in the middle of my 
dear delightful work, to see, argue and battle with lawyers. 
Came home in misery, and put in the drapery of Electra. 

" \2lh. — Harassed; threatened with executions ; Mary- 
rushed away to an old friend and got 6/. I was obliged 
to take down my five best engravings, rubbed out all the 
names, and got 5/. more. Mary packed up everything- 
she could spare, and we raised 31, 10*. on 40/. worth of 

" I5th. — Let this day stand blessed in the calendar; 
the ' dear Duke ' • (as the ladies call Wellington) has be- 

• The Duke of Sulheriand, wlio boil advanced the balance o: 
ce ofCasB^adra. 

2 of the ■ 


haved like a hero. I have tried his patience, but it was 
for his sake. God bless him and the Duchess, not for- 
getting me and Mary." 

This month Lord Melbourne followed Lord Grey, and 
with him, for the present, went Hay don's hopes of state 
encouragement for high art. 

*^ I8th. — Spent the whole day in Lord Grey's room, 
Downing Street, sketching every article for the picture of 
A Statesman's Fireside. Lord Melbourne returned no 
more. Lord Grey's furniture was moving. I mused about 
the room with deep feeling. There he sat the morning 
after the banquet. There I shook hands with him and 
Lord Althorp. I recalled conversations I shall never forget, 
and feelings I am proud of. The Duke takes possession 
to-morrow. How exactly it has turned out as I prophe- 
sied in letters during the Reform contest, — * Let the 
Whigs beware an eagle on the watch does not pounce in, 
and carry off the laurel due to them.' 

*' I think I had now better conclude my political career, 
and for the remainder of my life stick to my art. 

" 2Sih. — Called on Lord Melbourne and found him as 
hearty as ever. We had a set-to about art. He advised 
me to try Peel, which I shall do. He would not open 
his lips about politics. Lord Melbourne said he had 
talked to several artists about a vote of money, and they 
all said, it had better be let alone. * Who ? ' said L 
* Portrait-painters in opulence. Why do you not give 
me an opportunity to meet these fellows ? The fact is,* 
said I, * you are corrupted, you know you are, since I 
first talked to you. Calcott after dinner at Lord Hol- 
land's has corrupted you, sneered you out of your right 
feelings over your wine.' He acknowledged there was a 
great deal of truth in this, and laughed heartily. 

" He advised me to attack Peel, and told me how to 
proceed to get a sum in the estimates. This is exactly 
Lord Melbourne. He has no nerve himself; he seemed 
ashamed, and now, willing not to lose some of the credit, 
pushes me off on Peel. We shall see. 


'' 3l5#.— Last day of 1834. Thank God I have ^..t i; 
to it, and Cassandra is done except two trifles^ \' I i m^ 
hope to accomplish before night. I shall review th. , 
before twelve at night, and pray in, as I always t''(., i 
new year 1835. Now to work. 

" Worked and completed Cassandra. 

*^ Mary and I have endured this year great anx ■ i . 
The failure of Lord Grey's picture, and the rapid di .. 
sion of the 400 guineas from the Duke of Suthorl. » 
commission, to save ourselves from the bitter failure .r 
loss, shook us horribly. I applied myself vigoroi»s> 
finished Cassandra, trusted in God for subsistenc.\, •:. 
up to this hour, this last hour of 1834, have had it ; :' 



SpomswooDBs and Shaw, 


APR 1 6 2Dl)4 


3 9015 02393 9419