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It was done at the time that the House of Commons appointed a Committee to enquire into :he cruelties exercised on prisoners in the Fleet, to extort money from them. The scene is the Committee; on the table are the instruments of torture. A prisoner, in rags, half ftarved appears before them ; the poor man has a good countenance that adds to the interest. On the other hand is the inhuman gaoler.. It is the very figure that Salvator Rosa would have drawn for Iago in the moment of detection. Villany, fear, and conscience, are mixed in yellow and livid on his countenance, his lips are contracted by tremor, his face advances as eager to lie, his legs step back as think. ing to make his escape ; one hand is thrust precipitately into his bofom, the fingers of the other are catching uncertainly at his buitouholes. If this was a portrait, it is the moit speaking that ever was drawn; if it was not, it is still finer.
• It is seldom that his figures do not express the character he in-, tended to give them. When they wanted an illustration that colours could not bestow, collateral circumstances, full of wit, supply notes.
The Nobleman in Marriage à-la-mode has a great air--the coronet on his crutches, and his pedigree issuing out of the bowels of William the Conqueror, add his character. In the breakfast, the old steward reflects for the Spectator. Sometimes a short label is an epigram, and is never introduced without improving the subject. Untortu. nately fome circumstances, that were temporary, will be lost to posterity, the fate of all comic Authors; and if ever an Author wanted a commentary, that none of his beauties might be loft, it is Hogarth-not from being obscure (for he never was that but in two or three of his first prints, where transient national follies, as lotteries, free-masonry, and the South Sea were his topics), but for the use of foreigners, and from a multiplicity of little incidents, not essentials, but always heightening the principal action. Such is the spider's web extended over the poor's box in a parish church; the blunders in architecture in the nobleman's seat seen through the window, in the first print of Marriage à-la-mode; and a thousand in the Strollers dresling in a Barn, which for wit and imagination, without any other end, I think the best of all his works : as for useful and deep fatire, that on the Methodists is the most sublime. The scenes of Bedlam. and the gaming-house, are inimitable representations of our serious follies or unavoidable woes ; and the concern fhewn by the Lord Mayor when the companion of his childhood is brought before him as a criminal, is a touching pictu e, and big with humane admonition and reflection.
• Another instance of this Author's genius is his not condescending to explain his moral lessons by the trite poverty of allegory. If he had an emblematic thought, he expressed it with wit, rather than by a symbol. Such is that of the whure's setting fire to the world in the Rake's Progress. Once, indeed, he descended to use an allegoric personage, and was not happy in it: in one of his election prints, Britannia's chariot breaks down, while the coachman and footman are playing at cards on the box. Sometimes too, to please his vul. gar cuitomers, he flooped to low images and national fatire, as in the two prints of France and England, and that of the Gates of Calais. The last indeed has great merit, though the caricatura is carried to
excefs. In all these the painter's purpose was to make his countrymen observe the ease and affluence of a free government, opposed to she wants and woes of slaves. In Beer-street, the English butcher tolling a Frenchman in the air with one hand, is absolute hyperbole; and what is worse, was an after-thought, not being in the first edition. The Gin-alley is much fuperioar, horridly fine, but difgufting.
• His Bartholomew-fair is full of humour; the March to Finch. ley, of nature; the Enraged Musician tends to farce. The Four Parts of the Day, except the last, are inferior to few of his works. The Sleeping Congregation, the Lecture on the Vacuum, the Laughing Audience, the Consultation of Physicians as a coat of arms, and the Cockpit, are perfect in their several kinds. The prints of Industry and Idleness have more merit in the intention than execution.
It may appear fingular, that of an author whom I call comic, and who is celebrated for his humour, I should speak in general in so serious a ftile; but it would be suppressing the merits of his heart to consider him only as a promoter of laughter. I think I have thewa that his views were more generous and extensive. Mirth coloured his pictures, but benevolence defigned them. He smiled like Socrates, that men might not be offended at his lectures, and might learn to laugh at their own follies. When his topics were harmless, all his touches were marked with pleasantry, and fun. He never laughed like Rabelais at nonsense that he imposed for wit; but like Swift combined incidents that divert one from their unexpected encounter, and illustrate the tale he means to tell. Such are the hens roosting on the upright waves in the scene of the Strollers, and the devils drinking porter on the altar. The manners, or costume, are more than observed in every one of his works. The very furniture of his rooms describes the characters of the persons to whom they belong; a leffon that might be of use to comic authors. It was reserved to Hogarth to write a scene of furniture. The rakes levee-room, the nobleman's dining-room, the apartments of the husband and wife in Marriage à-la-mode, the alderman's parlour, the poet's bed-chamber, and many others, are the history of the manners of the age.'
Mr. Walpole now proceeds to estimate Mr. Hogarth's merits as a painter, and to mention the circumstances of his life. He was born, we are told, in the parish of St. Bartholomew, London, the son of a low tradesman, who bound him to a mean engraver of arms on plate.
We have reason to think that Mr. Walpole has been mir. informed in regard to Hogarth's father. He came from Westmoreland to London, to push his fortune, in company with Dr. Gibson, the late learned Bishop of London's brother, and was employed as a corrector of the press, which in those days was not considered as a mean employment. He appears to have been a man of no inconsiderable learning, from a Dictionary in Latin and English which he composed for the use of schools, a copy of which we have now before us in his own hand-writing. Nor was the person, to whom Hogarth was bound, a mean en
graver of arms. His name was Gamble, an engraver on filver, at the head of his bufiness, and an eminent filver-smith.
In regard to Hogarth’s Sigisinonda, we cannot but think that our Author speaks too contemptuoufly of this picture, and that there is no ground for the infinuation that the person for whom it was painted thought meanly of it. We have in our poliefion a letter to Hogarth from the noble person referred to, in which he expreffes himself in the following terms- I really think the performance fo ftriking and inimitable, that the constantly having it before one's eyes would be often occafroning melancholy ideas to arise in one's mind, which a curtain being drawn before it would not diminish in the least.
We shall make no apology for inserting these particulars. Mr. Walpole has too much candour to be offended with the mention of them.
Mr. Walpole concludes this chapter with a catalogue of Hogarth's prints, for the use of collectors, being himself possessed of the most complete collection of them that is to be found, and likewise of what few sketches had not been forced from him by his friends.
The fifth chapter contains an account of painters in enamel and miniature, statuaries, and medallists, in the reign of George the Second. We shall lay before our Readers part of what he fays concerning Rysbrach.
• Our talte in monuments, till Rysbrach's time, depended more on masonry and marbles than ftatuary. Gothic.tombs owed their chief grandeur to rich canopies, fretwork, and abundance of small niches and trifling figures. Bihops in cumbent attitudes, and crosslegged Templars, admitted no grace, nor required any. In the reigns of Queen Elizabe:h and King James the First, a fingle figure, reclining at length on the elbow, in ribes or Sergeant's gowns, was commoniy overwhelmed and furrounded with diminutive pillars, and obelisks of various marbles ; and if particularly sumptuous, of alabafter gilt. Gibbs, in the Duke of Newcaitle's monument in the Abbey, feems to have had an eye to that kind of talleless expence. From the reign of Charles the First al ar.tombs or mural tablets, with clierubims and faming arms, generally satisfied the piety of families. Bird, indeed, bellowed buits and bas-reliefs on those he decorated, but Sir Cloudesley Shovels, and other monuments by him, made men of taste dread such honours. Now and then had appeared a ray of simplicity, as in Sir Francis Vere's and Captain Hollis's tombs. The abilities of Rysbrach taught the age to depend on ftatuary for its best ornaments, and though he was tou fond of pyramids for backgrounds, his figures are well disposed, simple, and great. We seem tince to have advanced into scenery. Mr. Nightingale's tomb, though finely thought, and well executed, is more theatric than fepulchral. The crouds and clusters of tombs in the Abbey have imposed hard conditions on our sculptors, who have been reduced to couch obelisks in A anting windows, and rear maffes into the air, while St. Paul's re
mains naked of ornaments; though it had better remain so, than be subjected to the indiscriminate expence of all who are willing to in. dulge their vanity.
• Besides numbers more, Ryforach executed the monument of Sir Isaac Newton and of che Duke of Marlborough at Blenheim, and the equettrian ftarue in bronze of King Williain ac Bristol in 1733, for which he received 18col. Scheemaker's model, which was rejected, was however to well designed, that the city of Bristol made him a present of 50 l. for his trouble. Ryfbrach made also a great many buits, and most of them very like, as of Mr. Pope, Gibbs, Sir Rá berc Walpole, the Duke and Duchess of Argyle, the Duchess of Marlborough, Lord Bolingbroke, Woolton, Ben Jonson, Butler, Milton, Cromwell, and himself; the statues of King George the First, and of King George the Second, at the Royal Exchange; the heads in the Hermitage at Richmond, and those of the English worthies in the Elysian fields at Stowe.
• This enjoyment of deserved fame was at length interrupted by the appearance of Mr. Scheemaker's Shakspeare in WertminsterAbbey, which, besides its merit, had the additional recommendation of Mr. Kent's fashionable name, I shall say something hereafter on the defects of that delign. It however hurt the vogue of Mr. Rys. Biach, who, though certainly not obscured, found his business decline, as it was affected conliderably afterwards by the competition of Mr. Roubiliac; and no merii can chain the fickleness of fashion. Piqued at Mr. Scheemaker's success, Rysbrach produced his three ftatues of Palladio, Inigo Jones, and Fiamingo, and at lait his chefd'auvre, his Hercules; an exquisite summary of his skill, knowledge, and judgment. This athletic statue, for which he borrowed the head of the Farnesian God, was compiled from various parts and limbs of seven or eight of the strongest and belt made men in London, chiefly the bruisers and boxers of the then flourishing amphitheatre for boxing, the sculptor selecling the paris which were the most truly forined in each. The arms were Broughton's, che breast a celebrated coachman's, a bruiser, and the legs were those of Ellis she painter, a great frequenter of that gymnasium. As the games of thai Olympic academy frequently terminated to its heroes at the gallows, it was foon after suppresled by ait of parliament, so that in reality Ryfbrach’s Hercules is the monument of those gladiators. It was purchased by Mr. Hoare, and is the principal ornament of the noble temple of Stourhead, that beautiful assembly of art, tafle, and landfcapes.?
Mr. Walpole bestows only a few lines on Roubiliac, who, we are told, had little business cill Sir Edward Walpole recommended him to execute half the busts at Trinity College, Dublin. By the same patron's interest he was employed on the monument of John Duke of Argyle, in Westminster-Abbey, on which the statue of Eloquence is very masterly and graceful; but his statue of Handel, in the garden at Vauxhall, fixed his fame. Two of his principal works, our Auther fays, ' are the monuments of the late Duke and Duchess of Montague in Northamptonshire, well performed and magnificent, but wanting fimplicity.
The sixth chapter of this volume contains an account of the architects in the reign of George the Second, a reign, in which; Mr. Walpole says, Architecture resumed all her rights. Noble publications of Palladio, Jones, and the antique, recalled her to true principles and correct taste; she found men of genius to execute her rules, and patrons to countenance their labours.
• She found more, continues our Author, and what Rome could not boast, men of the first rank who contributed to embellish their country by buildings of their own design in the purest style of antique composition. Before the glorious close of a reign that carried our arms and victories beyond where Roman eagles ever flew, ar. dour for the arts had led our travellers to explore whatever beauties of Grecian or Latin tafte still sublisted in provinces once subjected to Rome; and the fine editions in consequence of those researches have established the throne of Architecture in Britain, while itself languishes at Rome, wantons in tawdry imitations of the French in other parts of Europe, and truggles in vain at Paris to furmount their prepoffeffion in favour of their own errors---for fickle as we call that naiion, their music and architeciure prove how long their ears and eyes can be constant to discord and disproportion.'
Mr. Walpole now proceeds to give a very short account of Leoni, Servandoni, Thomas Ripley, Batty Langley, and then goes on to Henry Herbert Earl of Pembroke Thé foul of Inigo Jones, says he, who had been patronized by his anceftors, seemed still 10 hover over its favourite Wilton, and to have affifted the Muses of Arts in the education of this noble person. The towers, the chambers, the scenes which Holbein, Jones, and Vandyck had decorated, and which Earl Thomas had enriched with the spoils of the best ages, received the last touches of beauty from Earl Henry's hand. He removed all that obstructed the views to or from his palace, and threw Palladio's theatric bridge over his river: the present Lord has crowned the summit of the hill with the equestrian ftatue of Marcus Aurelius, and a handsome arch designed by Mr. Chambers.
• No man had a purer tafte in building than Earl Henry; of which he gave a few specimens, besides his works at Wilton. The new lodge in Richmond Park, the Counters of Suffolk's house at Marblehill, Twickenham, the water-house in Lord Orford's Park at Houghton, are inconteftible proofs of Lord Pembroke's taste. It was more than taste, it was passion for the utility and honour of his country, that engaged his Lordship to promote and alliduously overlook the construction of Westminster Bridge, by the ingenious Monsieur Labelye, a man that deserves more potice than this flight encomium can beftow.-Charles Labelye died at Paris in the beginning of 1762. I know no particulars of his life : a nionument he cannot want while the bridge exifts.'
Our Author introduces his account of Richard Boyle Earl of Burlington with observing, that protection and wealth were never more generously and more judiciouly diffused than by this great person, who had every quality of a genius and 2