You have often heard of Rogers's house. It is not large; but the few rooms—two drawing-rooms and a dining-room only—are filled with the most costly paintings, all from some of the great galleries of Italy or elsewhere, most of which cost five or ten thousand dollars apiece. I should think there were about thirty in all: perhaps you will not see in the world another such collection in so small a space. There was a little painting by Raphael, about a foot square, of the Saviour praying in the Garden, brimful of thought and expression, which the old man said he should like to have in his chamber when dying. There were masterpieces by Titian, Correggio, Caracci, Guido, Paul Veronese, Rubens, Barochio, Giotto, and Reynolds. He pointed out the picture of an armed knight, which Walter Scott always admired. His portfolios were full of the most valuable original drawings. There were all Flaxman's illustrations of Homer and the Tragedians, as they left the pencil of the great artist. Indeed, he said that he could occupy me for a month, and invited me to come and breakfast with him any morning that I chose, sending him word the night before. From one poet I will pass to another,—Barry Cornwall. You remember Willis's sketch. He wrote for the public, and to make an interesting letter. I need not say that my object is to give you and my friends truthful notions of those in whom you feel an interest. Mr. Procter—for you know that is the real name of Barry Cornwall—is about forty-two or forty-five, and is a conveyancer by profession. His days are spent in the toilsome study of abstracts of titles; and when I saw him last Sunday, at his house, he was poring over one which press of business had compelled him to take home. He is a small, thin man, with a very dull countenance, in which, nevertheless,— knowing what he has written,—I can detect the ‘poetical frenzy.’ His manner is gentle and quiet, and his voice low. He thought if he could live life over again he would be a gardener. He spoke with bitterness of Lockhart, and concurred in Cooper's article on his ‘Life of Scott.’ He said that he himself had been soundly abused in ‘Blackwood’ and the ‘Quarterly’ for his ‘Life of Kean’ and his editing ‘Willis,’—though they had formerly administered a great deal of praise. He had not, however, read their articles; but spoke of them according to what he had heard. Airs. Procter is a sweet person; she is the daughter of my friend, Mrs. Basil Montagu, and has munch of her mother's information and intelligence. There is no place that I enjoy more than Basil Montagu's. He is simple in his habits, never dines out, or gives dinners. I step into his house, perhaps, after I have been dining out, at ten or eleven o'clock in the evening; and we talk till I am obliged to say ‘good morning,’ and not ‘good night.’ The Montagus have been intimate with more good and great people than anybody I know. Mackintosh, Coleridge, Parr, Wordsworth, Lamb, were all familiar at their fireside. Mr. Montagu is often pronounced a bore, because he perpetually quotes Bacon and the ancient English authors. But it is a pleasure to me to hear some of those noble sentences come almost mended from his beautiful flowing enunciation. Mrs. M. is one of the most remarkable women I have ever known. Dr. Parr always called Mr. Montagu by his Christian name,
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Chapter 16 : events at home.—Letters of friends.— December , 1837 , to March , 1839 .—Age 26 - 28 .
Chapter 17 : London again.—characters of judges.—Oxford.—Cambridge— November and December , 1838 .—Age, 27 .
Chapter 18 : Stratford-on-avon.—Warwick.—London.—Characters of judges and lawyers.—authors.—society.— January , 1839 , to March , 1839 .—Age, 28 .
Chapter 19 : Paris again.— March to April , 1839 .—Age, 28 .
Chapter 20 : Italy .— May to September , 1839 .—Age, 28 .
Chapter 21 : Germany .— October , 1839 , to March , 1840 .—Age, 28 - 29 .
Chapter 22 : England again, and the voyage home.— March 17 to May 3 , 1840 . —Age 29 .
Chapter 23 : return to his profession.— 1840 - 41 .—Age, 29 - 30 .
Chapter 24 : Slavery and the law of nations.— 1842 .—Age, 31 .
Chapter 25 : service for Crawford .—The Somers Mutiny.—The nation's duty as to slavery.— 1843 .—Age, 32 .
Chapter 27 : services for education.—prison discipline.—Correspondence.— January to July , 1845 .—age, 34 .
Chapter 28 : the city Oration,— the true grandeur of nations. —an argument against war.— July 4 , 1845 .—Age 34 .
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