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[383] object—so to speak—was the cartoons; I walked, therefore, hardly looking to the right or left, through twenty-four rooms lined with pictures of all sorts, good and bad, many blank spaces indicating that some of the better had been sent to Manchester, and at last, through crowds of people,—amounting, I should think, to nearly a thousand, —reached the somewhat ill-lighted room, built expressly for the cartoons by Sir Christopher Wren. They are certainly very grand. I remember the School of Athens and the Sibyls, in the Sistine Chapel, but, after all, I think the Preaching of Paul, and Peter and John at the Beautiful Gate, stand before anything in Rome. Indeed, as I have occasionally—when I was tired of work at the British Museum —gone into the sculpture-gallery, and stood before the works of Phidias there, I have come to the conclusion that these cartoons and the bas-reliefs from the Parthenon are, of all that I have seen, the highest efforts of the highest art. But nothing ever seemed so lost on those that came to enjoy them, as did these cartoons, to-day, on the people that lounged through the room, during the hour and an half that I was in it. Their number must have been nearly two hundred. Not one stopped. Many turned away from the cartoons, and looked out of the windows to see a poor fountain in the court-yard and the gold-fish in the basin. Yet they were well dressed and looked intelligent. Certainly they had stopped to enjoy the good pictures of the Italian and Dutch schools, and the Sir Peter Lelys, in the multitudinous rooms before they reached the cartoons, for I saw them doing it.

On my way home I stopped half an hour at Holland House, where Lady Holland was giving her third and last fete champetre . . . . It was like the others, and, as far as I could see, the same people every time. Nothing of the kind, I hear, has been given in England so beautiful . . . .

I was very tired, and little inclined to go out again; but everybody at Lady Holland's, to whom I spoke about it, said I must go to the evening exhibition of the Academy of Arts. So I went, and found they were right. The pictures and sculpture—both moderate— . . . . I had seen before. But the illumination this evening made everything brilliant, and the company . . . . comprised, it seemed to me, nearly everybody I know in London; and, what was more, everybody seemed animated, talkative, and unconstrained; things not uniform or universal in English society. The Hosmer had stayed in order to be present to-night, and she had the benefit of it. She came rather late, and I had talked about her Cenci with Eastlake, Waagen,

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