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Memoirs Of William Beckford
few minutes , as he had just returned from hw early ride . HewS at breakfast , and if he knew that we were SlrXnTt 6 wnr Ws hreakfast would be sent aw ^ ntouched' ^ Of course we did not wish to interrupt him . S 2 waiting a very short time , we were introduced to him ta the front parlour of his house in the Crescent . HThad been sitting , but rose up instantly * s we entered , rushing towards ns , and holding out both his hands . " Well , my dear sir , " said he , " here you are at last How ddighted I airi to meet you in my own territories ! 5 o ^ you shail see with your own eyes whether all the stories I have told you about Lansdown , which your unbelieving eves have often betrayed to me you Soughrefthe / fabulous or very highly coloured , are true or not . Come , what ' s your first impression ? I glanced quickly round the room , and I /« PP <> Y loot ? , or , as he often said , my eyes , betrayed that I was ¦^ CrSftffitad ! Well / sit down fbr a mom ^ and then we'll begin our pilgrimage . O you of little ^ laughed heartily as besaid this Those who ever tne
S & SSaSSX ^ mmmMm WMimm S ^ sfKi -viSS afternoon ' s ride had arrived , I proposed taking leave 01 M How . long do you stay here ? " he asked . _ . ' "
heard it cannot forget compuc u , " AtThP fiwt ' ment of his loud and ringing laugh . At the fin , t glance there was little of any artistic consequence m the ? oom . The articles it contained were all in very good taste , and « pretty" would be the term rightly employed m Afte " talking for a fewminutes and congratulating him on his good looks , I said that I had heard he had bought the house next him ; that I supposed his books and curiosities h ad so outgrown his present house that he was forced to buy another , in order to havea place to put them ; and I wished him joy in the amusement it would afford him in fitting it up and decorating it . "No * I am not going ttiUB . t it up at all ; I am going to leave it exactly as it is . " " But why so ? " - I asked . " Why have you bought it ? Perhaps I have been misinformed . ' « No , I have really bought it ; but the reason at present must remain a most profound mystery , q" *^ deep as Barkiarokh and the other Vathek episodes . But don't be alarmed , restrain your impatience , and in . dip time you shall know all . Now , let ' s set forth on our P a iSn ? wed us first the pictures hanginginthe room ia which we were . Among these were several fine but -small specimens of modern English artists . There * as Tvery good sketch by West , for his large picture of - LearTwhich he considered , with justice , «* % * JJ J" * productions . There was also a curious and fine picture L . n early Italian artist , Sandio Boticelh . _ lie then ot
skis Sir" ^ Jas Mfcra * Ste ^ -. ^^ rSK ? morn i"V you shall drive up to the trtrer , look over it , £ > d come bnck here , and tell me what you think or it j the earriMK Is yours as long as you stay here . 1 hi » 1 caU merelf ^ passing call-a real Tl . it of «¦ " ? «•*• ™« sTui ofve me , and the sooner you get out of debt the hotter shall I be pleased . " , . b AVe tool leave , and the next morning we were driven up to the tower . The exterior of th £ building is top well known to require description . On our arrival to my infinite surprise I . found his-horses waiting at the . . entrance . His confidential servant was also in attendance , and informed me that ' hisHonour , ' as he invariably termed his master , was waiting at the top of The ower for me , I ran up , and lie met me as I reached the top ; catching hold of both my hands in-Ji . s own , ind shaking them heartily , he cried : * « Welcome to Lansdown Tower I" as the , « fldwomen aay , « long-looked for , come at last ! I am delighted to see you up here . Look round ; does this disappoint :. « ,,. ? Have I exasperated ? ho ! I see at once you are
threw back a curtain , for , with the exception «« ««« £ doors to each snite , the whole of the apartments had curtains instead of doors . We then entered a library , containing some of the most wonderful copies of embellished works it is possible to imagine . It was full oTunique large paper copies , with the ^ l ^ Zi crarlist * of the plates , and in many ^ ases etchings and original drawings were inserted . I remarked in this as well as in every other room in the house—for , in fact , every room in the house was a library—that the books appeared to be placed without the slightest regard to order . A work of the fifteenth century , probably treating of some curious religious subject , was placed next an edition of La Fontaine , or a work of a similar period . But Mr . Beckford appeared to te . ableto find anything in a moment , and ran , about in evident delight , pulling out one book after another , and exclaiming , " ' Good Heaven ! did you ever see anything like this ? Look at these delicious impressions ! --only _ see the purity of this paper!—here ' s no trick , no retracing , no washing—everything as pure as the day it was printed . " W next room was fitted up in the style of an ancient Grecian library , and the subdued light produced an almost magical effect . Between the ceiling and the top of the book-shelves were arched recesses , in which were placed Bome roost niagniflcent Etruscan vases . It . was altogether a place admirably . adapted for study . The ¦ were also aome most marvellous-books , and on a tabu in the centre choice productions of ancient enamelled dbckwwi
pieased-you can ' t deceive me ! that ' s quite impos-¦* Unfortunately , the morning was rather hazy , and the prospect was not so enchanting as in fine gather it must necessarily be ; but even then it was delightful . The view was most extensive , looking over a beautifully undulating country , and , as he justly ^ ^ ' ^ L h the very highest interest , as every reader of English h story was too well acquainted with to need mentioning '' When you have enjoyed this enough for one morning , we will descend ; for we have some wonders Jo exhibit here , almost , passing the bounds of human belief , he said jestingly . Then , laughing loudly , and bowing to the lady , he preceded us down the circular staircaae covered with rich dark carpet from top to bottom . ¦ \ t e descended almost to , the base , and ^ ntered * room , of the size of which , from the outside , I bad not the slightest C Baiwe are already much beyond the . limits wo had prescribed to ourselves when we first took up these volumes . The reader must 50 to thorn Himself if he would enjoy an insight into the contents of that wonderful tower , and we can promise him that he will not be disappointed . The fairy palaco of the Banou Peri falls into the shade by the side of its description . In parting with his guests we recognise the portrait of a finished gentleman of the old school : — . he 11 is to ino
ware . Another curtain was thrown , « . » - £ 5 a sombre passage , the only light to which was ^^^^ -JffftSa . -I r Sh V ? h ° " 2 Solt properly cJll a Grecian library , forso it J . Now , bad / not bought this house , I should have been porpTuali jannoyed by the ticking ^ . ^ SS ^& SS Jingling of some beastly piano , horrid-toned bell * tinkling , Indso on . The only way to avoid this was by buying the howe ; and so I bought It , to the infinite annoyance Sd wtonishmont of the Both aristocracy—an odd breed , ** wKurned to the left , in this passage and entered another room on theground floor , ^^ Sfij" « j * some amazingly flnb specimens of china . Unuor tno SSSSnw soVwl drawers of oak all , m everystores of Jewels of all descriptions , including a magnificent peart necklace and an inflnite number ^ » Sftt « Ind jade . caps . Wo then ascended a dimly lighted itaJrcM 0 , Rn 4 came to two drawing-rooms , loading one
When we reaqhed the stops , gave arm lady , handed her into the carriage , and waited with hia hat off till we drove awny . The party then proceed to Mr . Beckford s residence in tho Crescent , and again the lover of books , of paintings , of old china , gems , and of all that is costly and raro , is referred to the book itself . We quote but one passage here , because the love of flowers waa indeed a passion , a part of his nature , which he could never control : — I Jin some of the rooms wore vases of the finest flowers , which wore constantly renewed . Ho could not live without having thonvabout him , and ho arranged them hlmseif ui the most tasteful manner . This habit he continued when in London , and , besides his purchases at tho suburban nurseries , considerable quantities wore every day sent up to hhn from his own gardens . " After passing a delightful and Instructive day , wo loft him } but ho ' would not lot mo go before I promised to coma and spend a considerable time with him as soon as I possibly could . ' With all thoir faults , these volumes desorvp to meet
with much indulgence , -and we are bound to acknowledge that it is the best biography which exists of a man whose name and authority on all . matters connected with literature and art are destined to beheld in profound respect by remotest , posterity To the author , pur thanks are therefore iustly due for having preserved many fleet- . incr memorials of this extraordinary man , who , scornin" the world ' s aspersions , spurned it from him livm" in an Art-world of his own , beloved and ' eherished by those who knew him , and whose death was sincerely mourned by the poor around , for he was liberal and kind to all who were really in necessity and want . Though he gave large sums away in charity , he would never suffer his name to appear in printed lists of subscriptions , which he called " advertising good deeds , which ought to be done in secret . " To such an extent did he carry his feeling , that , even if he sent relief , often to a considerable amount , to private persons , he enjoined the greatest secrecy , forbidding at the same time , all acknowledgment of the gilt . His ^ liberality to street beggars was well known , and the story of his throwing a handful ot silver and gold into the hat of a poor cripple , with the words , " Indeed , you are an object of chanty ! is mentioned at page 29 S of . the second volume In town he never went out without a considerable sum in silver , loose in his pocket , all of winch had first been Washed by his confidential servant , which . he freely distributed to the poor as he rode-along . His domestics . had all grown old 111 his service , and those who . recollect his house 111 . Lansdow . 11-crescent cannot fail to call to , nimd two m particular , Pero the dwarf , las old porter at . lonthill and Vincent the gardener , who , had- planted a ereafc part of its grounds . He had the power ot attaching persons to him in a far greater degree than molt men , and very few have ever been more beloved by their tenantry and servants , than he was both at Fonthili-and . Bath . He died in hiseighty' fifth year , on the 2 nd of May , lS ^ the Dudhebs of Hamilton , who was present , closing his eyes . Ihc world has Styled him an infidel , yet there arc many still livin * who know how kindly , in the hour ot adversity , h ° e .. would assist them , not only with money but advice , urging them to hope , and adding , Aul yourself if you can , but never mistrust Providence .
¦ 12 — ¦——
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¦——THE DEADER . [ No ^ 5 S 9 January 1 , 1859 .
Proverbs With Pictures. Proverbs With Pi...
PROVERBS WITH PICTURES . Proverbs with Pictures . By Charles II . Bennett . Chapman mid Hall . Since the publication of the well-known series of sketches , called Sha dows , ^ . C . H . Bennett has deservedly taken a foremost rank amongst the caricaturists of the day . His humour , to some extent original , is of a reflective and philosophic kind , while his drawiu" belongs more to the . school of Cruiksliank than of Leech . Though there is a hardness m some of his sketches , and a want of grace in his female figures , he compensates us for these deficiencies by his quamtness of idea , his invention , and his abundant resources of thought . Ho is never vulgar and indecorous ; and though he lacks tuat degree of observation which has made the great Pww / Urtist what ho is , ho never indulges m a stylo of comic art which has the slightest tendency to coarseness . . Mr . Bennett , in his present w . ork , has taken a number of familiar proverbs , which ho has illustrated in a highly fanciful manner . " Tho iU-workinftiv who quarrels with his tools , " is a savage brute oft fiddler , in heavy hobnail boots , who leaps m u » Q air , and comes down ' upon the frail body ol'iib useless Cremona . The individual who ia told it . is better to bend the neck than bruise tho forehead , is a tall thin footman , sitting erect in Ins scut behind his master ' s carriage , and looking with calm contempt upon tho vory key-stone of tho low iuou under which they are at that moment pns »«» 5 ; " Love and a cough cannot bo hid , " so the cook ia found out by her mistress , because her polioonuin in tho cupboard is unfortunately osthmotwul . Any thing for a quiet life , " is a lonely dinner uporit c top of the pyramid of Cheops , and " necessity is llio mother of . Invention" is shown as a woodon-log loft standing in a man-trap , while its P ° ^ W has gone about hia burglary unfottjod ; "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing , is ro presented by a monkey standing befoio ino . mouth pf a cannon and playing ) yH »> o touoh-tojt . " Two blacks do not make a white is . P »<> v «* . JJJ child , who plays with the oool-souUlo with ouolmncu and pulls over the inkstand on his head with tuo
Leader (1850-1860), Jan. 1, 1859, page 12, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/l/issues/cld_01011859/page/12/