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with intoxication. In the Freemason, staggering home from the tavern assisted by a waiter, Hogarth is supposed to have satirized Sir Thomas de Veel; Sir John Hawkins, indeed, says, that he could discover no such resemblance-but the resemblance probably lay less in the person than in the practice of Sir John's brother-justice. Magistrate or not, a city Xantippe is showering a midnight favour upon him from a window. " The Salisbury Flying Coach oversetting and broken by passing through the bonfire, is said,” observes Ireland,“ to be an intended burlesque upon a right honourable peer, who was accustomed to drive his own carriage over hedges and rivers, and has been sometimes known to drive three or four of his maid-servants into a deep water, and there leave them in the coach to shift for them. selves." The practical fun of this facetious peer has been imitated in more modern times.-On the whole, “Night” scarcely satisfies expectation-indeed it falls considerably below the excellence of its companions; grouping more varied, and a scene richer in satiric touches, were expected from the hand of one whose fault lay not in the scantiness but in the excess of materials.—The Duke of Ancaster purchased the first two of these pictures for seventy-five guineas; and the remaining pair were sold to Sir William Heathcote for forty-six.
The next production was the “ Strolling Actresses," one of the most imaginative and amusing of all the works of Hogarth. In a huge barn, fitted up like a theatre, the invention of the artist has as. sembled such a company of performers as never before or since met to dress, rehearse, and prepare themselves for the amusement of mankind. The Devil to Pay in Heaven is the play they are preparing to exhibit-a rustic drama, invented to ridicule those religious mysteries which so long kept possession of the stage, and which, in the times of the Romish church, were under the direction of the
clergy. Such is the common account; and such might have been the aim of the satirist-but the scene seems better calculated to ridicule the ornamental painters of those days, who filled parlours and halls with mobs of the heathen divinities.
The dramatis personæ are principally ancient deities, and these of the first order. The names of Jupiter, Juno, Diana, Apollo, Flora, Night, Syren, Aurora, and Cupid, figure on the playbill; and these personages are accompanied by a ghost, two eagles, two dragons, two kittens, and an aged monkey. Juno is sitting on an old wheelbarrow, which serves occasionally for a triumphal car; she stretches out one leg, raises her right hand, and rehearses her part; while Night, dressed in a starry robe, is mending her stocking. The Star of Evening, which rises over the head of Night, is a scoured tin-mould used in making tarts. A damsel with one eye, and a dagger fixed in her mantle by way of skewer, re. presents the Tragic Muse; she is cutting a cat's tail to obtain blood for some solemn purpose, and grins
well pleased as it drops into the broken dish. Two í little devils, with horns just budded, are contesting
the right to a pot of ale, out of which one of them il is drinking lustily; the pot had occupied a Grecian !altar, on which lies a loaf of bread-beside a
tobacco-pipe, about whose orifice a slight smoke I still lingers.
The centre of the design is occupied by Diana, stripped to her chemise: The inspiration of her i part had come upon her as she prepared to dress; s one foot rests on her unappropriated hoop, her head
is stuck full of flowers and feathers, and she re?! hearses her speech with more enthusiasm of look . than modesty of manner. She is unlike her com
panions- she is young, blooming, and beautiful.
Flora is seated at her toilet, and it would wrong her I looks to say that she had no need of it. Her toilet i is a wicker basket, which contains the regalia of the
company; she smooths her hair with a piece of can-
There is no limit to the drollery. One kitten touches an old lyre with apparent skill-another rolls an imperial orb; cups and balls are there, to intimate the sleight-of-hand pursuits of the company: and, as a moral remonstrance, two judges' wigs and an empty noose are near. A mitre, filled with tra. gedies and farces, and a dark lantern are placed on a pulpit-cushion.
The wit, the humour, and amusing absurdities of this performance are without end. Into the darkest nook the artist has put meaning, and there is instruction or sarcasm in all that he has introduced. There is such a display of the tinsel wealth and the symbols of vulgar enjoyment of the strolling community such a ludicrous intermixture of heaven with things of the earth earthy, and such a contrast of situations and characters, that the eye is never wearied, for the mind is ever employed. It would be unfair not to note that a hen has found a roost for her chickens and herself on a set of unemployed waves, which are manufactured to perform the part
of a storm at sea; and that materials are collected for fabricating that identical kind of dramatic thunder of which John Dennis was the inventor and maker. The bill assures us that this is positively the last performance of the diabolical drama in this place; the barn, therefore, instead of ringing with comic mirth or with tragic distress, is destined in future to re-echo only the sound of the flail and fanners.
Hogarth was now in his forty-eighth year; his fame was established; he was rich enough to maintain a carriage, and though brother artists conceded to him the name of painter with whimsical reluctance, he was every where received with the respect and honour due to a man of high talents and uncommon attainments. Success seldom teaches humility: it wrought no material change in Hogarth. When a poor student he displayed the same firmness of purpose in his pursuits, and defended his adherence to the dramatic species of painting (which he invented), with the same warmth, decision, and enthusiasm, which characterized him now. Throughout his life his pursuits and his opinions were the same. He imagined a new national style of composition; and to this he ad. hered from youth to age; for the short periods devoted to portrait-painting cannot be considered as any abandonment of his original purpose-but only as sacrifices to necessity.
Hogarth supported himself by the sale of his prints: the prices of his paintings kept pace neither with his fame nor with his expectations. He knew, however, the passion of his countrymen for novelty -how they love to encourage whatever is strange and mysterious; and hoping to profit by these feel. ings, the artist determined to sell his principal paint. ings by an auction of a very singular nature.
On the 25th of January, 1745, he offered for sale the six paintings of the Harlot's Progress, tho
eight paintings of the Rake's Progress, the Four Times of the Day, and the Strolling Actresses, on the following conditions.
“1. Every bidder shall have an entire leaf numbered in the book of sale, on the top of which will be entered his name and place of abode, the sum paid by him, the time when, and for which picture.
“2. That on the day of sale, a clock striking every five minutes shall be placed in the room; and when it hath struck five minutes after twelve, the first picture mentioned in the sale-book shall be deemed as sold; the second picture, when the clock hath struck the next five minutes after twelve, and so on in succession till the whole nineteen pictures are sold.
“3. That none advance less than gold at each bidding.
“ 4. No person to bid on the last day, except those whose names were before entered in the book. As Mr. Hogarth's room is but small, he begs the favour that no persons, except those whose names are entered in the book, will come to view his paintings on the last day of sale.”
This plan was new, startling-and unproductive. It was probably planned to prevent biddings by proxy, and so secure to the artist the price which men of wealth and rank might be induced to offer publicly for works of genius. “A method so novel,” observes Ireland, 6 probably disgusted the town; they might not exactly understand this tedious formula of entering their names and places of abode in a book open to indiscriminate inspection; they might wish to humble an artist who, by his proposals, seemed to consider that he did the world a favour in suffering them to bid for his works; or the rage for paintings might be confined to the admirers of the old masters : be that as it may, he received only four hundred and twenty-seven pounds seven shil. lings for his nineteen pictures--a price by no means