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tions, in six hours. He then paid him, and relieved

his apprehensions respecting the imaginary bailiffs:

Morland laughed heartily. He considered it as a

kind of pleasant interruption to the monotony of

painting and drinking, that he was apprehended as a

spy at Yarmouth, and subjected to a sharp examination. The drawings which he had made on the shores of the Isle of Wight were considered as confirmations of guilt; he was honoured, therefore, with an escort of soldiers and constables to Newport, and there confronted by a bench of justices. At his explanation they shook their heads, laid a strict

injunction upon him to paint and draw no more in that neighbourhood, and dismissed him. On another occasion, he was on his way from Deal, and Williams, the engraver, was his companion. The extravagance of the preceding evening had fairly emptied their pockets; weary, hungry, and thirsty, they arrived at a small alehouse by the way-side: they hesitated to enter. Morland wistfully reconnoitred the house, and at length accosted the landlord— “Upon my life, I scarcely knew it; is this the Black Bull!” “To be sure it is, master,” said the landlord, “there's the sign.” “Ay! the board is there, I grant,” replied our wayfarer, “but the Black Bull is vanished and gone. I will paint you a capital new one for a crown.” The landlord consented and placed a dinner and drink before this restorer of signs, to which the travellers did immediate justice. “Now, landlord,” said Morland, “take your horse, and ride into Canterbury—it is but a little way— and buy me proper paint and a good brush.” He went on his errand with a grudge, and returned with the speed of thought, for fear that his guests should depart in his absence. By the time that Morland had painted the Black Bull, the reckoning had risen to ten shillings, and the landlord reluctantly allowed them to go on their way; but not, it is said, without exacting a promise that the remainder of the money


should be paid with the first opportunity. The painter, on his arrival in town, related this adventure in the Hole-in-the-Wall, Fleet Street. A person who overheard him, mounted his horse, rode into Kent, and succeeded in purchasing the Black Bull from this Kentish Boniface for ten guineas. A bailiff, more subtle than his brethren, succeeded in arresting Morland. Fallen as he was, and discovered by the officer wallowing in a sty of filth and debauchery, his talents still found him friends, by whose recommendation and influence he obtained the Rules of the Bench. “This ill-fated artist,” says Hassell, “seemed to have possessed two minds —one, the animated soul of genius, by which he rose in his profession—and the other, that debased and grovelling propensity, which condemned him to the very abyss of dissipation.” In his new abode of misery, among the wreck of proud fortunes and high hopes, in the company of some whom prodigality had utterly ruined, and of others who had only retired hither that they might live in affluence in spite of their just creditors, Morland was found by Hassell; he was not only content, but, like Tam O'Shanter in his glory, conceived himself victorious over all the ills of life. Even here he could jest and revel, indulge the wildest whims, and luxuriate in oddities and caprices. Even amid misery and recklessness like this, the spirit of industry did not forsake him, nor did his taste or his skill descend with his fortunes. One day's work would have purchased him a week's sustenance; yet he laboured every day, and as skilfully and beautifully as ever. His favourite companion in his retreat was a waterman, whom, by way of distinction, Morland called “My Dicky,” and Dicky was now the established vender of his pictures. If chance detained the purchaser of a bespoke painting beyond the time he promised to send for it, “My Dicky” was instantly despatched with it to the pawnbroker's. Dicky once carried a picture wet from the easel, with a request for the advance of three guineas upon it. The pawnbroker paid the money; but in carrying it into the room his foot slipped, and the head and fore parts of a hog were obliterated. The money-changer returned the picture with a polite note, requesting the artist to restore the damaged part. “My Dicky” exclaimed Morland, “an that's a good one! but never mind!” He reproduced the hog in a few minutes, and said, “There! go back and tell the pawnbroker to advance me five guineas more upon it; and if he won’t, say I shall proceed against him; the price of the picture is thirty guineas.” The demand was complied with. For Spencer of Bow Street he painted several pictures; one of the best was a straw-yard; it had evidently cost him some pains, and he was no lover of minute work. He had introduced accordingly a raven seated on a straw-rack, and written on the rail under its feet, “No more straw-yards for me, G. Morland.” The multitude of his orders induced him to neglect the finishing of many of his pictures, and the purchasers, glad to get them as they were, employed some second-rate hand to glaze up the foreground; “But this,” observes Hassell, “was confined to picture-dealers, whose skill lay in supplying half-worn landscapes with new skies, and in cracking and varnishing new historical pictures to produce the appearance of antiquity.” His common price, when in confinement, was “four guineas per day with his drink;” and his employer sat down beside him telling pleasant stories and pouring out liquor till the time expired. It often required some skill to obtain a good day's work; for the glass was apt to be in his fingers in the morning before the pencil, and he continued to handle both alternately till he had painted as much as he pleased, or till the liquor got the better, when he claimed his wages, and business closed for the day.


He had no wish, however, to be distinguished as a resident in the realm of durance: taking advantage of the liberty of a day-rule in term time, he borrowed a horse—rode from house to house among his friends in the country round London—contradicted boldly the story of his imprisonment—returned to town at the spur, and exhibited himself at every low pot-house on his way to the Rules. His vanity soared not beyond the present moment; to make a good passing impression was his chief aim; and while his money lasted, he was sure of success among those whose applause he valued. Though well-descended, he regarded that matter little, and would rather have had the laugh of a pot-house on his side than all the emblazonments of heraldry. In his earlier and bet, ter days, a solicitor informed him that he was heir to a baronet's title, and advised him to assert his claim. I know not whether there was any real foundation for this lawyer's story. “Sir George Morland l’” however, said the painter, “it sounds well, but it won't do. Plain George Morland will always sell my pictures, and there is more honour in being a fine painter than in being a fine gentleman.” When the Insolvent Debtor's Act at length restored him to liberty—he was almost past the power of enjoying it. His constitution was ruined, and his personal character was sunk into general contempt. No one would associate with him but the meanest of mankind, nor did he wish this otherwise. In his thirty-ninth year, the palsy struck him. He recovered partially, but would often fall back senseless in his painting chair, and sometimes sink into sleep with his palette and brush in his hand. His left hand was so much affected, that he could no longer hold the implements of his profession. He was not, however, dismayed; he made drawings in pencil and in chalk, tinted them lightly, still enriched the country with works at once bold, original, and

striking, and seemed to set want and disease at defiance. But the swiftest runner is soonest at the end of his journey. Morland was carried for debt to a spunging-house in Air Street, and to strengthen his courage on the loss of his liberty, swallowed an unusual quantity of spirits, which, instead of stupefaction, produced fever. Attwell, the keeper of the house, became alarmed, and applied to his friends for assistance: their sympathy, if exerted—of which there is no proof–came too late; the powers of life were exhausted, and he died, after a brief illness, in utter wretchedness and penury, in the fortieth year of his age. His wife, from whom he had been separated for some time, in consequence of family feuds, survived him only a few days. Morland had a look at once sagacious and sensual, and the same friends who compared his forehead to that of Napoleon, represent him as vain and irritable, fretful and vindictive. His character as a man was essentially vulgar, and he seemed insensible to shame. He loved all kinds of company save that of gentlemen; it gave him pain to imitate the courtesies and decencies of life, and he disliked accordingly all those whose habits required their observance. He married without being in love, and treated his wife with carelessness, because he was incapable of feeling the merits of modesty or domestic worth. He had fits of profuse generosity and capricious affection; but folly and grossness were his familiar companions. As an artist Morland’s claims to regard are high and undisputed. He is original and alone; his style and conceptions are his own; his thoughts are ever at home—are always natural—he extracts pleasing subjects out of the most coarse or trivial scenes, and finds enough to charm the eye in the commonest occurrence. He never points above the most ordinary capacity, and gives an air of truth and reality to whatever he touches. He has taken a strong and

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