Cadwallader Colden.

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this honourable testimony to the merit of our gallant com-
mander never came to his knowledge. While his friends
were waiting with the most earnest solicitude for tidings
concerning him, and the whole nation expressed an anxious
impatience to be informed of his success, advice was
received from Captain Clerke, in a letter dated at Kamt-
schatka, the 8th day of June, 1779; stating that Captain
Cook was killed on the 14th of February, 1779.

Captain Cook was a married man, and left several
children behind him : on each of these his Majesty settled
a pension of 25/. per annum, and 200/. per annum on his


widow. It is a circumstance remarkable, that Captaia
Cook was godfather to his wife ; and at the very time she
was christened, had determined, if she grew up, on the
union which afterwards took place between them.

The constitution of his body was robust, inured to
labour, and capable of undergoing the severest hardships.
His stomach bore, without difficulty, the coarsest and
most ungrateful food. Indeed, temperance in him was
scarcely a virtue : so great was the indiflerence with
which he submitted to every kind of self-denial. The
qualities of his mind were of the same hardy, vigorous
kind with those of his body. His tmderstanding was
strong and perspicuous. His judgment, in whatever re-
lated to the services he was engaged in, quick and sure.
His designs were bold and manly ; and both in the con-
ception, and in the mode of execution, bore evident marks
of a great original genius. His courage was cool and
determined, and accompanied with an admirable presence
of mind in the moment of danger. His manners were
plain and unallected ; but the most distinguishing feature
of his character was that unremitting perseverance in the
pursuit of his object, which was not only superior to the
opposition of dangers and the pressure of hardships, but
even exempt from the want of ordinary relaxation.

As a navigator, his services were of the most splendid
description, and even the method which he discovered and
so successfully pursued for preserving the lives of seamen,
forms a new era in navigation, and will transmit his name
to the latest posterity as the friend and benefactor of

* We are indebted for this memoir to the Editor of Limbird'«
neat pocket edition of Cook's Voyages.


" It was character, the pas.vloiis, the- soul, that his genius was
given him to copy." Lord Orford.

THIS matchless artist, who held, as 'twere, the minor
up to nature, was born in the citj of Loudon, on the 10th
of November, 1697. His father, Richard Hogarth, was
an author, who, among other works, compiled a latin
dictionary. Hogarth Avitnessiag the precarious situation
of men of classical education, and the difficulties under
which his father laboured, when he was taken from school,
resolved on learning some business ; and having at an
early period, shewed a great predilection for the arts,
which he says he imbibed by witnessing the ornaments
in his school-books, he was placed as an apprentice to
Mr. Ellis Gamble, who kept a silversmith's shop in Cran-
boarn Alley, Leicester Square, to learn engraving oa
silver : bat ho fo'iad this employment too limited ; for
after beholding the paiutiiigs in Greenwich Hospital and
St. Paul's, he resolved oa following the silver-plate en-
graving no longer than necessity obliged him ; and turned
his thougiits on engraving subjects ou copper, which he
accomplished by tlie time he was twenty years of age j
but to make himself master of the line and stroke en-
graving, he foaud it necessary to employ much time and
study, and to learn drawing. His first and greatest
ambitiou was to deai-jn ; and it was his custom, when he
saw a singular character, to pencil the leading features
upon his nail, and when he came home, to copy the sketch
on paper, and afterwards introduce it in a print. Instead
of burthening the memory with musty rules, or tiring the


eje with eopving dry and damaged pictures, he ever fouud
studying from nature, the siionest and safest way of attain-
ing knowledge in the art.

One Sunday he set out with two or three of his com-
panions on an excursion to Highgate. The weather being
hot, they went into a public-house, where they had not
been long, before a quarrel arose bet\veea two persons in
the room, one of whom struck the other on the head with
a quart pot, and cut him very much. Hogarth drew
«ut his pencil, and produced an extremely ludicrous
picture of the scene. VVhat rendered the piece the more
pleasing, was, that it exhibited an exact likeness of the
man, with the portrait of his antagonist, and the tigures
ill caricature of the persons gathered round him.

As soon as Hogarth became master of engraving on cop-
per, he readily got employment in frontispieces to books ;
and executed the plates to Hudibras, published in liimo.
1726. As he ascribed his father's illness, which caused
his death, to the ill-treatment he received from the
booksellers and publishers, Hogarth determined to pub-
lish on his ov.'n account ; but here he had to encounter
a host of printsellers ; and when the Taste of the Town
appeared, in which the reigning follies of the time were
lashed, he found copies of it in the print-shops, and
vending at half-price, while the original prints were re-
tarned to hiia again ; and he was thus obliged to sell the
plate for whatever these pirates pleased to give him.
Owing to this and otlier circumstances, by engraving
until near thirty, he could do little more than maintain
himself; but he was ahvajs a punctual pay-master.

About this time, he gnined the heart and hand of Miss
Thornhill, daughter of S'lv James Thornhil!, an union
neither sanctioned by her father, nor accompanied with a
fortune. He then ejnployed himself in pjiinting small
family pieces, and commenced historical painter ; but
finding it not encouraged, he returned to engraving sub-
jects from his own designs, yet occasionally taking por-
traits as large as life ; and to prove his powers, and to
viBflicat'ie bis faaic, he painted the admirable portrait of


Captain Coram, the founder of the Foundliug Hospital,
and to which charity he presented it. His next perform-
ance was the portrait of Mr. Ganic^ in the character of
Richard III., for which he received 'iOO/., being the
greatest sum that e^ er was before received by a British
artist for a single portrait.

In addition to the high and sounding tide of counsellor
and honorary meniber of the Imperial Academy of Augs-
bourg, conferred upon Hogarth in the German diploma,
he was, on the 6th of June, 1757, still farther dignified,
by being appointed Serjeant Painter to King George II. ;
and entered upon the duties of his ofllce on the loth of
the following July, at a salary of ten pounds per annum i

Soon after he was married, he began his celebrated
series of pictures of the Harlot's Progress, and was
advised to have some of tliem placed in the way of his
father-in-law. Accordingly one morning early, Mrs.
Hogarth undertook to convey several of them into his
dining-room. When Sir James arose, and was informed
what had been done, he said, " Very well ! the man who
can produce representations like these, can also maintain
a wife without a portion." He soon after, however,
became not only reconciled, but even generous to the
young couple.

The Harlot's Progress, in which the pencil was ren-
dered subseivient to the purposes of morality and instruc;-
tion, rendered the genius of Hogarth conspicuously known.
Above twelve hundred names were entered in his sub-
scription book. It was made into a pantomime, and
represented on the stage. Fans Avere likewise engraved,
containing miniature representations of all the six plates.

The celebrated Henry Fielding had often promised to
sit to his friend Rognilh ; unluckily, however, no portrait
was taken. After his death, Hogarth laboured to try if
lie could produce a likeness of his friend from images
existing of his own family ; and just as he was despairing
of success, for w ant of some rule to go by, in the diir.en-
sions and on< lines of the face, fortune threw the grand
desideratum ia his way. A lady, with a pair of scissors.


had cut a profile, which gave the distances and propor-
tions of Lis face suilicieiitlv to restore his lost ideas of
hiiu. Glad of nn opportunity of paying his last tribute to
the inemoiy of an author whom he admired, Hogarth
caught at the outline with rapture, a ,d finished au excel-
lent drawing, which is the only portrait of Fielding extant.

Hogarth was a very absent man. When he set up his
carriage, having oceasion to visit the lord mayor, on
coming out of the Mansion House, he walked home wet
to the skin, forgetting that he had his own chariot at the

Of his works in series, besides the Harlot's Pr(r'gie.'is,
he produced the Rake's Pi ogress, Mavriago-a-hnwde,
Industry and Idleness, the Six stages oi Cruelly, the Four
Times of the Day, and the Eleviian Pieces.

In 1753, he prodaced a work, called " The Analysis
of Beauty," written with a view of fixing the fluctuating
ideas of taste.

Lord Orfovd is very severe in his remarks on Hogarth's
painting of Sigisiuuuda, which he says is " more ridicu-
lous than any thing he had ever witnessed." In this
observation, his lordship displays more venom than either
judgment or truth ; that the picture lu^s faults, we allow ;
but the colouring is brilliant, the drapery graceful, and
tl)e figure of Sigisnmnda true to nature : but the AtYtr/ of
Tancred ! aye, say some of the critics, it is as big as a
bullock's! It was the heart that ofiended Orford — he
expected Hog?.rth to produce a piece of work equal to
the finest dief-d'ceuvres of the Italian scr.ool ; forgetting
the infant state of the Fine Arts in England, at the period
Sigisnmnda was painted. Lord Orford calls the Marquis
of Worcester'.^ Century of Inventions, " ?,n amazing
piece of folly ;" this is certainlj'^ much more ridiculous
than Hogarth's painting of Sigismnuda.

The cringing, lying, deceitful Voltaire once said, that
Hogarth's works Avere only fit for pot-housep. If this
G'oiiah of literature had studied truth and virtue a little
more than he did, he never would have made so ridiculous
an assertion. — Ifhe had take:: only the trouble of inspecting


Hogarth's picture of " Tlie Lady's Last Stake,"* in (!ie
possession of the Earl of Charlemont, he would not have
dared, notwithstanding all his iinpiider^ce, to have made
such an assertion. Had Hogarth painted no other picture
but this, he hjiddone enough to immortalize his name : it is
a most precious gem ; enough to make every Briton pioud
that Hogarth was an Englishman.

A few months before Hogarth was seized with the
malady which deprived society of one of its most distin-
guished ornaments, he proposed to his matchless pencil
the work he has entitled The Tail Piece. The first idea
is said to have been started in company at his own table.
" My next undertaking," said Hogarth, " shall be the
end of all things." " If that is the case," replied one of
his friends, " your business will be finished, for there will
be an end of the painter." " There will so," answered
Hogarth, " and therefore, the sooner the better." Ac-
cordingly he began the next day, and continued his design
with a diligence that seemed to indicate an appiehension,
as the report goes, that he should not live tiil he had
completed it ; this, however, he did in the most ingenious
manner, by grouping every thing v/hich could denote the
end of all things ; a broken bottle ; an old broom v.'orn to
the stump; the but-endofan old fire-lock ; a cracked bell ;
a bow unstrung ; a crown tumbled in pieces ; towers in
ruins ; the sign of a tavern called the "V^'orld's End tumb-
ling ; the moon in her wane ; the map of the globe burning ;
a gibbet falling, the body gone, and the chains which held it
dropping down ; Phoebus and his horses dead in the clouds ;
a vessel wrecked ; Time with his hour-glass and scythe
broken, i^a tobacco-pipe in his mouth, and the last v/hitt" of
smoke going out ; a pla^-book opened, with exeunt omnes
stamped in the corner ; an empty purse ; and a statute of
bankruptcy taken out against Nature. '* So far, so good,"

said Hogarth, "nothing remains but " taking his

pencil in a short prophetic fury, and dashing off the simi-

* The lady in this picture is said to be'a portrait of the cele-
brated All's. Piozzi, wiien Miss Salusbury.


litiide of a paiuter'b pallet broken — " Finis!" exclaimed
Hogarth, " the deed is done, and all is over!" It is a
Avell-known and very remarkaljle fact that he never again
took the pallet in his hand ; it is a circumstance less known,
perhaps, that he died about a year after he had finished
this extraordinary " Tail-Piece !"

Hogai'th died at his house in Leicester Square, October
'26, 17 64. He lies baried in Chiswick church-yard, where
an elegant mouument is erected to his memory, on which
is an appropriate inscription by his friend Garrick.

His wife Jane died November 13, 1789, and lies bj
the side of her distinguished husband.

F I N I S.

Princeton Theological Seminary Libraries

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Online LibraryCadwallader ColdenLives & portraits of public characters .. (Volume 3) → online text (page 13 of 13)