Copyright
Francis Hall.

The Century, Volume 11 online

. (page 82 of 163)
Online LibraryFrancis HallThe Century, Volume 11 → online text (page 82 of 163)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


moment he gave to nature and to tears, and
then mastered himself. Turning to the heroes
fix)m whom peace had now sq>arated him,
he said ; ** With a heart full of love and
gratitude, I now take leave of you, most
devoutly wishing that your latter days may
be as prosperous and happy as your former
ones have been glorious and honorable."
Then he added, with emotion : *• I cannot
come to each of you to take my leave, but
shall be obliged if each of you wiU come
and take me by the hand."



That stout old soldier, General Henry
Knox, who had risen fi-om a bookseller's
counter in Boston to the rank of Major-
General, was nearest to Washington, and was
the first to advance and take his hand. He
received a brother's embrace fi*om his late
chief, and both of them were affected to tears.
Then each came slowly forward and received
the same affectionate salutation.

In silence the company of officers followed
their beloved chief as he passed on foot
through a corps of light infantry to the ferry
at Whitehall. There a barge received him,
and as the oars fell into the water he turned
and waved them a silent adieu. Silendy
they watched him pass out of sight, and then
returned sadly to their homes.

One other scene may property be added
to this brief record of the struggles and
triumphs of old New York. There came a
sunshmy day in April, 1789, when George
Washington, President-elect of the United
States by the unanimous voice of the people,
stood on a balcony in front of the Senate
Chamber in the old Federal Hall on Wall
street, to take the oath of office. An
immense multitude filled the streets, and the
windows and roofs of the adjoining houses.
Clad in a suit of dark brown cloth of
American manufacture, with hair powdered,
and with white silk stockings, silver shoe-
buckles and steel-hilted dr^ sword, the
hero who had led the colonies to their inde-
pendence came modestly forward to take up
the burdens that peace had brought. Pro-
foimd silence fell upon the multitude as
Washington responded solemnly to the read-
ing of tihe oath of office, "I swear— so help
me God." Then, amid cheers, the display of
flags, and the ringing of all the bells in the
city, our first President turned to face the
dutieshiscountrymen had imposed upon him.
In sight of those who would have made an
idol of him, Washington's first act was to
seek the aid of other strength than his own.
In the calm sunshine of that April afternoon,
firagrant with the presence of seed-time and
the promise of harvest, we leave him on his
knees in Old St. Paiil's, bowed with the
simplicity of a child at the feet of the
Supreme Ruler of the Universe.



Digitized by



Google



472 THE MOLLIS BUST OF MILTON,



THE HOLLIS BUST OF MILTON.



Digitized by



Google



THE MOLLIS BUST OF MILTON.



473



these photographs Mr. David Nichols has
made this spirited and faithful wood-cut.

It is not merely the fact that Mr. Sotheby's
book was never published, in the technical
sense of the word, that it is so little known
to the general public ; nor is the reason that
it is a needlessly cumbersome and expensive
book ; it is much more because it belongs
to a class of books which the English excel
all other nations in producing, books to
which Virgil's description of Polyphemus
might be applied without alteration :

*'■ Afonsirum horrendum, in/orme, ingens^ cut
lumen ademptum,**

They are huge in bulk; they wallow
about shapeless and unwieldy, and their
intellectual and spiritual eyesight has been
clean put out. Such books as Womura's
« Life of Holbein," W. B. Scott's " Life
of Diirer" may be cited by one who has
suffered from them as fit companions for
Mr. Sotheby's " Ramblings." So for as
the mere aggregation of facts is con-
cemed, these books often perform a useful
office, though even for this our gratitude
is not seldom chilled by the twist that is
given to the interpretation of those facts.
Of this theorizing there is not much in Mr.
Sotheby's book. The chief fault to be found
with him is one that he has in common
with all his tribe : the lugging in of irrele-
vant matter, and the giving it an equal
place with the matter that really concerns
his subject. If Mr. Sotheby's book could
have been boiled down and confined within
the limits necessary for the investigation of
the authenticity of the autographs of Milton,
it would have deserved a different fate from
the neglect into which it has fallen

The authenticity of the portraits of Milton,
or even the enumeration of them, did not
concern Mr. Sotheby when he was writing
this book ; but, perhaps, if he had insisted
on minding his proper business, we should
have been to this day ignorant of the exist-
ence of the bust of Milton, of which he first
published a veracious copy. We ought to
be cordially thankful to him for this service,
and to be sorry that we must speak as we
are obliged to of the book in which it
appears.

Portraits of Milton that can be depended
on can scarcely be said to exist, and even
those we have, that may be allowed some
claim upon our notice as likenesses of the
poet, were taken either when he was very
young, or when he was very old. Aubrey,
who perhaps knew Milton, speaking of a

Vou XI. - 31.



portrait taken of him when a Cambridge
scholar by an artist, whose name, if he
knew, he did not record, says : " It ought to
be engraved, for the pictures before his
books are not at all like him." As Milton
left Cambridge in 1632, and Aubrey was
bom in 1626, Aubrey must have derived
his notion that this pictture was a good like-
ness of Milton in his youth from some one
else. Perhaps Milton's widow, whom Aubrey
went to see, may have told him that her hus-
band or his family had thought it like. But
we must all of us have felt that his condom-
nation of the engraved portraits of Milton
in his old age was deserved, as we have
examined those doleftil and depressing
effigies of the man in his blind and despised
old age, which are to be found prefixed to
almost all the editions of his works. And
that they were "not at all like him" was a
statement Aubrey may perhaps have made
of his own knowledge, since he outlived
Milton twenty-three years.

The earliest known portrait of Milton is
one painted by Cornelius Janssen when the
poet was only ten years old. Janssen came
fit>m Leyden to England in 1618 (Milton
was bom in 1608), and this picture must
have been one of the first that he painted
after his arrival. It is the face of a soHd>
chubby, sweet, predestined-Puritan cherub.
Janssen came over to paint the portraits of
James I. and his family, and he made many
pictures of the nobility and of people in the
court circle. Milton's father, though a Puri-
tan by birth and education, was a man of
strong artistic leanings. " He was greatly
distinguished," says Mitford, " for his musical
talents; indeed, in science, he is said to
have been equal to the first musicians of
his age." This accomplishment, so much
delighted in always in England, would
naturally bring him much in the society of
artists and of people fond of art. If the
greater number of these were to be found
in the Court party and among Roman Catho-
lics, or the High Church party, it may be
urged that Milton's grandfather was a
Roman Catholic, and so bigoted that he
disinherited Milton's father for deserting the
ancient faith. Yet Milton's brother Chris-
topher was a royalist, and, doubtless, either
a Roman Catholic, or, what was the same
thing to all intents and purposes, a High
Churchman. And fiom this we may argue
that Milton's father may have mingled in a
society in whose religion he had no part,
but with whose culture and accomplishment
he had doubtless much sympathy, and which



Digitized by



Google



474



THE HOLLIS BUST OF MILTON.



probably welcomed him for his own power
to contribute to its delight. Milton's artistic
leanings are evident enough, and his own
culture and accomplishment are well known.
It was natural, on the whole, that his father
should have met Janssen, and natural that
Janssen should have desired to paint the
intelligent, sweet-faced boy of ten years.
The portrait he made was bought for twenty
guineas of the executors of Milton's widow
by C. Stanhope. At the sale of the effects
of Jthis Mr. Stanhope, it was bought by T.
Mollis, Esq., for whose Memoirs Cipriani
engraved it The child is in a striped jacket
with a lace collar.

The next pictiure of which we have any
information is the one that Aubrey saw at
the house of the poet's widow, and on which
he " wrote his name in red letters with his
widowe to preserve." As we have remarked,
he does not appear to have known by whom
it was painted, and no conjecture seems to
have been made since his day. Milton was
at that time twenty-one years old, — " a Cam-
bridge schoUar " — ^and the picture was pur-
diased after his widow's death from her exec-
utor by Speaker Onslow. Both Janssen's
portrait and this anonymous one have been
engraved, the latter frequendy. Good en-
gravings of them on a small scale may be
found in Professor Masson's " Milton and
His Times."

There remain to be noticed two portraits
in crayon, one by Faithome, and one which
was in the possession of Jonathan Richard-
son, the artist and critic, drawn by we know
not whom. There is also mention of another
crayon drawing, made by Robert White,
and Mr. Sotheby says that Mr. John Fitchett
Marsh, who made a hobby of the portraits
of Milton, and who collected no less than
one hundred and fifty engraved portraits of
the poet, was of the opinion that from these
three drawings the greater number of the
engraved portraits have been copied or
made up.

The portraits by Faithome and White,
with the one by an unknown hand in the
possession of Richardson, were all taken
when Milton was well advanced in years ;
Faithome's, which is the best of the three,
or at least die one the world has shown the
greatest liking for apparendy, as coming
nearest to its nodons of the man, was made
about 1670, when Milton was sixty-two
years old. The drawing, if we may judge
by the engravings, should be a clear, strong
piece of work, with decided human char-
acter, and the look of having been certainly



taken firom life. Faithome was an artist of
some repute. He was a royalist, and was
banished fi-om England on refusing to take
the oath to Cromwell. He went to France,
where he is said to have studied engraving
under Nanteuil, and returned to England in
1660. How he came to take Milton's por-
trait does not appear. Milton belonged to
the party that had persecuted and banished
him, and that party was now defeated, and
its greatest advocate and defender imder a
cloud, old, sick, and poor. Faithome died
in 1 69 1, seventeen years after Milton. It
was when Faithome's crayon- drawing was
shown to Deborah Milton, the poet's young-
est daughter, by Vertue, the engraver, that
she cried out, " O Lord ! that is the picture
of my father ! How came you by it ? " and,
stroking down the hair of his forehead,
" Just so my father wore his hair." •

Mr. Sotheby thinks best of the portrait
that was in the possession of Richardson,
but which he calls "the Baker portrait,"
because, when he knew it, it was in the pos-
session of William Baker, Esq., of Hayford-
bury, Herts. He gives a photograph from
it in his book, facing the photograph fi-om
the bust. To our thinking, it is a very unsat-
isfactory picture. The drawing is weak and
undecided; the face has no particular char-
acter, and the mouth, the most important
feature, impossible to have been Milton's, or
any man's mouth at fifty-eight. Indeed, it
is not a mouth at all. It is the sort of thing
young ladies used to be taught to make by
the fashionable drawing-master. The whole
picture looks as if it were painted by a
novice.

Of course, there are other portraits of
Milton, but we ourselves know litde or
nothing about them. Mr. Mitford, in his
Life of Milton, prefixed to the beaudful
Pickering edition of the Poems, says he
remembas having seen at Lord Bray-
brooke's, Audley-End, a portrait of the
poet with a beard. Also another of him, as
a young man, at Lord Townshend's, at
Rainhams. He records, also, that Charles
Lamb had an original portrait of Milton,
" left by his brother and accidentally bought
in I^ondon."

These pictures may, or may not, have
been valuable as portraits; but, as we have
said, we know nothing more of them than
that they existed. So far as the world is
concerned, there existed for it until a late

^Todd's « Milton." Deborah Milton lived 76
years, dying August, 1727.



Digitized by



Google



THE MOLLIS BUST OF MILTON.



475



day only Janssen's portrait of Milton as a
child of ten, the portrait of the poet at the
age of twenty-one when a scholar at Cam-
bridge, and the portrait in crayon by Fai-
thome. To these must now be added the
bust in the possession of Christ's College,
Cambridge, represented in our engraving.
Knowing that Professor Masson, now so
widely distinguished as the biographer of
Milton and the editor of his Poems, had
made a careful examination of all the exist-
ing portraits, but not finding any allusion in
his book, so far as published, to the bust,
we ventured to write to him, and ask for his
judgment on its authenticity, and its value
as a portrait. We have received in reply
the following courteous and interesting let-
ter:

lo, Regent Terrace, Edinburgh, )
November 2, 1875. )

Gentlemen : I regret the delay in answer-
ing your queries about the Milton Bust at
Cambridge; but it has been inevitable. I
wrote a good while ago to a friend in Cam-
bridge on the subject. He chanced to be
absent at the time, but promised that he
would see the bust on his return, and write
to me. Time passing, I wrote to another
friend; but the long vacation interfered. A
day or two ago, however, I had two letters
on the subject — one from Mr. W. Aldis
Wright, the other from Professor Cowell; and
I now send you the substance of the infor-
mation which they contain.

The bust is in Christ's College, Cambridge
— not Trinity, as stated under the photograph
in Mr. Leigh Sotheby's book. That pho-
tograph was taken from the bust for the late
Mr. Sotheby by permission of the Master of
Chrisfs; but, by some mistake consequent
on Mr. Sotheby's death near the tiine
of the publication of his book, "Trinity"
was substituted for "Christ's" in the
acknowledgment Both my informants agree
in saying the photograph does not righdy
represent the bust. Mr. Aldis Wright says
it ** makes the face much more heavy than
it is in reality;" and Professor Cowell spec-
ifies " the stoutness of the lower cheek and
jaw" in the photograph as a "striking dis-
crepancy" fix)m the original, adding that
the countenance in the photograph " seems
directed more upward" than it should be.

It chanced that Mr. Woolner, the sculptor,
was with Mr. Aldis Wright when he last
inspected the bust. As it was then under
glass, and the key of the case was away,
Mr. Woolner could not handle it, so as to be
* enabled to say whether the material was clay



or plaster. " But he was inclined to believe
it to be clay (which is the tradition^, and
considered it to be unquestionably, m that
case, an original model taken from life." So
Mr. Aldis Wright tells me ; and Professor
Cowell, who talked with the Master afterward,
says definitely : " It is a clay model. There is,
however, no authority on the bust itself for
the date 1654, assigned by Sotheby as the
probable one."

The bust has been in the possession of
Christ's College for about sixty or seventy
years. It was presented to the College by
the Rev. Dr. Disney, who died in 181 6.
This Dr. Disney had inherited it, with much
other property, from Mr. Thomas Brand
Hollis,of the Hyde,Ingatestone, Essex, who
died in 1804. His name had been originally
Thomas Brand; but he had assumed the
name HoUis on his succession, in 1774, to
Mr. Thomas Mollis, the previous owner of
the property. To this last Mr. Thomas
Holhs (bom 1720, died 1774), the possession
of the bust is, therefore, clearly referred.
He was a man of some celebrity, and a
great enthusiast in Milton and collector of
Milton relics. His Memoirs were published
in London in 1780, in two volumes 4to; and
the following extract from the second volume
(P- 513) IS very obligingly sent me by Mr.
Aldis Wright. He is so accurate in all such
matters that I need not compare with the
book in our Library here. You will see that
the extract fiunishes further interesting infor-
mation about the bust :



<* Mr. HoUis, in a paper dated July 30, 1757, says:
' For an ori^al model in day of the head of Milton,
^9 1 2s— which I intended to have purchased myself
had it not been knocked down to Mr. Reynolas by
a mistake of Mr. Ford, the auctioneer. Note: about
two years before Mr. Vertuedied he told me that he
had been possessed of this head many years, and
that he believed it was done by one Pierce, a sculptor
of good reputation in those times, the same who made
the bust in marble of Sir Christopher Wren, which is
in the Bodldan Library. My own opinion is that it
was modelled by Abraham Simon, and that after-
wards a seal was engraved after it, in profile, by his
brother Thomas Simon, a proof impression of which
is now in the hands of Mr. Yeo, engrarer in Covent
Garden. This head was badly designed by Mr.
Richardson, and then engraved by Mr. Vertue, and
prefixed to Milton's Prose Works, printed for A.
Miller, 1753. The bust probably was executed soon
after Milton had written his Defensio pro Populo
AngUcano^ — Mr. Reynolds obligingly parted with
this bust to Mr. Holhs, for twelve gwneas."

The " Mr. Reynolds" who thus bought the
bust at a sale when Mr. Mollis meant to buy
it, but who afterward let Mr. Hollis have
it, was probably Sir Joshua Reynolds (not
knighted till 1 768). If, as seems implied, the



Digitized by



Google



476



A HAPPY LOVER.



sale was that of the eflfects of the engraver
George Vertue (bom 1684, died July 24,
1756), we arrive at Vertue as the first
known owner of the bust. He was an excel-
lent judge of portraits, and did not a few
of Milton's himself; and I should place great
trust in his opinion. I may mention that I
have a copy of an engraving of 1801, bear-
ing this imprint : " MUton : firom an Impres-
sion of a seal of T. Simon, in the possession
of the late Mr. Yeo." It is a wretched
thing, and I see no resemblance in it to the
bust.

Let me end this too long letter by saying,
for m)rself, that I prefer the Faithome portrait
of Milton to all others, and see in it what I
consider most truly the noble, sorrowful,
blind face. The photograph opposite that
from the bust in Sotheby is one form of it.
I am, gentlemen, yours very truly,
David Masson.

To the Editors of Scribner's Monthly.

To admirers of Milton, whether as poet or
man, or both, the importance of this discov-
ery — ^for it is, to all intents and purposes, a
discovery — can hardly be overstated. We
have now a portrait of Milton in the very
prime of his glorious and energetic Hfe. Mr.
Sotheby considered that its probable date
was 1654, when the poet was forty-six years
of age ; and, although he had no authority
for that date, he appears to us justified in
his conviction by the bust itself, which rep-
resents a man of that age — not younger,
and certainly not older.

Mr. Sotheby, in his book, gives us Mr.
Disney's own description of the bust, which
is as follows ; he added it as a memorandum
to the first volume of the copy of Prose
Works of Milton, Ed. 1753, which he pre-
sented to the Library of Christ's College,
Cambridge :

"A Bust in plaster modeled from, and
big as life ; was m the possession of Thomas
Hollis, of Lincolnshire, done soon after



Milton had written his ^Defensio pro Ibpul&
Anglicanoy as some think by one Pierce, a
sculptor of good reputation in those times, the
same who made the bust of Sir Christopher
Wren, which is in the Bodleian Library ; or,
as others, by Abraham Simon. A print of this
bust very badly designed is prefixed to Mil-
ton's Prose Works, published at London,

1753*

It will be seen that he speaks of the bust
as plaster^ and without any misgivings;
whereas Mr. Woolner, the eminent sculptor,
is inclined to think it clay, though, as it was
locked up when he and Mr. Aldis Wright
went to Cambridge to see it, he could not
handle it, and so settle the matter definitely.
Professor Cowell, who afterward talked about
it with the Master of Christ's College, reports
that the Master said definitely : " It is a clay
model." But we do not understand why
Mr. Wright, in reporting Mr. Woolner's sus-
picion that it was day, should add, " which is
the tradition," since the tradition is divided.
Mr. Disney describes it as plaster, and Mr.
Hollis speaks of it as clay. However, this
is really of some importance, since, if it is
in clay, there is the more reason for believ-
ing it to be a model from the life.

We may add that this is not the first time
the bust has been engraved, though it seems
to be certain that it has never before been
done justice to by engraving. Disney and Mr.
Hollis speak of one engraving by Vertue,
after a drawing by Richardson, made for an
edition of Milton's works, published in 1753.
It was also engraved by Cipriani with the fol-
lowing title: " Drawn and etched 1760 by
J. N. Cipriani, a Tuscan, from a bust '\n plas-
ter modded fi-om life, now in the possession
of Thomas Hollis, Esq., F. R. S., F. S. A."
It will be noticed that this same Mr. Hollis,
in the Memoirs from which Professor Masson
gives an extract, speaks of the bust as a
clay model.



* Sotheby.
engraving.



The writer of this has never seen the



A HAPPY LOVER.

Some love a-many loves,
But my love's number one;

An one love another love,
HeM a better love none.



Digitized by



Google



A HUNDRED THOUSAND HOMES.



477



A HUNDRED THOUSAND HOMES:

HOW THFY WERE PAID FOR.



Ri^nif:ui)iP9unu







^■■VLtiM-Hi!;^



—-^< .-



^ rmmm



I









i



•UV4MO*tlODtA- ^



•XVTCMCK.



JJQJ






-Am



i



uvmonoom-



II 11






•IZXV5-






• Tliy^T-J^OTlV*



•j^econid • jfiT^jRY •



.pLRn j^



The Philadelphia dwelling-house has for
some months been before the committee of
the whole people, as a subject worthy gen-
eral consideration — worthy the best of the
nation's thought, both as a house, a home,
and a most interesting problem in practical



finance. As a house it is not lovely ; as a
home it is charming and sensible, — a hearth-
stone where the homely virtues flourish and
grow strong. The paying for it, the winning
it, is the most interesting part of the whole
story. Its doleful architecture need not and

Digitized by ^^UUy l^



478



A HUNDRED THOUSAND HOMES.



will not be imitated. Its interior arrange-
ments are being copied in every State. The
peculiar method whereby the bills were paid
has commanded the attention of thinking
men throughout the country. It is in these
two aspects that it will be here considered. Its
dismal exterior may be quite omitted. First,
we may consider the house itself, with some
suggestions as to its adornment. Next, we
may examine the far more important matter
of paying for it

Here is a new house going up. The lot
is perhaps 12, 18, or 24 feet wide, by 25 to
45 feet deep. That admits of a front door
and one wide or two small windows. Over
these are one, two, or three windows, as the
case may be. This makes the front of two
stories. Steps lead up to the door, and
beneath the windows are small lights for the
cellar. Entering the door, we find a small
hall or entry way, with perhaps another
door. Then comes the front room. Next
to this is the box stairway, crossing the
house on a line with the street, and making
a partition between the front and the back of
the house. In the rear is the kitchen and the
back door leading into the yard. A range
or place for a stove is provided, and water
is let on from the street In the yard is an
outbuilding, and perhaps a place for an
open-air stove for out-door cooking in warm
weather, after the Philadelphia fashion.
Smdl outbuildings are added with a gate to
the lane in the rear when the lots are deep.
Upstairs are two chambers, and a small
bath-room, with closet and the usual facili-
ties. Below is an ample cellar. The walls
are neatly papered and the wood-work
painted. Gas is supplied, and in every
respect the house is warm, convenient, and



Online LibraryFrancis HallThe Century, Volume 11 → online text (page 82 of 163)