Vol. VI. May 22, 1899.
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The Baldwin Library
Art manifests whatever is most exalted, and it
manifests it to all"--TAINE
SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS
JENNIE ELLIS KEYSOR
Author of "Sketches of American Authors"
EDUCATIONAL PUBLISHING COMPANY
NEW YORK CHICAGO SAN FRANCISCO
SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS.
Sir Joshua Reynolds was on many accounts one of the most
memorable men of his time. He was the first Englishman who
added the praise of the elegant arts to the other glories of his
country. In taste, in grace, in facility, in happy invention, and
in the richness and harmony of coloring, he was the equal of the
greatest masters of the renowned ages. In portraits he went
beyond them. In these he appeared not to be raised upon that
platform, but to descend upon it from a higher sphere."
Copyrighted, 1899, by EDUCATIONAL PUBLISHING Co.
SIR JOSIIUA REYNOLDS
SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS.
England began her art in rather a queer way for a
country so great and progressive. Her first paintings
were made by distinguished foreign artists who were
brought into England by her monarchs. Such was
Holbein, the German portrait painter who served Henry
VIII. for more than fifteen years and then found an
alien's grave in some unknown quarter of plague-stricken
London. Such also was Van Dyck, the polished
Fleming, who painted the court beauties and gallants of
the ill-starred Charles I. Artists like Holbein and Van
Dyck reflect great credit on the kings who patronized
them, but later foreign artists like Sir Peter Leley and
Godfrey Kneller, who, at best, were poor workmen,
made the English public willing to look at home for
talent in the art of painting.
With the grossness of the rule of the Georges, when
eating and drinking and gaming were the chief joys of
life, came Hogarth. He knew the times in which he
lived as well as he knew his name, and he proceeded to
paint them much as an author might have written of
them. Instead of using chapters, as the literary man
would naturally have done, he painted a series of pictures
to represent his story. Charles Lamb used to say, when
asked to name his favorite books, Shakespeare first,
then Hogarth," showing how he was impressed with the
literary quality of Hogarth's work.
In his paintings, Hogarth told mighty truths which
were unpleasant to his British audience. When, for
instance, he showed in The Rake's Progress" the
eventual downfall of the youth who pursues low
pleasures, he represented a fact not at all pleasing to
the great body of English youth who then enjoyed such
a mode of life. It is needless to say that Hogarth was
far from popular and that he languished in body,
though never in soul, for the patronage which Reynolds
gained almost without an effort.
If Hogarth's work was not popular, its strength
showed Englishmen that it was no longer necessary to
go abroad for their artists; there was good material in
this line as in every other on their own soil.
At about the time Englishmen realized this fact, there
were born in England two little boys who, as they
progressed in life, showed without a doubt that there
MRS. SIDDONS AS THE TRAGIC ?IUSG Reynolds
could be such a thing as English art on English soil.
These two men were Joshua Reynolds and Thomas
Gainsborough. The latter's lifetime of sixty-one years
was covered by that of Reynolds, who was four years
older and who lived four years later.
It is of the first of these artists, Joshua Reynolds, that
this sketch is given. The merest mention of this great
man's name brings to our minds one of the most
brilliant of English literary coteries. Speak the name
again and pictures of club dinners and the sound of
elegant discourse comes before us. There is Johnson,
portly and learned, drinking his nine or ten cups of tea;
Goldsmith, bald-headed and snub-nosed, who wrote like
an angel but who talked like poor Poll." Back of
Johrison's chair stands that "burr of a man, Boswell,
watching lest any remark of the ponderous doctor should
escape him the only inferior man of that distinguished
company and even he destined to write a biography of
his friend which will ever stand among English
classics. Then there was Burke, the stateliest orator of
his time or perhaps of any time, and Garrick, most
gifted of actors. Later there was the great historian,
Gibbon, and the charming Fanny Burney. Occasionally
Mrs. Siddons, queen of actresses and of women, graced
that noble assembly, and Reynolds' nieces, Offy and her
Reynolds was often host of this gifted circle. He sat
at the head of the table and dispensed good cheer, not
alone in meat and drink, but in kindly intelligent words
as well, or he quietly shifted his ear trumpet to hear
more distinctly some interesting discussion. His was
ever the part of peace-maker if debate waxed too
heated and never in that brilliant company was there
silence for lack of thought. As Americans, we are
proud to know that in this intellectual coterie were firm
friends of the American struggle for representation just
previous to our Revolution.
It is a happy and successful life we have to trace.
Perhaps to both his happiness and success two famous
principles of his were the key never to be disturbed
by little things and always to look for success as the
outcome of tireless effort. In the two or three thousand
pictures attributed to his hand, it is said that he never
began one of them, however hopeless the subject, without
determining that that one should be the very best picture
he had ever painted.
Joshua Reynolds was born in the most picturesque
part of one of the lovliest sections in England, in
Devonshire. In the little town of Plympton, four or
five miles from Plymouth, the namesake of our New
England town of Pilgrim fame, Reynolds was born, July
23, 1723. Samuel Reynolds, his father, was a clergy-
man, the descendant of clergymen. He was master of
the grammar school of the town and was passing rich "
on one hundred and fifty pounds a year as income.
His mother was likewise the descendant of clergymen,
so that Joshua's clerical ancestry quite equalled our own
Although the boy was the seventh of eleven children,
his parents early planned his future course in life. The
father had some knowledge of pharmacy and to this
business the young man was destined by parental selec-
tion. That he had been carefully guided in his early
education by his father, seems evident from his scholar-
ship in later life. He had been a great reader, especially
of art works, far in advance of his years. In one place
he had read the prophecy that England would one day
have her Raphael. In his boyish hopefulness, he won-
dered if he might not be that Raphael for his country.
His father, however, could not look upon painting as a
substantial profession and so pushed the matter of the
boy's learning pharmacy. Of this business he mastered
just enough to prove a serious detriment to him in his
experimenting in mixing colors later in life.
One day as he sat in church he covertly sketched the
queer little minister on his thumb-nail. A few days
later he enlarged the sketch on a piece of sail canvas,
with ship paints. This was his first oil painting and it
was one that showed unusual talent in one so young,
talent which even a practical father found it impossible
to overlook. An early drawing of the lad's is preserved
with this comment of his father's written upon it, Done
by Joshua out of pure idleness." Such things con-
vinced Samuel Reynolds of his son's unswerving bent in
the line of art work and, like a reasonable man, he gave
up his notion of making him a druggist. Instead he
apprenticed him to an experienced painter, much to
Such a man was not to be found in the village of
Plympton nor yet in the larger town of Plymouth, so to
great roaring London it was necessary to go. Thus he
left the beauty and quiet of his country home, the
verdure draped hills, the swiftly flowing trout streams,
the dainty ponies of Dartmoor and the clotted cream"
and cider of his native country. To the lover of nature,
such as Gainsborough was, it was a change which
brought curtailed privileges, but to a man of Reynolds'
temperament, loving nature as shown in men, women
and children, this change was in the line of his genius
and a stepping-stone to his future achievements.
The man to whom Reynolds was apprenticed for four
years was Hudson, the most extensive manufacturer of
portraits in the great city. The young man was diligent
here and drew much from the antique. Well pleased he
DUCHESS OF DEVONSHIRE Reynolds
was, too, for he wrote home, "While doing this I am
the happiest creature alive." One of his chance experi-
ences while in this studio he often- spoke of with keenest
pleasure. He one day met and shook hands with
Alexander Pope, the famous poet and so-called Wasp
of Twickenham." His hunch-backed form, his splendid
eyes and his thin face deeply impressed the young art
student. And what wonder! Would not you and I
give a large portion of our income from dreamland to
shake hands with this man who, though ill and
deformed, drew all men to him in his villa at
For some mysterious reason the four years' apprentice-
ship was cut short at the end of two years. Some give
as a reason that Reynolds was ordered to deliver one of
his master's canvases, carrying it through the muddy
streets. He refused to do this and was dismissed for
not obeying orders. Another and more probable reason
is that the young artist had out-stripped his master and
that the latter sent him away before this should become
evident to the public. Whatever the cause, Reynolds
returned to Devonshire.
He soon settled to the practice of his art in Plymouth.
Here he painted many portaits of the great and small
magnates of the county. He tried his hand at land-
scape, reproducing in only fair style some of the lovely
scenery of Devon. At this period of his life he had for
advisor, besides his father, Lord Edgcumbe, the chief
nobleman of the county. Here, perhaps, began that
patronage by the nobility which was so extensive that
never before or since has a like amount been bestowed
upon any painter.
In 1746, the father died after seeing his son well
established in the profession of his choice. When the
home was broken up Joshua took two of his unmarried
sisters to Plymouth and rented a house. This was the
beginning of that long period of bachelor house-keeping
which ended only with his death, for he never married.
In his later years the duties of housewife and home-
maker devolved upon Offy, his niece and the beautiful
girl who sat for so many of his famous child pictures.
Later Offy's elder sister assumed these duties and became
her uncle's principal heir, inheriting from him 100,000.
Three years after his father's death, Admiral Keppel,
for many years a friend of Reynolds, asked the artist to
accompany him on board the Centurion for a cruise in
the Mediterranean. Now, nothing could be more to the
heart of a young artist longing for Italy and her art
treasures, but not possessed of the means to take such a
journey, than just this invitation. We can easily
imagine how eagerly Reynolds accepted his friend's offer.
After spending some time cruising about the west end
of the Mediterranean they landed on the island of
Minorca. Here Reynolds met with rather a serious
accident. He was out one day on a spirited horse and
dashed over a steep precipice. His head was cut and
his lip so much injured that it was ever after badly
As soon as he recovered he landed at Genoa and
began his tour of Italy itself. It was natural that he
should stay some time in Florence, so full was it of
interesting buildings and wonderful pictures. But it
was in Rome, where the remains of the ancient city
eclipsed the grandest modern monuments, that our
artist especially delighted. From here he wrote home,
"I am now at the height of my wishes, in the midst of
the greatest works of art that the world has produced."
In his study of the great pictures he seldom copied
them entire, but recorded his impressions and sketched,
on the margins of his note books, certain parts that
impressed him particularly. It was while working over
the pictures in the Vatican that he caught the cold
which resulted in his deafness.
In Rome he met many art students like himself, some
of them his own countrymen. The greatest Italian
artist of the time was Battoni, a man who painted after
the great days of Italian art were past. Reynolds saw
at once that he was superficial in his work and therefore
THE INFANT ACADEMY Reunolds
not a good teacher. So he preferred to study the pictures
of Raphael, Angelo and Correggio, great masters long
dead. In other words, their silent instruction was more
valuable to him than the living guidance of such a
master as Battoni.
Reynolds' visit to Venice perhaps meant more to him
even than his sojourn: in Rome. The splendid coloring
and the wonderful golden light of the Venetian masters
influenced our artist deeply. He tried to analyze
chemically some of these colors, hoping thereby to get
their secret. It was not to come that way this won-
derful secret; it came from God when he moulded
those masters and infused the beauty and color of
Venice into their very souls. Reynolds, however, must
have gathered something- perhaps nothing more than
a far-away hint of their skill in coloring, for in recent
years, Ruskin, the great art critic, has placed the name
of Reynolds among the seven greatest colorists of the
world. Truly that is a choice company in which to sit !
After three years of this delightful study and a life
almost free from care, Reynolds returned to England.
He remained a few months at Plymouth to rest and
recuperate, as his health was somewhat delicate on his
return. He then set his face resolutely toward London,
determined there to rise or fall in his art.
He first settled in a quarter much frequented by
artists, St. Martin's Lane. Here his housekeeper was a
younger sister, Frances, a rather strange woman not
altogether desirable to live with. She was fond of
copying her brother's pictures, which, he said, made
other people laugh but made him cry.
Shortly after his settlement in London, he made one
of the first of his life-long acquaintances. This was the
strange, uncouth, but splendid Dr. Johnson. At
Reynolds' house he was henceforth a constant visitor,
often remaining far into the night. When he died, in
1784, none of his numerous friends missed him more
than the gentle Sir Joshua. Boswell, so stupid in some
things, was quick to perceive this affection between these
two men, and so he dedicated his great work, The Life
of Johnson, to Reynolds, and placed as a frontispiece
an engraving copied from the artist's painted portrait of
From the time that the artist set up a home and a
studio in London, he kept open house for his friends
and acquaintances. Notwithstanding this, he was untir-
ing at his easel. Lord Edgcumbe influenced many of
the nobility to sit to the new painter, and so satisfactory
did his work prove, that his titled sitters increased until
he had more than a hundred in a year. Only a short
time after his coming to London he raised the price of
his work, so that he got twelve guineas for a head,
twenty-four for a half length, and forty-eight for a full
Even thus early in his career his method of laying on
color and his preference for certain colors over others
were thoroughly established. There were grave faults
here, too, to which we owe the destruction of some of
his most highly prized pictures. They cracked and
scaled off, and however courteous the remark that a
cracked Reynolds is better than a perfect picture by
a less able man, yet the fact remains that within a few
years some of his pictures have actually had to be
removed from gallery walls on account of their damaged
condition. He always bought the highest priced paints,
so it was in the mixing and experimenting that his peril
lay. It will give some idea of his method of laying on
colors to relate the following incident: A servant was
delivering one of the master's works, when some rude
fellow struck the back of the canvas with a stick. The
face dropped off as completely as if it had been of
A list of those who sat to him in a year would bristle
with the names of lords and ladies, many of them
famous in England's political and social history. The
number who came increased until in 1757-8, the two
busiest years of his life, there were no less than one
hundred and fifty sitters. He acquired such facility
that he could complete a head in four hours. Some-
times, when a visitor stayed too long, Reynolds would
remark after his departure, He did not know that my
time is worth five guineas an hour."
In the intervals between his sitters he devoted him-
self to his fancy subjects, of which he has left us such
beautiful specimens. Sometimes a ragged model a
man or boy from the street was hustled out of the
posing chair just in time for some noble sitter, rustling
in stiff brocade or splendid in military trappings. An
interesting story is told of how he painted his beautiful
picture, The Babes in the Woods." A boy from the
street had been brought in to sit for the artist. He was
tired and fell asleep in a graceful attitude. Reynolds
hurriedly sketched him thus and shortly the boy changed
his position to one more attractive still. This the artist
likewise sketched, and so grew the picture which has
been so much admired.
In 1760, he leased a commodious house in Leicester
Square and bought a sumptuous carriage for his sister.
The lease was made for forty-seven years. This and
other expenses incident on fitting up his new home
swallowed up most of his savings. Perhaps he had the
carriage and the more pretentious house in order to
advertise his prosperity. Whatever his motive, this
house continued to be his home for the thirty-two
remaining years of his life. A bronze tablet tells the
visitor to-day which was Sir Joshua's house. It will
be long indeed ere the house where so many brilliant
people gathered is forgotten. Up its broad stone stair-
case, made with a great outward curve to accommodate
the immense hoop-skirts worn by the women of the
time, through all those years passed the most splendid
array of statesmen, actors and literary men and women
that was ever entertained in any private house in
On the opposite side of the square lived Gainsborough,
likewise patronized by the nobility and beauties of the
time. .Admirable as he was, however, both as man and
artist, his was not the open house that Reynolds' was,
nor did he wish it to be.
The art spirit, even in the dull times of George III.,
was increasing. Many men were painting and exhibit-
ing their work each year. There was felt to be a press-
ing need for an art academy where there could be free
instruction in drawing and painting, and lectures by men
learned in their respective arts. Such an organization
was formed in 1768 under the direct patronage of the
king and hence called the Royal Academy. Reynolds
was elected president by acclamation. He occupied the
position until his death. Here models were furnished
for drawing and painting, instruction was given in the
various branches of the fine arts, while lectures were
delivered at intervals. Some of our most valuable
art literature is the printed collections of these lectures,
good examples of which are Reynolds' Discourses on
Painting and Flaxman's Lectures on Sculpture.
Once a year there was an exhibition of pictures,
always so stimulating to artists. Everything was free
to students prepared to take the work. Many illustrious
names shine forth from the roll of membership and the
list of presidents. Among the latter may be mentioned
Benjamin West, one of the founders of American paint-
ing, and Frederick Leighton and John E. Millais,
Englishmen of our own day.
Among the thirty-six original members of the Royal
Academy we note the name of the beautiful and accom-
plished Angelica Kauffmann. She was the daughter of
a poor Swiss painter, and an artist of large reputation
in her life-time. In 1766, she came to London and was
at once received into that select coterie over which Sir
Joshua presided in Leicester Square. For seventeen
years she made her home in London, working constantly
at her art. Some say that at one time she was deeply
in love with Reynolds. However, hers was a heart in
which emotions played but lightly and she grieved little,
if any, that, despite her charms, the courtly President
of the Academy still continued to choose a bachelor's
PENELOPE BOOTHBY Reynolds
life. Miss Thackeray, the daughter of the great novel-
ist, wrote a short story called Mliss Angel, in which
Angelica Kauffmann and several of Reynolds' circle
figure in an interesting way.
Reynolds was now in the full tide of his powers. He
had been knighted by the king, his lectures before the
Academy were strong in a literary way as well as
practical for art students. He was now producing some
of his most beautiful portraits of women and children.
He was strong in his portraiture of men yet almost more
than any other painter has he mastered the secret of
representing the elusive charm of beautiful women and
lovely children. As examples of the former let us think
of the portraits of Lady Hamilton, who had been a nurse-
maid at Hawarden, of Angelica Kauffman, the Duchess
of Devonshire, Miss Bingham, and the Waldegrave
sisters, neices of Horace Walpole.
Then, who that has ever seen it can forget the
transcendent beauty of that portrait of Mrs. Siddons, in
which she personates the tragic muse? She wished to
be painted so, and Reynolds, instead of posing her him-
self, asked her to give him her own idea of the position
appropriate for such a representation. She immediately
assumed the attitude in which she has so gloriously
come down to us in Reynolds' picture. How beautiful
she is as she sits there wearing a look divine, with her
matchless arm upraised, her luxuriant hair bound with a
diadem, not of rank but of genius, her beautiful neck
and breast adorned with woven pearls, and, falling all
about her, her voluminous draperies, while on either
hand the spirits of her art attend, the one bearing the
dagger, the other the poisoned cup !
It must have been a proud day for the happy artist
when he looked upon this great picture of a great
woman completed. No wonder he did what was very
unusual with him signed his full name in running
characters on the edge of her drapery. When the
lovely Mrs. Siddons, examining the finished picture,
wondered at what appeared to her to be a line of em-
broidery on her robe which on closer examination proved
to be merely the painter's name, what pleasure he
must have given and felt as he gallantly excused himself
for his apparent vanity by saying, I could not lose
the honor this opportunity afforded me of going down
to posterity on the hem of your garment." In all the
annals of knighthood there was never a more courtly
tribute paid to a woman. True, Reynolds had a lovely
subject, but his task was so much the more difficult to
represent adequately the queen of the stage. Remem-
bering even the lovely pictures of her that Gains-
borough, that other great English artist, has given
us, still must we choose this one by Reynolds.
LITTLE SAMUEL Reynolds
Of his children, how can we select a favorite when
there are so many? Sweet Little Strawberry Girl,"
looking at us so slyly with her turned up apron and
cute conical basket, or dear Penelope Boothby with
her dainty cap and quaint mits -we may not stop at
these, beautiful though they are. There is Age of
Innocence," another beautiful child whose pink toes just
creep from beneath her skirt, while upon the fluttering
little breast are crossed the dear child hands.
In "Little Samuel," with the very light of heaven
streaming in upon him, Reynolds gave us a child for
which even a commonplace mother might well pour
forth a splendid hymn of praise, as did Hannah of old.
Beautiful little boy! None of his perfect sisters of
Reynolds' creation can exceed, or, to my mind, equal
his superlative and yet perfectly childish beauty.
As I said before, it is difficult to stop in this almost
inexhaustible list of Reynolds' children. The Angel
Choir or Angel Heads," that it seems we have
known always, rise up and plead with five of the
sweetest faces for their proper place in this list. Five
lovely heads with wings, as if they were pictures, sure
enough, of the angels, and yet it is only Reynolds'
fanciful way of presenting five views of the little
daughter of Lord Gordon, the man who led the
Gordon riots in England in the last part of the last
century. In their perfect beauty and sweet ideality
they have long ago ceased to stand to the public as a
portrait and are, instead, just a fragment of that celestial
throng brought to us by the pure and lofty imagination
of a man who was poet as well as painter.
Reynolds was fond of children and often played'with
his youthful sitters until they liked him and could
consequently "look their best." The precious privilege
of having children of his own never came to this man
and yet no other painter has so strikingly presented to
us the divine gospel of childhood and innocence. His
painted children are but types, true to life, of those we,
more fortunate than he, hold in our arms, living,
breathing oracles, in whose hands are the future of the
church, the state, and the home.
Reynolds enjoyed decking out his women and children
sitters after his own notions. For the former, he was
fond of the beautiful flowing draperies of the Greeks
and so we find him frequently painting them as mytho-
logical characters. He carried this into his pictures of
children, also. We recall one in which a child is
represented as Mercury in the dishonest capacity of
pickpocket. Another, with ears slightly elongated,
laughs and kicks in the exuberance of his spirits from a
toad-stool throne, and we call the picture Puck."
In looking over the almost endless list of Sir Joshua's
pictures, we naturally select his children and beautiful
women, but he has been quite as successful in por-
traying men. Though gentleness seemed to rule his
brush in his painting of women and children, that same
brush gave us the rough and massive strength of
Dr. Johnson's face, the facile mobility of Garrick's, the
power of Burke's, the weakness and pathos of Gold-
smith's as well as the refinement and conceit of Horace
Walpole's. The striking thing that we deduce from
the immense body of his work is that he was first and
last and all the time an all round portrait painter,
doing to the very life the lovely children, the fascinating
women and the powerful men of his time.
After perhaps the first decade of his residence in
London, he pruned down the list of his sitters to sixty
or seventy a year. These, with the pupils he instructed,
the subjects painted between times and the delivery of
his lectures in the Academy, quite filled his working
hours. As for recreation, there were endless dinners
and lunches, the theatre, of which he was passionately
fond, and the clubs. Reynolds was, as his friend
Johnson expressed it, a very clubbable man." At
least three evenings of each week were spent at various
literary and social clubs.
In his own house the dinner was a most informal
matter. The hour was five o'clock and the table was
TIE FORTUNE TELLER
set for about half who came there were so many
unexpected guests and the service inadequate for the
over-crowded table. Perhaps the good host's deafness
saved him from much embarrassment at these times.
There was, however, a charm about the company one
met there, and so the same ones came over and over
again and drew new celebrities to their ranks.
Of that merry company the simple Goldsmith was the
first to pass to that unknown country from which no
traveler returns. He had often been the butt of their
good natured ridicule, but now, that there was only a
mound in the Temple green yonder and his vacant chair
here, they felt that there had befallen them an irrepar-
able loss. The little story, Vicar of Wakefield," that
he had reluctantly brought forth when Johnson found
him under arrest for his rent, had become a part of the
world's literature. The "Deserted Village" he had
dedicated affectionately to Reynolds and that, too, was
afloat in the world, making for Goldy," as they
now tenderly called him, a host of friends, only a begin-
ning of that mighty throng that has since loved the
softly flowing numbers descriptive of Sweet Auburn,
loveliest village of the plain."
As is the sad yet good way of the world, the dimin-
ished circle was increased by new celebrities. The
great historian Gibbon came among them a welcome
guest, though he could in no way be said to have taken
the beloved Goldsmith's place. He and Reynolds were
ever firm friends.
In 1778, a charming society novel, "Evelina," kept
our artist up all one night, so eager was he to read it.
For a time no one knew the author, while everyone was
commenting and wondering about it. It shortly devel-
oped that this pleasing story was the work of Fanny
Burney, a mere girl and a great favorite of Dr. John-
son, to whom he always referred as Little Burney."
She was the daughter of Dr. Burney, a music teacher
and composer, and was one of Johnson's most valued
friends, at whose house he spent many happy hours.
Miss Burney now joined this gifted company and was a
sort of pet among those older notables. Her father sat
to Reynolds for his portrait, which proved to be one of
the best Sir Joshua ever painted.
In the summer and fall of 1780, Reynolds spent two
months visiting the Low Countries and Germany. He
made a study of the art works of the former and his
comments on Dutch paintings we prize to-day. He was
always a great admirer of Rembrandt and this visit
strengthened his admiration. He considered the paint-
ings of the Low Countries as a sort of grammar school,
as he expressed it, to the art student, while to Italy, he
said, the student must go for the higher instruction.
This brief trip, together with one quite as short to Paris
years before, was the only break in his long residence in
London. A man who accomplished the amount of work
Reynolds did could not spend long periods in travel or
Just ten years after Goldsmith's death, Johnson, then
old and infirm, left the gaiety of earth. Shortly before
he had written to Reynolds, We are now old acquaint-
ances and perhaps few people have lived so much and so
long together with less cause of complaint on either side.
The retrospection of this is very pleasant and I hope we
shall never think on each other with less kindness."
The painter was with Johnson during his last hours and
he promised his dying friend three things not to paint
on Sunday, to read his Bible regularly, and to forgive
him a debt of thirty pounds. All except the first part of
his promise was loyally kept. When he became per-
suaded that his friend had no right to exact such a
promise to the contrary he again took up his old practice
of painting on Sunday.
So greatly did Reynolds rejoice in his work that it
was a rare day that he did not touch his brush. Such a day
it was when Garrick died and it is said there was no other
way in which he could so deeply show his sorrow at his
Thus death and decay were waiting upon this circle of
distinguished men and women, the glory of their age.
Already three of their most noted men had passed away.
Just across the square there Gainsborough had breathed
his last. In his closing hours he had asked for Rey-
nolds, his rival, from whom he had always stood aloof,
and with "graying lips" he had whispered into Sir
Joshua's dulled ears his last words a message of
wide forgiveness though couched in unusual language,
" We are all going to heaven and Van Dyck is of the
Four years later Reynolds himself had joined that
mysterious party, "wandering to the better land."
His health had never been robust. The infirmity of
his deafness had grown upon him and in 1789 he was
smitten with partial blindness, of the sort that afflicted
Milton in his old age. The hand and the mind that had
plied so incessantly a loved art now rested almost com-
pletely. The serenity, however, that follows a life well
spent and crowned with success dropped upon him like
a protecting mantle. He went out among his friends as
before and yet with moderation, too. He frequently
went to Westminster Hall to listen to his friends Sheri-
dan and Burke, in the great trial of Warren Hastings
then going on. He visited at the country places of some
of his friends and frequently refreshed himself with the
air of the seashore.
In 1790, he delivered his last lecture before the
Academy and the scene was an affecting one. He
closed with these words, I reflect, not without vanity,
that these Discourses bear testimony of my admiration
of that truly divine man; and I should desire that the
last words I should pronounce, in this Academy and
from this place, might be the name of MICHAEL
ANGELO." Then from that crowded and deeply touched
audience Burke stepped forth and, grasping the-hand of
the President, repeated the words of Milton:-
" The angel ended, and in Adam's ear,
So charming left his voice, that he awhile
Thought him still speaking, still stood fixed to hear."
His nieces tended to his every want and the old
friends who still remained were often with him. He
petted his birds, of which he had always been fond, and
played an occasional game of whist which always gave
him great pleasure. When the end -finally came, in
1792, it seemed but that transition of which our Long-
fellow so beautifully writes. After a funeral pageant in
which nearly a hundred carriages of the nobility joined,
he was laid to rest in the crypt of St. Paul's Cathedral
by the side of his townsman, Sir Christopher Wren, who
had reared that giant building in the heart of London.
Later other great artists were laid beside these two and
not a few of England's other distinguished dead.
Twenty years afterwards, the English sculptor, Flaxman,
carved a statue of Reynolds which stands near the
choir in St. Paul's.
A ponderous Latin inscription, commending Sir
Joshua's taste, his skill and his elegant manners, is
carved on his tomb. Better, however, does that other
epitaph, a jest of Goldsmith's, written in a hilarious
mood, characterize the great painter, the noble English-
man and the kindly friend:-
" Here Reynolds is laid; and, to tell you my mind,
He has not left a wiser or better behind.
His pencil was striking, resistless and grand;
His manners were gentle, complying and bland;
Still born to improve us in every part,-
His pencil our faces, his manners our heart.
To coxcombs averse, yet most civilly steering
When they judged without skill, he was still hard of
When they talked of their Raphaels, Correggios and
He shifted his trumpet and only took snuff."
REFERENCES FOR SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS.
Northcote's Life of Joshua Reynolds.
Leslie and Tom Taylor's Life and Times of Sir Joshua Reynolds.
Cunningham's Life of Sir Joshua Reynolds.
Sweetser's Life of Sir Joshua Reynolds.
Pulliig's Life of Sir Joshua Reynolds.
Stephens' English Children Painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds.
Keppel's Sketch of Reynolds in Scribner's Magazine, Vol. XV.
SUBJECTS FOR LANGUAGE WORK.
1. A Dinner with Sir Joshua Reynolds.
2. Mrs. Siddons, the Queen of the English Stage.
3. Reynolds' Painted Children.
4. A Trip with Reynolds to the Low Countries.
5. Two Pictures of Mrs. Siddons.
(Comparison of that by Reynolds with that by Gainsborough.')
6. Angelica Kauffmann.
7. Stories about Reynolds.
8. Traveling in Devon."
9. Some Famous Friendships.
A New Series of the Greater Plays. An
Pupils by Experienced Teachers.
MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM.
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BAUGusT, Chief Master of Modern Subjects,
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