Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

with the eyes of a contemporary, and acquire the personal interest in each portrait which personal intimacy would give.

Lord Clarendon describes his taste through life for the society of eminent men ;? the same taste would seem to have guided his choice in the selection of portraits by which he surrounded himself in his home; and though the collection can boast of a few of the best productions of Cornelius Jansen, and many of Vandyck, Lely, &c., there are other paintings which, as works of art, could never have found their place in such a gallery but for the value he attached to them as portraits.

The only authentic contemporaneous account that

For this reason Lord Clarendon's characters of his friends and contemporaries, and even of himself, have been selected in preference to the accounts given by any other writer, and will be found subjoined to the description of the portrait and short memoir of its subject in the descriptive catalogue at the end of the third volume of this work.

"Oh.

* “ He never took more pleasure in anything than in frequently men“ tioning and naming those persons who were his friends, or of his most “ familiar conversation, aud in remembering their particular virtues and “ faculties; and used often to say that he never was so proud, or thought “ himself so good a man, as when he was the worst man in the company; “ all his friends and companions being in their quality, in their fortunes, s at least in their faculties and endowments of mind, very much his supe“ riors; and he always charged his children to follow his example in that " point, in making their friendships and conversation : protesting that in 16 the whole course of his life he never knew one man, of what condition “ soever, arrive to any degree of reputation in the world, who made choice " or delighted in the company or conversation of those who in their quali" ties were inferior, or in their parts not much superior, to himself.”— Life of Edward Earl of Clarendon, vol. i. pp. 29, 30.

remains of Lord Clarendon's gallery is to be found in a passage of Evelyn's Diary, where the following entry is made, December 20th, 1668:

“ I dined with my Lord Cornbury at Clarendon “ House, now bravely furnished, especially with the “ pictures of most of our ancient and modern wits, “poets, philosophers, famous and learned Englishmen.” And again, in a long letter addressed by Mr. Evelyn to Mr. Pepys, dated August 12th, 1689, where he enumerates from memory many of the pictures he had formerly seen hung up at Clarendon House, and thus furnishes the only approach to a contemporaneous catalogue that has been preserved. Pepys had been desirous of forming a collection of pictures, somewhat on the same plan as that of the Chancellor's. Evelyn dissuaded him from the attempt, on the ground of the expense into which it would lead him, and advised him to confine himself to the less ambitious plan of collecting prints :

“ I should not advise," writes Mr. Evelyn to “ his “ worthy friend Mr. Pepys," "a solicitous expense of “ having the pictures of so many great persons painted “ in oil, which were a vast and unnecessary charge; ... “ but," continues he, “ if, instead of these, you think fit “ to add to your title-pages, in a distinct volume, the “ heads and effigies of such as I have enumerated, and '“ of as many others as, either in this or any other age, “ have been famous for arms or arts, in taille douce, “and with very tolerable expense, to be procured

no

arms

" amongst the printsellers, I should not reprove it. I “ am sure you would be infinitely delighted with the “ assembly; and some are so very well done to the life, “ that they may stand in competition with the best “ paintings.” Mr. Evelyn then speaks of the Chancellor's “ purpose to furnish all the rooms of state and “ other apartments with the pictures of the most illus“ trious of our nation, especially of his Lordship's time “ and acquaintance, and of divers before it.” “ There “ were,” says he, “ at full length, the great Duke of “ Buckingham, the brave Sir Horace and Francis “ Vere, Sir Walter Raleigh, Sir Philip Sidney, the “ great Earl of Leicester, Treasurer Buckhurst, Bur“ leigh, Walsingham, Cecil, Lord Chancellor Bacon, “ Ellesmere, and, I think, all the late chancellors and “grave judges in the reigns of Queen Elizabeth, and “ her successors James and Charles I. For there was " Treasurer Weston, Cottington, Duke Hamilton, the “ magnificent Earl of Carlisle, Earls of Carnarvon, “ Bristol, Holland, Lindsay, Northumberland, King“ston, and Southampton, Lords Falkland and Digby “ (I name them promiscuously, as they come into my “ memory), and of Charles II., besides the Royal “ Family, the Dukes of Albemarle and Newcastle, Earls “ of Derby, Shrewsbury, St. Albans, the brave Mont“ rose, Sandwich, Manchester, &c.; and of the coif, “Sir Edward Coke, Judge Berkeley, Bramston, Sir “ Orlando Bridgman, Geoffry Palmer, Selden, Vaughan, “ Sir Robert Cotton, Dugdale, Mr. Camden, Mr. Hales

001

“ of Eton; the Archbishops Abbot and Laud; Bishops “ Juxon, Sheldon, Morley, and Duppa ; Dr. Sanderson, “ Brownrig, Dr. Donne, Chillingworth, and several of “ the clergy and others of the former and present age. " For there were the pictures of Fisher, Fox, Sir “ Thomas More, Thomas Lord Cromwell, Dr. Nowel, “ &c. And, what was most agreeable to his Lordship’s “ general humour, old Chaucer, Shakspeare,' Beaumont “ and Fletcher (who were both in one piece), Spenser, “ Mr. Waller, Cowley, Hudibras, which last he placed “ in the room where he used to eat and dine in public, “ most of which, if not all, are at the present at Corn“ bury, in Oxfordshire, together with the library, which " the present Earl has considerably improved.”

Having thus detailed the list of such pictures as he could recall to mind, Mr. Evelyn adds the following names of those which he says he had sent to his Lordship:—“ Cardinals Pole and Wolsey; Gardiner Bishop “ of Winchester, Cranmer, Ridley, old Latimer, Bishop “ Usher, Mr. Hooker, Occam, Ripley, John Duns, “ Roger Bacon, Suisset, Tunstal Bishop of Duresme “ (correspondent with Erasmus), Tompson, Ven. Bede, “ if at least to be met with in some ancient office or

nam

1 It would be interesting to know what has become of this portrait. Shakspeare died 1616, only forty-four years before the Restoration ; Ben Jonson, the friend of Shakspeare and of Sir Edward Hyde, died in 1637, only twenty-three years before the Restoration ; and from the circumstance of Ben Jonson having written some lines under the print of Shakspeare it is probable that Lord Clarendon would have known from him whether it was that print or any other portrait that most resembled so remarkable a person,

“ mass-book, where I have seen some of those old “ famous persons accurately painted either from the “ life or from copies: Sir John Cheke, Sir Thomas “ Bodley, Smith, John Berkeley, Mr. Ascham, Sir “ Fulk Grevil, Buchanan, Dr. Hervey, Gilbert, Mr. “ Oughtred, Sir Henry Wotton (I still recite them “promiscuously, and not like an herald), Sir Francis “ Drake, Sir Richard Hawkins, Mr. Cavendish, Martin “ Frobisher.”! Some of these he says his Lordship procured, “but was interrupted ; and, after all this “ apparatus and grandeur, died an exile, and in the dis“ pleasure of his Majesty and others who envied his “ rise and fortune.”

In the work entitled Historical Inquiries,' by

was

pictures is made a ground of serious accusation against the Chancellor Clarendon. The charges are founded upon a note of Lord Dartmouth's, in the Oxford edition of Burnet's · History of his own Times.' In the ‘Historical Inquiries’ it is stated that “Lord Dartmouth “ was a Tory, and therefore should naturally have been o disposed to be favourable to Clarendon."2 It is, however, quite clear that no party bias had influenced his opinion in favour of the Chancellor, and that the note is written in a tone of hostility and insinuation that betokens rather personal enmity (though he was born too late for

Evelyn's Correspondence, vol. iv. p. 306. · Historical Inquiries respecting the Character of Lord Clarendon, p. 27 (1827).

« ZurückWeiter »