LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

My Friends and Acquaintance
William Hazlitt XI

Vol I Contents
Charles Lamb I
Charles Lamb II
Charles Lamb III
Charles Lamb IV
Charles Lamb V
Charles Lamb VI
Charles Lamb VII
Charles Lamb VIII
Charles Lamb IX
Charles Lamb X
Thomas Campbell I
Thomas Campbell II
Thomas Campbell III
Thomas Campbell IV
Thomas Campbell V
Thomas Campbell VI
Thomas Campbell VII
Lady Blessington I
Lady Blessington II
Lady Blessington III
Lady Blessington IV
Lady Blessington V
R. Plumer Ward I
R. Plumer Ward II
R. Plumer Ward III
R. Plumer Ward IV
R. Plumer Ward V
R. Plumer Ward VI
Appendix vol I
Vol II Contents
R. Plumer Ward VII
R. Plumer Ward VIII
R. Plumer Ward IX
R. Plumer Ward X
R. Plumer Ward XI
R. Plumer Ward XII
R. Plumer Ward XIII
R. Plumer Ward XIV
R. Plumer Ward XV
R. Plumer Ward XVI
R. Plumer Ward XVII
R. Plumer Ward XVIII
R. Plumer Ward XIX
R. Plumer Ward XX
R. Plumer Ward XXI
R. Plumer Ward XXII
R. Plumer Ward XXIII
Horace & James Smith I
Horace & James Smith II
William Hazlitt I
William Hazlitt II
William Hazlitt III
William Hazlitt IV
William Hazlitt V
William Hazlitt VI
William Hazlitt VII
William Hazlitt VIII
Appendix vol II
Vol III Contents
William Hazlitt IX
William Hazlitt X
‣ William Hazlitt XI
William Hazlitt XII
William Hazlitt XIII
William Hazlitt XIV
William Hazlitt XV
William Hazlitt XVI
William Hazlitt XVII
William Hazlitt XVIII
William Hazlitt XIX
William Hazlitt XX
William Hazlitt XXI
William Hazlitt XXII
William Hazlitt XXIII
William Hazlitt XXIV
William Hazlitt XXV
William Hazlitt XXVI
Laman Blanchard I
Laman Blanchard II
Laman Blanchard III
Laman Blanchard IV
Laman Blanchard V
Laman Blanchard VI
Laman Blanchard VII
Laman Blanchard VIII
R & T Sheridan I
R & T Sheridan II
R & T Sheridan III
R & T Sheridan IV
R & T Sheridan V
R & T Sheridan VI
R & T Sheridan VII
R & T Sheridan VIII
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Extracts From Diary continued.

January 15, 1825.—To-night (at the Southampton), Hazlitt told some capital things about Dawe the painter.* Describing his essential and ingrained meanness of character, he said, “He had a soul like the sole of a shoe;” and he related some things illustrative of this character. He said Dawe used to lend out every farthing of his own money at usurious interest, and then borrow money of his friends at no interest at all to get on with; and that once he quite abused, and almost quarrelled with John Lamb, who used to lend him money, because on one occa-

* Who was at this time at St. Petersburgh, whence he afterwards returned with a fortune of near half a million of money.

sion, Lamb asked him for an acknowledgment for it in case of death. Lamb wanted a stamped receipt, which would have cost a few pence, and Dawe thought this an enormity.

He described a capital scene that had taken place at Dawe’s. There was a man named K——, who was reckoned to be like Dawe in personal appearance (both of them being remarkably ugly), and this K—— had often asked Hazlitt to introduce him to Dawe,—he (K.) having a great wish to see a likeness of himself. Dawe, too, had often heard of this resemblance. At last Hazlitt took K—— to Dawe’s house. There was a glass over the chimney-piece in Dawe’s painting-room, and on Hazlitt introducing K——, he described each as first giving a furtive glance at the glass and then at each other.

Hazlitt.—This is Mr. K——, Mr. Dawe.

Dawe.—Very happy to see Mr. K—— (looking first at K. and then at himself in the glass, and giving a sort of inward smile of self-congratulation, as much as to
say—“I don’t see any great resemblance”). I think they say we are like each other, Mr. K——. I can’t say I—exactly—see—any great similarity—(looking in the glass again). There is a little—something—to be sure—about the mouth—a sort of ——

K——. Why, no; I don’t see much resemblance myself. There may, perhaps, be a little something in the forehead—a kind of ——

In short, each evidently piqued at the unsatisfactory nature of the portrait of himself, and each wondering how anybody could possibly think him like so ugly a person as the other. Hazlitt made out the scene capitally; you could see each party coquetting, as it were, with his own simular in the glass, and comparing it, with infinite self-satisfaction, with the living object before him. There was a portrait of Holcroft which Dawe had painted, and which belonged to Mrs. Holcroft, and was to be engraved by Dawe for a Life of Holcroft, which Hazlitt was writing. Hazlitt said that he and Mrs. Holcroft went about it one day to Dawe’s
rooms, and caught him in the act of making a duplicate of it.

He described very admirably a scene he had witnessed at the M——’s, between Mrs. M—— and Dawe, illustrating the contrast between the flowing, graceful, queen-like style and manner of the one, and the little, peddling, pimping, snipped manner of the other. Mrs. M. was speaking of a picture she had just seen of Sir Joshua’s, of a lady, which she described in her fine way. “The face, Mr. Dawe, was remarkably fair—almost of a marbly whiteness, and on the cheek, to relieve this, there was a slight tinge of colour. The lady wore a perfectly white dress, and she was walking in a sort of garden scene, with a white wall behind her; and overhead there was floating along one white cloud, and by her side was growing one white lily.”

The contrast to all this was furnished by the little snipped and cut-up interruptions of Dawe, thrown in between every stately pause in the description. “Ah!—Yes!—Indeed!—Yes, very nice—ay, indeed.”

Speaking of Haydon to-night, he said he
had just been at O——’s, and that Mrs. O—— had told him how it was that her husband (who was at that time in very slender circumstances) had been compelled to lend him (Haydon) fifty pounds. She said—“Oh, sir, my husband could not help lending it to him—he would have it. Why, sir, he came round here, behind the counter, followed my husband up to the very window, and said he must have it—he could not do without it, and almost seemed as if he would have taken it if it had not been given to him.” “And so,” said
Hazlitt, “O—— was obliged to lend it to him, to prevent his taking it out of the till!”

The following was intended by Hazlitt to form part of one of his Conversations with Northcote (Boswell Redivivus) in the New Monthly Magazine, but was suppressed by the editor. It relates to Haydon, the historical painter.

“He then asked me if I had seen anything of H——? I said, yes; and that he had vexed me; for I had shown him some fine heads from the Cartoons, done about a hundred years ago (which appeared to me to
prove that since that period those noble remains have fallen into a state of considerable decay), and when I went out of the room for a moment, I found the prints thrown carelessly on the table, and that he had got out a volume of
Tasso, which he was spouting, as I supposed, to let me understand that I knew nothing of art, and that he knew a great deal about poetry.

“I said I never heard him speak with enthusiasm of any painter or work of merit, nor show any love of art, except as a puffing-machine for him to get up into and blow a trumpet in his own praise. Instead of falling down and worshipping such names as Raphael and Michael Angelo, he is only considering how he may, by storm or stratagem, place himself beside them, on the loftiest seats of Parnassus, as ignorant country squires affect to sit with judges on the bench. He told me he had had a letter from Wilkie, dated Rome, with three marks of admiration, and that he had dated his answer ‘Babylon the Great,’ with four marks of admiration. Stuff! Why must he always ‘out-Herod Herod?’ Why must the place
where he is always have one note of admiration more than any other? He gave as his reasons, indeed, our river, our bridges, the Cartoons, and the Elgin Marbles—the two last of which, however, are not our own.
H. should have been the boatswain of a man of war: he has no other ideas of glory than those which belong to a naval victory, or to vulgar noise and insolence; not at all as something in which the whole world may participate alike. I hate ‘this stamp exclusive and professional.’ He added that Wilkie gave a poor account of Rome, and seemed, on the whole, disappointed. He (Haydon) should not be disappointed when he went, for his expectations were but moderate. ‘Ay,’ said Northcote, ‘that is like the speech of a little, crooked, conceited painter of the name of Edwards, who went to Italy with Romney and Humphreys, and when they looked round the Vatican, he turned round to Romney and said, ‘Egad, George, we’re bit.’

“I said that when I heard stories of this kind, of even clever men who seemed to have no idea or to take no interest except in what
they themselves could do, it almost inclined me to be of
Peter Pindar’s opinion, who pretended to prefer taste to genius: ‘Give me,’ said he, ‘one man of taste, and I will find you twenty men of genius.’ N. replied, ‘It is a pity you should be of that opinion, for all your acquaintances are great geniuses; and yet, I fancy, they have no admiration for anybody but themselves.’”