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Book Ii, which he cultivated, both as author and as patron, the—in Book-11 Britain—too much neglected department of provincial toP"tm'"" pography. He had spent nearly five years in Italy—partly Bknkfac- during the reign of Napoleon—and amassed a very fine collection of books illustrative of all departments of Italian history. In 1825, Sir Richard presented this Collection to the Trustees of the British Museum in these words:— 'Anxious to follow the liberal example of our gracious monarch George The Fourth, of Sir George Beaumont, and of Richard Payne Knight (though in a very humble degree), I do give unto the British Museum my Collection of Topography, made during a residence of five years abroad; and hoping that the more modern publications may be added to it hereafter.' The Library so given included about seventeen hundred and thirty separate works. Sir Richard did something, himself, to secure the fulfilment of the annexed wish, by adding to his first gift, made in 1825, in subsequent years. Collkc The researches of Claudius Rich merit some special Clajdh S notice. He may be regarded as the first explorer of Assyria.

Had it not been for his early death, it is very probable that he might have anticipated some of the brilliant discoveries of Mr. Layard. But his quickly intercepted researches will be best described, in connection with the later explorations in the same field. Here it may suffice to say that from Mr. Rich's representatives a Collection of Manuscripts, extending to eight hundred and two volumes— Syriac, Arabic, Persian, and Turkish—was obtained, by purchase, in 1825, together with a small Collection of Coins and miscellaneous antiquities.

To the Oriental Manuscripts of Rich, an important addition was made in the course of the same year by the "stavmss. bequest of Mr. John Fowler Hull—another distinguished

Rich. [See, hereafter, Book III, c.

3.]

Orientalist who passed from amongst us at an early age— Book n, who also bequeathed a Collection of Oriental and Chinese Bookprinted books. Mr. Hull's legacy was the small be- Pu""AKD ginning of that Chinese Library which has now become so °0TMK,AC" large.

It was also in the year 1825 that Sir Gore Ouseley Thkptm«.

^ # FOLITAN

presented a Collection of Marbles obtained from Persepolis. Ma
These will be mentioned hereafter in connection with the
antiquarian explorations of Claudius Rich and his suc-
cessors. The donor of the Persepolitan Marbles died on
the eighteenth of November, 1844.

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Portland

In addition to these many liberal benefactions made History during the earlier years of the present century, a smaller gift (virtually a gift, though in name a 'deposit') of the VA8E same period claims brief notice, on account both of its artistic value and of its curious history. I refer to that exquisite monument of ancient art known, for many years, as the 'Barberini Vase/ but now more commonly as the 'Portland Vase,' from the name of its last individual possessor.

This vase is one of the innumerable acquisitions which the country owes to the intelligent research and cultivated taste of Sir William Hamilton. It had been found more than a century before his time (probably in the year 1640), beneath the Monte del Grano, about three miles from Rome, on the road to Tusculum. The place of the discovery was a sepulchral chamber, within which was found a sarcophagus containing the vase, and bearing an inscription to the memory of the Emperor Alexander Severus {A.D. 222-235) and to his mother. About this sarcophagus and its inscription there have been dissertations and rejoinders, essays and commentaries, illustrative and obscurative, in

Book ii, sufficient number to immortalise half a dozen Jonathan B'ooc- Oldbucks and 'Antigonus' Mac-cribbs. And the controlsTMAND versy is still undetermined.

Be;tmtm:- After having been long a conspicuous ornament of the Barberini Palace, the 'Barberini Vase' was bought by Hamilton. When, in December, 1784, he paid one of his visits to England, the vase came with him. Its fame had previously excited the desires of many virtuosi. By the Duchess of Portland it was so strongly coveted, that she employed a niece of Sir William to conduct a negotiation with much more solemnity and mystery than the ambassador

correspond- would have thought needful in conducting a critical Treaty

ence of Mrs. 0 ."

Many, vol. of Peace. The Duchess's precautions foiled the curiosity of placesTM81'3' n°t a few of her fellow-collectors in virtu. 'I have heard,' wrote Horace Walpole, 'that Sir W. Hamilton's renowned vase, which had disappeared with so much mystery, is again recovered; not in the tomb, but the treasury, of the Duchess of Portland, in which, I fancy, it had made ample room for itself. Sir William told me it would never go out of England. I do not see how he could warrant that. The Duchess and Lord Edward have both shown how H wajpoieto nttk ability there is in the riches of that family.' As yet, Lady upper- the reader will remember, that 'Portland Estate,' which Angiut, 1785. was so profitably to turn farms into streets, was but in

(Cunn. Edit., .

Toi.ii,P. s.) expectancy.

And then Walpole adds: 'My family has felt how insecure is the permanency of heir-looms,'—the thought of that grand 'Houghton Gallery/ and its transportation to Russia, coming across his memory, whilst telling Lady Upper-ossort the story of the coveted vase, just imported from the Barberini Palace at Rome.

The Duchess of Portland enjoyed the sight of her beautiful purchase only during a few weeks. It was bought Pl'BLTC

BenefacTors.

in by the family (at the nominal price of £1029*) at the Bookii, sale of her famous museum of curiosities—a sale extending Bookto more than four thousand lots—and twenty-four years L v ,N' afterwards, it was lent, for exhibition (1810), by the third Duke of Portland, to the Trustees of the British Museum, where it has since remained.

When Wedgwood set about imitating the Portland Vase in his manufactory at Etruria—for which purpose the then Duke liberally lent it to him—he discovered that the vase had been broken and skilfully put together again. After it had been publicly exhibited during almost thirtyfive years in London, the frenzy of a maniac led—as it seemed at the moment—to its utter destruction. But, mainly by the singular skill and patience of the late John Doubleday (a craftsman attached to the Department of Antiquities for many years), it was soon restored to its pristine beauty. That one act of violence in 1845 is the only instance of very serious injury arising from open exhibition to all comers which the annals of the Museum record.

* Horace Walpole, at this sale, purchased the fine MS., with drawings by Julio Clovio, which was long an ornament of the villa at Strawberry Hill, and also a choice cameo of Jupiter Serapis, for which he gave a hundred and seventy-three pounds. He preferred, he said, either of them to the vase. So, at least, he fancied when he found it unattainable. 'I am glad,' he wrote to Conway (18 June, 1786), ' that Sir Joshua saw no more excellence in the Jupiter than in the Clovio, or the Duke, I suppose, would have purchased it as he did the Vase—for £1000. I told Sir William and the late Duchess—when I never thought that it would be mine—that I would rather have the head than the vase.'

CHAPTER IV.

THE KING'S OR 'GEORGIAN' LIBRARY;-
ITS COLLECTOR, AND ITS DONOR.

'A crown,

Golden in Bhow, is but a wreath of thorns;

Brings dangers, troubles, rares, and sleepless nights,

To him who wears the regal diadem.'

'0 polish'd perturbation! golden care!
That keep'st the ports of slumber open wide
To many a watchful night!'—

Henry IV, Part 2, iv, 4.

Notices of the Literary Tastes and Acquirements of King George The Third.His Conversations with Men of Letters.History of his Library and of its Transfer to the British Nation by George The Fourth.

Bookii, The strong antagonisms in mind, in disposition, and in

Chap. IV. i • l 'ii r*\

Thb tastes, which existed between George The Third and •c'eoegmn' George The Fourth, may be seen in the small and inciLiuuaut. dental acts of their respective lives, almost as distinctly, and Thfcok- as sharply denned, as they are seen in their private lives, or TWEEN in their characteristic modes of transacting the public ^"gkoko,. business. George The Third regretted the giving away IV- of the old 'Royal Library' of the Kings his ancestors, not because he grudged a liberal use of royal books by private scholars, but because he thought a fine Library was the necessary appendage of a palace. He occasionally stinted himself of some of his personal enjoyments in life, in order

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