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finally resolved to go, partly as a place where he might uninterruptedly prosecute his studies, and partly to gain time to qualify for a more intelligent or fastidious congregation. His correspondence, much of it to the same parties, still takes the same light and bantering tone. Addressing a lady just married—“ a very agreeable lady who was once-Mrs. Rebecca Roberts," and soliciting excuse for his neglect of her “ charming and edifying letter,” he proceeds:
*As I throw myself at your fair feet with tears of penitence, let me entreat you to raise me with the hand of gentleness, and bestow upon me a kiss of forgiveness ; and thus show that you are the kindest, as well as the fairest of your sex ; and (by graciously restoring me to that place in your favour which I had 'most ungraciously forfeited) make me the happiest, though I have been the most unworthy of my own. You see this is an altitude of rapture far above my common strain of writing; but you will remember, madam, that it is the greatness of my concern that has thus elevated and transported me.
" To talk a little more seriously, you cannot imagine how I have been taken up these three last guilty months. I never had so much business in my life and I am still in such haste, that I know not how to express it but by blots and blunders. I have frequently been on horseback three days in a week, and have had the im. portant business of two Societies and three mistresses upon my hands at the same time. This is as good an excuse as so bad a cause will admit of. But I believe, upon second thoughts, that I need not concern myself about an excuse ; for, I assume, on a moderate computation, it is about fifty to one, that you have never thought of me since you wrote the superscription to my letter; for I perceive you are just entering upon the holy state of wedlock, and I know that is enough to swallow up all other thoughts. Well, good, dear madam, send me word in your next, how, and where, and when you were married, and whether you are still the same gay, good-natured creature as you were when you were a maid-of Bethnal. green. I profess I am almost sorry to think, that one of our sex is to be made happy in your possession, and a thousand miserable in your loss. I heartily wish I were a poet, as I would then have sent you a most glorious epithalamium; but, however, as I am a minister, a more honourable, though not a more profitable employment, I intend, in my next, to give a most accurate and useful discourse relating to the conjugal duties, for which I shall expect your thanks, and a pair of kid gloves from your husband.
“ One great piece of news I have to tell you, and then I must finish my letter. I am going to settle at Kibworth, in the place of my worthy tutor, and a worthy successor he will have. I am to live in a little village in the neighbourhood, where I shall have a charming girl in the house with me, and not another within half a score miles. If I mistake not, my philosophy will be in danger, for she is really an incomparable creature."
At Kibworth, or rather at Stretton, a village just by, he describes his situation to one of his female correspondents in these lively terms:
“ You know I love a country life, and here we have it in perfection. I am roused in the morning with the chirping of sparrows, the cooing of pigeons, the lowing of kine, the bleating of sheep, and, to complete the concert, the grunting of swine, and neighing of horses. We have a inighty pleasant garden and orchard, and a fine arbour under some tall, shady limes, that form a kind of lofty dome, of which, as a native of the great city, you may perhaps catch a glimmering idea, if I name the cupola of St. Paul's. And then, on the other side of the house, there is a large space which we call a wilderness, and which, I fancy, would please you extremely. T'he ground is a dainty green-sward; a brook runs sparkling through the middle, and there are two large fish-ponds at one end; both the ponds and the brook are surrounded with willows; and there are several shady walks under the trees, besides little knots of young willows interspersed at convenient distances. This is the nursery of our lambs and calves, with whom I have the honour to be intimately acquainted. Here I generally spend the evening, and pay my respects to the setting sun ; when the variety and the beauty of the prospect inspire a pleasure that I know not how to express. I am sometimes so transported with these inanimate beauties, that I fancy that I am like Adam in Paradise ; and it is my only misfortune that I want an Eve, and have none but the birds of the air, and the beasts of the field, for my companions.
“ The master and mistress of the family, where I board, are very good, plain sort of people ; but his politeness extends no farther than the team and the plough, nor hers than the poultry or the dairy; and they are so much taken up with these im. portant affairs, that your poor friend has but little of their company. I swear by the Heart of my Mistress, which is the supreme oath, that I am very frequently alone twentv-one hours in the twenty-four ; and sometimes breakfast, dine, and sup by myself. I cannot say that this hermetic life, as multitudes would call it, is very agreeable to my natural temper, which inclines me to society. I am, there. fore, necessarily obliged to study hard ; and, if it were not for that resource, my life would be a burden. You cannot imagine how I long for the enjoyment of my friend Clio, who is in my thoughts a thousand times a day: and so far from burning her letters, which she was once so barbarous as to intimate, I read them oftener than ever.”
In a few months he left this farmer's, and took up his residence at the house of another farmer of a somewhat higher cast, whose daughter he had known at Mr. Jennings's, and of whom he often speaks as his “ pretty pupil.” The consequence of this proximity was inevitable with a youth of Doddridge's warm and imaginative temperament: he became quickly, devotedly attached; but the young lady, though confessing a mutual flame, was somewhat capricious, and seems at times to have harassed her admirer and shaken his equanimity-now accepting and now refusing--not understanding why she should marry Doddridge without a competent provision, when she could marry another with. Doddridge had nothing but his 301. and she nothing but expectancies, which, though considerable, were remote. The friends of the lady, never very favourable to the match, suffered the affair to go on, and of course, though nothing could alienate his mind from the duties of his profes. sion, or scarcely check the severity of his studies, she occupied much of his thoughts, and his attentions to her subjected him to remark. No indiscretions followed, as apparently in our days, with the same opportunities, would in nine cases out of ten inevitably have done-so relaxed are the springs of good morals among us, proved by the greater precautions we now take, and the smile of incredulity that would be raised by the contrary supposition.
In the mean while he had numerous invitations, or calls, from different quarters, and some of them of great importance in the Non-conformist world -Nottingham, Coventry again, and even London ; but all were declined ; some because he was required to subscribe. Speaking of the London call, he says, “ Considering the temper of the people, I thought it very probable that I should have been required to subscribe, which I was resolved never to do ; for as I had been accustomed, under my dear tutor, to that latitude of expression which the scriptures indulge and recommend, I could not resolve upon tying myself up in trammels, and obliging myself to talk in the phrases of the Assembly's Catechism, which Mr. Some told me would have been necessary there.” In this matter of subscription there is some inconsistency, which we cannot readily reconcile. He refused the Duchess of Bedford's offers because he could not matriculate without subscription, but that was to the whole thirty-nine. The subscription required from dissenting ministers was to the doctrinal articles, with which he now resolves to have nothing to do; and yet we find, when he began to preach in the neighbourhood of Hinckley, he did subscribe at Leicester-Mr. Humphreys adds in a note, he could not safely preach without. We must conclude either the enforcing of the law at this time was relaxed, or Doddridge was grown firmer.
The correspondence which belongs to this period, though containing much that is of a graver cast, and some that are argumentative on points of doctrine and criticism, is, for the most part, of the same light and sportive character. It is no part of our present purpose to notice what may be regarded by some of more importance. The next fasciculus, which will be published in the coming season, will comprise the more weighty part, and also the Diary, when ample opportunities will be afforded us of presenting this excellent, liberal-minded person in the light which his admirers (some of them at least) probably think he ought only to have appeared in. That is not our opinion. We like him the better for his humanity. Things as they are, is our motto, and away with disguises. Saturnine must be the complexion that does not smile at the specimen of the mock-pathetic, in vol.i. p. 405.
The connexion with Miss Kitty, which occupied so large a portion of his thoughts, and fills so many of his letters, was suddenly broken off ; an event thus communicated to his brother-in-law:-“ Restoration, peace, and liberty! These few lines come to let you know that I am well; and that I lost my mistress yesterday, about twenty minutes after four in the afternoon, and am, &c.” The young lady had, it seems, been imperative, and insisted on his breaking off all connexion with Mrs. Jennings, bis tutor's widow, of whom she appears to have been vehemently jealous. Devoted as he was to Miss Kitty, he peremptorily rejected the imperious condition, and moralizes thus on the subject to his friend Mr. Clark :-“And now, Sir, I have seriously to look back upon an amour (this was written in 1726, the reader will take the word as it was then used) of about twenty-eight months, and I find that, at the expense of a great many anxious days and restless nights, fond transports, passionate expostulations, weak şubmissions, and a long train of other extravagancies, which I should be ready to call impertinent, if they were not too injurious to admit of so soft a name, I have only purchased a more lively conviction that all is vanity!”
Doddridge now resided with Mrs. Jennings and her daughter at Harborough; the latter a beautiful girl, but quite a child, to whom, however, insensibly, and in despite of her childishness, he became warmly attached. and would willingly have married her, but this act of imprudence was prevented by her finally fixing her affections on a pupil of Doddridge's. This was Mr. Aikin; and the young lady was afterwards the inother of Mrs. Barbauld. Among the letters written during his residence with Mrs. Jennings, none are more remarkable than his expostulatory one to little Miss, and two, of a retaliatory kind, to the mother, and a sister or cousin of hers, who lived in the same house. We cannot quote all. Miss Jennings, whom he had at first fondled as a child, began quickly to perceive, with all her sex's instinct, her power over him, and treated him capriciously. In his letter, he urges her to be either always kind and obliging, or always negligent and rude; but though managed adroitly enough, it will not compete with either of the letters to the elder ladies, both of whom, it seems, had taken upon them to read him (he was now not four-and-twenty) a matronly lecture, and probably expected nothing less than such a retort; but Doddridge never forgot his official and professional privileges. After admitting the kindness of Mrs. Jennings's remarks upon his conduct, acknowledging the justice of some, and attributing the rest to mistake, he reminds her, that at the time he had hinted, there was even in her behaviour what might bear amendment, but which he now tells her he forbore from urging, because he felt he was not master of his temper. Precluding thus, he proceeds to remark upon some pettish and morose answers to things said without any design of affronting her; some perverse moments in which she was prone to contradict those with whom she was displeased; her too great severity in censuring the faults of those she loved; her prejudices in favour of her own notions, &c. His letter to Mrs. Wingate is in the same tone; judiciously fencing first against her wrath, and afterwards reckoning up her little foibles. (vol. i. pp. 249. 252.)
As he grows older, Doddridge's talents and acquirements become more known, and everywhere acknowledged; his friends multiply; he is engaged in correspondence more connected with his profession and the business of life ; and the young man gradually disappears, but never the hilarity and the amiableness of his nature. The volumes conclude with his removal to Northampton, the scene of all his after-celebrity
ART AND ARTISTS :-SECOND CONVERSATION. “ Why should not the same latitude be given in sculpture as in painting? The would-be critics attack poor Thoms' figures from Tam O'Shanter as if they were embodied sins; and, on the other hand, they are praised too extravagantly by his friends. The self-taught artist has aimed well, and deserves every possible encouragement; not so much for what he has done, as for the door he has opened into a new walk of art."
" This is constantly the case with the public; ever in extremes, though not always in the wrong. Some of the R. A. gentlemen will have it that it is sacrilege, or worse, to attempt any thing in sculpture which has not been done before; all things, in short, but what they are pleased to term “classical.” Nature is to be excluded from the chisel, because the ideal is its proper sphere; why, they do not condescend to tell us. He who goes out of the beaten track, they look upon as Lord Eldon does upon the Catholic Bill. To dare any thing new is a crime, -But what dictum is to bind human invention? Through what barrier will not genius force its way?"
“ What cabals in opinion prevail among artists! There are some clever men among them, who insist, that an artist going to Rome for purposes of study, flings away his time !" .
“Ay, and they mark his name with a sneer, as if he had been guilty of some fearful enormity. Surely, an artist must acquire some useful knowledge there, if that knowledge be but little- he must bring away something."
“Something !-a thousand things, my friend. Italy was once the centre of art; it radiated from her over the universe. They who condemn our young artists for studying there, are more than common block heads. As far as respects Thoms, he deserves every encouragement; he has walked out into art boldly. There is no reason why we should not have a Hogarth in sculpture, as well as in the sister art; at least, as much so as the difference of material in the artist's hand will allow. It is the difficulty of the expression, in which Thoms has so well succeeded, which makes the regular craft cry down this style of sculpture :- expression is a sad puzzler to our modern hewers of marble."
“ If tragedy is expressed in the Laocoon, why should not rich comedy be chiselled in marble? I cannot imagine what loophole our opponents on this question can find to creep out at.”
“ I have no patience with your everlasting copiers of preceding examples. Nature holds out an inexhaustible variety, yet we are told she must not be imitated. I am decidedly of opinion, that most of our sculptors err in the imaginative and inventive faculty. See how much Turner does with it in his inimitable works."
“But then every artist must be more or less a poet." ." He is so, if he be worth any thing at all—at least, in those loftier branches of the art by which the inventive faculty is exercised. I do not mean that such an one is capable of embodying his ideas in language, but that he possesses, to a certain extent, a poet's fancy. It is of little consequence in a portrait-painter, because he is more of a copyist than the artist who revels in fiction, paints history, or combines landscape."
“ It is singular, that the homely and oftentimes humorous scenes of Wilkie's pictures, should be so much and deservedly relished, and works of the same class in sculpture be censured. A cobbler in stone is, if any thing, more a natural man than one on canvass, at least to the cye. Why such a statue is not equally in keeping with propriety, after the notions of some people, it is impossible to understand.”
“ Because they will not be reasonable, and suffer prejudice and received opinion to have the upper hand. Venus, Hebe, and Apollo, are discarded in modern poetry, but multiplied as if they were our own deities in present sculpture. Our marble workers want the lesson which Coleridge says his sensible schoolmaster gave him, when, while yet a boy, he rode the hobby of Muse,' • Pegasus,' and · Pierian spring,' in his verses."
“ What was that?”
“Why the pedagogue used to stop him thus, * Harp, harp, lyre ? pen and ink, boy, you mean !- Muse, boy, muse? Your Muse's daughter, you mean !-Pierian spring ? oh, ay! the cloister pump, I suppose !"
“An excellent illustration—the ancients have left specimens of their deities, which we may copy for practice-sake, but can never hope to rival. The truth is, they felt the holiness with which these wonderful works were endowed, by education and early habit. No modern artist can feel in a similar way, and his imitations of them are hopeless of a like renown. Are we, moreover, to have imitations eternally crammed down our throats, because they are styled • classical,' while the universe around is to be considered beneath the heaven-inspired chisels of 1829, which no gods but those of Greece and Rome are worthy to sanctify ?”
“ Reason forbid !-Hail! then, Thoms. Hail, thrice hail, every genius that strikes out its path, daring and alone, and augments the interest and variety of art. Thoms 'wants a knowledge of the details of the human figure, which it is to be hoped he will study with unwearied attention. If he will do this, and join to it his talent for expression, his name, strange as it sounds, will be a great one :--this I venture to predicate, despite of all cavillers."
“ In the ideal we shall never rival the ancients. The exquisite fables of Greece were a sort of religious creed, and partook so largely and richly of “sky-cinctured" grain and “colours dipped in Heaven,” of perfect form and matchless outline, when embodied in art by the skill that was ever revelling amidst them, that they cannot be surpassed in their own surpassing domain of imaginative beauty. Their deities were concentrations of the perfection of human beauty united in one inimitable whole ; beauty was in all around them, in their dwellings, in their domestic implements, in their glorious climate ; and, so situated, their ideas must have harmonized from infancy with the most perfect things of imagination and reality. Is this the case with British artists and Gre. cian subjects? Fernale loveliness, disfigured in dress, we have; a bad climate, Gothic predilections, and prejudices at war with every species of excellence :-still we are to excel the ancients in their own line of subjects in art!"
" Preposterous! We are an imitative, not an inventive people. We often think a new invention a sort of heinous sin. In art, as in science, he who goes out of the common way, however meritorious his attempts,