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their cards as Captain Sentry and Sir Roger de Coverley: Swift came in and sat down without speaking a word, and quitted the room abruptly: Otway and Chatterton were seen lingering on the opposite side of the Styx, but could not muster enough between them to pay Charon his fare: Thomson fell asleep in the boat, and was rowed back again—and Burns sent a low fellow, one John Barleycorn, an old companion of his who had conducted him to the other world, to say that he had during his lifetime been drawn out of his retirement as a show, only to be made an exciseman of, and that he would rather remain where he was. He desired, however, to shake hands by his representative—the hand, thus held out, was in a burning fever, and shook prodigiously.
The room was hung round with several portraits of eminent painters.
While we were debating whether we should demand speech with these masters of mute eloquence, whose features were so familiar to us, it seemed that all at once they glided from their frames, and seated themselves at some little distance from us. There was Leonardo with his majestic beard and watchful eye, having a bust of Archimedes before him; next him was Raphael's graceful head turned round to the Fornarina ; and on
his other side was Lucretia Borgia, with calm, golden locks; Michael Angelo had placed the model of St Peter's on the table before him; Correggio had an angel at his side ; Titian was seated with his Mistress between himself and Giorgioni ; Guido was accompanied by his own Aurora, who took a dice-box from him ; Claude held a mirror in his hand; Rubens patted a beautiful panther (led in by a satyr) on the head; Vandyke appeared as his own Paris, and Rembrandt was hid under furs, gold chains, and jewels, which Sir Joshua eyed closely, holding his hand so as to shade his forehead. Not a word was spoken ; and as we rose to do them homage, they still presented the same surface to the view. Not being boná-fide representations of living people, we got rid of the splendid apparitions by signs and dumb show. As soon as they had melted into thin air, there was a loud noise at the outer door, and we found it was Giotto, Cimabue, and Ghirlandaio, who had been raised from the dead by their earnest desire to see their illustrious successors
“ Whose names on earth In Fame's eternal records live for aye!" Finding them gone, they had no ambition to be seen after them, and mournfully withdrew. Egad !” said Lamb, “ those are the
I should like to have had some talk with, to know how they could see to paint when all was dark around them ?"
“But shall we have nothing to say,” interrogated G. J—,“ to the Legend of Good Women ?”
-“ Name, name, Mr J," cried Hunt in a boisterous tone of friendly exultation, “name as many as you please, without reserve or fear of molestation !" J– was perplexed between so many amiable recollections, that the name of the lady of his choice expired in a pensive whiff of his pipe; and Lamb impatiently declared for the Duchess of Newcastle. Mrs Hutchinson was no sooner mentioned, than she carried the day from the Duchess. We were the less solicitous on this subject of filling up the posthumous lists of Good Women, as there was already one in the room as good, as sensible, and in all respects as exemplary, as the best of them could be for their lives ! “I should like vastly to have seen Ninon de l'Enclos,” said that incomparable person; and this immediately put us in mind that we had neglected to pay honour due to our friends on the other side of the Channel : Voltaire, the patriarch of levity, and Rousseau, the father of sentiment, Montaigne and Rabelais (great in wisdom and in wit), Molière and that illustrious group that are collected round him in the print
of that subject) to hear him read his comedy of the “Tartuffe' at the house of Ninon; Racine, La Fontaine, Rochefoucault, St Evremont, &c.
“ There is one person,” said a shrill, querulous voice, “I would rather see than all these-Don Quixote !"
Come, come !" said Hunt; “I thought we should have no heroes, real or fabulous. What say you, Mr Lamb ? Are
for eking out your shadowy list with such names as Alexander, Julius Cæsar, Tamerlane, or Ghengis Khan?”— “Excuse me," said Lamb; "on the subject of characters in active life, plotters and disturbers of the world, I have a crotchet of my own, which I beg leave to reserve.”—“No, no! come, out with your
worthies !”—“What do you think of Guy Fawkes and Judas Iscariot ?” Hunt turned an eye upon him like a wild Indian, but cordial and full of smothered glee. “Your most exquisite reason !” was echoed on all sides; and A- thought that Lamb had now fairly entangled himself. ." Why, I cannot but think,” retorted he of the wistful countenance, “that Guy Fawkes, that poor, fluttering annual scare-crow of straw and rags, is an ill-used gentleman. I would give something to see him sitting pale and emaciated, surrounded by his matches and his barrels of gunpowder, and expecting the mo
ment that was to transport him to.Paradise for his heroic self-devotion ; but if I say any more, there is that fellow Godwin will make something of it. And as to Judas Iscariot, my reason is different. I would fain see the face of him, who, having dipped his hand in the same dish with the Son of Man, could afterwards betray him. I have no conception of such a thing ; nor have I ever seen any picture (not even Leonardo's very fine one) that gave me the least idea of it.”“ You have said enough, Mr Lamb to justify
“Oh! ever right, Menenius,- ever right!”
“ There is only one other person I can ever think of after this, "continued Lamb; but without mentioning a name that once put on a semblance of mortality. “If Shakspeare was to come into the room, we should all rise up to meet him; but if that person was to come into it, we should all fall down and try to kiss the hem of his garment!”
As a lady present seenied now to get uneasy at the turn the conversation had taken, we rose up to go. The morning broke with that dim, dubious light by which Giotto, Cimabue, and Ghirlandaio must have seen to paint their earliest works; and we parted to meet again and renew similar topics at night, the next night,