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with a command he could scarcely hold, did not dare to relinquish, and yet dared to exert: the other, dashed in his career, yet willing to avoid the precipice ; searching all the recesses of so great a soul to break his fall, and yet ready to mount the scaffold with more dignity than the other ascended the throne. Had the artists worked in competition, they could not have approached nearer to the points of view than in delineating the character of these heroes, in which both so eminently excelled.

Cooper, with all this merit, had two defects: his skill was confined to a mere head; his drawing of the neck and shoulders was so incorrect, that it accounts for the numbers of his works unfinished. Probably he was sensible how small a way his talent extended. This poverty explains another deficiency—his want of grace; a signal defect in a painter of portraits, yet how rarely possessed ! Cooper, content like his countrymen with the good sense of Truth, neglected to make her engaging. Grace, in painting, seems peculiar to Italy. The Flemings and the French run into contrary extremes: the first never approach the line; and, though the latter do not go beyond (for they never arrive at it), they substitute false taste in its stead :-no attitude is natural, and no form simple. Cooper's women, like those of his model Vandyck, are seldom very handsome. A noble author has said, Lely alone who excused the gallantries of Charles II, and painted an apology for that voluptuous court:” but surely no eminence of talent can atone for presenting allurements to vice, no beauty afford plea for prostitution of genius.

66 it was

The anecdotes of Cooper's life are few: his works are his history. He died in London, 1672.

The art of engraving travelled from Italy into Flanders, where Albert Durer, considering the bad taste and


country in which he lived, carried it to a great height. It does not appear when this art first reached England ; it is a notorious blunder of Chambers to affirm it was first brought over from Antwerp, by Speed, in the reign of James I. We had it in some degree nearly as soon as printing, the printers themselves using small plates for their devices and rebuses, Caxton's Golden Legend has a group of saints, and many other cuts, dispersed through the body of the work. Even portraits were used in books; yet there is no trace of a single print being wrought off till 1540. The observation is trite, that gunpowder was discovered by a monk, and printing by a soldier ; but it is no small honour to the latter profession to have invented mezzotinto.

Few royal names appear at the head of discoveries; nor is this surprising. When necessity ceases to be a spring of action, when every want is supplied without labour, and every wish anticipated without invention, the mind becomes enfeebled: its faculties are blunted; it no longer retains quickness to seize or sagacity to apply; and luxury is found to be a soil equally unfavourable to industry and to genius.

Prince Rupert, born with the taste of an uncle whom his sword was not fortunate in defending, was fond of those sciences which soften and adorn the hero, and knew how to mix them with his private hours of amusement, without dedicating his life to their pursuit, like those who, wanting capacity for momentous views, make serious study of what should only be the recreative occupation of a genius. He one morning observed the sentinel at a distance from his post very busy doing something to his piece: asking what he was about, the man replied, that the dew of the night had made his fusil rusty, and that he was scraping it. The prince, on examining, was struck with something like a figure eaten into the þarrel, with innumerable little holes, closed together like


friezed work on gold and silver, part of which the soldier had scraped away.

The prince concluded that some contrivance might be found to cover a brass plate with such a grained ground of fine pressed holes as would give an impression all black, and that by scraping away proper parts the smooth Superficies would leave the rest of the paper white. Communicating his idea to Vaillant, a painter, whom he maintained, they made several experiments ; and at last invented a steel roller, with tools to make teeth like a file or rasp, with projecting points, which effectually produced the black grounds: those being scraped away and diminished at pleasure, left the gradations light.

Thus, from so trifing an accident, Génie fécond en expériences conceived mezzotinto,

Had the court of the first Charles been peaceful, how agreeably would the congenial taste of prince Rupert have flattered and confirmed the inclination of his uncle ! How well would the muse of arts have repaid the patronage of the monarch, when for his first artist she presented him with his nephew! and how different a figure did this prince make in a reign of dissimilar complexion! The same philosophic warrior who could relax himself into the ornament of a refined court was regarded as a savage mechanic in a circle where courtiers were merely voluptuous wits. But, to return to the discovery, which Evelyn thus verbosely describes it appears a paradox to speak of a graving, without graver, point, or aquafortis; and yet this is executed in mezzotinto without the assistance of either. The very thing which gives our artists the greatest trouble, and is longest in finishing (for such are the deepest shadows in plates), is here the least considerable and most expeditious:-on the contrary, the lights here are the most laborious, and yet effected with the greatest facility. That a print should so accu


rately resemble and even 'emulate the best drawings, so as nothing of Hugo da Carpi or any celebrated master has exceeded or even approached, is the excellence of this new invention.

But, curious as it was, it must be acknowledged that it did not produce all that it promised. It has rather diversified prints than improved them; and, though John Smith carried the new discovered art to the greatest perfection it ever has attained, mezzotintos still fall short of fine engravings.

William Faithorne was one of the most capital engravers who has appeared in this age. The number of those whose works deserve intrinsic regard, abstracted from their scarcity, or the curiosity of the persons represented, is comparatively few, and soon enumerated. Payne was the first Englishman who distinguished himself by the graver ; and, had his application been equal to his genius, there is no doubt he would have shone in the first line of his profession. But he was idle; and, though recommended to Charles, died in indigence before he was forty. The family of Pass were singularly neat in their performances. Hollar still surpassed them, and in branches to which their art did not extend. Lombart added roundness to delicacy; and was even a great artist, if compared with most of his successors, of whom White declined the least.

Savage may be styled. engraver to a race of heroes, whom Prior calls “the unfortunate brave.” No country preserves the images and anecdotes of such worthies as England. The rigour of the law is here a passport to fame, from the infringers of Magna Charta to the collectors on the road. From Charles the First to Maclean, every sufferer becomes the idol of the mob; and this is one of the strong proots that the characteristic of the English vation is humanity.


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Some of the resemblances preserved by Savage are men who fell in a better cause :-bishop Latimer, Sidney, alderman Cornish, the earl of Argyle, sir Edmonbury Godfrey, sir Thomas Armstrong, and the duke of Monmouth.

Robert White was celebrated for his admirable success in likenesses-a merit which would give value to his prints, had they not been so well executed. No one has surpassed him in the multiplicity of heads.

In sculpture, Grinlin Gibbons was an original genius: there is no instance of a man before him who gave to wood the loose and airy lightness of flowers, and chained together the various productions of the elements with a free disorder natural to each species. Evelyn recommended him to Charles, who, though too indolent to search for talents, and too indiscriminate in his bounty to confine it to merit, was always pleased when it was brought home to him. He assigned the artist a place in the board of works, and employed him on the ornaments of most taste in his palaces, particularly at Windsor, where, in the chapel, the simplicity of the carver's foliage sets off and atones for the glare of Verrio's paintings. Gibbon, whose art penetrated all materials, carved that beautiful pedestal of marble at Windsor, for the equestrian statue of the king, in the principal court. The fruit, fish, and implements of shipping, are all exquisite. The man and horse may serve for a sign to draw the eye of the passenger to the pedestal. The base of the figure at Charing-cross was the work of this artist;--so wasthe statue of Charles II, at the Royal-exchange. The foliage in the choir of St. Paul's is of his hand: and there is at Burleigh a noble profusion of his carving, in picture frames, chimney. pieces, and the Last Supper, in alto relievo, finely executed. But the most superb monument of his skill is at Petworth, enriched from the ceiling, between the pictures, with festoons of flowers and dead game, all in the


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