« AnteriorContinuar »
for prints which were to be baptized afterwards. Hence he was ever and anon, whilst the rage for such prints lasted, soliciting the author for new subjects, titles, and verses, even when he has had six or eight written for him in one day. Many of these curious specimens of a juvenile, careless, and rapid muse, are still extant; some of which, and the prints they accompany, are never likely to create much envy, in any poet or painter, even amongst the worst and dullest of the tribe,
MORLAND CONTINUES TO IMPROVE-TRIT.
THEM—THEIR REMOVAL FROM HENCE-
THE success and increase of Morland's reputation, together with that of his brother-in-law's, which seemed to keep pace nearly equal, and the frequent occasions they both had of coming to town; as well as the tender fears of their respective brides for their safety, returning at late hours
VOL. II. : C :
upon such a lonely road as Harrow then was, determined their husbands, and a removal to town was the consequence. At this time each of these artists was enabled to keep his horse and servant, and to live in a style worthy of their talents. They accordingly rented a handsome house in High Street, Mary-le-bone, wherethey had not continued many weeks, till the petty dæmon of female jarring began to exhibit certain instances of malign influence.
Now as the peculiar relation in which the men stood to each other, precluded every idea of jealousy in their respective ladies, another cause than even innocent rivalry in the sex for general admiration must be assigned; as the palm of beauty had long been candidly adjudged by Mrs. Ward to her sister-in-law. The fact is, that whatever advantages the one possessed in personal charms, was more than counterbalanced by the more lasting and amiable beauties of the other's mind: and this mental superiority in either sex we know is but very reluctantly acknowledged by those who are most
indebted to nature for the exterior graces which she hath so abundantly lavished upon them. For,' were any person in a mere frenzy of choler to call either a handsome man, or woman, ugly, all the reply: such could expect, would be at most but a sneer of contempt. Whereas, let the same person but call any of those beauties a fool, the most serious consequences are to be apprehended by the offending party. That some reflection cast upon the understanding of one of these ladies by the other, was the cause of this petty and short-lived animosity, we believe is true. However, this much is certain, that the ladies found each a spirited supporter of her cause in the person of her husband. Nay, so far had they proceeded in the fury of their ire, as to threaten each other with. resorting to horse-pistols. loaded with slug's, and a determination to settle their dispute in a saw-pit. This murderous intent, however, was diverted by a common friend, to a settlement of all differences over a bottle, and a few long pipes, charged with Dutch tobacco. But for fear of a repetition of such contention, they
very prudently agreed to separate the ladies, and Morland with his wife and servant removed to Great Portland Street, where the author frequently visited them, and was always pleased to witness the happiness in which they then undoubtedly lived.
: In this lodging they .continued several
inonths; and, during the whole of their stay there, the author and the painter generally spent their evenings together, and no man gave fairer promises of remaining a good husband, and a sober prudent artist, than Morland. But Mrs. Morland being the far advanced in her pregnancy, and the air about the half-way houses, near Kentish Town, being recommended by the expérienced matrons of both the husband and wife, he looked out for and took à neat snall house, with a very pretty garden toit, in a place called Pleasant Passage, at the back of Mother Black Caps, on the Hamp'stead road.
In a short time after their removal hither · Mrs. Morland was brought to bed of a still