Hogarth, William

, a truly great and original genius, is said by Dr. Burn to have been the descendant of a family originally from Kirkby Thore in Westmoreland. His grandfather, a plain yeoman, possessed a small tenement in the vale of Bampton, a village about fifteen miles north of Kendal in that county, and had three sons. The eldest assisted his father in farming, and succeeded to his little freehold. The second settled in Troutbeck, a village eight miles north-west of Kendal, and was remarkable for his talent at provincial poetry. The third, Richard, educated at St. Bee’s, who had been a schoolmaster in the same county, went early to London, where he was employed as a corrector of the press, and appears to have been a man of some learning, a dictionary in Latin and English, which he composed for the use of schools, being still extant in manuscript. He married in London, and kept a school *

*

He published, in 1712, a volume of Latin exercises, for the use of his own school, under the title of “Disser tationes Grammaticales; sive Examen Octo Partimun Orationis interrogatorium & responsorium, Anglo-Latinum,” 8vo.

in Ship-court in the Old Bailey. The subject of the present article, and his sisters Mary and Anne, are believed to have been the only product of the marriage.

William Hogarth was born in 1697, or 1698, in the parish of St. Martin, Ludgate. The outset of his life, however, was unpromising. “He was bound,” says Mr. Walpole, “to a mean engraver of arms on plate.” Hogarth probably chose this occupation, as it required some skill in drawing, to which his genius was particularly turned, and which he contrived assiduously to cultivate. His master, it since appears, was Mr. Ellis Gamble, a silversmith of eminence, who resided in Cranbdurn-street, Leicester-fields. In this profession it is not unusual to bind apprentices to the single branch of engraving arms and cyphers on every species of metal, and in that particular department of the business young Hogarth was placed; “but before his time was expired he felt the impulse of genius, and that it directed him to painting.

During his apprenticeship, he set out one Sunday, with two or three companions, on an excursion to Highgate. | The weather being hot, they went into a public house, where they had not been long before a quarrel arose between some persons in the same room. One of the disputants struck the other on the head with a quart pot, and cut him very much. The blood running down the man’s face, together with the agony of the wound, which had distorted his features into a most hideous grin, presented Hogarth, who shewed himself thus early “apprised of the mode Nature intended he should pursue,” with too laughable a subject to be overlooked. He drew out his pencil, and produced on the spot one of the most ludicrous figures that ever was seen. What rendered this piece the more valuable was, that it exhibited an exact likeness of the man, with the portrait of his antagonist, and the figures in caricature of the principal persons gathered round him.

How long he continued in obscurity we cannot exactly learn; but the first piece in which he distinguished himself as a painter, is supposed to have been a representation of Wanstead Assembly. The figures in it, we are told, were drawn from the life, and without any circumstances of burlesque. The faces are said to have been extremely like, and the colouring rather better than in some of his later and more highly-finished performances. From the date of the first plate that can be ascertained to be the work of Hogarth, it may be presumed that he began business, on his own account, at least as early as 1720.

His first employment seems to have been the engraving of arms and shop-bills. The next step was to design and furnish plates for booksellers; and here we are fortunately supplied with dates. Thirteen folio prints, with his name to each, appeared in Aubry de la Motraye’s Travels, in 1723; seven smaller prints for ApuleiusGolden Ass, in 1724; fifteen head-pieces to Beaver’s Military Punishments of the Ancients; five frontispieces for the translation of Cassandra, in five volumes, 12mo, 1725; seventeen cuts for a duodecimo edition of Hudibras (with Butler’s head), in 1726; two for Perseus and Andromeda, in 1730; two for Milton [the date uncertain]; and a variety of others between 1726 and 1733. Mr. Bowles, at the Black-horse in Cornhill, was one of his earliest patrons, but paid him very low prices. His next friend in the same business was Mr. Philip Overton, who rewarded him somewhat better for his labour and ingenuity. | There are still many family pictures by Hogarth existing, in the style of serious conversation-pieces. What the prices of liis portraits were, Mr. Nichols strove in vain to discover; but he suspected that they were originally very low, as the persons who were best acquainted with them chose to be silent on the subject. At Rivenhall, in Essex, the seat of Mr. Western, is a family-picture, by Hogarth, of Mr. Western and his mother, chancellor Hoadly, archdeacon Charles Plumptre, the Rev. Mr. Cole of Milton near Cambridge, and Mr. Henry Taylor, the curate there 1736. In the gallery of Mr. Cole of Milton, was also a whole-length picture of Mr. Western by Hogarth, a striking resemblance. He is drawn sitting in his fellow-commoner’s habit, and square cap with a gold tassel, in his chamber at Clare-hall, over the arch towards the river; and the artist, as the chimney could not be expressed, has drawn a cat sitting near it, agreeable to his humour, to shew the situation. Mr. Western’s mother, whose portrait is in the conversation-piece at Rivenhall, was a daughter of sir Anthony Shirley.

It was Hogarth’s custom to sketch out on the spot any remarkable face which particularly struck him, and of which he wished to preserve the remembrance. A gentleman informed his biographer, that being once with him at the Bedford coffee-house, he observed him drawing something with a pencil on his nail. Inquiring what had been his employment, he was shewn a whimsical countenance of a person who was then at a small distance.

It happened in the early part of Hogarth’s life, that a nobleman who was uncommonly ugly and deformed, came to sit to him for his picture. It was executed with a skill that did honour to the artist’s abilities; but the likeness was rigidly observed, without even the necessary attention to compliment or flattery. The peer, disgusted at this counterpart of his dear self, never once thought of paying for a reflector that would only insult him with his deformities. Some time was suffered to elapse before the artist applied for his money; but afterwards many applications were made by him (who had then no need of a banker) for payment, but without success. The painter, however, at last hit upon an expedient which he knew must alarm the nobleman’s pride, and by that means answer his purpose. It was couched in the following card: “Mr. Hogarth’s dutiful respects to lord; finding that he | does not mean to have the picture which was drawn for him, is informed again of Mr. H.‘s necessity for the money; if, therefore, his lordship does not send for it in three days, it will be disposed of, with the addition of a tail, and some other little appendages, to Mr. Hare, the famous wild-beast man; Mr. H. having given that gentleman a conditional promise of it for an exhibition picture, on his lordship’s refusal.” This intimation had the desired effect. The picture was sent home, and committed to the flames.

Mr. Walpole has remarked, that if our artist “indulged his spirit of ridicule in personalities, it never proceeded beyond sketches and drawings,” and wonders “that he never, without intention, delivered the very features of any identical person.” But this elegant writer, who may be said to have received his education in a court, had perhaps few opportunities of acquaintance among the low popular characters with which Hogarth occasionally peopled his scenes. The friend who contributed this remark, was assured by an ancient gentleman of unquestionable veracity and acuteness of remark, that almost all the personages who attended the levee of the Rake were undoubted portraits; and that in “Southvvark Fair,” and the “Modern Midnight Conversation,” as many more were discoverable. In the former plate he pointed out Essex the dancingmaster; and in the latter, as well as in the second plate to the “Rake’s Progress,” Figg the prize-fighter. He mentioned several others by name, from his immediate knowledge both of the painter’s design and the characters represented; but the rest of the particulars by which he supported his assertions, have esca’ped the memory of our informant. While Hogarth was painting the “Rake’s Progress,” he had a summer reidence at Isleworth, and never failed to question the company who came to see these pictures if they knew for whom one or another figure was designed. When they guessed wrongly, he set them right.

The duke of Leeds has an original scene in the Beggars Opera, painted by Hogarth. It is that in which Lucy and Polly are on their knees before their respective fathers, to intercede for the life of* the hero of the piece. All the figures are either known or supposed to be portraits. If we are not misinformed, the late sir Thomas Robinson (better known perhaps by the name of long sir Thomas) is standing in one of the side-boxes. Macheath, unlike his spruce representative on our present stage, is a slouching | bully; and Polly appears happily disencumbered of such a hoop as the daughter of Peachum within the reach of younger memories has worn. The duke gave 35l. for this picture at Mr. Rich’s auction. Another copy of the same scene was bought by the late Sir William Saunderson, and is now in the possession of sir Harry Gough. Mr. Walpoie has a picture of a scene in the same piece, where Macheath is going to execution. In this also the likenesses or’ Walker and Miss Fenton, afterwards duchess of Bolton (the original Macheath and Polly) are preserved.

In the year 1726, when the affair of Mary Tofts, the rabbit-breeder of Godalming, engaged the public attention, a few of the principal surgeons subscribed their guinea a-piece to Hogarth, for an engraving from a ludicrous sketch he had made on that very popular subject. This plate, amongst other portraits, contains that of St. Andre, then anatomist to the royal household, and in high credit as a surgeon.

In 1727, Hogarth agreed with Morris, an upholsterer, to furnish him with a design on canvas, representing the element of earth, as a pattern for tapestry. The work not being performed to the satisfaction of Morris, he refused to pay for it, and the artist, by a suit at law, recovered the money.

In 1730, Hogarth married the only daughter of sir James Thornhill, by whom he had no child. This union, indeed, was a stolen one, and consequently without the approbation of sir James, who, considering the youth of his daughter, then barely eighteen, and the slender finances of her husband, as yet an obscure artist, was not easily reconciled to the match. Soon after this period, however, he began his “Harlot’s Progress,” and was advised by lady Thornhill to have some of the scenes in it placed in the way of his father-in-law. Accordingly, one morning early, Mrs. Hogarth undertook to convey several of them into his diningroom. When he arose, he inquired whence they came; and being told by whom they were introduced, he cried out, “Very well; the man who can furnish representations like these, can also maintain a wife without a portion.” He designed this remark as an excuse for keeping his pursestrings close; but, soon after, became both reconciled and generous to the young people. An allegorical cieling by sir James Thornhill is at the house of the late Mr. Huggins, at Headly-park, Hants. The subject of it is the story of | Zepbyrus and Flora; and the figure of a satyr and sortie others were painted by Hogarth.

In 1732 he ventured to attack Mr. Pope, in a plate called “The Man of Taste,” containing a view of the gate of Burlington-house, with Pope white-washing it, and bespattering the duke of Chandos’s coach. This plate was intended as a satire on the translator of Homer, Mr. Kent tUe architect, and the earl of Burlington. It was fortunate for Hogarth that he escaped the lash of the first. Either Hogarth’s obscurity at that time was his protection, or the bard was too prudent to exasperate a painter who had already given such proof of his abilities for satire. What must he have felt who could complain of the “pictured shape” prefixed to “Gulliveriana,” “Pope Alexander’s Supremacy and Infallibility examined,” &c. by Ducket, and other pieces, had such an artist as Hogarth undertaken, to express a certain transaction recorded by Gibber?

Soon after his marriage, Hogarth had summer lodgings at South-Lambeth; and, being intimate with Mr. Tyers, contributed to the improvement of the Spring Gardens at Vauxhall, by the hint of embellishing them with paintings, some of which were the suggestions of his own truly comic pencil. For his assistance, Mr. Tyers gratefully presented him with a gold ticket of admission for himself and his friends, inscribed

In Perpetuam Beneficii Memoriam.

This ticket remained in the possession of his widow, and was by her occasionally employed.

In 1733 his genius became conspicuously known. The third scene of his “Harlot’s Progress,” introduced him to the notice of the great. At a board of treasury which was held a day or two after the appearance of that print, a copy of it was shewn by one of the lords, as containing, among other excellencies, a striking likeness of sir John Gonson. It gave universal satisfaction: from the treasury each lord repaired to the print-shop for a copy of it, and Hogarth rose completely into fame.

The ingenious abbe du Bos has often complained, that no history-painter of his time went through a scries of actions, and thus, like an historian, painted the successive fortune of an hero, from the cradle to the grave. What Du Bos wished to see done, Hogarth performed. He launches out his young adventurer a simple girl upon the town, and conducts her through all the vicissitudes of | wretchedness to a premature death. This was painting to the understanding and to the heart; none had ever before made the pencil subservient to the purposes of morality and instruction; a book like this is fitted to every soil and every observer, and he that runs may read. Nor was the success of Hogarth confined to his figures. One of his excellencies consisted in what may be termed the furniture of his pieces; for as in sublime and historical representations the seldomer trivial circumstances are permitted to divide the spectator’s attention from the principal figures, the greater is their force; so in scenes copied from familiar life, a proper variety of little domestic images contributes to throw a degree of verisimilitude on the whole. “The Rake’s levee-room,” says Mr. Walpole, “the nobleman’s dining-rootn, the apartments of the husband and wife in Marriage a la Mode, the alderman’s parlour, the bedchamber, and many others, are the history of the manners of the age.” The novelty and excellence of Hogarth’s performances soon tempted the needy artist and printdealer to avail themselves of his designs, and rob him of the advantages which he was entitled to derive from them. This was particularly the case with the “Midnight Conversation,” the “Harlot’s” and “Rake’s Progresses,” and Others of his early works. To put a stop to depredations Kke these on the property of himself and others, and to secure the emoluments resulting from his own labours, as Mr. Walpole observes, he applied to the legislature, and obtained an act of parliament, 8 Geo. II. cap. 38, to vest an exclusive right in designers and engravers, and to restrain the multiplying of copies of their works without the consent of the artist. This statute was drawn by his friend Mr. Huggins, who took for his model the eighth of queen Anne, in favour of literary property; but it was not so accurately executed as entirely to remedy the evil; for, in a cause founded on it, which came before lord Hardwicke in chancery, that excellent lawyer determined, that no assignee, claiming under an assignment from the original inventor, could take any benefit by it. Hogarth, immediately after the passing of the act, published a small print, with emblematical devices, and an inscription expressing his gratitude to the three branches of the legislature. Small copies of the “Rake’s Progress” were published by his permission. | In 1745, finding that, however great the success of his prints might be, the public were not inclined to take his pictures off his hands, he was induced to offer some of them, and those of the best he had then produced, for disposal by way of auction; but after a plan of his own, viz. by keeping open a book to receive biddings from the first day of February to the last day of the same month, at 12 o’clock. The ticket of admission to the sale was his print of “The Battle of the Pictures,” a humourous production, in which he ingeniously upheld his assertions concerning the preference so unfairly given to old pictures, and the tricks of the dealers in them.

The pictures thus disposed of were,£s.d.
The six of the Harlot’s Progress, for8840
Eight of the Rake’s Progress184160
Morning2100
Noon38170
Evening39180
Night2760
Strolling Players dressing in a Barn2760

In the same year he acquired additional reputation by the six prints of “Marriage a la Mode,” which may be regarded as the ground-work of a novel called “The Marriage Act,” by Dr. Shebbeare, and of “The Clandestine Marriage.

Hogarth had projected a “Happy Marriage,” by way of counterpart to his “Marriage a la Mode.A design for the first of his intended six plates he had sketched out in colours; and the following is as accurate an account of it as could be furnished by a gentleman who long ago enjoyed only a few minutes sight of so great a curiosity. The time supposed was immediately after the return of the parties from church. The scene lay in the hall of an antiquated country mansion. On one side the married couple were represented sitting. Behind them was a group of their young friends of both sexes, in the act of breaking bridecake over their heads. In front appeared the father of the young lady, grasping a bumper, and drinking, with a seeming roar of exultation, to the future happiness of her and her husband. By his side was a table covered with refreshments. Jollity rather than politeness was the designation of his character. Under the screen of the hall, several rustic musicians in grotesque attitudes, together with servants, tenants, &c. were arranged. Through the | arch by which the room was entered, the eye was led along a passage into the kitchen, which afforded a glimpse of sacerdotal luxury. Before the dripping-pan stood a wellfed divine, in his gown and cassock, with his watch in his baud, giving directions to a cook, dressed all in white, who was employed in basting a haunch of venison. Among* the faces of the principal figu.es, none but that of the young lady was completely finished. Hogarth had been often reproached for his inability to impart grace and dignity to his heroines. The bride was therefore meant to vindicate his pencil from so degrading an imputation. The effort, however, was unsuccessful. The girl was certainly pretty; but her features, if we may use the term, were uneducated. She might have attracted notice as a chambermaid, but would have fa-iled to extort applause as a woman of fashion. The clergyman and his culinary associate were more laboured than any other parts of the picture. It is natural for us to dwell longest on that division of a subject which is most congenial to our private feelings. The painter sat down with a resolution to delineate beauty improved by art, but seems, as usual, to have deviated into meanness, or could not help neglecting his original purpose, to luxuriate in such ideas as his situation in early life had fitted him to express. He found himself, in short, out of his element in the parlour, and therefore hastened in quest of ease and amusement, to the kitchen fire. Churchill, with more force than delicacy, once observed of him, that he only painted the backside of nature. It must be allowed, that such an artist, however excellent ia his walk, was better qualified to represent the low-born parent than the royal preserver of a foundling.

Soon after the peace of Aix la Chapelle, he went over to France, and was taken into custody at Calais, while he was drawing the gate of that town, a circumstance which he has recorded in his picture entitled “O the Roast Beef of Old England!” published March 26, 1749. He was actually carried before the governor as a spy, and. after a very strict examination, committed a prisoner to Gransire, his landlord, on his promise that Hogarth should not go out of his house till he was to embark for England. Soon after this period he purchased a small house at Chiswick, where he usually passed the greatest part of the summer season, yet not without occasional visits to his house in Leicesterfields. | In 1753 he appeared to the world in the character of an author, and published a 4to volume entitled “The Analysis of Beauty, written with a view of fixing the fluctuating ideas of Taste.” In this performance he shews by a variety of examples, that a curve is the line of beauty, and that round swelling figures are most pleasing to the eye; and the truth of his opinion has been countenanced by subsequent writers on the subject. In this work, the leading idea of which was hieroglyphically thrown out in a frontispiece to his works in 1745, he acknowledges himself indebted to his friends for assistance, and particularly to one gentleman for his corrections and amendments of at least a third part of the wording. This friend was Dr. Benjamin Hoadly the physician, who carried on the work to about the third part (chap, ix.), and then, through indisposition, declined the friendly office with regret. Mr. Hogarth applied to his neighbour, Mr. Ralph; but it was impossible for two such persons to agree, both alike vain and positive. He proceeded uo further thau about a sheet, and they then parted friends, and seem to have continued such. The kind office of finishing the work and superintending the publication was lastly taken up by Dr. Morell, who went through the remainder of the book. The preface was in like manner corrected by the Rev. Mr. Townley. The family of Hogarth rejoiced when the last sheet of the “Analysis” was printed off; as the frequent disputes he had with his coadjutors in the progress of the work, did not much harmonize his disposition. This work was translated into German by Mr. Mylins, when in England, under the author’s inspection; and the translation was printed in London, price five dollars. A new and correct edition was, in 1754, proposed for publication at Berlin, by Ch. Fr. Vok, with an explanation of Mr. Hogarth’s satirical prints, translated from the French; and an Italian translation was published at Leghorn in 1761.

Hogarth had one failing in common with most people who attain wealth and eminence without the aid of liberal education. He affected to despise every kind of knowledge which he did not possess. Having established his fame with little or no obligation to literature, he either conceived it to be needless, or decried it because it lay out of his reach. His sentiments, in short, resembled those of Jack Cade, who pronounced sentence on the clerk of Chatham, because he could write and read. Till, in evil hour, this | celebrated artist commenced author, and was obliged to employ the friends already mentioned to correct his “Analysis of Beauty,” he did not seem to have discovered that even spelling was a necessary qualification; and yet he had ventured to ridicule the late Mr. Rich’s deficiency as to this particular, in a note which lies before the Rake whose play is refused while he remains in confinement for debt. Before the time of which we are now speaking, one of our artist’s common topics of declamation, was the uselessness of books to a man of his profession. In Beerstreet, among other volumes consigned by him to the pastry-cook, we find “Turnbull on Ancient Painting,” a treatise which Hogarth should have been able to understand before he ventured to condemn. Garrick himself, however, was not more ductile to flattery. A word in favour of “Sigismunda,” might have commanded a proof print, or forced an original sketch out of our artist’s hands. The person who supplied this remark owed one of Hogarth’s scarcest performances to the success of a compliment, which might have seemed extravagant even to sir Godfrey Kneller.

The following well-authenticated story will also serve to shew how much more easy it is to detect ill-placed or hyperbolical adulation respecting others, than when applied to ourselves. Hogarth being at dinner with the celebrated Cheselden, and some other company, was told that Mr>. John Freke, surgeon of St. Bartholomew’s hospital, a few evenings before at Dick’s coffee-house, had asserted that Greene was as eminent in composition as Handel. “That fellow Freke,” replied Hogarth, “is always shooting his bolt absurdly one way or another! Handel is a giant in music; Greene only a light Florimel kind of a composer.” —“Ay,” said, the informant, “but at the same time Mr. Freke declared you were as good a portrait-painter as Vandyck.”—“There he was in the right,” adds Hogarth: “and so I am, give me my time, and let one choose my subject!

Hogarth was the most absent of men. At table he would sometimes turn round his chair as if he had finished eating, and as suddenly would return it, and commence his meal again. He once directed a letter to Dr. Hoadly, thus: “To the Doctor at Chelsea.” This epistle, however, by good luck, did not miscarry; and was preserved by the late chancellor of Winchester, as a pleasant | memorial of his friend’s extraordinary inattention. Another remarkable instance of Hogarth’s absence was related by one of his intimate friends. Soon after he set up his carriage, he had occasion to pay a visit to the lord-mayor, Mr. Beckford. When he went, the weather was fine; but business detained him till a violent shower of rain came on. He was let out of the mansion-house by a different door from that at which he entered; and, seeing the rain, began immediately to call for a hackney-coach. Not one was to be met with on any of the neighbouring stands; and the artist sallied forth to brave the storm, and actually reached Leicester-fields without bestowing a thought on his own carriage, till Mrs. Hogarth (surprised to see him so wet and splashed) askeci him where he had left it.

A specimen of Hogarth’s propensity to merriment, on the most trivial occasions, is observable in one of his cards requesting the company of Dr. Arnold King to dine with him at the Mitre. Within a circle, to which a knife and fork are the supporters, the written part is contained. In. the centre is drawn a pye, with a mitre on the top of it; and the invitation concludes with the following sport on three of the Greek letters to Eta Beta Pi. The rest of the inscription is not very accurately spelt. A quibble by Hogarth is surely as respectable as a conundrum by Swift.

In one of the early exhibitions at Spring-gardens, a very pleasing small picture by Hogarth made its first appearance. It was painted for the earl of Charlemont, in whose collection it remains; and was entitled “Picquet, orVir.tuein Danger,” and shews us ayounglady, who, during a tete-a-tete, had just lost all her money and jewels to a handsome officer of her own age. He is represented in the act of offering her the contents of his hat, in which are bank-notes, jewels, and trinkets, with the hope of exchanging them for a softer acquisition, and more delicate plunder. On the chimneypiece a watch-case and a figure of Time over it, with this motto Nunc. Hogarth has caught his heroine during this moment of hesitation, this struggle with herself, and has marked her feelings with uncommon success.

In the “Miser’s Feast,” Mr. Hogarth thought proper to pillory sir Isaac Shard, a gentleman proverbially avaricious. Hearing this, the son of sir Isaac, the late Isaac Pacatus Shard, esq a young man of spirit, just returned from his travels, called at the painter’s to see the picture; | and among the rest, asking the Cicerone “whether that odd figure was intended for any particular person;” on his replying, “that it was thought to be very like one sir Isaac Shard,” he immediately drew his sword, and slashed the canvas. Hogarth appeared instantly in great wrath; to whom Mr. Shard calmly justified what he had done, saying, “that this was a very unwarrantable licence; that he was the injured party’s son, and that he was ready to defend any suit at law;” which, however, was never instituted.

About 1757, his brother-in-law, Mr. Thornhill, resigned the place of king’s serjeant-painter in favour of Mr. Hogarth. “The last memorable event in our artist’s life,” as Mr. Walpole observes, " was his quarrel with Mr. Wilkes, in which, if Mr. Hogarth did not commence direct hostilities on the latter, he at least obliquely gave the first offence, by an attack on the friends and party of that gentleman. This conduct was the more surprising, as he had all his life avoided dipping his pencil in political contests, and had early refused a very lucrative offer that was made, to engage him in a set of prints against the head of a courtparty. Without entering into the merits of the cause, I shall only state the fact. In September 1762, Mr. Hogarth published his print of * The Times.‘ It was answered by Mr. Wilkes in a severe ’ North Briton.‘ On this the painter exhibited the caricatura of the writer. Mr. Churchill, the poet, then engaged in the war, and wrote his ’ Epistle ta Hogarth,‘ not the brightest’ of his works, and in which the severest strokes fell on a defect that the painter had neither caused nor could amend his age; and which, however, was neither remarkable nor decrepit; much less had it impaired his talents, as appeared by his having composed but six months before, one of his most capital works, the satire on the Methodists. In revenge for this epistle, Hogarth caricatured Churchill, under the form of a canonical bear, with a club and a pot of porter So vituld tit dignus & hie never did two angry men of their abilities throw mud with less dexterity.

"When Mr. Wilkes was the second time brought from the Tower to Westminster-hall, Mr. Hogarth skulked behind in a corner of the gallery of the court of Common Pleas; and while the chief justice Pratt, with the eloquence and courage of old Koine, was enforcing the great | principles of Magna Charta, and the English constitution, while every breast from him caught the holy flame of liberty, the painter was wholly employed in caricaturing the person of the man, while all the rest of his fellow-­citizens were animated in his cause, for they knew it to be their own cause, that of their country, and of its laws. It was declared to be so a few hours after by the unanimous sentence of the judges of that court, and they were all present.

``The print of Mr. Wilkes was soon after published, drawn from the life by William Hogarth. It must be allowed to be an excellent compound caricatura, or a caricatura of what nature had already caricatured. I know but one short apology that can be made for this gentleman, or, to speak more properly, for the person of Mr. Wilkes. It is, that he did not make himself, and that he never was solicitous about the ease of his soul, as Shakspeare calls it, only so far as to keep it clean and in health. I never heard that he once hung over the glassy stream, like another Narcissus, admiring the image in it, nor that he ever stole an amorous look at his counterfeit in a side mirrour. His form, such as it is, ought to give him no pain, because it is capable of giving pleasure to others. I fancy he finds himself tolerably happy in the clay-cottage to which he is tenant for life, because he has learnt to keep it in good order. While the share of health and animal spirits, which, heaven has given him, shall hold out, I can scarcely imagine he will be one moment peevish about the outside of so precarious, so temporary a habitation, or will even be brought to own, ingenium Galba male habitat. Monsieur est mal logé.

``Mr. Churchill was exasperated at this personal attack on his friend. He soon alter published the `Epistle to William Hogarth,‘ and took for the motto, ut pictura poesis. Mr. Hogarth’s revenge against the poet terminated in vamping up an old print of a pug-dog and a bear, which he published under the title of `The Bruiser C. Churchill (once the Revd.!)‘ in the character of a Russian Hercules. &c.’’

At the time when these hostilities were carrying on in a manner so virulent and disgraceful to all the parties, Hogarth was visibly declining in his health. In 1762, he complained of an inward pain, which, continuing, brought | on a general decay that proved incurable.*

*

It maybe worth observing, that in “Independence,” a poem which was not published by Churchill till the last week of September 1764, he considers his antagonist as a departed Genius: “Hogarth would draw him (Envy must allow) E’en to the life, was Hogarth living now.” How little did the sportive satirist imagine the power of pleasing was so soon to cease in both! Hogarth died in four weeks after the publication of this poem; and Churchill survived him but nine days. In some lines which were print ed in November 1764, the compiler of his article, took occasion to lament that

"——Scarce had the friendly tear,

For Hogarth shed, escap’d the generous eye

Of feeling Pity, when again it flow’d

For Churchill’s fate. Ill can we bear the loss

Of Fancy’s twin-born offspring, close ally’d

In energy of thought, though different paths

They sought for fame! Though jarring passions sway’d

The living artists, let the funeral wreath

Unite their memory!"

This last year of his life he employed in re-touching his plates, with the assistance of several engravers whom he took with him to Chiswick. Oct. 25, 1764, he was conveyed from thence to Leicester-fields, in a very weak condition, yet remarkably cheerful; and, receiving an agreeable letter from the American Dr. Franklin, drew up a rough draught of an answer to it; but going to bed, he was seized with a vomiting, upon which he rung his bell with such violence that he broke it, and expired about two hours afterwards. His disorder was an aneurism; and his corpse was interred in the church-yard at Chiswick, where a monument is erected to his memory, with an inscription by his friend Mr. Garrick.

It may be truly observed of Hogarth, that all his powers of delighting were restrained to his pencil. Having rarely been admitted into polite circles, none of his sharp corners had been rubbed off, so that he continued to the last a gross uncultivated man. The slightest contradiction transported him into rage. To some confidence in himself he was certainly entitled; for, as a comic painter, he could have claimed no honour that would not most readily have been allowed him; but he was at once unprincipled and variable in his political conduct and attachments. He is also said to have beheld the rising eminence and popularity of sir Joshua Reynolds with a degree of envy; and, if we are not misinformed, frequently spoke with asperity both of him and his performances. Justice, however, obliges us to add, that our artist was liberal, hpspitable, and the most punctual of paymasters; so that, in spite of the emoluments his works had procured to him, he left but an inconsiderable fortune to his widow. His plates indeed | were such resources to her as could not speedily be exhausted. Some of his domestics had lived many years in his service, a circumstance that always reflects credit on a master. Of most of these he painted strong likenesses, on a canvas which was left in Mrs. Hogarth’s possession.

His widow had also a portrait of her husband, and an excellent bust of him by Roubilliac, a strong resemblance; and one of his brother-in-law, Mr. Thornhill, much resembling the countenance of Mrs. Hogarth. Several of his portraits also remained in her possession, but at her death were dispersed.

Of Hogarth’s smaller plates many were destroyed. When be wanted a piece of copper on a sudden, he would take any plate from which he had already worked off such a number of impressions as he supposed he should sell. He then sent it to be effaced, beat out, or otherwise altered to his present purpose.

The plates which remained in his possession were secured to Mrs. Hogarth by his will, dated Aug. 12, 1764, chargeable with an annuity of 80l. to his sister Anne, who survived him. When, on the death of his other sister, she left off the business in which she was engaged, he kindly took her home, and generously supported her, making her, at the same time, useful in the disposal of his prints. Want of tenderness and liberality to his relations was not among the failings of Hogarth.

In 1745, one Launcelot Burton was appointed naval officer at Deal. Hogarth had seen him by accident; and on a piece of paper, previously impressed by a plain copper-plate, drew his figure with a pen in imitation of a coarse etching. He was represented on a lean Canterbury hack, with a bottle sticking out of his pocket; and underneath was an inscription, intimating that he was going down to take possession of his place. This was inclosed to him in a letter; and some of his friends, who were in the secret, protested the drawing to be a print which they had seen exposed to sale at the shops in London; a circumstance that put him in a violent passion, during which he wrote an abusive letter to Hogarth, whose name was subscribed to the work. But, after poor Burton’s tormentors had kept him in suspense throughout an uneasy three weeks, they proved to him that it was no engraving, but a sketch with a pen and ink. He then became so perfectly reconciled to his resemblance, that he shewed it with exultation | to admiral Vernon, and all the rest of his friends. In 1753, Hogarth returning with a friend from a visit to Mr. Rich at Cowley, stopped his chariot, and got out, being struck by a large drawing (with a coal) on the wall of an alehouse. He immediately made a sketch of it with triumph; it was a St. George and the Dragon, all in straight lines.

Hogarth made one essay in sculpture. He wanted a sign to distinguish his house in Leicester-fields; and thinking none more proper than the Golden Head, he out of a mass of cork made up of several thicknesses compacted together, carved a bust of Vandyck, which he gilt and placed over his door. It decayed, and was succeeded by a head in plaster, which in its turn was supplied by a head of sir Isaac Newton. Hogarth also modelled another resemblance of Vandyck in clay; which has also perished. His works, as his elegant biographer has well observed, are his history; and the curious are highly indebted to Mr. Walpole for a catalogue of his prints, drawn up from his own valuable collection, in 1771. But as neither that catalogue, nor his appendix to it in 1780, have given the whole of Mr. Hogarth’s labours, Mr. Nichols, including Mr. Walpole’s catalogue, has endeavoured, from later discoveries of our artist’s prints in other collections, to arrange them in chronological order. There are three large pictures by Hogarth, over the altar in the church of St. Mary Redcliff at Bristol. Mr. Forrest, of York-buildings, was in possession of a sketch in oil of our Saviour (designed as a pattern for painted glass); and several drawings, descriptive of the incidents that happened during a five days’ tour by land and water. The parties were Messrs. Hogarth, Thornhill (son of the late sir James), Scott (an ingenious landscape-painter of that name), Tothall, and Forrest. They set out at midnight, at a moment’s warning, from the Bedford-Arms tavern, with each a shirt in his pocket. They had all their particular departments. Hogarth and Scott made the drawings; Thornhill the map; Tothall faithfully discharged the joint offices of treasurer and caterer; and Forrest wrote the journal. They were out five days only; and on the second night after their return, the book was produced, bound, gilt, and lettered, and read at the same tavern to the above parties then present. Mr. Forrest had also drawings of two of the members, remarkably fat men, in ludicrous situations. Etchings from all these have been made, and the journal has been printed. | A very entertaining work, by Mr. John Ireland, entitled ``Hogarth illustrated,‘‘ was published by Messrs. Boydell, in 1792, and has since been reprinted. It contains the small plates originally engraved for a paltry work, called ``Hogarth moralized,’‘ and an exact account of all his prints. Since that, have appeared ``Graphic illustrations of Hogarth, from pictures, drawings, and scarce prints, in the possession of Samuel Ireland.’‘ Some curious articles were contained in this volume. A supplementary volume to ``Hogarth illustrated,’’ has more recently appeared, containing the original manuscript of the Analysis, with the first sketches of the figures. 2. A Supplement to the Analysis, never published. 3. Original Memoranda. 4. Materials for his own Life, &c. But the most ample Memoirs of Hogarth are contained in Mr. Nichols’s splendid publication of his life and works, 2 vols. 4to, with copies of all his plates accurately reduced. 1

1

Nichols’s Hogarth.—Walpole’s Anecdotes.