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prelusive delicacies of the present writer--the curt “ Astræan allusion”-would be thought pedantic and out of date, in these days.
From the office of the Morning Post (for we may as well exhaust our Newspaper Reminiscences at once) by change of property in the paper, we were transferred, mortifying exchange ! to the office of the Albion Newspaper, late Rackstrow's Museum, in Fleet Street. What a transition from a handsome apartment, from rose-wood desks, and silver inkstands, to an office—no office, but a den rather, but just redeemed from the occupation of dead monsters, of which it seemed redolentfrom the centre of loyalty and fashion, to a focus of vulgarity and sedition! Here in murky closet, inadequate from its square contents to the receipt of the two bodies of Editor, and humble paragraph. maker, together at one time, sat in the discharge of his new Editorial functions (the “Bigod ” of Elia) the redoubted John Fenwick.
F., without a guinea in his pocket, and having left not many in the pockets of his friends whom he might command, had purchased (on tick doubtless) the whole and sole Editorship, Proprietorship, with all the rights and titles (such as they were worth) of the Albion, from one Lovell; of whom we know nothing, save that he had stood in the pillory for a libel on the Prince of Wales. With this hopeless concern--for it had been sinking ever since its commencement, and could now reckon upon not more than a hundred subscribers—F. resolutely determined upon pulling down the Government in the first instance, and making both
our fortunes by way of corollary. For seven weeks and more did this infatuated Democrat go about borrowing seven-shilling pieces, and lesser coin, to meet the daily demands of the Stamp Office, which allowed no credit to publications of that side in politics. An outcast from politer bread, we attached our small talents to the forlorn fortunes of our friend. Our occupation now was to write treason.
Recollections of feelings—which were all that now remained from our first boyish heats kindled by the French Revolution, when, if we were misled, we erred in the company of some, who are accounted very good men now-rather than any tendency at this time to Republican doctrinesassisted us in assuming a style of writing, while the paper lasted, consonant in no very under tone --to the right earnest fanaticism of F. Our cue was now to insinuate, rather than recommend, possible abdications. Blocks, axes, Whitehall tribunals, were covered with flowers of so cunning a periphrasismas Mr. Bayes says, never naming the thing directly—that the keen eye of an Attorney General was insufficient to detect the lurking snake among them. There were times, indeed, when we sighed for our more gentleman-like occupation under Stuart. But with change of masters it is ever change of service. Already one paragraph, and another, as we learned afterwards from a gentleman at the Treasury, had begun to be marked at that office, with a view of its being submitted at least to the attention of the proper Law Officers--when an unlucky, or rather lucky
136 NEWSPAPERS THIRTY-FIVE YEARS AGO. epigram from our pen, aimed at Sir J--M--h,' who was on the eve of departing for India to reap the fruits of his apostacy, as F. pronounced it, (it is hardly worth particularising,) happening to offend the nice sense of Lord, or, as he then delighted to be called, Citizen Stanhope, deprived F. at once of the last hopes of a guinea from the last patron that had stuck by us; and breaking up our establishment, left us to the safe, but somewhat mortifying, neglect of the Crown
vyers. It was about this time, or a little earlier, that Dan Stuart made that curious confession to us, that he had “never deliberately walked into an Exhibition at Somerset House in his life.”
[1 Sir James Mackintosh.]
BARRENNESS OF THE IMAGINATIVE FACULTY IN THE PRO
DUCTIONS OF MODERN
JOGARTH excepted, can we produce any one painter within the last fifty years, or since the humour of exhibit
ing began, that has treated a story imaginatively? By this we mean, upon whom his subject has so acted, that it has seemed to direct him-not to be arranged by him? Any upon whom its leading or collateral points have impressed themselves so tyrannically, that he dared not treat it otherwise, lest he should falsify a revelation ? Any that has imparted to his compositions, not merely so much truth as is enough to convey a story with clearness, but that individualising property, which should keep the subject so treated distinct in feature from every other subject, however similar, and to common apprehensions almost identical ; so as that we might say, this and this part could have found an appropriate place in no
other picture in the world but this? Is there any thing in modern art--we will not demand that it should be equal—but in any way analogous to what Titian has effected, in that wonderful bringing together of two times in the “ Ariadne,” in the National Gallery? Precipitous, with his reeling Satyr rout about him, re-peopling and re-illuming suddenly the waste places, drunk with a new fury beyond the grape, Bacchus, born in fire, fire-like flings himself at the Cretan. This is the time present. With this telling of the story—an artist, and no ordinary one, might remain richly proud. Guido, in his harmonious version of it, saw no further. But from the depth of the imaginative spirit Titian has recalled past time, and laid it contributory with the present to one simultaneous effect. With the desert all ringing with the mad cymbals of his followers, made lucid with the presence and new offers of a god, -as if unconscious of Bacchus, or but idly casting her eyes as upon some unconcerning pageant-her soul undistracted from Theseus-Ariadne is still pacing the solitary shore in as much heart-silence, and in almost the same local solitude, with which she awoke at day-break to catch the forlorn last glances of the sail that bore away the Athenian.
Here are two points miraculously co-uniting ; fierce society, with the feeling of solitude still absolute, noon-day revelations, with the accidents of the dull grey dawn unquenched and lingering ; the present Bacchus, with the past Ariadne; two stories, with double Time ; separate, and harmonising. Had the artist made the woman one shade