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notice given him, came walking by the door; and either by a cough, or some other signal, the window of the paintingroom was opened, and the useful drawer was let down by whip-cord, in which, with the face upwards, the picture was sure to be found. The two sides and ends of the. drawer having a smale hole in each; making four parts, a piece of whip-cord was put through, which was tied in the middle, so that it hung like a scale, from the centre of which, a piece of lay-cord let it safely down.
In this way, and copying for his father, now and then painting a few portraits, he continued till he was near seventeen; and notwithstanding the small scope such employment afforded him for the display of that astonishing genius, which has since blazed forth upon the world in its full meridian splendour, he now and then gave sufficient promise, of what the ripening hand of time has since brought forth. Several instances are known to the family, of his father having sold copies by his son after Ruysdael, Hobbima, and others, for originals, to those whose judgment upon any picture would have stamped either an unequivocal value, or a 'tacit condemnation, from which at that time there was no appeal. A curious circumstance of the above kind is, we believe, to be found amongst the legal records of a trial at Westminster Hall. Another happened within the recent knowledge of a very few years since, to the author of these Memoirs, and the circumstance was thus. -A beautiful landscape and figures, with a watermill in the distance, came into the hands of the person above mentioned, said to be the production of Hobbima; which few persons would have been inclined to doubt, had not the figures in particular been so much superior to any thing known of that master's. As it was painted upon a very fine old pannel, its high state of preservation was accounted for by the care it was natural to conclude had been taken of it; from the number of accidents to which wood is more liable than canvas. Without being vain enough to assume on this, or any other occasion, a pre-eminence in judgment to any brother of the pictureeraft, the author doubted the picture in question being a production of Hobbima. The consequence was, that from urging these doubts rather strongly, he purchased the picture at a fair copy price. And notwithstanding it has since been sold as an original, it was painted by the subject of this sketch, for his father, before he at. tained his seventeenth year. So that we may upon this occasion hazard an opinion, with all due deference to the admirers of the old school, namely, that it will, if uninjured, in seventy years hence, do morehonour to Hobbima than any picture we have ever yet seen of his painting; being in every respect better coloured, handled, the touch more firm, and the figures far superior.
But to return from this trivial digression, our young artist continued with his parents . till he was nearly twenty; now and then, it is true, he was apt to play truant, for be had now added to his other hobbies that
of a real horse. In short, he seemed infinitely to prefer the stable, and the gemmen of the currycomb to his painting-room, or the conversation of some eminent artists, to whom his father had about this time introduced him. This perhaps is the more extraordinary, as it is well known, that although so fond of riding, and accounteda good horseman, he was also one of the most timid that ever figured in Rotten Row. A stable-keeper of great consequence, not long removed from this world of contra... dictions and error, through a fatal temerity, had himself and family painted by George for the use of some of his lame cheveaux.. What even such a subject as the portraits of that family would produce now, is.. best known to those who are fortunate enough to be in possession of some of our artist's ordinary pictures at this time..
The paucity of incidents sufficient to en gage attention, nay all that can be collected by the most industrious biographers, without an habitual acquaintance with such a character, must, compel them to glide over
some years of his life, with little more than a recital of the common occurrences of the world to fill up the chasm. But those who were intimately acquainted witli our painter, found sufficient food for humour and reflection, even in his eccentricities; for whether designing or composing, Morland was seldom a inoment silent when at his easel, provided there were no strangers by. We mean this remark as applicable to him after he left his father. The lively sallies of a young genius of twenty, whose mind continually ran upon horses, dogs, fiddles, now and then historians, poets, and painters, together with physic and chemistry, may be easily imagined, a few of which shall be occasionally given as our memory serves.
Soon after our painter left the paternal roof, which was about the 20th year of his age, under which his talents had been so long fostered and judiciously cultivated, he went to reside at a pleasant hamlet on the Harrow road, called Kensell Green, Here, in a very pretty house, belonging to