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admirers. There were those who felt a strong regard for Turner, and for whom he had a sincere regard, such as the artists Chantrey, Eastlake, Callcott, Phillips, Jones, Hardwick, Roberts, and Boxall, Mr. Fawkes of Farnley Hall, Mr. Munro of Novar, and the Rev. E. T. Daniell, a clergyman of great taste and of admirable skill as an artist, whose name may be remembered by some of our readers in connexion with the Lives of Edward Forbes and Blanco White. Although, as Leslie says, 'nobody knew where or how he lived' (i. 201)-although, partly from constant occupation in his art, and partly (it would seem) from caprice, he did not appear much in society, yet this was not for want of invitations, which,' as the same authority tells us, he seldom even answered, but appeared at the table of the inviter or not, as it suited him’ (i. 204). All agree in praising him as a remarkably pleasant companion. He delighted in a dinner of artists, in a rough excursion on the river, and at the luncheon of the Academicians on varnishingdays he was the life of the table’ (Leslie i. 201). Of a different kind, but still more favourable to him, is the testimony of Mrs. Wheeler, daughter of an artist named Wells (ii. 53-7). She tells us how Turner wept at her father's death (ii. 56), and he paid the same tribute to the memory of Chantrey. In evidence of his feeling for Mr. Daniell, we have heard a story which seems to be the original of one told by Mr. Ruskin, and after him by Mr. Thornbury :
““ One of my friends," says Mr. Ruskin, “had desired to possess & picture which "Turner would not sell. It had been painted with a companion; which was sold, but this reserved. After a considerable number of years had passed, Turner consented to part with it. The price of canvases of its size having, in the mean time, doubled, questions arose as to what was then to be its price. Well,' said Turner
, had the companion for so much. You must be on the same footing. This was in no desire to do my friend a favour, but a mere instinct of equity.” '- Mod. Painters, v. 346,
To us it appears that such an act, unless prompted by the desire which Mr. Ruskin studiously disclaims for his hero, would have been a proof not of equity, but of childishness. But the true version of the story we believe to be as follows, and it is one which supplies an intelligible and a touching motive for the painter's conduct
. Mr. Daniell asked Turner to paint a picture for him, and named 200 guineas as the price which he could afford to give. The commission was accepted and the work was admirably executed, but in the mean time Mr. Daniell had died in the East. For a long time Turner refused all offers for the picture, although they mounted far beyond even twice the sum
for which it had been bespoken. No,' he said ; that was Daniell's picture. I won't part with it.' At last, however, he yielded to the urgency of a friend who already possessed a picture of the same size by him ; but Turner insisted that the price should be only 200 guineas, because that was Daniell's price.'
It is strongly in favour of Turner that all the chief artists who knew him agree in speaking of him with regard, and in reprobating Mr. Thornbury's book. They not only reverence his genius, but entertain kindly feelings towards him as a man; they deal tenderly with his failings, and tell stories of his unostentatious bounty to poor members of the profession, * which, in our opinion, are more creditable to him than the scheme for immortalizing himself by the foundation of a charity which should bear his name. Yet, such were the strange contradictions mingled in him, that while the heartiness and depth of his regard for his friends is beyond all doubt, there was not one of them with whom he associated on the footing of ordinary intimacy; to no one did he open himself—to every one he desired to remain a mystery. To his own father he seems to have been sincerely attached; yet he made him his drudge, his gardener, the stretcher of his pictures, the doorkeeper of his gallery; and when the prosperous Academician lived at Twickenham, the poor old man (if we may believe Mr. Thornbury) was left to trudge daily to his duties in Queen Anne Street, or to bribe a market-gardener with a glass of gin to carry him up in his cart, on the top of the vegetables' (i. 165). It is altogether a strangely unsatisfactory character.
Much stress is laid on an early love-affair, in which it is said that Turner's letters were intercepted by the maiden's 'wicked stepmother,' and that the wrong was not discovered until too late (i. 70-74). But the details of this story are so hazy that we can have no confidence in it; and, unless some really bad means were used, there was surely no great wickedness in the attempt to stop a love-correspondence with a lad of nineteen, whose worldly means were limited to the prospects of a very uncertain profession, on which he had hardly entered. And we may ask what is the world to come to, if a disappointment in love at nineteen be admitted as an excuse for the grievous faults of a life favoured in most respects by extraordinary prosperity, and protracted to seventy-six ?
If Turner was not happy, the cause appears to have been in his own perverseness; to himself, too, is to be attributed the failure of his designs after his death. By the expenditure of a
* He was associated with Chantrey and Phillips in founding that excellent charity, the Artists' Benevolent Institution, of which he became a trustee.
few pounds, he might have got his will so framed as to defy all assaults. By a reasonable provision for his relations-a provision limited by the consideration that his wealth was of his own earning, and that a great and sudden gift of riches is no real blessing to persons who have not been trained for the use of them--he might have cut off all pretext for assailing it.
Nay, it is even possible that, by requesting some competent friend to draw up a modest memoir of him, and furnishing the necessary information, he might have saved himself from the worst of his posthumous misfortunes—that of falling a victim to such a biographer as Mr. Thornbury.
Perhaps the appearance of this wretched book may be the means of calling forth some writer qualified, by knowledge of the man and of his art, to investigate the truth and to tell it as it ought to be told. In the mean time we should be glad to see a reprint, in a more accessible form, of Mr. Wornum's brief but sensible and judicious sketch, which is at present only to be obtained in connexion with a costly folio collection of engravings
. We need not now enter into any criticism on Turner's art, which has been discussed in a recent number of this Review.* That he is faultless, no one will maintain ; although the same things which some would note among his faults are extolled by others as his most transcendant beauties. But no one can visit that room of the National Gallery in which the chief part of his great bequest is now displayed-enabling us to trace him from his modest beginnings to the culmination of his first style in the • Apuleia' and Crossing the Brook;' and thence, through the gorgeous period of the Polyphemus' and the “Téméraire,' to the wild magnificence of his decline-without marvelling at the originality, the versatility, the untiring industry, the technical skill and facility, which gave being to that unequalled collection It is not necessary for Turner's honour, nor is it any true tribute to his merits, that other men who before him won high fame in art and pointed out the way to him should be disparaged. Let Claude and the Poussins,
Ruysdael and Cuyp, Hobbima, Vandevelde, Canaletti, and Wilson, keep the honours which the world has until now been glad to pay them ; let it be owned that without them Turner would not have become what he was; that in his rivalry
of them he has often failed to equal them ; but in variety and reach of genius, in poetical spirit, in the representation of light, and air, and space, of the storm and the sunshine, of the restless sea and the ever-changing clouds, he has far surpassed them all.
* No. cxcvi., Art. iv.
ART. VI.-1. Dictionary of the Indian Islands. By John
Crawfurd, F.R.G.S. London, 1859. 2. Java ; or, How to manage a Colony. By J. W. B. Money,
Barrister-at-Law, London, 1861. 3. The Indian Archipelago : its History and Present State. By
Horace St. John. 4. Report of Her Majesty's Secretaries of Legation, No. 4. Pre
sented to both Houses of Parliament. 1861. 5. A Visit to the Philippine Islands. By Sir John Bowring,
LL.D., F.R.S., late Governor of Hong Kong, H. B. M, Pleni
potentiary in China, &c. London, 1859. 6. The Singapore Free Press.
pelago as the theatre of a very remarkable enterprise. A .private individual had formed the strange, and, it was thought, the chimerical project of establishing an ascendency in a portion of the largest island of the Indian Seas, for the purpose of effecting a radical change in the pursuits of an aboriginal race, reclaiming it from piracy, and instructing it how to acquire property with less effort than was required to wrest it from others. Sir James Brooke, the Rajah of Sarawak, if he has not yet fully accomplished all that his philanthropic scheme embraced, has made considerable progress in the noble work to which he addressed himself. He has planted the germ of European civilization in the least known island in the world, accustomed a portion of its people to a steady dispensation of justice, and made the name of England respected among fierce and lawless races.
The Portuguese, the Dutch, the Spanish, and the English governments have all possessed at different times important trading establishments in this archipelago of freebooters. Several considerable islands have long been in their possession, and the seats of settled government. Java has attained a high but peculiar civilization. Sumatra has not yet felt the influence of European intercourse, except on a small portion of its coasts. Of the interior of Borneo, scarcely anything is known; but there have long been important settlements on its shores. The group of the Philippines, exhibiting many interesting features, has received the civilization of that great power of the sixteenth century which, planting a foot in either hemisphere, bestrode the world like a colossus. The Moluccas, the almost fabled land of spices, still own the sway of a remote nation of merchants; while Great Britain, hitherto diverted by her vast enterprises in continental India, and perhaps disdaining the
comparatively insignificant temptations presented by the islands of the intertropical seas, has, by her settlement at Singapore, by the generous encouragement which, on the first achievement of his great successes, she afforded to the Rajah of Sarawak, and recently by her occupation of Labuan, evinced a determination to extend her commercial and political relations into regions which have been hitherto considered the appanage of a small European power, to whose influence they have been almost exclusively left.
We propose to take a survey of the present condition of the principal islands of the Eastern Archipelago, their productions, commerce, and governments, believing that their importance will from year to year become more highly appreciated, and that they are rapidly acquiring a value in European estimation far greater than they have hitherto possessed.
The Eastern Archipelago extends over a space of more than 8000 miles, and consists of an immense labyrinth of islands, among which are at least twenty countries of considerable size, and one which nearly equals Europe in extent. This cluster of islands and islets, scattered in irregular profusion over the Southern Ocean, is supposed by some geologists to consist of the fragments of a vast continent which has been broken up by some mighty convulsion of nature in ages far beyond the historical era; but whether it is composed of the débris of a former continent, or whether a multitude of islands have arisen slowly from the deep, is a problem which no one has yet satisfactorily solved. Commencing at the further extremity of the Bay of Bengal, this wonderful archipelago stretches eastward far into the Pacific, through 50 degrees of longitude, while in breadth it extends through 31 degrees of latitude. It comprises islands, and groups of islands, inhabited by races differing widely in character. It is not exposed to the extremes of heat. The air is cooled by constant currents; and the monsoons, in their regular recurrence, purify the atmosphere, and disperse the pestilential miasma generated by a fierce sun in forests and swamps which remain in a state of primitive nature. Abundant rains fertilize the soils, and produce a magnificence of vegetation which no country but Brazil can rival; and it has been, and still to some extent continues, the theatre of prodigious volcanic action, to which it owes much of its unrivalled beauty and fertility; for ashes and scoria, if they blast and destroy for a time the luxuriant tropical flora, afterwards constitute the basis, and become the cause, of a most exuberant vegetation. In Java there are forty-six volcanic peaks, twenty of which still occasionally emit vapour and flame,