Since it is clear that the law assists in blackening reputations even in the grave, I claim that other Miss Brownes who take advantage of life, and time by the forelock to put up monuments in the sufficiently hideous thoroughfares should be pronounced non compos mentis. The perpetrators of the erection in High Street, Kensington, hard by St. Mary Abbots, may serve as an example. Inconvenient, vulgar, inapposite, this should debar even the subscribers from obtaining probate for their wills. I invoke posthumous revenge, and claim that at least 500_l_. damages should be paid as compensation to the nearest hospital for the indignant blind, as my friend Mr. Vincent O’Sullivan calls them in one of his delightful stories.
NON ANGELI SED ANGLI.
I wish that the Rokeby Velasquez now firmly secured for the British nation could have been allowed to remain in Bond Street for a short while; not to tantalise the foreign countries who so eagerly competed for its acquisition, nor to emphasise the patriotism of its former owners, but as a contrast to ‘Some Examples of the Independent Art of To-day,’ held at Messrs. Agnew’s. Perhaps not as a contrast even, but as a complement. I do not mean to place all the examples on the same level with the ‘Venus,’ though with some I should have preferred to live; yet the juxtaposition would have asserted the tradition of the younger painters and the modernity of the older master. ’We are all going to—Agnew’s, and Velasquez will be of the company,’ or something like Gainsborough’s dying words would have occurred sooner or later. I am persuaded that we look at the ancient pictures with frosted magnifying-glasses, and stare at the younger men from the wrong end of the binoculars. It was ever thus; it always will be so. Most of us suspect our contemporaries or juniors. And they—les jeunes feroces—are impatient of their immediate predecessors. Nos peres out toujours tort. Though grandpapa is sometimes quite picturesque; his waistcoat and old buttons suit us very well. ‘Your Raphael is not even divine,’ said Velasquez when he left Rome and that wonderful p.p.c. card on the Doria. ‘Your Academicians are not even academic,’ some of the younger painters and their champions are saying to-day.