The Newcomes, by William Makepeace Thackeray

CHAPTER XXXIX

Amongst the Painters

When Clive Newcome comes to be old, no doubt he will remember his Roman days as amongst the happiest which fate ever awarded him. The simplicity of the student’s life there, the greatness and friendly splendour of the scenes surrounding him, the delightful nature of the occupation in which he is engaged, the pleasant company of comrades, inspired by a like pleasure over a similar calling, the labour, the meditation, the holiday and the kindly feast afterwards, should make the Art-students the happiest of youth, did they but know their good fortune. Their work is for the most part delightfully easy. It does not exercise the brain too much, but gently occupies it, and with a subject most agreeable to the scholar. The mere poetic flame, or jet of invention, needs to be lighted up but very seldom, namely, when the young painter is devising his subject, or settling the composition thereof. The posing of figures and drapery; the dexterous copying of the line; the artful processes of cross-hatching, of stumping, of laying on lights, and what not; the arrangement of colour, and the pleasing operations of glazing and the like, are labours for the most part merely manual. These, with the smoking of a proper number of pipes, carry the student through his day’s work. If you pass his door you will very probably hear him singing at his easel. I should like to know what young lawyer, mathematician, or divinity scholar can sing over his volumes, and at the same time advance with his labour? In every city where Art is practised there are old gentlemen who never touched a pencil in their lives, but find the occupation and company of artists so agreeable that they are never out of the studios; follow one generation of painters after another; sit by with perfect contentment while Jack is drawing his pifferaro, or Tom designing his cartoon, and years afterwards when Jack is established in Newman Street, and Tom a Royal Academician, shall still be found in their rooms, occupied now by fresh painters and pictures, telling the youngsters, their successors, what glorious fellows Jack and Tom were. A poet must retire to privy places and meditate his rhymes in secret; a painter can practise his trade in the company of friends. Your splendid chef d’ecole, a Rubens or a Horace Vernet, may sit with a secretary reading to him; a troop of admiring scholars watching the master’s hand; or a company of court ladies and gentlemen (to whom he addresses a few kind words now and again) looking on admiringly; whilst the humblest painter, be he ever so poor, may have a friend watching at his easel, or a gentle wife sitting by with her work in her lap, and with fond smiles or talk or silence cheering his labour.

Amongst all ranks and degrees of painters assembled at Rome, Mr. Clive found companions and friends. The cleverest man was not the best artist very often: the ablest artist not the best critic nor the best companion. Many a man could give no account of the faculty within him, but achieved success because he could not help it; and did, in an hour and without effort, that which another could not effect with half a life’s labour. There were young sculptors who had never read a line of Homer, who took on themselves nevertheless to interpret and continue the heroic Greek art. There were young painters with the strongest natural taste for low humour, comic singing, and Cyder-Cellar jollifications, who would imitate nothing under Michael Angelo, and whose canvases teemed with tremendous allegories of fates, furies, genii of death and battle. There were long-haired lads who fancied the sublime lay in the Peruginesque manner, and depicted saintly personages with crisp draperies, crude colours, and haloes of gold-leaf. Our friend marked all these practitioners of Art with their various oddities and tastes, and was welcomed in the ateliers of all of them, from the grave dons and seniors, the senators of the French and English Academy, down to the jovial students who railed at the elders over their cheap cups at the Lepre. What a gallant, starving, generous, kindly life, many of them led! What fun in their grotesque airs, what friendship and gentleness in their poverty! How splendidly Carlo talked of the marquis his cousin, and the duke his intimate friend! How great Federigo was on the subject of his wrongs, from the Academy at home, a pack of tradesmen who could not understand high art, and who had never seen a good picture! With what haughtiness Augusto swaggered about at Sir John’s soirees, though he was known to have borrowed Fernando’s coat, and Luigi’s dress-boots! If one or the other was ill, how nobly and generously his companions flocked to comfort him, took turns to nurse the sick man through nights of fever, contributed out of their slender means to help him through his difficulty. Max, who loves fine dresses and the carnival so, gave up a costume and a carriage so as to help Paul, when he sold his picture (through the agency of Pietro, with whom he had quarrelled, and who recommended him to a patron), gave a third of the money back to Max, and took another third portion to Lazaro, with his poor wife and children, who had not got a single order all that winter — and so the story went on. I have heard Clive tell of two noble young Americans who came to Europe to study their art; of whom the one fell sick, whilst the other supported his penniless comrade, and out of sixpence a day absolutely kept but a penny for himself, giving the rest to his sick companion. “I should like to have known that good Samaritan, Sir,” our Colonel said, twirling his mustachios, when we saw him again, and his son told him that story.

J. J., in his steady silent way, worked on every day, and for many hours every day. When Clive entered their studio of a morning, he found J. J. there, and there he left him. When the Life Academy was over, at night, and Clive went out to his soirees, J. J. lighted his lamp and continued his happy labour. He did not care for the brawling supper-parties of his comrades; liked better to stay at home than to go into the world, and was seldom abroad of a night except during the illness of Luigi before mentioned, when J. J. spent constant evenings at the other’s bedside. J. J. was fortunate as well as skilful: people in the world took a liking to the modest young man, and he had more than one order for pictures. The Artists’ Club, at the Lepre, set him down as close with his money; but a year after he left Rome, Lazaro and his wife, who still remained there, told a different tale. Clive Newcome, when he heard of their distress, gave them something — as much as he could spare; but J. J. gave more, and Clive was as eager in acknowledging and admiring his friend’s generosity as he was in speaking of his genius. His was a fortunate organisation indeed. Study was his chief amusement. Self-denial came easily to him. Pleasure, or what is generally called so, had little charm for him. His ordinary companions were pure and sweet thoughts; his out-door enjoyment the contemplation of natural beauty; for recreation, the hundred pleasant dexterities and manipulations of his craft were ceaselessly interesting to him: he would draw every knot in an oak panel, or every leaf in an orange-tree, smiling, and taking a gay delight over the simple feats of skill: whenever you found him he seemed watchful and serene, his modest virgin-lamp always lighted and trim. No gusts of passion extinguished it; no hopeless wandering in the darkness afterwards led him astray. Wayfarers through the world, we meet now and again with such purity; and salute it, and hush whilst it passes on.

We have it under Clive Newcome’s own signature, that he intended to pass a couple of years in Italy, devoting himself exclusively to the study of his profession. Other besides professional reasons were working secretly in the young man’s mind, causing him to think that absence from England was the best cure for a malady under which he secretly laboured. But change of air may cure some sick people more speedily than the sufferers ever hoped; and also it is on record, that young men with the very best intentions respecting study, do not fulfil them, and are led away from their scheme by accident, or pleasure, or necessity, or some good cause. Young Clive worked sedulously two or three months at his vocation at Rome, secretly devouring, no doubt, the pangs of sentimental disappointment under which he laboured; and he drew from his models, and he sketched round about everything that suited his pencil on both sides of Tiber; and he laboured at the Life Academy of nights — a model himself to other young students. The symptoms of his sentimental malady began to abate. He took an interest in the affairs of Jack, and Tom, and Harry round about him: Art exercised its great healing influence on his wounded spirit, which to be sure had never given in. The meeting of the painters at the Cafe Greco, and at their private houses, was very jovial, pleasant, and lively. Clive smoked his pipe, drank his glass of Marsala, sang his song, and took part in the general chorus as gaily as the jolliest of the boys. He was the cock of the whole painting school, the favourite of all; and to be liked by the people, you may be pretty sure that we for our parts must like them.

Then, besides the painters, he had, as he has informed us, the other society of Rome. Every winter there is a gay and pleasant English colony in that capital, of course more or less remarkable for rank, fashion, and agreeability with every varying year. In Clive’s year some very pleasant folks set up their winter quarters in the usual foreigners’ resort round about the Piazza di Spagna. I was amused to find, lately, looking over the travels of the respectable M. de Poellnitz, that, a hundred and twenty years ago, the same quarter, the same streets and palaces, scarce changed from those days, were even then polite foreigners’ resort. Of one or two of the gentlemen Clive had made the acquaintance in the hunting-field; others he had met during his brief appearance in the London world. Being a youth of great personal agility, fitted thereby to the graceful performance of polkas, etc.; having good manners, and good looks, and good credit with Prince Poloni, or some other banker, Mr. Newcome was thus made very welcome to the Anglo-Roman society; and as kindly received in genteel houses, where they drank tea and danced the galop, as in those dusky taverns and retired lodgings where his bearded comrades, the painters held their meetings.

Thrown together every day, and night after night; flocking to the same picture-galleries, statue-galleries, Pincian drives, and church functions, the English colonists at Rome perforce became intimate, and in many cases friendly. They have an English library where the various meets for the week are placarded: on such a day the Vatican galleries are open: the next is the feast of Saint So-and-so: on Wednesday there will be music and vespers at the Sistine Chapel — on Thursday, the Pope will bless the animals — sheep, horses, and what-not: and flocks of English accordingly rush to witness the benediction of droves of donkeys. In a word, the ancient city of the Caesars, the august fanes of the Popes, with their splendour and ceremony, are all mapped out and arranged for English diversion; and we run in a crowd to high mass at St. Peter’s, or to the illumination on Easter Day, as we run when the bell rings to the Bosjesmen at Cremorne, or the fireworks at Vauxhall.

Running to see fireworks alone, rushing off to examine Bosjesmen by one’s self, is a dreary work: I should think very few men would have the courage to do it unattended, and personally would not prefer a pipe in their own rooms. Hence if Clive went to see all these sights, as he did, it is to be concluded that he went in company; and if he went in company and sought it, we may suppose that little affair which annoyed him at Baden no longer tended to hurt his peace of mind very seriously. The truth is, our countrymen are pleasanter abroad than at home; most hospitable, kindly, and eager to be pleased and to please. You see a family half a dozen times in a week in the little Roman circle, whom you shall not meet twice in a season afterwards in the enormous London round. When Easter is over and everybody is going away at Rome, you and your neighbour shake hands, sincerely sorry to part: in London we are obliged to dilute our kindness so that there is hardly any smack of the original milk. As one by one the pleasant families dropped off with whom Clive had spent his happy winter; as Admiral Freeman’s carriage drove away, whose pretty girls he had caught at St. Peter’s kissing St. Peter’s toe; as Dick Denby’s family ark appeared with all Denby’s sweet young children kissing farewells to him out of the window; as those three charming Miss Baliols with whom he had that glorious day in the Catacombs; as friend after friend quitted the great city with kind greetings, warm pressures of the hand, and hopes of meeting in a yet greater city on the banks of the Thames, young Clive felt a depression of spirit. Rome was Rome, but it was pleasanter to see it in company; our painters are smoking still at the Oafs Greco, but a society all smoke and all painters did not suit him. If Mr. Clive is not a Michael Angelo or a Beethoven, if his genius is not gloomy, solitary, gigantic, shining alone, like a lighthouse, a storm round about him, and breakers dashing at his feet, I cannot help myself: he is as Heaven made him, brave, honest, gay, and friendly, and persons of a gloomy turn must not look to him as a hero.

So Clive and his companion worked away with all their hearts from November until far into April when Easter came, and the glorious gala with which the Roman Church celebrates that holy season. By this time Clive’s books were full of sketches. Ruins, imperial and mediaeval; peasants and bagpipemen; Passionists with shaven polls; Capuchins and the equally hairy frequenters of the Cafe Greco; painters of all nations who resort there; Cardinals and their queer equipages and attendants; the Holy Father himself (it was Gregory sixteenth of the name); the dandified English on the Pincio and the wonderful Roman members of the hunt — were not all these designed by the young man and admired by his friends in after-days? J. J.‘s sketches were few, but he had painted two beautiful little pictures, and sold them for so good a price that Prince Polonia’s people were quite civil to him. He had orders for yet more pictures, and having worked very hard, thought himself authorised to accompany Mr. Clive upon a pleasure-trip to Naples, which the latter deemed necessary after his own tremendous labours. He for his part had painted no pictures, though he had commenced a dozen and turned them to the wall; but he had sketched, and dined, and smoked, and danced, as we have seen. So the little britzska was put behind horses again, and our two friends set out on their tour, having quite a crowd of brother-artists to cheer them, who had assembled and had a breakfast for the purpose at that comfortable osteria near the Lateran Gate. How the fellows flung their hats up, and shouted, “Lebe wohl,” and “Adieu,” and “God bless you, old boy,” in many languages! Clive was the young swell of the artists of that year, and adored by the whole of the jolly company. His sketches were pronounced on all hands to be admirable: it was agreed that if he chose he might do anything.

So with promises of a speedy return they left behind them the noble city, which all love who once have seen it, and of which we think afterwards ever with the kindness and the regard of home. They dashed across the Campagna and over the beautiful hills of Albano, and sped through the solemn Pontine Marshes, and stopped to roost at Terracing (which was not at all like Fra Diavolo’s Terracing at Covent Garden, as J. J. was distressed to remark), and so, galloping onwards through a hundred ancient cities that crumble on the shores of the beautiful Mediterranean, behold, on the second day as they ascended a hill about noon. Vesuvius came in view, its great shape shimmering blue in the distant haze, its banner of smoke in the cloudless sky. And about five o’clock in the evening (as everybody will who starts from Terracing early and pays the postboy well), the travellers came to an ancient city walled and fortified, with drawbridges over the shining moats.

“Here is CAPUA,” says J. J., and Clive burst out laughing: thinking of his Capua which he had left — how many months — years it seemed ago! From Capua to Naples is a fine straight road, and our travellers were landed at the latter place at suppertime; where, if they had quarters at the Vittoria Hotel, they were as comfortable as any gentlemen painters need wish to be in this world.

The aspect of the place was so charming and delightful to Clive:— the beautiful sea stretched before his eyes when waking, Capri a fairy island in the distance, in the amethyst rocks of which Sirens might be playing — that fair line of cities skirting the shore glittering white along the purple water — over the whole brilliant scene Vesuvius rising with cloudlets playing round its summit, and the country bursting out into that glorious vegetation with which sumptuous nature decorates every spring — this city and scene of Naples were so much to Clive’s liking that I have a letter from him dated a couple of days after the young man’s arrival, in which he announces his intention of staying there for ever, and gives me an invitation to some fine lodgings in a certain palazzo, on which he has cast his eye. He is so enraptured with the place, that he says to die and be buried there even would be quite a treat, so charming is the cemetery where the Neapolitan dead repose.

The Fates did not, however, ordain that Clive Newcome should pass all his life at Naples. His Roman banker presently forwarded a few letters to his address; some which had arrived after his departure, others which had been lying at the Poste Restante, with his name written in perfectly legible characters, but which the authorities of the post, according to their custom, would not see when Clive sent for them.

It was one of these letters which Clive clutched the most eagerly. It had been lying since October, actually, at the Roman post, though Clive had asked for letters there a hundred times. It was that little letter from Ethel, in reply to his own, whereof we have made mention in a previous chapter. There was not much in the little letter. Nothing, of course, that Virtue or Grandmamma might not read over the young writer’s shoulder. It was affectionate, simple, rather melancholy; described in a few words Sir Brian’s seizure and present condition; spoke of Lord Kew, who was mending rapidly, as if Clive, of course, was aware of his accident; of the children, of Clive’s father, and ended with a hearty “God bless you,” to Clive, from his sincere Ethel.

“You boast of its being over. You see it is not over,” says Clive’s monitor and companion. “Else, why should you have dashed at that letter before all the others, Clive?” J. J. had been watching, not without interest, Clive’s blank face as he read the young lady’s note.

“How do you know who wrote the letter?” asks Clive.

“I can read the signature in your face,” says the other; “and I could almost tell the contents of the note. Why have you such a tell-tale face, Clive?”

“It is over; but when a man has once, you know, gone through an affair like that,” says Clive, looking very grave, “he — he’s anxious to hear of Alice Grey, and how she’s getting on, you see, my good friend.” And he began to shout out as of old —

“Her heart it is another’s, she — never — can — be — mine;”

and to laugh at the end of the song. “Well, well,” says he; “it is a very kind note, a very proper little note; the expression elegant, J. J., the sentiment is most correct. All the little t’s most properly crossed, and all the little i’s have dots over their little heads. It’s a sort of a prize note, don’t you see; and one such, as in the old spelling-book story, the good boy received a plum-cake for writing. Perhaps you weren’t educated on the old spelling-book, J. J.? My good old father taught me to read out of his — I say, I think it was a shame to keep the old boy waiting whilst I have been giving an audience to this young lady. Dear old father!” and he apostrophised the letter. “I beg your pardon, sir; Miss Newcome requested five minutes’ conversation, and I was obliged, from politeness, you know, to receive. There’s nothing between us; nothing but what’s most correct, upon my honour and conscience.” And he kissed his father’s letter, and calling out again, “Dear old father!” proceeded to read as follows:—

“‘Your letters, my dearest Clive, have been the greatest comfort to me. I seem to hear you as I read them. I can’t but think that this, the modern and natural style, is a great progress upon the old-fashioned manner of my day, when we used to begin to our fathers, ‘Honoured Father,’ or even ‘Honoured Sir’ some precisians used to write still from Mr. Lord’s Academy, at Tooting, where I went before Grey Friars — though I suspect parents were no more honoured in those days than nowadays. I know one who had rather be trusted than honoured; and you may call me what you please, so as you do that.

“‘It is not only to me your letters give pleasure. Last week I took yours from Baden Baden, No. 3, September 15, into Calcutta, and could not help showing it at Government House, where I dined. Your sketch of the old Russian Princess and her little boy, gambling, was capital. Colonel Buckmaster, Lord Bagwig’s private secretary, knew her, and says it is to a T. And I read out to some of my young fellows what you said about play, and how you had given it over. I very much fear some of the young rogues are at dice and brandy-pawnee before tiffin. What you say of young Ridley, I take cum grano. His sketches I thought very agreeable; but to compare them to a certain gentleman’s —— Never mind, I shall not try to make him think too well of himself. I kissed dear Ethel’s hand in your letter. I write her a long letter by this mail.

“‘If Paul de Florac in any way resembles his mother, between you and him there ought to be a very warm regard. I knew her when I was a boy, long before you were born or thought of; and in wandering forty years through the world since, I have seen no woman in my eyes so good or so beautiful. Your cousin Ethel reminded me of her; as handsome, but not so lovely. Yes, it was that pale lady you saw at Paris, with eyes full of care, and hair streaked with grey. So it will be the turn of you young folks, come eight more lustres, and your heads will be bald like mine, or grey like Madame de Florac’s, and bending over the ground where we are lying in quiet. I understand from you that young Paul is not in very flourishing circumstances. If he still is in need, mind and be his banker, and I will be yours. Any child of hers must never want when I have a spare guinea. I do not mind telling you, sir, that I cared for her more than millions of guineas once; and half broke my heart about her when I went to India, as a young chap. So, if any such misfortunes happen to you, consider, my boy, you are not the only one.

“‘Binnie writes me word that he has been ailing. I hope you are a good correspondent with him. What made me turn to him just after speaking of unlucky love affairs? Could I be thinking about little Rosie Mackenzie? She is a sweet little lass, and James will leave her a pretty piece of money. Verbum sap. I should like you to marry; but God forbid you should marry for a million of gold mohurs.

“‘And gold mohurs bring me to another subject. Do you know I narrowly missed losing half a lakh of rupees which I had at an agent’s here? And who do you think warned me about him? Our friend Rummun Loll, who has lately been in England, and with whom I made the voyage from Southampton. He is a man of wonderful tact and observation. I used to think meanly of the honesty of natives and treat them haughtily, as I recollect doing this very gentleman at your Uncle Newcome’s in Bryanstone Square. He heaped coals of fire on my head by saving my money for me; and I have placed it with interest in his house. If I would but listen to him, my capital might be trebled in a year, he says, and the interest immensely increased. He enjoys the greatest esteem among the moneyed men here; keeps a splendid establishment and house here in Barrackpore; is princely in his benefactions. He talks to me about the establishment of a bank, of which the profits are so enormous and the scheme so (seemingly) clear, that I don’t know whether I mayn’t be tempted to take a few shares. Nous verrons. Several of my friends are longing to have a finger in it; but be sure this, I shall do nothing rashly and without the very best advice.

“‘I have not been frightened yet by your draughts upon me. Draw as many of these as you please. You know I don’t half like the other kind of drawing, except as a delassement: but if you chose to be a weaver, like my grandfather, I should not say you nay. Don’t stint yourself of money or of honest pleasure. Of what good is money, unless we can make those we love happy with it? There would be no need for me to save, if you were to save too. So, and as you know as well as I what our means are, in every honest way use them. I should like you not to pass the whole of next year in Italy, but to come home and pay a visit to honest James Binnie. I wonder how the old barrack in Fitzroy Square looks without me? Try and go round by Paris on your way home, and pay your visit, and carry your father’s fond remembrances to Madame la Comtesse de Florac. I don’t say remember me to my brother, as I write Brian by this mail. Adieu, mon fils! je t’embrasse! — and am always my Clive’s affectionate father,

T. N.’”

“Isn’t he a noble old trump?” That point had been settled by the young men any time these three years. And now Mr. J. J. remarked that when Clive had read his father’s letter once, then he read Ethel’s over again, and put it in his breast-pocket, and was very disturbed in mind that day, pishing and pshawing at the statue-gallery which they went to see at the Museo.

“After all,” says Clive, “what rubbish these second-rate statues are! what a great hulking abortion is this brute of a Farnese Hercules! There’s only one bit in the whole gallery that is worth a twopenny-piece.”

It was the beautiful fragment called Psyche. J. J. smiled as his comrade spoke in admiration of this statue — in the slim shape, in the delicate formation of the neck, in the haughty virginal expression, the Psyche is not unlike the Diana of the Louvre — and the Diana of the Louvre we have said was like a certain young lady.

“After all,” continues Clive, looking up at the great knotted legs of that clumsy caricatured porter which Glykon the Athenian sculptured in bad times of art surely — “she could not write otherwise than she did — don’t you see? Her letter is quite kind and affectionate. You see she says she shall always hear of me with pleasure: hopes I’ll come back soon, and bring some good pictures with me, since pictures I will do. She thinks small beer of painters, J. J. — well, we don’t think small beer of ourselves, my noble friend. I— I suppose it must be over by this time, and I may write to her as the Countess of Kew.” The custode of the apartment had seen admiration and wonder expressed by hundreds of visitors to his marble Giant: but he had never known Hercules occasion emotion before, as in the case of the young stranger; who, after staring a while at the statue, dashed his hand across his forehead with a groan, and walked away from before the graven image of the huge Strongman, who had himself been made such a fool by women.

“My father wants me to go and see James and Madame de Florac,” says Clive, as they stride down the street to the Toledo.

J. J. puts his arm through his companion’s, which is deep the pocket of his velvet paletot. “You must not go home till you hear it is over, Clive,” whispers J. J.

“Of course not, old boy,” says the other, blowing tobacco out of his shaking head.

Not very long after their arrival, we may be sure they went to Pompeii, of which place, as this is not an Italian tour, but a history of Clive Newcome, Esquire, and his most respectable family, we shall offer to give no description. The young man had read Sir Bulwer Lytton’s delightful story, which has become the history of Pompeii, before they came thither, and Pliny’s description, apud the Guide-Book. Admiring the wonderful ingenuity with which the English writer had illustrated the place by his text, as if the houses were so many pictures to which he had appended a story, Clive, the wag, who was always indulging his vein for caricature, was proposing that that they should take the same place, names, people, and make a burlesque story: “What would be a better figure,” says he, “than Pliny’s mother, whom the historian describes as exceedingly corpulent, and walking away from the catastrophe with slaves holding cushions behind her, to shield her plump person from the cinders! Yes, old Mrs Pliny shall be my heroine!” says Clive. A picture of her on a dark grey paper and touched up with red at the extremities, exists in Clive’s album to the present day.

As they were laughing, rattling, wondering, mimicking, the cicerone attending them with his nasal twaddle, anon pausing and silent, yielding to the melancholy pity and wonder which the aspect of that strange and smiling place inspires — behold they come upon another party of English, two young men accompanying a lady.

“What, Clive!” cries one.

“My dear, dear Lord Kew!” shouts the other; and as the young man rushes up and grasps the two hands of the other, they begin to blush ——

Lord Kew and his family resided in a neighbouring hotel on the Chiafa at Naples; and that very evening on returning from the Pompeian excursion, the two painters were invited to take tea by those friendly persons. J. J. excused himself, and sate at home drawing all night. Clive went, and passed a pleasant evening; in which all sorts of future tours and pleasure-parties were projected by the young men. They were to visit Paestum, Capri, Sicily; why not Malta and the East? asked Lord Kew.

Lady Walham was alarmed. Had not Kew been in the East already? Clive was surprised and agitated too. Could Kew think of going to the East, and making long journeys when he had — he had other engagements that would necessitate his return home? No, he must not go to the East, Lord Kew’s mother avowed; Kew had promised to stay with her during the summer at Castellammare, and Mr. Newcome must come and paint their portraits there — all their portraits. She would like to have an entire picture-gallery of Kews, if her son would remain at home during the sittings.

At an early hour Lady Walham retired to rest, exacting Clive’s promise to come to Castellammare; and George Barnes disappeared to array himself in an evening costume, and to pay his round of visits as became a young diplomatist. This part of diplomatic duty does not commence until after the opera at Naples; and society begins when the rest of the world has gone to bed.

Kew and Clive sate till one o’clock in the morning, when the latter returned to his hotel. Not one of those fine parties at Paestum, Sicily, etc. was carried out. Clive did not go to the East at all, and it was J. J, who painted Lord Kew’s portrait that summer at Castellammare. The next day Clive went for his passport to the embassy; and a steamer departing direct for Marseilles on that very afternoon, behold Mr. Newcome was on board of her; Lord Kew and his brother and J. J. waving their hats to him as the vessel left the shore.

Away went the ship cleaving swiftly through the azure waters; but not swiftly enough for Clive. J. J. went back with a sigh to his sketchbook and easels. I suppose the other young disciple of Art had heard something which caused him to forsake his sublime mistress for one who was much more capricious and earthly.

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/t/thackeray/william_makepeace/newcomes/chapter39.html

Last updated Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at 19:07