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racter seems to me exquisitely preserved; and the whole would do credit to any artist. In short, I regard them as in all respects an invaluable treasure. I carefully preserve them in a separate portfolio; and, after they are used, intend to bind them in a splendid manner, interleaved with India paper, and, in case of my stepping into Charon's boat, to bequeath them to the British Museum. Even if our design should unexpectedly fail, this collection might preserve to future ages the portraits of our illustrious countrymen open to subsequent artists, and free from numerous accidents to which scattered paintings are liable; and it would be a lasting monument of your lordship’s patriotism and love of the arts.
I wish the portrait of James IV. were finished in the same way as the others.
Where artists are employed, the size of the drawings must not exceed six inches by four, the utmost of our 8vo page. The diminishing equals the expense of another drawing; and any folding of the prints is carefully to be avoided.
The medal of Albany has no portrait. Obverse, the Holy Ghost; Reverse, his arms.
Muniments, signets, jewels, and autographs, are totally foreign to the design, which embraces portraits only. The jewel of Mary I should like to see copied; though I cannot conceive that a portrait could be authenticated by an ornament, which was only made in the general fashion of the times.
The genuine portraits of Mary amount to at least eight. 1. The Earl of Morton's, certainly the best
and most authentic in the opinion of Vertue, a good judge and a devotee of Mary: it has her arms on table tapestry. 2. Vertue's print from an undoubted painting by Zucchero, in St. James' Palace. 3. In widow's weeds, Kensington.—(All paintings quite alike; sharp features, acquiline nose, resembling James V. in No. 1.) 4. Print by Cock of Antwerp, 1561. 5. By De Leu of Paris, a contemporary. 6. In Jonston's Inscriptiones, 1602. 7. In Montfaucon's Monumens. 8. Her gold and silver coins.
The seal you sent is engraved in Mr. Astle's work. Cardinals Beaton and Chatelherault would be very interesting. Had Kennedy's tomb his bust? Kircaldy of Grange was a truly great man.
The most ancient and curious have certainly a claim of preference; and the regal, I can assure your lordship, are the most interesting. Our work is only bought by the curious, and has not even the most distant connexion with political ideas. Besides, Mr. Herbert can sell six plates of a king for one of any other, to be bound up in histories, &c.; and we must not indulge our notions at his expense. The point is, to lay a good foundation, that he may be able to go on, by giving the most interesting first.
Scougal's little tract I should wish to see reprinted with his Life of God, &c., which I have ; and I shall speak to some publisher about it. It is out of Mr. Herbert's line.
As your lordship mentioned once a design of printing the Scotish Chartularies, perhaps you
could furnish me with a list of those that remain, which I should esteem a great favor.
I find in an old manuscript some anecdotes concerning a gift by Albany to Lennox of the Abbey of Dryburgh: Lennox then gave it to James Stuart. It was about 1524. Perhaps your lordship's title-deeds may elucidate the transaction : I wish to know the date. If your lordship wishes, I shall send a copy of my extract, which is very short; as the matter fell not within historical notice, though I could throw it into a note, if certain of the date.
I must beg leave to recommend to your lordship’s curiosity that most obscure æra of our literature, 1640–1660, which may be called the dark twenty years. I am even interested in the portrait of Gordon of Straloch, as florishing in that time. The date of Sir James Balfour's death is not mentioned by Sibbald in the Memoriæ Balfouriana ; and I wish much to know it. Any publications, of whatever kind, or literary anecdotes relating to that space, will be very acceptable, as completing the otherwise broken chain of our literature. Scougal is too late. Durham on Scandal is a book I cannot find.
Trail's portrait is very curious, and I wish much for some more of these fanatics : Rutherford, Blair, Cant, Dickson, Baillie, the two Gillespies. Henderson is engraved by Hollar; but poorly. He was the Franklin of that day—an able man; and perhaps a portrait may be found.
The two Earls signing the covenant, a painting at Hamilton Palace, must be a singular curiosity.
Your lordship will excuse this long letter on topics interesting to both. Your Jaudable industry commands me to exceed my usual limits in return; and you know I do not often err in this way.
THE EARL OF ORFORD TO MR. PINKERTON.
Berkeley Square, Jan. 25th, 1795.
I am very sorry, Sir, I can give you no satisfaction at all about the portrait of James IV., which I do not recollect ever to have seen any where, and which, if still known to exist, would probably have been engraved before this time, since the passion for portraits has spread so much. I conclude that of James IV. (as it appears to have remained in the collection of our James II.) perished in the palace of Whitehall, when burnt in the reign of King William; as several other valuable portraits and pictures, which have never been seen since, undoubtedly did. Had the portrait in question been preserved in any of the royal houses, at St. James's, Windsor, Hampton Court, or Kensington, I think I should have observed it, when I was curious about such things; especially at Kensington, where most of the remaining royal portraits had been assembled by Queen Caroline, and where I discovered the double portrait of James (the Third, I think) and his Queen, when I had the superintendence of
that palace during the absence abroad of my sister, Lady Mary Churchill, then housekeeper.
With regard to the portraits already engraven, they are most wretchedly executed, and very unworthy of being illustrated by you. Those of James V. and his queen, especially the latter, which is execrable, are far inferior to prints in magazines. Harding copies likenesses very faithfully in general; but then the engravers, who work from his drawings, never see the originals, and preserve no resemblance at all; as was the case with the last edition and translation of Grammont, in which, besides false portraits, as Marshal Turenne, with a nose the reverse of his, and a smug Cardinal Richelieu, like a young abbé, and the Duchess of Cleveland, called by a wrong name, there is a print from my Mrs. Middleton, so unlike, that I pinned up the print over against the other, and nobody would have guessed that the one was taken from the other.
Harding, in excuse for the abominable Mary of Guise, says the superintendence of the engravings was not left to him, and that the last was done while he was at Cambridge. In short, Sir, you will do yourself honor by your sketches of the lives * ; but the publication will certainly do
* Lord Orford, in this compliment to Mr. Pinkerton, has sadly sinned against sincerity; for the publication is indeed, in every point of view, a wretched one : the portraits so bad as to be a disgrace to the arts in England, and the letter-press, from the contracted limits assigned to it, scarcely better. It appears by a letter from Mr. Armour, an artist engaged in the