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ornaments, mingled with the vegetable productions proper to the grounds. It is hardly necessary to say that they have been since improved and are maintained in the highest style of landscape gardening, or that the conservatories and their contents, as well as the general horticultural and floricultural display, are all that modem skill can accomplish. But the gardens are essentially in that enriched style in which they were first arranged, and which is so consonant with the peculiarities of the building to which they belong. Every part presents some quaintly graceful and picturesque bit of garden scenery. Sir Walter Scott said, truly enough, "The place and highly ornamented gardens belonging to it resembled a picture of "Watteau;" and he adds, that what in the picture appears affectation, looks very different here. As in the house, so in the grounds, all is on a scale of princely magnificence. For some few years past, as is well known, the grounds of Chiswick House have been thrown open on one or more of the Horticultural Society's Fetes, when they have invariably made one of the most attractive features of those fashionable assemblies.
Of the gardens of the Horticultural Society, which adjoin the grounds of Chiswick House, it is unnecessary to say anything. Most of my readers who reside in London have seen or easily may see them for themselves; and those who live in the country will find two or three hours very well employed in visiting them, when next they stay in town.
The village' of Chiswick is very quiet and sequestered, considering its nearness to London. But it has not improved in appearance or pleasantness of late years. Many of the good substantial old houses have been pulled down; and a supplementary village of poor, ill-built, and undrained new houses has been erected.
The church is partly old and partly modern. The tower and chancel are of ancient date; the nave is comparatively recent. Its interest consists in the memorials of the dead which are in and around it; a stranger to the place would be surprised at the number of names that have long been familiar to him. The most noticeable monument in the church is one to the memory of Sir Thomas Chaloner, celebrated in the court of Elizabeth as a soldier, courtier, an accomplished scholar, and (what would make him perhaps of more estimation then, as now) the discoverer of very productive alum-mines in Yorkshire. Kent, who united in himself the several professions of painter, sculptor, architect, and landscape gardener, is buried in Chiswick church, in the vault of his patron, Lord Burlington. A tablet to the memory of Charles Whittingham, the celebrated printer, will attract the attention of the admirer of elegant typography. The "Chiswick Press," from which so many admirable works have proceeded, occupies an old mansion on the Mall.
But the tombs in the churchyard are most noteworthy. One is to the memory of the Earl of Macartney, so widely known by his embassy to China. Dr. Rose, one of the most prominent of the periodical writers of Johnson's time, lies here; on his tomb is a rather long poetical inscription written by Arthur Murphy. Here too rest, after all their strife, Dr. Balph Griffiths, noted in the literary circles of his day as the Editor of the 'Monthly Review;' and James Ralph, gibbeted by Pope in the * Dunciad '—
"Silence, ye wolves ! while Ralph to Cynthia howls, And makes night hideous—answer him, ye owls."—
But I do not remember that there is any inscription to their memory. A slab, with his name and dates of birth and death, and his coat of arms, marks the burial-place of Ugo Foscolo. A large tomb bears the name, and an inscription records the worth and talents, of Philip Loutherbourg, the painter. Sharpe, the historical engraver, is another of the men of fame who, " after life's fitful fever," here repose.
The tomb which has rendered Chiswick churchyard a memorable place is that under which lies the body of William Hogarth. It is a large and noticeable structure; and was erected shortly after his death by a subscription among his friends and admirers. In addition to the name and the usual information, it has engraven on it the well known lines written by Garrick. Johnson also wrote an elegy for it, but Garrick's was preferred; neither is at all worthy of the memory of the painter.
Hogarth was scarcely appreciated in his own day. The flippant patronizing manner in which Walpole treated him was perhaps a favourable instance of the way in which the connoisseurs of art were accustomed to regard him. It is not to be wondered at. He was not a drawing-room painter. He did not work for the amusement of dilettanti lords and fine ladies. The flimsy conventionalities they adored he despised and ridiculed. But due honour has been done to his memory. His fame has steadily risen, and men of loftly intellect have been the foremost to do homage to his inimitable genius. Hogarth, who in his own age was only considered as a sort of superior caricaturist, is now acknowledged to be the greatest moral painter this country ever produced. Charles Lamb I think it is who says "Hogarth's paintings are books." Whoever said it spoke the literal truth. They are books which may be not merely once read, but referred to again and again for instruction as well as delight. Every part of them teems with meaning. Under the most sportive passage there lies a serious purpose. Yet are they also true pictures. He fully under stood that painting has a language of its own : that what speaks to the heart by means of visual representation must be different from that which addresses it by means of language. And what he would say he says clearly. The perfect perspicuity of his style is one of the most remarkable of his many excellencies. There wants no Dr. Trusler to moralize his pictures. They tell their own tale, and declare their own moral with ^such dist_ jctness, that an exposition is almost an insult to the intelligence of the most uninstructed observer.
But that which places Hogarth apart from and above almost all other painters of familiar life is his great creative power. He sought subjects neither from history nor poetry: he neither copied nor followed writer or painter; his pictures all have a history or a poem of their own. His invention is unbounded, and his ability was equal to depict what his mind conceived. Walpole said he was "no painter," because he did not in composition and execution imitate the Dutch or some other "school." But his composition and colour, and
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every other technical quality, were of just that kind which served best to embody his purpose—the purpose of a masculine simplicity of intention and healthiness of intellect.
Hogarth for many years spent his summers in Chiswick; in a house which had before been, it is believed, the residence of his father-in-law, Sir James Thornhill. The house still remains. It stands in a lane not far from the church: any child in Chiswick will direct the stranger to "Hogarth's house." It is a rather plain, oldfashioned, red-brick building; not such probably as would in these days satisfy a popular painter, but yet one that must, when he lived in it—surrounded as it was by goodly trees, having moderate-sized snug rooms, commanding a charming view of the river, and not, as now, neighboured by the mean ill-favoured houses that have sprung up opposite to it, offending alike the eye and nostril—have been a very likeable summer retreat. The house itself has not probably been much altered, but the garden has lost many of its trees. An outbuilding called "Hogarth's painting-room" is carefully preserved. Hogarth lived here till his death; and his widow continued to reside in it till she followed him. It has since had an occupant whose residence has done further honour to it. In 1814 the Rev. H. F. Cary, the translator _of Dante, was appointed to the curacy of Chiswick, when he shortly after purchased this house of Hogarth's; and he continued to reside in it, with a short interval, till 1826, when he removed to his official residence at the British Museum.