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William Allan's picture of “ The Ettrick Shepherd's Househeating" (1819.) Allan has succeeded better in his figure of “ The Author of Waverley in his Study;" this was done shortly before Sir Walter's death.
XXI. Mr Edwin Landseer, R. A., has recently painted a full-length portrait, with the scenery of the Rhymer's Glen; and his familiarity with Scott renders this almost as valuable as if he had sat for it. This beautiful picture is in the gallery of Mr Wells.
Two or three drawings were done at Naples; but the friends who requested Sir Walter to sit, when labouring under paralysis, were surely forgetful of what was due to him and to themselves; and, judging by the lithographed prints, the results were in every point of view utterly worthless.
I have already (Vol III. p. 99) given better evidence than my own as to the inimitable bust done by Sir Francis Chantrey in 1820, and now in the library at Abbotsford.* Previous to Sir Walter's death, the niche which this now occupies held a cast of the monumental effigy of Shakspeare, presented to him by George Bullock, with an elegant stand, having the letters W. S. in large relievo on its front. Anxiety to place the precious marble in the safest station induced the poet's son to make the existing arrange
ment the day after his father's funeral. The propriety of the position is obvious; but in case of misrepresentation hereafter, it is proper to mention that it was not chosen by Sir Walter for an image of himself.
Sir Francis Chantrey sculptured, in 1828, a bust possessing the character of a second original. This is now, I am rejoiced to say, in the gallery of Sir Robert Peel at Drayton; and the following letter supplies the most authentic history of its execution :
“ To the Right Hon. Sir Robert Peel, Bart.
“ Belgrave Place, 26th January 1838. 66 Dear Sir Robert,
“ I have much pleasure in complying with your request to note down such facts as remain on my memory concerning the bust of Sir Walter Scott which
have done me the honour to place in your collection at Drayton Manor.
My admiration of Scott, as a poet and a man, induced me, in the year 1820, to ask him to sit to me for his bust – the only time I ever recollect having asked a similar favour from any one. He agreed; and I stipulated that he should breakfast with me always before his sittings—and never come alone, nor bring more than three friends at once, and that they should all be good talkers. That he fulfilled the latter condition you may guess, when I tell you, that on one occasion he came with Mr Croker, Mr Heber, and the late Lord Lyttleton. The marble bust produced from these sittings was moulded ; and about forty-five casts were disposed of among the poet's most ardent admirers. This was all I had to do with plaster casts. The Bust was pirated by Italians; and England and Scotland, and even the Colonies, were supplied with unpermitted and bad casts to the extent of thousands - in spite of the terror of an act of Parliament.
“I made a copy in marble from this Bust for the Duke of Wellington; it was sent to Apsley House in 1827, and it is the only duplicate of my Bust of Sir Walter that I ever executed in marble.
“I now come to your Bust of Scott. 1828 I proposed to the poet to present the original marble as an Heir-Loom to Abbotsford, on condition that he would allow me sittings sufficient to finish another marble from the life for my own studio. To this proposal he acceded; and the Bust was sent to Abbotsford accordingly, with the following words inscribed on the back: _ This Bust of Sir Walter Scott was made in 1820 by Francis Chantrey, and presented by the sculptor to the poet, as a token of esteem, in 1828.
In the year
“ In the months of May and June in the same year, 1828, Sir Walter fulfilled his promise; and I finished, from his face, the marble bust now at Drayton Manor
a better sanctuary than my studio-else I had not parted with it. The expression is more serious than in the two former Busts, and the marks of age more than eight years deeper.
“I have now, I think, stated all that is worthy of remembering about the Bust, except that there need be no fear of piracy, for it has never been moulded. -I have the honour to be, Dear Sir, your very sincere and faithful servant,
Sir Walter's goodnature induced him to sit, at various periods of his life, to other sculptors of inferior standing and reputation. I am not aware, however, that any of their performances but two ever reached the dignity of marble. The one of these, a very tolerable work, was done by Mr Joseph about 1822, and is in the gallery of Mr Burn Callander, at Prestonhall, near Edinburgh. The other was modelled by Mr Lawrence Macdonald, in the unhappy winter of 1830. The period of the artist's observation would alone have been sufficient to render his efforts fruitless. His Bust may be, in point of execution, good; but he does not seem to me to have produced what any friend of Sir Walter's will recognise as a likeness.
The only statue executed during Sir Walter's lifetime, is that by John Greenshields in freestone. This, considering all the circumstances (see Vol. IX. p. 287), is certainly a most meritorious work; and I am well pleased to find that it has its station in Mr Cadell's premises in St Andrew's Square, Edinburgh, under the same roof with the greater part of the original MSS. of Sir Walter's Poems and Romances. The proprietor has adopted the inscription for Bacon's effigy at St Alban's, and carved on the pedestal Sic SEDEBAT.