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INSIDE A CHURCH. 283
many useful institutions of his country; but one very important institution he failed to support by any extensive personal co-operation. It is a fact, that except to be married, or to put up a monument, Chantrey never was inside a church in his life. Mr. Holland complains that Mr. Jones in his Recollections has made no mention of Chantrey's visits to a place of worship; but we confess that this is somewhat hard upon Jones, who has made mistakes enough, as we all know, without being forced into others against his will. If any one is to be blamed for Jones' silence in this respect it is certainly not the biographer; and Mr. Holland would seem to be of that opinion when he very properly vindicates the character of Bacon, the sculptor, and shows how a man may humbly fulfil the not very irksome public duties of a Christian without the smallest sacrifice of his pretensions to eminence in art.
In his will Chantrey provided that the whole of his large fortune, amounting, we believe, to £90,000, should, at the decease of his widow, become the property of the Royal Academy, for the purpose of purchasing "works of fine art of the highest merit in painting and sculpture," but only such as shall have been entirely executed "with- "in the shores of Great Britain;" the "wish and intention" of the artist being "that the works of art so purchased shall be collected for the purpose of forming and establishing a public national collection of British art in painting and sculpture." One or two minor bequests are of a curious nature. As a mark of his regard for the long services of his old lieutenant, Allan Cunningham, Chantrey stipulated in his will that the latter should be entitled to receive a legacy of £2,000 upon his superintending the completion of the Wellington statue. Allan attended to the important work up to the day of his death, but he died before the statue was completed, and—whatever may have been the intentions of the testator—his family lost the money. Another bequest was a gift of £50 per annum, "to be paid to a schoolmaster, under the direction of the vicar or resident clergyman, to instruct 10 poor boys of the parish of Norton without expense to their parents;" but the condition of the legacy was the perpetuation of the donor's tomb. Mr. Holland gives no explanation of this somewhat unusual proviso; but it is worth recording nevertheless. Many years before his decease Chantrey attended at St. Martin's-in-the-Fields, with a friend, the funeral of Scott, who was shot in the duel with Chriestie. The graveyard was strewed with human bones, and the gravedigger was adding indiscriminately and irreverently to the heaps. Chantrey inquired of the sexton what eventually became of those last remains of mortality. The sexton replied with a smile, that when they grew too plentiful they were carted off in loads to the Thames. The friend described the effect of this answer upon the frame of Chantrey as painful in the extreme. His cheeks grew sickly white, and perspiration poured down them. At the moment he looked himself a corpse newly risen from the grave before him. "I will take care," he said with a shudder, "that they do not cart my bones to the Thames. They shall be undisturbed under my native sod." And, accordingly, there are five pounds per annum for 10 poor boys of the village of Norton, so long as they will remember industriously to pluck the weeds and to remove the nettles that deface the grave- THE LAST SPOT. 285
stones of Francis Chantrey, The sculptor subsequently paid a formal visit to Norton, and carefully selected the spot for his last resting-place. While looking for it he encountered the gravedigger, who approached him mattock on shoulder; "I am looking out a place for a grave," said Chantrey, "but I don't mean you to dig it." "I hope I shall," replied the gravedigger quietly and civilly: and it is likely enough that he did, for within a year the renowned sculptor was deposited near the humbler family dust that had mingled with the earth before him.
Most persons know that within the last half century great researches have been made by individual or national enterprise into the poetry and antiquities of Egypt by the enterprise of travellers and the diligence of archaeologists, among whom England claims the names of Young, Wilkinson, and Vyse. Few perhaps know what has been the result of these researches. They lie scattered over a number of works in different languages, beyond the reach even of the ordinary student, much more of the general reader. Mr. Kenrick has undertaken the task of supplying a synopsis, and this task he appears to us to have accomplished excellently well.*
He commences with the land of Egypt. In the East great rivers are the parents of civilized nations. A great river which by its deposit forms a long valley and a broad delta of rich alluvial soil in the midst of deserts was the parent, the nourisher, and the god of the oldest civilized nation of the earth. The Nile is Egypt; the Egyptians were those who lived below the cataracts and drank the Nile. Above the cataracts they pushed their arms into Ethiopia, and left there the monuments of
* Ancient Egypt under the Pharaohs. By John Kenrick, M. A. In two volumes. B. Fellowes.
their dominion. To the west they were at once defended and confined by a desert impassable to armies, but which the oasis rendered passable to the caravan. On the north was an almost harborless sea. On the east was another desert,jhrough which roads led to the ports of the Red Sea and the mines of Sinai. On the north-east the Arabian desert formed an imperfect barrier. It was traversed by the hosts of Sesostris and Sheshonk, of Nebuchadnezzar and Cambyses, and across its sands Egypt communicated commercially and politically,, jvith ^ie other seats of ancient civilization, which, broken by the recurring desert, formed an irregular chain from Philistia to China.
Of the singular productions of Egypt, the hippopotamus, the crocodile, the ibis, the papyrus, we need not speak. There were few beasts of chase, and the Egyptian conquerors did not begin like those of central Asia by being mighty hunters. It was a land of corn and of the vine, of fruit trees and all herbs. The nations sought its granaries in famine; the Israelites in the wilderness thirsted for the cooling vegetables of its gardens. Fish abounded in the Nile, waterfowl in the marshes. Nature yielded freely, but perhaps for that very reason the mind of man was less exercised and less active. And the unvarying landscape, the unchanging sky, the small number and unpoetic or even grotesque forms of the plants and animals, may partly account for the lack of imagination evinced by the most formal and most stationary of nations, scarcely excepting the Chinese.
Who and whence were the Egyptians? This question Mr. Kenrick has to ask, and, like others, to leave unanswered. This is the secret which the grave of the