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opportunity of distributing yourself among your
friends, and letting them see you in your
favourite attitude, and with your favourite
expression. And then you get into those wonderful
books which everybody possesses, and strangers
see you there in good society, and ask who that
very striking-looking person is?

Those albums are fast taking the place and
doing the work of the long cherished card-
basket. That institution has had a long swing
of it. It was a good thing to leave on the
table that your morning-caller while waiting
in the drawing-room till you were presentable,
might see what distinguished company you kept,
and what very unexceptionable people were in
the habit of coming to call on you. But the
card-basket was not comparable to the album
as an advertisement of your claims to gentility.
The card of Mrs. Brown of Peckham would well
to the surface at times from the depths to which
you had consigned it, and overlay that of your
favourite countess or millionnaire. Besides, you
could not in so many words call attention to
your card-basket as you can to the album. You
place it in your friend's hands, saying, "This only
contains my special favourites, mind," and there
is her ladyship staring them in the face the next
moment. "Who is this sweet person?" says the
visitor. "Oh, that is dear Lady Puddicombe,"
you reply carelessly. Delicious moment!

Yet, sitting for one's photograph is, after all,
not a pleasant performance to go through. Of
course it is a mere nothing to what one used to
endure in sitting for a regular portrait in a
gloomy apartment in Newman or Berners-street.
Many of us remember that operation vividly
enough, and some even of the new generation
can call to mind what they have suffered as
children in the artists' quarter just named. They
remember the dismal house with the curious
window on the first-floor cut up so as to
encroach on the second. They remember
the dirty servant of all work who opened the
door, and who ushered the victims into that
dingy dining-room which was too suggestive
of dentistry to be pleasant. As in the dental
dining-room, so in this of the artist, there was
a wonderful impossibility of identifying the
apartment with eating and drinking. It would
be impossible for anybody to enjoy either food
or wine within its precincts. A few very old
periodicals, a very fat and dirty volume of the
Every-day Book of Hone, and some one or two
books of amateur poetry, were on the central
table, and as to works of art these abounded at
the dentist's as at the painter's, but with this
difference: at the first they would be engravings
by different hands, and bearing affecting
inscriptions in pencil, that made one's grinders
shake in their sockets. "To Mr. Lipscrush,
with the artist's grateful remembrances," or,
"from a grateful patient," or, "in commemoration
of many professional favours conferred on
the artist." In the Berners-street dining-room
the works of art were without such inscriptions.
The pictures which hung round the artistic
dining-roomand many of which had no frames
were ordinarily of elevated subjects:Titania
with Bottom wearing the ass's head, Ophelia
hovering over the book, Ugolino gaunt with
starvation, Virginius sacrificing his daughter,
and other exhilarating companions to the dinner-
table. There they hung, a perpetual monument
to the want of taste of the British public, and
there hung some of the portraits which the artist
had been driven to paint, when he found that
high art left his dining-table with nothing more
eatable upon it, than an army list or a number
of Blackwood. Among these latter works would
be included "Portrait of the Artist," painted
evidently at the Ugolino period, glaring round
at society out of hollow, sunken eyes. The
artist's father, his mother, and a general officer,
who bore a strong resemblance to the artist
himself in a Nathanic red coat and epaulets.

What wonder that one should go up from
such a dining-room expecting to hear in a soothing
voice the words "Open, a little wider," with
an accompaniment of rattling instruments in a
drawer? And what a place was the Studio
itself when you reached it. That window
observed from outside as encroaching on the
second-floor was blocked up as to the lower
half, so that there was no chance of seeing
anything of the street unless it was the garret-
window and the parapet of the house opposite,
with an old flower-pot, a dangling fragment of
clothes-line, and a row of hideous distorted
chimneys showing their gnarled and twisted
arms against the dull grey sky. To spend an
afternoon looking at such a prospect was not
hilarious. Nor was the interior of the room
much better. The half-finished pictures leaning
against the wall, the studies from nature or
copies of the old mastersold enough to have
grown up into misters one would think by this
timethe plaster casts of nude arms doubling
themselves up so as to bring out the muscles in
a very unnecessary manner, for nobody ever said
they were not muscular, the antique heads, with
noses on which the blacks and dust had gathered
loweringly; their hollow parts and sunken lines
protected by the nobbier portions, relieving with
a white and brilliant glare the bits of old
tapestry, frouzy costume, and improbable armour
all these matters made up an interior which
if it was picturesque (which it wasn't) was
infinitely dismal and disheartening.

You were seated on a throne, too, which to
persons not of the regal class was in itself
disconcerting. Some question of perspective, or
of points of view, rendered it needful that you
should be raised on high, and so you were
perched up on a green-baize throne. You sat on
a cut-velvet old-fashioned chair, whose timbers
creaked responsive every time you sighed, and
more old-fashioned chairs were placed about the
room, which might have reminded one of ancient
times, if they had not been so much more
suggestive of Auction Marts and nosey brokers.

What an afternoon's entertainment! If the
artist talked, you felt he was not minding his
business; if he worked, he was apt to be
silent; while, if he tried to combine labour and
conversation, his talk would be characterised by
the Remark unconnected and the Reply

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