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What does the paying British public think of
its bargain?—a work by an old master which
requires to be painted on lor six weeks by a
modern artist before it can be presented to
the popular gaze. What a lucky people we
are, and how well our constituted authorities
employ the national resources!

But we must not forget Mr. Stirling. Mr.
Stirling's point isnot at all that the picture
was originally purchased in such a decently
genuine condition, as to need only the ordinary
cleansing from dirt, and the after coating
of varnish, to which its age might fairly
entitle itbut how much did Mr. Lance do of
it? For this purpose, he sends to Madrid for a
tracing of a copy of the picture, executed by
Gozathat tracing only extending to the
portion of the work on which Mr. Lance
alleged that the most important of his many
"repairs" had been made. By the evidence
thus obtained, Mr. Stirling finds out that Mr.
Lance has greatly exaggerated the extent of
bare canvas which he says he covered, that
the group in the restored picture agrees with
that in Goza's copy, but that variations occur
in the details. Where Velasquez (on the
evidence of the copy) painted horses, Mr.
Lance has painted mules (a slight variation,
this!); where Velasquez painted a man
showing a hand out of a cloak, Mr. Lance
has painted a man showing a hand and a leg;
where Velasquez painted a man on foot
turning his back on the spectator, Mr. Lance
has painted a man on horseback prancing
towards the spectator. Thus, the only question
between Mr. Stirling and Mr. Lance is a
question of quantity. Mr. Stirling disputes
(on the evidence of the tracing from the
copy), that so much has been done to the
picture "out of Mr. Lance's own head," as
Mr. Lance himself alleges. Of the extent
to which Mr. Stirling himself admits that
Mr. Lance has distinctly, with his own
modern brush, worked upon and changed the
old picture, we have enabled the reader to
judge. To an unlearned apprehension, the
admitted transformation which the picture
has undergone, at the hands of Mr. Lance,
appears something simply astounding.
Astounding in every point of view. Astounding,
when we remember that this picturein
which old horses have been turned into
modern mules, in which a man on horseback
does duty vice a man on foot, resignedwas
purchased with the national money as a
genuine article by constituted authorities
who profess to be judges of the genuineness
of pictures. Astounding, also, as showing
the shameless dishonesty of the man, or
men, who sold this piece of patchwork for
a work of Velasquez. Were we so very
hasty and wrong, a few weeks back, when
we said that the national-picture money
was occasionally spent for the confusion of
the nation?

We have waited, before writing these lines,
to ascertain if Mr. Lance would make any
rejoinder to Mr. Stirling's letter. He has
been silent, and Mr. Stirling enjoys the
privilege of having said the triumphant last word.
He speaks it in a perfectly moderate and
gentlemanlike mannerbut his evident
incapability of perceiving the conclusions to which
his own admissions lead, is, to say the least of
it, not a little amazing.


I AM but thy faithful mirror:
All the merit I may boast,
Is that I reflect thine image
Dimly, truthfully, at most.
When thou'rt near me I am like thee,
Thou dost love meI am fair;
When thou'rt absent all is darkness,
Blank and lifelessnothing there!

I am but thy faithful echo,
Voiceless, tuneless, when alone;
Thou dost love my words and accents:
They are sweetthey are thine own.
Crowds, enraptured, stay to hear me,
Think there's music in the air;
But, till thou didst wake the echo,
All was silentnothing there.

I am clay, and thou art God-like;
Thou hast framed me to thy will
Fashioned me to grace and beauty
With thy matchless artist skill.
Thou hast made the statue human
I am good, and wise, and fair;
If thou shouldst withhold thy magic,
All is earthlynothing there!



SCHINDERHANNES, the renowned robber of
the Rhine, once encountered, so the story
goes, in a foraging expedition between
Mayence and Frankfort, a caravan of a hundred
and fifty Jews. It was a bitter January
night: snow twelve inches deep on the ground,
and Schinderhannes didn't like Jews. And
so, in this manner, did he evilly entreat them.
He did not slay them, nor skin them, nor
extract their teeth, as did King John; but he
compelled every man Moses of them to take
off his boots or shoes. These he mixed, pell-
mell, into a leathern salad, or boot-heap, and
at day-break, but not before, he permitted
the poor frost-bitten rogues to find their
chaussures, if they could. Setting aside the
super-human difficulty of picking out one's own
particular boots among three-hundred foot
coverings, the subtle Schinderhannes had
reckoned, with fiendish ingenuity, on the
natural acquisitiveness of the Jewish race. Of
course every Hebrew instinctively sought for
the boots with the best soles and upper-leathers,
and stoutly claimed them as his own; men
who had never possessed anything better
than a pair of squashy pumps, down at heel,
and bulging at the sides, vehemently declared
themselves the rightful owners of brave

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