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Do not say costoom, picter, dook, &c. Heed the y sound of long u.
1. THERE is a society in London known as the Soci. ety of Arts. Its object is the encouragement of talent in the various departments of art. Prizes are awarded by the society, sometimes to painters for their pictures, and sometimes to humble artisans for improvements in weaving, or in the manufacture of bonnets, lace, or artificial flowers.
2. More than half a century ago, a little fellow, named William Ross, not twelve years of age, was talking with his mother about an exhibition of paintings at the society's rooms. William was 'very fond of paintings, and could himself draw and color with remarkable skill. “Look you, William," said his mother; “I saw some paintings in the exhibition which did not seem to me half as good as some of yours.” 13. “Do you really think so, mother?” asked he. — "I am sure of it,” she replied. “I saw paintings inferior, both in color and drawing, to some that are hanging in your little chamber.” William knew that his mother was no flatterer, and he said, “I have a mind to ask permission to hang one or two of my. paintings on the walls, at the next exhibition.” — “Why not try for one of the prizes?” asked his mother.
4. “0! mother dear, do you think I should stand any chance of success ?” said William. - "Nothing
venture, nothing have,” said his mother. “You can but try.” —“And I will try, mother dear,” said William. “I have a historical subject in my head, out of which I think I can make a picture.” — “What is it, William ? "
5. “The death of Wat Tyler. You have heard of liim ? He led a mob in the time of Richard the Second. Having behaved insolently before the king, at Smithfield, Tyler was struck down by Walworth, Mayor of London, and then killed by the king's ati tendants."
6. “It is a bold subject, William ; but I will say nothing to deter you from trying it.” — “If I fail, mother, where will be the harm? I can try again.” — “To be sure you can, William. So we will not be disappointed should you not succeed in winning the silver pallet offered by the society for the best historical painting.”
7. Without more ado, little William went to work. He first acquainted himself with the yarious costumes of the year 1381. He learnt how the king and the noblemen used to dress, and what sort of clothes were worn by the poor people and laborers, to which class Wat Tyler belonged. He also learnt what sort of weapons were carried in those days."
8. After having given some time to the study of these things, he acquainted himself thoroughly with the historical incidents attending the death of the bold rioter. He grouped, in imagination, the persons who were present at the scene, - the king and his attendants, Walworth, the mayor, Wat Tyler himself, and, in the background, some of his ruffianly companions.
9. The difficulty now was to select that period of the action best fitted for a picture, and to group the figures in attitudes the most natural and expressive. Many times did little William make a sketch of the
scene on paper, and then obliterate it, dissatisfied with his work. At times he almost despaired of accom. plishing any thing that should do justice to the con: ception in his mind. But, after many trials and many failures, he completed a sketch which he decided to transfer to canvas.
10. He now labored diligently at his task, and took every opportunity to improve himself in a knowledge of colors and their effects. At length the day for handing in his picture arrived. He then had to wait a month before there was any decision as to its merits. On the day appointed for the announcement of the decision many persons of distinction were present, in. cluding ladies. The meeting was presided over by the Duke of Norfolk.
11. William's mother was present, of course. She sat waiting the result, with a beating heart. What a proud mother she was when, after the transaction of some uninteresting business, it was announced that the prize of a silver pallet, for the best historical picture, was awarded to the painter of the piece entitled “ The Death of Wat Tyler”! Poor Mrs. Ross could not refrain from weeping, she was so very glad.
12. When it was found by the audience that little William Ross was the successful artist, their applause broke forth with enthusiasm. To see such a little fellow gain a prize over competitors of mature age, was a novelty and a surprise. William was summoned with his picture to the duke's chair, and there he received such counsel and encouragement as were of great service to him in his future career. He after: ward became Sir William Ross, miniature painter to Queen Victoria; having risen to fortune and rank by carrying out, with determination and perseverance, bis simple promise to his mother of “ I will try.”
Enter Bavius and Mevius, meeting.
Mevius. In yours all the graces of diction abound.
Ba. Your odes, how delightfull how tender and true!
Me. Your songs have à noble and elegant vein,
Ba. Can any thing equal your love-ditties rare ?
Me. Every square in the city your statue would hold.
Ba. Pray, sir, have you met with a sonnet
Me. A sonnet? - Just so. 'T was read at a party, a few nights ago.
Ba. Do you know who's the author ?
Me. I know not — nor care;
Ba. Yet many admire it- or so they tell me. -
And if you had but seen it, sir, you'd think so too.
Ba. Dear sir, I am sorry to differ from you; But I hold that its merit must every one strike. Me. May the Muses preserve me from making the like.
Ba. I maintain that a better the world can not show; For I am the author — yes, I, you must know.
Me. You ?
Me. Perhaps there was something distracted my head ;
Ba. The days of the ballad methinks are gone by ; 'Tis very old-fashioned, and out of date quite.
Me. Yet, even now, many in ballads delight.
Me. You think them! Perhaps they're no worse, sir,
for that. Ba. For pēdants, indeed, they have charms beyond
measure. Me. And yet we perceive they afford you no pleasure. Ba. You give others qualities found but in you.
Me. You call others names that are justly your due.
Ba. Go, scribbler of sonnets, and butcher of meter!
Ba Go, you, and ask pardon of Venus and Bacchus, For your lame imitations of jolly old Flaccus.*
Me. Remember your book's insignificant sale.
* Quintus Horatius Flaccus, or Horace, a famous Roman poet, born 65 B. A Venus was the goddess of love, and Bacchus the god of wine, in the ancient jaythology.