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carried into all the little things of life; and Buchanan, who had made him an excellent scholar, may receive the disgrace of his pupil's ugly scribble, which sprawls about his careless and inelegant letters.
“ Charles the First wrote a fair open Italian hand, and more correctly perhaps, than any prince we ever had.” Charles was the first of our monarchs who intended to have domiciliated taste in the kingdom, and it might have been conjectured from this unfortunate prince, who so finely discriminated the manners of the different painters, which are in fact their handwritings, that he would have not been insensible to the elegancies of the
pen. " Charles the Second wrote a little fair running hand, as if wrote in haste, or uneasy till he had done." Such was the writing to have been expected from this illustrious vagabond, who had much to write, often in odd situations, and could never get rid of his natural restlessness, and vivacity.
“ James the Second writ a large fair hand.” It is characterized by his phlegmatic temper, as an exact detailer of occurrences, and the matterof-business genius of the writer.
Queen Anne wrote a fair round hand :" that is the writing she had been taught by her master, probably without any alteration of manner naturally suggested by herself; the copying hand of a common character.
This subject of AUTOGRAPHS associates itself with what has been dignified by its professors as CALIGRAPHY, or the art of beautiful writing. As I have something curious to communicate on that subject considered professionally, it shall form our following article.
THE HISTORY OF WRITING-MASTERS.
THERE is a very apt letter from James the First to prince Henry when very young, on the neatness and fairness of his hand-writing ; the royal father suspecting that the prince's tutor, Mr., afterwards Sir Adam, Newton, had helped out the
young prince in the composition; and that in this specimen of caligraphy he had relied also on the pains of Mr. Peter BALES, the great writing-master, for touching up his letters ; his majesty shows a laudable anxiety that the prince should be impressed with the higher importance of the one over the other. James shall himself speak. “ I confess I long to receive a letter from you that may be wholly yours, as well matter as form; as well formed by your mind as drawn by your fingers; for ye may remember, that in my book to you I warn you to beware with (of) that kind of wit that may fly out at the end of your fingers; not that I commend not a fair hand-writing ; sed hoc facito, illud non omittilo ; and the other is multo magis præcipuum."
Prince Henry, indeed, wrote with that elegance which he borrowed from his own mind; and in an age when such minute elegance was not universal among the crowned heads of Europe. Henry IV., on receiving a letter from prince Henry, immediately opened it, a custom not usual with him, and comparing the writing with the signature, to decide whether it were of one hand, Sir George Carew, observing the French king's hesitation, called Mr. Douglas to testify to the fact ; on which Henry the Great, admiring an art in which he had little skill, and looking on the neat elegance of the writing before him, politely observed, “ I see that in writing fair, as in other things, the elder must yield to the younger,
Had this anecdote of neat writing reached the professors of caligraphy, who in this country have put forth such painful panegyrics on the art, these royal names had unquestionably blazoned
Not, indeed, that these penmen require any fresh inflation ; for never has there been a race of professors in any art, who have exceeded in solemnity and pretensions the prac. titioners in thịs simple and mechanical craft.
I must leave to more ingenious investigators of human nature, to reveal the occult cause which has operated such powerful delusions on these « Vive la Plume!” men, who have been generally observed to possess least intellectual ability, in proportion to the excellence they have obtained in their own art. I suspect this maniacal vanity is peculiar to the writing-masters of England; and I can only attribute the immense importance which they have conceived of their art, to the perfection to which they have carried the art of short-hand writing ; an art which was always better understood, and more skilfully practised, in England, than in any other country. It will surprise some when they learn that the artists in verse and colours, poets and painters, have not raised loftier pretensions to the admiration of mankind. Writing-masters, or caligraphers, have had their engraved “ effigies,” with a Fame in flourishes, a pen in one hand, and a trumpet in the other; and fine verses inscribed, and their very lives written! They have compared
“ The nimbly-turning of their silver quill,” to the beautiful in art, and the sublime in invention; nor is this wonderful, since they dis