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Memoirs of William Hazlitt
Ch. VI 1792-1803
William Hazlitt to William Hazlitt sen.; 10 December 1802

Chap. I 1778-1811
Ch. II: 1791-95
Ch. III 1795-98
Ch. IV 1798
Ch. V 1798
Ch. VI 1792-1803
Ch. VII 1803-05
Ch. VIII 1803-05
Ch. IX
Ch. X 1807
Ch. XI 1808
Ch. XII 1808
Ch. XII 1812
Ch. XIV 1814-15
Ch. XV 1814-17
Ch. XVI 1818
Ch. XVII 1820
Ch. XX 1821
Ch. I 1821
Ch. II 1821-22
Ch. III 1821-22
Ch. IV 1822
Ch. V 1822
Ch. VI 1822
Ch. VII 1822-23
Ch. VIII 1822
Ch. IX 1823
Ch. X 1824
Ch. XI 1825
Ch. XII 1825
Ch. XIII 1825
Ch. XIV 1825
Ch. XV 1825
Ch. XVI 1825-27
Ch. XVII 1826-28
Ch. XVIII 1829-30
Ch. XX
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“December 10th, 1802.
“My dear Father,

“I yesterday morning completed my copy of the picture called The Death of Clorinda; I have been, in all, fifteen mornings about it. It is a very good copy; when I say this, I mean that it has very nearly all the effect of the picture, and will certainly make as great a figure in Railton’s parlour as the original does in the Louvre. It has been praised by some of the French painters. They have begun of late to compliment me on my style of getting on; though, at first, they were disposed to be very impertinent. This is the way of the world; you are always sure of getting encouragement when you do not want it. After I had done my picture yesterday, I took a small canvas, which I had in the place, and began a sketch of a head in one of the large historical pictures, being very doubtful if I could; not at all expecting to finish it, but merely to pass away the time: however, in a couple of hours, I made a very fair copy, which I intend to let remain as it is. It is a side face, a good deal like yours, which was one reason of my doing it so rapidly. I got on in such a rapid style, that an Englishman, who had a party with him, came up, and told me, in French, that I was doing very well. Upon my answering him in English he seemed surprised, and said, ‘Upon my word, sir, you get on with great spirit and boldness; you do us great credit, I am sure.’ He afterwards returned; and after asking how long I had been about it, said he was the more satisfied with his judgment, as he did not know I was a country-
man. Another wanted to know if I taught painting in oil. I told him that I stood more in need of instruction myself; that that sort of rapid sketching was what I did better than anything else; and that, after the first hour or two, I generally made my pictures worse and worse, the more pains I took with them. However, seriously, I was much pleased with this kind of notice, as however confident I may be of the real merit of my work, it is not always so clear that it is done in a way to please most other people. This same sketch is certainly a very singular thing, as I do not believe there are ten people in the world who could do it in the same way. However, I have said enough on the subject. I shall go on with this business, as I find it succeed. I intend to copy a composition of
Rubens in this manner, which I can do at intervals, without interfering with my regular work. The copy of Titian’s Mistress, and the other, which I began from him, I purpose finishing in the six following days, and another copy of Titian in the six after that; which will be four out of the five which I am doing for Railton. I shall want another fortnight for the copy of Guido; and it will take another fortnight, if I do that for Northcote. This will make fourteen weeks. I have been here seven already. I will now enumerate the pictures I have done, or am doing: 1. The Death of Clorinda, completed. 2. Portrait of a Man in Black, by Titian, nearly finished. 3. Titian’s Mistress; this will take four days more to finish it. 4. Portrait of another Man in black, by the same, not yet begun. 5. Christ Crowned with Thorns, by Guido, not begun.
6. Hippolito de Medici. As I have six hours to work every morning, from ten till four, I intend to give an hour to making rough copies for myself. In this way I shall make a sketch of the head I mentioned; and I propose doing a Holy Family, from
Raphael (a very small picture), and a larger copy, from Rubens, in the same way. My love to all.

“Yours affectionately,
“W. Hazlitt.”