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by [?]

Edwin was barely twenty, but had exhibited at several Royal Academy Exhibitions and his name was on every tongue. He gave no attention to marketing his wares–his father and brothers did all that–he simply sketched and had a good time. He was healthy, strong, active, and could walk thirty miles a day; but now that riches had come that way he bought a horse and rode.

Then other horses were presented to him, and he began to picture horses, too. That he knew horses and loved them is evidenced in many a picture. In every village or crossroads town of America can be found copies of his “Shoeing,” where stands the sleek bay mare, the sober, serious donkey, and the big dog.

No painter who ever lived is so universally known as Landseer, and this is because his father and brothers made it their life-business to reproduce his work by engraving.

Occasionally, rich ladies would want their own portraits painted with a favorite dog at their feet, or men wanted themselves portrayed on horseback, and so Landseer found himself with more orders than he could well care for. People put their names, or the name of their dog, on his waiting-list, and some of the dogs died of old age before the name was reached.

“I hear,” said a lady to Sydney Smith at a dinner party–“I hear you are to have your portrait painted by Landseer.”

“Is thy servant a dog that he should do this thing?” answered the wit. The story went the rounds, and Mulready once congratulated the clergyman on the repartee.

“I never made the reply,” said Sydney Smith; “but I wish I had.”

Sydney Smith was once visiting the Landseer studio, and his eye chanced to light on the picture of a very peculiar-looking dog.

“Yes, it’s a queer picture of a queer dog. The drawing is bad enough, and never pleased me!” And Landseer picked up the picture and gave it a toss out of the window. “You may have it if you care to go get it,” he carelessly remarked to the visitor. Smith made haste to run downstairs and out of the house to secure his prize. He found it lodged in the branches of a tree.

In telling the tale years afterward, Smith remarked that, whereas many men had climbed trees to evade dogs, yet he alone of all men had once climbed a tree to secure one.

Sir Walter Scott saw Landseer’s picture of “The Cat’s Paw,” and was so charmed with it that he hunted out the young artist, and soon after invited him to Abbotsford.

Leslie, the American artist, was at that time at Scott’s home painting the novelist’s portrait. This portrait, by the way, became the property of the Ticknor family of Boston, and was exhibited a few years ago at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

Landseer, Leslie and Scott made a choice trio of congenial spirits. They were all “outdoor men,” strong, sturdy, good-natured, and fond of boyish romp and frolic. Many were the long tramps they took across mountain, heath and heather. They visited the Highland district together, fished in Loch Lomond, paddled the entire length of Loch Katrine, and hunted deer on the preserve of Lord Gwydr.

On one hunting excursion, Landseer was stationed on a runway, gun in hand, with a gillie in attendance. The dogs started a fine buck, which ran close to them, but instead of leveling his gun, Landseer shoved the weapon into the hands of the astonished gillie with the hurried whispered request, “Here, you, hold this for me!” and seizing his pencil, made a hasty sketch of the gallant buck ere the vision could fade from memory.

In fact, both Landseer and Leslie proved poor sportsmen–they had no heart for killing things.

A beautiful live deer was a deal more pleasing to Landseer than a dead one; and he might truthfully have expressed the thought of his mind by saying, “A bird in the bush is worth two on a woman’s bonnet.” And indeed he did anticipate Thoreau by saying, “To shoot a bird is to lose it.”