Letter from JAMES BARRY to LORD BUCHAN , written post 6 May 1805 , at Castle Street, London

Source: MS James Barry Papers and Letters. The Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University.

This letter, written on the reverse side and finished on the front page of an invitation [img] to Barry from the Society of Arts, dated 6 May 1805, is a shorter version of Barry's letter to Buchan, 3 July 1805. At the foot of the reverse side, after 'Sep. 1803', is the remark 'turn over'. For annotations, see Barry to Buchan, 3 July 1805.

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My dear Lord

The papers enclosed paperspapers will convey some account of what has been done in Consequence of your LordshipsLordship's kind interference with yethe Society for yethe Encouragement of Arts &c. in my behalf & you would have had them sooner but that I waited to give you some information of their having been received bycommunicated tocommunicated to yethe Dublin Society & honoured by being inserted in the Journal of their Transactionstransactions, as appears by the printed Sheet wchwhich I saw yesterday with M.r Caleb Whitefords & was enclosed in the Letter he received two days before from one ofof their vice presidents yethe very learned & justly celebrated Gen.l Vallency. Here my Lord, is a great effort made, wchwhich it were to be wished should terminate in something relative to that species of Art wchwhich is maymay interesting to yethe Publick. I pray God it may not have arrived too late & that I may be enabled to get the better & to overrule ye the lassitude wchwhich haunts me & is continually furnishing apologies for my declining further attempts of vigorous exertion – however tis'tis to be hoped that by at last sparing economizing & sparing myself in personal, domestic concerns about the things not essential to Art, I may be the better enabled to concentrate yethe little forces that may be left, & give myself entirely to those that are; however this also depends upon my being able without much delay to find a place fit for ye carrying on of my work, as the place I am in is no longer habitable, nor capable of being made so for me: no longing can be more than mine is to get to my work & as to this publick effort wchwhich is likely to effect it I am determined not to perplex myself by useless enquiries whether thisthis effort agitated in three Kingdoms is to be considered in yethe way of remuneration for what was done, or of redress for the outrages & clogging […] [gap in transcription (illegible)] […] [gap in transcription (illegible)] interruptions almost ever since 1783 when my work was exhibited at the Adelphi with yethe additional invidious brutalities cause cause […] [gap in transcription (illegible)] that dispute with yethe R. Academy wchwhich my freindsfriends consider as so honourable for me consequent to that dispute with yethe R.A. Academy in wchwhich so much had been offered up at ye sacraficedsacrificed to duty & or principle oror principle or publick service or rather to all of these or rather to all of these (see page 251. Letter to Dill) whatever might be yethe motive inducing to this publickpublick effort in my behalf & from whatever quarter it might come, high or low, agreableagreeable or dissagreabledisagreeable to our wishes & expectations, as yethe Choice is not ours, acquiescence is becoming & I feel my self disposed to accept with gratitude & thankfullnessthankfulness whatever may enable me to make yethe best use in my power of an Art so truly ethical & so very capable of extending to yethe deepest interests of society, whether our hitherto precipitate, short sighted politicians party politicians will allow themselves yethe leisure to be acquainted with this fact, or not, perhaps unlookilyunluckily they are too much in yethe way of being deceived by yethe impertinent interference of what is called ConoisseurshipConnoisseurship yethe abuse of wchwhich has been already so mischievous in yethe heaps of art of all descriptions with wchwhich from yethe convulsed state of Europe this country has been so inundated: however althoalthough I am pretty well tired of reasoning & remarking upon yethe matters of Art wchwhich should or should not, might or might not be applicable & becoming our situation & views in yethe 19 Century, yet I will here allow myself to transcribe something relative to this matter as adapted to those local & temporary views wchwhich only can make Art peculiar & nationally & morally interesting; Your Lordship will excuse yethe reference to that work of mine at yethe Adelphi with wchwhich it commences, as I had drawn it up as the Finale of that little book of the Account of yethe Pictures wchwhich is distributed in yethe great Room of our Society at yethe Adelphi & wchwhich with some little matters in yethe other parts was very much to my dissatisfaction omitted in yethe printing of it & of wchwhich I felt myself obliged to complain in a letter printed in yethe monthly magazine of Sep. 1803

[…] [gap in transcription (extended line), words: 3] Some such remarks as these, may not be wholly without use, at a time when so many of our Noblemen & Gentlemen are talking, associating, subscribing & agitating yethe publick mind so much on yethe subject of a Nation Gallery & Schools of Art.

I am very happy in your LordshipsLordship's recollection of my little sketch for Milton & his family, the matter of it is equal to any thing, & if I might use a fashionable phrase (tho perhaps tis not vernacular) such a domiciliary visit ought to beto be & might in better hands than mine be highly interesting & heroical & would pair well with his own idea of the dignity of Quintius, Fabricius, Curius, Regulus – those names of men so poor who could do mighty things. Parad. Reg. - however equal or unequal to all yethe dignity of yethe subject, it affords something so congenial to my own feelings, that I long to get at it whenever by yethe mercy of God I shall be enabled to sit down in some peaceful habitation proper for yethe occasion.

With a heart fully sensible of what under God I owe to the providential interference of your Lordships unremitting Zeal & Kindness I remain for ever your most affectionate & devoted humble servant

Jam.s Barry