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mons, and, soon after, embarked for America. His companions were, his wife and her friend, Miss Hancock; two gentlemen of fortune, James and Dalton; and Smibert the painter. In a picture by the latter, now in the Trumbull gallery at New Haven, are preserved the portraits of this group, with that of the dean's infant son, Henry, in his mother's arms. It was painted for a gentleman of Boston, of whom it was purchased, in 1808, by Isaac Lothrop, Esq., and presented to Yale College. This visit of Smibert associates Berkeley's name with the dawn of art in America. They had travelled together in Italy, and the dean induced him to join the expedition partly from friendship, and also to . enlist his services as instructor in drawing and architecture, in the proposed college. Smibert was born in Edinburgh, about the year 1684, and served an apprenticeship there to a house painter. He went to London, and, from painting coaches, rose to copying old pictures for the dealers. He then gave three years to the study of his art in Italy.
Smibert,' says Horace Walpole, 'was a silent and modest man, who abhorred the finesse of some of his profession, and was enchanted with a plan that he thought promised tranquillity and an honest subsistence in a healthy and elysian climate, and, in spite of remonstrances, engaged with the dean, whose zeal had ranged the favor of the court on his side. The king's death dispelled the vision. One may conceive how a man so devoted to his art must have been animated, when the dean's enthusiasm and eloquence painted to his imagination a new theatre of prospects, rich, warm, and glowing with scenery which no pencil had yet made common.'
Smibert was the first educated artist who visited our shores, and the picture referred to, the first of more than a single figure executed in the country. To his pencil New England is indebted for portraits of many of her early statesmen and clergy. Among others, he painted for a Scotch
*" Anecdotes of Painting," vol. iii.
gentleman the only authentic likeness of Jonathan Edwards. He married a lady of fortune in Boston, and left her a widow with two children, in 1751. A high eulogium on his abilities and character appeared in the London Courant. From two letters addressed to him by Berkeley, when residing at Cloyne, published in the Gentleman's Magazine, it would appear that his friendship for the artist continued after their separation, as the bishop urges the painter to recross the sea and establish himself in his neighborhood.
A considerable sum of money, and a large and choice collection of books, designed as a foundation for the library of St. Paul's College, were the most important items of the dean's outfit. In these days of rapid transit across the Atlantic, it is not easy to realize the discomforts and perils of such a voyage. Brave and philanthropic, indeed, must have been the heart of an English church dignitary, to whom the road of preferment was open, who was a favorite companion of the genial Steele, the classic Addison, and the brilliant Pope, who basked in the smile of royalty, was beloved of the Church, revered by the poor, the idol of society, and the peer of scholars; yet could shake off the allurements of such a position, to endure a tedious voyage, a long exile, and the deprivations attendant on a crude state of society and a new civilization, in order to achieve an object which, however excellent and generous in itself, was of doubtful issue, and beset with obstacles. Confiding in the pledges of those in authtity, that the parliamentary grant would be paid when the lands had been selected, and full of the most sanguine anticipations, the noble pioneer of religion and letters approached the shores of the New World.
It seems doubtful to some of his biographers whether Berkeley designed to make a preliminary visit to Rhode Island, in order to purchase lands there, the income of which would sustain his Bermuda institution. The vicinity of that part of the New England coast to the West Indies may have induced such a course; but it is declared by more than one, that his arrival at Newport was quite accidental. This conjecture, however, is erroneous, as in one of his letters, dated September 5th, 1728, he says: “To-morrow, with God's blessing, I set sail for Rhode Island.' The captain of the ship which conveyed him from England, it is said, was unable to discover the Island of Bermuda, and at length abandoned the attempt, and steered in a northerly direction. They made land which they could not identify, and supposed it inhabited only by Indians. It proved, however, to be Block Island, and two fishermen came off and informed them of the vicinity of Newport harbor. Under the pilotage of these mnen, the vessel, in consequence of an unfavorable wind, entered what is called the West Passage, and anchored. The fishermen were sent ashore with a letter from the dean to Rev. James Honyman. They landed at Canonicut Island, and sought the dwellings of two parishioners of that gentleman, who immediately conveyed the letter to their pastor. For nearly half a century this faithful clergyman had labored in that region. He first established himself at Newport, in 1704. Besides the care of his own church, he made frequent visits to the neighboring towns on the mainland. In a letter to the secretary of the Episcopal mission in America, in 1709, he says: “You can neither believe, nor I express, what excellent services for the cause of religion a bishop would do in these parts; these infant settlements would become beautiful nurseries, which now seem to languish for want of a father to oversee and bless them ;' and in a memorial to Governor Nicholson on the religious condition of Rhode Island, in 1714, he observes: "The people are divided among Quakers, Anabaptists, Independents, Gortonians, and infidels, with a rernnant of true Churchmen.'* It is characteristic of the times and region, that with a broad circuit and isolated churches as the sphere of his labors, the vicinity of Indians, and the variety of sects, he was employed for two months, in 1723, in daily attending a large number of pirates who had
* Hawkins's “ Historical Notices of the Missions of the Church of England in the North American Colonies," p. 173.
been captured, and were subsequently executed-one of the murderous bands which then infested the coast, whose extraordinary career has been illustrated by Cooper, in one of his popular nautical romances.
When Berkeley's missive reached this worthy pastor, he was in his pulpit, it being a holiday. He immediately read the letter to his congregation, and dismissed them. Nearly all accompanied him to the ferry Wharf, which they reached but a few moments before the arrival of the dean and his fellow voyagers. A letter from Newport, dated January 24th, 1729, that appeared in the New England Journal, published at Boston, thus notices the event : 'Yesterday arrived here Dean Berkeley, of Londonderry, in a pretty large ship. He is a gentleman of middle stature, and of an agreeable, pleasant, and erect aspect. He was ushered into the town by a great number of gentlemen, to whom he behaved himself after a very complaisant manner. 'Tis said he purposes to tarry here about three months.
We can easily imagine the delightful surprise which Berkeley acknowledges at first view of that lovely bay and the adjacent country. The water tinted, in the clear autumn air, like the Mediterranean; the fields adorned with symmetrical haystacks and golden maize, and bounded by a lucid horizon, against which rose picturesque windmills and the clustered dwellings of the town, and the noble trees which then covered the island; the bracing yet tempered atmosphere, all greeted the senses of those weary voyagers, and kindled the grateful admiration of their romantic leader. He soon resolved upon a longer sojourn, and purchased a farm of a hundred acres at the foot of the hill whereon stood the dwelling of Honyman, and which still bears his name.*
There he erected a modest homestead, with philosophic taste choosing the valley, in order to enjoy the fine view from the summit occasionally, rather than lose its charm by familiarity. At a sufficient distance from the town to insure immunity from idle visitors; within a few minutes' walk of the sea, and girdled by a fertile vale, the student, dreamer, and missionary pitched his humble tent where nature offered her boundless refreshment, and seclusion her contemplative peace. His first vivid impressions of the situation, and of the difficulties and consolations of his position, are described in the few letters, dated at Newport, which his biographer cites. At this distance of time, and in view of the subsequent changes of that region, it is both curious and interesting to revert to these incidental data of Berkeley's visit.
* The conveyance from Joseph Whipple and wife to Berkeley, of the land in Newport, is dated February 18th, 1729.
'NEWPORT, IN RHODE ISLAND, April 24, 1729. 'I can by this time say something to you, from my own experience, of this place and its people. The inhabitants are of a mixed kind, consisting of many sects and subdivisions of sects. Here are four sorts of Anabaptists, besides Presbyterians, Quakers, Independents, and many of no profession at all. Notwithstanding so many differences, here are fewer quarrels about religion than elsewhere, the people living peacefully with their neighbors of whatever persuasion. They all agree in one point that the Church of England is the second best. The climate is like that of Italy, and not at all colder in the winter than I have known everywhere north of Rome. The spring is late, but, to make amends, they assure me the autumns are the finest and the longest in the world; and the summers are much pleasanter than those of Italy by all accounts, forasmuch as the grass continues green, which it does not there. This island is pleasantly laid out in hills and vales and rising ground, hath plenty of excellent springs and fine rivulets
, and many delightful rocks, and promontories, and adjacent lands. The provisions are very good; so are the fruits, which are quite neglected, though vines sprout of themselves of an extraordinary size, and seem as natural to this soil as any I ever saw. The town of Newport contains about six thousand souls, and is the most thriving place in all America for its bigness. I was never more agreeably surprised than at the first sight of the town and its harbor.'
June 12, 1729.-I find it hath been reported in Ireland that we intend settling here. I must desire you to discountenance any such report. The truth is, if the king's bounty were paid in, and the charter could be removed hither, I should like it better than Ber