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Chantrey's First Sculpture

Anecdotes Home




Chantrey, when a boy, used to take milk to
Sheffield on an ass. To those not used to seeing and observing such things,
it may be necessary to state that the boys generally carry a good thick
stick, with a hooked or knobbed end, with which they belabour their asses
sometimes unmercifully. On a certain day, when returning home, riding on
his ass, Chantrey was observed by a gentleman to be intently engaged in
cutting a stick with his penknife, and, excited by curiosity, he asked the
lad what he was doing, when, with great simplicity of manner, but with
courtesy, he replied, "I am cutting _old Fox's head_." Fox was the
schoolmaster of the village. On this, the gentleman asked to see what he
had done, pronounced it to be an excellent likeness, and presented the
youth with _sixpence_. This may, perhaps, be reckoned the first money
Chantry ever obtained in the way of his _art_.







Admiral Chatillon had gone one day to hear mass in the Dominican Friars'
chapel; a poor fellow came and begged his charity. He was at the moment
occupied with his devotions, and he gave him several pieces of gold from
his pocket, without counting them, or thinking what they were. The large
amount astonished the beggar, and as M. Chatillon was going out of the
church-door, the poor man waited for him: "Sir," said he, showing him what
he had given him, "I cannot think that you intended to give me so large a
sum, and am very ready to return it." The admiral, admiring the honesty of
the man, said, "I did not, indeed, my good man, intend to have given you so
much; but, since you have the generosity to offer to return it, I will have
the generosity to desire you to keep it; and here are five pieces more for
you."





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