A nobleman, not remarkable for generosity, sent for Hogarth and
desired that he would represent on one of the compartments of his
staircase, Pharoah and his host drowned in the Red Sea. At the same time he
hinted that no great price would be given for the performance. Hogarth
however agreed. Soon afterwards he applied for payment to his employer, who
seeing that the space allotted for the picture had only been daubed over
red, declared he had no idea of paying a painter when he had proceeded
no farther than to lay his ground. "Ground!" exclaimed Hogarth, "there is
no _ground_ in the case, my lord, it is all sea. The red you perceive is
the Red Sea. Pharoah and his host are drowned as you desired, and cannot be
made objects of sight, for the sea covers them all."
Tantara, the celebrated landscape painter, was a man of ready wit, but he
once met his match. An amateur had ordered a landscape for his gallery, in
which there was to be a church. Our painter did not know how to draw
figures well, so he put none in the landscape. The amateur was astonished
at the truthfulness and colouring of the picture, but he missed the
figures. "You have forgotten to put in any figures," said he, laughingly.
"Sir," replied the painter, "_the people are gone to mass_." "Oh, well,"
replied the amateur, "I will wait and take your picture _when they come