RECOLLECTIONS OF THE LATE THOMAS GIRTIN.
THE memory of Thomas Girtin is too intimately interwoven with that epoch which raised the title of draughtsman to that of painter in watercolours, to be forgotten by those who can remember the state of watercolour art at the end of the last century.
That painting in water-colours is an art of modern invention is universally known; and that the credit of the discovery is due to the British artists is equally admitted. Little had been achieved worthy the name of art by the draughtsman, until about the middle of the last century, when, the study of linear perspective having been successfully cultivated, the artists made some successful attempts at topographical drawing, or the representation of actual views of towns, cathedrals, castles, mansions, and other pictorial objects, with that fidelity to their respective forms and proportions in combination which constitutes the veritable picture.
Previously to the application of linear perspective to topographical delineation, nothing could be less natural than the representation of scenes from nature; as may be seen in all the back-ground subjects that were intended to represent real scenes, in the historical pieces painted by the ancients, and even the masters of more modern times, up to the period of the latter part of the seventeenth century, when the Flemish and Dutch masters, cultivating successfully the study of linear perspective, produced those justly admired topographical works in which architecture formed the principal features of the subject.
In our own practice of the topographical art until the period above mentioned, namely, about the middle of the last century, nothing could be less scientifically set forth; for in all the works topographical, such as Loggan’s folio work (line engravings) of the Colleges at Oxford and Cambridge, the topographical illustrations of Stowe’s folio History of London, and other large and expensive similar works, all the views were represented in that heterogeneous style of delineation, termed ‘bird’s-eye views,’ which may be considered nothing short of the burlesque of perspective.
How it happened that the British artists were so entirely wanting in perception to remain so long in ignorance of the art of correct delineation, is the more surprising, as the ingenious Winceslaus Hollar had practised so many years in England, during the reigns of Charles the First and Charles the Second, and had made so many engraved topographical representations of various parts of London, with sufficient truth and intelligence to show them what the art was capable of. So, however, it was; and thus it continued until Paul Sandby commenced his topographical studies, and gave to the world his veritable delineations of the picturesque scenes of the island. These at once pointed out the right path to other artists, many of whom, availing themselves of his intelligence, pursued the same species of drawing, and spread the knowledge of this department throughout the empire.
The graphic works of Sandby assumed very little more than mechanical knowledge of light and shadow, being almost invariably marked in fore-ground, middle-ground, and distance, buildings, trees, figures, cattle, and every other object, with a deep penned outline, shadowed with Indian ink, and tinted with thin washes of colour, in the hues of brick, stone, tile, and slate; the trees and grass of crude greens, and the sky and distances with cold unbroken blue, or blueish gray.
Michael Angelo Rooker1, the next in succession, proceeded a step still further in topographical art. His views of the colleges, engraved for the Oxford Almanac for several consecutive years, are still admired as works of great merit. He moreover made the first successful approaches, in his coloured studies from nature, to imitate the local colour of each object, such as bricks, stone, tile, timber, &c., with the tints which they had acquired by exposure to weather, and which render them so fitting for pictorial representation. Rooker, however, though he thus advanced the art by pointing out the proper method of study, could not combine the whole into a picture. It was even considered by him, and his ingenious contemporaries and immediate successors, that the process of painting in transparent water-colours could never attain to sufficient power to form a picture.
Thomas Hearne2 practised topographical drawing at the same period with still greater success; as his works, though not affecting force of light and shadow, and with little pretension to colour, were yet very complete in harmony, being chaste in effect and tasteful in execution, faithful in their general characteristics, and beautiful in their detail. His drawings, indeed, were so replete with these qualities, that Girtin and Turner owned they have derived from the study of his works, the rudiments of that topographical knowledge, which they improved so as ultimately to raise the British school, in this department of art, superior to that of any other nation, ancient or modern.
In this epitome of the rise and progress of water-colour art, it would be injustice to the memory of John Cozens3 not to mention his meritorious labours in this branch of drawing, as it was he who first successfully practised that delightful attribute of scenery painting in water-colours, aerial perspective, which before his time had scarcely been attempted, from the erroneous belief that it was not to be accomplished by the limited powers of colours thus prepared.
These, then, may be considered the original founders of the school of British draughtsmen; and each having added something to the common stock of water-colour art, Girtin and his coadjutor Turner, then youthful disciples in the same department, commenced their career, on the stepping stones which their ingenious predecessors had placed, for the advantage of these and others their more fortunate successors.
It would puzzle philosophy, in its wisest mood, to account for the superiority which these young artists obtained, at so early an age, over the labour of the whole long lives of these their worthy predecessors; for, they worked with the same materials and from the same prototypes. The very same objects which had served them,—the castles, ruined monasteries, abbey gates, and other pictorial subjects, which had by them been delineated,—also were sought by these: but their predecessors represented them only, at the best, as tinted chiar’-oscuro drawings, whilst these formed them into splendid pictures; such, indeed, that connoisseurship marvelled at the achievement; and painters in oil were no less lost in wonder, to know by what possibility such works could be wrought in materials apparently so entirely incompetent to the operation.
As this work is principally addressed to the attention of the amateurs and encouragers of the Fine Arts, it may be acceptable to a great portion of our readers, particularly those who amuse themselves by drawing landscapes in water-colours, to be informed of the mode of study by which Girtin attained that marked superiority over his predecessors which all the world acknowledged. We therefore offer the following brief history of his commencement and progress, from our own recollection, having known him from his boyhood unto manhood, and thence through his short but splendid career until his death, which happened ere he had completed his twenty-eighth year.
Thomas Girtin was born 18th February, 1775. Whilst yet a child he evinced a predilection for drawing, having a pencil and scrap of paper in hand whenever he could possibly obtain them, and scribbled all that his childish fancy presented, to the neglect of every other consideration either of duty or amusement; yet, to quote his own words, ‘other boys of his own age, at ten or twelve, who amused themselves or idled in the same way, drew quite as well as himself.’ This candid confession may serve to stimulate the youthful student to exertion, whether studying this art professionally or as an amateur artist; as it plainly shows that to excel in painting is not, as too commonly supposed, a mere affair of inspiration.
It is almost indispensable, in attempting to describe the mode of study and practice by which Girtin attained to so great a mastery in watercolours, to incorporate the congenial pursuits of his fellow student, Turner; for the complete development of the latent powers of watercolours, which had hitherto eluded the research of the whole of their predecessors, was the result of the joint labours of these extraordinary young artists.
Whilst they were in their nonage, the venerable Doctor Munro, yet living, then resided on the Adelphi Terrace. This eminent collector and intelligent connoisseur had an enthusiastic love for graphic art generally, but more particularly for that delightful and elegant department thereof, water-colour drawing. He had been intimately acquainted with Wilson, Marlow, Gainsborough, Paul Sandby, Rooker, Hearne, Cozens, and all who were eminent in the study of landscape; and at his select winter evening conversaziones these and other distinguished artists and amateurs enjoyed much intellectual and friendly intercourse.
During the Doctor’s long acquaintance with these, (for his early predilection for the Arts led him whilst young to seek their society,) he richly augmented the collection of drawings first begun by his father. He possessed a considerable number of the most valuable sketches by Gainsborough, whose style he imitated with more verisimilitude than even Sir George Beaumont. He had moreover many of the finest drawings by Sandby, Hearne, Rooker, Cozens, and others, comprising the most valuable specimens, and forming together the best collection of works in water-colours of any collector of his time. These, indeed, formed a school of examples, – and no one could have applied them with more advantage to the rising artists in the same pursuit than did Dr. Munro.
It is now more than forty years since this distinguished amateur threw open his collection for the improvement of certain young artists, whose promising talent he had discovered, and whose interest he felt desirous to promote. Amongst these were Girtin, Turner, Varley, Underwood, Edridge, Francia, and some few others, who attended at his house on certain evenings, and there made copies and studies from the choicest specimens in his rich collection, under the Doctor’s auspices and direction; an advantage which could not fail to be highly beneficial, as he was a most able preceptor: indeed, his taste and judgment would have done credit to any professional artist. These valuable services he rendered to his elèves gratuitously.
The ardour and generous spirit of competition with which these youths pursued their evening studies was most exemplary; for each appeared to labour rather for the approbation of his competitor than from a jealous spirit of rivalry. With Girtin and Turner this mental contest was maintained with mutual feelings, eminently creditable to youths so equally gifted with genius and perception, and so alike endued with executive powers.
Girtin and Turner—indeed all the disciples of the Munro school—occasionally copied and studied from the same prototypes. From the elaborate and tasteful delineations of Hearne and Rooker, they acquired the rudiments of a just and accurate insight into the properties of topographical design; and from the drawings of Cozens, a practical knowledge of breadth and simplicity, united with the charm of aerial perspective. Girtin and Turner combining these qualities, (for we must speak of them par eminence, they being moreover the elder disciples of the school) and superadding their own enlightened perceptions to the knowledge thus acquired, laid the foundation of that superstructure which they raised to the glory of the British school of water-colour painting.
Now it may be worthy the consideration of the youthful amateur artist to keep in view the fact, that these disciples of the Munro school did not set about their studies with that indifference or listlessness which is too commonly the practice with those who pursue the art of drawing for mere amusement. On the contrary, everything they attempted was begun and proceeded upon with that steadiness and order, without which nothing can be effected worthy the approbation of the connoisseur.
The progress which this ingenious evening coterie of young artists made in the course of two or three of these winter evening meetings, enabled them to obtain an accuracy of eye, and mastery of hand, sufficient to copy with facility every example placed before them; and these indispensable qualifications fitted them to try their powers in drawing from nature.
It is a too common complaint with amateurs, that they cannot, without travelling to parts remote, find fitting subjects for pictorial delineation. The imagination of one wings its way to the romantic regions where the Poussins caught their inspiration; and another sighs for the classic scenes wherein Claude found those landscape amenities which delight in his elegant compositions;—vainly fancying, that were they amidst such enchanting scenes, they might exercise their graphic capacities to some efficient purpose. We have seen enough, however, of the fallaciousness of these reveries in the crowded portfolios and sketchbooks of the ‘thousand and one’ tourists, amateur artists, who have visited these renowned regions of the picturesque, to convince sober judgments that they had better have remained at home; aye! and much more advantageously touching their progress in art, if on staying at home they had practised sedulously as they ought, and as Girtin and Turner practised.
These two eminent artists were born in the British metropolis, and localized there from infancy to manhood. Constrained to seek prototypes from nature in their own immediate neighbourhood, it was from what they discovered worthy of imitation within that circumscribed sphere that they practised their art,—they there became painters, and extended not their route in search of the romantic or classic of landscape, until they could study it effectively: thus prepared, when they did seek nature more afar, they soon imitated what they saw, with all the attributes which are so gloriously displayed in the works of these great masters of old.
It is not in the scene itself, however grand, or however beautiful, that the merit of a picture consists:—it is in the manner of treating it. If proof of this were demanded, we need only refer to the pictures of the Flemish and Dutch school, amongst the works of the masters of the highest renown,—Rembrandt, Cuyp, Ruysdael, Hobbima, Paul Potter, and a host of others, whose graphic compositions, simple and homely as they may be, are sought by the enlightened connoisseurs of all nations. These were collected in their own immediate neighbourhood; nay, frequently their own domicile supplied them with a subject for an interior, and a look out of their own casement with an exterior view. From these simple themes they produced pictures in value that would sell for ten times their weight in standard gold.
Girtin, as soon as he had acquired the power of delineating what he saw from the real object, found abundant subjects for study within a short distance of his home. The ruins of the ancient palace of the Savoy, near Somerset House in the Strand, furnished him with materials for the exercise of his topographical pencil. From the vast fragments of the remaining walls of this extensive ruin he made various accurate drawings; and a study which he made of the old steps of the watergate of this palace, according to his own testimony, was a lesson of improvement, from which he dated all the future knowledge which he displayed in the pictorial representation of mutilated masonry;—certainly the old Savoy steps afforded one of the finest examples for this interesting feature of topographical design. It was, then, on this spot that he obtained that knowledge of detail which subsequently enabled him to represent ruins in the foreground of his subjects with so much characteristic truth and mastery, with so little mechanical labour. Indeed, his finest works are more evidently the labour of the mind than of the hand.
From this spot, his progress for a while reached about a mile westward up the Thames, which led him to the truly picturesque shore of Lambeth. Here, amongst the old houses occupied by the families of the fishermen, and other buildings, rich in the material sought by the topographic painter, he found enough to delight his fancy, and engage his art. Few spots indeed could have better supplied those objects, which in the pursuit of local colour an artist seeks, than the rudely built dilapidated, overhanging dwelling-houses, potteries, whiting-mills, and other examples of the main features of the pictorial of topography, than this part of Lambeth. It was here, then, that he studied the veritable colour and texture of old plaster walls, with here and there a patch of brick,—tiled roofs that scarcely afforded shelter to the inhabitants beneath,—timber gray with age, and tenements propped with rude posts and piles, the very contemplation of which would almost suffice to create a topographic draughtsman. Lambeth, then, was the school in which Girtin acquired the rudiments of his succeeding knowledge of local colour.
It was on the shore of Lambeth that he found his prototypes for rude pictorial figures, male and female, in which it has ever within memory richly superabounded; here too he was amply supplied with the choicest models of that congenial object to such scenery,—the picturesque peter-boat, and that commanding object for Thames scenery, the lofty and richly pictorial lime-barge. Onwards a mile still higher, the opposite shore of Chelsea enriched his store of coloured studies;—and thus near home he made himself a colourist.
The time was not remote from this period, when he had yet scarcely attained to manhood, ere he sought nature in parts distant from the metropolis. He visited York, Durham, and other pictorial scenes in the North of England; thence to Cumberland, Westmoreland, and different parts of Scotland; and subsequently made the tour of South and North Wales. During this tour he painted two landscapes in oil, the only ones he ever executed; but what has been their destination we have not been able to learn. It was on these excursions that his mind developed the grand scenes, and still grander effects, under the sublime influence of that light and shadow which our atmosphere occasionally throws over mountain regions. These scenes he sought, even in the season of storms, and embodied their effects in his pictures, with a power that his enthusiastic admirers proclaimed to be no less than magical.
Before that new epoch in water-colour art which originated with Girtin and Turner, the utmost that had been attempted with transparent colours thus prepared, in subjects of romantic scenery, was the representation of distant mountains in a thin vapour, and all the other large features advancing towards the foreground, in timid, undefined washes of semi-aerial tint. Indeed, the most admired works of Cozens affected nothing more than a grayish sort of chiar’-oscuro, wrought into harmony by washes, merely intimating the hues of nature. Girtin, restrained by none of the fancied incapabilities of water-colours, at once struck out a daring style, determined to imitate what he saw; and thus, by the energies of his original genius, perceiving that certain operations of the sun upon the clouds threw the vastness of a whole mountain, that occupied the entire distance, under a deep and solemn mass of gloom, he gave it in his picture accordingly, and thereby clothed his composition with that awful sublimity of effect which stamped the scene with the majesty of nature.
The broad style and grand simplicity with which he ultimately produced these splendid effects, led many amateurs to take lessons of Girtin: hence every day brought forth vast sheets of elephant and atlas, besmeared with Cologne-earth, Vandyck-brown, burnt terra-sienna, and indigo blue;—the rage for this dashing style was quite laughable. ‘O!’ exclaimed each and every one of these amateurs, ‘do but teach me how to draw with this sort of daring-dashing effect, and I shall be content.’ Honest Tom Girtin,—for so he was designated,—was not willing to minister to their folly: indeed, he endeavoured to dissuade them from the attempt; but his efforts were vain,—the delighted amateur would try again: more paper was consequently spoiled—he could not help it, for the mania seemed to be incurable.
That there is a captivating charm in all that is seen in pictures that appear to be done without much manual labour, and still less mental exertion, is sufficiently known. What amateur student of the art graphic, but would desire to sketch scenes in nature, as naturally, and with the same apparent ease and mastery, as did the inimitable Gainsborough? or with the enviable facility of those highly talented artists, Girtin, Turner, Varley, Havell, Prout, Harding, or other professors of their celebrity; either with chalk, black-lead, in simple chiar’-oscuro with one colour, or in all the tints of the rainbow. But he that should commence his studies with an endeavour to accomplish so mighty a purpose by the gift of inspiration alone, although his perception and genius were tenfold greater than the greatest of these, might nevertheless, for a long succession of years, give his days and nights to the attainment of the object, and assuredly discover at last, that without a legitimate course of study and practice his diligence had been mere labour in vain. He that would sketch like Girtin, must be content to study like Girtin; and the same incontrovertible axiom applies equally to all whom we have named.
Girtin was of a kind and friendly disposition, and ever ready to communicate whatever he had discovered in his experiments, to those who sought his assistance. He, however, was in youth a free liver, and associated with persons little qualified to improve his manners; these uncultured, from his natural love of ease, induced a shyness which made him shun rather than seek the acquaintance of the polite and well-bred. When travelling to the North, he would take his passage in a collier; and his delight was to live in common with the crew, eating salt beef, drinking grog, and smoking, and exchanging jokes with them. When on shore in search of the picturesque, he sought the kitchen of the inn for refreshment, where he might enjoy himself without sacrificing his love for independence, and store up scenes and characters suited to his purpose.
About thirty years ago his evenings were frequently passed at the house of Harris, a frame-maker, in Gerard Street, Soho, the rendezvous of many artists of the day; at which time George Morland was also a constant visitor there, and sometimes an inmate. Harris was a dealer in drawings; and Girtin preferred selling his works through the agency of Harris, to the disposing of them to private gentlemen. Morland entertained the same notions:—hence Jack Harris, as he was dubbed, got much money by doing the agency for each. Two such rare geniuses as these, and so remarkable for their indifference to public opinion, it might be reasonably supposed would have smoked their cigars together in social fraternity;—it was, however, far otherwise. Morland courted low society, because he loved to be ‘king of the company;’ whilst Girtin, who was courted by good society, preferred to live with an inferior class, merely to escape trouble; and so far from domineering over these his associates, he never for a moment was known to assume the least superiority. It was truly with him, ‘Hail, fellow, well met.’
For two or three winter seasons previously to his death he belonged to a little ‘sketching society,’ formed at his suggestion by a fraternity of amateurs and professional artists,—chiefly, as may be supposed, for the improvement of these his associates. No little coterie could be more respectable; and it was probable, had Girtin lived, and this had continued, that his habits might have been wrought upon thereby, much to his benefit.
The plan of this society was to meet at the respective apartments of the members, and for each to make a sketch or drawing, in chiar’-oscuro, from some given subject from the poets. Certain amongst these impromptu productions of the club were much and deservedly admired. Each member, at whose house the parties met, supplied paper ready mounted on small straining frames, colours and pencils; and the designs for the evening became his property. They met at six, were entertained with tea and coffee, worked and chatted until ten, when a cold collation was served; and at twelve they separated.
Girtin was for some time the pupil of Dayes, a good matter-of-fact sort of a draughtsman, under whom he acquired that knowledge of perspective which enabled him to delineate architectural subjects with characteristic correctness; but during the period of his pupilage, and indeed for some short time subsequently, his drawings were more re-markable for cold precision than for any of those superior traits which were displayed in his works after he commenced sedulously to colour from nature.
About the same period Turner became the pupil of Thomas Malton, who also drew topographical subjects with great correctness, but not with painter-like feeling; he was an eminent professor of perspective, and published a celebrated work on that art. From so able a master he obtained that superior knowledge of the science of linear perspective which was so conspicuous in his early architectural drawings.
Girtin and Turner soon left their respective preceptors an immeasurable distance behind: they were the first who used the three primitive colours in laying-in the chiar’-oscuro of their subjects, producing by their combinations those warm and cool russets, which required only the glazing tints to produce harmonious drawings. Subsequently, however, they worked upon a superior and more painter-like plan, by preparing the general effect by laying-in the local colour of each object at once; and it was not until they ventured upon that process, that they produced those rich and splendid compositions that almost vied in general effect with paintings wrought in oil-colours.
Much of the knowledge which Girtin obtained in the display of contrast of colour in open landscape, was derived from the study of Wilson, whose bold and effective pictures in oil, Girtin might be said to have translated into water-colour. The vigour and richness of his architectural subjects, which were no less striking, was alike ascribable to his contemplation of the pictures of Canaletti: indeed, he was alternately designated by his admirers, when he first evinced that power in his works which had never been before seen in drawings, the Wilson, or the Canaletti of water-colours; until improving by practice, and increasing in power and judgment, he achieved works that could be likened to nothing in art that had preceded his style.
One of the first striking efforts of his graphic powers, as they related to a knowledge of topographical effect, was displayed in a panoramic view of the city of London on a large scale. This was exhibited in Castle Street, Leicester Square; and was the precursor of that species of scenic representation which Mr. Barker and others subsequently pushed to such a magnificent scale of pictorial illusion. The scene which Girtin chose for his picture was, ‘St. Paul’s and the buildings east and west, as seen from the lofty roof of the Albion-mills,’ then situated at the entrance of Blackfriars Bridge, on the south side of the Thames. This panoramic picture, which he completed when only in his twenty-third year, was one of the finest pictures of a city that was ever painted, and was universally admired by all judges of Art. After his death it was sold to a Russian nobleman, who took it out of the country. There were also several other views of streets in the neighbourhood of St. Martin’s-le-Grand, where his mother had a house and shop during his boyhood, and to the scenes of which he seems often to have recurred with pleasure in his after-sketches.
The constitution of this extraordinary artist having suffered from the careless habits which he had too long indulged, in spite of his own good sense and occasional reflexions,—for he was conscious of his moral infirmities,—brought on him a pulmonary complaint, which it was hoped might be relieved by change of climate: he therefore, acting upon the recommendation of his medical adviser, went to the Continent during the peace of 1802. Finding himself solitary at Paris, where he sojourned, his stay was not long; but such was the love of his art, that he there made a series of sketches of certain streets and public buildings of the French capital, which, on his return to London, he etched in soft ground, and having the effects, which he washed in on the spot, engraved on these outlines, as fac-similes in aqua-tinta. The series were published by him and his brother. The original drawings, we believe, are at present in the possession of that munificent patron of modern art, the Earl of Essex. The brother, John Girtin, was a writing engraver, and some years subsequent to the death of Thomas Girtin lived in Castle Street, Leicester Square, where he had the misfortune to have his house and stock in trade destroyed by fire. His wife, who was ill at the time, died in his arms as he took her out of the house. This fire was the more unfortunate as many of Girtin’s works were there also destroyed,—thus conferring a greater value upon those which he left. It must however be observed, that though during even his short career his performances were astonishingly numerous, yet a great number of copies by Francia and others have been sold, too often designedly, as his.
It might be supposed, by the bold and broad execution which characterize the works of Girtin, that they were mostly off-hand productions. The contrary, however, is the fact. It is true that he could sketch, and did occasionally dash-in his effect, with rapidity; but his finely coloured compositions, though apparently, like the pictures by Wilson, the result of little labour, were wrought with much careful study and proportionate manual exertion: in certain of his productions we frequently watched his progress, which, like Wilson’s, was careful, not-withstanding his bold execution, even to fastidiousness. It is true, he did not hesitate, nor undo what he once laid down, for he worked upon principle; but he reiterated his tints to produce splendour and richness, and repeated his depths to secure transparency of tone, with a perseverance that would surprise those who were not intimately acquainted with the difficult process of water-colour painting to produce works that merit the designation of pictures.
The premature death of Mr. Girtin was considered as an irreparable loss to the water-colour school of the fine arts; for it was evident, by the great progress he was making, even whilst reduced by disease, that what his pencil had yet developed was only a part of what his mind was capable of communicating to his hand. Indeed, it may be truly said, in honour to his memory, that he was, as a painter, unquestionably one of the greatest geniuses of the age. For some years previous to his death, which occurred 9th November, 1802, it is to be presumed that his habits had become considerably altered, as his surviving relatives, from their knowledge of him, deny the concurrent testimony of his former associates. He had then however married; and his widow, and a son whom he left an infant, now reside at Islington,—the latter a surgeon in good practice and reputation in his profession. It was perhaps a matter of very serious regret for Girtin, that he, as well as Harlow, was left without a father at a very early age. Had he been restrained in his youth by a father’s severer control, the world of art might not have had to mourn his early death. It is a curious circumstance, that the custom of placing the grave-stone with its front due east was departed from in the instance of this artist. His remains were interred in the burial ground of St. Paul’s, Covent Garden, on the south side, to the left of the paved path (near the west gate of the church) to Bedford Street. At the head of this grave, lying east and west, the monumental stone or pillar is made to front the north; and from this singular arrangement, the passenger who wishes to pay respect to genius may know the site of the grave of Thomas Girtin.
- 1 R. A., born about 1743, was brought up an engraver, and was afterwards a pupil of Paul Sandby’s. He died 3rd March, 1801, when his large collection of drawings was sold for more than 1200l.
- 2 Born about 1744 at Brinkworth, Wilts. He died April 13, 1817.
- 3 He died, about 1799, in a state of mental derangement. See ante, p 12.