[93] Sucrewasser of Vienna.

OUR readers must now be presented with scenes and occurrences widely differing from those which last we placed before them. They will no longer behold an artist, consumed by the fervour of his genius and bewildered by the charms of his imagination; but the most prudent and sage amongst them will admire the regular and consistent conduct of Sucrewasser, which forms a striking contrast to the eccentricity of Og.
The family of the Sucrewassers had been long established at Vienna; they [94] had kept a grocer's shop, which descended from father to son thro' a course of many generations. The father of our artist exercised his hereditary business with the same probity as his ancestors. His mother, the daughter of a Lombard pawnbroker, was the best sort of woman in the world, and had no other fault than loving wine and two or three men besides her husband. Young Sucrewasser was invested, at the age of six years, with the family apron, and after having performed errands for some time, was admitted to the desk at twelve; but discovering a much greater inclination for designing the passengers, which were walking to and fro before the window where he was doomed to sit, than noting the articles of his father's commerce in his book, he was bound apprentice to an [95] uncle of his mother, who painted heraldry for the Imperial Court, and his brother was promoted to the desk in his room. Sucrewasser took great delight in his new situation, and learnt, with success, to bestow due strength on a lion's paw, and give a courtly flourish to a dragon's tail. His eagles began to be remarked for the justness of their proportions and the neatness of their plumage; in short, an Italian painter, by name Insignificanti, remarked the delicacy of his pencil, and was resolved to obtain him for his scholar. The youth, finding himself in a comfortable habitation with a kind uncle, who was in a thriving way, and who offered him a share in his business when the time of his apprenticeship should expire, expressed no great desire to place himself under the [96] tuition of Insignificanti; but as that painter had acquired a very splendid reputation, and was esteemed exceedingly rich, his parents commanded him to accept the offer, and Sucrewasser never disobeyed. He remained two or three years with this master, which he employed in faithfully copying his works; generally small landscapes, with shepherds and shepherdesses feeding their flocks, or piping under Arcadian shades. These pieces pleased the world in general and sold well, which was all Insignificanti desired, and Sucrewasser had no other ambition than that of his master. The greatest harmony subsisted between them till three years were expired.
About this time the Princess Dolgoruki, then at the Court of Vienna, selected [97] Insignificanti and his pupil to paint her favourite lap-dog, whose pendent ears and beautifully curling tail seemed to call loudly for a portrait. Insignificanti, before he began the picture, asked his pupil, with all the mildness of condescension, whether he did not approve his intentions of placing the dog on a red velvet cushion. Sucrewasser replied gently, that he presumed a blue one would produce a much finer effect. His master, surprized to find this difference of opinion, elevated his voice, and exclaimed, "Aye, but I propose adding a gold fringe, which shall display all the perfection of my art; all the feeling delicacy of my pencil; but, bark you! I desire you will abstain from spoiling this part of the picture with your gross touch, and never maintain again that blue will [98] admit of half the splendor of red." These last words were pronounced with such energy, that Sucrewasser laid down his pencil, and begged leave to quit his master; who soon consented, as he feared Sucrewasser would surpass him in a very short space of time. The young man was but coolly received by his parents, who chided him for abandoning his master; but when they perceived his performances sold as well as before this rupture, their anger ceased, and they permitted him to travel to Venice, after having bestowed on him their benediction with the greatest cordiality.
His route lay through some very romantic country, which he never deigned to regard, modestly conjecturing he was not yet worthy to copy nature; so with- [99] out straying either to the right or to the left, be arrived at Venice in perfect health, and recommended himself first to the public by painting in fresco on the walls of some casinos. The subjects were either the four Seasons or the three Graces. Now and then a few blind Cupids, and sometimes a lean Fury, by way of variety. The colouring was gay and tender, and the drawing correct. The faces were pretty uniform and had all the most delightful smirk imaginable; even his Furies looked as if they were half inclined to throw their torches into the water, and the serpents around their temples were as mild as eels. Many ladies stiled him Pittore amabile, and many gentlemen had their snuff-boxes painted by his hand. He lived happily and contentedly till he became acquainted with [100] Soorcrout, who was a great admirer of Titian, and advised him by all means to copy his performances; and as he generally followed the advice of those who thought it worth their while to give him any, he immediately set about it, but did not profit so much as he expected. It was Soorcrout who engaged him in that unlucky dispute with Og of Basan and Andrew Guelph; a controversy which lowered them considerably in the eyes of the world, and forfeited them the protection of Signor Boccadolce.
After this disgrace, Soorcrout went to England, and Sucrewasser loitered in the environs of Venice till the storm was blown over. He then returned, lived peaceably there many years, and died at length of a cold he caught at a party on the [101] water. His most splendid performance, Salome, mother of the Maccabees, which he imitated from Titian, was sold by Soorcrout in England.

Aldrovandus Magnus
::: Andrew Guelph, and Og of
Basan, Disciples of Aldrovandus Magnus
Sucrewasser of Vienna
::: Blunderbussiana ::: Watersouchy