his name to them. He was the first that laid grounds on copper 1 for crayons, a method afterwards practised by Faithorne. One of Becket's best is a print of a Lady Williams. I have run these lives into one another, finding them blended by Vertue, and naturally connected.
I have now carried this work down to the year 1700. If the art did not make great improvements after that period, at least it was enlarged, and not so restricted to portraits. Historic subjects came into vogue too. If no great matter was performed, that age did not deserve so much reproach as we do. Few good pictures were then imported. How many noble collections have been formed since, and yet how few prints appear of intrinsic merit ! I have mentioned those of Mr. Strange, which are worthy of any country, and of the masters he has imitated. Mac Ardell has done a few in mezzotinto that show what that branch is capable of ; but our collections are still far from being exhausted; and yet I do not forget how many beautiful landscapes of Claud Lorrain and Gaspar Poussin we owe to the late Mr. Pond. Nor is this wholly the fault of artists ; if the public would neglect whatever is not worthy of their country and of its riches, nor pay great prices for hasty performances, it is not credible that we can want either the genius or industry of the French, though hitherto their prints in general are at least as much better than ours as their prices are more reasonable.
The end of King William's reign was illustrated by a genius of singular merit in his way,
The best mezzotinter that has appeared, who united softness with strength, and finishing with freedom. To posterity perhaps his prints will carry an idea of something burlesque; perukes of outrageous length flowing over suits____________________