My brother carefully studied Nature herself. His works, following those of my father, led back the public taste to a more healthy and true condition, and by the aid of a noble army of modern British landscape painters, this department of art has been elevated to a very high standard of truth and excellence.

I find some letters from Patrick to my father, after his settlement as an artist in London. My father seems to have supplied him with money during the early part of his career, and afterwards until he had received the amount of his commissions for pictures. In one of his letters he says: "That was an unlucky business, the loss of that order which you were so good as send me on my account." It turned out that the order had dropt out of the letter enclosing it, and was not recovered. In fact, Patrick was very careless about all money transactions.

In 1814 he made the acquaintance of Mr. Barnes, and accompanied him to Bure Cottage, Ringwood, near Southampton, where he remained for some time. He went into the New Forest, and brought home "lots of sketches." In 1815 he exhibited his works at the Royal Academy. He writes to his father that "the prices of my pictures in the Gallery are -- two at fourteen guineas each (small views in Hampshire), one at twelve guineas, and two at fourteen guineas. They are all sold but one. These pictures would now fetch in the open market from two to three hundred guineas each. But in those days good work was little known, and landscapes especially were very little sought after.

Patrick Nasmyth's admirable rendering of the finer portions of landscape nature attracted the attention of collectors, and he received many commissions from them at very low prices. There was at that time a wretched system of delaying the payment for pictures painted on commission, as well as considerable loss of time by the constant applications made for the settlement of the balance. My brother was accordingly under the necessity of painting his pictures for the Dealers, who gave him at once the price which he required for his works. The influence of this system was not always satisfactory. The Middlemen or Dealers, who stood between the artist and the final possessor of the works, were not generous. They higgled about prices, and the sums which they gave were almost infinitesimal compared with the value of Patrick Nasmyth's pictures at the present time.

The Dealers were frequent visitors at his little painting-room in his lodgings. They took undue advantage of my brother's simplicity and innate modesty in regard to the commercial value of his works. When he had sketched in a beautiful subject, and when it was clear that in its highest state of development it must prove a fine work, the Dealer would pile up before him a row of guineas, or sovereigns, and say, "Now, Peter, that picture's to be mine!", The real presence of cash proved too much for him. He never was a practical man. He agreed to the proposal, and thus he parted with his pictures for much less than they were worth. He was often remonstrated with by his brother artists for letting them slip out of his hands in that way -- works that he would not surrender until he had completed them, and brought them up to the highest point of his fastidious taste and standard of excellence. Among his dearest friends were David Roberts and Clarkson Stanfield. He usually replied to their friendly remonstrances by laughingly pointing to his bursting portfolios of sketches, and saying, "There's lots of money in these banks to draw from" He thus warded off their earnest and often-repeated remonstrances. Being a single man, and his habits and style of living of the most simple kind, he had very little regard for money except as it ministered to his immediate necessities. His evenings were generally spent at a club of brother artists "over the water;" and in their company he enjoyed many a pleasant hour. His days were spent at his easel. They were occasionally varied by long walks into the country near London, for the purpose of refilling his sketch-book.

It was on one of such occasions -- when he was sketching the details of some picturesque pollard old willows up the Thames, and standing all the time in wet ground -- that he caught a severe cold which confined him to the house. He rapidly became worse. Two of his sisters, who happened to be in London at the time, nursed him with devoted attention. But it was too late. The disease had taken fatal hold of him. On the evening of the l7th August 1831 there was a violent thunderstorm. At length the peals of thunder ceased, the rain passed away, and the clouds dispersed. The setting sun burst forth in a golden glow. The patient turned round on his couch and asked that the curtains might be drawn. It was done.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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