Volltext: The life, studies and works of Benjamin West, Esq. president of The Royal Academy of London

1 89' 
nature from that which I have ever desired to  
contemplate: I do not allude to those things, 
connected with political matters, in which Mr. 
West was only by accident a witness, but of 
transactions which personally affected himself. 
During the time that he was engaged in the 
series of great pictures for Windsor Castle, he 
enjoyed, as I have already mentioned, an easy 
and confidential intercourse with the King, and 
I ought, perhaps, to have stated earlier, that 
when he was chosen President of the Royal 
Academy, the late Duke of -Gloucester called on 
him, and mentioned that His Majesty was 
desirous to know if the honour of knighthood 
would be acceptable. Mr. West immediately 
replied, that no man had a greater respect for 
political honours and distinctions than himself: 
but that he really thought he had already earned 
by his pencil more eminence than could be con- 
ferred on him by that rank. " The chief value," 
said he, " of titles are, that they serve to preserve 
in families a respect for those principles by which 
such distinctions were originally obtained. But 
simple knighthood, to a man who is at least


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