Monday, May 11, 2009

Walker's friend "Old North."

John William North.
John William North, was a long time painting companion of Frederick Walker.

It is no wonder that his hard experience gave him an ancient and Socratic air even in these early days, and we find Fred Walker, although nearly two years his senior, frequently referring to his friend in his letters home as " Old North !” These are some of the things that Walker said about his friend.

"Old North is very nice, quiet, and considerate in small things, which is to me very refreshing."
" I and taking care of myself, especially changing my boots, etc. North would make me if I didn't of my own accord."
In the letters, too, North is always the arbiter and the critic, whose favourable judgment is the greatest solace to Walker's doubts."February, 1870 - Done a splendid day's work on the big picture. North said, 'Well, I suppose you've made £100 to-day.' He was looking at the picture along time. I feel much more hopeful, I need not say."
" This morning had a long consultation with North over the picture, and it is already much better."
"North here is doing capital work , he is most sincere over it. I hope he'll get into our Society this time; if his health is spared I believe he'll do important things."

They spent many happy hours together on different painting expeditions, and so it was when on such a trip to Scotland that Frederick should die of Tuberculosis, or Consumption, as it was known in those days. He had been suffering with it for quite some time, it being inherent in the family, from which his younger brother had also succumbed.

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