HC Deb 04 April 1862 vol 166 cc553-4

said, he wished to answer a question that had been put in his absence by the hon. and gallant Admiral opposite, who had called attention to the incomplete condition of the Nelson Monument. Like the hon. and gallant Member, he greatly deplored that that monument was unfinished. The order for the execution of the lions was given in 1858 to Sir Edwin Landseer, a man of great genius in the representation of animals. But genius was not to be commanded at all seasons, and Sir Edwin Landseer had not yet been able to satisfy himself as to the work of art which he was to place upon that monument, and could not yet name any time when the lions would be completed. All he could say was that Sir Edwin Landseer was now very accurately studying the habits of lions, and was to be seen in the Zoological Gardens making himself thoroughly acquainted with their attitudes. It was to be hoped that all the delay would secure their ultimately having a work of art of still greater perfection than if it had been executed as rapidly as had been expected. Sir Edwin Landseer was quite aware that a great monument was in a very imperfect state while the portion of the work intrusted to him remained unfinished.