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THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
VOL. 14, No. 382.] SATURDAY, JULY 25, 1829. [PRICE 2d.
POPE'S TEMPLE, AT HAGLEY
[Illustration: Pope's Temple, at Hagley]
Reader! are you going out of town "_in search of the picturesque_"--if
so, bend your course to the classic, the consecrated ground of HAGLEY!
think of LYTTLETON, POPE, SHENSTONE, and THOMSON, or refresh your memory
from the "_Spring_" of the latter, as--
Courting the muse, thro' _Hagley_ Park thou strayst.
Thy _British Tempe_! There along the dale,
With woods o'erhung, and shagg'd with mossy rocks,
Whence on each hand the gushing waters play,
And down the rough cascade white dashing fall,
Or gleam in lengthen'd vista through the trees,
You silent steal; or sit beneath the shade
Of solemn oaks, that tuft the swelling mounts
Thrown graceful round by Nature's careless hand,
And pensive listen to the various voice
Of rural peace; the herds, the flocks, the birds,
The hollow-whispering breeze, the 'plaint of rills,
That, purling down amid the twisted roots
Which creep around their dewy murmurs shake
On the sooth'd ear.
Such is the fervid language in which the Poet of the year invoked
"LYTTLETON, the friend!"
Yet these lines will kindle the delight and reverence of every lover of
Nature, in common with the effect of the _Seasons_ on the reader, who
"wonders that he never saw before what Thomson shows him, and that he
never yet has felt what Thomson impresses."
 Johnson's Life of Thomson.
But we quit these nether flights of song to describe the locality of
Hagley Park, of whose beauties our Engraving is but a mere vignette, and
in comparison like holding a candle to the sun. The village of Hagley is
a short distance from Bromsgrove, in Worcestershire, whence the
pleasantest route to the park is to turn to the right on the Birmingham
road, which cuts the grounds into two unequal parts. The house is a
plain and even simple, yet classical edifice. Whately, in his work on
Gardening, describes it as surrounded by a lawn, of fine uneven ground,
and diversified with large clumps, little groups, and single trees; it
is open in front, but covered on one side by the Witchbury hills; on the
other side, and behind by the eminences in the park, which are high and
steep, and all overspread with a lofty hanging wood. The lawn pressing
to the front, or creeping up the slopes of three hills, and sometimes
winding along glades into the depth of the wood, traces a beautiful
outline to a sylvan scene, already rich to luxuriance in massive
foliage, and stately growth. The present house was built by the first
Lord Lyttleton, not on, but near to, the site of the ancient family
mansion, a structure of the sixteenth century. Admission may be obtained
on application to the housekeeper; and for paintings, carving, and
gilding, Hagley is one of the richest show-houses in the kingdom.
 _Show-houses_ is a very appropriate term for such of the
mansions of our nobility and gentry as are open to public
inspection. Hagley is extremely rich in treasures of art. A mere
catalogue of them would occupy the whole of our sheet; but we
must notice two curiously carved mahogany tables, which cost
L200.; four exquisitely carved busts of Shakspeare, Milton,
Spenser, and Dryden, by Scheimaker, and bequeathed to George,
Lord Lyttleton, by Pope; the portrait of Pope and his dog,
Bounce; a fine Madonna, by Rubens; several pictures by Vandyke,
Sir Peter Lely, Le Brun, &c. &c. the Gobelin tapestry of the
drawing room; the ceiling painted by Cipriani; and the family
pictures, among which is Judge Lyttleton, copied from the
painted glass in the Middle Temple Hall.
Much as the visiter will admire the refined taste displayed within the
mansion, his admiration will be heightened by the classic taste in which
the grounds are disposed. A short distance from the house, embosomed in
trees, stands the church, built in the time of Henry III.; with a
sublime Gothic arch, richly painted windows, and a ceiling fretted with
the heraldic fires of the Lyttleton family, whose tombs are placed on
all sides; among them, the resting-place of the gay poet is
distinguished by the following plain inscription:--
This unadorned stone was placed here
By the particular desire and express
Directions of the Right Honourable
GEORGE, LORD LYTTLETON,
Who died August 22, 1773, aged 64.
Leaving the church we ascend to the crest of a hill, on which stands the
Prince of Wales's Pillar. From this point, the view is inexpressibly
beautiful, in which may be seen an octagon seat sacred to the memory of
Thomson, and erected on the brow of a verdant steep, his favourite spot.
In the foreground is a gently winding valley; on the rising hill beyond
is a noble wood, whilst to the right the open country fades in the
distance; on the left the Clent hills appear, and a dusky antique tower
stands just below them at the extremity of the wood; whilst in the midst
of it, we can discern the _Doric temple sacred to Pope_. This exquisite
gem of the picturesque is represented in our Engraving.
In the adjoining grove of oaks is the antique tower; in a beautiful
amphitheatre of wood, an Ionic rotunda; and in an embowering grove a
Palladian bridge, with a light airy portico. Here on a fine lawn is the
urn inscribed to Pope, mentioned by Shenstone:
Here Pope! ah, never must that towering mind
To his loved haunts, or dearer friend return;
What art, what friendship! oh! what fame resign'd;
In yonder glade I trace his mournful urn.
At the end of the valley, in an obscure corner is a hermitage, composed
of roots and moss, whence we look down on a piece of water in the
hollow, thickly shaded with tall trees, (_see the engraving_,) over
which is a fine view of distant landscape. This spot is the extremity of
the park, and the Clent hills rise in all their wild irregularity,
immediately behind it.
We have not space to describe, or rather to abridge from Whately's
beautiful description, a tithe of the classic embellishments of Hagley.
Shenstone as well as Pope has here his votive urn. Ivied ruin, temple,
grotto, statue, fountain, and bridge; the proud portico and the humble
rustic seat, alternate amidst these ornamental charms, and never were
Nature and art more delightfully blended than in the beauties of Hagley.
Here Pope, Shenstone, and Thomson passed many hours of calm
contemplation and poetic ease, amidst the hospitalities of the noble
owner of Hagley. To think of their kindred spirits haunting its groves,
and their imaginative contrivances of votive temples, urns, and tablets,
and to combine them with these enchanting scenes of Nature, is to
realize all that Poets have sung of Arcadia of old. Happy! happy life
for the man of letters; what a retreat must your bowers have afforded
from the common-place perplexities of every-day life: Alas! the picture
is almost too sunny for sober contemplation.
 Thomson's affectionate letter to his sister, (quoted by
Johnson, who received it from Boswell,) is dated "Hagley, in
Worcestershire, October the 4th, 1747."
* * * * *
_In part of the impression of our last Number, we stated the architect
of the front of_ Apsley House, _to be Sir Jeffrey Wyatville, instead of
Mr. Benjamin Wyatt, by whom the design was furnished, and under whose
superintendence this splendid improvement has been executed. Mr. B.
Wyatt is likewise the architect of the superb mansion built for the late
Duke of York._
* * * * *
A DRAMATIC SKETCH.
(_For the Mirror_.)
Hence, faithless wretch! thou hast forgot the hand
That sav'd thee from oppression--from the grasp
Of want. I fed you once--then you was poor:
Even as I am now. Yet from the store
Of your abundance, you refuse to grant
The veriest trifle. May the bounty
Of that great God who gave you what you have
Ne'er from you flow. You have forgot me, sir,
But I remember ere I left this land,
By way of traffic for the western world,
I had a favourite, faithful dog,
Who for the kindnesses I pour'd upon him
Would fawn upon me: not in flattery,
But in a sort that spoke his generous nature.
Lasting as memory,
Faster than friendship--deeper than the wave
Is the affection of a mindless brute.
In a few hours (for I can almost see
The cot wherein these travell'd bones were cradled,)
I shall have ended an untoward enterprize,
And if that honest creature I have told you of
Still breathes this vital air, and will not know me,
May hospitality keep closed her gates
Against me, till I find a home within
The grave. CYMBELINE.
* * * * *
M. BOILEAU TO HIS GARDENER.
(_For the Mirror_.)
Industrious man, thou art a prize to me,
The best of masters--surely born for thee;
Thou keeper art of this my rural seat,
Kept at my charge to keep my garden neat;
To train the woodbine and to crop the yew--
In th' art of gard'ning equall'd p'rhaps by few.
O! could I cultivate my barren soul,
As thou this garden canst so well control;
Pluck up each brier and thorn, by frequent toil,
And clear the mind as thou canst cleanse the soil
But now, my faithful servant, Anthony,
Just speak, and tell me what you think of me;
When through the day amidst the gard'ning trade
You bear the wat'ring pot, or wield the spade,
And by your labour cause each part to yield,
And make my garden like a fruitful field;
What say you, when you see me musing there
With looks intent as lost in anxious care,
And sending forth my sentiments in words
That oft intimidate the peaceful birds?
Dost thou not then suppose me void of rest,
Or think some demon agitates my breast?
Yon villagers, you know, are wont to say
Thy master's fam'd for writing many a lay,
'Mongst other matters too he's known to sing
The glorious acts of our victorious king;
Whose martial fame resounds thro' every town;
Unparallel'd in wisdom and renown.
You know it well--and by this garden wall
P'rhaps Mons and Namur at this instant fall.
What shouldst thou think if haply some should say
This noted chronicler's employ'd to-day
In writing something new--and thus his time
Devotes to thee--to paint his thoughts in rhyme?
My master, thou wouldst say, can ably teach,
And often tells me more than parsons preach;
But still, methinks, if he was forc'd to toil
Like me each day--to cultivate the soil,
To prune the trees, to keep the fences round;
Reduce the rising to the level ground,
Draw water from the fountains near at hand
To cheer and fertilize the thirsty land,
He would not trade in trifles such as these,
And drive the peaceful linnets from the trees.
Now, Anthony, I plainly see that you
Suppose yourself the busiest of the two;
But ah, methinks you'd tell a diff'rent tale
If two whole days beyond the garden pale
You were to leave the mattock and the spade
And all at once take up the poet's trade:
To give a manuscript a fairer face,
And all the beauty of poetic grace;
Or give the most offensive flower that blows
Carnation's sweets, and colours of the rose;
And change the homely language of the clown
To suit the courtly readers of the town--
Just such a work, in fact, I mean to say,
As well might please the critics of the day!
Soon from this work returning tir'd and lean,
More tann'd than though you'd twenty summers seen,
The wonted gard'ning tools again you'd take
Your long-accustom'd shovel and your rake;
And then exclaiming, you would surely say,
'Twere better far to labour many a day
Than e'er attempt to take such useless flights,
And vainly strive to gain poetic heights,
Impossible to reach--I might as soon
Ascend at once and land upon the moon!
Come, Anthony, attend: let me explain
(Although an idler) weariness and pain.
Man's ever rack'd and restless, here below,
And at his best estate must labour know.
Then comes fatigue. The Sisters nine may please
And promise poets happiness and ease;
But e'en amidst those trees, that cooling shade,
That calm retreat for them expressly made,
No rest they find--there rich effusions flow
In all the measures bardic numbers know:
Thus on their way in endless toil they move,
And spend their strength in labours that they love.
Beneath the trees the bards the muses haunt,
And with incessant toil are seen to pant;
But still amidst their pains, they pleasure find
An ample entertainment for the mind.
But, after all, 'tis plain enough to me,
A man unstudious, must unhappy be;
Who deems a dull, inactive life the best,
A life of laziness, a life of rest;
A willing slave to sloth--and well I know,
He suffers much who nothing has to do.
His mind beclouded, he obscurely sees,
And free from busy life imagines ease.
All sinful pleasures reign without control,
And passions unsubdued pollute the soul;
He thus indulges in impure desires,
Which long have lurk'd within, like latent fires:
At length they kindle--burst into a flame
On him they sport--sad spectacle of shame.
Remorse ensues--with every fierce disease.
The stone and cruel gout upon him seize;
To quell their rage some fam'd physicians come
Who scarce less cruel, crowd the sick man's room;
On him they operate--these learned folk,
Make him saw rocks, and cleave the solid oak;
And gladly would the man his fate resign
For such an humble, happy state as thine.
Be thankful, Anthony, and think with me,
The poor hardworking man may happier be
If blest with strength, activity, and health,
Than those who roll in luxury and wealth.
Two truths important, I proceed to tell,
One is a truth, you surely know full well;
That labour is essential here below
To man--a source of weal instead of woe:
The other truth, few words suffice to prove,
No blame attaches to the life I love.
So still attend--but I must say no more,
I plainly see, you wish my sermon o'er;
You gape, you close your eyes, you drop your chin,
Again methinks I'd better not begin.
Besides, these melons seem to wish to know
The reason why they are neglected so;
And ask if yonder village holds its feast
And thou awhile art there detained a guest,
While all the flowery tribes make sad complaint.
For want of water they are grown quite faint.
 Anteuil, near Paris.
 Horace speaks thus to his steward in the country. Epistle
xiv. book 1.
 Lewis XIV.
 See Ode sur la prise de Namur.
 This metaphor has been considered too bold, and perhaps
justly, but _Despreaux_ did not think it so. He observed to _M.
Dagnesseau_ that if this line were not good, he might burn the
* * * * *
THE SELECTOR, AND LITERARY NOTICES OF _NEW WORKS._
* * * * *
LIVES OF BRITISH PAINTERS, SCULPTORS, AND ARCHITECTS.
_By Allan Cunningham._
This volume is the first of a series of Lives of Artists, and the fourth
number of Murray's _Family Library_. The author is a first-rate poet,
but it appears that he undertook this task with some diffidence. We
have, however, few artists of literary attainments, and they are more
profitably employed than in authorship. Little apology was necessary,
for of all literary men, poets are best calculated to write on the Fine
Arts: and the genius of Poetry, Painting, Sculpture, and Music, is often
associated in one mind, in love of the subjects at least, if not in
Prefixed to the "Lives," is a delightful chapter on British Art before
the birth of Hogarth, from which we quote the following:--
"Poetry, Painting, Sculpture, and Music, are the natural offspring of
the heart of man. They are found among the most barbarous nations; they
flourish among the most civilized; and springing from nature, and not
from necessity or accident, they can never be wholly lost in the most
disastrous changes. In this they differ from mere inventions; and,
compared with mechanical discoveries, are what a living tree is to a log
of wood. It may indeed be said that the tongue of poetry is occasionally
silent, and the hand of painting sometimes stayed; but this seems not to
affect the ever-living principle which I claim as their characteristic.
They are heard and seen again in their season, as the birds and flowers
are at the coming of spring; and assert their title to such immortality
as the things of earth may claim. It is true that the poetry of
barbarous nations is rude, and their attempts at painting uncouth; yet
even in these we may recognise the foreshadowings of future excellence,
and something of the peculiar character which, in happier days, the
genius of the same tribe is to stamp upon worthier productions. The
future Scott, or Lawrence, or Chantrey, may be indicated afar-off in the
barbarous ballads, drawings, or carvings, of an early nation. Coarse
nature and crude simplicity are the commencement, as elevated nature and
elegant simplicity are the consummation of art.
"When the Spaniards invaded the palaces of Chili and Peru, they found
them filled with works of art. Cook found considerable beauty of drawing
and skill of workmanship in the ornamented weapons and war-canoes of the
islanders of the South Sea; and in the interior recesses of India,
sculptures and paintings, of no common merit, are found in every
village. In like manner, when Caesar landed among the barbarians of
Britain, he found them acquainted with arts and arms; and his savage
successors, the Saxons, added to unextinguishable ferocity a love of
splendour and a rude sense of beauty, still visible in the churches
which they built, and the monuments which they erected to their princes
and leaders. All those works are of that kind called ornamental: the
graces of true art, the truth of action and the dignity of sentiment are
wanting; and they seem to have been produced by a sort of mechanical
process, similar to that which creates figures in arras. Art is, indeed,
of slow and gradual growth; like the oak, it is long of growing to
maturity and strength. Much knowledge of colour, much skill of hand,
much experience in human character, and a deep sense of light and shade,
have to be acquired, to enable the pencil to embody the conceptions of
genius. The artist has to seek for all this in the accumulated mass of
professional knowledge: which time has gathered for his instruction, and
with his best wisdom, and his happiest fortune, he can only add a little
more information to the common stock, for the benefit of his successors.
In no country has Painting risen suddenly into eminence. While Poetry
takes wing at once, free and unincumbered, she is retarded in her ascent
by the very mechanism to which she must at last owe at least half her
glory. In Britain, Painting was centuries in throwing off the fetters of
mere mechanical skill, and in rising into the region of genius. The
original spirit of England had appeared in many a noble poem, while the
two sister arts were still servilely employed in preserving incredible
legends, in taking the likeness of the last saint whom credulity had
added to the calendar, and in confounding the acts of the apostles in
the darkness of allegory."
Then follows an outline of early Art in England, in the embellishment of
cathedrals, &c.; among which is the following notice of one of the
earliest of our attempts at historical portraiture which can be
"It is a Painting on Wood; the figures are less than life, and represent
Henry the Fifth and his relations. It measures four feet six inches
long, by four feet four inches high, and was in the days of Catholic
power the altarpiece of the church of Shene. An angel stands in the
centre, holding in his hands the expanding coverings of two tents, out
of which the king, with three princes, and the queen, with four
princesses, are proceeding to kneel at two altars, where crosses, and
sceptres, and books are lying. They wear long and flowing robes, with
loose hair, and have crowns on their heads. In the background, St.
George appears in the air, combating with the dragon, while Cleodelinda
kneels in prayer beside a lamb. It is not, indeed, quite certain that
this curious work was made during the reign of Henry the Fifth, but
there can be little doubt of its being painted as early as that of his
In the next page we have the following character of an English artist of
about the same period:--
"He was at once architect, sculptor, carpenter, goldsmith, armourer,
jeweller, saddler, tailor, and painter. There is extant, in Dugdale, a
curious example of the character of the times, and a scale by which we
can measure the public admiration of art. It is a contract between the
Earl of Warwick and John Rag, citizen and tailor, London, in which the
latter undertakes to execute the emblazonry of the earl's pageant in his
situation of ambassador to France. In the tailor's bill, gilded griffins
mingle with Virgin Marys; painted streamers for battle or procession,
with the twelve apostles; and 'one coat for his grace's body, lute with
fine gold,' takes precedence of St. George and the Dragon."
We wish some of the criticism in this chapter had been milder, and a few
of the invectives not so highly charged; some of them even out-Herod the
fury of an article on Painting, in a recent number of the _Edinburgh
Review_. But we must pass on to pleasanter matters--as the following
"The art of tapestry as well as the art of illuminating books, aided in
diffusing a love of painting over the island. It was carried to a high
degree of excellence. The earliest account of its appearance in England
is during the reign of Henry the Eighth, but there is no reason to doubt
that it was well known and in general esteem much earlier. The
traditional account, that we were instructed in it by the Saracens, has
probably some foundation. The ladies encouraged this manufacture by
working at it with their own hands; and the rich aided by purchasing it
in vast quantities whenever regular practitioners appeared in the
market. It found its way into church and palace--chamber and hall. It
served at once to cover and adorn cold and comfortless walls. It added
warmth, and, when snow was on the hill and ice in the stream, gave an
air of social snugness which has deserted some of our modern mansions.
"At first the figures and groups, which rendered this manufacture
popular, were copies of favourite paintings; but, as taste improved and
skill increased, they showed more of originality in their conceptions,
if not more of nature in their forms. They exhibited, in common with all
other works of art, the mixed taste of the times--a grotesque union of
classical and Hebrew history--of martial life and pastoral repose--of
Greek gods and Romish saints. Absurd as such combinations certainly
were, and destitute of those beauties of form and delicate gradations
and harmony of colour which distinguish paintings worthily so
called--still when the hall was lighted up, and living faces thronged
the floor, the silent inhabitants of the walls would seem, in the eyes
of our ancestors, something very splendid. As painting rose in fame,
tapestry sunk in estimation. The introduction of a lighter and less
massive mode of architecture abridged the space for its accommodation,
and by degrees the stiff and fanciful creations of the loom vanished
from our walls. The art is now neglected. I am sorry for this, because I
cannot think meanly of an art which engaged the heads and hands of the
ladies of England, and gave to the tapestried hall of elder days fame
little inferior to what now waits on a gallery of paintings."
Passing over Holbein, Sir Antonio Moore, Vandyke, Lely, Kneller, and
Thornhill, we come to the lives of Hogarth--Wilson--Reynolds and
Gainsborough--from which we select a few characteristic anecdotes and
sketches. In noticing Hogarth's early life, Mr. Cunningham has thrown
some discredit on a book, which on its publication, made not a little
chat among artists:--
"Of those early days I find this brief notice in Smith's Life of
Nollekens the sculptor. 'I have several times heard Mr. Nollekens
observe, that he had frequently seen Hogarth, when a young man, saunter
round Leicester Fields with his master's sickly child hanging its head
over his shoulder.' It is more amusing to read such a book than safe to
quote it. Hogarth had ceased to have a master for seventeen years, was
married to Jane Thornhill, kept his carriage, and was in the full blaze
of his reputation, when Nollekens was born."
Among Hogarth's early labours are his Illustrations of Hudibras,
published in 1726. These were seventeen plates; and we have lately seen
in the possession of Mr. Britton, the architect, eleven original
paintings illustrative of Butler's witty poem, and attributed to
From the notices of Hogarth's portraits we select the following:--
"Hogarth's Portrait of Henry Fielding, executed after death from
recollection, is remarkable as being the only likeness extant of the
prince of English novelists. It has various histories. According to
Murphy, Fielding had made many promises to sit to Hogarth, for whose
genius he had a high esteem, but died without fulfilling them; a lady
accidentally cut a profile with her scissars, which recalled Fielding's
face so completely to Hogarth's memory, that he took up the outline,
corrected and finished it and made a capital likeness. The world is
seldom satisfied with a common account of any thing that interests
it--more especially as a marvellous one is easily manufactured. The
following, then, is the second history. Garrick, having dressed himself
in a suit of Fielding's clothes, presented himself unexpectedly before
the artist, mimicking the step, and assuming the look of their deceased
friend. Hogarth was much affected at first, but, on recovering, took his
pencil, and drew the portrait. For those who love a soberer history, the
third edition is ready. Mrs. Hogarth, when questioned concerning it,
said, that she remembered the affair well; her husband began the
picture--and finished it--one evening in his own house, and sitting by
"Captain Coram, the projector of the Foundling Hospital, sat for his
portrait to Hogarth, and it is one of the best he ever painted. There is
a natural dignity and great benevolence expressed in a face which, in
the original, was rough and forbidding. This worthy man, having laid out
his fortune and impaired his health in acts of charity and mercy, was
reduced to poverty in his old age. An annuity of a hundred pounds was
privately purchased, and when it was presented to him, he said, 'I did
not waste the wealth which I possessed in self-indulgence or vain
expense, and am not ashamed to own that in my old age I am poor.'
"The last which I shall notice of this class of productions, is the
portrait of the celebrated demagogue John Wilkes. This singular
performance originated in a quarrel with that witty libertine, and his
associate Churchill the poet: it immediately followed an article, from
the pen of Wilkes, in the North Briton, which insulted Hogarth as a man,
and traduced him as an artist. It is so little of a caricature, that
Wilkes good humouredly observes somewhere in his correspondence, 'I am
growing every day more and more like my portrait by Hogarth.' The
terrible scourge of the satirist fell bitterly upon the personal and
moral deformities of the man. Compared with his chastisement the
hangman's whip is but a proverb, and the pillory a post of honour. He
might hope oblivion from the infamy of both; but from Hogarth there was
no escape. It was little indeed that the artist had to do, to brand and
emblazon him with the vices of his nature--but with how much
discrimination that little is done! He took up the correct portrait,
which Walpole upbraids him with skulking into a court of law to obtain,
and in a few touches the man sank, and the demon of hypocrisy and
sensuality sat in his stead. It is a fiend, and yet it is Wilkes still.
It is said that when he had finished this remarkable portrait, the
former friendship of Wilkes overcame him, and he threw it into the fire,
from which it was saved by the interposition of his wife."
All the criticisms on Hogarth's _moral_ pictures have an air of
originality and freshness of mind, which is so attractive, as to make us
regret that we have not room for them. In proof of this, only let the
reader turn to Mr. Cunningham's remarks on the Harlot and Rake's
Progress, at pages 98 and 99. His descriptions too of the satirical
pictures are extremely ludicrous, and in effect second only to painting
itself. The following anecdote of the celebrated _March to Finchley_ is
curious, though well known:--
"The original painting was, on the publication of the print, disposed of
by a kind of lottery. Seven shillings and sixpence were fixed as the
price of a print; and every purchaser of a print was entitled to a
chance in the lottery for the picture. Eighteen hundred and forty-three
chances were subscribed for; a hundred and sixty-seven tickets, which
remained, were presented to the Foundling Hospital. One of the
Hospital's tickets drew the desired prize; and on the same night Hogarth
delivered the painting to the governors, not a little pleased that it
was to adorn a public place."
After quoting Walpole's description of Hogarth's _Sigismunda_, in which
"To add to the disgust raised by such vulgar expression, her fingers
were blooded by her lover's heart, that lay before her like that of a
sheep for her dinner;--"
Mr. C. observes, "this is very severe, very pointed, and very untrue.
The Sigismunda of Hogarth is not tearing off her ornaments, nor are her
fingers bloodied by her lover's heart. It is said that the picture
resembled Mrs. Hogarth, who was a very handsome woman; and to this
circumstance Wilkes maliciously alludes in his unprincipled attack on
her husband. 'If the Sigismunda,' says this polite patriot, 'had a
resemblance of any thing ever seen on earth, or had the least pretence
to either meaning or expression, it was what he had seen, or perhaps
made--in real life--his own wife in an agony of passion; but of what
passion no connoisseur could guess.' That Mrs. Hogarth sat for the
picture of Sigismunda seems to have been known to conscientious John,
and this is supported by that lady's conduct to Walpole. This noble
biographer sent her a copy of his Anecdotes, accompanied by a courtly
and soothing note; but she was so much offended by his description of
the Sigismunda, that she took no notice of his present. The widow of the
artist was poor--and an opinion so ill-natured--so depreciating--and so
untrue, injured the property which she wished to sell: she loved too the
memory of her husband, and resented in the dignity of silence the
malicious and injurious attack. She considered the present as an insult
offered when she had no one to protect her. I love her pride and
reverence her affection."
Of Hogarth's house at Chiswick, we have the following slight notice:--
"The time was now approaching when superstition, and folly, and vice,
were to be relieved from the satiric pencil which had awed them so
long--the health of Hogarth began to decline. He was aware of this, and
purchased a small house at Chiswick, to which he retired during the
summer, amusing himself with making slight sketches and retouching his
plates. This house stood till lately on a very pretty spot; but the
demon of building came into the neighbourhood, choked up the garden, and
destroyed the secluded beauty of Hogarth's cottage. The garden, well
stored with walnut, mulberry, and apple trees, contained a small study,
with a head-stone, placed over a favourite bullfinch, on which the
artist had etched the bird's head and written an epitaph. The cottage
contained many snug rooms, and was but yesterday the residence of a man
of learning and genius, Mr. Cary, the translator of Dante. The change of
scene, the free fresh air, and exercise on horseback, had for awhile a
favourable influence on Hogarth's health; but he complained that he was
no longer able to think with the readiness, and work with the elasticity
of spirit, of his earlier years. The friends of this artist observed,
and lamented, this falling away; his enemies hastened to congratulate
Churchill and Wilkes on the success of their malevolence; and these men
were capable of rejoicing in the belief that the work of nature was
We are glad to see Mr. Cunningham throwing light on false conclusions
drawn from the eccentricities of genius, as in this little anecdote:--
"With Dr. Hoadley, who corrected the manuscript of the Analysis of
Beauty for the press, Hogarth was on such friendly terms that he was
admitted into one of the private theatrical exhibitions which the doctor
loved, and was appointed to perform along with Garrick and his
entertainer, a parody on that scene in Julius Caesar where the ghost
appears to Brutus. Hogarth personated the spectre, but so
unretentive--(we are told)--was his memory that though the speech
consisted only of two lines he was unable to get them by heart, and his
facetious associates wrote them on an illuminated lantern that he might
read them when he came upon the stage. Such is the way in which
anecdotes are manufactured, and conclusions of absence or imbecility
drawn. The speech of the ghost written on the paper lantern formed part
of the humour of the burlesque. Men, dull in comprehending the
eccentricities of genius, set down what passes their own understanding
to the account of the other's stupidity."
Here our notice of the Life of Hogarth would end, did we not feel
inclined to venture a word or two respecting the omission of Hogarth's
_Tailpiece_, engraved in Ireland's "Life," and there described as his
last work. With the superstitious tale attached to it almost every one
is familiar; yet some notice ought surely to have been taken of the
story, even had it only been to expose its falsehood and absurdity.
We find that we have proceeded but half through the volume, so that
Wilson, Reynolds, and Gainsborough must remain for another number.
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF DISCOVERY.
* * * * *
The most delicate test objects for microscopes are the lines on the
feathers of butterflies or moths' wings, of which there are many
gradations; some easily demonstrated, and others only to be seen with
the most powerful reflectors, and to the best advantage by the simple
and uncondensed light of the lamp. The hair of a mouse is a very good
test object: it is best seen by daylight; the most difficult parts of
which are longitudinal lines in the transparent part of the hair, which
require high powers. The hair of the bat and seal are also fine tests.
The lines on the scales of the diamond beetle, &c. are excellent opaque
proof objects. The feet of flies are likewise very interesting.
* * * * *
_New Lilac Dyes._
Dr. Macculloch has lately produced two fine lilac dyes from plants of
domestic growth, not hitherto applied to this purpose. One is from the
berry of the Portugal laurel, and the other the black currant. The
simplest process with alum is all that is required for either; and as
far as his trials go, the best tint is produced by the former fruit.
* * * * *
We have frequently remarked small radiant and arborescent
crystallizations on dirty windows in London, and have found them to
consist of _sulphate of ammonia_. This salt, or at least, sulphite of
ammonia (which becomes sulphate by exposure to air), is an abundant
product of the combustion of coal.
* * * * *
This valuable plant, which gives rise to as great speculation in India,
as hops in England, is much injured by wet weather; although the
rapidity of the growth of plants during much rain, in the temperature of
the tropics, is extraordinary, yet a proportional deficiency in all that
characterizes the vegetable world necessarily follows. This we find to
be the case with all forced vegetables; and the mildness of the radish
of hastened growth, when contrasted with the highly pungent and almost
acrid flavour of the slowly and gradually advanced one, may be adduced
as explanatory of this observation. Hence, it is practically well known
to manufacturers, that the indigo plant, however fine and luxuriant, as
is the natural result of much rain, is very deficient _in produce_, and
a similar loss is experienced even if the plant, without the fall of too
much rain, has grown up under cloudy weather. Sunshine, much and
continued sunshine, is essentially necessary for the proper exercise of
those secretory organs by which this peculiar drug is formed and
Indigo leaves produce two dyes--blue and yellow; but the refuse leaves,
when boiled for an hour and a half, will render the water yellow, tinged
with green. This water, kept boiling for two hours, (supplying the loss
by evaporation), will, when filtered, afford a precipitate, which, when
dried, will in colour be a dun-slate, and in quantity perhaps about
equal to the blue extract such leaves have produced. This observation,
as it can lead to no practical advantage, is made for the man of
science, rather than the man of business.--_Mr. C. Weston_--_in Brande's
* * * * *
Mr. Disney has lately erected at his seat the Hyde, Ingatestone, Essex,
a suspension bridge of common chain, which is much cheaper than either
wood or brick. It is fifty feet long, and four feet wide. The whole cost
of material, and workmanship scarcely exceeded 30_l_. Upon a rough
estimate, a wooden bridge of the same span would have cost from 80_l_.
to 100_l_., and a high arch probably from 150_l_. to 200_l_. The piers
or posts supporting the chains are of oak, but should they in ten or
fifteen years decay, 10_l_. in money, and three days in time would set
it up again.--_Brande's Jour._
* * * * *
The Romans employed _pumice_ in building their arched incombustible
roofs. This porous material possessed the additional advantage, when
combined with good cement, of rendering the arched surface one united
petrifaction, opposing (in consequence of its firm union) little lateral
pressure, comparatively, against the sustaining walls.
Bonomi, the architect, suggests that the principal cause of the
destructiveness of fires in large buildings, is the want of arched
surfaces of incombustible materials. This has been disastrously
exemplified in the destruction of the choir of York Minster, where the
roof of the aisles, which are solidly arched with stone, suffered no
injury; while the choir-roof, although much more raised above the action
of the fire, has been entirely destroyed by it.
* * * * *
Several beautiful specimens of fossil saurians, or animals of the lizard
tribe, have, as our scientific readers are aware, been found at Lyme, in
Dorsetshire; but the world would to this day have remained ignorant of
the treasures England possessed, but for the patient labours of three
female pioneers in this service, viz. _Mary Anning_, a dealer; _Miss
Congrieve_, and _Miss Philpots_, residents, who for years had been
collecting and preserving these bodies from the wreck of the coast; the
two last without any other view than the gratification of a laudable
curiosity, and who, with unequalled liberality, communicated their
collections to every man of science that visited the place; and it is to
liberal minds like theirs, and Miss Bennet's, of Wiltshire that we owe
the first rescuing of these natural gems from the spoilers. We copy this
from a communication of Mr. Cumberland to Brande's Journal, and are
truly pleased to record such amiable examples of female excellence in
scientific pursuits. At Dover, Portsmouth, and other places we could
name, we obtained the best information respecting the fossils of the
coast, from females resident there, and we need not add that this
circumstance imparted additional interest to our inquiries.
* * * * *
_The Zoological Society._
We copy the following from the Report to the Zoological Society, just
"In the Museum in Bruton-street various improvements have taken place.
Additional cases have been erected, wherever space could be obtained,
for the exhibition of the different collections; and two persons have
been in constant employment in preparing and setting up the more
interesting specimens. An assistant has also been lately added, for the
arrangement of the shells, insects, and the other smaller subjects of
the collection; and much care has been bestowed upon the various
departments of comparative anatomy. An instructive as well as an
attractive series in every branch of zoology, but more particularly in
the groups of mammalia, birds, and insects, has thus been arranged for
inspection. A catalogue of the more important objects in the Museum has
been published; and a more detailed list, accompanied with scientific
notices of all the species, is in preparation.
"The increase in the number of subjects in the collection during the
last year has been considerable, and many of the additions have been of
the utmost importance to science. The whole of these, with a few
exceptions, have been presented by the friends of the society. A
detailed list of these donations which are too numerous for insertion in
this report, is laid upon the table; a reference to the contents of
which will evince that the spirit of liberality, which laid the
foundations of this already valuable collection, has not decreased.
"A very extensive correspondence has been established with naturalists
of foreign countries, and persons resident in distant parts, who are
anxious to promote the objects of the Society. Through these channels
many valuable acquisitions have been already received; and it is
expected that much of novelty and interest will continually pour in to
increase the attractions of the Museum and Menagerie.
"The Garden in the Regent's Park is the principal source of attraction
and of expense. The nature of the soil, which consists of a thick
ungrateful clay, increases the cost of every work. The health of the
animals requires that oak floors be raised above the surface of the
ground; and it is necessary to lay a thick substratum of dry material
under every inclosure and every walk. These disadvantages are however
amply counterbalanced by its immediate vicinity to the town. The Council
have, notwithstanding the nature of the soil, endeavoured to give to the
garden all the attractions which good cultivation and an abundance of
flowers can afford: and they have to return their thanks for the very
liberal supplies for this purpose which they have occasionally received
from the Horticultural Society. The resort to the garden has far
surpassed the most sanguine expectations of the Council; 112,226 persons
have visited it during the last year."
* * * * *
* * * * *
THE SIEGE OF ABYDOS.
_A Romantic Tale._
(_For the Mirror._)
The infidel Turks, ever at variance with the Christians, were, in the
reign of king Orchanes, extremely ambitious to possess the famous Castle
of Abydos; and accordingly vast preparations were made for a close
siege. Previous to the arrival of the Turkish army before the castle,
the angelic Sophronia, daughter of the governor of Abydos, was visited
by a dream. She thought, that while walking out on a beautiful evening,
breathing the fragrant air, and gazing on the brilliant stars, she fell
into a loathsome ditch, in which she remained an hour, terrified, and
unable to move. At length, a handsome youth passed, and she implored him
to rescue her. She did not implore in vain; the young man assisted her
out, cleaned her clothes, and comforted her with pleasant words. They
then proceeded to a delightful bower, put on costly attire, and the
youth regaled the rescued lady with delicious fruits, and sang sonnets
on her personal beauty. Sophronia awoke, sad and disappointed, to find
that her late bliss was only a dream. In a day or two afterwards, the
Turkish army appeared, and a vigorous siege commenced; nevertheless, the
Christians stoutly defended the place, and would, ultimately, have
obliged the enemy to retire, had no intervention taken place. It
happened, unfortunately for the garrison, that a gallant Turkish
captain, in the prime of youth, called Abdurachman approached so near to
the castle gates, as to be plainly observed by the fair Sophronia, from
a small turret window, out of which she had viewed the besiegers. The
lady imagined this captain to be the person to whom she was so much
obliged in her dream, and rejoiced at the supposed discovery; she hoped
that the assailants would be successful in taking her father's castle
that she might have an opportunity of falling into the hands of the
gallant captain she so greatly admired. The siege still raged with much
fury, but was continually repulsed by the brave Christians, insomuch
that the Turkish general became disconcerted, and in the evening of the
third day after the commencement of the siege, retired to his camp,
about a league distant from the scene of action. Sophronia, meanwhile,
was agitated at the ill success of the Turks, though she did not despair
of seeing the captain again.
She made a confidante of her maid Annis, who undertook, daring as the
attempt was, to steal from the castle to the enemy's camp, in order to
convey a letter from her mistress to Abdurachman. The intrepid Annis
commenced her task in the night: she avoided passing the sentinels and
wardens of the castle, but found her way to a postern gate, scarcely
known to any but herself. She arrived at Abdurachman's tent; the captain
was conversing with his friends about what the general intended to do on
the morrow. Annis desired to speak with him in private, to which he
consented. She then delivered the letter, which was bound with a lock of
the fair writer's hair, and the astonished Abdurachman perused the
"I am passionately in love with you, and am sorry that you have been
frustrated in your endeavours to take the castle. As I adore you beyond
measure, and shall certainly take poison if you do not succeed; I engage
to deliver Abydos with all its riches into your hands, provided you
follow my instructions. I advise, that in the morning by sunrise, you
raise the siege and withdraw your whole army from the castle, and return
not again till you hear from _me_. My father will be so rejoiced at your
departure, that he will be off his guard, and then I can easily conduct
you with secrecy into the castle."
The delighted Turk very politely answered this remarkable _billet doux_,
assuring the fair writer that he was at her service, and that he would
implicitly follow her directions as to the taking of Abydos. As soon as
he had dismissed Annis, he flew with Sophronia's letter to the general,
who, upon reading it, expressed great astonishment; he determined to
raise the siege the next morning, and resolved to rely fully on the
beautiful traitress for the future success of his enterprise. The next
day came, and the general raised the siege and departed. The Christians
were rejoiced to see it, and in the evening made merry and drunk wine.
The governor's daughter took advantage of the garrison at this unguarded
moment; and fearing to trust again to the sincerity of her maid,
resolved to proceed herself to Abdurachman's tent. Annis led the way.
The night was serene, and the light of the moon showed the stately
castle of Abydos, dark and majestic. No noise was heard, save the heavy
and uniform step of the sentinels, whose bright arms, as they caught the
moon's rays, sparkled against the gloomy looking building. Little did
the inmates, now as tranquil as the night, dream of being surprised by
an enemy; and little did the brave governor imagine that his own beloved
daughter, at this moment, was treacherously hastening to a merciless
foe, with the intent to conduct him to Abydos! Sophronia reached her
lover's tent weary and faint, for she had walked with great haste. She
sank into the captain's arms, and then, almost inaudibly, informed him
that not a moment was to be lost, and that he must follow her
immediately to the castle.
He obeyed, and having formed a litter for the lady, she was borne on the
shoulders of four stout Turks. When they arrived at the postern gate,
Sophronia told the captain that he, with his men, must first enter the
castle, and then kill the sentinels and wardens, after which he would be
enabled to give admittance to all his friends. The Turks strictly obeyed
the lady, who before the affair began hastened with Annis to her
apartment in order to await the issue of her plot. The Turks entered the
castle by hundreds, killing all they met, and were soon masters of the
place. Meanwhile, Sophronia and Annis, both dreadfully agitated, heard
from their chamber the dying groans of the poor Christians. Sometimes
the clashing of swords was distinguished, as if a number of persons were
engaged in combat; sometimes the loud lamentations of women intervened;
and sometimes the voices of the conquerors were alone heard in
exultation. At length the door of Sophronia's room burst open, and
Abdurachman rushed in to seize her, while Annis, nearly dead with
terror, calmly submitted to the grasp of a common soldier who
accompanied the captain.
The dreadful scene was acted and over; the Turks were possessors of the
famed castle of Abydos, and Sophronia's father, the governor, was
hanged. Alas! deluded Sophronia! The faithless Abdurachman, whom she
supposed to have seen in a dream, regarded her not; even lots were cast
for her, and she fell to the share of one whom she did not know. The
beautiful Sophronia took poison and expired.
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF THE PUBLIC JOURNALS.
* * * * *
THE LIBERTINE'S CONFESSION.
_In Imitation of the Writers of the Sixteenth Century._
I'm sad and sore afraid,
That fickle, and forsworn,
I've sported life away,
And now am left forlorn.
Poor fool! I dreamt the years
Of youth would never fly,
And pleasure's brimming bowl
Methought could ne'er run dry.
That woman's bounteous love
Should e'er wax cold for me!
It seem'd that she must first
A woman cease to be.
Her fondest smiles I thought
My rights by charter were;
Her sighs, her tears, forsooth,--
Whilst I--was free as air.
I've knelt at many a shrine,
Of wit and beauty too;
I've lisp'd light vows to all,
And sworn that all were true.
My pastime was to gain
Their young and grateful love,
Then break the heart I won,
And straight to others rove.
Ah! wild wit, now at last
Thy vagrancies are o'er;
The ear and gazing eye
That you enthrall'd before.
No longer hear or see;
Whilst those you now would woo,
The time-worn truant slight,
Nor dream of love with you.
_New Monthly Magazine._
* * * * *
Dublin is a great city. Dublin, as the late Lord L----th used to say, is
"one of the tay-drinkenest, say-bathinest, car-drivinest places in the
world; it flogs for _divarsion._"
* * * * *
THE TOYMAN IS ABROAD.
(_Concluded from page 46._)
There is a point at which the inconvenience of superfluities so far
exceeds their utility, that luxury becomes converted into a perfect
bore. What, for instance, but an annoyance, would be the most splendid
feast, to a man whose stomach is already overladen with food? Human
ingenuity may effect much; and the Romans, by means of emetics, met this
emergency with considerable skill; but on a more enlarged experience of
general history, it must be conceded, that it is quite impossible to add
one more superfluous meal to those already established by general usage.
So also in matters of dress, ladies' hats must not be larger than the
actual doorways of the country will admit--not at least until time is
allowed for a corresponding increase in our architectural proportions.
With respect to personal ornaments also, ear-rings must not be so
weighty as to tear the lobes of the ears; nor should a bracelet prevent,
by its size, the motions of the arm. "Barbaric pomp and gold" is a fine
thing; but a medallion, as heavy and as cumbrous as a shield, appended
to a lady's bosom, would be any thing but a luxury. So, in the other
extreme, a watch should not be so small as to render the dial-plate
illegible; nor should a shoe be so tight as to lame its wearer for life.
Beauty, it has been said, should learn to suffer; and there are, I am
aware, resources in vanity, that will reconcile man, and woman too, to
martyrdom; but these resources should not be exhausted wantonly; and in
pleasure, as in economy, there is no benefit in lighting the candle at
both ends. The true philosopher extracts the greatest good out of every
thing; and fools only, as Horace has it, run into one vice in trying to
avoid another. Let not the reader, from these remarks, suppose that
their author is a morose censurer of the times; or that the least sneer
is intended against that idol of all orthodoxy "things as they are." As
a general proposition, nothing can be more true, than that whatever is
established, even in the world of fashion, is, for the time being,
wisest, discreetest, best; and, woe betide the man that flies too
directly in its face.
There is, however, one point upon which I own myself a little sore; and
in which, I do think, superfluities are carried to a somewhat vicious
excess. The point to which I allude, and I beg the patience of the
reader, is the vast increase of superfluities, which of late years have
become primary necessaries in the appointment of a well-furnished house.
Here, indeed, is a revolution; a revolution more formidable than the
French and the American emancipation put together. We all remember the
time when one tea-table, two or three card-tables, a pier glass, a small
detachment of chairs, with two armed corporals to command them, on
either side the fire-place, with a square piece of carpet in the centre
of the floor, made a very decent display in the drawing, or (as it was
then preposterously called) the dining-room. As yet, rugs for the hearth
were not; and twice a day did Betty go upon her knees to scour the
marble and uncovered slab. In the bedrooms of those days, a narrow slip
of carpet round the bed was the maximum of woollen integument allowed
for protecting the feet of the midnight wanderer from his couch; and, in
the staircases of the fairest mansions, a like slip meandered down the
centre of the flight of steps. At that time, curtains rose and fell in a
line parallel to the horizon, after the simple plan of the green
siparium of our theatres; and, being strictly confined to the windows,
they never dreamed of displaying themselves in front of a door. No
golden serpents then twisted their voluminous folds across the entire
breadth of the room; nor did richly-carved cods' heads and shoulders,
under the denomination of dolphins, or glittering spread eagles, with a
brass ring in their mouths, support fenestral draperies, which rival the
display of a Waterloo-house calico-vender. Thus far, I admit, the change
is an improvement. Nay, I could away with ladders to go to bed withal,
though many a time and oft they have broken my shins. I would not either
object to sofas and ottomans, in any reasonable proportion; but protest
I must, and in the strongest terms too, against such a multiplication
and variety of easy chairs, as effectually exclude the possibility of
easy sitting; and against the overweening increase of spider-tables,
that interferes with rectilinear progression. An harp mounted on a
sounding-board, which is a stumbling-block to the feet of the
short-sighted, is, I concede, an absolute necessity; and a piano-forte,
like a coffin, should occupy the centre even of the smallest given
drawing-room--"the court awards it, and the law doth give it,"--but why
multiply footstools, till there is no taking a single step in safety? An
Indian cabinet also, or a buhl armoire, are, either, or both of them,
very fit and becoming; but it cannot be right to make a broker's shop of
your best apartment. An ink-stand, as large as a show twelfth-cake, is
just and lawful; ditto, an ornamental escrutoire; and a _necessaire_ for
the work-table is, if there be meaning in language, perfectly necessary.
These, with an adequate contingent of musical snuff-boxes, _or molu_
clocks, China figures, alabaster vases and flower-pots, together with a
discreet superfluity of cut-paper nondescripts, albums, screens, toys,
prints, caricatures, duodecimo classics, new novels and souvenirs, to
cut a dash, and litter the tables, must be allowed to the taste and
refinement of the times. But surely some space should be left for
depositing a coffee-cup, or laying down a useful volume, when the hand
may require to be relieved from its weight, or when it is proper to take
a pinch of snuff, or agreeable to wipe one's forehead. Josses, beakers,
and Sevres' vases have unquestionably the _entree_ into a genteel
apartment; but they are not entitled to a monopoly of the _locale_; nor
are Roman antiquities, or statues even by Canova, justifiable in
usurping the elbow-room of living men and women. Most unfortunately for
myself, I have a very small house, and a wife of the most enlarged
taste; and the disproportion between these blessings is so great, that I
cannot move without the risk of a heavy pecuniary loss by breakage, and
a heavier personal affliction in perpetual imputations of awkwardness.
Then, again, it is no easy matter to put on a smiling and indifferent
countenance, whenever a friend, accustomed to some latitude of motion,
runs, as is often the case, his devastating chair against a high-priced
work of art, or overturns a table laden with an "infinite thing" in
costly _bijouterie_. I have long made it a rule to exclude from my
visiting-list, or at least not to let up stairs, ladies who pay their
morning calls with a retinue of children: but the thing is not always
possible; and one urchin with his whip will destroy more in half an
hour, than the worth of a month's average domestic expenditure. Oh! how
I hate the little fidgeting, fingering, dislocating imps! A bull in a
china-shop is innocuous to the most orderly and amenable of them. Why
did Providence make children? and why does not some wise Draconic law
banish them for ever to the nursery?
The general merit of nick-nacks is unquestioned. Ornaments, I admit, are
ornamental; and works of art afford intellectual amusement of the
highest order. But then perfection is their only merit; and a crack or a
flaw destroys all the pleasure of a sensible beholder. Yet I have not a
statue that is not a torso, nor a Chelsea china shepherdess with her
full complement of fingers. I have not a vase with both its handles, a
snuff-box that performs its waltz correctly, nor a volume of prints that
is not dogs-eared, stained, and ink-spotted. These are serious evils;
but they are the least that flow from a neglect of the maxim which
stands at the head of my paper. Perpend it well, reader; and bear ever
in mind that, in our desires, as in our corporeal structure, it is not
given to man to add a cubit to his stature. I am very tired; so "dismiss
me--enough." _New Monthly Magazine._
* * * * *
NOTES OF A READER.
* * * * *
THE QUARTERLY REVIEW.
No. 81, of this truly excellent work had not reached us in time for the
close reading which it demands, and our "Notes" from it at present are
consequently few. The first in the number is a powerful paper on Dr.
Southey's _Colloquies on the Progress and Prospects of Society_--"a
beautiful book," says the reviewer, "full of wisdom and devotion--of
poetry and feeling; conceived altogether in the spirit of other times,
such as the wise men of our own day may scoff at, but such as Evelyn, or
Isaak Walton, or Herbert would have delighted to honour." The work is in
general too polemical and political for our pages; but we may hereafter
be tempted to carve out a few pastoral pictures of the delightful
country round Keswick, where Dr. Southey resides. The present Review
contains but few extracts to our purpose, and is rather a paper on the
spirit of the _Colloquies_, than analytical of their merits. We take,
for example, the following admirable passage on the progress of
religious indifference; in which we break off somewhat hastily,
premising that the reader will be induced to turn to the Review itself
for the remainder of the article:--
There was a time, since the worship of images, (and happy would it have
been if the religious habits of the country had thenceforth stood
fixed,) when appropriate texts adorned the walls of the dwelling-rooms,
and children received at night a father's blessing;--and "let us worship
God" was said with solemn air, by the head of the household; and
churches were resorted to daily; and "the parson in journey" gave notice
for prayers in the hall of the inn--"for prayers and provender," quoth
he, "hinder no man;" and the cheerful angler, as he sat under the
willow-tree, watching his quill, trolled out a Christian catch. "Here we
may sit and pray, before death stops our breath;" and the merchant (like
the excellent Sutton, of the Charter House) thought how he could make
his merchandize subservient to the good of his fellow-citizens and the
glory of his God, and accordingly endowed some charitable, and learned,
and religious foundation, worthy of the munificence of a crowned head;
and the grave historian (Lord Clarendon himself does so) chose a text in
his Bible as a motto for his chapter on politics; and religion, in
short, reached unto every place, and, like Elisha stretched on the dead
child, (to use one of Jeremy Taylor's characteristic illustrations),
gave life and animation to every part of the body politic. But years
rolled on; and the original impulse given at the Reformation, and
augmented at the Rebellion, to undervalue all outward forms, has
silently continued to prevail, till, with the form of godliness, (much
of it, up doubt, objectionable, but much of it wholesome), the power in
a considerable degree expired too.
Accordingly, our churches are now closed in the week-days, for we are
too busy to repair to them; our politicians crying out, with Pharaoh,
"Ye are idle, ye are idle; therefore would ye go and do sacrifice to the
Lord." Our cathedrals, it is true, are still open; but where are the
worshippers? Instead of entering in, the citizen avails himself of the
excellent clock which is usually attached to them, sets his watch, and
hastens upon 'Change, where the congregation is numerous and punctual,
and where the theological speculations are apt to run in Shylock's vein
pretty exclusively. If a church will answer, then, indeed, a joint-stock
company springs up; and a church is raised with as much alacrity, and
upon the same principles, as a play-house. The day when the people
brought their gifts is gone by. The "_solid temples_," that heretofore
were built as if not to be dissolved till doomsday, have been succeeded
by thin emaciated structures, bloated out by coats of flatulent plaster,
and supported upon cast-metal pegs, which the courtesy of the times
calls pillars of the church. The painted windows, that admitted a dim
religious light, have given place to the cheap house-pane and dapper
green curtain. The front, with its florid reliefs and capacious crater,
has dwindled into a miserable basin.
* * * * *
AN ARTIST'S FAME.
_Painter._ Let none call happy one whose art's deep source
They know not--or what thorny paths he trode
To reach its dazzling goal!
_Marquis._ What dost thou mean?
_Painter._ I'll seek a simile--Some gorgeous cloud
Oft towers in wondrous majesty before ye--
It bathes its bosom in pure ether's flood,
Evening twines crowns of roses for its head,
And for its mantle weaves a fringe of gold;
Ye gaze on it admiring and enchanted--
Yet know not whence its airy structure rose!
If it breathe incense from some holy altar,
Or earth-born vapours from the teeming soil,
When rain from Heav'n descends--if fiery breath
Of battle, or the darkly rolling smoke
Of conflagration, thus its giant towers
Pile on the sky--ye care not, but enjoy
Its form and glory,--Thus it is with art!
Whether 'twere born amid the sunny depths
Of a glad heart entranced in mutual love--
Or, likelier far, alas! the sorrowing child
Of restless anguish, and baptized in tears--
Or wrung from Genius even amid the throes
Of worse than death--Ye gaze and ye admire,
Nor pause to ask what it hath cost the heart
That gave it being!
* * * * *
Romance is ever readier
To make unbidden sacrifice, than rear
The sober edifice of mutual bliss! Ibid.
* * * * *
Promote religion--protect public morals--repress vice and
infidelity--keep the different classes of the community in strict
subordination to each other--and cherish the principles, feelings, and
habits, which give stability, beauty, and happiness to society.
Descend from the clouds of political economy, and travel in safety on
your mother earth; cast away the blinding spectacles of the
philosophers, and use the eyes you have received from nature. Practise
the vulgar principles, that it is erroneous to ruin immense good
markets, to gain petty bad ones--that you cannot carry on losing
trade--that you cannot live without profit--and that you cannot eat
without income. And pule no more about individual economy, but eat, and
drink, and enjoy yourselves, like your fathers. What! in these days of
free trade, to tell the hypochondriacal Englishman that the foaming
tankard, the honest bottle of port, and the savoury sirloin, must be
prohibited articles! You surely wish us to hang and drown ourselves by
* * * * *
The following account of the origin of the name "Forget-me-not," is
extracted from Mill's _History of Chivalry_, and was communicated to
that work by Dr. A.T. Thomson:--"Two lovers were loitering on the margin
of a lake on a fine summer's evening, when the maiden espied some of the
flowers of Myosotis growing on the water, close to the bank of an
island, at some distance from the shore. She expressed a desire to
possess them, when the knight, in the true spirit of chivalry, plunged
into the water, and swimming to the spot, cropped the wished for plant,
but his strength was unable to fulfill the object of his achievement,
and feeling that he could not regain the shore, although very near it,
he threw the flowers upon the bank, and casting a last affectionate look
upon his lady-love, he cried 'Forget me not!' and was buried in the
* * * * *
_Leonhard._ See here what spacious halls: how all around
Us breathes magnificence!
_Spinarosa._ A princely pile!
But ah! how nobler far its daring site!
It rears its tow'rs amid these rocks and glaciers,
As if proud man were in his might resolved
To add _his_ rock to those that spurn the vale.
_Leon._ All here is beautiful! but 'tis not home!
'Tis true I was a child scarce eight years old
When led by Pietro into Italy--
Yet are my home's green lineaments as fresh
As when first painted on my infant soul;
This castle bears them not.--My home lay hid
In the deep bosom of gigantic oaks,
That o'er its roof their guardian shadows flung.
Nor towers, nor gates, nor pinnacles, were there;
With lowly thatch and humble wicket graced,
Smiling, yet solitary, did it stand.
* * * * *
It is impossible to conceive any trash more despicable than the slang
songs which are current amongst the common people in Ireland; and this
is the more to be lamented, as the extreme susceptibility of the people
makes them liable to be easily moved to either good or evil by their
songs. Even the native Irish songs, as we are informed in Miss Brooke's
_Reliques of Irish Poetry_, are sadly interpolated with nonsensical
passages, which have been introduced to supply the place of lost or
forgotten lines; and of humorous lyrical poetry, she says there was none
in the language worth translating. Moore has given to the beautiful airs
of Ireland beautiful words; but Moore is a poet for ladies and
gentlemen, not for mankind. It may be, that there are not materials in
Ireland, for a kindred spirit to that of Burns to work upon; but the
fact is but too true, that the _poor_ Irishman has no song of even
decent ability, to cheer his hours of merriment, or soothe the period of
his sadness. Honour and undying praise be upon the memory of Burns, who
has left to us those songs which, like the breath of nature, from whose
fresh inspiration they were caught, are alike refreshing to the monarch
and the clown!--Ibid.
* * * * *
A REAL MIRACLE.
The _fable_ of Dr. Southey's _Pilgrim of Compostella_, is as follows:--
A family set forth from Aquitaine to visit the shrine of St. James, at
Compostella, whither, according to the Catholic faith, the decapitated
body of that saint was conveyed from Palestine, (miraculously of
course,) in a ship of marble. At a certain small town by the way, their
son Pierre is tempted by the innkeeper's daughter. Like a second Joseph,
he resists the immodest damsel; like Potiphar's wife, she converts her
love to hate, and accuses the virtuous youth of a capital crime. Her
false oaths prevail, and he is condemned to the gallows. Rejoicing in
his martyred innocence, he exhorts his parents to pursue their
pilgrimage, and pray for the peace of his soul. Sorrowing, they proceed,
and returning, find their son hanging by the neck alive, and singing
psalms--in no actual pain--but naturally desirous to be freed from his
extraordinary state of suspended animation. They repair to the chief
magistrate of the town, by whose authority the youth was executed--find
his worship at dinner--relate the wonderful preservation of their
son--and request that he may be restored. The magistrate is incredulous,
and declares that he would sooner believe that the fowls on which he was
dining would rise again in full feather. The miracle is performed. The
cock and hen spring from the ocean of their own gravy, clacking and
crowing, with all appurtenances of spur, comb, and feather. Pierre, of
course, is liberated, and declared innocent. The cock and hen become
objects of veneration--live in a state of chastity--and are finally
translated--leaving just two eggs, from which arise another immaculate
cock and hen. The breed is perhaps still in existence, and time hath
been, that a lucrative trade was carried on in their feathers!!!--Ibid..
* * * * *
A snapper up of unconsidered trifles.
* * * * *
Of Hogarth's first attempt at satire, the following story is related by
Nichols, who had it from one of Hogarth's fellow workmen. "One summer
Sunday, during his apprenticeship, he went with three companions to
Highgate, and the weather being warm and the way dusty, they went into a
public house, and called for ale. There happened to be other customers
in the house, who to free drinking added fierce talking, and a quarrel
ensued. One of them on receiving a blow with the bottom of a quart pot,
looked so ludicrously rueful, that Hogarth snatched out a pencil and
sketched him as he stood. It was very like and very laughable, and
contributed to the restoration of order and good humour."
* * * * *
THE "GOOD BOY" LOVER.
"When I was a lad," said a facetious gentleman to the recorder of the
anecdote, "I was, or rather fancied myself to be, desperately in love
with a very charming young lady. Dining at her parents' house one day, I
was unfortunately helped to the gizzard of a chicken, attached to one of
the wings. Aware, like most '_good boys_' that it was extremely
ungenteel to leave anything upon my plate, and being over anxious to act
with etiquette and circumspection in this interesting circle, I, as a
'good boy' wished strictly to conform myself to the rules of good
breeding. But the _gizzard_ of a fowl! Alas! it was impossible! how
unfortunate! I _abhorred_ it! No, I could not either for _love_ or money
have swallowed such a thing! So, after blushing, playing with the
annoyance, and casting many a side-long glance to see if I was observed,
I contrived at length to roll it from my plate into my _mouchoir_, which
I had placed on my knees purposely for its reception; the next minute
all was safely lodged in my pocket. Conversing with the object of my
affections, during the evening, in a state of nervous forgetfulness, I
drew forth my handkerchief, and in a superb flourish, out flew the
GIZZARD! Good heavens! my fair one stared, coloured, laughed; I was
petrified; away flew my ecstatic dreams; and out of the house I flung
myself without one '_au revoir_,' but with a consciousness of the truth
of that delectable ballad which proclaims, that 'Love _has_ EYES!!' I
thought no more of love in that quarter, believe me!" M.L.B.
* * * * *
During the heat of the memorable battles with Count de Grasse, of April
9th and 12th, 1782, the gallant Rodney desired his young aid-de-camp
(Mr. Charles Dashwood) to make him a glass of lemonade, the
ingredients for which were at hand. Not having any thing to stir it with
but a knife, already discoloured by the cutting of the lemon, Sir George
coolly said, on Mr. Dashwood presenting it to him, "Child, that may do
for a midshipman, but not for an admiral--take it yourself, and send my
servant to me." C.C.
 Afterwards advanced to the rank of post captain, in 1801.
* * * * *
I knew very well a French Chevalier, who on coming to England, applied
himself with amazing ardour to the study of our language, and his
remarks upon it, if not always very acute were at least entertaining.
One day, reading aloud an English work, he stopped at the word SPLASH;
expressed himself highly delighted with it, as a term, which minutely
described the thing meant; then repeating it many times with marked
pleasure, and a strong sibillation, he added, "No! no! dere is noting at
all, noting in _my_ language dat de same would be like _splash_!"
Perhaps the following sentence from the satire of a notorious wit in
Elizabeth's reign, is a fair specimen of those expressive words which
_paint_, the object of which they speak:--"To which place, Gabriel came,
_ruffling_ it out, hufty-tufty, in his new suit of velvet." The man was
vain; the writer has made him a _peacock_. M.L.B.
* * * * *
I would no more bring a new work out in summer than I would sell pork in
the dog-days.--_Bookseller in Cit. World._
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