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ble not to subscribe to the justice of the following observation, and without entering into the comparative merits of the leading painters of the present day, or giving to any one of them the palm of priority in his art for extraordinarily transcendant abilities, to rank him "proudly pre-eminent above his fellows;" it is evident that there are other and considerable talents required, to adorn the chair with splendour and draw public attention to it with respect and admiration. To the fascinating powers of his pencil, Sir Joshua Reynolds added the rich qualities of an enlightened mind, amiable manners, gentlemanly deportinent, and highly cultivated understanding, superadded to a disposition and temper which inclined him to speak at all times favourably of his contemporaries, and to think well of their art.' Distinguished qualities both of the head and heart, as well as the hand, are necessary to till with propriety the elevated situation : and when that time shall have arrived, when, from the course of nature, the chair will become open for a new chuice, which prescriptive right, from his age, and consequence in his profession, has for a long time assigned to Mr. West, with only a single interruption, all semblance as well as reality of party should be laid aside, all selfishness, all jealousy, all envy; and that member should be chosen, unanimously, whoever he may be, whose worth and value, and aggregate mass of ability of every description, will do most honour to the academicians and the acaderny, withvut considering whether he be the ablest man precisely in his art. To preside over a national academy requires first rate qualifications; not partial and confined, but general and commanding.
We hope to have yet another word from this ingenious [lady ? should we say] “ another and another, still ?”
Charles Ellis; or the Friends. By Robert Semple, Au
thor of " Walks and Sketches at the Cape of Good Hope, 2 vols. 12mo. 9s. Baldwin.
A work both entertaining and instructive. It combines the fancy and enthusiasm of a novel, with the more sober delineation of characters and manners, as daily observation and experience present them to us. The perusal of these volumes has afforded us very high gratification.
The Ratiad. A Serio-Comic Poem, in Eight Cantos. By an Anti-Hudibrastian, 3s. 8vo. Mason.
“ How now! a Rat! dead for a ducat!" It would be only making the author more offensive to drag him from behind the arras; and so let him remain in his concealment. He would be witty, poor fellow ! but three shillings! he mast have more money than wit, who would part with it on this occasion.
Twelve perspective views of the exterior and interior parts
of the Metropolitical Church of Canterbury, acconpanied by two ichnographic plates, and an Historical account. By Charles Wild, 31. 35. coloured 51.58. folio. Taylor, 1807.
The views of this venerable building, in every respect se interesting an object, are exceedingly well executed; by a pupil of that eminent master in this branch of art, Mr. Malton. The history of this noble Cathedral, compiled from the best authorities, is well drawn up, and we think we shall gratify our readers by transcribing it.
* To Lucius, the first king of the Britons, who is said to have been converted to the Christian faith, and whose doubtfui reign is placed, most probably, towards the end of the second century; the monkish writers claiming the remotest antiquity, ascribe the original foundation. Under the first Saxon invaders, it might have been appropriated to polytheism ; for, upon the conversion of Ethelbert in 597, it is reported to have been restored to the primitive worship, and dedicated to Christ by_St. Augustine, who made it his metropolitical church. Both the saint and founder received their sepulture at St Augustine's, Canterbury, one in 605, the other in 616.
• Frequent conflagrations, the usual conséquence of the devastations of the piratical Danes, with the consequent destruction of authentic documents, by which the early history of architecture in England might have been elucidated, have involved this splendid pile in the obscurity of the darker agés, and consigned many of its remaine ing antiquities to conjecture, from the deficiency of evig dence, , :No records, upon which any dependence can be made, are now known, from the age of St. Augustine, in the sixth, to the tenth century, when Odo, upon his VOL. II.
translation from Wilton, in 934, to the primacy of Can terbury, finding the church in a dilapidated state, employed three years in various repairs, but chiefly in covering the roofs with lead, which is a very early instance of such an application of that metal.
It was again burned by the Danes in 1011, who had landed upon a predatory excursion at Sandwich. They seized Alphage, the archbishop, who being stoned to death at Greenwich, was canonized as a martyr.
These damages were chiefly confined to the destruction of the timber frame and roofs, and the repairs were completed by Ethelstan (or more commonly called Livin. gus) before the year 1020, and from that period to 1038 by Egelnoth. King Canute, more civilized or superstitious than his predecessors, contributed to the work, and confirmed to the monks certain lands and immunities. In 1067 it was once more destined to suffer almost entire conflagration. Like a phenix it rose from its ashes about three
years after, under the auspicious munificence of Lanfrank, a very conspicuous luminary of the church, when it was transfere red to the care of Norman bishops.
The record's of almost every cathedral or great con. ventual church in England, mention frequent demolition by fire, in the early centuries. The marauding Danes. invariably directed their vengeance agsinst structures de dicated to the Christian religion ; but a more common cause of such destruction by fire was their being surrounde ed, in most cities where they were placed, by buildings constructed entirely of wood.
It is asserted, that the church, monastery, and pas lace, were all rebuilt by Lanfrank, a facț disallowed by certain antiquaries, because the time stated to have been employed must have been lately inadequate to so extensive. a work. From that and other collateral circumstances, they infer, that having built the, nave, he probably did: little more than repair the choir and its crypt, or under eroft, because in either of these may be found, in the exterior surbase of the south wall, and other parts, many architectural peculiarities of an antecedent æra.
Anselm, Abbot of Bec in Normandy, where archie tecture was most successfully studied, succeeded in 1993, and projected great improvements in the choir, which as he did not live to finish, it is a conjecture that his original: elan was pursued, and the superintendance of it come
mitted to the Priors Ernulphus and Conrade in succession; and having been brought to a conclusion by the efforts of the last mentioned after Anselm's death, it be came kirown by the superlative epithet of “ Convade's glorious choir.” From the account Gervase has transmitted to us, it appears to have been in its component parts similar to the present choir, and was at that period, probably extended to the length seen, as it said to have been enlarged: which it could not have been in width, unless the lateral walls had been likewise taken down, of which there is no existing proof. A chapel, much smaller than the present, was then rehuilt or added to the choir, and dedicated to the Holy Trinity.
• Gervase specifies in his account, the architecture of the former church, before he enters on the description of the re-edification by Anselm and Conrade. He is equally minute and satisfactory, and his MS. now preserved in the British Museum, may be ranked åinong its most valuable curiosities.
The effects of another fire, which is said to have happened in 1130, were certainly of no great detriment, for in the same year, we learn that this church was formally dedicated by Archbishop Corboil, the apostolic legate of Pope Innocent II. in the presence of King Henry I. and his Queen ; David II. King of Scots, and many prelates and nobility, to the Holy Trinity, which appellation it appears to have received from Lanfrank, and which was thus solemnly contirmed.
• But in 1174, the choir, so lately and splendidly perfected by Prior Conrade, received such demolition by fire, as to require that the whole interior should be taken down. Of this calamitous circumstance Gervasé was the eye-witness and chronicler.
• The present choir was begun under the direction of William, an experienced architect of Sens in Normandy, or Sienna in Italy, who being disabled by a fall from the height of the vaulting, returned into France. It remained therefore to be finished by another William, who was à native of this country, and the first English architect upon record, concerning whom we have any positive account. His talents in architectural invention and practice are, in this instance, conspicuous and adınirable. To the choir he added the eastern transept and the Trinity Chapel. • The charge of the undertaking was defrayed by the
liberal oblations made at the shrine of Thomas & Becket, for whom two years before, 1172, the monks had pro cured canonization from Pope Alexander III. which, very opportunely for the building, became productive of an incredible influx of wealth. On Easter-day 1181, the choir was sufficiently finished for the performance of di, vine service. In July following, the former chapel of the Trinity was taken down, and the present begun, which, with the circular tower at the east end generally called Becket's Crown, was completed in about four years, when the former tutelage of the Holy Trinity was 'saperseded by that of St. Thomas the Martyr, though apparently without any
formal dedication. • The real character of the prelate, as a politician, may perhaps be best ascertained, by a parallel drawn between the pages of the elegant Lyttleton, and the sagacious Hume. As a saint, we must trust to his legend; and the monks, by promising to his votaries a recovery from sickness, or a continuance of health, made his shrine eminently popular, and established annual pilgrimages, which, with jubilees celebrated every fifty years, produced to them a princely revenue,
! Warton observes that “the general plan of the Canterbury Tales, which at first sight, seems merely to have been an ingenious invention of the poet, to serve a particular occasion, is in a great measure founded on a fashion of ancient life; and Chaucer, in supposing each of the pilgrims to tell a tale, as they are travelling to Becket's shrine, only makes them adopt a mode of amusement which was common to the conversations of
• In 1304 and 1305, Prior Henry de Estrey is said to have meditated many improvements, and actually to have expended upon different parts of the church 8391. 7s. a very considerable sum in those days. He probably erected the skreen which divides the choir from the ailes.
• The western pastş of the cathedral escaped the va, rious conflagrations, which had injured the choir, and remained, with little alteration, from the time of Lan, frank, to the year 1376, when Archbishop Sudbury took down some of them, and erected the lower transept at his own cost; but in 1379, actuated by the same liberal intentions, he caused the whole nave to be removed. The