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and the freedom of his nature. Who shall say how far men which was either procured or seen, during Parry's it may be given him to reach ? Why should he not travel second voyage, (when it was first discovered,) is now in on and on and on, until he either wander from the earth the Edinburgh Museum, and has been engraved for this altogether, or, dying like Icarus on his too adventurous work.---As to the erodia, it belongs to that species of journey, come tumbling down the empyrean like a meteor, aquatic birds, which delight rather in the oozy shores of seas and fall dead into some far-off Glencoe, or nameless glen ? and lakes than in the wide waters themselves. This is a But if he return scatheless from his sunward flight, is he very numerous class. They have, for the most part, long, not richly entitled to a kid, a lamb, or even a grown-up slender, naked legs, as if for the purpose of enabling them sheep, with which to regale himself in his mountainous to wade more easily; and bills, too, of portentous strength solitude ? Let us not grudge the bird of Jove - the very and longitude, down which, it is easy to perceive that inmonarch of the air-a dinner upon any of the paltry numerable crustaceous animals, especially all sorts of shell four-footed things that walk the earth. ---If we next open fish, are destined to pass. The plumage of these marine Part Third, lo! the vulture ;---a shrewd and most saga- birds, in good keeping with the element to which they cious-looking rascal, with a beak like an old Roman's belong, is commonly coloured grey, black, blue, and white, nose, and an eye like Moffat's, the murderer of Begbie. grey being the predominant tint. It was for a long while a question whether the sense of Of the singing birds, it would be invidious and malismell or of sight was more useful to the vulture in the cious to particularize any one in preference to his compa. discovery of his prey; but the matter is now nearly settled nions. All mankind owe them much, for they give a by the experiments of Audubon, detailed in his excellent beauty, and a life, and a cheerfulness, to every rural scene papers on the habits of the American Vulturida, which which nothing else could equal. They are winged voices, go far to prove, that they are indebted to the latter of these whose whole existence is music. Trees are dearer to us, senses almost exclusively. Generally speaking, the plu- because we hear their songs among the branches ; when mage of birds of prey is of an unusually sombre and sober the stars wane, the larks succeed them in the skies, and kind, as if Nature thought it unnecessary to throw away are no unworthy successors; from the gardens and the gay feathers upon animals which were to be so much ex- groves the innocent melodies of the feathered throng come posed to the tear and wear of actual service. And only like the prattle of children, to soften and to soothe the look at the vulture's talons! With such instruments as heart. No wonder that poets have sought for inspirathese, it is impossible that the bird can resist clutching tion in their notes; no wonder that gentle ladies have up every thing that comes within his reach, and then held them captive in golden cages, and rejoiced to feed what a glorious scene of tearing, and rugging, and lacera- them with the honey dew of their own lips. How free ting, and rending, will incontinently follow! He is a are they from the dull satiety of ordinary life! How greedy Caligula ; we do not love or respect the vulture.--- deeply ignorant of all the weariness and the fret of huThe hawk, with all the varieties of the species, should not man society, be passed over in silence. The first plate in Part Fifth
“ In some melodious plot which has just been published---is one of the finest specimens we have ever seen. It is the crested spizætus, or
Of beechen green and shadows numberless,
Singing of summer in full-throated ease !" the falco cristatellus, and is said to have been shot, off the north coast, by the captain of a vessel about to enter the Of all created creatures, were we to change our own conport of Aberdeen. It is better known, however, as a na- dition, we should wish to be a singing bird ; and pertive of the warmer climates of Asia; and from the fore-haps it would have been better for us, had we been a head, throat, sides of the neck, and the whole of the under singing bird from the beginning. parts, being pure white, we should hardly imagine it in- With regard to the miscellaneous birds, which do not exdigenous in this country. The upper part of the body is actly belong to any of the three classes already enumerated, of a dark amber-brown, and from the occiput spring six volumes might be written to illustrate their peculiarities. or eight elongated dark brown feathers, which form a They swarm everywhere ;-in the fields of England, on pendent crest. The bird altogether is of a beautiful and the mountains of Scotland, among the marshes of Holdignified aspect ; there is a patrician air about him. He land, on the sands of Africa, in the forests of America. looks as if he had lived all his life, not upon sparrows, or Some are remarkable for the splendid beauty of their “frogs, and mice, and such small deer,” but on pigeons plumage, such as the Malabar chloropsis, in Part I., and ring-doves. Rich blood flows through his veins ;--- with its forehead of brilliant orange, its throat ultra-mahe is a gentleman every inch of him,---a far more noble- rine blue, tinged with violet purple, its upper parts sap looking fellow, we venture to say, than the sea-captain green, changing in intensity according to the light in who said he shot him off Aberdeen.
which it is placed, and its shoulders pale glossy blue; or Though there is a still greater variety of aquatic than the azure kingsfisher, in Part IV.; or the purple-crowned of predatorial birds, there is probably a still stronger ge- pigeon, and tabuan parrakeet, both magnificent birds, in neral resemblance between them, both in their habits Part V. Others are remarkable for their minute and and appearance. In the work before us, the two most exquisite shape and hues, justifying the poet's appellation interesting birds of this description which have yet of “winged gems.” Witness the different kinds of the been given, are the larus roseus, or rosy gull, in Part I., Malurus, called by Lewin the variegated warbler, and by and the erodia amphilensis, or pied erodia, in Part V. Phillip the superb warbler ; the birds of Paradise, and The first of these is an acquisition gained to ornitho- many more. Others, again, are remarkable for being logy by the enterprising expeditions of Captain Parry. good-for-nothing, greedy, chattering wretches. Here, The genus to which it belongs is sufficiently numer- for example, is an animal--the garrulus coronatus, or ous, and the gull may be called the very bird of the crowned jay, whom one may see, with half an eye, to be
In all weathers and seasons, in all latitudes, and the most conceited, backbiting, irritable, old-maid kind of on every voyage, it meets the sailor-now careering on creature in the whole of the aerial dominions. Here are the outskirts of the storm, and now foating in dreamy two other fellows, the saffron-coloured araçari, and the idleness upon the heaving bosom of the unruffled deep, spotted-billed araçari, both South American birds, who now clustering and shrieking in the offing round some have bills almost as large as the whole of the rest of their rude rock, and now sailing before the breeze, dipping in bodies put together ; these are the aldermen of the woods, the snowy wave its more snowy bosom, an as if it loved -gluttons, who lay waste whole colonies of innocent inthe companionship of men, sporting for leagues in the sects, and devour more food in an hour, than they would wake of the gallant vessel. There must be something entitle themselves to, by their talents or virtues, in a year. less gregarious, and more solitary, in the habits of that Then here are two collared shrikes from Africa, caught particular species called the rosy gull; for the only speci- | in the very act,---with the red hand, as we say in Scote land. No wonder the shrike is proverbial among the tish art, wherever he has the power of personal examinaHottentots for cruelty ; did you ever see a dark, black tion. “ Though the lives of men, devoted to silent study villain, with a hooked beak, hand down more coolly to and secluded labour,” he subsequently observes, contain one of his younger associates a murdered and bleeding few of those incidents which embellish the biographies of butterfly? and the young thief, with an expression of sa- more stirring spirits, yet they are scarcely less alluring rage joy, gapes wide to receive the prey; these are the and instructive. Their works are at once their actions very Burks and Hares of the feathered tribe; we should and their history, and a record of the taste and feeling of like much to see a goshawk pounce upon them, like a the times in which they flourished. We love to know master of police, and put an end to their infamous re- under what circumstances a great work of art was convelries.
ceived and completed : it is pleasing to follow the vicissiHaving thus feebly adverted to a few of the interesting tudes of their fortunes whose genius has charmed us—to traits in the character and history of birds, we conclude, sympathize in their anxieties, and to witness their trias we began, by warmly recommending these “ Illustra- umph.” tions of Ornithology,” not to the man of abstract science Painting, unlike her sister, Poetry, made very slow alone, but to all who take an interest in natural history, progress in England for many centuries. Henry the and are willing to strengthen and improve their mind, Third seems to have been among the first of our kings by paying some attention to one of its most delightful who patronised the arts to any considerable extent. But branches.
the low estimation in which painting was then held may
be guessed from the fact, that in the person of an artist The Lives of the most eminent British Painters, Sculptors, of wood, a maker of figures, a house and heraldry paint
were commonly combined the different trades of a carver and Architects. By Allan Cunningham. Vol. I. Being the Family Library, No. IV. London. John er, a carpenter, an upholsterer, a mason, a saddler, a jewMurray. 1829.
eller, and sometimes, over and above all, a _tailor! From
this state of degradation, the arts were far from rising This is a delightful volume, on a subject which must during the reigns of the two first Edwards, who were too interest every man of classical attainments, who aspires fond of military trappings to care much for aught else. to the cultivation of his taste, and the extension of a Greater progress was made during the long reign of Edhighly useful species of knowledge. There runs through ward the Third. The illustration and illumination of it a fine fresh vein of bold and manly thought; and whilst missals, and of books of chivalry and romance, though a it is evident that the author, avoiding all the disgusting far humbler pursuit than legitimate painting, contributed cant of criticism and vulgar amateurship, thinks decidedly to encourage a taste for the latter ; and the art of making for himself, it is at the same time no less evident, that tapestry, which was now much attended to, exercised prohis acquirements are such as to entitle him to exercise, in bably a still greater influence towards the same end. Our the freest manner, his independent judgment, and to author's observations upon this subject are so interesting, make its decisions valuable. “ Will no one write a book that we shall extract them : on what be understands ?" was asked by Mr Jeffrey
TAPESTRY some time ago, in alluding to an earlier work of Allan
* The art of tapestry, as well as the art of illuminating Cunningham's; and this was but the prologue to a mer- books, aided in diffusing a love of painting over the island. ciless rebuking, which might have been well spared by It was carried to a high degree of excellence. The earliest the critic, considering the kindness he showed to others, account of its appearance in England is during the reign of whose merits were certainly not greater. No complaint, Henry the Eighth ; but there is no reason to doubt that it however, of the kind formerly made, can be brought was well known and in general esteem much earlier. The against the book before us.
traditional account, that we were instructed in it by the Allan Cunningham's habits, Saracens, has probably some foundation. The ladies enof late years, peculiarly fit him for doing justice to the couraged this manufacture, by working at it with their own task he has undertaken. He has held for some time a
hands; and the rich aided by purchasing it in vast quantihigh and lucrative situation in the extensive establishment ties whenever regular practitioners appeared in the market. of Chantrey the sculptor ; and as literature and the arts It found its way into church and palace, chamber and hall. are kindred studies, he has found it both for his pleasure It served at once to cover and adorn cold and comfortless and advantage to divide his time between them. It walls. It added warmth, and when snow was on the hill, would not be easy, it is true, to fetter down by any esta
and ice in the stream, gave an air of social snugness which
has deserted some of our modern mansions. blished rules, however excellent, the exuberant genius
“ At first, the figures and groups which rendered this maof Cunningham; but a delicate susceptibility to all that nufacture popular, were copies of favourite paintings; but, as is lovely and sublime in nature, which is only another taste improved and skill increased, they showed more of oriphrase for genius, is the best guarantee that the beauties ginality in their conceptions, if not more of nature in their of art can be duly appreciated, and will not be discussed forms. They exhibited, in common with all other works with the flippancy of conceit, or the obstinacy of igno- of art, the mixed taste of the times—a grotesque union of rance.
classical and Hebrew history—of martial life and pastoral The present work upon the Painters, Sculptors, and combinations certainly were, and destitute of those beauties
repose-of Greek gods and Romish saints. Absurd as such Architects of Great Britain, is to extend to three vo- of form and delicate gradations and harmony of colour lumes. Only the first has yet appeared, which contains which distinguish paintings worthily so called, still, when an historical account of the early English Painters, fol- the hall was lighted up, and living faces thronged the floor, lowed by the Lives of William Hogarth, Richard Wil- the silent inhabitants of the walls would seem, in the eyes of son, Sir Joshua Reynolds, and Thomas Gainsborough. our ancestors, something very splendid. As painting rose in The historical introduction is written with great ability, fame, tapestry sunk in estimation. The introduction of a and is very interesting. The author has had many dif- lighter and less massive mode of architecture abridged the
space for its accommodation; and, by degrees, the stiff and ficulties to contend with ; for, as he justly remarks, the fanciful creations of the loom vanished from our walls. The history of art, and of British art in particular, and the art is now neglected. I am sorry for this, because I can. lives, characters, and works of its earlier professors, not think meanly of an art which engaged the heads and scattered through many volumes, and are to be sought for hands of the ladies of England, and gave, to the tapestried in remote collections, private cabinets, and public gal- hall of elder days, fame little inferior to what now waits on leries." Almost the only authorities to which he could a gallery of paintings.”—Pp. 13-4. appeal are Vertue and Walpole,--the one too indiscrimi- Notwithstanding the progress which England had now nating, and the other too easily prejudiced. Justly, there made in many ways, it is still most remarkable that, so fore, does Mr Cunningham determine, on all occasions, late as the accession of Henry the Eighth, painters were to express his own sentiments concerning works of Bri- numbered with the common menials of the court; they
had their livery suit, their yearly dole, and their weekly mother's, the queen that was. Doctor, you may be out in wages.” The Reformation, for some time at least, did your letters, but I cannot be out in my lines.'”—Pp. 48-9. no good to the arts, especially to historical painting. Kneller brings us down to the commencement of the 18th Portraiture was allowed to survive the general wreck; century, when native painters of genius and reputation and Hans Holbein, who was received with honour at the make their appearance. Up to this period, Great Bricourt of Henry in the year 1526, was the first artist of tain was indebted principally to the four foreign artists, eminence who visited England. He died of the plague -Holbein, Vandyke, Lely, and Kneller; for though the in London in 1551. Elizabeth did little for the arts, and Olivers, Jamesone, and Cooper, were native artists, they James not much more. He gave a pension, however, to were unquestionably of an inferior grade. Hogarth was the Dutch painter Mytens, “whose reputation was such, born in London on the 10th of December, 1697, and that, in the opinion of many, it suffered but a slight with him the Biographical Memoirs of the British Painteclipse on the appearance of Vandyke." Charles the First ers commence. It is impossible for us to attempt any did more for art and literature in this country, than all analysis of these Memoirs, all of which are written with his predecessors put together. Inigo Jones was his archi- elegance, spirit, and impartiality. Hogarth seems to be tect, and Vandyke was his painter. In the great Gal- an especial favourite with Mr Cunningham, who is anxilery of Whitehall, he had a collection of four hundred ous to do him all justice, both as an artist and a man. and sixty pictures, comprising many of the chef-d'æuvres We suspect, indeer, that he conveys almost too favourof Corregio, Julio Romano, Parmegiano, Raphael, Ru- able an impression of the painter's moral character ; but bens, Rembrandt, Tintoret, Titian, Paul Veronese, and this is an error on the right side. All the remarks on Leonardo da Vinci. It was about this time, also, that Hogarth's celebrated works are pertinent and good ; the George Jamesone, a native of Aberdeen, known by the following account of one of them may serve as a brief name of the Scottish Vandyke, made his appearance. specimen :He commenced his professional career at Edinburgh in
HOGARTH'S ENRAGED MUSICIAN. the year 1628, after having studied under Rubens. “ • This design,' says Ireland, - originated in a story “When Charles visited Scotland in 1633, he sat for his which was told to Hogarth by Mr John Festin, who is the portrait to Jamesone, and rewarded him with a diamond hero of the print. He was eminent for his skill in playing ring from his own finger.” The troubles which soon upon the hautboy and German flute, and much employed afterwards ensued, and the ascendency of the Puritans,
as a teacher of music.' To each of his scholars he dedicated checked for a long while the progress of art. “ The arts,"
one hour each day. • At nine o'clock, one morning,' said
he, 'I waited upon my Lord Spencer, but his Lordship says Walpole, were in a manner expelled with the being out of town, from him I went to Mr V-n, now royal family from Britain. The arts that civilize so- Lord V-n; it was so early that he was not arisen. I ciety are not calculated for men who rise on the ruins of went into his chamber, and, opening a window, sat down established order.” The Restoration of Charles the Se- on the window-seat. Before the rails was a fellow playing (ond changed the order of things, as if by sudden en
upon the hautboy. A man with a barrowful of onions of chantment; but the natural grace of innocence and sim- fered the piper an onion if he would play him a tune; that plicity of youth no longer attended the arts. The talents ended, he offered a second for a second tune; the same for of Sir Peter Lely, which were unquestionably great,
a third, and was going on ; but this was too much-I could
not bear it; it angered my very soul. Zounds!' said I, were dedicated, for the most part, to the task of record stop here ! This fellow is ridiculing my profession—he is ing the features of lordly rakes and courtly wantons. playing on the hautboy for onions!' Ilis successor, Sir Godfrey Kneller, had a still higher re- " In the spirit of this story the artist has gone to work, putation, and a more extended range.
“ All the sove
Of vocal performers, we have the dustman, shouting Dust, reigns of his time, all the noblemen of the court, all the bo! dust, hol' the wandering tishmonger, calling • Floundmen of genius in the kingdom, and almost all the ladies female ballad-singer, chanting the doleful story of the
ers! a mik-maid, crying · Milk above! milk below!' a of rauk or of beauty in England, sat for their portraits.” | Lady's Fall'—her child and a neighbouring parrot screamThe following anecdotes of this painter are characteristic ing the chorus; a little French drummer beats ' rab-a-lub, and amusing :
rub-a-dub,' without remorse, singing all the time; two cats
squall and puff in the gutter tiles; a dog is howling in dis“ The vanity of Kneller was redeemed by his naïveté, may, while, like a young demon, overlooking and inspiring and rendered pleasant by his wit. 'Dost thou think, man,' all, a sweep-boy, with nothing unblack about him, save his said he to his tailor, who proposed his son for a pupil, dost tecth and the whites of his eyes, proclaims that his work is thou think, man, 'I can make thy son a painter? No! done—from the top of a chimney-pot. Of instrumental acGod Almighty only makes painters.' His wit, however, companiments, there is good store. A postman with his was that of one who had caught the spirit of Charles the horn, a stroller with his hautboy, a dustman with his bell, Second's wicked court. He once over heard a low fellow a pavior with his rammer, a cutler grinding a butcher's cursing himself—God damn you ! indeed!' exclaimed the cleaver, and John Long, pewterer,' over a door, adds the artist, in wonder. “God may damn the Duke of Marl- clink of twenty hammers, striking on metal, to the medley borough, and perhaps Sir Godfrey Kneller ; but do you of out-of-door sounds."— Pp. 111-13. think he will take the trouble of damning such a scoundrel as you ?' The servants of his neighbour, Dr Ratcliffe,
The materials for a Life of Richard Wilson are very abused the liberty of a private entrance to the painter's gar- scanty, and accordingly it is the shortest in the volume; den, and plucked his flowers. Kueller sent word that he but as this country has produced few landscape-painters must shut the door up. “Tell him,' the Doctor peevishly of greater eminence, any particulars concerning him must replied, 'that he may do any thing with it but paint it.'- be interesting.---Sir Joshua Reynolds occupies a much • Never mind what he says,' retorted Sir Godfrey, “I can take any thing from him—but physic.'
more prominent place. The friend of Johnson, Burke, “ Kneller was one day conversing about his art, when he literature as well as the arts of bis country. He was
Garrick, and Goldsmith, his name is connected with the gave the following neat reason for preferring portraiture:
Painters of history,' said he, make the dead live, and do born at Plympton, in Devonshire, in 1723, and it apnot begin to live themselves till they are dead. I paint the pears that his name is recorded in the parish register as living, and they make me live.' In a conversation concern- Joseph, not Joshua. A portrait-painter, of the name of ing the legitimacy of the unfortunate son of James the Se- | Hudson, was his first master; but in the year 1719, cond, some doubts having been expressed by an Oxford doc- when he was in his twenty-sixth year, he visited Rome, tor, he exclaimed, with much warmth, . His father and and the splendid works in the Sistine Chapel of the Vamother have sat to me about thirty-six times apiece, and I tican were his second masters. Raphael and Michael Anknow every line and bit of their faces. Mein Gott! I could gelo were the painters whose productions he principally paint King James now by memory! I say the child is so like both, that there is not a feature in his face but what be admired. But, in the opinion of Mr Cunningham, " the longs either to father or to mother; this I am sure of, and severe dignity of Angelo or Raphael he had no chance of cannot be mistaken! Nay, the nails of his fingers are his attaining, for he wanted loftiness of imagination, without
ANECDOTES OF SIR GODFREY KNELLER,
which no grand work can ever be achieved; but he had | following able piece of criticism on Sir Joshua's style of a deep sense of character, great skill in light and shade, a portrait-painting graceful softness and an alluring sweetness, such as none “ The portraits of Reynolds are equally numerous and have surpassed. From the works of Leonardo da Vinci, excellent, and all who have written of their merits have Fra. Bartolomeo, Titian, and Velasquez, he acquired swelled their eulogiums by comparing them with the simknowledge, which placed fortune and fame within his plicity of Titian, the vigour of Rembrandt, and the elegance reach.” He remained in Italy for three years. His bril- pression, and in manly ease, he has never been surpassed.
and delicacy of Vandyke. Certainly, in character and exliant and lucrative career, when he returned, is ably de- | He is always equal, always natural-graceful-unaffected. kribed, and a number of anecdotes and notices of his con- His boldness of posture, and his singular freedom of colourtemporaries are introduced, which enhance the interest ing, are so supported by all the grace of art—by all the sorand value of the Memoir. We can find room for only cery of skill, that they appear natural and noble. Over one extract, and it is of somewhat a melancholy cast :
the meanest head he sheds the halo of dignity; his men are
all nobleness, his women all loveliness, and his children all THE LAST DAYS OF SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS.
simplicity: yet they are all like the living originals. He “ Sir Joshua had now reached his 66th year ; the bold- had the singular art of summoning the mind into the face, ness and happy freedom of his productions were undiminish- and making sentiment mingle in the portrait. He could ed; and the celerity of his execution, and the glowing rich- completely dismiss all his preconceived notions of academic ness of his colouring, were rather on the increase than the beauty from his mind, be dead to the past, and living only wane. His life had been uniformly virtuous and temper- to the present, and enter into the character of the reigning ate; and his looks, notwithstanding the paralytic stroke he beauty of the hour with a truth and a happiness next to had lately received, promised health and long life. He was magical. It is not to be denied that he was a mighty flathappy in his fame and fortune, and in the society of nume- Had Colonel Charteris sat to Reynolds, he would, rous and eminent friends; and he saw himself in his old I doubt not, have given an aspect worthy of a President of age without a rival. His great prudence and fortunate con- the Society for the Suppression of Vice. trol of temper had prevented him from giving serious of- “ That the admirers of portrait-painting are many, the fence to any individual; and the money he had amassed, annual exhibitions show us; and it is pleasant to read the and the style in which he lived, unencumbered with a fa- social and domestic affections of the country in these inmily, created a respect for him amongst those who were in- numerable productions. In the minds of some they rank capable of understanding bis merits. But the hour of sor- with historical compositions; and there can be no doubt Tuw was at hand. One day, in the month of July 1789, that portraits that give the form and the soul of the poets, while finishing the portrait of the Marchioness of Hertford, and statesmen, and warriors, and of all whose actions or he felt a sudden decay of sight in his left eye. He laid whose thoughts lend lustre to the land, are to be received down the pencil; sat a little while in mute consideration, as illustrations of history. But with the mob of portraits and perer lifted it more.
fame and history have nothing to do. The painter who ** His sight gradually darkened, and within ten weeks of wishes for lasting fame, must not lavish his tine colours and the first attack, his left eye was wholly blind. He appear his choice postures on the rich and titled alone; he must ed cheerful, and endeavoured to persuade himself that he seek to associate his labours with the genius of the country. was resigned and happy. But he had been accustomed to The face of an undistinguished person, however exquisitely the society of the titled and the beautiful, and froin this he painted, is disregarded in the eyes of posterity. The most was now cut off; he knew the world well, and perceived skilful posture, and the richest colouring, cannot create the that, as the pencil, which brought the children of vanity reputation which accompanies genius, and we turn coldly about him as with a charm, could no longer be used, the away from the head which we happen not to know or to giddy tide of approbation would soon roll another way, have heard of. The portrait of Johnson has risen to the His mental sufferings were visible to some of his friends, value of five hundred guineas; while the heads of many of though he sought to conceal them with all his might. One Sir Joshua's grandest lords remain at their original fifty. read to him to charm away the time,-another conversed “ The influence of Reynolds on the taste and elegance of with him,-and the social circle among whom he had so the island was great, and will be lasting. The grace and loug presided, still assembled round the well-spread table. ease of his compositions were a lesson for the living to study, Ozias Humphreys came every morning and read a news- while the simplicity of his dresses astonished the giddy and paper to him; his niece, afterwards Marchioness of Tho- the gay amidst the hideousness of fashion. He sought to mond, arrived from the country, and endeavoured to soothe restore nature in the looks of his sitters, and he waged a and amuse him; and he tried to divert himself by changing thirty years' war against the fopperies of dress. His works the position of his pictures, and by exhibiting them all in diffused a love of elegance, and united with poetry in softensuccession in his drawing-room, so that he at once pleased ing the asperities of nature, in extending our views, and in his friends and gratified himself.
connecting us with the spirits of the time. His cold state“ But a man cannot always live in society, nor can so- liness of character, and his honourable pride of art, gave ciety always spare time to amuse him. There are many dignity to his profession : the rich and the far-descended hours of existence which he must gladden, as he can, for were pleased to be painted by a gentleman as well as a himself. Cowper took to the taming of hares; and Sir Joshua genius.”—Pp. 314-16. made a companion of a little bird, which was so tame and docile as to perch on his hand, and with this innocent fa- the foundation of our school of landscape, concludes the
The Life of Gainsborough, who, with Wilson, laid vourite he was often found by his friends, pacing around his room, and speaking to it as if it were a thing of sense
volume. The penury of contemporary biography preand information A summer morning and an open window cludes the possibility of many personal details in his case, were temptations which it could not resist; it Hew away; any more than in that of Wilson. He lived on terms of and Reynolds roamed for hours about the square where he great affection with Richard Brinsley Sheridan ; and resided, in hopes of reclaiming it.
died in the sixty-first year of his age, in 1783. Ilis “ A concealed and fatal malady was invading the func- style is well characterised by his biographer in these few tions of life, and sapping his spirits. This was an enlarge- words :-“ His paintings have a national look. He bement of the liver, which expanded to twice its natural dimensions, defied human skill, and deprived him of all cheer-| longs to no school ; he is not reflected from the glass of fulness. His friends were ever with him, and sought to
men, but from that of nature. He has not steeped his soothe him with hopes of recovery and with visions of long landscapes in the atmosphere of Italy, like Wilson, nor life; but he felt, in the simple language of the old bard, borrowed the postures of his portraits from the old mas. • That death was with him dealing,'
ters, like Reynolds. No academy schooled down into refused to be comforted, and prepared for dissolution. uniformity and imitation the truly English and intrepid
Again,-“ There is a charm I have been fortunate,' he said, in long good health and spirit of Gainsborough.”. constant success, and I ought not to complain. I know that about the children running wild in the landscapes of all things on earth must have an end, and now I am come to Gainsborough, which is more deeply felt by comparing mine' Sir Joshua expired without any visible symptoms them with those of Reynolds. The children of Sir of pain, on the 23d of February, 1792, in the 69th year of Joshua are indeed beautiful creations, free, artless, and his age."-Pp. 302-8.
lovely ; but they seem all to have been nursed in velvet To these biographical particulars we shall subjoin the laps, and fed with golden spoons. There is a rustic grace,
an untamed wildness, about the children of the latter, numerous and appropriate examples. He has, moreover, which speak of the country and of neglected toilets. They followed these up by copious original and apposite are the offspring of nature, running free among woods as marks,” which cannot fail to prove highly interesting, as wild as themselves. They are not afraid of disordering well as useful, to the practical mechanic. We have long their satins, and wetting their kid shoes : They roll on considered such a work as the present a great desideratum, the green sward, burrow like rabbits, and dabble in the and are therefore happy in having it in our power to bear running streams daily.”
testimony to the able manner in which Mr Hay has supBefore closing this volume, which we heartily recom- plied it. He is evidently perfectly acquainted with his submend to the attention of our readers, and which has made ject, and has certainly rendered it as simple as the pature of us anxious for the speedy appearance of the two which a strictly scientific work would admit; most of the “deare to follow, we have a word or two to say of the em- monstrations requiring only a knowledge of the rules of bellishments. These are ten in number,—two on steel, proportion, and none more than a slight acquirement in and eight on wood. This indicates a degree of liberality geometry or simple equations." on the part of the publisher highly praiseworthy; and the portraits of Sir Joshua Reynolds and of William Ho- The Doom of Derenzie. A Poem. By the late Thomas garth, both on steel, are themselves worth the price of Furlong. London. Joseph Robins. 1829. the volume. We beg, however, most particularly to state, We have been asked to give a candid opinion of this that we would rather have had one other engraving on posthumous production, which is from the pen of an steel or copper, than the whole eight which have been amiable man, who died, in Dublin, at the early age of given on wood. We do not know to what perfection en-thirty-three. We feel the whole force of Johnson's adgraving on wood may yet be brought, (it has got into vice, considerable favour already ;) but we are clear that it in “ To wit, reviving from its author's dust, no one instance does justice to the original. There is a Be kind, ye judges, or at least be just ;" soft indistinctness about it which we cannot abide, and and we shall, therefore, content ourselves with saying, the disagreeable effect of which any one will perceive by that we do not think Mr Furlong, had he lived, would looking at the portrait of Thomas Gainsborough in the
ever have risen to the rank of a great poet. There are volume before us. The best woodcut is from one of
some pleasing, and perhaps even powerful, passages in the Hogarth's works ; but we must say, that considering the “ Doom of Derenzie ;” but, on the whole, the diction is subject, which is “ The Harlot's Progress, scene second,” too prosaic, and the story too feebly brought out, to secure it was bad taste to give it a place in the book at all, We popularity. Such passages as the following are little caldo not see what it has to do with the Family Library. culated to suit the present taste of the literary world : Wilson's “ Morning,"— Reynolds's Shepherd Boy,"
“ She, at times and Gainsborough's “ Cottage Girl," are in better taste,
Did talk of sleepless nights and days of drowsiness, but the execution is inferior. Let us not part in the Of headachs, spasms, and other slight infirmities, least ill-humour, however, for the Family Library is very Or real or imagined—such as haunt ably conducted, and all the works which have appeared The waking dreams of maidens." in it have been worthy of commendation, though to our There are, of course, many passages of a far superior taste the present is the best.
kind; but, in giving an opinion upon a poem, it is not
individual excellencies—unless they be bursts of real geA Concise System of Mechanics, in Theory and Practice ; nius—but the general tone and spirit of the whole, that
with Original and Practical Remarks, Rules, Experi. must be considered. The following extract is of the most ments, Tables, and Calculations, for the use of Practi- favourable kind we can select : cal Men. By James Hay, Land Surveyor. Edinburgh. “ And thus, through life's gay dawn they went, Oliver & Boyd. 1829.
Lovely, and loved, and innocent, We have frequently been led to observe, with regret, And still each morn, that came and passid, that in almost all the ordinary books intended for the use
To them seem'd fairer than the last; of practical mechanics, the rules are merely given, with
For they were happy, and they felt
Pleased with the world in which they dwelt. out any investigation of the principles upon which they
Still, with his blooming one, the boy are grounded, or the methods by which they are deduced
Play'd round her mother's plain abode; from these principles. The chief reason for this is, no Or took his sunny walks of joy doubt, the very imperfect education of the lower classes. Through the wild wood, or o'er the road : Adam Smith has very justly observed, that “ if, instead And many an aged man that pass'd of a little smattering of Latin which the children of the
Gazed on the little tenants there; common people are sometimes taught at school, and which
And, as he went, pour'd forth a prayer, can scarce ever be of any use to them, they were instructed
Wishing that favouring Heaven at last
Would join the beauteous pair. in the elementary parts of geometry and mechanics, the
Oh! love, so simple and so bright, literary education of this rank of people would perhaps Hath such a charın to cheer the sight, be as complete as it can be. There is scarce a common That even a cherub, throned in light, trade which does not afford some opportunity of applying Might let one glance of kindness fall to it the principles of geometry and mechanics, and wbich One calm, kind glance, from censure free would not, therefore, gradually exercise and improve the
And say, as such he chanced to see, common people in those principles,—the necessary intro
That the earth's weak ones bad not all duction to the most sublime, as well as to the most use
Lost their primeval purity." ful, sciences." If our mechanics were educated to use the
This is very pretty and Moore-ish, but the poetical reader powers of their minds freely---to investigate, by their own
will perceive, that even this carefully selected extract industry, all the principles they want-to consider no
wants the true merit of vigorous originality; and this thing as a useful acquisition but in consequence of such
want is still more apparent throughout the volume. investigation---we are convinced that this knowledge would be of the greatest benefit to them, not merely in a History of the most Remarkable Conspiracies connected mechanical, but in a moral, point of view.
with European History, during the 15th, 16th, and 17th The great excellence of Mr Hay's work consists in his Centuries. By John Parker Lawson, M. A. Being having combined theory with practice, by selecting from
Volumes XLIII. and XLIV. of Constable's Miscelmore voluminous and expensive works the most useful lany. Edinburgh. 1829. practical rules; in having given simple but rigorous de- WERE we inclined to enter in detail upon the general monstrations of these rules, and accompanied them with question, it would be easy to show, that we have good