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Exercises on the Derivation of the English Language; to which is added, in a series of Extracts, the History of Language; and a view of its general Principles, as pointed out by the Etymologies of various Tongues. Intended for the use of the higher Classes in English Schools. By William Graham, of the Cupar Academy. Cupar. R. Tullis. 1829.
tate," or cut around, and by cutting around, to cut off; to
SEATED, as we are, in our editorial capacity, on a Chimborazo peak, “with meteor standard to the winds unfurled," and "looking from our throne of clouds o'er half the world," we might, perhaps, naturally enough be supposed to overlook small as well as distant objects. But it is not so; and we can confidently assure our worship-cilitate recollection and classification, but to develope and pers, for such are the majority of our readers, (rejected contributors always excepted,) that, as kings have long hands, good eyes, and fine ears, so we, Αναξ ανδρών,” see as far, and observe as narrowly, as if we were actually present and percipient throughout our vast domain. Besides, we have as many elves at our command as ever Prospero had, who can assume any shape they please, and are ever on the alert to do us service. No sooner does a rabbit perk up its ears, or a snipe flash from a spring, than pop goes a gun, or wowf goes a terrier, by means of which noises we are immediately apprised of the occurrenice. No spider, in fact, sits more safe and central than we; our own sensitive heart forming the "aureum miliarium" from which all outward ramifications proceed, and in which all home-bound tendencies end. We are precisely in the situation described by the old Covenanter in his prayer: "Lord," said he, after labouring long for a simile to illustrate his notion of omniscienceLord, thou art just like a wee mouse in a hole of the wa'; thou seest a' body, and naebody sees thee." So much, by way of playful introduction to rather a learned article.
strengthen the receiving faculties. It was long assumed that young persons cannot reason, or, at least, that they should not do so prematurely, and burdens have been placed on foals' backs, and weights laid upon the limbs of childhood for the sake of analogy; but all this is exploded doctrine now. Where there is an appetite for food, there is a stomach to digest it; and our passions and faculties never come into play till the season when they are capable of being exercised. If a child, or very young person, have an appetite for reasoning, as all children have, you are sure that it is not premature, unless you are a better judge than the Creator himself; and you may, with as much safety, supply the reasoning as the digestive humour with such food as both demand. To show how truly this is the case, we need only refer to Mr Wood's school, to Mr Collet's at Abbotshall, or to Cupar Academy.
The first principles, then, being granted, let us see how Mr Graham's Exercises on Derivation work. Take this sentence, for example:-"The consequence will be, that Mr Graham will become a man of consequence." Now, in Mr Graham's book, the student is told that con signiWe are well acquainted with Mr Graham's character fies together—and sequence, I follow; and out of these two as a teacher and as a scholar; and having occasionally elements the apparently distinct and separate meanings of been present at the examination of his pupils in Cupar consequence," like those of computation and amputation, Academy, we can speak of him as an author under lights are to be conjoined; and this can in no case be done withand illustrations of high import. It is our decided opi- out exercising the faculty of reason, and that, too, in a field nion, in which we shall probably be borne out by every rich with a harvest of the same produce. "The conseone acquainted with Mr Graham, swith of Dundee, that quence will be," that is, "the thing that will follow, tohis method of teaching is original; that his way of com-gether with the thing mentioned." A tail of an animal is municating instruction is most successful; and that his mind is rich with useful and varied knowledge, and well fitted to strike out for itself pathways of improvement, which minds of less energy and compass would infallibly be blind to. We shall establish the truth of these remarks, by a reference to the work now before us, which contains "Exercises on the Derivation of the English Language," together with "a Series of Extracts," illustrative of its history and general principles. Let us first speak of the "Exercises," and then of the "Extracts," -the subjects being separate and distinct.
We have talked, and are daily compelled to talk, (and, as Johnson says, such talk is not conversation,) with a set of very wise ones, who question the utility of references to the original languages, from which many words in our own are derived, where the languages referred to have not been previously, and to a respectable amount, acquired, by the scholar. Of what use, say these flat crawlers over the surface of argument, of what use are such derivations, when the word adduced in derivation is equally in need of explanation with the word explained? In order that a distinct answer may be returned to this question, we shall adduce an example, ad aperturam, from Mr Graham's book. The word "Puto" signifies, originally, to prune; and hence, when applied to the mind, not to think, but to form an opinion, " putando," by pruning off superfluous subjects. Now, there is a large family of derivatives from this same parent, all of which come either from the pruning, or secondary source, and so soon as you have gone to the fountain-head, you possess a key to their various significations. To "ampu
a consequence to his body, and so is the tail of a paper
Let us now say a word or two on the "Extracts," which are meant to elucidate the history and principles of language. To these, learned as they are, and useful, we make no doubt, we have nevertheless one objection. It is not that they are ill calculated to open the mind and set it a-thinking, but that they, in some cases, seem to contradict each other, and thus tend, in so far, to perplex the general reader as well as the student. That we may not be supposed to proceed upon an assumption, we shall quote two short passages under reference :
"The verbs, however, are not themselves the primitive words of our language. They are all in a state of composition-they are like the secondary mountains of the earth. They have been formed posterior to the ancient cultivation of human speech, which are the nouns."-P. 153, Part II. "Nouns, or the names of objects, are derived from verbs." -P. 166.
Now we are quite aware that these two things are reconcilable, and that this is in some measure effected in the extracts before us; but still we think that a view in which such seeming discrepancies did not occur, would have been preferable in an elementary volume. That objects were originally named from qualities, whether these qualities were permanent or temporary, whether adjective or verbal, no one who understands the nature of the terms will deny; and that verbs, in a more advanced state of any language, are again derived immediately and directly from nouns, whose original verbal or adjective signification has ceased to be felt, is equally certain; and there lies betwixt these two facts a connecting field, over which, in a second edition, Mr Graham may exercise his talents carefully and successfully. An eye, to the ordinary speaker, is quite arbitrary; no one thinks of or feels the derivation; and hence the verb to eye-hand the noun, and hand the verb,-part the noun, and part the verb head the noun, and head the verb, &c. are all " in pari casu;" but that does not militate against the fact, that all those seemingly arbitrary sounds were originally derived from some particular quality or use. The verbal or adjective expressions from which eye, hand, head, part, &c. were originally derived, have been lost sight of, the general quality or use has superseded the particular, and on this general use a new verb has been constructed. These are the primary and secondary parts of speech, in spite of Hearne and Horne Tooke; and hence, in all languages, original nouns are expressive of particular qualities, and the farther up you go, you have the more of them; witness:-Fud, a short tail,-rap, a smart stroke, -stour, moving dust, &c. The words tail, stroke, and dust, were all equally particular and derivative once, but have now been generalized. One word has been built upon another, and another again upon that, and so on through an infinity of successive formations.
We conclude by earnestly recommending this valuable volume to all teachers whose minds are open to conviction, and capable of benefiting by the well-directed labours and talents of its author.
An Autumn in Italy. Being Constable's Miscellany, Vol. XLVI. Edinburgh. 1829.
THIS is a very pleasantly written volume. The author is evidently a man of taste and good sense. We believe it is the first work he has given to the public, but he is not altogether unknown to the readers of the LITERARY JOURNAL, having contributed to its pages several interesting "Letters from Rome," which, we perceive, he has incorporated with his book. He appears to have made a pretty extensive tour through the north of Italy and the States of the Church. He visited all the principal cities, and describes them graphically and minutely. We do not observe that his researches have led him to any very new discoveries, or any very deep train of thought; but he passes from subject to subject smoothly and agreeably; and he will be read with pleasure, both by those who may wish to recall to their remembrance scenes which they themselves have seen, and by those who are content to sit by the fireside, and listen to what other men have to say of foreign lands.
FINE ARTS THE ANNUALS FOR 1830.-Friendship's Offering. The Amulet.-The Winter's Wreath.-The Juvenile Forget-me-Not.
We have seen the greater part of the embellishments of these pretty presents for the ensuing Christmas, and
some of them are, as usual, exceedingly beautiful. We shall introduce a few of them to the acquaintance of our readers. In "Friendship's Offering," there are twelve as pleasing specimens of the painter's power, and the engraver's art, as one could wish to see. We wonder who J. Wood is, for three of the twelve are by him, and they are all fine things. Imprimis, we have a lovely creature with a bunch of wild roses in her hand, a smile upon her lips, innocence in her eye, and "waving curls aboon her bree;" and all we regret is, that the title, “Mine Own," is printed at the foot of the picture. It was a vulgar thought;-many a man may wish that such a creature were his own, but why should every grocer's apprentice be permitted to profane so much beauty by calling it "Mine Own" as soon as his gooseberry eyes rest upon it? Turn we the leaf, and behold another work of Wood's,-the young “ Lyra,” a child of surpassing loveliness, with a face full of animation beaming out from a cloud of golden hair, and with black rocks and a dark sky behind, to make the contrast stronger. "The Honey Moon" is Wood's third effort; it is rich and voluptuous, but the lady's face is deficient in expression. The principal fault we have to this artist's countenances is, that he does not seem exactly to understand the proper drawing of the mouth, which is in general too much puckered up, and the lips rather thick. He is evidently, however, a painter of great ability. The fourth embellishment is a landscape by Arnold of the Royal Academy, finely engraved by Goodall. It is a pleasing and graceful composition, and the foreground in particular, with the trees on the right, is beautiful;-the central hill in the distance is perhaps a little too formal. "The Masquerade," by Kidd, comes next. The execution of this picture greatly excels the conception. The principal figure represents a lady dressed for a masquerade; but it is not every painter who can paint a lady, and if it was Kidd's intention to do so in the present instance, he has egregiously failed. There is vulgarity not only in the chief figure, but in all the subordinate incidents. In a certain measure to atone for this, there is a great deal of elaborate work on the picture, very skilfully and cleverly managed. But how inferior as a whole is it to the succeeding piece, "Reading the News," by David Wilkie! The quiet and exquisite humour of this group might furnish a theme for a day's talking. At present we can only say, that it is, in our mind, the gem of the "Friendship's Offering." "The Spaewife," by Stothard, is full of that artist's usual mannerism. We should know one of Stothard's faces among a thousand, there is little or no power in them. Very delightful is the painting entitled "Catherine of Arragon," by Leslie. The face and figure of Catherine are replete with elegance and tranquil beauty, and all the minor details of the picture are admirably finished. “Early Sorrow," by Westall, is also a striking picture. The grief of the little girl on finding her favourite bird dead is well and forcibly brought out. "Vesuvius," by Turner, is one of those paintings to which comparatively no justice can be done by the engraver, because it is to its colouring that it mainly owes its effect. It is evidently a fine bold work, changed by the burine into little better than a picture for a nursery-book. “Spoletto," is a spirited landscape, not very well engraved, by T. Jeavons. The twelfth embellishment is one of the most interesting of the whole. It is from a painting by that truly elegant and gentlemanly artist Stephanoff Mary, Queen of Scots, presenting her son to the Church Commissioners." The arrangement of the figures is excellent; the delightful contrast between the acute severe faces of the Presbyterian ministers and elders, softened down into temporary placidity by the presence in which they stand, and the lovely features and high-bred mien and gait of Mary herself and her female attendants, is particularly deserving of attention. We have seen no production of Stephanoff which pleases us so much; the subject was a fine one, and it is finely handled. With such attractions,
Mr Pringle, the able and amiable editor of the "Friendship's Offering," need not doubt that the work will be extensively sought after.
We find the plates of "The Amulet" arranged in the following order :-I. A picture of a girl, (a beautiful creature, whether of fancy or reality,) splendidly painted and splendidly engraved, but neither the painter's nor engraver's name is yet attached. II. “The first interview between the Spaniards and Peruvians," from a painting by H. P. Briggs, an interesting and well-managed work. III. "The Gleaner," by J. Holmes, engraved by Finden; and we do not know whether to give the painter
enable him to avoid an error very frequently committed, -the introduction of the idiomatic phraseology of our own into a foreign tongue. The volume contains a series of idiomatic phrases and sentences, in French and English, upon the following subjects,-Literature, the Drama, the Arts, Manners, Morals, Health, Time, Weather, Exercises, Dress, Amusements, the Table, Horses, Travelling, Trade, Law, Property, Politics, Diplomacy, the Army, and the Navy.
Observations on a late Pamphlet by Mr Stone on the Phrenological Developement of Burke, Hare, &c. By W. R. Greg, Esq. Edinburgh. John Anderson. 1829.
MR GREG must have an extraordinary desire to see himself in print, else he would never have thought of gi
been said and written against Mr Stone, by Mr Combe himself, and other persons of some intellectual and phrenological vigour. The bump science is at a low pass when Mr Greg has to come forward as its champion. He writes as if he were hugely angry with Mr Stone; but there is not a fact, argument, statement, inference, or conclusion, worth a farthing in the whole of his pamphlet.
OLIVER & BOYD'S CATECHISMS.-A Catechism of Geogra-
or the engraver greater praise, both have acquitted themselves, in their separate department, so admirably. This embellishment alone must put "The Amulet" on a par with any of its rivals. IV. "The Irishman's Children," by W. Collins, a simple and noble sea-piece, well engraving these fourteen pages to the public, after all that has ved by Charles Rolls. V. "The Crucifixion," by Martin, wild and gloomy, but not true to nature, and a good deal too much in the melo-dramatic, or Bombastes Furioso style, like all the other productions of that muchbe-puffed and self-imitating artist. It is admirably engraved by Le Keux. VI. "The Dorty Bairn," by Wilkie, representing a girning little girl taking a peep at the reflection of her discontented face in a looking-glass, which is held up to her by her mother, and pointed out to her by her brother, a gutsy young rascal, munching his bread and butter with the utmost self-complacency. The group is, of course, cleverly executed, but is by no means one of Wilkie's best things. VII. This plate still wants a title; but it appears to represent a Neapolitan fisherman playing on the guitar, and singing to a contadina. It is well executed. VIII. A pretty painting by Penry Williams, cleverly engraved by Henry Rolls, representing a girl decking the hair of her female friend with wild-flowers, IX. A girl playing on the Man. delin, painted by Pickersgill, a good picture, but we wish the girl's face had been prettier. X. A humorous scene by Smirke, containing some very clever comic figures, particularly smirkish. XI. "The Anxious Wife," by Mulready, represents the interior of an English cot tage, and the light let in by the window is managed with great softness and beauty. But why has not the wife a more interesting face? She seems a nice enough sort of creature, but she is not one whom an uninterested spectator can care very much about whether she be anxious or not. We venture, however, to say, that not one of the Annuals will be much superior to "The Amulet," in point of embellishments.
We have seen only four of the plates for the "Winter's Wreath," and of these the "City of Dordt, from the Harbour," painted by Austin, and engraved by our clever townsman, William Miller, pleases us most. "The Hunters of the Tyrol," and "The Mandolin," by Howard, are also interesting pictures.—Of Mrs Hall's "Juvenile Forget-me-Not," we have seen five plates,-1st, "The Favourite of the Flock," a lamb caressed by two little girls; 2d, “Hugh Littlejohn, Esq.," an acute-looking young gentleman in a tartan dress; 3d, " The Blind Sailor," a pleasingly grouped rustic scene; 4th, "Bob Cherry," three beautiful children, very cleverly painted by Miss Ross; and "Holiday Time," an engraving from Henry Richter's admirable interior of a village-school. We cannot help being pleased with almost all these specimens of art, and shall be glad to know that they who so ingeniously cater for the public amusement, are well compensated for their labour.
French Phraseology, or Travellers' Manual. Being a Compendium of such Phrases as most frequently occur in Conversation. In French and English. By Charles C. Hamilton. London. Whittaker, Treacher, and Co. 1829. 12mo. Pp. 247.
THIS will be found a useful pocket-companion by the French student, whether at home or abroad. It will
THESE are exceedingly nice little books, and cannot fail to be found most useful auxiliaries to parents and tutors, in conveying to the youthful mind a general knowledge of a variety of subjects. We are glad to understand that it is the intention of Messrs Oliver and Boyd to publish
a series of these Catechisms on various branches of science,
literature, and art. The respectability of the gentlemen whom they have engaged to act as editors, is a sufficient guarantee that they will be well executed.
RECOLLECTIONS OF A PARSONAGE.
Or all the errors which the worldly wisdom of Papacy has generated and fostered, the celibacy of her clergy appears to me to be the most pernicious. True, by this device the affections and interests of the clergy are kept clear of local attachments. The vast tree of Papal dominion overshadows the earth, and its boughs stoop to, without rooting in, the soil. A unity of interest, feeling, and purpose, is everywhere preserved; and all that concerns the man is brought into subordination to what merely interests the priest. Still, however, the cone is inverted the minor is preferred to the major-the less to the more important, and the fancy-wrought sympathies of art are substituted for the genial interweavings and connectings of nature. All this is true, apart from considerations of a more revolting character-considerations which involve those outgoings of feelings and passions, which are only nominally, and not really suppressed, into all the wilds and wildernesses of hypocrisy and vice. The waters, which might have run clear and peaceful in their natural channel, when thus dammed out into the sandy desert, bear along with them nothing but turbulence and impurity.
in Johnson's Dictionary, that the word " marry" signifies, "to take for husband or wife," and that is quite sufficient for my purpose. And yet I would have wished there had been a variety of expression, such as was customary with the Roman bridegroom, who "led," and the bride, who "veiled". terms sufficiently expressive of support and direction on the one hand, and of maidenly modesty on the other. But this by the by. Look at our clerical bachelors. I enter not into the cause -I merely scan and weigh the consequences. One settles down into a good fellow, hospitable even on Sabbath, and strongly addicted to all manner of convivial potations. It were hard and uncharitable indeed, to think or say ill of so excellent a person's open heart, open purse, open house, open cellar, open church-door too, and open seats -but rather empty,-here and there a sleeper, a yawner, or a dotard. A sirocco has passed over the pews, and the malaria breathes from every seat. The sermon is well enough-cold, moral, argumentative—but it wants the power of arresting attention. Its very correctness is a fault-the taste displayed in its composition an error. With one-half of the pains and the talent displayed, and an infusion of earnestness into the manner, its effects would be quite different. But " peace be within our Zion's walls," since prosperity, by this method, is not likely to reach her palaces.
Another clerical bachelor-for they may truly say, with the poet,
never comes to the point with any, but so soon as a smile or two extra is wared upon him, he takes the alarm, and is off at a hand-gallop. He has made more hair-breadth escapes than an old sailor who has been half a century at sea, and continues to thank his stars that he is, in fact, the most useless and contemptible of God's creatures. Alas! my people Israel! what a protector in danger, -adviser in doubt,-comforter in trouble,—and admonisher in the hour of dissolution! May God pity and send his own comforter to support you!
As for a gun, a greyhound, a license, a clerical sportsman of the bachelor breed, the thing is a "lusus naturæ," rare and disgusting: let it quickly pass into oblivion, its only refuge from ignominy and contempt. Enough of bachelorship ;—let us turn the leaf, and, according to our original proposal, follow out the pathway of clerical matrimony. Not that even this pathway, all hallowed as it is by the most beautiful and delightful associations, is without its sharp corners and rugged ascents. A smattery of children must have porridge and clothes, and education, and £150 or £200 per annum is soon spent in a family of 14 or 16 individuals. The world may come in the shape of worldly cares and difficulties, and the "Man of God" be modified into the care-worn worm of earth. But even here there are relieving sights the hand, the heart, is open-it wells through every care-it gushes in unrestrained refreshment over the wide and widening circle of parental affection. "Life's cares are comforts;" and such assuredly are the parson's young family to him whose hope is in his God-whose trust is in his word— who looks at his little ones, and thinks how the young ravens and lilies are fed and clothed! Turn we, there
"Nos numerus sumus, et fruges consumere nati ;"— another bachelor stiffens up into the rigid folds of a purse-mouth. Instead of the "os rotundum et magna soniturum," you have the puckered radii of wrinkles play-fore, to the more ordinary and sunny side of the picture ing at each corner of his mouth. He becomes, first, careful, and addicted to augmentations; then more careful still, and given to solitude; latterly, the symptoms of the disease break out upon his moral frame, and his very clothes, as well as diet, indicate the miser. Woe unto the flock whose shepherd this man is! He has no feeling in
common with their temporal or spiritual necessities, but regards his office as a possession, and his church as a living. Had he but married the girl that loved him, and whose heart, in the progress of his ambition, he permitted to break, he had been a different character; but the die is cast, and
"Quicquid delirant reges, plectuntur Achivi." My heart bleeds for the poor flock!
Who comes next?—What, my friend and early companion,—now lowered down, by little and little, into the very gulf of indolence! Of all kinds of indolence, clerical is the most deep and reposing. From Sunday to Sabbath, and from Sabbath to Sunday, nothing to arouse nothing to excite-nothing to agitate-not a child to squall, nor a wife to admonish ;—his hands in his breeches' pockets, and his waistcoat half buttoned ;-his pathway round the corner of his manse and back again;-his daily enquiry, a few glances at the sky on the score of weather, and a query or two respecting dinner;-his reading restricted to a weekly paper, sorely soiled, and an Edinburgh Almanack. And yet my friend was a man, at college, active in the pursuit of knowledge; but he was jilted in early life by a gipsy, and " hinc illæ lacrymæ." His hearers know his worth, yet despise him. They nickname him" Shelly Coat," as if his indolence had covered him all over with limpets.
But some are bachelors from choice-some from necessity. Amongst the former class my friend Will Dorricoat figures. Will is ever on the wing, and has been twice fined at the Presbytery for attending clerical courts in a surtout. He rides a spruce horse, cracks a whip with a silk lash, and wears gloves and overalls. He never sallies forth from his own gate but his very servant-girls titter respecting his foible-the ladies. Yet, with all Will's address, and attention, and endeavour, he continues still, and is likely to continue, a bachelor. He
-to him who, with his first entrance upon his clerical studies, has contracted an ardent affection for what is lovely, and pure, and truthful, for the bright and beaming eye, and the bosom where love plays the hermit, and lurks almost unseen. Oh! against how many snares, The rays of the sun are calculated to extinguish the and from what misery, is he not, as it were, ensured. earthly flame, and the heart which is hallowed night and day with the image or presence of one truly and deservedly beloved, will never play the moth with the candlewill never toy with sin. Woman-beautiful, sanctifying, hallowing woman-how many hast thou not in the potency of thy innate purity, rescued from evil, from degradation, and death-death of feeling-of heartof hope of all that makes man happy, useful; and if thy sway is known and acknowledged in the wide circle of human happiness, it is felt peculiarly in "the manse,”— in the bosom of him who, but for an early and virtuous attachment, might have howled curses in the desert, or "grunted with glutton swine" under the shambles of perdition. And if the seed-time be beautiful, the harvest is rich and luxurious, mellowed down by the richer tints of accomplishment and fruition. The minister's family is an epitome of the minister's parish. They both consist of the same elements of husband and wife of parents -children-brothers-sisters-relatives-masters-servants. There cannot occur a demonstration of parish feeling which has not its counterpart in the manse. The father's love and care for his offspring-the mother's affectionate tenderness-the husband's reposing confidence
the wife's contented reliance the children's claims, and the master's and servant's interests-all these are represented in the "camera obscura" of the minister's fireside.
"Haud ignarus mali, miseris succurrere disco," says the married clergyman, as he dives with a soothing enquiry into the secret recesses of the bleeding heart. As he comforts the widow or the widower, as he consoles the fatherless, and aids the helpless and dependent, he is only acting the part for which he has been previously, and is daily, schooled, in the exigences of a family. "Such
pity as a father hath unto his children dear," like pity exercises he towards that larger family whom Go dhas committed to his trust.
But clerical matrimony is twice blessed. It not only blesses the parish, but the priest. The farmer is a busy man all day long; and his avocations withdraw him, in heart and in spirit, as well as in person, from domestic enjoyments. The merchant and manufacturer are in similar circumstances; and even the laird has legitimate avocations which in no degree identify him with his lady or family. But the clergyman is never so truly in the garb of his duty as when he is sitting in his easy chair, with a book on the table before him, and a child on either knee. Oh God! what are the feelings of that minister of God, who can reside from day to day undisturbed in the centre of his family—whilst wife and children are encircling him like Saturn in a ring, or Jupiter in his satellites! and all the while permit no silent and rejoicing outgoings into the past-into the golden season of love and courtship—which has only been superseded by the still more engrossing and delighting period of matrimony? --or into the future, it may be—the vast and fathomless future-where lie bands and gowns, and epaulets and civic honours, for the little churchmen, warriors, and statesmen, who are now so seriously engaged at taw!
NEWS FROM ROME.
We have been much gratified with the letter, an abstract of which we now present to our readers. Rome is the capital of artists, whatever their country; and it is the centre of activity in their profession. In it are stored up, as in a treasury, the richest fragments of the art of the old world, and the noblest treasures of the new. In it are to be found the delegates and representatives of every nation under heaven, catching inspiration from these works, and endeavouring to rival them. It is in it, too, that not only the artist, but the mere lover of art, may gain a high practical insight into its mysteries, which he might elsewhere seek in vain. It is for this reason that we snatch so gladly at every piece of news from Rome. But our friend's letter will, we trust, prove interesting both as containing matter of gratification for this laudable curiosity, and as affording a pleasing picture of the aspirations, and progressive developement of the powers of an ingenuous mind :
"There are many English artists here. With the pictures of Eastlake and Severn you are probably acquainted. They support the respectability of English art; which is lucky, for several unfortunate exhibitions of pictures have been opened by our artists. Perhaps you have already heard of Turner's turn-out. He exhibited three pictures, one of which was beautiful, but the other two were greatly inferior. There was a view of Orvieto, as yellow as crome could make it; and a Medea, finely conceived, but with little else to recommend it; extravagant in the execution, badly drawn, the colours not blended, yellow, red, and white all in confusion. Poor Turner! he was much abused even by the English-to the Italians and Germans his works were incomprehensible. Andrew Wilson has made a great many views in the neighbourhood of Rome. At present he is engaged with a large picture, a view of Gensano, which is nearly finished. I think his restoration (if we may so call it) to his beloved Italy has improved him much. The scenery around him is congenial to his feelings, and seems to inspire his pencil. I may add, that the climate is so suited to his constitution, that he enjoys excellent health, which never was the case in Scotland.-I come now to the Italians. The subject is ungrateful. Art is in a miserable state. Camuccini has laid the foundation of a bad school of painting; Canova of an equally bad
school of sculpture. I do not mean to insinuate that there is any want of talent, but it is wrong directed— the system is bad. The Italians pay much attention to drawing, but they caricature; of colour and effect they have little notion; of execution, less. Either they are ignorant of the use of glazing; or entertain an idea that it is inconsistent with genius to employ mechanical aids which were unknown to the great masters. They try to colour all at once; nay, their prejudice against glazing is so strong, that one of them replied to a gentleman, who, when he saw him endeavouring in vain to catch the colouring of a picture he was copying, remarked, that the original was glazed-'I know it; but I will not glaze.' The consequence is, that old pictures, especially Venetian and Flemish, suffer dreadfully in the hands of Italian cleaners, who take off the glazing, considering it dirt. The beautiful Communion of St Jerome,' by Domenichino, has been treated in this way, and the picture has hence acquired (as Mr Wilkie expressed it) leathery appearance.—The French have an excellent academy here, which produces good artists, especially architects. The French school is doing more at present than any other.-Rome is inundated with moustached German artists. Their extraordinary appearance can only be equalled by the extraordinary style of art they have adopted. Some of them paint beautifully, and their pictures, except, perhaps, that they are more highly finished, resemble the works of some of our own artists. But the majority have followed Pietro Perrugione in all his eccentricities. They have much talent, but surely this is a perversion of it.
"The private collections in Rome are of very different degrees of merit. The finest gallery, without doubt, is the Borghese, the pictures of which are in tolerable preservation. It makes one melancholy to walk through some of the galleries, and see all around numbers of the finest pictures going to wreck and ruin, partly from want of care, and partly from the miserable avarice or poverty of their proprietors. The Vatican itself is not exempt from this reproach; the pictures there are many of them in very bad condition. What they have been, may be inferred from the admiration with which they were regarded when they were first painted, and from their beautynotwithstanding the neglect they have suffered. You can form no idea of the sculpture galleries of the Vatican. Superb halls, decorated with columns and pilasters of the most rare and precious stones, paved with Mosaics, and filled with fine statues,—'tis the realization of a fairy tale. The Torso of the Belvedere is my favourite piece of sculpture. When I look on this trunk, I can scarcely believe it the work of a mortal. With the frescoes of Michael Angelo and Rafaelle, as far as prints can go, you must be well acquainted, and have, no doubt, studied with attention the Sistini chapel. Bewick was for some time engaged copying the prophets and sibyls. That he might do it well, he had a high scaffolding erected in the chapel which brought him within a short distance of the paint ings. I went, by a fortunate chance, to the chapel while the scaffolding was still standing. From the ground, the upper part of the Last Judgment looks a confused mass; but when raised, what a variety of expression is discoverable in the countenances and attitudes of the figures! Hope, love, and joy in those of the blessed, contrasted with terror, despair, and death. Wilkie, on reaching the top, and looking around, exclaimed, Good Lord deliver us! He could not find language to express his wonder and admiration.
"I have presumed to make my own observations on these specimens of the still unrivalled excellence of the old masters, but I have also listened attentively to the opinions of experienced judges; and sometimes I have found them coinciding with my own preconceptions; often I have acquired new ideas. I wrote to you shortly after my arrival in Rome, but I pray God you may never have received that letter. The vanity of a young travel