صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

I am sensible it will be a trying time. However, I shall
endeavour to fortify my mind against the temptations of the
way, by a very careful perusal of your letter, and my mamma's
of the 31st October. I remember that formerly I had a
gift this way, and perhaps, with a little labour, might be
able to recover it, especially under so good a mistress. And
I am the more inclined to attempt it, because you know So-
lomon tells us that there is a time to kiss, Eccles. iii. 5. Our
translators, by a mistake, render it to embrace; but the ori-
ginal Hebrew word properly signifies to kiss. However,
if the ladies are very much bigoted to their English Bible,
we young scholars must yield ourselves to their argument
and their phrase.'

This is pretty well for a reverend non-conformist.
The"facetious" Thomas Hood, as he is now always
called by the smaller London critics, has produced a jea

executed by the no less "facetious" George Cruikshank.
The poem is a punning ballad in the metre of John Gil-
pin; and, on the whole, we think it dull, for reasons we
shall state one of these days. Meanwhile, the following
verses are a good sample of the general style:


other friend-not that I rejoiced in every thing that lookel like an excuse of your love to me, and made you the greatest of my creature comforts;-that, madam, I always allowed, and I allow it to this moment-but I condemned myself for this, that I put you almost in the place of heaven, and thus clouded the evidences of my own sincerity, and sacrificed the pleasures of a habitual communion with God to at best an inferior happiness, and too frequently to those tormenting agonies that arose from the suspicion of your love to me, or the fear of being otherwise deprived of you. This, madam, was one of the greatest faults I found to charge upon myself in my self-examination before the last sacrament; and this was what I solemnly engaged to endeavour to reform. And will you then condemn me if I | have not entirely forgotten an engagement of so sacred a nature? May God forgive me that I have forgotten it so far! If, upon the whole, you have less of my thoughts than you had some time ago, it is only that God, and my Re-d'esprit, entitled Epping Hunt, illustrated by caricatures deemer, and Heaven, may have more, and that the Divine Being might not be provoked to take away a friend of whom I had made an idol. Once more, madam, I do seriously assure you (and as I have often done before, I profess, in the presence of God) that I love you with greater tenderness than I can express; and that I have never permitted any friend upon earth to rival, or even approach you in my regard. I am daily praying, that if it be the good pleasure of God, I may be so happy as to enjoy you; and that it may be my daily and delightful care to make your life easy and pleasant, to promote your present and your future happiness. May God say Amen to this petition; and may you, madam, join your consent! But if you will barbarously and ungratefully despise my love, and banish me from your heart, and from your sight, though I have never deserved it from you, I shall deem it as a just punishment from God for the excessive fondness I have bestowed upon you. I cannot certainly say I should have strength and virtue to undergo so severe a trial; but I must submit myself to the determination of Providence; and this I can confidently affirm, that if I were to lose not only you, but every other friend whom I have in the world, many of them deservedly dear and valuable, though not one of them equally beloved with yourself,-yet while I have a sense of the Divine favour, the present entertainments of a scholar, a minister and a Christian, and the future hopes of everlasting glory, it will be my folly and my crime, if I am utterly inconsolable; and yet I cannot but often fear that I may be found so foolish and so wicked, if I am brought to the trial. My dear creature, let your goodness prevent it, and restore the peace of your anxious lover and faithful servant."

The Doctor's remarks on the interesting subject of kissing, will form an appropriate addition to these quotations :

"To Miss Rebecca Roberts:- Your rules of behaviour are certainly very judicious; but the business of kissing wants a little further explanation. You tell me the ladies have resigned their claim to formal kisses at the beginning and end of visits. But I suppose they still allow of extemporary kissing, which you know a man may be led into by a thousand circumstances which he does not foresee. I cannot persuade myself that this pretty amusement is entirely banished out of the polite world, because, as the apostle says in another case, even nature itself teaches it. I would not for the world be so unmannerly as to ask my aunt whether she has not been kissed within this fortnight; but I hope I may rely on her advice, and that she will not deceive me in a matter of such vast importance. For my own part, I can safely say, I look upon this, as well as the other enjoyments of life, with a becoming moderation and indifference. Perhaps, madam, I could give you such instances of my abstinence as would make your hair stand on end! I will assure you, aunt, which is a most amazing thing, I have not kissed a woman since Monday, July 10th, 1721, about twelve o'clock at night; and yet I have had strong temptations both from within and from without. I have just been drinking tea with a very pretty lady, who is about my own age. Her temper and conversation are perfectly agreeable to mine, and we have had her in the house about five weeks. My own conscience upbraids me with a neglect of a thousand precious opportunities that may never return. But then I consider that it may be a prejudice to my future usefulness, and help me into further irregularities-not to say that she has never discovered any inclination of that nature-and so I refrain. But to-morrow I am to wait upon her to a village about a mile and a half from Kibworth, and

"Towler and Jowler-howlers all-
No single tongue was mute;
The stag had led a hart, and lo!
The whole pack follow'd suit.

"No spur he lack'd-fear stuck a knife
And fork in either haunch;
And every dog he knew had got

An eye-tooth to his paunch!
"Away, away! he scudded like
A ship before the gale;
Now flew to hills we know not of,'
Now, nun-like, took the vale.

"Some gave a shot, some roll'd about,
And antick'd as they rode,
And butchers whistled on their curs,
And milkmen tallyho’d.

"About two score there were, not more,
That gallop'd in the race;
The rest, alas! lay on the grass,
As once in Chevy Chace.

"But even those that gallop'd on
Were fewer every minute
The field kept getting more select,
Each thicket served to thin it.

"For some pull'd up and left the hunt,
Some fell in miry bogs,

And vainly rose and ran a muck,'
To overtake the dogs.

"And some, in charging hurdle stakes,
Were left bereft of sense;
What else could be premised of blades
That never learn'd to fence?

"But Roundings, Tom, and Bob, no gate,
Nor hedge, nor ditch, could stay;
O'er all they went, and did the work
Of leap-years in a day!

"And by their side see Huggins ride,
As fast as he could speed;
For, like Mazeppa, he was quite
At mercy of his steed.

"No means he had, by timely check,
The gallop to remit,

For firm and fast between his teeth
The biter held the bit.

"Trees raced along, all Essex fled
Beneath him as he sate-

He never saw a county go

At such a county rate!"

We have now given our readers a peep, as it were, into four new books. ere long. We shall lay them more regularly open

Foscarini; or, the Patrician of Venice. In Two vols. London. Rowland Hunter. 1829. 8vo. Pp. 365 and 395.

THE time and scene of this romance are happily chosen. Venice had reached the highest point of her power and glory about the beginning of the 17th century. From that period her constitution may be regarded as a perfect piece of mechanism, which the weakest hands might set in motion, and the silliest beads direct. The state achieved subsequently no more conquests, the moral and intellectual progress of the community was checked, -the people became enervated and frivolous, but they who had given the government its form never contemplated that it should counteract these evils. Their object was to keep the state together and unaffected by the changes to which the rest of Europe was subjected; and this object they attained. Our author commences his story at a time when the citizens had been long enough excluded from all influential share in public business to have acquired an increasing frivolity of character, yet not long enough to render it unlikely that some high-spirited and bustling individuals might still survive to recall the stirring times of the growing republic. The tale, although, perhaps, a little too complicated, is well imagined. It seldom allows the interest to flag; and is so constructed as to give the author opportunities of presenting frequent sketches of Venice and its inhabitants, without interfering unduly with the progress of the incidents, or impressing the reader with the feeling that his characters are introduced merely to sit for their pictures. There is only one passage to be excepted from this praise, and that is where (vol. ii. p. 101) Pope Alexander III. is clumsily and unnecessarily lugged in to trample on the neck of Frederick Barbarossa. Of the dramatis persona, we would rather say that they are well conceived than boldly executed. The author seems to have read much, and reflected on what he has read; he has evidently, too, a just feeling of what his personages ought to be, and the outlines of all are spiritedly sketched, but they want filling up-they are shadowy and unsubstantial. The more prominent characters are far too deeply imbued with the philosophy of the present century for denizens of the seventeenth. On the whole, the impression left upon us by the work, is, that its author is a man of extensive information, strong intellect, warm and high feeling, but not exactly quite au fait as a novelist.

Any abstract of the story that our limits would allow us to give would be unsatisfactory. We might succeed in giving a narrative equally intelligible and interesting with the outline of a tale of murder contained in an indictment of our Court of Justiciary, but this would be to prune from the trunk of the tree every bough and leaf that the eye loves to dwell upon. We prefer laying a passage from the work before the reader, and leaving him to form from it a guess of the general style. We select a scene from a sitting of the Inquisition, that fearful and mysterious body, the keystone which upheld the arch of Venetian society:

"The Inquisitors held their sittings sometimes in one place, sometimes in another. That night they had chosen the oratory of San Fantino, a circumstance not calculated to calm an imagination already terrified at appearing before such formidable judges.

"The oratory belonged to the brotherhood of San Fantino, an institution whose ordinary duties were to accompany criminals to execution, and that in such funereal attire, that their very appearance must have increased the agony of the wretch, instead of tranquillizing his mind, and turning his attention to religious thoughts, which was the charitable design of the society. The ornaments of the church recalled to mind the melancholy vocation of its founders. It contained two altars; the largest, with its columns, front, and railing, appeared formed of black marble; from the centre arose an immense crucifix of the same colour, which was borne by the brotherhood when they walked in procession. On the right of the crucifix was

placed a statue of the Virgin; on the left that of St John; both in bronze. The sculptures on the front, which were composed of the same metal, represented the solemn mysteries of the passion, and several angels, as if all the divine powers were only different forms of death. The second altar, dedicated to St Jeremiah, bore his figure in white marble. The painting at the back imitated ebony and gold, and represented in three compartments, the various torremission of these pains to be procured to them by the ce ments of souls amidst the flames of purgatory,-the certain lebration of the mass, by the giving of alms, and by the indulgences of the Pope. The remainder of the church, which was in harmony with what has been described, was adorned with many fine pictures, by Tintoretto, Palma, and Titian.

by the persons who now occupied it; and their appearance "This ill-omened place was rendered yet more gloomy seemed to acquire new horrors from the place they had chosen for their tribunal.

"The judges, having a table before them, were seated on an elevated bench in the choir; the Inquisitor, who was called Red, from the colour of his robe, separated the two others in black, who wore the costume of the council of therhood, whose black serge gowns descended from the top Ten; opposite them were ranged the members of the broof the head to the feet; with openings for the eyes and mouth. An image of our Saviour was affixed to the breast; and their waists were encircled by a girdle of iron, from which fell a chain of the same metal. A person clothed in a Venetian surplice, with his face uncovered, sunken eyes, and care-worn features, seemed the only living being in the group; and he only represented suffering and degraded humanity. In an obscure recess, another individual concealed his head under his cloak; he was leaning against the statue of the Virgin. Placed between him and the judges, the sbirri were easily recognised by their hard and immovable features. The torches which they held, and those which had been lighted on the altar, shed a dim light through the vaulted aisles; giving a death-like appearance to animated The statues seemed to move before these gloomy altars, as objects, and producing in others the resemblance of life. the wind, affecting the flambeaux, agitated their shadows, like angry spectres, whom an influence, more powerful than death, had drawn from their tombs. The body of the church remained in obscurity: had any person fallen asleep in it prior to this assemblage, and awakened at this moment, he would, without doubt, have believed himself in that purgatory which had often been the object of his fears. "The tapers ranged on the table shone upon three faces, promising little to the prisoners. That of the red Inquisitor, Cornelius Zeno, though remarkably pale, was evidently characteristic of a stern and inflexible disposition; the bones of his hollow cheeks were prominent, and his sunken eyes, surrounded by a blue line, seemed to swim in blood. The countenance of Gradenigo was more expressive of energy and in his thin close-pressed lips. Without pourtraying than of mercy; which was vainly sought in his ardent eye, such absolute hardness of heart, the physiognomy of Basadonna was far from representing tenderness. The prisoner before them looked on them in despair; for there are critical situations in which nature renders us physiognomists. "For an instant the judges and the accused observed each words: Brother Guardian, you were forbidden to assemother in silence; at last Cornelius Zeno began in these charged with the police of the convents; or to hold any deble the chapter, without giving notice to the overseers liberation, unless in the presence of one at least of these magistrates. You have not only sinned against this law, but have repeated the crime, and lost all claim to indulgence. Go; your companions will find a salutary warning in your punishment.'

[ocr errors]

'Mercy, mercy!' cried the prisoner, who had listened to the sentence with as much horror and surprise as if it had been totally unexpected. Cornelius Zeno fixed on him his inexorable eye, whilst his two colleagues turned theirs on the ground, as if indifferent to what passed. 'Signor Basadonna, I am your follower; our meetings were innocent: will you allow me to perish for a disobedience become so common?'

"The eyes and face of Basadonna remained immovable, but Gradenigo answered harshly, The connexions between followers and their protectors are not recognised here. It is the justice of the Republic which cuts off a criminal. As to your innocence, we judge of actions only; intentions will be punished or rewarded in another world. Do your duty,' said he to the sbirri.

"Oh, my friends, intercede for me!' exclaimed the unhappy man to his companions.

It was in vain; terror had turned their attention to themselves; he only found cold automatons in these men, who, some hours before, were his partners in all the concerns of life; he found himself in the midst of his friends,

yet was he to die alone!

"Gradenigo coolly saw him struggle with the sbirri, who dragged him from the choir. Those citizens neither know how to live nor to die,' observed he. But what is the matter with you,' demanded he of Basadonna, who seemed uneasy; " are you unwell?'

"I cannot bear tears; I could sign twenty death warrants without emotion, and yet I could not bear to hear the

cries of one of these wretches.'

esquires, it coolly lifted its lance out of the rest, and fell to, belabouring them with the but-end. To quit our metaphor-the article in which the Edinburgh Reviewers replied to their Westminster brethren, was written unist, and is couched in terms of the utmost respect for that der the impression that Mr Bentham was their antagonvenerable and consistent philosopher. We have a PostSCRIPT, however, announcing that they are now aware who were the real authors of the attack, and disclaiming any extraordinary respect for them. In this, as in their original article on Mr Mill's work, the Reviewers do not pretend to determine whether his principles are right or wrong they merely maintain, that he has failed to demonstrate their truth. The final reply of the Westminster contained in the present Number, is unworthy the talent of that periodical;-it is a mere repetition of former assertions, like a sulky child's answer to its tutor's remonstrances" But I will, though." On looking back on this controversy, we confess it seems to us to have been waged on the part of the Westminster with undue violence-with more of the rancour and intolerant spirit of sectarians than we should have expected from men cow-professing the principles which they do. At the same time, they are not far wrong when they twit the Edinun-burgh with its uniform reluctance to commit itself on any and question of abstract principle.

"Cornelius Zeno, who had remained without taking part in the dialogue, now drew the two judges towards him, and spoke to them in a whisper; after which, addressing himself to the person who leaned against the statue, he said to him in a mild tone of voice, This will show you, that with the Republic no crimes are trifling; and you see how It can punish. You are at liberty to depart.'

"It was not the will to obey, which was wanting to this person; but fear had so paralysed his limbs, that, notwithstanding his repugnance, he was obliged to lean on, and allow himself to be conducted by the sbirri. He is a ard,' said Gradenigo.

"Would to God they were all so!' replied Zeno; fortunately, the spirit of the age is inclined to rebellion insubordination.""

We must not forget to mention, that, from the clumsiness of the style-not to say the want of meaning in many of the sentences, and the general coldness and stiffness of the dialogue we strongly suspect this book is a translation-we presume from the Italian.

We have no idea who is the writer of the Review of internal evidence, it must be some moon-struck Democrat "Lady Morgan's Book of the Boudoir;" but to judge by just broke loose from Moorfields. We did not hesitate to speak freely our opinion of her Ladyship; but our dicta look like fulsome eulogiums when placed beside the diatribe of the Westminster. And, what is worse, the

The Westminster Review. No. XXII. October, 1829. unhappy man has had the fortune to be most outrageous

London. Robert Howard.

THIS is but an indifferent Number. The article which seems meant as a final reply in the controversy with the Edinburgh Review, is scarcely worthy to be the successor of those which have preceded it. Since the Westminster started, it has every now and then been nibbling at the Edinburgh, which never condescended to notice its attacks till a few weeks ago. There appeared, however, in the Edinburgh Review for March 1829, an “Examination of Mr Mill's Theory of Government," where the Reviewer, without pretending to establish any system of his own, undertook to prove that author's insufficient. Now, Mr Mill is one of the principal contributors to the Westminster Review; and the coterie who manage its affairs seem to have viewed this attack upon him as a covert way of returning their civilities. Preparations were therefore made for carrying on the war on a more extensive scale. Great was the blowing of penny trumpets among the small fry who seek to distinguish themselves by retailing at second-hand the dogmas of the Westminster Review, and who bear the same resemblance to the abler spirits of that Journal, which the frog in the fable does to the object of its ambitious imitation. At last the warnote of the Review itself arose, drowning the minor din. It sounded as follows-" Greatest Happiness Principle Developed. With Mr Bentham's latest improvements, now published for the first time; and an Answer to the attack of the Edinburgh Review." It has subsequently transpired, that to give effect to this coup-de-main, Mr Bentham, Achilles-like, lent only his ponderous spear;

and that two of his myrmidons, Messrs Bowring and

Mill, undertook to wield it. But it seems to have proved too heavy even for their united strength, for they have used it slowly and ineffectively; yo-heave-ho-ing all the time like a knot of sailors tugging at the ropes of a battering ram. The Edinburgh, thinking that it saw the antagonist chieftain's banner in the field, couched its lance, and rode with many demonstrations of courtesy to

the combat. Finding, however, on reaching the centre of the lists, that it had only to deal with two of his

against those very passages which we thought most to her Ladyship's credit-where she speaks with frankness of the faults of her earlier works. In spirit, the article is not unlike one which some time ago appeared in the same Journal on the poems of L. E. L. A hard-hearted critic may easily pick out flaws in the works of this amiable poetess; and the Reviewer had evidently set himself down for this very purpose, and a thundering article he made of it; but by some strange fatality, he passed over every thing that is really objectionable, and wrote down as her faults the very things which go to constitute poetry. We wonder who the Caliban is?—some radical monster, no doubt, whom the weird sisters of the Westminster are obliged to propitiate, by throwing him once a-year a luckless female to mangle and devour.

The best article in this number is that on "Niebuhr's Roman History." It is a generous recognition of the merits of that distinguished historian, which this country seems so slow to acknowledge. Our only wonder is, that the Reviewers have not pounced upon some doctrines of his philosophical creed, which must be rank heresy in their eyes. The article on "Lady Fanshawe's Memoirs" is amiable and pleasing. The Review of "The Loves of the Poets," though rather dull, is fair enough, though it looks a little as if it had been written by such a man as Addison's Cato. What a subject for a poem"The Loves of the Westminster Reviewers!" The article on "Captain Basil Hall's Travels" is candid. It does not strike us that any of the other articles have much to recommend them.

The Literary Souvenir for 1830;- The New Year's Gift, and Juvenile Souvenir for 1830;-The Keepsake for


WERE We the only Reviewers in the world, we should take the advice which has been given to us by a corre spondent, and wait patiently till all these pretty books were published; that is to say, till they had been bought and sold, and people had seen them, and were prepared to appreciate our remarks. But as the art of reviewing

is far from being a monopoly, and is, in fact, little better than a mere mercantile speculation, there is consequently a scramble for priority of intelligence; and as we can command that priority, we do not see why we should deny ourselves the advantages to be derived from it, although we willingly grant that the thing is not much to be spoken of in comparison with good writing and sound thinking. In the present instance, we intend making two bites of a cherry, and shall confine ourselves principally to the embellishments of the books whose titles we have copied, reserving a notice of their literary contents for a subsequent Saturday.

entirely approve, however, of attempting to represent on canvass the glories of the inner temple. No reality which human art can present will ever equal the vaguely beautiful and sublime imaginings of fancy.-VII. “The Discovery," painted by Stephanoff, engraved by Goodyear There is something very delightful in this picture. We at one time thought Stephanoff a mannerist, but we were wrong-he is full of charming variety. There are two sisters, or perhaps cousins-both beautiful-almost too beautiful for this mortal world, and one of them is in love; but she was not certain whether her love was returned, till at this very moment, when her Notwithstanding the powerful competition which it lovely friend points out to her the name of " Rosalie”— had to encounter, the circulation of the Souvenir for 1829 her own name-cut out on the bark of a tree. What a was greater than that for 1828; and this is entirely to flush of glad surprise on the fair face of Rosalie! what a be attributed to the good taste and excellent management quick but pleasant throbbing of her gentle heart! and of its Editor, Mr Alaric Watts, who, by attending more how delightedly does her sister share her happiness! Ay, to the intrinsic merit of the articles he admitted than to and in yonder glade, do you not see the gallant youth the celebrity of the author, was able to present such a standing as if not quite sure of his fate; yet hoping, selection of contributions as reflected no disgrace on the strongly hoping all the time? Thou hast genius, Steliterary metropolis of this literary age and country. We phanoff! thou hast told the story as one who underhesitate not to say, that the Souvenir for 1830 will be stands the human heart, and knows how to make thoughts found in all respects equal to its predecessor; in the mat- and feelings flash from the pencil.-VIII. "La Fille ter of illustrations, it is perhaps, on the whole, superior. bien Guardée," painted by Chalon, engraved by Charles These are arranged in the following order :-I. "Mrs Rolls. Now may the gods help thee, bold and merry Siddons in the character of Lady Macbeth (in the letter damsel, with the rich blood of Spain tingling through scene.)" This is a fine and striking representation of the thy veins! Thou art indeed well watched! There is only actress who ever did justice to the terrible creation the old gentleman, thy guardian; and the ancient lady, of the poet. The very picture is enough to make us feel thy duenna; and the young sharp-witted rogue, thy how feeble and ineffective all subsequent Lady Macbeths page. Good lack! where art thou to conceal a smile have been. The painter is G. Harlowe, and the engra- or a billet-doux ? The life of many a valiant cavalier ver Charles Rolls.-II. "A Portrait," painted by Les- hangs dangling on those dark tresses of thine, but there lie, engraved by Danforth. Is she not a beautiful and they must dangle till doomsday; for thou durst not highborn creature,—the daughter of one of the noblest raise thy hand to cut them down. But bide thee yet!houses in England? Well has the artist set her patrician the old don will die, and the old lady will be gathered to dignity upon her brow, and over her stately and graceful her ancestors, and the young page will run thine errand form thrown the rich garments and glittering jewels of to the end of the world for one glance of thy sunny eye; the east, not in the hope of making that form more state- and then, thou merry damsel! will there not be "racing ly or graceful, but because its natural gait and air suit and chasing on Canobie lea?" By our troth! thou wilt best with purple and gold. Not a wandering exhalation then know of what stuff men's love is made, and gallants of low or vulgar thought ever passed across the clear will gather round thee like stars round the moon!--Just mirror of her mind. She is the rising star of her an- one other remark, the page's leg is out of drawing. cestral halls, and we see in her the future mother of a IX. "The Tournament," painted by Martin, engraved long line of British aristocracy. Let the poet beware by Willmore. Like all Martin's productions, this picwho strings his aspiring lyre to sing of a being such as ture is rather imposing at first sight, and when more this.-III. "The Sale of the Pet Lamb of the Cottage," closely examined, is something very like a piece of humpainted by Collins, engraved by Charles Rolls. This is bug. The eternal sameness-a sameness, too, of bad taste a story of domestic life-a story of innocent childhood—and absurdity-in this artist's style, is quite disgusting. beautifully and affectingly told. Our principal objection to the work as a piece of art is, that it contains two distinct groups, and consequently wants a central point of interest. The eye wanders over the picture, instead of resting upon it; we are pleased with every thing it contains, but we do not see what it contains at once. We have the children round the lamb in one place, we have their mother receiving its price from the butcher in another,—and we have the fine landscape in the neighbourhood of the cottage in a third. This is a pity, for in all other respects the conception and the execution are excellent.-IV. "Portrait of Viscountess Belgrave at nineteen years of age," painted by Sir Thomas Lawrence, engraved by R. Graves. This is the portrait of a lady, painted by a gentleman; and in these days of affectation and quackery, this is praise of a very high kind.-V." Oberon and Titania," painted by Howard, engraved by Edwards. Though the engraving of this picture is good, we miss the warm and glowing colours of Howard, which give to his style half its charm. The subject is richly and elegantly handled.-VI. "Jacob's Dream," painted by Allston, engraved by Goodall. This is a bold idea, spiritedly executed.

The effect is striking and visionary, and the subdued but golden light which streams over the marble pavement of heaven, and bathes the angels in glory, is such as might well illumine into gladness the slumbers of the patriarch. We do not

He is a man of but one idea, and with that one idea he has gulled the public. We had intended to have said something more concerning him, but we find so very admirable an article on his abilities by a correspondent of one of the London weekly papers (the Atlas), that we at once withdraw our own remarks to give a place to his, which coincide exactly with our own opinions. We are the more tempted to dwell a little upon this matter in consequence of the ignorant and bombastic puff given to Martin in the last number of the Edinburgh Review. His talents are placed in a very different and far truer light in the following sentences:

[ocr errors]

"The appearance of the first large picture of Mr Martin (the Belshazzar,' we believe), was an event in the annals of design took captive the senses, blinded the judgments of of fine art. The dazzling brilliancy of colour and novelty the many, stultified the connoisseurs, and surprised the critics napping. The gaping vulgar flocked to wonder and applaud, and more sober judgments kept aloof in grudging silence; while artists envied its success and began imitating. The drawing of his figures was bad, his colouring meretricious, his effects theatrical-but the surprise was too much for the public; and, in this triumph of perspective, Mr Martin carried off the wreath of applause at the point of sight.' He has now received the seal of critical decision, the verdict of the Edinburgh Review-he has got his diploma of art from the Scotch College, and it only remains for him to be made an R. A. He has done enough-his present reputation is established, and his fame must be left to poste


rity. Mr Martin is an ingenious man, and possessed of a bold fancy and taste more magnificent and gorgeous than chaste and natural. His imagination is of a substantial nature, gross and palpable. He produces his effects on the mind by the weight of architecture and the force of perspective. He amazes the sight with a profusion of unnatural and splendid colours-oppresses the senses with heaps of accessaries, and out-does Mr Farley in the tinsel and glitter of display. But his productions do not either move the heart or affect the mind-they are physical appeals to the outward senses. They are not nature, nor do they resemble any thing that is in the heaven above, or in the earth beneath, or in the waters under the earth.' They are strange fantastical, extravagant, chimerical fancies, without the range of the probable, and on the borders of the impossible. Acres of mountain, forests of pillars, crowds of figures, shoals of vases and flagons, pyramids of steps, piles of frieze and pediment, cram his pictures to choking-you are treated to a surfeit of material-it is a city feast of fancy-a wholesale warehouse of architecture. Quantity is his recipe in all things. The funeral pile of his Sardanapalus' is a tawdry and lumbering heap of broker's furniture-mere Moorfields finery. His walls are of interminable length, and his towers every one a Babel. Domes with him are at a discount, and colonnades fairly go begging. His rocks are of the most approved fashion-his trees of the newest cut; sweeping lawns of miles in extent, neat, trimly dressed,' lead up to a mountain floating in the skiey distance. when you have seen one, you have seen all; it is teasing like the ever-shifting monotony of those toy prints, the Myrioramas, where the eye is tantalized by an endless variety of repetition. His structures are like an Egyptian temple seen through a prism-or a kaleidoscope of architectural details; the toy is perpetually presenting some new version of the old story; and Mr Martin may, with the same facility, go on painting new pictures to all eternity. It is a glut of the stupendous-a nausea of the gorgeous. If this is the praise Mr Martin's admirers want, let them have more There are his infernal scenes, where rocks of carbon and oceans of bitumen take the place of crystal lakes, trees of beryl, and mountains of adamant. A little black or white figure determines the scale of the design, and a Macadamized fragment becomes a rock of enormous magnitude. While a cornice moulding is transformed into a lustrous long arcade' some miles in length. This juggle of art-this stage-trickery is about as ingenious as the deception of the cosmoramas, where, in a peep-show, you see through a magnifying glass decent coloured prints amplified into miserable large pictures. Talk of St Paul's and St Peter's to Mr Martin's admirers! They will tell you that colosseum domes are dumps with him; the Andes and Cotapaxe molehills; and aloes plentiful as daisies. The pyramids serve him for buttresses, and a whole Egyptian temple is scarcely sufficient for a door-way. Balbec and Palmyra, in their high and palmy state,' are not large enough for porticoes, and the forest of Lebanon is but a shrubbery. Ossa' is indeed 'a wart,' and he may wear Mont Blanc on his finger for a diamond ring! If eccentricity be originality, novelty, invention, quantity, sublimity-then is Mr Martin the greatest painter that ever lived. Burke lays it down as a principle, that designs which are vast only by their dimensions are always the sign of a common and low imagination.' With Mr Martin's colouring and effects superadded, what would he say? Would the same authority, had he lived in this day, have called Mr Irving the best of preachers, or Mr C. Phillips the greatest of orators? We think not, any more than he would have allowed Mr Martin to be the greatest of painters."

So much for Mr Martin, who has almost made us forget the Souvenir. The next embellishment is-X. "Childe Harold and Ianthe," painted by Westall, engraved by Portbury. This is the worst thing in the book. Westall must be a regular dunce at times. This illustration is fit for nothing but a companion to that horrid one of his in this year's Souvenir, entitled, "She never told her love." He has painted Byron like a college lad, a sort of half-and-half divinity student; and Ianthe is like his landlady's daughter, who, we have no doubt, lives in South College Street, up at least two pair of stairs. Then the poor girl, in consequence of a blunder in the fore-shortening, has got a club foot; and, altogether, the production would do no credit to a child's sixpenny book. The admission of such an embellishment

is the only deviation from his correct taste of which we
can accuse Alaric Watts.-XI. "The Brigand's Cave,"
much pleased with this painting. It is well grouped, and
painted by Uwins, engraved by Charles Rolls. We are
the light and shade are finely managed.—XII. “ The
Sisters of Scio," painted by A. Phalippon (a foreign art-
ist), engraved by Henry Rolls. This is the last, and
one of the most interesting engravings in the volume.
There is a beautiful simplicity in the design, and a great
deal of calm power in the execution. The plate repre-
dently in the very depth of grief.
sents two Greek girls seated on a rocky coast, and evi-
The face of the one

is hid in the lap of the other, who looks down upon her,
but is yet unable to offer any consolation. The tale of
woe and desolation comes home at once to the heart.
Every thing has perished-their homes-their country-
their kindred! The sea breaks at their feet, but in their
despair they could silently lock themselves in each other's
arms, and wait till its waters flowed over them. We
should like much to see more of Phalippon's produc-
tions; he is a man of genius.

In the New Year's Gift and Juvenile Souvenir, which is edited by Mrs Alaric Watts, there are eleven illustrations, ten of which are exceedingly good, though of course inferior to those in the Souvenir. They are called (though we think some of the appellations misnomers) "Little Flora,"-" Children in an Armoury,"-" Toinette,”"Blind Willie and his Sister,' "The Broken Pitcher,"

"The Thunder Storm," "French and English,”— "Amy and her Dog,"-" Visit to Grandmamma,”—and "Little Goody Two Shoes." The eleventh illustration, -"The Cottage Door,"-is by that unfortunate man Westall, and very poor it is. Some of the literary contributions to this nice little volume are very pretty. As we possess, however, the only copy in Edinburgh, we shall not yet speak of them in detail. One, however, we shall quote, which is full of simple and natural feeling. It is a poem by Miss Mary Howitt :


"Sweet Ellen More,' said I, 'come forth
Beneath the sunny sky;

Why stand you musing all alone,
With such an anxious eye?
What is it, child, that aileth you?'
And thus she made reply:

"The fields are green, the skies are bright,
The leaves are on the tree,

And among the sweet flowers of the thyme
Far flies the honey-bee;

And the lark hath sung since morning prime,
And merrily singeth he.

"Yet not for this shall I go forth

On the open hills to play;
There's not a bird that singeth now
Would tempt me hence to stray;-
I would not leave our Cottage Door
For a thousand flowers to-day!'

"And why?' said I; 'what is there here
Beside your Cottage Door,

To make a merry girl like you
Thus idly stand to pore?
There is a mystery in this thing,-
Now tell me, Ellen More?'

"The fair girl look'd into my face,
With her dark and serious eye:
Silently awhile she look'd,

Then heaved a quiet sigh;
And, with a half-reluctant will,
Again she made reply:

"Three years ago, unknown to us,
When the nuts were on the tree,
Even in the pleasant harvest-time,
My brother went to sea;
Without a word to sea he went,
And a sorrowful house were we.

« السابقةمتابعة »