صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

Mr Chambers divides his History of the Rebellion in- has the art, as much as any living writer with whom we to eight Chapters, of which by far the most interesting are acquainted, of mixing the utile with the dulce, and is the fifth, in which we have an account of the battle of writing a book which is sure to be read. The conseKilliecranky. There is not a Chapter of greater merit quence is, that his price is rapidly rising with the pubin all our author's works than this. It is graphic, pic-lishers, and, we doubt not but that in a few years, turesque, and animated in the highest degree. We wish scarcely any literary man will be in the receipt of a betwe could quote the whole of it, but can only refer to it. ter literary income. The Chapter which follows, and which contains anecdotes of the battle, we suspect is more apocryphal. Its authority rests principally upon certain Highland traditions, by which it appears that the Highlanders on this day performed exploits sufficient to have made Hector, Ajax, and Achilles, ashamed of their own feebleness. We have a great respect for the Highlanders; and by the use he has made of their traditions, it is quite evident that Mr Chambers must have a still greater.

The Life and Actions of Alexander the Great. By the
Rev. J. Williams, A. M. Vicar of Lampeter. Being
No. III. of the Family Library. London. John Mur-
ray. 1829.

THIS is the work of a scholar and clever man, and is vigorously executed. Mr Williams is well known in

As to the Rebellion of fifteen, we were very much Edinburgh by his successful Rectorship of the New Aca

pleased with the manner in which the narrative commences. It is in these words :

"It is related, that on the 6th of December, 1688, when the Queen of James II. was in the act of flying from the kingdom, she was obliged to wait for an hour under the walls of Lambeth church, till a hackney coach could be procured from the city to convey her to the boat upon the Thames. She stood with the Prince of Wales in her arms, (then a child of four months,) very imperfectly sheltered from the heavy cold rain of a December night; not a single attendant, out of all that formerly constituted her court, was there to cheer her mind or relieve the irksomeness of her burden; and, as her eye wandered back upon the multitudinous lights of the far-spread city, she had ample time to compare the splendid retrospect of her fortunes, which that scene seemed to symbolize, with the dark future into which she was about to plunge. It is strange to think that the interests of a great people should have depended so much as they did, upon the fate of the miserable little infant which this desolate woman bore in her arms. Had a constable happened to come up during that hour, or had the coach been delayed, it is very probable that the House of Hanover would have never sat upon the throne-that we should have been spared the three rebellions of 1689, 1715, and 1745that, indeed, a totally different turn would have been given to the fate of the British empire It is vain, of course, to speculate upon what might have happened but for certain little circumstances; because, in the economy of both nations and individuals, little circumstances are perpetually affecting their fate; and what is there more in any one little circumstance than in another? Yet there is something peculiarly striking in the matter alluded to. It is allowed to have been the grand error, or rather, perhaps, the only misfortune, of the great men who achieved the Revolution, that they did not secure the person of the infant heir of King James, so as to educate him for eventual sovereignty in a style of politics and religion suitable to the wishes of the nation. By permitting his escape to France along with his parents, they insured his being brought up in principles which unfitted him for the government of the British nation; and thus inducing the necessity of adopting a Protestant heir from a distant branch of the royal family, they gave unnecessary occasion to a race of pretenders, and introduced an uncertainty of principle into the whole theory of succession, which may even yet be productive of mischief. It is certainly to be lamented, that the Queen was not arrested with her precious charge during that last hour of her residence in Britain, which she spent under the walls of Lambeth Church."-Pp. 157-9.

demy. His Life of Alexander "is chiefly intended," he tells us in his Preface, "for youthful readers;" but we are well convinced that readers of far riper years, who take an interest in these classical subjects, will peruse it with no small profit and gratification. It is strange, however, to think how little the great mass of the reading public care about Alexander the Great. He is the very god of our boyish idolatry; but after we have been well buffeted through Curtius and Plutarch, our nature seems to undergo a change, and the fiery Macedonian is laid upon the shelf, probably for the rest of our lives, unless we happen casually to recur to him for the purpose of pointing a moral. Were more books at our command, like that now before us, this might not be the case. The only fault we can find with Mr Williams is, that his style is perhaps a little too dry. "There is something


more wholesome and invigorating to the mind," he observes, in the naked perception of truth, than in all the glowing colours of fancy." This is very correct; but the young reader, especially, looks for something attractive, as well as wholesome and invigorating. We could have wished, therefore, that the colours here and there had been a little more glowing. Yet the work is one which cannot but reflect high credit upon its author. It is full, accurate, and learned.

The Christian Student. Designed to assist Christians in general in acquiring Religious Knowledge. With Lists

of Books adapted to the various Classes of Society. By the Rev. Edward Bickersteth, Minister of Sir George Wheler's Chapel, Spital Square. London; Seeley & Burnside. 1829. 12mo, Pp. 636.

MR BICKERSTETH is well known in the religious world as a very useful writer, by several practical works on theological subjects, which are distinguished by their sound reasoning, consistent piety, clearness of arrangement, and simplicity of style. He has already given the reading public three or four treatises in the shape of modest duodecimos, and now we have a volume, which we cannot describe better than by saying, that it is, in appearance, a very twin brother to Mrs Dalgairns' Cookery Book, and contains an immense deal of advice and infor

held in such estimation, that the "Scripture Help," his first production, has, we observe, reached a fourteenth edition; his other treatises, " On Prayer," "The Lord's Supper," and, "On hearing the Word," enjoy nearly an equal share of the public favour.

In this History also we have to complain that the real character of the Earl of Mar is too much sheltered formation on a variety of subjects. His former works are the sake of the cause he ultimately espoused. Mar was a mean, truckling, weak, and selfish politician; and yet, after in effect allowing this, Mr Chambers sums up by saying, "But it is but justice to the memory of a man who has been somewhat hardly dealt with by posterity, to say that, under better circumstances, he might have shone as one of the greatest and most unimpeachable characters." We confess we cannot understand this; if it means any thing at all it would serve as an apology for the most consummate villain that ever existed.

But take it for all in all, and this volume, of which we have given so imperfect an account, will be read with much pleasure over the whole country. Mr Chambers

Touching Mr Bickersteth's new volume," The Christian Student," it seems to be a work intended principally for theological students and young clergymen, but may be studied with advantage by all classes. We would particularly recommend to candidates for holy orders, Chapter X., "Advice to a Student on entering the University." The whole seven sections also of Chapter XI., containing, "The Fathers, The Schoolmen and their

Contemporaries, The Reformers and their Successors, -The Divines of the Restoration and Revolution,—and Modern Writers," embrace a great deal of useful and pleasantly written biographical sketches. The arrange ment of the work is excellent; and the lists at the end of the volume display a comprehensive knowledge of books, old and new.

Stories of Popular Voyages and Travels; with Illustrations. London. Effingham Wilson. 1829.

THIS is a very pretty and entertaining volume. It contains abridged narratives from some of the most popular recent writers on South America, particularly Captain Basil Hall, Captain Head, Mr Waterton, and Mr Ward. It is illustrated with several excellent lithographic plates, and among the rest an admirable caricature by Cruickshanks, representing Mr Waterton riding on the back of the cayman or crocodile. To those who are not able to purchase, or who have no leisure to read, the larger original works, this volume will be both pleasant and profitable; and to the young it will serve the double purpose, of both tempting them to read, and repaying them for reading. We shall be glad to see the ingenious editor produce more volumes upon a similar plan.

FINE ARTS.-Gleanings from the Portfolio of an Amateur. By Sir James Stuart, Bart. Edinburgh. D. Lizars. 1829.

SIR JAMES STUART is well known as an amateur artist of great boldness and freedom of pencil. These Gleanings from his Portfolio are worthy of the reputation he has acquired. Including the etching on the cover, they are six in number:-1. The Studio; 2. The Stirrup Cap; 3. Ruins of Corfe Castle; 4. A Study from Velasquez; 5. A Study from Vandyke; 6. Fishing-Boat, Torbay. Of these the Stirrup Cup, and the two designs after Velasquez and Vandyke, please us most. We have seen the originals of the two latter, and can answer for the great truth and spirit of the copies. The grouping in the Stirrup Cup is exceedingly good; and in the sketch of Corfe Castle it is hardly inferior. Altogether these "Gleanings" are well worth the attention both of the artist and man of taste.



By the Ettrick Shepherd.

ONE fine day in the summer of 1801, as I was busily engaged working in the field at Ettrick House, Wat Shiel came over to me and said, that “ I boud gang away down to the Ramseycleuch as fast as my feet could carry me, for there war some gentlemen there wha wantit to speak

to me."

"Wha can be at the Ramseycleuch that wants me, Wat?"

"I couldna say, for it wasna me that they spak to i the byganging. But I'm thinking it's the Shirra an' some o' his gang."

I was rejoiced to hear this, for I had seen the first volames of The Minstrelsy of the Border, and had copied a number of old things from my mother's recital, and sent them to the Editor preparatory for a third volume. I accordingly went towards home to put on my Sunday clothes, but before reaching it I met with THE SHIRRA and Mr William Laidlaw coming to visit me. They alighted and remained in our cottage for a space better than an hour, and my mother chanted the ballad of Old Maitlan' to

them, with which Mr Scott was highly delighted. I had sent him a copy, (not a very perfect one, as I found afterwards, from the singing of another Laidlaw,) but I thought Mr Scott had some dread of a part being forged, that had been the cause of his journey into the wilds of Ettrick. When he heard my mother sing it he was quite satisfied, and I remember he asked her if she thought it had ever been printed, and her answer was, "Oo, na, na, sir, it was never printed i' the world, for

my brothers an' me learned it frae auld Andrew Moor, an' he learned it, an' mony mae, frae ane auld Baby Mettlin, that was housekeeper to the first laird o' Tushilaw."

"Then that must be a very auld story, indeed, Margaret," said he.

"Ay, it is that! It is an auld story! But mair nor that, except George Warton and James Steward, there was never ane o' my sangs prentit till ye prentit them yoursell, an' ye hae spoilt them a'thegither. They war made for singing, an' no for reading; and they're neither right spelled nor right setten down."

"Heh-heh-heh! Take ye that, Mr Scott," said


Mr Scott answered by a hearty laugh, and the recital of a verse, but I have forgot what it was, and my mother gave him a rap on the knee with her open hand, and said "It was true enough, for a' that."

We were all to dine at Ramseycleuch with the Messrs Brydon, but Mr Scott and Mr Laidlaw went away to look at something before dinner, and I was to follow. On going into the stable-yard at Ramseycleuch I met with Mr Scott's liveryman, a far greater original than his master, whom I asked if the Shirra was come? "Are ye

"O, ay, lad, the Shirra's come," said he. the chiel that mak the auld ballads and sing them ?" "I said I fancied I was he that he meant, though I had never made ony very auld ballads." "Ay, then, lad, gae your ways in an' speir for the Shirra. They'll let ye see where he is. He'll be very glad to see you."

During the sociality of the evening, the discourse ran very much on the different breeds of sheep, that curse of the community of Ettrick Forest. The original blackfaced Forest breed being always called the short sheep, and the Cheviot breed the long sheep, the disputes at that period ran very high about the practicable profits of each. Mr Scott, who had come into that remote district to preserve what fragments remained of its legendary lore, was rather bored with the everlasting question of the long and the short sheep. So at length, putting on his most serious calculating face, he turned to Mr Walter Brydon and said, "I am rather at a loss regarding the merits of this very important question. How long must a sheep actually measure to come under the denomination of a long sheep?"

Mr Brydon, who, in the simplicity of his heart, neither perceived the quiz nor the reproof, fell to answer with great sincerity," It's the woo, sir-it's the woo that makes the difference. The lang sheep hae the short woo, and the short sheep hae the lang thing; and these are just kind o' names we gie them like." Mr Scott could not preserve his grave face of strict calculation; it went gradually away, and a hearty guffaw followed. When I saw the very same words repeated near the beginning of the Black Dwarf, how could I be mistaken of the author? It is true, Johnnie Ballantyne persuaded me into a nominal belief of the contrary, for several years following, but I could never get the better of that and several similar coincidences.

The next day we went off, five in number, to visit the wilds of Rankleburn, to see if on the farms of Buccleuch there were any relics of the Castles of Buccleuch or Mount Comyn, the ancient and original possession of the Scotts. We found no remains of either tower or fortalice, save an old chapel and churchyard, and a mill and

mill-lead, where corn never grew, but where, as old survey any with so much attention. Satchells very appropriately says,

Had heather-bells been corn of the best,

A single serious look at a scene generally filled his mind with it, and he seldom took another; but here he took the names of all the hills, their altitudes, and relative situations with re

The Buccleuch mill would have had a noble grist. It must have been used for grinding the chief's black-gard to one another, and made me repeat them several mails, which, it is known, were all paid to him in kind. Many of these still continue to be paid in the same way; and if report say true, he would be the better of a mill and kiln on some part of his land at this day, as well as a sterling conscientious miller to receive and render.

Besides having been mentioned by Satchells, there was a remaining tradition in the country, that there was a font stone of blue marble, in which the ancient heirs of Buccleuch were baptized, covered up among the ruins of the old church. Mr Scott was curious to see if we could discover it; but on going among the ruins we found the rubbish at the spot, where the altar was known to have been, digged out to the foundation, we knew not by whom, but no font had been found. As there appeared to have been a kind of recess in the eastern gable, we fell a turning over some loose stones, to see if the font was not concealed there, when we came upon one half of a small pot, encrusted thick with rust. Mr Scott's eyes brightened, and he swore it was an ancient consecrated helmet. Laidlaw, however, scratching it minutely out, found it covered with a layer of pitch inside, and then said, “Ay, the truth is, sir, it is neither mair nor less than a piece of a tar pat that some o' the farmers hae been buisting their sheep out o', i' the auld kirk langsyne." Sir Walter's shaggy eyebrows dipped deep over his eyes, and suppressing a smile, he turned and strode away as fast as he could, saying, that " We had just rode all the way to see that there was nothing to be seen."

I remember his riding upon a terribly high-spirited horse, who had the perilous fancy of leaping every drain, rivulet, and ditch that came in our way; the consequence was, that he was everlastingly hogging himself, while sometimes his rider kept his seat despite of his plunging, and at other times he was obliged to extricate himself the best way he could. In coming through a place called the Milsey Bog, I said to him, " Mr Scott, that's the maddest deil of a beast I ever saw. Can ye no gar him tak a wee mair time? He's just out o' ae lair intil another wi' ye."

[ocr errors]

"Ay," said he, we have been very oft, these two days past, like the Pechs; we could stand straight up and tie our shoes." I did not understand the joke, nor do I yet, but I think these were his words.

We visited the old Castles of Thirlestane and Tushilaw, and dined and spent the afternoon, and the night, with Mr Brydon of Crosslee. Sir Walter was all the while in the highest good-humour, and seemed to enjoy the range of mountain solitude, which we traversed, exceedingly. Indeed I never saw him otherwise. In the fields on the rugged mountains-or even toiling in Tweed to the waist, I have seen his glee not only surpass himself, but that of all other men. I remember of leaving Altrive Lake once with him, accompanied by the same Mr Laidlaw, and Sir Adam Fergusson, to visit the tremendous solitudes of The Grey Mare's Tail, and Loch Skene. I conducted them through that wild region by a path, which, if not rode by Clavers, was, I daresay, never rode by another gentleman. Sir Adam rode inadvertently into a gulf, and got a sad fright, but Sir Walter, in the very worst paths, never dismounted, save at Loch Skene to take some dinner. We went to Moffat that night, where we met with some of his family, and such a day and night of glee I never witnessed. Our very perils were matter to him of infinite merriment; and then there was a short-tempered boot-boy at the inn, who wanted to pick a quarrel with him, at which he laughed till the water ran over his cheeks.

I was disappointed in never seeing some incident in his subsequent works laid in a scene resembling the rugged solitude around Loch Skene, for I never saw him

times. It may occur in some of his works which I have not seen, and I think it will, for he has rarely ever been known to interest himself, either in a scene or a character, which did not appear afterwards in all its most striking peculiarities.

There are not above five people in the world who, I think, know Sir Walter better, or understand his character better, than I do; and if I outlive him, which is likely, as I am five months and ten days younger, I will draw a mental portrait of him, the likeness of which to the original shall not be disputed. In the meantime, this is only a reminiscence, in my own line, of an illustrious friend among the mountains.

The enthusiasm with which he recited, and spoke of our ancient ballads, during that first tour of his through the Forest, inspired me with a determination immediately to begin and imitate them, which I did, and soon grew tolerably good at it. Of course I dedicated The Mountain Bard to him ;

Blest be his generous heart for aye;
He told me where the relic lay,
Pointed my way with ready will,
Afar on Ettrick's wildest hill,

Watch'd my first notes with curious eye,
And wonder'd at my minstrelsy:

He little ween'd a parent's tongue
Such strains had o'er my cradle sung.


Harp of the North, that mouldering long hast hung
On the witch-elm that shades St Fillan's Spring.
Lady of the Lake.

THE genius of romantic poesy could not have chosen a fitter retreat than the borders of St Fillan's Spring. It is a wild, luxuriant, unbroken solitude-a perfect cento of Swiss or Highland scenery. To be viewed aright, a Highland landscape should be seen in the pride of summer. Then, the most barren rocks are touched with verdure; alpine plants and trailing shrubs-the glossy arbutus, saxifrage, &c.-climb the steepest precipices, and every patch of sheltered greensward has its knot of wild flowers. Even the water, oozing through rents and fissures, and trickling down ledges of herbless granite, has, in its delicious coolness, something of summer beauty; and it is ten to one but we find a small shaded well, or In the old pastoral disbunch of primroses, at its base. tricts, the cattle of many hills may be seen grazing on the silvan plain by the side of the lake-the native woods, oak, larch, and birch, are full of leaf and fragrance-the streams, as they glance and fall in the sun, are rife with trout or salmon-and the blossomed heath and furze (emblems though they be of our churlish soil) are redolent of bees and birds. If it be the Sabbath morningBlest day, so calm, so bright,

The bridal of the earth and sky !—

the wanderer is touched by the spectacle of the whole population of the glen journeying to the house of prayer— the old men with their plaids and bonnets, the youngsters in their kilts, and the girls bareheaded-for you will not see a dozen female bonnets in a Highland church-but with their hair finely curled and plaited, and their garish red or chequered shawls hung over their arm. These, as they issue in separate groups from the rocky passes, or descend the braes and woods, give an interest and picturesqueness to the mountain landscape that is never forgotten by the spectator.

Such are some of the elements of a Highland strath or glen, arrayed in the glory of summer. Painters, who love contrast, prefer the commencement of autumn, when the "sere and yellow leaf" is superadded to the staple green of the woods; but there is more of mirth

and joyousness in the full luxuriance of summer. Old thoughts and feelings come back to the mind with greater vividness and freshness, and new fancies stream more freely into the imagination. Dr Johnson seems to have partaken of this feeling, when, in the course of his tour, he sat down on a bank in Glen Morrison. He had no trees to whisper over him, but a clear rivulet streamed at his feet: "the day was calm, the air was soft, and all was rudeness, silence, and solitude." We have here concentrated the essence of a thousand descriptions of wild mountain scenery. The “melancholy" Jacques, with his intellectual revellers in the forest of Arden, has nothing finer.

The river Fillan derives its source from the pure springs of the lofty Benlaoidh, in the western extremity of Breadalbane, Perthshire. It waters the beautiful vale of Strathfillan, to which it gives name, and falls into Loch Dochart at Benmore. Issuing from this lake with the floating isle, it winds its way through another glen, and is finally merged in the waters of one of our finest lakes, Loch Tay. About six or seven miles from its source, at the edge of a plain on which Robert Bruce fought with the Cumings, and near the ruins of St Fillan's Cathedral, is St Fillan's Spring, or the Holy Pool. The river is here as pure and pellucid as crystal, and the pool about fourteen feet in depth. A ridge of rocks runs midway into the stream, forming an effectual screen to the bathers on either side.

The waters of the Holy Pool are believed to possess unnumbered medicinal virtues, and are still resorted to by pilgrims in the summer months. Fletcher, in his Faithful Shepherdess, has beautifully described one of these sainted wells, which was scarcely more efficacious in working cures than St Fillan's Spring :

In the thick grove bordering upon yon hill,
In whose hard side nature hath carved a well,
And, but that matchless spring which poets know,
Was ne'er the like to this. By it doth grow,
About the sides, all herbs which witches use,-
All simples good for medicine or abuse,—
All sweets that crown the happy nuptial day.-
With all their colours; there the month of May
Is ever dwelling, all is young and green;
There's not a grass on which was ever seen
The falling auturnn or cold winter's hand,
So full of heat and virtue is the land

[ocr errors]

About this fountain, which doth slowly break
Below yon mountain's foot, into a creek
That waters all the valley, giving fish

Of many sorts to fill the shepherd's dish.

This holy well (my grandame that is dead,

Right wise in charms, hath often to me said,)

Hath power to change the form of any creature,
Being thrice dipp'd o'er the head.

The manner in which the pool obtained its healing powers is thus described by the natives. Fillan, the patron saint, possessed a certain stone or talisman, by whose virtue he was able to cure every disease incident to mankind, and also the irrational creation. When on his death-bed, the holy man foresaw that, after his decease, disputes would arise among his kindred as to who should possess the gifted stone; and, in order to avoid all such unseemly brawls, he one day rose from his couch, and, calling his friends together, proceeded with them to the edge of the pool. He then told them, that he was resolved not to bestow the talisman upon any single individual, but to render it useful to all mankind. So saying, he dropped the stone into the pool, and no man has since dared to take it up. After the death of Fillan, the people flocked from all quarters at the appointed times-Whitsun and Lammas eve-to bathe in the holy pool before sunset. They were erdered to go three times over the head, and to take the same number of pebbles from the bottom of the well. After dressing, they went three times round each of three cairns on the top of the rock, leaving a pebble at each cairn, and some small portion of their raiment. The same process was observed on the following morning, before sunrise. In cases of insanity, the formula was more trying and severe. The poor patient was tied round the middle with a rope, and either carried or wiled on to a

Thence he was pushed

stone in the water near the rock. into the pool, and submerged three times in its healing waters. A friend of mine lately saw this operation performed upon a poor maniac, and not without difficulty, for the patient contrived to slip his cable and swim to the opposite shore. Having made the round of the cairns, after submersion, the unhappy individual is conducted about half a mile to the ruined Cathedral, where there is a large hollow stone, called "St Fillan's pillow." Into this his head is laid, and the body fastened with ropes to huge logs of wood, placed adjacent for the purpose. In this position he remains all night, unless relieved by the interposition of supernatural agency, in which case the patient recovers his lost senses, and returns cheerfully with his friends. Should he happen, however, not to be so fortunate-and this is the more frequent result of the ordeal—the dipping is repeated next morning, and the party resort to the fuaran derg, or red well, a mineral spring on the south side of the river, opposite the ruins, and drink of its waters. There are certain insects or animalculæ in the well, from the appearance of which auguries of good and evil are drawn. An old woman, who lived lately in a hut near the spring, was specially versant in this strange species of augury, and would freely communicate the result of her divinations for a small reward, proportioned to the circumstances of her visitors. On the face of the rock, there is also a small crevice called Clach na'mbonnach-the Bannock stone-where the friends of the patient used to bake oaten cakes for the sickly. If, after all these trials had been thrice repeated, the party did not recover, he was justly deemed incurable, and his friends resigned themselves to the will of Providence.

These old traditions are fast fading from among the bulk of the people, and only exist in remote districts—the dying embers in the crucible of superstition. R. C.



THE works of Architecture must be measured by other standards than even the purest conceptions of general good taste and refinement. In Sculpture and Painting, the prototypes by which their copies are to be judged, will ever remain to us, and any accurate observer of nature will be enabled to draw conclusions, at least with regard to their accuracy. But for the models which guided man in his architectural creations, where are we to look? -certainly not in the modifications of natural forms. Architecture had its origin in usefulness or fitness; and, through all its multiplicity of combination, that grand principle will be found omnipresent. It is true that there are many accessories which are absolutely indispensable to the production of either beauty or sublimity, such as delicacy of workmanship, appropriate richness of detail, and magnitude of parts; but unless they are founded, or have the appearance of being founded, on the aptitude of the means employed to the end desired to be produced, instead of giving pleasurable sensations, they will only remain to attest the ignorance of their unprofitable creators. Now, this being the case, it is plain, that without a practical knowledge of the difficulty of uniting and blending the jarring elements which are often so opposite, yet so dependent upon one another, criticism is deprived of its value. To this knowledge, when viewing a splendid example of ancient architecture, are almost all our emotions of entire satisfaction assignable.

Though Dr Memes in his recent "History of Sculpture, Painting, and Architecture," seems to have some doubts on the subject, Architecture must have appeared at an earlier date in the history of mankind than Sculpture,nay, more, must have ventured on rough attempts at ornamental detail, ere any approximation to the rudest species of imitative carving was made. This position, from the nature of the wants which man, in his primitive state, finds

himself first, and most peremptorily, called on to relieve, were required, the temple of Apollo at Delos might be may, with all safety, be assumed; and to these early at- mentioned. Though all following the same grand laws tempts at architectural decoration, Vitruvius, with perhaps of proportion and arrangement to an architectural eye, more justice than is generally allowed him, assigns the dis- a volume of most amusing description is laid open when tinctive features of the different orders. However this may viewing the various examples of the Doric, scattered over be, it is confessed on all hands, that, to view the art in a Greece and Magna Græcia—no two specimens being exvigorous infancy, we must turn our eyes to Egypt. It is actly similar, but each possessing some peculiarity entirely true, the Egyptians invented no order,-the Doric, Io- its own. If we may venture to give an opinion on the nic, and Corinthian, being indisputably the delightful very few examples of the Ionic or Corinthian which recreations of Grecian intellect; but in their temples we main to us, we should presume that the same system of first discover the leading principles, which, having modi-varying enrichments and proportions was observed through fied and refined them, the Greeks so entirely adopted. these orders, as witness the temple on the Ilyssus, how This is particularly evident by the use made in Grecian chastely plain, when compared with that of Minerva Architecture of the long, unbroken, horizontal line, sup- Polias; while the temple of the winds, when placed by ported, at proper distances, by the conic frustrum. That the side of the Choragic monument of Lysicrates, seems the Egyptians, however, were only hovering upon the hardly to belong to the same order. A beautiful and cerverge of right, scarce aware of the limits between it and tainly pure example of the Corinthian order was discowrong, their fondness for many forms, inelegant in ap-vered by Wilkins, in the island of Milo. This example pearance, and useless in reality, sufficiently evince. The pyramid and obelisk are Egyptian; in the former, where magnitude, and real, as well as apparent, durability are the leading attributes, there is a sort of recompense for the sacrifice of form; but the latter can be rendered agreeable under no circumstances whatever.

Turning from Egypt to Greece, we at once find the art at the zenith of its perfection; from Greece, like an aloe, which flourishes but once, it has sent forth its delicious odour over the earth, and faded away, never again to delight mankind with such unearthly blossoms. The Greeks, in their Architecture, as in every thing else, were wonderful only as a nation-as individuals, they were unostentatious, simple, and almost rude. It is to their public edifices we must look for any thing great; and, though time and political convulsions have destroyed many of them, still the list is not small of their temples which survive even to the present age. Well might they have said, with the poet,

"We have a nobler monument than Egypt

Hath piled in her brick mountains o'er dead Kings,-
Or Kine,-for none know whether those proud piles
Be for the monarch, or their Ox God Apis.
So much for monuments that have forgotten
Their very record."

is by no means so well known as it ought to be; we have seen it executed on a small scale, to which it is best adapted, with the happiest effect.

Ever since the discovery of the Grecian remains, the works of the Romans have sunk wonderfully in estimation. Gorgeous, certainly, and magnificent, from the magnitude and richness of detail, and the bold impressive way in which the arch has been employed, they nevertheless appear of smaller value the more they are thoroughly scrutinized and examined by refined and correct laws of taste. The Italian architects, who followed in the footsteps of the Romans, are still more degenerate; and, were their productions to be judged by mere outline, apart from extraneous ornament, they would be found to be writhing in the greatest agony of linear contortion. Broken entablatures, urns, and statues, ad infinitum, fillets as large as tenias, circular niches, monstrous representations of ideal forms, broken pediments and circular pediments, and pediments at an angle of sixty degrees, and pediments within pediments,-these, and a hundred other barbarisms, are the characteristic marks of what may be properly termed the Gothic style, from which charge even such names as Scamozzi, Vignola, Alberti, De Lorme, &c. &c., and even that of Palladio himself, will scarcely save it.

Of the three orders invented by them, the Greeks seem There are, we venture to assert, only two styles, which, to have most fondly attached themselves to the DORIC; in as pure a manner as possible, ought to be aimed at in and there assuredly does exist an unbending freedom and the practice of a modern architect :-one is, of course, the moral dignity of demeanour about that order, which pecu- Grecian, in all its ample variety of order and solemn efliarly coincides with the historical features of the Greek fect of unbroken outline; the other is what is generally character. Situated, as they generally are, in the lonely termed the Gothic, though more accurately, the ENGLISH and romantic wildernesses of nature, surrounded by wood, style of Architecture. In these two systems, ample scope sea, and mountain, these Doric temples rise out of the is given for the imagination, without calling upon the earth like the very habitations of the classic deities to judgment to adopt any thing for effect which it must conwhom they were dedicated. Madame de Stael, when demn in principle. Concerning the propriety of giving speaking of a fine example of classic Architecture, observes, the term ENGLISH to this latter species of Architecture, "that it is the only work of art which produces in the we may remark, that we use the term, not because we beholder an effect similar to the wonders of nature. And believe that Gothic was of English birth; being, on the it is probably upon this principle, that we are to account contrary, satisfied that the Gothic first arose in Italy, as for the feelings of veneration and awe with which the re- a corruption from the Roman, and gradually spread over mains of Greek art must ever be viewed by those who are most of the European countries, where it assumed wise enough to remain its humble imitators and admirers. various forms, according to the civilisation and taste There are some, in these latter days, who, like Prome-of the different nations. The expediency of its forms, theus, boast of having discovered the fire which belonged for the purposes of Christian worship, was no doubt to the architectural creators. Such men talk of restoring the original cause of its extended adoption; but it is the Parthenon, and—as if it were a thing which required worthy of remark, that the nearer we get to Italy, or them to put forth but half their energies-of uniting the to places where Roman Architecture was known and beauties of the three temples, Minerva Polias, Pandrolus, practised, the more those forms are lost sight of. Britain, and Erectheus, in one building; and, in short, of recrea- on the other hand, long after the Roman conquest, was ting an Acropolis worthy a Modern Athens. comparatively in a barbarous state. It had as yet established no fixed laws in matters of even greater importance than those of taste; and, though the Romans had left some specimens of their magnificent conceptions behind, they had never impressed the minds of the islanders so effectually as to instigate them to imitation. When the Normans entered England, they no doubt brought with them those lessons in taste and workmanship which they had learned in their native country. The period was but

"Oh! knowledge of presuming man,
Of thought fallacious, and of judgment vain!"

If a selection were to be made of the finest specimens of Grecian Doric, the temple of Minerva at Sunium, of Minerva at Athens, and of Theseus at Athens, might probably be named, as possessing all the real grandeur, without the inert bulkiness and rude asperity of some of the earlier examples; and if still more elegant proportions

« السابقةمتابعة »