網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

of mind, but there is an elegance and justice of thought upon you, Mr Bryant, to solicit the honour of your vote throughout his work which renders its perusal extremely and interest at the ensuing election for Middlesex.' pleasing. The story is that of a young man, who finds « « Mr Wilkes,' replied the stationer, “I'll be plain with himself, when he first begins to reflect, apprentice to a you. I will give you neither my vote nor my interest. stationer in the city, with not one human being who I shall vote against you, and use my interest against you. claims kindred to him. His prepossessing character and I voted against you in the city; I shall vote against you appearance win him friends, and he is about to sail, under at Brentford ; and I shall vote against you everywhere.' their patronage, for the West Indies, when he is crimped I thank you for your candour,' said the patriot, and shipped off, as a common soldier, to the East. At smiling, but perhaps you will reconsider the matter. the island of Madeira, by a desperate effort of resolution, I have had a promise from your worthy brother, Mr he makes his escape, and the ship sails without him. He Robert Bryant.' is hospitably received by an English family, and is on “ • Then my worthy brother is a great fool for his the eve of returning to England when he again falls into pains ; he would do much better to mind his own busithe toils of a mysterious person, who was the principal ness,' answered the stationer, he will get no good by agent in his first violent seizure. He proceeds to India, voting for you.' distinguishes himself by his bravery, makes friends, and “• He will serve the cause of his country's liberty,' returns to England. Here he again encounters his per- | replied the candidate. secutor, who acknowledges that he is his father. Cir « « Serve the cause of a fiddlestick,' replied the stationcumstances, however, occur to render this man's claims er; "he had better stay at home and serve himself. His doubtful in the eyes of our hero, who eventually proves country won't thank him.' to be the son of a wealthy baronet, upon whom his pre “I am afraid, Mr Bryant,' said the patriot, that tended father bad palmed off a son of his own. The story there is too much truth in your observation. There is a is skilfully managed, except at the conclusion, which is sad want of public spirit. People think only of themabrupt and rather unsatisfactory. We are not made to selves.' see clearly by what means the hero's parentage was at " • And who else, in the name of wonder, should they length clearly established. The characters are well con think of?' asked Mr Bryant. ceived ; in particular, the real and pretended fathers of “The bluntness of the loyal citizen was not unamuthe subject of the story, his sturdy old master, and a sing to the patriotic candidate, who, in spite of indicascoundrel attorney. They seem, however, to be deli tions of impatience on the part of his supporters, was neated by one more conversant with his own imaginings, inclined to entertain himself with the scene a little longer. than the rough outside of humanity, and have, in conse Replying again to Mr Bryant, he said : “ They should quence, a somewhat unsubstantial appearance. Oppor- | think of their country, Mr Bryant.' tunity is taken to introduce two of the lions of the day “ “ So should you, Mr Wilkes,' replied the loyal man, Wilkes and Dr Johnson. As the author's success in and have kept out of it when you were out.' portraying two persons of such general notoriety seems " " But I returned,' said the patriot, with most exemto afford the fairest test of his powers, we lay before our plary patience, “that I might more effectually serve my readers some of the scenes in which they are made to country.' appear. The first extract introduces us to Wilkes on a “ • Your country is much better served without you.' canvassing expedition.

«« Come, Mr Wilkes,' said one of his impatient sup"Mr Bryant's harangue was cut short by the noisy porters, “ you are only wasting your precious time.' shouting of a tumultuous rabble, who ran roaring up

“ ' And wasting mine too,' added Mr Bryant, ` and Holborn, Wilkes and Liberty for ever! Hurrah for keeping customers out of the shop.' number Forty-five! Presently the loyal stationer's sbop

"• I feel inclined,' said the patriot, ' to be a customer was more than half filled by a small detachment from myself.' the crowd, in advance of which were three well-dressed

« Mine is a ready-money business,' said Mr Bryant; gentlemen. One of the three wore a gold-laced hat, a

and so saying he retreated to his little back parlour, coat of foreign cut, a tamboured waistcoat, and a steel

leaving the courteous democrat to proceed on his canvass hilted sword. The other two were of less fashionable to more auspicious quarters. The people who had aeaspect. From his back parlour Mr Bryant discerned the companied Mr Wilkes into the shop were very much eninvasion, and he hastened to meet it in no very good

tertained by the unceremonious rudeness of Mr Bryant, humour. He put on his hat, which he always wore in

at which they laughed most heartily; for though they the shop, as token that he was master, and he encounter

were all Wilkites, by virtue of their mobility, and did ed the democratic candidate for Middlesex with as much

most cordially sympathize with Mr Wilkes in his oppo unbending firmness, as Dr Busby is reported to have re

sition to the king and the ministers, yet they could not ceived Charles the Second, when he made his unexpected

but enjoy the blunt and sturdy independence with which appearance in the schoolroom at Westminster.

the shopkeeper addressed the gentleman.'” " • Give me leave,' said one of the supporters of the patriot, 'to introduce to you, my friend, Mr Wilkes.'

Our next gives a view of the same character in a The courteous patriot bowed most gracefully to the

somewhat different situation. inflexible stationer, who, with his hands in his waistcoat “ Mr Wilkes took his seat in the coach as quietly as a pockets, stood immovably behind the counter, frowning lamb, between the two officers who accompanied bim, an awful negative, and disdaining, as a matter of prin- and when the word of command was given to the coachciple, to return the candidate's bow. The contrast be man to drive to the King's Bench, a groan of indignation tween the gaily-dressed and accomplished champion of rose from those who heard it not. And there was a geliberty, and the plain, blunt, loyal stationer, was curious neral cry of Shame,'' Shame!'-' To the city,'' To the and striking. A stranger, who had known nothing of city! Frank, who in the impetuosity of his zeal had Mr Wilkes but from newspapers, dead walls, and win taken a prominent part in the great outcry, now considow shutters, would scarcely have been able to recognise dered himself, and was considered by those about him, the champion of popular rights, in the smart, trim, bow as one of the ringleaders ; and the extemporary homage ing gentleman who stood at Mr Bryant's counter. The which was thus paid to him, did at once flatter and stisturdy stationer, with his blunt bluffness, looked most mulate him. He forgot his promise and intention of like a republican, while Mr Wilkes, in the French elas-speedy return to the stationer's counter, and as he ambled ticity of his politeness, might have passed for a complete by the side of the slowly moving coach, he was the first courtier.

to raise the rebellious cry of Rescue ! There was con“I have taken the liberty,' said Mr Wilkes, " to wait | tagion in the word, and it flew like wildfire ; and by the

tavern

time that the coach had reached the centre of Westmin. so well as he expected. The sum and substance, for he ster Bridge, the mob was so much increased, that it was could never recollect the words, amounted to this, that no easy matter to drive through it. In the twinkling of Mr Wilkes was very much obliged to them for bringing an eye, the horses, which had not the slightest objection to him there, and would be quite as much obliged, if they make to that process, were detached from the carriage, would have the goodness to let him go back again ; and and the sovereign people, from whom all power emanates, he concluded by earnestly imploring each and every of yoked themselves to the coach, and, by the emanation of them to retire quietly to their own homes, and keep the a two-horse power, drew the vehicle back again from king's peace. But they did not care a straw for the Westminster Bridge through Parliament Street and the king's peace ; it would have suited their humour much Strand towards the city. And while sober and loyal better to be recommended to break a few windows, or to people were turning up their sober and loyal eyes at the return to Westminster to kick up a row for the good of abominations of these coach-horse democrats, Frank their country. The multitude called aloud for their idol, Atherton and his companions were exulting in the suc-, who, at their bidding, readily appeared at the window cess of their heroic efforts, and delighting themselves in and addressed them. His eloquence, seconded by a fine the thought that they were too much for the higher mizzling rain, which had been sopping them for the last powers at Westminster.

half hour, and which tickled their upturned eyes as they “ Frank had not yoked himself to the patriot's tri- lifted their countenances to gaze upon the dimly visible umphal car, for such the hackney coach had become by a figure of the patriot, had the effect of persuading them to kind of popular apotheosis, but he had mounted the box | disperse, and they betook themselves to the various gin to direct the movements of the draughtsmen, and he felt shops in Spitalfields and Norton Falgate, where they as many a man feels when he makes a speech at

amused themselves and their auditors, severally, by vadinner and says, “ This is the proudest day of my life.' lorous narratives of the day's exploits, by serious prophecy He felt as though he were doing his country an actual and of national ruin, and by tremendous invectives against essential service in rescuing the champion of its liberties, Lord Bute, Lord North, and certain unnameable indivi. and the dauntless advocate of its rights, from the iron duals in high place.” grasp of despotism; and he had his reward in the gazings of the myriads of eyes that saluted the procession, and the

The great moralist is thus introduced : myriads of voices that greeted or cheered its conductors, as " It was tolerably manifest during dinner time that it passed along through the then narrow Strand. From Mr Boswell was very much afraid that the doctor was side to side he turned his animated eyes and bent his not in a humour to show off. Mr Robert Bryant, who graceful bows, as a successful candidate chaired through knew the lexicographer's feeling on such occasions, was the place of election; and at every pause he waved his most anxiously fearful lest there should be to the doctor's hat with vigorous glee, and led the glorious shout of eye any appearance of a wish to show him to the com(Wilkes and Liberty !

pany, and he was also very careful to avoid all political “ When they arrived opposite the Mansion House, they allusions, or any mention of the name of Wilkes. Very made a rather longer pause, and gave three hearty cheers, few words were spoken during dinner, and those few and then, after a slight deliberation, they drew the car were merely words of business, and not addressed to the riage to Spitalfields, where they caused the patriot and doctor. The whole party seemed to be dining with a his guards to alight; the latter were sent quietly away, tame lion, who would not eat them all up, if they beand the former was conducted into a tavern. Some few haved themselves properly. At length there appeared of the multitude entered the tavern with him, among symptoms of an oracle. Dr Johnson laid down his knife them of course was Frank Atherton as leader of the and fork. Mr Boswell pricked up his ears, and looked rescue.

round to the company, as much as to say “ Attention !'“ • And now, gentlemen,' said Mr Wilkes, 'that you • Mrs Bryant,' said the learned doctor, ‘ your apple-pies have brought me thus far, may I take the liberty to ask, are excellent.' wbat is your object ?'

“ After dinner, the whole attention of the company «« Our object,' said Frank, “is to restore you to that was directed to the great man, who did not seem inclined liberty of which your enemies and the enemies of your to open his mouth, and none of the party seemed to have country had so unjustly deprived you.'

wit or courage to open it for him. Nobody dared to “But I am not yet,' replied the patriot, “out of the speak, but in an under tone of voice, and the doctor bimpower of my enemies.'

self, as if imagining that there was no antagonist pre"• We will protect you, sir, against them to the very sent, over whom victory would be glorious, sat long in utmost of our power,' answered Atherton, with an solemn silence. Mr Boswell fidgeted in his seat, and energy and seriousness which made the patriot smile, and twenty times was on the brink of making a speech, but at which he oftentimes in after life did smile himself; as often his wits unfortunately failed him. The worthy for in the sounder judgment of his maturer years he draper and his guests were beginning to fear that the never blushed at the ebullitions of his youthful impetu whole concern was a failure, and that they might as well, osity.

and perhaps better, have dined without Dr Johnson, “ • Now, will you excuse me,' said Wilkes, laying his when by accident Mr Boswell aroused the dormant energy hand on Atherton's shoulder, .if I tell you, that your of his friend. present proceeding has not at all contributed to my liberty, “ Mention was made, amidst the mutterings of their and is not very likely to contribute to the liberty of the commonplace talk, of a Mr Vernon, a great West-India country. If you take me for a ringleader of rebellion, proprietor. Dr Johnson spoke highly of Mr Vernon. or for a patron of sedition, you quite mistake my charac “ • But, sir,' said Mr Boswell, 'you do not approve ter. My opposition to the ministry is not an opposition of slavery?' to the law, but to those who violate the law. If you “ No, sir,' roared the doctor, and the company were wish to be of any real service to me or to your country, delighted to hear him roar; ' I do not approve of slavery; you will try to persuade these people who are below to but I love Vernon.' disperse and go quietly to their homes.'

“' And yet Mr Vernon is a great owner of slaves,' “* Shall I speak to the multitude,' exclaimed Frank, replied Mr Boswell. quite delighted with the thought of becoming so distin

"So much the better for them,' said the doctor ; guished a personage.

And hastening to the window, he and if I were a slave, and could choose my master, threw up the sash, and the multitude, thinking that it Vernon should be the man.' was Mr Wilkes, cheered him most vociferously. Ather

Yes, sir,' answered Mr Boswell; ' for if you were ton attempted to make a speech, but did not succeed quite Mr Vernon's slave, he would not set you to work in the

plantations; he would be too happy in the pleasure of refraction. On the 28th of June, 1820, he saw from your conversation to drive you to bodily labour. "You the mast-head eighteen sail of ships at the distance of would be his companion, rather than his slave.

about twelve miles. One of them was drawn out, or “Sir,' said the doctor', 'there is as much slavery in lengthened, in a vertical direction; another was contracted being compelled to talk, as in being compelled to work. in the same direction; one bad an inverted image imme

“* But Mr (Vernon,' replied Boswell, x* tvould not diately above it; and other two had two distinct inverted compel you to talk.' on 900 V944 797036 triste images above them ; accompanied with two images of the

“• Why, no, sir,' answered Johosons rather" weari- strata of ice. In 1822, Captain Scoresby recognised his somely, ' he might not use the whip, and compel me'so; father's ship, the Fame, by its inverted image in the air, but he might provoke me, by talking nonsense. " ! ****853 although the ship itself was below the horizon. He after

"As I may do,' replied Mr Boswell." The doctor wards found that the ship was seventeen miles beyond rughed loudly and heartily, then answered, Well bid, the Horizon, and its distance thirty miles. In all these Bozzy ; you have made a rod for your own back.*.» cases, the image was directly above the object; but on

These volumes are well fitted to beguile'a weary hour, the 17th of September, 1818, MM. Jurine and Soret and leave an agreeable impression on the mind.

observed a case of unusual refraction, where the image was on one side of the object. A bark about 4000 toises

distant was seen approaching Geneva by the left bank of A Treatise on Optics. By David Brewster, LL.D., &c. the lake, and at the same moment there was seen above

(Lardner's Cabinet Cyclopedia, Vol. XIX.) London. the water an image of the sails, which, in place of folLongman and Co. 1831. risine do te los aut

lowing the direction of the bark, receded from it, and The author or editor has prefixed to this work,' by way seemed to approach Geneva by the right bank of the lake; of motto, the following passage from the Quarterly the image sailing from east to west, while the bark was Review for February 1831 :-_ It is not easy to devise sailing from north to south. The image was of the same a cure for such a state of things (the-declining taste for size as the object when it first receded from the bark, science ;) but the most obvious remedy is to provide the but it grew less and less as it receded, and was only one educated classes with a series of works on popular and half that of the bark when the phenomenon ceased. practical science, freed from mathematical symbols and “ While the French army was marching through the technical terms, written in simple and perspicuous lan- sandy deserts of Lower Egypt, they saw various phenoguage, and illustrated by facts and experiments, which mena of unusual refraction, to which they gave the name are level to the capacity of ordinary minds." And in of mirage. When the surface of the sand was heated by illustration of the principle here laid down, the book is the sun, the land seemed to be terminated at a certain filled from beginning to end with diagrams and demon distance by a general inundation. The villages situated strations. We do not, however, object to this, because we upon eminences appeared to be so many islands in the believe pictorial representations and technical terms to be middle of a great lake, and under each village there was the only means of communicating to science that accu an inverted image of it. As the army approached the racy which is the essence of its being and the source of boundary of the apparent inundation, the imaginary lake its beauty. We are only amused to see how effectually withdrew, and the same illusion appeared round the next the tact of a man of genius guards him against the village. M. Monge, who has described these appearances seductions of his own erroneous theories---for we believe in the Mémoires sur l'Egypte, ascribes them to reflection that Dr Brewster is, in the present instance, like. Sir from a reflecting surface, which he supposes to take place Walter Scott, the author of his own motto. The treatise between two strata of air of different density. on optics is a perspicuous and exhaustive compendium of “ One of the most remarkable cases of mirage was obthat interesting branch of science, beautifully, arranged. served by Dr Vince. A spectator at Ramsgate sees the The following passage may serve as a specimen of the tops of the four turrets of Dover Castle over a hill bemore popular parts of the work, It is the account of a tween Rar and Dover. Dr Vince, however, on phenomenon which has often been described, but without the 6th of August, 1806, at seven P.M., saw the whole of losing by repetition any of its interest,

Dover Castle, as if it had been brought over and placed “ The elevation of coasts, mountains, and ships, when on the Ramsgate side of the hill. The image of it was seen over the surface of the sea, has long been observed so strong, that the hill itself was not seen through the and known by the name of looming. Mr Huddart de- image. scribed several cases of this kind, but particularly the “ The celebrated fata morgana, which is seen in the very interesting one of an inverted image of a ship seen straits of Messina, and which for many centuries astobeneath the real ship. Dr Vince observed at Ramsgate nished the volgar and perplexed philosophers, is ob a ship, whose topmasts only were seen above the horizon; viously a phenomenon of this kind. A spectator on an but he at the same time observed, in the field of the tele- eminence in the city of Reggio, with his back to the sun scope through which he was looking, two images of the and his face to the sea, and when the rising sun shines complete ship in the air, both directly above the ship, the from that point whence its incident ray forms an angle uppermost of the two being erect, and the other inverted. of about 45° on the sea of Reggio, sees upon the water He then directed his telescope to anotber ship whose hull numberless series of pilasters, arches, castles well dewas just in the horizon, and he observed a complete in- lineated, regular columns, lofty towers, superb palaces verted image of it; the mainmast of which just touched with balconies and windows, villages and trees, plains the mainmast of the ship itself. Upon looking at an with herds and flocks, armies of men on foot and on other ship, Dr Vince saw inverted images of some of its horseback, all passing rapidly in succession on the surface parts which suddenly appeared and vanished, • first ap- of the sea. These same objects are, in particular states pearing,' says he, “below, and running up very rapidly, of the atmosphere, seen in the air, though less vividly; showing more or less of the masts at different times as and when the air is hazy and dewy, they are seen on the they broke out, resembling in the swiftness of their surface of the sea, vividly coloured, or fringed with all breaking out the shooting of a beam of the aurora borea- the prismatic colours.” lis.' As the ship continued to descend, more of the image gradually appeared, till the image of the whole ship was at last completed, with the mainmasts in contact.

Standard Novels. No. IV. Thaddeus of Warsaw. When the ship descended still lower, the image receded

By Miss Jane Porter. Complete in one volume. from the ship, but no second image was seen.

London: Colburn and Bentley. Edinburgh : Bell “ Captain Scoresby, when navigating the Greenland

and Bradfute. 1831. seas, observed several very interesting cases of unusual The publication of novels and romances in this con

1

source.

densed shape may probably now and then be as ad- | battle-fields. “ The features of the country also,” we are vantageous to the original authors, as it must always be told, “were learned from persons who had trodden the steps agreeable to the economy and comfort of their readers. she describes." Now this is the only point where we are For the alarm excited by three or four goodly volumes, forced to quarrel with Miss Porter, for want of honest is lulled into a feeling of comparative security at sight candour. For a very superficial comparison of the first of one; which, though the matter, be not a tittle the volume of Coxe's Travels in Russia, with this romance, less, and sometimes rather, more, may yet be held in the must convince every one who will “ believe the true hand at once, and taken in, as it were, at a single grasp. avouch of his own eyes,' that the passages alluded to in The mind, in general, winks very passively at the decep- the latter, are, if not a copy verbatim, at least a very contion. We do not say this in disparagement, but in a tinuous transcription from the other work. And though spirit of great benevolence, towards voluminous writers, Coxe has trodden the steps she describes,” it is scarcely and far less with the intention of insinuating any thing enough, while she is so lavish of gratitude to others, to against the book before uș, or its author.

make such an equivocal acknowledgment of her obliga“ Thaddeus of Warsaw” is indeed one of the shortest tions in this quarter. Nor is there any need of being -it is the first and we are much inclined to add-the ashamed to do this; since Mrs Radcliffe has always best of Miss J. Porter's performances. We need not readily allowed that her finest descriptions of the scenery however, talk of its merits now; for the verdict of pub- of the Alps and Apennines are borrowed from this very lic judgment has long ago pronounced in its favour, by a very considerable majority. The present edition, accord Independently of these considerations, the appearance ing to the reigning fashion, has undergone the careful of this volume at this moment is most opportune. It is revision of the author, of which the fruits are occasional a highly-coloured chronicle of events and characters, notes of explanation—none of any importance respecting whose memory is now inciting thousands to enforce their the principal incidents and characters of the story. This repetition with all the prospect of a happier issue. And is in avowed imitation of Sir Walter Scott, in the new to the not altogether indifferent, but more distantly inedition of the Wayerley Novels--a very dangerous experi- terested spectator, it presents a picture of the local scenery ment, in our opinion, and liable to the widest abuse. For and manners of Poland, in a period of excitement very it certainly requires the keenest local and native interest similar to the present, which is not always to be found to support the elucidation of those points whose very drawn so pleasantly, and at the same time with such obdim uncertainty was before the chief source of pleasure, servance of truth. and, in common hands, it will, sooner or later, become an apology for the most tedious and disagreeably egotistical narration. In the present instance, however, we

Deutsches Handbuch, The German Manual for Selfought perbaps to forbear criticism, when we hear Miss tuition. By Wilhelm Klauer Klattowsky, Professor Porter in propriâ personâ exclaiming, "I felt, indeed, of the German and Northern Languages and Literaparticularly pleased to adopt, in my turn, a successful ture. In two volumes. 12mo. Pp. 516, 328. Louexample from the once Great Unknown-now the not don. Black, Young, and Young. less great avowed author of the Waverley Novels, in the

We are, we confess, rather sceptical as to the possibi. person of Sir Walter Scott; who did me the honour to lity of what is called self-tuition in the matter of lanadopt the style or class of novels, of which Thaddeus of

guages. We do not hold him to have mastered a lanWarsaw' was the first.” Listen to this, Sir Walter, guage who is barely able to pick out the meaning of its and make answer to the soft impeachment;" though w

books with more or less frequent reference to his dicfear it will consist of an assurance, that Waverley, and tionary. Until he has obtained such a command over itperhaps sundry others, had been written and stored by, has so far penetrated into its spirit, as to be able to give long before “ Thaddeus of Warsaw" had ever entered

utterance to his own thoughts in it, he is but in the even the early imagination of Miss Jane Porter.,

way of learning. This power, however, cannot be com. The introductory letter, or address," from the author," as

municated by books, it must be acquired in the living it is said, “to her friendly readers, from which we have interchange of words with those who speak the tongue. just quoted, is in fact a preliminary note, informing us

If, however, any thing could tend to remove our sceptiof the first inspiration of her “ Epic Muse in proses" and cism on this point, it would be Professor Klattowsky's of the accidents which more particularly shaped its course judicious book. It contains a short introduction to the of light in the present direction. During a residence in grammatical forms and pronunciation of the language ; a London, when very young, she was in the habit of tasteful selection of interesting specimens of its most poseeing many of the Polish and French refugees, who were

pular authors; and a careful analysis of each in the form seeking shelter either from slavery or “the weight of of an interlinear translation. We could have wished, too much liberty ;” and the iniserable condition of these indeed, that he had adopted the subdivision of declenexpatriated and oppressed, wanderers made a deep sions and conjugations established by Grimm and Becker, and lasting impression on her tender mind, She loved instead of adhering to the obsolete and perplexing method to brood over their fate, and awaken within her own of Noëhden and others. With this one drawback, howe breast a sympathy with their wrongs and sufferings. At ever, the book is a valuable acquisition to the student of length the arrival of Kosciuszko in Eugland, and the German, whether he adventurously attempt to conquer description of the hero by younger brother who was

its difficulties unaided, or employ a teacher like a rational taken to visit him, fanned the secret Hame into light, and

being. suggested the idea of giving an outlet to her predominant feelings by a channel, “ founded on the actual scenes of Kosciuszko's suffering, and moulded out of his virtues.” Pocket Bible Atlas, with a Plate of the Family Descent of There is a good deal of petit égoisme displayed in the Christ from Adam. By John Lothian. Third Edimanner of relating all this, and some notices of the suc tion. Edinburgh: J. Lothian. London: Hamilcess of the work on its first appearance might have reach ton, Adams, and Co. 1831. ed her friendly readers with better grace by another conveyance. Some having evinced surprise at the very vivid, book at its first appearance, we have only to say now,

Having expressed a favourable opinion of this little yet accurate, delineations of the principal actors and real scenes in which they were engaged, she explains ber that we adhere to our first verdict. The genealogy of

our Saviour is a new feature, and an interesting one. means of obtaining such information, from the frequent conversations she was enabled to hold with those who had dwelt in these very homes, and struggled on these

2000 years ; and with whom, however, the pictures that MISCELLANEOUS LITERATURE.

surround us seem to bring us on a sudden into an almost

immediate connexion. These representations are no less ETRURIAN ANTIQUITIES.

interesting when considered as developing the early proA Letter from Rome.

gress of art, and bringing before our eyes the difficulties

with which the infant arts of design had to contend, Sir,—Being just returned from a most interesting ex than when viewed by the philosophic eye of the obsercursion through the neighbouring district of Etruria, I vant archæologian, and used as means to throw more do not think I can do better than make known the at light upon the wonderful economy of the human mind, tractive novelties which there excited my admiration, which, in ancient as well as modern times, has developed through the medium of your widely circulated Journal. itself according to the same eternal and immutable laws. I do this the more readily, because I suspect these most One of the most common representations in these sepulsingular and interesting regions are as yet but very little chral chambers is that of a triclinium, where the deknown to the British public; nay, I might even say to ceased persons are seen reclining at ease, according to the the most distinguished of our archæological literati. I Roman fashion, and enjoying the same viands which hear, indeed, that our great antiquarian luminary, they had so often participated in while on earth. This Millingen, has lately published some account of the re-occupies the end wall. The two side walls are often cent discoveries in Etruria; but, though I cannot, from filled by dancing Bacchic figures, which, however little personal reading, judge of this work, still I am, on pretty they may seem to agree with the solemnity of death, yet good authority, inclined to believe, that the distinguished tend to represent to us in a very lively manner the uniauthor had not had an opportunity to visit in person the versal belief of mankind in a future life, and to teach us interesting vicinity of Corneto, where excavations have that the ancient world, far from considering death with of late been made, and are still making with such distin- the cold hopeless eye of modern materialism, were accasguished success. If we except that part of Etruria, tomed to look to it as the introduction to a more perfect through which the two great high-roads pass between state of existence, where rest and quiet should be obFlorence and Kome, this once celebrated country, which, tained after the labours and troubles of the present life. before the times of the Romans, was adorned with many On no other principle can be explained another set of rich and flourishing cities, is but little known to the representatious very frequent in the Etruscan as well as general traveller, and even to those whose Italian wan in the Roman sepulchral ornaments I mean that of derings have more of a professed archæological bent. It dolphins and other marine animals, of which the most is but too true, that travellers in general, and most of all likely interpretation is, that they represent the souls of English travellers, rarely deviate from the beaten track ; the blessed, gamboling through the waves to the happy and this truth receives a new verification from the inte- islands of the Atlantic. And here it is strange to remark resting tracts of Tuscany which are yet altogether, or the coincidence of the most ancient Etruscap with the comparatively, unknown.

earlier Christian ideas; for nothing is more common in But to proceed. Corneto, the first point in the anti- the Christian monuments than the representation of quarian tour of which I shall now endeavour to give you a dolphins and other fishes--the explanation of which, as rapid sketch, is situated in the States of the Church, about referring to Christians, will easily occur to those who are 'sixty miles north from Rome, and twelve miles beyond conversant with the works of the early fathers. the harbour of Civita Vecchia. Though not itself a ma But to return from digressions. Though the paintings ritime town, it lies on an eminence only about two or three have been well preserved, yet have these sacred abodes miles distant from the site of the ancient city Graviscae been in early times robbed of their movable treasures ; a Tyrrhenian harbour, scarcely otherwise known to and therefore it is, that these tombs of Corneto, or rather the modern ear than through the verses of the Mantuan of Tarquinii, have not enriched the excavators with those bard. About a mile from Corneto, still further inland, immense treasures of fictile vases in which the Etruscan is the site of the ancient city of Tarquinii, so celebrated graves in other parts of the country have been so fruitin the early history of the Etruscans, as the place where ful. The ground which has in so short a time furnished Demaratus first improved the rudeness of Etruscan art Lucian Bonaparte with a museum of above three thouby the introduction of Corinthian refinement, and was sand vases, is about eighteen miles farther up, in the destined to give in his progeny a king to Rome, who Etrurian territory, near the site of the ancient town of should be the first to introduce a taste for a massive and Vulci. This place, of which we have so very scanty dignified architecture among an association of rude and notices from antiquity, seems, nevertheless, to have been barbarous warriors. 'Tis to this ancient city that those one of the largest of the cities which composed the sepulchral monuments belong, which form the principal Etruscan confederation, if we may judge, as well from object of attraction to the stranger who visits Corneto. the wide extent of its walls, the foundations of which are Hither, therefore, I hied, as soon as I had a little re yet to be traced, as from the immense tract of ground freshed myself from the fatigues of an Italian vettura. which is occupied by its sepolcretum, which has already Nor were my expectations disappointed in visiting these been so wonderfully fertile in the most beautiful produelong-forgotten, but now revived monuments of the Etrus- tions of ancient Grecian art, and is still continuing to can dead. An immense range of conical tumuli, called yield enough to satisfy the continued excavations of three by the inhabitants of Corneto, Monte Rozzi, immediately considerable proprietors. You are aware that the proattracts the attention of the traveller, and makes even the perty of Canino, belonging to Lucian Bonaparte, occupies most careless observer suspect that the interior of these the greater part of this precious territory; but he does evidently artificial mounds must contain some curious not exclusively monopolize these classical treasures the ancient remains. Nor is he deceived. These tumuli Signori Candelori and Feoli occupying also no inconsi. contain one or more sepulchral chambers, for the most derable portion of the Vulcian burying-ground, and ex. part painted in a style which proclaims a very ancient tracting from thence their proportional share of its tresperiod of Etruscan art, and at times accompanied with sures of art. Nevertheless, it is but fair to state, that inscriptions in that interesting language, which, alas! after the excavations have, during the present year, ceased to all the endeavours of Lanzi and his followers, remains as be so fortunate as in the first attempts; but it was not inexplicable as ever. The impression is more to be felt to be expected that the soil could long continue to be so than described, which is produced when one descends very fruitful as it at first was. The labours, howerer, from the bright splendour of the Italian day, into these are still going on, and I had the satisfaction to see several gloomy subterranean abodes of human beings, who are interesting objects which had lately been dug up. Among removed from us by the immense gulf of more than these, the most curious were several pieces of sculpture,

« 上一頁繼續 »