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GENTLEMAN'S MAGAZINE. APRIL, 1837.
By SYLVANUS URBAN, Gent.
Minor Correspondence—Babylonian Cylinders—Etymology of Cricket—
Lachlan Macleane 338
The Poetry Of Sir Humphry Davy 339
Di Ary Of A Lover Of Literature 350
Goldsmith's Intercourse with Voltaire, 359.—The Chevalier Rutledge 360
Mariette on Mezzotinto Engraving 360
Journal of Robert Bargrave in Turkey, in 1648-9.—Constantinople 361
Account of Nursted Court, Kent (with a Plate) 364
On the Migration of Birds, &c 367
On the Author of the Ode to Friendship—Dr. Johnson or Mrs. Astell? 369
Epistolary Styles of European and Asiatie Monarchs.—The ' Rass'? 370
Roof of Westminster Hall.—Anecdote of James 1 371
On the Ring-Money of the Celfae, and the Phoenician Language «*•
Lines on the Death of the Bishop of Salisbury. By the Rev. W. L. Bowles .. 376 On Ancient Residences in England, from Burton's Anatomie of Melancholy.... 377 New Record Commission, No. VI.—The Commissioners' Observations on the
House of Commons' Committee, &c
REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS. Captain Hall's Schloss Hainfeld, 385.—Pamphlets on Joint-Stock Companies, 387.—Life and Works of W. Wyon, Esq. 389.—Tour of Boullaye-le-Gouz in Ireland, 391.—Rev. C. R. Muston's Sermons, 392.—Dyce's Works of Bentley, 393.—Godmond's Memoir of Therouenne, and Discourse on the Tortus Itius of Cffisar, .197.—Smith's Marculfus, 400.—Twopeny's Ornaments of Gothic Architecture, 402.—Miscellaneous Reviews 403
LITERARY AND SCIENTIFIC INTELLIGENCE.
New Publications, 404.—Learned Societies, Literary Institutions, &c. 405
ANTIQUARIAN RESEARCHES, 409.—Society of Antiquaries, 410.—Numismatic Society, 410.—Campanari's Etruscan Antiquities, &c 411
HISTORICAL CHRONICLE.— Proceedings in Parliament, 414.—Foreign
OBITUARY; with Memoirs of Gustavus ex-King of Sweden; Duke of Meck-
Clergy deceased, 438.—Deaths, arranged in Counties 443
Billof Mortality—Markets—Prices of Shares, 447.—Meteorological Diary—Stocks 448 Embellished with a View of Nursted Court, Kent;And Representations of Ancient Ring-money, or Manillas.
D. H. remarks: " I should have beensurprised that none of the learned correspondents of the Gentleman's Magazine had replied to the very imaginative article by Mr. Belfour in the January number, intitled an Explication of two Babylonian cylinders,—had it not beenevident that their silence had arisen from the circumstance that that gentleman's theories were too groundless and extravagant to admit of a serious discussion. Permit me, therefore, independently of all oriental learning, to employ only my eyes and common sense in comparing Mr. Bblvour's explication and his wood-cuts with the casts of the cylinders in question with which I have been supplied by Mr. Doubleday, of Little Russell-street. In so doing, I am sorry to say, I must pronounce your cuts to be very incorrect. The features of the three figures in the first are totally miscopied; and the central figure or deity has, I think, not " a full-front" in its upper part, but is Janusheaded, one face being turned to each worshipper. This figure Mr. Belfour terms the golden image set up by Nebuchadnezzar; on which I have nothing further to remark than that his description of the dress, and the absence of the hands (p. 38.) is purely imaginary: those particulars being, from the small scale of the engraving, not more clear on the original than they are in the wood-cut. We are further told that the three devout persons in the furnace are ' depicted with remarkable precision!' the whole of the furnace consisting of something like a hank of cotton placed above their heads,—a figure which might be taken as symbolical of the waves of water, but certainly not a whit Hke^foniM. Above the furnace are quietly seated two animals which are either ' lions or hares!' One would have thought that this was really a misprint for ' either rabbits or hares;' but we find Mr. Belfour in the note seriously maintaining that they must be lions!!! Any child of four years old would be competent to contradict him ; for there are certainly some animals whose names are ascertained among our earliest lessons from their length of ear. To advert briefly to the second cylinder. Mr. Belfour's 'explication' is at first, it must be confessed, imposing. The picture appears to agree remarkably with the sacred text, except that the animal is again not " very like a lion." But on looking at the original cylinder, the whole becomes changed; for the wood-cut is materially
inaccurate. The winged man, instead of holding 'a man's heart," or any other separate article in his hand, has absolutely got his hand grasped round the fore-leg of the beast,—which, I beg humbly to suggest is an antelope."
In answer to the question (p. 297,) for the etymology of Cricket, J. J. L. remarks: "This famous English sport boasts of no more ancient origin than the commencement of the last century, and the following etymology seems to be the most likely, from its close and natural resemblance, namely, from the Saxon 'cryce' ' a stick.' This derivation is also supported by the authority of the great Dr. Johnson. I must however confess myself totally at a loss to account tor a game, which certainly had not its origin among the learned, receiving a name from a language now little known, except amongst a few scholars and antiquaries. This leads me to suspect that perhaps cricket may be of a much more ancient origin than Mr. Strutt is disposed to assign to it."—Possibly the name of Cricket might have been given to the game when it was in its infant state as Club and ball: as such, it is an old game. The old copper-plate etching to the 'Cotswold Games' gives all the games of the time, but nothing like this. Mr. Bonstetten, of Berne, considered it originally an Icelandic game: but that it is a gradual improvement on club and ball, we have no doubt: for the old bat, as seen in the picture at the Pavilion in Lord's Ground, has the bend of the club.—Editor.
Our correspondent at Stroud is respectfully reminded that in our Historical Chronicle we have room only to record the most prominent public works completed, and none for those which are merely in contemplation.
The continuation of the article on the antiquarian remains of Italy, with the accompanying map, is deferred to our next number.
We thankfully accept the offer made by M. H. R. if his extracts do not run to a very great extent. Perhaps he will favour us with a portion by way of experiment.
J. R. W. is informed that the claim of Lachlan Macleane to be the author of the Letters of Jemius, which has been recently taken up by Sir David Brewster, is by no means a new conjecture, but that it was fully discussed in the Gentleman's Magazine for 1831, where memoirs ofMacleane will be found.
ON THE POETRY OF SIR HUMPHRY DAVY.
'My observation, Which with experimental seal doth warrant The tenour of my book."—Shakspere.
Mb. Coleridge said, " Had not Davy been the first chemist, he probably would have been the first poet of his age." And Mr. Southey's impression of his great powers of mind was thus expressed.—"Davy was a most extraordinary man. He would have excelled in any department of art or science to which he had devoted the powers of his mind. It was asked,—Might he have been a poet? He replied, yes! he had all the elements of a poet, he only wanted the art. I have read beautiful verses of his. He added,—When I went to Portugal, I left Davy to revise and publish the Poem of Thalaba." These high commendations from the first professors of the art on which they were discoursing, will be received with the respect and credit they deserve. Whether Davy would have fulfilled all that was thus expected, and gained the highest summits of Parnassus,—can be now only a matter of opinion; but that he possessed the elements of poetical excellence in his mind ennnot lie doubtful: and that to the last he wanted what Mr Southey calls the art, is equally clear. He had a very warm and ardent temper, feelings acute and sensible to fine impressions, a mind devoted to the acquirements of knowledge, lofty, philosophical, and imaginative; an intense love of all the beauties of nature; and while he possessed the elastic and buoyant spirit of hope, which sheds a bright and vernal hue on all the distant horizon of life, and even gilds the very gloom of passing misfortune, he had also, alternating with it, that quiet meditative spirit, and that thoughtful and tender melancholy, which we believe to be the constant accompaniment of poetical genius, and which lends to it half its charm. Without the life, the vital flame of imagination, all knowledge in art or science, is a dead inert mass. In the quickness of his apprehension, in the rapidity of his associations, in the boldness yet soundness of his inferences, in his grand views and philosophical combinations of thought,—he evinced a mind of the highest class, such as nature alone deigns to trust with the mysterious secrets of her power, and to whom she delivers the keys that command the treasure, and open the laboratories of her magnificent and exhaustless domain.
We shall endeavour to trace a few marks of the progress of poetical feeling in this great man's mind, before we lay its productions before the reader.—'• I believe," says his affectionate and enlightened biographer, "that like Pope he lisped in numbers. I remember hearing my mother say, that when scarcely five years old, he made rhymes and recited them in the Christmas gambols, attired in some fanciful dress prepared for the occasion by a playful girl who was related to him." When he was about fourteen years old. his master said of him, "That his best exercises were translations from the classics into English verse.—There belonged to his mind." he adds, "it cannot be doubted, the genuine quality of genius, or of that power of intellect which exalts its possessor above the crowd, and which, by its own energies and native vigour, grows and expands, and comes to maturity, aided indeed and modified by circumstances, but in no wise created by them." The following little sketch gives a pleasing account of the manner in which Davy spent his youthful days, and the early love of nature which appeared in his mind.
"The circumstances of his boyish days were equally favourable to health and the formation of active habits, and to the fostering of that love of Nature which never forsook him through life, and was an unfailing source of solace and delight to him even in pain and sickness. He took up his abode with Mr. JohnTomkin when he was nine years of age, on the occasion of our family leaving Penzance to reside at Versall, which is situated on the shore of the Mountsbay, separated from the sea by an intervening marsh, and immediately opposite the most striking and beautiful feature in the bay, that from which it derives its name, St. Michael's Mount. This romantic object, whether he was at Penzance or at Versall, was almost constantly in view, and in the frequent visits which he made to his home, he saw much that could not fail to impress his susceptible mind. The country between Versall and Penzance, a distance of about two miles and a half, is an exquisite specimen of Cornish scenery;
the extent of the ever-varying blue sea on one side, bounded only by the horizon and the distant headlands; on the other side furze-clad hills, and rocky little glens, pouring down transparent tiny streams, diversified with light green fields, farmhouses, orchards, and all the accompaniments of civilization. These little journeys to and fro were made on horseback, on a little pony called Darby; and when he was able to wield a fishing rod, or carry a gun, he roamed at large in quest of sport over the whole of the adjoining districts; a region admirably adapted to invite curiosity and affect the imagination,— whether we look to its natural scenery, its antiquities, its venerable Druidical remains, or its great works of mining art. Under the same favourable circumstances, a taste for natural history early appeared in him. He had a little garden of his own which he kept in order, and he was fond of collecting and painting birds and fishes."
The following letter was written in the free enthusiasm of youthful spirits, and teems with the same feeling.—
"My dear U . That part of Almighty God which resides in the rocks and woods, in the blue and tranquil sea, in the clouds and sunbeams of the sky, is calling upon men with a loud voice; religiously obey its commands, and come and worship with me on the ancient al
tars of Cornwall. We will admire toge ther the wonders of God,—rocks and the sea,—sand hills and living hills covered with verdure. Amen. Write to me immediately and say when you will come.— Farewell I"
Being full of energy,—of North Wales, he writes,—
"This country, in point of beauty and grandeur, is the finest that I have seen, and being a real lover of beauty and grandeur, I have been truly enraptured with the various scenes that have been presented to me."
The last quotation on this part of the subject which we shall give is part of an unpublished dialogue, commencing with a scene laid in the Apennines above Perugia.
of a beautiful green from the rising corn. Hence the Tiber runs, a clear and bright blue mountain stream, meriting the epithet of Cerulean bestowed on it by Virgil: and there the Chiusan Marsh sends its tributary streams from the same level to the remains of Etruria and Latium. In the extreme distance are the woods of the Sabine country, bright with the purple foliage of the Judas tree, extending nlong the sides of blue hills, which, again, are capped by snowy mountains. How rich and noble is the scene! how vast its extent! how diversified its colours I"
"Notwithstanding the magnificence of the Alpine country and the beauty of the upper part of Italy, yet the scenery now before us has peculiar charms, dependant not merely on the variety and grandeur of the objects which it displays, but likewise on its historical relations. The hills are all celebrated in the early history of Italy, and many of them are crowned with Etruscan towers. The Lake of Thrasimene spreads its broad and calm mirror beneath a range of hills covered with oak and chesnut; and the eminence where Hannibal marshalled that army which had nearly deprived Rome of empire, is now
His brother says of him, while alluding to an essay which he wrote,—
love of nature: indeed these two, a philosophical spirit, and an intense love of nature, happily blended in his poetical writings, impart to them a peculiar character, and give them a principal charm: and all the allusions to nature, even at this early period, as well as a later, betoken the strong impression of the actual scenery before his eyes, and express the great features of the scenes around him."
"There is poetry in this prose; and the same note-book contains proofs, that, whilst his judgment and reasoning powers were unfolding, his imagination was kindled , and, what was very unusual in youth, his fancy was not depressed by the severer faculties, but merely guided, sustained, and strengthened. Knowledge, in fact, was the food of his imagination, and even his earliest poetry displays a strong tincture of philosophy, and not less of a
This feeling, in common with all that was natural and pure, maintained its power over his mind with strength increasing, as the common attractions of the world faded more and more away. We find him dwelling with delight among the magnificent scenery of the southern Tyrol and the Illy— rian provinces of Austria; and quitting during his later years all the pleasures of a learned and luxurious metropolis, and, what was more difficult to leave, all the society of his enlightened and philosophical friends, for his solitary rambles among the torrents and mountains of Styria,— oipetJioiTqs,— or where the Carnean and the Noric Alps are watered by the beautiful streams of the Sava and the Isonzo.
"I went back," he writes in his journal, "to my old haunt, Wurgen, which is sublime in the majesty of Alpine grandeur. The snowy peaks of the Noric
Alps, rising above thunder-clouds, whilst spring in all its bloom and beauty bloomg below: its buds and blossoms adorning the (ace of nature, under a frowning