« AnteriorContinuar »
blooming and blushing in the chevelure and chapeau of the king and queen of the month. By the merry faces of the sable rogues, and the joyous grimaces of their Grimaldi, one might fancy that the “chimney sweepers' act" yet slumbered, an embryo, in the brain of the sapient Solomon who framed it, but the text apprizes us that it has been matured and that the revelling of their sable majesties is but the intoxication of despair. A band of shrieking children, boys, men and nursery maids, brings up the procession. And what treat hath June-sweet month of roses, nightingales, and twilight skies--what treat hath June in store for us? gious !” the Royal Academy ! the walls are covered with the triumphs of native art, and we flatter ourselves with detecting the works of our favourites; there is, surely, a whole length by Sir Martin, and a portrait by Phillips, one by Pickersgill, and another by Rothwell; a mythological by Etty, and a scriptural by Hilton; two landscapes in India by Daniell; a subject from Comus by Howard, a sea-shore by Collins, and a passage from Shakespeare, with the head of a fair girl, by Alabaster, that promising pupil of genius : and there are many more which we might identify had we but time. But look at the motley crowd! the woman of ton and her exquisite escort; the corpulent clergyman whose right foot has, inadvertently, pulverised the corn of the hapless old lady behind him; the artist, horror-struck on discovering his wonderful production most wickedly and maliciously” hung on the highest nail in the room; the enormous alderman wiping his face with his handkerchief; the connoisseur bent double to feast on some rare little bit near the groundin short, Reader, prithee put on thy spectacles if thou wearest such, and make thy how to the whole ;-let us turn to July. Oh! this is Vauxhall with its coloured lamps, its green trees, its vocalists and musicians, wafer sandwiches, scaramouch waiters, and harlequin groups; and there is “ Simpson the brave,” attitudinising in full dress, and as happy as a Parisian coxcomb of l'ancien régime. good! go on. August hurries us not amidst the reapers and gleaners and the wide waving harvest of wheat, where the lark has buried her nest in the furrows, and the quail and the partridge and corn-crake have brooded and brought up their youngno—it is “ oyster-day,” and a vision of Billingsgate rises before us; we are jostled amidst cah-men, coal-heavers, porters, bricklayers, and divers of the ruder specimens of the softer sex, all eagerly selling, buying, opening and eating the unfortunate bivalve. And lo! there is a dandy, with his belle, in a state of actual oyster-shell siege, blockaded by some dozen ragged, active and clamorous little monkeys, from the age of seven downwards : good lack! And now for September ! where are we? what have we here? “ Gyngell,” “ Richardson,” booths, dwarfs, giants, posturemasters, and rope-dancers; clown, punch, and pantaloon; the hero and heroine of the sock and buskin ; a flying rabble of tailors, washerwomen, and new-breeched little boys, and a mad bull rushing, unceremoniously, onward : the gentle revel of St. Bartholomew has commenced, and we are in the classic region of Smithfield. October presents us with the arrival of the stages from Hastings, and the surly descent of the worn-out cits who have been a pleasuring" at the sea-side-gulping salt water, and wetting their shoes on the shingles, and are now wending homewards with guinea-less purses, band-boxes of millinery, and mutual discontent. Well! all things must have an end, even a trip to the coast, and the cash in our pocket. November-chill and dark-ushers in the funeral procession of the “ Papist plotter, Guy,” and the incident of the urchin, pulled back by his wiser companion, yet sanguinely holding up his cap to the suicidal-looking personage in the barred window of the sponging-house, is excellent: look at the queer little rogue too, with an ocean of shirt collar, and handsomely dressed in the nether habiliments of some broadshouldered Irishman! what can be better? Oh! this, most certainly, the feast of December; the social, happy, cheery dinner-party in their pleasant, warm, welllighted room, with the sparkling and savoury condiments before them,—the turkey, chine, hare, wine, jellies and mince-pies; the pudding and roast beef, and all good things in possession and expectancy; jests and gibes and broad grins ; quips and cranks, smiles, simpers, blushes, and soft flatteries all that is joyous, tender and amiable, animates the scene, even the servants are mollified, and John oglingly whispers a sly compliment to Betty as she hands him the tart.
This is a capital termination, and so we leave it.
Of the etchings we must say, that while the designs exhibit much of the graphic humour of the master, the execution is less vigorous than might be desired; a too
delicate corrosion of the metal has impaired the effect, and we are, immediately, struck by a want of fulness of colour in the plates. We are, decidedly, of opinion that sharp, beautiful and spirited engravings on wood would have more favourably brought out the designs. The minor morceaux “ by other hands,” are not without merit; and the literary portion is ludicrous, particularly the burlesque on the “ Brutish College of Health.”
“ Illustrations of the Bible.” London, Edward Churton, Holles Street. Parts VII., VIII., IX.
Increasing in merit and attraction, this beautiful little series continues to present new claims to our admiration; the present numbers are among the best we have seen, and we shall give some detailed remarks on the prints in our next.
“View of Aracan Fort, from Pioneer Hill.” Havell, Zoological Gallery, Oxford Street.
A well-executed coloured engraving of the Fort of Aracan, which was captured, after a severe struggle, during the Burmese War, by the British and Native forces, under the command of Brigadier General Morrison, and subsequently dismantled. The bamboo barracks on the parade were occupied by the troops. On the extreme left is the house of the governor ; in the rear of the position is the village, which extends to the river, flanked on both sides by mosques.
This fort was built originally by the Portuguese, from whom it was wrested by the Burmese, who retained possession of it near five centuries.
The position occupies a large extent of ground; one face entirely commands the river, and was deemed by the Burmese of great importance, being considered the key to the seat of government, at Ava, with a good anchorage for a fleet, and within a few days sail of Bengal. From the time of the capture until the withdrawal of the troops, a space of eight months, upwards of 4000 men fell a sacrifice to the climate, which, in consequence of its destructive tendency to human life, has given to this district the appropriate designation of “The Valley of Death."
BY J. ALFRED LAW.
It is the hour I love to gaze
Upon this beauteous work of art;
In silence steal over my heart.
The deepest truth of woman's breast;
The happiness by love caress’d.
The wild grass waves above thy head;
Deep in their parent earth are laid.
Nor record left to tell the same;
Save one, who never breathes thy name.
Come thoughts of thee which cannot die;
In tribute to thy memory.
CRITICAL NOTICES OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
Memoirs of Ichthyosauri and Plesiosauri, extinct Monsters of the Ancient
Earth, by Thomas Hawkins, F.G.S., &c. &c. London : Relfe and
Fletcher, 1834. Had not Mr. Hawkins confessed himself conscious of his own defects, and appeared before us as his own humble apologist, we should have been more inclined to quarrel with the manner in which he has thought fit to conceal a few important scientific facts amidst a mass of silly speculations and unmeaning verbosity. But let our author speak for himself. He says in his preface—“The Geological Society of London was the remote cause of the Book I now commend to my reader's indulgence, and since I am by no means sanguine of his praise, I must acquaint him with the disadvantages under which it was written, that if it should unfortunately incur his censure, he may know how to qualify it at the least, if not to forego its expression altogether.”
After telling us that his education was neglected, and that he was left to the unrestrained indulgence of a collecting mania from the age of twelve, he proceeds—"therefore, the volume now before the reader has but modest claims,-indeed, the title anticipates it-memoir signifying a familiar exposition of one's own ideas in a latitudinarian degree,-and is bufficiently descriptive of the thing proposed—the assemblage of facts relative to Ichthyosauri and Plesiosauri, merely. To this end I had but to study their remains as an anatomist, and, if I may boast, that branch of science has not been neglected by me, and to watch vigilantly the progress
of my plates, which are, after all that is said, the best interpreters of the original matter, if carefully examined. But the determination of the most remarkable individual difference, by which the species should be known, devolved upon mema serious responsibility as the genera had their historians; but having ascertained their consent to my views upon the subject, for Messrs. Conybeare and De la Beche published their's during the infancy of our acquaintance with these extraordinary creatures, I at once referred it to the extremities.
“ Naturalists wonder, if they bear not in mind the peculiar difficulties that encounter the sauriologist when he grapples subjects of this kind. The object-excessively rare--comes before him divested of the properties of living animals; he sees but the osseous relics of beings that, without analogue in the present creation, set all common methods of reason at defiance, and leave him no choice but the exercise of opinion or its abnegation. Now, mark the consequences of the latter postulate ; the question sent a begging returns with a Babel of answers, and is consigned, with the good and bad company it has picked up, to oblivion, while the mover of it, tacking the name of one of his friends to the generic appellation, lays the flattering unction to his own and another's soul at the same moment that he betrays science. Thus, the records of extinguished times and things are interpolated with the most fleeting accidents of our own,-in the same spirit is ignorant Monkery painted on its missal the Jewish virgin in the habit of a nun, and the disciples shaven and hooded like itself. So critical a dilemma must plead for my temerity, and I trust my reader will believe that I should be the very first to forego for better distinctions the poor credit of my own, which I will, nevertheless, vindicate until such be substantiated.
“Further, I beg the reader to bear in mind that I am no adept author ; confined, like the Abyssinian prince, to a world of my own making, for I have enjoyed neither the privilege of a Mentor nor leisure necessary to the acquirement of much worldly wisdom, being engaged from my earliest years in the gratification of an inordinate acquisitive organ which understood no motive but curiosity-I speak only the language of the heart. It will offend a fastidious taste; it may even militate against some of the conventional forms which the literary world has agreed to respect, but it bears the impress of truth, and be that the honourable badge of my first solicitude--my sacred care. I make no apologies by way of mask, no more professions than I fulfil ;-that my explanations extenuate such mediocre as may chance in my pages, I am excusably solicitous; that I acquire the good opinion of my readers, anxious, these are the simple aspirations of my ambition, and the latter the only honour that I covet for reward."
Taking the anterior extremity of the Ichthyosaurus and the posterior extremity of the Plesiosaurus as the bases on which to found a new arrangement of species, he explains himself thus. Speaking of the Ichthyosauri. “Rejecting the old specific terms, as of too indefinite pretension, and comparing the numerous specimens in our collection with one another, we ascertain that the most unique feature of the Ichthyosaurus-the paddle-furnishes the best ground for the true identification of the species which we enumerate :1. Ichthyosaurus Chiroligostinus, from yeup, hand; onyos, few; and bone. 2. I
Chiropolyostinus, from wesp, hand; modus, many; and OOTERY,
bone, 3. I
Chirostrongulostinus, from xep, hand; orgoggudos, rounds and 4. I
Chiroparamekostinus, from xtip, hand; magapnxns, oblong ;
and ootEOY, bone.” Speaking of the Plesiosauri, he says—" It is not in the relative characters of a few dislocated bones of an extinct family that we look for the differences that identify species, but in some great deviation from the general rule as betrayed in the teeth of quadrupeds and in the limbs of oviparous reptiles : here, in the posterior extremity--in the tarsusm it is discovered. We establish from species, therefore—the same number that belongs to the fish-lizard genus—the 1. Plesiosaurus Triatarsostinus, from rgice, three; rapoos, tarsus; and ooreov, bone. 2. P-Tessarestarsostinus, from teroages, four ; tagoos, tarsus; and
OOTEDY, bone. 3. P
Pentetarsostinus, from neyte, five; tagoos, tarsus; and OOTERY,
bone. 4. Extarsostinus, from eg, six; ragoos, tarsus; and osteoy, bone.”
We beg to offer our meed of approbation to the getting up of the plates, and our sincere admiration of Mr. Hawkins's indefatigable industry and enthusiasm ; but we hope when he again lays before us their results, he will remember that accuracy of facts and simplicity of diction are the το σρεπον
and Toxxhoy of books of science. We finish with a choice specimen of our author's manner. “ There is an oasis in the North of our Isle which has a temple like the Ephesian-beautiful, high-priests venerable, and sons rich in the wisdom that cures the maladies of the soul. The northern town Scarbro'—the second Bath-has founded this building-modelled after the temple of Theseus, at Athens-and directed the public energies to the cause of
natural philosophy, of which it is the worthy store-house.
If my reader has taken the palmer habit that he may travel to the heavenly countries of Phanes, Zeus, and Eros, let him visit that classic place and pay
his vows at its Theseuian altars--one of them is a fragment of the fifth Plesiosaurus and the Goliah of the race. I went seven hundred miles to see it-worshipped it—and purpose it yet another pilgrimage.”
Travels into Bokhara ; being the account of a Journey from India to
Caboul, Tartary, and Persia ; also Narrative of á Voyage on the
1834. Whatever may be the disadvantages of the system, which has ruled our Eastern colonies from their first establishment down to the present day, it may reasonably he doubted whether the changes, which have been made of late years, could have been brought about in the year 1783, when they were first suggested, without endangering that moral influence, which has alone enabled the British nation to extend her empire over a tract of country, almost without bounds, and over tribes inimical not only to her, but to every other people. The extraordinary and exclusive nature of the superstitions, customs, habits, and language of the East, required a peculiar mode of Government: one, wholly different from any thing with which its conquerors were previously acquainted. Perhaps, indeed, those very evils (and evils they undoubtedly were in principle) which Mr. Fox's opponents were accused of promoting, for party purposes only, were, what mainly contributed to fix the British dominion in Hindostan upon its present firm basis.
The East India Company have been stigmatized as despots, and of the worst kind; as tyrannizing over the mind as well as the body. Granted. But what would have been the consequence of at once bestowing a liberal constitution, and a free press upon those, to whom the very name of liberty was unknown.
They have been upbraided with condemning the half caste population to a state of inferiority, which it did not deserve. How far this accusation is true, it is not for us to decide. But in a country where the separation of caste is (if we may use the expression) indigenous, and where the intermarriage with one of an inferior grade is viewed with feelings almost amounting to horror, the conquerors could have devised no more effectual means of establishing their authority than by discountenancing, to the utmost of their power, all connection, immediate or mediate, with the conquered. This caused them to be regarded as of a superior caste ; and, by thus complying with the prejudices of the vanquished, they acquired a moral influence over them, which, years of bloodshed, and the slaughter of thousands, could never have procured.
Much too has been said of the lavish prodigality of the Indian Government; and the charge is not denied. The rigid economy which is so necessary to the well-being and happiness of a free nation, would be viewed with astonishment-nay-even with contempt, by those with whom the magnificence of their native princes is the ordinary criterion, and frequently the sole stay of their power. Time, and the progress of civilization, have already brought about many changes; and the day is probably not far distant, when the very measures of reform which have been hitherto stigmatized as chimerical and dangerous, may become absolutely necessary for the preservation of our Eastern territory. But to return to our subject. The head and front of the offence seems to be,